THURSDAY, December 7. Perform the marriage ceremony of Benjamin Wampler and Anna Driver at Mother Wampler's; also the marriage ceremony of Eli Summers and Sophia Frank.
SUNDAY, December 24. Get word of the death of Uncle Frederic Kline. Go up to his place.
MONDAY, December 25. Uncle Frederic is buried to-day. Age, seventy-five years, ten months and fourteen days. Stay all night at Christian Garber's.
THURSDAY, December 28. Perform the marriage ceremony of Michael B.E. Kline and Elizabeth Rhodes.
SUNDAY, December 31. At home. I have traveled in the year that is just at its close 4,411 miles. The year appears very short. When I review its labors and toils I am forced to reflect upon the imperfection of my work. I have never delivered a discourse that was satisfactory to me throughout. I hardly ever fail to see some lack of thought right where I wanted to make the truth clear and impressive. Often and often the reflections of my mind, as it were, hear a voice within saying: "Why did you not put it this way? Why did you not think of that very appropriate passage of Scripture, which would have fit the place so nicely, and have been so expressive?" I do not suppose that any one will see this little book while I live. After I am gone it may he consigned to some dark closet, with the rest of its kind, as useless rubbish. But should it ever fall into the hands of any minister of the Word who may be afflicted in his work with thoughts akin to those I have expressed in this review of the year, I beg him to be encouraged rather than discouraged by them. I believe they are messages from the Lord, who constantly seeks our highest good and greatest usefulness. Satan, if he could, would induce us to believe that we are all right, just what we should be; and in this way inflate us with a profound sense of our own importance, and in this pride of heart make us esteem ourselves greatly superior to all others. How this feeling differs from that inculcated by Paul: "Let each esteem another better than himself"! How different, too, from the words of the meek and lowly Jesus: "He that humbleth himself shall be exalted"! These reviews and criticisms of our works and ways tend to make us more thoughtful and circumspect in the future. We seek to have our lacks supplied, our wants relieved, and are induced thereby to apply our minds to the study of the Word with more vigor, looking at the same time to the Lord for the enlightening guidance of his Holy Spirit. It now lacks just ten minutes of midnight. I will retire with the retiring year, wishing to all a good-night, and joyful eyes to behold the dawn of the new year.
THURSDAY, February 22. Hear the distant report of cannon in commemoration of the birth of George Washington, which is said to have occurred on the twenty-second day of February, 1732. It is presumable that those who find pleasure in public demonstrations of this sort are moved by what they regard as patriotic feelings and principles. Let their motives and enjoyments spring from what they may, they have a lawful right to celebrate the anniversary of his birth in any civil way they may choose. But I have a somewhat higher conception of true patriotism than can be represented by the firing of guns which give forth nothing but meaningless sound. I am glad, however, that these guns report harmless sound, and nothing more. If some public speakers would do the same, it might be better both for them and their hearers. My highest conception of patriotism is found in the man who loves the Lord his God with all his heart and his neighbor as himself. Out of these affections spring the subordinate love for one's country; love truly virtuous for one's companion and children, relatives and friends; and in its most comprehensive sense takes in the whole human family. Were this love universal, the word patriotism, in its specific sense, meaning such a love for one's country as makes its possessors ready and willing to take up arms in its defense, might be appropriately expunged from every national vocabulary.
Perform the marriage ceremony of Isaac Brady and Leanna Hulvey, at John Hulvey's.
SATURDAY, March 3. Night meeting at John Mongold's on Lost River. I speak from Luke 10:42. TEXT.—"But one thing is needful."
Various interpretations have been given of this text. Having given it a good deal of thought myself, from the belief that a right understanding of the passage is all-important, I will endeavor to make clear to your minds what appears to me the Lord's meaning. All of you take time to-morrow to read the tenth chapter of Luke, and you may see many things I will not take time to notice to-night.
"But one thing is needful." If one were to come to each of you privately to-night, and say to you: "I have plenty of this world's goods to give away, tell me what you need, and I will supply you," and remove all doubt from your mind of his meaning to do what he said, we might be surprised at the varied answers and statements that he would receive. Possibly—but I sincerely hope there are none such here to-night—some might say tobacco, or snuff, or whisky. There are, however, many things really needed for the support of life in this world, and it is a part of wisdom to know our real needs, and how best to supply them. Our Lord, on one occasion, referred to the two most general needs of people,—food and clothing,—in which he instructed them not to be forgetful of God in all their efforts to obtain these, for, said he, "Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things."
Our Lord does not limit our bodily wants to one thing; so it cannot be any worldly good he has in view. It must then be a need above, and of vastly more importance than any worldly consideration. On one occasion our Lord uttered a self-evident truth in these words: "He that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth." By darkness in this place ignorance of divine and spiritual things is meant. Again: "The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death, light is sprung up." In this passage darkness means ignorance and light means knowledge from teaching. Sitting in the region and shadow of death is a figure so strong in its import that we hardly know how to show forth its full significance. Sitting implies an easy state of mind and feeling. The region of death signifies the place where the love of self and the love of the world bear rule, and find their gratification and satisfaction in worldly enjoyments, and that place is man's depraved and spiritually dead heart. The shadow of death signifies that beclouded state of the understanding which is the inevitable consequence of being satisfied to sit in darkness. Is not this altogether a frightful picture of man's unenlightened and unregenerate state? But it is a true picture, for it is given by the Lord, who knows what man is and what is in man.
Have I wandered away from my text? By no means. I have held up this picture to show that man is so deeply sunk in darkness or ignorance regarding himself and God that without instruction in the truths of God's holy Word he does not know and he never would know what he does need. Prior to the discovery of America the native Indian did not know that he needed anything beyond what he then had in a natural way.
When the white man came and got acquainted with him he might have addressed him in the exact words of my text as applied to his social, moral and civil state and surroundings: "One thing is needful." That one thing, properly infused and evolved, and in connection with such infusion and evolution therefrom, properly applied to use, would have transformed him from a savage to a civilized state; from temporal misery and wretchedness into the enjoyments of life, liberty and the high pursuits of happiness.
You may now wonder what that one thing would have been. One word expresses it all, and that word is EDUCATION. The wonderful gifts of divine goodness, in the shape of latent treasures of coal, iron, and the precious metals; the exhaustless fertility of American soils; the salubrity of its climates; the boundless power of its falling streams, all, all these were here for the Indian alone, for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years before the white man came. Why did he not use them? Because he lacked the one thing needful, the proper education or development of his mind, the knowledge of understanding the ways and means of converting the heterogeneous into the homogeneous; the useless into the useful; the ill-formed into the suitable. What the Indian lacked is the very basis of the white man's individual and national prosperity.
I have here laid a broad foundation on which I hope to erect a superstructure of doctrine that may do us all good. I will here say that EDUCATION into the knowledge and love of God's revealed Truth in its true relation to man's life is the one thing needful to every human being. I use the word EDUCATION in its most comprehensive and exalted sense, that of preparing the mind and heart for the attainment of the highest and noblest ends of life on earth and in heaven. In this sense it takes in salvation with its happy experiences and results. It takes in regeneration, that wonderful and radical change in man wrought by God through his Holy Spirit, by which man passes from darkness to light, and out of death into life.
The word disciple means a learner, one who is receiving instruction. Our Lord had twelve disciples whom he was training in a special way for a special work. He was divinely educating them. He was opening their minds and hearts as he opened Lydia's heart so that she attended the things spoken of by Paul. He was imparting to them by parables, by miracles, and by private interpretations, and still above all by the examples he set, the means of acquiring this spiritual, this divine, this heavenly education that would carry them through life by his help, and make them the very pillars and grounds of the truth when they should behold His face no more on earth. This heavenly training, then, or the training of man's mind and heart for a heavenly life on earth and for the ineffable enjoyment of that life above, is the one thing needful. A deep consciousness of this is what led Mary to sit at the Lord's feet and hear his words. The want of this left Martha to be careful and troubled about many things—things of time and sense. A desire for this high attainment caused David to sing so sweetly these beautiful words: "One thing have I desired of the Lord, and that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life." By dwelling in the house of the Lord David meant with the Lord's people: and as the Lord is always in his house with his people, dwelling in his house is dwelling with him. All, in every age, who sincerely desire to know the Lord, to do his will, and enjoy his presence, desire to dwell in his house, which is the church of the living God. They desire, like Mary, to sit at his feet and hear his words. They sit at his feet and hear his words when in deep humility of soul they hear his Gospel preached, or sung, or prayed; or when they read it themselves.
