On the evening of the last given date, Brother Martain Miller spoke from Matt. 7:13, at Zion church in Hardy County. From the outlines in the Diary I give the substance of what he said, as nearly as I can. The reader should know that none of the sermons herein given cover the entire ground of the discourse. They only aim at the main points. It is the purpose of the Editor to present these in spirit and word as nearly like the same in which they were originally delivered, as can possibly be done. His familiarity with the sermonic style, manner, general lines of thought, doctrinal views, education and general preaching power of nearly every minister represented in this work enables him, as he thinks, to do this with at least some approach to justice. Without such knowledge, this work would never have been undertaken by him.
TEXT.—"Enter ye in by the narrow gate."
Our Lord Jesus Christ came into the world with but one end in view. That end is the raising of man to himself. This end is the burden of his mediatorial work, the center of his mediatorial prayer. From his heart on the eternal throne, wafted down to his people on the divine breath, hourly comes and is felt the power of his prayer: "Father, I will that they whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me." This brief prayer comprehends the divine end of all things—man's salvation and God's glory. The miracles wrought by our Lord, the parables spoken, the truths uttered, the victories gained in temptation, the rich tokens of his love given, all, all had as their great end man's salvation and God's glory—"that they might be with him where he is."
The only answer to the great question why the Lord did all this for man's salvation is found in his own words: "God so loved the world." And he loves it no less to-day than when the Son was born and the angels of glory were chanting their love song of "good will toward men" in the ears of the shepherds and above the manger in Bethlehem. But with all of God's good will to seek and save that which was lost he is able to save only such, and no others, as desire to be saved by him. If it were possible for him to save man and elevate him to heaven independently of any cooeperation on man's part, then all would alike be saved, for God is no respecter of persons. But it would be quite as possible to compel or force any one to understand and love what he naturally hates, or to follow with enjoyment and delight a way of life he does not love, as it would be to save a human being without the consent and cooeperation of his mind and heart.
The scribes and Pharisees gave evident proof of the truth of the old maxim: "Convince a man against his will, he is of the same opinion still." The Lord proved before their eyes his heavenly mission and divine character; their minds must have been convinced. But their wills did not favor the convictions of their minds; that is, they did not love the truth that was forced upon their minds, and so they rejected him. It is from this element in the constitution of man's soul or spirit that he must become as a little child, or he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Becoming as a little child is what is meant by being born again, without which no man shall see the kingdom of heaven. We all know a little child is innocent, teachable; because it is not lifted up in the pride of its own intelligence, nor confirmed in a belief of what is not true from a love of what is not good. Every one who enters through the narrow gate, and pursues the narrow way that leads to life, is willing to be led by the Lord. It may not be clear to the mind of every one what is symbolized by the narrow gate and the narrow way. I will try to tell you.
The divine truth of God's Word is the narrow gate. It admits of no increase, and it allows no diminution. He that addeth to or taketh from the words of the prophecy of this book (the Bible), God shall take away his part out of the book of life. This is a fearful warning to all who would seek to make the gate and the way of eternal life any broader than it is laid and settled by the Word of Life; and a similar warning to any who would desire to make the gate and the way appear so narrow as to discourage and dissuade others from entering. I said the narrow gate is the truth of God's Word. But what is the narrow way? The narrow way is the daily life of every one who lives according to that truth. This leads to life eternal, because it leads to God. But the gate and the way will do no one any good unless it be entered and the way followed. And God compels no one to enter in opposition to one's own will. Entrance is not of compulsion, but of choice. Life and death are set before the sinner's eyes. The Bread of Life and the Water of Life are placed within his reach. The Lord calls, saying: "Why do ye spend your money for that which is not bread; and your labor for that which satisfieth not? Come ye to the waters: and whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely."
But some may ask: "What is it to enter in at the narrow gate, and how is the sinner to know when he is entering?" I answer that when the sinner obeys God's holy truth from the heart he is then entering in by the narrow gate. His obedience must be to God's Word, not to man's word. Obedience to man's word takes man through the wide gate into the broad road that leads to destruction. Repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are the two steps that take us in spirit through the narrow gate. But these two acts and exercises of the mind and heart mean immensely more than is generally imagined. Many seem to think that repentance means no more than simply to confess that one is a sinner in a sort of general way, and that faith is simply a confessed belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. But God's Word teaches far otherwise. I will here quote some of our Lord's sayings which apply to repentance: "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." This points to repentance. Again: "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." Self-denial is repentance; and every true penitent goes through the narrow gate with the cross on his shoulder, because the cross symbolizes the divine truth upon which the love of self and the love of the world is crucified. I am not afraid to repeat in your ears the words of Jesus. He has left them on record, that all who will heed them in the meek and teachable spirit of a little child may be lifted out of the mire and filth and darkness of a sinful life into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
If salvation is anything it is everything. This world, with all its fleeting show and short-lived pleasures, is nothing in the comparison. Salvation, or the life to which the narrow way conducts us, is so glorious, so ineffably exalted above the loftiest conceptions of the human mind, that the prophet Isaiah could justly say: "Since the beginning of the world none have heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, besides thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him." Brethren, friends, we know not fully what is prepared for all who wait upon the Lord, that is, who do his will. But Jesus tells us that he is gone to prepare a place for us, and that he will come again and receive us to himself, that where he is there we may be also. We shall enter into his joy, the joy of the Lord. He will come to every one of us at death. He will then raise our redeemed souls into the life of heavenly bliss; for he is the resurrection and the life of every one that loves him. It is the privilege of every one to enter into life through the narrow gate. But I cannot enter for you, nor tread the narrow way, nor obtain a crown of glory for you. This is your own individual choice, your own individual work—nay, it is the Lord's merciful, loving, gracious work in you, for without him you can do nothing. But when you believe in him and love him with all your heart, he finds a resting place in your soul, and he then comes to be to you individually "the way, the truth, and the life."
The next eight days were almost entirely occupied in filling appointments previously made through letters from Brother Kline. We have to wonder a little when he found time to write them. But he was his own secretary on gratuitous service, and he never even so much as presented a bill for stationery or postal expenditures.
FRIDAY, September 21. This day finds the two brethren at Union meetinghouse, in the Barker settlement, in Barbour County, Virginia. Brother Miller spoke at this meeting from John 3:7. Space alone forbids the insertion of his plain, practical sermon to-day. They found, as usual, a hearty welcome here; and in truth the same may be said of every place they visited. And why not? Even these primitive people were quick to perceive and appreciate the good will with which they had come. Besides, they made themselves sociable and entertaining in the families under whose roofs they found shelter. Brother Kline had an inexhaustible fund of information gained by reading and traveling, and he was not reserved in the way of keeping it all to himself. Brother Kline was what may be called a good conversationalist. He did not flood your attention with words, nor bore you with tiresome narratives of great exploits in which he was the hero. He would tell you of sights he had seen, and experiences he had had in traveling and otherwise, in a way that would so absorb you in the narrative that you lost sight of the man. He always aimed to exalt his subject and not the speaker. This was true in his preaching as well as in his conversations.
SATURDAY, September 22. They came to Brother Elias Ovel's for dinner. In the afternoon preaching in the meetinghouse and love feast at night. Brother Miller served.
TUESDAY, September 25. They had meeting at Brother Peter Feiga's. An election was held in which Samuel Feiga was elected speaker, and Tobias Moser deacon. They staid all night at Thomas Clark's.
Brother Kline got home from this journey Sunday evening, October 7. Brother Miller got home the next day. They were gone three weeks and four days.
MONDAY, December 31. At home. I have this year traveled, mostly on horseback, 4,286 miles, and preached forty-two funeral sermons.
SATURDAY, January 5, 1856. At home. Cold; snows very fast all day.
SATURDAY, January 12. Snows all this day again, very fast. Sleighing is likely to be fine for a while; a rare occurrence in our State.
SUNDAY, January 20. Snows all this day, again. The snow is now very deep, and as it is not drifted sleighing will be surpassingly fine.
MONDAY, January 21. Brother John Zigler of Timberville dies very suddenly this morning, at the age of sixty-nine years, two months and twenty-seven days. This is county court day in Harrisonburg. I am told this evening by some who were present, that there were hundreds of sleighs of all shapes and sizes to be seen in the streets. So far as my knowledge extends, a scene like that has never before been witnessed in Harrisonburg. The roads in all directions are in a surpassingly fine condition for sleighing. The roads are all paved with crystals more valuable than all the diamonds that have ever shone in the crowns of kings.
FRIDAY, February 29. Council meeting at the Brick church, in Augusta County. To-day we discuss the question of the propriety of making a move to more generally propagate the Gospel. Most of the brethren and sisters present seemed to be heartily in favor of the move. One brother, John Harshberger, said: "If the Gospel is not true, let us eat and drink like other beasts, for to-morrow we die; but if the Gospel be true—and thanks be unto God, for we know it is true—it is worthy of all acceptation; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. But how can any one believe in him of whom he has not heard? And how can any one hear without a preacher? And how can any preach except he be sent? I am in favor of trying to do more in every way than we have ever yet attempted, to spread the good news of salvation.
