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mon operations ; but if they do not thus accord, I give them not the right hand of fellowship, though they profess the raptures of angels.
The ladies expressed their assent and satisfaction in the discourse of the evening. They acknowledged they had often thought on this subject; but had never heard it so well explained before.
The next day a nephew of the General's arrived on a visit, who had been out on a mission in the newly settled parts of the country. He was a sensible young man of about twenty-eight years, fervent and useful in his ministry. His uncle embraced him with great tenderness, gave him a cordial welcome to his house, introducing him to bis lately arrived friends.
Being fatigued with his journey, and needing leisure and refresbient, his uncle entered on no extensive or particular enquiries till next day. After dinner they took a walk in the fruit garden, to regale themselves with delicious fruits. When they had returned 10 the house, the General said to his nephew, will you now favor us with an account of your mission ?
Evangellus, (the nephew) replied, he had no other objec(ion, than it would engross too much of the conversation to himself, which might not well comport with his age ; and certainly would not with his inclination, because in the company of the aged and experienced, he chose to • be swift to hear, and slow to speak.'
Nir. P. observed, that under such circumstances it could be no breach of good manners, or of the deference which the young owe to the aged; and it would certainly be pleasing to the whole company.
Finding it the desire of the company, he began as follows:
Soon after my entrance on the ministry, I began to form -designs of going on a mission, to preach the gospel to those, in the newly settled parts of our country, who enjoyed this
inestimable privilege not at all, or but very rarely. My father at that time made no pretensions to religion, and was opposed to my inclinations ; he therefore refused to assist me in my preparations; and having just arrived at age, I had nothing to prepare myself with the necessary equipments. It was in the fall of when I set out with a brother in the ministry, who was going a distance on my way. had a horse between us, which we rode by turns. The week after I left home, the snow began to fall." We had then approached the new settlements ; the roads being muddy and the snow deep, greatly increased the difficulty of travelling. After having greatly fatigued ourselves to get fifteen or twenty miles, we put up, just at night, at an indifferent looking log-house. The family professed religion, and received us as angels of God; setting before us the best their house afforded, which was but very ordinary. We ate, asking no questions for conscience sake. A few people were notified and came in at evening, to whom I spake in the name of the Lord. At bed time, a straw bed was thrown on the floor, with neither sheets nor pillows, and covered with a coarse coverlet. Our portmanteaus were used for pillows, we took off our boots and coats and lay down, with our feet toward a large pile of logs well on fire, where we lay and slept sweetly till morning.
The next day we pursued our journey, and travelling till in the evening, we put up at another indifferent habitation. When we had fed on our homely repast, and addressed the throne of grace by prayer; the old people directed us to take the bed in the room. Supposing it the place where they usually lodged, I begged to be excused; telling them we were younger, and could go from the fire better than they. But insisting that we should occupy their bed, we immediately went to rest. The fatigues of the day had prepared me for sleep, which I sweetly enjoyed for some hours without interruption. But waking in the night, and seeing a light in the room, looked up, and saw the old gentleman lying on the hearth with a stick of wood for his pillow ; and the old lady curled upon a bark-bottomed bedstead with a little grand child. Here, said I, is kindness, and my heart melted within me. Surely they esteem us very highly in love for our work's sake.
But it will be impossible to give you the history of every day in a single conversation ; I must therefore give you, at most, but a general account.
The winter passed away, during which time I suffered extremely in the night. The places where I slept were often open and cold ; nor was it uncommon to find myself covered with snow in the morning. The beds were indiferent, and the clothing thin, which occasioned me many sleepless hours, afflicting colds and coughs, and severe pains.
The houses in general were of logs, notched together at the four corners, covered with bark peeled from trees, sometimes no chamber floor, aor any under foot, but what was made of split logs; and not a light of glass in the whole house; which obliged me to read my text by the light which came down, where there should have been a chimney ; but there was none, nor yet perhaps a hearth. For it was not uncommon to find houses with the fire built on the ground, a foot and a half below the floor; on the edge of which, around the fire, we sometimes sat to warm ourselves ; while the place in the roof above, through which the smoke passed, was large enough for a gate-way.
In some houses, if the man and his wife had each a chair, they were well furnished; and I have visited a house in which there was but one, and that without a back. With them a bench split from a log, roughly hewed, and which never felt the plane, pierced with an auger and filled with sapling legs, supplied the place of a sofa ; and a stool of the same character, was a substitute for a chair. A slab from the mill indifferently shaved, or a plank split from a basswood log, filled with legs in the form of their bench or sofa, made their table, and supplied the place of mahogany. Four crotches stuck in the ground, or four round sticks as nature formed them in the woods, and supplied with side and end pieces, and bottomed over with long strips of bark, made their bedsteads. Their tea-table, and dining sets, were of a like description. One might sometimes see a small trough take the place of a china bowl; or drink tea out of a wooden dish, or tin cup.
