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people forever. But his footsteps were impressed upon a rock. In Prince Edward, Charlotte, Campbell, and Hanover, the fruits of his labours have been visible for more than a century. He planted, others watered, God gave the increase. In Carolina, Mr. Davies says Mr. Robinson—"underwent great hardship without much success. But the case is now happily altered. A new congregation, I think upon the Pedee river, sent a petition lately to our Presbytery for a minister. Besides this I hear of several other places in North Carolina that are ripening fast for the gospel. O that God would send forth faithful labourers into his harvest.” There is no tradition or record, in Carolina, of the visit of this man, yet we can scarcely believe that his fervent preaching, so effective elsewhere, was lost there. In the great day it will be seen where the seed was sown. Some one sowed seed there that has been as fruitful in its harvest, as the seed sown in Virginia by this favoured man."
Mr. Robinson's health declined, after this southern visit; but his bow abode in strength, and many arrows from the quiver of the Almighty were shot from his withering hands, into the hearts of the King's enemies. The accounts we have of him, from this visit, until his death, given by Mr. Davies, and Mr. Blair, who preached his funeral sermon, and Dr. Miller, in his Life of Rodgers, represent him as hasting with Apostolic speed, lighting up the horizon with his torch of fire, and expiring in midheaven. Mr. Davies says_“In Maryland also there has been a considerable revival (shall I call it?)—or first plantation of religion-in Baltimore county, where I am informed Mr. Whittlesey is likely to settle. In Kent county, and in Queen Anne's, a number of careless sinners have been awakened and hopefully brought to Christ. The work was begun and mostly carried on by the instrumentality of that favoured man Mr. Robinson, whose success, whenever I reflect upon it, astonishes
Oh! he did much in a little time; and who would not choose such an expeditious pilgrimage through this world. There are in these places a considerable congregation, and they have made repeated efforts to obtain a settled minister. But the most glorious display of Divine grace, in Maryland, has been in and about Somerset county. It began, I think in 1745, by the ministry of Mr. Robinson, and was afterwards carried on by several ministers that preached transiently there. I was there about two months, when the work was at its height, and I never saw such a deep and spreading concern. The assemblies were numerous, though in the extremity of a cold winter, and unwearied in attending the word. And frequently there were very among them that did not give some indications of distress or joy. Oh! these were the happiest days that ever my eyes saw.
Since that, the harvest seems over there, though
considerable gleanings, I hear, are still gathered. They have, of late, got Mr. Henry for their minister, a young man who I trust will be an “extensive blessing to that part of the colony. There was also a great stir about religion in Buckingham, a place on the sea shore, which has since spread and issued in a hopeful conversion in several instances. They also want a minister." These latter named places were the scenes of the labours of that Apostolic missionary, Francis Makemie. Buckingham, now called Berlin, the county seat of Worcester county, had for a time the labours of one of the Tennents.
Dr. Hill relates an interesting anecdote of Mr. Robinson while in Virginia. On the night before he was to preach in Hanover for the first time, Mr. Robinson rode late to reach a tavern within some eight or ten miles of the place of preaching. The tavern keeper was a shrewd, boisterous, profane
When uttering some horrid oaths, Mr. Robinson ventured to reprove him for his profanity; and although it was done in a mild way, the innkeeper gave him a sarcastic look, and said — Pray, Sir, who are you, to take such authority upon yourself ?''I am a minister of the gospel,' says Mr. Robinson. Then you belie your looks very much,' was the reply. It is said Mr. Robinson had had the small pox very seriously, which had given him a very rough visage, and deprived of the sight of one of his eyes. It was with reference to his forbidding appearance, that the innkeeper seemed to question his ministerial character. * But-says Mr. Robinson--if you wish certainly to know whether I am a minister or not, if you will accompany me, you may be convinced by hearing me preach. I will,' says the innkeeper, ‘if you will preach from a text which I shall give you.' •Let me hear it,' says Mr. Robinson, and if there is nothing unsuitable in it, I will.' The waggish innkeeper gave him the passage from the PsalmsFor I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Mr. Robinson agreed that it should be one of his texts. The man was at Mr. Robinson's meeting, and that text was the theme of one of his sermons. Before it was finished, the wicked man was made to feel that he was the monster, and that he was fearfully and wonderfully made. It is said he became a very pious and useful member of the church; and it is thought Mr. Davies alludes to this instance when he says, “I have been the joyful witness of the happy effects of those four sermons upon sundry thoughtless impenitents and sundry abandoned profligates, who have ever since given good evidence of a thorough conversion from sin to holiness. Thus this good man cast the gospel net and caught of every sort, gathering whom his Lord called.”
On the 19th of March 1746, he was dismissed from the Presbytery of New Brunswick to the Presbytery of New Cas
tle, to become the pastor of the congregation of St. George's in Delaware. This church and congregation had been gathered in a revival under the preaching of Mr. Whitefield and Mr. Robinson; the latter was its first minister and about to be their permanent pastor. But in April following his course on earth was finished. His funeral sermon was preached on the 3d of August of the same year, by Mr. Samuel Blair. He was a martyr to the labours he voluntarily endured for the cause of Christ; having never had his health after his tour through Virginia and North Carolina. In pecuniary matters he was charitable almost to a fault. Feeling deeply for the misery of his race, he was unsparing of his property, or strength, or life, in the deliverance of men from the wrath to come.
He bequeathed his library to the Rev. Samuel Davies, his protege and fellow labourer.
MINISTERS VISITING HANOVER AFTER MR. ROBINSON, AND
PREVIOUS TO MR. SAMUEL DAVIES.
