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their hearts will be better prepared to receive that love and that peace of God, which is the only sure foundation of the happiness of man. Convinced that nothing here deserves their regard, they will set their affections on things in heaven and not on things on the earth; they will seek consolation for the loss of their terrestial good in the fel. lowship of the blessed Spirit, who alone deserves the name of comforter. But even this is not all. The sufferings of the true Christian in this world have a promise of reward, which will fully compensate their temporary bitterness; it is enough to make him rejoice amidst his severest woes, to think, that his “ light afflictions, which are but for a moment, do yet work for him a far more exceeding and abundant weight of glory." Upon this glory let him steadfastly fix his mind, and his heart will sing to the Lord, though his body waste away with disease, and the dearest objects of his affection be taken from him. And for them indeed, when we consider the numerous ills that continually surround us in this our frail condition of mortality, it will appear a proof rather of self-love than of regard to our departed friends, lo lament their decease. Penetrating with the eye of faith beyond the narrow confines of this lower world, let us conter:plate the happiness of that state, in which they even now enjoy the company of just men made perfect, of souls free from the tyranny of carnal solicitations, at rest from the dangers of that continual temptation to which they are exposed here, and looking with unshaken confidence and inexpressible exultation to that hour when their felicity shall be perfected by the re-union of their bodies: dearly as we loved them, and deeply as we are affected by their loss, we cannot wish that they should relinquish their happiness to partake a second time in those reiterated calamities to which we are continually subject. They are gone << where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest.”. Let us prepare to follow them ; let us endeavour to secure a part in that glorious immortality, which we trust they already enjoy. This life is too short to waste in useless lamentations; and we have upon our hands a work which demands our undivided attention, “to make our calling and election sure, and to work out our salvation with fear and trembling." Amidst our tears let us not forget the important duties with which we stand charged ; let us be steadfast and faithful, and strenuous in our spiritual vocation: then may we hope, at the consummation of all things, to meet our beloved friends in heaven, and to enjoy the uninterrupted happiness of that dear society, which in this world was liable to numberless impediments and obstructions from the most trivial causes.
Orth. Ch. Mag.
A STRIKING DESCRIPTION OF INFIDELITY.
THE luminous scrutinizing genius of Montesquieu, the splendid levity of Voltaire, the impassioned and fascinating eloquence of Rosseau, the precision and depth of D'Alambert, the bold and ac::te investigation of Boulanger, the daring paradoxical spirit of Helvitius, the majestic sublimity of Buffon, the profound astro
nomical researches of Baillé, the captivating elegance of Marmortel, and the impressive condensed thoughts of Diderot, have not " 116gettled the consccrated opinions of ages, nor shaken the venerable Gothic structure from its very foundation.” For on the contrary, this many-twinkling meteor of Infidelity, after blazing its hour, has paled before the milder radiance and commanding lusture of the gospel luminary, the doctrines of which are not extraneous but congenial to human nature.
The new philosophy, it is granted, may adorn the head, but these ennoble the heart. This wisdom may be allowed to bear the impression of human reason, but it will never pass current with weak and wounded humanity. It is formidable in books, but contemptible in life ; in argument strong; in practice weak; a coin which may be kept for show, but not for use : it is a counterfeit, and its detection, by the standard of experience, now enables us to say, with a confidence approaching to mathematical demonstration, and oracular authenticity,
« Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.” Yes, ye atheists, it is true that our minds were confined in a narrow region, while our imaginations were delighted with the smiling heavens above, and the rich diversity beneath. But what have we obtained of you in exchange? To the fruitful, though bounded view of hill and dale, has succeeded the immeasurable desart! Amaze ment was our first sensation at the magnitude of the prospect; but now our eyes are appalled, and our hearts sicken at the sameness of the scene. Here the heavens above are as brass, and the earth as iron beneath our feet. Our ears are torn by the screaming of the bittern, or alarmed by the howling of the beasts of prey. The voice of the turtle is not heard in this land, and the time for singing birds never
Orth. Ch. Mag.
