Imágenes de páginas

which a holy God would smile with complacency. Our church, under the refreshing dews of Heaven, and fostering care of the society, will yet bloom in this deserted soil. My labours were not confined to Huntingdon. I officiated alternately at the Three Springs, Shirleysburg, and Cromwell's Furnace, each of which places is situated about twenty-three miles from Huntingdon. Finding, however, this arrangement attended with great inconvenience, and not calculated to promote the interests of the church, I thought it most expedient to conso, didate the three congregations into one at Cromwell's Furnace, which was nearly central between the other two. The event answered my most sanguine expectation. Having their attention directed to one point, their minds were turned to the erection of a building sufficiently large for their reception. The liberality of Thomas Cromwell, Esq. (which deserves the thanks of the society) supplied the defect. He presented the congregation with a large farm house, which, in a few days, was converted into a church, with a neat pulpit, and seats for the accommodation of three hundred people. At this church, which they thought proper to call St. Peter's, I continued to officiate statedly, and had the satisfaction to see in the congregation thus united, an improvement in church discipline, which could not have been effected in its divided state. St. Peter's is situated about twenty-four miles from Huntingdon, seven from the Three Springs, and four miles from Shirley's, on the Chambersburg road. An ample field is here opened to raise a very large Episcopal congregation. There are multitudes in all directions destitute of any kind of religious worship whatever. Numbers applied to be received into the church by baptism; and during my stay at least two hundred persons, who had heretofore been strangers to the church and liturgy, professed to be members, and declared their intention to raise something for the support of an Episcopal clergyman. I have no doubt that between Huntingdon and St. Peter's from eight hundred to a thousand dol

lars could be raised without much difficulty. Independent of my stated visits at this place, I occasionally visited and officiated at Alexandria, Rays town-branch, Barneforge, and Water Street. Finding the fatigue attendant on this charge too much for my constitution, I reluctantly left Huntingdon on the twenty-eighth day of Octo ber, and arrived at Lewistown the same day, on my return to Philadel· phia. I here found the desire of the people so great to hear the word, that under the hope of extending the king dom of the blessed Redeemer, and of advancing the interests of the church, I was induced to remain. Through the blessing of God, I had the happiness to find my hopes realized. In a few days I baptized thirteen persons, eight adults and five children, and found such an increasing attachment to the doctrines and principles of our venerable and apostolic church, that the attention of the society is only wanted to make this an important post. I have thus endeavoured to give a

brief narration of my missionary tour of five months in the county of Huntingdon, and have now to request, nay, I entreat the society, as they value the interest of the church, and the prosperity of Sion, to turn their attention to this deserted spot."

The board has not as yet been able to locate a missionary in Fayette county. This interesting portion of the diocess demands the earliest attention. Inquiries have been made in vain for clergymen to settle in this and other counties. We have yet daily cause to lament that the labourers in the

harvest are so few. An opportunity, however, which offered of assuring our brethren in the west of our anxiety to promote their spiritual welfare, was not suffered to be lost. It being understood that the Rev. Mr. Johnston was going to Ohio, and the Rev. Mr. Walker to visit his relations at Uniontown, these clergymen were requested to accept of a mission for a few weeks, and visit the destitute congregations in Fayette county and its neighbourhood. They kindly consented to the request, and at the close of their mission transmitted an account of their journey te

the board. "Although," say these gentlemen," our inission, as was contemplated, has been short, if it has but served, through the divine blessing, to animate and enliven the spirit of these destitute congregations, we shall have reason to be thankful. It has afforded us much pleasure to use any exertion in their behalf. Had the season been more mild, perhaps our labours would have been more successful.

"We give some particulars of the state of the congregations in which we officiated.

"Somerset is an interesting little village. There are a Lutheran and a Presbyterian society established in it. The inhabitants, generally speaking, are liberal in their sentiments towards the church. The Episcopalians have been long wishing to enjoy the ministrations of the church, and are anxiously waiting the time when missionaries shall be sent out. A missionary might be usefully employed, stationed at this place, to officiate occasionally at Bedford, Greensburgh, and Stoystown. Mount-Pleasant ought not to be neglected. The people there are anxious for a share of missionary labours. We found them remarkably attentive to the service, rubrical and devout.

"At Connelsville we were much pleased to notice the attention given to divine things. Christians of other denominations evinced there a mild and becoming spirit to the church. The people were solemn, serious, and engaged heartily in the animating services of the liturgy. They are anxious for the truths of the gospel, and their good works are an index of that precious faith which is the ornament of their profession.

"Several families not only in this but in the neighbouring towns, from the want of the regular ministrations of the church, have connected themselves with the Methodists. There are about twenty Episcopal families who would joyfully welcome an Episcopal clergyman. An Episcopal church has been organized by the name of St. Matthew's. The congregation are about erecting an edifice calculated

to be neat and commodious. We anticipate much pleasure when our Sion will here flourish and be instrumental in enlivening, quickening and strengthening her children, in the faith once delivered to the saints.

