Foote, Julia A.J.
|A Visit to my parents--Further Labors|
Some of the dear sisters accompanied me to Flatbush, where I assisted in a bush meeting. The Lord met the people in great power, and I doubt not there are many souls in glory to-day praising God for that meeting.
From that place I went home to my father's house in Binghamton, N.Y. They were filled with joy to have me with them once more, after an absence of six years. As my mother embraced me, she exclaimed: "So you are a preacher, are you?" I replied: "So they say." "Well, Julia," said she, "when I first heard that you were a preacher, I said that I would rather hear you were dead." These words,
My stay in Binghamton was protracted several months. I held meetings in and around the town, to the acceptance of the people, and, I trust, to the glory of God. I felt perfectly satisfied, when the time came for me to leave, that my work was all for the Lord, and my soul was filled with joy and thankfulness for salvation. Before leaving, my parents decided to move to Boston, which they did soon after.
I left Binghamton the first of February, 1855, in company with he Rev. Henry Johnson and his wife, for Ithaca, N. Y., where I labored a short time. I met with some opposition from one of the A. M. E. Church trustees, He said a woman should not preach in the church. Beloved, the God we serve fights all our battles, and before I left the place that trustee was one of the most faithful at my meetings, and was very kind to assist me on my journey when I left Ithaca. I stopped one night at Owego, at Brother Loyd's and I also stopped for a short time at Onondaga, returned
March 7th I took the stage for Geneva, and, arriving late at night, went to a hotel. In the morning Brother Rosel Jeffrey took me to his house and left me with his wife. He was a zealous Christian, but she scoffed at religion, and laughed and made sport during family worship. I do not know, but hope that long ere this she has ceased to ridicule the cause or the followers of Christ. In the latter part of the day Brother Condell came and invited me to his house. I found his wife a pleasant Christian woman. Sabbath afternoon I held a meeting in Brother Condell's house. The colored people had a church which the whites had given them. It was a union church, to be occupied on alternate Sundays by the Methodists and Baptists.
According to arrangement, this Sunday evening was the time for the Methodists to
Monday evening I went with some of the sisters to the church, where there was a meeting for the purpose of forming a moral reform society.
After the meeting, Brother Condell asked the trustees if they had any objection to having me speak in the church the next evening. To this, Minister Monroe and another man--I had almost said a fiend in human shape--answered that they did not believe in women's preaching, and would not admit one in the church, striving hard to justify themselves from the Bible, which one of them held in his unholy hands.
I arose to speak, when Mr. Monroe interrupted me. After a few words I left the house.
"Well," said he, "I shall be in the pulpit at an early hour, and will not leave it though they break my head."
"Mr. Monroe," said I, "God can take you from the pulpit without breaking your head." At this he became very much excited, and raved as if he were a madman. For two hours he walked the floor, talking and reading all the time. I made him no reply and tried not to notice him, and finally he left me.'
At the proper time we went to the church. It was full, but everything was in confusion. Mr. Monroe was in the pulpit. I saw at once that God could not be glorified in the midst of such a pandemonium; so I withdrew at once. I was told they kept up the contention until after ten o'clock. Mr. Monroe tried hard to get our trustees to sat I should not preach in
As I was obliged to leave in a few days, to meet other appointments, our men procured a large house, where I held a meeting the next evening. All that attended were quiet and orderly; one man arose for prayers.
Dear sisters, who are in the evangelistic work now, you may think you have hard times; but let me tell you, I feel that the lion and lamb are lying down together, as compared with the state of things twenty-five or thirty years ago. Yes, yes; our God is marching on. Glory to his name!