Can I not prevail on some here to-night to accept Mary's happy choice, to choose that good part which shall not be taken away from them?
SUNDAY, March 4. Meeting at Nesselrodt's. John 13 is read. Stay all night at James Fitzwater's, and come home next day.
FRIDAY, March 16. Jacob Ritchey in the Gap is taken with a very severe attack of cramp colic. I relieve him speedily and effectually by means of active treatment. I found him in a state of almost indescribable distress from the acute pains he had. I decided very quickly, after a brief examination, that the cause of his trouble lay in a spasmodic contraction of the muscles of the bowels. The powerfully antispasmodic action of lobelia and steaming caused the nerves to let go their abnormal grip, and he was well.
SATURDAY, March 31. Council meeting at Shaver's meetinghouse below Woodstock in Shenandoah County, Virginia. Brother George Shaver is established in the ministry, and Brother Neyhiser advanced.
FRIDAY, April 13. Council meeting in the Brush meetinghouse. Jacob Miller, son of Daniel Miller, is elected to the ministry of the Word.
FRIDAY, April 20. On this day Brother Kline, in company with Brother Benjamin Bowman, started on a journey to some of the western counties of Virginia, now West Virginia. The first day they got to the widow Miller's, on Briery Branch, in the southwest corner of Rockingham County. The next day they went through North River Gap and got to Henry Sanger's, in Highland County, Virginia, where they had night meeting. Here Brother Bowman delivered a discourse, which, according to the outlines in the Diary, was so pregnant with original thought characteristic of the man that I will endeavor to expand its contracted form and give it a more readable shape. TEXT.—"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him: If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
There was great diversity of feeling among the Jews in Christ's day, just as there is among Gentiles now. Some were flint; others, clay in the hand of the potter. "The common people heard him gladly; but the scribes and Pharisees resisted the counsel of God against themselves." If we read the entire chapter carefully it will give us a more impressive view of and a clearer insight into the stubborn hardness of the Jewish heart than any other single chapter that I can now think of. The Jews were so wedded to their worldly sanctuary, so in love with the representative forms of worship, that they could receive no just ideas of genuine spiritual worship. Let me draw a comparison here. Many people seem to think themselves rich when they have plenty of money either in hand or standing out on interest. They think so from the fact that money represents every exchangeable commodity of worldly goods. In it they behold the supply of every bodily want, the service they need and the honor they crave.
This is something like what the scribes and Pharisees, the elders and priests saw in their religion. And these worldly emoluments and benefits are what they feared would be taken away from them, should the great principles of love to God and love to man, inculcated by our Savior, be generally received. They said: "If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him; and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."
The Roman power had a civil regard for the temple so long as it retained its dignity as the national house of Jewish worship. Should it, however, lose this honor by being no longer needed and used as such, the Romans would withhold this regard and convert it—as was actually done years afterward—into a barrack for soldiers. Where would then be the salaried scribe, the domineering and overbearing elder, the rich but hypocritical Pharisee, and the pompous high priest? Their place and their nation would be gone. These considerations, in connection with their inbred conceits that they were the peculiar, chosen and exclusive people of God, caused them to reject the Lord. "He came unto his own and his own received him not." But some did receive him, and "as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believed on his name." It was to such as believed on him that the words of my text were addressed. The text gave them, and it gives the same to us, three promises by the mouth of him whose word is yea and amen.
First promise: "If ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples."
Second promise: "And ye shall know the truth."
Third promise: "And the truth shall make you free."
These promises are all so full of love and truth that a long and instructive discourse might be based upon each one separately, and then much of their subject matter remain untouched. We are told how we may be true disciples of the Lord. A disciple is a learner, one who is receiving instruction because of a sincere desire in him to know the truth. We are truly his disciples when we abide in his Word. What is the meaning of the clause, "If ye abide in my word"? Let James, the apostle of charity, answer: "If a man be not a forgetful hearer of the word, but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing." For myself, I must say that learning the lessons of Christ is very much like learning the lessons given in almost any other branch of knowledge. We send our children to school. Some take delight in their books, and make satisfactory progress. Others, that have the same opportunities to learn, seem to take very little interest in their lessons or in the instructions of their teachers, and move on very slowly. Why is this? It is mainly a lack of love for study. One hungers and thirsts for knowledge, another does not. But the one that loves to acquire knowledge is the one that abides in the instructions of his teacher and his books, and he is a true disciple or learner. It is very much the same way in the school of Christ. Some hear, obey and profit greatly by what they hear. Such abide in his words. Such are his true disciples.
Some one may ask: "What are his words in which man must abide?" I answer, They are all the words he has spoken. "Man liveth by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Jesus never uttered an idle or unnecessary word. All "his words are spirit and they are life." In his last great prayer our Lord lifted up his eyes and said: "Father, sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." Remember, too, that the Son spake none but the Father's words; for he said to those very wicked Jews who sought his life: "The things which I heard from the Father, these speak I unto the world." Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms of the Old Testament; and the writings of the New Testament comprise the entire Word of God. It was of the life-giving power of this Word, Old and New, that the angel said to John on the isle of Patmos: "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." All teaching is prophecy; and all teachers of Divine Truth are prophets. And as the spirit and meaning of all the words God has ever declared to man in their most exalted sense bear witness of Jesus and set him forth as the very life and truth and way, this, therefore, is what is meant in what the angel said to John. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth." This Word made flesh was none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. To abide in his Word is to live in him as the way, the truth and the life. In this state we are truly his disciples. We will now turn our thoughts to the
SECOND PROMISE.—"And ye shall know the truth." This promise will surely be realized by every one, without exception, who abides in the words of the Lord. It is a promise very much like that other in these words: "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." Books have been written in defense of the truth of Divine Revelation. I have read several. They are ably written, and with good intentions. But I doubt if any unbeliever has ever been converted by any of them. In the first place, unbelievers are not likely to read books on such subjects; and in the second place, without a heartfelt desire to know the truth, they would not be persuaded though one should arise from the dead. To one who loves the truth, the truth bears witness of itself. It is self-evidencing in its own light. It bears its own testimony.
I not long since read what purported to be a true story of a man by the name of Casper Hauser, who had been intentionally brought up in a dark cave from his very infancy. Up to mature manhood he had never seen a ray of light, except what proceeded from the dim lantern which his keeper used in supplying him with food and other things. Had this man been told, while in the cave, of the wonderful light of the sun and the beauties of the outside world, he would not have been able to understand what was told him. But if he would have been willing to take the hand of some true friend and be led out into the light, he would not have needed any argument to convince him that what he had heard was true. Like the queen of Sheba, when she visited King Solomon, he might have said: "It was a true report I heard, but now mine eyes have seen it, and the half had not been told me."
Let me say to you, friends, that right here in this Divine Word is one greater than Solomon, whose eyes are as a flame of fire to illuminate the sinner's dark understanding, and whose countenance is as the sun shining in his strength to warm and cheer the sinner's cold and cheerless heart. That one is Jesus. As the Divine Word, he revealed his glory on the mount, and Peter in the joyfulness of his heart said: "Lord, it is good to be here." How often does the true disciple, when the Word is revealed to his heart, in the warmth of its love and light of its truth, feel like exclaiming in the same words: "Lord, it is good to be here!" But not all know the truth; and we ask, Why is it so? In answering this question several things have to be kept in mind. Some—but very few in our land—are not in reach of the preached Word, are not instructed so as to be able to read it, and are so situated socially as to hear nothing of the Gospel. Some are born deaf, who can neither hear nor read. Some are born idiots who are incapable of understanding. With such ignorance is no sin. But what shall we say of the great army of unbelievers who, in the very blaze of gospel light, shut their eyes and, like the Gergesenes, beseech the Lord to depart out of their borders. These "love darkness rather than light; and they will not come to the light." This answers the question, "Why do not all know the truth?" They will not abide in his words. They will not do the truth: "For he that doeth the truth cometh to the light." We now turn to the
THIRD PROMISE.—"And the truth shall make you free." This is the most precious promise of all. It is just what the truth will do for every one who knows the truth and obeys it in his life. It will make him free. Like the Jews, some may say, "We have never been in bondage. We are free now, and how can you say, The truth shall make us free?" The Lord may answer you on that. The Jews claimed the same freedom that you claim. They said: "We be Abraham's seed, and have never been in bondage to any man." But Jesus answered: "Verily, verily I say unto you, Every one that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin." You decide now for yourself whether you are a bondservant or a free man. Do you commit sin in the love of it? Do you willingly transgress God's holy law contained in the Ten Commandments? If so, Jesus says you are a bondservant of sin. Paul says the same in these words: "To whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are, whether of sin unto death; or of obedience unto righteousness."
