We stay all night with David Longenacre.
MONDAY, September 23. On towards Ohio. Dine and feed our horses at Brother David Wise's. This evening we are at Hays's tavern in Washington, Washington County, Pennsylvania, where we stay all night.
TUESDAY, September 24. Go to Hickorytown where we feed our horses and get breakfast. Then on through Burgitsville and Florencetown to Frankford, in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, where we feed and dine at Duncan's tavern. Then on to Georgetown, where we cross the Ohio river in a horse-boat, and stay all night at Smith's tavern. A lonesome ride to-day, because we have seen no Brethren.
 Brother Kline in the Diary almost invariably puts it "Stay all night." I am not willing to depart from his usage in this.—ED.
WEDNESDAY, September 25. Breakfast and feed in Darlington at Dunlap's tavern. Then on to New Middletown to Daniel Summers's; and this evening reach Brother Henry Kurtz's in Columbiana County, where we stay all night.
THURSDAY, September 26. Meeting at Brother Haas's. Hebrews 8 is read. Love feast this evening. Come back to Brother Kurtz's and stay all night. Paul has told us more than once of the joy he felt, and how his heart was refreshed on meeting dear brethren and sisters whom he had not seen for a time. In meeting the brethren and sisters here and elsewhere we experience much of the same feeling. They everywhere make us feel at home, and show us more love and give us more attention than we deserve. What a blessed thing it is to be filled with the love of Christ! This implants love in the heart for the Brethren. John says: "We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren." This is the first-fruits of the tree of life in our hearts.
FRIDAY, September 27. Go westward through Greene, Salem, Damascus, Westville, and on to Brother Joseph Bollinger's, where we stay all night.
SATURDAY, September 28. Meeting. John 3 is read. Evening meeting at Brother Metse's, where we stay all night. Hebrews 12 is read. Begins to snow this evening, and continues all night.
SUNDAY, September 29. Meeting in the Franklin Lutheran church. Matthew 7 is read. After meeting we come to Brother David Sommers's. Evening meeting. John 10 is read. Stay all night with Brother Sommers. The weather has cleared up.
MONDAY, September 30. Visit Michael Dickey who is very sick. We then attend a meeting at Eli Dickey's, in Starke County. Galatians 3 is read. Stay all night with Brother Dickey.
TUESDAY, October 1. On westward, through Canton, Massilon, Brooklin, Dover, Wayne County, to Brother Jacob Kurtz's, where we have night meeting. Matthew 9 is read. Fine weather.
WEDNESDAY, October 2. Pass through Jefferson, Pittsburg, and on to Brother Lucas's, where we have meeting. Second Corinthians 2 is read. I spoke awhile on the last verse, particularly on these words: "Corrupting the word of God." In the margin the translation of this part of the verse is somewhat different, and, if I mistake not, is sustained by the German of Luther. It is this: "Making merchandise of the word of God." I regard this as the more literal of the two renderings. But they both mean very nearly the same, with this slight difference, that the one strikes more at the cause, while the other regards particularly the effect of "handling the word of God deceitfully." Men who make merchandise of the Word of God are exactly in line with the Pharisees as the Lord described them: "Verily, they have their reward." Jesus says: "Provide yourselves purses which wax not old; a treasure in the heavens which faileth not." But those who make merchandise of the Word of God provide purses for themselves, for this life, which do wax old; and they lay up their treasures here. Sad to say, such corrupt the Word by handling it deceitfully, that they may make the things of religion pleasing to the natural man, and thereby draw numbers to their side. But, brethren and sisters, I hardly need tell you that this world is no friend to grace—no friend to God—no friend to your souls. "Except a man deny himself, and take up his cross daily, he cannot be my disciple." How different these words of Jesus are from some remarks I heard one of those gospel merchants make from his stand not long since. I give them as nearly as I can. Said he: "Religion is natural to man. And that religion is the best which enables a man or a woman, in the easiest and most respectable way, to lead a good moral and civil life in this world. Christ is your righteousness, and he gives you your necessary fitness for heaven without any effort on your part, any more than to just believe on him; so all you have to do is to sustain a respectable standing in the church, by attending to its ordinances, and you are and forever will be all right."
Now I would ask if such talk as this is not corrupting the Word? How any man, in the face of the sermon on the Mount, in which the deepest humility of heart—in the way of self-denial, forgiveness of enemies, love of the truth, obedience to every commandment, from supreme love to God—and the lowest self-abasement is laid down and set forth in the clearest light and plainest injunctions—how, I say, in the face of all this, can a man speak in this way? And more. Hear the awful, terrific denunciation at the close of this sermon: "He 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." Ah! Brethren, something more than a desire to appear respectable in the eyes of the world, and hold an honorable place in the church, so called, is necessary to withstand the floods and storms of temptations that are sure to try us in this world. This is why so many make shipwreck. They do not count the cost; and this is why they desire to make peace, when they see and feel the army of twenty thousand temptations coming against them, and they have only ten thousand, very poorly equipped, to resist their attack.
The temptations to conform to the vain fashions of the world, especially with the young, may be called legion. The temptations to commit adultery are a host. I speak plainly, Brethren, but I must not corrupt the Word. The temptation to acquire property from the avaricious love of wealth, more than we can use ourselves or handle to good ends, comes as the prince of darkness with clouds that shut out the light of heaven from our sight. Brethren and sisters, as I love you all dearly, let me say to you at the close of my remarks that the Lord says: "The scriptures cannot be broken." No man can intentionally break the Scriptures and be saved. We dare not corrupt the Word of God.
After meeting we go to Brother John Shoemaker's, where we have night meeting, and stay all night. Ephesians 6 is read.
THURSDAY, October 3. Take the Ashland road to Brother Joseph Rupp's, near Ashland, Ashland County, where we have meeting. Luke 14 is read. Stay this afternoon and night with Brother Rupp.
FRIDAY, October 4. Go to Brother Jacob Whisler's, six miles north of Mansfield. Meeting at 3 o'clock. John 14 is read. To-day we crossed the Black Fork of the Mohican. Stay all night with Brother Whisler.
SATURDAY, October 5. On westward through Shelby, to Brother Samuel Cover's in Crawford County, where we have night meeting. Last part of Acts 3 is read. Stay all night with Brother Cover.
SUNDAY, October 6. Meeting. Matthew 7 is read. Stay all night with Brother Martain Hestand.
MONDAY, October 7. Visit William Lupton, but not finding him at home, make settlement with his son of business connected with Hoover's estate. Look over Hoover's land, and stay all night at Bender's. Fine day.
TUESDAY, October 9. Meeting at Brother Hestand's in afternoon. Matthew 10 is read. Night meeting at Brother Clark's. Part of John 3 is read. Stay all night at Brother Clark's. Fine day.
WEDNESDAY, October 9. Start for Allen County. Dine and feed at Upper Sandusky; then on to Huston's, in Hardin County. Bad road from the Bellefontaine road for twelve miles. Stay all night at Huston's.
THURSDAY, October 10. By Williamsburg, breakfast and feed at Michael Baserman's, and on to Abraham Miller's in Allen County, where we stay all night. Brother Hedrick and I have slept together in the same bed every night since we left home.
FRIDAY, October 11. Stay at Brother Miller's till after dinner, then go to Brother Samuel Miller's, where we stay all night.
SATURDAY, October 12. Pass through Lima, dine and feed in Wapokaneta, and stay all night at Shannon's tavern.
SUNDAY, October 13. Go to Brother Joseph Risser's, dine and feed, then to Brother Jacob Basehore's, where we leave our horses and walk two and one-half miles to meeting and back to Brother Basehore's. Night meeting at Brother Cabell's. First John 3 is read. Stay all night at Brother Basehore's, in Miami County. Fine day.
MONDAY, October 14. Westward through Greenville to Brother Emanuel Flory's in Darke County, where we dine and feed; then on to Winchester in Indiana, and stay all night at Acker's tavern. We are now in Randolph County, Indiana. If we were among false brethren in this new country, as Paul says he once was in the land in which he traveled, situated as we are in respect to bad roads, a long way from our homes, with no means of conveyance except the backs of our horses to carry us to Virginia, the prospect of our stay here, and our hopes of safe return, might be gloomy indeed. But, thanks to the good Lord, we are not among false brethren. Our Brethren are true Brethren wherever we find them. There may be some hypocrites, God knows; but I know of none. Brother Hedrick and I have repeatedly discoursed on this subject in our travels together, and neither he nor I have in a single instance met with a brother or sister that has not, in our presence at least, shown something of the gentleness and meekness of Christ. We are made to feel at home wherever we go among them, and these considerations strengthen our faith and encourage the assurance that the Gospel which we as a band of Christians preach and practice, and which works mightily in the hearts of the dear Brethren everywhere, is of God. "By their fruits ye shall know them."
