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by civil Law for the support of the ministers of the gospel, is contrary to the temporal economy of our church, and inconsistent with apostolic example; that it goes to impede the progress of experimental religion, and destroy the itinerant plan: and the Superintendents, with all the Annual Conferences, are hereby desired 10 take such measures as in their judgment will most eff ctually cure such an evil."
From the preceding resolutions it clearly appears that whatever innovations may have been practised by individuals, the General Conterence, where our ecclesiastical regulations originate, is fully determined to preserve our houses of worship as free as the Gospel we preach in them, and that the poor shall never be deprived, among the Methodist, of hearing the word of life, because they are unable to purchase or hire a seat in a pew.
Religious and Missionary Intelligence.
EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM REV. J. CUNNYNGHAM, DATED RUS
SELL COUNTY, VIRGINIA, NOV. 23, 1819. I rejoice to inform you that our prospects are much more pleasing than they have been for years past, around this district, (Holston.) I will give you an anecdote of a deist at one of our Camp-meetings, held last August in Washington county, Va. : The encampment was probably about half a mile from his house. To accommodate his wife, and rich relatives, the latter of whom were encamped on the ground, he would come to meeting in the daytime, but would neither come himself, nor suffer his wife to come at night. On the Sabbath, at the close of the afternoon services, I desired all pious persons, and all mourners to retire in secret to pray: his wife was among the mourners ; and it pleased the Lord to set her soul at liberty before she returned to the meeting ground. I believe I never saw a more happy person in my life, than she appeared to be. He came to her, and observed, “ Madam, I hope you will never act in such a manner hereafter as to make people believe you are not now in earnest.” “Why Mr. _» replied she, “it is no matter; you believe there is no reality in it any how.” “Well, you do," said he, “and that will do as well." He is now one of the most zealous members of our Society in the Holston Dis. trict. He laid his new fiddle on the fire and burned it, and dis. missed all his deistical books, and his house is now a house of prayer.
EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM DANIEL DE VINNE, TO REV. T. MASON,
CORRESPONDING SECRETARY OF THE MISSIONARY AND BIBLE
SOCIETY OF THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
Parish St. Martins, Louisiana, Dec. 24, 1819. DEAR BROTHER,
Meeting with the Constitution of a Missionary Society in the city of New York, whose sphere of action embraces "the French of Louisiana," I was induced to address you, that I might receive from the Association any advice, or helps, which they might be disposed to give. Riding in the southern part of this state, mostly among the French population, I have frequent opportunities of distributing bibles, testaments and tracts among them in their own language: the two former I can obtain in sufficient quantities from the Auxiliary Bible Society of this state ; but tracts of the right size, and suitable kinds, are extremely
If our Tract Society in your city were to turn some of their prints into French, and send them to this country, perhaps they could not serve the cause of Religion in a better way. There are some good tracts here ; but they are either too large, or on subjects illy suited to the present state of the inhabitants. Something that would convince of sin-expose their vices alarm the conscience, or point out the errors of popery, or insufficiency of natural religion, would, I believe, be read with eagerness and profit. And trarts, in many instances, would to me, be an easy introduction to families, where I might have an opportunity of more largely explining our doctrine, and enforcing the necessity of a change of heart, and holiness of life.
Being so remotely separated from my brethren at the north, and hearing but little Religious intelligence, I have long wished to see the Numbers of our Magazine. If you would send them monthly, by mail, to Attakapas, par. de St. Martins, Louisiana, you would do me an unspeakable service.
Dear Brother, PRAY FOR US. We are, at this remote outpost, endeavouring to testify of the grace of God to men.-Few believe our report; but, bless God, there are some who mourn for the iniquity of the people.
Hoping for the same common home and inheritance in Heava en, Dear Brother, I remain your's in Christian fellowship.
DANIEL DE VINNE.
The following is the Report of a Committee appointed by the
City, for the distribution of Tracts.
Orphan Assylum, and Alms-House, report that they have distri. buted tracts since their last report as follows : Garrison on Gov. ernor's Island, Capt. Read, 850: Government vessel, 150: do. 100: Navy-Yard, Commodore Evans, 220: Marine Hospital, Dr. Marshall, 80: Ship Washington, Lieut. Gregory, 120 : Ship Cyane, ready for sea, 400 men, Capt. Trenchard, 350 : Personally distributed through the city, public houses, public offices, boarding houses, groceries, barber's shops, and in the streets and markets, 500: Debtor's jail, 170: Bridewell, 150; State-Prison, 230: Hospital, 180 : Orphan Assylum, 165 : AlmsHouse, 300—Total 3125.
The reception of your committee, at all the above places, has rendered their duty a delight. To the Officers of the garrisons, of the ships, and of the navy-yard, who have aided the exertions of your Committee, we feel extremely grateful : their manifest regard to the moral and religious discipline of their soldiers and sailors, elevates the character of our Commanders, and encour. ages an assurance in the enterprize, to which, on future occa. sions, it must inevitably lead. It is worthy of remark that we neither heard an oath, or witnessed a case of intoxication, exeept on board one ship. At the debtor's jail we found thera at cards at noon-day ; but they accepted the tracts. At Bridewell, not being permitted to present them personally, they were thankfully received by the keeper, who promised faithfully, to distribute them.
