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Renunciation of Idolatry, &c.
upon general subjects were very ju
ward, we hope with the spirit and dicious; but his attention to, and ques-language of the Prophet of old, "Here
tions upon our discourses, were such as surprised not only the Raiateans, but ourselves also. We think he possesses a very acute judgment so far as he knows. We do not wish in thus speaking, to be understood that we believe him to be what would be called in England a converted person, though we have now indubitable evidence that he is truly converted from idolatry to Christianity. God hath called him and the people out of darkness to the knowledge of his Son Christ Jesus. May they soon really know Him, whom to know aright is eternal life. Auura was continually expressing his anxious desire to return to his own land, and to carry to his poor countrymen the knowledge he has obtained of the true God, and his Son Jesus Christ, expressing his fears in an affectionate manner, that when he got back he should find very few left, as the evil spirit was killing them so fast.
The brig Hope, Capt. Grimes from London, touched at Raiatea on July the 3d; we mention to the Captain our wish to get those poor people back to their own Island; he with a readiness which does him the highest credit, offered immediately to touch their Island, and take our boat in tow, that we might have an opportunity, should our boat return from this yet unknown land, to open a communication with the natives. We sent for Auura, the Chief, and his wife, who were highly delighted with the prospect of returning; but he raised an objection to going to his land of darkness unless he had some one with him to instruct him and his people. We were rather at a loss how to act; however, we immediately called the deacons, informed them of the circumstance, and desired them to enquire who would volunteer their services to go as teachers to these poor people. They assembled the church when two came for
are we, send us. They were the very men we should have chosen had we thought it prudent to nominate; but knowing it was at the hazard of their lives, and that of their wives and little ones, we dared not to interfere, but left it to Him, who disposes the hearts and thoughts of men according to His will. Mahamene, a deacon, having a wife but no children, was one; Puna, a steady, and we hope a truly pious man, having a wife, with two children, was the other; they were both men we could ill spare on account of their steadiness and our confidence in them; but such characters are the only proper persons for such a work, therefore every other consideration was obliged to give way. To select a crew to bring back our boat was the next consideration; as this took up the greatest part of the night, they had but a short time to get ready for the ship, which was to sail early the next morning.
The brig got under weight the 5th of July, and after most affectionately committing Mahamene and Puna, with their wives and little ones, to the care of our Lord and God, in the presence of the congregation, we gave to each a letter in English and Tahitan, recognising them as under the patronage of the London Missionary Society, with our sanction, and recommending them to any captains of vessels that might touch at Rurutu.
The vessel lying too, outside the regular service; but though short, it reef for us, prevented our having a was both affecting and interesting. At length we conducted our new fellow-laborers to the brig. The Capt. paid every attention; took our boat in tow, and departed leaving us anxiously waiting to hear in due season of their reception and success; nor were we disappointed.
Part of the night previous to their
Pittsburg Sabbath School.-Sabbath School Anecdote.
departure was spent in supplying,
(Concluded in our next.)
Sabbath School Intelligence.
SABBATH SCHOOLS IN PITTSBURG AND
It is with great pleasure we notice the spread and prosperity of those institutions; and we are persuaded, our readers will receive any information respecting them, with the same feelings. We avail ourselves of the following extract from the fourth annual report of the Pittsburg Sabbath School Union, taken from the "Religious Intelligencer." It is worthy of remark, that, "during the last year there have been added to the Union, eight schools, seventy-two teachers,' and five hundred scholars; and there are now in its connexion, twenty-five schools, three hundred and seventeen teachers, and about two thousand scholars. Of these schools, ten are located in Pittsburg, and the remainder in different parts of Alleghany County." The report observes:
From a review of the operation of this Union, we are led to exclaim, surely the Lord hath done great things for us. Who would have thought in
1815, when the first of the schools, that form this Union, was commenced that in so short a time there would be a Union of twenty-five schools, embracing so many different denominations of Christians? Who, at that time, on viewing the streets of Pittsburg on a Sabbath day, would have supposed that in a few years so many hundred children, instead of spending the day of the Lord in idleness, would be taught in Sabbath Schools, to fear the Lord and reverence his holy name? "Verily, the Lord's ways are not as our ways, nor his thoughts as our thoughts." Although much has been done, much remains yet to do. There are many children in Pittsburg and the vicinity, that never attended the Sabbath Schools. To extend the operations of this Union much further, will require increased exertions: and we would look to the
Society for that assistance, which we
The following interesting anecdote is extracted from the "Sunday School Teachers Magazine;" printed in London, which is well worthy of perusal.
SUNDAY SCHOOL ANECDOTE.