FRIDAY, October 11. Still westward through Cameron, to Brother Fullhearts, where we feed our horses and get dinner. We then cross the White river to Muncie in Delaware County, and stay all night with David Bowers. Rough, windy and rainy day.
WEDNESDAY, October 16. Visit the following named families, in nearly all of which we find members of our Brotherhood. We first visit Sowerwine's, then Joseph Coffman's, Sheets's, Jacob Good's, Absalom Painter's and George Hoover's. At the last-named place we have night meeting and stay all night. We are now in Henry County, Indiana.
THURSDAY, October 17. Meeting at Jacob Brunk's. Mark 1 is read. Then to Peter Fesler's, where we have night meeting. Acts 3 is read. Stay all night with Brother Fesler.
FRIDAY, October 18. Come to Middletown and get a letter from home. Glad to hear that all are well, but sorry to learn of some deaths. Leaving Middletown, we go eastward to Brother David Hartman's, in Wayne County, where we stay all night. Raining all day, and in afternoon it falls in torrents.
SATURDAY, October 19. Love feast at Brother Abraham Hoover's. John 1 is read. Stay all night at Brother David Hartman's. Clear and cold.
SUNDAY, October 20. Forenoon meeting. Acts 3 was read. I spoke on verse twenty-second: Subject, "The Great Prophet." Meeting again at one o'clock. I speak on Mark 1:27. Text: "And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? What new doctrine is this?"
The Jews could well ask the question set forth in the text: "What new doctrine is this?" To them the teachings of Christ were all new. Whilst he came not to destroy the law or the prophets, but to fulfill, nevertheless his fulfillment of them was so spiritual, so essentially holy, so pure in motive, so beneficent in act, that the Jews were entire strangers to it: or probably better, it was strange and new to them. Even Nicodemus, a ruler among the Jews, failed to perceive what Jesus meant when he told him about the nature and necessity of the new birth. Our Lord manifests something of surprise at the ignorance and stupidity of Nicodemus. Such ignorance as Nicodemus exposes in the presence of Christ appears to us as wholly inexcusable, when we look at what had already been taught on the subject of a change of heart, or regeneration, in the law of Moses and the prophets.
Enoch, the seventh from Adam, walked with God three hundred years, and never saw death, for God took him. Did he walk with God in a fleshly mind, or in a spiritual mind? Hear what Jesus and Paul say: "That which is born of the flesh, is flesh," and Paul says: "Therein dwelleth no good thing." "But that which is born of the Spirit is spirit," and therein serve we the Lord acceptably. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses and Elijah are to-day in the heavens. Are they there in the flesh? Nay, verily, but in the spirit; in the new nature which God had implanted in them. "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven."
"And what shall I say more? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephtha; of David also, and Samuel," who prayed: "Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me." But the Jews had become carnal, fleshly minded, and, like Nicodemus, were unable to see the spirituality of their own Word. How, then, could they apprehend the grace or see the truth which came by Jesus Christ! Let us, Brethren, search the Scriptures and acquaint ourselves much with the Gospel of our salvation, so that when we read or hear, it may not be to us as it was to the Jews, a new doctrine, but the
"Old, old story, Of Jesus and his love."
This is nearly the substance of what I said.
Night meeting at Samuel Cave's. I speak from John 1:29. Fine day. We stay all night with Brother Cave. We are now in Wayne County.
MONDAY, October 21. Start eastward to William Minnick's, and on through Richmond, by Eaton, Preble County, Ohio, to Samuel Showalter's, where we stay all night.
TUESDAY, October 22. Get dinner at Jacob Trout's: visit John Brower's, and stay all night at Solomon Stoner's. Fine day.
WEDNESDAY, October 23. Visit Joseph Kline's, Samuel Kline's, David Dristle's, and have night meeting at David Bowman's. Matthew 25 is read. Stay all night at Brother Dristle's. Our gatherings for worship and attendance upon the Word, as a rule, have not been large; but people generally appear to pay heed to what is spoken, and we trust the good seed may find a lodgment in many an honest and sincere heart.
THURSDAY, October 24. Meeting at Bowman's meetinghouse. Luke 14 is read. Stay all night at Brother Abraham Aerbaugh's.
FRIDAY, October 25. Visit George Miller's, Sally Aerbaugh's, Daniel Garber's, John Garber's, David Miller's, and Joseph Garber's, where we stay all night. Fine weather.
SATURDAY, October 26. Visit Felix Landes's, and go to night meeting at Philip Wampler's. Matthew 11 is read. Stay all night at Philip Wampler's.
SUNDAY, October 27. Meeting at the Bowman meetinghouse. Acts 3 is read. I then visit Brother Brumbaugh, who is very low in sickness; and also visit Henry Harshbarger, and stay all night at John Kline's.
MONDAY, October 28. Go to Dayton, and after spending some time in visiting the factories and other points of interest in the city, we start towards Cincinnati, and stay all night in Miamisburg, at Zimmers's tavern.
TUESDAY, October 29. Pass through Butler County into Hamilton, and stay all night in Cincinnati, at the Franklin House, kept by Ross.
WEDNESDAY, October 30. Visit Dr. Curtis and settle with him. [Dr. Curtis was at this time a very noted Thompsonian doctor located in Cincinnati. He was editor of the Botanic Medical Recorder, a journal which was very popular with the advocates of the Thompsonian practice of medicine in its day; and also author of a series of lectures in the same line.—ED.] Dr. Curtis appears to me as a very kind, open-hearted, well-informed man. He seems to be very confident as to the future success and final triumph of his favorite system of medical theory and practice. "Why should we not," said he, "feel as sure that the might of truth will prevail in this as in other things? It may be that further experience will shear off some things that we now hold; and add on to our system some others which we as yet lack; but the great principles of truth which underlie our medical creed must remain unshaken, while the laws of health and the inroads of disease remain as they are to-day." We then visited the city markets, and about 10 o'clock started for Clermont County, and got to John Dickey's tavern, where we stay all night.
THURSDAY, October 31. On to Hillsborough in Highland County; dine and feed at Jacob Runyon's, and stay all night at Elijah Thurman's.
FRIDAY, November 1. On into Ross County, and stay all night at David Kline's.
SATURDAY, November 2. Cross Deer Creek and push on across the Scioto river at Boggs's Mills, and get to Sampson Zimmerman's, in Hocking County, where we stay all night.
SUNDAY, November 3. On through Logan on the Hocking river; then down the same river to Warren's tavern, near Athens, in Athens County, where we stay all night. The Hocking Valley is a fine, rich country, and I feel to encourage some of our younger people to come here and get good cheap homes. In this way they might establish the church here, and thus prepare the way of the Lord as John did in the wilderness of Judea. What an opening there is here for good, industrious people!
MONDAY, November 4. Down the Hocking river to where the road takes off towards Parkersburg in Virginia, near which place we cross the Ohio river in a horse boat, and stay all night at Henry Dill's entertainment, in Wood County, Virginia.
TUESDAY, November 5. To-day we travel thirty-nine and one-half miles on the Parkersburg turnpike, and stay all night at Isaac Martain's, in Ritchie County, Virginia.
WEDNESDAY, November 6. Keep the turnpike all day. Dine and feed our horses at Neeley's tavern, and stay all night at Clinch's, three miles west of Clarksburg, in Harrison County.
THURSDAY, November 7. Through Clarksburg, Prunty Town, Evansville and on to J. Stone's tavern, in Preston County, where we stay all night.
FRIDAY, November 8. Cross Laurel mountain, Cheat river, and on to top of Cheat mountain, where we dine and feed at Stemple's tavern near West Union; then to North Branch to Hays's where we stay all night. Fine day.
SATURDAY, November 9. Go to Stingley's, dine and feed; stop awhile with old Sister Parks; then on to Enoch Hyre's, on the South Branch, near Petersburg, Hardy County, Virginia, where we stay all night. Fine weather.
SUNDAY, November 10. I do not like to travel far on this day, but there being no meeting in reach of us, and both eager to get as near home as possible, we leave Sister Hyre's, stop a little with Isaac Shobe's on Mill Creek, dine and feed at Isaac Dasher's, on the South Fork, and stay all night at Jacob Whetzel's, in Brock's Gap, Rockingham County, Virginia. Fine weather continues.
MONDAY, November 11. Home to-day. Find all well, but some sickness in the neighborhood around. On the journey from which I have just returned, I traveled 1,271 miles on horse-back, one beast carrying me safely all of that distance. The roads we traveled were in many places just as nature formed them, the hand of man having done but little more than cut the timber out and remove impassable obstructions. We crossed high and rugged mountains, and forded dangerous streams. But in the West the people are waking up to the importance of improving the public roads. The abundant natural wealth of that country, when properly developed by wise industry, will respond in such lavish abundance that there will be no lack of means to build the best of roads, and in every respect to raise the country generally to that state of beauty by high culture, which ministers to the comfort and usefulness of its people.
