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Paul's epistle to the Hebrews, the 17th verse, where the apostle, in speaking of Esau, says, "he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” has been argued from this, that Esau, being judicially hardened, never repented of his wickedness, although he earnestly attempted so to do. The words are thus understood by Cooper, in a sermon upon the subject, and, also, by the late excellent bishop Dehon, in an allusion to it in one of his discourses. But there is an evident absurdity, from the very form of expression, in applying the word Tavola to Esau. This term signifies a change of mind, purpose, or conduct, and as such, it was what Esau sought with tears from his father, crying, "Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me, also, O my father." But it was all in vain, for the blessing had fallen upon him for whom it was destined by the God of Isaac. Thus Esau μετανοίας τόπον οὐχ εὗρε, found no room for a change of purpose, that is, he was not able, by any means, to induce his father to recall and reverse the blessing which he had pronounced," although he sought it carefully with tears."

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An Address to the seventh Convention of the Eastern Diocese, assembled at Portsmouth, in New Hampshire, on the 25th day of September, in the year of our Lord, 1822. By the Right Reverend A. V. Griswold, D. D. Bishop of the Diocese. Reverend Brethren and Friends, highly and justly esteemed :

THROUGH the indulgence of a kind Providence, we are here assembled as watchmen in Zion, and constituted guardians of that portion of God's vineyard committed to our care; to consult respecting its interests; and, as the Lord shall give us means and wisdom, to promote its prosperity. It is necessary, to the good result of our deliberations, to know the state and

the wants of our churches; and it is my duty to make to you a report of my official transactions during the last two years; and to add such remarks and suggest such measures as may seem just and expedient.

Soon after our last biennial convention, held in Newport, in 1820, I commenced a journey and visitation of our churches in the eastern parts of this diocese. Though in a feeble state of health, I was able through the Lord's goodness, October 12, to travel from Boston to Portsmouth, and to preach in the afternoon. Sunday, the 15th, in Portland I preached twice, and administered baptism and confirmation. The commencement of very heavy rains in the evening, prevented a third service. The small society of Episcopalians in that place, had made, and were then still making great and generous exertions, almost beyond their means, to meet the expenses of their new organ, and the salary of their minister. Since that time, in August, 1821, a few pious ladies formed themselves into a society for the promotion of the most excellent and useful of all charities, denominated, "The Female Domes tick Episcopal Missionary Society." They soon after transmitted to me twenty-five dollars, to be applied to missionary purposes.* How noble and blessed would be the effect, should all our churches, according to their ability, follow this example.

The next day, with difficulty and some peril, by reason of the abun dant rains, swollen streams, and loss of bridges, we reached Gardiner. On the 18th, the new, commodious and very beautiful edifice, called Christ church, was dedicated to the wor ship of almighty God. The morning service was performed by the reverend Mr. Morss; and the reverend Dr. Jarvis delivered an appropriate discourse. On the 19th was a confir

*A few days after this address was delivered, that society paid to bishop Griswold above thirty-three dollars more.

mation, and other services.* My intention is, with divine permission, again to visit those two churches in Maine, immediately after the adjourn ment of the present convention. It is decidedly my opinion, that the spiritual interest and prosperity of our churches require that every parish should be annually visited by its diocesan but the very limited and scanty funds of this diocese, and the extent of country over which our few churches are scattered, render such frequent visitations, at present, impracticable. My intention is, and with few exceptions, my practice has been, to visit all the parishes at least once in two years; and a large proportion of them twice, or oftener. It requires no great wisdom to foresee, what experience will probably soon verify; that our present practice of making a state, however large, but one diocese, may be very pernicious to the cause of true godliness, and the best interest of our churches. Thirty, or at most forty parishes are enough for one diocese; unless their location is very compact. And though the number in this diocese, excepting some very small, does not much exceed forty, it is desirable that as soon as it can with propriety be effected, this diocese should be divided. Vermont, especially, however reluctantly I might relinquish the happiness of my present very interesting connexion with its churches, ought, as soon as circumstances will admit, to have a bishop wholly its own.

On my return from Maine, I passed Sunday, the 22d, in Portsmouth, where I preached three times, and confirmed thirty persons. What the state of this church is, and what the

*The church in Gardiner is in a flourishing state. Their church is furnished with a good organ, and an excellent bell. For the For the erection of that beautiful, and very commodious edifice, we are very much indebted to the generous efforts of an individual whose pious liberality is above praise.

politeness and hospitality of its members, we all have the pleasure of seeing.

