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is it not possible that we may be? "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?" There are a thousand ways to get wrong, and one only to get right. The two most conspicuous fruits and evidences of religion, are a placid, affectionate spirit, which sweetens and rules our native tempers, and that etherial spirit which overcomes the world. 1 Cor. xiii. James i. 27. 1 John ii. 15. Would it not be well, my dear brother, for us both to try ourselves closely by these two tests, as exhibited in the texts referred to? Religion does not consist in a form, and a profession, nor in going to church on the sabbath, and uttering some of our opinions, and having certain frames; but in possessing and acting out the true spirit of the gospel, which is love,—in rising from under the supreme dominion of selfishness to the dominion of supreme love to God and his dear Son. Luke xiv. 26. Mat. vi. 24. Men are judged by their general characters. 1 John iii. 15. Unless then we are habitually governed by supreme love to God, we are nothing. But such a regent within us will habitually keep down those angry and idolatrous passions which spring from selfishness. If these prevail, we are the slaves of selfishness still. Without, therefore, a dominant spirit of love, which can keep our tempers habitually calm, and produce habitually a conscious deadness to the world, we are not christians. If my own hope will not bear this test, it must be given up.
Thus we cannot hope to live, without a frequent application of the means of grace. And if the world is put under our feet, it will certainly no longer keep us from those means which are necessary for the nourishment of our souls, any more than from those meals which are necessary for the nourishment of the body. Every christian ought to take time from the world to attend at least one meeting a week, besides on the sabbath. I wish, my dear brother, that you would adopt this rule, and inflexibly abide by it, let the world go where it will. I know what you can say on the subject, but I still believe that you ought to do it, and that it is your happiness as well as duty.
Affectionately your brother,
E. D. G.
Dr. GRIFFIN continued at Park-street till the spring of 1815, when, in consequence of the congregation having become embarrassed by means of the war, and withal somewhat divided among themselves, he accepted an invitation to return to Newark as pastor of the Second Presbyterian church then lately rendered vacant by the dismission of Mr. CUMMING. He seems to have hesitated for some time as to the propriety of accepting this invitation, particularly from an apprehension that his return to Newark might be the occasion of some embarrassment to his successor in his former charge. The two following letters, which he addressed to Dr. RICHARDS in relation to this subject, evince a delicate regard to the circumstances in which he was called to act.
Boston, Feb. 21st, 1815.
MY DEAR BROTHER,
I was delighted to hear to-day that you had been invited to preside at the meeting last Thursday. This augurs well for the future tranquillity of Newark. Immediately after receiving an application, about twelve weeks ago, I inquired whether it would give offence for me to exchange with you, and to visit my old friends in your congregation; and was answered, that it would be acceptable for me to visit my old friends, and to exchange with you once in four or five sabbaths. To return to Newark on any other terms than to be in habits of unreserved intimacy and love with one of my earliest and truest friends, and with his beloved church, I could not consent. And if I thought my return would contribute any influence to restore harmony, and to obliterate all remembrance of the past, it would certainly be a powerful motive. On the other hand, if there is, as was hinted to me by some last spring, an incurable separation between the two con
gregations, and my friends down town would look upon me as one who had come to take part against them, I should find myself in a condition truly deplorable. On the various points connected with this subject, I want light, and, my dear brother, I want light from you.
When I resigned my charge into your hands, little did I expect to return and take part with you in your ministry. Nor do I yet know that this is the will of heaven. Newark has not ceased to be the dearest place to me on earth; but I am not my own. From some motions of divine providence I have been led to suppose that that might become my duty. And if it is my duty, I can freely say it will be no act of selfdenial. The particular circumstances which have led to this way of thinking, you in part know, and will know more fully when I have the pleasure to see you. In the mean time I will thank you to open your whole heart to me, and to pour all the light you can upon the present state and future prospects of Newark, relative to the points referred to above. Pray let me hear from you soon. I expect to take a journey early in March; if you write soon I shall receive your letter before I set out. Mrs. G. joins me in most affectionate salutations to Mrs. Richards, and yourself, and to the whole family.
Your friend and brother,
REV. J. RICHARDS.
E. D. GRIFFIN.
Boston, April 15th, 1815.
MY DEAR BROTHER,
I received your fraternal letter of the 28th of February, on my return from Connecticut the 3rd of April, and thank you for your frank and candid remarks. I had written, before my journey, to Mr. Boudinot, and if I am not mistaken, requested him to show the letter to you. That letter will have convinced you that the providence of God, and no unreasonable fickleness, or despondency in me, has suggested the purpose of my return. I have felt unhappy in one view of my return. If from the attachment of some of my old friends, it should operate to render your condition any less pleasant, it would
distress me, not only from my long continued friendship for you, but especially because I was instrumental in your removal to Newark. It will be, I hope, my aim, however, to render your situation no less pleasant than it was when you first came, and have no doubt of reciprocal friendship from you. And with such a union as has always subsisted between us, added to a sufficient degree of prudence, I hope we shall prevail to heal all the divisions which now exist. I believe we shall. There are really no rival interests. There are people and property enough for two congregations, and I hope in time to see a third. This was my hope before I concluded to leave the town. The idea of ministering to the whole town was oppressive and overwhelming.
Since my return from my journey to Connecticut, I have applied to the church and congregation for a dismission. Both bodies have given their consent, and voted to continue my salary till the last of May, though the council for my dismission should be sooner convened. After this consent I consider myself at liberty to announce my acceptance of the call. I will therefore thank you to inform the presbytery in my name, at their April meeting, that I consider it my duty to accept the call, and do hereby accept it; and pray them to appoint a time for my installation, as soon as they, and the congregation choose, after the first sabbath in June. The first sabbath in June I hope to be in Newark. Mrs. G. joins in affectionate regards to Mrs. R. and yourself and family.
I am, my dear brother, your sincere friend,
REV. J. RICHARDS.
Agreeably to the intimation contained in the preceding letter, Doctor GRIFFIN's resignation of his pastoral charge received the sanction of a mutual council, April 27, 1815; though he continued to officiate as pastor till the last sabbath in May. He arrived in Newark with his family the first week in June.
RESIDENCE AT ANDOVER AND BOSTON.
HIS SECOND RESIDENCE AT NEWARK.
Doctor GRIFFIN was installed pastor of the second Presbyterian church in Newark, June 20, 1815.
Toward the close of the year 1816, a general attention to religion commenced in both congregations in Newark, and extended to several of the neighboring towns. During this revival Dr. G. was abundant in his labors, and was privileged in due time to gather in a precious harvest.
Under date of March 27, 1817, he writes in his diary as follows:
A day of private fasting and prayer agreed upon by both churches in the town, to implore the continued influences of the Divine Spirit. Having of late years entered more largely into the public business of the church, I have spent too little time in my closet, and in consequence find that it is not so easy today to fix my thoughts in these private exercises as it formerly It is my desire from this time forth to return to the more full practice of private devotion, and to a renewal of my journal.
I have tried the world; I have been too much devoted to honor; but I found it all vain. Never was I so restless and unhappy as when most elevated in view of the world. I was Vol. I.