THE contents of the following pages were written at different, and frequently at distant intervals of time, and were published in the Southern Christian Advocate. The author has been frequently requested to present them to the public in the more permannent form of a book. In the hope that it may, in this form, be the means of pelasure and profit to some who may honor its pages by reading them, he has resolved to comply with the request. May God accept the imperfect tribute which is thus brought to his altar; and may his blessing make the humble little volume now sent forth, a blessing to many of those who read it.
JAMES O. ANDREW.
LOUISVILLE, KY., September 6, 1853.
Letters from the West.
Leaving home — Marietta — Stage Coach Serenaders — Decautur — Camp-Meeting — Tuscumbia — Nashville t— St. Louis.
ON Wednesday, the 9th of August, I left home for the Far West. As the distance to the first conference was so great, and the time between the several conferences so short; as to forbid the hope of reaching my work by private conveyance, I took the stage at Oxford, intending to go direct to Nashville, via Spring Place, Ga., and Jasper, Tenn. This plan I abandoned subsequently, in consequence of being a day too late or too early; and when I reached Rome concluded to take the new stage line to Memphis, via Decatur and Tuscumbia, Ala., which would leave me at liberty to diverge towards Nashville, at some two or three points. From Oxford to Decatur, I was in the stage alone, with a fine opportunity for indulging
10those melancholy feelings which always oppress my heart when called away from home, and those precious loved ones who are there. Let none ask whether I have not yet become accustomed to leaving home. No, I never shall be; no, never. It is as painful now as at the first, and will never become less so; but the strugglings of nature's fondest affections must be quieted, when duty calls. I am God's servant; to his service I have consecrated my heart and life and strength; he knows best when and where to assign me my field of labor; and if any sacrifice which I can make, shall tend in any measure to promote the cause of God my Redeemer, I should most cheerfully make it. God is everywhere; this is my comfort. He will be with those I leave behind, and he will also be about the way which I take. On Thursday morning, they roused me a little after midnight, and I had another lonely ride to Marietta, a pretty village in Cobb county, which we reached to breakfast a little after six. The village is a healthy, pretty place, directly on the celebrated Western and Atlantic railroad. It is improving; has a Methodist, Presbyterian, and Episcopal Church, (the last a nice brick edifice;) and is becoming the point to which the wealthy and dignified from the lower country are looking as a suitable location for their homes. From thence to Cassville, I had a follow passenger over some as rough road as one
11in quest of comfort would desire. The road, for almost the entire distance, lies directly along the line of railroad above referred to, which it repeatedly crosses.
I was quite disappointed in finding the road from Cassville to Rome, going through a country exceedingly poor and broken, fit for little else than range for stock, though I understood that a short distance from the road there were considerable bodies of beautiful and fertile lands. At a little after eight, we reached Rome, which we did not leave till past ten o'clock. It was a beautiful moonlight night, and we had a good road for several miles, after crossing the Coosa river; and as far as moonlight would enable me to judge, I supposed the land to be good. I was again alone and rather drowsy, when, after going several miles, I was roused by the sound of music, which I found proceeded from the Western stage, which met us, and without any ceremony, transferred its band of musicians to our coach. I soon ascertained that the driver, not liking the solitude of his ride through these gloomy woods, had picked up this company of lads from the cabins on the road. He gave them the ride; and as one of them was a fiddler, they paid their fare in music. These amateurs in the science of sweet sounds, had not been long seated in our coach before the fiddler struck up one of his best tunes, and as far as he had
12room, seemed inclined to keep time with his foot. Now, I have no particular hostility to music, if it be of the right sort; but I confess I was not in very good mood for the frolic which seemed thickening around me; and so after gravely deciding in my own mind, that, by virtue of the eight dollars which I had paid at the last office, I had a right to control the inner apartments of the stage, I determined on calling the company to order, which I did with all due gravity and politeness. Our musical friend promptly responded to my request, and for the rest of the ride we approached pretty near a Quaker meeting, so far as silence was concerned, except that one of the company entered into conversation with me, in the progress of which, I learned that he was the postmaster of the neighborhood, the son of an old Baptist clergyman, and was regarded by the people as rather a wild blade. Having restored our serenaders to their homes, I was again in quiet possession of the stage, free to think, to dream, or sleep as the case might be. We jogged on in profound solitude, till about an hour or two before day, when we reached the place for changing horses, where, as I understood the driver to say, we were only to stay a few moments. I accordingly stretched myself on the seat to await the signal for another start.
I was pretty soon fast asleep; I woke up about sunrise, and found myself in the stage with no
13sign of horses or driver. After awhile I found them stirring, and learned that we should breakfast there, as there would be no other chance for many miles. The road through all the route to-day, with very few exceptions, leads through a very barren country, with little sign of improvement, and that little of the very poorest description, until you cross the mountain, and enter Will's Valley, when you pass a number of beautiful and luxuriant fields of corn, which bespeak a decided improvement both in the soil and inhabitants. Between nine and ten o'clock at night, we reached Warrenton, a small village in Marshall county, Ala., where we remained till after breakfast next morning, when I again took stage, and after a miserably rough and fatiguing ride of about fifty miles reached Decatur some time after night. I had determined to spend the Sabbath here, and learning that there was a camp-meeting in progress a few miles below, I went down to the encampment, where I met an affectionate and cordial welcome from my old friend, brother Duskee, the Presiding Elder, and from preachers and people. I preached to them on Sabbath and on Monday morning; and then by railroad went on to Tuscumbia, where I preached on Tuesday morning, and in the afternoon took stage for Nashville, which we reached after sunset the next evening. In the beautiful valley of the Tennessee, the fields are literally burdened with
14the richest and most luxuriant crops I have ever seen, and every thing bespeaks plenty, plenty. Oh, that there were hearts in us to praise God for his goodness. Thus far, too, the people have enjoyed good health; and best of all, there is a gracious work of religion in the country through which I passed. I understood that scores and hundreds have been converted to God within the few weeks which preceded my arrival there, and preachers and people seem to be in the spirit and looking for better and greater things.
At Nashville I remained till after the Sabbath. I preached on the Sabbath a long and loud sermon, though it was delivered with great difficulty in consequence of indisposition from the influenza with which I had been suffering from the time of my arrival in the city. I was better on Monday, and in the afternoon took boat for this place, via Smithland. I arrived here on yesterday afternoon, after a rather tedious and uncomfortable passage of four days. My health is now pretty good, and I am anxiously seeking a boat for the Upper Mississippi: but when I shall find one is uncertain.
St. Louis, Mo., August 26, 1843.
Arrival at Nashville — Portrait and Reminiscences of Bishop MeKendree — Description of Nashville — Scene at Smithland — A Humbug City — The new route from Covington, Ga., to St. Louis, via Memphis.
ON my arrival at Nashville, I took lodgings at the house of brother Hill, and the next morning found me in bed sometime after day-light. When I awoke and turned aside the mosquito netting, I cast my eyes towards the fire-place, and standing on the mantel-piece, looking me full in the face, was the portrait of the venerable departed McKendree. It seemed to look upon me as though it would administer a gentle rebuke, that I was yet in bed. It is a striking likeness of the Bishop, as I saw him at the Lebanon conference a few months before his death, and was sketched by an artist in Nashville on the occasion of the Bishop's last appearance in the pulpit in the McKendree Church. I had not noticed it the previous night, hence the impression which it made on my mind was peculiarly vivid and exciting. I was reposing in what was known in the family as Bishop McKendree's room. It was in this very room I had my last interview with the venerable man; and now he seemed to be standing before me, and
16looking directly upon me as though he would say, "be thou faithful to the trust reposed in thee." I lay and gazed on the portrait for some time, and indulged in a strain of mournfully pleasant reflections. I thought of the long and faithful services of the departed; how he had stood at his post in the hour of darkness and storm, when breakers were around the ship, and there was mutiny on board; still he grasped the helm with a firm and steady hand; his practiced eye discerned amidst surrounding dangers the track of safety, and under the guidance of the great Head of the Church, and with the aid of his faithful, fearless associates, the church was safely conducted through the storm, and he was permitted to see her rising from her struggles with the strength of a giant and girding herself for more extensive conquests than even her most sanguine friends had deemed probable. And then when he saw the church of his choice bright in the glory of the Lord, and clothing herself with salvation and praise, the Master called him away from toil to rest, after he had been permitted to cast one more look along the whole line of the marshaled hosts of Methodism. That look was enough. The camp of Israel was in motion. The shout of a king was in her midst; and the aged veteran, at the call of his Lord, laid aside his armor and ascended to the heaven of peace. I remembered a conversation which I had
17with the Bishop a few days after my ordination. I was trembling in view of the sacred and awful responsibilities which my new relation to the church imposed upon me, and I asked him to give me some advice as to my course. He was feeble and said but little; but one thing he said, of which I have often thought since. "James, never shrink from responsibility; remember he who shrinks from the responsibility which properly belongs to his station, assumes the greatest and most fearful responsibility." Finally, I resolved to aim at being a holier and more useful man, and endeavored to ask God to make me such.
Nashville is a very pleasant city containing perhaps some twelve thousand inhabitants. It rests on a bed of lime-stone rock; hence it is frequently called the city of rocks. It is a place of considerable trade, great quantities of tobacco being sold and shipped from this point; and I was rather surprised to hear that some 35,000 bags of cotton had been received there during the last season. The city is supposed to be healthy. The inhabitants are intelligent, polished and hospitable. The churches, Protestant and Catholic, are duly represented here; and one, to look at the number of houses of worship, would guess that the inhabitants were quite a church-going set of folks. The Methodists have a fine large church edifice, called the McKendree church, with a large congregation
18and a respectable membership. They have also a church and society on what is called College-side, not far from the Nashville University; besides these they have a large African church, the members of which are well spoken of by the whites as to their appearance on Sunday, and their conduct the rest of the week. They are also fine singers, and it is said moreover, that they do a respectable business in manufacturing camp-meeting songs, chorusses, and ditties. In this city is the Nashville University. Here, also, they have a very excellent female institution. The city has been gradually improving since I first visited it, in the autumn of 1832; and will probably continue to do so, for some time to come.
My trip down the Cumberland had nothing very special or interesting about it. The Cumberland is a pretty little river, and during most of the year affords good navigation for steamboats. At the mouth of this river, you have the little town of Smithland. Here I had to wait till next morning for an Ohio boat. In the course of the afternoon, I sat under the shade of the cotton-wood trees on the river bank, or lounged about the bar-room, just as it suited me; for I had at last got to a place where nobody knew me, and I could make my observations on men and things without interruption. During the afternoon, I heard the tinkling of a church bell. I inquired of that important,
19functionary, the bar-keeper, what church it was He said it was the Methodist church. "Have they meeting there to-night?" "Yes." "Who is to preach?" "Mr. T." "Is he a Methodist?" "Yes." Well, night came, and in company with the landlord and his lady, I went to church. I did not go to the altar or the pulpit, but took my seat quite up in a corner. I saw presently some little whispering at different points, of which I guessed I was the subject. Finally, a decent, plain looking man came to me and said, he understood there was a Methodist preacher in town, and wished to know if I was the man. I told him I was a preacher. He then insisted that I should go to the pulpit and be introduced to the Rev. Mr. T. Accordingly I went and was introduced to a very genteel looking young clergyman, who courteously invited me to conclude the services after him; to which I assented. Well, he proceeded, and when we went to prayer, I noticed that the parson stood; and I had observed before, that the people all kept their seats when we sung. Well, well, thought I; has Methodism come to this, down here in Kentucky. If I live to get this said Mr. T. in private, I'll read him a little homily on departing from the old paths. The sermon closed, and I concluded the service. The Congregation was dismissed, and we retired, when I ascertained that this said Mr. T. was a Presbyterian minister from the country, and that himself
20and his brethren were conducting a protracted meeting in our church. So the Methodists of Kentucky were relieved from suspicion, and brother Temple escaped at least one written lecture. And now, as I came so near giving him a scold, it is but justice to say, that he is reported to have been very useful among the people. We have a very neat and commodious brick chapel, which I understood, had been almost exclusively built by his exertions. He will leave a good savor in Smithland, and the prayers of many will follow him.
Below Smithland, we are on the beautiful Ohio, which spreads out in a lovely sheet of water, varying in width, but I should think generally averaging half a mile, or probably a little more, till it pours its clear waters into the turbid bosom of the Mississippi, about sixty miles below Smithland. However, I ought not to have omitted to state, that twelve miles below the mouth of the Cumberland, at the mouth of the Tennessee, stands the pretty little town of Paducah, and at the mouth of the Ohio is Cairo, — one of those splendid humbug cities with which this great valley has abounded. But of this more hereafter. Having conducted your readers to St. Louis in a former letter, we need not, at present, go farther. At a future time, we shall, God willing, give some more notice of St. Louis. Perhaps, for the benefit of travelers, a few remarks may not be out of place. I have already
21stated that I traveled by the new stage route to Memphis. I left Oxford on Wednesday, about 12 o'clock, and reached Decatur, Ala., on Saturday night, making three days and a half. But, then, the stages were badly arranged. The same distance, if matters were properly conducted, could be traveled in less than three days; — say three days from Covington to Tuscumbia; from thence to Memphis, via Holly Springs, is, I think, two days; making five days from Covington to Memphis. If you wish to go to St. Louis, you have one day from Tuscumbia to Nashville, thence to St. Louis in a steamboat in three days or less. So that in the season when the river is up, a man might go from Augusta to St. Louis in seven days. But it is contemplated to run a small steamer from Decatur to some point considerably higher up the river. This will be a great improvement both in point of time, and expense and comfort. From Covington to Decatur, I paid at the old Southern rate of ten cents per mile, and about the same from thence to Nashville; not quite so bad from Nashville to St. Louis; it cost me nine dollars, and is sometimes obtained at a cheaper rate.
St. Louis, September, 1843.
The Upper Mississippi — Exchange of turbid for clear water — Beautiful islands and picturesque prospect — Difficult ascent — The Rapids — The Mormon city of Nauvoo — Ride on a nondescript carriage, cure for the dyspepsia — Burlington — Sermon while waiting for a Steamer — Arrival at the seat of the Rock River conference — Departure for Quincy — Illinois conference — Great prosperity of the M. E. Church in Illinois.
I left St. Louis for the Upper Mississippi, in company with Rev. J. P. Wright, of Cincinnati, who has been my associate in all my journeyings since. About twenty miles above St. Louis, we passed the mouth of the Missouri, and immediately exchanged the turbid waters of the former (which we had been drinking ever since we left the mouth of the Ohio,) for the clear and pure looking waters of the Mississippi. Whether the fluid was really any better or not, it did me good to be able once more to see through a glass of water. The river appeared to me to continue about its usual width. As we ascended it, however, it divided into innumerable channels studded with hundreds of beautiful islands which gave the prospect ahead an exceedingly picturesque and beautiful appearance. We stopped at a great many little towns to land freight or passengers, and occasionally to replenish our supply of the latter. The lowness of the water, too,
23at this season of the year, and the hundreds of sandbars which frequently stretch themselves almost entirely across the river, rendered the ascent much more difficult and protracted than it would be otherwise. We left St. Louis on Monday afternoon, and on Tuesday night about 12 o'clock, we reached Keokuk, at the foot of the lower rapids. Our boat could ascend no higher; so we staid till after breakfast next morning, when we took the stage for Burlington, distant about forty-three miles. A little below Keokuk we passed the mouth of DesMoines river, which is the line between Missouri and the Iowa Territory, so we were now in the Territory. We were distant from St. Louis about two hundred and fifty miles, and from Dubuque, where the Rock River conference was to meet, about three hundred miles. The ride to Burlington was a pleasant one, as our road lay over a beautiful undulating prairie country with farms scattered over it, though this part of the territory is but just beginning to be settled upon. Twelve miles from Keokuk, we came in sight of the Mormon city of Nauvoo, occupying a very imposing and pretty situation on the opposite side of the river. Its habitations, which were numerous, seemed scattered extensively over the surrounding hills, and the white walls of its unfinished temple could be distinctly seen perched on the brow of the lull, in a grove apparently about the center of the town. I had a great desire to visit it, and
24promised myself that I would do so on my return voyage; but like a great many other important schemes it was doomed to failure. Twenty miles farther, we dined at the pretty village of Fort Madison. Here we exchanged our pleasant coach for a sort of nondescript thing on four wheels, a ride of one hundred miles in which I would recommend as a sovereign cure for dyspepsia.
About six we reached Burlington, and took lodgings at Fletcher's Hotel, a pretty good house, kept by an exceedingly gentlemanly, clever landlord, and withal a thorough cold-water concern. Here, we were obliged to wait for a boat to carry us farther on our way. Wednesday night and Thursday all day, we were looking and listening, not with the most exemplary patience.
Seeing we could not get away on Thursday, I agreed to preach for them at night; but it seemed to me the whole time of service, that I could hear the puffing of a steamboat; consequently, the sermon was, I fear, rather a lame affair. It had, however, one redeeming feature, it was short. But there was no steamboat for all; nor did we get one till about three next morning, when we were roused from our pillows to go on board the steamer Potosi, bound for Galena and Dubuque. All that day we had a beautiful country, especially on the Iowa side, and particularly for some twenty miles before we reached the town of Davenport, at the foot of the
25upper rapids. Extensive and beautiful prairies, stretching out from the river as far as the eye can reach, with numerous well cultivated farms, give to the prospect an air of beauty and plenty which one does not meet with every day, even in the West; but I cannot in this hasty communication be minute. Suffice it to say we did not reach the conference till the Sabbath. This was a source of mortification; but I was in time for the sermon and the ordination of the Sabbath, and this was matter of devout gratitude. The services of the holy day were delightful, and, I trust, profitable. I have rarely witnessed so fine a state of feeling in a congregation. We got through the business of the conference on Thursday, after a very pleasant session; and the next morning were on our way to Galena to take boat for Quincey, the seat of the Illinois conference. It will be remembered, that the Rock River conference was set off at the last General conference, and already they require division, and have passed resolutions requesting it, proposing to make Iowa Territory a distinct conference. The last year has been a year of great prosperity with them, and they report a very encouraging increase of numbers.
We left Galena on Saturday, on our downward voyage, and on Monday morning before daylight we reached the head of the lower rapids, where we had to leave the boat and hire a hack to our old
26stopping place, Keokuk. Here we found a steamer waiting, and went immediately on board, but did not leave till five o'clock, and as Quincey was only forty-five miles distant, we hoped to be there before next morning, but we did not reach it till the next afternoon. On Wednesday morning, the Illinois conference commenced its sittings. We had a pleasant session, which closed on Thursday, and in an hour afterwards I was on my way in a private carriage for Missouri conference, which commences on Wednesday next at Lexington, distant about ninety miles. Great prosperity has attended the church in Illinois last year; increase, over seven thousand.
Huntsville, Missouri, September 23, 1843.
Journey from St. Louis — Great American Bottom — Singular Mounds — Boulders — Arrival at Vandalia — Terra Haute — Visit to the Indiana Asbury University — Indiana conference.
On the morning of the 12th of October, about four o'clock, I was roused from a pleasant reverie, into which I had just fallen about home and the loved ones there, by the sound of the coachman's bugle and the rattling of wheels, which told me, in no ambiguous terms, that it was time for me to arise and prepare to make my escape from my
27very pleasant quarters in St. Louis, and address myself to the journey for Indiana. Now, four o'clock was very nearly two hours earlier than the time they had appointed for me to start, and it was a cool morning into the bargain; and although I had been awake for an hour, yet I grumbled about being roused so early: however, the stage-man cared nothing for that. Upon descending to the parlor, I found my friend, sister Gay, had prepared a comfortable breakfast, which was the more agreeable, as it might not be desirable to encounter the malaria of the American Bottom, on an empty stomach. So, having promised to meet the driver at the river, I remained to partake once more of the warm-hearted hospitality of this kind family. Well, after all, we reached the river half an hour before the stage, and had to take the benefit of a cool, keen, river breeze. We crossed the river about daylight, and entered the state of Illinois, passing for the first seven or eight miles through what is known as the American Bottom, — a body of land as rich as can be well imagined, — producing the most luxuriant crops of corn, and yielding in the richest abundance, all the varied fruits of the climate; but it is miserably sickly, and the improvements, considering its contiguity to St. Louis, I thought very inferior. I saw, however, some thrifty looking farms. I was struck with the great number of mounds which are scattered over this bottom in
28all directions. They are of various heights, some rising like abrupt hills to a respectable elevation, and others presenting the appearance of more modest and unpretending hillocks. Many of these are scattered around St. Louis, whence it is frequently called the mound-city. But what are these mounds? Are they natural, or have they been reared by the hands of man? That they are artificial, is, I believe, the common opinion, and it may be so; but it is very difficult to imagine, when one regards their number and position, for what purpose they could have been reared, or to what uses they could have been appropriated for the benefit of either the living or the dead. A fellow-passenger in the stage, who resides in the State, and who appeared intelligent and clever, gave me another theory as current, viz., that this whole bottom wag formerly the bed of an extensive lake, whose waters were hemmed in by the mountain barriers which approach the river some distance below St. Louis; and that these mounds were islands formed in this lake; and that these barriers having been broken down by volcanic or other action, the imprisoned waters found their way through the great valley to the gulf. Of course, I am not geologist enough to speculate on these theories. Two things, however, I think probable: first, that a warm imagination may very easily find proof in these heaps of earth, of ancient improvement and civilization,
29much stronger than the reality of the case would justify; and second, I think it likely that volcanic action may have had a great deal more to do with this western world than has been supposed. There is another singular fact in reference to these prairies, for which I am not able to account. You will find scattered about over the prairies, large boulders of granite rock; they call them here, "lost rock." Now, the singularity is, that except these, there is no granite anywhere in the region: in all the mountains of the country there is, I believe, no granite. Whence, then, came these numerous detached blocks of it, which are scattered over the western plains? But I am out of my latitude, and must return to the road and the stage coach.
We passed through some beautiful counties and saw some very improved farms, particularly in the neighborhood of the village of Greenville. We had a fine view just in the vicinity of the village, extending for several miles, of beautiful prairies and prettily improved farms; but very soon, the looks of the country changed for the worse, and continued to get worse and worse, till daylight forsook us. Some two hours after dark, we reached Vandalia, formerly the capital of Illinois. It is said to contain about five hundred inhabitants, but its glory has departed since the removal of the seat of government to Springfield. After remaining an hour or two for supper, we took leave of Vandalia,
30without being able to see much of it. It was a cold, frosty night, and our road lay almost entirely through prairies: our coach was none of the tightest, and the wind whistled about us without let or hindrance, so that I had much ado to keep warm with all the appliances of overcoat and cloak, and a fine buffalo robe into the bargain. We drove our first team twenty-five miles, which occupied us until nearly daylight. The road during the following day, lay through a most uninviting country; broken, rough, and miserably sickly, if one might judge from the aguish looks of every body we encountered. We ate our breakfast in the morning, in the room of a sick man, and dined where another was very sick. In fact, there is no mistaking the character of the country, and the improvements of the people are in keeping with every thing else. About ten at night, we reached Terra Haute in Indiana; and here I concluded to remain till the Sabbath was past. So, the next morning, I took up my abode at the house of brother Freeman, in whose kind family I found a pleasant home during my stay. On Saturday, I surveyed the town, and in the afternoon, rode out about two miles, that I might have a view of the beautiful plain in which the town stands, covered, as it now is, with fine fields of corn, the ears of which hang heavily on their stalks, and are ready for gathering. The town contains perhaps some
31twenty-five hundred inhabitants, though this is mere guess work. There are several churches, one Presbyterian (new school,) perhaps the most numerous congregation and membership in the town. There is also a large Methodist meeting house, with a respectable congregation and membership. Terra Haute is, I think, one of the prettiest little towns I have seen in the West. It is situated on the Wabash river, a clever looking stream, which is navigable more than half the year for steamboats; but its prospective importance is still greater, from the fact, that the great Wabash and Erie canal (Indiana's most important public work,) is expected to terminate at this point. Should this work be accomplished, and it is confidently anticipated in a year or two, then Terre Haute will be one of the most important points in the State; and many of her citizens who have invested thousands in huge piles of brick and mortar are full of anxious hope on this subject The final completion of this canal will, without doubt, be an event of immense importance to the State.
On Sabbath, I preached in the morning to a large, attentive, and serious congregation, and in the afternoon, heard a good sermon from brother Whitter. Monday morning, in company with brother Marsee, I left for Greencastle, the seat of the Indiana Asbury University. With hard
32tugging, we urged our patient horse into town by dark. It was a very uncomfortable, chilly day, and we had taken no dinner, so that the sight of a good warm fire, and a comfortable supper, together with the frank, cordial welcome given us by brother and sister Thornburgh, all came in good time and fitted us exactly. The next morning, I wished to visit the college, but lo! President Simpson had left for conference, and with him had disappeared the key of the college; so, that I could look only into the outer courts of this temple of science. They have a very respectable looking college edifice, and the institution, take it all together, is, I think, the most promising of our western institutions. Its location is healthy, and the community decidedly moral. Its president Dr. Simpson, and his associates in the faculty, unite, to an unusual extent, the confidence and affection of the public in general, and especially the Methodist portion of it, and these amount to nearly ten per cent of the population of the State. The number of students during the past year, has been about one hundred and fifty, and the prospect is very fair for a large increase the next term. The institution is but slightly embarrassed, and no doubt is entertained that, with the approaching improvement in the pecuniary affairs of the country, they will be able to obtain a very respectable endowment. I found, too, in the conference, the preachers were of one heart
33and one mind; all seemed proud of our institution, and resolved to sustain it. Under all these favorable auspices, with the consecrating blessing of God, I cannot but anticipate a bright and long career of usefulness for the Indiana Asbury University.
We left for Crawfordsville after breakfast, and soon had plenty of company. After a pretty rough ride over a road, part of which was extremely hilly, and the remainder low and swampy, we reached our destination sometime before night, and the next morning the conference commenced its session. Our beginning was auspicious, and throughout the whole session, the peace of God rested upon us. The preachers seemed emphatically of one mind and heart: we had no jarring notes, making discord among us. Our business progressed rapidly and pleasantly; and although this is, perhaps, now one of the largest conferences in the Union, yet by Wednesday noon the preachers had closed their business, and were waiting for their appointments. The last year was one of prosperity, although the increase was not as great as that of the previous. It was, however, a very respectable increase. On the whole, the conference was to me a very pleasant one: it was my first visit among them, and they received me, and treated me throughout, with a cordiality which will not be forgotten by me. The Preachers, the most of them, seem to be comparatively young men; and animated, as I think them
34to be, by the right spirit, the church has much to hope from them. Upon the whole, I must say very fine fellows, those Hoosiers.
Cincinnati, Ohio, November 3, 1843.
Specimens of Traveling and Lodging in the Far West — Too late even in a Locomotive — Sunday in Madison — Arrival in Cincinnati — a Semi-annual meeting of the American Bible Society.
AT the close of the Indiana conference, I concluded to visit Cincinnati, having some little matters of business to transact there, and especially as I should thereby secure the company of my good friend, the Rev. J. F. Wright, to the Arkansas conference. Accordingly, on Thursday morning, I left Crawfordsville in company with brother Wright and Dr. Elliott of the Western Christian Advocate. It was important that we should reach Indianapolis that night, in order to be in time for the stage the next morning; yet the distance was more than forty miles, and the road extremely bad; and to crown all, one of our horses grew lame in an hour or two, so that we had to stop at a farm-house and take an Indian pony instead of our fine large gray. The result was, our speed was so very materially lessened, that night overtook us long
35before we reached Indianapolis. A considerable snow-storm commenced about noon, which continued till late at night. Our road, for the latter part of the day, was through a very low flat country; the traveling was consequently exceedingly muddy, and when we were relieved from this inconvenience it was at the expense of rolling or plunging over logs or poles laid across the road, with now and then a broken bridge, and anon a deep mud-hole. In this way, plunging, blundering, and wading, about an hour after dark, we anchored at Swim's tavern, where we took up lodgings for the night, in company with some seven or eight other travelers. We all lodged in one room, and occupied the entire assortment of bedsteads, trundle-bed and all; and in addition to all the rest, I discovered that a female and some four or five children had snugly ensconced themselves on a pallet before the fire. I confess that it did not seem very clever for us gentlemen to take all the beds and leave this poor woman to take the floor; but then, I did not know it in time, and besides all this, she belonged to a family of movers and had been used to it. As we still felt the importance of reaching Indianapolis early next day, we resolved to start from our quarters at four o'clock in the morning. Accordingly, after calling my friend Wright about two hours too soon, we finally left our anchorage, and a little after four were under way for our point of destination. We
36had still some two or three miles of outrageous load, and in order to give us light, our good humored, sprightly, and active old friend, Dr. Elliott, insisted on walking before us with a lamp till daylight, which broke upon us just as we had cleared the bad road, and had commenced smooth sailing.
It was a very cool morning; the earth was covered with snow, and a cold piercing blast performed its work upon us, for our carriage was not by any means over-tight. However we pushed ahead in right good earnest, and about eight o'clock made our entry into the capital of Indiana, and found a good Methodist welcome, and what, at that particular juncture, was not less acceptable a capital warm breakfast at the house of brother H. We scarcely had time to do justice to the cordial hospitality of our kind hostess, when the stage was announced, and in a few moments the cry of "all right" was heard, and we were whirling away for Columbus. I had no time to examine Indianapolis, which I very much regretted, as the impression made on my mind by the first appearance was decidedly favorable. The state-house is a good looking edifice, and some of the churches are neat buildings. The Catholics are about building a church, and the different Protestant denominations are, I believe, represented. The Methodists have a large society, recently divided into two charges with a stationed minister for each, and have
37commenced building a new church edifice. The town is situated in the midst of a highly fertile and beautiful farming country, occupied by an intelligent and industrious population, which will necessarily secure to it at least a measure of steady prosperity; and whenever the Indianapolis and Madison railroad is completed, it will be a place of respectable importance. This completion is confidently anticipated, and I presume that no traveler, who goes by stage or private carriage from Indianapolis to Columbus for the next six months, will fail to give them his best wishes for the success of their enterprise.
A ride of about forty miles, the greater portion of it over the most logged, rough, jolting, dislocating piece of road that I have ever encountered, brought us about an hour after dark, to Columbus, a clever little town in Bartholomew county. We found a good supper, a good room, good beds with clean sheets, and an accommodating, civil landlord, all very agreeable. As we had only six miles to the railroad, we were in no hurry to leave our pleasant quarters, till after breakfast, when we were again under way, and about one o'clock we were on the railroad with steam up, for Madison, distant about thirty-five miles. It was important for us, as we wished to take the mail boat that evening, to reach Madison as early as might be. We accordingly used every reasonable method of quickening locomotive
38action, by convincing our conductor of the very important interests which depended on our being in time for the mail boat that very evening. Of course, he was convinced — fully convinced; how could he be otherwise? But still we stopped very often, and frequently for very insufficient reasons. At least, so thought my friend W., who had left a sick wife at home, and who had set his heart very decidedly upon seeing her the next morning. However, our anxieties produced no sort of effect upon the locomotive; it held on its way at its own gait, and rolled us into Madison a little after four. Time enough thought I; but another look satisfied us that our journey was ended for that day; for behold, there was the mail boat just raising steam, and puffing and blowing on her way for Cincinnati. We were too late; five minutes sooner and all would have been right. But alas, regrets were useless; time could not be recalled; and oh, how often in matters of far higher importance, is the loss of a few moments fatal to our dearest, our best, our eternal hopes. Oh time! precious time! we take no note of thy value, till thy moments are fled, and we stand gazing on the receding object of our hopes, and can only exclaim, oh for ten, or even five minutes more!
It was now Saturday evening, and as we could not help ourselves, we concluded that resignation was a most important grace, and resolved to
39content ourselves in Madison, and preach for the good people on the next day. Accordingly, Dr. E and myself took up our lodgings in the family of brother Taylor, a pleasant, kind family, and very good quarters for Methodist preachers. In the morning I preached to a large congregation on justification by faith. We had a solemn and interesting meeting. My own soul was graciously visited, while I was endeavoring to point my hearers to the great atoning sacrifice of Calvary; and many of the large congregation that waited upon God in that holy place on that blessed Sabbath morning, realized in their own souls the power and sweetness of faith in a crucified, risen Jesus. At night, I heard a strong, suitable sermon from Dr. Elliott; and on Monday evening we embarked in the steamer Ben. Franklin No. 6, for Cincinnati, which we reached next morning about daylight or a little before. I was conducted, by Dr. E., to the house of W. K. Neff, in whose very hospitable and pleasant family I remained during my sojourn in the queen city.
On Wednesday, November 1st, there was held a semi-annual meeting of the American Bible Society. The meeting convened in the Wesley chapel. The day was rainy and excessively unpleasant, yet there was a respectable assemblage, who listened with a good deal of apparent interest for two hours or more to a very clear and cogent address from Rev. Dr. Spring of New
40York on the Bible as the only rule of faith. The convention remained in session some day or two longer; but I know but little of their doings. Of the queen city, as her sons proudly call her, I need say nothing, except that she is fully entitled to the proud appellation. With an immense manufacturing capital employed, surrounded by a country of immense fertility, filled with an industrious and enterprising population, numbering already some sixty thousand, with a rapid annual increase, she already stands pre-eminent, and is destined to a still higher distinction.
The society too, in Cincinnati, is good, embracing as it does a vast amount of intelligence directed by a controlling, moral, and religious influence. It is regarded, too, as being healthy, and all these advantages combined, make it a place of resort and of summer residence for many of the wealthy residents of the lower Mississippi. Our beloved Methodism exerts here a large share of influence, and in our western book agency, located here, the church has a most powerful auxiliary for spreading scriptural holiness over these lands.
Little Rock, Ark., November 11, 1843.
Dubuque — Galena — Lead Mines — Rock River conference — Mt. Morris — Iowa City — Education and Immigration.
DUBUQUE, the seat of the late Rock River conference, is situated on a narrow strip of low land, immediately on the Mississippi river, but is overlooked on both sides of the river by towering and cragged hills, which defy the hand of cultivation; but from their banks the persevering miner drags forth large quantities of the precious metal, (not silver or gold, but lead.) This is the great business of the inhabitants in the region round about, not only in Iowa, but in Wisconsin, and more abundantly in the adjoining portions of Illinois. Fifteen miles from Dubuque is Galena, at the head of Fever river. This is the great point for shipping lead. Here immense quantities are brought every day to be sent by steamboats to St. Louis. These mining operations employ hundreds of persons, and the tendency of the thing is pretty similar to what may have been noticed among those who have dreamed of getting rich by digging gold in Georgia. I heard of one man who labored for a long time, and spent every thing he was worth in ‘prospecting,’ as they call it. At length, just at the last, he struck a fine Lede, or, as we would call it, a rich vein of ore, which, at once, made his
42fortune. But one such example of successful perseverance, would probably lead to the ruinous perseverance of twenty other men. When a man strikes a first rate Lede, he may consider his fortune made. The ore is found sometimes in large lumps, almost entirely pure, or in combination with earth or rock. It is drawn up from the pits by a windlass in large buckets; from thence it is taken in wagons to the place where it is to be smelted. They, then, in the first place, break the larger pieces into smaller ones; the ore is then thrown into a trough open at the lower end, a constant stream of water from a pump is thrown upon it, and the ore is kept constantly stirred, by which means, the dirt is separated from it and carried off. The ore is then thrown into something very much like the hopper in a common grist mill; below this is the furnace, and the melted lead runs out below into a large kettle, pretty much in the same way with meal. Near this kettle, stands a man with a large dipper, who transfers the liquid metal into two large moulds, and forthwith you have two pigs of lead weighing about seventy pounds each. These pigs are then carried off to the steamboat landing ready for shipment We have said Galena is the great point for shipping the lead; perhaps more of this metal is deposited here than at all the other points in the mineral region of the upper Mississippi. The town itself
43is stuck down just at the bottom of a tremendous bluff, with scarcely room enough to turn round; almost every thing about it seemed to me to want room. Yet, it does quite a brisk business, and is improving. It has several respectable looking churches. The population is about three thousand, but of their character, I can say nothing, as I staid there only one day, and spent that on board a steamboat.
Of the Rock River conference, we have a few things to say. I mentioned in my former letter, that in consequence of detentions on the river, I did not reach the conference till the Sabbath morning of its session. I found, however, that they were getting along very well without me, under the presidency of brother "Weed. The session to its close, was a pleasant, and, I trust, profitable one. It will be remembered, that this conference was set off at the last General Conference: it includes the northern portion of Illinois, together with the territories of Iowa and Wisconsin; and so mightily have they increased, that at the recent session a resolution was passed, requesting the next General Conference to set off the territory of Iowa as a separate conference, to bear the name of the territory; and a very snug and compact concern it will be, covering a large portion of the prettiest and best country in these northwestern regions.
The conference very early turned its attention to the subject of education, and established a high school at Mt, Morris in the Illinois portion of its territory, which is said to be well officered, and to have a very respectable literary reputation; but I fear there is great danger of its dying for want of money. Yet, notwithstanding this bad luck at the commencement, the conference at its last session, adopted a collegiate institution at Iowa city, the seat of government for the territory. This is looked to prospectively as the institution of the Iowa conference; perhaps its conductors may do well by learning wisdom from the errors of their predecessors. With me it is a very questionable point, whether the whole country is not too new for building up colleges by private munificence. The settlers are yet in their early rude cabins. They have, perhaps, expended all their means in securing their lands and removing to them; they have, as yet, but very imperfectly improved their farms. They have not built churches in their neighborhoods, or parsonages in their circuits; nor have they, as yet, found means to pay the preachers their quarterage. In view of these facts, I very much question the probable success of these collegiate schemes; I shall, however, be very happy to find myself mistaken in the sequel.
As far as I could ascertain, from the reports of the preachers, I should judge the church was
45advancing with no very slow step in these far-off western regions. There were many and glorious revivals of religion experienced during the past year, in which hundreds and thousands of redeemed souls were happily converted to God and gathered into the church. The boundaries of the work were greatly extended, and many new appointments and circuits were added to the fields already under cultivation. Crowds of immigrants are pouring into Iowa, and our banner still "waves in the van of emigration." We are not, however, without some disturbances. Two traveling preachers, (one of them a probationer,) together with some other members, have left us to identify their hopes and fortunes with Scott, Sunderland & Co.; and I think it likely that the leaven may spread still more; perhaps, however, not to any very formidable or alarming extent. About this, however, no very certain or accurate conclusion can now be drawn.
If I had possessed some two or three weeks of leisure, I should have gratified my curiosity by visiting the falls of St. Anthony, and rambling over the most interesting portions of the country, but, alas, in five days from the time of leaving Dubuque, I had to open the session of the Illinois conference, more than three hundred miles distant, so that I had not time even to spend a night in Nauvoo, or visit the unfinished Mormon temple.
Cincinnati — Delay of Steamboat — Louisville — Book Peddling — Falls of Ohio — A churchless Sabbath — A motley Crowd.
IT is always unpleasant to a traveler to be obliged to hasten, especially when he would fain linger by the way to make inquiries and observations on men and things. Such was my case during the whole of my late tour. The rapid succession of the annual conferences at which I was to preside, together with the great distance of the points at which they held their sessions, compelled me to be always in a hurry, in so much that one of my first inquiries after reaching any place, was, how I should most comfortably and speedily make my escape from it. This was precisely my condition on reaching Cincinnati; and although there were a hundred things and people I would fain have looked upon before I was off, yet I had hardly felt myself snugly fixed in my very pleasant quarters in the kind family of brother Neff, before I was inquiring and arranging for my departure to the Arkansas conference. An early visit to the steamboat landing followed as a matter of course. I engaged our passage in a splendid new steamer, which had just been built, and was taking in loading preparatory to her first voyage to the Crescent city. She
47was, without fail, to start on Thursday evening; at least, so said the clerk, and so endorsed the captain: for Thursday evening accordingly I made preparation. But when the hour came we were told that the time was changed. Wednesday had been too wet to take in freight, consequently, they were not ready. To be sure we might have started on Friday forenoon, but then it would have been utterly unconstitutional to have commenced our voyage on that day, as it has been from time immemorial an undisputed article of faith with all regular sailors and boatmen, that old friend Luck has a particular dislike to all Friday beginnings. It would, therefore, have entailed "everlasting bad luck" upon the new steamer to have unmoored for her first voyage on that ill-omened day. So we had to wait patiently till nine o'clock at night before we commenced our downward voyage. We reached Louisville, Ky., about noon on Saturday, where we remained till late in the afternoon; but not expecting to remain so long, I did not go ashore, but continued on board. Here we had a specimen of what always takes place on board these steamers on the eve of departure from any prominent city on these waters.
First, you have a crowd of women, girls, or boys, with apples, oranges, or chestnuts, for sale; and these follow you with a noisy, and sometimes troublesome pertinacity, to all parts of the boat,
48urging upon you the purchase of their commodities. But to me, the most amusing part of this show was the juvenile booksellers, who come on board with their packs of pamphlets embracing the latest and most popular novels, issued in the form of "cheap literature." One of these urchins followed me into every part of the cabin, pressing his books upon me in his very best style. "Here," said he, "I have all the late novels; I have the very book for you, sir, the very book you want, the Mysteries of Paris, Eugene Sue's last." But as I had no special respect for Mr. Eugene Sue, and cared nothing for his productions, first or last, except to wish that this Mystery book might be his last, unless he could write something the moral tendency of which might be less exceptionable, I did not relieve him of any of his wares. I was not so successful however, in keeping clear of another of the trade, a short, shrewd-looking fellow, rather broader than he was long, who assailed me with the offer of "just exactly the sort of books," I needed; "here are all the latest and best novels; here is Borrow's Bible in Spain, a very superior book, a very interesting historical romance, containing matter enough for three large octavo volumes. "So as it was so cheap I purchased the book, and it afterward served to beguile many a weary hour of my voyage. This scene gave rise to a long train of reflections on which my mind has dwelt more
49or less ever since. This system of cheap literature what is it doing for the moral and religious improvement of the country? What is the character of most of its publications? Along with some portion of matter of acknowledged value, how vast an amount of that which is decidedly demoralizing, is constantly going forth through all the land, scattering the seeds of death and corruption wherever it goes, and how many Christian publishers and Christian booksellers are engaged in this work for the sake of gain! Let it be remembered, too, that a very large proportion of that which is not sold in the bookseller's shop may find a purchaser on a steamboat, just starting on a long voyage from Cincinnati or Louisville, to New Orleans; for a man just about to commence such a trip will purchase almost anything rather than have nothing to read. But another question presents itself; why might not the Churches of Christ avail themselves of similar opportunities for disposing of popular works of a decided Christian tendency? The world, the flesh, and the devil, are well represented among these juvenile steamboat salesmen, while, so far as I have noticed, the religion of the Saviour hath but a shabby representation among them.
We entered the canal, (a noble work, intended to obviate the difficulty of passing the falls of the Ohio at a low stage of the river,) late in the
50afternoon, and entered the river again about nine o'clock at night, and the next morning found us gliding rapidly down the beautiful Ohio. It was the Sabbath morning, and here we were doomed to a tedious churchless Sabbath. How much rather would I have been with God's worshiping people, in some congregation of the saints on shore, but alas, necessity compelled me to spend the hours of holy time on board a steamer, with more than a hundred passengers. We could, however, and did enjoy communion with God, in reading his holy word, and in secret devotion, as we had an excellent state-room occupied by brother Wright and myself, in which we could spend our time as we pleased. Our passengers, collectively and individually, afforded a fine subject for study, to a keen observer. We had human character in almost all its phases. A large number of them were residents of New Orleans, who had been spending the summer in the upper country, or at the North, and were now wending their way homewards. Some were citizens of Texas, who, after a summer's ramble through "the States," were on their way back to the republic of "the single star." We had a little sprinkling of shrewd lawyers, stormy politicians, and wise men of almost every description, but no portion of our hundred attracted the fiftieth part of the notice, either from themselves or their fellow passengers, which a small lot of some fifteen men,
51women and children did, who claimed to be residents of New Orleans, while the northern accent of most of them indicated with sufficient distinctness that they originated in a colder region. I don't know who they were, nor am I sufficiently acquainted with the manners of the elite of the Crescent city, to know whether they belonged to that class; but at any rate we had aristocracy in full bloom. Instead of sitting down to the table in the old-fashioned, go-to-mill way of first come first served, each one of the favored company had his place sacredly guarded, (whether he occupied it or not,) by depositing a ticket on his plate. I had been one of the earliest on board, and had, for the first day or two, occupied one seat, from which, however, I was ejected by an impudent-looking fellow, in a very foolish looking cap, who deposited a ticket on the bottom of my plate, and I had to fall back and bide my time at the second table. We had the comfort of being told that it was the way they did things at the St. Charles. And then, there was the brandy, and the wine, and chess, and backgammon. We had demonstration strong, that neither men nor women belonged to the teetotallers, nor to the anti-gambling society, while, at least, one or two of the ladies gave evidence of possessing good lungs in comfortable exercise.
Our boat went ahead finely, so that on Tuesday morning we passed Memphis, and on the same
52night reached Montgomery's Point, in Arkansas, near the mouth of White river. Here we landed, and found a kindly welcome from brother and sister Greenwood, and remained till Wednesday night, when we left for Little Rock.
Montgomery's Point — A notorious outlaw — Arkansas negroes — White river — Staging — Grand Prairie — Sabbath at Little Rock — Arkansas river — Band bar — A foot in the swamp — Dwight.
MONTGOMERY'S POINT is a small village in Arkansas, near the mouth of White river. It is quite a small affair as to population, although its position would seem to indicate the possibility of increased importance at some future day. It was, for many years, a great resort for gamblers and desperadoes, and many a scene of violence and bloodshed was enacted here in by-gone times. Here, a few years since, a notorious outlaw, Abb. Garrison, met his fate; he was probably the most celebrated of the many brigands by whom this country has been infested. It is said to have been notorious, that he had caused the death of nine persons, and had decreed the death of another, — a peaceable, quiet citizen, who, in self-defence, anticipated the villain by shooting him through the head with a horseman's pistol.
I had hoped, on leaving Cincinnati, that we should be able to ascend the Arkansas river to Little Rock, if no higher; but the intelligence received at the Point, decided us to take the mail route. We accordingly took our passage in the Sarah, a very small steamer, which carried the mail three times a week to Rock Row, a point on White river, distant about one hundred and twenty miles, from whence it was transported by stage sixty miles to Little Rock. We started from the Point about ten o'clock at night, and reached Rock Row about dark the next evening. We had no aristocracy on board the Sarah; we had passed from the comfortable state room and splendid cabin of the Champion to the open berths and confined room of this little White river craft. We had not many passengers, and the whole concern was a perfect democracy; every man did as he pleased; yet, our whole company was civil. Among our passengers was a physician who resided near the mouth of the Cache, and who was just returning home from a trading visit to New Orleans. He said he was determined to leave the State; "for," he remarked, "every thing that belongs to Arkansas has a bad name abroad." He said he tried to sell corn in New Orleans, but they told him that Arkansas corn was not so good as other corn. He wanted to dispose of some Arkansas negroes, but they told him Arkansas negroes were inferior;
54and so," said he, "no matter what you offer for sale, as soon as they find it is from Arkansas, it depreciates immediately, and I am resolved to go right home and sell out and leave the country, as I am determined to live in no country which is in such bad repute abroad." How he managed matters after he reached home I cannot tell.
White river is a clever stream, whose clear waters contrasted pleasantly with the turbid waters of the Mississippi. It is not a large river, but has a tolerable depth of water, and is navigable for moderate-sized steamers above the town of Batesville. Some of the land on its banks appeared fertile. A good deal of it, I should judge, was poor, and almost the whole of it subject to annual inundations when the Mississippi is high. These last, perhaps, have prevented the settlement of the lands on its margin; at any rate, I saw scarcely any sign of cultivation in our whole day's run. We discovered, indeed, some small fields of corn, but these, with a few cabins and shanties for wood-cutters, presented the only visible indications that we were ascending a stream which wended its way through a populated and civilized country. Indeed, such was the unbroken solitude of the scene, that it required very little stretch of imagination to bring back the days of its aboriginal population. We left our quarters at Rock Row by three o'clock next morning. The morning was
55cool, and as we had understood the roads were very bad, our anticipations were not of the most pleasant description. Our first stage house, (which was also our breakfast house,) was reached just about daybreak, much too early for the comfort of the servants of the establishment, who had no fire to greet our arrival. Indeed, we seemed to have taken the mistress of the inn as much by surprise as we did her servants, for the good lady had barely time to make her escape from the parlor, (which seems to have been her sleeping room,) as a whole stage load of gentlemen entered it. We soon had a good fire blazing on the hearth, and comforted ourselves by it till breakfast could be prepared, which necessarily detained us nearly two hours. This amount of time we grudged to lose, especially as we were warned of the probability of encountering bad roads after night in the neighborhood of Little Rock; but then, reader, remember we were now just entered on Grand Prairie, with nearly thirty miles to its opposite side, and were, therefore, content to take our breakfast where we could get it, and not where we might choose it.
