About the Author
Abraham Essick was a native of Franklin County, Pennsylvania, who left that area to become a Lutheran minister in the 1840s. His diary begins when he received his license to preach in 1849. It continues through the 1850s, when Essick preached before congregations in York, Pennsylvania, Springfield, Ohio, Lutherville, Maryland, and Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Of special interest is his account of his time in Winchester, Virginia, where he also preached, and where he took note of differences between Virginia and Pennsylvania. Essick returned to Franklin County in 1861, where he preached for the duration of the war.
Received license to preach the gospel October 1, 1849 from the Synod of Western Pa.. Rev. Prof. U.L. [Laesto], Pres. I. Ulrich, Secy. Rev. I.G. Morris D.D. of Baltimore, Md., preached the license sermon in the En. [Litt.] church occupied by the Rev. Oswald.
Preached in U. [Medekind's] Church by his request, in the morning at Greenvillage, Franklin Co., Pa. and in the evening at Fayetteville. Text Jno 3:16 - same sermon at both places.
Came to York, Pa. for the purpose of taking charge of the Eng. Branch of the First Ev. Luth. Congregation in said place, having obtained (central?) permission to do so, from the Pres. of Synod my call to this place came before I had finished my studies at Gettysburg. During the summer I preached for these people several times, as a supply, the Rev. Jas. A. Brown their former pastor having resigned in May last. An election for pastor was held on the 11th of Sept. at which time my call states that I was unanimously elected. The call is dated Sept. 20, 1849 and signed by Geo. A. Barritz, Esq. David Rupert, E.G. Simpson, Wm. F. Shetten, John Busser, Benj. Zeigler, Theo. Albright, constituting the vestry. Mr. Brown's resignation was occasioned by church difficulties, which are represented as being very great - it being his conviction that the present connection of the two branches cannot be retained in harmony. At present both branches occupy the same church alternately. It is in contemplation to build a new church for the Eng. Branch, and it was this principally which occasioned the difficulties. Many apprehensions are entertained concerning the result. Some of my friends dissuaded me from accepting the call, whilst others advised it. They have no stipulated salary. My predecessor got four hundred dollars. Since his resignation a number of his friends have withdrawn and are scarcely expected to return. I know not what they shall be able to raise. I came here, I trust, under the guidance of divine Providence. The will of God is certainly correct and if I have not mistaken it, there can be no danger.
Preached my introductory from Malachi 2:7. Had a large audience, attended sabbath school at one o'clock, and preached in the evening from John 3:16. a very rainy day.
At 2 o'clock (obscured) attended the funderal of Mrs. Mary [Hakor] born Nov 2, 1776, died October 24th 1849, aged 72 years, 11 month, 22 days. The funderal was large - made a short address at the home of the deceased. Rev. Oswald of the 2nd Luth. Church Rev. R (left blank) of the Moravian and Rev. Smith of the United Brethren were present. Lectured in the evening in the lecture room upon the first Chap of (obscured).
Preached in the German Reformed Church in morning from Psalm 19:7. The law of the Lord is perfect. My appointment was for the Lutheran lecture room. This arrangement was afterwards made to give the main congregation a sermon, Rev. Luchman being unable to preach. Bro. Re(left blank) of the Moravian Ch. preached for the Ger. Luth. and Bro. Good of the Ger. (obscured) sent him a supply, and I filled Bro. Good's pulpit. In the evening I preached in the Luth. Church from Matt. 20:6 "Why stand ye here all the day idle?" The sermon was addressed practically to the members of the Congregation, who supposing that I had referred to building a new church, applied much of it this way, though it was not so intended. It seems to have created a considerable stir.
Met, the first time, with the vestry, at the house of Mr. Barritz. The brethren made arrangements to go with me to visit the members of the congregation. After the vestry meeting I came to the house of John Demuth on George Street, whihc it to be my residence. Hitherto I have stayed with Mrs. Barritz until a boarding house caane be precured.
Lectured from the second Chapter of Hebrews first nine verses.
Preached in the morning, Eph. 2:2 "And here by nature the children of wrath no others"; in the evening from Mark 8: 36, 37
Married Mr. Adam Thisen and Miss Sarah Thisen at the house of the ladies father on Duke St.
Lectured from Luke 18: 1-8. Parable of the widow and the unjust judge - subject prayer.
Preached in the German Reformed Church by arrangement in the morning. Text - "Remember Lot's Wife." In the evening in the Lutheran Church - text 1 Tim. 3:16. Audience large
Lectured on Heb. 2: 10-18
Preached in the morning from 1 Tim. 4:8 "God is love." in the evening from Heb. 12:29 "In our God is a consuming fire" Baptised two children in the afternoon. Francis Snyder and Laura Arvilla [Some].
Baptised two children for David (obscured)
Preached in the morning on the evidences of regeneration from Gal. 6:4. In the evening the (??) of the Methodist Church filled my pulpit.
Being a day set apart by the gov. for public worship, thanksgiving and prayer I preached in the evening (Bro. Lachman occuping the church in the morning) from Rom 2:4.
Preached in the morning from Psalm 10:13 "Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God?" and in the evening from Heb. 11:1 ":Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
During the day a sabbath covenant was held in York which occupied nearly all my attention.
This being the regular evening for prayer meeting Broth Lochman conducted the services.
Rev. Miller, agent for the Phila. Sabbath Association preached for me in the morning. At two o'clock I attended to the funeral services of Mrs. Rebecca Barrington, a member of my congregation, making an address at the home. In the evening I preached to a large audience from John 8:12 "I am the light of the world."
The afternoon of this day was spent in visiting the members of the congregation. The first person I called upon was a Mrs. Hays, whose husband and children belong to the espiscopal church. Last week they buried a son, a young man who died in Balt. The family are very much affected by the affliction. I met the mother and one daughter, and most of their conversation was about disease. The mother wept much, but seemed to indulge rather an [agreeable] melancholy. Her son had died a most triumphant death. After leaving this family I went to the home of a Mr. Gallapher, whose wife and family belong to my congregation (the father is a catholic). This lady has evidently seen better days. I understand that her husband had been dissipated for years, but had recently been picked up the Sons of Temperance. They live in an old house and are poor - although he is a lawyer by profession. I found the poor woman sitting in a chair, a sad picture of a heart-broken wife and mother. She is evidently also in the last stages of consumption. She told me that she had not been out of her bed so long for many days. My heart was grieved at the sight. I conversed with her, read a chapeter, and prayed for her and then left. - The next place I entered by mistake, though I found upon inquiry that part of the family belong to the German brach of the church. Here I found a widowed daughter and the mother of the family dying with the consumption. Her mother's name is Bupp and hers [Hovllen]. I was told that she has kept her bed for eighteen months and at time coughs herself into most painful convulsions. I came away with a sick heart. I made a number of other visits but encountered nothing special.
Friday evening. Lectured from Heb 3: 1-10.
Sabbath. Preached in the morning from Romans 14:7. Attended sabbath school at 1 o'clock and made a funeral address for Mrs. Catharine Klinedinst at 2 o'clock. Rev. Wm. Witmer from Abbotstown preached for me in the evening. The day was very unfavorable, and yet the audience respectable.
Monday morning. This morning I expect to leave for Gettysburg, where I hope to spend the most of the week.
Returned from Gettysburg, where I spent the week visiting my friends.
In the morning I preached in the l ecture room from John 15: 22. In the evening Bro. Lochman preached in the church.
Married Mr. William Pratt and Miss Lenah Bopp at the home of the lady on Water Street (obscured) - fee $1.50.
Friday evening - spoke from Isaiah 9:6.
Sabbath - preached in the morning from Luke 14:17 "Come for all things are ready." In the evening from 14:18 "And the all with one consent began to make excuses" - lay audience.
For several days I was sick. On Friday evening unable to attend to my lectures and was also unable to preach on Sabbath. My place was supplied on Friday evening by Bro Lochman; on Sunday morning by Broch Solomon Oswald and on Sunday evening by Bro. Macklin, who is on his way to take a church at Lebanon.
Friday evening. Lectured from Heb 4: 1-11.
Sabbath. Preached in the morning from 1 Cor 1:23 "For we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness, but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks; the power of God and the widom of God" - in the evening from 2 Cor 5:10 "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ."
Married Mr. Wm. Sechrist and Miss Anna Mary Besker - fee $2.50.
Friday evening lectured from Heb. 4:11-16.
Sabbath. Preached in the morning in the lecture room from [Ep] 18:31 "Why will ye (obscured) of Israel?" In the evening prached in the church from 1 Cor 1:30 "But of him are ye in Christ." Suffered a severe cold and sore throat.
Friday evening - lectured from heb 5: 1-10
The United Brethren having conference in town. Their ministers filled my pulpit morning and evening. In the evening after sermon I installed one elder and two deacons.
Today the funeral of Mrs. Sichelhager, an elderly lady belonging to the Ger. branch took place at two o'clock. Bro. Lochman did the funeral services. On my return I dropped in the see an invalid gentleman who has passed the meridian of life and whose limbs (his legs only) have been almost totally paralyzed for something over seventeen years. In the course of conversation, in which the death of a daughter was the subject, the wife of the gentleman said that their only sonsolation was the happy assurance which she had of her confidence in the savior; she then added that this was a subject of great distress to the Mr S-- -- her husband. "he thinks that his soul is lost." I was glad to have the opportunity of directing such a one to the Savior. He said he had at one time when he first entered the church, experienced a sense of pardon: but now it seemed impossible for him to come to Christ. I tried to remove his difficulties and presented the promises of the gospel, the Savior's willingness to accept the chief of sinners, and the great sin of unbelief. He must trust the savior, comee just as he is, willing to do what he can, but not to rest confidence in any thing that he does - in short, to leave all to God as though he himself had done nothing. I then read a chapter of S. and engaged in prayer during which boht he and his wife were much affected. I then left them after giving additional encouragement ot trust the savior.
Friday - lectured for the latter part of the fifth Chapter of Heb.
After breakfast I took James' "(obscured) Inquirer" from my library and called upon Mr. S ---- whom I left in deep distress of mind yesterday. He seemed much more calm. He said he felt that the savior was willing to save him also. I said, "certainly he is." and then spoke of Paul's having made hovoc of the church and yet was (obscured) and made a vessel of mercy. He said of that sin he was never guildty. He had always helped to support the church but said he with deep emothin "My heart has been so much in the world. I know its vanity. Many of the old men of my acquaintance left large estates and now their sons are poor. They took nothing with them, and what was left behind proved a curse to their children. He said much more in the same strain. I left the book and some counsel with him and returned to my study. Indulging my own reflections upon what I had seen and heard, - here, thought I, is the true issue of a life spent in hoarding riches. This man is wealthy - his heart, according to his own acknowledgment, was in the world. Now he feels the vanity of all, and sees also the curse which fathers have thus frequently brought upon the children, who they tried to leave in affluence. This also is vanity!
Sabbath. Preached a sermon on missions in the morning from 16:15 of Mark. "And he said unto them. Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" Attended Sunday school and examined the children at 1 o'clock - attended a meeting of the [Colporter] association in the German Reformed Church at 3 o'clock, and made a short address - preached in the evening from Luke 24:25 "Then open he their understanding that they might understand the scriptures."
As usual I feel very little disposition for mental exertion after the labor of the Sabbath. Spent the morning in my study and tried to entertain myself by looking over the church book, making a list of families which I am expected to visit, reading the papers, etc. After dinner I called to see a sick woman, and found her in a very low state. Her mind was deeply exercised about her soul, but she was not permitted to have a comportable peace of mind in view of death. She had been conversed with some persons who call themselves Albrights, and was taught to expect something extraordinary, some wonderful light, something that would impel her to shout and clap. Thus was this poor soul prevented from trusting the Savior because she did not experience such a state of mind. She was barely able to speak in a low whisper and yet she talked much and made many inquiries and revealed her mind to me. I told her that she must make no condition for the Savior, but simply give herself to him and leave the whole event in his hands. She held my hand and did not let me go for an hour. She regretted her past life, though she had been a church member from an early age: but she said she had been so cold and so un[obscured]. After praying with her, and telling of the precious promises of the gospel, I left. I spent the whole afternoon in visiting the members of the congregation.
At half past six o'clock we had our missionary concert in the lecture room of the Prebyterian church. After meeting I called upon Mrs. T----, the sick woman. She said she felt much more comfortably in her mind since I had left her - she was willing to trust the Savior. Oh, I felt that it was a delightful task to direct the penitant sinner to Christ. What a precious Savior we have! That after a whole life of disobedience he is willing to receive the returning sinner!
After leaving my patient I stopped in to spend a few moments with a neighbor, and found there a "sociable," a small party of young ladies and gentlement, their comversation was lively and trifling. The transition was too great from the chamber of the dying to the house of mirth. I felt miserable - I said in my heart "It is better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of laughter." In a very few minutes I took my departure and was glad to be alone.
Spent the morning preparing an address for the next monthly concert for sabbath school teachers. After dinner I called upon my patient Mrs. T---. She said that her heart was so light and peaceful after my departure last evening, but that it was heavy and full of doubts this morning. I found that she was clinging to some erroneous notions on the evidences of regeneration. She said that she cared nothing for the world, her shame which she felt in speaking about religion had been taken away, she loved the Savior and saw that his compassion towards her was wonderful. But she did not seem to ask herself how this change of feeling and views were brought about. I told her this was evidence that the Savior had accepted her, for he had sent his spirit to change her heart. She clasped her hands and said with her weak, tremulous voice "here Lord, I give myself away, tis all that I can do." I conversed nearly an hour with her in the most familiar way, which she freely revealed her whole heart, I felt that it was a delightful privilege to be with one who seems so near heaven. I know not what may be the Lord's pleasure with this soul: but it appears that she cannot stay long in this world.
I spent the whole afternoon in visiting the members, with evening I attended the sewing society, but nearly all the ladies had gone to see an exhibition of canary birds. After leaving the sewing society, I had a conversation with one of the church members, who has been engaged for several days in getting subscriptions to build a new church. he found nearly all willing to do according to their ability, which they generally imagine to be very little. Returned to my study at eight o'clock.
Spent the morning in my study - the afternoon at visiting, reserving only enough for myself that I might write a letter. In the evening I attended the Lochman's weekly lecture.
Spent today in the same manner as yesterday. In the eveining I called upon two members of the building committee and found that very little is doing towards a new church. My heart has its focus and its hopes. A new new building seems indispensable to the prosperity of our branch and, as far (as?) I can [learn] a failure here will be fatal to the project of building up a Eng. congregation. I have used various endeavors to stimulate the prime movers in this work and yet its prospects are not very flattering.
Prepared a discourse in the morning on the text [?]11:28. "But let a man examine himself and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup." Spent the afternoon in the East end of the town visiting and found some families who have been sending theri children to other Sunday schools simply because their children had asked permission to go elsewhere. I find that things have been much neglected of late.
In the evening attended to the preparatory exercised for communion. Only fifty names entered in - a number which amazes me. It should have thrice that number.
It rained so much today I could scarcely leave my study.
Sabbath. Today I had my first communion. In the morning preached from the text "It is finished." In the evening the sacrament was administered after a short discourse by Bro. Lochman - communicants seventy-five.
