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Upwards of $700 of the above specified claim, arose from the printing of Doddridge's Rise and Progress.
He also engaged in a speculation with Land Warrants. Thus, on the 6th of June, 1813, Henry Brickley, of Philadelphia, conveyed to him thirteen tracts of land on the Susquehannah, in Nanticoke, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. These facts appear, from a letter addressed by my brother to Mr. Mallery, of Wilkesbarre, whom he applied to as his counsel. He thus closes his letter. “With you, Sir, I wish to leave it. On the business I place much dependence for furnishing me a sufficiency to pursue my theological studies in quietude. Enclosed is twenty dollars. I am, Sir, yours, respectfully, BENJ'N. ALLEN, Jr." Some time after, he informed me that he had engaged a legal friend in Philadelphia, to dispose of the land for him.
June 29th, he writes,
"I found that the four thousand acres of land, which you know I purchased of Mr. B., is in a fair way to give me from five to fifteen thousand dollars cash, within twelve months: so that, while I admire the goodness of our Father in thus making of me 'two bands,' I begin to perceive my duty to consist in retiring more from business, and devoting my time to closer study. Help me to be thankful.” His calculations were large indeed. In fact, I do not discover that he realized any thing from the speculation.
My brother's general mode of conducting his concerns, was to exchange his own publications for a great variety of others, and then dispose of those among his friends, especially his fellow students, and frequently send them to auction. In his letter to me, Feb'y. 9th, he observes, "I have, through the blessing of Providence, sold three hundred dollars of books to the students since you left; making in all, five hundred and twenty-five dollars to them, besides
more ordered and not yet received."-Again, "February 11th, Do you not see the bounties of our Heavenly Father's hand?""In temporals, he is much blessing me. My sales to the students now amount to seven hundred and fifty dollars."
His engagements were indeed numerous: his head, his heart, his hands, were full to overflowing. The writing and publication of his poems, (as soon as one was in press, another would be in preparation,)—the time and labour necessarily required to dispose of those works by exchange and otherwise; the providing for his family, and myself frequently at a distance from him, all this, in connexion with his attention to the lectures and the general course of instruction in the Seminary of Dr. Mason, was well designed to undermine his frail body. It was by peculiar strength and blessing from on high, that he was so long upheld.
After I had remained at Elizabeth-Town some months, my brother, in his visit to Philadelphia, having received so favourable an account of the Academy in that city conducted by Rev. Dr. Gray and Wylie, was induced to remove me to this institution.
In July he took his wife to Hudson, designing there to spend his vacation. While there, he was not idle. Besides attending to his general concerns, he laboured to promote the spiritual improvement of the inhabitants of his native place.
"HUDSON, July 26th.
"I am about establishing a prayer-meeting on the Hill, to commence next week. Pray for an outpouring on this barren rock.-Professors here are cold and dead, many of them, and few are they in number. Mr. Chester is about establishing an assistant Missionary Society here, and will undoubtedly succeed. He is catechising the children—a capital omen."
"Our evening meetings still continue at the Academy, and are well attended."
In a previous letter, August 14th, after mentioning that some of his acquaintances were inquiring, he observes, "I hope all these drops are forerunners of a shower. Oh, that they might be. Pray fervently for this valley of dry bones. Pray that its professors may be wrestling Jacobs, and prevailing Israels."
His first child was born October 8th, 1813.-On the 9th he writes to me.
"Dear Uncle Thomas,
"How do you like your new title?—Yesterday we were favoured with a fine little boy."—"I pray that our Heavenly Father may glorify himself with it, and make it his. May it glorify him abundantly."
"We have named the little one, George Fitch, after our friend in New-York. I hope he may be instrumental in glorifying his Heavenly Father a thousand times more than ever I have done."-Thus it is evident, that his sincere desire, fervent prayer, and continued labour was, that he might adorn the doctrine of God his Saviour, in all things; and not only to consecrate himself, but all over which he had control, to the love and service of his Heavenly Father.
My brother returned to New-York- the last of October, or the first of November. On the 25th of October he writes me in anticipation of his return.-" Dr. Mason's Lectures commences next Monday or thereabouts. I look forward with much pleasure to that time. The delight of New-York Christian society and preaching, is very great." In the same letter he observes-"I place much reliance on the products of a Poem which goes to press the moment I go down, almost. It celebrates our unparalleled naval
victories, and attempts to direct the attention of the people of the United States to gratitude to their Maker."
"The Poem I spoke about before, will probably be published between now and next summer, with my name.'
Early in November, he published his Poem with this title, "Columbia's Naval Triumphs." The Poem and notes constitute a small volume of one hundred and thirty-two pages. In the introduction he observes-" The names of Pike, Harrison, Van Rensselaer, Croghan, 'and their gallant compeers, will descend to posterity with eclat; the admiration and gratitude of their country, will never cease to attend them, so long as patriotism and heroic valour are cherished and respected; but the intention being to include in this work naval triumphs alone, their deeds are left for some future attempt at celebration."
The following are extracts of this work. He thus com
"First to Jehovah strike the sounding praise!
To Him who rules the sea, the earth, the sky,
Who reigns o'er all, eternal and alone,
In a note he observes-"They that trust in the Lord, are like Mount Zion, which shall never be moved.' If a man be satisfied, on proper inquiry, that duty impels him to the scene of danger, he may go without fear. A trust in the Lord supposes an inquiry concerning what is duty, and a sincere desire to perform it.”
After celebrating the different victories obtained by our Navy over the English vessels, he describes the scene on Lake Erie. When all things are prepared for the contest, he thus proceeds
"With anxious soul, Britannia waits the fight;
She to her Heavenly Father breathes her prayer
In a note referring to this passage, he says "The day before this battle was a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer, throughout the United States, by appointment of the President. When such are the weapons resorted to, well may we expect success. Prayer is more mighty, than millions of soldiers."
He closes the poem with a reference to the Christian triumph.
"Acknowledge Him who rules the host above,
"Let him upon the rock of ages rest-
"Who would obtain a never-dying fame,
The prayer of faith-the grateful song of praise!
"Eternity unfolds perpetual joy,
"Seraphic guardians ever round him wait,