« AnteriorContinuar »
than to express our sincere affectionate Concern, and with fervent Addresses to commend your Cause & the Cause of America—the Cause of Liberty & above all of religion to the Father of Mercies, who can easily afford effectual Relief: who hath the Hearts of all at his Desposal & can turn them as he pleases. We feel deeply sensible, what a heavy Load must lie upon the minds of the ministers of Boston-enough to sink their Spirits unless armed with vigorous Christian Fortitude and Resolution. In hopes it may afford you some Consolation, we assure you of our sincere Condolance and unremitting prayers in your Behalf ; & that we shall in every way suitable to our Character & Station use our Influence with the good People of the Colony, to concur in every proper Measure calculated to afford Relief to America in general and the distressed Town of Boston in Particular. We pray that the Ministers of Boston may be inspired by the great Head of the Church with Wisdom sufficient for their Direction in such a Critical Day as the present. And we cannot but hope the united Prayers of America may obtain that Audience in Heaven which will ensure Salvation to us : and that God would give them & their People Firmness, Unanimity, Patience, Prudence & every Virtue which they need to support them under their heavy trials, & enable them to stand firm in the glorious Cause of Liberty; express such a Temper & exhibit such an Example as shall be well pleasing to God & recommend them to the Compassion and Favour of their fellow
We earnestly pray that God would humble us all under a deep sense of our numerous Transgressions and Criminal Declensions; show us the absolute necessity of Repentance and Reformation, humble us under his mighty hand & pour out a spirit of Fervent Supplication on you, on us, & all his people in this Land.
NOTE.-James Cogswell, [of Scotland,] Stephen Johnson, [of Lyme,] Samuel Lockwood, [of Andover.]
At a General Association of the Pastors of the consociated Churches of the colony of Connecticut, convened by Delegation, at the house of the Rev'd Benjamin Throop in Norwich, June 2oth, A. D. 1775.
At an adjourned meeting held June 21st,“ The General Association taking into serious Consideration the distressing and melancholy State of public Affairs in the British American Colonies, and the Dangers they are now threatened with from the oppressive Measures of the British Court, are sensible of the loud calls of God in his Providence, that humbling ourselves under his righteous Hand, we turn unto him by unfeigned Repentance and Amendment, and we are thankful that God has put it into the Hearts of our Rulers frequently to call upon us and our people to those Duties, that laying aside all Levity, Extravagance, and undue Diversions, we should be Excited to earnest Prayer and Supplication and meet with our people for that Purpose as frequently as convenience will admit. We trust our Rulers will still encourage this good work and strengthen the Hands of all the ministers in it. We also rejoice that in so many of our Churches and Congregations there appears a Disposition of attending on such Seasons, and wish it may become general and universal: We look upon it in particular our Duty to stir up ourselves and all our Brethren in the Ministry to be forward in leading our people in this Day of Trouble to be calling on God, and to have special Seasons of Prayer, and that the whole of our Congregations be urged to attend them. This is certainly our Duty and what we are particularly directed to in the Word of God, that we answer the Messages of Heaven in Divine Providence and become an humble, penitent and pardoned People prepared for the Divine Mercy and Salvation. And as we are the Covenant people of God, and have enjoyed the special privileges of the Gospel, we look upon it that God in his Providence calls upon us to consider our Covenant obligations, and that it is the indispencable [sic] Duty of Ministers to impress the minds of all their people with the Duty of owning the Covenant God of our Fathers; that those who have come under explicit and personal Engagements, humbling themselves for all Breaches of their Vows, should be quickened to walk with God in all his Commandments and Ordinances, and that others should be reminded of their awful Neglects and urged to remember and own the Obligations they are laid under by God's Covenant and improve the Privileges of it, and if any Churches or Congregations shall see fit and convenient publickly and as a body to renew their Covenant with God we should approve it; but must leave the Matter to the Prudence of ministers and Churches to determine particularly for themselves: At the same time we would solemnly charge ourselves, our Brethren in the Ministry, and our People to be earnest in seeking and turning to God, and that bringing forth such Fruits as he requires we may have tokens for Good, and still trust in his fatherly Kindness, that he will appear for this Land, scatter the dreadful cloud that is over it,
ecure and perpetuate all its Rights and Privileges, and cause the Churches here planted to flourish so long as the Sun and Moon shall endure.
