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The Gospel Messenger — Offering #22

From Longmont, Col.

Our council for the second quarter is now one of the things of the past.  We had a very fair turn-out of members.  Considerable business was before the meeting, and all passed off pleasantly.  Love seemed to have the ruling influence, and when such is the case, there is never any, trouble.  A delegate for District and Annual Meetings was duly elected.  The lot fell upon the writer, and if we are spared to go, we feel that the prayers of the church will go with us.

So far, we have had one of the finest springs we have ever seen—nothing but sunshine; in fact, it could not be any nicer.  It is getting pretty dry now, and farmers are wishing for rain, but at present it does not look as if it would ever storm; the sky is perfectly cloudless.      G. W. Fesler.

April 4, 1887.


From New Carlisle, Ohio.

Since my sickness more, than a year ago, I have been urged by many Brethren to say something of my whereabouts.  My reason for being silent in the paper is about the same as being silent at our Conference.  While I have not missed an Annual Meeting for eighteen years, I have made very few speeches, from the fact that there were always some more able to defend the cause.  So, also, there is always some one ready to keep the paper filled with news, rich articles from God's word and I feel a delicacy in taking away the room, from able minds.  The readers of the Gospel Messenger may not know where I have been last year; suffice it to say, wherever I was I was taken care of, and while I have not preached as much as formerly, on account of my health, I have been trying to do a little in the service of the Lord, in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Colorado, Virginia and in the city of Baltimore, Md.  Bro. Quinlan's work among the boys deserves attention.  Brethren and sisters, remember our dear brother in this large city and aid him in this noble work that he has commenced.  May it not be confined to boys, but the girls also should be taught the blessedness of the Gospel truths.  May the Lord bless the labors and weak efforts made at all these places and may they result in good is my prayer.

a suggestion.

As the time of our Conference is drawing nigh, allow me to offer a thought.  Brethren, in going to Conference, would it not be in harmony with the Gospel, to avoid traveling on Sunday as much as possible?  When the Annual Meeting was at Bismarck, Kansas, four years ago, the Brethren, or some of them at least, wanted a special train for Bismarck, proposing that it start on Sunday.  As I was making arrangements on several lines, I went to see the General Passenger Agent of an important line, and, upon making known my business, he said, "If you want it, you can have it, but you are the last people I would have thought wanted a special train on Sunday."

Let us consider the matter and act accordingly.  The words of that General Agent have rung in my ears often since then, as he was surprised that we, as a people holding the word of the Lord so closely in all things, did not regard the Sabbath more holy.  Let us let our light shine in traveling as well as everything else, and if we must have a special train to go to Annual Meeting from any point let us try and avoid having it on Sunday, if possible.  Much is said in regard to rates to Annual Meeting; it is now thought, by some of the General Passenger Agents at least, that the Interstate Commerce Bill will let them give reduced rates on conditions.

April 181h, 1887.                                                                                                    Henry Frantz.


From Lebanon Church, Oregon.

The Messenger comes to us here in the Far West every week, laden with crumbs so large that they might be called loaves; and chips so large that none need be wasted.  Not only this, but it contains many letters of rejoicing over sinners turning to Christ.

Last Saturday, April 2, we had our quarterly council, which passed off pleasantly.  Heb. 13 was read, and some remarks made upon 7th and 17th verses.  June 4 was appointed as the time for holding our sub-district council.  Then the Minutes of A. M. of 1886 were read, and the members admonished to accept them in full, that we may all work together in "the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace," that through this one body might be accomplished the great mission for which Christ died.  We also had the pleasure of hearing something good from three letters that had been received from the eastern States, Illinois, Ohio and Virginia, giving us some idea how the faithful there keep house.  We finished our day's work by selecting one of our faithful sisters as solicitor for the Mission Fund.

Martha A. Baltimore.


Ramblings in the West.

A Sabbath on the frontier is vastly different from what it is in the older settled countries.  People seem to have come here—not to keep the Sabbath, not to worship God, nor yet to hold Sabbath-school, or services of any kind—but to trade and traffic and speculate, and "esteem every day alike."  Still I must say, to the credit of the frontiersmen here, that the society is better, much better, than I expected to find it.  People are very civil, courteous and kind, and it may not be the fault of the people here that there is little or no divine service.  Not very many religiously-disposed persons venture out on the extreme frontier.  We, however, find some, and they are very anxious to have other religious persons, and ministers to move among them, that they may enjoy church privileges, etc.

