(seq. 4)




Status: Complete

[fol. 2v]

the world will hardly permit me to offer
you any information of the kind. I may, how-
ever, give you some account of the part of
Worcester County, which, if it be not interesting
to you, will serve, instead of a poorer subject,
to fill up my letter. The people in Leicester
and its contiguous towns are social and hos-
pitable, industrious and frugal; but, to my
surprize, are far less attentive even to the
externals of religion, than those in the vicinity
of Boston. One would suppose that removed
from the contagious influences of bad examples,
they would be free from those vices, which
are almost inevitable in sea-port town &
their neighborhoods; but you may here ob-
serve a more general neglect of public wor-
ship, if not a great profanation of the sab-
bath, than in Cambridge and its adjoining
towns. It is, I believe, a fact in Leicester and, I am in-
formed, in its vicinity, that the most influen-
tial characters are unbelievers in Christianity,
and openly argue angainst its authenticity. In
Worcester there has been, for some years past, a
most unhappy opposition between what are called
the Arminians and Hopkinsians. The former
separated themselves from the latter, and I believe,

[fol. 2r]

by this time, they both allow that men are
free to do evil; though the latter will not al-
low that they are able to do good. Strange that
people should violate every principle of Christian-
ity in attempting to establish its truth! In Leices-
ter, tho' considerably smaller than Dorchester, there
are four religious soicieties, Congregationalists, Baptists,
Friends, and Separatists. These, as you may nat-
urally suppose, give rise to warm parties of opposite
interests. I was highly entertained at a lecture of the
Friends, the other day. They had an apostle, who was
their speaker, from New Jersey. He had a grave
contenance, ornamented by [...] long grey beard which
swept his breast, and incoporated with the silver locks of
his head. His dress was neat and simple, And if I may
be allowed, without the imputation of uncharitableness,
[...] suggest an idea, which frequently occurred, on seeing his
airs, I believe he was as proud of his beard, as you and
I are of our craped locks and powdered hair. After
waiting some time for the movement of the spirit, he arose
and told us we did not our a, b, c. On explaining his mean-
ing, he doubted not, we had outside larning; but our
hearts were entirely empty of grace. He exhorted us
to self denial, and, in his zeal to decry science,
shewed himself deficient in [...] common sense.

I expect by this time our good friend Wales
has arrived from Baltimore. He has so many friends near
Boston, that I am afraid he will find it inconvenient to
visit me. If he does, pray, come with him; if he does not, I
would thank you to put him in mind of me, and tell him
his last letter to me bears date Aug. 23d. '93; I have only
room to entreat you to write speedily to your's &c. J Pierce.

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