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cockeARRev. A. R. Cocke, D.D. was ordained by Lexington Presbytery January 19, 1881.  He came to the Windy Cove Presbyterian church directly from the Seminary. He was an A.B. graduate of Washington and Lee University and also a graduate of Union Seminary, Richmond, Virginia. He served as pastor at Windy Cove from 1881-1884. The Presbyterian Church at Millboro was or­ganized during his pastorate.

Rev. Alonzo Rice Cocke was born in Campbell County, Virginia, January 7, 1858.  His parents were Alonzo and Frances Rice Cocke. He was a descendent of Rev. Samuel Blair, of Faggs Manor, Pennsylvania and of the Rev. David Rice who went from Virginia to Kentucky after the Revolutionary War, and who did so much to establish Presbyterianism west of the Alleghenies.

Like Samuel of old he was early called of God. He professed conversion at the age of eight, telling his mother he hoped it was the grace of God that made him happy and he showed even then a full understanding of the plan of salvation.  His father having died, his religious training devolved upon his mother. He joined Diamond Hill Church, Roanoke Presbytery, when he was nine years old. After reading the life of General Lee, he said, “I had rather preach the gospel than be the greatest general that ever was.”

He studied at New London Academy and Washington and Lee University, graduating in his twentieth year with distinction.  He went to Union Seminary, a school founded by a distinguished member of his mother’s family, finishing his course at twenty-two years of age.

He preached at Covington, Virginia and Hot Springs, Arkansas, though de­clining calls to either of these churches. His first pastorate, beginning in 1880, was Windy Cove Church and then Millboro obtained a separate or­ganization and he served both of these churches as pastor. In 1880 he was married to Miss Jeanie Leyburn, of Lexington, Virginia, who was very helpful to him in his work. One child, Frances Lea, came to bless their lives. While serving at Windy Cove, he met the saintly Rev. Samuel Brown who was paternal in his friendship. Rev. Cocke was forced to resign his beloved pastorate on account of ill health in 1884. After recuperating, he took a course under the brilliant Dr. R. L. Dabney in Texas. While there he taught some of the classes of Dr. Dabney who said of him, “Such a display of didactic skill and tact showed him to be a born teacher.”  Great inducements were offered him to remain in Texas, but personal and domestic duties caused him to return to Virginia.

He was called to Waynesboro in 1886. The church there had 105 members, but during his pastorate it increased to five or six hundred with two organizations.  In all, eight hundred were added to the church. During his pastorate there he filled the chair of Philosophy in Valley Seminary.  He was offered the Presidency of Agnes Scott Seminary, Decatur, Georgia, and the chair of Syste­matic Theology in South Western University, Clarksville, Tennessee, but declined both offers.

He was appointed chaplain of the University of Virginia but served only one term (1895-96), as his congregation was unwill­ing to sever the pastoral relation. His zeal for winning souls was earnestly shown at the University of Virginia.  Beginning in 1897, Dr. Cocke wrote the “Practical and Illustrative Department” of The Earnest Worker, an important magazine published by the Southern Presbyterian denomination. He also authored Studies in Ephesians and Studies in St. John and No Immersion in the Bible, all works which were enthusiastically received by his friends.

The degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred on him on the same day by Washington and Lee University, Virginia, and by Central University, Kentucky.  “Such was his culture of mind and heart, his ability and many sided activities, his rare union of pastoral and preaching gifts, his tact, his sympathy and his cheerful courage, that a large promise of usefulness in the service of God and man was before him,” thus wrote one of his friends.

One of the members of the Windy Cove Church wrote, “We know that earth is better and brighter, lives richer and fuller, hopes and aspirations more glorious for those who came into close contact with his saintly life. He not only preached the glorious gospel with great earnestness and power—he lived it. He lived among his people and he loved them—each man, woman, and child felt sure of a sympathetic friend in him of him more can it be said than of any one I have ever known,  “ ‘Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.’ ”

One of the last sermons he preached was from the text of Revelation 21:21, “Every several gate was of one pearl.”  He seemed to be gazing beyond the Pearly Gates into the celestial city. Those beautiful gates opened for him in but a a few days later. He died at Mercy Hospital in Chicago on August 23, 1901, following an operation. His body was brought back to Waynesboro and in­terred in the River View Cemetery, where he awaits the resurrection call. For him to live was Christ and to die was gain.

Chronological bibliography—
1892
Studies in Ephesians. Lectures delivered at the Presbyterian church at Waynesboro, VA. Chicago: Fleming H. Revell, 1892.  137 p.; 19 cm.

1893
No Immersion in the Bible; or, Baptism as taught and practiced by Christ and the apostles. Richmond, Va., Presbyterian Committee of Publication, 1893 3d ed.  80 p. [reprinted at least through eight editions]

True Culture Exemplified in Alma Mater’s Training: Address before the Alumni Association of Washington and Lee University.  Lynchburg, VA.: J.P. Bell Company, Book and Job Printers, 1893.  14 p.

1895
Studies in the Epistles of John, or, The Manifested Life. Richmond, VA: The Presbyterian Committee of Publication, 1895.  159 p.; 19 cm.

The gravesite of the Rev. A. R. Cocke: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=39583857

 

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Both a Lawyer and a Pastor

Robert Reid Howison was born on 22 June 1820.  His parent’s names are not recorded in the PCUS Ministerial Directory.  Howison studied at the Fredericksburg Academy and then studied law privately before being admitted to the bar in 1841. He then entered the Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA, attending there from 1841-1843. Robert was licensed to preach on 27 April 1844 by East Hanover Presbytery and then ordained to the ministry on 4 October 1844 by Lexington Presbytery, being installed as pastor of the Presbyterian church in Staunton, Virginia, where he served from 1844-1845.

Ill health prompted him to be divested of office at his own request in October of 1845, and he resumed his legal practice, serving in that capacity from 1846-1870. He practiced law for many years in Richmond in the years leading up to the Civil War, and was engaged in a case held in the old capital building, when the floor of the building collapsed, and he was buried beneath the rubble. That injury left him recuperating for about three years, and it was 1873 before he returned to legal practice. He continued in that capacity until 1880, at which time re-entered the ministry, with renewal of his license to preach, under the authority of East Hanover Presbytery, in April of 1880.

He was re-ordained on 15 April 1881, also under the authority of East Hanover, and installed as pastor of the Samuel Davies Presbyterian Church, serving there from 1881-1883. He next answered a call to serve the Third Presbyterian Church in Richmond, VA, from 1883-1889, and then served as Stated Supply for the churches of Culpepper, Orange and Milder, 1889-1894,, and the Presbyterian church in Ashland, 1894 until retirement in 1903.

Rev. Howison was also a professor of American history at Fredericksburg College from 1894 until his death in 1906. He died on Tuesday morning, November 1, 1906 at his home in Fredericksburg, Virginia, at the age of 87. Honors bestowed during his life include the LL.D. degree, conferred by Hampden-Sydney College in 1897. He was as well an accomplished historian, having written a valuable history of Virginia and many other works of literature.

Chronological bibliography—
1846
A history of Virginia : from its discovery and settlement by Europeans to the present time (Philadelphia : Carey & Hart, 1846-1848), 2 v. ; 22 cm.  Contents include: vol. 1. Containing the history of the colony to the peace of Paris, in 1763; vol. 2. Containing the history of the colony and of the state from 1763 to the retrocession of Alexandria in 1847, with a review of the present condition of Virginia.  Imprint of v. 2: Richmond : Drinker and Morris ; New York ; London : Wiley and Putnam, 1848.  [HP #1533]
Vol. 1 online at http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/t/text/text-idx?c=darltext;view=toc;idno=31735054780162
Vol. 2 online at http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/t/text/text-idx?c=darltext;view=toc;idno=31735054780204

1851
Reports of criminal trials in the circuit, state and United States courts, held in Richmond, Virginia. Richmond, Va.: G.M. West & Brother, 1851), 120 p. Reprinted, New York, 1937. And again reprinted as Howison’s Criminal trials of Virginia. Buffalo, N.Y.: Dennis, 1950, 1851. Online at http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Index?index=trials/hwison&collection=trials

1857
Cowan, Virginia M., An essay on “The world as it is” S.l.: s.n., 1857. Written by Virginia M. Cowan of Memphis, Tennessee, and read by R.R. Howison, Esq., at the commencement of the Richmond Female Institute, June 26th, 1857.

1862-1864
“History of the War.” 1834-1864, Article [v. 1-2, chapter 1], appearing in The Southern Literary Messenger. Richmond, Va.: 1834ff.

1871
Mutual Benefit Life In. Co. vs. Atwood’s administratrix. D.M.–31 A. Richmond, Va., 1871.  33 p.

1880
Fredericksburg: past, present and future. Fredericksburg, VA: R.B. Merchant, 1880. 52 p.  Reprinted, Fredericksburg, VA: J. Willard Adams, 1898. New ed., with supplement, 80 p.

1883
God and Creation. Richmond, VA: West, Johnston & co., 1883.  578 p.

“The New Testament Plan of Educating Candidates for the Christian Ministry,” in The Southern Presbyterian Review, 34.4 (October 1883): 651-682.

1887
Howison, Robert R., George D. Armstrong and Hugh Blair, Historical sketch of the Presbytery of East Hanover, Virginia. Richmond, VA: Whittet & Shepperson, 1887.  17 p.

1892
A history of the United States of America. Intended for students in schools, academies, colleges, universities and at home, and for general readers. Richmond, VA: Everett Waddey Co., 1892.  936 p.

Posthumous Publications—
1922
“Fredericksburg: Her People and Characters,” in The William and Mary Quarterly, 2nd Series, 2.4 (October 1922): 221-238.

1924
“Dueling in Virginia,” in The William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, 2nd Series, 4.4 (October 1924): 217-244.

Works concerning Robert R. Howison—
Stephens, Trina A. Jr., Twice Forty Years Of Learning: An Educational Biography of Robert Reid Howison (1820-1906); Ph.D. dissertation, available online at http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-51998-15534/

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How the West Was Won

From The Christian Observer, vol. 52, no. 40 (1 October 1873): 1, column 6.

Rev. S. J. P. Anderson, D.D.

andersonsjp04The life of Dr. Anderson, up to the time of his failing health, and retirement from the ministry, had been one of remarkable success. He was born in Prince Edward county, Virginia, on December 5th, 1814, the son of Sterling C. Anderson, of Appomattox, VA. The early years of his life were spent in the country, on the farm of his father, where, at a village school, and with the aid of a tutor at home, he was prepared for college. In 1831, he went to the University of Ohio, at Athens, and afterwards to Hanover College, Indiana, where he graduated in 1835. His theological course was pursued at Union Theological Seminary.

[Above right:  One of several images of the Rev. S.J.P. Anderson preserved at the PCA Historical Center. The actor Henry Fonda bore a striking resemblance, don’t you agree?]

The first charge of Dr. Anderson was at Danville, Virginia, where he remained five years, the pastor of a large and constantly increasing congregation. From Danville, he removed to Norfolk, VA, where he soon took rank as one of the ablest and most effective preachers in that State—so famous for its preachers.

AndersonSJP02After remaining five years at Norfolk, he was called to St. Louis, and in 1851 was engaged as the pastor of the Central Presbyterian church in that city. At the time that Dr. Anderson took charge of the church it was far from being in a prosperous condition. It was yet in its infancy, few in numbers, embarrassed with debt, and greatly afflicted by the death of its first pastor, Rev. Alexander Van Court, of precious memory! The task before him was a difficult one; but, by faithful preaching and earnest work, with the blessing of God, he was enabled to accomplish it with success. Under his ministry the church grew steadily, was increased by considerable accessions from time to time, until it became, at length, one of the largest and most influential churches in the city.

It is not too much to say of Dr. Anderson, that he was, in his day, a man of eminent usefulness and power in the ministry. He was a preacher of marked ability—earnest, evangelical and eloquent. He was a man of fine scholarship, large reading, and almost faultless taste; his mind was richly stored, not only with biblical, but also with historical learning, and the whole was laid under contribution to the pulpit. His sermons were not only sound and able, as expositions of gospel truth, but they were usually finished productions as they came from his hand, abounding in happy illustration, delivered in a pleasing, captivating style, and with a voice the richness and sweetness of whose tones lent a charm to every word that he uttered. It was indeed a strange providence as we look at it, which, before he had passed the meridian of his life, when he was yet in the vigor of his manhood, and in the full tide of his popularity and success, prostrated his health, deprived him of his voice, and consigned him to retirement and silence. But there can be no doubt that it was meant in wisdom and love. It was of the nature of the disease that Dr. Anderson suffered and of which he died, greatly to depress his spirits, and the latter years of his life were in consequence passed under a cloud of despondency  and melancholy which never wholly cleared away, until the Master sent him the glad message of dismissal, and called him to “Come up higher.”

