SUNDAY, August 15. They all attended a meeting and love feast. John 15 was read. Five persons were baptized. The four brethren stayed all night at Brother Umbenhaver's. On the twenty-third they dined at Brother Seacrist's; then crossed the Juniata to Waynesboro and stayed all night at Brother Kensel's. On the twenty-fourth they attended a love feast near Brother Samuel Myers's. Hebrews 2 was read. One person baptized. On the twenty-fifth they went to Brother Dolyman's. On the twenty-sixth they went through Lewistown; then down the canal to Mifflinburg, and on to Michael Basehore's, where they had meeting. Acts 10 was read. From this place they went to David Myers's, where they had night meeting. Mark 11 was read.
From some unknown cause, here is the first sermon outlined by Brother Kline in all this journey. He may have been too busy, at times, to give the outlines; and at other times may not have felt like doing it. There is so much originality of thought in the outlines that I here reproduce his discourse as nearly as possible.
Sermon by Elder John Kline.
Preached at David Myers's, in Pennsylvania, August 26.
TEXT.—"By what authority doest thou these things?"
It was an exceedingly bold act on the part of our Lord to cleanse the temple at Jerusalem in the way he did it. In justification of his right to do this he appealed to what was written: "My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves." But reference to this authority involved other questions of grave import in the minds of the scribes and Pharisees. They wished to doubt his right to appeal to this Scripture, because they were unwilling to concede his claim to the divine sonship. To raise as strong a breast of opposition against him as possible, there "come to him in the temple the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders, and say to him, By what authority doest thou these things?"
Most unexpectedly to them, they were confronted by another question quite as direct, from whose point and power they quailed: "The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?" Whilst many of the scribes and Pharisees and elders had never condescended to show John enough respect even to be present at any time when he was baptizing in the Jordan, still they knew, and felt most keenly, the power of his teachings and work upon the common people; for "all held John to be a prophet;" "but the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him," John.
To all human appearance, the influence of the baptism and teachings of John, upon the common people, saved our Lord's life upon this and probably other occasions, for the scribes and chief priests sought opportunity to destroy him; but they feared the common people. In this we discover traces of the good accomplished by John's mission, which was "to make ready a people prepared for the Lord;" and this people was the common people.
Our Lord, however, had a much higher thought and loftier end in the question he put to these men than that of merely saving his life by the facts involved in the question.
When a minister, either diplomatic or religious, on foreign soil, is asked for his authority, it is absolutely necessary for him to produce satisfactory credentials of his investment with the office and the honor he may claim. Our Lord's credentials must be clear and satisfactory, beyond those of any other minister, because no others ever have been or can be subjected to such a rigid scrutiny and to such scathing tests as those were which he bore. They must present a more imposing front than that of the power to work miracles. Others had wrought miracles before. Moses had made the bottom of the Red Sea dry ground; and with a single stroke of his rod had cleft a mighty rock to the gushing forth of a flood of water from it. Elijah had raised the widow's dead son, and had kept her cruse of oil and her barrel of meal replenished; so that the famine came not nigh her door. The walls of Jericho had fallen under the sound of Joshua's band of rams'-horn trumpeters; and, in fact, miracles had, in one way or another, been connected with almost all the events recorded in the Jewish Scriptures. On the evidence of these facts the scribes and Pharisees said to him in scorn: "Art thou greater than our fathers, which are dead? and Moses, and the prophets, which are dead?"
You may now perceive how necessary it was for our Lord to have some higher claim to authority, in the eyes of these unbelieving Jews, than they were willing to see in his power to work miracles. This higher testimony to his authority was given by his Father, signed and sealed by the Holy Spirit, in the presence of witnesses, as Jesus came up out of the water when he was baptized. It was on the bank of the Jordan that "the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him; and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." To this fact all four of the evangelists bear testimony, in nearly the same words.
Peter, in an address recorded in the first chapter of the Acts, indirectly affirms that many witnessed our Lord's baptism and the attendant manifestations from heaven. To his mind it was an essential part of the qualifications of a candidate for the apostleship, that he had been a witness of our Lord's baptism, as well as of his resurrection. And why not? The proofs of his Sonship, of his Messiahship, of his union or oneness with the Father, of the Father's love for him, and of the acceptableness of the Son's work and obedience, were as clear and undeniable in the first as in the last.
After a brief consultation among themselves over the question propounded unto them by our Lord, these deceitful Jews decided that the most expedient answer they could frame would be to confess that they "could not tell." No wonder, now, that he told them that "the publicans and harlots would enter the kingdom of heaven before they would." We may here see a verification of the fact that LOVE must precede FAITH. The truth may be forced upon one, and he be compelled to acknowledge it; yet, unless he falls in love with that truth, he will not believe it as a thing of FAITH, and will not think and act correspondingly thereto.
"Convince a man against his will— He's of the same opinion still."
We may here, very properly, inquire why the heavenly testimony was given at our Lord's baptism. Why were the Father's acknowledgment and approval of his beloved Son not given in the temple of Jerusalem, in the presence of his enemies, that they might be convinced; or in one of its populous streets on a public day, that the world, in a representative sense, might know of him? It is impossible for men or angels to know the mind of the Lord where he has not revealed it. He has withheld from us any direct information on this point; but we may draw some inferential conclusions, which may serve to satisfy the mind and rest the heart.
It is a matter of fact that the Father never put his Son on exhibition; neither did the Son ever seek any place of honor or distinction before men. "He was meek and lowly in heart." The Word made flesh, the Way and the Truth and the Life did not appear on earth to be gazed at as a thing of mere curiosity, nor examined and handled as an article of merchandise.
Men have their opinions; and especially at this day is there a decided tendency with many to make a show of their denominational strength and numerical importance; but, really, it appears to me that the Son of God shunned observation, and apparently shrank from the echo of his fame. More than once did he kindly request those with him to say nothing about some sublime manifestation of divine power and love which he had just given.
Whatever else baptism may signify, to my mind it is plain that it is the visible door to the visible kingdom of heaven on earth. Christ the Lord is King of that kingdom; and as such it behooved him to enter it by the same door through which he has commanded that all his future subjects shall enter; and that door is water baptism. "He that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice." The fold is the kingdom; the shepherd is the Lord; and the porter is John the Baptist.
How fitting that the divine recognition be given at the door of the kingdom in which the Lord is to be crowned "King of kings." A few honest-hearted witnesses were all the Father wished, before whom to make known this glorious disclosure of love for his Son.
Baptism is not the putting away of the filth of the flesh. This is not its legitimate result. Its effect is the answer of a good conscience toward God. When one submits to this ordinance in the right spirit, and it is properly administered, it never fails of being followed by this happy experience. It gives the heart peace and rest in Christ. "The eunuch went on his way rejoicing." "The jailer rejoiced, believing in God with all his house." These rejoicings followed baptism in each case. The Psalmist says: "The testimony of the Lord is sure, enlightening the eyes: the statutes of the Lord are pure, rejoicing the heart. More are they to be desired than gold; yea, than much fine gold; for in the keeping of them there is great reward."
Baptism is both a testimony and a statute. It is a testimony because it bears witness to the truth by the joy it imparts; and it is a statute because it is a written command of God which it is the duty of every believer to obey; and in the keeping of it there is great reward.
FRIDAY, August 27. They had meeting at Henry Hart's. Acts 3 was read. Two brethren were advanced from the deaconship to the ministry of the Word, and two were elected to the deaconship. The twenty-eighth they spent mostly with Brother John Royer. The twenty-ninth they attended two meetings: one at Brother Joel Royer's, and the other near the same place. At Joel Royer's, Brother Isaac Long took the lead in speaking; and from the outlines of his discourse, given in the Diary, I am assured it is worthy of being expanded into a sermon, and of holding a prominent place in this work.
Sermon by Elder Isaac Long, of Virginia.
Preached at Joel Royer's, in Pennsylvania, August 29.
TEXT.—"A sower went out to sow his seed."
There is one feature about my text for to-day that is likely to draw at least momentary attention. That feature is its simplicity. I am glad to hope that this may give rise to a query in the mind of each hearer in substance something like this: "What can he have to say on such a simple text as that? I am going to listen and see what he will make of it." I see your eyes have turned to me now; but, beloved brethren and sisters, whilst the eyes of your bodies are turned to me from feelings of curiosity, I beg that the eyes of your understandings and hearts may be turned to the Lord, for grace, on my part to speak, and on your part to hear.