In conversation with a respectable middle aged seaman at one of the prayer-meetings of the Liverpool Seaman's Friend Society, one of our members asked him, what first induced him to attend to religion? After a pause of some moments, in order to recover the agitation the question had produced, he related the following narrative:
"I have been a sailor from a very early age, and never thought about religion, or the concerns of my soul, until my return from my last voyage. My home, where I resided eighteen years, is at a village near Workington, in a small cottage, the next to a
Revival of Religion at Winfield, N. Y.
neat chapel; but the people who go to this chapel being called by the neighbors Methodists, I never would venture inside the door, nor suffer my family, if I could prevent it. I usually sail out of Liverpool. During the winter the vessel is laid up. At those times I return home for a few weeks to my family. Having a small family, and the times pressing rather hard upon us, during my absence last summer, my wife, endeavoring to save a little, sent my oldest girl, about six years of age, into the Sunday school established at the chapel, My stay when at home being generally of short duration, (about three or four weeks,) my wife might suppose it would be no difficult matter to keep me in ignorance of the circumstance.
"I came from my last voyage before Christmas, and journeyed home. Being late when I arrived, I had not the opportunity of seeing my eldest girl until the following day. At dinner time, when we had sat down, I began, (beast-like,) to eat what was before me, without ever thinking of my heavenly Father, that provided my daily bread; but glancing my eye towards this girl, of whom I was doatingly fond, I observed her to look at me with astonishment. After a moment's pause, she asked me in a solemn and serious manner, "Father, do you never ask a blessing before eating?" Her mother observed me to look hard at her, and hold my knife and fork motionless; (it was not anger-it was a rush of conviction which struck me like lightning:) apprehending some reproof from me, and wishing to pass it by in a trifling way, she said, "Do you say grace, Nanny." My eyes were still rivited upon the child, for I felt conscious I had never instructed her to pray, nor even sat an example, by praying with my family when at home. The child seeing me waiting for her to begin, put her hands together, and lifted up her eyes to heaven, breathed the
sweetest prayer I ever heard. This was too much for me: the knife and fork dropped from my hands, and I gave vent to my feelings in tears."
Here a pause ensued. He appeared
much affected. On recovering himself, he continued, "I enquired who had thus instructed the child. The mother informed me the good people at the chapel next door; and the child never would go to bed, nor rise in the morning, without kneeling down to pray for herself and her dear father and mother. Ah! thought I, and I never prayed for myself or my children. I entered the chapel in the evening, for the first time, and continued to attend the means of grace there. The Lord having awakened me to a sense of my danger through the instrumentality of a dear child, I am now seeking him with all my heart, and truly can say I am happy in the thought, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save poor sinners, of whom I am chief."After some further conversation we parted, but with a hope to meet again.
REVIVAL OF RELIGION.
WINFIELD, HERKIMER COUNTY, N. Y.
From the Religious Intelligencer. In order to give a just view of the abounding grace of God to this people, it will be necessary to shew the state of religion among us previous to the revival.
I will go back in the narrative to the commencement of the year 1821. The moral and religious aspect of the church and people, at this period, was peculiarly gloomy: and to every person acquainted with our condition, (who was not void of moral sensibility,) it must have been exceedingly painful.
The church, as a body, appeared to have fallen into a deep spiritual sleep; and non-professors were evidently wholly absorbed in their worldly pleasures and pursuits. The youth
Revival of Religion in Winfield, N. Y.
especially appeared to be wholly given to vanity: Balls and sleigh rides, and other parties of pleasure were almost incessant. Convivial mirth and hilarity appeared to banish all serious thoughts of God, and eternity from their minds. In short, the riches, the honors, or the pleasures of the world appeared completely to engross and swallow up the whole soul of all classes of those who made no profession of religion; of the aged, and the middle aged, as well as the younger; and the church in their feelings, and their practice, were criminally conformed to the world. The moral darkness and gloom which pervaded the church and people in this place, at the commencement of the year 1821, appeared evidently to increase, until about the middle of February, when a number of the members of the church began to arouse from their spiritual slumbers, and to tremble in view of their own situation, the languishing state of Zion, and the deplorable condition of the ungodly. A few began sensibly to feel that it was high time to awaken out of sleep; to urge with unusual engagedness the importance and the necessity of a revival of religion in this place.
Towards the close of the month a day was set apart for humiliation and prayer.
