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Biographic Etchings OF Ministers and Laymen of the and Georgia Conferences.
BY
W. J. SCOTT, D. D.,


Author of "Lectures and Essays.

The Story of Two Civilizations

Historic Eras, Etc.

"Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets. do they live forever?"

 Zech. , x st chap., 5 th verse.
ATLANTA:
The Foote & Davies Co., Publishers.
1895.

 

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Chapter 1

 

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BIOGRAPHIC ETCHINGS
OF
MINISTERS AND LAYMEN.

LOVICK PIERCE, THE NESTOR OF GEORGIA METHODISM.

 

When the history of American Methodism shall be fully written, few names will occupy a more prominent place than that of Lovick Pierce.

This illustrious minister sprung from obscurity, and his educational advantages were exceedingly limited. In despite of this, however, he early reached the highest distinction as a preacher. It is true that he never attained to Episcopal honors. nor did he ever wield a commanding influence in the General Conference. Not less than Edmund Burke, he was ill adapted to the leadership of deliberative assemblies.

Indeed, it is but just to say that he was somewhat deficient in the faculty of organization, and possessed only moderate administrative ability. As Whitfield, the prince of pulpit orators, founded no sect, so Lovick Pierce consummated no great reform in the economy of Methodism. Eminently conservative, as he was, in reference to the fundamental doctrines of the church, he was evermore

 

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full of plans for the improvement of its polity. Nearly all of these proposed reforms were lost in the committee on revisals.

 

We come now, however, to speak of Lovick Pierce, simply as a preacher of the everlasting gospel; and in this respect he had few equals, and no superiors in the American pulpit. He had neither the thorough scholarship, nor the analytical power of Stephen Olin; John Summer-field surpassed him greatly in the mere art of persuasion. Bishop Bascombe excelled him in the thunderous oratory that reminds us of an ocean swell. Yet as a preacher, in the Pauline acceptation of the term, he was not a whit behind the chiefest of his contemporaries.

It would be difficult to say, definitely, wherein lay the secret of his immense pulpit power. It certainly was not due to the vastness of his literary resources, for these were circumscribed; nor could it be attributed to anything that savored of sensationalism, for no man despised more heartily the tricks of the pulpit mountebank, who is more intent on winning applause than on winning souls.

Somewhat of his rare excellence as a preacher may be justly ascribed to his imposing presence. His voice was a natural, not an acquired, orotund, his articulation was uniformly distinct, and his modulation perfect. His manner of delivery was sometimes vehement, but never offensively boisterous. Add to all this what the French term,

 

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"Onction," and the old Methodists, "Liberty," and you have our idea of his elocution.

 

One grand element of his success was his apostolic saintliness of character. He believed and preached the doctrine of holiness, as handed down to us by Fletcher and the Wesleys.

With him, however, it was something more than a mere theory, he illustrated it in his daily life. I have yet to see the man who more studiously avoided every colloquial impropriety, whether slang or vulgarity, who was more prayerful in spirit, and more circumspect in all his deportment. While, at times, he had an air of moroseness, there underlay this harsh exterior a sympathy as genial as the breath of spring-time, and as far-spreading as the blue sky above us. His charity had no bounds. Never was there a more appreciative listener to the commonplaces of the pulpit or a more enraptured hearer of the platitudes of commencement orators and essayists.

Next to his personal purity and thorough consecration to his ministerial work, was his mastery of the Holy Scriptures. The Bible was the armory whence he drew the weapons, which, on many a hard-fought field, were mighty to the pulling down of strongholds. We would not intimate that he was neglectful of polite literature. He was indeed familiar with the standard English authors, and was always abreast with the current phases of philosophy.

 

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But, beyond all else, he studied the Bible--not detached portions, as the manner of some is, but every part and parcel of it. He knew the Pentateuch as well as the four gospels. He was as fully conversant with the weird visions of Ezekiel, and the mystic imagery of the Apocalypse, as with the simpler Messianic prophecies of Isaiah.

He had well nigh committed to memory the Psalms of David, yet he was hardly less familiar with the Proverbs of Solomon. If any portion of the Divine Revelation was more highly esteemed and carefully studied than any other, it was the Epistles of St. Paul. His understanding of the Pauline system was critically exact and his exegesis of the Epistles to the Romans and Hebrews was more than masterly, it partook of the supernatural. With such resources as these, it was no matter of marvel that he was a master of assemblies.

Only secondary to these two elements was his wonderful gift as an extemporaneous speaker. He had, as was well understood, an invincible aversion to written sermons. Now and then he has been known to inveigh against them with an earnestness that left no room for doubt as to the strength of his convictions. Let it not be supposed, however, that he at all countenanced the notion of extemporaneous thinking. On the contrary, he was diligent in preparation for his pulpit work.

 

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I have personal knowledge on this point, on more than one occasion. Still he had so trained himself to extemporaneous speaking that his spoken style was far better than his written style. The former was terse, at times epigrammatic, always sparkling; the latter was labored, involved, and, frequently turgid. It is to be deplored that he did not cultivate writing until advanced life. Richard Baxter, a laborious pastor, and a life-long invalid, left material for forty folio volumes; Dr. Pierce scarcely left sufficient material for a single duodecimo.

During his earlier ministry his toil and travel were immense. Like St. Paul, he was in perils both in the city and the wilderness. His districts embraced a larger geographical area than the Apostle traversed in his first missionary tours. These abundant labors left him but little opportunity for strictly literary work, and furnish ample apology for his apparent shortcomings. Besides, he fell on evil days, when Methodism was everywhere spoken against; when the spirit of a confessor and the courage of a martyr were needed to confront the enemies of Methodism. Luckily for himself and the church, he was cast in the same heroic mould as Francis Asbury and William McKendree. He faltered not for a single moment in the face of opposition, but steered right onward to the goal. The usual order of Divine Providence is, "That one soweth and another reapeth," but he survived

 

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this era of depression, and lived to see Methodism the dominant religious organization of this continent and the leading religious denomination of the Protestant world. It was, indeed, gratifying to witness the distinguished consideration with which he was treated in his old age, in all the annual and general conferences of the church. This was no constrained tribute to rank, or wealth, or power; but the spontaneous recognition of intellectual and moral worth of the highest order.

 

Dr. Pierce did not lag superfluous on the stage. He wrote or preached almost to his dying day. It is true that the last weeks of his life were marked by great nervous prostration. At times he seemed bowed down with sorrow, but the reaction was always speedy. It was in one of his jubilant moods he sent that message to the churches, "Say to the brethren I am lying just outside the gates of Heaven." An utterance worthy to be mentioned in the same breath with Paul's exclamation in the depths of the Mamertine prison, "I am now ready to be offered." Not less inspiring than the last words of Wesley, "the best of all is, God is with us."

Not a great while before his departure it was my privilege to visit and talk with him in his death-chamber. In response to my enquiry about his health, he said: "I am lying here a wreck upon the coast of time, trying to look into the eternal future." It is somewhat singular that the great

 

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Webster used almost this identical language to a friend during his last illness. That friend replied: "Say not, Mr. Webster, a wreck, but a pyramid on the coast of time." My reply was different; I said: "Doctor, for many years you have been getting ready for this hour." After a little conversation his eyes brightened, and he said: "I have some well-matured views on the subject of faith which I desire to submit to you." I said: "I have but a little while to remain, as I must leave on the next train." He glanced at the clock and said: "I see you haven't sufficient time to hear me." He, however, gave me an outline of his views, and I urged him to have them written and published for the edification of the church. Thereupon he gave me his blessing, and I withdrew. He lived but a few weeks after this interview. There is a beautiful fitness, or rather I ought to say a wise Providence, in the death-scenes of great and good men. Elijah, the wild-eyed Tishbite, who rebuked kings and smote false prophets and idolatrous priests with the edge of the sword, must needs have a chariot of flame and steeds of fire to bear him aloft to the Paradise of God. It was a fitting close to a most stormy career. But for Lovick Pierce there was appointed a more quiet hour. Calmly, he lay down to his final rest. He nestled his weary head on the bosom of Jesus, and with hardly a pang or a struggle, his ransomed spirit went "sweeping through the gates," to his exceeding great reward.

 

 

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How broad the contrast between such a departure and that of Cardinal Wolsey, who was abandoned in his old age by his sovereign because of his refusal to sanction his matrimonial infidelities.

Lear, when he trod alone the blasted heath amidst the pelting of a pitiless midnight storm was not in a more sorrowful plight than this illustrious ecclesiastic--when after a wearisome day's travel he approached the postern gate of Leicester Abbey.

Addressing the Abbot, he said:

"Father Abbot, an old man, broken in the Storms of State Comes to lay his bones among ye; A little earth for pity's sake."

 

Not many hours after his arrival he died with no attendant but an obscure monk who ministered to him the sacrament of the dying.

But yesterday he had as the motto of his signet ring "Ego et rex meus." "Now lies he there and none so poor as to do him reverence."

What think ye of the cardinal and the preacher? How apposite the language of David: "I have seen the wicked, in great power, spreading himself like a green bay-tree, yet he passed away and lo! he was not; yea, I sought for him and he could not be found. Mark the perfect man and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace."

Part 2

 

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JESSE BORING--THE SALVATOR ROSA OF
THE PULPIT.

The life of Jesse Boring. if fully and graphically written, would read like a romance. His was an adventurous spirit; hardly less so than that of Francis Xavier, the apostle of the Indies. Nor was his life less eventful than the Episcopal career of Francis Asbury, the pioneer bishop of the United States. It was no foolish boasting but simple matter of fact, when on one notable occasion he exclaimed on the conference floor: "Bishop, I am the founder of five annual conferences, and I have the right to be heard in this or any other ecclesiastical presence."

This remarkable man, with the exception of Bishop Capers--whom I had heard preach in my childhood--was the first of the great lights of the Methodist pulpit to whom I had ever listened. It was some time in the thirties at the old Harris camp-ground, of which Uncle Dick Dozier was the presiding genius, and of whom the rude boys of that vicinity had a most wholesome dread. There were present, at the time, such other notabilities as James Dannelly and Samuel K. Hodges, but Jesse Boring was the cynosure of all eyes. Even at that early period, he was physically feeble, seemingly almost a wreck. At the Sunday night

 

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service he delivered a characteristic appeal to the impenitent that captured the congregation, and caused the sturdiest sinner to quake with alarm. Many years elapsed before I again heard this great preacher, whose matter and manner were so unlike any man of his generation. Meanwhile his reputation had become connectional and to him was committed the task of planting Southern Methodism on the Pacific coast. One of the old Forty-niners, who had often met him in those years of terrible exposure and hardship, spoke of him as the bravest and truest man he had ever known. He assured me that the most desperate gamblers of Sacramento and San Jose, reverenced, but feared this Boanerges of Methodism. The seeds planted by Doctor Boring did not instantly spring up, but watered by the tears of Fitzgerald, Bigham, Aleck Wynn and the Simmons brothers, they were gradually quickened into life. The intervention, however, of the civil war, which isolated the California mission from the mother church, well-nigh destroyed its vitality.

 

But after these years of slow development, there is now a flattering prospect that under the gallant leadership of Bishop Fitzgerald our Southern Methodism will yet possess a large area of territory in both Californias. If the "saints in light" take knowledge of earthly happenings, how must the old Doctor have rejoiced when the missionary rain, some years ago, sped its way, with singing

 

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and shouting, across the continent to its destination at Los Angeles.

 

It will be remembered by the older Methodists, that after his California adventures, Dr. Boring was transferred to Texas, with his headquarters alternately at San Antonio and Galveston. At both places he did much to organize Methodism for the aggressive work which it has since so well and wisely prosecuted until the church in all that vast region, has become an immense, spiritual federation of a half dozen annual conferences.

While stationed at Galveston he had one of those remarkable experiences which have marked several stages of his ministry.

Starting in the Caribbean sea, a typical cyclone swept with its uttermost fury the entire gulf coast, from Key West to Vera Cruz. At Galveston it was especially severe, submerging very much of the city and island. As the pious Æneas bore upon his shoulders the aged Anchises, from the flames of Troy, so Dr. Boring carried in his arms his frail wife, through that dreadful midnight flood to a place of safety.

Leaving these "moving accidents by flood and field," we come to speak more at length of his pulpit power.

Poetry and painting are in no small degree kindred arts. Some one has said of Jeremy Taylor that he was "the Shakespeare of the English pulpit." Why may not I be justified in saying Boring,

 

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at his best, was the Salvator Rosa of the American pulpit? His intense earnestness, his startling emphasis of speech and gesture, his sepulchral intonations of voice, specially fitted him for painting the darker side of human destiny. Who that once heard his exposition of the parable of Dives and Lazarus can ever forget his portraiture of that heartless voluptuary, who was more neglectful of the beggar lying at his gate than were the dogs that followed him in the chase. It was enough to freeze the marrow in our bones. What wonder that upon one occasion, in Columbus, when he was preaching on the general judgment, many of the congregation fled terror-stricken from the sanctuary? Said one who was present, "The scene baffled description. The atmosphere seemed stifling, the lights burned dim and for one, I momentarily expected to hear the 'crack of doom.'" In all this there was no trick of oratory. It was the simple grandeur of the theme and the terrific earnestness of the speaker. Not a printed line of this great sermon has been preserved, but the tradition of it will linger for another hundred years.

 

I have heard many great pulpit orators in their best moods--what we might call their times of plenary inspiration. I was caught up almost to the third heaven of joyousness while listening to Marvin on "Christ and the Church." My nerves fairly tingled when I heard Bishop Pierce on "the

 

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Second Coming of Christ," years ago at the Macon Annual Conference. Indeed I have heard notable sermons from men of less renown and later date, but never heard a more powerful discourse than one by Dr. Boring at the Tabernacle campground, Sumter county, Georgia, 1858. His topic was the obstacles to personal salvation, based on the question, "Lord, are there few that be saved?" He was in his best estate spiritually, intellectually, and we might add physically. As he proceeded to show the difficulties, the narrowness of the way, the straightness of the gate, the majesty of the divine law, and the inexorableness of its demands, the wiles of the devil, the seductions of the flesh, the glamor of worldliness, it looked like heaping Ossa on Pelion until the mighty mountain barrier rose heaven-high, with its frowning crags and steep acclivities.

 

It occurred to me that Hannibal's passage of the Alps before there was a St. Cenis tunnel was an easy matter compared with the task set before the Christian, in his heavenward aspirations. When he reached the climax of his argument a breathless awe pervaded the congregation. Not a few of them seemed half paralyzed with these master strokes of oratory. But suddenly pausing for a single instant, he exclaimed in a jubilant tone, "Blessed be God--there is still a ray of hope that comes to us from Calvary." The transition was so abrupt and inspiring that I almost unconsciously

 

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cried out, "Hallelujah"--to which Dr. Tom Stewart vigorously responded, Amen! Whereupon a wave of exultation passed over the great assembly and the veil was lifted. Nearly twenty years later I asked him to repeat this sermon in my pulpit. He did so, but while the sermon was still admirable in its leading features, he himself realized that it had lost a measure of its old-time force and fervor.

 

Some of his best pulpit and platform work was done while he was representing the Orphans' Home enterprise in various parts of the connection.

The matter lay near his heart, and in the next century it will be rated as the greatest of his ministerial achievements.

I was present when he introduced the orphanage question in South Georgia. He met with serious opposition. Some of the conference leaders seemed reluctant to embark in the enterprise, but he carried the question by one of those masterful appeals for which he was distinguished.

It is no longer an open question, and former differences should be buried. We must needs have, at no distant day, a well prepared biography of this great man--not ponderous, but concise and spirited. George Smith, or Sasnett, or Elder Bigham could do good work on this line.

He once urged me to edit a volume of his sermons, which I declined to undertake because of other pressing engagements. I would have been

 

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disposed to decline partly for his own sake. I greatly question the practicability of reproducing in cold type the distinctive utterances which made his continental reputation.

 

Robert Hall never but in a single instance had a published sermon that was worthy of his fame. Preachers like William Jay and Charles Haddon Spurgeon could stand the test, but few others besides them. It would be an easier undertaking to imprison a sunbeam or to paint the perfume of a violet than to give an adequate idea of Whitfield's or Bossuet's oratory by that curious contrivance, the lineograph. Edison's phonograph give the minutest tones of the Marsellaise as rendered by the United States Marine Band, but the invention comes too late to perpetuate the oratory of the demigods of the pulpit and platform of bygone generations.

----

JAMES E. EVANS,
THE MODEL PASTOR.

As an all round preacher I have not known the superior of James E. Evans. He was not a genius, but pre-eminently a man of affairs.

Considered as a stationed preacher--a presiding elder--as a member of annual and general conference

 

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boards--organizer of circuits--builder of churches and colleges, he headed the list of my conference acquaintances. He was not an orator, and yet he was not lacking in a boisterous eloquence that captured the multitude. He was not a logician, and yet he routed opponents in debate by the score. In visiting from house to house and in keeping accounts he was next to Habersham J. Adams. Here we might leave the matter, and yet it is proper that I should enter more into details concerning this wonderfully versatile man.

 

Alfred Mann, long ago speaking of Brother Evans, said to me, "Evans is a well-conditioned man." Not a little of his phenomenal success was due to his superb physique. His step, until he was nearly seventy, was elastic, his pulse beat was equable, and as a sleeper he was not a whit behind Webster, who boasted that he slept soundly after Hayne's reply to him in the Senate chamber. I have been with him at camp-meetings, where he would sing and shout and exhort until ten o'clock, seldom later, when he would go to the preachers' tent--quietly undress, saying his prayers--go to bed, and while the battle at the stand was still raging would in five minutes be as soundly asleep as a healthy boy after his evening romp. No insomnia about him--how we envied him his gift. His appetite never flickered at the most frugal board. He had some relish for dainties, but if they were not within reach he could fare

 

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sumptuously on hog and hominy. As for dyspepsia ailments he knew as little of them as of summer vacations--neither of them, indeed, was known to his ministerial vocabulary. Eupepsy was his normal condition--his liver aplomb, and his stomach in good working order. Let it not be inferred that he was a gourmand, on the contrary he was rather abstemious and scrupulous in his observance of the quarterly fast. He was an anti-tobacconist of the straitest sect, and made no bills with the apothecary.

 

I remember once when he was staying with us at the Milledgeville parsonage, he was somewhat ailing. After much persuasion I got him to take a single dose of medicine. This treatment relieved him greatly, so that he preached a morning sermon of remarkable power. A good "pulpit sweat" completed the cure, so that he was in good plight when the dinner hour arrived.

By every visible token he might have lived a hundred years, but he died younger than Boring or Lovick Pierce.

Brother Evans was not a scholar in the present acceptation of that term, yet he was a reader of many books. Especially was he familiar with the standard literature of early Methodism. Wesley's sermons he had almost committed to memory--and he had Fletcher's Checks at his tongue's end. He made it a matter of conscience to study the discipline and our authorized Hymnal.

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In a word, by reading and absorption as well, he acquired a large fund of miscellaneous information which he handled to advantage in the pulpit. As a conference preacher he was most esteemed as a revivalist and pastor in its old-time signification.

 

In his younger days he was a flaming evangelist, and the conversions under his ministry were numbered by the thousand. His singing was one element of his strength. He was, however, his own Excell and Sankey, for while he knew but little of music as an art, he had a voice of vast compass and exceeding sweetness. He knew just when and where to bring in "Wrestling Jacob" and "Amazing Grace" and the best of the camp-meeting melodies. The masses of his day preferred such singing to the "fugue tunes" and other operatic airs so much in vogue with fashionable church choirs. To this gift of song he added the gifts of prayer and exhortation in a notable degree. In the former he might be classed with Sam Anthony and John P. Duncan; in the latter he was almost without a peer, unless amongst the old-fashioned laity, like Uncle Jimmie Stewart and Matthew Rylander of Southwestern Georgia. In his happiest mood these hortatory appeals were punctuated by amens and hallelujahs from the enraptured congregation. But perhaps his greatest distinction was his house to house visitation. In Augusta, Savannah, Charleston, Columbus and Macon the whole population in this way felt his magnetic touch.

 

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Many a time, even at the dead of night during seasons of pestilence, did his ponderous footfall wake the slumbering echoes of Green and Broad and Bull and other less aristocratic quarters, as he hurried to the bedside of dying saint or repentant sinner. At this point the Methodism of today has sensibly weakened. Nor has this lack of apostolic service--witness Paul at Ephesus--been supplied by more elaborate pulpit preparation. If usefulness is the end of aim and endeavor it will be best attained by blending pulpit preparation with pastoral visitation, giving the latter the preference. At one period of his life Brother Evans was regarded, not by himself, but others, as good "bishop timber." When many years ago, he was elected to a connectional office, he was thought to be on the high road to the distinction. But after a brief experience as a book agent, he resigned and returned to the pastorate. This we have always thought was a wise decision. Having been twice in his district, we cheerfully bear testimony to his rare administrative ability, and what is better still, we can testify to his sympathetic nature, which greatly endeared him to the preachers of whom he had a quasi-episcopal oversight.

 

We have before intimated that to us his death seemed premature. Certainly it was sudden; so that it might be almost literally said that he ceased at once to work and live.

 

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It was but a single step from the pulpit to his death chamber. All through the latter years of his ministry he held a conservative view of the holiness question, which, after all the pros and cons of subtle disputants, is thoroughly Wesleyan and to the same extent scriptural. Thousands of old friends hailed the coming of this saintly man to his rest and reward on the other shore. May Georgia Methodism never lack for men of his sort, who understand the needs of our Israel.

----

ALEXANDER M. THIGPEN.

I desire, in this connection, to speak briefly of another dear friend and most useful minister, Alexander M. Thigpen. He first came prominently into notice as a chaplain in the army of Northen Virginia. In all of the campaigns of Lee and Jackson, he was noted for his devotion to duty and his unflinching courage in every emergency. Such was the brilliant record he had made during the war, that in 1865 he was appointed to Wesley Chapel, Atlanta.

I saw a great deal of him during the two years of his Atlanta pastorate and at his request, assisted him in making a roll of the membership, the old

 

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church register having been destroyed during the Federal occupation of the city. He exhibited great energy in looking up the scattered flock and in bringing them back to the fold. His preaching was quite satisfactory to his charge, and a goodly number were added to the church.

 

In after years he held several responsible positions, chiefly the Dalton district and the Rome station. In these, and other important charges, he fully sustained his reputation as an able preacher and as an efficient worker in all departments of ministerial duty.

In his social and domestic relations he was a model for the Christian minister. His tenderness to his invalid wife through years of suffering was one of the most beautiful traits of his noble character. And so in the sick room of poor and rich, his presence was like a sunbeam, and his prayers had help and healing in their utterances.

On the street he had a pleasant greeting for every acquaintance, so that when the eye saw him, it blessed him, and when the ear heard him, it honored him.

Strangely enough, such a life of usefulness and unselfishness was deeply shadowed in its closing days.

Let us not stumble at these mysteries of Providence.

Part 5

 

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JOHN W. GLENN--THE CONFERENCE
LEADER.

Forty years ago there were three men, W. J. Parks, John W. Glenn and Samuel Anthony, who were the recognized leaders of the old Georgia Conference. In some sort they formed an ecclesiastical triumvirate whose influence was preponderant on all important conference issues.

This was not the result of personal ambition or of any striking intellectual brilliancy. It was due largely to their thorough consecration to the work of the ministry and only in a less degree to their judicial mindedness. It was a high compliment that Bishop McTyeire paid to the memory of John W. Glenn when he regretted that he had not known him longer and more intimately, for, said McTyeire, "he was endowed with legal ability on church questions beyond any man of my acquaintance."

These illustrious Georgians, especially Parks and Glenn, had passed the meridian of their lives when I met them at the Atlanta Conference in 1854. At that time, Walker Glenn, as he was familiarly called, was rotund in figure, with a head of almost preternatural size, which he carried on one side, indicating, as the phrenologists would say, a combative disposition. The proof of this was seen in

 

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his capacity and fondness for doctrinal disputation. Let it not be supposed, however, that because of this leonine look he was wanting either in graciousness of manner or sweetness of temper. Indeed the lion, couchant, is the most amiable of beasts. It is only when deeply aroused that he passes into the rampant stage and fairly shakes the desert with his roar. So with Walker Glenn. In his better moods, a child could fondle him, but when confronted by some great error of doctrine, or when in the presence of some great practical wrong, he was a most formidable antagonist. While his mastery of invective was thus remarkable, he was uniformly courteous in debate. He neither scolded nor railed, but yet, spoke with both deliberation and emphasis. These special gifts fitted him in an eminent degree for the work of a presiding elder. This seems to have been fully realized by the Bishop and his cabinet. Strangely enough, he was assigned to the charge of an important district at the very conference that admitted him into full connection. Nor is it less noteworthy that in this office he spent four-fifths of his active itinerant life.

 

He was one of the General Conference delegates as early as 1844, having for his colleagues such men as the Pierces, father and son, Judge Longstreet and W. J. Parks. He retained a lively remembrance of the autocratic methods of the majority on that memorable occasion, and never,

 

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to his dying day, had the slightest fancy for the organic union of the two Methodisms. As a conference debater he was never self-assertive, and stuck closely to the specific matter in hand. He seems to have thought with a famous parliamentary leader that the one aim of a speaker was to forward the business of the house. For this reason, chiefly, he was always listened to with great deference, and, as already suggested, seldom failed to carry a majority with him. I can now recall but one sermon which I heard him deliver. It was in Rome, where he was a universal favorite. It was an able discussion of the character of Abraham, with special reference to the sacrifice of Isaac. There was no effort at pulpit pyrotechnics, and yet there were some portions of this sermon which quickened the religious sensibilities of the congregation to a most fervent glow, eliciting warm responses from the "Amen corner."

 

Father Glenn died at his own residence, near Cave Springs, in the seventy-first year of his age. Bishop Haygood, who was with him much during his last illness, wrote and published shortly after his death a charming memoir of this master in Israel. From this we take but a single excerpt bearing exclusively on his domestic life. Says the Bishop: "He was unlike those public men who spend all their good humor upon society, reserving all their moodiness and unsociableness for the fireside. He was genial and entertaining everywhere, but the

 

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very life and center of the home circle. There he offered the richest libation of cheerfulness, light and love." This tribute, based as it was on frequent personal observation, is one of the highest he could have paid to the memory of this venerable minister. It quite naturally recalls to the student of Christian biography, the scenes at the English fireside of Matthew Henry. It revives like wise the memory of the moss-grown manse of Samuel Rutherford where he was wont to catechize the family, not forgetting the servants or the wayfaring guest, when on one Saturday night he unwittingly had amongst his catechumens Archbishop Usher, the Lord Primate of Ireland.

 

This incident is deserving of reproduction at a time when the household altar has greatly fallen into decay, even in Methodist families. While this "Saint of Scotland," as Rutherford was worthily named, was catechising his wife and children and servants, there was a sudden and sharp rap at the door. Mr. Rutherford supposing that some belated wanderer craved his hospitality, at once suspended the services, opened the door, inviting the stranger in and furnishing him a chair at the ingleside. Explaining to the visitor that they were in the midst of their Saturday night devotions, he proceeded with his work. In his turn he questioned his unlooked-for guest as to the number of the commandments, who modestly replied, "eleven." Mr. Rutherford answered, "I had

 

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supposed there were but ten in number. If you please, which is the eleventh?" In an instant came the rejoinder: "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another." Of course in due time the mystery was cleared up. The next morning the Irish Archbishop occupied Mr. Rutherford's pulpit, and spoke charmingly on the eleventh commandment.

 

Mr. Rutherford often referred to this strange occurrence as one of the gracious providences of his life.

----

SAMUEL ANTHONY.

I have hardly space left in this article for a proper etching of Samuel Anthony, a contem porary and bosom friend of Walker Glenn.

General Toombs, who was not addicted to extravagant laudation, was heard to say that at times Sam Anthony was the greatest orator he ever heard in the pulpit. It was my good fortune to be much thrown with Brother Anthony during the middle period of my active ministry, and with less than a half dozen exceptions I could indorse the statement of that great Tribune. In personal courage "Uncle Sam" was as brave as Marshal

 

   page 27  
Ney. He was indeed a stranger to fear, and yet I have seen him shake like an aspen leaf for the first five minutes of a sermon. On one occasion I ventured to expostulate with him, because of this nervous trepidation. He replied that it was a weakness he could not control.

 

Not unfrequently, however, these physical tremors were followed by such Holy Ghost preaching as I never heard from any lips but his own.

Talk of "Hallelujah licks," a phrase of questionable propriety, but when this great man was fully anointed, his face shone like that of St. Stephen before the great council, and every tone and gesture and utterance, however ungraceful and unclassical, seemed inspired.

His gift of prayer was one of his transcendant endowments, only equaled, in my experience, by John W. Knight. In a camp-meeting altar, or kneeling at a mourners' bench, he prayed and spoke with a power and pathos that was oftentimes overwhelming. He had an abundance of that charity which "thinketh no evil." His brethren, indeed, sometimes thought that his intense sympathetic nature led him astray. But while he had pity for the wrongdoer, no man was less disposed to compromise with moral evil or less sparing in his denunciations of the incorrigible offender.

Brother Anthony was often elected to the General Conference, but his native modesty restrained

 

   page 28  
him from taking a conspicuous part in the actings and doings of that great Senate of Methodism.

 

In the Church Conference at Louisville, Kentucky, in 1874, he had an almost fatal illness. In my turn I was called upon to nurse him through the night which proved to be the crisis of his disease. The next morning the attending physicians pronounced him decidedly better. He continued to convalesce until his health was re-established. But it is not improbable that the Louisville attack of pneumonia was the remote cause of his death.

----

ALFRED T. MANN.

Alfred T. Mann was an acknowledged leader in the old Georgia Conference. His education was thorough, and in general literary culture he had few equals in the Methodist ministry. His parentage was distinguished for its old-fashioned zeal and consecration. His father, Uncle Johnnie Mann, was one of the pillars of the "old St. John's" church of Augusta, from the early years of the present century, and his mother was one of the elect ladies of that Gideon's band, composed of Sisters Waterman, McKean and Glasscock, who

 

   page 29  
never faltered in their church allegiance. With such an ecclesiastical pedigree, it would be strange indeed if Brother Mann had been otherwise than "blameless in life and in official administration." My personal acquaintance with him began at Columbus in 1855. We were, on the occasion of his visit to that city, often thrown together in a social way, and I learned both to love and admire him as a genial companion and a high-toned, Christian gentleman.

 

It was probably in 1857 that, while stationed in Marietta, I renewed my intercourse with Dr. Mann. He and his accomplished wife, a daughter of Dr. Lovick Pierce, spent two or more weeks with Mrs. Mildred Waterman, who had known Bro. Mann from his childhood. During his stay in Marietta he twice occupied the Methodist pulpit, preaching to the delight and edification of packed houses. A few years afterwards I heard him deliver a sermon of great power during the first Annual Conference held in Rome. His theme was the Divinity of Christ, which he handled with consummate ability. Some of his leading observations I was able to recall until recent years, but they have now dropped out of my memory. My estimation of Dr. Mann, as a pulpit orator, is based largely on these discourses heard when he was in his intellectual prime.

His style on these great occasions seemed to me a trifle too ornate and his elocution a bit too

 

   page 30  
dramatic, for the average audience. But there was no lack of spiritual fervor in his classical utterances, nor was there in his delivery any semblance that he was acting a part.

 

On the contrary, all through the period of his active ministry he was a favorite, not less with the ruder population of the Rome district than with the more cultured congregations to whom he ministered at Macon, Savannah and Augusta.

For a few years he was put in charge of the leading church at Memphis and won fresh laurels amongst the denizens of the Bluff City.

Returning to Georgia somewhat broken in health and enfeebled by increasing years, he contented himself with less responsible positions.

I had him but once as a presiding elder, and found him dignified and discreet in his administration, and both in and out of the pulpit an ecclesiastical functionary of rare ability and strict personal integrity. He survived to a green old age and at last, "leaving no blot on his name," joined the great majority on the other shore.

Part 8

 

   page 31  
EDWARD H. MYERS.

Edward H. Myers was a contemporary and bosom friend of Dr. Mann. If I mistake not they were fellow collegians at Randolph-Macon College in the old days of President Garland. At any rate, they were not unlike in their personal tastes, nor in their mental make-up.

Dr. Myers was most widely known by his sixteen years editorship of the Southern Christian Advocate, and his subsequent presidency of the Wesleyan Female College. He filled both these responsible positions with credit to himself and with great profit to the church.

As an editorial writer he compared favorably with his distinguished predecessors, Bishop Wightman and Dr. T. O. Summers. Whilst he was neither so learned as Summers, nor so brilliant as Wightman, he was quite the equal of either or both of them in real journalistic ability.

As an educator, Brother Myers was deserving of high praise. Indeed, no president of the Wesleyan, from Bishop Pierce down ward, did more for the discipline of that institution and to improve its standard of scholarship.

As already intimated, his labors in these two great departments of church work brought him fame, and what is better still, secured him the

 

   page 32  
sincere respect and cordial admiration of his brethren throughout the boundaries of connectional Methodism. As respects his pulpit work, it was of such merit as to place him in the front rank of the Georgia ministry. This, not so much because of his oratory, as on account of his clear cut conception of Gospel truth, which he was careful to apply and enforce with great fidelity. This holds good especially of the later years of his ministry, when, disconnected with the worry of the editorial sanctum and the wearisome humdrum of the recitation room, he seemed to acquire fresh inspiration for his ministerial work. Thenceforth his preaching was emphatic and profoundly impressive. Sinners were often cut to the heart and believers seemed to get more than a taste of the grapes of Eshcol.

 

The crowning success of his life was his Savannah pastorate, where he was in great favor with the McIntyres, the Heidts, the Walkers, the Millers, and others who had long been leaders in the Methodist circles of the Forest city.

In 1876, being infirm in health, he went North for a month's recreation. Hearing, however, that the yellow fever had become epidemic, and some of his own parishioners were amongst the sufferers, he abandoned his summer vacation and returned to the city against the protest of his official members. He entered at once on the work of visitation amongst the sick and dying, and

 

   page 33  
contracting the disease, became a victim of that terrible epidemic. Such heroism well deserves to be perpetuated in church history.

 

It would be inexcusable to omit all reference to the services of Dr. Myers in connection with the General Conference and the Cape May commission. In both positions he won no little distinction as a judicious and safe counsellor and legislator.

----

W. H. POTTER--THE PRINCELY MISSIONARY.

The life of Dr. Weyman H. Potter was comparatively quiet and unobtrusive, but it has left a broad and strange influence that will abide and work its results in the history of the world. He was a master in many circles, and in them all his presence was felt by a sense of sanctification and safety, and his words were ever honored as the words of wisdom.

As we usually estimate the powers of thinking, Dr. Potter was often considered a slow thinker; but when we understand how he thought the marvel is that he thought so rapidly. His mind was a comprehensive one in the true sense; grasping

----

 

   page 34  
all, or more nearly all than is usual, that pertained directly or indirectly to the question at issue. Many times I have looked into his face as he was revolving a question, and noted the signs of intense mental action in the effort to reach the truth in its fullness. To many of his hearers, too, the first parts of his discourses were often heavy and tedious. But to those who followed him from the beginning there was always a rich reward not to be had from the more brilliant but surface discourses of the day. He had a clear appreciation of the range of questions and the many elements that entered into the truth in regard to them. Because of this, time was necessary to bring these elements into their proper relation and to consider their bearing on each other and on the point before him.

 

Hence while he may have appeared to be slow, there was compensation in the end, in that his opinions were generally correct, and his presentation of themes was rich in the material gathered along the way and in the triumphant conclusions to which he lead.

Something of the elements of the Iron Duke comes to the mind of one who was well acquainted with Dr. Potter as he contemplated the trend of his character and life. He was by no means perfect, but looking at his life as we mortals have the right to look, the virtues of this man rise through and above his imperfections like a splendid

 

   page 35  
temple amid the rubbish that was left from its structure. His virtues were great in themselves but taken together, blended and fitted into each other, they made for him a character of iron integrity and a life of more than ordinary symmetry and power.

 

But it was in the career of a missionary that the life of Dr. Potter shone most conspicuously. He realized more fully than most men that he and all others had a divine commission to accomplish in this world and in every department of duty that commission seemed to be before him. The great command--"Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel"--seemed to have taken hold on him and possessed him wholly, and to have given shape and direction to all of his doings. He gave intelligent and earnest consideration to the business and incidental details of the church, because he regarded them as a part of the subordinate machinery that was to work out the divine commission and carry the gospel to all men.

The great thought that seemed to consume his whole being, as he grew older, was to present the advantages that we had for spreading the kingdom of God, and to arouse the church to an appreciation of its high calling in the royal mission of sending the gospel of salvation to all nations. When the Master went away and said, "Occupy till I come," he left to humanity an enterprise, the highest that is known to man, and as royal in its

 

   page 36  
dignity as the eternal kingdom itself. It is the enterprise to lift every head with hope and inspire every heart with the desire for the true life. No man can ever be himself or enter upon his high estate until he hears that command and turns his life, with some earnestness and energy, to its elevating and royal ends. No church can ever attain to the dignity and character of a true church in any degree, unless there is in it some lively appreciation of the scope of meaning in this command as it reaches out after the fallen world and impels the heart in that direction. Dr. Potter manifested his princely nature by entering into this great truth and trying to appropriate its divine virtue to his own life and to get all others to do the same.

 

For many years before his death, he saw the magnitude of the gospel work; he saw the royal mission of the church and its human and divine fitness for that mission; he accepted the promise of God for blessings on the cause, he realized the beauty and glory of the final triumph; and he made the great commission the theme, the sweet and soul-inspiring song of his life. No one could doubt that who heard the broad, comprehensive, fervid discourses which he delivered during his latter years, and the triumphant tone that ran through them all. Those discourses were like mighty torrents, sweeping toward the gates of God's kingdom and carrying every hearer with

 

   page 37  
them, while music from the heavenly city was falling on their ears all the time. They were the soul-stirring shouts of a great general, with the banner of victory in his hand, trying to lead a hesitating army to sure and complete triumph.

 

His life was one of continuous study and training for the royal ends before him; but when he entered upon the duties of missionary secretary, he seemed more than ever to be the prince in God's kingdom to which his great soul had all along been tending. It was then that he entered with all of his accumulated energies into the spirit of the mission of the Son of God, the Saviour of the world. It was then that he grasped with confidence the scepter and ascended the throne of the kingdom to which he, with all of God's children, was called in carrying on the government of life and salvation, while Christ, the great King, was gone away. It was then that more fully than ever he became a prince among men, a prince in Israel, a princely missionary in the great Church of God.

Part 10

 

   page 38  
G. J. PEARCE.

G. J. Pearce was one of the notable men of the Georgia Conference when I was received on trial in the class of 1854. From our first acquaintance we were friends, and our friendship was never interrupted for a single moment, but deepened as the years rolled by. I shall never forget his tender sympathy when I lay a physical wreck at Trinity parsonage nearly twenty years ago. His own health, never vigorous, was at the time badly shattered, but, from time to time, he visited my parsonage home and greatly refreshed me with the sunlight of his presence and conversation. On these occasions his godly counsel and his fervent prayers were a benediction to my entire household.