"'Salvation! let the echo fly The spacious earth around, Till all the nations 'neath the sky Conspire to raise the sound.'"
Brother Benjamin Moomaw, Brother Nininger, Brother John Harshberger and myself were appointed a committee to draw up a memorial on the subject, to place before the next Annual Meeting.
SATURDAY, March 1. Council continues. The subject of divorce and adultery is considered to-day. It is decided to send it to the Annual Meeting, as also a query on proposition to district the churches, and have general council meetings in those Districts. It is also unanimously passed to have lamps in our meetinghouses. Pass some other minor questions, and council breaks up.
SUNDAY, March 2. Meeting at the same place. Brother Benjamin Moomaw speaks on Heb. 5:8, 9. He is a man of great power in the Word. I regret that I cannot recall to memory all that he said, but I will here give a condensed outline of what I remember. These are the words of his text: "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him."
This is a remarkable passage of Scripture. It deals primarily with the human nature of Christ. It is in this nature, the Divine humanity, that God manifests himself to man. This humanity brought with it the infirmities to which flesh is heir. This same apostle tells us that Jesus Christ was "tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin." Innocence, freedom from all sin, is the orderly following of obedience. In this happy consciousness he challenges the whole Sanhedrim to convict him of sin. They could not do it; and Pilate acknowledges before the infuriated mob: "I find no fault in this man." From the part of the text, "yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered," we are rather to understand that he learned or REALIZED the blessedness of obedience. In his own words: "He came not to do his own will, but the will of him that sent him." In his last great prayer with his disciples he says: "And now, Father, I come to thee, having finished the work thou didst give me to do." These words portray his immaculate righteousness.
But let us look at some of the glorious testifications borne by the Father to the honor of the Son. Let us turn to the first public act of his manhood. I guess your minds all turn at once to the scene of his baptism. Here are the pellucid waters of the Jordan coursing their way to the Dead Sea. "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John to be baptized of him. But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus said, Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness." This righteousness is the righteousness of obedience. And notice, a few moments later, the glory and honor with which it is crowned. The opened heavens, the dove-like descent of the Spirit, the Father's recognition, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased," must have thrilled his heart with joy unspeakable. In this instance he realized the blessedness of obedience; and the hearts of many since that time have been made to thrill as they have gone up out of the waters of other Jordans, with kindred joy.
We now turn to his temptation in the wilderness. Here, our Lord, during forty days and nights, suffered all the privations and all the temptations arising therefrom, which man is capable of suffering. But never for one moment did his heart or hand swerve a hair from the line of perfect obedience to his Father's will, even in the darkest hour. And how did it turn out? Why, he resisted the devil, and the devil left him; and, behold! angels came and ministered unto him. Brethren, have you ever thought of the precious food these angels brought to the exhausted human nature of our Lord? He ate and drank with angels from the skies. They poured the spiritual oil of joy and comfort into his burdened soul. They brought fresh tokens of his Father's approval; and we read of no more sore conflict with the powers of darkness until the "last hour."
Some of us have, possibly, passed through trials, in a small way, somewhat akin to those endured by the Lord. We all know our own individual experiences best. For one, I can say right here that I am no stranger to temptation. The adversary of God's people has never yet counted me out of the number he seeks to seduce. I confess he does not try me at all times alike; but he does seem to come every time when I am the least prepared effectually and instantly to repel his assaults. If in preaching I happen to get off a fine thought or good sentiment dressed out in a becoming attire of words, he tries to flatter my vanity by making me believe that I am a great somebody. Brethren in the ministry, how is it with you? I see from the nods you give, that you have had similar experiences. At such times Herod's awful doom flashes over me—how that in the midst of a beautiful oration he fell dead, and right away was alive with worms consuming his body, and all because he gave not God the glory. This generally gets me rid of him on such occasions. At other times he comes with promises of worldly honors, saying to me that if I will enter the arena of politics I may count it as sure that I will be lifted to offices of honor and rich emoluments, for, says he, "the whole scheme with all its workings is in my hands, and to whomsoever I will, I give it." At such times I baffle him with this Scripture: "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God; and him ONLY shalt thou serve."
Jesus is now glorified. He is exalted higher than the heavens, far above all principality and power. He is invested with all power in heaven and earth; so that in him all things hold together, and the integrity of the universe is preserved. He is the head over all things to the church and has become the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him. All things are now in his name and unto his glory, so that now he that honoreth the Son, honoreth the Father.
Can it be that this is the same Jesus who but a few years ago humbled himself to be baptized in the Jordan, suffered the temptation in the wilderness, wept at the grave of Lazarus, went about doing good, being homeless, with no place where to lay his head, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief? Only a little while ago, and the midnight stillness of Gethsemane is gently broken by the words: "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done." The spirit of obedience abides with him in full measure even in this trying hour; and if not uttered in words, it is declared in act: "Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness."
One more trial awaits him. It is his last and great conflict with the "king of terrors" and the powers of darkness. Will his spirit of obedience and his resistance of sin bear the strain of this final test? Glory to his blessed name, it does. He says: "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." Ah, there is our salvation. The prince of this world found no place in his sanctified heart. Throughout his trial before the Jewish, as well as civil authorities, he was the same. No change from that meekness and lowliness of heart that characterized his whole life was visible now. He even bore his own cross; and I sometimes think that he voluntarily laid himself down upon it, placed his hands and adjusted his feet for the nails; for he had said before: "I lay down my life of myself: no man taketh it from me. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." The nails are driven. The foot of the cross, with Jesus upon it, is firmly fixed in the ground. The sun has veiled his face; and darkness broods over the land. With a loud voice he cries: "It is finished," and he gave up his spirit. This is the consummation of the suffering by which the Captain of our salvation was perfected, and by which he obtained all power in heaven and earth.
I can imagine there was now a shout of joy and a high jubilee in heaven, and a growl of disappointment and defeat in hell. His body is taken from the cross. Not a bone of him is broken. Joseph's new tomb becomes its receptacle. Not long does it remain there. The bands of death are loosed, and the glorified Lord forsakes the tomb. "Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?"
Notice, further, the glory and honor with which his obedience is rewarded. In addition to the declarations bearing upon this subject already quoted, I here add what Paul says to the Philippians: "Wherefore, God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
We have now before us in the person of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ an example of perfect obedience. We have also noticed some of its rewards. But when we attempt to speak of the rewards of obedience, thought and language both fail; for heavenly bliss is ineffable, and celestial glory eternal. Christ's glorification is past comprehension. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard. But let us rejoice greatly this day in the excellency of this knowledge of Christ. "He is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by him." "He has become the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him."
My brother, my sister, do you ever question your spiritual state, doubting as to whether you are a child of God or not, wondering in the obscurity of your mind as to how you stand in the sight of God? I do not think any one need be in doubt as to this matter. Are you living a life of obedience to Christ? Let us see. You surely have been baptized. As baptism was his first public act, for you to follow his example and walk in his steps it became you to submit to the same ordinance expanded and illuminated as to its significance and use by his subsequent teachings. This you did, and you did it in the true spirit of obedience and love. You are no hypocrite, I am sure; for the hypocrite never examines himself. He totally lacks the goodness and sincerity and honesty that lead to self-examinations. The hypocrite does not love the house of God. He does not breathe freely in an atmosphere of prayer. His highest ambition is to make a fair show in the flesh, to secure some personal aggrandizement through his formal professions.
You do not belong to this class. You feel in your heart that you love Jesus, and often weep that you do not love him more. This very love should assure your heart that you are a child of God, for "love is of God, and God is love." You cheerfully, and in love for the Brethren, stoop to follow his example and obey his command by taking part in the ordinance of feet-washing. You eat the Lord's Supper as nearly after his example as can be known, in honor of him, and partake of the Communion of the bread and wine in remembrance of his broken body and shed blood. In addition to all this you hate the inborn corruptions of your fleshly mind. You sometimes sing from your heart's pure depth:
"I hate my own vain thoughts that rise, But love thy law, my God."
And to you one of the most pleasing contemplations of heaven is founded upon the assurance that there will be no sin or sorrow for sin there, nor sinful thoughts. You even here rejoice many times, in the sweet foretastes of that happy state. When you meet the loving eyes and friendly hands of brethren and sisters here assembled for worship, you feel a delicious calm and a holy peace in your soul. It is at such times and on such occasions that you realize just what the apostle means by what he says of the experience of some heavenly-minded Christian brethren and sisters who lived and felt eighteen hundred years ago very much as you feel now. Identifying himself with them, he says: "We have all been made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." "Be thou faithful unto death, and God shall give thee the crown of life."
At the close of this edifying discourse we sang the old hymn beginning:
"How happy are they who their Savior obey—."
Prayer was offered, meeting broke up, and Brother Moomaw and I went to Michael Whitmore's for dinner; then to Valley meetinghouse in afternoon, where he spoke from Acts 26; and stayed all night at Daniel Glick's.
MONDAY, March 3. We anoint Brother Daniel Glick this morning. He is very low in sickness. Come to Dayton to afternoon appointment, where I speak from John 1:29. Stay all night at Samuel Koontz's.
