W0148 TO DR. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from Ashbel Parmalee
[On envelope:] "Brockport [Monroe?] Co." crossed out
Pastor of the Congregational
Church of Malone
Franklin Co., New York
Malone, New York
Oct 15 1839
To: Dr. Calvin McQuesten Hamilton, W. Canada [Ontario]
Although a stranger to you in one respect I trust I am not in another for if we are both what we profess to be, we are related to the same glorious Head, and having heard of though not seen each other, we have some acquaintance. My object in writing is one of serious moment (which I am sure you will appreciate so soon as it shall be placed before you) & which is to obtain some information from your self and others of your friends, concerning the manner in which the Rev. J. Burchard managed a meeting a few years ago in your vicinity. You will perceive the necessity on my part for asking this favour when I tell you, that Mr. Burchard is itinerating all around me in this region, holding meetings in many villages & saying that he intends yet to come to Malone; & there is some excitement in my church about the matter, some desiring him, but perhaps more that he should not come. Situated as I am, I have thought it expedient to make some inquiries of person's of veracity & observation who might know of Mr. Burchard's preaching and movements, what their views are of them, & whether they consider it advisable to encourage his course.
Most persons to whom I have written speak unfavourably, saying, that churches are rent by him, and also, that he is too hasty in numbering converts. They likewise assert that his manner of doing the Lord's business is light and irreverent. One person from whom I have procured information says she was present at the meeting in Brockport (now the wife of the Rev. W. Robinson Morristown, VT.) and in a letter to me from her husband has referred me to you for particulars. Now, Sir as this cause of truth is just as valuable in Malone as in your own place, or any other, and as I am placed here to defend that cause, will you not be so kind as to answer the following questions:
1. How do the converts wear who came into the church under Mr. Burchard's operations?
2. What are your impressions & the impressions of your brethren generally, so far as you know them concerning the expediency of employing Mr. B. in protracted meetings.
In answering above questions, as soon as convenient, you will confer a favour on one who, with you, desires to do right in all things and thus glorify God.
Yours in sincerity
Pastor of the Cong. Church of Malone
Franklin Co., N.Y.