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Sketches of Virginia
Chapter XIII. - Rev. William Hill, D.D - From his Birth to his Settlement in Winchester


William Hill was born March 3d, 1769, in Cumberland County, Virginia. His parents were of English descent. When five years old he was deprived of his father by death. After a few years of widowhood, his mother was married to Daniel Allen, a widower with children, an elder in the church of which Mr. John B. Smith was pastor. He could not remember when his mother began to treat him in a pious, godly manner. Before her marriage with Mr. Allen she was considered as belonging to the Established Church, as all persons were that did not express dissent; after her marriage, she united with the Presbyterian Church. For a few years young Hill enjoyed the instructions and example of his pious mother ; all the recollections of whom were intensely sweet to her son, and those also of a godly step-father, whom he reverenced. In his twelfth year he was deprived of his mother’s care and counsel, and left an orphan, that never found one to take the mother’s place in his heart.

From about his tenth year till his fourteenth he was favored with the instruction of Drury Lacy, employed by Mr. Allen to teach his children. This gentleman possessed some peculiar capabilities as a teacher, and gave young Hill and Cary Allen an uncommonly good English education. While residing with Mr. Allen, Mr. Lacy made profession of religion, and was connected with the church under the care of Mr. Smith. By the counsel of that man he commenced a course of classical study; went to reside in the family of Judge Nash; became a sub-tutor in college ; and subsequently prepared for the ministry. Mr. Lacy retained through life the affections of his pupils, Hill and Cary Allen, and heard them preach the gospel he loved.

Young Hill had for the guardian of his property the brother of his father. By him he was encouraged to efforts for a classical education, with the design of pursuing the study and practice of the law, a course of life presenting at that time great inducements to aspiring young men; and was placed at Hampden Sidney College. His uncle induced the young man to hope that his small patrimony would, by economy and judicious management, be made sufficient for his education and entrance upon his profession. While a member of college the revival of religion, with which Charlotte, Prince Edward and Cumberland were visited, arrested his attention and agitated his heart. This revival, as ha3 been noted in the Sketches of Virginia already published, began in the Baptist Church in Charlotte, and in a little time was felt under the preaching of the Methodists and Presbyterians. Mr. Smith set up prayer-meetings in his congregation, and began to see among his charge evidences of the presence of the holy spirit. Cary Allen openly professed conversion in circumstances so peculiar as to excite the fear of Mr. Smith lest there had been a mistake in the young man. The earnestness and frankness of Allen, however, removed all apprehension from his pastor’s mind, and arrested more particularly the attention of the students. This was in the fall of 1787.

After the students were returned to College, one and another felt the necessity of religion. Young Hill, who was with Allen at the time of his conversion, was greatly troubled. During the whole of the preceding summer he had been in perplexity and distress. The talk about awakening and conversion called up the instructions of his mother, deeply impressed on his feelings and memory. She had prayed for him, and with him; and often, with her hand upon his head, blessing him she had expressed her hope that he would become a Christian, and a minister of the gospel to others. He seemed to himself to hear again his mother’s prayers, and to feel her hand upon his head. Often would his conscience cry out to him, “is this your mother’s little preacher for whom she so often prayed?” He would weep and fall on his knees and pray; and then go among the thoughtless boys of College and become merry. He did not wish them to know that he was enquiring after religion. He had not read much in his Bible after his mother’s death. He had no copy of that book with him. He knew of no student that had a Bible; and was ashamed to enquire of them any thing about it. He finally applied to the steward, Major James Morton, a godly man with a kind heart, and obtained, for a Saturday, the use of hi3 family Bible. In the deep woods he read through the gospel according to Matthew, passing the day without refreshment and in entire seclusion. After this day he felt his determination to seek his salvation greatly strengthened, yet he had not courage to disclose it openly.

A sedate young lad, member of College, William Calhoon, was in the habit of returning, on Saturday, to his parents who lived near. His father was an elder in the Church and esteemed by all a godly man; a number of his family were professors of religion. As this youth was about to return home on a certain Saturday, young Hill asked him to bring a good book on religion for him to read, when he returned. On reaching home young Calhoon told his father in presence of the family, that William Hill said “he wanted a good book on religion to read.” His sister Peggy, a young lady of much intelligence and warm piety, said at Once, “I have the very book he ought to read.” On Monday she sent him an old and much worn copy of Allein’s Alarm to the Unconverted. This, book young Hill packed in his trunk till the next Saturday. His room-mates having gone out for the day, he locked the door and began to read his old book. He went on with tears and sighs. His distress of soul was greater and greater. He had no appetite for his dinner. One and another gentle rap at his door had been made and unanswered. At length a violent rapping, accompanied with a threat of breaking in induced him to open the door. There stood a student from North Carolina, James Blythe. He had suspected that Hill was serious, and was determined to know the certainty for himself. Looking around he saw the old book upon the bed. Taking it up and reading the title, he exclaimed — “Hill, are you reading this book?” Hill was agitated. Should he confess the truth and become the sport of the College boys, or should he deny the fact and hide his sorrows in his bosom? A strong temptation came upon the youth to turn the subject into a laugh. Blythe stood trembling with remorse of conscience, for he had come from North Carolina a professor of religion, and had been induced to conceal his professions to avoid notoriety, and finally to escape the ridicule of the students who generally were very far from religion. After a violent struggle, Hill at length said — “Yes, Blythe, I have been reading it.” “Are you anxious about your soul?” said Blythe with great emotion. “Yes” replied Hill, “I am. I have neglected it too long, I fear too long. I am resolved to be more earnest hereafter.” “Oh, Hill,” exclaimed Blythe with a flood of tears, “what a sinner I am, would you believe 1 came from Carolina a professor of religion ! Here I have neglected my Bible, and have become hard and cold.” He wept and groaned aloud and threw himself upon the bed ; crying out, “Oh Hill, seek your soul’s salvation — you may be saved — I fear I cannot. I have denied the Lord, I fear I am lost.” The two youths wept and talked and confessed and read together. It was a precious day to both.

