Between this time and the first day of August, Brother Kline went on another tour to the county of Hardy, in which he attended several meetings; baptized Rebecca, wife of Elijah Judy, on Saturday, July 11; and performed the marriage ceremony of George Runion and Susan Aubrey, on the thirteenth.
SUNDAY, July 26. Meeting at Jacob Whetzel's. Matthew 24 is read. I baptized Jacob Pope and his wife.
SUNDAY, August 2. Meeting at our meetinghouse. Samuel Kline and Samuel Roller and his wife are baptized.
MONDAY, August 10. This day Brother Kline started on a journey to Ohio, in company with George Hoover, Joseph Miller, Katy Hoover and Benjamin Wampler. They went in two carriages across the western part of the State of Virginia (now West Virginia) into Pennsylvania, and through the western part of that State into Ohio. As this trip was made specially memorable by a very severe spell of sickness which Brother Kline passed through while making it, as well as by the sad effect it had upon his beloved wife, Anna, at home, the editor will be very particular in giving, from the Diary, all the points of interest connected with it.
The second day they crossed the South Branch mountain by what is called the Howard's Lick road. The view from the top of this is perhaps unsurpassed by any point in the entire range. A very large part of Hardy County, with its magnificent streams and rich bottoms, is visible to the eye. The town of Moorefield from this view reminds one of a child sleeping in its cradle.
Brother Kline, as usual, had a line of appointments for meetings by the way, and he met them as regularly and timely as a train of cars gets to its destined stations. He must have had the name and address of almost every prominent member in the denomination, and they must have had implicit confidence in his word; for the Diary nowhere intimates that he was ever disappointed by not finding the expected congregation when the weather permitted. Nothing of any special interest occurred until the night of Saturday, August 15, at which time we find the company at Colley's tavern in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. At this place Brother Kline complains of being sick. He takes some medicine and is able again to travel on through the next three days, and fill one appointment. But on
WEDNESDAY, August 19, there is an appointment in waiting for him which he cannot attend. He says: "I am sick. Cannot go." Bowling Green was the place. He is now at John Shelly's. Notwithstanding his illness, he, with the company, traveled thirty-one miles the next day; and the day after attended a love feast at Brother Daniel Wise's.
His next appointment was at Brother Shively's. He requests George Hoover and Joseph Miller to go on to that place, while he remains at Brother Wise's with Benjamin Wampler and Katy Hoover. He says again: "I am sick." On the evening of
SUNDAY, August 23, we find him at Brother Hershey's, near Lewistown. He says in the entry for that evening: "I am still sick. Take more medicine to-night." On
MONDAY, August 24, he sent for Dr. Jacob Myers, who gave him a course of medical treatment. The doctor came again the next day, and gave him another course of treatment. He says: "I took another emetic of lobelia to-day, and perspired freely." If lobelia is the poisonous drug that some seem to think it is, we can hardly account for the improvement which Brother Kline reports to have experienced in his feelings, following every administration of it. For on the next day,
WEDNESDAY, August 26, he says: "I feel some better to-day; so much so that I write my will."
THURSDAY, August 27. His own words: "Start again, and pass through Canton, Massillon, Brookfield, Greeneville, Dover, and on to Brother Jacob Kurtz's, where we stay all night." We have to wonder how a man laboring under a well-defined attack of typhoid fever could keep on going for twelve consecutive days before the final breakdown came. It makes one think of Paul, who could even be stoned until he was thought to be dead, and next day be found preaching again. But the crisis with Brother Kline came at last. The entry in the Diary for
FRIDAY, August 28, says: "To-day Brother Hoover and Brother Miller, at my request, leave me; Brother Wampler and Sister Katy remain with me. What a precious thing love is! My dear Brethren have not only staid with me day and night, but they have constantly watched for opportunities to minister to my comfort or necessities. The Lord reward them abundantly in this life and the next: and bless them at the meetings which I now feel I cannot attend. Dr. Overholtz comes at my request and gives me medicine."
SATURDAY, August 29. Suffer extremely, but not quite so much as last night. I now feel as if I were just on a balance between life and death: almost gone.
SUNDAY, August 30. Dr. Overholtz comes again and gives me another course of medicines. I am slightly relieved, but still suffer very much. The Doctor reports fever not as high as yesterday.
MONDAY, August 31. Rest to-day, but am very weak.
TUESDAY, September 1. Doctor does not come to-day.
For some days past the Diary has been kept in a strange hand. Some kind but intelligent friend has made the daily records in perfect imitation of Brother Kline's unaffected style and manner.
SATURDAY, September 5. The Doctor is here, but does not give me medicine. I write a letter home.
This letter created overwhelming distress in the mind of Anna, Brother Kline's wife. She had heard about his illness prior to this time; but when she read this letter her mind seemed to give way, and when Brother Kline got back home he found her very ill, both in body and mind. They told him at home that when she read the letter all hope of ever seeing him again vanished, and the shock was more than her sensitive nature could bear. It is very sad to relate, but true, that she never again seemed fairly to realize his being in her presence. His kindness to her was shown in unremitting attentions, to the day of his death; and I am persuaded that few men could be found to bear such a dire calamity with so much patience and resignation.
There were no entries made in the Diary from September 1, to the fifth. He must have been very sick indeed, during the three days that are omitted.
SATURDAY, September 6. He says: Brother Samuel Buck gives me a course of medicine; it works well. Fever entirely broken. Have some appetite. Begin to mend.
MONDAY, 7. To-day I have rest. Eat some toast bread.
TUESDAY, 8. Still continue to mend, but somewhat slowly.
WEDNESDAY, 9. Take another course of medicines.
THURSDAY, 10. Feel very much better. Can be up some.
FRIDAY, 11. Still mending.
SATURDAY, 12. Doing well. Write a letter home, and one to William Lupton.
SUNDAY, 13. Still continue to do well.
MONDAY, 14. Still well, but sit out in the cool air too long, and take a slight backset.
TUESDAY, 15. Do not feel so well, but appetite good.
WEDNESDAY, 16. Still not very well, but appetite good.
THURSDAY, 17. Do not feel very well. Dr. Overholtz comes again, and gives me another course of medicines.
FRIDAY, 18. Feel a little better again.
SATURDAY, 19. Not much change from yesterday.
SUNDAY, 20. Dr. Overholtz gives me another course of medicines.
MONDAY, 21. Do not feel entirely relieved yet.
TUESDAY, 22. Take another course of medicines, and am much relieved.
WEDNESDAY, 23. Brother Benjamin Wampler takes me in the carriage to Brother Buck's, two miles off, and back home.
THURSDAY, 24. Much rain to-day. Cannot ride out.
FRIDAY, 25. Brother Benjamin takes me to Brother Samuel Myers's to-day, and back home. Rain in the afternoon.
SATURDAY, 26. Paint the top of carriage, and do some other work to it.
SUNDAY, 27. Visit Brother Reuben Pinkerton and return home. How very kind all of these dear people have been to me! They will accept nothing in return for all their kindness to me, but my gratitude and love, and, heaven knows, my heart is full of that.
TUESDAY, 29. Go to Brother Jonathan Gaines's for dinner; then to Wooster, and stay all night with Dr. Overholtz.
WEDNESDAY, 30. Go to the bank in Wooster and attend to some other business. Dine with Dr. Overholtz, and in evening get back home to Brother Jacob Kurtz's.
THURSDAY, October 1. Fix to start towards home.
FRIDAY, October 2. Take leave of my very dear Brother Jacob Kurtz and family, who have nursed and cared for me through all of my sickness. Such kindness as he and his family have shown me relieves affliction of half its distress. It is almost a luxury to be sick where so much love is shown. I can never forget Brother Benjamin Wampler. He is so calm and gentle in the sick room that his very presence is a comfort to the sick.
The Diary does not contain anything of special interest on their way home. Brother Kline noted the distance traveled over each day, from the time they left Brother Jacob Kurtz's till he arrived at his own home. According to his report the whole distance was 264 miles. This they made in eleven days. Their average daily rate of travel was just twenty-four miles. They arrived at his house on the evening of the twelfth, having left Brother Kurtz's the morning of the second day of October. Brother Kline often notes some reference to the satisfaction of getting back home after a long absence; and it is painful to find a record the exact reverse in this instance. But no murmur at the Divine Will, or word of impatience or complaint against any one is to be found on the page of the Diary.
From this time to the close of the year Brother Kline never went far from home. A few marriages solemnized, funerals preached, neighborhood medical visits, and near-by meetings attended make the sum of his work from home. His afflicted wife required his daily attentions.
THURSDAY, January 21. Perform the marriage ceremony of Josiah Wampler and Mary Kline.
TUESDAY, February 23. Go to Michael Wine's and perform the marriage ceremony of Isaac Harpine and Barbara Wine.
THURSDAY, March 4. Perform the marriage ceremony of William Andes and Catharine Miller, at the widow Miller's in the Forest.
