Page images

Annexed to his bill for printing of the above Poem, is also a charge for printing two thousand copies of Rush's Thermometer. Thus by every means he is seeking to do good to his fellow men.

As might well have been anticipated, his labours proved too much for his frail body. On the 8th of December, he writes to me" My health is so delicate, that I am obliged to withdraw from the Seminary for a while. I am very much debilitated by too close application. Dr. Mason advises me to stop all my studies until I get well. Hard study does not agree with me."

Still bent upon usefulness, he, about this time, perhaps before, became very much engaged in the organization and conducting of some benevolent Society.

I think it probable that the following extract refers to it, though at an earlier period.

<6 May 20th, 1813. "I am attempting to form a Society to raise money for the support of young men to the Gospel ministry, and expect to succeed. Pray for it, and us."

Again, he writes

"September 13th.

"You remember the little Society in New-York; Mr. Fitch has given it $5000!! Now let us never be discouraged, but do what duty bids, nothing doubting."

As my brother was by his indisposition constrained to relinquish his studies in a great measure, his active soul would not long permit him to remain without seeking a new field of labour, where, while reaping some pecuniary advantage, he could promote the restoration of his health, and do good to man.

Such a field was soon presented; and on the 13th of December we find him entering into articles of agreement with the firm of Dodge and Sayre, of the city of New-York, to obtain subscribers for Scott's Family Bible, which they

were then publishing. They engaged to give him eight per cent. on the amount of subscription obtained within the city, and twelve and a half per cent. on the amount obtained out of the city of New-York; said allowance was to be paid as follows: viz.-one half in cash on obtaining the said subscription; and the other half in cash at the end of three years from January 1st, 1814, or in books at twenty per cent. discount from the usual retail prices, at any time after obtaining the said subscription.

Two days after entering into the above agreement, he writes to me in Philadelphia, and endeavours to enlist me in the same cause. The following is an extract from his letter

"NEW-YORK, December 15th, 1813.

"I have been fearing lest your health might give way to the application necessary in your Seminary, and have therefore been calculating for it." "During my being unwell, I propose spending some time in going about the country and spreading Mr. Dodge's edition of Scott's Bible. It is doing good, gaining my health, and making money. In getting the subscriptions, I have the aid and good wishes. of all Christians. I have had thoughts of calling you to assist for a while in the business, thinking it would restore your health. R." who "is studying Divinity in Princeton, has gained a large number of subscribers in NewJersey, and made himself about one thousand dollars in six weeks, besides doing much good. His success caused me to engage, and, now your health is feeble, you had better engage by all means, until you get well, and then we will find some advantageous place where you may pursue your studies.' "As Dr. Mason tells me we must not abuse our bodies, we must not drive our health; if we do, we shall soon be obliged to give up our studies entirely. You want some time to recruit. Write me immediately, what you think of taking a ramble in the country on this business.


I think you will be very useful in this Bible business, to You the great cause, and you will regain your health. now feel feeble and that makes you despond. Mr. Dodge wants to engage you very much. You had better stop school for the present."

I complied with my brother's request, and left Philadelphia early in January, 1814. After arriving in New-York, I engaged to take his contract with Dodge and Sayre, so far as it related to obtaining subscribers out of the city. Under his direction, I immediately commenced my labours in connexion with Scott's Bible. My first efforts were in Elizabethtown, New-Jersey; from thence I branched out into many of the towns in the interior; Springfield, Morristown, Rockaway, &c.

In this blessed work, I was occupied three or four months. I obtained two hundred and seventy subscribers to Scott's Bible, and realized as my per cent. $902:25. This amount I permitted my brother to draw from Dodge and Sayre, as he saw proper. It must have afforded him important aid. He had been advancing for my expenses, from October, 1811, and I was indebted to him about $500. Thus he had refunded to him, the full amount advanced, and retained under his control more than sufficient to cover all my subsequent expenses until I was enabled to provide for myself. In our temporal concerns, how truly were we blessed of Heaven, besides being instrumental of distributing that useful, that invaluable work, among so many souls, who may for ever praise the God of all grace for the saving boon.

I cannot ascertain to what extent my brother proceeded in this work. However, as I was occupied in the country, he confined his efforts, I believe, chiefly within the city. I presume he did not accomplish much in this work, as his mind was given to other objects; and the necessary labour

in circulating one, and preparing for the speedy publication of one, if not two other volumes of Poems, must have consumed the greater portion of his time.

He writes

"March 14th.

"I am writing an Eastern Tale, in the Walter Scott style, on the death of an Arabian, who was converted to Christianity, and suffered martyrdom. It is taken from the story of Abdallah and Sabat, who are spoken of in Buchanan's Star in the East."

"April 12th.

Again, he says—

"I have finished my Abdallah Poem."

About the first of May, he commenced keeping house in New-York. His views and prospects on this occasion, are expressed in a letter to me, dated—

"NEW-YORK, April 12th, 1814.

"We are going to housekeeping. I have taken a delightful two-story brick house, No. 493 Broadway. There we have the country air, and charming prospects." "My health will be much better there than here, down town. We begin the 1st of May, or a little before. Partly on your account is it, that I have taken a house. have a home and I want you with me. are both meeting with, will enable us to get along easily with the expense. There we shall be out of the way of many temptations, and be able to have family exercises as we wish. The expense will be about the same as for us all to board out, and we shall take much more comfort. Our father can be with us. What good effect may not result from this? It is time I was settled some where. I shall not spend so much as running about. And I find it much, very much to my advantage, to be in a city on account of my publications, &c. Another year, I may perhaps take a house a mile or two farther out of town for the sake of garden, country scenery, &c. We have reserved a room

I want you to The success we

for you as a study and bedroom. Whenever you cease collecting subscribers, you can pursue your studies under my roof. Ever your's, B. ALLEN, JR."

The date of my brother's fourth volume of Poems, is April, 1814.

The copyright was purchased from him by Abraham Inskeepe, by whom it was published. The following is the title," Urania, or the True Use of Poesy, a Poem, by B. Allen, Jr." It is dedicated to the Rev. John B. Romeyn, D. D.

The object of the work is displayed in the preface, from which we make the following extracts.


"Duty demands that every thought, word, and action, should have the glory of God for its ultimate object. Nor is it less than criminal, to make use of any other than a pure and correct mode in pursuing that object. The maxim that the end sanctifies the means,' is the offspring of satan, not the dictate of the Holy One."—" This being manifest in every page, both of nature and of revelation, it must be obvious to all, that no man has an exclusive authority over his own talent. It is the property of Jehovah ; and of its use, He will require a strict account."

"Men of genius are peculiarly liable, from the intoxication of applause, and the apparent brilliancy of the world's fame, to forget the grand end to which their powers should be directed." "But the law of duty still remains as imperious in its requisition, as unimpeached in its certainty, as unbending in its threats, and as boundless in its promise, as when originally promulgated."

"It is the object of this work to show, that poetry should be subservient to that law; and that it is the duty of poets, as well as of men of plain sense, not to bury their talent in a napkin, nor to lend it to the arch adversary."

"Men mighty in literature, have declared that religious

« EelmineJätka »