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Title:[Letter] 1825 Mar. 19, Madison County, Ten[nessee] [to] Finis Ewing, Boonville, Cooper County, Missouri / W[illia]m Barnett : a machine readable transcription of an image
Author:Barnett, Wm.

This work is the property of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, TN. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching, and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. For all other use contact the Tennessee State Library and Archives, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37243-0312. (615) 741-2764.

Date: March 19, 1825
Extent: 4p
Summary:This is a letter from William Barnett to Finis Ewing, dated March 19, 1925. Barnett complains that Ewing has not written him in a while. He writes that he will continue sending Ewing letters, though. Barnett writes extensively about his Presbytery. Barnett asks Ewing's advice on whether his Synod should change to a General Assembly because of its size. Barnett writes that he lives near Ewing's nephew, Joseph Lynn. He has many good things to say about Lynn and his family. He mentions having pains in his stomach that he believes are signs of a fatal illness. Barnett worries a great deal about his ability to stay a good, Christian man. He also worries about what will happen to him if he becomes unable to preach, as it is his only skill.
Collection:Finis Ewing Papers

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Madison County Ten [Tennessee] March 19th 1825
My very dear Brother Ewing.

By the blessing of an indulgent God, my Family are all alive, and in good health, for which I try to be thankful.

I have written several times to you, and have received no answer, yet such is the love I have for you; and such my great desire to converse with you, and such is the distance between us, that writing is our only alternative, and though I get no answer to many of my letters, I must, I will keep writing, and you have but one way to stop me, and that will be to write to me, to trouble you no more, and by that means I will get one more:__

I used too think, and cannot yet but think, that you were a man of another stamp; than to forget your friends by a few years separation , Instead of forgeting [forgetting] you, I think I have thought more about you, and about old times, for a few months past than ever I did. [gap] Yes, with pain, and pleasure I look back on the sweet and pleasant days, and years we spent in the vineyard togeather [together] , indeed I view them amongst the happiest hours ever rolled with me, I then had a Father to council, an aid in the Ministry, a dear companion in labour [labor] , an experienced Presbyter, and one in whom I had the utmost confidence, both as to his skill and aim; But the return of the spring reminds me of repairing to Gods House to council with my Breathren [Brethren] the best means to effect the end of promoting the redeemers Kingdom: With a down-cast-eye, and heavy heart; I ask myself where is Presbytery? and with whom will I meet? and on whom will I lean? The answer is what most pains my heart,__ It is not Uncle Fines, Bro,, [Brother] John , Harris Chapman &c [and etcetera ] &c &c But it is with a few unexperienced Boys and there is not [added: one] to look up to and what will give me most pain of all, is that with which you used to be pressed, by me, and others, ( viz [videlicet] ) when any of our members in Presbytery, rises to speak they will, I fear address themselves to me instead of the moderator, You no doubt recollect we used to pretend to address the Moderator But would look at and in truth address Uncle Fines. O my God with out help I shall sink under such a dreadful load.

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But when I retrospect the movement of Providence in, and with our Body, and in particular with regard to the distribution of our old; or older Preachers, I can but be amazed!! and wonder!! The older set that used to be Huddled togeather, and all in one Presbytery are now scattered over several stats [states] , and rarely more than one in a Presbytery throughout our Synod, and in nearly every P,, [Presbytery] one O! the wonderous [wondrous] management of the head of the church!!!

It is not affected Humility when I say I have good, or better hopes of any, or all of the Presbyteries than this one, for many reasons, first we have but four members two of them are very sickly poor &c and what [unclear: liexnciates ] we have are all, or near so of the poor inefficient kind, and we have a large bounds of thickly setting country, other denominations are geting [getting] foothold, and to human appearance our prospects are discouraging, In short we have no hope but in the Lord, and I fear not the proper hope in him, O! Brother do pray for us.

If ever Kavenaugh could be loosened from the world, or get his business wound up so as we could get our hands properly on him, and get him fixed on the wals [walls] of zion, I hope the Church would reap some useful labours from him; But if ever we do this, it will be some time hence.

Bro. Fines if you please, do write to me, and give me your reason, as well as your views relative to our General Asembly [Assembly] [added: business] as I know not what would be for the general good every thing considered.

I am persuaded some change is inevitable, from the rapid growth, and innormous [enormous] size of our present of our Synod we are now and will become too burdensome for any congregation, Town, or Neighbourhood [Neighborhood] , and as a change is, as I think of necessity; the question is whether we had better have a delagated [delegated] Synod, or General-Asembly, my mind reather [rather] , (lately) preponderates in favor of an Asembly, But would be truly gratified to hear from you on this subject; as I can but little [unclear: forward, and take the ] but few things into view that would be connected, on either hand, in comparison of what I could if I had a better capacity, and more light on the subject.

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I felt grateful to you for your care [gap] and love to me, in your humorous remark to [unclear: me ] "not to let cotten [cotton] Bales get cross ways on my heart & I have made a few and to prevent them geting on my heart, I have shiped [shipped] them to Orleans ; But this may highten [heighten] your fears, ___

Perhapse [Perhaps] if you knew how my fears were excited on that subject, yours would subside; as a person is not in the same danger, who is well apprized of the danger to which he is exposed as one intirely [entirely] secure.

I live within five miles of your Nephew Joseph Lynn , he is a steady moral, (and sometimes I hope I hope a religious man,) (though he has not made a publick [public] profession) he is quite a sensible, wealthy &c and has a large Family of promising children, some of them have professed religion,

Times in this country are reather discouraging at present, about religion, and a sours [source] of great discouragement with me at present is for some months past, I have been afflicted with a sevear [severe] pain in my abdomen and from the symtoms [symptoms] I fear I will be able to preach but little more, and should this be the case, I fear I will sink, and suffer much with the [unclear: hippo ] , or what will be far wors [worse] , get filled with the cars [cares] of this world, and be of no use in the church- and if I could acumulate [accumulate] [property property] for my children, it may be it would only serve as wings to help them faster to Hell, O! God help me that I never may dishonor the good cause. Such is the meanness of my heart, that I fear without active movements, and an intire [entire] devotedness to the good cause, I may some way dishonor my redeemer, and if I get so I cannot preach, I can do nothing else, my want of education, and abilities will render me of no use, only to recommend religion to my Neighbours, by living religious and O! that I may set about the gates of zion, and be enabled to hand in, such as come thither. Do pray for me.

My Wife, [unclear: Libby ] and the children all join in love to you, Aunt Peggy, and all the children particularly to your little Barnett My children are growing fine, Finley Ewing is my stoutest child.

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My Wife and children do as well, and I suppose better [than than] one family in a thousand situated as they are. O! for a grateful heart to God for such family favors.

Bro, will you write? does not your religion breathe good will to Man? then do write, would you want to see, or hear of your old, and real friend happy, then write.

I am dear Brother, yours in Gospel Bonds
Wm Barnett
Rev,, [Reverend] Fines Ewing Cooper County Missouri Bonville [Boonville]
][added: P,,S,, [Post Script] give my love to all the Preachers, and breathren, Robert Steel , and Wife in particular, and if I never see you all on earth I hope to meet you in Heaven. My Finley [unclear: O ] is now picking up cornstalks, but will start to school in a few days he is a little lazy to work, But learns well he is an excellent speaker, reads tolerably well, and has began to write. Wm Barnett]

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