In a former number of the series of biographic etchings, we spoke of Jesse Boring as the Salvator Rosa of the Georgia pulpit, because of his lurid word painting of the judgment scene and of the endless doom of the wicked. In some respects Jeff Pearce might be likened to Sidney Smith of the English pulpit. Without the scholarship of that eminent divine he had, in no small degree, the caustic wit and the metaphysical brain which distinguished the gifted author of the Peter Plymley Letters.

 

   page 39  

We have heard him on more than one occasion when he preached not with gush, but with a chastened enthusiasm that touched every heart, and yet, in a twinkling, there were flashes of wit that well-nigh convulsed his audience.

Later on, his metaphysical gifts were brought into exercise in the analysis of some grave problem of Christian philosophy, so as to command the admiration of every thoughtful listener. Some of the older preachers like Cotter, Rush, Adams, Hinton and McGhee, well remember his spirited controversy with McFerrin during the Atlanta session of 1861. Brother Pearce resented in a very emphatic way, the great Tennesseean's arraignment of the Georgia Conference for its alleged disloyalty to the Southern Publishing House. I have seldom witnessed on the Conference floor such a lively discussion as followed. The breach threatened to be serious, but after mutual explanation, was healed by a generous indorsement of the Nashville House. Brother Pearce struggled for many years of his adult life with a throat trouble which unfitted him somewhat for the constant stress of the pastorate. For this reason mainly he served for a long term as agent of the American Bible Society. In this capacity he won the cordial approbation of the managers of that great charity, and was retired from his position at his own urgent request. Subsequently he was elected to the presidency of

 

   page 40  
the LaGrange Female College, and did much to elevate its standard of scholarship.

 

While serving these two institutions he traveled widely and preached with much success from Lookout to Tybee.

These evangelistic labors were followed in some communities by extensive revivals, which greatly strengthened the church. Such arduous labors were at times very exhaustive to a man who was a sufferer from invalidism, nor is there room to doubt that they contributed to the ultimate collapse. But I must say that his ill-advised transfer to the South Georgia Conference, with its disappointments, had a most injurious effect on his nervous system. I urged him not to make the change, but other counsels prevailed. At any rate, it proved a pivotal period in his life. From that time forward his health steadily declined, and it was evident to his most intimate friends that there was but slight hope of his recovery.

He still worked as best he could in the Master's vineyard, now and then exhibiting the old-time fervor, with an occasional glimpse of his former intellectual power. In his last days he was sustained by a steadfast faith, and soothed by the sweet ministries of a dearly loved Christian home.

When at last the end came, his ransomed spirit went sweeping through the gates amidst the harpings and hallelujahs of the glorified.

Part 11

 

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WILLIAM ARNOLD.

I am quite sure it was in the summer of 1839 that while a boy attending the popular Harris county camp-meeting, I first heard "Uncle Billy Arnold" of the old Georgia Conference. As I recall him, he was of imposing presence, the impersonation of neatness, and distinguished for a suavity of manner that won the hearts of all who came in contact with him. He seemed a born versifier; so much so indeed that if he had been reared in Italy he would have been reckoned an improvisator.

His sermons were interspersed with snatches of Wesleyan hymns and with other verses which he produced upon the spur of the moment, greatly to the delight of his congregations. Some of these verses of his own coinage would have pleased the critical taste of Isaac Watts or Philip Doddridge.

Nor was he less skillful in the use of a rhetoric that roused the religious sensibilities and made him a favorite amongst all classes of hearers.

Added to this was a glow of deep personal piety that constituted him one of the most effective revivalists amongst his contemporaries. His son, Rev. Miles W. Arnold, still in the flesh, and his late grandson, Rev. Willie Arnold, both inherited some of these special gifts of their illustrious ancestor. While stationed in Milledgeville in 1860,

 

   page 42  
I was hoping to have him with me every third Sunday in the month, but he sickened and died almost at the beginning of my pastorate, so that I missed his valuable help. Father Arnold has left few written memorials of his pulpit work, but all through Middle Georgia there still linger traditions of his great moral worth, and of his ministerial usefulness.

 

His wide-spread popularity as a preacher of funeral discourses was a striking feature of his ministry. A few of the older citizens, who heard him at sundry times on these sad occasions, testify that in this respect he was without a peer in his generation.

After a life of spotless integrity, he long ago entered a world where "the inhabitants shall never say, I am sick." Where "no mourners go about the streets" of that golden city, whose walls are salvation and whose gates are praise.

----

REV. WM. J. PARKS.

My first glimpse of "Uncle Billy Parks" was in 1833, the year of the great meteoric shower, the like of which will not probably be seen for another hundred years. He was, at the time, a resident of Franklin county and came to Salem, Clark

 

   page 43  
county, to place his son, Harwell H., in the village academy, of which my father was the widely-known rector. Harwell was, as I remember him, a quiet, studious boy, but tough of muscle, as some of us learned by a practical test at boxing and wrestling.

 

Brother Parks was then the oracle of the mountaineers of North-eastern Georgia, over whom he wielded an influence unequaled by any of his early contemporaries. He was, neither by taste nor training, a society man--was ungainly almost to awkwardness in his manner; and yet he had all the instincts of a gentleman, and a politeness that would have done no discredit to Chesterfield.

Like most of his ministerial contemporaries, he entered the conference with little educational outfit beyond a smattering of grammar, geography and arithmetic. But he had in him a fixed purpose to improve himself by study, as far as was compatible with large circuits and hard horse-back travel. He moreover resolved to make himself familiar with the sacred Scriptures and with the Discipline of the church. In these respects he was eminently successful; indeed, far more so than many who have been trained in our later theological seminaries. In a few years his profiting was apparent to his brethren of the ministry and the laity, who came to regard him as "mighty in the Scriptures," but without that other gift of Apollos--eloquence of speech.

 

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If we were to attempt a strict analysis of his mental make-up, we should say that his perceptive faculties were largely in excess of his reflective powers. All through his ministry, he was noted for his intense practicalness. He loved truth in the concrete better than in the abstract, and purposely avoided that theological hair-splitting"

That could divide
A hair 'twixt North and North-west side.
 
"

 

Brother Parks was, however, like most of the great Methodist leaders in that controversial period, a skillful disputant. In proof of this we have a small volume which he wrote on "Apostasy," which played havoc with the Calvinistic dogma of "Final Perseverance." It is now probably out of print, but we enjoyed and profited by the reading of it in our youthful days. The Scriptural argument, and the style as well, ought to have perpetuated it until the close of the century.

His personal influence as before intimated in these series, had great weight with the annual conference.

He had, besides other qualifications for leadership, a faculty of close observation which made his estimate of men almost infallible. He was a rough-hewn, stern-featured man, with a brow like a craggy mountain cliff, which gave him at times the appearance of an austere man. Never was there a greater misapprehension, for back of this there

 

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lay a kindly heart and a large generosity. Several times, especially when he was representing Emory College, I had him as a welcome guest at my own fireside. Although my senior by many years, I found him a most companionable spirit, and quite a favorite with my wife and children. The last time I saw this venerable servant of God, was at his delightful home in Oxford. I was on that occasion, a member of the board of visitors to that excellent institution, and on Sabbath night took tea with Brother Parks and his family. I saw at a glance that his was a well-ordered household, and that he had, in a good degree, the Christian virtue of hospitality. Soon after the evening devotions, which were never omitted, I was compelled to withdraw to meet a pulpit engagement at the village church. He walked with me to the door, and expressed his deep regret that because of his feeble health he would be unable to hear the sermon. If possible, I was more than ever charmed by the gentleness of his spirit, and the graciousness of his manner. He was evidently on the verge of heaven, and I could almost see the aureole resting on his thin, white locks.

 

Only a little while and the veteran was "numbered with the saints in glory everlasting."

If I wanted to characterize the preaching of this grand man, I would say in a few words, that while in his pulpit ministrations there was the absence of the "genius of gesture" and all the

 

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rodomontade that phrase implies, there was a well-defined individuality which made him a most striking figure in any religious assembly.

 

----

REV. JAMES B. JACKSON.

I must of necessity greatly condense what I shall have to say of another dear friend and very able minister. I refer to the Rev. James B. Jackson, who may be fitly styled a diamond in the rough.

My acquaintance with him began and almost ended with my two years pastorate in the thriving and delightful little city of Americus. Brother Jackson was my presiding elder, and never was there the slightest want of brotherly affection between us. He seemed devoted to me and I am quite sure I loved him as though he had been my twin brother. He was as shrinking as a country girl and utterly void of self-assertion. He was fully persuaded that a majority of his preachers were his superiors in the pulpit, yet not one of them was his equal as a theologian or logician. In the graces of true oratory he did not excel, but in solid sense and powerful reasoning I have rarely in earlier or later times seen his peer.

 

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He frequently spoke to me of the disadvantages under which he labored in the outset of his career. He was full seventeen years of age when he entered a log school-house, I believe in Jackson county, armed with Webster's spelling book. But from the start his progress was rapid and continuous. At his first circuit appointment he broke down from sheer timidity, and would have retired from the work if the older brethren had not urged him forward. The scene as he described it to me when he stood in the pulpit at this appointment, and, with tears, entreated some brother to "take the books" as he could not preach, was exceedingly pathetic. But such was his rapid advancement that before the close of the year the best and wisest of his parishioners were clamorous for his re-appointment.

Brother Jackson had no gift of exhortation, and was consequently lacking greatly in evangelistic force. Very few apparently were brought into the church by his personal ministry, and yet I doubt not that he turned many to righteousness in his quiet, unpretentious way. At Cuthbert and Lumpkin, where he was stationed, he had a host of admirers, and all through South-western Georgia and Florida he was esteemed as one of the ablest presiding elders even known in all that vast stretch of territory.

In the Apostolic Church he would have ranked high as a pulpit teacher, and with a better educational

 

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equipment he would have graced the chair of dogmatic theology at Princeton or Vanderbilt. His death was sudden and in some of its aspects unspeakably sad. It was caused by a railroad accident as he was returning from a district appointment where he had preached with great power. It is with me a pleasant anticipation, that I shall one day meet this dear friend and honored brother in some quiet nook or on some sunny slope of the heavenly Canaan. Long ago he has greeted Sam Anthony and Lovick Pierce, two of his most cherished friends, amidst the fellow-ship of the glorified.

 

----

REV. JOHN P. DUNCAN.

My impression is that John P. Duncan was a native of Pennsylvania and that he came South to engage in teaching. He was fairly educated, and throughout his life was a reader of the lighter English and American literature.

He had great fondness for poetry, Robert Burns being his favorite and then John Milton, Edward Young, Alexander Pope and others, very much in the order named. He was not less wedded to vocal music, and some of his renditions of

 

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the hymns of Burns and Tom Moore would have done honor to a professional. His knowledge of the Wesleyan hymns was thorough, nor less so his acquaintance with camp-meeting melodies and revival songs. He had a sweetness of voice whether in song or sermon which I have seldom known equalled. He entered the conference when Bishop Pierce was still an under-graduate, and for long years they loved each other as did David and Jonathan. In his earlier ministry Brother Duncan was a revivalist of great distinction. His converts on a circuit or station were numbered not by scores but by hundreds. His gifts of song, exhortation and prayer were inimitable. As a sermonizer he was as little successful as he was when in the presiding eldership, and yet I have met men of average intelligence who regarded him as the equal if not the superior of the best preachers amongst his contemporaries. When in the vigor of middle age he was immensely popular as a pastor. Like Barnabas he was a son of consolation. In the sick room, on a funeral occasion, and wherever aching hearts were to be soothed and strengthened he was in his right element.

 

This faculty may have been a source of weakness to him as an expositor of the Holy Scriptures. And yet he knew the Bible, at least its verbiage, from lid to lid and quoted it with marvelous facility and accuracy. He only lacked greater power for consecutive thinking and argumentative skill

----

 

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to have attained for himself a foremost place in the Methodist ministry. During my pastorate at Americus, his wife and children were in my charge and I occasionally sat at his fireside and sometimes shared his bountiful hospitality.

 

In his later years he was the subject of sore affliction, his family dead or scattered, his property consumed, his eye-sight well-nigh destroyed, and he an itinerant lecturer, greatly admired, but poorly paid.

These mutations of worldly fortune did not, however, sour his disposition or shake his steadfast trust in God. Somewhere in Alabama he suddenly passed away and joined the vast multitude of whom it is so touchingly said, "These are they that have come out of great tribulation."

Thousands still live who were brought to Christ through his exceptionally effective ministry.

As for myself, in looking back upon our twoscore years of delightful intimacy, I am inclined to inscribe on his grave stone this pious wish, which other thousands would gladly echo:"

Green be the turf above thee,
Friend of my better days.
 
"

 

Part 15

 

   page 51  
JOHN W. YARBROUGH.

When a boy I sojourned for a time with an uncle in McDonough, Georgia. This uncle was a staunch Methodist with a warm side for the Presbyterians because his excellent wife was a member of that communion. At the time of my stay in his household, John W. Yarbrough was in charge of the McDonough circuit, and he had no firmer friend than "Uncle Billy White." Brother Yarbrough was then, as ever afterwards, an aggressive preacher, not afraid to denounce in fitting terms the drink habit, the dance room, the horse races and other evil practices condemned by the General Rules of the church. In so doing he provoked no little opposition from the rude boys of the community. For a season he had rough sailing, but my remembrance is that his plain preaching, as often happens, was followed by a gracious revival, the results of which are still felt and seen in that Middle Georgia circuit.

It was quite a number of years before I again met him as my presiding elder on the Atlanta district in 1861. In the meantime he had grown gray in the Master's service, and had become a preacher of very considerable prominence in the conference. He was then at his best in the pulpit, and was a favorite with all classes, in town and country.

 

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Brother Yarbrough had enough Irish blood in his veins to make him a commanding orator in any presence.

I recall an illustration of this fact in connection with a visit of William L. Yancey to Atlanta during this eventful war period. Col. Ben C. Yancey and his wife had been received into the membership of Wesley Chapel during the summer of 1861, and were regular attendants on its ministry. Quite naturally the distinguished Alabamian accompanied them to church. On one of these occasions the services were conducted by the presiding elder. Bro. Yarbrough remarked afterwards that he was not aware of Mr. Yancey's presence, otherwise he would have been greatly embarassed. He preached, however, one of his ablest sermons, based on Abraham's intercession for Sodom. The whole congregation was greatly delighted, and after the benediction Mr. Yancey came forward seeking to be made acquainted with the preacher, and thanked him most heartily for his very able discourse. This was no small compliment, coming from one of the most gifted orators of the South.

Brother Yarbrough was not a scholar in the technical sense of that term, but his reading had been wide in its range, and this was especially true of the standard theological writers of Methodism.

 

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There was, in most of his preaching, a blending of humor and pathos that rarely failed to please his rustic audiences and those he was most frequently brought in contact with, as his conference appointments were exclusively on circuits and districts.

The last months of his life were spent in suffering from a malignant cancer. But he bore his afflictions with true Christian fortitude and died in peace in the presence of his devoted family.

----

WM. M. CRUMLEY.

William M. Crumley, from want of early educational training, started at the bottom round of the ministerial ladder. And yet, by patient study, he became one of the ablest preachers of the Old Georgia Conference.

When I was associated with Dr. Eustace W. Speer as junior preacher at Columbus in 1835, Brother C. came on a visit to his former parishioners of that Methodist strong-hold. On the following Sabbath he occupied the pulpit of the present St. Luke's church, to the delight of a vast congregation. He was slowly rallying from an attack of yellow fever, from which he

 

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suffered during the previous autumn while pastor of Trinity church, Savannah.

 

His sermon very properly related to his pastoral experiences in the sick room during the prevalence of that terrible pestilence. Not the least of Brother Crumley's pulpit gifts was a faculty of delineation that was strikingly graphic in its style.

His description of the death scene of his colleague, Rev. Joshua Payne, a promising and consecrated young minister, melted the audience to tears.

His own experience when he seemed nearing the spirit world, followed as it was by a tranced condition, during which the watchers by his bedside believed him dead, was thrillingly eloquent.

Indeed, his experience was almost identical with that of Mr. Tennant, of New Jersey, a Presbyterian divine of the last century, except that it was of much shorter duration.

Brother Crumley, on two or more occasions, described to me the ebb of the life-current until he was hovering on the very border of the better land. Meanwhile, his sensations were delightful beyond expression. He was conscious when the crisis was past and he began to return to life.

At no period of his eminently useful life did Brother Crumley do better ministerial work than while he was on duty as chaplain of the Georgia Hospital at Richmond, Virginia, during the late war. His sympathetic nature, his ripe, religious

 

   page 55  
experience, his gentleness of manner, his persuasive style of preaching, and his power in prayer all contributed to fit him for the arduous work to which he was assigned. Probably hundreds of the boys in gray were brought to Christ through his ministry in the wards of the hospital. He accomplished a vast amount of good likewise by visiting the battlefields and in preaching, as he had opportunity, to the soldiers in camp. These rough experiences in Virginia may have helped greatly to shorten the term of his effective ministry. It was obvious to his friends that after the war his old-time vigor had somewhat abated. A few years later he began to meditate on the propriety of retiring from conference work be cause of his physical disability. He shared in a measure the life-long disinclination of Dr. Pierce to go upon the superannuated list. Both of these venerable men preferred location to superannuation. Dr. Pierce, although for many years virtually superannuated, was, at his own urgent request, kept on the effective list. Brother Crumley, however, yielded gracefully to the inevitable, and for a number of years was a superannuate; but, according to his own desire, never received an allowance, as he had an ample estate for his own support. These amiable idiosyncracies were creditable to both, and are mentioned simply as matters of history.

 

 

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For some years before his ascension he was a complete wreck, resulting from paralysis. All through this sad period of suffering he bore himself with great humility, much beloved by thousands of his friends and warmly cherished by his devoted wife and children.

One of the most touching scenes I ever witnessed was a visit he made to the First Baptist Church in Atlanta that he might see and hear Mr. Moody, the great evangelist. He was carried into the church by the assistance of his friends, and was held up in their arms that he might see the distinguished speaker. It was possibly his last appearance in the sanctuary, where in the days of his strength, he had so often preached with overwhelming power. It struck me as a fitting close to a life of spotless purity and remarkable usefulness.

----

JOSIAH LEWIS, JR.

Josiah Lewis, Jr., was a youth of mark and likelihood from the day of his graduation.

Not a few of his wisest friends predicted for him a brilliant career, which unhappily was cut short by a premature death. Whether occupying

 

   page 57  
the professor's chair or the pulpit he was evidently a man of superior gifts and of large resources. As chancellor of the Southern University he proved himself a man of excellent administrative ability, enjoying the esteem and confidence of the faculty, and of the board of trustees. Circumstances which he could not control led to his resignation, and to his entrance on the pastoral work. For three years he had charge of the church and congregation of LaGrange, where he won golden opinions from all the Christian denominations. His health, which had been declining for several years, retired him from the active ministry to his own discomfort, and to the regret of the whole conference.

 

I heard him preach but two sermons, both of which were of a high order indicative of scholarship and of thorough consecration to the service of the gospel.

He had both intellectual and moral integrity. In some instances these qualities are disjoined, and in all such cases there is the lack of a well rounded character. Like his venerable father, Josiah Lewis, Sr., he had a moral courage that never cowered in the face of criticism or opposition.

A few weeks before his death I spent an hour in conversation with him at the old homestead in the vicinity of Sparta. He had but little expectation of recovery from the sickness that was slowly

 

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but steadily sapping the foundations of his life, but his resignation to the divine will was perfect.

 

Before separating we joined in prayer at the home altar, and at the close of our interview he spoke of the heavenly rest which awaited him, while tears of gladness sparkled in his eyes.

It is no fulsome praise to say that, take him all in all, the conference has seldom had his superior on its roll of honored and illustrious men.

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ROBERT WARREN DIXON.

Robert Warren Dixon was admitted into the conference in December, 1856. His first appointment was the Hamilton circuit, and his last the Thomasville district. During the intervening years he served several of the best circuits and stations, and was very highly esteemed, both in the pulpit and pastorate.

While he was not eminent for intellectual gifts, he was an all-round man whose usefulness exceeded a large number who were more widely known and more liberally applauded. He was studious in his habits, and there is little doubt but that too much reading by lamplight brought the eye trouble that ended in his ministerial disqualification.

 

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My association with Bro. Dixon was limited, but I saw and heard enough of him to admire his excellent character.

 

Col. Herbert Felder, of Cuthbert, has made this record of him which deserves to be perpetuated. This distinguished jurist characterizes him in the words following: "A man of study and research in all that pertains to true, Christian philosophy, of masterly intellect and commanding eloquence, mature judgment and mild but unyielding decision. His public and private life without reproach and in harmony with his sacred office."

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W. D. MARTIN.

Rev. W. D. Martin was in charge of the Harris circuit during the period of my adolescence. I was frequently drawn to the church by his ministry, and while I was not religiously impressed by his preaching, I greatly enjoyed his original manner of presenting and enforcing the doctrines of Methodism.

My recollection is that he was associated in the work of the circuit with Rev. Ben Clark, who was possibly a reformed inebriate, certainly one of a class whom Bunyan was wont to call a "Jerusalem

 

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sinner." They were good yoke-fellows in the ministry, but their pulpit methods were quite dissimilar. Brother Martin was educated to an extent not usual with the Methodist clergy of fifty years ago. Neither in garb nor manner was he a typical preacher of the old school, but he was not wanting in evangelistic fervor nor in genuine humility.

 

On the other hand, "Uncle Ben," as he was affectionately styled, was decidedly illiterate, but had a boundless zeal, a volume of voice only equalled by that most excellent man and useful preacher, Wesley P. Arnold.

"Uncle Ben" had no conception of a syllogism, but he had an experience that was worth more than logic in moving the masses of a backwoods congregation. This personal experience, which he knew how to relate with telling effect, made his congregations both laugh and cry, a result that I could not then well understand. But, blessed be God, this spiritual phenomenon is no longer a mystery.

But I find myself drifting away from the matter in hand. Coming back to Brother Martin, we remember to have met him and to have had much pleasant intercourse with him when we were both serving on the Board of Trustees of the LaGrange Female College. He was a man of fine, practical sense, and at one of the annual meetings of the board, we co-operated in defeating an effort to

 

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restrict the mathematical course of the college to arithmetic, with a smattering of algebra and geometry.

 

It may have been at this time that I took tea with him at the hospitable home of Uncle George Heard, the father of Rev. Peter Heard and of Mrs. James M. Beall.

Brother Martin was, through much of his life, a great sufferer from nervous debility. This affliction compelled his retirement from the itinerant ministry. He died may years ago on his farm near Greenville, Georgia. His widow still lingers, waiting the call of the Master. Her son, who has many of his father's traits and accomplishments, is at the old homestead, and is the stay of his aged mother.

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JACKSON P. TURNER.

One of the most gifted and devotedly pious ministers of his day was Jackson P. Turner. I have no vivid recollection of his preaching, except possibly, his second year in the ministry. He was reared, like many of our best preachers, in Northeastern Georgia, and despite his lack of early educational advantages, he became a man of reputable

 

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scholarship. I have been told that while he was an industrious student, yet he learned seemingly by intuition.

 

His speaking gifts were of a high order, but more solid than showy. With these pulpit endowments, he combined an administrative ability which made him a most efficient and popular presiding elder.

The late Rev. James B. Jackson, who was himself a capable and conscientious critic, regarded him as one of the great lights of the conference. He often spoke of him to me as next in rank to Billy Parks and Walker Glenn as an ecclesiastical jurist. He thought that but for his early death he might have reached the highest position in the church. I never heard him preach after his second year in the conference, but even then he gave promise of great excellence as a preacher. I have understood that he exhibited a fondness for controversy that discounted him in some degree, but on what special lines I am not definitely informed. It was nothing, however, which affected his ministerial standing or general acceptability.

Part 21

 

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W. H. EVANS.

W. H. Evans belonged to a somewhat later period in the conference. He was less widely known than his more distinguished brother, James E. Evans, but was himself a man of excellent gifts. I came but little in contact with him in my early ministry, but was well acquainted with his reputation as an indefatigable worker in planting and building churches. Many years ago Atlanta was, for a time, the field of his ministry, where he won all hearts by his gentleness and goodness. Evans' Chapel, since called Walker Street church, was named for him. While engaged in founding that church, he was greatly assisted by Rev. Lewis Lawshe, one of the most enterprising and esteemed local preachers known in the history of Atlanta Methodism.

My most intimate acquaintance with Brother Evans was when he was presiding elder of the LaGrange district. While he was serving on that district, I was called to preach the commencement sermon at the LaGrange Female College. Brother Evans held the reins, and against my vigorous protest, he required me to conduct both preaching services and to fill an afternoon appointment at which that grand man, Bishop Andrew, was to have officiated. I was struck with his

 

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good-humored persistence, and had finally to succumb. I said to him that he was a born ruler, with a bit of Napoleonism in his make-up.

 

During the next two or three days of the commencement exercises I very much enjoyed his genial fellowship. Strangely enough, I never heard one of his sermons which, I was informed, were uniformly edifying and enjoyable.

From that time onward our paths seldom crossed, and I only met him at the sessions of the Annual Conference. He was then in vigorous health and bade fair to attain a serene old age. I am informed, however, that not many years thereafter his physical strength commenced to wane, and that, in Oxford, he died suddenly, but of a lingering disease, and was buried at Oxford, Georgia.

He was a lovable man in all the relations of life, and his death was much regretted by thousands of our best people of all denominations.

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W. A. FLORENCE.

When I first knew William A. Florence he was the Principal of a flourishing academy at McDonough, Georgia. He was then in the local ranks and a preacher of considerable popularity in the village. Some years afterwards, perhaps in 1844, he entered the conference and for a long term of years was quite effective as an itinerant.

 

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Few men in the conference were his superiors in Biblical knowledge or general information. A smaller number still were better qualified to discuss the distinctive tenets and usages of Methodism or, when occasion demanded, to deal sledge hammer blowsat the dogmas of Calvinism. This was all done, however, in good temper and rarely offended those who differed with him. Indeed, he possessed beyond most men the "ornament of a meek and quiet spirit," and if he had enemies they were ashamed to avow it. No member of the conference kept a closer watch on the proceedings of the annual session, and yet strangely enough he never seemed to understand the drift of the discussion or the precise status of the business in hand. His mistakes were sometimes ludicrous. He was clearly not fitted for the work of a parliamentary leader, and yet, like some others we have known, he was frequently on the floor. But he had the grace and good sense to yield when some shrewder parliamentarian knocked him out of the arena by a good-natured witticism.

In the pulpit, where no reply was allowed, he spoke consecutively, compactly, and, as we have already intimated, with pith and power.

Brother Florence, in the closing years of his pilgrimage, became more and more Christlike in his personal bearing in the church and in the community. In 1876, at the ripe age of seventy-two, he died in great peace at Social Circle.

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Part 23

 

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MILLER H. WHITE.

Miller H. White was a member of the conference for more than a full half century. From the beginning of his ministry he exhibited a preaching gift that was unusual and that gave promise of no little distinction. During this time he occupied several prominent positions. But disease of a bronchial sort arrested him almost at the threshold of his maturer life, and he ceased to be effective for quite a number of years. During this interval he became highly useful and even successful as a medical practitioner, at the same time serving, as he had strength enough, the churches where he resided. Several years, however, before his death, he so far recovered his health that he was made effective.

It was in this last period that I became best acquainted with him, and on two occasions traveled with him around his circuit, alternating with him in the work. I learned to love him much because of his brotherly kindness. I saw in these years the proofs of his ministerial ability. There was no little in his style to remind one of Bishop Pierce in his latter days. Indeed, in tone and gesture, and even facial expression, Dr. White might have almost passed for a twin brother of the great bishop. I have sometimes thought that

 

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his intense admiration for the bishop, and his lifelong intimacy with him, may have influenced him to imbibe, unconsciously to himself, somewhat of the bishop's mannerism.

 

Dr. White, when I last saw him, began to show signs of failing health, and yet he lingered for a while in the borderland, having reached the advanced age of nearly fourscore years at his death in 1891, in Grantville, Ga.

----

JOHN COLLINSWORTH AND LEWIS H.
MYERS.

John Collinsworth and Lewis H. Myers were recognized leaders in the old South Carolina Conference, but their ministry was almost exclusively in Georgia. Both of them were sticklers for the old time usages of Methodism, and they stood squarely and unflinchingly for the enforcement of its discipline. Myers was the abler man of the two, and for many years was a delegate to the General Conference, holding a conspicuous rank in the committee on Episcopacy. As Collinsworth opposed the brass buttons of George Pierce, so did Father Myers protest against the premature marriage of James O. Andrew.

 

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The tribe of these veterans is now extinct. Allen Turner was the last representative of this class, and made his last conference fight on Alfred T. Mann for shaving on Sunday--at the conference of 1854.

Uncle Allen was nonplussed when Capers, the presiding bishop, stated that the English Wesleyans were nearly all in the same condemnation. Thereupon Uncle Allen groaned audibly, which performance brought a smile to the face of Sam Anthony, and even Uncle Billy Parks relaxed the muscles of his usually stern visage.

Let us not cease to revere the memories of these fathers in Israel, who, after all, were giants in the earlier years of the present century.

A little more of their conservatism in this progressive age might save the Church from evils that disturb its peace and menace its stability.

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JOHN M. BONNELL.

John M. Bonnell was a handsome and a scholarly young Pennsylvanian, who joined the conference in 1846.

He speedily became quite a favorite with the brethren of the ministry and laity.

 

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While his pulpit gifts were much above the average, he soon developed an educational capacity that made it desirable that the Church should have his service in that direction.

No man, indeed, of that period, contributed more to organize public sentiment in favor of the higher education throughout the state.

He had thoroughly mastered the theory of pedagogies before the word itself had come into popular use, and when as yet its signification, and still less its full import, was comprehended by professional teachers. He contributed a paper of great merit to Scott's Monthly Magazine on the study of English Grammar, which attracted much attention.

He had, in a striking degree, an analytical mind, as shown in all his published discussions of the methods of teaching.

His best work as a teacher was done in the presidency of the Wesleyan Female College, and he has left his impress on that noble institution, whose work for a half century has been a benefaction to Southern Methodism.

Dr. Bonnell, never in vigorous health, died in 1873, being literally exhausted by his abundant labors in behalf of education.

He was a high-toned and sweet-spirited Christian gentleman, whose great worth will be better appreciated as the years go by.

Part 26

 

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WESLEY P. PLEDGER.

Wesley P. Pledger was my conference classmate, and for that reason, in part, I watched his ministerial career with deep interest, and toward its close with painful solicitude. He had the "genius of gesture" and no mean gift of oratory. If in early life he had enjoyed the advantage of thorough mental training, he would have impressed his generation hardly less than some of the most distinguished men of the conference. Like other gifted men, Brother Pledger inherited a perilous, nervous temperament which embittered and finally wrecked his useful life. His occasional restlessness of disposition, which was at times the subject matter of ungracious comment, was the outcome of disease. For two or three years before his sad death he needed the rest and regimen of a first-class sanitarium. I urged him when on the Rome district, where he was greatly beloved and admired, to desist for at least a twelve month from pulpit work.

Others of his closest friends approved the suggestion, but he failed to realize the imminency of his peril.

Brother P. was in the main a charming preacher, and there were occasions when his declamation had some of the ring and range of Bishop Pierce.

 

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He struggled heroically against what appeared to be manifest destiny, but "Stern melancholy had marked him for her own," and he went forward slowly and yet steadily to the final scene.

Let it not be supposed, however, that his was altogether a blighted life. In the spirit world he met hundreds who were brought to Christ by his ministry. Long since has he forgotten the trials of the way in the raptures of his glorified estate.

----

GEO. H. PATTILLO.

Geo. H. Pattillo belonged to the fourth generation of Georgia preachers. In 1860 he rendered me valuable service in a gracious meeting at Milledgeville, the memory of which is still fresh and fragrant to many of the citizens of the "old capital."

He was from that time my fast, personal friend, and, although he was quite young, I recognized in his preaching the promise and potency of great pulpit usefulness.

Brother Patillo was an Emory student, and the effects of his collegiate training were visible in his ministry. He indulged in few oratorical flights, but was practical in a remarkable degree in the trend of his thought and the manner of its presentation.

 

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His sermons were edifying, which is but another word for uplifting, or, better still, upbuilding. He was careful, however, to lay the right foundation, and, as a consequence, the structure he reared was neither rocked nor racked by the fury of the winds or the turbulence of the waves. Religious character, as he shaped it, was neither the card house of the nursery nor the air-castle of the visionary.

 

Unfortunately he embarked at one period of his life in secular enterprises of a reputable sort, but we doubt if they contributed anything either to his fame or fortune.

This, however, was but a brief divergence. He returned to his loved employ with a larger equipment and a fuller consecration. It is probable that the latter years of his laborious life, especially when serving on districts, were the most fruitful of his ministry.

Meanwhile, his hard work had made its impress on a constitution not originally robust, and he began to totter down the hill of life to an early grave. As he neared the end his personal piety shone with increasing lustre, when, after a rather protracted illness, the silver cord was loosed and he passed away with a lively hope of the heavenly rest.

Part 28

 

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GEORGE E. GARDINER.

George E. Gardiner was another minister who died early, of whom it might be soberly said that he was "a gentleman and a scholar." Well educated at the outset, he was quite studious in his habits, and while yet young he had mastered a great deal of the best literature native and foreign.

He was elaborate in pulpit preparation, and his sermons, while lacking somewhat in brilliancy were noted for accuracy.

He was not wanting in the social instinct, and was everywhere popular as a pastor. To these excellent qualifications for ministerial usefulness he added a personal piety that secured the cordial esteem of all classes and denominations.

His death, long before he had reached the maturity of his intellectual powers, seemed a calamity to the church, and was indeed a crushing blow to a devoted and most intéresting household. His wife, the daughter of my old and honored friend, Hon. H. P. Bell, was helpful to him by her spiritual graces and mental accomplishents. Brother G., when looked at from a human standpoint, had a most inviting prospect before him; but the Master called, and he was ready for the summons.

Part 29

 

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JAMES H. BAXTER.

James H. Baxter, whose recent death was so widely and deeply regretted, was a preacher much above the general average of the conference, both as to gifts and graces. He was a growing man to the last hour of his existence.

Some year ago, I was lying in the peachers' tent during the Dalton camp-meeting, and Brother Baxter came to me and said: "Bro. Scott, you are a man of experience in the ministry; I wish you would tell me what was wrong in the matter and style of my sermon last night." I replied: "My brother, I am loth to criticise another minister's preaching, but as you have asked me a direct question I shall make a categorical answer. The matter of your sermon was better than I looked for from so young a man; indeed, I might say it would have been creditable to a much older head. But I must say its effect was marred by your carefulness to dot every I and cross every T. Give yourself more latitude in regard to comparative trifles. In public speaking, think more of what you say and less of how you say it and you will realize better results." He received the criticism very kindly and assured me he would endeavor to profit by it. He told me, some

 

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years afterwards, that it had been of great service to him.

 

Brother Baxter was rarely at his best as a stationed preacher. His proper place was the presiding eldership, in which responsible office he was painstaking and progressive beyond most of his contemporaries.

At the time of his last sickness he had reached a deservedly prominent position in this office. If he had been spared through another decade he would probably have ranked with the foremost of his class. The last time I met him was on Peachtree street, and I was for an instant startled by his ghastly appearance. He, however, seemed hopeful. It was during that visit to Atlanta that he requested Rev. Dr. Anderson to officiate at his funeral, wherever it should occur. The time was indeed close at hand when the solemn burial service should be read over his lifeless and emaciated body.

----

RUSSELL RENEAU.

Rev. Russell Reneau, was, by birth and breeding, an East Tennesseean. Like very many of his fellow countrymen of that Switzerland of America, he was of stalwart build both physically and

 

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intellectually. His early school advantages were fair, and these were made the basis of much reading and reflection in after years. He was in middle life when he was transferred from the Holston to the Georgia conference, and entered at once on district work in the mountainous section of the State. While he was but little known at his coming, it was not long until he secured recognition as a vigorous thinker, especially on the line of a doctrinal preacher.

 

Forty years ago East Tennessee was an excellent training school for polemical theology. The Baptists and Presbyterians were both eager disputants, and the Methodist itinerants were not reluctant to accept the gage of battle. Rusell Reneau exhibited special gifts for disputation, and was frequently brought forward as a defender of the faith. Almost invariably he routed his adversary.

Soon after his arrival in Georgia he was engaged in a public discussion with C. F. Shehane, a Universalist preacher of considerable celebrity. Not a great while before the controversy, I dined with Bro. Reneau in Atlanta. I remarked to him that Shehane--whom I had personally and intimately known when he figured as a Bible Christian--was an adroit debater, and he would seek to draw him into a criticism of Greek terms and Hebrew roots. I shall never forget his broad smile, as he replied: "Never be uneasy, Brother Scott. I promise you to

 

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make him thoroughly sick of his Greek and Hebrew before I am through with him."

 

Reneau's friends claimed that in the debate which followed, Shehanee, to borrow a slang phrase of the prizering, was "severely punished." Whether any real good came of the contest is exceedingly questionable, but it produced almost as big a sensation as the "Great Iron Wheel" controversy between Graves and Brownlow.

Let it not be inferred that this controversial trend of Bro. Reneau's mind unfitted him for general pulpit usefulness. As a preacher on the evidences and cardinal doctrines of Christianity, he was surpassed by few of his day.

Unluckily for himself, however, and for the church, he drifted into journalism, and at a later period, into curious speculations about Second Adventism. Shortly after this new departure he took Greely's advice and went West, where he died, I believe in the presiding eldership.

Under a rough exterior he carried a heart as generous as ever throbbed in a human breast. His charity was as broad as humanity, but never, at any time or anywhere, was he willing to compromise with religious or political error.

One of his strangest fancies was the writing and publication of a volume which he named "The Reign of Satan." It was certainly a dolorous picture of the times, and would have satisfied the inmost soul of Schopenhaur, the high-priest of

 

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pessimism. It is long since out of print, nor is its ghost ever likely "to revisit the pale glimpses of the moon."

 

This much deserves, in conclusion, to be said of him, that all through his arduous wayfaring of sixty odd years, he never shrunk from any peril or hardship that confronted him in the path of duty. He died as he had lived, a staunch Methodist in his religion and a typical Whig in his politics.

----

GEORGE BRIGHT.

George Bright was a preacher of like gifts with Russell Reneau. They were both men of rather coarse intellectual fibre, and were both admirably fitted for the rough-and-tumble fight of the old time itineracy. Such men are not yet antiquated, but the demand for them is less urgent than in the Arcadian days when there was less of what is now called culture. It would be a fool's bargain, however, to exchange that heroic virtue for what the sage of Chelsea was wont to style dilettanteism, limp alike in brain and muscle. Brother Bright spent the greater portion of his life on big circuits, and mountain districts. In these localities he was

 

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greatly admired for his ability, nor less so for his aggressiveness, which has left an abiding impress on that whole section of the State. Out of his labors, and those of his contemporaries has come, in part at least, the great educational movement which has developed into the Young Harris Institute, and the Reinhardt Normal School.

