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[Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1838, by Halsted 
and VooKHEis, in the Clerk's office of the District Court of the Southern 
District^of New-York.] 


Previous to his settlement at New-Hartford, 1 

His residence at New-Hartford, 1 1 

His first residence at Newark, 55 

His residence at Andover and Boston, 98 

His second residence at Newark, 137 

His residence at Williamstown, • 142 


His last residence at Newark, and his death, 211 

General estimate of his character and influence, • • 247 



Col. i. 10. 

The knowledge of God, 273 


IsA. Ixiii. 7. 

The tender mercies of God, 291 


Rom. v. 12-19. 

Adam our federal head, 355 


Jer. xliv. 4. 

The abominable nature of sin, 325 


Mat. xvi. 26. 

The worth of the soul, • . 339 


Mat. xxiv. 32, 33. 

Tokens of perdition, 357 


Jer. xvii. 5, 6. 

The heath in the desert, 371 



Mat. xi. 12. 

Taking the kingdom by violence, 389 


John xvii. 6. 

The band which took Christ, 407 


Luke xiii. 6-9. 

The fruitless tig tree, 423 


Jer. viii. 20-22. 

Harvest past and balm of Gilead, 437 


Jer. xiii. 21. 

What wilt thou say when he shall punish thee, • • • 555 


Luke xiii. 24. 

The strait gate, 469 


Mat. viii. 11, 12. 

Gospel despisers passed by, and the heathen taken, 485 


1 Thes. v. 19. 

duench not the Spirit, • » « 503 


Deut. X. 12. 

Exhortation to serve the Lord, 519 


Luke xiv. 18. 

Excuses, 535 


Isaiah i, 18. 

Let us reason together, 549 



NcM. X. 29-32. 

Hobab, ^^3 


Luke xx iii.47-49. 

Returning from the crucifixion, 579 





Edward Dorr Griffin was born at East Had- 
dam, Connecticut, January 6, 1770. His father 
was George Griffin, a wealthy farmer, a man of 
a vigorous intellect, of great enterprise, and of a 
superior education for a common one of that day. 
His mother was Eve Dorr, of Lyme, and is said 
to have been distinguished for her lovely and en- 
gaging qualities. She belonged to a family strongly 
marked by good sense, and extensively known in 
the civil history both of the state and nation.* He 
had two brothers, (Col. Josiah Griffin, of East 
Haddam, and George Griffin, Esq. an eminent 
lawyer of the city of New- York,) and five sisters, 
all of whom were married. He was named after 

* Her mother was a sister of the first Governor Gkjswold. 

Vol. I. 1 


his uncle, the Reverend Edward Dorr, of Hart- 
ford, and was, in the intention of his parents, de- 
voted to the ministry from his birth ; a circumstance 
which was certainly somewhat singular, as neither 
of his parents at that time made any pretensions to 
piety. His uncle, who married a daughter of Go- 
vernor Talcott, but had no children, would pro- 
bably have educated him if he had lived, but he was 
removed during his nephew's infancy. 

As he was intended for the ministry, and withal 
was incapacitated by bodily indisposition to labour 
much upon the farm, he was kept almost constantly 
at school up to the time of his entering college. 
His preparatory studies were chiefly under the Re- 
verend Joseph Vaill, of Hadlyme, towards whom 
he continued till the close of life to cherish the 
most grateful and filial veneration. 

In September, 1786, he became a member of 
Yale College. Here he distinguished himself in 
every department of study, and gave unequivocal 
indications of a commanding and splendid intellect. 
He graduated with the highest honors of his class, 
in 1790. 

While he was at home during one of his college 
vacations, a circumstance occurred by means of 
which he had well nigh lost his life. His father had 
a fine young horse, whose spirit no one had been 
able to subdue. Edward mounted him, rode him for 
several hours, and returned in high spirits, declaring 
that he would have him for his Bucephalus. Short- 
ly after he mounted him a second time, upon which 
the horse instantly stood erect upon his hind feet, 


and fell backwards upon Edward with his whole 
weight. When he was taken up, all signs of ani- 
mation had fled, and his friends for some time sup- 
posed that the vital principle was gone. By the 
blessing of God, however, upon the vigorous appli- 
cations that were made to his body, he gradually 
revived, and at no distant period was able to return 
to college and prosecute his studies with his accus- 
tomed alacrity. 

The following account of the commencement and 
progress of his religious impressions is extracted 
from some brief recollections of his early life, which 
he committed to writing but a short time previous 
to his death. 

I had religious impressions occasionally from my earliest 
childhood. When I was quite young, certainly not more than 
four or five years old, one of my companions, a little older than 
myself, told me, while in the fields, about death and a future 
state. I remember 1 was deeply affected. My mother after- 
wards informed me that I came home weeping, and asked her 
about these things, and appeared not to get over it all day. 
In later life I have often been affected at the condescension of 
Him who frequently visited a poor, ignorant, wicked child, and 
forced him into the secret corner to pray. I remember some 
instances in which my prayers were so earnest that I thought 
I should prevail, and was determined to take the kingdom of 
heaven by violence. Once in a time of sickness, my distress 
of mind was succeeded by a hope ; but it was full of self- 
righteousness, saying toothers, "Stand by thyself, I am holier 
than thou." I remember that, in looking around among those 
I knew, I could see none whom I would allow to be christians. 
They all fell short of the standard which I had erected. With 
all these motions of conscience, I know not that any person 
supposed that I was other than a thoughtless, light and play- 
ful child. 


I went to college in liope of being fitted for the ministry. 
I not unfrequently attended the Saturday evening prayer 
meeting, and found my conscience affected by it. I used to 
calculate that if I were not converted while in college, I should 
probably die in my sins. I always shrunk with horror at the 
idea of going into the ministry without religion. If then I 
should not be a christian when I graduated, I should study 
law ; and the temptations of that life and society would carry 
me farther and farther from God, and in all probabiUty would 
seal my ruin. Thus I calculated. Still I remained un- 
changed. When I entered my senior year, 1 thought it was 
high time to fix on my future course ; and as God had not 
changed my heart, I said to myself, " What should I wait for 
the Lord any longer?" (2 Kings vi. 33.) and devoted myself 
to the law. For nearly two years I threw off the restraints of 
conscience, and made up my mind to be a man of the world ; 
but my habits and sense of propriety kept me from vicious 

After I graduated, I engaged as principal of an academy at 
Derby, about ten miles west of New-Haven, where I spent 
nine of the gayest months of my life. In July, 1791, I was 
taken sick. The thought which I had frequently had before 
in sickness returned upon me with greater power : "If I can- 
not bear this for a short time, how can I bear the pains of hell 
forever ?" I have no distinct recollection of the exercises which 
accompanied this uneasiness. I can only say that I found 
myself resolved to lead a different life, and to devote myself to 
the service of God. I had often formed such a resolution, but 
this seemed to be more deep and real than any which I had 
formed before. That was all I knew about myself. After 
my recovery, these thoughts continued and increased ; but it 
was two or three months before I durst conclude that I was a 
child of God. Still the thought of changing my profession 
never entered my mind. I have often wondered how this 
could be ; but I believe it arose from a natural fixedness of 
purpose, which renders it difficult for me to change. One 
Sabbath, in the course of that fall, my mind was strangely 


tried throughout the day with occasional thoughts about my 
future course as a lawyer, — the wide separation from domestic 
friends it would occasion, &c. The course appeared more 
fraught with trials than ever it had done before. Still not a 
thought of change once crossed my mind, any more than 
though there had been but one profession. After the second 
service I returned to my lodgings, and taking a small Bible 
and putting it under my arm, started for my chamber. A 
stray thought, as I passed through the room, occurred to me — 
"I have seen ministers carry a Bible thus to the meeting- 
house." The question instantly came back upon me^"And 
why should not you be a minister?" It made no impression. 
"And why should not you be a minister?" Still I turned it off. 
"And why should not you be a minister ?" By the time I had 
reached the top of the stairs, this question had been thrown 
back upon me so often, and seemingly by another, that I was 
brought to a solemn resolution to examine it seriously. I had 
little christian experience or knowledge, and probably was 
presumptuous in looking for guidance to the passages to which 
I should open : but so it was. I prayed most earnestly that 
God would reveal my duty by the portion of scripture to which 
he should direct me, and then opened the Bible and read. I 
did this several times, and every time opened to something 
which seemed, at least to my imagination, in favor of the 
change. I turned then to the thing itself. 1 had not gone 
too far to change. That was the time of life for me to choose 
a profession. 1 had finished my academical education. I 
hoped I possessed religion : I had looked forward to the mi- 
nistry in case I should obtain that quahfication, though of late 
I had wholly lost sight of the object. Why should I not return 
to it ? I was afraid I was tempting God by asking for direction 
in the way I did : but I ventured to entreat him to guide me 
again, and I would ask but that once ; and I opened to Christ's 
sermon on the mount. Instantly the whole character of Christ 
as a preacher opened to my view. There had never been but 
one perfect example : And how did he spend his time in his 
passage through this world ? Not in contending who should 


have that flock of sheep or that piece of ground, but in preach- 
ing the everlasting gospel and plucking souls as brands from 
the burnings. My mind was settled at once. From the time 
the thought had first occurred to me, till my purpose was as 
fixed as it ever has been since, was not more than half or three 
quarters of an hour. I had been habituated, with my proud 
heart, to pour contempt on the ministry ; and it presented itself 
before me, at that moment, as "the loss of all things." I had 
been accustomed, with my vain mind, to anticipate the highest 
civil honors in the profession of the law. The disappointment 
which I should bring to friends by this relinquishment, stood 
full before me. And yet with all this sacrifice on the one hand, 
and all this contempt on the other, I chose to be a minister. 
I hugged the cross. And though the age of missions had not 
yet dawned, I well remember that, in Dr. Craft's chamber, 
that memorable afternoon, I felt that I should be willing to 
spend my days among the pagans of the wilderness, if such 
should be the will of God. 

Shortly after this he commenced his theological 
studies under the direction of the Reverend Dr. 
Jonathan Edwards of New-Haven, afterwards 
President of Union College. While attending to 
his duties as an instructor, he pursued the course of 
reading which Dr. Edwards pointed out, and wrote 
extensively on his system of theological questions. 

In the spring of 1792 he joined the congregational 
church at Derby, and soon after left the academy 
and returned to East-Haddam, where he had the 
smallpox. That disorder having left his eyes weak, 
he spent part of the summer at his father's house. 
Here he found himself in peculiarly trying circum- 
stances. He was the only professor of religion in 
a family of ten ; and neither his regard for his rela- 
tives, nor his convictions of duty, would suffer him 


to remain silent upon what was with himself the 
all-engrossing subject. He conversed with them 
earnestly and affectionately, beseeching them with 
tears to attend to the things that belonged to their 
peace; and the event proved that his labors and 
struggles in their behalf were not in vain. Nor was 
his influence confined to his own family; for he 
statedly attended a prayer meeting in the neighbor- 
hood, at which those who were much older in the 
christian life than himself found themselves at once 
quickened and edified by his fervent prayers and 
thrilling addresses. 

The latter part of the summer and most of the 
autumn he passed at New-Haven, completing his 
theological studies. He was hcensed to preach, by 
the West Association of New-Haven County, on 
the last day of October. Early in November he 
returned to his father's house, and on the evening 
of the next day accompanied his youngest sister to 
a prayer meeting at the place where he had been 
accustomed to attend. When she left the meeting 
she took his arm, and burst into tears, saying, " The 
singing of those christians convinces me that they 
have something which I want." That, as he after- 
wards declared, was to him a moment of great tri- 
umph. When they arrived at home, his father's 
family, and his brother's family in the neighbor- 
hood, were made acquainted with the fact ; and 
while his sister lay weeping in anguish of spirit, 
he was making his appeals to those around him. 
" That," said he, " was the beginning of American 
revivals, so far as they fell under my personal ob- 


servation ; and from that moment I know they have 
never ceased." His youngest sister, his mother, 
his brother's wife, and several others of the family 
were brought to hope in God's forgiving mercy ; 
and before any breach was made in the domestic 
circle, all were members of the church but two. 

His first sermon was preached November 10, 
1792, at Hadlyme, in the pulpit of his venerable 
friend under whose tuition he had been fitted for 
college. In January succeeding he commenced his 
labors at New-Salem, a small village about seven 
miles from his father's house, and continued there 
till the last of May. His preaching was almost 
immediately attended by manifest tokens of the 
presence of the Holy Spirit. A revival of great 
power commenced, and a church was gathered 
where there had not been one for more than forty 
years. In New-Salem, and the parts of East Had- 
dam and Lyme adjacent to it, about one hundred 
were hopefully added to the Lord. 

In the early part of June, 1793, he commenced 
preaching at Farmington as a candidate for settle- 
ment. The manner in which he was there received, 
and the circumstances which prevented his becom- 
ing the pastor of the church, may be seen from the 
following extract of a letter from the Rev. Noah 
Porter, D. D. then a member, now the minister, of 
the congregation to which Mr. Griffin was called. 

" There are few men whom I remember with more affec- 
tion than Dr. Griffin. He was the first minister of Christ of 
whose preaching I have any distinct recollection, or from 
whom I received any deep and permanent sense of divine 
things. I was twelve years old when he preached in this 


town; and I remember his person, attitude, dress, modulations 
of voice, and some of his texts and illustrations, as though 
they were presented but yesterday. Simplicity and impres- 
siveness you know were remarkable characteristics of his 
preaching. All was on a level with the capacity of a child. 
It was not till two or three years after this that I began to 
consider myself a christian ; but the impressions of truth which 
I received from hira have probably contributed more to make 
me what I am, (so far as there is any thing good belonging 
to me,) than what I have received by means of any other 

"In the year 1796, a committee of the church, of which 
the late Governor Treadwell was a member, was appointed to 
draw up ' a compendious history of the church from its ori- 
gin ' to that time. This was done by Gov. Treadwell ; and 
the extract which I am about to give you, contains the an- 
swers to some of the inquiries suggested in your letter. For 
several years previous to Dr. Griffin's introduction to this pul- 
pit, the society had been divided; and the mutual animosities 
of the parties were sometimes violent ; first relative to Mr. 01- 
cott, for some years pastor of the church ; and after his dis- 
mission, relative to Mr. Jonathan Brown, a candidate for the 
ministry, who preached here immediately before Dr. Griffin, 
and had warm admirers in the society, but to the greater and 
better part of the church was unacceptable. 'Mr. Brown,' 
the record says, 'preached here till March, 1793,' and adds, 
' After he had left us several efforts were made by his friends 
to recall him, but without success. The society then invited 
Mr. Edward Dorr Griffin to supply the pulpit. He according- 
ly supplied it until December then next, with great ability and 
reputation ; when, having been invited by the society, the 
church called him to the work of the ministry almost unani- 
mously ; and temporalities being adjusted, he accepted the 
invitation in April, 1794 ; and in May following a council was 
called to ordain him. But a formidable opposition, consisting 
chiefly of those who felt aggrieved at the loss of Mr. Brown 
and of those who differed from Mr. G. and the church on the 

Vol. I. 2 


subject of baptism and the doctrines of grace, remonstrated 
before the council; which, after a hearing, determined not to 
proceed, principally by reason of objections against some of 
the members of the council, and against the form of the con- 
tract between the society and Mr. Griffin. Wherefore, as no 
decision was had on the merits, the church in the month of 
June following voted to call a second council to ordain Mr. 
Griffin, with which vote the society concurred. Accordingly 
another council was convened ; and the opposers persevering 
in their eflbits, laid in sundry unfounded charges against Mr, 
Griffin, and the proofs not being prepared, the council ad- 
journed: and being again convened, and the evidences taken, 
Mr. Griffin was acquitted with honor, and his character fully 
vindicated. But the gloomy prospect before him induced Mr. 
Griffin in that stage of the business to request the council not 
to proceed to ordain him, if they judged he could fairly be re- 
leased from the obligations of his contract ; and accordingly 
the council, on consultation, thought proper to proceed no 
further.' " 

In July and August, 1794, he preached several 
sabbaths at Middlebury, Conn, where he introduced 
meetings on week days as usual, and was instru- 
mental of the hopeful conversion of several indivi- 
duals. He also supplied three other places for a 
short time previous to the commencement of his 
labors at New-Hartford. In referring to his views 
at that period of life, he says, 

I felt it to be a principal recommendation of a place as my 
residence, that the people would allow me to hold as many 
meetings as I pleased. I held extra meetings in every place 
-where I preached, which was a new thing at that day. What 
then appeared strange, bating some youthful indiscretions, has 
long since become the general usage. I had an opportunity 
to see the whole field of death before a bone began to move. 
And no one who comes upon the stage forty years afterwards 
can have any idea of the state of things at that time. 



Mr. Griffin was ordained and installed pastor 
of the congregational church at New-Hartford, 
June 4, 1795, having supplied them for some months 
in the capacity of a candidate. Almost immediately- 
after he commenced his labors, there was an in- 
creased attention to religion among his people, and 
a revival of considerable power succeeded, which 
resulted in the addition of about fifty persons to the 

On the 17th of May, 1796, he was married to 
Frances Huntington, daughter of the Rev. Doctor 
Joseph Huntington, of Coventry, and niece and 
adopted daughter of Governor Samuel Hunting- 
ton, of Norwich, Conn, formerly President of Con- 
gress, and one of the Signers of the Declaration 
of American Independence. Doctor H. and Go- 
vernor H. were brothers, and married sisters. Go- 
vernor H. had no children; and Mrs. Griffin's 
mother dying when she was two years old, gave 
her and her brother Samuel (afterwards Governor 
of Ohio,) to her sister and her sister's husband the 
Governor, who brought them up as their own child- 
ren, and made them their heirs. 


In the year 1797 he commenced a regular jour- 
nal of his christian experience, which he continued, 
not however without frequent and sometimes pro- 
tracted interruptions, till the close of life. Under 
date of July 12th of that year, he writes thus: 

This tlay ever memorable to my soul for the commence- 
ment of these memoirs, has been set apart as a day of secret 
prayer and fasting. It has pleased God, I hope, to return to 
me after a painful absence of several months, and after I had 
almost despaired of so great a blessing. May I be humbly 
thankful all my days that the Lord, as I hope, has come to 
look up and bring home his long lost wandering sheep. May 
the pains of absence teach me to wander no more. Alas, how 
have new relations, and the new cares of a family state, drawn 
my mind away from God. There are more dangers in every 
pleasing earthly scene than the inexperienced are aware of. 
Adversity, I find, is a much safer state than prosperity. May 
adversities uninterrupted be my lot, if a humble dependance 
on God and sweet communion with him can be enjoyed on 
no easier terms. Sure I am that the possession of the whole 
world for the same space of time could not produce so much 
happiness, as the absence of God for fourteen months past has 
produced misery. The conclusion is, that all the world can- 
not countervail the loss of God. I have now lived in God's 
world more than twenty-seven years. It is just about six 
years since. I hope, he effectually turned my attention to re- 
ligion ; and yet (with regret I say it) I have never kept any 
journal of God's dealings with me before now. By this ne- 
glect I Ijelieve I have lost much. May God enable me to be 
more faithful in futiue. I find none of my own exercises 
committed to writing, except a covenant which contains sun- 
dry resolutions, bearing date April 20th, 1793, with a space 
left to insert new ones; all which, with some small alterations, 
I wUl transcribe, and now solemnly renew in the presence of 


Resolved, in the strengtli of Chiistj to lay aside vain 
conversation, puerile behavior, excessive levity, pride of life, 
improper exertions to please the world, the lusts of the flesh, 
reflections on things unlawful to speak or act, impatience or 
discontent at the dispensations of providence, gloom and de- 
jection contrary to the direction " Rejoice evermore," slander, 
flattery and deceit, self-sufiicient airs, authoritative or dogma- 
tic assertions of my own opinion, and every thing opposed to 
an humble deportment ; petulance, harshness, and impatient 
expressions in my family or elsewhere; want of attention to 
please and to interchange civilities from indolence, pride and 
sourness under the garb of deadness to the world, careless dis- 
regard of the minute principles of prudence and correct beha- 
viour ; waste of time, and whatever is inconsistent with the 
character of a disciple and follower of Jesus, — a minister of 
the everlasting gospel, — a guide and example of souls, to 
whom those are committed for whom Christ died: remember- 
ing that the eyes of a censorious world and of a holy God are 
upon me, and that for every breach of this covenant I must 
give an account. 

Resolved at the close of every day to repeat the above re- 
solutions, and compare my conduct through the day there- 

Resolved that it is best ordinarily to mingle more praises 
and thanksgivings with our devotions than is usually done. 

Resolved generally to close evening devotions with fixed 
contemplations on the glory of God, of Christ, of Heaven, on 
the vanity of the world, &c. 

Resolved to devote a portion of time on every Sabbath 
morning to contemplations on God and Christ, and Heaven, 
and divine love, and the great things commemorated by the 
day ; on the solemnity of divine worship, — on the importance 
of the place which I am to fill in the course of the day ; on 
the worth of souls, and the weight of the charge committed 
to me, (fee. 

Resolved to devote a portion of time every Sabbath eve- 
ning, to examine into the manner in which the duties of the 


day liave been performed, — to apply the preaching to myself, 
and to enter into a fixed, full self-examination. 

Resolved toconfinemyself generally to practical books on 
the Sabbath, and when possible, avoid writing sermons on 
that day. 

The experience of more than four years has convinced me 
that '-'he that trusteth to his own heart is a fool." When 
these resolutions were written, they assumed the air of assu- 
rance that they would be kept. But alas, I find I have more 
reason to be diffident of my own heart than I was sensible of 
at that time. I would now, with dependance on the strength 
of Christ alone, form some 7ieio resolutions. 

Resolved to set apart, as often as is convenient, days for 
private prayer and fasting. 

Resolved to spend as much time as possible in making 
religious visits to my people, especially to the sick and afflict- 
ed, and to spend as little time as possible in visits where reli- 
gious conversation cannot be introduced, and to attend as 
many rehgious meetings as are convenient out of season. 

Resolved to pay particular attention to the religious in- 
struction of the children, and to take measures to catechise 

Resolved to be much in prayer for my people, to set good 
examples before them, and not conduct so as to grieve the 
Spirit of God away from us. 

Resolved, as a husband, to avoid all petulancy and pre- 
tensions to authority and superiority, — to maintain a manly 
tenderness, — to be much in religious conversation with my 
wife, — to seek to help her onward in the divine life, — to pray 
for her, — to avoid idolatrous affections, and endeavor to sup- 
port her, by benevolent sympathy, under the unavoidable trials 
of life. 

Resolved, as the head of a family, to avoid harshness 
and severity of expression or discipline, to mingle decision 
with tenderness in order to unite in the minds of the children 
respectful fear and affectionate confidence; to reprove in a way 


to convict, to talk frequently with them on religion, and to 
pray for them. 

Resolved to avoid a stoical severity in my deportment, and 
to win, by a kind, affable address, the confidence and friend- 
ship of those whom it is my duty to serve. 

Resolved to keep up an epistolary correspondence with a 
number of pious faithful friends, and not forget them in my 

Resolved to avoid intimacies with the wicked. 

Resolved to retire to rest by nine, to arise (unless it be- 
comes necessary to have different hours in the winter) by five ; 
to devote to reading and transcribing from the Bible and to 
devotion all the time until eight ; exercise until nine ; study 
until twelve ; rest until two ; study until five ; exercise, rest 
or visit, until night ; necessary visits and company excepted. 

Resolved to begin early in the week to write my sermons, 
and to endeavor to keep some sermons beforehand. 

All which resolutions may God, in his boundless mercy, 
enable me to keep unto the end, unless he shall convince me 
of the propriety of making some alterations in them. Amen. 

Sabbath. July 16. I find that one great cause of coldness 
and barrenness in religion is the indulgence of vain, worldly, 
romantic thoughts. Therefore, 

Resolved to employ my mind, when not engaged on other 
necessary subjects, in prcfitable contemplations. 

How much more knowledge might I store up by a due ob- 
servance of this rule one year, than I have gained in all my 
life. May God enable me to keep this resolution, for without 
him I have learned that I can do nothing. I find that my 
spiritual enemies will never be overcome without a most dili- 
gent watch kept up against them, and without a life of prayer. 
I would, therefore, though my own weakness is evident, wish 
to Resolve evermore to " watch and 'pray that I enter not 
into temptation." 

Wednesday^ July 2^th. Last night a young man came to 
converse with me, who I never knew was serious, but who 
has at turns been anxious for himself these several years, and 


has, in the course of the last two months, indulged a hope. 
The occasion, I must say, was exceedingly joyful and anima- 
ting to me. It encouraged me to hope that God was again 
returning among us. After he went away I had the most 
precious season that I have had these fifteen months. My 
soul went forth, as I really thought, in prayer for this precious 
people, and for Zion at large. My greatest desire seemed to 
be for these objects. I could scarcely think or pray for any 
thing else. I was, as I frequently have been of late, affected 
with the great things which God is doing for Zion at the pre- 
sent day. O may thy kingdom come ! 

tSabbath evejiing, July ^Qth. I view it a matter of so much 
importance to ascertain with precision my true character, that 
I have 

Resolved to write down carefully the result of every ex- 
amination, whenever I can bring my mind to any point ; that, 
by a retrospective survey of my exercises, I may ahvays have 
before my eyes the summary of the evidence in favor of my 
adoption. In this part of my memoirs I resolve to observe, if 
possible, a more scrupulous exactness than in any other. God 
forbid that I should flatter myself where flattery may prove 
everlastingly fatal ! 

Examination. I have been endeavoring to determine the 
grounds of my uneasiness in view of my conduct this day. 
Can say no more than this : It gives me pain that I have act- 
ed such an unworthy, inconsistent part, by which leanness 
has been brought into my own soul, and my ministrations 
rendered comparatively useless. It is difficult to trace my mo- 
tives any farther. My exercises are indistinct. Alas, if I had 
lived more at home, I should have been more acquainted with 
myself. I once pursued this duty with more faithfulness, un- 
til it became comparatively easy to search about my heart ; 
but it has now been so long neglected, that I find myself a 
stranger at home, and have forgotten the way around the dif- 
ferent apartments of my mind. 

It seems at times perfectly incredible, and almost impossible, 
that so much sin can consist with grace. I have lately had 


more doubts than before. My doubts increase accordingly as 
I neglect the duties of prayer, contemplation, watchfulness, 
and examination. 

August 2d, Wednesday morning. This day is appointed 
to be set apart by me in company with some of the neighbor- 
ing ministers, as a day of fasting and prayer. I would wish 
through the day, 

(1.) To banish every worldly care and thought. 
(2.) Strive to possess myself of a, deep sense of my sin. 
(3.) As the chief object of our prayers is to be, by express 
agreement, the advancement of Zion, I would wish to pos- 
sess myself of views of the worth of the church, and of the 
importance of her being advanced. 

(4.) Guard myself, when leading in prayer, against a wish 
to appear artificially ardent or humble. 

(5.) Guard against introducing or joining in any conversa- 
tion, even though it may be of the religious kind, which shall 
tend to take my mind off from the immediate business of the 
(6.) Strive to ask all truly in the name of Christ. 
Evening. Upon a review of my exercises througli the dav, 
I find much cause for shame and humiliation, and that it is 
much easier to make resolutions than to keep them. 

Sahhath morning, August %th. Expect to preach to-day 
in opposition to what is commonly called the half-way prac- 
tice; to which many of the people are strongly attached, and 
which threatens to raise disturbances among us, the Lord 
knows how serious. Have also to administer the Lord's sup- 
per. It is my desire this day not to be actuated by a wilful, 
haughty resolution to carry my point ; not to exhibit any im- 
prudent, effeminate weakness or fear; to exercise a deep con- 
cern that the people may walk in the true order of the gos- 
pel, and that they may not break to pieces and injure them- 
selves. I wish to go to the sanctuary under a sense of my 
own unworthiness, and apprehensive that my imprudences, 
negligences, and unfaithfulness, may have given occasion to 
the discontents which appear. I wish to feel humility and 
Vol. I. o 


fervency in prayer; to have close, fixed attention in singing 
God's praise; and at the sacrament to exercise humility, peni- 
tence, and faith, and make a renewed dedication of myself to 

Sabbath evening. Have reason to bless God that he has 
given me a better Sabbath than I have been wont to have. 
But I fear I have not possessed a sufficiently tender, humble 
spirit; that I was desirous to convince my people that I was 
not afraid of them. Have felt the operation of spiritual pride 
in consequence of some enlargements. This, alas, is no new 

I fear I have been too willing that the people should send 
me away, under the notion of getting a better place. 1 have 
endeavored to correct myself, and have made the following 
resolutions: — 

(1.) Let me not be so selfish as to be unaffected with what 
will injure the people, out of respect to private interest. (2.) 
Let me not wish myself removed from a place in which God 
has placed me and blessed my labors. (3.) Let me not do 
any thing to effect a dissolution of our connexion; but be as 
faithful, prayerful, prudent, and humble, as though this was 
the only place in which I could labor; and then, if the Lord 
send me away, I can go with a good conscience, with good 
reputation, and with his blessing. (4.) Let me be humble, 
patient, and resigned in all my conversation on the subject. 

Examination. Have tried myself on the subject of leav- 
ing this people, and think I can say that I would not, by any 
means, exchange this for a more agreeable place, without 
God's approbation and direction: Because, (1.) I dare not run 
away from a place in which he has put me, for fear of carry- 
ing his curse with me. (2.) I would be where I can be the 
most useful, and that he can best determine. I think I would 
rather be useful in a poor place than useless in another. The 
interest which I am to take care of seems too great to be sa- 
crificed to private considerations. Besides, I feel as though 
the pleasantest place without the approbation and presence of 
God, would be very unpleasant. "Give what thou canst, 


without thee we are poor, and with thee rich, take what thou 
wilt away." 

I think I can farther say that I would rather the Lord 
should determine all the circumstances of my life than choose 
for myself; because this will conduce most to the general 
good, and to my own happiness. I think the first motive is 
the strongest. I think that I wish the Lord, whose I am and 
who has an important interest to promote, to direct where and 
how I shall serve him. I wish to be at his disposal and com- 
mand. I feel it a happiness that I am in his hands, and that 
he will dispose of all things so as best to answer his most ex- 
cellent purposes. "The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice."' 
If afflictions will make me better, I know I am willing to 
bear them ; or if they will help forward the redeeming plan, I 
think I am wiUing God should impose them, at least to a con- 
siderable degree. My heart is deceitful — I dare not go any 
further. And yet I must say, it seems that, feeling as I now 
do, I should not object if the Lord should take any thing 
which I have, if it would promote that cause w^hich Christ 
died to promote, which is the cause of all truth and of all hap- 

Sahhath morning, August 13th. I expect to preach this 
morning from Genesis, v. 24. The subject has been sweet to 
me. I desire (L) to deliver it with a sincere desire to main- 
tain in future a more close walk with God myself, and to per- 
suade others to do so likewise. (2.) To avoid the pride which 
is too apt to arise from the belief that I am delivering a good 

From some symptoms discovered in the place, and from the 
increased desires of my own mind, I have had some hopes 
that my sermons this day will be blessed. The weather how- 
ever looks so unpromising, that I fear few will attend meeting. 
But I desire to go, not discouraged at this, but believing that 
God can make it a most glorious day, — a day of extensive 
good, though the meeting be thin. O Lord, in mercy, I en. 
treat thee, grant me this desire of my mind ! 

Noon. My thoughts have this forenoon been scattered, my 


mind for the most part dark and dead, though possessed, 1 
hope, of some sweetness in the duties of the sanctuary. How 
much need have I to preach to myself the things which I 
preach to others! O that I might in future maintain a more 
intimate walk with God. 

This afternoon I expect to preach on the importance of the 
sold, from Matt. xvi. 26. May I be influenced through all the 
exercises by an humble concern for souls, and not be unmind- 
ful of my own vineyard. 

Evenins:' Blessed be the Lord, I hope I had this after- 
noon some sense of the worth of souls, and some desires for 
their salvation. But yet much self was mingled with my ex- 
ercises. Much of my apparent zeal, I fear, arose from pride 
and animal affection. If souls are so important as I have re- 
presented, may I in future be more concerned for my own and 
for those committed to me; and not sleep away my life in 
security, and amuse myself with toys, or at best with vain 
speculations, while thousands for whom Christ died are perish- 
ino- all around me. I own I have not a realizing sense of 
these things. 

Examination. The greatest desires of my mind at pre- 
sent seem to be, (1.) that God would reduce me to a mild, 
tender, sweet-tempered, amiable Christian, in all my deport- 
ment towards my family, towards my people, and towards the 
world. (2.) That he w^ould direct me to adopt the best possi- 
ble plan to promote the immortal interests of this people, and 
to spend my time, and to exercise my faculties, so as to an- 
swer, in the happiest manner, the purposes of my existence- 
(3.) That he would come down among this people with the 
powerful infiuence? of his Spirit. It is my hearty desire that 
he would bow the hearts of my bitterest enemies with the in- 
fluences of his religion. I find nothing in my heart opposed 
to an affectionate wish that they may be happy in Christ. I 
should exceedingly rejoice in an opportunity of pouring into 
their distressed souls the consolations of the gospel, and lead- 
ing them to the Saviour. 

I feel greatly pained with the opposite of a soft, mild, sweet 


disposition. I am firmly persuaded that if habits of good tem- 
per are not formed in youth, they never will be, without al- 
most a miracle ; and age must be soured and ruffled with No- 
vember storms. Therefore, with great seriousness, I have 

Resolved to avoid every appearance of impatience in the 
manner of my conversation with all, and never to consider 
any circumstances sufficient to justify a departure from this 

Further, I do firmly believe that if mild, tender, lenient 
measures, attended at times with unimpassioned correction, 
and followed up with exhortation and prayer, do not effect the 
purposes of family government, nothing will. Therefore, 

Resolved, never to speak to my domestics with any ap- 
pearance of temper, nor adopt a system of harsh treatment of 
them, but to speak to them tenderly and mildly, even in re- 
proof; and not to undertake to reprove them for every little 
slip, lest they grow hardened. 

I must fix it in my mind not to expect every thing according 
to my wishes in those with whom I have intercourse. Others 
have to bear things in me, and why should not / bear with 
the weaknesses of others? It is no excuse for me to lose my 
temper, that others do wrong. 

Thursday, August 17th. Resolved, (extraordinaries ex- 
cepted,) to begin to write for the Sabbath on Monday, to com- 
plete my sermons Monday and Tuesday^ and to devote Thurs- 
day to visit my people for religious purposes; or if any thing, 
when I am not on a journey, and when no fast, thanksgiving, 
ministers' meeting, or concert occurs, should prevent my visit- 
ing that day, to spend two days the next week. 

Resolved, for the present, to devote the first Wednesday 
in every other month, viz. January, March, May, July, Sep- 
tember, November, to correspond with christian friends and to 
pray for them, though they must not be forgotten daily. 

Resolved to read some devotional piece, besides the scrip- 
tures, every day. 

Resolved to set apart some day as near as convenient to 
the 6th of January, (my birth-day and the commencement of 


a new year,) and to the 6th of April, (the next quarter, and 
not far from the time when I first made a profession of reh- 
gion, and first became acquainted with her whom providence 
has given me for a wife,) and to the 6th of July, (the next 
quarter, and about the time from which I have dated what I 
hope was a saving conversion, and about the time of com- 
mencing these memoirs; also between last quarter day and 
this, both my marriage and my ordination took place;) and 
to the 6th of October, (the next quarter day, and not far^from 
the time when I was first hcensed to preach the everlasting 
gospel, and also about the time of first coming to New-Hart- 
ford ;) as days of fasting and prayer. On these days I pur- 
pose to call to mind the events above enumerated and make 
suitable reflections on them, renew the dedication of myself to 
God, make suitable confessions and humiliations, and enter 
into a tiain of self-examination; review my resolutions, &c. 
Besides these, I will from time to time set apart days for spe- 
cial devotion, as God shall put it into my heart. 

Resolved to keep a book in which to insert the result of 
the intercourse with my people, in my visits, and any names, 
or cases, or memoranda, which shall appear useful to me as a 
minister or a christian. 

Examination. Sahhath evening, August 20th. I have 
been this evening examining my feehngs towards God, the 
law, and Jesus Christ, and the plan of salvation by him. I 
have asked myself such questions as these: Am I pleased with 
a God who sits on the throne of the universe, governing all 
matters so as to promote the highest happiness of the uni- 
verse; who, in the exercise of infinite benevolence, has en- 
tered on a system of operations most conducive to manifest 
and diffuse himself, and to complete a kingdom of holy, be- 
nevolent, and happy beings ; who is perfectly pure and holy ; 
and who, as the faithful guardian of the universe, has resolv- 
ed to. punish every thing which opposes its happiness; who ab- 
hors every sin, even mine; who has manifested his abhor- 
rence of sin in the destruction of the old world, Sodom, &c. 
and on the cross, and in the punishment of my sins; who is 


just, merciful, patient, and faithful; who has made discoveries 
of these perfections in the gospel, and in all that he has done 
for Zion, from the days of Adam; who requires himself to be 
loved and respected supremely 1 <fcc. Do I love the law which 
requires perfect benevolence and sinless perfection, and con- 
demns for every transgression? Would I wish for a law any 
wise different? Have I any hopes of being abl6 to atone for 
my sins? Am I pleased with the character and offices of 
Christ and the way of salvation by him ? That he should 
have all the praise of my salvation, and that I should be ex- 
empt from punishment in consequence of the opportunity 
which he has given God to manifest, in his treatment of him, 
his abhorrence of my sins? &c. And after the most serious 
and elaborate examination, I dare not come to any fixed con- 
clusion, though I hope my heart is pleased with this represen- 
tation of God, and the law, and Christ. I think I feel 
ashamed that while so many hearts in heaven and earth are 
flaming with love and admiration in view of these truths, 
mine is so little affected by them, that I cannot decide whether 
I love them or not. Yet I solemnly determine not to give up 
the examination until I can answer decisively. I am resolved 
to pursue it to-morrow. And O, may the Lord give me light 
to see and know myself, and to love him with fervency. 

Examination. Monday evenings Aug. 2\st. This morn- 
ing I pursued the examination which was left unfinished last 
night; but was again unable to come to any fixed conclusion. 
Have been on the subject, at turns, through the day. This 
evening I have renewed it with more fixed attention, and 
blessed be God, I have enjoyed more clearness of views, by 
which I have been enabled to render the following answers to 
the following questions: 

Would you consent to see your house in ashes and to be 
stripped of every thing on earth to rescue your greatest enemy 
from an eternal hell, and to secure to him increafSiing eternal 

Yes, certainly: I would give up evejy thing that I could 
give up, of an earthly nature, for this purpose. 


Are you pleased that God has given a law requiring such a 
temper in all? 

Surely I am. What a most beautiful and glorious society 
does such a law tend to produce ! 

Does not God, by enacting a law to make such a temper 
general, act like an excellent being ? 

Yes, his encouragement of such a temper proves him to be 
a most excellent being. 

Does not the manifestation which Christ has made of such 
a temper, cause him to appear, independently of gratitude, an 
excellent being? 

Yes, benevolence to the great whole looks amiably, let it 
exist where it may. 

If the law is such an excellent rule, does it not look desira- 
ble that every one should conform to it? 

Most certainly it does. What beautiful society would this 
produce ! What a foundation for immortal union, love, and 
happiness ! 

Does it not appear desirable that, in order to sanctify and 
honor and support this most lovely rule, transgressions of it 
should be severely frowned upon and punished ? 

It seems that any measures which conduce to the universal, 
or even general establishment of this rule, so essential to the 
happiness of the universe, are desirable. 

Since it would have tended to lessen the respectability of 
this rule, had my transgressions of it escaped without a frown, 
am I pleased with the idea of not being pardoned but in con- 
sequence of the opportunity which was given on the cross to 
manifest this frown ? 

As Christ came to honor and magnify that lav/, (which he 
said required only love to God and man,) by his obedience and 
death, I am pleased with his coming into the world. Further, 
I am willing to be pardoned, and to have it understood that I 
am an undeserving rebel, saved by sovereign grace. I wish 
to have it openly declared that I was a monstrous rebel in 
opposing such an excellent law, in order that the law may be 
supported and sin discountenanced. I should wish to make 


the declaration myself, and condemn my conduct before three 
worlds, if there was no other way to have it condemned. 

Since I have sinned, and since it must be known in order 
that God's righteousness may appear, I wish to have it public- 
ly understood that I am a vile undeserving wretch indebted to 
boundless grace for pardon. 1 wish by all means to have it 
understood that my sins are not winked at, and that God 
manifested his abhorrence of them by what took place on the 
cross, and that it was in consequence of this manifestation that 
he gratified his grace in my pardon, and also in consequence 
of the intercession of my Advocate. I think I rejoice in Christ 
as my prophet, priest, and king ; and can with pleasure com- 
mit to him the care of all my spiritual interests. 

Does not the behef that all the works and operations of God 
have the same design as the law, viz. to promote general hap- 
piness, and that he has the temper required in the law, make 
him appear very amiable and worthy ? 

Most lovely and glorious. So far as I can know my heart, 
this is the God whom I approve and love. This is the God 
whom I choose for my everlasting portion. How rich is the 
universe in containing such a God ! With pleasing adoration 
I look up and say, Holy, holyj holy is the Lord of hosts. To 
him be glory for ever. Amen. 

Examination. Wed?iesday, August 23d. Since Monday, 
God has appeared as sitting on the top of the universe, and 
pouring out the law from his very heart. Methinks I could 
trace this golden chain, which binds the world together, up to 
this heart, in which it in a sense originates. This view of 
things, I think, has given me pleasant thoughts of God. 

I have in times past found it extremely difficult to gain, a 
realizing view of the need and fitness of Christ's dying to atone 
for sin. This has appeared the gordian knot in divinity. I 
thought I could more easily see the propriety of his advocacy : 
but it was hard to see how mi/ sins were properly punished, 
or any frown properly manifested against them, by the suflTer- 
ings of Christ. Lately I have been particularly solicitous to 
look into this matter more deeply ; and have by a divine bless- 

VOL. L 4 


ing been enabled, I trust, to see and feel the beauty and ex- 
cellency of this way of pardon, and indeed of all the offices of 
Christ. I think he has truly appeared the chiefest among ten 
thousand, and altogether lovely. I could, with far more un- 
derstanding and clearness than ever, realize the force of that 
text, "To them therefore which believe, he is precious." Such 
a succession of views as the fQllowing, has led to a more real- 
izing sense of the propriety and fitness of the atonement. 

Might it not appear to the universe that God was an enemy 
to the sin of him who offered a sin offering in Israel ? Is it 
not easy to see that, if the world sees me standing by a lamb 
whose life God is taking, by mutual agreement, in the room 
of mine, and on which he lays his rod avowedly as a substitute 
for me, the death of the lamb expresses God's feehngs towards 
my sin, (so far as the death of the lamb is of weight,) and dis- 
countenances transgression, and supports and sanctions the 
law in its preceptive part, and as much, to say the least, in its 
penal part ? If I am to be pardoned by Christ, the Lord ex- 
pressly and avowedly laid his wrath on him as a substitute for 
me, as much as though I was the only sinner to be redeemed, 
and as much as though I was present on the spot attending 
on the sacrifice. And previous (in the order of nature) to my 
pardon by the substitute, there is as much a mutual agreement 
between God and my soul, that the anger which was about to 
fall on my sins, should still be expressed, and should fall on 
Christ, as though the agreement had been made before the 
cross. If then any resentment against a son could be expressed 
by resentment against his father who should purposely step 
into his place to take the blow, God's anger towards my sin 
was expressed, and the law vindicated and confirmed on the 

I think, in reading the 7th, 8th, and 9th chapters of He- 
brews, yesterday and to-day, I have indeed seen the insuffi- 
ciency of the ancient sacrifices to atone for sin, and the desira- 
bleness that so great a sacrifice should be made. How could 
the sacrifice of a pigeon or a dove express God's full abhorrence 
of sin, and show the world what an evil it was to transgress 


the law ? I feel that in proportion to the greatness of the sa. 
crifice, is the law honored. I cannot therefore bear the thought 
of an atonement by a less sacrifice than Jesus Christ. I re- 
joice in him as my atonement, for the honor which he has 
done to the law. I do not wish to be saved without such an 
atonement. This, I think is the deep feehng of my soul. 

Examination. Saturday mornings August 26th. Last 
night, in closing my prayer with "for Christ's sake," the pro- 
priety of Christ's advocacy rushed on my mind with new light. 
It appeared undesirable that any blessings should be bestowed 
on me for my own sake ; for this would be patronizing my 
iniquity, which is the whole of my natural character. It ap- 
peared desirable that they should be bestowed avowedly for 
Christ's sake, that it might be publicly understood that they 
were bestowed in consequence of what took place on the cross, 
and out of respect to a perfect righteousness, that they might 
be removed the farthest from the appearance of being a favor 
to sin. Hence appeared the propriety of his intercessions for 
his people, and of favors bestowed in consequence of his inter- 
cessions. It was clearly opened to my view how that his ad- 
vocacy was founded on his atonement for sin and obedience 
to the law. 

My heart has been lately desiring to look into these things ; 
to trace the spiritual glory and beauty of them. I never so 
realizingly perceived the importance of growing in knowledge, 
and of attaining a deep acquaintance with the scriptures. At 
the same time, I never so fully saw the impropriety, and even 
profaneness of studying these things for the sake of mere spe- 
culation. It looks like handhng infinitely important things 
idly and carelessly, and akin to taking God's name in vain. 
O may I in future avoid this great sin, of which I have been 
so deeply guilty ! 

Monday, August 28th. This day I have set apart for special 
devotion, to seek God in regard to a journey which I expect to 
commence to-morrow. I expected to have commenced the 
journey to day, and hoped to have spent a day in devotion 
last week. But necessary avocations disappointed me in re- 


gard to the latter object, and a disappointment (which at first 
seemed grievous, but now seems a mercy,) postpones my jour- 
ney till to-morrow, and affords me opportunity to make prepa- 
i-ation for it by a day of devotion. 

My requests in regard to my journey are, — that God would 
prosper me therein, succeed me in all my business, preserve 
me and my wife in health and safety, and return us in due 
time to our family laden with rich experience of his goodness : 
that he would keep my house and family and parish in safety 
until my return ; that I may find my friends in peace and 
happiness and enjoy them ; that in all business I may feel my 
dependance on God alone for success ; that I maybe preserved 
from irritated feelings, and from imprudent or passionate ex- 
pressions, in consequence of any diversity of opinions or mis- 
understandings in business; that I may be preserved from 
vain and wandering thoughts, from vain conversation, from a 
mean conformity to the world in things improper; and on the 
other hand, from sour, morose rigidity, and in a word, from 
being drawn away from God by intercourse with the world ; 
that I may be preserved from any airs which would be an ex- 
pression of pride and self-importance, and consider myself as 
a minister of the meek and lowly Jesus, and as such, watched 
by a censorious world ; that 1 may be preserved from the ne- 
glect of daily secret prayer in my absence ; that I may enjoy 
my religious friends in a religious way, more than in former 
journeys, and derive more instruction, animation, and refresh- 
ment from them ; that 1 may keep in mind that the honor of 
rehgion depends greatly on the conduct and examples of 
Christ's ministers ; and that I may keep up a punctual obser- 
vance of all my former resolutions during my absence. 

These shall be my special petitions through the day. I re- 
solve furthermore to devote some part of the day to prayer for 
friends, and that I will look over my memoirs and resolutions, 
make suitable reflections on myself, enter into a train of self- 
examination, and renew my covenant with God ; that I will 
remember Zion at the throne of grace, adore God for hght 
lately received, and make those common petitions which ap- 
pear suitable. 


Evening. I have reviewed my memoirs and find myself 
too neglectful in observing my resolutions, especially some 
which (I am ashamed to say) were almost forgotten ; though 
perhaps they were not of the first importance. God grant me 
grace so to conduct myself, that these resolutions will not rise 
up in judgment against me. Let me ever remember, that '• it 
is better not to vow unto the Lord, than to vow and not pay." 

I have been rather desultory in my petitions to day, and 
have been not so clear as before in examination. I find it 
does not answer to seek God negligently, nor to think of en- 
joying a day of special devotion, unless the day is wholly con- 
secrated to devotion. It will not answer to have the attention 
divided between religious and secular things on such days, and 
to resolve to devote only as much of the day to religion as 
shall seem convenient. Hours must be fixed and unchange- 
ably consecrated. However, I have enjoyed some happiness, 
and I believe some fervency to day, and conclude with express- 
ing a hope of the divine presence and blessing in our journey. 

Sabbath 77iorning, iSejii. 10th. Last night I returned from 
my journey, laden with rich experience of God's goodness. 
Never did we find friends universally so kind and tender. We 
have accomplished our business more to our mind than we 
expected. No misunderstanding arose. All was love and 
success, and our temporal interest is better than we anticipated. 
Throughout the journey God appeared, more than in any for- 
mer journey, willing to attend upon me whenever I was dis- 
posed for a moment to turn aside from the world to attend on 
him. He did not hide himself from my search. But I have 
abundant matter for self-accusation. I have, to a cruel degree, 
forsaken and forgotten God. I have abundant reason to ac- 
cuse myself of vanity in thoughts and words, of levity, of 
worldly-mindedness and undue attempts to please the world 
by improper conformities, of idolatrous affections, &c. &c. 
Never was a visit more agreeable, so far as the world could 
contribute to make it so. And circumstances have been so or- 
dered seemingly on purpose to give us a fair opportunity to 
determine whether the world or God can afford the most satis- 


faction. And here I record it to the praise of our adorable 
Master, that the happiness which I feel this morning in con- 
templating the affairs of his kingdom, is far superior to any 
which the world has afforded during my journey. I most 
deeply realize how much religion is superior to worldly good, 
how much better God is as a Master than the world. 

Wednesday^ Oct. Ath. In consequence of reading the 
prayers of Miss Anthony, and discovering her intense desire 
to obtain more clear and transforming views of God, I have 
been led to reflect on the great difference between her prayers 
and mine. I have been, for the most part, asking for particu- 
lar exercises of divine power, to produce effects in regard to 
me, my friends, my people, and Zion at large. And in pray- 
er my mind has been more on the desired effects, than on that 
fulness and glorious sufficiency of wisdom, power, goodness, 
majesty, condescension, patience, faithfulness and truth, which 
there is in God. Thus I have stopped at the threshold, with- 
out getting into the temple. Had I in prayer been more in- 
tent to gaze into God, and had I exercised myself more in 
adoration and praise, I believe my acquaintance with God 
would have been vastly greater, and my mind more trans- 
formed into his likeness. Let it in future be the burden of my 
prayer, "Lord, show me thy glory." 

Sahhath mornings Oct. 8th. Expect to preach both parts 
of the day from Exodus xxxiii. 18. May I, under the influ- 
ence of a delight in the essential glory of God, long, through 
the day, to bring it out to view, in order to exalt God in the 
esteem of men, to show them what ground of everlasting joy 
there is, to prepare them to enjoy the good which is wdthin 
their reach, and to prepare them, by proper exercises towards 
God, to compose a part of a duly proportioned, well adjusted, 
harmonious, happy universe. 

Sabbath, Dec. 17th. Examination. I have a solicitous 
fear that I shall be left of God to fall into sin. This is my 
most distressing apprehension. I fear sin more than any other 
evil. But why ? Is it for fear of public shame ? Is it for fear 
of final punishment ? Is it for fear of those dreadful stings of 


conscience which devils possess and dread ? I think the rea- 
son is, that sin is wrotig, and is what my nature, in sober 
frames, abhors. Good men may have stings of conscience. 
And if the heart hates what the conscience disapproves, it is 
a proof of rehgion. Well, if I know what it is to hate, I 
think I do detest those sins which most easily beset me. I 
think I hate to break sacred obhgations and act an unworthy, 
wicked part. I think I hate to oppose that law and divine 
benevolence which seeks the diffusion of happiness. And if 
any good was offered me to be enjoyed in this world, I think 
I should choose exemption from sin and the free enjoyment of 
God before any other. O that I might keep my ordination 
vows and adorn my profession by holy examples ! 

Dec. I8th. Some years ago in a distant town I gave a 
poor disciple a coat. Last night he came, wearing the coat, 
and brought a boy to live with me, which I exceedingly wanted. 
Had it not been for the coat he would not have brought him. 
I was affected, and was reminded of the Scripture, " Cast thy 
bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days." 
May I never forget that it is profitable to lend to the Lord. 

During the course of twenty -four hours the Lord has be- 
stowed upon me four peculiar and distinguishing favors, and 
three of a less kind which are still worthy of more than com- 
mon notice. Three of the four I had, I hope, trusted God 
for. The other was an unexpected and surprising favor. Is 
it not good to serve and trust the Lord? Indeed, he is a good 
Master. May I never forget the lesson which these dispensa- 
tions have taught me. 

Sabbath night, Dec. 2Ath. . Have had a pleasant afternoon, 
though attended with some wanderings. Preached on the de- 
sign and duty of prayer in consistency with the immutability 
of God. In the first prayer, had a train of reflections which 
left an impression on my mind of the folly of making calcula- 
tions for happiness on worldly circumstances, and of indulg- 
ing painful feelings on account of situation, &c. It appeared 
that all happiness must be derived from God, and tha( if I am 
bound down to the necessity of being happy in God, or being 


wretched, I ought to consider it a great mercy. For, being in 
such a necessity, I have less temptation to forsake God for 
other objects. And I have learned that I cannot endure such 
temptations. If this situation be less calculated to wean me 
from the world, to afford me an opportunity to overcome my 
pride and other corruptions, to prepare for a life of usefulness 
and for a world of happiness, here let me live, and here let 
me die, and thank God for having put me in circumstances so 
favorable to my eternal well being. 

Examination. Why is it tliat I feel calm and happy to- 
night? I think the following reasons conduce to this. (1.) 
A sense of the kindness and mercy of the Lord. (2.) More 
hope of his favor. (3.) More expectation and hope that as 
God has not cast me off forever, he will assist me in over- 
coming my corruptions and enable me to lead a holy, happy 
life. That God should own and bless and undertake to carry 
me through my warfare, seems the most desirable thing that 
could happen to me. I long to be delivered from pride, anger 
and vanity. The mercies of God seem affecting and plea- 
sant. That he is on the mercy seat to hear when sinners 
pray, seems an inexpressible favor and happiness. The pro- 
phetic office of Christ, and the knowledge which he commu- 
nicates, appear precious. It seems desirable that he who re- 
deemed the Church should have the office of administering 
salvation to it. And the excellencies of Christ, his tenderness, 
love, faithfulness, and amiableness, seem to add a relish to the 
salvation which he imparts. Salvation tastes the sweeter for 
coming from him. 

Sabbath morning, March Ath. This forenoon expect to ex- 
plain the true character of Israel's God. I wish to do it with 
a sincere desire to lead the people to a true knowledge of them- 
selves and of God. And I wish to be affected myself with a 
sense of the beauty of the divine perfections. In the afternoon 
expect to administer a pointed reproof for some growing evils 
in the place. May I speak with humility, with tenderness, 
and with effect. 

Noon. 1 have attended to my mind, and think I can say 


that the reproof which I have prepared to administer this af- 
ternoon, has not proceeded from any other principle, (chiefly,) 
than a wish to do good. I wish to administer it with hmiible 
firmness, and leave the event with God. If it gives offence, 
I think I can appeal to my conscience that I meant well. 
God give abundant effect to the reproof, and prevent any from 
taking offence. 

Night. If ever I spoke with humble firmness, with a de- 
sire to do good, without the fear of man, and with tenderness, 
I have done so this afternoon; though the reproof was the 
most pointed of any which I ever administered. Upon a view 
of the whole, I think that I have (with as much right feeling 
as I ever attain to,) done my duty, both in writing and deli- 
vering this sermon. And if otFence is taken and disturbances 
are excited, I trust I shall not be accountable for them. With 
God I leave the event; beseeching him to carry the truth to 
the consciences of all, and cause it to produce permanent and 
general good. Felt serious and happy in all the public exer- 
cises of the day. 

Sabbath evening, March llth. I did not greatly feel my 
sermons to-day; yet I had some freedom and ardor in prayer 
especially in the first prayer this afternoon. Col. Gardiner's 
zeal, whose life I am now reading, shows me my own dead- 
ness and barrenness. O that I might follow him, and other 
saints, and the Son of God, with less unequal steps. O for a 
fresh anointing from God, that would make me more, much 
more of a living man. 

I have this day been showing that Christ and his disciples 
are one in affection. And is it the case with me that I in very 
deed love the Redeemer? I think I am pleased to think that 
Christ came into the world to support the principle of supreme 
love to God, tenderness towards the poor, forgiveness of ene- 
mies, mutual afTection and kindness between relatives, and 
general benevolence to mankind and all beings. He did this 
in taking measures that the laio should not be set aside while 
sinners were saved. He sanctified by his death every just and 
excellent principle; and he appears excellent in this view. I 

Vol. I. 5 


hope I feel in some degree unworthy of any favor from God, 
and feel it to be inconsistent with inflexible pmity, (which 
must always be armed against sin,) to overlook my sins and 
bestow on me any favor but out of respect to the atonement 
and perfect righteousness of Christ. Though my duties, so 
far as they are good, are worthy of divine approbation, yet 
my character, viewing it at large, is unworthy of God's ac- 
ceptance. My best duties cannot make amends for my sins. 
And therefore I consent to have my own righteousness dis- 
claimed as filthy rags, and to have nothing which I have done 
the ground of any favor from God. In this view I think I ap- 
prove of Christ as" my atonement, righteousness, and Advo- 
cate. I think I approve of him as my Prophet, to instruct me 
in the grand and excellent things of God; as my Lawgiver 
and Protector, as the Disposer of my life, as my Physician 
and Shepherd, as my Captain to fight my battles and deliver 
me from the world, the flesh, and the devil, as the Head of in- 
fluence, as my Strength and Comforter, as a hiding place from 
the wind, &-c.; as one appointed to preach good tidings to the 
meek, to bind up the broken-hearted, to deliver the captives, 
and to give joy to such as mourn in Zion ; as the Lamb of 
God which taketh away the sins of the world, and as my all 
in all. Such a Saviour I hope, I cordially love, and cast my- 
self upon him as my Saviour from sin and death. 

January Itli^ 1799. Yesterday I was twenty-nine years old ; 
and this day I set apart, (though my senses seem to be locked 
up by a cold,) to commemorate my birth day and the com- 
mencement of a new year. The Lord has once more visited 
this town. The sermon which I delivered in the afternoon of 
November 4th, I believe had more effect, through God's bless- 
ing, than any sermon I ever delivered in my life, especially 
on elderly people, who lay most on my mind. Last night I 
conversed with two men for whom I had felt very special in- 
terest. They both appear to be lately born again. My soul 
was overjoyed. It seemed almost enough ; and I was well 
nigh ready to say, "Now lettest thou thy servant depart," &c. 
Glory be to God that he has thus so soon and so wonderfully 


visited this place again, when hope was just giving up the 
ghost. I here leave it on record, that he is a prayer-hearing 
and wonder-working God. My soul has lately been desirous 
of seeing the kingdom of God come throughout the world, and 
has had hopes that such a day would draw nigh. I think 
the good appearances here have afforded me more solid satis- 
fying comfort than I ever enjoyed in an awakening before. 
Among other peculiar circumstances calculated to produce joy, 
God has fastened on a number of heads of families, the least 
probable and the most important members of the society. 
Things are just as I could wish, and every thing looks won- 
derful. Began inspector of the schools under the new law. 
I have lately felt much interested in forming a system of edu- 
cation for the rising generation in this town, which promises 
with a blessing, to make them a generation to God's praise. 
I have desired, hoped, and prayed that God would carry it 
through. Some murmur, but I leave the affair with God. I 
know not that I ever set about any business with more plea- 
sure than this. It promises much. Every thing has the ap- 
pearance of being ordered in mercy. 

Of the revival alluded to in the preceding para- 
graph, the following detailed account was given in 
two letters from Mr. Griffin, to the Editors of the 
Connecticut Evangelical Magazine, and published 
in the numbers of that work for December, 1800, 
and January, 1801. 


Not having expected that an account of the late work of 
God among us would be called for, I have not been careful to 
charge my mind with particulars. Many impressive circum- 
stances, which, had they stood alone, w^ould not have been 
soon forgotten, have given place to others, which in their turn 
arrested and engrossed the attention. A succinct and general 
account shall however be attempted. 

The work of divine grace among us, three years ago, by 


which nearly fifty persons were hopefully added to the Lord, 
had not wholly ceased to produce effects on the people gene- 
rally, when the late scene of mercy and wonder conrnienced. 
In the interval, several were, in the judgment of charity, 
" created anew in Christ Jesus unto good works." It is not 
known, however, that any thing took place in the summer of 
1798, which had immediate connection with the present work, 
unless it were some trying conflicts in a number of praying 
minds, which appeared to humble and prepare them for the 
blessings and the duties of the ensuing winter. 

Late in October, 1798, the people frequently hearing of the 
display of divine grace in West Simsbury, Avere increasingly 
impressed with the information. Our conferences soon be- 
came more crowded and evinced deeper feeling. Serious peo- 
ple began to break their minds to each other ; and it was dis- 
covered (so far were present impressions from being the eflect 
of mere syrnj^athy) that there had been, for a considerable 
time, in their minds, special desires for the revival of religion ; 
while each one, unapprized of his neighbor's feelings, had sup- 
posed his exercises pecuhar to himself It was soon agreed to 
institute a secret meeting for the express purpose of praying for 
effusions of the Spirit ; which was the scene of such wrestHngs 
as are not, it is apprehended, connnonly experienced. Seve- 
ral circumstances conspired to increase our anxiety. The glo- 
rious work had already begun in Torringford, and the cloud 
appeared to be going all around us. It seemed as though Pro- 
vidence, by avoiding us, designed to bring to remembrance 
our past abuses of his grace. Besides, having been so recently 
visited with distinguishing favors, we dared not allow our- 
selves to expect a repetition of them so soon ; and we began to 
apprehend it was the purpose of Him whom we had lately 
grieved from among us, that we should, for penalty, stand 
alone parched up in sight of surrounding showers. We consi- 
dered what must be the probable fate of the risen generation, 
if we were to see no more of " the days that were past" for a 
number of years, and the apprehension that we might not 
caused sensations more easily felt than described. 


This was the state of the people when, on a Sabbath in the 
month of November, it was the sovereign pleasure of a most 
merciful God, very sensibly to manifest himself in the public 
assembly. Many abiding impressions were made on minds 
seemingly the least susceptible, and on several grown old in 
unbelief. From that memorable day the flame which had 
been kindling in secret, broke out. By desire of the people, 
religious conferences were set up in different parts of the town, 
which continued to be attended by deeply affected crowds; 
and in which divine presence and power were manifested to a 
degree which v/e had never before witnessed. It is not meant 
that they were marked with out-cries, distortions of body, or 
any symptoms of intemperate zeal ; but only that the power 
of divine truth made deep impression on the assemblies. You 
might often see a congregation sit with deep solemnity depict- 
ed in their countenances, without observing a tear or sob dur- 
ing the service. This last observation is not made with design 
to cast odium on such natural expressions of a wounded spirit. 
But the case was so witli us that most of those who were ex- 
ercised, were often too deeply impressed to weep. Addresses 
to the passions, now no longer necessary since the attention 
was engaged, were avoided ; and the aim was to come at the 
conscience. Little terror was preached, except what is implied 
in the doctrines of the entire depravity of the carnal heart — its 
enmity against God — its deceitful doublings and attempts to 
avoid the soul-humbling terms of the gospel, the radical defects 
of the doings of the unregenerate, and the sovereignty of God 
in the dispensations of his grace. The more clearly these and 
other kindred doctrines were displayed and understood, the 
more were convictions promoted. By convictions is meant 
those views and feelings which are caused by uncovered truth, 
and the influences of the Spirit, antecedently to conversion. 

The order and progress of these convictions were pretty 
much as follows : The subjects of them were brought to feel 
that they were transgressors, yet not that they were totally 
sinful. As their convictions increased, they were constrained 
to acknowledge their destitution of love to God ; but yet they 


thought they had no enmity against him. At length they 
would come to see that enmity filled their hearts. This was 
particularly exempUfied in a certain house, in which were two 
persons exercised in mind. One appeared to have a clear 
sense of this eamity, and wondeied how she could have been 
ignorant of it so long. The other was sensible that she pos- 
sessed none of that love to God which the law required, but 
could not believe that she entertained such enmity as filled the 
other with so much remorse and anguish. A few days after- 
wards, seeing a friend to whom she had expressed this senti- 
ment, she was anxious to let him know her mistake, and in- 
formed him that she had discovered that she " hated God with 
all her heart." 

In the first stages of conviction, it was not easy for the sub- 
jects to realize their desert of eternal death. But afterwards, 
even while they gave decisive evidence of being still as devoid of 
a right temper as those wretches whose mouths will be stopped 
by the light of the last day, their conviction of this desert was, 
in many instances, very clear. Nevertheless, even to the last, 
their hearts would recoil at the thought of being in God's 
hands, and would rise against him for having reserved it to 
himself to decide whether to sanctify and pardon them or not. 
Though the display of this doctrine had the most powerful ten- 
dency to strip them of all hopes from themselves, and to bring 
them to the feet of sovereign grace ; yet as it thus sapped 
the foundation on which they rested, their feeUngs were ex- 
cited against it. There was a man who, having been well 
indoctrinated, had for many years advocated this truth ; who 
notwithstanding, when he came to be concerned about his sal- 
vation and to apply this truth to his own case, was much dis- 
pleased with it. He was at times quite agitated by a warfare 
between his understanding and heart ; the former assenting to 
the truth, the latter resisting it. He said it depended on God 
and not on himself, whether he ever should comply with the 
gospel ; and for God to withhold his influences, and then pu- 
nish him for not possessing the temper which these influences 
alone could produce, appeared to him hard. Before conviction 


had become deep and powerful, many attempted to exculpate 
themselves with this plea of inability, and like their ancestor, 
to cast the blame upon God, by pleading, " The nature which 
he gave me, beguiled me." This was the enemy's strong 
hold. All who were a little more thoughtful than common, 
but not thoroughly convicted, would, upon the first attack, flee 
to this refuge : " They would be glad to repent, but could not, 
their nature and heart were so bad ;" as though their nature 
and heart were not they themselves. But the progress of con- 
viction in general soon removed this " refuge of lies," and fill- 
ed them with a sense of utter inexcusableness ; and in every 
case, as soon as their enmity was slain, this plea wholly va- 
nished, and their language immediately became, " I wonder 
I ever should ask the question, How can I repent 7 My only 
wonder now is that I could hold out so lo?ig" 

It was not uncommon for the hearts of the convicted, as 
they rose against God, to rise also against his ministers. Se- 
veral who had not betrayed their feelings in the season of 
them, afterwards confessed that such resentments had arisen. 
In some instances, the emotions were plainly discoverable, and 
in one, particularly, the subject was so incensed as to break 
out in bitter expressions, but a few hours before being relieved 
from the anguish of a deeply troubled spirit. Such things 
seemed to be satisfying evidence that mere conviction no more 
meliorates the heart in this, than in the other world; but 
serves rather to draw out its corruptions into still stronger ex- 
ercise. It may be suitable to add, that these sallies of resent- 
ment were occasioned by the distinguishing doctrines of the 
gospel, closely and affectionately applied to the conscience. 

As soon as the heart of stone was removed and a heart of 
flesh given, the subjects of this happy change exhibited senti- 
ments and feelings widely different fi'om those above described. 
They were now wrapt up in admiration of the laws and ab- 
solute government of God, which had before been the object 
of so much cavil and disgust. Notwithstanding the extreme 
deUcacy and danger which attend the detail of individual 
cases, it may on the whole, it is hoped, be more useful than 


injurious to confirm and illustrate the observation just now ad- 
vanced by some particular relations. 

There was a man, who, for a number of years, had enter- 
tained hope of his personal interest in the covenant; and be- 
ing of inoffensive behavior, had given people no other special 
ground to distrust him than his opposition to divine sovereign- 
ty, and disgust (which he now believes arose from a self- 
righteous temper,) at the doctrine that God has no regard for 
the doings of the unregenerate. He thought the impenitent 
were thus too much discouraged from making their own ex- 
ertions. Emboldened by a favorable opinion of his state, he 
offered himself some time ago for communion with the church. 
And because he could not assent to their confession of faith, 
hx3 petitioned to have several articles struck out, particularly 
the one which asserts the doctrine of election. The church 
did not consent, and he'withdrew. But so exquisitely was his 
sensibiUt}^ touched, that he had it in serious consideration to 
dispose of his property, and remove to some place "where he 
might enjoy gospel ordinances." It pleased God the last win- 
ter, to convince him that his " feet stood on slippery places ;" 
and after a scene of distressing conviction, his mind was com- 
posed in view of those very truths which had been the objects 
of his opposition. Since then, he has publicly manifested his 
belief in the articles adopted by the church, and has been re- 
ceived by tliem, to the "furtherance" of their "joy of faith" 
and " comfort of love." 

Another might be mentioned who was equally opposed to 
the essential truths of revelation. Having the care of a school 
in town, last winter, he was required by the inspectors to sub- 
scribe to the belief, " that the general system of doctrines 
taught in the assembly's catechism, is agreeable to the word of 
God." He could not comply, on the ground that the cate- 
chism asserts, "God hath foreordained whatsoever comes to 
pass." The inspectors, loth to lose him, endeavored to con- 
vince him. But this clause appeared to him so exceptionable 
that he persisted in declining, and would have left his school 
rather than comply, had he not at last discovered that the 


phrase "general system" would leave him room after sub- 
scribing, to withhold his assent to the offensive article. Soon 
after this, his conscience was seized by the convincing power 
of truth, a great revolution was produced in his views and 
feelings, and he has since professed to be filled with admira- 
tion of a government planned by eternal wisdom, and admi- 
nistered by unerring rectitude. 

It might perhaps not be unsuitable to mention the case of a 
man upwards of 70 years of age; who, belonging to the low- 
est class of society, and living in a very retired place, was ex- 
tremely illiterate, and had httle intercourse with the world, 
yet was possessed of a strong mind and malignant passions. 
Having conceived a strong disgust at some of the peculiar doc- 
trines of the gospel, he had given his word that he would hear 
them no more. Because his wife had united with the church, 
and attended public worship, he rendered her life very uncom- 
fortable. On which subject I went to converse with him last 
summer, and am certain I never saw a case in which so much 
deliberate rancor and deadly hatred were expressed against 
every thing sacred, against the essential truths of revelation, 
and against the ministers and church of Christ in general. 
In the expression both of his countenance and lips he approxi- 
mated the nearest to my ideas of " the spirits in prison" of any 
person I ever beheld. His enmity was not awakened to sud- 
den rage, (for my treatment aimed at being conciliatory,) but 
seemed deep-rooted and implacable. His resolution of keep- 
ing from public worship he pertinaciously adhered to: nor had 
he any connection with the conferences during the first period 
of the awakening. Yet, disconnected as he was from all re- 
ligious society and the means of grace, it pleased God late in 
the winter, to take strong hold of his mind. He continued 
for a while trembling in retirement ; but when he could con- 
tain no longer, he came out to find the conferences, and to 
seek some experienced christians to whom he might lay open 
his distress. Being called out of town about this time, I did 
not see him in this condition ; and when I saw him next, he 
was, in appearance, "clothed and in his right mind." Inqui- 

VoJ. I. 6 


ry being made respecting his apprehensions of those doctrines 
which had been so offensive, he repUed, " they are the foun- 
dation of the world." Every air seemed changed. Softness 
and gentleness had taken the place of native ferocity, and the 
man appeared tamed. I could not help reflecting that a reli- 
gion which will make such changes in the tempers and man- 
ners of men is a religion worth possessing. An awakening 
which produces such effects will not be censured by the friends 
of human happiness. 

It would not consist with the designed brevity of this nar- 
rative, nor yet perhaps with propriety, to detail all the inte- 
resting circumstances in the experiences of more than a hun- 
dred persons, who appear to have been the subjects of this 
work. It may, however, be not unuseful to go so far into par- 
ticulars as to exhibit some of the distinguishing fruits of it. 
The subjects of it have generally expressed a choice that God 
should pursue the "determinate counsel" of his own will, and 
without consulting them, decide respecting their salvation. To 
the question, whether they expected to alter the divine mind 
by prayer ? it has been answered " I sometimes think, if this 
were possible, I should not dare to pray." When asked what 
was the first thing which composed their anxious minds ? they 
have sometimes answered, "the thought that I was in the 
hands of God. It seems to me that whatever becomes of me, 
whether I live or die, I cannot bear to be out of his hands." 
Many have expressed a wiUingness to put their names to a 
blank, and leave it with God to fill it up ; and that, because 
his having the government would secure the termination of 
all things in his own glory. 

They do not found their hopes on the suggestion of scrip- 
ture passages to their minds, on dreams, or seeing sights, or 
hearing voices, or on bhnd unaccountable impulses; but on 
the persuasion that they have discovered in themselves the ex- 
ercises of love to God and man, originating not in selfishness. 
When asked what they had discovered in God to engage their 
affections? they have sometimes answered, " I think I love 
him because he hates sin, because he hates my sins." They 


frequently have declared that God appeared altogether more 
glorious to them for being sin-hating and sin-avenging ; that 
they were willing he should abide by his determination not to 
have mercy on them or their friends, if they would not repent 
and believe the gospel. One observed in confidence to a friend, 
and without the appearance of ostentation, that she had been 
so taken up all day in rejoicing in God's perfections and the 
certain accomplishment of his glory, that she had scarcely 
thought of what would be her own destiny ; that she must 
beheve she reckoned more of his glory and the public good 
than of her own happiness. Some declared that if they could 
have their choice, either to live a life of religion and poverty, 
or revel in the pleasures of the world, unmolested by conscience 
or fear, and at last be converted on a dying bed, and be as 
happy hereafter as if they had made the other choice, they 
should prefer the former; and that, for the glory of God, and 
not merely for the happiness which the prospects of future 
glory would daily afford; for they believed their choice would 
be the same, though in certain expectation that fears and con- 
flicts would render a religious life less happy than a life of 
sensuality. Their predominant desire still appears to be that 
God may be glorified, and that they may render him volun- 
tary glory in a life of obedience, and may enjoy him in a life 
of communion with him. A prospect of the full attainment 
of these ends is what appears to render the heavenly state the 
object of their eager desire. Their admiration of Jesus Christ 
seems most excited by his zeal to support his Father's law — a 
law, the glories of which they appear distinctly though im- 
perfectly to apprehend. The Bible is to them a new book. 
Prayer seems their delight. Their hearts are peculiarly united 
to the people of God. But the most observable part of their 
character is a lovely appearance of meekness and humility. 
Little of that presumptuous confidence, too much of which 
has sometimes appeared in young professors, is observable in 
them. Accordingly they have not that uninterrupted eleva- 
tion of spirits which in the inexperienced is generally bottomed 
on comparative ignorance of remaining corruption, and over- 


rating their attainments. Accustomed to discriminate between 
true and false affections, tliey appear not to set to their account 
so much of the "wood, hay and stubble," as perhaps some 
have done. By reason of the views they have had of the de- 
ceitfulness of their hearts, and the comparison and examina- 
tion they have made to discover how near in appearance false 
religion lies to the true, they have great diffidence and distrust 
of themselves. A sense of their ill desert abides and increases 
upon them after apparent renovation ; a considerable time pos- 
terior to which, some have been heard to say, " I never had 
an idea what a heart I had till this week." Each one seems 
to apprehend his own depravity to be the greatest. They ap- 
pear not to be calculating to bring God into debt by their new 
obedience. A person not greatly indoctrinated, but lovely in 
the charms of child-like simpHcity, was heard to say, " I will 
tell you, sir, what appears to me would be exactly right. It 
would be exactly right for me to live thirty or forty years in the 
world without ever sinning again, and be serving God all the 
time ; and then it would be just right for me to be sent to hell 
for what I have already done." The hopeful subjects of the 
work as yet exhibit " fruits meet for repentance." Some we 
have had opportunity to see under the pressure of heavy afflic- 
tions ; who have seemed calmly to acquiesce in the dispensa- 
tions of providence. 

In giving the foregoing description, special care has been 
taken not to paint an ideal image of what they ought to be, 
but scrupulously to delineate the views and exercises which 
they have really expressed. In these views and exercises they 
have, however, circumstantially differed ; some having been 
first and chiefly affected with the beauty of the divine law ; 
others, with the glories and all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ; 
others, with the divine perfections generally ; others, and per- 
haps the greatest number, with the fitness of divine sovereign- 
ty. Some have been for a great while, others, a much shorter 
time, under trouble of mind. One man in advanced life, who 
had lately been only a little more thoughtful than common, 
in this state retired to rest, and was suddenly seized with pow- 


erful and very distinct convictions of truth, and in the judg- 
ment of charity, ahnost immediately passed to uncommonly 
clear exercises of love to God and his kingdom. 

With the gift of grace, some have received an uncommon 
gift of prayer. A man who formerly had not been disposed to 
give much credit to religion, falling into a conference of young 
people one evening, and heaiing a prayer made by an illite- 
rate youth, was much surprised and even convinced ; and af- 
tervvards observed, that lie was satislied such a prayer could 
not, a few months before, have possibly dropt from those lips. 

It is believed that the outlines of this narrative, equally de- 
scribe the features and fruits of this extensive, (and may we 
not add, genuine and remarkably pure) work, in at least fifty 
or sixty adjacent congregations. It is proposed shortly to give 
you a more entire picture of it, as it relates to this place ; till 
then, 1 am, &c, 


New-Hartford, Aug. 1800. 


In pursuance of the design suggested in the close of my last, 
the narrative, which was then left unfinished, will now be re- 

The late attention of our state legislature to schools, has 
led the way to important benefits to children, as well in this 
as in many other towns. In consequence of the new arrange- 
ments, school-masters of serious minds have been employed, 
who have entered in earnest upon instructing the children in 
the principles of religion, and praying with them. The effect 
has been, that many schools have been awakened, and as we 
have good reason to conclude, have received lasting benefits. 
Three of the schools in this town were last winter under the 
care of men professedly pious, and very faithful in imparting 
these instructions. Oilt of these nearly twenty children, in 
the course of the winter, it is hoped, were introduced into 
" marvellous light." The knowledge possessed by such as we 
hope have been savingly enlightened by the Divine Spirit, is 
worthy of particular observation. Important ideas and distinc- 


tions, which it has been attempted in vain to give to others of 
of their age, appear familiar to them. One lad in particular, 
in a certain interview which was had with him, discriminated 
between true and false affections, and stated the grounds of 
his hopes and fears in a manner very surprising and affecting. 
It was the more so, because the evening before an attempt 
had been made with children of the same age and neighbor- 
hood, and of equal abilities and opportunity ; and it had seem- 
ed like " ploughing on a rock ;" insomuch that the hope was 
almost relinquished Of ever being able to introduce discriminat- 
ing ideas into minds so young. It would be ungrateful not 
to acknowledge that in a remarkable manner it hath pleased 
the Most High, " out of the mouths of babes and sucldings to 
perfect praise." 

It is hoped that about fifty heads of families have been the 
subjects of this work ; a considerable part of whom rank 
among the most respectable and influential characters in the 
town. This, however, gives the young no just encourage- 
ment to hazard their salvation on the chance of being called 
in at "the eleventh hour." Had they seen the anguish of 
some of these for neglecting so long the great business of life, 
it might discourage such neglect in them. Penetrated with 
remorse for the waste of life, and for the lax examples by 
which they supposed they had corrupted others, they seemed 
to conclude it was probably too late for them to find mercy ; 
yet were anxious to disburden their conscience of one torment, 
by solemnly warning the youth not to follow their steps. " We 
are soon going," said they, " to receive the reward of wasted 
life ; and we warn you to proceed no further in search of a 
more convenient time to prepare for death. We have been 
over the ground between you and us, and this ' more conve- 
nient season' does not lie before you. O that we could be 
placed back to your age, for then we might have hope. If 
you did but know and feel as we do the value of youth, you 
would surely better improve it." In language of this import 
have they been frequently heard to vent themselves, while de- 
spair and anguish seemed settled on every feature ; all which, 


united, produced sensations in the affected hearers not easily 

The power of the Ahnighty Spirit has prostrated the stout- 
ness of a considerable number, who were the last that human 
expectation would have fixed on to be the subjects of such a 
change. One man who lives at a distance from the sanctu- 
ary, and who perhaps seldom, if ever, visited it in his life j 
and who, as might be expected, was extremely ignorant and 
stupid ; has been visited in his own house, and in the view of 
charity, brought into the kingdom. His heart seems now foi" 
the first time to be towards the sanctuary, though ill health pre- 
vents him from enjoying the blessings and privileges of it. 
Another old man in the same neighborhood, who had not 
been into our house of worship, and probably not into any 
other, for more than twenty years, has been arrested, in his 
retirement, by the Divine Spirit, and still remains " like the 
troubled sea when it cannot rest." 

It has been a remarkable season for the destruction of false 
hopes. Nearly twenty of those who have lately appeared to 
build " on the rock," have been plucked off from the sandy 
foundation. As a caution to others, it may perhaps not be im- 
proper briefly to state the previous situation of some of these. 
One had supposed that she loved the God of Providence be- 
cause she had some sense of his daily kindness to her and her 
family. She was the one mentioned in my former letter, who 
was brought to see and acknowledge that she hated the real 
character of God with all her heart. Another, having been 
brought up in gay life, was also very ignorant of the essential 
nature of true religion, insensible of the deceitfulness of her 
heart, and in full confidence of her good estate. Another, ac- 
customed to contemplate moral truth, in the light of a clear 
and penetrating intellect, had. mistaken the assent of the un- 
derstanding for affections of the heart. Another had been the 
subject of some exercises in early hfe, which had induced the 
hope that he was Avithin the embraces of the gracious cove- 
nant. But he had become a worldling, and lived in the omis 
sion of family prayer. Still, while under his late conflicts, he 


would reach back, and fasten anew on his former hope, 
(which he had made little account of in the days of his care- 
lessness,) until the power of the Divine Spirit broke his hold. 
Another had formerly rested her hope on some suggestion to 
her mind, (somewhat hke a voice,) assuring her in time of 
sickness and anxiety, that her sins were forgiven. Another 
had been introduced into a hoping state in a season of awa- 
kening several years ago; since which, nothing special had 
occurred as a ground of self distrust, except that she had 
sometimes, for a considerable season, neglected prayer and 
spiritual contemplations for worldly objects. Another was first 
put upon suspecting and searching himself by finding in his 
heart an undue appetite for the gaities and vanities of youth. 
He had just returned from a party of pleasure when his con- 
flict began. Another was the man mentioned in my former 
letter, as having been so opposed to the sovereignty of God, in 
the dispensation of his grace. The rest, for aught that ap- 
peared, were as hopeful candidates for heaven as many pro- 
fessors. From observing the effects which the light of God's 
presence had upon false hopes, a trembling reflection arose, 
" How many such hopes will probably be chased away by the 
opening light of eternity !" The Lord seemed come to " search 
Jerusalem with candles," and to find out those who were "set- 
tled on their lees." The church felt the shock. No less than 
three conversed with me in one week on the expediency of 
witiidrawing from the sacrament. That same presence which 
at Sinai made all the church and even Moses, " exceedingly 
fear and quake," rendered it now a time of trembling with 
professors in general. Nevertheless it was, in respect to most 
of them, a season of great quickening and a remarkable day 
of prayer. Two persons have been for several months under 
deep dejection, which at times bordered on despair ; one being 
extremely weakened by ill health; the other having experi- 
enced such dreadful heart-risings against God, as to be terrifi- 
ed into the apprehension that her condemnation is sealed. 
Some, after having had, so far as we can judge, a saving 
change passed upon their hearts, have had seasons of thick 


darkness. One person, after the dawn of a joyful morning, 
was for two or three months overshadowed with a cloud, and 
by turns appeared in ahuost total despair, and notwithstanding 
he had such apprehensions of guilt and danger that sleepless 
and "wearisome nights" were "appointed" to him, yet he 
verily thought, (to use his own frequent expression,) that he 
was as stupid as the beasts, and that his stupidity was daily 
increasing ; though to others it was evident that what he con- 
sidered the increase of his stupidity, Avas only the increase of 
his anxiety about it. In other instances, the enemy has at- 
tempted to divert people from their anxiety with premature 

We have met with little or no open opposition to the work ; 
the corruptions of those who were not drawn into it having 
been lield in awe by a present God. It is apprehended there 
has scarcely been a person in town of sufficient age for serious 
thought who has not felt an unusual solemnity on his mind. 
A general reformation of morals and sobriety of conduct are 
observable through the town. Family prayer has been re- 
markably revived. On the day of the general election of state 
officers, (a day usually devoted to festivity,) the young peo- 
ple of their own accord assembled in the sanctuary ; where, 
by their particular desire, a sermon was delivered to them : and 
they went home generally agreed that one day spent in the 
courts of the Lord was better than a thousand wasted in va- 
nity. Upon the whole, it is a given point among the candid 
that much good and no hurt has been produced by this reli- 
gious revival, and that it would be a matter of exceeding joy 
and gratitude, if such a revival should be extended through 
the world. 

In this work the Divine Spirit seems to have borne strong 
testimony to the truth of those doctrines which are generally 
embraced by our churches, and which are often distinguished 
by the appellation of Calvinism. These doctrines appear to 
have been " the sword of the spirit," by which sinners have 
been "pricked in their hearts," and to have been "like as a fire 
and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces." It is 

Vol. I. 7 


under the weekly display of these that the work has been cm- 
ried on in all our towns. These have been the truths which 
the awakened have deeply felt, and these the prominent ob- 
jects in view of which the young converts have been trans- 
ported. The scenes which have been opened before us have 
brought into view what to many is convincing evidence that 
there is such a thing as exjyerimental religion; and that mere 
outward morahty is not the qualification which fits the soul 
for the enjoyment of God. People who before were of inof- 
fensive conduct and of engaging social affections, have been 
brought to see that their hearts were fiiU of enmity to God ; 
and now give charitable evidence of possessing tempers, to 
which before they were utter strangers. It may be added, 
that some of the subjects of the work now acknowledge that 
they lived many years in dependance on a moral life, (and 
one of them, driven from this ground, tried to rest on the 
scheme of Universalism;) but they are now brought to see 
that they were " leaning on a broken reed," and no longer 
rest on supposed innocence or good works, but on Him who 
came to save the chief of sinners. I am, &c. 


In the course of the year 1800 Mrs. Griffin's 
health became so much impaired that her physicians 
advised that she should be removed to a milder cli- 
mate. In consequence of this, Mr. G. presented 
to his congregation the alternative of either with- 
drawing from his labors and relinquishing his sala- 
ry till there should be time to make the necessary 
experiment on Mrs. G's health, or of immediately 
resigning his pastoral charge. The congregation 
chose the former side of the alternative ; and ac- 
cordingly, in the early part of October, he left 
New-Hartford with Mrs. G. and travelled as far 
south as New-Jersey. Having received an invita- 


tion from his friend, the Rev. Mr. (now Doctor) 
HiLLYER, who at that time resided in Morris county, 
to come and pass as much time with him as he 
might find convenient, he availed himself of the 
obhging invitation and remained with Mr. H. seve- 
ral weeks. During this period he preached fre- 
quently in the neighboring congregations, and was 
every where listened to with the deepest interest. 
About this time the church in Orange became va- 
cant by the removal of the Rev. Mr. Chapman, and 
Mr. Griffin was engaged to occupy the pulpit for 
the winter. His preaching here was attended by 
manifest tokens of the divine favor, and about fifty 
were added to the church as the fruit of his labors. 
The following letter to the Rev. Jeremiah Hal- 
lock, dated "New-Jersey, Newark, (Orangedale) 
March 3, 1801," describes the interesting state of 
things which existed during his residence there : 

Dear Brother — 

I have been hoping for a private opportunity to transmit 
a letter to you ; but not finding- it, and being unable to wait 
any longer, I sit down to write by mail. And I hope you 
will be kind enough to do the same by me. I have been 
waiting very impatiently for a letter from Mr. Mills, in answer to 
the one which, at his request, I wrote him. 1 will thank you 
to show him this letter, and give my love to him, and let him 
know 1 am anxious to hear from bun, as I shall be from you. 
Give my love also to Mr. Miller, and all the rest of our dear 
circle of ministers ; and let them know I shall consider it a 
favor if they will write. I want to hear all about you — the 
state of your monthly meetings — of religion — of all dear 
friends — and particularly every thing about my church and 
people, which you can possibly think of. Brother Washburn 
writes that your circle love yet to pray, and that Jesus some- 


times comes in the midst. I long to be with you. The sweet 
days of other years, especially the beloved seasons on the well 
known mountain, sometimes come on my mind, and almost 
overwhelm me. 

Those days are past, alas, to return again no more. You 
know not how much I miss that precious and united brother- 
hood of ministers. The ministers here are agreeable, friendly 
and pious, but I have not prayed, and wept, and triumphed 
with them. I shall never see such another circle. They 
were my first love. Alas! can they be mine no more? Let 
God ultimately decide this question; and let us submit. I 
hope, one day, we shall all meet to part no more forever. 
How transporting — how soothing will be that meeting after 
the tedious lonely years of separation ! Oh when will it once 

" March 4th. I had written thus far last evening, when 1 
was interrupted by some people who came in to converse about 
religion. Oh my brother, with what words shall I acknow- 
ledge the most wonderful goodness of God to a poor unworthy 
sinner, who has trembled for fear that God was about to 
thrust him out of the ministry, and employ him no more in 
his glorious service. Contrary to all expectations, God has 
given me the desire of my heart, and suffered me once more 
to see his power and glor}^, so as we have together seen them 
in the sanctuary. The God who appeared in the little school 
house when it was proclaimed that Jesus of Nazareth was 
passing by, — God of all our former revivals — hath in bound- 
less mercy appeared in this place. In some neighboring places 
he has been, for the winter and year past, displaying his glory. 
Latterly he hath revived our hopes even here. 

" The first encouraging appearance was a crowded and so- 
lemn house on the Sabbath — next, we began to hear praying 
people express their hopes and desires that God would appear 
in his glory here. For two months the waters of the sanctua- 
ry have been silently rising. The prayers and tears of God's 
people have evinced the struggles and the longings of their 
souls. Lately the secret and enkindling fire has broke out 


into a glorious flame. People who formerly used the language 
of the Red Sea, and who have since for years, been buried up 
in the world, now come forward to accuse themselves, and to 
lament with tears over their neglects. Others, who have had 
an indistinguishable hope for many years, are emerging into 
clear and joyous light. The more confirmed and experienced 
christians, who have waited long for the salvation of Israel, 
are triumphing and praising, and some of the aged, crymg 
with Simeon, ' Now lettest thou thy servant depart,' &c. In 
other cases all hopes are shaken. Generally, the dry bones 
tremble and quake ; and some few, we hope, begin to live. 
A very great and increasing impression seems to rest on the 
whole society. This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous 
in our eyes. Some people who have not been to meeting for 
ten or twenty years, are out, — attend with tears, and are 
among the number of those that tremble. People come in 
from abroad to behold the wonders of God, and go away 
seemingly impressed. May this glorious work spread from 
town to town, and from land to land, until the world shall be 
deluged in a flood of glory, as the waters cover the sea. 

Some alarming providences of God have greatly tended to 
promote this work. And indeed, every feature of it proves it 
to be a work of God, and not of man. And let God, and not 
man, have all the glory. Accursed be the wretch who could 
have the heart to pilfer it from him. I have not written half 
enough, but my paper fails. We have two crowded confeien- 
ces in a week, one lecture, one private prayer meeting, and I 
am about to appoint a private conference for only the awaken- 
ed. I have only room to add, that I am your ever affectionate 


The congregation were desirous of giving him a 
call, but he discouraged it on the ground that, if the 
health of Mrs. G. would permit him to remain at 
New-Hartford, he was unwilling to leave it for any 
other place. The people of Newark, however. 


without having previously communicated to him 
their intention, actually made out a call for him to 
settle as colleague with the venerable Doctor Mc- 
Whorter. In June they returned to New-Hartford, 
carrying with them an infant daughter, Frances 
Louisa, who had been born during the period of 
their sojourn at Orange. They returned, however, 
only to make arrangements for an ultimate remo- 
val ; for Mrs. G. had become so confirmed in the 
opinion that a more southern cHmate was essential 
to her health, that her husband could not doubt that 
the providence of God pointed him to another field 
of labor. Accordingly his pastoral relation to the 
church at New-Hartford was dissolved by mutual 
consent in August, though not without many severe 
struggles on his part and the deepest regrets on the 
part of his people. 



Immediately after resigning his pastoral charge 
at New-Hartford, Mr. Griffin returned with his 
family to Newark, accepted the call which had pre- 
viously been given him, and on the 20th of Octo- 
ber, 1801, was installed Colleague Pastor with the 
Rev. Dr. McWhorter. The congregation over 
which he was placed was one of the largest and 
most respectable in the United States ; qualified in 
every respect to estimate the labors of a most elo- 
quent, gifted and devoted minister. 

For nearly three years from April 1799, Mr. G. 
seems to have kept no record of his private reli- 
gious exercises, owing probably, in a great mea- 
sure to his having been, during a part of the time, 
in an unsettled state, and for some time after he 
went to Newark, greatly burdened with care. He 
resumes his journal under date of January 30th, 
1803, as follows : 

Spent the last week on a preaching tour, in the neighbor- 
ing congregations, where a glorious work of God's grace ap- 
pears to be beginning. Have been deeply impressed of late, 
with a conviction of a great mistake which I made in some 
former revivals. My mother's children made me the keeper 


of their vineyard, but ray own I did not keep. Being often 
engaged in public prayers, I thought it was neither necessary 
nor practicable to attend so much at large to the duties of the 
closet. And when I preached or heard preaching, I was so 
concerned for others, that I did not sufficiently apply the truth 
to myself, and my prayers were so much upon others, that I 
did not enough pray for the promotion of religion in my own 
heart. The consequence was twofold : I got away from God, 
and the duties of the closet have never been so faithfully at- 
tended since ; and further, I was lifted up by divine favors, 
and had need to be left to fall into sin to humble me. But 
lately I have resolved more to seek the advancement of reli- 
gion in myself, while I endeavor to promote it in others, and 
have desired to be converted, and to catch the shower which 
is falUng around me. Lord, while thou art converting sin- 
ners and infidels, and giving thy people a fresh unction, I pray 
that I may be the subject of these renewing influences, whe- 
ther I have ever felt them before or not. I desire to consider 
myself only as a needy sinner, and to put myself in the way 
of these influences which are shed down upon others. O why 
may I not be converted by them, as well as those around me? 
February 5. I have just been reading a most admirable 
piece, recommending the dispersion of religious tracts. The 
writer possesses precisely those views of the superior impor- 
tance of laboring for the soul, which 1 have generally had. 
It has inflamed my desire to add the dispersion of such tracts 
to my other attempts to promote (what I now hope I can say 
is my favorite object) the salvation of men, the advancement 
of that beloved cause which it cost the Saviour so much to 
estabhsh. O to employ every faculty during life, and to seize 
every new measure to promote this object. To have pious 
tracts to carry out with me when I walk or ride abroad, or 
when I take a journey, — how would it tend to keep my heart, 
to keep my eye, on the great end of life, and to increase my 
usefulness. My soul swells at the prospect. O this is such a 
life as I desire, I thank God for the new impression. I pray 
that it may lead to great good. I pray that it may never sub- 


side, but be increased^ until it fixes me in tlie unalterable ha- 
bit of striving for usefulness in this way. It is now in my 
heart to endeavor to engage others in this measure. Lord, if 
this impression is from thee, and is designed to lead to the pro- 
motion of a religious tract society, O give me wisdom, smile 
on the design, and open a way for its accomplishment, and 
may this impression lead to the salvation of thousands. 

February lAth. 1 have been set upon conversing more with 
my family. I find it is the best, yes the very best, remedy 
against my greatest dangers. If my soul were set on the sal- 
vation of my house, probably salvation would come to them, 
and we should have a little heaven below the skies. I most 
earnestly desire thee, O God, whilst thou art making me the 
instrument of good to others, to indulge me with the happi- 
ness of seeing thy power rest upon my poor family, O why 
may not we be sharers in thy salvation which is so profusely 
bestowed on others ? I feel a strong desire, and see the neces- 
sity, to support unremitted watchfulness, prayer and depen- 
dance on the strengtli of Christ, and to commit my salvation 
more into his hands. I think I feel more humble and depen- 
dant, and more of a christian temper than for years past. I 
clearly see that Christ can enable me to overcome temptation. 
The keeping of the saints amidst their dangers and fears, is 
by him who supports the mountains, and whose faithfulness 
changes not. To him I commit myself, rejoicing. I see by 
what wondrous measures he is now delivering me from my 
enemies which were too strong for me. He Avill deliver and 
make me a monument of his heaven-astonishing grace. I 
have been lately wishing to be taken up by some mighty pow- 
er, and get forward at once very far in my journey, so as to 
have little to do afterwards to arrive at perfect sanctification. 
But this is a fruitless hope. I am enlisted in a warfare, and 
every inch of ground must be taken sword in hand. Those 
corruptions which are constitutional will live with me, and die 
only with me. They wiU trouble me through life. The only 
remedy is to live near to God. This alone is the water which 
will quench the fire. The moment I get away from him. 
Vol. I. 8 


they will always stand ready to hairass me and drive me 
back. Divine enjoyment, — spiritual pride, — falls, humiliation, 
jjrayer, — elevation, — enjoyment, — pride, — falls, — humiliation, 
&-C. &c. must be my round through life. I have lately found 
that I ought to turn my heart and soul more immediately to 
Christ, and like others, (of whom I have lately read,) mourn 
for the feebleness of my love to Christ. Could I rest more 
on Aim, I might support habitual pleasant contemplations, 
which render the mind more like God. I should then look 
less on perplexities, and fix my eye less on my miserable de- 
pravity, although I should not see it less. I have given up 
my worldly matters into the hands of Christ, and while I am 
caiing for his interest, I see he is caring for mine. By some 
merciful interpositions, I see he may be fully trusted for my 
daily brea 1, end I think I can leave the rest with him. 

If I know any thing of my heart, I am sure that I care 
more for the success of my ministry than for any worldly in- 
terest. And upon a review of my life, I must be confident 
that the three strongest desires which have habitually influ- 
enced me for years, are (1.) To be delivered from sin. O if this 
could be, I could bear any thing, and be happy in poverty and 
disgrace. (2.) To enjoy God. I think I surely long more for 
this than riches or honors, and would give up every thing for 
it. (3.) That God's kingdom may come. When I hear of any 
appearance favorable to Zion, my heart is glad. I would 
rather be an instrument in promoting this interest than to wear 
laurels for learning, eloquence, &.c. I think I have had and 
daily have, fair opportunities to make the experiment. Since 
I have been in this place, I am more than ever convinced that 
I am spoiled for the world, that I cannot live on popular breath 
or the estimation of the gay. I cannot Hve confined to their 
society. The company of the pious, though poor, is far sweeter. 
I must have the conscience of good people on the side of my 
preaching, or all the applauses of the world are irksome and 
terrifying to me. I must have christians for my companions, 
and caimot live in the world. I know I have a dreadful body 
of sin struggling within me. I know that pride has much 


influence in my best public duties, and has more influence on 
my deliberate and habitual conduct than any other wrong af- 
fection ; but I think it does not govern. Still I ought to be 
cautious. My zeal to propagate the truth may be a proud and 
wilful desire to support my own sentiments. From the zeal 
which appears in politics, and among the most corrupt sects 
in the christian church, it is evident that this is one of the 
most powerful principles of the natural heart. And when I 
see the worshippers of Moloch flaming with zeal for their god, 
and sacrificing their very children to him, my heart says, — 
What zeal, what sacrifices, what willingness to resign up a 
child to God, can I depend on as evidence of true religion ? 

February 26th. Yesterday I sensibly felt for a moment 
what boldness and fortitude in preaching would result from 
disinterested humility, that should be perfectly indiflTerent to 
the good opinions of others as a personal honor ; and saw liow 
different was the assurance of a self-confident spirit; and had 
a glimpse of the principle which rendered the meek and hum- 
ble Jesus so intrepid. 

Monday, February 28th. Yesterday I went to the house 
of God under a great sense of ray own unworthiness, and 
fearful of making attempts at eloquence, lest I should be in- 
fluenced by pride. I endeavored to speak with all the simpli- 
city and sincerity of one who had no regard to the opinions of 
men, any farther than not to injure the cause of religion, and 
I found myself much assisted, although I depended much on 
extemporaneous exertion. I found a solemn sense of divine 
things more beneficial, even to render my services acceptable, 
than all the flourish of affected zeal and eloquence. Let this 
remove the objection, that if I should become unstudious to 
please, I should lose my influence and degrade the gospel. 

I have lately been so fearful of selfishness and pride that I 
have scarcely dared to move, I now see that their motions 
have been as constant as the palpitations of my heart, and 
have exerted an uninterrupted influence on my external con- 
duct, — sometimes to spur me forward to zeal in the line of 
duty, sometimes to hold me back and to weaken my exer- 



tionsj and sometimes to turn my feet aside from the right path. 
Let me never again be bhnd to their motions, or be at a loss 
when to find them in my heart. O how can I bear to Uve 
with these filthy vipers in my bosom until I am fifty or sixty 
years old ? But it must be, if I live at all. What can I do 
but resist them with all the strength that God shall give me, 
and take care that they are not suffered to shape or influence 
my outward conduct? But of this I am sure, that I must not 
omit or relax in a single duty, for fear of being influenced by 
improper feelings. I must pursue my course and strive to pu- 
rify my motives. 

