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NE very useful part of the periodical work under your direction, feems devoted to the folution of doubtful and difficult queftions, on the important doctrines of Chriftianity; questions which might, otherwife, perplex the lefs informed tho' fincere friend to Christ, and afford a fub. ject of temporary triumph to his adverfaries.

Such folutions, it is believed, may and in fome measure do tend to filence objectors, and thus prevent truth from fuffering in the fight of thofe, who, without this affiftance, would be unable, however defirous, to defend it. An answer to the following queftion, if inferted in the Magazine, may, I truft, conduce to this important end, and will be gratefully peruf ed by one of your many edified readers.

oufly fear, that this obvious ten- | TO THE EDITORS OF THE CONdency of thefe accounts, is what has wounded your feelings and occafioned your fevere remark. The grounds of my fear are thefe: I can fee no other reafon than this for your objection, fince the accounts contain an honest statement of facts; and I learn that, of late, you seem to be deftitute of all concern for yourself, having drowned the thoughts of God and futurity in a round of fafh ionable, but vain amusements. Your remark, that the Magazine contains too 66 many frightful ftories" excites no wonder in my mind. You are difturbed, fifter, and terrified, in reading of the frame of mind in which vain youth depart this life. You are checked in your pleasurable purfuits, and your carnal cafe is interrupted. When you go to the theatre, the card table or the ball room, places you very much frequent, thefe frightful images will fometimes attend you; and whenever it is the cafe, you cannot feel eafy and fecure in your prefent courfe. The language they speak is this; Repent of fin and for fake thefe follies, or thou must come to the fame unhappy end. I do not afk whether I have affigned the true reafon of your not reading the Magazine; for I have no doubt of it. And I now leave you to your own reflections, only making one requeft and expreffing one defire. My requeft is, that you candidly read thefe accounts, as in the prefence of your Maker and on the verge of eternity. My defire is, that by the alarming deaths of the defpifers of religion, you may learn wisdom, and come to a happier end.

I am, dear fifter, yours, with affection. SHAPHAN.


Connect. May 28.


Did the divine or human nature, or did both fuffer in the perfon of our Saviour? If his fufferings did not at all affect his divine nature, how is it poffible that the human nature of Jefus Chrift could fuffer more or comparably as much, within a few years, as all mankind muft, without an atonement, have fuffered through eternity?


THAT the divine nature in the perfon of our Saviour is impaffible, or incapable of fuffering, will not admit of a queftion for a moment. To fuppofe the


tontrary, is to fuppofe, that fufferings are effential to the divine nature and eternal; or, that the divine nature is liable to change; both are equally inconfiftent with infinite perfection.

exercise of good will. They are effential to the nature of government; they fhould exprefs the heart of the lawgiver fully; partially to exprefs it, would be to mifreprefent it. The heart of God is infinitely opposed to fin or tranfgreffion: it is a reasonable oppofition, because fin is replete with infinite mifchief; it behoves him, then, to exprefs this oppofi

The fuppofition which the fecond queftion involves, that the fufferings of Chrift, as our furety, believed to be equal in degree with thofe of all mankind thro' eternity, had no atonement beention in his treatment of finners, made, is wholly unfounded.

and to exprefs it fully. This he does, by inflicting the penalty of his law on finners, which is death eternal; or, by the equivalent fuf

1. It wants proof; there is no evidence of its truth, either from thofe fufferings as they appear to us from the account the Evangel-ferings of Chrift, as conftituted ifts give of them, or from any thing which is faid, or implied, concerning them in fcripture.

2. It is hard to fee how the fufferings of Chrift, on this fuppofition, were evidence of good will in God, in ordaining and inficting them, because nothing, on the whole, would be gained in leffening the evil of fufferings. To fubject inferior creatures to fufferings, to relieve from equal fufferings thofe of a fuperior order, who are capable of higher enjoyment, might be, perhaps, an expreffion of good will; but to fubject a fuperior, the moft exalt ed and the moft worthy, to fufferings, to relieve thofe who are far inferior, even the moft unworthy, to an equal degree of fufferings, is not feen to be fo. This would feem to be lofs, rather than gain.

