|CHAPTER XXVI. -- FORTSVILLE--TEMPERANCE MEETINGS--EVIL CUSTOMS--THOMAS -- BROWN--BALAAM--JOTTINGS FROM THE JUNK RIVER-- -- BROTHER HARRIS IS SANCTIFIED.|
I have been visiting Frances Craten for almost a week. She is in a dying condition, but is clinging tight to life, and has not a ray of light, or joy, or thanksgiving, or praise. I seem to be shut up. I can't get hold of Him in prayer or in song. All is blank. God save me in the dying hour from darkness and doubt.
I have had much to contend with since I came to Sinoe. I have never had any such trials in all my travels as I have had here. I have never met with such deception and such planning to overthrow the work as I have met here. But notwithstanding all this, there are some good people here, and God is my friend, and has given me a few that are real and true, and I thank Him. He has delivered me out of the hands of the most subtle enemy--though always under the garb of real friendship--that I have ever met. Thank God for His wonderful and speedy deliverance. Now, Lord, keep me delivered, ever and always, and help me to watch and pray, and on Thyself rely. Amen.
I have found a good and true friend in Mrs. Sarah Marshall; a genial spirit, and a comfortable home, and plenty to eat. Not more than others, I deserve, yet God has given me more. "I will take the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord."
On the eve of the tenth of January, at the Presbyterian Church, Sammy Ross, Jr., gave a very interesting address on "Stand to the right." I see a noble man coming out of this temperance boy. God bless him.
Our next meeting is expected to be held in the Episcopal Church. I went to see Mrs. Craten. She is very weak; but she has got all her business arranged satisfactorily. God helped me to push them up till all is settled. Now the way is clear. May God come in with a flood of light, and show her what she still needs to know. Thank God for this gain.
Saturday, January 12th. I am not well this morning. I was at Mrs. Craten's late last night, and she seemed very restless, and as she was disturbed in mind, I sang and prayed; but she had no light or access to God. Oh, how she fought death to the very last. She never yielded one inch to God.
She could not die in the house she lived in; she made them carry her to her sister's, and in five minutes after, her breath was snatched from her.
She lived in the church, and lived in malice of the bitterest kind with her sister, her only sister, and died the same, not even
January 13th. She was buried on Sabbath morning. Rev. Munger and Rev. Kennedy spoke over her. But, oh, that deceived soul, to the last deceiving, and living deceived! The Lord seemed to shut me up so that I had no word for her. "Oh, mistaken soul that dreams of Heaven and makes its empty boast!"
I was not out all day, except to the funeral. I hope to be stronger by and by. God help me. Amen.
Monday, January 14th. Praise God for His goodness and mercy to me. I am feeling rather weak, but call to see Mrs. Harris, and Mrs. G. Craten, and Mrs. Louis. They are all well. Then I take Brother Kennedy one pound, which makes up the balance of the eleven dollars I promised to get. There were fifty dollars subscribed. Some paid; I promised to pay the eleven dollars if no one else did. I walked all day on Monday and got six dollars, and waited a week and no one paid a cent; so I paid the five dollars myself. In all, I paid out of my pocket eight dollars.
Selfishness is killing us. God, have mercy. Paying the minister is a thing hardly thought of. The church here agreed to give the minister two hundred dollars; in a whole year they gave him fifty dollars!
This year, when he was getting ready to go to the Conference, he told them if they would give him fifty dollars he would give them the one hundred; and of that fifty on last year's salary they had only given thirty dollars, and eight dollars of that I gave myself.
Sinoe, January 15th. Tuesday. I make bread, and write a ten-page letter to my friend. Mr. Estes. Oh, precious time, how you fly!
Wednesday, 16th. I was very miserable and weak all day yesterday and to-day, but was better in the afternoon, so that I went out to the temperance meeting, held at the Episcopal Church. We had a very interesting meeting. Sammy Ross did nobly. Mr. Munger, the pastor, has not signed the pledge, but we asked him to speak, and he gave us a good talk, just to the point, and said he would do all he could for the furtherance of the work, and also offered to give us an address next Wednesday night. I believe the Lord will help him. Oh, Lord, save our land.