 

Our personal association with him was confined to the Annual Conference session, and we are poorly qualified to speak of him from personal observation. The statements, however, of others who had better opportunities of knowing him, are of a flattering sort.

His preaching was logical, and yet there was no lack of a native eloquence that sometimes stirred the multitude like a "war-denouncing trumpet." Toward the close of his life I was brought in closer contact with him and learned to love him, not only for his sturdy manliness, but for his gentler traits. As often happens, increase of years had mellowed his spirit, and I could hardly realize that he was altogether made of the "sterner stuff" of which I had heard no little in the earlier days of my own ministry.

On one or more occasions afterward I heard him preach with great earnestness and power. But while he was virile he was not virulent in speech or manner.

Brother George Bright was an elder brother of John M. Bright, who, in the days of his strength,

 

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was also an able minister. Barring some eccentricities that marred his usefulness, his conference record was without blemish.

 

I wish I had more data in regard to these two brothers, but I have not. Nor, do I know at this present writing where or how I could procure the needful information.

----

J. B. C. QUILLIAN.

J. B. C. Quillian was quite a favorite with all classes of North Georgia people, whether in the pulpit or at the fireside. Meek in spirit, he disarmed all opposition, and old and young had always a pleasant word to say about "Uncle Chap."

At times, brother Q. was a preacher of rare excellence. His style was, it may be, a trifle too ornate, having a kind of family likeness to Dr. Latta's "Sacred Wonders." When fully aroused, he had a sing-song delivery, deeply pathetic we might say, weird as autumn winds as they wail through a forest at midnight.

These seemed to be his moments of inspiration; and on these occasions he stirred deeply the religious sensibilities of his hearers.

 

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Brother Q. dearly loved a camp-meeting, and several times in the years gone have we had pleasant talks at the door of the preachers' tent, long after the entire encampment was wrapped in silence and sleep.

He had read quite extensively in early English literature, and his writings and sermons were interspersed with choice quotations from some of the best of these old masters. He was the author of several small volumes that were read with much interest both in town and country.

With better health, he might have been immensely useful; but even as it was, he was a blessing to thousands, having learned "in suffering, what he taught in song and sermon."

----

ALEXANDER MEANS, D. D., L.L. D.

Alexander Means held a deservedly high rank in the Methodist ministry of forty years ago. He was distinguished for scholarship, chiefly, however, in the line of physical science. In chemistry he was not less an expert than was the Elder Silliman, of Yale--and in astronomy he might be fairly likened to Dr. Dick, whose "sidereal heavens" has always been the delight of the average star-gazer.

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Dr. Means was at his best when discussing from the platform some educational or moral question which allowed him to utilize his vast scientific acquirements. He was all his life, a zealous advocate of popular education, and his contributions to the press did much to help forward a movement which, in these latter days, is crowned with success.

He was moreover, one of the earliest and ablest champions of the temperance reform, and stood shoulder to shoulder with Chief Justice Lumpkin and Dabney P. Jones when they were paving the way to the local option triumphs of recent years, which have well-nigh rid the State of the licensed whiskey traffic.

Dr. Means was only in a nominal sense a member of the annual conference, but he was abundant in ministerial labors, and frequently occupied our best pulpits. In this capacity he was immensely popular, and by very many was regarded as one of the great lights of Georgia Methodism.

He was, much of his life, connected with the faculty of Emory College, of which institution he was a devoted friend until his dying day.

During many years he was an honored member of the faculty of the Georgia Medical College of Augusta, and this writer has often heard the alumni of that institution speak of his inimitable lectures on chemistry, and his masterly manipulation of the apparatus of the laboratory. Like

 

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his old friend, Judge Longstreet, he was fond of music, and was quite as gifted with his violin as Longstreet was with his flute. Dr. Means was an occasional writer of verses, which were not of the highest order, but by no means lacking in literary merit. A few of his hymns are still found in the old collections of sacred songs, and are still sung with delight around the old camp-fires of Methodism.

 

If he had been less exuberant in metaphor, his reputation in literature and oratory would have been wider and more enduring.

Georgia Methodism will, at least for another century, cherish the memory of his noble virtues and splendid abilities.

----

ALLEN TURNER.

"Uncle Allen Turner" was one of the fathers of the conference long before I was admitted on trial. At our first interview, he rallied me on my whiskers, which he regarded as decidedly un-Methodistic. This he did, however, in a half humorous way, which robbed the criticism of its sting. Dear old man, he was an "Israelite indeed;" and while there were peculiarities that bordered

 

   page 84  
on crankiness, he was treated by the older and younger brethren with the utmost reverence. There was a saintliness in the expression of his face which I never saw in any other man. It was not long-facedness, still less was it sour godliness, it rather resembled the expression which is seen in the pictures of Medieval saints. "Uncle Allen's" early ministry was prosecuted in the face of privations and hardships that would have staggered the faith and shaken the constancy of many of us that came after him. But neither the perils of the wilderness, nor scant salaries, drove him from the field. When at last physically disabled, he bowed gracefully to the action of the conference, and retired from the effective list. He lingered some years, occasionally preaching and exhorting with great power, and died at a ripe age without a single blot on his name.

 

----

CHARLES R. JEWETT.

Charles R. Jewett had a pious and intelligent ancestry--fair scholarship--a pleasing address and no mean oratorical gifts.

There was, however, a declamatory drift in his sermonizing which impaired his efficiency in the

 

   page 85  
pulpit. Quite a number of the educated young men of his day affected--it may be unconsciously--this style of preaching. Pierce and Milburn and Maffit achieved distinction on this line and others we must say copied a bad example.

 

Bishop Pierce, in speaking to me on this subject, stigmatized this sort of preaching as a species of "hifalutinism" of which, in his maturer years, he was heartily ashamed, and which he had deliberately and prayerfully abandoned, not without some sacrifice of reputation with the masses.

But what he lost in one direction he had more than gained in greater simplicity and increased spiritual power.

I was pleased to note a like improvement in Brother Jewett, as he attained a riper experience and a fuller consecration.

The last sermon I heard him preach at Montezuma, was a masterly argument on the "Temptation of Christ."

It exhibited close research and a breadth of thought which I had seldom heard equaled by our ablest conference preachers.

I met him no more, but Rev. T. T. Christian tells me that his last preaching was the best. That as he neared the crossing he seemed like Barnabas, full of faith and the Holy Ghost.

I am quite sure that I never knew a purer and more unselfish spirit. Nor have I known but few pastors who were more endeared to the congregations that they served.

Part 36

 

   page 86  
JOHN W. TALLEY.

A somewhat notable man in his generation was John W. Talley. Brother T. was not distinguished for learning or brilliancy, but for working qualities of a high order, and a piety that challenged the confidence of both clergy and laity.

When I had not reached my legal majority, I attended a temperance jubilee at LaGrange, where Brother Talley was stationed, already well-advanced in years. He made the address of welcome in behalf of the community, and I was assigned to the duty of making one of the responses. This was the beginning of our acquaintance and of a life-long friendship.

Brother T. was a man of what was then considered a liberal education. His preaching was such as to make him acceptable on our average stations. This, combined with his affability and otherwise pleasant address and his excellent pastoral qualifications, made him quite a favorite with all denominations.

Many years ago, perhaps after his superannuation, he removed to Texas to be with his oldest daughter, and there his faithful life was crowned with a triumphant death. In his far-off Western home he still cherished roseate memories of his

 

   page 87  
ministry in old Georgia. At intervals he sent love messages to his brethren of the conference, amongst whom he had served with signal fidelity.

 

----

JOHN W. KNIGHT.

Amongst the twelve apostles there was a striking diversity of character. How sharply contrasted were Matthew the staid, mater-of-fact taxgatherer and the impetuous Simon Peter, the Galilean fisherman, who was ready by turns and in quick succession too, to fight or flee.

Neither are all Methodist preachers fashioned after any given pattern. Allen Turner and W. J. Parks had few traits in common. John P. Duncan and Russell Reneau were thoroughly antipodal. This brings us to remark that John W. Knight had well marked individuality, and was quite unlike any member of the Old Georgia Conference. Who amongst us, at an annual session, ever saw him inside the bar of the conference? Who ever heard him speak on any issue, great or small, that might be the subject matter of debate? Usually he sat apart, brooding over some problem in theology, or some question in metaphysics, seemingly oblivious of the bishop's gavel and of the secretary's

 

   page 88  
announcements. I was both startled and stumped on two or three occasions, when, on leaving the conference room, he called to me and asked me some question about a Hebrew construction on a Greek text. I had been, when a boy, pretty thoroughly drilled in Greek, but my knowledge of Hebrew, after only a few months' study under a Baptist divine, was exceedingly limited. I told Brother Knight that I knew less about Hebrew than he did, a statement that he found it difficult to credit.

 

I mention this as illustrative of his peculiarities.

Did you ever hear him preach when the Holy Ghost overshadowed him? What unction, what sweep of the imagination--and then his hortatory appeals, how they reminded one of the wind of Ezekiel as it swept over the valley of Dry Bones. Bishop Pierce was not a bad judge of preaching, and it is well known that he was enthusiastic in his praise of John W. Knight. Better than his preaching, however, were his prayers for penitents. Many years ago, at one of the Griffin Conferences, he was asked after the sermon, to make the prayer for a number who had gathered at the altar. At first there was some hesitancy, a not infrequent thing, but as he warmed to the occasion he seemed almost to shake the heavens with his supplications for divine mercy. Before he concluded there was weeping blended with hallelujahs, from the pulpit to the door; then came the shout of new-born

 

   page 89  
souls, and we had more than a glimpse of Pentecost.

 

The last time I saw the dear old brother was at the State Lunatic Asylum. I had gone through some of the wards with one of the assistant physicians, and as I walked down the long corridor I inquired about Bro. Knight, and expressed a desire to see him. Just then the physician remarked, "Yonder he is, now"--but before I caught more than a glance at him he turned into his room and shut the door.

The physician informed me that for some days he had been unusually excited, and when in such moods he refused to see all visitors, especially his old friends. I passed the door, which was slightly ajar, and heard his delirious mutterings. How deeply pathetic.

Not long after this occurrence he died, a mental and physical wreck.

----

J. BLAKELY SMITH.

J. Blakely Smith was a thrifty merchant when divinely called to the arduous work of an itinerant preacher. He promptly responded to that call, and to the end of life was a useful and laborious

 

   page 90  
member of the conference. For a long term of years he served with great efficiency as the conference secretary. Few men have been more universally beloved by his brethren, nor was there one of their number who was more thoroughly consecrated in heart and life. On circuits and districts his work was honored of men and signally blessed of God. As a preacher, he made no claim to learning or brilliancy, but in point of effectiveness he had few superiors in his immediate generation.

 

He was often styled a weeping prophet because his sermons were characterized by great tenderness, and quite often were baptized with his tears. We would not intimate that they were lacking in vigorous thought, but the emotional was largely predominant in his ministry. I found him on more than one occasion a valuable helper in a revival meeting, and his services in this capacity were everywhere in demand. When the conference was divided in 1867, he was greatly grieved. As a token of brotherly appreciation the members of the old conference presented him with an elegant gold watch as a souvenir of the days when they were an unbroken band.

He was deeply touched by their kindness and it contributed somewhat to soothe his wounded sensibilities.

But he was too good a man to be a "sorehead," or to repine long about a result that many of us

 

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had long known to be alike desirable and inevitable.

 

I saw but little of him after the division of the conference, but he continued to be a good man and true until the end of his pilgrimage.

----

CALEB W. KEY.

Forty years ago, Caleb W. Key was one of the most enterprising pastors and solid preachers in the Georgia Conference.

He was not a genius, but, better than this, he had an unusual working capacity which served him in good stead on several of our leading stations and districts.

He was a man of fine address--of great personal neatness, and wielded a large influence in the business affairs of the annual conference sessions.

He had enjoyed better educational advantages than a majority of the old panel of our preachers, and he was careful to improve those advantages by reading and observation.

I heard him preach as far back as the early forties, when he was pastor at LaGrange, then and now one of strongest stations. Even thus

 

   page 92  
early in his ministry, he was highly esteemed in the pulpit and the social circle. As the years went by he grew in strength and popularity until he was disabled by "age and feebleness extreme."

 

We have already intimated that Brother Key was not noted for brilliancy, but there were occasions when in revivals and camp-meetings he had very considerable preaching power.

I remember an instance of the sort in connection with a visit I made to the old Putnam camp-meeting in 1860. A prominent young merchant, a member of his charge at Eatonton, had suddenly died on the camp-ground. The friends of the deceased, who was greatly beloved throughout the country, desired the funeral service to be held at the campground. Brother Key officiated. He had a good theme and handled it with marked ability. His closing appeal to the young men of the congregation was wonderful, and was thought to have resulted in wakenings and conversions. Brother Key was greatly blessed in his domestic relations, and had a good show of financial prosperity, for a man who gave himself wholly to the work of the ministry. Our present Bishop Key, whom all Georgia delights to honor, did much by his filial devotion to brighten the last days of his venerable father.

Part 40

 

   page 93  
JAMES O. A. CLARK, D.D., L.L. D.

This great and good man passed away at 9:30 a. m., on Tuesday, September 4th, 1894.

He was stricken with paralysis about three weeks before his death, after which time his family and friends had no hope of his recovery. He had not been strong, physically, for some years, but always strong mentally. His pen was not allowed to rest. His great mind was as busy and his thoughts were as clear and bright as when in the full vigor of manhood. Two books, in addition to those already published, were almost ready for the press when the lamp went out. His energy was boundless. As presiding elder of the Macon district he continued his work until the peremptory command from his physician required him to desist. He loved to work, and especially did he glory in his vocation as a preacher. In the pulpit he was the peer of any among us. He was, indeed, a great preacher! As a scholar he was easily in the front rank with the highest. No one who knew Dr. Clark, who had read his books, or heard his sermons, will suspect extravagance in anything that has been said.

He was at the time of his death about sixty-seven years of age. He was admitted with the writer of these lines, into the Georgia conference,

 

   page 94  
held in Atlanta, Georgia, December, 1854, Bishop Capers presiding. Next December, 1894, will be forty years since this dear brother, in company with Bishop O. P. Fitzgerald, Wm. J. Scott, D. D., Jno. W. Burke, G. G. N. MacDonell, James T. Ainsworth, Alvin J. Dean, W. W. Tidwell, John W. Turner, Thos. T. Christian (and others whose names cannot be recalled at this writing) were received into the Georgia conference. Dr. Clark is the third member of that remarkable class who has finished his work.

 

Dean and Turner have been dead several years.

Dr. Clark has occupied every position of honor in the church except the bishopric. In every place he showed superiority as a man and a christian minister. He was both great and good. He was fixed and settled in his religious views, and knew, experimentally, the love of Christ. The Methodist church has lost one of her ablest and noblest defenders.

The prayers of the church will go up to God in behalf of his precious wife and children in this hour of deep bereavement.

The funeral service took place at eleven o'clock a. m., at the First Presbyterian church. This was on account of the fact that Mulberry Street Methodist church was undergoing repairs. A large congregation was present. Dr. Monk, pastor of Mulberry, preached a most touching and appropriate

 

   page 95  
sermon. Dr. J. W. Hinton and Rev. Geo. G. N. MacDonell delivered short but beautiful eulogies of the deceased. At the close the body was carried to Rose Hill cemetery and laid away until the resurrection morn.

 

----

JAMES O. ANDREW,
OUR MARTYR BISHOP.

This eminent divine was a Georgian by birth and culture.

Although not like the Mercenas of Roman history of royal lineage, yet, he was what was better still of pious parentage, being a descendant of the Dorchester colonists, who after divers migrations, settled at Midway, Georgia.

Like Obadiah and Samuel of sacred memory, he feared the Lord from his youth. While his educational opportunities were but fairly good yet he early exhibited an aptitude for learning which fitted him for the ministry before he had attained his majority. In a few years his services were in demand in leading stations of Georgia and South Carolina. including Augusta, Charleston and Savannah. At all these points he was greatly beloved for his piety and not less admired for his

 

   page 96  
pulpit ability. It was, however, somewhat of a surprise when, in 1832, he was elected to the Episcopacy over the heads of a number who were his seniors in age and his superiors in ministerial rank. On all sides, however, he was regarded as prudent in life, sound in doctrine and thoroughly loyal to the polity of Wesleyan Methodism. His reputation in these respects was in nowise sectional, but extended from Maine to Texas. And yet so rapid was the spread of anti-slaveryism that in a dozen years he was immolated on the altar of that fierce fanaticism.

 

At the time of his accession to the Episcopacy he stood on the border line of the heroic age of American Methodism. Its romance had wellnigh ceased with Asbury and McKendree. But fortunately for the enlargement of its domain there were men like Soule, Roberts and Hedding who stood ready in fellowship with their junior colleague to push its victories to the Mississippi and to the vast regions beyond. We had met him at Annual Conferences and admired him greatly, both as a presiding officer and preacher. But in 1862, while occupying the Wesley Chapel parsonage in Atlanta, he was our honored guest for nearly a week. "No man," says the French proverb, "is a hero to his valet de chambre." The Bishop at least was an exception. We saw him endishabille. Despite the disparity of age, he unbosomed himself to us as a brother. Now and

 

   page 97  
then, without undue self-assertion, he volunteered words of fatherly counsel. Yet, in these graver and more thoughtful moods, there was no Sir Oracle dogmatism. For our entertainment he occasionally fought over the battles of his ministerial life, and modestly showed us how fields were won. As Desdemona was charmed by Othello's recital of his travels, history, and "the battle sieges, fortunes he had passed," so we were deeply fascinated by his unpretentious narrative of the experiences and adventures of a long and eventful itinerant career.

 

At this time he gave us at our own urgent request a minute account of his virtual deposition by the General Conference of 1844.

He interspersed the general history with vivid sketches of the leaders of both sections, with occasional side glimpses that revealed the true inwardness of the grand conflict. There was, however, neither in word nor manner, the slightest exhibition of unseemly temper. But it was evident that the wounds inflicted by some envious Casca, or some beloved Brutus, were not yet fully cicatrized.

Henceforth we deeply venerated the man and were evermore jealous of his fame.

The General Conference of 1844 was the central event in the history of Bishop Andrew. It was to him what the synod of Dort was to Arminius, what the Council of Constance was to John Huss

----

 

   page 98  
and Jerome of Prague. Never did the Bishop exhibit such sublime moral courage as when, after a momentary weakness, he confronted with the heroism of a martyr the ruthless majority arrayed against him, and intent on overwhelming him by sheer dint of numbers. This might well serve as a companion piece to that of Luther as he stood face to face with Charles V. in the Diet of Worms.

 

In that august assemblage of 1844 there were such master spirits as Winans, of Mississippi, and Smith, of Virginia, whose forceful arguments and mighty appeals smote upon the ear of a continent like the ponderous blows of a trip-hammer. There, too, was the younger Pierce, his face aglow with the light of genius, if not inspiration, as he exclaimed: "Let New England go." It was but little short of the thrilling eloquence with which Cicero scourged the guilty Pro-consul of Sicily, or drove Cataline and his fellow-conspirators from the Senate Chamber. Indeed, New England had long troubled our Methodist Israel, as she had been from the beginning a rankling thorn in the national body politic.

There, too, was Capers, the founder of negro missions, and glorious McFerrin and Henry Bidleman Bascom, and in the back ground a noble constituency stretching from Maryland to Texas.

That picture has an intrinsic value that can hardly be estimated. The time may come when Macaulay's New Zealand artist shall sit on the

 

   page 99  
broken arches of London Bridge and sketch the ruins of St. Paul's, and when New York, like mighty Babylon, shall be "a habitation for dragons and a court for owls;" for the ruins of empires are amongst the common-places of history, and the seats of commerce and wealth are unstable and shifting as desert sands. All this may transpire ere that scene shall fade from the canvas of history. Indeed, all material grandeur is changeful as the imagery of cloud-land, but truth outlasts the pyramids, for the eternal years of God are her inheritance.

 

DeQuincy, a time-serving essayist, sneered at the action of the Free Church of Scotland in 1843. A procession of several hundred clergymen, headed by Thomas Chalmers, going forth from St. Andrew's Church, Edinburgh, for the sake of Christ and the purity of his church, was hardly a spectacle for a clownish jest or a fiendish grimace. By this act they abandoned all hope of political emolument or ecclesiastical preferment. Very many of them were gray-haired veterans who thereby surrendered the churches they had founded and the comfortable manses they had builded. They went forth into a moral wilderness to lay anew the foundations of a church unpolluted with the stain of Erastinianism, and unfettered by the chains of lay patronage. Were they right? Let the records of its marvelous growth during the forty intervening years answer the inquiry.

 

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This Edinburgh picture in 1843 was duplicated in New York in 1844. New England must be propitiated even though Andrew's Episcopal head should fall. The same spirit that pilloried and scourged the Quakers, and drove Roger Williams to Rhode Island and Providence plantations, that massacred the Pequods and Narragansets, and sold the miserable remnant into slavery in Barbadoes; the same Massachusetts and Rhode Island, who for mercenary purposes, helped to extend the African slave-trade twenty years over the heads of Delaware and South Carolina. These men, whose sires had waxed fat on the traffic in human flesh, were now in hot pursuit of Bishop Andrew for the sin of slave-holding, not by purchase, but by inheritance. To this deep-mouthed baying of the Boston kennel there was added the shrill cry of Tray, Blanche and Sweetheart from the other hostile conferences. Upon this accusation, without the semblance of a trial, but by a simple resolution of the body, he was suspended indefinitely from his Episcopal functions. In vain did the Southern minority protest against this monstrous iniquity. The Moloch of anti-slavery fanaticism must be appeased at the expense of justice and every other cardinal virtue of heathen and christian morality. It was done by the tyrranny of a mob, or else the ruling of a star-chamber tribunal. The majority may accept either horn of the dilemma. After no little diplomatic maneuvering, a formal separation

 

   page 101  
was agreed upon, subject to the ratification of the southern conferences. Even this measure of pacification was repudiated by the succeeding northern general conference. The southern church finally secured her chartered rights, at the end of a tedious and expensive litigation. But even a supreme court decision could not curb the rapacity of the northern church. In solemn council, our church, from the bishops downward, were adjudged guilty of treason for defending against invasion their altars and their fires.

 

Some of the northern bishops invoked the aid of military satraps to eject us from our churches and parsonages. In numerous localities we were stigmatized from our own pulpits as graceless reprobates and Christless rebels. The sober second thought of the nation rebuked this proscriptive spirit.

Failing in this scheme of military seizure, they sought by means of missionary appropriations and intimidation to disintegrate and absorb. To that policy they owe their limited success in a few of the backwoods settlements of the South. Another change has come over "the spirit of their dream." Their only hope now is to compass their object by organic union. This project, plausible as it may appear to some, is a predestined failure. It at least, can only be consummated by the utter disruption of the southern church. For right confident are we that an overwhelming majority of the

 

   page 102  
clergy and laity of that church will never submit their necks to the yoke of a northern majority.

 

But to return to Bishop Andrew. This grand man "did not lag superfluous on the stage," but labored with indomitable will to the utmost of his failing strength. His life-work completed and rounded into beautiful symmetry, he was ready for his translation. As Bacon says, "the sweetest canticle is nunc dimittis to one who has obtained worthy ends and expectations." Pelopidas was reckoned by Plutarch the best of the Greeks. So likewise did Mark Antony characterize the mighty Julius who fell beneath the daggers of conspiracy in the senate house as "the noblest Roman of them all."

Not less may it be said that in no dubious sense James O. Andrew was the last bishop of the Asburyan type. He, too, was the victim of conspirators like those who slew Cæsar at the base of Pompey's statue.

Now that he sleeps amidst the classic shades of his beloved Oxford he deserves a monument, to be erected, not by any single conference, but by the joint contributions of southern Methodism from California to Florida. Nor could it bear a worthier inscription than this simple but significant phrase:"

HERE LIES
JAMES O. ANDREW,
OUR
BLESSED MARTYR BISHOP."

 

Part 42

 

   page 103  
DANIEL D. COX.

It was largely through the pious persuasion of Daniel D. Cox that I was influenced, in 1853, to abandon political journalism and cast my lot with the Methodist church and ministry. Bro. C. was neither learned nor eloquent, but he was distinguished for grace and goodness, and wherever known was greatly beloved by all classes and denominations. At the time referred to he was pastor of the First church in Rome, where his two years' ministry was crowned with abundant success. It is due, in no small degree, to his earnest labors, that this church is now one of the largest and most influential in the North Georgia Conference.

His earliest years in the ministry were spent in South Carolina, and several of them in missionary work on the large rice plantations on the coast. It was interesting to hear his account of these colored missions. While such abolitionists as William Loyd Garrison were seeking to incite the slaves to riot and bloodshed, Brother Cox and his fellow-laborers were engaged in a diligent effort to Christianize them. About 1850 he was received into the Georgia Conference, and for thirty odd years was actively engaged on circuits, districts and stations. When I last met him he was residing with

 

   page 104  
Mrs. Judge Bull, of LaGrange, the mother of his last accomplished wife. He was then quite feeble in health, but rejoicing in the God of his salvation. He did not long survive this interview. His death chamber was said to be quite on the verge of heaven, and some of his unconverted friends were deeply impressed by the closing scenes of his eminently useful life. His death occurred somewhat unexpectedly while visiting an old friend at Gainesville, in which community he was universally honored and beloved. His remains were brought to LaGrange and deposited by the side of his beloved wife, the solemn services being conducted by Rev. B. H. Sasnett in the presence of a large congregation.

 

----

WM. S. TURNER.

The class of 1854 was one of the largest ever received into the Georgia Conference.

I trust I may be pardoned for saying that in some respects it was one of the best.

Several of them earned no little distinction in the ministry. Amongst this number we reckon the richly-endowed Fitzgerald, humorous and sweet-spirited Burke, who, as a man of affairs,

 

   page 105  
has left an indelible imprint on Georgia Methodism, the scholarly Clark, whose labors with his pen have been abundant and valuable to his own and future generations, the genial and accomplished McDonnell, the eloquent Pledger, clear-headed and warm-hearted Christian. Besides, there were others of less note, but not lacking in usefulness. Of this class was William S. Turner, who had a good report in all the churches he was called to serve. He was studious in his habits and industrious in the pastorate, and his preaching was of that sort that met with general acceptance.

 

After all it is the average man who often accomplishes the best results.

The meteor that for a single instant "splendors the sleepy realms of night" is not comparable to the "maidenliest star that twinkles in the firmament." There is more glow but less steady shining, and quite often these showy pulpiteers move in an eccentric orbit that carries them far away from the central "sun of righteousness."

That gifted man, Melville, for years the marvel of the London pulpits, has in his published sermons a suggestive discourse on the man of "two talents." It may serve to reconcile some of us to the fewness of our gifts when it is borne in mind that this average man was no whit behind his fellow-servants who had the five talents, in the percentage of his gain and his reward.

 

   page 106  

I have attempted no detailed account of Brother T's pulpit labors because I have but little personal knowledge in the premises. What I have stated is based upon information gathered from outside sources, and is of necessity meagre and not altogether satisfactory.

----

WESLEY P. ARNOLD.

Wesley P. Arnold had a stentorian voice, which he looked upon as a serious misfortune. It was not only the subject matter of humorous criticism, but in some degree marred his usefulness.

But back of this there lay a fund of common sense and a consecrated life, that made him a general favorite in town and country.

He was a man of humility and self-denial, and was one of the few pastors of recent years who traveled his circuit on foot. This may have been at times the result of choice, but oftener than otherwise was the result of stern necessity.

His was an independent spirit that shrunk from receiving favors which, Emerson says, always places the receiver at a disadvantage. Fortunately, he was muscular and active, and a tramp of five

 

   page 107  
or ten miles over a country road did not unfit him for the pulpit. I had a very limited experience of the same sort on two or three occasions many years ago, nor was I damaged by it, neither mentally nor physically. Emerson, to whom we have just referred, says that since horses and vehicles have become so abundant, men have lost, in a measure, the use of their legs.

 

Recurring to Brother Arnold's ministry, we would characterize it as intensely fervid and thoroughly practical. We have heard him when he waxed eloquent and moved his audience to shouts and tears.

He helped me greatly during a revival meeting, in the sixties, by his earnestness and amiableness. As was said of Barnabas, so it might be said of Wesley Arnold, "He was a good man, full of faith and the Holy Ghost."

----

LUTHER M. SMITH.

Luther M. Smith was more widely known as an educator than as a preacher. Perhaps more than two-thirds of his life was spent as president or professor in some prominent institution of learning. His work in Emory College was deserving

 

   page 108  
of high praise, nor less so his later labors as chancellor of the Southern University at Greensboro, Alabama. Few men had a better faculty for the administration of college discipline. He blended mildness and firmness in due proportion, and thus secured both the respect and love of his pupils. Hundreds of them cherish the memory of his manifold virtues.

 

His gifts on the lecture platform and in the pulpit were of a high order.

On some special occasions I have heard him preach with very great ability.

At times he was thrillingly eloquent, and seldom have I known him to be lacking in unction and tenderness.

If his whole life had been consecrated to the ministry, he would have been as useful as his ablest contemporaries.

His physical infirmities were, however, of a sort and a degree that incapacitated him for continuous labor in the itinerant work. These infirmities shadowed his latter years and made him of a sorrowful spirit. But through it all he had sustaining grace, and when the end came he had an "abundant entrance" into the everlasting kingdom.

Not many have left to the generations that follow, a better reputation for saintliness than my dear old friend, Dr. Luther M. Smith.

Part 46

 

   page 109  
ARMINIUS WRIGHT.

Arminius Wright had but recently returned to the conference when I first met him as the stationed preacher at Griffin, in 1858.

I visited that thriving young city in response to an invitation to deliver the commencement sermon of the Griffin Female College, under the joint control of Revs. W. Rogers and A. B. Niles.

Brother Wright was then in the prime of life, and had partially recovered from a severe sickness which had previously induced his withdrawal from the itinerant ministry. He had the advantage of a liberal education, and his scholarship was quite respectable.

As a preacher he was in great favor with his congregation at Griffin, and during the next decade occupied several of our leading pulpits. He had indeed the gift of oratory in no small degree, and but for a dyspeptic ailment which clung to him for years, and which finally shortened his life, he would have risen to great distinction.

He left a most interesting family, and amongst them a son who inherited some of his father's best intellectual endowments.

Part 47

 

   page 110  
FRANCIS A. KIMBALL.

Francis A. Kimball was a transfer from the Tennessee to the North Georgia Conference during the war period. He had, as I remember it, been a chaplain in the western army, and had done valiant and faithful service in that capacity.

Just after the war he was appointed to Wesley Chapel, Atlanta, where during his pastoral term, he conducted a gracious revival. He filled other important conference positions with acceptability. He, like Bros. Pierce and Wright, had a hard struggle with a refractory liver, complicated, in his case, with a grave bronchial trouble. But Brother K. had a large share of energy, and never succumbed to disease until his vital forces were utterly exhausted. His preaching was good to "the use of edifying," and quite a number were brought to Christ by his pathetic pleading. His devoted wife, who still survives, is one of our best Sunday-school workers in the infant department.

Brother Kimball was ardent and unswerving in his friendships, and is pleasantly remembered by many of his brethren of the old Georgia Conference.

Part 48

 

   page 111  
JAMES L. PIERCE.

James L. Pierce was no ordinary man. He was one of the early graduates of Randolph-Macon College. His record for scholarship and general ability during his college days was one of the best.

After completing his collegiate course he applied himself to the study of law, and was in a fair way to professional eminence when he decided to enter the ministry of which his father and elder brother were such distinguished ornaments. Not long afterwards he was called to the presidency of the Madison Female College. Under his management that institution became one of the most prosperous and influential in the conference. I have never forgotten his baccalaureate address in 1858. It was a literary gem, not unworthy of Bishop Pierce in his palmiest days. His ministerial life was checkered, owing largely to his delicate, nervous organism. He was somewhat deficient in the elocutionary qualifications which contributed so much to the pupil [pupit] excellence of the other members of the family.

As a theologian the "Old Doctor" always rated him above any of his sons, not excepting "George." He was not singular in this estimate--many of our best conference critics were like-minded. I am quite sure that his expository

 

   page 112  
preaching sometimes reminded me of the best performances of his venerable father.

 

It was often remarked by his most intimate friends that the closing years of his life were characterized by a humility and gentleness which clearly evinced that his bodily and mental sufferings had been sanctified to his spiritual growth and enlargement. This was especially noticeable at Conyers, one of the last appointments that he served.

Two or three years before his death he removed to Texas where he spent his last days in the home of his son, who had achieved great success as a minister of the Gospel.

Thus, far away from his native Georgia, and quite aloof from his old conference associates, Dr. Jas. L. Pierce entered into rest.

----

WM. A. SIMMONS.

Wm. A. Simmons was neither a learned divine nor a specially attractive preacher, and yet he was not wanting in good ministerial gifts. His piety was deep and fervent, and he drew hundreds to Christ and the church because his zeal and consecration were known and read of all men who were

 

   page 113  
brought within the sphere of his personal acquaintance. He, together with such kindred spirits as his brother John and Wynn and Fitzgerald and Bigham, were in the first batch of missionaries that went forth to the Pacific coast under the leadership of Jesse Boring. They were one and all good men and true, and they planted Southern Methodism where it still flourishes, but not to the extent that it so well deserves.

 

After a few years, however, he returned to his old conference, which received him with open arms.

His wife, although a life-long invalid, was a woman of rare accomplishments, and to her he exhibited a devotion that was really sublime. Brother Simmons was inevitably hindered in his pastoral work by the protracted illness of his gifted wife. Her condition demanded change of climate, and compelled his removal to South Georgia and Florida, where he spent a few of the later years of his life.

He occasionally supplied other charges during this period, and did it acceptably.

As his years increased his growth in grace was striking, and the power of his ministry was proportionately enlarged and intensified. It was for this veteran warrior a glad day, when in his sixty-seventh year, the messenger, with a love missive from the Master, called him to the fellowship of the just.

----

Part 50

 

   page 114  
WM. G. ALLEN.

These etchings would be incomplete without a passing reference to that useful man, William G. Allen.

It so chanced in the order of divine providence that I visited him on his deathbed in the parsonage at Forsyth. He was extremely ill, but his trust in God was fixed and he became unspeakably happy as we communed together in prayer and praise. He had a most interesting household, which he ruled with the law of kindness.

Brother Allen died when yet in the prime of manhood, but he lived long enough to do excellent work on some of the best circuits of the conference. His preaching was of a sort that edified alike the young and the old, the cultured and the illiterate. He was, as more than one of the old presiding elders used to say, "a safe case."

He was sound in faith and practice, and like a Spanish-milled dollar was everywhere current at a hundred cents.

Some day his old companions in distress will greet him on the golden shore.

Part 51

 

   page 115  
JACOB R. DANFORTH.

Jacob R. Danforth was a man of rare declamatory power in the pulpit. Indeed, he was one of the best of the old school orators.

His father and mother were amongst my parishioners at St. John's church, Augusta. They were both poor and pious in a good degree, and in their last days were largely dependent on their son, Oliver H. Danforth, one of the staunchest Methodist laymen of my former acquaintances.

"Brother Jake" as he was familiarly called, was not without a measure of crankiness--one of the characteristics of genius.

I remember to have read on the door posts of the old Mulberry street church at Macon, this inscription by some profane scribbler: "On the second Sunday in May, Brother Danforth prayed thirty-five minutes by the watch." I am not sure as to the date, but I am confident that the length of the prayer as stated is exact. Brother Danforth's sermons, as George Smith avers in his History of Georgia Methodism, were remarkably eloquent and forcible, but they were exhaustive both to himself and his audience. He seemed in his best mood to be completely oblivious to the flight of time, whether he prayed or preached. I was once in attendance at a camp-meeting with him in Southwestern

 

   page 116  
Georgia, and strongly urged the preacher in charge to put him up at the 11 o'clock service on Tuesday. "Well," he said in reply, "Brother D. is a wonderful preacher, and if I knew he would not exceed two hours I would gladly do so." I left the encampment, but understood afterwards that he preached with great power and with unprecedented brevity. It is probable some brother had kindly admonished him of his infirmity.

 

Brother Danforth had quite a reputation as an educator; but even in the recitation room he was noted for his occasional absentmindedness. It was often said of him that he very narrowly missed being a first-class preacher and college professor.

As respects his piety, it was of a very high order. Such at least was the universal testimony.

----

THOMAS H. JORDAN.

Thos. H. Jordan preceded me in the ministry by several years, and yet I was probably his senior by three or more years.

He was of excellent Methodist lineage, well educated, a ready speaker, and in all respects a man of striking personality. From the beginning of

 

   page 117  
our personal acquaintance we were warm friends, and so continued until the end of his somewhat checkered career.

 

During his pastorate in Marietta where he succeeded me as preacher in charge of that delightful station, I spent two weeks, I think, in the summer of 1859.

My intercourse with him was exceedingly pleasant, but I feared from the course of reading that he was pursuing, and from some incidental remarks that he let fall from time to time, that he was drifting away from the old theology.

On the second Sabbath of my visit I occupied his pulpit morning and evening. In the evening I spoke from the text, "Because sentence against an evil work is not speedily executed," etc. At the close of the service he urged me to spend the night at the parsonage. I consented to do so, and during that evening he unbosomed himself to me in regard to his religious experience and especially in regard to some speculative difficulties that had worried him no little for the past few months. I found he had been reading such works as "Comte's Positive Philosophy," | "Strauss' Life of Jesus," and others of a similar trend. He said to me: "I would give the world if I had the unquestioning faith which you seem to have from your preaching to-night." I replied: "Tom, I know how to sympathize with you. Will you believe me when I tell you that from sixteen years of

 

   page 118  
age to my twenty-first year, I boxed the entire compass of infidelity? I read all the books of which you speak and a score besides. Like Asaph 'my feet were almost gone, my steps had wellnigh slipped.' But," I continued, "by a singular providence I got hold of a copy of Watson's Institutes. Its theology was a revelation because I had read but little religious literature except of a Calvinistic sort. Watson lifted the veil from my spiritual understanding and my speculative doubts, which had brought me to the verge of atheism, all disappeared, and from that time forward I was in theory at least a Christian." I begged him to quit the study of infidel works and go back to Watson and the Bible. He seemed deeply moved and we spent a few minutes in prayer before retiring.

 

My next special interview with him was in Atlanta, in 1862, when I was in charge of Wesley chapel. I was just ready to begin the sermon one Sunday morning when a handsome cavalry officer entered the church and was shown to a front seat. I instantly recognized him as my old conference friend, and went down and invited him to preach for me, which he declined, and also my invitation to occupy a seat in the pulpit. He made, however, an earnest closing prayer. After the service he walked with me to the parsonage and remained to a pleasant half hour's conversation,

 

   page 119  
but could not stay to dinner as he was compelled to leave on the next train.

 

I never saw him after this conversation.

Brother J. spent his closing years in Southern Georgia, principally in Savannah, where he had, in his youth, married a daughter of Dr. Saussy, a leading physician of the Forest City.

His last illness was somewhat protracted, but through it all he bore his sufferings with meekness and resignation. His last hours were peaceful and at times triumphant.

He now rests beneath the moss-draped live-oaks of Laurel Hill, awaiting the resurrection of the just.