WEDNESDAY, March 19. Council meeting at the Brush meetinghouse. Benjamin Miller, son of Daniel Miller, near the head of Linville Creek, is elected to the deaconship. I feel that the right brother was chosen, and entertain large hopes for his future.
FRIDAY, April 4. Council meeting at our meetinghouse. Brother Samuel Zigler is elected to the deaconship. We might have selected a man of more words; but I am persuaded that one of purer mind and heart could not have been found. Brother Benjamin Bowman stays all night with me. This evening he related to me a remarkable dream he had had not very long before. To use his own words, as nearly as I can give them, he said: "I dreamed that I had died, but found myself consciously awake in the land of departed spirits. My own father met me. I knew him. The joy with which he received and welcomed me I cannot describe. My next experience was along a stream of very clear water. It did not appear to be a very large stream, but its remarkable character impressed me as singular. It flowed gently. It was not swift, but glided smoothly along, uphill and downhill the same. Its speed never varied, and this unaccountable characteristic struck me with surprise that waked me. This is my interpretation of my dream," said he: "The clear stream of water represents what the Christian should be. Its transparency symbolizes the clear thought and intelligent understanding that he should have respecting himself and his life. Self-knowledge should enable him to see himself in clear light. This knowledge leads to a clear understanding of his relation to God and man, and reveals whether that relation is what it should be, or otherwise. The uniform flow of the stream uphill and down, which so surprised me, symbolizes that inward peace of mind and gentle flow of heavenly affections which constitute the Christian's happiness in life. Though he have his ups and downs in life, his inward peace gently glides along. 'In the world ye shall have tribulation; but in me ye shall have peace.' One more thought. It is not natural for water to run uphill. Nothing short of divine power can make water run uphill in an open channel such as this had. This symbolizes the love and mercy of the Lord in our being kept by his hand in these inwardly calm and heavenly frames of feeling. Brother John, I never felt better from a dream in all my life."
SATURDAY, April 12. Council meeting at Shaver's meetinghouse, in Shenandoah County. Brother John Brindle is advanced.
SUNDAY, May 4. Meeting at Nathan Spitler's schoolhouse, in Page County. Hamilton Varner and wife, and John Huffman's wife are baptized to-day.
MONDAY, May 5. This day I start to the Annual Meeting, which is appointed to meet about fourteen miles from Freeport, in Stephenson County, on the extreme north border of Illinois, and about three miles from Brother Young's. After being exposed to many dangers and detentions, and one wreck on the way, I arrived safe at the place of meeting on
SATURDAY, May 10. Stay at Brother Young's first night. A great concourse of people on the ground.
SUNDAY, May 11. We have a very fine day. Preaching at several points. An immense assembly to-day.
MONDAY, May 12. Meeting is organized. Committees formed. Go to rooms and take in queries. Stay all night on the meeting grounds. Rain all day and cold.
TUESDAY, May 13. Begin to discuss questions. Rain all day and night, and unpleasant. Stay all night on the meeting grounds.
WEDNESDAY, May 14. Continue the discussion of questions. Close at half past five o'clock. Stay again on meeting grounds. Although we have some differences of opinion among us on minor points of order and usages, I am happy to know that in all great matters of doctrine and practice we are one. Whilst the meeting was in progress I was made to think of what Solomon says in the book of Proverbs about the locusts. "The locusts," says he, "have no king, yet go they forth, all of them, together in bands." We have no human king over us as pope, cardinal or bishop, with self-assumed authority and dignity; yet we hold together. We acknowledge allegiance to but one king, and he is out of human sight. He is the King of glory. But of him we can say with an apostle: "Whom having not seen we love; in whom, though now we see him not, yet believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory."
On my way home from the meeting I visited Peter Fesler's, Jacob Miller's, Samuel Freys's, Allen White's, Absalom Painter's, William Mason's, John Strough's, John Miller's, Joseph Funk's, George Hoover's, and John Snideman's, all in Indiana. I also preached at a number of points in Indiana and Ohio.
SATURDAY, May 24. This evening David Bowman and I get to Abraham Aerbach's in Ohio.
SUNDAY, May 25. Go to Bowman's meetinghouse, where I speak from Hebrews 12. Dine at David Miller's, and stay all night at Isaac Miller's.
TUESDAY, May 27. Night meeting at the meetinghouse near Peter Nead's. Stay with Brother Nead.
WEDNESDAY, May 28. Meeting at the same place. Sup with John Varner. Stay with Isaac Miller.
THURSDAY, May 29. Meeting at Reipsam's meetinghouse. Love feast this evening. Stay with Philip Grabil till one o'clock in the night, when we start for Springfield to take cars for home. Stop over a few days in Hampshire County, Virginia, and arrive home safe on Thursday, June 5.
TUESDAY, June 17. This day I am fifty-nine years of age. When I was young my ambition led me to hope that I might some day attain to distinction in the world, and leave an imperishable name. I own with shame before my God, that my heart was full of vanity. I now thank him that he has led me to know and feel myself but a poor sinner redeemed. I am wholly dependent upon him for all that I am or ever shall be. Lord Jesus, may I live to glorify thee, and thee only. I believe thy truth. I trust thy love. May thy glory be the end of all my efforts in life, and thy love the propelling power in all I do. Hallowed be thy name, not my name. Thy will be done, not my will. Give me grace thus ever to pray and to walk humbly before thee.
FRIDAY, August 22. This day Brother Kline left home for another journey to the counties of Hardy and Randolph. He spent several days in Hardy County, preaching among the Brethren and friends on the South Fork, South Branch and beyond.
SUNDAY, August 24. Meeting at Bethel in forenoon; in afternoon at Jacob Cosner's. TEXT.—3 John seventh verse. He has given us but a touch of what he said here. I imagine his heart somewhat overflowed with gratitude to these kind-hearted people in return for the love they showed him. He read this third epistle of John to them; and I here append the substance of part of his comment on it:
"There are great blessings in store for those who through love to the Lord lodge and feed his ministers. The love of Gaius in this regard, was spoken of in the church. This letter was written to him. In the apostle's days as now, many went forth bearing the precious seed of God's Word, almost wholly dependent upon the charity of brethren and friends to the cause, for food and shelter. They were encouraged to go in this humble and trustful way by the recorded words of the Lord, that 'the laborer is worthy of his hire.' We learn from the context, sustained also by the other evangelists, that food and lodging is the hire the Lord had in view. To encourage all to the duty as well as privilege of kindly receiving his ministers and even his righteous brethren who might not be ministers, he left on record these words: 'He that receiveth a prophet (minister) in the name of a prophet, shall receive a prophet's reward. And he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man, shall receive a righteous man's reward.' And he sublimely crowns all those who tender their love in this way with the words: 'Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.' How faithfully these tokens of love for the Lord and the Brethren were kept by the early Christians, Paul with others abundantly testifies. However, to avoid slanderous accusations which might be hurled at him by the adversaries of the cross, he did not always avail himself of the proffered good. Blessed are they who watch for and lay hold of opportunities to do good in this way."
MONDAY, August 25. Meeting at Greenland. Thomas Lion baptizes one person to-day. Stay all night at Thomas Clark's.
TUESDAY, August 26. This day, after meeting, I baptize James Abernathy and wife.
WEDNESDAY, August 27. Meeting at David Feige's on the pike. Afternoon meeting at West Union. Stay at Benjamin Beachley's.
THURSDAY, August 28. Ride twenty-nine miles to-day. Dine at Peter Bolyard's and stay all night at Henry Wilson's.
FRIDAY, August 29. Meeting at meetinghouse. I baptize W. Oval and wife. Water is two miles distant. Afternoon meeting at same place. Speak from last chapter of Revelation.
SATURDAY, August 30. Come into Randolph County. Dine at Samuel Perkeypine's, and stay at Brother John Skidmore's.
SUNDAY, August 31. Meeting at Josiah Simon's. After preaching have a church council. Brother Charles Burke is forwarded to baptize; and Brother Josiah Simon is elected to the Word. Brother John Skidmore is elected to the deaconship, Stay all night at Brother Burke's.
MONDAY, September 1. Meeting at Levi Wilmot's. Speak from Matt. 7:21. As I have time this afternoon will outline my discourse for future reference.
The Editor gives these outlines in the best shape he can put them as follows:
TEXT.—"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
This passage of Scripture means a great deal. It draws a sharp line between the false and the true in religious professions; between empty formality on the one hand, and loving obedience on the other. It is a very easy thing, and requires no previous preparation of heart by self-examination, for very wicked and thoughtless people to call upon the Lord in times of great danger, or in seasons of distress. Some years ago a very thoughtless and irreligious family near my home lived on the bank of a certain stream. Suddenly, after a great rain, their house was surrounded by a flood of water that threatened its destruction. They knew not what to do; and in their fright and consternation they began to call on the Lord for help. He may have heard them, for the house did not go. When the flood had passed away, and they felt that they were again secure, they had no further need of the Lord, and continued to live just as they had lived before.