When I see those of whom I have formed the best opinion, 
complaining and mourning for sin, saying that they view 
themselves the greatest of sinners; professing more readily 
than any other grace, a deep sense that they deserve nothing 
at the hands of God, that they have not the least dependance 
on anything they have ever done, that they are willing to be 
saved by mere mercy, and that God should take the credit of 
their salvation to himself ; when I see them afraid of decep- 
tion and jealous of themselves ; I am conscious that all this 
is exactly my own habitual experience ; but then I apprehend 
that my consciousness of being unworthy arises, (not like 
theirs, from a superior acquaintance with my own heart, but) 
from the obviousness of my sins. When I hear a dying saint 
say of her bodily pains, " These are nothing to the pains of 
sin ;" my whole heart says Amen. With Mrs. Rowe I think 
I can certainly and habitually say. If God should bid me form 
a wish, and take whatever in heaven or earth I had to ask, it 
should not be the wealth of this world, nor the crowns of 
princes: no, nor yet the wreaths of martyrs nor thrones of 
archangels: ray first request is to be made holy: this is my 
highest concern. When I hear the most humble christians 
declare that they have not the least hope of advancing one 
foot in their course, any farther than they are carried by God,-— 
that they have no strength against one temptation — that they 
shall do every thing that they are left to do, — that their only 
hope for pardon, strength, and life, is in God; I know that I 


habitually feel the same : Yet I fear that conscience may do 
all this. When I heard an eminent saint to-day declare that 
the days of her affliction had been the sweetest days of her 
life, I knew that I could say the same ; and then my soul re- 
plied, What is it that can have made my afflictions so happy, 
if I had not true religion? My soul trusted in God that he 
would do right, and would protect me as far as it was best, and 
make the trials work for my good ; and I felt a delight in com- 
mitting the case to him, leaning on, and communing with 
him. Could all this arise from the mistaken supposition that 
he was my friend ? But yet, if I love him, why do I not 
keep his commandments ? 

How impudent is sin ! It would lead one on to commit the 
most daring crimes when conscience testifies that God is look- 
ing on, and would deliberately rush upon the thick bosses of 
his buckler. When it acts in an Atheist, it does not appear 
so impudent, as when it shows all its airs by the very side of 
an awakened conscience. In christians its awful impudence 
appears to the greatest advantage ; which probably was one 
reason that such a body of sin was left to abide and work in 
sanctified hearts. Here it discovers its true nature, and shows 
itself to be as impudent as hell. 

March 12th. A great sinner I am, and I have a great sense 
of it; but is it anything more than conscience? Could I so 
conduct myself if I had rehgion? And without it conscience 
would not sleep in a man in my station, and studies, and living 
in an awakening. But if I have a sanctified part within me, 
I have amazingly strong corruptions too. Yet if I have not 
a sanctified part, what mean these exercises? The other day, 
under an exquisite sense of sin, I clearly felt that all that I 
could do could, in the nature of things, have no tendency to 
atone for the least sin. I believe the feeling is habitual, and 
that I am not erecting a superstructure of self-righteousness. 
To-day the feehng returned, and while I was thinking what 
sacrifice I would be willing to make to escape the dominion of 
sin, I forgot myself, and turned in my mind what I would 
be wiUing to suffer to atone for what is past. But I was awa- 


kened out of my reverie by the disgust which arose from such 
a thought ; a disgust which I did not artificially raise ; for my 
reasoning powers were so absent, (I not being in self-exami- 
nation, but borne down under a sense of sin,) that I pursued 
the thought as though I expected to find pleasure in it. I felt 
that all the atonement that I could make (accepted or not ac- 
cepted) was insipid, and had no relish with my soul. It was 
free grace that I wanted. If I know my heart, I am willing 
to receive mercy, and on God's own terms. My heart is sub- 
missive and pliable. I would come to any terms which God 
should appoint. I think I certainly desire, above all things of 
a personal nature, pardon by the mercy of God in Christ, — 
strength, and assurance of strength to carry me through my 
warfare, (the thought of being strengthened and loved by a 
lovely, all-sufficient Saviour, how sweet!) and a complete de- 
liverance from sin ; or if I must still sin, that it may be the 
means of humbUng me, making me more circumspect, and 
exalting the riches of free, astonishing grace. I have, in a 
lecture, been studying to discriminate between true and false 
repentance; and have inquired, (1.) Is your sense of sin con- 
nected with a sense of the purity, holiness, and justice of God? 
My heart replied. Yes, as I wish not to make any alteration 
in Him. I wish him not to be less an enemy to my sins ; but 

for pardon and strength. (2.) Have you much anxiety for 
the sins of your heart, as well as conduct ; setting a guard 
over small sins which are invisible to the world ? Certainly, 

1 have lately, as is evident from my late journal. (3.) Does 
your repentance produce actual renunciation of sin ; making 
you resolute not to spare any sin, even those which may con- 
duce most to present advantage? Does it render you meek, 
gentle, and humble, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and 
good fruits ? Here I pause. — I cannot answer in the affirma^ 
live to all this. I think there is no favorite sin that I would 
wish to retain, whatever the renunciation of it would cost me; 
and that there is no duty which I would wilUngly neglect 
whatever be the sacrifice or labor, or immediate consequence 
to me. I feel gentle, submissive, and broken — But ah ! my 


Strong corruptions. When I would do good, evil is present 
with me : and what I would not that do I. O wretched man 
that I am ! 

Have been reading my journal. How solemn the review of 
past years ! What an awful examination shall I sustain when 
all the sins of my life shall be collected together, and an ac- 
coimt taken of them. Black has been my life ; I need seas 
of blood to wash me clean. Egypt never was darker. Aw- 
ful ! awful ! God be merciful to me a sinner ! By my jour- 
nal I was much struck with the distresses which sin has caus- 
ed me through so many years. O let it not be suffered so to 
disturb my peace again, and turn my years into years of hell. 
If I have any wisdom I shall be taught with the briers and 
thorns of former days. In reading this moment the 88th 
Psalm, I perceived that good men have gone through dread- 
ful scenes ; and I could say with Heman, " I am afflicted and 
ready to die from my youth up ; while I suffer thy terrors I 
am distracted." A momentary sweetness passed through my 
mind, Avhile in his language I plead, '' Shall thy loving kind- 
red be declared in the grave, or thy faithfulness in destruc- 
tion ? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark," &c. In 
the darkness and distress which I felt about leaving New- 
Hartford, and amidst the apprehension, (like thai of Jonah, 
whose sins I imitated,) '•' I am cast out of thy sight," the 
Lord was at work beyond the bounds of my sight to prepare 
this station of usefulness and happiness for me. This is fact. 
I see, therefore, that it may be the case, that amidst my pre- 
sent darkness, he is preparing for me joys for following years, 
and a pleasant habitation forever. 

[Written January 9th, 1830.] A scene which took place in 
the forenoon of March 14th, 1803, I have never forgotten. 
As I was walking the streets of Newark, pondering upon my 
sins, a flash of light came across my mind, sending home a 
conviction of sin, which instantly deprived me of hope. I do 
not know that I could be more sure of being in an unregene-^ 
rated state if I were in hell. The following dial(^ue then 
took place with myself : " Well, go to Christ, as you direct 


Other sinners to do." " But he is away beyond the hills, and I 
cannot get to him." " Well, ask God to bring you to him." 
" But the prayers of the unregenerate cannot ascend above the 
clouds. I have nothing to stand upon to begin." I felt then 
totally undone, — helpless and hopeless. I died then, as Paul 
did on the plains of Damascus. Instantly the scene changed. 
" Well, if that God who, self-moved, let down a hand to pluck 
Abraham and David from a state of unregeneracy, self-moved 
shall let down a hand to pluck me from destruction. I live ; 
otherwise I die." I was composed in a moment, and seemed 
to lie down at his feet, and rest every issue on his will, with- 
out a struggle. And had the words of the leper been in ray 
mind, (Mat. viii. 2,) " Lord, if thou wilt, thou can?t make 
me clean," they would have exactly expressed my feelings ; 
they would have expressed precisely all the hope I had. Was 
not this a casting of myself entirely on the sovereign mercy of 
God ? • Was not this resting every hope, tranquilly, upon his 
sovereign will ? This I have learnt from the reflections of 
near seven and twenty years, to call the dernier resort. 

In that spot, at God's feet, without asking him what he 
would do with me, I chose to lie, contented to have his will 
done, and fearing to know the result, lest, if it should prove 
favorable, (which betrayed a secret hope,) I should be proud. 
Thus I continued through Monday and Tuesday. But out 
of that death and submission arose the life and light that fol- 
lowed ; just as in the case of the first death and resurrection 
of the sinner, his death to all hope, (Romans, viii. 9,) and 
his resurrection to hope in Christ. 

The week that followed changed the whole character of my 
experiences and preaching, and made them permanently more 
full of Christ. 

Monday^ March lAth. I set out on a preaching tour among 
the neighboring congregations ; and the Lord, both on this 
and former tours, has bestowed the greatest personal blessings 
on me, while I have been laboring for him. On Monday and 
Tuesday I allowed not myself to hope that I was a Christian, 
put myself in the attitude of an awakened sinner, applying 


the sermons which I heard addressed to sinners to myself; 
pleaded for an interest in Christ ; felt a tender conscience ; 
was very fearful of pride and every movement of animal affec- 
tion, which should lessen a sense of my ruined condition and 
total dependance on sovereign mercy ; felt most happy in this 
state of mind ; felt uncomfortable, when for a moment I lost a 
sense of my straits and necessities, and coveted the pleasuie of 
lying, all my hfe, at the feet of God, trembling in uncertainty, 
that I might enjoy a sense of dependance, and feel after a pre- 
cious Saviour. I had for some weeks been much in the same 
frame, and had fully felt that I was utterly in the hands of a 
sovereign God ; that if he should not renew me, I should 
perish ; that if he should not be disposed to give me an interest 
in Christ, all exertion could not move him to it, and that my 
eternal life hung suspended on his mere pleasure. I longed 
after deliverance from sin ; longed to be made holy by the in- 
fluences which are descending around me ; but dreaded flights 
of joy, lest they should raise me from my proper place. All 
these exercises had been very distinct. Monday I was at 
Springfield, and Tuesday at Bottlehill ; accompanied on the 
tour by Mr. Thompson. Mr. Richards met me at Bottlehill, 
and staid all night with me. In the evening we discoursed 
largely on the subject of christian experience; I proposing 
questions for him to solve respecting the decisiveness or indeci- 
siveness of sundry marks of piety. I expressed to him my 
doubts of my own religion. I complained that I had always 
found it difficult realizingly to feel that I deserved eternal 
punishment. He said that christians obtained this sense by 
seeing that God is so unspeakably lovely, that no conceivable 
punishment is great enough for sinning against him ; that he 
had seen God's holiness, purity and justice to be so glorious^ 
that it appeared if men should never commit an outward sin, 
they would deserve to be eternally damned for not loving him. 
While he was conversing, I thought I had some glimpse of 
the excellent purity, grandeur, avvfulness, and sweetness of 
divine hoUness ; and saw that I had been searching for the 
door of deliverance, on the wrong side of the room, in seeking 
Vol. 1. 9 


a sense of the evil of sin from examining what I had done 
rather than what God is. I was convinced that a view of the 
purity of God would best discover the awful nature of sin, and 
would be most effectual to produce true and deep repentance, 
self-loathing and actual renunciation of sin ; and my heart 
said, " O for such views of God forever !" I mentioned ano- 
ther prime difficulty that I had always felt, viz. to apprehend 
Christ as bearing my sins, and being a proper substitute for 
me. I stated what efforts my reason had made to examine 
the nature and end of the atonement, and to obtain this ap- 
prehension. He observed that common christians could not 
go into this critical examination of the atonement, — that with 
them all was a matter of mere faith and reliance on the pro- 
mise and oath of God to accept the sacrifice of Christ as a sub- 
stitute for them ; and that from a sense of the value of Christ's 
personal character, and consequently of his blood, they felt it 
proper that his death should be accepted as a full atonement 
for them. I was convinced that I had been substituting rea- 
son for faith, that I ought to yield more implicit belief to the 
testimony which God had given of his Son, to look with a be- 
lieving eye on those precise aspects which his priesthood as- 
sumes in the first Epistle to the Hebrews, rather than on my 
own systematical reasonings, and that a failure here had been 
my great mistake, by means of which I had been so long des- 
titute of an adequate sense of Christ as my substitute. O for 
more faith and less of the pride of reason ! O for the meek- 
ness, and if I may so say, the passiveness of faith, to submit 
to the righteousness of God ! He disclosed to me a distressing 
conflict which he formerly had had on this point; which sub- 
sided in consequence of a transporting contemplation of Heb. 
vii. 26 : " For such a High Priest became us, who is holy, 
harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher 
than the heavens." As soon as these words were mentioned, 
they appeared transparent, and to contain within them all that 
I wanted, if I could only break the glass, and get at the trea- 
sure. With tliese feelings I retired to sleep. 


When I awoke, that glorious High Priest was before me, 
just as he is expiessed in Heb. vii. 26. 

Wednesday mornings l^th. Having noted down the par- 
ticulars of last evening, coloring them no doubt with the views 
I had this morning, I then proceeded in my diary thus. Read 
the context to the verse which was repeated last evening. O 
what emphasis does Paul, throughout this Epistle, lay upon 
the priesthood of Christ : — Much more than I have done in 
my experiences, which have been more concerned with the di- 
vine government, law, <fec. This morning I have felt that 
there is a ponderous reality in the priesthood of Christ, and 
that it is a great honor to the holiness of God that no sinner 
can be admitted to him, but by the sacrifice of our High 
Priest. My heart has been moved and delighted with a sense 
of his priesthood. There is much more reahty in it than I 
have hitherto discovered; — a reality which I am now con- 
vinced that neither flesh and blood, nor any reasonings can 
reveal. I begin to think that when saints get to Heaven 
much of their happiness and astonishment will arise from 
views which they will wonder that they had not possessed be- 
fore, as they will be views of that glorious scheme of salva- 
tion which had been revealed. I now perceive why many 
evangelical ministers have in their preaching drawn the great- 
est motives to love and obedience from the cross of Christ. 
My soul has some melting sense of the blessed High Priest, 
the way of access to the awful majesty of divine purity, — or 
rather, the v/ay into the holy of holies ; for I feel that the ex- 
pressions made by the Holy Ghost, in the Epistle to the He- 
brews, are best adapted to convey the idea to our weak ap- 
prehension. O for clearer views of the priesthood of Christ ! 
O for more faith, and less dependance on reason ! These new 
views, were they clear enough, would, I perceive, be ravish- 
ing, and would be the best preservatives from sin. Let me 
not seek darkness, (under the notion that ravishing discove- 
ries would raise me up to cast me down) as a guard against 
sin. This light is the only thing that will purify the heart. 
It is the cross of Christ, seen and felt, that must crucify sin. 


for these views ! Let this be my search and prayer this day 
and forever. I am resolved to attend more to the Epistle to 
the Hebrews, and will try to drink from the fountain, — to take 
in the precise representations of the Holy Ghost, and not con- 
fine myself to artificial and systematic views of my own. 
This has been my great mistake. The Scriptures are admi- 
rably adapted to the weakness of our apprehensions. I am 
convinced that christians generally have much more sense of 
the priesthood of Christ than I have had ; and hence this sub- 
ject, (which ought to have been so conspicuous and frequently 
urged,) has been so awfully overlooked in my preaching. It 
has been a just complaint that there was not enough of Christ 
in my sermons. And when I have spoken of the atonement 
it has been in a clumsy, systematic way, in which the most 
charming views of it have been passed by. What I have 
said on this subject has been the stiff and frigid statement of 
one devoid (in a great measure at least,) of spiritual discern- 
ment. Before the majesty of this spiritual truth, how do the 
little arts of seizing the passions by loosely, lightly, and I had 
almost said profanely, talking of Christ's scars and sighs, bow 
and flee away. In how unhallowed a manner have I treated 
this infinitely dignified, this holy and heavenly theme ! I now 
perceive that self-righteousness may be chiefly if not wholly 
renounced, without any proper faith in the priesthood of Christ, 
(for I believe I had mostly renounced it before,) and for aught 

1 know, without any true religion. There will be no self- 
righteousness in hell. And I know not but a sinner may be 
so enlightened on earth as to renounce it. He may undoubt- 
edly like the damned be convinced that he deserves misery and 
no favor ; and what is this but a renunciation of self-righteous- 
ness ? If it be asked, what then keeps him from despair ? I 
answer a hope that mercy may yet be extended to him by a 
sovereign God. If it be asked, why does he pray and use 
means? I answer, because he rightly believes, that in this 
way he is more likely to receive saving light, though he is too 
much enlightened to suppose his duties will purchase any fa- 
vor. 1 am convinced at least, that all these secondary signs 


of religion fail of satisfying the enlightened and jealous mind • 
that nothing can satisfy but a direct and clear view of God 
and Christ. O let my mind be filled, be purified, be happy la 
these views! This will be the peace which passeth under- 
standing. This, compared to a confinement of views to my 
sinful self, will be what manhood is to infancy. I would 
leave the first principles and go on to perfection. By my sins 
I have been kept a babe, if I be any thing. If I have any, I 
have but very little religion. 

During my journey to Turkey, the same day, I could think 
of nothing with pleasure but this sweet and glorious text ; and 
when the sense of it was a little abated, I was enabled repeat- 
edly to renew it, by thinking for a moment of the holiness of 
God, and my own impurity ; and then I could again sweetly 
say, " Such a High Priest became us," &c. During Mr. 
Thompson's sermon from the words, " The soul that sinneth, 
it shall die," my mind was solemnly fixed in a view of the 
reality of all he said, in a view, clearer than ever before of the 
holiness of God, — the evil and ingratitude of sin as against 
the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and the need of this blessed 
High Priest, and his love in undertaking and dying for men. 
And when 1 came to speak after his sermon, I was affected, 
spoke with simplicity and feeling on these points; informed the 
people that I could not convey the sense I had of the holiness 
of God and the glorious mystery of this High Priest: that 
flesh and blood, I was sure, could not reveal it to them. I 
could not bear that any should lose so much as to lose this 
precious Saviour, and affectionately invited, and urged all to 
come to him. Although 1 took no pains to speak, and was 
only struggling in vain to get out the sense of these things 
which was in my mind, the people were melted under the dis- 
course. My exercises this day will be more discovered in what 
I wrote next morning. 

Thursday mornings March V7th. " Lord I believe ; help 
thou my unbehef " I find that my sense of the atonement 
which depended on former reasonings, was not the true sense: 
this flesh and blood cannot reveal ; and the only way in which 


God reveals it is by exciting faith. We may reason on the 
fitness of the atonement; and after all, the true sense of it 
comes only by implicit belief of the heart, in the word and 
oath by which Jesus was constituted and declared the High 
Priest of the world. God has declared, (and the victim was 
so precious that it was proper for him so to do,) that he will 
accept this sacrifice for men, and we must believe him, and 
must expect to discover the reality and glory of the atonement 
by faith, and not by speculation. 

Yesterday was a great day with my soul. I had very dis- 
tinct views of the purity and holiness of God, of the way of 
access to him by Christ, and of the preciousness of our great 
High Priest ; insomuch that in my public exhortation I could 
dwell on no other subject. I longed to recommend this holy 
God and this blessed Saviour to the people, who seemed affect- 
ed by the representation, as being a representation of great 
things. After divine service I told brother Thompson that if 
these views, so new, of those great truths which are the es- 
sence and pith of all divine truth, and on which my mind had 
always labored with so much darkness, should continue, and 
my mind should remain so different from what it had ever 
been, and if I should, under the power of these truths, lead a 
new life, I should almost conclude that I never experienced 
the new birth before. When Mr. Thompson was preaching 
and praying, and making so much account of an opportunity 
afforded us to escape from ruin, I thought he was, (and saw 
that I had been, in my preaching and praying,) too selfish. 
I wanted he should make more account of the opportunity 
afforded us to worship, adore, and honor God and Christ, and 
my heart refused to follow him in prayer, and turned off to 
these subjects; feeling that an opportunity to worship God 
was the chief consideration which should excite gratitude. 
During the day I could think of Christ, and rejoice in him 
without sensible exaltation and pride ; a thing perhaps un- 
known to me before. I felt that it was reasonable I should 
devote my life wholly to him, and that I was not my own but 
bought with a price. Sin appeared exceeding sinful, as being 


against God and Christ, and derived all its evil from this cir- 
cumstance. I perceived that I had been mistaken in suppos- 
ing that a direct view of myself and my sins would be the 
most effectual guard against sin. From the effect which a 
present sense of the love and priesthood of Christ had upon 
my mind, I was certain that these views would prove the 
surest death of sin ; that it was the cross of Christ that must 
crucify it. Now I resolved to seek for these views of him in 
order to conquer. Formerly I felt that God and Christ were 
set in opposition to each other, and was in danger of conceiv- 
ing of Christ as taking our part, and of God as being against 
us. But now they appeared to be wonderfully united. It 
seemed that in all that the Son had done to introduce sinners 
to God, he was cheerfully honoring the divine holiness; 
which seemed to be greatly honored, in that sinners are not 
suffered to approach God but through the blood of the High 
Priest; that the Father in his readiness to send his Son into 
the world, and then to receive sinners through him, had as 
much love for men as had the Son ; that Christ was not tak- 
ing the part of man against holiness, and that the Father was 
ready to take the part of man in a way consistent with hoU- 
ness, being as wiUing to receive sinners through his Son, as 
his Son was to be the medium and intercessor ; and that it 
was out of regard to the holiness of God that the Son is the 
High Priest to bring sinners near to him. There appeared a 
perfect harmony, and no difference, between them. I adored, 
delighted in, and was humbled before, this plan of salvation. 
I saw it ; I saw it wonderful and glorious, — just as I wished 
to have it. I wished to approach God and be saved only in 
this way. I wished not to have my part taken, only as the 
part of hohness was taken by the same means. This disco- 
very of the holiness of God, and the blessed High Priest, was 
like a sun to cast hght all around. Every part of truth open- 
ed to view, — such as the common mercies of God, — the love 
of God and Christ, — obligations to universal hoUness, — ingra- 
titude, sin, &.C. I could not bear ever to sin again. I felt 
humble, meek, gentle, kindly affectioned towards men, indif- 


ferent to the opinions of the world, to honors, distinctions, 
riches, and desired nothing but clearer views of God and Christ, 
and to serve, glorify, and enjoy him. These feelings were 
not wrought up by pains: I seemed only to lie still and re- 
ceive them. They were not excited by calling in aid the ani- 
mal affections ; these lay uncommonly still. The view was 
spiritual, still, humbling, purifying, abstracting from the world, 
and silencing to selfishness, pride, and every evil passion. All 
was silent wonder and complacency. Yet all the time, though 
happy, affected, and wondering, I was sensible that I had only 
a faint glimpse of the glories of God and Christ, and felt guilty 
that I saw no more. That blessed verse run in my mind, and 
burst forth in every prayer, exhortation, and private discourse. 
When I, for a moment, lost a sense of the beauty of the plan 
of grace, I would reflect, " For such a High Priest became us 
who was holy." The holiness of the High Priest (which was 
the thing most sweetly affecting to my soul, as it showed me 
that there was one, polluted as I am, which a holy God could 
accept for me,) would revive a deep sense of my own impu- 
rity, the purity of God, and the consistency of the plan of 
grace. I feared to lose these views, — views of the very thing 
which I had long desired to see. I wanted more of them. I 
feared hypocritical worship, and every thing but meekness, 
sincerity, love, adoration, faith, and gratitude. In the even- 
ing, at my lodgings, I could not but recommend this blessed 
Saviour to the youth of the family. I clearly saw, what I 
never so saw before, that he was a perfect medium of access 
to God for a whole world, — that all might come to God by 
him. In my bed-chamber, in secret prayer, all these views 
were perhaps more clear than ever. I felt that I might be 
saved, — that I was brought near to a pure God by this High 
Priest, and saw how I could approach God and be saved by 
him. It was easier to realize this great truth, (which had al- 
ways been the most difficult of apprehension,) than any thing 
else. I felt that I could not pay any thing in return. It was 
all free, rich, astonishing grace. I was an eternal bankrupt, 
overwhelmed with obligation. In the hght of these discove- 


ries, all the common mercies of my life swelled to an amazing- 
size. I wanted and longed that my wife, child, sister, father, 
and all my friends, and all the world, should see, adore, and 
enjoy this Saviour. I felt like one who had found a great 
treasuie, and wished to have all know of it, and share it. I 
felt that I certainly did take firm hold of the great High 
Priest, — that it was clearly a right hold, — that there was not 
a phantom in my embrace, but the very High Priest whom 
Paul recommended to the Hebrews. He appeared a solid rock 
on which I certainly stood firm. I had even then no excitement 
of animal affections. All was still, solid and real; and for the 
first time I lay down quietly on my bed in the full assurance 
of hope ; not a single doubt of my salvation remaining. Oh 
what a blessed change in twenty -four hours! This is a bless- 
ed morning. How trifling is learning, fame, every thing, to 
these discoveries of Christ ! I feel willing to suffer labor, fa- 
tigue, shame, contempt, and even death for this glorious Re- 
deemer. O give me this life of communion with him, and J 
desire no more ! Never did I before make this aspiration with 
half so much solid reality of desire. Every thing appears 
like filthy trash to this. All the Bible, all truth opens, and 
appears solid, weighty, and glorious. Turn which way I will, 
light shines around me, — on every contemplation — every truth. 

Lord give me faith and keep me humble ! To think that 
after so many and so great sins and abuses of privileges, he 
should reveal himself to me! To think that he should from 
eternity ordain me to everlasting life! Why me? Why me? 

1 am astonished. I am sweetly overwhelmed and swallow- 
ed up. 

The state of my mind, the rest of the day and eveniiig, 
will appear from the short record which I made next morning. 

Friday morning, ISth, Baskingridge. Was affected yes- 
terday when I entered the house of God at Baskingridge, and 
saw the crowded seats, and solemn countenances. The place 
was awful, for God was there. I was much affected in prayer 
with a sense of Christ, and wept ; — was enabled to plead with 
him. Mr. Thompson having read a most precious hymn of 

Vol. I. 10 



praise to Christ, 1 could not help speaking a word to the peo- 
ple before they sung it, praying them not to trifle with such 
precious words and lose such a heavenly treasure. In every 
prayer through the day and evening, and almost in every in- 
dividual petition, I had a distinct sense that God was too holy 
to suffer such polluted creatures to approach him but through 
the blessed High Priest. In proportion as I could apprehend 
this medium I was delighted. I did not wish to go to God in 
my own name. I durst not for my life approach directly to 
immaculate holiness. How can it be deemed a privilege to be 
excused from using this medium, and to go naked to him who 
is a consuming fire? While a hymn was sung, expressive of 
God's hatred of sin, discovered in casting the angels out of 
heaven, Adam out of Eden, turning this world into a vale of 
tears, myriads into hell, and (what appeared more expressive) 
laying his wrath on his beloved Son, I had an awful sense of 
his majest)'' and holiness, and sin appeared, as being against 
such a God, more dreadful than ever. I never felt such a 
calm, solid, strong opposition to sin : an opposition which I 
could trace to its source, being able to tell and to know why I 
was opposed to sin, viz. because it was against such a holy 

In the evening, while hearing divine truth preached and 
sung, I saw these truths (which I had felt through the day) 
to be real and certain. I saw that it was one thing to talk, 
and another to feel — saw that certain truths which I had often 
expressed, were far different from wliat I had conceived them 
to be, and other great truths that were uttered by others I per- 
ceived would be greater than either they or I then conceived, 
if fully realized. I saw that it was a different thing to ap- 
proach God from what I had formerly imagined. When 
joining in prayer with Mr. Armstrong, my mind was more 
deeply fixed throughout than perhaps ever before when join- 
ing in prayer with another. In exhortation I was enabled to 
give such a description of the great and dreadful, the holy 
and just Majesty of heaven, as induced one minister to call 
in question his religion, another man to doubt, who had not 


had a doubt in seven years, and another minister to say, " O 
'tis too much. These things were designed only for angels." 
I was enabled also to give such a view of the great High 
Priest as was said to be refreshing to christians. I mention 
this only as an evidence of the state of my mind. 1 feel this 
morning that this sense of God and Christ would always keep 
down pride, passion, selfishness, and is the most powerful prin- 
ciple against all sin. If this is faith, let me never again com- 
plain that faith will not fortify the heart against sin. It has 
been because faith was too weak that it has not more pre- 
vailed. If it is this to be united to Christ, then life flows from 
such union, and he is indeed the vine to the branches. While 
opposing a general meeting of the congregations, my heart 
wept with love to Christ, when the question arose whether I 
was opposing his beloved interest; and I clearly saw that I 
would sacrifice character, and every thing to serve him. 
While on my way to Lamington I had some sweet medita- 
tions on these delightful subjects ; and one idea appeared so 
real and important that I stopped on the road to note it down 
with my pencil. It was this, — that we can have no view of 
the priesthood of Christ, without an accompanying view of 
the holiness of God. 

Lamington.) two o^clock P. M. These views which I have 
had are certainly opposed to pride and every sin, and are the 
only means of conquering sin. For two days past I have 
scarcely had a single thought for my own character, or any 
private interest. Formerly, when with my brethren, I used to 
study the character which I should support. But scarcely a 
single thought of the kind has intruded for two days. My 
mind has been employed in thinking, not what I am, or am 
to be in the eyes of men, but what Christ is. How different 
is religion from nature ! How different is the sanctified from 
the unsanctified heart in every feeling, view, motive, and mo- 
tion! May I this day speak for God, — with proper views of 
Christ, — and with great success ! O for a day of glory ! 

Nine o'clock P. M. In a certain part of the public service 
Satan or my own wicked heart suggested that one of my 


brethren would be more acceptable to the people than myself. 
At once the feeling prevailed, " And is it not enough for you 
to share the love of the Redeemer without the applause of 
men ? Could such a one as you expect more ?" It is, it is 
enough. I am satisfied : let others take the applause. Have 
felt to-day that I might indeed be easily saved, and that Christ 
is sufficient for the whole world. In reviewing my late hu- 
miliations and distresses, and glooms and doubts, and cries for 
mercy, and the consequent rehef and joy, I am more sensible 
that to humble ourselves before the Lord is the only way to be 
lifted up. And when in future days I shall find my heart 
broken at God's feet, let me remember this, and patiently wait 
his time of deliverance. 

Sahhath morning, Connecticut Farms. The past week I 
have thought with myself — How much calmer, sv^^eeter, 
brighter, happier, to live thus, to enjoy the blessed High Priest, 
a clear conscience, and the assurance of a happy immortality, 
than to sink into sin, pride, self-seeking, woiidly-mindedness, 
and be filled with darkness and shaken with tempests. Why 
should I then return to folly ? O let it not be. My desires 
for a new life are calm, solid, and strong. I desire to be made, 
through every future day, very diflferent from what I ever have 
been ; and to be enabled to look back upon this era as the pe- 
riod when, (if I did not begin to see,) I was, by a second 
touch of Christ, like the men of Bethsaida, (Mark, viii. 22, 
25,) brought to more distinct vision. I am not my own but 
his who brought me from the pit, and I have a desire to do 
something for this divine friend, something to please and honor 
a holy God, — and to be wholly devoted. I now see that God 
could easily bring me to be willing to suffer reproach and mi- 
sery, and even death, from a direct and mere love of him and 
his Son. I think I certainly feel something of this temper. 
O how much better to renounce the idea of being great, and 
respected as a man of learning or influence, and become an 
humble christian, let it cost pride as many grinding pains as 
it may, and retain a clear conscience, an humble confident 
hope, the bright shinings of a Father's countenance, and be a 


tender, meek, modest, afTectionate, humble saint, dead to the 
world, dead to the opinions of men, (any further than duty- 
binds us to respect their opinions,) and thus avoid the conflicts 
of pride, and the darkness, falls and guilt which pride occa- 
sions. I certainly would rather be thus, retired from the world, 
unknowing and unknown, possessing only the excellency of 
modest and solid worth, and enjoying God and Christ and 
heaven in the house of my pilgrimage, than to be the most 
celebrated divine on earth. Let me in my dress, house, stu- 
dies, preaching, company, address, intercourse with men, jour- 
nies, — and every thing, take and hold this ground so crossing 
to pride, but so congenial with a spiritual mind. I can now 
contemplate God and Christ with tearful tenderness, and can 
draw from them all my arguments for repentance, for active 
service, for suffering, and for holy living. I can contemplate 
them and their love without pride. To enjoy them and hope 
for salvation, does not lift me up as once it did. My heart is 
afraid of pride and presumption, and is jealous and cautious 
lest something should awake, and grieve away my Beloved, 
and trembles at the presumption of speaking one word to God, 
but sensibly in the name of Jesus, or even of thinking of him, 
but as being brought near by the blood of his Son. Yet per- 
haps it is impossible to have a full and immediate sense of this 
in every petition and thought of God. Perhaps, preserving a 
general sense that he is reconciled by his Son, I may accepta- 
bly present petitions to him, as a reconciled Father, without 
always having a direct view of the priesthood of Christ. 

My present views have marshalled before me such an im- 
mensity of objects to pray for and to thank for, that in prayer 
this morning, I rapidly passed through a great variety of mat- 
ter, not knowing which to take first, nor when to stop. 

Formerly I had much exertion to make to brace myself 
with resolution against the fear of man. But during a con- 
siderable part of the last week, I had no more thought of 
guarding against this than against murder; the consideration - 
of human opinions being wholly out of mind, and swallowed 
up in view of God and Christ. 


O what wonders are these! And has God indeed chosen 
me from eternity? Has he redeemed me by the blood of 
Christ, — called and sanctified me by the Holy Ghost, — put 
me into the ministry, — and so wonderfully blessed me therein? 

his affecting faithfulness, that without any seeking, contri- 
vance, or wisdom of my own, he should take care of my sal- 
vation, during all my forgetfulness of myself and him ! And 
is the creature, who, under all this mercy, has so much sin- 
ned, — is he pardoned? Are my crimson stains become white 
as snow? Am I indeed as a child ? May I be assured of being 
delivered from those devices of Satan and my own heart 
which I feared would prove my ruin'^ Am I to conquer, and 
to live near to God ? To live a serene life after all my distress 
and fears ? After all my guilt, to die a happy death ? and to 
reign on an eternal throne ? O, grace, grace, grace ! O, the 
ocean without a bottom or a shore ! Now Lord I am wholly 
thine ! Riches, character, the world, are dead. This is no 
passion, but a solid reality of feeling. No tender tumult, — all 
is calm, — more hke clear vision, than an elevation of animal 
affections. I see it all in a holy God, and a holy all-sufficient 
High Priest. I pant after more knowledge of them ; and if I 
know any thing about humihty, I am deeply humble while 

1 view these things, — while I view them with scarce a doubt 
of my adoption. In former times, when my hope was strong, 
it would arise from tender meltings of soul ; now from a direct 
view of a holy God, and the blessed High Priest, who brings 
me near to him, and it is now therefore a much more solid 
thing. Formerly ray hope made me think myself more than 
others ; this makes me forget all such comparisons, — makes 
me appear a bare naked nothing before God, and to wonder 
why he should set his love on me. And when I think of 
others, it is only with desire that they may share with me in 
these views and blessings. These views bring me to abhor 
and dread the least secret movement of sin,— to watch against it, 
and long for more views of God, and of the great mystery of re- 
demption, — to be tremblingly fearful of God's withdrawment. 
They render more affecting all the common mercies of my 


life, and bring me to see that the government is, and ought 
to be, the Lord's. The question of having another to govern 
or decide, is dead ; and the revival of it would seem strange. 
The more guilty I feel, the happier I am ; for without a sense 
of guilt, I cannot relish the precious High Priest. And I can 
easily conceive that a sense of guilt will be felt through eter- 
nity among the redeemed. When I ask, Do I possess a right 
idea of the holiness of God and Christ ? I can decide the ques- 
tion thus : By holiness it is evident I mean what is opposite 
to my sin ; for when I lose a sweet sense of the propriety of a 
holy High Priest, I revive it by looking at my pollution, and 
seeing the necessity of a High Priest of an opposite character ; 
and then the sense of his hoUness becomes sweet, and at the 
same time, I approve and reverence the holiness of God the 
Father. I have had an awful sense of this hohness, and 
tremble at the thought of approaching him, except through 
the mediation of Jesus. When following others in prayer, or 
when looking forward to pubhc worship, I have trembled at 
the thought of making one petition, or doing any thing, but 
in the name of a mediator. My present views produce grati- 
tude, whichever way I look, wonder, astonishment, — a sense 
of bankruptcy, — of obligation to live and to die for Christ, — 
joy, trust, confidence in his veracity and all sufficiency for a 
whole world. They bring my lost time before me, — show me 
that there is abundance to do and to think of, — and the im- 
portance of being up and doing. They produce a tender de- 
sire that all my friends may see and enjoy this glory and ho- 
nor, this God and Christ. They produce a living principle, 
strongly counteracting pride and every sin; and I clearly per- 
ceive that if this principle should become strong enough, it 
would drive all sin from my heart, and make me holy as God 
is holy. I have not enough preached Jesus ; and when I have 
preached him, it was not enough in the simplicity of the gos- 
pel. I have had too much the awkward formality of system, 
and have not presented him precisely in the right aspects.- 
Were I now to preach any sermon that I possess, I should 
drop many of the expressions, and should speak of Christ in 


words more resembling the life. I ought to have taken the 
phrases and aspects of this great mystery more directly from 
the Bible, and made less use of systematic phrases. Nothing 
will crucify the world but the cross of Christ. During the 
past week I felt no agony of desire for the success of my mi- 
nistrations, being more engrossed with the thought of pleasing 
God than even of converting sinners. Feeling that the cause 
was God's, — that he had power with a word to bring the pros- 
perity of Zion at any time, I calmly left it with him. So my 
mind was moulded. 

I am not without hope that the past week will form a new 
era in my life. Perhaps I have explored the mazes of sin, and 
the depths of Satan, long enough to fit me for the ministry; 
(for it is with reference to the people as much as to themselves, 
that God regulates the experience of his ministers,) and now 
he may design to lead me to an exquisite rehsh and a deep 
understanding of the great Redeemer, and to display more 
fully his cross for the crucifixion of sinners, and the relief of 
the broken hearted. He is now bringing me out of long per- 
plexity in regard to temporals ; and perhaps I may be now 
passing from the state of B, which (as described by John 
Newton) is marked with conflict, into the state of C, which is 
distinguished for happy contemplation. But let me not put off 
my armor as though the warfare were accomplished. 

Am now going to the house of God, desirous to pray, to 
sing, to preach aright, and with success, and to enjoy the pre- 
sence of God. All depends on him. I have dwelt particu- 
larly on these several petitions, not content with asking gene- 
rally for the divine assistance. May divine influences descend 
this day all around and through the christian world. No 
blessing would be so sweet to me as this. 

Noon. A calm, sweet, humble frame through all the exer- 
cises, — melting now and then when speaking of Jesus, — ac- 
companied with a still but strong desire that success might at- 
tend the word. In the last prayer, I owned to the Lord that 
the cause was his, not mine; that he loved it better than 1 
did ; that the souls of men were his ; that the whole case was 


known to him; that he saw what was to be done; that all 
depended on him: and while I said, O that a blessing might 
attend the word, I adored his sovereignty, and left the matter 
with him, saying, " Not my will but thine be done." In pro- 
nouncing the blessing, I wished the rich blessings of the Fa- 
ther, Son, and Holy Ghost, might come upon the people. 

Night. Felt some effects of exhaustion : less sensible en- 
joyment, and less fixedness of thought, — but an increasing de- 
sire to do good, as I proceeded in the sermon. Before the 
blessing I again addressed the people. 

Wednesday, March 23d. Monday and Tuesday I visited 
my people; took much pleasure in recommending a holy God, 
and a blessed High Priest. Felt the effects of last week's 
views. Have seen that there is such a thing as being moved 
to duty by the fear of God and the love of Christ. Received 
a letter from a christian brother, admonishing me, with great 
plainness, to beware of the dangers arising from my new si- 
tuation. At another time. I might have felt my pride wound- 
ed ; but my heart was affected with gratitude for his faithful 

I am deeply sensible that during all my ministry I have 
been under the strong power of unbelief. I have not seen the 
danger, and no wonder that I have not feared it nor prayed 
against it. 

In my late attempts to gain more full views of the mystery 
of redemption, I have been convinced that the Jewish types 
were designed, not only to instruct that nation, but to teach 
christians also ; being well adapted to the weakness of our ap- 
prehensions now. As for instance the entrance of the High 
Priest into the presence of the Shekinah by blood and sacri- 
fice, and with so much awe and caution, helps our concep- 
tions of the manner in which our great High Priest brings us 
near to God by the sacrifice of himself. The same of the in 
tercession of the High Priest for the people, — the scape goat, 


Vol. I. 11 


How long the peculiar state of mind described in 
several preceding paragraphs continued, does not 
appear, as the record of his exercises is interrupted 
from March till September; though it is evident 
that, at the latter period, he had lost in some degree 
that deep and overwhelming sense of divine things 
by which his spirit had sometimes seemed well nigh 
entranced. Under date of March 3, 1804, he 
writes thus : 

Was struck this morning in reading Phil. ii. 14, 15. " Do 
all things without murmurings and disputings : that ye may- 
be blameless and harmless, the sons of God without rebuke, 
in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom 
ye shine as lights in the world." In christian meekness and 
wisdom, what a dignity ! Here is no carrying things by loud 
and pertinacious disputings, — no pert and loquacious attempts 
to correct every word that shall drop from others, not agreeing 
precisely with one's own mind. Among the crooked and per- 
verse we must prevail and make our influence felt by the meek- 
ness of wisdom, — by a prudent deportment and temperate 
counsels, rather than attempt to storm, and carry the fortress 
with the strength of words. Here is a dignity and prudence, 
in opposition to rendering one's self common ; a dignity which 
I have too much reputed hypocrisy, and selfish temporizing. 
But this wisdom I much want. Murmurings too are to be 
avoided in all cases : murmurings at want of success in my 
ministry, murmurings at general wickedness, — murmurings 
at unreasonable men, — murmurings at want of support, — 
murmurings at the trials of life, — murmurings of every kind. 
March 5th. How comes it to pass that some worldly men 
preserve a character with fewer blots, are more generous, more 
socially sweet, &c. than many christians? Without consi- 
dering the difference in natural tempers, I give this reason : in 
some cases, pride being the strongest passion, and more easily 
influencing the other corruptions than grace, as being more 


congenial with them, can command the field with less conflict 
than grace can in other men ; and being always in exercise, 
(whereas grace is not) preserves the man from indecent things 
more steadily than grace. And this principle when it has ta- 
ken the government, is much more powerful than in the 
christian, who, being habitually engaged to weaken it, feels 
less its aid when grace is absent. Add to this, that Satan 
does not make such violent onsets upon one who is not resist- 
ing his dominion. A predominant corruption controls the 
whole man without opposition ; whereas grace never controls 
the whole heart and is opposed. Some predominant passion 
which is congenial to the whole soul, and which controls the 
whole man, and that uniformly, may produce greater and 
more uniform visible effects than grace commonly does. 
Thus the unbelieving Jews have shown more unconquerable 
fortitude under persecution and contempt, and more unvaried 
adherence to their religion, than most christians. But this 
sentiment does not weaken the necessity of sanctification and 
good works. 

April 5th, iSabbalh Qnorning. Yes, I now am convinced 
and assuredly know that the only way to be happy is to keep 
the mind independent of all worldly things, and to derive our 
happiness from setting the Lord always before us, receiving 
him for our portion, trusting in his fatherly love and protec- 
tion, and looking on all the dreams of this life as about to dis- 
solve in the light of eternity, when we awake in his likeness. 
The moment we come down upon earth to take our comfort 
here, we find our hearts the mark of all those shafts that are 
flying thick in this region of care, disappointment, sin, and 
sorrow. Then we are restless and pant after retirement. But 
why? Because the groves are stiller than our breasts, and we 
dream that our hearts would be as still if we were there. But 
alas, whether in grove or city, while turbulent passions dis- 
turb the breast, there is equal restlessness. And in grove or 
city there is equal rest while passion sleeps. Nothing can still ■ 
and subdue the passions but the keeping of the heart in hea- 
ven. This is the great secret of happiness. " Their sorrows 


are multiplied who seek another God." Ah, here is the cause of 
all my misery ! I have forsaken the fountain of living waters, 
for broken cisterns. When I can be more independent of the 
opinions of men, — can have my pride, envy, anger, and ava- 
rice subdued by heavenly mindedness, — can again soothe the 
sorrows of Ufe^ as I once used to do, by looking on the near 
approach of eternity, — then, and not till then, I shall be at 
rest. Return unto thy rest, O my soul ! Unbelief and guilt 
have prevented me from returning. I have got disused to 
view God with filial and delightful confidence, nourished by 
intimate communion with him, and therefore it is that I have 
become in so great a degree a stranger to peace. Tain world 
be gone ! Thou art the enemy of my peace. Passion, be 
still. Let me again fly to the bosom of my God ! " There 
would I fix my last abode, and drown the sorrows of my 

June 25th. A day for special devotion. I am now convinc- 
ed that the occasion of my being unable to realize divine 
things, of the loss of the serenity and self-enjoyment which I 
formerly possessed, of the restlessness that cannot find a home, 
— of an incapacity to resist the distracting influence of the 
world, and to bear up calmly against its frowns, — is the ne- 
glect of my closet, and the discontinuance of days of special 
devotion. It is impossible for the soul to retain a realizing and 
soothing sense of eternal things, unless that sense is renewed 
and deeply impressed in secret meditation and devotion. The 
mind, unless settled in this way, will be too much distracted 
in public devotion, and in religious conversation, to obtain this 
sense, to such a degree as will fortify and support it. All my 
restlessness and irregular feelings are imputable, in a great 
measure, to this cause. The only cure must be sought in the 
renewal of secret devotion, and in days of special prayer and 
meditation. What contentment, submission, composure, and 
peace, would this enable me to carry into all the scenes of duty 
and care. I have now got a home. Last evening, (being the 
first Sabbath evening that we have been alone since we moved 
into this house,) in walking in my garden, I desired to conse- 


crate the alley in which I walked to divine meditation, and 
prayed and hoped that it might prove more delightful than 
my former walks at New-Hartford, the loss of which I have 
so much regretted. O God, may this new habitation be the 
scene of peace and of heavenly communion for years to come ! 
Here, in retirement from the world, may we cultivate the 
sweets of domestic enjoyment, and the calm delights of reli- 
gion, while we enjoy the innocent amusements of the garden, 
and contemplate the beauty of thy works ! May we now be- 
gin to see good days in proportion to the days in which we 
have been afflicted ! A more retired state of reflection I am 
convinced is necessary, not only to devotion, to domestic and 
self enjoyment, but to furnish me with such views and impres- 
sions of divine truth as will give interest to my public mini- 
strations, sanctity to my character, and savoriness to my con- 
versation among my people. 

In further reviewing my memoirs, (in which I was again 
interrupted by company,) I perceived that I formerly had a 
more exquisite sense of sin than I now possess, though I have 
now equal, and even increased cause of mourning and abase- 

At night. — I find the effects of the exercises of this day are 
a more tender frame of mind towards my feflow men, more 
feeling, freedom, and sweetness in prayer, and more compla- 
cency, confidence, and readiness in contemplating God, And 
art thou returning to my soul and restoring my peace, thou 
God of faithfulness and abounding mercy 1 When forsaken 
by every other lover, when driven from every other refuge, 
when unable to find rest for the sole of my foot in the wide 
creation, thou art my last resort : thy faithful bosom still offers 
me sweet repose. Let the world be gone. Let me but possess 
thee, my faithful Redeemer ; let me but hear thy lips invite 
me home, and tell me I am thine, and I have enough. 

Sabbath morning, July Ist. I have been this week writ- 
ing upon the atonement. Regardless of ornaments of style, - 
I have been feasting upon the richest truth. The effect is, 
not only more ease and force in my composition, and more 


rapidity in the execution, but a sweet and easy state of mind, 
tliat I have not enjoyed for a considerable period. Cares sit 
light upon me, the world goes easy with me, I can receive my 
friends, and perform parochial duty, without anxiety. I can 
take my own natural course without constraint, a circumstance 
essential to my peace and usefulness, and acceptableness. I 
am deeply convinced, that would I find my life and ministra- 
tions pleasant to myself, and most useful and acceptable to 
the people, especially if I would live upon God and divine 
truth, I must take my own natural course in preaching, and 
keep my mind fixed on truth rather than style, and support a 
more grave and dignified independence of the opinions of 

July 2Uh. I have been thinking lately that there must be 
some essential defect in my prayers, or they would procure for 
me more strength against sin. It has occurred to me that I 
have not called on the name of Jesus. Always making ap- 
plication to the invisible God, I have too much left a Media- 
tor out of my account, as the Jews did. Had I gone directly 
to Jesus, as those did whom he healed in the days of his flesh, 
I might at least have touched the hem of his garment, and 
been made whole. For a week past I have made the expe- 
riment, and have almost entirely prayed to the Mediatorial 
King ; and by some means or other my temptations and cor- 
ruptions have been more restrained than for a long time pre- 

In walking my garden this evening, I had one of those im- 
pressions which seem to be made by a sight of demonstrable 
truth. The truth discovered was this: In examining my 
state, I ought not so much to have dwelt on a review of colla- 
teral circumstances, as a careful review of the motives which 
influenced me in different scenes of my hfe ; and my anxiety 
for the present ought to be, not so much whether I am new- 
born, — or if not, how I shall become new-born, as to take care 
that in all my conduct I do right from right motives, restrain- 
ing every sinful passion, and conscientiously performing every 
known duty. I have been setting up a change as a sort of 


abstract object of inquiry and pursuit, rather than taking care 
for the present to preserve, in small as well as in great mat- 
ters, purity of heart and life. I must be more watchful and 
conscientious in innumerable small matters, and be, in all my 
feelings and conduct, under the influence of right motives. 
This is the only anxiety I ought to have for my personal cha- 
racter or prospects. If I can attain to right motives in all my 
feelings and behavior, I need be anxious about no other change. 
Let this then be the simple and direct object of my care, 

January 6th, 1805. This day I have attained to one-half 
of three score years and ten. To this hour I have always 
been considering my life before rae, and have been looking 
forward to happiness and usefulness, little of which I have 
hitherto found. But now I have awoke from my dream, and 
find, to my surprise, that before I was aware, the greatest part 
of my life has probably passed ; certainly the greatest part of 
the enjoyment of life. Fifteen years more, (if I Uve to see 
them,) and I am fifty, and must probably begin to feel the 
decays and infirmities of age. If I would find my hfe, I must 
look back rather than forward. I have been often warned 
that I should be striving to overtake life until I should sud- 
denly wake up, and find I had got past it. But I never be- 
lieved it till I now find it true. What a vapor is our present 
existence ! Vanity of vanities, all is vanity ! It is high time 
for me to gird up my loins and begin to live to some good pur- 
pose. It is too late for rae to spend my time in preparing ac- 
commodations to live here ; it is time for me to be preparing 
to depart to the eternal world. 

In February of this year, Mr. Griffin received 
a call to the pastoral charge of the first Reformed 
Dutch church in Albany. He seems to have been 
not a little embarrassed in respect to the manner in 
which he should dispose of it, and not only earnestly 
sought divine guidance, but asked the advice of se-, 
veral of his most judicious brethren in the ministry. 
The result was, that after a short time he deter- 


mined to decline the call; a circumstance which 
seems to have been gratefully appreciated by his 
people, and to have entrenched him more strongly 
than ever in their affections. 

April 7th. Another monument to the divine faithfulness I 
have to erect. Some weeks ago I was desired to visit a wretch- 
ed man who was declining in a consumption, and who after 
having for several years persecuted his wife and daughter for 
their religion, was now bitterly opposed to serious conversation, 
and to the very sight of a christian. I went to see him. He 
treated me with greater outrage and spite than I ever received 
in the discharge of my ministerial duty. Though I approach- 
ed him with all possible tenderness, he spurned me from him, 
absolutely refused to receive instruction from one whom he 
did not love or respect ; and reproached me with being an in- 
jury to the town. I left him with a full conviciion that he 
had committed the unpardonable sin by knowingly persecu- 
ting Christ in the person of his wife and daughter; and view- 
ing him as a person given over of God, I determined to visit 
him no more. I mentioned this determination to one of my 
brethren in the ministry, who disapproved of it, and advised 
me to persevere in labors with him. I accordingly have visit- 
ed him from time to time ; and this morning I found him in 
a frame of mind which induced a comfortable hope that he 
had obtained mercy of the Lord. He expressed regret for his 
former treatment of me, and seems desirous to have me near 
him. The town which was filled with his outrage against 
me, and recognized him as conspicuous among the party op- 
posed to the gospel which 1 preached, now sees the regard he 
has for me, and for the truth I delivered to him, as the ac- 
knowledged means of his salvation. I feel myself greatly 
honored and supported in view of the whole town, while I am 
reproved for meditating an abandonment of a poor dying sin- 
ner. Let me be encouraged to put my life in my hands, and 
look to God for all needful support in his blessed work. 

AT NEWARK. 89^' 

During the session of the General Assembly of 
the Presbyterian church in May of this year, Mr. 
Griffin preached the annual Missionary sermon. 
His subject, which was " the kingdom of Christ," 
he illustrated and enforced with great beauty and 
power. The discourse has passed through several 
editions, and may justly claim a place among the 
highest specimens of pulpit eloquence which this 
country has produced. 

August %th. We have had a distressing drought. The 
clouds would sometimes gather, as though they made an ef- 
fort to rain, but could not. They would rain a little and stop, 
as though it was hard for them to perform their wonted office. 
We have had also a most alarming and distressing spiritual 
drought. Yice has prevailed to a dreadful degree. Murders 
have been ; suicides, to the number, I believe, of six or eight, 
have happened in town in the course of a few montlis, — 
three within the last week. Yesterday the people of this and 
some neighboring congregations kept a day of fasting and 
prayer, on account of the double drought. It was with us a 
solemn day. And lo ! this morning the clouds pour down the 
rain plentifully, and as easily as April showers. The obstruc- 
tion seems removed, as when the prophets of Baal were slain. 
(I Kings, xviii.) The thunder this morning and the appear- 
ance of the clouds denote a rainy day. O the marvellous 
condescension and tenderness of God towards his poor infant 
creatures ! What pains he takes to pursuade them, and pre- 
vail with them to look to him and trust in him ! O that the 
drought which rests on the hill of Zion might be as speedily 
removed ! Wilt thou care for the earth, O God, and not care 
for thy parched vineyard? 

On the 20th July, 1807, died Dr. McWhorter, 
the senior pastor of the church, and on the 22d 
Mr. Griffjn preached his funeral sermon, in which 

Vol. I. 12 


he rendered a faithful and beautiful tribute to the 
memory of his venerable colleague. The sermon 
was published, and is valuable, not only as a fine 
specimen of eloquence, but as an important histo- 
rical document. 

The year 1807 was signalized by one of the most 
powerful revivals that occurred during his ministry. 
The only manuscript record that he has left of it is 
the following. — " Sept. 1807. Began a great revival 
of Religion in the town. Ninety-seven joined the 
church in one day, and about two hundred in all." 
A more full account of this revival, however, has 
been preserved in a letter which he addressed to 
the Rev. Dr. Green of Philadelphia, and which 
was published in the Panoplist of July, 1808. It is 
as follows : — 

Dear Sir — 

I am very willing to give you a general and succinct re- 
lation of the wonders of divine grace, which we have wit- 

About the first of December, 1806, we were encouraged 
with some symptoms of a revival of religion in this village; 
but they quickly disappeared. In March, 1807, they were re- 
newed, by means of several instances of sudden death ; but 
again passed off leaving no effects at that time apparent, ex- 
cept on three or four persons, who have since made a profes- 
sion of religion. The death of Dr. McWhorter in July, made 
a great impression on the congregation, which was sensibly 
deepened, in the month of August through the instrumentali- 
ty of the Rev. Gideon Blackburn, who preached several times 
here with great zeal and energy. Though nothing extraor- 
dinary at that time appeared, yet we have since been able to 
trace first impressions to each of the four seasons above men- 
tioned. The laaven was secretly and increasingly working 


for nine months, before it became evident. We have since 
discovered also that during the summer God was preparing 
some for the scene whicli was about to open, by impressive 
and often repeated dreams. Days of dissipation were sepa- 
rated by nights, in which fancy would bear the sinner to the 
bar of God, and fill him with the terrors of the final judg- 
ment ; terrors, which, though dissipated by the morning, would 
return with returning sleep. These nightly alarms gradually 
fixed the waking thoughts. Thus, at a time when every 
thing appeared to be still around us, secret anxieties were 
preying upon a number of persons, which, so far from being 
the effect of sympathy, were known only to God and them- 
selves. In the latter weeks of August, I knew of nothing 
special in the congregation, except two or three persons, who 
began to be awakened, and four christians whose desires for a 
revival of religion were too earnest to be concealed from their 
minister. In this precise posture things remained for about a 
fortnight. To a few it was an hour of awful suspense. But 
in some of the last days in August it became apparent that 
the desire for a revival was rapidly spreading among the com- 

As our sacramental sabbath was approaching, this church, 
in connexion with two neighboring churches, agreed to set 
apart the preceding Friday, (Sept. 4th,) for fasting and prayer ; 
partly as a preparatory service, but chiefly to make supplica- 
tion for effusions of the Holy Spirit. The day, which was 
spent in prayer, singing, and short addresses to the people, was 
marked with unusual stillness, accompanied with very pleas- 
ing appearances of humility, earnest desire, and a sense of en- 
tire dependance. On the following sabbath, a number of per- 
sons assembled at nine o'clock in the morning, to spend an 
hour in praying for their minister, and for the blessing of God 
on the exercises of the day ; and this has since become the 
stated practice of almost all the praying people of the congre- 
gation ; a practice which has been accompanied with effects 
very refreshing to themselves, and materially beneficial to the 
cause of evangelical piety. Those who attended at this first 


season, unexpectedly found themselves animated with desires 
unfelt before, that God would, that very day, bring out his 
perfections to the view of the communicants : And this he did, 
to a degree that many had seldom or never seen before. On 
the evening of the following Monday, at a lecture preached la 
a private house, the first feelings which denoted the extraordi- 
nary presence of God, and the actual commencement of a re- 
vival of religion, were awakened, perhaps in every person that 
was present. It was no longer doubtful w^hether a work of 
divine grace was begun. During that and the following week, 
increasing symptoms of a most powerful influence were disco- 
vered. The appearance was as if a collection of waters, long 
suspended over the town, had fallen at once, and deluged the 
whole place. For several weeks, the people would stay at the 
close of every evening service, to hear some new exhortation ; 
and it seemed impossible to persuade them to depart, until 
those on whose lips they Jnuig had retired. At those seasons 
you might see a multitude weeping and trembling around their 
minister, and many others standing as astonished spectators 
of the scene, and beginning to tremble themselves. One sab- 
bath, after the second service, when I had catechised and dis- 
missed the little children, they gathered around me, weeping, 
and inquired what they should do. I presume not less than 
a hundred were in tears at once. The scene was as affecting, 
as it was unexpected. Having prayed with them again, and 
spent some time in exhortation, I attempted to send them 
away ; but with all my entreaties, I could not prevail on them 
to depart, until night came on, and then I was obliged to go 
out with them, and literally force them from me. But this 
excitement of animal feelings, incident to the commencement 
of revivals of religion, soon subsided, and the work has ever 
since proceeded in profound silence. 

Early in September, there were formed many private asso- 
ciations for prayer, — some male, and some female, — the happy 
influence of which has been manifestly and largely felt. I 
never before witnessed the communication of a spirit of prayer 
so earnest and so general, nor observed such evident and re- 


markable answers to prayer. The agonies of parents have 
been such as to drive sleep from their eyes, and for weeks to- 
gether, have been seemingly as great as their nature could 
well sustain. And these parents, in every case that has come 
within my knowledge, have each several children, who are 
already numbered among the hopeful converts. 

Many professors have been severely tried, and net a few 
have for a time, given themselves over for lost. The Lord 
has indeed come to search our Jerusalem with candles, and to 
discover the men that were settled on their lees. Awed by the 
majesty of a present God, many could say, with Moses, " I 
exceedingly fear and quake." I could not help saying, if this 
glimpse of hght dissipated so many hopes, what effect will at- 
tend the final judgment ? 

This work, in point of power and stillness, exceeds all that 
I have ever seen. While it bears down every thing with irre- 
sistible force, and seems almost to dispense with human in- 
strumentality, it moves with so much silence that, unless we 
attentively observe its effects, we are tempted, at times, to 
doubt whether any thing uncommon is taking place. The 
converts are strongly marked with humility and self distrust : 
instead of being elated with confident hopes, they are inclined 
to tremble. Many of them possess deep and discriminating 
views ; and all, or almost all, are born into the distinguishing 
doctrines of grace. 

1 suppose there are from two hundred and thirty to two 
hundred and fifty, who hope that they have become the sub- 
jects of Divine grace ; and many remain still under solemn 
impressions, whose number, 1 hope, is almost daily increasing. 
The subjects of this work are of all ages, from nine years^ old, 
to more than three score years and ten ; and of all characters, 
including drunkards, apostates, infidels, and those who were 
lately malignant opposers ; and of all conditions, including 
poor negroes, and some of them hoary with age. I cannot 
refrain from mentioning, among the hopeful converts, three 
young gentlemen of the first talents and education, and of ex- 
cellent families, who have abandoned the study of the law, in 


which they have been employed for years, to devote them- 
selves to the gospel ministry. 

We have had but one sacrament since the work commenc- 
ed, at which time we received ninety-seven new members, out 
of one hundred and two persons, who had been propounded a 
fortnight before. 

While we gaze with wonder and delight at these glorious 
triumphs of the Prince of peace, and weep for joy to hear our 
babes and suckUngs sing hosannas to the Son of David, we 
cannot but join in a general response, and cry, " Blessed is he 
that cometh in the name of the Lord ; hosanna in the high- 

I am, dear sir, most affectionately yours, 


During his first residence at Newark, Mr. Grif- 
riN frequently travelled two or three weeks at a 
time in company with some brother in the ministry, 
in those parts of New-Jersey which were compa- 
ratively destitute of the means of grace, preaching 
the gospel with great power and sometimes with 
great success. " It was on one of these preaching 
tours," says the Rev. Doctor Hillyer, " that the 
following interesting circumstance occurred to him. 
One night when we were not together, he lodged at 
a house near a hill called the Sugar-loaf. In the 
morning he ascended the hill to take a view of the 
surrounding country. While he was enjoying a 
delightful prospect, a maniac at the foot of the hill 
was meditating his death. With a loaded fowling- 
piece, he secreted himself behind a fence near a 
foot-path in which the Doctor was expected to de- 
scend. Providentially a neighbor passing by dis- 
covered him, and went to him and inquired what he 
was about to do with his gun. The maniac replied, 

AT NEWARK. 95 ~ 

' Look up yonder, dont you see that man ? He is a 
British spy sent over by the king of England to spy 
out our land, and as he comes down I intend to 
shoot him.' ' No,' said the neighbor, ' he is the 
minister who preached for us the last evening.' 
Upon this the unhappy man gave up his arms and 
retired ; but it was fully believed by those who 
knew the state of his mind, that he would have shot 
our friend dead, if he had not been thus providen- 
tially prevented. The Doctor often mentioned this 
singular escape from sudden death with great sen- 

In August, 1808, Mr. Griffin was honored with 
the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Union Col- 

The Theological Seminary at Andover having 
just been established. Doctor Griffin was appoint- 
ed, in the course of this year, to the Bartlett Pro- 
fessorship of Pulpit Eloquence in that institution ; 
and shortly after this appointment, he was elected 
by the infant church in Park-street, Boston, their 
stated preacher. For both these places he was con- 
sidered as pre-eminently qualified ; though it was 
not without much deliberation, and as it would seem 
many severe struggles, that he finally came to the 
determination of resigning his pastoral charge. 
Before the meeting of Presbytery in April, 1809, 
he requested the congregation to consent to his dis- 
mission ; and having obtained their consent, he was 
dismissed at that meeting, though he continued his 
ministrations among them till the last of May. On' 
the 28th of May he preached his Farewell sermon. 


It was a noble effort, full of sublimity and pathos, 
worthy of the occasion and worthy of the man. 
It has had an extensive circulation, and been ad- 
mired on both sides of the Atlantic. The follow- 
ing paragraph from the sermon, exhibits the won- 
derful success which had attended his ministry. 

" Eight years ago, this church consisted of two 
hundred and two members, of whom one hundred 
and forty-six still remain. We have since admitted 
four hundred and thirty-four to our communion, of 
whom three hundred and seventy- six still remain. 
Of those whom we have admitted, sixty-two were 
received from other churches, and three hundred 
and seventy-two from the world. Of the latter we 
admitted a hundred and thirteen in one year, and 
at another time a hundred and seventy-four in six 
months. All the members which have belonged to 
this church, within that period, amount to six hun- 
dred and thirty-six ; of whom a hundred and four- 
teen have, in various ways, been removed, and five 
hundred and twenty-two still remain." 

Of the various testimonies of respect and affec- 
tion which he received from his people on leaving 
them, the following letter, from the Hon. Elisha 
BouDiNOT, dated "Baltimore, 18th May, 1809," 
may suffice as a specimen. 

Rev. and Dear Sir, 

My feelings were too much alive at the idea of those con- 
nections being rent asunder which I had fondly hoped would 
have continued until they had placed my remains in the house 
appointed for all living — to call upon you before I left home. 
I knew my feelings had too much the mastery of me to trust 
them where they were so much aroused. Nothing but the 


conviction that it is the duty of every servant of Oljrist to sa- 
crifice his own friendship, feelings and connexions, whenever 
there is a probabihty of their interfering with the general and 
superior good of Zion, could have made me submit to this 
separation with any degree of composure. But viewing this 
to be the case, I rejoice in the idea that our great Master will 
make you instrumental in pulling down the high pillars of 
Satan's kingdom, and destroying his strong hold, and cause 
you to witness for the truth, as the apostle of old, even at 

When I reflect on the many interesting scenes I have wit- 
nessed since you was our pastor — the many hours of sweet 
intercourse we have had together ; when I consider your zeal, 
your ardor, your faithfulness in our Master's cause, and the 
blessing that has attended them, the thought that I must wit- 
ness them no more, I must confess, is too much for my feeble 
nature to bear with composure, and 1 must weep in silence. 
May a compassionate Saviour forgive the falling tear, if wrong! 
Suffer me to entreat still an interest in your prayers, and that 
you will never cease wrestling at the throne of grace for me 
and those who are dearer to me than life, till I have a com- 
fortable hope that we shall all meet with joy at the final ap- 
pearing of our glorious Immanuel, when my children shall 
be of the gems that shall constitute your crown of rejoicing. 
Now go in peace, cloathed with the whole armor of God, pre- 
pared to fight the battles of our Master; and the God of Peace 
be with you, and make you abundantly successful in all 
things, and continue you his faithful witness to the end. 

My dearest Mrs. B. bears the idea of parting worse than I 

do. She joins me with our children here, in our best affection 

to your dear Mrs. Grifllin and Louisa, wishing you may long 

be continued a blessing to each other in health and happiness. 

I am, my dear Sir, 

Your aflfectionate friend, 


Vol. I. 13 



On the morning after he preached his farewell 
sermon, Doctor Griffin left Newark with his fa- 
mily for Massachusetts, and on the 21st of June 
was inducted with appropriate ceremonies into the 
professorship at Andover, to which he had been ap- 
pointed. His inaugural oration, which was one of 
his most chaste and beautiful productions, fully jus- 
tified the high opinion that had been formed of his 
qualifications for that important station. 

There was, as has been already intimated, an- 
other enterprise with which Doctor Griffin about 
this time became identified, scarcely less important 
in its bearing upon the interests of truth and piety, 
than the opening of the Theological Seminary, — 
viz. the establishment of Park-street church. For 
nearly seventy years previous to this period, that 
great system of religious doctrine which had been 
held by the Pilgrim fathers had been gradually de- 
clining in the capital of New-England, till it seemed 
to have well nigh reached the point of utter extinc- 
tion. It would be a most important service to the 
cause of Ecclesiastical History to trace minutely 


the progress of this decline, and the causes in which 
it originated ; and it is to be hoped that before this 
generation shall have passed away, and while the 
materials for such a chapter in our religious history 
are easily accessible, some qualified person may be 
found to address himself to the work. If a remark 
or two on the subject is not out of place in this 
connexion, perhaps it is safe to say, that this la- 
mentable defection is to be traced, more than to 
any other cause, to the irregularities and extrava- 
gances that prevailed so extensively in New-England 
during the revival of 1741 and 1742, in which Da- 
venport and others of the same stamp had so pro- 
minent an agency. No doubt that many — perhaps 
most of these, were truly devoted men, who fully 
believed that in all their wild and fanatical move- 
ments they were doing God service; and several of 
those who had been most conspicuous, especially 
Davenport himself, not only became convinced of 
their errors, but retracted them in an honest and 
christian-like manner ; but still it admits of no ques- 
tion that their influence upon the church was both 
disastrous and enduring. It was quite natural that 
some of those churches which took a stand against 
them from the beginning and kept it to the end, 
should have come out of the conflict with fanati- 
cism with an undue prejudice against religious ex- 
citement ; and from this there was but a step to a 
state of chilling formality ; and this was the appro- 
priate field for the propagation of a lax theology. 
And it was quite as natural on the other hand, that 
those churches over which the tempest of fanati- 


cism had swept unresisted, should gradually sink 
into a state of indifference under the influence of a 
withering re-action : and here again was the legiti- 
mate preparation, though effected in a different 
way, for sowing the seeds of error. About this 
time arose Doctor Mayhew and Doctor Chaun- 
CEY, the former an Arian and the latter a Univer- 
salist of the Restoration school, and both thorough 
going Arminians, and men of great power and com- 
manding influence. The evangelical ministers of 
Boston, though entertaining a cordial dislike for 
their theological peculiarities, were yet unwilling to 
renounce fellowship with them, especially as it was 
understood that their peculiar views were rather for 
the study than the pulpit. For thirty or forty years 
the influence of these distinguished men was ope- 
rating, silently indeed, but with great power, over 
most of the churches in Boston and its vicinity; 
and the secret of their influence no doubt to a great 
extent was, that though they never preached hetero- 
doxy, at least in orthodox pulpits, yet their views 
were generally understood, and the interchange of 
labors with them by evangelical ministers was con- 
sidered as a virtual acknowledgment on the part of 
such ministers, that if their views were not abso- 
lutely correct, yet they were not deeply erroneous. 
And the consequence of all this was, that when 
Doctor Mayhew and Doctor Chauncey left the 
stage, there was not only a leaven of Arminianism 
extensively diffused through nearly all the churches 
to which their influence had extended, but it was 
well understood that several clergymen of distinc- 


tion had secretly embraced their more startling pecu- 
liarities. During the last thirty or forty years pre- 
ceding the commencement of the present century, 
the theology of Boston was Arminianism gradual- 
ly declining into Arianism ; and when this century 
opened, though there had been no direct avowal of 
any dereliction of evangelical principles, except 
perhaps on the part of a single church, there were 
probably not more than one or two pulpits in Bos- 
ton in which was taught the primitive orthodoxy of 
New-England. There had been no decree of ba- 
nishment formally and openly issued against this 
system of doctrine ; and there were not wanting 
those who maintained that it was the system still in 
vogue, except perhaps being a little pruned of some 
of its more offensive forms of phraseology ; but the 
truth was, it had been silently, and by almost com- 
mon consent, driven into exile; and it came to pass 
at length that it was as much as a man's reputation 
was worth to appear openly as its advocate.* There 

* The following extract of a letter on this subject, from the Rev. Dr. 
Miller, is regarded as too important to be withheld from the public. 

" There are two sources of this evil which appear to me to deserve par- 
ticular consideration. The one is the regular system of exchanges of pul- 
pits, which for a long time pervaded the Boston churches. When I was 
first acquainted with that city, which is now nearly half a century ago, the 
system of exchanges was stated and uniform. No man was expected to 
be found in his own pulpit on Sabbath morning. And as there was known 
to be great diversity of creed among the ministers of the city, and as every 
sermon that a pastor wrote was expected to be preached in aU the pulpits 
in town as well as his own, each got into the habit of \vriting on such a 
general plan as would give offence to none. Hence those who believed the 
peculiar doctrines of the gospel seldom brought them forward with any 
prominence or point; and those who did not, of course, whenever they 
came near such doctrines, wrapped up their discussion in general and in- 
offensive terms. The consequence was, that the most precious and pecu- 
liar doctrines of the gospel were seldom, from about 1756 or 1760, preached 


were individuals in most of the churches who had 
long watched the progress of this apostacy with 
deep concern, and who came at last to feel that a 
new standard in favor of evangelical religion must 
be raised in the metropolis, though they foresaw it 
would be at the expense of breaking many of their 
most cherished associations, and of accumulating 
upon themselves a mighty amount of obloquy. 
Having thoroughly counted the cost of the enter- 
prise, they resolved upon the formation of a new 
church, and on the 27th of February, 1809, agreed 
to adopt the following articles of Faith. 

We the subscribers, having agreed to unite in the establish- 
ment of a new Congregational Church in Boston, by the 
name of Park-street Church, think it proper to make a decla- 
ration of that faith which is the bond of our ecclesiastical 
union, and which we shall expect to find in all those who 
shall hereafter participate in our religious privileges and com- 

by any body — i. e. after the decease of Drs. Sewall, Prince, Foxcroft, Webb, 
&e. Soon after that race of ministers passed away, the war came on; the 
order of society was deranged; general laxity increased ; and it so happen- 
ed that some of the most erroneous ministers were high whigs and greatly 
popular, and of course well adapted to secure a ready reception for their 
errors. Only let any set of pastors in the world forbear for fifteen or twen- 
ty years to preach the peculiar doctrines of the Gospel, and the way will 
be prepared at the end of that time to receive any sentiments which artful 
and popular men may be disposed to recommend. 

" Another source of the mischief was this:— In the early periods of the 
administration of our Puritan fathers, there was a close connexion between 
the church and the state. All the conspicuous leaders in civil society were 
church-members. Nobody was thought of for any important civil station, 
but a professor of religion. As vital piety declined, while the leading men 
wished still to be professors of religion, without which they could scarcely 
expect the popular suffrage, they felt that they could not make a profession 
excepting on some more lax and indulgent system than that which was taught 
by the Puritan fathers. Calvinism, its consequences and its discipline, were 
thought too strict ; and a more indulgent system was sought in its place. 
The evils to which this led may easily be imagined." 


1. We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Tes- 
tament are the word of God, and the only perfect rule of 
christian faith and practice. 

2. We profess our decided attachment to that system of the 
christian religion which is distinguishingly denominated evan- 
gelical ; more particularly to those doctrines which in a proper 
sense, are styled the Doctrines of Grace, viz. " That there is 
one, and but one living and true God, subsisting in three per- 
sons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and that 
these Three are one God, the same in substance, equal in 
power and glory ; that God from all eternity, according to the 
counsel of His own will, and for his own glory, fore-ordained 
whatsoever comes to pass; that God in his most holy, wise 
and powerful providence, preserves and governs all his crea- 
tures and all their actions ; that by the Fall, all mankind lost 
communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and lia- 
ble to all the miseries of this life, to death itself, and to the 
pains of hell forever ; that God, out of his mere good plea- 
sure, from all eternity elected some to everlasting life, entered 
into a covenant of grace, to deliver them from a state of sin 
and misery, and introduce them into a state of salvation by a 
Redeemer ; that this Redeemer is the Lord Jesus Christ, the 
eternal Son of God, who became man, and continues to be 
God and man in two distinct natures and one person forever ; 
that the effectual calling of sinners is the work of God's Spi- 
rit; that their justification is only for the sake of Christ's 
righteousness by faith." And though we deem no man or 
body of men infallible, yet we believe that those divines that 
were eminently distinguished in the time of the Reformation, 
possessed the spirit, and maintained in great purity, the pecu- 
liar doctrines of our holy religion : and that these doctrines are 
in general clearly and happily expressed in the Westminster 
Assembly's Shorter Catechism, and in the Confession of Faith 
owned and consented unto by the Elders and Messengers of 
the Churches, assembled at Boston, (N. E.) May 12th, A. D. . 

3. In regard to our ecclesiastical government and discipline, 


with our sister churches in this Commonwealth, we adopt the 
congregational form, as contained in the Platform of Church 
DiscipUne, gathered out of the word of God, and agreed upon 
by the Eiders and Messengers of the Churches, assembled in 
the Synod at Cambridge, (N. E.) A.D. 1648. 

4. In order to admission to membership in this Church, it is 
understood that every candidate shall be previously examined, 
and give credible evidence of a ground of the comfortable hope 
of a personal condition of grace, through the renovation of the 
soul, by the special influences of the Holy Spirit, implying re- 
pentance for sin and faith in Jesus Christ the Redeemer. 

5. We hereby covenant and engage, as fellow christians of 
one faith, and partakers of the same hope and joy, to give up 
ourselves unto the Lord, for the observing the ordinances of 
Christ together in the same society, and to unite together into 
one body for the public worship of God, and the mutual edifi- 
cation one of another in the fellowship of the Lord Jesus ; ex- 
horting, reproving, comforting, and watching over each other, 
for mutual edification; — looking for that blessed hope and the 
glorious appearing of the great God, even our Saviour Jesus 
Christ, who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from 
all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous 
of good works. 

The following is the Form of admission to the 
church, written by Doctor Griffin. 

You have presented yourselves in this pubhc manner be- 
fore God, to dedicate yourselves to His service, and to incorpo- 
rate yourselves with His visible people. You are about to pro- 
fess supreme love to Him, sincere contrition for all your sins, 
and faith unfeigned in the Lord Jesus Christ; to enter into a 
solemn covenant to receive the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
as they are offered in the Gospel, and to walk in all the com- 
mandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. We trust 
you have well considered the nature of these professions and 
engagements. The transaction is solemn, and will be attend- 


ed with eternal consequences. God and holy angels are wit- 
nesses. Your vows will be recorded in heaven, to be exhibit- 
ed on your trial at the last day. Yet be not overwhelmed. 
In the name of Christ you may come boldly to the God of 
grace, and provided only you have sincere desires to be His, 
may venture thus unalterably to commit yourselves, and trust 
in him for strength to perform your vows. Attend now to the 


In the presence of God, his holy angels, and this assembly, 
you do now solemnly dedicate yourselves to God the Father 
as your chief good : to the Son of God as your Mediator and 
Head, humbly relying on Him, as your Prophet, Priest, and 
King : and to the Holy Spirit as your Sanctifier, Comforter, 
and Guide. To this one God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
you do heartily give up yourselves in an everlasting covenant, 
to love and obey Him. 

Having subscribed the Articles of Faith and Government 
adopted by this church, you promise to walk with us in con- 
formity to them, in submission to all the orders of the Gospel, 
and in attendance on all its ordinances, and that by the aid 
of the Divine Spirit, you will adorn your profession by a holy 
and blameless life. 

This you severally profess and engage. 

In consequence of these professions and promises, we affec- 
tionately receive you as members of this Church, and in the 
name of Christ declare you entitled to all its visible privileges. 
We welcome you to this fellowship with us in the blessings of 
the Gospel, and on our part engage to watch over you, and 
seek your edification, as long as you shall continue among us. 
Should you have occasion to remove, it will be your duty to 
seek and ours to grant a recommendation to another Church : 
for hereafter you can never withdraw from the watch and 
communion of the saints, without a breach of covenant. 

And now, beloved in the Lord, let it be impressed on your 
minds, that you have entered into solemn circumstances from 
which you can never escape. Wherever you go, these vows 

Vol. I. 14 


will be upon you. They will follow you to the bar of God, 
and in whatever world you may be fixed, will abide upon you 
to eternity. You can never again be as you have been. You 
have unalterably committed yourselves, and, henceforth, you 
must be the servants of God. Hereafter the eyes of the world 
will be upon you: and as you demean yourselves, so religion 
will be honored or disgraced. If you walk worthy of your 
profession, you will be a credit and a comfort to us ; but if it 
be otherwise, you will be to us a grief of heart and a vexa- 
tion. And if there is a wo pronounced on him who offends 
one of Christ's little ones, wo, wo, to the person who offends 
a whole Church ! "But beloved, we are persuaded better 
things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though 
we thus speak." May the Lord guide and preserve you till 
death, and at last receive you and us to that blessed world 
where our love and joy shall be forever perfect. Amen. 


A7idover, {Mass.) July, 29th, 1809. 
My Dear Brother — 

So long a time has elapsed before I have had a moment of 
leisure to acknowledge your favors of June 24th and July 14th. 
They gave me the sincerest pleasure, mingled with many 
other emotions which I need not describe. I am rejoiced to 
hear repeatedly of the growing attachment of my former 
charge to you, and the strength which it has already acquired. 
May you be happy in them ; and may they know how to 
prize the blessing which God has given them. You judge 
right when you suppose that I think of you and them, when 
I have not leisure to write. I have suffered from my separa- 
tion more than I even expected. But you know what the 
feelings are. I rejoice greatly that your place is filled at Mor- 
ristown by our dear brother Fisher. Give my love to him, 
and tell him that I thank him, and thank God. Give my 
love to all my dear friends in Newark. They are so many, 
that I ought not to particularize. I love them all, and hope 
one day to meet many of them again to part no more. 


I know that you and they wish to hear from us of our af- 
fairs.. Dr. Morse and Mr. Thurston, whom you will have 
seen before the arrival of this, will tell you how the new 
church prospers in Boston. The house is to be opened by 
the first of December. A great majority of the male commu- 
nicants are staunch Edwardeans. 

As to the Seminary, we have 35 students, and new appli- 
cations almost every week. 

Tuesday, August \st. You will judge, my dear brother, 
of my avocations, when you are informed that, since the last 
date, I have not had time to add one line ; and now I cannot 
but a few. A spirit of increasing seriousness begins to be ap- 
parent among the students. They have a number of prayer 
meetings. Mr. French, the minister of this parish, was sud- 
denly removed on Friday last, which has made an important 
opening for a man of evangelical sentiments. One of the 
last tilings he did was to settle with the professors a plan of 
union between the students and parishioners, in regard to 
prayer meetings. We can now say to the people that their 
aged minister left it as his dying request, that his people would 
join the students in these meetings. Such meetings have not 
been known on this ground before. We cannot but hope that 
God has some glorious work to accomplish in this region. 
Pray for us. 

The young gentlemen from New- Jersey are all well— en- 
tirely well — and contented — and are doing very well. They 
are highly useful to the other students and to the Institution. 
Tell Mr. Crane this, and that I intend to answer his very ac- 
ceptable letter as soon as I have a little leisure. 

Since last spring there has been a pretty large and increas- 
ing association for fasting and prayer for the effusions of the 
Spirit among the ministers of this neighborhood. This augurs 

I never consented till to-day to give up my inaugural ora- 
tion for the press. You will probably one day see the thing. 
Mrs. Griffin joins in most affectionate remembrance of Mrs. 
Richards, and yourself, with, yours, inviolably, and, I hope, 
forever. E. D. GRIFFIN. 


Dr. Griffin had scarcely reached Andover and 
entered upon the duties of his professorship, before 
his character was most injuriously assailed, and 
scandalous reports were put in circulation concern- 
ing him, which were triumphantly repeated on every 
side by the enemies of truth and piety, and which, 
from the confidence with which they were trumpet- 
ed, temporarily gave no small anxiety to many of 
his friends. As these reports had respect to al- 
leged improprieties in Newark, the Trustees and 
Session of his former church, as soon as they heard 
of the slanderous allegations from which he was 
suffering, addressed to him the following letter, 
which contains not only a complete vindication of 
his character, but a strong expression of their af- 
fectionate regard. 

Newark, 22d August, 1809. 
Rev. and Dear Sir: 

We have lately been informed that reports are circula- 
ting in Boston and its vicinity, unfavorable to your character, 
such as your being obliged to leave this congregation — that 
you was immoral, (fcc. As far as those slanders affect your- 
self personally, we should not have interfered ; being con- 
vinced that they would be but temporary, and that as soon 
as you was known, and wherever known, the tongue of slan- 
der would be silenced. But as we believe that the eniliity 
which is the foundation of these reports, arises from a hatred 
and opposition to the truths of the gospel, which you so faith- 
fully preach, more than from a disrespect to yourself, and may 
for a short time (which is the utmost they can do) injure the 
glorious cause in which you are engaged, with some minds ; 
we take the liberty to address you on the subject, and to de- 
clare— -That if the ardent respect, love and affection of your 
congregation could have detained you, we should still have 


had the happiness of calling you our pastor. Nothing but a 
conviction and belief that you was called to a scene of more 
extensive usefulness in the church of God, induced us, from a 
sense of duty, to submit to your removal. If any thing was 
wanting to convince the world of the attachment this congre- 
gation had towards you, the circumstance of your being una- 
nimously requested to continue with us as long as you could, 
consistently with your engagements, after you had been, at 
your own request, regularly dismissed by the Presbytery, and 
another pastor had been chosen, — your salary and emoluments 
continued to the day of your departure,^the crowded church 
that attended your farewell sermon, — the tears that flowed on 
your leaving the town, — abundantly furnished this evidence. 
And be assured, Sir, that although absent, you still live in 
the aflfections of the people of your late charge : your exem- 
plary hfe, — your ardent zeal for the good of the souls commit- 
ted to your charge, and your faithful labors amongst us, will 
not be forgotten, while memory holds a place in our breasts. 

We beseech you not to suffer the calumnies of the enemies 
of your Master to dispirit you. Remember that you have not 
attained to the sufferings of your Lord, his apostles, and faith- 
ful servants who have gone before you. The crown of your 
rejoicing is sure and certain. Set your face as a flint, and 
hold out to the end. 

Your affectionate friends, 


ISAAC ALLING, } Deacons. 





1 do hereby certify that the gentlemen who have subscribed 
their names to the within letter, are every member of the Ses- 
sion and Trustees of this church, except one of the Elders, 
who is absent from town ; and I have no doubt, if it should 
be thought necessary, that the whole church, comprehending 
more than five hundred persons, would subscribe the same, 
with very few or no exceptions. 


Pastor of the first Presbyterian Congregation of Newark. 

On leaving New-Jersey, Doctor G. was accom- 
panied by five young men who became students in 
the new theological seminary. One of these, Mr. 
Lewis Le Count Congar, sickened and died, while 
yet in the early part of his theological course. An 
interesting sketch of his character was published in 
the Panoplist for September, 1810. The following 
letters were written by Dr. G. to the parents of Mr. 
Congar on the occasion of his illness and death. 

Boston, January 2, 1810. 
My Dear Sir, — 

How often have you and your dear family said, " The Lord 
reigneth, let the earth rejoice." What a blessed thing it is 
that he has the appointment of all our changes and trials. He 
has appointed the bounds of our habitation, and the time of 
our continuing on the earth. He has no need of any of us. 
He can raise up children lo himself of the stones of the streets, 
and ministers from the Pagan world. Or he can carry on his 
work without ministers. You have given a son to Christ, and 
if he has work for him on the earth, he will preserve him and 
make him a blessing to the church ; but if he has other de- 
signs, he will I doubt not, take him to himself Whether our 
dear Lewis is to be made a minister, or an angel, is with God 
to decide. You will conjecture by this time, that your son is 
sick. He is not well. Be not alarmed ; God can make 
him well. At any rate, his will will be done. I have been 


for several days confined to my room with a dreadful cold ; 
and have the distress of being still confined, so that I cannot 
go to see him. But sick as I am I cannot refrain from v^^rit- 
ing to you. Lewis has the typhus fever. The best physicians 
have been procured for him, and the best attendance. His 
mind is weak ; but he loves to hear of the name of Christ, and 
will listen with deep interest and tender affection to every thing 
that is said about that blessed Saviour, I long to go and see 
the dear boy. I never before longed so much to do a thing 
that I could not do. But I must submit. All that I can do I 
have done. I have sent a request to C. and C. to let me hear 
every day from him. And as often as I hear, God willing, 
you shall hear, I beseech you, my dear friends, to summon 
all your fortitude and all your religion to your aid. Prepare 
for every thing which God has in store for you. That I have 
some apprehensions you will suppose, when I inform you that 
this letter is written, not without tears. The footsteps of God 
are in the mighty deep ; and his way is not known. Clouds 
and darkness are round about him ; but justice and judgment 
are the habitation of his throne. May God Almighty support 
you, my dear friends, under this trial, is my prayer, and the 
prayer of Mrs. Grifiin who sits by me and weeps. 
Affectionately yours, 


Boston, Jan. 3, 1810. 
Last night, at 11 o'clock, I sent off a basket of the best 
things which Boston could afford, by a man who promised to 
stop at no place, (though the distance is 20 miles,) until he 
had lodged them in the sick room of the dear boy. They 
were such things as Dr. Pearson represented to be necessary, 
viz. oranges, lemons, tamarinds, figs, guaver-jam, sago, and 
a few bottles of old Madeira wine. We do little else but pray 
for him ; and the whole college is crying with tears, " Spare 
him, spare him !" Mrs. Griffin, having wept out all her tears, ' 
says " He will live," I cannot but humbly and earnestly 
hope that God will spare him for your sakes, and for ours, and 


for the church of Christ. Let no one leave home on his ac- 
count. He will either recover, or the messenger would arrive 
too late. With deep affection and sympathy, I am. 

Yours, E. D. G. 

Boston^ Jaymary ^th, 1810. 

The Almighty God support you, my dear friends, under 
the trials which you must feel. 1 wish with all ray heart that 
I had any thing agreeable to communicate. And I have- 
Jesus of Nazareth reigns. The infinite God is happy. And 
our dear Lewis is happy. Ah my heart, why this aching and 
trembling? The will of God is done. Lewis himself wished 
that the will of God might be done. And I am confident that 
he does not wish to oppose it now. It is with the deepest sym- 
pathy, my dear friends, that I announce to you an event 
which has filled our college with tears, and spread a gloom 
over us all. Lewis left these abodes of pain this morning at 
10 o'clock. 

My heart aches and bleeds for you. By my own sorrows I 
know that yours must be extreme. I never knew how to love 
him till since he left Newark ; and since his sickness I have 
almost felt that my earthly comfort was at an end. No young 
man was ever more beloved. For myself I can say of him, 
what I cannot of many others, that I never saw any thing in 
him that had the appearance of sin since he has been under 
my care ; no not the least word or turn of thought. 

He has not lived in vain. He did not come to Andover in 
vain. He has been the means of good to some souls ; and by 
his influence on the college, has probably been indirectly the 
means of some good to thousands. His parents have reason 
to bless God that they were the means of bringing a son into 
the world to do so much good as he has done at Andover. 

I know your trial in not being able to see him. I have felt 
it myself During all the time that he has been considered 
dangerous, I have been confined to my house. I am still con- 
fined, and cannot attend his funeral to-morrow. His dust 
will lie in a strange land ; but mind not that. It will not be 


lost or overlooked. It will be gathered and restored to him 
and to you. I have much to say. I pity you with all my 
heart. I know not that I was ever so tenderly tried before. 
May God support you and comfort you all. 

Affectionately yours, E. D. G. 

Bosioti, Jan. 7, Sabbath, 5 o'clock P. M. 

This hour they are burying our dear child ! And as I can 
think of nothing else, I sit myself down to commune with 
his afflicted parents and sisters. No creature so dear to me 
ever left this earth. I am thinking of his pleasant manners, 
by which he comforted us by the way, when we left at New- 
ark almost all that was dear to us ; and how he helped Mrs. 
Griffin and Louisa over the hills. I am thinking of his spright- 
ly gambols in our fields and our summer house, and how de- 
Ughted he was with every scene, which he served to render 
more delightful. I am thinking of his attentions to me in 
sickness; his affectionate sympathy, and mature judgment, 
by which he soothed and strengthened me during all my trou- 
bles since I left you. Verily he has not died in my debt. He 
has more than compensated me for all my attentions to him. 
In following summers, every object in our fields will bring the 
dear youth fresh to my thoughts. And if his body is permit- 
ted to remain there, I shall often visit his grave, and bathe it 
with my tears. It will be a spot ever sacred and dear to me. 
I and my family shall yet be with him, and rise with him at 
the last day. He has been a great comfort to me. Surely he 
did not come to Andover in vain. I have had some distress- 
ing thoughts about being the means of taking him from New 
ark ; and I suppose that you may be tempted to say, " If he 
had not left Newark, he would not have died." But, my 
friends, it is all the appointment of heaven. Eternal wisdom 
fixed it that he should die at that time and place; and per- 
haps more good will result to the college, and through that to 
the churches, from his death, than he would have done had 
he lived. He was to come, and was to die in a strange land; 
and you and I were to weep under the great loss. And great 

Vol. 1. 15 


it is. Few parents ever lost more in a single son. But con- 
sider, my dear friends, how many comforts you have left. You 
have two dear children ; and they have two dear parents. 
May you live long to be a mutual comfort to each othei'. We 
had just licensed him to preach, when God translated him to 
the church triumphant. I can give no other reason for it than 
that he was too refined by divine grace to Hve in this gross 
and polluted world. 

Think not, my dear friends, that you have lost your pains 
in giving him an education. No, you have been fitting him 
for more than a pulpit,— for a higher throne in heaven. The 
expansion of mind which his education has given him, will 
probably render him a more illustrious instrument of God's 
glory, and make him a more capacious vessel to contain hap- 
piness, while the kingdom endures. You have not lost any 
of your pains, nor any of your prayers for him. Few parents 
have been so much honored, as to raise up and send such a 
son to assist the praises of the assembly of the first born. 
There he is! Think not of him on a bed of sickness, — in a 
land of strangers, — away from his parents and sisters. Think 
of him on Mount Zion. There is all that is Lewis. The rest 
is mere dust. We have not lost him. He is only gone a lit- 
tle before us. Ten thousand worlds would not tempt him to 
return. There we shall soon find him and enjoy him again, 
and forever — and far better than we ever did in this world. 
Ah, my heart ! why this bleeding and breaking? Did we not 
know a year ago that Lewis must remove? If the church 
might not go to heaven, in vain would be a gospel ministry, 
and revivals of religion. It was indeed desirable to keep him 
with us a little longer. But I now perceive that our past re- 
vivals were not so much intended to raise up comforts for us 
in this world, or to fit men to preach the gospel, as to fit souls 
for that eternal society to which our dear Lewis has gone. 
Oh may my thoughts be more loosed from earth, and fix on 
that glorious assembly of our fathers and brethren, which has 
been increasing since the days of Adam. There is Lewis ! 
There will soon be his parents and sisters. And there I hope 


soon to meet you all, to part no more forever. Blessed world ! 
No death, no parting, no sorrow, no sin ! Stay there, dear 
child ! No longer a child — my superior ! my angel ! stay there ! 
I would not entice thee if I could, from those regions of bliss 
and glory. 

Mrs. Griffin weeps almost all the time. I join with her in 
the tenderest sympathy, and in prayers that God may abun- 
dantly support you. 

Your afflicted and affectionate friend, 



Boston^ Jan. I5th, 1810. 
My Dear Brother: 

If you knew all the reasons which have kept me so long 
silent, you would excuse me, if you did not feel something 
approaching nearer to compassion. I have had no leisure, 
and no heart to write. Lately we have been greatly afflicted 
by the death of our ever dear young friend Mr. Congar. He 
left the world as we all should wish to leave it, and has left a 
name behind like the fragrance of precious ointment. I hope 
that you will do all in your power to comfort the dear afflict- 
ed family. Some of the young men at Andover intend to 
send to the parents a minute account of all he said during his 

Our college (for so it is called) contains about 50 students. 
The serious attention in that town continues, and, I hope, in- 
creases. But where ignorance of evangelical truth so much 
abounds, much is to be done in the way of instruction, before 
many fruits can be expected to appear. 

On Tuesday last, Mrs. G. made me happy by the present 
of another daughter. She and the child are doing well. On 
Wednesday we dedicated our new church. The house was 
crowded, as it was three times yesterday. The dedication 
sermon was preached on an occasion extremely interesting, 
delicate, and hazardous. The church had been from the be- 
ginning viewed as a monster, which was erecting its head, 


and opening its mouth, to swallow up men, women and child- 
ren, and which by its terrifying roar was about to drive sleep 
from every family in the town, and to scare people of weak 
nerves out of their wits. It was ascertained that most of the 
ministers in the town and its vicinity would be present on the 
occasion. It was a primary object to remove prejudice, with- 
out losing the grand opportunity to call the public mind to the 
difference between our religion and the religion of Boston. 
How I succeeded, you will presently see. I shall have to give 
up the sermon, which I expect will be the beginning of the 
campaign. You will judge of the spirit with which the war 
is about to be begun, when I tell you that within a few hours 
after the sermon was delivered, a subscription paper was print- 
ed, unknown to me, and more than 1000 copies subscribed 
for. I intend to send the sermon and the inaugural oration 
(not yet printed) to you in a few weeks. 

You can form no adequate idea of the strength of Satan's 
kingdom in this town and its vicinity. The injury which 
Chauncey, and a few other men, have done to the church in 
this region, is incalculable. Our church has been overwhelm- 
ed with contempt. ****** rp^^ Catholicism of 
Boston is the most intolerant bigotry that I ever witnessed, 
when directed towards the religion of Christ. It is a fiend 
which never wears a smile but when its eye is directed towards 
the most abominable errors. But I must not rail at this rate. 
I am drawing towards the end of my sheet. Give my kind- 
est regards to your dear family, and to all your dear people 
who inquire after me, and to our brethren in the ministry, 
brothers Hillyer, McDowell, Thompson, &c. I love them all, 
and never knew how well I loved them till since I feel their 
loss. I have much to say, but have no more time nor room. 
Write me soon, and tell me all the news. 
Affectionately yours, 




Boston^ March 6fh, 1810. 
* * I was much gratified by your approbation of my sermon 
and oiation. The former does not give so much satisfaction 
to some folks here. A httle periodical work entitled " Some- 
thing," has been nibbhng at it for several weeks ; and the last 
number of the Anthology opened its mouth, as wide as a 
shark's, and devoured it at once. They have proved that the 
style is horrid, that the doctrines are worse, and that I have 
made at least four or five persons in the Trinity. They have 
offered a fair occasion for the friends of truth to give them 
some edifying lessons. The campaign is fairly begun. How 
it will end, tlie Lord knows. Let not those who put on the 
armor, boast as those who put it off. Some of your southern 
goose-quills must be drawn in the combat, lest they should 
drive us out of the land. 

Our house continues to be filled much in the same manner 
as when I wrote you last. We have sold or rented nearly a 
hundred pews. You have no conception of the falsehoods 
which are propagated, and the pains which are taken, to pre- 
vent people from coming to our church. But the more they 
try to prevent, the more the people will not mind them. Pre- 
judice is fast wearing away. 

We have given Dr. Nott a unanimous call ; and expect to 
hear from him this week. Mr. Stuart, late of New-Haven, 
was inaugurated, as professor of sacred literature, last week. 
The stories about Dr. Pearson's abusing me, or quarrelling 
with me, or being unfriendly to me, are all false. He resigned 
on account of age and infirmity. He is a good man, and is 
still an active and very useful friend of our college. 

There is a very considerable revival of religion at Salem, 
Marblehead, and several other towns in the vicinity. O that 
the sacred influence might reach Boston ! I preach on Thurs- 
day evenings in our vestry. People attend well, and appear 
solemn. There are also many prayers put up for the divine 
influence. This is all we can say. 

Last sabbath we had our first sacrament. It was an inte- 


resting day. In the afternoon I baptized our infant, by the 
name of Ellen Maria. It was the first child baptized in the 

1 ******** 


We have now between fifty and sixty students in our college. 
We talk of building another college and chapel, as the first col- 
lege is nearly filled. 

I am happy to hear of the increasing affection of your pa- 
rish for their pastor. I hope you may enjoy many happy 
days with that dear people. ***** 

* * * Mrs. G. joins me in the kindest love to you and 
Mrs. Richards. Ever yours, 



Boston, Nov. 2ith, 1810. 

* * * After a scene of ceaseless distraction for a year 
and a half, which has been principally owing, as I now per- 
ceive, to my own pride and idolatry, I am quietly housed for 
the winter, with my family, in the family of one of our con- 
gregation, as boarders ; having obtained from Andover a dis- 
pensation to enable me to devote my whole time to the con- 
gregation for four months. Having now but one world upon 
me, and being exempt from family cares, I am enabled, with- 
out distraction, to devote my whole time and heart to my fa- 
vorite employment, the labors of the parish. Last winter was 
spent in preparing the way for this, rather than in doing any 
thing. I think there is a change for the better in our church. 
They seem to be getting the better of their two great sins, 
pride and dependance upon man. A succession of disappoint- 
ments and trials has, I think, been the means of humbling 
them. A number are earnestly praying for a revival of reli- 
gion, and are even strongly expecting it. Our meetings are 
becoming more solemn. What is before us I don't know ; 
but unless God speedily interpose, it does seem as though the 
cause must be given up. My dear brother, pray for us, and 
engage our dear friends in Newark, and our brethren in the 
neighborhood, (to all whom I send my love,) to pray for us. 