I had dreaded the road through the prairie, as I have an instinctive aversion to prairie roads in wet weather, and the information we had received of the route ahead of us was not at all cheering; however, we found in this, as in many other instances, that the anticipated evil was worse than
56the reality, for our road, although rough and heavy enough, was quite passable, so that we reached Little Rock just about dark. We alighted at the tavern, and found our excellent friend, brother Goode, waiting to welcome us, in company with brother Sanger, at whose house we lodged during our stay in the metropolis of Arkansas. We concluded to spend the Sabbath, and take the stage on Tuesday morning for the conference, unless some steamboat of light draught of water should offer in the meantime. On Sabbath morning I preached to a respectable congregation, and in the evening brother Wright preached an excellent and stirring discourse. In the meanwhile, the small steamer Export had ascended the river as far as Little Rock, and as most of her freight and passengers were for Van Buren, she resolved to make the effort to reach her point of destination, and, as she was a boat of light draught, her success was pretty confidently anticipated; should she succeed, she would land us within four or five miles of the seat of the conference at an earlier hour, with much less fatigue, and at less expense than by the stage. Under all these circumstances, we decided to take the Export; and about midnight we commenced our doubtful voyage up the Arkansas. On Monday we progressed slowly but steadily. Our boat was rather a slow traveler at best, and as she was deeply laden, and the current
57of the river pretty strong, we were content to make very moderate progress, and felt pretty well satisfied as long as we kept clear of the bottom and were advancing at all. We had some employment in a leisurely survey of the river border, which, at this point, was not destitute of interest. Some tolerable plantations presented themselves, and a good deal of the country in sight was bold and hilly. Ever and anon, some mountain peak shot up above the surrounding hills; above them all towered the Sugar Loaf, a bold, bleak, rocky summit, whose form is accurately indicated by its name. Tuesday our eyes rested, for most of the time, on the more numerous peaks of the Petit John mountain, whose base extended quite to the margin of the river. Indeed, so far as I have been able to observe, most of the country on the Arkansas above Little Rock is mountainous and rocky, although there are occasionally fertile bottoms, extending some considerable distance.
Up to Tuesday noon, we had gotten along tolerably well. To be sure, our boat had frequently felt the bottom, but we had managed to work off in a short time without damage; as we had passed several of the worst bars, and had lightened our load considerably, by putting out freight at different landings, we began to flatter ourselves with the prospect of reaching speedily the place where we expected to land; at farthest, by Wednesday noon.
But alas for us we were doomed to a bitter disappointment. Early in the afternoon, we struck on a sand-bar; to be sure, we worked off, but it was only to run on another, and so we continued till after dark; and the next morning till breakfast time, without advancing fifty feet. The prospect was now a gloomy one. On every side of us the water was rippling over a sand-bar which seemed to extend quite across the river, affording no way of escape for our boat. The water, too, was falling and no prospect before us of an early rise of the river; and to add to our trouble, our wood was out, and we had no chance of a supply under a mile or two. It was already the hour for the conference to meet, and I was forty miles distant with no possibility of public conveyance, and a very slender hope of procuring a private one. Under all these circumstances, I was pretty near having the blues; however, brother Wright and myself concluded to land and make our way as best we could. We were accordingly landed in the yawl and directed our march to a farm house that was in sight. We hoped to be able to hire some conveyance to Norristown, distant about ten miles; but the good lady told us her husband was from home, so we were obliged either to await his return or take it afoot through the swamp five miles. We decided on the latter, and, having shouldered our baggage, we commenced our march. Fortunately, in
59anticipation of some such contingency, we had left our trunks at the Rock. Our burden consisted of my traveling-bag stuffed full of clothes for both of us, and my large buffalo robe. So having arranged our packs like pilgrims, we addressed ourselves to our journey. The day was unseasonably warm, and as we were compelled to wear our overcoats, and our path lay through a dense swamp, our walk was a very fatiguing one. I amused myself, however, by thinking what a figure that veritable apostolic successor, his grace of Canterbury would cut in just such circumstances; and I found some comfort in the thought that perhaps, it might tend somewhat to preserve me from the influence of my friend, Dr. C's. newly discovered dangerous process of Episcopal deterioration.
In about a couple of hours, we reached the house of Mr. Howell, whom we found sick in bed. After making known our situation, the good man furnished us with a boy and a couple of horses to carry us to Norristown, for which he would take no pay. A ride of six miles brought us to Norristown, a little straggling village on the river. We went to the only tavern in the place, and called for dinner. I was gratified, to find our establishment a cold water one. Brother Wright went out, and after an hour's absence returned with a horse and buggy which he had borrowed from a brother Howell. So we pushed off after dinner, and in
60the evening took up our quarters with a battalion of regular built old bachelors at Dwight, one of the former missionary stations of the American Board, long since deserted, and now almost entirely gone to decay. From the dilapidated remains which are still visible, I should judge it had once been an establishment of considerable extent. The buildings were situated near the Illinois Bayou, a large creek which empties into the Arkansas some few miles distant from the mission. On one side the land was broken and poor, but they had fine fertile lands for cultivation on the creek. The place and its historical associations awakened a long train of pleasant and melancholy feelings. Here the faithful missionaries of Jesus had preached, and prayed, and labored long with untiring zeal for the Indian's salvation: but both the missionary and his flock have been swept long since, from these once hallowed retreats. Yet the same spirit still loves and labors for the red man in his (it is to be hoped) permanent home. The next morning we were up betimes, and on the road. We breakfasted at another Howell's, who treated us kindly, and would take no pay. God bless these Howells. I have taken a great fancy to the name. We reached Clarksville, the seat of the conference, and found all going on well. November, 1843.
Clarksville — Arkansas Conference — Walnut Dug-out — Preaching in Swamps — Indian Missions.
I MENTIONED in my last our arrival at Clarksville, the seat of the Arkansas conference. We found all things going on well under the presidency of brother Parker. The session was a pleasant, and I trust a profitable one. The reports from the various portions of the conference were, on the whole, highly encouraging; extensive revivals of religion had been experienced in many of the districts, and hundreds of precious souls were reported as having been converted to God and gathered into the church during the year. I have formerly noticed some of the peculiarities of this work, which tended to render it an arduous field of labor for the devoted itinerants who are engaged in cultivating it. A very sparsedly inhabited country, with the settlements widely separated, and the houses frequently from ten to twenty miles apart, and, at certain seasons of the year, large portions of the country completely inundated for weeks together, insomuch that there is no chance for the preachers or people to reach the appointments for preaching, unless they swim or go in boats or "dug-outs," may be referred to as proofs. One of the presiding
62elders, brother Ratcliffe, told me that one of his preachers and himself, during the last year, took their axes and felled a large walnut, which they worked into a first rate "dug-out;" and in this, for some time, they visited their appointments during the overflow of the Mississippi; and he stated that it was a most cheering sight, after they had paddled themselves for miles through the swamp, to find a congregation of fifteen or twenty or more, collected together at the place of preaching, with their canoes fastened to the fences and saplings around the spot of dry ground on which their temple was reared; "and," said he, "we had some glorious times." Who, indeed, would doubt it; preachers and people who labored thus to worship God could scarcely fail of a blessing. Mr. Editor, how do you think some of our delicate parsons in the cities and good circuits of the older conferences, who are always whining about the hardships and privations of itinerancy, would stomach this sort of business? Some of these difficulties, indeed, are gradually vanishing, as the country is settled up; but the perils connected with much of this field will never cease till the great river ceases to overflow its banks.
The Arkansas is, in some respects, the most important conference in the connection. Within its limits are embraced the most interesting Indian missions connected with the American Church — the
63Cherokee, Creek, Chocktaw and Chickasaw nations, besides several smaller tribes. Among the Cherokees and Chocktaws, we had established important missions for years prior to their removal west, and those missions have been continued among them in their new home. Yet, the conversion of these large southern tribes has never engaged the attention of our church as it should have done; neither the church, nor those who have controlled her missionary destinies, seem to have appreciated properly the relative importance of this interesting portion of our missionary work. Tens of thousands of dollars have been annually appropriated to support missions comparatively insignificant; or to send a colonizing outfit to look up the feeble, wild, and wandering fragments of tribes who roam among the bleak hills of the Rocky mountains, or on the far distant shores of the Pacific, to reach whom we have had almost to make a voyage around the world, while here, at our doors, the mightiest savage nations of the continent, were not only ready to receive us, but have been anxiously imploring us to send them missionaries and schools. Yet we have doled out our missionary help to them in such scanty fragments, that it has accomplished but little compared with what should have been done. It might be a profitable employment for those who manage our missionary finances, to sit down some leisure day,
64and estimate the amount of money appropriated in the last ten years to Indian missions on the northern lakes, and upper Mississippi, and Oregon. Set this down in one column, and then in another, give us the number of mission stations yet remaining, and the number abandoned: the number of children educated at these schools; the number of church members yet remaining at these stations; the number of Indians in these various tribes; the character of the soil and climate, and the reasonable probability there is, or ever has been, of making them an agricultural or civilized people. And then let them set down on another sheet, the amounts annually appropriated to the support of missions among the southern tribes above designated, informing themselves, as in the former case, of the number of church members; the number of schools and children educated; the number of Indians in these tribes; the character of soil and climate, and the probability there is, or ever has been, of civilizing and making them an agricultural people; and then let the church be edified by the publication of the result: and if I am not very greatly mistaken, it will lead, most assuredly, to some change in our Indian policy. I have made the above remarks without the slightest disposition to impugn the conduct of those who have managed this department of our work: doubtless, they acted under a firm conviction of
65what they supposed was best but there is something, as it appears to me, radically wrong in our system, which I would fain see amended at the next General Conference. Our whole Indian and foreign work must be remodelled.
Among the Choctaws, the work had been measurably prosperous during the year. The membership had been generally steadfast, and several new openings, both for schools and missionary labor, had presented themselves. One fact connected with this interesting people, deserves to be recorded; and I take the more pleasure in communicating it to you, as it will, perhaps, be new to most of your readers. The Choctaw Council, some year or two since, passed a law appropriating some $20,000 annually, for (I think) some twenty years or more, for educational purposes, This they divided between the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the American Board of Commissioners for foreign missions, as follows: — to the establishment of two Manual Labor Schools for Choctaw boys, to be under the control of the former society, twelve thousand dollars, or six thousand dollars apiece, on condition that the society appropriate annually one thousand dollars from its funds for each of these schools. The first of these schools, located at the site of the old Fort Coffee, has already commenced its operations, under the prudent management, of our
66excellent friend, Rev. William H. Goode, of the Indiana conference. The other, to be located at the opposite side of the nation, at a place called Nanawarrior, is soon to commence its career under the superintendency of my worthy and excellent friend, Rev. Wesley Browning, of the Missouri conference. To the American Board they have appropriated eight thousand annually, on certain conditions, for the purpose of female education in their nation. Is not this a truly noble example of enlightened and liberal legislation? And might it not be well enough for some of their neighbors, who boast no little of civilization and enlightenment, to profit by it?
The Cherokees had barely maintained their ground as to religious matters. The election of their chief magistrate had excited the whole nation, and the partizans of the opposing candidates gave strong proof of a zeal just about as reckless and intelligent as would have been exhibited by their civilized neighbors on a like occasion. As a people, however, there is no doubt they are steadily improving. Among the Chickasaws, we had made our first efforts during the previous year; and our beginning had been so auspicious, as to encourage continued effort, with the confident expectation of increased success. I mentioned in my letter last year, that our operations among the Creeks had been pretty much closed, in consequence of the
67persecuting spirit of their council. We appointed a preacher to visit them, rather as an experiment. The matter resulted as I had feared. The door was shut against him. Yet the Lord carries on his blessed work among them throughout the year, through the instrumentality of brother Peter Harrison, a devoted local preacher, and other native laborers: so that it is very questionable, whether any of our Indian missions exhibited evidence of a deeper and more abundant spiritual baptism during the past year, than that among these persecuted Creeks. God bless them, and grant them more abundant prosperity, and deliverance from their oppressions. Yea, and He will do it.
I never visit the Arkansas conference, and look on my brethren there, and hear the cries for help which come up, especially from the Indians, and the negroes of the large plantations, but I feel a great temptation to wish I was rich; but there I have to sit and hear these calls, and when I feel inclined to respond, I remember a certain letter from the Treasurer at New-York, which says the Bishops are authorized to draw for thirty-five thousand dollars for the current year: and then here is another strong one from the worthy Secretary, who says the Board will positively protest all drafts over this sum. Oh charity! what, thirty-five thousand dollars for all the Indian and domestic missions under the care of the Methodist
68Episcopal Church? Yes, reader, exactly so. Well, but why did not the Board appropriate more? Why they said they had it not, and could not get it! Not get it? No reader: but how so? Why, gentle reader, is it not as plain a case as can be. The church only numbers little more than a million of members; and it is certainly unreasonable to expect such a handful of poor Christian charitable people, to raise more than fifty or sixty thousand dollars for missionary purposes, although the only begotten Son of God came down from heaven to promote this very cause. Do you ask me whether this little handful of Christians have revivals of religion and hope for heaven? I shall answer no more interrogatories, but shall just say that at least twenty thousand dollars of this wonderful appropriation might be very wisely and profitably employed in Arkansas: but here it comes in with its heavy and important claims, after this huge thirty-five thousand dollar appropriation has been pretty well used up. Now what I have felt, my readers can never know, nor can I tell them, except that under such circumstances, I have wished I was not a Bishop.
Departure from Clarksville — Tub of a Coach — Bad Roads — Afoot — Coached and uncoached — Point Remove Swamp — Hills and Rocks — Little Rock — Port of Arkansas — Vicksburg — Woodville — Bishop Soule — Mississippi Conference.
THE village of Clarksville, where the late Arkansas conference held its session, is the seat of justice for Johnson county. It is a small place with but a moderate supply of inhabitants; yet the conference was very hospitably entertained. The village gives name to the Clarksville circuit, and there are some tolerable societies not far distant whose members contributed of their substance by sending in provisions and taking care of preachers horses. The fact is, there is something pleasant in holding a conference in these far off little towns, the people regard it as quite an era in the history of the country, and the old people will talk about it, and the young folks will remember it for a long time to come. Every body is glad when it begins and sorry when it closes; not like your people in some of our great cities, who pay scarcely any more attention to the session of an annual conference than they would to an ordinary quarterly meeting. Everything moved on with unanimity and despatch, so that on Monday evening the business of the conference was over, and the Bishop was ready for reading out; but then, it was necessary for the
70conference to hold its missionary anniversary on that very night; so we judged it best to read out the appointments at the close of the missionary meeting. Meanwhile, as the stage passed through that evening, and would not do so again before Thursday, and as the stage presented the only chance for our departure for the lower country, we had persuaded the driver to wait for us till nine o'clock. Our missionary meeting progressed very finely, and finding when the hour for departure arrived that all hands seemed to be just getting into the right spirit, I handed my papers, with the necessary instructions, to brother Parker, and made my escape as quietly as possible.
When we reached the stage, there was one passenger, a colored man from Van Buren. This one, together with brother Wright, brother Ames, the Western Secretary, who had joined us at Clarksville, and myself made four — just about as many as our crazy little tub of a coach could carry under the most favorable circumstances; but with such roads as lay ahead of us, the prospect was anything but pleasant. About ten o'clock we were at the stage and ready for marching. But as that very important personage, the driver, was not forthcoming upon the spot, brother A. and myself concluded to go afoot till the stage should overtake us. This, we found, was no pleasant job, for the roads were excessively muddy and full of water, and the night
71exceedingly dark. We blundered on, however, for more than two miles without hearing or seeing any sound or sign of our stage, and should, perhaps, have proceeded the whole six miles to our night's stand, but that we came to a fork in the road; and as neither of us knew any thing of the road or country, or would have deemed it desirable to sleep out without food or fire, we paused till the arrival of our company, when, at the earnest persuasion of brother W., I took his place in the stage. Now the truth is, I had some little misgiving about the safety of my neck; but still I did not like to seem cowardly, whatever might be the reality; and accordingly I took my seat in the coach. As we seemed to go very carefully and slowly, and as I was not a little fatigued, I began to congratulate myself on my decision, and was about to resign myself to a comfortable nap, of which I stood in great need, when all of a sudden, our gunboat careened over to the leeward, and darky and myself were on the ground flat enough. Well, here was an end to my dream of dignity and my nap of sleep together, and scrambling up on my feet, I concluded that stage traveling was no great matter any how, and resolved to foot it the remaining three miles, at the end of which we reached the house of Col. Adams, one of the proprietors of the stage line, who received us very kindly. Here we remained till breakfast-time next morning.
When we departed, our kind host would receive no compensation from us, either for our stage fare, (as far as his line extended,) or for the still more agreeable fare of his house and table. God bless him and his family. We traveled for two or three miles on horseback, in order to obtain a better stage which was at the shop undergoing repairs; but when we reached the spot, one of the workmen had failed to keep his promise to have a new tongue ready for the coach, and the old one was not to be trusted; so here we were in another clever box; however, by dint of patching and working, we rigged up our coach, which, although not a very grand affair, was certainly a very decided improvement on our former conveyance, and started again for Little Rock. We jogged on, alternately hoping and fearing, for about twelve or fourteen miles, when just before we reached the ferry at the mouth of Piney, we learned that our stage was broken down and could not possibly reach her destination. We consulted as to what was best to be done, and finally concluded to purchase a canoe, and work our way to Little Rock, which we could probably accomplish in some four or five days; but unfortunately, we could hear of no such craft for sale in the neighborhood. Finding no hope in that quarter, we were glad to hear that by the liberal use of chains and ropes our old stage had been repaired so as to be regarded road-worthy. With but little
73confidence in her powers of endurance, we resumed our seats and continued our journey; our drives comforted us all day by asserting the absolute impossibility of pulling through Point Remove Swamp with two horses, which was all the contractor had allowed us; and as we should pass this difficulty about night we were allowed sufficient time to speculate on the probable comfort of a night's lodging in the swamp. We leave it to those who are acquainted with Point Remove after the winter rains have set in, to judge how pleasant such an encampment would have been. Our road, during most of the day, lay through a poor country, thinly inhabited, though, occasionally, we passed small bodies of tolerable land, pretty well sprinkled over with small farms. We entered the dreaded swamp a little after night, and, although it was heavy and rough work to get through it, yet, about eight o'clock, we succeeded in reaching Wilson's, on the other side of Point Remove Creek, with whole bones, and in a better humor than I expected.
The next morning, between three and four o'clock, we were under way again. We passed Louisburg before daylight, and after a rough ride, breakfasted at the Cadron. I have said our road was rough during the morning, nor did the subsequent part of the day's experience improve our comfort at all in this regard; the fact is, we were jolted most unmercifully. True, I comforted myself with
74the doctrine that this kind of traveling was a capital remedy for dyspepsia, and invited my fellow-passengers to participate in the consolations of this suggestion; but my friend W., for whose special benefit I had thrown out the hint, gave me to understand, that allowing all the virtue I claimed for the remedy, yet it was possible to take too much physic at once, and that he would prefer it in smaller doses. After crossing the Cadron, we had fine bottom land for a mile or two, when we again entered upon the hills, or rather small mountains, which caused us no little trouble, as we were compelled to walk over or round many of them, in order that our two horses might be able to drag the coach. In one instance, we walked, I suppose, a mile or more over the rockiest and roughest road that I have encountered on foot in many a year, insomuch that when we again resumed our seats my feet were blistered. The most of the country from this point to Little Rock, is hilly and rocky and almost destitute of inhabitants; but it abounds with game and scores of fine deer are annually slaughtered by a parcel of lazy fellows who live entirely by hunting. The inn-keeper at our dinner-house told us that a company who had been camped near his house during the last few weeks, had killed one hundred and fifty deer. About sunset we reached Little Rock, and found a hearty welcome at the house of our kind friend, brother
75Sanger, upon whom and his household may the blessings of God abundantly rest. Fortunately for us, we found the steamer Governor Moorehead ready to start the next day for the mouth of the river; accordingly, the next afternoon, we took our departure, anxious once more to behold the muddy waters of the mighty river of the West. The Arkansas was very low and falling, yet by the blessing of God we reached the mouth safely on Friday night.
About twenty-eight miles above the mouth of the Arkansas, stands the old ‘Port of Arkansas,’ one of the oldest towns in the United States, formerly a place of some consequence, now occupied by some four or five families. The Catholics have still a convent and school here, but as to their condition and prospects I could gather but little satisfactory information. At the mouth of Arkansas is the town of Napoleon, of which I can say nothing, having visited it in the night, and taken our departure from it before day-light in the steamer Water Witch, a Nashville boat of moderate size, and a slow traveler. We reached Vicksburg about breakfast-time on Sabbath morning, and as we conjectured we might spend the Sabbath here, and reach our several appointments by taking boat that night, we determined to go ashore and visit the house of God on that holy day. Accordingly brother W. and myself landed, (having parted with
76brother Ames at Montgomery's Point.) We left our trunks with the wharf boat keeper, and set out in quest of brother Marshall with whom we purposed to stop. It had been raining most of the morning, and the streets were not exactly level or firm. We were trudging our way with great difficulty up a very steep hill, when my feet both slipped, and (as the politicians say,) my position was fully defined; but like the aforesaid great men, I made haste to alter it as soon as convenient. This, however, was not effected, without leaving a very decided impression. We succeeded at last in reaching the house of our kind friend, Rev. C. K. Marshall, and met with just such a warm, cordial, Methodist preacher's welcome, as all who know him would expect, and which was in our circumstances more than agreeable. But now I was in a great difficulty, I was covered with mud from head to foot; my hat, my overcoat, my pantaloons, all bore the marks of their recent acquaintance with the muddy street. To be sure my friend offered me his garments till mine should go through the needed purification; but, patient reader, my friend Marshall does not weigh one hundred and twenty-five, and his clothes obstinately refused to receive me. However, there was no other alternative, and I was compelled to force an acquaintance of a few hours with them; but I fear they have rendered their master but little service since. The rain, which had held up for a short
77time, soon began to pour down in torrents, and continued to do so most of the time till night-fall, so that we were not permitted to enjoy the privileges of the sanctuary, still we spent the day, I trust not unprofitably, in the house of our kind friend; and about dusk went aboard of a splendid new steamer, the James Madison, with the addition to our company of brothers Lane and Price of the Mississippi Conference: and now just let me say, Mr. Editor, to you and your readers, if you should ever travel on these western waters, and land at Vicksburg, pray that your landing be not in the night, nor in rainy weather.
Our boat traveled finely, and we should have reached Bayou Sara on Monday, but for a dense fog which surrounded us on Monday morning before day-light, and continued to hang upon us till we reached Bayou Sara on Tuesday morning. If any of my readers have ever been befogged on the great river when they were in a hurry, they understand me when I say it is a very unpleasant affair, and not always free from danger. Under the care of a gracious providence, we reached Bayou Sara in safety on Tuesday afternoon. This place is distant from Woodville some thirty miles, and the two places are connected by a rail-road which was in the worst repair, and afforded the most uncomfortable cars which I recollect to have encountered in many a year. We had hoped to
78get off early in the day, so as to reach Woodville before night, but did not leave the Bayou till about dark, and about ten o'clock we reached Woodville, and I was conducted to the house of Col. Lewis, with whom I found a pleasant home, during my brief stay in this pleasant little town. Wednesday morning, I called on Bishop Soule, and was not a little gratified to see my venerated colleague in the enjoyment of such good health and spirits. I attended the opening session of the conference, and was rejoiced in being permitted to take by the hand, so many of my brethren and old friends in these south-western regions.
Woodville is a very pleasant little town in Wilkerson county; healthy, and with a population decidedly respectable, intelligent, moral, and religious. It is, altogether, one of the most desirable spots in Mississippi. The country around it, too, is fertile and very pretty; at least, such was my impression when I spent several days in the neighborhood a few years' since. I recollect, particularly, the impressions of the beauty of the woods in the vicinity of the splendid mansion of our kind friend, Judge McGehee. It was mid-winter, yet the beautiful magnolia and the holly gave to the woods the appearance of full-blown spring. It rained incessantly all day, so that I had but little pleasure in visiting or being visited, and I would fain have lingered another day, especially that I might visit
79the family of my excellent friend, brother McGehee, and enjoy a little more fully the society of my beloved Mississippi brethren; but the Neptune was to leave New Orleans on Friday afternoon for Galveston, which presented the only opportunity for me to reach the Texas conference in time; so on Thursday morning at seven o'clock, I was in the cars and under way for Bayou Sara, which we reached in due time; and here I had to wait till nine or ten o'clock at night for a boat. About that hour, I reached the deck of the steamer Caspian, which landed me about sunset, Friday evening, at the Crescent city, where I found a warm welcome at the house of my good friend, H. R. W. Hill, Esq., formerly of Nashville.
New Orleans — Gulf of Mexico — Sabbath and Sermons — Galveston — Storm on the Bay — Houston.
I HAVE already stated that the Neptune was to sail for Galveston on Friday afternoon, and as I did not reach New Orleans till nearly dark, I was greatly troubled, lest I should find myself too late for her, and I was pretty certain that the next week's packet would be too late for the Texas conference.
When I reached the house of brother Hill, on my inquiring for the packet, he told me she had left at four o'clock. As it seemed now very certain that I must spend the Sabbath in New Orleans, I consented to preach at eleven, in the Poydras street church; and at the earnest instance of brother H., I consented that it should be announced in the papers. Accordingly, on Saturday morning, when I looked over the journals, I saw the announcement, and in another column saw a notice that the Neptune having been detained by the very heavy rains of Friday, would sail for Galveston on Saturday, and passengers were requested to be on board by nine o'clock: so, here I was in a nice predicament. However, I could not hesitate as to the course I should pursue. Accordingly, I hurried on board the Neptune, and left the Poydras street church to be provided for the next day by others. The weather was clear and cool, so that we had the promise of a pleasant run. About half-past ten, we were under way down the river, and the spires of the Crescent city soon faded from our view. It was very pleasant to walk the deck of our noble steamer and look on the plantations on either side of the river; extensive fields of cane only partially cut down, the remainder looking green and fresh, and reminding one of rich fields of corn waving to the passing breeze; dense columns of smoke arising in various directions from the houses where they
81were making sugar; the fine family mansions with their yards fronting on the river, and thickly set with shrubbery, and conspicuous above them all, the orange with its golden fruit, and the deep glossy green of its leaf, — all conspired to render the scene one of uncommon interest and beauty to me. This was greatly enhanced by remembering that it was December, and by contrasting it with the snowstorm through which I had passed in Indiana in October. The Neptune is a large, low pressure boat, built originally for the Charleston and New York trade, but for several years past, engaged in her present course. She is uncommonly strong to prepare her for the storms of the Gulf; and unusual pains have been taken to render her accommodations all that could be desired. Her state rooms, which are on deck, are large, and furnished with every convenience one could wish. I took my place in a large one containing four berths. I understood that. I was to have a companion, an elderly gentleman, who had taken one of the berths; but whether he did not like the notion of being in such close contact with a Methodist preacher, or whether he found some other room that suited him better, I know not, nor is the reason material. It is enough to say, that I had the entire occupancy of a first rate state room to myself, an arrangement to which I made not the least objection. We glided rapidly down the river,
82and late in the afternoon, passed Fort Plaquemine, and about night we cast anchor at the mouth of the river; — our captain concluded to remain here till next morning, in order that he might reach Galveston bar in the day time. After our boat was anchored, and all was quiet, I was invited to preach, which I endeavored to do plainly and affectionately. Whether any good came of it I cannot tell. The next morning, we were under way again by daylight. For a short time, the sea was rough, so that I found it most comfortable to keep my berth in order to avoid sea sickness; but during most of the day, the weather was fine, and the Gulf exceedingly smooth. And now, here was another Sabbath on board a steamer, far away from God's sanctuary and the congregations of his worshiping people; yet it was sweet to read His blessed word; to hold communion with him on my knees, and to look out on the mighty deep around me, and feel that my Father and God was its creator and controlled all its movements with a word. Infinite power, wisdom and grace are pledged in my behalf: well, then may I trust him, and feel assured that whatever I do, wherever I go, all is safe in the hands of my almighty protector, so long as I please him in my tempers and ways.
We had a delightful run all day, and at night, at the request of the passengers, I again endeavored to expound to them the word of the living God.
We had a pleasant night, and in the forenoon of the next day, we came in sight of a number of houses on a low, sandy looking island. This we found, on nearer approach, was the city of Galveston, the principal seaport of Texas. About ten o'clock we reached the wharf and made preparations for landing. I shouldered my carpet bag and was going ashore, when one of the boat hands remarked to me that I had better get a permit before I landed my baggage. This hint reminded me of what I had almost forgotten, viz., that I was about to land on the soil of a foreign country, and must, therefore, submit to be treated as a stranger. Every thing around me seemed to be so entirely American, that I found it exceedingly difficult to realize that I was not in my own beloved country. However, there was no disputing the fact, and as I was not much in the humor for unnecessary delay, I returned my baggage to my state room, and went ashore to look for the Custom house, which I at length succeeded in finding, and on reporting myself, was received and treated with the utmost courtesy by the officers, who immediately furnished me with the necessary passport, and refused the usual fees. So making my bow to these gentlemen, I returned on board, and again shouldered my carpet bag, and started for the shore permit in hand supposing that I had nothing more to do than hand to the boarding officer this very important
84document; but he stopped me to ask if there was any thing but wearing apparel in my bag. Upon my answering in the negative, he very politely told me to pass on. After reaching the wharf, however, it occurred to me that I had not exactly told the truth: so I returned and said to him that I liked always to tell the truth, and have all things fairly understood, and that I returned to him to say, that I had a Bible in the bag, and was prepared to pay the duty on it. He smiled, and told me to pass on. So, here I was, at last fairly ashore in the new republic. I was, indeed, almost literally a stranger. For I knew not of an acquaintance in the city, except brother John Price, formerly of Nashville, Tennessee. Upon inquiry, I found his house was more than a mile from the wharf. We employed a dray for the baggage, and then took it afoot through the mud to his residence. I received a cordial welcome from my eccentric old friend, and concluded to make his house my home, till I should be able to take up my line of march to the interior.
According to custom, I set about inquiring for ways and means to reach the conference. In the afternoon, I received a note from brother Summers, the stationed minister in Houston, who had been on a visit to the States, where he had been ill with yellow fever, and on his way home had relapsed some two or three times. He had reached Galveston: but his state of health compelled him to pause
85till he should recruit a little. I called to see him, and found him sadly wasted in appearance, though in good spirits, and fully bent on going with me to conference. But how were we to get there? — this was the next question. There were two or three ways suggested: one was to go by boat up the Trinity river, by which means we understood we should land within some ten or fifteen miles of the conference, where we might procure horses if we could, and if we could not, take it afoot, — no pleasant job, by the way, in a country completely under water: but then, the boat was not in port, and might not start directly; indeed, she might be a fortnight going to our landing point. Another plan was, to take steamboat to Houston, distant ninety miles by water, and some fifty by land; from thence, we should have to go on horseback to the conference, a distance of some eighty or ninety miles. But could we procure horses? This was questionable; but then there was no alternative. Brother S. thought he could borrow, and if not, we must purchase; but then, could we sell again on our return? This was still more doubtful.
While we were still in doubt, the steamer from Houston made her appearance, and we ascertained was to leave again in a few hours, on her return; so we at once decided to return in her, and forthwith made our arrangements for a prompt and unceremonious departure. It was raining, and the
86wind was blowing a stiff breeze when we went aboard: yet we were soon under way. The wind increased so, that by eight or nine o'clock, we were struggling under the pressure of a full grown gale. The bay was exceedingly rough, and our boat pitched at a terrible rate; and, as she was not by any means a new craft, but had seen many years service, we were not without some ground for apprehension. Our captain, however, was skillful and prudent: we cast anchor under Cedar point, and with the blessing of Providence, rode out the gale in safety.
We then weighed anchor and pursued our way, and the next morning, by breakfast time, we were in Houston, named in honor of the hero of San Jacinto, the present chief magistrate of the Republic. The city is laid out on the banks of the Buffalo Bayou, a small river, or rather large creek, which has a depth of channel sufficient for moderate sized steamers; but it is so narrow, that at many points I should judge it was impossible for two boats to pass each other. The town has rather a business appearance; at least, there are plentiful arrangements for business, in the way of houses and signs. Its founders, like those engaged in establishing cities in our own country, turned prophets, and their visions were all of the future greatness of their nurslings. As a matter of course, speculation ran high, and property sold at
87unreasonable prices. The large predictions of its greatness have not been realized. Still it had advantages sufficient to render it a place of considerable trade, provided there was capital enough under the direction of a discreet public spirit. It was the most convenient point for the traffic of an extensive region of fertile country in the interior: but the proper measures have not been taken to secure and perpetuate these advantages. The roads during the winter are scarcely passable at all for heavy loaded cotton-wagons. The streams are not bridged, so that the people in the interior are seeking new channels of communication with the coast. Small steamers are now plying regularly on the Trinity river, thus securing to Galveston a good deal of the trade which formerly centered at Houston, and the planters on the bottoms of the Brazos, will probably find it more convenient to communicate directly with the same seaport, by means of either steamboats or flatboats.
Had there been a tolerable and certain communication established with Houston, by means of a passable turnpike or a canal, it would long have continued to command the trade of this fertile region; but on my way from Houston, I passed a whole company of wagons encamped at Little Cypress, about thirty miles from Houston, many of which had been lying there two weeks, when
88one week's work, with twenty hands, would have thrown a good bridge across the stream; and at Johnson's Bayou, only nine miles from town, wagons are frequently detained a day or two, when ten hands could put up a good bridge in three days. These are only given as specimens; and whether it results from want of spirit or want of money, the effect is the same. The town, I suppose, contains some two thousand inhabitants, who are said to be friendly and hospitable. I noticed grog-shops in great abundance; and I fear they do a prosperous business. They have a Catholic church, and there is also a house of worship for Presbyterians. The Methodists have a very neat brick chapel nearly finished, for which we are mainly indebted to the indefatigable labors of brother Summers, and the liberality of our friends in the States. The Episcopalians have a minister, apparently a very clever, gentlemanly man, who is exerting considerable influence here, and I should judge from report, was quite exemplary and pious in his deportment. The Presbyterians were without a pastor. Of the Methodist society I ought to speak more particularly; but can only say they are not numerous, and there is but little of this world's wealth among them. They have, however, some pious spirits, and it is confidently hoped, when they get their church finished, and have a minister statedly among them, that they
89will experience enlarged prosperity. Beyond all doubt, there is great need for a deep, a thorough, a sweeping revival of religion in Houston; for in addition to the usual evil influences exerted against what is holy, they have here more of infidelity, subtle, organized and boldly blasphemous, than I have met in any place of its size, in all my journeyings. May God graciously visit Houston with a mighty revival of religion, and that right soon.
Well we applied ourselves right diligently to preparation for our journey to conference. Two or three times we thought our borrowing arrangements were complete, when they were suddenly broken in upon by some unexpected failure; at length, however, we supposed all complete, and made our arrangements for a start on Friday morning, every body warning us not to attempt it, as the thing was utterly impracticable, the whole country being completely inundated. To all these boding prophecies we had one uniform answer: it is our duty to try, and try we will. Bat when Friday morning came, it was raining, and it seemed to me almost murderous to take my determined companion out on such a journey in such weather, so I concluded to wait till next day; accordingly we waited till Saturday, hoping for better times, but Saturday morning came, and it was raining still, so we resolved to take the journey, for better for worse, for wet or dry.
Traveling in Texas — Dark Night — Texan Mud — Quarters for the Night — Crossing the Cypress — Deer — Wild Geese — Texas Mothers — Indian Wigwams — Sick deserted Indian — San Jacinto — Texas Conference.
On Saturday morning, by eleven o'clock, our arrangements were all complete, and we were under way for the conference. Our company consisted of brother Summers, brother Shearn, an English gentleman, a resident of Houston, and myself. Brother Summers left his bed to mount his horse. I opposed it, but with a genuine John Bull obstinacy, or, as he called it, resolute perseverance, he went ahead. We were all mounted on borrowed nags, and one of them came very near being drowned in crossing the Bayou just at the city. However, we saved her, and she did good service afterwards. For the first three or four miles, our road lay through a slip of pine woods, after which we entered upon an open prairie, which continued for nearly forty miles. Nine miles from town we came to the first creek, which we had been warned would be impassable; we crossed it, however, safely, the water reaching about to the saddle skirts. It was now about three o'clock, and four hours assiduous travel had brought us nine miles. From this to the next house on our route was about fourteen
91miles. This was our only chance for a night's lodging, unless we took it in the open prairie, and if we had attempted this with all the appliances of wood and fire, we could not have found in all that distance dry ground enough to encamp on; so we had but one of three alternatives, to stop at Johnson's, sleep in the prairie on horse-back, or go on to Big Cypress. We chose the last, and pushed ahead. As we anticipated, night overtook us long before we reached our destination. The whole prairie was afloat; the water, most of the time, was from knee-deep to the saddle skirts, and occasionally we charged a sloo, which gave our feet a taste of cold water. To add to our trouble, we were strangers to the road. Brother S. had indeed traveled it once, but it had been some time since, and as it was a pretty dark night, we felt ourselves in some danger of getting lost, which would not have been by any means the most desirable thing which could have happened to us. It had been cloudy all day, and still the clouds predominated; but here and there a small patch of twinkling stars were visible in the blue vault above us, affording the only light which shone on our watery way, and save the sound of our horses feet splashing in the water, the shrill whoop of the crane, or the noise
92around us, unless we chose to keep our own voices employed, which we did pretty freely by way of cheering each other's spirits. Long and anxiously did we look out for some light ahead of us which might indicate the locality of our inn; but repeated disappointments bad brought us all to the conclusion, that the folks behind us were miserable hands at calculating distances. Finally, however, when we were just in the neighborhood of getting a little ill-natured, the light appeared in the distance. We pushed ahead with new life, and at length rode up to a house on the bank of a large stream of water. I gave the usual salutations, and was informed we could lodge there all night, but when I proposed, in order to avoid the mud, to ride up to the steps and dismount, a voice of warning from within admonished me not to attempt it, unless I wanted to bog down. And as I had no particular desire for so deep an acquaintance with the mysteries of Texan mud, we dismounted at the gate and trudged our way into the house as best we could. We found a good blazing fire on the hearth, and we were wet, muddy, weary and hungry, so that we enjoyed the comforts of the fire, and were ready for the supper, and I was glad to see that even our invalid was prepared to join us in doing ample justice to the good woman's fried pork, corn bread, and sweet potatoes; and when, after offering up in the family our evening devotions at the throne of grace, we
93retired to our beds, we were prepared for a comfortable night's sleep, although my bed was not the softest, nor was the bedstead long enough for me to stretch myself; however, I have long since learned to accommodate myself to circumstances; accordingly I made shift to deposit myself in such wise as to be able to procure needful repose, and arose the next morning refreshed, in good health, and with a heart deeply conscious of my obligations to my Almighty Preserver, and grateful for his constant care over me ever since I was born.
Our landlady had followed the fortunes of her husband and settled in Texas long before the war of independence. During that struggle they had been obliged to fly before the invading Mexicans. After the war was over, they returned to their home, where, in the course of the last two or three years, she had buried her husband, and was now a widow. She had several children, and was possessed of a good deal of that sort of property which constituted so large a portion of patriarchical wealth — she was rich in cattle. Of course, there was not much of refinement or polish about her; yet she possessed sterling goodness of heart. Her house was a preaching place, where the itinerant preachers statedly held forth the word of life, and she herself was a member of this little church in the wilderness. After prayer and breakfast, we resumed our journey. We had the Cypress to
94cross, which was now become quite a formidable stream; we could not, of course, attempt to ford it, so we had to cross in a sort of temporary flat, which had been hastily put together to enable travelers to cross this otherwise (in its present circumstances) impassable stream. Our boat lay at anchor some twenty yards from the shore. We had, consequently, to ride in till we reached it, when we made our horses spring into it; and after navigating some fifty yards, they had to jump out again to enable our clumsy little craft to pass over the shallows for some thirty yards, when our ponies had to submit to a compulsory embarkation a second time; after which, we accomplished the remainder of our voyage over the Cypress without farther interruption. Six miles farther on, we came to another creek called Little Cypress. Here we found a dozen wagons encamped, some of which had been lying here a fortnight, unable to cross the stream. There was a small raft made of poles tied together, on which we crossed and carried over our baggage; our horses we drove across. Our raft was barely large enough to carry two, so that my feet were wet before I again was mounted. From this creek, we had a ride of nine miles to the widow M.'s, at whose house we intended to remain till next morning. Our road lay through an undulating prairie, through which the recent rains had washed large gullies, along which the water was
95roaring and foaming quite after the manner of the wet weather branches among our hills in Georgia. The morning was cloudy and calm, and as our road was an unfrequented path, a herd of seven or eight deer started up, and went bounding away. These were the first deer that I had seen in the republic, though after this, I met with them in larger or smaller herds every mile or two during this morning's ride. The wild geese, too, were more abundant than I ever saw them. We were scarcely out of sight of them, and were constantly startling them from their feeding grounds; so that, with their cackling and the whizzing of their wings, they kept us in music during our morning's ride. Should I say, that we saw several thousand during our nine miles ride, I think that I should not at all exaggerate. Between twelve and one o'clock, we reached our point; and took up our quarters till next morning.
We were hospitably entertained by the good lady who kept the house. She, too, had come from "the States," and settled here in early time, and had for some years buried her husband. She had several children, most of them boys, and nearly all grown up. Her house was also a preaching place, and the good woman was a Methodist of some sort, but whether she belonged to the Episcopal or the Protestant Methodists was not quite clear, — nor did the old lady seem to think it a matter of much
96consequence. There was something about this good woman, which impressed me very strongly, — a woman of stout frame and quite masculine in her disposition and manners, long accustomed to the scenes of a wild and frontier life, she had contracted a fearlessness of expression and manner, which told you at once, that she was afraid of nothing: she was, withal, quite patriotic. She told me that in the war of independence, she had only one son who could "go to the wars," — and that during the last round of Mexican invasion, a year or two since, she was only sorry that the "Mexicans" had not waited two or three years more before they began it; "because," said she, "in the other war I had only one soldier, but by that time, I should have had five or six soldiers of my own little making to fight for my country." I understand there are many such mothers in Texas: it seems to me, the sons of such mothers would be hard to conquer.
On Monday morning after breakfast, we were again on the road. We crossed Spring Creek, and left the great prairie through which we had been traveling, and entered upon a poor country of sandhills and rapid creeks; some of which, we barely escaped swimming. We traveled more than twenty miles, without seeing any body, or passing a single human habitation, insomuch, that we began to fear we had missed our way, which would have been an uncomfortable affair in these solitary
97uninhabited barrens. At length, we came to a plantation, and some distance up the creek, saw houses, toward which we urged our way, hoping to obtain information as to our route: but at these, there was no human being to be started, although the smoke was still ascending from the chimney, and two lazy dogs were on duty as sentinels. This was a sore disappointment to us. After consulting awhile, we resolved on our course, which, in a mile or two, brought us to a house at which we obtained directions from a servant, who told us the way to an Indian village a few miles distant, where he said we would receive instruction in the way to our place of destination. After riding a couple of miles we came to a miserable muddy looking swamp and creek; after working our way through the mud and cane for several hundred yards, we emerged from the swamp, and saw on the hill before us the wigwams of an Indian village. It consisted of some half a dozen huts, made, I suppose, pretty much in the primitive aboriginal style. The village was inhabited by about thirty souls, the sole remnant of the Bedeye nation. We saw nobody, except two or three little children, who could not understand, or at any rate gave no reply to any of our questions. Brothers Shearn and Summers dismounted, and went into several of the buts, in one of which they found a very aged Indian man, lying on a bed raised from the earth a
98little by Boards, on these were spread some cane tops, and over them a few deer skins. The old man was very sick, and told them that he should die. He added that his son had been killed during the previous year, by some of his own tribe, and he showed them a certificate of his own character from some officer of the republic. Poor old Pilot, he had none to care for him: his child had been murdered by his own people; and now that he was dying, none of his countrymen were near him to minister to his wants. Such is paganism.
We left the village with such directions as the poor old man could give us, and after missing our way two or three times, found ourselves at the house of sister M'Crae, formerly of Alabama, who gave us a most cordial Christian welcome. She was an old acquaintance of brother Summers, and withal a most excellent warm-hearted Methodist. Her children were, I think, nearly all of them converted, and in the church, and one of her sons class-leader of the society in the neighborhood. We spent a very pleasant night with this good family, and the next morning after breakfast we resumed our march for the seat of the conference, distant now about thirty miles. One of the young men went with us to pilot us through Lake Creek Swamp, one of the worst in our route, and which we had been dreading all the way. We found it an ugly affair; but under the direction of our
99excellent guide, we passed in safety to the hills on the other side, when our pilot left us. We passed some fine land in the neighborhood of Lake Creek; in about five miles, we passed Montgomery C. H., quite a picayune town. We rode about fifteen miles through a country, the most of which was hilly and poor, with now and then a miserable muddy creek, whose banks were so steep as to be almost impassable, and their swamps affording some of the finest specimens of very bad roads. When we reached the San Jacinto, a small but very rapid river, which was swimming, and might not be attempted on horseback. So we carried our luggage over on a log, and drove our horses across the stream; after as little delay as possible, we were again in the saddle, and a ride of five miles more, brought us to Robinson's settlement, in which the conference was to meet. Brother S. and myself, were conducted to the house of young brother Robinson, with whom we were to lodge, and where we found ourselves associated with the brethren, Fowler, dark, Alexander, and Wilson — all old friends whom I had known in other days, and whom I was greatly rejoiced to take by the hand here in this far off country.
Montgomery, Texas, December, 1843.
Close of Conference — Dangerous Water-courses — Prairies — Deer — Gloomy Times — Wading to Bed — Houston.
WHEN I left Galveston, it was understood that the Neptune was to return to that port so as to leave for New Orleans on the 22d of December: accordingly my arrangements were all made in view of reaching Galveston on my return so as to take that opportunity of returning to the United States To accommodate my wishes the preachers of the conference hastened their adjournment a few hours earlier than they would have done otherwise, though not till all the conference business had been gone through with. On Monday, about eleven o'clock we concluded our labors, and were ready for our march toward the coast. And now we are off, let us take a brief survey of the neighborhood in which we had held our session. It is called Robinson's settlement — taking its name from old brother Robinson, who came here and settled during the days of Mexican domination. The old gentleman is quite the patriarch of the neighborhood — an honest, industrious, pious man, who has raised a considerable family of children. These are happily walking in the footsteps of their venerable father.
The Methodists have quite a respectable society in the neighborhood; and although some of us may have had a mile or two to go to the conference every day, yet we were entertained with the utmost cordiality and hospitality. There is a good deal of pretty good looking land in the vicinity. The San Jacinto river ran within four or five miles of the conference room, and the Trinity was distant some fifteen or twenty miles.
In consequence of the continued rains which had fallen during the conference, it was judged necessary to take a different route from the one traveled by us as we came up: accordingly we directed our course higher up the country, by which our distance was considerably increased — but the chances of crossing the water-courses greatly multiplied. Our party consisted of brothers Summers and Johnson, a local preacher who lived a day's journey on our way, brothers Porter and Zuber, and myself. A ride of some eight or nine miles brought us to the San Jacinto, which we soon ascertained was swimming; so we drove our horses across, and we passed ourselves on a log — but the tree was a small one, and its trunk was not sufficiently long to reach across the stream, so that for a part of the way we had to depend on the limbs. Fortunately for me, there was some one to take my baggage over, or I know not but that I might have felt the bottom of the San Jacinto. As it was, we all got over safely,
102and were soon remounted and on our way again. A ride of a mile or two brought us to the house of brother Porter, a brother of Rev. E. R. Porter, of Mississippi, at whose hospitable cabin we dined and prayed, and then resumed our journey. There is some beautiful prairie land in the neighborhood of the San Jacinto. A ride of some ten miles brought us to the house of brother Zuber, whose son had been with us from the conference. The old gentleman was formerly of Georgia, where he still has many relatives. We were received very cordially, and had the best treatment which the house could afford. The old gentleman, however, made rather an uncomfortable announcement, viz., that they had no coffee either in the house or in the neighborhood. This was a sad state of things in a Texan family; for, be it understood, in Texas coffee is regarded an essential article for housekeeping — whatever else is lacking, there must be coffee, or every thing is out of joint. As to sugar or milk, except in the towns, we found neither the one nor the other in more than one or two houses in all our route. From the gloomy foreboding of a coffeeless supper, we were relieved by our kind hostess, who told us she knew where to find coffee — and sure enough, it was forthcoming at our supper table. We passed a pleasant evening with this kind-hearted family, and after prayer and praise retired to rest. The next morning we were soon at the mercy-seat, and
103after an early breakfast were again in our saddles and on our way homeward.
