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in the field, and the beast of burden reposes. The countenances of men are impressed with the commandment of God, 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. And in the face of nature you remark the same prevailing piety; whether you go into the fields upon the Sabbath, or by the river, or by the ocean, or in the groves, which are the holiest of temples; for Religion dwells within their Gothic gloom, wherein the Druids worshipped. All the trees rejoice before the Lord;' the venerable oaks sigh musically, and their high tops wave in unison, while the birds upon their branches seem to chant, O praise God in his holiness!' When pure hearts commune together in such scenes, and when innocent hands are clasped in supplication, and tearful eyes are upturned to Him that pardoneth the penitent, we think it is the beauty of holiness, and that it is God himself who looks down approvingly, and that it is the light of God's countenance which makes the sunshine so bright, and the skies so clear, and the day so glorious.
But alas ! in the midst of such outward peace, how often the heart is conscious of inquietude ! Its evil desires are smothered, not suppressed, and its petty passions will soon get the mastery. Religion may appear in all we do, but hypocrisy Turks beneath its beautiful garb, like a basilisk among roses. Of this the village of Jemaico, which was usually as quiet as the grave on Sunday, was destined to prove an unfortunate example. It was edifying, in the early part of the day, to see its inhabitants coming forth, so neat, so tidy, and subdued in their aspect; and in a small population, the marvel was, whence came so many girls of a sweet countenance. Thôse who lived at a distance, entered the village in farm-wagons, which had indeed been used all the week in the field, but which, when furbished up, made a respectable appearance on the Sabbath. The horses, who did not consider this service as a labor, but no doubt set it down in their catalogue of 'good works,' had a complacent look, and a solemn, Sabbath gait. At the loud roll and beating of a drum, every one hastened to the place of worship. That sweet hell-music, and those Sunday chimes, which strike upon the ear so musically in the country, were at that time unknown in the Long-Island villages. It might have been that the people were poor, or the churches mostly without turrets, or perhaps the sound of the bell did not accord with Puritan ideas. At any rate, the following curious memorandum is found in the records of Jemaico : ‘At a town-meeting, it was voted by the town, that Jonathan Higgins be appointed to beat the drum for divine service on Sabbath, and that he take his pay in tobacco and Indian corn.'
At the date of this story, there were two churches in the village of Jemaico. The one worshipped in by the Dutch, a numerous congregation, has of late years been demolished, to make way for a Grecian temple. As few monuments like it remain in the land, it may deserve description. Enclosing a considerable area, and built of rounded shingles, it was in form a perfect octagon. The eaves were from twelve to fifteen feet from the ground, and the roof shot up on every side to a point, on which was perched a sort of cupola, somewhat resembling a parrot-cage, in which was suspended, in after times, a large-sized cow-bell. This was again covered by a roof, as.
cending octagonally to a point, and above this was planted a brilliant weathercock. On each side of the octagon, immediately below the eaves, was a small window, exactly square, so that in the whole house there were eight windows to let in the blessed light. The pulpit jutted out of the wall, and was overshadowed by a sounding-board, so that not a word of the good dominie might be lost. When we remember that in early times, before the country was settled, or the savage quelled, the minister of God went into the pulpit bearing in one hand the gospel of peace, and in the other the weapons of war, not knowing whether he might be called to employ both, this angular building might have been originally erected with reference to defence, while the high windows served as port-holes to pour down destruction on a savage foe.
The other church, or meeting-house, was a square stone building, likewise remarkable in appearance, and situated directly in the middle of the main street. There was a broad aisle through the midst, and a folding door at each end, so that the passer-by could easily look in, and see the minister, and hear the psalm-singing, very plainly. It is said that two or three dissolute fellows, who had been spending the morning at an ale-house, in riotous living, came by there, one Sunday, toward the close of divine service. The doors were wide open, and the congregation engaged in singing the hundred-nineteenth psalm.' All three drew up their horses near the church.
• Bill,' said one of them, to the most hair-brained of the party, you can't drive through that church, and out again ?'
• What 'll you bet ?'
* Bet you my brass-headed whip, and a glass of the best cogniac,' added the other.