On the evening of this day I addressed the Sabbath school teachers at their montly concert held in the Presbyterian lecture room. After this meeting the colporters association elected their officers adn made arrangements to sustain the colporter who has been for some time in the field. Each pastor appoints two or three members who constitute the assocation - the pastors also are members ex officio.
Spent this day as usual partly in my study and partly at visiting.
Friday evening - lectured from Heb 6:1. "Therefore leaving the first principles of the doctrines of Christ, let us go on unto [perfection]."
Sabbath. Preached in the morning on the application of Christ [this] benefits 1 Cor 1:30 "But of him are ye in Christ who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and santification and redemption." In the evening Rev. Sawtell, who has spent seven years in Papal Europe, lectured in my pulpit on "Italy." It was a union meeting, and the house was crowded, probably over 1200.
On Monday I took the stage for Gettysburg. On Wednesday Bro Lochman also went to Gettysburg and on Thursday evening he delivered the annual address before the Bible Society of the Seminary and College. On Friday we returned and on Friday evening I lectured on part of the 1st Chapter of John's Gospel.
Sabbath. Preached in the morning from Rom 5:1. Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. At one o'clock I attended Sunday school and examined the scholars as usual; at three o'clock I went to the Catholic chapel, whither all Protestants were invited to hear a reply to the lectures of the [Santele] which had been delivered against the Papacy. The chapel was full. The priest belabored the clergy of the town most unmercifully for inviting such an imposter to palm off his imposition upon its people. But his reply was a most lame and unhappy attempt - Preached in the evening from [Psalm] 3:15 "And account that the long-suffering of God is Salvation."
Friday evening - lectured from Heb 12:1,2. I spent all the spare time of this week refreshing my knowledge of the classics.
Sabbath - Preached in the morning from Acts 16:30. Sirs, what must I do to be saved? In the evening from Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world.
Friday evening. Lectured from [Ins] 1:10-12.
Performed service for two funerals, one at 2 and the other at 4 o'clock.
Preached in the morning from Hosea 13:9. "Israel, thou hath destroyed thyself, but in me is thy help" in the eveing from Luke 19:10 "The son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." Theme: The benevolence of Christ's mission unto the world.
Friday evening. Lectured from [Ins] 12:27-36.
Sabbath - Preached in the morning from Psalm 130:8 "Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy and with him is plenteous redemption." Mr. Lochman preached for me in the evening.
Preached a funeral sermon at Huber's church seven miles from town.
March 22 and 24
On Friday evening and also on Sabbath Rev. Crist from Illinois filled my pulpit.
Friday evening lectured from Is 53:4,5
Preached in the morning from Psalm 16: 8-11. In the evening from Acts 8:23 "I perceive that tou art in the fall of bitterness and in the land of iniquity."
Sabbath - Preached in the morning from 1 Cor 15:34. Some have not the knowledge of God. I speak this to you [obscured]
Preached in the morning from 1 Peter 4:8 in the evening from Isiah 28:5.
Today I took final leave from the congregation in York, with a view to connect myself with Capital University recently chartered and located at Columbus Ohio. Mr. Plitt, a theological student from the seminary at Gettysburg, took my place as a supply until further arrangements are made.
Preached in the lecture room of St. James (Luth) Church Gettysburg, by request of father Keller the pastor.
Preached in Grindstone Hill church Franklin Co. Pa. This charge is destitute of a pastor. Bro [Sahow] administered the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper and I preached by request in the evening.
Preached in the lecture room of Christ's Church Gettysburg by request of the church council. This being [location], the professors of the college and seminary, who officate were absent.
Preached in Christ Church.
Left Gettysburg in company with Prof. Reynolds for Columbus, Ohio via Chambersburg.
Spent the sabbath in Pittsburg - did not preach. Listened to the Rev. Moore of the Presbyterian church, and Bro Passarat of the Luth.
Arrived at Columbus in company with Prof. Reynolds and J.A. Pressler Edge, who in connection with myself are to commence instruction with a view to the ultimate establishment of "Capitol University." Mr. Lewis Heyl Esq. met us upon our arrival and took us to his house. Several of the brethren called to see us in the course of the evening.
Attended communion service with Lutheran congregation in Columbus and preached in the evening. We found the Lutheran church here in a deplorable condition. One church edifice had gone into the hands of the Rationalists and is now rented by the evangelical portion. Another has gone with their pastor to the "Evangelists"! (The pator of the congregation is Lutheran, and a majority of his members are also Luth.) So that the only Lutheran congregation here is very small, half German and without a church edifice. Evidently the church of the Reformation commands scarcely any influence in the Capitol of Ohio.
This evening the inauguration of President Reynolds took place in the First Presbyterian Church under the pastoral care of Dr. hoge. The Rev. Mr. Hitchcock opened the services with prayer. The Hon. Mr. Stanbury, attorney general of Ohio introduced Prof. Reynolds to the audience with a few remarks, then Prof Reynolds delivered his inaugural which was followed by a short, pithy and spirited address from the Hon. Saml Galloway, recently Secretary of State. The exercises were concluded with a benediction by the Rev. Greenwalt of the Luth. Church, resident in New Phila., Ohio.
Today at nine o`clock Cap. University commenced its courses in a small building formerly occupied by the city high school on Town Street. Prof. Reynolds, Mr. Tressler and myself met the pupils and their prents the first time. As the school rooms were not quite ready for our reception, he could only state the principles upon which we propose conducting the school and make some arrangements to meet the classes on tomorrow morning. After dinner Prof. Reynolds departed to New Bremen to attend the meeting of synod, leaving the school in the hands or Mr. Tressler and myself until his return.
This institution was chartered on the 7th day of March 1850. On the same day a meeting of the trustees was had and prof. Wm. M. Reynolds of Pa. College elected president of the institution. Prof. Reynolds was inaugurated on the evening of the 21st of May (as stated above). On the 22nd of May the Grammar school was opened and instruction given by J. A. Tressler, Esq and myself. Pres. Reynolds was engaged upon a agency for the benefit of the institution during this term. The number of the pupils connected with the school during the summer was 61. The first term was closed on the 26th of July, two weeks earlier than was contemplated, on account of the presence of cholera in the city.
Immediately after the close of the school we left the city. Pres. Reynolds went in company with the Rev. Passerant of Pittsburg, Pa., to visit a colony of Swedes and Norwegians in the norther part of Illinois and Wisconsin. Mr. Tressler went to Williams Co. Ohio to visit his friends and I went to Starke Co. to spend the vacation with a [bro] and uncle who reside in the neighborhood of a small town near the line of Starke and Columbiana counties called New Franklin. On my way thither I passed through Mt. Hermon, Wooster, Massillon and Canton. In Canton Bro. Riger, formerly a schoolmaster, having caught a glimpse of me in the coach, hastened to the hotel, when an exchange of horses was making, to meet me. He insisted on my stopping and preaching in his church on the following Sabbath. As I was impatient to see my friends, who live 15 miles east of this, I could not be induced to tarry, but promised to return and preach in two weeks. During my stay in this section I preached twice in New Franklin, by request of Bro. Guenther, pastor in the place, three times at Canton by request of Bro. Tiger, and twice in Paris by request of father Melsheimer. I became acquainted with Bro. Fast, who lives in Canton, has a book store, and preaches to farm congregations in the surrounding country. Father Melsheimer serves seven congregations, one of which (Ger.) is in Canton, where he also lives. He wishes to resign three of them (Canton, [obscured] and Paris) and asked me to recommend a suitable pastor, upon which I wrote to Mr. Roedel, a student now at Gettysburg, who graduates this fall. Bro. Riger serves the Eng. Congregation in Canton, which numbers about 70 communicants. Father Melsheimer preaches no English, although it is very much needed. Two of these brethren (Melsheimer and Fast) belong to the Eastern district Synod of Ohio, and in accordance with a [obscured] of said body at their last meeting a year ago are about adopting the gown, which is a new thing in this country, excepting only with the Episcopalians. Bro. Rigere belongs to the Miami Synod, but intends to connect with the English band of the "Joint Synod." Bro. Guenther is in connection with the Eng. Synod of Ohio (not in connection with the joint synod). He is an old gentleman, without much education, or ability, and yet the author of a work on Baptism, which I was sorry to find had involved the pecuniary affairs of the author and publisher, without any credit to himself or benefit to the church. What a strange infatuation seizes upon some men! The poor old man has a la rge family, lives in a log cabin without an inch of carpet on the floor, with barely enough to eat and hide their nakedness. His congregations (two, formerly four) have dwindled away under the influence of ultra "new measures" and now barely raised a salary of two hundred dollars. In this state of things he has been obliged to commence teaching a common school for a living.
During my travels I met with a great deal of infidelity and skepticism. Much of which is doubtless due to a want of the proper kind of preaching. Much of the ministry in this portion of the Church is poorly qualified to meet and counteract heresy. Upon the whole I am much impressed with the impoprtance of educating men for the work.
The Grammar School of Capital University opened and my duties in the capacity of teacher commenced in the 12th inst. On the evening of the 11th the faculty of letters was constituted by appointing Mr. Tressler Prof. of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, myself Prof. of Ancient Languages and the Rev. Lehman Prof of German. The first faculty meeting took place at the house of Lewis Heyl, Esp., on the evening of the twelfth. Pres. Reynolds in the Chair. A course of study was partly arranged. My duties in the school engage me four hours each day. A freshman class of five students has been formed. Pres. Reynolds left the city a few days after the opening of the school, leaving it principally in the care of Mr. Tressler and myself. Having received the second [mo] of the second vol. of the Evangelical Review this evening, I read the first Art. by Dr. Schmucker on "Church Development." Many of his remarks are good and timely; some of them will not be well received in the Church. Having preached yesterday I have had the feelings common to one on Monday after performing divine services.
On the 26th of September I attended a meeting of the Eng. Lutheran Synod of Ohio, assembled at Uniontown, Muskingum Co. and after my return, wrote a short account of its proceedings for the Luth. Standard (see Vol 8, No. 17) This ecclesiastical body, which is a branch of the "Joint Synod" of Ohio, was composed of ten members, but received an increase of four (including myself) at this meeting. Synod expressed itself favorably toward our institution at Colubus. Among the more important buisness transacted was the appointment of a committee to process a good Eng. translation of the Augsburg Conf., the Apology, the [obscured] Articles, Catechisms of Luther and Formula Concordia.
After my return to Columbus, we formed a sophomore class consisting of two full members and one irregular which gives me one hour more labor each day, making five hours. During my absence Mr. Daniel Worley, a late graduate of Penna College arrived for the purpose of assisting in the Grammar School. Pres. Reynolds has been absent for several weeks, having gone east for is family. On Sabbath the 7th inst. I preached for the Spielman's people at the [Helseck] church, seven miles from the city. Bro Spielman, the connection with Br. Albrecht of Thronville, Somerset Co. has taken ana agency in behalf of our institution, and I have promised to fill his pulpit in English and Bro Lehman's in the city, whilst Bro Lehman fills it in German. Consequently I am again to preach every Sabbath besides my duties in teh schoolroom and the part I take in the editing of the "Luth. Standard" which devolves upon Bro. Lehman and myself during Bro. Spielman's absence.
On Sabbath the 14th I preached at Beck's Church three miles from Lancaster, and in the afternoon in Lancaster. These congregations are served by Bro. Wagenhals.
This evening I returned from Circleville, where I went on Saturday with Bro Roof. On Sabbath (the 15th inst) I preached twice in Circleville and found the Lutheran Congregation at that place weak and distracted with difficulties.
Preached in the Second Presbyterian Church in Columbus of which Mr. Hitchcock is pastor.
Preached in the Lutheran Church in Columbus - text Ps 2:6 "Yet have I set my king on my holy hill of Zion."
During the winter and summer of 1851 I continued my labor as teacher in Capital University, preached by invitation, and occasionally in the Second church of the City, besides preaching for the most part [state] every two weeks for the Eng. Lutheran Cong. Early in the spring Prof. Lehman dissolved his connection with said congregation, at which time a temporary arrangement was made for its supply, half of the labor falling upon myself. Recently the congregation has called the Rev. E. Greenwalts from New Phila Ohio, who is now probably on his way hither.
The summer term of the University having closed on the 23rd of July I spent the succeeding five weeks in Tuscarawas Co. obtaining subscriptions for the endowment. My labors resulted in prodcuring subscription to the amount of about 500 dollars. The first catalogue of the Institution was published at the close of the summer term, containing the names of 136 pupils, the fall term commenced on the 23rd of Sept with flattering prospects. The whole amount of subscriptions, including a donation of 1500 dollars from Miss Jenny Lind, is now sometihng over 2500 dollars. Agents are yet in the field and the expectation is that the building will be commenced next spring.
Preached in the 1st Baptist Church from the text "They that are [obscured] have [obscured] the flesh with the affections of lust."
Preached in the church five miles north of Columbus. This is church built on union principles, but occupied chiefly by the Methodists. There is no Lutheran congregation here and I think only a few Lutheran families.
Assisted at the consecration of Church in the Rev. Loy's charge 10 miles north of Delaware in this state. The services were conducted by Prof. Lehman and myself in addition to the pastor. Prof. L. preaching German and myself Eng.
Preached at the Church [?] of Columbus
During these two days the students in the University were examined; the young gentlemen acquitted themselves much to the satisfaction of all concerned. The most advanced class (the sophomores) was examined in Horace and Homer by myself, in Conic sections by Mr. Worley and in Chemistry by Dr. Wormley. All concur in saying that it is a model class. The number of pupils during the term, which has just closed, is 76. The [exercises] will be resumed on the of [May].
Sabbath. Preached the funeral of Mr. Stummel (one of Bro. Spielman's members) about six miles south of Columbus. Text Ps. 90:72 "So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."
I continued to fill the [?] of Prof. of Ancient Languages in Capital University until the close of the summer session of 1854. Rev. Dr. Reynolds and myself felt constrained to dissolve our connection with said institution in consequence of church difficulties created by the "Old Lutherans" of the Ohio Synod. This Synod has never formed a connection with the General Synod of the Lutheran Church, which the Ohio brethren do not regard as orthodox in the faith. An attempt was made by Dr. Reynolds to bring about a more friendly state of feeling between the two bodies with the view of ultimately inducing the Ohio Synod to become united with the Gen. Synod. This attempt failed and rendered Dr. Reynolds unpopular with many who had been friends of the College. Difficulties began to increase, and at length finding it impossible to conduct the college on such principles as we desired, we though it best to resign and allow those who differed from us to have their own way unmolested. Dr. Reynolds removed to Easton, Pa, where he commenced a female school and I accepted a call from the Lutheran congregation in Springfield, Ohio.
Preached in the morning from Isai 28:5 and in the evening from 1 Cor 1:30.
Attended a meeting of synod at New Jefferson, Harrison Co., O.
Removed with my family to Springfield.
Preached from Acts 8:23 in the morning the pulpit was supplied in the eveing by Bro. Braun.
Preached in the morning from Ps. 2:6 in the evening from 1 Jno 3:16.
Preached in the morning from Matt 20:6 "Why stand ye here all the day idle?" in the evening preached a missionary sermon from Rom 10:14,15.
Preparatory services for communion - preached from 1 Cor 11:21. But let a man examine himself [?]. Baptised a child named Chas Peter Stowe.