It is a momentous crisis in our affairs. God only can deliver 

No answer yet from Dr. Nott. But persons who have lately 
seen him say, as I have always helieved, that he will not 
come. He is himself confident that his health will not admit 
of it. What then is to be done ? I have at length made up 
my mind that I cannot, after this winter, be connected with 
two worlds. This is the firm conviction of myself, of Mrs. 
G. and of all my friends both at Andover and Boston. The 
thing then is settled, and understood, and is what all sides 
will agree to. If then a young man is settled in Park-street, 
he must stand alone and unsupported. Will this do? Who 
of you all will come to Park-street? If no body else will, 
must I come ? Pray converse with some of our friends in 
Newark, and our brethren around about, and give me your 
best advice. As soon as I get time, I intend to write to Mr. 
Boudinot, Mr. Crane, &c. to whom, and to all other special 
friends give my love as though they were named. Mrs. G. 
joins in kindest love to you and Mrs. Richards ; with, dear 


Yours, most affectionately, 


The clergyman to whom Park-street church gave 
'their first call was Doctor Henry Kollock of Sa- 
vannah, well known as having been one of the most 
eloquent preachers which this country has pro- 
duced. He, however, after having had it for a con- 
siderable time under consideration, declined it in 
September, 1809 ; and immediately after Doctor G. 
was unanimously chosen to the same place, with 
the assurance of as large a salary as was paid to 
any congregational minister in Boston. As he hap- 
pened to be present when the call was made out, he 
stated on the spot that there were many reasons 
why his acceptance of it was quite out of the ques- 


tion ; the most important one of which no doubt 
was, that he felt himself at that time bound to the 
Theological Seminary. Subsequently, however, as 
appears from the preceding letter, his views of duty 
on this subject gradually underwent a change ; and 
after he had temporarily intermitted his labors at 
the seminary that he might devote himself solely 
to the interests of the congregation, and after they 
had extended their call to several distinguished in- 
dividuals, and in each case had received a negative 
answer, they unanimously renewed their call to 
him, Feb. 1, 1811, under circumstances which led 
him to think that possibly the indications of Provi- 
dence were in favor of his acceptance of it. Al- 
most immediately after this became known to the 
students of the institution, they addressed him the 
following letter, expressive of their warm attach- 
ment, and of their strong desire that he might re- 
tain his connexion with the seminary. 

DiviJiity College, March 28th, 1811. 
Rev. and Dear Sir: 

We have been informed that you find it impracticable to 
discharge the duties of your professorship in this institution, 
and those which result from your connexion with the church 
and congregation in Boston. We have also been informed, 
that they have recently given you a unanimous and pressing 
call, to become their pastor. And apprehending that, from 
these conflicting claims, there is a possibility of your dissolv- 
ing the connexion \vhich you sustain with this institution ; 
we take the liberty, Dear Sir, to express to you our feelings and 
wishes on this subject. Although we feel deeply concerned in 
the interests of that congregation, and view its prosperity of 
great importance, still, in our estimation, the religious inte- 
rests connected with this seminary, are of such an extent, 


as to furnish a superior claim to your attention and services. 
We are impressed, Sir, with the belief that, should you leave 
us, our loss would be great, if not irreparable. Under the in- 
fluence of these considerations, we earnestly request you, for 
our personal benefit, for the general good of this sacred insti- 
tution, and for the momentous interests of the church, to con- 
tinue the relation which you sustain to us. Be assured, Sir, 
that we shall feel it a great privation, to lose the privilege of 
looking to you, in connexion with your colleagues, as our fa- 
ther and our friend. 

Presuming that you will take into due consideration these 
our unanimous suggestions, and wishing you the best conso- 
lations which religion affords, we subscribe ourselves in behalf 
of our brethren, your obedient servants 


College Committee. 

To which Doctor Griffin returned the follow- 
ing answer. 

Divinity College, March 29, 1811. 

Your affectionate letter gave me all the pleasure which 
you intended. I am gratified to find that my official services 
are regarded with so much kindness by the members of the 
college ; and am affected with the obliging expression of their 
v.'ishes for my happiness. I thank you, Gentlemen, for the 
delicate manner in which these sentiments have been con- 
veyed to me; and, through you, I present my acknowledg- 
ments to all the young gentlemen of the Institution. The 
confidence and the wishes which they have expressed are cer- 
tainly entitled to much attention, and will be duly considered 
in the estimate of reasons which are to influence my decision. 
Under the pressing and contending claims of the two objects, 
I feel it my duty to ask them to carry the subject to the throne 
Vol. I. 16 


of grace, and to be earnest in their supplications that I may 
know the will of God. If the result should not be such as 
they desire, it will be owing to the necessities of an important 
church, and not to any indifference to their improvement and 
happiness. I am, gentlemen, 

Very affectionately yours, 


In a letter to Doctor Richards, dated April 16, 
1811, Dr. G. writes thus: — " Since I wrote last I 
have learned that the young men in the college 
have unanimously, as they state, made an address 
to Mr. Bartlett, praying him to press me still 
further to continue here. The feelings of the young 
men, and the friendship of Mr. Bartlett, have 
produced some conflict in my mind ; but I still be- 
lieve that the providence of God points me to Bos- 
ton." Accordingly, in a communication dated May 
1, he signified his acceptance of the call, and was 
installed pastor of the church, July 31, 1811, by an 
ecclesiastical council of Congregational ministers 
and delegates from the vicinity of Boston ; having 
previously received a dismission from the Presby- 
tery to which he belonged, and a recommendation 
to the Union Association of Boston and vicinity. 
The sermon on the occasion was preached by the 
Rev. Dr. Worcester, of Salem. 

The following letter to his brother, George 
Griffin, Esq. shows what were the prevailing con- 
siderations that influenced him in his ultimate re- 
moval from Andover to Boston. 


Boston, Api-il29th, 1811. 

After being tossed for two years, and kept in a state of 
restlessness, without a home, and crushed with the cares of 
Andover and Boston united, I have at last found a home, a 
place of rest, as far as this world can afford one. I have re- 
signed my office at Andover, and am here with my family. 
On the first day of May I expect to move into a pleasant 
house, in a delightful part of the town. 

Such were the perishing necessities of this congregation, 
which presents a stand the most important, as has repeatedly 
been said, of any in Christendom, that the friends of the col- 
lege are not displeased with the step I have taken. The 
young gentlemen in the college, of which there are about 50, 
made a strong effort to retain me. They presented to me an 
affectionate and " unanimous" address, requesting me to stay : 
and not content with this, they wrote to Mr. Bartlett, request- 
ing him to use further exertions for the purpose. But they 
submit without any hard thoughts since they know my deter- 
mination. I left Andover last week. 

This congregation were pressed with a debt of about $'30,000, 
which they had contracted for their house. They could not 
sell their pews, for want of a minister ; and they could not 
much longer bear up under the debt. They were discouraged 
by repeated disappointments in their attempts to obtain a pas- 
tor, and were determined to look no further. If I did not 
come, they declared that they must sell their house, and dis- 
band : and the fall of this congregation would- have spread de- 
struction far and wide. But if I would come, individuals 
stood ready to assume the debt, and secure the meeting-house, 
which was mortgaged, from hazard of being sold to Socini- 
ans. This has been done. The debt is discharged ; and the 
congregation is in a fair way to live and increase. The house 
is thronged on Sabbath evening. If God be for us, who can 
be against us ? 

Last fall and winter the enemy did all in their power to de 
stroy the congregation and me. But, blessed be God ! we yet 


live, and live uninjured. The storm is past, and the tide 
seems now to be strongly turning in our favor. We feel no 
alarm. What trials may await us wc leave to God, who, as 
he has done, can carry us safely through ; and he can bring 
us to his heavenly kingdom. Fanny and the children are 
well, and join me in love to you and yours. 
Your affectionate brother, 



Boston, Sept. Uth, 1811. 
***** God is appearing for brother Huntington's 
support. There is evidently a work of grace beginning 
among his people. His old praying women, who belonged to 
Whitefield's da}'-, say that so good appearances have not been 
seen in Boston since 1771. But our church is still dead, and 
still looking to an arm of flesh. We have not got enough 
yet. We shall have to receive more scourging before we shall 
be fit for any work. Of all creatures, some of us seemed the 
most unlikely to be selected to make such a stand in Boston. 
Whether the selection was of God or man, time nmst deter- 
mine. Pray for us. E. D. G. 


Bosto7i, Ajjril 22d, 1812. 
My Dear Brother, 

Your favor of Feb. 3d has lain by me a long time, for 
reasons that every minister can guess, when he looks at his 
parish. But, my beloved brother, my heart is often with you. 
You are among the few friends on earth whom I love without 
any ifs or Hits. I am rejoiced to hear by Mr. Sanford, who 
called upon me this morning, that appearances are more fa- 
vorable among you. I rejoice for your sake, as well as for 
more general reasons. You went to Newark at the close of a 
great revival. The thing was done, and could not be conti- 
nued. I had the privilege of being there in harvest time ; 
and you came in the fall of the year ; a winter followed of 
course ; but a spring you will see, and then a harvest. " They 


that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and 
weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again 
with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." May the 
Lord make you the father of many spiritual children in that 
dear section of the great family ! 

I find it not in my power to visit Newark this spring ; but, 
God willing, I firmly intend to bring Mrs. G. next spring. 
I cannot leave my people so long at present. There are some 
appearances which I must stay at home to watch. The lat- 
ter part of February I was so much encouraged that I insti- 
tuted a conference exclusively for persons under serious im- 
pressions. Precisely thirty have attended; four or five of 
whom, I trust, have become real christians. 1 have conversed 
with some others out of doors whose minds are tender. Our 
meetings generally are certainly more solemn than they were. 
But the church, with a few exceptions, are still asleep. We 
expect to admit twelve new members, (with, and without cer- 
tificates,) at our next sacrament. We admitted twenty-seven 
the last year, from the first of March to the first of March, 
Brother, pray for us. 

I have had very affecting news lately from my brother in 
New- York. He and his friends believe him to have become 
a subject of grace. I know you will rejoice with me, and help 
me praise the Lord for his great goodness. I hope my brother 
may be of some little service to the common cause in this- day 
of agitation in that city. What are they doing ? What aileth 
them? Who has stirred up all this strife? Do av rite me all 
about it. The whole camp appears to be alarmed. There 
certainly is fear, combined with some rancor. ***** 
* * Is the land of Jersey shaken with the earthquake? 
Do the steeples of Newark totter ? * * * Is your head 
upon your shoulders ? How is dear brother Hillyer ? I long to 
have a long brotherly letter from him, and to see him in Bos- 
ton. Give my very particular love to him, and tell him all this. 
Mrs. G. joins in most affectionate remembrance to Mrs. Rich- 
ards and yourself, with your friend and brother, 




Boston, May 2d, 1812. 
My Dear Brother, 

Having written to you so lately, I have nothing new to 
write. But I cannot let so favorable an opportunity pass with- 
out dropping you a line — perhaps a sheet full. 

I rejoice exceedingly to hear of the favorable symptoms in 
some of your towns, and in New- York. I hope strongly that 
the God of 1802 and 1807 will make 1812 (the space of five 
years in both cases) a day of his power in those twenty con- 
gregations. Is it not just the time, my dear brother, to revive 
your preaching tours ? God has blessed them twice ; may he 
not bless them the third time 1 

In regard to us, things remain much as when I wrote last. 
Thirty-four have attended our Tuesday evening conference, 
under serious impressions ; but the church, with few excep- 
tions, are still asleep. Our congregation, gathered from all 
parts, with habits formed under cold preaching, present a cold 
spectacle, much unlike the congregation of Newark, They 
must be melted down into one mass by an electric shock from 
heaven. God send the shock in his own time ! 

I thank you for the notice you take of my dear brother's 
case. It has affected me most deeply, as you may well sup- 
pose. I wish you could see him some time when you are in 
New- York. He needs help from you. I wish he may be 
thoroughly grounded and settled in the truth, and lend his aid 
to support orthodoxy in this day of agitation. * * * * 

"f * * * I have lately become one of the overseers of 
Cambridge College. About the time of my coming here the 
Socinians got a law passed by our Assembly to exclude the 
Senate from the board, except the President, (under pretence 
of keeping out democracy,) to disfranchise the six towns, 
whose ministers were ex officio members of the board, and to 
give power to the board to fill up its own vacancies. The 
chief object probably was to keep out those orthodox ministers 
who might, in this turn of times, be settled in said towns. 
Last winter the democratic Assembly repealed the law, in their 


own vindication, and Mr. Thacher and I rode in upon their 
shoulders. I hope I never may have a worse horse ! 

Mrs. G. joins in most affectionate regards to Mrs. Richards 
and yourself, with, dear Sir, 

Your cordial friend and brother, 



Written immediately after hearing the melancho- 
ly tidings of the death of Mrs. Gumming, wife of 
Rev. Hooper Gumming, who was instantly killed 
by being precipitated down the falls of the Pasaick. 

Boston, July 1st, 1812. 
My Dear Brother, 

I received your letter of last week and read it with such sen- 
sations as you can easily imagine. The dreadful account had 
reached us before. I immediately wrote what I could to our 
poor afflicted friend. The mysterious dispensation has pro- 
duced a strong impression here. Your letter has been read to 
numbers ; it has been borrowed and carried out of the house ; 
a copy of it is now taking by an aunt of Mrs. Gumming. 
Many tears have flowed, and many prayers have ascended 
for the bereaved husband. How mysterious are the dispensa- 
tions of providence ! We must bow ourselves to the earth, 
and say, His ways are not as our ways, nor his thoughts as 
our thoughts. What a comfort it is, amidst the confusions 
of this trying Hfe, to know that infinite wisdom keeps the 
throne, and well knows what he is doing ! The sea may 
rage, our shattered bark, amidst the darkness of night, may 
rise to the clouds, and plunge to the centre, but our Pilot is at 
helm. Were it not for that, we should never hope to see 
morning more. But with that protection we shall ride safely 
through the rage of elements, and the confusions of a dis- 
jointed world, and enter a haven secluded from the storms. 
It was never a matter of more joy than at the present moment 
that the Lord God omni|X)tent reigneth. 


I pray, and even hope, that this distressing event will be 
the means of a glorious revival of religion in Newark. Tell 
the people that they must not let it pass without such an issue. 
It is a call to every man, woman and child in the town, right 
from the mouth of God, as loud as any that will ever be heard, 
perhaps, before the last trumpet. They must listen, or, (I 
had almost said,) they are all dead men. This is the mo- 
ment too, for christians to lie on then faces before the God 
who is passing by — the very moment to cry to him with 
groanings that cannot be resisted — to carry out all their child- 
ren from their houses, and lay them in the street before the 
awful Majesty that is passing by. O may the whole town 
stand and bow before him, and hear not his voice in vain ! * * 

* * * * Mrs. G. and myself have just returned from a 
journey to Connecticut. God is pouring out his Spirit in sun- 
dry places in that state and in this. I hope to hear good tid- 
ings from Newark. Nothing very different here. Mrs. G. 
joins in every sentiment of love and kindness to Mrs. R. and 
yourself, with your affectionate brother. 


In the winter of 1812-1813, Doctor Griffin deli- 
vered his Park-street lectures, on successive sabbath 
evenings, to a crowded audience collected from all 
classes of society. These lectures awakened the 
deepest attention both of friends and foes ; and it is 
hardly necessary to say that they have passed 
through several editions, and have long since taken 
a prominent place among the standard theological 
works of our country. 


Boston^ August 23d, 1813. 
My Dear Brother, 

I owe you many apologies for my long silence ; but either 
I have more to do than ever I had before, or else I become 
slower in my motions as age increases. I do not get time to 


write to my friends. I have scarcely written a letter for nine 
months till very lately, 

I have rejoiced, my brother, in all the mercy and truth 
with which God has visited you, and the dear people of your 
charge. I cannot be indifferent to any thing that is calculated 
to make either you or them happy, and least of all to so glo- 
rious a scene as this. May the work increase, and extend, 
and nev^er cease. 

I rejoice to hear of the strong and increasing attachment of 
your congregation to their pastor. I hope you and dear Mrs. 
Richards by this time feel yourselves at home, and that you 
both and your children will continue to enjoy all the happi- 
ness which this poor world can give, and all the happiness 
which can be found in a covenant God. ***** 

* * * * Our affairs here go on pretty much in the old 
way. The small degree of divine influence with which we 
have been favored, has brought ninety- one persons to our in- 
quiring meeting, within a year and a half; thirty-nine of 
whom have come in since the first of December. About that 
time a new momentum was given to the thing which is not 
yet altogether spent. Sabbath after next I expect to admit to 
the church eleven persons from the world. Still there are trials 
and discouragements which sometimes almost tempt me to 
give out. Boston folks will be Boston folks still. They will 
not retrench a habit, nor lose a nap at church, to save their 
Uves. Had I known as much as I now do, I never would 
have left the Presbyterian world ; and if my conscience would 
suffer me, I would enter it again as soon as I could. * * 

* * * Y^Q g^j-g jjj peace, but a peace attended with more 
stupidity than comfort. I am afraid to say any more. 

Excuse my haste. I have many letters to write. Mrs. G. 
joins in most affectionate regards to Mrs. Richards, and your- 
self, and the children, with, dear Sir, 

Your friend and brother, 

Vol. I. 17 



Boston, Ajml I2th, 1814. 
* * * * I have no good news to communicate respect- 
ing our affairs in Boston. It does not please the Head of the 
Church to refresh us with his influence, and we all remain as 
cold and hard as rocks. I am afraid to come among you in 
such a day as this, lest I should serve, with what little influ- 
ence 1 have, to chill you. But I need to be warmed, though 
it be at your expense. 

I am, my dear brother, 

Most affectionately yours, 



Boston, July 25th, 1814. 
My dear Daughter, 

Before this time you have received "The Memoirs of 
Mrs. Newell," which your mother sent you. It is my earnest 
desire, and parental injunction, that you read that book through 
at least twice in the course of the summer and autumn, that 
you draw the example there set clearly before your eyes, and 
give the most earnest diligence and care to copy it in your 
heart and life. I wish you, in short, to set up that blessed 
woman for your model, both in respect to her early, ardent, 
self-denying piety, and to the modesty, sweetness, delicacy, af- 
fection, and attention to the feelings of others, which marked 
her social character. Providence has raised her up at your 
own door, in the midst of the circle in which your father 
moves, and given our family, as connected with the mission 
in which she displayed her brightest lustre, a sort of property 
in her character. The whole of that property I bequeath to 
you. Take her for your own, and ingraft all her excellencies 
upon your own character. How often have I said, with all 
the tender commotion of a parent's heart, " Oh, let that cha- 
racter be my Louisa's !" 

Mrs. Newell was younger than you are, my daughter, when 
she first gave herself to Christ. She could place her heart at 
rest on the centre of her soul, her Saviour's bosom, at the age 


of thirteen; and where are your affections roving? Are you 
not under as great obligations as she was? I wish you also 
to look at the womanly sentiments and style of her letters and 
diary at the age of thirteen, and often compare your own pro- 
gress with hers. Do you keep a diary ? 

Your main attention ought to be paid to the government of 
your temper. That is an enemy which you must bring un- 
der early and learn to keep in steady subjection, or it will ga- 
ther strength as you advance, till it becomes too strong to be 
controlled. And when it has once established an ascendancy, 
farewell to peace, farewell to the good will of others, and, with- 
out almost a miracle, farewell to salvation. You must get it 
completely in your power while you are young, and accustom 
it to obey, or calculate on a wretched old age. Establish, 
then, the rule of bringing its motions each day to a rigid exa- 
mination at night ; and never sleep till you have mourned be- 
fore God for its irregularities that day, and implored strength 
to curb it for time to come. But you must go deeper still. 
The root of the evil lies in a selfish spirit, which nothing can 
cure but that love to God and man which constitutes the es- 
sence of all rehgion. In religion, then, you must seek the only 
effectual remedy. Oh, my daughter, look to Christ for this. 
Cry to him mightily ; cry to him day and night. 

Next to the government of your temper, you must culti- 
vate an obliging disposition towards all. In things where you 
may, learn to subject your wishes to the wishes of others, to 
prefer their gratification to your own. This is the essence of 
true politeness; and if prompted by proper motives, is an es- 
sential part of true religion. I must remind you also to avoid 
two things utterly repugnant to female loveliness. I mean an 
independent carriage and too great forwardness. A benevo- 
lent regard to the feelings, and a modest deference to the cha- 
racters of others, will cure both of these evils. But I would 
have you distinguish between modesty and bashfulness. The 
former is the loveliest trait of female beauty ; the latter turns , 
every thing into awkward deformity. 

* * * * My dear daughter, you are no longer a child, 


but of the age when Mrs. Newell was exhibiting a character 
to be the model of future generations. 

* * * * We were sorry to hear that you are learning 
to play without using your voice. We must utterly protest 
against this. We believe you can sing ; but if we are mista- 
ken in this, we wish you to take no more lessons in music. 

Let me hear, from time to time, what books you read at 
your leisure hours. Some, adapted to enlarge your stock of 
ideas, and to improve your taste, should make a part of the 
objects of your attention every week. 

I wish you to pay all due attention to . It will be a 

sufficient argument, I hope, with you, that she is unfortunate. 
Let me be informed on this point. 

Your affectionate father, 


The following record of the deaths of Doctor 
Griffin's parents, &;c. was made by him in 1832. 

While I was in Boston in March, 1814, I was summoned 
to the sick bed of my dear mother, who, for many years had 
had the consumption. She died in my arms at nine o'clock 
on sabbath evening, April 3, 1814, aged 81. My honored 
father died the 6th of August following, aged 80. Of my 
four grand-parents, and two parents, all surpassed the age of 
80, except my grandfather Dorr, and he nearly reached that 
age. To this day, when I am more than 62 years old, I 
have never lost a brother nor sister, wife nor child, and the 
youngest of eight children of my parents is now more than 54 
years old. Thus has the mercy of God dealt with us. 


Boston, August 2\st, 1814. 
Dear Brother, 

Before this reaches you, you will have heard that our 
dear father is no more. We have no more a parent on earth; 
and soon we ourselves shall be numbered with the congrega- 
tion of the dead. And what then if we are deceived ! And 


is it not possible that we may be? -'The heart is deceitful 
above all things and desperately wicked : who can know it ?" 
There are a thousand ways to get wrong, and one only to get 
right. The two most conspicuous fruits and evidences of re- 
ligion, are a placid, affectionate spirit, which sweetens and rules 
our native tempers, and that etherial spirit which overcomes 
the world. 1 Cor. xiii. James i. 27. 1 John ii. 15. Would 
it not be well, my dear brother, for us both to try ourselves 
closely by these two tests, as exhibited in the texts referred to? 
Religion does not consist in a form, and a profession, nor in 
going to church on the sabbath, and uttering some of our 
opinions, and having certain frames ; but in possessing and 
acting out the true spirit of the gospel, which is love, — in ris- 
ing from under the supreme dominion of selfishness to the do- 
minion of supreme love to God and his dear Son. Luke xiv. 
26. Mat. vi. 24. Men are judged by their general characters. 
1 John iii. 15. Unless then we are habitually governed by 
supreme love to God, we are nothing. But such a regent 
within us will habitually keep down those angry and idola- 
trous passions which spring from selfishness. If these prevail, 
we are the slaves of selfishness still. Without, therefore, a 
dominant spirit of love, which can keep our tempers habitual- 
ly calm, and produce habitually a conscious deadness to the 
world, we are not christians. If my own hope wUl not bear 
this test, it must be given up. 

Thus we cannot hope to live, without a frequent apphca- 
tion of the means of grace. And if the world is put under 
our feet, it will certainly no longer keep us from those means 
which are necessary for the nourishment of our souls, any 
more than from those meals which are necessary for the nou- 
rishment of the body. Every christian ought to take time 
from the world to attend at least one meeting a week, besides 
on the sabbath. I wish, my dear brother, that you would 
adopt this rule, and inflexibly abide by it, let the world go 
where it will. I know what you can say on the subject, but 
I still believe that you ought to do it, and that it is your hap- 
piness as well as duty. ****** 
Affectionately your brother, E. D. G. 


Dr. Griffin continued at Park-street till the 
spring of 1815, when, in consequence of the con- 
gregation having become embarrassed by means of 
the war, and withal somewhat divided among them- 
selves, he accepted an invitation to return to New- 
ark as pastor of the Second Presbyterian church 
then lately rendered vacant by the dismission of 
Mr. Gumming. He seems to have hesitated for 
some time as to the propriety of accepting this in- 
vitation, particularly from an apprehension that his 
return to Newark might be the occasion of some 
embarrassment to his successor in his former charge. 
The two following letters, which he addressed to 
Dr. Richards in relation to this subject, evince a 
delicate regard to the circumstances in which he 
was called to act. 

Bostoti, Feb. 2lst, 1815. 
My Dear Brother, 

I was delighted to hear to-day that you had been invited 
to preside at the meeting last Thursday. This augurs well 
for the future tranquillity of Newark. Immediately after re- 
ceiving an application, about twelve weeks ago, I inquired 
whether it would give offence for me to exchange with you, 
and to visit my old friends in your congregation ; and was an- 
swered, that it would be acceptable for me to visit my old 
friends, and to exchange with you once in four or five sab- 
baths. To return to Newark on any other terms than to be 
in habits of unreserved intimacy and love with one of my 
earliest and truest friends, and with his beloved church, I 
could not consent. And if I thought my return would con- 
tribute any influence to restore harmony, and to obliterate all 
remembrance of the past, it would certainly be a powerful mo- 
tive. On the other hand, if there is, as was hinted to me by 
some last spring, an incurable separation between the two con- 


gregations, and my friends down town would look upon me 
as one who had come to take part against them, I should find 
myself in a condition truly deplorable. On the various points 
connected with this subject, I want light, and, my dear bro- 
ther, I want light from you. 

When I resigned my charge into your hands, little did I ex- 
pect to return and take part with you in your ministry. Nor 
do I yet know that this is the will of heaven. Newark has 
not ceased to be the dearest place to me on earth ; but I am 
not my own. From some motions of divine providence I 
have been led to suppose that that might become my duty. 
And if it is my duty, I can freely say it will be no act of self- 
denial. The particular circumstances which have led to this 
way of thinking, you in part know, and will know more fully 
when I have the pleasure to see you. In the mean time I will 
thank you to open your whole heart to me, and to pour all the 
light you can upon the present state and future prospects of 
Newark, relative to the points referred to above. Pray let me 
hear from you soon. I expect to take a journey early in March ; 
if you write soon I shall receive your letter before I set out. 

Mrs. G. joins me in most affectionate salutations to Mrs, 
Richards, and yourseK, and to the whole family. 
Your friend and brother, 

Rev. J. Richards. 

Boston, April I5th, 1815. 
My Dear Brother, 

I received your fraternal letter of the 28th of February, on 
my return from Connecticut the 3rd of April, and thank you 
for your frank and candid remarks. I had written, before my 
journey, to Mr. Boudinot, and if I am not mistaken, request- 
ed him to show the letter to you. That letter will have con- 
vinced you that the providence of God, and no unreasonable 
fickleness, or despondency in me, has suggested the purpose of 
my return. I have felt unhappy in one view of my return. 
If from the attachment of some of my old friends, it should 
operate to render your condition any less pleasant, it would 


distress me, not only from my long continued friendship for 
you, but especially because I was instrumental in your remo- 
val to Newark. It will be, I hope, my aim, however, to ren- 
der your situation no less pleasant than it was when you first 
came, and have no doubt of reciprocal friendship from you. 
And with such a union as has always subsisted between us, 
added to a sufficient degree of prudence, I hope we shall pre- 
vail to heal all the divisions which now exist. I believe we 
shall. There are really no rival interests. There are people 
and property enough for two congregations, and I hope in time 
to see a third. This was my hope before I concluded to leave 
the town. The idea of ministering to the whole town was op- 
pressive and overwhelming: 

* * * Since my return from my journey to Connecticut, 
I have applied to the church and congregation for a dismis- 
sion. Both bodies have given their consent, and voted to con- 
tinue my salary till the last of May, thougli the council for my 
dismission should be sooner convened. After this consent I 
consider myself at liberty to announce my acceptance of the 
call. I will therefore thank you to inform the presbytery in 
my name, at their April meeting, that I consider it my duty 
to accept the call, and do hereby accept it ; and pray them to 
appoint a time for my installation, as soon as they, and the 
congregation choose, after the first sabbath in June. The first 
sabbath in June I hope to be in Newark. Mrs. G. joins in af- 
fectionate regards to Mrs. R. and yourself and family. 
I am, my dear brother, your sincere friend, 


Rev. J. Richards. 

Agreeably to the intimation contained in the pre- 
ceding letter, Doctor Griffin's resignation of his 
pastoral charge received the sanction of a mutual 
council, April 27, 1815 ; though he continued to 
officiate as pastor till the last sabbath in May. He 
arrived in Newark with his family the first week in 



Doctor Griffin was installed pastor of the se- 
cond Presbyterian church in Newark, June 20, 

Toward the close of the year 1816, a general at- 
tention to religion commenced in both congrega- 
tions in Newark, and extended to several of the 
neighboring towns. During this revival Dr. G. was 
abundant in his labors, and was privileged in due 
time to gather in a precious harvest. 

Under date of March 27, 1817, he writes in his 
diary as follows : 

A day of private fasting and prayer agreed upon by both 
churches in the town, to implore the continued influences of the 
Divine Spirit. Having of late years entered more largely into 
the pubUc business of the church, I have spent too httle time 
in my closet, and in consequence find that it is not so easy to- 
day to fix my thoughts in these private exercises as it formerly 
was. It is my desire from this time forth to return to the more 
full practice of private devotion, and to a renewal of my jour- 

I have tried the world ; 1 have been too much devoted to 
honor ; but I found it all vain. Never was I so restless and 
unhappy as when most elevated in view of the world. I was 

Vol. I. 18 


tired of such public life, and longed to retire. I have retired, 
and during the year and nine months which I have spent 
here, have been the most tranquil that I ever was in any si- 
tuation. Convinced by experience of the vanity and even tor- 
ture of worldly distinction, I seem to have given up all desire 
for it. I am sure I would not exchange my present seclusion 
for any more public sphere that could be offered me. My tri- 
als, I trust, have not been in vain. For more than six years 
past, (the former part of which was the most trying period of 
my life ) I think I have been enabled to obtain an ascendancy 
over some of my constitutional sins. If I do not deceive my- 
self, I have of late years become more conscientious in regu- 
lating my feelings towards my neighbors, in avoiding resent- 
ments when I am injured, and in studying the things which 
make for peace. I think I am more vigilant against the colli- 
sions of selfishness ; less bigoted in favor of a party, and can 
more truly rejoice in the advancement of religion in other de- 
nominations around me. I have far less distressing conflicts 
than I had in former years. At the same time I have far less 
exalted ideas of my own sanctification. Some things are cer- 
tainly improved within me, and yet I have a more steady 
sense of ray general poverty and short coming. 

Afternoon. I found a greater sweetness in secret prayer than 
I had felt for years, a tenderness and enlargement in praying 
for this people here, our sister congregation and its minister, 
my late church in Park-street, my friends and my enemies 
generally in Massachusetts. I found a new state of mind, 
and discovered that some displeasure at the past treatment I 
had received, though it had not awakened resentment, had 
hardened my heart against old acquaintance and caused me 
to find little pleasure in thinking of them. But now I felt the 
cloud all removed, and wished to visit them, and longed for 
their prosperity, as though they had been my flesh and blood ; 
and in regard to those who were near, my heart melted over 
them, and it was my earnest prayer that this day, when the 
christians of both congregations are in their respective closets, 
might break up forever whatever selfish jealousies and unkind 


feelings may exist between the two sister churches. I feared 
that the rough treatment I had met with from the world, had 
soured my mind towards mankind, and that my love of re- 
tirement arose partly from this cause. I clearly perceived and 
felt that love would do away all feelings like never wishing to 
have any more connexion with a particular place. Never, 
never let me feel this again toivards any 'place or any in- 
dividual. How will love unite us to all and every one, as to 
our dearest child. Scarcely ever had I a cloud taken off from 
the whole world so suddenly and so sensibly. I felt a tender 
wish to write to acquaintances in different places, with whom 
I had for a considerable time wished to have no further inter- 
course. I found that love would cure at once all past troubles, 
and sweep them from the world as though they had never 
been; and that if I could continue to feel so, I should at once 
be restored to the bright skies of former years, before the storms 
arose. I perceived that the most effectual way to get the bet- 
ter over every injury was to forgive. I learned to prize more 
than ever these days of private devotion, for I found that this 
season had removed wrong impressions which had rested on 
my mind for two or three years, which, till I felt the change, 
I had not perceived were wrong. Let me not fail to 


I was enabled heartily to forgive and pray for all men, even 
those who had wronged me most, and then I felt that the 
middle wall of partition which had been long between Christ 
and me, was taken away. I had forgiven all, and then he 
had, as it would seem, forgiven me. While I held them off, 
unwilling to have intercourse, he held me off, unwilling to 
have intercourse. I had not hated them as an enemy, and he 
had not hated me as an enemy. Just the measure which I 
meted to others, he meted to me. I never felt before the full 
amount, in this respect, of that petition, "Forgive us our 
debts as we forgive our debtors." In the latter part of the af- 
ternoon my mind was unusually fixed and drawn out in 
prayer ; and all my prayers were directed to Christ. The 
hymn, " Jesus, lover of my soul," was more precious to me 


than ever it was, when I was not pressed down under the bur- 
den of guilt. Bless the Lord, O my soul, for his restoring 
mercy, — for removing that partition wall which I have felt for 
more than six years. O may I walk humbly and live near to 
him, and be wholly devoted to him the rest of my hfe. 

During this second period of Doctor Griffin's 
residence at Newark, besides attending with exem- 
plary fidelity to all the duties more immediately 
connected with his pastoral charge, he devoted him- 
self with great zeal to the establishment and sup- 
port of several of the leading benevolent institutions 
of the day. He was one of the original founders 
of the American Bible Society ; and it is said that 
when their address to the public, which had been 
prepared by Doctor Mason, was first read in his 
hearing, he turned to a gentleman sitting next to 
him, and said with great emphasis, " That, in my 
opinion is the finest specimen of English composi- 
tion that has been produced since the days of John- 
son." He was also particularly active in the esta- 
blishment of the United Foreign Missionary Socie- 
ty, and in promoting the interests of the school es- 
tablished by the Synod of New- York and New- 
Jersey for the education of Africans. To this lat- 
ter institution perhaps he devoted himself with more 
zeal than to any other ; and his celebrated " Plea 
for Africa," distinguished alike for learning and elo- 
quence, shows that this was a theme to wake up 
his finest powers and his strongest sensibilities. 

It was also during this period of his ministry, 
(1817) that he published his work on the extent of 
the atonement. As this is almost throughout a 
work of pure metaphysics, it were not to be ex- 


pected that it should have gained so extensive a cir- 
culation as the more practical and popular of his 
productions ; but it was evidently the result of great 
intellectual labor, and could never have been pro- 
duced but by a mind trained to the highest efforts 
of abstraction. 

In the spring of 1821, Dr. Griffin received an 
invitation to the presidency of the college at Dan- 
ville, Kentucky ; and as his health at the time was 
somewhat enfeebled, he took a journey into that 
state, but ultimately declined the offer. On his re- 
turn he visited Cincinnati in Ohio, and subsequent- 
ly received an invitation to the same place in the 
college in that city, but this also he felt himself con- 
strained to decline. About the same time he re- 
ceived a similar appointment at Williams College ; 
and owing chiefly to some unpropitious circumstan- 
ces which had prevented the growth of his congre- 
gation and their ability to continue to him a com- 
petent support, he determined to accept this ap- 



f Having accepted of the Presidency of Williams 
College, Doctor Griffin left Newark with his fa- 
mily for Williamstown about the 25th October, 
1821. Of the interesting events which occurred 
in connection with the journey and subsequent to 
it, he committed to writing the following minute 
account in 1830. 

Before we left Newark, my eldest daughter, Louisa, was un- 
well. In her passage up the river she became worse. We 
reached Troy on Friday morning, October 26th, 1827, where 
I left her with her mother at a boarding-house, and the same 
night reached Wilhamstown with my other daughter, Ellen. 
On Monday, October 29th, having obtained teams to bring out 
our furniture, 1 returned to Troy, and found an apprehension 
in the attending physicians that Louisa was exposed to the 
typhus fever. On my return to Williamstown on Wednes- 
day, October 31st, I found Ellen quite sick. It proved that 
she had taken the measles ; and before they could appear, a 
billious fever had taken possession of the system and kept the 
other down. And as the first yielded to medicine, the second, 
a hidden enemy that no one could understand, began to work. 
She was in a state of great fluctuation, but mostly of danger, 
till near the middle of December. On Monday, the 10th of 
December, my apprehensions rose the highest, but they were 


relieved before I went after my family the next morning. And 
so it was from the first to the last ; she would be better, and I 
could inform her mother so ; and no sooner had my letter gone 
than she would be taken worse. Her mother was mercifully 
saved from a knowledge of her danger till she reached "Wil- 
hamstown, and I sustained the burden alone. But to return. 
On sabbath morning, November 4th, while I sat by Ellen's 
bed, more anxious for her than for Louisa, I received a letter 
from Mrs. Griffin, begging me to come down immediately ere 
my child died, and to bring Ellen with me, and leave her at 
Dr. Coe's. As I arose from my chair, I said, unconsciously, 
" The Lord reigneth;" but recollecting myself, and fearing to 
alarm Ellen, I for the first and last time deceived ray child. 
I assumed a smile, and kissed her, and left tire room. I de- 
termined to stay and ask the prayers of the church, and go 
the next day. The Rev. Mr. Gridley said he could not bear 
to have me go alone and offered to accompany me. At Wads- 
worth's, where we dined, while I was pacing alone before the 
door, reviewing all my feelings about my poor child before 
birth and at the time of her birth, and my manner of pray- 
ing for her, and bringing her up, I said, " And after all is she 
to die in this state of insensibility? Is this our covenant God?'' 
Something seemed to say, " No," in a manner which soothed 
my anguish. About eight miles this side of Troy, a messen- 
ger met us, to hasten us to see her die. I remember saying 
to Mr. Gridley at that moment, " / can bear all this and a 
great deal more ; but O that poor mother, and that immortal 
soul !" I spent the eight miles in praying for those two objects, 
and in language sometimes audible to my sympathizing friend. 
Mrs. Griffin had no knowledge that Ellen was sick, and I 
knew, was confidently expecting her. I had to bear those 
tidings to the afflicted mother. But God had mercifully or- 
dered it so that I could, with entire sincerity, say, " I hope she 
is better." Mrs. G. met me on the stairs, — " Where is Ellen?" 
anxiously. " Why, my dear, she did not come " — carelessly. 
" Is she sick?" — alarmed. " Why, my dear, she hasn't been 
very well." "Is she dangerous?" — greatly agitated. "We 


have been somewhat concerned about her, but we hope she is 
better." Mrs. G. disappeared. I went into the room where 
my poor child lay. I found her insensible — deaf, dumb, and 
perhaps blind. By shaking her violently I could make her 
open her eyes ; but they would fall together as soon. I wish- 
ed to pray with her without delay ; and when I sought for 
Mrs. G. I found her in a dark room, leaning on Mrs. E. cry- 
ing, ready to break her heart, and saying, " God is going to 
take away both of my children." That night I did not shed 
a tear, though apt to weep. I got the friends assembled in 
the room, and then stretched out my hands over the bed and 
commended to God our dying child. When I opened my 
eyes, I found Mrs. G. bent down under her sorrows. I there- 
fore lifted my voice aloud and said, " What does it signify for 
God to reign if he may not govern the world ? What does it 
signify for us to proclaim our joy that he governs, if we will 
not allow him to take from us our Josephs and our Benjamins 
as he pleases?" The words, I saw, went through the poor 
mother's heart, and from that moment she hfted up her head. 
She went to bed that night (she told me afterwards) under a 
great weight, but she awoke in the night, and all her burden 
was gone. 

A change had taken place in the sick child that morning, 
between break of day and sunrise, which indicated that a de- 
cisive change would probably take place the next morning at 
the same hour, and many chances to one it would be for 
death. But I found I could not set up the interest of my child 
against the will of God. I felt a strange composure, for which 
I reproached myself. I said to a friend repeatedly that I ap- 
peared to myself to be stupid. I said to myself, " Do you love 
your child as you love yourself? Would you feel so little con- 
cern were there fifty chances to one that you would be beyond 
the reach of hope to-morrow ?" And yet I could not feel that 
misery and tumult which the awful event, separated from the 
will of God, seemed calculated to produce. In the course of 
the evening Dr. B. told me that if she survived the next day 
she would be liable to be taken off every half hour for three 


weeks. " Well then," said I to myself, " it is in vain to hope. 
I might as well hope if she had to run the gauntlet between a 
hundred soldiers, with all their guns pointed at her heart." 
At that moment it was powerfully impressed on my mind, 
"If it is the will of the Lord Jesus that she shall die, she will 
die ; and if it is his will that she shall live, she will live, though 
she were to run the gauntlet through the world." That 
thought composed me, and I went to bed and slept quietly till 
morning. But I was up with the day. And instead of the 
chill of death coming upon her, she lifted up her eyes and 
knew me. Though I could not weep that night, the next 
day I could weep profusely, under a sense of the goodness of 

On the 14th of November I was inaugurated to the office 
of president of Williams College. 

On Tuesday, Dec. llth, I went after my famil}^, and 
brought them home on Thursday, the 13th, seven weeks 
wanting a day or two from the time we landed at Troy. 
The same day, Ellen was brought home ; and a joyful meet- 
ing it was. I had longed that the family, if ever permitted 
to meet again, might hve only to Him who had preserved 
them. But alas how have we forgotten his mercies ! I am 
utterly confounded when I think of this. 

This great mercy as relates to Louisa, and especially the 
scene at Wadsworth's, never appeared to me so affecting as 
since her hopeful conversion. 


Willia?nstown, March 17th, 1823. 

* * * As the church here have set apart to-morrow as a 
day of fasting and prayer for the effusions of the Spirit, and I 
expect to be with them, I shall have no time to write after this 
evening. The revival in college is at an awful stand. No 
instance of hopeful conversion for near a fortnight. In that 
time there has been much labor, and not a few impressions 
made of a weaker sort, which seem to come and go, in a way 

Vol. L 19 


to hold us between hope and fear, and I should be tempted to 
be discouraged were it not for the increasing earnestness, as I 
hope, of christians, botli in the college and in the town. 
Amidst all my other anxieties, my poor children that have no 
God, lie daily upon my heart : — my poor children who have 
souls as valuable as they appeared to me when I was going to 
Troy in November, 1821, and when I bent over my insensi- 
ble and apparently dying child, that evening. Oh Louisa, 
you have scenes yet to enter upon which no language can de- 
scribe, and no mortal heart can conceive. My dear child, pre- 
pare, I beseech you, to meet your God. Oh let not your pa- 
rents find you missing when they search for you among the 
redeemed host at the last day. 

* * * I am sorry that you said, or ever heard any thing 

about ; because I am unwilling that a grudge should he 

in your heart, or in mine, against a human being. I hope 
you will neither hear nor communicate any thing more against 
a single person on earth. 

Your affectionate father, 



Williatns College, June 12th, 1824. 
" * * I had, my dear child, a distressing dream about 
you last night. I dreamed that I was the presiding magistrate 
in a court which had condemned you to die for murder, — and 
to be executed the next day. You besought for your life ; but 
I told you that 1 could not help you, and entreated you to pre- 
pare to die. And when you appeared disposed to consume the 
few precious moments in prayer to me, I told you that you 
must not say another word about it. You obeyed, and was 
silent, and I awoke. And when I awoke, the thought of my 
poor supphant child, condemned to death, and pleading with 
me for her life ; and the thought that I might one day see you 
pleading for an eternal life, when I could not afford you relief; 
affected me so much that I could not help praying for you a 
considerable time, till I fell asleep again. Oh my dear child, 


remember that no modification of the social affections, and of 
the outward deportment, will answer without a radical change 
of heart ; that no habits of respect for religion will avail with- 
out a deep conviction of sin and ruin ; that without thus feel- 
ing yourself sick unto death, you never will apply to the gieat 
physician, but will rather become the more self-righteous for 
your outward regularity ; and that your prayers will not be 
heard unless they proceed from the very heart, but may, by 
sinking into a cold unmeaning form, become mockery, and 
''an abomination to the Lord." I beseech you, my darling 
child, to read over this paragraph morning and evening before 
you offer your prayers, for the rest of the winter, when some- 
thing special does not prevent. 

I have only time to add that, with da ly prayers for your 
sanctification, I am, your affectionate father, 



Williams College, July lUh, 1825. 
Rev. and Dear Sir, 

Your favor of June 28th, with the accompanying sermon, 
was duly received ; and I sincerely thank you for both. I 
read the sermon immediately and with much interest. My 
time is so occupied at present in various ways that I shall not 
be able to pay that attention to the subjects of your letter 
which I could desire. You gratify me by your confidence, 
but you have laid out a hard piece of work for me ; I mean 
difiicult of accomplishment. 

It does appear to me that the most important object of all, 
and which ought for the present to engross your whole atten- 
tion, is to bring that immense congregation, by your preach- 
ing, prayers, and pastoral visits under the influence — the dis- 
solving and transforming influence — of powerful and repeated 
revivals of rehgion. As to scholarship, if it has not been at- 
tained before one has reached the age of thirty, and has en- 
tered on such a prodigious field of labor, it cannot be attained 
to any very high degree in connexion with such a conscience 


as yours. Your Hebrew may be easily renewed without 
points, by the help of Parkhurst's Hebrew Lexicon ; and with- 
out points will answer all the purposes of explaining the ori- 
ginal text. In your case, I certainly would go no further 
than this in Hebrew. But I doubt much whether I would 
enter at present on any new plan of studies beyond those 
which are strictly theological. If you can prevail to imbue 
that great people with divine truth, and make the truth tri- 
umph where President Edwards fell, and bring them, by the 
side of Brainerd's grave, to pray as Brainerd prayed ; you will 
have performed a work great enough for an angel's powers : 
you may then go to heaven, and the church will bless God 
that you ever had existence. Considering the history, and the 
magnitude, and the influence of your congregation, and the 
state in which you received it, few men have ever had such 
a work laid out for them ; — it is enough to exhaust the powers 
of one mind. It is a charge ponderous enough " to make the 
shoulders of an angel tremble." 

I would recommend it to you, my brother, to bathe your 
soul in Baxter's "Saint's Rest," and to be much in prayer, 
and make yourself deeply acquainted with the Scriptures. 
You are kind enough to ask after my course. I believe that 
an early commencement and pursuit of a systematic study of 
the Bible, in connexion with a long course of revivals of reli- 
gion in which I was permitted to be engaged, and an habitual 
aim, in my ordinary sermons, to reach the conscience, and the 
heart at every stroke, and the habit of striking out, as I cor- 
rect my sermons for a new exhibition of them, every clause 
and word Avhich is not subservient to this end ; may be num- 
bered among the most eflicacious means of forming my pre- 
sent manner of preaching, such as it is. Perhaps the most 
powerful circumstance, not yet mentioned, was entering upon 
the large congregation of Newark, calling for constant and 
impassioned preaching, and for continual visiting. I made a 
bad improvement under these advantages ; but I am far from 
thinking with you, my Dear Sir, that a man cannot be a good 
preacher and pastor with a great congregation. A great con- 


gregation, as rousing to great exertions, is the best field for the 
formation of such a character. You can never satisfy any 
people by visiting. The best way to approach it, is perhaps 
to show the people, by a systematic course, that you visit all 
you can. Besides your social visits and visits to the sick, I 
would set apart one day in a week to strictly parochial visits, 
to be short, and right to the point, and to be closed with prayer. 
Make the appointment before hand, and let all know the course. 
As to the manner of preaching, the object of every stroke 
ought to be to do good rather than to gain popularity. That 
will make us the most divinely eloquent. The little pretti- 
nesses of thought and expression, which the love of popularity 
can produce, are nothing to the great and overwhelming 
thoughts which flow from a mind solemnly impressed with 
divine things, and earnestly desirous to impress them upon 
others. Here we may aim high. I doubt the lawfulness of 
any other high aim in a minister of Christ. Dr. Witherspoon 
used to advise his pupils to write out one good sermon a week, 
and let the rest take care of themselves. You cannot, in your 
situation, write but one. I would recommend it to you to ex- 
temporize in the week, to preach from a skeleton in the morn- 
ing of the Sabbath, and from notes in the afternoon. From 
your account of your fondness for belles-lettres and poetry, and 
aversion to metaphysics, I should apprehend that the side on 
which you are to guard, is a tendency to sprightliness, without 
sufficient weight and penetrating force. You have a fine im- 
agination, and a fine taste to regulate it. Use both of them, 
as nature dictates, without effort ; but let all your effort be to 
fill your pages with the weight and solemnity of divine truth. 
Under each head labor to get out that precise view of truth 
which you had in your most solemn hour on your knees. I 
advise you to read much the sermons of President Edwards. 
My paper is out. Mrs. G. and I will stay at your house with 
pleasure, at the approaching meeting of the American Board 
of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. Won't you come 
and bring Mrs. T. to our commencement ? 
Very affectionately yours, 



Dr. G. proceeds in his narrative thus : 

When I first came here there were 48 students connected 
with the college. Tlie number increased before the Amherst 
charter was obtained, (in February or March, 1825,) to 120. 
That event, by the following commencement struck us down 
to 80. About 30 in the course of the spring and summer, 
took dismissions, under the impression that the college would 
be broken up. Nineteen graduated that commencement, 
and a class came in of seven, and little prospect appeared of 
much increase. At that crisis I formed the purpose of raising 
a fund of ,4^25,000 for the purpose of building a chapel and 
endowing a new Professorship. While at Northampton at- 
tending the meeting of the American Board of Commission- 
ers for Foreign Missions, I determined to open the subscription 
myself with $1,000, provided certain other gentlemen in Wil- 
liamstown would do the same, or in proportion. From that 
time I felt better about the college. On my return from a 
northern tour through Manchester, (Vt.) I heard of a revival 
there. This excited unusual desires in my mind for a revival 
in college, which desire never ceased from that time. 

When college came together several returned under deep 
impressions ; and it was soon evident that God was among us. 
My eldest daughter at that time was married and lived in the 
neighborhood ; and my youngest daughter was at school at 
Hartford, (Conn.) about 90 miles off. As Louisa had been 
awakened in a revival at Newark in 1817, I came to the con- 
clusion, as soon as I was convinced that the Spirit of God was 
among us, that she would, in all probability be brought in 
then or be lost. During the months of October and Novem- 
ber, my agony was great and increasing for her, and her hus- 
band, and for the college. The seriousness in college conti- 
nued to increase; but it was not, I think, till about the first of 
December, that the spirit came down like a mighty rushing 

My wrestlings for the college and the town were great dur- 
ing all this time ; but Louisa's last chance appeared to have 


come. She and her husband were very interesting objects to 
me, and my absent child also. That passage in Luke, xi. 
5-13, opened upon me with a most interesting reality, particu- 
larly the last verse, " How much more shall your Heavenly 
Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him." I believ- 
ed the truth of that promise as fully as I believed my own ex- 
istence, and applied it to supplications for the Spirit on others 
as well as on myself. It appeared indeed a wonder that God 
should regard the prayers of such polluted worms, until I dis- 
covered, in the light of that text, which for the first time open- 
ed upon me, (Romans, viii. 26, 27,) that it was the Holy Ghost 
that prayed. I could not help exclaiming, " No wonder that 
God hears prayer when it is the Holy Ghost that prays. What 
an awful place is the christian's closet ! The whole Trinity is 
about it every time he kneels. There is the Spirit praying to 
the Father through the Son." My sermon on the Prayer of 
Faith, which I have just sent on to the National Preacher, 
and a copy of which I leave in manuscript to my children, 
was copied, with great exactness, from my exercises at that 
time, mingled in with my exercises in other revivals. Except 
the single clause, " because men keep not God's law," under 
the first head, (which I drew from the experience of David,) 
all the eight particulars were drawn from my own experience, 
with as much exactness as I could possibly attain. My desire 
on this occasion was heart-breaking. I searched diligently to 
see if I was setting up the interest of my children against 
God's interest, or my will against his will. I could not find 
that I was. I felt my absolute dependance ; and yet could 
never stop in the use of means. I felt greatly abased under 
a sense of sin. O how did I feel often when upon my knees 
I was forced to say with tears, " Although my house be not 
so with God." The case of Jacob at Penuel and that of the 
Syrophenician woman always stood before me. And so con- 
fident was I that the promise was everlasting truth, that 1 saw 
I might indeed take hold of it and draw the blessing down, — 
that I might lawfully keep hold of it until the blessing came. 
I seized it with both my hands, and said, " Here I plant my- 


self down, and on this spot I will receive the blessing or die. 
I hold thee to thy word and will not let thee go." Once an 
objection started up, " Is not this holding of God to his word 
a taking from him the right of sovereignty?" I was alarmed 
at this, as though, in pursuit of every thing dear, a wall from 
heaven had dropped upon my path. I threw my eyes farther, 
I thought, than I ever did before, into the regions of truth, 
and soon I saw the solution : " If God had not given me this 
spirit to hold him fast, I should have been a clod. His sove- 
reignty was fully exercised in that gift." As when a dam has 
suddenly stopped a rapid torrent, and after a time is suddenly 
removed, and the waters impetuously sweep ; so did my re- 
strained and eager spirit, when I saw the whole field open be- 
fore me, and not a fence nor a bar in the way, sweep it with 
my whole heart and soul and mind and strength. If that 
was not prayer, and in some measure the prayer of Penuel, 
that could not fail in some degree to receive the blessing, I be- 
lieved that I had never prayed, and was yet in my sins. 

After placing myself on my pillow and disposing of all 
other matters, I used to betake myself to this struggle, first 
for others, and then for my children. And if I ever prayed, 
it was in those nocturnal agonies. And after thus staking my 
own salvation, as it were, on the issue, I would go in the 
morning, or in the course of the day, to see how my daugh- 
ter was affected ; and she, knowing the kindness of my inten- 
tion, would meet me, week after week, with a filial smile. I 
could never have thought that such a filial smile would so 
wither a parent's heart. My stated question was, " Do you 
realizingly feel that it would be just for God to cast you off?" 
And she would as uniformly answer " No." She knew all 
about the doctrines; her understanding was fully convinced ; 
she was awakened, and attended all the meetings ; but she 
went no further. 

In the latter part of December, I sent for my daughter El- 
len home, that I might lay her at the Saviour's feet. If I 
failed in my object, I knew the world would say, " There, he 
tried and could'nt." But I thought with myself, " She can 


but die." And eo her brother in-law went for Iier 90 miles in 
that season of the year. When she came home I desired her 
to do nothing but read and pray and attend the meetings. 
She compUed, and was sober, but not convicted, or even awa- 

Thus things went on till Wednesday evening, Jan. 18th, 
1826 ; in which time my anguish of spirit had well nigh laid 
me upon a bed of sickness. That evening after meeting, I 
visited Louisa, and put to her the old question, " Do you feel 
that it would be just for God to cast you off?" After a consi- 
derable pause, and in a low voice, she answered, " Yes, Sir." 
I started, as a man awoke in a new world, and said, " Do 
you, my dear ?" After another pause, and in a low voice, she 
answered again, "Yes, Sir." That evening upon my pillow, 
I began to say, " Was she not awakened at Newark ? Has 
she not knowledge enough 1 And is she not now at last con- 
victed of her desert of hell ? Has not enough been done in a 
preparatory way? Wilt thou not this night take away the 
heart of stone and give a heart of flesh?" At that moment 
something within me said, "No; let her be more deeply con- 
victed of her sin and ruin, that she may know what she ow es to 
our redeeming God and his dying Son ; — that she may see the 
distinctive glories of that God and Saviour whom I maintained 
against a world in arms before she was born." The prayer 
passed from her to her husband, and then to her sister. Their 
personal interests, which had pressed like a mountain so long 
upon me, were swallowed up and lost, and the all-absorbing 
desire was, " That eyes so dear to me, may see the glory of 
our redeeming God and his dying Son, and that souls so dear 
may show in their salvation the same glory to the universe." 
I then saw, as I never saw before, what it is for God to be glo- 
rified, and felt conscious that I desired that object more than 
all others. It appeared the most glorious object; and my 
whole soul went out in pantings after it. 

The next morning, before I was up, Mrs. Griffin came back 
into my room, and said, " I have been into Ellen's chamber, 
and found her weeping. She says. Mamma, I woke up this 

Vol. I. 20 


morning early, and began to think how good God had been 
to me and how ungrateful I had been to him; and I can't 
sleep any more." This was her first conviction. That same 
morning, as Louisa was coming down to spend the day with 
us, (for the family spent every Thursday with us.) and when 
she had reached the gate, " The thought," (as she afterwards 
expressed it,) "dropped upon my mind, tliat God reigns; and 
it was a glorious thought.'' She did not tell me of this till 
Friday niglit. On Saturday morning, when I called to see 
her, she was all dissolved, and related the views she had had 
of her sin and of the mercy of God the last evening. On 
Thursday Ellen attended Mr. Gridley's inquiry meeting, and 
he told me afterwards, that in addressing her, he had tried 
every string, and not one of them vibrated till he touched on 
the goodness of God, and then she wept like a child. On 
Friday or Saturday I said to her, " My daughter, where do 
you expect to spend your eternity?" She answered, "Why, 
papa, 1 have'nt thought of that." "What then have you 
been thinking about ?" "I have been thinking how good God 

Dr. Smith, my son-in-law, into a separate room, and pressed 
him with all the power I could apply. He wept. The next 
day, (Jan. 22d, 1820.) I preached a sermon with a view to 
try Louisa's hope, from Psalm xcix. 9, '• For the Lord our 
God is holy." I noticed that Dr. Smith devoured every word. 
The next day I learnt that he had been hoping since Satur- 
day. I searched for him and found him, and after dinner he 
came to me. We sat in my study, and Ellen sat by the win- 
dow behind me. I cast my eye back upon her, and she look- 
ed more like the image of misery than ever before. She felt 
that she was left alone indeed. The Dr. retired, and Ellen 
left the room. Not long after, Mrs. Griffin came in, and said, 
" Ellen has been saying to me, I am afraid papa don't feel 
about me just as he did about Louisa." " Tell the dear child," 
said I, " to bring in my surtout, (as I was going out,) and I 
will talk with her." She came in, in great distress. After 


some conversation, I kneeled down with her, by my hbrary." 
The spot and the time I never shall forget. The Syropheni- 
cian woman had been much before me. She was before me 
then ; and so was the glorious Personage to whom she applied. 
And he appeared as near to me as he did to her, — as near as 
though he had been bodily present. And it was as easy for me 
to put my child into his arms, as though he had been visibly 
in the room. And I did put her into his arms, with all my 
heart and soul. And it seemed to me that it was impossible, 
but that she would give herself to him before she arose. 
When 1 arose I took her in my arms and said, " My dear, 
have you given yourself to Christ?" "Oh, no," said she, and 
was apparently overwhelmed. 1 left the room and went out 
to visit a family, where I met my dear Louisa, who appeared 
the happiest creature in the world. She was going that eve- 
ing to the first prayer meeting she ever attended, as she 
thought. Upon my return after tea, Mrs. Griffin met me and 
said, " I never witnessed such a scene. Ellen has been weep- 
ing upon my neck, and saying, Christ died for me, and I have 
never done any thing for him, and I cannot hve so any longer." 
I asked her to send her in. She came in, when the following 
dialogue took place between us, " My child, where do you 
expect to spend your eternity?" " Why, papa, I think it most 
hkely that I shall spend it in hell," "Well, my dear, that 
question God will decide, without asking counsel of you or 
me," " I know that, papa, and I don't want any body else 
should decide it." " VVhy, my dear ?" " Because he appears 
so good and so just." " Do you think that you deserve hell ?" 
" Oh, I know I do." " What is the greatest desire of your 
heart ?" " To love and serve God all my days." In that con- 
dition she remained eight and forty hours, without a particle 
of hope. At the end of that time, (to use her own expres- 
sion,) her burden fell off, and the preciousness and loveliness 
of Christ appeared to her view. In the mean time Louisa at- 
tended her prayer meeting on Monday evening. While I was 
at breakfast on Tuesday morning, Ellen received from her 
sister the following note. 

156 residence at 

My dearest Ellen, 

I never felt so anxious to see you as I do this morning, 
but the weather seems to forbid. I have always felt for your 
body, now I would inquire about your immortal soul. When 
I feel the fullness there is in the dear Redeemer, his ability 
and wilUngness, yea, ardent desire to save just such sinners as 
we are, I cannot but hope that you have seen him too, and 
have been enabled without reserve to give yourself away to 
him. If you have not, O do not stay away another moment. 
Why should you ? There is balm in Gilead, an almighty 
Physician there. Do you feel yourself to be a polluted, self- 
ruined sinner, totally undone? O let not your sins keep you 
from him. This is the very reason why you should go to 
him. What was his errand into this miserable world, but to 
"seek and to save that which was lost?" What is he now 
walking our streets for but to dispense pardons to the guilty: 
to " gather the lambs in his arms and carry them in his bo- 
som?" O believe his promises. Think him sincere when he 
invites " every one that thirsteth," all that are " weary and 
heavy laden," " the ends of the earth," to look unto him and 
be saved. Do not add to all your other sins, the crying sin of 
unbelief. Come, and he will fill your soul with that " peace 
that passeth understanding." He will enable you to say, 
"Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon 
earth that I desire besides thee." He will enable you to say, 
"O that all the blind could see him too." He will enable you 
to point your dear companions to " the Lamb of God which 
taketh away the sin of the world." I hope your brother is in 
the ark. We had a long and most interesting conversation 
last evening. He was called away at day-light, and has not 
yet returned. Mr. and Mrs. Hanson are both rejoicing in their 
Saviour. Give my love to E. Dewey. You may read this to 
her. What I say to you I say to her, — to all, — to poor Susan ; 
come to Christ. " None but Jesus can do helpless sinners 

W"e had a blessed meeting last evening. O it is good to 
draw near to God through the Mediator. You must come up 


" to the help of the Lord against the mighty." Do all you 
can for him who bought you with his blood. There is nothing 
else worth living for. 

My love to our dear parents. Say to them, " Be not afraid, 
only beheve." I hope to see you before night. 

Your anxious and affectionate sister, 


Notwithstanding this note, Louisa shortly after came down 
and spent the day ; and in the evening my three children and 
myself attended a most interesting meeting. Louisa has been 
heard to say, that was the happiest day of her life. The 
next day, Wednesday, Jan. 26th, Ellen was relieved. All 
within a week from that ever to be remembered Wednesday 
evening, when I first learnt that Louisa was convicted, and 
when I had that travail on my wakeful pillow. 

The following letter from Doctor Griffin, con- 
taining an account of the hopeful conversion of his 
children, was addressed to Nathaniel Willis 
Esq. of Boston, and shortly after was published in 
the Boston Recorder. 

Williams College, Feb. 2, 1826. 
Dear Sir, 

Your letter gave me great pleasure. The prospect of an- 
other revival of religion in Boston is animating in no small 
degree. Your letter was read to the pious students who are 
here in vacation, with a request that they would daily remem- 
ber Boston in their prayers. At a public meeting they formal- 
ly agreed to do it ; and at a fast held yesterday, Boston made 
one of the subjects of their public petitions. I intend to en- 
deavor to engage the pious people of the town in the same 
course of wrestling for you. 

O that the dear christians in Boston may receive a spirit of 
special and effectual prayer, in which desires as strong as 
death shall be united with absolute dependance and faith, and 
all combined with the most vigorous exertions to arrest the at- 


tention of sinners. These two classes of exertions ought to 
be duly proportioned to each other. If much prayer is em- 
ployed with httle exhortation, it is like standing at the bottom 
of a hill and praying to be placed on the top. If much ex- 
hortation is used with little prayer, it will issue in proud, un- 
productive self-dependance. But then it must be the prayer 
of faith. God has said, " I will yet for this be inquired of by 
the house of Israel ;" and, " Ask, and it shall be given you." 
We must take hold of the promise with a grasp that cannot 
be broken ; and with an importunity that cannot be denied. 
JNor is this humble holding of God to his word in opposition 
to the fullest acknowledgment of his sovereignty and our de- 
pendance ; for we know all the time that unless he gives us 
the spirit of prayer we cannot take hold of the promise. And 
if we are tempted to think this urgency and repetition teaz- 
ing, we have only to refer to the parable of the importunate 
widow. It is a day in which, after the partial suspension of 
the rains of heaven, they are beginning to descend in very 
uncommon effusions. A late letter informed me that in the 
small village of Rome, ninety obtained a hope in two weeks. 
All through the western part of New- York, and through Ver- 
mont and New- Jersey, God is doing great things. It is time 
to expect great things, and to attempt great things. We are 
commanded to open our mouths wide. Old Mr. Elmer, of 
New- Jersey, in preaching from this text one day, stopped : the 
tear came into his eye : For my part, says he, I never expect- 
ed much, and God never gave me much. 1 know of no 
place where they have a better right to expect much than in 
Boston. You are kneeling hard by the sepulchres of those 
blessed fathers who have made so large a deposite in heaven 
of their prayers. And God knows the need of a standard 
lifted up where the enemy comes in like a flood. O be not 
discouraged. The blessed Jesus has much people in tliat city, 
who never yet have known him. Our earnest prayers will 
daily mingle with yours for that ancient city of our fathers' 

As you were so kind as to speak so tenderly of my dear 


children, I know it will give you joy to hear that both of them 
have hopefully laid their enmity and their honors at their Re- 
deemer's feet. My son-in-law also is in a very interesting- 
state of mind, and I hope, not far from the kingdom of hea- 
ven. Help me to magnify the Lord forever, I have given 
my redeemed children away to Christ, with a supreme desire 
that they may be altogether devoted to him all the days of 
their lives. Whether they be rich or poor, — whether they live 
long or die soon, — are minor considerations. 

You have been a highly favored parent, and have probably 
had more experience than I in these solemn and awful and 
intere ting dealings of God, As you are so largely experi- 
enced in these matters, perhaps I may drop upon the ear of 
private friendship some account of what God has done for me. 
And if it shall encourage you or any of my dear friends to 
agonize more abundantly for their children, my end is an- 

Little did I think what such a blessing was to cost me. 
The struggle came near laying me on a bed of sickness. Ne- 
ver before had I such a sense of the import of that figure in 
Gal. iv. 19. I had often said that in offering their children in 
baptism parents must believe for them, (as far as the nature 
of things admits,) as they did for their own souls, and must 
bring them to Christ as poor lost sinners, much in the same 
way in which they brought themselves. But now I s-ee that 
if their children are to be born again in a covenant way, (it 
may be done in a sovereign way without them,) they must 
travail in birth for them. For two full months the struggle 
lasted before I saw any decisive signs of an answer. My 
younger daughter was at school at Hartford, and I sent for 
her home that she might have the advantage of this blessed 
season. Week after week, after the midnight struggle upon 
ray wakeful pillow, I would go to my children in ihe morning 
and be dismayed to find them the same. I would then return 
and examine my prayers. I could not see that I set up their 
interest against that of God, or my will against his will. I 
saw that I had no claim except on a gracious promise made to 


prayer. But that I seized and hung to with the grasp of death. 
And yet nothing seemed to follow. At last it came to this : if 
that was not prayer, — and in some measure the prayer of Pe- 
nuel, (Gen. xxxii. 26) — I knew nothing about prayer, and must 
abandon my liope. If all my children must perish, I must go 
down with them. Such a hold had 1 fixed upon the promise, 
and such was the impossibility of letting it go, that I found I 
had staked every thing upon it, and upon its truth in refe- 
rence to me, and it was an eternal heaven or an eternal hell 
for more than one. And yet God delayed. Ah then was the 
tug and struggle which shook the soul. After many nights I 
found myself, on my pillow, longing that my children might 
be brought to see their ruin, in order that they might see what 
they owed to God and their precious Redeemer, — might see his 
glory and bear witness for him and praise him all their days. 
Before, I had brought them to God as a personal interest j 
now, I wished the thing done for the Lord's sake. The next 
morning Ellen could not sleep to think how good God was 
and how ungrateful she had been ; and Louisa, (whose im- 
pressions had been deeper than slie had acknowledged or 
known,) found herself rejoicing that God reigned. Four days 
after as I was praying with Ellen, I felt such a nearness to 
Christ, and was enabled to commit her to his arms so easily, 
so fully, and so confidently, that I could not but hope she 
would commit herself to him before she arose. I humbly trust 
he received her then. In an hour or two she was giving 
strong evidence of a new nature ; yet for two days she lay 
crushed under a sense of her unworthiness, until, as she ex- 
pressed it, " the preciousness and loveliness of the Saviour 
opened to her view." During this awful suspense she receiv- 
ed the enclosed note from Louisa, which I send to your daugh- 
ters, my dear children whom I used to catechise. 

O may my soul be thankful, and may my hfe and my 
children be wholly devoted to the Lord. With my kind regards 
to Mrs. Willis and your children, to Mr. and Mrs. Dwight, and 
all my beloved friends in Boston, I am. Dear Sir, 
Aflfectionately yours, 



The following is an extract from a letter written 
about the same time, and in reference to the same 
general subject, to the Rev. Frederick Marsh, 
of Winchester, Conn. 

My Dear Sir, 

I received yours of the 15th inst. by due course of mail. I 
am truly rejoiced to hear of this wonderful favor of God vouch- 
safed to our dear Mr. Gillet and to the people of his charge ; 
and it is my hearty desire and prayer to God that your con- 
gregation, and all our beloved Litchfield county, may be 
equally blessed. After several years of partial suspension, the 
rains of heaven are at length beginning lo descend on our 
land in an unusual degree. May the whole extent of the 
United States be drenched in the heavenly flood. 

We have indeed much to acknowledge here. From the 
printed notices you have probably seen what God has done for 
our college. Of the thirty-one who were on the ground with- 
out religion, (numbers were absent in their schools,) we hoped 
for twenty-seven at the close of the term. Of the other four, 
one had been in deep waters for a long time ; the other three 
belong to this town, and are in the midst of the revival here. 
Many prayers have been offered for the absent ; and as the 
work has extended to the town, we greatly hope that these 
upon their return will fall under an influence iJiat will bring 
them all in. Do engage your dear praying people to inter- 
cede with heaven for an issue so devoutly to be wished. 

The work has extended to the town with power and great 
glory. I have not heard any estimate of the numbers that are 
impressed, but the influence is very general. Among the 
hopeful converts, I am permitted by infinite mercy to name 
my own children. My two daughters give good evidence of 
a saving change ; and my son-in-law is in a very interesting 
state of mind, and, I hope, not far from the kingdom of hea- 
ven. Help me, my dear sir, to bless and praise the Lord for- 
ever. It is my supreme desire concerning them, that they 
Vol. 1. 21 


may devote tlieniselves wholly to the service of their Redeemer 
all the days of their life. 

Doctor Griffin continues his narrative thus : — 

The next spring my two daughters were admitted to the 
church on the same day. The Doctor has not made a public 
profession yet. P. S. He joined the church afterwards at 
Newark, N. J. 

The revival saved the college. There were but two profes- 
sors. One of them appeared to be sinking into the grave with 
the consumption ; the other had made up his mind to leave if 
the 125,000 could not be raised. I myself was invited to a 
professorship in a Theological Seminary, and had engaged to 
go, if the fund was not raised. The trustees were discouraged 
by a conflict of eleven years, and would probably have given 
up the college if all the officers had left them. All depended, 
under God, on raising the $25,000. That would never have 
been raised but for the revival. For besides that this event 
predisposed the christian public to contribute, it operated on 
me in two ways. In the first place, by that timely interposi- 
tion, (in addition to the many tokens of favor manifested to the 
college before, which are mentioned in my sermon at the de- 
dication of the new chapel,) I was convinced that the institu- 
tion was dear to God, and that it was his purpose to preserve 
it. Had it not been for that confidence 1 should have turned 
back a hundred times amidst the discouragements which sur- 
rounded me. la the second place, that revival gave me a 
sense of obligation which excited me to the mighty effort. 
The influence which came down to save the college, had, as 
I hoped, brought in my children ; and I felt that if ever a 
man was bound to go till he fell down for an institution dear 
to Christ, I was that man. 

The following extract from Doctor Hopkins' ser- 
mon occasioned by Doctor Griffin's death, will 
show the depressed state of the college at the time 


he took charge of it, and the important agency he 
had in reheving it from its embarrassments, and 
placing it on a more soHd and permanent founda- 

" We now come to that period in the history of Dr. Griffin, 
when he became connected with this college. This was in 
1821. At the commencement in that year. Dr. Moore presid- 
ed for the last time. It had for some time been the opinion of 
the majority of the trustees, that if there was to be but one 
college, and it was supposed there could be but one, in the 
western part of this state, Northampton would be a more favo- 
rable location, and Dr. Moore had accepted the presidency 
with the expectation that the college would be removed. A 
majority of the trustees had voted that it was expedient to re- 
move it, and had petitioned the legislature for permission to do 
so. This petition had been met by a spirited opposition on 
the part of the inhabitants of the town, and of the county ; 
and upon their own responsibility, they raised a subscription 
of ^17,000, which was laid before a committee of the legisla- 
ture, and which was to be paid to the college in case it should 
not be removed. This subscription, raised against the wishes 
of a majority of the trustees, but which they could not refuse 
wdthout a fraud upon the legislature, some persons afterwards 
refused to pay, and it was made the ground of much misre- 
presentation respecting the college. In consequence, however, 
of this subscription, and of the representations made from this 
part of the state, the legislature refused to the trustees permis- 
sion to remove the college. In the mean time, strong expec- 
tations had been excited in Hampshire county, that there 
would be a college there. The people of Amherst, acting in 
concert with some of the trustees of this college residing in that 
region, raised large subscriptions and erected buildings for the 
reception of students, wuth the expectation of obtaining a char- 
ter. Having, therefore, accommodations prepared in a region 
upon which his eye had been fixed. Dr. Moore was about to 
place himself at the head of an institution there, and to take 


a considerable number of the students with him. The trus- 
tees had aheady elected one or two persons as president, who 
had declined, when Dr. Griffin was fixed upon ; and one of 
their number went to Newark to lay the subject before him. 
He had been interested in the college from its connection with 
missionary operations ; and coming on immediately to meet 
the trustees, he arrived here commencement day at noon, and 
took his seat upon the stage. His appearance at that time re- 
vived the hopes of the friends of the college ; and it was soon 
understood that he would accept the appointment. He had 
precisely the kind of reputation which was needed for the col- 
lege at such a crisis ; a comparatively large class entered, and 
the college continued to increase in numbers and to prosper till 
1825. In February of that year, Amherst obtained a charter, 
and as it had been often urged against granting one that two 
colleges could not be sustained in the western part of this state, 
it was supposed by many that it would be a death blow to this. 
This impression caused a number of the students to take dis- 
missions, while a very small class entered at the ensuing com- 
mencement. It was now seen, that ' to extract the seeds of 
consumption which had lurked in the college for eleven years, 
something must be done to conv nee the public that it would 
hve and flourish in this ground.' 

" The trustees accordingly resolved to attempt to raise a fund 
of $25,000 to establish a new professorship, and to build a cha- 
pel. In the raising of this sum. Dr. Griffin was the princi- 
pal agent; and strengthened by an extraordinary revival of 
religion, with which God in his mercy then favored the col- 
lege, he accomplished what probably no other man could have 
done. In a time of general embarrassment, he raised $12,000 
in four weeks. The fund was completed ; a professorship of 
rhetoric and moral philosophy was endowed; this building 
was erected, and Sept. 2d, 1828, standing where I now stand, 
he dedicated it, ' to the honor and glory of the ever blessed 
Trinity — Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.' From that time it 
has been felt that the college is peiinanent ; and it has been 
going on side by side with sister institutions, doing its part in 


carrying on the great business of education in this country. 
In estimating this effort of Dr. Griffin, it should be remember- 
ed that it was the first of the kind, and probably led to the 
more extended and the successful efforts of other institutions 
in the same way." 

The following letter was addressed by Doctor 
Griffin to the compiler of this Memoir, in com- 
pliance with a request made in behalf of one or two 
distinguished clergymen in England, that he would 
give his views of the cause of the difference in the 
mode of the operation of the Holy Spirit in Great 
Britain and the United States. 

Williams College, Nov. 14, 1828. 
Rev. and Dear Sir, 

Your favor of Aug. 16th would not have lain so long un- 
answered but for a series of most pressing calls. Your friends 
inquire whether the difference between England and America 
in regard to the mode of the Spirit's operations can be referred 
to a difference of national character, or can in any way be ac- 
counted for. If by national character is meant every thing 
by which one nation differs from others in their views, feel- 
ings, and manners, the fact must be ascribed to national cha- 
racter, except so far as it is to be referred to inscrutable sove- 
reignty. Doubtless the Spirit acts so much in a line with na- 
ture, that national character has vast influence; and to show 
all the reasons of the difference would be to show all the cir- 
cumstances which contribute to render one nation unlike an- 
other. But this would be as impossible as to explain all the 
causes of the winds blowing in such a direction and shifting 
about continually. In both cases some general reasons can 
be assigned, but innumerable details escape our research. 
We must doubtless ascribe the difference in part to sovereignty 
more or less inscrutable, — partly perhaps to the method of 
God's covenanted mercy, — and so far as means are concerned, 
to the manner in which they are shaped by the circumstances 


which influence or constitute national character. Without 
pretending- to exhaust the subject, I will offer the following rea- 
sons for the blessings which have visited our country, leaving 
it to our brethren on the other side of the water to determine 
how far they are distinctive. 

(1.) The sovereignty of God. This land, which was dis- 
covered by the light of the Reformation, (in other words, by 
that agony of the public mind which a few years after pro- 
duced the Reformation,) seems to have been reserved for the 
asylum of the oppressed during the troublous times before the 
milleniura, and as a place where the church might take her 
more glorious form and grow up into millenial beauty and 

(2.) Some things have occurred in the history of this coun- 
try which favor such a destiny. The United States were not 
doomed to grow up from barbarism, bringing up with them 
the marks and clogs of a more barbarous state. They began 
in an enlightened age, and in possession of all the knowledge 
and institutions of the most enlightened nation on earth. 
The circumstances of their settlement, and still more of the 
revolution, swept away a thousand authorities and prejudices 
connected with long established forms, and left them to take 
that shape which the unfettered reason of an enlightened age 
approved. This advantage soon discovered itself in their civil 
institutions, in their systems of education, and no where more 
than in their rehgion. 

(3.) No country was ever settled by such a colony as peo- 
pled New-England. They were among the best part of the 
best nation on the face of the globe, and in its best age. 
They broke away from everything dear on earth for the sake 
of their religion ; they came with unconquerable attachments 
to civil and religious liberty, and brought a mass of science 
competent to found those literary institutions which have co- 
vered New-England with hght,— which have excluded igno- 
rance, and left scarcely a man unable to read his Bible. 
Their churches, their sabbaths, their laws, their rulers, their 
colleges, their schools, all were subservient to religion. And 


they entailed a blessing on their posterity which proved that 
they transacted with a covenant God. Their descendants 
have been distinguished from all the other inhabitants of the 
United States. A part of New-Jersey was settled by the de- 
scendants of the pilgrims, where they have remained in a 
great measure unmixed: and 1 have seen the Spirit of God 
repeatedly pass through their towns, and stop near the boun- 
dary which divided them from another race. There are fami- 
lies in New-England, in which an unbroken succession of pious 
generations can be traced from the first settlement of the coun- 
try to the present time. 

(4.) There are circumstances in our history which have 
given a general bias in favor of revivals. In addition to the 
fact that New-England was born in a revival, (as it was a re- 
vival of religion which separated the pilgrims from their coun- 
try and brought them hither ;) a strong impression was made 
in favor of revivals by the embalmed name of Whitefield, and 
the great work of grace tinough the land in his day. The 
influence of President Edwards and Dr. Bellamy in New- 
England, of Presidents Davies and Finley and the Tennents 
in the Presbyterian church, and of the converts of that day, 
some of whom lived to a good old age and had great weight 
of character, (as the Rev. Dr. John Rogers of New- York;) 
the influence of these men with their writings, and the wri- 
tings of their disciples, (as Hopkins and West and Dvvight in 
New-England, and Dr. Green and others of the Presbyterian 
church,) have brought almost the whole country to look on 
the revivals of that day as the work of God, and on revivals 
in general with veneration and desire. This opinion once 
settled, it is natural for christians to hope and pray, and strive 
for those special movements which are called by this name. 
And such is the coincidence between natural and supernatural 
operations, that these efforts are likely to succeed. 

(5.) The boldness and energy of New-England, formed in 
a life of exercise, and under an invigorating sky, — formed 
amidst the roughness of our forests, and under the impulses 
of unbounded liberty ; the plainness of our republican man- 


ners, and the matter of fact character of our mental opera- 
tions, and of our style ; the unparalleled diffusion of know- 
ledge, under which the young grow up with strong common 
sense, and demand to be fed with truth instead of sound ; all 
these causes operate to produce great plainness, and directness 
in the public preaching, and to confine it to a naked, pointed, 
condensed exhibition of truth, — of the whole truth without 
abatement or disguise, — even of those parts which in some 
places would be considered strong meat. Thus " the sword 
of the Spirit," naked and glittering, is brandished before all ; 
and it is not hkely to be brandished in vain. 

(6.) But the most powerful means is yet to be mentioned. 
It is found in the distinct apprehensions which prevail in New- 
England about the instantaneousness of regeneration, the sin- 
fulness of every moral exercise up to that moment, and the 
duty of immediate submission. Such a view of things leads 
the preacher to divide his audience into two classes, and to run 
a strong and affecting line of demarcation between them. 
When one feels that the moral, sober, prayerful, unregenerate 
part of his audience are doing pretty well, and can afford to 
wait a little longer before they submit, he will not be so press- 
ing, nor fall with such a tremendous weight upon their con- 
science. When he feels that they cannot do much more than 
they do, but must wait God's time, he will not annoy and 
weary them, and make them sick of waiting, and compel them 
to come in. But when one enters the pulpit under a solemn 
sense that every unregenerate man before him, however 
awakened, is an enemy to God, is resisting with all his heart, 
and will continue to resist until he submits, — that he must be 
born again before he is any better than an enemy, or has 
made any approaches towards holiness ; when one looks 
around upon the unregenerate part of his audience and sees 
that they are under indispensable obligations to yield at once, — 
that they have no manner of excuse for delaying, — that they 
deserve eternal reprobation for postponing an hour ; when one 
feels from the bottom of his heart that there is nothing short 
of regeneration that can answer any purpose, and that he can- 


not leave his dear charge to be turned from enemies of God 
to friends ten years hence, — dehvered from condemnation ten 
years hence, — but must see it now ; O how he will pray and 
preach ! He will give God no rest, and he will give sinners 
no rest; and he will bring down their immediate pressing, 
boundless obligations upon them with the weight of a world. 
Under such preaching sinners must either turn to God or be 
miserable. There is no chance for them to remain at ease 
this side of infidehty itself But the doctrine of progressive 
regeneration must be attended with more silent and gradual 

Some of these reasons apply with peculiar emphasis to New- 
England ; but the sentiments of New-England are scattered 
far and wide through the country, and her influence, in every 
thing relating to religion and science, is felt to the land's end. 

I rejoice to hear that some of the best and most enlightened 
men in England are solemnly inquiring into the cause why 
that land of our fathers' sepulchres, — that glory of the eastern 
world, — is not visited with stronger manifestations of divine 
power. It is a token for good ; and I hope and pray that the 
time may not be far distant when that beloved country shall 
be drenched in the heavenly flood, and become the point of 
strong radiations to enlighten and regenerate three quarters of 
the globe. I am, my Dear Sir, with most perfect confidence 
and esteem, affectionately yours, 



Williams College, June 28, 1830. 
My Dear Children, 

* * * I have no doubt of the great use of the infant school 
system to children of three and four, and perhaps to some of 
more advanced age. To all, of every age below ten, it can- 
not fail to offer some advantages of no ordinary sort. But it 
is an experiment ; and those who have studied the principles 
of education most, will think themselves obliged to keep their 
eye upon it, and watch its effects on different minds. The 
Vol. I. 22 


power and habit of concentrated attention are to be ranked 
among the most important constituents of genius; and al- 
though much of this depends on nature, much depends on 
education. This is a subject about which intellectual philoso- 
phers largely treat ; and one of the great uses of mathema- 
tics in a system of education, is to form the habit of close and 
discriminating attention. It is possible that this new system 
may prove deficient, and want to be improved in reference to 
this matter, especially as relates to certain minds. 
Your affectionate father, 



Williams College, Sept. oth, 1830. 
My Dear Brother and Sister, 

Since the arrival of dear George's letter yesterday after- 
noon, we have mingled our tears and sympathies with you in 
no ordinary degree. This is indeed the ordering of him whose 
footsteps are in the mighty deep and whose ways are not 
known. But you know it is the allotment of Infinite Wisdom 
and love. I pray that you and your children may be sup- 
ported. I know God can make up this loss a thousand fold 
by the impartation of spiritual blessings to you and to your 
house, and I have a strong hope that he intends to do it. It 
has taken a hold of Charles' mind, which encourages us to 
pray for him and labor with him. I went over to college to 
break it to the poor boy, and broke it gradually, and invited 
him to come home. He did, and spent the evening, and was 
much overcome. We all had a note for prayers put up to- 
day, at the head of which was Charles' name. He is now 
reading one of the most pungent of President Edwards' ser- 
mons. If only Charles can be made a christian, Edmund, if 
he could now speak, would say. It is a good worth dying for. 
But I hope this for Francis and Mary, and the whole family. 
It is a great comfort to us that the dear youth made us a 
visit, — that we had an opportunity to see him, and love him 


and ride with him, and pay him some few attentions ; and 
especially as it aflbrded George an opportunity to have that 
interesting conversation with him three weeks ago to-day, 
which, more than any thing else before the death scene, con- 
firmed our hopes respecting the reality of his religion. We 
shall long cherish the remembrance of his visit; and the 
scenes through which I rode with him will always be dear 
and associated with his name. 

We regard it as a very merciful providence that George 
went home with him, and was present to cheer his dying hour, 
and to show other branches of the family the power of reli- 
gion in such a scene of affliction. And yet his going depend- 
ed on a very small circumstance; — a new proof among a mil- 
lion, that if God governs great events he must govern small. 
It must be a trying consideration, that after so much had been 
expended on his education, and such high hopes were formed 
of him, he should be taken away just as he was prepared to 
be useful. But he has not lost his education. It prepared 
him, I trust, for higher flights of devotion and blessedness in 
his Father's kingdom. And whether is better, to be a profes- 
sor or an angel ? These repeated strokes, my dear brother and 
sister, ought to loosen our hold on earth, and make us live the 
rest of our days for God and eternity ; and to educate our 
children, not so much for the glories of this world as for the 
glories of an eternal state ; and to shape every part of their 
education with such a reference. If I had a million of child- 
ren, I would rather train them to take a part in the benevo- 
lent operations of the day, and in the sanctifying delights of 
the prayer meeting, than to shine in assemblies marked only 
with the spirit of this world. And I doubt not that by the 
grave of your dear Ellen and Edmund, it must appear so to 
you. Let me entreat you not to suffer such an impression, 
made in this solemn hour of truth, to wear off without perma- 
nently influencing the life. Pardon me for this freedom, and 
believe me to be, with a bleeding heart, and with a heart that 
always loves you, your afflicted and affectionate brother, 




Williams College, June 15th, 1831. 
My dear Louisa, 

* * * The influence of a mother upon the manners and 
salvation of children, especially the latter, is probably greater 
than that of all other created beings united. On you, then, it 
chiefly depends, under God, what your children shall be in 
both worlds. If you lose your authority over them, you lose 
of course the chief part of your influence, and then your child- 
ren lose the choicest means which God has appointed for their 
happiness here and hereafter. If you once form such habits 
of management as to lose your authority, you never can re- 
gain it; for not only your own habits will stand in the way, 
but the confirmed habits of depraved and untamed children, 
who will no longer brook restraint. The present is your form- 
ing period. Two or three years to come will settle the ques- 
tion unchangeably, (especially if the habits are wrong,) whe- 
ther you are to have a government which will form your 
children to honor, and glory, and immortality, or one which 
will leave their corruptions to take their natural course. God 
will certainly hold you answerable for those young immortals, 
and for the distinguished talents which he has given you for 
their benefit. If you have any piety, my dear child, let it be 
brought to this bearing. Make the management of your 
children the object of your most anxious exertions, and the 
subject of your agonizing and unceasing prayers. 

I have not time to go into a full treatise on family govern- 
ment, but will lay down the following rules for your daily and 
prayerful examination. 

I. Exercise your authority as seldom as possible, and in- 
stead of it employ kind persuasion and deliberate reasoning ; 
but when you exercise it, make it irresistible. 

II. Be careful how you threaten, but never lie. Threaten 
seldom, but never fail to execute. The parent who is open- 
mouthed to threaten, and threatens hastily, but is irresolute 
to punish, and when the child is not subdued by the first 
threat, repeats it half a dozen times with a voice of increas- 


ing violence, and with many shakes and twitclies of the Uttle 
culprit, will certainly possess no authority, 

III. Avoid tones and gestures expressive of agitation for tri- 
vial matters indicative of no depravity and indicating only 
the heedlessness or forgetfulness of children, or perhaps nothing 
more than is common to all young animals, a love to use their 
limbs. In all such cases the tones should be kind and persua- 
sive, rather than authoritative ; and the severity and even the 
gravity of authority should be reserved exclusively for cases of 
disobedience or depravity, or for tiie prevention of serious evil. 
A perpetual fretting at children for little things, will inevitably 
harden their hearts, and totally destroy parental authority and 
influence. There never was a fretting parent, who often 
threatened and seldom performed, that had a particle of effi- 
cient government. 

IV. Establish the unchanging habit of not commanding a 
child but once. Cost what it may, break the child down to 
obedience to the first command. And when this is once done, 
if you are careful never to let disobedience escape punishment 
of some kind or other, and punishment that shall be effectual, 
and triumphant, you will find it not difficult to maintain your 
absolute autliority. 

Your aflfectionate father, 


In the course of the year 1831, Doctor Griffin 
became deeply interested in reference to what has 
been commonly called the "New Divinity." He 
was fully of the opinion that the views which were 
supposed to be held by the divines of that school 
were essentially at variance, not only with plain 
scripture, but with sound philosophy; and hence 
he felt himself called upon to take up his pen in de- 
fence of what he believed to be the truth as it is in 
Jesus. The result was, that wdthin a little more 
than a year, he published, in connexion with this 


controversy, a sermon on " Regeneration not ef- 
fected by light ;" a letter on " the connexion be- 
tween the new measures and the new doctrines ;" 
and a more extended treatise on " Divine efficien- 
cy." Early in 1832 he addressed the following let- 
ter to the Rev. Dr. Taylor of New -Haven, with a 
view to ascertain from himself the peculiarities of 
the system which was commonly called by his name. 

Williams College, March 6, 1832. 
Rev. and Dear Sir, 

I was glad to see, in the New- York Observer, your letter 
in ariswer to the questions proposed by Dr. Hawes. Com- 
plaint had been made, you know, that you did not let the 
whole length and breadth of your theory out, and were not 
understood. I was glad therefore to see you so explicit. Still 
there are a few points which I do not yet understand, and on 
which I should deem it a privilege to receive information, if 
you have no objection to give it. Divine truth is the common 
property of the church ; and all the new light that is brought 
forward should be so spread out that every one may examine 
it fully for himself. I want to examine your theory to the bot- 
tom, so far as relates to the great question of creature dej)end- 
ance, and perhaps may have occasion to offer my views to the 
public. I wish for permission to make any use of your answer 
which the cause of truth may to me seem to require ; and un- 
less you forbid it, shall consider myself authorized so to act. 

1. You say " that the necessity of the influence of the Holy 
Spirit in regeneration results solely from the voluntary per- 
verseness of the sinners' heart." My question is, Are not Ga- 
briel and Paul dependant on God for holiness ? not on light 
merely, but on the efficient power of God acting on their hearts? 

2. You say regeneration " is produced by the influence of 
the Holy Spirit operating on the mind through truth, and in 
perfect consistency with the nature of moral action and laws 
of moral agency." On this two questions arise. (1.) What 


is meant by " through truth ?" All allow that the new exer- 
cises are put forth in view of truth as their object, and are in- 
fluenced by different truths as their reasons. Is truth any 
thing more in this matter? What causes the exercise to- 
wards the truth, or in view of the truth, to be love rather than 
hatred ? Is it God acting by his own power upon the mind 1 
Is it truth brought clearly into view ? Or is it the mind itself 
without any other cause? (2.) What limitation or explana- 
tion do you mean by the words, " and in perfect consistency 
with the nature of moral action and the laws of moral agen- 
cy?" If God causes the creature to love truth rather than 
hate it, still the love is the creature's own act, and in it he is 
as free as God himself. Do you mean any thing more by the 
above passage? Do you mean by it to explain how God 
causes the mind to love the truth? If so, what is the expla- 
nation at large ? 

3. You say, (under the 6th head of negatives,) that as a 
moral agent the sinner is qualified so to use the truth present- 
ed to his mind as to become holy at once. Do you mean any 
thing more than that as a rational being he has natural ahili- 
ty, and so is reasonably hound to be holy at once? Do you 
mean that he ever will become holy, however fully the truth 
may be impressed on his mind, without the power of God ex- 
erted upon his heart ? 

4. Under the third head of your negatives you impliedly 
say, or seem to say, that God does not on the whole prefer 
that sin should exist rather than not exist ; and that where it 
does exist, he could educe more good from holiness, if crea- 
tures '• would render it." Do you mean to imply that God 
could not have prevented sin consistently with the most per- 
fect freedom of creatures ? 

I hope, my Dear Sir, that you will not deem it obtrusive in 
me to propose these questions on a subject so interesting to us 
both as the friends of God and man, and that you will be- 
lieve me to be, most sincerely. 

Your friend and brother, 

Rev. Dr. N. W. Taylor. 


The following is Dr. Taylor's reply, and is pub- 
lished with his consent : 

Yale College, March 20th, 1832. 
Rev. and Dear Sir, 

I received yours of the 6th, a few days since. I regard it 
as dictatetl by the love of truth, and in no respect " obtrusive." 
I must however excuse myself from complying with your re- 
quest in one particular. I have not time to make the state- 
ments, the explanations and the defence of my views and 
opinions on the points proposed, which I should be willing to 
make for public controversy. You know the ambiguities of 
language, especially in all attempts at philosophical analysis ; 
and how difficult it is to bring two minds to understand terms 
in the same import. What I say therefore, (you have per- 
mitted me to make this condition,) I say with the injunction 
on you to make no use of it whatever in any jmblic discus- 
S1071. What is published on the subjects adverted to, is cer- 
tainly all that calls for public discussion. I hope you will not 
infer from this, that I hold opinions which I am reluctant to 
state. I have, I think, given ample proof to the contrary. 
Your queries, if I understand them, lead directly into an ana- 
lysis of moral agency. Into this, I have gone somewhat mi- 
nutely in my lectures. It would give me great pleasure to go 
over the ground with you in conversation, and even in a cor- 
respondence, if I had time. But I cannot present my views 
on such a subject in extenso, on a single sheet, nor with any 
such minuteness as the object proposed seems to require. I 
cannot consent to write letters to my friends for the purpose of 
giving them my views and opinions, that they may quote and 
jmhlish in the exercise of their judgment merely. What 
I say therefore, I say confiding in you to make no such use 
of it. 

You ask me, " are not Gabriel and Paul dependant on God 
for hoUness — not on hght merely, but on the efficient power 
of God acting in their hearts ?" — I should answer, that I do 
not remember any text in the Bible which asserts this fact, in 


respect to Gabriel. If therefore the fact be proved, it must be 
proved in the way of philosophical deduction ; and the infe- 
rence must rest ultimately on what I esteem with Dr. Dwight, 
the unauthorized assumption, that God cannot create, and 
has not created an agent, a being in one respect like himself, 
viz. perfectly qualified to act, constitutionally considerec^, with- 
out being acted upon, by extrinsic eflficiency. When I speak 
of this as an unauthorized assumption, I suppose you will dis- 
sent, and that many considerations will arise in your mind 
quite decisive with you to the contrary. Here then would be 
a main question. I think I can solve the snpposed diflScul- 
ties on this subject, without infringing on certainty of action, 
or what Dr. Edwards calls moral necessity on the one hand, 
or on human liberty, as complete as any one ever conceived 
of, on the other. Put this to the account current of vanity 
and presumption, for I have not time to enter into the deve- 
lopment of my views. In view of what you say in your ser- 
mon in the National Preacher, and the queries in your letter, 
the whole question between us would, so far as I can see, re- 
solve itself into the above question, respecting the possibility or 
the fact of a created agent. For aught I can see, some con- 
stitutional change in man is necessary to qualify him — or to 
give him natw^al ahility, to perform his duty, or it is not. 
No matter as to this point, in what we suppose duty to con- 
sist, whether taste, disposition, exercise or action ; for still some 
constitutional change is necessary to the existence of that 
called duty, or it is not. If such a change is necessary to this, 
then so long as man is not the subject of the change, he is not 
quahfied — he has not natural ability to perform his duty. 
This constitutional incompetency, whether it consists in the 
want of intellect, or will, or susceptibility, is according to the 
supposition, that which cannot in any sense be reiuoved, ex- 
cept by a literal act of creation and its product. But this is 
not in the power of man, I ask then, if man is the subject 
of such incompetence or disqualification in respect to duty, will 
not every mind decide that the thing called duty is a misno- 
mer? Can this consequence be avoided, by saying he can if 
Vol. I. 23 


he ivill ; or he can if he iv ere disposed? He can, what? 
Can perform his duty, plainly ; can become the subject of ho- 
liness. And what is this but a right state or act of will ? To 
say then, that he can if he will, is to say that he can will 
right, if he ivills right. But this implies either, that he has 
no power to ivill right unless he actually wills right, which 
is no poicer at all, so long as he does not will right ; so that 
if he wills right he has a new power ; — or, it implies that he 
can will right by willing to will right, which is Arminian 
self-determination. The question then is not to be evaded 
by these shifts ; by answers which mean nothing but what is 
absurd : but it still remains a plain simple question, viz. is 
man, or is he not, constitutionally competent ; — is he, as cre- 
ated, endowed with every constitutional qualification to be- 
come morally perfect ? Can he will right ? Can he become 
rightly disposed ? I admit his moral inability, i. e. that per- 
version of his natural ability, which is the reason, that he 
never will, if left to himself, become rightly disposed. Has 
he then natural ability to perform his duty 7 And this, in my 
view, is no other than to ask whether men are constitutionally 
quahfied to love God, as his law requires. And this is an- 
swered by the fact, that the requirement itself is limited by the 
very terms of the law, to their powers, or ability. It is as cer- 
tain that they have a heart, a mind, a soul, a strength, 
quahfying them to love, as that they are required to love. It 
is according to what a man hath, and not according to what 
he hath not. 

But now, on the other hand, if no constitutional change 
is necessary to qualify man to become morally perfect, then all 
philosophical reasoning founded on the assumption of its ne- 
cessity, is groundless and must pass for nothing. 

I know that many questions may arise in your mind, when 
it is supposed that sinful men are constitutionally qualified to 
become morally perfect. I wish I could have an opportunity 
with you to try to solve tlie difficulties. The chief point about 
which we should differ, would, I think, respect what I call 
constitutional (not moral) susceptibility to the motives to ho- 


liness, or to the objects of holy affection. This your scheme, 
if I understand it, denies, and maintains that the only thin^ 
in the sinful mind to which these objects appeal, or which they 
can touch or affect, is the selfish affection of the heart. If 
you have not read on this topic, I hope you will read atten- 
tively the four articles in Christian Spectator, 1829, on 
the Means of Regeneration, the reply in that work to Dr. 
Tyler, in the Nos. for March, p. 147, and June, p. 380, for 
1830. Must there not be a constitutional capacity of good 
from an object, before it can become a motive ? Vide Edwards 
on the Will, part i. sec. 5. Must there not be excitement to- 
ward that good in the form of involuntary (i. e. not volunta- 
ry) desire, propensity, &c. before choice, or love, or preference 
is in any sense possible ? Is there any mental fact of which 
we are more certain? Was not the man Christ Jesus, tempted 
in all points hke as we are? Is it not intuitive truth, that if 
holiness or sin begin in the human mind, and have an ante- 
cedent, in the mind, that such antecedent is not itself holy or 
sinful ? Can there be holiness before holiness, or sin before sin? 
Does not the existence of this constitutional susceptibility to 
the good in an object, account for the choice or love of it, so 
far as it is necessarj'" for this purpose to suppose any suscepti- 
bility ? Compare Gen. iii. 6, and James, i. 14, 15. Does not 
the supposition of a moral (i. e. holy or sinful) susceptibility 
prior to choice or preference, land us in inextricable contradic- 
tions and absurdities ? Does not the denial of a constitutional 
susceptibiHty amount to a denial of constitutional qualifica- 
tion ; to the assertion of natural inability, or aside from tech- 
nicalities, to an incompetence or disqualification, inconsistent 
with moral obligation ?* Many seem to deny this constitutional 
susceptibility, chiefly on two accounts, — the one is, that through 
the medium of their philosophy, it looks like something in- 
consistent with total depravity. Whereas, it is obvious that 
there can be no total depravity without it. Not to love God, 

* Can it alter the thing to call it, as Dr. Woods does, a moral constitu- 
tion ? 


if I have no constitntional susceptihility to his exceliejace, 
implies, that the reason is that 1 have no motive to love God, 
and that it can no more he criminal in me not to love him 
than in a tree or a stone ; while the love of the world or mam- 
mon, must in such a case, be, not a preference of one of two 
goods, but a mere instinctive feeling or affection. How diverse 
in respect to guilt, is this from a preference of the inferior good 
in a being trulj^ susceptible to the good in both, and fully qua- 
lified to prefer either to the other? Here too I might reverse 
the case, and ask, how could holy angels and holy Adam sin, 
on your scheme, without a jrrior change in their mental con- 
stitution? and appeal to Gen. iii. 6, as the best philosophical 
account of such cases, which I have seen. 

Another reason for denying my views on this subject, is the 
apprehension, that all will be thrown into uncertainty — thrown 
into the eddies of chance. This I deny. And why this ap- 
prehension in regard to one 1 What was the doctrine of pre- 
sident and Dr. Edwards, except the simple certainty of ac- 
tion w^ith 'poiver to the contrary. Is this a novelty ? Who can 
show the two things to be inconsistent ? Hie labor, &c. Or if 
any can, — who wnll be orthodox, he who holds moral neces- 
sity, or he who holds natural necessity? 

