early in the morning. I replied, "I go out to hoe and pray." He replied, "Brother Savidge, cut out the praying; there is nothing in it; but keep hoeing."
But now for the sequel. I not only labored and prayed, but I took God's promises to him.
Here I quote some that I pleaded especially, Phil., 4:19: "My God shall supply all your need."
And in connection with this I remembered General Booth's last words, "His promises are true if you only believe."
I dwelt much on Matt., 19:26: "With God all things are possible." And in connection with this verse I studied Mark, 9:23: "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."
I found I had to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, Matt., 11:12. Also Matt., 15:27-28.
That great German, Emanuel Wichern, said, concerning his work, "We had only one treasure, the promise of our gracious Lord."
I could say the same.
Count Zinzendorf said, "To believe against hope is the root of the gift of miracles." Surely this was true in my case.
There was no earthly hope; the cyclone had destroyed much property and discouraged the people, and the hot July sun had burned up almost completely the crops in the fields.
I looked away from all these things to my God and pleading His promises I boasted in His power to help.
And on the 24th day of July, 1913, two young men, on whom I had no claim for this charity, brought me $1,325.00 in cash, and we paid for the lands we had bought in full.
This so far has been the story of what we have done. Now for what we are about to do.
Within a few weeks there will be launched a campaign to raise $125,000.00 cash and build a new House of Hope.
The building will be thoroughly modern; will be large enough to house 140 old people easily, and more if
necessary, and will be erected on the site we have purchased and paid for.
The plans for this building have already been completed by the architect, drawings of which are printed in this book.
The building, as planned, is a masterpiece. The exterior is modeled after the Gothic style of architecture. The interior plan of the building was developed after a comparative study had been made by the architect of. the latest and best equipped institutions of the kind.
Here are a few suggestive features: There is not a single inside room in the entire building and only twelve on the north side of the house which do not get the direct sunlight. Even these are light, airy rooms, far superior to most of the "two-dollar-a-day" hotel rooms.
Dr. Wiley, the great food expert, says that sunshine is the greatest germicide known to man. We believe him; and from cellar to garret we are planning to catch all of it we can, even in the basement where the big workshop is to be located; we won't even need an electric light on a rainy day. We expect to let everybody work at some congenial employment, no matter how little they are able to do. Busy hours are happy hours for old people, and perhaps some of these "old has-beens" may surprise you with what they can do.
At the south end of the first floor will be the sun room, a room we are told large enough to seat an audience of 100 people. Here the old people can come at their leisure--sew, knit or gossip as they see fit. This will be their living room.
Our dining room has its distinctive features, too. We shall not equip it with long deal tables, such as are found in prisons and almshouses; instead it will be equipped with small tables and will look very similar to a modern hotel dining room.
But the good features are too numerous to mention. Depend upon it, we will spare no pains in making this house a beautiful, convenient home for the aged.
To erect this building we will depend entirely on the generosity and interest of the people at large. Sub-.
scriptions will be asked from everyone who can give. The work is worthy and need is great, so the building must be built at once.
The building will be owned absolutely by the trustees of the House of Hope corporation. I will not have a dollar of financial interest in it. Not even have I a dollar's worth in any of the property owned by the House of Hope. It is all owned by the trustees and will be forever.
To build this new building, an organization is now being perfected. Some of the best known men and women of Omaha are on the advisory board of trustees. There are committees to look after the various details of the work. Some of the best minds in Omaha have taken it upon themselves to see that this building is built. They have investigated and know that the need is imperative.
Soon their appeal for help will go
out over Omaha, Nebraska and the country. When it comes to you, bear
in mind what the work is, then dig down in your pockets.
In the month of June, 1911, my second son, Mark M. Savidge, graduated at the University of Chicago, and on the 15th of June of the same year he began to assist me in the business of the House of Hope, which we now have, and in the gathering of moneys for the payment of our land and the erection of our new building.
From a little boy Mark has had an important part in my charity work, and from the beginning he has been associated more or less with the House of Hope. He is a fine singer and a ready speaker, and has both ability and tact to lay the work before all classes of people. His services to me in this line have been necessary and almost invaluable.
My third son, John T. Savidge, now a boy 17 years of age, has also been a valuable assistant. Recently he has spent much time at the big house, representing his father personally. He has been quite successful in handling difficult cases and even in the management of those who have been temporarily insane.
The assistance and co-operation of my sons has been
necessary because I work without salary, and in order for me to support my family I am compelled to answer special calls which come to me in my ministry, and if I had not the help of these young men I hardly see how I could get along.
