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To feparate thofe children from the table of their 'heavenly father, who are, confeffedly, animated with the fame faith, comforted with the fame hope, and adorned with the fame holy character, may feem more like the aufterity of a mercilefs eye fer* vant, than the brotherly kindnefs of a faithful ftew* ard.
The compaffionate Redeemer teaches, that hi* children are branches of the fame vine; is it not unmerciful to tear off a part of the branches, leaving the vine, to be buffeted by the ftorms, and the branches to wither, and languid], and die? The compaffionate Redeemer teaches, that his children are the members of his body; is it not cruelty and murder by "clofe communion" to tear off the limbs from the body ? Is it not rending Jefus Chrift himfelf limb from limb? Will not the bleeding, mangled, dying members of Chrift, be fwift witneffes againft fuch treatment? Is it not a violent "offence" to the "little ones" of Chrift; is it not diftrefs and death to that facred union, which exifts among the members of Chrift's body?
May we all, my brethren, ftudy the things, which make for peace; may the watchmen of Zion lift up their voice in unifon, and fee eye to eye; may He, who walks in the midft of the golden candleflicks, bid the wildernefs and folitary place be glad, the defert rejoice and bloflbm as the rofe, the wolf dwell with the lamb, and the leopard with the kid, and the whole earth be full of the knowledge of •he Lord, as the waters cover the fea. Amen.
THE HONOURABLE AND PIOUI
Oh A True Penitent; Exemplified In The Case Of Mrs. Elizabeth Jackson. BeFore The Congregational Church, In
WlLLlAMSTOWN, VERMONT } ANl) THE BAPTIST Church, In Said Town—June 3,18O5.
requeft of fotne of my pious friends, who are cordially engaged for the promotion of religious truth, I ftate the following fafts refpecting Mrs. Jackson ; and atteft the truth of her JLetter, including her confeffion, which ftie fent to the Elder and Baptift Church, where (he received her baptifm by immerfion.
Mrs. Jackson, with her hufband, are perfons of decent abilities, and approved piety; they we8e both received into the Congregational Church, in Peter/ham, in Maflachufetts; they, a few years ago, removed to Williamftown, in the ftate of Vermont, where they have fmce lived; and have fupported a good and regular chriftian character. They have conftantly attended divine worfliip, with their congregationarbrtthren, when favoured xvith preaching; but at other times, efpeoially upon week days, have attended the miniftration of the Baptifts.—In the latter part of the paft winter, and in the fpring following, the people's attention was much excited in religious concerns, and preaching and conferences, were frequent—efpecially among the baptifts. Mrs. Jackson's mind became unulually affected arid folemn. At their meeting for examinations and for baptifms, fhe gave evidence of great Anxiety of mind, by fighs and tears. Upon being afkcd the caufe of her great diftrefs, me replied, *» I am troubled about baptifm."—It is to be noted, that fhe had been, more than a year before this, by the ccnvt rfation of a baptift, much confufi.d in her mind, and almoft pcrfuaded to give up her infant baptifm. The queilion was then put unto her, whether me did not feel it her privilege to go into the water, and be baptized? Her reply was, that me did not, then. But by the expreffions of zeal and affection, or through the multiplicity of'words, with which me was furrounded, jhe not only cnnfentcd to the ordinance, but received it then, and was received in fellowfhip with the bapfift brethren.
After being fenfible fhe had taken a wrong ftep, flie requelted a conference with them; that the path of her duty might be made clear, and fearing left fhe mould make bad worfe, and thereby increafe the injury fhe had done the caufe of Chrift. But, in converfation with them, fhe became more eftablifhed, that duty called her to appear in the congregation of God's people, and exhibit her feelings and views of the nature of her paft conduct. She freely prefented to me the confeffion, and defired me to read it in public; which was done upon the firft fabbath of June, 1805.
If I can judge, in fuch cafes, fhe gave good ev-. idence of godly fmcerity and brokennefs of heart, whenever I had opportunity of converfation with her upon the fubject. She is a perfon of an amiable mind, as to her natural temper; and has a good underftanding in the great truths of the gofpel ; and is far from any enthufiafm or conftitutional unfteadinefs of mind—but appears, in general, to deliberate well on whatever me does.
Williamftown, June 3, 1805. REVEREND AND BELOVED,
I,ELIZABETH JACKSON, take this early opportunity to let you, my brethren and fifters of the baptift denomination, ufually meeting on the Eaft hill, (fo calbd) know what I have done, and my reafons for thus doing.
Aft E R I had received baptifm, in your way, and on feeing my infant child, and calling to mind my covenant vows, in giving up myfelf to God, and to his Congregational Church in Peterfham, and in giving up my children in baptifm; by each and every of thefe tranfactions, I put my own hand (in faith, I truft Jto the holy feal of Baptifm, which my parents firft put upon me, in my infancy; and made that baptifm my own, by the act of faith which I hope, God, by his gracious Spirit, gave me, a poor, undone (inner, before I vifibly covenanted •with my God, and his holy people.
I Say, reflecting upon what I had done when among you, my dear chriftian friends, I had no reft