THE Episcopal Church in Norwalk was incorporated A. D. 1737, by the assistance of the Rev. Henry Canner, missionary at Fairfield ; and a small building erected about the same time. By his occasional ministrations, several respectable families were added to the Chureh. His care of the parish continued, till his brother the Rev. Richard Canner, returned from England in orders, and was · settled at Norwalk, as a missionary of The Society for the Propaga. tion of the Gospel in foreign parts. During his ministry the number of Episcopal families increased to one hundred; and it became necessary, in 1743, to build a church of greater dimensions, viz. 55 feet by 12. The old church was removed a few rods, and converted into a parsonage-house. This rapid increase was favoured by the confusion at that time prevalent among the sectaries; a confusion
which arose from the clamorous preaching of the famous Mr. Whit
field, and others who attempted his extraordinary manner. To enquiring minds, there appeared a striking, contrast between the rigid tenets, wild enthusiasm, and disorderly exercises of the NewLights on the one hand, and the scriptural doctrines, the edifying, beautiful, solemn and affecting liturgy of the church on the other : and the indisputed validity of her ministerial authority was made a further consideration of great moment. Of course numbers, finding no stability among the dissenters, betook themselves to the Church, as the pillar and ground of the truth.
Among the names of those who at this time belonged to the Church in Norwalk, we find the following :- John and Samuel Belden, James Brown, Esq. Nathan Burwell, Jonathan Camp, John Cannon, Ebenezer Church, Samuel Cluckston, Samuel Fitch, Thomas Hanford, Joseph Hitchcock, Ralph Isaacs, William and Same uel Jarvis, William Johnson, Joseph Ketchum, Josiah Marvin, Na. than, Edward, and Micajah Nash, Nehemiah Rogers, John Sanders, Peter White, &c. Mr. Canner continued here in the ministry about five years, and was then removed by the Sociсty to Staten Isl. and ; but he soon died of the small pox at New-York.
A vacancy of several years ensued; in which in 1749, the Rev. John Ogilvie officiated a few Sundays; but though greatly admired and applauded by the people as a preacher, he was not stationed here as a missionary,
In 1751, Mr. John Fowle, of Boston, was recommended by the parish to the Society for Orders. After about five years he was for misconduct dismissed from the service of the Society, and went to Boston, where he died.
After a vacancy of two or three years, in which Dr. Dibble of Stamford officiated frequently, and others of the neighbouring clergy occasionally, Doct. Jeremiah Leaming took the charge of the parish. This laborious and able servant of the Church, was born at Middletown, A. D. 1717, and took his first degree at Yale College, in 1745. He conformed to the Church, and read prayers for some time at Norwalk, in the vacancy between Mr. Canner and Mr. Fowlé, After this, he went to Newport, Rhode Island, and engaged to keep the free school in that town, founded by Mr. Keyes. To qualify himself to become the superintendant, according to the conditions of the founder, he went to England for Orders ; where he was ordained priest by Bishop Hoadly, June 29th, 1748. In the autumn of 1758, he removed from Newport to this parish, having been appointed by the Society their missionary at Norwalk and Ridgefield; at the latter of which places, however, he did not officiate steadily. Under his ministration, the congregation greatly increased both in numbers and edification. He was regular in the performance of ministerial duties ; always set forth the Christian religion in its con, nection with the Christian Church ; and well understood the defence of her authority, doctrines and worship, against the attacks of dissenters. Among other publications of merit, bis Dissertations on various subjects, and his Dcience of the Episcopal Governmeniz deserve to be mentioned as particularly serviceable to the Church,
and honourable to his memory. By means of his sermons and conversation, his parishioners were so well instructed in the nature, constitution and doctrines of the Church, that most of them were masters of the arguments in her defence. His pecuniary circumstances enabled him to gratify his liberality of soul, towards the poor of his flock : and it is even thought by some, that he carried his remission of ministerial taxes to a degree of lenity which was pre judicial to the parish after his departure. He considerably enlarg’ed and ameliorated the parsonage house at his own expence. He was greatly loved and esteemed by his people, and universally respected as a man of amiable and polite manners, and thorough knowlege of mankind. Among the names which in the time of his ministry became Episcopal, are these :-Boult, Bouton, Hoyt, Jennings, Keeler, Lambert and Wright.