N THE first days of my early ministry I was asked to bury the dead. The first two funerals that I ever officiated at were those of aged men. I took an appropriate text and enforced such lessons as I thought appropriate and briefly reviewed the life of the deceased.
During my ministry it has been my practice, if it has been impossible for me to say anything good of the dead, to remain silent concerning his life. In such cases I preached to the living; not of the dead.
One day during my early ministry I had two funerals, but in my later ministry I have had as many as six in one day.
I never refuse to go to a funeral, no matter what the life may have been. I have now buried 3,000 dead. I have the names of all these persons recorded in large books, which I call my funeral books.
These records have been very useful and helpful in a number of cases. When desired to do so I go to the grave, believing if a minister is needed anywhere it is at the grave.
I make no charge for funeral services, but receive whatever is given me The largest fee I. ever received was $25.00. On these occasions I try to teach, instruct and warn the people.
I have had a great opportunity to study human nature under these trying circumstances. I have seen some who did not shed a tear, who afterward proved that their grief was very great, and I have seen others who cried, screamed and tore their hair, and who appeared to be absolutely inconsolable, and yet they married again in a few months.
Of all the funerals which I ever attended, one in this
city at which I officiated a few months ago was the most exciting.
A driver of one of the carriages, it appears, was accustomed to drink some and also addicted to some sort of drug.
While we were in the procession going to the cemetery these stimulants began to work and some of us noticed that he was whipping his horses and acting very strangely.
Soon the undertaker thought best to correct him for his conduct. Immediately this driver put whip to his horses, left the procession and drove at a furious rate. This was all the more distressing, because in his carriage were the chief mourners.
The police of the city were notified of the condition of things and they run him down with an automobile, pulled him off the carriage seat and put him in jail. Another driver took his place and the procession moved on its way.
In case of my own funeral, I hope some person who has known me will say a few words, but I depend mostly upon the gratitude of those hearts whom I have tried to help. I have left orders for my body to be cremated. My wife has, however, informed me that my orders will be disobeyed. However, I expect to be in a place where these matters will be little regarded.
MARRIED my first couple at Litchfleld, Minn., in October, 1879. I did not know what to do in this service, so I asked a brother pastor who preached in the Presbyterian Church in that place.
He gave me some instructions and I followed directions, asked them a few questions and pronounced them man and wife.
I have now married nearly three thousand couples. I have married all kinds of people, all colors, nearly all nationalities and all ages; some have been young, some old and others middle-aged.
Very many of my couples have done exceedingly well, many others have died and some have been divorced.
Some ministers have a very long and tedious marriage service, but my service is short and to the point. There is not so much dependent on the length of the service and the minister as there is upon the contracting parties themselves.
It is up to them whether they will be happy or miserable. Here is a copy of my brief marriage ceremony:
"Will thou have this woman to be thy wedded wife to live together after God's ordinance in the holy state of matrimony?
"Wilt thou have this woman to be thy wedded wife in health, and forsaking all others, cleave thee only unto her?"
The bridegroom answers, "I will."
I then ask the bride the same questions concerning the groom. She answers, "I will."
I then direct the bridegroom to place the ring on the third finger of his lady's left hand and, holding the hand, to repeat after me these words:
"I have now married nearly 3,000 couples. Some ministers have a very long and tedious marriage service, but my service is short and to the point."
"With this ring I thee wed, and with my worldly goods I thee endow; in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost."
I then close that part of the service with these words: "For as much as this man and this woman have consented together in holy wedlock, have witnessed the same before God and this company, and signified the same by joining of hands, I pronounce that they are husband and wife together, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost."
I then offer the following brief prayer: "And now may God, the Father, and the Son and the Holy Ghost bless, preserve and keep you. The Lord mercifully look upon you; so fill you with all benediction and grace that ye may so live together in this life that in the world to come ye may have life everlasting."
Sometimes I add this prayer: "Lord,
bless this man and woman, now this husband and wife. Bind them
together Thyself and may they never be separated by any discord or
difference or rent apart by the action of any divorce court, but may
death alone break this bond. In order that they may live long and
prosper, we pray they may believe in Thee, the living God, as much as
Daniel ever did. That they may take the Bible as the inspired word of
God and Man of their counsel, thus laying the foundation of happiness
here and felicity forever. For the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Some people are very jolly when
they are being married; they laugh inordinately. I have had to tell
them to cease their levity, believing they were making too light of
the step they were taking.
I have seen some brides weep copiously, but I agree with the bride from the country, who was very jolly, whose father remarked, "Daughter, I am surprised that you feel so jolly when you are being married. It is an
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