"In Uniontown we were much delighted in the zeal manifested by the friends of the church. Seldom have we noticed a more familiar acquaintance with the doctrines and peculiarities of the church, or a greater perseverance in diffusing her sacred principles than was here evinced. The ardour of some individuals, and their willingness to co-operate with our exertions to build up the church of God were highly commendable. Much harmony prevails among the different denominations, and we may in truth say, there are many who serve God in the beauty of holiness. A church has been organized by the name of St. church. Service

was held at Jackson's church, five miles from Uniontown. Some few that remain of the congregation are firm and pious friends of the church. They have almost despaired of a missionary; and if the church falls, it will fall honourably on their part, for the want of a clergyman.

"In our visit to the flourishing village of Brownsville, whose praise is in all the churches, we were entertained with the evidences of piety and holy ardour evinced by the people. Several are awakened to a sense of their Christian obligations, and the salvation of their souls, among whom are the young, who consecrate their lives to the service of their Maker. Alas! how can they preserve a unity of membership with the visible church, without a participation of its ordinances? and how shall these be administered except preachers be sent ? These destitute people remember, with gratitude, the services of the Rev. Mr. Kemper, the Rev. Mr. Clay, the Rev. Mr. Douglass, and the Rev. Mr. Carter. Their labour of love will not be forgotten as long as their memories retain their powers, or their hearts their vibrations. Their cry is now for labourers in this destitute part of the Lord's vineyard. The church has been

planted several years, and at one time prospered. It has until within a year past languished. The exertion of zeal, public spirit, and emulation is now too great, and their perseverance too noble to be baffled. They have enclosed a large and handsome stone church, which is finely situated, and has a commanding view of the beautiful village it adorns. Had it not been for the pressure of the times, it would have been completed before this. They intend that it shall be soon finished in good taste, and ready for consecration. A clergyman could be handsomely supported from this place, uniting Connelsville and Uniontown, with the assistance proposed by the society for the Advancement of Christianity in Pennsylvania.

"By information gathered at Brownsville, we learned that the churches in Carmicletown, in Greene county, and the one at Redstone, four miles from Brownsville, on the Monongahela, are in a lamentable condition; entirely fallen, by being deprived of missionary services.

"At West's Church, seven miles from Brownsville, service was held. Although the people live somewhat remote from the church, and notwithstanding the shortness of the notice, and the severity of the weather, these scattered sheep assembled in the sanctuary, to fall down and kneel before the Lord their God, to pour forth their spiritual wants, to go forth to the highest heavens, even to the throne of the Holy One. Their humble log temple is built not of the cedars of Libanus, but of the oak of the forest; and although it has never had within its walls the pious father and venerable prelate of the diocess, yet the hearts of its worshippers have been comforted with the assurance of the Saviour, that wherever two or three are gathered together in his name, he will be in the midst of them.

"Measures have been taken in every place where we have officiated, to have the churches organized and incorporated. We have distributed the religious tracts that were intrusted to us. They were received every where with pleasure. A few more Prayer

Books would be very useful to the people. This report may serve to give some information of the church in this region. We have uniformly encouraged the Episcopalians with the hope that at least two missionaries will come out to them in the ensuing season. We pray that the Lord may bless our feeble efforts, and the labours of those whom, in his providence, he shall direct here to labour.

"We cannot but entreat our more wealthy and favoured brethren in the east to continue their late zealous endeavours to advance the Redeemer's kingdom. We hope that in this western world, by the aid of a few more missionaries, the church will increase and display her evangelical power, and that God will fit her members, by the frequent use of her ordinances, to join the saints in light. We pray that the zeal which has so happily dawned in the east, will gradually spread in shedding its evening splendour on this western Sion, and that we may all be faithful to the interests of the Redeemer's cause till the earth shall be one altar, and the heavens one temple of Jehovah."

It is with deep regret the trustees mention that the flourishing congregation at Pittsburgh has been vacant for several months. The prosperity of the church in this place is of vital importance to the interests of our communion in the west. The most anxious solicitude is felt that a clergyman of piety and talents may be permanently settled at this city.

If Pittsburgh has been so long vacant, it will not be surprising that several places have been unvisited during the past year. The efforts of the board have been unavailing to obtain a missionary for New-London Cross Roads, and the churches in the counties of Adams, Columbia, Susquehannah, and Bradford. A temporary union was formed by the Episcopalians in the two last named counties, and exertions were made, in compliance with the wish of the congregations of NewMilford, Pike, and Springville, to induce the Rev. Mr. Phinney to settle among them. But Mr. Phinney had already engaged to remove to the state

were mentioned in the last report, yet they have the satisfaction of announcing that several new and interesting fields of labour have opened before them during the past year. Information has been received from Meadville, in Crawford county; from Millerstown, in Cumberland county; and from Mifflintown and Thompsontown, in Mifflin county, that there are seve

delight in contributing towards the support of an Episcopal clergyman. But the situations which have attracted the greatest attention of the trus tees are those of Easton and Northum berland. The former place was visited by the Rev. Mr. Muhlenberg in August, who officiated there six times to an attentive congregation. Here the zeal of a few individuals, it is confidently believed, will accomplish much good. Our service has been regularly celebrated for some time by lay readers. So great has been their solicitude for having a clergyman settled among them, and so gratifying the assurances of the most cordial cooperation to the extent of their means, that the trustees have determined to direct the exclusive attention of Mr. Rodney, who has offered his services to the society as a missionary, and who is to be ordained on next Sunday, to this beautiful and interesting village for at least one year; with the firm belief that before twelve months have elapsed the Episcopalians of Easton will be organized into a congregation, and possess a place of public worship.

