New York 17th Feby [February?] 1825
Revd [Reverend?] & Dear Sir
I am happy to learn, from Mr Agnew, that you are still not
only in health, but able to officiate as a Minister of Christ
to your Pastoral Charge. I presume you have held that sacred
office upwards of half a Century: and I pray God to prepare
you, in due time, for the Crown which you have had in view.
The Church, in this land, is as neat & in peace. We enjoy
as much prosperity, in a backsliding age, as is for our good.
My own Congregation is peaceful, is I hope not declining in
personal piety, though increased in numbers. We have many
precious & pious, as well as public spirited saints, in our
fellowship. Now & then they have their trials, and I get
many a brushing from my foes. Yet all is not enough to keep
my Garments clean. In Twenty five years I have been
personally attacked, in print, upwards of one hundred & ten
times; & yet, I never yet replied. I have always held myself
a fair mark for the disaffected to shoot at, & have even
depended on God as my shield.
You have heard of a Mr Douglas, whom I patronised, at some
expense to my purse. He has repaid me & my Congregation. But
he has injured himself. He took, as his Association, three
bad men who had been under Church Censure; & he took with him,
of my fine flock, one foolish & well meaning man, whose family
are afflicted at that event, & who, I fear will smart for it,
as he is connected with him in pecuniary transactions. Except
him, his labour for these four years has made no proselyte.
They both abandon the [City?] on the first of May, to seek a
more hospitable clime. His own books have been his ruin.
Our people are virtuous; & if any stand like Douglas our Church
is better without them. His last pamphlet goes to disprove the
necessity of any Ordination to the Ministry, & he has offered
Your sister is in ordinary health; and not much declined in
strength since the departure of Mr Agnew. The sons are all as
yet, in a sense, together; I do not, indeed, know how. They
seem to be Tenants, in Common, of the prosperity, & yet
disconnected in trade. Wm [William?] is a Deacon of the
Church. Cornelius is a member. John is a steady friend, and
attendent on Ordinances; but has been persuaded by political
friends to become an Alderman of our City. On the first of
January, he accordingly took his seat in the Common Council.
He & Cornelius are unmarried & still live with their Mother.
Wm [William?] has a fine wife, & three fine children. Jane,
Mrs Crawford, is settled in Chambersburgh Pennsylvania, 150
miles from Philadelphia. I presided, at Wm [William?]
Crawfords installation, in August; and he & his wife have
since visited New York. They have recently purchased, at
Sherriff's Sale, a great bargain, a very handsome estate which
of itself will furnish a competency for a family: & they seem
to be prudent & happy. The Congregation is small, but firm
sound biblical Covenanters - tenacious of truth, but liberal
Old Wm [William?] Cusick is alive & well. He lives with
Mary Ann, his daughter, a prudent pious woman, who does well
for him & her two fatherless children. I have been at the
house today & they are well.
My own family has been much [afflicted?]. We have
another daughter born nearly two months since; & there
now live Four Sons & two daughters. I have buried three.
My household at present is convalescent. My oldest
Son is this year, the third, in Columbia College. He
is neither strong in body, nor great in mind; but
hitherto he is unexceptionable in his department.
I send this by a Nephew of mine, who takes passage in the
Helen, for Sligo, in order to cross from Belfast to Greenock.
If he should be detained, for any time in Belfast, he will
visit you. He was brought up in my house; but by disease
With great respect, I am yours most sincerely Alex McLeod.