During the forenoon our road lay through a more thickly settled country, much of which was fertile, affording many beautiful situations for buildings, beautiful undulating prairie, interspersed with groves of post oak, promising an abundant supply of wood and timber. During part of the day, however, we held our way through a broken sand-hill country, with very little semblance of cultivation or improvement. In the afternoon we again encountered some very fine prairie land, through which we urged our way with great difficulty and toil, in consequence of the deep and tenacious mud which opposed our progress at every step. After a very heavy ride of about forty miles, at nightfall we reached the house of Capt. Goheen, who bade us a kindly welcome to his cabin, and the best fare which it afforded. We found him a plain, industrious man of some intelligence. He had been a soldier in the Texan army, and, of course, was a large landholder. He expressed some regret that he had received no wound in the service of his country, as in that event he would have been entitled to a large additional gratuity of land. Mrs. G. seemed to be an industrious, clever, hospitable woman, and a member of our church. The next morning after breakfast, we were again in the saddle and wending our way
104toward Houston. Our kind host would take no pay, and only gave us the usual Texas charge, "call again." The morning was calm and partially cloudy. After traveling a short distance, we espied several deer near our path, and as they were starting up very frequently, I concluded to note the number, and in riding six miles I counted thirty-eight of them. We were almost constantly in view of small herds of these beautiful creatures, and I was greatly amused in witnessing their movements. They would stand still and gaze on us till we approached within some fifty yards of them, when they would move gracefully off, till they supposed themselves out of harm's way; then, they would stop and carelessly commence feeding, or, as if by way of defiance to us, playing with each other. Beautiful creatures! I should scarcely have had the heart to shoot you if I had been armed. I was too much interested in your agility and graceful movements. At some seasons of the year, when the water in the prairies is dried up, they assemble in large numbers about the creeks in the edge of the timber — sometimes, I understood, to the number of one hundred and fifty in a drove; indeed, a gentleman who traveled with us informed me that in the country west of the Colorado, he had seen five hundred of them together. A young man who lived in the prairie, told me of a method of shooting them, which to me at least
105had the recommendation of novelty. When the hunter sees a deer which he wishes to kill, he takes Ills rifle and creeps along under cover of the high grass, till he gets within proper distance; he then strikes the ground several times violently with his fist, and then raises his hand, which he holds up for some time. The curiosity of the unsuspecting animal is by this means arrested, and he gradually approaches nearer and nearer to the uplifted hand till he has approached within shooting distance, when the unerring rifle carries the messenger of death to the unwary victim of an unfortunate curiosity.
On our way we passed some wagons which we had left at Little Cypress ten days before, during which time they had advanced nine miles. We crossed the above-named stream about 12 o'clock, and found it considerably fallen, so that we crossed it this time without swimming or rafting. When we reached the Big Cypress, we found that also lower than when we passed; but this was all the worse for us, as the boat could not come to its former landing place, and we were consequently compelled, after waiting a long while to ascertain the ferryman's whereabouts, to ride for nearly a quarter of a mile into the swamp — the water frequently to the saddle skirts. At last we espied a boatman and his craft leisurely awaiting us, it not being convenient for him to navigate any farther in the
106direction whence we came. We compelled our jaded ponies to embark, and in due time we all safely reached the opposite shore. It was late and we were tired, so that there was some temptation to stop for the night, especially as we were just entering our fourteen miles stretch; but then I expected the steamer to leave Houston next day for Galveston, where I hoped to embark in the Neptune for New Orleans; and if I failed I might be detained from home a week or two longer, and this would be a sad disappointment both to my family and myself; for now that my tour of duty was accomplished, and my face was set homeward, the attractions that belong to that charmed circle were grown very strong.
Accordingly I resolved to proceed to Johnson's, fourteen miles ahead. As we anticipated, dark overtook us long before we reached our destination; and a more gloomy, cheerless night ride, I don't recollect to have had in many years. The night was dark, and although the water on the prairies had a good deal subsided since our upward trip, yet the mud was not a whit more favorable to our progress: add to this, that our horses were almost broken down, and their riders were in but little better plight. We were in bad plight for song or anecdote; nor did my sprightly friend seem much inclined to any sort of philosophical disquisition: in fact, the only problem in physical, or mental
107philosophy which troubled us much, was, how far it might be to Johnson's? whether our horses would hold out to carry us there? what sort of a chance it would be after we got there? We were discussing that part of the problem which relates to distance, and had pretty satisfactorily proved to ourselves that we must be very near our inn, when we encountered a camp of wagons. We eagerly inquired, "how far to Johnson's?" and I leave my readers to judge of our feelings when it was replied, "about four miles." Alas! four miles yet to go! It was a perfect damper; but 'twas no use to fret — so on we went, with a sort of desperate resignation to our fate. After many a weary step, at length we came close to a little twinkling light, which we found to proceed from our long-sought resting place — Johnson's tavern. We dismounted, and took possession of the fire-place, for we were both wet and fatigued. The good people gave us supper, and for the first time since we left Houston, my friend's appetite did not serve him; however, we got through our supper, and found our way to bed. And now a word or two as to our house and its accommodations, in order to give my reader some view of the comforts of our condition. The house was built partly of brick, partly of wood; the floor partly of brick, and partly of dirt; the whole of it level with the surface of the ground. It stood on the banks of
108Johnson's Bayou, and that had very recently overflowed its banks, and had invaded the house itself, so that the old lady told me they had to wade to bed! The water had just receded and left the floor thickly coated with mud. Over this we laid a bridge of boards and thus found our way to the bed, which, with the exception of the hearth, was the only dry place about the house. Our supper consisted, as usual, of corn bread, fried pork, and coffee without milk or sugar; and the same description will answer for our breakfast next morning, which we took at an early hour, and then were again in the saddle for Houston, which we reached about eleven o'clock, and found the steamer not yet arrived from Galveston.
Texas, December, 1843.
Delays — Galveston Bay — Paradise for Cows — Galveston — Off for New Orleans by the Neptune — Mobile — Home — Review of Texas.
IN my last I mentioned our return to Houston, and my disappointment at finding the Dayton steamer not in port. I was still more troubled to learn that the Neptune had not reached Galveston, and, very probably, would not do so for some time, as she had, on her way down the river from
109New Orleans, been run into by another boat in a fog, and that the damage sustained by her was such as to compel her to return to the city to repair; and every body was, of course, at liberty to guess as to her probable detention. So here was a clever business, by which I might be detained in Texas a week or two longer. This, to be sure, would have been no punishment if the country had been in such a situation as to allow me to ramble over, and look upon, its beauties; but, then, who would think of traveling over this low land to examine it, when the whole country was under water? However, acting on my usual motto, that, — what can't be cured must be endured, — I resolved on taking the matter as philosophically as possible. I preached in the Presbyterian church in Houston, on Friday night, to a respectable and well-behaved congregation, and, as the steamer had arrived, and left again for Galveston, on Saturday about noon, or rather later, I took passage in her. We had to stop at several places to take in lumber, so that we did not enter Galveston bay till early next morning. I arose tolerably early, and, when I went on deck, I found that we had entered the bay, and were proceeding leisurely along, in view of the numerous points and islands which mark its coast. It was a beautiful bright Sabbath morning, and, as most of our cabin passengers left early in the morning, I had leisure, and I went to survey the scene, and
110enjoy those deep and hallowed emotions which the holy Sabbath so often wakes up in my heart. I sat on the deck, and gazed with intense interest on the scene around. On one side the beautiful bay spread itself far away studded with islands, whose trees and shrubs gave but little indication of the visit of keen December's frosts, and on the land side, but a little distance from us, was New Washington, the residence, I think, of Col. Morgan. The beautiful prairie, clothed with the verdant green of a fine crop of rich grass, extended quite down to the water's edge, and on this glorious natural meadow scores of fine sleek-looking cattle were grazing, apparently quite contented and happy, as well they might be, for, if there be any such place in this world as a paradise for cows, I should think it might be located somewhere in these rich, splended prairies in Texas. Our speed was slow, as the water of the bay was very shallow, and the numerous bars rendered it necessary to keep busy with our sounding poles, and, spite of all our caution, we were several times aground. We were always able, however, to work off in a few minutes. We reached the wharf in Galveston about eleven o'clock, and found the Neptune in port safe and sound, and designing to sail on Tuesday. A messenger was waiting to escort me to the church, where I found a small congregation, to whom I endeavored to hold forth the word of God. In the
111afternoon, I heard a sermon to the colored people, by a brother H., whom I had formerly known in New York, and, at night, I preached to a congregation rather larger than the one in the morning.
The next day was Christmas, and they had great doings at both the Catholic and Episcopal churches, but I visited neither. At night I preached once more, in the Methodist church, to a tolerable congregation. I think the Methodist congregation is small in this place, and, of course, the society still smaller.
The city of Galveston is situated on Galveston island, and the noble bay in which it is embosomed bears the same name. The island is a low, flat sand bed, which rises but little above the surface of the water. It occurred to me that the island was not, at any point, elevated more than ten feet above the level of the water, but, in this, I may have been mistaken. The soil, of course, is very unproductive, without large contributions from the manure pile. I should judge the town was healthy, as there was no visible local cause for disease, and the inhabitants, with great unanimity, declared that it was a place of unusual health. Yet there are some things, which, I should judge, would, at least for the present, render it undesirable as a place of residence. It is on an island, which, so far as I could judge, is barren, or, at any rate, can afford little, or no aid, toward the markets of the city,
112and then, there is no rich country any where near, with an industrious and teeming population, whose surplus produce might be turned to the account of Galveston comfort. I believe that their very firewood has to be brought to them by water from the neighborhood of Buffalo Bayou; and as for provisions, I think they have to depend for their supplies almost exclusively on the New Orleans market It will not, therefore, be unreasonable to opine, that, while men of surplus means may get along pretty well, those poor fellows who have shallow pockets, and those but thinly lined, have found Galveston by no means a paradise; and of this class, I presume there were not a few there last winter. I should guess the population of the city was about two thousand souls. They have an Episcopal, Catholic, Presbyterian and Methodist church: of the relative strength of each denomination, I have no data from which to make up an opinion.
On Tuesday, about eleven o'clock, I left Texas for New Orleans, in the steamer Neptune, Capt. Rollins. The weather was pleasant, and the sea as smooth as a lake; so that we had a most delightful run. On Wednesday, about twelve o'clock, we saw land, which, the mate said, was the "Tuckecepaw country," and about sunset we came in sight of the great river, whose mouth we entered about dark. We had hoped to reach New Orleans by breakfast time on Thursday, but, owing to a scarcity of fuel,
113we did not reach the wharf there till ten o'clock. I found the steamer Fashion up for Mobile, to sail at four o'clock. I called on my friend, brother Hill, _ found him not at home, but his good wife entertained me kindly, and pressed me very earnestly to stay awhile, but I was homeward bound, and could not tarry. So I left the city before three, and took the railroad for the lake, and thence, by boat, to Mobile, which we reached the next afternoon. On the boat I had, as a fellow-passenger, Dr. Shaw, with whose family I had lodged, some years since, at a conference in Greensborough, Ala. The doctor is now a resident of Mobile. He paid me every attention, and introduced me to the captain of the boat, who, on learning my professional character, refused to receive any thing for my passage. I remained in Mobile till Monday evening, preaching twice in the city during the Sabbath, and, finally, let me say, in a few words, that, from Mobile, by steamboat and stage, without any accident, I reached home on Saturday morning, and found my precious children in safety and in health. God be praised for all his mercies.
And, now, perhaps it may be well to answer some of the questions which are constantly propounded to me about Texas. It will be readily perceived, by those who have followed me in my wanderings through the republic, that the time and
114circumstances of my visit were all unfavorable to making up a very correct opinion of the country. The most of the country which I traveled is low and was, at the time of my visit, almost entirely under water. The soil, too, I think, is mostly thin, though there are some splendid exceptions. A good deal of the country through which I passed in Montgomery county was very pretty, and quite productive. The country on the Trinity is said to be very fine, and the fertility of the Brazos and Colorado bottoms is admitted on all hands. The country of the San Antonio is spoken of in high terms of praise by gentlemen who have visited it. And the concurrent testimony of all, both preachers and laymen, with whom I conversed on the subject, settles it, beyond dispute, that there is an extensive tract of country west of the Colorado which possesses almost every attribute of a desirable, and first-rate country; — land as rich as heart could wish, which may be obtained at twenty-five cents, or fifty cents per acre: — the verdant prairies, which sweep around you almost inimitably, covered with a luxuriant growth of Muskeet-grass, which affords a never-failing pasture for just as many cattle and sheep, and horses, as a man may choose to possess; and this pasture just as green and rich in winter, as in summer. It is said, too, that the country is healthy, and that part of it which skirts the gulf affords very eligible locations, for all honest lovers
115of good fish and oysters, and the whole region abounds with deer. There is, however, little or no timber, except about the streams; it must, therefore, have a very inadequate supply of this very necessary article.
Upon the whole, I should think Texas resembles, in many respects, some of our south-western states, with, perhaps, a more agreeable climate. The population is mostly from the States, and is pretty much such as we have been accustomed to meet in the new settlements of the south-west. I met, everywhere, a warm-hearted hospitality, and paid only one bill for lodging in all my route. The uniform response, when I asked for my bill, was, — "be sure to call and stay with me, if ever you pass this way." At church, so far as I had opportunity of observing, they are, decidedly, the best behaved people I have ever addressed from the pulpit. When I was there the subject of annexation was the theme of universal discussion. And, I am sure, I did not meet five men in all my route who did not go heartily for it. The Texans are brave and patriotic, and will do as much to maintain their liberty as any other people of equal ability; but whether they would be able long to resist the arms of Mexico, when that power shall be at liberty to apply her undivided energies to the re-conquest of Texas, is a point, in my judgment, somewhat problematical. They might gain repeated battles, but
116what must be the issue of a protracted struggle between a population of little more than one hundred thousand, and another, of eight millions? I confess I would exceedingly regret, as an American and a Protestant, should this important position fall again into the hands of Santa Anna and the Pope.
Oxford, July, 1844.
Leaving Home — State Road — Dalton — A Christian Family — Murray's Springs — Sand Mountains — Ringgold — Chattanooga.
I LEFT home on Saturday morning the 26th of August, on my way to the Far West. I had been looking forward to it with a sort of dread for some time, for I was to leave home for many weeks, or rather for five months — for five long mortal months I am to wander over swamps and prairies, among white men, and red men, and am not to see the faces of those dearest to me, and perhaps only occasionally to hear from them. And now, if any of my readers think this a very desirable position, they have my leave to make the experiment. But, says one, you are used to it Why, bless your heart, my good friend, this is one of the things that a man never gets used to:
117or at least I shall net, if I live to the age of Methuselah, which, by the way, is not at all likely to happen. But to the journey I had to preach at Dalton on Sabbath, and, as it was only about one hundred and forty miles, I put off my departure till Saturday. We breakfasted at Atlanta, and had to wait till one o'clock for the upward train on the state road. At that hour we were off, and after dashing through deep cuts where mountains once stood, and rolling over lofty embankments, we reached Dalton before eight o'clock, P. M., and found quarters at Chester's hotel, a decent quiet house, kept by a very worthy family.
And now for a retrospect of Saturday's route. We say nothing of the stone mountain, because every body talks about that; and besides it is too near home. The route from Atlanta is rather remarkable for the number, and length, and height of the bridges over which you are whirled by the power of steam. First, you have the Chattahoochee bridge, which I should guess was nearly a quarter of a mile long, or possibly more, and of pretty lofty pretensions on the score of altitude; then you have the Etowah bridge, nearly its equal in every respect, and then there is the one at Oustenaula, besides any quantity of the tallest sort of bridges over creeks and branches and ravines, until one is, almost tempted to think that those who planned tills road had an unusual fondness for bridge
118building; and it may be all well enough for aught we know; but some how or other we never roll over one of these structures without feeling that the fewer of them the better, both for safety and comfort. To be sure they may serve to give variety and break the monotony of railroad traveling; this was pretty effectually accomplished a few days since when the locomotive ran off the track, directly on the Etowah bridge; providentially no one was hurt; but it rather affects one's nerves to look down from the top of the bridge to. the waters below and think of a long train of cars containing several hundred immortal beings, unceremoniously running off and tumbling them into the stream below. Now, albeit, we are no engineer, and don't boast of much knowledge of railroad building, yet as we have occasionally a good deal of personal interest at stake, besides what our philanthropy, patriotism, public spirit, and state pride, and such like things might be supposed to require, we venture to suggest to all and singular the great men, whether whigs or democrats, who may have the management of this great state improvement, that, as soon as may be, they fill up under these grand specimens of architecture; and we assure them, in behalf of the traveling public, that there will be a much higher sense of gratification and security felt in knowing that we have under us a good old fashioned, solid embankment of
119dirt and rocks, than we now have in admiring the architectural skill which continues to poise such tremendous burdens on so much emptiness.
A mile or two from the Etowah you reach Cartersville, a small village of no very great pretensions. A few miles above this is the celebrated iron works owned by Messrs. Cooper, Stroupe, and Wiley. These enterprising gentlemen have not only succeeded in establishing a very extensive manufactory of all descriptions of casting of the very best quality, but it is understood they are preparing to manufacture railroad iron. The establishment is in the midst of an abundant supply of the richest ore, and with the enterprise, capital, and skill which they have embarked, there can be no doubt, with the blessing of God, of success to any reasonable extent. Besides their iron manufactory, they have also a large establishment for manufacturing into very superior flour a large amount of the fine wheat that is raised on the fertile lands of this portion of Georgia. From Cartersville you pass along the prolific and beautiful valley of Oothcologa, the land exceedingly rich, a beautiful farming country producing luxuriantly corn, wheat, the various grasses, and also cotton, but I should judge it was rather sickly. At the village of Kingston the railroad to Rome diverges from the main track; it is to be about seventeen miles long, and connecting with the Coosa river
120at Rome it is expected to command a large trade from Alabama.
The town of Dalton, which is at present the terminus of the state road, is a busy bustling place, laid out on a large scale, in view of the state road making its terminus here for many years. It is at present the point to which there is a great deal of produce brought from the surrounding country in Georgia and East Tennessee. Of course a large portion will be lost to it, when the railroad shall remove its depot to Chattanooga; it will probably, however, gain as much on the score of morals as it loses on that of trade, and will likely always be a thriving village, doing a snug amount of business. As a place of residence, it has one draw-back, in my estimation, and that is an insufficent supply of good drinking water. The company who have laid out and built the town have set a praise-worthy example by building a very neat house of worship for the use of the inhabitants. Here on the Sabbath, we preached to a very large congregation of attentive hearers, and ordained eight local brethren to the order of deacons, and one to that of elder. I fear the state of religious matters is not as good as desirable; not but that there is a goodly number of pious people there belonging to various denominations, but so far as our church is considered, it seemed to me that there is a want of tone and
121energy arising to a great extent, no doubt, from the fact that the preacher had been in very feeble health, and has consequently not been able to render them such services as they need. This difficulty we hope will be removed by his speedy restoration to health and the ability to labor.
On Monday morning our good friend, Judge Hammond, who lives in the neighborhood, kindly took me in his carriage to old brother Francis Bird, one of our old-time worthies. He was once a traveling preacher, but has been local for many years; he is now, by employment from the presiding elder, supplying the Dade mission. They have no servants, and the old man told me that himself and his wife had brought up nine daughters by the labor of their own hands; "and," said he, "the best of all is, that they are every one members of the church." I preached at night in his cabin to a crowd of his neighbors, to the most of whom a bishop was a strange sight. We had a comfortable meeting, and spent our time very pleasantly with this plain and pious family. The next morning brother Lee kindly conveyed me in his carriage to Ringgold, a new town which has just sprung into existence, nearly midway between Dalton and Chattanooga. On our way we called and spent a few hours at the Murray Springs, a new watering place which is just coming into notice, in the corner of Walker county. There are, I suppose, some forty
122springs within the compass of two acres. I am not chemist enough to decide on the properties of the water from the various springs. The presence of sulphur is pretty strongly indicated in some, and I should judge that others contain magnesia, and some have a pretty strong resemblance to Epsom salts. Altogether, I should judge that the waters are highly charged with medicinal properties, and that the place will become a considerable resort for those in quest of health. The establishment, however, is yet comparatively in the woods, although the old gentleman who keeps the springs is preparing for company, and says he will be ready by next summer to accommodate some fifty persons. With enterprise and capital, the place might be rendered pleasant and attractive. The proprietor is Mr. Murray, who formerly kept the house at the Flat Rock, between Greenville and Asheville. Two miles from the springs is a sand mountain, which our host represents as a very interesting Spot, affording a magnificent prospect of mountain and valley. Those who visit the springs would do well to get our friend Murray to go with them to the mountain, and if they see nothing curious there, they will find in the guide an interesting and pleasing specimen for study, going and returning. On Tuesday night I preached at Ringgold to a large and seriously attentive congregation, I trust not without some profit. This place has sprung up
123within a few months, and has already some two or three hundred inhabitants. It has its share of groceries and dissipation, but there are a number of good praying Christians here; and as they have already built a new church, and had a revival of religion, there is ground to hope much good for it in future days. I was kindly entertained in the family of brother Duery Fowler, and on Wednesday the friends sent me in a carriage to this place, and as I cannot leave here for Nashville till to-morrow, I employ my time in writing these desultory lines.
Chattanooga, Tenn., August 31, 1848.
Mountains — Scaling Parnassus — Congressional Candidate — Nashville Camp Meeting — A London Fog — Bardstown — Louisville — Meeting of Bishops — Aground on Flint Island Bar.
WELL, here we are, not exactly high and dry, but certainly hard and fast; and as we have been very unwillingly quarantined for nearly two days without any very certain prospect of getting afloat again before the river shall rise, some month or two hence, and as employment is favorable to the cultivation of patience, of which just at this juncture I have some small need, I have concluded to give you a brief review of my movements since my last from Chattanooga. On the morning subsequent to the
124date of that epistle we left that place in the stage for Nashville. Our route lay over the Lookout and Raccoon mountains, before we crossed the Tennessee river at Kelleg's ferry; and thence over Walden's ridge and the Cumberland mountain. The route from the ferry to the little town of Jasper, in the Sequeatchie valley, about fifteen miles, is, perhaps, as rough a piece of ground as a traveler would desire to encounter in any country. The part of the road leading across the Lookout mountain is decidedly the best portion of the route. Yet even here the passengers were required to walk by way of relieving the horses, who are taxed with a drive of twenty-five miles for one team. The result was that one of our horses failed and had to be left on the road, and the remainder of the team were barely able to reach Jasper, some two hours or more after the proper hour. Upon the whole, this route is much the most direct to Nashville, but the very imperfect supply of horse power on the line, and the numerous demands which are made upon the pedestrian capabilities of the passengers in climbing the different mountains, have pretty nearly brought me to the conclusion that hereafter I will seek some other road presenting fewer difficulties. I should say, however, in justice to this route, that, to the lover of the grand and picturesque in mountain scenery, few portions of the country can present more points of attraction
125than the route from Chattanooga to the other side of the Cumberland mountain. Once these prospects charmed us by the sweet quiet of the rural coves and valleys, or the stupendous magnitude, or the overwhelming grandeur of towering mountain peaks, as in billowy outline they greeted our eyes, when for the first time we surveyed from some chosen summit these creations of that glorious Being, whose wisdom and power are every where manifest; and we remember distinctly, that the first time we had a near view of a veritable mountain, though it was but a mere hill to many which we have since encountered, we made a very decided effort to woo the muses, and actually succeeded in inditing some five or six lines of doggerel; but there we failed, utterly failed; our fountain of poetry ran dry, and even this rare and precious specimen of our poetical talents has been utterly lost to the world; and from that time, perfectly satisfied that editorial gentlemen, who, whether self-appointed or otherwise, undertake to give lead to public taste and manners, would never permit me to figure in the "poet's department," I have betaken me to plain matter-of-fact prose. And, now, although it may be regarded a sad proof of our degeneracy of taste, yet we declare, that to our apprehension and experience, this thing of walking two miles up a mountain in the middle of a July day, or of a cold, dark, wet December night, has
126in it to us a good deal more of wearisome, shivering, pains-taking and plodding matter-of-fact than of beautiful romantic poetry. But enough of this grave philosophy.
At Jasper, we took on board a prominent member of Congress, who was traveling through the state for the purpose of enlightening the sovereignty in view of the approaching presidential election. It is certainly very kind in our great men first to enlighten us by their speeches for five or six long months: speeches delivered too, exclusively for this purpose, although not the purpose for which we sent them to Washington, and then after flattering us that we are their masters and the real genuine sovereigns of the country, and no mistake, and glorifying our enlightenment and patriotism to the very highest point, then to take the pains to travel at large and lecture the august sovereigns as though we were a parcel of children incapable of choice or self-government, and in the plenitude of their goodness, save us the trouble of thinking, by choosing our rulers for us. The gentleman informed me that the attendance upon the stump addresses had been small. The people, said he, cannot be excited now on the subject of the presidential election, nor can the scenes of 1840 ever be re-enacted during the present generation. And he agreed with me that it was a very favorable indication as to the state
127of the public mind. Most sincerely do I wish that our people may continue to improve in this respect, and most honestly do I exhort them to examine and judge for themselves. Let us choose our rulers in the view of their capacity and integrity, and in the fear of God, uninfluenced by great mass meetings, party tricks, and the eloquence of party leaders, who too often seek to elevate a favorite to the presidency, mainly in view of his probable liberality in rewarding zealous and available partizans. But a truce to this touch of politics.
We reached Nashville on Saturday evening, and learned that a camp meeting was in progress near the city; so on Sunday morning we repaired to the camp ground. There was a very great crowd in attendance. We reached the ground in time to hear the concluding portion of the eight o'clock sermon, which was delivered by brother G., a superannuated member of the Tennessee conference. We had often heard of this brother's efficiency, as a laborer, and it was gratifying to us that we were permitted to hear for ourself the confirmation of what had been reported. The preacher seemed to have but little method, nor was his attention to either grammar or logic very rigid, yet there was a power, an unction about both matter and manner, that got within you at once; and I found myself weeping abundantly before I was aware of it. It was a gracious melting time, and I was glad to be
128there. Would that we had more such preachers! At eleven the bishop had to preach; and according to his own best judgment, it was a heavy, dull, prosing discourse, without much point, and it is to be feared, without much profit to the hearers, although it was a very fatiguing effort to the preacher. The Nashville friends have a fine camp ground, good tents, a very superior shelter; the tenters are exceedingly hospitable; and there was a large and attentive audience, — yet they will allow me kindly to suggest to them the propriety of arranging their camp meetings in future, so as to include no Sabbath; and any one, who, like myself, was compelled to go out in the morning, and return on the evening of the Sabbath, will have been furnished with sufficient reason to justify this suggestion.
We were compelled to return to Nashville in the evening for the purpose of taking the stage on Monday morning for Louisville. We were pleasantly entertained in the agreeable family of Dr. Holland, and the next morning, at five o'clock we took our departure in company with brothers, Green and McFerrin. The stage was crowded, and we, of choice, took our positions on the outside. The morning was dark and damp, with a fog which would have done no discredit to London city. We rode through a fine, fertile country, prettily improved, till we reached the pleasant and thriving
129town of Gallatin, in Summer county. Here the Lord has recently visited the different churches with a gracious revival of religion, in which largely over one hundred souls have professed faith in Christ, and been added to the church. We tarried here a few moments, and after depositing nearly half our passengers we were again under way. The country beyond Gallatin is not so fine as that through which we had previously passed; and after entering Kentucky, the most of the land through which we passed by daylight was comparatively thin, till we reached the neighborhood of Bardstown. This place is somewhat famous as the principal seat of Roman Catholic influence in Kentucky. Here they have large arrangements for educational purposes, including the youth of both sexes, and are educating annually large numbers of children from Protestant families. The institution for girls is called Nazareth, and is situated in the country some mile or two from the town. That these institutions are calculated to give to the Catholic church a powerful and increasing influence, is, we should judge, sufficiently obvious. In addition to the institutions already spoken of, we observe in a New York paper, that arrangements are in progress for establishing in the same neighborhood a monastery of the order of LaTrappe, a large body of land having been purchased near Bardstown for that purpose. We
130reached Louisville about dark, and next morning I had the pleasure of meeting my colleagues all in pretty good health, except Bishop Capers, who is feeble, but much better than I expected to find him. Our mutual consultations ended on Friday evening, and on Saturday morning, Bishops Soule and Paine left. Bishop Capers left on Monday, and on Tuesday your correspondent took his departure for St. Louis, on board the steamer Atlantis, with the prospect, of reaching his destination by Thursday night We went on pleasantly until dark, when very unwillingly we took up our position on the aforesaid Flint Island bar; where we are compelled to leave our readers, wishing them great peace and prosperity.
A Fleet Aground — Change of Boat — Taking in a Stranger — Sabbath and Sermon — A Mighty Hunter — Cairo and Ohio City — Steamboat Gambling — St. Louis.
AFTER lingering on the Flint Island bar for nearly three days, we worked off, and began to congratulate ourselves that we were now, at last, fairly under way for St. Louis, with a fair prospect of reaching that city in good time, and without farther detention. True we had been by no means
131solitary at our water encampment, for we were constantly receiving fresh accessions, till the number of boats amounted, I think, at one time, to ten embracing, perhaps, from a thousand to fifteen hundred souls, all within a compass of about five acres of sand and water; so that, on the principle of the old adage that misery loves company, we Blight have been pretty well satisfied. But I am not a strong believer in the orthodoxy of the foregoing sentiment, and to me, at least, the rapid accessions to our temporary village, afforded no pleasure. It is due to truth, however, to state that a large proportion of our company proved the correctness of the sentiment just repudiated, by the deafening shouts which shook the air, as another and another boat stuck fast on our invincible sand bank. But we were again in motion, and moving cheerily down the Ohio, rejoicing in our recent escape, and full of hope for the future; for we had been told that Flint Island bar was the worst on the river, and having mastered that difficulty, we had but little doubt of overcoming every other. It was not long, however, before we began to hear ominous hints about French Island, and Scuffletown bars. The first we passed in safety, but as we approached the second, the number of boats aground gave no uncertain intimation of approaching trouble. Our captain took his small boat and Went ahead to sound. He soon returned, and the
132ringing of the bell summoned us to the clerk's office to hear the unwelcome announcement that our boat could go no farther, as there was only thirty inches of water on the bar.
Well, here we were without any prospect of land conveyance; and as to the chance by water, the captain assured us that it was impossible for any of the boats to cross the bar; so we had only to pay our money to the clerk, and determine on future operations at our leisure. Accordingly we paid up our four dollars, (the price which we had agreed to pay for the entire trip from Louisville to St. Louis, was only seven dollars.) Shortly after the settlement of this matter, we saw the steamer War Eagle raise steam and work over the bar without the least difficulty; after which she cast anchor, and waited an accession to her list of passengers. The War Eagle was now our only hope, and almost all our passengers repaired on board with all practical despatch. We found her crowded with her passengers, insomuch that but very few of our passengers could secure either state-rooms or berths; and then we were charged ten dollars from thence to St. Louis; so our trip was to cost us fourteen dollars instead of seven. This was rather severe, but what won't a traveler give to get away from a steamboat aground, and
133our readers prefer. Those who came all the way from Louisville in this boat, and who had all the state-rooms and berths, paid about six or seven dollars; while those who got on some hundred and fifty miles on the way, and had neither state-rooms nor berths, had to pay ten dollars. This may be a good way to help a stranger in distress; but it did not strike me at the time as being the most desirable exhibition of kindness to strangers in trouble. I am rather inclined to the opinion that it is the established code of morals among those concerned in the Louisville and St. Louis line of packets. Indeed, a sober old gentleman on board remarked, that the steamboatmen in these waters were generally remarkable for fulfilling the declaration of Scripture, "I was a stranger and ye took me in." Our new boat was an excellent one; she traveled finely. Her captain and all concerned in her management did their duty well; her table was well supplied, and all things went on smoothly.
On Sunday afternoon I was requested to preach, which I endeavored to do to a congregation unusually orderly and attentive for a steamboat. After I had finished my discourse and retired from the cabin, an elderly gentleman came up to me and remarked, that nearly forty years before he had gone through that region when there was scarcely
134"For more than thirty years," said he, "I have been living near the Mississippi swamp, and there was not a church nor a post-office within forty miles of me; and now we are making progress; we have churches and preaching, and we are building a camp ground. I have stood the earthquakes twice, but I dont know how I am going to stand this reformation." So spoke my new acquaintance, a tall, athletic, resolute looking man, who had been a mighty hunter in his time, when the buffalo was plenty. These, he said, had entirely disappeared. There was still a few elks remaining, but these, too, were nearly gone; and there was scarcely any game remaining worthy the attention of a genuine hunter of the olden time. I was glad to hear that the hunter's solitude had been broken by the encroachments of a Christian population, and that the canebrakes and woods in these far-off forests, had echoed with the sound of the camp meeting trumpet, and the still more sweet and potent sounds of the gospel trumpet, proclaiming to all pardon and peace through the blood of Jesus.
We reached Cairo about sunset, and landed those of our passengers who were bound down the river; among them an old and valued friend, Rev. W. McMahon, who had been with us in our river troubles, and who had by his intelligent and pleasant conversation, very materially contributed to relieve the tedium of our uncomfortable voyage. And
135here is Cairo still. I thought it was dead and buried: but here it is, still clinging to life with a most determined pertinacity. The old company has passed away, and the concern is now understood to be in the hands of a new set of men, who, it is said, are determined to make a city of it, any how: and I have no doubt that with capital, enterprise, and patience, an important and flourishing city might be made to spring up in this swamp. The position just at the confluence of two mighty rivers, which between them bear on their bosoms the products of the greater part of the great valley, and the fact that in winter the river is rarely frozen at this point, while above, it is closed, gives Cairo very decided advantages; but its principal dependence for ultimate prosperity, is the building the much talked of railroad, commencing at this point, and running through the greater portion of Illinois up to its northern boundary. Should this great scheme be carried out shortly, nothing can prevent the prosperity of Cairo. It will become in half a century one of the flourishing cities of the West. The location is supposed by some to be unhealthy, however, the editor of the newspaper published here, and who speaks with the authority and confidence of a resident inhabitant, denies this allegation, and maintains that it is not only very healthy, but it is altogether the very place for a great city. Just opposite Cairo, on the Missouri side, there is
136Ohio city, an embryo city with only a few small houses. The land on which it is to be built is said to be more elevated, and consequently less liable to overflow than is its neighbor.
I think, however, as in the other case, that its prospective existence depends on the building of a railroad from this point to the upper portion of Missouri; could this be accomplished, not only might a thriving town spring up here, but it would be an incalculable advantage to the people in all the upper portions of the state, as it would enable them to transport their produce to market at any time, instead of being locked up during the winter as they now are. And then, as to the traveling public, the advantages accruing would be incalculable. In short, I go with all my heart for railroads; and I hope yet to see the day when steamboats, as a conveyance for travelers, will be entirely superseded by railroads. I believe that such a change would not only facilitate traveling, and save the traveler from the Ohio sand bars, and the inconvenience and vexatious delays consequent thereon, and from steamboat imposition, but it will go very far towards checking the practices of gambling and drinking, which, in my judgment, find their most efficient allies and supporters in the bar-room department of steamboats. Every steamboat must have its bar, and these, of course, must be made to yield the utmost possible profit to
137the owners; so that whether they be kept by the owner, or as is more frequently the case, rented to those who will pay the best price, in either event it is important that they be rendered as productive as possible. All around on the shelves stand displayed in the most tempting forms and colors, decanters, appropriately labeled; and just by is the table where gamblers pass away the time in throwing cards, and robbing especially the young and unwary. The more gambling, the more liquor; and so those sharks who live mostly in these boats, and who thrive by fleecing the "green ones," are the best friends to the bar-room department, and of course stand a fair chance to be prime favorites. On railroads men have but little time to drink, and gambling is at present out of the question. So we say again, success to railroads, on the score of comfort, speed, certainty, and morals.
We reached St. Louis about midnight on Monday, all safe and sound; and with a grateful heart; I once more find myself on dry land, and in a kind family, with a pleasant room, where all is quiet and agreeable.
St. Louis, September 20, 1848.
Close of St. Louis Conference — Columbia — Sectarian Deism Fayette — Howard High School — Missouri Bottom — Wenton Missouri Conference.
AT the close of the St. Louis conference, I left for Weston, distant about three hundred miles. Owing to some oversight in the arrangement of the time for the Missouri conference, there was only one week between the close of one conference and the beginning of the other, so I had no time to lose. We left the Mound city on Wednesday afternoon and lodged that night at St. Charles which we left early next morning, and after a heavy ride of more than forty miles, we reached sometime after night the house of brother Allen, where we were kindly entertained. The next morning we were early on the road, and drove twenty miles to the town of Danville to dinner. We stopped for an hour or two in the kind family of my old friend, Rev. R. J. Bond. The doctor had waited for us till a few hours before we arrived, when despairing of our arrival he had departed for conference; one of my fine greys had grown so lame, that I had to leave her in charge of my nephew, A. Wynn, and by putting brother Rigg's horse into my carriage was enabled to go ahead. A ride of twenty miles more — part of it over very
139rough roads, brought us after dark to the house of brother Bernard, formerly of Virginia, Brother Bernard had left the Old Dominion several years since but had lost nothing of the old Virginia hospitality. The next morning we were off, in a very heavy fog which hung over us for the first twelve miles, and almost entirely concealed from our view the fine prairie country through which we were passing. We drove to the town of Columbia, in Boone county, where we dined. It is a pleasant little town which derives its principal importance from its being the seat of the University of Missouri. The college edifice is quite a respectable looking building, and the institution is said to be well endowed and ably officered, but still its success is reported to be very limited, the number of students not amounting to more than some sixty or seventy. Why is it that with an ample endowment, fine buildings, pleasant location, and able officers, so small a number of the young men of the state resort to its halls for instruction? May it not in part arise from the singular position taken by those who enacted the laws for its government and continue to watch over its interests?
It is understood that by the statutes of the University, no clergyman can be a member of their Faculty of instruction. Now, it is not for us to say what may have been the design of the wise men who
140framed this wonderful law; but to us it smacks pretty strongly of the old Jeffersonian principle of excluding, as far as possible, the influence of the Christian faith from our institutions of earning under the pretext of keeping out sectarian influence. The enemies of revelation have too much tact to profess a disposition to banish Christianity from the classic halls of the country, but a very important point is gained if in the use of the brief authority which accidental circumstances may have placed in their hands, they can exclude from the halls of literary and scientific instruction, where the future lawgivers of the land are to be educated, the powerful influence of that class of men whose training, habits, and weight of character, would be most likely to exert a decided and powerful influence in favor of the religion of Jesus Christ. I know it is said that all this is necessary to keep out sectarianism from our public institutions. Now this may do to blind the eyes of those who are carried away by sound, or who never look beneath the surface of things; but an intelligent man who takes some pains to scan matters closely will perceive that it is usually a mere catch-word to delude the populace, and that the exclusion of sectarianism, as it is called, is only to make way for absolute skepticism, or, at the best, a perfect indifferentisim. And let me ask, is there nothing sectarian in Deism? The people of Missouri do not seem to be indifferent
141to the subject of education, as the great number of prosperous institutions in the country would seem to demonstrate. They do not, however, all feel this influence to the proper extent, if the testimony of an intelligent gentleman, with whom I lodged subsequently, may be allowed. Speaking of the people of his neighborhood, whom he had tried, in vain, to move to the building of a suitable schoolhouse, "my neighbors," said he, "know as well how to educate mules, and to stuff as much tallow into an ox's hide, as any other people, but on the subject of educating their children it is hard to move them."
We reached Fayette about noon the next day; and one mile beyond we found a kindly welcome in the family of Rev. A. Monroe. At night we preached in town in the chapel of the Howard high school. This institution, it will be recollected, is under the charge of the Missouri conference. The situation is a pleasant one, occupying the most elevated position in the village, and the school edifice has quite an imposing appearance as you enter the town. The building is a convenient and respectable one, if it were only completed. The school has enjoyed a large share of public confidence for some time past, which, it is believed, it bids for still to retain. May abundant success attend it. The next morning found us early on the road, which proved to be, sufficiently hilly for our comfort.
We traveled the Glasgow road, till within some three or four miles of that place, when we turned to the right and crossed Chariton river, not far from the old village of that name, now a mere fragment. The Chariton is not a very large stream, but might probably, with suitable efforts be rendered navigable for steamboats for a considerable distance. We turned directly up the stream, and were soon wending our way through the Missouri bottom, the two rivers at this point, aiming not far apart. Here we traveled a dreary lonely road for miles, with only an occasional habitation, and of the few that we passed, none of them, in appearance, at least, tempted us to stop, although the dining hour had come, and a good dinner would not by either of us have been rejected as an undesirable affair; but just as we were beginning to feel rather blue, quite to the gratification of both ourselves and horses, we entered an extensive prairie, and found ourselves at a tolerably clever-looking house, where we dined. Our landlord manifested a laudable curiosity to know whether Cass or Taylor would be elected President, — to know which way I leaned — what was my business in the far west — and divers other important matters in none of which I could give him satisfaction, except that I was not "hunting for land."
After dinner we traveled over a beautiful prairie road to the town of Brunswick, which we reached
143some time before sunset, and concluded to remain here during the night, and give the people a sermon, which we tried to do to a large and attentive congregation. This is the most northerly town on the Missouri river. It is not a large place, numbering perhaps some thousand or twelve hundred inhabitants, and is situated just below the mouth of Grand. It is said to be improving considerably at present, and if the fine lands on Grand river shall ever become densely populated, it will be a thriving place. The next morning we crossed Grand river, and again found ourselves traveling mostly through prairies. We passed the village of Carrollton and, after a heavy drive, took a late dinner at a house near the Pilot Grove. We had hoped to reach Richmond this evening, but the distance so increased on our hands as we advanced that we were glad to take up about sunset at a house ten miles short of it. We have had most of the day a beautiful road over level prairie, but the dust, oh, the dust! Reader, did you ever travel in a prairie in a warm day, where there had been no rain for two months, and with the wind blowing directly aft? We found our host a warm-hearted Methodist, who entertained us kindly. The next morning we were early on the road. We passed the town of Richmond, and after a heavy drive of more than forty miles over a very hilly country, both our weary steeds and ourselves were very glad to find a
144resting place in the town of Liberty. We lodged in a tavern not remarkable for any thing except its high barges. Some votaries of Bacchus, who had been paying due honor to their divinity, looked as usual next morning, and were complaining of the miserable feelings consequent on a night's debauch, and seemed anxious to know if my personal experience had prepared me to sympathize with them, and appeared not a little surprised when I assured them had never been intoxicated. The older of the two insisted that I ought to make the experiment, just to know how it felt; but I told him this was not according to my philosophy; and so we parted. We had a hilly road, but a ride of thirty miles brought us to Weston about two o'clock. Just as we reached the town the tire flew off one of my wheels; fortunately our journey was ended, so that we suffered no inconvenience. The conference had been in session two days, and all things were progressing peaceably under the presidency of my old friend, Rev. William Patton, in whose kind family lodged during my sojourn in Weston, and to whom, with his excellent wife, I am greatly indebted for their attention to my comfort during my sojourn with them. The town of Weston is situated on the Missouri river; has risen up in a few years; is doing a pretty fair business, and gives evidence of considerable improvement. It is in the midst of what is known as the Platt country, an exceedingly
145broken, hilly country, with an unusually fertile soil, which yields its appropriate productions in great profusion. Thirty or forty miles above is the town of St. Joseph, which is said to be in a much more rapid state of improvement than Westan. It is designed to build a railroad from that point to the town of Hannibal, on the Mississippi river. This, if accomplished, will not only greatly increase the prosperity of both these points, but be of immense advantage to the fine country lying between the two great rivers. Our conference was a pleasant one; the congregations in attendance on the ministrations of the sanctuary were large, and much of the divine presence was realized; and we confidently expect great good will result from the session of the conference. The reports from the various circuits were, on the whole, encouraging, showing a net increase of more than seven hundred members, In its financial operations, too, there was quite a marked improvement, which gives cheering promise of a still better state of things in coming time. The mission collections were, however, sadly deficient. The preachers say they are going to do better; so may it be. Our conference closed on Wednesday morning, and by noon I was off for an appointment twenty-four miles distant in the Delaware nation.
Fort Leavenworth — Kickapoos — Delaware Mission — Preaching through an Interpreter — A Half-Breed Preacher — Anandagerman — A Venerable Chief — A Dastardly Deed.
AT the close of the conference at Weston, I left immediately for the Delaware mission, distant about twenty-five miles, where I had an appointment at candle-light. We crossed the Missouri about two miles below the town; and after a ride of three miles through the bottom, we passed Fort Leavenworth, beautifully situated on a commanding bluff, which overlooks the Missouri river. It has more of the appearance of a handsome village, than a military position. It is, however, well adapted for defence against Indians, the only foe likely to be encountered in these regions; and even from this source there is but little danger to be apprehended now. It is principally important, as it serves as a depository for the property of the United States army, and as a point of departure for the troops destined to operate among the Indians of the far off Western mountains and plains, or those intended for service in Oregon or New Mexico. Hundreds of wagons were there when we passed, and a full complement of the poorest mules I have ever yet seen. These had just returned from service in the Mexican war.
What disposition Uncle Sam will make of all these wretched cattle, is past my calculations: If offered for sale immediately, I should judge they could hardly find purchasers; probably, however, they will be wintered out of the public crib, and retained for farther public service, or sold to the highest bidders, at about half the price of their winter's feed; unless the California fever should open a more profitable market for them. I would fain have spent an hour or two in examining the buildings, but it was after two o'clock, and we had more than twenty miles ahead of us. Our road lay through prairie, and it was a chilly, rainy afternoon, with a brisk wind driving directly in our faces, which made traveling a very uncomfortable affair.
A few miles from the fort we met a party of Indians, mostly Kickapoos, returning from a council, composed of leading men from a number of surrounding tribes, who had met in the Delaware nation, for the purpose of consulting upon the best measures for promoting peace and good neighborhood among themselves. The most of the party looked pleasant and comfortable, and several of them greeted us very good humoredly, as we passed. Brother Russell informed me that some of them were members of our society, and one of them a class-leader. But there was one in the company who seemed to me the very beau ideal
148of a ruthless, untamed savage. He had no garment except a buffalo robe thrown around him, and his fierce, restless eye, and scowling countenance seemed to mark him as one not unused to deeds of blood. We learned subsequently, that he was a Fox Indian. This tribe is wedded to its pagan usages, and has hitherto obstinately refused to receive either missionaries or schools.
The most of the prairie through which we were passing was thinly inhabited; for the last few miles of our afternoon ride, however, the appearance of matters considerably improved. A number of snug farms with comfortable looking houses, indicated an improved attention to the means of domestic comfort. Our guide being but imperfectly acquainted with the way, we took the wrong track, and found ourselves in a path almost impassable for carriages; indeed, I think it questionable whether ours was not the first carriage that had ever attempted to pass over it. However, after considerable difficulty we reached the mission house about dark — weary, and cold and hungry; but a cordial welcome from brother and sister Thaler, a warm fire and a good supper, soon made us feel comfortable and at home. After supper we had to walk half a mile to the mission church, where we found a small company of Delawares assembled, to whom I endeavored to preach through an interpreter, on "Our Father which art in
149heaven." It was my first attempt in this line, and of course it was rather an awkward business. I did my best, however, and fortunately for my bearers my interpreter was himself not only a very superior interpreter, but an excellent preacher; so that he was able, at least in part, to supply my lack of service to his countrymen.
