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Still, I doubt not, you are guided by the Spirit of the Lord of the vineyard; and therefore pray you 'God speed.' May you find your new situation far more happy and useful, than that which you are to leave. It will on many accounts be more trying. But God is with you, and his grace sufficient for you. Cannot you find time to write me a line before you go. It will gratify your friend and brother in Christ, "J. J. ROBERTSON."
My brother wrote to Bishop Moore, and enclosed the following certificate of the Vestry.
"It affords me no little pain to make the request that I am about to prefer to you, as many of the pleasantest hours of my life have been spent in your Diocess, and in connexion with brethren whom I shall always remember with affection. But I feel a most decided conviction of duty calling to the step which I am on the eve of taking. The great increase of usefulness promised by my new situation, together with the duties I owe my children, cause me to feel that I ought to remove. The canon requires that I should report to you my conduct, and my Vestry having thought proper to certify favourably, much more favourably than I at all deserve, I send the accompanying paper. Will you do me the favour to forward to me in Philadelphia the demissary letter necessary to my introduction into the Diocess of Pennsylvania. For the many most affectionate exhortations I have received from you, I hope you will accept my sincere thanks. These exhortations have from time to time made a deep impression upon me. I trust they will never be forgotten. That the Spirit of the Lord God in its cheering, strengthening and sanctifying influences may rest upon you and my dear brethren the clergy, and all the people of Virginia, is the fervent prayer of your's, with respectful affection, B. ALLEN."
The following is the certificate
"At a meeting of the Vestry of the parish of St. Andrew's, in Jefferson County, Virginia, on the 14th day of October, 1821, it was ordered to be certified, That the Rev. Benjamin Allen, their late Pastor, (who has been called to St. Paul's Church, Philadelphia) has for several years resided among them as Rector of this Parish, and has, during the whole of that time, conducted himself as a faithful and diligent minister of the Gospel. The Vestry cannot part with Mr. Allen without further certifying, that his conduct in every respect has been perfectly exemplary. And they do not hesitate to declare also, that no man in this section of Virginia has done more for the Church, or perhaps as much, as Mr. Allen. They part with him with great reluctance, but with a hope that he will still continue his usefulness wherever he goes, and long live to be a burning and shining light in the Church. By order of the Vestry.
JAMES BROWN, Clerk."
With reference to his removal, he writes to a connexion in Hudson
"CHARLESTOWN, October 15th.
My Dear Aunt:-My situation is about to be changed. I expect to remove next week to the city of Philadelphia, a congregation there having thought proper to call me; where you will in future direct your letters. The field of usefulness there is great, and the duties necessarily arduous, but the grace of my Master is equal to all things. I leave this country with regret, but the prospect of a large increase of usefulness makes it my duty. Moreover, my children are growing to an age which demands my attention; and such is the nature of my present situation, that
I cannot now be with them more than half the time. May the Lord be my wisdom, my strength, and my comfort, in my new trials and arduous duties. I am straightened in consequence of my education, &c., but the Lord helpeth me. I have the necessities and comforts of life. May I be more useful. May the blessing of Jesus Christ rest upon us all. "B. ALLEN." One of the Committee who presented the call to my brother, wrote to him
“ PHILADELPHIA, October 14th, 1821. "Rev. and Dear Sir:-As the time is nigh at hand when you will be leaving Charlestown, and when we shall expect to see you in Philadelphia, I embrace the opportunity of informing you, that I have taken a house which I hope will suit, at least for a time. I shall be glad if you will inform me the day you calculate to arrive, that I may have the pleasure of meeting you and Mrs. Allen at the wharf when the steamboat arrives; or if any goods you may send by the packet should arrive before you, that I may see them taken care of. Mr. K.'s house will be ready to receive you and Mrs. Allen, with all the other branches of your family, until the things can be arranged in your own house. We are anxiously waiting, in hopes that nothing may happen to prevent your preaching for us next Sunday week. Please to present my best respects to Mrs. Allen, and accept the same for yourself. Your's, very sincerely."
My Brother again wrote to me
"SHEPHERDSTOWN, October 17th.
"Dear Thomas :-It would afford me much pleasure to pass by the Court-House and pay you a visit, but it will be so much out of our way, and it will be so entirely out of my power to take the time, that we must defer seeing you for the present.
"A clergyman is engaged for my Parish, who will, I trust, more than supply my lack of service. He is to visit the Parish next month.
My sickness was not so severe as entirely to lay me up, though it made me very weak. I am now perfectly well.
"We are thus far on our way to Philadelphia, where I expect to preach next Sabbath week. The duties before me are arduous, and the responsibility great. I pray the Giver of strength to impart to me that aid, without which I can do nothing. May your prayers for me be heard, and may they continue to be offered."-"I am glad you are getting under your own roof, as it will be more agreeable. I trust we shall see you there, and you us, in Philadelphia. May the blessing of the most High rest upon you and your's, "B. ALLEN."
My brother moved on with his family and arrived in Philadelphia, where he was received in a manner truly grateful to his own feelings. His public ministrations commenced Sabbath, October 28th, 1821. He arrived in Philadelphia before the necessary papers were forwarded by Bishop Moore. He therefore wrote again, inquiring the cause of the delay. In that letter he remarks
'My people were reluctant to part with me, but they declared, almost with one voice, it was my duty to remove, so far as I conversed with them, which was quite generally; and one of the Vestries formally, through me, invited Mr. Smith.
"May the Lord pardon the imperfections of my labours, and cause that neither you, nor the people of Virginia, may have reason to regret my having spent seven years among them. Please remember me to Mrs. Moore and family.
"Respectfully and affectionately your's,
The Bishop soon enclosed the necessary letter, in the following
"RICHMOND, Va., November 15th, 1821. "Rev. and Dear Sir:-I hasten to enclose you the certificate for which you have applied, in order that you may be received in the Diocess to which you have removed.
"The laborious exertions which marked your ministry in Virginia, always secured you my approbation; and it is my sincere wish that the Almighty may direct you in all your doings, with his most gracious favour, and further you with his continual help. With love to Mrs. Allen, believe me your friend and obedient servant,
RICHARD CHANNING MOORE."
The high estimate in which my brother's labours were held, and the ardent affection of his former people and friends, was evidenced in some of the epistles which followed him.
I give the following extracts. One of his parishioners, who had been much blessed by his labours in seasons of peculiar trial, writes to him
My much beloved Pastor :-Although much indisposed, so much so as scarcely to be able to set up, yet duty and inclination prompt me to write to you. Oh! how shall I commence; and am I doomed to address my dear, dear friend, at so great a distance?"
"On my first ride out, my inclination led me to the Church. Language fails to express my feelings. The Church, trees, and lambs which were feeding around, seemed to mourn the departure of your dear self. My cup of grief seemed to be full to the brim and running over; nature exhausted; had to be brought home and go to bed."
"Could it be otherwise expected, than for it to be a heart-rending struggle to part from one, who so affectionately poured in the oil and wine into my desponding soul;