Copy of three letters

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Copy of three letters (1740)
3231856Copy of three letters1740


of three


The firſt written by Dr. John Nicol at New-York, to Mr. William Wardrobe, Surgeon in the Graſsmarket of Edinburgh; the ſecond by a diſſenting Miniſter in England to a Gentleman in Scotland; the third from a Miniſter at Boſton to his Friend at Glaſgow.

Giving an ACCOUNT of the Progreſs and Succeſs of the Goſpel in foreign Parts.

Pſam ii. S.----I ſhall give thee the Heathen for thine Inheritance, and the uttermoſt Parts of the Earth for thy Poſſeſſion. Pſalm lxxii. 8. He ſhall have Dominion alſo from Sea to Sea, and from the River to the Ends of the Earth. Pſalm lxxxvii. 5. And of Zion it ſhall be ſaid, This and that Man was born in her: And the Higheſt himſelf ſhalt eſtabliſh her.

Printed by A. Alison, oppoſite to the Bow-head
Well, for David Duncan. Mdccxl.


New-York, Dec. 17. 1739.

My dear Friend,

I Cannot omit any convenient Opportunity that offers, to let you know I am yet (thro' Mercy) upon the Stage, and in Health. A Line from you would be acceptable. When you do write, let me have a particular Account of the Seceding Brethren, viz. Meſſieurs Erskines, &c. how it goes with them, what Progreſs they make.————We of New-York, have been lately favoured with a ſhort Viſit from that excellent young Evangeliſt, the Reverend and famous Mr. George Whitefield, in his Voyage to Georgia. Aſſoon as he arrived here, he applied himſelf to the Parſon of the Engliſh Church, (as his Manner is) for the Uſe of his Church, which was denied him: Application was alſo made to the Dutch, for their large Church, which being alſo denied him, he went out and preached in the Fields, to a very large Auditory of all Profeſſions, Jews and Gentiles; ſome of which, viz. the Rakes of the Town, came (as they afterwards told) with Whiſtles in their Pockets, on Purpoſe to mock and diſturb him: But, behold the Power of the Word, when backed by the Spirit, quickly catch'd them, and made them change their Mind, ſo as ever afterwards they were conſtant and devout Hearers of him. Being denied the other Churches, and the Weather being exceſſive cold, we offered him our Church, which he was pleaſed to accept of, and lectured that Evening to above fifteen hundred People, and so he continued to preach and lecture every Day, while he ſtayed in the Place, which was but four Days.—I can freely ſay, I never heard Man ſpeak like him, his Matter and Doctrine entirely Apoſtolick; chiefly inſiſting upon, and preſſing home, the abſolutely neceſſary fundamental Points and Duties of Chriſtianity, fuch as, Regeneration, Repentance, Faith in the Lord Jeſus, denying of ourſelves, and all Dependence on our own Righteouſneſs, and depending only on the Righteouſneſs of Chriſt for Juſtification, &c. He is no Party-man; but makes it his conſtant Buſineſs to eſpouſe, and gain Souls to the Lord Jeſus Chriſt in a Goſpel-way, much like the Reverend Meſſieurs Erskines in their Sonnets and Sermons, with whom he told me he keeps a Correſpondence, and whole Works he heartily recommends.—My dear Friend, I would fain hope theſe are the Beginnings of glorious Times. I cannot but think they are the Dawnings of a happy reviving Day to the formal, drowsy, drooping Churches of Chriſt throughout the World this Day. I would fain believe a Day of Power as at Hand, tho' I may not live to ſee it. Lord haſten it, haſten it; go forth with a preached Gospel; let the Arrows of thy Word pierce and ſink deep in the Hearts of Sinners, that they may fall proſtrate at the Throne of thy Grace, Haſten the Day when Satan ſhalt fall as Lightning to the Ground. Come, Lord Jeſus, come quickly. With ſincere and affectionate Reſpects to ſelf, Spouſe, and all my good friends with you, I am Your very humble Servant,

John Nicol.


