Lawrenceburg, Ky., Aug. 30, 1875.
MY DEAR BROTHER BEEBE: - In compliance with a promise made to many friends, I send you for publication in the SIGNS a brief account of our visit to the east and north.
My wife and self left Kentucky on the 26th day of May last, and on the 29th reached the Delaware Association, the first meeting we attended in the east. From there we visited the Delaware River, Warwick and Chemung Associations in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania; and without descending to particular persons and things, will say that it was a peculiar season of refreshing to us, for we surely could not ask a more cordial reception or more hospitable treatment than we everywhere received by our very kind brethren and friends who entertained us, and to whom we tender our sincere gratitude. From the Chemung Meeting we went immediately to Canada, and were joined there by brother Beebe, who continued with us ten or twelve days. Then in company with brother Beebe, and brother Durand, visited the Quarterly Three Days' Meeting at Ekfrid. That meeting is fondly cherished in my memory. Surely the Lord was with our dear brethren Beebe and Durand, in proclaiming "the unsearchable riches of Christ." I was made there to feel in a peculiar manner my own littleness and weakness. So signally was that insufficiency impressed upon my mind on that occasion that I must particularly refer to it here. So amply did the good Lord fill his servants with the fullness of God, that it came to me, and doubtless to others, like a refreshing shower from the presence of the Lord. I was made to blush at the thought of my own weakness, and think that if the Lord would enable me to exhibit the truth in such charming colors, I would willing spend and be spent in the heart-cheering work. We continued in Canada for more than three weeks from the time that we reached there; and I can safely say that I never met with more devoted kindness and hospitality anywhere than with the brethren and friends in Canada. My wife and self tender our kindest regards to them, and hope to be remembered by them. From the numerous meetings we attended in Canada we visited Niagara Falls, and left there on the evening of the 13th of July, reached Baltimore City on the evening of the 14th, was kindly entertained at Dr. Thorne's, [regretting that his lady was absent] and on the next day reached brother Broder's, in Alexandria. On Friday we visited the city of Washington, and on Friday night returned to Alexandria, and had meeting with the church there. On Saturday morning we set out for Broad Run Church, in Fauquier Co., Va.; bad a pleasant meeting there, and lodged at night at our excellent brother Hunton's, with his very agreeable family, five of whom are members of the church, himself, wife and three daughters. There I was in the place of my infancy, my father and mother having been members of the Broad Run Church more than seventy years ago, myself not having seen the place in fifty years. In the "Old Dominion," we visited and passed through the counties of Fairfax, Fauquier, Prince William, Culpepper, (the county of my birth) Albemarle, Fluvand and Louisa, and perhaps two or three others, visiting in the time my wife's two sisters and brother, who were very kind and interesting.
Those "Old Virginians" have been trodden down by brute force and tyranny, yet all this has not destroyed the traces of nobility, friendship and liberality which are so characteristic of the people. On Monday, the 9th of August, we returned to Alexandria, had another pleasant meeting there, and on Tuesday morning set out for the Old School Corresponding Meeting of Virginia, which commenced on the following day with the Mill Creek Church, Berkely Co., W. Va. This was the last and very pleasant meeting we were blessed with the privilege of attending while on our long journey. There, as everywhere else, we met with dear brethren and kind friends. This meeting was attended by Elders Beebe, Furr, Rose, Chick, Francis, and our young and interesting brother Smoot. We tarried, and had a pleasant meeting with the church on Sunday, after the meeting, and on Monday morning left the comfortable residence of our kind friend, Mr. David Thompson, near Martinsburgh, and on Tuesday morning at 5 o'clock reached Cincinnati, and the same day Lexington at 12 p.m., and remained with our dear, venerable and deeply afflicted brother, T. P. Dudley, not having heard of the saddening loss of his dear companion until the shock met us in his lonely room. From sad experience I think I know how to sympathize with him, who has been and yet is a dear friend and brother to me. May the God of all comfort sustain and console him with his divine presence through the remaining part of his pilgrimage here. On Wednesday morning we left Lexington and reached home at 10 a.m., finding all well. Many pleasant reminiscences occupy my mind while reviewing our long journey. We were nearly three months from home, and traveled perhaps more than six thousand miles.
The first and not the least important consideration is the unity of "the faith of God's elect," that was so conspicuously portrayed in the body of testimony proclaimed by so many "able ministers of the New Testament," with one weak exception, that has already been seen in the SIGNS OF THE TIMES, and that when compared with the "doctrine of God our Savior," and so ably exhibited by his able servants, seems but as the small dust of the balance. Aside from that little squib, it is delightful to contemplate upon "the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace," that was seen and felt at all the meetings that we had the pleasure of attending.
In conclusion, dear friends, while the whirling wheels of time are fast speeding us onward to our final happy destiny, may the God of peace prepare us to appreciate that precious boon of unity, that heart-cheering peace and consoling concord that so often cheered us while together.
Your brother in hope,
J. F. JOHNSON.
P.S.- I will here say that we had the pleasure of seeing our dear brother Pollard baptize four of our Father's children at Ekfrid, and I baptized two at Broad Run, Virginia, all of whom gave satisfactory evidence of their calling and election.
J. F. J.