You ask, what is meant by " through the truth?" So it 
seems, this scriptural phrase is not sufficiently perspicuous ; at 
least for certain purposes. I can express my meaning in other 
terms, whether more perspicuously or not. When I say, that 
the change in regeneration is through the truth, I mean, that 
the mind, the man, in view of the object, God, which truth 
presents, loves God supremely ; or pi'efers the supreme good 
to all inferior good, v\?ith the objects of preference in view as 
the truth exhibits them. If this is not intelligible, I know of 
no terms that can render it so, neither does any other man. 
But you ask, " Why love rather than hate ?" I answer, this 
fact is to be ascribed to the special influence of the Holy Spirit, 
without whose influence and aid it would never love God. 
The question then arises, why is this influence of the Spirit 
necessary ? I answer, not because man is not constitutionally 


qualified to love God supremely; not because he is not thus 
qualified in every respect to do the very thing without this di- 
vine influence, which he actually does with it. But this in- 
fluence of the Spirit, is necessary, because the sinner on ac- 
count of the perverseness of his heart, the strength of the sel- 
fish affection, never will love God supremely without this in- 
fluence of the Spirit. This disquaUfication is not constitutional, 
it is of the sinner's own making. But how does the Spirit 
secure this change? I answer, not by acting on the truth — 
not by hterally creating any new property or attribute in the 
mind, — not in a manner inconsistent with the nature of mo- 
ral action or laws of moral agency, — not in a manner incon- 
sistent with the fact, that the sinner's act is the same thing in 
kind, which it would be, had he done it without a divine in- 
fluence: not by creating holiness before holiness, call it by 
what name we may. These negative assertions I suppose 
we are authorized to make, and that in making them we op- 
pose errors actually existing. But HOW 2)ositively7 I think 
here is a place for caution, lest we assert what we do not un- 
derstand or cannot prove. The question carries us to the mo- 
dus operandi, in a sj^ecific respect, and I think sets philoso- 
phy at defiance. There may be more ways in which this 
way be done, by that Spirit, which searcheth the deep things 
of God, than philosophy has dreamt of. You seem to me to 
refer to some specific way, when you speak of " the power of 
God exerted on the heart? If you mean, that God produces 
a change of heart, I say yes. And yet I suppose you mean 
something else ; but of your meaning, you will allow me to 
say, your language does not convey the conception to my 
mind. If I was sure that I received the idea you intend -to 
express, I would not hesitate to say what I think of it. I do 
not say by any means that you have not a distinct conception 
of the thing expressed. But I do say, that I have heard much 
said on the subject, which imparts no ideas to my mind, or at 
least noticing which we can decide to be true. The Bible 
seems to me to teach very clearly, that the change in regene- 
ration is a moral change, consisting in such a state of mind 


as I have described in my letter to Br. Hawes : (vide C. Spect. 
1832, p. 171. Look at this as explanatory of the different 
terms used,) that it is through the truth ; i. e. that the mind 
loves, (fcc. if at all, with the object in view as it is,— that it 
never does this, however, without an influence of the Holy 
Spirit, distinct from the natural or simple influence of truth ; 
that while such is the constitutional structure of the mind, and 
such the nature of truth, that the latter is fitted to produce, 
and tends to produce, hohness in the human heart, it always 
is and always will be resisted and counteracted by the sinner 
without the influence of the Divine Spirit, and that therefore 
when the change takes place, all the praise is due to God. 

But that the Bible decides, or that philosophy can decide on 
the modus operandi of the spirit in all respects, or in any im- 
portant respect, — ^beyond what I have stated, I do not see 
reason to admit. T can conceive of more ways than one, in 
which he who created mind can influence mind. But what 
the actual way is, I pretend not to know. 

I have not said, that God does not on the whole prefer that 
sin should exist, rather than not exist. On the contrary, I 
believe he does, i. e. that he prefers its existence to its preven- 
tion by himself; and that the reason may he, that the non- 
existence of sin, i. e. its prevention by God, would involve 
the non-existence of the best system ; (making a distinction 
between system and its results in moral action.) If the exis- 
tence of sin is incidental, in respect to divine prevention to the 
best moral system, then we can see in what respect, or for 
what reason, God may have purposed the existence of sin, 
without preferring sin under the present system, to holiness in 
its stead. As to God's power to prevent sin, consistently with 
perfect free agency, I have never said it, nor any thing which 
implies it, in this absolute form of statement. God has such 
power in some cases, for he does prevent sin in some cases, 
without destroying free agency. But it is equally certain that 
had he prevented sin in all cases, or in any case in which it 
has existed, he must have altered the system. And if he had 
altered the system ; — if, for example, he had interposed by mi- 


racles, and brought Tyre and Sidon to repentance, as he could 
have done, (vide Matt. xi. 21,) no one can prove that the re- 
quisite interposition would not, beyond prevention on the pait 
of God, have resulted in a vast increase of sin in the moral 

I conclusion, let me say, I am altogether pleased with your 
letter ; — and one thing more, not inconsistent with the high 
respect I entertain for your character, viz. you do not seem to 
me to be well possessed of our views. Pardon me in this. It 
may be our fault, though we think that such cases admit of 
another solution. I confide in you to regard my request in re- 
spect to this letter. Yours respectfully, 



Williams College, Sept. ISth, 1833. 
My Dear Friend, 

I received your kind and interesting letter of Aug. lOth^ 
and want to write you a whole sheet ; but my health warns 
me to be short. I have been much out of health for the greater 
part of a year. I have no recollection of the conversation you 
allude to. but I remember, and never shall forget, the new 
views of the Saviour I had just had. Those views were partly 
expressed, soon after, in a sermon, from Heb. vii. 26, which I 

thought of sending you by P if you did not come to 

commencement. But my hurry and fatigue let him getaway 

I am glad to hear the good account, in all respects, of your 
dear deaf son. Give my love to him, and tell him that when 
he kneels to pray, Christ is not deaf. 

I pray that God may give you those views of Christ that 
are both consohng and sanctifying. I have no doubt that you 
will one day have them in perfection. And with your desire 
and humility, if you will ask more believingly, I doubt not 
you will receive at once. Give my love to Mrs. Marsh and 
all your children. 1 am. Dear Sir, 

Very aflfectionately yours, 




Williams College, Nov. 6th, 1833. 
Rev. and Dear Sir, 

I have just received j^our favor of the 25th ult. and was 
gratified at the sight of your signature and at the approbation 
you bestowed on my httle book.* I am sorry you did not 
reach us last fall, and beg you to be assured that I shall al- 
ways be happy to see you. On the three points about which 
you inquire, I will answer with the utmost pleasure. 

First, you understand ine to say on p. 79, " that if the de- 
pravity of man furnishes the only occasion for the divine in- 
terposition," that interposition "must be merely moral sua- 
sion." Not exactly so. What I did assert was, that all who 
believe that the Bible teaches divine efficiency in respect to 
men, will acknowledge it true in respect to angels : " for those 
who make our depravity the only occasion for the interposition 
of the Spirit, and thus limit his operations to men, deny effi- 
ciency altogether, and make that interposition a mere matter 
of moral suasion." This is what they do ; it is no inference 
of mine. It is a fact, I believe, that no one doubts the appli- 
cation of divine efficiency to angels who believes it applied to 
men : and certain it is, that those who deny its applicability 
to men, do, in their express theory, leave nothing but divine 
moral suasion both for men and angels. This they assert ; 
and in this they are doubtless consistent with themselves. I 
was only stating their theory. But it is manifest that if no- 
thing but depravity gives occasion for divine efficiency, that 
efficiency is not applied to the holy angels, and either they are 
let alone or are only beset with divine moral suasion. But 
none believe this who believe in any thing more than divine 
moral suasion in respect to men. And even with this belief, 
I see not how they can make depravity the only occasion of a 
treatment applied both to the depraved and the spotless. 

Second point, relating to what is said on the 103d p. Had 
there been no foundation of hope, there would have been 
no return to God ; for if there had been no Saviour there 
* His work on " Divine efficiency." 


would have been no SjDirit to sanctify. It is true also that we 
ought to love and thank God for that foundation of hope and 
for all his invitations and promises ; because these exhibit the 
real benevolence and excellence of his nature. But for a son 
who has offended and abused an excellent parent, to say, I 
cannot be sorry until I know that my father Avill forgive me, 
would be selfish and ignoble, God in his government of 
wicked men, often addresses himself to mere self love, for they 
have nothing better to address. And where nothing but self- 
love exists, it is dominant selfishness ; and nothing worse ex- 
ists in hell. There are two ways in which God addresses self- 
love. First, he does it directly, as in the case of the wicked ; 
secondly, he does it indirectly, as when, in showing the mea- 
sures he has taken for the happiness of his creatures, he shows 
his own benevolence, and thus addresses something to a higher 
principle than self love, — something to the love of benevolence 
or holiness. The case supposed on the 103d p. was that of 
beings who had all the excellence of God set before them, and 
all their obligations, (for the lost constantly violate obligations, 
or they have no present sin,) and yet could not love him or re- 
pent because they had no prospect of good to themselves. 
And pray, whither would this principle carry us ? If the lost 
are not reasonably bound to love God and his creatures since 
they are unchangeably assigned to perdition, they violate no 
obligation by withholding love, and under these boundless pro- 
vocations, are equally excusable for all their malice and rage. 
But if they are bound to love God in their hopeless state, to 
say they cannot be influenced by truth to love, as I cannot 
carry that mountain, is false ; for it is saying they are not 
bound without hope, (as a man is not bound to work for me 
without expectation of reward.) For if they have no natural 
ability, they have nothing to be the basis of obligation. To 
say that the lost cannot be influenced by truth because they 
have no hope, is to say that they cannot love God without the 
prospect of reward, which by an easy figure may be called a 

You must know, my Dear Sir, that for the greater part of 

Vol. I. 24 


a century the language of some of the old divines on this sub- 
ject has been condemned by the body of the New-England di- 
vines. That language has seldom come to my ears from liv- 
ing lips, if ever. A young man, however, once introduced it 
into the pulpit in Newark, before I wenjt there, or in my ab- 
sence, and it was long remembered as a strange doctrine. 
He said, without hope we never could have loved God. I 
mention this to show you tliat the language of the old divines 
to which you refer, is considered erroneous by the mass of the 
churches in our country. 

Third point. You refer to p. 193. 1 beg leave to refer you 
also to the bottom of p. 15, and to pp. 181, 182, 183, and 
middle paragraph of 187. If future events depend on God's 
efficient will, he can foresee nothing which he has not willed. 
For if he has not willed a thing, its existence is not certain, 
and cannot be foreseen as certain. In regard to events which 
do not depend on his controlling will, (if there be any such,) 
in other words, which are independent of his will, all I can 
say is, ii is impossible for us to conceive how he could foresee 
them. 1 rest nothing here on the impossibility of creating a 
self-determining power, though that would seem like impart- 
ing self-existence. The popular expression, that omniscience 
foresees all possible events, is very deceptive, without explana- 
tion. If it means, that God knows all the events which he 
could bring to pass, it is true. If it means that he foresees 
whatever he has willed to produce, or to suffer when his per- 
mission would secure the event, it is true. But if it means 
that he foresees events which belong to neither of these class- 
es, — events which are not possible as being within the reach 
of his power, but possible as being, though independent of 
him, within the reach of creative power ; then I observe two 
things ; first, no such independent power. I suppose, is possi- 
ble ; secondly, if it were, we cannot conceive how God could 
foresee events wholly independent of his efficient power or ef- 
fectual permission. 

Thus, my Dear Sir, I have answered your three questions 
as well as I could, in a very disordered state of my head and 


nervous system, and with the many avocations wliich con- 
stantly call me away. I hope yom- reflections will add much 
light to these imperfect thoughts, and am, with great regard, 
Your friend, 


To Dr. L. A. Smith, in reply to an invitation to 
return to Newark and reside in his family. 

Williams College, Oct. 8th, 1835. 
My Dear Son, 

Your most affecting letter of the 28th ult. was received on 
Monday, and the kindness of you and Louisa so affected my 
nerves that I scarcely slept at all on Monday night. I thank 
you both with all a father's love. The offer was manifestly 
hearty and most delicately expressed. I never for a moment 
contemplated going into your family, for I thought it would 
not be convenient for you ; and I fully believed that it would 
be impossible for me to live any where in Newark on my in- 
come. But Newark is the place of all others which I would 
choose for my residence, and your house is the house of all 
others which I would select in Newark. ****** 

* * If I come, all my posterity would be under your roof. 
I should wish to talk and pray with the children once a day, 
and set myself in earnest to promote their salvation. And 
there is another matter which I will ask leave to mention. 
My conscience cannot let go the second service at the table, 
unless I am compelled by necessity. Should you have any 
objection to my performing that service, reserving to yourself 
the right of retiring when business calls you ? I shall hope 
to divide the family services with you. 

I have the same view as you have respecting the impor- 
tance of my staying here while I have health to be useful to 
the college. I think I shall stay at all events till next com- 
mencement. If it then appears that I cannot attend recita- 
tions for the next year, I think I ought to retire. Besides, I 
want to prepare my MSS. for the press, and perhaps shall 



find in that employment work enough for the remainder of 
life. ********* 

Your affectionate father, 


Jan. 17 tk, 1836. In the great fire in New- York a few 
weeks ago, I lost about $2,400, which led me to think it was 
the will of God that I should remain here longer ; for on ac- 
count of my health I had nearly made up my mind to leave 
after next commencement. The loss led me to hope that God 
intended to improve my health, so that I could continue to la- 
bor for him here, I have seen his will in this dispensation, 
and have certainly been resigned to it. I would not change 
the circumstances if I had it in my power. I was affected in 
reading Heb. xii. 5-11; particularly the following words: 
" Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every 
son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God deal- 
eth with you as with sons ; for what son is he whom the fa- 
ther chasteneth not ? We have had fathers of our flesh which 
corrected us. They verily chastened us after their own plea- 
sure ; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his 
holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be 
joyous, but grievous ; nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the 
peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised 
thereby." The kindness of my heavenly Father in this chas- 
tisement has appeared very tender; and I have begged of him 
to continue to chastise me as much as I need. I never before 
was so much affected by the anecdote of the man who, when 
cast down, gave as the reason, " I fear my heavenly Father 
has forsaken me ;" and when asked why he thought so, re- 
plied, " It is a whole month since my heavenly Father aflJiict- 
ed me." 

I never in my life have more deeply realized the duty of 
casting myself wholly on God for support and for every thing. 
This I have done ; and have felt as I never did before, that 
wonderful passage in Luke, xii. 22-31 : " Take no thought 
for your Ufe. — Consider the ravens. — Consider the lihes. — 


How much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith. And 
seek not ye what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, neither 
be ye of doubtful mind. For — your Father knoweth that ye 
have need of these things." ' O how different was that pas- 
sage intended to make us from what we usually are, in re- 
gard to dependance on God and submission to him, and trust 
in him, by the hour, — by the minute. Such a constant ac- 
tion of the mind towards God in prayer and praise, I have 
seen lo be intended by I. Thess. v. 17, 18. "Pray without 
ceasing. In every thing give thanks." I do not mean that 
we should think of nothing else ; but at every change of 
measures, when we are alone, and not employed in study, 
and frequently at other times, we should pray and give 

Several months ago I was deeply interested by Christ's re- 
presentation of the Father's willingness to answer prayer, par- 
ticularly for the Holy Spirit, where there is importunity. I 
have been interested in it ever since. But I found some diffi- 
culty in believing that he would assuredly answer my prayers, 
from a doubt whether they proceeded from holy love. But I 
have lately had such a sense of the real love of God, that I 
have deeply felt that be is more ready to give the Holy Spirit 
to them that importunately ask him, than parents are to give 
bread to their imploring and hungry children. The passage 
is in the first thirteen verses of the xii. of Luke. The disci- 
ples had asked the Saviour to teach them to pray. He had 
given them the form of the Lord's prayer. He then added the 
case of the man who prevailed to boriow three loaves by his 
" importunity." Then follow these words : " And I say unto 
you. Ask and it shall be given you ; seek and ye shall find ; 
knock and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that 
asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that 
knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any 
of you that is a father, will he give him a stone ? — If ye then, 
being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, 
how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy 
Spirit to them that ask him." 


Jan. 24. The last week I have seen and felt the truth of 
that passage in Rom. v. 3, 4. "We glory in tribulation also ; 
knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience ex- 
perience, and experience hope." Afflictions have made me 
feel that God had sent them, and have made me submit in 
patience and in trust ; and that experience has made me hope 
in God as a reconciled Father. The more I am afflicted, the 
more I cast myself upon God, and the more I submit to him 
and trust in him. O that heavenly lesson, to " pray without 
ceasing," and " in every thing " to " give thanks." How 
much I have lost by not learning that lesson more perfectly 

My sins have appeared most aggravated and innumerable. 
I believe my afflictions have been sent on their account ; and 
the good effects of these have made me hope that my sins are 
pardoned and forever removed. And I have often prayed, 
and prayed with hope, that my past transgressions may never 
rise again between God and me. I do hope to enjoy his pre- 
sence more than I have done, and to be enabled to submit to 
him, and trust in him in all things, — to " pray without ceas- 
ing," and "in every thing" to "give thanks." I must thus 
submit, and trust and pray and give thanks, if I am to enjoy 
this access to God without a middle wall of partition between 

Jan. 31. I have been favored of late with a spirit of submis- 
sion to the will of God, and trust in him for all needed com- 
forts. My mind has so habitually moved in these two ways 
that I have continually referred every thing to his will in sub- 
mission and trust. And it has led to continual prayer and 
thanksgiving. I am truly grateful to God for the afflictions 
he has sent upon me ; and cordially desire that he should ap- 
point my trials rather than to order my own circumstances. 
This has led to peace. 1 have found in some measure the 
truth of that assertion, " Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace 
whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee." 
In consequence of this referring of all things to the will of God, 
his providence, in a number of instances, has remarkably in- 


terposed to provide. His truth and faithfulness have distinctly 
appeared. My hope has been so strong that I have not been 
afraid to die. If I am to live, I pray that I may have health 
to devote to his service with a zeal and success unknown be- 
fore. If I am to do no more for him, I pray him to take me 
to himself. I have been very much affected with a sense of 
gratitude ; and so far as I can obtain distinct views of his per- 
fections I do certainly approve of them, and think I love them. 
I would not have them altered for any consideration ; nor 
would I have any other one to order the circumstances of my 

I have been tried with the circumstance that so many mil- 
hons must endure such eternal anguish when God could have 
prevented sin. Of late I have risen above this trial. In ex- 
amining the feelings which I have towards the moral attri- 
butes of God, I have found it necessary to examine those at- 
tributes distinctly, and with a marked reference to the ques- 
tion — Why is there a hell ? The examination has opened to 
me the following views. 

God is infinite benevolence. This is certainly most glori- 
ous and lovely. He cannot of course bear to see creatures 
rising up against each other in rage and war, but must de- 
light in seeing them love one another, and in seeing the hap- 
piness thus produced. This is his holiness, and it is only a 
particular operation of his benevolence. This certainly is 
lovely. The only question now remaining is about a moral 
government. Was it benevolent for God to make a law re- 
quiring love in creatures towards him and towards each other, 
and forbidding the opposite passions and conduct J If he had 
not made such a law, he would have stood aloof from crea- 
tures, and had no more connexion with them than the su- 
preme God of the Brahmins is supposed to have. And then 
all exhibitions of his glory, and all intercourse with him, which 
together constitute the happiness of the universe, would have 
been lost. And what then would have prevented creatures 
from rising up against each other in everlasting war and con- 
fusion and wretchedness? Do you say, his sanctifying power 


could have prevented? And would not that have converted 
the whole creation into mere machines? No call for the exer- 
tion of their rational faculties in a way of dirty, no sense of 
obligation ; only they are propelled to certain feelings and ac- 
tions by a secret influence. Where is the operation of their 
reason or conscience? Where is their sense of right and wrong? 
Where is their holiness ? Nothing rising above mere instinct. 
You say, he might have told them what was right, without 
command or penalty. But that would have left them with- 
out obligation, — certainly without any of those infinite obhga- 
tions resulting from his authority. It would have left them 
altogether loose from him, without any chance for the exhibi- 
tions of his glory, or for intercourse and commimion with him. 
And if there must be a law, there must a penalty ; otherwise 
it is no law but mere advice. And if there must be a penal- 
ty, that penalty must be executed, or it is nothing. Let it be 
given out or understood that the penalty is never to be exe- 
cuted, and the penalty is dead, and the law is turned into 
mere advice. Had the death of Christ given out that the pe- 
nalty was never to be executed, it would have destroyed the 
penalty and the law. There must be a hell or there is no 
moral government. And if no moral government, there is no 
intercourse or communion between God and creatures. Had 
matters been left thus, there would have been no chance for 
all that wonderful manifestation of God and that unspeakable 
happiness to creatures which result from the work of redemp- 
tion. The benevolence of God was therefore engaged to ex- 
ecute the penalty of the law by an eternal hell. I say eter- 
nal, for if at any future time punishment should terminate, 
and it should be given out that the penalty of the law should 
no more be executed, that moment the moral government of 
God v/ould cease. And if there must be a hell, sin must be 

Now the execution of the penalty of the law is the exercise 
of God's justice. If, then, the support of government by the 
punishment of sin is benevolent, his justice is only another ex- 


ercise of his benevoleace. Thus his holiness and justice are 
both comprehended in this glorious truth, " God is love." 

These, with the goodness exercised in creation and provi- 
dence, and the mercy and truth manifested in the gospel, com- 
prehend the whole of God's moral perfections. And these ap- 
pear to me glorious. I could not wish nor bear to have one 
of them changed. Let such a God forever reign and be glo- 

Feb. 2d. The perfections of God, — his benevolence, holiness, 
and justice, and his moral government, have, since I wrote 
last, appeared more glorious than ever. He is such a God as 
I heartily approve. I love him and thank him adoringly. I 
submit to his providence ; I trust in him who feeds the ravens, 
and clothes the lilies, and am at peace. I find my heart swel- 
ling with love and gratitude to God, and with good-will and 
kindness towards all men, as I never did before. This morn- 
ing I spoke to a young man about that world of love and ho- 
liness to which I wished him to go. My heart bounded at the 
thought of a world of everlasting love and holiness, and I re- 
peated the w^ords over. I felt that I wished no other heaven 
but that, I rejoice to be in God's hands, and have no anxiety 
about any future circumstances in life, I leave every thing at 
his disposal, with a confidence that he will provide for me. 
My sins have lately appeared exceedingly aggravated, I ab- 
hor myself, and repent in dust and ashes, I have often ask- 
ed, and with hope, that past sins may never rise again between 
God and me. I do hope they never will. I long to have ray 
health, and to devote my health and strength to the advance- 
ment of God's kingdom and glory ; with a zeal and success 
unknown before. If I am not to labor for him any more I 
am willing he should take me to himself 

Feb. 7th. Some time ago I was troubled with the thought 
that if I should be pardoned up to this time, my future sins, 
which will be constant, will stand between me and God. A 
few days ago. while reading, that passage, Heb. x. 14, opened 
upon me most convincingly: "For by one offering he hath 
perfected forever them that are sanctified." I think I certain- 

Vol. I. 25 


ly had faith that the one sacrifice of Christ would remove 
from those who are once sanctified, the guilt of all future, as 
well as all past sins. My faith in Christ of late has been much 
more clear than it commonly has been. I find it easy to re- 
alize that the death of Christ, by answering the purpose of 
our punishment, is the ground of our pardon ; that his obe- 
dience obtained for us all positive blessings ; that he is the 
ground of our acceptance with God ; that as King of Zion 
he distributes the whole estate, and may be approached in 
prayer, as God himself, for all needed blessings. All this is 
a delightful reality. 

In connexion with this, the other day while reading in the 
Psalms, a verse respecting God's truth delighted me with a 
realizing sense of that perfection. I forget what verse it was, 
but it was one Kke the following: "For thy mercy is great 
unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds." " His truth 
shall be thy shield and buckler." " Happy is he that hath 
the God of Jacob for his help, — which keepeth truth forever." 
*' Let thy loving kindness and thy truth continually preserve 
me." I have since had a most impressive and delightful sense 
of the truth of God. 

The benevolence, holiness, justice, mercy, and truth of God 
appear real and delightful; and his moral government appears 
glorious. I find an habitual submission to him, and trust in 
him for all needed blessings ; and look to him to guide me in 
the path of duty. I long for higher degrees of sanctification. 
I love to be in his hands, and feel safe there, without anxiety 
for future provisions for this life. " Thou wilt keep him in 
perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trust- 
eth in thee." I feel more benevolence and tenderness towards 
my fellow men, more patience in view of their faults, more 
meekness and humility. I read the Bible with more faith, 
and pray with more delight and more confidence in God. I 
think I am enabled, in some measure, to comply with the in- 
junction in Phil. iv. 6, 7, and to enjoy the peace there pro- 
mised. " Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer 
and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made 


known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all 
understanding, shall keep your hearts and ininds through 
Christ Jesus." 

When I sat down to write my treatise on Divine Efficiency, 
I was out of health, and was so lame that I could take no 
exercise. It occurred to me that lo write that book without 
exercise might cost me my life. But I was so affected with 
the dishonor cast on God by denying him the glory of effi- 
ciently sanctifying the heart, that I said with tears, I will write 
this book and die, meaning I will write it if I die. I wrote it 
with a tender regard for the divine glory which I was defend- 
ing. 1 never wrote a book with so much feeling of this sort, 
nor a sermon except one. I mean the Murray-street Sermon, 
from 1 Cor. i. 31, written in 1830. I wrote that with my eye 

on Dr. W , then an infidel, and sick with what proved 

his last sickness. I was most deeply affected through the 
whole of it, and wrote it with a strong desire for the convic- 
tion and salvation of Dr. W. He had just before resisted my 
argument with vehemence if not with passion. After I had 
finished my sermon I read it to him at two different sittings — 
half at a time. He never resisted afterwards ; and gave such 
evidence of conversion and faith that his pious wife and other 
pious friends have no doubt that he went to heaven. 

Feb. lAth. I have been affected of late by that passage in 
Eph. V. 22-33. The Church is Christ's spouse, whom he 
loves as his own flesh. •' We are members of his body, of his 
flesh, and of his bones," Then certainly Christ's love to be- 
hevers must be constant, boundless and unchangeable. And 
the Father, regarding them as the very flesh of Christ, must 
feel an infinite nearness to them, — of course for Christ's sak€. 
Contemplating them as the body of Christ, and of course dear 
to the Father because Christ is dear, I have found it easy to 
realize that we are loved and accepted for Christ's sake. There 
is one between us and God, who is the medium through 
which he views us, — who is infinitely dear to the Father, and 
is the real ground of our acceptance, and of every favor sent 
upon us. All this is real to my mind. Can it be otherwise 
than faith ? 


And if I have been distinguished from my former compa- 
nions, who were left to perish, by a principle of life and a title 
to heaven, what boundless and eternal obligations has it laid 
me under ! Everlasting thanks to God ! May all my pow- 
ers be devoted to his service and praise. My heart's desire is, 
that for the rest of my life I may give up the world and be 
wholly his, — that I may submit to him and trust in him for all 
things, and that my past sins may never again rise between 
him and me. 

Feh. 17th. Those words in Phil. ii. 3, 4, "In lowhness of 
mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look 
not every man on his own things, but every man also on the 
things of others ;" have of late been made special to my mind, 
as reminding me of my duties to my fellow-men. O God, 
may I subject my own interests and feelings to the interests 
and feehngs of others as far as thy word requires ; and may _ 
I keep this law ever before me ! 

I have had this winter turns of dizziness and faintness. 
Two days ago I had a turn, and wholly lost myself, — for how 
many seconds I cannot tell. The physicians apprehend apo- 
plexy. It has produced upon me a solemn impression that I 
must hold myself ready for a sudden death. Lord, may I be 
prepared to resign my spirit into thy hands without a moment's 
warning ! 

Feh. 25th. I have been struck lately with two passages, en- 
couraging an unlimited trust in God. The first is in Hebrews 
xiii. 5, 6. "Let your conversation be without covetousness, 
and be content with such things as ye have ; for he hath said, 
I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. So that we may 
boldly say. The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what 
man shall do unto me." The other is in 1 Peter, v. 7. 
"Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you." 
Surely we may and ought to trust in God for all things, even 
in the darkest times. There is no extravagance in this, un- 
less we indulge in unreasonable desires and expectations ; as 
if we should trust in him for an independent fortune. The 
xxxviith Psalm is throughout of the same kind. 


This is the day of fasting and prayer for the colleges. O 
God, help me to pray, and help the great body of christians to 
pray, for the permanent effusions of the Spirit upon our col- 
leges and schools ! And may great effects follow from the ex- 
ercises of this day. 

Feb. 26th. In offering thanksgiving to God to-day I was 
struck with the thought that this exercise, truly performed, is 
really the exercise of gratitude in that view of his perfections 
and their operations which produces love, or is love ; and that 
if I wished to be filled with gratitude and love to God, to be 
really holy, the most effectual way was to be much employed 
in thanksgiving. The subject opened upon me in a light en- 
tirely new, and convinced me that I had not enough dwelt oa 
this part of my duty in prayer. 


Williams College, Feb. 26th, 1836. 
My Dear Son, 

* * * * Eight or ten days ago I had a faint turn and 
entirely lost myself for a second or two, attended with a labor 
in breathing. I have had such turns, more shghtly, often this 
winter, occasioned, I believe, by writing and intense thought, 
and perhaps bending to write. I have transcribed 36 sermons 
since quite late in October. I am afraid of apoplexy, and so 
is Dr. Emmons. I must hold myself ready for a sudden 
death. I never had such views as I have had since my loss, 
and especially since my faint turn. I have had nearly the 
full assurance of hope, and have felt not afraid to die. A col- 
lection of Scripture texts which have been made very special 
to me, I want to send to Louisa, and think I shall ere long. 
I have often said, and generally thought, that I would not 
have that afflictive providence changed for a thousand worlds. 

Your affectionate father, 


March 20th. It appears more and more important to ad- 
dress the Saviour on his throne, and to thank him for coming 
down to the agonies of the cross, and to ask of him sanctifi- 


cation and pardon. He is " the author and finisher of our 
faith." and was enabled to be both " a Prince and a Saviour 
for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins." As 
mediatorial King he has power to distribute all the blessings 
which come through his atonement, or which he purchased 
by his obedience. I think I certainly depend on him as the 
ground of all that I hope to receive, and feel that it is the Fa- 
ther's love to the Son, and his love to the body and members 
of his Son from his love to the Head, (as well as his own in- 
finite benevolence,) which induces him to give us the Holy 
Spirit and all other positive blessings. If I do not believe in 
these things I know not what I do believe. 

In view of the wonderful work of redemption and the une- 
qualled display of the divine glory therein, I have lately felt 
bound to thank God for selecting this distinguished world for 
the place of my existence ; this world which is to send out a 
report through the universe, and to be the sun to enlighten all 
other worlds. And O the obligations I am under for having 
my birth in a land of Gospel light, and not in pagan dark- 
ness, which would have ensured my destruction; and for dis- 
tinguishing me from my former companions who were left to 
perish, by regenerating grace, if indeed I have been born 
again. For this I am bound eternally to give thanks. To 
such a God I ought to have devoted my life continually. 
And O to think of the sins which I have committed since, 
crushes me in the dust. 

I have lately been delighted with the thought that the day 
is coming when there shall " be upon the bells of the horses, 
Holiness unto the Lord, and every pot in Jerusalem and in 
Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of Hosts;" when the 
most common utensils for dressing food, and every article, shall 
be consecrated to God. I have desired thus to consecrate all 
that I possess, and do rejoice that God is to be thus glorified 
through the earth. I can think of nothing more delightful 
than that. Among the grounds of gratitude to God I have 
lately, and with strong feelings, placed the circumstance of 
living in such a day as this, so near the millenium, and when 


the Protestant church is waking up to strong and increasing 
efforts for the salvation of the world and the glory of God, 
If I am not delighted with the plan of salvation, — if I am not 
grateful to God for his wonderful and constant mercies, — if I 
do not love the character of God, and believe in the gospel of 
Christ, — if I do not repent of sin, — if I do not feel my depend- 
ance on God for all things, and trust in him who feeds the ra- 
vens and clothes the lilies, and feel resigned to his providence, 
whatever he sends, — if the truths of his word are not made to 
me glorious realities, — then I am indeed greatly mistaken as 
to the most sensible exercises of my own heart. 

May \st, Sabbath. A few days ago, and for more than one 
day, I felt it uncommonly sweet to trust in God for every sup- 
ply and for every want in life, — a feeling which, in a less sen- 
sible degree, has been habitual through the winter and spring. 
There appeared One above whom it was delightful to trust, 
whom I loved to think upon as having the management, and 
who held himself bound to provide for all who trusted in him. 
I could say from sweet experience, " Thou wilt keep him in 
perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trust- 
eth in thee." 

Some time ago it became a delightful thought that the time 
was coming when Holiness to the Lord would be written on 
the whole furniture of this globe, and that the earth would 
thus be filled with the glory of the Lord. It was so delight- 
ful that I have incorporated the thought with my daily prayers. 
I think I can truly say that there is no thought so sweet as 
that God will be glorified, and glorified in the great work of 

This day was the sacrament. In praying beforehand that 
I might give myself away to Christ at the table, ray heart 
bounded at the thought. I had longed to be united to the Sa- 
viour and to have him for my Saviour, and now I had per- 
mission to give myself away to him and effect the union. 
This was the shape of the thought which appeared real and 
delightful, and opened to me as something new. I longed to 
honor that Saviour, to have him for my own, and to enjoy him. 


May Sth, Sabbath. For some days past, being unwell, my 
mind has been so depressed in view of past sins, as to create a 
doubt respecting my religious state. The same causes wea- 
kened my faith and love. But this morning, in reading that 
blessed passage, Luke, xi. 1-13, my faith and love revived, 
and I could contemplate God with confidence and delight. I 
believe that he will hear prayer. I delight to put my trust in 
him for all things, and am rejoiced that his glorious perfec- 
tions will be revealed to an astonished universe through the 
amazing work of redemption. 

June 13th. Yesterday, (the sabbath,) in reading the life of 
Brainerd, I fell upon this sentence : " In the evening had the 
most agreeable conversation which I remember in all my life, 
upon God's being all in all, and all enjoyments being just 
that to us which God makes them, and no more." My heart 
instantly went into the subject, and felt it desirable and plea- 
sant that the will of God should in all things be done. 1 had 
been tried about provisions for this life, and was then under 
trial. I then saw that the will of God ivould in all things be 
done. I chose that it should be so. I had confidence in him, 
and trusted in him for future support, and was resigned to his 
will. I have felt so, most of the time, while awake, ever 
since ; and though an event which I had feared has come to 
pass, I feel quiet, undisturbed, and commit all my future course 
to God, and rejoice that " the Lord God Omnipotent reign- 

June 26th. Sabbath. For the last three days especially, I 
have been delighted to have the will of Christ done in the go- 
vernment of the world, and have felt resigned to his will, and 
wished it done rather than my own, and have found it easy 
to trust in him, confident that his will must be the rightest, 
the wisest, the most for the public good, and most to be re- 
joiced in. This has swallowed up all anxiety about my fu- 
ture interest on earth, and produced a feeling of real gratitude 
and delight. 

July 13th. Trust in God for future support is encouraged 
and enjoined in L Tim. vi. 17. " Charge them that are rich 


in this world, that they be not high-niinded, nor trust in un- 
certain riches, but in the Uving God, who giveth us riclily all 
things to enjoy." This trust I continue habitually to feel. I 
am daily delighted to think that infinite wisdom and love con- 
trol all events, and my eyes have repeatedly moistened at the 
thought that Christ is on the throne and governs all things. 
It is delightful to think that he loves his disciples as the Fa- 
ther loveth him ; John xv. 9 ; that he loves his church as his 
own flesh ; Eph. v. 22-32. 

July "^Xst. Sahhatli. I had supposed, from my loss by the 
fire, that it was the purpose of God to give me health to re- 
main here a few years longer. But I find a general discou- 
ragement about my health among the trustees and scholars, 
mingled with great respect and kindness. And on the occa- 
sion of the late visit of the standing committee of the trustees, 
I became as fully convinced as I could have been by a voice 
from heaven, that it will be my duty to resign at commence- 
ment. I have earnestly prayed for direction, and feel thank- 
ful to God for making my duty so plain. I tendered my re- 
signation the last commencement, but the trustees did not see 
fit to accept it. They will accept it now. How I am to be 
provided for I do not know, but I trust in God, and I feel it 
my duty and my privilege to be entirely resigned to his will. 
Infinite benevolence and wisdom will do that which will be 
most desirable for the holy universe. 

I expected my absent children and grand-children here on 
Friday. They have not come, and sickness has likely detain- 
ed them at Newark. This whole business I leave with God 
and rejoice that every circumstance respecting them is under 
his control. 

That trust in God which I have expressed in former arti- 
cles continues ; and I have for some time wished to present, in 
one view, those texts which have encouraged my trust, and 
others which I find in the scriptures. I will now do it. 

Texts which plainly require, and fully authorize an unli- 
mited trust in God, for the good things of this life. Luke xii. 
22-31, (as Mat. vi. 25-34.) " Therefore I say unto you. 

Vol. I. 26 


take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, neither for 
the body, what ye shall put on. The hfe is more than meat, 
and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens ; 
for they neither sow nor reap ; which neither have store-houses 
nor barn ; and God feedeth them. How much more are ye 
better than the fowls? And which of you, with taking 
thought, can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not 
able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for 
the rest? Consider the liUes how they grow; they toil not ; 
they spin not ; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all 
his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so 
clothe the grass, which is to-day in the field, and to-morrow 
is cast into the oven ; how much more will he clothe you, O 
ye of little faith ? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what 
ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these 
things do the nations of the world seek after ; and your Fa- 
ther knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather 
seek ye the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be ad- 
ded unto you."— Ps. xxxvii. 3-5, 7, 11, 18, 19, 22, 25, 29, 
34, 40. " Trust in the Lord and do good ; so shalt thou dwell 
in the land and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also 
in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thy heart. 
Commit thy way unto the Lord ; trust also in him, and he 
shall bring it to pass. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently 
for him. The meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight 
themselves in the abundance of peace. The Lord knoweth 
the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever. 
They shall not be ashamed in the evil times, and in the days 
of famine, they shall be satisfied. For such as be blessed of 
him shall inherit the earth. I have been young and now am 
old ; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed 
begging bread. The righteous shall inherit the land and 
dwell therein forever. Wait on the Lord and keep his way, 
and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land. And the Lord 
shall help them and deliver them ; he shall dehver them from 
the wicked and save them, because they trust in him." — Ps. 
i. 1,3. " Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel 


of the ungodly. 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 doth shall pros- 
per."— Ps. V. 11. "Let all those that put their trust in thee re- 
joice ; let them ever shout for joy because thou defendest 
them." — Ps. xviii. 30. " The word of the Lord is tried ; he is 
a buckler to all those that trust in him." — Ps. xxvii. 10. 
" When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord 
will take me up." — Ps. xxxi. 19, 20. " O how great is thy 
goodness which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee ; 
which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the 
sons of men. Thou shall hide them in the secret of thy pre- 
sence from the pride of man ; thou shalt keep them secretly in 
a pavilion from the strife of tongues." — Ps. xxiii. 1, 2, 5, 6. 
" The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh 
me to lie down in green pastures ; he leadeth me beside the 
still waters. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence 
of my enemies ; thou anointest my head with oil ; my cup 
runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all 
the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord 
forever." — Ps. xxxiv. 9, 10, 22. "O fear the Lord ye his 
saints ; for there is no want to them that fear him. The 
young hons do lack and suffer hunger ; but they that seek 
the Lord shall not want any good thing. The Lord redeem- 
eth the soul of his servants, and none of them that trust in 
him shall be desolate." — Ps. xl. 4. " Blessed is that man that 
maketh the Lord his trust." — Ps. Iv. 22. " Cast thy burden 
upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee ; he shall never suf- 
fer the righteous to be moved."— Ps. Ixxxiv. U, 12. "The 
Lord God is a sun and shield ; the Lord will give grace and 
glory ; no good thing will he withhold from them that walk 
uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth 
in thee." — Ps. cxxviii. 1, 2. " Blessed is every one that feareth 
the Lord, that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the 
labor of thine hands. Happy shalt thou be, and it shall be 
well with thee."— Prov. x. 3. " The Lord will not suffer the 
soul of the righteous to famish, but he casteth away the sub- 


stance of tlib wicked." — Piov. xiii. 25. " The righteous eateth 
to the satisfying of his soul, but the belly of the wicked shall 
want." — Prov. xvi. 3, 20. " Commit thy works unto the Lord, 
and thy thoughts shall be established. He that handleth a 
matter wisely shall find good ; and whoso trusteth in the Lord, 
happy is he." — Prov. xxii. 4. " By humility and the fear of 
the Lord, are riches and honor and life."^ — Prov. xxviii. 10, 
25. "The upright shall have good things in possession. He 
that putteth his trust in the Lord shall be made fat." — Prov. 
xxix. 25. " Whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be 
safe." — Prov. xxx. 5. " He is a shield unto them that put their 
trust in him." — Isaiah xxx. 18. " Therefore will the Lord wait 
that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be 
exalted that he may have mercy upon you ; for the Lord is a 
God of judgment ; blessed are all they that wait for him." — 
Isaiah Ivii. 13. "He that putteth his trust in me shall possess 
the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain." — Jer. xvii. 7, 
8. " Blessed is the man that trusteth in the liord, and whose 
hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree, planted by the 
waters, and that spread eth out her roots by the river, and shall 
not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green, and 
shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease 
from yielding fruit." — Mar. x. 29, 30. " There is no man that 
hath left house, or brethren, or sister, or father, or mother, or 
wife, or children, or lands, for my sake and the Gospel's, but 
he shall receive a Imndred fold now in this time, houses and 
brethren and sisters, and mothers and children, and lands 
with persecutions, and in the world to come eternal life." — 
Phil. iv. 6, 7. " Be careful for nothing ; but in every thing by 
prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests 
be made known unto God. And the peace of God which 
passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds 
through Christ Jesus."— I. Tim. iv. 8. " Godliness is profita- 
ble unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and 
of that which is to come." — I. Tim. vi. 17. "Charge them 
that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor 
trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God who giveth us 


lichly all things to enjoy." — Heb. xiii. 5, 6. " Let your conver- 
sation be without covetousness. and be content with such 
things as ye have ; for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor 
forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my 
helper, I will not fear what man shall do unto me." — 1. Pet. 
V. 7. " Casting all your care upon him for he caretli for you." 
There are other texts which speak more generally of the 
effects of trusting in God. 1 Chron. v. 20. "And they were 
helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into 
their hand, and all that were with them : for they cried to God 
in the battle, and he was entreated of them, because they put 
their trust in him." — 2 Chron. xiv. 11, 12. "And Asa cried 
unto the Lord his God, and said. Lord, it is nothing with thee 
to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power. 
Help us, O Lord our God ; for we rest on thee, and in thy 
name we go against this multitude. O Lord, thou art our 
God, let not man prevail against thee. So the Lord smote the 
Ethiopians before Asa." — Ps. xvii. 7. " Shew thy marvellous 
loving kindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them 
which put their trust in thee, from those that rise up against 
them." — Ps. xxi. 7. "The king trusteth in the Lord, and 
through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved." — 
Ps. xxii. 4, 5. " Our fathers trusted in thee : they trusted and 
thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee and were de- 
livered : they trusted in thee and were not confounded." — 
Ps. xxvi. 1. "I have trusted in the Lord; therefore I shall not 
slide." — Ps. xxviii. 7. " The Lord is my strength and my 
shield ; my heart trusted in him and I am helped." — Ps. xxxii. 
10. " He that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him 
about." — Ps. Ivi. 4. "In God I have put my trust; I will not 
fear what flesh can do unto me." — Ps. xci. 2-16. " I will say 
of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress ; my God, in 
him will I trust. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and 
under his wings shalt thou trust ; his truth shall be thy shield 
and buckler. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thou- 
sand at thy right hand, but it shall not come nigh thee. Be- 
cause thou hast made the liord which is my refuge, even the 


most High, thy habitation, there shall no evil befall thee, nei- 
ther shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall 
give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 
They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy 
foot against a stone."— Ps. cxxv. 1. "They that trust in the 
Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but 
abideth forever." — Ps. cxliv. 1, 2. " Blessed be the Lord my 
strength, which teacheth my hands to war and my fingers to 
fight; my goodness and my fortress, my high tower and my 
deliverer, my shield, and he in whom I trust ; who subdueth 
my people under me." — Prov. xvi. 20. "Whoso trusteth in the 
Lord, happy is he." — Isaiah, xli. 17, 18. " When the poor and 
needy seek water and there is none, and their tongue faileth 
for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will 
not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and foun- 
tains in the midst of the valleys ; I will make the wilderness 
a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water." — Isaiah, 
Ixiv. 4. " For since the beginning of the world men have not 
heard nor perceived by the eye, neither hath the eye seen, O 
God, besides thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth 
for him." — Jer. xxxix. 18. "I will surely deliver thee and thou 
shalt not fall by the sword, — because thou hast put thy trust 
in me, saith the Lord." — Dan. iii. 28. " Blessed be the God of 
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, 
and dehvered his servants that trusted in him." 

In view of the whole, we may break forth in the sweet lan- 
guage of the evangelical prophet, (Isaiah, xxvi. 3, 4,) " Thou 
wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, 
because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever, for 
in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." 

August 7th, Sabbath. I received a letter yesterday, bring- 
ing with it a disappointment about a charitable contribution 
for the college to purchase my library. In the evening my 
daughter received a letter from her husband. Dr. Smith, who 
had heard of my intention to remove, and who rejoiced in it, 
and cordially invited me to his house as my home. The first 
letter gave me pain, though accompanied by resignation to the 


will of God and trust in him ; the latter was mercifully order- 
ed for my support under the disappointment. I this morning 
feel entirely resigned to the will of God, and can trust in him 
for future support. What can I desire more than that infinite 
wisdom and benevolence should govern the world and order 
every event? I wish to employ those means which duty dic- 
tates ; and having done that, I will leave the ordering of my 
life to God. I know that I am resigned to his will ia regard 
to all future circumstances in this world, and can, though with 
less distinctness, trust in him for future support. 

August lAth. Sabbath. Expect to preach to-day for the 
last time in this meeting-house, a sermon to the graduating 
class. In my weak state of health I liad been somewhat agi- 
tated with the uncertainty and trouble of selling my library, 
furniture, and other things, and about my future support; but 
for a day and a half past I have been remarkably composed 
under the influence of resignation and trust. My being sent 
hither was doubtless a great mercy, and I have every rea- 
son therefore to bless God for it. And now it is plainly 
his will that I should go. It is his will that I should be 
placed in just such circumstances ; and it is doubtless my 
duty to submit to him and trust in him with entire composure 
and peace. How sweet to think that infinite benevolence and 
wisdom will shape all my circumstances. What can I desire 
more? I was yesterday composed by reading Luke, x. 38-42. 
" Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many 
things : but one thing is needful. And Mary hath chosen 
that good part which shall not be taken away from her." In- 
stead of being troubled about the things of time and sense, I 
long that ray future hfe may be devoted to God with heaven- 
ly affections ; and that, no longer careful about the world, I 
may be wholly engaged in promoting his kingdom and in pre- 
paring for my glorious rest. O may I thus spend the residue 
of my days ! I think I never desired this so much before. 
May my future years or months be wholly taken up in the 
love, and service, and praise of God. May I be carried through 
the present scenes with the sweet composure of submission 


and trust. Why should I be anxious about the world ? My 
mind has lately been considerably impressed with those words 
of the Apostle, 1 Tim. vi. 6-11, " Godliness with content- 
ment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, 
and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food 
and raiment, let us be therewith content. But they that will 
be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many fool- 
ish and hurtful lusts which drov,?n men in destruction and per- 
dition. For the love of money is the root of all evil ; which 
while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith and 
pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O 
man of God, flee these things." O may these sentiments be 
deeply and permanently impressed upon my heart. And then 
I see not what I have to be anxious or careful about, but to 
promote the kingdom of Christ and prepare for heaven. 

Doctor Griffin's health, which had been gradu- 
ally declining for two or three years, at length be- 
came so much enfeebled that he found himself quite 
inadequate to the duties of his office ; and accord- 
ingly at the meeting of the Board of Trustees in 
August, he again tendered his resignation, after 
having occupied the Presidential chair fifteen years. 
It was of course accepted, but with deep regret on 
the part of the Board that the occasion for it should 
have existed, and with the warmest gratitude for 
the important services which he had rendered to 
the institution. 

In reference to the arrangements for his removal 
to Newark, he writes thus in his diary : 

Aug. 2Sth^ Sabbath. I contemplated the sale of my furniture 
and books and the trouble of removal as a fearful undertak- 
ing ; and without submission and trust should have sunk un- 
der it. But God has so remarkably supported and prospered 
me during the last week, that I seem almost to have been 


brought through this trial. Thanks to a merciful and faith- 
ful God for all these blessings! Since my contemplated re- 
moval I have longed more than I ever did before, to spend the 
remainder of my life in heavenly devotion. I cannot calcu- 
late so much as I have done on public usefulness, (though 
this I desire,) but I long and pray for high communion with 
God, and for affections toward him more ardent and delightful 
than I ever felt before. O God, give me this high state of ho- 
liness and enjoyment for the rest of my life, and all the use- 
fulness which thy wisdom can allot to me, and my highest 
wishes of a personal nature are gratified. 

Doctor Griffin remained at Williamstown till 
about the close of September, completing his ar- 
rangements for the removal of his family to New- 
ark. He subsequently refers in his journal to the 
event of their departure in the following paragraph. 

I left Williamstown with my family on Thursday the 29th 
Sept. The people there showed us great affection and express- 
ed much regret at our departure. The students appointed a 
committee of two from each class to express their respect and at- 
tachment, and it was done in a manner the most affectionate. 
The Faculty invited me to a social dinner at the Mansion 
House. As I was getting into the carriage on Thursday 
morning, the students came up in procession to take their last 
leave. I made an address to them from the carriage, and 
some of them wept. 

The following is the letter from the students re- 
ferred to in the preceding paragraph. 

Reverend Sir, 

Prompted by the feelings which the near departure of 
one so respected and esteemed naturally elicits, the college as- 
sembled this morning and appointed us their committee to ex- 
press to yoQ their sentiments on this occasion. Those of them 
Vol. 1. 27 


who have been witnesses and partakers of the benefits you 
have conferred on the college, acted from the deep feeling of 
gratitude; those who have lately become of the number of stu- 
dents, were influenced by your celebrity as a preacher — your 
character as a man. 

Knowing this, it is with peculiar feehngs that we have un- 
dertaken to become their organ, and we should despair of ex- 
pressing to you their opinions, were we not conscious of their 
active existence in our own bosoms. When a distinguished 
man departs from the scene of his former actions, he is fol- 
lowed by the aspirations of those who have been benefitted by 
his influence. If to have given celebrity to our Alma Mater, 
and a name of which we can proudly boast, — if to have given 
us sound moral and religious principles, on which we can 
firmly base our actions, and to have exemplified the beauty 
and simplicity of a good man's career, have conferred on us 
obligations, — you will appreciate the feelings which agitate our 
minds at the thought of your departure. Praise we do not 
offer, for it would be futile; — useless to one who stands so high 
in the opinion of all ; but we present you with a better gift, — 
our kindest feelings and hopes for your future welfare. 

In the name of the college, we bid you an affectionate fare- 





SAM'L P. ANDREWS, / Committee. 




Sept. 27, 1836. 



Doctor Griffin reached Newark with his fami- 
ly, for the last time, Oct. 1, 1836. It is scarcely- 
necessary to say that he was greeted with a most 
cordial welcome by a large circle of friends, and 
that he found himself in the midst of a community 
who well knew how to appreciate his residence 
among them, and many of whom it was his privi- 
lege to reckon among the seals of his ministry. 
Under date of Nov. 29, he writes thus in his diary. 

Since I have been here the affection and respect of former 
friends have been overwhelming. Several have united in 
making me a handsome present. The trustees of the first 
church have offered me a pew for my family. God has or- 
dered all things in mercy. I have been sick for near two 
months, — very sick, — but I now am somewhat better. I long 
to do something for God and his church before I die. May 
I live devoted to him, and walk in the light of his counte- 
nance, and hold myself ready to depart at a moment's warning. 



Neivark, Jan. 19, 1837. 
My Dear Julia Ann, 

I received your very kind and gratifying letter of Dec. 
16th, and thank you for all the delicate respect which it evin- 
ces. My health has been so feeble that I have not felt able to 
write to you before, and now must be somewhat brief. On 
the 15th of December while walking on the floor, I suddenly- 
fell on the carpet like a corpse, and fainted clear away. I 
have repeatedly had some of the same symptons since, but 
have not fainted. For the last fortnight I have been better. 
The attention which I receive from my old parishioners and 
spiritual children is most affecting, and exceeds any thing 
I ever received from a public body in my life. My frienda 
hope that God has sent me here to promote revivals of religion 
in Newark. O that it may be so ! And, my dear cousin, 
how infinitely important that revivals of religion should pre- 
vail in Lyme. What will become of some of your dear sis- 
ters if this is not the case? After one has reached the age of 
thirty, unconverted, the chances against him are perhaps forty 
to one, and when he lias reached the age of fifty, they are 
probably fifty or sixty to one. And are there any in your fa- 
mily who stand these many chances to one for eternal burn- 
ings ? Surely no more time ought to be lost — not a single day 
or hour. Every hour that is lost increases the danger, and 
every hour that is spent in enmity against God involves guilt 
that deserves eternal damnation. And then what a call there 
is for our agonizing prayers ! A few christians with such 
prayers, may bring down the Holy Spirit. Do read and pon- 
der closely upon Luke xi. 1-13, — particularly the 13th verse. 
O let your faith take hold of that assurance and it may bring 
down the blessing. I remember you all in prayer several 
times a day. 

On sabbath evenings. Dr. Smith's family sing psalms, while 
he plays on a bass viol. It is the best means that I attend 
during the week. Last sabbath evening he sung a verse 


which dissolved me to tears, and affected me more than any 
verse ever did, 1 believe. It was the following : 

These eyes which once refused the light, 
Now lift to God their watery sight, 

And weep a silent flood : 
These hands are raised in ceaseless prayer; 
wash away the stains they wear, 

In pure redeeming blood. 

I am sorry to break off so soon, but my strength seems to 
require it. With very tender regard, I am 

Your affectionate uncle, 


Jan. 25th, 1837. 

" Rock of Ages, cleft for me, 
Let me Jiide myself in thee." 

If Christ i.5 the Rock of Ages, he is our firm foundation^ 
our sure defence, and the same from generation to generation. 
What is a better foundation than a rock? What is a better 
bulwark than a rock cast around us ? And a rock of ages is 
the same from age to age. I have been so affected by that 
figure that I have examined to see whether I could find it in the 
Bible. I cannot find it in our translation ; but in Isaiah, xxvi. 4. 
I find it in the Hebrew : " Trust ye in the Lord forever, for in the 
Lord Jehovah is the Rock of Ages." The atonement of Christ 
is the soHd foundation of our pardon, our sure defence against the 
wrath of God, and is always exerted in his intercession as a 
priest. The righteousness of his obedience is the foundation of 
all our positive happiness in both workls, is the sure protection of 
all our interests, and this undeniable claim to a reward is un- 
changeably urged in his intercession. Thus he immutably 
exerts his influence as an atoning, obedient, and interceding 
High Priest, to obtain those reUefs and blessings from pure 
Godhead, which, in the name of God, he administers as me- 
diatorial King. And as King, he is the Rock of Ages, The 
incarnate God who fills the throne of the universe, and dis- 
penses all the pardons and blessings obtained from pure God- 


head by the pleading of his atonement and obedience, is the 
unchanging fonndation of all our reliefs, and hopes, aud com- 
forts ; and the defence which, amidst all our changes and im- 
perfections, gives us everlasting protection and safety. Thus 
as both Priest and King he is the Rock of Ages. 

March 3rd. Latterly I have been specially praying for faith 
in Christ. I could see his love to us all as manifested on Cal- 
vary ; I could see his mercy to me in the innumerable bless- 
ings around me; but when I contemplated him in his relation 
to me personally, I could not view him in any other light 
than as a sin-hating Saviour,— the sins of my life appeared so 
enormous. But some Psalms and Hymns sung in the family 
which by the blessed and pecuhar influence of Psalms and 
Hymns sung, that carry up the mind to Christ and fix it upon 
him immediately, rather than upon God, and that raise us to 
him as direct and unbounded love, Imve been mercifully ap- 
pointed to overcome this difficulty. The words and the tune 
have rung through my mind in the waking hours of night, 
and led me directly to the tender love of Christ. I saw that 
I had too much confined my thoughts to God, and that I 
ought to go directly to a Saviour's arms, and that I ought to 
believe that, as abominable as my sins have been, if they 
have once been pardoned, they form no partition between me 
and the heart of Christ. He loves me as tenderly as though I 
had never sinned, and in proportion to my faith is as ready to 
hear my prayers. How was it at the time of the crucifixion ? 
After the disciples had forsaken him and fled, and after Peter 
had denied him with oaths and curses, when he came out of 
the sepulchre he said to Mary, " Go and tell my brethren." 
By his death the sins of believers are totally cancelled, and are 
never imputed to them any more ; and although, while under 
the means of grace they are chastened for remaining sin, as a 
means of their sanctification, they are no more condemned for 
their past sins than Peter and John are now condemned for 
theirs. He loves them as well as he will love them in hea- 
ven, — I say not their characters, but their persons. When 
he turned and looked upon Peter, he loved liis person none 


the less for his oaths and curses. We ought to feel, if we have 
evidence of our faith and pardon, that he loves our persons 
none the less for our past sins. Of two things one : either he 
loves us thus or we are under condemnation to hell. Which 
is it ? If we do not abandon our hope, we ought to believe 
unhesitatingly in his direct, most tender, and unbounded love 
to our persons, — that he stands ready to hear our prayers, and 
with open arms to receive us to his bosom. This is faith in 
Christ. This will bring a sense of his infinite love in the 
work of redemption, of his infinite mercy in the management 
of our lives, and will fill us with hope and peace, and grati- 
tude and joy. 

Since I have been in Newark, I have been distressed at the 
low state of religion in the city, and have prayed much for a 
revival here and through the country. I have visited many 
famiHes, and talked with the unregenerate as faithfully as I 
could. Others have been at prayer also. And, blessed be 
God, the Holy Spirit has begun to descend, not only here but 
in the country around, and in the neighboring city. Forever 
blessed be his name for this return to our American church 
after several years of absence. Oh may he greatly enlarge 
the power and make it to endure until the millenium. 

March Sth. The obedience and death of Christ answer the 
purpose of our sinless obedience or righteousness. " Christ is 
the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believ- 
eth." Rom. x. 4. " For he hath made him to be sin for us 
who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness 
of God in him." II. Cor. v. 21. "Therein is the righteous- 
ness of God revealed from faith to faith ; as it is written. The 
just shall live by faith." Romans i. 17. " The righteousness 
of God without the law is manifested, — even the righteousness 
of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ." Rom. iii. 21, 22. 
" If by one man's offence death reigned by one, much more 
they which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of 
righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. There- 
fore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to 
condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one the free 


gift came upon all men unto justification of life." Rom. v. 17, 
18. " For what the law could not do in that it was weak 
through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness 
of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh ; that 
the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk 
not after the flesh, but after the spirit." Rom. viii. 3, 4. " Of 
him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wis- 
dom and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption." 
L Cor. i. 30. 

There must still be a qualification in us, uniting us to Christ; 
but that qualification is no more works, but faith. " To him 
that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the un- 
godly, his~^ faith is counted for righteousness." Rom. iv. 5. 
" Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to 
him for righteousness." Gal. iii. 6. 

Although the offering of Christ cannot be applied to us be- 
fore we sin, nor faster than we sin, (future sins being not par- 
doned.) yet his one offering completely fills the space of our 
sinless obedience or righteousness, so that our pardoned sins, 
(all the past sins of believers,) are fully set aside as the ground 
of condemnation, though not as occasions of chastisement for 
our good. As grounds of condemnation they are as though 
they never had been. We ought to hate them and abhor our- 
selves on their account, but they form no bar to the love of 
Christ or of God towards us, though they may be a bar to the 
present manifestations of his love. "God commendeth his 
love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died 
for us. Much more then being now justified by his blood, we 
shall be saved from wrath through him. For if when we 
were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his 
Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his 
life." Rom. V. 8-10. 

This was the marked difference between the typical sacrifi- 
ces, and the offering of Calvary. " For the law having a sha- 
dow of good things to come, and not the very image of the 
things, can never, with those sacrifices which they offered year 
by year continually, make the comers thereunto perfect. For 


then would they not have ceased to be offered ? Because that 
the worshippers, once purged, should have had no more con- 
science of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance 
again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the 
blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Then, 
said I, Lo I come, to do thy will. — By the which will we are 
sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ 
once for all. For by one offering he hath perfected forever 
them that are sanctified." Heb. x. 1-4, 7, 10, 14. 

Aj)ril 16th. Sahhath. I was led, by reading a chapter in 
Baxter's Saint's Rest, to take up my printed form of self-exa- 
mination, which I had not examined of late. And I was de- 
hghted, and rather astonished, to find that my heart readily 
responded to every question in the whole form. 1 see npt 
therefore why I may not indulge the full assurance of hope. 
Forever blessed be the Lord for this infinite benefit ; and G 
may I devote my whole soul, for the rest of my hfe, to his ho- 
nor and praise. 

July 8th. I have read the form of self-examination every 
day since the 16th of April, and can say " Yes," to almost or 
quite every question, and have enjoyed something like the full 
assurance of hope. I am determined to read it every day for 
the rest of my life, unless prevented by sickness. 

Last night after retiring to rest I was asking for some bless- 
ing as the reward of Christ's obedience and in answer to his 
intercession. It opened to me in a clearer light than ever be- 
fore, that Christ was pleading for our happiness and consider- 
ed himself rewarded by what made us happy. This gave 
me a new and affecting view of his real and most tender love 
to us. He considers our happiness as his reward, and seeks 
for no higher reward than to see us blest. O the reality and 
infinite tenderness of the love of Christ ! He not only desires 
our happiness, but considers it, and the glory of God involved 
in it, as the richest and only reward of his obedience "unto 
death." O may the love of Christ be more real and affecting 
to my soul than it ever was before ! Let me by no means con- 
fine my views to his atonement, by which my sins were to be 

Vol. I. 28 


forgiven, but dwell upon his obedience, which procured all my 
positive blessings, and upon the Ijoundless love which regard- 
ed them as his reward, and which constantly pleads for their 
bestowment ! 

August 7th. Mrs. Griffin was removed by death, after a 
sickness by dysentery of twelve days, on Tuesday the 25th of 
July, at half-past five o'clock, P. M. aged 67 years, 10 months 
and 11 days; having been born Sept. 14th, 1769. Since the 
funeral I have been so unwell as to be unable to enter this ac- 
count before. On Monday morning I told her she would pro- 
bably be in heaven before the next morning. She said she 
felt composed, and put her trust in Christ. She told Dr. Smith 
that she had in her mind no uncomfortable feehngs. She 
soon lost herself so far as to be able to add no more. She 
died an easy death. In addition to an exemplary life, for se- 
veral months she had exhibited peculiar kindness and concern 
for me and some fresh evidence of her sanctification. My 
heart during all that time had gone forth in prayer for her, 
that she might be fully prepared, and might die an easy and 
triumphant death. The prayer was answered as to the out- 
ward circumstances of her death ; and the strong desire I felt 
for the other part, gives me new and very consoling evidence 
that our loss is her eternal gain. The Spirit does not give 
special desires in order to disappoint them. It is a stroke I 
never felt before. I shall soon follow her. O may this so- 
lemn dispensation be sanctified to me and to my children, and 
may we all be supported under a stroke which the love of Je- 
sus has inflicted. Her entrance into that blessed world makes 
heaven appear like another apartment of my own house. 

The following letter from Mrs. Smith to the 
Compiler of this memoir, containing a minute ac- 
count of her mother's last illness and death, cannot, 
it is presumed, be unacceptable to the reader. 


Newark, August 9, 1837. 
Rev. and Dear Sir, 

Your welcome and most gratifying letter to my dear 
father was this morning received, and I hasten to convey to 
you his thanks and that of his children for this new expres- 
sion of kindness, and for your christian sympathy under our 
sore bereavement. It is with melancholy pleasure that, ia 
compliance with your request, I review the scenes of sickness 
and death ; but I bless God, it js with different emotions that 
we are permitted, and at times enabled, to follow the spirit of 
my sainted mother to one of those "many mansions" which 
the Saviour had gone before to prepare. You, Sir, knew our 
departed friend, and to you may I not say, to know was to 
respect, to love. Y^ou knew her to be gentle, kind, humble, 
refined ; but hoio gentle, how humble, how forbearing, how 
guileless, how wholly divested of selfishness, you cannot know. 
No, it is only the two who were nursed on her bosom, who 
were led by her gentle hand, who were watched ever by her 
tender eye, for whom she lived and for whom she would glad- 
ly have died, — we only can know what we have lost. My 
sister and I had neither before witnessed the sundering of the 
immortal from the mortal part ; our first definite conceptions 
of the work of Death were formed while watching his rava- 
ges upon that delicate frame. And though, as we are assur- 
ed by all who were present, he dealt his gentlest blows, and 
we were enabled to feel that Infinite Love regulated every 
movement, yet the work was awful, it was sure, — it took from 
us a mother. 

But I will no longer speak of ourselves ; it is almost the 
first time I have been tempted to do so. It is the conviction 
that you. Sir, are peculiarly fitted to share the afflictions of the 
mourner, that has led me thus freely to open the recesses of a 
bleeding heart. But while I now attempt to fulfil the pur- 
pose for which I seated myself, you will see that the same 
Hand which placed in ours the cup of sorrow mingled with it 
so much sweetness that we almost at the time forgot its bitter- 


You are aware, Sir, that my beloved mother suffered for 
many years from the frequent and periodical recurrence of sick 
head ache. I well remember your mingling your sympathies 
upon this point, during your late visit, and her referring to the 
similarity in your cases since. Since my dear mother's resi- 
dence with us, longer intervals had passed between her head 
aches than ever before since my remembrance, and I had fond- 
ly hoped she was preparing for many years of comfortable 
health. But I now remembef that when I congratulated my- 
self and her on her freedom from head ache, she did not seem 
to enter into my joyful anticipations. She did not say any 
thing to check them, for she loved to see us happy, but I now 
doubt not she felt the increasing infirmities of a broken con- 
stitution, perhaps the hidden workings of a fatal disease which 
forbade her to look for health, save in that world where sick- 
ness cannot come. She had a cough for more than five years 
which distressed her friends, but which she never acknowledged 
as causing her any pain. This cough disappeared from the 
commencement of her last illness. Since the commencement 
of warm weather my parents had both improved in health. 
My father had preached seven sabbaths in succession before 
my mother's death. Four times she heard him with delighted 
interest. On the 9th of July she attended church all day, 
and afterwards walked through the burying-ground, where 18 
days after she was laid, and where she did not remember to. 
have walked before since her removal to Boston. But I lin- 
ger from the closing scene, as if unrecorded it would become 
untrue. On the night of the 13th of July my dear mother 
was attacked with dysentery. In the morning she told me 
her system was disordered, and I procured for her such sim- 
ple remedies as her case seemed to require. She had been so 
'inured to suffering, and had learned to suffer so patiently, that 
I think she was not aware of the nature or severity of her dis- 
ease. It was not before the sabbath that we became aware of 
it. From that time my husband became anxious, and every 
thing that affection and human skill could do, was, I believe, 
done. The disease seemed checked in its violence from that 


time till the day previous to her death ; but her strengtli was 
wasted by an internal fever, which was indicated, not so much 
by the pulse and skin, as by a constant thirst, which demand- 
ed cold water and ice, and which even these did not allay. 
Her reason, her calmness, her patience, her kindness, never 
for a moment forsook her, and Ellen and I watched over her, 
with sympathy indeed, but with little apprehension of the re- 
sult. " What ardently we wished we still believed," and we 
looked for that on the morrow which each day failed to bring, 
an entire removal of the disease. It was not till the Saturday 
evening- previous to her death that my husband's faithfulness 
forced us to look upon her recovery as doubtful. She was then 
very feeble, and we found it necessary to apply both external 
and internal restoratives, which soon brought warmth and 
comparative vigor to her system. From about eight to twelve 
we were occupied in this way, during which time 1 frequently 
asked her if she was in pain ; to which she calmly answered 
" someP About twelve she suddenly became entirely relieved, 
and continued so through the night. Every time I laid my 
hand on hers she would open her eyes and repeat in her sweet- 
est tone, " quite easy." The sudden change made me anxious, 
and I went to my husband repeatedly through the night to in- 
quire whether there was cause for alarm. But as her system 
seemed more vigorous in its actings than the evening previous, 
he ventured to hope she was better. About daylight my mo- 
ther inquired of me what the Doctor thought of the sudden 
change. I told her he hoped she was better. Said she, " 1 
never felt as I did last night." " How, mother?" " Those 
dying pains^^- she twice repeated; and yet through the whole 
she had only acknowledged in answer to my repeated inqui- 
ries that she suffered '■'•some? She continued more comforta- 
ble through the sabbath; and when my husband retired that 
night he pronounced her better, and expressed a hope that she 
would have a comfortable night. But when I went into her 
room at one o'clock Monday morning, I found her restless, and 
suffering with thirst. I remained with her through the night. 
Early in the morning my husband found her feverish and her 


disease more alarming in its progress. From that time he was 
almost without hope, and immediately communicated his fears 
to his beloved patient. "Mother," said he, '-'you are very ill." 
^' I know it," she calmly answered. " And I have serious 
fears," he added, " that you will never be any better. What 
are your feehngs in view of death?" ^^ I have no uncomfor- 
tahle feeling sP was her reply. "Are you Avilling to trust 
yourself with the Saviour for hfe or death ?" " YesP Ellen 
then asked her if she had thought much of death during her 
sickness. She answered, " I don't know that I have thought 
more of it than I did when 1 was well." She had slept much 
and conversed but little since her illness, but when awake usu- 
ally lay with her hands clasped as if in prayer. After break- 
fast ray father came into the room, and, struck with the great 
change in her countenance, he thought her actually dying. 
Feeling there was no time to be lost, he at once exclaimed, 
" My dear, I think before to-morrow morning you will be in 
Heaven!" This sudden announcement, following so soon 
upon the first intimation of her danger, might have been ex- 
pected to have produced at least a momentary excitement. I 
was bending over her, where I should have seen if a breath 
was quickened, or a nerve was moved ; but with unruffled 
composure, closing her eyes, she twice repeated, " I hope so.'' 
My father said, " I want you to look to Christ." After a mo- 
ment's silent meditation, she gently repeated, " Great sinner, 
great sinner, great Saviour." She then expressed her wishes 
as to the disposal of her letters, clothing, &c. — sent messages 
of love to all her friends, (fee. My father said, " My dear, I 
don't want you to be thinking of these trifles. I want you to 
be looking to Christ." " That is just the reason," she replied, 
" I want to have my mind at rest." I said, " You are not 
afraid to die." "No." " We do not want to part with you." 
" I do not," she sweetly answered. " I hope we shall follow 
you to heaven." " I hope so ;" and placing her hand gently 
on my father's arm, added. '-'•It will he but a little whileP 
My father asked, " Before we meet in heaven ?" " YesP 
She had that morning seen every member of the family, and 


kissed her grand-children. One of them coming in the second 
time I called her attention to it. She answered, " I have seen 
them all." In less than an hour from this time she sunk into 
a state of insensibility, from which she roused not again, ex- 
cept to ask for air and drink. Her intercourse with mortals 
was ended, but not before she had said all that she wished and 
all that we could desire. At two o'clock on Tuesday morning 
my father was called up to see her die. He said to her, " My 
dear, we think you are dying, and I am going to pray with 
you." She immediately folded her hands across her breast, 
(no longer able to clasp them,) and fixed her glazed eyes upon 
him for a moment, but before he closed she sunk again into 
insensibihty. She thus alternated between life and death till 
some time in the afternoon of Tuesday, when suddenly her 
countenance assumed the fixedness of death. Her respiration 
became harder and harder, then shorter and shorter, then sud- 
denly ceased. She gasped, then stretched herself as an infant 
awaking from sleep, gasped twice, stretched herself again — 
and again — The spirit had fled !* 

There was a heavenly sweetness about her countenance af- 
ter death. Perfect j)eace was written there. She was laid 
unchanged in the grave on Thursday, 27th. 

We selected the 3d hymn. Book II, to be sung at her fune- 
ral. Mr. Eddy chose the very text I had selected : " Precious 
in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." Doctor 
Hillyer of Orange, the only early friend of my parents in the 
ministry left in this region, offered the prayer. 

The chamber of death and the house of mourning were 
filled with long tried christian friends, who had welcomed her 
return, and who were anxious to pay the last tribute of respect. 

I have already mentioned that my father's health had been 
improved of late. He sustained this trial as a christian, most 
of the time calm, never overwhelmed. But the "outward 
man" quailed under the stroke, and for several days after the 
funeral he was very feeble ; his difficulty of breathing returned, 

• She died at half past 5 o'clock, Tuesday, July 25. 


and he felt as if he was soon to follow his sainted wife. " And 
Oh how she will welcome me," he would exclaim with tears. 
He is now much better, and is going- to attempt supplying 
Mr. Eddy's pulpit for the next five sabbaths. He spoke at the 
communion table last sabbath, and referred most affectingly 
to the " amazing realities which had broken upon the view of 
those who had lately gone from our bosom to the bosom of the 

My father wishes me to present him to you most affection- 
ately, and we all unite in our gratitude for your prayers and 

Believe me, Dear Sir, 

With respectful regard, yours, 


August 16ih. I have been blest this morning with clearer 
views than I ever had before. I certainly delight in God's 
glory and happiness more than in any thing else, and I do 
not wish for a personal happiness distinct from that delight. 
I do love to lie at his feet and to look up from the dust and see 
him on the throne, I desire above all things to see him 
known and honored as God. It is because he is in heaven 
tliat I wish to be there. I rejoice to know that he is his own 
reward, — all that reward to himself that he ever expected or 
desired. I long to be holy because it is right and agreeable to 
his will, and not primarily for^ the sake of the reward. The 
happiness I seek is derived from the happiness and glory of 
God. I feel that my sins against his authority and happiness 
and glory, are unspeakably vile, and do deserve more misery 
than I can measure, and my judgment tells me, eternal mi- 
sery. I love to repent. It is a luxury to lie low at his feet 
and mourn for sin. Christ is precious to my soul, the chief 
among ten thousands and altogether lovely. That God 
should have regenerated me, according to an eternal decree 
of election, making all the difference in my favor between an 
eternal hell and an eternal heaven, lays me under boundless, 
boundless, boundless obligations. My most earnest desire and 


prayer is, that I may spend my life in his service and in hea- 
venly devotion. 

My practice founded on the rule to pray without ceasing- 
and in every thing to give thanks, has opened God to my view, 
somewhat, I think, as he will be seen in heaven, — and it 
would be so fully if the rule was fully observed. It has esta- 
blished a habit of gratitude more constant and tender than I 
ever experienced before. 

Mrs. Griffin's death has certainly been sanctified to me, and 
has rendered heaven more familiar, and real and dear. And 
as God had evidently prepared me for that event, I know not 
but his present dealings are intended to prepare me to follow 
her soon. I should be glad to live to carry my MSS. through 
the press, and for a little while longer to promote revivals of 
religion by preaching. I have no wish to live for any other 
reason ; and I am willing that God should defeat these pur- 
poses by my removal, if he sees fit. 

August 20th. I certainly do love God with great tender- 
ness. My heart is dissolved in gratitude to him for his amaz- 
ing and distinguishing love. That he is infinitely and eter- 
nally happy, and that he will be known and honored and glo- 
rified as God, are the two sweetest thoughts that ever enter 
my mind. I think I love him better than myself. It has 
been a question whether to see him known and honored as 
God, was my supreme desire, or whether a wish for my own 
happiness was stronger. But I am convinced that the happi- 
ness I wish for, instead of being superior or opposed to his 
glory, consists in it. The delight of seeing him known and 
honored, is the very heaven I desire. I certainly long to be 
holy because it is right and agreeable to the will of God, an- 
tecedent to all considerations of reward. 

August 2Ath. Do I love God better than myself? My 
happiness consists in the happiness and glory of God, and in 
his will's being done. I do not, therefore, habitually set up my 
own will or happiness against him, and of course do not love 
myself better than God, but God better than myself. It is my 
supreme desire to see him known and honored as God, for I 

Vol. I. 29 


place my highest happiness in that ; and therefore do not set 
my own happiness above his honor and glory. 


Newark, K J. August 29ih, 1837. 
My very Dear Brother, 

Your kind favor, by Mr. Stafford, of the 22d inst. was 
duly received. I thank you very much for your sympathy, 
and thank dear Mrs. Tucker for her participation of our sor- 
row, and also your beloved children for their kind and tender 
feelings. You say, " we shall now have another subject of 
prayer." I thank you, my dear brother, and hope I shall in- 
deed have an interest in yom- petitions. I value it much. I 
probably have been already benefited by your prayers. 1 think 
I liave enjoyed the love of God and of Christ since the death 
of Mrs. Griffin more than I ever did before. God had been 
preparing both her mind and my own for the solemn event for 
eight months beforehand, and she died an easy death, with 
great tranquillity, without any uncomfortable feelings of mind, 
with composure and trust in the dear Redeemer. I would not 
call her back for ten thousand worlds. 

" Thou art gone to the grave ; but we will not deplore thee, 
Though sorrow and darkness encompass the tomb ; 

The Saviour hath passed through its portals before thee, 
And the lamp of his love is thy guide tiuo-Jgh the gloom." 

For a million of worlds I would not change the counsel of 
the Most High. The glory of God and the happiness of God 
are certainly the two objects dearest to my heart, in which I 
most rejoice, and in which I place my highest happiness. Let 
him do with me as seemeth good in his sight. It is a most 
overcoming thought that Christ, after all his obedient labors, 
asks for no reward, — desires no reward, — but what consists 
in blessings on us, together with the glory of God and the good 
of the universe therein involved. O the amazing love of Christ 
portrayed in that glorious truth ! I never saw his love so af- 
fecting in any other light. 

My health was affected by the event for more than a weeks 


but I have so far recovered as to be able to p'reacti. I hope 
ere long to renew the work of transcribing my MSS. about 
which I know you feel a deep interest. I wish to live long 
enough to carry them through the press, and to promote revi- 
vals of religion by preaching the kingdom of Christ, and by any 
other means in my power. These are the only two objects 
for which I wish to live. I perceive by your letter, and your 
kind request for me to write, that these several statements 
would not be ungratifying to you. With sincere love to Mrs. 
Tucker, and the dear children, I am, my beloved brother. 
Very affectionately yours, 


Sept. \st. Do I long to be delivered from sin more than 
from any other evil 7 Sin is against the blessed God, against 
his rightful authority, against his glory, against his happiness 
because against the happiness of his kingdom, and against 
the life of Christ. In this view of sin, as against that glory 
and happiness which are the dearest to my heart, I think I 
do wish to be delivered from it more than from any other evii. 


Newark, N. J. >Sept. 21, 1837. 
My Beloved Brother, 

I received to-day the Argus, containing the distressing 

news of the death of our dear Mrs. S , and an obituary 

notice. Though sick, I cannot delay the expression of my 
heartfelt grief, and my tenderest sympathy. I know your 
sorrows, and can enter into them with the deepest interest. 
From the moment I heard of the event I have been praying 
for you and your dear children. May God support and com- 
fort you and take care of them. Our whole family feel deep- 
ly for you. Even the children enter into it as an event very 
interesting to them, in consequence of your visit here and your 
sympathizing letter to me. Our dear wives are now together, 
and it will be but a few days and we, I trust, shall be with 
them. Mean time heaven must be nearer and dearer to us 
for their being in it. God has done it, and it is riarht. From 


his great kindness to me, I trust the more that he will enable 
you to rejoice in him more than ever during this afflictive sea- 
son. Ever since the commencement of my illness, more than 
three years ago, he has been pouring in truth in a new and 
affecting liglit. For the last six or eight months it has been 
more so. But since the death of Mrs. Griffm it has been so 
more than ever, so that I have sometimes apprehended he was 
preparing me to follow her soo7i. The two sweetest objects to 
me in the universe, and those in which my happiness chiefly 
consists, are the glory and the happiness of God. That he 
is infinite in his benevolence and wisdom, is a thought that 
renders the universe rich beyond expression. A few weeks 
ago, in asking for something as the reward of Christ, it open- 
ed upon me, that he neither asks nor desires any reward, since 
he has taken his throne and government, but what consists 
in blessings on us, (together with the glory of God and the 
good of the universe therein involved.) In blessings on this 
Christ crucifying world ! Never did the love of Christ open 
upon me so before. I resolved to carry that thought with me 
to my grave, and I love to impart it to my dear friends. O 
such a God and Saviour ! What may they not do to us ? If 
infinite benevolence and wisdom and mercy and faithfulness, 
have the management of all our affairs to the smallest parti- 
cular, what need we fear ? What occasion have we to be agi- 
tated? Gabriel and Paul see the universe blest in containing 
such a God, and that constitutes their heaven. The same 
heaven shall be ours to-day, if we will enter fully into the love 
and contemplation of that glorious God. Let him take our 
wives and our children, — let him take all that we have, — only 
leave himself, — and Paul and Gabriel cannot be richer. O 
my dear brother, it does my heart good to know how rich you 
are, in your deserted house and in your lonely chamber. 
Take hold of those riches in both your arms, and rise up 
above every anguish, and rejoice with joy unspeakable and 
full of glory. 

Doctor Smith and my two daughters unite with me in ten- 
der love and sympathy. Give my tender love to your dear 


children, and kiss them all for me. They have a mother still, 
and she is where I hope and pray they all may be. 

With the most tender sympathy in your present afflictions, 
I am, my dear brother, most affectionately yours, 


Sept. 28th. My former complaint has returned upon me 
and threatens to carry me off, I am willing that God should 
do as it seemeth good in his sight. My disease (thought to 
be dropsy in the chest) prevents me from lying all night in 
bed. The idea of sitting up the most of the night was dread- 
ful. But last night it was so delightful to think that infinite 
wisdom and love would order the whole, that I felt no appre- 
hension. The consequence was, that though I had to get up 
at a quarter after ten, I had a comfortable night and slept well 
in my chair. Blessed be the Lord. 

Oct. 1st. Sahhath. I have done lying in bed, and sit upon 
my chair all night and all day. The other day, Dr. Smith, 
in answer to my inquiry, told me it was not likely that I should 
live till spring; and was very doubtful whether I should live 
till January. The idea was delightful. I have looked for- 
ward to death by dropsy in the chest as very dreadful ; but it 
no longer appears so. A sense that infinite wisdom and love 
will order every thing for me, leaves no anxiety about any 
thing. It was very fatiguing to sit up nights, and I dreaded 
it much. But that consideration of infinite wisdom and love, 
removed in a minute all that anxiety some days ago, and it 
has not returned for a moment since. It seems to be about as 
pleasant to sit up as it formerly did to lie in bed. This men- 
tal feeling has been aided by some merciful provisions which 
render it easier to sit in my chair. 

I have been deeply affected of late by these most merciful 
and faithful provisions for a poor wretched sinner, so needful 
for an old man going down into the grave after his beloved 
wife. Not one anxious thought is left me from day to day 
about the event or the manner. I am taken up in thanking 
the blessed God for his wonderful mercy and faithfulness in 


thus dealing with me. That he should select this time to do 
for me what he never did before, to remove every concern and 
to fill me with peace, — to make that most solemn event, and 
all the dreaded means, no longer dreadful, but delightful,— is 
proof of mercy and faithfulness beyond the power of language 
to express. "Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is with- 
in me, bless his holy name." 

Oct. 8th. JSabbath. Dr. Smith told me this morning that, 
if the swelling continued to increase as it had done for a fort- 
night past, I should not probably live the month out. The 
idea was delightful, and awakened tears of gratitude. O the 
wonderful mercy and faithfulness of God ! 

Oct. lAth. 1 have been very sick and nervous during the 
last week ; slept but httle and had very uncomfortable nights, 
with a dread of the pressure for breath, which was between 
me and death. Yesterday afternoon I saw that God would 
appoint all these things. The thought relieved and comforted 
me at once, and brought submission and trust. And that sub- 
mission and trust were followed by such a night as I have not 
had for a considerable time. Though 1 had not exercised 
any, on account of the rain, I had altogether the most com- 
fortable rest that I have had since I ceased to lie down. The 
weather had changed to cold to favor such a result. O the 
mercies and the faithful providence of God ! His interpositions 
are constant and manifest, and full of mercy and faithfulness. 

The preceding paragraph concludes his diary; 
for though his death did not occur till the 8th of 
November, the rapid progress of his disease ren- 
dered him incapable of the effort of writing. His 
funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. Doctor 
Spring of New- York ; and shortly after, another 
discourse, occasioned by his death, was delivered 
at Williamstown, by the Rev. Dr. Hopkins, Presi- 
dent of Williams College ; both of which have 
since been published. 


The following letter from Mrs. Smith to a friend 
in Boston, embodies the most important particulars 
of her father's last illness and death. 

Newark, Dec. 11, 1837. 
My very Dear Mrs. K. 

Your truly affectionate letter was not the less welcome, 
for being one of many with which we have been favored ; all 
bearing the kindest expressions of sympathy for us, and of 
veneration and love toward our dear departed parents. We 
ought truly to adopt the language of our bereaved father : — 
" The tender sympathy of our friends here and abroad, has 
been unbounded, and the love of our Father and Saviour has 
been most supporting." We can truly make the sentiment of 
the beloved Cowper our own : 

"My boast is not that I deduce my birth 
From loins enthron'd, and rulers of the earth ; 
But higher far my proud pretensions rise — 
The child of parents passed into the skies." 

You could not have imposed upon me a more delightful 
task than that of reviewing the never-to-be-forgotten scenes of 
my dear father's sickness and death. Oh, my friend, if you 
have ever stood " quite on the verge of heaven," you have 
been where I stood for two months ; each day ministering to 
one who seemed just ready to take his upward flight ; each 
day listening, perhaps for the last time, to the heavenly words 
that fell from the lips of my only remaining parent. 

My cousin W. no doubt told you of the " quiet spirit" of the 
aged, feeble, afflicted saint, called so unexpectedly to part with 
her, whose affectionate sympathy had cheered his pilgrimage 
for more than forty years, and which he had hoped would 
bless him to the end. Yes, the " angel of the covenant" sup- 
ported him as he passed through these deep waters. He lean- 
ed upon the everlasting arm, and it failed him not. He had 
prayed fervently that my dear mother's departure might be 
easy and triumphant; and when he saw this desire so fully 
accomplished, his whole soul went forth in gratitude on her 

232 Last residence at 

behalf. But this event broke his hold on hfe. He murmured 
not, but the outbreakings of his widowed heart were most af- 
fecting. He committed to memory those beautiful Mnes of 
Heber, " Thou art gone to the grave," and often while sitting 
at the table they would seem to rush upon his recollection, and 
he would repeat them in his own affecting manner with many 

You remember his love for sacred music, connected with 
sacred song. This never forsook him. From the day that he 
came into our family, it was our custom to devote sabbath eve- 
nings to songs of praise, in which his grand-children were the 
principal performers. These seasons were always welcomed 
by my dear father, for whom a chair was placed in the 
midst of the little group, with whose infant voices his own 
and that of my dear mother would sometimes unite. He 
often spoke of these seasons as among his most precious means 
of grace. He copied in a book all the pieces that they sung, 
making additions from time to time, till within a few weeks of 
his death. The last lines which he inserted were these — 
"And to eternity love and adore." The hymn commences 
thus: "Come, thou Almighty King." From the commence- 
ment of his last illness, it was his custom to spend every eve- 
ning in the parlor, where he sat with his little book before 
him, selecting hymns for his darling Malvina to play and sing. 
And only the day before his death, when, to use his own ex- 
pression, "the agonies of death had come upon him," he was 
led into the parlor, that he might once more listen to the praises 
of earth, before he went to join in the anthems of heaven. It 
will ever be among Malvina's most hallowed recollections, that 
she was thus permitted to smooth the passage of this man of 
God, this endeared parent, to heaven. Oh, shall he hsten in 
vain amidst a choir above for one of those voices which he so 
much loved to hear? * * * * 

* * * * My father continued to preach from church to 
church every sabbath till my mother's death, till he had pro- 
claimed his last message in seven of our churches and in two 
of our neighboring villages. In August he was invited to sup- 


ply the pulpit of the first church during the absence of our 
pastor. In compUance with this request, he gathered up his 
strength to perform this last service for the beloved church over 
which he had watched for nearly eight years previous to his 
residence in Boston. He preached seven sermons in four sab- 
baths : and after this delivered his last sermon in the pulpit of 
the Rev. J. H. Jones at New-Brunswick, a nephew of my 
mother. This was on the 10th of September. His text was 
Jeremiah, xxxi. 31-34. The subject, Salvation taken into 
God's own hands. He thus fulfilled all his appointments, ex- 
cept at Elizabethtown, where he had engaged to preach for 
both Presbyterian clergymen, one of whom — Rev. N. Murray, 
was his former pupil. 

On the 13th of Sept. the American Board met here. On 
the same day my father was taken suddenly ill, and was not 
able to attend any of the meetings except the last, on the 13th, 
when he made his last public speech and prayer. He attended 
church for the last time on the next sabbath, and heard his 
early friends, Drs. Richards and Humphrey preach. About 
this time a dropsical effusion took place, which progressed so 
rapidly, that from Thursday of the same week he never at- 
tempted to lie down again. He said to me that night, " I ne- 
ver expect to lie down again, till I lie by your mother's side." 

Previous to my mother's death, he had attained to the "full 
assurance of hope," and this event, making heaven, as he 
said, •' seem Uke another apartment in his own house," severed 
his strongest tie to earth, and bound his thoughts and affec- 
tions more firmly to heaven. From the first appearance of 
dropsy he gave up all thought of being relieved, and was ena- 
bled to look without a fear into that eternity which was just 
at hand. But the wearisome days and nights which seemed 
appointed to him, and the dreadful closing scene — from these 
nature shrunk. Even this was but a passing cloud. The 
thought that infinite wisdom and love would order every cir- 
cumstance; soon dispelled it forever. After this he was often 
heard to say, " God has made it about as pleasant to sit up as 
it formerly was to lie down." 

Vol. I. 30 


Tlieie was indeed nothing of gloom about the chamber of 
death, but it was a solemn place ; one which could not but 
strengthen the faith of the feeblest saint, and which might 
well have shaken the confidence of the boldest infidel. The 
beloved patient, not content with his own sure prospect of eter- 
nal life, was constant in his intercessions for a ruined world. 
There were more than forty individuals among his impenitent 
friends whom he bore on his heart before the Mercy Seat ma- 
ny times each day. And as he had opportunity, he failed not 
to warn every one of them with tears. 

There was a "joy unspeakable and full of glory" which 
seemed to fill his soul. There was that peace of which the 
Saviour spoke when he said, "My peace I give unto you." 
There was indeed a majesty in the calmness, the faith, the 
love, the submission, the gratitude of this dying saint, which 
words cannot describe. And yet there was no mere animal 
excitement. To a friend, who asked him what his views of 
heaven were, he replied, "My mind is too weak for lively 
views. I know heaven must be a blessed place. God is there. 
Christ is there." This view seemed to satisfy him. To my 
mind there was something more delightful in the filial confi- 
dence with which he committed himself to his Heavenly Fa- 
ther, than in those enlarged and exciting views which might 
have been expected from such a man as he. 

His humility w^as affecting. The touch of death disturbed 
not the tranquility of his features; but it was disturbed by the 
remark of a friend, to whom, after bearing testimony to the 
kindness of his Heavenly Father, he had said, "And you 
may expect that he will do the same for you when you come 
to die." She replied, " If I am only as faithful as you." For 
a moment he was silent, and then with deep feeling he rejoined, 
"Don't say that again, sister: it is not because I am good, but 
because Christ has died." 

His gratitude was constant. After adverting to some sim- 
ple provisions for his comfort, he added, " Your love to your 
sick and dying infant is hatred, compared with the love of my 
Heavenly Father towards me." 


His submission was truly filial. After stating to a friend 
that he never expected to lie down again, till he was laid down 
for the grave, he sweetly added, '-And I am willing to sit 
here, just as you see me now, for twenty years, if it is God's 

His love to the Saviour kindled into a brighter, purer flame 
as he traversed the ascent of Pisgah. To a nephew, who vi- 
sited him in August, he remarked, '•' Never did 1 have such 
views of the Saviour as I have had for the last two months ;— 
never before such as I have had for the last week." 

He received every intimation of the rapid progress of his 
disease with expressions, and often with tears, of gratitude. 
It was not impatience to be released from suffering ; for He to 
whom with filial confidence he had committed himself, carried 
him so gently down, that he never spoke of pain, except for a 
short time on the day previous to his death (Tuesday.) He 
then said, " You talk of dying agonies; they have come upon 
me." Being asked if he could describe them, he answered, 
with his hand upon his breast, " Something here that will not 
let me sleep or breathe hardly." It was in this emergency 
that he sought the sweet influence of music. While he sat 
by the piano, one of his brethren in the ministry came in. 
My father, extending his hand to him as he entered, said, 
"You see me just going home." His friend said, "It has of- 
ten been your privilege to administer consolation to the dying: 
I trust you experience all those consolations you have offered 
to others." Raising his voice in the most emphatic manner? 
he repeated, "More, — more, — much more." 

On the sabbath previous to his death, new symptoms ap- 
pearing, he was told that his disease was approaching a crisis ; 
and subsequently, that it might form one in twenty-four hours. 
On Monday, a long-tried friend who called, said to him, 
" Your journey is almost over." " Blessed be God," said he, 
— " twelve hcfurs." 

To his grand-children and the domestics he gave his part- 
ing charge to meet him in heaven. 


To Malvina he said, " I want you to examine yourself a 
great deal before you venture to hope." 

To Edward and Lyndon, " You must give your heart to 
the Saviour. Don't put it off another hour." 

To Frances, "Be a good girl, and give your heart to the 
Saviour while you are young." 

On Tuesday morning, Nov. 7th, we were called up to see 
him die. He was, as usual, panting for breath. My husband 
asked him if he suffered any pain. " None," said he, and 
then broke out in the following expressions, interrupted, scarce- 
ly audible, but most impressive. "My Heavenly Father, — 
my dear Redeemer, — wonderful in mercy and faithfulness ! 
I pray you to give him glory forever and ever." Being asked 
if he still continued to dread the dying struggle, " No," said 
he ; "I leave it all with God ; I refer it all to his will." 

In the afternoon his brother inquired if his mind was still 
unclouded. " Without a doubt," was his prompt and empha- 
tic reply. After bathing his feet, he cheerfully said, " I never 
expect to bathe my feet again. My soul I hope to wash in 
the blood of the Lamb." He bade his brother, who was 
obliged to leave him, a cheerful and affectionate farewell. He 
gave his parting blessing to all who called to see him, and 
failed not to send messages of love to the absent members of 
their families. 

Early in the evening, a beloved friend, a sister of my hus- 
band, was introduced to him. " I do not recollect my friends 
now," said he. " You remember the dear Saviour who is by 
you ?" she asked. " Oh yes," emphatically ; " he never so 
manifested his preciousness to me before." After his grand- 
children, excepting Malvina, had left the room for the night, 
having received as usual the parting kiss, Sarah repeated to 
him several of his favorite hymns, at the close of each of which 
he exclaimed, "precious, — very precious." These were among 
his last recollections of earth. While we stood around him, he 
fell into a gentle sleep ; and five minutes before four o'clock 
on Wednesday morning, Nov. 8th, ceased to breathe, without 
a struggle or a groan. His age was sixty-seven years, ten 


months, two days ; nine days younger than my beloved mo- 
ther. He served the Lord Jesus Christ in the gospel ministry, 
foity-five years. 

Every expression of veneration and love has been paid to 
the memory of this man of God. His funeral was attended 
in the first Presbyterian church, where hundreds pressed to 
take a last look, and to read the inscription placed upon his 
breast : " Remember the words which I spake unto you while 
I was yet present with you." Most of the clergymen in this 
city preached with reference to his death. One of them al- 
luding to the providence which brought him back to New- 
ark, beautifully remarked : " It was fitting that he who came 
in his youth to teach us how to live, should come, when his 
head was gray, to show us how to die. It was fitting that he 
should lie side by side till the resurrection morn, with tliem to 
whom he had preached Christ 'the resurrection and the 
life.' " 

" Devout men " bore both my parents to the grave ; where 
they lie side by side, on the very spot purchased by my father 
for a burial-place before his removal to Boston. The following 
inscriptions mark the spot : 


to the memory of to the memory of 



who departed this life Rev. Dr. Edward D. Griffin, 

in the hope who departed this life 

of a glorious immortality, in the hope 

Nov. 8th, 1837, of a glorious immortality, 

in the 68th year July 25th, 1837, 

of his age. in the 6Sth year 

They that turn many to righteous- of her age. 

ness shall shine as the stars for- In her tongue was the law of kind- 
ever and ever. 

On such the second death hath no 
Oh death where is Ihy sting ! 
Oil grave where is thy victory 

• This was written by my father. 


The disease which in its accumulated ravages wasted my 
father's strength, and laid him in the grave, was of more 
than four years continuance. It apparently commenced in a 
shght attack of paralysis, affecting his left side, in the spring 
of '33. It resulted, as ascertained by a post mortem exami- 
nation, in an enlargement and softening of the heart. The 
immediate cause of death was a general dropsical effusion. 

In August, 1834, symptoms of dropsy in the chest appear- 
ed. I have often heard him describe its commencement. " I 
awoke," said he, " with a new and dreadful sensation here," 
laying his hand upon his breast ; " and I asked myself, what 
if only this were eternal ! The thought was overwhelm- 
ing. My mind at once turned to some whom I had loved, 
and who had gone into eternity, leaving no evidence that 
they were prepared for heaven. The scene of their suffer- 
ings became as real as though I had stood on the margin 
of the burning lake." I visited WilUamstown soon after this 
memorable night, and found this impression stamped upon 
his soul. He was as solemn as though he had indeed seen 
the dread reality. His mind was weighed down with the 
prospect of the eternal, the unendurable suffering of the wick- 
ed ; and it was not until he was enabled to take a compre- 
hensive view of the government of God, that he threw off the 
gloom that rested upon his mind. It was the only time I ever 
saw him gloomy. From this time the salvation of souls from 
this eternity of misery, was the one subject that occupied his 
time, his conversation, and his prayers. From this time may 
be traced his rapid increase in spirituaUty, and his evident ri- 
pening for heaven. Soon after, his symptoms became alarm- 
ing, but for himself he manifested no anxiety. The passage 
in Phil. iv. 6, 7, seemed to dwell upon his mind, and to leave 
its own impress there. These dropsical symptoms soon yield- 
ed to medical skill, and returned not again till after my mo- 
ther's death. But that noble frame which had stood firm and 
erect for more than sixty winters, was henceforth to crumble 
away under the influence of disease. 

On ray father's return to this scene of his early labors, he 


was welcomed with a warmth of affection, to him unexpected 
and overwhehning. Here he found many of his spiritual 
children, who hastened to remind him of their spiritual rela- 
tions ; and many of the children of his departed friends, whose 
parents had taught them to honor him from their infancy. 
Here too he found the aged sinner, who in former years had 
listened to his appeals as an ambassador for God ; and here 
and there a child of the covenant, who was yet an " alien 
from the commonwealth of Israel." Amidst such recognitions, 
the yearnings of a pastor's heart revived. Early in the spring 
he commenced a course of visitation, which occupied his morn- 
ings for several successive weeks. And who that marked his 
feeble footsteps as he bent before the chilling blast, but felt 
that some mighty purpose moved his soul? These visits, 
these admonitions, these prayers of anxious love, can never 
be forgotten. They will be reviewed at the judgment. God 
grant that they may not then appear as a witness against any 
whom he sought to save ! 

He preached eighteen sermons during the last year, besides 
attending several funerals and addressing us, in his own im- 
pressive manner, at our communion seasons. 

The only objects for which he wished to live, as he repeat- 
edly said, were to promote revivals of religion by his prayers, 
conversation and preaching, and to prepare his MSS. for the 
press. For this he was wilUng awhile to linger an exile from 

He was permitted to sow the good seed in many hearts ; — 
to lay up a rich inheritance of prayer for his children and 
friends ; — to commend the departing spirit of his beloved wife 
to his Saviour and hers, and to see her precious remains safe- 
ly deposited in sure hope of a glorious resurrection ; — to show 
us how a good man may live, and how too he may die ; — and 
then he was taken, I doubt not, to the " rest that remaineth 
to the people of God." " Blessed are the dead that die in the 
Lord. They rest from their labors, and their works do follow 

Your affectionate friend, 




The Faculty of Williams College, having recently heard 
of the death of the Rev. Dr. Griffin, and having been long 
associated with him either as his pupils, or in the instruction 
and government of the college, are desirous to express to his 
family and near friends their sincere sympathy with them in 
their bereavement, and the high sense which they entertain 
of his talents and worth. 

They feel that a great man, and a benefactor of his age 
has departed. From his powers as a pulpit orator, and the 
peculiar positions which he occupied, his influence as a preach- 
er will be long felt, while his writings must take their place 
among standard theological works. 

Of his connexion with this College, we, in common with 
all its friends, would speak with gratitude. To him, probably 
more than to any other man, is it owing that this College was 
placed on a permanent foundation, and enjoys its present de- 
gree of prosperity. His labors in its behalf were arduous, per- 
severing and successful. During his Presidency the College 
enjoyed several powerful revivals of religion, and it was espe- 
cially from its connection with the cause of Christ, that he 
watched over its interests and prayed for it. Through his pu- 
pils his influence is now felt in heathen lands. 

We rejoice to hear that his death was peaceful, and that in 
that trying hour he was supported by the religion which he 
had so long preached, and so extensively promoted. 

