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there was not a soul that would kindle like his own, at the mention of the Redeemer's unchangeable love. He had four consolations, however, even in this spiritual wilderness; 1st, His Bible, the book of books, which he read daily; 2d, His Universalist newspaper, which, next to his Bible, nourished and sustained his soul; 3d, His wife's conversations and prayers, for they alternately officiated at the altar of the evening sacrifice; and, 4th, The hope, which he secretly and confidently indulged, that the light of the Gospel would soon break into this dark region.

It was not long, before his neighbours began to borrow "that "" paper, as they termed it; and as he was always willing to lend, they were never denied; because he took the precaution, when he discovered this disposition on their part, to subscribe for an additional copy, that he might not be destitute himself. They began to read their Bibles with a better relish, not so much to perform a duty, as because they were interested, and grew more and more so, as they saw the true sense of the inspired writings. It was not six months (although it may seem improbable) before twelve copies of that paper" were subscribed for by inhabitants of that town. They read of the spread of this doctrine in other places; of the formation of societies; of the erection and dedication of meeting-houses; and they learned, also, to their no small surprise, that this doctrine, which has been stigmatized for eighteen centuries as a "new doctrine," had had witnesses on the earth, with very slight intervals, ever since God ordained, that the head of the serpent should be bruised. At length, the friend, who had been the means of introducing this doctrine to their notice, proposed, that a preacher should be invited to officiate on a Sabbath. novel experiment; they doubted; but, at length, they resolved upon it; an aged Father in the faith went, at their request, and broke to them the "bread of life." No services could have been more appropriate. The meeting was held in a private house; and there were

It was a

about seventy-five persons, who filled two large rooms. Our friend was too full for utterance. He could hardly believe the testimony of his own senses. It seemed a vision to him, rather than a reality.

The few, whose attention had been aroused, now held meetings, occasionally, at each other's houses; not so much for formal worship, as for Christian conversation, inquiry, and free interchange of opinion; but they never separated without prayer. "And why may we not have a society here?" said S. (for thrat is the initial of our friend's name), at one of these meetings. No one objected. "We may have preaching," said he, "once in two months, at least, and next year perhaps we can have a greater supply; and we may meet ourselves, for public worship, when we have no preacher. The world will never respect our cause, unless we show them, that we respect it ourselves." It was resolved. to form a society, which numbered, at the beginning, fifteen males, of whom two were quite young men, who had always been remarkable for their sobriety, amiableness, and intelligence. They formed their society, not from opposition to others, but because they loved the Gospel; and they wished none to join them, except such as loved the truth with the whole heart, and were will-' ing to maintain it, and adorn it with patience and purity. We do not mention the opposition they encountered, because it never gave them any anxiety. It was bitter; but God overruled it for good. A worldling, worth eight thousand dollars, once made application to join them. He was obliged to pay fifteen dollars annually to the old parish, and he said he was sick of it. "How much shall I pay you a year," said he, "to give me a certificate of membership in your society?" They told him, thirty dollars; "and he went away sorrowing." The fact was, they knew such a member would be an injury to them, a bad example for others to imitate, who might afterwards join.

The second year, their numbers had somewhat increased, and they had meetings one half of the time.

They invited a young man (for they thought it a duty to encourage young preachers) to settle with them, to live in the town; and they flattered themselves, that he would find employment for the remainder of the Sabbaths in towns not far distant; and so the event proved. They prospered so greatly, that they thought the proverb almost literally true, that "men can do whatever amount of good they try to do."