Again: You are commanded to repent and believe the Gospel. You are commanded to be baptized, confessing your sins. Have you complied with these plain precepts of Holy Truth? If not, the seal of bondage is still upon you, and every day you live in sin stamps that seal deeper and yet deeper upon your heart. But there is balm in Gilead for you if you will accept it; and there is a physician there for you, if you will but let him administer the remedy. That balm is the heavenly, holy, healing Word of the Lord, and that Physician is the Lord himself. Do you ask how you are to take it? Take it in faith, "for he that believeth is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God."
"And the truth shall make you free." Thousands on earth and millions in glory bear testimony to the truth in these words. A living, loving belief in the words of Jesus; a faith that works from love and purifies the heart is the only power that will break the yoke of sin. This faith God is ever ready, through his Holy Spirit, to help you to have. Of yourself you can do nothing; but the very last words Jesus uttered on earth were these, "Lo! I am with you to the end of the world."
SUNDAY, April 22. The two brethren had meeting at Doe Hill, in Highland County. They took dinner at Joel Siple's, and had night meeting at George Wine's. On the twenty-third they went down the South Fork to Jacob Stone's and had meeting in one of his outbuildings. In the afternoon they had meeting at the widow Hoover's on the Fork, and stayed all night at Dr. John Keister's. On the twenty-fourth they had meeting at Bethel church in the forenoon; got dinner at Jacob Warnstaff's, and in the afternoon have meeting at Zion church in Hardy County. They stayed all night at the widow Peggy Dasher's. Mrs. Dasher (quoting from Diary) is a member of the Methodist denomination, and a very kind and hospitable woman. She lives up to her Christian profession as taught by her Discipline. We held family worship in her house and tried to impress upon the minds of her sons, who are intelligent and promising young men, the "one thing needful," the giving of their hearts to the Lord.
WEDNESDAY, April 25. They had meeting at Nimrod Judy's. Brother Kline spoke from Matthew 18:11. TEXT.—"The Son of man is come to save that which was lost."
If man could fairly realize what he has lost through sin; and what may be gained by forsaking all for Christ; in other words, what it is to be lost, and what it is to be saved, he could not rest satisfied to remain one moment longer in his sin-ruined state. Like the Philippian jailer, he would instantly cry out, "What must I do to be saved?" Like the people on the day of Pentecost, being pierced as to their hearts by what they heard and saw, he would say: "Brethren, what shall I do?" "The Son of man is come to save that which was lost." It is of the utmost importance to know what was lost, so as to know what it is that the Son of man came to save. I will try to tell you this. It is you, it is I, it is every human being upon the face of the earth. And are all lost? Yes, without an exception. To what extent are we all lost? To the extent of all that is of us—body, spirit and soul. And are our bodies lost? Yes, our bodies are lost to all that God intended them to be. Our bodies were never designed to be the abodes of disease and suffering; neither were they intended to be subject to infirmity from age. When God looked down upon a finished creation he saw that it was good, yea, very good. Can this be said of our bodies now? Let the blind, the deaf, the lame, the countless sufferers on beds of affliction, the child-bearing mother, the decrepit consumptive, the rheumatic invalid, let these say whether our bodies are very good now. And how about our spirits? I use the term spirit here in the sense of its being the basis of human perception and thought. Are our spirits or minds very good? Let those who are trying to learn and look into the secrets of knowledge and science answer this. From the child in school to the highest rank in scholarship ever held by any man, the same complaint comes up, that lessons are hard, and what is acquired as knowledge is very unsatisfactory.
But I have touched only the hem of sin's garment in what I have said. If the soul or will of man were still very good, I mean to say here that if man had not lost his love for his fellow-man and his love for God; in other words, if man still loved the Lord his God with all his heart and his neighbor as himself, feebleness of body and weakness of mind would be matters of small moment. The body is soon done with any way; and the mind or intellect is still sufficiently clear for all the purposes of life in this world; and when once disengaged from the body that here clogs and fetters it,—as it will be at death,—in the hope of being lifted to a higher sphere of perception and thought, the loss to man suffered by the fall in these two departments of his being would be comparatively small.
But man's will or inmost love is the secret spring of life. From this all his affections flow; and right here we find his Marah, the bitter waters of his soul. In reading the story of the children of Israel in the wilderness we learn that they came to a place where the waters were all bitter. Brethren, that place is right in our own hearts. Our hearts are the springs from which these bitter waters flow in the form of "evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness." Mark 7:21, 22. What an outflow of bitterness! Enough to flood a world to destruction! And this destruction had come, and its arm would have held its power over man eternally, had not the great Prophet, the Moses of love, come and cast a tree into the waters whereby they were made sweet. The Lord in his Word is this tree. He is the tree of life, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. His voice comes to us from far: "I am the Lord that healeth thee; for the Son of man came to save that which was lost."
It is of infinite importance for us to know how he saves us, what we are expected to do, how we are to work with him and to what extent. I will try to give some light on this from the Word itself. Jesus said to his disciples: "If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him." This beautiful and striking parable, showing the benefit of knowledge and the disadvantage of ignorance, lights the sinner's way for his first step toward the Lord. Knowledge, which is light from the Lord through his Word, is the very first thing every one must receive. The sinner first receives the clay and the spittle applied to his blind eyes. He does not get his sight from this application. When he hears the Gospel with something of a desire to have his eyes opened he is receiving this anointing of his eyes. He must go to the pool of Siloam and wash before he can have sight. This washing in the pool is the first step in that humble spirit of obedience by which the understanding is cleared up and prepared to know the Lord. When any sinner gets this far the Lord is sure to find him and whisper in his heart: "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" Every true penitent sinner, with his eyes open, will answer in heart: "Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?" Then the joyful response will be whispered again: "Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee." The Lord meets the returning sinner in his blessed Word, and there he shows himself to him, and there he talks with him.
Water, in many places in the Old as well as the New Testament, is the emblem or symbol of Divine Truth. I need not say that without water man cannot live. His body is largely composed of water. It is consequently essential as a beverage; and as an ablution, indispensable to cleanliness. Reading and hearing the Word of Divine Truth from a real thirst or desire to know the truth, is what is spiritually symbolized by drinking water. This may be proved by what the Lord said to the Samaritan woman: "He that drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst; for it shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." By the expression, "never thirst," Jesus does not mean that there will never be any further inclination to drink the water of life, but he means that there will in that soul never be any more perishing, dying thirst, for the water of life will be like a spring in the heart that will flow on forever from the Lord. It will be the rock in the wilderness that supplied the camp of Israel with water, and that Rock is Christ.
But again. The sinner's whole inner man is defiled with sin. This may be illustrated by the spots and scales and raw blotches on the skin, caused by the disease called leprosy. This disease affected every part of the body; but, like smallpox and some other kindred affections, it made itself mostly visible upon the surface of the body. It gave the victim a horrible appearance, so much so that no one was willing but such as were similarly afflicted, to go near a leper. But the water of Divine Truth will effectually and forever wash away all this filth and loathsomeness from the redeemed sinner's soul and prepare his spiritual body for that bright array of fine linen, clean and white, in which the saints shall be clothed as a fit emblem of their righteousness. Paul calls all this the washing of regeneration. In that great change, without which no man can see the kingdom of heaven, called regeneration, or the new birth, wrought by God only, the water of truth is the means employed. This is so evident that water is specifically named in connection with it in these words: "Except a man be born of water, and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven."
Ananias did not forget this when instructing the penitent Saul of Tarsus; for at the close of all the words the Lord had authorized him to say to Saul, we find these: "And now, why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling upon the name of the Lord. And Saul arose and was baptized." Saul's sins were not washed away by the water in which his body was baptized, but that water symbolized the truth, the Lord's truth, that does wash away sins. And his being immersed in it in each of the three names, according to the great commission which the Lord had given some time before, signified his faith in the Word of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Peter says: "Baptism is not the washing away of the filth of the flesh," but I feel authorized to say that it is the outward sign or emblem of the power of divine truth to wash away the filth of the soul. The change in Saul, wrought by this act as the crown of obedience, was so great that from this time on he was a new man, and had a new name, for he was called Paul ever after.