Communion. Confirmed Mrs. Maria Crossland. Baptised Malinda Snyder, daug of Henry and Elizabeth Snyder. Prof. Conrad preached com sermon. Day disagreeable - preached in the evening from 103 Ps 1st verse.
Buried Miss Mary Hooper a member of the Presbyterian Church.
Sabbath. Preached from Gal 5:24. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh [???]. Bro. Braun preached in the evening.
First monthly concert of the Sabbath school ever had in this place. Bro. Harbaugh lately elected superintendent introduced it.
Bro Braun left Springfield to take charge of the congregation at Dansville NY. The blessings of God attend him!
Sabbath. Preached in the morning from Rom 14:7-8 some of us livith to himself .. In the evening all the churches but the Presbyterian were closed. In it was held a union meeting in behalf of forging men's christian association which has been recently organized. Also the pastors of the place participated in the exercises.
Preached from Acts 16: 30-31 [remainder obscured].
Commenced a class of catechism. 16 present.
Continued in charge of the congregation at Springfield only six months, at the expiration of which time I was obliged to resign on account of ill health. I rec'd an appointment to fill the chair of Natural Science in Wittenberg College and commenced my duties in May, 1855. I was well pleased with this situation and found it to agree with my health. But the expiration of the first year of my services the institution was so much embarrassed for funds, and my own necessities in the way of salary so urgent that I was induced to accept a call to the congregation in Winchester, Va.
Oct 1 1855
Preached at New Carlisle, Black Co. O. Israel 28:5
Preached at N. Carlisle Heb 1.3. Lectured at Kroft's church on Heb. ch. 1
Preached at Kroft's in the morning from Isiah 28.5 at New Carlisle from 1 Cor 1.30. Organized at a congregation after services consisting of 25 members.
Preached at Carlisle morning last. I perceive thou art in the gale of bitterness... Bro Bartholomew filled the pupit for me a Krofts.
Preached at the Yellow Spring congregation in place of Prof. Geiger in the morning; in the Presbyterian church Springfield in the evening last for both 1 Cor 15:34. Some have not the knowledge of God.
Continued preaching during six months of the fall and winter of 1855-6 to the congregations at New Carlisle and Krofts Church. Bro. Amos Bartholomew their pastor during this time was engaged in an agency for Wittenberg College. I preached to each of them once in two weeks, filling both apppoipntments on the same day, making me ride about 25 miles.
Winchester, VA 1856
I visited the congregation in Winchster with a view to taking charge of it, and preached twice on Sabbath April 6. On the following Monday evening there was a meeting of the church council, at which it was resolved to present my name to the congregation for election as pastor. Accordingly on Wednesday evening April 9th after I had addressed the people on the subject of Union with Christ from the text 1 Cor 15:34 "Of him are ye in Christ" and had retired from the lecture room a congregational meeting was held. The result was a unanimous election. On that evening yet a committee waited upon me to announce the call which was extended to me, with the offer of eight hundred dollars salary and the free use of the parsonage. I immediately signified my intention to accept it. On Thursday morning I left Winchester to go on my way home, which owing to numerous detentions on the w ay, I did not reach until Sabbath morning. I found my family anxiously awaiting my return.
April 29, 1856
This morning at 8 o'clock my family took leave of Springfield, Ohio to go on our way to our hew home in Winchester. Our rout was by way of Columbus, Janesville and Wheeling, then on the Baltimore and Ohio road to harper's Ferry which we reached Wednesday morning about 8 o'clock, making about five hundred miles in twenty-four hours. At Harper's Ferry we were detained until 1 o'clock PM, when we took the cars and arrived at our destination about 3 PM. Mr. Wm Willer and several other members of the church met us at the cars and Mr. Miller kindly offered us the hospitality of his house until we could have our own ready for occupancy. We found that our furniture and goods which had been shipped four days before we left Springfield had not arrived.
Sabbath. Preached to large audiences morning and evening on the former occasion from Ps. 2.1 "Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion." the latter from 1 John 3.16. "[Keenly] perceive we the love of God because he laid down his life for us."
Furniture arrived - commenced unpacking.
Sabbath. Preached in the morning from Ps 34.7. The angel of the Lord encampeth around about them that fear him and delivereth them, in the evening from Acts 8.23 I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity.
Tuesday evening removed to the parsonage. The members of the congregation were very kind in assiting us to arrange our furniture and in sending us articles of provision, such as groceries, flowers, hams. etc. Mr. Miller took me to his tailor and had me measured for an entire suit. He also sent me a new hat.
Sabbath. Rev. J. [Few] Smith at one time a Lutheran minister and pastor of the Luth congregation in Winchester, but now a minister in the Presbyterian church and pastor at Newark, NJ preached for us in the morning from 2 Cor. 12.11 Mostly gladly threefore will I glory in my infirmities that the poewr of Christ may rest upon me. In the evening I preached from 2 Peter 3.18. Grow in grace. Attended Sabbath school in the afternoon as in my custom.
Sabbath. Preached in the morning from Heb 1.3 Who being the brightness of his glory... In the evening from Gal 5.24. They that are Christs have crucified [the] flesh... Attendence larger than usual, owing in part to the fact taht several of the churches in town were closed. Attended Sabbath school and endeavored to reorganize some of the classes. Owing to the extreme cold of the past winter and the want of a regular pastor in the congregation, the sabbath school became very much disorganized - many of the scholars left off coming and much irregularity prevails generally. On last Wednesday evening after lecture we had a meeting of the teachers in order to devise measures for reviving it.
Sabbath. Preached in the morning from Matt 12.30. He that is not with me is against me. In the evening from Acts 3.19. Repent ye.
Sabbath. Preached on the occasion of laying the corner stone of a new church in Bro Fah's charge, about seven miles from Winchester (Bro. Fah's not being able to attend on account of ill health) delivered a funeral discourse at the same place in the afternoon and preached at Newtown in the evening. No service in own church in Winchester.
Returned from Newtown, had a delightful ride - a lovely morning. The country is charming at this season.
Preached in the morning on the Atonement - text Rom 5:11. By whom we hve now received the atonement; in the evening on the intercession of Christ - text Heb 7.25. Wherefore he is able....
Preached in the morning on the text Prov 22.6. Train up a child ... after sermon a collection was taken for the benefit of the sabbath school, which resulted in about one hundred dollars. Preached in the evening from Luke 24.45 - Then he opened their understanding...
Pulpit filled in the morning by Rev. Landstreet of Meth. Eps Church - in the evening no service - many of our people desired the opportunity of hearing Rev. Dr. Stockton of Balt who preached in Dr. Boyd's (Presbyterian) Church.
Preached in the morning from Luke 19.10. For the son of man came to seek and to save that which is lost. In the evening on the subject of Divine Providence - text Prov. 16.33. The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord - had a crowded house - a company of soldiers from Alexandria present in uniform.
Sabbath. Preached in the morning from Rom 14.7-8. Some of us liveth to himself ... in the evening from 2 Pet. 3.15 - And account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation. Weather very warm.
Installation. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings the REv. J.P. Smeltzer of Harper's Ferry preached in our church. On Saturday morning we had a sermon by Rev. J.B. Davis of Staunton and services preparator to communion. On Saturday evening a sermon by Rev. Geo. Diehl of Frederick, Md. On Sabbath morning the church was crowded to witness the installation, which was arranged in the following order.
1. Invocation - Rev. G.P. Krauth, Jr. of Pittsburgh
2. Hymn 499
4. Scripture lessons
5. Hymn 567
6. Sermon - Rev. J.B. Davis
7. Constitutional Questions - Rev. J.B. Davis
8. Charge to Pastor - Rev. L. Eichelberger
9. Charge to People - Rev. Geo. Diehl
10. Hymn 587 - Rev. J.F. Fahs of Newtown
11. Doxology by the Choir
12. Benediction - Rev. Fahs
On Sabbath afternoon at half past three o'clock the congregation convened again to partake of the Lord's Supper. A short discourse was delivered by Bro Diehl, after which the communicants (about 125) were served at the table. In the evening (8 o'clock) the series of meeting was concluded by a sermon from Bro Krauth. All these services wer of an impressive character and will, I trust, be followed by blessed results. This is the first time that I have been regularly installed as pastor of a congregation. In my former two charges (York, Pa. and Springfield, Ohio) I was never installed, and remained in each only six months.
July 22 to Aug 15
Visit to our friends. On the 22nd of July I left Winchester in company with my wife. Mother in law and our two children and reached Bettysburg Pa about ten oclock that evening. We were glad to meet so many familiar faced and greet so many kind friends. On Sabbath following (27th) I preached at the request of Prof. Jacobs in Christ's Church. On Tuesday (29th) I crossed the mountain in the Chambersburg crack to visit my father, brothers and sisters in Franklin Co. Found father failing very much. He is seventy-seven years past, and has changed greatly during the four years since I saw him last. Here and in Gettysburg we spent several weeks pleasantly, and returned to Winchester on the 15th of August.
Sabbath. Preached in the morning from the text of Jno 115.5 "I am the vine ye are the branches." In the evening from Jno 3.16 "God so lovved the world...
Sabbath. Preached in the morning from Luke 8.18. "Take heed therefore how you hear.' In the evening an expository discourse upon Rev. 1 9-18.
Assisted at the laying of a corner stone in Bro. Smeltzer's change in Jefferson County. Returned on Friday.
Commenced a course of catechetical instructions.
Sabbath. Preached in the morning from the text Isai 1.18. Come now and let us reason together... In the evening an expository discourse of the epistle to the church at Ephesus. Rev. 2. 1-7
Funeral of Mrs. Peter Miller at 4 o'clock. Mrs. Miller has been going into decline for nearly two years, of diseases of the lungs. She was a good woman and died with a firm confidence in her savior.
Sabbath. Preached in the morning on the subject of Prayer. text Jas. 5.16 "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" Bro. Krauth of Pittsburgh preached in the evening.
Spent the day with one of my members in the country. Mr. Dinkler's family with me.
Preached in the morning from Eccl. 1.2 Vanity of beauties... In the evening from Rom 12.2
Preached in the morning on the subject of home missions and education. Text Rom 10.14,15. Took a collection amounting to about $100. Rev. M. Remney agent for the American tract society preached in my church at night.
Preached in the morning on the person of christ. Text Col 2.9. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily: in the evening from Ps 139. 21, 22. Do not I hate....
Perfomred funeral services for Mr. Glaize, who was a member of the Bethel Church five miles from Winchester, under the charge of Bro. Summers, who is sick.
Mr. Bittinger of the Presbyterian Church preached in my pulpit in the morning, and Mr. Dole of the Ger. Reformed Ch. in the evening. Triennial [courertia] of the Ger. Reformed Church in Session.
Performed funeral services for Mr. Jno Messmore an aged member of our congregation.
Preached in the morning from Heb 12: 29 "For our God as a consuming fire" in the evening from the parable of the hidden treasure Matt 13.44.
Attended the meeting of the Va. synod at Woodstock. Preached on Sabbath at 2 1/2 [P.U.] before communiunion from Col 2:9.
Sabbath. Preached in the morning from Acts 26.28 "and Agrippa said unto Paul: Almost thou persuadest me to be a christian": in the evening from Luke 12:32. "Fear not little flock: for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
Preached in the morning from 2 Cor 5.10. We must all appeara before the judgment ... in the evening from Mark 8.36,37. What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world...
Saturday. Preached at 11 o'clock from 1 Cor 11:28. But let a man examine himself... baptised two children and had service preparator to communion.
Sabbath. Communion. Preached in teh morning from 1 Cor 5.7. "For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us." The attendance was large. About one hundred and fifty persons communed. Bro David of German Reformed Church came after service in his church, and assisted me in serving the tables. Quite a number of the Episcopalians communed with us. Preached to a large audience in the evening from Eph 6.10. "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might."
Sabbath. Preached in the morning from Matt 13:33. The kingdom of heaven is like unto [leaven]... In the afternoon at three o'clock I preached in the Presbyterian church of Kernstown, four miles from Winchster. Dr. Boyd the pastor being absent. text Luke 13:24. Strive to enter in at the strait gate, etc. - preached the same sermon in our church in the evening. Both of these sermons I wrote out in full last week. The skelton of the latter I took from Edmundson's short sermons. This I did to give me more time to spend upon my morning sermon. But I found it a difficult matter to write from a skeleton which was not my own, and, in the delivery of the sermon, it was much more difficult to become interested.
Preached in the morning from Matt 16.18 Thou art Peter, etc. evening Isiah 60.1. Arise, shine for thy light has come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee."
Some excitement exists in the congregation about the pews. A large number of the principal members and supporters of the church desire pews to themselves and families. Heretofore the pews have generally been occupied promiscusouly, though a number of families have sat together in the same pew. On Wednesday evening a congregational meeting was held for the purpose of taking the subject into consideration. Some of the opposition were very much united against a general assignment of pews. Others for the sake of peace and harmony voted with them and the proposition was lost.
Spent the sabbath at Staunton, where we consecrated a new church. The congregation at this place was organized about four years ago. Rev. J.B. David has had the charge of it since its commencement. The church is a very neat edifice, not large, but sufficient for present purposes. Rev. J.A. Geiss of Baltimore preached the consecreation sermon on Sabbath morning. I preached on Sabbath evening. Preaching was continued several evenings during the week by Bro. Geiss. I returned on Wednesday.
Sabbath. Preached in the morning from the first commandment [Col] 20.3. in the evening from Prov. 19.2 "Also that the sould be without knowledge it is not good."
Preached from 1 Tim. 4.8. For bodily exercise profitith little, etc. For the evening Rev. Dr. Boyd of the new School Presbyterian Church preached for me.
Morning Heb 11.17. Faith Abr. Evening Acts 8.23.
Christmas. I did not appoint service for today, but delivered a discourse last evening appropriate to the occasion from Isia 9.6. I have regretted si nce that an appointment had not been made for today: but as my labors are great and I have no sermon preprared that would suitable and have not been very well for some weeks, I thought it best not to undertake too mcuh. The stores in town were nearly all closed, and business generall suspended. It was the most quiet Christian I have ever witnessed in a town. The major issued a proclamation prohibiting the firms of guns, pistols, fire crackers and all similar things, which had the effect of preventing a great deal of noisy and improper spoprt. I attended service and communed at the Episcopal Church.
Our friends had sent us a number of little presents, which have afforded us much gratification as tokens of their good will and affection toward us. No less than five turkies have been sent by as many different persons, all designed for our christmas dinner; I sent one of them to a poor widow in the neighborhood. We shall have enough left to feast us several weeks. A Lady (Mrs. W. Baker Miller) sent me a very fine satis. vest. Toys, cakes and sweetments were sent to the children.
Preached in the morning from Isaiah 60.1. Arise, shine, etc. This sermon was repeated by request. In the evening from Matt 25.46.
Visited Mr. Carter's family in the county five miles from town. His mother is ill and laboring under mental derangment, but some times quite sane - talked and prayed with her.
Jan 4, 1857
Morning Ps. 143.5 At 2 PM preached the funeral discourse of Henry Seivers in the church from Ps. 90.10. He was in his 89th year.
Preached morning from Luke 17.32. Remember Lot's wife.
Morning Matt 8.2-4 Evening no service in consequence of inclement weather.
