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cuses to which awakened sinners dignified, and his voice was at times are accustomed to resort, and the very melodious. The joy with which manner, guilt and danger of slight- his heart seemed to be filled, by a ing, resisting, and opposing the op- contemplation of the love of Jesus, erations of the Holy Spirit. His ad- in giving his life a ransom for sindresses were not formal discussions, ners, marked his preaching, and imfirst of one and then of another of parted an unction and uncommon these subjects, but a free declaration energy to his eloquence. When he of the truth of God concerning them spake of the glories of heaven, it all, just as they lie in the course of was almost as if he had been there spiritual experience, and would best himself. When he made his appeals subserve the particular end which to the sinner, he made them with a he was laboring at the time to gain. directness which placed before him, They were too plain to be misun. as in a mirror, his utterly lost state. derstood, too fervent to be unheeded, It seemed at times as if he was and too searching and convincing about to uncover the bottomless pit, to be treated with indifference. On and to invite the ungodly to come the first Sabbath in June, a hun- and listen to the groans of the dred and fifteen were added to the damned; and then, drinking deeply church, and at subsequent periods, of the spirit of his Master, when he a hundred and twenty besides. Of wept over Jerusalem, to urge them these a few have since been rejected, to flee from the wrath to come, with and others have declined from their an expression of countenance which first love. But I have not perceived it is not in my power to describe.. that a greater proportion of hopeful Many who came with a skeptical conversions in this revival, than in and caviling spirit to hear him, had others previous or subsequent to it, their attention arrested at once to have proved unsound. Many have the great truths communicated by died, and many have removed from him, and, at the close of the meetour immediate connection, but those ing, were anxiously inquiring what who remain, now constitute the chief they should do to be saved. The strength of the church.” pp. 143, 4. success attending his preaching,
The following statement is from seemed, in short, to be a plain and the Rev. Dr. Shepard of Lenox. clear illustration of all the distin"His labors consisted principally in guishing doctrines of the gospel, by preaching the word. He sometimes a humble, devout, praying, unpreappointed what was called an inquiry tending man, constrained to his duty meeting. At such meetings, he ma. by the love of Christ. nifested an almost instinctive dis- “ The influence of the revival upcemment of character; and his re- on the interests of the church in this marks, in accordance with it, were and other places, was very happy, sometimes attended with a powerful and is plainly to be seen, especially effect. In his preaching, his humil- in regard to the faith once delivered ity was apparent to all. He was, I to the saints, up to this time. The believe, eminently a man of prayer. tendency of Dr. N.'s preaching, and That he entered the pulpit or the indeed of all his labors, here and inquiry meeting directly from the elsewhere, as far as I have learned * mount of communion' with his Ma- in regard to them, has been to es. ker, no one would readily doubt, tablish the churches in the faith and who was witness of the holy calm, order of the gospel, and to strengththe indescribable, the almost unearth- en the hands of every clergyman ly solemnity and earnestness of man- with whom he labored. I never ber. His countenance was pecu- heard that any minister, among larly expressive, his demeanor was whose people Dr. N. labored, ever expressed any regret that he had tween the two is often made as clear been with them. On the contrary, and broad, as was the contrast in when I at any time meet with a min- early time between the true miraister, who formerly had assistance cles by the hand of Moses, and the from Dr. N., especially in a season juggleries of the magicians; and of revival, he never fails to express one valuable service to the church great respect for him, and unfeigned of Christ, which Mr. Nettleton, after gratitude, for the benefit derived to the failure of his health, was for him and his people from his labors.” . many years enabled to render, may pp. 154–156.
have been the use of his rare skill For a more full and formal delin- and large experience in separating eation of Dr. Nettleton's character the precious from the vile in revivals. and manner of labor in revivals of While we most fully believe the religion, we refer our readers to the inspired declaration, “ Not by might, able statement of his biographer, nor by power, but by my Spirit, and of President Humphrey, at the saith the Lord of hosts,” we at the close of the Memoir.