The so

The 24th, I preached and confirmed in Newburyport. In the evening we had a second service, when the reverend Dr. Jarvis preached to a large and very attentive congregation. lemnity of the services, and, in all human appearance, their good effect, evinced more forcibly than many arguments, the expedience and utility of occasionally opening our churches in the evening; and, when practicable, of doing it at regular and stated seasons. In towns, and large villages especially, where the people may easily assemble, the salutary effect of such extra services is very manifest. Many will attend these meetings, who cannot, with convenience, and some who cannot consistently with what they suppose their duty, attend our religious worship at other times. third service is peculiarly beneficial on Sunday evenings, when the minds. of people are less engaged with temporal cares, and more disposed to spiritual things. Very many, of young people, especially, who would otherwise spend the evening of the Lord's day in idle parties and vain conversation, are thus drawn to the house of God, and their attention called to things which concern their immortal welfare.


In the same tour I visited Salem, Marblehead, and Lynn. Sunday, the 29th, in the morning, I preached and confirmed in Trinity church, Boston. In the afternoon, performed the same services in Christ church. And in the latter church we had a third service, and a very crowded and attentive audience. I continued my visitation to Quincy, Hanover, Marshfield, and Bridgewater. April the 8th, 1821, 1 visited St. Paul's church, in Boston; and confirmed thirty-three. The prosperity of this church has thus far more than equalled our most sanguine expectations.

On the 28th of May, 1821,

I com

In Sandgate, a town adjoining, a few Episcopalians have organized a parish, with not unfavorable prospects. The parish in Manchester has built a church, and is in a flourishing condition.

It was no small comfort to find in Rutland, a few names yet steadfast, under all their discouragements, and very desirous that a missionary should be sent them. Painful are a parent's feelings, when his children ask for bread, and he has none to give them. May God in his mercy open our hearts and fill our hands to contribute to their relief.

menced a long journey, in which were visited the churches in Vermont, and in the western parts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The church in Great Barrington was still in an unsettled state. In consequence of some disagreement with their minister, a large and respectable part of the society had, many months before, with drawn from the church, and attached themselves to some other denomination of Christians. Those, however, who continued their connexion with the church, appeared to be unanimous in their regard for its welfare, and in their desire that another clergyman The parish in Middlebury continues might take charge of the parish. The very much as it has been for years past, reverend Mr. Blakesley, from Connecti-faint, yet pursuing;" suffering much cut, has since been elected their rector, and the parish is united and increasing.

The little flock in Lenox was found still continuing to "stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the Gospel." In consideration of the great efforts they had made, and were then making, to clear off the debts incurred by building their church, and other necessary expenses, the reverend Mr. Humphrey was engaged to officiate as a missionary in Lenox, one fourth of the time, beginning on the 10th of June, 1821. In Lanesborough, the church is now happily united, and in a prosperous state. By a generous donation from one gentleman, of $1000, and a liberal subscription by the rest of the parish, $3000 have been added to their fund. In Bennington, Vermont, I preached; but such is the prejudice against the Episcopal church, in that part of the state, that no preaching of its ministers among them is likely at present to have much good effect. From one respectable family, attached to its worship and interests, I experienced, as on several former occasions, very much kindness and hospitality.

In Arlington, the church continues to profit by the zealous labours of its pious pastor.

under the deprivation of the Christian
ordinances; wishing, and asking, and
striving, to obtain a minister; but re-
maining destitute. In Vergennes, on
the contrary, they seem to have re-
linquished all effort, and to have aban-
doned the church in despair.
Yet I
met there a serious and very attentive
congregation; and even yet, the la-
bours of a faithful missionary would
probably be blessed
among them.

In Shelburne, the state and prospects are happily very different. Through the blessing of God, we succeeded in finding a clergyman to labour there, and his labours have been greatly blessed.

The little society, which, two years before, contained but eight or ten families, was now increased to a respectable congregation. I preached in Burlington, and was much obliged by polite attentions there received.

By setting off from Burlington at an early hour, and hard travelling in heavy roads, we arrived in St. Alban's in season for services in the afternoon. In the evening again we had prayers, and a sermon. A pious, active minister, stationed in that place, and officiating alternately there, and at Swanton, might apparently labour to much profit. The churches in Sheldon and Fairfield were likewise in a thriving state. But an unhappy state of things commenced

about that time, and still continues. Some reports and accusations, affecting the moral character of their rector, have rendered a discontinuance of his labours expedient, till the cause shall have a canonical investigation.

On the 15th, I visited a new parish in Berkshire, and was highly gratified in finding there much piety and zeal, and attachment to the Episcopal church. Its friends were then making preparation for erecting a house of prayer; and manifested a desire and willingness, to the utmost of their abilities, to procure and support, an apostolick ministration of the Christian ordinances. The services of that day were unusually interesting and impressive. There being no building sufficiently capacious to contain the congregation expected, with the timber collected for the new church, on a beautiful rising ground, where it is to be erected, shaded by a small and very pleasant grove of sugar maples, the people prepared seats and other accommodations for divine service. Our altar was built as it were with unhewn stones : we consecrated those materials by anticipating their use. The thought that they were to be "fitly joined together," in one beautiful temple, dedicated to God, naturally caused the very interesting and serious reflections, that the congregation present were, or ought to be, materials in preparation" as lively stones," to be "a spiritual house," a "building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." Many circumstances conspired to heighten the interest of the scene and the occasion, and make impressions upon a serious mind not soon to be forgotten. Surveying the one, and reflecting upon the other; beholding a large assembly, collected from many miles of the country around, waiting, like Cornelius and his friends, and seeming to say," we are all here present before God,to hear all things that are commanded thee of God;" with the additional consideration, that their im