Jan 25 and Feb 1
I was unable to preach in consequence of being unwell. Rerv. C.P. Krauth of Pittsburg preached on sabbath evening. Feb 1 to the young men. Feb 8. Matt 20.6 no evening service
Preached in the morning from 2 [L..?] "Who abolished death and brought Life and immortality to light through the gospel. In the evening from Jno. 13.17
Had a communion. Bro. Fahs of Newtown assisted and did the preaching.
Morning Matt 3.8 "Bring forth then fine fruits meet for repentance" Evening Ps. 2.6
Morning Deut 14.1 "Ye are the children of the Lord your God." With the advice of a number of the members we closed our church in the evening for the purpose of hearing Rev. Dr. Chambers of Phila, who preached in the Loudon St. Presbyterian Church. Mr. Chambers also preached in our church on Monday evening. His sermons were very pointed and impressive.
During the week intervening between the 8th and 15th was very much engaged in visiting. A number of persons have been sick and my time was closely occupied. One old lady (Mrs. Chapman) who was no member of the church but whom I visited during her illness died on Saturday. Poor woman! She was anxious to get well and said if the Lord spared her this time, she would lead a different life. I talked and prayed iwth her several times a day from the time I was first sent for. She did not manifest a willingness to die until the last day of her life and then I fear she was too far gone to appreciate he condition.
Preached in the morning from the prable of the ten virgins Matt 25. 1-13: in the evening from 1 Pet 3.15. And be ready always to give an answer to every man, etc. Neither of these sermons was written. I have usually preached once on sabbath without a written discourse, but seldom have I preached twice in the same manner. The labor of preaching this way prostrated me much more than if I had used a manuscript.
I was kindly invited by Mr. Mullen to accompany himi to Capon Springs. The ride was beneficial to my health though the inclemency of the weather made my visit less pleasanat than it would have been. We were absent three days and returned on Friday evening.
Sabbath. Preached in the morning from the preface to the moral law Ex. 20.1.2 in the evening from Gal 5.24.
Preached in the morning from Acts 8.4. Therefore they that were scattered abraod went everywhere preaching the word." In the evening exchanged with Bro. Graham of the Kent Str. Pres. Ch.
Preached in the morning on the subject of Pride. text Prov 29.23. This sermon produced quite a rustling among the silks and feathers. I preached in the evening from the text [Mul] 3.8 "Will a man rob God." The former discourse was written in full - the latter was only a sketch.
Assisted Bro. Fahs at Newtown preached on Friday and Saturday evenings also twice on Sabbath, and took part in the administration of the Lord's Supper. The attendance was only moderate at these meetings - the weather unpleasant. Bro Fahs is suffering from ill health, and thinks he will be obliged to retire from the active duties of the ministry for a while. He is a young man and feels much disappointed and discouraged. He labored serveral years at Hancock Med. on the Potomac River, where his constitution was badly injured by fever and ague. I returned on Monday glad to meet my dear family.
Sabbath. Rev. C. P. Krauth of Pittsburg preached for me in the morning. Owing to the very great inclemency of the weather, the church was not opened in the evening.
Sabbath. Preached to a full house in the morning from Luke 14.18. "And they all with one consent began to make excuse": in the evening from Ps 19.7 "The law of the Lord is perfect."
The weather is just now beginning to become warm and plwasant. The season is unusually backward, there having been scarcely the appearance of spring until within the last few days. Snow has fallen here within a week psat, and in Maryland and Pennsylvania it fell to a great depth some placed as much as two feet, doing damage by its weight to buildings, bridges, etc. There is scarcely any appearance of vegetation. Fruit trees are just beginning to put forth blossoms and gardening has scarcely been commenced. The older inhabitants say they have never known so late a spring.
Communion services today. I expected Bro. Kopp of Martinsburg to assist me, but he was prevented from doing so by sickness in his family. I preached on Saturday morning from Jno 16.23 "I in them and thou in me that they may be made perfect in me." On Saturday at 3 o'clock I performed funeral services for a child of the [Grim]. On Sabbath morning the church was filled to celebrate the Lord's Supper. Several persons were received by confirmation and four by certificate. Preached from Jno 15.13. Greater love hath no man than this, etc. Preached again in the evening from Heb. 6.1 The evening very inclement - audience small.
Preached in the morning from Rom. 14.7 "for none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself." audience large. In the evening my pulpit was filled by the Rev. B. Farrand, a clergyman of the New School Presbyterian Church recently located at Deckertown, NJ but now engaged in an agency.
On this (Tuesday) evening I married Miss Julia E. Baker, on of my most attentive members, to Mr. Boyd of Baltimore, Md. They had a large and brilliant party at the house of the bride's parents. For this wedding I received 30 (thirty) dollars in gold.
Left WInchester at nine oclock with my family to visit our friends in Pennsylvania and attend the meetings of the General Synod of the Lutheran Church at Reading. We travelled by Railroad and reached Philadelphia at 12 o'clock at night. The expenses for each passenger were as follows.
From Winchester to Baltimore $4.50
Omnibus fare and charge of baggage .87 1/2
From Balt. to Philadelphia $3.00
Lodging and breakfast including mnibus fare from and to the cars $2.75
Left Philadelphia for Allentown at 6 o'clock AM - fare $1.50 to Freemanburg on the Southern Pa. railroad - from Freemansburg to Allentown on the Lehigh Valley road - 25 cts. Arrived at Allentown about half past nine o'cloc AM. Here I left my family with my brother-in-law Rev. Dr. W.M. Reynolds. I took the stage coach immediately for Reading - arrived a 6 o'clock PM - fare $1.50. I was much gratified to meet a large number of my former college mates and associates in attendance at the Synod. The session had opened in the morning at nine o'clock, byb a synodical discourse from Rev. Loehman of york, Pa, the former president. Synodical business had been transacted during the remainder of the day. A sermon was preached in the evening by Rev. Dr. Sprecher, Pres. of Wittenberg College, Springfield Ohio. Synod continued in session until the 28th. Moved business was transacted, and great harmony prevailed on most subjects.
Thursday. Returned from Reading to Allentown in a stage coach. Owing to the recent heavy rains the roads were bad, but this inconvenience was atoned for by the delightful scenery that surrounded us on all sides. This is one of the richest and best improved agricultural districts through I have ever travelled. The farms are usually not much over one hundred acres in size, and in the finest state of cultivation. Although the present spring is unusually backward in growing crops present in promising appearance. The luxurient growth of wheat, the green and [rank] meadows the gently sloping hills with spring bubbling from their sides, the creeks and revilets winding along the valleys, and the blue mountains on either side in the distance make this a most charming country for the traveller. The people are almost exclusively German, that is Pennsylvanians of German descent. Scarcely any English is spoken in this valley. At Reading English is gaining ascendancy. At Allentown German is spoken chiefly. In Reading there are three Lutheran Congregations the largest one of which is to a great extent German and is served by the REv. Jno N. Koffman in boht languages. The next largest, which is a colony of the former, is served by Rev. R.A. Muhlenberg Keller in the English the third by Rev. J.A. Brown also in English. In Allentown ther are two Lutheran churches. The first and by far the most numerous is served by Rev. A T. Gessenhaimer in German. He has recently taken charge, and has not yet removed his family from his former residence in Trenton, N.J. The English congregation is small, numbering less than 100 members, and is served by Rev. B.M. Schmucker. Both of these congregations have recently built very fine churches.
Sabbath. Preached in the morning in the Reb. B.M. Schmucker's church and heard him preach in the evening. May 26-7 visited the coal mines near Mauch Chunk Here there is much to be seen. The county is mountainous and the scenery exceedingly picturesque. The operations in coal mining are [numerous]. THe Lehigh Coal Company are the chief proprietors. When in full operation they send away about three thousand tons of coal per day, chiefly on the Lehigh Canal. On my return I stopped at a palced called Slatington, where there are a few houses, and extensive slate quarries. Immense numbers of tiles for roofing are made here, and sent to various parts of the country. The manufacture of slates for school purposes, of various sizes, is also carried on extensively. But the most interesting part of the slate business is a new process of giving to the slate stone a marble color and polish. I have learned that this art has been understood for years in England, but not until recenlty has it been introduced into this country, first in the neighborhood of Boston and since then in the state of New York. It is not much more than a year past since it has been commenced in Pennsylvania. They manufacture of the slate stone into mantels, tables, etc. which are quite equal in color and polish to any marble and all said to be superior in durability. This will doubtless in a few years become a very extensive business.
On Friday at nine o'clock Mrs. Reynolds, Mrs. Essick and myself took the cars at Allentown for the purpose of taking dinner and spending the day according to previous arrangement, with the family of Rev. E Greenwald of Easton. Here we met Bros Plitt and Sadtler with their wives. We had a very agreeable clerical party. Mrs. Reynolds and my wife returned to Allentown in the evening and I remained for the purposes of spending the sabbath with these brethren.
On Saturday evening I took tea with Bro. Sadtler, where Mr. Plitt met me for the purpose of taking me with him to his house. He lives two miles from Easton, across the Delaware, in the State of New Jersey. He has a large adn interesting congregatiotn, consisting chiefly of farmers. I preached for his people on Sabbath morning. Bro. Plitt preached at Bloomsburg [obscured] school house in afternoon to which service I accompanied him. He went with me into Easton in the evening, were I preached for Bro Greenwald's congregation. Easton is a pleasant and flourishing town of about ten thousand inhabitants. The Lutheran Churches are the most influential in the place. The congregation of Bro. Sadtler (Eng and German) is very large numbering some seven or eight hundred. He speaks of sending out on colony. Brother Greenwald's is not nearly so large, but embraces the most influential families of the place. I returned to Allentown on Monday.
Thursday. Left Allentown withmy family at 9 o'clock. Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds accompanied is to the cars. Reached Philadelphia at half past twelve, expecting to proceed immediately to Baltimore. But the cars moved off just as we approached the depot. We then returned into the city and remianed with Mr. Isaac Smith, my wife's uncle, until the next day.
Left Philadelphia at one o'clock PM. Reached Baltimore at 5. Put up at the [Edenton] house.
Left Baltimore at nine o'clock, arrived at WInchester at five PM. During my visit to Pennsylvania I was deeply impressed by the contrast between the general appearance of the country and this. Naturally they are similar, both lying in the same valley, and presenting many of the same characteristics. But in Virginia the farms are large and the population sparse. The differences in cultivation, productiveness, and the general indications of thrift, are immensely in favor of Pennsylvania. It is usual to account for this on the grounds of Slavery.
Preached in the morning to a large audience from Hosea 6.3 . In the evening from Isaiah 28.5
Preached in the morning from Gen 1. 27. "So God created man etc.; in the evening from Zech 13. 1 "In that day there shall be a fountain opened, etc."
Ex 23.2 Afternoon at the Almshouse. Isai 28.5. Bro Davis of the Ger. Reformed Church preached for me in the evening.
Rev 2.7. Evening Isai 9.6.
Rom 2.4. Evening Luke 11.23
Monday. Preached at the funderal of a child in Newtown. This was a child of Mr. Guard, as it was accidentlly scalded to death by upsetting upon itself a mug of boing water which had been brought in for its father to save. It lingered about a week after the accident.
Sabbath. In the morning I presented a sermon in behalf of the sabbath school from the text Eccl 9.10. In the evening I commenced a series of lectures on the epistle to the Romans, taking for the first lecture ch. 1, 1-17.
Morning Eph. 6.10. Evening Rom 1.18-32
Performed funderal services for a little daughter of Mr. Thatcher. This child was five years old. She died suddenly of chodera [obscured], being sick only one day.
Sabbath. Preached in the morning from Gal 6.2. Bear ye one another's burdens, etc. Being unwell, services were omitted in the evening.
Sabbath. In the morning from 1 Sam 28.15. And some said to Saml why hast thou disquieted me to bring me up? Pulpit filled in the evening by Rev. Dr. Eichelberger.
Sabbath. In the morning from Rev. 3.15, 16. Theme Luke [?]. In the afternoon at 3 o'clock I preached at the Caster's on the Berryville Road. No service at night.
Communion. I expected Rev. F.R. Anspach to assist me, but was disappointed - had to do all the preaching myself. Saturday morning, Acts 17:30. Subject, repentance. Sunday morning Jno 19.30. "It is finished. Evening, Rom 2.1-16.
Sabbath morning 1 Cor 1.30. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us vision, etc. - not written. Evening, Rom 3.20-31.
Sabbath morning. Rev. 6.2 written discourse. Evening 1 Tim 3.16. Skeleton. Large attendance at both services.
Sabbath - morning Heb 1.14. Evening Jno 3.17.
Tuesday morning. I left home in company with my brother Hiram and his wife - their destination being their home in Farmerville, Louisiana, and mine being our old home in Franklin, Co. Pa. Brother and his wife spent two weeks with us. They came north in April and have been visiting their friends all summer, spending most of this time with her friends in Columbia, but part of it at our old Homestead in Franklin Co. We travelled together as far as Martinsburg, Va. where I left the cars and took a coach for Hagerstow. The ride was pleasant, through a rich and well improved country. The corn crops are very abundant in this region. Farming seems to be much better done in Maryland and Pa. than in Virginia. At Hagerstown I remained over night putting up at the Washington Hotel. Called and spent part of the evening with the Rev. C.C. Braughman at the Female Seminary. The school seems to be in a prosperous condition considering all the circumstances: but is still embarrassed in consequence of the bad management of its pecuniary affairs in the beginning. The building was put up from the proceeds of the sale of scholarships - then scholarships now give them pupils without a sufficient income to support the school.
On Wednesday I took the coach for Greencastle from which place I proceeded in a private vehicle to convey me to Bro Adam's, arriving there about 4 o'clock. I spent Thursday, Friday and Sataurday visiting my brothers and sisters in the neighborhood, having no spare time for seeing my numerous other relations and acquaintances in this [obscured] old neighborhood. This was my first visit home since the death of my father. The pleasure of recalling the scenes of my childhood, was saddened by the felt want of those who were my all in the days of childhood. They lie side by side in the graveyard of Grindstone Hill Church. I stood by their graves and felt how hard it is to lose a kind father and mother.
On Sabbath (the 13th) I preached in the Grindstone Hill Church. Here I heard my first sermon not in this same church, but in the old log house that stood near the spot. This old log house was one of the first churches in all this country, having been build about the time of the revolutionary war. I recollect very distincly when the cornerstone of the new church was laid in 1832. Then I was ten years old, and a pupil in the Sabbath School. It was built con jointly by the Lutherans and German Ref. The logs of the old church were sold to the [United] Brethren who removed them about two miles (To Saml Fetherhuff's) and built what was called "The Chapel." In passing this place during the present visitn I perceived that a new brick chaped had taken place of the old.
Throughout all the neighborhood I saw great changes, not only in the people, but more still in the general apperance of the country. New houses have been erected in places of the old, and farms have been divided and many houses built where none stood before.
On Monday (14th) Adam took me in his carriage to Gettysburg. My object in this visit was to attend the annual commencement of Pa. College. Here I had the pleasure of meeting a large number of my classmates and schoolmates in College. The exercises wer continued three days (Tues thru Thurs) were varied and all interesting. A class of 16 graduated from the College - o nly two from the Seminary. I returned to Winchester by way of Balt - spending the night (Friday) in Balt and reaching home on Saturday.