same time acknowledge the action Such was the ten years' work of of a great mind in Mr. Nettleton. Dr. Nettleton-the great work of his His new and successful course,which life, to which the Memoir, as well as for the time filled with amazement, our review, has given a marked pro- and struck with a sort of religious minence. Nor was it strange, if awe the highest order of human inthis greatest promoter of pure and tellect, was emphatically his own. powerful revivals, in his time, should God plainly raised him up to go behave imitators, and if some of these, fore the ministers and churches of with less of the spirit of Christ, less his native state, and of other states, of sound doctrine, less discernment in the promotion of genuine reviof character, less practical wisdom, vals. While pastors of the first less, in fact, of every qualification, rank were accustomed to sit as learn. should soon begin to exhibit spurious ers before him, and to notice carereligious excitements, and, to some fully his wisdom in winning souls to extent, should even bring into dis. Christ, with a view to shape their credit the very name of revival. own course the better, the humble But this sorrowful fact ought not to originator of this extensively approrender doubtful the purity of those ved method called no man master. revivals which were connected with In recollection of these well known Mr. Nettleton's high mission, of facts, we were pleased to find, on which purity the volume before us page 393, this opinion of President furnishes more than sufficient evi. Humphrey: “In my estimation, Dr. dence of the best kind-intelligent Nettleton was a great man-not witnesses at the time, and careful great merely as he was good, but observers in subsequent years of the great in the common meaning of the happy and durable fruit. As the term.” appearance of counterfeit coin may How far his superior ability, as well make a community more cau- developed in the main work of his tious to distinguish the spurious from life, might have been owing to the the genuine, so false revivals should solemn consecration of his “ whole carefully be distinguished from the spirit, and soul, and body," to this true. In both cases, however, the one business ; how far his greatexistence of a spurious article, so ness, as the admitted master-spirit far from discrediting the genuine, is among human agents through a wide good evidence of its reality and its circle, as to the best mode of ad. sterling worth. By the aid of a good dressing sleepy Christians and dead “ detector," the real difference be- sinners, was the result of this concentration of his entire being on this 6. From this sickness he never enone subject, day and night, it is not tirely recovered. He was never afeasy to say. If, in the original struc- ter able to engage in arduous labor.” ture of his mind, in his very deep Yet his Lord and Master did not, at and thorough convictions of sin, in once, take him to himself. While his favorite studies, his marked re- other bright suns, as Brainerd, Mills, ligious character, and his strong de- Martyn and Cornelius, have often sire for the salvation of souls, been removed from human view to amounting to a holy passion, we see a higher sphere, at their mid-day of God making him great for the work earthly usefulness or before, our of his high mission in particular, the merciful Father spared Dr. Nettlefact need not excite our wonder. ton for many years, and allowed For, under a wise Providence, no his friends still to enjoy the sight of man is great at all points, and for him, as a luminary in a partial all purposes.
eclipse, or obscured somewhat be. While the subject of this Memoir hind a cloud of various density, was yet in his prime, his work of down to the natural evening of hupromoting revivals was suddenly man life. During this period of dibrought in a measure to a close. minished activity, the Memoir preThe manner we find stated in pp. sents him-as the compiler of the 165, 6. “For ten or eleven years, Village Hymns, a work of extensive Mr. Nettleton had been laboring al- circulation and usefulness, especialmost constantly in revivals of reli- ly in revivals and in social meetgion. During this time, he preach-ings, -as a defender of gospel truth ed, generally, three sermons on the and of
revivals of religion,-as Sabbath, and several during the attended still by the powerful influenweek, besides spending much time ces of the same divine spirit, while in visiting from house to house, and using his feeble strength, in Bethconversing with individuals on the lem and Enfield, Conn.; in Brookconcerns of their souls. How he lyn and Jamaica, on Long Island ; could endure such accumulated la. in Taunton and Monson, Mass. ; in bors, was a mystery to many.” Albany, Durham and Lexington “ It appears, from a memorandum Heights, N. Y.; in Newark, N. J.; among his papers, that on Oct. 5th, in Virginia and North Carolina. 1822, he visited a sick person in In the following extracts from one South Wilbraham, before breakfast, or two of his letters, in 1826, to the and took the typhus sever. He was pastor of the church in Taunton, we sick at Bolton, at the house of his see his master-passion still strongfriend Mr. Parmele. He was brought too strong for his enfeebled frame. so low, that his life was despaired of, The first is dated at Jamaica, L. I. both by himself and by his friends. My head, heart and hands are so His mind was composed and peace-full, and health so feeble, that I have ful. As he afterwards remarked, dispensed with every business, exthe scenes of the revivals, in which cept what was absolutely indispenhe had been engaged, and the coun- sable. Since you left us, we have tenances of the young converts, been much employed in listening to were constantly before him; and the relation of Christian experience the hymns and tunes in which he by the young converts, preparatory had been greatly interested, were to a public profession of religion. running in his mind, particularly for a few weeks past, we have atthese words :
tended to little else. Had you been •Soon shall I pass the gloomy vale, present, you would have been inter. Svon all my inortal powers must fail, O may my last expiring breath
ested, if not delighted. On the 2d His loving kindness sing in death.' of July, we held our communion,
and seventy two were added by pro. circle which used to meet to consult fession and three by letter. The on the great concerns of the soul. assembly was full and very solemn. Often have I fancied myself seated Eighteen were baptized. Since in the midst of the same circlethat day, the revival has received a some weeping-and some rejoicing new impulse. Many were awaken. in hope. Their countenances are ed, who have since come out joyful. all familiar to my mind. With what It has often been observed, that it feelings of affection and solemnity, seemed like the judgment day. We have I bowed together with you, my have had but few meetings of inqui- friends, around the throne of grace. ry, since you left us. At our last, While thus employed, often have I including young converts, there were thought, shall we ever meet in heav. about one hundred and forty. The en, around the throne of God and work was never more interesting the Lamb? Shall we be compan. than at this moment. A number of ions forever, in that world of un. strangers from other towns have vis- clouded glory? The thoughts of ited us, and have gone home rejoic. such a meeting seem almost too ing in hope, and others are in deep much for such sinners as ourselves. distress. If I continue longer in this But I know it is possible; and the place I think of appropriating one vilest of sinners are invited. Some evening in the week to visiting a of the chief of sinners will repent, circle of strangers. You would be and be pardoned and saved ; and delighted with our assembly. We why not such sinners as ourselves? have long since been crowded out "I can not forget those anxious of our session house. Our meetings souls, who are still out of Christ.