The Baltimore & Ohio railroad will soon be completed to Wheeling, and this road, in connection with other roads likely to be built and connect with it, will open a very active traffic between that city and the East. I feel like saying to the Brethren everywhere that now is the time to sow the pure seeds of Gospel Truth in the West. If this be not done, tares will be sure to grow and multiply where the wheat of holy love should abound. Such fields of humanity, so full of life and vigor, will never remain unproductive. Education and civil law may help to control and keep in bounds the flood of moral and intellectual power flowing from them; but if the hand of sanctified religion be not put forth to give it proper direction, they will turn out to be a moral wilderness of sin, filled with all the wild beasts of human passion, "and every hateful bird."
In the time of my absence Eli Spitzer and wife, Polly Hindgardner, and another woman were baptized. This was done September 18. On the twenty-second there was a love feast at the Lost River meetinghouse; and about that time Samuel Toppan and wife, and three other persons, all on Stony Creek, were baptized. Thomas Lampkin and Polly Fridley, and another sister were also baptized in my absence.
MONDAY, December 16. To-day I preach the funeral of old Brother John Wine in the Forest. Text, Rev. 14:13, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them."
I aimed to set forth, in the practical part of my discourse, a few thoughts based on the last part of the verse: "Their works do follow them." Our works are as sure to follow us from this world to the next as they are when we remove from one place to another in this. Let any one come among us, no matter from where, and he brings his character with him. If that is good, good works will follow him. They follow not only in the way of reports we may receive from those among whom he lived before he came among us, but they follow all he does while here. In this consists the blessedness of those who die in the Lord. In heaven the same good works follow them in all they do, only in much greater perfection, that accorded with the good will in their hearts that characterized their lives while here. The lives of good men are so conjoined with the Lord, because from the Lord, that whatever good they do in the way of helping others he accounts it as done to him. Indeed, this blessed following is the ground of proof that they are of his sheep. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Will not that be a glorious and happy following? Is it not something worth sacrificing our life and our all in this world for? And that day will surely come. Just as sure as we live it will come, for the Scripture cannot be broken. This blessed following of good works will be sure to receive on that day the welcome plaudit: "Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
WEDNESDAY, December 25. Christmas day. Meeting in Keagey's schoolhouse. Matthew 2 was read. Brother Daniel Miller spoke beautifully in the German language on the advent of the Lord Jesus. His main subject was the love of the Father, the good will toward men that gave the only begotten Son to redeem and save them.
He said: "The day is unimportant. We may have Christ's birthday correct, or we may not. I am not historian enough to speak positively on this point. But one thing there is upon which I can speak positively; and all the enemies of Jesus are unable to wrest the conviction of that truth from my heart; and that thing is this, that 'God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.' It has pleased our heavenly Father to tell us about our Savior's birth; how lowly it was, in a stable; and that he was laid in a manger, which means a kind of box from which horses take their food; and that a star in the east, sometimes called the Star of Bethlehem, guided the wise men who came from the east to see the infant, Jesus, to the place where he lay. Those good men hardly knew that this beautiful star was but an emblem of the leadings of God's revealed Truth. But it is so; for all the light of prophecy centered in that star which showed the time and place of the birth of the Son of God. Some seem to think the star was only a natural light, such as natural eyes could see, but I do not think so. I rather think it was a heavenly light, and that it could be seen only by such as loved the hope of our Lord's coming and were ready to rejoice at his birth.
"We have the brighter light of his more clearly revealed Word, by which we are enabled to find, not an infant Savior, but a Savior grown up to perfect manhood made perfect through sufferings ending in his death upon the cross. We find him as the risen and glorified Lord with power to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by him. His heavenly truth is to us now and to all who are willing to open their eyes and see, as the Sun of Righteousness; 'for we are not of the night, nor of darkness, but we are all the children of light, and the children of the day.' Paul here means such as are true Christians. I love to preach the Gospel; but I love still more to see men and women open their eyes to the light of its truth, and their hearts to the warmth of its love. In this way they are led to seek the Lord; and the promise is: 'Every one that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.'
"One more thing I must notice. These wise men brought gifts to the infant Jesus. I suppose these were the first Christmas gifts ever made; and the custom of making presents at this time has probably been kept up ever since. If presents are made on this day with an eye to the gift of God's love, they will be acceptable in his eye; but if made lightly, simply to comply with custom or fashion, they have no promise."
I must yet add this from the brother's beautiful discourse. He said: "The greatest of all the Christmas gifts that man ever has received, or that even God himself can bestow, was made on that first Christmas day. Some of you may not think as I do about it, but on that day God gave to the world his own and only beloved Son, and to my eyes, and I hope to the eyes of many of you, he is the fairest of all the fair, and the one altogether lovely. I lay all the gold, and the frankincense, and the myrrh of my heart's best affections as thank offerings at his feet on this Christmas day. Brethren, God has made his most costly gift to us in the person of his Son; should we not be willing to reciprocate this gift with the most precious gift we are able to offer? And what is the most precious thing in his sight that we can give? It is our love in return for his love to us. If we do make this return in fullness, we place ourselves in a state of highest blessedness, described by John in few words: 'We love him, because he first loved us.' This is a heavenly state, and it must be the basis of all the bliss of saints and angels."
I wish I had time to give more than this mere outline of the brother's excellent discourse in the German language, but I must leave off. We have night meeting at Koontz's, where Brother Daniel Miller and I stay all night.
TUESDAY, December 31. I have traveled since last New Year's day, nearly all on horseback, 3,827 miles. The year's work is done. The record on high is made. Does it stand favorably in my behalf for the life to come, or have I received my reward here? I can only pray my Father in heaven to forgive the wrong and bless the right. This is my evening prayer at all times, but especially do I offer it now at the closing hour of the year.
SATURDAY, January 4. Go to Isaac Myer's on Stony Creek, and stay at Louis Naselrodt's all night.
SUNDAY, January 5. Meeting in the Sulphur Spring schoolhouse. Acts 3 is read. Stay at Brother William Andes's all night.
MONDAY, January 6. Return home. Snows all day.
THURSDAY, January 23. Solemnize the marriage of David Hoover, near Plain's Mill, and Mary Zigler, of Timberville.
SUNDAY, January 26. Attend the funeral of Mrs. Kootz, mother of our State Senator, Samuel Kootz. Her age was seventy-three years, five months and twenty-eight days.
WEDNESDAY, February 12. Attend the funeral of old mother Shultz. Her age was seventy-five years. I speak from Isaiah 3:10, 11. Text: "Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with them: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with them: for the reward of their hands shall be given them."
I regard these words of the prophet as being true, not only as applying to the world to come, but as applying with equal power to the life of man in this world. A life of honesty, integrity, righteousness, in all we do, is not only policy or wisdom in respect to the world to come, but it is the best policy or highest wisdom in all the affairs of this life. It secures the best results because it makes use of the best means to promote our own happiness here, and the happiness of all within the sphere of our influence. Says the Psalmist: "The leaf of the righteous shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. He shall flourish like the palm tree." We are told that the palm tree, to which the righteous are here compared, is not only a very beautiful tree, but a very useful tree. It casts a very delightful shade in the hot climates where it grows; from the abundance of its sap it affords water to the thirsty; and its excellent fruit supplies food to the hungry.
Whilst godliness, as Paul says, "is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and also of that which is to come;" still, the life to come is what should chiefly concern us here. Our time in this world is so short, so brief, that it makes but little difference whether we are poor or rich, whether we weep or rejoice, whether we be sick or well, provided we have a clear title to a heavenly home, a clear title to an "inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away." We may just as certainly get a true title to this heavenly possession by a proper course of life here as we can to a farm or any other property we may buy and pay for. The difference, however, between the title to earthly possessions and that to a heavenly estate is that the first is visible to our natural eyes, and the last is not. How justly the old adage, that "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," applies to the views and decisions of great numbers of people! They talk of not risking a certainty for an uncertainty,—the very thing they are doing. Such make no preparation for death and eternity which are certainties; but all for life in this world, which is an uncertainty.
But to be faithful to my calling, friends, I must repeat the last part of my text, if nothing more. Hear it, take the warning of its terrific words, for it is God's warning and not mine. Here it is: "Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with them, for the reward of their hands shall be given them." These words should strike terror into the hearts of the ungodly. The word reward means recompense, and recompense means payment for work done or services performed. But, according to all just laws, the one in whose service we labor is the one to whom we have a just right to look for our pay. Now I ask you to tell me whom you serve. Can you say in your heart, "I am serving the Lord"? If not the Lord, whom do you serve? Satan, the Devil, the old Serpent, the world and the flesh. These are what you serve, and these are the one—for all together make but one—to whom you are to look for your reward. And let me tell you from love in my heart for your soul, that your life in the service of the devil is a life of sin, and the reward or wages of sin is death; not extinction, but a state of deadness to all blessedness and happiness forever. But you say, "I cannot bear such a thought." Neither can I. Come then with us, as the prophet says, and we will do you good. Turn from sin and seek the Lord. Serve him, and your reward will be glory, honor, immortality and eternal life.
FRIDAY, February 28. Father Wampler died at eleven o'clock to-day.
SUNDAY, March 2. Father Wampler was buried to-day. His age was seventy-six years, five months and seventeen days. He was the father of Anna Kline, my beloved wife, and of Samuel Wampler, one of our ministers. He was the grandfather of a very numerous line of grandchildren, among whom are many excellent members of the Brethren church.
SATURDAY, March 8. Samuel Wampler and I go to Page County. We have night meeting at Isaac Spitler's. I speak from John 1:16. Text: "And of his fulness have all we received."
The Apostle John made his record of the Gospel sometime after the other evangelists had written theirs. This fact accounts for the many things given by John which are omitted by the others. He wrote it long after the day of Pentecost, and after he had seen the church established in Judea, and in the regions of Asia under the ministries of Paul, and Silas, and Barnabas, and Peter, and others. He saw a tendency in the churches even in his day to depart from God's ordinances; and led by the Divine Spirit he felt it his duty to set these forth in their simplicity and plainness, as he had seen them instituted and exemplified in his own personal presence by the Lord himself.
I think it is clear that the corruption in the Corinthian church had broken out before John wrote. Paul tried to check this disorder by a letter, and instruct them in that way as far as he could at the time; but at the close he adds: "The rest will I set in order when I come." I am free to express the belief here, that Paul wanted to see John and learn from him all about feet-washing and the Lord's Supper. Up to this time Paul had not taught the Corinthian brethren anything about these ordinances. He had only taught them baptism and the Communion, as he had received them from the Lord by reading the accounts given of them in the records made by the other evangelists. Hence John finds it necessary to give a particular account of the institution of feet-washing and the Lord's Supper, from beginning to end, with the same exact care that characterizes everything else which he has written. John can well record the words of my text: "And of his fulness have all we received." Jesus has left nothing incomplete. There is fullness and completeness in his life and examples, in his doctrines and practices, and in his objects and their accomplishment.
Near the close of Paul's life he wrote a kind of love letter to his son Timothy, as he calls him, in which he says: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God," meaning the church, "may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." There is no place for a doubt in my mind that Paul wrote this letter to Timothy after John had made his gospel record. He therefore includes the Gospel recorded by John in his comprehensive expression that "all scripture is given by divine inspiration." In this view of the case, Paul could well insert the words, "and is profitable for CORRECTION, for INSTRUCTION in righteousness," because he himself had been corrected and instructed by it.
And now, brethren and sisters, and as many as hear me to-day, let us go to the fullness of his love as it is tied up in his Word. Let us open these bundles of grace with penitent hearts and tearful eyes, and the peace of pardon, like the odor of the ointment from Mary's broken box, will flow over our souls. Then with joyful heart each one may say: "Of his fulness have all we received." But we constantly need fresh supplies. We naturally run dry. The anaconda, it is said, can live three months on one meal. But he can do this only in a state of absolute inactivity. God does not expect us to live in a state of constant inactivity as this serpent does; he expects us to work for him, and the workingman has need of daily food and drink. Let us so live that we may all joyfully approach some one of the pearly portals of the Golden City, and receive the angel keeper's welcome there: "Of his fulness hast thou received: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
SUNDAY, March 9. Meeting at Lionberger's schoolhouse. Romans 10 is read. Dine at Lionberger's, and come to Abraham Rothgeb's (Rodecap's) on Mill Run, where we have night meeting, and stay all night. I speak from the latter part of Acts 3. Subject, "The Great Prophet."
SATURDAY, March 15. This day I mail a letter to Henry Kurtz; one to Daniel Arnold; one to Jacob Basehore, and one to Philip Wampler.
TUESDAY, April 1. Council meeting in the Garber's meetinghouse. Two of Brother Daniel Miller's sons, viz, Joseph and Jacob, are elected to the deaconship.
SATURDAY, April 5. Council meeting at our meetinghouse. Brother Abraham Knopp is elected speaker, and two sons of Brother Samuel Wine in the Brush, viz, Christian and Samuel, are elected to the deaconship.
TUESDAY, April 8. Council meeting at the Flat Rock. Isaac Myers is elected speaker; and John Neff, Jacob Wine, and John Hindgartner are elected to the deaconship. Daniel Miller and I go to the widow Wilkins's and stay all night.
WEDNESDAY, April 9. We attend council meeting in Shaffer's meetinghouse to-day. John Copp and Thomas Baker are elected to the deaconship. We stay all night with Brother George Shaffer in Shenandoah County, Virginia.
TUESDAY, April 29. Prepare for love feast at our meetinghouse. Brother Henry Kurtz and Brother Shively come to my house to-day and are with us to-night. To say the least, it is exceedingly pleasant to have such company. We heard some good speaking done by them at our love feast this evening and night.
SATURDAY, May 3. Start, in company with brethren Kurtz and Shively, for Botetourt County, Virginia. Get as far as Brother Jacob Humbert's in Augusta County, where we stay all night.
SUNDAY, May 4. Love feast at the Brick meetinghouse to-day.
MONDAY, May 5. Dine at Brother Coffman's and stay all night at Brother Jacob Forrer's.
TUESDAY, May 6. Through Greenville, and on to Layman's tavern, in Fairfield, for dinner. Stop a little in Lexington, then on to Siler's tavern, where we stay all night.
WEDNESDAY, May 7. Get breakfast and feed our horses at Luster's tavern at the Natural Bridge. This is one of nature's wonderful curiosities. But it does not strike me with that degree of astonishment which many seem to feel on a first sight of it. I am so familiar with God's sublime works among the mountains of Virginia and those of other states that the view does not impress me with that sense of sublimity and awful grandeur that one might expect from reading the descriptions given of it. The Natural Bridge appears to me to be nothing more than the remains of a cave, nearly all of the roof of which has long since fallen in and been washed away. There are many natural bridges in Virginia and Kentucky, but they are mostly underground. From the Bridge we go on to Brother Peter Ninsinger's, where we stay all night.
THURSDAY, May 8. Get to Brother Benjamin Moomaw's for dinner. Brother Moomaw gives promise of great usefulness. We then go to Brother Barnhardt's, where we stay all night.
FRIDAY, May 9. The Yearly Meeting opens to-day. Many Brethren are present. We stay all night at Brother Haut's.
SATURDAY, May 10. Back to meeting at Brother Barnhardt's. Council continues till noon to-day, then public meeting begins. We have a love feast out in the orchard this evening and night. I stay all night at Brother Eller's.
SUNDAY, May 11. Meeting to-day. John 7 is read. Brother Henry Kurtz spoke from the eighteenth verse. Text: "He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him." The brother spoke in substance what I here give in small space. He said:
"These are the words of Jesus Christ, who knew what was in man. It becomes every minister who preaches the Word, to examine himself prayerfully, in the light of Holy Truth, to know certainly what impels him to the work. If, by such examination, he becomes assured that the love of Christ and for Christ lures him on, and that the salvation of souls and the consequent glory of the Lord is the beginning and the end of his motives, he can go on with heart and tongue, under the Lord's banner, defying the very gates of hell. But if the love of self and the love of the world enter as the chief elements of his power and will in the work, it would be better for him, better for the cause, and less dishonorable to the Lord if he would stop off short. I will here repeat the text. You may now be better prepared to perceive the warmth of its power and the light of its truth. 'He that speaketh of himself'—or as the Greek more nearly and fully puts it, FROM himself, from love to himself the meaning is—'seeketh his own glory.' This is self-evidently true, for such a one can have the glory of no one else to seek. Self, the love of self, fills his eye and heart. And, like the Pharisee, verily, he has his reward.
"But, my beloved Brethren, especially you who have been set to the work of the ministry, I can say from my heart that I have but little apprehension that you are led on in your work by any other than a right motive. I do believe, from all that I know of you personally, as well as by reputation, that each one of you, with perhaps a somewhat varied perception of their exalted meaning and power, can adopt Paul's words: 'The love of Christ constrains me.' 'Woe unto me if I preach not the Gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation.'
"There is one feature particularly in the order of our ministry that I have always advocated, and expect by the grace of God to advocate to the last, and that is an unsalaried ministry. The world will say to me right here: 'You are working against your own interest. You are destroying the race that would bring water to your mill. You are breaking the wagon that would carry grain to your storehouse.' In answer to this I have to say that God never meant for the Gospel to be used as a means for getting water to the preacher's mill, or grain into his garner. When the Gospel is converted into merchandise, the preacher becomes a merchant, and like all other merchants it becomes his interest to handle his goods in a way that will please his customers, and put them in such shape and procure for them such kinds, whether good, bad, or indifferent, as will suit their fancies and please their tastes. 'The love of money is a root of all evil,' no less in the ministry than anywhere else.
