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Title: [Letter] 1825 Jun. 7, Madison County, Ten[nessee] [to] Rev[erend] Finis Ewing, Missouri / W[illia]m Barnett : a machine readable transcription of an image
Author:Barnett, William

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: June 7, 1825
Extent: 4p
Summary:This document is a letter to the Reverend Finis Ewing dated June 7th 1825, from William Barnett. Barnett thanks the reverend for being his mentor and guide. He also writes of various religious issues with the Presbyterian Church.
Collection:Finis Ewing Papers

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Madison County Ten [Tennessee] June 7th 1825
My very dear Bro. [Brother] Ewing

By the blessing of an indulgent God we are all alive, and enjoying the blessings of health for which I desire to be thankful, to the giver of all our mercies.

Yours of the 11th of March was thankfully received, & highly esteemed, I have read it over, and over, again, and again also, I have read it many times to many of the Breathren [Brethren] who all rejoice with me, to hear our, dear old friend talk, if it be on paper, yes, it does my heart good, to see any thing that revives in my mind our good old times, yes I have always numbered them amongs [amongst] my greatest mercies, looking back on the few short, but sweet years we spent in pulling in the gospel yoak togeather [together]. Ah! I look back on them with mournful pleasure then I had a Councilor, a guide, a friend, an associate, in labour [labor], as well, as one of the dearest companions I ever had, But those sweet seasons are gone, and they are gone forever; I fear never [gap] turn.

I thankfully received all parts of your letter, Especially that part which related to the change of our Church judicatory [judiciary] &c [et cetera] &c my mind has been, and yet is labouring greatly on that subject We had a talk on that subject in our little Presby [Presbytery], and the P [Presbytery] expressed her mind, after much had been said on all sids [sides], they were all decided for a General Assembly, except myself, Under this I groaned, if I am rong [wrong], I felt unpleasant, that I was unfortunate enough to differ from all my Breathren, if I be right, I am so small a minority, that I have no hopes of carrying my point. As far as I have learned the minds of severaly P. they are almost universally in favor of an Assembly, I hope God will overrule for his glory, and the good of our little Church--

We had a harmonious week full, yet I hope, a profitable Presbytery, all the members were presant [present], The Anderson P. sent us three young preachers somewhat promising, The N Nashville P. acted just like its self [itself], one young man came from there to ride this summer, and then return; we have six circuitriders [circuit riders], I hope good will be the result,- as far as I can learn it is a lamentable cold time in the church; O! God revive religion

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I approve of, and have, and will, communicate your views to the Breathren, relative to the decisions of the several P. next fall, so, as to the leave our next synod at liberty to do, or decide as she may thing proper; one reason I feel anxious to see the thing settled in some way, is, the wrestlessness [restlessness] of our body. Indeed I find it in, a Church, as in a Family capacity When my Family was small, they were much easier governed, &c &c &c so with the church; you recollect once it was that if we could get a few Circuitriders &c we could supply our demands,--But such have been the rapid, (and I might add) unparallel growth, and I sometimes fear, suc[added: h] will be the Pride, and consequently wrestlessness of our Body, that I wish it may not provoke God to leave us, and of all states this side the Damned, either as a man, a Preacher, or a chuch I would dread that of being left of God the most. O! God forsake us not.

I have lately been at Caldwell Ky. [Kentucky] I understand that the contract is made, the Paper purchased, and the work commenced to mint, that shamefully neglected Book I mean your Lecturs [Lectures]. I hope though it has been long delayed, yet when it comes it will be of lasting use to the Church, and the souls of men.

One circumstance gives me more fears of the downfall of our body, is our Church is crouding [Crowding] with members of the most reputable stamp, I fear Pride, I fear a dependance in men, on the arm of flesh, which never has failed to fail, nor never will, for "God will resist the Proud, and give grace to the humble," I fear if we had a General Asembly [Assembly] a few more Presbyteries, &c and if we had some more learned Preachers, we would then think we could do without the Lord, or so constant a dependance on him- Ah! Lord this has been the downfall of all the Churches; "some [unclear: trust ] in Chariots, some in Horses, (let us do like one of old,) but we will trust in the living God,- for in him the Fatherless find mercy, the name is a strong tower, when we run in we are safe"

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I am trying to reconcile it to myself to submit to the establishment of an Asembly; for without a great chance, I am persuaded it will be soon, if not next fall; and to say I know better than so many wiser, and better men, I feel unwilling, - and to say that an Asembly would be best I have not the capacity, and not to submit to the voice of the Majority would be contrary to republicanism, as well as Presbyterianism and to see things going contrary to my views, I cannot feel easy- if I have to bear the awful load of looking at an Asem [Assembly] I wish God may give me grace so to act that I may do no harm, especially to the good cause--

How is it that you, Calhoon , and myself, are so in the dark when the rest of the old, and all our young Preachers have the light? Is it becasue we have less sense? Is it becasue we have had less experience? Is it because we have less forecast? or is it the want of zeal, & Holy ardor? or what can be the reason? Sometimes I think one way and sometimes another, and I know not that I have ever thought right.

I wish you to give my love to my relations in that Country, tell them I am doing as well as I reasonably could have expected in temporal things, and in my way trying to preach the gospel of the Grace of God.

Give my love to all of your Family, sister Ewing especially, tell her to kiss your little Barnett for me, and pray for our little Ewing, he is going to school learns well, promises fair, but is little couched with the [gap]

Your Nephew, Joseph Lynn , thinks he has religion, at our campmeeting the 3d sab. [sabbath] in July. I think he will publickly [publicly] join the church.

Crops are promising, the People generally heatlhy, but alass [alas] too little religion in our counry.

Do pray for, write to, and believe me to be your dear old Brother and friend, in Gospel Bonds.

Wm. [William] Barnett

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Rev. [Reverend] Finis Ewing Missouri
[added: Natural religion [unclear: I revealed ] lead to the same end, to wit, a knowledge of the will of God [unclear: it is immediate ] by which way we [unclear: arise ] Holy Ghost moving [unclear: away ]] [added: Wm Barnett
June 7]

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