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Stephen West to Samuel Kirkland

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Kirkland 135a

Letter to Samuel Kirkland from Stephen West
Stockbridge, 13th April, 1791. Reverend and Dear Sir, Your late kind favour
by Mr. Willard was very gratefully received: But, it really reproved my
negligence; and, made me blush to reflect upon the too just grounds I had
given you to suspect the interest which my heart takes in all your
concerns. I had often thought I would not let slip the next opportunity of
writing: yet, through the multiplicity of concerns, and once by reason of
bodily indisposition, I protracted till the opportunity was past. In regard
of the subject upon which you ask my opinion, relative to the professors in
Clinton, I hardly know what advice to give. As they came from various
parts, very probably their professions are not, all, really the same.
Whenever a Church shall be formed there, hope it will be on the Edwardian
Plan. Should those of different sentiments and professions now commune
together, possibly it might rather occasion some embarrassment with respect
to forming such as are willing to make a proper profession into a
Church-State. However, you who are on the spot, will be the best judge:
and, to your wisdom and prudence, the matter must be left. I think it
probable I shall be able to afford them some assistance with respect to a
Preacher. It is, on the whole, not unlikely that Mr. Hyde , who has been
with me, some part of the Winter, will visit them, the coming season. I
know no one whom I could more cheerfully recommend. I feel myself so
interested for the people in your vicinity, that it would afford me great
pleasure to visit them. And, were it not for the state of my own people,
should seriously meditate a visit to that part of the Country, between this
and next Fall. But, the providences of God toward us are such that I cannot
think of leaving this people for so long a time as would be necessary for
visiting those western plantations. The blessed work which a gracious God
has been carrying on here, seems to

be again reviving. There are several recent instances of awakening; among
which are, old Mr. P. John , who lives at the upper end of the Town, and
young Asa Bement . I hope the truth has gotten fast hold of their
consciences. Amongst those hopefully brought into light, as is Mrs. Dwight
, (wife of H. Dwight ,) whose heart appears to be greatly engaged in the
things of religion. Mr. Ephraim Judson , late of Taunton, being dismissed,
has an invitation to settle in Sheffield; and, will probably ere long be
installed there. There is a hopeful prospect that Lee will be favoured with
Mr. Jones , who has lately been with me, for their minister. Your Son is
yet pursuing his studies with me, though not without interruptions. His
journey to Boston detained him longer than he expected. And the business
and affairs of the family, frequently call for his attention. With respect
to a professional Calling, know not what to say. He will probably make a
figure in any of the learned professions. Perhaps it is best to put him to
the study of the law. I cannot, however, without regret, see him leave the
study of divinity, for that of the law. But, as all hearts are in God's
hand, He will order as infinite wisdom shall direct. May the Good Lord, in
answer to the prayers and fervent wishes of a tender and affectionate
Father, and of other friends, send down the Good Spirit into heart! Be
assured I never receive your kind, engaging letters without sincere and
sensible pleasure. I am, Dear Sir, Your affectionate Friend and Brother,
Stephen West . P.S. kind regards to Doctor Hopkins .
Reverend Stephen West April 13 1791