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BY AN ASSOCIATION OF GEANTILEMEN.
FOR THE YEAR
onisted and published by
For the Christian Spectator.
History of the Connecticut Missionary Society.
Origin, design, and plan, of this Society.—The emergetic and enterprising spirit which sustained the first colomists of this country through all their severe trials, has to this day continued to characterize their descendants. The adventurous sons of New-England have imprinted their foot-steps on almost every corner of the earth, as they went with the design of bearing the flag of commerce, or the holier purpose of unfurling the banner of the cross. Soon after the termination of the Revolutionary War, this spirit led many of the inhabitants of Connecticut to emigrate to the North and West, more particularly into the States of Vermont and New-York. These States were then almost an entire wilderness, and uninhabited by civilized beings. Tracts of country which then contained only a few pious people, are now inhabited by a population of more than two millions. Most of the first emigrants were in low circumstances; but with the hope of improving their condition, they left the homes and institutions of their fathers, and mingled with the yearly increasing tide of emigration which was rolling and emptying its burden into the wilderness. After arriving at their place of destination, it was often a long time before they could erect comfortable dwellings; and they saw no period in prospect, when they could hope for schools, for Sabbaths, and Pastors. Many of
these people were pious; most, if not all, had been religiously educated. They were now far from their friends and from christian society, and were exposed to all the trials and temptations incident to their situation. They hailed not the dawning of the Sabbath as they were wont to do when they enjoyed it with those who kept “holy time.” The stillness of the forest was never broken by the “churchgoing bell.” The pious mother, as she taught her little prattlers the names of God and the Sabbath, had no sanctuary to which she could lead them—no baptismal font, in which she could dedicate them to her Saviour. She could only baptize them with her tears, and kneeling with them, suffer the wild winds to bear her sighs to heaven, that God would send them the bread of life. In this situation, individuals and neighborhoods made applications to their former Pastors, stating their growing necessities, and beseeching them in the most earnest manner, to visit them in their solitary condition, and preach to them the glad tidings of salvation. These entreaties were frequently repeated, were loud and urgent. Scarcely a breeze came from the wilderness without being loaded with them. . What could be done P Could these ministers close their ears and harden their hearts against such appeals : The came from those who were their brothers; —for the pious Pilgrims who founded the American church on the rock at Plymout, were the fathers fall: They were not strangers—they had