Often have I heard of wicked people, when thrown prostrate upon beds of affliction, calling upon the Lord, and even promising that if he would raise them up again they would do better. But how often does it turn out that such promises are either wantonly disregarded or thoughtlessly broken! But why is this so? What is the cause? I will tell you. Such prayers and promises do not proceed from a right motive, and they do not aim at a right end. Self is the beginning and the end of all such prayers and promises. And when self is again made to feel easy by escape from danger, or recovery from sickness, there is an end of prayer, and promises are forgotten. But such as I have named are not the only class included in our Lord's meaning. If we read carefully we may see that some who desire to make a fair show in the flesh love to stand on the corners of the streets that they may be heard calling on the Lord, making long prayers, that they may be seen of men. Of such our Lord says: "Verily, they have their reward." Here again the love of self and the world is the beginning and the end.
There is one more class justly belonging to the number of those already described. This is a sad class indeed, although probably no worse off than some others. I hope no one here will ever be found in their number. You may read about them in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew's Gospel. They are called the "foolish virgins." We all know that a virgin is an unmarried woman who has kept the integrity of her virtue unbroken. The ten spoken of in the chapter are virgins in a figurative sense. They are so called because in appearance and profession they were not defiled with the world. They all had lamps. David says: "Thy word is a LAMP unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Each one had this lamp according to their understanding and use of the Word. All denominations of Christians claim the Word as their lamp or guide through the darkness of this world. But lamps differ greatly in almost every imaginable way,—in form, size, material and illuminating capacity. Much also depends upon the sight. If the sight be diseased, not good, the same lamp that shines brightly to one may be darkness to another. "If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light; but if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is the darkness!"
The foolish virgins had lamps, that is, they professed faith in God's Word, but their faith lacked the oil of love; it was not made perfect by works in life proceeding from love to God and their neighbor. Oil in the Scriptures stands for love. Priests and kings had to be anointed with oil as a sign or emblem that they were to perform their official duties from love. Hence the light that is fed by pure oil beautifully symbolizes the truth that shines in the Christian's life, warm with the love of God; but the light that comes from a wick in a lamp destitute of oil symbolizes the life of the hypocrite, the vain professor. It may burn for a little; but it will soon go out and leave him in eternal darkness. The wise virgins represent those who make a profession of faith in the light of truth and in the love of it. These go in with the Lord to the marriage feast. But the foolish virgins find the door shut. They call, "Lord, Lord, open to us." But he answers by saying: "I know you not." "Not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
I recently heard of a preacher who had attended one of our meetings. If I remember rightly, a good deal had that day been said on the importance and value of good works. I think that one who had spoken that day went so far as to quote these words of the Lord: "Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit." Good works are good fruit, he had also said. He had quoted this passage too: "Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." Evil works are evil fruit, he had also said. And I feel sure he had quoted these words of the Lord: "They that have done good shall come unto the resurrection of life: but they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." The friend who told me had ridden a part of the way home with the preacher before referred to, and in speaking to this friend he said: "These Dunkards are odd people. I occasionally go to their meetings, and every time I do go I am sure to hear of works! WORKS! as if works were necessary to salvation." In answer to the friend who communicated this to me, I said: "I hope the Dunkards, as he called us, will always be odd people in this regard, so long as it is written: 'He that doeth good is of God; but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.' 'A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit: neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. By their fruits ye shall KNOW them.'"
Brethren, let us think closely upon the closing words of my text: "He that DOETH the will of my Father which is in heaven." An apostle says: "This is the will of God, even your sanctification." Sanctification means holiness, and holiness means conformity of heart and life to God's Revealed Truth. The heart cannot be conformed to God's Revealed Truth when the life is conformed to the world and sin. "No man can serve two masters.... Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Jesus prays for all that believe on him through the Word: "Sanctify them in thy truth. Thy word is truth." We occasionally hear of some "professing sanctification." From what I have been told, those making this profession mean by it that they have attained to a state of sinless perfection. This is a state to be devoutly wished, for it is the state of the spirits of just men made perfect. Nothing shall enter that holy city where they dwell "that defileth, or worketh abomination, or maketh a lie." In this city of light and love no sin is found.
"Those holy gates forever bar Pollution, sin and shame: For none shall have admittance there But followers of the Lamb."
All the descriptions and references to heaven found in the divine Word imply that it is a place and a state where the will of God is the supreme law of life. "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is the footstool of my feet." "Swear not at all; neither by heaven, for it is God's throne." As heaven is God's throne, his will is the universal law for all, and that law is love. I can think of no state so blessed and happy as that where every one of the "multitude which no man can number" "loves the Lord his God with all his heart, and his neighbor"—every one of the assembly—"as he loves himself." And from the Lord's Prayer it is to be inferred that his people on earth should aim at the same state of perfection.
Let us examine this for a moment. Notice the very first petition after the address: "Thy kingdom come." Is the significance of this petition to be limited merely to the introduction of the kingdom of heaven into places of this world where it has not yet been established? It includes this, of course; but is this all? I think not. Now the next petition: "Thy will be done, as in heaven, so upon earth." Whilst these two petitions have a general significance, they have a most personal application to the heart and life of every one offering them. We sometimes wonder why the Lord's Prayer is so short. It is so because the all of heaven, and the church on earth, is comprehended in doing the will of our Father who is in heaven as subjects of his kingdom. And the aim and end of Revealed Truth from Genesis to Revelation is to teach man how to acquire the power to do this, and how to do it, together with the promises of eternal rewards for doing it. And until our understandings are so filled with the knowledge of the glorious truths of God's kingdom, and our hearts with the love of doing his will that we can make no further progress in knowledge and wisdom, and no additions to the warmth and measure of our love by reason of our sinless perfection, we have daily need to offer this prayer.
Gospel and church ordinances are all important. In my view they hold a relation to every true Christian in the lines of example, power and use somewhat like that which the harness has to a draught horse. The horse has to be first trained to the draught by means of the harness; and when trained he draws by the same means. Entering the church in the Lord's appointed way—inwardly, through repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ; outwardly, by a threefold immersion of the body in pure water, the beautiful emblem of truth, in token of our belief in the blessed trinity of God—is simply putting on the harness for work in the Lord's vineyard. It is also the act of putting on the Christian soldier's armor and entering the service. But of what use is a helmet, sword and shield to an idler in the camp? Of what account is harness, unless the horse that carries it is trained and made willing to use it?
The apostles all speak much of charity, which is love to others filled with a desire to do them good. This love is of God; for our Lord was filled with it as "he went about doing good." It is this same love or charity in God that has brought salvation to man. Paul and Peter often call it grace, but it means the same thing. Moses and the prophets mostly use the word mercy; but it also means the same. These three words, love, grace, mercy, in their true sense, are comprehended in the word CHARITY, which, as an attribute of God or a conscious feeling in man, is the love of doing good in the desire to make others good and happy. If charity were made the life and spring of man's love universally, peace and happiness would be the universal order of man's life on earth. Millennial glory would crown humanity, and the knowledge of the Lord would be its princely attire. Then the wolf of worldly rapacity, having lost its power, would dwell with the lamb. The leopard of crouching deceit, having been deprived of its teeth and claws, would lie down with the kid. The young lion, tamed, but his courage and strength reserved by being regenerated, would feed with the calf; and the little child of innocent will and teachable understanding would lead them.
But "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." We can not know fully all the blessedness to be realized by doing the will of our Father in heaven. But this we may be assured of; it will prepare us for that higher life whose brightest glory and most exalted happiness is comprehended in the welcome that all such as do his will are sure to receive: "Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
After dinner Brother Joseph Arnold and Michael Lion come with me, over a very rough track, to Abraham Summerfield's, where we stay all night.
TUESDAY, September 2. In the forenoon preach the funeral of old Mrs. Summerfield; and in connection with it that of the child of Washington Summerfield. In the afternoon we have meeting at old man Summerfield's on the Dry Fork of Cheat river. Washington Summerfield and his wife and soldier White's wife are baptized to-day. Stay all night at John Pennington's.
WEDNESDAY, September 3. Dine at Widow Cooper's on the Alleghany mountain, and stay all night at Isaac Carr's on the North Fork.
THURSDAY, September 4. Meeting at Carr's. Come to Enoch Hyre's and stay all night.
FRIDAY, September 5. Meeting at Hyre's. German W. Deadenborn is baptized to-day. Come to Sister Mary Judy's; stay all night.
SATURDAY, September 6. Meeting at Sister Judy's. Brother Thomas Lion is with me. Come to Peggy Dasher's; night meeting at Zion.
SUNDAY, September 7. Meeting at Henry Moyers's, in the Gap. In evening get home.
THURSDAY, September 11. Council meeting at our meetinghouse. Decide the question as to what the churches here in the slaveholding States should require of any slaveowner desiring to come into the church. A very delicate matter to act upon in the present sensitive condition of public feeling on slavery. But it is the aim of the Brethren here not to offend popular feeling, so long as that feeling does not attempt any interference with what they regard and hold sacred as their line of Christian duty. Should such opposition arise, which I greatly fear will be the case at no distant day, it will then be seen that it is the fixed purpose and resolve of the Brotherhood to "obey God rather than men." It was decided in council that every slaveholder coming into the church must give up his or her slaves as property; and yet not turn them off houseless and homeless, but allow them to remain, and labor, and be fed and clothed as usual, until suitable and lawful provisions can be made for their complete emancipation.