----

SAMUEL J. BELLAH.

Samuel J. Bellah had no genius except for godliness. His education was limited, but his knowledge of the Scriptures was exact, and he was well versed in the standards of Methodist theology. When I first made his acquaintance, many years ago, he was feeble, suffering at wide intervals with hemorrhages from the throat or lungs, and yet he continued, as he had strength, to travel poor circuits. Talk of heroes and martyrs! Here was one little known outside of a small circle of

 

   page 120  
friends, whose zeal and faith went beyond many whose names are printed in the calendar.

 

During my residence in Marietta and my occasional visits to the Marietta camp-ground, I saw this lowly servant of God. He usually preached at the eight o'clock service on the Sabbath, and his neighbors, who knew his manner of life, always gathered at the stand to hear him. I seldom, if ever, missed his sermons. He was not literary, still less was he learned, but I was always refreshed and edified by Uncle Bellah's simple ministry. Like Enoch, he walked with God, and his frail body was a veritable temple of the Holy Ghost. I could see in the soft radiance of his eye somewhat of the look of the Master when He broke Peter's heart. His voice was shattered, but it was deeply sympathetic and sometimes thrilled my inmost soul. He belonged to a class of preachers that are not often met with nowadays in the older conferences. The stipend he drew from the conference when a superannuate kept him, with other contributions, from actual want, but the dear old man was doubtless sore pressed at times.

I wish I may have as bright a crown in glory as Uncle Bellah, but I know I don't deserve it, and it may be sin ul to wish it.

Oh, these old brethren, the Bellahs and Andrew J. Deavors, and John P. Dickinson and Andrew Neese, who carried me round his circuit when I was making my first efforts to preach, and Alfred Dorman

 

   page 121  
and such like, how the memory of their heroic virtues makes me ashamed of my petty ambitions before God had humbled me as in these later years.

 

There are men, however, in the mountains and in the wiregrass that are doing the same work today that these old fathers did. The Lord help us to honor them and sympathize with them and may their tribe increase as the exigencies of the church may require.

----

JOHN H. HARRIS.

John H. Harris was a preacher of much more than ordinary gifts. In 1875 he was stationed at Evan's Chapel, Atlanta, and rendered me valuable assistance in a revival which I was conducting at the time in the Trinity congregation.

His preaching was not simply emotional, although that was probably the predominant feature; but it was besides Scriptural and forceful, and as a consequence, effectual in awakening the impenitent and then leading him to Christ.

Before coming to Atlanta he had served several important circuits and stations, and was everywhere greatly beloved.

 

   page 122  

My remembrance is that he was at this time a sufferer from a chronic throat disease induced by exposure and overwork in his earlier ministry. He was of a fervent spirit, and this led him very often into a vehement delivery and an excess of vociferation that has blighted many a promising minister's life or shortened his term of active service.

Brother Harris was even then rapidly nearing his end, and died early in the following year, 1876, of a disease which it is now fashionable to call heart failure, but another name for a sudden break-down of the vital machinery.

----

ALEXANDER SPEER.

Alexander Speer, the father of my old co-pastor, Dr. E. W. Speer, and of that distinguished jurist, Alexander M. Speer, was for a few years a member of the conference. I had some intimacy with him in 1852, and when I retired from the editorship of the LaGrange Reporter he was my successor.

Brother Speer was a remarkable man. He was, in his early life, a conspicuous figure in South Carolina politics. At one time he was Secretary of State in that Commonwealth and was one of

 

   page 123  
the ablest and readiest political debaters known to its history. In the pulpit he was a man of mark.

 

He was more argumentative and only a shade less classical than his son, Dr. Eustace Speer.

He was a great favorite as a preacher with the LaGrange congregation, and several times I listened to him with delight and profit.

There can be little doubt that but for the overshadowing influence of Mr. Calhoun he would have risen to great political eminence in his native State. Both Petigrue and Legare were kept out of the political fields by this same influence, and they were both men of vast ability. At that date Federalism, or to call it by a milder term, Whigism, was reckoned a political felony for which there was no absolution. We dare say that Brother Speer was in the end all the happier by his withdrawal from politics. Certain it is that his last days of ministerial consecration was the period of his greatest usefulness. He deliberately made the choice of Moses, and long ago he reached the same exceeding great reward.

Part 56

 

   page 124  
GEORGE W. LANE.

George Smith, in his valuable history of Georgia Methodism, notes the fact that George W. Lane came to the conference in 1835. He was the son of a prominent preacher of the Philadelphia Conference who for years was connected with the Book Concern.

Young Lane was liberally educated and naturally a gifted preacher. Being in delicate health, he was assigned to St. Augustine, Florida, where he made full proof of his ministry. Afterwards the church needed his services in the educational field, and he was elected professor of languages in Emory College where he contributed much to the upbuilding of that young institution.

I am not sure that I ever met Bro. Lane, but the traditional accounts we have of his work in the pulpit and in the college entitle him to a high rank.

He died in 1857, before he had reached middle life, and his death was universally regarded as a calamity to the church. He was the father of Prof. Charles Lane, of the Georgia Technological school, who inherited a goodly share of his father's best gifts.

Part 57

 

   page 125  
JOSEPH J. SINGLETON.

Joseph J. Singleton was a graduate of the State University and was an honor to his alma mater.

It was always a perplexity to me that a man of his rare gifts and graces seldom attained to prominent conference positions.

This may have been partly due to his quiet, unobtrusive disposition, which at times bordered on shyness and even awkwardness. Perhaps it may have resulted in no small degree from his thorough unselfishness. He certainly was free from that prurient ambition, which in the church as elsewhere, wins its way to preferment, whilst modest merit languishes in comparative obscurity. It was in keeping with his character that he not only uttered no word of complaint but accepted his Providential lot with a cheerfulness befitting a child of God and an heir of glory.

Dear good fellow, as he was, I was never more impressed by the sweetness of his spirit than when at the last conference we were domiciled together at the house of an excellent Baptist brother.

As to his preaching, it is needless to say, to those who were familiar with it that it was both refreshing and edifying. In the main it was, as Bishop McTyeire was wont to say, "meat and greens." Yet it was no rehash of threadbare pulpit

 

   page 126  
sayings, but always clear-cut and forcible. His style was such classical English as adorns the pages of the Spectator, but there was no display of rhetorical flourishes, such as pass in some quarters for fine preaching.

 

That was a striking tribute of Sir James Macintosh to "Butler's Analogy" that it contained "the best philosophy of Christianity" that was ever published. While I do not accept this extravagant estimate, yet I have sometimes thought that Brother Singleton's matter and manner of speech was not unlike that of the bishop of Durham.

His scanty salaries, oftimes painfully inadequate for the support and education of a large family, constrained him at some periods of his life to resort to secular employment. He was in demand as a practical geologist and as an expert in the location of gold deposits and other valuable ores. While this was to be regretted, he was conscientious in all he did, and was never neglectful of any ministerial work which he had in hand.

His success in the work of conversion was not phenomenal, yet down to his last day he was everywhere beloved and admired by the people of his various pastoral charges. His children who survive him are usefully employed and not unworthy of their pious father.

Part 58

 

   page 127  
WALTER R. BRANHAM

Was born in Eatonton, Ga., November 18, 1813, and left this world from his home at Oxford, Ga., on Sunday afternoon, September 2, 1894. Another member of our Father's family, part on earth and part in heaven, has crossed the flood.

"
There are sad hearts on this side the river,
And tears have been shed at the going of our brother;
But while we mourn the departure of the loved and lost,
The redeemed are greeting the saint that has crossed.
 
"

Brother Branham was a son of Dr. Branham, of Eatonton, one of the most distinguished physicians Georgia has ever produced, and who was also one of the wisest and purest of her public men. He represented Putnam county in the house of representatives of the general assembly of Georgia for a number of years, and was then elected to the state senate.

Brother Branham graduated at the University of Georgia in 1835. Among his classmates was that brilliant orator and brave soldier, Gen. Francis S. Bartow, whose life was an early sacrifice to the "lost cause," and that eminent physician, Dr. Crawford W. Long, "the discoverer of anæsthesia." An important event in the life of our deceased brother occurred the year of his graduation. Of that we will let the venerable Dr. A. H. Mitchell, of

 

   page 128  
Alabama, a witness to the scene, be the chronicler. Writing of Brother Branham in the Christian Advocate, of January 24, 1891, he said: "The mention of this name brings up memories, O how precious, how ancient, yea, almost forgotten. Walter Branham! Why, Mr. Editor, I received him into the church in 1835. He was then a student in college at Athens, Ga. I was not stationed at Athens, but was traveling the Gainesville circuit. Richard Mosley was stationed at Athens, and he proposed to change appointments with me for a time. While at Athens I opened the door of the church, and to the astonishment of many--for there was no special revival going on--Walter Branham came up and gave his hand for membership in the church. Many, very many precious souls I have had the pleasure of receiving into the church, and have long since forgotten, but I have never forgotten young Branham, and with what dignity and manly bearing he took this first step in a religious life, and how quietly and gracefully he has moved along through all the changes and responsibilities of the itinerancy." Brother Branham was licensed to preach in October, 1836, by Rev. William J. Parks, presiding elder of Macon district, and in December of the same year, at Columbus, he was admitted on a trial into the Georgia Conference, and sent to the Watkinsville circuit with John W. Glenn, then in the second year of his ministry. The Watkinsville

 

   page 129  
circuit was in the Athens district, and William J. Parks was the presiding elder of that district for 1837. Bishop James O. Andrew presided over the conference which admitted Brother Branham and the men who joined with him. Among his classmates was that courtly gentleman, that finished scholar, that princely preacher, and that spotless Christian, Dr. Alfred T. Mann. There was another, the pathetic tones of whose musical voice linger in memory yet. Who among us could ever sing as John P. Duncan sang?

 

"
Where eyes are never dim,
He sings the crowning hymn,
While angels listen to the strain,
And wonder at the sweet refrain.
 
"

Then there was that profound theologian, Rev. Josiah Lewis, Jr., who was as well-equipped for the chair of a quarterly conference as he was for the pulpit of a camp-meeting. These were some of the men who with Walter R. Branham entered the old Georgia Conference on December 18th, and who with him have left to us the undying record of their labors. The future historian of Georgia Methodism will place these Christian heroes side by side with the earliest defenders of our faith, and the pioneer preachers of Wesleyan Arminianism.

Let us take a glimpse at the Georgia Conference of 1836. Among the prominent members of that body were Lovick Pierce, William Arnold, William

----

 

   page 130  
J. Parks, Isaac Boring, Jesse Boring, John W. Tally, George F. Pierce, Caleb W. Key, Samuel Anthony, James E. Evans, Whitefoord Smith, John W. Yarbrough, Alexander Speer and John W. Glenn. On the superannuated list appear the names of such men as Lewis Myers, Allen Turner, Samuel K. Hodges and Ignatius A. Few. All of these men have left the earth, and not a single member of the conference of 1836 is now with us December, 1836! An immense amount of Methodist history has been made since then. That year the old Southern Christian Advocate was born, and in 1837, Samuel J. Bryan and Thomas C. Benning were collecting funds to erect buildings for Emory College. The ministerial life of our sainted brother stretches across all of the years of the existence of our conference college. And though he was an alumnus of the State University, yet our own college had in him a true friend. His venerable form will be missed by the boys that return to Oxford. The following appointments were served by Brother Branham: 1837, Watkinsville, with John W. Glenn; 1838, Augusta, with Isaac Boring; 1839, Clinton and Monticello, with N. H. Harris; 1840-41, Milledgeville; 1842, Athens and Lexington, with Daniel Curry; 1843, Lawrenceville; 1844, Madison; 1845, Eatonton, with John P. Duncan; 1846, Eatonton; 1847-48, Vineville; 1849, Macon; 1850-51, Savannah; 1852, professor in Wesleyan Female College; 1853-54,

 

   page 131  
supernumerary; 1855-56, Covington and Oxford; 1857-58-59, Atlanta district; 1860-61-62-63, Griffin district; 1864-65, Atlanta district; 1866-67-68, Athens district; 1869-70, Griffin district; 1871, Washington; 1872-73-74, Oxford and Social Circle; 1875; Covington and Mount Pleasant; 1876, Covington; 1877-78 Social Circle; 1879, Jackson; 1880-81, Oxford; 1882, Atlanta city mission. Here his active itinerant ministry of forty-six years, save one year as professor in Wesleyan Female College, and two yea s of rest necessitated by feeble health, ended. At the conference of 1882 he was placed on the superannuated list, where he has since remained. After more than forty years in the ranks of effective preaching, he gracefully retired, carrying with him the love and respect of all of his brethren. For the past twelve years he has gone in and out among us, illustrating the power of sanctifying grace. Having fought a good fight, having kept the faith, he came at last to the "grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in his season."

 

"
Servant of God, well done!
Rest from thy loved employ,
The battle fought, the vict'ry won,
Enter thy Master's joy.
 
"

M. S. Williams,
H. H. Parks,
W. D. Shea,
Committee.

Part 59

 

   page 132  
MILES W. ARNOLD.

Rev. Miles W. Arnold was born in Putnam county Ga., October 10, 1829, and died about the same day and month of the year at his residence in Walton county, Ga., in 1894. He suffered great pain and discomfort during his last illness. As I am advised, he was next to the youngest son of the venerable William Arnold, whose reputation for piety and pulpit efficiency was commensurate with the limits of the old South Carolina Conference. Both the late William Arnold, his eminent father, and himself had a considerable share of the poetic gift and were both sweet singers in Israel. Brother Miles W. Arnold was in his prime a revivalist of marked ability. Few preachers of his day, whether on station or circuit, exceeded him in the number of conversions under his ministry. In temper he was one of the most affable men whose acquaintance I ever made. His genial disposition and warm-heartedness made him a favorite among all classes in town or country. Especially were the children devoted to this man of God, who had imbibed no little of the spirit of Christ when he said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not." Among children of larger growth, young men and maidens, he

 

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wielded an influence that endeared him to them all through the years of his checkered life.

 

Brother Arnold was twice married; once to Miss Martha Baskin, a most excellent Christian woman of Carroll county, Georgia, by which marriage he was blessed with a group of interesting children, only two of whom survive--Lawrence, the business manager of a prominent institution of learning in the city of Atlanta; and Sallie, the wife of a substantial citizen of Warren county, Ga.

Brother Arnold in dying left no blur on his name, and his last moments were sweetened by the tender ministry of his second wife, a Mrs. Nowell, who heroically shared with him the hardships of his later itinerant life. If I may be pardoned for a personal remark I will add that I never had a more constant friend, whether in sickness or health. Thank God that"

While there is no fellowship on earth
That has not here its end,
 
"
yet beyond the stars the blessed associations of this life will be renewed and perpetuated for evermore.

 

Part 60

 

   page 134  
W. B. MOSS.

Rev. W. B. Moss was a native of North Carolina and entered the ministry in 1841.

He had the advantage of a good academic education and was a student of the standard English and American literature. His pulpit gifts were excellent, and but for feeble health, he would have reached a high position in the ministry. Even as it was he occupied several good positions in Hamilton, Carrollton and subsequently at Augusta where he died, leaving an excellent wife and two sons, the elder of whom died during the late civil war, the younger still surviving--the bookkeeper of The Foote & Davies Co., the well-known Atlanta publishers.

----

M. D. C. JOHNSON.

Rev. M. D. C. Johnson died at Griffin, Ga., in July, 1849, in the 42nd year of his age. He served a number of churches in the Georgia Conference, amongst them Washington, Madison, Covington and ultimately failed from broken

 

   page 135  
health at St. Augustine, Fla. Several years of his life were spent at Culloden, the headquarters of both local and itinerant Methodist preachers, a half century ago. While here he was an intimate friend of Bro. Cook, the excellent father of Dr. W. F. Cook, who is still a leader in the Georgia Conferences.

 

Bro. Johnson was likewise a cordial friend of Bishop Pierce when the latter was in his prime. The bishop esteemed him an able preacher, and he only lacked health to have made him a minister of great distinction.

The venerable relict of Bro. Johnson still survives at the ripe age of eighty-four and is a model of consistent piety. Two of her sons, Mark W. and Joseph, are favorably known in the business and ecclesiastical circles of Atlanta and its vicinity.

----

JOHN HOWARD.

In no small measure the founders of American Methodism set great store by that quality that our English ancestors denominate "pluck." From Asbury, the pioneer bishop, to Jesse Lee, the apostle of New England, and Richmond Nloley, who died in the swamps of the Mississippi of a malarial

 

   page 136  
fever, they were strangers to "any fear of mortal man." Hope Hull, Lewis Myers, and John Howard, were in this apostolic succession, and with other early leaders of Georgia Methodism, esteemed moral courage as the chiefest of the cardinal virtues. During the first year of my ministry, when stationed in Columbus, I heard marvelous accounts of the preaching of John Howard, and hardly less of his wonderful gift of prayer. Added to these intellectual endowments he was, in shape and voice and gesture, remarkably well-adapted to sway the vast congregations that flocked to his ministry.

 

Nor was his celebrity of a local character, but extended throughout the conference. His success in bringing penitents to the altar was surpassed by few, if any, of his contemporaries. His stirring appeals would often lift an audience to its feet, and were made more impressive by a voice of vast compass that seemed to sweep the entire gamut of the minor scale.

Dr. George Smith, who has searched ever nook and corner of Georgia Methodism as with the lantern of Diogenes, has said so much of his distinguished kinsman that we may be readily excused from further details in this biographic etching. We simply add that he was not the least conspicuous of the American Howards who are remotely descended from the flower of the English nobility, who figure largely in the chronicles of Froissart and in the historical plays of Shakespeare.

Part 63

 

   page 137  
WM. HOLMES ELLISON.

Wm. Holmes Ellison first came into notice among Georgia Methodists as president of Wesleyan Female College, Macon, Ga.

He succeeded Dr. (afterward Bishop) Geo. F. Pierce, and was at the head of that institution for ten years of its early history. It soon became evident that no better selection could have been made for that important position. There were but few men in the entire connection, at that time, who combined so well as he the qualities required to popularize that new educational enterprise of the church, and push it out on a career of permanent usefulness and prosperity.

Born and reared in one of the best Methodist families of Charleston, S. C., he had what comparatively few of his Methodist contemporaries enjoyed, the advantage of a regular collegiate education. Soon after finishing his college course, he was licensed to preach, and joined the South Carolina Conference.

The second year of his ministry he was stationed in Charleston, his native city, and subsequently at Wilmington, N. C., and Georgetown, S. C.

In the meantime he had married the daughter of Bishop Wm. Capers, of South Carolina.

 

   page 138  

At the close of his term at Georgetown, he was called to the chair of Mathematics in LaGrange College, Ala., then presided over by Dr. Robert (afterward Bishop) Paine.

From this point he was called to assist in the organization of the Wesleyan Female College at Macon, Ga., and after serving as a member of the faculty for two or three years, was elected president to fill the place, as we have seen, made vacant by the resignation of Dr. Geo. F. Pierce.

Dr. Ellison was a charming preacher, a most lovable man, a model college president. He may be said to have been a pioneer in the higher education of girls. The institution over which he presided was the first chartered female college in the world. He devised and signed the first diploma ever given to a girl graduate. To him, more than to any educator of his time, was committed the task of formulating the right conception of educated Christian womanhood and of embodying that conception in living examples.

It is not too much to say, that the Wesleyan Female College, under the presidency of Dr. Wm. H. Ellison, furnished the first instances of the very high type of Christian womanhood which to-day is the brightest ornament and richest treasure of our church at large. After ten years of most arduous and successful service in the college, he found his health giving way and decided to turn aside a while and rest. Accordingly, he resigned the

 

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presidency of the college and moved to Alabama, intending to lead, for a time at least, a retired life on a farm.

 

But he was not permitted to remain long in retirement. In the course of a year or two we find him president of a female college that had been established at Chunneenugge, Ala., under the auspices of the Alabama Conference, to which conference he had been transferred on his removal from Georgia. Here he remained four or five years, bringing the new institution up to a very high standard as a church school.

The next twenty years of his life he gave to the regular work of the ministry as a member of the Alabama Conference.

He was in demand for the best stations and districts of the conference, and continued to do effective work until he had passed his three score years and ten. His old age was rich in the fruits of a wide range of study and observation, combined with long experience in the deep things of God.

He was just entering his eightieth year of age, after fifty-seven years of faithful and efficient service in positions of highest trust and responsibility, when the Master said, "It is enough, come up higher."

Part 64

 

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WILLIAM P. HARRISON,
THE LEARNED SCRIBE.

For more than thirty years I was intimately associated with this eminent divine, whose recent death has brought profound sorrow to thousands of friends who admired him for his rare ability, and loved him for his excellent social qualities. For two years, 1866-67, I was, by episcopal appointment, his assistant at the First Methodist Church, of Atlanta. During the first year of his pastorate I supplied his pulpit for three months, while he went to a number of Northern and Western cities on a canvassing tour in behalf of a new church which he had projected, and which, after grave discouragements, he ultimately completed. From his own lips, during our frequent interviews, I gathered the story of his boyhood while a merry and ubiquitous sprite in his father's printing office in Savannah. He had few educational advantages in his youth except such as were afforded him at the compositor's case, where he acquired the rudiments of his mother tongue, which in after years he mastered to a degree scarcely equalled by his foremost pulpit contemporaries. As opportunity offered he became an insatiate reader of books, and as he phrased it, he "was not always discriminative" in his selection of them. He was excessively

 

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fond of folklore, and not less so of such writings as "Robinson Crusoe," the "Arabian Nights" and DeFoe's "History of the Devil." But he soon developed better tastes and higher literary aspirations, becoming a voracious student of history and biography.

 

From the start he exhibited also the qualities of bibliophilist, commencing the accumulation of a library which in his lifetime resulted in a library of ten thousand volumes, very many of them rare and costly books which he purchased in Europe. If he had any weakness it lay in this direction.

I have sometimes suggested to him in a playful mood, as we sat and smoked in his study, that he had as great a craving for books as Jack Falstaff had for Dame Quickley's cup of sack. "Ah, me," he would reply, "these, Scott, are my working tools." When I rejoined, "But, Harrison, you forget what Wesley said of the Homo unius libri," and then, quick as a lightning flash would come the surrejoinder, "True enough, but then you seem to have forgotten that Wesley himself wrote a dozen different grammars of as many languages, and sermons by the hundred. He was far himself from being a man of one book." And thus we spent hours in like pleasant interchange of views, uniformly conducted in the best of temper. Looking back to these ambrosial hours when we were both young, and then recalling his late interment at

 

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Linwood cemetery, we feel almost like saying with Hamlet, in the gravediggers' scene: "Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well!" For although in many respects unlike the king's favorite jester, he, too, was a man of infinite jest and marvelous fancy when in companionship with congenial spirits at the fireside or the dinner table. But I fear I am indulging more than is seemly in this autobiographic vein.

 

But his chief literary aim was to become a linguist. Without a master he acquired Hebrew and its cognate dialects, in which he made great proficiency. So likewise, with Greek and Latin he was only less familiar.

Several of the modern languages, especially German, French and Spanish, he was fairly acquainted with, reading Goethe and Schiller with considerable facility and Don Quixote and Racine with equal readiness. When it is remembered that he had comparatively little scholastic training, these were remarkable achievements.

This is, we believe, a just critical estimate of his philological attainments. He was neither a Max Muller nor a Mezzofanti, but with equal collegiate advantages, he would have been worthy of their fellowship.

Dr. Harrison was prone to burn the midnight oil and this, in part, accounts for his chronic invalidism through much of his life

 

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As early as the close of his first pastorate at First Methodist church he was well-nigh a physical wreck. The conference was in session at Atlanta, he being bedridden by nervous prostration. He sent for me two or three nights before the adjournment.

I obeyed his summons, went to the parsonage and found him greatly dispirited. He told me he was anxious to remain in Atlanta, and he knew that his congregation desired it. I knew that fact quite as well, for he was a great favorite with all sorts and conditions of men throughout the city.

He then asked me, as a personal favor, to continue my present relation to himself and the church, assisting him in the pulpit until his health was re-established. I replied that I was not ready to abandon my connection with the conference, nor to give up the publication of my magazine. Indeed I could not do the latter, as I was legally obligated to my partners to continue in the editorship. But that to assist him in the present emergency I was willing to give him occasional help in the pulpit without compensation, as I derived a fair income from the magazine. He thanked me heartily and said: "Scott, I want you to go at once and see Bishop Pierce and say to him what you have said to me, and I think the question will be settled." I did immediately as he requested and had a private interview with the bishop at his hotel on Alabama street. When I spoke to the

 

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bishop, he replied that he thought of sending me to Griffin. I rejoined: "Bishop, as you well know, I always obey orders, but I trust you will not make that appointment, as my business interests would greatly suffer." "Well," said the bishop, "First church cannot support both of you." "Well, bishop, I promised Harrison that if you would not remove him I would still assist him without charge as far as circumstances would possibly allow." "I think," answered the bishop, "that I see light, and there is no good reason why it should not be done."

 

I think, however, that it was probably a foregone conclusion to remove him, not for any dissatisfaction in the church, but for his own sake to transfer him to the milder climate of the South Georgia Conference. I believed when the transfer was made it was a mistake, and so it turned out. As for myself, I was appointed to a half station at Acworth, where I had a delightful three years' pastorate that yielded me a half support for preaching two Sundays in the month. No pastoral work was required of me and I had ample time for pushing the interests of the magazine. Dr. Harrison, meanwhile, returned to North Georgia, and with the aid of several warm personal friends, located on a truck farm near Marietta, Ga., where be struggled for two years with an agricultural experiment that yielded him very unsatisfactory returns.

 

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But while as a financial venture it was a failure, his health was greatly benefited, and for the next two years he was appointed to the Rome district, where he did some of his best work.

The next year he resumed his pulpit work in Atlanta to the evident gratification of his former charge. It is now in order to speak of him as a preacher, and yet so well-established was his reputation in that regard that I shall not enter into details.

His preaching was uniformly of a high order, but there were special topics upon which it was wonderful alike in force and eloquence.

Amongst these was his sermon on Christ's colloquy with Peter at the sea of Tiberias. In that sermon he drew the distinction between the Greek verbs agapo and phileo which was at times unfavorably criticised. Another was his notable discourse on Paul's address on Mars Hill, in the course of which he spoke learnedly of the different schools of Athenian philosophy. Another, which Rev. Peter A. Heard esteemed his most masterly effort, was when the Saviour said to the seventy disciples: "Rejoice not that the spirits are subject unto you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."

I have sometimes said to him that his plain gospel sermons were his best, when he occasionally rose to the high-water mark of Bishop Pierce. Sermonic literature, as I once said to Bishop Haygood,

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is not much in demand but a small collection of Harrison's sermons could find ready sale.

 

As an author he merits no little fame. His first venture of this sort was the publication of "Theophilus Walton," a reply to "Theodosia Earnest," a popular rather than learned treatise on the Baptist controversy which some years ago swept like a prairie fire throughout the South and West. This was the era of the Graves and Brownlow controversy. These athletes exhausted the vocabulary of slang and vituperation and left the question where they found it. His next publication was "The Living Christ," which added but little to his former reputation. Indeed, neither of the books referred to form any considerable part of his literary inheritance. As a writer his enduring fame will rest on his splendid contributions to the "Editor's Table" of the Methodist Quarterly Review. This was always a favorite department with the best readers of that ponderous publication. From it might be compiled a large volume that would outlive its century and rank its author with the best historical and theological writers of Methodism

We had purposed to enlarge on his social qualities. These might be compared to those of Oliver Wendell Holmes, the self-styled "Autocrat of the Breakfast Table," or Charles Lamb, the "gentle Elia," leaving out the broad churchism that characterized the latter years of the former and the

 

   page 147  
ribald jests of the latter when he was saturated with gin or opium. He was best seen, however, in a circle of intimate friends--for, like Addison, he thought that conversation was impossible in a promiscuous assemblage.

 

Less than a year ago I had a brief correspondence with him respecting my last contribution to his review. Of these there were several during the period of his editorship, for which he always compensated me liberally.

In that last correspondence he spoke meekly of his failing eyesight and his cancerous affliction.

It was a little singular that he was never elected a delegate to the General Conference until 1882, when a member of the Baltimore Conference and stationed at Winchester, Va. It was, however, due to no lack of appreciation by his ministerial brethren, but chiefly because that he evinced no liking for parliamentary proceedings. He was seldom even within the bar during the conference sessions and less frequently did he take part in the debates of the body. The General Conference, however, made amends for this seeming neglect by electing him to three terms of service as book editor and editor of the Quarterly Review, a position for which he was splendidly endowed. This place he would have retained for another quadrennium but for the rapid decline of his health, foreshadowing his death at an early date. Amidst all the mutations of worldly fortune--the death of several members

 

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of his household and his intense bodily suffering, he clung to his trust in God. The ministry of a faithful wife, and the sympathy of a host of friends illumined his death chamber so that he passed away"
Gently as to a night's repose,
Like flowers at set of sun.
 
"

 

----

JOSIAH LEWIS.

When the Georgia Conference held its fifth annual session at Columbus in December, 1836, four young ministers asked to be admitted into the itinerant ranks. They were duly received and began a long career of marked usefulness which has deeply impressed the moral and religious history of the "Empire State of the South." They were alike in their devotion to the cause they espoused, but as different from each other in natural temperament as the crystals of the falling snow. Walter R. Branham was the "beloved disciple," delighting ever in the message, "little children love one another;" John P. Duncan was the Asaph of his day, singing his way to the hearts of men that he might bring them into harmony with God. Alfred T. Mann was the Apollos of his church,

 

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swaying by his matchless oratory and winning by his passionate appeals; Josiah Lewis was nature's masterpiece, stern but tender, grave but cheerful, humble but courageous, trustful but mighty. He was unique in his individuality, creating a suspicion of eccentricity, but a simpler stronger nature has seldom been known among men. A man of clear convictions, his opinions were well-grounded and boldly held. His mental cast was logical, arguing from premises, and reaching conclusions which he was prepared to defend. His intellectual character, like his religious life, was moulded by familiarity with the Bible. He thought in the terse utterances of the word of God, and expressed himself with telling force. Those who frequently heard him in the pulpit have often been aroused into wonder at his power of statement compacted into discourse. The preachers of the "rifle, axe and saddle-bags" period were men of "one book." "They gave attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine," and qualified themselves by the careful study of the "one book." Brother Lewis was no exception to the rule, and yet he had supplemented the limited educational advantages of his youth by adding to his mental store a liberal knowledge of the classics, both ancient and modern. Indeed, as opportunity offered, he delighted to make excursions into the tempting fields of general literature. Nevertheless the Bible was his chief study. It was a real fascination

 

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to him--a charm that was never broken. It engaged him and all his powers. For hours each day I have seen him digging deep into the mines of truth, and like the miners of Cornwall, he found the ore richer and brighter, as with the light of God's spirit, he penetrated farther. Now and then he seemed to arouse from his absorbing search, and a positive glow would rest upon his stern features, and mellow light would sparkle in his dancing eyes. It was as if he had met his Lord in some divine vision of His will and word. Such preparation gave him the well-merited power of exegesis. Bishop Pierce was accustomed to consult him as he would a commentary on difficult passages, and prized his interpretations as those of a master. A story of the earlier days has come down, that on one occasion in the presence of Bishop Pierce and other ministers, Bro. Lewis undertook the elucidation of a much controverted text. Perhaps the doctrine had just been discussed at the fireside, and deep interest had been awakened, our hero observing his usual reserve until called on to speak. The hour for preaching had come and abruptly broke off the discussion. The exegete was the preacher that day, and to the surprise and delight of the ministers he announced the passage whose mysteries they had been trying in vain to solve. Without unnecessary delay he "launched into the deep." Sentence after sentence in tersest, strongest words fell like

 

   page 151  
flashes of light through the lowering clouds, collation and comparison of related doctrines familiar as a song of childhood cleared the opening sky, until in briefer space than is often used in introductions to what are called "fine serm ons," the heavens rolled before the astonished company in azure blue, and the sun of truth was shining in wondrous revelation. His task done he cast his glance upon the preachers present, and quaintly said, "Now, if any of you can beat that, you may have a chance to try." Nobody tried, the controversy was ended.

 

A commentary on the Bible from his pen would have taken much time from his preferred field work, but such a book would have been a rare addition to "Helps in the study of God's word." The Arminian view of theology was his natural correspondence. His straightforward, manly, mental movement easily fell into this form of doctrinal truth. He believed it from his heart, and preached it with unwonted power. Calvinism had no place in his thoughts except to find arguments to destroy it. He felt that it was little less than sin, God was dishonored by it, and men should not believe it if he could help it. Sometimes he was severe in his denunciation of the "awful heresy." On occasion he would rise with the might of a conqueror, and upset every foundation on which it was built. When Calvinists were present in his congregation he seemed most on fire

 

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to speak the truth as he saw it. I remember one bright Sabbath when all the congregations of a little city crowded into his to enjoy a day with the Methodists. Baptists and Presbyterians were there in force. It was communion day, but no matter, Arminius must be supported and Calvin driven from the field. The argument began quietly with premises well laid. The building went up stone on stone. The corner columns stood together in clasped embrace. The great builder saw the completed structure, perfect and strong. His whole nature swelled and bounded with the tides of feeling and confidence and rising upon the highest billows of his impassioned soul, he knew no limitations, but boldly declared in a very outburst of fervor, "Arminianism is true, and John Calvin has done more harm than any six infidels that ever lived. If he was saved at all it was by the skin of his teeth." The Methodists had close communion that day.

 

Though he reveled in "forensic eloquence" it must not be inferred that he was confined to this form of pulpit power. In no sense was he a one-sided messenger of the truth. Devoting himself wholly to the work of the ministry, never turning aside from its demands upon him, never resting through the forty years of his itinerant life, he was a preacher in the completest sense, and nothing but a preacher of the whole gospel, in every phase of it. I have heard him discourse on Love, and his

 

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tones were as tender as a flute, while his words were as choice and pure as crystal streams. His sermon on "Charity never faileth," was a breaking of the alabaster box of precious ointment, mellowing the heart and leaving a long perfume. It was a matchless presentation of the high theme. His unfaltering courage and uncompromising fidelity were of the quality to stand any test. No mere circumstances affected him. He could say with the emphasis of the apostle to the Gentiles, "None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself." No form of evil escaped his denunciation. No fear of men restrained his rebukes. In a certain county in Georgia while slavery existed, his trusty old horse took fright at a group of half-clad ragged negro children on the road. He was going to camp-meeting, and got a message on the way. At the principal hour, in the presence of thousands, many of whom were large slave-owners, his the me was the duty of masters to slaves. He told the incident of the neglected children, and the frightened horse, and cried aloud, sparing not the inhumanity of masters to their slaves, and demanding reform. There was no mincing of words, no cringing that "thrift might follow fawning."

 

He waxed warmer and grew bolder as he found he was denouncing an evil alas, too common in that section. The sermon produced a sensation. The guilty were excited to the highest pitch, and

 

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they turned their wrath toward the preacher. Threats of violence were freely made, and reached his ears. Without a fear he moved among his enemies, and when the storm had passed, the dauntless prophet lived to see a great reform. No sketch of Josiah Lewis would be at all lifelike that did not at least make mention of his love of humor. He had the keenest appreciation of the ludicrous, often finding it where the ordinary observer would fail to see it. I have seen him convulsed with laughter, and "when he laughed he laughed all over." Once, passing down the principal street of a city, he had a vision of fun. It was too much for him. He stopped still, and supporting himself on my shoulder, his great body shook with emotion, until tears poured down his glowing cheeks. His support soon failed him under the law of contagion. He once enjoyed a huge joke on the two weather prophets of a Georgia town. It came about in this way. During a long, dry summer in the seventies, he was helping the pastor in a protracted meeting, spending a week among the brethren. One day four or five of the officials joined him and the pastor at a dining. After dinner, sitting on the veranda, the party naturally bewailed the heat of the weather, and the poor prospect for rain. One brother said the dry spell would continue for some time, as Maj. A. had announced that there would be no rain for six weeks, and Judge P. had agreed with

 

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his fellow-seer, except that he thought we might be refreshed with a shower in four weeks. There was no need of a weather bureau in that town when these oracles spoke. Their prognostications were a law unto many. "Uncle Joe" heard what was said. He was weather-wise himself. With a curious twinkle in his black eyes, he looked up into the sky. A little to the southwest there was a cloud no bigger than a man's hand. He kept watch on it. At last under an excitement which he could not conceal, he said, "if the wind does not jump the corner, we will have rain in less than twelve hours." This was a bold prophecy in that town, but he made it, and now it was prophet against prophet. The company sat together an hour or more, now and then recurring to the weather. Meanwhile the cloud grew, and the wind played true. Uncle Joe's excitement became intense. The air was changing in temperature, and nature threw out her signal of the near approach of rain, and then in a few minutes more the great drops began to fall. With an air of triumph our old Elijah arose, and warned the company that "if they did not hurry home they would get a wetting." All bade adieu to the host and hastened down the street. On the way a heavy fall of rain ran the party into the stores for shelter. While standing in the door rejoicing in the refreshing from the clouds, some one pointed out to Uncle Joe, Maj. A. and Judge

 

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P., both big and fat, running for dear life to get out of the rain. That was joy enough for him. The false prophets had fallen.

 

There was no service that night on account of the rain. Next morning the sun arose bright and beautiful and every tree beamed with gems in raindrops on their leaves. The prayer-meeting was rich in songs of praise, and happy hearts were full of gratitude. Uncle Joe began his prayer in these words. "Oh Lord, we thank thee for thy goodness, remembering us when we forget thee. We especially thank thee for the refreshing showers that have fallen upon the earth, in spite of the prophecies of ungodly men, who cannot trust thee in thy providence."

In his latter life Bro. Lewis leaned upon a staff with a head of gold. It was a present to him from his friends who were attending the commencement exercises of Emory College. Inscribed on the precious metal were these words:"

Rev. Josiah Lewis,
Our Model Patron."

 

One after another, seven noble sons have graduated' with the honors of the institution, and each one took a manly place among men. Two have joined their father on the other shore. Others of them are honoring his name on earth, perpetuating the work which he began. He lives in them and theirs, and "his works do follow him."

Part 66

 

   page 157  
W. C. BASS.

Often have I made eulogies on my deceased brethren; never have I responded more cheerfully than on this occasion, sad as it is for many reasons. There is a strange juxtaposition here. The report which I have just read by request of the committee on memoirs was not from my pen; it was written by the late Dr. Clark, in expectation of an earlier departure of Dr. Bass, and it was printed before either of them passed into the beyond, Dr. Clark going first. The report is fully endorsed by me except as to two immaterial facts of date and place. Bishop Pierce's first sermon was delivered in Monticello, Ga., after announcement by that stentor, Wesley P. Arnold. So the bishop himself told me, remarking, "and everything that could get on a shoe came out." Let me say no wonder, for he was the son of Lovick Pierce, the prince of preachers.

Again, the South Carolina Conference was divided (setting off Georgia) in January, 1831--not at the close of the year. George F. Pierce joined at the first session of the Georgia Conference, January, 1831. These alterations are very small and amount to nothing but to be more accurate.