• Done !' quoth he, and without saying another word, broke from his companions suddenly, and winding the reins round his wrist, and clinging with his legs to the reeking beast, plunged over the threshhold, and through the church. Now it happened that the pews being all occupied, benches were ranged on each side of the aisle, through its whole length, on which were seated men, women, and children, black and white. But the spirited steed threw his heels so daintily among them, that he did very little damage, only cracking a few tortoise-shell combs with his hoofs. Not contented with this feat, the reprobate wheeled round on the outside, and before the audience could recover from their surprise, drove back again, and joining his companions, the three scampered off as if they would break their necks. So suddenly was this done, that the greater part of the women, recovering from their hysterics, thought they had been favored with a visitation from the devil; and hence a tradition, credited to this day, and vouched for by many aged women of the congregation, that the devil passed through the meeting on horseback, but his stay was very short indeed, for he went out a great deal faster than he came in, and was truly so frightened at what he had done, that he put spurs to his steed, and never stopped until he arrived at Hell-Gate, where he vanished.
This event did not make half so much noise as what occurred in the same place on the Sunday after the Governor's arrival. It was VOL. XIII.
not certain in whom the title of the church was vested. The Episcopalians and Presbyterians laid equal claim to it. But as the dissenting interest prevailed in Jemaico, the latter had managed to keep possession of it. When Lord Cornbury arrived, he reversed this order of things. He took the keys away from the minister, and installed his own chaplain in the pulpit of the church. On the Sunday in question, the Rev. Mr. Robbins, the Presbyterian minister, either forgetting the interdict, or by the force of instinct, put his sermon in his coat pocket, and proceeded, as usual, to the church. He entered the door, followed by a goodly portion of his flock, and had advanced half way up the aisle, when suddenly turning his eye to the pulpit, he beheld a clergyman, in full canonicals, reading the liturgy of the Church of England. A handful of Episcopalians were scattered around, as the ms. sarcastically observes, · devoutly kneeling,' while Sir Charles repeated the responses with solemn energy. Had the Rev. Mr. Robbins seen the devil himself, with his cloven hoofs, and all his superfluity of tail, he could not have been more thunderstruck. He had the puritanic dread of the established church, and his people, who had imbibed his prejudice, considered its rites and ceremonials as so many rags and remnants of popery. They fancied they heard the growling of the beast' in its ritual, and saw AntiChrist safely nestled in the folds of the surplice; and they groaned most lamentably at what they saw, and inwardly ejaculated the beast ! the beast !'
Mr. Robbins' first impulse was to ascend the steps and take the pulpit by storm. But a better suggestion triumphed. He stood stock-still for a moment, cast a look of righteous indignation at his brother in the desk, then turned upon his heel, and deliberately walked out of the church. The lambs of the flock who followed the steps of the shepherd, were then any thing but lamb-like in their nature, and
many voices were lifted high in anger. But he quelled the impending storm, and led the way to the 'green pasture' of a neighboring meadow. It was the time of harvest. The new-made hay lay piled in ricks, and cast forth a delightful odor. The heat of the day was attempered by a few fitting clouds. A wagon that stood in
A the field, was erected into a temporary pulpit, into which the minister ascended. Groups were scattered around under the apple trees, and in the shadow of the fragrant piles of hay. An old deaf man, leaning on a smooth staff, was provided with his usual seat on the right of the pastor. The meeting was opened by singing a hymn. Those voices mingled harmoniously in the air, which were harsh and discordant in the choir. After the hymn, came an extemporaneous prayer, somewhat long. It was in the form of a familiar colloquy with God; an improper style, according to our ideas; but it is said that God looks only at the heart, and the heart of Mr. Robbins was ' in the right place. The untutored minds which adore the Creator in an humble temple, or in the open air, cannot be expected to possess the severe taste of those who kneel upon luxurious cushions, and with a fretted ceiling above their heads. The latter may listen with a captious ear, but as the light which struggles upon them through Gothic windows, illumining their rich de igns and antique histories, sends its beams shorn and impoverished within, so the truth, which
is the light, when couched in honeyed phrase, is too apt to be absorbed by its medium, playing round the ear, and delighting it with many harmonies, but dimly breaking upon the heart.
It was upon this spot, many years afterward, that Whitfield stood, that great apostle, with brows uncovered, and with extended arms, the heavens above him, and the fields around, and a countless multitude within the reach of his trumpet notes. And he impelled the popular mind whither he pleased, swaying the great mass by the influence of the spirit, as the invisible wind rocks a forest of oaks.
