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that were ever on earth; and no change has yet taken place in the nature of men, to assure us that the same calamities will not be repeated.

When the public mind is once strongly set, it generally overleaps the bounds of reason, and extremes follow. Many of the new inventions are, and will be of great advantage to society, while others will fall into disrepute.

Perhaps nothing is carried to a greater extreme than printing. The freedom of the press is the great bulwark of liberty, and the best channel of communication; and, with the freedom of speech, should never be prohibited. It may, however, become licentious—it may grow extravagant. The human mind is limited, and cannot contain but a certain measure; and when it is overcharged, it will nauseate. Without time for cool reflection and digestion, abundance of reading overcharges the mind and obscures the perception. All reading and no self-tuition, does not form the most illustrious character. The knowledge of men, and the experiment of things, are necessary to form a man for usefulness.

Once there was a time, when one leaf of the Bible would sell for a load of hay. At another time, transcriptions of the Bible were so rare, and labor so low, that it cost the wages of thirteen years to purchase a copy! These were hard times indeed. It is now quite the reverse. Bibles are abundant, and almost forced upon people; but it is a serious question whether Biblical knowledge is equal to what it was fifty years ago. The public attention seems to flutter on the profusion of Bibles, Tracts and Magazines, and overlooks those things which are "hidden from the wise and prudent, and revealed unto babes," in the scriptures.

In the compass of last year, it is said that twelve hundred physicians, six hundred lawyers, and five hundred preachers, have been fitted out in the United States. If health, security of property, and Christian piety equally increase, the blessing will be great. But with respect to preachers, I am at a loss to know what fitting out means: for I have never yet found anything enjoined on churches, individuals, rulers or bishops, by Christ or the apostles, to procure preachers, except one; which is, "Pray ye the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into the harvest.

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Religion is become very mechanical, and a supply of preachers is treated as a mathematical question. It is calculated that where the population is condensed, one preacher to a thousand hearers is sufficient; but where the population is thin, more than one to a thousand is needed. Perhaps one preacher for every five hundred would suffice, taking all parts of the country together. By this rule, the twelve millions of inhabitants within the United States, call for twenty-four thousand preachers, for the home department, and as many more for the natives of the woods, Asia and Africa, as can be possibly fitted out.

I have no data to show how many preachers there are, in the several religious denominations within the United States, but judge the number is far less than twenty-four thousand. And as it is presumed, that five hundred annually die, there is a loud call for more preachers, even for the home department. And that many may run to and fro among the heathen, the call becomes irresistible. More means must be devised—more money must be raised—more theological moulds and mills must be established to fit out pious youth for the arduous task of preaching a little—drinking cof fee a good deal, with a certain salary secured to them,

The illustrious captive, Daniel, speaks of a thousand thousand ministers, which is one million; and ten thousand times ten thousand, which is one hundred millions, worshippers: according to which there was one minister for every hundred. But John adds thousands of thousands to the number given by Daniel, and leaves it indefinite: we may, therefore, suggest that the number of ministers did not exceed one for every five hundred worshippers.

To a man, who reads the New Testament, and the history of the church, down to the establishing of a Christian college in Alexandria, and the legal establishment of Christianity in the Roman Empire, how extremely flat and anti-Christian the above calculations will appear.

I close with an anecdote respecting the first settlement of Hartford, in this state. The first settlers of the town lived in a garrison, to secure themselves from the Indians. A young woman went out of the fort and was entrapped by the Indians, who hurried her to their canoe, and were carrying her off. The fort was soon alarmed, and the hunters caught their guns and ran to her rescue, with old Mr. Hooker at their heels. When they came to the river, the Indians steered the canoe in a direction that placed the young woman between the gunners and themselves. The hunters cried out, "Mr. Hooker, what shall we do? In a minute she will be out of our reach." The godly man stretched his hands and heart towards heaven, and answered, "Take good sight, and heaven direct the balls." They did so; and killed both the Indians, and the young woman paddled back to the shore. From this I would say to all of you, and to myself, take good sight, do your duty, and leave events to God.

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AT HOME, Feb. 8, 1828.

MY GOOD SISTER-It has been fourteen years since I saw you, but the distance of space and length of time have in no degree chilled my Christian regard and friendship towards you and others in Virginia.