Capers Bass, as he was always called, was a South Carolinian, though born in Augusta, Ga.

 

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He was educated at divers places, but chiefly at Cokesbury, S. C., and Emory College, Georgia. Being six years older than Dr. Bass, I was at Cokesbury several years in advance of him. I first saw him on the stage at Emory College. A powerful young man in bodily strength, with a most commanding voice. It was a Sophomore exercise and he declaimed Webster's great speech on the Union. His physical and vocal powers made this very appropriate. But it was strange for a South Carolina boy, feeling as he did with his State, to speak Webster, the most national man in America. South Carolina at that very date was attempting secession which was effected ten years later.

 

Dr. Bass had many fine traits. Of some I will speak freely. As a preacher he was highly respectable.

He had a marked fondness for preaching on parables and narratives and herein he was an adept. His chief distinction, however, was as an educator. After serving at Greensboro and Madison, he came to the Wesleyan Female College as a professor of natural science. This chair he filled fifteen years under divers presidents. When Dr. E. H. Myers resigned, Dr. Bass was advanced to the presidency. He filled this office twenty years--in all he was in the Wesleyan College thirty-five years. The college was run on the leasing plan, and he and Dr. Cosby W. Smith were the lessees.

 

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Smith had less ambition than any man of learning I ever knew. He was the senior of Bass but did not want the presidency and gladly surrendered his claims to the junior partner. They were like David and Jonathan, in perfect accord, until six years ago when Dr. Smith suddenly died.

 

Dr. Bass must be viewed as a man of affairs having very great executive talents. During my long residence in Macon--twenty-five years--I have never heard of a servant or teacher, or merchant or banker complaining of Dr. Bass for even tardiness, and he carried this vast load. His corps of professors respected and even admired him. The internal affairs of the college ran smoothly under his control. When it became necessary to have a final settlement with him (I speak as a trustee), it was found that he had advanced money for the trustees beyond his duty, and a balance of three hundred and fourteen dollars was due Dr. Bass, which we admitted and paid.

Dr. Bass was a very generous and unselfish man, and very much of an altruist--he did not live for himself, but to do good. How many poor young women he has educated free of tuition and by reduced board none will ever know. These women owe him a debt of gratitude they can scarcely pay, but they should make an endeavor. Let the hundreds trained by him now rich unite to honor his memory by erecting a lasting monument in the form of a science hall, the most imperative

 

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want of the college. I am safe in saying no man in Georgia has done so much for female education.

 

You do not think it strange that Dr. Bass did not grow rich, in view of what has been stated--he cared little for money.

It was a dismal day in April last when the trustees met at his request to accept his resignation. Like a day without sunshine, it was a day of gloom. There was no alternative, for he was nearing the grave. Dr. Branch, president of the board, myself, chairman of the executive board, and Col. Isaac Hardeman were appointed to seek a new president. We went to Virginia for him and Mr. E. H. Rowe was proposed and elected. May he wear the mantle of Bass well and in honor.

The speaker could be fuller, but this is enough. President Bass was a man of rare combination. His broad, bright smile, like a sun beaming through rich windows, we shall see no more; his powerful voice, suited to the command of martial battalions, will nevermore be heard in pulpit or on the stage at conference or college. He lived well for God and mankind, died in honor and peace to live forever.

Part 67

 

   page 161  
LEWIS J. DAVIES.

Few men of his day were better equipped for effective pulpit work than Lewis J. Davies. His school advantages were excellent, and he was reared in a community where he naturally acquired a fondness for art and literature.

His reading in after life took a broad range in theology and in philosophy. What he read he thoroughly digested, and there was in his preaching no evidence of mental dyspepsia, but a clear and vigorous statement of divine truth.

He was especially gifted in expository preaching, which he esteemed the best method of pulpit teaching. I shall always remember a sermon which he preached in Wesley Chapel in 1861, during a memorable revival, the gracious results of which still abide in the membership of the First Church. His theme was the fall of Jericho, and the sermon fairly electrified the crowded audience. It was often said that the manner of Davies, in the delivery of a discourse was quite like the manner of Jesse Boring. But while there was a sort of intellectual affinity between these able men, neither was a copyist.

As for Davies, he had a most striking individuality. I have even heard him charged with heresy because some of his theological views were not in

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harmony with the prevailing denominational sentiment. As a stationed preacher he was not very much in demand by the larger churches. His forte was district work, and his best preaching was probably done under the shadow of Yonah, or Currahee or within earshot of Tallulah, as it lifts its thunderous psalm of praise to Him "who girded the mountains with strength."

 

One of the last and best sermons which I ever heard fall from his lips was at Little River Campground, in Cobb county, where he had a host of admirers, to whom for many years he made an annual visitation. It was an elaborate discussion of the atonement in which he ventured to dissent from the current belief of the majority of his ministerial brethren. His doctrinal divergence was not, however, so wide as to constitute a stumbling block to any sincere believer.

With all his gifts, Brother Davies was modest almost to a fault. This doubtless, may have circumscribed his influence and hindered his ecclesiastical preferment. But he enjoyed the esteem and confidence of his brethren in a high degree, and his death was reckoned a calamity to the church he so faithfully served. He was happily wedded to a daughter of Rev. John C. Simmons, himself a man of deserved prominence in the conference. To her he was indebted greatly during his seasons of bad health consequent on nervous prostration. This excellent Christian woman still

 

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survives to serve the church in some of its most important enterprises.

 

The familiar lines of Halleck on the death of his poet friend, Joseph Rodman Drake, might be justly applied to Lewis J. Davies:"

None knew him but to love him,
None named him but to praise.
 
"

 

----

JAMES B. PAYNE.

James B. Payne was like John W. Knight, "a brand plucked from the burning." They were both combative in their instincts and apart from converting grace were better suited to the prize ring than to the pulpit. After their conversion and entrance into the ministry, they were militant saints, after the fashion of Peter Cartwright and Gideon Ousley.

They were valiant in defending the truth and made no compromise with sin, whether in high or low places.

I first heard "Uncle Jimmy" preach at Rome in 1854, just after the death of his son in Savannah. His sermon was on the sweet uses of providential affliction. In the conclusion he referred to his late

 

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bereavement in a way that brought alternate shouts and sobs from the audience.

 

This brings us to the remark that despite the occasional prosiness of his style, there were times when his mastery of a congregation was perfect.

When stationed at LaGrange many years ago he conducted one of the most wonderful revivals known in the history of Western Georgia. From that period the LaGrange church became one of the wealthiest and most influential in the Georgia Conference. The Ridleys, the Bulls, the Heards, the Turners, the Hills, the Morgans, the Bealls, the Greenwoods, and a dozen other families besides were not less distinguished for culture and piety than the leading Methodists of Athens and Columbus.

In the years following, Brother Payne occupied prominent positions on districts and stations, and more than once was chosen as a delegate to the General Conference.

For several years towards the close of his useful life he was a resident of Atlanta, greatly honored and beloved by all the denominations.

Perhaps his last effective service was in connection with Payne's Chapel, to the organization and upbuilding of which he contributed largely.

At the time of his death he was a citizen of Upson county. We need not add that his death was triumphant.

Part 69

 

   page 165  
BISHOP JOSHUA SOULE.

"Once upon a time," as the old story-tellers were wont to phrase it, I spent an evening with Bishop Joshua Soule, one of the foremost men of American Methodism. A native of "the district of Maine" which Massachusetts for many years treated with true stepmother policy, he was of a lofty stature and of an imperial bearing that were suggestive of leadership. He was stopping a few hours at the old Washington Hall of Atlanta, which occupied during the war the present site of the Markham House. His destination was Montgomery, Ala., whither he was going on an episcopal visitation to the Alabama Conference. The bishop was fortunate in having that rarely gifted man, Dr. T. O. Summers, as a traveling companion. The bishop was bent with age and not less bowed down with grief at the distracted condition of affairs in church and state.

While in full sympathy with his adopted section, the South, he was apprehensive that the secession movement would result disastrously.

In 1844 he had deliberately withdrawn from the northern wing of the church, because he regarded the Finley resolution which virtually decapitated Bishop Andrew, as a blow aimed at the episcopacy. Rather than acquiesce in such palpable

 

   page 166  
wrongdoing, he turned his back on the memories and associations of his childhood and riper years, and, like Abraham, went forth into an alien land. He never wavered in his allegiance to the southern church, and, while he was physically unfitted for heavy work, he never shirked duty or responsibility. We have always regretted that it was never our good fortune to listen to a sermon from that master of assemblies who promulgated that great sermon on "The Perfect Law of Liberty." Near the witching hour of night, Dr. Summers and myself assisted this venerable man to his train. There I took leave of him to meet him next, I devoutly hope, where "there is no night."

 

----

BISHOP HOLLAND N. McTYEIRE.

My earliest acquaintance with Bishop Holland N. McTyeire was at an episcopal reunion held in Atlanta in connection with the annual meeting of the parent board of missions in 1862. By courtesy, I was invited, with other Atlanta pastors, to a seat in the body, with the privilege of discussion, but without the right of voting. Bishops Andrew, Pierce and Paine, were present, and so were Drs. McTyeire, A. L. P. Green, L. D. Huston

 

   page 167  
and Wadsworth. Several prominent lay brethren were present whose names I have forgotten.

 

The General Conference set for May of that year was indefinitely postponed and only such matters as were urgent and did not admit of delay were disposed of in an informal way.

At that time McTyeire impressed me as a man of superlative ability. It was not until 1866 that he was episcopally ordained, but by every token, except "the technical laying on of hands," he was then as much of an episcopals as though he had been consecrated by His Grace of York or Canterbury.

My next meeting with the late bishop was in the spring of 1866, at which time he was the pastor of the Methodist Church in Montgmery, Alabama. I was invited to a tea at the parsonage, when I first saw that thoroughly original, if not eccentric divine, Dr. Joseph B. Cottrell. It is not often that one is brought in contact with such a pleasant host and fellow-guest. The memory of that scene is still fresh, and has lost but little of its fragrance. It was enlivened by choice bits of humor, and spicy discussions of the ecclesiastical situation which just then was not the most promising. No one of the party, however thought that a reaction would ensue, and that the southern church would emerge from her fiery trial purified and animated with loftier aims.

 

   page 168  

Very many people were wont to esteem Bishop McTyeire as wanting in sociability. This was a misapprehension. While he usually had an air of hauteur, it was more the result of his physical make-up than of any real lack of the amenities of good fellowship. His whole nature was full of sunshine, and there was about him a keen relish for wit and pleasantry. His Scotch inheritance of common sense was proverbial. But behind this there was a play of fancy, and even a sweep of imagination, which at intervals would thrill his audiences.

I remember well a district conference sermon on "The Minor Ministries of the Sanctuary," which might well rank with the best efforts of the British or continental pulpit.

As a writer, he was not voluminous, but his history of Methodism, lacking somewhat in elaboration, is the best of its class. He has written some sketches which remind us of Longstreet--this is especially true of his "Uncle Cy." A more satisfactory and truthful delineation of the old plantation patriarch that Mrs. Stowe's "Uncle Tom."

While he was not a ritualist in any offensive sense, he had great respect for the prescribed order of services in the ministration of the Lord's supper. On one occasion he reminded the pastor, who officiated at the holy communion, that he had omitted some parts of the service; adding in an admonitory way, "Take care, lest you fall into

 

   page 169  
habit of abbreviating the services." So in his death chamber at Nashville, he said to the ministrant from whom he was to receive his last sacrament, "Be sure and read the whole service."

 

This regard for what some esteem trifles was characteristic of this great man. He disliked a perfunctory method in the sanctuary. "Decently and in order" was his motto, and he was true to it, whether he was reading a hymn or pulverizing a heresy under the trip-hammer of his invincible logic. Having referred to his sketch of "Ucle Cy," we subjoin a few paragraphs, which we are sure will be read with no little zest.

"Uncle Cy owed much to his wife--an honest, truthful and virtuous woman. She was the best nurse I ever saw, and ministered with unspeakable fidelity and tenderness to my parents, and brother and sisters on their deathbeds. 'Aunt Bess' was the first woman I ever heard pray in public. She was a leaven and a light. Some influence and honest pennies she gained by practicing that delicate profession which the Egyptians, in Moses' time, turned over to their women. Only once did she fail me. When the Federal armies were getting into Alabama we proposed to put our silver spoons and such things in her keeping. 'Well, master, in course I'll do it if you says so, but I can't be 'sponsible. Dem Yankees is a coming, and I hearn tell how dey carries wid 'em somethin' like a pinter worm, and when it's sot down dey tells it

 

   page 170  
to pint wha any money or silver things is hid, and it pints jest as straight as a gun.

 

"Uncle Cy's family pride was a trait characteristic of the old regime. I have seen him take his wife down by reminding her that he had been in the family longer than she. Once I had arranged with a neighbor, Squire Fowler, to get a swarm of bees. Uncle Cy was hollowing out a gum, and with some hesitation said. 'Master, don't you know some people can't get into bees? Our family is too industrious for bees. Old master tried to git into bees, and I 'member well how old master before him tried, and dey never could. It's only lazy, poor white folks has any luck raising honey. And he made numerous citations in support of his position. But his flattery was not to balk my experiment. I got into bees At first, they went in and come out of the little hole at the bottom of the gum briskly. After awhile, few and fewer; then only a straggler or two. We knocked off the top and found a triangular-shaped piece of comb, but no honey. So ended my first and last attempt at getting into bees.

"Farewell, faithful, loving, dear old Uncle Cy. I'm sure he loved me and prayed for me. Indeed, they tell me that he has been in the habit of praying for me, by name, in public meetings. My family have joined me every year in making up a box for Uncle Cy and Aunt Bess, filled with half-worn clothes and various things new and old, such

 

   page 171  
as they liked or needed. Christmas is coming, but no box goes that way any more. Our children, and the generations following, can never know the sentiment that sprung up between the two races under the system of domestic slavery. It had its evil and it had its good. Both are gone forever."

 

----

WM. D. ANDERSON.

At the request of friends and relatives of the late Dr. Anderson, I come, with sad heart and hesitating pen, to offer my feeble tribute to his name and memory. A few days since, as I stood amidst a weeping throng, met to perform the last sad rites to his dead body, as I saw that body lowered into its final resting place, memory was busy with these lines, written upon the death and burial of a wise and good man of the long ago.

"
Ne'er to those dwellings where the mighty rest,
Since their foundations, came a nobler guest.
 
"

This couplet--as applicable to the present case--will be stripped of seeming exaggeration when it is remembered that true nobility does not spring up

 

   page 172  
out of circumstances of birth or material surroundings, but from excellencies of character--virtues of heart and life. By virtue of the fact that our lamented friend and brother exemplified in life and labors the elements of a true Godlike manhood, let him stand forth as the peer of the noblest and the best. Through the ages past many of high repute in civil, social and professional life--kings, warriors, statesmen, poets and philosophers--have lived, died and been laid to rest in grand mausoleums, amid the tears and sobs of a nation, while--"
--their deeds as they deserve
Receive proud recompense.
 
"
But true wisdom--wisdom which God honors--looks beyond time and estimates final results. In the last day many of the so-called great of earth, whose names, perhaps, have been sounded far and wide by the "loud-mouthed trump of fame," will dwarf into nothingness while others, far less known and honored, will stand forth robed and crowned with royal splendors. God loves and honors those who love and honor him. For such only are of princely stock--of the royal blood of the Son of Mary. Yet how many, in their moral blindness, fail to see and appreciate the fact. Many so-called titles to nobility are without God's "image and superscription," Beneath many of these claims to fame and fortune may be found, written with invisible hand "Weighed in the balances

 

   page 173  
and found wanting." And why so written? Because that which constitutes the essence and incarnation of all true greatness is wanting. Very many formulate opinions and are governed by the maxims of time and sense. But God does not so scan the outer bulk and surface. He is looking outside of the charmed circles of social distinctions and exalted worldly station, and is inquiring after the great-hearted--those who love God and love their fellow-men--those who, if need be, are willing to die for the truth and for conscience sake. While men are formulating opinions and passing judgments according to externals, God searches the within looking for triumphs over self in the battle--field of the heart--the realm of the motives and affections. "He that ruleth his spirit"--through divine agency obtains the mastery over himself--"is better"--therefore in God's estimate, greater "than he that taketh a city." Victory over self, through Christ, is true liberty--exaltation into citizenship in the kingdom of the Lord Almighty. While on the other hand, a man of self-seeking--a lover of fame and pleasure more than of God--may ascend to the dizzy heights of worldly greatness; but does not, cannot reach the summit of true wisdom and real fame.

 

These thoughts in the present connection, may appear to some to be out of place. But when we take into account the high native gifts and acquired abilities of our deceased friend, together

 

   page 174  
with the possibilities before him of brilliant achievements in professional and civic life, we can have only a dim conception of the battle he fought with himself before he obtained the consent of his mind and heart to forsake all and follow Christ. It takes a hero--a man possessed of elements which enter into the composition of which martyrs are made--to turn aside from the pathway to fame and distinction, and become an itinerant Methodist preacher. At his Master's bidding, he literally "sold all"--so far as human opinion goes. I desire to stress this point, for it indexes his great, true character. One long and favorably known to the deceased--himself long prominent in public life and official station--said to me a few days since: "I have never known a man who turned away from prospects so flattering as those almost within the grasp of William D. Anderson. A seat in congress and the governor's chair were easy possibilities just ahead of him. If you write of him, stress this fact."

 

What a contrast between the subject of this memoir and the "certain ruler" who came to Christ, saying, "Good Master, what shall I do, that I may inherit eternal life." The last, learning the conditions, refused to comply, going away "sorrowful" while the first, after a severe struggle with himself, and a fierce conflict with Satan, obeyed the call of God, and, like Abraham of old, "went forth, not knowing whither he went." He

 

   page 175  
recognized the call of God as the highest call to men, and he obeyed. He understood well what this act of obedience implied and involved. A life of sacrifice on the one hand and of laborious, often unremunerative toil on the other. But, with eye of faith, he saw at the end of the race-track upon which he was entering a crown of final rejoicing. Toward this he pressed with unfaltering step, and would have pressed although to receive that crown might subject him to the stroke of Nero's bloody axe. Decision was a strong point in his character. I stress it because it was the pivot on which revolved the mental and moral machinery of his well-rounded, well-poised manhood. With him, to decide was to do. While he often consulted with friends and had a ready ear for the opinions of others, yet he took no step forward or backward until "fully persuaded in his own mind." And hence, as this writer believes, from close, intimate relations, that, at the call of God--let friends, kindred, the world say what they might--he would have turned away from earth's most attractive allurements and gone forth "preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God."

 

The subject of this writing was born at Marietta, Ga., June 24, 1839. He was the son of George D. and Jane Holmes Anderson. His father was a judge of the superior court at the time of his sudden and unexpected death. His mother was a

 

   page 176  
woman of high Christian type. So he inherited good blood and fine brain power from both his parents. He possessed from the start a quick and inquisitive mind. His educational facilities were good. He graduated, with distinction, at the Georgia University in 1859. Applying himself at once to the study and practice of law, he soon won honorable rank at the bar of his native town. But soon the alarm of war was heard along the Southern coast. Fearing that the battle might be over before he should have opportunity to try his "'prentice hand," he, together with four others, hurried away to Charleston, where he entered, as a private, the Palmetto Guards, of the Second South Carolina regiment. Soon after his command was transferred to Virginia, where he acted a gallant part in many battles now famous in history--Bull Run, first and second Battles of Manassas, Yorktown, Millersburg, Seven Days Around Richmond, Cold Harbor, Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill, Savage Station, Fair Oaks, Frazier's Farm, Malvern Hill, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Boonesboro, Harper's Ferry, Sharpsburg and Gettysburg. At the battle of Cold Harbor he received a wound in his right hand which he carried with him to the grave. At the close of his first year, he was transferred to Phillips' Legion, and elected as first lieutenant of his company, which he often commanded as captain.

 

 

   page 177  

At the close of the war he returned to the practice of his profession, at Marietta. He married, in April, 1865, Miss Louise J. Latimer, of South Carolina. His wife was a most excellent and pious woman. To her godly life and pious example was he indebted more, perhaps, than to all other human sources for his conviction, conversion and subsequent career of usefulness in the church. Her death, which occurred in 1875, was a crushing blow to him, but was, may be, under God, the key to all his after history. In 1877, one year after entering the active ministry, he married Miss Lula H. Latimer, youngest sister of his first wife. By these marriages he left nine children--two by his first wife--fine young men and full of promise to church and state. May the mantle of the lamented father fall upon one or both of them! What a host of saddened hearts throb in deepest sympathy for the widowed and orphaned ones!

He joined the church in 1867 under the ministry of the Rev. W. F. Cook. As might have been expected of one of his firm, earnest nature, he served the church wisely and well, filling very acceptably the offices of trustee, steward and Sunday-school superintendent.

While in private civil life he never sought after office. Yet his fellow-citizens, noting his integrity and fitness for positions of trust and responsibility, honored him frequently by electing him to the legislature of the state. And for four consecutive

----

 

   page 178  
terms he was elected to preside as speaker pro tem over the deliberations of that body. The second year of his fourth term in this honorable position he resigned his seat and knocked at the door of the North Georgia Conference as a candidate for "admission on trial." His friends and admirers at home and abroad--he had hosts of them--were astounded at the step he was taking, which some of them characterized as the "climax of folly." But "none of these things" moved him. His mind was made up.

 

He was appointed to and served the following charges: Eatonton, 1876; Cedartown, 1877-8; Marietta, 1879-80; Elberton district, 1881-2; First church, Rome, 1883; Marietta district, 1884-6; First church, Athens, 1887-90; First church, Atlanta, 1891; First church, LaGrange, 1892; Oxford district, 1893-4.

Here his life-work ends. Who shall estimate the value of such a life? A life full of good deeds done by the "right hand," which the "left hand never knew." Who shall gather the "bread" he "cast upon the waters?" Who shall garner the harvest grown from gospel seed which he sowed upon valleys and hillsides wherever he went? After making his first round for the new year upon the Oxford district, a district of twenty appointments, in the space of five weeks--a task to test the toughest muscle and most robust health--he returned to his home in Marietta to fold his

 

   page 179  
hands and enter into sweet rest. His last illness was severe and brief. But in the delirium of disease his mind seemed absorbed in his loved employ--the "ruling passion strong in death." He preached, prayed, sang and counselled the brethren of his quarterly conferences as though they were present before him. The day before he died his delirium left him and he became fully conscious. He said to his brother-in-law, who stood at his bedside: "Pierce, what do they say is the matter with me?" Pierce answered, "A very severe cold with pneumonia tendency." "Well," said he, "I know I am a very sick man; every inch of me from head to feet feels sick."

 

Soon after he fell into a profound slumber and awoke no more. About 6 o'clock, February 19th, without a struggle or groan, he sank into the arms of death. He left no dying testimony. None was needed. His pure, noble, consecrated life was enough. As to how he was loved by the ministry and laity, the multitudes who attended his obsequies abundantly testify.

Dr. Anderson as a friend was frank and faithful; as a father, firm yet considerate; as a husband, loving and tender; as a Christian and minister, zealous and true. In short, as to all the elements of a noble manhood, he stood out amongst his fellows the peer of the noblest and the best. Endowed with fine native gifts, polished by the culture of the schools, broadened and well-drilled

 

   page 180  
by reading and study, he forged steadily for ward till he stood in the front rank of the ministry of his church. His ability and personal popularity are attested by the official honors his brethren bestowed upon him. Secretary and treasurer of the aid society, president of the legal conference, chairman of the board of managers of the Wesleyan Christian Advocate; trustee of Emory and of the Wesleyan and LaGrange female colleges, also of the Young Harris Institute; thrice elected a delegate to the general conference; honored with the title of D. D. by the trustees of Emory College. Enough surely to gratify ambition--if ambition he had. But he had none in the sense of desire for mere honor's sake. He rather shunned than sought the distinctions men confer. If he had aspiration it was to know the truth, not for himself alone, but that through his knowledge of it, he might make the pathway to heaven luminous and attractive to others. But self-respecting as he was, he was modest and diffident as to his own worth and ability, and he has died and passed away without knowing in what high regard he was held by his brethren and the church at large.

 

His death leaves a blank hard to fill; but still God knows what is best. "The workmen die but the work goes on."

Part 72

 

   page 181  
A SPLENDID TRIUMVIRATE.

Three of the most notable conversions of which we have any record in the history of Georgia Methodism were those of Ignatius A. Few, Augustus B. Longstreet, and Augustin S. Clayton, three distinguished jurists. The first named was a native of Columbia county; a graduate of Princeton, a lawyer of special prominence at the Augusta bar, and until he reached the meridian of life, a thorough sceptic, whose conversion was largely due to the personal ministry of Rev. Joseph Travis.

In his fortieth year he left the bar to enter the pulpit, where he made a reputation unsurpassed by any man of that period. He was the first and perhaps the ablest president of Emory College. In honor of him one of the two literary societies was called the Few and its hall is embellished by his portrait. In front of that hall is a tasteful monument erected by his "brethren of the mystic tie."

He was succeeded in the presidency by Dr. Longstreet who was worthy of his mantle.

The second of this triumvirate, Judge Longstreet, surrendered the judgeship for the ministry, pursuing the four years course of study in the conference with marvelous success. Dr. George Smith, however,

 

   page 182  
testifies on the basis of a conference tradition, that "he tripped on English grammar." This writer has perhaps better authority for saying, as he was chairman of the examining committee, that years afterwards Dr. John W. Heidt slipped up on geography--although a graduate of Emory College, we believe, with honors, and a gifted young barrister. Judge Longstreet was not only a great preacher, but in four states, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina, was president of several leading colleges, state and ecclesiastical. Dr. Heidt, who failed on bounding Africa, had also a brilliant career as an educator in Georgia and Texas.

 

Judge Clayton was one of Georgia's ablest statesmen and jurists, having served in the state legislature, in the Federal congress and for three terms on the circuit bench. These continuous labors brought him to a sick bed and ultimately to saving faith in Christ. The story of his conversion as we find it in the funeral discourse of Dr. Whiteford Smith, at that time the pastor of our church in Athens furnishes an eloquent account of this remarkable conversion. We copy it from the printed sermon which cannot fail to interest our readers of all classes:

"For the greater part of his life Judge Clayton had been sceptical of the truth of Christianity. Though always respectful to those who made a profession of religion, yet he had never submitted

 

   page 183  
himself to the cross of Christ until within the last twelve months. During the month of August, 1838, he was attacked with paralysis and for a short time lost the use of one hand and his articulation became very indistinct. Upon the day of his attack I visited him. Knowing that the fears of his family and friends were awakened for his safety and probably judging from my presence that we were particularly anxious about his spiritual state; he addressed me as well as he was able in these words 'I think I may safely say I am prepared for the event.' I replied that I had perceived in his conversation from time to time some familiarity with the Bible and hoped he had made it a matter of study. His answer was: 'No, but in all my dealings with the world and in all my acts I have always had regard to the existence of a just God; and if there is a man I have wronged I do not know him.' Having endeavored to direct his mind to the Lord Jesus Christ as the sacrifice for sin and to the necessity of the merit of his atonement, I enquired if it was his wish that we should pray; and, he desiring it, the family assembled and we prayed. No opportunity offered (from the nature of his affliction) for some days after for religious conversation. Some short time subsequently, however, when he had so far recovered as to be able to go about, understanding that he desired to see me, I called, accompanied by one of the ministers who was in attendance at a protracted

 

   page 184  
meeting then in progress. The subject of religion was now introduced and never had I witnessed so great a change. He who but a short time before had been dwelling complacently upon his own virtuous deeds and even meditating an entrance into eternity with no other preparation, now sat before me overwhelmed with grief and tears at the recollection of his ingratitude to God for all his mercies. He had been employed in reviewing the past, and though he found that his conduct toward the world had been equitable and just, he had also been convinced that his duties toward his Maker had been neglected. Now he had enquired what had kept him from being a Christian, and having learned the true state of his own heart, this was his candid confession and at the same time his avowal of his purposes: 'Sir, I am determined that pride of opinion which has so long kept me from embracing Christianity shall keep me away no longer.' Nor was he insensible to the difficulties which must be met in turning to God with repentance and faith. 'In pursuing this course,' said he, 'at every step I am met by a committal; and every act contrary to religion is a committal to vice. But shall I permit these things to deter me when I see the extended arms of my God ready to receive me?'

 

"Having abandoned that pride of opinion which he felt had so long prevented his becoming a Christian, he manifested the greatest meekness and docility

 

   page 185  
in the reception of the truth. Sensible that in trusting to the merit of his own good works he had rested upon a frail and weak foundation, he now desired to place himself upon another and a surer basis. And upon the eternal foundation of the prophets and apostles, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone, there was but one way of successfully building and that was by the exercise of an humble and confiding faith. How simple and how sincere was his reception of the Gospel may be best learned from his own words: 'Sir,' said he, 'I view myself as though I had been a heathen shut up in darkness and superstition; and you as a missionary of the Cross (for all ministers are or ought to be missionaries) were presenting me for the first time with the Bible, and although I do not comprehend all that may be in it, yet I receive it all by faith. I throw away, as the heathen would his idols, all my old systems and views and adopt this for my creed. I take it all.'"

 

 

The thoroughness of his moral transformation was exemplified when a few weeks after this interview he went to the sanctuary in great bodily weakness and was formally received into the fellowship of the Methodist church. His precious wife who survived him for a number of years was verily one of the noblest matriarchs of Methodism whim it was ever our good fortune to know.

Part 73

 

   page 186  
FRANCIS BARTOW DAVIES.

Francis Bartow Davies was a native of Savannah, of excellent parentage, and was early brought into the communion of the Methodist church. At the beginning of his adult life he engaged in secular business, but in a few years responded to the Spirit's call, entered the traveling ministry and was appointed by Bishop Paine to Palatka in the Florida Conference, in which body he served efficiently for several years His health then became shattered and by the advice of physicians and friends he retired from the itinerant work.

During this season of rest he had so far recuperated that, upon the division of the Georgia Conference in 1866, he returned to the regular work and was successively stationed on some of the best circuits of the North Georgia Conference and in all respects did satisfactory work for the people of his several charges. One who had the best opportunities of knowing, has said that he was eminently and deservedly popular both in the pulpit and the pastorate. His missionary work around and in Atlanta merits special commendation. He laid the foundations of the highly prosperous Park Street Church at West End. He was at that date in the meridian of life. His ministry

 

   page 187  
was then characterized by a persuasiveness that foreboded years of great future usefulness.

 

But as has often happened in ministerial experience, his disease assumed a more malignant aspect.

In 1881 his health again failed, and very much to his own regret and that of his numerous friends, he was compelled to relinquish active work. His strength continued to decline until in the forty-seventh year of his age his useful career was closed.

The last days were marked by perfect peace and joyful resignation to the Master's will. Indeed, there was somewhat in that quiet death-chamber at Decatur, Ga., that suggests the departure of the saintly Bishop McKendree from the humble farmhouse in Kentucky, where the burden and refrain of his dying testimony was "All is well."

Bro. Davies seems also to have had angelic visitants to illumine his pathway through the valley of the shadow of death. Amongst his latest words which he whispered to his wife and brother were these touching sentences: "Oh, how peaceful--It is all Heaven."

No wonder that we are taught to sing--" How blest the righteous when he dies.
"
Or that another veteran hymnologist should rebuke our lack of trust by the inquiry," Why should we start and fear to die?
"

Thank God that these good brethren have so often helped our faith by their testimonies to St.

 

   page 188  
Paul's declaration that "Death is swallowed up in victory." No higher compliment could be paid this devoted servant of God than when Gen. Clement A. Evans, in an obituary notice of him shortly after his death, said: "His voice was musical, his delivery gentle and yet earnest, and his thoughts were wise and always clearly expressed. As a pastor his people found in him a wise counselor, a conservative administrator and in their sufferings a son of consolation." Such a tribute from such a high source may be well prized by his surviving family and his host of friends.

 

----

WM. R. FOOTE.

In December, 1854, while on my way to Columbus, I spent, with my wife, two or three days at West Point with a family whom we had intimately known in Alabama, where at one time I had been engaged in teaching. It was at this time that I made the personal acquaintance of Bro. Foote, who was the Methodist pastor of that flourishing village.

Our friends were members of his charge and Bro. Foote kindly called to see us and before leaving invited me to preach for his congregation on

 

   page 189  
Sabbath morning. I told him that I was quite a novice in the ministry, having only attempted to preach a half-dozen times. But he insisted that I should occupy the pulpit either morning or evening as might best suit me.

 

We very soon agreed that he should occupy the morning hour and that I would do my best at the night service.

I was quite interested in his morning discourse. It was evident that he was a thinker of great clearness and a speaker of excellent gifts. Indeed, I found that he was in great favor with his congregation, whom he was serving for the second year.

In the following years I frequently met Bro. Foote at the Annual Conference, a few times at camp-meetings, and heard him from time to time preach admirable sermons.

He was a scholarly man in no ordinary degree, and especially was he gifted as an expositor of the Scriptures.

His preaching was not marred by commonplace discussions, nor did he indulge in vapid declamation. But on some occasions he was thrillingly eloquent in his utterance, while voice and manner both indicated profound spiritual emotion.

I think he was several times connected with our educational institutions and for some years he was the agent of our orphans' home, in which department of church work he did good service. I

 

   page 190  
doubt if his health was ever at any time vigorous, and this was probably a hindrance to him through the greater portion of his life. Judge John L. Hopkins, who was his neighbor and close friend while Bro. Foote was a resident of Edgewood, commended him to me as a wise, sweet-spirited and deeply religious man.

 

He died in great peace and left a most interesting family, among them Rev. W. R. Foote, one of Atlanta's ablest preachers; and the wife of Rev. R. J. Bigham, the present distinguished pastor of Trinity church.

----

ROBERT M. LOCKWOOD.

We have been furnished with few details concerning the life of this excellent minister.

He was a native of Virginia, but for a number of years was engaged in business both in New York and Baltimore, where he was held in high esteem. At the close of the civil war, he came South and was received into the membership of the South Georgia Conference probably in 1866.

He enjoyed a large share of the love and confidence of his conference brethren, whom he served for a series of years as their general Sunday-school agent. He besides occupied several important

 

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positions in the pastorate. Amongst these were Bainbridge, Brunswick and Hawkinsville, in all of which places he was greatly beloved. He died several years ago, having "served his generation by the will of God" alike acceptably and usefully.

 

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GEORGE FOSTER PIERCE.
THE CHRYSOSTOM OF THE CONFERENCE.

More than half a century ago it was a vexed question in conference circles whether the "Old Doctor" or his son "George" was the greater preacher. We question if the good-natured controversy was at any time definitely settled nor shall we now undertake its final adjudication.

Very much, indeed, depends upon the standpoint from which we consider it, and hardly less upon the definition of what is meant by pulpit oratory.

To illustrate our statement, William Jay is frequently referred to as the "Prince of Preachers," and yet never at any time did he approximate the majestic sweep of Robert Hall's imagination in his grand sermon on "Modern Infidelity Considered." You might as well compare the nightingale's song from some neighboring hedgerow to the scream of

 

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an eagle as he soars right onward to the sun, as to compare the father, when he talked on Ezekiel's Valley of Vision, to the son, when he described the Transfiguration as portrayed in Raphael's world-renowned masterpiece.

 

Not infrequently there were obvious points of resemblance in their preaching, but quite often there were striking points of divergence and even dissimilarity.

But we forbear further allusion to this comparative estimate and speak of the bishop as we heard him in our boyhood during his presidency of the Wesleyan Female College.

Some business engagement brought him to Hamilton, Ga., where my father, his old preceptor at Greensboro, was in charge of a flourishing academy.

I went with the family to the night service at the Methodist church. I recall his text from the Book of Proverbs, "Ponder the paths of thy feet--let all thy ways be established." The discourse was largely didactic, but there was a rich vein of eloquence pervading it that produced no small stir in that village congregation.

The next morning before resuming his journey to Columbus he called to see my mother, who was his first teacher, and who often said that little George Pierce was the handsomest and brightest lad she had ever known in her infant class.

 

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From that time on until he had passed his seventieth year, I heard him at annual and district conferences, always with singular delight and never without spiritual profit.

No one was more deserving than he to be styled the "silver-tongued orator." And yet his sermons were not always of uniform strength and beauty. In a few instances, indeed, they were in some measure disappointing to his most ardent admirers. But if Homer was at times allowed to nod, why might not this great man at wide intervals be suffered to drawl without the penalty of adverse criticism? In the main he was "in shape and gesture proudly eminent." His voice had, as a musical critic would say, a marvelous register. On some occasions it thrilled an audience like the staccato notes of a trumpet, and in another instant it was soft as the whisper of an angel in the ear of sleeping childhood.

In fine, his vocal apparatus was without a flaw in its utterance until age and disease had made him a physical wreck.

It was said of a great poet that he "lisped in numbers," and even "thought in rhyme." It might be as justly said of Bishop Pierce that in his best estate he was the incarnation of oratory.

Richard Malcolm Johnston, himself a man of splendid endowments, has this to say of Bishop Pierce's "oratorical excellence."

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We cull it from a letter addressed to Bishop Haygood which we find in Dr. George Smith's excellent volume on the "Life and Times of Bishop Pierce." | "Scores of times," says Mr. Johnston, "have I heard him preach in the little Methodist church at Sparta, and at the camp-meeting south of the village during a period of twenty years, in the which time I have listened to outbursts of oratory such as I do not believe were surpassed on the Bema of Athens or in the Forum of Rome." This tribute is in no degree overwrought, as thousands of hearers in all parts of the Republic will testify. In a railway conversation with Bishop Peck, his rival in the General Conference of 1844, he spoke of Bishop Pierce in terms of unstinted praise as an orator. But we are minded to say, not without thoughtful consideration, that the platform rather than the pulpit was his throne of power. Notably great as he seemed in the latter, yet in some of his commencement and missionary addresses he was superlatively great. His early college-mate and lifelong friend, Senator Toombs, was heard to say that the grandest effort of his life was his commencement address at the University of Georgia. Concerning that address it is related that it was prepared in a single night after a hard day's travel.

But I prefer in this connection to submit an extract from his great Bible speech in New York which, in one shape or another, has almost made

 

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the circuit of the globe. For this I am likewise indebted to Dr. George Smith's "Life" of the bishop.

 

It was the anniversary of the American Bible Society. Attendance from all parts of the country was exceedingly large. In this throng there were representative men from all the evangelical churches, and the consensus of opinion was that young Dr. Pierce's oration had never been surpassed on that platform, if indeed, ever equaled in that august presence.

For lack of space we submit but two extracts as samples of the whole:

"The Bible deals not in subtle analogies and cold abstractions, but in the healthful virtues of life; it comes home to the heart, and makes its truths the subject of consciousness whereby we exclaim: 'That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of Life.' It commends itself to every man's conscience in the sight of God, by the excellence of its law and the conclusiveness of its testimony, so that even human depravity when it walks amid its precepts, is compelled, like devils among the tombs, to acknowledge the purity of its morals and the holiness of its presence. The genealogy of its proof demonstrates it to be the same yesterday, to-day, and forever. The faith that justified righteous Abel, and whereby Enoch walked with God, the

 

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faith by which Abraham kept the covenant, the importunity by which Moses prevailed, and the penitential sighs of David, still attract the notice of heaven, and call down the blessing of God. The baptism of the Spirit still attends on the ministration of the Word; and though no cloven tongues of fire flame from the lips of proselytes, the heart still palpitates beneath the warm breathings of the Holy Ghost, before whose stately steppings the human reason falls in reverence, and the human fancy cowers in astonishment.