But we must not forget that salvation is all of God. Of ourselves we can do nothing. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. All that man can do is to take the Lord's hand and be led in the way; to open his eyes to the light, and his ears to the truth, and his heart to the life, in faith receiving, and in life living the precepts that make him wise unto salvation.
THURSDAY, April 26. The two brethren preached the funeral of Isaac Shobe's mother. She had passed away shortly before, at the high age of ninety-four years. They spoke from First Corinthians 15. From here they went to James Parks's and had night meeting. The next day they had meeting at William Parks's; and on
SATURDAY, April 28, they had meeting at Enoch Hyre's in forenoon, and at Elijah Judy's at night. They anointed Sister Elijah Judy with oil in the name of the Lord.
SUNDAY, April 29. They had meeting at Sister Chlora Judy's in the forenoon, and then crossed the Fork mountain to Nimrod Judy's, where they had night meeting and stayed all night.
MONDAY, April 30. They got home. Quoting from the Diary Brother Kline says: "I love to go among the mountains. The people there seem to pay better attention to what is said, and manifest better behavior at our meetings than they do in the thickly-settled and more fashionable sections of our State. It is true that ignorance and poverty abound in some places; but are the souls of the poor less dear to the Lord than the souls of the rich? On one occasion our Lord referred to the fact that the Gospel was preached to the poor as a proof of its heavenly origin. But there are intelligent people living among those mountains. And in the way of hospitality and genuine kindness, meeting you with a smile and a hearty welcome, they are probably unsurpassed as a people, rich and poor alike."
The high regard in which Brother Kline held the people of the western part of the old State of Virginia, and the reciprocation of that regard by their high appreciation of him and his mission, accounts for the many visits he made among them, and his devotion to their spiritual welfare. Nor was his work evanescent. The seal of his influence was so deeply impressed upon their affections and memories that to-day, after the lapse of fifty years, its stamp is almost as fresh as when first made. Nor is this a matter of wonder or surprise. The sermons I have set in order were substantially preached by him and other ministers, mostly led into that section by him; and the power of such discourses, together with the worship and instructions held and given in families wherever he stayed, had an influence that will never be forgotten. The writer's own personal acquaintance with the people living in sections of his vast district of labor gives him to know that the name of John Kline is still as a household word with many of them. Nor is this all. The indoctrination of these people into the beliefs and practices of Revealed Truth as held by the Brethren was so profound, so clear, so convincing, that they to-day stand abreast of others in defense of these doctrines as at first received, in the face of all the isms and religious innovations of the times.
FRIDAY, May 18. Start to the Annual Meeting. Ride Nell. Stay first night at Isaac Dasher's.
On this journey the Editor can not depart from the simple but beautiful and almost childlike daily entries in the Diary. If they appear monotonous to the reader, the Editor begs him to leaf over them and find something that will suit his taste better. He must, however, say something about Nell. She proved to be a very remarkable mare indeed. For strength and endurance, through cold and heat, in hunger and thirst, over mountains numberless and pathless woods and valleys, on long and exhausting journeys, Nell has had few equals. History has not been willing to drop the name of Bucephalus; and Nell is more worthy of a place on its roll. He bore a conqueror for a corruptible crown: she bore a conqueror for an incorruptible crown. His was an earthly service; hers a heavenly. The name of Nell, under very peculiar and distressing surroundings, will appear again.
SATURDAY, May 19. Meeting at Elijah Judy's. Hebrews 12 is read. After meeting go to James Parks's, and stay second night.
SUNDAY, May 20. Meeting at Patch's church on Looney's Creek in Hardy County, Virginia. Speak from Acts 2. Dine at John Stingley's. Have night meeting at Jacob Cosner's, where I speak on Hebrews 12, and stay third night.
MONDAY, May 21. Come to meeting at Solomon Michael's. Elections are held. Thomas Clarke and Michael Lion are established; William Michael is elected speaker; William George and Thomas Lion are elected deacons. Come to Samuel Arnold's on New Creek, and stay fourth night.
TUESDAY, May 22. Dine at Robert Broadwater's on the Alleghany, and stay fifth night at Eli Whetzel's.
WEDNESDAY, May 23. Meeting and elections. First John is read. John Ogg is elected speaker, and Eli Whetzel deacon. Love feast in the evening. A little company of brethren and sisters, with the Lord in our midst. A time I shall probably never forget. Stay sixth night with Brother Whetzel.
THURSDAY, May 24. Meeting at the Greenville church. Matthew 5 is read. In the evening have meeting in a schoolhouse near the widow Berkley's, and stay seventh night at her house.
FRIDAY, May 25. Meeting in a schoolhouse near Daniel Beachley's. Matthew 24 is read. Five persons baptized. Stay eighth night at John Beachley's near the Berlin meetinghouse.
SATURDAY, May 26. Meeting at the meetinghouse. John 3 is read. Stay ninth night at Brother J. Beachley's.
SUNDAY, May 27. Meeting at the meetinghouse. Acts 2 is read. Stay tenth night at same place. We had much edifying speaking on the chapter read. One beloved brother spoke at some length on these words in the last verse of the chapter read: "Having favor with all the people." He said in substance: "Brethren, the having favor with all the people is very pleasant to us naturally, and encouraging spiritually, if the favor be of the right kind and obtained in the right way. I am here reminded, in the way of a comparison, of what a distinguished statesman once said of the presidency of these United States. He said it is an office that is neither to be directly sought nor directly declined. I do not think his statement would be far out of the line of true wisdom if applied to us as Brethren, in relation to our standing in the eye of society at large. What may be truthfully said of one brother or sister in private life, in this particular regard, may be truthfully said of our entire Brotherhood in a public regard.
"We all know how pleasant it is to enjoy the favor, the friendship and respect of those living around us. The enjoyment from this source has given rise to the formation of 'harmonies' and 'colonies,' with some. Such establishments are favorable to social enjoyment, no doubt; but it is to be feared that segregation in that form may engender feelings akin to selfishness, and dwarf the higher impulses to general good. But the favorable regard in which we may be held should not be sought as a consideration of the first importance. To serve and please the Lord should be the first and foremost aim of every brother and sister. If the favor and respect of others meet us in the line of duty, as set forth in our doctrines and practices as a Brotherhood of believers in and humble followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, let us regard it as a desirable token of good already done, and a promise of good that may still be done.
"Brethren, a review of our growth in numbers and influence as a body of Christians, with our original and, in the eyes of the world, peculiar observances as to ordinances in the church, and deportment and customs in the world, is to say the least pleasantly surprising. Our name as Brethren is hardly a century old, if I am rightly informed; and what are we now? A legion, not of devils, but of angels for good. And may I not here add the words of my text, 'Having favor with all the people'? I do not think these historic words are to be construed to mean that the Brethren of that Pentecostal day had no enemies; but that they had the favor of the disinterested and unprejudiced classes. This is just what I think we have, where we are known. There has been a day,—but thank God that day is past,—when public opinion, if history be correct, was largely the reverse of what it is with us. Vice, then, was virtue; and goodness was criminal. Rebukes of sin and calls to repentance and reformation of life were silenced by the martyr's faggot and stake. We cannot here, and we would not if we could, attempt to trace the sublime array of causes, both divine and human, that have contributed to the happy change we now enjoy; but sure it is, we now realize the ideal dream of the far-off seer, described in these words: 'But they shall sit, every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid.' We have the favor of the people when we have the favor of the government; for the people are the government.
"Brethren, we have cause for inexpressible emotions of gratitude to God for the favor we enjoy. The outlook is bright; the sky of promise calm and serene. It is said that a Grecian patriot and statesman once assumed a very weighty responsibility, which required him to leave his home and State to meet it. He seemed loath to go. He expressed fear that things would not go on in his absence as they had in his presence. Finally, however, he secured a pledge from every member of the Athenian court that no change in the order of government and the laws should be made during his absence. He went; but such was his love for his country that he never returned. Brethren, the time is not far distant when I, your humble servant, burning with love for my church and people, will have to leave my home and country. Nothing, I say nothing, could give me more comfort when I make the start than the assurance on your part that you will make no changes in our faith and rules of order, in church and out, during my absence. Then will I bid a joyful farewell to all, feeling that no changes from our present order will ever be made, for I will never return."