The text, in its simplicity of phraseology and external sense, looks like a nut without a kernel. It comes to the ear like the uncertain sound of a trumpet: "A sower went out to sow his seed." No part of the farmer's work, however, is more common in its seasons than this; and I may add with emphasis, that no part of the farmer's work in its seasons is more important than this. The life of the world depends upon two great facts—seeding and harvesting; and when the Lord established his covenant with Noah after the flood, two of the essential provisions of that covenant were couched in these words: "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest shall not cease." I never read that covenant but with delight, because I love farming, and when at home farming is my business. Here is my covenant with the Lord, and my assurance that my seedings will be blessed.
There is one thing in the provisions of that covenant to which I wish to call special attention. It is all found in one compound word, and that word is
It does not read seeding and harvest. Seeding means the act of sowing seed. The Lord in his covenant does not say that this shall not cease; because the act of sowing seed or seeding depends upon man: he only assures man that seedtime, or the time for sowing seed, shall not cease. But notice the other part. He does not say harvest-time; but he says that harvest shall not cease, because he makes the harvest. He speaks positively here of results, as being able and forever willing to fulfill what he covenants to do. In this covenant, man's work is implied as well as God's work. Man's part of the work is to sow the seed when the time is given. God's part is to bless the seed sown, by giving the harvest. In all of man's labor pertaining to providing for the support and comfort of his body, "we are coworkers with God."
Our heavenly Father deals with us as children. By natural things he instructs us in spiritual things. Paul says; "First that which is natural; afterward that which is spiritual." This is God's order.
REASON AND FAITH.
Some think that reason must yield to faith. Others think that faith must yield to reason. The opinions on both sides are wrong, because both imply a conflict between reason and faith, when in TRUTH no such conflict ever has existed, nor can it exist. Reason is neither more nor less than the intelligent operations of the mind in seeking to know the truth; and faith is but a willing acceptance and acknowledgment of that truth when it is known. In one way of looking at it, faith and knowledge are one; only faith is a loving acceptance, by the WILL, of what the UNDERSTANDING is assured of being true. What the understanding doubts can never be received by the will as a thing of faith.
WISDOM is the union of faith and knowledge in man, and becomes more and more his guiding light in all intelligent action. If man's wisdom be merely that of earth, it is not genuine; but if it be heavenly, it is true wisdom, and leads more and more to God, and eternal life in him. Wisdom says that there must be a sort of reciprocal correspondence between the seed and the ground on which it is sown. This fact involves several principles based upon experience. The sower must know what kind of seed he is sowing. "It may be of wheat or some other grain." He should know what preparation the ground requires to make the hoped-for harvest. He should know what fertilizers and stimulants are likely to do most good. He should also know the right time for sowing his seed.
A mere knowledge of these principles, however, is not sufficient. There must be a practical application of them, in the way of complying with the necessary conditions, or the sowing will prove a failure. The seed that fell by the wayside was picked up by the birds. That which fell on the rock perished. That which fell among the thorns was soon overcome by their superior rankness of growth, and it made nothing. Only that which fell into good ground made a remunerative return.
MAN'S WILL IS THE FIELD.
I may say to you now that man's will is the field which our Lord meant in the parable here recorded; "and the seed is the Word of God."
Notwithstanding the practical explanation given of this parable by our Lord, a degree of obscurity still broods over it in the minds of many Bible interpreters. What made the bad ground bad; and what made the good ground good, and how the bad ground is to be made good and productive, are questions that puzzle the minds of many. Some may not agree with me; but I do believe that the diversities in human nature, set forth and described by our Lord in this parable, all relate to the WILL. What makes the difference between a good man, and a bad man? Brethren, it is the WILL. A good man does good from a good will, and a bad man does bad from a bad will.
Let us take the wayside hearer. There is no defect about his understanding. His head is as clear in matters of business as any man's. He understands what the preacher says when he is sowing the seeds of gospel truth as readily as any one in the congregation. Why then does the devil take away the Word out of his heart? I answer, because the devil is very fond of doing that sort of work; and the man does not object. In other words, the wayside hearer has no WILL to keep the Word in his heart. If he had a will to keep the Word in his heart, and live conformably to it, the gates of hell could not prevail against it. He would then be good ground according to the measure of his capacity, and the life of love and obedience growing out of it.
Take the rock-hearer next. He has a very thin skin of soil over the surface of the rock that lies underneath. From the way he goes to meeting and talks about religion, you might readily conclude that all he needs to become a bright light in the church is a little encouragement. He says: "That was a splendid sermon we heard to-day. It did me good to hear that man talk. I could listen to him for a week;" and he tells the truth; for if the man stays a week, and works up something of an excitement, this rock-hearer will go every night and praise every sermon. I am sorry to say, however, that the devil does not try very hard to get the Word out of that man's heart, because he knows that if he leaves it alone just a little while it will die out of itself. The real trouble with this man is a want of WILL to reduce to practice the truth received into the understanding. The rock, underneath the skin of soil that hides it, is a WILL which is wholly averse to the life of self-denial and godly obedience set forth in the Word which he hears. He loves the world and himself more than God; and the delight or joy with which he hears the Word is all in the understanding. The words of life and salvation fade from his memory, because there is no desire in his heart or WILL to retain them, as the things that belong to his everlasting peace.
Next in order comes the thorny-ground hearer. He may be a man of talent, perhaps a genius. Naturally thoughtful and ambitious, he covets both wealth and honors. He is not entirely forgetful of the claims of religion upon him. He goes to church with his family; behaves genteelly; invites the ministers to his house, and entertains them very hospitably. He thinks religion a very good thing in society, and one that ought to be encouraged. You often hear people say of him: "What a pity he is not a member of the church: how much good he could do!" In all matters of public interest he takes an active part. During an electoral canvass he is all astir, and wonders how any one can be indifferent at such a time, or even show a moderate degree of coolness. He is a useful man in society, and his loss would be keenly felt by the community. The real trouble with this man is akin to that of all the rest. It has its seat right in the WILL. He loves the world, and the world loves him; and to hold his place in society he must comply with its demands. He must not be scrupulous about small matters. He must take a drink with a friend. If invited to take part in some pastime or popular amusement, even if it be of doubtful moral character, he dare not decline the invitation. If memory should even blow the ashes from some live coals of truth, and conscience remonstrate, he must ignore all weakness of that kind. Such and such-like are the thorns that choke the Word, and it brings no fruit to perfection.
Last, but not least, comes the good-ground hearer. I have reason to believe that most of you know him from your own experience; therefore I will not describe him here. But before I conclude I desire to direct your attention to a few points more in the line of my thought.
Who is to blame or to incur the responsibility for the failures of fruit in the three classes of hearers given in the parable? Some say the devil is to blame, because he throws every obstacle and impediment that lies in his power in the way of the growth of the seed. Others say the Lord is to blame for not having made the ground better by nature. Others again say—and these say what is true—that the hearers are to blame. The Word came with just as much power to these unfruitful classes as it did to the good-ground hearer. "But it was not mixed with faith in them that heard." Whose fault was it that they did not believe? Manifestly their own.
I fully believe that man's will is free. And I do also believe in my very soul that it would be the pleasure of the Lord to save every human being born into existence. "As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" Ezekiel 33:11 and 18:31.
But man's will cannot be forced. The Lord cannot compel any one to love him, any more than one of us can force a man to be our friend who inwardly hates us. The Lord is every day seeking to turn the hearts of men to himself through the life-giving, holy, healing power of the Word of gospel grace. He does this through the faithful ministers who preach it. In this way he causes the sun of truth and love to rise and shine upon even the very worst of sinners, and sends the rain of his grace to fall upon them. Without the sun and the rain the seed would forever lie dead in the ground; but what is very wonderful in the gospel seed is the fact that it carries along with itself, as it falls upon the ground, all the light, and heat, and moisture it needs. Our blessed Lord says: "My words are spirit, and they are life."
In illustration of this let us notice the power of his words in several instances recorded in the New Testament Scriptures. Let me refer to Jairus's daughter. She was dead. Every one could know this that saw her. Jesus said to this dead girl: "Maiden, arise." Her spirit came back into her. The heart, that before was pulseless and still, began to beat; and the breast, over which the pall of death had fallen, began to heave. In obedience to his word she rose up and lived. Were not his words spirit and life to this girl? The very same thing took place with the dead boy, the only son of the widow of Nain. Things no less wonderful were of daily occurrence in the life of Jesus. The cleansing of the lepers, the healing of the sick, the casting out of devils, all, all proved the spirit and life that are in his words.
His words, however, have not only natural life and breath in them; but they have spiritual life and breath; and this means eternal life. My brother, my sister, if the Word of Christ is in your heart you have a holy, heavenly beating there of love to God and love to all his dear people; and you have a holy, heavenly breathing after more knowledge of his words, and for larger and clearer views of the revelations of his grace. These are proofs of the inward, heavenly life in the soul.
DO NOT FORGET THE TEXT.
Every intelligent human being is a sower of some kind of seed. Every one is either sowing the Word of God or the word and spirit of some one else; but let the seed be of whatever kind it may, this thing is sure: "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. He that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." Sowing to the flesh is living after the flesh with its affections and lusts; but sowing to the Spirit is crucifying and mortifying the flesh, and living the new life of faith, and hope, and love.
Brethren and sisters, there is a mighty, mighty difference between the two. What has the mere fleshly, carnal mind to hope for in the world to come? It can feel no delight, no enjoyment in heavenly things, such as love to God and love to man. It knows nothing of that love which is the bond of perfectness.
You can always tell what a man's love is by the company he keeps. If his love is of worldly things only, you will see him in worldly company, and hear him talk only of worldly things. Notice the books and papers he reads. They are of the same character. He enjoys no other readings. He delights in no other company and conversations. This man is sowing to the flesh, and he will be sure to reap corruption. His treasure is all on the earth; his harvest is here; and he is sowing no seed for a harvest of glory and bliss in the world to come.
The good ground hearer is a very different man, and he sows far different seed. HIS SEED IS DIVINE TRUTH, AND HIS FIELD IS HIS OWN SPIRIT. He digs up the thorns and the thistles by the roots; destroys the serpents, and drives out the wolves and the foxes. In this way he mortifies the body of sin and crucifies the flesh with its affections and lusts. In a well prepared soil he plants the fig and the olive, the vine and the pomegranate. In the place where the lion lay, the calf shall lie down in peace; and instead of the wolf and the fox, the sheep and her lamb shall feed in safety. Where the serpent hissed and the basilisk was waiting to sting, the myrtle and the rose shall bloom. Thus is the desert made to rejoice and the wilderness to bloom. The man who thus subdues and cultivates his own spirit that is within him, all by the help of God, is sure to be everlastingly blessed in his deed. He will reap a rich harvest of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, here and eternally in the heavens.
FRIDAY, September 17. The two brethren reached home. Of this Brother Kline says: "Brother Isaac Long and I have been together nearly all the time on this journey, which has occupied just five weeks. It makes me feel somewhat lonely to part hands with such an agreeable companion in labor; so cheerful; so full of the Spirit; so wise in counsel; so clear in judgment. I feel that we have been together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Ah, well! not long till we shall no more take the parting hand! The Brethren everywhere showed us much love. May the Lord continue to bless them, both temporally and spiritually."
Between the twenty-ninth of August and the above date they attended quite a number of love feasts and other meetings. The Diary reports many families visited in Huntingdon and Bedford Counties. Probably many of the older brethren and sisters, then belonging to the families named, may still remember this visit. Among the names reported are to be found the Spanogles, Altebergers, Becks or Bocks, Allebaughs, Browns, Bicheys, Sniders, and others.
Want of space absolutely forbids any further notice of the Diary for this year.
SUNDAY, January 23. Peter Nead is with us to-day at our meetinghouse. He spoke at some length from Acts 13. To those who could follow him his discourse was very instructive. He traced Paul in his journeys with Barnabas and John, from the first place named in the chapter to the last.
SUNDAY, April 3. Meeting at Samuel Wine's in the Brush. Luke 14 was read.
TUESDAY, May 10. Brother Kline, in company with Abraham Stoner and David Kline, started to the Annual Meeting. On the evening of the twelfth they got to William Deahl's, near the place of meeting.
FRIDAY, May 13. Council meeting opened. Many Brethren present. He says: "The acquaintance, brethren and sisters form with each other at these meetings, is not the least good accomplished by them. We stay to-night at Solon Garber's."
SUNDAY, May 15. Public meeting to-day. Matthew 11 was read. Love feast to-night. We stay all night at William Deahl's.
MONDAY, May 16. Started homeward, and got as far as to Brother B. Bear's.
FRIDAY, May 20. Got home this evening. Often will my thoughts return to the churches attended and the homes visited. I could not help cautioning the Brethren in some of the congregations against the inroads of pride and fashion. The younger members, particularly, need to be instructed in regard to these things, that they may avoid conformity to the world in dress and other things; not because the church, as such, opposes them in it; but because the Word and Spirit of the Lord opposes them in it. The love of Christ, that is, our love for him and his people, and the way of holiness, lead to a life of self-denial for his sake. The new nature in Christ does not crave the vain and often hurtful fashions of the world. It is best, for both body and soul, to dress plainly, but comfortably; and to live, in every respect, according to the same rule. The godliness that is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is and also of that which is to come, is not conformed to this world.
THURSDAY, June 2. Council meeting at the old Garber meetinghouse. The subject of marrying was under consideration. It was laid to continue as the church has heretofore held it. The enemy of souls was ready to interfere with the holiness and innocence of our first parents in the garden of Eden. Time has not changed his nature. Nothing but the flaming sword of God's Word and Spirit can keep him out of the church. The flaming sword! It gives light and heat to the children of God; but threatens destruction to their enemies. All should bear this sword; not sheathed in a scabbard, but forever held high in the right hand, ready to be used whenever the enemy approaches.
SATURDAY, August 13. Daniel Miller and I go to Brother Nasselrodt's in Brock's Gap and take dinner with him. In the afternoon we go on to Lost River, and stay all night at Jacob Motz's.
SUNDAY, August 14. Meeting at Brother Motz's. John 15 was read. After meeting we went to the Yellow Spring, where we stayed all night.
SUNDAY, August 21. Meeting at Neff's schoolhouse. Matthew 25 was read. Also meeting at Samuel Wine's in the Brush. Matthew 25 was read there. Also meeting at Pleasant Valley. Brother Koontz was baptized.
WEDNESDAY, August 24. Went to Benjamin Bowman's and back home. We have had a wonderful rain to-day. Waters higher than they have been for twenty-eight years.
SUNDAY, September 4. Meeting in our meetinghouse. Romans 6 was read. John Miller and Abraham Deitrich's wife were baptized by Benjamin Bowman.
THURSDAY, September 8. Anna [Brother Kline's wife] and I go to Lost River to attend a love feast. We stay all night at Celestine Whitmore's.
SUNDAY, September 11. Meeting and love feast at Mathias's. Hebrews 8 is read. We have a delightful day and night, and many people are assembled. I speak on the chapter read, and also upon the general scope and design of the epistle to the Hebrews. Hebrews, and Jews, and Israelites are all one; each being only a different name for the same race of people. The name Hebrew and Hebrews appears to have been derived from Eber or Heber, the grandson of Shem. The name Jew and Jews is supposed to have been derived from Judah, one of the sons of Jacob. The name Israelite and Israelites was derived from Jacob, whom the angel of the Lord called Israel.
This epistle was written to the Hebrews, or Jewish Christians, to remove from their minds some difficulties and obscurities in their way of rightly understanding the way of salvation provided by our Lord Jesus Christ. On account of their former connection with the ceremonial law and the Mosaic ritual, it was hard for them to see and appreciate the simplicity that is in Christ. Like Naaman the Syrian, they thought the ceremonial part should possess more parade and show, to have in it the required virtue. He thought that bathing his body seven times in the river Jordan was a ceremony too simple to remove his leprosy: so these Hebrew Christians thought the simple ordinances of the house of God were too insignificant to take away their sins. They had been instructed in the ordinances of a worldly sanctuary and a worldly priesthood. As Christ had abolished all these, by giving to the church the spiritual substance of which these were the shadow, it was necessary that they be very particularly and plainly taught how this was done. The writer of this epistle has shown this in very clear light.
The chapter read speaks of the True Tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. It presents Jesus as the Mediator of a better covenant, which has been established upon better promises. This is the covenant: "I will put my laws into their mind, and on their heart also will I write them: I will be to them a God; and they shall be to me a people. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." These are cheering words: "Their sins will I remember no more." Beloved brethren and sisters, this is precisely the way God deals with every one of his truly penitent and obedient children. He remembers their sins no more. No matter how great sinners they have been, no matter how they have abused and dishonored him, he holds nothing against them. In this we may see the spirit we should all possess. We are all commanded to be followers of God, as dear children, and walk in love.
I have sometimes heard a brother or a sister say: "I can forgive, but I cannot forget." Brethren, we would not feel very well if the Lord were to say this to us and of us. How would we be made to feel if our blessed Lord were to say to each of us: "I am willing to forgive your trespasses against me; I am willing to save you, because I have promised to save all who repent and believe my Gospel; but I can never forget the way you have treated me, and will never be willing to trust you as I could have trusted you; and can never again have the same confidence in you that I would have had, had you treated me in a different way"? Such forgiveness as this on the part of our Lord toward us would rob salvation of all its joy. It would turn the sun into darkness and the moon into blood. It would change the harmony of heaven into notes of discord in our ears. But this would be the very sort of forgiveness that is implied in the saying: "I can forgive, but I cannot forget."
Notice, however, the care and the order apparent in the insertion of that loving clause, "and your sins will I remember no more." Notice the introduction: "I will be to you a God; and ye shall be to me a people." In what follows the Divine Love is strongly marked: "For I will be merciful to your iniquities, and your sins will I remember no more." This last crowns it all. The same thing is meant by the prophet in another place where the Lord says: "As far as the east is from the west, so far have I removed your sins from you;" and again: "He hath cast our sins into the bottom of the sea;" so deep down are they that they will never rise up against us any more.
Such must our forgiveness of one another be, brethren and sisters, if we would imitate the Lord. We should never forget that genuine forgiveness implies a complete forgetfulness of all trespasses in the past. Our Lord says: "If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses." To forgive from the heart is to forgive in love; and love thinketh no ill of one's brother or sister.
Let each one examine himself. If you feel in your heart that you love the Lord your God with all your heart, and your brother and your sister in the Lord as you love yourself, I feel authorized in behalf of Christ and the church to say to you that Jesus will remember your sins no more. You have a right to sing the song:
"Savior, more than life to me, I am clinging close to thee; Let thy blood, by faith applied, Keep me ever near thy side. Every day and every hour, Let me feel thy cleansing power, Till my soul is lost in love, In a brighter world above."
TUESDAY, September 20. Love feast at our meetinghouse. John 3 was read. David Correll and Abraham Miller and his wife were baptized.
WEDNESDAY, September 21. Benjamin Bowman and I start very early to Hampshire County, Virginia. We get dinner at Rorabaugh's, and reach Moorefield by night, after a ride on horseback of forty-seven miles.
THURSDAY, September 22. Go to David Vanmeter's for breakfast; reach Abbey Arnold's for dinner, and get to the love feast at David Arnold's just after the first meeting. We have delightful weather, good order in the house, and a pleasant meeting.
FRIDAY, September 23. Meeting again. Revelation 3 is read. Stay at David Arnold's all night.
SATURDAY, September 24. Go to Joseph Arnold's, and in the afternoon to Joseph Leatherman's, where we have night meeting. I speak on Luke 24:48.
SUNDAY, September 25. Attend a love feast at Solomon Michael's. Revelation 3 is read.
MONDAY, September 26. Homeward through Petersburg; dine at Isaac Shobe's; then to night meeting at Sister Chlora Judy's. We speak on Matthew 11. Stay all night.
TUESDAY, September 27. Cross the South Fork mountain over to Jacob Warnstaff's, where we have an afternoon meeting. Speak on Luke 28. We also have night meeting at the same place. Brother Benjamin speaks on Luke 16. His talks are not lengthy, but they are very pointed, and prove that they come from a thoughtful and studious mind.
WEDNESDAY, September 28. We both get home.
SUNDAY, October 2. Meeting at Henry Huffman's in Page County, Virginia. Mark 1 is read. Isaac Spitler is baptized.
SATURDAY, December 3. Samuel Wampler and I go to Lost River. We stay all night at Silas Randall's.
SUNDAY, December 4. Meeting at Brother Celestine Whitmore's. Matthew 7 is read. Silas Randall and his wife are baptized. We stay all night at Celestine Whitmore's.
SUNDAY, January 1, 1843. I and Frederic Kline go to George Fulk's schoolhouse in the Gap. We have meeting, and I speak on John 15. We dine at George Fulk's, and in the evening return home.
SUNDAY, February 19. Meeting at our meetinghouse. John 3 is read. In afternoon Peter Nead and I go up to Benjamin Bowman's, at the head of Linville's Creek, where we have night meeting. Brother Nead speaks very beautifully on John 15:14, "Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you."
THURSDAY, March 30. Visit Dr. Newham, and take him through "a course of medicine." This last expression frequently appears in Brother Kline's Diary. The phrase, "course of medicine," was first introduced by Dr. Samuel Thompson, the founder and propagator of what afterwards assumed the name of "The Thompsonian System of Medical Practice." To the minds of many very worthy and sensible people in Virginia and other States, Dr. Thompson's definitions of disease, and his corresponding views of their treatment, appeared quite reasonable. They met with great favor in some communities, and by many were enthusiastically received. Among the latter Brother John Kline stood in the foremost rank. He espoused the "Theory and Practice of Dr. Samuel Thompson" with unreserved confidence. In his zeal to do good with it he furnished the medicines and administered them to hundreds of the afflicted; and to many free of charge.
The phrase, "course of medicine," was meant to comprehend in its signification the whole routine of treatment demanded by nature to rid itself of disease. This usually consisted of a Lobelia emetic or vomit, more or less thorough as the symptoms of the impending disease appeared to require. Preparatory to this vomit, and in connection with it, warm and stimulating infusions or teas were administered to induce very active sweating, or "free perspiration," as it was called. As an aid to this, steaming the patient was sometimes resorted to. The "course" usually took up several hours. After all was gone through with, the patient was allowed to rest, excepting, however, the administration of a few mild sedatives or soothing nervines, to induce sleep. The reader may conclude that the patient very likely needed rest after all this treatment.
Prejudice against the system has grown old, and nearly died out; and, at this point of distance in time, it may be calmly said that "the course of medicine" very often seemed to do much good. Many were ready, at any time, to bear testimony in behalf of its efficacy in their own individual cases, and in those in their families; and it is hard to conclude that mere confidence in the treatment, and in the hands by which it was administered, could effect so much good.
Brother Kline went into it with a sort of zest and zeal that looked a little as if he might have hitched it to his train of religious duties. Be this as it may, one truth is sure, a truth which Wordsworth has beautifully woven into the poetic lines which follow:
"The sick he soothed; the hungry fed; Bade pain and anguish flee: He loved to raise the downcast head Of friendless poverty."
SUNDAY, May 28. To-day we held our first regular meeting in our new house. It has been decided to name it "The Brush Meetinghouse." This is a frame building, constructed by Christian and John Wine, sons of Samuel Wine.
"The Brush" is a small section of country in Rockingham County, Virginia. It lies between the North mountain on the west side and Linville's Creek on the east; and between the North Fork of the Shenandoah river on the north and the head waters of Muddy Creek on the south. It comprises, probably, sixteen square miles.
Samuel Wine, one of the pioneers of the German Baptist Brethren, raised a very useful and respectable family in the very heart of the Brush. Of his sons, Christian, and John, and Samuel, and George were set to the ministry of the Word in the church of their father's choice. Michael, the only other son, is a deacon.
Jacob Mitchell, who spent his last years in the same Brotherhood, raised a very respectable and intelligent family in the Brush, at the place now occupied by his son Joseph A. Mitchell, and officially known as Cherry Grove; that name having been given to the post office kept at the place, from the great abundance of sweet cherries which for many years have grown there and in the vicinity to great perfection.
Anthony Showalter, father of John A. Showalter, and grandfather of Anthony J. Showalter, both favorably known as composers and teachers of music,—raised a numerous family of noble boys and girls in the same section, nearly, if not quite all of them, members of the Brethren church.
All of the above-named brethren were personal friends of Brother Kline, who often visited them at their homes.
David Haller, whose name is often seen in the Diary, was another intimate friend of Brother Kline. He held membership in the church many years, and assisted in building the Brush meetinghouse. From what has been said of the Brush, it appears to have been favorable to the reproduction of the race, both numerically and substantially. Brother David Haller had born unto him from a first and second marriage twenty-two children, nearly all of whom grew up to manhood or womanhood. The question was once asked: "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" History forever answers, yes! Truth echoes the same answer to the same question, applied to the Brush.
SUNDAY, June 4. Meeting at the Flat Rock. Mary Pope is baptized.
SUNDAY, June 25. Meeting at the Powder Spring. Peter Beacher is baptized. We dine at Abraham Funkhouser's and stay all night at Abraham Swartz's.
THURSDAY, June 29. Attend a very sad funeral to-day. Brother John Zigler's child was drowned, and quite dead when discovered. It was one year, seven months and twenty-eight days old. The death of a child is always distressing; but when death comes by accident, it is much more so. Brother John Zigler lives in Timberville, Rockingham County, Virginia.
MONDAY, July 10. Dine at Sister Judy Deitrick's. Call on Dr. Biggs, whose headquarters are at John Higgins's. He is a straight up and down Thompsonian doctor. He seems to fear no opposition. He says that such plain, common-sense principles as underlie Thompson's System of medical practice must stand the test of time, and eventually win the day. He says that Dr. Thompson was the first to formulate the Axiom: "Remove the cause, and the effect will cease." Disease is removed from the body by expelling the cause. Nature, when the cause of disease is removed, will of herself, restore health to the body. Reduce the strength of the patient, and you reduce the patient's power to get well. Do bleeding, blistering, starving and drastic purges strengthen the vital forces, or add power to the recuperative system? No! All these tend to reduce the restorative forces by weakening the alimentary, respiratory, circulatory and nervous systems of the body; the only powers upon which the physician may rely, and to which he dare look for the restoration of the sick to health. Such are the convictions which the doctor expressed to me in the brief interview I had with him to-day. Stay all night at Joseph Miller's.
SATURDAY, July 15. Brother Daniel Miller and I go to Brock's Gap, dine at George Moyers's, and stay all night at Celestine Whitmore's.
SUNDAY, July 16. I baptize Magdalena Moyers and Barbara Tusing. We stay all night at Charles Snider's.
FRIDAY, August 11. Attend harvest meeting at the Flat Rock. It behooves us, at these meetings, to be on our guard, lest we fall into a feeling of self-satisfaction. I mean by this that it is possible for us to become so well satisfied with ourselves now that we have returned thanks to the Lord for the rich gifts of his love, in the bountiful harvest we have just gathered, that we have no need of being watchful as to the use we make of it. Brethren, if our thankfulness be from the heart, this very feeling will lead us into a desire to make a right use of what the Lord has given. Perhaps it would be better for us to take up more time at our harvest meeting in talking about the ways and means of using the gifts of God, and how best to apply them to the end that will do most good to one another and the poor, and thus most honor and glorify him. I made remarks similar to these, and think that I will speak more on the same line of thought to-morrow.
SATURDAY, August 12. Harvest meeting at our meetinghouse. After meeting, go up to Isaac Ritchey's in Brock's Gap, and stay all night.
SUNDAY, August 13. Jacob Stirewalt, a Lutheran minister, preaches and administers the sacrament at Sowders's church to-day. I happen to be present, and am reminded of my boyhood experience in Pennsylvania, when I used to be in the Lutheran church on such occasions, and when it often fell to my lot to pump wind for the organ. In the afternoon we have meeting at Jacob Whetzel's. I stay all night at James Fitzwaters's.
SUNDAY, August 27. Meeting at Daniel Garber's. Matthew 13 is read. Brother Daniel Miller baptized three persons to-day. This day also Samuel and Joseph Good and their wives are baptized.
FRIDAY, September 15. Creek and river very high. A great freshet. A very wonderful washout occurred in the side of the North mountain, above Turleytown, back of Elijah Baker's. It is supposed to have been caused by a waterspout or cloud-burst, as it is sometimes called. A great flood of water seemed to fall on the side of the mountain on a small patch of ground, uprooting trees, overturning rocks, and carrying all in one huge mass into the hollow below, where they lodged. The flood, rolling on, carried off Moses Pumphrey's milk-house, and did some other damage.
WEDNESDAY, October 4. Meeting and love feast at Beaver Creek. Hebrews 12 is read. The brethren and sisters were exhorted to "follow after peace, and the holiness without which no one shall see the Lord; to take heed lest any fall short of the grace of God by living unholy lives." Whilst it is the duty of the housekeepers to look after the purity and order of the church at all times, still it does appear that a special eye should be had on the body at the times of our love feasts. "All things are naked and open to the eyes of him with whom we have to do." There should be no spots in our feasts of love. All should be unspotted love and purity in Christ Jesus. Otherwise our services may not be acceptable to him. If there be anyone amongst us to-day who feels and knows in his own heart that he is a fornicator or profane person as Esau was, any one that is conscious of having in himself any feeling of bitterness towards the body or any member of it; I hereby, according to authority from the Lord, admonish such not to approach the table of the Lord. Such sins should be publicly confessed before the church; and according to the words of the Lord, the church has authority to loose the brother or sister from such sins, when deeply and duly repented of. "Whatsoever ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven."
But I here entreat all to think soberly. Let none stay away from the table of the Lord on account of a feeling of unworthiness before God. "For the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." When we are meek and lowly in heart under a deep sense of unworthiness and shortcomings, then it is that the spirit is bearing witness with our spirits. Though free from sin, still our Lord confessed that he himself was "meek and lowly in heart." Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. He that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
After such exhortations and instructions the brethren and sisters joined in singing that heart-cheering old hymn:
"Arise, my soul, arise; Shake off thy guilty fears: The Bleeding Sacrifice In my behalf appears. Before the Throne my surety stands; My name is written on his hands."
We have had good weather all this day and night, and a fine meeting.
MONDAY, October 16. Between this date and the twenty-third Brother Kline, in company with Anna, his wife, visited the following named families: Daniel Glick's, David Wampler's, Widow George Kline's, Samuel Miller's, Jonas Wampler's, Daniel Wampler's, Jacob Hoover's above Staunton, Joel Garber's, Jacob Zigler's, Christian Kline's, Jacob Wine's, Martain Good's, Joseph Miller's, Daniel Garber's, Frederic Kline's, Jacob Earley's and Flory's. He attended a number of meetings in connection with the foregoing visits, and reports the Brethren and relatives generally well.
WEDNESDAY, October 25. Brother Kline started to Hampshire County, West Virginia. He went by way of the South Fork and Moorefield in Hardy County, West Virginia; and got to Brother Nicolas Leatherman's by Thursday night, after two very hard days' ride on horseback. On this journey he visited John Leatherman's, Daniel Arnold's, Joseph Arnold's, David Good's, Solomon Michael's and others. He attended a love feast and one other meeting at Arnold's meetinghouse, and had night meeting at Solomon Michael's. Here his subject was the baptism of John. From Solomon Michael's he went to Brother Stingley's in the west part of Hardy County, West Virginia, where he met and filled an appointment for preaching. From this place he went to Parks's; and on
WEDNESDAY, November 1, he took dinner at Saul Hyre's, above Petersburg, and stayed all night at Isaac Shobe's.
THURSDAY, November 2. He had meeting at the widow Chlora Judy's on Mill Creek, where he spoke from John 1:29. "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." The next day he had meeting at Rorabaugh's on the South Fork; and in the afternoon went across the Shenandoah mountain to Brother Nesselrodt's. He says: "I crossed two very high mountains to-day. It is cloudy and cold, threatening snow."
SATURDAY, November 4. Snowing fast this morning. Go on to Mathias's on Lost River, where I meet a small gathering of people at night. Snows fast all day, and meeting small; but I nevertheless speak as best I can on the last two verses of the ninth chapter of John. These are the words, and what follows is an outline in substance of what I said: "And many came unto him; and they said, John indeed did no sign: but all things whatsoever John spake of this man were true. And many believed on him there." Our Lord's work on earth in the flesh, was now fast drawing to a close. Honest hearts were accepting him as the Savior of the world. His enemies, on the other hand, were becoming more violent in their opposition to him, on the ground that if they would let him go all men would believe on him. One striking feature of our Lord's spirit and doctrine was that of "nonresistance" of personal or bodily enemies. "My kingdom," said he, "is not of this world; else would my servants fight." Ignorant of the power of love, these Jewish enemies of our Lord could foresee nothing in the tendencies of his doctrines but the destruction of their city Jerusalem, and the same also of their nationality as a people.
Although John did no sign or miracle, still he told the truth about Jesus; and inasmuch as he did this in the beginning of our Lord's ministry, and was beheaded soon after, it was in itself strong evidence in favor of our Lord's Messiahship. The people could plainly see the agreement between the life and teachings of Christ and what John had said they would be. The agreement was too exact and uniform to be accidental. This led many to believe on him. They alleged that all things whatsoever John spake of this man were true; and they came unto him. In this they showed their wisdom. How they hung upon his words! How their hearts did burn as he opened unto them the Scriptures! Like Mary, many sat at his feet and heard his words.