His name is James Ketchum, a half-breed; he has the reputation of being an intelligent man, an excellent preacher, and what is best of all, a very exemplary Christian. I could not understand any thing that he said, but in gesture and manner he was certainly one of the most easy and graceful speakers I have ever listened to. In the morning I was visited by two of the Delaware sisters, — mother and daughter. The old lady, I think, was the first convert among the Delawares, and has been an exemplary and devoted Christian ever since; she seems to be strong in faith and waiting patiently for her change to come. Her husband was a man of considerable note in his nation, but withal a most abandoned drunkard. When his wife became a Christian he persecuted her pretty sorely for a time, but at length it pleased God to open his eyes to the utter worthlessness of paganism. He sought the Lord with all his heart, and God granted him the blessing he sought, even a new heart. He abandoned heathenism and drunkenness together, and became at once a Christian and a sober man.
This abandonment of me customs of his fathers gave great offence to his pagan countrymen, and they resolved on his destruction. About that time there was a great deal of sickness among the Indians, and a goodly number died. This, it was alleged, was his work; he was charged with having killed these people by means of some invisible agency connected with his new religion. A council was convened, and the venerable old chief was summoned to appear before them. They told him that he had been killing their people long enough, and that they could bear with him no longer; that his time had come, the hatchet was bright and sharp, and he must die. The old man stood before them calm and unmoved; not a feature of his countenance gave sign of uneasiness, for there was no fear in his heart. He looked up to heaven, knowing in whom he believed. "I am not afraid to die," said he; "you can take my life if you choose, but as to killing your people, I have no power to do it if I would, and if I had the power to do it, my religion forbids me. It teaches me to hate nobody, to do nobody any harm, but to love every body, and do them all the good I can." For some time his life seemed to tremble in the balance, but finally his enemies told him that they would try him a little longer, but that if certain leading men among them died they would instantly put him to death. Thus was he delivered from his enemies,
151and it pleased God not long after to remove his servant from farther trials. The venerable Anandagerman was translated to the paradise of God.
I regretted very much that I had no time to visit the venerable Captain Ketchum, the head chief of the Delaware nation. He is represented as a very dignified and venerable old man, of about eighty years of age. He, too, was once a confirmed drunkard, but many years since he became a Christian and a tee-totaller; he has ever since been a sober man, and a consistent and devoted Christian. May God shine brighter and brighter upon his pathway, till life's pilgrimage ends in glorious triumph The Delawares were very slow to receive the gospel as preached by our missionaries; and even now although we have a tolerable society among them embracing many excellent members, yet there is; very considerable party who adhere pertinaciously; to their pagan customs. It will be remembered by those conversant with the earlier history of our country, that a great while ago a band of ruthless and cowardly white men broke in upon the peaceful settlements of Moravian Delawares, and murdered in cold blood, men, women, and children. The history of this dastardly deed has been faithfully transmitted from generation to generation, and has been used with considerable effect by the pagan Indians in opposition to missionary effort.
Kansas — Fort Leavenworth Manual Labor School — A Wolf Chase — Wyandotte Mission — Various Tribes — Savage Life — Indian Agents.
WE left the Delaware mission-house on Thursday morning, and a ride of four miles brought us to the Caw or Kansas river, which, at this place, is the dividing line between the Delawares and Shawnees. The ferry is owned jointly by the two nations. We had passed some very tine country in the Delaware nation, and the soil of the Kansas bottom is rich. After passing out of the bottom we encountered some rather lofty hills, and entered on a beautiful prairie country. We passed the Quaker establishment, a very neat and prosperous looking farm. It is said they get on well with their educational and farming operations, but it is believed they have succeeded, to a very limited extent, in the establishment of their peculiar religious usages. Passing in some distance farther in the midst of one of the most lovely farming countries I have seen, we passed near the church and camp ground of the Shawnee mission; and five or six miles farther brought us about noon to the Fort Leavenworth Manual Labor School, where we were kindly received by our old friend, Rev. Thomas Johnson,
153the superintendent of the establishment. As this is the most important point connected with our work in this region, it will be proper to bestow upon it a somewhat extended notice.
We had established a mission among the Shawnees and had been laboring among them for some time with an encouraging measure of success, when the United States Government proposed to establish an institution on the manual labor plan, designed for the education of the children of a considerable number of the surrounding tribes, in which the children were to be instructed in the elementary branches of an English education; in addition to which the boys were to be instructed in various mechanic arts and farming, and the girls to be taught the several branches of house-wifery, such as spinning, weaving, cutting, and making garments, and so on. This institution they proposed to place under the care of the Church, on certain conditions, and a handsome appropriation was to be made annually for its support from funds in the hands of the Government belonging to the various Indian tribes in its vicinity. The institution is conveniently located in the midst of a fertile and beautiful prairie. It has an abundant supply of excellent water from ever-running springs, and it is said the place has proved to be exceedingly healthy. There are three large and convenient brick buildings; one for the superintendent's
154family, and a steward's hall for the boys, affording also lodging-rooms for the hands employed about the farm. Some fifty yards distant is another brick building, occupied as a school-room for the boys. Including also a chapel and a number of lodging rooms. On the other side of the street, and at a considerable distance from the two former, is another large brick building designed for the girls; besides these, there is an ample supply of the necessary out-buildings, giving to the whole establishment the air of a clever, thriving village. There are a wagon-maker's shop, a black-smith's shop, a steam, saw, and grist mill, which formerly supplied the Indians from all the surrounding country with flour; but as there are other mills springing up in the neighborhood, we have judged it best to curtail the expenses of this department, by reducing the operations of the mill to some two or three days in the week. The farm is one of the most extensive, and well-managed that I have ever seen, amounting to some five or six hundred acres. The stock is of the finest description, and the whole establishment under the discreet management of our friend Johnson, promises to be all its friends could reasonably expect. On Friday we rode over the farm, and on Saturday morning, while walking about the establishment, we saw a company of men singularly equipped, passing just below the mill. We understood they were a part
155of Col. Fremont's company; and, as I had a great curiosity to see how such a company, entering on such a tour, would be accoutred; and as I had, moreover, quite a strong desire to see the distinguished leader, for whose intelligence and enterprise, and general character, I had been inspired with a very high respect by his previous exploring tours, brother Johnson and myself saddled our horses and started in pursuit; but we were too late. The cavalcade was too far ahead for us to overtake them without a pretty long chase; so we were reluctantly compelled to abandon our object.
Just as we were reconciling ourselves to our disappointment, we espied on the prairie at some half a mile's distance, a company of men and dogs in full chase. "A wolf chase," said my friend, "let us join them;" and immediately he was in full gallop, and what could I do but follow him? My friend swept over the prairie as though he were accustomed to it, but I could not divest myself of a certain sense of uneasiness as to the fate of my neck among the holes and salamander hills which abound in the prairie; so I slackened my pace. I could not help feeling that there was something ludicrous in our appearance. We were, neither of us, very small men; brother J. weighs about two hundred and thirty pounds, and his companion something short of two hundred; neither of us in very fine plight for playing the
156active; and, perhaps, some of your grave readers may question whether it was quite canonical for a bishop and a priest to engage so heartily in the amusement of hunting. Now, I am not going to enter into any sober argument on the subject. I don't think my friend felt any qualms about it, as the wolf was a common enemy, and had, no doubt, many a meal of nice fat pig, at the expense of the mission farm; and for myself I had long wished to examine a prairie wolf. We were not in at the death, but we were on the spot time enough to see the object of our pursuit. The prairie wolf is in its form and appearance not unlike the fox, only it is larger, and the color I think darker. They are very numerous in the prairies, and very destructive to pigs and lambs, so that there is no good understanding between them and the farmers. At night they may be heard single or in companies, their howl is very much like that of the common wolf.
As I had an appointment to preach on Sabbath at the Wyandott mission church, distant some eight or nine miles, I left after dinner in company with brother Hurlburt. We passed through Westport, a thriving village in Jackson county, Missouri, about three miles from the Manual Labor School; about four miles beyond which, we came to the town of Kansas, situated on the Missouri river near the mouth of the Kansas. It is a newly
157established town, and although the site is a very unsightly one, being a perfect pile of steep hills, yet I think it is destined to be a thriving, prosperous place for business. It is surrounded by a very rich country, and is, I believe, the most western town on the Missouri river. Passing on through the town a ride of about a mile brought us to the Kansas river, which we crossed, and a mile or two farther brought us to the Wyandott mission, where we were welcomed by brother E. T. Peery, the resident missionary.
In the evening I had a visit from brother Francis A. Hicks, the principal chief of the Wyandotts, as also from brother Little Chief, and Mr. William Walker. We spent the evening quite agreeably. I enquired of the chief as to whether his people were increasing or otherwise. He said that when they first removed to their present location, for some time they decreased, but that for the last year or two since they had been induced to turn their attention more generally to the cultivation of their farms, and had built them comfortable houses, they were steadily on the increase. On Sabbath morning I attended the Sabbath school. I found a tolerable school, under the superintendence of brother John Armstrong and his wife, who is a white woman, the daughter of Rev. Russell Bigelow, formerly of the Ohio Conference, a noble and excellent man, long since gone to his rest in heaven.
Mrs. A. strikingly resembles her father. Her husband is a half-breed, educated and respectable. He is said to be a good deal under the influence of his wife, which is certainly quite to their mutual credit, if the maxim be a sound one that all good wives govern their husbands. Mr. A. is believed to be the active moving spirit of the northern movement, which is, I fear, destined to blight the prospects of religion, and destroy the peace of the Wyandott nation for years to come. At the appointed hour I endeavored to preach, brother Armstrong interpreting for me. We had a large and attentive congregation and some feeling; the Lord grant that good may come of it. After preaching I dined at the house of Mr. Walker, whose wife is a white woman, and an exemplary member of our church. His daughters are intelligent and genteel girls. Mr. W. himself is a highly intelligent man, well educated, fluent and interesting in conversation; and is particularly at home on all subjects connected with the history and usages of his countrymen. He is the secretary of the Wyandott council, and is reputed the best interpreter in the nation. When the Wyandotts sold their lands in Ohio to the General Government, they purchased from the Delawares a tract of country on which they are now settled. Their present number is, I think, about seven hundred, and they have avoided that bane of Indian improvement, too much
159territory. They have just about land enough to furnish farms for all the families of the nation, making a reasonable allowance for their probable increase. They have a good brick church, and a respectable society. Oh, what a pity that any thing should have occurred to disturb their harmony, or stop the peaceful progress of religion and civilization? As a nation, the Wyandotts are, perhaps, more generally Christianized and civilized than any of the northwestern tribes.
It was a very rainy afternoon, and the road exceedingly slippery; and, moreover, I should have been greatly pleased to spend at least a week in visiting among the Indians, but it was indispensable that we should leave the Manual Labor School on Monday morning, in order to reach the Indian conference in time; so we wended our way through mud and rain back to the Shawnee mission, which we reached weary and wet just before dark. And now that we are just on the point of leaving this part of our great mission field, it may not be out of place to make a few more general remarks in reference to the Indians in this region and our work among them. We have said already that the Fort Leavenworth School was established with a view to benefit the children of a considerable number of tribes who occupy this portion of country, and I think they have had in the institution at different times children from some ten or twelve different
160tribes — Wyandotts, Shawnees, Delawares, Kickapoos, Peorias, Pottawottamies, and several others; since the establishment of this school, however, other schools have sprung up in various places, so that the number of pupils is not as great as in its earlier history. There is still, however, a respectable number in attendance, amounting, I think, to about one hundred. Most of the tribes in this region are small, and decidedly on the decrease; some of them, I fear, destined to an early extinction.
This may be attributed to several causes: such of them as still depend on the chase for support, and pursue the wandering life of hunters, find this source of supply too precarious to afford them half the necessary sustenance; and their contiguity to the white settlements gives them the coveted supply of whisky; and for this the wild Indian will generally barter every thing he has on earth. The dram-seller usually pockets all the profits of the Indian's hunting, and then the poor child of the forest, half starved and almost naked, must either beg or steal. Failing to succeed sufficiently in the former, he is pretty sure to resort to the latter, and failing in every means to obtain the necessary supplies, without comfortable shelter and food when well, and devoid of proper attendance when sick, the children meet a premature grave, and the adults, a large portion of them under the combined influence of hunger, nakedness, and
161intemperance, perish long before they reach a green old age; so that their numbers are annually decreasing. There is a cause at work, too, very adverse to the prosperity, of most of the tribes, which I had not seriously thought of till my recent visit to this country brought it fully to my notice. In almost every instance these small tribes have too much wasteland. I am fully persuaded that it is a great misfortune to any body of Indians, to have much more country than is sufficient to give to each family a good farm, making a reasonable allowance for the probable increase of the tribe. The Indians, like their white neighbors, are very fond of moving about; but unlike the white man, the Indian has rarely sufficient enterprise to turn his move to a profitable account, and frequently the cause of the gospel is injured, when a few Christian families remove from the neighborhood of their pious brethren and their pastor, and, in search of some supposed advantage of good land, or more abundant game, settle themselves far from the means of grace, and in the midst of pagans. The result has but too often been what very generally follows when civilized men place themselves in similar circumstances. If we would civilize and convert the Indians, it seems to me to be indispensable that they should be so circumstanced as to shut them up to the necessity of personal effort, Each one must have a home of his own, and
162proper efforts must be made to awaken in his mind and heart, those principles and affections which will prompt to vigorous efforts to render that home comfortable and pleasant.
A great deal has been said, and written, and sung, about the primitive excellence of the Indian and his entire freedom from all desire for those luxuries which are supposed to have deteriorated the character of civilized man; and one would suppose, from the utterances of a certain class of writers, that they would regard the world's retrogression to a state of primitive savageism, as the grand advent of its millenium. But we confess to the influence of no such sentimentalism. In our view, to adopt the language of one whose position enabled him to understand well their character, and than whom the red man has not a more devoted friend in these lands, "I declare that I know nothing in the character of savage man which we ought to wish retained." We must create in him a sense of want before we can properly elevate him. To accomplish this, nothing is so effectual as to surround him with the living examples of practical industry, and the benefits and comforts it bestows on its votaries. Hence the policy of isolating them from immediate neighborhood and intercourse with people whose superior intelligence, industry, and comfort, might exert a powerful influence over them, is, to my mind, exceedingly
163doubtful; but of this, more hereafter. In any plan for improving the condition of the Indians, the concurrence and assistance of the government agents will be found indispensable. Hence the importance of appointing suitable men to that highly responsible office. An Indian agent should certainly be a man of sound principle, of sterling integrity, of sound morals, at least; nay, he ought to be one who fears God and who discharges the duties of his office, not simply for its emoluments, but who is a genuine philanthropist, and labors most earnestly for the improvement and happiness of the interesting and helpless charge committed to his care. It sometimes happens, however, that but little heed is given to these high moral qualifications, and men are appointed to these agencies as a reward for their active political partizanship. We do not design in these remarks any reflection upon the agents now in office; the superintendent of the western agencies, Major Harvey, is a Christian gentleman, and a faithful officer, who, we believe, seeks, by all practicable means, the happiness of the Indians, and we heard an excellent report of Major Cummins. Indeed, we take great pleasure in saying that the government is doing what they deem the best for the happiness of the red man; and we trust the change in the administration will make no change in the head of the Indian department; and if our wishes upon this
164subject are realized, we shall begin to have faith, in the promises made by presidential candidates before their election.
Shawnees and Delawares — Decrease of Members — Kickapoos — Pottawottamies — Schools — Traders — Evidences of Improvement — Christianity the only hope for the Indian.
THE Shawnees number about a thousand or twelve hundred souls, and the Delawares probably about the same. We have a respectable society in each nation, but there is still in both a strong party who are irreligious. The progress of the gospel for some years past has been exceedingly slow; indeed, it is questionable whether, for the last four or five years there has been any apparent increase. The most of the old members continue firm, and there are every year conversions and auditions to the church; but it is likely we have done little more than hold our own. Among the smaller tribes in this region, the case is still more gloomy. In some places where a few years since we had considerable societies, we now return not a single member, so that in looking over the statistics of the late Indian conference, there will be perceived a considerable decrease in the numbers returned from this district. This is to be accounted
165for in part by the unsettled condition of the Indians; and death, too, has been busy in thinning our ranks. This was particularly the ease in reference to the Pottawotamies. The returns of the previous year gave us, I think, some fifty or sixty members in that nation; at the late conference, the return was not more than half a dozen. When I asked what could be the meaning of this great falling off, I was told that some thirty or forty of the number had died, most of them in peaceful triumph, and of the rest, the greater part had (in consequence of our withdrawal of the missionary from the tribe) connected themselves with the Baptist mission. But, although the causes have both contributed to bring about the result above named, yet it behooves us to seek diligently and honestly to see if there be no other cause — whether there has not been a want of pastoral enterprise and industry. The church can succeed no where, to any great extent, except in her aggressive character. But among Indians especially there is no hope or help without it. A pastor who is content to stay with his family at the misssion-house, and visit in the immediate neighborhood, and attend the regular appointments in the mission chapel, will never succeed to any great extent in carrying the gospel into their midst, and planting its victorious banner upon the battlements of a dark and imbruting paganism. A missionary,
166to be successful among the Indians, must be, not only a man of decided piety and great prudence, but he must be a bold, decided, persevering minister of Jesus Christ, one who is always laying plans for extending his labors into every place where there is even a forlorn hope of success, and endeavoring to carry out these plans zealously and promptly.
The Kickapoos occupy the country immediately opposite to Weston. They are said to raise a good deal of corn, and of course pay some attention to agriculture. There was some few years since a respectable membership returned from this tribe, by means of a mistaken policy, which, I fear, has acted unfortunately in more than one of our Indian missions. Under the influence of a powerful excitement, large numbers of those who, but a short time before were pagans, are admitted into society, and returned as members before they are sufficiently instructed in the nature and obligations of their new religion. The result is, they are apt to relapse into their old notions and usages. It has been so to a considerable extent with the Kickapoos, I think We number now some thirty members. Last year they were under the charge of a Shawnee, who acted as a sort of sub-lieutenant under Armstrong and Gray Eyes, in getting up the late northern breeze. This year we have sent them a preacher, but the great difficulty of getting a suitable
167interpreter will, I fear, render his residence among them of comparatively but little value.
The Pottawotamies are, perhaps, much more numerous than the tribes above named. We had formerly a missionary among them, but at the conference before the last he was removed, and the little flock which had been gathered was abandoned and left pretty much as sheep without a shepherd. During the past year one who was probably the greatest and best of the Pottawotamies, was removed from earth, Rev. Machlnaw Boaschman; — a man of rare gifts and ardent and consistent piety, he died in peaceful hope of a joyful resting place in heaven. He was a member of the Indian Mission conference, and was greatly beloved and respected by his brethren. I wish some one who knew him long and intimately would take the trouble to give us a full portrait of the character of this excellent man. The Pottawottamies have a large school fund to be appropriated to the education of their children. This sum, I think, is divided between two schools, one conducted by the Baptists, the other by the Roman Catholics.
The Caw or Kansas Indians are quite numerous, but have been hitherto a wild and savage race. We are about establishing among them a mission, and a school under the patronage of the government, which will probably be ready to go into operation by the next session of the Indian conference.
Large sums of money are annually disbursed by the United States government among the tribes in this vicinity. This might prove a great blessing to the Indians, and probably it is so in some cases but it too often furnishes the Indian with the means of supplying his wants independently of personal effort, which is generally a curse to men, whether they be white or red, or of any other color. There is one tribe, the Miamis, I believe, whose annuity is so large and their number so small, (not over two hundred) that some families receive as much as a thousand dollars per annum. The influence of all this upon their habits and character is such as to promise the early extinction of the tribe. The traders used, in years gone by, to fob the most of this cash, and would do so still if the government agents were not men of integrity and vigilance. Only suppose the agent to have been corrupt and accessible to the gold of the trader, and the thing was fixed. For instance, the trader sold a large quantity of goods at a most enormous profit to Indians. Many of whom he knew would never pay him. When the payment of annuities came round, he presented his account against the nation, and demanded payment out of the annuities. The agent, who may have been partner in the speculation, decided the case. What might be expected from such a judge? A long time ago it was said that just such a case occurred; a trader in one of
169the smaller tribes had sold goods as above stated, and brought in his bill at annuity day. It was presented, and the matter stated by the government interpreter. One of the chiefs rose and earnestly protested against the injustice proposed; but in the midst of his speech the agent directed the interpreter to say that they had consented to pay it.
But, perhaps, some are ready to ask what good effect has been produced among the Indians by the large establishment of which I have been speaking. Our success has not, by any means, equalled our wishes, nor has it, perhaps, been as great as some of the most sanguine friends of the enterprise had expected; yet it has, perhaps, been fully equal to what sober, reflecting men, who understand the character of the Indians, and the nature of the obstacles to be overcome, had anticipated. To educate an Indian, to train him to habits of industry, and to engraft upon this wild olive tree the shoots of Christianity and civilization, is no easy task, nor is it the work of a few days or months. It is a work of labor and of patient, pains-taking perseverance. It is emphatically a work of faith and a labor of love. The seed must be sown, and the laborer must be content to work on, and wait patiently for the early and the latter rain. Great good has, doubtless, resulted from the operations of the Manual Labor School. A large number of youth have received here the elements of learning
170and have obtained, besides, the knowledge of farming, and of the mechanic arts, which, in many instances, they have turned to good account when they have gone back to their respective tribes. A considerable number of the girls, too, have been taught the various branches of housewifery, and have turned their knowledge to good advantage in their own families, quite to the benefit of their husbands and children.
Now, these influences are to tell, silently it may be, but still efficiently, upon the generation to whom the destiny of the tribes to which they belong must be committed. The traveler, as he passes along through the Shawnee nation, particularly, cannot fail to witness with pleasure some of the evidences of improvement and prosperity. He will see scores of snug looking farms, with comfortable houses; and on most of them I noticed as I passed, a good ox-wagon and team. These, they not only use themselves, but they do a great deal of hauling for the merchants of the border towns, and especially for the traders. Brother Johnson informed me that the Indians had done more than a thousand dollars worth of hauling for one team in the course of the year. Brother Ward, the wagon-maker, told me that when he first took charge of the shop, some three or four years before, it was impossible to get a Shawnee into the shop. They would come to the door and peep in; but now, said he, nothing
171is more common than for them to come in and give particular directions about making their wagons, describing minutely how they wish the work done, even to the size of the boxes. Another thing I learned, which is to my mind a very strong indication of improvement. It is said that the Shawnees treat their women with a great deal more consideration than formerly. They begin to regard them as designed for their companions and equals, rather than their slaves and burden-bearers. The apellation of wife is superseding the old savage one of squaw. If this report be correct, it is certainly one of the strongest proofs of the advancing spread of proper principles. But above all the other fruits of our establishment, scores of the children have been converted to God, many of whom still remain steadfast pillars in the church of God, and have gone forth to different tribes, carrying the leaven of truth with them.
Upon the whole, it is our deliberate judgment, that if the system of education upon the manual labor plan does not succeed in connection with the preaching of the gospel, in enlightening and converting the Indians, there is then no hope for them. There are numerous tribes on the upper Missouri, to whom no missionary has as yet been sent, and who are thoroughly imbruted pagans. Indeed if the report of the traders can be relied on, some of them are not only pagans but cannibals,
172Brother Johnson informed me, that one of the traders told him in the course of the past year, that the Sioux Indians had broken in upon a village of the Omahaws and carried off a number of children whom they subsequently killed and ate; and that the Omahaws were anxious to get some of their children into the school, to place them beyond the reach of their enemies.
Arkansas — A quiet Resting Place — Boston Mountain — Mules — Natural Mill-Dam — Van Buren — Little Rock Conference at Pine Bluff — Judge McGehee — Settlers from Georgia and North Carolina — Sons of Temperance.
OUR conference closed on Monday morning, and we took our leave of the kind family, which had entertained us so comfortably, and wended our way into the state of Arkansas. After riding some ten or twelve miles, we reached the pleasant and quiet residence of my old friend, Rev. John Harrell, of the Arkansas conference. His home is in Washington county, in a retired, fertile valley near the Boston mountain. The country is generally hilly, with a considerable sprinkling of good land, especially in the valleys. It is a plentiful country; yielding, in abundant profusion, corn, wheat, and oats, and a full supply of fruit, both wild and tame.
We had resolved on resting a few days, as by this time I began to feel that a little respite from travel and labor would be more than welcome; and we found ourselves fortunate in having fallen upon go pleasant a resting place. We met a kindly Christian welcome from brother H. and his excellent wife, whose kind attentions made our stay with them comfortable and happy. I had an opportunity to preach at the school house near by, on Thursday; the weather was dark and rainy, but we had a tolerable congregation, to whom I endeavored to proclaim the gospel of the grace of God. The people were attentive, and there was some feeling among them. I trust that some good was effected. It was the first time that many of my hearers had ever seen a Bishop. As I had an appointment to preach the following Sabbath in Van Buren, I left for that place on Friday morning, leaving brother H. to follow us on Saturday. We crossed the Boston mountain early in the day, and for nearly twenty miles our route lay mostly down a very rocky valley, with mountains pressing us on one or both sides of the way. Emerging from this valley we rose to a considerable elevated country, and our road lay during the most of the rest of the way, along a high and poor country with only an occasional farm. We passed, during the day, some thousand or twelve hundred mules; these, we learned, belonged to the United States, and
174were on their way from Fort Smith to Port Leavenworth. I suppose they were going to re-inforce the army of barebones which we had passed a few weeks before at the upper fort. As we were jogging on pretty leisurely, I saw a couple of wagons ahead; when we came up, a plain looking traveler hailed us with an inquiry as to the road to Texas. "Where are you from?" said I. "Iowa," said he. "And where bound to?" "To Red river county in Texas." "Had a long route, eh?" "Only tolerable; got about two hundred miles ahead of us." "How far have you traveled?" "Only four or five hundred." "The country you are going to, is rather warmer than the one you have left?" "That's the very thing I am after." "Pretty cold where you lived, was it?" "Oh the ice only froze three feet and a half." So judging this was a respectable thickness, we jogged on. During our ride to-day, I was struck with what to me seemed quite a curiosity. We crossed a tolerable sized creek, and just above the ford there was an old mill-house. We walked to the spot, and discovered a natural dam, a rock some five or six feet high stretching entirely across the stream, insomuch that all that was necessary was to make out a sufficient race through the rock on one side, to convey the water to the wheel. The dam was an admirable one, and of course not likely soon to rot down. The greater
175part of our route to-day, was over a very rough road so that I was not at all sorry when late in the afternoon we drove into the town of Van Buren, and found agreeable quarters in the family of Mr. Wallace.
On Friday night I was quite unwell; but rose on Saturday morning resolved to shake off my uncomfortable feelings; but I was soon compelled to take my bed, and passed a very sick day. My disease was something resembling cholera-morbus, which disqualified me for filling my appointment on the Sabbath. I shall not soon forget the kindness of my friendly host and his lady, nor the polite attentions of Dr. Stevenson, who kindly administered to my relief. The town of Van Buren stands directly on the banks of the Arkansas river. It probably has some thousand inhabitants, and does a respectable business. If the river was fairly navigable for any considerable portion of the year, its prosperity might be greatly increased. A short distance above is Fort Smith which is said to be a place of brisk business, and there is consequently considerable rivalry between the two places. The most of the Indian trade, it is said, centres at Fort Smith. We have a small and growing society in both places, the two points being united under the pastoral oversight of one preacher. They ought, by all means, to have a house of worship for our people in each place, and they have commenced
176the building of one in Van Buren; it is to be hoped they will succeed. On Monday morning we left Van Buren, although I was feeble and quite unwell, which rendered my ride a most uncomfortable one. However, we rode some twenty miles or more, and stopped at a public house kept by a Dr. Williams, a clever, friendly man, originally from Wales, and a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. On Tuesday morning we took the road for Clarksville, a pretty heavy ride for a sick man. We essayed to get lodgings at the house of a very clever brother some ten miles short of Clarksville, but our hospitable friend encouraged us so feebly, that we decided to push ahead. About dark we reached the village, and found a cordial welcome and comfortable restingplace, at the house of brother Rogers. There was a house full of people at the church waiting to hear the Bishop; but Bro. Harrell had to fill the pulpit in my place. Some five years since I attended a conference at this town; but it has greatly improved since that time. It has now a number of pretty good-looking houses, and several respectable stores. We have a tolerably good society and a house of worship, I believe the only one in the town.
On Saturday evening we reached the capital of Arkansas, and took lodging at the house of my old friend, brother Sanger. My health had
177considerably improved, so that on Sabbath morning and night I endeavored to preach the word of God to large and attentive congregations. Little Rock has apparently made but small advancement since I visited it last; there is, however, some appearance of improvement. The Presbyterians are building a good Church, the Episcopalians and Catholics have houses of worship; and we worship in the same brick church that we occupied five years since. We have a pretty good society, and a respectable congregation. The state legislature was in session when I was there; for some time previous to my arrival, the legislature and the whole country had been greatly excited on the subject of electing two United States senators. There was, of course, no lack of candidates, each of whom judged himself well qualified to occupy that important and responsible position, and rallied around him a party more or less numerous, of devoted friends. Repeated efforts had been made without success, so that at the time I was there they were, by common consent, resting on their oars to get breath for another tug. Alas, for poor human nature; here were men moving heaven and earth to obtain a little earthly distinction, who could, perhaps, scarcely afford to bestow a single day's consideration on the imperishable interests of their immortality; and among them was one who might be supposed to have had a full share of worldly
178distinction, who had occupied for years a seat in the senate of the nation, and who had just returned from discharging the duties of a highly responsible and delicate mission abroad; yet he was panting eagerly for the farther continuance of honor although life was evidently ebbing out, and it was obvious to all that the account of his stewardship must soon be given up to the Great Judge. Alas, poor man! he lost his earthly election, and in a few short weeks his home was in the dust.
On Monday morning, in company with several of the preachers, we started for Pine Bluff, the seat of the Arkansas conference, distant about fifty miles. Our road lay through a country almost uninhabited, and likely so to continue for some time to come. It affords a good range for cattle and for deer, of which last great numbers are annually destroyed. It was exceedingly rough, but after a few mishaps, and the breaking one spring of my carriage, we reached Pine Bluff by dinner time on Tuesday, and found the preachers pretty generally assembled for conference, which commenced next morning. The village of Pine Bluff is the seat of justice for Jefferson county. It is situated directly on the bank of the Arkansas river, and is said to occupy the site of an old Quapaw village. It is a very small town, though it gives evident indications of improvement. There are several stores, and the place is said to do a pretty decent business, which
179is decidedly increasing. We have a good society, and a neat and comfortable chapel. The lands below the Bluff are said to very fine, as rich as one might desire, and producing "any quantity" of cotton per acre. Of course the country on the river is settled mainly by wealthy planters, with numbers of slaves, opening an important field for missionary efforts, which we have made some attempt to occupy. So far as I could ascertain, the door is open; most of the planters being perfectly willing to receive our missionaries on their plantations.
Our conference went on rapidly and pleasantly; there was much harmony and good feeling among the preachers; and the presence of God was realized to a considerable extent in the congregations. The past year has been rather a prosperous one throughout the conference district, The returns show an increase of fourteen hundred members. In their financial matters, however, they are sadly out of joint, their conference and missionary collections being distressingly small. I came near scolding, but the preachers talked like behaving very cleverly this year, and we let them off very gently. I have known the Arkansas conference from its commencement, having attended its second session; and I have visited it repeatedly since. My interest in its success has been deep and abiding; and although its prosperity has not been equal to my wishes, yet it has been steadily onward. The
180population of the state has greatly increased, and in our ministry there has been a decided increase both as to numbers and talents. To be sure there is great room still for improvement both among the preachers and people; but then that improvement is constantly and steadily advancing; and I have no doubt the Arkansas conference will, ere long compare favorably with her southern or southwestern sisters. Some twelve or fifteen of us lodged in the family of Gen. ——-, to whose kind hospitality, and that of his lady, we were laid under many and lasting obligations. May God abundantly reward them here, but especially may they be led into the paths that conduct to heaven.
On Monday our business was finished, and by one o'clock we left Pine Bluff, hoping, if God will, to visit it again some of these days, if the river does not drive the town from its moorings, of which there is, at least, a possibility. After a ride of eighteen miles over a country mostly low and flat, we found comfortable quarters for the night at the house of Brother Hudson. Our friend appeared pleased with his new home. The land does not look so fertile as much that I passed over, but our host told us that he expected to average twelve hundred pounds of cotton to the acre. We found one serious drawback on this country in the character of the water we had to drink. We were told, however, that we had not tasted, by any means, the
181best specimens of the article which the country affords. The next morning a ride of some eight miles over a country of variegated appearance, brought us to the house of Judge McGehee, late of Noxubee county, Mississippi, now residing in Bradly county, Arkansas. He has lived here a year or two, and seems quite pleased with his new residence. It seems the frequent visits of the worm to the cotton-fields on the prairies of Mississippi, drove him to seek a country where there was at least, a reasonable hope of avoiding, to a great extent, this fearful scourge of the cotton planter He thinks he has found this desirable location Time will test how far his conjecture is correct My good cousin, his wife, is as much dissatisfied a her husband is pleased. She thinks the country in its present circumstances, a very unfavorable one to bring up her children in, because of the intemperance and irreligion of her neighbors; and I should be strongly inclined to concur with her in opinion, but the Judge says these objections are losing force every year, as a better class of population is steadily pouring into the country. He said they had just let out the contract for building a church and a hall for the Sons of Temperance, of which they were about organizing a division. Success to both enterprises; for the salvation of the country, I am fully satisfied, depends on their triumph.
I endeavored to preach at night to a pretty decent congregation collected on a short notice; and the next morning took the road for Princeton, in Dallas county. It was a dark, stormy morning; but we had no time to parley. After traveling about three miles, we crossed the Sabine river at Merriwether ferry. This is rather a small river, though there seemed to be a good depth of water. It is said the only obstacle to its navigation by steamboats, is the overhanging timber, which can be easily removed, and will be as soon as the fertile lands in its neighborhood shall be brought into cultivation. This will, no doubt, take place in the course of a few years. We passed during the forenoon the settlement of the Markses, a family originally from Georgia. They live in the midst of a very fine body of land, exceedingly valuable, of which the old gentleman is said to possess several thousand acres. A few miles beyond brought us to the Moro Swamp, several miles wide, concerning which I have only to say that I hope never to pass it again, except in better weather, and over improved roads. It was growing late when we escaped from the aforesaid swamp and we began to feel some anxiety as to a lodging palace for the night. We were all strangers to the country, and the houses were small, and few and far between. At length, about sunset, we drove up to a cabin and found entertainment with a plain,
183industrious man, who charged us only half price. Next morning a few hours ride brought us to the village of Princeton, the seat of justice for Dallas county. We dined with Col. Dorich, and after dinner we rode to the neighborhood of Brownsville, some eight miles distant, and spent the night in the very pleasant family of Col. Morris Smith. Our host was, I think, originally from North Carolina, whence he removed to the western district of Tennessee, and after a sojourn of several years there, he removed some few years since to this neighborhood. He seems quite satisfied and pleased with his new home; and I see no reason why he should be otherwise. He is settled on a beautiful ridge, extending several miles in length, with excellent water, fine health, good lands plentiful in the neighborhood, not the richest, but very productive, and the society as good as can be found anywhere, an industrious, independent population, receiving constant accessions of moral and religious people. Indeed I was strongly tempted to cast anchor there myself, and I should very likely have decided to do so, if my friends could have gone with me; but since my return home, I have ascertained that this cannot be done.
The next morning, December 1, we had a snowstorm commencing about day-light, and continuing till about two o'clock. It was not an inviting day for traveling, but I had left an appointment for
184preaching at Princeton, so I mounted on horse back and rode forward to fill it. I reached Princeton cold and wet, but a cordial welcome, and a good fire at the house of brother Dortch, soon made me comfortable. After dinner I preached to a little company in the court house. We found here Rev. J. N. Maffit, and lodged in the same room with him. He was pleasant in conversation but I think has no special veneration for certain northern doctors. We have a pretty good society at Princeton, and, indeed, from all I could learn, the neighborhood in the vicinity of the village, is orderly, industrious, and considerably religious. Col. D. told me, that a few days before, a man drove up his wagon with his family, and camped near town. He came into the store, and asked Col. D. if he thought a grocery would do well in that place. We have one now, said Col. D., which is barely breathing. "Are there any Sons of Temperance here?" asked the stranger. A very thriving Division, was the reply. "Well is there any land for sale in this neighborhood?" Plenty of it. "Well then, I think, I'll buy me a piece and go to work; for," said he, "I kept a grocery in Lebanon, Tennessee, and was making money, and doing well, till a feller came along, and formed a Division of the Sons of Temperance, and in three months I was nearly ruined. Then I found a man who was a bigger fool than I was; he offered me
185a stock of dry goods for my groceries; I peddled off the dry goods, and thought I'd come out here and establish a grocery; but if them Sons of Temperance are here, I'll buy a piece of land and go to work!" I commend all dram-sellers to pursue the same course.
Camden — Gen. Woodward — An Extraordinary Day — Louisville — Preaching in a Tavern — Shreveport — Marshall — Thrilling History of an Early Settler — Sabine River — Arrival at Henderson.
ON Saturday morning, we left Princeton for Camden, distant thirty-two miles, where there was an appointment for me to preach on the Sabbath. We passed through some fine country, and a good deal which would not compare so favorably, and about dusk reached Camden and found lodging at a house kept by a brother Tarwater, whence, however, we were removed after supper, and found a very pleasant home, during our brief stay, in the hospitable family of Gen. Woodward, formerly of Tuskegee, Ala. The General and his lady were both absent, but we lacked for no comfort or attention which the kindness of his son and daughter-in-law could furnish. On the Sabbath I endeavored to hold forth the word of life to a large
186and attentive congregation, and in the afternoon heard a very good sermon from Rev. Mr. Lacey, a Presbyterian brother from Union county. The town of Camden is but of yesterday. It is situated on the Washitaw river, a respectable stream affording a pretty fair navigation for considerable sized steamboats; but unfortunately this is only for a part of the year. It has about from five to eight hundred inhabitants, at least, so I should guess. The town is situated on hills, and the country around it exceedingly broken. The pine tree abounds, and if the leaf was only long enough, we should pronounce it a pretty fair piney woods, sand hill, summer retreat. Camden is a place of considerable business, which will likely increase, as the country around it is rapidly filling up, and there is a considerable extent of fertile country which must trade to this place. We have a respectable society here, and a house of worship pretty much after the pattern of a barn. There is, however, a more decent one on hand, which would probably have been finished before this time, but for the great difficulty of procuring lumber, the scarcity of sawmills rendering it almost impossible to obtain suitable building materials for love or money. The same cause, I understood, had greatly retarded the improvement of the town itself.
On Monday morning we left for Shreveport, which lay directly in our route to Henderson, the
187seat of the Eastern Texas conference. Our road led through a country rather thinly settled — some pretty good land, but rather broken. Late in the afternoon, we reached the house of brother Moores, presiding elder of the Camden district, and felt quite at home. Brother M. came from Alabama here, and seems quite pleased with his exchange. The next morning was very dark and lowering; it had been thundering most of the night, and every appearance indicated a stormy and uncomfortable day for travelers; but we were compelled to go ahead. In an hour after we started, the rain began to pour in torrents, and continued to do so with but little intermission the rest of the day, and the thunder kept up an almost incessant roar during the whole day. Taking it altogether, it was the most extraordinary day I remember to have encountered in December. To increase the cheerlessness of our ride, the country through which we were traveling was almost uninhabited. In the midst of a most tremendous rain, our carriage broke down, and now what was to be done? The rain was pouring in torrents, we had no ropes to mend up with, and there was not, probably, a human habitation in many miles of us. Tie it up with a hickory withe, of course; the very thing, I know, but then hickories were not to be found. However, we made shift, by bringing our bridle reins into requisition, to patch up so that we could go on,
188laboring all the while under the comfortable apprehension of making a final break down, and being compelled to camp out in those woods without food or fuel. The shades of evening were hanging around us, we could see no human being, even to tell us the way and the distance. We were wet and hungry, and were in some danger of the blues, when, a little after dark, we drove up to a very comfortable looking house, and took up quarters for the night. At any time our quarters would have been regarded very good, but in the circumstances of that night, they were doubly pleasant, and afforded us a sense of comfort to which I have very often subsequently looked back with grateful recollection. Our kind host, Mr. Lamy, was a Baptist brother, who treated us very courteously, and would take no pay next morning.
A ride of two miles brought us to Louisville, where we were compelled to stop several hours to, repair damages. It is the seat of justice for Lafayette county; is situated on a high sandy ridge, and has every appearance of being healthy. The population is small, though the village is improving, and may yet become a pleasant little town. It has been in very bad odor for its immorality, but I understood that a great change had taken place of late for the better. They have, heretofore, been very imperfectly supplied with the preaching of the gospel; but I trust they will be hereafter better, as
189we have appointed a missionary specially for this section of the state. On entering this village, I remarked to my companion that I thought I should be able to remain incog., as I was pretty sure nobody here would know me, but I had not been in the place half an hour before a young physician came and inquired if I was not Bishop Andrew. He said he had heard me preach at a camp meeting in Merriwether county, Ga., many years ago. I was pressed to give them a sermon, which I did at night, in the large room of the tavern. Our host was very clever, and refused pay next morning. The Lord remember him and his household for good. It rained most of the night, and next morning when we started, the prospect was gloomy in the extreme. It was raining very hard, and the general impression was that we should not be able to cross the swollen streams; but we resolved to try it. We had now about seventy-five miles to Shreveport. We passed over some fine looking land, destined, probably, to sustain, at no very distant day, a considerable population. Lafayette county has not, until lately, attracted much attention; it is now, however, coming rapidly into notice. I was told that a thousand families were expected to move into it during the winter and spring. It is reported to possess a great deal of good land, which may be obtained on easy terms. We had passed the streams safely from which our friends
190had anticipated the most difficulty, and were beginning to flatter ourselves that our water difficulties were nearly over, when, on reaching the margin of a rapid creek, we discovered a large log, some fifty feet long, lying directly across the ford. Here was a formidable difficulty, for there was no possibility of crossing the stream at any other place, and there was no house in many miles; so here we were brought up all standing, and for a while it seemed as if our day's journey was ended. However, my good brother Loyd (a transfer from Arkansas to Texas) after sounding about awhile, hit on a plan by which we were enabled ultimately and after considerable difficulty, to land safely on, the other bank. He rode in to the log, taking Dr. Winn behind him, dismounted on the log, and after a good deal of heavy pulling and setting, he was enabled to get the tree sufficiently up the stream to allow a passage for the carriage, and hold it there long enough for me to drive through. This was only one of many instances in which I availed myself of brother Loyd's skill and management, and found, from experience, that in all voyages, by land or by sea, it is very important to have a working man aboard. Just before sunset we found quarters at a decent public house, at a place called Walnut Hills.
The next morning a ride of a few miles brought us into the state of Louisiana. The day was fine,
191and anticipating a continuance of good weather, we concluded to divide the distance, and stopped early in the afternoon. We passed, during the day, a large steam saw-mill, which, as we subsequently learned, was connected with several other operations in the manufacturing line. We passed some fine land, and several extensive and good looking plantations. I noticed in the neighborhood of one of them a large flock of sheep, consisting, I should judge, of between two and three hundred.
Contrary to all our anticipations, the next morning was dark and rainy, and gave us ample opportunity to repent not having regarded the old maxim of make hay while the sun shines. A ride of some ten miles brought us to the Red river bottom, and gave us the prospect of a drive of sixteen miles through the swamp of that far-famed river. We found about half of it pretty passable, and the rest taxed the patience and strength of our horses to the uttermost to get through it. The lands are as rich as heart could wish, and for the growth of cotton, it is probably superior to almost any other on the globe. The size of the cotton stalks certainly exceeded any thing I have ever seen; but these Red river plantations must be sickly. About sunset we crossed the river and found ourselves in the town of Shreveport. The streets were a perfect quagmire. We drove up to Vanbibber's hotel; his house was crowded, so that we found some
192difficulty in procuring lodging. On ascertaining who we were, however, our host determined to squeeze us in somehow, and we were well treated, and made out very well. The next day was the Sabbath, and we endeavored to preach in the Methodist church. Owing to the condition of the streets, I think we had but one lady in attendance, but there was a tolerable congregation of men. The town of Shreveport is a thriving place, of considerable business, which must needs increase, as it is the point to which the trade of considerable portions of Eastern Texas, as well as Louisiana, must come. The river is navigable for large-sized boats during a portion of the year, but it is troubled with the common drawback of western rivers, — low water during a good deal of the year.
Immediately after dinner we left to fill an appointment at Greenwood, some seventeen miles distant. After a heavy drive over very bad roads, we reached the place about dusk, and preached to a large congregation with some liberty, and, I trust, with some good effect. After preaching, a ride of a mile brought us to the hospitable mansion of Col. Garrett, formerly of North Alabama, but for several years past a resident of Caddo parish. We found here my old friend, Rev. John C. Burrus, who has recently settled in this country. We spent the night very pleasantly, and did not leave our quarters till late next morning. Col. G. told me that
193he had averaged, the past year, ten bags of cotton to the hand, besides making an abundance of provisions; and the land to produce all this can be obtained in this country at five and six dollars per acre. Our host informed us that he regarded the country remarkable healthy, and the society is, no doubt, very good. Col. G. resides some distance from the river, in a country whose appearance is not unfavorable to the notion of its healthfulness. We have a house of worship, and a good society at Greenwood, and from all I could learn, I suppose there is a good share of religious and Methodistic influence in the neighborhood. We left Col. Garrett's in the morning, and directed our course for Marshall, in Harrison county, Texas.
We traveled over some very fine country in Louisiana. One plantation I remember specially, as one of the first I had seen; its owner, rich, without wife or children, had indulged in dissipation of all sorts, till nature seemed fast sinking. He resorted to the Hot Springs in Arkansas; seemed to be entirely resuscitated; returned to his home with an apparently renewed constitution; but he soon returned to his old habits, sunk again under the power of disease, and when I passed along was supposed to be near his end; and then whose shall all this wealth be which is the price of his soul? By noon we entered Texas. We passed a great number of fine-looking plantations, and the country
194exhibited evident marks of thrift and improvement A little before night we reached Marshall, the prettiest looking little town we had passed for many weeks. The situation is pleasant, and the place is in a rapid state of improvement. The population is said to be about twelve hundred. They had been, for the past few months, blessed in both the town and surrounding country, with a very extensive and powerful revival of religion, in which I think near six hundred persons had united with our church, exclusive of many who had joined other branches of the church. We drove to a tavern about the centre of the town, but soon found we were in the wrong place. We had plenty of people, and there was no lack of strong drink. Learning that there was service in the academy, I went to seek it after supper, and found a tolerable company collected together for worship. We had a sermon from brother Harp, and I closed the service with an exhortation. After service, a gentleman came up to me and announced himself as an old acquaintance of mine from Augusta, Georgia, and claimed my company at his house for the night. I had entirely forgotten him till he told me his name was Boulware, I then recollected that I had known him in his boyhood. He gave me a long and thrilling history of his life in this country. It seems he came here for the purpose of trading with the Indians in which he succeeded finely; but
195about that time the Indians were chased from the country, and he lost every thing, and was obliged to fly to save his own scalp. He settled in Harrison county; but at that time there was neither king nor law in all the region round about. Its contiguity to Arkansas and Louisiana made it a common receptacle for desperadoes of every description. Men did whatever they chose to do; and none could call them to account. Deeds of violence and blood became so common that the order-loving and law-biding portion of the community found it necessary to arm and organize, that they might obtain for themselves that protection which the arm of the law was too feeble to afford them. Mr. B. was known as a man of cool, determined courage, and was by common consent recognized as the leader of those who were known as the regulators. This, of course, drew down upon him the hatred of those who were leagued for mutual protection in the commission of crime. He was marked for vengeance, with some others, and for a long time went constantly armed to the teeth, and slept every night in a block-house, which he entered before sunset, and did not leave in the morning till the sun was high in the heavens. (This part of his history was told me by another.) He closed his story by saying, "I am now doing well; I have a comfortable property, but no money on earth could ever tempt me to
196live again in a frontier country, where the law incapable of affording protection to life and property." It will be gratifying to the friends of Col. B. to know that he is doing well, is highly respected by his fellow-citizens, and what is still better, has recently professed religion, and joined the Methodist church.