MONDAY, May 28. Our Annual Meeting begins. Questions received and some motions made. Stay eleventh night at same place.
TUESDAY, May 29. Council continues. Good order and love prevail. Stay twelfth night at same place.
WEDNESDAY, May 30. The business having all been disposed of in a way as satisfactory as we could do it, after prayer and the singing of the hymn,
"Blest be the dear uniting love That will not let us part,"
the meeting closed, and we gave each other the parting hand about 10 A.M.
Have night meeting at Brother John Ogg's on way home. Speak from part of Luke 13, and stay thirteenth night with Brother Ogg.
THURSDAY, May 31. Stay fourteenth night at Thomas Clark's.
FRIDAY, June 1. Stay fifteenth night at Jacob Cosner's.
SATURDAY, June 2. Meeting at Rorabaugh's on New Creek, in Hampshire County, Virginia. Acts 10 is read. Get to Enoch Hyre's and stay sixteenth night.
SUNDAY, June 3. Meeting at Enoch Hyre's. Part of Acts 2 is read. Polly Stambaugh is baptized. Cross the mountain to Leonard Brake's, where I stay seventeenth night.
MONDAY, June 4. Attend the burial of Frederic Dove in the Gap. Age, eighty-seven years, two months and seventeen days Stay at Dove's eighteenth night.
TUESDAY, June 5. Attend the burial of Brother Nasselrodt, near Dove's. Age, sixty-one years, five months and twenty-eight days. In the evening get home.
FRIDAY, August 17. Attend the burial of Elizabeth, daughter of William Hevner, in the Gap. She died of typhoid fever. I speak from these words in Psalm 103: "Surely, man's days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth: ... and the place thereof shall know it no more." Her place in the home is sadly vacant. We can only bow in tearful sympathy with the bereaved family.
THURSDAY, September 6. Perform the marriage ceremony of William Miller and Sarah Shoemaker, and the same for Levi Runion and Elizabeth Aubrey.
FRIDAY, September 7. This day Brother Kline started on another journey to Hampshire County, Virginia. He attended a succession of meetings and love feasts both going and returning, as was his custom. He got home September 21, after an absence of just two weeks. He does not forget Nell. On the evening of his arrival home he says: "On the journey from which I have just returned, Nell has carried me 221 miles. If Martin Luther and John Wesley are correct in their opinions, Nell may be rewarded for her uncomplaining faithfulness, in a future state of existence. But as we have no assurance of this, I desire to reward her in this world as well as I can, for her gentle and untiring service. I think the comfort of brutes generally is not thought of as much as it should be. Solomon says: 'The righteous man regardeth the life of his beast; but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.' Prov. 10:12. Solomon deals out a bit of very cutting sarcasm here, in the subordinate clause of his proposition; but it is fairly merited by such as are cruel to brutes. People do not, I am sure, regard the comfort of brutes as they should. There are, here and there, noble exceptions; but horses labor faithfully for us, and very often the only reward they get is harsh treatment and scanty feeding. The Lord has graciously given to man the supremacy over the brute creation. But man should not show his supremacy by acting the part of a tyrant; but, like a wise ruler, 'do justice and love mercy.' Whatever else may be brought against me on the day of judgment, I am resolved, by the help of God, that no brute shall there, in fact or figure, rise up and say: 'You mistreated me intentionally.'"
SUNDAY, September 30. Attend the burial of William Hevner's son Harvey. He died of typhoid fever. His age was twenty-seven years, two months and four days. It has been a very short while since his sister Elizabeth passed away. We should weep with those who weep: but our deepest sympathy for others cannot give us a realization of the depth of grief felt by bereaved parents and their children. Happy are those who can look beyond the tomb to have their sorrows healed.
Between this time and the close of the year Brother Kline made only one long journey. He and Anna went in his family carriage to Maryland first. After attending a number of love feasts and other meetings around Frederic City and Shepherdstown, they went down the Cumberland Valley beyond Harrisburg, and after a few days' sojourn there they return by very nearly the same route they went. They were just three weeks and two days on this journey.
END OF 1849.
Whole distance traveled this year by me is 3,903 miles.
SUNDAY, February 12, 1850. Meeting at Buck Hill, in Shenandoah County, Virginia. I speak from John 6:44, 45. TEXT.—"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him."
I here note the substance of what I said. My text sets forth the two great facts which all should know: man's weakness and God's power. The first part of the text declares man's absolute weakness in himself and of himself. In another place our Lord says: "Without me ye can do nothing." In the text he says: "No man can come to me." Had he stopped here we would be left without hope. But he did not stop here. Immediately, as if by the same breath of love, he adds: "Except the Father which hath sent me draw him." This part shows that if the Father does draw a man he can come to Jesus. Now, then, does the Father draw? The prophets say he does in these words: "And they shall all be taught of God." He draws them by teaching them. In what follows we may learn the power of this Great Teacher. Notice very particularly: "Every man,"—this means every human being, whether man or woman,—"every man therefore that hath heard and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me."
But here are things very deep. Our minds inquire to know how the Father, whose voice we have never at any time heard and whose shape we have never seen, can teach us. It is through the Son that the Father speaks, for the Son bears this testimony himself in these words: "I speak not from myself; but the Father which sent me, he hath given me a commandment what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life eternal: the things therefore which I speak, even as the Father hath said unto me, so I speak." Nothing can be plainer than this that Jesus spoke with authority, the divine authority of the Father, and that he is God the Father manifest in the flesh, the Emmanuel—God the Father with us. For further proof of this, turn to Isaiah 9:6, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Again our Lord says: "All power is given to me in heaven and on earth." Paul's teaching harmonizes with this: "For," says he, "in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." By the Godhead he means the Divine Head of creation, providence, redemption and eternal salvation: "For all things were made by him;" and as Paul again says: "In him all things consist," or hold together.
We are now prepared to understand how Jesus could know the thoughts of men, and why he needed not that any should testify to him of man, for he knew what was in man. He knew all this by creation and preservation, by his power of perception which is boundless, and his knowledge which is infinite. Man's body, when viewed intelligently, with its organs of life and motion, is a thing of wonder in our eyes. Anatomy reveals in its organs, designs and purposes in their structures and uses which overwhelm us with astonishment. What, then, must the soul be, when its structure and organization, essence and power as far exceed those of the body as the man who lives in the house exceeds the house? For the body is nothing more than the house or habitation of the soul. Paul calls it "our earthly house." He says: "In this we groan—it will be dissolved." He then immediately turns his thought to the renewed soul or spiritual body, and calls it "a building of God, a house not made with hands." All things, then, pertaining to our souls, being naked and open to the eyes of him with whom we have to do, we may rest secure in the belief that whatever he tells us about ourselves is true. He knows just what we can do and what we cannot do. And it is he who says, "No man can come to me, except the Father draw him."
But perhaps some inside this house are saying within themselves: "Is man not free to choose good or evil—to do right or wrong?" I answer that he is free,—free as the eagle in the air; free as the fox in the bramble; free as the lion in the desert; free as birds and beasts are free to comply with the instincts of their natures and the inclinations of their wills. Man's freedom is what makes him a responsible being. He is yet more free than the brute creation; because that is bounded by the limits of capacity. But man's mind is capable of indefinite expansion and elevation in knowledge. Still the text is true: "No man can come to me, except the Father draw him." Let me draw a comparison here. A king once made a great supper and invited many to come and partake of it. At the right time he sent forth his servants to tell them that were bidden to come, for all things are now ready. Did they go? No! They all began to make excuses. You see they were free, free to go, and free to stay away. They chose to stay away, and in this very way every sinner uses his freedom; he chooses not to come to the Lord.
When a man's will or a woman's will is set on something they love above everything else, can they of themselves change their wills? I have known several instances in which a young lady set her affections upon a man who was not her equal in any respect, and very far below her in general character. I have known the mother of such a lady to bend over her daughter, and with tearful eyes entreat her to withdraw her affections from that unworthy object and give them to another who, in breathless suspense, and with a soul and character and surroundings worthy of her, was but waiting to receive them. And did that young lady change? Did she withdraw her love from the unworthy object and give it to the other? She did not. Her answer every time was: "Mother, I cannot." Just in this sense, relatively, the sinner is free. He is free to love most what he likes best, and that is himself and the world. In this state he would forever remain but for "the grace of God which bringeth salvation." Right here comes in the necessity for the change of heart, the new creation and regeneration, as Paul calls it; the being born again, as the Lord and Peter call it, upon which everything depends, and without which no man can enter the kingdom of heaven. This is connected with the drawing of the Father, "for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh upon the heart."
