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Samuel Messenger the hand of fellowship; Eld. Daniel Irons made the concluding prayer. The exercises appeared to be attended with the smiles of Heaven.
From thence I pursued my journey and preached in Gorham, Palmyra, Bloomfield, and Livonia. In Avon I called on Eld. Wm. Furman, that aged father in the gospel, and the season was agreeable to me. He still appears to be engaged in the service of his Divine Master, and though he has been called to pass through a scene of trials, yet he appears to be wor. shiping, leaning on the top of his staff
. I parted with him, and rode to Batavia-preached in the evening at the court. house. Next morning visited the prisoners : some of them were confined for passing counterfeit money, and one for murder. I gave as good advice as I was able ; I tried to demonstrate, from the confinement they here justly suffered, the prison mankind are in by nature, and to show that Christ is the only door to liberty; and as they expected to have their trial shortly, so they, with all mankind, must be tried at the bar of God; and if not prepared by grace, they must sink beneath the grave, into that prison where there is no hope of reprieve. After this conversation I tried to pray with them ; some of them appeared much affected. After receiving their thanks for my visit I parted with them.
I then calculated to go directly to Buffalo, and rode thirteen miles. As I got through the eight mile woods, I came out to a little settlement of three families, and by their request I preached a sermon to them; and I believe the Lord was present. I had the whole settlement together, and one traveler, which made ten souls, and they all seemed to listen as for eternity. I then rode five miles, and providen. tially put up with a Baptist brother for the night; and by request preached the next morning to a solemn assembly. I thought then to pursue my journey, and took leave of the family, leaving them in tears, and went a half a mile to take some refreshment. Here a number of the neighbors had collected together, and solicited me to tarry longer. Of the number, two women desired to go forward in the ordinance of baptism. I thought, truly, the Lord had more work for me here. I consented to spend the next Lord's day with them, and to preach to them on Saturday, at 10 o'clock'; then rode six miles to a new settlement, and found two brethren and a few sisters. They had agreed to meet each Lord's day for the worship of God; they seemed to rejoice to see me come to visit them in their lonely situation; there had been but one sermon preached in the place by a Baptist, and that by old Eld. Niles, of Sempronius. The next day the settlement came together, and I tried to preach to them, and think it was a comfortable season to my soul ; and it appeared to be to others. The next day returned to the afore. mentioned appointment, and preached at 10 o'clock, A. M., to a crowded assembly. After the meeting closed, the two women before mentioned, and a young man, came forward, and related what the Lord had done for their souls. After this I requested that if any one had anything on their minds to communicate, they would embrace the opportunity. I think there were upwards of a dozen that spoke, the most of them being Baptist professors. The season was glorious ; ; and it seemed that the Lord was there in
deed. Lord's day, June 24, I preached to the people assembled in a grove, there being no house sufficiently large to hold them. At the close I baptized three persons, the first that were baptized in this part of the country. It was a solemn scene, and saints and sinners seemed alike affected.
June 25, rode to Buffalo, and, at the desire of the people, preached in the court-house. Next day rode to Eighteen Mile creek, and preached in different places five times; and as the attention and wish of the people appeared so urgent, I agreed to spend three days with them the next week. I returned to Buffalo, and on Lord's day I delivered two sermons in the court-house. The people gave good attention, and appeared to be thankful for the visit. On Monday returned to Eighteen Mile creek, and preached to the people, who had assembled in a grove. We then repaired to the water-side, and after singing a hymn, and solemn prayer to God, I baptized a woman. The Lord evidently graced his ordinance at this time with his divine presence. After this I preached three times before I left the neighborhood, and every meeting appeared to be attended with some token of Divine approbation. The people, notwithstanding the busy season of the year, and the roughness of the roads, would travel some even ten miles on foot, to hear the word of God proclaimed by such a feeble instrument. On Thursday returned to Buffalo, and preached to a solemn assembly; then rode to Clarence, and on Saturday, as I had agreed, met with the brethren in conference. I advised them, when here before, to meet in conference, and gain acquaintance as to their standing, ideas of doctrine, practice, &c., and try to maintain the worship of God. They met at 1 o'clock, P. M.; the meeting being opened, they related their Christian experience, conversed on articles of faith, practice, and a covenant; and there was a happy agreement. Then five persons came forward, and related what the Lord had done for their souls, and wished to be baptized. It was a joyful time.