The former members of his family, whom we can never 
cease to regard with interest, will please accept, together with 
yourself, our respectful and affectionate remembrance. 
In behalf of the Faculty, 


Dr. L. a. Smith. 



Babylon, Nov. I3th, 1837. 
My Dear Miss Griffin, 

The Newark Daily Advertiser, announcing the death of 
your dear and venerated father, has this moment reached me. 
The first impulse of my heart — that ever beat with love and 
gratitude to that ever-blessed, but now glorified saint, and with 
the most tender and respectful affection for his family, is to beg 
the privilege and honor of mingling my tears with yours on 
this mournful occasion. But how mournful? I mourn for 
myself that 1 have lost so valuable a counsellor, and so dear 
a father and friend. I mourn for you, dear sister, and for all 
those to whom he was so justly dear and valued. I mourn 
for the church of Christ and for this dark world, because an- 
other bright and shining light has sunk below our horizon. 
But here my mourning stops. My tears dry. I look up and 
see that innumerable throng around the throne. I listen — a 
new harp is strung. A new voice is heard. Its infant notes 
are distinguished amidst the countless host. They mingle 
with the harmonious sounds of the ten thousand times ten 
thousand in the New .Jerusalem. It is the voice of our father. 
Yes, of our father. I am the son of the travail of his soul. 
He has entered " the gates of pearl." He walks the golden 
streets. He finds peace within its jasper walls — rest on its 
" precious " foundations. Though the mortal part slumbereth 
in the dark grave, yet slumbereth not the spirit. He hath no 
need of the sun to shine upon it, for the glory of the Lord en- 
lighteneth it, and the Lamb is the light thereof 

Thanks then to God that he has gone before us. Heaven 
is now nearer, dearer, sweeter. Is it not pleasant to think that 
our dear father waits to receive and welcome us? He has 
taught us here how to sing the song of redeeming love. And 
now, since he has gone to take lessons at the feet of infinite 
Perfection, may he not there again teach our unfledged souls 
to soar and sing and praise him that loved us and washed us ' 
from our sins in his own blood ? 

Happy, happy saint! We love to follow him. We love to 

Vol.! 31 


listen to the sweet sound of his heavenly music now. We 
love to look back and recall the past. What scenes with us 
are associated with one period of his ministry ! We love to 
contemplate him now so soon reunited in the bonds of ever- 
lasting love, to your dear mother ; forever joined in holy ac- 
tivity and ceaseless praise with " heaven's best gift " in his 
earthly pilgrimage. 

But hark ! there comes another sound from those once loved 
and always revered lips. It is a sound of warning, of fear 
and trembling, for his spiritual sons and daughters. It comes 
to me ; to you ; to all who stand in this endeared relation. It 
says, "beware" — "watch" — "strive" — "fear lest a promise 
being left — some of you should come short of it." 

But I must close. Accept my most heart-felt condolence in 
this hour of severe bereavement. Your tears will flow. It is 
nature. It is right. You know the Mourner's Friend. Your 
Redeemer liveth. May he be found a ready help. 

Mrs. Read unites with me in hearty sympa'hy and affec- 
tionate regards to yourself and Dr. and Mrs. Smith. I beg 
they will receive this humble token of condolence and affec- 
tion equally with yourself. 

Yours very affectionately, 



Amherst College^ Nov. 13th, 1837. 
My afflicted Friends, 

The southern mail, last evening, brought us the intelli- 
gence that your revered and honored father has fallen asleep ! 
Soon, but not too soon for him, has he followed your beloved 
mother, as we confidently believe, to her eternal rest. The 
news was not so unexpected as to be surprising; for when I 
saw him at the meeting of the American Board, his hold on 
life appeared too feeble to last long. I have known Dr. Grif- 
fin for about forty years, and have always regarded him as 
one of the most eloquent, pungent, and useful preachers, that 


I ever heard. There was a melody, a solemnity, a charm in 
his voice, during all the prime of his ministry, and even up to 
the age of sixty, which always struck strangers as very re- 
markable, and what was of infinitely greater importance, he 
dealt so faithfully with the conscience, that few could go away 
so much admiring the preacher as to forget themselves. 

His natural talents were certainly of a high order. His 
mind, if not quite so rapid in its movements as some others, 
was highly discriminating. He could grasp a difficult subject 
with much apparent ease, and hold it at his pleasure. He 
saw the relations and differences of things, with uncommon 
perspicuity ; and what he saw clearly himself, he knew how 
to present in a strong light to other minds. Of this there are 
many fine examples in his Park-street Lectures — a book by 
the way, which will go down to posterity. 

To say nothing of the eminent services which he rendered 
to religion and learning, in other stations, few ministers of the 
age, I believe, have been instrumental of awakening and sav- 
ing more souls than Dr. Griffin. How will his crown of re- 
joicing sparkle with gems in the day of the Lord Jesus ! 
Though he spent more time in several other places than in 
Boston, I have always been impressed with the belief, that his 
pre-eminent usefulness was on that ground. When he went 
there, the piety of the pilgrim fathers had nearly ceased to 
warm the bosoms of their descendants. Calvinism was a bye- 
word and reproach. Orthodoxy hardly dared to show its head 
in any of the Congregational pulpits. It wanted a strong arm 
to hold up the standard of the cross, a strong voice to cry in 
the ears of the people, and a bold heart to encounter the scorn 
and the talent that were arrayed against him. And nobly, in 
the fear and strength of the Lord, did he " quit himself." 

Nothing was more striking in his character, than the high 
ground which he always took in exhibiting the offensive doc- 
trines of the gospel, particularly divine sovereignty, election, 
the total depravity of the natural heart, and the necessity of 
regeneration. These doctrines he exhibited with great clear- 
ness and power, before friends and enemies. The crisis re- 


quired just such a master-spirit, and Boston felt his power ; or 
rather felt the power of God, which I must think wrought in 
him mightily during his short ministry in Park-street. From 
the time of his going there, orthodoxy began to revive; and 
we all know how many flourishing churches have, as it were, 
sprung from that one stock. 

With your thrice honored father God was every thing, and 
man was nothing. He wanted to see every body lying at the 
footstool with perfect submission to the divine will, putting a 
blank into God's hands, to be filled up just according to his 
infinite wisdom and pleasure; and there he loved to lie him- 
self. This w^as the theme of his remarks when I saw him at 
your house, a few weeks ago. He seemed fully resolved, that 
if ever he was saved, God should have all the glory of it — 
that if he went to heaven, he would go there to sing redeem- 
ing love. Never shall we forget either his address, or his pray- 
er, on the last forenoon of our session in your church. Both 
were close on the verge of heaven ! And how exquisitely did 
he enjoy the hymns of praise in your family circle on the 
evening of the sabbath when I saw him last. 

Most sincerely do I sympatliize with you in your afflictions, 
and rejoice with you too, in the bright hopes which shine up- 
on the path of your sorrows. May the Lord bless and sanc- 
tify you; and may you ever be followers of those, who through 
faith and patience inherit the promises ! 

I am, very sincerely, your friend, 


The following letter from the Rev. Dr. Burder 
of London, shows in what estimation Dr. Grif- 
fin's character was held abroad. 

Hackney^ June 7ih, 1831. 
Rev. and Dear Sir, 

It cannot but be gratifying to me to have an opportunity 
of addressing a few lines to you, under circumstances which 
shelter me from the charge of being obtrusive. A few days 


ago I had the honor of receiving the diploma which bears 
your signature ; and in my view, if the entire value of that 
document were derived from that revered name, it would be 
entitled to warmer acknowledgments than my words can con- 
vey. I feel, however, greatly indebted to every member of 
the " Senatus Academicus," as well as to their honored Presi- 
dent, for the degree which has been conferred in a manner so 
kind, and handsome, and indulgent. To you, my Dear Sir, 
and to the learned body over which you preside, I owe, in 
some respects, even a greater debt of gratitude than to the 
University of Glasgow, where I pursued my studies, whose 
kindness has conferred a similar honor. May I become less 
unworthy of a distinction which I could never have presumed 
to solicit! 

Through the kindness of our mutual friend. Dr. S., I have 
had the pleasure of cultivating that kind of acquaintance with 
you, my Dear Sir, which is rendered practicable by the press. 
To many of the habitual and powerful workings of your mind 
I am no stranger. You have assisted me in my feeble efforts 
to seek a "Heavenly mind." Your Park-st. lectures have 
given many a vigorous impulse to my thoughts on the great 
things of God; and this very morning I have peiused, with 
no ordinary emotions, your Murray-st. discourse on " glory- 
ing in the Lord." May those energies of intellect which the 
Father of spirits has awakened and consecrated, long be con- 
tinued, in unimpaired power, for a blessing to America, to 
Britain, to the world. 

I am beyond expression interested and impressed by the in- 
telligence I have received in reference to the present revivals 
of religion in your happy and honored country. Oh what a 
day of glory has dawned upon your churches! Did my fa- 
mily (of foiu- children, now motherless,) and my flock per- 
mit, how enraptured I should be to cross the ocean and min- 
gle with you in your joys and thanksgivings and supplica- 
tions. Oh pray, my Dear Sir, for us, that the blessed influen- 
ces of the Holy One may thus descend upon the land of your 
fathers ! 


With blended emotions, of gratitude, respect, and attach- 
ment, believe me to be, Rev. and Dear Sir, very cordially, 
and faithfully, and obediently, yours, 




It has been the design of the preceding chapters 
to exhibit Doctor Griffin's general course through 
life, in connexion with such extracts from his pri- 
vate journal as seemed best adapted to illustrate the 
various stages of his christian experience. It only 
remains to present some of the more prominent fea- 
tures of his character a little in detail, and to at- 
tempt some general estimate of the extended and 
diversified influence of his life. 

Doctor Griffin was remarkable in his physical 
conformation. ' He measured six feet and nearly 
three inches from the ground, and his frame was 
every way well proportioned. His gigantic and 
noble form attracted the attenlion of strangers as 
he walked the streets ; and when he rose in a great 
assembly, he towered so much above the rest as to 
throw around men of ordinary stature an air of in- 
significance. His countenance was peculiar — ex- 
pressive both of strong thought and strong feeling ; 
and those who knew him will recognize a faithful 
delineation, both of his features and his expression, 
in the engraved portrait prefixed to this memoir. 
Though he was somewhat feeble in his early child- 


hood, he ultimately developed a fine constitution, and 
during much the greater part of his life possessed an 
uncommon share of physical vigor. It may also be 
mentioned in this connexion, that he was remarka- 
ble, even to the last day of his life, for his habits 
of personal neatness. " The last sun that shone 
upon him," says a member of his family, " found 
him brushing his teeth as thoroughly as he ever did? 
and his regular shaving and change of apparel were 
never intermitted." 

It is hardly necessary to say that Doctor Griffin 
was quite as extraordinary in his intellectual charac- 
ter as in his physical powers and proportions. It 
would perhaps be difficult to say whether the ima- 
gination or the reasoning faculty constituted the 
predominating feature of his mind ; for he was one 
of the rare instances of pre-eminence in both. He. 
seemed equally at home in the heights and in the 
depths : if his mind was prolific of the most mag- 
nificent and burning conceptions, it was also capa- 
ble of pushing the most abstract subject of inquiry 
to the farthest limit of human investigation. But 
while his imagination soared high, and his reason- 
ing faculty penetrated far, neither the one nor the 
other was particularly rapid in its operations. The 
movements of his mind all partook more of the ma- 
jesty of the thunder-storm than the impetuosity of 
the whirlwind. 

His intellectual habits were substantially those of 
every thoroughly disciplined mind. He had no 
time to devote to useless employments, and his fa- 
culties never became rusty from inaction. A do- 


mestic in his family testifies that she never entered 
his room without finding him engaged in writing, 
reading, or prayer. He was also in all things, the 
smallest as well as the greatest, remarkably atten- 
tive to system ; and he was never satisfied unless 
every thing around him occupied its appropriate 
place, and every thing devolving upon him was 
done at the proper time. And to these qualities 
may be added a spirit of uncommon perseverance; 
a fixed purpose to do well whatever he undertook ; 
to get to the bottom of every subject which he at- 
tempted to investigate. During the last year of his 
life he copied out a little book of hymns, as cor- 
rectly as if they had been designed for the press ; 
and within a sabbath or two previous to his death, as 
he was reading some missionary journal, he request- 
ed his daughter to hand him his atlas that he might 
find certain places mentioned in it, and he bent over 
the map with untiring interest until he had traced 
the whole course. 

Dr. Griffin's dispositions and feelings were so 
far moulded by the influence of religion, that it 
was not easy always to distinguish between the 
man and the christian ; — between the elements of 
nature and the graces of the Spirit. There was, 
however, a tenderness and generosity and magna- 
nimity about him, which every one felt to be in- 
stinctive. He was also naturally of a social turn, 
and accommodated himself with great felicity to 
persons of different ages and capacities. In al- 
most every circle into which he was thrown, he 
was sure to lead the conversation ; and yet not in 

Vol. 1. 32 


a way that seemed officious or obtrusive, but be- 
cause he was put forward by the united consent of 
those who feh his superiority. 

It would appear from the journal that he kept of 
his private religious exercises, that the leading ele- 
ment of his christian character was a deep sense of 
his own corruptions and of his entire dependance 
on the sovereign grace of God in Christ; and 
hence he was always peculiarly jealous for the di- 
vine glory : — always ready to buckle on his armor 
for conflict when he saw any movements in the theo- 
logical world, which looked hostile to the sove- 
reignty of God or the dignity of his Son. In the 
early part of his christian course, his mind seems 
to have been occupied more with the severer truths 
of God's word, especially the nature and obliga- 
tions of his law ; but in his later days he was much 
more disposed to dwell upon the grace and glory of 
the gospel — the fulness of its provisions and the 
freeness of its ofters ; and hence his piety, as he 
advanced toward the end of his course, became in- 
creasingly cheerful and attractive. Those who had 
the opportunity of enjoying his society in the last 
months of his life, felt that his eye was turned di- 
rectly and habitually upon the sun of Righteous- 
ness ; and that every desire of his heart was swal- 
lowed up in this — that God's will might be done, 
and God's name glorified. 

Doctor Griffin was remarkable for his strict ad- 
herence to truth. He had no sympathy with those 
lax notions on this subject which have been so la- 
mentably common in these later years, among many 


professed christians, not to say ministers of the 
gospel — especially the notion that it is lawful to 
practise some degree of deception in religious mat- 
ters, for the sake of gaining what is supposed to be 
an important end : on the contrary, he allowed not 
himself either by his words or his actions, either 
in respect to religion or any thing else, intention- 
ally to leave an impression upon any mind that was 
at variance with his honest convictions. " I well 
remember," says his daughter, " his early attempts 
to fix my confidence in his word ; — a confidence 
which he never forfeited. He would place me on 
a high mantle piece, and then removing himself a 
short distance direct me to throw myself into his 
arms, assuring me that it was safe, and that he 
would take me down in no other way. I would 
sit for a long time, pleading, trembling, perhaps 
weeping, till finding him inflexible, I was forced to 
make the dreaded leap, and test the truth of his 
promise. In after life it was his frequent and fear- 
less appeal, ' Did your father ever deceive you ?' 
In his diary he mentions assuming a smile at the 
side of Ellen's sick bed, in order to conceal from 
her my danger, and then adds, ' and for the first 
and only time deceived my child.' " 

Another peculiarly amiable feature in his charac- 
ter, was his freedom from censoriousness. The law 
of kindness was upon his lips; and though he 
was often engaged in controversy, and felt himself 
called in obedience to his strong convictions of 
duty, to expose what he deemed the errors of others 
either in doctrine or practice, yet he was uniform- 


ly courteous toward his opponents. The maxim 
which regulated his conduct as a controvertist was, 
" Crush heresy, but spare the heretic." 

Intimately connected with the preceding, was 
another quality which, to those who knew him best, 
constituted one of the brightest attractions of his 
character— viz. a meek and forgiviJig spirit. Few 
men have suffered more than he, either from the 
detraction and virulence of enemies, or the mis- 
taken impressions of friends ; and few, it is believed, 
in similar circumstances, have evinced so much of 
christian forbearance and magnanimity. Doctor 
Spring, who had known him long and intimately, 
says, in the sermon preached at his funeral, "I 
have known him a greatly injured man, but I have 
never known him cherish a retaliating or revenge- 
ful disposition. I have seen him weep under inju- 
ries, but I never heard him utter an angry sentence 
against those who reviled him. There was a kind- 
ness, a generosity, a nobleness of heart about him, 
which his enemies never knew how to appreciate." 
If any further evidence were needed of his possess- 
ing in a high degree this attribute of christian cha- 
racter, it is furnished by the following record — 
equally touching and sublime — which he made in 
his diary, relative to certain slanderous reports 
which had been put in circulation concerning him. 

"At this period the greatest trial of my life commenced 
through the luikindness of friends whom I had never injured. 
Through misrepresentations and misapprehensions I was ac- 
cused of things of which I was perfectly innocent. In that 
time of trial 1 was determined not to say a wrong thing, or do 


a wrong action, to save my character or life. I never saw be- 
fore how Uttle love I had, how hard it was to love a mere neigh- 
bor, an enemy as myself, and never before saw the miracle 
which was exhibited in the pretorium and on the cross. I felt 
a spirit of forbearance and kindness which I scarcely thought 
possible ; and when another spirit arose, my remedy was to 
go to my knees, and pray for my persecutors until 1 could for- 
give them." 

As the interests of Christ's kingdom lay specially 
near his heart, he was always ready not only to 
urge upon others the duty of consecrating their pro- 
perty to its advancement, but to do this himself ac- 
cording to his ability. He was never rich ; but out 
of the competence which he possessed, he contri- 
buted more or less to most of the great benevolent 
objects of the day. The generous donation which 
he made to the college, and with which he com- 
menced the effort that resulted in its extended 
means and increased prosperity, has been noticed 
in a preceding chapter. During his residence at 
Williamstown, he had, on a certain occasion, sub- 
scribed a hundred dollars to assist a feeble congre- 
gation in the neighborhood in building a church. 
As the time for payment drew near, he found it dif- 
ficult to command the necessary means for meeting 
it. About that time he journeyed eastward in be- 
half of the college, with an intention to spend one 
sabbath with his friends in Boston. But on his ar- 
rival there, he met a clergyman who urged his pass- 
ing that sabbath with him ; and added, " My wife 
says. If Dr. G. will come and preach for us, I will 
give him fifty dollars." The Doctor understanding 
this to be intended for the college, relinquished his 


purpose of remaining in Boston, and accepted the 
invitation. When his plate was removed from the 
breakfast table Monday morning, he found a hun- 
dred dollar note lying before him, with a request 
that he would accept it as his own. This sum, 
with his accustomed promptness, he appropriated to 
the payment of his subscription. The circumstance 
he was accustomed to reckon among the peculiar 
providences of God toward him. 

And this suggests another striking feature of his 
character, viz. his habitual recognition of a divine 
providence, and his confidence in God under all cir- 
cumstances. He was fond of repeating the maxim 
of the blind Mr. Prince, " He that will observe 
the providence of God shall never want for matter 
of observation." His calculations for the future 
seemed always to be made in the spirit of the Apos- 
tle's exhortation, " If the Lord will, we shall live 
and do this or that." A striking instance of his con- 
fidence in God for the success of his labors, occur- 
red at a meeting of ministers shortly after his re- 
moval to Boston. The conversation having turned 
upon the peculiarly difficult and responsible station 
in which he had been placed, Dr. Samuel Spring 
turned to him and said, " Dr. G. you seem like a 
man placed upright upon the point of a steeple with 
nothing to hold by — now how will you stand ?" 
" You mistake," said Dr. G. " I have God to hold 

As he felt deeply his dependance on God, his 
life, especially the latter part of it, seems to have 
been eminently a life of prayer. For a considera- 


ble period previous to his death, no small part of 
his waking hours was spent in private devotion. 
The following touching circumstance, as related by 
his daughter, shows how closely he had interwoven 
this duty with the economy of every day : " On 
one of his last sabbaths," she says, " when his de- 
bility had produced a drowsiness hard to be over- 
come, about noon he suddenly raised himself and 
said, 'I have not prayed since morning, I have 
been so sleepy. I wish you would lead me into the 
next room ' (where there was no fire) ' that I may 
wake up to pray.' I accordingly led him to the 
sofa, and wrapped a cloak about him and left him 
alone. Here as he sat for nearly an hour, I heard 
his voice from time to time raised in supplication. 
He then asked for his Form of Self-examination, 
and remained some time longer engaged in reading 
it over." 

In glancing at Dr. G's public character, it is na- 
tural first to contemplate him where he was per- 
haps more in his element than any where else — in 
the pulpit. As a preacher it may safely be said that 
few of any age have reached so commanding an 
eminence. Some of our transatlantic brethren, 
who have listened to him, and who were familiar 
with the best specimens of the eloquence of the 
pulpit in Great Britain, have unhesitatingly express- 
ed their conviction that Dr. G. was not exceeded, 
either in matter or manner, by the best British 
preachers they had ever heard. In the selection of 
his subjects he evidently kept in view, in an unu- 
sual degree, the only legitimate end of preaching — 


the sanctification and salvation of men ; and hence 
he never degraded the pulpit by the introduction of 
topics which might gratify a mere intellectual taste, 
but which could never find their way to the con- 
science or the heart. His sermons were eminently 
rich in divine truth ; those truths which humble man 
and exalt God ; and no man who listened to him at- 
tentively had ever any just reason to complain that 
he had nothing to carry away. Though he was an 
acute metaphysician, yet he rarely introduced me- 
taphysical discussions into the pulpit ; and when- 
ever he did, it was rather with a view to repel the 
assaults of the enemies of truth with their own wea- 
pons, than to borrow light from reason for the esta- 
blishment of scripture doctrine. He reasoned in- 
deed, and reasoned with great power ; but his ar- 
guments were based on scripture and common sense, 
and were ordinarily within the comprehension of 
any class of his hearers. And as he administered 
to the intellect its appropriate aliment, he knew how 
to address himself with equal power to the feehngs; 
and it was difficult to say which was most to be ad- 
mired, the cogency of his reasoning, the grandeur 
of his conceptions, or the tenderness of his appeals. 
Now he came down upon the sinner's conscience 
with the weight of a mountain, and again, by a 
wonderful effort of imagination, he seemed to raise 
the christian to the very gate of heaven, and hold 
him there till he became well nigh entranced with 
its glories. His manner was emphatically his own ; 
and though a faint resemblance of it has been sha- 
dowed forth in a considerable number of our preach- 


ers, yet the best effort at imitation does nothing 
more than painfully remind us of the magnificent 
original. In more senses than one he might be 
called the giant of the pulpit. His stately and no- 
ble form, his erect and dignified attitude, would en- 
chain a congregation of strangers before he opened 
his lips. And then his voice was in good keeping 
with his person : it could express the softest and 
gentlest emotions with inimitable effect, while it 
could swell into the majesty of the thunder or 
break upon you in the fury of the tempest. His 
sermons for the pulpit were always written, and 
with very few exceptions always read ; but his style 
was so adapted to his manner, and his reading so 
admirably perfect, that even the most bigotted op- 
posers of reading in the pulpit were constrained to 
acknowledge that this mode of preaching answered 
very well for him. His gestures, like every thing 
else that pertained to his manner, were bold and 
striking ; and when he was excited, as he almost 
always was in some part of his sermon, they suc- 
ceeded each other with great rapidity. In his ordi- 
nary preaching, there is said to have been very con- 
siderable inequality ; though even his most mode- 
rate sermons had something to identify them as his 
own, and bore more or less of the impress of his 
noble mind. In his more public and extraordinary 
efforts, for which he always took ample time to pre- 
pare, he rarely if ever failed ; and on some of these 
occasions he rose to the very highest pitch of elo- 
quence. His sermon on " the art of preaching," 
delivered before the Pastoral Association of Mas- 

Yol. T. 33 


sachusetts, is perhaps the very best thing extant 
on that subject ; and it would be difficult to find a 
man who combined in a higher degree than Dr. 
Griffin himself the qualities which he has there 
so admirably described as essential to perfection 
in preaching. 

In his pastoral and private religious intercourse 
Doctor G. exhibited all the tenderness of his heart. 
He attached great importance to visiting from house 
to house, not only for the general purpose of reh- 
gious intercourse with his people, but that he might 
learn from the state of his congregation what he 
ought to preach on the one hand, and what effect 
his preaching had produced on the other. The fol- 
lowing circumstance furnishes a beautiful example 
of the tenderness of his spirit in his intercourse 
with the careless and ungodly. A Jew who now 
professes to be a christian, called upon him in com- 
pany with a clergyman. In the course of the in- 
terview. Dr. G. turning to his clerical brother, in- 
quired, " What are our young friend's views on the 
subject of religion?" He could not tell. The 
Doctor instantly took the hand of the Jew, and 
threw his arm around him, and exclaimed, " I love 
the Jews — Oh, you must love the Lord Jesus Christ." 

But it was in revivals of religion especially that Dr. 
G. appeared with surpassing advantage ; and in con- 
nexion with these perhaps he has rendered his most 
important services to the church. The history of his 
life seems little less than the history of one unbro- 
ken revival; and it would perhaps be difficult to 
name the individual in our country since the days 


of Whitefield, who has been instrumental of an 
equal number of hopeful conversions. But while 
he possessed in so high a degree the spirit of revi- 
vals, he had no communion with the spirit of fana- 
ticism ; and when he saw a community at the very 
highest point of religious excitement, he still in- 
sisted that every thing should be done decently and 
in order. No man deplored more deeply than he 
the erratic and extravagant measures by which so 
many of our more modern revivals have been 
marked ; and no one labored more zealously than 
he to purify those scenes in which he so much de- 
lighted of every unhallowed admixture, and to bring 
back the scriptural simplicity and order of other 
and better days. 

The following extract of a letter from a distin- 
guished clergyman of the Presbyterian church, who 
was a pupil of Dr. G's at Williamstown, will not 
only serve to show what he was in revivals, but to 
illustrate some striking traits of his character. 

Early in the spring of 1824, if I remember rightly, there 
were glowing appearances of a most extensive revival. The 
college and the town were greatly shaken. Dr. G. was all 
fervor and zeal. The excitement continued four or five weeks. 
A few individuals seemed converted. A wicked fellow, by the 
name of R , began to exhort us with great power and ef- 
fect. But the excitement subsided as suddenly as it sprang 
up. And after all feeling had passed over, there was but one 
in town or college that gave evidence of true conversion ; and 
that was William Hervey, whose bones repose in India, where 
he went as a missionary under the American Board. He was 

one of the best men I ever knew. In a few weeks R 

was found drunk. In reference to all this matter, I heard Dr. 


G. say afterwards, " To save one immortal soul the Lord will 
shake a whole church, a whole town, and if nothing less will 
save it, he will sliake a whole continent." And to illustrate 
this position, he would narrate, with melting pathos, the story 
of Hervey's conversion. 

If I recollect dates aright, in the spring of 1825 there w^as 
a truly powerful and genuine revival in town and college. In 
this work Dr. G. was the prime instrument. Some of the 
most touching moral scenes that I ever saw or heard of occur- 
red during its progress, Guilty of the sin of David, we num- 
bered the converted and the unconverted. The report went 
out one morning, and reached Dr. G. that all college was 
converted but eighteen. There wa^ to be a prayer meeting 
that night, and he sent over w^ord that he would meet with us. 
Although the evening was dark and stormy, and the ground 
exceedingly muddy, there was not probably a student of 
college absent from the meeting. We waited in breathless si- 
lence for the Doctor. He came, and the lecture room was so 
crowded that he stood in the door, whilst giving his hat to one, 
and his cloak and lantern to others. He stood for a moment 
gazing through his tears on the crowd before him. Then 
clasping his hands and lifting up his face to heaven, he utter- 
ed in the most moving accents these words — " Or those eigh- 
teen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, think ye that they 
were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem ?" The 
effect was overpowering. For minutes he could not utter ano- 
ther word, and the room was filled with weeping. It was one 
of those inimitable touches which he could occasionally give 
beyond all men that I have ever known. I narrated the in- 
cident to him a few weeks previous to his death. He wept 
aloud on its recital ; but had forgotten all about it. 

Another of these touches he gave at the last service but one 
that I heard him perform. It was at the funeral of the Rev. 
Mr. G. of this town. After a solemn service he offered the 
concluding prayer, which he commenced thus — " O Lord, we 
thank thee that good men may die." Being uttered, as it 


was, in his peculiar manner, it deeply impressed and affected 
every mind. 

During revivals his sermons were nothing in comparison 
with his talks and lectures. I have heard him preach great 
sermons, but the most eloquent and glowing thoughts that I 
ever heard from mortal lips, were from him in the school- 
houses at Williamstown. 

In my repeated interviews with him previous to his death, 
I found nothing to interest him so much as little incidents in 
reference to revivals in college, and intelligence in respect to 
the usefulness of students who had been converted under him. 
He seemed to feel as if he had been multiplying him.self in 
every student converted through his instrumentality. In my 
last interview with him, I told him the story of the conversion 
in 1825, of a Mr. H. now a highly useful minister, but then 
a profane and worthless profligate. The Doctor was in the 
habit of frequently closing his sermons with "Hallelujah, 
Amen," and always repeated the words in a peculiarly varied 
and musical tone. His tones were caught and repeated with 

laughable accuracy by H . Just at the commencement 

of the revival he was often heard repeating these words, and 
with great force and wit and sarcasm, exhorting his fellow 
students to get converted ; swearing that he himself would get 
converted the very first one. And as God would have it, he 
was converted the very first one. He was seen on a fast day 
morning coming into the prayer meeting, as we all thought, 
to make sport. But before the meeting ended he arose, and 
such an appeal to the students as he made, and such an effect 
as it produced, I never witnessed. And to the close of the re- 
vival he was as useful as any among us. The story affected 
the Doctor to such a degree that for a time he was entirely 

It has already been intimated that Doctor G.'s 
heart was much in the great cause of christian be- 
nevolence, and that his hand was ever open to con- 



tribute to its advancement according to his ability. 
But much of what he did on this subject, belongs 
rather to his public than his private character. The 
spirit of missions is intimately allied to the spirit of 
revivals ; and if he caught the latter at a very ear- 
ly period and in a very high degree, he vras not less 
eminently imbued with the former. In the forma- 
tion of most of those great national institutions 
which for years have been radiating points of be- 
nign and illuminating influence to the world, he was 
active ; his eloquent voice has often been lifted up 
in the most overwhelming appeals on their behalf; 
and there are multitudes with whom the impression 
that he produced on these occasions still remains al- 
most as vivid, as if it were of yesterday. The Ame- 
rican Board of Foreign Missions with which he had 
been identified from the beginning, and in the for- 
mation of which he exerted an important influence, 
continued always the special object of his deep and 
earnest regard. At the last meeting of this Board 
which occurred at Newark a few days before his 
death, he was present, though in a greatly enfeebled 
state, and took part in its deliberations, and even 
made a public address, which is said to have been 
one of his most delightful and impressive eflbrts. 
It was the voice of an aged pilgrim on the verge of 
heaven, pleading for the salvation of a world from 
which his spirit was in a few days to take its final 

If there was any one department of christian be- 
nevolence in which Doctor G. took a deeper inte- 
rest than in any other, perhaps it was the education 


of young men for the sacred office. He saw early 
and clearly that this was vital in any system of in- 
strumentalities which should be introduced for evan- 
gelizing the world ; and upon this he seems to have 
had an anxious eye at least from the period of his 
introduction into the ministry. In a letter to the 
Rev. Calvin Durfy, then of Hunter, Greene coun- 
ty, New- York, dated March 4, 1828, he writes thus : 
" I was glad to hear of the blessing of God upon 
your labors, and of the prospect of your settlement 
in that part of the country. May you be used as 
an instrument of great good to Zion. I hope you 
will be able to send some of those young men whom 
God is sanctifying, to assist our prayers here, to 
take your place within these halls, and to prepare 
here for the future service of the church. Will 
you not keep your eye steadily fixed on this object ? 
I used to think at your age that if I could bring for- 
ward one young man who would make a better mi- 
nister than myself, in that single act I should do 
more good than in all my life beside." In accor- 
dance with the sentiments here expressed, he had 
always a watchful eye and a helping hand in rela- 
tion to this subject; and there are not a small num- 
ber now usefully engaged in the ministry, who, but 
for his paternal counsel and aid, would have been 
devoted to this day to some secular occupation. 

Doctor Griffin was in no small degree distin- 
guished as a teacher of youth, especially in the de- 
partment of rhetoric and oratory ; and hence those 
who enjoyed the privilege of his instructions at 
Andover, are so often heard to speak of him in this 


respect, in terms of unqualified admiration. His 
powers of criticism were well nigh unrivalled. A 
piece of composition which to an ordinary eye 
might seem to be tolerably free from defects he 
would take, and in reading it over a single time 
would reveal errors enough, even to the author's 
own eye, at least to furnish an antidote against any 
over- weening pretensions. To a friend who re- 
quested him to criticise a sermon, he said, " Yes, I 
will do it; but you ought to know tha't I am a bloody 
man in these matters ;" and then proceeded in his 
criticism, verifying his declaration by drawing blood 
at every stroke. Those only who have enjoyed the 
benefit of his instructions, can form an adequate 
idea how much he was above ordinary teachers, 
especially in every thing belonging to the depart- 
ment of criticism. 

Notwithstanding he presided over the college 
with great dignity, and was particularly successful 
in keeping up those various forms on which the or- 
der of such an institution so materially depends, 
yet, after all, his power of managing youth is said 
to have been less than his power of communicating 
instruction; owing to a natural quickness of feeling 
which sometimes temporarily prevailed over the dic- 
tates of his judgment. But ordinarily he manifest- 
ed much of a fraternal spirit toward his pupils, and 
he was especially alive to every thing in which their 
religious interests were involved. One of them 
gives the following interesting account of his first 
interview with him: — "I was first introduced to 
him by letter in the fall of 1822, when I went to 


Williamstown to enter the Freshman class. The 
first sight of his gigantic frame overawed me. In 
a moment he placed the timorous boy at his ease. 
After reading my letter, he rose and came to the 
corner of the room where I was sitting, and laying 
his hand on my head, said, ' I am glad to see you 
here ; you must be my son, and I will be your fa- 
ther, and you must inform me of any thing that 
you need or wish.' He acted to me the part of a 
kind father, in every respect, as long as he lived." 

As a theological writer Doctor Griffin is no 
doubt destined to occupy a place among the first of 
the period in which he lived. His treatises on the 
atonement and on Divine efficiency are both monu- 
ments of great intellectual labor, and could never 
have been produced but by a powerful and tho- 
roughly disciplined mind ; but it was, after all, in 
the composition of sermons that his pre-eminence 
as a writer especially consisted. His Park-street 
Lectures is perhaps the work on which his reputa- 
tion hitherto has depended more than upon any 
other ; though there are several of his occasional 
sermons which are not at all inferior to the best 
portions of that volume. It is an invaluable legacy 
to posterity that he has left in the sermons which 
are now to be given to the public ; and it will be 
gratifying, not only to his friends but to the chris- 
tian community at large, to know that there are ser- 
mons enough in manuscript still remaining, for one 
or two additional volumes, all of which have been re- 
written in his later years, and have undergone his 
careful and finishing touch. 

Vol. I. 34 


It may probably occur to some readers that the 
view which has here been presented of Doctor 
Griffin's character must certainly be a very im- 
perfect one, inasmuch as he was a man, and yet 
nothing has been said of his infirmities and imper- 
fections. Of course it is not intended to claim for 
him an exemption from the frailties of human na- 
ture; but whatever defects of character he may 
have had, (and where is the man who is free from 
them?) those who knew him need not be told 
what they were, and those who did not know him, 
would be little likely to profit by the information. 
Suffice it to say, if the record of his private expe- 
rience is to be relied on, he was prone to any thing 
rather than self-justification. No small part of his 
life seems to have been passed in mourning over 
his errors and corruptions ; and the views which he 
has recorded of his own character before God 
greatly exceed what the most scrutinizing caviller 
would have dared to utter before men. 

In reviewing the life of Doctor Griffin, we find 
occasion to acknowledge the divine goodness, not 
only in the transcendant powers with which he was 
endowed, and the holy impulse which these powers 
received from the influence of God's Spirit, but in 
the providential arrangement of events with refe- 
rence to their most advantageous exercise. He be- 
gan his career at a period of unrivalled interest ; a 
period when great events were the order of the day, 
and the spirit of missions was breaking forth in one 
country, and the spirit of revivals in another, and in 
a third, a storm of atheistical fanaticism, that made 


the very foundations of society rock. He quickly 
caught the spirit of the new era — a spirit for rege- 
nerating the world ; and he found himself at home 
in the field which opened around him. Had he lived 
at an earlier period, he would indeed have been re- 
membered as a great man, and perhaps as an emi- 
nently devoted minister ; and yet the monuments of 
his pious activity might have been comparatively 
few : his commanding energies might have been ex- 
hausted in prophesying to bones upon which the 
breath from heaven had not begun to fall, even to 
the time of his going down to the grave. But he 
came upon the stage at the very time when the pre- 
paration in providence seemed to have been com- 
pleted for the introduction of a new order of things : 
the fields where white around him, and what he had 
to do was to take his sickle and go forth to the har- 
vest. It is worthy of remark also, that, upon his 
first settlement in the ministry, he was thrown into 
the immediate society of some of the most eminent- 
ly devoted ministers which this or any other coun- 
try has produced ; such as Mills, Hallock, Gillet, 
&;c. and there is no doubt that his frequent and in- 
timate intercourse with these venerated men, had 
an important bearing upon his subsequent character 
and usefulness. Nor is the providence of God less 
to be acknowledged in respect to the different pub- 
lic stations which he occupied ;— stations for which 
his talents and acquisitions admirably fitted him. 
His first settlement was indeed in a comparatively 
obscure place; but while his labors there were 
crowned with an abundant blessing, the retirement 


of his situation was favorable to increasing his 
stock of ministerial furniture, and thus preparing 
him the better for the more public field which he 
was destined to occupy. At Newark he preached 
to one of the largest and most important congrega- 
tions in the United States, while the vicinity of 
his residence to the city of New- York, brought him 
much before the eye of that metropolis, and great- 
ly increased the amount of his general influence. 
Though his sojourn at Andover was short, yet it 
was of great importance, not only on account of 
the benefit which his instructions secured to his 
pupils, but on account of the character which his 
pre-eminent talents at once gave to the infant in- 
stitution. In Park-street he accomplished what it 
may safely be said scarcely any other man could 
have done. Fearless of opposition, and relying 
on Jehovah his Strength, he planted the standard 
of evangelical truth there, and called aloud upon 
those who were willing to appear as soldiers of the 
cross to rally around it. Though his doctrines 
found no favor with the multitude, there was an at- 
traction in his eloquence which it was not easy to 
resist ; and there were some who came to scoff*, 
and others who came to admire, that went away to 
pray. It was an enterprise of fearful hazard and 
responsibility which he undertook ; — an enterprise 
that drew towards him the anxious eye of many a 
friend of Zion, and that drew upon him the bitte- 
rest obloquy of many an enemy of the cross ; and 
though, in its progress, he seems sometimes to have 
become well-nigh discouraged, and to have imagined 


that he was spending his strength for naught, yet he 
was really laying broad and deep the foundation of 
one of Zion's noblest watch towers ; and those only 
who remember the religious state of the metropolis 
of New-England previous to 1809, and are familiar 
with it now, can form an adequate estimate of the 
importance of his labors. At a later period he be- 
came president of Williams college, just in time to 
save it, by his persevering efforts, from extinction, 
and to raise it to the highly respectable standing 
which it now holds ; and here for fifteen years his 
ruling religious passion had full scope in the oppor- 
tunity he enjoyed of endeavoring to bring as many 
as possible of the rising generation into the service 
of Christ and his church. And after his bodily 
energies began to fail, and his gigantic frame to 
totter, there was a moral sublimity in that provi- 
dence which carried him back to die on the spot 
which was most endeared to him, with his entire 
family once more gathered around him, and in 
the midst of a community to a large part of which 
he had been united in one of the tenderest relations. 
Here he passed his last days, with the simplicity 
and dignity of a patriarch ; blessing those whom he 
had baptized, and administering counsel, consola- 
tion, warning, to those around him, as God gave 
him opportunity. In the last months of his life es- 
pecially, all who visited him were deeply impressed 
with the tenderness and the heavenliness of his spi- 
rit, and felt that he had nearly reached the gate of 
that world where the everlasting employment is 
thanksgiving and praise. And the same gracious 


providence that gave such serenity to his last days, 
kept him tranquil and fearless in the dark valley. 
Jesus and his salvation were the burden of his 
thoughts,— the theme of his praises, so long as his 
tongue could move; and death did its work so 
gently, that when the breath was gone, it was not 
easy to realize that he had been in the hands of 
an enemy. Thrice honored father, while we che- 
rish thy memory and embalm thy virtues, we will 
bless the God of nature for endowing thee with such 
noble powers, and the God of grace for sanctifying 
and directing them, and the God of providence for 
placing thee in a field where thou couldst labor so 
effectually for the salvation of men and thy Re- 
deemer's honor ! 




Col, I. 10. 

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful 
of every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God. — (Par- 
ticularly the last clause.) 

The knowledge of God lies at the foundation of 
all true religion. It is the want or indistinctness of 
this knowledge that occasions all the stupidity of 
sinners and all the false hopes of professing christi- 
ans; that produces most of the religious errors 
which abound in the world ; that causes so much 
superficial, proud, worldly religion even among the 
sincere, and so little religion even among judicious 
christians. Although this most precious of all 
knowledge is open to all, yet there is very little of 
it in the world, — very little of it in the church of 
Christ. There is so much unbelief and aversion to 
God, so much pride and worldliness, so much guilt 
that shrinks from clear views of God, so much slug- 

Vol. I. 35 


gishness which binds the soul to earth, that the 
mass even of christians pass to the grave with a 
very incompetent knowledge of God. Even their 
serious thoughts linger too much on earth. Their 
religious knowledge and conversation are too con- 
fined to subordinate subjects ; and in their very 
prayers their eyes are apt to be more intensely fix- 
ed on the blessings they ask or the sins they de- 
plore, than on the face of God himself. Now and 
then a christian arises who outstrips the piety of his 
contemporaries, and stands a luminary to enlighten 
and to be admired by remote generations. If you 
search for the cause of his pre-eminent piety, it is 
to be found in his superior knowledge of God. De- 
sirous to see a greater number of eminent christi- 
ans formed, and to witness the prevalence of that 
religion which is enlightened, judicious, and hum- 
ble; I am anxious to press upon my hearers, to 
press upon my brethren in the church, to press up- 
on my own soul, the study of God. The know- 
ledge which I would recommend, though it includes 
the speculation of the understanding, is not confin- 
ed to it. It consists in a clear discernment of 
God's spiritual glory and in a holy intimacy with 
him ; which can be obtained neither by a specula- 
tive knowledge without right affections, nor yet by 
warm affVjctions without deep and extensive know- 

In general it may be observed that the great end 
for which men were sent into the world was to learn 
the character of their Maker, by studying his glo- 
ries in his works and word, that they might obey 


and enjoy him. The great end which God had in 
view in all his works was to make an illustrious dis- 
play of his perfections, that creatures might know 
him and be united to him in sublime and everlast- 
ing communion. All things which are proposed as 
objects of our belief or knowledge, are but one 
complicated lesson of God which we were sent into 
the world to learn. The vast and interesting object 
on which his divine eye is immovably fixed, and 
which in the progress of time he will fully attain, is 
to fill the world, — the universe, — with the know- 
ledge of his glory. He declared to Moses, " As 
truly as I live all the earth shall be filled with the 
glory of the Lord." The harp of prophecy awoke 
to rapture on this delightful theme. Isaiah struck 
the note, and Habakkuk triumphantly resounded, 
" The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of 
the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." 
The object of the whole creation will not be lost ; 
creatures shall know him. The end for which hu- 
man beings were placed on this earth will be attained : 
it must be that men shall know their God, — know 
him in a far greater measure than they have done 
in past ages. The times are rolling on, — the light 
is bursting from a thousand sources, — the world 
will be flocking to the great display, — all nations 
will be in motion. Arise ye and join them, and 
hasten to the knowledge of God. Come, for it is 
the end of all things, and it is the end of your crea- 

Further, God is the being with whom we have 
the most intimate and interesting connexion ; and 


therefore we ought certainly, and it chiefly con- 
cerns us, to become acquainted with him. He is 
the being with whom we chiefly have to do in time 
and eternity. It is in him that we Uve and move 
and have our being, and he will be our final Judge. 
He is the author of all our comforts on earth ; and 
he will be to eternity either the author and object 
of our whole enjoyment, or the executioner of his 
wrath upon us. Should it not be a chief desire to 
get acquainted with the benefactor who has sent all 
our comforts to us for so many years, and with the 
fearful Name on which all our future destinies de- 
pend ? Shall a man be anxious to see the generous 
stranger who once relieved his wants, or the rela- 
tion in a foreign country who is to make him his 
heir ? and shall we be indifferent to an acquaintance 
with our God ? 

Further, there is room for far more enlarged 
knowledge of God than any of us have yet acquir- 
ed. In the recesses of his nature are laid up trea- 
sures of knowledge which eternal research will not 
exhaust. None but he who from eternity lay in his 
bosom could with perfect propriety say, I know 
thee. In this world the best of christians see 
through a glass darkly, and know but in part what 
they were destined to know. Agur found reason 
in his humility to complain, "I neither learned wis- 
dom nor have the knowledge of the Holy." The 
apostle Paul, after having spoken of the primitive 
christians as knowing God, thought proper to cor- 
rect the expression as being too strong : " But now 
after that ye have known God, or rather are known 


of God.''^ This distinction is made by the same 
apostle in another place : " If any man think that 
he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as 
he ought to know ; but if any man love God, the 
same is known of him.'''' The lowest degree of per- 
fect knowledge is reserved for heaven : " For now 
we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face ; 
now I know in part, but then shall I know even as 
also I am known." Our knowledge of God will at 
best continue imperfect "till we all come in the 
unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son 
of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of 
the stature of the fulness of Christ." There is 
therefore abundant room for the most enlightened 
christians to increase in the knowledge of God, and 
to plunge deeper and still deeper into this ocean 
without a bottom or a shore. What a call then for 
christians of ordinary attainments to stir up their 
sluggish spirits, to clear away the mist from their 
eyes, that they may gaze with more intenseness up- 
on God, — that they may study him with deeper scru- 
tiny and contemplate him with clearer discernment. 

Several motives to this have already been pre- 
sented. What remains is to show that a clear 
knowledge and discernment of God is of all things 
the most purifying, the most humbling, the most ex- 
alting, the most happy, 

I. It is the most purifying. A sight of God is 
transforming. It is only when " with open face " 
we behold " as in a glass the glory of the Lord," 
that we "are changed into the same image from 
glory to glory." A view of God shining " in the 


face of Jesus Christ," is the faith which purifies 
the heart and produces good works. When God 
is seen in all the majesty of his glory, in the awful 
purity of his holiness, the christian cannot^ dare not 
wilfully sin. He has a holy jealousy of himself; 
he dreads the least movement of unhallowed affec- 
tions, the least hypocrisy in his devotions, and to- 
wards men is meek, gentle, and affectionate. He 
pants after universal purity with groanings that can- 
not be uttered. This is the faith " which worketh 
by /oi>e," — by deep and fervent love : and it is love 
only that can purify the soul. Under the influence 
of these views the christian knows what it is to be 
moved to action by the love of God in Christ, and 
can draw from God all his motives to active service 
and holy living. He feels it reasonable to dedicate 
himself forever to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
and longs to employ all his faculties to the glory of 
his heavenly Father. This is the faith which over- 
comes the world. Riches, honors, the world are 
dead. The christian can now view things precise- 
ly in the light that Paul did when he counted all 
things but loss in comparison with the knowledge 
of Jesus Christ. 

Such a view of God in Christ will do more to 
purify the soul from sin and to guard it against 
temptation, than the most refined knowledge of sub- 
ordinate subjects in religion, — than all systematic 
proficiency, — than gazing forever at the outside of 
the temple without looking within. It will do more 
than all prayers, and means, and exertions which 
are not accompanied with these direct views ; for 


nothing but direct views can produce love. A rag- 
ing fire is not extinguished by beating the flame, but 
by a plentiful application of the opposite element. 
And the fire of lust and passion is not to be sub- 
dued by human eflforts directly applied; it yields 
only to the love of God, — love which nothing but 
direct views of him can excite. These views are 
of more efficacy to cleanse the soul than all the 
glooms of guilt. It is a mistake to calculate on pu- 
rifying the heart by confining our views to ourselves 
and our sins, and plunging into darkness to avoid 
being proud of our comfort. One such view of 
God as saints enjoy in heaven, is a greater defence 
against sin than all the glooms of hell. Hence we 
read of escaping " the pollutions of the world 
through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour 
Jesus Christ," and are exhorted to " grow in grace 
and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour." 
Our text connects a fruitfulness " in every good 
work" with " increasing in the knowledge of God;" 
and Peter speaks of eminent christians not being 
" barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord 
Jesus Christ." The want of this knowledge is made 
a distinctive mark of slaves to sin, and a profession 
of this knowledge is counted for a profession of 
purity: "Awake to righteousness and sin not; for 
some, [does he say that they are slaves to sin ? no, 
but he says the same thing in other words ; for 
some] have not the knowledge of God." " They 
profess to know God, but in works they deny him," 
and prove by their sins that they know him not. 
Would you then make greater advances in grace ? 


Would you escape the sins and overcome the temp- 
tations which cause you so much distress ? Would 
you attain to a more heavenly mind and wear for- 
ever a brighter crown ? There is but one way ; — 
you must increase in the knowledge of God. 

II. This knowledge is the most humbling of all 
things. Other knowledge "puffeth up," but the 
more God is seen the more abased the soul will be. 
All the glooms of guilt, all the fears of hell, all the 
views of sin which are not accompanied with a spi- 
ritual discernment of God, will not humble the soul. 
These all exist in hell, but there is no humility there. 
The most just and exquisite sense of sin is acquir- 
ed by considering, not so much what we have done, 
as what God is. A discovery of his awful dignity 
and excellent holiness reveals the evil of sinning 
against him, and lays the penitent soul speechless 
at his feet. When we can perceive God to be so 
holy and glorious that a bare neglect to love him 
would deserve eternal wo, and that no conceivable 
punishment is great enough for the wretch that dares 
rebel against him ; when with spiritual discernment 
we contemplate God turning the angels out of hea- 
ven for sin, turning Adam out of Eden, turning a 
beautiful world into a prison house of groans, a 
shambles of blood, turning millions into hell, and 
more than all, thrusting his sword through the heart 
of his own Son ; then we discover, in a light un- 
known before, what sin deserves and what we are ; 
and lifting a pleading eye to Jesus, we lay ourselves 
down in the dust to wonder at the patience and 
mercy of God. No flights of soul are felt, but a 


heavenly calm. Animal feelings lie still and over- 
awed. All is silent wonder and complacency; not 
a passion, but a solid reality of feeling ; not a ten- 
der tumult of animal nature, but something like the 
clear vision of the soul. While the religion of the 
animal affections inflates the soul with self-conceit, 
this is the surest death of pride and every evil pas- 
sion. Instead of making comparisons in his own 
favor, the christian now thinks himself a barenaked 
nothing before God, and wonders that such a being 
should set his love on him. The more he feels his 
guilt, the more happy his humbled spirit is; for 
guilt brings a sense of the precious mercy of his 
God and Saviour ; and he now perceives, what to 
some may seem a paradox, that if a sense of guilt 
were banished from heaven, much of the happiness 
of heaven would be banished with it. While he 
thus lies in the dust, gazing upon the face of God, 
he forgets to make calculation for his own charac- 
ter, and thinks not so much what he is or is to be, 
as what God is. He would rather enjoy the light 
of heaven in retirement, unknowing and unknown, 
than without this to be arrayed in imperial purple. 
He feels indifferent to human distinctions, and has 
no present necessity to guard against the fear of 
man. He is now conscious of the impenetrable 
fortitude which disinterested humility can produce. 
With all his views, he is sensible that he yet sees 
but a glimpse of God, feels guilty for the want of 
clearer apprehensions, fears the loss of the little 
sense he has, and pants earnestly after more. 

Vol. I. 36 


Such a glimpse of God had Job when all his glo- 
ry fell and withered in the dust. No sooner had 
God spoken from the whirlwind, than he laid him- 
self on his face aud meekly said, " I have heard of 
thee by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye 
seeth thee ; wherefore I abhor myself and repent 
in dust and ashes." When Elijah was in Horeb, 
neither the "great and strong wind" that "rent 
the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks," nor 
yet the " earthquake" nor the " fire," could move 
him ; but when the " still small voice" came, dif- 
fusing through his soul a sense of God, instantly he 
wrapped his blushing face in his mantle. "When 
Isaiah saw " the Lord sitting on a throne high and 
Hfted up, and his train" filling " the temple," and 
the seraphim crying, " Holy, holy, holy is the Lord 
of Hosts," and " the posts of the door" moving at 
the sound of their voice ; then it was that he ex- 
claimed, " Wo is me, for I am undone ; because I 
am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst 
of a people of unclean lips; [how did he discover 
this ?] for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of 
Hosts." When Peter discovered the Godhead of 
Christ shining gloriously through the man, he in- 
stantly fell at his feet, saying, " Depart from me, 
for I am a sinful man, O Lord." When Daniel, 
Ezekiel and John, had visions of God, though it was 
but a glimpse that they saw, they fell on their faces 
and became as dead men. Thus it appears that a 
sight of God has the greatest power to abase the 
creature. If then you wish the haughtiness of your 


heart reduced, the torment of your pride reheved, 
and would enjoy the luxury of an humble mind, you 
must increase in the knowledge of God. 

III. This knowledge, at the same time that it is 
the most humbling, is the most exalting. One such 
view as Moses had, will raise the soul above the 
world and lift it to heaven. It will do more than 
all other views to ennoble the mind, to elevate it 
above the vulgar pursuits of men, and make it con- 
versant with the skies. If it is a dignity to be in- 
timately acquainted with great me?i, what is the dig- 
nity of knowing and being known of God ? It is 
the most noble and sublime knowledge, and worthy 
of the most aspiring desires of the immortal mind. 

IV. This knowledge brings with it the greatest 
happiness. One direct view of God fills the soul 
with greater peace than the most splendid attain- 
ments in the subordinate branches of divine know- 
ledge, — than the most extensive acquaintance with 
human science, — than all the glories of the world. 
Such is the nature of God, and such is the nature 
of man, that nothing in heaven or earth can fill the 
human soul with peace and joy, and satisfy its im- 
mortal cravings, but the knowledge and enjoyment 
of God. This is to be the happiness of heaven, be- 
cause nothing greater can be provided for creatures. 
When the glories of God break upon the soul, 
peace descends upon it hke " the dew of Hermon ;" 
all its disturbing passions are still ; it feels not the 
uneasiness of one unsatisfied desire. God reigns, — 
God is in its view, — God is its portion, and it is 
enough. It enjoys a peace which passeth under- 


Standing. Bright are its mornings, calm its noons, 
and serene its nights. When the ardent Peter cast 
an affectionate eye upon the churches, he would 
breathe no wish more fervent than that " grace and 
peace " might " be multiplied unto " them " through 
the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." 
Let the race of men then return from their idle pur- 
suits, and know that the shortest and only road to 
happiness is found. Here is the great secret disco- 
vered which men have searched for in every land, 
and roved to seek in the ends of the earth. 

These direct views of God, and none but these, 
can bless the soul with " the full assurance of 
hope." The lower exercises of religion cannot do 
it. Self examination, without these direct views, 
cannot do it. But under these open views, the 
christian is conscious of taking firm hold of God in 
Christ, and knows that there is not a phantom in his 
embrace, but the very God of Israel. He sees him 
to be a solid rock, and knows that he rests his soul 
on him and cannot sink. He is conscious of be- 
lieving in him, and trusts in the divine word that 
he shall be accepted and kept to the heavenly king- 
dom. His former hopes, which arose from tender 
meltings of soul, were feeble and wavering ; but 
now his hope is a solid thing, excited by an open 
view of the fulness and faithfulness of God in Christ. 
He can now lift an unpresuming eye to heaven and 
call it all his own. He can gaze at the throne of 
God which once rocked with thunders, and see no 
terrors there. With lips trembling with gratitude 
and eyes suffused with tears, he can look up and 


call the Almighty God his father, and the blessed 
Jesus his Saviour and his brother. Standing on 
the summit of Pisgah and stretching his eyes over 
his inheritance, he rejoices " with joy unspeakable 
and full of glory." This is the blessed consequence 
of " increasing in the knowledge of God." " Ac- 
quaint now thyself with him and be at peace ; there- 
by good shall come unto thee." 

Suffer me now, my dear hearers, to bring these 
several arguments to bear on the single point, and 
to press you with their united force to devote your- 
selves to the study of God, and to earnest exer- 
tions after more clear and spiritual views of him. 

My first address shall be to professing christians. 
By all the motives which have been presented, I 
pray you, my brethren, not to rest satisfied with su- 
perficial knowledge, nor with enlarged knowledge 
of subordinate branches of christian science ; but 
seek earnestly to obtain a deep and spiritual dis- 
cernment of God. Rest not contented with the 
name and profession of christians. Rest not con- 
tented with a few serious thoughts, added to a cold 
round of external duties, while your minds remain 
confused on every elevated point of religious truth. 
Think it not enough that you can weep at a descrip- 
tion of Christ's sufferings, without understanding 
the designs of his death or discerning the glories of 
the way of salvation by him. Seek to know more 
of the vast designs which God is carrying into exe- 
cution in the government of the world. Strive to 
add to systematic knowledge, clear views of the 


glory of God in all his works and ways. When 
you open your bibles, let it be with earnest desires 
to find something that shall give you a greater in- 
sight into the character of God and the wonders of 
redemption. When you open any other religious 
book, let it not be to amuse yourselves with the 
beauties of the style, nor to obtain mere systema- 
tic knowledge, nor to produce a general indiscrimi- 
nate impression of seriousness ; but to obtain, if 
possible, clearer and more extensive views of God. 
When you enter the house of God, let it not be to 
gratify curiosity, nor to conform to fashion, nor 
merely from a general wish to perform a duty ; but 
always come with a prayer on your tongue that you 
may behold the glory of God in the sanctuary, and 
carry away some enlarged views of his perfections. 
When you hold religious conversation with your 
christian friends, let it not be to hear yourselves 
talk, and to indulge the common loquaciousness of 
empty minds, nor to display your zeal, nor to enjoy 
the pleasure of being moved yourselves or moving 
others to weep, nor even for the sake of the mere 
satisfaction of spending a serious hour; but let 
your object be to obtain and communicate a more 
distinct and affecting knowledge of God. When 
you kneel to pray, let it always be with an intense 
desire to obtain clearer views of God, and to arise 
more deeply impressed with a sense of his glorious 
attributes. In the time of prayer, keep your eyes 
steadfastly fixed on God, and let all the efforts ot 
your devotion be to look further and still further 


into the immeasurable heights of his perfections. 
Let this be the object of all your serious medita- 
tions and of all your religious duties. 

Such a course, persisted in with sincerity and ar- 
dor, could not fail to raise you to the rank of emi- 
nent christians. If you would faithfully make the 
experiment for a single year, you would see what a 
great difference it would make in your graces and 
comforts. And I will venture to predict with confi- 
dence, that you will never grow in grace in any 
other way, and that you will grow in grace exactly 
in proportion as you sincerely pursue this course. 
You never will become eminent christians on easier 
terms. Will you then set out in this course, and 
holding on your way with unwearied zeal, aspire to 
eminence in piety? Why should you not become 
distinguished christians ? Why should you not aim 
at the eminence of Enoch and Moses and David 
and Elijah? The same God that raised them so 
high still reigns, and is accessible to you. You 
may go to that exhaustless store-house and take as 
much as you please. Why benumb every effort by 
the miserable calculation that it is not for you to at- 
tain such eminence ? Who told you so but your 
own sluggish hearts? The grace and power of God 
are open to you, and if you fall short of that su- 
perior height the fault will be your own. If you 
are straitened, you are not straitened in God but in 
yourselves. Will you then arise from your slug- 
gish repose and march manfully toward the mark, 
and resolve to die stretching with all your might to 
outstrip the piety of the prophets ? 


Alas the world draws so powerfully that I fear 
few will be excited to such noble calculations. In 
the present rage for gain and distinction, the mass 
of professors seem determined not to be encumber- 
ed with more religion than will allow them to take 
the world along with them to heaven. How few 
there are that aspire to more religion than just 
enough to keep them out of hell. It is not a day 
to form many eminent christians. It is a day of too 
much prosperity and worldly attachment. The 
times of persecution and ancient simplicity could 
produce a Flavel and a Baxter and a thousand 
others, inferior only to them. But where are the 
Baxters and Flavels of the present day ? Prospe- 
rity has weakened our strength, and the world has 
bound us fast, and here we sleep in ignoble sloth, 
and exist only to shame our fathers and contami-, 
nate our children. In the name of God, my bre- 
thren, awake and move towards heaven. Rend the 
veil from your eyes, tear the world from your hearts, 
and arise to life and to action. Must I return and 
make the complaint to him who sent me, that they 
will not hear? While I speak thus to you, my 
dear brethren, I reprove myself. I have reason to 
bow under the humiliating thought that I too have 
little knowledge or sense of God. To whom then 
shall we all apply ? Who shall give us and a sleep- 
ing world a clearer discovery of God ? He, he 
only, can pluck the film from our eyes and pour his 
glories upon our astonished sight. O that he would 
come forth and force himself upon our view. O 
that he would speak, and shake a drowsy world 


from their sleep, and show them what a God there 
is that ruleth in the earth. 

One word to impenitent sinners and I have done. 
Have you no desire, my unhappy friends, to know 
that God in whose presence you must shortly stand, 
whose hand must measure out your rewards or smite 
you with his thunders ? Did you never read that 
*' the Lord Jesus Christ shall be revealed from hea- 
ven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking 
vengeance on them that know not God ?" You are 
they that know not God ; and in this state you are 
fast approaching the judgment of the great day; 
and here you are sleeping in dreadful security ! 
God Almighty awaken you from the slumbers of 
your destruction ! Do you begin to awake ? Do 
you wish to find the knowledge of God ? Shall I 
tell you how you can be so blest ? " If thou criest 
after knowledge and liftest up thy voice for under- 
standing ; if thou seekest her as silver and search- 
est for her as for hidden treasures, then shalt thou 
understand the fear of the Lord and find the know- 
ledge of God.''"' I can say no more. I deliver you 
over into the hands of divine grace, and pray " that 
the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of 
glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and 
revelation in the knowledge of him." Amen. 

Vol. I. 37 




I will mention the loving kindnesses of the Lord and the praises of the 
Lordj according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great 
goodness towards the house of Israel which he hath bestowed on them, ac- 
cording to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his loving kind- 

The prophet, when he uttered these words, ap- 
peared to labor under an ineffable sense of the ten- 
der mercies and loving kindnesses of his God. He 
had been contemplating the wrath with which God 
would one day visit Edom when he should come to 
deliver his people from her oppressions. Immedi- 
ately he raises an interesting contrast and sets be- 
fore his eyes God's " great goodness towards the 
house of Israel " in loosing their Egyptian bonds 
and conducting them through the wilderness. In 
this type as through a glass, he discovered the won- 
drous love which redeems the Church from more 
oppressive chains, and supports her in her journey 


to the heavenly rest. Under this view he seemed 
transported, and in his rapture exclaimed, " I will 
mention the loving kindnesses of the Lord and the 
pra-es of the Lord, according to all that the Lord 
hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness to- 
wards the house of Israel which he hath bestowed 
on them, according to his mercies, and according 
to the multitude of his loving kindnesses." 

Though we should not raise our eyes to the exalt- 
ed love which shines in the Gospel, still we should 
have abundant reason to mention the loving kind- 
nesses of the Lord. Without any adviser or helper 
he introduced us to rational existence, and raised 
us to intellectual enjoyment. By his unceasing 
care, that existence is hourly supported. Our ta- 
ble is furnished and our raiment supplied by his be- 
nignant hand. We are blest with pleasant habita- 
tions and possessions ; we enjoy the delights of re- 
fined society, the blessings of friendship, and the 
life and happiness of our friends. Our health is 
sustained by a thousand minute and constantly re- 
peated touches of his hand to the various parts of 
our complicated machine. All the pleasures of 
imagination, of memory, of hope, of sympathy, 
and of sense ; all the magic charms which play on 
nature's face, are the gifts of his bounteous hand. 
By his watchful care we are protected from count- 
less visible and unseen dangers. By innumerable 
impressions made on our animal spirits by his care- 
ful touch, we are put in tone to enjoy the objects 
around us. More numerous are his mercies than 
the stars which look out of heaven. On no section 


of our life, — on no point of nature's works, — scarce- 
ly on a circumstance in our relations to society, 
can we fix our eyes, without seeing " the loving 
kindnesses of the Lord." But when we lift our 
thoughts to his " great goodness towards the house 
of Israel," our souls faint under the labor of ex- 
pressing the praise we owe. Redeeming grace 
most fully displays the richness and extent of his 
loving kindnesses ; redeeming grace was the theme 
which transported the author of our text ; and re- 
deeming grace shall be the subject of this discourse. 

To discover the heights or to fathom the depths 
of this grace, exceeds the power of men or angels ; 
yet the view perhaps may be enlightened by some 
of the following reflections. 

In purposing and planning the great work of re- 
demption, the Eternal Mind was self -moved, un- 
counselled, unsolicited. No angel interceded or ad- 
vised ; no man by his prayers or tears excited pity. 
Before men or angels had existence, the purpose 
was fixed and the plan was formed by boundless 
love, unmoved, unasked, untempted by any thing 
without but the foreseen miseries of a perishing 

This love was wholly disinterested, having no re- 
ward in view but the pleasure of doing good. What 
other recompense could God expect from creatures 
who have nothing to give but what they receive ? 
What other reward could eternal self-sufficience 
need ? 

This love is still more sublime considered as act- 
ing towards inferiors. When love is not the most 


pure, we daily see, it will overlook those who have 
no eminence to engage respect. On this account 
the condescending regard which some benevolent 
prince may pay to the poor and forsaken, is pecu- 
liarly affecting. What then shall we say when we 
behold Infinite Majesty descending to such tender 
concern for dust and ashes ? 

Redeeming love is still more wonderful as exer- 
cised towards enemies; towards those who could 
reject the offered salvation, — who were not to be 
moved by all the entreaties of heaven, — and who 
had mahce enough to murder the Author of life in 
the very act of bringing it to them. 

This love appears altogether astonishing when 
we consider the greatness of the sacrifice it made. 
That God himself, (infinite, eternal, and self-suffi- 
cient as he was,) should bring himself down to a 
mortal form ; that he who made the heavens should 
descend from among the adorations of angels to as- 
sume the form of a servant and to receive the spit- 
tings of Roman soldiers ; that he should exchange 
the quiet of eternal repose for a laborious life, — 
the abodes of inaccessible light for the degrading 
manger, — the society of the Father and Spirit for 
that of illiterate fishermen, — the heights of infinite 
bliss for the agonies of Gethsemane and Golgotha ;— 
and all to atone for abuses which he himself had 
received from men ; fixes angels in astonishment 
and rivets their eyes to him who still bears the prints 
of the nails and the spear. That this divine Suf- 
ferer did not recede, but remained immovable in his 
purpose in a near view of his agonies ; that he did 


not strike and rivet his insulting murderers to the 
centre, but spent his expiring breath in prayer for 
their Hfe ; evinces, not love only, but love uncon- 

The extent of redeeming love further appears in 
the magnitude of the blessings which it intended for 
a ruined race. It stooped to catch a falling world ; 
to snatch them from eternal flames to the transports 
of immortal life, — from everlasting contempt to be 
" kings and priests " forever "unto God;" to raise 
them from the turpitude of sin to the purity of the 
divine image, — from a dungeon to the radiance of 
heaven, — from the society of devils to communion 
with angels, — from the blasphemies of hell to the 
songs of paradise, — from universal destitution to 
inherit all riches, — to be sons and heirs of God, — 
members of the Redeemer's body, — to live in his 
family and heart, and forever to expand in the re- 
gions of light and life. 

This mercy is heightened by the fact that the Sa- 
viour is so necessary, reasonable, and all-siifficient. 
Intrusted with all the offices needful for man's re- 
demption, he possesses powers fully adequate to the 
infinite work, and exerts them when and where they 
are most needed. It is his stated business to strike 
off* the chains from wretched prisoners, — to admi- 
nister balm to those who are wounded to death, — 
food to those who are perishing with hunger, — eyes 
and light to the blind and benighted. He is the 
" shadow of a great rock in a weary land," — "a 
hiding place from the wind and a covert from the 
tempest." In his prophetic office he brings out to 


view the secrets of the Eternal Mind : as a Priest 
he pacifies divine wrath by atonement and interces- 
sion : as a King he subdues the stubborn will, marks 
out the road to life by salutary precepts, defends 
from spiritual enemies, and renders all events sub- 
servient to the good of his people. As Captain of 
the Lord's host he will carry them through their 
warfare and bring them off victorious. As Physi- 
cian of souls he will heal all their spiritual maladies 
and confirm them in immortal health. He is a most 
pleasant resting place from the perturbations of 
guilt, the vexations of care, and the anguish of af- 
fliction. Possessing inexhaustible life in himself, 
be is the source of unfailing life to his members, 
who before were " dead in trespasses and sins." 
As "Heir of all things" and Distributer of the 
whole estate, he has every necessary good to impart, 
in this world and infinite riches in the world to 

This mercy is still further heightened by the pa^ 
tience and condescending tenderness which he exer- 
cises towards his people He calls them his friends, 
his brethren, his children, his spouse, the members 
of his body, the apple of his eye. In the charac- 
ter of a near and tender relation, he has become a 
mild medium through which they may look up into 
the insufferable splendors of the Godhead without 
dazzling or paining their sight. Although the aw- 
ful God of majesty, he is not ashamed to own and 
befriend a poor race of unsightly outcasts and to 
take them into union with himself. With uncon- 
querable patience he bears with all their provoca- 


tions, and with unfailing faithfulness remains their 
friend during all their perverseness and ingratitude. 
Though their returns are such as would weary any 
other love, he is still engaged in pardoning their 
sins, subduing their corruptions, and conducting 
them to glory. As a tender shepherd he gathers 
the lambs in his arms and carries them in his bo- 
som. And O with what overpowering kindness 
does he speak to them when he holds communion 
with them ; when he meets them in a happy hour 
as they are walking out like Isaac to meditate at the 
evening tide, and drawing aside the vail, shows the 
sweetest countenance dressed in celestial smiles; 
or when finding them bowed to the earth and drench- 
ed in tears, he gently raises them in his arms, and 
with more than a mother's tenderness wipes the sor- 
rows from their cheeks and breathes ineftable con- 
solation into their spirits. Ye who have known his 
love, can witness the ineffable sweetness with which 
he manifests himself at such seasons. In his pro- 
vidence he takes care to suffer no real evil to befall 
his people, to withhold from them no real good, and 
to make them the happier for every event. And 
when this trying life is past, he will receive them to 
his own presence, to a near and ever increasing 
union to himself, where love perfect and reciprocal 
shall hold immortal reign. 

This wondrous mercy is further expressed in the 
gift of sabbaths and sacraments, and especially the 
written word. When we perceive the breathings of 
divine love in those precious Scriptures which were 
inspired by the Holy Ghost ; when the soul lies at 

Vol. 1. 38 


some divine promise, drinking in immortal refresh- 
ment, and filling itself as from some celestial spring, 
O how rich and vast does the love of God appear. 

Fresh evidences of this love spring up at every 
review of his past providence towards the Church. 
" In all their afliiction he was afflicted, and the an- 
gel of his presence saved them ; in his love and in 
his pity he redeemed them, and he bore them and 
carried them all the days of old." The preserva- 
tion of Noah in the ark, the call and protection of 
Abraham, the deliverance of the Church from Egypt, 
its support in the wilderness and establishment in 
Canaan, the numerous deliverances wrought for 
Israel, their restoration from Babylon, the establish- 
ment and astonishing growth of the Christian Church, 
its protection during the successive persecutions, 
and the continued efforts of the Spirit to preserve 
and enlarge it, are all monuments of amazing love 
and faithfulness. And when we cast our eyes down 
the slope of ages and behold the glory of Zion fill- 
ing all the earth, how do we dance as in fancied 
visions and think the bliss too great to be real. And 
then, when we open the Scriptures and behold a 
" Thus saith the Lord " expressly to confirm our 
hopes, with what rapturous gratitude do we make 
our boast of him ; " Lo this is our God, we have 
waited for him and he will save us : this is the Lord, 
we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice 
in his salvation." 

All these are the more affecting as being marks 
of distinguishing love. Redeeming grace passed by 
the fallen angels to bring salvation to men. The 


privileges of Gospel light and ordinances were taken 
from the heathen to be given to us. The blessings 
of personal hohness and divine communion are con- 
ferred on the people of God while withheld from 
the rest of the world. Our lives are continued in 
a world of hope while millions are called to their 
last account. While God was preserving the He- 
brew Church and nourishing it with a Father's care, 
Edom, Moab, and Ammon were given to the sword. 
And while angels sing only of the goodness of the 
Lord, the redeemed will shout '"'' grace, grace^'''' and 
with higher notes and ecstacies chant the praises of 
redeeming love. 

The grace of God appears still greater as being 
ahundant and free for all. The language of divine 
compassion is, " Ho every one that thirsteth, come 
ye to the waters ; and he that hath no money, come 
ye, buy and eat; yea come, buy wine and milk 
without money and without price." 

Having drawn this outline of the mercies of God, 
I shall now present them as motives to holy feelings 
and practical godhness. 

What admiration should possess our minds as we 
contemplate this wonderful love of God. Nothing 
in the universe is so amazing. Not an angel in 
heaven but lives in astonishment continually. And 
yet it is infiiiitely greater than ever Gabriel imagined. 
As the sublime intellects of the upper world expand, 
it will appear more and more amazing to eternity. 

And while we wonder let gratitude fill our hearts. 
Of what avail is our admiration without our thanks? 
It would only bring us to the condition of those who 


gaze "and wonder and perish." What are our 
hearts made of if they can He under the weight of 
all these obligations and be unthankful still ? Let 
us retain a sense of divine mercies always upon our 
heart, and not suffer them, after a transient impres- 
sion, to pass off into oblivion. Let not the bless- 
ings of former years be forgotten, but let them fre- 
quently be brought in review before us, that we may 
never cease to remember how much we owe to our 

To lasting gratitude let lasting love be added. 
What infinite beauty and worth belong to Israel's 
God. And shall we be thankful for personal favors 
and not love the benevolence which embraces the 
universe ? This would be only the contracted gra- 
titude of a heart that can be engaged by nothing 
but the loaves and fishes. 

Let it be our daily ^'o^ that the universe contains 
such a God, — a God whose happiness consists in 
doing good, and who is executing so vast a plan for 
the promotion of creature happiness, that he alrea- 
dy realizes infinite blessedness in gratified benevo- 
lence. Let universal joy catch from heart to heart 
and circulate through heaven and earth that such a 
God lives, reigns, and is happy. Let this be our 
morning and our evening song. Let it break in like 
the dawn of day upon our gloomy hours ; and like 
the sinking but recovered David, let us be tran- 
sported with the tliought, " But thou, O Lord, shalt 
endure forever, and thy remembrance unto all ge- 

To such a God our highest jwaise belongs. He 


is the object of the incessant and rapturous praise 
of all the choirs of paradise, and shall men neglect 
their harps? In the warm transports of David's 
heavenly muse, let us invoke the sun and all the 
orbs of light, the earth and all the things thereon, 
the heavens and all their happy spirits, to praise 
the Lord, — to praise him in the heights and in the 
depths, — to praise him with the voice of song, and 
with all the varieties of instrumental harmony. 

Let such a God be the supreme object of our 
faith, our hope, our confidence. On him let us place 
our dependance for every thing we need for time 
and eternity. Renouncing this delusive world and 
every idol which would rival him in our hearts, let 
us make him our only point of rest, our only portion. 
Let him be the object of our daily and cheerful wor- 
ship. Let hypocrisy be banished from our religion, 
and let sincerity mark our worship of him whose 
friendship for man has been so sincere. Disclaim- 
ing all self-seeking, after his disinterested love to 
us, let us live only for him ; and in duty to one 
who so greatly denied himself for us, let us largely 
practise self denial. Henceforth let us consecrate 
ourselves to the service of him who served us in 
death ; and by our obedience to all his commands 
attest the sincerity of our love and gratitude. 

God forbid that we should be ashamed to confess 
him before men who was not ashamed to own and 
befriend us before his Father and the holy angels ; 
or that we should fail to speak to a listening world 
of his excellent greatness and his excellent loving 


It becomes us to imitate his devotedness to the 
glory of God and the happiness of men ; to put on 
bowels of mercy and kindness, forbearing one ano- 
ther in love, doing good to all as we have opportu- 
nity, especially to the household of faith ; conde- 
scending to men of low degree, meek and gentle to 
all, affable, courteous, and obliging, ready to for- 
give injuries, given to hospitality, and generous in 
distributing to the poor the gifts of a generous 

To the dominion of enthroned love it becomes 
us to submit ; resigning all our interests to the di- 
vine disposal, and enduring with patience and not 
with petulance whatever such a God is pleased to 

Against such a God it is that we have been found 
in arms. O "tell it not in Gath." Under the 
weight of all these obligations we have risen up to 
oppose unbounded love. Alas we knew not what 
we did. In vain might our tears and blood be 
applied to efface stains so ignominious and deep. 
Well may we go softly all our years in the bitter- 
ness of our soul. Let pride never again appear in 
natures capable of this. Let humility and hroken- 
ness of heart mark our future lives ; and in sympa- 
thy with the publican let us smite on our guilty 
breasts and cry, " God be merciful to me a sinner." 

And since our crimes are of so deep a die that 
nothing but atoning blood can wash them out, and 
since such infinite pains have been taken to provide 
a Saviour for us, — a Saviour every way suited to 
our wants ; let us gratefully seize the offered salva- 


Hon and cast ourselves on him as the only ground 
of hope. And then, "though" our "sins be as 
scarlet they shall be as white as snow ; though they 
be red like crimson they shall be as wool." 

Ah sinners, how long will you slight such en- 
dearing love and reject such heaven — astonishing 
mercy ? How long shall infinite tenderness be 
grieved at your ingratitude ? Why will you treat 
with abuse that excellence which angels adore ? 
Why will you tread under foot that love which dis- 
solves all heaven ? When will you at length be 
wise, and for once, after so long a time, act like 
ingenuous creatures ? Let the goodness of God 
lead us all to repentance, and let us spend our days 
in making mention of the loving kindnesses of the 
Lord, and in preparing to unite with the redeemed 
in singing, " Worthy is the lamb that was slain to 
receive power and riches and wisdom and strength 
and honor and glory and blessing." 

Now " unto him that loved us and washed us 
from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us 
kings and priests unto God and his Father j to him 
be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." 



Rom. v. 12-19. 

Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin ; 
and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. For until the 
law sin was in the world ; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had 
not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure 
of him that was to come. But not as the offence so also is the free gift. 
For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of 
God and the gift by grace which is by one man Jesus Christ, hath abounded 
unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned so is the gift; for the 
judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences 
unto justification. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one, much 
more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteous- 
ness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offence 
of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation, even so by the right- 
eousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 
For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obe- 
dience of one shall many be made righteous. 

This is the only passage in the Bible which draws 
such a complete parallel between Adam and Christ ; 
and therefore the extent of the parallel is to be 
learned from this passage chiefly. This is, I believe, 

Vol. I. 39 


the only passage which clearly states that the con- 
demnation of mankind to temporal death, carries 
in it full evidence of their condemnation to spi- 
ritual and eternal death. It is the only passage 
which teaches that the posterity of Adam are, in 
any sense, condemned to eternal death for his sin. 
Not that any are condemned before they are per- 
sonally sinners and deserving of condemnation on 
their own account : but a race of infants, whom 
the omniscient eye sees to be worthy of eternal 
death, but whose hearts cannot be expressed by 
their own conduct so as to become the declared 
ground of condemnation, are publicly condemned, 
not for the wickedness of Adam's heart, but for an 
outward act of his, which, by fixing, disclosed their 
hearts as much as any act of their own could have 
done. The only points that we shall have to leave 
among the hidden things of God, are, that infants 
are allowed to come into the world depraved, either 
on account of Adam's sin or otherwise, and that 
they are condemned to eternal death for their own 

Before entering on the consideration of the text, 
I wish to bring up what information I can gather, 
on the general subject, from other parts of Scrip- 
ture. I will therefore divide the labor into two 
parts, and will, 

I. Present the light which other parts of the Bi- 
ble cast on this general subject. 

II. Consider the federal headship treated of in 
the text. 

I. I will present the light which other parts of the 
Bible cast on this general subject. 


1. Several things which God originally said of 
Adam and to Adam, but which had no immediate 
connexion with the covenant made with him, were 
obviously meant of his whole posterity. For in- 
stance : " God said, Let us make man in our image, 
— and let them have dominion over — all the earth. — 
And he said" to the first created pair " Be fruitful 
and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it." 

2. It was said to Adam, "In the day that thou 
eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." He ate, and 
incurred all the evil which sin deserves ; viz : death 
spiritual, (or abandonment to confirmed and total 
depravity,) death temporal, and death eternal. 

3. In consequence of the plan of grace which 
was immediately introduced, no other sentence was 
formally and expressly pronounced on Adam than 
condemnation to temporal pain and death. This 
sentence however was intended publicly to denote 
a just exposure to spiritual and eternal death. 

4. In this sentence of condemnation to temporal 
pain and death, both Scripture and experience show 
that the posterity of Adam share. " Unto the wo- 
man he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and 
thy conception: in sorrow thou shalt bring forth 
children ; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, 
and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he 
said. Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice 
of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I 
commanded thee, saying. Thou shalt not eat of it ; 
cursed is the ground for thy sake : in sorrow shalt 
thou eat of it all the days of thy life. Thorns also 
and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou 


shalt eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of thy 
face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the 
ground : for out of it wast thou taken ; for dust 
thou art and unto dust shalt thou return." Who 
does not see that this sentence was pronounced on 
the whole human family, by being pronounced on 
Adam their federal head? By this sentence it was 
" appointed unto men" in general " once to die." 
That the transgression of Adam and Eve entailed 
on their posterity the temporal calamities contained 
in this sentence, is taken for granted in Paul's first 
Epistle to Timothy.* In his first Epistle to the 
Corinthians, he draws a parallel between Adam and 
Christ, so far as relates to their respective influence 
on the body ; saying that " as in Adam all die" a 
natural death, " even so in Christ shall all be made 
alive," or delivered from natural death in the resur- 
rection-t He states also in the same chapter,^ that 
" as we have," in the fashion of our bodies, " borne 
the image of the earthy," or the first Adam, so in 
the resurrection the bodies of the saints will " bear 
the image of the heavenly," who is expressly called 
" the last Adam." 

That the posterity of Adam share in this con- 
demnation of their federal head to temporal death, 
our text most explicitly asserts. " By one man sin 
entered into the world, and death by sin ; and so 
death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. 
For until the law sin was in the world ; but sin is 
not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless 
death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them 

* Chap. ii. 12-15. t Chap. xv. 22. t Ver. 45-49. 


that had not sinned after the simiHtude of Adam's 
transgression, who is the figure of him that was to 

This passage plainly proves also that condemna- 
tion to temporal death evinces the existence of per- 
sonal sin ; and a single sin entitles to spiritual and 
eternal death. " By one man sin entered into the 
world, and death by sin ; and so death passed upon 
all men, for that all have sinned.''^ 

5. It abundantly appears, independently of our 
text, that all mankind derive depravity from Adam, 
who after the fall begat children " in his own like- 
ness." The Scriptures clearly teach that men by 
nature are universally and totally depraved, and 
that this depravity is hereditary and traceable to the 
first pair as the source." " I was shapen in iniquity 
and in sin did my mother conceive me." " That 
which is born of the flesh is flesh." " Who can 
bring a clean thing out of an unclean ?" " Lo this 
only have I found, that God hath made man up- 
right, but they have sought out many inventions." 
Here the original righteousness inherent in our first 
parents, and the sins of successive generations, are 
considered the original righteousness and sins of the 
species; which shows that the species lost their 
original righteousness and fell by the fall of Adam. 
The Scriptures teach us the necessity of being 
" horn again,''^ of being " created in Christ Jesus ;" 
which imply that our first birth and creation intro- 
duced us into a state of depravity. 

6. It appears, independently of our text, that all 
men are " by nature the children of wrath." In- 


fants then are the children of wrath. This, you 
say, is punishing them for the nature which God 
created ; and you add, that a nature cannot be sin- 
ful, because it is physical and not moral. But Du- 
gald Stewart very properly speaks of " the physical 
and moral laws of nature." One of the definitions 
of nature given by Johnson is, " disposition of 
mind." If nature is considered the antecedent and 
cause of exercises, it is indeed difficult to be ex- 
plained, whether the exercises are physical or mo- 
ral. What that is in the lion before he hungers for 
flesh, which leads him to desire flesh, and flesh ra- 
ther than grass, we no more can tell, than what it 
is in the infant that leads to depraved exercises. 
And yet there is a meaning when we speak of the 
nature of a new yeaned lamb as diflering from that 
of a lion just brought forth. Is that nature the, 
mere mode of exercise, and not the cause ? When 
we say, it is the nature of the horse to eat grass 
and of the lion to eat flesh, the word means, horn 
with a constitution which inclines unfailingly to grass 
or flesh. The difference in the two natures in this 
case perhaps wholly grows out of a material con- 
stitution and depends on the laws of matter. But 
is there nothing in the soul anterior, in the order of 
nature, to exercise ? Yes, the whole that we mean 
by soul is anterior, just as the whole that we mean 
by man is anterior to his action. And is there no- 
thing in the disposition which is anterior and causal ? 
When we say. It is the disposition of a bad man to 
interfere with the rights of others, do we not refer 
to something anterior to the interference, and some- 


thing distinct from exercises, and which may be 
supposed to exist when he is asleep ? Do we refer 
merely to the stated mode of operation ? Have we 
not the same evidence of a causal disposition, dif- 
fering in different men, that we have of a causal 
nature differing in the young lamb and lion ? But 
still what there is in the infant, with its want of 
light, that is sinful, is more than w^e can tell. It 
certainly has self-love. Prick it, and its crying 
tells you that it hates pain. Take away the breast, 
and its crying tells you that it loves pleasure. How 
far it is capable of loving God or man, so as to 
prevent self-love from running into selfishness, I 
will not pronounce. God said to Jeremiah, " Be- 
fore thou camest forth out of the womb, I sancti- 
fied thee." As soon as Mary saluted Elizabeth, 
" the babe" of the latter, (John the baptist,) " leaped 
in" her " womb for joy." Now can you be sure 
that there was nothing in the infant Jeremiah or 
John or Jesus, different from what was found in the 
infant Cain and Judas and Herod ? Our brethren 
on the other side admit that the child is sure to run 
into sin as soon as it is capable of moral feelings. 
For before it has had one feeling it is sure to exer- 
cise self-love, which in the absence of better feel- 
ings will of course become selfishness. Abandoned 
of the Spirit, it is born therefore with a nature 
sure to sin and to do nothing but sin. Is not this 
aptitude wrong ? Is there nothing to be abhorred in 
the thief or murderer when he is asleep ? If a 
creature is prepared and sure to hate God as soon 
as God is seen, can we be certain that God cannot 


justly throw that creature away as worthless and 
guilty, without giving him, in this world, an op- 
portunity to increase his guilt by seeing him? 
Without revelation we might deny the justice of 
this ; but when God has proclaimed the justice of 
sending infants to hell, we must not be confident of 
any such thing. Still it is a mystery. 

Do you say, this fastening of blame to the nature 
is making God the author of sin ? All that he does, 
suppose, in forming this nature, is to create and sup- 
port the faculties and merely to withhold the Spirit. 
There is no need of putting sin in. Withhold the 
influence that produces supreme love to God, and 
I love myself supremely, and am totally depraved. 
If the captain is dead the lieutenant commands of 
course without a new election. 

But whatever mystery hangs about the moral state 
of the infant mind, one thing is certain : none of the 
posterity of Adam are saved but by Christ. " Nei- 
ther is there salvation in any other : for there is 
none other name under heaven given among men 
whereby we must be saved." But if infants are 
saved by Christ, they might justly be sent to hell. 
Here I plant my foot. Do you say that they have 
no part in Christ, and that those who die in infancy 
are neither saved by him nor sent to hell, but are 
annihilated? Take care what you say. "And 
they brought young children to him that he should 
touch them ; and his disciples rebuked those that 
brought them. But when Jesus saw it he was much 
displeased, and said unto them. Suffer the little 
children to come unto me and forbid them not, for 


such is the kingdom of God,'''' If your infant child- 
ren need not a Saviour why bring them to him in 
baptism ? and if they are not polluted, why wash 
them with water? Now if infants are saved by 
Christ, they are saved by grace and not by justice. 
Justice did not compel God to provide a Saviour ; 
which would be true if any who are saved by Christ 
are saved by justice. But all who are saved by 
grace might be sent to hell by justice. If I lay on 
your table a sum of money, it cannot be both a pre- 
sent and the payment of a debt. One idea neces- 
sarily excludes the other. If God had not provided 
a Saviour, all Adam's race would have gone to hell, 
however short or long their stay on earth ; and this 
would have been known to be the destiny of the in- 
fant in the cradle. Surely then justice has not pre- 
vented this. 

On the whole we must conclude that infants might 
justly be sent to hell. We do not come to this con- 
clusion from reason, but from the revelation of God. 
Whatever our blinded reason may say about so 
mysterious a matter, we must bow in submission to 
the decision of God. 

Now do not go away and say that I have preach- 
ed that there are infants in hell of a span long. I 
am not sure that I have a right to offer, or even to 
form, an opinion on this subject. It may be human 
weakness, but I cannot help hoping that all infants 
will be saved, notwithstanding what I am forced to 
say about the requisitions of justice. And I found 
the hope on two considerations. First, the imme- 
diate object of punishment is to convince others 

Vol. I. 40 


that if they sin they must suffer : but infants can- 
not be impressed with this truth by the punishment 
of infants ; and adults are sufficiently impressed by 
the punishment of adults. The punishment there- 
fore does not appear to be so absolutely necessary 
as in other cases. Secondly, by appointing a day 
for the "revelation of the righteous judgment of 
God," he seems desirous to show creatures the rea- 
sonableness of his measures : and it now seems as 
if it would be easier to make this impression on 
creation if he did not make creatures and send them 
to hell before they knew their right hand from their 

II. I am to consider the federal headship treated 
of in the text. 

There is no intimation in the Bible that we are 
condemned for Adam's heart. In consequence of 
the union of character established between him and 
his posterity by what may be called the constitution 
of nature, by means of which his outward act in- 
dicated their temper as much as his own ; that act 
is made the ground of their public condemnation, 
as though it had been their own act; for it really 
manifested their temper as though it had been their 
own. This, if true, proves at once two things ; 
first, Adam's federal headship ; secondly, the real 
condemnation of his whole infant race to temporal, 
spiritual, and eternal death, on account of the de- 
pravity of their hearts, manifested by this public 
act of their federal head. 

It is declared in our text that " through the of- 
fence of one many be dead," (that is, condemned 


to the complicated death which in the next chapter 
is put for " the wages of sin ;") that " by one " 
man " that sinned — the judgment was by one " of- 
fence " to condemnation ;" that " by one man's of- 
fence death," (the same comphcated death,) "reign- 
ed by one ;" that " by the offence of one judgment 
came upon all men to condemnation^'''' even as "by 
the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all 
men unto justification of life ;" that " by one man's 
disobedience many were made sinners," even as 
"by the obedience of one shall many be made 

The parallel between the first and " last Adam" 
is not perfect in all respects. By our connexion 
with the first Adam we are condemned for orie sin, 
"but the free gift is of many oflfences unto justifica- 
tion." In the first case, the ground of condemna- 
tion was an outward act, in the latter case the right- 
eousness by which we are justified went through 
the whole heart and life. In the first case we per- 
sonally deserve the condemnation we receive, in 
the latter case we deserve nothing. But the fol- 
lowing are the points of resemblance. 

1. By a covenant transaction between the Father 
and Son, called the covenant of redemption, the 
seed of Christ were from eternity elected or ap- 
pointed to a state of justification. To comport 
with this, the posterity of Adam, in consequence of 
a covenant transaction between God and their fe- 
deral head, were, before they were born, appointed 
to a state of condemnation. 

2. The seed of Christ, though previously elected, 


are not actually justified before they become his 
seed by regeneration. The doctrine of justifica- 
tion from eternity is generally and justly exploded. 
To comport with this, the posterity of Adam, though 
previously appointed to a state of condemnation, 
are not actually condemned until they exist his seed, 
and therefore not until they are " shapen in iniqui- 
ty " and conceived " in sin." The seed of Christ 
were not all justified as early as his obedience was 
performed, nor as early as he himself was justified 
by being raised from the dead. And the posterity 
of Adam were not condemned as early as his of- 
fence was committed, nor as early as he himself 
was condemned. 

3. The first holy bias which is given to the seed 
of Christ in regeneration, is not the effect but the 
antecedent of their justification ; for they are "jus- 
tified by faith " already in exercise. To comport 
with this, the first evil bias which the posterity of 
Adam feel, is not the eflfect but the antecedent of 
their condemnation. The condemnation spoken of 
in the text was not a sentence dooming them to be 
" shapen in iniquity " and conceived " in sin." 
Their first evil bias is not the eff'ect of their con- 
demnation, but the eflfect of the constitution of na- 
ture which God established in his covenant trans- 
action with Adam ; by which it was fixed that all 
the posterity of Adam, as soon as they should exist, 
would resemble him in moral character, whether he 
stood or fell. This President Edwards calls a con- 
stituted union of moral character, which he illustrates 
by a constituted union of nature between the root 


and branches of a tree, and between the head and 
members of the body. 

That this constituted union of moral character 
is wholly different from a sentence of condemna- 
tion, appears from its having been settled before 
any condemnation was merited. Before the fall it 
was established by the constitution of God that the 
holiness of Adam if he stood, and the sin of Adam 
if he fell, should be conveyed to his posterity by 
natural generation. When he fell, his whole sys- 
tem became polluted ; and he propagated the pollu- 
tion by the same established constitution of nature 
by which an acorn produces an oak, and a lion pro- 
duces a young lion wholly like himself in shape and 
disposition. This is the settled course of nature : 
but a judicial sentence of condemnation is quite a 
different thing. None ever called the constitution 
by which the branches of a thorn bush partake of 
the nature of the root, a condemnation of the 

Thus it appears that the first evil bias in the in- 
dividuals of Adam's race is no part of the evil to 
which they are condemned, but the effect of a con- 
stitution which runs through every department of 

4. The seed of Christ are justified as fully and 
as extensively as Christ himself was ; being entitled 
to a deliverance from the power of temporal death 
in the resurrection, — being secured in a course of 
persevering holiness until it is completed in everlast- 
ing spiritual life, — and being unchangeably entitled 
to eternal life. To comport with this, the poste- 


rity of Adam are condemned as fully and as exten- 
sively as Adam himself was. He was not condemn- 
ed to the first sin ; but when he had committed that 
sin, he was condemned to an abandonment to total 
depravity, which was spiritual death : he was con- 
demned also to death temporal and death eternal. 
In like manner his posterity, though they are not 
condemned to the first evil bias, yet as soon as they 
derive their polluted existence from Adam, are con- 
demned to established and total depravity or spirit-, 
ual death, and also to temporal and eternal death. 

5. The essential condition on which the seed of 
Christ share in his justification, is that they resem- 
ble him in the temper of their hearts. Indeed it is 
such a union of temper that constitutes them his 
seed. To comport with this, it is the essential 
condition on which the posterity of Adam share in. 
his condemnation, that they resemble him in the 
temper of their hearts. Indeed without such a 
union of temper they are not his posterity in the 
covenant sense. 

The new hirtJi and union of heart to Christ are 
the two things which constitute men the seed of 
Christ ; and these two things are inseparable ; for 
the new birth lays a sure foundation for immediate 
union of heart to Christ. To comport with this, 
the first birth, or conception, and union of heart to 
Adam, are the two things which constitute men the 
posterity of Adam ; and these two things are inse- 
parable ; for the first birth, or conception, uniform- 
ly lays a foundation for immediate union of heart 
to Adam. 


Thus far the parallel between the two federal 
heads. On the whole, it appears that Adam him- 
self was publicly condemned, not for his wicked 
heart, but for his outward act; yet he was con- 
demned for that outward act because it was the in- 
dex of his heart ; for had he performed it in a pa- 
roxysm of madness, he would not have been con- 
demned for it. The same in all respects may be 
said of his infant posterity. The public sentence 
against them is not expressly grounded on their 
wicked hearts, but on that outward act of their fe- 
deral head which fixed and revealed their temper. 
But had it not manifested their hearts, no sentence 
against them would have been grounded on it. 

This point may be further illustrated by suppos- 
ing a flourishing tree with many branches. The 
tree is now wholesome and good, but is known to 
be liable to become poisonous ; and it is known 
that in case of such a change, the root will first im- 
bibe the poison, and in the twinkling of an eye will 
communicate it to all the branches. At the moment 
the root imbibes the poison which changes the 
whole tree, the root alone sends forth a nauseous 
exhalation, distinctly perceptible by the senses; 
and this exhalation from the root is the only evi- 
dence to men of the change of the branches from a 
wholesome to a poisonous nature. The spectators 
condemn the whole tree on account of that exhala- 
tion from the root, and pluck it up, root and branch, 
and cast it into the fire. Why were the branches 
condemned and burnt on account of an exhalation 
from the root? Because the exhalation was as 


much an evidence of their poison as though it had 
proceeded from them. 

In this view of the subject I am supported by the 
more general voice of Calvinistic divines ever since 
the Reformation. It has been universally held by 
the divines of the Genevan school, the head quar- 
ters of Calvinism, (according to the testimony of 
Stapferus, an eminent divine of the same country,) 
that infants are not condemned independently of 
the pollution of their nature. And Stapferus him- 
self bitterly complains that the enemies of Calvin- 
ists accuse them of asserting the imputation of 
i^dam's sin to infants while they are viewed in 
themselves as innocent. Now if any difficulty, as 
to the mere justice of their condemnation, is reliev- 
ed by bringing in their depravity, it must be be- 
cause they personally deserve condemnation. If 
their depravity does not deserve condemnation, I 
see not that any difficulty is relieved, in regard to 
mere justice, by bringing it into account. 

Before I dismiss this subject I will add the fol- 
lowing remarks. 

1. If the foregoing representation is true, it is 
not correct to say that infants are born into the 
world with a double guilt, one part consisting in 
Adam's sin and the other in their own depravity. 
As well might you say that the personal guilt of 
Adam is double, one part consisting in the outward 
act and the other in the consent of his heart. 

2. If the foregoing representation is true, it is 
not correct to say that infants deserve eternal death 
or any death for the sin of Adam singly considered 


and independent of their own depravity. Adam 
himself did not deserve condemnation for his out- 
ward act independently of the heart from which it 
proceeded. And had his posterity themselves eat- 
en of the forbidden fruit, they would not have de- 
served condemnation for that act independently of 
their depraved hearts, — for example, had they done 
it in a paroxysm of madness. 

3. We may now answer the question which is 
sometimes proposed, whether there is infiiiite guilt 
attached to Adam's sin imputed. I say, yes, in the 
same sense in which there is ariy guilt attached to 
Adam's sin imputed. The question amounts to 
this : are infants condemned to eternal death, as 
well as to temporal death, for Adam's sin ? This 
question has been already answered in the affir- 
mative. But if the question be, Is there infinite 
guilt attached to Adam's sin imputed, independently 
of the depravity of his posterity ; I say, No : for 
Adam's sin is not imputed, in any sense or degree, 
independently of their depravity; any more than 
any other external act is imputed where it is known 
to be no expression of the heart. You might as 
well inquire whether killing a man has infinite guilt 
attached to it independently of the temper which it 

4. If the foregoing representation is true, it will 
completely vindicate the character of God in con- 
demning a world of infants for the sin of their fe- 
deral head. For I think it will follow from this re- 
presentation, that mankind are treated no more se- 
verely than they might justly have been treated if 

Vol. I. 41 


Adam had not been their federal head. There are 
two things which befall them in consequence of 
their connexion with Adam. First, in consequence 
of the constituted union of character between them 
and him, they are born depraved ; secondly, Adam's 
act which fixed and discovered the depravity of 
their hearts, is put in the room of an outward act 
of ;heir own, and is made the public ground of their 
condemnation, as being the index of their wicked 
hearts. Now I think that they might have been 
born depraved, and might have been condemned as 
soon as born, had there been no federal head. 