THURSDAY, September 18. This day Brother Kline started on a journey up the Valley of Virginia, to the counties of Augusta, Rockbridge, Botetourt, Roanoke and Franklin. As usual, he was mounted on faithful Nell's back. The reader need not be surprised to be told what the writer heard Brother Kline tell about the somewhat remarkable sagacity of Nell. She not only had her favorite places to stop at, but she had her favorite roads to travel on. And it was not uncommon for her rider to be forced into a mild but resolute contention with her, when he wished to leave a road she had repeatedly traveled before.
Brother John Brower accompanied him from Augusta. Saturday, the twenty-eighth, they crossed the Natural Bridge and got to Sister Sarah Grabil's, where they met Brother Crumbaker. Sunday, the 21st, they attended a love feast at the Valley meetinghouse, and stayed all night at Brother Nininger's. Monday, the 22nd, they attended meeting again, and stayed all night at Brother Benjamin Moomaw's. Next day they dined at Brother Daniel Kiser's, and stayed all night at John Brubaker's in Roanoke County. On this trip they visited or stayed over night with Peter Crumbaker's, James Hayden's, Joseph Howard's, Joseph Weddell's, Christian Bowman's, Daniel Neff's, Abraham Flory's, Abraham Barnhart's, Jacob Miley's, Wendell Sites's, and Jacob Stover's. He got home Friday, October 10.
On this journey Brother Kline attended nine meetings for ordinary services, and six love feasts.
From this time on to the close of the year Brother Kline was actively employed either at home or abroad. He made one trip to Page County. He and Brother Solomon Garber took a journey through the counties of Pendleton, Randolph, Upshur, Highland, and returned through Augusta. They held eleven meetings in the eleven days they spent on this trip. Several were baptized; and they met with kind receptions everywhere they went.
WEDNESDAY, December 31. This year I have traveled six thousand miles. May God forgive all I have said and done amiss, and accept to his own glory all that I have done well. Amen!
SATURDAY, January 17. A snowstorm sets in this evening.
SUNDAY, January 18. A terrific and very cold snowstorm has been raging all day and all last night. Thermometer down to zero all day.
MONDAY, January 19. Terrible snowstorm continues till evening. Snow considerably drifted; but probably enough snow on the ground if evenly distributed over its surface to make a depth of over two feet. Get through reading "The Prince of the House of David."
MONDAY, February 2. Very cold to-night. Thermometer ten degrees below zero.
FRIDAY, February 5. A general thaw.
SATURDAY, February 6. Go to Broadway to see the river. Tremendous breaking up of the ice—tearing almost everything before it.
SATURDAY, April 4. Brother Jacob Wine and I attend a visit council meeting in Page County. Elections are also held. Brother Nathan Spitler is elected to preach the Word; and John Huffman is advanced to baptize and perform the ceremony of marriage. Gideon Toben is elected to the deaconship.
SATURDAY, April 18. Council meeting at the Flat Rock. Jacob Wine is ordained. John Neff is advanced to the second grade; and Abraham Neff is elected to preach the Word.
SUNDAY, April 26. Meeting at our meetinghouse. Romans 6 is read. Philip Emswiler and John Toppen and his wife are baptized by myself.
WEDNESDAY, May 13. Go to John Lowry's to converse with him and his wife on the subject of religion.
TUESDAY, May 19. Considerable snow to-day; but on low-lying sections of country it melts almost as fast as it falls.
WEDNESDAY, May 20. The Blue Ridge, and the mountains on the west side of the valley are all white with snow.
THURSDAY, May 21. This morning the tops of the western mountains are still white with snow. The oldest weather records I have heard from contain no account of snow so late in the spring as this anywhere in Virginia.
FRIDAY, May 22. Peter Fesler and wife are with us here at my home. We are all made to feel glad by their company.
FRIDAY, June 5. Go to John Lowry's to discuss some of our doctrines with Jacob Stirewalt and Socrates Henkel, Lutheran preachers from New Market, Virginia. It was no part of my aim in this private talk with those preachers to work any change in their settled opinions regarding the subjects of our controversy. I long ago learned that the conversion of a theological sinner from the error of his ways is hardly to be hoped for in any case. When the truth is loved for its own sake it is not hard to find; and it is readily perceived when found. It is then the pearl of great price for which a man will sell all that he has to obtain it as his own. Luther was no doubt sincere in much that he taught: but men may be sincere in holding very erroneous dogmas, because of their being so deeply rooted in their minds and their minds being so confirmed in them that it would be almost like parting soul and body to give them up. It was said of Luther, by one of the later reformers, that he cut a large piece out of the Pope's pontifical robe as he left the Vatican, and kept it all his life as a sacred relic. This is of course highly figurative, and not to be understood literally; but to mean that he incorporated many papal errors in his subsequent teachings. My object in meeting these preachers at this place was to comply with the request of the family for me to do so. Friend Lowry and his wife did not appear to see the lines of truth and duty very clearly; and as they seemed desirous of learning the way I thought it important for some one to present the truth on one side, to oppose the error that was likely to be poured in from the other side. The whole thing reminded me of what I often do—give medicine to counteract disease.
SATURDAY, July 25. Visit, medically, George, and Noah Shoemaker's, Joseph Shoemaker's, William Miller's; and am hurriedly called to James Fitzwater's. He has been bitten by a copperhead snake. I succeed in relieving urgent symptoms; and by evening he is almost free from pain.
SATURDAY, August 1. Go to Orkney Springs.
SUNDAY, August 2. Have preaching at the hotel. My subject is "Righteousness, Temperance, and a Judgment to Come." My audience was composed of hearers from far and near; and almost all classes, as to intelligence and social standing, were represented. A man like myself, who only occasionally strikes such a crowd, hardly knows how to adapt himself to the situation. If he lets himself down to the comprehension of the illiterate, the highbred city folks may say: "He is beneath his calling." And if he lifts himself up to their standard of appreciation, the unlearned go away without being able to say amen to what they have heard. I decided, however, to follow the example of Paul before Felix and Drusilla. He reasoned of righteousness, etc.
In the forty-fifth Psalm David says: "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the scepter of thy kingdom is a scepter of righteousness. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness." A scepter is a kind of staff borne by kings as an emblem of their authority. It is a comfort to know that the scepter of Jehovah, as King of the universe, is a scepter of righteousness. We could never know that God is righteous, and that he loves righteousness, except by being told in his Word of Truth. This world does not give unequivocal testimony to the righteousness of God. The wicked bear rule, and the nations tremble. Evil often overcomes good, and wrong triumphs over right. Disease or accident lays the good man low in death; while the wicked near by is left to exult in the strength of his arm. I say it is comforting to know, in the midst of these apparent contradictory evidences of the just government of the world, that God is nevertheless righteous: and although iniquity largely bears rule and carries the day, God still hates wickedness. God does not acquiesce in the injustice and wrong that is being perpetrated in the world. He merely permits it; and he permits it for the reason that he can not arrest and put an end to it without destroying man's freedom. Man is free as to his will and understanding—free to believe what is false and to do what is wrong. But he is just as free to believe what is true and to will what is good. This freedom is what makes him capable of being reformed and saved.
It is self-evident that righteousness, which is right doing from right willing, is the basis of all true order and happiness in earth and heaven. "God is love," and he therefore loves righteousness because it is good, and hates wickedness because it is evil. But man has fallen from his primeval state of righteousness, and therefore he is not in a condition of mind and heart fit for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, nor capable of enjoying the divine presence in the society of the pure and good. Righteousness and holiness are related to each other very much as the fruit is related to the tree that bears it. Holiness corresponds with the sap, fiber, life and whatever else makes the tree good; and righteousness corresponds with the fruit the good tree bears; and "without holiness no man shall see the Lord."
But probably no subject in the line of human thought has given rise to so many different opinions as the subject of how righteousness is to be attained. The Jewish leaders and representatives in our Lord's day upon earth were very exact in their outward lives. They kept clean the outside of the cup and of the platter. Their external conduct was ordered to a rigid conformity to divine law. They endeavored to establish a righteousness of their own; and to all human appearance they succeeded; for the Lord himself said to them: "Ye make clean the outside"—as vessels may appear clean externally. He also compared them to beautiful monuments of marble sculptured after the highest style of art and polished to shining perfection, set up over the dead. But of this very class of men he said: "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven." This proves that the righteousness which they had was not the righteousness of the kingdom of heaven.
Self-respect, or self-love, inclines almost every one, except the very abandoned, to make a show of righteousness; that is, they want others to think they are living right lives. No man who holds himself up to respectability is willing to be called a thief, or a liar, or an adulterer, or any other thing that is vile. He may be any or all of these, yet he is not willing that it should be known, or even suspected. Even he desires to make a fair show in the flesh.