WEDNESDAY, March 31. Dr. Newham is at my house to-day. We start my new electro-magnetic machine, and give Anna an electric shock, in the hope of its vitalizing her enfeebled nerves. Dr. Newham regards her case as not being out of the reach of relief by a course of protracted and judiciously applied medical treatment.
THURSDAY, April 1. Council meeting at the Brush meetinghouse. Perform the marriage ceremony of Seth Alger and Rosina Fifer.
SATURDAY, April 3. Abraham Knopp and I go to Page County. Call to see old Sister Gibbons who has reached a very high age. We read and prayed with her, and her heart seemed to overflow with joy. She said: "I love all the friends of Jesus. Brethren, I will soon be gone; but I hope the Lord may leave you here many years yet to do his blessed will, by calling many sinners from darkness to light, and by comforting his saints as you have comforted me this day." When we took leave of her she said: "Farewell: and may the God of love and peace be with you." Sister Gibbons is the mother of Samuel Gibbons, and is now living with him on the Hawksbill Creek, not far from the town of Luray, in Page County, Virginia.
SUNDAY, April 4. The brethren and sisters meet us very early this morning for prayer and exhortation on the visit; after which the regular public meeting opens. John 5 is read. Dine at Isaac Spitler's, and stay all night at Henry Gander's.
FRIDAY, April 16. Abraham Knopp and I go to Lost River. Attend the burial of Celestine Whitmore's child. Age, seven years, four months, and one day. In afternoon Jacob Pope and I go on to the visit. Stay all night at Henry Moyers's.
SATURDAY, April 17. After getting through with the visit we have council meeting. The reports brought in by the visiting brethren are mostly encouraging, and show a good spirit existing in the Brotherhood.
SUNDAY, April 18. Meeting at the meetinghouse. Luke 12 is read. After meeting perform the marriage ceremony of Washington Cook and Anna Jane Parker at Brother Whitmore's; then come to William Fitzwar's and perform the marriage ceremony of Frederick Nasselrodt and Catherine Weatherholtz. Get home at nine o'clock in the night.
THURSDAY, April 29. Perform the marriage ceremony of William Halterman and Elizabeth May, at Samuel May's, in the Gap.
SUNDAY, May 2. Meeting at Nasselrodt's in the Gap. I baptized Lotty Koon.
TUESDAY, May 18. On this day Brother Kline starts to the Annual Meeting. He takes Anna and Sister Betty Knopp with him. They get to the widow Nipe's in the evening of the nineteenth. He left Anna and Sister Betty at this place, whilst he went on to the Annual Meeting at Brother Jacob Deardorff's, which opened Friday, May 21. The business features of the meeting closed on Saturday, May 22; and on Sunday, May 23, he started back after the eleven o'clock service. He found Anna somewhat more cheerful than usual. She stood the trip remarkably well. From some cause, I know not what, he gives not a word of comment on the state of feeling, matters considered, or anything else pertaining to it.
FRIDAY, May 28. We have a love feast at our meetinghouse. Union in the evening. A fine day and good behavior. Some of the older Brethren will no doubt know what Brother Kline means by the word union, here and elsewhere used in the Diary in a specific sense.
TUESDAY, June 8. To-day I attended two buryings in one graveyard. Christian Eversole, age, sixty-nine years; and Samuel Bowers, age, twenty years; both buried at the Brush meetinghouse.
SATURDAY, July 3. Cross the Blue Ridge mountain to-day, and get to Henry Coverston's late this evening.
SUNDAY, July 4. Meeting in the Methodist meetinghouse. John 4 is read. I spoke as best I could on the Water of Life and kindred topics, but in this country we feel sadly the want of encouragement and sympathy which we are used to in our own houses and congregations. Our doctrinal views and practices as a denomination are not well understood in Albemarle County, Virginia. The prevailing denominations here are Baptists and Methodists. We have one consolation, however, even here. We can preach the Gospel to the poor, and they are ready to hear it. But there is one barrier between us and the wealthy classes which will continue, God only knows how long; and that barrier is African slavery. Many, seemingly good and reasonable people, in this country justify themselves in their own eyes, even on scripture grounds, for taking part in and encouraging the holding of slaves. I fear, however, that the god of this world has blinded their eyes, so that seeing they see not, and hearing they understand not.
A gentleman whom I met here and who said that he had traveled a great deal in the slave-holding States, told me that he witnessed the sale of some slaves in a town in North Carolina. A mother and her three children, two boys and a girl, were put up for sale separately. It happened that the mother was bought by one man, the two boys by another, and the daughter by a third. The daughter was twelve years old; and the boys respectively eight and ten. They were now to be parted, never to see each other more. There was no hope left them of ever hearing from each other again. The gentleman said the little boys did not seem to mind it so very much; but, said he, the agony of the mother, and the distress of the daughter were past description. It is to be hoped that such heart-rending scenes are not often to be witnessed; and I do believe that the time is not far distant when the sun will rise and set upon our land cleansed of this foul stain, though it may be cleansed with blood. I would rejoice to think that my eyes might see that bright morning; but I can have no hope of that.
TUESDAY, July 6. On this day Brother Kline made arrangements to move to Orkney Springs with Anna. Some account of this place is given elsewhere in this work, and need not be repeated here. He and Anna staid here about five weeks, and he reports her general health as being much improved by the use of the different waters, as well as by the cheerful society she enjoyed. Whilst staying at this place Brother Kline reports some interesting acquaintances made with several noted persons whom he had only casually seen before. Among these was the Rev. Henry Brown, a Presbyterian minister of Harrisonburg.
SATURDAY, July 17, he says: Take a walk over some of the surrounding eminences with preacher Henry Brown of Harrisonburg, Virginia. Mr. Brown is a very sociable and pleasant man to be with. Whilst we differ on a good many points of Christian doctrine, we can still walk and talk together sociably; and I enjoy his company very much. It would be pleasant to believe, did the Scriptures warrant the conclusion, that all the differences which mark the divisions of Christians here will melt away in love and be forgotten there. Of one thing I am sure: No one will ever have a just right to boast of his own goodness, or lay claim to preferment on the score of his own obedience. "When ye," says our Savior, "have done all these things that were commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which it was our duty to do." Whilst it is true that the Presbyterians are zealous advocates of education and moral improvement, and as a people exhibit in their daily lives many Christian virtues and graces, still I fear they are occupying dangerous ground by rejecting some of the plain commands of our Lord Jesus. "If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the disobedient appear?" I know of no righteousness but that of obedient faith, or, as Paul puts it, the righteousness of faith that works or obeys from love, and in this way purifies the heart. A hungering and thirsting after this righteousness
"Gives exercise to faith and love; Brings every blessing from above."
If this dear Christian friend is in darkness as to the nature of obedience and its blessed fruits, himself misled and misleading others, I pray that the scales may drop from his eyes, that he may see clearly the whole truth which God has placed in the line of our duty to do and teach.
SUNDAY, July 18. Friend Henry Brown preached to-day. He is a very clear and pleasant talker. In his discourse, however, he made me think of some beautiful birds that hop over what they do not wish to touch, and take hold gracefully of what they are pleased to alight upon.
THURSDAY, August 12. This day Brother Kline moved back home. He says: Anna much improved in health. The season at the Springs has been quite pleasant, with the exception of atmospheric dampness from the abundance of rain we had while there.
MONDAY, August 23. This day Brother Kline started on another journey to Pennsylvania. It may be irksome to the general reader to follow his daily steps from this date to the thirteenth of September, the day on which he returned home, so I will only name the families he visited or stayed with all night, in the order given in the Diary. His habit on this was the same as on other journeys of like motive; he preached as he went, and never failed holding family worship where he stayed all night, when well enough to do so. Few of those that were fathers and mothers then are living now; but their children and grandchildren may be living, to whom these reminiscences will, doubtless, be pleasant. Reflections like these instinctively impress us with a consciousness of time's rapid flight; and make us, who were young then, realize, with more or less acuteness of perception, the impressive truth that we, too, are growing old. To such of my readers as find no pleasure or profit in things of this kind I gently say: Pass over it as you would an advertisement in which you feel no interest, in a newspaper you may be perusing: Daniel Fahrney's; John Shank's, near Greencastle; William Etter's; Allen Mohler's; John Sollenberger's; George Copp's; Dr. Fahnestock's, in Middletown, Pennsylvania; Abraham Gipe's, near Lebanon; Jacob Gipe's; Abraham Balsbaugh's; Peter Miller's, this side Harrisburg; George Deardorf's; Daniel Longenacre's; Widow Bowman's, near Middletown, Maryland; John Garber's, Jr.; John Garber's, Sr.; Jacob Rupp's; Nathaniel Bondsack's; Jacob Saylor's; William Deahl's; David Reinhardt's; Sherk's, near Sharpsburg; Fahnestock's, near Winchester, Virginia; George Shaver's, in Shenandoah County, Virginia.