On the day appointed, the congregation, which assembled was unexpectedly numerous. The members of the church were nearly all present. In the morning, a sermon was delivered; and the afternoon was devoted to a personal inquiry into the religious state of the church, to prayer and exhortation. Here a scene was opened which was truly affecting. The members of the church, male & female, were questioned respecting the state of their souls and respecting their attention to religious duties, particularly the devotion of the closet. Nearly all, I am not certain but every individual member of the church, stat
ed that they never, since they made a profession of religion, had experienced such spiritual darkness and moral insensibility, as they had for a number of months past; that they had criminally neglected their duty to God, to their own souls, to their brethren and to sinners around them; that they felt themselves shut out from the favorable presence of God, that they could not, as in former times, approach the mercy seat with filial confidence.
This was a very solemn, interesting and painful scene. The church in general, I believe; felt deeply impressed with the idea, that we were approaching some very solemn and awful crisis that God was about to visit this people in a very extraordinary manner, either in mercy or in vengeance: a very deep solicitude was evidently felt by many. We were held in trembling suspense, between hope and fear, until the latter part of May following; when it was evident to some who were watching the signs of the times, that the Lord of a truth was among us, by the special influences of the Holy Spirit. An unusual solemnity was evident in our assemblies for religious worship; and we soon found that a number were under deep and pungent conviction; and the anxious enquiry was forced from their trembling hearts and quivering lips, "what must I do to be saved?" On the last Sabbath in May, I appointed a meeting of enquiry on the following Wednesday. I explained the object of the meeting, and stated that we did not expect any would attend that meeting except such as felt anxious for a revival of religion; or such as felt anxious for their own souls. I told them explicitly I did not wish a careless professor, or a stupid nonprofessor to attend the proposed meeting. At the time appointed, an unexpected number assembled a middling sized school house was crowded-a deep and awful solemnity was depicted on the countenance of the
Received of Religion at Winfield, N. Y.
assembly; and it was a peculiarly solemn and interesting season; and will, we doubt not, be remembered with deep interest while they live. Some who came doubting whether the time to favor Zion had fully come, felt their doubts removed; and it is believed that nearly all who were present, felt a solemn and awful sense of the presence of Jehovah.
At this meeting our first object was to learn how professors of religion felt; and it was found, on examination, (if I was not deceived) that all who were present felt in a greater or less degree a genuine spirit of revival-that they had, some for months, and some for a number of weeks, and some for a few days only, been led to spend much more time than usual in their closets; and that they felt very different when there, from what they usually had done-they felt distressed in the view of the deplorable condition of sinners. The question was then asked, whether they were willing, in the presence and fear of God, and in humble dependence on him, to enter into solemn covenant to devote certain portions of every day to special prayer for revival of religion in this place, (not that they should confine their petitions to Winfield,) but that this should be a special subject of every prayer, that their supplications might ascend to the throne of grace in unison. If they felt willing to enter into this covenant, they were requested to manifest it by rising. Every professor present, male and female, arose. Non-professors were then addressed. More than twenty of them were soon found from personal conversation to be under genuine and pungent conviction; and nearly all of them are now members of the church. About a week from this time, I was called to witness a scene the most interesting and solemn I had ever witnessed, or ever expect to this side eternity. The Rev. Mr. Goodell, who spent the principal part of two or three weeks in this place dur
ing the revival, was then in town; we had agreed to spend the day in visiting from house to house; we took different routes, and agreed to meet at Capt. B.'s for dinner. Mr. Goodell arrived there first; when I arrived at the gate Mr. G. came out to inform me what was passing withintold me he had there witnessed the most interesting scene he had ever beheld. It was indeed an awfully interesting and solemn scene. All secular business in the house and on the farm was suspended, and had been for several days, except works of necessity. There were Capt. B. his wife, a son, 2 daughters, a hired man, and the preceptress of the school, all collected in one room. Two of them, apparently in a state of perfect bodily health, were so deeply impressed as to overcome their bodily strength, but had the most perfect exercise of their reason. Their conviction of sin, of the righteousness of God in their condemnation, and of a judgment to come, were clear, deep, and overwhelming. I enquired of each person present the state of their mind, made a few remarks and took my seat.
All was silent as the grave, except now and then a deep sigh from convicted, condemned sinners, who felt themselves on the verge of eternal ruin. I again attempted to speak; but any thing I could say appeared so mean and contemptible-it came so far short of the scene that was passing before us, that it appeared inere trifling. I felt that we had nothing to do but to sit still and she the salvation of God. I never before witnessed such a display of the divine presence, of the infinite majesty, power, and glory of the great Jehovah. Within 48 hours from this time, Capt. B., his wife, a son, two daughters, a hired man, and the preceptress of the school, were brought, as we humbly trust, out of nature's darkness into marvellous light-from a state of spiritual bondage into the glo