Lord's day, July 8, I preached to a crowded assembly, some of whom came from a distance of twenty miles. One man came forty miles for the purpose of attending the meeting. In the afternoon I preached to the youth; and a more solemn attention I never witnessed. At the close we repaired to the water, three miles distant, where I baptized five persons, three males and two females. It was a continued scene of solemnity. On Monday I thought of setting out for home, but duty called me to stay another day. At 10 o'clock, A. M., I met the brethren and sisters in conference, and we had an agreeable interview. Twenty-one brethren and sisters covenanted together to maintain the worship of God. What a beautiful sight in this wilderness ! At 2 o'clock in the afternoon the people assembled for public worship, and I preached to them. I was now called to pass through a solemn scene. I had formed a short but an agreeable acquain. tance, but now we must part. I took an affectionate leave of them, not expecting to see them again. Many tears were shed. Oh! how my soul felt to leave them a little handful of brethren and sisters, like sheep without a shepherd in this wilderness ; some of them living ten miles apart, and no one to go before them as an under-shepherd. This passage of truth, however, comforted me : “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd, he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom. I thought I could leave them in the hand of Him that hath said, 6 I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” Next day I set out for home, and on Saturday, July 14, returned safely to my family, and, through the good. ness of God, found them in good health. From the time when I left home, until my return, was five weeks and four days, in which time I traveled about five hundred and fifty miles, attended one council, one ordination, four conferences, baptized nine persons, and tried to preach thirty-six times. I have been blessed with health, and think I have enjoyed some small share of that peace which the world can not give nor take away ; and, though I traveled alone, the way did not seem long, nor the time disagreeable. I subscribe myself, through the grace of God, your unworthy brother and servant in the Lord,
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ELD. ALFRED BENNETT'S MISSIONARY TOUR
On the 24th of Sept., 1810, Eld. Alfred Bennett, of Homer, agreeably to an appointment from the Society, set out on a missionary tour to the westward. On the 29th he arrived at a settlement on the Canesius lake, in the southwest corner of Livonia-preached in the evening to a number of people with some freedom. The next day, being Lord's day, he preached to a numerous assembly. At the close of the meeting a female came forward, and gave a relation of her experience, and desired baptism. He administered the holy ordinance; and, it being the first time baptism was administered in that place, it was a solemn and a joyful time. At the water, every countenance seemed fixed in solemn attention on the scene, while many faces were wet with tears.
From thence he passed on to the north part of Caledonia, and found a few believers, but in a cold state. From thence he rode to Clarence, where Br. John Peck had organized a conference the July before. Here he continued nine days, visiting from house to house, and preaching daily. His interview with the brethren in that place was agreeable.. He baptized one person ; two or three others were under strong exercises of mind, and one young lady obtained relief while he was there. From thence, on the 15th of Oct., he rode to Eighteen Mile creek on Lake Erie, and found a goodly number of professors, scattered like sheep without a shepherd. He spent eight days in three several townships, preaching and visiting. Eighteen persons united in covenant to main. tain gospel order among themselves. It was a solemn and joyful time-some mourning, some rejoicing
He then passed on to the middle branch of the Buffalo creek, and enjoyed some delightful seasons with Christians scattered here and there in this vicinity. A few collected in conference with a view to maintain the cause of the Redeemer among themselves. Taking leave of them, he rode to the ninth town, on the fourth range. Here was a small church in destitute circumstances, yet comfortably united. He preached with them, and then rode to Allen's creek, tenth township, first range. Here was a small church engaged in religion, but greatly needed assistance. Parting with them, he went to a neighboring settlement on the ninth township. Here the Lord was doing a marvelous work. Two were baptized by Eld. Irish. He then returned home, after having been absent seven weeks and three days, and rode five hun. dred miles, preached fifty-seven times, attended one association, three conferences, two funerals, and baptized two persons.
TOUR OF ELD. NATHAN BAKER.
On the 23d of May, 1811, Eld. Nathan Baker set out on a missionary tour to the westward. On the 28th he arrived at Warsaw, on the Holland Purchase. Here the Lord poured out his Spirit, and gathered souls into his kingdom: about thirty had been added to the church within a few months. On Lord's day, June 2, he preached with the second church in Sheldon. Here he found a number of agreeable brethren, who deserved the attention of the missionaries. June 5th a conference, consisting of Elds. Osborn, Handy, and Jones, with delegates from seven churches, was held in the second church in Sheldon, for the purpose of forming a conference of churches. The season was delightful; it seemed to present to view an earnest of the glorious spread of the Redeemer's kingdom in this part of the wilderness. How pleasing to the pious soul, to see the various obstacles giving way to the purposes of God! How enlivening the prospect, that ere long the desolate wilds, which now resound with the frightful yells of the savage, shall become vocal with the praises of God.
He then continued riding and preaching until June 18. He preached in Willinck, on Eighteen Mile creek, and