Others, again, who make no profession of religion, but who yet believe in a supreme God and a future state of existence, desire to be righteous before God and man. They are not like the scribes and Pharisees, who attached virtue and merit to their rigid observance of the ceremonial law of ordinances in their religion. These that I now speak of are simply good moral men, who are honest in their dealings and careful of the conduct of their lives generally. These do not really desire to make any display of their righteousness. They wish rather to be esteemed for their real worth; and not for any fancied or spurious excellencies. They desire to live above the just reproaches of men, and the condemnation of God. They persuade themselves to think that their righteousness is all that God can require.
But the most numerous of all the classes that seek after righteousness is composed of those who trust in the righteousness of faith. Righteousness or justification by faith was the password of the Reformation. Martin Luther, misapplying Paul's utterance that "a man is justified or made righteous by faith without the deeds of the law," set a large part of Europe going with the impression that salvation, in the highest sense, is attainable on the easy terms of merely assenting to the statement that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Many passages can be adduced from the epistolary writings in plausible support of this theory of salvation. Although it is incomprehensible how the righteousness of Christ can be applied to each individual sinner on the bare ground of his merely giving assent to the doctrine of the atonement through the merit of Christ's death upon the cross, still it is the leading dogma of what is popularly called orthodoxy. But I must confess before all present this day that I have "not so learned Christ," nor Paul either. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom, but he that DOETH the will of my Father which is in heaven." At the close of his sermon on the Mount, in which is given all necessary instruction and encouragement for living a righteous life from holy love in the heart, the Lord Jesus says: "Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and DOETH them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house upon a rock." And he said to Peter: "Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." The rock is the great TRUTH that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. This truth involves every good affection and thought and work of man. It takes in and requires obedience to every divine command, and compliance with every divine precept. When any one complies with these conditions of salvation through the faith that sees and knows that God's Word is true because it is understood and must be so, he is righteous in the sight of the Lord, and necessarily in a state of salvation. He is then to "let his light shine before men, that others seeing his GOOD WORKS may glorify our Father in heaven."
For want of time I must pass over the subject of temperance, to say something about "a judgment to come." And right here there are all sorts of ideas and conjectures. But of all the subjects in the universe, that involving the judgment is the most momentous to man; because it is there that his eternal destiny will be disclosed to him, as to whether he shall be an angel of heaven or a demon in hell. And we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. It is not to be wondered at that Felix trembled under the weight of this great truth. God's Word will be the basis of judgment. Says our Lord: "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my sayings, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day." As "man liveth by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God," so does every word of his truth point to that great day for which all other days were made. All the parables and miracles of our Lord, full of instruction as to heart and life, point, like so many guideposts, to this great central truth of man's experience and existence.
But, friends, let us imbibe no erroneous views and impressions regarding the judgment to come. Let us not regard it as being an occasion for the display of God's wrath; but let us rather look upon it as the sublimest manifestation of his love. Draw a comparison here. Good human laws are not a terror to the good. A jury is impaneled. A criminal is arraigned before it. Testimony is received and evidence drawn from it respecting the innocence or guilt of the accused. The balance of testimony is altogether in his favor. He is acquitted. That trial is a joy to that criminal, because it sets him right as to character before the world. But suppose he is found guilty. Is it a joy then? It is not. It is a grief. Why? Because his sin has found him out. His real character is laid bare. But in their consignment of him to the punishment prescribed by law, do the jury and the judge act from wrath? They do not, but from a love of good will to all. The law that condemns may have the appearance of wrath to the condemned; but never to the innocent.
Judgment and reward will be according to works, and never according to professions of faith, except where the professions are genuine, and lead to good works from the love of doing good. I have met with some who have manifested dread in contemplating the majesty of that great day, the day of "a judgment to come." I feel warranted in making the assertion that no one whose purpose in life is to do the will of our Father in heaven has any just ground whatever to dread the coming of that day. Justice never condemns the innocent. Just and wise laws are never a terror to the good, and such are all the laws of God. In the book of Revelation we read of those "who had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, saying: Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints." These all exulted in the prospect of a judgment to come, because they had gotten the victory over the adversary of their souls and were ready for trial before the King of saints whose ways are all just and true. I once read of a criminal who was deeply distressed at the near approach of his trial. A friend endeavored to soothe his agitated feelings by telling him that justice would be done him, and that he consequently had no cause for fear. But the criminal was honest enough to confess to his friend that JUSTICE was the very thing he was afraid of. I have no doubt that this very same fear was what made Felix tremble before Paul.
The Son of man, on the judgment seat, will be the very same in every particular that he is now on the mercy seat. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and to-day, and forevermore." "The heavens shall depart as a scroll; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up; but thou art the same." By viewing him now as he is on the mercy seat we may see what he will be on the judgment seat. The trembling waters of Galilee became a pavement under his feet, and his disciples were thrown into consternation by this miraculous approach of the Lord. But he instantly dispelled their fears by the assurance: "It is I; BE NOT AFRAID." Peter, James and John on the holy mount feared as they entered the cloud and saw his glory; but he most tenderly said to them: "FEAR NOT." John, on the isle of Patmos, beholding the glory of his unveiled face, "fell at his feet as dead." But he laid his right hand upon him and said: "FEAR NOT. I am he that liveth and was dead; and, behold! I am alive forevermore."
These thoughts lead to the further consideration that there will be no arbitrary or despotic power exercised in "the judgment to come." "My words shall judge you in the last day" is given by our Lord as the standard of judgment. Is there one here who desires to know how he will bear the searching ordeal of that day? If there is, let me say to such a one, you can decide that question here in this world for yourself. You have the Lord's word for this. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life." To hear is to hearken, and to hearken is to obey, from a right faith in God. If you believe that this book which I hold in my hand, called the Bible, is the revealed truth of God, and from the heart are willing to obey its precepts under a sense of love and duty to do the will of your Father in heaven therein revealed, and continue faithful unto death, you have the assurance therein given that the judgment to come will be a day of triumphant joy to your soul. But if you come short of this you can have no such assurance: and I am compelled to repeat in your ears these terrific words of an apostle: "If we sin willfully, after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins; but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversary." To sin willfully is to refuse to do what we know to be the will of God our Father in heaven.
I said awhile ago that judgment and reward will be according to works. Let us now turn to some of the proofs in confirmation of this assertion. They drop from the lips of our Lord without the least show of any design in him to establish a great principle. The principle had been established as an element of divine order before the Son of man came into the world. It is a truth so simple that even little children comprehend it. If a little child that has been taught any correct ideas about salvation and heaven be asked a question like this: "Who go to heaven?" it will at once answer with childlike simplicity: "Good people go to heaven." If further interrogated as to who good people are, it will say: "People who love one another and do good." It is a truth intuitively known that good people are saved and happy, and bad people lost and miserable.
"This is the judgment, that light is come into the world, but men loved darkness rather than light, because THEIR DEEDS WERE EVIL. Every one that doeth evil hateth the light ... lest HIS DEEDS should be reproved. But he who DOETH TRUTH cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, because THEY ARE WROUGHT IN GOD. If ye know these things, HAPPY ARE YE IF YE DO THEM. He that hath my commandments AND DOETH THEM, he it is that loveth me ... and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him; ... and will come to him, and make my abode with him. He that loveth me not KEEPETH NOT MY WORDS. Ye are my friends, IF YE DO WHATSOEVER I COMMAND YOU.... I have chosen you, ... that ye should bring forth fruit, AND THAT YOUR FRUIT SHOULD REMAIN." I must drop a word of comment upon this last quotation. By fruit remaining it is to be understood that it goes with the child of God through the judgment into heaven, and remains to eternity. In Revelation we read these words: "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; AND THEIR WORKS DO FOLLOW WITH THEM. A book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged according to those things which were written in the book, EVERY ONE ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS."
I might continue this multiplication of scripture passages to a much greater number, but time forbids. Every passage I have quoted bears either directly or indirectly upon the judgment to come. It remains a thing of choice with every intelligent human being, whether he will be prepared to face the shining judgment throne with joy, or quail before it in terror. The Lord says to all: "Seek ye my face." What a blessed response it would be for each one to answer as did the young Prophet Samuel: "Thy face, Lord, will I seek."
TUESDAY, August 18. Brother Kline and Jacob Wine have night meeting at Nimrod Judy's, in Hardy County. The conversion of Saul is their subject. Acts 9.
WEDNESDAY, August 19. They have meeting at John Judy's on South Mill Creek. TEXT.—"God is a Spirit." John 4:24. They speak on the spiritual nature of true worship, and prove that ordinances in connection with all the externals of worship, to be acceptable to God, must be but the outward evidences of internal realities. They stay all night at John Judy's.
THURSDAY, August 20. This day they have two meetings: forenoon at Isaac Judy's; afternoon at Michael Mallow's. Stay at Adam Mallow's.
FRIDAY, August 21. Two meetings to-day. Forenoon at Bethel church—dine at Peter Warnstaff's; afternoon at Warnstaff's tanyard. Stay at John Davis's in Hardy.
SATURDAY, August 22. Meeting at Zion church on the South Fork. In the afternoon cross the Shenandoah mountain into Brock's Gap.
SUNDAY, August 23. Meeting at Keplinger's chapel, where they meet Benjamin Bowman and Solomon Garber. A joyful surprise. Brother Benjamin Bowman speaks from Luke 8. He speaks mostly from these words of the eighteenth verse: "Take heed how ye hear." From the outlines I gather that he followed very closely the lines of thought here briefly expressed.