Was I at your house in Caroline, or you here at my mansion, we should be full of chat, in telling each other what events had passed for the last fourteen years, but that is not the case; to supply the lack of which, I shall with my pen give you a condensed history of myself, and what has passed before me. Excepting a few months cessation from preaching occasioned by a broken leg, I have been unweariedly trying to preach Jesus, but have never yet risen to that state of holy zeal and evangelical knowledge, that I have been longing after; but such as I had I have been giving unto the people. There have been a number of revivals of religion within the cir cle of my ministration, which have both flattered my pride and humbled my soul. The season past has been one of the happy parts of my life. Such brokenness of heart, prayer and singing have been among the people, as I have rarely seen (never exceeded) in my life. The number I have baptized in this rich harvest is one hundred and six, and I yet find no more inconvenience in baptizing than I did when I was but thirty-six years old; nor can I discover any diminution in the congregations that attend my ministry. I have had a number of attacks, like one I had in Goochland, which ended in Louisa at the time when brother Rawlins was baptized; but I have been holden up with a title help, and refreshed in my bondage until now, faint yet pursuing. I have eighty-two descendants living. A few of my grand children have died at their respective homes; but I have never had a death at my house. Of Abraham it is said, "I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him."

I have been trying to get ready to die. I have written a short history of the events of my life, and although it contains the best part of my life, yet when I look over the manuscript, it is but a ragged thing. I have also got the likeness of my person taken, as large as life from the waist up, and others say it is a good portrait; but it looks like a crabbed image full of juices, so that boasting is every way excluded. My pecuniary concerns I have settled, so that my executor may have nothing to do, and likewise made my will, which is but a light affair. So far I am ready to die; but internal readiness is another thing. I have as strong attachments to life as I had in the year 1777, when at your father's house with bro her Young. I cannot select the time when, nor the disease by which I should choose to die.

When I reflect on my past life, a thousand things occur that were criminal or very imprudent. I had no fruit in those things of which I am now ashamed, so that if Christianity was not a religion for sinners, to meet their wants and relieve their woes, I should have no hope.



Were I sure that I had acted only for Christ, my soul would make her boast in God; but there is so much corruption in me, that the most that I can hope is, that there has been some good thing in me, amidst so many bad ones. There is a solemn day approaching, where pleading that we have eaten and drunken in the presence of Christ, prophesied, cast out devils, and done many wonderful works in his name, will not avail, and if we add to these pleas, that we have given our bodies to be burned, and our goods to feed the poor, yet without charity (the unction from the Holy one—the waters that spring up to eternal life) we shall be disesteemed. While writing on this solemn subject, I feel like dropping my pen and cry. ing to God, with all the powers of my soul, that he would make me right, make me faithful unto death, assist me to fight the good fight, finish my course, keep the faith, and receive the crown.

Internal religion is always the same, and always will be, but the external modes of it, change like the fashions of dress. So many religious novelties, have lately sprung up, that I have often exclaimed, "They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him." But this alarm has been quieted by, "What is that to thee? follow thou me." In all the revivals that have been where I have administered, the work has operated as it did in Virginia from the year 1784 until 1789.

From creation to the flood was 1656 years, in which term we may have safely calculated that many millions of people lived; and yet no more than twenty-seven personal names are found in antediluvian history. There are a number of names so incorporated into the history, precepts, and promises of the scriptures, that they must necessarily be perpetuated as long as the Bible exists. But there have been many seven thousands that never bowed to Baal, whose names are buried in oblivion. Much has been done and much is doing by men to immortalize their names; but if my name is written in Heaven, in the Lamb's book of life, not to be blotted out, if I have a room in God's house, among the living in Jerusalem, I shall be made for eternity. It is not likely a century hence there will be many, if any one, who will ever have known or heard any thing of John Leland.

This gives me no uneasiness. But I have a strong solicitude that I may live and die in a manner that will give my friends in general, and those whom I have baptized in particular, no painful sensations, to think that they have placed confidence in an unfaithful man who did not hold out to the end.

I am very much checked in writing, fearing you are dead; but like Co. lumbus in a sea storm, I will throw this overboard, in hopes that if you are dead, some of your friends will find it.

You see how large a letter I have written to you with my own hand, and being such a one as John the aged, I hope you will pardon my egotism (the hobby of old men) and all other defects, and believe it is indicted in the spirit of friendship.





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