To Bid Him a Cordial Welcome Again
“In November 1816 the work began in this town. Conferences increased in number, and were much crowded. The work has been principally among youths; and even children have shared a part of those gracious influences, that have inclined them to forsake all their vanities, and seek first the kingdom of heaven. They were brought to discover their exceeding vileness and guiltiness before an holy God.
“They were generally led to see the justice of their everlasting condemnation; and that they never did, and never could do any thing to recommend themselves to the divine favour of Jehovah: that if they were ever saved, it must be altogether by grace.
“The exhortations of young converts, and those newly awakened, beyond any other means, have been owned and blessed of God, for the conviction and conversion of sinners. About fifty have joined the Baptist church, a number the Congregational, and some the Methodist society. Pawlet has received much rain from this cloud of mercy. Ira seemed to lie under the heaviest part of that shower, and almost every family in that town was awakened, and many believed; not because of the sayings of converted souls from other towns, who testified that Jesus told them all things that they had ever done; for they felt his power themselves, and knew indeed that he was the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
“Clarendon and Wallingford were some alarmed, and a few fled for refuge and found peace, through the atoning blood of the Lamb, which taketh away the sin of the world. Upon Mountholly, God was seen in glorious majesty. There, many souls who had known his power for four or five years and some for more than twenty, were waiting to receive their Lord, and bid him a cordial welcome to their hearts and families.
“When they heard that he was travelling in righteousness, upon one part of that mountain, and appearing mighty to save; they left all, and went out, to behold the ensigns of his power, and to walk in the light of his countenance.”
– Joshua Taylor, Accounts of Religious Revivals in Many Parts of the United States from 1815 to 1818 (Shropshire, England: Quinta Press, 2005), 66-67.
The “this town” in the opening line, the epicenter of the revival that spread to the surrounding towns, is Middletown Springs, Vermont (at that time simply called Middletown). I currently pastor the only evangelical church (and one of only two churches) in the town. (I actually live just over the town limit in one of the other towns mentioned.) I love this account and shared it with my church a couple of weeks back. Their enchantment and surprise was thrilling. I am praying with childlike expectation that God will do this again, in spite of us but for us.