 

----

"It is the sin of the nations and the curse of the church that we have never properly appreciated the Bible as we ought. It is the book of books for the priest and for the people, for the old and for the young. It should be the tenant of the academy as well as of the nursery, and ought to be incorporated in our course of education, from the mother's knee to graduation in the highest universities in the land. Everything is destined to fail unless the Bible be the fulcrum on which these laws revolve. Can such a book be read without an influence commensurate with its importance? As well might the flowers sleep when the spring winds its mellow horn to call them from their bed; as well might the mist linger upon the bosom of the lake when the sun beckons it to leave its dewy

 

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home. The Bible plants our feet amid that angel group which stood with eager wing expectant when the Spirit of God first hovered over the abyss of chaos and wraps us in praise for the newborn world when the morning stars sang together for joy. The Bible builds for us the world when we were not; stretches our conceptions of the infinite beyond the last orbit of astronomy; pacifies the moral discord of earth; reorganizes the dust of the sepulchre, and tells man heaven is his home and eternity his lifetime.

 

"What, sir, was the Reformation, but a resurrection of the Bible? Cloistered in the superstition of mediæval Rome for a thousand years, its moral rays had been intercepted, and the intellect of man, stricken at a blow from its pride of place, was shut within the dark walls of moral despair, and slept the sleep of death beneath its wizard spell. Opinion fled from the chambers of the heart, and left the mind to darkness and to change. But Luther evoked the Bible and its precepts from its prison-house, and the Word of God breathed the warm breath of life upon the Valley of Vision, and upon the sleeping Lethean sea. Intellect burst from the trance of ages, dashed aside the portals of her dark dungeon, felt the warm sunlight relax her stiffened limbs, forged her fetters into swords, and fought her way to freedom and to fame.

 

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"The Bible, sir, is the guide of the erring, and the reclaimer of the wandering; it heals the sick, consoles the dying, and purifies the living. If you would propagate Protestantism, circulate the Bible. Let the master give it to the pupil, the professor to his class, the father to his son, the mother to her daughter, place it in every home in the land; then shall the love of God cover the earth, and the light of salvation overlay the land, as the sunbeams of morning lie upon the mountains."

 

The enthusiasm aroused by the speech was immense. Dr. Jefferson Hamilton was sitting by Dr. Lovick Pierce, and, carried away by his excitement, he said eagerly to the doctor: "Did you ever hear the like?" "Yes," said the fond father, complacently, "I hear George often."

Speaking, however, not only for myself but for hundreds besides, I am inclined to think that never on any occasion was he more eloquent than in his missionary address at Wesley Chapel, Atlanta, during the Annual Conference of 1861.

Dr. McFerrin, of Nashville, who preceded him, was in his happiest mood. His account of his preaching long years agone amongst the Cherokee Indians and of the conversions that often followed was strangely beautiful. Not a few of his passages were as graphic as if he wielded for the time the pen of Macaulay or the pencil of Rubens. At intervals the rafters of the old church fairly vibrated

 

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with the hallelujahs of his enraptured audience. This was particularly the case when he interspersed his address with his Indian songs so wildly plaintive that they resembled the soft yet weird notes of a wind-harp when swept by the fingers of an evening zephyr. When McFerrin resumed his seat and Bishop Pierce arose to speak many feared that he might not fully meet public expectation. But his first utterances showed that his foot was on "his native heath" and instantly electrified his eager hearers. At a single glance of his eagle eye he swept the whole extent of the missionary field--"
From Greenland's icy mountains
To India's coral strand.
 
"

 

His glowing tribute to Bishop Coke, who gave his large fortune and sacrificed his noble life to the establishment of Methodist missions in the far east--his allusions to Judson, who planted Christianity in Birmah, where it spread until it wellnigh became a state religion--to Carey, who wrought twenty years for a single convert on the shores of China--likewise his thrilling references to Henry Martyn, who abandoned the promise of high ecclesiastical preferment in the Church of England to die on the wayside of Persia, the ancient home of the Fire worshippers--nor least of all forgetful of Reginald Heber, whose beautiful

 

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hymn has become the Marsellaise of the missionary enterprise in all parts of the heathen world--these, one and all, were delivered in his best style. But when in conclusion he came to depict the gathering of the scattered tribes of Israel to Mount Zion, the rebuilding of Solomon's temple on the site of the Mosque of Omar, the enthusiasm of his listeners knew no bounds, but broke forth in sobs and shoutings that in no small degree recalled the scenes of Pentecost with its sound of a rushing wind and its glow of cloven tongues of fire. The bishop at the close of the doxology was overwhelmed with congratulations. From that memorable night onward there were "Episcopal Journeyings" stretching through nearly thirty years of arduous toil and dangerous travel and then the golden wedding with its hallowed memories and its social festivities in which prayer and praise were a conspicuous feature.

 

But last scene of all that ends this eventful history, the death chamber where the bishop put on his ascension robes, meanwhile saying to his two brothers, James and Thomas, "I am so happy." Soon thereafter followed the funeral dirge in the village church and the eloquent funeral discourse of Bishop Haygood on the appropriate text, "No man liveth to himself nor dieth to himself." We are constrained to say that this statement or sentiment, which ever we may choose to call it, and indeed it is partly both, applies well to this

 

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Christian bishop whom we have likened to the "golden-mouthed orator of Byzantium."

 

It might not be altogether the proper thing to speak of him as has been so often said of the First Napoleon, that he was the "man of destiny." We rather prefer to speak of him as the man of Providence. Perhaps no man in all Georgia has done so much to carry forward Methodism to its present pre-eminence. He was well-fitted to enlarge and perpetuate the work so auspiciously begun under the joint leadership of Andrew and Hull and Lovick and Reddick Pierce and Capers and others of the old South Carolina Conference. We verily believe that God called and endowed him for this special service. Call it fancy if you will, but we are of that number who accept the philosophy of the great poet:"

For never an age when God has need of him
Shall want its man predestined by that need,
To pour his life in fiery word or deed,
The strong archangel of the Elohim.
Earth's hollow want is prophet of his coming.
 
 

Chapter 2

 

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SOME NOTED
METHODIST LAYMEN.

 

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SOME NOTED
METHODIST LAYMEN.

COL. JAMES M. CHAMBERS.

Having completed my series of "Biographic Etchings of Ministers," I propose now to write a supplementary series on some of the old-time laymen of the Georgia conferences. One of the best of these was Col. James M. Chambers, of Columbus.

I met him first in 1855, and very soon learned to love and admire him. He occupied a splendid residence in Wynnton, a suburban annex to the Falls City.

On several occasions I enjoyed the elegant hospitality of himself and his charming household. Col. Chambers had an imposing physique, suggestive of the Virginians, of whom Thackeray has drawn such a striking picture in one of his most popular novels.

He was evidently of patrician blood, and yet he had none of the class prejudice of Coriolanus, who loathed with such unspeakable disgust the plebs of the seven-hilled city. On the contrary, he was Chesterfieldian in his bearing to the rich and poor, and seemed especially polite toward such godly

 

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women as Sister Hillyer, who were poor in worldly gear but rich in faith. Several of these were weekly attendants on his class-meeting, which for many years was a powerful auxiliary to St. Luke's church.

 

Col. Chambers was a model churchgoer, and it was a very wet or cold day when he was absent from his class-room or from his seat in the sanctuary directly in front of the preacher.

I remember on one occasion that Dr. Pierce preached in my stead at the morning service. He began by saying that he proposed to preach in a more discursive style than was his habit. It was a wonderful discourse. At the close of the service Brother Chambers took me aside and whispered in my ear: "Please tell the doctor for me that I like his discursive style best of all." At a proper time we communicated the message, which the old doctor greatly enjoyed, coming, as he said, from a grand Methodist layman.

Col. Chambers did not relish a "free" gospel, but for those early days was a liberal supporter of the ministry. I think it was his custom to assess himself one hundred and fifty dollars annually for that special purpose.

He was a prominent advocate of family religion, and never neglected the daily sacrifice at his fireside altar. It is not to be wondered at that he had the gift of prayer in a large measure. He died as he lived, being strong in the faith and giving glory to God.

Part 2

 

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HON. T. M. FURLOW.

When I was stationed in Americus, in 1858-59, Hon. T. M. Furlow was the leading steward of that excellent pastoral charge. He was a wealthy planter and contributed largely of his ample means to the support of every interest of the church. His beautiful home had its "prophet chamber," and he and his excellent wife dispensed a full-handed hospitality to their numerous guests.

In the great revival of 1858 he renewed, as he told me, his consecration to God, and notwithstanding his fortune was wrecked by the war, he remained steadfast in his loyalty to the church.

He was several times a representative of his county in the State legislature, and at one time was a candidate for governor, but was defeated in the contest. He was reluctant to take part in the public exercises of the sanctuary, but would do so on the call of his pastor. He usually led the singing of the congregation, and on a few occasions he conducted the prayer-meeting, but usually he shrank from prominence in these distinctively devotional services.

He was deeply interested in Sabbath-school work, and was seldom absent from his post of duty.

The closing years of Brother Furlow's life were shadowed by severe physical suffering. It is

 

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sad to think that one who had done so much for the alleviation of human suffering should himself be a chronic sufferer and actually pass away under the surgeon's knife. But his departure, though sudden, was peaceful and happy.

 

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JOSEPH WINSHIP.

Joseph Winship was a native of Massachusetts, but came South in, settling first at Clinton, in Jones county. There he established a gin factory and laid the foundation of his worldly fortune.

At a later period, about 1848, he came to Atlanta, then in its infancy and projected a manufacturing enterprise which has gradually developed into the present immense plant of the Winship Machine works, under the joint ownership of his two sons, Messrs. George and Robert Winship, whose business now covers no small part of the Southern States.

"Uncle Joe," as he was familiarly known, was thoroughly Methodistic in his religious tastes and habitudes, and not less thorough in the cleanness of his business methods. Nobody that knew him ever questioned his personal integrity, for his word was in any market as good as his bond.

 

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In the run of a dozen years he accumulated a snug fortune, but he suffered serious financial losses by the disasters of the civil war. He came out of the furnace, however, with unsullied honor and unimpaired credit, and although he had long passed the meridian of life, he resumed his work with undiminished energy.

As to his churchmanship, which was the best side of his life and character, it was never shaken by these reverses. One of his noblest traits was his steadfastness of aim in matters alike temporal and spiritual.

Few of the pioneer citizens of Atlanta did more to build up not only Methodism but Christianity, in the city than Joseph Winship. His contributions to church enterprises in all parts of the city and amongst all denominations were generous in proportion to his ability.

In his attendance on the church he was both uniform and prompt. He did not like to be conspicuous, but when duty required it he never faltered.

He was a man of excellent practical sense and his judgment was rarely at fault, whether in regard to men or measures.

We have alluded to his Northern birth, but his fidelity to the South all through the war and through the reconstruction period which followed, was unwavering. In this respect he was like his younger brother, Mr. Isaac Winship, who was likewise faithful to his adopted section. Both

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these brothers were amongst Atlanta's worthiest citizens and were staunch pillars in the structure of Atlanta Methodism.

 

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H. V. M. MILLER, LL. D.,
"THE DEMOSTHENES OF THE MOUNTAINS."

Few men in Georgia are so widely known or so generally admired as the distinguished subject of this biographical sketch. His days are now in the sere and yellow leaf, he having passed the four-score years of the Hebrew psalmist, and yet he seems in the main to be hale and hearty, with a buoyancy of spirits and a capacity, whether for labor or endurance, that not many men retain who have barely passed the sixtieth milestone in the journey of life.

Dr. Miller is a native of South Carolina, and was born near the present town of Walhalla, April, 1814.

His ancestors in the paternal line, were staunch whigs of the revolutionary period, one of his granduncles having fallen in the battle of the Cowpens.

Andrew Miller, his father, commanded a company in the second British war, being attached to the regiment of Colonel Homer Virgil Milton, a

 

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gallant officer, from whom our subject derives his unwieldy prenomen.

 

Andrew Miller was a man of fair education, but a farmer by taste and practice. He removed from South Carolina to Tennessee valley, in Rabun county, Georgia, when his distinguished son was only five years old. In that sequestered region, far away from the centers of commerce and advanced civilization, young Miller grew up to manhood. The school advantages of this rural section were exceedingly limited, but the future orator and medical scientist was blessed with a mother (nee Miss Cheri) of Huguenotic descent, and besides a woman of liberal culture. This mother, who was a Virginian by birth, devoted much of her time to the education of her son, and to her he was indebted for a thorough training in the rudiments of the English language. In the absence of public school facilities, his father employed a Mr. McMullen, a graduate of the University of Dublin, to take charge of the higher education of his two boys, of whom Homer was the younger. He was, as might well be supposed, a bright lad, who made rapid strides in his studies, and at an early age had mastered the usual academic course in Greek, Latin and mathematics. Like a majority, however, of really great men, he was in a large measure self-educated.

Having access to his father's well-selected library, he devoured with avidity very many of the

 

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English classics, and acquired thereby a style of writing and speaking which in after life has been characterized by force and elegance. Shakespeare and the English Bible were especial favorites and from the world's great dramatist, and King James' version, and we may add from the mountain peaks, notably "Pickens' Nose," that towered above his valley home, he drew much of that inspiration which enabled him at a later period to sway the stormiest popular assemblies, and won for him the well-deserved title, "The Demosthenes of the Mountains."

 

But we anticipate. When Dr. Miller was a boy a party of United States officers sojourned for a time at his father's house.

This party consisted of Captain Bache, afterwards connected with the coast survey, Lieutenant Pleasanton, distinguished during the late civil war as a cavalry commander, and Lieutenant Wragg, a grandson of Benjamin Franklin.

These officers were sent out by the Federal government to survey a canal route to unite the waters of the Tennessee and the Savannah. Like the Cumberland mountain road and other similar enterprises, it was designed to establish better social and commercial relations between the Atlantic slope and the trans-Alleghany department. There existed then, partly because of the political intrigues of Aaron Burr and General Wilkinson, a lively and perhaps reasonable apprehension that

 

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these two great divisions of the national territory would drift apart to such a degree that in some unlooked-for political convulsion there might be territorial dismemberment. That, indeed, in the early years of the present century, was a sectional issue scarcely less patent and alarming than that other issue which afterwards disrupted the Federal union.

 

Nothing practical ever came of this proposed survey, but the same object has since been sought to be accomplished by the construction of the Rabun Gap railroad.

During the stay of these army officers at the elder Miller's house, they were struck by the brilliancy of his younger son, and plied the father with earnest entreaties that when of a suitable age he would send his son to West Point for a military training. The suggestion was not unpleasant to either father or son, and for some months was a topic of fireside discussion with the family. But the lad, not a great while thereafter, was thrown from his horse, sustaining a severe fracture of the thigh, disabling him for a military career. Henceforth the thought of West Point was dismissed and young Miller turned his aims and aspirations towards the medical profession. In carrying out this purpose he entered the office of Dr. Thomas Hamilton, a resident of Troup county, and fifty years ago one of the most eminent physicians of Georgia. In 1835, after the usual attendance on

 

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lectures, he graduated at the medical college of Charleston, S. C. He was a first-honor man and also won a prize for the best English thesis. His subject was Chylosis, and he defeated not less than seven contestants. At the commencement exercises, the young doctor was booked for a reply to the presentation speech of Professor Moultrie, who awarded the prize on behalf of the college faculty. In this, his first appearance as a platform speaker, he brought down the house by his wit and eloquence. After graduation, he located at Cassville, Ga., a thriving up-country town, and subsequently married Miss Harriet Clark, a niece of Hon. John W. Hooper, the judge of the Cherokee circuit. This wife of his youth not long ago passed away, but sacred memories of her devotion yet abide to brighten and bless the evening of his useful life.

 

In order, however, to finish his professional education, Dr. Miller spent two years (1837 and 1838) in Europe, chiefly in Paris. Here he enjoyed the lectures and attended the clinics of such medical savants as Velpeau, Ricord, Neliton and others of only less distinction.

While reading in Paris he acquired the French language which he still speaks with readiness and correctness. At the same time he gave considerable attention to the best French literature.

Returning to his home in Cassville, Ga., he very soon secured a large and lucrative practice. Such, indeed, was his professional reputation that in

 

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1847, when but thirty-three years of age, he was elected to the chair of obstetrics in the medical college at Memphis, Tennessee. Here he served with success for three years, when he met with the saddest bereavement of his life--the death of his daughter, little Floy, a sweet promising child of ten years. This domestic sorrow led to the resignation of his professorship at Memphis. In the following year he accepted the chair of physiology and pathological anatomy in the Medical College of Georgia, at Augusta. This connection was continued sixteen years, until his removal from Rome to Atlanta in 1867. Since coming to Atlanta he has been a professor in the Atlanta Medical College, and much of the time an editor of the Atlanta Medical Journal. As a lecturer on almost any branch of medicine or surgery, it may be questioned if he has a superior on the American continent. He has contributed at wide intervals to the press, medical and political, but his writings have been mainly of a fugitive sort, whether the result of modesty or mental indolence, as some have surmised, we shall not undertake to decide. This writer, who has known him for nearly half a century, has more than once gently chided him for the failure to discharge a duty which a great English jurist declared that every man owed to his profession. To this soft impeachment he has almost uniformly replied: "I never wrote but one book of about 200 manuscript pages, and a pet

 

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dog seized it and dragged it through the mud until it was illegible, and that was the beginning and end of my authorship." There is another aspect of Dr. Miller's life-work, which is by no means less interesting than that which we have just considered.

 

From the outset of his public career, even if not at an earlier period, he had a decided taste for politics. Andrew Miller, his father, while a thrifty planter, was likewise a politician. He was at least of sufficient prominence to be placed on the whig electoral ticket in the Harrison campaign of 1840, as one of the electors for the State at large. It was not strange that his son should have a bias in the same direction. As early as 1844, Dr. Miller, then thirty years of age, received the whig nomination for congress in the old Fifth district. He was selected because of his ability to lead a forlorn hope, the Fifth being the Gibraltar of the democracy.

Hon. John H. Lumpkin, his opponent, was a gentleman of unblemished private character, of fair scholarship and a political tactician of no mean ability. At the same time, like George Washington and other worthies, he was troubled with "an inadequacy of speech" that rendered him utterly helpless on the hustings, when confronted by such an antagonist as Miller.

A great many very laughable things are still told by the older residents of the district, of that

 

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memorable campaign. Miller was thoroughly equipped for the fray. His resources, whether of sober history or sparkling anecdote; whether of overwhelming argument or thrilling appeal, were seemingly inexhaustible. He kept country and town, from the Tennessee line to the Chattahoochee river, in a roar of laughter at the expense of his opponent. On other occasions he made his mountain audiences stare with wonder and shout themselves hoarse with thunderous applause as he achieved those sunward flights of oratory that were not unworthy of Sergeant S. Prentiss in his palmiest days. Hitherto Miller's fame as an orator had been provincial--confined to village debating societies or county conventions--but when he stepped on a broader arena it soon became statewide, and in some degree, national in its extent. Very naturally, comparisons were instituted between Miller and his whig contemporaries, Toombs and Stephens, and such comparisons were rarely to his disadvantage. Having had some knowledge of all of them, I am free to say that whilst in tone and gesture and majestic statue, Toombs was grandly pre-eminent, and whilst Stephens was unequaled in incisiveness of speech and forcefulness of appeal, yet it is no injustice to the dead tribune or the dead commoner to say that the oratory of Miller, when at his best, was more magnetic than that of either, or both of them. Perhaps it was Sir James McIntosh who said of

 

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Charles James Fox, that he was more Demosthenian than any orator since Demosthenes. In his prime Miller belonged to the school of Fox as a popular orator. It is a significant fact that the democratic party adjudged it necessary to reinforce their greatly badgered and closely beleaguered candidate in their strongest democratic district.

 

Among the able debaters sent to the rescue was Walter T. Colquitt, who crossed swords with Miller on divers occasions. At such times it was a battle of giants. Colquitt, we believe, was the first to christen his opponent "the Demosthenes of the Mountains." In reply to Colquitt's story of the "Texas Filly," which always produced yells of laughter, Miller charged that both Lumpkin and Colquitt deserved a vote of censure for neglecting to introduce a bill for the admission of Texas in the usual way. He alleged that the proposed plan of admitting Texas by treaty was clearly unconstitutional. This scheme for the annexation of Texas, first suggested by Miller, was the plan ultimately adopted by the Polk administration.

Of course, the contest between Lumpkin and Miller could have but one issue. The former entered the fight, backed by a party majority of nearly four thousand--but that majority was greatly reduced at the next October election. It is barely probable that but for the annexation plank in the democratic platform, even that reduced majority might have been wiped out, and political gravitation

 

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turned the other way in that ancient democratic stronghold.

 

At any rate, Miller was overwhelmed with congratulations and crowned with laurels.

Henceforth he was a principal figure in all the State campaigns. He canvassed actively for Gordon in his contest with Bullock, and we have reason to know that our former noble governor highly appreciated his able and valiant services.

In 1868, Dr. Miller, along with Flynn, Angier, and Dunning, was elected from Fulton to the constitutional convention of that year. In that body, ably assisted by Trammell, Waddell, and many others, he rendered invaluable service to the commonwealth. This he did chiefly by keeping under restraint the sans-culottic elements, as well as the aggressive doctrinaires who were for the time being in the ascendancy. The result was that the constitution then framed and subsequently adopted required very little correction or amendment in 1877. The same year (1868) there were two senatorial vacancies at Washington that needed to be filled by the legislature. Miller, without the usual buttonholing and lobbying of the demagogue, was nominated by the democratic minority of the legislature for the short term. E. F. Blodgett was nominated by the opposition. At the same time ex-Governor Brown was nominated by the republicans for the long term. Hon. Joshua Hill became an independent candidate for the same position.

 

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Miller was elected on the second ballot by a handsome majority, receiving the democratic strength, a considerable portion of the conservative republicans, and a single vote from the colored contingent.

 

Brown was defeated by a very small majority, and Miller and Hill were granted the executive credentials.

Meanwhile, congress adjourned, and no opportunity was afforded the newly-elected senators to present their credentials until the following December.

During this interval the Georgia legislature expelled the colored brother, and this quite naturally raised a howl of indignation throughout the North. As a consequence, the credentials of both Miller and Hill were lodged for a long time in the committee room.

A new reconstruction scheme was inaugurated. A. L. Harris, a fresh importation from Ohio, was designated to reorganize the legislative department of the government. He proceeded to reinstate the negroes, and at the same time to remove obnoxious democrats. After this the legislature elected another pair of senators--H. P. Farrow and Richard H. Whitely. In the end, however, Miller and Hill were admitted, the latter, who was a thorough republican, after a few months delay, the former an avowed democrat only seven days before the expiration of the term for which he had

 

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been chosen. When sworn in, Miller was the only Southern democrat in that august body. During his protracted stay in Washington, Dr. Miller had secured the personal friendship of the leading republican senators, and as no partisan purpose could be subserved by his longer exclusion, the majority voted to seat him at the eleventh hour. He made not a single speech during his brief senatorial term, but it was arranged by the democratic minority that, in a certain contingency, he should speak on some pending measure. Unluckily for the country at large, that contingency never arose. From that date Dr. Miller's personal connection with State or national politics came to a close, except that he occasionally addressed the people during presidential campaigns. During the Greeley campaign he spoke to a packed house in Atlanta, and the memory of that remarkable oration yet lingers. An eminent jurist has recently said that it was the grandest speech to which he ever listened. In the same campaign he made a wonderful speech in Raleigh, N. C., which Governor Graham pronounced the ablest ever made in that city. In Columbus, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn., he likewise made phenomenal speeches.

 

Having briefly commented on the leading events of his long and somewhat chequered life, it is in order to attempt some general estimate of his character and capacity. This estimate must needs be brief, as we do not propose to transcend our prescribed limits.

 

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Aside from his native endowments which are confessedly of a high order, Dr. Miller is noted for his multifarious learning. His information on almost every subject is not only very large as to the amount of it, but it is thoroughly accurate. He has read more extensively than almost any Georgian of his generation, and he retains everything that he reads. He is unquestionably more familiar with ancient and modern history than any man, young or old, that we have chanced to meet in the course of a long lifetime. This is not said for a present purpose. On the contrary, years ago, in a contribution to a leading daily paper, we stated that he might be properly styled the "admirable Crichton" of his time.

The late Mr. Grady held a similar opinion in regard to the vastness and variety of his attainments. In every emergency he sought his advice, and every great speech of his life was submitted to his criticism. There was something touching in the close and confidential relationship of these two great men. They had some gifts alike and Mr. Grady did not more reverence his venerable friend than did Dr. Miller admire Grady's brilliancy and thorough originality. He has been known to say that Mr. Grady was developing more rapidly at the time of his death than during any former period of his life.

It is proper to add that Dr. Miller deserves a high rank as a conversationalist. His perfect self-poise,

 

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even in the presence of such men as Macaulay, Thackeray, Calhoun, Clay, and lesser lights, and his absolute and ready command of his intellectual resources fitted him to shine in any circle.

 

The beauty of his private life is next in importance to his strong religious convictions. He has little sympathy with a progressive theology, but warmly affects a simple, old-fashioned gospel, such as he heard in other days from the lips of Glenn, Payne, Parks, and the Pierces. Some years ago he retired from his official position as a lay preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. This step was taken against the protest of very many friends, but he was moved thereto by his strong sense of duty. He has never wavered in his attachment to the church itself, and is still a consistent and liberal member of the Trinity congregation of this city.

As may be learned from a previous statement in this sketch, he is now eighty-one years of age, but still occupies responsible positions as medical lecturer, practicing physician, and trustee of thirty years standing of the University of Georgia. It may not be said of him, as is said by inspiration of Moses at a riper age, that his eyes are not dimmed nor his natural force abated, but thousands throughout Georgia and the whole South will in regard to him join in the pious wish of the Latin poet:" Serus in cælum redeas.
"

Part 5

 

   page 224  
DR. T. O. POWELL.

This distinguished superintendent of the Georgia Lunatic Asylum at Milledgeville, Ga., has held that highly honorable and responsible position for a series of years.

Under his able supervision it has steadily grown in popularity. At this date the inmates of both races, aggregate nearly two thousand in number.

For this class of unfortunates Dr. Powell has the warmest Christian sympathy and spares no effort to contribute to their well-being, physically and spiritually.

This latter feature of his administration is deserving of special commendation, and in it he has the earnest co-operation of Rev. J. M. White, the chaplain of the institution.

Dr. Powell is a native of Brunswick county, Virginia, of gentle birth and thorough religious training.

His educational opportunities were good from the outset of his academic career. After leaving college he began the study of medicine and in due time graduated with a very high class-standing.

From that period he has grown in public favor, both in Virginia and Georgia.

Now, when but slightly past the meridian of his professional life, he has the prospect of many years of activity, crowned with yet greater honors.

 

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In his specialty his reputation is national, nor indeed is it confined to this country. In Europe he is well and favorably known through the medium of his annual reports. These have often received the hearty endorsement of the ablest medical journalists in both hemispheres.

Dr. T. S. Powell, of Atlanta, his elder half-brother, is himself likewise a Virginian of the "bluest blood," and a physician and churchman of deserved celebrity.

He is very generally known as the founder of the Southern Medical College, which, under his efficient presidency, has become a leading medical institution in the Southern States. He has given a large share of his professional attention to gynecology in its modern acceptation. His lectures on this and its related branches have attracted no little attention in various towns and cities of the South.

His two lectures on "Medical Ethics" and "The True Gentleman" have been widely circulated.

The literary material for an elaborate volume on professional topics will probably at some future day be issued from the press.

It is rarely the case that two brothers have won like prominence in the same or similar lines of professional work.

----

Part 6

 

   page 226  
WALTER T. COLQUITT.

This singularly gifted man was known to me in my early boyhood.

At that date he was famous throughout Georgia as a local preacher of the Methodist church. At the same time he was a statesman who ranked high as a democratic leader in both branches of congress, and who at an earlier period had been distinguished as a circuit judge, and possibly the only one who opened the sessions of his court by thanksgiving and prayer.

In these several capacities he won great renown, especially on the rostrum during the Polk and Dallas campaign in 1844.

I heard him on two or more of these occasions when he swayed his audiences by a style of oratory not thoroughly classical, but forceful as the deliverances of such old-time orators as "honest Nat Macon" and Tom Corwin, of Ohio, with both of whom he differed politically, but whom he resembled closely in his mental characteristics.

There were times, both on the platform and in the pulpit, nor less when addressing a jury, when he spoke with the fervor of the Roman Gracchi. I have seen him more than once get on his knees before a leading juror and talk to him for five minutes with an impassioned earnestness that

 

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carried conviction with it and probably won the verdict for his client.

 

Many who knew him longest and best thought that his greatest speech was delivered in 1848 at Temperance Hall, Columbus. I heard the peroration only, but will never forget how it was greeted by thunders of applause. When I entered on my ministry at Columbus, in 1855, I found him utterly prostrated by age and disease. During my frequent visits to his sick chamber he often spoke of his political and ministerial career. He assured me that at no time, even when the political campaign was the hottest, did he ever waver in his allegiance to his divine Master, nor consciously compromise his character as a minister of the gospel.

Only a few months thereafter he died in Macon, but his remains were brought to Columbus for interment. An immense congregation attended the funeral obsequies.

His old friend, Dr. Lovick Pierce, preached the sermon with a power and a pathos seldom heard on such an occasion.

Part 7

 

   page 228  
BENJAMIN HARVEY HILL.
GEORGIA'S GREATEST SENATOR.

It is difficult to portray in a sketch the remarkable life of Benjamin Harvey Hill, so as to reveal clearly the greatness of the man. It can be said that he was a jurist of unsurpassed ability, but in order to give a just conception of his great powers as a lawyer, it would be necessary to produce the easily-found evidences of his forensic achievements. A sketch may announce his statesmanship in terms of eulogy, which would only whet the desire for the many proofs that can be given of his great grasp of public questions. He was eloquent almost beyond comparison with other men, and yet that declaration does not satisfy the wish for ample description of the wonderful witchery of his tongue. Conscious that not the shadow of justice would be done him in the use of platitudes so often employed in the flattery of men, and also in accordance with the scope of the sketches included in this work, this brief memorandum will deal mainly with his life as a layman of the Church of Christ.

Christianity is not flattered by the allegiance of great minds, and it does not need that rulers shall believe in Christ in order to insure its success

 

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among men. The simple wayfarer, the humble poor, the undistinguished peasant, are equally the honored witnesses of the Truth as it is in Christ Jesus, and such as these have hitherto set at naught the wisdom of the world. Nevertheless, the faith of men like Chief Justice Jackson, Thos. R. R. Cobb, Joseph E. Brown, A. H. Stephens, L. Q. C. Lamar, Alfred H. Colquitt, Benjamin H. Hill, and multitudes more princely spirits such as these, put to shame the infidelity which denies the reasonableness of the soul's great trust in Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the sinner.

 

In commencing this tracing of a great layman's life, one's interest is excited by the fact that his father, John Hill, was one of the early fruits of pioneer Methodism in North Carolina. Converted and imbued with the fresh spirit of the religion which Asbury taught, the young North Carolinian, and his equally pious wife, Sarah Parham, made their first home on the farm at Hillsboro, Jasper county, Georgia. There, John Hill became a steward and class-leader of his church, a trustee of the school, president of the temperance society, and in general a leader of the people in every righteous movement. There, too, in the home of this honest, intelligent farmer and his wife, their seventh child was born, September 4, 1823, whom they named Benjamin Harvey Hill. Ten years afterward, the Hill family moved to Long Cane, in Troup county, Georgia, to a farm in the woods, where the household,

 

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working together, made a bountiful subsistence out of the soil. Ben did his part with the hoe, and held his place at the plow, until the summer school of the neighborhood opened, when he as diligently mastered the rudiments of education. His rapid progress inspired his fond mother with the desire to have him receive a college training, and in order to overcome the obstacle of limited means, devoted the income of her special patch to his use, and made his clothes at home. A good aunt gave a small additional sum, and it was agreed that their son should have the advantages which he craved.

 

Accordingly, in 1841, Ben came to Athens, dressed in gray jeans; tall and slender, with a pale and thoughtful face, and rather shy and awkward. But he was graduated with the first honor, and made a valedictory speech, of which an eminent man said: "That speech stamped the young orator as a man of wonderful power." The best record of his college life, however, is thus stated by Dr. G. J. Orr, who was one of his classmates: "He was a pure and exalted boy, through all my college acquaintance with him. There was not the slightest shadow of immorality in his character." In fact, he had gone to college a converted Christian, and member of the church. His boyhood had passed amidst the influences of the Christian home, his principles were established through the precepts of his father, and his heart

 

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was steadied by the love of his mother, so that the seductions of college life failed to corrupt him.

 

Commencing the practice of law, he chose most happily as his companion for life, Miss Caroline E. Holt, whom he often lovingly alluded to as "the mainspring of my life." The home of the young couple was fixed at LaGrange, and into that new household there entered the salutary influences of the old homestead at Long Cane. The same Bible teaching, the family altar, the welcomed pastor, the love of the church, the domestic honor paid to Christ and his cause in the presence of their children, showed that the reverence for the faith and practice of their ancestors had not departed from the hearts of the young people. Both belonged to the church, and both, in name and deeds, worked together in the benevolent offices of their religion. Mr. Hill was soon made superintendent of the Sunday-school, and we may well conceive how well qualified he was for that position. His activity in the work of his church, and in all local movements for the benefit of the splendid community at LaGrange, manifested his religious as well as his patriotic spirit.

Very quickly his brilliant ability as a lawyer, his eloquence as a public speaker, and his moral worth, became the admiration of Troup county, and, contrary to his own inclinations, he was pushed into political prominence from his early manhood. But this sketch will not permit us to

 

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follow him in that shining path which defeats could not obscure, and where victories merely opened the way to wider usefulness. His political life covered the most exciting and deeply important period in the history of our country. Commencing at the bloom of his young manhood, in 1850, this era went on through a decade which led up to the Confederate war, and afterward included the subsequent years of Reconstruction--a rare era, which demanded rare men, and among them there was no greater than himself. He was a worshipper of an ideal Union, a true lover of his country for his country's sake--a typical patriot! After Georgia seceded from the Union, he was elected as one of its senators in the Confederate Congress, where he maintained with eminent ability the cause of the South, and was the trusted counselor of President Davis. His genius, always luminous, grew in brilliancy amidst the struggles of the new nation, and became still more intense during those years of trial, which followed the defeat of the Confederacy. His greatest thoughts are in "The Notes on the Situation," written during this perilous period. His greatest speeches were made in Georgia, and in the United States Congress, after the war was over. He was at the zenith of his cumulative abilities, when a mysterious malady touched his tongue, and arrested his useful life.

 

In all this remarkable career as a public man, Mr. Hill held fast to the faith of his youth. His growing

 

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household so enjoyed his loving attention that his children blessed him rather for his fatherhood than for his fame, and his ever tender wife thought of him more as her husband than as the leader of his people. His liberality to the church was so marked as to induce a certain reliance on his aid in every enterprise. The orphans' home, the superannuates' fund, the subscriptions for church buildings, the support of the preacher, and, indeed, every other cause of Christ, had no readier and less ostentatious giver. He made money with ease, he lost it without care, he gave it with hearty liberality.

 

The closing of his notable life in "the sad mystery" of the unimagined malady of cancer, has only these consolations, that it brought out clearly to public view how dearly he was loved by the people, and furnished a true witness of the power of Divine grace and truth. For many months, and amidst the most heroic efforts to stay its progress, the dreadful destroyer of his earthly life went steadily on in its fatal work. During these months of suspense, he calmly confronted the possibility of death. Speaking to his wife and children, he said: "It is astonishing how the horrors of death diminish as it approaches. How riches, honors, position, the world's applause, dwindle into insignificance. I lean upon the everlasting arms, and my trust is in Christ." Unable at length to speak distinctly, he wrote upon the leaves of a pad when

 

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he would converse with his family or friends. For one friend, he wrote these words: "My future is uncertain as to time, but not as to fact. I am perfectly resigned; God will take care of me." For another, he wrote: "I believe that God is a living God, and that Christ came into the world to save sinners, and He will save me." And again, upon another slip, he traced these words of faith in the power of the resurrection: "If a grain of corn will die, and then rise again in so much beauty, why may not I die and then rise again in infinite beauty and life? How is the last a greater mystery than the first?"

 

"The world has possession of his last words. It was a few hours preceding his death, when he was rapidly sinking and had not written or spoken a word for many hours. Opening his eyes and arousing himself for a moment, the light of life came full into his eyes once more, and, with a slight effort, he spoke out in clear, triumphant accent, the deathless legend of a soul conquering through Christ and in full view of heaven--'Almost Home!'"

"Men are greatest when they give the greater glory of all their achievements to God, and so live that when they fail on earth, they find a home not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

Part 8

 

   page 235  
JOHN WESLEY STANTON

Was born in Monroe county, Tenn., December 23, 1823. His parents moved to Murray, now Whitfield county, Ga., when he was ten years old. He was converted and joined the Methodist Episcopal church when he was about 18 years of age, under the pastorate of Rev. Wm. Hickey, then a member of the Holston Conference. Since that time he has been an active and prominent member of the church, serving in the various offices held by laymen. His house has always been a home for Methodist preachers.

His ancestors, on both sides, at least for three or four generations, were Methodists. In their homes Methodist preachers not only found a resting place, but often preaching places. Among these preachers was Bishop Asbury, who often preached in the homes of both of Mr. Stanton's grandfathers. His father also entertained the bishop in his home, and the bishop used him very freely. One time he sent for him to pilot him to one of his appointments, and when he came the bishop playfully remarked: "John, I have made your will without consulting you."

Mr. Stanton's mother was a Douthit before her marriage. You can see from his journal that Bishop Asbury often stopped in his home. Also

 

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preached there. Once when he reached their home in South Carolina (they first entertained him while they lived in North Carolina) after a trying journey across the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina, he recorded in his journal that he then "bade a farewell for awhile to filth, fleas, rattlesnakes, hills, mountains and rivers." When she was a girl of five years she used to bathe the bishop's feet when he came in from his long, wearisome journeys. She thus in the true way "washed the saints' feet." Her brothers, James and Samuel Douthit, were for years members of the South Carolina Conference. On circuit and district James served in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, with faithfulness and great success. In a limited way Samuel was an author. "The Zion's Traveler: Hymns and Spiritual Songs by Doctor S. Douthit, 1835," is a book of 148 pages, containing 84 hymns and several essays.

 

The subject of this sketch married Miss Lucinda White Hale, of Bradley county, Tenn., March, 1843. They lived in what is now Whitfield county, Georgia, until 1863, when they moved to Gordon county, Ga., where they now live. They raised nine children, six boys and three girls, all of whom are now living, and gathered at the old home in a family reunion only last year. They are all members of the Methodist church except the oldest son, and he is a prominent layman

 

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in the Baptist church. Two of his sons are members of the North Georgia Conference.

 

Mr. Stanton was in the Confederate army during the civil war. Whether in camp or on battlefield, he was regarded as a brave soldier and Christian gentleman. Though always taking a lively interest in politics, he was never a politician. Nor was he ever an office-seeker, but served his county in the legislature in 1866-67.

----

JAMES JACKSON.
THE CHRISTIAN JURIST.

This eminent layman was a lineal descendant of that far-famed governor of Georgia, who, Prometheus-like, brought down fire from Heaven that he might consume the records of the memorable "Yazoo Fraud." For this act of disinterested patriotism and unswerving official integrity his memory will be honored by all true Georgians to the latest generation.

Chief Justice Jackson, during his lifetime, from his first entrance into political leadership and all through his judicial career, exhibited a moral courage not unlike that of his illustrious ancestor. As a

 

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statesman he won high rank in the halls of legislation, but his crowning distinction was the purity of his private life and his incorruptible integrity as a judicial officer. For both these reasons he might be justly named the Sir Mathew Hale of the Georgia bench. To these general statements we subjoin these other details:

 

Nearly fifty years ago, this writer, then in his boyhood, met him for the first time during a session of the State legislature at Milledgeville.

He was at that time an aspirant for judicial honors, for which his friends made a vigorous and successful canvass in his behalf. He was backed by the solid Cobb and Jackson influence, which even then was well-nigh omnipotent in State affairs.

From that date he was conspicuous as a popular leader, and seldom failed to secure the suffrages of a handsome majority of his fellow-citizens.

Thoroughly educated, an orator of striking endowments, and better than all, a churchman devoted to the doctrines and practices of old-time Methodism, he had on every occasion a large and influential following.

Early in life he wedded Miss Addie Mitchell, daughter of Hon. Walter H. Mitchell, a prominent state official. This beautiful and accomplished woman was the mother of his children and shared with him the trials and triumphs of his professional

 

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life until God called her to a better estate in the heavenly home. This domestic bereavement brought him into closer communion with God, and henceforward his religious life was adorned by the choicest gifts of the Holy Spirit.

 

On all proper occasions he was ready to testify for the Master, and his fervent appeals to sinners were characterized by a pathos and a power that made him not less useful as a lay preacher than he was renowned as a jurist.

The older members of First church, Atlanta, have not forgotten his class-meeting talks, and the echoes of his exhortations at the midweek prayer service still linger in the basement of the mother church.

The closing years of Chief Justice Jackson were spent on the bench of the supreme court, a branch of the public service to which he was eminently adapted by reason of taste, temperament and professional acquirements.

His death was regarded by his countrymen, especially by the legal fraternity, as a public calamity.

His second wife, who survives him, was a sweet-spirited mother to the children of his first marriage, and did much to soothe and cheer him in the disease and suffering of his old age.

Part 10

 

   page 240  
W. R. HAMMOND.

The professional career of this gifted Methodist layman has but few parallels in the history of the Georgia judiciary.

Graduating at the State University at twenty-two years of age he not only carried off the highest honors of that institution, but secured the highest class mark ever attained by any student up to the time of his graduation. Entering at once on the study of the law in his father's office he made such rapid progress that in less than ten years he was a conspicuous figure at the Atlanta bar, with a lucrative practice.

Two years thereafter he was chosen by the State legislature to fill the unexpired term of Judge George Hillyer on the Atlanta circuit and at the ensuing election for the full term of four years. Such had been the brilliancy of his past administration that he was again elected by the legislature, practically without a dissenting or an opposing ballot, in the joint session of the general assembly.

Considering the weighty responsibility attached to the judgeship of the Atlanta circuit, this result was well-nigh without precedent in the judicial record of the commonwealth.

 

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At the close, however, of the first year of this second term of judicial service he felt constrained by the inadequacy of the salary, to retire from the position. Thereupon he resumed his law practice in connection with Hon. John I. Hall, one of the ablest jurists of Georgia, and at present assistant to the attorney general of the United States. The firm of Hall & Hammond is still, however, intact.

For a number of years Judge Hammond has been retained as leading counsel in some of the most important cases which have been adjudicated in the Atlanta courts. Not unfrequently, also, his arguments in the supreme court have been complimented by the presiding judges of that eminent tribunal. One instance of this sort occurred on the final hearing of the writ of error in the celebrated Cox case. The lower court had found the defendant guilty, and he was sentenced to a lite term of imprisonment. On the review of the case in the supreme court Judge Hammond, by arrangement, appeared in the role of leading counsel. His argument was a notable one, so much so that he was profusely complimented by bench and bar. A majority of the court affirmed the decision of the court below, but Judge Warner delivered a very able and elaborate dissenting opinion. A distinguished member of the Atlanta bar states that Judge Hammond's speech was one of the most masterful to which he had ever listened, and that beyond question it elicited the dissenting

----

 

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opinion of Judge Warner, which opinion afterwards led to the pardoning of Mr. Cox by Governor Stephens.

 

On more than one occasion Judge Warner is credibly reported to have said in private circles that the Hammond speech in the Cox case was equal to the best he ever heard in the supreme court.

This was a notable tribute from a high quarter, and yet it was fully merited, if our information is reliable.

We refer to this particular case for the reason that it awakened a wide public interest, and for the additional reason that it involved great principles of criminal jurisprudence.

In both these respects it deserves to rank with the memorable Crowninshield case in Massachusetts, in which Mr. Webster won as many laurels as in his grand argument in the Dartmouth College case. This forensic achievement of Judge Hammond in the Cox case is alone sufficient to entitle him to very high consideration as a well-equipped and successful advocate.

In this pen picture of one of Atlanta's foremost jurists, we may not overlook the fact that Judge Hammond has, from his early manhood, been a student of standard literature. Few men are better versed in history, poetry and the best class of fiction. From these sources he has drawn inspiration for the lecture platform and the popular assembly.

 

   page 243  
I was several years ago one of a large audience that heard, with great satisfaction and profit, a commencement address which he delivered at the LaGrange Female College on "Memory and Hope."

 

While the main drift of this admirable address was didactic, yet it was embellished with flights of thrilling oratory, and now and then enlivened with choice bits of the best humor. From time to time its delivery was punctuated by hearty applause, showing that he was en rapport with his delighted audience. At another time he presented the Sophomore prizes at Emory College commencement, and from that address we have been permitted to make but a single brief extract. His well-chosen theme for the occasion was "The Conditions of Success in Public Speaking."

"The art of the orator, young gentlemen, consists chiefly in compelling the attention of an indifferent or even unwilling hearer. Some of you, I am quite sure, have heard of the question which the bishop of London propounded to David Garrick, the Roscius of the British stage. 'How is it,' asked the bishop, 'that you who speak fiction can powerfully arouse the emotions of an audience, while I, who speak to them of the weightest matters, can scarcely get their attention?' 'Because,' was the reply, 'you speak truths as if it were fiction, while I speak fiction as if it were truth.' If the bishop had given as much study to

 

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the art of expression as the great actor had done, he might have found that his delighted audience would have heard him gladly.

 

"The manner of serving our thoughts to others may be likened somewhat to the manner of serving a meal. Food may be of the best quality and rendered thoroughly digestible by suitable cooking, yet be served in such a way as not only not to tempt, but to be utterly repulsive. On the other hand it may be so daintily arranged and so delicately served as almost to compel the appetite of the weakest invalid."

"But I would not wish to be understood as unduly emphasizing the mere external graces and embellishments of oratory. There is a deeper and more subtle element which enters into and exercises a controlling influence over the orator's manner which is far more important. It is that which gives him individuality, and that almost indefinable thing which we call personal magnetism, by which he establishes a direct communication, between his own spirit and that of his hearers. He thus comes into harmony with them. When thus catching the gleam of intelligent apprehension and the glow of responsive feeling in their faces, he gets an inspiration which enables him to rise to the loftiest and grandest heights of eloquence." These few terse sentences embody the whole art, and philosophy of elocution.

 

   page 245  

Less than a year ago Judge Hammond delivered, during the session of the Southern Teachers' Association in this city, an excellent address on "Moral Instruction in Primary Schools." By general consent it was considered one of the most edifying deliverances of that interesting occasion. During his long connection with the Atlanta Board of Education he has bestowed much thought on methods of teaching, and our public school system has been greatly benefited by his judicious counsels. In the outset of this sketch we made incidental reference to Judge Hammond's consecration to Christian duty, and some enlargement on that phase of his character is not only allowable, but imperative.

For more than twenty years he has been a worthy office-bearer of Trinity church, and has always been ready for sacrifices or service when the opportunity was offered.

Emerson says that the average Englishman, greatly honored Lord Palmerston, because on every Sabbath morning he was seen wending his way to church with his prayer-book under his arm. A visitor to Trinity Sunday-school will rarely miss the pleasant face of this Christian jurist, nor will he often find his pew vacant at the morning or evening services. This means much or little according as we measure life or estimate character from a religious or an infidel standpoint.

Part 11

 

   page 246  
WM. A. HEMPHILL.

Nearly thirty years ago, when stationed at First church in Athens, I heard this then young Confederate soldier often commended for his industrious habits when at home, and his gallantry after he went to the battle-fields of Virginia.

He seems to have been from his earliest boyhood a promising lad, who did much to assist his aged parents in their declining years. He was recognized by the best citizens of his native town as destined to a life of enterprise and usefulness.

These anticipations were realized, when, after the war, he embarked in business in the city of Atlanta.

It was singularly fortunate that he conceived the project of founding the Atlanta Constitution, long since become one of the most prosperous journals of the South.

This is but one of the leading business schemes in which he has invested both money and labor.

He has seemed to appreciate and accept the advice of Mr. Wesley to his preachers "never be unemployed, and never triflingly employed." His working qualities are remarkable, and much of his time he does the labor of two or three men.

This, however, is but the business side of Brother Hemphill's character. He carries the same methods of activity into his churchmanship.

 

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He was a leading steward of Trinity church twenty-five years ago, and he is always consulted in the management of its financial affairs. For fourteen years he has been the superintendent of Trinity Sunday-school, which is much the largest in the city, and conducted with singular skill in all its departments. He is likewise active in the social meetings of the church, speaks well in the lovefeast and conducts the prayer-meeting at times with great satisfaction to the pastor and congregation.

He has, in the progress of years, accumulated a handsome fortune, and has expended no little of his gains in public and private benefactions.

He made a single contribution of five thousand dollars to Emory College, and half that amount to the Barclay mission, one of the noblest charities of the Gate City.

Nor is he proportionately less liberal in judicious almsgiving.

The Atlanta Constitution, of which he is the financial manager, stands ready, in seasons of general depression and suffering, to do its full share for the relief of the poor of the city.

In all these respects Brother Hemphill has been mindful of the precept "to do good and to communicate forget not."

Part 12

 

   page 248  
COL. W. W. BOYD.

My first knowledge of Bishop Andrew as the president of an Annual Conference was at Americus, in 1856.

As we came out of the Conference room at the close of the morning session, he remarked to me, "Brother Scott, a private word with you." We stepped aside in the churchyard and he said with a smile, "I am glad to be informed that your Marietta charge desire very much your return for the second year." I replied, "Bishop, I should be sorry to think that my official board had made any formal application of the sort, for I enjoined upon them to leave the whole matter in your hands." "I understand that," he said, "quite perfectly, but I received to-day from the Georgia Military Institute a petition signed by every cadet very respectfully asking for your re-appointment. It is," said he, "my first experience of the sort, and is gratifying to me." I subsequently learned that my excellent friend, Col. W. W. Boyd, the commissary of the Institute, was foremost in the movement.

This gentleman and his pious wife were members of my charge, the latter having been Miss Brem, of Charlotte, N. C.

Col. Boyd was a man of splendid physique, of liberal culture, and during the late civil war was

 

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greatly distinguished for his personal gallantry in some of the hardest campaigns of that four years' conflict.

 

He commanded the 19th Georgia regiment attached to the famous fighting legion of General William Phillips.

Col. Boyd was a South Carolinian by birth and a devoted friend of General Frank Caper, for a number of years the able superintendent of the Georgia Military Institute. A large number of those who graduated under his tuition, amongst them General P. M. B. Young and Col. John Milledge, made reputations during the war, both in the east and west. The McCleskey boys, of Athens, and Dr. Todd, of Atlanta, were in the number of the junior cadets that won their spurs at Resaca, Gris-woldville and Oconee bridge.

The last named Dr Todd, is a staunch Methodist and leading physician of the Gate City, who carries in his "empty sleeve" the badge of his youthful bravery.

Col. Boyd did not linger many years after the war, but died, leaving behind his estimable wife.

His son, Wallace W. Boyd, is a prominent manufacturer of Atlanta, and an official member of the First Presbyterian church, of that city.

He is a worthy son, with a noble lineage and a charming Christian household.

Part 13

 

   page 250  
GREEN B. HAYGOOD.

Green B. Haygood, Esq., was a lawyer of prominence at the Atlanta bar, when the present city was but a babe in the woods with undreamed of possibilities.

At the same time Brother Haygood was a Methodist of the primitive type before the higher criticism had invaded the pulpit, or the pew had been infected by the spirit of worldliness and lost its relish for the fervent response of the amen corner.

Looked at from a phrenological standpoint, he combined the lymphatic and bilious temperaments, with a clear preponderance of the former, as indicated by his massive physical and mental structure. He was somewhat lacking in enthusiasm, but his religious convictions were deep and abiding, and whether in storm or shine, he was true to his church, and a valiant champion of the right in things great and small, as he was enabled to see it.

As a jurist, he ranked with the foremost of his contemporaries, reaching his conclusions by a slow but sure process of reasoning.

He was always in sympathy with the masses, but as far removed from demagogism as the veriest patrician of the Coriolanus stripe. For this reason, mainly, he was seldom called to any official

 

   page 251  
position outside of church affairs. In these ecclesiastical matters he was always at the front in devising and executing schemes for the enlargement of the visible kingdom of Christ.

 

When Wesley Chapel was no longer adequate to the demands of Methodism in both North and South Atlanta, he was one of the first to enlist in an effort to establish Trinity church. In this enterprise he had the hearty co-operation of E. E. Rawson, Frank Richardson, Rev. Lewis Lawshe, and other leading southsiders. For some while the school-room of Mrs. Haygood, on McDonough street, was occupied for religious services. Afterwards, precise date unknown, a building lot was purchased fronting on what is now Capitol square, and a brick church of antique style was erected, named Trinity, where the congregation worshiped for many years, steadily growing in wealth and numbers.

The outcome of this movement is now seen in the splendid edifice which adorns the junction of Whitehall street and Trinity avenue.

Brother Haygood was blessed in his domestic relations with a discreet, pious wife, whose praise is known in both hemispheres through the worth and work of Bishop Haygood and that extraordinary woman, Miss Laura Haygood, of our Chinese mission. This elect lady survived the husband of her youth, who went to his heavenly reward more

 

   page 252  
than thirty years ago, while the nation was being stricken with the throes of a great revolution.

 

Brother Haygood died as he lived, without a blot on his name, leaving but little else than this as a heritage to his wife and children.

----

Y. L. G. HARRIS,
"THE MAN OF ROSS."

This distinguished Methodist layman was strikingly averse to newspaper notoriety.

As far as practicable he hid himself from public observation except when duty called him before the footlights. Then he was self-possessed, but never self-assertive, and impressed all classes by his admirable bearing and excellent judgment on all questions of general interest.

Of course, he was not free from mistakes, but they were usually on the side of a charity both Christly and courageous.

Now that he has gone to his heavenly rest and reward it is altogether proper that the press, secular and religious, should speak reverently and lovingly of his memory.

Indeed, his life and character furnish an object lesson for the careful study of a generation more appreciative of intellectual greatness than of moral

 

   page 253  
goodness. It would, however, be a grave error to suppose that he was deficient in culture. His knowledge of books and men was both exact and extensive, and he had a stock of reserved force that availed him in every emergency of his long and chequered life.

 

In many respects he was not unlike Samuel Budgett, the Christian merchant of Bristol, who accumulated a princely fortune and whom an English writer has ranked with the great men of the present century.

We are not at present concerned with dates or events, but purpose to speak of the more striking traits of his character. Not the least of them was his methodical habits in both religion and business. This was one great secret of his life success.

During the fifty years that he was superintendent of the Sabbath-school, it is mathematically certain that except in sickness or necessary absence from the city or intensely bad weather, he was never five minutes late in reaching the school. During the nearly thirty years that he was president of the Southern Mutual Insurance Company, that from a lowly beginning he built up into an immense corporation, he was as punctually at his desk as the stroke of the University bell.

No one better understood the value of minutes and the equation of time.

 

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Of excellent social qualities, his engagements of that sort were never suffered to interfere with his business.

He read the Scriptures and said his family and private prayers by the clock. This was from no love for method for its own sake, but because he recognized its importance as a means of accomplishing the work of the day.

Sir William Hamilton attributed his success as a philosopher to the stringency of his method, and Judge Harris has more than once said to me that without it his life would be a failure, so many and urgent were the demands on his time.

But there was another side to his character. His personal piety was of a high order, and throughout the fifty odd years of his church membership he enjoyed the utmost confidence of his brethren, amongst whom were such men as the Hulls, the Popes, the Carltons, the Cloptons and the Harrises, of Athens.

Judge Harris had in an eminent degree a devotional spirit. He loved the sanctuary and its ordinances as did David and the aged Simeon. Especially did he love the prayer services, and for many years he was, in the observance of them, the acknowledged leader of the midweek prayer-meeting.

Few of our ablest ministers had a better gift of prayer. Like Asbury Hull, he was a model class-leader, and both of them, although not so designated officially, were excellent lay-preachers.

 

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In the noonday prayer-meeting, of which Bro. Harris was the main support, he very often exhibited rare ability as an expositor of the Scriptures.

But after all, his chief distinction lay in his abundant charity. He was a thorough Methodist, and yet he loved all the true disciples of the Master. Not a Christian in Athens of any denomination but can testify to this fact. No feature of his character has attracted more attention than his liberal almsgiving and his large benefactions to churches and colleges. He built, single-handed, the first Southern Methodist church in China at a cost of several thousand dollars. From that date he went forward with increased liberality, building other churches, endowing colleges and public libraries, until it has been estimated that in the last thirty years of his life his contributions to public and private charities have aggregated considerably more than one hundred thousand dollars. There seemed to be no limit to his generosity. While he left an estate valued at one hundred thousand dollars, yet it will be probably found that he has made other bequests that have not been divulged.

Truly this is a noble record, not equaled in the history of Georgia. Having known him for sixty years, I can truthfully say that in all the relations of life he was an Israelite indeed in whom there was no guile.

 

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In the matter of his deeds of charity he was not less self-sacrificing than a noted layman whom Alexander Pope, in his "Moral Essays," has called "The Man of Ross," and of whom he has most beautifully sung in this wise:"

Who builds a church to God and not to fame,
Will never mark the marble with his name;
Go search it there, where to be born and die,
Of rich and poor makes all the history.
 
"

 

----

DENNIS F. HAMMOND,
JURIST AND LAY PREACHER.

This widely-known gentleman was a native of South Carolina, having been born at Liberty Hill, in 1819. He received a good classical education at Cokesbury, a former educational center of Methodism. At the age of twenty-one he was admitted to the bar at Newnan, Ga., and rose rapidly in the ranks of his profession.

In 1844 he married Miss Adeline Robinson, a daughter of Mr. John Robinson, a prosperous planter, who long resided near the present site of Tallapoosa, Ga.

For twelve or more years Judge Hammond was a most successful legal practitioner, traveling the circuit in the olden style, principally on horseback, his saddle-wallets stocked with briefs and law

 

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books. In after years Judge Hammond had many a laughable story to relate of his experiences while making his semi-annual rounds on his circuit.

 

In 1855 he was elected judge of the Tallapoosa circuit, and very soon acquired a reputation for all-round ability seldom equaled in the history of the Georgia judiciary.

One conspicuous feature of his official administration was his unswerving integrity and his unfaltering personal courage in the enforcement of the law against a class of moral desperadoes which at one time menaced the personal safety of the bench, and at other times kept even the grand juries in awe.

An incident occurred while he was presiding for Judge Joseph E. Brown in the superior court of Paulding county, which deserves a place amongst the memorabilia of criminal justice in the fifties. His coming to the county was hailed with delight by the law-abiding citizens of that community, and stirred up the worst element of the population with the liveliest apprehensions.

He opened the term with a charge to the grand jury, the traditions of which still abide with the early inhabitants of that vicinage.

He was particularly emphatic in his charge against the prevalent practice of carrying concealed weapons. He instructed the jury to make diligent inquiry and true presentments against all

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   page 258  
such offenders. "No man," he said, "but a low-flung braggart and an arrant coward will turn himself into a perambulating armory in the midst of a civilized community, and if such moral reprobates are brought to the attention of the court, I promise to execute the law without fear or favor." The whole charge was a bold arraignment of a class that for years had terrorized the better class of citizens in that county.

 

The clamor of the rabble was so boisterous and threatful after the delivery of this charge, that at the close of the morning session, when the sheriff offered to escort him in the usual way to his hotel, he promptly declined, saying with a significant look, that the court needed "no bodyguard."

The next day one of the roughs, whose case was before the grand jury, made an effort to intimidate one of the grand jurors. The matter was reported to Judge Hammond, who at once ordered the offender to be brought into court. After a quiet investigation he directed that the offender pay a fine of five hundred dollars, and for better safe-keeping be conveyed to the jail of Heard county for six months' imprisonment. When the sheriff suggested the probability of a rescue mob, Judge Hammond instructed him to secure a posse of five men, armed with double-barrel shotguns, charged heavily with buckshot, as an escort to the Franklin jail. The judge emphasized his instructions

 

   page 259  
by telling the sheriff that if he was molested in the discharge of his duties he must shoot the marauders "until their hides wouldn't hold shucks."

 

It is needless to say that the fine was paid and the full term of imprisonment served.

These stringent measures were equal to reading the riot act in Paulding, and a large petition was prepared and presented to the next legislature, asking that body to annex Paulding to Judge Hammond's circuit.

This incident is but a single illustration of his judicial methods when he was called to deal with rowdyism. In the matter of decisions his rulings in both civil and criminal causes were almost uniformly sustained by the supreme court. As an evidence of his great popularity on the bench it deserves to be mentioned that he defeated for the judgeship that able jurist, Hon. Hugh Buchanan, by an overwhelming majority.

He resigned, however, during his second term, preparatory to his removal to Atlanta in 1862, when he formed a partnership with Judge S. B. Hoyt. This law firm did for years a heavy practice, civil and criminal. As an advocate Judge Hammond had no superior at the Atlanta bar. When it was known that he was to address the court or jury on any important issue, the forum was invariably packed to overflowing. While he was at times strikingly eloquent, he was uniformly

 

   page 260  
incisive in statement, forcible in argument, and, when the occasion demanded, was humorous to a degree not excelled by any of his legal contemporaries. We have heard it stated that Judge Hopkins now and then lost his judicial solemnity, while the lobby went wild with uproarious laughter which neither the sheriff nor his bailiff could readily restrain.

 

His utterance was so rapid that no stenographer could report his speeches or sermons.

And this brings us to the observation that this able judge and advocate was for thirty years one of the best local preachers known in the annals of the Southern Methodist church. His blameless life gave him the confidence of both ministry and laity, and he was heard everywhere with pleasure and profit. He was not in sympathy with progressive theology, but had a decided preference for "old-time religion." He was most at home, therefore, on a camp-meeting platform, where we have heard him do some of the best preaching to which we ever listened. We alluded to his impetuous delivery. He certainly never drawled in our hearing. Indeed, his vocabulary was exceedingly copious, and if the fitting word did not come at the instant it was due, like a sensible man, he coined one for the occasion, and usually it was worthy of Webster or Worcester.

Not the least beautiful side of Judge Hammond's Christianity was seen in his home life, where, like

 

   page 261  
the Master, he was, in his humbler sphere, prophet, priest and king. He maintained family religion by precept and example. Scripture reading, song and fervent prayer were familiar sounds under his rooftree. In all this he had the hearty co-operation of his excellent wife. Is it strange that his children honor him in the great usefulness of their lives, and that to them his memory is as fragrant as "ointment poured forth?"

 

I ought sooner to have mentioned his single term of service as mayor of Atlanta. In this capacity he was the conservator of peace and good morals, and while he was not autocratic in his methods, he was, as when a circuit judge, a terror to evil-doers. This was Judge Hammond's last official position. He continued, however, for several years thereafter in laborious practice, much of the time in connection with his son, Judge W. R. Hammond. In 1881, he removed to Orlando, Fla., mainly in search of the balmier winter temperature of the peninsular state.

While there he resumed his law practice, having his youngest son, Hon. Ed. Hammond, as his associate.

There, as already stated, his strength gave way under the burden of threescore and ten years.

His remains were brought to Atlanta, and then interred at his old home in Newnan in the presence of a large concourse of his old friends. His well-spent life is a rich legacy to coming generations.

Part 16

 

   page 262  
GEORGE T. QUILLIAN

Was one of the most thoroughly consistent Methodist laymen that I ever met during the whole period of my active ministry. He was emphatically a man of prayer, and while he was a frequent reader of religious books, his Bible was his special delight.

Uncle Billy Parks and Samuel Anthony were his pulpit models, and he was never weary of talking of their wonderful exploits in the heroic days of Georgia Methodism.

During the pendency of the civil war he was a gallant soldier, noted for his stubborn fighting qualities when called into action.

These traits of character distinguished him as a member of the church militant. He endured hardships, and was ready at all times for faithful service and personal sacrifice. In his latter days he had many friends, amongst them Messrs. Hunnicut and Bellingrath, who revered him and loved him and contributed much to his comfort when his health was greatly shattered. "Uncle George" left a name untarnished and a memory dear to a great multitude who knew his intrinsic worth as a man of God, and his incorruptible integrity in all his business and social relations.

Part 17

 

   page 263  
DR. R. A. T. RIDLEY.

Dr. R. A. T. Ridley, of LaGrange, was for many years widely known in political and professional circles, and hardly less so as a Methodist official of deserved prominence.

He was a native of Granville county, North Carolina, coming to Georgia in early life and settling in Troup county, where he was a general favorite with the inhabitants of that desirable portion of Western Georgia.

For years his medical practice was both extensive and lucrative. On various occasions, however, he was somewhat diverted from his professional work by his election to the State legislature, serving alternately with distinction in both branches of that important body.

As I am advised, he was converted under the ministry of Rev. James B. Payne, during a notable revival in the thirties. He took a lively interest in the educational enterprises of LaGrange, and especially was he a liberal and devoted friend of the LaGrange Female College when it was struggling upward to its present proud pre-eminence.

In politics he was a pronounced Whig, and a fast personal friend of Ben. Hill, with whom he was on terms of confidential intimacy. When the

 

   page 264  
civil war ended so disastrously to his native South, he was well-nigh crushed in heart, as well as fortune.

 

All through the doleful era of reconstruction he suffered not less from blasted expectation than from failing health. The two combined gradually wrecked his once stalwart manhood. His last days were deeply shadowed except as they were brightened by the tender nursing of his immediate family and the sympathy of a large circle of friends, who honored him for his noble record as a Christian gentleman and as a faithful public servant.

His wife, nee Miss Mary Morris, who had shared his prosperity, clung to him with true womanly devotion in his days of physical feebleness and mental depression.

My last interview with him was in one of the corridors of the old capitol in Atlanta. He remarked to me that he could hardly realize that the piebald concern that occupied the senate chamber was other than a travesty on the Georgia senate, when Andrew J. Miller, Bob Trippe, Ben. Hill, Herschel V. Johnson and men of their sort were the conscript fathers of the commonwealth." Drs. Ridley did not linger long after that interview. He left three sons, Dr. R. B. Ridley, of Atlanta, and Dr. Charles and Frank Ridley, of LaGrange, who have since been distinguished for their professional skill and eminent civic virtues.

Part 18

 

   page 265  
FERDINAND PHINIZY, ESQ.

Amongst my earliest acquaintances and staunchest friends in Athens was Ferdinand Phinizy, Esq., a man whose business record was hardly equaled in the State. He was a prosperous planter, prominent bank and railroad director, who accumulated a very large fortune by his administrative ability.

My first intimate acquaintance with him grew out of his serious affliction in the death of his first wife, a most excellent Christian mother, the daughter of Hays Bowdre, Esq., of Augusta Ga.

She was a member of my pastoral charge at Athens, and her sudden and unexpected death in the summer of 1863 was a severe shock to a large circle of friends in various parts of the State.

Brother Phinizy was well-nigh crushed by this domestic bereavement, and during this period we were brought into relations of tenderness that lasted until the close of his life.

For many years he was a liberal supporter of the Methodist church, contributing largely to its various collections. Besides his annual contribution to the conference claimants, he made frequent donations to several of the older preachers and their families. These deeds of charity were done,

 

   page 266  
however, without the blowing of trumpets or similar Pharisaic display.

 

He was a staunch advocate of old-time religion and a pronounced opponent to innovations on old Methodist usages. Bishop Pierce was his model as a preacher, and between them there existed a most cordial intimacy.

It is quite remarkable that he did not unite formally with the church until a few months before his death. He announced to me his purpose to join the church the last time I met him in Atlanta. For years he had been held back by a sense of personal unworthiness. I know that it cost him many a struggle before he obtained the victory over his doubts and fears. He said to me in that Atlanta interview that his long delay had been the mistake of his life. He distinctly realized that he had missed many golden opportunities of Christian usefulness, but that thereafter he would consecrate himself to the work of the Master. After all, his life was one of which his family and surviving friends may be proud, and his reward in the spirit world has doubtless been exceeding great.

Part 19

 

   page 267  
DR. JOHN URQUHART.

Dr. John Urquhart, of Columbus, was a physician of rare skill and a Christian gentleman of proverbial politeness. His wife was a worthy helpmeet to him in both professional and religious duties.

As a physician he enjoyed the patronage of the best circles of the city, and yet he was always ready to serve the humbler classes as opportunity offered.

His characteristic modesty was a hindrance to his efficiency as a Christian worker. He was not so timid, however, that he failed to bear witness for Christ, whether in the class-meeting or the great congregation.

He was for many years a steward in St. Luke's church, and not one of his fellow officials were more ready to devise liberal things for the support of the ministry and for the usual conference collections.

Dr. Urquhart's wife preceded him to the spirit world by several years. She was a daughter of General Shorter, who was prominent in the politics of western Georgia while as yet the Indians were in possession of eastern Alabama. Sister Urquhart was a gifted woman, and together with Mrs. Judge Colquitt, she was ready for any good

 

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word or work. Her last years were spent in suffering from a cancerous affection.

 

After a few years her devoted and childless husband followed her to the grave lamented by the entire citizenship of Columbus.

----

DAVID ROSSER ADAMS.

David Rosser Adams was a typical Methodist, both by inheritance and thorough conviction of sin, followed by an old-time altar conversion. His father was a local preacher of the best pattern. His piety was approved by all who knew him and his pulpit gifts were above the average. His children, as far as I have been advised, were consistent church members and were of good business capacity.

Rosser Adams, the subject of this sketch, was a leading churchman, liberally educated and the best leader of congregational music I have known in all my experience. Several times have I partaken of his hospitality, and his elegant home at Eatonton was a center of taste and refinement.

I have seldom met in commercial circles his equal in Biblical knowledge and general literary

 

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culture. His very presence was imposing, and his whole bearing indicated that he was one of Nature's noblemen sanctified by divine grace.

 

While I had comparatively few opportunities of cultivating his personal acquaintance, I am satisfied that my estimate of him will be accepted amongst his fellow-townsmen who knew him best and longest.

Our church at Eatonton is greatly indebted to his strong common sense and his blameless life for the influence which for more than half a century it has wielded in that Middle Georgia community.

----

EDWIN M. PAYNE.

Edwin M. Payne was by birth a Virginian whose parents died when he was a small lad. He was fortuneless, but luckily not friendless, and by these friends he was apprenticed under a decree of the probate court to the cabinet business. In chair-building he became an expert, and a pioneer citizen tells me that some specimens of his handicraft are still to be found in Atlanta that are more than a half century old.

On reaching his majority Brother Payne came to Georgia, stopping for a short time in South Carolina,

 

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and then settling in Newton county, where he married a Miss Barnes, the mother of his two oldest children. After the death of this wife of his youth, he married Mrs. Cureton, the mother of that late excellent Christian lady, Mrs. C. W. Hunnicutt, and also the mother of Columbus D. Payne, one of Atlanta's worthiest citizens. He was married a third time to Mrs. Hoyt, the mother of Judge S. B. Hoyt, and also of Mr. Eddie Payne of the George Muse clothing house.

 

Brother Payne came to Atlanta in 1843, and was active in the construction of Wesley chapel, the mother church of the city. He donated to the congregation the ground on which the First church now stands. That lot, at present market valuation, would probably bring a round hundred thousand dollars. Being a carpenter as well as a chair-maker, he wrought at the building of the old church like a day laborer, but without fee or reward. Afterwards he donated the ground on which Payne's chapel and parsonage now stand and contributed liberally to its erection. Uncle Eddie was, indeed, in that generation a veritable Haggai without the gift of prophecy.

While this venerable gentleman was not deficient in spirituality, he had no sympathy with sourvisaged godliness. Down to his latest breath he was fond of a clean joke, and, like ancient Yorick, would often set the table in a roar of innocent

 

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jollity. He died about 1875, leaving a good record and a gracious influence which still abide upon his descendants to the third generation. First church and Payne's chapel are his best monuments.

 

----

ROBERT BATTEY, M. D., LL. D.

Forty years ago, Robert Battey, M. D., LL. D., professed religion and united with the Methodist church at Rome, Ga. This interesting event occurred in the midst of a remarkable revival conducted by the late Rev. D. D. Cox, in which he was greatly helped by Drs. H. V. M. Miller, W. H. Felton and other divines of lesser note.

From that time onward Dr. Battey has been recognized as a leader in the religious circles of the Mountain City, which so snugly nestles at the junction of the Etowah and Oostanaula rivers.

Few men of the present generation have been more distinguished for a broad, Christian philanthropy. Only a few weeks ago, he donated valuable medical library of one thousand volumes to the State library at the Georgia capitol. For the past quarter of a century Dr. Battey has been a surgeon of national reputation, but of later years he has achieved a world-wide distinction as a gynecologist.

 

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As a specialist in normal ovariotomy he has won golden opinions from the foremost medical faculties of both Europe and America. In all branches of abdominal surgery he is reckoned as an expert by the best writers and practitioners, and "Battey's operation" is approvingly discussed in all the text-books of the two hemispheres.

More than two years ago his health became impaired by the nervous tension consequent on incessant professional labor, but he has so far recovered that he has partly resumed the personal supervision of his large and splendidly-equipped infirmary at Rome. In this arduous work he has now the earnest co-operation of his son, who has in herited some of the special gifts of his father.

In church work Dr. Battey is in nowise remiss. Indeed, in his social relations he is an eminent example to the younger brethren.

No worthy enterprise of his own or another denomination fails to secure a generous response when it appeals to him for financial aid.

In his relations to society at large his deportment is such that he is a favorite with all classes and conditions. It is to be devoutly hoped that his life of singular usefulness will be prolonged to full fourscore years without abatement of natural strength and without the usual experience of pain or sorrow.

His most excellent wife deserves a like blessed experience for her fidelity and helpfulness in every good work.

Part 23

 

   page 273  
HUBBARD WOODSON COZART.

Hubbard Woodson Cozart was one of the pioneer Methodists of Atlanta. He was the contemporary of the Winships, Rawsons, Lawshes, Hammonds and like representative men of the early fifties. Brother Cozart emigrated from North Carolina, his native State, to Georgia when a young man. For quite a number of years he resided at Eatonton, where he accumulated a snug fortune in the mercantile business. His educational advantages had been fairly good, but his most striking traits were his sterling business integrity and his unswerving devotion to the church.

Besides these good qualities he had a large stock of common sense that made him a safe counselor in all the relations of life.

He had but little patience with men who did not pay their debts, and yet he was likewise a man of large liberality to the church and to all worthy objects of charity.

As a steward and class-leader he was untiring, and always enjoyed the implicit confidence of his pastors and of his brethren.

He had a hearty relish for wit and humor, and his anecdotes, which were always clean and yet piquant, made him a favorite in social circles.

His domestic life was not without its shadows, but it was marked by the presence and power of

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religion and a hospitality that endeared him alike to rich and poor.

 

In all this his excellent wife was a helpmeet after the pattern of those godly women of whom frequent and honorable mention is made in the Scriptures.

All through the trying war period his patriotism was unshaken by the adversities which befell his beloved Southland, and while himself too infirm for military service, his heart and hand were open to the boys in gray.

His wife and daughters, especially Mrs. Harralson and Mrs. Bass, were active workers in the hospitals of the city.

Brother Cozart died soon after the surrender at Appomattox, beloved and honored by all his fellow-citizens who were so fortunate as to know him and his manner of life.

----

JAMES M. BEALL.

James M. Beall will be kindly remembered by every Methodist pastor who has been stationed in LaGrange during the last forty years.

His wife, a daughter of Maj. George Heard, was one of the most devout Christian matrons of her generation. To her he was greatly indebted

 

   page 275  
for his personal piety and his thorough devotion to the church. Brother Beall was a man of excellent judgment, of sterling business integrity, and the most uniform attendant on the social meetings of the church that I have known during my long pastoral experience.

 

Unless for strictly providential reasons he was never absent from the midweek prayer-meeting or the quarterly love-feast.

As a steward he looked closely after the collections, and was always in full sympathy with the pastor and his family.

He had, indeed, a kind word for his preacher at all times, and as a patient and intelligent hearer of the gospel he had few equals. Naturally of a phlegmatic temperament, he was less aggressive than some of his official brethren, but could be relied upon in every emergency.

One feature of his work deserves special mention. He is entitled to more credit than any one man to the present existence of the LaGrange Female College. He was not so large a contributor to its treasury as some others, but he never failed to do the best that he could according to his means. In the darkest hour of its history he was unshaken in his loyalty to the college, and it was a gracious Providence that spared him to see its rehabilitation, which was accomplished in the face of no little adverse criticism.

 

   page 276  

A most beautiful trait in his character was his devotion to the memory of his wife, a woman of rare excellence as a wife and mother. Through years of loneliness he cherished the memory of her virtues, and when he lay down in death by her side he was the same as when he led her to the bridal altar.

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N. C. BARNETT.

Col. N. C. Barnett was during much of his long life a prominent State official. he served under not less than a half-score of gubernatorial administrations as keeper of the great seal of the Commonwealth, a special function of the secretary of state.

Such was the clearness of his official record and the uprightness of his private life that he was spoken of in the highest and humblest political circles as "honest Nathan."

He was a nephew of the great William H. Crawford, whose fame extended through both hemispheres. Not less than Ben Franklin or Tom Jefferson he was the idol of the French people, and but for a paralytic stroke he would have been the presidential successor of James Monroe.