An Address of the General Association to the consociated Pastors and Churches in the Colony of Connecticut: Reverend and Beloved :
Deeply impressed with a sense of the calamitous State in which our Land is involved: Reduced by the arbitrary Edicts of the British Parliament, and the cruel and inhuman Methods used to inforce them, to the sad necessity of defending by Force and Arms those precious Privileges which our Fathers fled into this Wilderness quietly to enjoy: Declared Rebels by the British King and Parliament ;—Not only the Power of Britain, but a large Army of Foreign Mercenaries, hired at most Extravagant Price, employed to draggoon uş into Obedience or rather abject Submission to Tyranny : Our Foreign Trade almost annihilated :-Many of our towns ruined and destroyed : Our Children, our Friends, our dearest Connections called from our Bosoms to the Field of Battle ; and some of them captured and enslaved by our cruel and insulting Foes: Detestible Parricides interspersed among us, aiming to give a fatal stab to the Country which gave them birth, and hath hitherto fostered them in her indulgent Bosom ;-And in many places both at Home and Abroad, deplorable Sickness wasting away the Inhabitants of our Land: Deeply impressed with a View of these dire Calamities, we are led anxiously to inquire what Sins and Iniquities prevalent in our Land, have called down these heavy Judgments of Heaven upon us. Fully assured, both from sacred Writ and the usual Method of the Dispensations of God's Providence that such calamities are ever the effects of abounding Sin and Iniquity, and that Sincere Repentance and a thoro' Reformation, is the only probable Method to avert these Tokens of Divine Wrath.
The address then goes on to specify, in four closely written ledger pages, the sins of the times, viz. : Sabbath breaking, profanity, intemperance, uncleanness, and other vices, with the denial of important doctrines, and the neglect of church discipline, and exhorting ministers to be faithful rulers to enforce the laws against vice, churches to apply discipline, parents to govern and instruct their children, the young to fear God, and all classes to so conduct themselves as may avert the displeasure of God.
Mr. Baldwin, the scribe of the Association for 1776, having died, the original minutes appear to have been lost, and the above seems to have been recorded from the printed address of the above-mentioned Association to the churches.
REPORTS FROM THE COUNTY ASSOCIATIONS,
NEW STRATFORD (now Monroe), 1778. “The Association took into consideration the melancholy situation of our country by reason of the severe rebukes of a holy God in suffering the continuance of a cruel and unjust war greatly to distress our land; Resolved on the continuance of public lectures in the several churches, with the united friendly assistance of the ministers in the vicinity. The Association then took into consideration the state of our English Schools, that the education of our youth in some parts of this State is greatly on the decline; that the employing some Schoolmasters not well qualified in learning, and others of immoral conduct, and such as are disaffected to the Liberties of the country, have a tendency to produce very unhappy effects; thought proper to instruct their Delegates to lay the matter before the General Association, that they may recommend such measures as have a tendency to revive learning and religion among the rising generation. “ Attest:
DAVID ELY, Scribe.”
REV. EBENEZER BALDWIN, OF DANBURY.
Deacon Eli T. Hoyt writes: “I find in Robbins's Century Sermon, 1800, preached to our society, and published, the following tribute to the memory of Rev'd Ebenezer Baldwin, who was ordained 1770, and died in 1776.
“ He officiated with great reputation in the ministry, till a sudden death terminated his labors in 1776, aged 31. A man of great talent and learning, a constant student, grave in manners, a constant and able supporter of the sound doctrines of the gospel. “Tradition says he took the disease of which he died in
You are aware, I suppose, that he was uncle to the late Roger S. Baldwin.",
REV. LYMAN HALL, OF STRATFIELD. After his dismission in 1750, Mr. Hall removed to Georgia ; was member of the Continental Congress, 1775 ; was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence ; afterwards Governor of Georgia ; died in 1791. A tombstone was presented by the State of Georgia, and set up in Wallingford, his native place, 5th July, 1858.
REV. ROBERT ROSS, OF STRATFIELD (NOW BRIDGEPORT).
Mr. Ross, who was settled January 21, 1754, was of Irish descent, but born in this country ; a strong whig, and “very useful in encouraging his hearers to perseverance in accomplishing the independence of his country.” “ Parson Ross was a strong whig in the Revolutionary War, and when the first military company in 1775 was raised to go to Canada to take Fort St. John, said company mustered in his door-yard, when they all knelt down with him while he offered prayer for a blessing on their enterprise. He published a sermon, that I have read, from these words, as near as I remember: “For the divisions of Reuben, there were great searchings of heart,” which sermon I believe was preached at the beginning of the Revolutionary War.
“He was about six feet in height, and well proportioned ; wore a wig, cocked hat, ruffled shirt, black coat, vest and breeches, with white topped boots, cramped so as to set tight on the instep. As he was on a journey on horseback, he got his boots wet, and having pulled them off to dry he could