Page images

of families, and permanent residents in the place. Our next quarterly meeting for the circuit will be attended in this society. A few miles east of this, a good work is progressing under the labours of brother Dick erson. Very considerable additions have been made to the little society in this place within a year past. New-Haven and Hamden are prosperous. Between thirty and forty have been added to the church within the charge since the campmeeting at Compo; and there are evident signs of an increasing attention. From other parts of the district I have had no late

intelligence sufficiently specific to be employed in this place. But, taking into view all the favourable intimations which appeared in different places while going around the district the last time, I must think that I have never seen the cause in so promising a condition since I have had a general knowledge of it in Connecticut. The preachers, both travelling and local, harmoniously labour with increasing ardour, in the prospect of soon witnessing more glorious "times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord."

Yours, affectionately, SAM'L LUCKY.


Letter from the Rev. Dan Barnes to the Editors, dated Lowville, September 14, 1825.

of the broken-hearted penitents, together with the gloom of astonishment and dismay which covered the unyielding sinners and stubborn infidels, presented a scene more solemnly interesting than what I am able to describe. We have had our afflictions in this section of the work; but the spirit of revolution and division, which has troubled us for years in this district, has at last subsided, and our prospects are now truly flattering.

WITH pleasure I inform you that the commencement of the present year is auspicious. I have attended two quarterly meetings and one campmeeting on the district to which I am appointed, since our last conference; and I am happy in saying that the power and grace of God were manifested in an uncommon degree and manner. Impenitent sinners became penitent, mourning souls were comforted with the consolations of pardoning grace, and some who had been long praying for clean hearts, were enabled to testify, from experimental knowledge, that God hath power to cleanse the soul from all sin, even in this life. Our campmeeting commenced on the sixth, and closed on the morning of the ninth of the present month; at the beginning of which the trumpet sounded, and the people repaired to the seats, when some addresses were delivered from the stand, a hymn of praise sung, and prayers were offered to Almighty God. I think that I never beheld such a scene before. All appeared to feel the power of the Spirit. The triumphant shouts and glowing countenances of the people of God, the heartfelt sighs and flowing tears

[ocr errors]

Our people most cordially embrace the doctrines and discipline of our church, and with a laudable zeal second our endeayours to carry them into complete effect.

If we except two or three solitary persons, we feel authorised to say that the most perfect friendship and harmony subsists between the travelling and local preachers. Our brethren, the private and official members of our societies, embrace us in the arms of Christian affection and brotherly love. Oh, may the great Head of the church enable us to serve them faithfully, and bring them and us, with all the faithful, to his everlasting kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Letter from the REV. SAMUEL MERWIN to the Editors, dated Baltimore, Oct. 26, 1825.

MIGHTY things are done in the land of our pilgrimage. Sinners are converted into saints, and the weak are made strong. Jesus, "the name high over all," conquers his enemies by the power of his word, and leads them to victory and glory.

of God our Saviour, that even here many have been brought to the knowledge of the truth through faith in Christ. Through the summer, the congregations were large and attentive-the preaching, experimental and practical, plain and pointed. Some few were awakened to a sense of their danger, and found peace in believing, and

Baltimore is visited with mercy and salvation. Yes, let it be told to the glory

many of the people of God were excited to greater diligence, and to seek for more of the mind of Christ.

Our campmeeting was in August. The weather was excessively hot, but great numbers repaired to the grove; and such a spirit of engagedness I think I never witnessed on any occasion. The people of God were much revived, backsliders were reclaimed, and many a sinner tasted the pardoning love of God.

Immediately on our return, the revival commenced in the city with power and glory. The east station was first, and has been the most highly favoured, although the work has been diffused all over the city, in all our congregations.Meetings for preaching and prayer have been continued almost every night in the week, and our largest houses of worship frequently crowded to overflowing.

All classes and ages have been embraced in the work, but by far the greatest proportion have been persons of good moral character, and from the age of eighteen to twenty-five. Gentile and Jew, Protestant and Papist, have been enabled to testify that Jesus has power on earth to forgive sin.

Very few days have passed, if any, but that some have professed to find the pearl of great price. We have witnessed great displays of the power of God. Yes"Jesus the conqueror reigns!" We have known from fifty to a hundred and fifty in deep distress, crying for mercy, under the most pungent conviction for sin, while deep solemnity rested on a crowded and attentive audience,

Of those who have professed to obtain a sense of sins forgiven, I am not able

"The dwellers in the vale and on the rocks
Shout to each other;
And the distant mountains
Catch the flying joy."

to determine, but I presume I shall be within bounds if I say five or six hundred.

To this class I have added eight; and the whole number of members which have

Since conference, in this station, we have admitted on trial over four hundred; and in the east station they have admitted almost three hundred so that in the city not far from seven hundred have been admitted on trial in the church since last April, and the work continues to progress. Sinners are yet awakened, and brought to the knowledge of the Saviour in the pardon of sin.

Those who have been received give a very clear and satisfactory account of a work of grace upon their hearts, and of the old doctrine of the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of sins.