mortal well-being might, in some degree, depend on my knowledge and fidelity, feelings were excited, which language cannot easily express. On such occasions, and to the preacher of the gospel similar occasions often occur, well may we exclaim, “who is sufficient for these things!" It is among the wonderful counsels of God's unerring wisdom, that his strength should be manifest in weakness; that such a "treasure" as the gospel ministry should be given us "in earthen vessels :" that sinful creatures, themselves" scarcely saved," and some of them, we may well fear, not saved, should be made the instruments of saving others. Divine wisdom, however, is sure to adapt the means to the end; and, in the hands of omnipotence, any means are effectual. The Lord can satisfy men with bread" in the most dreary wilderness. What seems to us impossible, with him is without difficulty: by the foolishness of preaching, he can save them that believe. I was assisted in the services by my reverend brethren Leonard and Clapp, who, to my great comfort, and on small assistance, accompanied me more than two hundred miles of this journey. After the second lesson, seven young persons, with the appearance of much piety and sincere devotion, presented themselves to be baptized. The sermon was heard with attention worthy of a better discourse; and it being ended, thirty-five persons received confirmation; and they received it, there was good reason to believe, with a just and deep sense of its nature and design. And, finally, the Lord's supper was administered to a respectable number of communicants.

The next morning, we proceeded to Montgomery, where we had the pleasure of meeting with another newly formed society, and where the services were very similar, and not less interesting. The tears of many, evinced how much awakened was their sense that the Lord is good, and they sinners.

Montgomery is a town but recently settled. The Rev. Mr. Clapp, yet a young man, was the first child (savages excepted) born within its limits. The soil in that part of the state is rich and productive, and the country rapidly rising into importance. A new stage road, from Boston to Montreal, was expected soon to pass through Montgomery and Berkshire; which, with their vicinity to the lake Champlain, and easy access to a good and sure market for their abundant and valuable productions, must render that,at no distant period, a wealthy part of the state. But, to the pious mind, it is far more pleasing to find them increasing in "the true riches." I have been in no place where there appeared a more serious and awakened desire to know and do the will of God; nor where the people are so generally disposed to receive the doctrines of our church, and to delight in its worship. In no part of this diocese, and, I verily believe, in no part of the United States, can our missionaries labour more profitably, than in Franklin county, and some of the towns adjoining, eastward. Our young clergymen, whose circumstances will reasonably admit of it, who desire to do good in the service of their divine Master, rather than to honour themselves, and live at ease, can no where bestow their labours more profitably than in the northwest part of Vermont. My last information from those parts, which is quite recent, states, that the prospects are still brightening. Since my visit there, a parish has been formed in Enosburgh. Mr. Gray, the minister now officiating in those new parishes, has preached in several other towns in the vicinity. Large congregations assemble to hear the word; many are desirous to obtain prayer books; and, in all human probability, several other societies might easily be formed. There are already between sixty and seventy communicants, where, a short time since, we had none. The call there for missionary labours is still increasing.

Montgomery was the farthest extent of my tour in that direction. In the afternoon of the same day we returned back through Berkshire to Sheldon. The next day, Trinity Sunday, we spent in Fairfield, where I preached but twice; so long were our services, and so far from their homes were the most of the people, that a third service was not convenient. It was pleasing, and an evidence of their sincere desire to hear the word, and receive the ordinances of Christ,to observe the distance which the people, in that and other parts of Vermont, will travel, and many of them walk, to attend publick worship, and share in the ministrations of the sanctuary. How unfaithful and without excuse would be the stewards of God's mysteries-the pastors of his fold, if they who thus hunger and thirst after righteousness, should ever, unnecessarily, be "sent empty away." Such zeal in the people, was felt as a strong, though silent reproof of my own remissness in the Saviour's cause.

On the morning of the 18th, we took our leave of kind and much beloved friends, and shaped our course for crossing the mountain to the eastern side of the state, by a route which I had never before taken. In Richmond, we were joined by a respectable gentleman, a lay delegate from Shelburne, who, in company with his daughter, was on his way to the convention ;an acquisition to our little company which rendered the journey more pleasant.

On the 20th, we reached Randolph, where we were received with much politeness, and were entertained by a gentleman of high respectability. The church has some valuable friends, though no parish in that town. Being in a very friendly manner invited by the congregational minister and others of his society, we had divine service and a sermon in their meeting house. There, too, I had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with a worthy presbyterian minister, and a part of his interesting family. One or two of his

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