Some may say: This reads like a bill of goods with the prices omitted. But think a little, my friend. Let us suppose that business would compel you to mount the back of a horse away off in Rockingham County, Virginia, and travel day after day, until you had completed the round of visiting every family above named; and in addition to this attend a meeting of some kind every day or two, and yet be compelled to do all this in the short space of twenty-one days; would you not think it a task worthy of mention? Now Brother Kline did all this, but not on the score of any business interest whatever. Instead of seeking any worldly gain by it, the direct opposite was the truth, for he came home with less money in his pocket than he started with. It was just what he expected and felt assured would be the case. But he went. And what induced him to go? The love of Christ constrained him. The love of doing good to others by pointing out the way of salvation to them. Have I, have you, such love?
Between the last date given and the twenty-first of October Brother Kline attended a love feast at Beaver Creek, Virginia; one on Lost River; and one at Flat Rock. Besides these, he attended the regular Sunday meetings, council meetings, and visited, medically, a considerable number of patients. He reports much rain in October, and several times his life was endangered crossing high waters.
FRIDAY, October 22. On this day he started on a journey across the mountains of western Virginia. He followed a line of love feasts and other meetings through the counties of Hampshire, Virginia; Garret, Maryland; Preston and Monongalia, Virginia, to Dunkard Creek in Pennsylvania, not far this side of Wheeling. He returned over nearly the same route by which he went, filling appointments he left on his way out. He reports, on this journey, 371 miles traveled on horseback, over some rugged mountains and bad roads much of the way. He arrived home November 4, after an absence of two weeks.
TUESDAY, November 30. Attend the burial of old Mother Horn. Age, ninety years, two months and two days.
SUNDAY, December 5. Attend the burial of old Mother Conrad. Age, eighty-five years and nine months.
WEDNESDAY, December 15. Louis and Samuel Kline, of Pennsylvania, visit us. I take them around to see their and my kindred.
TUESDAY, December 21. Perform the marriage ceremony of Samuel Hinegartner and Catharine Ralls, at Christian Crider's.
FRIDAY, December 31. Meeting of general council in our meetinghouse. In the year that is now about to close I have traveled 3,424 miles, nearly all on horseback. The work of another year is done; and the record has passed into eternity. As clay, once formed by the hand of the potter and burnt in a kiln can never be reduced to clay again and worked over into other forms, so our deeds in life, once done, are done forever. A vase may be broken, it is true, but the fragments are apt to reveal the form of the vessel from which they came. So the hand of jealousy, of envy, of persecution even, may shatter the results of our best efforts here; but God will gather up the pieces and be able to tell by their appearance and quality that they belonged to a vessel of honor in his sight. Seeds sometimes lie a long time in the ground before they grow and make a blade; so it may be with much of the good seed that I and others of our beloved Brotherhood have sown this year. Backward springs and other unfavorable states of weather during the early part of the growing season are sometimes followed by rich harvests. We do not know what the future may bring forth, but we do know that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever. In him I trust.
SUNDAY, January 1. Attend the burial of old Mother Baer, at Brother George Kline's. Age, ninety-six years, four months and twenty days.
THURSDAY, February 3. Perform the marriage ceremony of Michael May and Julian Custer at George Riddle's.
About this time Brother Kline became deeply interested in the construction and erection of a bridge across a ford in the North Fork of the Shenandoah river. His design in this, however, included more than the avoidance of one dangerous ford; it took in two others. It was equivalent to spanning three bad fords with one bridge. His plan, which has since been exactly carried into effect, was to cut down the end of the mountain in the Gap where it projects into the river, open up a good highway through the cut, and thus shorten the distance very materially and shun two dangerous and ever-shifting fords, one above and the other below the cut. His patience and perseverance in this great enterprise yielded to no discouragements, and he saw the bridge built, and the projecting end of the mountain cut down. Like all other men who have embarked in great enterprises above or beyond the grasp of ordinary comprehension, he had to combat opposition from some who should, on the score of direct personal interest in the improvement, have been most willing to aid in the work. Brother Kline did not live to see his design fully executed, but it has been carried into effect within the last decade by the construction of a new bridge upon the old abutments, and a new road on the very line he proposed. As the improvement under consideration is a very great one, and originally undertaken by individual contributions; and as future generations may wish to know who the prime movers were, and when the first move was made, the following entry in the Diary will be given here:
FRIDAY, February 25. Attend a meeting of some public-spirited men, at Samuel Coots's store near the Gap, for the purpose of agreeing upon the construction of a bridge across the river near the store; for cutting down the face of the Gap Rock; for making a new road through the Cut; and for raising funds to meet the same.
Samuel Coots, State Senator from Rockingham County, took an active part. Abraham Funk, Benjamin Bowman, John J. Bowman, with many other prominent citizens, nearly or quite all of whom have passed away, deserve to have their names enrolled as patrons of the enterprise.
WEDNESDAY, March 8. Attend the burial of Brother David Hollar's wife to-day. Age, forty-seven years and five months.
FRIDAY, March 10. Go to Michael Wine's and attend the burial of his mother. Age, ninety-three years, three months and fourteen days.
WEDNESDAY, April 12. Attend the funeral of Mrs. Wells Hevner in the Gap. Age, thirty-three years.
THURSDAY, April 13. Council meeting at our meetinghouse. Samuel Wampler and myself are established in the ministry, and Joseph Miller advanced.
FRIDAY, April 14. Council meeting at the Flat Rock. Jacob Wine is advanced to the second grade in the ministry of the Word.
MONDAY, April 17. Council meeting in the Lost River meetinghouse. Jacob Pope is chosen speaker.
FRIDAY, April 21. Council meeting in the Old Garber meetinghouse. Solomon Garber is advanced to the second degree in the ministry of the Word. Sarah Norman is reinstated to the fellowship of the church.
WEDNESDAY, April 26. Attend the funeral of the widow Sister Cherryholms in the Gap. Age, fifty-nine years. Sister C. was a woman of real force of character. Her house was a welcome shelter for the Brethren and others who often visited her.
MONDAY, May 1. Attend the funeral of old Sister Evers, widow of John Evers. She died at John Hawse's. Age, seventy-two years, three months and three days.
WEDNESDAY, May 3. Brother Benjamin Bowman, with Sister Catharine his wife, and Brother John Wine, with Anna and myself, start to Ohio. We go in two carriages. To such as are not used to traveling in this way a journey to Ohio and back in a two-horse carriage, over all kinds of roads, through all the changes of weather likely to occur at this season, and I may add, among all kinds of people, might look like an undesirable undertaking. But for myself I can say I do not dread making the start. I am best satisfied and most delighted when doing something for God and humanity. But the company I have on this visit makes the anticipation of it especially pleasant. Brother John Wine is a live man; cheerful, but ever earnest and sincere; lively, but never light or frivolous. His mind is always inquisitive, seeking for knowledge in every line of truth. Hence he asks many questions. If your answers involve any doubt as to their correctness, or fail of the clearness he thinks should appear in the instructions of a teacher to his pupil, he will dispute a whole day with you on a single question, rather than appear to be satisfied with your answer when he is not. With a mind hard and sharp as flint, he strikes fire out of everything he hits. But he has sense enough, and goodness enough, never to strike fire where he has reason to fear there may be danger of causing an explosion. He is the son of Samuel, in the Brush, and brother of Christian Wine. He married Elizabeth, daughter of John Zigler, in Timberville, Rockingham County, Virginia. He now resides on his farm about two miles away from where he was born and raised. He is an eminently good and useful brother.
Benjamin Bowman is the son of Benjamin Bowman, who settled in Rockingham County, Virginia, about or very soon after the breaking up of the war of the Revolution. This elder Benjamin Bowman had three sons,—Samuel, Benjamin and John,—all of whom married, raised highly respectable families, lived and died in the same county in which they were born. These all became members of our Brotherhood; and Benjamin is at this time a very active and acceptable preacher of the Word, and promises to be a very agreeable companion on the journey we have now undertaken together. He is no great talker in the way of conversation, but what he says is generally to the point. Very considerate in forming an opinion, and exceedingly careful in reaching a conclusion, he is not likely to be wrong in anything he asserts to be true. By means of these habits assiduously cultivated, he has built up a reputation for reliability which not only aids him in business, but stamps the seal of truth on his discourses from the ministerial stand. He will not readily debate a matter you may present to his mind, even if his views do not coincide with yours at the time; but after due consideration he will let you hear from him with arguments not to be refuted.
We stay first night at Celestine Whitmore's on Lost River.
THURSDAY, May 4. After we were on the way this morning Anna changed her mind and preferred going back to Brother Whitmore's. So we took her back, and they will convey her home. Travel thirty-three miles, and stay second night at Joseph Smith's.
FRIDAY, May 5. Go through Romney, Virginia, and at the end of thirty-five miles stay third night at McNaer's.
SATURDAY, May 6. Go through Frostburg, and come to Jacob Lighty's. We have night meeting. I speak on Acts 17:30. TEXT.—"The times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent."
Athens, the capital of Greece, was a large city. It was noted as the chief seat of Grecian learning, refinement of taste, cultivation of genius, and skill in the production of almost everything belonging to the fine arts. It had its philosophers, statesmen, orators, lawyers, priests, poets and painters. It had its high and low orders in society. But when Paul beheld the city his spirit was moved in him, for he saw that it was wholly given to idolatry. Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him and said: "He seemeth to be a setterforth of strange gods." They said this among themselves, because he preached unto them Jesus and the resurrection. But they did not seem inclined to do him injury as the Jews had done in some other places, but gave him a chance to speak in the Areopagus, a large building in the city called the Hill of Mars, or Mars' Hill. In this building Paul preached a wonderful sermon, the whole of which you may read in Acts seventeenth chapter.
But to-night I wish to speak on just one thing that Paul said in that sermon, and these are the words: "God commandeth all men everywhere to repent." When we are commanded to do something, we like to know what it is we are commanded to do. Now I will tell you. It is to repent. But you may say, "I do not exactly know what that means." I will now tell you about all I know of the meaning of the words repent and repentance. The Lord Jesus knew exactly what these words mean, and I will give you his definition. He said to the Jews: "The men of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah." Now let us turn to the book of Jonah in the Old Testament and see what the men of Nineveh did at the preaching of Jonah, and we will then understand what the Lord meant when he said they repented. You must know what Jonah's sermon was. It was so plain that all could understand it, and so short that all could remember it, This is the sermon: "Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be destroyed." The city had more than a hundred and twenty thousand people in it; and it took Jonah three days to go from one end to the other with his message of destruction; but at the end of the first day "the people of Nineveh believed God; and when the word came unto the king of Nineveh he arose from his throne, and laid his robe from him, and put on sackcloth, and sat in ashes and said: Let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yea, let them turn, every one from his evil way. And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way."
Now, notice, when God commands all men everywhere to repent, he means for them to do what the Ninevites did, but in a more spiritually enlightened way. They believed God. This is the first step in repentance, as this same apostle says: "He that would come unto God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." The Ninevites had no written word as we have, that gives us intelligent knowledge of God as he is revealed in the face of his Son Jesus Christ. All they knew of him was from tradition, and what they could see of him in his works. But they believed God, and gave proof of it by turning from their evil way. Now, friends, this is just what God commands all men to do. This is what he commands every impenitent man and woman in this house to do to-night.
But some of you may say: "I have no evil way from which to turn. I do an honest business; I lead a sober life; I am true to my marriage vows, and live a moral and orderly life generally. What lack I yet?" Let me ask you: Why do you live in this orderly and consistent way? Is it because you love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength, and your neighbor as yourself? If you can truly say that this love is the hand that leads and draws you in your good life, I say, Thank God! I have found a brother of whom I am not ashamed. But anything short of this love is short of what God requires, and you with the rest are called upon to repent. You still have a way that is evil in God's sight. That way is the love of self and the love of the world. The Pharisees were just as particular and careful in regard to their moral or outside life as you can ever be; and still the Lord said to his disciples: "Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye can in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven." Their righteousness proceeded all from the love of self and the world. Their ambition culminated in the honor, respectability, credit and wealth such a life procured for them; and on this account the Lord Jesus said of them: "Verily, they have their reward."
But our blessed Lord says again: "Except a man deny himself, and take up his cross daily, he cannot be my disciple." This means repentance. It is commendable in the eye of society of almost every grade to live a decent, orderly, virtuous life; but if this sort of life be led from any motive short of the love of God, what is said of the Pharisees must also be said of this: "Ye make clean the OUTSIDE of the cup and the platter, but the inside is full of hypocrisy and deceit." Now, true repentance makes clean the INSIDE of the cup and the platter, "that the outside may be clean also."
"Repentance is to leave The things we dearly love; And o'er our sins to grieve, And seek the things above."
After meeting we go to David Beichley's, and stay fourth night.
SUNDAY, May 7. Meeting at Jacob Fige's. John 5 is read. Then come to Jacob Miller's, near Milford, and have night meeting in a schoolhouse near by. Stay fifth night with Brother Miller.
MONDAY, May 8. Go to council meeting at Joseph Lighty's. An election for deacons is held. Stay sixth night at Christian Miller's. Rain this afternoon and night.
TUESDAY, May 9. Dine at Emanuel Beichley's on Indian Creek, and stay seventh night at Joseph Folger's, near Mt. Pleasant.
WEDNESDAY, May 10. Stay eighth night at Beidler's tavern, in East Liberty.
THURSDAY, May 11. Breakfast and dine in Pittsburg, and stay ninth night in Economy.
FRIDAY, May 12. Stay tenth night at Jacob Leedy's, near New Middleton.
SATURDAY, May 13. Get here to my dear Brother Henry Kurtz's, where we stay eleventh night.
SUNDAY, May 14. Meeting at Brother Jacob Summers's near by. Ephesians 6 is read. Brother Benjamin speaks first, and John follows him. They speak of the Christian's armor; that it is not for the flesh, but for the spirit; that it is not for defense against persecution and trials in our life here, but for defense against the wiles of the devil; that it should be constantly worn, and kept bright by daily use. After meeting the Brethren agree to have a little love feast this evening, and a good time we have. Stay twelfth night at Brother Henry Kurtz's.
MONDAY, May 15. Pass through a number of little towns and villages and at the end of forty-four miles to-day find ourselves pleasantly received by my very dear Brother George Hoke, with whom we stay thirteenth night.
TUESDAY, May 16. Meeting at Brother Solomon Kiser's. Mark 1 is read. Three persons baptized. Stay fourteenth night at Brother Michael Sprinkel's, near McDonelsville.
WEDNESDAY, May 17. Get to Brother Jacob Kurtz's, where I have the pleasure of meeting again the dear family that showed me so much kindness two years ago. Stay fifteenth and sixteenth nights here. If the meeting with those we love, and a brief stay with them, can give us so much joy here in our imperfect state, what will be the measure of our joy when we meet in that world where all is perfection, and partings are known no more! "In his presence there is fullness of joy: and at his right hand there are pleasures forevermore."
THURSDAY, May 18. Evening meeting here at Brother Jacob Kurtz's, where we stay sixteenth night.
FRIDAY, May 19. Meeting in River Brethren's meetinghouse, near George Harting's. Luke 14 is read. Come to Wooster, Wayne County, and stay seventeenth night at John Overholtz's.
SATURDAY, May 20. Meeting in the Campbellite meetinghouse. John 4 is read. Evening meeting at Brother John Shoemaker's. John 15 is read. Stay there eighteenth night. Heavy rain to-day and night.
SUNDAY, May 21. Meeting at Brother Eli Dickey's. Revelation 21 is read. Brother Benjamin Bowman gave us some delightful thoughts suggested by these words: "Behold! I make all things new." He said: "This promise is generally thought to point for its fulfillment to the golden day when God's people shall realize in fact what John saw in vision,—'a new heaven and a new earth.' I believe that day is coming. I believe the tabernacle of God will be with men; that God will dwell with them in that Holy City, the New Jerusalem. But I ask here, first of all, whence arises the necessity for making all things new? If the existing order of things is faultless, why this renovation? There must be imperfection, there must be a defect somewhere. Whatever else these words may comprehend, I for one regard them as applying to the church as it will then appear, as Solomon describes it, 'comely as Jerusalem;' the New Jerusalem he means; 'and terrible' in the power of its righteousness and truth, 'as an army with banners.'
"Notice right here the striking similarity of the text to what Paul says. What does my text say? 'Behold, I make all things new.' What does Paul say? 'If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away. Behold, all things are become new.' What is it to be in Christ? It is to be filled with his truth as a sponge is filled with water when immersed in it. It is to be filled with gospel light as a healthy eye is filled with light in the blaze of a clear day. And when the spiritual eye is single, that is healthy, not double-sighted, our Lord says the whole spiritual body shall be full of light. The light is in the body, because the body is in the light. I mean just what the Lord meant, the spiritual body, for Paul says: 'There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.' But he goes on and says: 'However, that which is natural is first.' This we can all see and know. We know that we were not naturally born of God. 'That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit,' and what is born of the Spirit is the spiritual body.
"To be in Christ is to be in his love. I was once asked this question by an individual who probably wished to puzzle me. He said: 'You preach that a man must be in Christ to be saved, and at the same time say that Christ must be in the man. How is this?' I answer by using a very plain illustration. I said to him: When you get uncomfortably cool in the shade, and move to where the sun can shine full upon your body, do you not feel its warmth? Now, I said to him, the warmth of the sun is in your body, because your body is in the warmth of the sun. Just so we may say it is with us in a spiritual sense. The love of Christ enters our hearts when we place ourselves where that love can reach us. Now let me say, by way of digression from my main point that the love of Christ will never enter a man in a drinking saloon or in a gambling hall, because it is not there. Such places are as destitute of the truth and divine love of Christ as the darkest and coldest night is destitute of the light and heat of the sun. 'Behold, I make all things new.' This is just what the Lord will do in every man's mind and heart, spirit and soul, thoughts and affections, purposes and their accomplishments, who opens the door and bids him come in. This is the glorious work of regeneration.