Cary Allen soon came to know the condition of things, and made them acquainted with another youth, a resident graduate, Clement Bead, who was under deep religious impressions. The next Saturday they retired to the deep woods in company, and held a prayer-meeting; each one, in his turn, read a chapter, gave out a hymn, and prayed. On the next Saturday on account of the weather they procured a room in College, and locking the door began their prayer-meeting in suppressed tones. But the singing and prayers were overheard, and speedily a crowd of wild youth assembled at the room, shouting, swearing and thumping the door. The noise and confusion attracted the attention of the officers of College; they quelled the riot and dispersed the mob, who were rejoicing in having broken up the prayer-meeting. After prayers in the evening, President Smith called for an explanation of the disturbance. Some of the ringleaders at once arose, and said, that they heard singing and praying in one of the rooms, like the Methodists; and had broken up the disorderly proceeding. Until that moment neither the President nor the tutors, Lacy and Mahon, had any idea that, besides Cary Allen, there was a praying youth in College. “And who are the culprits?” enquired tne President. The four youth confessed themselves guilty of the charge. Looking at them with tears in his eyed, he exclaimed, ‘’Is it possible that some of my students desire to pray? and is it possible that any desire to hinder them? Well my young friends, you shall have a place to pray. The next Saturday’s prayer-meeting shall be in my parlor, and I will meet with you.” At the appointed hour on the next Saturday the four young men went trembling to the President’s parlor; the novelty of the thing had filled the room. They were called on and prayed each in his turn, and the President gave a warm exhortation. The succeeding Saturday, the whole house was filled to overflowing. The next meeting was in the College Hall, which was filled with students, and people from the neighborhood. The revival which had been heard of in Charlotte and part of Cumberland was felt in College. Fully half the students were enquiring what they should do to be saved. Prayer-meetings were set up forthwith in different parts of Mr. Smith’s charge; and the awakening seemed to spread over the two Counties. These four young men thus brought out to notice appeared to have the true faith of the gospel. Allen, as is shown in its proper place, had fallen on the floor in the agony of his conviction; the other three obtained a hope in Christ without such violent emotion. All were busy in prayer-meetings and in exhortations.

In the vacation of the spring of 1788, Hill and Allen went home, to Mr. Daniel Allen, who lived on Great Guinea Creek, and were holding meetings around the neighborhood, with the young people, with great effect. At one of these, as has been related, Nash Legrand, aroused from his stupidity in sin, and greatly alarmed by a conversation with Drury Lacy, fell as completely overcome as Cary Allen had been, and went home professing faith. In October of this year Mr. Lacy was licensed to preach, as also Mr. Mahon the other tutor in College. Lacy was full of animation and ran a useful career. Mahon, in a few years, abandoned the ministry. Cary Allen died early, but a successful minister of Christ. Legrand was licensed in about a year, and filled up a measure of usefulness alloted to few. Clement Read lived to be old and died a faithful minister of Christ. Mr. Blythe died in old age an active, fervent, successful minister and teacher of youth, whose memory will long be dear in Kentucky. Mr. Hill, the subject of this notice, outlived them all, loving and beloved by them all. William Calhoon, the youth that brought Alleen’s Alarm to College, lived to old age, a faithful minister of Christ.

When the guardian, and uncle of Mr. Hill, understood from him, that he was determined not to pursue the study of the law, but devote himself to the gospel ministry, he thought proper to interpose. Being a man of impetuous feelings and violent temper, and not inclined to favor the religious action of the students, he determined to use decisive measures. He had imbibed a strong dislike to the established clergy, and was implicated in some acts of violence, upon the person of the minister of the parish, which led to a troublesome lawsuit; and was exceedingly opposed to his nephew’s entering the ministry in any way. He refused to allow him any more stipends, either from his own purse or the patrimony in his hands, hoping that necessity would bring him to terms.

“But,” says Dr. Hill—“I lived at Major Edmund Read’s, near Charlotte Courthouse, where I was furnished with a homo from April 1st, 1789, till July 9th, 1790. During my residence in this hospitable family, I pursued my classical course of study privately, while my class was prosecuting their studies in College. I was forced to do this, because my uncle, who was my guardian, became offended with me for not complying with his wishes in studying law. He withheld from me every cent of my little patrimonial inheritance for two years. A comfortable home being thus afforded me, I prosecuted my studies in the best manner I could, and obtained permission from the trustees of Hampden Sidney College, in Sept. 1789, to stand my examination with my class for the degree of Bachelor of Arts, which examination was sanctioned, and I was permitted to graduate with my class. After I was graduated I continued to reside with the same kind family, and prosecuted the study of theology, in the same private manner, under the direction of my dear and beloved friend Dr. John B. Smith, who resided near the College, in Prince Edward, about 22 miles off. All the chance I had for the study of Divinity thus privately was from the 1st of October, 1789, when I was graduated, till July 10th, 1790, when I was licensed to preach the gospel, a little over nine months.”

“This family of Mr. Edmund Read is the same that gave a home to Dr. Alexander, for some years of his early ministry. Mrs. Paulina Read, more generally known as Mrs. Legrand, in her widowhood, on the death of Rev. Nash Legrand, wTas the ready and efficient friend of young men desirous of an education, particularly those having the ministry in view; and was one of “those women” to be held in honorable remembrance. While a resident in this family, “I held meetings of one kind or another, and exhorted in the best manner I could, in various destitute neighborhoods in Charlotte County, which county had no regular settled clergyman in its bounds” at that time. "While he was a resident at Major Read’s, Dr. Alexander on his visit to Prince Edward, with Mr. Graham, at the house of the widow of Littlejoe Morton, on the Saturday night before the communion heard with surprise Mr. Hill deliver an exhortation — “a warm and pungent address, on the barren fig-tree, which affected my feelings very much.” Warmth and fluency characterized his addresses. His figure was good, and voice clear and strong, and his bearing bold but respectful. His popularity, as an exhorter, induced the Presbytery to hasten his licensure to meet the great demand for ministers. Young men, as is usual in times of great excitement, were impatient to engage as exhorters and ministers, and people encouraged them to enter the harvest field waving for the harvest. For a series of years Hanover Presbytery, as well as Lexington, in sending forth laborers, seemed to partake of the hasty spirit of the inexperienced people, and thrust them out. And ic is to be remarked that these very young men, living as the majority of them did, to become old in their useful labors, united in the effort, which was successful, for enforcing, in the general, the 'rule — that candidates for the ministry shall pursue the study of theology for at least two years. They took the lead in founding seminaries, offering inducements to keep the candidates at study, for the extended term of three years. Mr. Hill is an example of early licensure, and of activity in forming seminaries to render a protracted term of study most efficient as well as necessary.

The Presbytery that met at Pisgah, Bedford County, Virginia, October 16th, 1789, was opened by Cary Allen, with his trial sermon for licensure. Mr. Moore was received from the Methodist Church, as a preacher in good standing, on recommendation of Mr. Pattillo and seventeen elders — and after long examination, admitted to ordination. The Presbytery putting in a declaration that this must not be a precedent. Cary Allen’s trials were all passed, yet his licensure delayed. Clement Read was called to account for preaching with the Methodists before his licensure. William Hill was received as candidate on the 19th. An essay was assigned him on “The advantages of Revelation above the light of nature to produce piety and godly living.” The Presbyterial exercise was upon Matt. 5:14, Ye are the salt of the earth. The members present were McRobert, Smith, Mitchel, Mahon and Lacy—with Graham and Carrick, from Lexington ; Elders Robert Franklin, Benjamin Allen and Robert Mitchel, the father of the minister. At the Presbytery at Briery, opened by Mr. Blair with a sermon on Isaiah 55:1, May 6th, 1790, calls were put in for Legrand; James Turner applied for advice about becoming a candidate ; Cary Allen was licensed, and the Presbytery gave him the right hand in token of approbation, and resolved to do the same in future with licentiates ; Wm. Hill exhibited his parts of trial assigned, and these being sustained, others were assigned — viz., a Lecture Luke 11:20 to 26, Popular Sermon Heb. 11:24, 5, 6, By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharoah’s daughter. Presbytery also took some measures to increase the collections for Missionary purposes. Order was also taken to assist in getting out an edition of the Family Bible.

