“How pleasant it is to spend our years,
In mingling with saints in the worship of God;
It softens our burdens, oft quiets our fears,
To meet in the banqueting halls of His grace.
Blessed indeed is His presence wher’er we roam,
The one only Fountain of all that we need;
In sickness, in health, abroad, or at home,
To rest in the arms of the dear Saviour’s love.”
It was the good pleasure, we trust of Israel’s God, to grant us a refreshing meeting with the church and congregation in Washington, D. C. the 2d Sunday in May preceding our visit to the Western churches.
The meeting was well attended by a large and interesting congregation from the city and surrounding churches; peace and harmony marking the intercourse of the dear saints who were thus assembled.
The feast of charity at sister Bell’s after meeting afforded a good opportunity to meet a few members and friends before leaving the city: and the time spent there passed rapidly by in singing and conversing of the things of the heavenly Kingdom, which impressed us with pleasant memories upon the long railroad ride at the commencement of the itinerary westward.
After bidding adieu to the group of Baptists gathered there, and a parting greeting with a few dear friends at the depot, we were once more moving westward at a rapid rate over the Ches. & Ohio Railroad; leaving Washington, D. C., the 2d Sunday at 4:00 p.m., and arriving at Maysville, Kentucky, early next morning.
An observing mind cannot travel far in this country without seeing multiplied evidence of the wealth, pride, and overweening conceit of this present age. Undoubtedly one of the greatest curses of the present generation is its wealth; which breeds laziness, extravagance, dependency, and false pride; and renders its possessors a cancerous sore on the body politic.
At Maysville, Kentucky, we took breakfast with sister Mattie Booten and family, who entertained us in their usual kind and courteous manner; spending a short time agreeably in their company, after which we continued our journey to Brookville, where we were met by brother T. M. Jett, who conveyed us to the home of sister Brazilla Jett where we took dinner; finding this aged and faithful sister in Christ, still in active health, firm in the faith, and with keen interest in the things of the heavenly Kingdom.
Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning we filled appointments with the church at Drift Run, speaking to a considerable sized congregation.
We were glad to meet once more with this little flock in the hill-country of Kentucky, and witness their continued faithfulness in maintaining the doctrine and order of the Gospel; somewhat isolated from their brethren, and without regular preaching, yet they, by the grace of God, move steadily onward in peace and harmony, in love and fellowship one with another upon principles of Gospel Truth; an example truly worthy of imitation. We spent Monday night with brother Bratton and family, taking dinner with brother Askins, who brought us over to Brookville, for our journey up to Cincinnati.
Leaving Cincinnati Wednesday a. m., we were joined at Wilmington, Ohio, by sister R. D. Bryan, and at Washington C. H., by brother and sister Karr who added much to the pleasure of the trip; and who attended with us the appointment with the Deer Creek Church at Mt. Sterling, Ohio. We were favored here with an exceedingly pleasant meeting and visit at the home of our dear sister Lorette Loofborrow whose life reflects the Truth which she has so long and faithfully professed. Sister Bryan united with the church here by letter from the Beulah Church at Occoquan, Virginia.
Leaving Mt. Sterling early Thursday a.m., we went to Galion, Ohio, where we were favored with two excellent meetings, being met at the depot by brother L. E. Reed, whose long and faithful service in the cause of Truth, with that of his devoted wife, is well known by all the Baptists of his acquaintance; and whose open and hospitable home has been the scene of many a gathering of the Lord’s dear children in the long and faithful pilgrimage of this devoted family. Thursday night we spent at the home of our young and interesting brother N. D. Reed, who together with his wife, entertained us in their usual hospitable way.
We came over from Galion to Gordon Friday evening where we were met by our dear brother F. S. Karr, and were soon at the far-famed home of this devoted Baptist family. Sister Lorette Loofborrow and R. D. Bryan met us here, and were with us at the meeting held the 3rd Sunday and preceding Saturday, brother and sister Karr and family doing all in their power to make us feel at home. The meeting also was pleasant; and our visit most excellent. We were highly gratified to find the Church giving continued evidence of such a healthy, vigorous, and aggressive travel in the way of Truth and righteousness.
