페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

taken. My trouble is great. But no one knows what he can pass through, before he has the trial. O Lord, bas my days, so may my strength be. Thus have I been disappointed, three times, in my hopes to obtain examination. They have been three tedious seasons. I need the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon, and the benevolence of Paul; but I have neither. O Lord, give me patience, wisdom and love; and may this be to me a profitable school.

“Feb. 5, Goshen. I set apart this day for fasting and prayer-will the Lord be with me. O Lord, if it be thy will, may I return to my studies again, and wilt thou lift upon me the light of thy countenance which is better than life.

6 Some freedom in prayer. I find so little life, I am at times almost discouraged. I find it more than I once supposed, to have good evidence of personal piety. Spent the latter part of the afternoon, with some Christian friends. In the evening, attended a conference. Am too ready to complain of my troubles—made this resolution :

“Resolved, in all my troubles, to be careful how I complain or speak of them; and to say and do that which may be most for the glory of God, who is as worthy of praise in my adversity as in my prosperity.

“ The people of Goshen had no minister, and expected I should preach for them, if licensed. Some were therefore disappointed, and offended with the Association. They would have had me go on and preach for them. But I thought not best-I thought that if the Lord designed me for the ministry, he

would in his own time and way open the door into

[ocr errors]

Mr. Hallock now spent about seven weeks in Goshen, reading works on theology, making religious visits, instructing a few youth, and attending frequent meetings. His practice, at this time, was to spend every Thursday in private fasting and prayer. In the course of this period, he had the happiness to witness the conviction and apparent conversion of four beloved sisters, beside the improved state of a fifth sister, whose hope of salvation through Christ was of earlier date. Some of his neighbors, also, were at this time aroused from the deep sleep of sin, and many backslidden Christians reclaimed. On the twenty-third of March, he left his father's house to visit his new circle of friends in Connecticut. From this journey he returned to Stockbridge, just in season to attend the stated meeting, in April, of the Berkshire Association.

“ April 4. Trust I have enjoyed God, in some measure, to-day. O may I wear out in his service. O may I learn to spend my time in religion, as prudently, as the avaricious husbandman does his to obtain the world.

“ April 5. Set apart this day for fasting and prayer. I have been greatly perplexed for fear of a storm, to-morrow, so that the Association cannot meet. I have been wicked in having so much concern. Find it hard work to keep under the corruptions of my heart. For my sins in murmuring, today, I deserve hell forever. The prospect of a

storm increases. O may I submit all to a sovereign God.

“ April 6. After a melancholy evening, I went to bed. In the night I awoke, and heard the rain rattle upon the roof of the house. It greatly affected me, and I thought I must return liome again disappointed. I tried to compose myself, but could not, until I thought of the words, Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.' I prayed the Lord to conquer my heart for himself. This morning, the dark clouds began to grow thin, and about eight o'clock the welcome sun appeared. Was scarce ever more glad to see it. Rode to Alford, and there met the Association. In the evening, they began to examine me with great tenderness and love. I was enabled to answer most of the questions, and read to them a sermon on Ephesians iv. 30. Afterwards, they gave me the following writing:

666 At an Association of Ministers in the county of Berkshire, convened at Alford, on Tuesday, sixth of April, 1784 :

6. Mr. Jeremiah Hallock offered himself for an examination, in order to obtain our approbation of his officiating as a candidate for the Gospel ministry. We proceeded to a strict and careful examination of the candidate, in the course of which he gave such proof of his proficiency in theological studies, of his acquaintance with the holy Scriptures, his soundness in the faith, and his experience of the power of religion on his own heart, that we are all persuaded, that he is called of God to preach the Gospel of Christ; and, accordingly, we do hereby re

commend him, as a regular candidate for the great work of the Gospel ministry, as one who we hope and trust will be eminently useful therein.

“STEPHEN West, Moderator. "6 Attest, DANIEL Collins, Scribe.”

Up to this date, the compiler has had the assistance of Mr. Hallock himself, in making selections from the original journal, and incorporating them in the narrative of his early life, which he commenced in 1815 and closed in 1821. Here, that narrative ends, and of course we lose the benefit of Mr. Hallock's wisdom in any farther extracts from his private writings, and of his memory to connect or illustrate them by unrecorded facts.

CHAPTER VI.

First effort in the pulpit.-Preparation and delivery of his sermons.

Their character. --His manner in preaching.---Entire devotion to his new and delightful work.-His pleasant grove.--Unexpected trials. -Supplies the pulpit in West-Simsbury, afterwards Canton.-Feelings, labors, private devotions.—General practice at funerals and social meetings. Some seals to his ministry.-Receives a request to continue at West-Simsbury.

MR. Hallock's first performance, as a preacher of the Gospel, with some of his feelings in connexion, he himself describes in the following terms :

“ April 7. Rode home with Mr. Parmele to Lee, in order to preach for him, next Sabbath. How I shall do, I know not.

“ April 10. As usual in prayer, morning, noon, and night-some troubled about to-morrow—at times, thought I could in some measure trust in God -visited a person on the brink of the eternal world

labored hard to get my sermons by heart.

“ April 11, 1784. Sabbath morning. Now the day is come, when I must appear in public. I have various changes in my mind.— Spent the morning in study and prayer, to as great severity as my nature would endure. Was a little embarrassed when I rose to begin service, but was marvellously delivered from the fear of man. I tried to preach from Joshua vii. 9. Did not look at my text or sermon. I was awkward and raw, yet for some reason had the attention. O may I learn humility. Spent most of the intermission in study and prayer. Had more freedom in prayer and preach

« 이전계속 »