On Tuesday morning, we were again on the road, having added to our company Dr. Alexander, a brother of Rev. R. Alexander of the Texas conference — quite an agreeable companion. Dr. A. has been long in Texas, and has explored the country pretty thoroughly. He was an actor in many of the thrilling scenes of its early history; and, as he is a man of piety, I found his companionship very pleasant. After traveling a few miles, we found the road strewn with the branches of trees, and, on inquiring, found that the cold and heavy rains which we had encountered in Arkansas a few days before, had in Texas, amounted to a very heavy sleet, which had marked our road for many miles with the evidence of its power. In the afternoon we crossed the Sabine river, a small stream, which, where we crossed, seemed to have depth sufficient for small steamers, and will, probably, admit of navigation considerably higher up, whenever the country shall be sufficiently populated to justify it. It is said the country in its vicinity abounds with good timber, and, already,
197arrangements are making to turn it to good account by the erection of large saw-mills at Sabine pass, where a town is expected to grow up. As I crossed its peaceful current, I could not help thinking of the important part it had played in the history of the past. It is known that, in part of its course, it was the dividing line between Texas and the United States, and scores in former years, who found it necessary to leave their country, because they had armed the law against them, fled to this little stream as to a city of refuge, and, having put its waters between them and their country, raised a shout of triumph and felt themselves secure. But, thank God, these days are past. Now the peaceful operation of law, and the blessed triumphs of the gospel are witnessed alike on both banks of the Sabine. After riding till sometime after dark, we came to a house where we found quarters three miles short of Henderson, which we reached next morning, and found the preachers waiting our arrival to open their conference.
June 8th, 1849.
Henderson — East Texas Conference — The Angelina — Crockett — An Author — Frozen up — The Brazos — Prairies — Rutersville.
HENDERSON is the seat of justice for Rusk county. It is, of course, but newly settled, and the population is small. It is pleasantly situated on a high, sandy ridge, and its appearance promises health. There is, as yet, no house of worship, but the different denominations occupy the lower room of a house, the upper part of which is a Masonic hall, and a Division room for the Sons of Temperance. We are about building a house of worship pretty much in the same way. I recollect some years ago, our Yankee friends raised a terrible hubbub about secret oath bound societies, which was leveled mainly against free-masonry; but in Texas the thing does not appear so terrible, as Henderson is not the only place in the state where the church and the lodge are in close neighborhood. The county of Rusk is said to contain a reasonable variety of land as to quality, a good deal of very good, and no small quantity, of the more moderate qualities. That portion passed over by us was, the most of it, very broken; but I should judge quite productive. The character of the population, from report, I should suppose to be good for a newly
199settled country. One single fact indicates that temperance principles are quite influential. I was told that there were about five hundred voters in the county, and there are two Divisions of the Sons of Temperance, numbering about four hundred members. Success to the great principles of our order, love, purity,and fidelity.
Our conference went on peaceably and pleasantly, and on Monday morning we were ready to close our labors. We had an interesting missionary anniversary, an excellent missionary speech from brother Alexander of the Texas conference, who was one of our early pioneers to the republic of Texas; and his reference to those early days — days of darkness, difficulty, and suffering, when in company with the devoted Fowler, (to whose memory he paid a just and affectionate tribute) he first commenced the work of an evangelist in Texas, and to the change for the better in all respects which had passed over both church and state, was graphic and deeply interesting. The East Texas conference is called to occupy an extensive and highly interesting field of labor, much of which is rapidly filling up with a valuable population from the older states; and to secure for this population an able and devoted ministry, is a matter of the highest moment. Our itinerant plan is admirably adapted to carry the gospel into every nook and corner of the new lands; but then
200the plan itself will not answer without the men to carry it out. Now, the Eastern Texas conference has a considerable number of excellent brethren, men too, of respectable preaching talents; but as is the case in all young conferences in frontier regions, there is necessarily considerable lack of experience, which, however, will steadily yield to the influence of time aad circumstances.
We had not near enough preachers to fill out the work, consequently we had to call into requisition the services of a number of respectable local brethren. Now, although these brethren will, no doubt, render efficient and valuable service, yet this method of supply is always precarious, and the supply from the regular traveling ranks is always greatly preferable. In these south-western regions, however, we cannot, in many cases, obtain that sort of supply, and gladly avail ourselves of the aid of able and devoted local brethren, men whose souls are in the work of God, but their temporal circumstances will not permit them to break up their homes, and put their families afloat in a land where ministerial support is not, by any means, regarded by all the people as a paramount obligation.
The past year was a prosperous one in this conference, and there was a considerable increase in the membership, but owing to the entire absence of reports from several circuits, there will not
201probably appear any on the published minutes. We closed our conference on Monday, and left Henderson for Lagrange, the seat of the Texas conference. Many blessings be on the heads of my kind friends, brother and sister McLarty, from whom I experienced the greatest kindness during my stay in Henderson; and the Lord remember for good the preachers of the conference, to whom I feel under obligations for their very cordial and respectful conduct towards me. May this be a year of unparalleled prosperity in their interesting field of labor.
In company with Rev. R. Alexander we left Henderson about one o'clock, and traveled over a broken country, some fifteen miles, to the house of sister Rhodes, the widow of Rev. Nathaniel Rhodes, formerly of the S. C. conference. Several years ago they left Walton county, Georgia, and traveled by land to Texas. They made some two or three settlements before they became finally established, where the family is now located. Some year or two since he died, and in the course of the last year, I think, she buried two or three of her children. She appears to be a prudent, pious woman, and her children seemed inclined to do well. They are settled on a good piece of land, but they have no advantages of schools in the neighborhood, — a very common difficulty, by the way, in many portions of this new country. The
202next morning, we were on the road again. We passed over a high range of sand hills, called the "sand mountain," which gave us a ride of some three miles in crossing it, and afforded an extensive prospect of the surrounding country. Toward evening we passed through the town of Douglas, a small affair, containing in the limits of its corporation, an ample supply of the elixir of death.
Some two or three miles farther we entered the Angelina bottom, a sufficiency of mud, and some pretty rough riding, I should think. This road will be almost entirely impassable after the winter I rains shall have fairly set in. We crossed the Angelina river on a good bridge, and about dark found very pleasant quarters at the house of Mr. Dost, kind treatment, and no pay next morning. We were now in Cherokee county, which is said to be filling up more rapidly than any other part of East Texas. It affords some fine country, though not better than we passed through in other counties. The next day we crossed the Neches, and found a stopping place about dark, at a public house, a few miles from the town of Crockett. Our inn was crowded to overflowing, but our host did the best he could for us, and by dint of close packing we were all lodged. I was very tired, and went bed early; but alas, some politicians of our crowd discussed national prospects, and the Presidential election with a compass of voice which rendered it
203impossible for me to sleep. One ragged-looking hero, I recollect, maintained, most vehemently, that "Gineral Taylor was not elected." He said the news had come in a Galveston paper that it was all a mistake. He said he had "sarved under the old Ginral, and that the old man used to make the United States troops work his sugar plantation, and no such man was fit to be President." After some time, he talked himself down, and I went to sleep. The next morning was cool and rainy; we were early on the road, and stopped an hour in the town of Crockett with a friend; took a cup of coffee, had prayers, and then took the road. We were anxious to cross the Trinity bottom before there fell any more heavy rains, and it was necessary for us to be in haste. We found a mile or two in the bottom rather bad; the land is as rich as could be desired, but the overflow will always render it unsuitable for planting, unless the water could be leveed off, which will not be for a long time yet. About sunset we crossed the Trinity river, which is a pretty respectable looking stream, and I think may be navigated with tolerable sized steamers. We had now entered Western Texas, and had six miles farther to go before we reached a house. Dark overtook us in the midst of a large prairie; we missed our way, and our guide confessed that he was lost. This was no pleasant intelligence, especially as the winds were playing a note which
204told us too plainly to be misunderstood, that a norther was upon us; and the prospect of spending such a night on the prairie was not at all delightful. By the good providence of God, however, we found a path which soon brought us in view of a light, at any time a pleasant sight to a lost traveler at night, but doubly so in our circumstances. We found our way to the house, and were kindly welcomed by the owner, brother Mitchell. By this time the wind was blowing a perfect gale; and every blast seemed charged with an increasing portion of ire. We were cold, and weary, and hungry, but found a rousing fire within, and in half an hour were invited out to a good warm supper; so that altogether we were soon quite comfortable. Our host was an old Methodist, originally, I think, from Virginia, but subsequently from Tennessee. He had been for many years in Texas, stopping temporarily at various places; but for several years past he has occupied his present position, and has very wisely resolved that this shall be considered the best part of Texas, and that here he intends to live and die. He lives in a bleak open prairie, which he maintains was greatly preferable to living in the timber. He is one of those original privileged characters, who is, by common consent, allowed to say what he pleases, and is, withal, a man of considerable shrewdness, and a keen observer of men and things.
The next morning, when we left our pillows, the whole prairie was sheeted with ice, and every twig and weed looked as though it was festooned with silver. Every thing seemed to be literally frozen up. It was quite a trial to leave our comfortable quarters, and encounter the stern winter which seemed reigning without; but I had an appointment ahead for the following Sabbath, and as the wind had somewhat moderated, and would, withal, be on our backs, we resolved to push ahead. After a very cold ride of some eighteen or twenty miles, we took up for the night at the house of brother Plasters, where we met a cordial welcome, and a capital cup of coffee. We spent a pleasant night, and next morning we were again under way. The ground was frozen, and the air still cold, though the temperature had considerably moderated. Our roads became heavy, and traveling very laborious; however, sometime before sunset, we reached Grimes Court-house, where I was to preach next day. We found a cordial welcome in the house of brother White, formerly of Milledgeville, Georgia, I preached on the Sabbath to a small company. The day was exceedingly wet, and the roads and streets, of consequence, very bad. On Monday we pushed on for the Brazos, which we crossed about two o'clock, at the town of Washington, the former seat of government for Texas. The town has rather a dilapidated appearance, though the people
206are in high expectation of increased value to their property from the successful navigation by steamboats of the Brazos river, of which there appears now no reasonable ground for doubt. "We drove on some fourteen miles over some beautiful and fertile lands, crossed a large creek called New Year's creek, with an extensive and very rich bottom; and a little before sunset reached the house of brother Ravel, where we met with kind and pleasant entertainment. The lands in the neighborhood seemed to be very rich, and I should suppose it was a very fine cotton country; but brother Ravel informed me that though the past year had been a favorable season for the cotton-planters, yet he said it was an uncertain crop there, owing to various causes. I am satisfied from what he told me, that there are portions of Georgia greatly preferable to it for the cultivation of cotton. They are making some attempts to introduce the cultivation of sugar-cane, which, it is said, promises well. The next morning we rode about ten or twelve miles to the house of Rev. Robert Alexander, where we determined to rest a few days, for rest was by this time not unacceptable to man or beast. Brother A. has a very pleasant location on the top of a high hill covered with timber, and overlooking a fine sweep of rolling prairie. We spent our time very pleasantly. We felt that we were in a Methodist preachers family, and had a
207Methodist's preacher's welcome both from brother A. and his amiable and excellent wife. They did every thing in their power to bless us. May our God graciously bless them in return. On Saturday morning we left for the town of Brenham, where I had an appointment for the Sabbath to dedicate a new church. We had service on Saturday night, an appropriate and excellent sermon from brother Goldberg, a converted Polish Jew, from "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." Our church was not finished, only about half the roof being on, but it was determined that we should proceed with the dedicatory services. Accordingly at eleven I endeavored to preach to a large and very attentive congregation, on "God is a Spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth." I had some liberty, and trust that the Spirit of the Lord was present to consecrate and accept our humble offering. Long may his blessing abide upon the house which was then solemnly devoted to his glory. Solomon spake in his day of a house of cedar as something a little extra, but in Texas that thing is very common. Our snug little tabernacle in Brenham was emphatically a house of cedar from top to bottom. The town is the seat of justice for Washington county; it is situated on an elevated sandy prairie, and may
208be seen afar off. We saw it as we approached it some three or four miles before we reached it. The place promises to be healthy.
On Monday morning, in company with several preachers who joined us here, we left the hospitable mansion of brother Giddings, where we had met a kindly welcome, and started for Lagrange, intending to take Rutersville on our way. Our road lay for the most part, over a beautiful prairie exceedingly diversified in its appearance; now an extensive level plain, and anon swelling out into bold and commanding hills, whence the eye took in an extensive sweep of prairie, interspersed with an occasional grove of post oak, clad in that peculiar moss drapery which I do not recollect to have seen any where else, and which is one of the circumstances which renders the prairies of Texas more beautiful than any other prairie region which I have visited. After a pretty heavy day's drive we reached Rutersville just before dark, and received a cordial welcome to the house of brother Richardson. We passed a pleasant evening, and the next morning urged our way to the seat of the conference, six miles distant Rutersville, the seat of the college of that name, is beautifully situated, and is surrounded by a most lovely looking country. In its vernal dress, it must be one of the loveliest spots on earth. The school (for its present organization is probably not beyond that of as academy
209of high order) is said to be doing finely under the control of brother Halsey and his lady, accomplished and experienced teachers. We reached Lagrange before noon, and found a pleasant home in the family of Mr. Vail, whose wife is a member of our church, an accomplished and excellent lady, who was, however, in very bad health, and confined to her room most of the time we were there. Lagrange is on the Colorado river, and is a clever little village. We found the preachers mostly assembled for conference, which commenced next morning.
Texas Conference — Western Texas — German Immigrants — New Braunfels — Popish Bigotry — Homeward Route.
THE Texas conference embraces all Western Texas, extending from the Trinity river to the Rio Grande, and destined, probably, at some day, not very distant, to annex the neighboring provinces of Mexico. Within this sweep of territory there is an ample variety of soil and climate, and we add, of population also. The population is probably more heterogeneous than that of Eastern Texas, embracing a much larger infusion of the foreign element. Eastern Texas is made up mostly of emigrants from the older states; while, in the
210West, in addition to this class of emigrants its population has been increased, by large contributions, from beyond the seas. On the western border, in the neighborhood of San Antonio great many Mexicans have remained, and form a respectable proportion of the population. These are Catholics, not entirely inaccessible to Protestant influence; but the extreme wickedness and irreverence of the American soldiery, and of many of the earlier emigrants who settled among them, have rendered our access to them, doubly difficult. The largest portion of the foreign population has been drawn from different parts of Germany. Thousands of Germans have crowded to Texas annually for some time past, so that, in the neighborhood of the large towns especially, a very large portion of the population is German. Originally they came over in colonies, and settled extensive tracts of land together, forming communities entirely German, and endeavoring to perpetuate, to a great extent, German feelings and German usage; and, in some instances, petty princes and nobles essayed the task of forming and directing these colonies in accordance with their notions, and with an ulterior view to the advancement of their own personal aggrandizement. But it was not long before these dignitaries found that in America there was not magic enough in their titles or insignia of rank, to command the respect or obedience of their people,
211who were not slow in imbibing the prevailing spirit around them. The result has been that these counts and nobles have been compelled either to come down to the level of common men, or else return to their former homes in disgust. Some of them have chosen the latter, and of course have made no very favorable report of the state of things on this side of the water. Some of these establishments have, I believe, been broken up, and the people have sought homes wherever it suited them. Others still exist, but are constantly losing their exclusive German character. Such is the case with the settlement at New Braunfels, said to be a thriving place, offering great facilities in the town and its vicinity, for both manufactures am agriculture. It is estimated to be the third town in Texas, in point of population; but American are constantly settling among them for business purposes, and as a necessary consequence, the exclusive German character of these communities is constantly decreasing. We rejoice that in almost every instance the attempts made to establish communities, intended to perpetuate European usage and institutions among us, have turned out perfect failures. Let the Germans come among us as many as choose, if they will come to live by honest industry, and then, instead of hanging around the towns to die of pestilence, or drag out a miserable and precarious existence, by keeping small shops,
212or peddling goods, let them be diffused through the country, scattered about among the farmers, in the healthier parts of the land: in this way they generally do well, and it strikes me that the large land-holders would do the cause of humanity a great service, and at the same time benefit themselves by organizing with a view to invite hundreds of the Germans who are constantly landing in Texas, to seek for homes in the interior, where thousands and tens of thousands of acres of land lie waste, and will likely long remain so, but for the adoption of some such plan; and I can scarcely think of any other which the benevolent of Texas could take to render more efficient service to the cause of humanity.
Among the German emigrants, there are many men of capital, who bring with them an ample supply of cash. Some of them invest and manage their funds judiciously; but not a few of them, owing to their entire unacquaintance with our people, habits, manners, and the ordinary business operations of this country, fall into ruinous mistakes, and are not long in reaching the bottom of the ladder, especially as there are always at hand shrewd scoundrels, who understand thoroughly the art of easing people of the burden of too much cash. It is probable, however, quite a number are persons in inferior circumstances, and some are little better than paupers. These land, say at
213Galveston or Houston, strangers without friends, with small means, and no defined plan for the future. They have great ideas of liberty and plenty, but alas, they are not prepared to appreciate properly the one, or enjoy the other. They hang around the neighborhood of the towns till their money is gone. To save expense they huddle great numbers together in rooms, often in cellars or garrets possibly. The season of disease approaches. It is difficult to make them comprehend the difference between the climate of Texas and that of Germany, or to teach them the importance of cleanliness, and the proper ventilation of their houses. They are filthy in their persons and habitations, rather intemperate in their habits, sleep out of nights, exposed to night air and dew; the result is disease comes among them, and they die like sheep. Sometimes whole families perish, an their memorial perishes with them. Oh, how man a thrilling tale of horror might be gathered from these scenes of sorrow and death. A good many of these Germans are bigoted Catholics, and, in some instances, have brought over their priest with them, whose main business seems to be to watch over his sheep to keep them from straying into the pastures of heresy. There are some amusing instances told of their great fear of the influence of heretics. One was told me in connection with our German missionary at Indian Point. Brother
214Bauer could find no place in the town to board except with a Catholic, to whom he paid high rates per week. The priest heard that the Methodist preacher was boarding with one of his flock, and warned him faithfully of his wrong, and urged the immediate expulsion of the heretic. All other arguments failing, he threatened him with eternal damnation if he did not dismiss his boarder. The poor man was quite in a dilemma, for the thunders of the church were terrible; but the loss of the money was a present evil, the other was future, and possibly distant, and might yet be managed some how. So, after a good deal of hesitation, he resolved to hold on to his boarder and the money, and let the future provide for itself.
A good many of these Germans are nominal Protestants, claiming to be Lutherans, while they are infidels or neologists, and are the more difficult to reach because they hold to the skirts of a nominal Christianity. We are endeavoring to do what we can toward their conversion. There are four German brethren laboring in this important field with some measure of success; but because of the unsettled state of the Germans, our success is not so marked as it will be when they are permanently located in various parts of the country, a result to which, at present, there is a decided and increasing tendency. The importance of evangelizing these strangers, considered in any
215point of light, can scarcely be overrated. Besides these, there is, and will probably be, an annually increasing demand for missionary labor among the colored people in Western as well as in Eastern Texas. At our late conference, a planter in Brazoria sent a donation of one hundred dollars to be applied to the support of a preacher to the colored people in that county. This I regard as a pledge of better things to come, and I have no doubt, the example of Col. Caldwell (the gentleman referred to) will be imitated by others. In addition to the demands upon us already noticed, the sparsedly inhabited districts of country present a strong appeal to our hearts and our purses. There are number of the smaller towns of the state, where we have members and friends, who invite us earnestly to send them the word of God; but they are not able to support a preacher, and some of them are so circumstanced as to be inconvenient to any circuit, so that they cannot receive the necessary ministerial help from that quarter. We had several appeals of this sort, but were deficient in both men and means. We were anxious to have occupied the settlements on the Rio Grande, especially the town of Brownsville opposite Matamoras; but we could not. O, when will both the church and the preachers wake up, that the kingdom of God's grace may be established in all parts of the earth!
But to return to Lagrange. Our conference went on pleasantly and rapidly. We had great peace and unanimity among the preachers. The conference determined to establish, in connection with the Eastern conference, a religious newspaper; this elicited a warm and spirited debate, all, however, was in good temper. I sincerely hope the Banner will succeed; for while I am convinced of the great importance of religious papers in all parts of the church, I am thoroughly satisfied that in a newly settled country they are more important than any where else. It is important that we should bring the mighty influence of a sanctified press to our aid in fashioning the tastes and habits and opinions of the early dwellers in cabins in the fertile and rapidly populating country cultivated by the Texas conferences. The emigrants and early settlers of a new country can seldom have large libraries, and if they had they have but little leisure for reading; a good religious paper is the very thing for them. Our conference closed, and we bade adieu to our kind friends at Lagrange, and rode that evening to Rutersville, and lodged in the house of brother Russel, a very pleasant household. Here I saw my old friends, Wm. Maner and his wife, formerly of South Carolina. It was like old times to see them in this far off land. I had spent many happy hours in their house in old Black Swamp circuit. He afterward removed to Florida,
217and a few years since he settled in Brazoria county Texas. He says his lands are fertile, but his family I think, have not been healthy; nor do I think that where he now resides they will ever have good health. Sister M. looks a good deal worsted. We talked freely of old times, and I could not resist the impression that my old friend would have fared better if he had remained in the neighborhood of old Pipe creek. He is, however, the same warm and devoted friend to the cause of God that he used to be, and his influence is used for good in the country where he lives.
The next morning we left Rutersville on our way to Houston. The wind was blowing a respectable norther. The bad road in the morning, and a very cold drive over the prairies in the afternoon made us very glad to find comfortable quarters in the family of a brother whose name has escaped my memory, though the recollection of his kindness is still fresh. The next day we rode to brother Bragg's to dinner; after spending a pleasant hour in his family, we took the road for the Brazos river, where we had some notion of shipping on board a steamer, which was lying there; but after some considerable hesitation, I decided that it would be my safest course to stick to terra firma, although it might be rather soft. So we parted with our good friends Alexander and Bragg, who had accompanied us thus far, and struck into the Brazos
218bottom, through which we urged our way for about three miles. The mud was so deep, that several times I thought we had stuck for good, but after much hard pulling and prying, we reached the high land a little before sun-down, and after traveling about two miles found lodging at the house of Mr. Davis, formerly from Cobb county, Georgia. He came to this country several years since, and after passing through quite a strife of adventures, he is at last pretty comfortably settled on a good piece of land, and says he is doing well. He insists on it that this is the finest country in the world for a poor man. Kindly treated, and no pay. Next morning we were early on the road, for we had a long drive ahead of us, and we had heard bad accounts of the road to Houston, as well as of the prevalence of cholera in that city. For the first few miles our way was through the timber, after which we had an almost uninterrupted prairie to within nine miles of Houston. As I remember to have seen a great many deer on this prairie five years ago, we concluded to count the different herds as they appeared near the road. We had taken note of about a hundred and fifty, which was fifty short of the number I had counted on in the morning; and as evening was at hand, and we were near Johnson's Bayou, where we expected to lodge, I thought I had failed; but casting my eyes in the direction of a small slip of woods, I saw them
219coming into the prairie like flocks of sheep. should guess that it was a moderate estimate to say there must have been between fifty and one hundred; so my number was full. The wind was blowing a gale, and the clouds were dark and heavy when we took our quarters in that same old house, part dirt, part brick, and part wood, of which Dr. Summers has some very comfortable recollection of five years standing. You can say to the doctor that the Irish people are gone, and that the house is now kept by a solitary Dutchman, who hardly speaks or understands any English, and as I understood no Dutch, we should have been in an awkward predicament if it had not been that brother Goldberg understood and spoke both languages very fluently. The rain fell in torrents for most of the night, and the next morning it was blowing a perfect tempest, and raining furiously; but we were apprehensive of being water-bound, and so resolved to breast the storm, and go ahead. The Dutchman understood enough of English to tell his charge, and it is a little remarkable that the only two bills which I have ever paid for lodging in all my travels in Texas, were both paid at this house, with the exception of one which I had like to have forgotten that I paid at the whisky-drinking establishment I stopped at in Marshall. I found the road to Houston bad, but better than I anticipated, and noticed with much pleasure, considerable signs of
220improvement since my visit five years ago. We reached Houston in safety, and were kindly welcomed to the family of brother McGown; and the next day took the steamer for Galveston, hoping to reach it time enough for church on Sabbath, but it was after dark before we reached the Galveston wharf.
Essays on Missions.
WHEN the Redeemer had atoned for sin by offering up himself as the great atoning sacrifice, — when he had conquered death by dying, and triumphed over the grave in the fact of his own resurrection, and was about to ascend into heaven, there to appear before the throne of the Divine Majesty as our ever-living High Priest, — just prior to his glorious ascension, he called around him the eleven apostles, the men who had been intimately associated with him, who had listened to his instructions both in private and in public, who had not only witnessed the miracles which he wrought, but had also witnessed the manifestations of his temper and spirit, under all the provocations arising from the malignity of proud, bigoted, money-loving, and hypocritical Pharisees, as well as from the ignorance and stupidity of his own immediate family; and delivered to them the most impressive and important charge that ever fell on human ears — words which must remain till the
222end of time, as the command and pledge of God to the church, and especially to the ministers of his gospel. Hear how impressively and authoritatively he defines the extent of his authority and the grounds of it: "All power is given to me in heaven and in earth; go ye therefore into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." As if he had said: for man I have just suffered; I have redeemed the race, however wretched however vile; so that in every part of the world under every possible variety of climate or government, they are all mine by redemption; the stone is rolled away from the door of the prison house in which they were all captives, and the door of God's temple of love is open for them every one: I appoint you as my heralds to proclaim this deliverance to them all under my authority: Go forth, doubting nothing as to the validity of your commission, or the power of him who sends you, to sustain you: My power reaches to both worlds, to every possible circumstance, and every being inhabiting both worlds. Whatever power may be needed to sustain you in your work, to strengthen you in your weakness, to feed you in your poverty, to cheer you in your despondency, to calm your fears, to confirm your hopes, to give you clear views of truth and force and efficacy in the announcement of it; whatever to sweep away opposing barriers, it is all in my hands, and every faithful messenger
223of mine shall be secure of its exercise in his behalf, whenever his circumstances shall render it necessary: Go forth on your glorious errand of mercy; and as ye go, preach, proclaim the truth, the fullness, the freeness, the glory of the gospel, as designed alike for Jew and Gentile, for Greeks and barbarians: and remember, wherever you go, I have sent you, and I am with you: Should you encounter the fierceness of pagan opposition, should the block, or the ax, or the dungeon, be the price of a faithful discharge of your duty, remember I am with you always, even to the end of the world; therefore fear not, faint not, falter not, in your great work. Your risen, victorious Lord is ever with you, and all things are subject to his will.
Let us contemplate this interesting group, and the work assigned them. We have just had brief reference to him who stood forth their acknowledged Lord and Master. Let us now contemplate the men whom he was sending forth. Who were they, and what their might or skill, that they should have been selected for this work? Men of humble name and fortune were these apostles, without fame; or wealth, or learning: yet Jesus hath chosen them as the depositories and promulgators of the only truths by which the world could be enlightened and saved. They were to combat the bigotry, and the prejudice, and the hate, and scorn of proud and malignant Jews.
Albeit they had never learned from the lips of Gamaliel, and were uneducated in the wisdom of Greece and Rome, yet they were to be the instruments of subverting systems of religion which were venerable from age, and which had gathered around them all the influence and the glory with which wit, eloquence, and philosophy could invest them, which had interwoven themselves with all their institutions, political and social. And what a field was before them! not Judea simply, or the immediate adjacent countries, but the world — the whole world then known, or afterwards to be discovered. Wherever immortal man shall be found, thither the commission extends; for we regard the command as specially designed for the church, and the ministry of every subsequent age of the church. The apostles understood well their Lord's meaning, for they went forth and preached every where as far as in them lay; God redeeming his pledge by working with them, and giving mighty confirmation to them by signs and wonders. These men heard their Master's commission, and after receiving the Pentecostal baptism, went forth fully armed and equipped for the great warfare which lay before them; they loved their Master — they had witnessed the grandeur of his miracles, the glory of his transfiguration; they had trembled and wept when all these glories seemed forever eclipsed in the dark and gloomy night of his crucifixion; and then
225they had exulted in the marvel of his resurrection, and their minds had been opened to understand the scriptures. They had learned from his lips how clearly and strongly Moses, and David, and Isaiah gave concurrent testimony for Jesus. They loved him as their own personal Saviour, and gazing on the whole race from the stand-point of the cross their souls yearned for the salvation of all; and they went forth to preach Jesus and him crucified to all, because they felt that he had pitied and prayed, and died for all. No love of fame, no ambitious longings for popular distinction, no love of ease or worldly comfort prompted them in their decision, for all these must be consumed on the altar before they could enter on their great work. There was no dallying with human affections even, how tender and hallowed so ever they might be. One God-given motive, one heaven born, all-absorbing passion controlled, directed. "The love of Christ constraineth us," was their motto. They inquired not if the field was pleasant, the labor light, the pay good, or whether it was near home, so that they thereby might have fewer privations; but the only question was as to their individual responsibility. "Does God send us?" was the only question. Hear the great master spirit among these early missionaries: "I am debtor both to the Greek and the barbarian, both to the wise and the unwise."
Such were the men who composed the Saviour's grand army of invasion. What a battle-field and what an army! What would human wisdom and worldly prudence have said of the work and the agents? We conclude this number with the pledge that in future articles we shall consider the subject more at large; we shall only now say that we regard the Saviour as intending this command to speak trumpet-tongued to the church, ministers and laity, till the work is consummated; till from hill, and vale, and mountain top, from the north pole to the south, every where from palace and from hovel, from the lips of kings, nobles, slaves, and beggars, the world-wide Alleluia shall be, the kingdoms of the earth have all become the kingdoms of our Redeemer.
March 17, 1851.
To know God, to love him and to trust him, constitutes the sum total of the principles of the religion of Jesus Christ. The apostles had seen the glory of the one true and living God, as it beamed in refulgent beauty in the face of their adorable Master. He was to them God, fully, gloriously manifest in the flesh; and contemplating the
227divine character as thus manifested, they heartily embraced and fully yielded their hearts to the fullness of that divine exposition of the character of the Holy One of Israel — "God is love." They exulted in a divine consciousness of the fact that they had been individually brought nigh to God by the blood of his Son; and exulting in the joy of their own personal redemption, every soul of man rose before them as an object of the divine mercy. They were, ready each one of them, to sing,
Would all mankind embrace."
In hearts thus affected, whether those of apostolic men or Christians in 1851, the earliest awakened desire is to proclaim the power, the fullness, the freeness and the glory of this salvation, to those who know it not. Hence the earnest efforts of those who have just been converted to God, to persuade their unconverted friends to share with them this great salvation, and the more marked and powerful the conversion, the more ardent are these longings for the salvation of others.
But tell me, does the circle of friends and kindred bound the horizon of the soul's longings in that hour of new-born triumph? Tell me, Christian brother or sister, did not your happy spirit in that glorious and never-to-be-forgotten hour, embrace in its ample reach of affection the whole race of man?
228Then you had the true missionary spirit, and would have consecrated soul and body, life and property if by so doing you could have aided in the great work of bringing every human soul into the enjoyment of that grace which had lifted your soul into communion so sweet with God. And such you continued during all the days of your early espousals to Christ, even till you fell into the hands of those who were doubters — cold-hearted formalists — prudent, money-loving Christians, whose chief fear was that of being enthusiastic and righteous overmuch; who deprecated as the sorest of evils losing caste with the honorable, the fashionable, the respectable of the world. Your intercourse with these first dimmed your spiritual perception, so that the great work which had been wrought in you dwindled down to a comparatively unimportant affair; a change to be sure of some consequence, but attended in your case with much of enthusiasm which the sober counsels of your prudent friends has taught you to correct. These frigid instructors have laid a hand of ice upon your heart, and congealed all its warm breathings of love to your fallen ruined fellows. Instead of asking with Saul, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do," your great trouble in all your Christian enterprises is lest you should do more than your part, and make God a few dimes your debtor. Your great concern now is, not lest you should not be able when you have done all in
229your power, to give adequate proof of your gratitude and sense of indebtedness to your redeeming, pardoning Lord; but lest you should do too much, lest you do more than your part, on the supposition that every body else had done their duty. You have become an expert accountant, insomuch that you can settle the value of millions of immortal beings by the application of the dollar and cent rule. And what is true of individual Christians is true of the whole body, when under the influence of similar views and feelings. When the church is thoroughly alive to God, there is power; there is a zealous putting forth of that power in acts of self-denial, and ardent and determined effort, for the advancement of God's kingdom among men. Then the ear of the church is quick to hear the wails of perishing millions, and its heart prompt to devise vast and liberal plans for sending the redeeming message to those who are in the region and shadow of death. Then the ministers of God come up to the work with heart and soul, and purse and person, and the laity of the church fully sustain, yea, urge them forward in the prosecution of the glorious work before them. Then the parents talk of the great subject before their children round the domestic fireside, and the conversion of the lost, both at home and abroad, finds an ample share in the morning and evening devotions of the family. The Sabbath schools, teachers and pupils, feel the
230impulse and consecrate themselves to this great work, and become so many nuclei, around which is gathered the missionary spirit of the community. The literary institutions of the church carry forward and diffuse the hallowed spirit, and the professor's chair so gives forth its utterances of instruction as to connect all the profundities and all the beauties of science and literature, with the grand design of God in creating man and redeeming him, and forming this world for his habitation, with all its grandeur and beauty, that he might behold God in it all, and adore him, and prove his devotion by doing all in his power to gather all earth's wanderers into the fold of the good, the divine Shepherd.
"The love of Christ constraineth us," is the proper motto not only for the pulpit, but for each and every private Christian. A deep, thorough, and all-pervading sense of gratitude to God for the great love wherewith he has loved me, in bringing my poor guilt stricken soul to the enjoyment of peace, so precious and divine, must move me to do what I can to spread abroad the glory of my gracious Deliverer. It is the only return I can make to God, for such full and glorious grace, as I have received. I have no other demonstration of gratitude which I can offer to God. No gifts of mine can enrich him; and if they could, I have nothing to give; all I have is God's; I am God's. Yet he has been pleased to declare. Forasmuch as
231you have done it to these ye have done it to me; and shall we refuse this expression of gratitude to our all-glorious and condescending friend? Not only gratitude to God, but love to our follows requires it They are lost; they are in darkness; we have the light which alone can guide them to God. The Master says, let your light shine. They are debased by sin in its worst forms; we are God's appointed agents to exalt and lead them to purity and peace. They are our fellow creatures, formed by the same God, partakers of the same degradation and ruin and curse, which sin has brought upon us all; and redeemed by the same divine atoning sacrifice. We have been lifted out of the pit; shall we stretch out a helping hand to lift our imprisoned brethren up to the world of light and purity, and communion with God? Christian brother or sister, answer this question in God's presence, and in view of your obligations to God and man.
April 4, 1851.
CHRISTIANITY is essentially aggressive in its character. It can never be neutral; it can never be at rest as long as sin and error are in the world. Light can never make any compromise with darkness,
232but must from its very nature be in constant antagonism to it, and must constantly seek its destruction. Truth and falsehood can never blend in harmony; there must be constant war till one or the other triumphs. Holiness and sin can never unite in wedlock, but there must necessarily be war, — stern, uncompromising war between them. The religion of Jesus could never be a party to any treaty or truce with idolatry. It has always unhesitatingly asserted its claim to dominion over man, absolute, universal, and undivided. Man was God's creature made and redeemed by him, and whatever his rebellion, and howsoever many his wanderings, God maintains still his absolute indefeasible right to all his services. Idolatry may have usurped dominion over him, and his heart may have run riot in the indulgence of all the vilest passions of a nature deeply corrupt, and of consequence deeply degraded; but still the Son of God came down from heaven to redeem him, and the whole apparatus of church organization with all the appliances of New Testament teaching, with the pledged aid of the Holy Ghost, seems to have contemplated the universal diffusion of the truth as it is in Jesus. The gospel of the grace of God was regarded as the sovereign panacea for the fearful malady with which sin had cursed a fallen race. This gospel was committed to the church in trust for the benefit of all nations,
233kindreds, tongues, and people; and she was to see to it that its glorious teachings should be heard by all the nations of the earth; and the whole ecclesiastical arrangements of the church look to the accomplishment of this grand object. The apostles regarded this as the special end and object of their high and holy vocation. They threw themselves, as it were, broadcast upon the world, preaching Jesus and the resurrection, constituting churches, and appointing pastors, that these might in their turn aid them in carrying the gospel to bigoted, self-righteous, and malignant Jews, as well as to scornful, sneering, and besotted pagans.
Such was the work of the early church; so apostolic men believed, and lived, and labored. The preacher of the cross was in some sort an Ishmaelite, wherever he preached, it was an open declaration of war against long-cherished and firmly established systems of religion. Every sermon was a direct attack upon gods enthroned in splendid temples; and whose worship was calculated to captivate the imagination while it pandered to the worst passions of corrupt nature. Could these early preachers look for anything else than persecution and even death, as the price of their zeal and daring? Yet no man among them faltered; no craven lips whispered of retreat or a truce with the powers of darkness. Idolatry must fall; the gospel of Jesus must be everywhere proclaimed;
234and such is still the proper character of the true church of Jesus Christ. It is, it must always be decidedly and boldly aggressive. The moment it ceases to be so, it loses the distinctive characteristic of the church of Jesus. Whenever the members of a church become satisfied with paying their own preacher, and looking only to the souls in their own immediate vicinity; whenever they begin to count the cost of sending the gospel to distant lands, and to complain of the large amounts which are necessary to send the word of life to pagan millions, and in their hearts adopt the language of an ungodly great man, "If the heathen want the gospel, let them pay for it;" and the preachers whisper encouragement to this spirit, lest they might find a lessening of their support, if the people give liberally to other objects, you may be sure that without a prompt repentance, Ichabod will be the appropriate inscription for their temple.
In every age of the church, from the apostolic down to the present time, those churches have most thoroughly retained the strength and power of original Christianity who have been most diligent and energetic in spreading abroad everywhere the great truths of God's gospel; and it is in entire accordance with the philosophy of human nature and of the gospel itself, that it should be so. It was this spirit of active and untiring aggression
235upon the kingdom of Satan, which gave being and vital efficiency to the labors of our own Wesley and his coadjutors, and which has perpetuated Wesleyan Methodism, and now encircles its spiritual movements with glory and power. Wesley had a soul too large, and a zeal too seraphic to be limited in his operations by conventional forms or parochial limits. "The world is my parish," was his grand missionary response to those who sought to tie him down to what they called the decency of church order; and this single announcement contains the true key to all those mighty evangelical movements, to which, under God, he gave the impulse. It was in accordance with this view that he so early sent missionaries to these shores. And the men who were sent hither by him, came breathing the same spirit. They found themselves in a land which was emphatically a vast missionary field, and they went forth boldly through its length and breadth, scattering with a liberal hand the word of life, and that, too, in the midst of trials and difficulties from which we fear many of their modern sons would shrink away affrighted. But few comfortable homes smiled on their approach and invited their stay. No missionary treasury even promised them a decent coat, or so much as their traveling expenses. Yet they went forth stretching out their lines on every side, not waiting for good houses and polite invitations, but all the
236while looking out anxiously for some destitute Book or corner into which they might find an open door, or force one.
And now cast your eyes abroad over the length and breadth of the land; see the thousands of circuits, the multiplied thousands of chapels extending from the Atlantic to where the foot of the traveler treads on the golden sands of California and is kissed by the advance wave of the mighty Pacific; and of the more than million worshipers, who love to rally under the banner of Methodism, besides those who in Asia and Africa, and the Islands of the Sea, profess and love the distinguishing doctrines and usages of Wesleyan Methodism; see all these; yea, we ourselves are the legitimate fruits of the missionary spirit of Methodism; can we then be indifferent to the fortunes of the grand manifestation of the Spirit and purposes of the incarnate God? Brethren, what say you? what think you?
April 11, 1851.
IF the views and principles which we have advanced, be correct, it follows that it is the duty of the church of God to exert all her skill and wisdom
237and power and wealth, to bring about the world's conversion to the faith and hope and practice of the gospel. The governors of the church should survey the whole field from a commanding eminence, and taking into account the condition of the various nations of the world, and contemplating the means of invasion and conquest within their control with an eye steadily fixed on God's promise, should indicate those fields of high and holy enterprise, into which they would send laborers. The ministers of the several congregations on whom, after all, is the main dependence, should second warmly the great work proposed. Their prayers, their sermons, their pastoral visitations, should all tend to deepen and widen the missionary feeling of the church. The class room and the weekly prayer meeting should be efficient auxiliaries in carrying on this great work. Mothers should bring their precious Samuels to the temple of God for consecration to the great work of the world's salvation; and the press of the church, that mighty engine so potent for good or ill, should discourse on this subject with the earnestness of honest piety and heaven-kindled zeal. The editors should make it the leading subject of their weekly issues. This might perhaps take up so much room as to exclude from week to week much of that class of matter which now very often fills our weekly sheets. There might be less room for a thousand little
238things, which have very little to do in improving head or heart, and which only serve to gratify the ambitious combativity of some brother whom heaven never designed for a warrior, and whose grandiloquent lucubrations are not likely to add to his own influence or that of the medium through which he essays to vindicate his own claim to talent and infallibility. It might displace much of that class of matter which may be designed for the special glorification of the editor, or some of his special correspondents. And suppose it should? Would it be any deterioration to the character of these journals, if their columns should constantly teem with articles warm from hearts baptized with the all-pervading and all-embracing love of the cause of missions. Would not our papers, think ye, be profited by the change? And then, when the church is all awake; when the pulpit, the class room, the prayer room, the Sunday school, the college, the academy, the family, and the press, all unite their energies, and vigorously press forward the glorious work, it shall succeed gloriously. The word of the Lord shall run and be glorified. The gospel of the kingdom shall speedily be preached among all nations.
The church is indeed nominally committed to this work. She has pledged herself to the accomplishment of this grand object, and she has done something toward redeeming this pledge. The
239question now is not whether she has done any thing, but whether she is fully awake to her responsibilities? and whether she has proven herself honestly sincere in her attempts to occupy the great field before her? To confine our remarks for the present to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, because we are best acquainted with her movements, — What have we done? Where are our missions, foreign and domestic? What is the extent of the field before us; and what portions of it have we occupied? How much of the land yet remains unoccupied? In short, have we conquered any thing like the amount of territory which our relative position in society, in view of our numbers, wealth, and social influence, demands we should do? In answer to this question, we reply in general, that we have one foreign mission, established by special order of our first General Conference, passed some five years ago. The conference felt that we were called on imperatively to take a commanding position in the glorious missionary crusade against the powers of darkness; and the assembled representatives of the church resolved to establish their first foreign mission among the three hundred millions of the half-civilized but pagan people of that wonderful country — the Chinese empire. It was a bold, and, we think, a judicious movement. We now inquire how has it been carried out? After some considerable time
240and with no little difficulty, the bishops sent two men to China. They left our shores, carrying with them our blessings and our prayers. God favored them, and in due time they reached their field of labor, and have prosecuted their work wisely and successfully. Well, in due time, having wisely determined to make a permanent establishment in Shanghai, they sent home an appeal for money to build them dwelling houses for their families. After considerable drumming through the church journals for some twelve months, we raised some four or five thousand dollars, content to come up to the lowest estimate of what it might cost them. The consequence is that the missionaries have been obliged to take from their own funds to pay for the chapels connected with their dwellings. They have appealed too for help to print and circulate Chinese tracts, and I have noticed a very few five dollar responses. A new proposition is started; the editors publish it with an editorial blessing; a few liberal souls who are always on the lookout for some opening to do good, respond, and then the matter stops. Can we believe that we can do our part in the conversion of the Chinese by the labor of two men, and they perhaps more imperfectedly supported than the missionaries of almost any other church represented in the Celestial Empire? Our brethren there have been for some time earnestly pleading for additional help; and it is perfectly
241obvious to every man of reflection, that we must either strengthen the mission, or abandon it: which shall we do? As by the advice of my colleagues I have charge of that part of our missionary work, I advertise you that I cannot, will not retreat. We want two men to send to China in the course of the year; and we wish it understood, that these men are to be regarded as only the vanguard of a much larger force.
Very possibly our Missionary Board may be a little startled, as they look to outstanding drafts and an empty treasury; but we have thought over the subject long, and with deep and anxious solicitude, and have decided to do the thing if we can find two suitable men. If the Board will indorse it and help us out, very well; if not, we shall throw ourselves upon the church and our friends for the wherewithal to sustain us in our plans.
April 18, 1851.
THE claims of China upon the church demand a more full and particular notice than we have been wont to give them. Not a few Christians there are in our communion whose zeal for the conversion of any people is measured by the distance of their
242habitation. The difficulty is in the way of access to them, and especially, the outlay of money necessary in carrying the gospel to them. This last is an item of prime consideration. To such as these, the calls from far off China are scarcely intelligible: they can scarcely believe that we have any use for the Chinese, except to furnish us with tea and silks: as to sending the gospel to them in the hope of making them Christians, it is set down as a perfectly wild scheme, and you shall hear from them perpetually of the deep-rooted prejudices and customs of the Chinese people — the impracticability of the language, — the certainty of failure in any attempt which may be made in that direction; and finally, they will close their purses and their speech, by advising the church to aim at humbler achievements nearer home, and at less cost. In fact this is the great speech with this class of Christians against all foreign missions. We have heathen enough nearer home, why go to the other side of the world to look for them? To listen to them one would imagine that in the home-field their zeal was burning, active, and contriving; but is it so? Are they among the most active and liberal in efforts to secure the salvation of those around them? If they are, we shall rejoice to give them due meed of praise for consistency; but is it not generally true that those who give most freely for the foreign Work are at the same time the most ardent and
243liberal promoters of the home work? This we think will be found to be the true state of the case; and if it be so, what is the lesson taught thereby?
The three hundred and sixty millions of souls who acknowledge the sway of the Chinese emperor, certainly demand from every Christian heart a throb of godly sympathy; and surely it is not asking too much of the church of the Redeemer to consider well what may be her duty to a country containing at least one-third of earth's entire population. We ask, are this great multitude enlightened? Have they the knowledge of the true God among them? or are they idolaters without God in the world? The answer is at hand: they are idolaters, with gods many and lords many. And what is idolatry? It is a lie — dark, deep, and damning. We are in danger of setting too light an estimate upon the sin of idolatry, and supposing that at the worst it is only a foolish mistake which men make when they give the homage of heart and life to a huge, misshapen block of wood or stone, or of any other substance; and that if the worshiper is sincere, it is all right. But the God of the Hebrews did not so regard it. Idolatry was the sin which, above all others, provoked his sternest maledictions, and which he visited with his most fearful judgments. Why was this, if idolatry be so innocent and harmless an
244affair? The truth is, the idol is clothed with just such attributes, as his depraved worshipers choose to give him; and his worship must of course be the full and clear exponent of the lust, the pride, the murder, and every other abominable passion and deed which an unbridled carnality may dictate. It is not Deity elevating man from his impurity and degradation; it is man striving to bring Deity down to the standard of his own baseness. In every such system purity has no place. The Deity himself is the author, the patron of impurity. Truth, the great foundation principle, on which all order and government must rest, the glorious chain that binds earth to heaven, is cast away, and falsehood is raised to the throne of dominion. How can any thing good be expected from a system of which falsehood is the foundation principle, and impurity the all pervading law? Is it any wonder that the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty? Is it any wonder that the social and domestic affections wither under the influence of such systems? We repeat that we fear the essential evil and turpitude of idolatry is not properly regarded by many Christians, We regard it as a sort of accidental evil to be pitied rather than blamed; rather the mistaken effort of an honest mind, anxiously inquiring after the chief good, than a flagrant sin against the supreme Majesty. As if it were possible for a
245man to cut down a tree and shape an image or chisel out a block of marble, cast an image of metal and set it up and bow down to it, and call it god, without knowing that he was playing the fool and acting wrongly. How can that be God which I myself have fashioned, is an inquiry which must obtrude itself upon the most unlettered mind. We look upon an idol, and we say it is nothing, perfectly impotent for good or evil, incapable of speech, unable to defend itself or punish its enemies. It hath no eye to see, no ear to hear, no heart to feel. This may be all true, yet there is a power about those grim caricatures which is mighty and far-reaching, blighting in its onward movement every bud of hope, and drying up every fountain of goodness and virtue, public and private.
