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which he most fervently prayed, both in public and private; for up to the time of this affliction he assisted the stationed preacher in paying pastoral visits to the people of his charge. During the progress of this meeting a great number were converted in the various churches of the town. Throughout his illness, which lasted but ten days, his soul was kept in perfect peace. The nature of his disease was such as prevented him from speaking much, but what fell from his lips was the language of assurance and submission. In answer to a question asked by his mother, " Is Jesus precious ?" he replied, “yes, mo. ther, Jesus is my Saviour.” He continued from the commencement of the attack to grow weaker and weaker, and about half past six o'clock on the evening of the 3d of January, 1839, on beholding his father and mother, brothers and sisters, grouped around his bed, he remarked, “What an interesting scene!" Then, with the language of the pious king of Israel upon his lips, “ Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil,” fell asleep in Jesus.
The incidents connected with the life of our departed brother are sufficiently numerous and interesting to fill a volume. His youth, his talents, but above all, his deep devotedness and exalted piety, were so felicitously blended together, that one could not be at a loss for materials to interest and edify, not only those who were personally acquainted with him, and members of the same Christian community, but Christians of all denominations.
WM. P. STRICKLAND. Marietta, Ohio, Jan. 29, 1840.
THE PASTORAL ADDRESS
Of the General Conference to the Members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
The committee appointed to draw up a pastoral address to our people respectfully report the following:
DEARLY BELOVED BRETHREN,—As the representatives of the several annual conferences in General Conference assembled, we assume the pleasing duty of addressing to you our Christian salutations : “Grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ,” both now and for ever.
In reviewing the history of the past four years, while we see some occasions for humiliation before God, we see much in the dealings of our heavenly Father with us which calls aloud for gratitude and praise. The unwelcome and startling fact of a diminution of the num. bers in society had awakened in our minds great solicitude. Fearing lest we had so far departed from our original purity of character as to be cursed with barrenness, and to give place to others whom God would constitute more appropriate instruments in achieving the moral renovation of the world, we sent up our cry to heaven, “Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach.” At this point in our history, we very justly concluded that instead of indulging án fruitless speculations upon the causes which had brought about this state of things, it became us to gird ourselves for new exertions, and to look up to the great Head of the Church for a renewed and signal manifestation of his power and grace, to raise the fainting spirits and cheer the trembling
hearts of the armies of our Israel. And how wonderfully have our efforts been succeeded! Truly may we say, “ In a little wrath he hid his face from us, for a moment, but with everlasting kindness” has he had “ mercy upon us.”
Within the last year the state of the American Methodist Church has assumed a most interesting and cheering aspect. The spirit of grace and supplication has been poured out upon her, and her converts have been greatly multiplied. Extensive and powerful revivals have been reported through our excellent periodicals, from almost every point of the wide field occupied by our regular itinerant ministry, or by our missionaries. Multitudes of fallen and miserable men have been happily renovated and brought within the pale of the church. Many desolate and barren fields have become as the garden of the Lord; presenting to the gaze of the world the variegated tints of moral beauty, sending up to heaven the sweet odors of pure devotion, and yielding the precious fruits of righteousness, to the glory and honor of God.
The first centenary of Methodism has brought with it a state of great enlargement and prosperity. The pious zeal which you ex. hibited in the appropriate celebration of this new era in our history, and the liberal offerings you presented to the church, exhibit a praiseworthy regard for her institutions, and doubtless constitute a sacrifice with which God is well pleased. Though, on this interesting occasion, you did no more than was your duty to do, God blessed you in the deed. Having brought your tythes into the store-house of the Lord, and proved him therewith, he has poured you out a blessing that there is scarcely room to contain.
It affords us great pleasure to witness the strong tendency which develops itself among the Methodists to adhere to the peculiar prin. ciples which have characterized them from the beginning, and to remain one and indissoluble. Though some have entered into “ doubtful disputations,” and a few of our societies have been hurtfully agitated, yet to the honor of our enlightened membership, and to the glory of God, would we at this time express our solemn conviction that the great mass of our people have remained “firm as a wall of brass” ʼmidst the coinmotions of conflicting elements. There seems at this moment far less occasion to fear from the causes of dissension than there was at the last meeting of this conference. Indeed, brethren, we have no doubt but if we all continue to “walk by the same rule, and to mind the same things,” in which in the order of God we have been instructed, “ the gates of hell shall not prevail against us,” and the enemy who would divide and scatter, in order to destroy us, will be disappointed.
Since the commencement of the present session of the General Conference, memorials have been presented principally from the northern and eastern divisions of the work ; some praying for the action of the conference on the subject of slavery, and others asking for radical changes in the economy of the church. The results of the deliberations of the committees to whom these memorials had a respectful reference, and the final action of the conference upon them, may be seen among the doings of this body, as reported and published. The issue in several instances is probably different from what the memorialists may have thought they had reason to expect. But it is to be hoped they will not suppose the General Conference has either denied them any legitimate right, or been wanting in a proper respect for their opinions. Such is the diversity of habits of thought, man. ners, customs, and domestic relations among the people of this vast republic, and such the diversity of the institutions of the sovereign states of the confederacy, that it is not to be supposed an easy task to suit all the incidental circumstances of our economy to the views and feelings of the vast mass of minds interested. We pray, therefore, that brethren whose views may have been crossed by the acts of this conference will at least give us the credit of having acted in good faith, and of not having regarded private ends or party interests, but the best good of the whole family of American Methodists.