The New York Hospital, opens an extensive field for usefulness. Though health is one of the greatest of temporal blessings, yet the want of it is not without its use; it induces us to resign our worldly hopes; and serves to detach us from a place, where we are to havé so short and uncertain a residence. To the inmates of this charitable institution, your tracts were welcome.
As all printed or written communications, are subjected to the inspection of the keeper of the State prison, we left our tracts with him, with assurances that they should be read and distributed. We also presented a parcel to each of the Turnkeys, and requested Brother Covel, who was to preach in the prison the ensuing Sabbath, to give them an introduction from the pulpit there. Institutions consecrated to charity, command the admiration of mankind. The Orphan Assylum at Greenwich, under the direction of Mr. & Mrs. Mc Farlan, cherishing within its walls, one hundred and thirty fatherless and mother. less children, fed, clothed, educated, and apparently happy, presents an assemblage interesting to the eye and moving to the heart of humanity: they are taught the fear of God-lo repeat portions of scripture, sacred music, reading, writing, and cyphering.--This institution was long the object of the pious exertions of Mrs. Graham, and her surviving colleague, Mrs. Hoffman.
Of all institutions in America, the Alms-House deserves no. tice: it affords an extensive field for the distribution of tracts ; it contains within its walls 2000 paupers and 300 convicts, besides a male and female school, and various manufactories. To the courtesy of the Superintendents, Mr. Furman and Mr. Hoogland, we feel extremely grateful in granting us full ingress and egress to the institution, in which your committee have spent twelve half days, during which we adopted the usual plan of visiting each apartment, of which there are about eighty; presenting its inmates with an assorted parcel of Tracts, accompanied with an address, assuring them of the necessity of religion, the awfulness of death, and a day of judge ment. We also met with a few professors, and a Methodist class of eighteen, some bibles, and tracts left by the Friends. The female school attached to this institution consists of 120 little girls, under the instruction of Mrs. Fairburn; they are taught reading, writing, and arthmetic, among which are 16 testament readers, and 48 spellers. The male school under two superintendents, consisting of 200 scholars, who are taught reading, writing and arithmetic.
Your Committee cannot close this report, without recording & tribute of praise to God; not only in directing, and opening their way, in the distribution of these little messengers, but also for the preaching of the gospel at Governor's Island, and an invitation at Bedlow's Island. At all the above places, your Committee were invariably solicited to renew their visits. A few instances among many which shew the utility of tracts, and which fell under the immediate observation of one of your Committee, may be inserted here. A pious young woman, at service, became, unsolicited, a subscriber to this institution : delighting in an opportunity to do good, she immediately carried Tract No. 29 to one of her acquaintance, which produced keen. conviction, and, it is hoped will end in a thorough conversion. May the example of this young woman, who was enabled; by appropriating only ei ht pence a month from her annual wages, to become a subscriber, inspire others to go and do likewise.
Brother De Forrint presented No. 28 to a dancer, after a night passed in revelling, in which he had spent six dollars : he was much afficted on reading it, and declared he would never go to another ball. Tie then presented him with No.9, and he declared he would never swear again. Some time aft r one of his companions invited him to attend a ball, which he declined, presenting him the two tracts to read and reflect.
Tract No. 9 wis presented to an apprentice boy, which effected his reformation is it respects swearing.
Note the facility with which sin may be reproved, through the mucdium of tracts. A person standing on one end of the
Battery, heard horrid imprecations from the other end, proceeding from a number of sailors; he dispatched a little boy with No. 9, which was received and read by one of them to the others. Your Committee have reason, in the emphatical language and fervent spirit of Paul, to go on thanking God, and taking courage.
COPY OF A LETTER TO REV. JAMES QUINN.
Cincinnatti, Dec. 9, 1819. DEAR BROTHER,
Turdugh divine mercy I have just reached home, after an absence of about seven weeks, during which time I have bud good meetings in general; but none so good as at CharlesTown, on the Great Kenhawa. There has been about seve enty added to our Church in this new circuit since Conference. This includes a part of Mason and Kenhawa counties, Virginia, and is called Big Kenhawa circuit.--Brother Francis Wilson, who travels on this circuit, states as follows :" About the 10th of October, I commenced preaching in Charles-Town, and five joined society. Tuesday following seven: and near this, on a funeral occasion, twenty joined. On a creek, seventeen miles from this, twelve have been added, and in the Salt Works twelve. Since the above, in CharlesTown and its vicinity fifteen have been added, and in various parts of the circuit there has been considerable increase.” At the first quarterly meeting fifteen adults and infants were baptized.
Our second quarterly meeting commenced in Charles-Town, on the 20th November.
On Saturday afternoon and night about two hundred and fiity attended. On Sunday morning we had a very profitable love-feast : at eleven o'clock about five hundred people attended preaching and sacrament with great solemnity, and tears of joy and sorrow were mingled with shouts of praise : five joined society. Monday night I preached in the Salt-Works, to a crouded audience of attentive hearers. Tuesday night I returned to Charles-Town, and preached at Mr. Watson's, to a large assembly, I mean for the mountiins of Virginia. It is remarkable that I baptized sixty-one adults and infants during this quarterly meeting.
A sister Hendricks, who is the mother of seventeen children, fisteen of whom are living, walked seventeen miles to this meeting, and being filled with joy in believing, she leaped and praised God with the vigour of youth. Brother Wilson informs me, that a little boy about ten years old experienced religion, and went