The scene has been glorious, and the labours of the preachers and the people of God have been very considerable, and the excitement has been great. But one or two things have marked the work so far, and that is, we have had very little, if any, extravagance, or what I should call extravagance. Our meetings have concluded at a seasonable hour: the people have retired in order and with solemnity.

In conducting our meetings, we have most uniformly addressed the congregations with a short sermon or exhortation, in which was stated and explained the nature and necessity of the religion of Jesus Christ; and very often, by the time we have finished the address, the altar has been crowded with penitent, weeping, praying mourners. I could give you some very interesting cases, but I have not time.


Letter from the REV. JOHN B. MATTHIAS, dated Peekskill, October 13, 1825.

THE work of God in this mission, I am happy to inform you, is still progressing. Our members are zealous, and are ardently seeking for higher attainments in grace. A class which was formed last winter by the preachers on Dutchess circuit, of seven in number, has increased to sixty. The work is also reviving on the west side of the river, in the neighbourhood of Fort Montgomery.

I know that you will praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men.

been added in the mission, during the second quarter, is thirty-two.

I will now take the liberty to give you a short account of our quarterly meeting, which was held the 8th and 9th of this month, (October,) at a brother Falkenar's, on the bank of the North river.Brother E. Woolsey presided on the occasion. On Saturday, the preaching and other exercises were accompanied with much of the Divine influence. On the sabbath the congregation was quite large, probably between four and five hundred. It was a truly pleasing sight to see them descending from the mountains, issuing from the vales, and crossing the river in boats, to worship the God of heaven.

[blocks in formation]


Page 329, line 5 from top, put a comma, instead of a period, after the word "kingdom."
Page 331, lines 7 and 8, read supreme, instead of superior.

Page 405, line 3, first column, read “none had backslidden," instead of "nine," &c.



[The Committee by whom the following Report was prepared, were appointed by the New-York Conference, in May last. They regret that it has been delayed so long; but their dispersed situation, and other uncontrollable circumstances, have made this unavoidable. Possibly some, whose wish and interest it may be to keep the main question out of view, may not deem this apology sufficient. Such the Committee can scarcely hope to satisfy. Having said, however, what they believe to be the truth, and discharged a painful duty, they commit the whole to Him who judgeth righteously.]

Your Committee, aiming to devest this subject of factitious colourings, and to present the character and origin of the disturbance in a just light, having deliberately weighed the evidence taken on oath in open court, unanimously concur in the following report:

1. That on the evening of the Sabbath, the 21st of November, 1824, a disturbance, amounting to a serious riot, was made in and about the Methodist Episcopal Church in the city of Schenectady, which caused in the congregation, in the act of retiring from religious worship, great agitation and alarm.

2. That this disturbance did originate with three or four students of Union College, and a young man of the city, named O'Brien.

3. That one student of the college, and a young man formerly a student, and on this occasion associated with the students, were indicted for a riot, tried by a court and jury of the county, and, after a full hearing, found guilty,

The first fact, that such a scene did occur, is established by the testimony of all parties.

With respect to the second, the origin of the disturbance, your Committee deem it too clear to be questioned by any candid inquirer, that it was attributable to the joint misconduct of the parties above mentioned, whose behaviour in the church was equally reprehensible and disgraceful: O'Brien's for the rude manner in which ho made his way into a seat between the students, and, on receiving a threat from them, taking out a knife, opening it, and holding it open in his hat; the students', for not removing their hats from the seat when asked to make room by a person wishing a seat, and when room, it is believed, might easily have been made; but most specially for the threatening question among them, in O'Brien's hearing, after he had taken his seat, about a dirk; for, though they declare that they had no dirk, yet it is manifest that they wished to make O'Brien believe that they had. W. Thompson, one of those students, stated, in his testimony of what took place in the church, that he heard the "question about dirk," and supposed it "intended to intimidate O'Brien;" which question, as O'Brien states, induced him to take out his knife, and hold it open in his hat. The false pretence of a concealed dangerous weapon, for the purpose of intimidating a person in a house of worship, was equally dishonourable and culpable with the opening of the knife, and

VOL. VIII. December, 1825.

holding it open in the hat, for the purpose, as alleged, of showing a preparation for defence. The disgraceful scene which ensued, your Committee consider imputable to the exaggerated report of the detention at the church, and the personal danger of one of their company, with which three of the students returned to college, and excited a ferment among other students; for they could scarcely have been ignorant that the course which they took was calculated inevitably to produce disorder and riot. Your Committee believe, from the evidence before them, that there was no "detention" of "Billy" (C. B. Dutcher) at the church; that he might have returned to college with his companions, without difficulty; or that, if he remained in the church, and was in fear of O'Brien, it was easy for him to have obtained the protection of the officers and members of the church, and other respectable citizens, who remained in the prayer-meeting.