I forgot to mention in connection into my visitn to Franklin Co that I sold my interest in the farm to my brother in law. Mr Slaughenhaupt. He is buying out all the heirs at teh rate of $60 per acre. The farms consists of 123 acres and a few [parcels]. This is the only real estate my father ever owned. This he paid for by his own industry and brought up on it a family of twelve (one died at the age of four years) children, giving them all an education equal to any his neighbor's children and the best which the neighborhood afforded. But when this is said it implies only a common school education. Only two of the sons (Hiram and myself) studied professions and the expense of these were borne ourselves. We made the money chiefly while engaged at study. What we got from home was charged to our account. I got, in all, but 283 dollars. Hiram got a trifle more. We could not compleain of being charged for this as we had shared equally with the other children in this education which we got before leaving home. I received the loan of $100 without interest from the Grindstone Hill congregation, which I refunded fromthe proceeds of my father's setate. The rest of my college expenses I made up teachisng and colporting, etc.
Sabbath. Preached morning Phil 2.12,13. Evening Luke 18.1.
Preached morning Matt 9.37, 38 in behalf of education and home missions. After a collection taken amounting to $109. Evening Matt 10.29.
Preached morning Jno 7.17. Pulpit filled in the evening by Rev. Hill of the Baptist Church.
Went to Baltimore in answer to an invitation to visit Lutherville seminary with a view to becoming its principal. Was shown through the establishment by Rev. Dr. Morris and was formally impressed [but] inclined to accept the proposal. Left Balt on Wednesdsay evsenisng - proceeded a far as Washington, with a view of taking the cars upon the Organge adn Alexandrisa railsroad. On Thursday mornisng Is went to wharf at isx o'clock to take pasage in the boat which runs is connection with the cars between Alexandria and Washington. The boat was detained in conequence of heavy fog. Missed the cars and was obliged to remain a whole day and night at Alexandria. Friday morning took the cars on the Or. and Alexandria to Gordonville. Thereupon the Virginia Central road to Staunton, arrived at Staunton half-past three PM.
Meeting of synod at Staunton. Nothisng of pecial interst - meeting harmonious and pleasant. Left Ssaunton Tueday afternoon at 3 o'clock - rode all night in the stage - reached home Wednesday morning at nine.
Two Sabbaths -- 18th and 25th
I was obliged to omit preaching on account of ill health.
On the evening of the 19th I sent my resignation to the church council. I regret the necessity for taking this step. My connection with the congregation has been pleasant and to all appearances productive of good. The attendance was usually large and accessions granted frequent. There exists no cause of which I am aware for my leaving, except with myself. A heavy charge like this seems not to be adapted to my constitution. I suffer very frequently and severly from derangements of my liver, attended with dizziness in my head, and depression of spirits, unfitting me for my pulpit preparations. My resignation will take effect about Christmas.
Sabbath - Preached in the morning from Jno 15.22. No service at night.
Sabbath - Preached in the morning from Heb 1.3. No service at night - not well enough to preach twice.
Sabbath. Preached in the morning from Gen 5.24. Enoch walked with God, etc. Evening Luke 13.24. Strive to enter, etc.
Saturday. Preached a sermon preprator to communion from 1 Cor 5.7
Sabbath. Communion. Rev. G. Dorsey of Jefferson, Md, assisted and preached morning and evening.
Sabbath. Preached morning Ps. 16.10-11. Evening heb 12.29.
Sabbath Preached in the morning from 2 Kings 7.3 & 4. Day very inclement. No service at night.
Sabbath. Preached in the morning Jno 3.1. "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God." No service at night.
Morning 1 Jno 4.8 "God is love." No service at night.
Preached my farewell discourse to the congregation at Winchester from the text Deut 30.19. "I call heaven and earth to witness etc." The house was full and many of the people were deeply affected as I was myself.
Came with my family to Lutherville Seminary Dec. 29, 1857. Rev. Chas Martin, the former Princiapl had not left= but was p reparing to leave in a few days. He has accepted an appointment to the Superintendancy of Home Missions in the Lutheran Church, and will have his residence in Baltimore. The pupils of the Seminary are enjoying a short vacation during the holidays. Most of them went to their homes, but some eight or ten are here. The school numbered fifty three pupils before Christman. One will not return, but anew scholar has come to fill her place. All the pupils a re boarders in the seminary, but four. Myself and family will take board at the common table. For my services I am to receive six hundred dollars per annum, and all expenses paid except clothing.
The school was resumed, and my dutines commenced today. Scarcely one half of the girls have returned yet.
Lutherville Seminary went to operation in 1854. At first it had no regular principal. A lady was employed to attend to the duties of the principal. Experience shsowed that this would not work well. In the fall of 1857 Rev. Chas. Martin was appointed the first principal. He continued in office a little over a year.
The Seminary Building is sbeautifully situated, but the groiunds around it are unimproved - everything has a new and wild aspect. A part of my duty will be to superintend the improvement of the grounds in which I hope to find much pleasure.
Preached my first sermon at Lutherville. The audience consisted of the young ladies and teachers of the institution and about a dozen of people from the neighborhood. The trustees of the Seminary, last summer, put up a neat little frame chapel in Gothic style, sufficient to accommodate about three hundred persons. In this chapel I preach to them regularly every sabbath morning. In the evening immediately after worship I have a Bible class consisting of the pupils of the institution, and held in the study Hall. In connection with this exercise I ask them questions in regard to the sermon which they heard in the morning. I have been plpeased to find that many of them are able to repeat the text and give the leading divisions of the discourse. In Bible class we are occupied with the sets of the Apostles at present.
Preached from 1 Jno 3.16
Preached from Gen 1. 27.
This evening the pupils gave a musical Soiree. Quite a number of spectators were present from the neighborhood and from the city. Variety was given to the entertainment by the exhibition of tableaux. After the whole was concluded the company were invited down into the dining room to partake of refreshments, consisting of oysters, cake, fruits, nuts,s etc. The whole passed off very pleasantly and contributed very much to break the monotony of the dailiy routine.
I continued in charge of Lutherville Seminary until the close of the session July 29, 1859. At this time I graduated a class of nine young ladies. The commencement exercises were largely attended, and it was evident that they gave general satisfaction. My connection this institution was among the most unpleasant experiences of my life. I was induced to take the position partly be the fact that preaching had an unfavorable effect upon my health, and partly by the promise that I should have the entire control of the sschool My experience in teaching had given me assurance to hope that I could make this school popular and efficient, while I expected to make myself and family comfortable. But soon found that its affairs were so arranged and complicated that my hopes could be realized neigther in regard to the school nor my family. My self and wife, with three childre, were confined to a single room, and, though other rooms could have been vacated I was n ot at liberty to make the arrangment. The school was managed by a committee resident in Baltimore, none of whom had ever been a practical teacher. The story of our difficulties is long, and vexatious. Yet the shcool seemed to prosper, and when the session closed there were fifty seven pupils in attendance, nearly all of whom were boarders. I was succeeded by Mr. Creery, formerly a teacher in the boys' high school of Baltimore. The school experienced a falling off during the succeeding year, there being only about twenty four in attendance. I inquired around for a situation,a nd was finally induced to open a school in Hanover, Pa. This is a German community, strongly Lutheran, and disposed to educate. I made arrangements to purchase property, hoping to be able to pay for it (if the money could not be realized from the school) by using some portion of my wife's patrimony, which is real estate in Pittsburg. The school opened under favorable auspices. I had two female assistant. Mrs. C. C. French, and her sister Miss Mary E. Hauer, daughters of Rev. D. Hauer of Manchester, Md. I felt deeply interested and greatly encouraged in my undertaking until my plans were all deranged, my energy paralyzed, and my hopes blasted by the death of my dear wife. This sad calamity made it next to impossible to carry on a boarding school, as my plan contemplated, while her death left only a life estate in her property without the poewr to sell or appropriate any of it. THe consequence was that I was obliged to throw up my purchase, and sell out my furniture and school fixtures, losing about five hundred dollars in the operation. Truly I am in deep waters! Left wtih my motherless children, without a home and deeply in debt, there is a sore vurden pressing upon me. The say "Every cloud has a silver living." I try to believe it, and hope to be able to see through the gloom, but at present I view the darkness only.
This entry was made subsequently to my removal from Hanover, and intended to fill up a gap which would have broken the connection in the journal.
Dec 30, 1859
This was the saddest day in all my life. The Lord took from earth my dear, dear Elizabeth. She died at half past five o'clock in the morning, having given birth to our fourth child in the very moment of her death. My heart is completely overwhelmed with grief - the shock was so great - the death so sudden - we were not at all prepared for it. She spent the previous evening with us as usual, preparing the children's clothes, which she was anxious to have ready before her confinement. About ten o'clock we retired adn both fell asleep. In about an hour she swoke in a fright and was immediately taken with a chill, succeeded by colic pains and vomiting. She suffered in this way for about four hours when she became unconscious, and was soon afterward thrown into spasms. After the spasms ceased she gently breathed her last, apparently without any suffering.
To day we took the corpse of our beloved Elizabeth on the cars to Gettysburg. Her mother (who was with us at her death), her aunt Eliza Smith, my brother Hiram, her two brothers John and Walter, Mrs. Arnold, Mrs. Nancy Milken who came from Gettysburg yesterday and Mrs. French constituted o ur sorrowful party. We took our three children along.
This is Sabbath and New Year's Day. Such a Sabbath and such a New Year's day I never spent. At 2 o'clock we laid our departed one in the cold earth. The ground was covered with snow and the thermometer stood below zero. Oh how hard it was to leave one so tenderly beloved in such a cold, desolate place. We buried her in the cemtary among her kindred. Rev. Dr. Krauth officiated at the funeral.
Returned with a heavy heart to Hanover. How desolate this house!
Mrs. Anna M. Reynolds:
My Dearest Sister:
I have just returned from Gettysburg, and found your letter on my desk. I read it with a sorrowful heart, as I have read all the letter received from my friends since the death of my dear Elizabeth. I have no words to convey the utter desolation of my heart at this lone hour of night, as I have just put our dear little John into the bed where his mother slept and died and seated myself in our chamber wtih all its furniture, just as she l eft it, every article recalling the memory of her sweet presence, and then leaving me to the sad consciousness that her presence will never cheer me again in this world. Anna and little Walter remained with their grandma at Gettysburg, where they intend spending several weeks. Poor, dear little pets! It is a mercy of that they cannot appreciate the extent of their loss. John and Anna talk a great deal about their Mamma, and by their entire belief in all that I tell them of heaven and the employment of their sainted mother and the little babes she has with her, reproach me for my want of faith. "Of such is the kingdom." I never realized the meaning of this saying until now. Children have more faith than we have, for they have never learned to doubt. I first tuaght John that his Mamma was happier than we, when I could not realize the truth of what I was teaching. He believed it without a shadow of doubt, and now consoles me, whenever he sees my distress by saying "It is better - Ma is happier than we - she is with the angels and little Willie - and we will see her when God takes us to heaven." Annal often says "Has has a golden harp and a crown on her head." There are delightful thoughts in the midst of our deep gloom and as I hear the children repeat them so often, I think how true it is that "Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings He has ordained strength." For these little children, in t he simplicity, do more to divert my thoughts from the dark and gloomy present to the bright future than all the pious counsels of older heads.
My sorrows are not at all mingled with the bitterness of despondency. With such a light in my eye of faith as the life which my dear, devoted Elizabeth led me, I cannot but see the brightness of a cheerful hope, that we have parted only for a season to meete again, whree partings will never take place. The darkness of the night in which her suddes departure has left me is mellowed by the advancing light of the morn, where "they that sleep in the dust shall awake and come forth." Dear departed One! If she were her she would bear testimony to the depth of love I bore her, and the tenderness with which she was cherished by he now stricken husband. If ever I have been unkind to her it was only a momentary weakness of poor human nature, followed by an intense degree of affection, the former of which no one was more ready to forgive, whilst she fully appreciated adn promptly acknowledged the latter. Elizabeth was in all respects a faithful loving wife, and eminently a devoted mother. Such a wife is from the Lord. "The Lord gave her, and the Lord hath taken her away." I should not repine or murmur, but thank the Lord that he gave her, and left her so long with me.
I have every reason to believe that Elizabeth was a Christian. Whie she she made no parade of her religion I may say with truth (as far as one may judge, who knew her sevret life best) she lived the life of the righteous. She taught the children (John especially) a great deal of scripture -hymns-prayers, etc., and by her great conversations with them about heaven and their meeting their little brother there - showed that she understood its language - and was laying up treasures there. She was especially concerned about the religious training of our children, and very often requested me, at family worship, to pray patiently for the children. She continally expected to meet in heavaven who she was so anxious to have trained for heaven. Owing to her sudden and unexpected departure, we could have no conversations where death was at the door; and, if even that had been allowed my faith inher happy passage would not have been changed either by her hopes or her fears; "for by these fruits ye shall know them." and the falling of the fruits, or the cause of its fall, does not change its character. Elizabeth was somewhat apprehensive as her period approached but I did not think hre more so than usual. We had often talked about our children in case either of us was called away; but she never made any requests in regard to them, as one always said she know I would take good care of them and bring them up properly. She always wished, as all parents do, that she might be spared to bring them up herself. She said nothing at all, about them on her deathbed, or even made any allusions to her dying. At first I regretted very much that she could not have talked with us; but upon reflection I think it was a kind providence that she could not, and that her mind was n ot exercised in this way: for her parting with husband and children would have been the sorest part of death. Although she suffered severely for several hours (yet not apparantly more so thoan I have often seen her suffer before) in death she suffered not at all. It was like a gentle sleep, not a muscle of her jaw was distorted, and her corpse was perfectly life-like.Now she has gone - gone before us - not [last]. The [??] left her little ones on earth to meet her little ones in the skies - she has left her husband to go to her savior, and her friends below, to join a happier and more numerous band above. God took her to himself for the same reason that I looked to myself, because he lover her. In me she found a husband, found but frail and erring, and not able to confer the happiness which it was in my heart to confer; in him she has found more than a husband, brothers, sister, morther or frined who will be her eternal reward. Blessed be God! Thy will be done!
After writing the above I stopped to read what I had written, and when I had finished reading I had a hearty cry. But there is relief in tears, and now I am sufficiently composed to commence writing again. It is half past ten o'clock and the stillness of death reigns around, save the breathings of dear little John, who is fast asleep. THer is Elizabeth's bureau, and her dressing box, and her work-basket and pin cushion - but who is Elizabeth? We laid her body inthe cold earth on New Year's day, but she is not there either. That handful of dust is not the dear companion that walked side by side with me nine years of my pilgrimages. She has passed over to the Lord now, and that which we looked up as we shivered in the cold by her open grave three weeks ago, was only the worn-out tabernacle in which she had sojourned on her way to the promised land. She has gone over safely, for she trusted in a better leader than Moses, and is now enjoying "the rest which remaineth for the people of God." In her arms she carried her youngest borm, who God suffered not to be exposed in the wilderness at all - her sweet, dear little babe, made in the very image of his mother, born in the very [?] itself, and safely landed with her. Oh, my heart, say not that God is unkind. He has [trasured] thy jewels where alone they are safe - He has left thee others to polish which, with thyself, he will [treasure] in due time, if ye faint not. It is enough! God is good and I am resigned. My tears are not the burning tears of one who will not be comforted, but fond tears of affection meet to be wept on the bosom of a friends, yea, even on the bosom of that friend that sticketh closer than a brother. I mourn not that my dear one has been released from the toils of earth, but because in her release we have been separated, as the dove in the thicket mourns his mate that enjoys the freedom of the skies.