At Buffalo, July 9th, 1790, present McRobert, Smith, Mahon and Lacy; Elders James Allen, Andrew Wallace, Stephen Pettus and Littlejoe Morton. The Presbytery was opened by Wm. Hill with his trial sermon for licensure. His diploma was received in place of examination on literature and science, he read his lecture, and passed part of the examination on divinity. On Saturday, the 10th, his examination was concluded, and he was regularly licensed. He was directed by Presbytery to spend the months of August and September in making a missionary tour through Halifax, Henry, Franklin and Pittsylvania. His exercises of mind are thus stated :

Thursday, July 8th, 1790. —I set apart this day for prayer and fasting, to beg God’s assistance and blessing upon the important office I am about to enter upon. I endeavored to examine the motives by which I was actuated, found it a very difficult work to perform; being in a state of darkness, and finding my heart so deceitful I was at a loss what to conclude concerning myself. Felt somewhat engaged some part of the day in prayer to God. I think I surrendered myself to him unreservedly, and feel willing to sacrifice any private interest or happiness of my own in the world, that I might be useful to the souls of my fellow-men; and I am willing to throw in my mite towards the advancement of the Redeemer’s kingdom on earth. Oh that the glory of God lay nearer to my heart, and that I had a more bleeding concern for poor, perishing sinners. I want to become an entire stranger and pilgrim upon the earth.

Friday, July 9th.—At Buffalo, called on by Presbytery for my trial sermon, Heb. 11: 24, 5 : 6, By faith Moses. &c. After I had delivered my sermon Mr. McRobert preached. I felt almost overwhelmed at the thoughts of entering the ministry. At night I conducted a society at Mr. Andrew Baker’s, felt my mind somewhat engaged. Blessed be the God of mercy who begins to look upon such a dead dog as I am.

Saturday, July 10th. — Mr. Mahon preached; but it was dead and lifeless work. I was examined by the Presbytery respecting my acquaintance with divinity, &c.; and afterwards was licensed to preach the gospel of Christ to a perishing world. Lord take care of thy own cause, and perfect thy strength in my weakness. Past the evening at Mr. Foster’s; don’t-remember that I ever felt my heart so overwhelmed with a sense of my unworthiness in all my life; never saw more of my nothingness and insufficiency for the work before me than during my retirement in the evening. I saw clearly that in me, that is in my flesh, dwelt no good thing, and felt that I could do nothing but as strengthened from on high, but was fully persuaded that through Christ strengthening me I could do all things. If ever I prayed earnestly, and committed myself to God, it was this night; and if ever my soul drank its fill from a good promise, it was from that sweet and seasonable one — “My grace is sufficient for thee,” and I trust that I felt my soul resigned to the will of God in all things. A prayer-meeting was held at night, and I felt much engaged in speaking, especially of the love of God through Christ Jesus unto poor sinners. Some seemed affected and considerably impressed.

The Andrew Baker mentioned, made, sometime after this, the donations to the charitable fund proposed by Alexander and others, which now are productive, and the yearly increase of which is used by West Hanover Presbytery and the Union Theological Seminary. He thus speaks of some others who were lights of the church in this day — viz:

Tuesday, July 13 th, 1790. — “Was employed "chiefly this day in fixing and making arrangements for travelling, as I do not calculate on being stationary again for some years. In the afternoon rode down to the settlement in Cumberland County, on Great Guinea, felt a great peace and tranquillity of soul, and continued breathing after more grace. At night, at my old friend Nathan Womack’s, felt great fervor in prayer, especially in the family.

Wednesday, 14th.— “ At night much of a spirit of prayer, especially in the family, at the house of Benjamin Allen.

Saturday, VIth. — “ Was unexpectedly called to preach at Nathan Womack’s, on Great Guinea. The Lord enabled me to speak with some life and feeling. After I ceased Mr. Legrand preached an excellent discourse. Mr. Smith then arose, and set the house in a flood of tears by his animating address.

Tuesday, 20th. — “Preached Robert Jackson’s funeral sermon, but felt very little engagedness of soul. Rode to Major Read’s, my good old home, in the evening; spent the time in profitable conversation with my pious and estimable friend, Mr. Read ; felt Jesus to be precious to my soul this night, and went to sleep in a sweet frame of mind.”

With Sabbath, August 1st, 1790, he began his missionary tour, preaching at Vuille’s Meeting House, in Halifax. “ Went in the evening to see an old aunt of mine I had never seen before. T think my aunt is a very pious woman. She and my uncle are both members of the Baptist Church; but was much grieved to see how the Lord’s day was desecrated and profaned by the family; and from what I can learn it is a common case in these parts, and there is little or no difference between professors and non-professors. There are scarcely any other professors of religion about here but Baptists. It is a common practice to visit and converse upon worldly topics, while the children and young people are pursuing their sports and plays more extensively than on any other day in the week. I tried to remonstrate against these things. My old aunt joined me ; but my uncle defended these things, and said the Baptists did not acknowledge the obligation of the Sabbath day. Whether it was common to that society or not, it certainly was in this neighborhood.

Tuesday, August 3d. — “ Do not remember that I was ever more distressed about my situation since I first had a hope in Christ; was awfully afraid I had not experienced religion myself, and the thought of preaching an unknown Christ was killing to me — was so distressed that I had not the least appetite for food. Had to ride about twenty miles through a wet, rainy day, to reach an appointment at Isham Breton’s; preached to a few people who came through the rain, and then became quite prostrate by reason of a bad cold which I had taken by frequent preaching, riding through the rain, and last though not least, the agitated state of my mind.

'August 6th. —- He preached at Reedy Creek, and went to Mr. Breton’s. In the evening worship he spoke on the words, “ Into whatsoever house ye enter, first say peace be to this house,” &c. “If I ever felt the spirit of prayer it was then — and if I was not awfully deceived, the love of God was shed abroad in my poor, unworthy heart by the Holy Ghost, so that I could 4 rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.’ I was so exercised at this time that I almost lost my bodily strength.” When he went to rest, the old gentleman, who was greatly agitated during the exhortation, and attracted Mr. Hill’s attention by his trembling, followed him to his room, and confessed that he had been in a sharp quarrel with his wife that day, supposed he had heard of it, was very sorry, had confessed it to God, and was deeply humbled for it. An arrow shot at venture ; as Mr. Hill of course knew nothing of it.