This circumstance of the continuance of worship in the church by a prayer-meeting, so well calculated to allay apprehensions for "Billy's" safety while there, seems, however, not to have been reported by the students who returned to college, and excited an alarm. If they knew this fact, as your Committee believe they did, the inference is strong that their real object was not so much to rescue "Billy," their companion, as to gratify their resentment against O'Brien. James C. Magoffin testified that he heard one of the students (Anderson) say, "We have been insulted, and will be satisfied." Edward Bayard testified that when the students, on the report made by the three who came from the church, "left the college, they had not heard, nor did they know, that any person had remained for prayer; that they were the more concerned because church was out, because while that lasted they should have considered it a protection." If any of the students, while in or near the church, at the close of its services, apprehended danger, they might have found protection there. If they returned to college, they ought to have gone together. It was as easy for four to return as three. If one, however, remained, and those who returned had any apprehensions for his safety, it was their duty to have applied to the president, or some of the faculty, in his behalf, and not to have excited a riot at a place of public worship on a sabbath evening, as in this case they certainly did. Your committee cannot, therefore,


concur in the assertion, that their demeanour, on this occasion at least, was either "peaceable" or "pious."

On the third point, the trial and conviction of the rioters, your committee deem it sufficient to adduce the following extract from a certificate of the county clerk:

"At a court of General Sessions of the Peace, held in and for the county of Schenectady, at the City Hall of the city of Schenectady, on Tuesday, the 18th day of January, A. D. 1825: presentDavid Boyd, senior judge, J. D. S. Ryley, &c, judges. The People against John W. Anderson and Toliver D.Huff, indicted for a riot. On motion, ordered the trial of the cause, &c. The court charged the jury to retire, and agree on their verdict. After having agreed, they returned, and by their foreman say, that they find a verdict of guilty. The court sentenced the said John W. Anderson to pay a fine of forty dollars, and the said Toliver D.Huff to pay a fine of twenty dollars, and that they stand committed until paid." Signed, "J. A. FONDA, Clerk." With these facts before them, your Committee cannot but express their surprise and regret at the report on this subject of the committee of the college, whose duty it was to make a quarterly examination of the scholarship and conduct of the students;-a report to which pains have been taken to give a very extensive circulation, and which broadly declares that, in the judgment of that committee, the conduct of the members of Union College, generally, was on that occasion, especially considering the provocation which had been offered them, "remarkably pacific and forbearing;" and that they (the committee) "cannot therefore speak of it to the board of trustees in any other than terms of commendation."

The expression of such sentiments, and from such a source, your committee consider as calculated to exert a most unhappy influence upon the youthful community of a college, whose passions, without such stimulants, are sufficiently ready to be inflamed by the cry of " provocation" and "insult," the watchwords by which feuds and animosities between certain students and townboys are too usually excited and fomented, and which it is the duty of all governors and visiters of such institutions to allay and repress. The sanctity of the Lord's day,-the premises of an unoffending church,-the peace and quiet of a worshipping assembly, composed in a large part, too, of females; were topics which it might have been hoped would have been urged by a committee of clergymen upon a body of young men in a state of excitement, as motives which ought to have led them to still greater "forbearance," even under all the provocation alleged. Nothing of this sort, however, appears. The threats and knife of an "assailant," as he is termed, are indeed mentioned by the committee in terms of strong indignation; but the previous threat of a dirk, in the midst of the church, on the part of the students, is passed over in utter silence. The commendation of their conduct is broad and explicit.

Your committee disclaim any feeling of hosti

lity toward Union College, or any of its governors or members. Their object is, without respect to persons, to expose the disturbance of a place of worship to just reprobation; to counteract the pernicious tendency of the official commendation of the parties on one side, and to prevent the recurrence of similar outrages. They do not believe that the students of Union College, as a body, have any hostility to the Methodist church. The parents, or guardians, or relatives of many of them, are in some way connected with this denomination; in treating which with disrespect, they must be conscious that they would be reproaching themselves. Your Committee are very certain, too, that no member of any college, who should demean himself peaceably and decorously, would knowingly be suffered to be insulted or ill treated in any Methodist congregation, without receiving protection and aid. It is our duty to encourage the attendance of youth in our places of worship, and to treat them not only with civility and politeness, but with kindness and affection, and rather to overlook occasional youthful indiscretions, than, by repulsive harshness and severity, to drive them from among us.

Your Committee do not take upon themselves to vindicate the publications on this unhappy subject, which the excitements of the moment produced in the public journals. On both sides they are believed to have been marked with precipitance. Much less can they consent to be taxed with the task of vindicating the conduct of the young man, between whom and the students the disturbance commenced; or that his conduct shall in any respect be set off against the abuse and violation of the premises and rights of a church with which he had no connexion.

Your Committee have studiously confined them selves to the character and origin of the disturb ance, as it occurred in and about the church; and, in their opinion, no extraneous or foreign circumstances ought to be suffered to hide those primary points from view. On either side, after the dispersion from the premises of the church, and on the subsequent days, other faults or errors may have been committed. These your Committee do not consider themselves appointed to investigate; nor, if they existed, can they affect the truth of the facts herein stated,-facts which are supported by the oaths of several of the parties themselves, and by other ample concurrent testimony.

A gross and indecent outrage was committed in and about the church on a sabbath evening, at the close of the religious exercises. Some of the students and late students of Union College, and the young man mentioned, were guiltily concerned in it; and it cannot be justified, on either side, by any provocation even alleged to have been received.



[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »