South Hill, Pa., July 27, 1840.
BROTHER BEEBE: – Having travelled something of a tour since I was in your company at Jackson, I thought of notifying your readers if you think it would be of any use among the feeble to hear of the good hand of our God that hath been upon us. Brother Pitcher accompanied me from where we parted with yourself and Brother Harding, to my dwelling. On Lord’s day we had an interesting meeting among my brethren and sisters in the neighborhood of my residence; attended by a number of Methodists, who were not fully satisfied with the doctrine that was brought to view, (as I thought well supported by divine testimony) and they grumbled some about it.
After some pleasing visits and preaching on the way, we arrived at Sullivan the place of the meeting of the Chemung Association. Here we enjoyed in an interesting degree the manifestation of the Divine approbation: and while the doctrine of the cross was the power of God to the saved, it evidently appeared to be foolishness to them that stumble at the word, being disobedient. From thence I moved on, in company with brother Gichel, (and on the way was joined by brother Beaman) to the meeting on Browns’ hill, where we in all, were twelve Old School ordained ministers, and one or more Licentiates, right in the region where there were but two or three a few years ago.
Here I met with ministering brethren with whom I have had no previous acquaintance, and the language with which they spoke appeared not much like the mixed language of Ashdod, Ammon, Hebrew, &c. But it appeared almost as if the Lord turned to them a pure language, that they might call upon him, to serve him with one consent. With a few small exceptions there appeared to be but one body, and one spirit, even as we were called in one hope of our calling, One Lord, one Faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and was in us all.
From thence in company with brother Gitchel we went to visit the brethren in Phelps, and enjoyed a comfortable season, from thence to Lakeville, there we attended the Alleghany Association. With this Association I met three years ago in tried circumstances. There was but one ordained minister that lived near any church (of the Old School order) that was a member of its body, and he was not present. There was another who lived so far from any church (of the Old order) that (I think) he told me that had not preached more than once or twice in a year or more. He attended one day, the next day I was there, and not an ordained minister beside. But it did appear, notwithstanding our lonely situation as to the ministerial help, that God was with us; his presence cheered our spirits, and I trust our hearts did appear, notwithstanding our lonely situation as to ministerial help, that God was with us; his presence cheered our spirits, and I trust our hearts did rely on his word. And now in view of the meeting at Lakeville – I can but exclaim, What hath God wrought? He hath done great things for the Alleghany Association, whereof we are glad! He has preserved them in the midst of enemies who would have swallowed them up long ago, had not the Lord have been their help. He hath comforted them in all their afflictions; he hath kept them when in deep waters; he hath been their shelter in time of the storm; he hath been their light in darkness, and he hath now granted them a refreshing in their pilgrimage. At their meeting of which I will now give a sketch, there were seven or eight ordained ministers, and several Licentiates. The most perfect harmony appeared in doing the business. Three churches united with the Association this year. The preaching, like the silver trumpets, all of one piece; as much so as I ever heard nine sermons at any one Association in my life: and, I think, it gave a sound so certain that all that could understand did know what was piped and what was harped. The meeting was interesting in a high degree. On Lord’s day the assembly was large for the place, considering there was a New School Baptist meeting a few rods from us, a Universalist meeting at their Meeting-house in the same village, and a Presbyterian meeting at the Meeting-house about half a mile distant. The souls of our brethren appeared refreshed, while the doctrine dropped as the rain, the speech distilled as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass; because the name of the Lord was published, and greatness ascribed unto our God. What great reason the mourning afflicted and even the oppressed saints have to trust in God, under all their trials, in all their darkness, and in the midst of their (?) as lambs among wolves. God is their help, their Deliverer, their strong Rock, their sure abiding place and their portion forever. From Lakeville I returned by the way of Phelps, in company with Elder Brown and Brother Salisbury. We were the next day joined by Swan and wife, and rode to Brother Mead’s, (in Tyrone I think.) On Wednesday after the Association, we attended the ordination of Brother Randal Wixon to the work of the gospel ministry. Brother Wixon talks of travelling among the churches. As he has been a man of some trials not common to us all, may it please Zion’s King to make him more specially useful within the realm of his kingdom than he has made some others. So the god of grace gets all the praise, for none is due to mortals.
Other things I might name but must pass them, as I have already passed over some others, lest I be tedious. And now, to sum up all in a few words, I feel under obligations to have in grateful remembrance the multitude of mercies that the Lord hath showed to one who is most unworthy and many of them I have received at the hands of my brethren, while God has given them disposition and opportunity thus to bear fruit that may abound to their account. His name deserves all the praise both from them and myself.
I still remain, through grace abounding to the chief of sinners,
Your fellow soldier,
Signs of the Times
Volume 8, No. 17.
September 1, 1840