Amid all the clouds and darkness, however, that gathered about him, his hope of salvation was never for a moment obscured. He was wont to speak often of this as one of the sweet tokens of the favor of God. Everything else in his condition seemed to him to be dark and hopeless, but this blessed assurance of a personal interest in Christ never forsook him. Never did the sky grow so dark above him, but this bright star still trembled on the horizon of his hopes. His faith in Christ was firm as a rock to the last, and simple as that of a little child; his trust was solely on that precious blood that cleanseth from all sin, and he felt that he had nothing to fear. Death, the last enemy, whom we all so dread to meet, was disarmed of its terrors to him.–Old School Presbyterian. The Rev. S.J.P. Anderson breathed his last on September 10, 1873.

centralPC_STL_sm[The Central Presbyterian Church began as the Fourth Presbyterian Church in 1844 and acquired its present name in 1846 when it met in a small building at 6th and St. Charles Streets. Early clergy included Rev. Joseph Templeton and Rev. Alexander Vancourt, Rev. S. J. P. Anderson, and Rev. Robert G. Brank. In 1849 it moved to its own building at 8th and Locust where it remained until 1873. At that time it moved to a temporary chapel at the NE corner of Lucas and Garrison. Forced to retire a few years earlier, 1873 was also the year of Rev. S.J.P. Anderson’s death. A new church was built at the Lucas and Garrison location in 1876. This building was used until 1906 when the congregation moved to Delmar and Clara. The church is currently located at the corner of Hanley Road and Davis Drive in Clayton, Missouri. The architect’s drawing at left shows the church’s last building as envisioned by the architect, though the tall spire was never installed.]

Words to Live By:
Man knows not his time. The Lord may call tomorrow, or our time may come many years from now; but surely we will all die. Keep your accounts current and be diligent, day by day, in what the Lord gives you to do. “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12, NASB)

Published works of the Rev. S.J.P. Anderson—

1845
The influence of the Bible on liberty: an address, delivered before the Union Society of Hampden Sidney College, September 18, 1845. Richmond, H.K. Ellyson, 1845. 32pp.

1850
“Form and Spirit,” in The Southern Presbyterian Review, 4.2 (October 1850) 177-197.

1851
“Notes on the Miracles of our Lord,” in The Southern Presbyterian Review, 4.4 (April 1851) 580-589.

“The Variety of Shakespeare, in The Southern Presbyterian Review, 4.3 (January 1851) 343-357.

1852
“The Unity of the Human Race, in The Southern Presbyterian Review, 5.4 (April 1852) 572-601.

1854
“Commemorative Discourse,” in A memorial of the Rev. Stephen Griffith Gassaway, A. M. : late Rector of St. George’s Church, Saint Louis. St. Louis: Printed at the “Missouri Democrat” Office, 1854.

1856
“The Prophets of the Restoration,” in The Southern Presbyterian Review, 9.4 (April 1856) 513-519.

1858
The Power of a Christian Literature : a sermon on behalf of the Assembly’s Board of Publication. Philadelphia : Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1858. 34pp.

1859

“The Fulness of Time, in The Southern Presbyterian Review, 11.4 (January 1859) 556-570.

1861
The Dangers and Duties of the Present Crisis! : A Discourse, delivered in the Union Church, St. Louis, January 4, 1861. St. Louis, Mo.: Schenck, 1861. 18pp.  To view this title, available on the Web, click here.

