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THE PASTOR'S JOURNAL,
SKETCHES OF REAL CHARACTERS, CONVERSATIONS, AND STRIKING FACTS, FURNISHED
CHIEFLY BY CLERGYMEN.
(For the Pastor's Journal.]
exempt from the dreadful malady. It has
entered the cottages of the poor, and the The Epidemic. mansions of the rich; the smiling infant
and sprightly child, the blooming babe In hearing of the sickness at the and the man of strength, the infirm West for some years past, the people at and the aged, have all been prostrated by the East have almost thought, that all the unseen hand! Many a mother has diseases had emigrated westward, and been snatched from her rising family, that in order to avoid sickness and death, and hurried to a premature grave. they need only remain at their quiet Some particulars respecting the preeastern homes. But during the pastvalence of the epidemic in one town, winter and spring, God has taught many will pretty accurately tell the story of portions of the East a far different lesson, | fifty. by making them feel most sorely the Early in the year 1842, the disease scourging hand of sickness.
made its appearance in the town of E. There is a section of country, spread Family after family were affected, and out between two lofty ranges of moun- some young children fell victims, though tains, being at least 100 miles in length, || as yet its appearance was by no means and 50 in breadth, having the beautiful malignant. waters of Lake Champlain extending At length it was announced that J. through the centre from South to North. R. M., belonging to a numerous circle This region is highly cultivated, being of friends, and himself at the head of a covered with the habitations of men, small family, was taken violently sick. richly variegated with villages and farm-Beloved in the neighborhood and in the houses, with shady grove and thrifty church, of which he was a member, orchard, hill and dale, winding stream great anxiety was felt in his behalf. and waterfall—both the beautiful and But neither prayers nor tears, nor the grand in the works of nature and of art. || best medical skill, could arrest the vio
But in this vale, so delightful and so lence of the disease. And soon the prosperous, sickness and death have parting moment came. With calm and been commissioned, for a few months christian resignation, he took leave of past, to make fearful havoc. Thousands his wife and children; of beloved pahave been prostrated by disease, and rents; of his brothers, sisters, and friends; hundreds have been borne to the silent and then fell asleep in Jesus! Soon grave. The epidemic which has almost after, a grand-mother followed, and then universally prevailed, has been called a sister, then a brother's wife, and finally by some, the putrid sore throat ; by his own disconsolate widow, after having others, malignant influenza, and by given birth to another child,thus leaving others, erysipelas fever. The disorder behind her three orphan babes! All is generally attended with a high fever, these five adult persons, out of one and a local inflammation in the throat, or family circle, died in faith, leaving bethe lungs, or in the stomach or bowels ; /hind them the rich consolation that they sometimes by a swelling on the head, or had entered into“ that rest which remain. an abscess upon some other part of the eth for the people of God.” In the body. No age, or sex, or class, have been || meanwhile the disorder was spreading
into other neighborhoods with increased | ing! I tell it not to reproach the dead, malignancy. Here, was cut down a but as a warning to the living. young man in the vigor of youth, and Thus the disorder raged till
, within borne to the tomb; and there, an old three or four months time, in a town man was gathered to the dead, “ as a of only about 1500 inhabitants, more shock of corn fully ripe,” both leaving than one half the number felt the effects pleasing evidence that for them to die of the disease more or less, more than was gain! In some sections so many 200 were severely prostrated, and about were prostrated at the same time, that it 25 are numbered among the dead ! was extremely difficult to obtain com- As warm weather approaches, the fortable nursing. One family, consist. virulence of the epidemic somewhat ing of a mother, two sons and two abates, yet even up to the first of June, daughters, adults, all were sick together, very many are still sick in the region and after the greatest suffering for a few round about, and many are left in a weeks, the mother and the oldest daugh-feeble state of health. ter ceased to struggle for life, and were In different places many of the peoboth consigned to the same narrow house, ple of God have died in the triumphs leaving good evidence, that in the morn- of faith, some have had transcendently iny of the resurrection, both would glorious views of Jesus and his salvaawake in the likeness of their Savior: tion, just before their departure! “I The gate of the church-yard were see Jesus,” exclaimed a dying these were laid, was not shut a whole young man, as he looked up steadfastly week, for many weeks together. Now towards heaven, “O, I can see Jesus, a young mother is borne hither, torn he is inviting me up to the mansions of suddenly away from her lovely babes his Father's house. Farewell, beloved and affectionate husband! And then, friends, I am going to dwell with the father of one family and the mother Jesus !" of another, are both in the same day O who can estimate the worth of joined to the same congregation of the religion at such a time as this ! The dead! Others soon followed, while mul- | Christian can remam calm and happy, titudes were sick.