"'But he that seeketh the glory of him that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.' How wonderfully did our Lord fulfill his mission! Even on the banks of the Jordan, when John had already expressed his unworthiness to untie the latchet of his shoe, still more so to baptize him, he said: 'Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.' And the Father answered, and the Holy Spirit bare witness. 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.' Brethren, our Lord's maxim, expressed in these words, 'I came not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me,' should be the watchword with every one of us. And if the truth leads us through the waters of the Jordan, or into the fire of persecution, let us still deny ourselves, bear the cross, and say: 'Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness;' and we, in heart, in a conscience void of offense toward God, will be sure to receive the heavenly recognition: 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'
"But it is not to be inferred from anything I may have said that a minister should not have a decent regard for the manner and the style of language in which he proclaims the Gospel of Christ. The most faithful and skilled workmen in any craft are, as a rule, the most careful in regard to the quality and fitness of the tools they employ, as well as about the manner in which they handle them. Paul instructs Timothy to 'study to show himself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.' When a man seeks the honor, the wealth and general interest and success of his employer he gives proof of his honesty in the service, and also of love in his heart for him. These two principles underlie all right work for the Lord,—honesty and love; childlike simplicity and sincerity. Brethren, let us not aspire to the high things of the world, but to the meekness and gentleness of Christ."
I wish many more could have heard the brother's edifying discourse.
After the forenoon meeting was dismissed, brethren Henry Kurtz, Shively, Christian Kline and myself start homeward, and come to Brother Daniel Kinsey's, where we stay all night.
MONDAY, May 12. We all get to Siler's tavern, where we stay all night.
TUESDAY, May 13. We pass through Lexington, Fairfield, Greenville, and on to Jacob Forrer's, where we all stay over night. We have fine weather.
WEDNESDAY, May 14. We all come to Brother Abraham Garber's, and after dinner go to meeting at the meetinghouse. Hebrews 12 is read. Stay all night at Brother John Myers's.
THURSDAY, May 15. All go to Brother Frederic Kline's, near Dayton, Virginia, for dinner. Call at Brother Daniel Garber's, and in evening get back to my house.
FRIDAY, May 16. In afternoon we have meeting in Brother Samuel Kline's dwelling house. Brother Shively speaks from John 4:14, 15. Text: "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw."
I here give, as nearly as I can, a brief outline of Brother Shively's interesting discourse. He spoke of water: its purity, its beauty, its utility, its abundance.
"Water," said he, "when it is free from all extraneous substances, is the purest thing in the world. The curse that fell upon the ground, whereby it would no longer yield its spontaneous increase to support and comfort man, doomed it to bring forth thorns and thistles instead. 'In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread.' 'Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.' These fearful words are still true of the ground to-day. Wherever man inhabits the earth, labor, sweat and constant attention are the price which has to be paid for comfortable subsistence in this world. But water is not included in all this. It really is not a constituent of the ground. It may be in the ground, but it is not of it; and its tendency is to leave the ground as quickly as possible, under favoring conditions, as though it felt that ground is not its place. The ground gives rise to poisonous vapors which produce disease; but pure water never does. The only impurities that ever enter water come from the ground as their original source.
"It is probable that on this account our Lord used water to represent the divine truth of his Word. Let us turn to the testimony we may gather on this subject. First to my text, 'He that drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.' I believe that this means the truth of his Word. What else could it mean? Now again: 'Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.' Filled with what? I believe that such will be filled with the love of God and man, through a knowledge of the truth, to such a degree that they will seek to live righteous lives. 'He that DOETH truth is righteous.' 1 John 3:7.
"Again: Our Lord says: 'If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.' And what is the drink the Lord will give? Not elementary water, I am sure; but if you will allow the expression, I will call it spiritual water. Let us return to the text again. If you will trace the chapter throughout, you will see how gently and tenderly the Lord approached the dark mind of this woman. He told her of things in her life that no stranger would be likely to know. In this way he gained her confidence. She said: 'I perceive thou art a prophet.' This was one point gained. Next he told her that 'ye' (including the class of Samaritans to whom she belonged) 'worship ye know not what. We know what we worship.' This was another step with the cup of living water in his hand to apply to her lips. His next step was to tell her that God is a Spirit, and that all true worship must be from the heart, 'in spirit and in truth,' and that the Father seeketh such to worship him. I do suppose this is the first time she ever heard God called Father. It was new to her, so new that she confessed her belief in a coming Messias, who would be able to tell her all things; but that he would come in the spirit and love of a kind Father exceeded all her hopes.
"And say, Brethren, did not this poor woman take the cup from the Lord's hand and drink of the Water of Life? I think she did, for she turned missionary right away, and if you will read the thirty-ninth verse you will see something of her success, for 'many of the Samaritans ... believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.'
"I will now quote one more text to show that this living water, or life-giving water, also represents the Holy Ghost in his enlightening power and love. 'He that believeth on me as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the spirit, which they that believe on him should receive.' Here, it does seem to me, the believer in Christ is compared to a spring of pure water. What makes a spring flow, and keep on flowing even in dry weather? It must be that deep down in the veins of the rocks, away out of sight, it is being constantly fed by an influx of pure water. What a lesson we have here! Brethren, the Spirit, or what is the same thing again, the truth of God's holy Word, must not lie dormant in us. We must, as the passage quoted puts it, we must give out rivers of living water. These rivers flow out of our hearts into everything of our lives in a way to make others know that we are full of the water of life.
"I very lately read about the Dead Sea. And how did it get its name? I will tell you. It got the name 'Dead Sea' from its resemblance to a human being who is constantly taking in God's gifts, and giving nothing out in any visible way. If you will look at a map of Palestine you will there see that the river Jordan is constantly pouring its flood of fresh water into this sea; but with all this influx of fresh water this sea is so full of all manner of impurities that even fish cannot live in it, and no waterfowls, I am told, are ever seen on its shores. Truly it deserves to be called 'Dead Sea.' It has no outlet; no refreshing stream ever flows from its bosom.
"But, Brethren, if we are truly alive in the Lord we will be like the garden of Eden that sent out a river to water the garden, whence it was parted and became four heads, and each head was a river. Does not all this throw some light on what our Lord meant in what he said to the woman, 'It shalt be in him a well of water, springing up into everlasting life;' and this: 'Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water?' There is nothing like a dead sea here. All, all is life from the Lord. But water is beautiful. Who does not admire a clear, flowing spring or river! In this respect water is an emblem of the Lord's Word. Can any one read the Scriptures, and not be struck with their beauty? Take, for an example, the story of creation. Even children see its beauty and love it. Take the last two chapters of Revelation. Who can read them without perceiving in them a beauty that is all divine? The Bible opens in beauty and closes in beauty.
"And now, dear Brethren, whilst my subject has only been touched a little, I will close by briefly directing your minds and hearts to the river that John saw in vision, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. I believe this river to be a symbol of God's love and truth. It proceeded from the throne of God. Now, 'heaven is his throne, and the earth is his footstool.'
"You know the Lord said to the Pharisees: 'The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?' They would not answer. But we can answer. It was from heaven. It was performed in the beauty and clearness of the truth that the Lord Jesus brought from heaven. It proceeded from the throne of God. What a high origin our baptism has! It is from heaven. And the immersion of our bodies three times in water symbolizes, in a way more impressive than anything else ever could, that we have implicit faith in the love, wisdom and power of the divine Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. There is a trinity in every good thing we do. There must be the love to prompt or make the start, the wisdom to direct this love intelligently, and the power to execute what is in the will and understanding to be done. Our trine immersion of the body in water, the beautiful emblem of truth, shows our acceptance of it internally and externally, in life, in death, in heaven.
"One more thought, and I will close. Once within the city, we shall thirst no more: 'For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall lead us to fountains of living water.' All darkness will be removed. What is obscure here will be light there. For now we know in part. There we shall know even as we are known. Amen!"
SATURDAY, May 17. Brethren Kurtz and Shively go to Lost River. Dine at James Fitzwater's, and stay all night at Celestine Whitmore's.
SUNDAY, May 18. Meeting at the Lost River meetinghouse. Matthew 7 is read. The brethren both take part in the speaking to-day. Dine at Jacob Motz's, then take leave of the dear brethren, Kurtz and Shively, and come home. Those two brethren and I were together three weeks, lacking only two days. The pleasant conversations we had, the unity of our faith, and the oneness of our aims in life have wrought in us an attachment for each other that made separation painful. But we parted not without hope of meeting again.
FRIDAY, July 25. Harvest meeting at our meetinghouse to-day. Luke 16 was read. The singing of devotional hymns, the offering of thanksgiving prayers, with instructions as to the way in which the worldly gifts of our heavenly Father to us may be most wisely used, occupied the time we spent together.
How best to help the poor has been a matter of much thought with me. If we give to such as are able to work and support themselves, but do not, we rather encourage them in their habits of idleness. If we do not give to them, they complain that we care but little for them, and do not feel toward them as we should. I think the best way to help such is to encourage them to honest labor by aiding them to procure situations in which they can support themselves. If they then fail to provide for their families, I think they should be visited by a committee and instructed in regard to what Paul says: "He that provideth not for his own, especially those of his own house, hath denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever." Paul never aimed this stroke of condemnation at any who are not able to provide for themselves. I am glad to think that we have but very few poor members who are not able to help themselves. These are the ones of whom the Lord said: "The poor ye have always with you, and whenever ye will ye may do them good." In respect to such he also said: "It is more blessed to give than to receive."
SUNDAY, August 3. Meeting in our meetinghouse. First Peter 3 is read. Daniel Glick, Hildebrandt, Sister Trump, Mary and Susanna Miller were baptized to-day.
SUNDAY, September 7. Meeting at Motz's. John 3 is read. Nimrod Judy and wife, Susan Randall, Mrs. Shireman, the widow Toppan and Mrs. Ridenour were baptized by me to-day. We have a love feast this evening.
MONDAY, September 8. Return home. In my absence, on the thirtieth day of August, the following named persons were baptized in the Linville's Creek near my house: John Wine and wife, Elizabeth Glick, Mrs. Funk, Mrs. Rodecap, Mrs. Miller, and a young Sister Niswander.
FRIDAY, September 12. Attend our two days' council meeting above Harrisonburg. Stop on my way there, and assist in anointing Brother Daniel Garber with oil in the name of the Lord.
FRIDAY, September 26. Start to Albemarle County, Virginia. Benjamin Bowman is with me. Stay all night at John Leedy's.
SATURDAY, September 27. Cross the Shenandoah river in a horse boat; dine and feed at Sipe's; cross the Blue Ridge mountain and on to Nesterville. Stay all night at Henry Coverston's.
SUNDAY, September 28. We have meeting in the Methodist church. The latter part of Luke 24 is read. Henry Coverston and wife were baptized by Benjamin Bowman. I think this is the first administration of the ordinance of baptism ever performed by the Brethren on the east side of the Blue Ridge in Virginia.
MONDAY, September 29. Get home after a ride on horseback to-day of forty-three miles. We got dinner and fed our horses at Donovan's.
SATURDAY, October 11. Meeting and love feast at the Flat Rock. Luke 13 is read. Benjamin Bowman baptized John Rorabaugh and wife.
THURSDAY, October 16. Daniel Miller and Daniel Yount, in company with myself, start to Hampshire County, Virginia. We get to Jacob Warnstaff's, in Pendleton County, Virginia, where we stay all night.
FRIDAY, October 17. We have meeting at Bethel church. Matthew 11 is read. Cross the South Fork mountain and stay all night at Chlora Judy's. I am not surprised that these people are fond of hunting. Several deer crossed our path in front of us to-day.
SATURDAY, October 18. Meeting at Chlora Judy's. Romans 6 is read. Magdalena Rorabaugh is baptized. Brother Daniel Miller spoke in the German on the twelfth verse of the chapter read; and I interpreted to such as could not well understand German, following him. Text: "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body."
He said: "Man, as he first came from the hand of his Creator, was not a sinner. He was included in the creation which God had just finished, and upon which he looked down and said that it was 'good, yea, very good.' With this agree the words of Solomon, greatly gifted in wisdom. After going over and investigating the whole human family, as far as his knowledge and wisdom enabled him to go, he returned to his own reflections and expressed the sad conclusion of his mind in these words: 'Lo, this only have I found, that God made man upright: but they have sought out many inventions.' The Word of God from beginning to end shows us that man is no longer upright. The inventions which Solomon speaks of are inventions of evil. They are not good inventions. In the opening chapters of the Bible we learn how man fell from the high and holy state in which he was created. It is there declared that 'God made man in his own image, in the image of God made he him.'
"The Apostle John says that 'God is light.' By this I understand him to mean that God is infinitely wise, knowing all truth. The same apostle says that 'God is love.' By this I understand that the Lord God has a will for good to every creature that he has made. That he has no other feeling than that of love for the human race and for every individual of the human family. Now, it was in the image and likeness of God that man was made at his first creation. Is it not plain from this, then, that he must have been wise in regard to the things of his understanding, and filled with love in his heart for all that is truly good? In this state he could love the Lord his God with all his heart, and with all his strength, and love his neighbor as he loved himself. But what does the Bible, and what does the history of the world tell us about man ever since he fell from this heavenly state in which he was first created? The Bible declares that the 'heart of man is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.' The Lord said to the Pharisees, a class of people who even claimed to be religious: 'Ye are of your father the devil; and the works of your father ye do.' From the Bible we turn to the history of man's career through all the ages down to the present time, and we find its lines all written in characters of blood. Revenge, murder, cruelty, deceit, malice and ill-will of one toward another are manifest on almost every page of history.
"But in the very face of all this evil God still loved the world; and he so loved it that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life. And I declare him to you to-day as my Savior and your Savior; able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God through him. And what does he save us from? He saves us from hell. And what is hell? I say to you that it is the place where the devil, and all his angels and evil spirits of men live after they leave this world. It is the fire prepared for the devil and his angels. It is the everlasting fire into which the accursed depart. It is the place from which the rich man lifted up his eyes, tormented, as he himself confessed, sorely tormented in this flame. But, dear friends, God does not will that any of us should go to hell; for he says: 'As I live, I have no pleasure in the death of a sinner, but would that all should turn and live.'
"And he tells us how we are to turn and live. He says to all: 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Repent, that your sins may be blotted out. And what is it to repent? It is to turn away the heart from the love of sin. It is to die unto sin and live unto God. The meaning of my text is not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies to fulfill the lusts thereof. And what does true repentance lead to? It leads to a life of obedience to all the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ. 'Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name,' that means in obedience to the command 'of Jesus Christ, ... and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.' This takes in all. It may be that some who hear me to-day are very far off. Still, friend, the promise is to you. And more: I am sure you are hearing the Gospel to-day, so God is calling you now, and the promise is to as many as the Lord our God shall call, and this means every one who hears the Gospel sound.
"When I was young I was afraid I had sinned against the Holy Ghost. But I found some precious words from the lips of our blessed Lord himself that took away all my fear and gave me a hope which has never, up to this time, left my heart. You begin to wonder what precious words these were. I will tell you where they are and you can find them yourself. John's Gospel, sixth chapter, and the thirty-seventh verse is where they are, and these are the words: 'And whosoever cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.' The word whosoever takes in every one, without exception. I tell you joyfully, it took me in, and it has kept me in, and by the grace of God it will keep me in forever.
"As I have told you some things the Bible says about death and hell, I must tell you a few things it says about life and heaven. Jesus says: 'I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead' (as to his body), 'yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.' O, can this be true? Yes, it is true, because Jesus never said what is not true. He is life and truth, and when we have him in our hearts we have the witness in ourselves that what he says is true. We then 'know of the doctrine that it is of God.' Our bodies will all die, but the real man is more than the natural body. Paul tells us about a spiritual body that will never see death. This is what Jesus says 'shall never die.' This is the body that will rise and live forever.
"Our Lord said to his disciples: 'I go to prepare a place for you.' The place which the Lord prepares is heaven. In his prayer he said: 'Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory.' Where is the Lord's glory, and where is he in his glory? We read that he ascended to heaven. He is in heaven, the heaven of glory and bliss to which he ascended. He is there preparing a place for you and for me, if we live faithful to him by our obedience to his commands. Let us be faithful to him, that we may be accounted worthy to enter in through the gates into the city."
After dinner we all go to Isaac Shobe's, where we have night meeting and stay all night.
SUNDAY, October 19. We have meeting at Brother Jacob High's. Acts 3 is read. Also night meeting at Parks's where we stay.
MONDAY, October 20. Meeting at Solomon Michael's, where we stay all night.
TUESDAY, October 21. Meeting at Joseph Arnold's, on Patterson's Creek, in Hampshire County, Virginia. I spoke to-day on 2 Timothy 1:13. Text: "Hold fast the form of sound words."
This passage of Scripture is a part of the fatherly instruction Paul gave his spiritual son Timothy. God's works and man's works in the conversion and regeneration of man are so blended, so connected and identified one with the other that Paul sometimes speaks of doing what none but God himself can do. Thus to the Corinthians he said: "For I have begotten you through the gospel." And to Philemon he said: "I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds." These passages show how clearly the true child of God stands connected with the Holy Spirit, in his blessed work of regenerating man and qualifying him for heaven. The conjunction of effort may be compared with what we see and know to exist in husband and wife. When the twain are really one flesh, one heart, one mind, what is done by the one is regarded as done by the other. It must be in a sense somewhat like this that Paul calls Timothy his son. The aged John also says: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." He here means spiritual children. He calls them his children from the love he has for them, and the fatherly care he has over them, and the fatherly instruction he gives them. They are near to him, as children are to their own parents, and when he sees or hears that they receive the truth and walk in it, it gives him joy.