Mr. Robbins was not by his talents about to shadow forth the coming of this great man. He was not great, but truly good. The subject which he had selected for the present occasion, was the flames of hell, but being ousted from so good a text by their peculiar circumstances, and withal a ready speaker, and never at a loss for words,' he chose another subject, more precisely adapted to their wants. It was from the book of Psalms : •Make their nobles like Oreb and like Zeeb, who said, “Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession.”' • Who dare grumble at persecution, or say that all will not work for good ? Leave all to God, my brethren, who in due time will debase the stiff-necked and the proud, while he giveth grace to the humble. What though the enemy come in like a flood; though they enter our houses like the strong man, and spoil our goods; though they say inwardly, 'Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession ?' Dwelleth God in temples made with hands, or do men go up to Jerusalem to worship? No, no, my brethren; it is not here, and it is not there, that God reigneth, who is all and in all, and every where present. For whether you go up to heaven, he is there, or down to hell ; or whether you take the wings of the morning, and fly to the uttermost parts of the earth. He is in all times, and seasons, and places, and dominions. He is in summer, and in winter, in spring-time and in autumn. He is in storm and sunshine, in light and darkness. For he rideth upon the wings of the wind; he maketh darkness his pavilion; to him the darkness and the day are both alike. He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing; he layeth the beams of his chambers in the great deep, and bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds, and the cloud is not rent under them. He is in his own house, when his true people come there to worship; he is in these fields, which bear witness to his goodness; and God's temple is every where, save in the hearts of the wicked. Have your hearts swept and garnished, that he may come and dwell there. Then, if ye be driven from temples made with hands, will ye have a meet temple within
you. God will bless his true followers, but he will destroy his enemies; he will make their nobles like Oreb and like Zeeb, who said, ' Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession.''
When he had got as far as this in his unconnected medley of expostulation and confused scriptural quotation, the Rev.Mr. Robbins, according to a prevailing infirmity, began to cry. Acting upon the maxim, si vis me flere primum flendum est tibi, by the force of sympathy alone, when the cause was barely sufficient, he sometimes set the whole congregation a-going. But very few could withstand the close of his discourses, which
were at once winning, whining, coaxing, and affectionate. He had gone on a little farther in a similar strain, and tears began to flow,' when an elder of the church, with a countenance expressive of an important message, was seen edging his way through the crowd, and getting up on the rude pulpit, and putting his face close to the preacher's, whispered for several minutes in his ear. Upon this, Mr. Robbins abruptly brought the services to a close, and dismissed the congregation. What it was which occasioned the interruption, will appear presently.
When an adjournment to the open fields, had been agreed upon, several unruly fellows, of the baser sort, who did not choose to follow the advice of their pastor, staid behind, and putting their heads together, made such a clamor at the doors of the church, that the voice of the clergyman in the most solemn part of the litany was drowned. Every man spoke at once, and the counsel which each offered was lost in the general din. At last one of the number attempted to reduce these chaotic materials to order, and getting on a brown tombstone, harangued the crowd in an inflammatory speech. The name of this man was 0-be-joyful Hitchcock, a blacksmith by profession, who considered it as not the least of his merits, that he was lineally descended, by the mother's side, from that renowned saint and great Christian warrior, Fight-the-good-fight-of-Faith White. When he had fanned their fanaticism into a Hame, and persuaded them that they were about to do God service, he led the way, and they all ran into the church, with great uproar and noisy fury. Then commenced a scene so disgraceful, that there would be occasion to thank God if it were a solitary instance. The insurgents began straightway to tear up the seats, and to rend the pew-doors from their hinges. They tore to pieces the few prayer-books they could lay their hands on, with great spite, and scattered their leaves through the aisles. They laid hold of the parson, as he descended from the desk, and pulled his gown off his back, with the same fury that a mad bull rends a red kerchief to pieces, assailing him all the while with the most foul epithets. A pope! a pope !' cried O-be-joyful Hitchcock ; 'behold the mark and number of the beast!' ' A pope! a pope!' echoed the crowd. The whole place was full of confusion. The Episcopalians made some slight show of resistance, and the head of Lord Cornbury might be seen prëeminent amid the din; but they were fain to make their escape, being overpowered by numbers; for a fanatical mob, instigated by such leaders, have little reverence for the powers that be. All at once, the noise died away; stillness returned to the consecrated place; and the Rev. Mr. Robbins stood as if petrified in the midst. His rebellious people looked like scholars caught in the act of mischief, when the schoolmaster has come upon them. Some, with their arms half-lifted in the work of riot, stood arrested in that attitude. A solitary rioter, who was still pulling heartily away at the governor's pew, last of all becoming conscious of the stillness, turned his head, and finding himself the spectacle of his comrades and his pastor, stayed his guilty hand, and looked like a fool. Mr. Robbins cast at them all a severe look, in which surprise, grief, and indignation were mingled. • What mean ye,' cried he, in a solemn voice, which struck upon every