1860 - Columbia, Lancaster County, Pa.
When I disposed of my school at Hanover I had fully made up my mind to return to the active duties of the ministry. With this view I made efforts to secure a suitable change, but although there were several vacancies at teh time, I did not succeed, from the fact that other applications had preceded mine. I am not in circumstances to live without employment, and was therefore induced, for the present to take charge of the "Washington institute" in Columbia. This school was established by the authorities of the town, who own the building, and [rent] it to me. I have a borther (Hirma) living here, who was desirous of having me near him. I removed my family on the first day of August, and opened the school on the first Monday of September. Previvous to the opening I had a public meeting and made an address on the subject of Education, which was noticed with flattering comment in the town papers. It is nevertheless my purpose to take a pastorate, or some situation connected with my own church, as soon as the opportunity offers. Although I have not had a congregation to serve for three years past, yet I have preached, I think, upopn an average of once a week. At Lutherville it was my duty to preach every Sabbath. At Hanover I preached very frequently in absence or during the illness of the pastor (Rev. M.J. Alleman) and often for the neighboring clergy. Since my removal to Columbia I have preached every Sabbath with one exception, and on two or three occasions, twice a sabbath. Yesterday September 30 I preached twice in York during the absence of Rev. Menger, while attending synod.
Sabbath. To day I assisted at the laying of a corner-stone for the Lutheran (German) congregation of Columbia, under the pastoral care of Rev. J.A. Darmsteatter, and made an address. Rev. B.W. Schmauck of Lancaster made the address in German. Rev. E. Dorsey of the English Lutheran church of this place was also present. The new church is being built on the site of the old one, which was found too small to accommodate the congregation. A great crowd was in attendance.
This evening the directors of the "Washington Institute" held a meeting for the purpose of taking into consideration the interests of the school. The number of pupils (at present 49) is not sufficient to sustain its present expenses> It is porpopsed to make such changes in the building as will adapt a part of it to the residence of the pripncipal. At present it is arranged for school purposes alone, and is sufficient to accommodate 300 pupils. It is not likely that this number will ever be in attendance, unless something is done, either to increase the income or curtail the expenses I will be obliged to abandon it. I employ an "assistant" for $500, pay $6 per month to a janitor, $100 per year for rent, besides fuel, etc, and have to rent a horse for my family besides. A committee was appointed to inquire in the proposed change, make an estimate of teh cost and resport on next Thursday evening.
Sabbath. Preached in the morning the German Reformed Church and in the evening in the Presbyterian. Mrs. Swan is in Gettysburg with my two youngest children, Anna and Walter. I am alone here with only John for company.
This evevning the Trustees of the Institute met and after talking about various measures to sustain the school with its present force and arrangement parted without taking actiont on anything. The most feasible thing suggested was the propriety of dismissing the assistant, and securing pupils enough for myself alone to teach. This might be done and afford a very good income. But I am resolved upon returning to the active duties of the ministry, or at least laboring in some capacity in connection with my own church. So soon as a way opens it is my purpose to transfer the school to other hands and resume the work of a pastor.
Sabbath. Preached in teh Presbyterian Church in teh absence of its pastor. On Saturday morning I mailed a letter to Rev. Dr. Baugher, President of Pa College, offering my services, for six months, as agent to complete and endowment of the college. On Saturday evening I had a letter from Rev. P. Rizer of Sunbury, saying that the Milton charge was not yet supplied, though a candidate is before them viz Rev. H. Baker of Lewistown. Bro Rizer had kindly recommended me in case the negotiation with Rev Baker does not succeed. I try to submit myself to God and look to Him for direction. I have no doubt but He will bring me out of the deep water in due time.
This is the season of the "dear old yellow leaf" and these are days of beauty, mellowed by milder suns, and adorned by the varied hues of the advancing autumn. The heart derives a tone of sadness from the fading beauties of nature. Death is at work upon all around. With what lovely colors does he paint his victims ere he sweeps them off with his [season] of destruction! Yet how timely is the death of the myriad leaves that now flutter and jostle each other in this descente! The fruit, fully ripe, has been gathered, and now nought but the decorations of nature f ade and fall before the breaths of autumn - not so with the frail tribes of men. I have buried my dead in life's full summer, when the flower of our loves were just blooming into beauty.
"Leaves have their time to fall,
And flowers, to wither at the North wind's breath,
And stars to set - but all
Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death!"
Winter has gone and spring has come again, the gayest adn loveliest of the seasons. How pleasant it is to walk forth in the green meadows or on the sunny side of the flower-decked hills! The orchard regales our senses with its fragrant blossoms, the groves and the meadows are clothing themselves in living green, the singing of birds has come, and all nature is joyous withnew life. But alas, the din of war, and clash of arms are distracting our once happy land. The sectional strife, arising chiefly from the unfortunate contest about slavery, has culminated, and the result is a civil war between the north and the south. The attack of the secessionists on Fort Sumter has aroused such indignation in teh loyal people of the free states t hat they are unanimous in favor of chastising the offenders. Active preparations for war are going on throughout the whole land. The President (Lincoln) has made a requisition upon the states for 75000 men, and will soon call for more. In the p resent state of feeling any number will be at his service.
May 8, 1861
May 8, 1861
My dear Friend,
I received your letter after considerable delay. The mails are evidently much deranged. I am told all letters are examined in certain post-offices near "Mason and Dixon's Line," which suggests the caution of being being very careful about what we write. I am distressed exceedingly for our beloved country. Never did I anticipate such a state of things in my day. Our lot has been cast in calamitous times, and we who are near the confines of slave and free territory will, doubtless, be the greatest suffered. The war spirit aroused in both sections is wonderful. No one could have imagined that the sober-minded Pennsylvavnians could be so aroused. Yet it seems that she is taking the lead in furnishing men and means and all the essestials of war. Such unanimity I never heard of. Conservative men, who did all in their power to avert the collision before our flag was dishonored, are now burning with indignation. I have not heard a dissenting voice. From the minister of the gospel through all classes of the community, the sentiment is universal, that the government must be sustained, rebellion suppressed and the honor of the nation vindicated. May God defend the right!
The position of Baltimore is sadly deplored. It has no doubt, given great satisfaction to the seccessionists: but it seems to me that nothing could have operated more to their detriment. It has done almost as much as the affair at Fort Sumpter to arouse the l ion of the North. The idea that the Federal troops should not be allowed to pass peaceably through a city or state stil owing allegiance to the union, to the defense of their own capital, has justly awakened the extreme indignation of a loyal people. Baltimore is now very much in the position of Sodom and Gomorrah and it is only the assumed that there ris a large number of loyal citizens threre that s aves it from a similar doom. Of course I am not giving any opinion as to what o ught to be done in sucha case, but simply giving expression to teh universal feeling around me. On Saturday I visited "Camp Curtin" at Harrisburg. The scenes were new to me and though the display of the military was beautiful and imposing, yet it was sad to think of the terrible havoc that will be made by these gathering hosts. Whil I was present Governor (Curtin) reviewed the troops,a nd there were five thousand on parade, never before had I so lively an imporession of the phrase "Terrible as an army with banners." I spoke with a number of the soldiers, and found them all determined and eager for the fight. I saw Eugene Rizer, in the Sunbury Company,a nd was told that even his father (a clergyman) will lead a company from Sunbury, if their services are needed. Everywhere I heard ministers of the gospel declaring that the government must be sustained, that to fight for the union was doing God service, and that it is the duty of all good christians to come up to the rescue. I found large numbers of the members of churches in the army. From our own town many of the most pious and active members of congregations have shouldered the muskey. I have been told that there is a regular union prayer meeting, kept up in the camp at York. The Lutheran church and Harrisburg (Dr. Hay's) had been used to quarter soldeirs last week. I preached for Dr. Hay on sabbath evening, adn found the carpet, sofa and other furniture removed. Dr. Hay and another clergyman were appointed to preach to the solders in Camp Curtin on sabbath afternoons, but were prevented by the rain. I was told that REv. Dr. Brown, recently from Newberry College South Carolina, where he was obliged to flee on account of his union sentiments) has accepted a chaplaincy to one of the Penna regiments. At the depot in Harrisburg I met Rev. Gottwald from Shipensburg. He was on his way to Springfield, Ohio, where he intends leaving his wife and chiold, while he joins the army either as chaplain o r a private. (note - neither of these gentlment became a chaplain). In these items you have a sample of the feeling whihc activates the people of the free states. If the conspirators encouraged themselves by the hope that love for the old union had died out, they will be woefully mistaken. Our people love their country as they love th eir mothers, and, though they quietly submitted to the indignities heaped upon her a long time, yet are they ready now in the hour of her danger and impending dishonor, to imperil their lives adn shed their blood for defence. In these time the sentiment of the Jewish exiles is in the hearts and upon the lips of thousands, who love the church and the nation with pious affection and filial gratitude: "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning: if I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth. If I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy."
The war excitement has had a serious effect upon my school, causing a very considerable falling off in the attendance. I do not know whether I will have sufficient engagement to continue to the close of the quarter. I have made every exertion to get charge of a congregation, and have failed in every instance. I believe, on account of my unwillingness to take sides with extreme parties in the church. Other ministers of the church are laboring under the same difficulties. Recently I wrote to Mr. Sentman in refereance to a charge near him. In his reply, which I received yesterday he uses the following language: "It makes me sad" say he "to think that some of our ablest and best ministers are out of employment as pastors, and that too, in some cases I fear, on account of prejucices excited by the unscriptural, uncharitable,a nd unchristian controver about `old and new measures.'" In these controversies I take no part, and yet, as I have the best reasons for belieiving, am one of the proscribed. In at least half a dozen of congregations to which I made application, this application was set aside for no other reason. And this has taken place not because the people act from theri own convictions, but because theire clerical advisers direct their movements. I have loved my church and prayed for the peace of Zion; but, if the war among brethren is to be carried on this way, I for one, will seek a home elsewhere, rather than be set aside., contrary to my wishes, from the active duties of the ministry. I hear of several vacant congregations in Maryland, but in these uncertain times, we feel almost afraid to cross Mason and Dixon's Line. I have no doubt that my conservaism would keep me from giving occasion for offence, but we cannot be sure that the people would be governed by a similar forebearance and charity. Mr. Lentman offered to recommend me to the Smithburg charge. He himself was urged to take it, but does not wish to make the change. It is probable that I will spend the summer, after school closes, with my brothers and sisters in Franklin Co. They live in the country, secluded from the din and confusion of war.
To Mrs. CCF Manchester, Md.
I closed my school a month earlier than I had intended, partly because the war had occasioned a serious decrease in the attendance, but chiefly because I wished to have time to prospect around for a charge in which to preach. At present there is an unprecedented number of clergymen without employment, which has been occasioned by their having been driven from seceded states. I took leave of my pupils on Friday (the 24th) and, closing our house in Columbia, we came upon a visit to Gettysburg the next day. There I have met many dear freinds. Next to my native place this is the dearest spot in my recollection of the past. Here I spent eight years in the College and Seminary - and happy years they were. Here I learned to know my dear wife and love her. After spending ten years without ripply in teh quiet depths of our wedded love, I brought her body back to lay it by the side of her kindred in cemetery. One of our first visits, after arriving, was to this sacred spot. With her mother I and our three surviving children, I stood and wept by the grave. The children were deeply affected by their recollection of their "mama." Poor little Walter (only 3 years old) who had never been to it before, could not comprehend why his "dear dear mama" should be put under the ground, and wanted to take the ground off that he might see her. I planted a white Jessamine at her head, and a sweet scented honeysuckle and a wisteria in the inclosure. Blessed is the memory of the dead, when there is such a fragrance about their life as that which embalms my dear Elizabeth in my heart of hearts! It makes the heart better to stand by her grave and hear the silent voice speaking from the ashes of the dead.
Jackson Hall, Franklin Co. Pa.
June 7, 1861
June 7, 1861
We did nto cross the mountains from Gettysburg quite as soon as we expected, and therefore have I delayed writing. I was requested to remain in Gettysburg in order to preach to the congregation which was recently made vacant by the resignation of Rev. J.R. Keiser. I have preached there on the sabbath evening after our arrival, on a very short notice and was requested to make an appointment for the next sabbath morning and evening. From all accounts the impression made by my preaching was quite favorable, and there is a strong probability of their giving me a call, if a demand on part of some of the congregation for German doe not interfere. The salary however at least in the beginning will be small, the congregation being somewhat divided and some members considerably disaffected on account of the difficulties occurring during the pastorship of the late pastor. I would be satisfied, under present circumstances, with barely enough to support my family.
We came across on Wednesday in the stage coach as far as Greenwood; where Bro. Adam met us with his carriage. We found our friends all well. The country is charmingly beautiful at this season and the prospect for any abundant harvest was never better. I left Anna and Walter with their Grandmother and aunst Eliza Smith at Gettysburg. They are delighted to be there, but still would have preferred coming with us. John is wonderfully interested in the country, where everything is in a measure nwe to him. He taked great plasure in seeing horses, cows sheep, etc and thinks they have wonderfully good dinners here. We are disappointed in finding no very good propect for fruit. They cherry trees have scarcely any cherries, and the apples likewise will be scarce. I found a great many changes about our old homestaed - some for the better and some for the worse. There is a mournful interest in the thousand recollection of childhood and youth started by the familiar objects met at every turn. The very rocks and stones have tongues in this enchanted region. John and I wet all through the barn yesterday, visited every stall and shed, and took a good look into every "nook and corner." To me it was a book of many histories, while John seemed deeply interested in the accounts I gave him of the places where I used to play when at his his age (9 years) and he had numberless questions to ask.
I find the folks here pretty well poseted in regard to the war, but not nearly so much excited as in the towns. We get a tri-weekly mail, but only weekly and semi-weekly p apers. Adam takes the Weekly Press and the Chambersburg (semi-weekly) Transcript. We are planning a trip to Chambersburg as soon as the weather is favorable. There are said to be upwards of fifteen thousand troops encamped in and around the town. I have not been to see Samuel or Elizabeth yet. THe latter, as you are aware, lives at Jackson Hall. I am told that the are well pleased with the change. I feel anxious to hear from Maggie Heise whom we left so vrey ill. I hope you will write soon. Give my love to Annie and remember me kndly to Mr. Heise, Mary, "Lizzie," "Pace," Dr. McCorkle, and all inquiring friends particularly Julia and Emily.
Your Brother, Abr.
Gettysburg - June 25, 1861
I returned to Gettysburg on the 21st and preached in St. James Church on the 23rd. On the 24th a letter was enclosed to me containing a call to take charge of the pastorate with a salary of five hundred ($500) dollars and the free use of the parsonage. Thus has God, at length after much seeking and many complaints, opened to me the peace of all others, which I would select as a residence. My strongest attachments are centered around Gettysburg. Here I spent eight happy years in acquiring an education - here are the venerable men whom I love to honor as my preceptors and among my earliest and most valued friends. God be praised for his goodness!