even in the midst of sickness and death. While things were wearing this fear. He can say, with firm reliance on the ful aspect, one man, strong, robust, promises of God, somewhat advanced beyond the meridian of life, said, “ if men would only “Hast thou not given thy word drink rum enough, they need not fear
To save my soul from death? the epidemic !” So from moderate, he
And I can trust my Lord, took to immoderate drinking ! He
To keep my mortal breath. laughed at the disease, and made sport
I'll go and come,
Nor fear to die, of the grave. But he was marked for
Till from on high a victim, and neither his hard drinking
Thou call me home." nor his presumption, could turn aside the fatal blow. He was seized in the Thus he may go cheerfully and conthroat, and through pride and haughti- tentedly about the duties of life, always ness of spirit refused to call for medical ready for his departure, but never unaid, struggling, like a giant, to break duly anxious about what hour of the the hold of the disease ; but he could day his Lord and Master shall call him not. That channel which had so long home. But well may fearfulness surconducted the burning torrent to the prise the hypocrites in Zion, and the vitals, was now itself on fire. After poor sinner weep and howl when he forty-eight hours a physician was called, tinds his hold on earth suddenly giving but it was too late. The hold could away! O that men would be wise, connot be broken; the fire could not be sider their latter end, and learn to fear quenched! He died in his full strength the Lord, while in the enjoyment of --died, struggling mightily for breath, health and reason ! but it was gone forever! Thus ended
A PASTOR the life of the man, who sought to June 1, 1842 guard against disease by excessive drink
For the Pastor's Journal.
men that love the cause of Christ, and
are deeply interested for the souls of Faithfulness Blessed. our hearers; and if success does not
crown our efforts, we must pray the (Furnished by a Pastor.)
more fervently and preach the more
faithfully. But after all, God must deThe fear of man bringelh a snare, termine, whether to give or witbhold but whoso putieth his trust in the Lord the increase. We know, that he will shall be safe. Prov. 29: 25.
not forget Zion ; and we are assured, The truth of this passage was so that his word will not return unto hiin strikingly verified to me in the early void. As to our own acceptance, it will part of my ministry, as to be of great not depend upon our success, but upon benefit to me ever since.
our fidelity. If we are faithful in the In the fall of 1825, soon after I com- discharge of our duty, we shall not menced preaching, I was laboring in the lose our reward, though Israei be not town of S., in the eastern part of Maine, gathered.”. as a missionary, with a small and feeble I threw down my letter, and took my church, and where the state of religious sermons and went to meeting, and if I feeling was very low. I became al- ever preached “like a man in earnest," most disheartened at seeing no fruit of it was then. The result was, that at my labors, and especially at seeing the the close of the forenoon service the church in so low a state. I deeply felt church gathered around me, and said, that an effort must be made to rouse
“ We cannot live so—we wish you to them from their slumbers. I according appoint a church fast.” One young ly prepared two sermons for the Sab- man was so deeply affected, that he bath, one to the church and the other to could scarcely eat or sleep for several the impenitent. But on reviewing them days. At the close of the afternoon I began to feel afraid to preach them; service, I was requested to preach the and this fear arose from the considera- same sermon (the one which I had adtion that they were too true, and too ap- dressed to sinners) the next Sabbath, plicable to their situation, and that they which I did in another part of the town. would not bear them. My mind was
The immediate and, I trust, the per-' exceedingly troubled, and again and manent effects of that day's Jabor on again did I throw them aside, with the that people were good; and to me they determination to select new subjects. I have been of incalculable importance. read them and prayed over them, till I have never since that time been within firteen minutes of meeting time, brought into such a snare. I have al. still undecided-still overpowered by ways felt that it was safest to“ preach the fear of man. At this moment a and pray” like a man in earnest, and young man came in and brought me a leave the event with God. letter. The hand-writing was familiar, and I knew it to be from my late instructor in theology, Rev. B. T. I opened and read it; and soon the fol- A Chariot of Fire. lowing paragraph met my eye :
“ Without doubt it is trying to you to labor ap- From a letter of Rev. S. J. Curtis, of Union, Cl. parentiy in vain; but the lesson may be useful, though learned by painful ex- | Be ye also realy, for in such an hour perience, that old Adam is too strong as ye think not the Son of Man cometh. for young Melancthon. The want of success is not of itself sufficient proof On Friday, March 25th, 1842, beeither of incompetency, or unfaithtul. | tween four and five o'clock, P. M., my Dess. The Greatest and Best of preach-house was struck with lightning, and ers found occasion to cry, 'All day long my wife and daughter were instantly have I stretched out iny hands to a dis- killed. We were sitting very near toobedient and gainsaying people.' Our gether-my wise and daughter on my business is to pray, and preach, and con- right, and my son on my left. I was verse, and live, like men in earnest, i not conscious that my dwelling was
struck; or that any thing had taken | a long time exceedingly dreaded the place, until I recovered from the shock, struggles of death, though she felt no which I had received ; then the scene fear of the future-and now it came around me surpassed any thing that without a struggle. ever I saw before. My daughter lay () what a blessed hour was that for dead at my feet; my wife on my right; the Christian to die ! the spirit let loose and on my left was my son in an agony | as upon the wings of the wind, when of distress, at what had taken place. all around was full of the majesty of
The unexpected blow pierced me to God! But a dreadful hour would it be my very soul. But God—thanks be to for the ungodly to die. That awful his name !-immediately put under grandeur which but inspired the Chrisneath me his everlasting arms, and tian with sacred awe and joyful venekept me from sinking. He has since ration, must fill the ungodly with disbeen my support and the joy of my may; and their spirits, then let loose, heart.