The last time we visited this society, they presented the same interesting spectacle. Each one bore his part with uninterrupted cheerfulness. There certainly was not an inactive member among them. They held the doctrine, they said, that a society should never retrograde. "We must always keep moving, and always go ahead." A society cannot stand still; it will go one way or the other, up or down, to glory or to ruin. "We shall fear the day," said one of them, "when we shall think we have done enough." "Well, now, said I, "Br. S., what is the highest point of your ambition in regard to your society?" He replied immediately, "I do not know; I cannot see that point. One thing I am sure of, we shall never rest until we have a meeting-house, and preaching every Sabbath. No society (he continued) should think its work even half done, until it has gained that end." "But," said I, "Br. S., I know some old societies, that have preaching but half the time;" and I named two or three of them to him. "Yes," said he, "I know it; I have long wondered at it. In one of those societies you have now named, there are three men, whose wealth is greater than the wealth of all our members; and yet those three men do not pay a sufficient tax (or did not when I lived in their neighbourhood) to defray the expense of three Sundays' preaching. They care very little about Universalism (said he); they go to meeting because their fathers did, and because it is fashionable to do so; and they go to the Universalist meeting, because that society raises the least money of any society in town. I am sorry to say, that that society is led

and governed by such men." Growing quite enthusi astic, he cried, at the same time rising from his chair, "It will not do, Br. W., every society ought to go ahead; they ought to do more for the present year than they ever did before. If they do not adopt this principle, they will have a name only to live, they will be dead. I say (said he) we ought to press forward, and never be weary in well doing." Amen," I was constrained to say, "I do love your zeal."

"" 66


X. Rich men are not always the best members of a religious society. A wise observer of these matters has said; "In many of our country societies, and among the professed friends to our doctrine where no society exists, are to be found certain narrow-minded brethren, who can talk much about the glorious gospel,' and tell of the first time they heard any thing about it, many years ago, and how long they have stood. firm in the faith against all the combined powers of the enemy; and how refreshing it is to them to hear the glad tidings proclaimed; but who never seem to think, that five dollars will go further than ninepence in the payment of a poor, itinerant preacher, when they are. amply able to pay the former sum a dozen times in a year! I might enumerate examples of this kind, but it would be of no avail to make up such a black list. I leave such, not to the buffetings of the adversary, — for, perhaps, he would not find enough in them to make an object of contention, but to the stings of their own strange consciences every time they read a rebuke of this kind, or any thing like it. They will know who is meant.


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"I have known a society completely paralyzed by three or four such flint-souled members. They had enough of the wherewith' in their possession, but they could not spare it to pay for preaching; while those in more limited circumstances were doing their utmost for the support of the gospel. To use the comparison of a quaint preacher, it would take as many of such men to make a society, as it would snow-balls to heat an



Ministers are men; they have wants like others, and must be provided for. And they must have time for study, or they cannot make acceptable preachers at the present day. Working on the farm all the week, or in the workshop, and then preaching on Sundays, may answer for a time, under certain circumstances; but such preaching will not keep pace with the times. And a preacher must do this, if he would be "a good minister of the Lord Jesus." Religious truth should not be behind every thing else, as she has been for ages past. Preachers must study; therefore they need support.

Members of societies should contribute liberally. Every one ought to make a just estimate of his property, and ask himself how much he is able to give yearly for preaching. And when he subscribes, he should ask himself also, how the amount set off against his name on paper, will affect the minds of others. If he is illiberal in this respect, poorer members may be, and thus the society has not done justice to its own powers.

Punctual payments are necessary in every society. Whoever subscribes or agrees to pay his portion, should calculate to be ready when called on, to make payment, for the salary is the preacher's living. He has earned it, and it belongs to him; and if, instead of receiving it, he is put off with mere promises, it serves to discourage him. Let a society evince their attachment to a preacher, not by mere words and professions, but by giving him substantial proof, that they are determined to make his situation with them a happy one. Promises are poor articles for food or clothing. What tales of sadness some of our poor itinerants could tell, who have traversed hill and dale with the gospel message on their tongues, for which they have had the privilege of obtaining about half enough to meet their expenses. I have heard some of their narratives; and I always feel, when I listen to them, as though they had not only entered the kingdom "with much tribulation," but had found a good share of it within. Faith, I suppose, has kept them alive.


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