First, without a federal head, I see not why 
they might not justly have been left to sink into 
depravity as early as they now do. Why would 
not this have been as just as the leaving of the 
holy angels to fall, or the leaving of the holy Adam 
to fall? Abandonment to sin immediately after 
birth or conception, certainly appears no harder 
than abandonment to sin immediately after a course 
of holy dispositions and actions. That holiness 
which reigned in the angels and in the soul of 
Adam the moment before the first sin entered, did 
not merit such a desertion. They were not de- 
serted therefore by way of punishment, but by a 
sovereign act of God. And the abandonment of in- 
fants to the first evil bias is not the consequence of 
their condemnation, but antecedent to it, and there- 
fore cannot be viewed in the light of a punishment. 
And whatever is not a punishment, might justly 
have been brought upon them had there been no 
previous sin in the universe. The union of their 


character with that of Adam was no token of God's 
displeasure ; for that union was constituted before 
Adam sinned. The fall of infants therefore, equally 
with that of the angels and of Adam, must be re- 
solved into the sovereign constitution of God. 
Though wisdom has seen fit to make the depravity 
of infants the consequence of their connexion with 
a federal head, yet for aught that appears, justice 
might have suffered it without any such connexion. 
Secondly, if infiints might have been justly born 
depraved without a federal head, certainly they 
might have been justly condemned for their depra- 
vity without a federal head. As it now is, they are 
not condemned for the sin of Adam without being 
personally deserving of condemnation on their own 
account in the sight of God. And had God been 
pleased to act before creatures without evidence of 
his justice, he might have grounded their public 
condemnation on the mere depravity of their hearts. 
It cannot be pretended that the Searcher of hearts 
is obliged m justice to ground the condemnation of 
sinners on visible conduct. All the end that seems 
to be proposed in bringing in the outward conduct 
of Adam as the ground of publicly condemning his 
infant race, is that their condemnation may rest on 
visible conduct. But it is not a necessary act o( jus- 
tice, it is a mere act of goodness and of condescension 
to the weakness of creatures^ to rest their condemna- 
tion on visible conduct. The bringing in of Adam's 
act as the public ground of condemning depraved 
infants, (who are themselves worthy of condemna- 
tion in the sight of God,) is, therefore, notwith- 


Standing all the cry that has been raised against it, 
a mere act of goodness and of condescension to the 
weakness of creatures, — intended also, as I sup- 
pose, to open and illustrate that federal course 
which was to be pursued in the case of " the last 
Adam." It is only condemning sinful creatures on 
a public and visible ground, who were entitled to 
condemnation for the hidden depravity of their 

I think it appears therefore that mankind are 
treated no worse than they might justly have been 
treated if Adam had not been their federal head. 
And I am persuaded that not only justice but good- 
ness appears in that constitution which God made 
for the human race. And when we consider it as a 
glorious preparation for the work and exhibition of 
" the last Adam," we have reason to conclude that 
heaven will forever ring with acknowledgments of 
that federal system for our world, whose foundation 
was laid in Eden, and whose top reaches to Mount 
Calvary and to the heights of the Lamb enthroned. 



Jee. xliv. 4. 

Howbeit I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and 
sending them, saying, do not this abominable thing that I hate. 

It is impossible for any man to form an exagge- 
rated opinion of his own guilt. This is evident from 
a single consideration. Every sin deserves eternal 
death, according to the plain decision of the divine 
law. But no finite mind can comprehend, much 
less overrate, that guilt which deserves everlasting 
burnings. We may confine our views too much to 
sin, and exclude a sense of mercy, and thus sink 
into gloom. This is a fault. But no man can pos- 
sibly overrate his guilt. Here he may give full lati- 
tude to his convictions and still fall infinitely short 
of the mark. To these reflections I am led by that 
pathetic burst of entreaty and indignation which ap- 
pears in the text. God had long labored with the - 
Jewish nation, and they had turned a deaf ear to 


all his entreaties. At length he sent Nebuchadnez- 
zar against them, who destroyed their temple and 
cities, and carried the mass of the people to Baby- 
lon. The few that were left took Jeremiah and re- 
moved with him to Egypt. There the prophet re- 
ceived a commission from heaven to renew his ex- 
postulations with that stubborn people, and to call 
their attention once more to the reasons of the di- 
vine conduct towards them. After charging them 
in the name of the Lord with their sins, particularly 
their idolatry, he subjoins the words which I have 
read : " Howbeit I sent unto you all my servants 
the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, 
O do not this abominable thing that I hate." By 
the abominable thing was meant idolatry; but the 
same may be said of every sin. 

The doctrine then which we may draw from the 
text is this, that sin is the abominable thing which God 
hales. It will be my object to illustrate and apply 
this doctrine. That sin is abominable to God ap- 

I. From the nature of things. 

II. From the expressions he has made of that ab- 

I. From the nature of things. Sin is directly 
opposed to all the wishes and designs of God. 
"God is love." The object which he pursues with 
infinite desire, and indeed his only object, is to 
raise an immense kingdom of creatures to the high- 
est eternal happiness, and to enjoy himself the bless- 
edness which he imparts. In order for this they 
must possess the same love that he does, and be 


formed into an orderly kingdom, owning him for 
their Head and submitting affectionately to his do- 
minion. To accomplish these ends he has issued a 
law, requiring them to love him with all the heart and 
their neighbor as themselves, and to express this 
temper in all their words and actions. The parti- 
cular forms of conduct which are calculated to pro- 
mote their mutual happiness, and which are there- 
fore expressive of love, are marked out in the de- 
tails of his law, whose grand object it is to secure a 
united, harmonious, and happy kingdom. He has 
left nothing unforbidden which is contrary to the 
good of the universe, and has tolerated no hostile 
principle by silence. His law of course is the uni- 
versal standard of right. 

Now sin consists in that dissociating principle 
which sets up a private interest against the public 
good. It splits up the universe into contending 
units ; and that which was a kingdom of love and 
blessedness is now a hell. Though the social af- 
fections may sometimes set up the interest of a pri- 
vate circle in opposition to the public good, the chief 
thing that is arrayed against the universe is self- 
interest. The grand root of sin is inordinate self- 
love. Out of this arises pride and all those malig- 
nant passions which set themselves to defend our 
own name or estate. Out of this arises that undue 
regard to personal gratification which shows itself 
in the idolatrous love of the world, — which shows 
itself in all those indulgencies which imbrute the 
man, — which shows itself in all the crimes committed 
against society. Out of this arises the strenuous 


opposition which the carnal heart makes to the di- 
vine law, and all the enmity which on that account 
it feels towards God. In short, out of selfishness, 
and other affections which brood over a limited in- 
terest, arise all those malignant passions which 
hurry men and devils into war against heaven, and 
constitute all the sin of earth and hell. Sin is thus 
the struggle of a private interest against the public 
good ; and because it meets with opposition from 
God, it becomes his malignant enemy. It com- 
pletely disjoints the universe, and, when it is mere 
selfishness, it arms each man against all other be- 
ings. In every motion it breaks in upon the order 
which the divine law has estabhshed. It cannot be 
sin without violating that order ; for the very defi- 
nition of sin is, that it is " the transgression of the 
law." Sin and transgression are synonymous terms. 
As nothing is morally good which does not conform 
to the divine law, so nothing is morally evil which 
does not violate that system of precepts. 

This being the nature of sin, it is manifestly the 
enemy of public order and happiness, and therefore 
infinitely offensive to the God of love, and contrary 
to all that he has prescribed for the happiness of 
his kingdom, and to all the wishes and designs of 
his benevolence. As the Friend and Guardian of 
the universe, he must of course abhor and proscribe 
and punish sin. He must pursue it with infinite in- 
dignation as the disturber of the peace of his king- 
dom, the traitor and conspirator against his go- 
vernment, the implacable foe of every thing dear to 
his heart. The benevolent Father of the universe 


cannot but hate such an enemy with infinite detes- 
tation. It is love that abominates it, and infinite 
love must hold it in infinite abhorrence. 

Sin not only disturbs the public peace by being 
itself the death of happiness, — not only by rebel- 
ling against God in the character of a Lawgiver, — 
but it opposes him in all the relations in which he 
acts for the good of his creatures. Has he created 
a world and assumed the relation of a Father ? Sin 
refuses to acknowledge him as a Parent. Has he 
taken upon himself the oflice of providential Go- 
vernor? Sin would take the management of the 
world out of his hands. Has he undertaken the 
work of a Saviour ? Sin refuses to receive him in 
that character. In whatever office he acts for the 
happiness of his creatures, sin sets itself to oppose 
him. He cannot make a motion to gratify his love, 
but sin instantly moves to resist his purpose. Can 
it be otherwise than that he should hate such an 
enemy with the whole strength of his nature ? That 
this is the case I am to show, 

II. From the expressions which he has made of 
this abhorrence. 

1. In the penalty which he has annexed to his 
law. This is nothing less than an eternal exclusion 
from all good and the eternal endurance of all evil. 
" The wages of sin is death." This death is ex- 
plained to be the endurance of eternal and unut- 
terable torments. This endless and therefore in- 
finite evil is to be regarded as the exact measure of 
God's abhorrence of sin. The threat of this in- 
fliction is not the effusion of a transient feeling ; it 
Vol. I. 42 


is with great solemnity incorporated with the pub- 
lic law of his empire ; which we are taught to re- 
gard, not only as the great standard of right, but 
as the deliberate and unchangeable expression of 
his heart : and we are assured that " heaven and 
earth shall pass" away before " one jot or one 
tittle" of that law shall fail. 

2. In his providential government. 

When the angels sinned, those eldest sons of 
God, not all his love for his first born sons, not all 
the dignity of their nature, could save them. He 
hurled them from heaven and locked them up in the 
prison of eternal despair. When our first parents 
sinned, he turned them out of Eden, turned this 
beautiful world into a wilderness of thorns, depo- 
sited his curse in the ground, lodged it in the blood 
of man, and entailed upon hundreds of generations 
sorrow and disease and death. When the earth be- 
came filled with violence, he loathed it, and, (to use 
a strong eastern figure,) " repented — that he had 
made man," and he swept the world with a flood. 
When the inhabitants of the vale of Siddim had 
corrupted their ways beyond endurance, he rained 
fire from heaven upon them and hid the very ground 
which they had polluted under the waters of the 
Dead Sea. When Egypt rebelled, he lashed her 
with ten successive plagues, and at last buried her 
king and ail her glory in a watery grave. When 
Israel rebelled in the wilderness, did he spare the 
favorite race whom he had gone down into Egypt 
to redeem ? At one time he brought upon them the 
heathen, then fiery serpents. Now fire from heaven 


devoured them, then the ground opened and swal- 
lowed them up ; and at last he swore by his holi- 
ness that, with two exceptions, all the adults should 
drop their carcases in the wilderness. During the 
fifteen centuries that the posterity of Abraham pos- 
sessed the promised land, his providence was al- 
most a constant remembrancer of his hatred of sin. 
Though they were his beloved family, whenever 
they openly sinned he would wound them " with the 
wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel 
one." He often gave them into the hands of the 
heathen. He blotted out the name of ten of the 
tribes from under heaven. He sent the rest to Ba- 
bylon. He gave them at last into the hands of the 
Romans, who strewed their native mountains with 
their bones, and drove out the rest to wander as va- 
gabonds through the world. 

It was the anger of God against sin which de- 
stroyed Ninevah and Babylon and Tyre, and Edom 
and Moab and the Philistines. It is this which has 
covered the earth with blood and turned it into one 
vast prison-house in which little else is heard but 
the groanings of the prisoners. There never was a 
pain that was not caused by sin. Collect all the 
sufferings of six thousand years, and the whole is 
but a faint expression of God's indignation against 
sin. The rear of all is brought up by death. See 
that beauteous frame dissolved, — that masterpiece 
of divine art, — that mechanism which seemed in- 
tended to lodge a deathless angel. See the ago- 
nies of dissolving nature. See the offensive mass 
a few days after. And is the glory of man reduced 


to this !* Has sin thus unmade the noblest work of 
God ? The grave yards, the vaults stored with hu- 
man bones, the ashes of a hundred generations, 
proclaim the anger of God against sin. " By one 
man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, 
and so death passed upon all men, for that all have 
sinned." In every death you see a criminal exe- 
cuted according to the sentence of the divine law. 
Here mortal eyes lose sight of the object and faith 
must begin her vision. The providence of God ex- 
tends to the eternal world. There lie the imple- 
ments of his justice. There are collected all his 
magazines. While wrath sleeps in this world, sin- 
ners dream that God is " altogether such a one as " 
themselves. That is the world to correct all mis- 
takes. As sure as God is true, he will put sinners 
into an eternal hell. He will lay upon them a pu- 
nishment exactly proportioned to their guilt ; and 
not one sin of thought, word, or deed shall escape. 
Sins which were long forgotten by them, will be 
found to have been laid up in the repositories of his 
memory ; and what they thought was overlooked, 
will be seen to have been uniformly regarded with 
infinite abhorrence. To each sin will be attached 
its proper degree of punishment, and each degree 
will run parallel with eternity. The most minute 
transgression will be loaded with an endless curse. 
Eternal providence, like the divine law, will be 
found an infinite enemy of every sin. What wrath 
against sin must that be, which can impel the infi- 
nitely tender Father to resign the souls which he 
has made to everlasting burnings ? He has not a 


particle of resentment against their persons. His 
love reaches after their happiness with unbounded 
desire. Nothing but hatred of sin can force the 
dreadful execution. O the amazing strength of that 
abhorrence which can accomplish all this ! What 
overwhelming views will they then have of his im- 
placable, eternal, omnipotent displeasure against 
sin. When they shall be brought out of their 
graves and arranged at his bar ; when the frowns 
of God shall convulse the universe ; then shall they 
know that he was not trifling with them when he 
forbade sin, — when he raised the threatening voice, 
— when for so many ages he uttered the vehement 
cry, " O do not this abominable thing that I hate." 
But there is one exhibition of his displeasure 
against sin which is more amazing than all the rest. 
When his compassions yearned over a dying world 
and had infinite longings for their relief, he would 
not pardon one of their sins unless his beloved Son, 
in whom he took infinite delight, would descend 
from a God to a servant and die like a malefactor 
on the torturing cross, to convince the universe 
that he would support the authority of the law by 
executing its penalty on future offenders. And 
when his obedient Son had presented himself in 
the form of a servant, and brought the Father's 
heart to the solemn test, whether he would strike 
at sin through the bleeding heart of his own Son, 
he drew his sword, — he smote the monster though 
laid on one so dear, — and the monster and his only 
Son died in one day. And if he spared not his- 
own Son, thinkest thou, O sinner, that he will spare 


thee ? If these things were done " in a green tree, 
what shall be done in the dry ?" 

It becomes then a question of solemn import, 
Who are sinners? Often has this question been 
discussed in our presence, when it excited but little 
interest. But if such are the feelings of God to- 
wards sin, the question is too infinitely important 
to be turned aside. Who then are sinners ? To 
this question the Scriptures have given a decided 
answer : " There is not a just man upon the earth 
that doth good and sinneth not." " All have sinned 
and come short of the glory of God." 

Not only so, but all men by nature, so far as 
they are influenced by moral feelings, are under the 
entire dominion of sin. Through all their souls 
God sees not one trace of love to him or holy love 
to man. Except so far as they are restrained by 
conscience and the social affections, and by other 
things intended to fit them to live together in so- 
ciety, they are entirely governed by a debasing self- 
ishness, that, as soon as these restraints are taken 
off", stands ready to sacrificis the universe to serve 
a private end. " God saw — that every imagination 
of the thoughts of" man's " heart was only evil 
continually." " The whole head is sick and the 
whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even 
unto the head there is no soundness, — but wounds 
and bruises and putrefying sores." And as is the 
fountain so are the streams. So far as the words 
and actions of the natural man are of a moral na- 
ture, they are nothing but sin. " The plowing of 
the wicked is sin." The very "sacrifice of the 


wicked is an abomination to the Lord." Now then 
we may understand what feeUngs God has towards 
impenitent men. He regards them, so far as he 
contemplates them as moral beings, as one entire 
mass of pollution, which his heart abhors infinitely 
more than we do the most filthy viper. If the sin- 
ner could have a full view of the feelings which 
God has towards his sins, he would die as though 
ten thousand thunders burst upon his head. Sin- 
ner, if God hates one sin with infinite detestation, 
how does he feel towards you, who have been con- 
stantly sinning for so many years ? Not a waking 
moment has passed in which you have not trans- 
gressed that law which says, " Thou shalt love the 
Lord thy God with all thy heart, — and — thy neigh- 
bor as thyself." His eyes have followed you into 
every corner. He has watched you as constantly 
as though he had no other object of attention. All 
the sins of your life are this moment spread out be- 
fore him, as though they had all been committed 
to-day. They appear to him like mountains piled 
on mountains, reaching to the very heavens and 
crying for vengeance. This enormous weight of 
guilt is crushing you to the lowest hell, while you 
are at ease and blessing yourselves that you are not 
thieves or murderers. 

What a wonder that any of us are this side of 
eternal despair ! Considering the abhorrence which 
God has always felt towards our natural character ; 
considering that there has been nothing in us by 
nature to give him pleasure, but every thing to give 
him disgust ; how astonishing that he has preserved 


US SO long, and doubly astonishing that he has fed 
and clothed us, and sent us Bibles and sabbaths and 
the Holy Spirit, and sent his Son into the world to 
die for our salvation. O " the breadth and length 
and depth and height" of the love of God "which 
passeth knowledge." 

What abundant cause have we for humility and 
self-loathing. What reason to lay our hands on 
our mouths and our mouths in the dust, — to weep 
and mourn and break our hearts. How strange to 
see such polluted worms take airs of self-import- 
ance, and erect themselves into attitudes of con- 
scious worth. Dust and ashes should rather be 
their covering, and the rending sigh of a breaking 
heart their only language. 

And what would have become of us had not the 
Son of God left the heaven of his glory " to seek 
and to save that which was lost"? We wanted one 
not merely to teach us lessons of morality and to 
spread before us a holy example, but to come down 
into our dungeon, to strike off the chains from 
wretched prisoners and " to loose those that" were 
" appointed to death." We wanted one to take our 
place and die before the gates of our prison, to 
prevent the law from taking its course upon us. 
We needed one whose death should do as much to 
uphold the authority of the law as the eternal de- 
struction of Adam's race would have done. We 
wanted a Saviour absolutely divine. Wrap your- 
self up in a superficial morality and call it a coat 
of mail ; I will hide myself in the righteousness of 
my Saviour. Those veins bled balm to heal my 


wounds. Those sighs dispelled the clouds which 
were ready to burst on me. That final groan com- 
pletely drained the cup of wrath prepared for us. 
Let others push aside a Saviour to show their own 
fair form ; I will wrap me in the garment which he 
has prepared, and die with my eye fixed upon his 
cross. Let my last words be those which trembled 
on the lips of the dying martyrs : None hut Christy 
none hut Christ. 

Poor impenitent sinners, covered over with pol- 
lution, condemned and abhorred of God, here is 
your only remedy. Take this away and all hope 
expires. You lie under an infinite load of guilt ; 
you cannot atone for one sin ; you must have this 
Saviour or perish forever. Why then, under the 
weight of all this guilt, do you reject the Saviour ? 
The heavenly invitation calls you to his arms, and 
yet you refuse. For so many years has God been 
pleading with you, " O do not this abominable thing 
that I hate." It is affecting to hear the great God 
thus plead with worms. And it is greatly affecting 
to see those worms reject his entreaties. This 
rejection is infinitely offensive to God. It is a di- 
rect rejection of him. It is the blackest ingratitude. 
It is a most profane resistance of all the light he 
has shed. On these accounts the Jews were more 
severely punished than any other nation, and in the 
day of judgment will find it " more tolerable for 
— Sodom and Gomorrah" than for them. Do not 
act over again the rebellion of the Jews. Remem- 
ber that it is written, " Because I — called and ye 
refused, — I also will laugh at your calamity, I will 

Vol. I. 43 


mock when your fear cometh." " Wherefore, as 
the Holy Ghost saith, To-day if ye will hear his 
voice, harden not your hearts." To-day. This 
and not to-morrow is the time fixed by heaven. In- 
finite rebellion and guilt attend upon delay. Infi- 
nite danger and folly accompany delay. If ever 
you wish for salvation, seize the offered blessing 
now. You need it as much now as you ever will. 
It is as easy to obtain it now as it ever will be. 
God gives you no cause for delay. Come, for " all 
things are ready." Say not that you cannot. If 
there is any deficiency in yourselves, it is only for 
you to cast yourselves on God. Go and rest your- 
selves wholly on him for strength. The more you 
feel your own weakness, the more you should rely 
on him. If you do not practise this rehance, you 
do not fully feel your own weakness, and this plea 
is only an excuse. Would to God that you felt 
your own utter insufficiency, and then you would 
take hold of his strength and do the work at once. 
There is no reason for delay. Just relax your grasp 
from every other object and fall into the arms of a 
Saviour. Do it now. The eyes of God are upon 
you. O let him see it done. Let him see it done 
before he rouses his wrath and swears. Ye shall not 
see my rest. 



Mat. XVI. 26. 

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose 
his own soul ? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul ? 

There is in man an immaterial soul, distinct from 
the clay which composes his body ; a spiritual sub- 
stance that thinks and reasons, chooses and refuses, 
loves and hates ; and this conscious being, not de- 
pending for its existence on the body, will survive 
in a separate state when the body shall be dissolved. 
Reason assents to this when it is discovered ; and 
although reason could not have made the discovery, 
yet the separate existence of the soul is clearly re- 
vealed in that Gospel which has brought life and 
immortality to light. Every believer in revelation 
must, therefore, perceive it to be the chief interest 
of man to secure the happiness of his soul in a fu- 
ture and eternal state. And those who believe in 
the necessity of a change of heart and of a thorough 


religion, will not deny that there is a lamentable 
and surprising degree of inattention to the soul 
among the greater part of mankind ; an inattention 
which, where it continues, must prove eternally fa- 
tal. Such will not impute it to severity, if the mi- 
nisters of the Gospel, with the most heart-felt so- 
licitude, endeavor to awaken their brethren, their 
flesh and blood, from such a destructive lethargy. 
The most impassioned calls will not be deemed too 
vehement in such a cause. 

I cannot hope, my dear hearers, to speak to you 
with eflect, unless you firmly believe in an eternity 
of rewards and punishments. If this be denied, I 
shall not carry you along with me as I pursue the 
subject. And because I may have to break com- 
pany with some here whom I would not leave be- 
hind, I will stop a little and plead with them. God 
grant that it be not a parting leave. 

If you doubt a future state, tell me, for what end 
were the human race created ? For happiness ? this 
none attains to the extent of his capacity in the pre- 
sent life, and many are wretched from the cradle to 
the grave. For the glory of God ? this end is not 
answered if there be no future state : for here vir- 
tue is often oppressed while vice triumphs. With- 
out a state of more equal rewards and punishments, 
the human race would bring a reproach on the 
righteous Governor of the world. And consider, 
I pray you, that you cannot bring a future state 
into doubt until you have destroyed the evidence on 
which divine revelation rests; — the testimony of 
miracles and prophecies, — the standing testimony 


of the Jewish nation, — the evidence derived from 
the unity of design, the holy precepts, and all the 
vestiges of divinity impressed on the sacred pages ; 
a task which the wisest and best men would die be- 
fore they would attempt, and which the subtlest 
enemies of revelation have never been able to ac- 
complish. To risk your immortal all on the per- 
formance of such a task ! how much better to risk 
it on the blood of the Lamb of God. Do you be- 
lieve in a future state^ but not future punishment ? 
still the things of eternity and not the world ought 
to engross your chief attention. Animating pros- 
pects of worldly good can prevail to draw your at- 
tention from the present moment ; how much more 
should a prospect of immortal happiness ! Are 
you sincere in believing yourselves the heirs of the 
eternal glories of heaven, and yet so seldom think 
of futurity, and so deeply affected with the trifles, 
the joys and disappointments of a moment ? Per- 
haps you believe m future but not in eternal punish- 
ment. Well, what would it profit a man to gain 
the whole world and lose his soul for ages of ages 
in hell? To avoid one year's imprisonment on 
earth, you would do and suffer much. To escape 
then this dreadful punishment after death, (even if 
it be not endless,) with what anxiety ought you to 
examine the conditions of pardon, your own cha- 
racter, and labor to make your peace with God. 
Or have you the unnatural cruelty to disinherit 
your future selves of all affection, and having fol- 
lowed yourselves with concern through every pe- 
riod to the grave, to bury there with your bodies 


all self-regard ? Know ye, my beloved friends, that 
your future selves will be these same conscious be- 
ings whose sensations are so interesting to you at 
present? These same minds, with the same per- 
sonal consciousness, will be in heaven or hell. But 
if you will not be persuaded, I will turn to others 
who do believe in all the realities of a future state 
which the Scriptures disclose. To you, my more 
hopeful hearers, I say, " What is a man profited if 
he shall gain the whole world and lose his own 
soul ?" That you should want persuasion to value 
the salvation of the soul above the present world, 
is among those wonders which want a name. What 
can be the cause of this ? Doubtless the more re- 
mote cause is simple aversion to God and divine 
things ; but the proximate cause is worldly attach- 
ment and care. The profits, pleasures, and honors 
of the present life so fill the eye, that the true in- 
terest of the soul is not discerned. Were all these 
things away, the mind, ever restless in pursuit of 
something, would more readily bend forward to in- 
vestigate eternal objects. Suffer me then to resist 
these dangerous seducers by urging the solemn 
aphorism of Him who knew the value of the soul : 
" What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole 
world and lose his own soul ? or what shall a man 
give in exchange for his soul ?" 

The superior value of the soul will appear from 
the following considerations : 

1. From its essence and capacities. The body is 
composed of dust, like the bodies of other animals. 
All the treasures of the world are made of dust. 


But the soul was infused by the breath of God. 
While the body is fitted for the lower animal func- 
tions, and governed by laws common to the animal 
tribes, the soul is endowed with the moral faculty, 
which renders it the subject of the dignified and 
awful government of Jehovah. It is aggrandized 
with capacities to serve and glorify God, to be use- 
ful to men, to relieve the afflicted, and to manage 
the concerns of nations. It is capable of the hea- 
venly exercises of love, pity, and mercy. The ex- 
tent of its capacities is amazing. What number- 
less and surprising inventions for the benefit and 
ornament of society has it made ; what progress in 
the knowledge of the arts and sciences — in explor- 
ing the secrets of the animal, vegetable and mine- 
ral kingdoms. It has searched out the bowels of 
the earth. It has wandered among the stars to cal- 
culate their laws and order. It has followed the 
comets in their immense excursions. It has been 
found capacious enough to take in the contempla- 
tion of world upon world, and system upon system, 
spread through the regions of boundless space. Its 
motions are so rapid that it can rove from star to 
star, and from world to world, in a moment. No 
fetters can bind it, no bounds contain it. It is ca- 
pable of exerting itself like an angel in the employ- 
ments of the heavenly world ; contemplating God, 
expatiating through his works, and assisting in the 
anthems of celestial worship. That such a stupen- 
dious emanation of divinity should be thrown into 
ruins — the use of all these godlike faculties be 
worse than lost, and forever devoted to malice and 


blasphemy, — so much would not be lost should the 
material universe fall into one general wreck. 

Vast capacities has the soul for happiness and mi- 
sery. I appeal to those who are acquainted with 
the pleasures and pains of the mind. No delights 
which depend on the senses can compare with the 
serene pleasures of a contented soul, much less 
with the raptures of a transported soul. And no 
pains which the body feels can equal the agonies 
of a troubled spirit. The capacity of the soul for 
happiness and misery will be greatly enlarged at 
death. It will then be an angel in bliss or a devil 
in misery ; — rapt in pleasure which no mortal heart 
can conceive, or laboring with throes and agonies 
which the imaginations of this infant world are too 
feeble to paint. 

The happiness which appertains to the soul is 
far the most noble in its kind. How diminutive is 
the happiness, (if it be worthy of the name,) that 
can be gathered from the briers and brambles of 
this wilderness. What are the pleasures of sense, 
but the half -enjoyed pleasures of the brute ? What 
are the pleasures of the imagination, but Utopian 
visions? What the pleasures of honor, but pal- 
pitating pains ? What the pleasures of riches, but 
the morose perplexities of care? What are the 
pleasures of friendship, but pleasures of the soul ? 
Nothing is worthy of the name of happiness but 
that which has its seat peculiarly in the mind. And 
then how sublime is intellectual delight. In con- 
templating the dignified happiness of a Newton or 
a Franklin, we are awed into reverence, and assent 


that intellectual bliss rises high and out of sight of 
the low pleasures of the epicure, and feel an in- 
stinctive conviction that such happiness ennobles 
and exalts. But if the happiness of the philosopher 
so far transcends, what does the happiness of the 
christian ? If to contemplate the sun and moon 
produces a delight full of dignity, what does the 
contemplation of Him who spoke these orbs into 
being ? The soul alone is capable of enjoying 
God ; and the small portion of this delight which 
is allotted to christians here, is by far the most sub- 
lime happiness of the present life. But who can 
conceive the bliss, the dignified and God-like bliss, 
which their souls will enjoy in heaven ! having free 
access to the infinite God, — diving into the ocean 
of his exhaustless glory, — swallowed up in the over- 
flowings of his love, — reposing among the tender- 
nesses of his bosom, — towering in the dignity of 
spirits, — climbing the regions of light and life, the 
companions of Seraphim and Cherubim, — the very 
sons of God, and heirs of all the riches and joys 
of the universe ? What is the world to this ? "Its 
pomp, its pleasures, and its nonsense all ?" 

II. The superior value of the soul appears from 
the amazing respect that has been paid to it. Man 
must have been a very important being in the esti- 
mation of God, or he would not have built this 
beautiful and stupendous world for his habitation. 
But was it for the body that this planet was erected, 
or was chief respect had to the soul ? It was not 
built for the dust, but for the immortal part ; not 
for man as a mere animal, but for man as a subject 

Vol. I. 44 


of moral government, — for a nursery in which to 
foster his infant faculties for the employments of a 
vigorous and eternal manhood. It is for the life 
and growth of the soul that the valleys spread out 
their bosoms, — that the mountains lift up their heads 
towards heaven, — that ocean, with its milHon waves, 
laves the shore, — that serpent, fish, and bird were 
formed, " and the cattle upon a thousand hills." It 
was to light the soul in its way to glory that the sun 
and moon were hung out of heaven. 'Tis for its 
"sake all nature stands and stars their courses 
move." Amazing thought ! Where am I ? Me- 
thinks the sun, moon, and stars look down tremb- 
lingly to observe its fate. All nature seems to sit 
in solemn silence, looking out of all her eyes, to 
watch the destinies of the soul. 

But no respect which has been paid to the soul 
puts so vast an estimate upon it as the price that 
was paid for its redemption. What must have been 
the valuation of the soul in heaven, when that God 
before whom all nations are as the " dust of the 
balance," became an infant in the manger of Be- 
thlehem, sweat blood in Gethsemane, was beaten 
and spit upon in the judgment hall, and expired on 
the ragged irons ? Every groan of Calvary pro- 
nounced the worth of the soul to be greater than 
ten thousand material worlds. The Son of God 
would not have given his life to redeem the whole 
material universe from ruin. He would not have 
shed a drop of his blood to save this world with all 
its lumber from the flames. He will of choice give 
it to the flames when its use to the soul of man shall 


be ended. And yet he shed all his blood to save 
the soul. 

God has discovered his high regard for the soul 
by the pains he has taken to give a written revela- 
tion to the world, to establish and preserve a church 
and houses of worship, to institute sabbaths and sa- 
craments and a Gospel ministry, and by all the la- 
bors and calls of six thousand years. The body 
may be cast upon a dunghill and eaten by worms, 
and God regards it not; but in the day that the 
animal part is committed to the loathsome grave, 
he takes special care that this noble particle of him- 
self shall not enter among the dead, but raps it away 
to the region of spirits. 

Angels also discover their high regard for the 
soul, by leaving the realms of glory to consume 
their time upon this distant planet by daily minis- 
trations for its salvation. Should a company of 
the greatest men in Europe cross the Atlantic to 
manage a certain business, the world would be look- 
ing after them, and would conclude that the inte- 
rest they came to manage was of vast importance. 
What then shall we think of the soul ? that " for 
whose guard the angel bands come flying from 
above ?" 

Heaven and earth, God, angels, and good men 
are engaged to deliver the soul. And this is not 
all; hell is in motion to oppose its deliverance. 
Myriads of principalities and powers are leagued 
against it. " How great must be the value of the 
soul," says one, " when three luorlds are thus con- ' 
tending for it." Would three worlds, I ask, thus 


contend for this little particle of dust called earth? 
No, but they will contend for the soul of man. 

III. What completes the value of the soul is its 
immortality, and perhaps eternal progression. This 
life is but the threshold of our existence, — a breath ; 
we gasp once here and live forever. If we owned 
the whole world it could not attend us a step be- 
yond the grave ; but if we once obtain the heavenly 
inheritance, we shall carry it with us down through 
the revolving ages of eternity. If want and afflic- 
tion beset us here, death will soon close the dis- 
tress ; but if we lose our soul the loss will be for- 
ever. This is that last death which death itself 
cannot destroy. The fashion of this world passes 
away; the earth will soon grow crazy with age; 
the sun itself shall wax dim in its orbit ; the stars 
shall fall like the leaves of autumn ; but the death- 
less soul shall survive the wreck of worlds. And 
when another period, as long as the world's age, 
shall have passed, and as many such periods as 
there were moments in the first, the soul will have 
just begun its course. To stand on some eminence 
like Pisgah and look away into eternity, O what a 
prospect rushes on the eye ! Let imagination spread 
all her pinions and swiftly pursue the flying soul, 
through ages of joy enough to dissolve mortal flesh, 
— and keep on wing and still pursue, through peri- 
ods which human numbers cannot calculate — until 
the fancy has got so far from home as hardly to be 
recalled; — it must still return and leave the flying 
soul to explore ages after ages, — a boundless eter- 
nity of inexpressible bliss. And when it returns to 


earth, how it sickens at worldly glory, and calls 
mortal life a blank, a point, no time at all. 

Let it stretch its wings again, and follow the ex- 
cruciated soul through ages of unutterable endu- 
rance — through fire intense enough to melt down 
all the planets. One period after another passes by 
it as it flies, — until it looks back on the first million 
of years as on a speck in the horizon, and still it 
hears the tormented soul exclaim, '•''My agony is 
just begun.^^ God of mercy, preserve this assem- 
bly from this eternity of pain ! 

Our fainting minds will be overwhelmed with the 
value of the soul if we admit its eternal progres- 
sion. It is so difficult to conceive of one's living 
forever in heaven without acquiring any new ideas, 
or any deeper impressions from ideas already re- 
ceived, that it is generally believed that holy crea- 
tures will forever grow in capacity and enjoyment. 
And there are certainly passages of Scripture which 
favor this opinion. I shall venture no assertion 
on this point ; but taking the thing for granted at 
present, what an august being will a human soul 
become ! Observe its progress in the present life 
and the dignity which it here accumulates. Yes- 
terday it was a babe weeping in its mother's arms ; 
— to-day it is a child and we chide it ; — to-morraw 
it is a philosopher and we revere him. Let this 
progress be extended to a million of years, and 
how great has that creature become. A thousand 
times more difference between him and a Newton, 
than between a Newton and an infant. Mark that 
miniature of man just opening its eyes on the light ; 


yet that minim of being contains a soul which will 
one day outstrip the ranges of the widest imagina- 
tion. That spark will grow to the flame of a seraph; 
that thinking thing will fly through heaven. Ob- 
serve that poor christain doomed to hard labor, 
covered with sweat and dust. The world sweeps 
by him without deeming him worthy of a look, and 
considers him only an animal. Yet that same poor 
man will soon be greater than a nation combined. 
While carrying burdens on his bending shoulders, 
(ye know him not,) he is an angel in disguise : the 
reverse of the stage, where a poor man acts the 
king, but passing behind the curtain dwindles to a 
pauper ; for here a king acts the pauper, and as 
soon as the curtain falls ascends his throne. See 
that mingled throng in the streets, fluttering about 
like insects in the summer's sun, — the reputed crea- 
tures of a day. How little is it considered that 
every one of that number, and of those human 
shapes in the filthy dungeon, is destined to eternal 
progression, and will one day be greater than kings 
in glory or equally great in misery. Fix your eyes 
a little upon that throng, and silently mark whither 
they will go when they disperse. I foflow one with 
my eyes to his secret apartment : I see the shiver- 
ings of death steahng upon him; the tears of 
mourners fill the room ; the soul bursts its cere- 
ment, and is an angel now : wings are lent it, and 
I trace it soaring through the regions of light. I 
follow it in its course of endless progression until 
it has become greater than Gabriel was. I pursue 
till it has become greater than the whole human race 


were in this infant world, — till it has become greater 
than all the angels together were when it left the 
body : and I leave it still progressing towards God, 
approximating towards his infinite dimensions, — a 
point at an immeasurable distance, but at which it 
is eternally stretching away. We are lost, we are 
swallowed up in the boundless prospect. 

Upon the principle of eternal progression, (how- 
ever slow that progression may be,) these are the 
destinies of the feeblest soul that ever enters heaven. 

I return to the street. I follov/ another of the 
crowd through his round of dissipation, — through 
many serious thoughts, many broken resolutions, 
— until I trace him to a dying bed. His soul is 
forced from the body amidst the agonies of dis- 
tracted friends, and, staring with wild affright, is 
dragged to the mouth of the pit and plunged into 
hell. And is not this enough ? Good God, is not 
this enough? Must it still proceed from bad to 
worse ? This is believed by many from the very 
nature of the soul, and from hell's being called a 
" bottomless pit," in which, as the figure seems to 
import, one may sink forever deeper and deeper in 
misery without finding a bottom. It is also alleged 
that the same unchangeable purity that required the 
punishment of sins committed in the body, will 
equally require an increase of misery to provide a 
punishment for all the rage and wickedness of hell. 
That the punishment will be endless is certain, but 
whether it will be progressive I will not venture to 
assert. But the thing being once admitted, conse- 
quences result enough to shake a world. Then the 


time will come when the smallest soul in hell will 
contain more misery than Satan now does ; — time 
will come when the smallest soul in hell will endure 
more in one hour than has been endured on earth by 
all nations since the creation. And further still,— 
it is too awful to proceed. O what a God is that 
which lives from eternity to eternity ! O what a re- 
demption did Christ come to accomplish, from this 
eternity of pain to this immortality of glory ! O 
what a soul has man ! Surely it was worth being 
redeemed by the blood of the Son of God. Surely 
it is worth being saved by a life of self-denial and 
prayer. What can be too much to give in exchange 
for the soul ? 

How solemnly important do sabbaths now appear, 
and time, and the Bible, and every thing which re- 
lates to the soul's salvation. The sun, moon, and 
stars appear solemn in shining ; the earth, the con- 
cave, and all nature seem to borrow the solemnity 
of eternity ; and this world appears only the cradle 
in which souls yet in swaddling bands are rocked 
for immortality. 

Heir of immortality, bow before thine own ma- 
jesty. Debase not thyself by sordid actions. A 
royal infant, while in his nurse's arms, though un- 
conscious of his dignity, is yet born to sway the 
sceptre and fate of nations, and should be trained 
up in habits according with his august destinies. 
Whilst thou art pursuing every idle phantom, thou 
forgettest the dignity of thy nature and the infinite 
grandeur of thy destinies. But thou wast born for 
great things. Those eyes were formed to see great 


things, and that soul to experience amazing sensa- 
tions. Man, thou hast a world in thyself. Child 
of death, thou hast a concealed treasure in thy bo- 
som, (alas too concealed,) which the exhausted 
Indies could not purchase. Crowns and kingdoms 
sink to nothing before it. It is worth more than 
the sun, moon, and stars, if the sun were gold and 
every star a ruby. If from the birth-day of this 
earth omnipotence had been exerted to create as 
many worlds in a moment as there are dusts in this, 
and all these worlds were gold and diamonds, and 
possession to be given for eternity, they would all 
be like filth of the street to the value of thy soul. 
And wilt thou live and die ignorant of the treasure 
thou possessest ? Wilt thou squander it all for toys 
and be an everlasting bankrupt ? When thou shalt 
carry back thy soul to Him who gave thee the ta- 
lent, fair and glorious, to improve for him, and to 
return still more fair and glorious, and shalt pre- 
sent it such a ruinous mass, what will the Judge say 
to thee ? If they must perish who murder the body, 
what a death of deaths is due to those who murder 
the soul. Less vile would it be, were the soul out 
of the question, to destroy the bodies of a whole 
nation. This vast, this magnificent soul of man ! 
Were there no God to sin against, I had almost 
said, it would deserve eternal damnation to sin 
against such a soul. 

Ah sinner, this soul of thine is on the point of 
being lost forever, and immense difficulties lie in 
the way of saving it. Up, without delay, and see 

Vol. I. 45 


what can be done. Surely the infinite treasure is 
worth one mighty effort to save it. 

Should you reign universal emperor of this lower 
world for three score years and ten, and then sink 
into eternal misery, what an infinite loser would you 
be. What solace would the world be to you after 
your soul was lost ? All the streams and oceans 
you had commanded would not afford you a drop 
of water to cool your tongue ; but the remembrance 
of past prosperity would only aggravate present dis- 
ease. The wealth of Xerxes and Croesus now 
avails them not ; it is no comfort to Alexander that 
he conquered the world : nor is Nero profited by a 
name to live after he is dead. 

But if to exchange the soul for a world would be 
a senseless bargain, how worse than mad to sacri- 
fice it for a toy. No sinner obtains the whole world 
at last, and most that lose their souls receive but a 
small pittance in return. How many are selling 
their deathless souls for some paltry sum extorted 
by oppression, for the momentary pleasure of the 
brute, for the intoxicating bowl, for the dark delight 
of marring another's fame, for the useless diversion 
of profaning the name of God, for a toy, — a noth- 
ing when nothing is offered, — a nothing always^ — 
and less than nothing. For nothing more is gain- 
ed than though the soul were saved, and all the pre- 
sent delights of religion are lost. This great mart, 
the world, is full of distracted men, hurrying from 
place to place to barter their souls for less,/ar less 
than nothing. They sell them now for naught, but 


time will come when they would give ten thousand 
worlds to redeem them back again. But then it 
will be too late. For what can a man in hell " give 
in exchange for his soul ?" 

My dear hearers, my heart is distressed with the 
apprehension that some of you will lose your souls. 
Indeed, I expect nothing else. You are hearing 
these solemn truths perhaps with indifference, if not 
with disgust. You will go careless from the house 
of God. You will think little of what you have 
heard until a dying day. But then perhaps these 
truths will meet you again. You need not then be 
told of the worth of the soul. Perhaps the pangs 
of dissolving nature will be your least distress. 
You may then remember this day, and mourn 
that the warnings of anxious love were unheeded. 
I can do no more than entreat you, and I do entreat 
you with the most heart-felt regard. And if you 
are offended at this freedom, I ask but one more 
privilege, — to weep and pray for you in secret, and 
to cry in the midnight hour, "O that they were 
wise, that they understood this, that they would 
consider their latter end !" 



Mat. XXIV. 32, 33. 

Now learn a parable of the fig tree. When his branch is yet tender and 
putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh. So likewise ye, when 
ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 

Our Saviour had been foretelling the signs which 
should precede his coming in the destruction of Je- 
rusalem and his coming at the end of the world. 
As the tender branch and early leaves of the fig 
tree betoken the approach of summer, so these pre- 
dicted harbingers would betoken, in their seasons, 
the judgment upon Jerusalem and the judgment of 
the threat day. Corresponding with these two judg- 
ments are two which every wicked man must meet ; 
one at death and the other at the second coming of 
Christ : and corresponding with these signs arc the 
symptoms which are found on individual sinners of 
these approaching judgments. There are certain 
appearances in relation to particular men which 


may be plainly set down as Tokens of Perdition ; 
which as manifestly forebode destruction as early 
fig leaves foretel approaching summer. The sum- 
mer may be prevented by a special interposition of 
God, and so may this destruction. 

In general it may be observed that a state of im- 
penitence and unbelief is a portentous symptom of 
approaching ruin ; much in the same way that the 
condemnation and imprisonment of a criminal are 
signs of his approaching execution. Every unbe- 
Hever is now under sentence of death, and is im- 
prisoned in the body to await the day of execution. 
"He that believeth not is condemned already." 
This, one would think, is a state sufficiently alarm- 
ing to rouse every impenitent sinner not actually 
distracted. But there are still more fearful symp- 
toms, which may be emphatically styled The To- 
kens of Perdition. Some of these I will endeavor 
to select and arrange. And O may that Spirit 
whose province it is to convince the world of sin, 
of righteousness, and of judgment, apply them to 
your hearts ! The day of judgment is before us all, 
— is just at the door. We shall soon be translated 
from earthly temples to one of the two great apart- 
ments of eternity. Everlasting ages of happiness 
or misery are before us all. And while our destiny 
lingers, we are permitted to meet once more in the 
house of God, to confer together on these amazing 
revolutions of ages. We are met in an assembly 
which will be reviewed from that world with un- 
speakable interest after yonder sun has ceased to 
shine. By all the anxiety of one who must shortly 


meet you at the bar of Christ, — by all the tender- 
ness of a pastor who wishes to spend eternal years 
with you in love and happiness, I entreat you to 
lend me your whole attention. 

The first token of perdition which I shall men- 
tion is vicious habits; such as profane swearing, 
drunkenness, uncleanness, associating with loose 
company and the like. This is the broad road to 
perdition. These habits bespeak one already /ar 
advanced in the course to ruin. They prove a con- 
science seared as with a hot iron. They are alarm- 
ing symptoms of a soul abaiidoned of God. They 
are the most perfect process that could be invented 
to harden the heart and to grieve the spirit away for- 
ever. They remove the sinner to the greatest pos- 
sible distance from all the means instituted for his 
salvation. They betoken a rapid approach to that 
moment when the measure of his iniquity shall befull^ 
and are every hour bringing him more directly un- 
der that fearful sentence. The wicked " shall not 
live out half their days." They are the best cho- 
sen means to provoke the wrath of heaven, and to 
seal and hasten and aggravate the sinner's ruin. 
That is a course from which few return. It is rare 
that a person settled in these habits gives evidence 
of becoming a real christian. Where one does 
this, millions proceed from bad to worse until they 
plunge into eternal death. The commencement of 
such a course therefore, shows as strong a proba- 
bility of perdition, as the commencement of a con- 
sumption does of death. They are gone, eternally 
gone, unless they are plucked as brands from the 


The next token of perdition which I shall men- 
tion is a resort to infidelity or universalism to re- 
lieve the mind from presentiments of a judgment to 
come. None are capable of thus running away 
from the light of truth and taking shelter in impe- 
netrable darkness, but those who for the present 
are abandoned of God. We read of some who 
are given over to a " strong delusion" to " believe 
a lie that they" may " be damned." Such a plunge 
into darkness shows a resolute determination to hide 
one's self from the light. And when men have thus 
immured themselves in cells which exclude the light 
of heaven, no motives to seek salvation can reach 
them. Now and then one of their number is re- 
claimed by the invincible grace of God; but by far 
the greater part, (judging from the outward indica- 
tions of character,) die in their sins. The first ap- 
proach to these cardinal errors therefore, betrays 
as violent symptoms of eternal destruction, as the 
first attack of a raging fever does of approaching 

Much the same may be said of a denial of the 
proper divinity of Christ, and a denial of total de- 
pravity and regeneration. These, as they tend 
with all their influence to prevent a change of heart 
and faith in a divine Redeemer, tend as directly to 
destruction as a determined abstinence from food 
does to death. 

The next token of perdition which I shall men- 
tion is tliat display of character which betrays a 
false hope and Vi false professioji. I believe there is 
no instance recorded in the Bible of a sinner's being 


rescued from a false hope, unless it was founded on 
the behef of a false religion. In the short period 
which I have had to make my observations, I re- 
collect very few instances of persons apparently re- 
newed after they had settled down for years upon 
a false hope, and with that hope had joined the 
church. Indeed I remember but one. We read 
of tares ; we read of foolish virgins ; but we never 
read of their conversion. A false hope, fortified 
by a false profession, is the most effectual battery 
against the artillery of the Gospel. The truths of 
the divine word are turned off to others. Speak- 
ing after the manner of men, I would rather under- 
take to convince ten infidels, than to demolish one 
false hope intrenched behind the pale of the Church. 
It is easy to shake the hope of the humble christian, 
who has learned the deceitfulness of his own heart, 
and is always prone to distrust himself; but to tear 
away the confidence of one who, instead of mak- 
ing God his hope, makes hope his god, this is a 
task too mighty for an arm of flesh. A thousand 
to one that hypocrites in the Church will die hypo- 
crites still. 

This being the case, every display of character 
which bespeaks a false hope and a false profession 
must be numbered among the strong tokens of per- 
dition ; such as hatred of the truth ; hatred of pun- 
gent, searching, soul-humbling preaching ; unwil- 
lingness to see displayed those parts of the divine 
character and government which are most grating 
to the carnal heart; a proud, worldly spirit, that 
refuses to come out from the world and take up the 

Vol. I. 46 


cross and lean on God, and in religious intercourse, 
to adopt the simplicity and humility of a little child. 
All these, when found predominant in a profession, 
must be put down as strong tokens of perdition. 

Another token of perdition is the approach of age 
without religion. So far as man can judge by out- 
ward conduct and professions, collected and com- 
pared from generation to generation, we have rea- 
son to believe that the greater part of the elect are 
called in under the age of twenty, and that few are 
called in after the middle of life, and next to none 
in advanced age. As then a man approaches to 
thirty, and reaches on to forty in an unregenerated 
state, the tokens of perdition are thickening upon 
him every year ; and by the time he has arrived at 
fifty, they are as thick as the hairs of his head. In 
estimating the chances of one who has reached the 
middle of life in a state of unregeneracy, we must 
ask what proportion of the last generation w^ho had 
lived to that age in sin, ever gave evidence of being 
born again. Did one in ten ? Did one in fifty ? 
Did one in a hundred ? These questions, fairly 
examined, would disclose dangers clustering around 
fifty, around forty, and even around thirty, which 
I am afraid to number : but should they be num- 
bered by a messenger from heaven, every sinner 
in the middle of life would, I believe, start and 
tremble little less than at the judgment of the great 

Another token of perdition is a state of carnal se- 
curity. If men were asleep in a burning house and 
all attempts to awaken them had failed, you would 


think them violently exposed. When you see men 
lying under a sentence of death, — of death eternal, 
— wafted on to judgment by the silent tide of time, 
and fast asleep, what can you expect for them but 
inevitable destruction ? By far the greater part of 
those who in past ages were caught in this state of 
slumber, apparently never awoke till they awoke in 
eternity. From all we see around us, we know 
that the longer they sleep the sounder they sleep. 
The man therefore who is now sunk in carnal se- 
curity, is much more likely to sink lower and lower 
till he dies, than ever to awake. At least there is 
not a single symptom in his favor. We know it is 
God's method, when he intends to bring a sinner 
home, first to rouse him to anxious exertion. But 
this man shows no sign of such an influence upon 
him. God has gone to others and let him alone, 
and has given no intimation that he will ever return 
to him. There is not one symptom that this man 
is ever to be saved. Other men take the kingdom 
of heaven by violence, but this man is fast asleep. 
So much is to be done and he has never yet roused 
to his work. When is this mighty task to be per- 
formed ? When are the world, the flesh, and the 
devil to be subdued ? Months and years are pass- 
ing away, and the man has never yet begun his 
work. Death and judgment are at the door, and 
the man is fast asleep, — and is sinking deeper and 
deeper in slumber. If this is not a token of perdi- 
tion, where will you find one this side of perdition 

Connected with this are two or three other to- 


kens worthy of a distinct enumeration. Among 
these may be reckoned a satisfaction with worldly 
good, — a resting in the creature for enjoyment, — a 
contentment with the world for a portion. No 
sooner had the rich worldHng said, " Soul, take 
thine ease ; thou hast much goods laid up for many 
years ;" than the word came, " Thou fool, this 
night thy soul shall be required of thee." Another 
of these symptoms is a loose and presumptuous con- 
fidence in God^s mercy : not the confidence of a uni- 
versalist, but a sort of general, indefinite reliance 
on divine mercy which shields the soul from fear 
while slumbering over its guilt. This is one of 
those strong links which bind the soul to death. 
Another of these symptoms is an increase in hard- 
ness as men increase in years. When men find that 
they can attend funerals and hear sermons with less 
solemnity than they formerly did, — that they can 
neglect duty with less compunction, — they may 
write it down that they have spent all their liVes in 
growing more and more ripe for ruin. And what 
can be a more fearful token of perdition ? 

Another token of perdition is the profanation of 
the sabbath and the neglect of the means of grace. 
The profanation of the sabbath in its more flagrant 
forms, might indeed have been numbered among 
those vicious habits which form the very vestibule of 
perdition. No one vice is more destructive ; unit- 
ing in it the sin of high-handed disobedience, and 
the folly of casting away all the means of salvation. 
The men who wholly neglect the sanctuary and 
spend the day in riding or in sports, are about as 


far gone on the road to perdition as the culprits in 
your dungeons. But there is a class of more de- 
cent people, who, though not so certainly lost, still 
bear upon them this token of perdition. The so- 
lemn consecration of all the hours of the sabbath to 
hearing, reading, meditation, and prayer, compre- 
hends the use of the greater part of the means of 
salvation ; and if this part is omitted the rest will 
mostly be neglected. And if means are neglected, 
the soul will be lost. If means are not generally 
and solemnly and thoroughly used, it is in vain to 
appear now and then in the house of God ; the soul 
must still be lost. Those then who attend at the 
hours of public worship, but spend the rest of the 
day in reading newspapers, talking about the world, 
making visits or posting their books, bear about 
them evident tokens of perdition. They show that 
their attendance in the sanctuary had no influence 
on their minds, and that they are at least as bad as 
though they had staid at home. Those also who 
visit the house of God but once a day, and spend 
the rest of the time in sleep or amusements or in 
doing nothing, bear still more evident tokens of per- 
dition. Their absence in the afternoon proves that 
the morning attendance did them no good, and that 
they are in no better but in a worse case than those 
who have no means at all. Not widely diff'erent 
are the remarks to be made on those who come to 
the house of God to sleep. Two observations will 
comprehend the circumstances of their case. The 
first is, that they show full well that means have 
hitherto done them no good. The second is, that 



means are never likely to benefit them in future. 
If ever the arrows of truth reach their hearts, it is 
likely to be in the sanctuary: but how can the ar- 
rows of truth reach them while they sleep ? The 
hours which they spend in the house of God may 
be called the crisis of their fate ; and that crisis 
they sleep away. Good men may have occasional 
infirmities of this nature, but I speak of those who 
have formed this indecency into a habit, and as re- 
gularly sleep as they appear in the sanctuary. I 
have attempted to look on all sides of the position 
I am about to advance, and I utter it with the most 
serious deliberation : these people must break this ha- 
bit or lose their souls. The habit then, while it lasts, 
is a fearful token of perdition. 

There is one token which falls under this general 
class to which I wish to draw your particular atten- 
tion. I mean the neglect oj' prayer. Who does 
not see that this is the direct course to perdition ? 
Since the days of Adam, who that could pronounce 
the name of God ever went to heaven without pray- 
er ? Who can think of receiving eternal hfe if he 
will not so much as ask for it? Who can think 
himself prepared to enjoy the presence of God, 
while driven from prayer by aversion to that very 
presence ? Who can expect to receive an infinite 
gift from that God whom he thus hates and diso- 
beys ? Continuing thus, he is lost as sure as there 
is a God in heaven. The man then who neglects 
prayer, is covered from head to foot with the tokens 
of perdition. 
Another token of perdition is a contention against 


the truth and a demand of the prophets to prophesy 
smooth things. If there is ary thing which can in- 
strumentally save lost sinners, it is the plain simple 
truth as it lies in God's word, without varnish or 
disguise. If men will not allow this to be presented 
to them in all its length and breadth, they will not 
allow themselves to be saved. They lock in its 
scabbard the only sword that can pierce their 
hearts. They refuse to be approached with the 
only antidote to the poison which corrodes their 
veins. If they can succeed ; if they cati convince 
ministers that it is better to obey men than God ; 
if they can find preachers more influenced by self- 
ishness than pity ; then indeed they will have their 
desire and inherit the death they seek. At any rate 
this is a most portentous symptom. When the dis- 
heartened patient refuses to take medicine, or any 
thing but poison, why he must die. When men 
firmly resolve that they will not have the whole 
naked truth, and authoritatively demand smoother 
things, it looks like a desperate purpose ; it looks 
like a determination to take the plunge. It bears 
upon its forel ead the broad, burnished mark of 

Another token of perdition is the rejection oj many 
calls. It has been said from heaven, " My Spirit 
shall not always strive with man ;" and, " He that, 
being often reproved, hardeneth his neck, shall 
suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy." 
The man then who has long sat under the sound of 
the Gospel without obeying the truth, bears about 
him an evident token of perdition. The man who 


has often been called by affliction, and still holds 
out against God, shows an evident token of perdi- 
tion. But of all men, the man who in former 
months or years was awakened by the divine Spirit 
and has relapsed into stupidity, bears the strongest 
token of perdition. For I read, " It is impossible 
for those who were once enlightened, — and have 
tasted the good word of God and the powers of the 
world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew 
them again unto repentance." " For if we sin wil- 
fully after that we have received the knowledge of 
the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 
but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and 
fiery indignation which shall devour the adversa- 
ries." Before he received that special call, me- 
thinks a voice said, " Behold, these three years I 
come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none ; 
cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground ?" And 
another voice said, " Lord, let it alone this year 
also, till I shall dig about it and dung it ; and if it 
bear fruit, well ; and if not, then after that thou 
shalt cut it down." That experiment was made ; 
that special cultivation was applied in the very mo- 
tions of the Spirit which he resisted ; and now per- 
haps he is sealed over, like the fig tree by the way 
side, to perpetual barrenness, and left to grow drier 
and drier to feed a fiercer flame ; resigned by mercy 
itself into the hands of justice, with this sentence, 
" Then — thou shalt cut it down." Of all men this 
man bears the strongest marks of being abandoned 
to perdition. 

Although I have enumerated these tokens dis- 


tinctly, I am aware that in many instances they 
cluster. Half a dozen of them may be found on 
the same man ; all may be found on some. Let us 
see how many of them my impenitent hearers can 
find upon themselves. Vicious habits, — lingering 
notions of infidelity or universalism or other sooth- 
ing errors, — indications of false hopes and false pro- 
fessions, — unsanctified age, — carnal security, — a 
satisfaction with worldly good, — a loose, presump- 
tuous confidence in divine mercy, — increasing hard- 
ness, — profanation of the Sabbath, — neglect of 
God's house or attendance half a day, — sleeping at 
church, — neglect of prayer, — contention against the 
truth and a demand for smooth preaching, — the re- 
jection of many calls, — and lastly, a relapse into 
stupidity after being awakened by the Spirit of God. 
If to bear one of these tokens is so alarming, how 
ought a man to feel who finds upon himself the 
greater part of them all ? My dear hearer, how 
many of these marks of death do you find upon 
yourself? Can you not now see that for a long time 
" gray hairs" have been here and there upon you 
and you knew it not ? One of these marks is more 
alarming than that which was stamped upon Cain. 
In what language then shall I address the man on 
whom six or eight of them cluster ? If I saw upon 
you six or eight of the most decisive symptoms of 
approaching death, I should give you up for lost : 
must I do it now ? Your danger is doubtless un- 
speakable. It is impossible not to see that the 
chances are far greater against you than for you. 
I know that the power and mercy of God are great : 

Vol. I. 47 


that furnishes a gleam of hope : but then we have 
not been accustomed to see that power exerted in 
many instances equally alarming. What God will 
do we cannot tell ; but when we consider your case 
in itself we almost despair. Six or eight decisive 
tokens of perdition clustering on the same person, 
and that person asleep ! Is he distracted or is he 
dead ? Had I an angel's voice I could not paint 
the madness. Going on to the bar of God ; going 
on to meet omnipotent purity, — to meet all the jus- 
tice and power in the universe ! going on under 
guilt enough to sink a world, and under an actual 
sentence of death! going on under six or eight of 
the most formidable tokens of perdition ! Struck 
with death, with eternal death already, and six or 
eight of its most decisive symptoms upon you, and 
you asleep ! I leave you there as a monument for 
affected angels to gaze at, to tremble over, and 



Jer. XVII. 5, 6.* 

Thus saith the Lord, Cursed be the man that trusteth in man and ma- 
keth flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he 
shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh, 
but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and 
not inhabited. 

The Jews had withdrawn their dependance from 
God and looked for protection to themselves and 
the auxiliary powers of Egypt. The consequence 
was that they were delivered into the hands of the 
Babylonians to be desolated and destroyed. To 
this our text had primary reference. But it was in- 
tended to apply to men in every age. Instances 
are never wanting of those who put their trust in 
man and whose hearts depart from the Lord ; and 
they are always like the heath in the desert. 

We find two definitions given of a heath. It is a 

* Preached in a revival of religion. 


shrub which grows in barren places ; and the name 
is appHed to the extended plains of the Arabian de- 
sert, which are covered with barren sand, with here 
and there a few unsightly shrubs. This inhospita- 
ble desert, except at the equinoxes, is seldom visit- 
ed with rain ; and the few vegetables it produces 
barely subsist by the refreshment aftbrded by the 
nightly dews. From this neighboring country many 
images were borrowed to illustrate the subjects and 
adorn the writings of the prophets. It is not mate- 
rial in which sense the word is understood in the 
text. It well illustrates the meaning in either sense. 
Those barren deserts, equally with the languishing 
shrubs which they produce, do not see when good 
cometh. Showers may fall on the mountains of 
Canaan, but neither the sand of the desert nor the 
parched shrubs imbibe the refreshing moisture. 
But I choose to consider the allusion as made to 
the sandy plains. While the trees of Canaan spread 
out their roots by the rivers and the dew lies all 
night upon their branches; while the bosom of 
God's vineyard receives the rains of heaven, and 
like a well watered garden, sends forth its pleasant 
fruits, — the rose of Sharon and the lily of the val- 
leys ; — while the eye, perched on Pisgah, is filled 
with the luxuriant scene, spread over the holy moun- 
tains, and sees grouped together, in sweet confu- 
sion, gardens of myrrh, orchards of pomegranates, 
and trees of frankincense ; the desolate wastes of 
the Arabian heaths, doomed to eternal deformity 
and barrenness, never see when good cometh. 
We may now look on the text with perhaps in- 


creased interest. "Thus saith the Lord, Cursed 
be the man that trusteth in man and maketh flesh 
his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. 
For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and 
shall not see when good cometh, but shall inhabit 
the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land 
and not inhabited." 

Let us first ascertain against whom so vehement 
a curse is denounced, and then trace the resem- 
blance between them and the heath in the desert. 

The persons alluded to are those who disclaim 
dependance on God and whose hearts of course 
depart from him. Idolaters of every kind, avowed 
infidels, and all the openly profane, obviously fall 
under this description. But I shall rather select 
three classes otherwise defined, believing that what 
is said of them will better apply to my hearers than 
observations pointed at infidelity or open vice. 

1. Those fall under this condemnation who, 
though outwardly decent, have no realizing sense 
that they are utterly dependant on God for happi- 
ness, and that all true happiness consists in the en- 
joyment of him ; who consequently spend their life 
in searching for happiness among the lumber of 
worldly objects; whose secret influencing feeling is 
that they are independent of God, that if they can 
collect such an amount of wealth and honor they 
can be happy without asking leave of him, and who 
are so occupied in these pursuits as scarcely to 
think of him from day to day. Such people act in 
many respects as though there was no God who is 
constantly supporting their lives, — no God on whom 


they are in all points dependant, — no God whose 
eyes search them through and through, — no God 
who will call them to a strict and awful account for 
the misimprovement of their talents and privileges, 
for their infinite ingratitude and abuse of his pa- 
tience. They plainly trust in other things for hap- 
piness, and think that if they can gain the world 
they can be happy without asking leave of God. 
One consideration proves it true. They do not 
ask leave of God to be happy. In the morning 
they are so anxious to hurry into the business of 
the day where they think their happiness lies, that 
they do not assemble their families and humbly ask 
leave of God to be happy that day. They do not 
even make this petition in their closets. And is it 
not plain that their secret influencing feeUng is they 
need not ask this leave of him ? 

The prayerless, the stupid, and the worldly are 
therefore of the number who inherit the curse de- 
nounced in the text. 

2. There is another class of men who fall under 
this condemnation. They are not indeed stupid 
and prayerless, but anxious and constant in the use 
of means, thinking that now they are making pro- 
gress towards heaven. But Avhat destroys the va- 
lue of all their endeavors is, that they put their trust 
in man and make flesh their arm. They look for 
relief to ministers and christians, to their own re- 
formation, prayers, and good resolutions. By pre- 
sent strictness and devotion they hope to make 
amends for past oflfences, and by the fervor of their 
cries to inspire God with mercy. And when they 


have been a little more engaged than usual, they 
flatter themselves that now his resentments are in 
some measure disarmed. Neglecting to fix all 
their dependance on Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
as the sole Author of a gracious salvation, they are 
still under the curse denounced against those who 
make flesh their arm; and instead of advancing 
nearer to God, their hearts are constantly depart- 
ing from him. Mistaken souls! they are much far- 
ther from the kingdom of heaven than they imagine. 
They have indeed some little sense of sin, but they 
have no adequate impression of the amazing pollu- 
tion of their hearts, — that from the crown to the 
foot there is no soundness, but one entire mass of 
corruption. And they are not overwhelmed with 
astonishment that so much selfishness, pride, and 
idolatry, so much unbelief and hatred of God, so 
much ingratitude and stupidity, so much neglect of 
prayer and profanation of the sabbath, should be 
kept, by long suflfering mercy, so long out of hell. 
They do by no means see the full extent of their 
ruin, and therefore do not feel that they are utterly 
undone, helpless and hopeless in themselves, and 
unsusceptible of deliverance from the infinite depths 
of their misery but by almighty grace. Could they 
once obtain a clear view of their awful depravity, 
they would renounce every thought of doing any- 
thing to help themselves, or that all created power 
would help them, and would lie on their faces in 
sackcloth and ashes, and think of nothing but to 
cry, day and night, " God be merciful to me a sin- 
ner." Let them once see themselves as God sees 


them, and they would no longer be but half in earn- 
est, divided between salvation and the world. They 
would feel that matters have come to a most urgent 
crisis, that there is no more time to be lost, and 
would cast themselves in haste upon the Saviour as 
the only hope of sinners. But as they now are, 
they are bending under the ponderous curse de- 
nounced against those who put their trust in man 
and whose hearts depart from the Lord. 

3. There is still another class under this curse. 
They are not neglectful of religious forms; they 
are not awakened by the Spirit of God. They are 
chained to death by a false hope. Some of them 
are in the Church, some are out ; but whether out 
or in, they are depending on a form of godliness 
without the power. Punctual as others perhaps in 
their attendance on ordinances, they are never 
roused to strong desires and efforts for the Redeem- 
er's kingdom. Though " the secret of the Lord 
is with them that fear him," yet he comes to build 
up Zion without telling them. Though he comes in 
answer to the prayers of his people, they must know 
it is not in answer to theirs. Though at such a sea- 
son the children of God have groanings which can- 
not be uttered, they, except a little animal sympathy, 
remain as cold as ever. They sleep " in harvest," 
and therefore have the decisive mark of a " son that 
causeth shame." Such a season as this is the grand 
test to discover false hopes. The wise and foolish 
virgins slept together undistinguished till the bride- 
groom came. Never till the wheat grew were the 
tares known ; " but when the blade was sprung up 


and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares 

This is represented as a very numerous class 
even in the Church of Christ. " Five — were wise 
and five were foolish." 

Having thus found three classes who fall under 
the sentence of the text, I will search no farther 
for objects of the curse, but will proceed to show 
how these resemble the heath in the desert. I will 
still consider the three classes distinctly. 

First, of the prayerless, the stupid, and the 
worldly. These resemble the heath, 

1. In their barrenness and deformity. Their 
Creator gave them abundant powers to bring forth 
fruit. He has cultivated them by the selectest 
means ; by his word and ordinances, by " precept 
upon precept, line upon line," by his sabbaths and 
a preached Gospel, by his long and pleading calls, 
by the often repeated influences of his Spirit ; until 
he can appeal to heaven and earth, " What could 
have been done more to my vineyard that I have 
not done in it ?" And after all his pains, and not- 
withstanding his undeniable claims to the fruits of 
his own vineyard, when he comes year after year 
seeking fruit therein, he finds it only a barren heath, 
yielding nothing to recompense his pains. Noth- 
ing ? aye worse than nothing, — a crop of mis- 
shapen shrubs which only offend the sight and ren- 
der the heath still more forlorn. When he looked 
for fruit it brought forth wild fruit, — the grapes of 
Sodom and the clusters of Gomorrah. Instead of 
consecrating their powers to God which is their rea- 

VOL. 1. 48 


sonable service, they devote them to rebellion. In- 
stead of blessing him for their existence and all his 
hourly mercies, they cherish enmity against him. 
Though he created the world and furnished it and 
placed them in it on purpose to serve him, and has 
supported them so many years that they might live 
and labor for him ; though he has redeemed them 
from eternal death to give them still an opportunity 
to serve him ; though he has so long kept them out 
of hell on the express condition that they should 
devote their lengthened lives to his service, and has 
waited upon them and labored with them for so 
many years, under so many discouragements, to see 
if at length they would not feel some ingenuous 
compunctions and return to his service ; yet, to the 
shame of all creation, they refuse to serve him still. 
Their lives are wholly taken up in dishonoring 
him. What visage is not covered with shame and 
what heart is not filled with grief at sight of such 
unfeeling depravity ? 

2. They resemble the heath in that they are deso- 
late, forsaken, and unblest. The desert is un- 
cheered by any of those pleasant scenes which fill 
the vales of Canaan with gladness. No voice of 
joy or song is heard on the heath. While those 
who wait on God are refreshed like Eden after rain, 
when she sends forth her fragrance as from a thou- 
sand altars of incense ; these, like sandy deserts, 
are the seats only of desolation and wo. " The 
wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, 
whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no 
peace, saith my God, to the wicked." " The way 


of transgressors is hard," " and the way of peace 
have they not known." But the ways of wisdom 
" are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are 
peace." " Great peace have they which love thy 
law, and nothing shall offend them ;" " and in keep- 
ing of" it " there is great reward." It is a just de- 
cree of heaven that those who consume their lives 
in sin should consume them in sorrow, — that those 
who resemble the heath in deformity and barrenness, 
should resemble it in desolation and wo. 

3. In times of special refreshment in Canaan the 
heath knows not " when good cometh." While 
the holy land is wet with drops from the yearning 
eye of heaven, and sends forth leaves of the palm- 
tree and clusters of the vine, the Arabic^n deserts, 
fated to be parched with everlasting drought, re- 
main as desolate as before. This feature of resem- 
blance is deeply affecting in such a day as this. 
While showers of grace are watering the rest of 
the land and calling forth fruits from every rood of 
holy ground, these barren sands know not when 
good cometh. While Jesus of Nazareth is passing 
by and some are as solemn as eternity, these can 
go jocundly along to their labors and diversions, 
and, Gallio-like, care for none of these things. 
While others with anxious tears are entreatinjr to 
know what they shall do to be saved, these, as 
though they had no souls, are locking themselves 
up from thought and burying themselves in business 
and pleasure. Perhaps God comes near them and 
plucks some from ruin before their eyes. Perhaps 
he enters their houses and takes one from their ta- 



ble and another from their bed ; but they, as though 
locked fast in the slumbers of eternal death, take 
little notice of what is passing. Instead of seizing 
the golden moment of calling upon God while he 
is near, they lose the opportunity, though it is pro- 
bably the last that they ever will have before they 
are either in eternity or hardened past recovery. 
Are not such people distracted ? Why do they not 
arise and call upon God before destruction over- 
whelms them ? 

4. The showers which sometimes fall on the 
Arabian heaths, instead of rendering them fruitful, 
serve only to promote the growth of the misshapen 
shrubs which render their deformity still more dis- 
figured. In like manner the influences of heaven, 
which sometimes fall on this class of men, serve 
only to stir up their pride and enmity, to call forth 
a more fatal resistance of the Holy Ghost, to sink 
them into seven fold stupidity and hardness, and in 
many instances to seal their eternal doom. 

5. It is to be feared that many of these persons 
resemble the heath in a still more awful respect. 
The heath can never be made a fruitful field. 
Whatever showers fall upon it, it still remains a 
wide, dreary waste of sand. With all my heart I 
should be glad to hope that none of my hearers an- 
swer this description: yet alas is there not too 
much reason to fear it ! God has exhausted means 
upon them, but in vain. He has called them by his 
word, by his Spirit, and by his providence. He 
has torn their friends from their bleeding side and 
lodged them in the grave. He has laid them upon 


beds of sickness and brought them to look death in 
the face. All has been done that means could do, 
but all to no purpose. Is there not solemn reason 
to fear that nothing will ever avail? And even 
now, in this day of merciful visitation, their pride, 
and perhaps their malignity, is arrayed against eve- 
ry impression and is fearfully resisting the Holy 
Ghost; and they are likely to remain inveterate 
until the season is past and they are perhaps sealed. 
At any rate there is little probability that they will 
be called in in stupid times, or that they will both 
live to see and have a heart to improve another re- 
vival. What are such people dreaming about that 
they do not break from their slumbers, like men 
awoke in a burning house, and flee for their lives ? 
It is too probable that the ruin of some of them is 
already sealed, and that while they are looking for- 
ward to future conversion, it is settled by a judi- 
cial sentence that such an event shall never take 
place. This may be the case with some who are 
turning these things off upon others, with little 
thought that they are the very persons intended. 
And yet for this self same reason they are likely to 
be the very persons. 

After what has been said it will not be diflicult to 
discover in what respects the second class resemble 
the heath in the desert. They still retain their false 
dependencies and their hearts depart from the Lord. 
All the showers which have fallen on these desolate 
wastes have only called forth certain weeds into 
greater luxuriance. The light thrown on the divine 
character has only increased their enmity. They 


are sinning against greater knowledge and greater 
mercy than they ever did before. In these respects 
they never sinned at so great a rate. While others 
who have had similar calls are made rich for eter- 
nity, these do not see when good cometh. They 
remain desolate and uncheered by those consola- 
tions which gladden the hearts of God's people. 
And it is but too probable that some of them con- 
tinuing unfruitful under all cultivation will be doom- 
ed, like the heath, to perpetual barrenness. 

Some of the awakened may here feel themselves 
hard pressed and be ready to say, I cannot change 
my own heart: I do the best I can, and what can I 
do more ? If by the best you can you mean the best 
that you are disposed to do, the same is true of the 
thief and the robber. But if you claim to act up to 
the full extent of your natural powers, the word of 
God is against you. That declares that you have 
eyes but see not, and ears but hear not, and places 
all your embarrassment in the depravity of your 
heart, — in just such a heart as prevents the male- 
volent man from loving his neighbor and the thief 
from being honest: and if you can thus excuse your- 
selves, the whole race of sinners in earth and hell 
will cover themselves with the same plea. 

Will you pretend that you do the best you can? 
the best you can for a single day? How little time 
do you devote to secret prayer. How many words 
and actions which you know to be wrong escape 
you. O could you see the infinite wickedness of 
your hearts and lives, you would drop all these ex- 
cuses in a moment and vent your whole soul in the 


impassioned cry, " God, be merciful to me a sin- 
ner." But as it is, you lie under the fearful curse 
denounced against those who make flesh their arm 
and whose hearts depart from the Lord. Take in 
this opiate a little longer and the day of grace will 
be past, and you must remain like the heath in the 
desert which never sees when good cometh. 

The third class resemble the heath in deformity 
and barrenness. Though they resort to sacraments 
and transact with covenants, or at least hope in 
God's mercy, they never bring forth fruit. Through 
all their souls the eye of God sees nothing better 
than sin. They are desolate and without consola- 
tion. The influences of heaven fall on others, but 
they remain the same. In all the bursting glory 
of a revival, they remain much the same. And so 
they will remain in all probability till they die and 
take their place with Judas and with Ananias and 
Sapphira. O it will be a fearful thing to go down 
with them from hopes and sacraments and vows. 
Ten thousand times will you wish that you had been 
born a heathen, that you had lived an infidel, that 
you had died like the despairing Voltaire and 
Hume. Any thing but to go down from a hope in 
Christ and from the privileges of the christian 

I know I have been long already, but I cannot 
stop. Let me come nearer to these three classes 
and pour upon them my whole soul. 

1. I will address myself to those who, wholly bu- 
ried in the world, cast oflf fear and restrain prayer. 
Unhappy men, for one moment examine the ground 


on which you stand. While you are living thought- 
less of your Maker you are altogether in his hands. 
You are constantly suspended over the burning lake 
on the palm of the hand of an angry God. You 
slept there all last night ; you lie there to-day: and 
should he turn his hand you fall to rise no more. 
While you are dreaming that if you could obtain 
so much of the world you would have no occasion 
to ask leave of God to be happy, and while you are 
practically saying that you have no need of him, 
but can break your way through and be happy 
though he be your enemy, think for a moment, — 
mortal man, what are you about? How easy for him 
to dash your hopes in ten thousand ways. When 
you arise in the morning and hurry into the business 
of the day without calling on his name, thinking 
that you can find happiness without him, how easy 
for him to turn his hand and let you down into hell 
before night. Where is your reason that in your 
circumstances you can set up for independence? 
you who every moment need so much done for you. 
While lying under the wrath of God and in such 
perishing need of his pardoning grace, surely you 
have chosen the very worst period in your existence 
to set up for independence. Under such circum- 
stances what can one mean to think of being happy 
without asking leave of God? How dare you live 
another hour without prayer? Hark, how it thun- 
ders. "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man 
and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart depart- 
eth from the Lord." Does it not move you to hear 
that God has such feelings towards you and de- 


nounces such a curse against you ? Do you pur- 
pose to wear out life in this fatal search after inde- 
pendent happiness? Can you hope to maintain 
your ground ? It is the fixed determination of the 
Almigjity that you shall not ; — that if you will not 
return and seek happiness of him alone, he will 
crush you beneath his feet. O that you knew in 
this your day the things that belong to your peace, 
before they are hidden from your eyes. While the 
showers of heaven are falling around you, you 
might become rich for eternity. What pity that 
you should once again lose seasons on which so 
much depends. Will you forever remain like the 
heath in the desert ? If tears would avail we would 
weep over you with the weeping of Jazer. But 
tears and entreaties have hitherto been to no pur- 
pose. Shall every thing be lost upon you ? Shall 
the influences of the Holy Ghost be thrown away 
upon you ? I entreat, I beseech you, let not this 
precious season be like those which are now with 
the years beyond the flood. Jt may be the last. 
For once have compassion on your own souls. 

2. I will apply the subject to the awakened. In 
the name of God I warn you not to place your de- 
pendance on any helper below the skies. Trust not 
in your own strength, nor in the purchasing influ- 
ence of your own duties. Rest not on ministers or 
christians. The arm of an angel is too short to 
save. Only he who expired on Calvary can bring 
the mighty blessing. Repair immediately to him. 
Spread your wants before him. Cast your souls 
upon him. Offend him no longer by your obstinate 

Vol. I. 49 


delay. Grieve him no longer by refusing him your 
confidence, — a confidence which he has so richly 
earned. He has a heart to pity the wretched though 
unworthy. His arms are open to receive you. If 
the voice of Sinai thundering in our text be un- 
heeded, O let the inviting voice of Calvary woo 
you to his arms. 

3. I would address those who dream that they 
love God better than father or mother or life, and 
yet are sluggish and unconcerned in such a day as 
this; in other words, those who are chained to 
death by a false hope. This is the most frightful 
description of people we meet with in revivals. In- 
fidels are on the open field of battle ,* mockers are 
on the open field, and we know where to find them ; 
but these skulk under our feet and we stumble over 
them : we lean upon them and they let us fall : we 
confide in them and they betray us to the enemy. 
They are the most perplexing and discouraging of 
all men. They stand in the way ; they cumber the 
ground,— the consecrated ground of the vineyard 
itself; they are only fit for the flames. 

Unhappy men, I have nothing to do with you at 
present but to assail your false hope. Others I 
urge to come and embrace a Saviour ; you I would 
tear away from your lying hold of him. But I shall 
not prevail. I shall probably shake hopes, but not 
yours. It is easy to alarm the humble, who know 
the deceitfulness of their hearts ; but to demolish a 
false hope, deeply embedded in selfishness and igno- 
rance, and sworn to by the grand deceiver, this the 
labor, this the task is. I would rather undertake 


to convert ten infidels, than to demolish one false 
hope, especially if pampered by the sacramental 
elements. I thought to make an address to you, 
but I turn away discouraged. I seem to hear him 
say, "He which is filthy let him be filthy still." 
There is very little prospect that your hope will 
ever leave you until it is sunk in eternal despair. 

Finally, let the children of God, — the dear, lov'd 
children of God, — renounce all remaining confi- 
dence in creature resources, — broken cisterns, — and 
receive what with all my heart I present them, the 
precious promises which succeed our text : " Blessed 
is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope 
the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by 
the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the 
river, and shall not see when heat cometh ; but her 
leaf shall be green, and shall not be careful in the 
year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding 



Mat. XI. 12.* 

And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of hea- 
ven suflfereth violence and the violent take it by force. 

This refers to a remarkable revival of religion 
which commenced under the preaching of John and 
continued during the ministry of Jesus. In that 
day of God's power people flocked to hear the Gos- 
pel and with mighty efforts pressed into the king- 
dom of God. There was all the earnestness com- 
mon to modern revivals ; and this the Saviour, so 
far from rebuking under the character of irregular 
warmth, as modern formalists do, distinctly approv- 
ed. He speaks of it as though it was an attack 
upon a fortified city which must be carried by 
storm : and that single figure shows what ideas he 
had of the exertions needful in this conflict. '''Ago- 

* Preached in a revival of religion. 


m^e," said he, " to enter in at the straight gate." 
He would have men come up to the work with all 
that agony which is necessary in sacking a strong 
city : and that agony diffused through a community 
presents all the earnestness of a revival of religion, 
— of that revival in particular to which the Saviour 
referred with so much approbation. 

Make a law that men shall never break over that 
formal round in which they are accustomed to 
move when their heart is cold and engrossed by 
business or science, and you never will rouse the 
multitude from sleep, — you never will break the en- 
chantment which binds them to the world, — you 
never will lift them above their pride, which stands 
like an armed giant to guard the door of their pri- 

The necessity for these strong exertions arises 
from the immense difficulties in the way. These 
difficulties may be classed under the following 

1. The world, as comprehending both objects of 
attention and objects of attachment. As the first, 
it diverts the attention from God and eternity and 
holds it spell-bound to earth. Business and amuse- 
ment and vain society throw an enchantment over 
the mind and allure and enchain it as by magic. As 
the second, it plunges men into the grossest and 
most incurable idolatry. Honor, wealth, and plea- 
sure become their trinity. And what an obstacle 
this is to salvation the Scriptures plainly teach. 
" How can ye believe which receive honor one of 
another ?" " It is easier for a camel to go through 


the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter in- 
to the kingdom of God." " That which fell among 
thorns are they which — are choked with — pleasures 
of this life." 

2. The devil and all his angels. " We wrestle 
not against flesh and blood, but against principali- 
ties, against powers, against the rulers of the dark- 
ness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in 
high places." These subtle spirits, knowing all 
our weaknesses and all the avenues to our hearts, 
do all they can to prevent sinners from being awa- 
kened, to prevent the awakened from submitting to 
Christ, and to embarrass and perplex believers. 
They seduce the awakened back or delude them 
with false hopes. They lead them into errors and 
sins, by which they grieve the Spirit to their de- 

3. The flesh with all its passions and lusts. Su- 
preme selfishness turns the man into a confirmed 
enemy of God. His pride is afraid to go over to 
his Prince or to make a motion towards him, lest 
his companions in revolt should deride. It clings 
to the worldly honors that are to be renounced. 
It cannot bear to lie down under the convictions of 
guilt or to come as a beggar to sue for pardon on 
account of another. Pride and selfishness engen- 
der unbelief, which stupifies the soul and excludes 
a sense of eternal things, — a sense of sin and ruin. 
The lusts and passions fasten upon the world and 
turn a thousand objects into idols. They keep the 
stupid from being awakened, the awakened from 
accepting a Saviour, and raise in the believer a war 
which nothing but death can terminate. 


The whole soul gravitates towards the earth, and 
it is as unnatural for it to rise to God as it is for 
the body to ascend to heaven. These corruptions 
render the heart invincibly obdurate, so that all the 
commands and entreaties of God, all his promises 
and threatenings, all the light of this world and all 
the sufferings of the next, cannot subdue it. Though 
the sinner, arrested by the Spirit and overwhelmed 
with guilt, stands trembling over the eternal pit; 
though a bleeding Saviour shows him his hands and 
his side, and offers him pardon and a crown of glory, 
with entreaties that might move a rock ; the invin- 
cible traitor still urges his way to hell : and when 
he arrives there, not all the tortures of the damned, 
nor the certainty that continued sin will eternally in- 
crease his torments, will ever bring him to one right 
feeling towards his Maker. 

4. The difficulty of dissolving long connected as- 
sociations, and of breaking up long established 
habits, and of issuing forth into new courses of ac- 
tion ; the difficulty of transferring the affections to 
God which have long been given to the world, of 
bringing one to tread the valley of humility who has 
long stalked in pride, of inuring lips to prayer which 
have long been profane. "Can the Ethiopean 
change his skin or the leopard his spots ? then may 
ye also do good that are accustomed to do evil." 

These immense difficulties are not to be overcome 
without great and continued efforts. It is by far 
the most difficult work that ever man attempted. 
Hence the life of christians is compared to run- 
ning, wrestling, fighting, and they are exhorted to 


endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. 
All men are commanded to agonize to enter in at 
the strait gate, and are warned that the kingdom of 
heaven suffereth violence and that the violent take 
it by force. All are required to watch and to pray 
without ceasing. And yet even " the righteous 
scarcely" are "saved." It will be an everlasting 
wonder to see one of our race in heaven. 

But I seem to hear objections raised against all 

Objection I. You say the hardness of sinners is 
invincible, and now you call upon them to conquer 

Answer. Their hardness arises from the wicked- 
ness of their own hearts, and ought not to remain 
a moment ; and although means cannot subdue it, 
they ought to subdue it themselves. It is invinci- 
ble to all others, but not invincible to themselves. 

Objection II. This transferring of the affections 
to God is the work of the Spirit, and is not to be 
done by human strength and resolution. It is not 
like a worldly task in which men are to apply their 
natural strength in proportion to the difficulties they 
meet, because that natural strength is to accom- 
plish the whole work. 

Answer. The transferring of the affections to 
God is the work of the creature, although the moral 
strength or inclination comes from God, and the 
creature is solemnly commanded to perform it. And 
we may set before men the whole work which they 
ought to perform and urge them to exertions in pro- 
portion to the difficulties involved. Their depen- 

Vol. I. 5 


dance on God for moral strength is no reason why 
they should not proportion the exertions to the dif- 
ficulties, for the work is still to be done by their 
own agency as much as though they were indepen- 
dent. If men are not to make great efforts in dif- 
ficult matters because their moral strength comes 
from God, they must not make any efforts in easy 
matters because their moral strength comes from 
God. The truth is, that while they must cast them- 
selves on the Spirit for moral strength to do any 
thing great or small, the thing is done by acts of 
their own, and what is more difficult, by greater 
exertion, and what is less difficult, by less exertion. 
This is obviously the case in every thing which 
depends on the established laws of nature. We 
make greater efforts to lift a large weight than a 
small one. And why should it not be so in every 
thing which is accomplished by our own agency, 
whether the strength be obtained in a natural or 
supernatural way, and whether it be natural or mo- 
ral ? We have to take our affections from idols 
and give them to God, and crucify our lusts, as 
much as we have to ascend a hill or to walk a plain. 
We certainly call upon christians to make greater 
efforts in more difficult duties, though their moral 
strength is supernaturally derived. 

Objection III. The work is difficult only because 
men are sinful. They ought not to allow it to be 
difficult. And instead of calling upon them for new 
exertions on account of the difficulty, you ought to 
require them instantly to make it easy. 

Answer. We certainly ought to require them to 


be holy as God is holy. They are bound to be thus 
because they have natural ability or the faculties of 
a rational soul. But when we speak of their ability 
as a reason for their obligation, it is because that 
ability is capable of an effort in proportion to the 
difficulties to be overcome : otherwise it would not 
be an ability. Now to break up old associations 
and habits and to enter on new courses of action, 
involve an intrinsic difficulty which was never felt 
before the fall, and which therefore is superadded 
to the original work of serving God. Can we ex- 
pect men to rise above this difficulty without an ef- 
fort ? The thing is impossible ? 

Objection IV. It is not right to call upon the un- 
regenerate to bring to the work their own increased 
energies and resolution, and especially to put forth 
exertions in proportion to the difficulties to be over- 
come, as though all was to be done by their own 
strength, when the main point is to make them die 
to all hope from themselves and fall helpless at their 
Maker's feet. 

Answer. We certainly have a right to call upon 
them to do their whole duty, and therefore to put 
forth exertions in proportion to the difficulties to be 
overcome. And if they would do this they would 
have no occasion to cast themselves dead and help- 
less upon God's sovereign will. They ought in- 
stantly to cast themselves on his Spirit for all their 
moral strength and to go forward to their whole du- 
ty. But instead of this they attempt to go in their 
own moral strength, in a feeling of independence, 
and with an impenitent, self-righteous, unbelieving 


heart; and they never will succeed. And when 
they see that they never shall succeed nor move 
God to subdue them, they will, if they act accord- 
ing to truth, cast themselves upon his sovereign 
will. They are prone to put their own moral power 
in the room of the Holy Ghost, and their own du- 
ties in the room of the atonement and righteousness 
of Christ, and their own prayers in the room of his 
intercession ; and thus they sustain themselves. 
But the moment they are torn from this self-depen- 
dance, they must fall upon Christ, or upon the so- 
vereign will of God, or into blank despair. It is 
their wickedness which keeps them from going for- 
ward to duty ; and when they will not do this, it is 
their self-righteousness and self-dependance which 
keep them from falling upon Christ or upon the so- 
vereign will of God. Now the question is, does 
the urging of them to duty prevent them from fall- 
ing helpless on God's sovereign will ? So far from 
this, it is the very best means to bring them to the 
point. That urgency will put them upon exertion, 
and that exertion will show them their utter insuf- 
ficiency to deliver themselves. They never will be 
convinced till they have thoroughly tried, — till they 
have exhausted their own moral strength. The 
strongest efforts are necessary for awakened sin- 
ners in two respects ; first, as the natural effects of 
that view of sin and ruin which is needed to show 
them the greatness of their deliverance and what 
they owe to their deliverer ; and secondly, to con- 
vince them, by the failure of all their efforts, that 
in a moral sense they are utterly helpless and hope- 


less in themselves, and to bring them to cast them- 
selves dead at their Maker's feet and own him for 
their deliverer. 

But the efforts of the impenitent and unbelieving 
are not the violence referred to in the text. This 
leads me, in the second place, to consider the na- 
ture of the violence intended. 

1. It must be accompanied vrith supreme desire 
and vrith corresponding earnestness and diligence. 
You must covet salvation more than the riches, 
honors, and pleasures of the world, and be willing 
to forego every thing for this. You must come up 
to the struggle with all your heart and soul, or 
nothing will be done. Sluggish exertions will ne- 
ver avail. The mighty care must be fixed upon 
your heart from morning to night. It must swal- 
low up every thing else. If you will not come up 
to this, you may as well give up the struggle and 
conclude to lie down in everlasting sorrows. Sit 
down therefore and count the cost. If ease or plea- 
sure or the world is so valuable that you cannot 
break from them and come up undividedly to this 
effort, why then you must die. It must be one or 
the other. Take your choice. The highest promise 
to you in the Bible is in these words : " Ye shall 
seek me and find me when ye shall search for me 
with all your heart." 

This earnestness must be attended with a sincere 
desire to be delivered from sin, to be holy as God 
is holy, to serve and glorify him, and to find your 
heaven in communion with him. This implies sin- 
cere love to God. 


2. It must be accompanied with true repentance, 
— with deep self-abhorrence, — with a broken heart, 
— with an actual turning from sin. 

3. It must be marked with submission ; not set- 
ting up your own will against the will of God, nor 
your own interest against the interest of God ; not 
dictating to him, nor counselling him, nor urging him 
as loath ; not thinking to take heaven by storm and 
to wrest it out of his hands whether he will or not, 
but saying continually, " Not my will but thine be 

4. You must offer " the prayer of the destitute." 
You must renounce your own moral strength and 
cast yourselves for moral strength on the Spirit of 
God, deeply feeling your utter weakness and de- 
pendance. Had Gideon and David met their ene- 
mies in their own strength, they would not have 
prevailed ; but when they went forth in the name 
of the Lord, " one" could " chase a thousand and 
two" could "put ten thousand to flight." You 
must sensibly feel that you deserve eternal death, 
and that the law is just in condemning you ; that 
you have no righteousness of your own, no claim 
on God, no power to make atonement for a single 
sin, no power to purchase eternal life, no power to 
procure any favor from God, no hope but in sove- 
reign mercy, no hope but in Jesus Christ ; and you 
must cast yourselves on him as the only ground of 
pardon, as having purchased eternal life for his 
people by his obedience, as the " Heir" who has 
received the inheritance for the " joint heirs," as 
the manager and distributor of the whole estate, as 
the intercessor on high. 


I wish to apply this subject solemnly to three de- 
scriptions of people. 

1. To those who are opposed to any great ear- 
nestness or any uncommon movement in religion. 
You and the Saviour are fairly at issue here. He 
exhorts to agonize and to take the kingdom of hea- 
ven by violence ; you advise, Let there be no vio- 
lence, no agony, but leave religion to occupy a lei- 
sure hour. And why is it more irrational to be in 
earnest about religion than about other things f In 
commercial and political concerns, men will com- 
pass sea and land ; and why may they not show a 
little zeal for the salvation of the soul ? In times 
of war the greatest exertions are deemed necessa- 
ry; and is nothing needed but your sluggishness to 
overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil? 
May everything else be sought with earnestness 
but the kingdom of heaven? Why is it worse to 
expose the constitution to the evening air for the 
worship of God, than on worldly business, or at 
the theatre, or at assemblies ? For shame give up 
this objection or avow yourself an infidel. 

2. To awakened sinners. "If the righteous 
scarcely be saved, where" will you " appear ?" If 
the faith of christians is barely sufficient to over- 
come the world, — if they must take firm hold of the 
strength of Qod to triumph over principalities and 
powers, — if all their humility and grief for sin are 
hardly enough to cope with pride and a hard heart, 
how are you to prevail without any faith or repen- 
tance, and wholly relying on your own strength ? 
If with half of their heart won over, and with all 


the moral strength derived from heaven, they find 
it hard to maintain the contest with the other half, 
what will you do against your whole heart and with 
no ally in heaven ? Be it known to you, my unhap- 
py hearers, that your present violence will never 
prevail. It has by some been compared to the 
ploughing and sowing of the husbandman; but 
there is no established constitution, (neither any 
covenant nor any uniform mode of divine opera- 
tion,) according to which your efforts tend to sal- 
vation ; and they will forever be in vain without a 
special interposition in your favor. You have ne- 
ver broken up "your fallow ground," but have 
sown " among thorns" or on a rock ; and you have 
sown "thistles — instead of wheat and cockle in- 
stead of barley." From Genesis to Revelation 
there is not a promise to anything you have ever 
done. If God ever gives you a new heart, it will 
not be for one exertion you ever made, or in an- 
swer to a single prayer you ever offered. Not be- 
cause you are not able, but because you are so ob- 
stinately wicked. You are altogether in his hands. 
Your last hope hangs on his sovereign will. You 
lie wholly at the mercy of him whom you have 
made your enemy by wicked works. If he frown 
you die. Fall down at his feet till he shall raise 
and heal and bid you live. 

3. If obstacles lie in the way to heaven which 
the awakened will never surmount, and which the 
righteous, with all their watchings and prayers, can 
scarcely transcend, — there is a question which 
comes down with the weight of a thousand worlds, 


— where will the stupid, prayerless sinners appear ? 
Here are men shut up in a burning house : some 
break through the flames and with the greatest dif- 
ficulty escape : what chance remains for those who 
are asleep in the upper stories ? A number are 
confined to a burning city, environed with besieging 
armies : all the passages from the town are broken 
by dangerous moats and trenches : a few valiant 
hearts burst through the flames, break through the 
hostile ranks, leap the ditches and banks, and es- 
cape with their lives : others are asleep amidst the 
flames. What but inevitable destruction awaits 
these, unless they instantly awake, and with the 
strength of a giant and the activity of an angel, 
break their way through a thousand deaths ? — 
Wretched men, you see the difficulties so great that 
many will seek to enter in and will not be able : 
when, where, and by whom then are you to be deli- 
vered ? Do you think to surmount all these obsta- 
cles while you sleep ? Go to the christian's closet 
and see his daily wrestlings : go with him into the 
world and observe his habitual watchfulness, kept up 
for thirty or forty years ; and all to conquer those 
very difficulties which lie in the way of your salva- 
tion ; while you have never made a motion. So 
many years have you lived in God's world, and now 
death is hastening on, and you have never yet begun 
your work, and still remain unconcerned as though 
you had nothing to do. Were you not blind you 
would see your heart full of idolatry and enmity 
against God ; you would see earth and hell leagued 
against your salvation. And how are all these dif- 
VoL. 1. 5 1 


ficulties to be overcome ? No man ever yet con- 
quered them without strong and persevering exer- 
tions : when, where, and by whom then are you to 
conquer ? You have never yet roused to an anxi- 
ous effort ; how and when is victory to be achiev- 
ed ? 

But the great deceiver tells you, it is easy to be- 
come religious at any time, and it will be enough to 
have a few hours' warning of death. But ask those 
who have tried, and they will all give you a differ- 
ent account. Ask your companions. As soon as 
one of their number made the attempt, unexpected 
difficulties started up before him. He was alarmed 
at their magnitude and number, and was driven to 
despair of success from himself, and confessed that 
if a long abused God did not pluck him from de- 
struction, he must perish. And here you are dream- 
ing of an easy work, sure to be accomplished before 
you die ; but how or when you take little thought. 
What distraction to defer this work till a dying hour, 
in the confidence of being aided by him whom, un- 
der that hope, you are now abusing. And should 
he desert you then, think you that your poor, weak, 
wicked, dying nature would perform the mighty 
task alone ? 

But it is an easy thing to prepare for death. 
Well then try and see. If it is so easy it will cost 
you but little trouble ; and surely heaven is worth 
a little trouble. And if it is so small a matter to 
make everything sure for eternity, what madness to 
run the risk of losing all by a sudden death or by 
the loss of reason. What folly to put it to a mo- 


ment's hazard. On the contrary, if it is so difficult, 
it ought to be entered upon without delay. 

Others say, I cannot change my own heart, and 
God does not see fit to change it ; what can I do 
but wait his time ? This you say to justify your- 
selves and to cast the blame on God. It is the plea 
of the slothful servant, " I knew thee that thou art 
a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown and 
gathering where thou hast not strowed." But out 
of your own mouth shall you be judged. If God 
requires more than you can do, is that a reason 
why you should do nothing ? why you should sin 
against him with all your might ? Is this the way 
to conciliate a hard master who has you altogether 
in his power ? But you do not believe this plea 
yourselves. If you did you would not be so easy. 
Were you locked up in a burning house, and the 
key in the hands of a cruel master, we should not 
see you laughing and singing about the apartments, 
but agonized with terror. You need help from 
God, — but is this a reason why you should neglect 
to ask help of him? Can you hope that he will 
save you while you are buried in the world and re- 
fuse to pray ? And when is your case to be better? 
Every day you are growing more hardened ; every 
hour the chances against you are increasing ; and 
here you are waiting for future conviction, as thou- 
sands did who are now in hell. 

What is still more affecting in the case of all the 
careless, you are losing this inestimable season of 
grace. The Holy Ghost, in infinite kindness, has 


come down from heaven to invite you, and yet you 
trample the mercy under foot. You see others 
around you pressing into the kingdom of God, and 
you will not move a finger, but wait, like a stock, 
for God to move upon you. You see them taken 
from you and you are left as men abandoned of 
God. And yet you will not move. You are about 
to let a Saviour go, though in all probability it is 
the last time that he will pass this way in season to 
open your eyes. There is very little chance for 
you in stupid times ; and after you have rejected 
the Holy Ghost through this revival, there is solemn 
reason to fear that you may not live to see another, 
or if you should, that you will be left like the heath 
in the desert. As this season leaves you so it is 
likely you will remain to eternity. O if you have 
any reason left, awake without delay and take the 
kingdom of heaven by violence. Have you resolved 
to perish let God and his people do what they will ? 
If you throw this season away, I ask again, when 
do you expect to prepare for death ? When ? 
Must we take an eternal leave of you and see you 
forever lifting up your eyes in torments ? This we 
have distressing reason to fear. You have resisted 
the tears of parents and the solemn expostulations 
of ministers. You have resisted all that heaven 
could do in a way of means. What hope then re- 
mains? O go not from this house till you have 
awoke to sleep no more, like those who are awoke 
by the last trump. 

I have done my errand. And now, when the 


last trump shall sound, if we shall see you emerg- 
ing from the grave stamped with the horrid emblems 
of the damned, and convulsed with horror at the 
prodigies of the opening judgment, blame not me, 
— blame not God. I call heaven and earth to wit- 
nes that your blood will be upon your own head. 



John xviii. 

As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward 
and fell to the ground. 

There is a use in selecting some specimens of 
the human heart and holding them up as a mirror 
in which all may see themselves. " As in water 
face answereth to face, so the heart of man to 
man." For though there are small constitutional 
diversities, and different degrees of restraint, and 
different degrees of ignorance and hardness, of pre- 
judice and infatuation, the essential character of 
all is the same. All lions are lions and not lambs, 
though there are small diversities among them. 
Men are alike by nature in all the great characte- 
ristics. They do not love God ; therefore they 
love themselves supremely ; therefore they hate the 

• Preached in a revival of religion. 


God of the law. As sure as they are governed by 
motives, they must hate the God who stands over 
them and says, If you do not love me better than 
yourselves, I will dash the interests you so dearly 
love to all eternity. They are full of pride ; and 
selfishness and pride, separately and jointly, pro- 
duce unbelief. They are enslaved by sensible ob- 
jects ', and when hardened by habits of sin and a re- 
sistance of the calls of God, they are proof against 
every thing. I have selected the text, and the story 
of which it is a part, in order to exhibit a fair sam- 
ple of the human heart, — of your heart under the 
same circumstances. 