Sunday, 20th. I go to early prayer meeting; a good many out. Then I go home and have prayers. At breakfast, word comes that there is to be preaching and quarterly meeting at the Baptist Church, Brother Huff's. I go. The distance is about a mile and a half. The Lord gives me strength for the day, and I go to a baptizing. Hear two sermons; one by Brother Roberts, at the church, the other at the water side, or pond.
I did not stay to the afternoon meeting. Having a little rest, I walked home. The sun was very hot. I was dripping with perspiration. I lay down and took a little rest, then went to church. Brother Draper preached. Text in Psalms, "Keep back thy servant from presumptuous sins."
I asked the privilege of making some remarks, and explained why I was not present the Sunday before (I was not well), and reported the money I had collected for Brother Kennedy, eleven dollars. I paid in all I had given. May God bless him, and me.
Monday, 21st. Sister Draper and I go to Jamesville to-day to see her niece, Miss Brown, who is sick. We have a pleasant time. Have a season of prayer, and read and sing. Sister Brown seems to enjoy it. But, oh, the coldness and death chill! No life, no power in prayer. Oh, God, awake the people, for Jesus sake!
Then we called at old lady Brichandenn's. This is a dear old saint, and is ripening for glory. After hearing her tell of the Lord's dealings with her, which were marvelous, we sang a hymn, and then knelt down and prayed.
The Lord met us there under the trees, and blessed us; and the benediction that old lady pronounced on me I shall never forget. May the Lord grant this, and more, according to His sweet will. Amen.
Went to Sister Kenney's. Had another song and season of prayer. There the Lord blessed us again. Then we returned home about two o'clock. After a little rest I went to Mrs. Harris' and took dinner, with some others. Had a pleasant time. Praise the Lord for the blessings He giveth.
Tuesday, January 22nd. I am well this morning. Praise God. And I am asking for the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Oh, how I need it. My soul cries out for the living God. God, help me. I have a good deal of writing to do, and a good many other things. But He has said, "My grace is sufficient for you." Mrs. Marshall and I have a nice call from Brother and Sister Munger.
Wednesday, January 23, 1884. This is my birthday. Oh, how the Lord has led me, and loved me, and watched over me for forty-seven long years.
"All the way my Lord has led me,
Cheered each winding path I tread
Gave me grace for every trial,
Fed me with the living bread."
I was born on the 23rd of January, 1837. My mother died when I was thirteen years old.
On my first birthday in Africa I was at Greenville. In the prayer meeting that night I gave the history of my conversion and sanctification. The people seemed much interested. Then I called all to the alter for consecration. We had some prayers, then I closed the meeting. The hymn sung while on our knees was the old familiar hymn, "Forever here my rest shall be." Oh, for the baptism of the Holy Ghost!
I spent the day at Greenville. Gave an address, and held a prayer meeting. About thirty in number came out. The darkness of mind here among the people is very great. God, send help, for Jesus' sake. Through ignorance there is much opposition to the temperance work.
Lexington, Monday, February 4th. Mrs. Birch, Sister Smith and I make some calls, and sing and pray at each house, in turns. Oh, Lord, revive Thy work. My first Gospel Temperance meeting held in the Baptist Church. The Lord helped me to speak from Mal., third chapter.
Tuesday, 5th. Second Gospel Temperance meeting. Surely the Spirit of the Lord is with us, and He is blessing us greatly. Not so much liberty in speaking, but God is with us, and we are expecting great things. Oh, Lord, for Jesus' sake, answer prayer, and send us the Holy Ghost to quicken and revive us.
Wednesday, 6th. We have a good meeting to-night. The pledge is offered and a number sign.
Thursday, 7th. I go to Greenville this morning to be at the installation of officers in the Order of Good Samaritans. Call at Brother Day's, (a Congo), who is an earnest Christian man, and a deacon in the Baptist Church. God bless him. He knows the Lord. We have a good time singing and talking over His Word. Called at Sister Wink's, then at Sister Mine's. The sun is very