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MEMOIR OF REV. BENJAMIN ALLEN.
“We have established a Sunday-school in the Church in Shepherdstown, which, last Sabbath, had sixty-six scholars. One at the Forge, which had forty-two. Four hundred children are in Sunday-schools in this district, of which - near half the number are in Sharpsburg. Laus Deo. Pray and labour on. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand, for thou canst not tell which shall prosper, this or that. Above all, pray and call on all your people to be wrestling Jacobs and prevailing Israels. Read your Bible more than any thing else; and again I say, pray.
" About thirty have been added to the Shepherdstown Church within the last four months, principally from the other side of the river. God has given me a coadjutor in the teacher of our Shepherdstown Academy; a pious man, at the head of the Sunday-schools. Oh how much is to be done yet! May the Holy Ghost descend upon us ! It is an admirable thing to get the people actively engaged in doing good, as in Sunday-schools, Tract Societies, &c. It keeps them out of mischief, and is a great means of grace."
October 25th, he also writes“Dear Thomas :- I hope you are growing in grace, in godly sincerity and zeal, for the salvation of souls. The night cometh wherein no man can work, either in his own heart or for the good of others. Our love to Margaret. Your's, affectionately,
Many circumstances are given in the foregoing extracts, which not only more clearly unfold my brother's character and history, but are well designed to be useful to others.
EPISCOPAL SOCIETY OF THE VALLEY ORGANIZED-SERMON ON
SPREADING THE GOSPEL-DIVISION OF THE DIOCESS PRO
The extension of the Gospel in the immense valley in which my brother resided, was an object near his heart, and particularly excited the attention of his neighbouring brethren. They organized themselves into an Association, entitled, the " Episcopal Society of the Valley.” The following were the officers of the Society:Rev. Alexander Balmain, D.D., President,
Rev. Enoch Me Howe;} Vice-Presidents,
Rev. Benjamin Allen, Secretary,
Obed Waite, Esq., Treasurer. Their feelings and views were unfolded in a circular, which was issued December 20, 1819, by my brother, as Secretary of the Society.
I have before me the report of their missionary, who, within the space of four months, travelled more than one thousand miles, preached more than sixty times in the three counties of Hampshire, Hardy, and Alleghany, Md., baptized twenty-seven, instituted various Sunday-schools, &c.
The claims of this Society were very impressively brought before the public, in a sermon which my brother preached in Winchester, early in the year 1820. It was afterwards published, and well received. In this sermon the important duty of extending the saving influence of the Gospel, is so happily urged upon the mind and heart, that I feel myself bound to place it here.
“ WINCHESTER, January 7th, 1820. REV. AND DEAR Sir:-Permit me, in the name of the congregation, to return you thanks for your excellent sermon yesterday delivered in the Protestant Episcopal Church of this place, and to request you to furnish a copy for the press.
ALEX. BALMAIN, Minister Prot. Epis. Church.” Rev. BENJ. ALLEN.
“To his venerable friend, the Rev. Alex. BALMAIN, D. D., and
the Protestant Episcopal Congregation of Winchester, this Ser. mon is respectfully dedicated, as a small tribute of gratitude for their liberal contribution to the cause of his Master, by the Author. Charlestown, Jefferson County, Va.
January 20, 1820.”
“THE DUTY OF SPREADING THE GOSPEL;" “ A SERMON, preached in the Protestant Episcopal Church
of Winchester, Va. on Thursday the sixth of January, 1820; (being the Anniversary of the Epiphany, or Ma. nifestation of Christ to the Gentiles,) soliciting a contribution to the funds of the Episcopal Society of the Valley ; by the Rev. BENJAMIN ALLEN, Rector of the Parish of St. Andrew's, Va.”
" Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.—LUKE X. 27."
“ Among the works of creation how small is the acorn of the woods, but let it be expanded to the utmost of its ability, and what does it become an oak whose branching honours tower amid the storm, amid whose leaves dwell the tribes of air, and beneath whose shade repose the beasts of the field: If fallen by the hand of man, it cheers his domestic circle, it throws around him a strong habitation, it sustains the arches of the temple of his God, it bears him from continent to continent, it breasts for him the tempest of war, it carries the thunder of battle. Thus, comparing small with great, thus is it with our text. It is the law and the prophets in embryo. It has folded within it, like a germ, all the precepts, all the commandments, that have ever been the burden of revelation from God to man. It is the root of that tree of wisdom, which, planted immedi. ately after the fall, and ascending and expanding during the successive ages of patriarchs, and prophets, and apos. tles, now_spreads its branches throughout the moral firma. ment, and invites all mankind to rest beneath its shadow, and gather life and immortality in its fruits. We doubt not it is the root of the tree of wisdom in the Heaven of Heavens—that tree, which, fast by the throne of God,' reflects upon the minds of cherubim and seraphim, directions concerning their duty.
“ This law it becomes us to obey, for by it, when carried out into its various parts, shall we be judged. It is the law under which Adam was placed, and, he having broken it, it is the law under which all who hope for salvation through the second Adam are again brought, that, by the power of divine grace, gaining a conformity to it in this world, they may show forth that conformity, in all its beauty and loveliness, in the world to come.
“On this solemn and interesting occasion,* when we are assembled from different parts of our land, to testify, in a variety of ways, our love to a crucified Redeemer, it will be peculiarly appropriate for us to revolve the most effectual manner of rendering an obedience to this law. We may, and unquestionably ought to obey it, by surrendering our rebellious and discordant passions at the foot of the cross of Jesus, and with an all Hail! acknowledging Him as our Lord. We may obey it by taking it as our guide through
* The Managers of the Episcopal Society of the Valley, were then in session.
the darkness of this pilgrimage, making it the means of creating to us that path, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day. We may obey it by making it our orbit of revolution around the Sun of Righteousness, and reflecting the beams of a pure example upon the world. But there is a degree of obedience still higher than that of rendering to it the homage of our individual holiness; a degree which will call into exercise the full tide of our affections, and the utmost vigour of our powers; a degree which will make us fellow ministers with angels, and co-workers with God; that degree is, the exerting ourselves to spread abroad the knowledge of the Gospel. We may feed the hungry, we may clothe the naked, we may open our doors to the wanderer, but who can estimate the blessedness of spreading abroad the Gospel !
“This, like mercy, “is twice blessed :
The throned monarch better than his crown:
“Science is precious; the arts are good ; wealth is useful; but the Gospel—that is the fountain of order, the source of comfort, the well-spring of content, the channel of purity; that sweetens domestic tenderness, and spreads over fami. lies all that is amiable: that presides in neighbourhoods, to prompt the sympathies of affection, and originate the kindness of love: standing by the pillow of affliction, it wipes away the tear of sorrow, and reveals a Paradise of joy ; taking the orphan by the hand, it leads him to a Father in the Heavens ; healing the heart of the widow, it enables her to kiss the rod; rocking the pillow of age, it sheds over its infirmities the dew of celestial strength; chasing the darkness of the grave, it shows at its entrance an embassy of waiting angels. Death it transforms into a