Leaving here Sunday evening in company with brother Karr we journeyed to his comfortable home, where we spent Monday as a day of rest. Our visit with brother Barr and wife was specially pleasant; for a long series of years we have been regularly visiting their home, and while these years have produced many sad and sorrowful changes in the surroundings of this dear family, yet has there been no change in the sturdy devotion to Truth and good order which has marked the church-life of this beloved brother; whose fearless stand for Gospel Truth has made him a mark for the adversaries of free and sovereign grace.
Leaving here Tuesday morning we went over into Indiana, stopping first at Greenfield where we took dinner with Mr. and sister Martz, and were joined her by brethren Worley and Brown, speaking that evening at brother Al Caudell’s, who together with sister Caudell and their mother. Mrs. Temperance Curtis, entertained the large gathering of Baptists in their home who were present at the meeting truly in Old School Baptist style. We met here with Elders Curtis and D. W. Caudell, finding Elder Curtis in about the same condition of health as last year; the evening being spent pleasantly with the members and their congregation present.
The next day we were favored with an “all-days” meeting at Mt. Carmel attended by Elders Curtis and Caudill, which was a very pleasant meeting, both of the preachers present joining in the service and speaking with their usual gifted ability. Brother and sister Karr had come over from Ohio and added much to the pleasure of the two days visit in Indiana.
Wednesday night we spent at the new and comfortable home of our dear brother D. W. Caudell; Elder Curtis and wife spending the night with us; the visit being very pleasant, and we were much gratified to find brother and sister Caudell so well and pleasantly situated.
Thursday in company with Mr. and sister Martz we crossed over into Kentucky, where we were met and conveyed to the home of sister Mary V. Holsclaw who kindly entertained us in her pleasant home; we having opportunity during Friday to visit brother and sister McAlister, spending Friday night at Mr. and sister B. G. Holsclaw’s.
The 4th Saturday and Sunday came the regular monthly meeting of the church at Pryor Hill, Elder J. M. Demaree and brother E. Peters being present. The meeting was a refreshing season in which peace and harmony abounded to the praise and glory of Israel’s exalted King. We were glad to find Elder Demareee in his usual health; and still with his deep and abiding interest in the things of the heavenly Kingdom.
Leaving here Sunday evening we were conveyed by brother J. W. Clark to his home, and the next day attended the meeting of the church at Providence; Elder Demaree, and brother T. J. Chilton and E. Peters taking part in the service. We held afternoon service with the feast of charity at noon, which gave us opportunity of being more together, Elder Demaree closing the meeting in the afternoon and preaching with much ability. This meeting was well attended by a good sized congregation of brethren and friends of the church, Mr. and sister Martz extending their visit to this place, and several coming over from Pryor Hill, together making it the most enjoyable Spring visit that we have ever had at this place; and testifying anew to the wisdom and mercy of God in sifting worldly and disorderly elements from our midst.
Elder Demaree brought us out to Campbellsburg where bidding ADIEU TO HIM, TO BROTHER AND SISTER Clark, sister Holsclaw, Mr. and sister Martz, all of whom were on their way to brother Clark’s, we took the train at 6:20 p.m., after supper in Campbellsburg, and were once more “Homeward bound” from a western trip, intercepting the Ches. & Ohio R. R., at Newport, Kentucky., and the R. F. P. at Alexandria, Virginia, we arrived home Tuesday evening, having travelled near 2000 miles speaking on an average about once a day, and being favored with good health during the trip; and having abundant reason to ascribe thanksgiving and praise to the Great God of Heaven for His great goodness and mercy toward us.
Well has the Psalmist declared: “Many, O Lord my God, are Thy wonderful works which Thou hast done, and Thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto Thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. . . . For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me. Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me: O Lord, make haste to help me. . . . Let all those that seek Thee rejoice and be glad in Thee: let such as love Thy salvation say continually, The Lord be magnified.” – Psalm xl, 5, 12, 13, & 16.
Elder William Middleton Smoot,