On meeting days, in the winter, might be seen sleds drawn by oxen, loaded with women and children, and the men walking behind ; others coming through the snow on foot, bringing children in their arms. The house appointed for preach. ing, was not unfrequently in the midst of a thick forest, with only a few trees cut down, just about it, and still lying on the ground ; to which I came, through a winding foot-path, or by a few marked trees ; so that I wondered from whence the people were to come, to whom I was to preach. But at
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the hour of preaching, in the summer season especially, the people came out of the woods in every direction-men, women and children, walking with bare feet, or with shoes in their hands, to save the wear of them, which were put on before they came into the house. Sometimes a horse came splashing over the roots and rocks, and through the mud, carrying a man and his wife, and two children. the little log cabin would be often more than filled; which obliged us to retire to the umbrageous grove, to worship Him wbom the heaven of heavens cannot contain.
The reception with which I met was different, in different places. Some congregations seemed made up of gainsayers; they interrupted my discourses by speaking ; even some swore profanely—others came round the house, beating the drum, and making disturbances various ways. Once was I unmercifully beaten, often threatened, and sometimes with the loss of life. After preaching, was attacked on doctrines by railery, ridicule, and bitterness, instead of'argument. Many sought occasion against me, spreading all manner of ill reports, to prejudice the minds of the people, and destroy my influence,
In other places I was received as an angel of God. The hearers attended to my discourses as if they were hearing for eternity-silent as night, and with eyes overflowing with tears, they seemed to regret the moment when they were to hear the sound of the gospel no longer,
When meeting was ended, they crowded about me, to express their thankfulness at hearing another sermon, and to invite me to their houses and neighborhoods to preach. At their houses, I had their best accommodationsI was sure to have the best they had, even if it were to sit on a three legged stool, and eat roasted potatoes.
An instance of kindness and neatness, joined with poverty, I will here relate, as it has often much affected me. It was known to a poor industrious family, that I was to visit them, and preach, on a certain day. After encountering some difficulties, to find the way through a long wilderness, by a blind foot path, I at last came within sight of the place. It was a log house, containing one room of about sixteen or eighteen feet square. ' I found it the residence of two families, and containing three beds, such as they were. The old lady had cleanly washed her only pair of sheets, for my ise, the approaching night; and they were exposed to the
sun on the bushes, near the house. The floor was cleansed of every appearance of dirt, the plank table was almost as white as the driven snow, a few tin dishes shined like silver, on the shelves, mixed with a few mended tea cups, and wooden bowls scoured white and clean.
The children smiled with clean faces, and the garments with which they were clothed, shewed the industry of a mother, in patching and washing. It was not unlikely that the
poor little things had been obliged to lay in bed while she put them in such a trim. Every thing in the house was in a similar condition.
I cannot well describe the cordiality with which they received me. The old people seemed to look twenty years younger than their real age ; and even the children bounded for joy, when they saw me ride to the door. Come in, thou blessed of the Lord, said the good old man ; we are heartily glad to see you at our little habitation.
The moment I heard him speak, and saw the brightening countenances of the family, I felt myself heartily welcome; and the pleasure which flowed to my heart from such unaffected good will, doubly compensated me for all my fabor in coming to the place ; and for their sakes, I would have preferred the bare floor to lie upon, and the mouldy crust, to a bed of down, and the best spread table in the universe.
I need hardly tell you, the whole of my stay at this place was agreeable. The aged people loved the Lord, and de lighted to speak of his goodness. The young people were tender in spirit, and seemed inclined to work out their salvation with fear and trembling ; while God worked in them to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Had all the places I visited, been cleanly and kind as they were here, I should have suffered much less ; but it was otherwise. Some were filthy beyond description. Their beds, their houses, furniture, food, &c. were intolerable.
One summer, while I was on my mission, provisions were extremely scarce, and the people suffered beyond measure. I sometimes begged for a bowl of milk, or a piece of bread, in vain ; and have wandered over the fields to make a meal of a few scanty berries. I was with one family, who had no other supper than the heads of red clover. A few families had bread, where I now and then got a meal; but when it was offered me at some places, I so much suspected the children might cry for the want of it when I was gone, I could