"But, Brethren beloved, let us inquire a little as to whether the church, our own church I mean, needs to be made over anew, or as we may say, needs to be renovated. Can any brother or sister in this house say: 'I am just as pure in heart as I desire to be. My faith never grows weak; my love never grows cold. I am as innocent and pure in all my affections and thoughts as a little child. I have no jealousy or envy in my soul. I never get angry, or think of wishing evil to any one. I have the spirit of Christ in me in all perfection, and have purified myself even as he is pure'? I repeat the question with emphasis, Is there a soul in this house who can truthfully say all this? I can answer boldly that there is not, for it is not given to man away down in his imperfect state here to have such sinless perfection. The most heavenly-minded amongst us have often to mourn over our shortcomings; and the holiest man or woman, looking into his or her own heart with an eye filled with the light of gospel truth, can but at the best say, with the poor publican: 'God be merciful to me a sinner.'
"But there is a day coming when all things shall be made new, and we shall be made new with the rest. I do not want to be understood here, however, as believing that God will in any sense force his renewing power upon any one; or that this renewing power will be enjoyed in the world to come by any but such as earnestly desired it here. I believe that when we get into the other life our eyes will open to such clear visions of the beauty of holiness and the excellencies of heavenly love, all thoughts of evil will be rejected with a repugnance something like what we would feel here by having the most offensive or poisonous substance thrust into our mouth. It is declared concerning the New Jerusalem that nothing shall enter therein that defileth, or worketh abomination, or maketh a lie. Nothing shall enter therein that defileth. Our Lord has graciously told us the things that defile a man. He says: 'Evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man.' Now, these are the Lord's own words; and they enable us to understand just what is meant by the words, 'nothing shall enter therein that defileth.'
"Now, Brethren, when the angels that meet us at the gate of the Golden City shall take of the blood of the Lamb, and, with gentle hands, wash away every stain of defilement from the sins here enumerated, and we, thus cleansed, find ourselves safe, forever safe, within its blessed walls, will we not shout and say: 'Behold! all things have become new'?"
Stay nineteenth night with Brother Eli Dickey. We are now in Ashland County, Ohio. Heavy rains to-day, and waters very high.
MONDAY, May 22. Pass through Richland County, and stay twentieth night with Brother Samuel Shaffner, four miles from Bucyrus in Crawford County.
TUESDAY, May 23. Night meeting at Benton. Subject: "The Miracles of Christ's Healing Power." TEXT.—"And he healed all that came unto him."
We hardly need being told that man is composed of body and soul; that the body is the visible, material part of man, in which the soul, man's invisible part, finds its home. Man's material part is but little superior to that of the rest of the animal creation. It is subject to the same laws. It must be fed and sheltered. It finds enjoyment in food and drink, and comfortable surroundings, very nearly akin to what we see in the life of brutes. Like them it is subject to natural decay, liable to disease; and like them, must die. But man is in possession of capacities and capabilities infinitely superior to anything the rest of God's sentient creation enjoys. He has a soul which is capable of unlimited attainments in the knowledge and love of God, and in the knowledge and love of his fellowman. The heathen philosophers supposed they had done their whole duty to themselves and the world when they could vainly believe that they had realized in their experiences what they thought a compliance with their favorite maxim: "Know thou thyself." Whilst Christians believe and feel that self-knowledge, or the knowledge of one's self, is very important, at the same time they have longing aspirations to know all they can of the Being who created this self, this thinking, reasoning, loving, restless thing within them, called a living soul. Brutes have no aspirations, no desires of this kind.
Right here we may see what God loves. It was not man's animal or bodily life that brought the Lord into our world, for this is not the man. It is the soul or spirit within the body that is the real man, and all these souls collectively make the world that God so loved that he gave his only begotten Son to save it. God never loved trifles. The fact that God loved the world of man is proof that man, as a being capable of glorifying God by reciprocating his love, was worthy of it. This key opens the way to a glimpse of man's high destiny, attainable by his taking hold of the Hand reached down in love to lift him up. God's Word is the only book that can give man a true knowledge of himself. It is the only source from which he can learn that he is a sinner by his habitual transgressions of the great, law of love that would bind all the units of God's intelligent creation into a brotherhood of ineffable and eternal happiness. It was to redeem man from this deplorable state, and deliver him from the destroying power of sin, that Jesus came into the world. But when he came he found man so low down in the darkness of ignorance, so stupid and slow to open his eyes, so benumbed by the chilling power of the love of self, so infested and possessed by evil spirits of hell, that but little impression could be made upon him, except such as could be felt and seen by means of his bodily senses.
These statements, which are true, account for the miracles wrought by the Lord. In working them, however, he had a two-fold purpose. The first was to arouse the people from their dormant state to one of consciousness that a Being of superior power was among them. This they were made to feel by his healing touch, his cleansing hand, and his life-restoring virtue. And what was the effect of all this? It had very much the same effect in one way that kindness toward children in the way of giving them little presents, and gentleness and tenderness in the way of gratifying their bodily desires and wishes, has upon them. They love the one who treats them in such ways. Now, the Lord healed the people. He healed all that came to him, of whatever bodily ill they were suffering. He fed them, too, and did it all so lovingly that they believed him to be the best and most powerful Friend they had ever known. They followed him in throngs. They felt secure, bodily secure and safe when they were with him. But we must not forget that they followed him, not on account of the words he had spoken to them, the instructions he had imparted, but "for the loaves and the fishes." We almost instinctively say, in our meditations upon these things: What a pity they could not discover in him something higher to believe in and love than the mere power and will to heal their bodily ills and minister to their bodily wants! This strong faith in his power and readiness to minister in a miraculous way to their external, worldly enjoyments and comforts is what led them to try to take him by force and make him their king. Having now given you his first object in working miracles, I turn to the second.
Here a great field for thought opens to our view, from which a volume could be written. Every miracle the Lord wrought, just like every parable he spoke, has a double line of truth, an inner and an outer sense. These are related to each other as the soul and body are related. Jesus says: "My words are spirit, and they are life." His miracles, when rightly understood, are the same. "They are spirit and they are life." Their spirit and life enter us through the light they contain. Let us look at one or two with a view to find what spirit and life we can: One Sabbath day Jesus met a man in a Jewish house of worship, called a synagogue, whose right hand was WITHERED. Notice, the man's hand was withered. This means that it was dead, just as we mean that a plant is dead when it is withered, or so nearly dead that its life is almost gone. This man's hand must have been powerless. He could not use it to do anything; and it was his right hand. He could not move a joint of it. It was simply powerless.
But notice particularly what Jesus commanded him to do. He said to this very man: "Stretch forth thy hand." Does not that look like an unreasonable command? The man might have plausibly said: "I cannot do this. I have not been able to reach my hand to my mouth in the past year. I can not do as you tell me." But instead of urging objections he instantly obeyed, for the words, "Stretch forth thy hand," were not more than out of the Lord's mouth when we read, "And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other." Now I ask, Did this man have any part to act, or duty to perform in this miracle of healing? I answer, He did; and without his obedient cooeperation his hand would have been left dangling powerless at his side.
Is there not a lesson here? Let us try to gather crumbs of instruction from it. If you take your Bible and concordance, and hunt up the places where the expression "right hand" is used, you will plainly see that "right hand," when spoken of as the "right hand" of God, means power, the power of God. As applying to man, it means the same, the power of man. In this sense the right hand of every unconverted man and woman is withered under the blighting curse of sin. But Jesus is present to heal. He is ever ready to heal all who have need of healing now, just as truly as when he was visibly among men. But he cannot heal you without your willing consent to obey his commands. He first of all commands you to repent, for now "God commandeth all men everywhere to repent." The moment you are willing to obey this command, that moment he will give you the power to obey. Without aid from the power of the Lord that man never could have stretched forth his withered hand; but the instant he was willing to obey, that very instant he received the power to obey.
Again he says: "Give me thy heart." But your heart is all withered too. It is so chilled and blighted by the cold, and damp, and darkness of sin, that, like the man's right hand, without help of the Lord, it is powerless. But the instant you feel a desire to give your heart to the Lord, such desire as the blind beggar had to receive his sight; such desire as the poor leper had to be cleansed; such desire as the publican had that God would be merciful to him a sinner; I say the instant you feel such desire to give your heart to God, that instant he will give you power to do so. It surely was a great relief to that man to have his withered hand restored to healthy activity. It may not have been very painful; indeed, it may have been so lifeless that there was not much feeling in it. So it may be with your heart. And let me say to you that if you really give God your heart in faith and love he will so effectually heal it that it will beat with new life, and the warm blood of love and truth from his Word will flow through it until your greatest joy will be found in doing his will.