Judas, having made up his mind to betray his 
Master, went to " the chief priests and captains " 
and agreed to do it for a bribe. About these cap- 
tains there are different opinions. Some suppose 
they were officers of the Roman band which guard- 
ed the temple at the time of the passover, which 
officers were selected from among the Jews ; others 
think they were officers for constructing and repair- 
ing the buildings of the temple ; others think they 
were priests whose particular office it was to ap- 
prehend those who transgressed in sacred things. 
From that time the traitor " sought opportunity to 
betray him unto them in the absence of the multi- 
tude.'''' He was at the passover after this, and went 
out between the passover and the supper, to make 
ready for the infamous expedition. After supper, 
and after Christ had uttered those memorable words 
in the 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th of John, he went 
out to the garden of Gethsemane, whither he had 


often resorted with his disciples. In the mean time 
Judas received " from the chief priests and phari- 
sees " " a band of men and officers." In the tower 
of Antonia, at the northwest angle of the temple, a 
Roman garrison was kept, which, from its emi- 
nence, commanded the temple, and through that, 
the city. A detachment from that garrison, under 
Jewish officers, guarded the temple at the time of 
the passover. This detachment, or the greater part 
of it, constituting " a great multitude," some say 
500, others 1,000, were committed to Judas, and 
accompanied by some of "the chief priests and 
captains of the temple and the elders." The band 
was made so strong and armed " with swords and 
staves," from an evident apprehension that "the 
multitude" might attempt a rescue. And though 
it was the time of the full moon, they went out 
"with lanterns and torches," determined, if he 
should hide himself, to search for him in every 
corner. How active and vigilant are the persecu- 
tors, while the disciples are asleep. " Now he that 
betrayed him gave them a sign, saying. Whomso- 
ever I shall kiss, that same is he, hold him fast. 
And forthwith he came to Jesus and said. Hail, 
Master, and kissed him." Then "Jesus — went 
forth and said unto them, Whom seek ye ? They 
answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto 
them, I am he. — As soon then as he had said unto 
them, I am he, they went backward and fell to the 
ground." They are seized with a strange superna- 
tural terror : they are thunderstruck and sink to the 
earth. Soldiers and officers, chief priests and eU 

Vol. I. 62 


ders, captains of the temple and the traitor Judas, 
all are prostrate together, — according to that pro- 
phetic prayer of David, " Let them be turned back 
and brought to confusion that devise my hurt." 
This was a decisive proof of his divine power and that 
they were altogether in his hands. When he struck 
them down he could have struck them dead ; when 
he spoke them to the ground he could have spoken 
them to hell. But he would manifest his patience 
towards his enemies by giving them a call and a 
space to repent ; and he would show to all men that 
his life was not forced from him, but that he laid it 
down of himself. 

When the prostrate army had recovered them- 
selves, Jesus asked " them again, Whom seek ye ? 
And they said, Jesus of Nazareth." Notwithstand- 
ing that overwhelming impression and all the proof 
it brought of his divine power, they immediately 
returned to their purpose, and with a hardiness that 
never quavered again, bound him and led him away 
to judgment and to execution. Had the impression 
remained they could not have done this ; but when 
it was gone, not all the discoveries they had had of 
his power and majesty, could hold them back from 
the ensuing scene of mockery and torture. 

This solemn piece of history gives rise to seve- 
ral reflections. 

1. The power of Christ and the discoveries of 
him will bring down the stoutest sinner. It is no 
evidence that men are weak that they are thus af- 
fected. Those who fell in Gethsemane were among 
the stoutest and proudest minds in the Jewish na- 


tion. Among them were some of " the chief priests 
and captains of the temple and the elders," who 
probably knew that Jesus was the Messiah, and yet 
were intrepid enough to compass his death against 
all the miracles which surrounded it. Among them 
was the traitor Judas, whom John particularly no- 
tices as standing with them at that moment. It is 
no sign that men are credulous and superstitious, 
and predisposed to their impressions by a distem- 
pered imagination, that they sink under the power 
and discoveries of Christ. It cannot be pretended 
that those who were prostrated in the garden were 
credulous, or in a temper to create a vision in proof 
of the Messiahship of him whom they had come to 
apprehend. Sometimes the greatest mockers and 
persecutors are suddenly brought down by these 
discoveries. Though it is generally true of mock- 
ers that their "bands" are "made strong," yet some 
of them are demolished to show the greatness of 
the power. Who were greater mockers and per- 
secutors than those who " went backward and fell 
to the ground?" Who, than the dying thief? — 
Who, than the centurion and soldiers who enacted 
those dreadful scenes in the pretorium and at the 
cross, and were subdued before they left the spot ? 
Who, than the spectators of the crucifixion, who 
had joined in the horrid mockery, but returned 
smiting their breasts, and were, many of them, pro- 
bably converted at Pentecost ? Who, than Saul of 
Tarsus ? 

You see them falling around you now. And 
why should they not tremble and be astonished? 


They are sinners condemned to eternal death; and 
they never can apply to the Saviour till they see 
their utter and helpless ruin. And when they see 
this, and before they have any interest or confi- 
dence in Christ, must they not tremble ? must they 
not be in anguish ? And what is it that distresses 
them ? Nothing but this very conviction of their 
perishing need of a Saviour ; nothing but a disco- 
very of Bible truths. The Bible told us that the 
Spirit was sent out to convince the world of sin, 
and that in the latter day it would be poured upon 
all flesh. And this very prediction was quoted by 
Peter at Pentecost, to wipe off the reproach of dis- 
order which even then had been cast upon the work 
of the Holy Ghost. 

This prostration in the garden was a srong at- 
testation of the power of Christ and of the justice 
of his claims. And that divine power which at- 
tends the Gospel, which the Bible predicted, and 
which suddenly brings down the stoutest sinners 
under an impression of Bible truths, and converts 
them from profligate to holy lives, and to which may 
manifestly be traced all the real goodness in our 
world, or that ever was in our world since the fall, 
is one of the strongest proofs of the christian reli- 

2. There are hearts so obstinate that nothing 
will reclaim them. They may be brought down 
for a season with alarm and consternation, but can- 
not be subdued. This seemed to be the case with 
that audacious band. They could be brought to the 
earth under an awful impression of the power and 


majesty of Christ ; but all that terror, and all that 
proof of his divine authority, could not subdue 
them or protect him against their violence. And 
there are those who have been brought up by pious 
parents, and were early and frequently called by 
the secret whispers of the Spirit, and have enjoyed 
all the means of grace from a child ; who arc suf- 
fered to live in revivals of religion, and see their 
friends and companions pressing into the kingdom 
of heaven, and are themselves entreated until they 
will bear it no longer ; and yet nothing can avail. 
They do not feel, and they do not want to feel. 
They will not pray, they will not attend the special 
religious meetings, and are angry at God and his 
people. Some of them openly oppose religion and 
mock at the work of the Holy Spirit. Nothing 
that God or man can do in a way of means will 
bring them to their knees or to an hour of serious 
reflection. They are proof against everything. 
And though they sometimes look forward to future 
conversion, they are growing harder and harder 
every hour, and in all probability will die as they 
have lived, and take their portion with Judas and 
his invincible band. 

Indeed it is true of all, that, left to themselves, 
they are capable of resisting every thing. In su- 
preme selfishness there is a hardihood which re- 
quires nothing but the absence of restraint, and to 
have the eye of conscience blinded by ignorance, 
and the passions roused to an impetuous sweep, to 
present a wall of brass to every arrow of the Al- 
mighty, and to prevent men from being " persuaded 
though one rose from the dead." 


This will appear more evident and less wonder- 
ful when it is considered that it is not the province 
of light essentially to improve a heart wholly op- 
posed to the objects revealed. No motive is effec- 
tual unless it is addressed to a corresponding taste. 
An invitation to a feast is no motive to a man with- 
out an appetite, — to a man disgusted with every 
viand prepared. All the light of eternity will not 
convert a devil. A view of God and his perfec- 
tions and mercies and claims, is transforming to a 
partially holy heart ; for there is something in that 
heart which can fall in with the motives : but no 
light cast upon God's character can bring the na- 
tural heart to love it. If it could, the natural heart 
is not totally depraved. If the more full explana- 
tions of the divine character present an object which 
the natural heart loves, what it hated before was 
not the true God, and its enmity was only a com- 
mendable aversion to an idol. But if it hates the true 
God, it will hate him the more the more he is seen, 
as surely as it is governed by motives. Light, so 
far from extinguishing the flame of rebellion, is only 
oil cast upon the fire. So it is in hell. The more 
God is seen the more raging is the enmity, because 
it is the real character of God they hate. So it is 
with convicted sinners. Their enmity was never 
so much inflamed before they came to have clear 
ideas of the God of the law. I have seen them 
ready to gnash with their teeth but a few hours or 
minutes before they began the immortal song. 

It affords no relief to say that the instrumentality 
pleaded for is that of mere antecedent, and that it is 


the Spirit which really sanctifies. This is true, but 
it does not justify the calling of the light an instru- 
ment. The rod of Moses was an antecedent to the 
opening of the sea and of the rock, but it was not 
an instrument, in the sense in which fire is an in- 
strument in dressing our food ; because it had no 
influence according to the stated laws of nature. 
Where light is used in sanctifying a heart that had 
a previous temper to fall in with the motives, it may 
be truly called an instrument, as much as any suc- 
cessful motive addressed to a corresponding taste. 
But though light is of vital importance to the 
awakened sinner, to show him his duty, to show 
him the extent of his ruin, to show him, after his 
conversion, to whom he is indebted for his deliver- 
ance, and how much he owes his deliverer, yet it is 
not the instrument of changing the temper of his 
heart. That is done by the immediate power of 
God. By no stated connexion between second 
causes will the discovery of a hated object, (hated 
in its whole character,) produce love. 

I have thus slid from my subject into the doctrine, 
that convicted sinners, so far from being improved 
by light, are roused by it to greater opposition. 
They sin also against greater knowledge and greater 
love, and every moment is adding new sins to the 
former catalogue. On all these accounts their sins 
are greatly increased. And O how has their guilt 
increased. There is not an awakened sinner in 
this house but hates God with all his heart. Not- 
withstanding all the wonders of Calvary, — notwith- 
standing this most gracious visit of the Holy Ghost, 


■ — he hates the Father, he rejects the Son, and he 
resists the Spirit. And he must be convinced of 
this unbounded wickedness, before he will see his 
total ruin and his perishing need of a Saviour. 

We see then the invincible hardness of the car- 
nal heart. No motives, no means can subdue it. 
All motives are wrapped up in light ; and all means, 
(except prayer, and this the carnal heart does not 
use,) are comprehended in light and in the ways of 
carrying light to the mind. No motives, no means 
can essentially improve it. They may assist in re- 
gulating the passions under the present state of so- 
ciety, and in making some improvement in the ha- 
bitual temper towards men ; but they cannot bring 
the natural heart any nearer to holiness or to God. 
It stands immovable against'all means and motives 
in earth and hell, and nothing but the almighty 
power of God can bring it down. 

3. The strongest impressions may soon pass off 
and leave nothing but increased hardness and stu- 
pidity behind. Who would have thought, when 
that murderous band fell to the ground under an 
awful impression of the presence of Christ, that 
they would so soon rise up harder than before and 
renew their horrid purpose of dragging him to judg- 
ment and to death ? The resistance of that hea- 
venly call prepared them for anything. When they 
came to Gethsemane they were not too hard to sink 
to the earth before that awful presence ; but they 
never quailed the second time. They were now 
screwed up to deeds of daring at which a devil 
might recoil. And the awakened here, who are 


now overwhelmed with the presence of the great 
and dreadful God ; who feel crushed under moun- 
tains of guilt, and see hell naked before them and 
destruction without a covering ; who consider them- 
selves as placed on their last trial, and dread the 
idea of returning back as they dread a plunge into 
the burning lake ; even some of these, in a few days, 
may be stupid and mirthtul and entertained as much 
as ever with the vanities of the world, and with- 
drawn from meetings, and neglecting prayer, and 
profaning sabbaths, and opposing the Bible, and 
scoffing at revivals, and sunk in vice, and sinking 
into the grave and hell as sottish and confirmed in- 
fidels. I expect nothing else but that some of them 
will obstinately hold out against all the calls of God 
until the Spirit leaves them forever. Some of them 
in all probability are on their last trial, and will sin 
away this awful crisis and be sealed over to eternal 
reprobation. I tremble for those who have been 
resisting the Spirit for several weeks. I tremble 
for those who are past the middle of life. Who 
can doubt that a return of these would be a return 
to hopeless destruction ? How can we help watch- 
ing them as we would a friend in the turning point 
of a dangerous fever, and trembling at every symp- 
tom of a relapse? It is insupportable to think of 
your going back. To what would you return? 
Do you now see the dreadful condition you have 
been in all your days ? and would you go back to 
a condition far more guilty and hopeless ? Do you 
now see the wrath which for many years has been 
struggling in the divine mind to burst upon you ? 
Vol. I. 53 


and would you lie down under wrath heated seven- 
fold / Do you now tremble at the hidden dangers 
among which you have been sleeping secure ? and 
would you go back to sleep among dangers ten-fold 
increased ? What can any man propose to himself 
by going back but a miserable eternity, made still 
more miserable by these slighted calls ? Your cir- 
cumstances are amazingly critical. If you feel less 
than you did, I wonder you are not distracted with 
alarm. It looks like the first step towards a fatal 
return : and like the fruitless fig tree you may soon 
be cut down, and never live to see another revival : 
and should you see another, what reason have you 
to expect any yielding of a heart that cannot be 
brought down by all that is now passing before 
you and pressing upon your conscience ? Or what 
can you hope for in a time of general stupidity ? It 
is madness to look forward to any future conver- 
sion. You stand in the most awfully critical cir- 
cumstances ; and yet your stubborn heart still holds 
out against God. One week passes after another, 
and you remain as you were, — the enemies of God, 
— hating those glories which angels love, trampling 
under foot the blood of Calvary, resisting the Holy 
Ghost, and doing all you can to provoke heaven to 
abandon you forever. You must not remain so 
another hour. With all this light upon you, it is 
infinitely hazardous to resist a moment. Your sin 
may become unpardonable. No tongue can de- 
scribe your danger : and here you are waiting still, 
and thinking it enough if you do not go back. It 
will not do. You must submit before you leave 


your seats. A thousand dangers hang on a mo- 
ment's delay. We are looking every instant for 
the heavenly dove to take wrings and fly away. And 
when it is gone, I know that all the truths which 
have overwhelmed your conscience will not leave 
one impression on that rock in your breast. 

And some of you will draw back in spite of every 
thing that can be said. The moment the heavenly 
influence is withdrawn, that Godhating heart will 
spring back like a stubborn bow loosed from its 
string. And then all these impressions will vanish 
like a footstep upon the face of the waters, and you 
may be prepared for any thing. That profligate 
band, after they had risen from their overwhelming 
impression, appear to have been foremost in the 
wickedest and most horrible transaction that ever 
appalled the universe. The soldiers seem to have 
been among those who mocked in the pretorium 
and aided in the crucifixion : and it cannot be 
doubted that " the chief priests and captains of the 
temple and the elders" who belonged to the band, 
were among the boisterous clamorers for the con- 
demnation and the blasphemous scoffers at the cross, 
and probably among those who knew the high cha- 
racter of the victim. For all this they had become 
prepared by resisting that solemn call. O take 
care how you raise yourselves up to these infuriated 
acts of treason by rejecting the loud and special 
calls of God. 

4. If there was so much power and majesty in 
the voice of Christ in one of his lowest acts of hu- 
miliation, what majesty and power will attend his 


voice when he shall come in the glory of his Fa- 
ther with the holy angels ! If when resigning him- 
self up to be dragged before a human tribunal, he 
spread such awe around him, what awe will he 
throw upon three worlds when he shall come in the 
clouds of heaven to be himself the Judge. If when 
his enemies rushed upon him to take him, the gran- 
deur of his nature was so nmch felt, how will it be 
felt when from his " face the earth and the heaven" 
shall flee "away and there" shall be "found no 
place for them." If a word from his lips in the 
dark hour of night, when his glory was vailed, was 
so overwhelming to his enemies, what will it be 
when he shall appear on his great white throne, en- 
circled with the brightness of a thousand suns, and 
arrayed in all the terrors of the Godhead. If he 
could quell his enemies at his feet in Gethsemane 
how will he crush them beneath his eye when he 
shall sit on his seat of judgment, with all the au- 
thority of God on his lips and all the power of an 
avenging God in his hand ; when " the great day 
of his wrath is come and" none " shall be able to 
stand." If only to say, " I am he," prostrated the 
most malignant and daring enemies that he ever 
had on earth, what will be the efiect of that tre- 
mendous sentence, " Depart, ye cursed, into ever- 
lasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." 
Where is Judas now ? Where are Caiaphas and 
Annas ? Where are Herod and Pilate ? And 
where are those among my hearers who preferred 
the world to Christ? who rose up to oppose the 
Gospel ? who mocked at the operations of the Holy 


Ghost .'' Ah when you shall see your companions 
who fled to Christ in this revival, shining " forth as 
the sun in the kingdom of their Father," and filling 
all the arches of heaven with their bursting praise, 
and you yourselves cast out among devils ; with 
what agonies will you remember this day as you 
pour upon the ear of hell the eternal lamentation, 
" The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we 
are not saved !" How many thousand times will you 
wish that you had gone to hell before this revival ; 
that you had been in hell while those sermons were 
preached, while those companions were pressing into 
the kingdom. My poor hearers, I shall meet you at 
that tribunal. Perhaps I shall know you under all 
the disguise of damnation. Perhaps I shall look in 
your face as you writhe in agony, and say. Why 
would you die ? why did you not listen to those en- 
treaties which used to burst from breaking hearts ? 
O what will be your thoughts then ? what your deep 
and torturing musings upon the past ? How bit- 
terly will you lament your present folly, — the strange 
stupidity which now seals up your senses. I hear 
you cry, " For a few vapid pleasures I lost a death- 
less soul : I might have spent my eternity in yonder 
heaven, and now I sink in everlasting fire." Ah, 
my dear hearers, why should unbelief drag you 
down to this ? You do not beheve a word of all 
that I am saying, or you could not remain so stupid, 
— ^you would be convulsed with horror. But why 
will you not believe ? Why will you not examine ? 
Why will you hug infidelity as your protector against 
conscience ? Why will you love " darkness rather 



than light because" your " deeds" are " evil ?" 
Why will you refuse to come " to the light lest" 
your " deeds should be reproved ?" If your unbe- 
lief could stop the approach of the judgment, — 
could disrobe Christ of his terrors, — it might avail ; 
but now it is only marching up to the battery of the 
enemy with your eyes and ears closed. Can you 
have a particle of reason left ? If you have why 
will you not exert it ? Why will you die ? How 
long shall God command you in vain ? shall Christ 
entreat you in vain ? shall the Holy Spirit woo you 
in vain ? How long shall parents, shall ministers, 
shall christian friends, beseech you and weep over 
you in vain ? But if your purpose is unchangeable, 
go, and extract what you can from the creature, and 
break your parents' heart, and lie down in hell. 
Go and take your fill of damnation. But drag not 
down your companions with you. In mercy leave 
them to God and to heaven if you yourselves are 
resolved to take the plunge. 



Luke xiii. 6-9. 

He spoke also this parable. A certain man had a fig tree planted in his 
vineyard, and he came and sought fruit thereon and found none. Then 
said he unto the dresser of the vineyard, Behold, these three years I come 
seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none : cut it down, why cumbereth it 
the ground ? And h&answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year 
also, till I shall dig about it and dung it : and if it bear fruit, well ; and if 
not, then after that thou shalt cut it down ?" 

In this parable the vineyard represents the visible 
Church, and in a larger sense the world. The 
trees are the members of the visible Church, and in 
a larger sense mankind in general. The planter and 
owner of the vineyard is God. The dresser is the 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

The first idea suggested by the parable is, that 
men are placed in this world for no other end than 
to bring forth fruit to God. For what other end are 
fig trees planted in the vineyard but to bring forth 

* Preached in a revival of religion. 


fruit? You were not sent into the world to buy and 
sell and get gain. The only reason why you are here 
rather than not here, is, that you may have an op- 
portunity to serve your Creator and Master. 

Another idea suggested is, that God has an abso- 
lute right to all the services w^hich men are capable 
of rendering. Shall not he that planted the vine- 
yard eat the fruit thereof ? Has not he who creat- 
ed the materials of which you were made, and then 
formed them into men, and breathed into them im- 
mortal souls; and created the world, and placed 
men in it, and owns it all ; has he not a right to all 
the services which you can possibly render ? Can 
you be justified in living to yourselves a single 

Another idea is, that to render his vineyard fruit- 
ful God has appointed one to dress it. This dresser, 
the Lord Jesus Christ, waters his trees with the dews 
of heaven, fences round them with his protecting 
providence, prunes them by affliction, and supports 
them when they are ready to fall, until he can lift 
his hand to heaven and say, "What could have 
been done more to my vineyard that I have not 
done in it ?" He has made a full revelation of God 
and of a future state, — of man's duties, ruin, and re- 
covery. He has given his word and ordinances ; 
he has sent out his Spirit ; he has filled the world 
with expostulations and entreaties ; until it can be 
said. If they hear not these, neither would they be 
persuaded though one rose from the dead. 

Another idea is, that God attentively watches 
men to see if they are fruitful. The owner of the 


vineyard is represented as coming year after year ; 
that is, as often as fruit was to be expected. God 
attentively observes men as often as they have an 
opportunity to perform public or private worship, to 
hear a sermon, to drop a word of instruction, to re- 
lieve the poor, or to cast their gifts into his treasury. 
On such occasions he fixes his eye upon them as 
though they were the only objects of his attention. 
And as he is always expecting fruit, he always 
watches them. His eyes follow them into every 
corner. If a sinful deed is done in darkness, — if 
a vain word is uttered in secret, — if an unhallowed 
thought lurks in the heart, — lo he knoweth it alto- 

We are further taught that there are some trees 
in God's vineyard on which, when he comes year 
after year seeking fruit, he finds none. Every un- 
regenerate man is of this description. Though his 
life may be regular towards his fellow men, — though 
he may observe the forms of devotion, and even 
transact with covenants and sacraments, yet as his 
heart is always under the dominion of selfishness, 
he never brings forth any fruit which a holy God 
can approve. There are many who not only do 
not bring forth good fruit, but are constantly bring- 
ing forth bad fruit. They profane the sabbath, 
they take the name of God in vain, they reproach 
religion and its professors, they are wholly buried 
up in the world. A hundred times a day they vio- 
late the rule to do to others as they would have 
others do to them. How certain that such do not 
answer the end for which they were sent into the 

Vol. I. 54 


world. If a figtree, that is good for nothing but its 
fruit, remains barren, it answers no part of the pur- 
pose for which it was planted. It is utterly useless. 
It cumbers the ground. It stands in the way and 
exhausts the soil. It is fit for nothing but to be cut 
down and cast into the fire. So those who do 
nothing for God are only an encumbrance on the 
face of the earth, — a grief to christians and a stum- 
bling block to sinners. Some of them, by their 
turbulent passions, keep the world in commotion, 
and all of them, by their vain and careless lives, 
spread a moral pestilence around them. And since 
they will not do any good, they are fit for nothing 
but to feed the flames which will enlighten the uni- 
verse into the knowledge of divine justice. Unless 
they are made of some use in this way, their exis- 
tence will prove a curse to the universe. 

We are further taught that God, wearied out 
with coming year after year seeking fruit and find- 
ing none, at length raises his hand to cut the sin- 
ner down, and would send him quick into hell, but 
that the Mediator steps in and pleads. Father, spare 
him a little longer, and I will try some more power- 
ful means for such a time ; if he bears fruit, well ; 
if not, then after that thou shalt cut him down. 
Now then the matter is fairly at issue. The trial 
is begun, in view of heaven and earth, which is to 
decide his destiny for eternity. It is to be for a li- 
mited time ; after which, if he remains unfruitful, 
he will be destroyed without remedy. Awful cri- 
sis ! Angels look down snd tremble for the issue. 
Here is one put upon his last trial whom Christ 

PIG TREE. 427 

seeks to reclaim by affliction. He teaches him, as 
Gideon taught the men of Succoth, with briers and 
thorns. His affairs go wrong, or his health fails, 
or his friends die. This is the only means selected 
for the final experiment. If it succeeds, well; if 
not, he is irrecoverably lost. 

Here is another put upon his last trial whom the 
Saviour seeks to render fruitful by more ample 
means of instruction and impression. He puts re- 
ligious books into his hands. He stirs up christians 
to entreat him. He gives him more frequent op- 
portunities to attend religious meetings. These are 
perhaps the only means chosen for the great expe- 
riment. If they avail, well ; if not, he is forever 

Here is a third put upon his last trial to whom 
Christ presents the example of others pressing into 
the kingdom of heaven. He shows him a revival 
of religion, with all its solemn attestations and ap- 
peals. If this brings him to stretch out his hands 
to a passing Saviour, the trial is happily ended ; if 
not, his doom is unalterably fixed. 

Here is a fourth put upon his last trial whom the 
Saviour plies with still more powerful means. He 
is awakened by the Spirit of God. His danger, 
guilt, and ruin are laid open before him. Perhaps 
he knows not what ails him, and little thinks that 
the Spirit of God is making the last decisive expe- 
riment upon him. How it will issue no man can 
tell. Many go back from every stage of conviction 
and plunge into a deeper hell. If all this light and 
entreaty can bring him to repentance, well ; but if 


he can hold out against the calls of heaven a little 
longer, he will be left where an angel's voice could 
not break his slumbers. He will either be cut down 
like the figtree in the vineyard, or, like that by the 
way side, will be smitten with the curse of perpe- 
tual barrenness, and left to grow drier and drier to 
feed a fiercer flame. 

Here is a fifth put upon his last trial on whom 
the Saviour employs all these means. He sends 
afl^ictions upon him, he multiplies the means of in- 
struction and impression, he shows him others 
pressing into the kingdom of heaven, and he con- 
vinces him of sin. He seems determined to make 
one more thorough experiment upon him. If all 
this avails, well ; if not, the wretch is lost for eter- 
nity. Infinite mercy, interpose and decide the mat- 
ter favorably! 

After the dresser of the vineyard has dug around 
the figtree and manured it, if it will not bear fruit 
then, what more can be done ? It is proved to be 
incorrigibly barren, and is good for nothing but to 
feed the flames. 

Let it be considered that the time of this last trial is 
short and precisely limited. The request was, " Let 
it alone this year." The probation was only during 
one season of fruit, — ^just long enough to make one 
more fair experiment. The moment is fixed in every 
case when the last trial shall end. That moment 
may arrive before another morning. And if the 
trial has continued for weeks, and especially if the 
persons exercised have struggled against the calls, 
or suflfered business or trifling cares to divert them, 

FIG TREE. 429 

the evidence of their incorrigibleness may be the 
sooner obtained, and the trial may be now near a 
close. God of mercy, compel them to seize the 
critical moment before it is forever too late ! 

And when the last trial is closed and their incor- 
rigible barrenness is evinced, why should they not 
be cut down and cast into the fire ? They never 
will bear fruit. They will only remain cumberers 
of the ground. Why should they be spared ? It is 
reasonable that barren figtrees, after all hope of 
their fruitfulness is gone, should be removed out of 
the way, and, since they can be of no other use, 
should be made fuel for the fire. And if fruitless 
men had any ingenuousness in them, they would 
not desire to be left to cumber God's ground. If 
they will not do any good, they ought not to wish 
to do hurt. 

There are exceptions to every general rule. Not 
all who have passed the last trial without effect are 
instantly cut down. Some are left to stand as dry 
trees with which no further cultivation is to be used. 
They are abandoned by the Spirit and left only to 
treasure up wrath against the day of wrath. So 
that in one sense they are in a more awful condi- 
tion than though they were in hell. The reason of 
their being spared is distinctly stated in these tre-- 
mendous words : " What if God, willing to show his 
wrath and make his power known, endured with much 
long suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruc- 
tion." They are left to fill up the measure of their 
iniquity, that the power of God may appear in their 
more tremendous ruin. Awful thought ! After God 


has held up the heavens for six thousand years, — 
as though nothing had been done, he has occasion 
to show his power by the blows he inflicts on his 

It is not indeed every one who is distinctly called 
that is put upon his last trial. But the following 
are among the symptoms, though not infallible 
symptoms, that the experiment is final. If the man 
is advanced in years, there is great reason to think 
that the trial is the last. Few seem to be called in 
after the middle of life ; and if at that age a special 
call is rejected, there is little prospect of another. 
If the person has formerly lived in revivals of reli- 
gion, and made a mock of them, or even neglected 
to improve them, it is likely that this is his last 
trial ; that God, seeing so much evidence of incor- 
rigibleness, had lifted his hand to cut him down, when 
the Intercessor stepped in and pleaded. Spare him 
one more season, and I will try another and a more 
decisive experiment upon him. If he bears fruit, 
well; if not, then after that thou shalt cut him 
down. If the person has formerly rejected many 
calls, and now at length is assailed by another more 
earnest than the rest, it is a symptom that it is the 
last. It looks as though Christ was determined to 
try once for all what could be done. Awful crisis ! 
If when we stand over a friend in the turning point 
of a dangerous fever, and see nature struggling be- 
tween death and life, we anxiously watch every 
symptom, how can we do otherwise in the present 

I would now address myself, in the most solemn 

FIG TREE. 431 

manner, to the different classes who have reason to 
think themselves on their last trial for eternity. But 
I feel utterly unable to reach the magnitude of the 
subject. I would fain come at your conscience and 
heart, but I know not how to bring the whole sub- 
ject with me. Stretch all your powers to encom- 
pass it yourselves, while I only suggest a few im- 
perfect hints. 

Are there any present who have resisted the calls 
of God all their days, and are now exercised with 
affliction ? Justice, wearied out by your long de- 
lay, had raised the sword to cut you down, when 
mercy pleaded you off for one more trial. Perhaps 
the new cultivation was to consist wholly of afflic- 
tion, — how long or how liea\y is yet to be deter- 
mined. If your present sufferings are not sufficient, 
and good is intended for you, they w ill be increased. 
But if they finally fail of producing the effect, and 
this proves the last trial, you are eternally gone. 
Up and press into the kingdom of heaven before it 
is forever closed. 

Are there any present under the special calls of 
the Spirit? Here my anxieties become intense. 
There is reason to apprehend that this is the last 
trial with you ; that exhausted patience had raised 
the sword to cut you down, when compassion in-r 
terposed and pleaded you off for one more season. 
After the word has gone out, " My Spirit shall not 
always strive with man," can you expect another 
trial ? This season is likely to be short, and it is 
precisely limited. It may end before the setting 
sun. And if it end unsuccessfully, and prove the 


last, you must either be speedly sent to hell, or be 
left to prepare for a heavier doom. How will this 
infinitely important season appear to you at the 
judgment of the great day ? I beseech you to re- 
gard it with fear and trembling. 

Are there any present who in former revivals were 
stupid and mockers, but are now awakened ? Jus- 
tice had raised the sword to cut you down, when 
mercy pleaded you off for one more trial. And have 
you not reason to think that this is the last ? God 
has used his most powerful means with you, and 
what more can he do ? And when all means fail, 
will not the proof of your incorrigible barrenness 
be obtained ? And then that word may be fulfilled, 
"He that, being often reproved, hardeneth his neck, 
shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without reme- 
dy." O submit before you leave your seats. 

Are there any present who were formerly awa- 
kened by the Spirit of God, but returned to stu- 
pidity, and are now awakened again ? How few 
are thus favored the second time. And consider- 
ing the many calls which you have received from the 
word and providence of God, — from parents and in- 
structors, — can you reasonably expect another trial ? 
Immortal creatures, it is too late to trifle with these 
infinite concerns. It is distraction to delay another 

I would next apply the subject to those who were 
formerly awakened, but cannot now be moved by 
all that is passing before their eyes. I am at a loss 
how to consider your case ; whether to regard you 
as still under trial, and these means as sent to make 

FIG TREE. 433 

one more experiment upon you, or to view you as 
abandoned of God and left only to fill up the mea- 
sure of your iniquity. While you remain stupid 
there is not a particle of evidence that you are not 
abandoned. And if you can continue thus through 
the present revival, the evidence will be great that 
this is your fearful condition. But if not abandoned 
already, there is every reason to think that this is 
your last trial. Sleep a little longer and your case 
will be unalterably fixed, and you must inevitably 
make your bed in hell. 

I would next apply the subject to those who were 
unmoved in former revivals and remain unmoved 
in this. I have two things to say of your case. 
The first is, that you have had abundant outward 
means. The second is, that God is not obliged to 
send his Spirit when men reject his other calls. 
Should he close your probation to-day you could 
not complain. It is by no means certain therefore 
but that, months ago, he raised his hand to cut you 
down, and mercy pleaded you off" for one final expe- 
riment. If so, and this fails, you will either be soon 
cut down or left to treasure up wrath against the 
day of wrath. For millions of worlds I would not 
be in your condition a single day. Where is your 
reason ? Are you resolved to go out of the world 
sleeping? If so the pains of hell will awaken you 
to purpose. 

I would next apply the subject to those who have 
lived along with an uncertain hope, without ac- 
knowledging Christ before the world, or taking a 
decided part for him, or bringing forth fruit. There 

Vol. 1. 66 


is solemn reason to believe that all the calls of 
God and all the motions of his Spirit have received 
nothing from you but resistance. Dare any of you 
then conclude that this is not your last trial? Cast 
away that delusive hope, and lay yourselves down 
at the feet of Christ, and there die that you may be 
made alive. 

I will next apply the subject to unfruitful pro- 
fessors. The Church is emphatically the vineyard 
of God, and you are pre-eminently barren trees in 
the vineyard. So many years has God come seek- 
ing fruit on you and found none. Justice long ago 
would have cut you down, but mercy pleaded you off 
for one more trial. There is reason to think that 
this is the last. And when all hope of your fruit- 
fulness is gone, God may say, Cut them down, why 
cumber they my ground? This stroke will be 
more likely to fall on you than on those who are 
out of the Church. The husbandman, though he 
lets dry trees stand awhile in his common field, will 
not long suffer them in the midst of his vineyard. 

I will lastly apply the subject to all who are out 
of Christ and have not passed their last trial. By 
this gracious visitation you are all brought to a so- 
lemn crisis. There is reason to think that some of 
you in this season will pass your final trial ; and 
all who remain unfruitful after this, will stand a 
greater chance for perdition than they ever did be- 
fore. Could one of you think it strange if this 
should prove the last trial with you ? Have you 
not had and misimproved as many means as you 
have reason to think the generality of men do be- 

FIG TREE. 435 

fore they are given over ? If the trial has been 
upon you for some time, and you have remained 
stupid, the proof of your incorrigibleness may 
be the sooner obtained, and the trial may be now 
drawing to a close. I put this question to you in 
the name of God : Will you improve the present 
season and live, or will you run the dreadful hazard 
of throwing away the price now in your hands ? 
Heaven and earth unite in crying to you. Seek the 
Lord while he may be found ; call upon him while 
he is near. Not always will he be near ; not al- 
ways will he be to be found. When your doom is 
once sealed, then he will no longer be near. When 
you have shot the gulph, no hope will visit you 
more ; no sabbath will dawn upon you there ; no 
mercy-seat will send out its inviting voice ; no sea- 
son of prayer will ever return. How will you then 
look back upon these assemblies in the house of 
God ? how to these gracious visitations of the Spi- 
rit, when your hands had almost hold of the thresh- 
old of heaven ? How will it rend your hearts to 
hear him say, " Because I have called and ye 
refused ; I have stretched out my hand and no man 
regarded ; but ye have set at naught all my coun- 
sel and would none of my reproof; I also will laugh 
at your calamity, I will mock when your fear coni- 
eth." — But I have done. My heart is ready to 
break, but it is nothing to what you will feel. For 
God himself has said, " If thou scornest thou alone 
shalt bear it." We can now weep over you and 
almost die in your death ; but then — you alone 
must bear it. Amen. 



Jee. VIII. 20-22.' 

The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. For 
the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt. I am black. Astonish- 
ment hath taken hold on me. Is there no balm in Gilead ? Is there no 
physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my peo- 
ple recovered ? 

The Jewish prophets, born and educated among 
an agricultural people, borrowed many of the most 
striking images which adorn their writings from 
scenes of husbandry, and not unfrequently from the 
season and employments of harvest. By the latter 
figure is sometimes meant the proper season for ac- 
tivity in divine things ; thus : " He that sleepcth in 
harvest is a son that causeth shame." At other 
times is meant by it the end of the world, when the 
wheat shall be gathered into the garner and the 
tares burnt with unquenchable fire. In our text it 

• Preached in a revival of religion. 


may mean either or both of these. When the word 
summer is used metaphorically by the sacred wri- 
ters, it always means the proper season to lay in 
provisions for a future day: thus : " He that gathe- 
reth in summer is a wise son." The first part of 
the text may therefore be paraphrased thus : The 
season to discharge the great duties of life is past, 
the time allotted to lay in provisions for futurity is 
ended, and we are not saved. Or if the text is sup- 
posed to look forward to the end of the world, then 
its meaning will be : The awful process of gather- 
ing the wheat and burning the tares is past : the 
concluding scene is closed : ended is the whole pe- 
riod allotted mankind to lay in provisions for eter- 
nity : the last chance is over, and we are not saved. 

In the next verse the prophet takes up a tender 
lamentation over his unhappy people. In all the. 
bitterness of heart-felt wo he exclaims, " For the 
hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt. I am 
black : [either, I am clad in mourning, or, I walk 
in darkness.] Astonishment hath taken hold on 
me." Jeremiah was a man whose heart-strings 
seemed attuned to wo. " One would think," says 
Dr. South, " that every letter was written with a 
tear ; that every word was the noise of a breaking 
heart; that the author was a man compacted of 
sorrows ; disciplined to grief from his infancy; one 
who never breathed but in sighs nor spoke but in a 

Having thus vented his grief, he makes the ten- 
der inquiry, why need it be ? " Is there no balm 
in Gilead ? Is there no physician there ? Why 


then is not the health of the daughter of my people 
recovered ?" Gilead was the name of the country 
east of Jordan, which fell to Reuben and Gad and 
half of Manasseh. As early as the time of Jacob 
it was celebrated for a medicinal balm, known in 
commerce, and which in later ages furnished a 
figure to illustrate the healing virtue of the Gospel. 

In further pursuing the text, I shall take its parts 
in an order somewhat inverted. 

" For the hurt of the daughter of my people am 
I hurt. I am black. Astonishment hath taken hold 
on me." Serious indeed must be the state of sin- 
ners, if a faint view of it can fill the pious heart 
with so much grief and astonishment. Extreme 
must be that ruin, a glimpse of which could cause 
the distressed prophet to cry, " O that my head 
were waters and my eyes a fountain of tears, that 
I might weep day and night for the slain of the 
daughter of my people." Awful must be that wrath, 
a sight of which could press the blood through the 
pores of the agonized Saviour, and to deliver men 
from which he could come down from above all 
heights to the manger and the garden and the cross. 

And why will they die ? " Is there no balm in 
Gilead ? Is there no physician there ?" Why do 
wretched millions lie weltering in their blood ? Why 
does a demolished world lie in ruins ? Wliy do in- 
fatuated nations rush down together to eternal de- 
spair ? Why must the benevolent cry over a dying 
world, as they did over wretched Moab : " O vine 
of Sibmah, I will weep for thee with the weeping 
of Jazer." " I will water thee with my tears, O 


Heshbon and Elealeh. — My bowels shall sound like 
a harp for Moab, and my inward parts for Kirha- 
resh ?" Why do multitudes on every side swarm 
the road to ruin, and urge their impetuous course, 
and never slack till they plunge into eternal death ? 
Is it because no remedy is provided? Not so: 
there is balm in Gilead and an able Physician there. 
God has not been wanting on his part. He can ap- 
peal to heaven and earth, " What could have been 
done more — that I have not done ?" 

The providing of this Physician and balm proved 
that men were sick. Aye, sick unto death in the 
whole head and heart. "From the sole of the foot 
even unto the head there is no soundness." All is 
" wounds and bruises and putrifying sores." The 
disease has turned the brain and induced madness. 
Like many other maniacs, while deeply diseased, 
they fancy themselves in perfect health. They 
spurn the remedy, and account their best friends 
their greatest enemies for urging it upon them. 
They are constantly struggling to destroy them- 

But " is there no balm in Gilead ? is there no 
physician there ?" Yes, all the rivers flow with 
balm, and a Physician there is as powerful as God, 
who oflfers his healing aid " without money and 
without price." 

When it became manifest that God must aban- 
don his law or the human race or sacrifice his Son, 
he " spared not his own Son but delivered him up 
for us all." By sufferings never endured by ano- 
ther, the Saviour fully answered the purpose of our 


punishment, and by his obedience he purchased for 
us all the positive blessings of both worlds. And 
now if we want pardon, his expiation and covenant- 
claim secure it. If we want sanctification as well 
as pardon, he is exalted " to be a Prince and a Sa- 
viour, — to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness 
of sins." He is our Prophet to teach us; he is 
our king to rule, protect, and enrich us. He is 
" the first born among many brethren," the " Heir" 
under whom the " joint heirs" inherit. He " is 
made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanc- 
tification and redemption." He is our refuge from 
all the cares and ills of life. He supplies all our 
wants, and prevents all the evils we shun. In all re- 
spects he is just such a Saviour as we need. There 
is an infinite fulness in him. His willingness to save 
is equal to his power. When our astonished eyes 
follow him through the labors and suflferings of his 
life, we perceive, not only a willingness, but an un- 
speakable eagerness to save. We see none turned 
from his door, but find him, with untiring zeal and 
pity, seeking the lost sheep upon the mountains. 
If we go to his Gospel, and listen to the invitations 
and entreaties which there forever plead, or if we 
mark his providence, and see the warnings and long 
suffering there displayed, and the wooings of the 
Spirit, our impression will be the same. He is infi- 
nitely willing and able to save. There is indeed 
balm in Gilead and a Physician there. 

" Why then is not the health of the daughter of 
my people recovered?" The Physician himself has 
told us : " Ye will not come to me that ye might 

Vol. I. 56 


have life." To this charge however sinners do not 
readily plead guilty. They often say, I would give 
all the world for an interest in Christ, but I cannot 
obtain it. While under strong apprehensions of 
future wrath, they may indeed consent to part with 
present comforts to purchase future safety ; and 
knowino- Christ to be the only Saviour, they may in- 
directly desire him, just as a sick man desires a 
disagreeable potion for the recovery of his health. 
But a direct desire after Christ, arising from a view 
of his loveliness and the glory of the Gospel, never 
dwelt in unsanctified souls. While the heart re- 
mains " enmity against God" and in love with sin, 
it cannot desire a way of salvation which lends all 
its influence to support the law and to condemn sin. 
But the particular reasons for refusing to come to 
Christ, are selfishness, pride, and unbelief. Sel- 
fishness takes the sinner's part and pleads not guilty 
to the charges of the law, and thus denies the need 
of a Saviour. Pride cannot come down to the state 
of a criminal and to the feet of Christ, and sue for 
pardon on account of another. It clings to self- 
righteousness and makes demands on God, and 
when denied, rises in angry resentments against 
him ; and then goes to work with greater earnest- 
ness, under the notion of offering a greater price. 
Selfishness and pride beget unbelief; and unbelief 
excludes a realizing sense of every thing, — of God, 
law, sin, the Saviour, the reality of his appoint- 
ment, the sincerity of the invitation, and the truth 
of the promise. The fault is altogether with the 
sinner. "How often would I have gathered thy 


children together, even as a hen gathereth her chick- 
ens under her wings, and ye would not." His blood 
therefore must be upon his own head. If he mourns 
at the last when his flesh and his body are consumed, 
he must pour upon the ear of hell the eternal com- 
plaint, " How have I hated instruction and my heart 
despised reproof." " The harvest is past, the sum- 
mer is ended, and we are not saved." 

In contemplating these affecting words, the im- 
pression comes over us that the present life is the 
season to perform all our duties to God and man, 
and to lay in all our provisions for eternity. The 
great errand on which we came into the world, was 
to do the work of God and to prepare to leave it. 
Of how little value are all the pleasures and profits 
of this life viewed in any other light than as related 
to eternity. The idols which we most fondly in- 
fold in our arms, will soon be torn from our em- 
brace and crumble into dust. Tekel is inscribed on 
all the charms of a world groaning under the curse 
of Adam's God. This state was intended for a 
higher end than that of present enjoyment. It was 
designed for a school in which to learn lessons of 
God, of his government and works, — of Christ and 
the wonders of grace, — to catch the spirit of heaven, 
to become inured to obedience, and trained to the 
employments of the heavenly world. The com- 
forts of earth are bestowed, not so much for their 
own intrinsic value, as for helps to further us on 
our way to heaven. That comfort which does not 
answer this purpose, ceases to be a blessing, and 
fails of the end for which it was bestowed. 


What ought deeply to impress us is, that this 
golden season will soon be closed. The summer 
of life will soon flit away like the evanescent shades 
of night, and the vision of our worldly hopes and 
calculations will burst like a morning dream. The 
joys which we inherit below the sun will in succes- 
sion soon forsake us, or we shall at once take our 
leave of them. And even though we outlive all 
our comforts, and for a few days longer water this 
vale with our tears, yet the end of our pilgrimage 
will come; a joyful event which will lay to rest 
many a weary soul, — a dreadful event which will be 
to many but the beginning of sorrow. Not a per- 
son in all those seats, however young, but must soon 
become a breathless lump of clay, and have done 
with all the busy scenes of life, with the means of 
grace, and with a preparation for a never ending 
eternity. Our convenient habitations must soon be 
exchanged for the dark and narrow house, our dear- 
est friends for the company of worms, and our 
downy pillows for the cold clods of the valley. 
The places which now know us will know us no 
more forever. We shall become strangers in our 
father's house. A new generation will arise to oc- 
cupy our seats. A few surviving relatives may for 
a time remember that we lived ; but those few will 
soon follow us to the land of silence. We shall no 
longer be missed. Our names will be forgotten on 
earth. Strangers will walk over our graves with- 
out knowing that we ever had existence. The 
world will not be changed by our departure. Sea- 
sons will revolve and the sun will arise and set as 


usual. Mirth and diversion will be as brisk as ever. 
No one on earth will care for our joys or sorrows, 
while we shall be either spreading our pinions in 
the regions of immortal day and skimming the air 
of paradise, or — or — how shall I express it ? — or 
be tossing on the fiery billows of the wrath of an 
infinite God, where all the millions of ruined sinners 
will roar forth the eternal complaint, " The harvest 
is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." 
O let our excited souls approach and see a wretch- 
ed sinner looking back to a misspent life with this 
dismal lamentation upon his tongue. Enter his 
gloomy chamber, ye who have nerves to endure the 
sight. Look through the mournful curtains, if room 
can be found among the weeping friends. See the 
writhings of his agony. Mark the wild despair of 
his glaring eye. His quivering lips attempt to 
speak. " O earth, earth, earth, open and receive a 
wretch, who is called to appear before an angry 
God, and who dares not, cannot go. O eternity, 
eternity, who can enter thee when thou art filled 
with fire ? O life, how hast thou been spent ?" A 
convulsion stops his voice. Support that sinking 
mother and that fainting sister. Ilis cries are heard 
again. "A thousand worlds for one more year, — 
for one more day. O my soul, what will become 
of thee ? And must I go ? I cannot. And yet I 
must. I cannot. But O there is no reprieve, and 
plunge I must, this moment, into eternal burnings." 
What spectacle so awful this side of the regions of 
the damned? My flesh trembles, and my spirit 
cries " Let me die the death oi the righteous, and 
let my last end be like his." 


Or if we understand by the harvest the end of 
the world, how dreadful will be the condition of 
those who will then have this lamentation to make. 

The process of the general judgment will be so 
awfully interesting as to awaken the strongest emo- 
tions of three worlds. To see the judge descend 
with ten thousand of his saints, — the sepulchres of 
many generations broken open, — columns of rising 
dead filling all the air, some with shrieks and some 
with hallelujahs on their tongues, — some surrounded 
with the glories of the sun, and others stamped with 
the horrid emblems of the damned, — the earth and 
the heavens on fire, — all the works of God in con- 
fusion and uproar, — the universe disjointed and 
falling to ruins, — the spirits in heaven descending 
with songs to judgment, — the affrighted ghosts of 
hell coming out of their prison convulsed with hor- 
ror ; to hear saints and angels shouting their tri- 
umphs and thanksgivings, and devils and damned 
men uttering their most piteous shrieks of wo and 
vomiting out their raging blasphemies ; O this will 
be an awful day ! And when the moment comes 
for the two armies to separate to different worlds, 
will you not desire to ascend with the righteous ? 
Can your heart endure to be torn from your godly 
relatives, and as you turn to enter the regions of 
night, to say, " Farewell, my father, mother, wife, 
and children. Farewell ye worlds of light, — ye 
joys which once I knew. And hail, ye haunts of 
devils and ye regions of the damned. Ye alone 
are left me of all that this universe contains ; and 
never, never shall I have more?" Ye deathless 


souls, in the name of the eternal God I charge you 
not to have, in that day, this lamentation to make. 

From the heights of these sublime and awful 
wonders, I descend to earth to cry in the ears of 
my beloved hearers, Prepare for the great and ter- 
rible day of the Lord. — As life in general is a har- 
vest season, certain portions of it are so in a pecu- 
liar sense. 

1. Such is the period of youth. If provisions 
are made for eternity, it is many to one that they 
will be made before this season passes off. It is 
generally thought that by far the greater part of the 
elect are called in under the age of twenty. So 
strongly fixed are the associations which are formed 
in early life, and the habits which are founded on 
those associations, that the character is generally 
settled for both worlds before the days of manhood. 
One of the commonest and most subtle of Satan's 
temptations is to persuade youth to postpone reli- 
gion till future life, and to encourage them to hope 
that little hazard will be incurred by the delay; but 
never was a greater falsehood uttered by the father 
of lies. Yet it is his constant resort, and the most 
successful of all his devices. He knows if he can 
prevail in this, he is likely to prevail finally, and 
therefore he bends his chief attention to this point : 
and silly youth, unwarned by the millions thus se- 
duced to ruin, believe and follow him, " as the ox 
goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correc- 
tion of the stocks." 

My dear young friends, the present is the har- 
vest season of your lives. Could you realize its 


unspeakable importance, you would not let it pass 
unimproved. O devote yourselves to early piety. 
Fulfil the joy of your pious parents, and dry up 
those tears which have often flowed for you in se- 
cret, by remembering your Creator in the days of 
your youth. Let not the almond tree blossom on 
your heads before He who dwelt between the che- 
rubims has taken up his abode in your hearts. 
When " the evil days" of age shall " come" and 
"the years draw nigh" in which you shall "say, 
I have no pleasure in them," may not your dim 
eyes be then drenched in tears while looking back 
on misspent youth, nor your hearts surcharged 
already with suflicient sorrow, be forced to heave 
the unavailing sigh, " The harvest is past, the sum- 
mer is ended, and we are not saved." 

2. Such also is the season of a revival of reli- 
gion. " Think not to say within yourselves," We 
are not awakened, and therefore it is no harvest 
season to us. As well might the sleeper in the 
time of the natural harvest say. It is no harvest sea- 
son to me because I refuse to work. It is a har- 
vest season to him, and he must answer for it. To 
the veriest sleeper the harvest oflfers the most fa- 
vorable season for successful labor, and the sum- 
mer, the best season to lay in provisions for win- 
ter. Such a season is now afforded you all. A 
faithful attendance on means, or even one solemn 
effort to think or pray, may now be attended with 
effects far greater than at other times. The Spirit 
is now offered to all, and stands ready to assist the 
beginning of every humble and earnest effort. The 


chances are far greater than at other times for every- 
one in particular that he will fill his granary with 
immortal fruits. Your chances for conversion in 
stupid times are very small. Two or three in an 
ordinary congregation in the course of a year, are 
as many as can be expected. But what are these 
to the number of births within the same bounds of 
time? If you are to be saved there are many 
chances to one that you will be converted in a re- 
vival. But when if not in this? If you ever live to 
see another, it will find you older and a less proba- 
ble subject ; it will find you harder and less likely 
to be subdued ; it will find you laden with the guilt 
of rejecting this call, and therefore less likely to be 
approached by the Spirit, and perhaps sealed over 
to hardness of heart. The abuse of this harvest 
season will involve infinitely more guilt and danger 
than you imagine. It is the highest reach of mad- 
ness to neglect another hour to press into the king- 
dom of God. O that that voice from heaven might 
be heard again, bearing upon you with boundless 
authority and love, " Seek ye the Lord while he 
may be found ; call ye upon him while he is near." 
God forbid that any of you should throw away so 
infinitely important an opportunity to make your 
fortune for eternity, and have a few months hence, 
to cry, with regrets which come too late, " The har- 
vest is past, the summer is ended, and we arc not 

3. Such, in a very special sense, is the season 
with a sinner when the Spirit of God is moving upon 
his mind. This aftbrds advantages and imposes 

Vol. I. 57 


obligations beyond all others. It is the Spirit rous- 
ing a soul from sleep and convincing him of his 
guilt and ruin and helplessness, and bringing home 
to his conscience the general truths of the Bible, 
and whispering in his ear a particular invitation to 
come home to a Saviour's arms. It is the Spirit 
preparing the way for him to come to a Saviour's 
feet with a distinct understanding of his necessities 
and of what he owes to his Deliverer ; so that, if 
he has a mind to believe, nothing shall stand in 
the way of an enlightened faith. It is the Spirit 
coming near and offering his own assistance to 
carry the man through to heaven if he will only 
cast himself on him. It is putting salvation more 
immediately within his reach. It is bringing all the 
discoveries and truths of God nearer to him, and 
into contact with the sensibilities of his soul, and 
making their authority and claims to bear upon him 
directly and most powerfully. It is bringing him 
near to the kingdom of heaven, and opening the 
door, and showing him the Saviour within, and 
urging him to enter, and pressing him from behind 
with all the authority in the universe and with all 
the boundless force of truth. Is not such a mo- 
ment of all others the harvest season of the soul ? 
Is it not the time to act for God if ever there is a 
time ? Is it not of all periods the summer to lay in 
provisions for eternity? There is an importance 
and a sacredness hanging around this moment 
which belong to no other, — a weight of obligation 
which can scarcely be increased. Under all these 
circumstances is it not the great crisis to act arid 


to provide for eternity ? What tremendous guilt 
and hazard if this moment is abused, — if, right in 
the eye and ear of God, there is a refusal to act. 
My immortal friends, I cannot hold my peace. In 
the midst of this awful crisis, and environed with 
all these solemn obligations, here you are holding 
out against God. Instead of falling dissolved at his 
feet under mercies so wonderful and distinguishing, 
you are fighting against him, — you are hating him ; 
— you never loved nor thanked him ; you are re- 
jecting the Saviour and putting your own duties in 
the room of his atonement and righteousness and 
intercession ; you are rejecting the Spirit and put- 
ting your own power in the room of his proffered 
assistance ; you are disobeying the Spirit and re- 
fusing to do any thing that he suggests except the 
outward form, and are taking strong measures to 
grieve him from you forever. You are wrong in 
every thing and do nothing right. How long shall 
this abominable state of heart continue ? How long 
shall this horrid ingratitude remain ? O that you 
knew, in this your day, the things which belong to 
your peace, before they are hidden from your eyes. 
Why should you hold out against God another mo- 
ment? He commands you, O rebel, now to lay 
down your arms. Will you obey God and live, or 
will you disobey him and die ? I wait for your re- 
ply. What answer shall I carry back to him that 
sent me ? All heaven is waiting to hear ; what is 
your answer ? Shall I come around among those 
seats and ask you one by one, what is your deci- 
sion ? Have you made up your mind ? Why this 


delay ? Ah and you will delay ; and some of you, 
I fear, will go back to seven fold darkness, — to in- 
fidelity itself,— to open vice,— to an early grave,— 
to a hell lower than that of pagans, — than that of de- 
vils. How distressing to think that any of you 
should turn this affecting grace of God into an eter- 
nal curse ; that you should have to look back from 
the profoundest deeps of hell to this blessed season, 
and pour forth the heart-rending and perpetual la- 
mentation, " The harvest is past, the summer is 
ended, and we are not saved." 

Before I conclude I must address a few words to 
the impenitent in general. When I consider the 
infinite and eternal evils into which you are plung- 
ing, " for the hurt of the daughter of my people am 
I hurt." To think of seeing you eternally crying 
for a drop of water, is more than I can bear. And , 
why will you die ? Why need you die ? " Is there 
no balm in Gilead ? Is there no physician there ?" 
Is there no mercy in the heart of God ? " As I live, 
saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death 
of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his 
way and live." If there is any sincerity in the God 
of truth, your blood must be upon your own head. 
You are deliberately committing the highest and 
most flagitious act of suicide. Stop, I beseech 
you, that murderous hand. Have mercy on your 
own soul. When you shall see your former com- 
panions in heaven, who fled to Christ in this revi- 
val, and you yourselves eternally cast out, what 
agonies of regret will fill your soul. Then we can 
no longer pray for you nor pray to you. We must 


acquiesce in your damnation, and say, Alleluiah, as 
the smoke of your torment ascendeth up forever and 
ever. But at present the thought is very afflicting. 
How does it seem to you ? Would you for ten thou- 
sand worlds be found at last in the circumstances 
which have been described? I can say no more; and 
" if ye will not hear, — -my soul shall weep in secret 
places for your pride, and my eye shall weep sore 
and run down with tears, because the Lord's flock 
is carried away captive " to that land from which 
there is no return. Amen. 



Jer. xih. 21. 
What wilt thou say when he shall punish thee ? 

The time had come when God was about to call 
the Jewish nation to an awful account. Wliilc the 
storm of war was gathering in the north, and had 
almost rolled itself to their door, the distressed pro- 
phet was sent to say to them, "Thus saith the 
Lord, Behold I will fill all the inhabitants of this 
land — with drunkenness, and I will dash them one 
against another, even the fathers and the sons to- 
gether. — I will not pity nor spare nor have mercy." 
This holy man, who was disciplined to grief from 
his infancy, whose tones seemed always the sounds 
of a breaking heart, set himself to mourn over them 
and entreat them. " Hear ye and give ear ; be not 
proud, for the Lord hath spoken. — But if ye will 


not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for 
your pride, and my eye shall weep sore and run 
down with tears." He then puts this penetrating 
question : " What wilt thou say when he shall pu- 
nish thee ?" — After all he turns away discouraged, 
and cries, " Can the Ethiopean change his skin or 
the leopard his spots ? then may ye also do good 
that are accustomed to do evil." 

The same question may be put to sinners in 
every age and place. God has solemnly declared 
that he will punish the wicked with everlasting de- 
struction. And when he shall summon you to his 
bar, and explain the grounds of his conduct, and 
with the approbation of every conscience in the 
universe banish you to your eternal prison, what will 
you then say, poor, ruined sinner ? What reason 
can you offer why sentence should not be executed 
upon you ? What can you allege against the jus- 
tice of your doom ? To this question I must insist 
on an unwavering answer. And to enable you to 
meet it with clearness and precision, I will, 

I. Lead you to reflect on that change of circum- 
stances which will be favorable to a correct judg- 

II. Examine the several pleas which may be sup- 
posed then to offer themselves to your thoughts. 

I. I will lead you to reflect on that change of 
circumstances which will be favorable to a correct 

All that infidelity which now bhnds your minds 
will then be done away. You will see that there is 
a God, as you now see that your parents and child- 


ren exist. You will see that God was your Crea- 
tor, Proprietor, and Master, who put you into his 
world and supported you in it that you might labor 
for him ; that he put you under law and commanded 
you to serve him ; that all your sins and all the ido- 
latry of living to yourselves were a gross contempt 
of his authority. When " the heavens shall be 
rolled together as a scroll" " and the elements shall 
melt with fervent heat," then you will see the ma- 
jesty of that God against whom you dared to rebel. 
When the Son of God shall descend with his innu- 
merable retinue, and arraign three worlds before his 
bar, and the destiny of all creatures shall tremble 
on his lips ; then will you see the dignity of him 
who descended to the manger and the sepulchre 
for you : then will you see the infinite evil which 
your sins wrought on Calvary, and the amazing ex- 
hibition there made of their horrid deformity. 
When " the books" shall be " opened" which con- 
tain an account of all your talents, a record of all 
your sins, an explanation of all the dealings of God 
with you, a justification of all his requirements, of 
all his dispensations ; — the books, in short, which 
shall make a full " revelation of the righteous judg- 
ment of God;" then will you see that you have 
sinned against a God of infinite rectitude as well as. 
infinite majesty, that your sins were unspeakably 
more numerous, as well as more aggravated, than 
you ever supposed. When eternity shall be laid 
open to your view, in all the glories of heaven and 
in all the horrors of hell ; when, looking through 
the universe, you shall see the infinite and eternal 

Vol. I. 68 


interests which the law of God was appointed to 
protect, and against which your sins have waged 
an eternal war ; when you shall thus see the infinite 
malignity of sin, its raging hostility against the 
whole creation, its deadly struggle against the 
throne, the happiness, the life of God, against the 
unspeakable blessedness and glory of unnumbered 
minds then just beginijing their eternal progression; 
when you shall thus see yourselves to be implacable 
conspirators against all that is blessed and glorious 
in the universe ; then will you form a correct judg- 
ment of your ill deserts. Ther^ will be no unbe- 
lief, no stupidity then. All things will be real, 
amazing, overwhelming. No object to divert atten- 
tion, none to excite false hopes, no chance to co- 
ver yourselves with hollow excuses. Your minds 
will be strung up to the highest action; your 
thoughts will dart through eternity. Every thing 
will burst upon you marked with eternity and infi- 
nity. In every thing you will have a personal inte- 
rest, deeper than the soul of man can now conceive. 
Who can describe the emotions of that day ? 

II. Let us now examine the several pleas which 
may be supposed to offer themselves to your 

Will you say that you meant no evil, or no evil 
great enough to deserve eternal death ? But it will 
appear that your selfish heart followed your idols to 
the neglect of God, — did not love God, but was op- 
posed to his holy character and precepts, and had 
in it a preparation to hate him with all the malignity 
of a fiend as soon as your interest should be suffi- 


ciently assailed. It will appear that your unbelief 
gave the lie to his word ; that your disingenuous 
heart refused to thank him for all his infinite mer- 
cies ; that you excluded the universe from your af- 
fections, and followed, as well in your placid as in 
your turbulent hours, wherever your own apparent 
interest led the way ; that you made yourself your 

Will you say that your sins have done no great 
evil, as God was present to prevent their effects ? 
This goes to deny the right of God to punish any 
sin, and sweeps away at once every vestige of a 
moral government. What sin is there in the uni- 
verse which he does not limit, and out of which he 
does not educe good? And if he makes "the 
wrath of man" to " praise" him and restrains the 
remainder, is he therefore deprived of the right of 
punishing, when it is partly by that very punish- 
ment that " the wrath of man" is made to " praise" 
him ? If an enemy discharges a pistol at your 
breast, and opens an abscess which saves your life, 
is he the less criminal on that account ? But your 
sins have wrought evils immeasurable. They caused 
the death of the Son of God. They have perhaps 
contributed to plunge many into hell. 

Will you say that you sinned but a little while, 
and that there is no proportion between temporary 
transgression and eternal punishment? Tell me 
another thing. How long must a man commit mur- 
der, to deserve to lose forever his natural life? 
Cannot a person entail on others lasting misery by 
a momentary act ? By the midnight torch can he 


not in one hour cast a family naked upon the world 
for life ? And if the wickedness of an hour can fix 
lasting misery, on whom should that misery fall ra- 
ther than on the culprit himself? Sin has appHed 
its torch to the kingdom and throne of God, and 
sought to destroy in one hour an infinite and end- 
less good : and shall its punishment be limited by 
the time taken up in sinning ? or shall it be mea- 
sured by the duration of the good sought to be de- 
stroyed ? 

Will you say that you sinned in a finite nature, 
and cannot deserve an infinite punishment? But 
you sinned against an infinite God : you sought to 
destroy an infinite good. And while your punish- 
ment, in every stage of it, is finite in degree, to 
comport with your finite nature, it ought to be infi- 
nite in duration, to comport with the dignity of the 
Being and the worth of the good you sought to de- 

Will you plead that you were no worse than 
others ? And what of that ? Can the rebellion of 
others justify yours ? Did God allow you to go with 
the multitude to do evil ? Did not his law insulate 
you and bind its authority upon you as an indi- 
vidual ? The obligation was not a company con- 
cern ; and the failure of others ought not to have 
produced a failure in you. What is Judas the bet- 
ter for the sin of Cain or of Satan ? 

Will you say that you were beset with strong 
temptations ? But the temptations were purposely 
appointed for the trial of your obedience. They 
were an experiment to test the temper of your heart. 


Without a temptation it could not have appeared by 
any outward act whether you loved God or idols 
most. Temptations did not make your heart what 
it was; they only brought it out to view. Had 
your heart been right with God, they would have 
made no more impression upon it than they did 
upon our Saviour in the wilderness. Your own de- 
pravity gave them all their power. 

Will you say, in vindication of your errors of 
doctrine, that others, wiser than you, betrayed you 
into them ? But what right had you to believe fal- 
lible men when you had the word of God in your 
hands ? In whom did God command you to trust, 
in himself or in blinded worms ? But you say, they 
interpreted Scripture for you and made you think 
that their errors were supported by the Bible. Aye, 
had your heart been in love with truth, that truth 
lay so plain on the sacred page, that, with diligent 
attention to the Scriptures, it could not have been 
mistaken under any disguise. 

Will you plead that you had many good desires 
and did many good actions ? And what of that / 
Will the good actions of a murderer exempt him 
from execution ? Will the payment of a new debt 
extinguish the old score ? Was there any thing 
more than was due for the time being in any of 
your good desires or works ? But what if it shall 
appear that in God's account you never had a good 
desire nor performed a good action ? What if it 
shall appear that all your desires were selfish, or at 
best the motions of natural and neutral affections, 
and that all your actions had no higher character, 


being prompted by no higher motives ? What if it 
shall appear that your "plowing" was "sin," and 
that your very " sacrifices" were " an abomination 
to the Lord ?" And all this will appear against 
every unregenerate man. 

Will you say that you did not know God? But 
" the heavens " declared " the glory of God, and 
the firmament " showed " his handy work." God 
stood expressed before you in all his works, but 
more gloriously in his word. Why then did you not 
know him ? Because you believed not, and " the 
god of this world " had "blinded" your "minds." 
But did you never read that " he that believeth not 
shall be damned ?" 

Will you say that the Holy Spirit never strove 
with you ? What then made you so often solemn 
in your childhood ? What forced you into the se- 
cret corner to pray? What, in maturer years, 
pressed you with eternal realities when you stood 
by the grave of a departed friend, or sat under a 
soul-searching sermon ? Was it less the Spirit of 
God because he wrought by means ? By means he 
generally works. Ah, had you listened to his voice, 
had you cherished his suggestions, you would not 
have been in this condition now. 

Will you say that christians and ministers did not 
warn you ? Say not that again. We are witnesses 
that they have often wept over you and pleaded in 
your ears with a bleeding heart : but nothing could 
move the dead. You know not how many tears they 
have shed for you in secret. But you would nei- 
ther weep nor hear. O if they could have prevail- 


ed, how eagerly would they have snatched you 
from destruction. But they could not prevail, and 
you have come to this. 

Will you come out at last and boldly charge the 
blame upon God ? Will you say that you received 
your evil nature from him, — that he gave you pas- 
sions and appetites which betrayed you ? Here I 
cannot hold my peace. Is infinite rectitude to be 
thus assailed ? All as false as perdition. " This 
only have I found, that God hath made man up- 
right, but they have sought out many inventions." 
In his great bounty he gave you appetites, that you 
might relish creature good. But did the power of 
relishing bind you to turn the creatures into idols ? 
This was because you loved not God. Passions he 
gave you, but not such passions as would lead you 
astray. These sprung up from the selfishness of 
your hearts. Supreme regard to your own gratifi- 
cation changed every relish into an ungovernable 
appetite, — every desire into a domineering passion, 
— every thing loved into an idol. Whatever in 
your nature was more infirm than creatures neces- 
sarily possess, grew out of that supreme self-love. 
That, and not God, was the cause of all : and for 
that you alone were to blame. 

Will you plead that you could not love God, that 
you could not repent and believe, that you could 
not change your own heart ? All this is saying that 
you had a heart so desperately wicked that it would 
yield to no motives. But in such a temper lay 
your whole guilt. It could lie no where else. Your 
words and actions were no further sinful than as 


they were dictated by such a heart. Separate from 
the heart they had no moral nature. If the wick- 
edness of your heart is excused, all sin is excused. 
If this is not worthy of punishment, nothing is wor- 
thy. If this is not an evil deserving of God's dis- 
pleasure, there is no moral evil, there can be none, 
and no creature can possibly be formed capable of 
sinning. If then God may not punish you for the 
evil temper of your heart, he can no longer exer- 
cise a moral government. 

Will you say that you were excluded by God's 
foreknowledge and decree ? But pray, if God fore- 
saw that you would reject the Gospel, how did that 
compel you to reject the Gospel ? He foresaw that 
you would do it freely and of your own accord, and 
you did it as freely as though it had not been fore- 
known. And as to a decree, he never decreed to 
compel you to reject the Gospel ; he only decreed 
to let you alone. And if he may not punish those 
whose wickedness he foresaw, and whom he deter- 
mined to leave to themselves, he must either cease 
to foreknow or foredetermine, and thus cease to be 
God, or renounce all right to punish, and thus give 
up his moral government. 

Will you say. It is hard for a creature to be 
brought into existence without his own consent, and 
then be made eternally miserable ? " Nay but, O 
man, who art thou that repliest against God ? Shall 
the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why 
hast thou made me thus ?" If God may not create 
intelligent beings witJiout their consent, he may not 
create them at all. And if he may not punish the 


wicked after he has created them, he may not exer- 
cise a moral government. All those pleas which go 
to deny the right of God to maintain a moral go- 
vernment over his creation, must be false, pre- 
sumptuous, and at open war with him. 

Will you say, Why did he suffer me to sin ? But 
was God obliged to fix and proclaim the principle 
that no creature should ever be suffered to sin ? 
Had there been no sin there could have been no 
punishment ; and if no punishment, the penalty of 
the law could never have been executed. And if 
God had given out that the penalty of the law was 
never to be executed, the penalty would have been 
annihilated and the law turned into mere advice, 
and the whole machinery of a moral government 
would have been dissolved. Or take the subject in 
another view. Was God obliged to forego all the 
illustrations of his character, and all the increased 
happiness of the universe, which have resulted from 
the existence of sin ? Had not the great Proprie- 
tor of all things the best right to determine how far 
to restrain and how far to leave his own creatures ? 
And could not infinite ivisdom judge as well as you ? 
" Nay but, O man, who art thou that rcpliest against 
God ?" 

Will you say that there is no need of so much 
severity ; that God could have made the universe 
happy without your destruction? And have you 
an eye that can look through eternity and infinity 
and judge better than God ? Can you teach him 
what is necessary for the public good ? He has set- 
tled it, with all his infinite wisdom and benevolence, 

Vol.1. 5 9 


that your destruction was necessary to the general 
happiness. Until you become wiser than God, and 
have detected him in a mistake, never use that plea 

Abandoning all these horrible charges, will you 
at last cast yourselves down and say, / cannot hear 
it ? Ah, you should have thought of this in season, 
when you were going on unconcerned in sin, and 
turning a deaf ear to all the warnings and entrea- 
ties of God ; when all heaven and earth could not 
rouse you to a serious thought. Poor soul, I know 
you cannot bear it : and why did you not think of 
this before ? But if you cannot bear it, neither can 
God bear to give up the order of the universe for 
you. He once pitied you and labored to save you, 
by means which have filled all heaven with astonish- 
ment and the Church on earth with tears. But now 
*' he that made" you " will not have mercy on" you, 
" and he that formed" you " will show" you " no 

What more will you say ? I insist again on an 
unwavering answer. Come, bring up your mind to 
a point and tell me. What more will you say ? Ah, 
you will be "speechless." "Every mouth" will 
" be stopped, and all the world " will " become 
guilty before God." You will clearly see that you 
deserve nothing better than eternal fire and everlast- 
ing contempt. And when you see things in this 
light, what mountains of guilt will crush you down. 
If you had committed murder and felt that you de- 
served to die, what an amazing pressure of guilt 
would sink you to the earth. What then when you 


feel in your inmost soul that you deserve everlast- 
ing burnings ? Ah, it will be an awful day. No 
language nor imagination can reach the tremendous 
reality. Why will you not think of it in season ? 
Why will you not fall down at the feet of Christ 
and cast your poor, sinking souls on him? On 
him was laid the weight of all your guilt, if you 
will but flee to him with a bleeding and believing 
heart. O come. " Why t^zV/" you " die?" Why 
need you die ? There is plenty of " balm in Gi- 
lead," " without money and without price." Why 
will you not make it your own? After all the ter- 
rible views we have taken, there is no need that you 
should perish. You are reprieved for a season that 
a full and free offer of pardon might be made you. 
It is most sincerely made. With all your tremen- 
dous guilt, you shall be as welcome to mercy as the 
least sinner on earth. There is no malice in God. 
There was pity enough in him to send his only be- 
gotten Son to die for you. He is in earnest in mak- 
ing you the offer. It is not merely made to others 
in your hearing: he means you. There is nothing 
in the way of his receiving you, — nothing in the 
law, nothing in your guilt, — if you will only return. 
Come, for " all things are ready." God is ready; 
Christ is ready ; the Holy Ghost is ready. Angels, 
and " the spirits of just men made perfect," stand 
ready to catch the joy and circulate it through all 
heaven. Are you ready ? O come. 



Luke, xm. 24. 

Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many, I say unto you, shall seek 
to enter in and shall not be able. 

It is a matter of unspeakable joy that while devils 
are left without hope, a way is opened for self- 
ruined man to pass from the deepest pollution to 
spotless purity, — from the lowest depths of guilt 
and wretchedness to everlasting happiness and glory. 
It becomes us with gratitude to raise our heads from 
pillows of despair wet with tears, to inquire after 
this glorious way of escape. It is said that Christ 
is " the way, — the truth, and the life ;" but when, 
we read that " strait is the gate and narrow is the 
way," this is not to be understood of the Author 
of salvation, but of the conditions of life. Christ 
is not a narrow way, but wide enough for a whole 
world to go abreast. But the course of holiness, 
self-denial, and conflict, through which we must 


pass, this is a strait and narrow way. The gate 
intended is not regeneration, but the whole course 
of labor and watchfulness through which we must 
enter into the kingdom of heaven. 

In regard to the term strait, there are two Eng- 
lish words thus pronounced, though very different 
in their form and signification. One is opposed to 
crooked; the other, which is here used, signifies 
narrow and difficult, which is also the meaning of 
the Greek word employed in the passage. The 
text therefore may be paraphrased thus : Strive, (or 
agonize, as the original word imports,) to enter in 
at the narrow and difficult gate ; for many shall 
seek to enter in and shall not be able. 

My first inquiry is. In what respects is the way 
to heaven narrow and difficult ? It it dijicult as it 
is obstructed by all the corruptions of the heart and 
all the appetites of the flesh. Every step is in di- 
rect opposition to the whole current of depraved 
nature. It is difficult as it is overspread with briers 
and thorns. " Through much tribulation" we must 
"enter into the kingdom of God." Indwelling 
sin causes much trouble, and gives frequent occa- 
sion for the application of a Father's rod. It is 
difficult as it is beset with spiritual foes. A world 
full of temptations, and two worlds full of tempters, 
do all they can to render the way impassable. 

It is narrow as regards the matter of duty. The 
world are more loose in their ideas of holy-living, 
and contemn as superstitious that precision which 
christians observe. In numberless instances they 
think that if they believe or act so and so it is well, 


and if in a contrary way it is no matter. But the 
Scriptures represent the course of duty as a narrow 
line between two extremes, the least variation from 
which brings one upon forbidden ground. Take 
for instance the following examples. On the nar- 
row line lies a righteous liberality to the poor; near 
this on one side lies unfeeling parsimony, and on 
the other, a kind of charitable dissipation. On the 
narrow line lies a holy economy in the management 
of our temporal affairs ; near this on one side lies 
indolent neglect, and on the other, that " covetous- 
ness which is idolatry." On the narrow line lies a 
virtuous wish to live peaceably with all men ; near 
this on one side lies a proud independent spirit 
which is too willing to give offence, and on the 
other, that time serving temper which loves " the 
praise of man more than the praise of God." A 
modest deference for the opinions of superiors is 
the narrow line ; the extremes are, self-willed as- 
surance on the one hand, and on the other, that 
implicit reliance on others which shuns the labor of 
searching and deciding for one's self. There is a 
Gospel charity which, in regard to the character of 
others, "hopeth all things;" the extremes are, a 
censorious spirit on the one hand, and on the other, 
that licentious liberality which equally embraces 
infidels and believers. A holy fear of God is on 
the narrow line ; on one side of which lies a disgust- 
ing familiarity, and on the other, a slavish dread. 
A proper dependance on the mediation of Christ is 
the narrow line ; the extremes arc, on the one hand, 
a dependance on works, and on the other, that ex- 


elusive dependance on Christ which dispenses with 
personal holiness. On the narrow line lies a suita- 
ble dependance on the divine Spirit for light and 
life ; near this, on one side, lies a proud reliance 
on our own powers, and on the other, that exclu- 
sive dependance on the Spirit which sets aside the 
use of our own faculties. Now in all these and 
many other cases, the line of duty between the two 
extremes is very narrow, and the least variation 
from it is sin. 

I do not say that the way to heaven is as narrow 
as the line of duty. Wo to us if it were. But in 
comparison with the highway of open sin, and even 
with the latitude which many professed christians 
allow, it is very narrow. Without an habitual walk 
in this narrow way there is no salvation. 

The way is narrow in another respect. Fatal 
mistakes are incessantly made by a seemingly small 
variation from the true line. There is but one nar- 
row path between the barren heaths of formality 
and the wild precipices of enthusiasm. Close on one 
side lies the speculative religion of the formal hy- 
pocrite, and as close on the other, the warm hypo- 
crisy of the self-inflated enthusiast. Some defect 
at bottom, which is so subtle as to be out of sight, 
may turn the whole of one's religion into hypo- 
crisy ; and then, though it lies so near to true reli- 
gion that no mortal eye can distinguish between 
them, it is worse than nothing. 

After this view of the narrowness and difficulties 
of the way, it is not to be wondered at that so 
many seek to enter in and are not able. Yet this 


warning is very seasonable to us whose eternal all 
depends on finding the right way to life. 

It deeply concerns us to know why so many seek 
to enter in and are not able. This is my second 
inquiry. The difficulties of the way, already men- 
tioned, are indeed so many reasons ; but there arc 
others which belong to the seekers themselves. 

The first of these is ignorance of the qualifica- 
tions required. Some think it enough to be born 
in a Gospel land, and to have the general name of 
Christians in distinction from Mahometans, Jews, 
and pagans. Others, a little above this, think it 
sufficient to be baptised and to exercise a specula- 
tive faith. Others, not satisfied with this, imagine 
that if outward morality be added it is enough. 
Others, not content even with this, suppose that a 
profession of religion and a general attendance on 
means will supply the defect. Others know not 
what doctrines they ought to believe, and possess- 
ing a wrong creed, imagine that their salvation de- 
pends on propagating what will at last appear to 
have been " damnable heresies." 

I say then, it is not enough to be born and brought 
up in a Gospel land. This distinction had the Jews, 
who, according to our context, will another day 
urge that they have eaten and drunken in Christ's 
presence and that he has taught in their streets. It 
is not enough to be born of pious parents and to be 
dedicated by them in baptism. The Jews gloried 
in having Abraham for their father, and seem to 
have calculated on some favor from him at the last 
day ; and it was to destroy this confidence that the 

Vol. I. 60 


rich man was represented as crying to Abraham in 
his extremities and crying in vain. And it was to 
convince them that it was not enough to be the 
children of the circumcision, that our Saviour de- 
clared in the context, " There shall be weeping and 
gnashing of teeth when ye shall see Abraham and 
Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, and you 
yourselves thrust out." Yes, many children in that 
day will see their pious parents forever separated 
from them, and feasting at the immortal banquet 
from which they are eternally excluded. 

It is not enough to exercise a speculative faith. 
"Devils — believe and tremble." It is not enough 
to attend on the means of grace. It was said of 
the wicked Jews, "They seek me daily and de- 
light to know my ways, as a nation that did righte- 
ousness and forsook not the ordinance of their 
God ; they ask of me the ordinances of justice ; 
they take delight in approaching to God." It is 
not enough, like the young man in the Gospel, to 
cleanse the outside of the cup and platter. Such 
decent people, who put morahty in the room both 
of Christ and of the new birth, will as certainly fail 
as infidels themselves. 

It is not enough to be awakened and to seek sal- 
vation with a selfish heart. Some who are thus 
think that now they are the objects of God's special 
regard. But doubtless there are many now in hell 
who were as much awakened and sought as ear- 
nestly as they. It is not enough to obtain a hope, 
and even to be very confident of one's good estate. 
None had greater confidence than the self-righte- 


ous Jews. And it is more than possible that some 
now present will hold fast their confidence until 
and through a dying hour, and then, when flushed 
with high hopes of entering the heavenly gates, 
will suddenly find themselves sinking in everlasting 
burnings. It is not enough to enter into covenant 
with God and to belong to the visible Church. 
This distinction had the Jews, and they reckoned 
on it as that which rendered them the peculiar fa- 
vorites of heaven. Yet our Saviour forewarned 
them that many would come " from the east and 
from the west, — from the north and from the south, 
and — sit down in the kingdom of God," while " the 
children of the kingdom" would " be cast out." 
And there may be some present who think it enough 
to belong to the visible Church and to preserve a 
fair exterior. But do they not know that tares grow 
in every field ? And none are more likely to be of 
this description than those who lay so much stress 
on a mere profession. 

Thus far in regard to mistaken notions of the 
qualifications for heaven. But there is a second 
class of reasons why so many seek to enter in and 
are not able. There are those whose speculative 
opinions are correct ; who believe in the necessity 
of regeneration ; who are themselves awakened, ~ 
and tremble like Felix, and weep like Esau, and 
make long and frequent prayers like the Jews, and 
reform their lives hke Simon Magus, and like the 
young man in the Gospel are conscientious in their 
general conduct ; and yet are of the number of those 
who seek to enter in and are not able. What can 



be the cause of preventing these, it is of the last 
importance for us to know. I say then, that their 
failure is not to be ascribed to a mere want of earnest- 
ness. Although in general the unregenerate exhibit 
a criminal indifference to their salvation, which, 
among other causes, prevents any successful effort ; 
although it is true in all cases that " the kingdom 
of heaven" is taken by "violence;" yet it is not 
true that the carelessness of sinners is in such a 
sense the only cause of their failure, that they 
would certainly succeed if it were removed. There 
must be an alteration not so much in the degree as 
in the nature of their violence. There are two ra- 
dical defects attending all their strivings ; one, that 
they do not strive after proper objects ; the other, 
that they do not seek their own object in a proper 

The first defect is that they do not strive after 
proper objects. That which they supremely seek 
is their own happiness, — a happiness entirely sepa- 
rate from the kingdom of God and from all benevo- 
lent enjoyment. To be more particular, 

(1.) They do not strive wdth direct desires to es- 
cape that in which the curse of the law essentially 
consists, namely, hanisliment from God, Possess- 
ing a general notion that hell is a place of misery, 
they would gladly avoid that : but the thought of 
being banished from God, if that were all, would 
give them but little trouble. With the same heart 
they have been content to live without him for many 
years ; and if they were sure that no conscience 
would disturb them, and that no other punishment 


would assail them, they would be content to live 
without him to eternity. Therefore, 

(2.) They do not seek after a proper kind of 
happiness. Could they obtain an eternal residence 
in a place where they might forever revel in carnal 
enjoyments, they would have no desire after the 
christian's heaven. 

(3.) They do not strive with direct desires after 
holiness. They desire holiness just as a sick man 
desires a disagreeable potion needful to the resto- 
ration of his health. Did they believe that they 
could be as happy without it as with it, they would 
no longer desire it. 

(4.) They have no regard for the glory of God, 
and care not what becomes of him or his kingdom 
provided they can be happy. And is the infinite 
God obliged to regard them ? Therefore it is that 
they pray without being heard, and strive without 
entering the strait gate. 

The other defect is, that they do not seek their 
own object in a proper way. 

(1.) Not with brokenness of heart. They apply 
to God for infinite blessings without being truly 
sorry for the injuries they have done him. And 
while all these injuries are fresh in his memory, 
and their impenitence and self-justification are dis- 
tinct in his view, can it be thought that he will re- 
gard their prayers ? Is this the manner of men ? 
Would any human being receive and oblige another 
under such circumstances ? Would you do it your- 
self, O complaining sinner? I know you would 
not. How just then that you should be treated as 


you would treat others. Until therefore you repent 
of your sins, not from fear of punishment, but from 
filial regard to him whom you have offended, you 
may forever seek in vain. 

(2.) They do not strive with an humble sense of 
their own unworthiness. As vile as they have been, 
and as impenitent as they still remain, they do not 
feel utterly unworthy of the blessings they ask. 
When they have performed some outward duty in 
a poor wretched manner, — in a manner that de- 
serves eternal rebukes, — they think they have atoned 
for all their abuses of infinite majesty and good- 
ness, and moreover have laid God under obligations, 
— obligations to confer, not small favors, but the 
infinite blessing of eternal life. And under pre- 
tence of asking, they come to demand this as their 
due, and feel as though they should be injured if 
denied. And when for a time God withholds, their 
hearts rise against him as a " hard master," reap- 
ing where he has not sown and refusing to pay his 
laborers their honest wages. And such presump- 
tion they call praying. But a creature that deserves 
to be trodden down into shame and everlasting con- 
tempt, must come down to lower grounds than this 
before he can prevail with God. This leads me to 

(3.) That they do not seek in the name of Christ. 
Although his name is on their tongue, yet in their 
heart they do not approve of him as the only ground 
of salvation, nor do they beheve him to be such, 
but look to their own duties as the meritorious 
ground of all. Thus they set aside the very pith 


and marrow of the Gospel. And while thus, to 
what purpose are all their strivings ? As well might 
devils attempt to break prison and escape, as hu- 
man sinners to enter into life while they reject the 
only Saviour provided for men. 

These are some of the reasons why so many seek 
to enter in and are not able : for it must be remember- 
ed that no one is " crowned" in this contest "except 
he strive lawfully." The noting of these defects will 
enable us to discover the true manner of striving. 
Now awake to this. We must seek proper objects 
and seek them in a right way. In striving for happi- 
ness we must seek that which consists in contemplat- 
ing God and the prosperity of his kingdom. The 
misery most anxiously shunned must be that of ba- 
nishment from God. We must seek with direct 
desires after holiness, and aim supremely at the 
glory of God. All this must be done with a 
broken heart, — with an humble sense of utter un- 
worthiness, — with entire dependance on the atone- 
ment and righteousness of Christ, — and with su- 
preme love to God. We must seek with earnest- 
ness, with dilhgence, by faithful attendance on all the 
means of gracCj in a course of universal obedience, 
and with perseverance until death. 

I will now suggest some reasons which urge to 
this course of seeking. 

(1.) It is the express command of Christ. This 
is plain from the text, and decides it to be our in- 
dispensable duty which no plea of inability can put 
aside. And if we will not obey, it unavoidably re- 
mains for us to reap the awful fruits of disobedi- 


(2.) From the very constitution of things, with- 
out thus striving we can never win the prize. There 
is nothing of any value which we can hope to ob- 
tain without striving for it. Though all things come 
from God, yet he does not give them in a way to 
set aside the use of our faculties. Would you ob- 
tain science or wealth or honor, you must acquire 
them by exertion. So if you would gain a know- 
ledge of God and a victory over yourselves, you 
must obtain them by holy exertion. 

(3.) Another argument may be drawn from the 
value of the prize. This is nothing less than re- 
demption from eternal pollution and misery, and 
exaltation to the everlasting glories of heaven; 
compared with which all that the world holds out 
to attract our attention are but weeds and dirt. 
And will rational beings wear out life in toiling for 
these, and madly neglect that which in value ex- 
ceeds all estimation, — which in duration has no end? 

(4.) " Many — shall seek to enter in and shall not 
be able." It was not without reason that our Sa- 
viour urged the necessity of putting forth all the 
powers of the soul, from the consideration of the 
great difficulties in the way, — difficulties which 
many with all their efforts will never be able to sur- 
mount. A nature in league with sin, a treacherous 
heart, a frowning and ensnaring world, and a sub- 
tle devil ; these are difficulties which the strongest 
find it hard to overcome. And " if the righteous 
scarcely" are " saved," where shall the stupid, in- 
active sinner appear ? If the difficulties are so 
great that thousands who seek to enter in are not 


able, what will become of those who sleep out life 
in carnal security ? If in time of war, many strong 
men, with all their exertions, are crushed by the 
rushing foe, what will become of those who are 
asleep on the field of battle ? When such difficul- 
ties obstruct the way, what infatuation has seized 
on those who, like Jonah, are slumbering in " the 
sides of the ship." Hark! how the storms beat 
and break around you, and you are fast asleep ! 
Arise, O sleeper, and call upon your God, that you 
perish not in the waves. 

(5.) It is another reason for striving, that, not- 
withstanding all these difficulties, they who " strive 
lawfully" will certainly be "crowned." In num- 
berless instances men will strive earnestly when the 
issue is very uncertain, and when the thing sought 
is of little value ; and will they neglect to strive 
here, where the strife will be crowned with certain 
success, and where success will make them for 
eternity ? 

(6.) Comparatively speaking, there is nothing 
else worth striving for. And indeed without a com- 
parison, no other pursuit but that which leads to 
immortality is worthy supremely to engross the 
powers of a rational soul, or worthy to have been 
the object for which that soul was formed. Such 
a wonderful substance was never created to exhaust 
itself in the pursuit of toys. In any other respect 
than as related to eternity, these things are unwor- 
thy of its attention. And shall we waste ourselves 
in pursuit of these vanities and neglect the heavenly 
prize ? No, my brethren, if we will not strive for 
Vol. I. 61 


this there is no further use for our powers ; — we have 
nothing more to do on earth ; — and hke the worm 
which winds itself in its web when its work is done 
we may as well fold up our arms and lie down and 

(7.) Consider, ye who need such arguments, how 
much God and the Lord Jesus Christ have striven 
for your salvation ; how much the holy angels in 
their ministrations to the Church ; how much have 
ministers and christians. And shall heaven and 
earth conspire to pluck you out of the pit, and will 
you lie still and refuse to help yourselves ? Has all 
this zeal been employed about a worthless thing 
that you are so indifferent about it ? O man, that 
hast an immortal soul within thee, why so regard- 
less of thine eternal destinies when heaven and 
earth are so solicitous for you? 

(8.) Attend to the awful consideration suggested 
in the context. With a solemn accent our Saviour 
assured the Jews, that the time would come when 
the gate of the kingdom would be forever closed ; 
when they would stand without and pray for admis- 
sion, but in vain ; when, with " weeping and gnash- 
ing of teeth," they would see Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob in the kingdom of God, and themselves thrust 
out. Ah, who can sketch a glimpse of that dis- 
tressing scene, — when the die is cast once and for- 
ever ; when the door of the kingdom is shut and 
there is no more entering in ; when sinners shall 
look away through their tears and behold their for- 
mer companions in heaven and themselves forever 
thrust out ; when they shall see their pious parents 


" afar off," with an impassable gulph fixed between 
them, and shall beseech them by all their former 
love to send them one drop of water to cool their 
tongue, and shall find them deaf to all their entrea- 
ties. O children, — sinners, — old and young, — will 
not this be a most distressing hour ? Hour, did I 
say ? a most distressing eternity. 

Are there any present under the calls of the di- 
vine Spirit ? You see why you have so long stri- 
ven in vain, and how you may strive to better pur- 
pose. The present is the crisis of your existence, 
and probably good and bad angels are anxiously 
watching the issue. Do not calculate too confi- 
dently on a change in your favor, and thus relapse 
into stupidity. Thousands have sought as earnest- 
ly as you to enter in and have not been able. Cast 
down the weapons of your rebellion at once and 
submit to God. Can you bear the thought of being 
at last in the condition which has been described ? 

It is painful to disturb the ashes of the dead ; — 
but are there not some present who in former 
months or years were awakened by the Spirit of 
God, but relapsed into stupidity, and cannot now 
be moved by all that is passing before their eyes ? 
Wretched men ! you little know how they who un- 
derstand your case tremble for you, lest you should 
be of the number of those who sought to enter in 
and were not able. There is reason to fear that 
your eyes will never more be opened. But if they 
are not forever sealed, open them this once before 
you die, and behold the dangers among which you 
are sleeping secure. Could you see one who was 


known to be abandoned of God, with what feehngs 
would you regard him ! And yet how know you 
but this is your condition ? Many, for resisting the 
Spirit as you have done, have been sealed over to 
destruction. But if your fate is not already fixed, 
it is in imminent danger of soon becoming so. O 
that one could speak so that the dead would hear ; 
" Awake, arise, or be forever fallen." 

One word to professing christians. Many of the 
visible church will seek to enter in and will not be 
able. Many will go down from sacraments and 
confident hopes to everlasting burnings. 

Let impenitent sinners of every description at- 
tend. I could hope by this time that you are all 
convinced of the importance of striving for the king- 
dom of heaven first or last; but when will you begin? 
You have often had this conviction, but being dis- 
posed to delay, it has passed off" like " the morning 
cloud and — early dew." Thus it has doubtless 
been with thousands now in hell. Take care that 
delay does not prove your ruin. After all, this is 
the rock on which many of you will probably split. 
But will not some, wiser than the rest, be induced 
to escape to day ? The Saviour's arms are yet ex- 
tended to receive you. The compassions of God 
say, Come. O come, for why will ye die ? 



Mat. VIII. 11, 12. 

And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and west and 
shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of hea- 
ven ; but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness j 
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeta. 

This was originally spoken with reference to the 
rejection of the Jews, (who by profession and dedica- 
tion had constituted the visible kingdom of God,) and 
the calling of the Gentiles. The occasion was this. 
When Jesus, at a certain time, entered into Ca- 
pernaum, a centurion, (a Roman officer who com- 
manded a band of a hundred soldiers,) who was 
himself a Gentile, came to him and entreated him 
to heal his servant. And when Jesus promised to 
go with him the centurion replied, " Lord, I am 
not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof, 
but speak the word only and my servant shall be 
healed ;" and subjoined what imported that diseases 


were Christ's servants to go at his command and to 
come at his bidding. When Jesus heard this " he 
marvelled, and said to them that followed, verily I 
say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no 
not in Israel." There is a stronger confidence in 
me in this Gentile centurion, than I have found in 
the whole Jewish nation. These frequent instances 
of Gentile faith were tokens that the time was ap- 
proaching when the Gospel and the sanctifying Spi- 
rit would be extended to the heathen. And the oc- 
currence of such a remarkable instance was a fit 
occasion, not only to allude to that approaching 
event, but to introduce another which in the pur- 
pose of God was coupled with it, to wit, the rejec- 
tion of the Jews. As our Saviour said to the chief 
priests and elders on another occasion, " The king- 
dom of God shall be taken from you and given to 
a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof;" so here 
" I say unto you that many shall come from the east 
and west and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac 
and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven ; but the child- 
ren of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer 
darkness : there shall be weeping and gnashing of 

The time has come when the heathen, after being 
mostly neglected for fifteen hundred years, seem 
about to be called in. And is it not to be feared 
that, as it happened in the beginning of the Gospel, 
the kingdom of God, when carried to the heathen, 
will be taken from many who have long abused it, — 
from many of our baptised youth who are emphati- 
cally the children of the kingdom ? This is a question 


which ought to awaken a solemn concern in those 
who have long rejected the Gospel. 

It has been a principle of the divine administra- 
tion to take from men the Gospel which they have 
long and egregiously abused. This was exemplified 
in the remarkable instance to which our text alludes. 
The Jews had been a nation brought up among 
prophets and Scriptures and divine ordinances. — 
They had abused these privileges by continuing in 
unbelief. God had shown himself long suffering 
towards them. But when the point was reached 
beyond which endurance could not be carried, he 
stripped them of all their distinctions, burnt down 
their temple and cities, banished them from the land 
given to Abraham, abandoned them to unbelief, ig- 
norance, and vice, and altogether took his kingdom 
from them. This was exemplified also in the case 
of the seven churches of Asia. They had been 
planted and watered by the labors of the apostles. 
They were flourishing and exemplary and greatly 
beloved. But ere the apostolic age had run out, 
most of them began to decline in piety ; which drew 
from the risen Saviour those messages of reproof 
and warning contained in the second and third 
chapters of Revelation. To the Ephesian church 
he said, " Remember — from whence thou art fallen 
and repent and do the first works ; or else I will 
come unto thee quickly and will remove thy candle- 
stick out of his place." To the church of Perga- 
mos he said, (in reference to a part who had run 
into error and were tolerated by the rest,) " Repent, 
or else I will come unto thee quickly and will fight 


against them with the sword of my mouth." An 
equally severe threatening was directed against 
a part of the church of Thyatira. To the church 
in Sardis he said, "If— thou shah not watch, I 
will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not 
know what hour I will come upon thee." To the 
church in Laodicea he said, "Because thou art 
lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee 
out of my mouth." The churches of Smyrna and 
Philadelphia were only commended. And what 
now is the state of those seven churches and their 
cities ? " Ephesus," says one, " is now venerable 
for nothing but the ruins of palaces, temples and 
amphitheatres. — The town is merely a miserable 
village, the habitation of herdsmen and farmers, liv- 
ing in low and mean huts, sheltered from extremi- 
ties of weather by mighty masses of ruinous walls. 
All the inhabitants — amount not to above forty or 
fifty families of Turks, without one Christian family 
among them."* Pergamos " is now an inconside- 
rable place, thinly inhabited."! At Thyatira "there 
now dwell about four or five thousand Turks, in a 
good air and soil, but amidst multitudes of ancient 
ruins, and in a condition sufficiently wretched. "J 
At Sardis "there still remain some vestiges of 
Christianity. — But since the place fell into the hands 
of the Saracens and Turks, it has gradually dwin- 
dled ; and nothing now remains but a tolerable inn, 
some cottages for shepherds, and heaps of old ru- 
ins."|| "Laodicea is not only unchurched, but is a 

" Rees. t Rees. J Brown. || Brown. 


mere desert, with some ruins scarce sufficient to 
mark that ever such a city was in the place."* 
Philadelphia and Smyrna, which were so commend- 
ed in the Revelation, alone retain an}^ considerable 
respectability. Philadelphia " was very considera- 
ble when the Turks took possession of it."t It is 
now '• the see of a Greek bishop," and " contains 
about two thousand christians and twenty-five 
places of public worship," though it is " meanly 
built and thinly inhabited. — Many parts of the an- 
cient walls remain, but with large chasms." J Symr- 
na alone, so highly praised by the risen Saviour, 
remains a flourishing city. It contains " about 
130,000" inhabitants ; of whom " about 70,000 are 
Turks,— 10,000 Jews" and 50,000 Christians. It is 
a well built city and carries on an extensive com- 
merce with all the world. || 

Thus five of the seven churches, (the same that 
were reproved in the Revelation for their abuse 
of Christian privileges,) have all been brought to 
ruin or to a state of great degradation, and the whole 
have been given into the hands, first of the Sara- 
cens, and then of the Turks. Indeed this has been 
the case with the whole Greek church, except its 
northern limb which lies in the Russian empire. 
All the rest, for the abuse of the Gospel, has been 
overrun by the Saracens and Turks, abandoned by 
the Spirit, debased by oppression, and left in the 
grossest ignorance and vice. This is the case with 
all the churches mentioned in the New Testament 

• Brown. t Rees. { Worcester. || Ree« 

Vol. I. 62 


except that of Rome. What an awful lesson to the 
abusers of the Gospel ! 

It is a remarkable and very solemn circumstance, 
that the time when the kingdom of God was taken 
from the Jews, was when it was carried to the hea- 
then. God would not leave himself without a king- 
dom on earth, and therefore he would not call the 
Jewish nation to a final and decisive account for 
the abuse of their privileges, till he was prepared 
to adopt another people ; according to the princi- 
ple involved in the sentence against the Jews, " The 
kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given 
to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." These 
two events being coupled together in the predic- 
tions, every instance of Gentile faith in the time of 
our Saviour's ministry, was an alarming symptom 
of the approaching rejection of the Jews. Nor was 
that the only instance in which God had decreed 
to make his judgments on Gospel despisers to 
synchronize with the call of the heathen. Such a 
concurrence of dates was to happen in the age 
which has now opened, so far at least as respects 
the arraignment of the Romish church. The Ca- 
tholic world have for ages grossly abused the Gos- 
pel. They have reduced it to a system of state po- 
licy and of gross superstition, to render it an en- 
gine to govern the multitude and to gratify the am- 
bition and avarice of their spiritual lords. Never 
since the days of the Pharisees has the Gospel been 
so arrantly perverted. To illustrate the human 
heart and his own patience, God resolved to bear 
with their increasing corruptions for 1260 years. 