At the commencement of the war between England and America, he had about 170 communicants; many of whom were afterwards scattered. It is said that in the course of the war, about 30 families of his flock that were loyalists, moved to Nova Scotia and other places. He was himself severely treated for his political principles and attachments; and contracted, during an imprisonment in an inclement season, a rheumatic lameness from which he never recorered. Through fear, he for some time desisted from the public performance of the Common Prayer ; but continued in the parish doing other parochial duties, till his church, with the whole town was burnt by Gen. Tyron, July 11th, 1779. On that disastrous day, he was taken from his house by a party of Hessian soldiers, rifled of hat, coat, buckles, &c. and carried, greatly against his inclination, to the British army, from which, for fear of the inference that might be drawn by the evil-minded from the circumstance, he dared not to return; but prevailed on the general to move his family on board, and then accompanied the British to New-York, leaving his furniture, library, farm, &c. to confiscation.
Thus was he severed from a people whom he tenderly loved, and had served about 20 years, during which time he had presided as Rector in all their parish meetings, kept the church records, and taken charge of the monies collected at the communion, of which he rendered an exact account annually, on Easter Monday. In him the people placed a confidence which he never deceived.
By the burning of tbe church at Norwalk, the removal of so many families, the much lamented loss of their Rector, and the troubles and distresses of those times, the Church had been destroyed but for the aid of Him who hath promised to be with his Church always, even to the end of the world. Soon after the conflagration, the Church people, animated with an inextinguishable zeal, erected a temporary building, in which they assembled for a considerable time, Doct. Dibble officiating frequently. After some time the Presbyterians petitioned the Legislature for assistance to rebuild the meeting-house, and received 5001. which was chiefly if not wholly paid out of the confiscated property of the Episcopalians that had left the town. It is not here my object to censure or approve these measures, but to mention a faci in which the precuniary strength of
the Church was interested. The members of the Church also preferred a petition for assistance, which was denied. Labouring under these disadvantages, and at a time when the country was exhausted by war, the people in 1785 rebuilt the church in an elegant manner, the foundation and dimensions continuing the same as before the fire. In this laudable exertion, they were assisted by a generous donation of the glass, from Messrs. Moses, Nehemiah, and Henry Rogers, of New-York, in testimony of their affection to the parish in which they were educated. So great was their unanimity and zeal, that the work was accomplished without recourse to taxation. John Bowden, D. D. the present Professor of Moral Philosophy and Belles Lettres in Columbia College, New-York, took charge of the parish in Dec. 1784. He continued here in the ministry till the fall of 1789, when he removed to the charge of the Church at St. Croix, West-Indies. He was highly esteemed and beloved by the people, who still mention his farewell sermon with affectionate admiration and regret. It appears on the parish record that he gave ten pounds towards building the steeple, and ten pounds towards a lot bought for the benefit of the Church, by John Cannon, Ebenezer Church, and the wardens Thomas Belden and Gould Hoyt. This lot contains about four acres, and the whole glebe about thirteen.
The Church, by name St. Paul's, was consecrated by the Right Rev. Bishop Seabury, (according to the best information at hand) in June 1787, when several hundred persons were confirmed, it being the first time that any Bishop officiated in the parish.
After the departure of Doct. Bowden, the desk was supplied six months by the Rev. Mr. Foote, who was soon after settled at Rye.
In 1790, the Rev. George Ogilvie, son of the aforementioned John Ogilvie, was settled. He was much admired as a reader and preacher. After continuing here in the ministry about six years, he resigned his charge of the parish, and removed to Rye.
In the spring of 1797 the Rev. William Smith, D. D. removed from Newport, Rhode Island, to Norwalk, where he continued till the fall of 1800. An unhappy disagreement arose betwixt him and the people with regard to the permanency of settlement; a difficulty forever obviated, as we trust, by the method of Induction since prescribed by the General Convention.
The present minister, the Rev. Henry Whitlock, was ordained Deacon in Trinity Church, New-York, by Bp. Provost, Oct. 12th 1800 ; and began to officiate in Norwalk the November following. In May 1801, a vote passed that he should be inducted on his reception of Priest's orders; which were conferred on him by Bp. Jarvis, June 2d, 1802. In 1804, the church was handsomely repainted by an ample subcription of about 500 dollars. In the present year, 1806, the old parsonage house has been taken down, and a new one finished to the second story. In both thesc undertakings, the people in general have exerted themselves laudably, and in a manier becoming the children of Him who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. They were much encouraged and assisted by Mr. Gould Hoyt of New-York, son of the late Mr. Gould Host of this place.