He said: Hearing may be that of mere sound. Brutes hear in this way. A horse, near the stand, may hear a sermon, but it will be that of mere sound to him. I have known of people hearing somewhat after the same manner. They can tell nothing, and seem to remember nothing of what they have heard. Some hear to criticise the preacher's style of expression, including his language, modulation of his voice, and gestures. Others hear as the Pharisees and Herodians tried to hear Christ, "that they might catch him in his talk;" and like the scribes and Pharisees, "laying in wait for him, to catch something out of his mouth" with which to accuse him. But these are not the only profitless hearings which the God-loving and soul-loving minister of the Gospel has to mourn over. The lives of some prove that they hear mainly from a desire to make others think that they have great respect for religion and the Word of God. They go to church and hear, but heed nothing. "By their fruits shall ye KNOW them." If people were rightly to obey the injunction of my text, all such heedless and profitless hearing would be at an end.
But how is the injunction of the text to be obeyed? And how is one to know when he is obeying it? The command means that the hearer shall take heed. This means "WATCH." What must he watch? "HOW HE HEARS." The text has relation, not to WHAT ye hear, but HOW ye hear. It does not point to the subject matter or the manner of the address, but to the end for which and to the spirit in which it is heard. If the heartfelt desire of the hearer is to learn truth, that he may be enlightened and given to see the way of eternal life, he may feel assured that his hearing is acceptable to God. He will then not be a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, and such a one shall be blessed in his deed.
It is enjoined upon all to hear intelligently, for this belongs to the manner of hearing. No one can hear a sermon understandingly without some previous knowledge of the subject matter of the discourse. To acquire this knowledge every one should read and study the Word of Divine Truth. It is able to make all "wise unto salvation." Intelligent knowledge of the Scriptures can be acquired only by patient study of them: but when they are studied to the illumination of the understanding, the truth, like water in a well, rises up into the understanding and meets you. We sometimes hear it said of one who listens attentively and intelligently, "He seemed to drink in every word spoken." This, I think, is what the Lord means by these words to the woman at the well: "He that drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but he that drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst; but it shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." To hear the truth attentively and understandingly is to drink it in, as we drink water when we are thirsty.
What I have said, however important it may be to know, does not cover the entire ground comprehended in the text. I must show you another element which must exist in the manner of all right hearing. That element is discrimination. Without this, how is the hearer to know whether the truth or its opposite is being preached? The comparison may lack adaptability in some of its points, but I have heard it said that some hearers are like young birds in their nest, ready to swallow down anything put into their mouths. Such as hear in this way lack discrimination; that is, they do not discern the difference between what is true and what is false. This is particularly the case with such as have been trained to regard what their own denominational ministers preach as being the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I am aware that some may just now be saying in their minds: "You Dunkard people are the very ones to whom your words most justly apply; for I know of no people who take so great pains to instil this very belief into the minds of the young as you do." I can truthfully say that such charges are not strange to me. But with all due respect for such as differ from us in religious faith and practice, I do say that we, as a denomination of Christian brethren, acknowledging no teacher but Christ, no authority but his Word, have no will, wish or desire to lead the truth and thus pervert, ignore or misapply any part of it; but our will, wish and desire is to be led by the truth. And I do not in my heart believe there is one member of our Brotherhood who would desire to instill into the mind of his or her child any belief or practice not sustained by a plain "thus saith the Lord." In this very way the power of discrimination is developed in the minds of our young people, so that when they hear or read they do not question whether this or that that they hear or read has for its authority the Methodist Discipline, the Episcopal Prayer Book, or Lutheran Catechism; but they at once perceive that it either has or has not the sanction of God's Word. We are taught that in a spiritual sense no one is to be called rabbi. "Be not ye called rabbi; for One is your teacher, and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father on the earth; for one is your Father in heaven." How the mind might expatiate here in making historic disclosures of the times and ways in which this plain command of our Lord has been violated! Hearing the Word preached, and the hearer not able to discern truth from falsehood, has given to priestcraft nearly all of its power; because priestcraft, unsupported by the common people, could never have risen into power. If the common people had been wise enough to take heed how they hear, they never would have suffered themselves to be imposed upon as they have been.
I now take up the last but not the least element in the manner of hearing. That element is sincerity; which I define to be a heartfelt love for the truth. Paul puts it "Receiving the truth in the love of it." The person who hears the truth lightly, thoughtlessly, carelessly is not instructed by it. The same is true of one who hears with prejudice against the truth. He refuses to be instructed, because he does not love the truth he hears. Let me use an illustration here. Two men once happened to meet at my house, one a Presbyterian and the other a member of no church. After dinner the subject of feet-washing was broached. After we had all talked awhile about it one of the men asked me whereabouts in the Bible it was to be found. I turned to the thirteenth chapter of John's Gospel, and he then asked me to read it aloud. I did so. These two men listened attentively, so, at least, they appeared to me. The Presbyterian friend very modestly gave it as his opinion that the command is fully met by acts of hospitality, and referred to the reception which Abraham gave the three angels who came to his tent as proof of the correctness of his conclusion. Very little more was said about it at that time. The two men, soon after, went away together; and I had little or no conversation with either of them for probably nearly a year afterward. But it so turned out that the one who was not a professor of religion came to my house again, and showed a desire to talk on the subject of feet-washing. I was ready to answer such questions as he proposed; and he very soon expressed a wish to know if I remembered having once read the thirteenth chapter of John's Gospel to him when on a call at my house. I told him I did remember it. "Your reading of that chapter," said he, "struck my mind with so much force that I could not rid myself of the impression it made. I never, until then, knew there was anything so plain in the Scriptures, and so easy to understand. I had always thought the Bible was a book of dark sayings, unintelligible to any but the learned; and even in their hands doubtful as to its true interpretation. Since then I have been reading it, especially the New Testament part of it, and find so much that I can understand that I begin to love it." I have only to add that this man soon applied for membership in our church, was baptized, and manifested enthusiastic delight in obeying the command, "So ought ye also to wash one another's feet," at the first love feast he ever attended.
In connection with the case I have just described, the two men spoken of heard with different ears. The ear of the first was so modified by previous indoctrinations that it could almost shut itself in and become deaf or callous when the plain truth was read: the ear of the last was open to take in the truth; and the mind, being free from prejudice, received the truth from the love of it. "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." The Lord includes all such hearers as the one I have just described, in the promised blessing.
"Take heed HOW ye hear." In speaking on this text so much comes before my mind that it is difficult for me to stop. I must say something to the unconverted sinner. The Lord says to you: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." This means that you should turn away from your sins and enter the kingdom of heaven. "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return unto the Lord, for he will have mercy upon him; and unto our God, for he will abundantly pardon." And Jesus says: "Whosoever cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out." To come unto the Lord is to hear his Word with full purpose of heart to understand it, see its truth, believe it and obey it. I beg every unconverted person in this house to ask himself just now: "How do I hear what the preacher has just now said? Do I hear it with a thoughtless, careless ear? If I do, what is to become of me? Can I bear to hear the voice from the judgment throne say: 'Depart, ye workers of iniquity, into everlasting fire'? Would I not better 'seek the Lord while he may be found, and call upon him while he is near'?" O, that all might hear aright, repent and live, for with the Lord there is plenteous redemption; and he is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by him.
SUNDAY, September 6. Meeting at Turner's schoolhouse. William Miller and wife, and Andrew Lamb's wife are baptized.
THURSDAY, September 24. This day finds Brother Kline and Solomon Garber in Randolph County, Virginia, nearly one hundred miles from home, holding a meeting. Both have come on horseback. They hold a council meeting with the Brethren assembled. Joseph Houser is elected to the deaconship. After meeting Brother Solomon Garber baptizes Mrs. Houser and Diana Bainbridge.
SATURDAY, September 26. They have meeting in meetinghouse near Josiah Simon's. Matt. 5:13 is the text. Brother Solomon Garber spoke first; and the Diary notes are so suggestive of original thought that I give them in a somewhat expanded form. TEXT.—"Ye are the salt of the earth."
Jesus spoke by parables: and we are told that without a parable spoke he not. My text is a parable. But what is a parable? A parable is a way of teaching in which natural objects are used to represent or symbolize spiritual realities. It is a way of comparing natural things with spiritual things. This way of teaching is based upon the correspondence existing between natural things and spiritual or heavenly things. Thus: a natural birth corresponds to a spiritual birth; natural water, to spiritual water, which is divine or heavenly truth. Wind, which is air in motion, corresponds to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Now notice, Jesus said to Nicodemus: "If I have told you earthly things, and you believe or understand not, how shall you believe if I tell you of heavenly things?" Nicodemus could not understand how earthly things could symbolize or represent spiritual things. Hence he asked: "How can these things be?"
I have tried to find out as nearly as possible what the word SALT is used to represent, as found in my text. I have searched many books for this one thing alone. But after all my investigations I am compelled to rely upon my own judgment, and decide the matter for myself. I notice, however, that salt is often spoken of in the Bible. All the priestly offerings had to be salted with salt. There must, then, be a high and holy significance in its use in this way.