Radical changes in our economy are conceived to be fraught with danger. After having so long, and under such a variety of circumstances, proved the efficiency of our existing institutions, we conceive that it is now no time to go into untried experiments. The leading features of our excellent book of Discipline, we have every reason to believe, commend themselves alike to the enlightened judgments and to the pious feelings of the great mass of our people. Upon this sub. ject they hold the sentiment expressed in the language of our Lord: “No man having drunk old wine, straightway desireth new, for he saith the old is better.” They desire to continue on in the same tried path, and preserve, in its simplicity and purity, Methodism as we received it from our fathers. With these convictions, we should prove recreant to the trust committed to us were we in the slightest degree to yield to the spirit of innovation.
After this free expression of our views and feelings in relation to those great interests which naturally come under review in such a communication, will you, brethren, permit us, as your pastors and servants, for Jesus' sake, to " stir up your pure minds by way of re. membrance," in relation to several important duties, which at the present time especially demand your utmost care and diligence :
1. In addition to the ordinary means of grace to which we are bound to attend as Christians, there are certain duties which are obligatory on us as Methodists; among these are our class-meetings and love-feasts. Numerous melancholy instances have proved that these means cannot be wantonly neglected by our people without the loss of their religious comfort, a total paralysis of their spiritual ener. gies, and utter uselessness in the church. As you then desire to be useful, to be happy, and to glorify God in this life and that which is to come, we beseech you, brethren, never for a moment to decline in your attention to these precious means of grace.
2. Exercise the utmost vigilance and care over the moral and religious training of the rising generation. In a very few days we shall be with our fathers : and it is for us now to say what influence our children shall exert upon the condition of society, and the destinies of the world, when we are no more. Give your infant offspring to God in holy baptism. When they are of sufficient age, put them into the sabbath school, impart to them personal religious instruction, pray incessantly for their conversion and salvation, and by all means, if possible, give them the advantages of the excellent institutions of learning which have been reared by your benevolent and praiseworthy exertions.
3. We would also apprise you who are heads of families of the vast importance of supplying those committed to your trust with such reading as will have a tendency to make them wiser and better. Preoccupy their attention with our own excellent books and period. icals, and, to the utmost of your power, guard them against the dread. ful tide of froth and corruption which is making such ravages upon the intellectual and moral character of the age, under the general title of novels. These publications, with very few exceptions, like the dreadful sirocco, blast, and wither, and destroy, wherever they come. Superinducing a state of intellectual languor, and blunting the moral feelings, they prepare the young mind for the more open and decided demonstrations of error, in the various forms of infidelity, or make it an easy prey to the seductions of vice. Recollect that “ to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” Take care, then, to supply the appropriate aliment of the mind in sufficient variety and abundance, that there may be left no opening for the entrance of ihese mischievous agents.
4. We furthermore exhort you, brethren, not to forget the high and holy object of our organization. We profess to be a company of men having the form and seeking the power of godliness ; united in order to pray together, to receive the word of exhortation, and to help each other work out their salvation.” We are a voluntary association, organized, as we believe, according to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, for purposes of a purely spiritual nature. It was with reference to our mutual spiritual edification that we struck hands before God'saltar, and gave to each other pledges of future fidelity. Let us then labor to the utmost to do each other good, praying for one another, “ bearing each other's burdens, and so fulfilling the law of Christ," “ forgiving one another if any have a quarrel against another.” Our obligations to these duties we took upon ourselves voluntarily, and under the most solemn circumstances. Can we then lightly cast them off, or claim them at the hands of others, when we will not discharge them ourselves? Nay, brethren, they are mutual, perpetual, inviolable.
5. We exhort and beseech you, brethren, by the tender mercies of our God, that you strive for the mind that was in Christ Jesus." Be not content with mere childhood in religion : but, “having the principles of the doctrines of Christ, go on unto perfection.” The doctrine of entire sanctification constitutes a leading feature of original Methodism. But let us not suppose it enough to have this doc. trine in our standards : let us labor to have the experience and the power of it in our hearts. Be assured, brethren, that if our influence and usefulness, as a religious community, depend upon one thing more than any other, it is upon our carrying out the great doctrine of sanctification in our life and conversation. When we fail to do this, then shall we lose our pre-eminence; and the halo of glory which surrounded the heads, and lit up the path of our sainted fathers, will
have departed from their unworthy sons. O brethren, let your motto be, “ Holiness to the Lord.” “And may the God of peace sanctify you wholly, and we pray God, that your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.' And now, we "commend you to God and the word of his grace, who is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among them that are sanctified.”—AMEN.
Geo. Peck, Chairman.
In entering upon the duties of our new appointment, we should feel a pleasure in presenting a general view of the department committed to our trust, and of the principles by which we shall endeavor to be governed in the execution of our official duties. But our circumstances forbid our treating these subjects at present at length. We are not yet quite inducted into office. And under the influence of the excite. ment occasioned by breaking up our former relations and associations, and entering into a new sphere of action, we should excuse ourselves from writing a line at present, but for the fact that we are told the present number of the Magazine and Review must be immediately concluded.
Under these circumstances, the most we can undertake is a bare potice of a few of the important matters which we desire to bring especially before the Methodist community, in relation to the Review, and must reserve the rest for a future occasion.
The late General Conference passed the following resolution, viz. :
“ Resolved, That we recommend to the agents and book committee at New York to commence, at the close of the present year, if in the judgment of the agents the patronage be sufficient to sustain it, a new series of the Quarterly Review, in an enlarged and improved form, to be entitled the Methodist Quarterly Review; and that the agents be directed to issue forthwith a prospectus for the work.”
Under a conviction that it was necessary to expend more labor upon the work, to give it the elevation of character necessary to meet the present standard of literary taste, than under the former arrangement of the editorial department of the Concern, it was pos. sible to bestow, the General Conference provided for a separate