When Paul addressed the words of my text to Timothy, most of the New Testament had been written. It is to the New Testament Scriptures that he calls Timothy's special attention, where he says: "It is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." Here, in these Scriptures, is to be found the FORM of sound words which Timothy is admonished to hold fast. This instruction harmonizes with what was said to the angel of the church in Thyatira: "But that which ye have, hold fast till I come." And in the last of the book of Revelation there are awful warnings given against adding to or taking from what God has spoken. The temptation to skip over, misquote, and misinterpret the Scriptures must be very great, as it is to these three sources that nearly or quite all the denominational differences among professing Christians can be traced.
Brethren, it becomes us to be very careful here, "lest Satan should get an advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices." I believe a departure from the form of sound words mainly accounts for the many errors in doctrine and practice which exist among professing Christians to-day. A departure from the form of our Lord's great commission has not only perverted the ordinance of baptism by applying it to infants; but it has destroyed the ordinance itself by setting aside trine immersion, which it so plainly teaches.
And what shall we say of the ordinance of feet-washing! When a parent or teacher wishes to impart to his child or pupil a clear understanding of some duty or obligation, he usually feels relieved of all further responsibility when he has given the necessary instruction to his child or pupil in words which he knows can be understood. But in the institution of the ordinance of feet-washing our Lord did not depend upon oral instruction to impart a clear knowledge of his will; but he went through the performance himself, and at the close he said: "I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." Are not these sound words? What are sound words, and what is their form? I answer that sound words are words which have no doubtful meaning; and the form of sound words is such a use of them as clearly expresses and conveys to the mind of the reader or hearer just what the writer or speaker wants him to know. But do the so-called churches hold fast these words? No, they do not. They let them go as things out of date, or unnecessary at the present advanced stage of enlightened thought. But "if the light that is in them be darkness, how great is that darkness!"
I can say of the Lord's Supper, which Jude calls a feast of charity, or love feast, which is the same, and which the Lord instituted in connection with feet-washing, just what I have said of this ordinance. It is let go. These, with many other omissions and errors, have crept into the so-called Christian faith and practice, by letting go the form of sound words. Still more. The injunctions to nonconformity to the world in dress and other things are all let go instead of being held fast, and loose reins are given to all manner of worldly forms and fashions. Professing Christians even defraud one another through covetousness, which is idolatry, going to law one with another. They also do not hesitate to bear arms in war, which is the greatest of all earthly evils.
Brethren and friends, I do not speak in this way from any feeling of ill-will toward any, but from the depth of love in my heart; for there is no joy that could be compared with the joy that I would feel could I see the whole Christian world bowing, meekly bowing under the weight and power of God's revealed Truth. Our way, Brethren, is to hold fast "the form of sound words." As we expect to have a love feast here on to-morrow evening, let each one examine himself to see whether in his faith or in his works he may have departed from the form of sound words of warning, of encouragement, of instruction, of exhortation, of doctrine. And it most assuredly becomes us to inquire whether we have done our duty in the way of searching the Scriptures, giving ourselves to reading, to meditation, to prayer. We are too apt to seek for what pleases the taste of the natural mind, to the neglect of what is necessary to refresh the spiritual mind and keep that healthy and strong.
As there was but one rock in the wilderness from which all the tribes of Israel were supplied with natural water, so to us, God's spiritual Israel, there is but one Rock from which flows to us the water of life, and that Rock is Christ Jesus in his Word. On this Rock the church is founded, and I rejoice to know that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
WEDNESDAY, October 22. Love feast to-day. Matthew 23 is read.
THURSDAY, October 23. Meeting. Matthew 13 is read. Brother Daniel Miller goes to the Greenland Gap. I stay all night at old Brother Arnold's.
FRIDAY, October 24. I and Daniel Yount start for home. We dine at Sister High's, and stay all night at Vanmeter's.
SATURDAY, October 25. Dine at Elijah Judy's, and stay all night at Isaac Dasher's on the South Fork, Hardy County.
SUNDAY, October 26. Meeting at Rorabaugh's. John 10 is read. I baptized Lydia Shireman. Stay all night at Rorabaugh's.
MONDAY, October 27. Preach funeral of Joseph Reel's daughter. Age, seven years and nine months. Stay all night at James Fitzwater's in the Gap.
TUESDAY, October 28. Reached home.
SATURDAY, November 8. Brother Benjamin Moomaw and family, from Roanoke County, come to my house this evening.
SUNDAY, November 9. Brother George Kline's little Daniel died to-night. I was with him when he died. Just three years and four days old. How deep the grief with which this kind family is stricken! On Tuesday, October 21, while I was in Hampshire County, Virginia, Anna, aged seven years, two months and nineteen days, was laid in the cold grave. On the thirty-first, only nine days later, little Mary passed away, aged four years, seven months and eleven days. And now, only nine days later still, another, little Daniel, passes away. All three bright, promising, happy children. We can only lift up our voices and weep. The only light that breaks in upon the darkness of this providence comes from heaven. There is light beyond the cloud that now hangs so darkly and heavily in the sky above our heads. God is our refuge. His promise is: "When thou passest through the deep waters, I will be with thee." Thou wilt not leave nor forsake us now. The little lambs have been gathered into his arms. He took them into his arms and blessed them here; how much more can he bless them there, for "of such is the kingdom of heaven."
THURSDAY, November 27. Have night meeting in Winchester, Virginia, in the Methodist church. I speak from Luke 13. Subject: "The Strait Gate." Stay all night at Henry Krumm's.
FRIDAY, November 28. Breakfast at Brother Fahnestock's; dine at Brother Mummert's, and have night meeting in the Quaker meetinghouse. Speak on John 4:24. Text: "God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship in spirit and in truth." As the house in which we have met for worship this evening has been erected by the Friends, or Quakers, and called after their name, I feel that it will not be out of place for me to speak from a passage of Scripture upon which they very much rely, as a strong support to their faith and ways of worship. I must, at the same time, confess that I love these people dearly, as far as my acquaintance with them goes. Their views and convictions in regard to simplicity in manners, and plainness in dress, and general nonconformity to the world; in regard to bearing arms, and using human laws in the adjustment of difficulties between brethren, are so very much like our own that I cannot avoid a strong attachment to them in my religious sympathies. And I would not desire to eradicate this sympathy from my heart if I could. These considerations, in connection with my early knowledge of them in Pennsylvania as being an honest and virtuous people, have always kept me in friendly love with the Quakers.
The language of my text is part of the instruction given by our Lord to the Samaritan woman at the well. She said to him: "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; but ye [meaning the Jews] say that Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." She alluded to the temple, I suppose. But our Lord at one stroke levels every support on which these false conceptions of him rested in her mind, by assuring her that God is a universal Spirit, and not confined to any one place; and that the worship which he delights in is not that of form and ceremony, but that of the heart, in the inner man, in spirit and in truth. The meaning of my text also lays the axe at the root of all hypocrisy and spurious professions of religion.
In addition to all this it sets up the only true sanctuary for his worship on earth, the sanctuary which is found in the heart of every sincere and obedient believer in him. Paul says to the Corinthian brethren: "Know ye not that ye are the sanctuary of God? If any man defile the sanctuary of God, him will God destroy; for the sanctuary of God is holy, which sanctuary ye are."
Every step the sinner takes in his return to God, and every step the Christian takes in his walk with God, must be in spirit and truth. Repentance is heartfelt hatred of sin. Faith is a loving acceptance of Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. This confession includes all the ordinances of God's house, which is the church of the living God. How men can think, as many seem to think, that they can confess Christ in spirit and truth, and at the same time reject the chief means by which Christ intends this confession to be made public, I can not see. Baptism, or the immersion of the body in water by a proper administrator, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is either laid aside entirely, or argued out of form, or very lightly regarded. The ordinance of feet-washing, the salutation of the kiss, and the Lord's Supper are entirely cast away. In love I say all this, because I burn with desire to see the Truth accepted in the love of it and obeyed from the heart. When man does this, like little Samuel of old, he responds to the call of the Father who seeketh such to worship him.
WEDNESDAY, December 31. In the year that is just closing, I have traveled 3,578 miles. This I have done mostly on horseback. I have done what I could for God and humanity. I hope that when I come to die I may not have cause for deep regrets, or to mourn over a misspent life. I hope to lay my body down in peace, in the bright hope of a glorious waking up at the call of my Lord.
THURSDAY, January 8, 1846. Go to Christian Shoemaker's in the Gap and perform the marriage ceremony of John C. Miller and Deborah Shoemaker. Stay all night at Ely Spitzer's.