"We enter the pagan temple. There is no power residing in the forms which from every recess meet the eye. It is wood, stone, brass. But what is behind those hideous visages? Are there no listening, gazing, mocking spirits of the primal fall? O! these quaff the offered blood: to them the song is wafted — to them is the incense offered. We ascend as it were a high mountain, and behold all the kingdoms of the earth, and the glory of them — they rise as pictures — they play as meteors, at an accursed bidding. Who shows them to us? Blessed Jesus! We can now enter into thy temptation. Since thy spirit felt the horrid insult,
246eighteen centuries have rolled away, and still the tempter assails us with the same reproach. ‘It is delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will, I give it?’ Though the power of Satan is clearly curtailed since the death of our Lord: though he is cast out, spoiled, made a show of openly, fallen like lightning from heaven, yet is his surviving strength a most proper occasion for solicitude and alarm. He now worketh in the children of disobedience among numberless strongholds he trusteth in his armor, and keepeth his goods in peace. Alas, he is no more indifferent than powerless. What is the implication of the present subjection of the kingdoms of this world, when the seventh trumpet only can announce that they are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ? Does not the whole world, with the exception of a few rescued portions, lie in the wicked one? An idolatrous company at least is where Satan's seat is; and where he dwelleth, who can tell his wiles, or fathom his depths? The anarch of heaven has obtained among us absolute deification. The vassal nations crouch and adore. He has passed like night around our globe, leaving a darkness ever deepening from itself; impervious to a single star, with each pestilence walking in it like a withering mildew. He has overspread our creation, and blighted all in it into sterility, save where a few edges of verdure and inclosures of fruitfulness skirt
247the waste. As for some kingly hunt the nets cover every access and guard every avenue, so he spreads his snares on every side, gradually contracts the intermediate spaces, and stands secure to strike his prey." — Hamilton on Missions.
Idolatry, then, should be regarded as properly the worship of Satan, and is, in its forms and developments, the great antagonist of Christianity. It is with this, in some one or other of its forms, that she has to battle for the dominion of the earth. The proclamation hath gone forth from the great Captain of the sacramental host, that idolatry must and shall perish. To this work the church of God is consecrated: for it she is baptized. The struggle is a deadly one: it admits of neither truce nor quarter: it may be protracted, but the ultimate result is certain, and in a struggle so vital, woe to the Christian, woe to the church, that shall either oppose or be neutral! To do either, is to be false to the God of truth and redemption: it is to join the hosts of hell in the crusade against all that is truthful, and pure, and lovely in the character of God, and all that is peaceful, and good, and hopeful in the destinies of man.
And now, in accordance with these views, we think that the church has acted wisely in establishing her first foreign mission in China. If we are going to attack idolatry, let it be in the very heart of the empire. The Chinese are to some
248extent enlightened; they are at least to a considerable extent a reading people: this will afford some facilities for converting them, which but few pagan nations afford, at least to the same extent. We can call in the aid of the press, and may be able to bring even their partial enlightenment into the service of missionary efforts. The field is a wide one, and if we can succeed in giving the scriptures and the gospel of God free circulation throughout that vast empire, we shall have kindled a fire whose light and heat shall be seen and felt throughout all heathendom, embracing, as that vast empire does, under one homogeneous government, people of different customs, language, and even different systems of idolatry. If we can succeed in imparting to them the knowledge of the true God we shall have pretty well settled the question of the downfall of idolatry, and the world's conversion to Christ; and the period seems to me auspicious for the accomplishment of this grand result. That great empire, hitherto almost entirely sealed up from the western world, has been mysteriously opened to us, not indeed fully opened, but sufficiently so for all our present zeal and strength to occupy; and we may regard the present as a pledge that every bar shall be loosed, and every opposing wall thrown down. The opening of five principal seaports afford us ample foothold. Missionary enterprise, commerce, and science will,
249under God, enter all the land: indeed, commercial enterprise and the love of money will be very apt to send the men of the west into every nook and corner of that land of wonders. Let the church see to it that the gospel of universal benevolence go in advance, or, at least, keep up with the march of western encroachment, so that the Chinaman shall have the blessings of civilization as well as its more degrading attendants. Other lands may yet be to some extent peopled by Chinese, when their patient industry, consecrated to God by a living faith, may make them the harbinger of God, and efficient missionaries of the cross, to people heretofore dark. The difficulties of the language are gradually disappearing, and doubtless the labors of patient philosophic minds will ultimately strip it of most of its difficulties, and render this once dreaded language pleasant, and at least comparatively easy of acquisition.
We close this already protracted article, by an earnest appeal to the church, to sustain, by largely strengthening, the mission in Shanghai. Let our beloved brethren, who are there as your messengers, see that you intend to stand by them. Let the rest of the Christian world see, by the reinforcement you send there, that you have counted the cost, and that you are determined to push this battle to the last gate of opposition. Fathers and mothers of Israel, will you respond? Young men
250and maidens of the church, we wait your practical answer to this appeal. Ministers of God, what say you? We want at least two men forthwith, for the China mission: and we want half a dozen more next year. What response shall we hear? Of the California mission we design to speak in our next.
California as a Mission Field.
THE annexation of California to the United States, and the discovery of its immense mineral resources, must be regarded as constituting a most important era in the history of the world's movements. Had that country remained under Mexican rule, it had probably continued as heretofore, — its immense resources undeveloped, and its population sparse and uncultivated. It would still have been regarded, to a large extent, a land of arid plains, and bleak, and inaccessible mountains, unfit for agricultural purposes, and offering no adequate inducement for such a tide of emigration as would have been sufficient to people it with an energetic and enterprising population. Its beautiful valleys would have remained comparatively uncultivated, and its magnificent harbors would have hailed only the occasional visit of a foreign ship. And this
251would probably have been, to a great extent, the case, even although its agricultural advantages had been known; these alone, great as they may be, would not have been sufficient to attract to its shores a population sufficient to give to it the commanding influence in the movements of this busy world, which the great Ruler of all evidently designed it to exert, by the position which he has assigned it. We confess that when we consider it in view of its locality, with reference both to the Eastern and Western world, situated for hundreds of miles on the ocean of oceans, with its harbors and all the other advantages which cluster around it, we cannot repress the conviction that it is destined to play a most important part in the future history of the world's commerce. But just at the right time, its immense mineral resources were discovered; and the shout of gold, much gold! resounding from the Rocky mountains to the shores of the Atlantic, awakened an excitement which, with electric speed, reached every village and hamlet throughout our vast republic. Straightway, crowds of emigrants from all directions, and of all descriptions, were seen hastening to this land of promise. What mattered it, that thousands of miles had to be traversed to reach it, and that difficulties of the most startling character had to be overcome, between the beginning and the end of the journey? These were all counted but as
252the dust of the balance. What did they all signify? Gold, all powerful gold, was the prize, and what might not men cheerfully encounter to win such a prize? Beardless youth, mature age, and even hoary hairs, were seen wending their way to the newly discovered Ophir. The man embrowned and hardened by toil, the man of science, and the man of professional skill, the man of wealth, who went that he might get still richer, and the bankrupt, who hastened thither to retrieve his ruined fortunes, were all seen eagerly pressing to the land of gold. The right cord had been struck, and California was peopled. Cities sprang up as if by magic, and the new territory, with one giant bound, mounted to the position of a State.
In such a heterogeneous population, there was of course plenty of material for feud and difficulty. It was not to be expected that California would be a community of saints — it shared the common fortune of all our newly settled states, it was the receptacle of much of the indolence, improvidence, and scoundrelism of the older states. But then there was an admixture of the right sort of population, whose influence must eventually work out, by the blessing of God, the moral improvement and renovation of society. Scenes of violence have been of frequent occurrence, but we confess the wonder to us is that they have not been much more common, when we consider all the
253circumstances of the population. It is true, that many who went thither have returned, and others have written back the most doleful accounts of the country, which have gone forth in the political journals as true pictures of the land of gold, and have possibly had the effect to deter some from breaking up and venturing their all in a gold hunting expedition. But whoever has taken the pains to keep himself informed of the progress of events in that region, will have learned that the tide of adventurers still sets strongly in that direction, and whoever considers the leading characteristics of human nature, will see that such must be the case as long as fresh, and still richer deposites of gold are being discovered and announced; and the lucky digging up of one large lump of gold, will draw more people to the country than the failure and disappointment of fifty unsuccessful gold-diggers will drive from it. No doubt thousands will return to the older states, but it is equally certain that additional thousands will be ready to fill their places; and many, too, will remain permanently in the country; some because they are not able to return, and many others because they have learned to appreciate and improve the valuable agricultural facilities which California offers them, so that, in our judgment, the thing is settled. California is established with a permanent, and steadily increasing population.
But we must close our remarks on this point. though we are strongly tempted to enlarge; we must not lose sight of the principal object we have in view in penning this article — the duty of the church in reference to all these thousands who have gone from our midst to seek their fortunes in that far distant region. They are our brethren the children of our neighbors, if not our own. In the land to which they have gone, the means of grace will be scarce, the house of God seldom accessible. Surrounded, as they will be, with influences directly calculated to make them forget the God of their fathers, who that knows the weakness and perverseness of the human heart, who that has seen and felt how hard it is for him, even in sight of God's sanctuary, and with all the appliances of the church in operation around him to keep his footsteps from departing from the living God, will not feel that the hazards are fearful to which they are exposed, who, for months, may scarcely see the face of a Christian minister, nor enter the doors of God's temple? The grace of God is the only thing which can save and guard them, and the gospel of Jesus Christ and the means of grace are indispensable to their safety and well being. Shall this gospel go with, or shall its ministers go after them, and look them up amidst the mountains, valleys, and mines of California?
Here in these older lands we have the men and the means; shall they be sent? Is it our duty to send them? Is it the interest of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, to send her quota of laborers into this field of glorious enterprise? and ought she to do it at once? Can the men be found and spared, and can the means be raised to sustain them? Now, we think that all these questions may be unhesitatingly answered in the affirmative. It is our duty, it is our interest to put forth a large amount of our strength in the cultivation of this field.
We owe to the people of California a large amount of missionary service as a matter of patriotism. They constitute an important portion of our Republic; they are our brethren of the same political household whose improvement and happiness, every consideration, sacred and civil, should prompt us to seek by all practical means. And we know that the Bible, and the faithful inculcation of its precepts, afford the only infallible remedy for all the evils occurrent, and for the well-ordering and building up the glorious institutions of our cherished and happy country. But it is the interest of the church to occupy the field by sending an ample supply of faithful men to that country. No man can look upon that position of California without seeing that it is destined to be a grand point whence is to radiate the light of
256gospel truth on China and the numberless countries and islands washed by the waves of the mighty Pacific. The improvements which the enterprise and wealth of Anglo-American commerce are constantly pushing forward to accelerate the commercial movements of the age, are rapidly diminishing the distance between our home-firesides and this wondrous El Dorado, so that a trip to California will, in a few years, be little more than a short pleasure trip, and the wonderful achievements of steam on the Pacific will, ere long, bring the teeming millions of China within hail of San Francisco. Meanwhile gold will annually attract increasing thousands of Chinese to that point. They will necessarily mingle with our people; they will learn our language, our customs, and will, almost as a necessary consequence, mingle to some extent in our religious services. And surely it is not expecting too much of that gospel which is the power of God to salvation, to suppose that it will win some trophies from among these wandering celestials. Some will hear and believe, and carry back to their countrymen the tidings of peace and happiness through the atonement of the immaculate Son of God. Who knows but that California will yet become a great missionary nursery for the church in those lands. And are we to have nothing to do in all this work of glorious preparation? Perish the thought which
257would dare to utter a negative. The Southern Church must, she will claim her share in this great work.
But what is the Church, South, doing in this important field? For information on this point we refer you to the very interesting letter of Dr. Boring, which you will see in the Southern Christian Advocate, and would only say that we have sent but three men there as yet, who have been earnestly imploring us to send them help. Yet we have so far, with wonderful economy and worldly wisdom, held back, as though we were ready to say, "we have sent out three men; and have spent several thousand dollars upon that work; we have thus shown that we wish them converted, but if they won't be converted after all this outlay of money, — precious money, — why then, let them stay unconverted." Thousands of southern people are there who would hail with delight the ministry of a preacher from the Southern Church. They look to her for the ministry of the word of life, and they have a right to do so; shall we disappoint them? Of one thing I am very sure, if we expect to succeed in that distant field, our brethren there must be largely and promptly reinforced. It is certainly a cruel mockery, both of them and our people there, to leave the brethren who stand alone in their work as well as their glory, and still talk piously about our love for souls ill California.
How differently have our northern brethren acted. They sent out their pioneer band at first to survey the field; and every few months they cheer the hearts of their missionaries by supplying additional reinforcements. They are evidently in earnest in attempting to establish themselves in that land. They are acting upon large and statesman-like views of the subject. They feel that the object is one of great magnitude. They know that the firm establishment of their interests in California must give them an important influence in the grand prospective movements of the future, and neither men nor money is to be grudged or withheld in the struggle. They are doing nobly; success to them. I look with no jealousy upon their movements or successes; they have their work to do, and we have ours, and there is room enough for us all, and sin and sinners enough to employ all our time and power without quarreling with each other. Yet I would that their zeal and liberality should provoke us to love and to good works. The truth is the Southern Church must wake up to a deeper sense of the responsibilities other position, and a more inflexible determination to do her duty. We are not half awake; we ought to send at least five additional missionaries to California immediately, to be followed by half a dozen more next year. That work will soon cease to cost us much, and in a few years will more than repay us what we have now to pay.
May the God of missions baptize the church with the Holy Ghost and fire, that she may know her duty and resolve to do it.
San Francisco Christian Observer.
A FEW days since I was very agreeably surprised to receive from the post office the first number of the San Francisco Christian Observer, quite a clever affair: paper good, typographical execution superior; indeed, in all respects, it may compare very creditably with any of its older sisters of the Advocate family. This, in itself, is matter of great gratification; for I hold that whenever a good religious paper is put forth into circulation, we are sending forth an efficient missionary of the cause of truth and peace. But I regard this publication as peculiarly full of promise, and hail its appearance as the indication of a state of things in California, which justifies the hope of the most cheering results from our missionary efforts in that quarter. I could not look on this new missionary without indulging a long train of reflections. What a world is this; what a country is ours, and what an age is this in which our lots have been cast! What was California twenty years ago? what was its population, and what its prospects? The country was almost a
260terra incognita, regarded almost valueless in an agricultural point of light; its mineral treasures undreamed of, and the whole land looked upon as too uninviting ever to attract much population. And so it would probably have continued, but the providence of God ordered otherwise.
Under Mexican rule California would probably have remained a comparative waste. But he who sitteth King above the water-floods, and guideth the affairs of nations even when they acknowledged him not, and who overrules the folly and the madness of individuals and of nations, to the advancement of his own grand designs, threw these mountains and valleys with all their treasures into the hands of the very people of all others best qualified to develop and improve their resources. California became ours, and straightway her hills and valleys yielded their wealth to the hands of enterprising industry; and while her rocks and mountains, previously regarded bleak and sterile, were pouring forth gold in ten fold amounts and attracting population by the ten thousand, the industrious firmer who turned from digging the shining ore, to seek in the peaceful and honest employments of agriculture, remuneration for his toils, was astonished to find himself reaping literally an hundred fold. The discovery is now made that this land, once esteemed nearly worthless, and then regarded as only a land famous for gold dust,
261is destined to occupy a leading position among the agricultural states of the world. This fact, I think, affords ample pledge of the perpetuity of its prosperity. It seems but yesterday that our gallant troops were sweeping all before them on the battle-fields of Mexico, and dictating peace from the halls of the Montezumas; and then there was the usual amount of diplomacy before the treaty was signed which made California ours; and yet, though all these events seem but as a dream of yesterday, the stars and stripes have for more than a year waved over California as a state of our glorious confederacy. Our laws, our language, and our institutions triumph throughout a long line of sea coast on the grand ocean of oceans. Our commerce whitens the seas and harbors, and our majestic steamers in rapidly augmenting numbers are constantly ploughing not only the ocean wave, but are threading numerous bays, rivers, and inlets; and opening constantly new channels for trade and intercourse to the adventurous population, which is so rapidly spreading over the whole land. Survey the map of California as it was ten, or even five years ago, and then compare the past with the present. See cities spring up in a week, and every thing else going forward in the same ratio; and then rub your eyes and look again, and ask is all this real, or is it enchantment? Bless your heart, my friend, it is all reality, stern reality. Here is
262a nation almost literally born in a day; and as this is California, a month is quite enough to build a respectable city.
But we turn now to another view of the subject, one in our judgment of paramount importance. The question arises, has the church kept pace with the movements of the enterprising gold-seekers? Has she made efficient arrangements to send along with the overwhelming tide of emigration the Bible, the ministry, and the sacraments of religion? Indeed, if she had not, California would be a sad abode, a sort of depository of all that is vile and reckless in human character. Of what avail would laws be in a community thus circumstanced? Government would be a nullity, and law a mockery; for where there is no recognition of the authority and claims of the divine law in the minds and consciences of a community, human laws, however good, will only be a sounding brass and tinkling cymbal. The prosperity, the perpetuity of the civil and political institutions of the country, depends upon the hold which religion has upon the public mind and conscience. We are glad to be authorized to say that the church has recognized the importance of these views. The Bible and missionaries and teachers have kept pace with the advancing wave of population. The inhabitants of the rising cities, and the dwellers at the mines have been cared for; — perhaps not to that extent
263which was desirable, but still the church has done much, and has given an earnest that she designs to attempt yet greater things. I rejoice in the efforts and the successes of every evangelical church to spread the knowledge of the Saviour's name in California; good luck to them all in the name of the Lord.
The Protestant churches in this country have all, we believe, been active in this great work; but as we are not specially advised of what others have done, we cannot, of course, make any distinct reference. Our northern brethren preceded us in the attempt to build up the house of the Lord in California, and God has crowned their labors with marked success. It is not quite two years since our beloved Boring, Pollock, and Wynn landed in San Francisco. They entered promptly upon their work, and earnestly begged for more laborers. Unfortunately, that appeal was responded to very slowly and imperfectly, and we left them for a time to struggle with discouragements and despondency; but they nobly stood to their posts till help came, and their hearts were cheered by the strong assurance of a large additional reinforcement to aid them in their great work. In a few days they will organize the Pacific conference. This conference will probably number about twenty preachers, none of them probationers, but all ordained ministers and men of some experience. May we not hope
264that, under God, they will reap a rich harvest! Thus, in two years, a thriving annual conference has sprung up, announcing its ability and its willingness to sustain itself, and I confidently anticipate the time is not far distant when the Pacific conference will be ahead of her sisters in hearing and responding to the Macedonian cry which shall come up from the countless islands of the mighty Pacific, as well as from China and all the lands adjacent. Indeed, I am more and more persuaded that the church in California is, under God, the destined nursery for missionaries, who are to carry the gospel to half the heathen world. A brief glance at the map will convince us that San Francisco is the grand point of departure for operations in the regions indicated above. Commercial intercourse, which is already so extensively operating, is daily advancing with giant strides, and is destined to herald to people yet scarcely known, the principles and customs and laws of the most energetic and enterprising nation on the globe. New lines of steam communication are in contemplation, some of them destined to bring, within a few years, nations the most diverse and remote into neighborhood and friendly intercourse. At the rate things are now moving on, the next ten years will develop the most astounding results of the enterprise of American Protestant Christianity. I know not that we shall ever annex Central America or Mexico, but
265we shall certainly Anglo-Americanise them. Our trade, our literature, our laws will have the public mind and heart. Education will gradually diffuse itself among the people. The freedom of the press will be established. Ecclesiastical despotism and sacerdotal corruption will have to yield to the decision of an enlightened and purified public sentiment. Liberty of conscience, the great fundamental principle of all free government, will be established. The gospel, in purity and power, shall claim its subjects in all these lands, and upon them all shall the Spirit of the Lord turn a pure language.
Now, the position of California gives it a most prominent and influential part to act in the future chapters of the world's history. It must be so; and it becomes the church to apply herself most sedulously to the task of preparing the proper instrumentalities for the accomplishment of purposes, grand and lofty in conception, far-reaching, and, possibly, as the world may deem, daring in their operations. The fact is, the heathen world must have the Bible and the preachers. More than two-thirds of the world's heathenism can be more directly affected from California than from any other point. The enterprising dwellers there are the very men for the work — bold, adventurous, the men for hardships and privations. Let them be soundly converted to God, and you have such
266an army of missionaries as can be produced no where else. And then, too, almost all these I nations have more or less representatives in the land of gold. Will not some of these be converted to God! Certainly, if they are properly cared for they will. O let the church in California he so deeply imbued with the spirit of the gospel that these pagans may see the true type of Christianity in the conduct of California Christians. But, Mr. Editor, I have given you a long ramble over the continents and islands, and must now leave your readers without any thing farther for the present; except to say, take the San Francisco Christian Advocate, and if the cost is too much for one, let two or three unite and order a copy. It will be a pleasant visitor, and you will he aiding in a most important enterprise.
Dr. Boring's Proposition.
I WAS greatly pleased to see in one of the late issues of the Southern Christian Advocate, the letter of Dr. Boring and his associates in California, as well as the warm and hearty indorsement of the editor. The plan strikes me as being at once bold, prudent, and economical. California is open to us. The material on which we are to operate, is there
267in ample abundance. It is not to foreigners, a people of diverse language and customs, that we are to send our missionaries. There is no need to feel our way by sending a corporal's guard on an experimental survey — they are our own people who are there. They speak our language and love our institutions. The stars and stripes proclaim their identity with us as citizens of this glorious Republic. Where then is the propriety of the snail-paced policy which we have pursued in reference to the missionary occupancy of that country? Why dole out two or three missionaries annually, as though we desired to impress the California's with the idea either that we lightly estimated the importance of gathering them into our fold, or else that we were so nigh bankrupt in men or means, or missionary zeal, that they need have no confidence in our ability, or purpose to sustain the interests of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, on the Pacific? I admire the bold and decided proposition emanating from our California brethren. It inspires me with additional confidence in their fitness for the work assigned them. The plan is the result of much thought and close observation made on the spot, with opportunities for forming a correct judgment, which no man who has not been on the ground, and surveyed the field as they have, can possibly possess. They invite us to make one bold and liberal movement,
268and then pledge themselves that they will with God's blessing occupy the country, and sustain our cause there without any additional drafts on our home treasury; and I have no doubt they can do it if we judge it best they should.
Now, will the church at home meet the proposition liberally and promptly? I believe we will. The money can be raised. You have told us that the Charleston district is ready to furnish two men and the money. I have not the slightest doubt of it. I know the people and their spirit I have not the slightest doubt that twenty men and the money can be raised in three months. The spirit of missions is rising in the church; let us not check its Hood. The votaries of pleasure and dissipation could raise quadruple the amount in half the time for any object consecrated to sinful amusement or guilty pleasure. No: let us up and at the work at once. The church and the friends of our holy cause ought to sustain us, can do it, and will do it. I know not Bishop Paine's views on the subject, but knowing him as I do, I can have no doubt but that the movement will meet his decided approval.
I remarked in a former communication, that California was important in view of missionary operations in China. Dr. Boring writes me in a recent letter, that there are probably some five thousand Chinese in San Francisco; that there are some eight or nine respectable stores kept there, by
269Chinese; that they readily adopt our customs, and learn to speak our language. I am glad to have my opinions so strongly corroborated by one so competent to judge. And I would here take occasion to urge this view with increased earnestness upon the church: if we hope to aid in the extensive diffusion of the blessings of the gospel among the millions of China, and the islands of the Pacific, we must make a prompt and powerful demonstration in California.
Cleveland, Tenn., September 26.
WE have spoken at some length in previous numbers of two of our prominent missions, viz., the China and California; we propose now to glance at the other departments of the great missionary field occupied by our church. We shall not notice these at the same length, because being nearer home it is presumable that our people will the more readily see and acknowledge their importance. Important they are every one of them, and upon their proper prosecution depends to a very large extent, the integrity and prosperity of the church in these southern lands; we proceed to speak of our domestic missions and the missions to the Indian tribes of the South.
The importance of our domestic missions can scarcely be overrated. In a country like ours, with an immense amount of new and fertile land, whose cheap price and virgin soil are constantly offering inducements to emigration, it cannot be but that there will always be for many years to come a large amount of newly and sparsedly settled territory, the people living at first in neighborhoods remote from each other, too few in number and limited in means to enable them to call and support a minister; yet many of them greatly desire the ministrations of the house of God; and even those who do not desire, need it none the less. Our newly settled country is mostly occupied by some three or four classes of people. There are those who love the house of God and have been wont in the older states weekly to enter its holy courts and worship there. These long for the services of the sanctuary, and would willingly make almost any sacrifice to obtain them. There are those, too, who, although they have not embraced the gospel, yet, having been reared under its influences, the scenes of childhood stand in their memory in hallowed association with the ministrations of religion and the precious example of parental or sisterly piety. Most of these, if they have not too long wandered away from the reach of the means of grace, would hail with pleasure the arrival of the Christian minister among them and bid him
271welcome to their rude forest homes. Connected with these are those who were once pious, but in wandering far away from their early homes, they have wandered still farther away from God. The Sabbath is forgotten, and the Lord of the Sabbath insulted; yet there are hours when memory and conscience are busy, and will be heard; and oh, how many of these poor wanderers might be brought back to the fold of the good Shepherd, if a faithful, devoted man of God should chance to travel into their neighborhood and family. How many would abandon their Sabbath hunting, if there were regular religious services in the neighborhood every Sabbath. And then, there are the vile, the profane, and the reckless, who hate both God and his gospel, and would as soon see the devil in the neighborhood as a Christian minister; yet not a few of these are sometimes converted to God, when brought under the weekly influence of the word of life.
These people ought to be cared for, not only on their own account and for the sake of their families, but there is another point of view in which it is of vast consequence to bring them within the range of Christian instruction. Their evil example is of fearful result in its influence upon the youth of the country, to whose favorable countenance their very recklessness and spirit of wild adventure, gives them often a certain passport Their example
272must therefore be corrected. We believe, and we proclaim everywhere, that the gospel is the grand, the only conservative principle by which society can be leavened and saved from the anarchy and ruin always attendant upon a course of unrestrained vicious indulgence. There is no saving power in human nature; its tendencies are evil. Unaided by the element of gospel truth, it is powerless to enlighten the darkness of the mind, or curb the wild fury of the stormy passions, which nestle and have at once both their origin and their home in man's fallen and corrupt heart. Now we have all marked how difficult it is to keep ourselves right when surrounded by all the appliances of gospel, and sanctuary, and Sabbath. What then may we hope for poor, fallen humanity when all these influences and helps are away? Alas! our observation in many a tour through our newly settled frontier, has taught us painfully what we may expect. If we would save the country from anarchy, and hold back the people from a retrograde to worse than savagism, we must send the Bible and its holy self-sacrificing expounders, with full liberty and power to do their work throughout all the land. Every county and neighborhood and family must be reached by their faithful, pure, and affectionate ministrations. Churches must be planted in every nook and corner, and the voice of the patient and devoted Sabbath school teacher must be heard on
273each Sabbath that dawns, instructing, and warning, and winning the young hearts to Christ. Then shall come the reign of law and order. Social intercourse under the guidance of the great law of love shall be sanctified throughout the land. Education and every social improvement shall scatter their blessings in glorious profusion, and the country gradually become as the garden of the Lord.
But there is another point of view in which this subject demands our most serious consideration. Every month brings to our shores thousands of strangers from the old world; the larger portion of these come among us very imperfectly instructed in the principles of liberty, either civil or religious; and while it is cheerfully admitted that many of them may make valuable citizens, yet no man who has scanned this subject with an impartial eye has failed to see that, by far, the larger portion of them are utterly unprepared for the proper appreciation of the privileges of American citizens, or for the performance of the duties which such citizenship involves. Now this great mass of crude and vicious population must be enlightened and purified by some means, or this land shall mourn at no distant day the overthrow of all that is lovely and valuable in our cherished civil and political institutions. But how is this renovation to be brought about There is nothing in the air or soil of
274America to make men wise or good; nor will the influence of our free and glorious institutions reform these masses. A more radical principle must be called into action. Religious truth, Bible truth, thorough and undiluted, must surround them everywhere. The faithful Christian missionary must bear to them the message of God's redeeming mercy, and exhibit to them in his own life the power, and purity, and peace of the gospel he preaches. We regard this subject as one of vital interest to the Christians and patriots of this land, and it is important that the present generation look it honestly in the face. There is a power at work among us, and busily operating through a thousand secret channels, whose aim has always been, and always will be, universal domination; a power which, by its outward grandeur holds captive the senses, and which by means of its lax code of morals, and the indulgence of its confessional, is well calculated to win the unregenerate heart to its religion of show and sacraments; and having received its baptism, to make men bow down with implicit submission to the dicta of the priesthood. And then what matters it that civil liberty is in danger? Is not the glory of God promoted in the glory of the church? Is not the church the only authorized expounder of God's will? And are not the priests properly the mouth of the church in this thing; and finally, if all these things are so, is
275it not better to obey God than man? Now we want no persecution of these people; we meddle not with their worship; we would throw around them the protection of the law, and leave them free to propagate their religious tenets; but we wish Protestants to take enlarged views. We say to them look to the future, and if you love your country and your children and grand children, and the generations to come, bestir yourselves, bearing in mind that upon the men of this generation depends, to a fearful extent, the future destinies of this great country. Send the Bible and the preacher to every neighborhood; establish schools everywhere; gather into them the poor and the off-casts; don't look upon every dollar you give in aid of this glorious work as if you were burying your dearest friend. You may save your money now for your children, only that they may be able to aid more effectually in the corruption of their race, and the downfall of their country's liberty.
Now if our views of the necessity of sending the gospel with all its attendant blessings to every neighborhood in our country be correct, the question presents itself, by whom is it to be done? The people must have the gospel, but many of them do not desire it, and in most instances, the people who are the first to settle a new country are not able to pay the preacher; and as we have no right to expect that God will support him by
276miracle; and, as the preacher, however devoted, must have food and raiment for himself and family, we must look to the liberality of the church for the means of supporting him. The Methodist preachers have indeed done nobly in this cause, but they are men with human feelings, and 'tis too much to expect that they will long continue to give their whole time and strength if they are left homeless and penniless in the prosecution of their work. Oh, how often has my heart sorrowed when at an annual conference appeals have come up from neighborhoods begging for the gospel, but we had no preacher, because our pecuniary poverty had driven some of our best men from the work that they might seek bread for their families by their own labor. And when I have recollected, how much of God's money many Methodist families were squandering in fashionable folly, quite enough to secure a preacher to every destitute spot in the land, I could only sigh and say, God be merciful to us and save us.
But perhaps I have dwelt long enough on this topic, though a great deal more presents itself which, it seems to me, ought to be said. Of our Indian missions and those to the southern slaves I ought to speak with equal earnestness, for they are equally important, but I have already protracted this article so much beyond my original design that I cannot at present do it; and perhaps
277it is the less necessary as those interests have been more fully and frequently urged upon the attention of the church in reports and missionary addresses than the one I have been considering; and I may at some future time return to the subject. I would fain speak, too, of the claims of our large cities for a much more extended and liberal share of missionary attention than they have been wont to receive; but I have written enough for one article now and must close.
Support of Missions. Number One.
We have in previous numbers dwelt at some length upon the obligations of the church to engage in missionary enterprises, growing out of the special command of Christ, as well as from the very nature of Christianity itself. We hope these views will be carefully pondered, and exercise a proper degree of influence on the minds and hearts of those who may have honored our lucubrations with a careful perusal. We apprehend that much of the apathy which sometimes prevails on this subject is attributable to a want of properly understanding the subject in, all its length and breadth.
We acknowledge, 'tis well enough to send the gospel to the destitute, and we think that the church does right to do something clever in the missionary enterprise; and accordingly, we are ready on occasions to give something in aid of the cause; but there is a lack of deep and abiding conviction of the extent and binding obligation of the work as a matter of individual duty. Some give to gratify the feelings of a friend or pastor who solicits their aid; some because moved thereto by the stirring eloquence of a popular orator on anniversary or other important occasions; some because they have too much pride of character to be outdone by others whose wealth is not greater than their own, looking mainly to the effect it may have upon their fortunes before the public; others give a little just by way of coaxing conscience to a state of at least comparative quiet, making a sort of compounding arrangement with God and duty; and it may be there are not a few who in the main are trying to do right, and who verily think they are doing the will of God who give, it may be, but who do it, if not grudgingly, with but little confidence in the goodness or success of the cause. These it will be perceived have not embraced the idea that they are honoring God by their gifts, nor do they very confidently expect any special blessing of God upon the cause to which they contribute. Now it will be perceived that in all these cases the
279contributors will be of very uncertain reliance in the great work before us, and their contributions will add very little to the permanent and reliable means of the church for carrying on the important work of enlightening and converting the world. The absence of the eloquent orator or the unpopularity of the subject itself in the congregation or community in which the man chances to be, or some other very supposable contingency, will very effectually close the purse-strings which on a former occasion were at least partially opened. If an unpopular preacher is on a circuit which last year did very respectably, the approaching conference will, perhaps, present a meagre and beggarly showing; and if the question be asked, whence this declension, the answer from the stewards and people of the circuit is, that the Bishop did not send them such a preacher as they liked, and they have resolved to resent it by withholding their contributions to the consecrated charities of the church, in order that the conference may learn in future to treat with more appropriate respect their claims intellectually and socially.
Now in all these cases, and hundreds of others of a similar character, the cause of the difficulty is found in a want of correct information on the subject. They have glanced at it superficially. There has been no careful painstaking examination of it in all its bearings on individual responsibility.
This, we fear, is the great defect in the principle of church action in these days of associational operation. Our people frequently wait for the church to act, and feel no little mortification if our church falls very far in the rear of other churches in the great movements of godly benevolence; and straightway they ask, why don't the Bishops send missionaries into distant lands, or what ails the Board of Missionary Managers that they don't devise liberal things? Do these good people never ask whether the Bishops can manufacture missionaries, and then work miracles to send them out and support them? Or whether the Missionary Board can honor the Bishops' drafts with a bankrupt treasury? O, says some good friend, they must have plenty of money, for I gave them fifty cents myself a year or two since, and I make it a matter of conscience to give my mite annually: why, here in our society we raise at least ten cents per annum to each member, and if all did as well as we have done, there would be no lack. This would indeed be a very scant pattern for a liberal minded church, and yet meagre as is this picture of gospel charity, we fear there are but too many, both churches and individuals, who fall below it.
What we want to insure on the part of the church's prompt and liberal action, is, for each individual to consider carefully and prayerfully in view of the cross and the judgment day, his or her
281individual indebtedness to God; how much they have received from that God whose sunshine and whose rains fall in beauty and refreshing upon their bills and valleys, filling their barns and cribs, and giving them food and gladness; how much they owe to that Redeemer who became poor for their sakes that they might be made rich in faith and hope, and peace and joy and love, and ultimately rich in the kingdom of God. Christian brother or sister, make up your account in view of all these matters. Say in the spirit of deep self-abasement "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" and then go straightway and do it without waiting to ask how much other people will do. Let each one say, I will do my duty without respect to what others do. We confess that the plan which is frequently adopted of making the performance of our duty dependent on the liberality of others, does not strike us as being sound in principle, or favorable in its results. For instance one says, I will be one of ten to give a thousand dollars, provided the whole can be raised. Now it is possibly known to him who makes the proposition, that there is not the least probability that the other nine will be forthcoming, so that he has a fair prospect of gaining some reputation, and retaining his money both. The question we would propound to this brother is, do you believe that it is your duty to give to this cause one hundred dollars? If you
282do, why make the performance of that duty depend on the questionable liberality of nine others? Why not come forward, at once, boldly and honestly, in the name of the Lord, and leave your example to tell on the hearts and consciences of others. But if you feel that you cannot consistently give this amount, why place it in the power of nine others to compel you to do what your conscience tells you in view of other obligations you ought not to do? We repeat again, and we would do it with all earnestness — let each one meet his own responsibilities on this subject, in view of present indebtedness and final reckoning, and there will be no lack of men or means for the world's conversion.
In connection with the foregoing views permit us to say, that we doubt the wisdom of a plan of proceeding which is very frequently resorted to, by those who urge the claims of missions on the attention of our people. They say, for instance, we have on this circuit five hundred members, now if all give twenty-five cents, this circuit will send up one hundred and twenty-five dollars, which will be a very clever offering to the cause of missions. Such is often the argument; let us consider it a little. How many on hearing this announcement from the preacher, will conclude that they are excused, forasmuch as they are not rich, and there are a dozen men in the circuit who are better able to give twenty-five dollars than they are to give
283twenty-five cents. Let them give it, says one; I'll keep my money for something else. And besides, it has come to be taken for granted by a great many people, that if they meet two or at most three fifths of what they are expected to do in church matters, they have done all that could be reasonably demanded of them; so that there is a strong probability that this one hundred and twenty-five dollars circuit will claim considerable credit at the next conference for having sent up a missionary collection of some sixty dollars, and the preacher will hand it in to the treasurer with a self-complacent smile, as much as to say, ‘Haven't we done nobly on my circuit; if all had done as well, we should soon conquer the world!’ Possibly if the preacher had taken another method, and instead of fixing the amount which each individual was expected to give, had explained and enforced the great subject in view of all its bearings and claims, and had done this with painstaking and affectionate earnestness, this very circuit would have sent up five hundred dollars for missions, besides meeting all its other claims, better than in any former year, and the preacher and every body else would have been better pleased. Such a flood tide of Christian liberality would have floated them above the shoals and mud-banks of petty jealousy and party trickery. The people would have honored and loved the preacher as a man, faithful,
284and full of an intelligent and well-directed zeal; the preacher would have felt the glow of those kindly feelings, which result from the performance of an enlarged act of liberality and Christian duty.
And now that we are in for fault-finding, we shall take the liberty of pointing out a few other things in our practice which we regard objectionable. We object to the manner in which our missionary collections are often made. For instance, the preacher gets up at the close of service, and announces that, at his next appointment he shall take up a missionary collection by order of conference. Well, the day rolls round, the people are assembled, and the pastor gives them a talk of an hour and a half on baptism or Calvinism, or possibly a lecture in defence of revelation; or on some general topic of Christianity, and in the whole sermon there is scarcely the slightest reference to the subject which ought to have been the special theme of the occasion. And then, when the discourse is ended, the preacher rises with all imaginable calmness and tells the brethren that he shall proceed to take the collection according to previous appointment; reminds the good people that he is aware that they have had a good many expenses of late; that he knows some of them are hard pressed, consequently don't expect them to give much; but then it is made his duty by order of conference to call upon them; and he hopes they will
285endeavor to do something to save the character of the circuit. The collection is made, and possibly less than five dollars is collected, or it may be not one. And can anybody wonder at it? Was there ever a better plea for covetousness heard from mortal lips? Behold the minister of God, whose office and whose vows proclaim him the sworn, the undying foe of avarice, standing in God's own house, the self-constituted guardian of the pockets of a worldly-minded people whom the love of money is driving with more than railroad speed to destruction. Alas, my brother, they can manage with the help of Satan to guard their purses without your aid. There is not the least possible fear that they will give too much; and yet it may be this preacher goes to a conference and proclaims before the whole conference that he tried to make missionary collections and failed. We have given a specimen of his trying, and leave our readers to judge of the cause of his failure. More on this point in a future number.
And now, Mr. Editor, I had intended to close with one more communication, but I have concluded to go on until I finish all I have to say. If you or your readers grow weary, just hint it and I'll stop. I thank the brethren of the Tuskeegee circuit for their very handsome response to my suggestion. I have no fear; I know I can trust our people, and I shall proceed. I have also, I am
286glad to say, assurances that the Board at Louisville will sustain my action. Now I want two men for China, to be sent out as early as practicable. I want the men; where are they? We ought this very month, to send ten missionaries to California, and, in six months, half that number to China besides invading and occupying numerous fields which we have not yet noticed.
Support of Missions. Number Two.
IF we are correct in our suppositions that much of the apathy which is frequently manifest among our people on the subject of missions, is the result of defective information, it follows that the proper means of removing this evil is found in those efforts which shall tend to enlighten and arouse them. To us it seems obvious that there must be a more general diffusion of religious knowledge, by means of a more active and general circulation of the right sort of books, and a well directed and untiring effort to excite and foster among the people a taste for that kind of reading.
The church, to be properly liberal, must be, to
287a considerable extent, enlightened, especially in reference to the great truths of the gospel of God. And this is the more necessary now, from the fact that the public mind and heart is exposed to great danger of corruption by the almost daily issues of a venal press, which, in the form of cheap novels, written, many of them, by nameless authors, or men not remarkable for purity of character, and clothed in a style captivating and exciting, find their way by thousands to the youth of our colleges, the center-tables of our parlors, the counters and back-rooms of our merchants, and carry exciting and deteriorating influences to the thousands who lounge or while away life on our great thoroughfares of travel. Now, every such work has much to do with moulding the hearts and manners of those who read it. It must be the policy of the church then, to enter this wide field of effort and bring and lay upon the altar of God for this vast service, the genius, and learning, and eloquence of her most gifted sons and daughters. Let the press become as prolific for God and the weal of the world, as it is now for the propagation of error and vice. Are these writers eloquent? are they ingenious in their advocacy of sin in some of its protean forms, both of feeling and action? Have the lovers of Jesus no claim to these attributes, and may not all which is fascinating in style, profound in arguments, beautiful in imagery, or
288simple and heart-reaching in appeal, be appropriately and efficiently brought into the service of God by means of the press? Alas! there is many a five talent servant reclining at ease in Zion in this day of her peril, whose powers, if consecrated to this work, would tell with glorious emphasis on the destinies of hundreds of undying spirits. Oh, how will they account to their great master when he calls them to the last, the fearful reckoning? Let all who love Jesus Christ and the souls of men bestir themselves on this subject, and send abroad over cottage and palace and highway a mighty tide of truth to drive back the swelling tide of falsehood which threatens so much evil to the interests of both Christendom and heathendom. It is true that our weekly, monthly, and quarterly religious press has done, and is doing much in this glorious field of effort; but are they doing their whole duty on this subject? are those who manage this department, properly alive to their high and holy vocation? and is the matter of their weekly issues sufficiently imbued with the spirit of an elevated spiritual and intelligent Christianity. Is there no danger of catering to a morbid appetite for petty quarrels, or personal altercations, either of editors among themselves, or some of their correspondents, in which the spirit of the meek Redeemer can scarcely be seen, except at intervals few and far between? Now, controversy, we know,
289is sometimes necessary; but the difficulty is, that; there is great danger of forgetting when we enter into those combats, the relations we sustain to Christ and the truth. We are too apt to forget the Master in our zealous attempts to exalt our own glorious self, let the meek, and loving, and lowly Master fare as he may. We call then most earnestly upon those who control the press of the church, to gird themselves with renewed zeal and wisdom for their great work. Remember, brethren, you preach to tens of thousands every week. It is not enough that the sermon be strictly orthodox, but it must be imbued throughout with the pure, the ennobling, the warm, gushing, and glowing spirit of the religion of the Crucified; just such a sermon as will cause your readers to rise from the perusal of your weekly sheet, not to ask whether the editor is not a man who loves to fight, and has not a sharp temper as well as pen, but to love Christ and the Church, and all her cherished interests, with a more fond and fervent affection. And now we say that if you do this, we have no fear that the cause of missions will not receive a full share of your attention, or that your weekly sheets will be clear, able, warm, and successful appeals in behalf of this hallowed cause. And then let the preachers and members of the church be zealous and persevering in their efforts to circulate our religious periodicals. There ought to be one or
290more of our religious journals in every family throughout the whole work, not only among our membership, but the thousands who are outercourt worshipers among us. One reason why thousands of our people manifest so little interest in the grand movement of the church for the world's improvement, is that they know comparatively little of the character of those improvements or the reason for engaging in them; and there is, perhaps, but too little effort made by the ministers of the church to enlighten them.
There is reason to fear that the great danger now-a-days is, that the preachers rely too exclusively upon their public appeals for the accomplishment of their prescribed duties in this respect, or perhaps throw the responsibility of supplying their lack of service on the class leader or some one else. And whenever this sad want of pastoral visitation is found, there will be numerous individuals who will never love the church as they ought, nor will they ever feel an abiding interest in her institutions. Let our brethren in the ministry perform their sacred vows on the subject of pastoral visiting: let them circulate our papers and suitable tracts, let them converse kindly and patiently on this subject in the families, explaining its character and removing objections: by this means, you will enlist many a pious heart in behalf of the cause, whose prayers and whose
291pennies will aid mightily to swell the tide of influence for the world's conversion.
We do not sufficiently call into requisition the labors of the laity. The preacher makes his appeal, perhaps, once a year, and then, not always in every congregation, and there the matter rests. Would it not be well to organize societies in every neighborhood, have proper Boards of Managers, male or female, according to circumstances; have meetings of the society quarterly, at which time some person best qualified to do it, be appointed to read an address, or deliver it to the society? This would require that these persons institute the proper inquiries to prepare themselves for the creditable performance of the task assigned them: and the very fact that one of themselves performs this task, will create additional interest among the people. It seems to me that something like this will have a tendency to diffuse information on the subject more extensively, than is done upon our present plan. And if to this be added the celebration of their anniversaries at some proper time and place, upon which occasion the best speakers that can be obtained, are brought into requisition, we think we shall have gained largely. It is notorious that our conference anniversaries are the most fruitful seasons both of interest and money. Why is this? But because they are points at which we concentrate our best array of talent, for the purpose
292of explaining and enforcing the subject on our congregations. To be sure the traveling preachers are usually the most liberal contributors on such occasions, and many a poor fellow who has not obtained five dollars missionary money on his circuit, and is minus one-third of his quarterage gives his five and sometimes his ten dollars; — and he does it, as he says, to save the credit of the conference. Now the truth is, if the preachers had manifested a tithe of the zeal during the year which they manifest on these occasions, they would have leavened their people with at least a portion of their own spirit, and the credit of the conference would have been in no danger, and there would have been no necessity for their tens, or they would have been better able to give. We have known in several instances, an amount collected at the conference anniversary, which was nearly or quite equal to the amount brought up from all the circuits and stations, within the bounds of the conference. Now, in such cases, it is absolutely certain, that there must have been positive, palpable neglect some where. Important, however, as our anniversary occasions are, we act sometimes wrong in our manner of conducting them. We seem to have adopted the notion, that a large collection is the only important thing looked to, on these occasions: and acting on the maxim of politicians, that every thing is fair, that can
293made decently available, our anniversary orators sometimes seem to seek mainly to amuse the audience by every thing that is ridiculous or laughable in air or manner. Now while we don't believe it necessary that the platform speaker should avoid every thing like pleasantry or wit on such occasions, and think there may be some departure from the strict seriousness which becomes the pulpit, yet it does seem to us that the license sometimes taken on this subject is out of taste, and exerts bad influences on the cause it was intended to serve. While it is admitted that an important object is the collection, yet it should never be forgotten, that the occasion is one under God's ministers, and the avowed object is to advance the interests of God's kingdom: and the intelligent portion of the community will connect our ministerial character with the manner of our services, and although we may sometimes collect larger sums from certain classes in the community, who may contribute the price of a theatrical ticket, for the reason, as they say, that the performance is just as amusing as anything they ever witnessed at the theatre, yet we offend the cultivated and Christian taste of those who were most able and willing and likely to have given liberally, and dry up many rills of benevolence, which would otherwise have continued to flow with increasing width and depth into our reservoir. I regard that missionary meetings is to
294a great extent a failure, which does not leave the enlightened and Christian portion of the community with a deeper and more abiding conviction of the importance and individual obligation of this hallowed cause. I wish the people to leave a missionary anniversary more religious than they entered it, — there is reason to hope for a richer harvest in time to come. There is one more defect which I have noticed in the management of some of our anniversaries, and that is the protracting them to an unreasonable length. It is arranged that there must be just so many speeches; say A, B, and C must speak: well it may be that at the close of the second speech, there is a fine state of feeling in the audience — the very time for the collection. But then brother C has got his speech to make, all prepared: he is big with it, and the President unfortunately is too courteous a man to disappoint him. So brother C delivers himself in three quarters of an hour, and by that time those of the audience who have not fled, are asleep or vexed, and the collection is answerable to such circumstances. Let those who manage our anniversaries, exercise a little more independence and common sense.
WE are not unapprized of the objections which exist in many minds, and which often find utterance both among the preachers and people, to the missionary enterprises of the church, especially when it is attempted to carry them out on a scale so large as we have been advocating. To some of these we shall briefly pay attention in this number: of course we cannot glance at them all.
