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of the leading doctrines of the Gospel. To this Mr. Robinson submitted, not only with meekness, but with affection; and having entirely satisfied his examiners; he went into the house and began to address the people, Mr. Morris himself, in a letter to President Davies, thus describes the scene which ensued.
"On the 6th of July, 1743, Mr. Robinson preached his first sermon to us from Luke xiii. 3, and continued with us preaching four days successively. The congre gation was large the first day, and vastly increased the three following. It is hard for the liveliest imagination to form an image of the condition of the assembly on these glorious days of the Son of man. Such of us as had been hungering for the word before, were lost in an agreeable surprise and astonishment, and some could not refrain from publicly declaring their transport. We were overwhelmed with the thoughts of the unexpected goodness of God in allowing us to hear the Gospel preached in a manner that surpassed our hopes. Many that came through curiosity, were pricked to the heart; and but few in the numerous assemblies on these four days appeared unaffected. They returned alarmed with apprehensions of their dangerous condition, convinced of their former entire ignorance of religion, and anxiously inquiring what they should do to be saved. And there is reason to believe that there was as much good, done by these four sermons, as by all the sermons preached in these parts before or since.'
"These pious people, after formally taken the name to themselves in the presence of the court, steadily called themselves Lutherans. When Mr. Robinson visited
them, they inquired of him to what denomination he belonged. On his informing them that he was a Presbyterian, and laying before them the import and reasons of this denomination, they agreed to adopt it. They accordingly took the earliest opportunity of connecting themselves with the Presbytery of New-Castle, which was the nearest body of that kind to the place of their residence; and ever afterwards they called themselves Presbyterians.
"What took place subsequently to the short visit of Mr. Robinson at Hanover, will appear from the following continued account by Mr. Morris, in the same letter from which the former quotation was made. 'Before Mr. Robinson left us he successfully endeavoured to correct some of our mistakes, and to bring us to carry on the worship of God more regularly at our meetings.After this we met to read good sermons, and began and concluded with prayer and singing of psalms, which till then we had omitted. The blessing of God remarkably attended these more private means, and it was really astonishing to observe the solemn impressions begun, or continued in many, by hearing good discourses read. I had repeated invitations to come to many places round, some of them thirty or forty miles distant, to read. Considerable numbers attended with eager attention and awful solemnity, and several were, in a judgment of charity, turned to God, and thereupon erected meeting-houses, and chose readers among themselves, by which the work was more extensively carried on.Soon after Mr. Robinson left us, the Rev. Mr. John Blair paid as a visit; and truly he came to us in the fulness of
the Gospel of Christ. Former impressions were ripened, and new ones made on many hearts. One night in particular a whole house-full of people was quite overcome with the power of the word, particularly of one pungent sentence, and they could hardly sit or stand, or keep their passions under any proper restraint. So general was the concern, during his stay with us, and so ignorant were we of the danger of apostacy, that we pleased ourselves with the thoughts of more being brought to Christ at that time, than now appear to have been, though there is still the greatest reason to hope that several bound themselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant, never to be forgotten. Some time after this, the Rev. Mr. Roan was sent to us, by the Presbytery of New-Castle. He continued with us longer than any of the former, and the happy effects of his ministrations are still apparent. He was instrumental in beginning and promoting a religious concern in several places where there was little appearance of it before. This, together with his speaking pretty freely about the degeneracy of the clergy in this colony, gave a general alarm, and some measures were concerted to suppress us. To incense the indignation of the government the more, à perfidious wretch deponed he heard Mr. Roan utter blasphemous expressions in his sermon. An indictment was thereupon drawn up against Mr. Roan, (though by that time he had departed the colony,) and some who had invited him to preach at their houses were cited to appear before the general court, and two of them were fined. While my cause was upon trial, I had reason to rejoice that the throne of grace is
accessible in all places, and that helpless creatur send up their desires unseen, in the midst of a crowd.Six witnesses were cited to prove the indictment against Mr. Roan, but their depositions were in his favour; and the witness who accused him of blasphemy, when he heard of the arrival of Messrs. Tennent and Finley, he fled, and has not returned since; so that the indictment was dropped. But I had reason to fear being banished the colony, and all circumstances seemed to threaten the extirpation of religion among the dissenters in these parts. In these difficulties, having no person of a public character to appear in our favour, we were determined to acquaint the synod of New-York with our case. Accordingly, four of us went to the synod, May, 1745, when the Lord favoured us with success. The synod drew up an address to our governor, the honourable Sir William Gooch, and sent it with Messrs. Tennent and Finley, who were received by the governor with respect, and had liberty granted to preach amongst us. By this means the dreadful cloud was scattered for a while, and our languid hopes revived. They continued with us about a week, and though the deluge of passion in which we were at first overwhelmed, was by this time somewhat abated, yet much good was done by their ministry. The people of God were refreshed and several careless sinners were awakened. Some that had trusted before in their moral conduct, and religious duties, were convinced of the depravity of their nature, and the necessity of regeneration; though indeed there were but few unregenerate persons among us at that time, that could claim so regular a charac
ter; the most part indulging themselves in criminal liberties, and being remiss in the duties of religion, which, alas! is too commonly the case still, in such parts of the colony as the late revival did not extend to. After they eft us, we continued vacant for a considerable time, and kept up our meetings for reading and prayer, in several places, and the Lord favoured us with his presence. I was again repeatedly presented and fined in court, for absenting myself from church, and keeping up unlaw ful meetings, as they were called; 'but the bush flourished in the flames.' The next that were appointed to supply us, were the Rev. Messrs. William Tennent and Samuel Blair. They administered the Lord's supper. among us; and we have reason ever to remember it as a most glorious day of the Son of man. The assembly was large, and the novelty of the manner of the administration did peculiarly engage their attention. It appeared as one of the days of heaven to some of us and we could hardly help wishing we could, with Joshua,. have delayed the revolutions of the heavens to prolong it. After Messrs. Tennent and Blair were gone, Mr. Whitefield came and preached four or five days, which was the happy means of giving us further encouragement, and engaging others to the Lord, especially among the church- -people, who received the Gospel more readily from him than from ministers of the Presbyterian denomination. After his departure, we were destitute of a minisser, and followed our usual method of reading and prayer at our meetings, till the Rev. Mr. Davies, our present pastor, was sent us by the Presbytery, to supply us a few weeks in the spring, 1747, when our