At the present day, when any begin to inquire the way of salvation, instead of going to the Word wherein the way is plainly revealed, and the Lord may be found, they go to their preacher, or to others whom they regard as safe guides, or to books that purport to lead inquirers into the right way; and very often they are wrongly taught and misled. If there be one here to-night who is anxiously inquiring the way to Jesus, I say to him: "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world!" "Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father and the holy angels." "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved: for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." A good many tongues are found in the mouth with which men make "confession unto salvation." But they all speak the same thing, and the thing which they all speak is humble obedience to the Word of the Lord. Baptism is one tongue. Feet-washing is another tongue. The Lord's Supper is another tongue. The Communion is another tongue. A quiet, honest and peaceable life is another tongue, and one that speaks very loud for Christ. Temperance in eating and drinking, and abstemiousness in the way of rejecting the use of all unnecessary or injurious things is another tongue of power on the Lord's side. Come to Jesus. Confess him in these ways, and thou shall live.
SUNDAY, December 31. Meeting on Lost River. Matthew 2 is read. Stay all night at Christian Halterman's.
It is said that the centipede has a hundred feet. It may have; and it does seem that superstition, or the belief in supernatural things of a trivial nature has quite as many; and, like the fabled animal of ancient times, has also a hundred heads.
This evening I overheard a conversation among some young people where I stayed, in which one said that every New Year's night, that is, the night in which the New Year comes in, the cattle and sheep all get on their knees, as if they might be in a devotional posture of body. They talked as if they really believed that this might be so. I do not know how this impression has come about; but I have heard this before, and guess that some mischievous or sportive person tried to make some one else believe that cattle and sheep kneel only on New Year's night, when the truth is that they kneel whenever they lie down to rest. I have often thought it a pity that people are so ready to believe in marvelous and supernatural things which can do them no good, and so backward to believe the most marvelous truth the world has ever known; the truth that God has provided eternal life and salvation for all who are willing to accept it on the easy terms upon which it is offered.
In this year I have traveled, mostly on horseback, three thousand, two hundred and sixty miles.
MONDAY, January 1, 1844. I feel sure that the work of the year cannot be entered upon more suitably than by making arrangements for building a house of worship unto the Lord. The need of a house of this kind has long been felt among the Brethren on Lost River. We have here, as elsewhere, "not shunned to declare the whole counsel of God" publicly, as Paul says he did among the Ephesian brethren, "and that from house to house." But it is best to have a stated place of worship, and with this in view we have this day made arrangements to build a meetinghouse, to be known as the Lost River meetinghouse. Celestine Whitmore, Jacob Mathias and Silas Randall have been elected trustees; and Celestine Whitmore, one of the number, has been elected master builder.
SATURDAY, February 24. Raise the new meetinghouse on Lost River. Stay all night at Silas Randall's.
TUESDAY, March 26. My dear old father dies this night, at forty minutes past three o'clock in the morning. He has lived to a great age, has seen all of his children settled in life and doing well, has served his day and generation to good purpose by a faithful discharge of duty as a husband and father in his own family; as a kind and ever-obliging neighbor in his community; and far, very far outweighing all these, he has honored his God by embracing the faith set forth in the Gospel of the Son of God, the faith that works by love, that purifies the heart, and that overcomes the world. All great endings are but great beginnings. The end of our Savior's life on earth was but the beginning of his life of ineffable glory and exaltation in heaven. As the Head is, so shall the members be. In his own measure, as it hath pleased the Lord to give my father grace, so shall his reward in glory be. Death is the door through which we enter life.
"Farewell! we meet no more On this side heaven: The parting scene is o'er, The last sad look is given,
"Farewell! O may we meet In heaven above: And there, in union sweet, Sing of a Savior's love."
THURSDAY, March 28. Daniel Miller and Benjamin Bowman preach father's funeral. The earth that covers the body and hides it from sight does not bury our hopes. The anchor of the soul is sure and steadfast. It has its hold upon the things within the veil, which are eternal and immovable. I will not sorrow as those who have no hope. Father's age was eighty years, eight months and twenty-two days.
Sermon by Elder John Kline.
Preached at Old Father Kagey's, Sunday, March 31.
TEXT.—For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.—2 Cor. 4:16.
Our heavenly Father makes known to his children the things necessary for their instruction in the way of a holy life, that they may do his will in all things and live well-pleasing to him at all times. To this end many precious promises are held up to our spiritual vision, and many encouragements set forth to animate us to love and duty. Hence Paul says: "For this cause we faint not. Even though our outward man perish," that is, show signs of decay and approaching death, "yet the inward man is renewed day by day." This natural body in which we live and move, in which we serve and suffer, is what Paul calls "the outward man." Elsewhere it is called "a natural body." It is the offspring of the natural act of generation between the father and mother, and is in its nature bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh. This is why it is called a natural body. In the text it is called "the outward man," because it is the external part of the man; is visible; has weight; may be handled and felt; and is the medium of direct sensation. It is also the seat of suffering and sin, and is subject to death and decomposition as its end. Of this body it is written: "Dust thou art; and unto dust shalt thou return." Paul says: "In me, that is, in my flesh, there dwelleth no good thing." He is very particular to tell us in which part of him it is where no good thing dwelleth. He says: "In my flesh."
But there is "an inward man" about which none of these things can be said. This is elsewhere called "a spiritual body." It is so called because it is born "not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." It is also called "a new creature in Christ Jesus." Generation, in a natural sense, implies the begetting and bringing forth of the "natural body" the "outward man," "the old man;" but regeneration implies the begetting and bringing forth of "the spiritual body," "the inward man," "the new man," which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Peter says: "Born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever."
But it matters not how good a thing may be, if it is out of our reach or beyond our power to get, it can do us no good. But the new life in the soul, the eternal life of the spirit, is not out of the reach of any, is in reach of all. Even the dead shall hear his voice, and they that hear shall live. "He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath everlasting life." "Whosoever cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out." "He that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." "This is life eternal that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
Obedience to the ordinances of God's house has its place here in connection with faith. By works is faith made perfect. The first command that Paul received in connection with his conversion was: "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling upon the name of the Lord." The instruction of Peter to the convicts on the day of Pentecost was: "Repent, and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." In preaching Jesus to the eunuch Philip evidently preached our Lord's baptism, else what would the eunuch have known about baptism? How else can we account for his remark to Philip and implied request: "See, here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized?" "If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest," was Philip's answer. Sinner, you are invited to come and take of the water of life freely. Come, believe, obey, and live forever.
FRIDAY, April 12. Plant corn in the lower field.
SATURDAY, April 13. Finish planting the lower field. I never plant corn or commit any seed to the earth, but I am filled with wonder in the contemplation of God's power. In my thoughts over things of this kind my mind and heart find pleasant relief, by recalling in memory the beautiful similitude which Mark, alone of all the evangelists, has left on record for us. These are his words: "And he [the Lord] said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed upon the earth, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow, he knoweth not how. The earth beareth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear." These words greatly encourage me to labor more faithfully in the ministry of the Word: for as we know the Lord has power to make the dry seed in the dry ground grow unto a rich harvest, we know not how, so has he power to make the seeds of his truth spring up and grow in the hearts of men unto a harvest of eternal blessedness in heaven. But as the corn must be tended, the field kept clean, and the ground kept in order during the growing season, so must the Word in the heart be guarded from the inroads of evils, such as are clearly described in the Lord's own words.
SATURDAY, April 20. Council meeting to-day on Lost River. Celestine Whitmore elected speaker, and Silas Randall elected deacon. Stay all night at John Miller's.
SUNDAY, April 21. Meeting at Whitmore's. Luke 14 is read. Humility was my subject to-day, founded on the words of the eleventh verse. Pride is the opposite of humility. The proud man exalts himself and refuses to follow in the footsteps of the meek and lowly Jesus.
"God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble." So says the Apostle James. And why is this so? Because the proud man, in his sense of self-sufficiency, feels no want at the present which he thinks he is not able to supply, and dreads no want in the future, either because he does not think of any future life, or because he has persuaded himself to believe there is no future state of existence. God can never give grace to such a man, in such a state, because he will not receive it. A thing may be offered, but it can never be said to be given unless it is received. Wherefore the Apostle Peter says: "Humble yourselves therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time." When God exalts a man, when God lifts a man up, he then is lifted up, he then is exalted, sure enough. This is the exaltation to which we may truthfully apply Paul's exultation: "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive what God hath prepared for them that love him."