3. The fuppofition is unneceffary. Sufferings, confidered as punishments, are necessary to show the mind of the lawgiver; the regard he has for his law, and the light in which he views tranfgreffors; they are his teftimony against thofe characters, who, by their conduct, fhow that they are hoftile to the interefts of fociety. They are, in this view, a proper

VOL. IV. No. 2.

furety and fubftitute for the penitent: equivalent, not in degree, but in merit, thefe fufferings, though finite, being inflicted on a perfon of infinite worth, and iufinitely dear to God, by his own hand, fully declare his righteousnefs, or his perfect oppofition to fin, and his unalterable determination not to acquit the guilty. The fame ends are attained, then, by the fufferings of Christ, in re fpect to the government of God, as a juft and righteous government, as would have been attained by inflicting the penalty of the law on every tranfgreffor, befides the difplay of infinite love and compaffion to fallen man; hence it is, that God can be just, and the juftifier of him that believeth in Jefus.

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friendly to his character and kingdom, will give joy to the hearts of the faints; I hereby forward to you the following ftatement of a happy revival and reformation in the wilderness, in a new fettle ment, known in this part of the country by the name of the Big Hollow fettlement. It is a very new fettlement, furrounded by the high Catskill mountains. June 1801, was the first time the people of the fettlement met on the Sabbath for public worship; and this was by the earneft invitation of a man who was the firft that moved into the Big Hollow, about fix years before. In these fix years it was a common practice with moft of the fettlers, to spend the Sabbath in hunting, fishing, viliting, or in fome way fimilar to this. God all along had, however, as a witness against fuch practices, the abovementioned firft fettler. From the time of their fetting up focial public worship on the Sabbath, to the fall of the year next following, nothing very fpecial occurred. The exercifes Sabbath were finging, praying, and reading the beft printed fermons which could be obtained. This practice continued about fix months, when God began vifibly to own and blefs the attempts to build the Redeemup er's kingdom among the people: three or four were hopefully converted, and a general folemnity was upon the minds of the people. There were now but thirteen families in the fettlement. During the winter and fpring following, public focial worship on the fabbath, was kept up, and conference meetings were attended on other days but nothing very fpecial occurred.

on the

In the latter part of the next May, by requeft from the people

I visited them, and preached to them twice, and converfed with the moft of them, individually, concerning the state of their fouls. Of those who entertained a hope that they had become reconciled to God, I enquired the grounds of their hopes, and endeavored fuitably to direct them with regard to their views of themselves and their future conduct. To fuch as confidered themselves ftill unrecon. ciled to God, or in a natural state, I endeavored to be faithful.

I folemnly addreffed them in fuch a manner as appeared beft calculated to imprefs the minds of particular perfons with a fenfe of their fin and danger and the importance of religion. The feafon was very folemn-feveral were greatly affected-one in particu lar who had very wickedly and profanely scoffed at the revival, till a little before; and who has fince, hopefully become a Chrif tian. Upon another who had been a profane fwearer, and often guilty of the fin of intemperance in the ufe of fpiritous liquors, the duty of family prayer was clofely preffed: Upon which he asked, "had I not better omit prayer at night, when I have been curfing and fwearing thro' the day, than to pray?" The answer givmust leave off your en was you profaneness, and you must pray." The manner in which prayer is to be performed, viz. with an holy temper, and in the name of Chrift, was pointed out. The perfon feemed to fuppose he had a very good heart, and that he never had done any thing much amifs. Yet he had never attempted to pray ; and his cafe looked exceedingly unpromifing. But God, who is wonderful in counfel, and mighty in working, by the operations of his holy fpirit, rendered the means


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ufed with him, apparently bene ficial. I foon heard from him that he had fet up family prayer--but that he remarked refpecting the duty, "I hate it." Not long after, I vifited the fettlement again, faw the perfon-observed to him that he had fet up family prayer, and asked him what he now tho't refpecting his heart? His reply "I find that I am a poor


I am, Rev. Gentlemen, your brother in the gospel.


To the General Association of the State of Connecticut, to be con vened in Stratford, at the haufe of the Rev. Mr. Stebbins, on the third Turfday of June, A. D. 1803.