Elisha succeeded Elijah in the prophetic office. Elijah had been carried up to heaven in a chariot of fire, and Elisha had just returned from the scene and sight of his master's glorification, and was at the city of Jericho. And the men of the city said unto Elisha: "Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, ... but the water is naught"—worthless, not fit to drink. And Elisha "went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast salt in there, and said, Thus saith the Lord, I have healed these waters." To my mind these bitter waters of Jericho symbolize the truths of God's Word, as these truths appear to the mind and affect the taste of the unconverted man. Read the Bible to the man who has no relish, no love for its truth. Is it not to his soul like the waters of Jericho—"naught," or nothing? These men of Jericho are all around us, and you may find opportunities to prove what I have said. I have repeatedly tried it. I have read chapter after chapter of the divine Word to unconverted men, sometimes to my own work hands who I knew cared nothing for religion, and whilst they would not tell me to my face that they cared nothing for it, I could find out by others, and by their own after lives that what they heard was to their souls as the waters of Jericho were to the men of that city. But when the salt of pure love for the Lord, and the desire to leave off and forsake all sinful indulgences and worldly pleasures by leading a new life in doing the Lord's will, enters a man the Word becomes sweet and precious to his soul. The waters are healed, because the man is healed.
The twelve disciples, particularly, were, at the time our Lord spoke the words of my text, the very embodiment of all the virtues of heart and life which make the Word of the Lord sweet to the soul. To such these beautiful words in the Song of Solomon apply: "He brought me to the banqueting house: he stayed me with flagons of wine: he comforted me with apples: his banner over me was love: yea, and HIS FRUIT was sweet to my taste."
Now, to bring my text to something like a practical head, I must say to every unconverted soul here: You must put the salt into the water of God's Word for yourself. If you look to the Lord, and ask him to give you eyes that you may see, and ears that you may hear, and a heart that you may understand, you will also receive all the salt you need to heal the Word and make it healing to your soul. But if you neglect and despise or reject the offers of God's love, the very thing that he has prepared for your eternal joy will be everlasting bitterness to your soul. For one to know his duty and not at the same time do it exposes him to the danger of being converted into a pillar of bitter salt as Lot's wife was. She could not give up her love for the world. She knew that she must not look back with longings for the Sodom of the sinful life she had left; but she did look back, and her awful fate is brought to mind by our Lord as a warning to all: "Remember Lot's wife."
By the words of my text, then, the Lord meant that the disciples represented the charity and faith that sweeten and give to every word of Divine Truth a gracious reception into the heart and life. In this happy love the Christian sings of the Word of Life in the beautiful sentiment of an old hymn:
"Yes, thou art precious to my soul; My transport and my trust: Jewels to thee are gaudy toys, And gold is sordid dust."
And when the disembodied soul shall awake to the full realization of the truth which shone so dimly here, the love for that truth will be sevenfold as the light of seven days all in one, which means fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore.
SUNDAY, September 27. This day Brother Solomon Garber leaves me after meeting, to attend to some appointments ahead. I stay to debate with a Methodist preacher. In the afternoon I baptize Sister Houser. Stay all night at Brother Pirkey's.
TUESDAY, September 29. In the afternoon meet the Methodist preacher at Israel Methodist church. But I am sorry to say that instead of going into a discussion with me on baptism and other ordinances of God's house he suffered himself to run into an absurd abuse of us, as if we might be doing much harm by our close adherence to the teachings and examples of Christ and his apostles. I can pray the Lord to have mercy upon him, and to open his eyes; for I was led to believe, from what he said, that he had never read or thought much outside of the Methodist Discipline.
WEDNESDAY, September 30. Meeting again in meetinghouse near Brother Simon's. Speak on John 3:7. I baptize Brother Samuel Channel.
THURSDAY, October 1. Get Nell shod. Come to the Barker settlement. Night meeting at Wilson's.
FRIDAY, October 2. Night meeting at Enoch Johnson's.
SATURDAY, October 3. Meeting and love feast at Brother Henry Wilson's. Stay all night at Brother Elias Oval's.
SUNDAY, October 4. Meeting at the meetinghouse. Take the voice of the church. Brother Henry Wilson is established. Brother Elias Oval is advanced; and Brother William Oval is elected to the Word.
MONDAY, October 5. Visit Elijah Skidmore; dine at Brother Burke's; visit Joseph Workman; and come to Brother Simon's in the evening. Brother Michael Lion, Brother Thomas Clark, and Brother Martain Cosner are there when I arrive. I probably will never forget the pleasure of meeting those brethren there and spending the night and next day with them. Our love for each other here is a sweet foretaste of the joy of heaven.
TUESDAY, October 6. Come to Brother Levi Wilmot's. Preach the funeral of Brother Powers's wife.
WEDNESDAY, October 7. Dine at Abraham Summerfield's. Then to William Adamson's at the mouth of Seneca Creek, where I stay all night.
THURSDAY, October 8. Dine at Daniel Judy's. Stay all night at Adam Ketterman's on top of the South Fork mountain.
FRIDAY, October 9. Get home.
SUNDAY, October 25. Meeting at Hoover's schoolhouse. I baptize John Lamb and wife, and Mary Hoover.
SUNDAY, November 1. This day Brother Kline and Jacob Miller are together at a meeting in a place called Powell's Fort. This is a very singular conformation of country. It is entirely surrounded by high mountain walls, with the exception of one notch or outlet for drainage and a road. It is about twenty miles south of Winchester, Virginia. Some well-to-do people live in this secluded abode. It is likewise the point to which it is said that Washington had resolved to retreat, with his army, rather than surrender to the British, in one of the dark periods of the Revolutionary War. On this visit to the Fort Brother Jacob Miller baptized three persons.
From this time to the close of the year, Brother Kline was mostly employed in writing his "Apology and Defense of Baptism." He finished the work on the thirty-first day of December. In the year 1857 he traveled 3,967 miles.
FRIDAY, February 5, 1858. Attend council meeting at the Old meetinghouse. Brother John Thomas is forwarded; Joseph Early is elected to preach the Word; and Benjamin Byerly is elected to the deaconship.
SATURDAY, February 27. Council meeting at our meetinghouse. Brother Samuel Zigler is elected to preach the Word.
MONDAY, March 8. This day a snow falls about one foot in depth.
WEDNESDAY, March 10. This day completes the fortieth year of my married life.
FRIDAY, March 26. Council meeting at the Brush meetinghouse. George Wine, son of Samuel Wine, and John B. Kline are each elected to the deaconship.
MONDAY, May 10. Brother Kline and Martain Miller, in company of each other, start to the Annual Meeting. On the following Friday they arrived at Brother J.P. Ebersole's, Ohio.
Between Saturday, May 15, and Friday, May 21, the two brethren in company of each other attended four meetings, and visited families as follows: Abraham Ebersole's, Daniel Rosenberger's, Jacob Leedy's, Jonathan Dickey's, Michael Baserman's, Jacob Miller's, Samuel Miller's, Daniel Miller's, Abraham Miller's.
FRIDAY, May 21, after dinner, they go to Lima and wait for the train, which does not come in till ten o'clock at night. It had run off the track near a place called Forest. The Diary note says: A man was killed here by the western train while we were waiting. He got between the woodpile and the cars. Death overtook him without a moment's warning. If unprepared to die, how sad the thought of his being launched into the "eternal deeps" of misery and despair! My eyes often turn with sorrow to the hopeless condition of those who live without God in the world. How men and women of common sense can be satisfied to live year in and year out, on the verge of ruin, is a mystery to me. A glow of enthusiasm often enters my soul, in which I feel as if it would be an ineffable joy to me could I send my voice all over the land in tones of thunder repeating:
"Stop, poor sinners, stop and think, Before ye further go! How can ye sport upon the brink Of everlasting woe? On the verge of ruin, stop! Now, the friendly warning take: Stay your footsteps ere ye drop Into the burning lake."
And to those whose attention might be arrested by such a call, as they would turn their ears to hear, would I love to say, pointing heavenward: "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." "Look unto me, all ye ends of the earth, and be ye saved." "For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." "Even so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth on him may have everlasting life."
We arrive at Fort Wayne quarter past one A.M. After breakfast take train to Delphi; then go in hack ten miles to place of Annual Meeting. Preaching in afternoon. Revelation 5 is read. Brother J. Quinter speaks on the chapter. We take supper on the meeting grounds and then go to Brother John Flory's to stay all night.
SUNDAY, May 23. A very great concourse of people on the grounds. I speak from Revelation 5, the same chapter spoken from yesterday. Some rain to-day. Stay all night at Brother John Flory's again.
MONDAY, May 24. This morning much rain. Committees are formed. Take in questions. Form subcommittees. Go to Brother Young's.
TUESDAY, May 25. Discuss questions. Much rain. Waters high. Stay all night at Brother Flory's again.
WEDNESDAY, May 26. Discuss questions. Get through about two o'clock. Come to Delphi on a wagon. The sky partially clears up to-day. We have night meeting in Delphi. Brethren John Wise, George Hoover and myself speak on Romans, first chapter.