THURSDAY, January 15. Write a letter to Henry Kurtz, and one to George Hoke.
TUESDAY, February 17. Make an amicable adjustment of complicated business matters between the widow Judith Detrick and Abraham Detrick. It is pleasant to straighten between members of our body business matters which present a somewhat crooked and tangled appearance, when all the parties are willing to have things adjusted through the mediation of disinterested Brethren. How much better this than to go to law! The tendency of private adjustments by arbitration is to heal over breaches of friendship and love between members; but going to law before the world is almost sure to widen them. I am glad to be able to add, here, that I say this, not from any experience with law that I have ever had in my own case, or in that of any of the Brethren; but I speak it from what I have observed in others who have gone to law.
THURSDAY, February 26. Go to David Kline's and perform the marriage ceremony of Abraham Neff and Elizabeth Kline.
TUESDAY, March 3. Perform the marriage ceremony of Josiah Sowder and Elizabeth Dove.
SATURDAY, March 21. Abraham Knopp and I go to Lost River. Stay all night at Jacob Motz's.
SUNDAY, March 22. Meeting at the Lost River meetinghouse. Luke 24 is read. Come to Abel Dove's and perform two marriage ceremonies; one for Isaac Whetzel and Catharine Dove; the other for Michael Myers and Julia Ann Dove. Stay all night.
SUNDAY, April 5. Meeting at the Flat Rock. John 6 is read. Brethren sent out on the yearly visit. I and Jacob Wine go together. We stay all night at the widow Cherryholms's in Brock's Gap.
TUESDAY, April 7. We get through with the visit. The members generally expressed themselves as being in sympathy and full fellowship with the church. We hope they told the truth.
WEDNESDAY, April 8. Council meeting at the Flat Rock. Jacob Wine is elected speaker. He gives promise of becoming an able and active worker in the vineyard of the Lord.
FRIDAY, April 10. Council meeting in the Brush meetinghouse. Joseph Miller, son of Daniel Miller, is elected speaker. John Wine, son of Samuel Wine in the Brush, and John Miller, are elected to the deaconship.
SATURDAY, April 11. Council meeting in the old Garber meetinghouse. Solomon Garber is elected speaker. He likewise gives promise of becoming a very useful man in his calling. Surely the Lord has established a beautiful order in his house. "Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven." When the church fairly chooses a brother to any office or service, to the ministry of the Word or to attend to the temporal duties connected with keeping the Lord's house according to order, he need no longer question as to whether the Lord has called him or not. The Lord uses the church to show his will in these things. "Lo! I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." I was once very much impressed with the answer a beloved brother gave in the presence of some three or four others, just outside the meetinghouse, after an election had been held just about an hour before. The church had voted for two, only one of whom was needed. The vote had been so nearly a tie that the brother elected had a majority of but one. Some one asked: "Are we to infer from this that the Lord wanted both of these brethren elected?" The brother above referred to answered promptly, "No, he only wanted to show that both were fit for the place."
Michael Flory and Samuel Long are elected to the deaconship.
FRIDAY, April 17. Go on the visit in the Cove, in company of Jacob Mathias.
SATURDAY, April 18. Finish the visit in time to have council meeting in the Lost River meetinghouse. In all my visiting this spring but very little complaint or dissatisfaction has been laid. Our council meetings, too, have been harmonious. The members generally show a heartfelt will to live in the church, to be built up in the church, and to help to build up the church so long as the church keeps house according to God's order.
MONDAY, April 20. Get home in the night. Go right on to John Zigler's. Catharine is very sick. She dies at 4 o'clock in the morning.
WEDNESDAY, April 22. Catharine Zigler is buried to-day.
FRIDAY, April 24. Jacob Wine, Joseph Miller and I go to Forrer's furnace in Page County, Virginia, and have night meeting. Jacob Wine speaks from John 1:29. He prefers the German language. He makes a right good stagger even in English for a beginner, but he will need much practice before he can use this language with much freedom. But it is not by the might nor the power of man that souls are saved, but by the might and power of the Lord working with man.
SATURDAY, April 25. Dine at Isaac Spitler's, and stay all night at John Huffman's, both in Page County.
FRIDAY, May 8. Go to Brother John Harshbarger's on my way to Albemarle.
SATURDAY, May 9. He and I go to the Ferry on the Shenandoah river, but finding the river too high to ferry in a horse boat, we go around by the bridge, and get to Brother Coverston's in the night.
SUNDAY, May 10. Meeting at Brother Coverston's. Matthew 7 is read. "The Strait Gate" is the subject.
MONDAY, May 11. Dine at John Conrad's, and come across the mountains by a desperate path, home; thirty-eight miles. The path by which we came to-day is almost or quite as steep in places as stairsteps, and very rough from large stones in its bed, with others projecting into it on either side. Brother John was in front of me slowly leading his horse down one of the very steep places, when his saddlebags slid out of the saddle down over the horse's neck and fell on his arm. He pleasantly looked back at me saying in a very cheerful way, "It looks as if my baggage wants to go ahead of the horse that carries it."
WEDNESDAY, May 13. Love feast at our meetinghouse. Five persons baptized. Brethren John Bowman, from Franklin County, and John Barnhardt are with us. They are this far on their way to the Annual Meeting.
FRIDAY, May 15. Start to Pennsylvania.
SATURDAY, May 16. Through Winchester, Virginia; Opequon past fording, go round by the bridge, and stay all night at Smithfield.
SUNDAY, May 17. Through Charlestown, by Harper's Ferry and Fredericktown, on to Daniel Bowers's, where we stay all night.
MONDAY, May 18. Get to Uncle John Garber's, where we stay all night.
TUESDAY, May 19. Spend day in visiting Henry Beecher's, Widow Deahl's, William Deahl's, and get back to Uncle John Garber's.
WEDNESDAY, May 20. Visit John Pfoutz's, Jacob Saylor's and Solomon Garber's, where we stay all night.
THURSDAY, May 21. Get to Brother George Deardorf's, where we stay all night.
FRIDAY, May 22. Get to Brother Balsbaugh's, beyond Harrisburg.
SATURDAY, May 23. Meeting and love feast at Brother Balsbaugh's. Seven persons baptized to-day.
SUNDAY, May 24. Visit George Copp's, Joseph Long's, Christian Gipe's, and stay all night at Abraham Gipe's. In all my visits I make it a point not to leave a house without making an effort to speak on the subject of religion, and say something that may leave an impression for good.
MONDAY, May 25. Meeting. Acts 10 is read. Visit Brother Shank's, and stay all night at David Zug's.
TUESDAY, May 26. Meeting. Romans 6 is read. Visit George Fesler's, Michael Fesler's, and stay all night at Benjamin Landis's.
WEDNESDAY, May 27. Visit Daniel Zug's and several other families; and at 11 o'clock meeting begins preparatory to love feast this evening. First Peter 1 is read. Stay all night at Brother Minick's.
THURSDAY, May 28. Meeting at 11 o'clock. John 5 is read. In afternoon visit John Royer's, and stay all night at George Keller's.
FRIDAY, May 29. Yearly Meeting begins. Many brethren and sisters present.
SATURDAY, May 30. The Yearly Council closes at noon. Much love and union exists in the Brotherhood. Public meeting this afternoon, and love feast to-night. Much spiritual joy is manifested by the singing of hymns and the offering of prayers. May our heavenly Father grant that the same love and union may continue with us to the end of the world. Our Yearly Meetings will continue to do much good so long as they show to the world our love for one another. "Hereby shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love for one another."
From this meeting Brother Kline set his face homeward, but on the way he managed to attend six appointments for preaching, and two love feasts besides. In tracing his course on his journeys, and noting the amount of active service he performed in the way of preaching and visiting, one is forcibly impressed with the proofs he gives of the order and system that must have characterized and attended his labors. Not unfrequently he has one or two appointments ahead for every day in the week; and with only a very few exceptions in the whole course of his life, and they were on account of sickness, he never failed to meet the congregations that were looking for him. Soon after getting home from this journey he attended to gathering the grass and grain harvests on his own farm. He reports twenty-eight tons of hay made this year. He likewise had a tolerably large wheat harvest. About the eighteenth of June heavy rains set in, and they continued to fall at intervals of only a day or two apart for the next six or seven weeks. The Diary reports a very heavy rain on Sunday, June 28. From this time on for the next six days it reports a flooding rain every day, and very high waters. The grain suffered very much on account of continued wet weather for many days following. This has ever since been known as "the wet harvest." Much of the wheat sprouted in the head before it could be cut; and much of what stood in shocks suffered in the same way. The Diary for July 15 says: "We finished hauling in our grain to-day, some of which had stood in shocks over three weeks. Such extraordinary seasons come along once in a while; but I do imagine it will be a good while in the future before people can generally say, 'I never saw such a wet harvest as this,' alluding to the one they may then be passing through."