But the time to remove their candlestick out of its 
place was fixed. And it was fixed to the time when 
the Gospel should be generally carried to the hea- 
then. Look at this. " And I saw another angel 
fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting 
Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, 
and to every nation and kindred and tongue and 
people ; saying with a loud voice, Fear God and 
give glory to him, fcr the hour of his judgment is 
come. — And there followed another angel saying, 
Babylon is fallen, is fallen." By Babylon here the 
whole Protestant world understand Rome, including 
the entire Catholic church and the civil govern- 
ments which support it. The judgment is set forth 
in so close a connexion with the evangelizing of 
the heathen, that the thorough entrance on mis- 
sionary exertions becomes an infallible sign of its 
approach. Indeed both events have begun, and 
began the same year. In 1792 the first missionary 
society in the modern series was formed, and the 
same year the blood began to flow in Catholic 
countries, which continued for more than twenty 
years, and went far towards breaking down the 
power of that church. Whatever intermissions 
may take place, it will continue to flow until the 
whole civil and ecclesiastical structure of those na- 
tions is completely subverted. Long ago God 
took from them in a great measure his Spirit, and 
now he will take from them the form of their church 
and of their government. This is the judgment to 
be inflicted on a hundred millions who bear the 
Christian name, comprehending something like 


one half of Christendom ; and this is the age in 
which the destruction was to be announced by mis- 
sions to the heathen. Is not this a solemn age ? 
The going forth of missionaries and the calling in 
of the heathen, are a public token that the time is 
at hand when nearly one half of the Christian world, 
for their abuse of the Gospel, are to be completely 
unchurched, and to lose the whole structure of their 
ecclesiastical and civil state. 

Is it not time for Gospel abusers in Protestant 
countries to tremble ? One general feature of the 
present age is, that while with one hand God ga- 
thers in the heathen, with the other he will strip 
and dash those miserable men who have long slight- 
ed their birthright. Is this justice to be confined 
to Catholic countries ? He wishes in this age to 
make a display of himself on earth as being such a 
God : must he necessarily confine his displays to 
countries under the influence of the church of 
Rome ? He will indeed hold up those countries to 
the view of the whole world, and make his dealings 
with them to be seen and understood by all enlight- 
ened nations to the end of time ; but will he not 
pursue the same course, in a greater or less degree, 
with sinners of the Protestant faith? I hope it will 
not be found necessary at this late day to break up 
any of our orthodox churches. And yet such facts 
have occurred, even in our own land, within a cen- 
tury. They occurred after the great revival of re- 
ligion in the days of Whitefield. But even if such 
facts are not to be repeated, may we not expect 
that the influences of the Spirit and the higher bless- 


ings of the Gospel will be taken from many indivi- 
duals who have long abused their privileges ? May 
■vve not expect that this will happen to many of our 
baptised children ? This brings us to the very point 
of distress. How many of our dear youth who 
have been consecrated to God and nurtured in the 
lap of piety, and over whose unhappy state many 
a parental tear has flowed, still remain stupid in sin 
and carried away with the world. They come to 
the house of God and hear, but nothing which they 
hear affects their hearts. They come to the do- 
mestic altar, but half of the time their hearts, with 
the fool's eyes, are in the ends of the earth. They 
repeat their prayers in secret ; (surely children who 
have been devoted to God cannot neglect the forms 
of prayer :) they repeat their prayers in secret, but 
it is only with their lips, while their hearts are far 
from God. They read the Bible, but it is to them 
a sealed book, and they have no realizing sense that 
what they read is the word of God. They pay a 
decent respect to the sabbath : (surely baptised 
children cannot profane the sabbath by rambling 
the fields or reading newspapers, or by worldly con- 
versation :) they pay a decent respect to the sab- 
bath, but they have no relish for the proper employ- 
ments of the day, and are often ready to say, 
" What a weariness is it." They see the supper 
of the Lord set forth, but their seats are empty at 
the table. They see other children brought in the 
arms of their parents to baptism, but it is with no 
deep impression of their own baptismal obligations. 
The Spirit of God has called them, but this sacred 


influence is rejected. They have heard that a Sa- 
viour died for them, but they are penetrated with 
no love or gratitude to Christ. Their heavenly 
Father heaps daily and hourly mercies upon them, 
but they never once sincerely thank him. They 
have committed millions of sins, each of vv^hich de- 
serves eternal fire, and yet they never repented of 
one. They carry about in their bosoms hearts of 
enmity against God, and yet they are no more con- 
cerned than though they had nothing there but love. 
They lie under a sentence of eternal death, and yet 
they can dance along the road of life with as much 
glee as if they were going to heaven. Though 
heaven threatens and calls and invites, their whole 
concern is after the world. All their joy lies there 
and all their trouble springs thence. Their hearts 
are stupid and hard and full of unbelief. And they 
are growing harder every day. Formerly, when 
they attended funerals or heard awakening sermons, 
they would tremble ; but now they can see and hear 
with comparative indifference. All this time the 
privileges which they thus abuse are marked with 
the price of blood. All this time they are surround- 
ed with advantages which not one child in a hun- 
dred ever enjoyed. And have we no reason to 
tremble for them ? Have we no reason to fear that 
God, wearied out with their obstinacy, will with- 
draw his influence from them altogether and carry 
it to heathen children ? Have we not special rea- 
son to fear this in reference to those who were once 
awakened and have gone back ? Why should we 
not fear and tremble ? We see the children of other 


Christians, and even of some of the best of men, 
living and dying without rehgion, and even becom- 
ing profligates. There were the wicked children 
of Noah, of Job, of Abraham, of Aaron, of Eli, 
of Samuel, of David, of Hezekiah, of Josiah, and 
of many eminent Christians and Christian ministers 
in modern times. There is no certainty in respect 
to any that they will be saved because they have 
pious parents and have been dedicated to God. 
But on the contrary, we have great reason to fear 
that in many instances, for their long abuse of 
privileges, the Spirit will be taken from them and 
given to the children of the heathen. The Spi- 
rit of God ordinarily moves so far in a line with 
nature, that what nature would seem most likely to 
produce, more generally takes place under his in- 
fluence. Now to pagan children the Gospel is new, 
and on that account more aftecting. Its wonders 
break upon them and arrest their attention to many 
things which are passed over by children accustomed 
to them. Their hearts moreover have not been 
hardened by listening to its sound without regard- 
ing it. On these accounts the Gospel, according 
to the course of nature, is more likely to take strong 
hold of pagan children than of those who have 
grown up in unbelief under its light. And the- 
Spirit, moving in a line with nature, is more likely 
to make it effectual to their hearts when the way is 
suitably prepared. Something of this may be the 
meaning of those words, " Wo unto thee, Chora- 
zin ; — for if the mighty works which were done in 
you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would 


have repented long ago :" and " if the mighty works 
which have been done in thee had been done in So- 
dom, it would have remained until this day." 

All this is said without reference to the abandon- 
ment of Gospel despisers by a judicial sentence. 
But this also is to be reckoned upon. In many in- 
stances the resistance of the Holy Spirit becomes 
the unpardonable sin. On all these accounts it may 
be calculated that heathen children are more likely 
to be brought in by Christian preachers, than some 
of those who have long resisted the calls of the 
Gospel, the tears of parents, and the prayers of the 
Church. And so it will happen that " many shall 
come from the east and west and shall sit down with 
Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of 
heaven, but the children of the kingdom shall be 
cast out into outer darkness." Many of the poor 
Osage children will be gathered in,* while many of 
the children of the covenant will be cast out. The 
squalid sons of the southern islands, the sable suck- 
lings of Ethiopia and India, will sing hosannas to 
the Son of David in the high courts of heaven, 
while many of the children of our prayers will be 
cast out into outer darkness. Ah, when they shall 
look up and see the children of the forest enjoying 
the bliss of heaven while they are cast out, there 
will indeed be " weeping and gnashing of teeth." 
When they shall look up and see their pious parents 
in heaven, and find themselves confined to the so- 
ciety of devils, ah, will there not be " weeping and 

• The congregation had just been assisting in sending a mission to the 


gnashing of teeth?" When they shall look up and 
see that father who used to bend over them with so 
much solemnity when he warned and entreated them, 
and that mother so full of tenderness and love when 
she took them aside for prayer, ah, with what agony 
will they cast themselves on the fiery pavement and 
tear their eyes and curse their folly and wish ten 
thousand times that they had never been born. O 
my dear children, you have done something to send 
the Gospel to the poor Indians, and the children of 
those heathen are coming in : is it that they may 
take your places in heaven and you be cast out ? 
There is a sound from the forest, as though God 
was about to carry his kingdom to another people : 
is it that it may be taken from you ? Are the hopes 
which we have all had about the heathen to end in 
this ? Have you been laboring only to bring forward 
a company of pagan children to receive the blessing 
which you have rejected ? to take your place in the 
covenant and in heaven and to thrust you out? 
After all your animation and hopes for those poor 
pagan babes, and after all that you have done for 
them, are you never to go in with them? are you 
to see them take away your forfeited birthright ? I 
rejoice that they are coming in even if you arc cast 
out. But why, my dear children, need you lose 
your birthright to favor them? There is enough 
for both them and you. We naturally feel most for 
you, and we cannot bear to see the kingdom of 
God taken from you to be given to strangers. Let 
the strangers have it, but have it also yourselves. 
Detain it among you. Set it up in your hearts. 
Vol. 1. 63 


Hasten to improve that Gospel which is about to 
take its flight to the wilderness. Hasten to submit 
to that Spirit who is about to stretch his wings to- 
wards the prairies of the setting sun. Hasten to 
benefit from your privileges before they are taken 
from you and transplanted into the forests of the 

All this I have addressed to baptised children, 
who are emphatically " the children of the king- 
dom." But what shall I say to those, who, whether 
baptised or not, have grown up to manhood under 
the sound of the Gospel without improving it ? who 
have been hardening against God and his calls for 
twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty years? Tired out 
with your long and obstinate abuse of privileges, 
God seems now about to try an experiment upon 
another people. What will be the effect on your con- 
dition time must determine. But if it shall prove that 
you arc to be stripped and abandoned at the same 
moment that the Gospel is carried to the heathen, 
it will be only analogous to the two instances which 
have been referred to ; one, the treatment of God's 
ancient people and of the early Christian churches, 
the other, the predicted dispensations of the pre- 
sent day. Wherein do you essentially differ from 
the ancient Jews, who had long enjoyed the privi- 
leges of the Gospel but had never brought forth 
fruit ? And wherein do you essentially differ from 
those who have adopted the Romish faith ? They 
have had the Scriptures in their hands, but have 
never improved them ; so have you. They have 
brought forth nothing but sin under all the lights of 


the Gospel ; so have you. They are God's ene- 
mies, and so are you. Indeed your light has tran- 
scended theirs, and your guilt on this account is 
increased. Why then may not God strip and aban- 
don you when he carries his kingdom to the hea- 
then, as well as Jews and Catholics ? Have you 
not reason to fear it ? Every account of a new 
mission established, — every account of the conver- 
sion of a pagan, — may well fill you with alarm. 
Perhaps it is your funeral knell, announcing your 
eternal death. Every such account should set in 
broad letters before you that awful sentence, " The 
kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given 
to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." This 
is a new source of fear. You knew that you had 
cause to fear when you looked to hell. You may 
have learnt that you had cause to fear when you 
looked to Calvary, — that you might hear from that 
awful spot a voice saying, " If they do these things 
in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?" 
But never perhaps before did you understand that 
you had reason to fear when you heard of the con- 
version of the heathen. Never perhaps before did 
you understand that this mighty movement on earth 
was as the knell of death to you. Dangers and 
threatenings are starting up from quarters Mhere. 
you least expected them. But the truth is that the 
whole universe is full of dangers for Gospel despi- 
sers. There are trains of causes secretly working 
your ruin in ten thousand circumstances where you 
never dreamed of their existing. Could the cover- 
ing be taken off from all these latent dangers, you 


would see a sword pointed at your heart from every 
quarter of the universe. There is no safety any- 
where for an enemy of God, for an abuser of the 
Gospel, for a wretch that can trample under foot 
a Saviour's blood. The heavens are ready to 
shower down vengeance ; the earth on which you 
tread is stored with magazines of wrath; the bless- 
ings sent on others are full of curses for you ; and 
even the conversion of the heathen has in it a voice 
of thunder which may well break the slumbers of 
the grave. Up before the kingdom is altogether 
taken from you. Prostrate yourselves in haste be- 
fore the Author of a long abused Gospel, — before 
the God who has spoken in it unheard, — before the 
Saviour whom it has reported to you in vain. — 
Kneel down in the dust before the God of all your 
privileges. What mean you to remain still erect ? 
Is your heart of stone and is your brow of ada- 
mant ? But that heart shall melt in the day that he 
shall deal with you, and that brow, hard as it is, 
shall be scarred with thunder. 

Before the kingdom is quite departed, I will once 
more try the Gospel upon you. On that throne sits 
a pardoning God, bending over you with all the 
compassion of a Father, and, with a voice sweeter 
than an angel's harp, inviting you to his arms. On 
that cross hung your bleeding Lord, when he sunk 
under the burden of your sins and died to save your 
lives. His languishing eyes fix on Mary and then 
on you. Over the pollutions of your sepulchre 
hovers the heavenly Dove, offering to brood the 
stagnant mass into life. Every energy of the Sa- 


cred Three stands ready to aid you ; every com- 
passion is prepared to receive you. All heaven 
says, Come. All the Church on earth says, Come. 
Come, for all things are ready. Come with all 
your guilt upon you and receive " without money 
and without price." In no way can you so gratify 
the compassions of a God ; in no way can you so 
much gladden the heart that bled for you on the 
point of the spear ; in no way can you waken up so 
animated a jubilee in heaven. 

I have made the trial : and now if you again re- 
ject the Gospel, and the kingdom from this moment 
departs, all heaven and earth will say, Your blood 
be upon your own head. Amen. 



L Thes. v. 19.« 
Qiioidi not tie Spirit 

The Spirit is compared to fire, on account of its 
enlishtenincr and refining influence : and hence the 
implication that it maj be quenched. It performs 
the two fold work of convincing and sanctifjring. 
Christians for a time may quench the fervor of love 
produced bv the sanctifying Spirit, by resisting the 
liaht thrown upon their minds by the convicting 
Spirit ; and to Christians the test seems primarily 
addressed. But the general warning not to resist 
the Spirit, is addressed to all. The impenitent may 
resist the Spirit, not only by disobeying and disbe- 
lieving those Scriptures which he endited, but by 
rejecting the Hght which he throws upon their con- 
sciencer -Ye stifif-necked and uncircumcised in 

•PreKhed im a r«m«l of religion 


heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost : 
as your fathers did so do ye." 

I choose to consider the subject in reference to 
the impenitent, and in reference chiefly to the light 
shed upon their conscience. 

All that the Spirit does to the impenitent, besides 
giving them the Scriptures, is to bring the truths of 
the Bible into contact with the sensibilities of their 
soul, and to make them felt, though not loved. 
Whether the operation is on the head or heart, or 
on which of the several powers ranged under these 
names, I cannot tell ; nor how the truth that was 
well known before, can be brought more clearly 
into the mind's eye while the temper of the heart 
remains unchanged. All this is among the secrets 
of divine operations which men are probably never 
to understand. But thus much is certain : nothing 
is done in this matter but to carry light in and lay 
it before the eye of the mind, in a manner to make 
it felt. That light is susceptible of resistance, as 
much as the light which lies on the sacred page. 
It is indeed the same light, but only more distinctly 
seen. And that resistance may be punished by the 
removal of the light, and by leaving the cloud of 
stupid unbelief to resettle upon the mind in still 
darker folds. 

The Spirit could doubtless conquer this resistance 
by sanctifying power ; but his object in mere con- 
viction is to treat with the sinner as a moral agent, 
or as a creature bound to improve light. It is a 
part of the same system that furnished him with 
the external light of the Gospel. It is of the na- 


ture of an invitation whispered in his ear. But it 
no more follows that he must be sanctified, than 
that all must be sanctified who hear the Gospel. 
Let us contemplate, 

I. The ways in which the Spirit is resisted ; 

II. The sin and danger of doing this ; 

III. Other reasons which ought to dissuade men 
from this course. 

I. The ways in which the Spirit is resisted. 

(1.) It is resisted by every kind of outward sin ; 
by profaneness, by speaking against the work of 
the Spirit, by mocking or opposing it, by false or 
defamatory words, by profanation of the sabbath 
in conversation or conduct, by every unhallowed 
pleasure, by intemperance, by injustice in dealings, 
and by every failure to do to others as we would 
have others do to us. 

(2.) It is resisted by harbored doubts of the truth 
of the Bible, of the Trinity, of future or of end- 
less punishment, of regeneration. Disbelief of the 
Bible or of its leading truths, does not arise from 
want of evidence, but from wickedness of heart. 

(3.) It is resisted by all unseasonable levity; such 
as levity in the house of God, or in the place of 
prayers, or just before entering either. A little 
boisterous mirth or play, or even a light word, 
while one is under conviction, may banish the Spi- 
rit from him. A light remark about religion at such 
a time may banish it forever. 

(4.) The Spirit is resisted by all attempts to 
throw off serious impressions, arising from direct 
aversion to God and his ways, from a selfish wisii 

Vol. I. 64 


" to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season," from 
a proud reluctance to give up prospects of worldly 
honor and gain, from a proud fear of the derision 
of the wicked, or from resentments at Christians for 
their harassing exhortations. 

(5.) It is resisted by the neglect of means; by 
refusing to pray, by refusing to attend religious 
meetings, by refusing to be approached by Christians 
for religious conversation, by neglecting to read the 
Bible daily, by neglecting to meditate on divine 

(6.) It is resisted by sluggish exertions, — half 
awake in prayer, — in prayer continued but for a few 
seconds, — listless under sermons, listless in reading 
and meditation ; all evincing a heart unengaged, 
and even the absence of thorough conviction. 

(7.) It is resisted, even in the most awakened, 
by the sins of the heart ; by selfishness, pride, and 
idolatry ; by want of holy love to man ; by enmity 
against God ; by unbelief, that excludes conviction, 
that excludes a sense of the desert of hell, that ex- 
cludes a sense of the need of a Saviour ; by that 
obstinate blindness and hardness that will not re- 
pent, that will not cast the soul upon Christ, that 
will not accept him for a Saviour, that will not be- 
lieve in the reality and sincerity of his appointment; 
by that proud self-sufficiency that will not cast the 
soul upon the divine Spirit for all its moral strength, 
but relies on its own power to change the heart, 
and puts that power in the room of the Holy Ghost; 
by that self-righteousness which hopes by present 
duties to make amends for past neglects and sins. 


and to purchase eternal life, putting those duties in 
the room of Christ's atonement and obedience, — 
which hopes to move God by its prayers without 
respect to a Mediator, putting those prayers in the 
room of the intercession of Christ ; by that obsti- 
nate rebellion which refuses to devote to God and 
his service all the powers and possessions, — which 
refuses to render universal obedience or any obedi- 
ence at all. 

The awakened sinner does nothing which the 
Spirit invites him to, except the mere outward form. 
In every moral motion of his heart he resists the 
Spirit with the whole strength of his soul. All his 
exertions are selfish and proud. He cares nothing 
about the glory of God. Had no prospect of re- 
ward allured him, he would never have troubled 
himself about religion. Had interest prompted, he 
would with as much earnestness have blasphemed 
the name of God. The whole plan on which he 
acts is to find salvation without a Saviour, — to in- 
duce God, in some way or other by his own exer- 
tions, to confer on him pardon and eternal hfe. 
He often wonders why God is not moved by his du- 
ties, and his heart rises against him ; and then he 
goes to work with increased earnestness, hoping to 
succeed better with a greater exertion of strength : 
but it is all without dependance on Christ or the 
Holy Spirit. He is constantly going farther and 
farther from God ; and when the small still voice 
comes, it will be " a word hcUnd'' him, " saying, 
This is the way, walk ye in it." The prodigal ne- 
ver took one step towards home until " he came to 


himself." Nor will the sinner, with all his efforts, 
assist God in changing his heart. He will do no- 
thing but oppose to the last. And his efforts, which 
nevertheless are all important, are chiefly necessary 
to convince him that he can do nothing. 

11. Let us consider the sin and danger of this re- 

(1.) It is an enormous sin against hght. As the 
Holy Spirit puts into the eye of the mind the whole 
mass of revealed truth, this resistance is a direct 
opposition to the whole, — is a distinct rejection of 
the whole. It is a war against all the light that has 
come to our world respecting God and eternity, — 
respecting the work of redemption, and God as he 
appears in that work, — respecting Father, Son, and 
Holy Ghost, — respecting the authority and love of 
God, — respecting his mercy and compassions as ex- 
pressed in the invitations and promises of the Gos- 
pel, — respecting all that God has done for our world 
and all his manifestations to men. All is brought 
near by the Holy Spirit : God, in all his authority 
and love, is brought near ; and all is distinctly re- 

That sin is aggravated by light, is no less a doc- 
trine of Scripture than of common sense. " That 
servant which knew his lord's will and prepared not 
himself, neither did according to his will, shall be 
beaten with many stripes." "If I had not come 
and spoken unto them, they had not had sin ; but 
now they have no cloak for their sin." " If ye were 
blind ye should have no sin, but now ye say. We 
see, therefore your sin remaineth." "Wo unto 


thee, Chorazin, wo unto thee, Bethsaida; for if 
the mighty works which were done in you had 
been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have 
repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I 
say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre 
and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 
And thou Capernaum, which art exalted unto hea- 
ven, shalt be brought down to hell ; for if the mighty 
works which have been done in thee had been done 
in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 
But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable 
for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than 
for thee." 

(2.) God has been at infinite expense to send 
you the Holy Spirit. The law had doomed our 
race to the curse of perpetual abandonment. The 
Son of God must come down and die on a cross to 
render i: possible for the Spirit to get to our world 
in consistency with the honor of the law, and he 
must rer.der perfect obedience, under circumstan- 
ces the most difficult, to render that mission certain^ 
and to give him a covenant claim to it. When he 
ascended on high he received this gift for men as 
his own reward, and sent it out on the day of Pen- 
tecost. And now for you to reject the ministry of 
the third Person in the adorable Trinity, procured 
for you by the obedience and death of Christ, is 
presumption and ingratitude that know no bounds. 
It was infinite kindness in God to send down the 
Holy Spirit in the present most merciful visitation, 
and that he did not send you to hell three months 
ago, but suffered you to live to share in this infinite 


grace. In this he gave you more than though he 
had bestowed upon you ten thousand worlds of gold. 
And yet you will not stoop to pick it up, nor thank 
him for it, nor listen to the message it brings, nor 
take any notice of it, except perhaps to resent the 
uneasiness it occasions. Let heaven and earth 
judge between you and God, and estimate the infi- 
nite ingratitude of such returns. 

On these accounts the sin against the Holy Spi- 
rit is the greatest of all sins, and when carried to a 
certain extent and attended with sufficient know- 
ledge and malice, is unpardonable, and is the only 
sin that is unpardonable. 

That particular form of it which consists in wil- 
fully opposing the work of the Spirit and speaking 
reproachfully of it, is very distinctly marked. The 
Pharisees maliciously ascribed the miracles of Je- 
sus, wrought by the Holy Ghost, to the agency of 
Beelzebub, and this they did against their better 
judgment. The parable represents them as saying, 
" This is the heir ; come let us kill him and — seize 
on the inheritance." " Then cried Jesus in the tem- 
ple as he taught, saying. Ye both know me and ye 
know whence I am." They malignantly took coun- 
sel to put Lazarus to death because he had been 
raised from the dead ; and in every case their spite 
was more inflamed as the evidence increased. And 
at last, when the Roman soldiers came into the 
city, all breathless, and testified of the resurrec- 
tion and the vision of angels, they went to the 
damning extreme of hiring them to perjure their 
souls by swearing that the disciples came by night 


and stole him away. This is a specimen of what 
the human heart can do : and it proves that when 
they ascribed the miracles of Christ to the power of 
Beelzebub, they lied against their own conscience ; 
and therefore their sin was that " unto death." 

There may be some who are acting the same 
part now ; combining to stop this work of God and 
loading it with reproaches, though they know it is 
the work of the Holy Ghost. They were brought 
up perhaps by pious parents and cradled in revi- 
vals. If they had plunged into the kennels of vice, 
they might have seared their conscience into infi- 
delity ; but this they have not done. They know 
the Bible is true, and that this revival is the work 
of God. They try to doubt, but they cannot doubt. 
Look at your late companions, no better than you, 
who are now at their prayers. Who has produced 
this wondrous change ? You know it was the power 
of God : and yet you vilify and blaspheme. So far 
from doubting, you are enraged that others are ta- 
ken and you are left. And yet how could you ex- 
pect to be taken when you would not pray, nor do 
any thing but oppose with the fury of a fiend ? Be- 
ware. You are treading, in the dark, near the verge 
of a pit, down which if you fall you rise no more. 
Some of you have probably already committed the 
unpardonable sin. And what are you doing ( Try- 
ing to prevent the religion and the kingdom of hea- 
ven from spreading in the world, knowing them to 
be such : trying to prevent rebels from going over 
from Satan to the service of Christ, with your eyes 
open to what you arc doing : trying to prevent your 


friends, whom you profess to love, from escaping 
from an eternal hell to an eternal heaven, because 
their conversion would torment your conscience ; 
knowing all the time that you are committing this 
most flagitious of all murders. Never were men 
pursuing a course more hazardous or more diabo- 

But there are other forms of resisting the Holy 
Ghost which lead to death. The mere continuance 
in stupidity in such a day as this, hardens the heart. 
The refusal of the awakened to submit, banishes 
the Spirit from their minds. All their impressions 
suddenly disappear like the lightning of heaven, 
and the night becomes the darker for the momen- 
tary gleam of light. Many are given over to infi- 
delity and to work all iniquity with greediness. — 
They go and take to themselves " seven other spi- 
rits more wicked than" themselves, " and the last 
state" of those men " is worse than the first." — 
There are doubtless many in the lowest dungeons 
of hell who in their life time trembled under strong 
convictions. Many, by going back, are sealed 
over to the eternal judgment. "For it is impossi- 
ble for those who were once enlightened, and have 
tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partak- 
ers of the Holy Ghost, — if they shall fall away, to 
renew them again unto repentance; seeing they 
crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh and 
put him to an open shame." " For if w^e sin wilfully 
after that we have received the knowledge of the 
truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 
but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and 


fiery indignation which shall devour the adversa- 

III. There are other reasons which ought to dis- 
suade you from this course. 

You cannot prevail against God. You may har- 
den yourselves in your pride and in the countenance 
of your ungodly companions ; but when he shall 
enter into judgment with you, your strength and 
your courage will all melt away like wax. " Let 
the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth," 
but " wo unto him that striveth with his Maker." 
If this struggle is continued between a worm and 
the infinite God, the worm must infallibly be crush- 
ed to death. 

In resisting the Holy Ghost you resist not only 
the chief source of present comfort, but the only 
helper on the way to heaven. If you reject him 
you reject your all, and must inevitably perish. — 
Should the Holy Spirit forsake the best Christian 
on earth, even on the borders of heaven, that man 
would sink, with the rapidity of a falling star, into 
eternal darkness. 

The Spirit will "not always strive with man." 
Many are left in early life. It has often been taunt- 
ingly said that the children of pious parents are 
worse than others. This is because it happens so 
in some cases. Those who, like Esau, have sold 
their birth-right, become, like the Jews, the wick- 
eder for the privileges they have abused ; and often 
find " no place of repentance, though" they seek 
it "carefully with tears." There are probably 

Vol. I, 66 


some abandoned in every revival. You are now 
therefore acting on the ridge of danger, — on the 
brink of fate. You have come to a most awful 
crisis. Every motion is in the midst of peril; 
every moment is pregnant with life or death. It 
behooves you to be fully awake. If ever you had 
occasion for all your powers, this is the time. I 
bless God that it is not too late with you all. Not- 
withstanding your long resistance and delay, the 
Spirit is still hovering over you. Notwithstanding 
all your ingratitude and hardness, he still woos you 
and entreats you to come away, and offers to assist 
you with all his strength. He knocks at your door 
and says, " If any man hear my voice and open the 
door, I will come in to him and will sup with him 
and he with me." He stands under your window and 
cries, " Open to me, — for my head is filled with 
dew and my locks with the drops of the night." In 
this manner he has followed you " from a child." 
When in the dusk of evening you were driven into 
a secret place to pray; when by a new opened 
grave, or under a pungent sermon, or under the 
meltings of parental reproof, you were smitten with 
a sense of sin, or glanced an anxious eye into the 
eternal world ; this was the Spirit calling a wayward 
child. If his calls have been less frequent as you 
have advanced in life, it is because you did not im- 
prove the first. If they have been less frequent, 
see you to that. But they are with you still in this 
day of the Spirit's power. Fail not to improve 
them now. What infinite ingratitude would be in- 


volved in such a failure ! What danger that it would 
grieve him away to return no more ! 

I stop to exclaim, What evidence have we of the 
deep-rooted depravity of the human heart ! It is a 
shame to man that there ever was need of a second 
word to persuade one of our race to love the blessed 
God : how much more, that all entreaties and means 
are insufficient, and that there is need of the special 
interposition of the Spirit. But, — "hear, O hea- 
vens and give ear, O earth !" — the sinner turns upon 
his heavenly helper as though he was an enemy, 
and resists to the last. The Spirit pleads and ex- 
postulates, but all is to a senseless block ; and the 
ungrateful rebel would hold out forever if not con- 
quered by superior power. And even after he is 
conquered, all that remains of the old man conti- 
nues to resist, and the poor backward creature must 
be carried all the way to heaven in the arms of 
another. It is a wonder that the Spirit does not 
grow weary of his wayward charge. But so it is : 
he never forsakes the soul he has begun to sanc- 
tify ; nor does the soul forsake its opposition any 
faster than it is subdued. And even in the last 
struggles of nature, this sinful conflict still conti- 
nues. On the borders of heaven, in distinct view 
of eternal glory, the soul still resists j and if left 
to itself, from that opening dawn of immortality 
would sink into a devil. 

This is not a description of a soul of the baser 
sort, but of every one that ever descended from 
Adam* Who that reflects on this, " does not blush 


and hang his head to think himself a man ?" And 
yet some deem it a pity to degrade human nature 
by a hint of total depravity ; while others plead this 
very obstinacy as their excuse for not loving God. 
Awakened sinners, you have been resisting the 
Spirit all your days, but never probably with so 
much guilt and danger as now. Self-righteousness 
often whispers to you that you are now doing some- 
thing more acceptable to God; but you have never 
done any thing but resist the Spirit with the whole 
strength of your soul, except the mere outward 
form. What wonder that the heavenly visiter has 
not left you forever ! Some of you, in all proba- 
bility, will continue to resist until he is gone, — gone 
perhaps to return no more ; and then you will 
mourn out a whole eternity that you threw away 
the infinite price in your hands. Some of you will 
probably in a few days be more stupid than you 
ever were before ; for you never can again be as 
you have been : you must be better or worse. And 
if you die impenitent, your whole eternity will be 
more wretched for the call you are now slighting. 
Perhaps some of you have less feeling than you 
have had. This looks as if the Spirit was depart- 
ing. Take the alarm. If salvation is not to be 
forever relinquished, take the alarm. Your all is at 
stake. Your condition was never so critical before. 
Hasten to a Saviour's feet. Whatever be your 
state of mind, hasten to a Saviour's feet. Put away 
that horrid resistance which you have always made 
to the divine Spirit. Submit to God without delay. 


Go not over that threshold until you have given him 
your heart and devoted to him your life. How long 
halt ye between two opinions ? God is now wait- 
ing for your decision. What is your answer? 
Will you believe and live, or will you disbelieve and 
die? You alone must determine that ponderous 
question. I leave you to make the great decision. 



Detjt. X. 12. 

And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to 
fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to 
serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul- 

Complaints are often made against the ministers 
of Christ that their preaching is too close and pun- 
gent. I sincerely wish that the world might once 
see what discourses the eternal God would himself 
deliver should he undertake to preach to men. — 
What do I say? He has published a volume of 
discourses, and they have been more harshly treat- 
ed than any of the sermons of his ministers. The 
words which I have read were taken from a sermon 
which God delivered in tones of awful grandeur 
from Mount Sinai, or else through the medium of 
Moses. If it seem hard to you to be required " to 
fear the Lord" your " God, to walk in all his ways, 
and to love him, and to serve the Lord " your " God 


with all " your " heart and with all " your " soul," 
be it remembered that this is not imputable to mi- 
nisters, but to God himself. If any murmur at 
this, / have no controversy with them ; I leave it 
to be settled between them and their Maker. Hav- 
ing often preached with little effect myself, I would 
now retire and leave the God of Israel to preach to 
you. I would stand concealed in humble awe be- 
hind him, while he delivers his heavenly instruc- 
tions to the people. Sermons are often heard as 
the words of men. It is difficult, to a distressing 
degree, to produce a realizing sense that the truths 
we preach proceeded from the lips of God. In the 
present case I hope this difficulty will not be felt. 
Had you stood at the foot of Sinai and heard the 
trumpet and the thunders, and heard the words of 
our text issuing from the thick darkness, you would 
not have doubted that they came from God. But 
they were heard in substance by a million of people, 
who trembled and fled as these sentiments were 
poured upon their ears from the burning mount. 
And now, after the lapse of more than three thou- 
sand years, it is still as true as ever that they pro- 
ceeded from the lips of God. Receive them there- 
fore with as much veneration as though a throne 
were set in this house, and the God of glory were 
seated on it, and these words were sounded from 
his divine lips. "And now," my people, "what doth 
the Lord" your "God require of" you, "but to 
fear the Lord" your " God, to walk in all his ways, 
and to love him, and to serve the Lord" your " God 
with all" your " heart and with all" your " soul ?" 


Who obeys this command ? A part of my hear- 
ers obey it in some degree. They esteem God 
above every other object. They consider his glory 
as their highest interest, and communion with him 
as their supreme happiness. They would sooner 
forget father and mother than forget him. It is 
their greatest grief that their treacherous hearts are 
so prone to wander from him. Their most fervent 
desires pant after him. And when in a favored 
hour they find him whom their " soul loveth," they 
hold him fast and will not let him go. I have no 
reproaches for these. It is our Master's will that 
we should speak kindly to them and encourage 
them in his name. But are all such? Would to 
God all were. But charity herself would blush 
should we so far profane her sacred office as to 
lend her sanction to such an opinion. Charity her- 
self must fear that in such a congregation as this 
there are many who have never yielded any service 
to God. Yet in most cases it is diflicult to fix the 
charge where it ought to lie. So superficial are 
men's ideas of God's service, that they often think 
themselves his servants merely because they have 
been baptised, and attend public worship, and are 
charitable to the poor, and free from scandalous vi- 
ces. But there is no service without love. "Love is 
the fulfilling of the law." " Good," you say, " and 
/ love the Lord. I should be very sorry not to 
love so bountiful nnd good a God." Do you in- 
deed ? Do you indeed ? Let us see. '* If any man 
love the world, the love of the Father is not in 
him." " No man can serve two masters : for either 
Vol. I. 66 


he will hate the one and love the other, or else he 
will hold to the one and despise the other : ye can- 
not serve God and mammon." There is no love to 
God which is not habitually supreme. For though 
love enough to give a cup of cold water constitutes 
a disciple, none are disciples but those who love 
Christ supremely. " If any man come to me and 
hate not his father and mother, and wife and child- 
ren, and brethren and sisters, yea and his own life 
also, he cannot be my disciple." 

Supreme love to God will certainly produce self- 
denial for his sake. It will habitually avoid every 
thing which he has forbidden, and obey, not a part, 
but all his commands. He that offends " in one 
point," knowingly and habitually, " is guilty of all." 
Supreme love will seek communion with its object 
more than any worldly pleasure. It will pant after 
him and after greater conformity to him; it will 
seek his glory as the highest interest ; it will count 
him the most desirable portion; it will delight in 
thinking of him more than in any worldly thoughts ; 
it will delight in prayer, — will renounce the world 
and idols and cultivate a heavenly mind. Unless 
we have that which will produce all these effects, 
we have no supreme love to God ; and if we have 
no supreme love, we have no love at all ; and if we 
have no love, as there is no neutral state, we are 
his enemies. "He that is not with me is against 
me, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth 
abroad." As humiliating as the thought is, we 
know that no man is otherwise than God's enemy 
until he is born again. " The carnal mind is en- 


mity against God." Hence it is that so many peo- 
ple who attend pubhc worship and lead regular 
lives, are unmindful of God from day to day, ne- 
glect prayer, put eternal things out of view, and 
lose themselves in the eager pursuit of the world. 
They must be conscious, if they will but reflect, 
that the world engages more of their care than God 
or their souls, and is of course their supreme deity. 
They must be conscious that the sabbath is a bur- 
den unless devoted to sloth or amusement, — that 
prayer is a burden, — that religious society is a bur- 
den, — that the thoughts of God which sometimes 
intrude are unwelcome, — that the divine service is 
not agreeable to their taste, — that they would rather 
be employed in business or pleasure than in reli- 
gion, in reading an amusing story than in searching 
the Scriptures. Surely such people do not love 
God. Such minds could not be happy in heaven if 
admitted to the place. They must undergo a radi- 
cal change or certainly they can find no happiness 
beyond the grave. Ah Lord God, how many such 
are to be found among us, — among the dearest 
friends of our hearts. It is distressing to look 
through our congregations and see how men ne- 
glect God ; how they live without him in the world, 

Hve as though there were no God. Is there no 

remedy for our lost brethren ? Will nothing awa- 
ken them to their duty and danger ? The necessity 
of making some attempt to rouse them is so press- 
ing, that I trust christians will excuse me if I turn 
my attention altogether to these. Let them stand 


by and assist me with their prayers, while I attempt 
to recall from death this interesting multitude. 

Come, my unhappy friends, and let us reason to- 
gether. Lend your whole attention while one who 
hopes he is a friend to both parties, makes an hum- 
ble attempt to reconcile you to your Maker. It is 
not an enemy you hear ; not one who would need- 
lessly disturb your peace. God knows I wish you 
nothing but happiness in time or eternity ; and if 
the present address might be the instrument of mak- 
ing you all blest, I should account this the happiest 
da}^ of my life. But in what language shall I ad- 
dress you ? What new arguments shall I set before 
you ? The enemy of God in your breast has re- 
sisted so many sermons, that those who love you 
are afraid that nothing will ever avail. O when 
shall it once be? Would God that this might be 
the sermon. But so many better discourses have 
been lost upon you, that I tremble for the fate of 
this. The longer you hear without improvement 
the longer you may. Every resisted sermon ren- 
ders future resistance more easy and certain. And 
this very address, unless it softens will harden you ; 
unless it proves a " savour of life," will become a 
" savour of death."— Shall I stop or shall I pro- 
ceed ? 1 must proceed ; but first let me en- 
treat you to lift one earnest prayer to God that he 
would carry the truth home to your hearts. You 
may have sometimes complained that your fears, 
rather than your reason, were addressed. You 
shall have no cause for this complaint now. I mean 
to appeal to your understandings and to treat you 


like rational beings. For such indeed you are, — 
rational beings, endowed with Godlike facuhies, 
capable of enjoying and adorning the heavenly 
city ; infinitely too precious to be lost and devoted 
to eternal blasphemy and pain. 

The great reason of your insensibility is, that 
under the stupifying influence of unbelief, you have 
secretly doubted whether there is a God, or if there 
is, whether you have any thing to do with him or 
he with you. The thought has lurked in your 
heart, that if there is a God, he is so far from you, 
and so unconnected with you, that you have nothing 
more to do with him than with an inhabitant of ano- 
ther planet. You have never conceived that you 
owed him your whole heart and life. But now for 
God's sake attend. 

" What dost thou here, Elijah ?" Child of dust, 
what dost thou here in this world ? Who sent j ou 
hither ? and for what end ? You are conscious that 
you did not create yourself, and your parents know 
that they did not create you. It was God that made 
you what you are, and put you into a world which 
he had richly furnished for your use. Have you 
nothing to do with him or he with you ? You are 
absolutely his property, and he is your Lord and 
Master, and has a right to you and to the use of all 
your talents. What was the precise end for which 
he sent you into the world ? I wish to draw your 
attention to this single point : for I am persuaded 
that if this one consideration could be fastened on 
your mind, you would be convinced that you have 
neglected the great end of your being. Do you 


imagine that he created you and raised you so much 
above the brutes, and put you into a world on which 
he had expended so much labor, that you might 
wander from him into the regions of darkness ? 
that you might seek your happiness out of him, and 
live in rebellion against him ? that you might spend 
your life only in preparing to live in this transitory 
state ? or that you might live only to eat and drink ? 
The latter the brutes are fitted to do ; but can you 
imagine that you have no higher end than they ? 
Indulge no such fatal mistake. As God is true, he 
sent you into his world for the same end that a mas- 
ter sends a servant into his vineyard, — to labor for 
him. The sole reason that you are in this world 
rather than not here, is that you may have an op- 
portunity to serve and enjoy God. He has sent 
you into the field abundantly furnished with powers 
and means to serve him, and has strictly command- 
ed you to use these talents in his service. Say not 
that he is too far above you to be apprehended. 
He has brought himself down and spread himself 
out before you in his works and word, and it is only 
to unbelief that he is invisible. As your Proprietor 
and Master, he has a right to expect that all your 
time and talents, all your wealth and influence, 
should be consecrated to his service ; that your af- 
fections should all be engaged for him ; that every 
motive and aim should be " holiness to the Lord ;" 
that " whether" you " eat or drink or whatsoever" 
you " do," you should " do all to" his " glory j" 
that this should be the general scope of every ac- 
tion and the leading care of every hour. 


Having sent you into his vineyard, lie looks alter 
you to see whether you are faithful or not. Has 
he nothing to do with you '( His eyes are upon you 
every moment, — upon the very bottom of your 
heart. They follow you wherever you go, and 
mark you out and contemplate all you do, as though 
you were the only object of his attention in the uni- 
verse. The fixed design for which they follow you 
is, to observe whether you perform or neglect the 
great business for which he sent you into the world. 
Dream not that he is too distant to concern himself 
with you ', he is " not far from every one of us." 
He is by your side and on the very seat with you 
this moment. Has he nothing to do with you ? In 
him you " live and move and have" your " being." 
For so many years he has sustained you out of hell, 
and suffered you to live on his earth and breathe 
his air. And why is all this ? I beseech you to 
consider the end for which he has done all this for 
you. Why do you feed and clothe your indented 
servant ? It is that he may not die but live and la- 
bor for you. And what w^ould you think, if, while 
living at your expense and sharing your kindness, 
he should altogether neglect your service t Should 
you assign him his task for a certain day in the 
field, and lie behind the hedge and watch him, and 
see him all day long doing nothing but wasting your 
property, what would be your feelings towards that 
servant ? God has sent you into his field, — has so- 
lemnly charged you to be faithful to him,— has sup- 
ported your life,— has fed and clothed you,— and 
from his invisible scat has kept his eye upon you 


through all the day of life ; and now the day is 
drawing to a close, and you have not yet begun 
your work, but have been only marring his estate. 
And now you are about to return from the field 
with nothing done, to give in your account to your 
Master. And what, in the name of eternal justice, 
will your account be ? How will your Master re- 
ceive you? Ah think of it; it will be a serious 

Your Lord and Master, having sent you into his 
world to serve him, — having sustained you from 
year to year, with great expense and care, and kept 
you from the eternal pit, for the express purpose 
that you might live and labor for him ; has added 
one mercy more which has astonished heaven and 
earth. At the expense of the life of his own Son 
he has redeemed you from death. And why was 
all this ? For no other purpose than that you might 
yet live and labor for him. He has plied you with 
the means of grace, — has followed you with calls, 
— has offered to pardon the past if you will only 
be faithful in future, — has waited upon you and la- 
bored with you, with so much pains, for so many 
years, under so many discouragements, to see if 
you would not at length feel some ingenuous com- 
punctions and return to his service ; and yet, to the 
shame of all creation, you refuse to serve him still. 
These amazing kindnesses have well entitled him to 
the appellation of Father. He is your Father, and 
as such you owe him honor. He is your Redeemer, 
and as such you owe him the tenderest thanks that 
a grateful heart can render. And have you nothing 


to do witli him ? Is he so distant and unconnected 
with you, that you have no cause to move a tlioiiffht 
towards him ? Better to say that the inmost fil)re 
of your heart is a stranger and foreigner. Better 
to sever the bonds of nature and turn off your dear- 
est friends as outcasts from your love. 

Did your Creator turn you loose into the world, 
to run wild in pursuit of your own imaginations, 
without law or restraint, intending to look no fur- 
ther after you, but to throw you out from his care ? 
Wo to you if he had done this ; though this, I fear, 
you have often wished. But he did no such thing. 
His intention was still to follow you with his cares, 
as beloved creatures whom his own hands had form- 
ed, — to exercise government over you, — to esta- 
blish eternal communion with you, — to lead your 
desires up to him, — to fill you Avith his own sublime 
happiness, and to make you a part of an harmoni- 
ous, blessed, and glorious kingdom. To accom- 
plish these ends he put you under law, — a law ad- 
mirably calculated to unite you to him and to con- 
summate your happiness. As he is infinitely the 
greatest and best of beings, whom no man can hate 
and be happy; who, in order to an harmonious 
kingdom, must be acknowledged as the Head, and 
must be the centre of affection and the great bond 
of attraction ; therefore he has commanded all his 
rational creatures to love him supremely. In this 
he has required no more than was his due, and the 
very least that it was for his honor to accept. In- 
deed he has conferred an infinite favor on creatures 
by making a law so essential to public order, and 

Vol. 1. 67 


pointing out the only way to individual happiness. 
The unreasonable will complain of anything, and 
murmurs have filled the world because this law re- 
quires the heart. But were it otherwise, — were 
God to relinquish his claims on the heart and com- 
pound for outward service only, would it be better 
then ? Could they be happy here, could they be 
happy in heaven, without a holy heart ? They had 
better never been born than be excused from loving 
God. Should God give up his law, still they are 
wretches to eternity without love to him. The law 
enjoins nothing but what in the nature of things is 
essential to happiness. Have you nothing to do 
with God or he with you ? You have forgotten 
that you are subjects under law, bound by all the 
authority of Jehovah. " Thou shalt love the Lord 
thy God with all thy heart." This comes to you 
under the great seal of heaven. It is the express 
command of the eternal God. Whatever you may 
think of it, neither the praise nor the blame of mak- 
ing or publishing it belongs to men. From this mo- 
ment you must either renounce your Bible, or un- 
derstand that God accounts you rebels for not lov- 
ing and serving him with all the heart and soul. 
He admits no excuse. Your plea that you cannot, 
is only pleading guilty. A heart that refuses to 
love the Creator and Redeemer of the world, is the 
very thing for which God condemns you, — is the 
vilest rebel in the universe. 

And now have you nothing to do with God or he 
with you? Know ye, my unhappy hearers, that 
God will have to do with you through the intermi- 


nable ages of eternity, and on his sovereign plea- 
sure it depends whether you shall spend your eter- 
nity in heaven or hell. You cannot be disconnected 
from him if you would. You are in his hands, and 
you must remain in his hands to eternity. 

O my dear hearers, my flesh and blood, you have 
not sufficiently considered these things. There is no 
realizing sense of 07ie of these truths in minds that 
can remain at ease in a state of enmity against God. 
You have not considered who sent you into the 
w^orld, and for what end, — who supports your lives, 
and for what end they are supported, — who redeemed 
you from death, and why you were redeemed. You 
have not considered what God has earnestly com- 
manded you to do, and what connexion you must 
have with him to eternity. These things you have 
not considered ; but God considers them all. He 
indeed keeps silence, because this is not the state 
of retribution, but of trial. He keeps silence, but 
is angry. He is angry, and he will one day speak. 
He will speak in a manner which does not admit of 
present description, but it will be such as fully to 
assert his rights and wipe oflf the stigma which his 
long silence has occasioned, that he is '• altogether 
such a one as" yourselves. He will take account 
of his servants to whom he committed the talents. 
" Every work" shall be brought " into judgment, 
with every secret thing whether it be good or— 
evil." At the close of all he will command them to 
cast " the unprofitable servant into outer darkness : 
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." 

And now what will you say to these things ? Has 


not every word been calmly addressed to your rea- 
son, and been supported by positive declarations 
from the word of God ? If then the Bible is not a 
a fable, — if it is the book by which you will be 
judged at the last day, your case is such as calls for 
immediate attention. God has a very heavy account 
against you. There is wrath gone out against you. 
It behooves you to get the sentence repealed with- 
out delay by deep contrition and application to the 
blood of atonement. Do you thing it will answer 
for you to live any longer idle under the very eye of 
your Master ? At this late hour ought any more time 
to be lost ? I wish I knew what resolutions you are 
forming. My dear hearers, what do you intend to 
do ? What use will you make of this exhortation 
when you retire ? Some, I fear, will think no more 
of it until it meets them in judgment. Others may 
be impressed for a season and afterwards return to 
stupidity. But will not some one be wise enough 
this once to believe God ? O God, if any are hesi- 
tating, interpose and fix their resolves ! Nay, let 
not that thought arise again. When I have got a 
little more of the world I will attend. So thought 
Felix, but the thought was fatal. A resolution to 
postpone, is half a resolution to die as you are. 
If it were not so pressing a case, I would not be 
so pressing. But you have souls capable of amaz- 
ing happiness or amazing wo, and they are now 
under sentence of eternal death. "He that be- 
lieveth not is condemned already." Can a rational 
being rest in such a state ? You see also what press- 
ing claims your Creator and Redeemer has upon 


you. Most of you would be agonized at the thought 
of defrauding one of your fellow men. But will 
you be scrupulous to " render — unto Cesar the 
things which are Cesar's," and feel no concern to 
render " unto God the things that are God's ?" O 
that this sentiment might vibrate in your ears and 
be deposited at the bottom of your hearts, " Re?i' 
der — unto God the things that are God''s" Let every 
thing ingenuous in you be stirred up at the names 
of Father and Redeemer, and excite you to " ren- 
der — unto God the things that are God's." Then 
will he no longer frown, but smile upon you as dear 
children, and our joy on your account will be full. 



LtTKE, XIV. 18. 

And they all -with one consent began to make excuse. 

In the parables which describe the treatment that 
the Gospel receives from men, the Saviour drew 
several prominent features of the race. In one 
place he represents them as making light of the in- 
vitation, in another as getting rid of it hy frivolous 
excuses. A man made a great supper and gave out 
an extensive invitation. When the guests were 
sent for, " they all with one consent began to make 
excuse." One had purchased a piece of ground, 
another had bought five yoke of oxen, another had 
married a wife ; not one had leisure to attend. At 
this the master of the house was angry; and after 
filling his apartments from " the streets and lanes 
of the city,"— from " the highways and hedges,"— 
he lifted his hand and swore, that not one of those 
that were bidden should taste of his supper. 


The parable plainly presents these three ideas: 

I. That all rejecters of the Gospel are prone to 
make excuses. 

II. That in the view of God all these excuses are 
frivolous and provoking. 

III. That they arise from no other cause than an 
aversion to the Gospel and an unwillingness to bear 
the blame of rejecting it. 

I. All rejecters of the Gospel are prone to make 

This is plainly taught in the parable. The whole 
Christian world are here divided into two classes; 
those who accept the calls of God and those who 
make excuses. It is expressly said of those who 
refused the invitation, " They all with one consent 
began to make excuse." It was foreseen that a re- 
sort to false pleas to get rid of the Gospel and of 
the blame of rejecting it, would be a general feature 
of the race ; and the parable was intended to exhi- 
bit this universal feature in all its living hues. 
What was foreseen has taken place, in every gene- 
ration, in every land, in every house. Wherever 
you find a sinner who rejects the Gospel, there you 
find one, unless he is overwhelmed with conviction, 
as full of excuses as he is of sin. Besdes those num- 
berless pleas which he urges upon himself, such as 
that he is too young, that if he makes the attempt 
he shall probably fall away, that religion is a gloomy 
thing, that the world will mock; besides these, there 
are many excuses which he keeps on hand to pro- 
tect himself against the attacks of others ; such as 
that he cannot find evidence to convince him that 


the Gospel is true, that he cannot change his own 
heart and it is in vain to try, that he cannot f^et 
time to attend to the concerns of his soul, that there 
is no need to make so much ado about religion, 
that professors are no better than others, that many 
of the doctrines are hard and are difficult to be un- 
derstood. Scores of such pleas are heard in every 
house as often as you urge upon the stupid an im- 
mediate attention to religion. They seem to think 
the pleas original ; but they have been repeated and 
answered a milhon of times in every generation 
since the Christian era. Upon these pleas the Sa- 
viour had his eye when he drew the picture in the 
text. This certainly ought to produce a pause, and 
lead to greater caution in framing these self-pro- 
tecting apologies. 

II. In the view of God all these excuses are fri- 
volous and provoking. 

In no conceivable manner could this be set forth 
in stronger language than in the parable before us. 
After those who were invited had urged the most 
plausible pleas they could frame, the master of the 
house was angry, and solemnly declared that not 
one of them should taste of his supper. If the pa- 
rable did justice to this system of excuse-making, 
it did not overlook a single plea which a mortal 
man can make. It takes up excuses in the mass 
and condemns them all. Not a hint of any excep- 
tion, — of any privileged plea sent forth with a char- 
tered right to insult the Majesty of heaven. If 
there is in the universe a licensed excuse, (where 
intellect and knowledge combine,) it is wronged 

Vol. I. 68 


exceedingly in not receiving a broad mark of dis- 
tinction. Here the entire system of excuses re- 
ceives a wholesale reprobation. The parable is a 
grand proscription of them all. Its title might be 
written, No excuse, in any age or country, for reject- 
ing the Gospel. If any man seriously thinks that 
he has an excuse that is worth a groat, — a plea that 
has a particle of reason in it, — let him come hither 
and get his judgment corrected. If any one has 
wrought himself up to the belief that he is an unfor- 
tunate man, under an oppressive government, — that 
he has real difficulties in the way of doing what is 
required, which call for pity rather than rebuke, let 
him come and stand and hear how the Judge of the 
world disposes of his case. Be it known then and 
remembered that this trade of excuse-making which 
is driven so extensively in modern times, was no- 
ticed and pointedly condemned by the Saviour of 
the world. These excuse-makers are wholly in the 
wrong. Their figleaf covering will not hide a par- 
ticle of their shame. How could it be supposed 
that they could have a good excuse for neglecting 
what God has required ? Do they mean to impeach 
him before all worlds ? If there is a fair reason for 
neglecting an action, that action ought not to have 
been required. But the question is about neglect- 
ing what God has required. What he has not com- 
manded is no part of his service ; but the question 
is about neglecting his service. If a man has a 
good excuse for neglecting what is religion in others, 
it would not be religion in him, for it is not required 
of him if God is just. But if God has perempto- 


rily required of every man who reads tlio Bible, to 
love him with all the heart, to repent and believe 
the Gospel, to be holy as he is holy, to die to this 
vain world, to profess Christ before men, to pray 
without ceasing, to be gentle, forgiving, candid, be- 
neficent, to have the same mind that w^as in Christ ; 
— if all these things arc required of every man, (and 
none who reads the Bible will dare to deny it,) then 
no man can excuse himself from any part of this 
service without impeaching his Maker. 

But let us examine these excuses one by one. 
You plead that you cannot find evidence to convince 
you that the Gospel is true. What, after the wisest 
and best men in all ages have examined and been 
convinced ? Have the wisest and best been the de- 
luded, and the ignorant and kicked only in the 
right ? After millions have been transformed from 
sin to holiness by the power of this Gospel ? After 
the Gospel has produced all the real goodness and 
elevation of character which have been found in 
our w orld ? Have you no eyes to see the holiness 
and heavenly sentiments of this book ? Do you 
overlook the testimony of miracles and prophecies ? 
Is it nothing to you that churches have existed with 
these Scriptures in their hands ever since the Chris- 
tian era, proving the history to have been written 
at the time of the events, and to have made its ap- 
peal to multitudes of witnesses then living ? or that 
the Jews have existed with their Scriptures in their 
hands ever since the days of Moses, and could not 
have been deceived as to the date or the author of 
the Pentateuch, nor as to the facts, which were wit- 

540 Excuses. 

nessed by a million of people ? Is it for want of 
evidence that you do not believe ? No, you will 
not search for hght with the earnestness and candor 
which the subject demands. You revolt at convic- 
tion, because the Bible is against you, and because 
it would divorce you from your idols. You would 
believe any other book with a hundredth part of the 
evidence. You are constantly yielding to proofs 
incomparably less in support of other histories and 
reports, and in your daily transactions of business. 

Assuming then, as I have a right to do, that the 
Scriptures are a revelation from heaven, I come to 
you with this book in my hands, and say to you. 
Thus saith the Lord, " Repent and believe the Gos- 
pel." I spread before you the hallowed page ; I 
point you to the sacred canon, written with a pen- 
cil of light and guarded by a thousand thunders;. 
" He that believeth not shall be damned." 

You say, you cannot change your own heart and 
it is in vain to try. If this is meant as an excuse 
for a moral agent, it is saying that you cannot love, 
repent, and believe, — that you cannot do what God, 
upon penalty of eternal death, has required, and 
what he will actually send you to hell for neglect- 
ing. It is saying that he requires more than you 
can perform, and that he will torment you forever 
for not doing impossibilities. It is alleging that he 
is infinitely the greatest tyrant that ever appeared 
in the universe. And if this is not blasphemy, and 
treason, and war against God, what in the universe 
can be ? Still you plead that you are not his ene- 
mies, — that you love him, and would serve him if 


you could. But if this is not proof of the deadHest 
enmity, it is in vain to look for proof in any world. 
You say, you cannot get time to attend to the con- 
cerns of your soul. That is, you cannot get time 
to do that for which all time was given you. Ne- 
glect your friends, neglect your sleep, neglect your 
food, but do not neglect the service of God. You 
say, you are commanded to provide for your own. 
Just as though men could not be Christians and do 
this. Just as though Christians did not provide for 
their own. It is not to give up your business, but 
to lay your business on the road to heaven, by pur- 
suing it with proper motives. It takes no more 
time to transact business with a holy temper than 
with a worldly spirit. And as to the duties of de- 
votion, if you would spend half the time in these 
that you waste in idle musings, in unprofitable talk, 
in vain amusements, you need no more. You can 
find leisure for all these, why then not for converse 
with God ? If you loved devotion as you love your 
ease or wealth, this objection would never be heard. 
You say, there is no need to make so much ado 
about religion. What ado? More, (I suppose 
you mean,) than you make. Now it is notorious 
that they who urge this profane excuse, do for the 
most part neglect religion altogether; and as to of- 
fering homage to God, or referring any thing to his 
will, or acting from a regard to his glory, or seek- 
ing his interest, they treat him with as much neglect 
as though they owed him no allegiance. Tlieir 
only trinity is honor, pleasure, and gain. And is 
this enough ? Is this so entirely all that God re- 


quires that more would be an unseemly ado? I 
care not how little noise you make about religion, 
if you will only love God and the Lord Jesus Christ 
supremely, and your neighbor as yourself. This 
is all I ask. Is this too much ? Is this making an 
unreasonable ado about religion ? Without as much 
as this, can you hope to escape the rebukes of your 
Judge ? 

You plead that professors of religion are no bet- 
ter than others. And what is that to you? You 
are not to take your law from professors. Admit 
that you can find hypocrites in the Church: this is 
no more than what the Bible taught you to expect. 
That states that tares grow in every field. False 
professors only confirm the Scripture testimony. 
But the question is, does the Bible form characters 
no better than other men ? You dare not say that. 
You know the hohness of that book, or you would 
not hate it as you do. For shame then dismiss 
your cavils ; which to say the least, are both cap- 
tious and unmanly. I know that hypocrites in the 
Church are no better than others. I know that they 
are worse, far worse, and more mischievous, and 
will sink to a lower heli. But what shall we say of 
those who eat up the sins of God's people as they 
eat bread and call not upon the name of the Lord ? 
Have these nothing to fear ? 

You plead that many of the doctrines are hard 
and are difficult to be understood. But they are 
not hard or difficult to holy minds. " They are all 
plain to him that understandeth, and right to them 
that find knowledge." Why then are they hard 


and difficult to you ? Let the Holy Ghost answer : 
" If our Gospel be hid it is hid to them that are 
lost ; in whom the god of this world hath blinded 
the minds of them which believe not : lest the lijrht 
of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image 
of God, should shine unto them." The blame 
which ought to attach to yourself, you cast upon 
the doctrines. But what is the Scripture view of 
this subject ? It was a reproach to the stony ground 
hearers that they heard the word and understood it 
not ; and the Jews were rejected because that, see- 
ing they saw not, and hearing they heard not, nei- 
ther did they understand. " Without understanding,^'' 
is numbered among the marks of pagan depravity. 
" Blind " is an epithet of strong reproach. It is 
the blindness of prejudice, the sightless eye of a de- 
praved heart : " Having the understanding darken- 
ed, being alienated from the life of God through 
the ignorance that is in them, because of the blind- 
ness of their heart." The grand difficulty is that the 
truths of God are against you, and you are so pre- 
judiced in your own favor that you cannot see them 
to be right. Thus a selfish man whose interest has 
been crossed by another, can never see that other 
to be right. The doctrines of the Gospel may be 
explained ever so clearly, but so long as they are 
against ijou they will never seem to you consistent. 
While you dislike them they will always appear un- 

But in another point of view your embarrassment 
is altogether from yourself. How little pains have 
you taken to acquire an accurate knowledge of di- 


vine truth. How little have you read or thought 
on the subject. How little have you prayed for 
light. How many months has your Bible lain ne- 
glected upon its shelf. How much more eagerly 
has your mind run on politics or science or busi- 
ness, than on those glorious mysteries in which 
your eternal salvation is involved, — mysteries whose 
grand and awful heights and depths engage the ea- 
ger study of adoring angels. You can compass 
sea and land to obtain objects gratifying to your 
taste. Had you employed half the pains in candid- 
ly examining the doctrines of the Gospel, you would 
not have been thus ignorant and complaining that 
they are difficult to be understood. And now will 
you take advantage of your own wrong and urge 
this wilful ignorance as your excuse ? 

HI. These excuses arise from no other cause 
than an aversion to the Gospel and an unwillingness 
to bear the blame of rejecting it. 

Look at the parable again. Does it not plainly 
imply that those who made the excuses did it from 
a reluctance to accept the invitation, and from a 
desire to avoid the blame of refusing it ? What 
else are we taught by the strong resentment awa- 
kened in the master of the house ? That they did 
not wish to attend, is plain ; and if they did not de- 
sire to avoid reproach, why any excuse at all ? — 
Why not come boldly out with a plain avowal of 
their reluctance ? If the parable has any meaning 
in it, it clearly supports the charge I have made. 

But these two motives are obvious from the very 
nature of the case. If the excuses which sinners 


urge are frivolous, they are not those which influ- 
ence the heart ; and when a man offers reasons to 
excuse himself from duty, which the heart disowns, 
he can give no stronger proof of aversion to the 
duty. These excuses then betray the opposition 
which they seek to hide. And they certainly re- 
veal an unwillingness to bear the blame of refusing. 
They are doubtless intended as an apology for ne- 
glect; and what is the design of an apology but to 
prevent the imputation of blame ? They betray an 
unwillingness in sinners to bear the blame in the 
sight of God, — a reluctance to take that low and 
guilty place under his eye which he assigns them. 
They often betray a reluctance to bear the blame 
in the sight of meyi, — taking a shape which clearly 
bespeaks a solicitude to preserve appearances. — 
But they are chiefly prompted by a reluctance to 
feel m their own minds the uneasiness of guilt. Sin- 
ners are neither willing to engage in the service of 
God, nor to endure the agonies of a troubled con- 
science ; and therefore they seek to hide their guilt 
from their own view by the tapestry of their thou- 
sand excuses. Thus while they loudly profess a 
desire to be convicted, they are strugghng against 
conviction with all their might ; determined to live 
without disturbance while they hve without God in 
the world. 

From what has been said, 

(1.) We see the wickedness, the folly, and the 
ruinous tendency of all these excuses. The ivick- 
ednessj for they are prompted by pure opposition to 
the Gospel, and by a hardened determination not 

Vol. I. 69 


to bear the blame of rejecting it. They stand forth 
as sin's apologists and cast all the blame on God. 
The folly, for they defeat their own ends and be- 
tray the guilt they would conceal. The ruinous ten- 
dency, for they apply all their strength to resist con- 
viction, and thus to prevent the possibility of an 
escape from death. If they can succeed the soul 
is inevitably lost. 

(2.) We see that stupid sinners are in a most 
guilty, forlorn, and unprotected state. They are 
stripped of all excuse and left naked under the eye of 
an omniscient God. That pure and penetrating 
eye finds them without a covering and pierces them 
through and through. Not one word of apology 
can they offer for all their years of sin, for all their 
hatred of God, for all their hardened impenitence, 
for all their stubborn rejections of a Saviour. They 
have no plea to make. They must be "speech- 
less." They must bear all the guilt forever. And 
what a world of guilt it must be when every extenu- 
ating circumstance is removed. 

(3.) Let me beseech my poor impenitent hearers 
never to make another excuse to eternity. It can 
do you no good. It will only betray your folly, 
and increase your guilt, and ruin your souls. If 
you have any pity on yourselves, instead of resist- 
ing, strive to increase conviction. Court it and do 
not repel it. Lie down under it and draw it over 
you with all your might. Take all the shame and 
blame to yourselves and clear your Maker. In no 
other way can you find pardon. You must be con- 
victed thus or perish forever. 


(4.) Here then you stand without one excuse for 
rejecting the Gospel another moment. Why then 
will you not accept it at once ? Do you begin to 
name a reason? but that is taken from you. You 
have none left. Do you say, your wicked lieart will 
not consent ? But my business is with that wicked 
heart. Why will not you, O stubborn heart, now sub- 
mit? Hardened rebel, why will not ^oi^ lay down 
your arms ? If you have no reason for holding out, 
why will you hold out any longer ? O remember 
the conclusion of the parable. He lifted his hand 
and swore that not one of those that were bidden 
should taste of his supper. While you delay, that 
sentence may proceed against you. Remember the 
rebels in the wilderness. You are now brought to 
the border of the promised land. Refuse now and 
you die ; accept now and you live forever. Amen. 



ISAI. I. 18. 

Come now and let us reason together, saith the Lord : though your sins 
be as scarlet they shaU be as white as snow ; though they be red like crim. 
son they shall be as wool " 

It is the boast of man that he is a reasonable be- 
ing, and it is his duty and dignity to act a reasona- 
ble part. God addresses himself to that reason, and 
condescends to expostulate with his rebellious sub- 
jects. Standing with his commission in my hands, 
I have it in charge to pursue the same course, — to 
commend the service of my Master to the con- 
science of my hearers and to justify the ways of 
God to man. 

Come then and let us reason together. My busi- 
ness at present is with impenitent sinners. I would 
single them out from the crowd, and take them aside, 
and say in their ear, " I have a message from the 
Lord to deliver to you. I am sent to reason with 

550 LET us REASON 

you in his name about the high concerns of a fu- 
ture world, about your interests a thousand ages 
hence, about the claims which the Sovereign of the 
world has upon you, and the long score of uncan- 
celled charges which he has against you." Let 
Christians stand by and assist me with their pray- 
ers, while I attempt to recall from death this inte- 
resting multitude. 

My poor hearers, you have often considered an 
address from the pulpit as a matter of course, and 
felt no personal interest in it. But it must not be 
so now. I have a solemn errand from the Lord to 
do to you one by one. While you are suspended 
between two eternities, I have one word from the 
Most High to say to you before your fate is decided. 
Drop every other care ; lend me your whole atten- 
tion ; put your minds into a most solemn frame ; 
and for a few moments feel as though you stood 
before the bar of God. 

Here then you are, the creatures of God, bound 
to eternity, and destined to be happy or miserable 
forever. Raise your heads out of this infant state 
and look abroad on the amazing scenes before you. 
Here you lie crushed under the mountains of guilt, 
for which the God that made you has condemned 
you to eternal wo. Did ever man address an audi- 
ence under more solemn circumstances? Your 
case is such as calls for an immediate remedy, — a 
remedy in which you yourselves must be active. 
What then is to be done? Will you lend me your 
whole attention ? 

I have it in charge from God to inform you with 


the utmost plainness what he would have you to do ; 
to tell you that you must instantly drop the wea- 
pons of your rebellion and return to him with sub- 
mission and love, — with a sweet and adoring sense 
of his perfections, of his moral government, of his 
superintending providence ; that you must renounce 
every selfish passion, and expand the arms of a 
strong benevolence to embrace the human family, 
friends and foes ; that you must fall at his feet with 
a broken heart for all your sins, without any further 
attempts to justify or extenuate them, clearing your 
Maker and taking all the shame and blame to your- 
selves, owning the justice of your condemnation, 
approving the holy strictness of his law, and griev- 
ing exceedingly that you should have sinned against 
so much goodness, against a government so righte- 
ous, a law so sublimely pure and glorious ; that un- 
der a conviction how right it is for you to suffer, 
and how wrong it would be for you to be pardoned 
for any thing that you can do, you must feel that 
you are utterly undone and stand in perishing need 
of a Saviour ; that you must heartily approve of the 
Saviour which God has provided and the way of 
salvation by him, and firmly believe in the divine 
sincerity in this whole arrangement, and choose 
that Redeemer for your own, and rest your souls 
upon him, and go to God through him, with earnest 
cries for mercy, with humble boldness, growing up 
into filial confidence, that can cry, " Abba Father," 
—that can walk about the palace of God like a 
child at home, and admire all his works, and cheer- 

552 LET us REASON 

fully repose upon his paternal love, his superintend- 
ing care, his universal providence, his everlasting 
covenant, and cry, with a deliberate and lasting as- 
surance, " My Lord and my God;" that you must 
enter on a life of steady devotion, a life of zeal in 
the service of God and his Church, a life of univer- 
sal obedience, shown in the exercise of all the 
Christian graces and in the practice of all the Christ- 
ian virtues ; that you must die to this vain world 
and feel and act as citizens of another country, 
" looking for that blessed hope and the glorious ap- 
pearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus 

This is the precise service, — the glorious and 
blessed course upon which I am sent to invite you 
to enter. Having delivered this part of my mes- 
sage, I have it furthermore in charge not to leave 
you till I have set before you, in such terms as the 
language of mortals will furnish, some of the reasons 
which urge you to an immediate compliance. 

The great God has commanded it. This you know. 
His whole word is one system of precepts, laying 
upon you the different parts of this service with the 
whole strength of his authority. The God who 
made you has commanded it. The God in whom 
you live and move and have your being has command- 
ed it. The God who will be your Judge at the last 
day has commanded it. The God before whose 
majesty and glory prostrate angels vail their faces, 
has commanded it. Will you withstand all this 
authority? Shall not the positive command of the 



eternal God bind you? Is he not your Sovereign ? 
Will you say that this duty belongs to the Church ? 
Can you escape out of his hands ? 

And is not this a most reasonable service, worthy 
of a God to require, and the very least tliat it would 
become a God of infinite holiness to accept ? Is 
not universal love such a service as God should re- 
quire of his rational offspring ? Will you not as- 
pire to the dignity of universal benevolence ? Will 
you not love a God of infinite w isdom and good- 
ness, whose only aim in all his works is to raise 
the universe to the highest pitcii of prosperity, — a 
prosperity resting, as the highest prosperity must, 
upon holy order, — the universal exercise of justice 
and love ? Will you not love a government whose 
only care is to protect this order, and thus promote 
the happiness of the whole intelligent family? How 
magnificent is this god-like law. What majesty and 
glory surround this sublime and holy sceptre. It 
fills all heaven with admiration and transport. And 
cannot you think it a happiness to be under the go- 
vernment of such a God ? Will you deem it a hard- 
ship to obey such a law ? to submit to such a pro- 
vidence? When you have broken in upon the 
order of the universe by violating this benevolent 
system of rules, will you think it a hardship to be 
called upon to repent ? Shall you find it difficult to 
weep and break your hearts? And since the Son 
of God has descended from heaven to sanction the 
principles of this government, to condemn sin, to 
pluck you from destruction by the sacrifice of him- 
self, and to bear away the honors of your salva- 

VOL. I. 70 

554 LET us REASON 

tion, will you account it a hardship to accept and 
honor him? All that God requires is reasonable and 
for your good. In no part of his administration 
has he given you the slightest cause for complaint. 
On the contrary, he has followed you with a suc- 
cession of mercies which have affected angels. On 
his arm have you all along been supported, and by 
his hand have you always been fed. He is your 
Creator, Proprietor, and Master. He made you 
what you are and gave you all your talents, and in 
a world which he had furnished for your use he 
placed you, with a solemn command to use these 
talents for him. Is it not reasonable that you should 
be his servants ? that you should act in all things 
with a reference to his will ? that whether you eat 
or drink or whatever you do you should do all to 
his glory ? Is not this what a rational being ought 
to render? Are not these demands reasonably 
made on such creatures as you ? 

But you seek to excuse yourselves with the plea 
that you are not able. And are you thus excused ? 
What then will you say of him who would not ex- 
cuse you, but peremptorily commanded you to per- 
form this service, and threatened you with eternal 
punishment if you refused? Do you mean solemnly 
to impeach him in the presence of all worlds ? In 
proportion as you take away a tittle of your obli- 
gation and guilt, you support a dreadful impeach- 
ment against your Maker. As hard as your heart 
is, he still commands you to love and serve him, 
and declares that he will punish you forever if you 
refuse, and actually sends sinners to hell for no 



other reason. And is the service an impossibihty ? 
There is no difficulty in the way but that which con- 
stitutes the essence of all your guilt, — a heart op- 
posed to God. If this rebellious heart may not be 
forbidden and punished, there is an end to all moral 
government, — there is an end to all distinction be- 
tween sin and holiness, — and men are no more mo- 
ral agents than the brutes and the stocks. If you 
shrink from this conclusion, you must go back and 
admit that wherever a rational soul is found that 
knows its Maker's will, there is one who is bound 
to love and serve God, whether the Spirit sanctify 
him or not. 

But if the service of God is reasonable, and rea- 
sonably required of such creatures as you, why do 
you withhold it ? If it is reasonable in God to re- 
quire it, it is unreasonable in you to refuse it. Why 
then do you act so unreasonable a part ? You ought 
not to do it. You ought to give him your heart at 
once. You have no manner of excuse for with- 
holding it a moment. 

But you plead for some delay. " Go thy way for 
this time ; when I have a convenient season I will 
call for thee." This is the very thing I feared. 
Men cannot resolve to die without religion, and 
strongly attached to other things, they cannot con- 
sent to enter upon it at once. This is the rock 
around which the bones of ship-wrecked millions 
are whitening. More probably have gone down to 
death from a Gospel land in this way than by any 
other stratagem of Satan. The arch-deceiver knows 
that if he should come out at once and boldly tell 

556 LET us REASON 

men never to become religious, his plot would be 
discovered and defeated. He knows that " in vain 
the net is spread i?i the sight of any bird." He takes 
a surer course. He tells them there is time enough 
yet. He urges them to put off till to-morrow. He 
keeps the phantom of a more convenient season 
before them, receding as they approach, and de- 
termines that they shall never overtake it. They 
see not the stratagem, and follow on as an ox to 
the slaughter, amusing themselves with the hope of 
a more convenient season, until they plunge into 
eternal death. Could you approach the margin of 
the burning lake and collect the history of the 
damned from their own lips, you would probably 
find that most of those who went down from a Gos- 
pel land were decoyed to ruin in this very way. In 
this same net your own feet are taken. Break that 
fatal snare or you yourselves are lost. 

Consider too the wickedness and danger of this 
delay. All this time you are defrauding your Ma- 
ker of the service which you owe him. All this 
time you are living in constant rebellion against 
God. If ever you are bound to serve him you are 
bound to serve him now. If ever he is worthy of 
love he is worthy now. If you would shudder at 
the thought of remaining his enemies to eternity, 
why continue his enemies for a day ? In this you 
are going directly in the face of his solemn, earnest 
commands and entreaties. " To day if ye will hear 
his voice harden not your hearts." Let me urge 
the dajiger too. All this time you are walking over 
the grave : and should you suddenly fall, where are 


you then ? By such a tenure you would not consent 
to hold your temporal estate if in your power to ob- 
tain a better. If all your property was thus expo- 
sed you would not sleep. You would compass sea 
and land to make your title sure. How comes it 
then to pass that in the very case which calls loud- 
est for anxiety, there you are the most secure? 
And consider, I pray you, that your hazard is daily 
increasing. Every hour lessens the chance of your 
salvation. Your hearts are growing harder ; your 
enemies are intrenching themselves there ; evil ha- 
bits are becoming confirmed ; the wall of separation 
between you and God is growing stronger and high- 
er ; the work of repentance and self-government is 
growing more and more difficult; the Spirit is de- 
parting, time is shortening, and death and hell ap- 
proaching. If then you cannot now be persuaded, 
what reason have you to hope that you ever will ? 
If you find it difficult to turn now, it will be more 
difficult at every future day. You hope for God's 
assistance hereafter; but what right have you to 
hope for that while you are rejecting the assistance 
which he now offers? He has never authorized 
that hope. He has not spoken of a to-morrow. On 
the contrary he has warned you that his Spirit shall 
not always strive with man. And his providence 
repeats this warning. So far as man can judge, 
few are sanctified after the middle of life, and by 
far the greater part under the age of twenty. 
With these dreadful prospects before you and these 
accumulating dangers around you, what infatuation 
to hope for a more convenient season and to fold 
up your arms as though all was well. 

558 LET us REASON 

Ail this time you are depriving yourselves of the 
present joys of religion, — that tranquillity among 
the passions, that peace of conscience, that delight- 
ful communion with God, that transporting sense 
of pardon, that beatific anticipation of future glory, 
which religion affords. The tempter has had the 
effrontery to tell you that religion would spoil your 
peace. And why did he not tell you that heaven 
was a dungeon ? But ask those who have tried her 
power, and they, with one voice will testify, that 
" her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her 
paths are peace." 

And for what do you lose all these joys and sa- 
crifice your souls ? For husks that cannot satisfy ; 
for idols full of tormenting stings ; for a world of 
shadows; for riches which suflfer not their pos- 
sessors to sleep ; for objects bearing about this la- 
bel written with the finger of God, " Vanity and 
vexation of spirit.'''' " The way of transgressors is 
hard," " and the way of peace have they not 
known." And even were it otherwise, — were eve- 
ry anguish extracted from their hearts, — yet what 
is there in all these objects worthy to engross the 
supreme desires of an immortal mind ? What are 
these to God and Christ and heaven ? 

What are these to the interests of that soul which 
is destined to expand forever in the regions oHight 
and life, or to sink eternally under the anguish of 
the never dying worm ? O eternity ! eternity ! thy 
solemnities turn all the promises of time to a jest. 
Count the sands of the sea ; multiply them by the 
leaves of the forest, and the spires upon the moun- 


tains, and the stars in heaven ; and when so many 
ages have rolled away, your happiness or your mi- 
sery will be but just begun. What is this world ? 
" its pomp, its pleasures, and its nonsense all ?" 
If I live three score years and ten on a dung hill, 
what is that to me if I may but obtain to the blessed- 
ness of everlasting ages. If I spend my seventy 
years begirt with imperial purple and rolling in the 
pleasures of a court, what is that to me if after all 
I must be imprisoned in hell as long as the throne 
of God endures. 

My dear hearers, are you immortal ? Are you 
to spend an eternity in heaven or hell ? And are 
you losing yourselves among the vanities of this 
world ? Will you never awake ? Sleep on then 
and take your rest. But know you that the mists 
of death will soon gather around you. You will be 
laid upon a dying bed. Time is gone and eternity 
has come. I see you lying there without a friend 
to help you in heaven or earth. I see you cast 
back your eyes on misspent sabbaths, on murdered 
privileges, on wasted time. You remember the 
calls you once rejected. I hear you cry, " I had a 
soul but prized it not, and now my soul is gone. 
Ten thousand worlds for one more year. Ten 
thousand worlds for one more sabbath in the house 
of God." — I look a little further, and I see the per- 
turbations of the troubled sky. The sign of the 
Son of Man appears in heaven. The last trumpet 
sounds. That body which had been committed to 
the grave is organized afresh. It opens its eyes on 
the strange commotions of a dissolving world. It 

560 LET us REASON 

is forced to ascend. The judgment seat is set in 
the clouds of heaven and the books are opened. I 
hear you cry to rocks and to mountains to cover 
you ; but rocks and mountains are sunk in the ge- 
neral ruin. The books are opened, and on a black 
page are spread out all the sins of your life. That 
page is held up before a frowning universe. — The 
judgment ended, the Judge prepares to speak. God 
of mercy save me from that hour ! Eternal justice 
lowers upon his awful brow. His right hand grasps 
ten thousand thunders. With a look before which 
heaven and earth flee away, he turns full upon his 
foes : " Depart, — ye cursed, into everlasting fire, 

prepared for the devil and his angels." But I 

return, and, blessed be God, I still find myself on 
praying ground and my dear hearers about me. 
This is not the Judgment Day. But, my beloved 
friends, I expect soon to meet you at that bar and 
give an account of my labors among you to day. 
It is in full view of that awful scene that I am speak- 
ing thus to you. I would not have you perish ; but 
if you perish, I would clear my garments of your 

But you must not perish. The calls of mercy are 
still out. I have returned to my text and found it 
written, " Though your sins be as scarlet they shall 
be as white as snow ; though they be red like crim- 
son they shall be as wool." These heavenly words, 
issuing from the eternal throne, still mingle their 
sounds about your ears. There is yet hope. You 
need not perish. The door of mercy is not yet 
closed. That Saviour whom you just now saw on 


the judgment seat, once died on Calvary. Though 
you have so long trifled with his blood, though you 
have so long abused sermons and sabbaths, though 
you have ten thousand times been found in arms 
against the Sovereign of the vt^orld, yet in that blood 
all your stains may be washed out, — all your treasons 
purged. Only do not now seal your damnation by 
longer rejecting his mercy. Fall down now at his 
feet. Go not from this house till you have bathed 
them with your tears and wiped them with the hairs 
of your head. This is an awful moment. Heaven, 
earth, and hell are now opened before you. From 
the throne of God which is placed in the midst the 
invitation is still proceeding. Not man, but God 
himself is now speaking to you. If you turn away 
it will be like those who turned away when their 
feet touched the borders of the promised land. 
They could not be forgiven but must perish in the 
wilderness. Take care what you do, for you are 
now standing near the Shekinah. Drop the wea- 
pons from your bloody hands. With those trem- 
bling arms clasp his feet ; resolving never to quit 
your hold; — that if he tread you down you will 
sink, but that you will never leave the spot till one 
look of peace assures you that your sins are for- 
given. O could we see you thus ! — Are you afraid 
to go ? Why, it is the same Being that left the 
realms of glory to die for you. Go with greater 
confidence than you ever went to an earthly parent. 
Go with all your sins upon you. It is not to judge 
that he has now come. He has come to heal the 
broken-hearted and to preach deliverance to the 
Vol, I. 71 


captives. The love of Jesus looks out of his eye. 
His hands, bearing still the prints of the nails, are 
extended to receive you. Go, and give pleasure to 
that heart which bled on the point of the spear. 
Go and find your heaven in the sweetness of that 
embrace. Go : — you see him there, — O go ! 



Num. X. 29-32. 

And Moses said unto Hobab, the son of Raguel, the Midianite, Moses' 
father in law ; We are journeying unto the place of which the Lord said, I 
will give it you: come thou with us and we will do thee good; for the 
Lord halh spoken good concerning Israel. And he said unto him, I will 
not go; but I will depart to my own Land and to my kindred. And he 
said, Leave us not, I pray thee; forasmuch as thou knowest how we are 
to encamp in the wilderness, and thou mayst be to us instead of eyes. 
And it shall be, if thou go with us, yea it shall be. that what goodness 
the Lord shall do unto us, the same will we do unto thee. 

This Hobab, the son of Raguel, the Midianite, is 
thought by some to have been the brother-in-law of 
Moses ; but others understood him to be called in 
this very passage the father-in-law. The Septua- 
gint adopts the latter opinion. Assuming this to be 
the fact, Hobab was no other than Jethro, who is 
sometimes called Reuel. He was the priest or 
prince of Midian, and appears to have been a wor- 
shipper of the true God. In former days, when 
Moses had fted from Pharaoh, he came into the land 

564 HOBAB. 

of Midian, in the neighborhood of Mount Sinai, 
where he married the daughter of Jethro, and hved 
forty years. Called of God to return to Egypt, he 
took leave of his father-in-law and departed with 
his wife and children, but afterwards sent them back 
to Midian, and pursued his journey to Egypt alone. 
Soon after his return to Sinai with the Hebrew na- 
tion, Jethro brought his wife and children to him, 
and assisted him in arranging the civil affairs of the 
nation, and then took his leave and returned home. 
During the eleven months that the congregation 
was at Sinai, Moses might have frequent interviews 
with his father-in-law, who lived in the vicinity ; and 
just before he commenced his journey to Canaan, 
he made the proposition contained in the text. 
Though the invitation was at first declined, yet be- 
ing pressed it was not finally rejected ; for the fa- 
mily of Hobab did accompany Israel. From their 
greater knowledge of the wilderness they were pro- 
bably of essential service to a nation of strangers 
traversing that trackless desert, and in the language 
of Moses, were to them instead of eyes ; and at the 
close of the forty years they entered the land under 
Joshua, and had an inheritance assigned them in 
the tribe of Judah, where they continued a distinct 
family, under the name of Kenites, but enjoying all 
the privileges of the people of God, until the Ba- 
bylonish captivity. 

While many in these days are joining themselves 
to the Church of God and setting out for Canaan, 
I have selected this text as affording matter both 
interesting and seasonable. 

HOBAB. 565 

When this invitation was given by Moses, the 
people of God had just separated themselves from 
all the other nations of the earth, and formed them- 
selves into a church state by the solemn transactions 
at Sinai, and were then setting out for Canaan. 
All who did not accompany them would be left be- 
hind in a wretched heathen state. A strong line of 
division was thenceforth to be drawn between the 
people of God and the rest of the world. Under 
these circumstances it was the duty and privilege of 
Hobab and all good men to join themselves to Is- 
rael, that so they might live among religious ordi- 
nances, among sabbaths and tabernacles, and enjoy 
the presence of God in the shekinah, and worship 
him in the only way of his appointment. Before 
that day the true worshippers had been scattered ; 
an Abraham in one nation, an Abimelech in another, 
a Job in a third, an Eliphaz, a Bildad, a Zophar, 
an Elihu, and a Jethro in others. And the presence 
of God had been manifested in all places where his 
worshippers had lived. In one place he would ap- 
pear visibly, in another in dreams, in a third he 
would utter himself from the whirlwind. Before 
• this no particular forms of worshipping and sacri- 
ficing were appointed, but all the varieties were ac- 
cepted. But now the time had come when God 
would live abroad among the nations no more, but 
would confine his presence to the mercy seat which 
was to be established at Canaan. The particular 
forms in which he chose to be worshipped were mi- 
nutely prescribed ; a great part of which could be 
observed no where but in the city which he should 

566 HOBAB. 

choose to place his name in. His worshippers 
would thenceforth disappear from other countries, 
and the whole world would be given up to pagan 
darkness; while the light, collected to a point, would 
shine with concentrated lustre among the chosen 
tribes. Under these circumstances it was the duty 
and privilege of Hobab to unite his destinies with 
the people of God and to follow them to the land 
of promise. Thus doing he would enjoy the bless- 
ings of the Church, and entail a glorious inheri- 
tance on his children, by bringing them to be of the 
household of faith, who otherwise would be left in 
the glooms of heathen darkness. 

And now, my brethren, whilst thousands in these 
days are joining themselves to the Lord and public- 
ly setting out for the heavenly Canaan, is it not the 
duty of all who wish to serve or be served of the 
God of Abraham, to go along with them ? What 
countless blessings might they thus secure to them- 
selves and to their children ; their poor children 
who otherwise may perish for want of a father's 
faith and a mother's prayers. They must either 
accompany God's people or be left behind in wretch- 
edness and ruin, like what awaited those who should 
linger in the fields of Midian. 

When this invitation was given it was a time of 
jubilee and joy with the Church. They had just 
avouched the Almighty Jehovah for their God and 
Father ; they had been graciously received as his 
family, and were then, under the brightest auspi- 
ces, setting out for the happy land given to Abra- 
ham, Isaac, and Jacob. What glorious prospects 


lay before the eye of Moses as he thus addressed 
his father Hobab. And with these prospects before 
him how could he bear to leave so dear a friend be- 
hind ? How did his heart yearn to take all his kin- 
dred with him. His beloved friends from whom he 
had received so much kindness while a stranger 
among them, and with whom he had spent so many 
happy hours, — to see their face no more, — to leave 
them destitute of all the blessings of God's cove- 
nant ! this was more than he could bear. And 
why should they lose so much ? The way of Ca- 
naan was as open to them as to Moses. And of 
what urgent necessity it was that they should go at 
that time. If they did not set out then probably 
they never would follow after. Never again would 
they find such a company setting out together for 
the promised land. And must they never taste the 
delicious fruits of Canaan and the spiritual bless- 
ings of Abraham's seed ? Must they sink into the 
sins and perish under the ruins of the heathen world? 
How could Moses endure the thought? In his eyes 
I read his soul as he presses the invitation upon his 
father : " Come thou with us and we will do thee 
good ; for the Lord hath spoken good concerning 
Israel." What love and goodness glowed in this 
address. He wished Hobab and his family to go 
because such an accession to the Church would ad- 
vance the glory of God,— because he regarded their 
happiness as human beings, and more especially as 
beloved friends,-because he coveted the pleasure 
of their society ,-and because he calculated on the 
advantages to be derived from them by the way. 

568 HOBAB. 

For similar reasons do those who are setting out 
for the heavenly Canaan, earnestly desire their 
friends and acquaintance to go along with them. 
The greater the number the greater the glory to 
God. They have also a sincere desire for the best 
happiness of their fellow men. Their benevolence, 
expansive as the light, embraces the great family of 
man, and would fain bring them all home to their 
Father's house. It is not in their hearts to mono- 
polize the blessings to themselves. Especially do 
they desire to have the friends of their heart accom- 
pany them. What agonizing throes agitate the bo- 
soms of pious children for their ungodly parents, — 
for their unsanctified brothers and sisters, — of pi- 
ous parents for their unregenerate children, — and 
of pious husbands and wives for their unrenewed 
partners. They long to see them happy after death, 
and they greatly desire the pleasure of their reli- 
gious society and friendship. As soft as the dews 
of Hermon are the delights of Christian communion, 
especially with those whom the ties of nature have 
bound to our hearts. To tread with them the plea- 
sant paths of wisdom, to mingle our sympathies and 
cares and joys and trials ; this is a banquet next to 
the repast of heaven. How much is often lost in 
family circles for want of this heavenly fellowship. 
Another motive to wish that our friends may ac- 
company us, is the advantage to be derived from 
their counsels, prayers, and watchful friendship. 
They may be to us instead of eyes. Religious 
friendship has peculiar advantages when shedding 
its benign influence upon the domestic relations. 

HOBAB. 569 

Two lovely sisters walking hand in hand in the 
ways of Zion ; — a husband and wife holding sweet 
communion together when they sit in the house and 
when they walk by the way ; of what great advan- 
tage may they be in supporting and animating each 
other. And what a great assistance might youth- 
ful companions be to each other would they agree 
to set out together in the heavenly course. And 
why cannot such happy associations be formed on 
the high road to Zion ? Why should parents be 
torn from children, husbands from wives, and bro- 
thers from brothers? Why need any be left be- 
hind ? The road to Canaan is as open to them who 
loiter in Midian as to those who are on their way. 
And what opportunity so favorable to conmience 
the journey as when such crowds are setting out 
for the happy country ? Now they need not travel 
the long and difficult way alone. But the time will 
come when all the pilgrims will have got home, and 
this road will no longer be frequented. And then 
the cry will be, Alas that we did not set out in sea- 


There were strong reasons to enforce this invita- 
tion of Moses. He was not going to visit the in- 
clement regions of Scythia, nor the sickly fens of 
Egypt ; but to live under the healthful skies of Ca- 
naan, — in a country fair and fruitful, brightened 
with cheerful suns, and fanned with temperate and 
salubrious breezes. And God had spoken good 
concerning Israel. They were to enjoy the happi- 
est commonwealth beneath the skies, — to live under 
laws framed by God himself. They were to enjoy 

Vol. I. 72 

670 HOBAB. 

the oracles of God, the ordinances of his worship, 
the tabernacle, sabbaths, and holy feasts ; and all 
their institutions were to be stamped with God and 
religion. Their economy and order would be, 
throughout, a delicious banquet for a holy taste. 
How infinitely superior to the motley and irregular 
fabrics of pagan superstition. The God of the 
whole earth had engaged to be their God, to fix his 
residence among them, and to sit on the mercy seat 
between the cherubims, diffusing blessings around 
the land, pardoning their sins, hearing their prayers, 
and holding blessed communion with them. Here 
alone was the Gospel of peace to be heard and the 
great atonement to be displayed. Their sacrifices 
and all their holy rites were to be full of Christ. In 
a word, all that was precious in the manifestations 
of God, — all that was valuable in the plan of grace 
revealed for the salvation of a ruined world, — all 
that was glorious in all creation, — in heaven and 
earth, — was, in a sense, to meet in a point in the 
Church, and to dwell among sacrifices streaming 
with blood, among tabernacles and temples and 
holy rites and praying thousands. In this nation 
the great Messiah was to appear, with all his bless- 
ings for men. Indeed God liad spoken good con- 
cerning Israel. Great was to be the increase of 
their prosperity and joy; insomuch that every heart 
that loved the Church would thrill with transport. 
Israel was a name which should live in honor when 
all other nations should be blended in one common 
grave. Their prosperity was to rise and extend 
and lengthen, even through the ages of eternity. 

HOB An. 571 

How did Balaam, when perched on Abarim, inflated 
with the big inspiration and rapt with the grandeur 
of his subject, — how did he soar and stretch to 
more than mortal height when descanting on the 
future glory of Israel. And this, all this, was the 
blessedness which Hobab was invited to partake. 

With increased interest we shall now look upon 
the invitation again : "And Moses said unto — [his] 
father-in-law, We are journeying unto the place of 
which the Lord said, I will give it you : come thou 
with us and we will do thee good ; for the Lord 
hath spoken good concerning Israel." And when 
he hesitated, Moses pressed him: "Leave us not, 
I pray thee ; forasmuch as thou knowest how we 
are to encamp in the wilderness, and thou mayst be 
to us instead of eyes. And it shall be, if thou go 
with us, yea it shall be, that what goodness the Lord 
shall do unto us, the same will we do unto thee." 
How could he resist so tender, so pressing, so ad- 
vantageous an offer? What a fatal calculation 
would it have been for him to have lingered in Mi- 
dian. He could not stay. He did not resist the 
entreaties of the prophet. He went with him. He 
went, and he had no cause to repent it. He saw 
the glory of Israel. His posterity partook of the 
prosperity of the nation and the blessings of Abra- 
ham. And this day, we trust, he is rejoicing that 
he went with Moses. 

And now, my dear brethren, with the voice of 
undissembled friendship I would apply this invita- 
tion to every person in the house who is not on his 
way to the heavenly Canaan. In the name and be- 

672 HOBAB. 

half of that blessed company who are bound to the 
land of promise, I present you an affectionate invi- 
tation to come along with them. I know they 
greatly desire your company. They would not mo- 
nopolize the blessings to themselves. They would 
fain impart to you a share of all that God bestows 
on them. They wish you to partake of their hap- 
piness for time and eternity. Indeed they know 
not how to leave you behind. As they cannot at 
present speak for themselves, I will address you as 
their organ, and wish the invitation may be received 
as coming from them. 

Imagine that you hear the voice of some beloved 
child or parent or brother or sister or husband or 
wife, whose name is enrolled in the tablet of Israel, 
calling to you from the Church : We are journey- 
ing unto the place of which the Lord said, I will 
give it you : come ye with us and we will do you 
good. We are bound, not to an earthly Canaan, 
but to the mount of vision, the Zion of the skies ; 
to fairer fields than Moses saw from Pisgah ; to the 
land of the rivers of life, — better watered than the 
plain of Jordan, more beautiful than Tirzah and 
Jerusalem, more fat than Gilead or the vale of Esh- 
col, more delectable than the vineyards of Engedi, 
stronger than the castles of the Anakims, and more 
magnificent than the mountains of Lebanon. This 
is the land of which the Lord hath said, I will give 
it you. Unworthy indeed we are; yet our Father 
hath suffered us to hope for a bright inheritance in 
the heavens. It is decreed that earth-born worms 
shall be rapt above the sun and stars, to fly with 


angels through the upper spheres, and to expand 
in regions of exhaustless hfe. Into his own hands 
hath he taken the charge to carry us through the 
windings of the wilderness, to subdue the giants, 
and to put us into peaceful possession of the blessed 
country. We hold the place by no uncertain 
tenure. It is made over to us by a covenant well 
ordered in all things and sure. And now wc ad- 
vertise you that our face is fixedly set to go up to 
this Jerusalem. Come ye with us and we will do 
you good ; for the Lord hath spoken good concern- 
ing Israel. Yea, glorious things are spoken of the 
city of our God. The most transporting prospects 
are spread out before the view of Christians. Eye 
hath not seen nor ear heard what God hath prepared 
for them that love him. For these enchanting 
scenes we are toiling and pressing forward, and 
hope soon to enter the portals of the celestial city 
and leave all these lower worlds behind. Come ye 
with us and share in all our glory. There are seats 
enough around the throne for you, and we would 
not occupy them alone. The mountains and vales 
of Canaan are spacious enough to admit you and 
your little ones. Heaven is wide enough for all. 
There is room enough in the heart of God, merits 
enough in Christ, ministering angels enough to at- 
tend you. There is room enough in the Church to 
admit you, room enough at the table of the Lord 
to receive you, and room enough in the hearts of 
Christians to entertain you. Come ye with us from 
Midian and unite your destinies with the Israel of 
God. Theirs is the only interest which will stand 

574 HOBAB. 

when worlds decay; the only bark that will ride 
through the storms of conflicting elements and en- 
ter the blissful haven ; the only thing that will rise 
unimpaired from amidst the ruins of dissolving 
worlds. Come then and embark your all on that 
bottom which supports the fortunes of Israel. — 
Unite your destinies with theirs, to rise as they rise, 
and to fall only when they fall. Come and take 
your chance with them, and say as Ruth did 
to Naomi, "Whither thou goest I will go, and 
where thou lodgest I will lodge ; thy people shall be 
my people, and thy God my God." 

Come ye along with us. Think not, beloved 
friends, that we call you to venture among dangers 
which we will not encounter ourselves, or to engage 
in labors which we ourselves would shun, or that 
we are pressing a boon upon you which we despise. 
No, we offer you what we hold most dear, and what 
worlds should not purchase from us. We will 
cheerfully go with you through all your perils and 
toils. We will keep by your side in every extre- 
mity, and will never quit you in the hour of trial. 
We would not send you alone through unexplored 
ways. Only come with us and we will go with you. 

Come ye with us and we will do you good. There 
is nothing in our power that we will not do for you. 
We will assist you by our counsels, we will cheer 
you by our sympathies, and employ for you our 
prayers. Our heads, our hearts, our hands shall be 
ready to assist you. We will do what in us lies to 
support you in affliction and to strengthen you in 
temptation. We will watch over you with a broth- 

HOBAB. 575 

er's care ; will rejoice when you rejoice and weep 
when you weep. We will unite our counsels with 
yours against the common foe, and will stand or fall 
with you. We will clinch hands and together break 
through the thickest ranks. Together will we con- 
quer and together will we reign. Not death itself 
shall long divide us. We here, with great affection 
and desire, ofter ourselves for your companions and 
assistants by the way. We seek and court your al- 
liance. Take us and we are yours. W^e freely 
confess to you that we ourselves also want your as- 
sistance. Like the Hebrews, we are in a wilder- 
ness, surrounded by enemies and dangers ; and you 
may be to us instead of eyes. Beset with difficul- 
ties and foes we call for your assistance. Come 
ye up to the help of the Lord against the mighty. 
We should be obliged by your counsels, sympathies, 
and prayers ; and much should we value the plea- 
sure of your society. 

And it shall be, if you go with us, yea it shall be, 
that what goodness the Lord shall do unto us, the 
same will we do unto you. You shall take part 
with us in the Gospel, in its precious promises, in 
the privilege of pardon, in all our consolations. 
We will welcome you to the table of the Lord, and 
there, as in a banqueting house, we will joyfully im- 
part to you that sacred feast which we ourselves re- 
ceive. You shall share in our labors, our watch- 
ings, our trials ; and when we find a blossom by tlie 
way we will not fail to show it unto you. You shall 
have your full share in our final inheritance, in our 
crowns and diadems, and shall reign with us forever 

576 HOBAB. 

and ever. In all the good, for time and eternity, 
which we receive from the Lord, you, dear breth- 
ren, shall have your part. Only come along with 
us and share our fortunes with us. Come drink at 
our fountains, repose in our valleys, and bring your 
little ones to partake of our harvests, our sacred 
feasts, and the delights of our tabernacle. We 
shall rejoice to embrace you as brethren. With 
overflowing hearts we will welcome you to the ma- 
ternal care of our mother, the Church. We shall 
delight to show you all the rare things which we 
discover in these new climes, the mysterious regions 
of Zion. We will carry you around and show you 
the glory of the temple and all its sacred order. 
We will lead you to Calvary, and show you a Sa- 
viour reeking in blood. If we depart first, perhaps 
we may become your guardian spirits. And when 
we have attended you home, we will lead you around 
the upper skies, and show you the magnificence of 
the New Jerusalem. This done, we will choose 
out one common abode in some fair immortal field, 
and dwell together like one soul through the un- 
measured ages of eternity. You see our hearts 
are ready to take part with you in all things. Only 
come and be with us and we will be with you. 

And now who among you all will consent, and this 
day set out with us for the promised land ? Will none 
consent ? Must we go alone, and gather the grapes 
and reap the harvest of Canaan without you ? We 
confess to you our whole souls, — we know not how to 
leave you behind. Often shall we look back and 
sigh for your company. O gratify our anxious de- 

11013AH. 577 

sires and come along with us. Forsake your idol 
gods and your father's house, and come and take 
shelter under the wings of the God of Israel. 

There is a voice gone out ; an alarm is heard, 
that tempests are gathering over the lan