of New-York. These congregations received, during the past summer, a very short visit from Mr. Roche, who kindly left his charge for the purpose, and who was amply rewarded for his journey in the satisfaction of finding them very desirous of having a regu lar administration of the ordinances of the gospel. "In August last," says Mr. Roche, "I visited the congregations of Wyalusing (Pike), New-Mikral families in these places who would ford, and Springville. Here I was delighted to find persons sincerely attached to our church. Though they never have had the regular ministra tion of the word and ordinances, yet they appear to be earnestly engaged in the important concern of religion. Great seriousness and attention were manifested among them. I was inclined to believe that they were willing to receive Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth, not with the lips only, but also with the heart. Some of the elder part of the congregations asked me, with much earnestness, even with tears, if I thought it probable any one could be procured to dispense to them the bread of life? They said they had raised a subscription of three hundred dollars, and that to this they would freely add the board of the clergyman, with a horse and the expense of keep ing Should any minister undertake to supply these congregations, by residing at the town of Montrose, he would be within half a day's ride of each church. There is not the least doubt in my mind, from what I beheld of the people that the labours of a faithful servant would not be in vain; but that he would see an abundant harvest springing forth from the good seed of the gospel. They long anxiously for a presbyter to spread before them the sacred table, and distribute the body and blood of Jesus. These congregations are in the constant practice of assembling on the Lord's day, and having the service performed by a lay reader. By this means they have been kept, through the great Head of the church, united together in harmony and love."

Although the trustees have not been enabled, in every instance, to send missionaries to those places which

After considerable exertions and much correspondence, the board is happy to mention that the Rev. Mr. Plumb, of Connecticut, will settle before the conclusion of this month at Northumberland; where, besides being principal of the academy, he will officiate to a small congregation, and, it is expected, will extend his pastoral care to a church at Milton, and to a few Episcopalians residing at Selin's Grove.

The board has thus faithfully endeavoured, to the extent of its abilities, "to send forth, under the sanction and direction of the ecclesiastical authority

of the diocess, missionaries to those places within this state where there is ground for the expectation that their labours will be useful in spreading the truths, and promoting the practice of the holy morality of the gospel." It must be a source of grief to every reflecting mind, that the exertions of the society upon this subject have always been limited by the difficulty of obtaining clergymen to enter into its service, in consequence of the small number who have hitherto devoted themselves to the ministry of reconciliation. The existence of this society is now generally known throughout the diocess. It is no longer the first wish of the board to send missionaries through the state, to explore its villages and remotest corners for Episcopalians, or to remain for a few weeks in one neighbourhood. These duties have already been performed. Mission aries are now wanted for location in those congregations which, it is expected, will be strong enough, after they have been fostered for a few years by this society, to give a comfortable support to their own clergyman. Hereafter, therefore, it is the intention of the board, except in particular cases, not to enter into any engagement with a clergyman for a period of time less than one year.

The second of the principal objects of this society, is to provide means for the education of young men willing to devote themselves to the ministry. The board having been very seldom applied to for assistance in this way, and having understood from the most respectable sources that there were a considerable number of theological stu dents in this diocess, deemed it at once an expression of their solicitude upon the subject, and the very best means of providing future missionaries for the society, to appropriate a sum of money for the use of a 66 clergyman, whose duty it shall be to act as a teacher of theology, provided the ecclesiastical authority of the state shall make such appointment." The authority referred to readily consented to the request, and the Rev. Samuel H. Turner has had the goodness to accept of a situation to which his acquirements, talents, and piety eminently entitle him.

A small but valuable importation of theological books has been made from England since the last report. Although these works are of the first importance to the candidates for orders, they will be very seldom met with in this country. The library is not complete: we therefore earnestly solicit the members of the society and others to make donations to a collec tion which will always be of the greatest use to clergymen and students, and will doubtless be instrumental in augmenting the number of powerful labourers in the spiritual vineyard.

The Female Episcopal Tract Society of Philadelphia, which is auxiliary to this society, has published, since our last report, the following tracts. No. 9. The sixth Part of the two Wealthy Farmers, by Miss Hannah


[blocks in formation]

"In our selection," say the ladies in their second annual report," attention has been paid to the various descriptions of readers for whom the tracts were intended; for some, the more captivating form of narrative, founded either on fiction or fact, conveying, however, sound religious instruction, has been preferred; for others, the graver and more formal discussion of important subjects has been thought more proper; and several of the last numbers have been expressly designed for the use of our Sunday Schools." One more extract shall be given from the very gratifying report of the managers of this society, in the hope that it will obtain for them that share of patronage they so richly deserve, and that it may have a tendency to remove from the minds of Episcopalians the prejudices which sometimes exists against the distribu

« AnteriorContinuar »