TOUR Commiffioners, ap


pointed to attend the Gene

ral Affembly of the Prefbyterian Church, Report, that agreeably to their appointment, they attend.

commencing in the city of Phila delphia, on the third Thursday of May 1803, and were cordially and refpectfully received.

miferable finner, and that my heart is a fink of fin and pollution.' But not to enlarge upon particulars; the reformation thro' the fummer season, became very general in the settlement. And ined the feffions of faid Affembly, Nov. laft, I went with a brother in the ministry, the Rev. Beriah Hotchkin, of Greenfield, to affift in forming a church there. Twenty-four came forward and folemn. ly profeffed their faith in Chrift, and publicly entered into covenant with God, and with one another. Ofthefe, twenty-one were new profeffors. Among the number was the man who had faid he hated fam ily prayer. Eight adult profeffors were baptized; the Lord's fupper was administered, and fifteen children were by their parents dedicated to God in Baptifm, and received the feal of the covenant. The church is well united in Calvinistic fentiments, and are ready to afcribe the whole reformation and happy change which appears among them, to the fovereign grace of God.

There are now thirteen or fourteen families in the Big Hollow. Such is the infancy of the fettlement, that they are unable to fupport the preaching of the gofpel. There is not as yet, one framed building, in the whole fettlement. The labors of Miffionaries are greatly needed among the people; and they would doubtlefs be most joyfully received.

The Affembly attended to their cuftomary routine of business; great part of which is not imme diately interefting to the Affocia tion. The report of a committee of the General Affembly, on the ftate of religion, within the limits of their Church, (being a fummary of the narratives communicated, in a free converfation on that important fubject,) is here annexed. It is believed, that the information, contained in faid report, will be pleafing and fatisfactory to the Affociation. Any further information which may be defired, relative to the doings of the General Affembly, can be communicated by the Commiffioners from that body, one of whom attended their feffions.

Wishing you much of the divine prefence, and of that wisdom which is profitable to direct, in all your deliberations, we remain refpectfully,


May 28, 1803.


THE Committee appointed to draw up a statement, as the refult

of the free converfation on the ftate of religion, beg leave to report the following.

The Affembly heard, at more than ufual length, and with more than common fatisfaction, the accounts received from their members, of the state of religion within the bounds of the Prefbyterian Church. Since an enquiry of this fort has become a part of the annual bufinefs of the Affembly, it may be confidently afferted, that no refult has ever been prefented to our body, fo favorable, and fo gratifying to the friends of truth and piety.

There is fcarcely a Prefbytery under the care of the Affembly, from which fome pleasing intelligence has not been announced; and from fome of them communications have been made, which fo illuftriously difplay the tri-' umphs of evangelical truth, and the power of fovereign grace, as cannot but fill with joy, the hearts of all who love to hear of the profperity of the Redeemer's kingdom.

In most of the northern and eaftern Prefbyteries, revivals of religion, of a more or lefs general nature, have taken place. In thefe revivals, the work of divine grace has proceeded, with few exceptions, in the ufual way. Sinners have been convinced and converted, by the ftill fmall voice of the Holy Spirit, have been brought out of darkness into marvellous light, and from the bondage of corruption into the gloriqus liberty of the fons of God, without any remarkable bodily agitations, or extraordinary affecIn this calm and ordinary


manner, many hundreds have been added to the church, in the course

of the laft year; and multitudes of thofe, who had before joined themselves unto the Lord, have. experienced times of refreshing and confolation, from his prefence.

In many of the fouthern and western Prefbyteries, revivals more extenfive, and of a more extraordinary nature have taken place. While many, within the bounds of thofe Prefbyteries, have been, as is hoped, effectually called, without any exercises other than thofe which have generally attended the progrefs of vital piety, there have been multitudes of inftances, in which great bodily agitations and other circumstances, out of the ufual course of religious exercises, have attended the work. As thefe extraordinary appearan ces have been before announced by the Affembly, and as the knowledge of them is generally diffufed throughout the American Churches, it is not judged ne, ceffary, to enter into minute details, on the fubject. The Asfembly can only observe, that, altho' they forbear to exprefs any opinion, as to the origin and nature of fome of thofe circumftan, ces, which have attended the fouthern and western revivals, and which have fo much attracted the attention of the religious world ; yet they are conftrained to ac knowledge, with thankfulness, that laft year, while it prefented a continuance, and great exten. fion of this extraordinary work, has furnished evidence, that it is indeed the work of God, for which the friends of piety are bound to praise his holy name.

The Affembly cannot believe, that a difpenfation, by means of which, the ignorant are enlight ened, the vicious reclaimed, the

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