Columbia Pa, July 29, 1861
Sabbath morning - This has been set down in my plans as the last sabbath of my sojourn in Columbia. I returned from Gettysburg about the first of this month,a nd spent the time since then preparing an article for the Evangelical Review on "The Live Records, or the Bible and Geology" and making ready to move. I shipped my goods on Friday and propose following them tomorrow. My children remain with their grandmother in Gettysburg. Dear little pets! how I have longed to see them! I have two appointments to preach today - at 10 o'clock in the Presbyterian Church and at 6 in the Lutheran.
Now that I have the prospect of returnign to the minstry I feel very happy. I regard my leaving it before as a mistake, though my health did not seem to bear up well under the labor of it. Providence has evidently been against me. Within four years I have had three situations, all promising well in the beginning and all disappointing my expectations in the end. I have repented and humbled myself under the hand of God. I have given myself anew to the work of the ministry, and am resolved to devote the residue of my life to the Master's work. I feel that He has greatly strengthened me in view of what I shall be called to do. Never have I put on the srmor with a heart so full of courage. All my efforts undertaken without his approbation have hitherto failed. His grace has brought me back to a porper appreciation of my duty. I have been sorly tried in the furnace of affliction: but I can sincerly say with the psalmist. "It was good for me that I have been afflicted." I trust my heart has been made better in this sever school. My attachment to the world has been greatly lessened. It seems to me now that nothing but the service of God can satisfy me in this world or make me comfortable in view of the world to come.
On many accounts I feel very reluctant to leave Columbia. My dear brother Hiram and his excellent wife have done everything to make my stay among them pleasant and happy. Besides them I leave a number of kind friends behind. I am hopeful enough to believe that the Lord will raise up others equally kind.
August 5 1861
August 5 1861
Monday Morning. I came to Gettysburg a week ago today. my furniture had arrived and was placed in the parsonage before I came. Reb. Keiser, my predecessor, did nto vacate the house until Wednesday morning. The ladies of the congregaton were very kind in assisting to arrange our furniture. The house is pretty well set in order now, but the family have not yet come to occupy it. Yesterday I preached twice to large audience. The day was intensely hot, and I was much exhausted in consequence.
Yesterday I preached twice - in the morning from 1 Tim 3.16 in the evening from Jno 3.16. Neither of these discourses was written in full. I used no manuscript whatever in the pulpit. My prececessor, during most of his ministry among these pepole, was in the ahbit of reading his sermons, and, being near=sighted, was abliged to read very closely. This created great dissatisfaction and with some other difficulties, made him very unpopular. I regard Bro. Keiser as a most worthy man, well educated, pious and devoted to his work. He prepares his discourses very carefully, and they are, I believe, invariably good. Yet he failed to interest these people generally in himself and in the church. The people are plain and simple in their manners - many of them farmers and mechanics. They requre a minister to mingle among them freely and will then, I think, become very much attached to him. In this respect Bro Keiser seems to have failed. I have come amongst them with a full determination to do my duty and a feel that the Lord will give me grace and strength to do it. Thus far I have had great encouragement and a blessed experience of divine support.
Last week most of my time was occupied putting our house in order. The ladies of the congregation kindly came to our aid and rendered valueable service. We have everything arranged now except a carpet for the dining room. We were obliged to get a new one. The ladies propose collecinting tomorrow for the purpose of making it. These little things have an intrest and importance beyond the mere assistance rendered. They serve to attach the people to the minister's family, and, as I told one of them last week, at making them feel that they have an interest in the parsonages.
Aug 19, 1861
Monday. Yesterday morning my brother-in law Rev. Dr. Reynolds of Illinois University preached for my people. The day was cloudy and the aspect of the weather threatening rain. Some of the country members were prevented from coming in, but the church was pretty well filled nevertheless. In the evening I preached from Psalm 2.6. Last week I spent much time in visitng the congregation. I called upon forty families and have the names of about twenty nine in the town beside about an equal number in the country. Yesterday afternoon I addressed the sabbath school. I find the number of pupils much smaller that it wsa a few years ago, and a deplorable lack of interest and faithfulness on the part of teachers. A meeting of the officers and teachers was held after the school was dismissed. Various matters connected with the school were discussed. It was decided to have an excursion to a neighboring grove, and a festival. A meeting for Bible class, to be composed of the teachers, was appointed for next Saturday evening.
Aug 26, 1861
Aug 26, 1861
Monday evening. This day I have spent in the country making calls. I spent one day last week in a similar manner and have already visited twenty three families in the country. The number will be found much larger than I anticipated. Yesterday I preached twice to the largest audience I have had any time yet. In the evening I passed through a severe ordeal in speaking before the professors and students of the college and seminary (who attended my church) without a written sermon. But I got through without much difficulty, and I suppose that the experience will be beneficient to me. It is really provoking that we, who serve a master so infinitely exalted, should be so rimorous when a distinguished hearer is found in the audience. But so it is. We are vexted at ourselves for being faint-hearted, and yet find it utterly impossible to be otherwise under certain circumstances.
Saturday morning, Aug 31.
I spent Monday and Tuesday of this week visiting the congregation in the country. Thursday turning out an unfavorable day, the excursion of the sabbath school was deferred. The children were of course greatly disappointed. It rained all day. I was very happy in my study preparing a sermon, and sometimes reading. Yesterday was a delightful day. The school went to the grove, and the children all were delighted. At two o'clock I attended the funeral of a poor German who came here a stranger and died amongst us. I was called upon to visit him only a few days ago. He was then so far gone (with consumption) that he could, with great difficulty, speak -his mind also was wandering. I was unable to learn any thing of his history. He, however, said he was a member of a church and seemed to realize his condition, and said he was prepared for it. He died a stranger in a strangte land, but he was kindly cared for and decently buried. If Jesus were his friend he lacked nothing, and is now happily relieved of his bodily sufferings.
Today Bro. Keiser intends offering his furniture (which has been stored in the parsonage) at public auction. Poor man! he has been sadly unfortunate of late. He visited Illinois and received a call to the congregation at Dixon. On his way east he attempted to get off the cars while they were in motion, when he was thrown violently, his arm broken and head badly bruised. He came to town on Thursday a mere wreck of his former self.
Monday. Last week I visited Columbia and spent the week with my friends, returning on Saturday. Immediately after my return we had a meeting of the church council. The brethren seemed very greatly encouraged by our prospect of success in the congregation. One of them, who has been most active in his efforts to create a deeper intrest among the people, states that he believed the congregation in a more hopeful condition nw than it has been for ten years. I felt greatly strengthened in my purpose to labor zealously by these evidences of success. Yesterday I preached twice to large audiences. This being commencement week with college, we are in expectation of a large number of visitors.
Sabbath morning. This day has been set apart for communion in our congregation. Bro. Bishop of Emmitsburg is here to assist me. It would be impossible for me to desribe the feelings of my heart on this occasion. I have been endeavoring to carry out the apostolic injunction by examining myself. As my thoughts wander back over the past, alas! What mistakes have been committed that can never be repaired, and how dreadful their consequences! What sins have been indulged, and, oh, how fearfully corrupt is my heart! Truly God has been exceedingly good and has led my by a way I know not. He has taken my out of the miry clay and out of the horrible pit. To thee, O God, be all the praise of my salvation. I have no confidence in myself - give me grace and wisdom: through my weakness manifest thy power, and give me victor. To the cross of Christ I cling - this my daily hope, and, in this, I cannot be disappointed.
Our communion yesterday was solemn and impressive. As nearly as I could estimate, about 250 persons communed. The membership of the church is estimated at 300, but this is very uncertain, there being no correct list! Many have been exceedingly careless, and can scarcely be regarded as members.
Thursday. This day was appointed by proclamation of the president as day of humiliation and prayer, in view of the deplorable state of the country. We had religious services in our church and I preached a sermon on our national sins from 2 Chron. 7.14. The church was filled to its utmost capacity, and the audience unusually devout and attentive. Truly we have great reason to humble ourselves. Pride, avarice, intempreance, lack of charity, profanity, sabbath-breaking and various other sins, are rife. To purge out these God is, doubtless, scourging the nation. From all such good Lord deliver us!
Thursday. Yesterday evening I retruned from the 37th meeting of the West Pennsy. synod at Mechanicsburg. Upward of forty ministers, and an equal number of lay delegates were in attendance. The meetings were harmonious, and very pleasant. Nothing beyond the ordinary business was transacted. The gospel was faithfully preached every evening, and the Lord's supper admihnistered on Sabbath. I preached before synod on Saturday afternoon, preparatory to the Communion, and on Sabbath in a neighboring village (Churchtown). Mechanicsburg lies in the midst of a delightful country and is quite a thriving village of about 2200 inhabitants.
Sabbath evening. Today as usual I preached twice. I felt exceedingly happy in the delivery of my morning discourse (text 1 Cor 1.30). What a blessed privilege it is to be permitted to preach the gospel! When I can succeed in first preaching my discourse to myself, and making the text my own by experience, then am I most happy in preaching to others. My experience since my return to the active duties of the ministry has been omst gratifying. Truly the Lord has been good to me and his grace has sustained and comforted me in a degree that astonishes myself. The more I can give myself up wholly to h im and his work the more am I delighted with my calling. May he keep me humble, and faithful until death!
On Saturday last (9th inst) we buried Walter S. Swan, my brother in law, near the grave of his sister, my dear Elizabeth. Poor Walter! He has had a sad life. Both his sight and hearing were defective from childhood; yet he was neither blind nor deaf. (Passage scratched out) In the month of December 1959 his uncle Robert Smith, with whom he lived at teh time, died very suddenly (previous to this Walter had left off the habit of drinking). On the 30th of the same month his sister Elizabeth died also very suddenly. About two weeks after this we observed Walter's mind was giving way. We had noticed some symptoms of mental imbecility and eccentricity for several years before, but no one was much alarmed by it. At this time he became so much excited that it was necessary to send him to the hospital at Harrisburg. He continued there without any improvement, until he bega a few weeks ago to sink rapidly and finally died on the 6th inst. His corpse was brought home and laid among his kindred.
It is a great comfort to all his friends that Walter had become, as far as we can judge, a changed man before his derangement of mind came upon him.
This is the evening of the last day in the year. It has been a year of sad and stirring events in this land. From a quiet and peacable people, who scarcely knew of thought anything about war, the military feeling has been aroused through out the entire land. Upwards of six hundred thousand (600,000) soldiers are in the field from the loyal states, for the purpose of putting down the great rebellion, which threantens to destroy our beneficent government. How many are in arms against us, we cannot tell; but the number is very great - perhaps not much less than our own army. During the last week a regiment of Cavalry from western New York came to make their winter quarters at this place. Our usually quiet streets are full of soldiers and drilling is going on every day. I deplore the existence of this unnatural war with all my heart. There was no justifiable ground for it. Nobody was suffering from bad government. The country (especially the southern states) was never more prosperous than when the war commenced. It is a war between brethren. Families are literally divided, brother against brother, and father against son, in numerous cases one member of a family being in the northern army while another is in the southern. For our sings, the Lord is chastising the nation. What the issue will be no mortal can predict. Our trust in is the Lord. But for this I would despair. The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice.
The past year has been one of great abundance. The country was never more blessed with a full harvest. The whole country has been healthy, there being no prevailing epidemics, on this account the country was never in a better condition to sustain a war.
Our government is greatly annoyed by the sympathy manifested on the other side of the ocean, especially in England and France, with this deplorable rebellion. The only solution of this unnatural state of things that seems plausible, is found in the jealousy with which the great poewrs have been viewing our nation. The United States have been growing immensely in all the elements of greatness. The experiment of free institutions has shown here here a degree of prosperity unequalled in the whole world. In t he eyes of the aristocratic nations abroad the example was considered dangerous. And hence the desire to have it dismembered and weakened. They are disposed to favor the south the mroe also because it is there where they find the nearest approach to an aristocracy, among the slaveholders. The people of the North are firm in their sense of right, and, I think are deterimned to sustain the government and preserve the union at all sacrifices.
During the past year I made a very important change, in returning to the active service of the ministry. I have now been laboring in this charge five months; and they have been happy months to me. I have worked hard - rather beyond my strength - and have been cheered with many token of seccess. The congregation has been greatly strengthened, not so much in additions to its membership as in restored unity of feeling and actions. A large number who had virtually, though not formally, withdrawn, have returned to their places. At our lsat communion which occurred on the 22nd of this month, we received fourteen new members, all being heads of families but one.
My family and myself have been blessed with good health the past year. My children are a great comfort to me. Though young they are becoming almost necessary companions. They are all ardently attached to me, and show a commendable degree of respect and obedience. It will be two years tomorrow since their dear mother was taken from us. Here loss has been a sore affliction to us all. The children have a very distinct recollection of her, and very often talk about their "dear dear mama."
It is now eight o'clock at night. They sky is clear and many bright stars are twinkling. Our dear little pets are all snugly in bed and sound asleep. Their grandmother, who is mother to us all, is spending the evening out (with her sister Eliza). I am all alone in my snug and comfortable studio. My mind is thronged with many thoughts of ths past, and my heart stirred iwth recollections both fond and sad. May the gracious Father of us all forgive the delinquencies of the past, and prepare for the emergencies of the future. I thank him for all the mercies and blessings of the year. To his name be honor and glory forever! Amen.
Today I was married to Miss Sallie R. Smith of Columbia, Pa. The wedding took place at 10 o`clock AM and the ceremony of marriage was performed by Rev. Maddux of the Methodist Episcopal Church of which the bride was a member. Only a few of the freinds of the parties were present. At one oclock we left by railway, accompanied by my brother Hiram and his wife, and reached Gettysburg at 7 o'clock in the evening.
This morning my brother and his wife returned to their home. The weather has been so very inclement that they had very little opportunity for going out during their stay. We now feel comfortably settled. The children already seem much attached to their mother, and she seems deeply interested and happy in her new house. May God bless our union, and united our hearts all to bless Him for his parental care over us!
June 26, 1863
This was a memorable day in Gettysburg. Pennsylvania is invaded by the army of the Confederate States. They had made their appearance at Greencastle and Chambersburg some ten days ago, and we had many rumors of their advance in this direction. Our merchants sent away most of their goods and the horses had been removed from the town and surrounding country several times under false alarms. But today they came numbering, according to the best estimates, about three thousand, consisting of cavalry and infantry supported by four or five [caissons]. The place was not defended and of course they met with no resistance. A regiment of militia had arrived from Harrisburg the evening before, but these made no stand. About two hundred of them were captured and paroled. A small troop of horsemen (about 25) from Philadelhpia and another collected in the country made their escape from the east end of town as the enemy entered at the west. I witnessed the charge down York street, and it was truly terrific to one unaccustomed to such things. They rode at the top of their speed and yelled like demons, their faces [?] and their hair streaming in the winds. They overtook a number of citizens endavoring to make their escape with their horses, and captured a car of government stores. They gathered up all the horses they could find. They demanded of the twon, among other things, ten barrels of whiskey, sixty barrels of four, one hundred beef cattle and five thousand dollars. The town council refused to give them anything. They then proceeded to help themselves to such things as they wanted. They took a great many things from the stores, for which they paid confederate scrip or left a recept and order upon their government. Their stay was very brief lasting only from about three o`clock PM to the following morning. They burned some eight or ten cars and the railroad bridge over [Rock] Creek. With few exceptions they molested no families. They pushed forward from this to Hanover and York, destroying railroad bridges and ware-houses and capturing horses.
