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TRAVELS AMONGST BRETHREN – 1859.

Richmond, Maine, July 15, 1859.

We are now in our native State, where we had our early education, and where we were born, not only according to the flesh, but as we humbly hope of the Spirit of our God, and first attempted to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ. After journeying, and attending Associations and meetings of brethren of our faith and order in several of the States, and also in Canada, we arrived here on the 30th, in good health and usual vigor of mind. We found our relatives and friends in usual health, and also heard from home with a degree of satisfaction.

We left Covington, GA., Tuesday morning, May 10th, by public conveyance, and after riding day and night, passing through Atlanta, and Dalton GA., Knoxville and Bristol, TENN., Lynchburg, Richmond, and Alexandria, VA., we arrived at the house of our cousin, brother W.J. Purington in Washington D.C., Thursday afternoon. He had an appointment the same night at Alexandria, and we went with him and preached to a full assembly of people. The next night we preached at brother Towles, in Washington to a small company, we trust, of saved sinners. Saturday, in company with brother W.J. Purington and wife, we went to Black Rock, MD., where we preached on Sunday, and at a funeral on Monday. We next attended the Baltimore Association at Harford, Harford County, MD., where we met with several ministering brethren, and other brethren of our acquaintance. The meeting was one of interest. By the request of Harford Church, a presbytery was formed of ministers and brethren, after the adjournment of the Association, to hear the christian experience, and call to the ministry of brother William Grafton, a member of Harford Church. After hearing his relation, and replying to numerous questions in a satisfactory manner, it was unanimous vote to proceed to his ordination. Elder P. Hartwell preached on the occasion. Ordaining prayer by Elder G. Beebe at the laying on of hands by Elders S. Trott, G. Beebe, P. Hartwell, R.C. Leachman, D.L. Harding, W.J. Purington, and ourself. Right hand of fellowship, and an impressive charge by Elder Trott. Also by the request of the church brother M. Grafton was set apart to the office of a Deacon by prayer and the laying on of hands of the presbytery.