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Pray for Repentance and for Reformation

Where feasible, it seems fitting to include some portion of a sermon on our Sunday entries. To get there today, we’ll start from volume 1 of Sprague’s ANNALS, where we find this account of the Rev. William Hill:

“William Hill, the son of Joseph and Joanna (Read) Hill, was born in Cumberland County, Virginia, on the 3d of March, 1769. His ancestors were from England. He lost his father when he was five years old; and, after the lapse of a few years, his mother gave him a stepfather in Mrs. Daniel Allen, father of the Rev. Carey Allen, and an elder in the Presbyterian Church in Cumberland County, at that time under the pastoral care of the Rev. Samuel Stanhope Smith. At the age of eleven, he lost his mother, who seems to have been a devout and exemplary Christian, and to have made impressions upon the mind of her son in favor of a religious life, that had a powerful influence in ultimately determining his character. One year previous to this, he was placed under the tuition of Mr. Drury Lacy, who, for three years, was employed by Mr. Allen as a teacher in his family. After his mother’s death, he was placed under the guardianship of one who cared little for religion, and under whose influence he soon lost his serious impressions, and became absorbed to a great extent, in the pleasures of fashionable life.

“This habit of carelessness, however, was not destined to be of long continuance. In 1785, he entered Hampden Sydney College, then under the Presidency of the Rev. John Blair Smith. So low was the state of religion in the College at that time, that there was not a student who evinced any regard for it, nor one who was known to possess a Bible. During the early part of his collegiate course, he endeavored to banish all thoughts of religion, and indulged freely in the views common to his ungodly associates; but even then he had his moments of reflection when he was haunted by the remembrance of his mother’s counsels and prayers. Nearly two years elapsed, after he entered College, before his character seemed to undergo a radical change. After his mind had, for some time, been turned inward upon itself in silent and anxious thought, he retired to a secluded spot, where he gave vent to the agony of his spirit in earnest cries to the Divine mercy, and was enabled, as he believed, to devote himself without reserve to the service of God.

Shortly after, two or three other young men connected with the College experienced a similar change of views and feelings, and associated themselves with him in a private devotional service, which, as it became known, excited the most bitter opposition from their fellow students, and even drew forth threats of vengeance, unless it were discontinued. This brought the matter to the ears of the President, who assured them not only that they should be protected in their rights, but that they should have the privilege of holding their meeting in his parlor, and that he would himself be present and assist in conducting it. A revival of religion now commenced, which soon included among its subjects half of the students in College…The revival extended into neighboring churches, and then into those which were more remote, and was more extensive and powerful than had been experienced in Virginia since the days of President [Samuel] Davies.”

It breaks our preconceptions to read that times then were not much different than today. Unbelief, atheism and the persecution of those who desire to live godly lives, these things were just as much a part of early American history as they are today. God brought reformation and revival then, and He can so bless again.

It was during the summer of 1787 that William Hill made a public profession of his faith in Christ as his Savior. In 1790 he was licensed to preach, and after serving a term as a missionary, took the pulpit of the Presbyterian Church in Winchester, Virginia in 1800. It was there in 1812 that he preached a sermon in reflection on what has been termed early America’s first great disaster. Late in 1811, a great fire had swept a theater in Richmond, VA, trapping many of the theater-goers and killing 72. The nation mourned, and Rev. Hill was one of many who delivered a sermon in retrospect of that tragedy. A portion of his sermon follows, with a link at the end for those who may want to read the full sermon.

SERMON, &c.

Luke XIII.–1st and r5th inclusive.

There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.  Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

The Blessed Saviour in the close of the last chapter had just mentioned what would be the dreadful doom of obstinate and impenitent sinners, who, when in the hands of their adversary, and about to be hauled before their Judge, should still neglect to make their peace with him.–This induced some person present to mention the case of those Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices, as a case supposed to be in point. The Saviour, as was his custom, took an occasion, from the relation of that barbarous act, to deduce a pious improvement, and to impart useful instruction.

By referring to another passage of Scripture, and to the Jewish historian Josephus, we learn the occasion of this cruel deed. These persons, slain by Pilate, the procurator of Judea, were some of the faction of Judas of Galilee, mentioned by Gamaliel in the 5th Chap. of the Acts of the Apostles, and more at large by Josephus. This Judas had stirred up the Galileans to sedition against the Roman government, under a pretense of asserting their liberty, by freeing them from the Roman tribute; and some of them coming to Jerusalem, to sacrifice according to the custom of the Jews, at the Passover, Pilate caused them to be slain upon the spot, while they were engaged in offering up their sacrifices, shedding their blood, with that of their beasts, which they were slaying for the altar.