Our first stop was fifteen miles north of Dodge City, Hodgman county.  Here we found four members—Bro. Zug and family, of Illinois.  They live in Ford county; also a sister Herren, who had not heard a sermon by the Brethren for seven years.  Here we had but one meeting, on Sunday April 3.  A fire broke out, and, it being a windy day, did much damage, of course so confusing the community that there were no services at night.  Speaking of the fire, I would remark that there were several stables burned in the neighborhood, with much feed, and one thresher—the only one in the country—and, worst of all, one man was badly burnt.  He was, with his team, caught in the fire, and the team was injured so severely as to be, in all probability, useless for the future.  The poor man, however, suffered severe injuries, but still clings to life.  His body was not burned as badly as his legs, hands and head.  We saw him the next day after it was done, and we thought it the most pitiable spectacle we ever saw.  He is a member of the U. P. church, and desired a season of worship, which we held with the family.

With this section of country, the southern part of Hodgman county, we are more favorably impressed than any section of country I have so far seen, and I have now seen the most of the south-western part of Kansas.  The quality of the soil and the lay of the land, with many other things, would make it, in my judgment, the most favorable point for the location of a number of families, should they wish to locate together to form their own society.  Land, as yet, is cheap, however there is no vacant land except railroad land, but relinquishments can be had cheap.  Here is good building stone, not far off, with a natural lime that answers every purpose, so far as has been tried, as burned lime, for building purposes.  Here are ever-living streams, not far from each other.  But one peculiarity about this western country is, there is no timber on the creeks.  Wells here are from 80 to 100 feet deep, but the water, when once obtained, is inexhaustible and soft.

I had to remark, while driving over this broad expanse of rich and fertile prairie, How strange it is that people would remove the forests and stone, and some underdrain the swamps, while others would farm almost inaccessible hills and lands that scarcely produce anything, when they could have nice, rich, level land by just simply going to it!  But people have awakened to their interests, and the land is being rapidly taken and occupied.  Such another field for labor in the Lord's vineyard is not open in the known world.  Here are towns and cities and settlements springing up every-where, and improvements march on continually.  But what about Christianity?  Is an earthly home and worldly improvements of more importance than spiritual matters?  Here is something for both those living in the west and those living in the east, who have an abundance of the things of the world to think about, and it ought as well to engage the attention of the general church.  I notice more graveyards than churches, more doctors than preachers, and a much greater degree of worldly interest than spiritual, hence I conclude that there is a great need of something being done by the church.  If the Lord's own will not work for him, who will?  If those who can will not, who can?  If those who have will not give, who can?  Here is much to think about, and more to do.  Who will think, and who will do?

I am now, April 10, at Hugoton, Stevens Co., Kan., a very fine country, and destined to make a pleasant country to live in, when settled up, and railroads run through the country.  The climate is fine—no rain to speak of during the winter season, and it is thought that there will be rain in the summer season with more regularity than in the eastern States, on account of the snow melting in the mountains.  Such is the history of the country.

Being in Hugoton on the Sabbath, we wondered if they did have any meetings in this country; so we wended our way to the school-house, the only place for public meetings in the place.  The minister read for his text, John 10: 1-10, and, by the way, said some very good things.  But he, like all of the same faith, had a great deal to say about Christ dwelling in the heart.  The mistake is, they make people believe that Christ will dwell in their hearts without obedience to his word.  The fact that Christ dwells in the heart, so to speak, only by his word, is entirely overlooked by them.  They would have Christ in them, and they in him, entirely without means.  But he said one grand thing, namely, "If Christ is in us, we cannot rest, while sinners are going to perdition."  This is a thought for every professor.  Many are resting.  Is it because sinners are not going to perdition, or is Christ not in them?  Oh, if all would just do what they could, there surely would be more done than what there is being done!

I shall, ere I return home, find some place that will be favorable for a settlement of a number of families, if those who have signified their desire to come west still think of doing so.  Those wishing to know more about the country, will please address me at Olathe, Kan., for I shall say but little more through the Messenger, as I do not think it proper to trespass on its columns too much.  Kansas is a wonderful State.  It keeps all its highways swept clean, especially out here in the west.      J. B. LAIR.

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