Stay twenty-first night in Benton.
WEDNESDAY, May 24. Stay twenty-second night at Lupton's.
THURSDAY, May 25. Go to Squire Knapp's and make deeds. Then to meeting at Brother Heastand's. Part of John 1 is read. In afternoon return to Lupton's and finish business with him. Stay twenty-third night at Lupton's. Fine weather.
FRIDAY, May 26. Stay twenty-fourth night at Brother Jacob Bowers's. Beautiful weather.
SATURDAY, May 27. Council meeting at Brother Jacob Bowers's, Jr. Night meeting at Brother Thomas's, where we stay twenty-fifth night. Fine weather continues.
SUNDAY, May 28. Meeting at Brother Jacob Bowers's, Sr. Speak from Matthew 3. John's baptism was unto repentance. The people came to him and were immersed of him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. This was their first step in repentance. From this they were to keep on bringing forth fruits meet for, or corresponding to, repentance. The outside life was to be the exponent of the penitent heart within. He also pointed them to him who was to come after him, that is, Christ. He would baptize them in the Holy Spirit and fire. This was literally fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. Baptize one person to-day. Stay twenty-sixth night at Brother Rotebauch's.
MONDAY, May 29. Go westward to Daniel Miller's, Solomon Wine's, Jacob Miller's, and stay twenty-seventh night at Samuel Miller's.
TUESDAY, May 30. After meeting we go to Isaac Miller's in Richland County, where we stay twenty-eighth night.
WEDNESDAY, May 31. Stay twenty-ninth night at Jacob Miller's.
THURSDAY, June 1. Visit Daniel Wine's, David Good's, Jacob Earley's, David Weaver's, where we have meeting; then go to Samuel Earley's, where we stay thirtieth night. A very fine day.
FRIDAY, June 2. Stay thirty-first night in Tymocaty.
SATURDAY, June 3. Dine in Upper Sandusky, and stay thirty-second night at Brother Heastand's. Rain this forenoon.
SUNDAY, June 4. Meeting at Brother Solomon Miller's on Silver Creek. First Peter 2 is read. Two persons baptized. Evening meeting at Stone meetinghouse, on Honey Creek near David Rupp's. Luke 14 is read. Stay thirty-third night at Brother Rupp's.
MONDAY, June 5. Stay thirty-fourth night with Brother Isaac Hartzog.
TUESDAY, June 6. Stay thirty-fifth night with Brother Jacob Harshbarger. Fine day.
WEDNESDAY, June 7. Stay thirty-sixth night with Brother Cober.
THURSDAY, June 8. Stay thirty-seventh night with Brother Jonas Kline, nine miles from Ashland.
FRIDAY, June 9. Get back to Brother Jacob Kurtz's, eight miles from Wooster, in Wayne County, where we stay thirty-eighth night. Fine day.
SATURDAY, June 10. Annual Meeting begins. Peter Nead and I speak. Three persons baptized. Love feast this evening. Delightful weather. Stay thirty-ninth night at Brother Kurtz's place.
SUNDAY, June 11. Public meeting to-day. A great concourse of people. Preaching at both house and barn. Fine weather continues. Stay fortieth night at same place.
MONDAY, June 12. Council meeting is ready for questions. But few are handled. Business goes on slowly. Stay forty-first night at same place. Fine, clear day.
TUESDAY, June 13. This day we progress briskly. Much business is transacted. Very fine weather continues.
WEDNESDAY, June 14. Finish business, and in afternoon we come to Brother Sprinkel's, one mile from Canton, Stark County, where we stay forty-third night. Very fine weather, but somewhat dusty.
THURSDAY, June 15. Call at Brother George Shiveley's; and have night meeting at Brother Rothrock's, where we stay forty-fourth night. Speak on John 1. Warm day.
FRIDAY, June 16. Stay forty-fifth night at John Shelly's, five miles from Richmond, Jefferson County. Fine weather.
SUNDAY, June 18. Dine with Brother Jacob Shideler's and stay forty-seventh night with Charles Guthrie, near Brownsville, in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Rain to-day.
MONDAY, June 19. Stay forty-eighth night with Brother Michael Thomas. Rain this afternoon and night.
WEDNESDAY, June 21. Stay fiftieth night at Brother Daniel Arnold's in Hampshire County, Virginia.
THURSDAY, June 22. Dine at Brother Zachariah Arnold's and stay fifty-first night in Moorefield, Hardy County, Virginia.
FRIDAY, June 23. Dine at Isaac Dasher's in Hardy County, and stay fifty-second night at William Fitzwater's, in Rockingham County, Virginia.
SATURDAY, June 24. Breakfast at Daniel Fulk's at foot of Mt. Pleasant in Brock's Gap, and then home. On this journey Brother John Wine and I traveled in my carriage 1,083 miles. Brother Benjamin Bowman was not with us all the time. He left us after we got among relatives and acquaintances who were not the same, in these respects, to us that they were to him. Otherwise they were the same to both alike, for they were nearly all Brethren. But we met again at the Annual Meeting, and returned home together. We had much pleasant conversation on the way, and endeavored to build each other up by giving a religious turn to our discourses. They are both clear-headed thinkers. I feel sure the time has been well spent by our mutually improving each other, aside from the good I hope we have done to others. May our heavenly Father bless this happy journey to the present and everlasting good of all who may have heard our public or private words of warning, of instruction, of encouragement to the weak, of confirmation to the strong, is my prayer. Amen.
Anna was safely conveyed home, nicely and tenderly cared for in my absence, and I find her as well as I could expect.
THURSDAY, July 13. Perform the marriage ceremony of William Carrier and Barbara Summers.
WEDNESDAY, July 26. Meeting at Forrer's Furnace. I speak on the fiftieth verse of the one hundred and nineteenth Psalm. TEXT.—"This is my comfort in my affliction." I have chosen this subject on account of the afflictions which some of you have lately passed through, and which are, I learn, still clinging to others in this neighborhood. As I have been called—or sincerely believe that I have been called—to administer medical relief to the sick, and have thus had much experience in the sick room, and by the sick bed, I will venture to offer some observations regarding the ways in which the sick should be cared for and nursed, that they may be comforted in their afflictions as to their bodily feelings. This done, I will endeavor to say something regarding the ways in which their souls may be comforted.
The bed for the sick should be soft, but not heating. Nothing can be more regularly and uniformly comforting to the afflicted than a soft and easy bed. It need not be costly. Clean straw of oats, cut fine, is my preference over all other materials. To stir the bed, the patient need not be taken out, but gently, very slowly and tenderly, moved to the opposite side first prepared, left there awhile, and then in the same gentle way returned to the front, similarly prepared. Cleanliness is next to religion, pure and undefiled, in the sick room. All fumes of tobacco or other unpleasant smells should not be allowed for a moment in the sick room. All offensive odors can most readily be gotten rid of by ventilation. This can be best secured by opening doors or windows, or both, if necessary. This should be repeatedly done daily in all weathers. At this season windows should be open all the time; but the patient should not be exposed to heavy draughts of air. Unnecessary conversation is very distressing to most sick people, even though the words be spoken low or in a whisper. Some of you, no doubt, have had experience of this fact. People kindly feel it a duty to visit the sick. One does not know that another is going, and each being impelled by a sense of duty, more go than can be needed; and in determining who shall return home, and who shall stay, conversations take place that are often very distressing to the patient. I remember a conversation I had with one of my own patients once, who had just shortly before that time recovered from a severe and protracted illness. He said to me: "Brother John, do try to set the people right about visiting the sick. There is so much wrong about it the way it is carried on now that very often more harm than good is done. I remember," said he, "one night while I was sick. You had been coming, I think, near three weeks, and I was beginning to mend. In the evening I felt so much better I thought I was going to rest well and get some good, natural sleep. But about eight o'clock several neighbors came in who got to talking; and seeing that I appeared better they were encouraged to keep on, under the impression that I was strong enough now to stand it. Ah," continued he, "they did not know they were almost killing me; for I became restless; and being very weak every nerve and fiber in my body seemed to be excited into a state of distressful commotion, from which I did not fairly recover during the next three days. When you came again you gave very strict orders not to allow more than one attendant in the room at a time, aside from the nurse; and after that I began to mend again and got well."
One thing more, and I will leave this feature of the subject. This, although last in order, is first in importance, because it is the very basis of recovery. I mean food and drink. Very sick patients, we all know, can take, and require very little; but that little is all-important both as to quality, and uniformity as to quantity, and exact regularity as to time in its administration. I will say here with emphasis, that in no regard is it more important to comply punctiliously with the instructions of an intelligent physician, than in the nourishment given the sick. Without nourishment, recovery in any case is impossible. How very important, then, that it be rightly composed and properly administered! Food should be made as attractive to the patient as possible. This should be carefully kept in mind when preparing it for patients in a state of convalescence or recovery. The nerves of the stomach at such time are often very sensitive, and small excellencies in its quality will be highly appreciated, and slight deficiencies as readily detected.