Our Saviour takes occasion from the relation of this event, to correct a very vicious humor, which has always raged in the world, that of censuring the faults of others, while we overlook our own.

The principle of self-love which was inherent in man, has, by our apostasy degenerated into self-flattery, so that it has now almost become natural in man, to supply the want of a good conscience, by a good opinion of themselves. And hence it comes to pass, that men are so ready to take all advantages to confirm themselves in that false peace, which they have created to themselves in their own imagination; and so they can but maintain a comfortable opinion of themselves, it matters not how uncharitable they are to others; and knowing no better way to foster this fond conceit of themselves than by fancying God to be their friend, it hence comes to pass, that they are so apt to interpret the providence of God towards others in favor of themselves, and to abuse the judgments which fall upon their neighbors, into an argument of their own comparative innocence.

Therefore, our Saviour, who knew what was in man, and what kind of conclusions men are apt to draw from such occurrences of Providence as are before us, endeavors in the first place to prevent the bad use which they were apt to make of them. “Suppose ye,” says he, “that those Galileans were sinners, above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, nay.”

To this instance of the Galileans, he adds another still stronger. Pilate might be represented as a tyrant, and the best of men are liable to suffer, by the cruel hand of oppression. But he now mentions an occurrence of a recent date, and well known to all at Jerusalem, which proceeded immediately from the hand of God, without the agency of man. “Those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all that dwelt at Jerusalem? I tell you nay.”

And having thus anticipated the censuring of others, our Saviour proceeds to awaken his hearers to a consideration and care of themselves. “I tell you nay; but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

The general sense of which words, is, that impenitency in sin, will certainly be the ruin of men sooner or later. It will bring great mischiefs upon them in this world; but however that may be, it will infallibly plunge them into inconceivable misery in the next. But besides the certain denunciation of misery and ruin to all impenitent sinners, which is the largest sense of the words, and analogous to many other declarations of Scripture, it is probable that our Saviour, in the present instance, more immediately referred to those temporal calamities which were shortly to befall the Jews; and by way of prediction, foretold what would be the fate of that whole nation, if they continued impenitent. There is a peculiar force in the [Greek] word [in our text] which means something more than merely, likewise, or also, as it is rendered in our translation. It means literally, “except ye repent, ye shall all perish in like manner,” i.e., besides the vengeance of another world, a temporal judgment as sad as those just alluded to, and not much unlike them, shall come upon this whole nation; which awful prediction was soon after fulfilled at the siege and sack of Jerusalem, by the Roman army of Titus.

The pious and useful reflections, suggested by the subject under consideration, would also very naturally arise from the late awful visitation of Richmond which has shrouded that city in gloom—thrown our legislatures into mourning, and suspended the voice of melody and song. The dreadful scene forbids all attempts at painting it, for it would actually beggar all description. It is true our friends and fellow citizens have been arrested—suddenly arrested—in an hour of thoughtless gaiety and mirth.—Many—Ah! many have fallen victims to devouring flames; without previous reflection hurried to a judgment bar, and to a destiny henceforth unalterable. And are we to conclude, that they were the guilty, and we the innocent? Our Saviour cautions us from drawing such a conclusion, but assures us, “that except we repent, we shall all likewise perish!”

From the text and occasion thus explained, let us consider two things.

1st. The wrong use and censorious conclusions which men are apt to draw from signal judgments of God upon others.

2nd. The right use which we should make of these things; which is, to reflect upon our own sins, and repent of them; lest the like, or great judgments overtake us….

and Rev. Hill concludes his sermon:
…Be assured we have not been called to repentance and reformation too soon. God knows, the state of religion, of morals, & manners is gloomy enough among us; we have enough to repent of, enough that calls aloud for reformation. May we not hope we are already sensible of it! Let us then show our sincerity by our conduct—use all our influence from our standing in society and from the stations we may fill, to suppress vice and impiety in every shape; and to approve ourselves to our Maker. Other places have been sorely visited and have sorely suffered. Sin, no doubt, has been the procuring cause of all our sufferings.

To read the full sermon, click here.

Sprague, William, vol. 3, p. 563-564.

To read more about the Richmond fire and a recent book written about that tragedy, click here.

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