When I was young I could not understand what it is to come to Jesus, to be with him, to follow him. I thought I could readily see how people could come to him to be healed, and to be cured of their diseases, and to be fed by his liberal hand, when he was visibly on earth in the flesh. But he is no longer here in that form. I was in darkness. My eyes could behold no form which I could approach unto; no visible steps for me to follow; hear no audible voice of comfort to encourage, of instruction to enlighten, and of commands to obey. Where, thought I, is he to be found, and how are we to know when we have found him? These and many other similar thoughts occupied my mind, until I wondered much why he did not stay when he was here. I suppose that many young but thoughtful minds have wandered, and others at the present time are now wandering in this same wilderness of doubt and uncertainty. Let me say to you, my dear young friend, that Jesus is here as truly now as he was when visible to natural eyes. As God, he is here in his glorified state. To every one who desires him he says in words of warmest love, "Lo, I am with you alway." These are his very words. He is everywhere. He said, just before his death, by way of encouraging his disciples: "I go away, but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no one taketh away from you." He continued: "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come unto you." But he has promised yet more than his presence to go with all who love him: he declares in words we can understand that "if a man love me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." Again he says: "He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit." In his last prayer to the Father he says: "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be perfected into one." These promises ought to assure every one of the greatness and the power of the love of Christ; since he loves us so much as to be willing to come and dwell with us and be in us forever.
It is by faith that we come to him. We see him with the eye of faith. We walk with him by faith, not by sight. We love him because he first loved us, and gave his life to redeem and save us. All this and much more we learn in his Word. His Word is the Gospel which is able to make us wise unto salvation. Let me exhort all of you, old and young, to read and search for its hidden treasures, for therein are contained the words of eternal life. It is the duty and privilege of every one to pray. Prayer is the eye that looks to Jesus, and the heart that says: "Lord, save, or I perish." Faith is the hand that lays hold of his saving promises. Obedience is the whole man in active service on the side of the Lord Jesus Christ.
SUNDAY, March 3. Go to Sellers's schoolhouse. Speak on John 14:6. Dine at Felix Senger's; then home.
Felix Senger deserves more than a passing notice. He, with his father, Joel Senger, moved to Rockingham County, Virginia, about the year 1847. Both father and son belonged to the Brotherhood, and each was like the other in devotion to its interests, actively employed. Felix established a nursery of fruit trees, the second, if not the first, established in the county. Most of the orchards planted from his nursery, after having given the most abundant satisfaction, are now very old or dead. Some trees, though in the decline of life, still tell the sweet story of Felix Senger's nursery. They are like some good people, who, though old, can still remember and tell of the one who, though dead, was the means of their being planted in the Lord's orchard of spiritual fruit trees.
Brother Kline attended the burial services of four aged people in this month. The first was that of old mother Mills, as he calls her. This took place the fifth. Her age was eighty-one years and eleven months. The next was that of Mrs. John Carr, on the eleventh. Her age was seventy-one years. The next was that of Mr. Stern, on the eighteenth. His age was eighty years. The next was that of Alexander Glovier, on the twenty-seventh. His age was seventy-nine years, one month and twenty-four days.
SATURDAY, March 30. Attend council meeting at Shaver's meetinghouse in Shenandoah County. Samuel Mummert is elected speaker.
THURSDAY, April 11. Council meeting at our meetinghouse. Jacob Wine and Jacob Miller are elected delegates to the Annual Meeting.
SATURDAY, April 20. Council meeting at the brick meetinghouse in Augusta County. Daniel Brower is established, and Jacob Brower advanced in the ministry.
SUNDAY, May 5. Meeting in our meetinghouse. Romans 6 is read. Joshua Wampler and wife, Hannah Sites, Mary Miller, Hetty Showalter and Mrs. Eaton were baptized by me to-day.
TUESDAY, May 7. Perform the marriage ceremony of John Tussing and Susan Watkins.
MONDAY, May 13. Visit Mary Wampler, who is very sick. Give her a course of medicine. Then go to see Christian Fulk in the Gap. He is very sick.
TUESDAY, May 14. Visit Christian Fulk again. He appears some better, but his case is very doubtful.
NOTE.—This brother, after a severe illness, in which he was assiduously attended by Brother Kline, was buried June 9 following.
THURSDAY, May 16. Attend an evening meeting at John Zigler's in Timberville. Brother George Shaver is there. He speaks from Acts 2.
Substance of what he said: The day of Pentecost witnessed the establishment of the first Christian church on earth. The wonderful prophecy of Joel received its fulfillment on this day. The sun had been darkened and the moon turned into blood, or darkened so as to appear like black blood; volcanic fire and the vapor of smoke had attended the earthquake while the Lord of glory hung upon the cross; the baptism in the Spirit and in the fire was now present; the apostles were induced with miraculous gifts to speak with other tongues; and when Peter and the rest set forth the Lord Jesus in his resurrected glory and power, the Jews there assembled, being cut to the heart, cried out: "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" The answer which Peter gave then and there is the true answer to that all-important question. I sincerely desire that every unconverted man and woman in this house will duly consider the answer, for it may redound to the salvation of his or her soul. I will therefore give it in the exact words we find recorded. They are these: "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." Notice here, obedience comes first. The repentance and the baptism precede the gift of the Holy Spirit. God is holy; and the sanctuary must be cleansed before he is willing to set up his glory there. The Temple had to be dedicated before the Lord could dwell in it. This gift of the Holy Spirit, by which we are to understand his entering into our hearts and making his abode with us, is the beginning of a heavenly life in the soul. The fruit of the Spirit, as it appears in the life of its possessor, is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, kindness, meekness, temperance, brotherly kindness, charity.
The body of every true follower of Jesus Christ is a temple of the Holy Ghost. But I cannot dismiss the subject yet. I have reason to believe there are some unconverted men and women in this little assembly. Were those hearers on that day sinners above all men? "I tell you nay! And except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." I sometimes think they were not such sinners as many we see around us now. Was it not for these the Lord prayed as he hung upon the cross? Hear his dying prayer: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Can this be said of the many who go on heedless of all the preaching, and praying and reading that is being done to instruct their minds and move their hearts? I do not think it can. And it is to be feared that in a coming day the very sinners who go on in sin, facing the very light of gospel day, may be compelled to realize the awful truth uttered by our Lord: "He that knoweth to do his Master's will, and doeth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes."
But there is glorious news here for every one who is willing to obey. Thousands of obedient hearts are rejoicing to-night, on earth and in heaven, in the happy experiences they have of the presence of the Holy Spirit in their souls. This is the good news, this is the Gospel of their salvation. God is his own witness in every one that loves to obey him. "If ye abide in my words, ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth. It is the Lord in man as "the way, the truth and the life." "Ye are God's sanctuary: ye are God's building." How ineffably exalted is the state of that man in whose heart and mind the Lord has fixed his dwelling place! We can not realize the glory that awaits us, when the veil that now hides the inner sanctuary shall drop and disclose to our eyes the enraptured vision.
Brethren and sisters, let us not be weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not. Therefore let us rejoice evermore; let us pray without ceasing; and "in every thing give thanks; for this is the will of God concerning us."
THURSDAY, May 23. Perform the marriage ceremony of Christian Runion and Diana Estep.
SATURDAY, May 25. Preach the funeral of Elijah Judy's wife. A very dear sister whom I lately baptized has left us. But our loss is her gain. She was the sister of Enoch and Saul Hyre. She leaves a sad husband and two very fine children, Enoch and Sallie. My prayer for them is that they, with their father, may follow in the steps of their pious mother and receive her glad welcome
On the blissful shore, Where partings are no more.
THURSDAY, July 4. Attend the burial of Peter Driver on the head of Muddy Creek, in Rockingham County. His age was eighty-three years and eight months. He was an honest member of our Brotherhood. His children consisted of four sons and five daughters; and they are now all heads of families, doing well, and members of our order of Brethren. Peter Driver was a blacksmith. He once related a fact to me which I will here note. "In my early days," said he, "we knew nothing of binding wagon and carriage wheels with a heated tire. I wonder," continued he, "that our daily experience in working iron did not teach us that an iron band or tire is larger when it is hot than when cold. Some may have thought of this," he said, smiling, "but if they did, I guess they were afraid that if they would venture to put on the tire hot, the wheel might be burned up before they could get the tire cooled." He was very partial to the German language, and was never known to speak English from choice. Some one once said to him, "Mr. Driver, English people have the same God that German people have." "I believe that; but he speaks to German people in a much plainer way in his Word than he does to English people." Of course he could understand German best.
