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TO THIS EDITION.
HAVING been favoured with this Work from the Author immediately on its completion, we are happy to be able to present it to the Religious Public, in confidence that it will be no less acceptable than the preceding Volume.
The very respectable names which recommend it, in the preceding Preface, render any further eulogium perfectly unnecessary; but it may be proper to remark, that the Work, though of general interest, is peculiarly suited to Societies and Individuals, who are engaged in the benevolent work of visiting the Sick Poor, and the Female Penitentiaries.
VISITS OF MERCY:
January 1st, A. D. 1813.
It is better to go to the house of mourning than to ge to the house of feasting.'
ECCLESIASTES Vii. 2.
DURING the year of our Lord 1812, I continued to preach and visit in the Hospital and Almshouse, as I had done the year before, but kept no. Journal; because I was weary with writing the history of human miseries. The suggestion, however, that those who contribute to my support will expect some account of my future services, and the couusel of my friends, have constrained me to resume the pen. If any thing may be recorded by it, which will contribute to the edification of the saints, or which will prove a solemn warning to the wicked, the writer will be abundantly compensated for his labour, and will have additional cause for gratitude to that God, who careth for us.'
It will be a matter of course for the writer to preach in the Hospital once, and in the Almshouse twice, weekly; and therefore the reader need not expect any particular notice upon this subject. He
A SOCIETY FORMED.
will also visit these places weekly, and some sketches, which appear most interesting, will occupy the fol lowing pages.
'Hope deferred maketh the heart sick but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.'
PROVERBS xiii. 12.
EACH of these cases the writer may say that he understands from experience. Long, indeed, has he hoped for the formation of a society which should support the gospel among the poor in this city. It certainly is a matter of more immediate moment to this metropolis, than any institution which has been organized, or could be founded, for the propagation of Christianity in foreign regions of the globe; for, if any religious community, or evangelized city, provides not the Bread of Life for the indigent members of its own family, it has denied the faith, and exhibits the worst kind of practical infidelity. But the desire has come, and it is a tree of life.' Yes, the desire accomplished, is sweet to the soul.' Should any one say, that my rejoicing is the effect of selfishness, I can only say, that it would gratify me more to resign my place to some one who would attend to its duties, than to retain it but as circumstances are, I bless God that he has induced many of his friends to unite themselves in a SOCIETY for supporting the Gospel among the Poor in the City of New York; and that they have thought fit to employ me as one of their stated preachers. Any man, who deserves
the name of Christian, must desire a comfortable maintenance, and the encouragement of pious friends. The few struggles which I have endured from my owu pride, and from involuntary indigence, are more than compensated by the assurance, that I shall be enabled in future, while I preach to the poor, to live without being constantly under pecuniary obligations to some benevolent individual. It is a source of much felicitation also, that some provision has been made for the Rev. JOHN STANFORD by the same Society. He has laboured, in the estimation of the world, in vain, because he has preached without any pecuniary compensation, at least one Sabbath in each month, at the State's Prison; but God has given him an abundant reward in the spiritual welfare of some prisoners of hope.'
It seems that the Lord is pleased, in various ways, to make provision for my wants of a temporal nature, while I am attempting to administer to the necessities of some of the poor saints, and of others that remain miserable sinners. To-day a letter came to hand, which I record with my best thanks to the venerable writer, of which the following is a
January 4th, 1813.
HAVING read your journal, while preaching and visiting at the Hospital and Almshonse in the city of New York, and being informed that you have not been reasonably supported in this very important labour of love to the souls of the depraved and
LETTER FROM SENEX.
miserable of our race,-permit me, Sir, to cast in my mite towards your support, that you may not be discouraged in a work, which, though unprofitable in this world, will, most assuredly, produce you inconceivable riches in the world to come. Remember, that he who counts the hairs of your head, and without whom a sparrow cannot fall to the ground, will never suffer you to want, while engaged in so glorious a cause! You are in the service of the best of Masters; I pray you, therefore, hold out to the end. If you have, ere this, been reasonably provided for by a stated provision, you may devote this to the common cause, in the way that you think best.
Be so good as to draw on the Cashier of the bank of Newark, in your own name, for fifty dol lars. I have taken care that it shall be duly honoured.
'I am, Rev. Sir, with the most ardent wishes and prayers for your success in the Gospel, • Yours, most affectionately,
Rev. E. S. Ely.'
The letter contained the post-mark of Burlington, in New-Jersey. Before I consigned it to my file of honour, the back of it was endorsed with the following
"When I opened this letter, not recognizing the hand, I expected an insult, like many which I have received on the subject of THE CONTRAST; but, behold! the Lord has given me another benefactor: I know by experience, and have often rejoiced in the