It is alleged by some, that the degradation of habit and feeling among heathen people is such, that it is impossible to elevate them, and that it is a waste of money to attempt it. If this be so, then it would seem to us, there must be a deficiency in the gospel, of which we had not heretofore dreamed. We have been wont to regard the gospel of Jesus, as the proper exponent of that God-like atonement which contemplated man as he is, in all his degradation, ignorance, crime and wretchedness, and made ample arrangements to enlighten all his darkness, forgive all his crime, and afford to every down-trodden wretch on earth the means and the power of recovering the favor, the peace, and the heaven of God. Are we mistaken in these views? And is it so, that the God and Father of universal benevolence, feels no yearnings of pity and love
296for the millions of his creatures who live beyond the bounds of Christendom? and that when the gospel of divine inspiration teaches that Jesus Christ, by the grace of God tasted death for every man, and that the grace of God which bringeth salvation, hath appeared to all men, it only means to include those living in Christendom, and whom the enlightenment of literature and science has prepared for receiving the salvation of God? And as for those who live in the darkness of heathenism, although God as their Creator, is not without pity for them; yet, such is their state of wretchedness, that God is neither wise nor strong enough to provide for them an adequate deliverance; the groans and blood of the God-man have no avail for them? I ask again, is this the message of the Bible, the gospel of our salvation? If it be so, I confess I shall be in great danger of turning skeptic. But thank God, this is not his gospel; it is as unlike it as heaven is to hell. The true gospel offers pardon and peace to all, because all need it, and because it is adapted to the exact condition of every human soul, no matter what his country, religion, or education. "Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is none else; "look not to any other source, for every other is worthless: but look to me, for I am God, and therefore able to save every one who looks to me: such is the
297glorious announcement from the throne on high, which sweeps away at a single word all the semi-infidel reasonings just noticed.
And we have besides this sure word of prophecy, numerous practical demonstrations of the power of the gospel to tame, to purify, and save the wildest and the most besotted specimens of humanity. The shivering Greenlander, the stupid Hottentot, the ruthless and blood-thirsty New Zealander, the Feejee in his cannibalism, the Indians of our own country, the negro of our own plantations, as well as those who dwell on the rivers, and amidst the palm trees of Africa; each and all of these classes have numerous representatives in the church below, and that above; who have learned to sing from the heart with the spirit and with the understanding, "to him that loved us and gave himself for us, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever, amen! "
There are some who excuse themselves from contributing on the alleged plea, that some injudicious arrangements have been made by those who manage missionary affairs, either in the establishment of missions which, after some considerable outlay of money, have to be abandoned, or else in the too expensive appropriations of money for their support; and these considerate stewards of the Lord's money assuming an air of superior wisdom and prudence, say, if that is the way you appropriate, you can have none of my money.
Well, we do not want any of yours; give us only a proper share of that which belongs to God and you are welcome to keep all which is properly and independently your own. But these watchful guardians of the Lord's treasury, sometimes carry their vigilance so far that, on the slightest ground for dissatisfaction, they charge bishops, preachers and missionary managers with dereliction of principle. According to them, all these are in collusion and share among them, the vast sums which the liberality of the church has, from time to time, supplied for missionary purposes.
Now we shall not notice this thing at any great length, so far as the parties charged are concerned, but will simply say, that it is a very suspicious circumstance, that these insinuations rarely fall from the lips of those who have honorably met their responsibility as God's stewards, but from those whose conduct proves a deeper anxiety to find a decent apology for neglecting duty than an honest disposition to perform it. The first part of the objection stated above, demands a more particular notice. The principle avowed is, that they will give to no cause, or make no investment if there is a liability to injudicious appropriation. Now, the question is, how far is this a sound or correct principle of action; how far do these men, themselves, follow it, in the prosecution of their business; how far does any man follow it? It is
299certainly very possible that the bishops, and those in the management of our missions may sometimes act injudiciously; we claim for them no infallibility, no exemption from the possibility of mistake. It is true, however, that they have no interest in doing wrong on this subject. There is no earthly inducement to it, nor is there any likelihood of error beyond the ordinary infirmities of human judgment. But how is it with these cautious stewards of their Lord's money? Do they never invest injudiciously? Have they made no unwise trades, whereby they have come out minus more than a few dollars? I once knew a clever man, who refused to pay his subscription to an important charity, because the managers had unfortunately made an investment of some five or six hundred dollars in a concern which blew up. "No," said he, "as soon as I heard that they had taken stock in that concern, I determined that they should never have any thing to do with the management of my money." And yet, this good man could buy negroes, not knowing but that they would die in a week, and doubtless, in trade, would take current bank bills, if not bank stock too, not knowing whether either or both might not fail in a month.
But there is yet another view of this subject. For whom are these anxious, careful, prudent men, getting all their wealth, which they are guarding with such special vigilance? Is it not for their
300sons and daughters? The anxious, frugal father is laboring, and watching, and guarding with an almost sacred vigilance, every avenue of outlet for his incoming gains, and for what? That he may leave his sons and daughters rich. Does he know that they will manage carefully his hard-earned thousands, when his supervision shall sleep in the grave? Alas, he can be assured of no such thing Nor are the indications in reference to some of his sons at all encouraging. The very wealth which he guards so carefully, has thrown them into associations and habits, which have already filled him with gloomy forebodings for the future; and, as to his daughters, can he foretell their future? Who shall be their husbands, and what manner of financiers shall they be? Now, in all these cases, is there no danger of an injudicious investment? Yet, does this prudent steward hesitate at all? No, no, 'tis only when the cause of God asserts its claims, that he hesitates. Alas, for poor human nature! who cannot see what is the motive at work in all this prudence?
But another objects, "charity begins at home;" our first obligation is to support those faithful self-denying men, who labor among us, and this takes all the means I have to spare; and I apprehend, that, in some instances, the preachers cherish this feeling from an apprehension that the two claims are antagonistic, I recollect to have heard a
301presiding elder say, that he advised his preachers to secure their own pay first, before they collected missionary money, and I have often heard preachers say, when asked at conference why they had not made missionary collections, "the people on that circuit won't give missionary money — why they did not even pay me my quarterage." Now, it is not strange to us that a people who gave nothing for missions, should not pay their preacher; the connection is perfectly natural.
But to the principle on which all this is based — charity begins at home; and one would think from the practical comment on the text, that she is expected to end there also. The original home of charity is the bosom of God; suppose she had remained there, what would have been the fate of our sin-smitten world? You call on a Christian brother for aid to some consecrated charity, and with an air of sanctimonious wisdom, he puts you off with, "charity begins at home." Twenty years after, you call on him again, and he meets you with the same stereotyped reply; will it not be fair to call this charity of his to account, as to what he has been doing for the last twenty years? How many orphan children has he educated? None. How many widows has he relieved? None; beyond an annual turn of corn and side of bacon, and that given only for shame sake. How many schools for the education of the poor? None;
302except subscribing to build up an academy in the village or neighborhood; and that was given in view of enhancing the value of property thereabout. The man has grown much richer than formerly has he increased his contributions to the support of the circuit preacher? No, he has rather declined in this regard; he says his family expenses have so greatly increased as his children grew up that he must curtail expenses; and he begins this judgment at the house of God. He used to take a Christian newspaper, but the editor and his correspondents talked so much about money, that he has become disgusted and stopped his paper and to tell the truth, he is getting to be very much of a Quaker, and begins to question very sincerely, whether it is not wrong to pay preachers anything for their services. Let them do as other people do; work hard all the week, and preach of a Sunday. Why not? Surely it's just as easy for them to preach as it is for the people to go to hear them. Well, now, verily Miss Charity, we think your long-continued beginning seems to have produced rather strange results. We move that you be turned out of this home of beginnings, and be sent to ply abroad, over hill, and mountain, and ocean, to see if you cannot perform something more worthy of your high and holy lineage? But to be serious; those, whether preachers or people, who would fain set the missionary cause at
303variance with the other claims of the church, are in grievous error. No, never; she is one of the same holy family, and can never be at war with any other scheme of scriptural benevolence. Rather she aids, and works in with all: for wherever the spirit of Christian missions takes up its abode, there is opened a spring of enlarged liberality which sends out its refreshing rills to enrich, and render fruitful, every part of the Lord's vineyard. And in confirmation of these views, we might point you to the conferences and circuits which do most liberally for the cause of missions, and you will find that their preachers are better supported, and all their educational and charitable operations are more prosperous; and the reason is obvious. The spirit of missions has waked them up to a sense of their responsibility as God's stewards; and the pleasure resulting from their efforts to meet their duty, has so enlarged and enriched their hearts, that they give now, because they love to do it. They love the church, and her institutions, and her ministers better, they have more peace and more prosperity in every respect, and there is a consequent increase of favor with God and man.
Hinderance to Missions.
THE grand hinderance to the spread of the missionary spirit in the church, and the success of the great work abroad, is selfishness. This is a more formidable obstacle than idolatry, if indeed it be not the very thing itself, in a more refined form. Idolatry, however inveterate its hold on the human heart, can be, yea, and has been frequently, overcome, when the besotted pagan has been brought into contact with the pure and glorious truths of the gospel of the blessed God, as exhibited in the preaching, and especially in the life of a godly and devoted missionary, who had left country and friends, and was spending, with disinterested love, time and fortune, and life itself, to serve and bless strangers, who cared nothing for him, and who offered him in return, nothing but opposition and contempt. There is a language in such unselfish devotion, which will make itself heard and felt in the heart of even the most besotted; and could the heathen in their intercourse with civilized man have always encountered specimens of this description, there can be no doubt that long before this time, the borders of Christendom would have been nearly commensurate with the limits of earth's population. But, alas! it has not been so.
Adventurous discoverers have been annually adding lands and rivers to our charts and maps; tribes hitherto unknown, have been visited, and their names and positions made known to the reading public; and the white-winged ships of commerce, or the more daring steamboats, have swept over each newly discovered sea and bay, or threaded every recently found river and lake, bearing to the astonished inhabitants the proofs of our skill and enterprise, and opening the way for universal intercourse and brotherhood with all earth's scattered tribes. The men of commerce have followed quickly on the heels of the men of discovery, and the wandering aborigines are brought into contact with the representatives of Christendom.
Now, if these earlier specimens of Christianity were only such men as properly reflected in their life and conversation, the pure and peaceable character and spirit of the religion of the blessed Jesus, how would the conversion of these strangers be accelerated If the men of Christian lands with whom they came in contact, were men of pure hearts and clean hands, kind and peaceful in their deportment towards these wild children of nature, what hopeful results might not be anticipated? But how often have we to contemplate a picture the very reverse of this. The pagan finds the men whom he at first regarded as elevated quite above the range of earth-born creatures, are guilty of the
306most degrading impurities and vices, in which he himself has been wont to indulge, and that in the intercourse of trade, the code of these strangers allows them to cheat and oppress, in proportion as they are wiser and stronger. When he sees them drunkards, liars, cheats, unclean and debauched. when, in short, he sees them exhibiting in their whole course, an utter selfishness of heart and conduct, what must he think of that religion of which these men are the living epistles? Is it any wonder that when the church sends among them, afterwards, men of the genuine stamp, so much difficulty is found in introducing the gospel among them?
But at home, selfishness in some of its forms, is the greatest foe to the progress of Christian missions. First, we have the love of money in its various forms to counteract the spirit and influence of gospel truth. Men, even Christian men, so called, set their hearts on getting rich, some that they may have the means of gratifying taste and appetite, and some that they may leave their children rich; and all this, too, in utter disregard of what may be the probable influence upon the habits, manners, and future happiness of their children. The end of life and labor and care, with them, is to accumulate and buy up wealth. Hence every call upon their liberality, is regarded as an unauthorized demand upon their pockets; and their
307ingenuity is taxed to find apologies for neglecting to give; and he who urges them to liberality, is at length regarded rather in the light of an enemy, or as an intermeddler with other men's business; and in this selfishness is found the true source of much the larger portion of the objections urged against missionary operations.
But this is not the only form in which this spirit operates unfavorably for the world's conversion. It sometimes happens that our brethren give pretty freely of their money, who are yet very unwilling to make important sacrifices in another direction. God may call the sons of such parents to the work of the gospel ministry; and cases have come under my own observation, in which Methodist parents have demurred to God's decision in this matter. The father says I have given my son a first rate education, no expense has been spared, he is a young man of talents and eloquence sufficient to command honor and emolument in the line of professional life; and 'tis hard, after all my pains and expense, to see him abandon all those blooming prospects, which are just now open before him, and devote his life to the drudgery of a Methodist traveling preacher. But if my son must preach the gospel, why let him preach it as a local preacher; then he can pursue some dignified and honorable profession all the week, and preach the gospel on Sabbath;
308independently, without fee or reward. But should the voice of conscience be strong in the young man's heart so that he cannot be at peace, short of the itinerant ministry, why then the father at last gives a half reluctant assent, and murmurs within his heart, my son is choosing the direct road to beggary. Suppose now, after all this, the young man should feel that duty calls him to some distant field of labor, to spend time and talents, and life itself, in endeavoring to convert pagans to the religion of Jesus Christ; how does this new announcement fall upon the ears of the prudent father? Does he not regard it as a new development of the mental hallucination which has possessed the head and heart of his child. And now the mother is invoked, and all the appliances of maternal love are enlisted against the call of God. This is the son of her fondest affection; to him she has looked for comfort and support in life's declining hours — she is willing for him to preach, but there is plenty of opportunity for him to do good, without going so far from his parents. And all this talk too is from parents who pray, who profess to desire to love God with all the heart, and who have often prayed to God to convert and save this very son, and to make him good and useful. And yet, when God undertakes to answer the oft-presented petition, in that way which infinite wisdom sees is the best and only safe one, the
309very lips which uttered the prayer are found in the act of persuading the son to rebellion against the convictions of duty and the voice of God! Alas! how often do we ask God to do an important work, when in our hearts we mean that he shall consult our wishes rather than his own wisdom in the manner of answering our petition. Let such parents beware, lest in this struggle they be found fighting against God, and bring down upon their own heads his malediction; and should parental influence keep the son from entering the field for which the Lord has qualified and called him, they may be called to a long and bitter mourning over the failure of this child of hope and promise. Certainly God rightfully claims for his service the choicest of our flock, and woe to that Christian, young or old, parent or child, who demurs to the demand.
Now, before the church is properly prepared for the full performance of her duty in the work of the world's salvation, this accursed leaven of selfishness must be purged from their heart. She must come up to the full recognition of the truth that we, and ours, and all we have are God's. Our precious sons and daughters, as well as our property, must be consecrated unreservedly to him who redeemed us; and when our hearts are prepared for this consecration, then shall we mean what we say when we dedicate our children to God; and our
310system of education then will look to their preparation for employment in the work of God, in whatever department he may be pleased to assign them. We want scores of devoted young Samuels for the Lord's vineyard; but, oh, where are the maternal Hannahs who will bring them to God's temple and give them to him, though they should not be permitted to see them even once a year.
But we fear this leaven is not confined to the laity. We can trace its influence among the men who have vowed at God's altar to give themselves wholly to God's work, and also promised to go wherever the authorities of the church might judge it proper to send them. And yet, when these authorities indicate a disposition to send them to some important field of labor, where thousands are dying for lack of knowledge, they decline to obey the call, because the field indicated is too far from home; as though, when the Almighty called them to the work of preaching, they had made it a condition of acceptance, that their ease and comfort were always to be consulted. Talk of foreign work to one of this class, and he can straightway marshal a numerous army of reasons for disobedience. He is not sufficiently learned, although he has been preaching Christ for many years. His friends oppose him; and so many of them did when he was converted, and again when he entered the ministry. His parents are old and wish him
311to be near them, although there are other sons and daughters living, and who are equally able to minister to their support and comfort. Or, perhaps, the preacher is a young man engaged to be married, and the lady of his choice has not the missionary spirit; then how can he, with the vows of God upon him, take to his bosom one whose spirit and purposes are in opposition to that work to which he has pledged himself before heaven and earth? Alas, the true secret of all this is, that he himself has lost the missionary spirit from his own soul. Sometimes, indeed, the preacher alleges that his wife is bitterly opposed to his going to any distant field of labor. She is perfectly willing for him to go to respectable and pleasant circuits, but has no idea of being dragged about all over the world, to spend her life among stupid pagans, away from home and country, where she may either die herself, or be called to endure the sorrows of widowhood. But let us ask, did this good woman marry her husband as a traveling preacher? And if she did, was it her purpose to help her husband in his work, or was it her intention to use the influence she was acquiring over him to turn him in any measure from the high and holy calling to which he had vowed to devote himself? Let preachers' wives beware how they trifle with holy things. No woman ought to unite her destiny with a Methodist itinerant preacher, unless she has
312made up her mind to share his fortunes, and aid him in his work, with all her strength and influence wherever his lot may be cast, whether for weal woe, for far or near; otherwise she will be a sad hinderance to a man whose soul is imbued fully and thoroughly with the spirit of Christian missions.
But we see this selfishness developing itself among the preachers in more than one way. Why is it that so few of our men of talent and popular standing ever think of offering themselves for our foreign work? They may preach eloquent sermons, and deliver strong addresses in favor of missions, and may even contribute liberally of their money; but how few of those first magnitude stars are found saying to their brethren, "come on, brethren." What is the cause of this? Is it because they are unwilling to exchange the pleasant pastures in which they feed at home for the hard and rugged fields which in some distant foreign mission invite them to laboring and suffering? The people, too, are frequently unwilling to see these men of education and popularity depart from their midst, and use all their influence to dissuade such men from leaving them, no matter how imperative the calls which summon them to some far distant but important field of labor. And not unfrequently the conferences themselves show the working of the same leaven, insomuch, that the Bishops often find it exceedingly difficult to obtain important transfers
313from one conference to another. We have among them the old cry, ‘charity begins at home,’ and there they wish her to abide; let the distant work take care of itself.
A formidable array of difficulties are here presented; how shall they be overcome? We answer first, let the church seriously consider what is the worth of immortal souls, and the extent and value of the atonement wrought out by Jesus Christ for lost and ruined man. Secondly, let preachers and people seriously, prayerfully, consider the extent and authority of the command of Christ, ‘Go ye unto all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’ Thirdly, let all earnestly wrestle for that faith which laughs at impossibilities, and resting simply on God, says ‘it shall be done,’ and then with the deep and burning baptism which shall be poured out upon the church, she will arise in the strength of the Lord of hosts, and give herself in holy earnestness for the world's conversion.
Sept. 29, 1848.
Missionary Appeal to the Ministers and Members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
DEAR BRETHREN, — The Managers of our Parent Missionary Society, met in the city of Louisville a few days since, and in conjunction with the Bishops of the church, proceeded to the consideration of the state of the missions under our charge, particularly in view of the appropriation necessary to meet the demands upon our treasury from the various extensive and important fields, which we are imperatively called of God to cultivate. After duly considering the subject in all its bearings, it was decided to appropriate the sum of sixty-eight thousand dollars for the support of our domestic missions, including those among the Indians on our border, as well as those among the blacks, and those to the sparsedly settled portions of our white population; exclusive of some two thousand and five hundred dollars for the support of our missionaries to China. Thus you will perceive that it will be necessary to raise during the approaching year something more than seventy thousand dollars, for the proper carrying forward the great work to which we, in the name of God, have already
315pledged the faith, and prayers, and means of the church; not taking into the account the constantly increasing fields which are opening before us, and which we ought, by all means, to cultivate. We have several new openings among the Indians, and a large demand for an increased amount of labor among the slave population of the south-west, besides the extensive and interesting openings among the whites in the newly settled portions of our territory in the states of Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. This call is peculiarly urgent and pressing. Extensive tracts of country are also found in the mountainous regions in some of our older states, where the people are sadly deficient as to the means of religious instruction, and must remain so without missionary aid, as they are too few, and too poor to furnish the support necessary for those who may go to minister to them the word of life. Yet these form an interesting portion of our population, and should by all means be sought out, and receive proper religious instruction. All this we have felt most deeply; and we would fain have extended a helping hand to all whose necessities have appealed to our judgments and our consciences for aid; but our means were circumscribed, and we were consequently compelled to measure our appropriations not by the necessities and appeals of others, but by the probable resources of our treasury. It was,
316indeed, urged on the Board that there would probably be a considerable diminution in our receipts for the coming year, consequent upon the depreciation in the value of our great southern staple, and some intimations of the necessity of reduction in our appropriations; but then at what point could this retrograde movement begin? What part of the great mission field could we abandon? We could find no such spot, for God hath called us to the occupancy of the whole, and we have solemnly pledged our faith, and truth, and Christian honor, for its appropriate cultivation; and we dared not repudiate any portion of this sacred obligation.
So we have resolved to trust in God, throw ourselves on the faith and Christian zeal and liberality of our brethren and friends, and maintain our ground. And now, beloved brethren and friends, we commend this sacred interest to your godly regards, and your prayerful and zealous efforts. We make our appeal to you individually, and we beg that each and every one should feel himself called upon to do what he can in aid of this glorious cause. We would affectionately and earnestly urge upon our brethren in the ministry, a united, vigorous, and persevering effort in bringing this matter in its length and breadth, and height and depth, before the people of their charges. Make yourselves intimately acquainted with its claims on the church, and especially on you as
317her ministers. Make yourselves familiar with the present state of the great mission-field in which we are called to labor. Understand well what we are called to do, what we have done; and the unsatisfied claims which yet demand our efforts. Consider well the difficulties in the way of this holy enterprise; the objections which spring up among your people, and seek diligently to meet and obviate them all. Preach on the subject often, circulate religious intelligence: talk frequently about it; think of it; pray over it; get your own heart deeply and thoroughly imbued with the spirit of this holy interest; and you will be prepared to do your duty efficiently. We say to our friends of the laity, as we have said to the preachers, seek diligently to understand this great subject; ponder well its claims on your judgment, on your heart, on your purse; carry this interest to your closet and adjust its claims upon your knees before the throne of the heavenly grace. Inquire what you owe to him, who, although he was rich, yet for your sakes became poor, that you through his poverty might be rich, and give according to your ability, not because other people have given, but because you yourselves have been bought with a price, and owe to the Redeemer all you have and all you are. We earnestly desire that all our people shall be moved to united and persevering action in promoting this holy cause. Let the rich
318give according to their ability, but let not those who are in more limited circumstances feel themselves exempted from the obligations of this sacred interest. Let the preachers and class leaders and stewards unite to carry out the cent-a-week plan. If all will unite, this scheme can be carried out every where, and then we shall have ample means to cultivate every field into which the providence of God may call us; and these ample funds will have been obtained without burthening anybody, and without at all lessening the amount of contributions to other important and sacred interests; and then, too, we shall have opened a stream of Christian benevolence which will flow steadily, and we shall be able to calculate with some certainty on what resources we can rely, and can make our arrangements accordingly. We are thoroughly convinced that this is the only scheme for raising missionary contributions to which we can look with any confidence; and we are afraid that our brethren have unwittingly injured this great cause by neglecting this simple and efficient plan of enlisting the sympathies of all by seeking to obtain their numerous individual pennies; and have sought to remedy this neglect by relying on the larger contributions of a few rich men, and the impulsive fruits of our large and popular anniversary occasions. This plan is necessarily uncertain and fluctuating in its results. Oh, let us turn fully to the apostolic and
319Wesleyan plan of calling to our help the means and prayers and efforts of the great masses, rather than the uncertain zeal of the few who are rich.
And now, beloved friends, we have brought before you, briefly, the great interest committed to our oversight in the missionary department of our work. Its claims are before you. In making the appropriations we have contemplated the most rigid economy We felt an ardent desire to do a great deal more, but we could not dare to do less. Shall we be sustained? And will you not even furnish the means for abundant enlargement? We know you have the ability, and we believe you have the disposition. Let the practical response prove that we have not misjudged you. And now may the blessing of God, that giveth peace and prosperity, be upon you in your basket and in your store, in your souls and your bodies, in your families and in all the relations of life; and finally, having met as faithful stewards the demands of your great Master upon you, may you with your pastors hear from the lips of the great Shepherd the joyful words, "well done good and faithful servants, enter into the joy of your Lord." We are, dear brethren, affectionately yours in the gospel of our common Lord.
JAMES O. ANDREW,
On behalf of the Bishops.
September 12, 1848.
The Religious Instruction of Slaves.
I BELIEVE the subject which stands at the head of this article, one of vast importance to the interests of humanity, and I fear it is one on which too little thought has been bestowed by those whose duty it is to consider it seriously. With these views, I would offer some remarks on the duty of Christian masters, and ministers of the gospel, respecting the temporal comfort, and moral and religious improvement of our slaves.
As to the first of these, viz., their temporal comforts, I have pleasure in stating that there has been a manifest amendment during the last ten or fifteen years. This is indeed a matter of great importance, forasmuch as it will very often be found that a kind attention to the temporal comfort of the negro, lays the foundation for successful religious instruction; and when this is absent, particularly if the master be the instructor, there will be but little good likely to accrue from his instructions. The slave, like every other rational being, must first believe that they who would be his teachers feel an interest in his happiness, before he will listen with attention to their instructions.
But it is principally with their moral and
321religious instruction that these remarks have to do. Every man, whether bond or free, ought to be well instructed in the great, experimental, and practical truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ; and we believe, that, with respect to slaves, this duty devolves first on the owners. The usual service of reading the scriptures, singing, and prayer which no Christian family can be supposed to neglect, affords a suitable opportunity for the performance of this duty. The presence of the servants should always be required, and if nothing more be done, they will at least have the benefit of hearing the scriptures read, twice every day. No small blessing this, to such as are not able to read for themselves. I am aware that a great many excuses are brought forward for the neglect of this duty; it is said that the negro is so wretchedly ignorant, that he will understand nothing about the important interests, which are brought to view in family prayer. But this so far from being an apology for neglect, would rather seem to require of the master greater efforts to dissipate that ignorance, and bring the slave to feel that he is a man, redeemed by Jesus Christ, and capable of enjoying communion with God. It is said, too, that they are so perverse, that it is a difficult matter to bring them to attend regularly to this important duty. All this, I acknowledge; but before this work is relinquished in despair, permit an inquiry or two, especially as
322to the hour of morning prayer. Some good people I have known, in their zeal to attend to this duty, have called their negroes to prayer before day-light. Now, this has always seemed to me, a bad arrangement; forasmuch as it is an invasion upon the time which nature herself seems to have allotted to the laborer for rest, and leads the negro to believe that, in the breast of his master, the love of the world predominates over the love of Christ. Hence, there naturally arises a doubt of his master's sincerity; and, of course, the slave may be expected to receive but little good from his instructions. But suppose the negro unwilling to unite in the solemn acts of family devotion, even after you have used every argument in your power to show him its importance; then you will at least have the satisfaction of knowing that you have done your duty, and you may enjoy the sweetness of a good conscience.
Next to the owners, ministers of Christ are under the strongest obligations to care for the souls of these ignorant and untutored people. In almost every parish, congregation, or circuit, in the lower country, the blacks constitute much the larger number of souls embraced in every minister's charge; and these have the strongest claims upon the minister — for instruction, because they are the most ignorant — for his prayers and patience, because they are the most vicious and
323stupid. With these, then, every minister of Jesus should take the most special pains that none of them perish through his neglect. And yet, who among our clergy is willing to condescend to the ignorance of his negro hearers, by addressing them in a language from the pulpit, which they understand; or, by diligently laboring, as opportunity may offer in private, to impress upon their minds the subject of their eternal interests? Anxious that their sermons should please their white hearers, too many preachers disdain that simplicity and plainness, which are necessary for the negro; and it is to be feared, that there are some who bear the name of ministers of Christ, who scarcely feel that the blacks around them have any claims on their efforts, their sympathies, or their prayers. We may be assured that there rests much guilt about the altar in reference to this matter — a guilt which, I fear, cries loudly to heaven against the priests of our land. Let those concerned look to it.
But we fear that the church generally is guilty of neglect in reference to this important work. I ask, what efforts have been made to spread the knowledge of the gospel among the slaves of southern plantations? Where is the body of Christians among us, which has made any decided and general effort to carry the gospel of peace to their cabins, or to lead them from the darkening
324and sensualizing vices which surround them to the purity and glory of gospel grace? We hear it repeated again and again, that this is an age of wonderful benevolence; we hear incessantly of mighty efforts for civilizing and evangelizing Hindoos, Burmese, Hottentots, and savages in different parts of the world; but what has been said or done toward converting the negroes of our own plantations? A work in which the same amount of funds which have been spent by American Christians in the East, would have produced probably ten times the amount of good. We talk of heathen temples, and pagan idolatry in distant lands; and the church puts forth her mightiest efforts to throw down these temples and destroy this idolatry; while the habitations of pagan darkness are before the eyes of every planter, without looking beyond his own neighborhood, or perhaps even beyond his own premises. The country abounds with agents, and circulars, and anniversary addresses of northern education societies, theological seminaries, and missionary associations, and yet who cares for charity at home?
But I am aware that the subject on which I write is not a very popular one; and that many objections are brought forward to justify the neglect which I condemn. Some doubt whether the negro be capable of as much improvement,
325mentally, as will enable him to experience, and practice the graces of the Holy Spirit. To this we are amply prepared to answer, not by reference to doubtful principles and abstruse speculations, but to plain facts. We have the best possible evidence that the negro in his most degraded situation, can be brought to feel the powerful influence of gospel principles, and can exhibit in his life, the most conclusive evidence of the reality of his religious experience.
With the rise of Methodism in Fayetteville, I am not very well acquainted; but I have been informed that the first instrument of its introduction and establishment in that place, was a colored man, Henry Evans, whose name should not be forgotten among us. I might bring forward many instances of individual worth and piety, among the colored people; men whose rational scriptural piety would have rendered them an honor to any religious community; but we shall content ourselves, so far as our own country is concerned, with relating an anecdote which occurred in the lower part of this state. A certain planter, a gentleman of great respectability, had, like many others in his situation, entertained a most decided aversion to Methodism, insomuch that he gave strict orders that none of his slaves should attend the Methodist meetings. One of his servants who had been for some time a member of the society, ventured to
326break this command; the master discovered that his order had been disobeyed; he called the delinquent into his presence, and demanded of him, how it was, that he had dared to violate his commands. The negro with all imaginable meekness and humility, addressed his master to the following effect: "Master, for these many years since I embraced religion, I have tried to be an obedient and faithful servant: religion has made me no worse, but has made me more obedient to you. I am willing to obey you in every thing else, but, master, I must go to meeting; if you correct me, I'll bear it, but I cannot neglect going to meeting — I must serve God." It is said, the tears started in the eye of the master, and turning to his manager, he directed him never to hinder that man from going to meeting.
In the West India Islands, it is known that the large proprietors have borne the most ample, and honorable testimony, to the beneficial effects of the gospel among their slaves, so that many of them have used their best efforts to procure the instruction of Christian missionaries for the slaves of their plantations. And even in Africa, where the negro is found in his most degraded condition, the gospel hath tamed and civilized, and Christianized him. Nor should we wonder at all this, for the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth. Its essential points are few, and
327exceedingly simple; designed for the poor, and ignorant, as well as the rich and wise. With all these facts before us, it is believed that we cannot plead the incapacity of the negro for instruction, as an excuse for neglecting him.
Nor need we wander far off in quest of facts to support our doctrine; here in the midst of us, have been seen some of the most striking examples of the power and excellence of the gospel of the Saviour, among the colored population. We have seen the negro exhibiting the most undoubted evidence of an understanding and active faith, an ardent love to his Saviour, humility, and meekness, and patience, and all the graces which adorn the Christian character. Many of them have given the most unequivocal proofs of devotion to the cause of God, and a willingness to make great sacrifices, and endure much affliction for its sake: we will mention only one or two instances. It is known to many of the preachers at least, that when Mr. Meredith, who was at that time in connection with Mr. Hammet, first visited Wilmington, N. C., and began to preach the doctrines of Methodism in that place, the blacks were the first to receive him. They heard his message, and received it as from the Lord. By them the first Methodist meeting house was erected in that place: one brought a piece of scantling, another brought plank, and another, nails, every man according to
328his ability, so that they raised a house for God, and attached to it a small shed in which the preacher was to lodge. All this was done principally by poor blacks. And when this house was laid in ashes by the wickedness of unprincipled men, these children of Africa, nothing discouraged set themselves to work, to build another house for God. And when their pastor was for a time imprisoned for preaching to them at night, they flocked with the most affectionate concern, about the outside of the prison; while he, with apostolic zeal, stood at the window, and spake to them through the grates, the word of life. That they profited under his ministry, is obvious, not only from the willingness with which they came forward to aid the cause of God, and from the patience and meekness with which they endured persecution, but also from the acknowledged influence which the gospel exerted on their general conduct, as servants. A gentleman of high standing in that community, observed to the writer of this article, that the labors of the Methodist preachers, had produced an astonishing effect upon the colored population: "previous to their coming here," said he, "neither bolts, nor bars, could prevent robberies from happening almost every night; but since they have established a society here, we have but rarely any thing of the kind." This was the testimony of one who was no Methodist, but who
329had eyes to see, and a heart to confess the truth, which he discovered. In fact, Wilmington is not a solitary instance; in nearly all the towns, in the southern country where Methodism has been established, similar proofs have been multiplied.
On Private Prayer.
AMONG the various and important duties which a Christian is called to discharge, there is none more important than private prayer, and perhaps there is not one which lukewarm Christians are more disposed to neglect. While we are spiritual, and enjoy the life of religion, we love the duties of the closet; but no sooner do we begin to grow cold and languid in our religious experience, than secret prayer becomes irksome, and we begin to seek for some decent apology for its neglect. A man will go regularly to the house of God, he will, morning and evening, call his family together for family devotion; he will be zealous to defend the cause of God, and liberal in contributions to its support; and yet if he be strictly examined, he is a stranger to those divine communions which a Christian hath with his God in secret. This is, perhaps, a chief reason why so many who are fair outside Christians, exhibit so few signs of spiritual
330life. But let us consider for a few moments, the nature and attendant circumstances of this sacred and important duty.
Contemplate the humble believer, in secret converse with his God; how interesting and important are the thoughts that occupy his heart, as he approaches the chamber in which he is to meet and enter into full and entire communion with his best friend — a friend that sticketh closer than a brother, one who feels an interest in all his affairs. If he has had afflictions and troubles, with what confidence does he meet a sympathizing friend who is able and willing to do him good; if he labors under some powerful temptation, with what holy boldness does he throw himself at the feet of one who is able to deliver him, and will deliver him. He is approaching an Almighty Friend, to whom he may tell all the secrets of his heart. There is not a doubt, there is not a fear, temptation, sorrow, or difficulty, but he may tell it. There is not a weakness but he may confess it, and feel that all these complaints and confessions are made to one who knows us entirely and who delights to do good and not evil. And if there be any sorrow or distress too mighty for utterance, the God to whom he approaches, understands his case thoroughly, and will send the needed help. Not only may he bring his own wants and afflictions there, but he may also bring before his God the wants of his family, of his
331friends, and of all mankind. For he may not only ask good things for himself and for his friends, but be is also reminded as he approaches the presence of his Maker, that all men are his brethren; therefore he is taught to say, "Our Father who art in heaven." Here he is reminded of the kindness of him who is "kind to the unthankful and the evil; and who came into the world to save us even when we were "enemies to him by wicked works." We see, we adore the wondrous mercy of our God and long to imitate it. If then, there be upon the earth one human being who hath done us harm, our bowels yearn towards him, and we carry him to the throne of mercy and plead for that blessing of the Lord upon him. Hence, we are prepared to say, "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."
It is in the closet that the Christian gains strength for future conflicts; there he obtains such views of himself, and of the divine character, as he obtains no where else; it is there he learns to feel aright for the souls of others; there his charity learns to soar above all minor considerations, and embraces in its arms all who love the Saviour. In his closet, more especially, he learns to hate sin with a deeper hatred, and then, too, he learns to conquer it. There he receives the most important and interesting comments on the holy scriptures; and, in short, if there be an hour and a place
332which are important above every other, it is the hour and the place which the Christian employs in secret prayer.
Since, then, it is so important to perform this duty, it may not be amiss to state the preparation necessary, and the manner of its proper performance. First — Then let us have an eye to it throughout all the day; and in order to this, let us have certain hours, sacredly set apart for this work; without this nothing will be done. Second — When the hours of this sacred work are designated, let nothing prevent us from attending to them; let not company, business, pleasure, or indolence prevent us keeping the hour; and let our arrangements for business, pleasure, company, or whatever else may engage our attention, be always made with a special reference to this sacred intercourse with heaven. If we are not inflexible here all will be lost. Third — Endeavor all the day so to walk, that you may not be afraid or ashamed to approach the presence of your Maker; and strive so to live that no sin may interpose its darkening influence between you and your God. Fourth — For some time previous to your going into your closet, call your heart to a solemn account; give it a thorough examination, and let no fault, however trivial, pass unnoticed; remember, you are coining before the Lord Jehovah, inquire, then, for all your wants, and bring them humbly before him, that they may be
333supplied. Endeavor to have your heart deeply impressed with a sense of your own helplessness, and of the mighty power and abundant grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Be not soon discouraged, but urge your plea with all the ardor and persevering earnestness of one, who feels assured of ultimate success. Remember the case of the importunate widow, and make all haste to the Judge, that he may avenge you. Finally, bear on your hearts the situation of others — their present and eternal interests: we enlarge the sphere of our own comforts every time we pray for the souls of others; and our own souls lose many a precious visitation, because we are too contracted in our petitions. Let us remember the importance of this duty, and let no excuse lead us to its neglect. If ever we apostatize, that apostasy will be apt to commence with the neglect of the duties of the closet.
THERE is scarcely any tribunal in the Methodist Episcopal Church of greater importance than the Quarterly Meeting Conferences. Of this we shall be satisfied when we consider, for a moment, their varied and responsible duties. First. — This body
334is the grand inquest of the circuit: and upon it devolves the task of maintaining purity of character in the officiary. Here the character of each man is to undergo a close, honest, and searching examination every year. If there is evil, or if there be small improprieties among the brethren, here they ought to be corrected in the spirit of love and honest faithfulness. Is there a local preacher who does not labor; who lies about home of Sundays; or who so acts that his preaching is unacceptable to the people, either because they lack confidence in his piety, or because he is too lazy or too indifferent to improve his ministerial gifts? Let the Quarterly Conference see to it that he is either mended or dismissed from the ministry. Is there a steward who does nothing for the pecuniary interests of the circuit? Who is too indolent or too selfish to interest himself to raise the needed supplies? Let him be reasoned into a better mind, or else let the Quarterly Conference displace him, and put a man of better heart and head in his place. Has any member of the church been unrighteously dealt with; has he been improperly punished, either by the maladministration of the preacher in charge, or by the unjust decision of the society, or a select number? Here he has redress. Let the Quarterly Conference sift the case, patiently and thoroughly, and decide in the fear of God, according to law and evidence. If the
335complainant, has been wronged, do him justice: or if the complaint is unfounded, let the law have its course without obstruction. Are the preachers on the circuit unfaithful or negligent in the discharge of their duties? Let them be faithfully and kindly admonished by the conference: and if there be no improvement, let the matter be fairly and honestly presented to the annual conference through the presiding elder. There is sometimes a want of moral courage in the members of the Quarterly Conference; but after the presiding elder and the preacher are both gone, they are full of complaints. To say the least of it, this course is ungenerous and cowardly.
Upon the Quarterly Conferences, also devolves the important duty of licensing men to preach, or of continuing them in the ministry by the renewal of their license. It is their work also to recommend men for the itinerant ministry. This is a prerogative, involving high and sacred responsibilities, and one in the exercise of which, it is feared there has not always been sufficient discretion displayed. Here is a brother, who says he thinks he is called of God to preach. His case is brought before the society, and he is recommended to the Quarterly Conference for license. The case comes up in due form before the body. Well, who has ever heard this brother preach? Not the presiding elder; not the preacher in charge;
336finally, it is ascertained that none present have ever enjoyed that pleasure. But he is a good man, and the brethren say, who have heard him, that he prays tolerably well, nay, perhaps they go farther, and say that he is a powerful exhorter; has a good strong voice, and is full of fire. But there is likely to be some difficulty in carrying his case through. Some of the brethren doubt the propriety of licensing him without farther light. It is then urged that the brother's conscience is in the matter; that he feels that he is called of God to preach; and that he may lose his soul if we don't permit him to do so. Finally it is concluded that it is but a trial; if he don't do well, we can hereafter refuse to renew his license. So he is permitted to preach, to keep him from losing his soul; and he goes forth armed with his new commission, to make some noise in the world as best he may.
After a while the novelty of his employment, ceases to stimulate him, so that he preaches very rarely, except on great occasions. If he goes to a camp meeting, or a protracted meeting, he contrives to get there at such times as that he must be put up on Sunday, or not at all: and if he is not put forward on popular occasions, you shall straightway hear strong intimations of partiality or jealousy on the part of the presiding elder.
He has no spirit to exhort, or sing, or labor at
337the altar, because his claims have not been sufficiently regarded by the managers of the meeting. After a while, the people of his neighborhood won't hear him preach, because they say he has but one or two sermons, and they have learned them by heart. He don't improve — why? Because he won't study. Why don't he study? He has no books. And why not? Because he loves money too well to spend it for books; or else he is too indolent to have the means to purchase them. Or else his conduct has been such that the people have no confidence in his piety; either he is tricky in trade, or else he makes no provision for his family, and is involved in multiplied debts, which he makes no exertions to pay. Well, perhaps, at last, after the church has been troubled with him for two or three years, the Quarterly Conference wakes up, and refuses to renew his license; and straightway he becomes a zealous reformer, and treats the world to a chapter on ecclesiastical tyranny.
Now, all this might have been prevented, if the conference had in the first instance exercised more judgment and less feeling. The society at first recommended him rather than hurt his feelings; and walking by the same improper rule, the conference licensed him; and I often feared, that the Quarterly Conferences in recommending persons to the annual conferences, either for orders or for
338admission into the traveling ministry, have too often acted on the same principle. Great caution ought to be observed here. It should be carefully remembered, that the character of the church is identified to a great extent with that of the ministry. Let the Quarterly Conferences look well both to the character and qualifications of every man who presents himself as a candidate for the sacred office, and never on any occasion license or recommend one of whom they stand in doubt, either to avoid hurting his feelings, or because he is afraid of losing his soul if they refuse his request. Finally, seeing so much depends upon the action of this body, what manner of men ought to compose it; and how diligently should its members attend its meetings; what untiring painstaking should be on the part of all concerned, to elevate the character and improve the efficacy of an ecclesiastical body of such vital importance in the economy of Methodism.
An Address to Ministerial Candidates.
To the Editor of the Southern Christian Advocate:
DEAR BROTHER — During the last tour of conferences which I attended, the preachers to be admitted into full connection were addressed according to usage. The Mississippi and South Carolina conferences, both by resolution, requested that I should prepare the address for publication. In compliance with these resolutions, I have drawn up, and now submit for publication in your paper, the substance of the address delivered on the occasions referred to. As the address was entirely extemporaneous, at the times just alluded to, there may be found in the following remarks, something omitted, and some new suggestions may have been introduced. I have given, however, as nearly as I can recollect, the substance.
JAMES O. ANDREW.
Oxford, Ga, March, 1842.
My BELOVED BRETHREN — The church has wisely ordered that all those who would enter fully into the fellowship of this ministry of labor and reward, of toil and blessings, should be required previously to undergo a probation of two years,
340that they may have ample time to acquaint themselves with our doctrines, our usages, and our discipline, that they may during such probation learn what we expect them to believe, to teach and to do. She also designed that during this period an opportunity might be afforded for scrutinizing the temper, habits, and faith of those who offer to minister at her altars. You stand before us to-day as men who, having passed through this probationary period, are fully prepared to take upon you the vows which the church will require of you. It is taken for granted that you have not been idle for two years past; but that you have made yourselves thoroughly acquainted with all the doctrines you are to teach, and with the usages and discipline by which you are to regulate your own conduct, and which you are to administer in the government of the church of God: and you are supposed to be fully prepared to answer yea and nay to the questions which we shall propound to you, in the name and in the fear of God. Now if there be one among you who feels that he cannot go honestly and cordially, with us in our great work, according to the plans upon which we act, let him now retire: it is his privilege to do so without compromising his character as a Christian or minister; this, at least, is certainly implied in the idea of trial. And so, on the other hand, if when your brethren shall have examined into your
341character and qualifications, they shall be satisfied that you are not fitted for the peculiar work of a traveling Methodist preacher, they may, without any wrong, discontinue your connection with them. With a view to a full understanding of your sentients and purposes on this subject, we shall proceed to propose certain questions to you, and you will please answer them according to your own honest convictions and purposes.
In the questions which the church propounds to you on this occasion, direct reference is had, in the first place, to your individual religious experience; all must be right, here, in the beginning; otherwise you are not deemed qualified for this holy work. We ask, have you faith in God? We mean not that faith which is merely general — which simply recognizes the truth of the scriptures, and receives the orthodox interpretation of them, and lets the heart and the conscience remain untouched; — which leaves the soul in all its actual guilt, unchanged by the mighty renovating influence of the Holy Ghost. The faith of which we inquire, is that by which a man is justified from all his guilt through the blood of the atoning Lamb; and which is followed by a sense of God's pardoning mercy; — the witness of the Holy Ghost to the fact of your adoption into God's family. This precious truth you are to preach, and you must first have felt its power, to do this
342efficiently. We mean by this question, First — have you experienced a thorough change of heart? have you been converted to God? Secondly, we ask whether your faith lives in healthful vigor? is it to-day abiding as a vital principle in your heart? Can you trust God? Have you in your heart a realizing sense of the presence of him who is invisible? You will find this essential to your proper and successful ministration of the word of life. Without it your heart will fail in the cloudy and dark day, when the storm is loud and the waves are running high. Nothing can sustain a man in the work of the ministry but a divine persuasion of the presence of the ever living God. Without this, our ministrations may be teeming with wisdom and beautiful oratory, but they will be powerless. The light which we show forth may be brilliant, but it will be the cold moonbeam playing among the crags of the towering iceberg. There will be no heat: no thawing power will go forth with it. My beloved brethren, look well to yourselves on this point. See that you are right here. An error here will be of fatal tendency in all your future course. We have a high regard for genius, and talent, and mental cultivation up to the highest point; but so far as the ministry is concerned, we deem it specially necessary to keep our hearts fully and always imbued with the conviction that any or all of these are worse than
343worthless in substitution for thorough personal piety. In these days of innovation and novelty, we have need to guard this point with great strictness.
But the man who is to teach others the way to heaven, must have contended on the field of temptation. He must have felt deeply the plague of inbred corruption, and sought earnestly for deliverance. He has fairly entered the arena of Christian conflict, and gained important victories: but he is still a soldier, harnessed and girded for battle: his mortal enemy, sin, is to be destroyed. The struggle may be severe, but success is sure. Our conquering leader hath pledged our success; his blood, his word, his spirit insure it. Hence we ask whether you are going on to perfection? And do you seek it, not as a matter of doubtful issue? are you unfalteringly confident of ultimate success? do you expect to be made perfect in love, in this life? If you feel this persuasion, your struggles for victory will be ardent. You will groan after it. So deep — so pervading, will be the conviction of its necessity, and the possibility of success, that your spirit will pour forth its longings and its pleadings in unutterable groanings. Oh, how strong — how expressive are these words! One who thus seeks will surely find, and that right early, the full power of saving grace. Oh, if we all realized the truth of this precious doctrine — if we enjoyed it — lived it out — how would our
344hearts, our lives, our ministry be instinct with the power of the Holy Ghost? With what authority should we rebuke! With what power and confidence should we exhort and comfort the trembling and disconsolate! And how gloriously successful should be all our ministrations! Oh, that God would send upon us all, on this occasion, the deep and overwhelming baptism of the Holy Ghost!
In possession of this faith and love, you will be prepared to go forth in quest of the lost sheep of tile house of Israel, with a zeal fervid as that kindled by heaven's own breath, and a constancy wisely devoted and undying. Baptized with this spirit you will have proper views of your ministry — its obligations — and its issues. The cry of perishing millions will come over your heart like a voice from the spirit land. The love of Christ will constrain you, and you will gladly dedicate all your powers and all your days to the great work of publishing peace by Jesus Christ. In order to do this successfully, it is well that you understand and practice fully the rules which the wisdom of our fathers has adduced from the book of God, and from the lessons of experience. We therefore ask whether you "know the rules, and whether you keep them?" He who points out to others the way to heaven, will have need of all the help which the use of the means of grace can afford him. We therefore inquire, whether you constantly
345attend the sacrament. An itinerant Methodist preacher who is constantly wandering up and down in the earth, if he is not resolutely punctual on this point, may very easily slide into the habit of neglect. But remember that you especially should walk in all the ordinances of the Lord blameless. If you are in orders yourself, see that the blessed sacrament be administered regularly in all the congregations of your charge, at least quarterly: and if not yet in orders, make every practicable exertion to have some ordained brother visit your people, and dispense to them the bread and the cup of the holy Eucharist.