You remember, I started out with the text: "This is my comfort in my affliction." I have tried to give you some bits of counsel as to the means and ways by which the afflicted may be comforted physically. I now turn to the means and ways by which they may be comforted spiritually. But here a difficulty confronts us at the very start. We cannot make pathological examinations of the soul's distress, and conclude from these what therapeutic agents to employ for its relief, as we can in that of the body. In the last we are governed almost exclusively by the visible and tangible symptoms; but regarding the first, we are deprived of all these, and are compelled to rely mainly upon the oral testimony of the sufferer himself. I have repeatedly been called to the bedside of the dying in compliance with their wish to receive some comfort, some consolation in their last moments, before launching out on the unknown deep of eternity. But, alas! with the exception of a few, paid to humble and obedient followers of the meek and lowly Jesus, nearly all such visits have caused me to feel my own absolute incompetence to do them any good, and only left me to witness the sun of their life go down in clouds and darkness. But David says: "THIS is my comfort in my affliction." In saying this he must have in mind some particular idea; some state of feeling springing out of some previous preparation of heart, which he can claim as his comfort in his affliction. The few verses preceding the text give a clew to this very state of mind and heart. Let us look over them and see what it was. In verse 44 he says: "I will keep thy law continually for ever and ever." Verse 45: "I seek thy precepts." Verse 46: "Of thy testimonies also, I will not be ashamed." Verse 47: "I delight myself in thy commandments which I have loved." These declarations make manifest David's love for the Lord; and the joy springing out of this love is what he calls his comfort in his affliction.
It was once my privilege, and I can say my happy privilege, to pass a night beside the dying bed of a faithful minister of the Word. His deathless and joyful spirit took its flight from earth about four o'clock the following morning. He did not suffer much pain, and had strength to express his feelings and thoughts to a limited degree. His mind was clear. He was dying of a hemorrhage which no power on earth could check. His comfort in his affliction was so great that from the joy and peace in his soul he distinctly said to me, in these exact words: "This is the happiest night of my life." He would sometimes say: "I love God. I love all his dear people. I will soon join the spirits of just men made perfect." About four o'clock in the morning he asked to be turned in the bed, and he was gone. Ah, friends, this brother had comfort in his affliction; nay, more, unspeakable comfort in death. This is what all may enjoy in a greater or less degree, who are laid on beds of affliction. A good life, a life lived in obedience to the commandments of our Lord, is sure to bring peace to the soul when we are in health, and this peace will not leave or forsake us when affliction or misfortune overtakes us. Our Lord says: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you." Again he says: "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, and ye shall find rest unto your souls." We take his yoke upon us when we repent of our sins, believe on his name, love to do his commands, come over freely and fully on his side, and work for him. Instead of working for what is perishable, we work for that which endureth to everlasting life. We come out of the darkness of sin and death into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
MONDAY, July 31. Harvest meeting at the Flat Rock. David Kline is elected speaker.
SATURDAY, August 26. The job of building the abutments for the bridge at Coots's is let to contract.
MONDAY, August 28. Attend the burial of Brother Solomon Garber. Age, fifty-four years, five months and twenty-nine days.
WEDNESDAY, November 1. On this day Brother Kline, in company with Joseph Miller, son of Daniel Miller near head of Linville's Creek, started on a journey to West Virginia. They got to Jacob Warnstaff's first day—had night meeting in Bethel meetinghouse, near by; meeting at Chlora Judy's, on Mill Creek, next night; meeting at James Parks's, on Looney's Creek, the night following. I will dress up the skeleton of the sermon Brother Kline preached here, as best I can. Romans 14:7. TEXT.—"For none of us liveth to himself."
The phrase "none of us," as used in the text, means not one of us. I say this to give emphasis to this part of my subject.
The social element, or love for society, is deeply impressed upon all the animate world. We feel the truth of a very common saying—"birds of a feather will flock together"—every time it is repeated in our hearing. This expression, in its most comprehensive sense, applies to everything having life and volition or the power to will. It is seen in the fishes of the sea, in the birds of the air, and in all the denizens of earth, from insects and worms up to the highest forms of organic brute life, and in man. This love for society, or company, or companionship, is so strong that it is the bond of the universe. Without it nothing living could subsist. To make this thought clear to your understandings, let me just call your minds to reflect a little upon what the state of things would be in the natural world if this law of love were reversed in the brute creation. Our domestic animals, instead of feeding together in harmonious and peaceable flocks and herds, would instantly turn to fighting and seeking to destroy each other. The earth would soon be strewn with the dead bodies of beasts and birds, and the waves of the sea would throw drifts of dead fishes upon the shore. But, fortunately for man, this love has never been perverted in the lower orders of creation. Each kind loves its own kind, and seeks its propagation. But man has fallen from this love, the love of his fellowman, into a state of feeling in some respects the very opposite, which is hate. Let the history of the world but unfold her page, and the truth of what I have just said will appear in lines written with human blood. It is from this, and this alone, that human laws have been instituted. It is self-preservation. This is the one single origin and basis of all human law. What protects me from the wrath or cupidity of those who would destroy or devour me, protects you; and inasmuch as all desire such protection, human governments, and laws with fearful penalties annexed, have been instituted. Right here, in a civil and social sense, the words of my text apply with profound meaning: "For none of us liveth to himself." They apply to every statute in every national code, as well as to every local law in every land.
But human laws restrain by fear, and God would have all restraint from evil to spring from love. The gulf between these two principles is immeasurably wide and deep, quite as much so as the chasm between heaven and hell. I said: Human laws restrain by fear. Why does the heart murderer not kill? He is afraid that if he kills me, and it is found out on him, somebody else will kill him who feels himself in as much danger from his bloody hand as I was. Why does the heart-rogue not steal? He is afraid his booty may not balance what it may cost in the way of punishment. So with all criminality. With those who have not the love of God in their hearts, nor the love of their neighbor which springs out of this love, nothing but fear restrains them from the worst of crimes. But this is a very unhappy state to be in, because all fear hath torment. Human beings can never be happy in their social relations, when the fear and dread of each other is the governing principle in their lives. The heart of man was originally created for the exercise of love, for perfect love, which knows no fear. All the happiness and peace of heaven spring out of love made perfect.
"There love springs pure and unrepressed; There all are loved, and love again: Love warms each angel's glowing breast: Love fills each shining saintly train."
Fear, with its long and varied list of torments, primarily springs from a sense of guilt. We have a clear example in proof of this in the third chapter of Genesis. Immediately after the fall Adam is represented as saying to the Lord: "I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, and I hid myself." Now, Adam had heard that voice before; it was the voice of love; but, oh! how changed! The voice itself was not changed; but the ear that heard, and the eye that saw, and the heart that felt its power, these, these were changed. Ever since that sad day man has been subject to fear, and has sought to hide himself from the presence of the Lord. But the Lord God still loved Adam, and right there and then gave a promise to save man. That promise is in these words: "I will put enmity between her seed and thy seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." This was spoken to the serpent. Christ Jesus our Lord is the seed of the woman. He bruises the serpent's head under our feet whenever we sincerely desire him to do so. The head of the serpent stands for sin and transgression of God's holy law in all its forms, with the evil loves which prompt us thereto. The heel which the serpent shall bruise is man's natural body, and the natural feelings incident to him from his connection with this body. Diseases, the infirmities of age, with all the pains and anguish of body and mind; yea, death itself, and the fear of death, all, all are but the bruises which the serpent, the devil and Satan is inflicting upon the heel of the woman's seed.
But, Brethren, Christ is bruising the head of the serpent daily under our feet. Every temptation to do some forbidden thing, every inclination to indulge evil and impure desires and thoughts, fairly resisted and overcome, is just that much of the serpent's head, of his very life, bruised and crushed under our feet. Now, it appears to us as if we did all this of ourselves, and in our own strength. But this is very far from the truth. Jesus says: "Without me ye can do nothing." "I am the way, the truth and the life." All the spiritual life, which embraces all pure and holy thoughts, affections, motives, with all the truth and holy love in the Christian's soul, is from the Lord. Man of himself is nothing but evil, and but for the Lord's redeeming and saving arm would forever sink to lower and yet lower depths of ruin. But just turn with me to the twenty-first chapter of Revelation, fourth verse, and see to what the Lord offers to exalt man. We there read: "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away." There is quite an excitement over California at this time. Thousands have left their homes to try their fortunes in the far-off land of gold. Some have already perished in the attempt to reach the shining Eldorado, and many more may have to suffer the same sad experience. But the Gospel invites the sinner to a city whose gates are of pearl, and whose streets are paved with gold, and where the society is exempt from all the ills of life; for there they die no more.
