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state must be irrecoverably lost. So deeply was she now humbled before God that she regarded herself as unworthy of a seat in God's house, amongst a worshipping people, and therefore concluded to desist from attending the place of divine service. But her religious acquaintance persuaded her to a contrary course; and through their instrumentality, she was induced once more to venture to the house of the Lord. At this time there was some revival amongst the professors of Christianity, and the mourners were invited to the altar to be prayed for. One of her friends seeing her much affected, inquired of her why she delayed. She immediately resolved to go forward, and as she arose from her seat, God in mercy spoke peace to her soul, set her at liberty from the bondage of sin and Satan, and enabled her to testify to all around that God hath power on earth to forgive sins.
She then united herself to the Methodist Church in this place, of which she remained a pious and exemplary member until the day of her death. The comforts of religion she recommended to her friends and neighbours, telling them it would not only sweeten the cares and enjoyments of life, but buoy up the soul in affliction, and prepare it to pass through the valley and shadow of death with tranquility. These declarations were corroborated by the life she lived, for in this she was an example of piety, in conversation, in dress and deportment. In the midst of her mortal conflicts, which were many and severe, she sought relief in visiting the closet, the class-room, and the place of public worship. In these places she poured out her complaints to God, and frequently received such immediate and abundant supplies of grace, as enabled her to praise God aloud. Nor did any who were acquainted with her general deportment doubt the truth of her profession. By this course of living she was enabled to make considerable advances in the divine life, and openly profess that God had cleansed her heart from sin: The joy which flowed to her from the reception of this blessing was so abundant and manifest, that, as I have been informed, she scarcely was without some visitor who came to witness her joy for several days together, and her humble dwelling was continually made to resound with the praises of her God. But it pleased the Lord in the space of a few years to call from time to eternity, a very pious member of the family to which she belonged, and to whom she was much united. This afflicted her much, and as thought by some, excited that disease by which was terminated her earthly career. And now that she was called to depart, she could confidently speak of her joys and hopes without fear of reproach from her acquaintance, and without any dread of future misery; but with a triumphant hope of immortality. To her friends around her she signified a desire once more to partake of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Accordingly brother Andrew and myself administered to her the sacred ordinance, and some other females who were pre
sent on the occasion. At this time, although scarcely able to say much for some days previous, she seemed so powerfully blessed and animated by the presence of God, as to be enabled to converse with more liberty and strength than was common for her, even in her days of health and vigour. Indeed she seemed to speak with divine energy. This state of ecstacy continued for the space of four or five days, by which was excited such general attention throughout the city, that her room was continually crowded with solemn, weeping, and rejoicing spectators. When any person would come in and shake hands with her, she would almost invariably in the first instance ask, “ Are you coming up? are you going to meet me?” (meaning in heaven) She would then inquire after the relations of the persons to whom she was speaking, whether they were religious or not. She would frequently exhort parents to pray for their children, and children to , pray for their parents, &c. To me she said, “tell the class to which I belong to be punctual in attending their class-meetings." “Yes," said she, “tell all the members of the church, that it is my dying exhortation to them to be attentive to their meeting, and strive to teach their children to serve God." She would often speak of those ministers under whose preaching she had been particularly blessed, and of those persons to whom she had been particularly united. At one time, apparently speaking to herself, she was heard to say, (in relation, it is supposed, to the deceased person above alluded to,) “Ah we will soon praise God together in heaven.” At another time she spoke of the excellency of religion in such language as surprised all who were present, saying, that “tables, beds, and worlds of gold, were nothing but yanity when compared to this.” At another time the brethren when present sung,
" And let this feeble body fail,
And let it faint or die;
And soar to worlds on high,” &c. She exclaimed, “O! yes, to heaven my soul would fly. Glory! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” She then gazed steadily up towards heaven as though she saw something very attractive, and being asked what she saw ? replied, “ you can't see them.” In this triumphant state she remained days together, until she finally fell asleep in the arms of her Saviour, on the 25th of June, 1823, in the 63d year of her age. Her countenance was angelic to the last ininute, and we doubt not but that her iminortal spirit is now resting in the Paradise of God. I can truly say, as well as many others, that I never witnessed so victorious a death before. May her example of patience and piety be remembered and imitated by her surviving friends, and deeply impressed especially on the heads of the members of the Church to which she belonged.
INTRODUCTION OF METHODISM INTO THE UNITED STATES.
THERE are circumstances connected with this event whicli ought not to be forgotten, as they tend to develope the gracious providence of God which has ever watched over His faithful people.
Methodism had existed in Europe about twenty-seven years, and could number about twenty-five thousand members, before it crossed the Atlantic. In the year 1766, by a train of circumstances which were doubtless under the controul of an infinitely wise and righteous providence, some members of the Methodist Society in Ireland were induced to emigrate to America. Among this number was a Local Preacher by the name of Philip Embury, who with his associates, settled in the city of New-York.On their arrival at this place, being few in number, surrounded by strangers, and not finding any such spiritual associates as those they had left behind them; and neglecting also the assembling themselves together, they all, except Mr. Embury, so far departed from God as to become enamoured with the pleasures of sin. In this melancholy state they remained until the following year, when another family of Methodists, formerly associated with the one above-mentioned, came from Ireland to NewYork. The members of this family brought their piety and zeal with them. The mother was a woman of a bold and independent spirit, and was much devoted to God. While most of the others had sunk into a state of lukewarmness, and some of them had already participated in the common vices of their fellowcitizens, this mother in Israel” cleaved unto God with all her heart, and was made instrumental in reviving the languishing spirits of the others. Understanding they were amusing themselves with card-playing, she presented herself before them, seized the cards, and with holy indignation threw them into the fire.