The desire of the people of Hanover to hear the Gospel, as preached by Mr. Robinson, did not depart with that able Evangelist. His words continued to ring in their ears, and agitate their hearts. The efforts to compel a conformity to the established church, while its ministers preached in a manner so little accomodated to their necessities, only made these people long for freedom of conscience--and for a living ministry, whose doctrines, enforced by their godly lives, might be for their purification and life. The voice of all mankind demands that the priesthood shall be an example of the moral nature of their God.
The first minister that visited these people after Mr. Robinson, was Mr. John Blair, educated in the famous school of his brother Samuel Blair, at New Londonderry, in Faggs Manor, he was for a time a settled pastor in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. He then succeeded his brother in Faggs Manor; and afterwards was Vice President of Nassau Hall, and Professor of Theology in that institution. IIe ended his days December 8th, 1771, at Wallkill, New York. An amiable man, he was well qualified for his various stations in life. Going from that extensive revival, that agitated, and refreshed, parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and New England, to visit a people awakened by their own reflections, and reading religious books, and excited by the preaching of that ardent man, Mr. Robinson, his preaching was imposing and the effects encouraging. Mr. Morris, in the statement to Mr. Davies, says,
truly he came to us in the fulness of the Gospel of Christ. Former impressions were ripened and new ones made on many hearts. One night in particular, a whole housefull of people was quite overcome with the power of the word, particularly of one pungent sentence; and they would hardly sit or stand or keep their passions under any proper restraints. So general was the concern, during his stay with us, and so ignorant were we of the danger of apostasy, that we pleased ourselves with the thoughts of more being brought to Christ at that time, than now appear to have been, though there is still the greatest reason to hope that several bound themselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant never to be forgotten.”
The alarm caused in Hanover by the short visit of Mr. Robinson was greatly increased by the preaching of Mr. Blair, whose amiable deportment, genteel manners, and classical language, united with gravity of manners forbid the idea of attaching either vulgarity or disorder to the religion he professed and taught. No violence or insult was offered him during his short stay. His hearers, agitated beyond control, poured forth tears and sighs, and often broke out into loud crying. At the time it was impossible to tell how much this expression of feeling was from deep sympathy, and how much from the movings of the Holy Spirit.
Opposers were roused to anxious inquiry what they would do to arrest the propagation of these strange views and feelings on religious things. Absences from the parish church were more strictly observed, and the law was invoked to prevent apostasy from the ceremonies of the Church of England. Before his return to Pennsylvania, Mr. Blair visited the neighbourhoods in the Valley that favoured the Synod of New York, or the New Side, as it was called, North Mountain, which included Bethel and Hebron, the Pastures, New Providence, Timber Ridge, Forks of James or Monmouth, and Opeckon; and it is supposed also the Presbyterian neighbourhooods on Cub Creek and Buffaloe, and Hat Creek.
Some time after Mr. Blair's return to Pennsylvania, the Presbytery of Newcastle, the nearest Presbytery of the Synod of New York, sent Rev. John Roan to pay the people in Virginia a visit. A preacher of eminence, he had established a grammar school on the Neshaminy a few miles from Philadelphia. Rev. Dr. Rodgers was for some time a pupil of his. Mr. Roan remained in Virginia part of the winter of 1744 and 5, and preached with great effect not only in Hanover, but the neighbouring counties. “He continued with us”-says Mr. Morris-"longer than any of the former, and the happy effects of his ministrations are still apparent. He was instrumental in beginning and promoting the religious concern in several places where there was little appearance of it before. This together with his speaking pretty freely about the degeneracy of the clergy in this colony, gave a general alarm, and some measures were concerted to suppress us.
Mr. Roan had the warmth and deep earnestness of Robinson and Blair, with less prudence and caution; with the activity of Davies, he had less skill in managing an excited multitude. He spoke freely of the parish ministers, publicly and privately, inveighed against their delinquency in morals, and their public ministrations; and turned the ridicule and scorn of his hearers against the teachers appointed and supported by law. The parish clergy and their friends were excited. Unable to refute the allegations, they appealed to the strong arm of the law to protect their privileges, and restrain both the speech and actions of their adversaries.
That there was cause for complaint against the parish ministers in Virginia, in 1744, is unquestionably true; and it is equally true that Mr. Roan exposed their delinquency. How far he indulged in the denunciatory spirit that prevailed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, at that time, and was the ostensible cause of dividing the Church, cannot now be determined. But the excitement was great. And now commenced in earnest a discussion about the rights of citizens in matters of religion, how far conscience was free, and how far the law of the land, that had slumbered, in Virginia, since the days of Makemie, had become a dead letter.
The multitude crowded to hear Roan, some from curiosity, and some from feeling. Opposition was expressed in reproaches, sneers, ridicule, and threats. The preacher's spirit took fire, and his invectives were not measured. He saw evidence of the power of God in melting the hearts of sinners to the obedience of the gospel. Converts multiplied, and the violence of opposition increased. Report after report went down to Williamsburg that Roan was turning the world upside down. Neighbourhood after neighbourhood was calling upon this fiery preacher to declare to them the everlasting gospel. Opposers were consulting how they might effectually silence him. Multitudes were responding a hearty amen to his earnest appeals. In this state of things charges were made against him of blasphemous words and slanderous speeches. “A perfidious wretch”-says Morris—“ deposed he heard Mr. Roan utter blasphemous expressions in his sermons.'
Governor Gooch had promised protection to the Presbyterian colonies. He was not forgetful of that promise which had