Brethren, let us live not for ourselves, but for others, as far as lies in our power. Our love feasts show our love for one another, and our social equality with each other insomuch as we all eat together: and our beautiful order in washing one another's feet sets forth our readiness to help one another in the Christian life, for "none of us liveth to himself."
SATURDAY, November 4. The two brethren have forenoon meeting at old Brother Parks's, and Joseph Miller speaks in a somewhat general way on First Corinthians 15. In the evening they have meeting at Enoch Hyre's, and Brother Kline speaks on John 14:6. TEXT.—"I am the way." His thoughts on this passage are so original and instructive that I will endeavor to extend and elucidate them as best I can.
This passage, said he, comprehends the whole Christ as the Son of man. As the way, the holy way, we may trace and follow his steps, and walk in him from the manger to the cross; from the cross to the grave; and from the grave to his exaltation at the right hand of the Father in heaven. Of this way the prophet Isaiah speaks in these words: "And an highway shall be there, and it shall be called, The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; ... but the redeemed shall walk therein." Is not this a delightful view of Christian life as it was exemplified by our Lord! The prophet calls it the highway of our God. Like the way of Noah's ark, it is above the tops of the loftiest mountains of sin and death and destruction. Like the way of the ark again, it is the way of holiness, for righteous Noah and his family are upon it.
But I wish to call the attention of all here to-night to the particular line of truth and motive the Lord had in mind when he said, "I am the way." By thus pointing out the way, and showing that eternal life and happiness are the blessed reward of walking in it, I hope to induce some here to-night to enter it. I might here generalize somewhat by calling your attention to the fact that it is natural for us all, when going anywhere, to feel best satisfied when we know the way we are on is the right way to where we want to go. It is true, however, one may tramp along through life over public roads, merely to get a subsistence from the fragments he may pick up by the way, and be wholly indifferent as to where the road is conducting him. I will not say that such a life is a fair representation of the thoughtless sinner's way, as regards all preparation for a future state of existence, but I will ask him if it is not so? But let us particularize.
The first recorded words that Jesus uttered were spoken by him when he was twelve years old. They were addressed by him to his parents when they found him in the temple: "How is it that ye sought me sorrowing? Did ye not know that I must be about my Father's business?" This was his first public step in the way we are to follow. We all have the same Father to love and obey that Jesus had, and he is none other than the God who made us. It is his business to fit and prepare us for everlasting happiness; and when we are about his business as Jesus was we are reciprocating his love by doing his pleasure. But this was only the beginning. No further record of Jesus is given until about eighteen years after, when he came to the Jordan to be baptized of John. But John said: "I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? But Jesus said, Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness."
Some may think lightly of baptism, but if it "became" the King of glory to be baptized in water to fulfill all righteousness, how can any one esteem it lightly, who has any regard for his soul? Since he himself is the way, can we rationally conclude that he would do anything for a guide to us that is unimportant? He had no sins to confess, it is true; but still he must be baptized to fulfill all righteousness. How important, then, must it be for us to submit to this ordinance, who are all defiled with sin!
"Ashamed of Jesus! yes I may When I've no sins to wash away: No guilt to shun, no good to crave; No love to give, no soul to save."
But now I must call your attention to his Sermon on the Mount. This is the most instructive, truth-abounding and love-abounding sermon the world has ever heard. It is a summary of the love, the truth, the purity of heart, the humility of soul, the poverty of spirit, the hungering and thirsting for righteousness, the forgiveness, the charity, the meekness of the true child of God. Hence our blessed Lord says right at the close: "Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock." I want to tell you right here that Jesus fulfilled every jot and tittle of its truth in all its varied and minute applications, in the pure and holy life he lived on earth. He thus became the way.
I have sometimes been accosted by others on this wise: "You teach a doctrine of works! You teach that people must do so and so to be saved. I understand the Word to teach that Christians are saved by faith without works." I have occasionally answered such accusations, I fear, perhaps, in not the true spirit of meekness, by retorting that if some professing Christians are ever saved at all it will surely be without any works on their part. But usually, when I am rightly at myself, or better, when my heart is with the Lord, both in answering and preaching, I say, We as Brethren believe and teach that "faith without works is dead." All good works are done in faith. And no man can believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with his heart, without loving him; because faith is a loving acceptance of all the truth revealed by the Lord to man. Our heartfelt reception of that truth leads to obedience, and obedience is good works. For "by works faith is made perfect." When he says: "This DO, and thou shalt live," he does not lose sight of the loving faith in which it is to be done. When he says: "So let your light shine before men, that they may see your GOOD WORKS, and glorify"—YOU? No!—"your Father, which is in heaven." It is by good works, then, that we are to glorify our Father which is in heaven.
Again to the Sermon on the Mount. I told you a while ago that this sermon sets forth the living way, or the living Christ. All the parables and miracles aim at nothing higher than to prepare the minds and hearts of the people to do, in an enlightened way, the things commanded and taught in that wonderful sermon. Obedience to all the ordinances of God's house is but a showing to the life and in the life that meekness, that state of heart purity, that forgiveness, that charity or brotherly love, that heavenly mindedness, which shine forth in clear light there. But all the good there is in that sermon consists in the doing of it. I may think of loving my enemy, and of praying for him, and of forgiving him, but will the thought avail anything, unless I carry my thought out in the acts of my life? Our Lord prayed for his enemies even on the cross. They had nailed him there, so unjustly too; but in the anguish of his distress he said: "Father, forgive them; they know not what they do."
One thought more, and I will close. We must not forget that the Lord, by his Holy Spirit, is the life of the way. Of ourselves, and left to ourselves, we could never enter the way. Without the Lord's power in us through his Holy Spirit we can do nothing. This great truth in its fullness, accepted and believed in the heart, is the highest attainment in faith that man is capable of. The deeper and warmer our love for the Lord is, the clearer and stronger our faith grows; and the clearer and stronger our faith is in him, the firmer are our assurances that he is our life. We feel so free, so at liberty to do just what we will, either good or bad, that the truth of our absolute dependence upon God for every good affection and thought, for every good motive and its attainment, is a lesson we are slow to learn. Peter had not learned this lesson when, confident in his own strength, he declared that he would not forsake the Lord. It is this sense of our own weakness that leads us to pray. Prayer must proceed from the heart. Otherwise it is not prayer, but a mere form of words. The Lord will never help any one spiritually who does not feel the need of divine help. Saul was struck down when the divine light flashed upon him with a radiance above the brightness of the sun; but that light only blinded him. The Lord then sent Ananias to inquire in the house of Judas in Damascus for one called Saul of Tarsus: "For," said he, "behold he prayeth." Without this prayer Saul would nevermore have seen anything. This prayer was the opening of his heart to do the will of the Lord, for in it he said: "Lord, what wouldst thou have me to do?" I need only add here that the very first thing he was commanded to do was: "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."
SUNDAY, November 5. The two brethren had meeting at Isaac Shobe's and stayed all night at Jacob Bargdoll's. On
MONDAY, November 6, they had morning meeting at Isaac Dasher's, and night meeting at Nimrod Judy's, where they stay all night.
TUESDAY, November 7. They dine at William Hevner's in Brock's Gap, and reach home in the evening.
The editor is making these transcripts from the Diary January 26, 1899; just a little over fifty years after the entries were made. He was then a young man; and the current of life's forces, like a mighty river, has borne him on its bosom over a large part of the territory—especially in the two Virginias—traveled over and preached over and prayed over by our long since sainted brother, Elder John Kline. He lived to see good results from his labors, but they were not strikingly conspicuous. As the Diary shows, now and then a brother, a sister, applies for, and receives baptism at his hands. But we must not overlook the truth that he was breaking the ice of indifference to all the claims of religion in the minds and hearts of these people. He was the very first minister in the Brotherhood to begin and carry on what may be called an aggressive effort to spread a knowledge of gospel truth through the present counties of Pendleton, Hardy, Grant, Hampshire, Mineral, Randolph and Pocahontas in what is now West Virginia. Other active and able ministers of that day, a few of whom I will here name, all living in the Shenandoah Valley, would cheerfully go with him; but he led the way. Those whose names I will give were Benjamin Bowman, Daniel Miller, Abraham Flory, Isaac Long, father of the very excellent and able preacher Isaac Long, Jr., Martain Miller, brother of Daniel; John Harshbarger, and a little later on Jacob Wine and Christian Wine. These are all gone to the heavenly shore, to live in the paradise of God. But their works do follow them. They follow them, and will follow them to the end of time, in the form of new houses of worship erected by a largely increased and increasing membership; by an increase of enlightened piety, as exemplified in its possessors by their nonconformity to the world and their attendance upon the ordinances of God's house. Here, however, we see only the beginning of the good fruits from their sowings. The records of the book of life; the palms; the white robes and crowns; the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb will better tell than we ever can here the exceeding preciousness and excellence of their works.