Yesterday (Sabbath) about two thousand union cavalry entered our town. They are the advance of Gen. Hooker's army which is said to be near Frederick Md. They were ordered back again this morning, for what reason we do not know. All our communications are cut off and we receive no mails from any direction. The rebels are said to be in very heavy force in the Cumberland Valley adn moving upon Harrisburg. They are also said to have done immense damage in York and along the Northern Central Railroad. Our town is completely invested by the two armies, though, at present, not occupied by either. I am alone. My wife has gone upon a visit to her sister, Mrs. [Thodes] at Bellefonte. John is in Franklin Co with his uncle, and the two younger children are with my brother in Columbia. I can hear from none of them. Our citizens are deeply depressed today. All business is suspended and nobody does anything but inquire for the news and anxiously await the decision of the great contest. The farmers are in great distress about their crops. Haymaking and harvest are upon them and no horses to do the work.
Our town was occupied this morning buy a large force of Federal Cavalry. The confederate pickets were in sight when the advance entered, but they fell back along the Chambersburg road toward the mountain, where they are said to be in heavy forces. News of a fight between Pleasonton's Cavalry and the Confederate Cavalry under Stuart near Littlestown, was brought in this evening. It is impossible to get reliable information, but it seems evident that both armies are in large force in this region and a great battle is imminent any day.
A great battle was fought at Gettysburg on the first, second and third days of July. I remained in our house alone (my family having gone o n a visit to Columbia) during the first day's fight. Shells shrieked over the town for more than three hours and then, on the retreat of our men, they fell around the house in the yard. During the early part of the day, I watched the movements of the armies from the steeple of the church, which stands next (to) the parsonage - saw the wounded and dying constantly brought in. In the afternoon our church was taken for a hospital, but before night the wounded had to removed, because the enemy outnumbering the union forces three to one on this first day's fight, drove our men into the town and through it. Night closed in leaving us within the enemies lines. The streets were strewn with dead men and horses and littered with the debris of the battle. Some of my neighbors were roughly treated during the night - and some of the stragglers of the rebel army threatened to strip us of shoes and other garments. On this account I left with a number of other citizens on the morning of the second day's fight. We proceeded north as far as Petersburg (14 miles) meeting the entire Cavalry of the enemy at various points of the road. I remained at Petersburg with my early friend and college chum, Rev. P. Raby, until Sabbath. During these dreary days we heard the cannonading very distinctly, but could get not news of battle. When at length the welcome news came that the enemy were retreating Bro. Raby and myself went on foot to Gettysburg, taking with us such things as we could carry to assist the wounded soliders. It was nearing night of the Sabbath when we reached the village. On Monday morning we proved to the battled fileld and saw sights which I cannot describe. Dead men and horses already far gone into decay, muskets, knapsacks, broken caissons, and cannon, etc etc. lay everywhere. During these days the entire stock of provision in the whole county for many miles, was exhausted. The railroad was broked up and bridges burned, so that we were cut off from any immediate supply. Immediately upon the cessation of hostilities our friends from a distance came in with provisions to relieve immediate necessities. Otherwise I cannot see how it would have been possible to avoid great suffering. My church was occupied for a hospital and it was several weeks before it could be used for religious services. For many weeks after the battle there was a stench filling the air, which was almost unendurable. This caused a great deal of sickness. I was taken down with fever and was unable to perform ministerial duties for about two months. Two of my children had severe illnesses (obscured). We were fortunate to escape with very little loss of property during the battle. Some of my neighbors had their houses thoroughly plundered. Quite a number of houses and barns in teh county neaer the village were burned. Several members of my church lost nearly all their property and one member, a young lady Miss Jennie Wade, was shot and killed during the battle.
I served the congregation of the York Street Church in Gettysburg a little over three years. The congregation was considerably distracted and scattered when I took charge. I worked hard, and, by the help of the Lord, succeeded not only in gathering in the scattered, but also in adding about one hundred and twenty new members.
In the autumn of 1864 I removed from Gettysburg with my family and took charge of the Lutheran church in [Beaford], Pa. This congregation had suffered sadly by dissensions growing out of the war. The cong. here were very much divided in sentiment, a large number sympathizing with the rebellion. I found it very different to stay clear of threatening dangers on both sides. I vacated the charge after two years, congratulating myself that I had saved the congregations from deplorable schisms, although the membership had not been very greatly increased.
In the autumn of 1866 we removed to Ohio and I took charge of the the congregation at New Franklin and [Minerva] in [Sturns] County. In this vicinity I had three brothers and other relations. These congregation shad also sufferd very much by distractions growing out of the war. They had been vacant for many months and there seemed to be very little church life. Nevertheless my ministry of four years here was among the most successful labors of my life. The membership was numerically increased, and the charge greatly strengthened. During the latter part of my ministry and Franklin and [Minerva] I was invited to teach in Wittenburg College. I taught during the summer terms of 1870, returning to fill my appointments on Sabbath. In the autumn I removed in Spirngfield and continued my labors in College one year. I did not experience the same satisfaction in teaching that I enjoyed in my earlier life. Consequently at the close of the summer term of 1871 I gave in my resignation with a view of removing to Kansas.
I came to Ellsworth County Kansas in September 1871. During a visit in July prepvious I had purchased 230 acres of land on the Smoky Hill River, south of the Fort Harker reservation, payingg forth some 2500 dollars, which I ascertained afterwards was nearly double its real value at the time. This was paying largely for my inexperience in such matters. Fort Harker, at this time, wsa occupied by several companies of soldiers stationed here to watch the Indians on the frontier. But there were no Indians near, nor have they ever troubled us. At this writing (July 10, 1878) the post has been abandoned, and a bill is pending in Congress to have the whole appraised and sold. We ofund few settlers and neither church or setttled pastor in the county, except the chapel and chaplain at the post. Very little had been attempted, as yet in the way of farming, and it was generally believed that this would not be a farming country on account of drout and grasshoppers.
Sept 25, 1883
Sept 25, 1883
I have been negligent about writing in my journal, and therefore it become necessary to go back and supply what has been omitted. In the autumn of 1873 I was induced by the Superintendent of Missions in Kansas (Rev. J. Heil, D.D. of the Presbyterian Church) to supply a vacant Presbyterian congregation at [Marnego], Kansas. Since my coming to Kansas I had preached very frequently in school-house, and superintendent a sabbath school. There were not enough members of the Lutheran Church to justify an attempt to organize, and therefore I was willing to accept this invitation to some as a supply in a church of another denomination. I continued in this charge until the spring of 1875, when I returned to Ellsworth County, and lived with my children (John S. Walter B. and Anna R) on the farm and stock ranche six miles south east of Ellsworth. In the autumn of 1878 I purchased a block of ground (No. 8) in the town of Ellsworth and built a house fo myself and wife, leaving our children in possession of the farm and ranche including 115 head of cattle, 12 horses, and all the machinery and implements necessary to run the establishment. My children managed the business well and are still in charge of it, the two boys are married and Anna is staying for the present with Walter, as we are not settled permanently. We left Ellsworth on the 16th day of May last and are now boarding with my brother Adam's widow in Chambersburg. My throat has not been in a condition for several years to justify me in taking charge of a church, though I have frequently preached as a supply. While serving the congregation at Marnego Kansas I was sorely afflicted with Bronchitis and was obliged to give the charge on that account. This throat disease also affected my hearing badly, since our return to Chambersburg these troubles have been relieved to a great extent, and I feel now as if I might be able to resume the duties of a pastor.
Nov 25, 1888
In the month of May 1887 I commenced to supply the vacant congregation at Quincy in this county and continued preaching to them once in two weeks for about seven months. On the 20th of November (87) they elected me pastor and preparations were made for my installation. Before the appointed time I was stricken with a partial paralysis of the left side and was thus compelled to give up all attempts to speak in public. I have recovered in a great measure from the affliction, but still feel it necessary to observe great care to avoid another similar attack.
When I commenced writing in this book at the beginning of my ministry nearly forty years ago I expected to make regular and pregnant entries, but, as in most similar cases, the record is only fragmentary. I now intend to commence at the beginning and note down the events of my life in order, giving as far as I can, some account of the other members of my family, and also of my ancestry. There notes may be interesting to my children and their descendants and may serve to fix dates and help any that may be disposed to trace their genealogy.
I was born on the 17th day of November AD 1822, and consequenly have very recently passed my 66th birthday. The place of my birth is in Quincy Township of this Franklin County on a farm about two miles from the Grindstone Hill Church. My ancestors for three generations are buried in the cemetary adjoining that church, especially those belonging to my mother's side. My father John Essick (originally spelled Essig) was born in Northampton County near Easton. His father moved to Adams County near Gettysburg, where he lived and died. He left to the best of my knowledge three sons, Lewis (or Ludwig) Johna nd Abraham, after who I was named. He also left two daughters by a second marriage, who I cannot name. One of these married a man named Cleveland, and at her death left two sons and a daughter. The other half sister of my father was not married.
In a book published some years ago in Harrisburg, giving the German immigration into Pennsylvania, by a man named Rupp, I discovered that a certain Ludwig Essig landed at Philadelphia in the year 1754. This I take to be the ancestor of the Essicks in this country. While there are fewe of that name in this region I am told that at a reunion in Starke, Co, Ohio several years ago they had seventeen hundred enrolled. Most of these retain the original [orthography] (Essig). My mother's maiden name was Catharine Cook, also of German parentage. Both my parents talked German as well as English, but as we were surrounded by English spoken neighbors we seldom heard the German spoken, and consequently none of the children learned to speak that language.
My maternal grandfather (George Cook) belonged to a large connection of that name descended from John George Cook, one of the original settlers who entered government land in what is now called Quincy Township. This John George Cook, my great grandfather was one of the first buried in the Grindstone Hill Cemetery, and he had been one of the founders of that church long before the Revolutionary War.
My maternal grandmother's maiden name was [Ankeny]. She died several years before my grandfather, at what age I do not know. My grandfatehr was upwards of ninety - I think he was ninety three. Both are buried at teh Grindstone Hill. They had twelve children, all of whom lived to a mature age. There were five sons, Adam, John, George, Jacob and Samuel; and seven daughters - Mary, Rachel, Rebecca, Nancy, Catharine (my mother) Martha and Margaret. The sons all married (except Adam) and left families. Of the daughters Mary and Rachel married brothers named Wertz. Rebecca was married to Secrist, Martha (Mattie) to Frederick Tritle, Margaret (Peggy) to Samuel Repp.
My parents also ahd twelve children, nine sons, George, John, Adam, jacob, Samuel, William, David Abraham and Hiram and three daughters, Elizabeth, Rebecca and Catharine. All these but the youngest wh died at four years, lived to be grown men and women. Of the sons Jacob died when a young (single) man; the others all married. Adam, Samuel and Hiram, though married, had no children.
Of the daughters Elizabeth married Dr. Thomas B. Maxwell and had three children. Rebecca married Wilham Slaughenhaup and has six children. Incluidng myself there are five of the family living - Samuel, William, Rebecca and David.
My father came from Adams county when a young man, and, after his marriage, settled on the old homestead, where we were all born and raised, and where both of my parents died.
Our near neighbors were Jacob Fry, John McCleary, George Brown, Joseph Eaker and family named Hill, several families named Davidson, [Clingston], Hassler, Meade, etc.
We all received a common school education at what is known as the Davidson School House. The free school system had not then been introduced. My father paid for schooling his children by subscription, and we were sent the whole year, except through harvest. The teacher that I remember were Samuel Wise, John Armstrong, John McDowell, James Gillam, Augustus Aughenbaugh, etc. The schools were very inefficient, and, for want of proper methods, a great waste of time. We were taught only reading writing and arithmatic. Occasionally an older scholar, at his own request, was put to Grammar and Geography. The parents themselves had studied only the three first named branches, and the teachers did not care to be bothered with anything further.
I remained on the farm until my fifteenth year, when I went into a country store at Jackson Hall - first with William McCleary and then with John Wunderlich, who bought the store. There I remained three years, until the spring of 1840. Then I accompanied my brother John who moved with his family to Stark County, Ohio. My desire was to procure a situation as clerk in a store again. But the country was new and no opportunity offered. I was young and strage and had no one to help me in procuring a situation. The following autumn I returned to my old home, and soon after was taken into a store in Quincy with Murphy and Kurtz.
The year 1832 is especially memorable in my history. That year a large bank barn was built on the farm. Until then, like nearly all the other farms in the neighborhood, ours had a barn build of unhewed logs and covered with thatch made of rye straw. It sheltered the horses and part of the ay, but had no room for the cattle and the wheat crop. The wheat was stacked and the cows spent the winter in the yard. In the same year the first sabbath school was organized in the Grindstone Hill Church by the pastor Rev. (afterwards Dr.) Benjamin Kurtz, who served our congregation in connection with the Lutheran Church in Chambersburg. I was then ten years old, and with the other children of our family became a member of that school at the time of its organization. This took place in the old log church, which was replaced the next year by the present brick church. My father was an officer of the church and one of the buildting committee.
Another event of the year 1832 made an impression on my mind, which is now, after the lapse, of more than fifty six years, as intensely real as if had happened in the present year. My little sister Catharine (Cassy) aged about four years was taken with scarlet fever in the midst of harvest and, after a short illness, died. It was the first death in our family and the first I had ever witnessed. Though I am now old and gray, and though ten thousand other scenes have utterly faded from my memory, this one is ever fresh and starts the tears and often I recall it. I was ardently attached to the dear child and she w as intensely fond of me. My mother often kept me from school on busy days to take care of baby for the baby was always good when I was with her. One strange thing I recall, which I could never fully understand. Just before she was taken sick she went with me to bring the sheep from the field, and after we had driven them into the pen, we started in the dusk of evening toward the house, she holding my hand and running by my side. She apparently in deep thought when all of a sudden she said "Poor Little Cassie is still living, but she will die one of these days." Her funeral was attended by a large number of relations and neighbors.
Before leaving this period of my narrative I feel inclined to ntoe a few things by way of contrast between the past and the present. I suppose that the period of time included in my life has been more fruitful of important changes and improvements in all the departments of human industry and modes of living and procuring the necessaries of life than any preceding age of the world. When I was born there was no railroad, telegraph or telephone in existence. The use of steam was just commencing. The art of making daguerrotypes and photographs was unknown, no daily and few weekly papers through the country. Ploughs had wooden [moulboards], wheat drills and threshing meachines were not know, and horse reapers were not thought of. Farmers sowed broadcast, reaped with the sickle, and threshed with horses on the barn floor. When a small boy I sometimes rode the horses while tramping out wheat from the beginning of winter to the end. Our mothers and sisters spun flax and wool and our garments summer and winter were homemade. They cooked over the open fire- their houses generally were built of logs, and the floors without carpets. But the farmers had plenty of food and warm though coarse clothing. A dozen of fat hogs and a beef constituted our winters meat. Apples, peaches and cherries were so plenty as hardly to be appreciated. But grapes were scarcely introduced.