 

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My first intimate acqaintance with Col. Barnett began during my pastorate at Milledgeville, in 1860. The strength and influence of that once strongest station in Georgia had greatly declined since its pulpit was occupied by Capers Howard, Lovick Pierce and other notabilities. During that year, however, it was blessed with a memorable revival, and from that date it has advanced to one of the leading appointments of the North Georgia Conference.

Col. Barnett was a man of courtly address, of liberal culture and strongly wedded to old-time Methodism. He kept his Christian reputation untarnished until his closing days, and it may be truthfully said that both politically and ecclesiastically he died in the harness.

No little of his success in life was due to his wife, a daughter of Dr. David Cooper, a veteran of the second British war and a former superintendent of the State lunatic asylum. Mrs. Barnett still survives, greatly beloved by a large number of her old friends of earlier days.

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RICHARD LANE.

Hon. Richard Lane, the venerable uncle of Brothers Richard and Sterling Harwell, was a good man and true in the best sense of that often misapplied phrase. Brother Lane started in life as a village

 

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merchant, but nearly sixty years ago he was chosen clerk of the superior court of Troup county, in which position he remained until his removal to Walker county, in Northwestern Georgia. He purchased a large and most valuable tract of land in McLemore's Cove, and in a few years he erected a strikingly handsome residence, where he enjoyed every comfort that wealth and ample means could procure.

 

Here he remained until he was forced to refugee by the incoming of the Yankee armies to the balmier regions of Southern Georgia. On one or more occasions Judge Lane, as he was usually called, represented his fellow-citizens in the State legislature, for which position he was admirably fitted because of his rare stock of "horse sense."

In his political views he was conservative, and yet no man was more thoroughly committed to the Southern movement by word and deed.

As a churchman he was modest, but his purse was always open to the legitimate demands of the church. He contributed at various times thousands of dollars to church enterprises, and his hospitality was unstinted. On two occasions when I was serving a district he carried me thirty and forty miles to quarterly conferences. These special occasions he greatly enjoyed, chiefly the love-feast and the Lord's supper. In these journeyings his favorite horse, "John," furnished the motive power. He seemed to be as careful of

 

   page 279  
John's comfort as of his own. I think that in his last will he provided for the rest and provender of this faithful steed. This may seem a small affair, but it had a significance worthy of note, according to the plain meaning of the Scriptures.

 

This dear old brother was not a critical, but a sympathetic hearer of the gospel. Very often he would give expression to his approval of a statement or sentiment of the pulpit, not in an audible way, but by a significant nod of his gray head. To me this characteristic plaudit was a stimulant and an inspiration. I felt quite sure that I was not far wrong in my theology when Uncle Dick endorsed it after that manner. His afflicted wife, who was the joy and comfort of his old age, survived him but a few years, and then rejoined him in the home of many mansions.

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JOSEPH A. EVE, M. D.

Joseph A. Eve, M. D., was a distinguished and eminently pious official member of St. John's church, of Augusta, Ga. Like St. Luke, he was a "beloved physician," and the homes of the poor, as well as of the rich, were gladdened by his professional visits.

For very many years he was an honored professor in the Georgia Medical College, and was quite a favorite with the faculty and the large classes

 

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of students that flocked to that widely-known institution.

 

In social life he was affable and polite beyond almost any man of my past acquaintance. He was generous in his support of the church, and charitable in his gifts to all in distress. It was, however, in the domestic circle that his character shone brightest. His devotion to the comfort and happiness of his household, including the servants, was boundless.

Not more blessed, in a religious sense, was the house of Obededom, which for months was the dwelling-place of the ark of the covenant before its final removal to the tabernacle which David had erected on Mount Zion.

Dr. Eve was not demonstrative in his piety. On the contrary, he was reticent on the subject of his personal experience, and was seldom heard in the assemblies of the church. But his pastors and his brethren, and indeed, the whole citizenship of Augusta, knew the excellence of his character and the blessedness of his life.

As far as the heavy demands of a very large practice would allow, he was a faithful attendant on the services of the sanctuary. Especially did he prize the sacrament of the Lord's supper, and it seldom occurred in the course of a long lifetime that he was absent from its monthly administration. St. John's church, from the earliest times, never had a more worthy communicant.

Part 28

 

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ASBURY HULL.

Hon. Asbury Hull, of Athens, was the eldest son of Rev. Hope Hull, one of the great lights of Georgia Methodism in the earlier years of the present century.

Brother Hull and his younger brother were educated at Franklin College, and were both for many years closely identified with the fortunes of their alma mater.

Dr. Hull, who filled the chair of mathematics, was a gentleman of rare ability, but modest almost to a fault.

Asbury was better fitted for public life, and his political career was an honor to himself and a blessing to the State. When I first knew him he was approximating the prescribed limits of human life, and in a measure had withdrawn from business activities, except as they related to the management of the Southern Mutual Insurance Company and his own private estate. He was still, however, in church affairs, full of zeal and energy. In some important departments of church work he was an acknowledged leader. He was wise in counsel in quarterly conference matters, and his opinions were sought after and nearly always deferred to by his brethren, and yet

 

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he was in nowise a Diotrephes who aspired to preeminence.

 

He had in large measure the gifts of prayer and exhortation. He was often invited to lead the devotions of the congregation, and in this service he never failed to be fervent and edifying. In the class-meeting his hortatory gift was remarkable for its quickening and impressive qualities. In all these respects he was perhaps the equal of Carvosso and kindred celebrities.

His domestic life was singularly fortunate. His children were amongst Georgia's best citizens, and his bachelor son, William Hope Hull, was almost without a peer at the Georgia bar.

He was twice married. His first wife, the mother of his children, was a woman of piety and culture. His second wife, whom I knew quite well, was worthy to share his heart and hand and to be the mistress of his delightful home.

Brother Hull, from my earliest acquaintance with him, was robust in figure and seemed to be in vigorous health to his dying day.

Indeed, his departure was sudden and unlooked for. He had just finished the family devotions, and was seated in his study reading his morning lesson out of the Holy Scriptures, when suddenly God touched him, and he fell asleep in Jesus. He had often expressed a desire to die the death of the righteous, and his wish was graciously granted him.

 

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He seemed to have passed away without a pang or a struggle, with possibly the utterance of a single unconscious groan.

I was indebted to him for many kindnesses, and I shall always cherish and revere his precious memory.

----

WILLIAM EZZARD.

Hon. William Ezzard was one of the purest of men. As was said of Nathanael, he was "an Israelite, indeed, in whom there was no guile." My personal knowledge of him went back to my boyhood, and when far advanced in years, I was one of several of his former pastors who officiated at his funeral.

In the legal profession he won a conspicuous position, serving for at least one full term as a judge of the superior court. In this high office he so demeaned himself as to enjoy the confidence of the bar and the warmest respect of witnesses and suitors. As steward and class-leader in the First Methodist church, he was surpassed by none of his contemporaries in fidelity and practical ability.

In his latter years he was elected to important municipal and county offices, and through them all retained the cordial esteem of his fellow-citizens

 

   page 284  
of all classes and creeds. Indeed, the man who would have impugned the integrity or worthiness of Judge Ezzard would have been scouted from decent society.

 

We but voice the sentiment of every former pastor of the First Methodist church, when we say that this model Christian gentleman was in his moral make-up one of the grandest men whose name adorns the annals of Atlanta Methodism.

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FIELDING DILLARD.

"Uncle" Fielding Dillard, as he was best known in his latter years, was a man whom I honored and loved at first sight. When an invalid agent for the Orphans' Home, I was cordially received one Saturday afternoon at the country residence of Dr. Hutchinson, another most excellent Methodist of the old school. On the next day I had a pleasant jaunt with the doctor to Cherokee Corner, where I met a fine congregation, composed of many of the best people of that vicinage. They had but slightly rallied from the disasters of the war and the reconstruction period, but they responded liberally to my appeal in behalf of our Conference orphanage. None were more in sympathy with this splendid charity than "Uncle" Fielding.

His contribution, I think, was twenty dollars; a large sum for that day of small things, when the

 

   page 285  
institution was struggling for existence against very heavy odds.

 

God be praised that through the labors of Brothers Jones and Crumley it has reached a large and wealthy place compared with its straitened condition when, for three years, Brother Lupo and myself, he as superintendent and I as agent, were rowing against wind and tide. I never at any time, however, lost faith in its ultimate success, and rejoice exceedingly in its present prosperity.

But to resume our account of Brother Dillard. He was, perhaps, the worthiest patriarch of a tribe, who have a good record in the annals of Georgia Methodism. May the tribe increase until they shall become more widely diffused amongst the ministry and membership of the two Georgia Conferences.

If they all should share largely in the gifts and graces of this noble ancestor they "shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge and love of God."

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EMANUEL HEIDT.

Rev. Emanuel Heidt sprung from the Salzburgers who colonized parts of Effingham and Emanuel counties early in the last century. They were a pious generation and partook in a degree of the

 

   page 286  
German mysticism, of which Count Zinzendorf and Herman Franke were conspicuous representatives.

 

Brother Heidt for many years was a prominent business man of Savannah, and a ruling spirit in Methodist circles, first at Old Wesley chapel and afterwards at Trinity church. He was an ardent admirer of the old Savannah pastors, especially George Pierce, Alfred Mann and W. H. Potter.

As a local preacher he was both active and efficient in his ministry.

He likewise did much to consolidate and enlarge Methodism in that beautiful "city by the sea," which struggled hard for many years against the preponderant influence of Episcopalianism and Independentism, before it secured a permanent foothold.

Rev. T. T. Christian, who knew him well in his latter years speaks of him as a preacher everywhere acceptable, alike for his gifts and graces. He was a contemporary and intimate personal friend of Rev. James E. Godfrey, who was a lay preacher of considerable distinction.

Rev. Dr. John W. Heidt, one of the foremost preachers of the North Georgia Conference, inherited not a few of his best qualities from this noble ancestor, who years ago went away to the home of the angels and the abode of glorified spirits, made perfect through the discipline of suffering, and clean through the blood of sprinkling.

Part 32

 

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FRANK M. RICHARDSON.

Isaac Taylor once wrote a life of John Wesley, as also did Robert Southey, both of them somewhat lacking in reverence for that great religious reformer of the 18th century. Taylor likewise wrote "A History of Natural Enthusiasm," in some respects a better publication.

Frank Richardson belonged to this class of enthusiasts, especially in Sunday-school work on the outskirts of the city. He had a warm heart for the poor, and as far as he had means and opportunities, he relieved their wants. As a business man he was industrious, but never achieved marked success.

We are almost tempted to say that humanly speaking he gave too much of his time to charitable enterprises. He was in his local sphere a church extension board before David Morton had projected his great scheme for building churches and furnishing parsonages.

St. Paul's, Evans chapel, Pierce chapel, the barracks mission, and kindred organizations throughout the city felt the impress of his fostering hand.

But we prefer to quote from a recent article of Bishop Haygood in the columns of the Wesleyan. Before doing this, however, I will indulge in a reminiscence of the early ministry of "Atticus" as his

 

   page 288  
venerable father delighted to call him. I was residing in North Atlanta and having heard many favorable accounts of his preaching, I determined to hear him for myself. The place was "Old Trinity," the time was the summer of 1865.

 

I arrived just in time to hear his text indicating a discussion of "Endless Punishment." It was forceful from the beginning to the close.

After service he volunteered to walk with me by the way. Just before we separated he said, "Brother Scott, you are an older preacher than myself and I would be pleased if you would tell me if you observed any serious defects in my matter or manner." I replied that it was rather an ungracious task to criticize the preaching of a brother minister.

He rejoined that he was not a bit sensitive and that he had yet a great deal to learn. I answered that I enjoyed the sermon no little from its beginning to its close, that his argument was all right, but would suggest that if he was more careful in placing his emphasis on the right word his preaching would be more effective. After two or more illustrations of my exact meaning, he thanked me for my suggestions and said he hoped to profit by them. Two or three years afterwards I heard him again at the First church, Dr. Harrison and myself sitting together in the front pew. The misplacement of the emphasis had ceased to be noticeable. Both of us then realized

 

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that he was already far on the way to the great distinction which he has since fairly won.

 

As germane to our theme we cull the following notice of Brother Richardson from a late contribution of Bishop Haygood to the Wesleyan:

"When Bishop Pierce--from the Athens Conference--January, 1865, sent "Sandy" Thigpen (one of the best and truest of men) to Wesley chapel (now First church), and me to Trinity, I found Frank Richardson ready to help me.

Old Trinity was packed full of furniture, left by the people who were sent away. He helped me move and provide for that till the owners came again. There were fifteen people at the first Sunday morning service. He started the Sunday-school with half a dozen children. How he worked to build up the dismembered, scattered church--full of faith and zeal and all-conquering hope--only a few survive to tell.

"What work he did for the Trinity Sunday-school in later years many know. But that did not satisfy him. Under some trees on Fair street--hard by a confederate hospital shed, one summer evening, my old friend helped start St. Paul's in a Sunday-school. My China sister was of the little company. Miss Sterchi--a godly Moravian--was another. Mrs. Miller, nee Miss Sallie Thomas, another. And his energy was in the movement that regathered and built up again "Evans chapel" (named for Wm. H. Evans, who

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went to heaven in a minute in Oxford, July 20, 1870--apoplexy opening the golden gate for him), now "Walker Street" church. And in "Trinity Home Mission" he labored after the same style. And in other localities and in all ways possible to him to the end. He earned a great deal of money, but made no fortune. He gave to men--so giving to God--with the heart and hand of a prince, when he had anything to give. When he could not, his heart was sore and sick. It cannot be questioned that God used him to save the souls and better the lives of thousands of people. They will not build monuments of marble or bronze to perpetuate his memory. It is not necessary; his place is secure."

 

 

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BARNARD HILL.

When I was yet a youth, but a member of the legal profession by a special enactment of the State legislature, I made the personal acquaintance of this learned jurist.

As I remember, he was a New Englander by birth, classically educated, and of unblemished moral character.

He was not reckoned a brilliant advocate, but was highly esteemed as a jurisconsult, and when

 

   page 291  
subsequently promoted to the bench, he was regarded as one of our wisest circuit judges. He was in excellent repute as a temperance leader, and, I believe, at one time was at the head of the order of the Sons of Temperance, that noble brotherhood which did a vast deal to inaugurate a healthful public sentiment on the liquor issue throughout the State. For many years, however, we resided in different parts of the State, so that in his latter days I had but little personal knowledge of him. He died, however, as he had lived, a consistent churchman.

 

His brilliant son, Hon. W. B. Hill, inherited not a few of his best qualities. The late Chief Justice Bleckley said to me not long ago that this son was one of the best equipped lawyers of the Georgia bar.

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SAMUEL JONES.

This Methodist patriarch, whose recent death is still fresh in the memory of hundreds of friends, deserves a niche in this memorial volume. As is well-known, he was the father of Col. R. H. Jones, a good Confederate fighter, and for a number of years, an efficient pastor of the conference, but now disqualified by a chronic disease of the throat.

 

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Father Jones will be long remembered as the grandfather of Rev. S. P. Jones, the far-famed evangelist. The subject of this sketch was for many years an excellent lay preacher. His preaching was uniformly good to the use of edifying. Both in his domestic and social relations, he was a great favorite. Throughout his long and useful life, he accomplished great good, especially in the rural districts, as a champion of "old-time religion." Like Daniel, he will "stand in his lot at the end of the days."

 

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SOME PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS.

From the earliest settlement of the three counties of Troup, Harris and Muscogee, they have been noted for their excellent citizenry. A majority of these settlers were from Greene, Morgan; Putnam and Warren counties. In the main they were Methodists of the Wesleyan type in their religious characteristics, and whigs in their political affinities.

Most of them had enjoyed fair scholastic advantages, but not many of them were classically trained.

 

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Amongst them were the Hurts, Joneses and Flewellens, of Muscogee--the Osborns, Doziers, Bedells, Pollards and Mobleys, of Harris--the Harrises, Coxes, Turners, Ferrells, Maddoxes and Sterlings, of Troup. Of these sturdy farmers we desire to make special mention of

EDWARD MADDOX.

This venerable gentleman, the father of Col. Robert F. Maddox, a distinguished capitalist of Atlanta, and one of the most public-spirited of its many leading citizens, was a thorough Methodist, although free from sectarianism in an offensive degree.

He was an indefatigable Bible student--a class-leader of much local celebrity--a model steward, who devised liberal things for pastor and family--a church attendant, not only on the Sabbath, but when duty required, on week days as well, when he stopped the plows in the furrow, and the servants scrubbed up and went to preaching.

In the household he was both priest and king, officiating at the home altar in the morning and evening devotions, in which he had the earnest cooperation of his pious wife. He ruled his household, but not with a rod of chastisement, for "the law of kindness was on his tongue;" and yet he was reverenced by every inmate of the family.

 

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His hospitality was proverbial, and many a wayfaring man, especially the itinerant preacher, found a gracious welcome at his threshold. This trait of his character was transmitted to his sons and daughters. His oldest son, Col. R. F. Maddox, is one of the few Methodist laymen of the Georgia Conferences who has made a single donation of one thousand dollars to the beneficiaries of his church, the principal of which is to be kept intact, and only the interest annually expended for the relief of the poor.

Well may it be said, "I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread."

----

"UNCLE REUBEN MOBLEY,"

As he was affectionately styled by the younger generation, was a solid planter of the same class whom we knew in our boyhood.

He, too, was a Methodist of the best stamp, who practiced household religion, and could sing "Amazing Grace" from a camp-meeting altar with as much zest as the best of his tribe.

He was the father of a large family, of whom Hon. James M. Mobley is most widely known. For fifty years this able jurist has been conspicuous alike as a Methodist and Mason.

During several terms of service he was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Georgia, and like

 

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Dawson, Rockwell, and Lawrence, was well-skilled in the lore of ancient craft masonry. Although now advanced in years, his natural force is not abated so as to disqualify him for his professional duties.

 

We must needs have a warm side for this fellow law student in the law office of Col. Wm. B. Pryor more than a half century ago. Our fervent desire and prayer is that he may still long abide as a blessing to the church and the county that he has served so faithfully from his youth.

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"UNCLE DICK DOZIER."

"Uncle Dick Dozier" was another representative Methodist of the old school who had a pleasant farmhouse in the southeastern part of Harris county. His wife, who was as devout as Hannah, the mother of Samuel, was wonderfully endowed with the gift of prayer. At the camp-meeting it was no unusual thing for her to lead the devotions of the vast congregation at the eleven o'clock service. Her voice was musical, with a ringing resonance that could be heard to the outskirts of the large encampment.

She was a veritable helpmeet to her husband, and the two reared several intelligent sons who have been a blessing to church and State. Their descendants, all of whom, as far as I am advised, are good citizens, are either Methodists or Presbyterians.

Part 38

 

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FRANK COOK.

Another good layman and local preacher of that period was Rev. Frank Cook, who was born in Camden, South Carolina, in 1798. He resided likewise for some years in Harris county, but afterwards removed to Culloden, Monroe county. This venerable man was honored in his generation for his good preaching ability and his thorough piety.

His children and grandchildren are in high repute in the ranks of Southern Methodism. It was my privilege to visit him in his last illness at Marietta, and talk and pray with him almost in his dying hours.

These four godly men, Maddox, Mobley, Dozier and Cook, and others besides, were of a class of men who deserve to be remembered through all generations. May their tribe increase in our spiritual Israel.

Part 39

 

   page 297  
GUSTAVUS J. ORR, LL. D.
THE GREAT SCHOOL COMMISSIONER.

I gravely question whether during the experiences of a lifetime neither short in its duration nor uneventful in its opportunities of wide observation, I have ever known a truer man than he whose name heads this sketch. In his personality Dr. Orr was a compound of brawn and brain. Both in his physical and mental make-up he was characterized by strength and symmetry.

Our personal intimacy was close and largely confidential, especially in his latter years, when he held the position of state school commissioner.

I more than once said to him that we rarely differed on any moral or political issue, except when we touched on the Blair bill, which he cordially approved, and which I as heartily condemned. In our private conversations he sometimes had much to say of his college life at Maryville, Tennessee, and at the University of Georgia, where he was the classmate of a number of distinguished Georgians. Afterwards he graduated at Emory College, where he secured the second honor, although first in his class-standing.

On other occasions he made me acquainted with his chequered religious experience, the details

 

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of which were strikingly unique and thoroughly interesting. Long after his official connection with the church he was greatly perplexed about the evidences of Christianity, but when the question was settled it was a finality. Henceforth he was never troubled with unbelief, and his religious peace flowed like a broad and bounding river. We used to say to him that in many respects he had shared the experience of the great and good Chalmers, who, in the early years of his ministry, was buffeted with doubts and harassed by fears, but afterwards became the mighty thunderer of the Tron church at Glasgow.

 

Dr. Orr occupied several prominent places in connection with his lifelong educational work. For quite a number of years he was an honored professor of Emory College. At another time he was elected to a professorship in Oglethorpe University, a Presbyterian institution. Yet again he was chosen president of the Masonic Female College, at Covington. But the last sixteen years of his life were devoted to the duties of state school commissioner of Georgia. Dr. Orr is entitled to the credit of whatever of excellence in the way of arrangement and equipment may pertain to our public school system. He found it in a chaotic condition, and in spite of discouragement from every quarter, he placed it on a sure footing and started it on a career of prosperity which in a few years will root out illiteracy amongst both races.

 

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We must not be understood, however, as sanctioning the obvious inequalities of the system as it is even now organized.

The vast amount of money abstracted from the State treasury for the education of the negro at the expense of the white tax-payers, is a shameful injustice to the whites and an equivocal benefit to the negro.

Instead of lessening the percentage of crime amongst our negro population, it seems rather to increase it. This result indicates that there is something radically wrong in the system itself or in its administration. Perhaps the evil lies in both directions. So far the outcome warrants the statement that the negro needs moral training far more than the drill of schools or colleges.

When every State is suffered to control the matter for itself, aside from federal dictation, then these evils may be in part or in whole materially remedied.

But we find ourselves digressing and return to the proper matter of this personal sketch.

Dr. Orr did much valuable church work as an official of Evans chapel. His piety was of the primitive type, not lacking in earnestness, but still conservative in its tone and trend. He set great store by Bible reading and home training.

In his domestic relations he was a model husband and father. He was conciliatory, yet firm, in the administration of family discipline, which

 

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secured him alike love and respect from the entire household.

 

In social matters he was wise in counsel and conservative in action, and it is but sober truth to say that he was universally beloved and esteemed.

His glorification occurred in 1887, and shortly thereafter impressive memorial exercises were held at Evans chapel. A large concourse was present, embracing representative people from several of the city churches. This writer esteemed it no small distinction to be invited to take part in these services, and spoke in substance what is contained in this brief tribute.

Take him all in all we shall not soon look upon his like again.

----

Here we close our etchings of noted laymen. We regret the necessity for omitting such names as Hon. N. J. Hammond, Hon. John L. Hopkins, both illustrious at the bar and wherever they have been called to serve; Hon. T. M. Meriwether, a model farmer and wise legislator; Col. N. Trammell, ex-president of the senate and present chairman of the railroad commission; Hon. Steve Clay and others of like distinction. I trust some future "Old Mortality" will supply my lack of service, growing out largely from recent ill-health.

Chapter 3

 

   page [301]  
OUR
SENIOR BISHOP.

Part 1

 

   page [302 blank page]  

 

   page 303  
JOHN C. KEENER,
SENIOR BISHOP OF THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH,
SOUTH.

To those who are even but slightly familiar with the story of American Methodism, we need not say that Baltimore is not less the Methodistic than the Monumental City. It was, indeed, the birthplace of organic Methodism in the western hemisphere. For while Methodist societies had been gathered in many of the original thirteen colonies prior even to the War of Independence, yet these societies were feeble and lacking in any proper bond of organic union. The treaty of Versailles had severed them from the Methodism of the mother country, and they were verily as sheep without a shepherd. It was the fatherly solicitude of Mr. John Wesley for these scattered sheep of the American wilderness that induced him in one respect to depart from the usage of the English establishment. It was to meet what he esteemed a grave providential emergency that, in 1784, he ordained Thomas Coke, a presbyter of the church of England, to the episcopal office, at the same time empowering and instructing him to set apart Francis Asbury to the like function and ministry.

This plan of Mr. Wesley's meeting with the approval of the first general conference, which met at Baltimore in December, 1784, was the formal

 

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inauguration of Methodist Episcopacy, not only in America, but in the world.

 

These facts constitute Baltimore the cradle of American Methodism. Here was fairly launched that denominational system, which has contributed more than its full share of money and effort towards the evangelization of this vast continent. Its first missionaries trod closely on the heels of the adventurous pioneer. Before the close of the eighteenth century these missionaries, who were in a higher sense than the followers of Spottswood, the Knights of the Golden Horse Shoe, had crossed the Alleghanies, penetrated the wilds of the Holston country, encamped on the dark and bloody ground of Kentucky, and carried the gospel into the regions beyond the Father of Waters. They had no equipment of spear or sword, but armed with Bible and saddle-bags, these cavaliers went forth on their mission of mercy.

The subject of this sketch was identified both by birth and blood with this early generation of Methodists, having been born in the city of Baltimore, of Methodist stock and German ancestry in 1819.

When quite a lad he was placed by his father in a classical school at Wilbraham, Mass., under the management of Dr. Wilbur Fisk, a man of rare gifts and graces, who was subsequently elected to the episcopacy, which office, however, he promptly and persistently declined.

 

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Finishing his academic course, young Keener was transferred to the newly-established Wesleyan university, at Middletown, Conn.

While yet at the immature age of sixteen years he was graduated in the first class that issued from that institution in 1835.

We know nothing of the details of his earlier life, after graduation, except that he embarked in the drug business in his native city, and some years thereafter held a creditable position as a wholesale druggist.

While thus engaged he was brought under deep religious impression, which resulted in his conversion and public profession of the Christian faith. Conversion in those days meant something more than moral reformation. In most instances it was preceded by conviction sharp as a sword thrust and bitter as the "grapes of Sodom" and the "vintage of Gomorrah." After this travail of soul, very often of a week's or a month's continuance, there came a sunburst of joy and gladness that made an abiding impress on character and destiny. Bishop Keener's conversion, as to thoroughness at least, was of this sort, and almost simultaneously with this transformation of life and character there came likewise a divine call to the arduous work of the Christian ministry. Without irreverent haste, and yet without conferring with flesh and blood, he addressed himself to his life work. About 1843 he was admitted

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into the Alabama Conference, where he continued for the next five years, meanwhile filling ministerial positions of greater or lesser responsibility.

 

His transfer to the Louisiana Conference at the close of 1848 was something of a crisis in his ministerial life. For long years the Southwest had been the battle ground of the evangelical churches. When first visited by the Methodist itinerant it was, indeed, the "wild west." At a later period that whole region was overrun by various forms of infidelity, and even flagrant immorality, which had intrenched themselves at New Orleans and other strategic points. To this field Keener went in the full maturity of his intellectual vigor and of his physical prowess. The climatic conditions of the Crescent City were unfavorable to health. These conditions had been aggravated by imperfect sanitation. The tone of fashionable society was inveterately opposed to an earnest religionism. Moreover, such popular vices as gambling, horse racing and dueling were current in what was usually styled the best circles. Superadded to this demoralization there was an intense worldliness begotten of aggregated wealth and its consequent luxury. These agencies of evil were to be confronted and conquered. For this arduous work Keener was fortunately well-equipped. In its prosecution he was from time to time greatly helped by such fellow laborers as J. B. Walker, Dr. Linus Parker and the late Bishop McTyeire. These

 

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men were of divers gifts, but of one aim and purpose, and the results of their joint labors are not yet fully realized. It is but sheer justice to say that in all the elements of ministerial efficiency Bishop Keener was the equal of the foremost. Both as stationed preacher and as presiding elder of the New Orleans district, he was greatly useful and greatly beloved through a term of twelve years.

 

At this juncture, his pastoral work was interrupted by the civil war. Early in the contest, the city was occupied by the Federal army, and then followed the reign of terror under the Butler regime. The future bishop had fully identified himself with the fortunes of his native South, whether for weal or woe. He therefore withdrew, or rather, was thrust from the city, and was appointed superintendent of chaplains of the Trans-Mississippi department. In this new field, he was diligent and painstaking in the discharge of his responsible duties, and speedily won the respect and confidence of the general officers of the Confederate army. He shrunk from no sacrifice and no peril, whether in field or camp, and by his public ministration and his private counsel, contributed greatly to improve the morals of the armies of the West. Amidst these scenes of strife, he learned a lesson of endurance; yet never, for a single instant, did his patriotic devotion suffer any abatement or exhibit any shadow of turning. During the residence

 

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of Dr. Keener at New Orleans, he acquired no little reputation as a graceful and humorous writer, by the publication of a small volume, entitled "Post-Oak Circuit." The secret of its authorship, however, was for some years concealed from the general reading public. In this volume, he discussed in a terse, and at times philosophical way, the "ups and downs" of Methodist itinerancy. Some of its portraits of both laity and clergy have become historical, and will linger after he himself has gone to his final reward. As an occasional contributor to the church press, he was already widely and favorably known. Partly for these reasons, the General Conference of 1866, held in New Orleans, recognizing his fitness for the position, elected him to the editorship of the New Orleans Christian Advoeate. We were then in the midst of the dark days of reconstruction, when our church editors needed prudence, quite as much as learning. Dr. Keener was in no wise deficient in that cardinal virtue. It was a time also when those who molded public opinion must have courage, as well as capacity. Whilst there were not a few time-serving ecclesiastics, who were disposed to enact the role of Addison's "Vicar of Bray," be kept his honor virgin, and his loyalty to his section and church untarnished. Ready at all times for the broadest fraternity compatible with proper self-respect, he was unalterably opposed to a temporizing policy, which might lead to the

 

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ultimate impairment of the autonomy of the Southern church. Upon other great issues, which arose during his editorial term of service, he was not less judicious and outspoken.

 

Nor is it strange that at the meeting of the General Conference at Memphis, in 1870, he was, by the voice of the church, summoned to a yet higher position by his election to the episcopacy. As one of the chief pastors of Southern Methodism he has grown steadily in public favor, and now, after twenty-five years of continuous toil and travel, he enjoys the unbounded confidence of his colleagues and of the church at large. In this high position, as in others less notable, he has shown himself a man of affairs, capable of planning great church enterprises and guiding them to a satisfactory consummation. Perhaps the best single illustration of this statement is seen in his inauguration of what is known as the Central Mexican mission. In 1870 Bishop Marvin projected a Mexican border mission, an enterprise small in its beginnings which has been gradually enlarged in its geographical area. It now reaches from the Rio Grande to Monterey and other capitals of several northern states of our sister republic. In 1873, Bishop Keener, after careful prospecting, secured for Alejo Hernandez and his followers a permanent foothold in the ancient city of the Aztecs. So that the land of Anahuac, where Cortez, with the aid of the faithful Tlascalans, planted in triumph

 

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the standard of St. Jago, may ere long become a stronghold of Protestantism. At first the Methodists and other Protestant missionaries were opposed with great bitterness, and in a few outlying localities were foully butchered by the Mexican rabble. It has happened, however, as in many instances, that the blood of the martyrs has been the seed of the church. Under the wise administration of President Diaz religious liberty is guaranteed and practically enforced. The Methodists and some other Protestant churches are multiplying their converts by the hundreds. Through their united agency Mexico will soon cease to be the land of revolutions, and will become stable and prosperous. With the smaller details of his office and work, we are not at present concerned. From that point let it suffice to say that no charge of maladministration has ever been preferred against this eminent servant of the church. As a presiding officer, both in Annual and General Conferences, he ranks with the best the church has known during the hundred years of its history. As president of the General Conference, he is always an imposing figure. He has what some one has called the "true nobleman look," and yet there is nothing imperious in his manner, but quite enough of dignity to command the respect of the largest deliberative body. Only less skilled in parliamentary law than the late Bishop McTyeire, he is prompt and almost uniformly correct in his decisions. After all, it is

 

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in the pulpit that Bishop Keener is seen to the best advantage. He is no phrase monger, nor does he affect mere elegance of speech. He brings no unbeaten oil into the sanctuary, but on the contrary, thoroughly digests the subjects which he attempts to handle, and whilst he is fluent in a remarkable degree, he never substitutes flippancy of phrase for force of reasoning. It has been my rare good fortune to hear him almost a score of times on special occasions, which have called forth his utmost strength. At one district conference some years ago I listened to him with intense interest on three consecutive days. These sermons were on the great themes of the gospel, and they, one and all, fairly bristled with points and throbbed with the pulsings of the highest inspiration. After the lapse of these years I cannot now recall very much of any one of these masterly discourses, but the impressions produced still abide, as a perpetual benediction on heart and head. In 1874, in Walnut Street Baptist church, Louisville, Ky., I heard from the bishop a Sunday morning sermon which was in no wise inferior to such pulpit masterpieces as Bishop Soule's "Law of Liberty" or Bishop Marvin's wonderful sermon on the text, "What is Man That Thou Art Mindful of Him?" His theme was "The Inexorableness of Law." The basis of the transcendant discourse was the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, wherein the great teacher lifts for an instant the curtain that hides the spirit

 

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world, and shows us things that may shortly come to pass in our own personal experience. As expounded by the bishop, his audience was brought face to face with the stupendous verities of revelation. I remember his saying, at least in substance, that the inscription over the gateway of Dante's Inferno, "Abandon hope all ye that enter here," did not so freeze the blood as the rich man's prayer out of the belly of hell: "Father Abraham, send Lazarus, that he may dip his finger in water and cool my parched tongue, for I am tormented in this flame." At another time he spoke of the majesty of the divine law, which was in very truth the "voice of God and the harmony of the universe." And then as he spoke of the thunders of that violated law it almost seemed that the vast audience vibrated from side to side as if they could hear the veritable thunderings and lightnings of Sinai, when the sacred mountain trembled under the footsteps of legislative God. He urged in conclusion with much insistence that heaven and hell are not the outcome of a divine decree, whether of election or reprobation, but rather a result of a divine law which is as inexorable in its ongoing as the fate of the Greek tragedy--aye, more, as inflexible as the throne of God itself.

 

Let not the reader infer that his utterances are all of this sulphurous flavor, or that he deals chiefly even with the sterner aspects of theology. There are occasions, when describing the joy of

 

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conscious pardon or the blessedness of a still riper Christian experience, that his manner is almost womanly in its tenderness. At these times his fitly spoken words move his audience to tears and not infrequently rouse them to an outburst of hosannahs and hallelujahs. Again he discusses the abstruser doctrines of Christianity with a logical clearness and impressiveness that would do no discredit to Robert South or Isaac Barrow. Bishop Keener, after twenty years of Episcopal service, is now the senior bishop of his church, and by virtue of this official seniority, is the connecting link between Wilson, Granberry, Hargrove, and others of the present bench, and their great predecessors, Wightman, Pierce, Marvin, and their glorified associates. Apparently he is still in vigorous health--almost robust in his physique--and has the promise of another decade of usefulness.

 

During the late General Conference he bore the heat and burden of the session with no signs of physical or intellectual weakening. His sermon preached in Centenary church, St. Louis, at the ordination of Bishops Haygood and Fitzgerald, is regarded by high authority as his level best. It will be in order, therefore, to incorporate into this sketch one or two extracts from this published sermon.

 

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"

THE DIVINE SONSHIP.

"We must rise into the grandeur of His sonship invested as it now is with every attribute of divine life. And that image of death, which ere while He showed 'in the body of His flesh through death' is there, enveloped in the shroudings of majesty, and amid an all-surrounding ocean of intelligent being.

"These are the points, the axes of the divine ellipse, about which all the universe of salvation revolves.

"The Holy Spirit draws upon this perfected glorified victim; this constitutes the treasury deep and high from which He enriches the world.

"It is not merely that the life is translated into us, but we into a boundless kingdom of life; a kingdom 'within' in the sense of being spiritual, but not in the sense of limitation.

"The clear apprehension of this 'adoption' was the beginning of the Wesleyan revival. Ever since that notable month of May, 1738, when the two Wesleys, Charles and John, were converted; when the anthem at St. Paul's, 'Out of the Deep Have I Called Unto Thee, O Lord,' and when at Aldergate street Luther's preface to the Romans fell upon the ear and heart of John Wesley, this tide of glory has steadily risen. Long since it should

 

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have been felt in every frith of human life, as it has been held in the empires of the orient, and amid the starry isles of the Pacific.

 

"May you, my brethren beloved, never be wanting in a strong, healthy, positive utterance of this doctrine of life. May no refinement of thought or sentiment be permitted to minify the one sublime truth of justification by faith, or the true nobility of a conscious sonship, testified by the Holy Spirit to the heart of the believer. So shall our bow abide in strength, and our beloved Methodism shall continue to be in the future as in the past, a blessing of God upon the world.

"

These extracts, better than anything we can say, will convey to the reader an idea rather inadequate of his pulpit style. It was, likewise, the official duty of Bishop Keener to respond to the various fraternal messengers from England, Canada, and the Northern Methodist church. In the performance of this pleasing duty, the senior bishop was peculiarly felicitous. Especially was this true of his response to the delegates representing the Wesleyan connection of the mother country, and the delegate from the Northern Methodist church. There was, in both of these, a blending of the choicest humor, and the purest good sense, and this was a happy exchange for the traditional gush, not to say rodomontade, that very often mars these platform fraternal addresses, and the average episcopal responses. Organic union

 

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may be said to have died, not amidst a shower of tears, but amidst a buzz of ill-suppressed laughter. Whilst Bishop Keener is not a politician, he is, in its best sense, a Christian statesman; and although, as frequently stated, in sympathy with Methodist fraternity, on a self-respecting basis, he is, in common with the great body of our ministry and laity, thoroughly averse to the unification of the two Methodisms. He still has a lively recollection of General Banks' special order No. 15, issued at New Orleans, in November, 1863. By this military order, every Southern Methodist church in that department was virtually confiscated. Nor has he forgotten the order of Stanton, secretary of war, under cover of which Bishop Ames, of the Northern Methodist church, followed by a troupe of Northern preachers, proceeded to administer on the estate of the Southern church. Some of these intruders held on to their ecclesiastical position to the last possible moment. Bishop McTyeire, who was cognizant of all the facts, has written that the Carondolet Street church, formerly served by Bishop Keener, was recovered barely in time for the session of the General Conference of 1866. As might be supposed, these lurid memories may have suggested to the senior bishop that not only was organic union a thing not to be desired, but that fraternity itself, as usually discoursed of on General Conference platforms, both

 

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North and South, was, in its last analysis, mainly sentimental and sensational.

 

If we have in this matter correctly interpreted the platform and pulpit deliverances of the venerable bishop, then we must regard him as pronouncedly conservative on all lines. He has but little patience with progressive orthodoxy, as developed at Andover, and is barely tolerant of the New South babblement that crops out in some places and directions. He loves the old church, and its apostolic doctrine and discipline, nor does he love less the Old South, with its sacred traditions.

In domestic life, the senior bishop is a worthy "ensample to the flock." Three of his sons have entered the ministry, and are all gifted and scholarly. In social life, he is affable alike to young and old, and so courtly in his address and conversation, that his coming is hailed with delight in every circle. At this present writing, he is sojourning at Ocean Springs, for rest and recuperation, after the fatigue and worry of the General Conference session, and making ready for his summer campaign of district conferences.

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