would behold only frowns and terror. My companion has been more than Then to be ready, how important ! usually devoted to God the past year. There is no opportunity, at such a time, We have spent many delightful sea- to get ready.' sons together in social prayer; besides
Our daughter-says the bereaved husaround the family altar.
band and father-who was but eight The discourse which was preached at the years old, gave evidence of a saving
change of beart. She had very pungent funeral adds the following particulars :
conviction of sin a little more than a “ Mrs. Curtis was a native of Wal- year since. One evening she came to lingford, Ct. She there become hope- her mother of her own accord and made fully pious at the age of fourteen, and a most humble confession of her sins, made a public profession of her faith, saying, “Mother, you do not know what which she steadily maintained and a great sinner I have been !” She also honored, as a daughter, a sister, a wife, confessed to God, prayed for mercy, and a mother, and a neighbor. She was
afterwards became very happy in her
mind. truly a helper to her husband in the
Ever since that time, until the day cares of his flock as a minister of Christ. Her prayers for and with him, of her death, she has been a different were an essential support and encou
girl.-More humble, obedient, penitent
for her sins, and benevolent in her disragement in his responsible work.
The season of prayer and self-exam-position. ipation which they regularly observed together, on Saturday evenings, aside
THE DEATH-BED OF THE RIGHTEOUS. froin family devotions, was one of deep interest and profit. The Saturday eve
This place is holy ground; ning before her death will long be re- World with thy cares away; membered by her husband as the last of Silence and darkness reign around; those heavenly seasons.
But soon the break of day, She had evidently been preparing
The resurrection morn appears, during several months past, for the
To shine upon this scene of tears. coming of her Lord. And though she
Behold the bed of death, knew not that he was to come thus in
The pale and lowly clay, the clouds, and a fire burning before
Heard the sob of parting breath? him—though she knew not that, with
Mark'd ye the eyes' last ray out premonition or pang, her spirit No! life so sweetly ceased to be, would be separated from the body, to It lapsed in immortality. be conveyed, in the majesty of that terrific hour, guarded by the lightnings, to
Bury the dead and weep
In stillness o'er the loss; the portals of bliss-yet she had felt,
Bury the dead; in Christ they sleep, and repeatedly said, that perhaps she
Who bore on earth his cross, should enjoy their new place of resi
Soon from the grave their dust shall rise dence but a little while. She had for
In his own image to the skies.
In obedience to the manifest indications of Providence, the Executive Committee of the American Home Missionary Society have made arrangements for the increase of their operations in the new and destitute portions of the country during the current year. The consummation of these arrangements is delayed only by the want of means. The amount of receipts, the present year, above what had been received at the same period in the last year, is too small to justify much increase of expenditure ; while, on the other hand, the necessary disbursements of the Society since May last, have exceeded all precedent; and the same rate of payment must soon reduce the treasury to a condition of serious embarrassment.
The apprehension of such a result must, of course, operate disastrously on the efforts of the Committee to send out more missionaries. All experience of benevolent societies, as well as the public sentiment of the churches, admonish them to avoid incurring debt. If on a fair announcement of its wants, the churches do not respond to the appeals of any society, it cannot be justified in accumulating any great amount of responsibilities, to be met by the uncertain income of a future day.
The question, then, Whether we shall go forward to do what must be done, or the dearest interests of our country must suffer, depends on the previous question, Whether the Christians and patriots of our land will supply the means ? Nor can these questions long remain open. Every argument for speedy action that has ever had weight, now possesses a double power. The poverty of the Western churches is more profound than in any former year. The enemy is coming in with great force. Emigration from Europe to this country is nearly doubled the present year. Not much longer can Eastern effort be efficient in forming the Western character, for other agencies are in the field, and the West itself is no longer passive, but is beginning to have an influence of its own upon the whole land. Whatever, then, is done, whether preaching, or praying, or giving, MUST BE DONE QUICKLY.
For the sake of economy, and out of respect to the feeling of the churches, the number of soliciting agents employed by the Society is reduced to the minivol. xv.