now generally held in the With joy have I heard the tidings of church. Many professors, as well many, whom I left anxious for their as young converts say, “We never souls. But I have the names of a knew what there was in religion be- number before me, of whom no such fore.' The next extract is dated good tidings have been told. Where at New York. “Not a day, or a
are they? Have they gone back to night has passed, since I parted with the world ? My dear friends, if you you, when those interesting scenes have not already given your hearts in which we mutually shared, of sor- to Christ, once more, from this far rows and joys that are past, have distant region, would I lift up my not been fresh in my mind. Broth- voice, and warn you by the worth er, these are scenes never to be for- of your souls to flee from the wrath gotten. I was pleased with the sol. to come. I entreat you not to rest, emn stillness, the readiness to act, till you find rest in Christ. I have the apparent interest, and the deci- not forgotten you. I shall still resion of the members of your church. member you at the throne of grace, Were I present I would affectionate- till the joyful tidings of your repently say to them—be humble-be ance have reached my ears; or the thankful for what God has already sorrowful tidings that you have dropdone-keep the unity of the Spirit ped the subject of religion, and gone in the bond of peace'-pray much back to the world.” pp. 17881. and fervently for the continued out- Our readers are referred to the pouring of the Spirit—do not feel Memoir for notices of his visit to satisfied with what has already been England, Scotland and Ireland in done. Brethren, pray for us for 1831–2; of his interest in the Theyour pastor, that the word of God ological Institute at East Windsormay continue to have free course of his doctrinal views of his last and be glorified.
painful sickness, and his peaceful "I can not forget that interesting death.
In conclusion, we venture to ex. culation be suitably accompanied press the gratitude of the Christian by the prayers of the church, God public for this memoir, for its prompt may yet render it a far richer blessappearance, and for the gratification ing to the world, than even the man it promises to afford the friends of whom it presents before us—who, the deceased. We think it a very“ being dead, yet speaketh” most timely book in this season of wide, solemnly and persuasively to the chil. deep, sorrowful declension in Con- dren of men on the great salvation. necticut, in New England, and throughout our whole land. We We have been favored by a reare not without hope, that the Head spected correspondent, with the foreof the church may employ it, as he going summary of the contents of formerly did the man whom it so this memoiran outline of the life well describes, as an honored means and labors of Dr. Nettleton, and a of greatly advancing his cause. We general estimate of his talents, char. rejoice in the prospective happiness acter and usefulness. We may perof many thousands yet alive, who haps publish in some future num. date their conversion to Christ and ber, what may be considered a more their hope of heaven from the re- thorough, philosophical, and minute vivals in connection with Dr. Net- analysis of the man-exhibiting the tleton's labors.
Whether they re: true extent of his claims as a scholar gard the Memoir as a sort of friendly and thinker, and the sources of his farewell from their spiritual father, power as a teacher of the gospel. as if, unable to call at their dwell. At present, we only add our own ings on the eve of his departure judgment respecting the manner in from his work to his reward, he left which Dr. Tyler has discharged the them this remembrancer with his office of biographer. parting blessing; or whether they Dr. T. had evidently a responsiconsider it an early visit from his ble task to fulfill-yet not a task new and happy home, we trust it attended with any great difficulty to will be alike timely to bring fresh him, except in one point of view. to their remembrance the revival He had from the commencement of scenes in which they enjoyed his Dr. Nettleton's career to the close presence, and to waken in their of his life, an acquaintance with hearts strong desires and prayers him; and during a great part of the to God for the return of his Spirit, time, they were in habits of daily and of those days of heaven on and confidential intercourse. No earth. We felicitate the many aged one ever had a better opportunity of ministers of Christ, who rejoiced, knowing another's character, opinand wept, and preached, and pray- ions, and manner of life, than he ed, in the revivals of those memo- enjoyed in respect to Dr. Nettleton. rable ten years, in which this ser. The friendship which subsisted bevant of Christ labored more abun- tween the parties from the first, and dantly than they all. We invite, which was cemented by the identity the attention of our younger breth of their views in a subsequent theoren to a rare example of humble logical controversy, and their muactivity, practical wisdom, and sig. tual devotedness to the theological nal success in preaching the blessed institution under the biographer's gospel.
care, were guarantees to Dr. NetWe understand that the urgent tleton and his friends, that no injuscall for the work has recently ex. tice would be done to him in the hausted the present edition, and that Memoir, and that if any false ima second is soon to be issued from pression should be conveyed to the stereotype plates. If its wide cir. public, it would be by a careful