SUNDAY, May 12. Meeting in our meetinghouse. Ephesians 4 is read. Samuel Myers and his wife are baptized.
TUESDAY, May 14. Council meeting to-day at our meetinghouse. John Bowman, of Franklin County, Virginia, and Brother Barnhardt, of Roanoke County, Virginia, were with us to-day; and they are with me this evening to stay all night.
THURSDAY, May 16. Raise the mill, and in the afternoon go to the Gap and marry George Fawley and Catharine Fulk.
SATURDAY, June 1. Love feast to-day at our meetinghouse. Brother Daniel Barnhardt, of Roanoke County, Virginia, and Brother John Bowman, of Franklin County, Virginia, and Brother Peter Nead were with us. We had much good speaking by the visiting brethren on the 10th chapter of John and other passages of Scripture.
SUNDAY, June 2. Go to Daniel Miller's to meeting. Luke 14 is read. I then go to Joseph Miller's where I stay all night.
MONDAY, June 10. This morning the intelligence comes of the sudden death of Reuben Yount. He was found lying dead in the road. It is supposed that he was killed by being thrown from his horse on his way home last evening.
TUESDAY, June 11. Reuben Yount was buried to-day. Age, twenty-five years and thirteen days. Verily the sons of men sink into the grave like raindrops into the sea, and are seen no more. As unexpectedly as the pitcher is broken at the fountain, even before it is filled with water, so unexpectedly does death come to many.
MONDAY, June 24. Finish making hay. We have about twenty-two tons in all.
SUNDAY, June 30. Meeting at Frederic Kline's, near Dayton, Virginia. Six persons baptized.
SUNDAY, July 7. Meeting at our meetinghouse. John Kave and wife, Katy Keysayer, Betsy Holsinger, Polly Knopp, Katy Fry and Betsy Andes were baptized to-day. Daniel Miller baptized them.
SATURDAY, July 27. Harvest meeting at Copp's schoolhouse in Shenandoah County, Virginia.
WEDNESDAY, July 31. Harvest meeting at the Brush meetinghouse.
THURSDAY, August 1. Go to harvest meeting at Daniel Garber's meetinghouse. Stay all night at John Myers's in Augusta County, Virginia.
FRIDAY, August 2. Love feast at the Brick meetinghouse. Luke 14 was read. One brother spoke impressively on the last three words in the first verse: "THEY WATCHED HIM." Said he, "The enemies of the Lord most likely did this. They were ever eager to find some ground of accusation against him. But the Lord was not alone in this. 'A servant is not greater than his lord.' We, Brethren, are liable to be watched. And I think I may say truthfully that we are watched not only by our enemies, but by our friends too. But there is a great difference between the eye of an enemy and the eye of a friend. The eye of an enemy seeks for faults with which to accuse and persecute; and when no real fault can be found the evil eye seeks to make faults by looking at our actions and motives in a false light, and if possible getting others to regard them in the same false light. But not so the eye of a friend. A wise father watches his children, not to find faults with which to accuse, but in love to correct by pointing out their evil tendencies and the end to which they lead.
"So, dear brethren and sisters, should we watch one another in the house of God. We should never be quick to take offense when some brother or sister out of pure love for us kindly warns us of some fault that we may not be fully conscious of."
In words as nearly like the above as I can give them, and in many others, did the brother exhort the church.
SUNDAY, August 25. Attend meeting at the Flat Rock. First Corinthians 1 is read. Louis Nasselrodt and wife and Henry Strawdeman and wife were baptized. I baptized them.
SUNDAY, September 1. Meeting at our meetinghouse. Colossians 2 was read. Philip Bible and wife, Adam Hevner and wife, William Andes, Samuel Zigler, Christian Krider and old Mother Minick were baptized to-day.
SUNDAY, September 8. Meeting at Stoner's to-day. Romans 6 was read. I baptized Christian Krider's wife to-day.
[With Elder John Kline to plan was to do; to propose in mind was to perform in act; ever though, let it be remembered, by the help of the Lord. "His will, and not mine, be done," was Brother Kline's motto. The following notes are word for word from the fly leaves of his Diary for the present year. They are inserted here for two reasons. First, to show that he formed a purpose and laid down a plan before acting. In the following pages it will be seen how faithfully the plan laid out in the Diary was executed. Second, to show something of the confidence reposed in his genuine honesty, and his business capacity as a man.—EDITOR.]
I have in contemplation to take the following route to Ohio: Start on the seventeenth of September, and on the eighteenth have an afternoon meeting at Parks's, in Hardy County, Virginia [now West Virginia]; on the twenty-first to stop at Jacob Thomas's in Preston County, Virginia; on the twenty-second to be at George's Creek; on the twenty-sixth to be at Bull Creek, Columbiana County, Ohio; on the eighth and ninth of October to be at Bucyrus, Crawford County, Ohio; on the twelfth to be at Sugar Creek, in Allen County, Ohio; on the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth in Henry County, Indiana; on the evening of the twenty-third to be at Bear Creek, Montgomery County, Ohio. Things which I have to attend to on my trip to Ohio and Indiana:
To inquire of George Weaver about a legacy of William Toppin, orphan of Thomas Toppin.
Received of Jacob Hoover $73.42 to be paid over as follows:
To George Hoover, $17.57 To Peter Fesler, 17.57 To Elizabeth Fesler, 38.28 ——— $73.42
To get some rents of Joseph Garber for Susanna Garber.
To pay over to Betsy Fesler, $200.00 To pay over to George Hoover, 50.00
This money I received of Aunt Katy Hoover.
To collect some money of Mahoney and of John Kline for Ziglers. I hold papers for the same.
To collect money of Jacob Leedy in Columbiana County, Ohio, for Peter Nead.
To collect money of John Garber, of Montgomery County, Ohio, for Solomon Garber, of Rockingham County, Virginia. I am to let John Garber have the note if he pays $150.00.
TUESDAY, September 17. Brother George R. Hedrick and I start from my home this morning, on horseback, for Ohio. We dine at William Fitzwater's, in Brock's Gap, and arrive in the evening at Isaac Dasher's on the South Fork, Hardy County, Virginia, where we stay over night.
WEDNESDAY, September 18. Come to Isaac Shobe's for breakfast, and on to Parks's for dinner. Meeting in the afternoon at Parks's. John 3 is read. On the way to-day Brother Hedrick and I talked over the interpretation we are to give the Lord's words in the thirteenth verse of the chapter read this afternoon. These are the words: "And no man hath ascended up to heaven." I asked Brother Hedrick if Elijah had not ascended to heaven? I quoted to him the very words recorded in the eleventh verse of the second chapter of Second Kings: "And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven." Brother Hedrick confessed that a first thought on our Lord's words might lead the mind to conclude that there is a want of harmony between what he says to Nicodemus and what is plainly said of Elijah. But he removed the difficulty from my mind at once by explaining the Lord's words to mean that no one in his own strength or by virtue of his own power had ascended to heaven. "Elijah went up to heaven, it is true," said he, "but the horses of fire and the chariot of fire by which he went up, beautifully and impressively symbolize the Lord's hand by which he was taken up. And besides this, we read in 2 Kings 2:1, 'And it came to pass when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.' Here it is plainly implied that the Lord took up Elijah into heaven. And this falls in as a part of the great lesson the Lord was seeking to impress upon the mind of Nicodemus, the great truth that the Lord alone has power to lift men, through the regeneration, up to heaven." Stay all night at Parks's.
THURSDAY, September 19. We go to Stingley's for breakfast; to Eliza Hays's for dinner (still in Hardy County, Virginia), and stay all night at Gilpin's. We are now within sixteen miles of the Maryland line.
FRIDAY, September 20. To-day we passed through what is called the Glades and Wilderness, to the Briery mountain. A very lonely road; but the companionship of a man and a brother like George Hedrick makes solitude enjoyable. Only those who have experienced the agreeableness of a bright, serene, calm and contented mind and heart, such as I find in Brother Hedrick, can ever realize the pleasure of such company. It does seem to me that we can almost adopt toward each other the beautiful sentiment of love which Ruth expressed for Naomi: "Whither thou goest I will go, and where thou lodgest I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people. Where thou diest I will die, and there will I be buried." We fed our horses and took breakfast at Smith's tavern, in Preston County, Virginia; took dinner at Bransonville, and find ourselves here at Brother Jacob Thomas's, where we are spending the night.