In order to carry out the great designs of your ministry, it is necessary not only to preach the gospel fully, earnestly, and powerfully, but it is also necessary that you, as the shepherds of God's flock, maintain the purity of the church by the faithful, kind, and impartial administration of a godly, scriptural discipline. The line of separation between the church and the world must be maintained in all its original distinctness. Purity becomes the house of God, and must be maintained at all hazards. Erring members must be cured if possible, and if not, then excision must follow certainly and promptly. In the discharge of your duties there will arise many occasions of grief, and hardship, and mortification. Yours must be to a great extent a life of hardship and self-denial.
Can you submit to it? Have you read the discipline closely, leisurely, and carefully? and will you conform to it? But to be a little more particular. Have you considered the rules of a preacher — especially the first, tenth, and twelfth. These rules, brethren, are all pregnant with sound, practical wisdom; and though we are directed in this examination to a special consideration of only three of them, yet we shall avail ourselves of the teachings of several others in order to make our instructions as profitable as we can.
The first of these rules which ought to be written upon every preacher's heart, and inscribed at the entrance of his study, and on a proper attention to which every thing else may be said to depend, is as follows: "Be diligent: never be unemployed: never be triflingly employed: never trifle away time: neither spend any more time at any place than is strictly necessary." This was the practical rule of the great Wesley. By this rule he walked and lived: and it was by steadily regarding it that he achieved so much, and has left behind him a monument more enduring than the everlasting mountains. The great secret of life is, be always wisely busy. This, under the blessing of God, will infallibly lead to success — to greatness: and this is especially the secret of ministerial success; for we have more to do than other men: our aims are higher: our work farther
347reaching and more overwhelmingly glorious in its results. We, above all men, have no time for idleness or unprofitable employment: time is flying: sinners are dying: the Master is calling, and a voice from the most excellent glory urges you to your prayers — to your Bible, and to your pulpits. It is because this rule is so much neglected, that many of our preachers never rise to respectability in their calling. It is not want of gifts: it is not want of time: it is not want of means: nine times out of ten it is because they violate this rule. They are idle — they sleep — they lounge — they read newspapers — they talk politics — they sit about the stores — or in the changing shade where village gossips meet — or read the trash with which the periodical press is weekly flooding the country; instead of grappling with unfaltering purpose, the mysterious and glorious truths which after the example of angels they are called to study. The result is, their minds are barren. They preach the same sermons now that they did twenty years ago; and the people are tired of eating always the same stale loaf, and leave them to dispense it to vacant benches: and then, instead of taking shame to themselves, they abuse the few faithful who take up the cross in coming to hear them — alleging that the people are backsliders, and pointing to houses which their own idleness hath emptied as
348the proof. My dear brethren, consider well this rule, remembering how much depends upon its observance.
But ours is not a work merely for time: the imperishable interests of eternity are before us. We are not sent to discuss to curious hearers the nice speculations of an abstruse philosophy, that we may attract to ourselves the homage of the multitude. We have no heart to seek popularity — no ear to hear its shout. Heaven and hell — sin and holiness — condemnation and pardon — the incarnation, agony, death, resurrection, ascension, and second coming of the glorious Redeemer — the awful realities and awards of that second advent — God's wrath and God's love — the world's falsehood and God's truth — these, are the themes of our thought and speech; and is there any time for us to be trifling? Be serious, therefore, avoid jesting; flee from levity of spirit and of speech, as you desire that your ministry should be weighty and efficient. Your love to God and man will make you kind and cheerful; but it should also maintain in you a spirit of seriousness. It is a bad business, when the best recommendation we hear of a preacher is that he is a very clever, jovial fellow, and mighty good company.
The third rule is — converse sparingly and conduct yourselves prudently with women. The fourth is — take no step toward marriage, without
349consulting with your brethren. We shall notice these rules in connection. I know of no class of men in the country who have more need to regard this caution than Methodist traveling preachers. Thrown out into society as they are for the avowed purpose of reforming its habits, they are necessarily compelled to come in contact with almost every variety of character. The preacher is compelled frequently to lodge in families with whose character and habits he is entirely unacquainted. He will not always find, even in female character, delicacy and refinement; but frequently their opposites.
Hence, if he does not especially guard his heart and his lips, he will oftentimes find himself in dangerous circumstances. Many mighty men have fallen by not regarding this rule. Let us therefore be carefully circumspect in our intercourse with females. I would not have a Methodist preacher devoid of politeness. For a Christian minister should always be genuinely a gentleman; and his intercourse with ladies should invariably be respectful and kind; but at the same time let it be dignified and ministerial. Some sad stories of ruin and degradation have met my eyes and ears during my pilgrimage, thus far: and some cases have occurred in which preachers have been well nigh ruined, when, perhaps, there was no actual or designed criminality. But candor compels me to Bay that in almost every such instance, the
350difficulty might be traced to some recklessness of speech or manner on the part of the preacher. But even supposing that no evil such as that just referred to, should occur: yet, if a young preacher is what is usually called a lady's man — one who smiles, and bows, and giggles, and simpers, and plays with the ladies' handkerchiefs, and is full of gossip and small talk for their amusement, his weight and ministerial influence are destroyed: his head and his heart both lose character; and the sooner he goes home the better.
To the subject of marriage we shall next direct your attention: and on this you will allow us to dwell at some length. We regard it as a matter of so much importance that we cannot dismiss it with a few casual remarks. The scriptures lay no interdict on Christian ministers in this regard. They are at liberty to marry as other Christian men; but remember it is to be in the Lord. Our book of discipline maintains similar doctrines on this subject. It is perfectly lawful for Methodist preachers to marry; but it is of great consequence that the law of propriety be consulted as to several important points involved in the decision. First, there is a law of propriety as to time, which should be gravely considered. Young men just entering the ministry are rarely qualified to introduce a wife to the cares and crosses and mortifications of itinerancy. I have known several of this class who
351married the first or second year — before they had secured ministerial character, or obtained influence sufficient to secure even the quarterage of a single man on a circuit. Yet they married and called an inexperienced and sensitive woman to mingle with scenes and conflicts for which she was totally unprepared, and after struggling through a cheerless and almost penniless year of labor — the preacher's spirit broken, and his wife in tears — the devil whispers locate, and the man obeys. The remaining portion of this chapter I need not recite. Let me say to any young brother who has just entered the ministry, think not of marriage yet: to your prayers — your books — and your work, till you have acquired character sufficient to command a welcome from the people of your charge, both for yourself and your wife. And should some angel-form — some creature of light, in the mean time rise up before your vision, and you begin to say I shall never see another such — stop, brother — don't be uneasy: first prepare yourself for your work; and then either this or some other angel will cross your path.
But, second, there is a law of propriety as to the person. Marriage is always an important step, whenever or wherever taken: but it is especially so when the individual concerned is a Christian minister; and more especially so, if he be a traveling Methodist preacher. When the saintly
352Fletcher was about to marry, he said he was choosing a wife for the church. This was a forcible and correct view of the subject — and one which should be religiously taken in every instance by preachers who are deliberating on the subject of marriage. The wife of an itinerant preacher is so closely identified with him in his labors, trials, and successes, that his character and usefulness must be materially affected by her conduct. Should she be an intelligent, pious woman, who loves God, and has his work greatly at heart — a woman prudent in act and prudent in speech; her husband will find in her a powerful auxiliary in carrying on the glorious work of God. But should she be of an opposite character, woe be to her husband and the circuit to which he is sent. I have known some very ordinary preachers, who were always very well received, because of the excellent character of their wives. And I have on the contrary known preachers of very respectable talents, who were always dreaded on every appointment to which they were sent, because of the unsuitableness of their wives. Nor was this dread unreasonable: for it would be difficult to calculate the amount of evil which such wives do in a circuit — especially if (as is very apt to be the case with such women,) they have much influence over their husbands. Now, then, let me say, be discreet in making your choice; don't fall in love and
353surrender at first sight — no, not although the fair one be agreeable and intelligent, and even pious. Take time to think and inquire. Carry the case to God, on your knees, and ask him to aid you in your meditations and decisions on this all important subject. This, however, is a nice point; and I have known some preachers who, I think, have greatly erred in following out this part of my counsel. They have carried the matter to God in prayer, and have waited for the answer in ways of their own devising; and have interpreted certain; comfortable and pleasant feelings as an answer favorable to their wishes. Now, to say the least of it, this is a very doubtful procedure. God has given you your eyes and ears. Use them. He has given you also, your brains and your tongue; Use them all, with an humble reliance upon the God of all wisdom, and you will rarely fail. I once knew a venerable and excellent presiding elder, who said that at one camp meeting, no less than three preachers took him out to consult on the subject of marriage; and they had every one made it a matter of prayer; and each one was perfectly satisfied that the answer from on high was favorable. So when the venerable man had listened to their respective communications, Well, said he, brethren, some of you must be wrong: for God never designed that you should all three many the same woman. I present this as a case
354exactly illustrative of my meaning. By this time you will probably feel the importance and propriety of the rule — take no step toward marriage without consulting with your brethren, who, from their age and acquaintance with circumstances and persons, will be prepared to give suitable advice.
On your first entrance on a circuit, as well as at other times, you will frequently find very charitable people who will volunteer to give you information and advice as to the state of the circuit, and the standing and conduct of many of their brethren in it. You will also be very apt to hear the defects of your predecessor's administration pretty freely discussed, and certain pious wishes and devout aspirations as to the re-establishment of the reign of old-fashioned Methodism, under your auspicious administration; together with divers sage counsels volunteered as to the course necessary for you to pursue in order to secure these grand results. Some of these counselors are honest and well-meaning, but generally hasty and injudicious; and some others, as you will probably afterwards find out, are officious and themselves exceedingly ungovernable. You will act wisely in every such case (while you patiently listen to the information and advice thus freely given to you,) to allow no influence from it, upon either your conduct or opinions till you have had time to see and examine for yourself. As the governor of the church, it is
355of great consequence, that your opinions in reference to your people in any case of difficulty, be kept strictly in your own breast, that they may be unable in any case to claim you as a partizan. Keep yourself free, that your opinions and decisions may have due weight in the church and community. Be very careful how you express your opinion of the families where you lodge, either as to their dress, their manners, or their fare — especially if the people be of the poorer class. If you have seen aught amiss in any of these respects, you should have endeavored kindly to correct it privately, but it is certainly not a very kind return for their hospitality when you present them in a ridiculous or unfavorable attitude, either for your amusement, or in order to set off to the best advantage your sufferings and privations in the itinerant ministry. I have known prejudices of the most deep and destructive character engendered by this sort of foolishness on the part of a preacher.
It will be of the utmost consequence to the successful prosecution of your great work, that you deal with honesty towards all the people of your charge. Are any of them charged with delinquencies? Go to them yourself, if it be possible. Don't send the class leader; go yourself. The class leader or the local preacher may not discharge the duty as fully and faithfully as you might have done: nor
356can they quit your conscience of its responsibility at the great tribunal: nor will the Chief Shepherd accept your apology, when He knows that indolence or want of moral firmness was at the bottom of your neglect. Honesty is always the best policy; and punctuality in the discharge of your various duties is an essential branch of honesty. One of your rules says, be punctual — do every thing at the time. The neglect of this rule on the part of the preachers has ruined many a congregation and many a circuit: and utterly prevented the usefulness of many a preacher, who was in all other respects unexceptionable. For the people very reasonably infer, that he who is a faithful minister of the God of truth, should himself both speak and act the truth. If the appointment be at 11 o'clock, and the minister rides up at half an hour past the time, the people will soon fall back to 12, and after a while will cease altogether; and the parson finds an empty house, and then soon begins to talk of throwing out the appointment.
Now, this want of punctuality may arise from various causes. Perhaps the preacher is interested in his studies, and remains too long at his books: or possibly he did not get his breakfast in time; and his landlady says the reason of that is, he did not get up till long after the sun had begun his daily journey: that a good deal of the breakfast arrangement was suspended waiting for
357family worship; in short, the parson came not out of his bed-chamber till seven or eight o'clock. But why this irregularity? — does the preacher say he was at his books and studies till midnight, and consequently could not rise early in the morning, since nature requires some repose? This is obvious; and it is plain that he who reads till twelve and one o'clock, can scarcely be expected to rise at four, or even by six. But still the question recurs — why this irregularity? why not go to bed at nine or ten, and rise at four, or at farthest by daylight? Do you say you can study best at night; I doubt this is all a mistake, or at best 'tis only the result of habit; and it is just such a habit as can and ought to be changed. Wesley retired at nine, and arose at four; and who read to better purpose, or thought more clearly than he? Only think for a moment of the confusion you make in the arrangement of many of the families where you lodge. You stay with an industrious methodical farmer, who loves to keep a clean crop, as well as to pray regularly in his family: consequently he stirs early, and the signal for morning prayer is heard before the sun is seen in the east. At the well-known sound the family collect together for social worship — the master is there, and the mistress is there, and the children and the servants are there. But where is the preacher? snug in bed and sound asleep. Now, what is to
358be done? will the master pray with his household and leave the parson to his nap? or will he send off the servants to their business and wait till the preacher makes his appearance about breakfast time, and then have the semblance of worship with less than half the household? After a little while, possibly, the master neglects on his own account what was first neglected for the accommodation of his spiritual guide; and the boys and young men of the establishment sleep till breakfast time, because the man of God has taught them to do so by his example. I am afraid that this is one principal reason why the good old practice of calling in the servants to family worship has fallen so much into disuse. Many of the preachers sleep so late in the morning that the thing is impracticable. Alas for us! is this one of our modern improvements, one of the evidences of the march of mind among us? I pray you, brethren, come back to the good old usage of your fathers, "early to bed and early to rise," and then you will probably be ready for the service of the morning and the blessings of the day.
But there is another view of this matter, which we wish you deeply to consider. As Methodist preachers, you have a great many things to do: and for each of these various duties, there is an appropriate time. You have to study, to pray, to preach, to write. For each of these there should
359be a set time. And then, you have to meet your classes — administer the discipline — and visit your people. And then the temporalities of the church must be attended to. You must see to your quarterly collections, and your missionary collections; and each of these hath its appropriate time, when it should be certainly attended to. And then there are the great plans of education, which our Church has been devising with enlarged and liberal views, but has been prosecuting in most instances with a languid and feeble step. Yet, these plans must be carried out, or our reputation — our welfare — our very existence, in coming time, be periled: and in order to keep ourselves and the people awake to these great interests, our books and periodicals must be widely circulated. You must see that every family is supplied with our books; and with at least one of our religious papers. At any rate, use your influence to bring about this result. Now if you do not attend punctually to each at the proper time, things will get into confusion.
It becomes not a Christian minister to affect superior gentility. Some preachers are a source of perpetual disquiet and trouble to the families where they lodge. They keep the mistress and half the domestics busy in waiting on them. They are exceedingly delicate as to their food; and are specially tasteful as to the washing and doing up
360of their garments. In short, they are so hard to please that the friends where the preachers lodge are glad when they quit the circuit. Such preachers will usually be found in that class of men whom Methodism hath dug up from the depths of poverty, and the humblest obscurity: such as having had in early life no attention shown them, and no court paid to their palates, or their whims — seem determined to reimburse themselves for past privations by levying a perpetual tax upon the patience and forbearance of ill the well bred families with whom they lodge. Now let it always be remembered, that an intelligent, well-bred preacher waits a good deal on himself — is easily pleased — and is careful to avoid giving unnecessary trouble to others.
But there may be sometimes found a preacher who affects superior mental endowments: or else he is a student — a very book worm — who is so greedy of wisdom's lore that he cannot come down to the every day minutiae and drudgery of a Methodist preacher's work. Talk to him of examining classes, and selling our books, and establishing Sunday schools, and collecting for missions, and getting subscribers for our papers, or taking conference collections, and with a look of effable self-complacency he will give you to understand that he has no gift for this kind of work: that his habits are decidedly studious; that
361his communings are with the illustrious dead; and that the whole cast of his character is highly intellectual; that men of smaller calibre can do all this small work, and labor at altars, and pray with mourners, and sing at revivals; but the honor of Methodism requires that there should be some who range in the higher regions of the air. This species of affectation manifests itself too in frequent attempts at classical or scientific quotation; which only tend to expose the preacher to the contempt of every hearer, who is really well informed.
But there is yet another sort of affectation, against which we would earnestly warn you: because excellent young men frequently fall into it without design. It is the habit of imitating favorite or popular preachers, in voice, or gesture, or manner. Let me beseech you to guard against this, or it will largely subtract from the dignity and authority of your ministry. Improve your mind, and voice, and gestures as much as you please; but be yourself. Put upon every word, and thought, and tone, the stamp of your own originality; and never for a moment submit to be considered a mere copyist.
Finally, recollect that your business is to save as many souls as you can. God has called and thrust you out for this very purpose: and such is the peculiarity of the work to which you are called
362as an itinerant Methodist preacher, that you must forego the right of choosing your own field of labor. "The field is the world;" and to any part of that field you are liable to be sent without considering whether it be sickly or healthy — whether the people be rich or poor, cultivated or crude. None of these things may be considered in deciding for you. The people are immortal, and they are sinners. They need the gospel, and you are the man to carry it to them. And just at this point the devil may whisper, you are not appreciated, your talents are not regarded, your comfort has not been considered — the country is sickly — and a host of other such matters — to all of which it might be sufficient to answer by simply asking — are you a better and wiser man than your brethren? Are you not as much entitled to the honor of bearing hardships and encountering disease and death as your brethren? And once for all, may you not possibly have miscalculated somewhat as to your superiority of claim over other less pretending brethren? Go then, brethren, to your work, always expecting the company of your divine Master: and he can make every wilderness and solitary place rejoice and blossom as the rose. And we take this occasion to warn you now at the very threshold of your entrance among us, that while you remain with us, you must labor when and where the proper authorities
363of the church shall judge most for the glory of God. And if there be one among you who thinks that he cannot submit cheerfully to this life of privation and change, we this day affectionately exhort you to return to your former employment. You cannot succeed well with us.
So much for a sort of general view of what we call the rules of a preacher. We ask you, then, whether you are determined to employ all your time in the work of God? I confess I have been often surprised to hear preachers answer this in the affirmative, who, in less than twenty-four hours, asked for a location that they might be able to spend six days for the world, and one for God's work. Do such men seriously consider the import of language? Do they think that the great Shepherd hears them, and will remember it? "Will you endeavor not to speak too long, nor too loud?" Many young men of ardent piety and great zeal, who promise at their commencement great usefulness to the church, have found an early grave: having left the field almost as soon as they entered it, because they had by excessive labors worn themselves out in the morning of their days — ere yet they had learned to wield skillfully the weapons of their spiritual warfare. Young men are too apt to imagine that zeal depends very largely upon strong lungs, and a capacious throat. Although we are quite free to admit that these are valuable
364auxiliaries to the preacher in carrying on his great work — yet we have known many men who had both these and used them both in no stinted measure, in the pulpit, who nevertheless in our judgment possessed scarcely a single ingredient of genuine Christian and ministerial zeal. The preacher raves and thunders an hour and a half, or possibly twice that time in the pulpit, and is then too much fatigued to do any more of his proper work till preaching time next day: and after a while the people grow wearied with his lengthy sermons and become accustomed to his noise, so that his ministry loses its influence. I love to see a Methodist preacher industrious in his studies — warm in preaching — punctual in his class meetings — busy, busy, all the time busy in attending to the various details of his work: — this is my notion of a zealous preacher. "Will you diligently instruct the children in every place." In the olden time the traveling preachers used to put the children into classes, and meet them regularly; and in still later days it was customary for the stationed preacher to catechize the children of his charge every Saturday afternoon. These were good and profitable usages; and were in former years greatly blessed to the young of our flocks. But they have grown into disuse now, and the teachings of the Sunday school are looked to as supplying all this lack of ministerial service. And
365this might be well if the preacher was often in the Sunday school, assisting in the hallowed work of instruction. But what shall we say of him who does neither the one or the other? who neither catechizes them, nor meets them in Sunday school? Alas for such shepherds! Oh, brethren! take care of the lambs of the flock. Don't wait till they grow old and hardened. Begin now to sow the seed of life: and it shall vegetate and grow, and ultimately yield a gracious crop. "When you visit the families, talk to the little ones; win their confidence by your affectionate simplicity of manner, and then lead them to the blessed Jesus, by your counsels and your prayers. Don't excuse yourselves from this blessed work by saying, you will wait till they grow older. Remember, while you are loitering, Satan is up and already busy before you. Oh, bestir yourselves, or you are traitors to the cause of Christ.
Another important part of your work to which our examination directs you, is the duty of pastoral visitation: a work of vast consequence to the success of your ministry; and yet preachers are more prone to neglect this than any other part of their duty. It is a heavy cross to him who hath lost the spirit of his mission; to the man who lives only to preach fine sermons, who thinks only of his work as connected with the study or the pulpit: in short — to him who does not feel the love of Christ constraining him: who has forgotten that
366the great business of his life is to save souls. Now when we ask you if you will visit from house to house, we do not mean to inquire whether you will call on your people as neighbors to inquire, and talk, as to politics, crops, or neighborhood gossips. We mean, do you visit pastorally? Do you carry with you in your temper, and talk, and manner, the evidence that your treasure is in heaven? And do you so conduct yourself in the families you visit that when you are gone, they shall feel that a prophet of God hath been with them? If you visit thus, you will find it a delightful work. You will be beloved by your people. They will feel that you are interested for them, and you will gain access to many a heart, at the door of which you might always have thundered in vain from the pulpit; besides that, this very thing will, beyond every thing else, tend to enlarge your congregations. Visit the people generally. Do not pass a door because the owner does not hear you preach, or is wicked. Be very slow to decide that any case is hopeless. There are many who have gone very far from God, who are now perishing because they have not confidence to make another effort for salvation. They conclude their cases are hopeless, and the church and the minister seem to have tacitly ratified the conclusion by passing by on the other side, and permitting them quietly and uninterruptedly to wend their way hellward, when
367a little resolute kindness might save them. How many such have been dug up by the diligent and affectionate efforts of a faithful pastor! Go to the house of God on the Sabbath. See the crowd there who hang on the lips of the man of God: and among them is one to whose judgment and conscience the word has come with power, and he resolves to think more seriously of these matters hereafter, but then he is a stranger to these things, and hardly knows how to commence: and he is a stranger to the preacher and to the people of God, His associations have been in quite an opposite direction. Now what shall he do? All is darkness about him: nor can he hope for light front friend or acquaintance. Oh that the preacher had noticed his tears on the Sabbath! Well, he did so; his practiced eye marked the starting tear, the drooping head; and before a week the faithful shepherd has inquired him out, sought his habitation, and has been directing him to the cross of Jesus, and been pleading with him and for him at the mercy seat The sinner is saved, who without this painstaking would have perished. Don't tell me you have no talent for it I have heard many say so, but never believed them. Go, try it prayerfully and resolutely for two years, and if you don't find your talent increase, your heart improve, and your sheaves multiply, then quit the ministry and go to plowing.
But, says one, I have no time; I must read and study, in order to approve myself as an able minister. You will have time enough for both: only rise early; never be idle, nor triflingly employed, and you will have ample time for all. It is altogether a mistake into which some young men fall, that they cannot be regarded studious unless they are always poring over the books; some men read so much that they never know anything. Bead, carefully and closely, every day enough to furnish food for thought; then close your book and go forth among your people, and study man as you will find him in the hovel or the palace, in Rigs or in broadcloth, in storm or in calm. See the developments of his heart as they are manifest on the smooth summer sea, or in the howling of the dark wintry storm. Study the heart when the laugh of thoughtless gaiety is upon the lips, or when the canker of sorrow has corroded it till the brow is dark, and the drops of grief bedim the eye. Study this book of the heart closely and patiently, and next to the Bible you shall find its pages richer in instruction than all other volumes. Let me conclude this part of my discourse by saying that I have known some splendid bookworms, who lived and labored for naught; but I have never yet known a diligent faithful pastor, who was not a blessing to the people of his charge — even though his talents as
369a preacher may have been regarded as only ordinary. Let me again say then, visit your people. Visit them frequently — visit them faithfully — visit them kindly — visit them all: but especially visit the poor of your flock. Find the way to their cabins, their garrets. Go in God's name, and you shall be doubly blessed. The Master shall bless you, and that poor widowed one whom you have sought out, while with her apron she wipes the starting tear, shall cry, God bless you, my minister.
Finally, we deem it important that he who enters upon this work, should be free from pecuniary embarrassment. Therefore we ask, "are you in debt?" We mean, are you in debt so as to produce any embarrassment in your circumstances. A soldier who is liable to march away at a moment's notice, ought to be in no danger of difficulty from sheriffs or constables. The preacher who is in debt, can never feel perfectly free and independent. There will be in his mind a little bondage: and very likely a little want of that decision and energy of movement in certain matters which should be desirable. And remember still farther, that he who enters this work in debt will find a dull prospect of paying afterwards. I remember to have heard a very sensible preacher once say, that on his circuit he owed an individual in one of the societies, some twenty dollars, which he was unable for some months to pay: and that he never
370preached in that man's presence without being embarrassed. If he preached about justice or honesty, he thought the creditor was saying, pay me my money. If he preached against loving the world, the reply seemed to be, first pay me what thou owest. If he pleaded the cause of charity he thought his creditor was saying, first pay my dues before you ask me to give to the cause of charity; so that he never could preach comfortably before that man till he paid him all that debt.
And now, beloved brethren, we have detained you sufficiently long, and feel that it is time for us to close these remarks. Before we do so, however, permit us to assure you that your elder brethren, who sit around you, deeply sympathize with you in all your spiritual conflicts and temptations. We know your hearts for we have endured similar trials; but the grace of God has been abundantly sufficient for us, and it will be so for you. With you we rejoice in the grace which hath kept you for two years. Let the remembrance of past deliverances be to you the pledge of future triumphs. We bid you a cordial welcome to this fellowship of peace, and love, and labor, and suffering. Gird you for the glorious warfare, and quit yourselves so that in heaven and earth it shall be written that you are men of one book and one work.
Biographical Sketch of Mrs. Ann Amelia Andrew.
MY beloved AMELIA was born in the city of Charleston, S. C., on the twenty-eighth of June, 1796. She was the daughter of ALEX. McFARLANE, and CATHARINE, his wife. Her father, once a merchant in apparent prosperity, failed in business and died, leaving his wife in penury, with five children to bring up. Mrs. MCFARLANE, though a woman of sickly constitution, possessed great industry, and by the blessing of God on her efforts, and the kindness of her excellent mother, she was enabled to raise all her children creditably. ANN AMELIA was the second child of this family. She possessed great vivacity and sprightliness of disposition; was in her childhood full of mischief; and learned very rapidly. Her mother afforded her a good education: by which, I mean, that she learned all the substantial and important elements embraced in a practical English education. She knew nothing of French, or Spanish, or Italian. She never learned "the poetry of motion;" nor the mysteries of instrumental music. Yet she read her own language with remarkable propriety;
372had a nice and discriminating judgment and taste in reference to books; was very fond of reading — always preferring those authors whose works abound with sound practical sense and experimental piety, and whose style is at once chaste and simple. She wrote with great facility; and I have often regretted that her diffidence prevented her from instructing (as she was well capable of doing,) through the press. She had also learned carefully, and was remarkably prompt at applying, when occasion required, the powers of arithmetical calculation, which she found of great importance, in after years, to herself and to the interests of her family. But there was another very essential element embraced in her education. She was taught, from her infancy, to wield, with great assiduity and skill, that important instrument, the needle; and her proficiency in this branch of her course was unusually great: nor was she less skillful in the use of the scissors. I have said her mother was a poor widow. She had to support herself and her children by her own efforts: and this was done by making up work for the tailors. In this employment her daughters were necessarily required to assist her: which they did most efficiently and cheerfully — frequently laboring till past the midnight hour, that the work might be done in time; and that their beloved parent might not only have the necessaries, but at least a portion
373of the comforts of life about her; and that they might have something to contribute to the cause of God, and the relief of the poor: and this the mother and the daughters did uniformly, and (considering their means) liberally. Besides this, they were always ready to use their needles for the comfort of the preachers. When Bishop ASBURY used to visit Charleston, their services were uniformly called into requisition: and I recollect to have seen among my mother-in-law's papers, a letter from the venerable man of God, addressed to the old lady, making very kind mention of their oft-repeated efforts to render him comfortable — giving her a great deal of very kind and wholesome advice, and concluding with an earnest and affectionate prayer for the mother and her children. The advice was not forgotten, and the prayer has been in a great measure answered. The good old mother, and three out of four of the daughters, have finished their course in peace; and have, no doubt, joined their venerable friend in the house above; and the remaining one yet lives to trust God and glorify him in raising a family of industrious, pious, sons, to bless the church, when she shall have followed her mothers and sisters to the paradise of God. I have been thus minutely particular in noticing the early circumstances of her I loved, that it might be distinctly understood what kind of training she
374had gone through as a preparation for the great Work to which she was subsequently called: and that her daughters in coming time may look to this record, and learn what manner of wives and mothers they should be, if they would bless their husbands, their children, the church and the world.
My beloved AMELIA had been taught the principles of religion from her childhood; and was the subject of early and oft-repeated religious impressions. She did not, however obtain converting grace, till she was about the thirteenth year of her age; when it pleased God, at a camp meeting, to give her the witness of pardoning mercy. Her conversion must have been powerful, and the witness of the spirit to the fact of her adoption, clear and glorious: as she was very happy at the time, and in the vicissitudes and conflicts of her life subsequently, she never, except in a very few instances, had the slightest doubt as to the reality of the glorious work wrought for her, and in her, on that occasion. The camp meeting referred to, was held at the old Green Pond camp ground, on Edisto river. The precise date of her union with the church, I know not; but presume it must have been somewhere about this time.
On the first day of May, 1816, we were united in marriage, I being at that time stationed in the city of Charleston. It was a memorable day to me; and each returning anniversary was regarded
375by us both as calling for renewed and devout thanksgivings to God, and a fresh dedication of ourselves to his service. She had now formed a new and most important relation, involving various and weighty responsibilities; many of them, too, requiring the most trying and painful sacrifices. She was now the wife of a traveling Methodist preacher; and that at a time when a traveling preacher's wife was, among the Methodists of South Carolina and Georgia, the most unpopular personage who could be introduced among them. There were at that time very few married men in the southern conferences. It was understood as a general maxim, that when a preacher married, almost as a matter of course, at the next conference he obtained a location. The beloved and lamented HODGES, and myself were among the earliest of those who resolved to stem the torrent, and endeavor by persevering in the work, to uproot this foolish and destructive prejudice. As a matter of course, our wives were not without their troubles, both as to some sacrifice of personal comforts, and a much larger one of feeling, Sometimes, when we have lodged with a good brother, and have been entertained either by him or his help-meet, with an hour's lecture on the great evils of a married ministry, and a pretty plain intimation that the preacher's wife ought to stay at home and work, instead of moving about
376from post to pillar: or when some kind sister of my charge has lectured her very coolly upon the great increase of expense, which the preacher's wife entailed upon the station; and the inability of the people to bear the expense; and the great surprise of the people generally that, all these things considered, the Bishop should have sent a married man to the station; and a good deal more of this sort of delicate talk, — I have seen my dear wife, after such an interview, become very much depressed, and sometimes she has wept almost half the night. Yet I never once heard a whisper from her, designed to call me from the work of the Lord: so far from it, that when, on one occasion, in the earlier days of my ministry as a married man, in view of her sacrifices of comfort and of feeling, I had well nigh resolved to follow general custom and ask a location, and proposed it to her, never shall I forget the look and the tone of affectionate rebuke with which she replied: "No, my husband, no; I married you as a traveling Methodist preacher. I believed God had called you to that work; and you shall never cease with my consent. I can work to help you along; and God will never suffer us to want, if we do our duty and trust in him." This blessed answer sealed my fate. I banished location from my vocabulary, and have never been in sight of it since. But for this godly firmness and resolution
377of my excellent wife, I should probably have left the work of God, and have become well nigh worthless to the church: nor did she ever afterwards, when she became the mother of children, and her increasing cares rendered the toils of itinerancy more and more onerous, in a single instance, or for a single moment, deviate from this settled and solemn purpose: nor would she even consent to my settling her and the children in a permanent home, while I continued in the work of God; alleging as her objection, that she believed it would interfere with my ministerial usefulness — which was the first thing she looked to, in all our arrangements.
She, therefore, always preferred to remain afloat till my election to the superintendency. Then she thought the time had come for me to settle her and her children; and she entered upon the domestic arrangements necessary to our comfort with a zest which showed how highly she valued the privilege of saying at length, after so many years of wandering, I have a home. When the probability of my election was announced to her, she wrote, expressing her deep regret at the prospect of our frequent and long separations, but concluding in her usual strain of resignation to the will of God, and a fervent prayer for my success, should the Church judge it proper to call me to the solemn responsibilities of this high and
378holy office. She was now called to bear still heavier burdens: for in addition to her high duties as a mother, which would be greatly increased by my absence from home, she was called to bear, to a great extent, the burden of managing my business; as well as what was more strictly appropriate to her own sphere of action: my duties for many years calling me from home just at that period when provisions must be purchased, servants hired, and most of the arrangements for the year settled. In all these times of perplexity, she uniformly acquitted herself to my entire satisfaction: and very often have I been compelled to acknowledge 'twas better done than if I had managed it. In the autumn of 1832, I left home on my first tour of Episcopal visitations, commencing my conferences in Nashville, Tenn. My health had been bad during the summer, and I left behind me a darling child, deeply afflicted. These things, taken in connection with the heavy burden which pressed upon my heart in view of the new duties I was about to perform, greatly depressed my spirits. In this state of feeling I wrote to her, and the following extract from her letter will present to the reader a pretty accurate view of her general state of feelings and purposes, in the peculiar conflicts to which she was called as the wife of a Methodist Bishop: "I am sorry, my love, to know that you were low spirited; don't be discouraged. I shall
379be supported, for God is able to support me. Indeed, for several days after you left, I was very greatly depressed in mind. It really seemed impossible for me to bear up at all; the child was so ill, and every thing seemed against me. Tuesday was particularly a day of perplexity. That night the class commenced here. I entered the room with a burdened soul. We had a good meeting; and I felt liberty in laying my case before the Lord. I was led in a peculiar manner to review my past life. I looked back upon sixteen years since I became your wife; and I felt, my dear husband, a sweet consciousness (as far as I am capable of deciding upon the motives which have governed my conduct,) in the sight of God, that I have never willingly prevented you, in any degree, from discharging the duties of an itinerant minister. I have often suspected myself, lest some other motive than the right one might sometimes have influenced me, to bear or do what little I have had to meet in the course of my pilgrimage; but I believe the grace of God has helped me thus far; and I thought, shall I now shrink or faint because the path is rougher, and the way more difficult? No, God forbid. While ever the promise is ‘more grace,’ I will trust, for I believe according to my day, so shall my strength be. I felt greatly comforted, and have not been so much depressed since. Go, my love,
380and may the Lord go with you and fee with you in mighty power. May wisdom from on high direct all your steps, and may every act of your life bring glory to God."
In another letter, written nearly two years later, directed to me at Raleigh, N. C., after speaking of our mutual grief at parting, she adds: "I immediately retired to my chamber, and there poured out my soul to the Father of mercies that he would support us both, and bring us and ours to a joyful meeting again in this world; and that He would keep you in all the way that you shall go; and make you abundantly useful in His church. Surely there is nothing on earth worth living for but this: and if this is accomplished more effectually by our renunciation of our domestic comfort, let it be so. If we are so happy as to gain the climes of eternal peace, we shall not regret any thing which we have been called to endure in this transitory state of being."
In the foregoing extracts, I have given only a specimen of the tone and spirit of all her letters to me. The one great ruling principle and desire of her life was the advancement of the glory of God, in the successful prosecution of the ministry committed to my charge. She considered herself called of God to help me in this work, by holding up my hands, cheering me on in my labors, and by taking off my hands and my heart, as far as
381she could, the secular cares and burdens of the family. From the time of our union, she sought not only my comfort but my improvement: and to her sensible and pious counsels I am more indebted for whatever of ministerial usefulness and respectability I may have attained, than to those of any other human being. When my duties called me for months from home, I felt no misgiving as to my children. I knew that they were in good bands, and that all my interests were safe in her charge: nor did a single fear that every thing was not properly managed at home, ever disquiet me for a moment. As a mother she had few equals. Loving her children with the fondest affection, she was yet prudent and decided in her management, of them. She both spoke and practiced the truth towards them: and she made them constantly understand that her will must be their law. She also took great pains in imparting to them religious instruction, and crowned all by carrying them to the throne of grace. It was her custom always to take the little ones in the evening with her into the chamber of prayer, where she wrestled with God for them and with them. The result was that God gave her to see all her children who had reached the age of maturity, exemplary members of the Church of Christ, and enjoying that hope which is full of immortality.
My dear wife was a thorough Methodist in her
382opinions: but while she was decided in her views and preferences, she was no bigot, Accordingly, she often had sweet fellowship with those who belonged to other communions. She never made any very loud noise about her religion. In fact the seemed to be always deeply impressed with a sense of her own unworthiness. Yet was she not melancholy; but went cheerfully on in the path of duty, doing all she could, and in those hours when sunk in deepest self-abasement, clinging closely to God's promise, and saying continually "the Lord is my helper." She was always active in doing good — in promoting Sabbath Schools, in visiting the sick, and in relieving as far as possible the necessities of the poor: and many a midnight hour has found her at her needle that she might have wherewith to relieve God's suffering members, or aid his cause in some way or other. She was a woman of great energy of character, and whenever she settled on the propriety of attempting any important enterprise, she acted at once; and the obstacles to success must have been very formidable, if she had not assailed and vanquished them, ere yet a more timid, prudent spirit had decided to make the attempt. She was naturally high spirited, and possessed great quickness of temper. She was easily affected, and expressed quickly her sense of any wrong done or designed her: yet she was quickly
383calm again; and the conviction of wrong on her part, or of relenting on the part of the other, was immediately followed by confession or forgiveness.
In the course of the last spring and summer, it pleased God in the inscrutable counsels of his providence, to permit a peculiarly painful affliction to fall on our second daughter — who was married, and resided at the time in Alabama. As early as it could be done, we removed the afflicted one to our house; and my wife, though herself in very delicate circumstances, watched the couch of her smitten child, by day and by night. After a long and painful struggle — in which there was often scarcely any hope of life remaining, the fierceness of the symptoms abated: there was the prospect of returning health; but our beloved SARAH was partially bereft of reason, and has so remained ever since. The period of my wife's confinement was approaching, and I saw with painful apprehension, the effect of mental agony and laborious watching upon her health and spirits. Yet I scarcely knew how to preach moderation to her, or how to comfort her, except by exhorting her to trust God in this dark and stormy night through which we were passing. Reader! it was no ordinary trial: nor can its heart-rending character be understood, except by those who were with us from day to day, to witness the scenes through which we were called to pass during the last ten
384months. On the thirtieth of September she gave birth to a fine boy — the first son she had ever borne me. The hour of trial was safely passed, and she gradually recovered, so as to be able to leave her chamber several times: and I thought the day of peril was passed. But alas! how little we know of the future. About a month after her confinement, our afflicted child gave birth also to a son. The night was exceedingly cold, and the labor a protracted and painful one: which, taken in connection with her unconsciousness of her situation, rendered the scene one of heart-rending agony. I trembled for my wife. I knew her situation would not admit of exposure; and tried to dissuade her from fatigue or exposure; but all my persuasions were useless in opposition to the yearnings of a mother's love. The live-long night she sat by her bed side and held the hand of her smitten child; this sealed the mother's fate. In a few days she was attacked with cough and fever, and very soon we were alarmed by the appearance of symptoms which indicated, beyond doubt, the existence of that fearful disease, dropsy in the chest. In a few days she was unable to lie down, and had to be propped up in a chair; and was compelled to maintain a position nearly upright: and in this position she was compelled to remain with a very few hours exception, till God called her to rest in Abraham's bosom. During this long
385affliction, she suffered beyond description. Her cough was distressing — she had frequently a great deal of pain — suffered greatly from sickness of stomach: and what was still more distressing, she was frequently threatened with death from suffocation. Sometimes from twenty-four to thirty-six hours she was panting as though every breath were a struggle for life. Some half a dozen times at these seasons, she bade us farewell — believing that the hour of her departure was come; but she revived again, and in a day or two would seem to be greatly improved, and would resume her wonted cheerfulness; conversing with her friends, and employing her hours of ease in reading, and in knitting. Throughout all the early stages of her attack, she spoke on the subject of approaching dissolution with great composure — said she was perfectly resigned to the will of God — was willing to die, and felt peace — but did not realize that fullness of joy which she ardently desired before God removed her hence. This blessing she sought constantly, with a great deal of earnestness; and often asked me, if I remembered her in this thing before God.
One afternoon, brother A. TURNER visited her, and after a good deal of conversation, he went to prayer. He asked in faith, and God answered. The blessing she sought was vouchsafed to her; and her soul was filled with joy and peace in
386believing. Subsequently, during one of her violent attacks, she felt that she did not enjoy this fullness as she desired. She sent for brother CAPERS; who prayed with her, as did also brother ROGERS. After prayer brother CAPERS sung that sweet hymn, (always a favorite of hers,) "Jesus, lover of my soul;" she was greatly blessed, and rejoiced abundantly in God her Saviour. After this, she continued to enjoy great peace of mind, till the Sabbath before her death. She often told us how happily her soul was staid on God; how sweetly she felt resigned to the will of God; and how bright and cheering were her hopes of living with God. "Often," said she, "when I have waked up in the night, I have thought upon my own case, and have asked myself whether there was a human being with whom I would be willing to change situations, and I could think of none; for, though God hath laid heavy afflictions upon me, yet I would not have one stroke less, not one pain less. I am in the hands of a good God. He wants to save me; and it requires just such a fiery trial to subdue my proud heart and bring me fully to rest in Him." She was constantly expressing her gratitude and love to all around her. The week preceding the last fatal attack, she seemed so much better that some of our kind friends began to cherish strong hopes of her ultimate recovery. Yet she talked of death calmly,
389and the burden of all was trust in God — never doubt Him — never distrust Him — Oh! never distrust Him, any of you. Look at me: see how His grace supports me: and if He blesses and supports me, He will never forsake one of you. She seemed utterly astonished and overwhelmed at the thoughts that God should have so condescended as to bless in such a glorious manner one so poor — so unworthy — so unfaithful. We had several young men boarding with us. She had them all called in and gave to them, and others who had come in, one by one, a most solemn charge to seek God and meet her in heaven. "Look at me," she would say, "see my poor emaciated body: what should I do now if it were not for the presence of my Saviour." She also desired that each one of the servants should be called in, and gave them each a separate and solemn charge to meet her in heaven. To one of them especially — a girl who had nursed her with the affection and assiduity of a daughter, she said "KITTY you have been very kind to me, and I love you as if you were my own child: be pious: serve God; and promise me now that you will meet me in heaven." The pledge was given; "and now," said she, "come and kiss me." There were certain individuals, who she believed, had done her great wrong; and had been the cause of much anguish to her. Speaking of them, she
390said, "I have freely forgiven them; and I pray God to bless them here, and finally to save them in the world to come. This," said she "has been a hard struggle: but the grace of God has triumphed, and I die in peace with all. I have not an unkind feeling toward them." She thought she would die before morning, and so thought we all: but her work was not done.
The next morning she was in the same happy frame; and continued all day rejoicing in the same strain of glorious exultation, as on the preceding evening; often calling on us to help her to praise God for his abounding goodness to one unworthy as she was. On Tuesday Satan assailed her again with the suggestion, you will forsake God yet: you will grow impatient, and will murmur against God yet, before you die. This temptation gave her some uneasiness for two or three hours; but her Almighty Deliverer was at hand. Her soul was again filled with triumph, and she clapped her hands, and shouted as I never heard her shout before. She again bade us help her to rejoice. She often repeated, "the battle's fought, and the victory won." "I am almost home. I have fought the good fight: I have finished my course: I have kept the faith." On one occasion she said, "I am not tired of the world. There is nothing in my relations or circumstances which should induce me to wish to
391leave it: on the contrary there is much which might induce a wish to live. I have an affectionate husband, good children, and as kind friends as ever woman was blessed with. And then," said she, pointing to her beloved SARAH, who sat by her bed side almost incessantly, "for the sake of that one and my three little ones, I might well wish to live: yet God will take care of them, and I cannot help longing to depart, and be with Christ." Once, in the midst of a most distressing paroxysm of coughing, when it seemed almost impossible for her to live an hour, as a large circle of friends stood round her weeping, she looked upon us with a smile and said, "why do you weep? I am better off than any of you; for I shall soon be at home. And," said she, "when you all collect around my body and carry it to the grave, don't weep, but raise a song of triumph." Once, when she felt the approach of one of those dreadful fits of suffocation, she said to me, "my husband, kneel down by me, and pray to God, if it may please him, to take me to himself, or avert those terrible sufferings which seem to be approaching. Oh! this poor flesh shrinks from these terrible agonies; nevertheless I desire that his will be done, and though he slay me yet will I trust him." We prayed, and after rising from our knees, she said, "I want to tell you all how I feel. I don't feel that ecstacy that I have felt; but I feel that
392all is well. I am just like a little child that is just beginning to walk alone, and it is going over a road that is rough and stony, and the father does not take it up in his arms and carry it over, but he takes it by the hand and helps it along. So," said she, "it is with me: I am passing through the dark valley, and the way is rough, and my feet are bruised, and my heavenly Father leads me a step at a time; but I know it is his hand that holds me, and I shall soon be safe over." She gave her two daughters a solemn charge in reference to themselves, and to the care of the three younger children. She told them, she fully expected them to meet her in heaven. She kissed them all and gave them a mother's blessing. She pressed my hand in hers and said, "your poor AMELIA will soon be at rest. My dear husband, you have been all to me, kind and affectionate, and we have, been happy. God has blessed us greatly together. When you first addressed me, I scarcely knew how to act. I was poor, and you were poor. I carried the matter to God in prayer; and these words were powerfully impressed upon my mind, ‘seek first the kingdom of God, and all these i things shall be added.’ I became yours, and we have journeyed together for almost twenty-six years; yet God's promise has never failed us. We have never lacked. Continue to trust in his to the end: he will never fail you. And now,"
393said she, "I solemnly charge you never to falter in your Master's work. Preach the gospel more fully — more earnestly — preach it with all your might: tell every body to trust the Saviour; for he is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto him. And if God permits me, I shall like to be your guardian angel in all your journeyings."
Saturday night came, and during the earlier part of it she rested with some composure, till about three o'clock in the morning, when her distressing cough returned, and it was obvious that human nature could not long sustain the struggle. She requested us to send for Dr. SMITH, her kind physician, who had acted the part of friend and brother. As soon as he came, she asked him as to her pulse. Very feeble, said he. "That," said she, "is pleasant news, doctor, I am almost home: and I have sent for you to rejoice with me." She again called her children to her, kissed them, and blessed them. Her infant son was brought to her: she pressed him to her bosom and commended him most fervently to God. And as long as she could whisper, she was talking of God's love, and her brightening prospects. When she could no longer articulate, we perceived that she wished to speak. Brother LONGSTREET, who sat near her, asked if she wished to tell us that God was good, and her way bright and glorious. She immediately nodded her head affirmatively, three
394or four times, very earnestly; and in a short time after, quietly fell asleep.
Thus died, in the forty-sixth year of her age, Mrs. ANN AMELIA ANDREW. May her daughters emulate her virtues, and may we all rejoin her in the paradise of God. I may not omit to say, that through all her protracted affliction, she was the most perfect example of patience my eyes ever looked upon. No murmur escaped her lips. If at any time she adverted to the darkness of the providence around her, and the difficulty of understanding it, she always wound up all with the strong assurance that God would bring all out right at last. A day or two before she died, she said, "I have been thinking how much cause I have to bless God — how many and great blessings he bestows upon me; first," said she, "I thank him that my affliction, though a very painful one, is not a loathsome one: there is nothing to repel my friends from me." Second, She thanked God that the prayers of so many thousands of pious people had gone to heaven in her behalf. Third, she thanked God, she had never for a moment been deprived of her reason: it was also matter of gratitude that she lived in such a community, whose untiring kindness had never ceased to manifest itself during all the dark night of our affliction. She also rejoiced that in the providence of God, I had been permitted to be with her