With such alternations of light and darkness, joy and sorrow, stupidity and excitement, he made the tour assigned by Presbytery. Some were awakened by his preaching, some comforted. The arrows shot at venture often pierced the joints of the harness. At Franklin Court-House, Monday, September 6th, he says — “I attended the Court of Franklin County to despatch some worldly business, and look after some property which I hold in that County. It was election day. I saw much wickedness this day, and felt much concerned to see my poor fellow mortals drinking and degrading themselves below the brutes that perish, and to hear them cursing and swearing, and using the very language of hell. Some were stripping and fighting, and tearing each other to pieces like incarnate devils. I saw one of the candidates walk through the court-yard with a large wooden can of stiff grog, and inviting the voters to come and drink with him; and what made the matter worse, this candidate had been an Episcopal clergyman before the Revolution. I was so disgusted at this sight, that I determined to go in and vote against him, and did so, though it was the first vote I ever gave, and I had no intention whatever of voting when I came to the place, although the property I had in the County entitled me to a vote.” At Henry Court-house his appointment had been recalled by some mischievous persons. At the head of Smith’s river, he preached with great life— “Many were deeply affected, and some old bigoted Presbyterians looked, and gazed, and wondered. Some came up and asked me to pray for them, and seemed earnestly to inquire what they should do to be saved.” He went on through Bedford, and on Sabbath, 19th, preached at Pisgah, having met his old friend Mitchel with joy. “At night conducted social worship at Mrs. Trigg’s, an old mother in Israel; Mr. Turner in his exhortation seemed to get at the heart of every person in the house.”

Mr. Turner accompanied Mr. Hill across the Blue Ridge to Lexington. Both being of a cheerful turn, and glad to ride in company, they commenced a free conversation on their religious experience. They made mutual disclosures for each other’s benefit, and spoke of their own short-comings and temptations. Both were gifted with a quick sense of the ludicrous, and both had the power of exciting ridicule; Hill severe in sarcasm, and Turner unequalled in fun. Something was said that excited the sense of ridiculous, and was followed by peals of laughter. A spirit of laughter and fun seized the young men; and their mutual disclosures of trials, and temptations, and passions as men, and in their sacred office, and their failures in preaching, were all sources of ridicule and laughter. The effect was mutual. Their excited feelings went on with a 12 stronger and stronger tide, sweeping away the restraints that should have been a barrier, till levity in excess polluted their hearts, and gave their consciences weapons for terrible retribution. Their confessing their faults to one another had ceased to be a Christian virtue, and had become a snare and a defilement. At night both were sufferers; the laughter was past, the excitement over; and'a sense of folly and degradation oppressed the heart. They retired to pray. For a time they could not. On conversing with Mr. Turner the next day, Mr. Hill says — “Found he had spent just such a night as I did. We both resolved we would be more watchful and circumspect for the future.” The record of opinion which Mr. Hill made respecting himself, is — “This day’s conduct was matter of grief to me on several accounts : 1st, Because it had no resemblance to that humble temper which every true disciple of Jesus ought to possess upon the review of former acts of wickedness, and discovering the indwelling sin and corruption of his nature, which should rather make him loathe and abhor himself in dust and ashes. 2d, I felt in my heart something so different from the gospel charity which rejoiceth not in iniquity, that I was rather pleased that my brother Turner felt the same evils I had, and felt as lightly about them as I did. 3d, I thought I was a stumbling-block in his way, and had led him astray, by which I had not only wounded my own soul, but destroyed the peace of my brother for whom Christ died. 4th, Because I was setting a bad example before some others, who were with us a part of the time, which must have made them have a contemptible opinion of us, but especially of me professing to be an ambassador of Christ. I desire to remember this day with sorrow and regret as long as I live, and humbly hope it will be a warning I shall never forget. The good Lord forgive the iniquity of my sins; remove me from the snare of the fowler, and enable me to be more watchful for the time to come.” By Mr. Hill’s account in another place, he did not recover serenity of heart and liveliness of hope till after he had endured an attack of sickness.

The Commission of Synod met at New Monmouth, Friday, Sept. 24th, 1790. They made choice of William Hill and Cary Allen, of Hanover Presbytery, and Robert Marshall of Redstone Presbytery, to be their missionaries, on the usual condition, that their respective Presbyteries recommend them, and put them under the care of the Commission. Rev. Messrs. J. B. Smith and Graham were to apply to Redstone Presbytery, and Mr. Smith to Hanover. Messrs. Hill and Allen were to labor east of the Blue. Ridge, and Mr. Marshall on the west side, in Virginia proper, for six months. Mr. Hill preached before the Commission; his mind was dark and he went heavily; he says his friend Marshall did well.

From Lexington Mr. Hill went to Winchester, to attend the meeting of the Synod, on Thursday the 30th of September; was sick most of the way, both in body and mind, and on reaching Winchester the day Synod opened, took his bed, and did not attend any of the sessions, and only got to Church with difficulty on Sabbath.

On Monday October 4th, he set out for Prince Edward with Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and his friend Mrs. Read ; unable to ride on horseback, he was accommodated with a seat in Mrs. Read’s carriage. He slowly gained strength. His sickness did not have that effect upon his spiritual condition he had hoped. “ I expected to feel the importance of eternal things, and to be entirely dead to the world and all its enjoyments, and that if I lived to get well, I should feel abundantly more for poor sinners. But when sickness came an awful hardness of heart and insensibility of soul came with it; for I could neither pray nor think, nor converse, with any satisfaction at all; but my mind was shut up and dark, and Satan himself, at times, seemed to be let loose upon me, with temptations of infidelity and blasphemy, so that I became awfully afraid at times that I should become a castaway. By this I see God can bless health as well as sickness, and that no affliction of itself, notwithstanding its natural adaptation to awaken sinners to reflection, would ever prove a real blessing without its being sanctified by the grace of God.” He did not recover his peace of mind until Sabbath the 17th, at a communion at Briery, where Mr. Smith and Mr. Mitchel were present. On his way to Prince Edward, he went by Newtown, Gaines Cross Roads, Orange Court House, Colonel Cabell’s, Warminster and on to Mr. Smith’s, and did not attend the Presbytery in Goochland, which met October 8th, at the Bird meeting-house, the sessions being held mostly at the house of Robert Lewis, Elder. Messrs. Hill and Allen were recommended to the commission of Synod for further service.

"Tuesday, Nov. 2d. Was employed in settling and arranging some secular affairs, preparatory to a six month’s tour of missionary labor, which I am just about to undertake, in the lower Counties of Virginia, upon the Chesapeake Bay. Wednesday, od. Rode to Guinea neighborhood and had a society meeting at Mr. Nathan War-nock’s, a place dear to me by many sacred recollections. In this house I first obtained a hope that I had passed from death unto life; and my dear friend Nash Legrand, and many others professed to obtain religion about the same time, and at the same place.” On Friday he preached at Gentry’s meeting-house, about the borders of Cumberland and Powhatan, where Davies used to preach. On Tuesday 9th, he rode into Richmond—“ there was no place of worship there, for any denomination, except the capitol. As I found no door open for me, or any one to take me by the hand, I rode in the afternoon six or eight miles to the Rev. John D. Blair’s.” On Thursday 11th, he preached in the house once occupied by Davies, and was oppressed by the thought that the once flourishing Church was now so small.

Visiting Mrs. Brame in Caroline County, an old disciple, and hearer of Davies, firm in her faith though solitary in its exercise, he set off for the Northern Neck, to visit the congregations once flourishing under the charge of Dr. Waddell, in the Counties of Lancaster and Northumberland. For a travelling companion he had Mr. David Smith from Western Pennsylvania, a member of Hampden Sidney College, having the ministry in view, seeking by the excursion to recruit his health, a godly and discreet young man, who might check his companions’ tendency to levity and be cheered by his mirthfulness. Crossing the Rappahannock at Port Royal, Friday 19th, they passed through the lower end of King George, held a meeting for prayer and exhortation in Westmoreland, at Leeds, on Saturday, the 20th, “ Rode constantly all day, and after being lost and perplexed in finding the right road, arrived at night at Col. James Gordon’s in Lancaster County, where a letter of introduction procured us a hearty welcome. His house was full of company, relatives and other friends, when we arrived. They were generally persons who moved in the higher circles, and apparently unusually gay and showy in their dress and manners. The Col. took me and my young friend Smith, in succession, around the room and introduced us to each of his guests, and the members of , his family, one by one, in the most formal and stylish manner. This placed us in rather an awkward situation, as we had both of us been accustomed to the plainest and simplest dress, so that we were a little disconcerted, when we were received in this manner by Col. Gordon, whom we expected to find a very plain and pious man, from the accounts we had heard of him.”

“After supper we were conducted to bed, without having an opportunity of forming much acquaintance with any, except from what we saw. After we had got to bed, my young friend proposed that we should be off in the morning, as he supposed they were only the gay fashionable people of the world, who cared very little about religion, and among whom he supposed there was very little prospect of doing good; but I told him we would try them awhile and see what could be done.” The next day — Sabbath, Mr. Hill preached at the Presbyterian Church nearest Col. Gordon’s, sometimes for distinction called the Upper meeting-house. A Methodist minister, having an appointment there, also preached. The audience was large and respectful. Dr. Waddell removed from Lancaster to the mountains about the year 1778. He had no successor in the pastoral office. Many of the congregation, urged by the inroads made by the British vessels of war, and induced by the fertility of the soil, sought the neighborhood of the mountains. The able session, Messrs. Chichester, Thomas and Dale Carter, Mitchell, Gordon and Selden, wasted away by removals, age and sickness, and was never renewed. Some of the Church members died, others, despairing of having a pastor of the Presbyterian order, had united with the Methodists, and some with the Baptists. Diminished in all these ways, the large Church of Dr. Waddell was reduced to about a dozen members retaining their position as church members, when Mr. Hill visited the counties.

Tuesday, 22d. Preached at Downing’s meeting-house in Northumberland. Had some agreeable meditations by the way, but in reaching was cramped and shut up again. Went home with Maclaine Selden, an old disciple with whom we should lodge. Wednesday, 24th. Prcached at Lowry’s ware-house. At night I attempted to preach at Col. Gordon’s. Began with a cold heart and went on like an ox going to the slaughter for a while; but before I ended the Lord was pleased to favor me With considerable liberty, so that I was enabled to speak with some life and feeling. I have often found my cheerful and lively feelings have been very much confined to the line of public exercises. My feelings before have been cold and lifeless, and as soon as I retired they returned to the same state, so that I have come to the conclusion that the assistance which I felt in speaking to others, was rather a favor designed by God for others, of which I was but the voice of one crying in the wilderness, than any evidence of the exercise of a gracious affection in my own heart; which has made me fear sometimes, that after I had preached the gospel and been useful to others, I myself might be a castaway.” On Thursday night, at “Mrs. Berryman’s a widow lady living immediately on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Spent the evening very agreeably with that excellent woman and her pious Baptist sister, Mrs. Maxwell, in religious conversation, singing and prayer.”

Mr. Hill remained preaching in the two counties till Tuesday, Jan. 11th, 1791, visiting the few Presbyterians left, and making acquaintance with pious people of other denominations. He had frequent interviews with the noted Baptist preacher, Mr. Lunsford, whom he greatly admired as a Christian man and minister; visited Judge Henry who was beset with infidel objections, and perplexed the young minister with his difficulties and metaphysical inquiries. The Judge was a professor of religion, but was feeling that trial of his faith, which in the novel form of French infidelity, tested the hearts of Christian men, the latter part of the eighteenth century. Mr. Hill had heard but little of such matters till he heard them on the Bay Shore, and they were strange to him. He attended the death-bed of old Mrs. Selden, whom he thought one of God’s jewels; and visited old Mrs. Miller, about 90 years of age, and blind about 7 years, and confined to her room. “She professed religion under Mr. Waddell, when he was pastor in the congregation, and had not heard a Presbyterian minister since his removal. I do not think I ever saw a Christian so ripe for glory before. I then visited Mrs. Tapscott again,” (a lady wasting away with consumption and inquiring for salvation); “after conversing and praying with her I rode to see Dr. Robertson, an old Scotch Presbyterian, who is very infirm, and prevented from attending public worship any more.” (See a notice of him in the Sketch of Waddell.)

Mr. Hill frequently visited Col. Gordon’s family, and his final opinion may be given in his own words — “I find notwithstanding the unfavorable impressions made upon Mr. Smith and myself the night of our arrival, there were some eminently pious persons in that gay and fashionable circle into which we were introduced with so much formality. This style of dress and manners was so entirely different from what we had ever witnessed among professors of religion, the first impression upon us was very unfavorable. I find this also, that I had attached too much importance to dress and manners, and had identified them too much with genuine piety; and that our good friends in Lancaster, being shut out from the regular means of grace and religious instruction, and mingling almost exclusively with men of the world and fashionable life, had only conformed too much to the spirit of the world, which they readily saw and acknowledged, when it was suggested to them as incompatible with the seriousness and simplicity of the gospel of Christ. We found a few precious Christians in these parts, to whom our coming and conversation was as life from the dead.”

Leaving his friend David Smith at Col. Gordon’s, a cripple by the falling of his horse on the ice, he crossed the Rappahannock at Urbanna, in company with an old Baptist preacher, Mr. Sutton, and proceeded on through Middlesex, and in Gloucester lodged at a public house. a We asked permission to have family worship with them. The good lady of the house said she had fixed a room for us, and we might go and do what we pleased there. But we said we had a desire to pray with the family if they had no objection. She said we might do as we pleased as to that; but made no movement of any kind. Her husband Was lying on the bed, and she and her daughters were sewing, and a number of little negroes w^ere picking cotton about the room. As they made no movement, we knelt down and prayed while they all continued at their work, as if nothing out of the usual way was going on.” Detained by high wind he crossed the river late, and reached Williamsburg in the night. Calling at the house of Mr. Holt, brother-in-law of Mr. Davies, the only Presbyterian in the place, and accounted a pious man, Mr. Hill, under misapprehension, though offering a letter from Col. Gordon, was turned from the door. Not knowing where to go, he accosted a negro man in the street, “I asked him if he knew any religious man, a good Christian in Williamsburg. After studying awhile he said he did not know any such in town, but there was a very good old man about a mite from town. I told him I would give him a quarter of a dollar if he would conduct me to his house, which he did much to our satisfaction and comfort. This good old man was a Mr. Wilkeson, living about a mile north of the town, whom we found to be just such a man as we took him to be — a plain, artless, unaffected, hospitable, pious Methodist, who received us very cordially, and treated us with every possible kindness.” His request next day for the use of the Episcopal church was refused: the court-house was refused; and permission to visit an insane person at the asylum refused, because—it was such persons as I who sent so many persons to bedlam.” A room in the deserted old capitol was fixed on as the place, and notice circulated. The two preachers went at the hour, and began singing — a few people came in—and they each gave a short sermon. He obtained an interview with some members of the college who had been his fellow students at Hampden Sidney, and was not favorably impressed with the morals of the college. Mr. Holt became sensible of his misapprehension, and made the amende honorable to Mr. Hill, having spent the night sleepless when he understood that he had turned a Presbyterian minister from his door. From particular circumstances and the singularity of a man coming at that time of night, to his house, professing to be a Presbyterian minister, in a place where one had not been seen or heard of for many years, he thought it was a hoax for a particular purpose practised by some persons in the city and neighborhood. But nothing could be done to assist Mr. Hill in getting a hearing in the city in the short time he could stay. Previous notice and some arrangement were absolutely necessary. The excitement on religion from which Mr. Hill had gone was entirely unknown there, and the remains of a Presbyterian congregation could not be found as in the Northern Neck; and the only Presbyterian in the place to whom he had an introduction had moved there for purposes of trade, and not then in a position to gather a congregation on short notice, as the Sheriff was seeking to accomplish a peaceable entrance to his house for some special purposes not the most agreeable to Mr. Holt. In the apology he made Mr. Hill he exhibited a Christian spirit. Mr. Hill’s next visit was more agreeable.

Hearing of a Methodist quarterly-meeting, in James city, he rode over, and passed the 15th and 16th of January, Saturday and Sabbath, with them. The cordiality which he had experienced from that denomination in Lancaster and Northumberland, and in all his previous mission, was not exhibited here. The preachers professed the greatest aversion to the Calvinistic creed, telling him his doctrine “was forged in hell and beat out on the devil’s anvil.” At the close of worship on Sabbath, two young men from the pew in which I sat, stepped upon the bench and gave notice there would be preaching that night at Mr. Hales’ in the neighborhood. I asked them who was to preach, and was told they meant to preach themselves. These young strangers were Mr. Robert Sample and Mr. Andrew Broaddus, Baptists, who had just commenced preaching, and this was one of their first excursions.” These young men afterwards became prominent men in the Baptist Church. As their proposed track was on the same route Mr. Hill had arranged for himself, for some days they joined company and preached together. They visited, and were kindly received at Hampton and Portsmouth, and preached a number of times to large audiences. The attempt to preach in Norfolk afforded little encouragement, for either Presbyterian or Baptist, to renew the effort at that time. Mr. Hill found that the people in this section were generally Baptists, and thought their tendencies were to the opposite extreme of the Methodists he had encountered, bigoted antinomianism. “I find,” he says, “that it has a very pernicious effect, especially amongst ignorant people, to be continually preaching up the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, without enforcing Christian duties, or having it clearly understood, that the perseverance of the saints taught in the Bible is a perseverance in holiness, and not in sin. This is the error of too many of the Baptists now-a-days, which brings Bible Calvinism into contempt, and gives currency to the doctrine of Arminianism so industriously circulated by some others.” He parted company with these young ministers to make a second visit to Williamsburg; their respect was mutual through life. The Baptist minister, a Mr. Armstrong, at Portsmouth, had been an officer in the Revolution, and while in the army had been repeatedly engaged in duels; but professed conversion and commenced preaching while in the army, and what was a little singular, he thought duels justifiable, and told Mr. Hill that — "he was insulted by an individual while preaching in a Court-house, and after he had closed his worship, he sat down and wrote a challenge to the person before he left the bench.” He also told Mr. Hill, this was not a solitary event in his history, and that he defended his course.

A letter was sent Mr. Hill, signed by several merchants in Williamsburg, saying it was not known, until he was gone, that he was a Presbyterian minister; and inviting his return with assurance of a decent audience, and respectful treatment. He returned on Wednesday the 26th, and found a large audience assembled in the old capitol. He preached Thursday at old Mr. Wilkinson’s, and Friday at Mr. Dodd’s, a funeral sermon. On Saturday, 29th, he crossed James River at Jamestown, after visiting the ruins, and rode on through the cold to get near Ellis’s meeting-house in Surrey County. “Felt my heart somewhat warmed in conversing with a poor persecuted negro whom I met with, and who I verily believe loves Jesus, for he says he has been sorely chastised at times on account of his religion. I lodged at night with Mr. Moorings, a hospitable Methodist of Surrey County. 0, what a pity it is that many Methodists have not as good heads as hearts.” The next morning, Sabbath, 30th, he rode on some distance and met his old college-mate, William Spencer, who had professed conversion a little before the revival in the College, and had left his studies and commenced preaching as a circuit rider. Mr. Hill preached with another minister. The congregation were vociferous in their expressions of interest, often entirely drowning the preacher’s voice with shouts; the negroes were fanatically wild. The young ministers spent a day or two together preaching repeatedly, and discussing their different views and doctrines.

When about parting, Tuesday, Feb. 1st, Mr. Spencer refused to give Mr. Hill letters of introduction to any of the Methodists in Petersburg, informing him that the Methodists were not pleased with his doctrine or manner of preaching, and he need not expect to be invited to preach any more for them in those parts. u I rode through excessively cold weather through Prince George to Petersburg. But having no acquaintance in the place, and no letters of introduction, I met with a cold reception there. There was not a member of the Presbyterian church I could hear of in the place, and I could find no one willing to receive me and lend a helping hand. I asked permission to make an appointment to preach in the Episcopal church, and in the Methodist meeting-house, the only places of worship in the town, and was peremptorily refused in both instances. I then went through the different taverns, and asked permission to use their public or ball rooms for an appointment to preach, but failed even in this.” He then rode to a tavern eight miles in the country, and lodged with a company of boisterous revellers. The next day he visited the noted Episcopal minister, Devereaux Jarrett; and being kindly received he remained about a week at the hospitable mansion of this excellent man, or visiting with him in the neighborhood around. Here Mr. David Smith having recovered from his lameness overtook him. On Tuesday, 8th, they left the neighborhood of this solitary but firm defender of evangelical truths, whose life will always be an interesting chapter in history, and rode over to Mr. Joel Tanner’s, in Nottaway, a Presbyterian who had not been visited by a preacher of his own denomination for some years. The remaining part of the month he spent in Nottaway, preaching repeatedly at Peter Dupuy’s, also at James Dupuy’s, at Mr. Tanner’s, at the meeting-house near Mr. Tanner’s, at Robert Smith’s, Thomas Jeffries’, Mr. Hawson’s, Mr. Ferguson’s, at Rowland’s church, (Episcopal), at Charles Anderson’s, a Baptist minister, where he met three other Baptist ministers, and at Mr. Vaughan’s, in Amelia County, at Chinquepin church, and Grub Hill church, (Episcopal). The attendance was generally good, and the audiences were often deeply affected. The Rev. James Craig, of the Established church, interposed at Chinquepin, and would preach himself, and as no one was present of the neighborhood that would make the responses, he prevailed on Mr. Hill to make them. On Sabbath he interposed again, but the people insisted on hearing Mr. Hill, before they separated. Some of the people who heard Mr. Hill repeatedly, became very anxious about their souls’ eternal welfare.

On Friday, April 1st, 1791, the Presbytery of Hanover, and the Commission of Synod, met at Briery church; the opening sermon was preached by Robert Marshall, missionary. Mr. Graham, of Lexington, was present, and preached after Mr. Hill, on Saturday; and on Sabbath “ Mr. Graham preached in the forenoon, one of the greatest sermons I ever heard. I sat under it with great delight, and its fruit was sweet to my taste. I had a sweet time at the communion. Mr. Mitchel gave an impressive concluding address.” On Tuesday the Presbytery and Commission assembled at Hampden Sidney, and were there met by Rev. Devereaux Jarrett, from Dinwiddie, who took his seat as corresponding member, his old companion in the ministry having become a regular member. Mr. Jarrett “ gave us an excellent evangelical sermon.” Mr. Legrand was ordained to the full work of the gospel ministry, having determined to become the settled minister at Cedar Creek and Opecquon, in Frederick County. Mr. Smith brought in the famous resolution on irregularities in church members, intended particularly for the churches east of James River. (Sec Sketches of his Life;.

After Presbytery, Mr. Hill resumed his missionary labors; and holding with his step-brother, Cary Allen, a series of meetings in Cumberland, passed through Charlotte, Halifax, Pittsylvania, Franklin, Montgomery, Wythe, on to Abingdon. On the 1st of June, Mr. Matthew Lyle, lately licensed by Lexington Presbytery, and sent out by the Commission of Synod, met him while he was staying at Captain Robert Woods’ residence. In this neighborhood he had been preaching a number of days with great apparent effect. In the morning he had ascended Chesnut Mountain — “My mind was greatly elevated with the prospect, and prepared to adore the God of nature.” He rejoiced greatly that he was to have the company of the young brother for a length of time. In his previous missions, he had been, with the exception of a short time with David Smith, without any regular companion, in his almost daily preachings, and his rides through heat and cold, through storms and rains, solitudes of the plains and of the mountains ; and had often suffered for want of that mutual aid rendered by missionaries who go out two by two.

Required by their commission to stay but a short time in a place, and having a large tract of country to pass over, they with regret left the neighborhood of Mr. Wood’s, and went on through Franklin to Montgomery, preaching almost every day. They both generally took part in the exercises; either both preached, or one preached and the other followed with an exhortation, unless some preacher of another denomination was present, and then sometimes all took part. Near Abingdon they visited Rev. Charles Cummings, the pioneer minister, advancing in years. From that place they turned back on the last day of June. In this tour they passed over part of the track assigned to Mr. Alexander, within a year or two, so pleasantly alluded to in his memoirs. On their way out they preached, starting June 2d from John Martin’s, near Chesnut Mountain— at Mr. John Dickenson’s, on Pig River — at Iron Creek — at Mr. Turner’s, on Fawn Creek — at the meeting house near Capt. Hairston’s, the funeral sermon of old Captain Hairston — at Mr. Pilion’s, on Smith’s River — at the head of Smith’s River; here having fasted on Saturday, his concomitant affliction followed him on Sabbath, the head-ache, but he preached twice, and Mr. Lyle once — at Major Eason’s — at Captain Johnson’s. On the night of Thursday, 16th, they were belated, and slept in a pen made for a barn, but without any roof of any kind, having their saddles for pillows and their great coats for a covering — getting from a miserable cabin a rye ashpone and a little sour milk for supper — at Mr. Whitlock’s, on Little Reedy Island Creek, in Wythe County — at the lead mines in Wythe, entertained by Mr. Frisbee— at Graham’s Meeting House — at Fort Chissel — Mr. George Ewing’s, on Cripple Creek — at Thorn Branch Meeting House ; went to Mr. James Campbell’s, a very kind and hospitable man, but inclined to Swedenborg s doctrines — spent a day at Mr. Arthur Campbell’s, who was strongly inclined to follow Swedenborg. While resting here “ My friend and colleague Lyle and myself hit upon some subjects on which we differed widely in our sentiments, and each contending for his own opinion with a warmth disproportionate to the magnitude of the subject, the contest grew so sharp that like Paul and Barnabas of old, we at last talked of separating. However we agreed to retire and pray together over the matter, and both became ashamed of ourselves, buried all our differences, and became more united than ever.” Preached at Mr. Atkins’ — at Major Bowen’s, in a large room constructed for a ball-room, and met Rev. Charles Cummings, the pioneer of the Holston waters at Mrs. Beatty’s — at Mrs. Beatty’s — at Ebbing Spring Meeting House, and went on to Mr. Cumming’s — and at Abington. From this place, on the last day of June, they turned their course back towards Cripple Creek, in Wythe County.

On the 4th of July he makes this entry— “It is now the height of harvest, when the people are obliged to be at home, and our horses as well as ourselves need recruiting, we therefore declined making any appointments during the week. We continued at Mr. Ewing’s. But to spend day after day doing nothing made the time pass heavily, so that I wished to be at my employment again.” After repassing the ground they had traversed, they sought the head wa! ers of the Potomac, preaching on the fourth Sabbath of August at Mr. Dinwiddie’s, on the dividing ridge between the waters of James River and the waters of the Potomac; “the head spring of each rises in the same hill about one and a half mile apart.” Spending some days in preaching at Col. Poage’s, in the upper tract in Pendleton, they passed on to Moorfield, in Hardy County, and preached a few sermons there in the absence of Dr. Jennings, the successor of Mr. Hoge. Going across to Winchester, they proceeded to Newtown, and met their young friend Nash Legrand, the pastor of Cedar Creek and Opecquon ; with him they spend a few days, and witness the success of his ministry. The residences of Gordon, Allen, Glass, Gilkerson and Carlisle are mentioned as places of prayer-meetings and religious worship.

On Tuesday, Sept. 15th, Mr. Hill made his first visit to a congregation to which he afterwards preached a series of years ; u I preached to a large congregation at Bullskin. I preached at the same place at night with a more solemn impression than in the day. Friday, 16th, I preached at Charlestown, the congregation but small. I preached at Mr. John White’s, an old Israelite indeed. The house could not contain the people, whose attention was very great indeed. Saturday, 17, I preached at Mr. Peter Martin’s. At night I became acquainted with Mr. Moses Hoge, a very worthy minister, in Shepherdstown.” On Sabbath having preached at Shepherdstown and Martinsburg, he went to visit—“ Mr. Vance, the pastor of Falling Water and Tuscarora, who was upon the borders of the grave, in the last stage of consumption.”

On Monday, 10th, he preached at Tuscarora to a small audience. *Mr. Vance rode out, and lay in one of the pews while I preached.” On Wednesday, 21st, he preached his first sermon in Winchester, where lie spent many years of his after life. “ Many could not get into the house, and had to return home without hearing the sermon. It was a solemn occasion, and many appeared deeply affected.” After laboring with Messrs. Joseph Smith and James Hughes, from Redstone, at a communion service at Cedar Creek, he went to "Winchester on the 28th, to meet the Synod and the Commission of Synod; and there, as in the preceding year, was taken sick. He was not able, to resume his labors till November.

In this sickness he received attentions always remembered from a young Scotchman, William Williamson, whose acquaintance he formed on his mission, ending in a lasting friendship. At the fall meeting of the Presbytery in October, numerous calls and invitations were proposed for the services of Mr. Hill, which were referred to him. On recovering his health, he made choice of the congregations on Bullskin, and in and around Charlestown, Jefferson County. In the month of May, 1792, he was by Hanover Presbytery received back from the commission of Synod, and transferred to Lexington Presbytery for ordination and installation. When the Presbytery of Lexington met at Charlestown, May 28th, 1792, the credentials of Mr. Hill had not arrived. On the testimony of Mr. Andrew Law, a minister from New England, that he was present at the meeting of Hanover Presbytery, when the proper papers were ordered and made out, the candidate was received. The calls from Bullskin and Charlestown having been accepted, preparations were made for the ordination. On Thursday, 29th, Mr. Hill preached his trial sermon in Charlestown from 1st John 5th, 10 — He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself. On Friday, the 30th, the ordination services were performed in the Episcopal stone church, near Charlestown. Mr. Hoge preached from the words — Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, — and gave the charge. Bullskin had been a congregation for some thirty years, and had enjoyed the services of missionaries, and some stated supplies from Donegal Presbytery. On account of the distance from the churches of Hanover and Lexington, Mr. Hill was the first minister from Virginia whose services they were able to secure. The congregation of Elk branch, situated between Charlestown and Shepherdstown, about this time was, by consent, so arranged that part went under the care of Mr. Hoge, and part under Mr. Hill.

The extracts from Mr. Hill’s journal have been given at some length for two reasons : 1st. This is the only journal written by Dr. Hill, and is the only one containing much information about his field of early labor, written by any one; and 2d, in it he draws his own picture most graphically. The youthful missionary was the old man of fourscore. He revised his journal, and gave some explanatory notes, completing the portrait of himself and the times and the people. There was always a warmheartedness in him. What he did, he did with all his might. He was weary of rest days — as at the house of Mr. Ewing — no matter how kindly cared for; and would without hesitation encounter great difficulties to fulfil appointments, or gain a favored purpose. He could, all through life, ride in the rain, ford rivers, cross mountains to preach to a small audience, and then feel ashamed of himself that his message was not better delivered. The propensity to merriment would show itself, as with Mr. Turner; but never broke forth in the pulpit. There he was always grave and solemn. He struggled to the last of life with that fiery temper that was kindled against Lyle in argument, and allayed by prayer. Tall, slim, broad-shouldered, he possessed a fine figure for an orator. His breast was thin, in his youth, and showed a tendency to flatness, indicative of inherent weakness. Till after his twenty-seventh year, he dreaded consumption, and expected an early death. This expectation, in connection with his ardent temperament, made him reckless of danger and exposure ; he would die like a true soldier, in the field. As he approached his thirtieth year, his chest enlarged, and the predisposition to stoop gave place to a bold manly bearing, and his voice became more strong and penetrating. In preaching in the woods, the largest crowds ever assembled in the valley could hear with ease, and felt, under his vehement and often passionate declamation, his power to excite their stormy passions to a tempest. Always grave in the pulpit, he sometimes forgot himself when he would unbend in private intercourse, and fail to follow out the deep impression he had made in public; but he admired the man that could, without sternness, be a preacher everywhere. Warm in his attachments, and, unless restrained by the high motives of the gospel, strong in his resentments, the ardency of his temperament, his lively feelings, and a fund of kindness, softening the natural severity of his temper, made him an interesting companion and a valued friend. His power of sarcasm sometimes appeared in the pulpit; his mirthfulness never.

He presided over a classical school in Charlestown for a length of time, with great ability as a teacher and disciplinarian. The remuneration he received, after paying the expenses of the school and the wages of assistants, was small, but necessary to make up the deficiency of his salary in the support of his family. His connection with the school, consuming time and wasting his strength, he considered necessary to the welfare of his congregation, which he thought could not flourish without good schools. William Naylor, in after life a lawyer of eminence and an elder in the church, was one of his assistants. Mr. Hill thought that he might preach more effectually, in this way, and his labor was not in vain.

In the fall of 1792 he was married to Miss Nancy Morton, daughter of Col. Wm. Morton, of Charlotte, and took over to Jefferson, to bless his house, one of the sweetest flowers ever transplanted from the lowlands to the fertile valley of the Shenandoah. Of lovely form, and small delicate frame, of indescribable simplicity and sweetness of manners, forbearing iu her disposition and devout in her faith, she reigned in her husband's heart till death; receiving from him in his age the same respectful, assiduous attention, with a greater display of unchecked fondness than when he was striving to win her youthful love. Mr. Williamson, also very happily married, tells of him, in his early matrimonial days, that reading that verse of Paul in which he says — “husbands, love your wives,” his single comment was, “Thankee, Paul, for that.”

The Synod, at its meeting in Harrisonburg, Sept. 26th, 1T94, resolved to divide Lexington Presbytery. The dividing line shall begin on that part of the boundary line between the Presbyteries of Lexington and Redstone, on the Allegheny Mountains, where Hardy County is divided from Pendleton, running thence with the line dividing the counties until the same reaches the corner of Rockingham County; from thence in a direct course to the place where the great road through Keezletown to Winchester crosses the Shenandoah; from thence to Swift Run Gap on the Blue Ridge, which reaches the boundary of the Presbytery of Hanover.” The members living north-east of said line—Moses Hoge, Nash Legrand, Wm. Hill, and John Lyle, and William Williamson formed the Presbytery of Winchester. The first meeting was held December 4th, 1794, in the stone meeting-house, Winchester, now occupied by the Baptists; members in attendance were Messrs. Hoge, Legrand and Williamson, with elders William Buckles, Alexander Feely and James Perry. Mr. Hoge opened the meeting with a sermon on the words, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed.” The members all lived in Virginia, and wTest of the Blue Ridge. Mr. Hoge, the oldest member, and the first of the Presbytery located in the prescribed bounds, occupied the lower end of the Shenandoah Valley from the Ridge to the neighborhood of Martins-burg. Mr. Hill was next above him with similar boundaries. Mr. Legrand’s charge reached across the Valley, and extended from below Winchester to Shenandoah County — some families from that county attending Cedar Creek meeting-house. Mr. Williamson, Warren County and a small part of Shenandoah. Mr. Lyle lived upon South Branch of the Potomac, in Hampshire County; and for a time was head of a popular and flourishing school. Mr. Legrand’s charge was considered the most inviting; and he exerted a wider influence than his brethren for a series of years, and then gave way to Mr. Hill.


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