SATURDAY, September 21. Meeting in the schoolhouse near Brother Thomas's. Deuteronomy, eighteenth chapter is read. I spoke on the latter portion of the chapter read, from the fifteenth verse to the end. I spoke particularly on the following words: "The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken." This was spoken to the children of Israel. What follows was spoken directly to Moses: "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him." I tried to show these people the great danger there is in a life of sin. The great Prophet spoken of and promised in the words of my text is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. In the fullness of time he appeared. The prophecy just read was recorded by Moses very nearly fifteen hundred years before it was fulfilled by the appearing of our Savior. This single consideration may serve to remind us of the faithfulness of God in fulfilling his Word. And our blessed Lord while in the flesh more than once turned the eyes of his disciples to the prophecies that foretold his coming. In one place he said to the people: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill." After his resurrection, on his way to Emmaus, in company with two of his sorrowing disciples who had not yet fully learned the truth of his having risen, he said in reference to his sufferings and death: "These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me."
I am now prepared to tell you, and I trust you are prepared to hear some of the particulars in which Christ Jesus was like unto Moses. You know the text says: "A Prophet like unto me." This is the language of Moses. The Lord God had just before told him this. We will now turn to some of the points in the comparison of Moses with Christ. Moses told the people to believe what he told them and obey the commands he gave them. He taught them that if they would obey the commands and ordinances which God gave and established through him they would receive the favor of the Lord, and that as a reward for their obedience he would bless them exceedingly. But if they would turn away from him, he would turn away from them, and multiply their troubles greatly. Christ Jesus does the same. Just at the close of the most wonderful sermon the world has ever heard preached, a sermon in which all the moral and spiritual relations of men to each other and to God, together with the duties growing out of these relations, are set forth the Lord says: "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. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."
Friends, let me say to you that each and every one of you is building a house for himself on one or the other of these foundations. Your life, your every-day life, from beginning to end, is the house you are building. If your life, from love to the Lord, is based upon the solid rock of his Revealed Truth, it will stand the temptations and trials symbolized by the floods and winds; but if not, it will never be able to stand, and great will be its fall. Some may think that because God is long-suffering, and does not punish sin in this world so manifestly as he sometimes did in former times, he is becoming more merciful and takes less account of sin than formerly. But this is a very great mistake. God has always been quite as merciful as he could be consistently with his justice and holiness; and the warning given in Hebrews 2:2 should be heeded. This is the warning: "If every transgression and disobedience" under Moses, "received a just recompense of reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" Notice this also from the same book: "He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?"
Again: The children of Israel were baptized unto Moses, that is, into a visible covenant with him, in the cloud and in the Red Sea, as they passed through. In this act of baptism, by which they declared their willingness to follow him as their leader, but the one action was required, and that action was their passing between the walls of water on the right hand and on the left hand, with the cloud overhead completely shutting them in from the world. But the Christian, to be a true follower of the great Prophet of whom we are particularly speaking, is required to submit to a threefold baptism, which is an immersion of the body in water in the name of the Father who loved us and gave his Son; another immersion in the name of the Son who redeems and saves us; and lastly an immersion in the name of the Holy Ghost who convinces of sin, who comforts us, enlightens us as to our duties, sanctifies and makes us meet for heaven.
Again: Moses gave the people water from the Rock. Christ Jesus gives his people the water of life. He says: "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink."
Again: Moses fed the people with manna, which they gathered every morning from the ground. Christ feeds his people with the heavenly manna, which I take to be the great and eternal love of the Father contained in the blessed words of truth which his Son has declared to the world.
In such and many other words did I speak unto these people, seeking to instruct them in the things of salvation, and induce some of them, at least, to turn to the Lord. After meeting we dined at Brother Thomas's, and started for George's Creek; crossed Laurel mountain to Hagtonsville, then to Brother Joseph Leatherman's, in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, where we stay all night.
SUNDAY, September 22. Go to George's Creek meetinghouse. We have forenoon and afternoon meeting. Second Corinthians 6 is read in the forenoon meeting. In the 3 o'clock meeting Luke 14 is read. I speak on the great supper, from the sixteenth to the twenty-fourth verse.
Whilst I am a stranger to most of you, I nevertheless feel assured by the signs I witness that I can confidingly and affectionately address some of you, and I trust a goodly number too, as beloved brethren and sisters. This is, so far, as it should be. But what would be the joy of my heart, and what would be the joy of heart with each one of you, could it be said that this entire congregation is of one mind and all speak the same thing! But the words of my text, harmonizing with the closing words of another parable, recorded by Matthew, which declare that "many are called, but few chosen," may continue to be true, for a long time yet to come. Whilst the advocates of election and predestination claim this as one of their proof texts, to my mind it proves the exact reverse. "Many are called." Here, if I mistake not, the German has it: "The many are called." I take this to mean that all are called. Now compare this with what is said here in my text: "Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the Lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." This surely proves that all are called or invited to the great supper. First, the Jews were invited. When Jesus sent forth the twelve he commanded them saying; "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Here it is plain that the Jews were the first to be invited. "But they all with one mind began to make excuse." Next then the poor of the city were invited. Still there was room. Next the off-casts and beggars were invited. These included the very lowest of the Gentile nations, and comprehend all that live, every creature.
Now I ask, in the name of all that is reasonable, can we, dare we, accuse the Lord of dealing deceitfully? Perish the thought forever. No! He invites all because it is his blessed will to see all come and sit at his table spread with the great love feast which he has prepared for all who are willing and desire to come. This very thought is the joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue. And it is a joy which no man taketh from me, because it rests on the rock of Divine Truth. But a preparation is necessary. We can hardly separate the parable under consideration from the one recorded in Matthew twenty-second chapter. There we read of a wedding dinner made by a king, to celebrate the marriage of his son. And when the king came in he saw there a man who had not on a wedding garment. And the king said: "Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless." And why was he speechless? If he would have had any reasonable excuse to offer for the unprepared appearance which he made, would he have been speechless? Reason says at once. He would have urged his inability to procure a suitable dress for the occasion, as the cause for his appearing in the way he did, if any such cause had existed. And the king knew this full well; otherwise he would not have required all to have on the wedding garment.
I now call your attention to the closing words of the parable: "I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper." The reason for this is found in the fact that they would not come. They were the first to be invited. Had they come, they would have received the right hand of welcome. But notice the unreasonable excuses they made. One had bought a piece of ground, and he must go and see it, as if night were the time to look at land. Another must try the five yoke of oxen he had that day bought, as if night were the best time to do this. Another had married a wife and could not come, as if night were not a suitable time to enjoy a rich supper with his bride. We wonder at these vain and almost unnatural excuses; but do we find the excuses of men any more reasonable to-day? Men hazard their souls in a life of sin, not for want of invitations, entreaties and warnings from the Lord to come unto him, but because they will not. The Lord pleads with men to-day, just as he pleaded with Israel centuries ago. Hear what he says to Israel by the mouth of the Prophet Ezekiel: "Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, ... and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves and live ye."
And now, Brethren and friends, to make a brief application of some of the great principles laid down, I will say that the Lord's Supper is the great love feast which he has prepared for you, for me, for all. This great love feast, of which our own ordinance by his appointment, and bearing the same name, is a beautiful and fitting emblem, is neither more nor less than the bountiful provisions Christ has made for the salvation of all. These provisions are the great truths of his Word, filled with his love. The Lord Jesus says: "I am the bread of life." To the Jews he said: "Your fathers did eat the manna in the wilderness, and they died." "If any man eat of the bread which I shall give him, he shall live forever." When we are faithfully obeying the Lord from love in our hearts, we are eating this life-giving bread. Every truth which the Lord has revealed, and by which the spiritual man is fed as to his soul, may be regarded as a component part of this great feast.
Jesus said to the tempter: "Man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." The tempter here meant material bread for the body, and the Lord answered him according to that meaning. This is the kind of bread, material bread, with which the devil seeks to satisfy every demand of our being. It embraces everything the natural appetite of man craves. The devil is ever seeking to lead men to feed on the husks which the swine do eat, and to be satisfied with that kind of food. But the blessed Lord Jesus resists the tempter, and continually seeks to lead men into a higher, nobler and heavenly life. He says to every sinner: "Arise, and go to thy Father, and say unto him, Father, I have sinned before heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son." This is repentance. This is the first move man makes in the way of approach to the feast the Lord has prepared. "Man liveth by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." This embraces all of Revealed Truth. Every law, every precept, every prophecy, every parable has some outflowing, healing virtue, some life-imparting power. We touch the hem of its garment when we read or hear in sincerity of heart. O sinner, come and partake of this feast, and thy soul shall live.