SATURDAY, July 13. Go to Page County. Cross the Massanutton and Peaked mountains by what is known as Koontz's Path. Daniel Dovel and John Harsbarger are with me. They are very pleasant and cheerful brethren. We spend the night together at Brother William Dovel's.
SUNDAY, July 14. Meeting at Liberty schoolhouse. Isaac N. Walter is there. He is a well-known and very popular preacher in the Christian church. This is the first time I have ever met with him. He is very friendly and sociable, and will carry an influence wherever he goes. He was at one time a very strong Adventist. He professed to believe in our foreknowing the day of our Lord's coming, and announced it as being very near at hand. Brother Benjamin Bowman told me that on one occasion friend Walter announced that he would preach a sermon on the second advent of Christ, and therein tell the day on which we might confidently expect the Lord to appear in glory, and give the scripture evidences on which his proofs rested. This sermon was announced for Antioch, a brick meetinghouse belonging to the Christian connection, and stood four miles north of Harrisonburg, and not far from where Brother Bowman lived. He told me that a large concourse of people was present to hear, and he with the rest. The discourse was eloquent, but with the thoughtful not very convincing. But the day, which Mr. Walter had so confidently set for the appearing of the Lord in glory, passed by as all other days pass by, in harmony with all the other notes that make the music of the spheres. Not long after this, the two met in the road. Walter looked a little bashful, but spoke first, and said: "Well, Brother Bowman, I was mistaken." "Yes," Brother Bowman replied, "but I had discovered that before you told me."
SUNDAY, August 4. Meeting in Elk meetinghouse, in Page County. I speak from Luke 16:9. TEXT.—"Make unto yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, that when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations."
This is a very remarkable passage of Scripture. My understanding of it differs a little from that of some of our Brethren, but it is all in love, and each bears with the other's interpretation. I will here give a brief outline of my view of it. I think the Lord meant to encourage a very free use of this world's goods in the way of helping the poor, especially those of the household of faith. Through Paul we learn that Jesus said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."
Christian people may imitate the unjust steward in this one thing: he aimed to provide for the future by making use of what was within his reach at the present. This may be our Lord's meaning. But he may have meant more. The wealth of some has doubtless been acquired in an unrighteous way, while in their unregenerate state, heedless of conscience and justice. Such mammon or wealth must be unrighteous, because unrighteously obtained. Those who have acquired wealth in an unjust way, and who afterward repent in heart and see the evil of their former course, may be deeply distressed, and at the same time have no opportunity to do as Zaccheus did,—make restoration. To such, it does appear to me, Jesus would say: "Let my Father's children have a share of it. Use it in a way that will glorify him, by helping his dear children; and if you fail to be found in the number of those who are 'my brethren' at the great day of final accounts, you may still come in as 'the blessed of the Father' and inherit the kingdom prepared for you. It will then be my joy to acknowledge you and say: 'I was hungry, and you fed me; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in; I was naked, and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came unto me.'" Whatsoever is done to one of the least of the Lord's brethren he accounts it as done to him. Such is the wonderful union and identity of the Lord and his people. When Paul was struck down he cried out: "Who art thou, Lord?" And the answer came: "I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest."
I would earnestly encourage all to go on unto perfection. Then we will be sure of the heavenly inheritance. "And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord."
FRIDAY, August 9. Harvest meeting at our meetinghouse. I baptize Henry Swartz and wife, and Barbara Yount.
SUNDAY, August 31. Meet brethren Daniel P. Saylor and Boyle at Shaver's meetinghouse, in Shenandoah County.
SUNDAY, September 1. Meeting at same place. The visiting brethren speak to great edification and comfort.
MONDAY, September 2. Meeting at Flat Rock meetinghouse. The visiting brethren are with us, and rivet attention by their able discourses. Brother Saylor does not seem to be lifted out of his shoes by the encomiums passed upon him. But I suppose he has got used to them.
TUESDAY, September 3. Meeting at our meetinghouse. The visiting brethren with us to-day. They draw large congregations.
To-day I was somewhat amused at an answer I heard given. Brother Sam Wampler noticed the deep interest visible in the congregation, and, I suppose, contrasted it in his mind with that manifest on occasions when none but our home preachers are present. He accosted, in a very pleasant way, one of the members in these words: "How does it happen that when I preach you hang your head as if you might be asleep; but when preachers from a distance come you appear to be all eyes and ears?" "Why," replied the brother, "Sam, when you preach I know it is coming all right whether I hear it or not: but when strange brethren get up I do not know what may be coming, and think it best to listen."
MONDAY, September 9. This day Brother Kline and Daniel Yount start in company of each other to Pennsylvania. They went on horseback, out through the mountains of the western part of Virginia and Maryland.
FRIDAY, September 13, they had meeting at the widow Jacob Snider's in the forenoon, and evening meeting at Brother Jacob Steel's, in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. On the fourteenth they had meeting at the same place.
SUNDAY, September 15. They had meeting and a love feast at the Yellow Creek meetinghouse. On the sixteenth they visit John Deahl's, John Eschleman's and stay all night at John Brumbaugh's, near Clover Creek meetinghouse, in Blair County, Pennsylvania.
TUESDAY, September 17. They attended a meeting and love feast at the Clover Creek meetinghouse. John 3 was read. Isaac and George Brumbaugh were established in the ministry of the Word. One person was baptized.
WEDNESDAY, September 18. They passed through Martinsburg to Brother David Allebaugh's, where they had night meeting. Brother Kline had for his subject "The Importunate Widow, and the Unjust Judge."
DIARY NOTES.—We should not conclude from this parable that our heavenly Father is compared to an unjust judge who has no regard for his subordinates. This is not at all the point of comparison. We should not let our minds dwell here for a moment, because the contrast between the character of the judge and that of God is so great that there is no point of similarity.
The whole lesson, I think, is found in the power of prayer. What moved the judge to grant the widow's request? It was her importunity. But he did this only to get rid of her. It, however, shows what earnestness will do even with an unfeeling man. Here the comparison comes in. If an unfeeling man, who has no reverence for God and no regard for the welfare of others, can be influenced to regard the petition of a poor widow, though from a selfish motive, because she will not be put off, what may we not expect to do by prayer when our Father in heaven is ever ready to hear and answer prayer? He invites us to pray. He says: "Pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly." We must by no means lose sight of the one great point in the comparison, and that point is the widow's EARNESTNESS. Prayer, without earnest feelings of want and dependence upon God, is but a form of words, and no prayer at all.
But let us notice the point in her prayer: "Avenge me of mine adversary." Who her adversary was we have no means of knowing, nor how he became her adversary. But we are told who the Christian's adversary is. Peter tells us in these words: "Your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." The word AVENGE means to conquer or destroy an enemy, for the purpose of securing tranquility to the party avenged. In this sense Moses avenged the children of Israel on the Midianites. In the same sense Ahimaaz said: "Let me now run, and bear the king tidings, how that the Lord hath avenged the king of his enemies." I think you are now prepared to understand what the Lord means by the words: "And will not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily."
It is now understood that the DEVIL, the very vilest and worst of all tramps, is the Christian's adversary. But God has promised to avenge him, if he will call upon him in that spirit of earnestness which is deaf to denial, such as the widow had. We must not forget, however, that God, in all he has ever done for man in the way of avenging him of his enemies or adversaries, required man's assistance. As Paul puts it, we are coworkers with God, and so must we ever be.
Let us now test this matter a little. God is willing to bruise Satan's head under your feet, and thus avenge you of the worst adversary you have ever known. He is at hand, ready, with more than twelve legions of angels at his service, if needed. You are sorely tried. You are tempted to commit adultery with some one until every nerve in your body trembles from the agony of suspense between conscious right and conscious wrong. One deep, fervent prayer from the heart breathed to Almighty God: "Lord, save, or I perish," will avenge you of your adversary, will put him to flight, and leave you and God masters of the field. Brethren and friends, this is no idle talk. God will as surely give you the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, as he has promised it.