Having thus destroyed their play things, she went to Mr. Embury, the Local Preacher, and, prostrating herself before him, entreated him with tears, to call a meeting and preach to them, enforcing her entreaties by admonishing him that unless he complied the people would go to hell, and that God would require their blood at his hands. Convinced by her arguments of the propriety of her persuasions, but not knowing how to put them in practice, the good man exclaimed;-Where shall I preach, and to whom? for we have neither house nor congregation. She replied, preach in your own house first and to our own people only. He consented and accordingly a meeting was appointed in his own private room, in which they assembled, six in all, the preacher
and five hearers. Finding the blessing of God to attend their little meetings, they continued to meet in this way with a gradual increase of hearers, in obscurity, being
Little and unknown,
Lov'd and priz'd by God alone. By persevering in their good work, they gradually rose from their obscurity and began to attract public attention. The novelty of the name, as well as their manner of holding their meetings, and more especially the peculiarity of their doctrine, gained them both publicity and reproach; and the continual increase of hearers soon rendered it necessary to enlarge their room, or otherwise exclude many who wished to join with them. Accordingly a room of large dimensions was rented in the neighbourhood, and the expense paid by voluntary contributions.
About this time this small society received considerablc assistance from the labours of Captain WEBB, who was attached to the British Army as Barrack Master, at that time stationed in Albany. This gentlernan had been brought to the knowledge of salvation by the remission of sins, under the ministry of the Rev. John Wesley, in Bristol, England, about the year 1765. Having tasted that the Lord was gracious, such was his love to perishing sinners, that his professional character did not hinder him from preaching Christ unto them; but he proclaimed, first to bis fellow soldiers, and afterwards to all who were willing to hear him, the upsearchable riches of Christ. On coming to New-York and forming an acquaintance with Mr. Embury and the society, he was invited to preach in their room. This he did. The novelty of his appearance, as a preacher of Christ, in the costume of a military character, excited no small surprise; but the divine energy with which he spoke, in the name of the Lord, produced a conviction in the minds of many that he was commissioned from God to shew unto them the way of salvation. These circum. stances so attracted attention that this room soon became too small to accommodate all who wished to hear. But what added much to the strength of the society was, that many who heard the word were convinced of sin and brought to a saving knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. Such were added to the society. And continuing to walk in the fellowship of the saints, and in the unity of the Spirit, they were comforted together, and built up in their most holy faith. Their godly walk and conversation convinced others of the reality and excellency of their religion.
To remedy the inconveniencies arising from the smallness of the room in which they now assembled, a rigging loft, in Williamstreet, was hired and fitted up for public worship. Here they assembled for a considerable time, and Mr. Embury continued to preach to them with success, being occasionally assisted by Capt. Webb, who was at intervals absent upon Long-Island and at VOL. VI,
Philadelphia, where he preached the gospel of the Son of God with success. Through the faithful labours of these servants of God the society in New-York flourished, continually increased in number and in the graces of the Spirit. In consequence of this increase of members and hearers, this place soon became too small, and they therefore begun to think of building a house of worship.
To the accomplishment of this pious design many difficulties seemed to present themselves. The society being principally poor, they did not possess within themselves adequate means for such an undertaking. For some time a painful suspense seemed to occupy their minds. But while all were deliberating on the most suitable means to accomplish an object so desirable, and yet to them so difficult, an elderly lady, one of the Irish emigrants before mentioned, while fervently engaged in prayer for direction in this affair, received with inexpressible sweetness and power, this answer-I the Lord will do it! At the same time a plan presented itself to her mind, which, on being submitted to the society, was generally approved. Accordingly, they issued a subscription paper, went to the Mayor and other opulent citizens, to whom they explained their design, and from whom they received liberal donations. Captain Webb also lent his aid to assist them in their pious undertaking. Thus encouraged by the countenance of some of the citizens of New York, they succeeded in purchasing a lot of ground in John-street, on which they erected a house of worship, 42 feet by 60, calling it, from respect to the venerable founder of Methodism, WESLEY CHAPEL. Such, however, was the municipal regulations of the city and province of New-York, that they were not allowed to devote the house exclusively to divine worship; they therefore devoted a small portion of it for domestic purposes. This was the first meeting house, erected by a Methodist congregation, in America, and this was built in the year 1768.
While this house was building, the society addressed a letter to Mr. Wesley, requesting him to send them a preacher, such as would be likely to command a congregation. Mr. Embury, though a zealous and good man, and much engaged in the cause of Christ, had but moderate abilities as a preacher. He had, besides, to labour with his hands to support himself and family, and therefore could not devote himself exclusively to the work of the ministry. To supply this deficiency the society wisely determined 10 solicit aid from abroad; they therefore wrote a letter, dated New-York, April 11, 1768, to Mr. Wesley, of which the following is an extract :-After mentioning their having purchased a lot of ground, on which they were erecting a house of worship, and describing the state of the society, the writer observes, " There is another point far more material, and in which, I must importune your assistance, not only in my own name, but also in