I Now ſet my ſelf down, according to my Promiſe, and your Permiſſion, to do that by the Hand of a Friend, which I was not able to do with my own, and which I had not Time to touch upon in my laſt Letter; I mean, to give ſome Account of the State of Religion Abroad, according to the Account I have got from Count Zinzindorff in a Letter, which I received from him about the Middle of December laſt.——You may remember, that I told you formerly, that this holy Man had laid aſide his ſecular Employments and Dignities, and devoted himſelf to the Paſtoral Care of a Church, conſiſting chiefly of a conſiderable Number of pious Moravians, who had fled from their native Country on Account of Perſecution, and by his Encouragement fixed themſelves at Hermith. It is ſomething more than a Twelve Month, perhaps, near two Years ſince, by the Severity of the King of Poland, under the Inſtigation of the Jeſuits, they were driven from thence, and the Count obliged to part with his Estate there. But, God has been pleaſſed, as in many former Inſtances, to over-rule this Persecution for the Good of his Church. For whereas, before they had ſent out their Miſſionaries into ſeveral Parts of the World; and whereas I think (I told you) ſome or other of them continually Night and Day prayed for their Succeſs and the Propagation of the Goſpel in the World; ſo they looked upon this Providence as a Call to abound more and more in this good Work. They have indeed fixed their Head-quarters at a Place called Hernaag, near Frankfort on the Rhine Foot, from whence they have ſent, and are ſending many more into various parts of the World; and the Accounts, which their Doctor and honoured Paſtor ſends me of their paſt Succeſs and future Scheme, are as follow. He tells me, that he is intending a Journey into Switzerland, which (as I am informed in a Letter from the pious Mr. Thorold) he has ſince performed, and I am ready to imagine, he is ſtill there. He tells me, that Bern, Baſil, Stein, Malhauſen, and Scaffhauſen, have all of them received the Goſpel in its Power and Purity, from the Moravian Brethren, who, wherever they come, are attempting a Work of Reformation, and a Revival of Religion amongſt Proteſtants as well as Papiſts. And indeed the languide State of many of the Foreign Churches ſeems greatly to need ſuch Attempts. The Count adds, That Geneva itſelf is impreſt with their Labours ; tho' he ſays, it has been for a long Time ſo taken up with Philoſophy, as hardly to be able to bear the Reproach of the Croſs: He adds, that the Churches in Ecthonia and Swenia flouriſh; and that the barbarous Inhabitants of that Province do even pant after Chriſt. Greenland reſounds with the Goſpel, and ſeveral of the idolatrous Inhabitants are baptized. But the Count adds, that he cannot approve of the Methods taken by ſome of their Brethren there, who ſeem to be ſo intent on ſpreading Philoſophical Knowledge there, that he fears, the Goſpel of Chriſt ſuffers ſome Detriment by it. The moſt ſurpriſing Article of all is, that their Miſſionaries to the Cape of good Hope meet with ſome Encouragement, and that thirty Hottontots have given up their Names to Chriſt, and no leſs than a thouſand Negroes in the Iſland of St.Thomas, who have been well inſtructed into that Religion, into which they were baptiſed, and have embraced it as a Matter of free and reaſonable Choice. Their Miſſionaries to Georgia, Carolina, Penſilvania, the Coaſt of Barbary in Africa, and that of Surinam in the Weſt Indies, are as yet expecting the Fruit of their Labours. And Fifteen, who are now at Virginia, having, for ſome Time, employed themſelves in learning the various Languages of the Indian Nations, are preparing to let out on a Progreſs amungſt them, for the bleſſed Purpoſe of carrying the News of Salvation to them. There are ſome at Ceylon in the Eaſt-Indies; but the Count had received no Letter from them, when he wrote to me. He tells me alſo, That Lapland, Muſcovy, Wallachia, and Conſtantinople, are all viſited by ſome of the Brethren, who preach among them, (ſo far as I can learn). without Reſtraint, but, with what Succeſs he does not mention, excepting. only, that, by their Means, an hundred Turkiſh Priſoners (taken, I ſuppofe, by the Ruſſians in the late War) have embraced Chriſtianity. The only News that he had lately received from Genoa was, That a converted Negroe, living there, was endeavouring to erect Schools in the neighbouring Parts, with a view to the Propagation of Chriſtian Knowledge. The Brethren, who were ſent to preach in the Northern Parts of Poland, have been for ſome Time confined there, but are now returned again, and are very ſollicitous to find out ſome Way to proſecute that good Work, which has been interrupted by the Perſecution of their Enemies. The Count informed me, that they intend quickly to viſit other Parts of the Eaſt Indies, the Savages of New-York, and the Magi Magi of Perſia: He concludes with telling me, That Churches, on their reformed Plan, are erected in Luſatia, Saxony, Brandenburg, Brunſswick, Alſatia, Swabia, Franconia, Wirtenberg, the Palatinate, ſeveral imperial Cities, Holland, and the other States on the Rhine. What follows, is merely perſonal, but expreſſive of great Tenderneſs and Humility: And the whole cloſes with thoſe emphatical Words, which I before tranſcribed, but which I do not think much to repeat: Farewell in Chriſt our common Lord, our crucified, wounded, only healing Ranſom, by whom we are redeemed from the Pit of everlaſting Deſtruction, who is to me the deareſt of all objects. I think, any Thing I could add, after this reviving and aſtoniſhing Account of the Work of God upon, and by theſe his faithful Servants, would be but flat and inſipid.

P. S. Let Mount Zion rejoice, and let all the Daughters of Judah exult, that the glorious and renouned King is on his Way, to extend his vaſt and boundleſs Dominions, and, maugre all Oppoſition, will pull down the Man of Sin, and deſtroy him with the Breath of his Mouth, and Brightneſs of his coming: Religion ſhall flouriſh, in Spite of Hell and Earth; and the Goſpel ſhall bave a free Courſe, run and be glorified, and our exalted Immanuel ſhall ſee the Nations, like Drops of Dew from the Womb of the Morning, flowing to him. Even ſo come Lord Jeſus. Amen.
COPY of a LETTER from the Reverend Mr. Moorhead Miniſter of the Goſpel at Boſton, to his Friend at Glaſgow.
Boſton, New-England, Jan. 28. 1740.

I Am exceeding uneaſy, becauſe that you have not written to me by any of the Veſſels that came thither. I ſent you a Packet laſt Year per Captain Montgomery, bound to Newport-Glaſgow, who got ſafe there.

I want very much to hear how your religious Affairs ſtand, and whether theſe Men of God ſucceed in their endeavoured Reformation. The Glory is departing from Scotland; when Simonical Practices are entred in, among her profeſſed Inſtructors, who are returning to the Onions and Leeks of Egypt, when Pagan Divinity goes better than the Doctrines of the Son of God.

The Lord has raiſed up the great and good Mr. Whitefield, to ſcourge and awaken England and America. The Dead are made to live, and by him hear the Voice of the Son of God. The Face of Chriſtianity here is covered over with Formality, and a cold Indifferency for Divine Things. I would gladly hope, that it is not ſo bad with Strangers as it is with the Sectarians of this Country, who ſeem diſpoſed, and do drink in Errors and Heresies of all kinds. Let me hear from you. May the God of Iſrael be your God, and of his People, which is and ſhall be the Prayer of

Your Friend and Wellwiſher,
John Moorhead,

F I N I S.

This work was published before January 1, 1929, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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