The Lord says with apparent emphasis: "Hear what the unjust judge saith." There must then be something in it which deeply concerns us to know. Just what I have said is in it, the power of prayer. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
But again: You are tempted to do something very sinful, and you seem to yourself to try to pray. You feel the serpent's coil about your heart drawing tighter and yet tighter, until your spiritual breath seems almost gone. I will tell you now just how you have got into this fix. You did not look to God soon enough. You put off praying and allowed the tempter to twist himself around you in the way he is. Do you ask what you are to do in this case? I will tell you. If you will just summon breath and courage to say from your inmost soul: "God, be merciful to me a sinner," your adversary will let go his filthy hold of you, and the Lord will set your spirit free. "God will avenge his own elect speedily." But they must cry unto him.
I love this word "cry." It carries with it to my mind the cry of an innocent child to its parent, when it fears danger or feels the need of something. Brethren, such let our cry to the Lord ever be. There is never any dallying with words in the mouth of a little child. Its requests, though they may not always be wise, are always sincere, and sincerity is what the Lord most loves, and hypocrisy is what he most abhors. "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye can not enter into the kingdom of heaven."
THURSDAY, September 19. They had meeting at a schoolhouse near Brother Brumbaugh's. They spent the night at Jacob Burket's. The next day they came to Brother Samuel Coxe's, in Logan's Valley, and spent the afternoon in writing letters. I here note an example of Brother Kline's exactness. He this afternoon wrote a letter to Brother Henry Koontz. He notes the main points in the letter. One is that he wants Brother Koontz to be at the Flat Rock meetinghouse on December 8, at 10 o'clock, without fail.
SATURDAY, September 21. They came to Brother Jacob Beck's, and had night meeting in the Baptist meetinghouse near by.
SUNDAY, September 22. Delightful morning. This is the first entry for the day. Brother Kline was not unappreciative of the beautiful. This must have been one of those bright and balmy mornings witnessed only in September months, and rarely then. Nature is in her calmest mood. Summer is just bidding farewell, with a smile of promise that he will return again, and as a proof of his good will lays all the rich treasures he has gathered for us into the lap of Autumn, who is at hand to receive them.
We have morning and afternoon services in the Baptist church here. In the morning meeting "The Strait Gate" is the subject. In the afternoon, "The Departure of Paul." Acts 20:36, 37. TEXT.—"And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down and prayed with them all. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him."
The first impression made on the mind upon reading this text is the great love which these tender-hearted disciples had for Paul. But we need not be surprised at this, when we remember the great love which the tender-hearted Paul had for them. The elders of the church at Ephesus, and probably many of the sisters and lay brethren, had come to Miletus to have Paul take affectionate leave of them before taking sail for Jerusalem. He also desired to give them a parting exhortation and offer prayer with them on their behalf. The words of the exhortation are recorded in the chapter read, but the words of the prayer are not. We are not sure that the prayer was audible. It is possible to think they all kneeled together and thus prayed with and for each other, but mostly for Paul. From the secret chambers of their hearts the still small voice of loving prayer ascended to the ear of him whose throne is heaven, and whose footstool is earth. Be this as it may, the prayer was earnest, and the exhortation gladly received: "For they all wept sore, and fell upon Paul's neck, and kissed him, sorrowing most of all that they should see his face no more." Who of us, Brethren, has not prayed at the departure of one we dearly loved? As you take the hand probably for the last time, and give the last touch of the lips, who can withhold prayer—prayer from the inmost depths of the soul? As the receding form fades from sight, how the heart swells with emotions of prayer for blessings upon the departing one, altogether too big for utterance. Such were the feelings of these sorrowing disciples at the departure of Paul.
Brethren, the account here given shows the love in which the truth was received in that day. Paul here says: "I have not shunned to declare unto you the whole counsel of God." This means a great deal. Oh, how many, many at the present day fear to declare the whole counsel of God! And it is a sad truth, or at least I believe it to be true, that if a minister in almost any of the so-called orthodox churches would have the courage, from a sheer sense of duty, to declare the whole counsel of God in the ears of his congregation, instead of falling on his neck and kissing him at his departure, they would be heartily glad to get rid of him. But, Brethren, I am persuaded better things of you, and things which accompany salvation. Our love for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, is our best evidence, when that truth is lived out in a life of obedience to the Lord's precepts, that we are walking with God in the fellowship of the Spirit. So let us ever walk.
MONDAY, Sept 23. They went through Huntingdon City, in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, and got to Brother Michael Bolinger's, where they had evening meeting in a schoolhouse near by, and stayed all night at Brother Bolinger's. Next day they took dinner at Brother Andrew Spanogle's, and got to the meetinghouse at one o'clock. Meeting and love feast. Luke 24 is read. They stay all night at Brother Umbenhaver's.
WEDNESDAY, September 25. They have meeting at the meetinghouse. Hebrews 10 is read. Brother Michael Bolinger was this day ordained to the full work of the gospel ministry. May the Lord bless the good brother in his work. They had night meeting at Brother Samuel Myers's in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, where they stayed all night.
THURSDAY, September 26. They had a union meeting at Brother George Keever's, and stayed all night with Brother Keever.
FRIDAY, September 27. They attended a council meeting before preaching. Brother Abraham Rothrock was this day ordained to the full work of the gospel ministry; and Brother Jacob Mohler was advanced. The visiting brethren spoke on the text: "My kingdom is not of this world." Night meeting was appointed, but owing to a violent storm of hail and rain no people assembled.
SATURDAY, September 28. They got to Brother Jacob Royer's, in Union County, Pennsylvania, where they stayed all night. Clear and cool.
SUNDAY, September 29. Meeting begins at half past nine o'clock. Union meeting this evening.
MONDAY, September 30. The vote of the church was taken before preaching, and Brother Isaac Myers and Brother John Sprogle were ordained to the full work of the gospel ministry. They attended a night meeting in a schoolhouse near Brother Christian Shiveley's, and stayed with him all night. They are still in Union County, Pennsylvania.
TUESDAY, October 1. They went to Brother Christian Shallaberger's, in Juniata County, Pennsylvania, where they attended night meeting and Brother Daniel Yount spoke from Eph. 2:8, 9, 10. He explained the meaning of the word GRACE, that it is the love of God for the undeserving of his love. He defined FAITH as being a loving acceptance of God's revealed truth: that faith is the gift of God only this far, that he tells man what he is to believe and how he is to believe, that the Gospel of our salvation is what man is to believe; that he is to believe with the heart, with all his heart: that the new man, the regenerated man, is God's workmanship, created unto good works. He carried out all his points very ably, and left a good impression.
WEDNESDAY, October 2. They attended a union meeting in Good Will meetinghouse.
THURSDAY, October 3. They attended a council meeting in the forenoon at the meetinghouse. Brother David Myers was ordained to the full work of the ministry, and Brother Solomon Seever was chosen speaker. They had night meeting at Thomsonsville, and stayed all night at Brother Solomon Seever's.
FRIDAY, October 4. They had meeting in a schoolhouse near Brother Pool's on the Juniata river; then night meeting at Brother Jacob Spanogle's, where they stayed all night.
SATURDAY, October 5. They had meeting in a schoolhouse near by. They stayed all night at Brother Peter Long's near Germantown, in Perry County, Pennsylvania.
SUNDAY, October 6. Meeting in the Methodist meetinghouse in Germantown. Brother Kline spoke on Luke 24:48. TEXT.—"And ye are witnesses of these things."
It is a happy but not uncommon experience with Christians, when reading the Divine Word, to receive some new thought, or see some new truth by the reading of the most familiar passages. In this particular the Book of Revelation is like the book of nature. The treasures of knowledge in both are inexhaustible; but they do not come to us, we must go to them. "And ye are witnesses of these things."
"The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth." "The Word was God." "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." These Scriptures, in their most comprehensive sense, include the all of the divine manifestation in the flesh. The Lord is the life of all the things written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms. Their spirit, or spiritual significance is all confined to the testimony they bear to the Emmanuel, the God with us. Hence "the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy," very much as the spirit of man is the life of his body. In the early part of his ministry he had told these very disciples that he came to fulfill the law and the prophets. He fulfilled the law of the Decalogue or Ten Commandments to the extent of every jot and tittle, from its lowest natural to its highest spiritual requirement and significance. The prophecies likewise all centered in him, and found in him their fulfillment; not, however, in their fullest development, for eternity alone will witness this; but they disclose in him their spirit and life. "Thus it is written and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."