We returned to Baltimore, where we parted with brother W.J. Purington and wife, and preached on Sunday for the Ebenezer church in that city. The Lord has revived the church and added to her numbers, of late much to the joy of the brethren. Brother G. Beebe preached on Monday night in the city, and on Tuesday we rode to Wilmington Delaware, where we first met with Eld. W.C. Norris of Georgia, and in company with other brethren attended the Delaware Association at Cow Marsh, Kent County, Delaware – Elders G. Beebe, Harding, E. Rittenhouse, T. Barton, G.W. Slater, W. Housel, W.C. Norris, and J.L. Purington, ministering brethren present. The preaching was according to sound doctrine. We left on Friday in company with brother Slater, and other brethren and sisters, for Salisbury, on the Eastern shore of MD. We preached at Jones’ Mills on Saturday, where brother Slater baptized a colored brother. Sunday morning preaching at Rewostico, and two of the lambs of Christ’s flock were baptized. The Lord is manifesting his power and grace in that region of country, in reviving his people, and building up his visible cause, and confounding the enemies of the truth. Sunday night and Monday, preaching at Salisbury. In company with brother Slater and wife, we journeyed mostly by public conveyance, to the Delaware River Association, via Seaford, and Wilmington, Delaware, and Philadelphia. In company with a host of brethren, sisters and friends, we arrived at Southampton, Bucks County, PA., where the Association was held. At this Association, like the others, peace, harmony, and brotherly love pervaded the meeting. There was a full attendance of ministering brethren, who lifted up their voice together in the declaration of truth. The Sunday following, in company with brother Norris, we preached at 1st Hopewell, Mercer County, New Jersey, where Elder P. Hartwell is pastor. This church has had large additions to her number within a few years, and is probably the largest church of our order in the United States. To the Lord belongs all the praise and glory! In company with several brethren and sisters, we pursued our journey to the Warwick Association at New Vernon, Orange County, New York. At this Association there were seventeen ministers from different states, whose united testimony carried indubitable proof that Zion’s watchmen are taught of the Lord, and see eye to eye with the prophets and apostles, and also that all those who are taught of God receive their testimony. As there was a great concourse of people, there was preaching in a grove near by, at the same time there was preaching in the house. Ministers present were C.B. Hassell of North Carolina, S. Trott of Virginia, D.L. Harding of Pennsylvania, P. Hartwell, and G. Conklin of New Jersey, W.C. Norris of Georgia, J.F. Johnson of Kentucky, L. Cox, Jr. of Massachusetts, G. Beebe, W. Housel, A. St.John, I. Hewitt, J. Winchel, W. Choate, H. Alling of New York, G.W. Slater of Maryland, and ourself. The Sunday following, in company with Elders Beebe and Harding, there was preaching at Wallkill, and Middletown. The Lord’s Supper was administered at Wallkill. On Tuesday, June 14th, brother Beebe and ourself took passage in the cars for Arlington, PA., where brother Conklin joined us on the way. The meeting at Clark’s Green, Abington, PA., was not so fully attended by brethren of the churches as was anticipated. Yet the gospel was faithfully preached to the comfort and strengthening of the feeble sheep and lambs of Christ’s flock. We parted with the brethren in peace and harmony, and proceeded on to Barton, N.Y., by Rail Road, where we stopped over night. Through the kindness of a friend, we were conveyed, in company with brethren Beebe and Conklin, down the valley of the Susquehanna River to the Chemung Association at Terrytown, Bradford County, Pennsylvania. The meeting was held Saturday and Sunday June 18th and 19th, and was of special interest. The congregation was large. The preaching was in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. Ordained ministers present were Elders Beebe, Conklin, R. Burritt, K. Hollister, J.P. Smith, F. Moyer, J. Beaman, and ourself. The brethren parted in love and fellowship. On our way to the Old School Conference at Western New York, we parted with brother Beebe at Waverly Station, on the N.Y. & Erie Railroad. He returned home, and we, in company with brethren Smith and Conklin, proceeded on to South Dansville, Steuben County, N.Y., where we attended the Conference. Preachers present, Elders Smith, Conklin, Rector, and ourself. Brotherly love and fellowship characterized the business transactions, with the preaching, and the reception of the truth by the brethren, sisters, and friends in general. Here we parted with brother Conklin, and the brethren in general. We were taken to the cars of the Buffalo and Corning R.R., and rode to Buffalo, New York. We parted with brethren and sisters on the way. Friday, June 24th crossed Suspension Bridge, and entered the dominions of Queen Victoria, in company with brother Joyce, of Dundas C.W. At Dundas, brother Joyce left us, and Eld. Wm. Pollard, the pastor of Dundas church became our traveling companion. We proceeded on the Ekfrid, Middlesex County, C.W., where we met with brethren and friends. On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, June 25,26 & 27, we attended the meeting of the Old Baptists in the Scotch settlements of Canada. Elder Thomas McColl, who is pastor of the church, we formed acquaintance with in an interesting manner, with numerous brethren and friends. There was an immense congregation, who listened to the declaration of God’s truth, with great attention, and close interest. Brother Duncan Laymont preached in the Gaelic language, which was partly interpreted to us by a friend. We heard brother McColl preach in English, and brother Pollard also. The Lord’s supper was administered by brother McColl, partly in English and partly in the Gaelic. We felt to be at home with the brethren and partook with them. A brother, in the course of the meeting, related his experience to the church in the Gaelic, which was interpreted to us by a brother. He was received, and baptized. His wife was baptized the same time. We preached three times, and our feeble testimony to the truth appeared to be well received by the brethren, sisters, and friends in general. These brethren supposed until within three or four years, that they were the only people in America, that contended for the doctrine and faith of the Primitive church, until they heard of the church at Dundas, and also of the Old School Baptists in the United States. We never were more gratified, than in our acquaintance with these brethren, and we shall long remember our pleasant visit among them. We left on Monday and came to Dundas, C.W., and preached at night, and left the next morning. Our acquaintance with the Dundas church was brief, but very pleasant. Most gladly would I have tarried with them a little season if it had been convenient. We came on the Suspension Bridge, and visited Niagara Falls, one of the most grand and sublime exhibitions of God’s power in the work of creation and Providence. The view was attended with solemnity, awe, and interest. We left Suspension Bridge, Tuesday, June 28th, at six o’clock P.M., for Boston, Mass., passing through Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, and Albany New York, Springfield, and Worcester, Massachusetts. We left Boston on the steamer, Lewiston, at seven o’clock, P.M., Wednesday, for Portland, Maine, where we changed the next morning on the Steamer T.F. Secor, for Richmond, Maine, where we arrived at noon the same day. After journeying about seven weeks, and traveling 2850 miles, we are at the further point of our destination from our family and brethren in Georgia. As soon as we accomplish what we have in contemplation we purpose to return home.

J.L. Purington.