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The Gospel Messenger — Offering #104


From Greenmount, Va.

—Christmas day was mild and pleasant.  We had meeting at our church here, on that day.  We think it better to spend the day in the worship of God, than to spend it in the manner in which many people spend it.

—Our annual council was held here the 2nd day of Jan.  The principal business was that of settling up for the past year, and making arrangements for the support of the poor for the ensuing year.  There was some other business done, but all passed off pleasantly, except the withdrawal of one precious soul, who chose to turn back to the world again.  I hope the time is not far distant when he will be made to see the error of his choice, and come back to the fold.

—We spent the first Sunday of the new year in worship at this place, it being our regular meeting day.  Bro. J. C. Myers [sic I. C.] did the principal part of the preaching, from Hebrews 6: 1–2, to a large congregation, considering the dampness of the day.  The church is in union here, and seemingly alive in the cause.  I find, in canvassing for the Messenger, the Brethren are very well pleased with it.  I hope we may all be enabled to be faithful, and work together for good, and in the end obtain the blessing.

Jacob A. Garber.

Jan. 4, 1886.

From Madison, Kan.

I took the train, Dec. 23, for Keighley, Butler Co., where we tried, in our weakness, to preach to the people until Saturday.  Dec. 25, at 11 o'clock, we preached the funeral discourse of sister Isabella Byerly, who departed this life Dec. 9, 1885.  She leaves six orphan children to make their way through a cold and sinful world, their father and oldest brother having perished in a well a little over a year ago.  The oldest of the children is sixteen, the youngest a little over a year old.—God protect the little orphans, and help them to follow the instructions of their departed Christian mother.  Sister Byerly gathered her children around the family altar every night and morning, and committed them to the protection of the loving Father above. — The influences of a praying mother will speak for Jesus in the years to come.  When she sleeps in the cold grave, her teachings will lead precious souls to the foot of the cross.  Oh! that every mother were a Christian!  Sister Byerly's age was thirty-nine years, seven months and twenty-nine days.                                                                                       Chas. M. Yearout.

From Greenland, Grant Co., W. Va.

I will try to give you a brief report of our series of meetings, which commenced on the night of the 18th of Dec., and came to a close on the night of the 4th of Jan.  Bro. Z. Annon, of Taylor Co., W. Va., was our ambassador.  Our meetings were held at Laurel Dale, Mineral Co., and Paddiesland, Grant Co., those two places being about seven miles apart.  At the former place there were ten discourses preached, and sixteen at the latter.  During the progress of the meetings, three precious souls made the good choice, and were adopted into the family of God.  Two of them are yet in their youth, and we trust God will give grace to them all, and to us also, that we may "fight a good fight," even until our course be finished.

The church has been greatly revived and encouraged.  Bro. Annon deals out the heavenly manna with a lavish hand, preaching the Word without favor or partiality toward man.  We think many good impressions were made, and doubtless in due time, "we shall reap if we faint not."

The only thing we have to deplore is, the meetings closed too soon, but our dear brother had to leave for other fields of labor.  I feel that many of us will remember his farewell discourse as long as life shall last, and I trust that we shall reduce to practice the good things that he gave us.  Brethren, we should labor to have more such meetings, and we can have them if we all labor as we should.  If we call watchmen that will give no uncertain sound, we need not fear that we will do too much.  How many make "full proof of their ministry?"  But the church should be careful to do her duty, and not expect the poor minister to do all. Brethren, let us work, work, WORK, and "so much the more as we see the day approaching."                                                                                                          Wm. M. Lyon.

Jan. 4, 1886.

Home Again.

By request of the Yellow Creek church, I took my leave of the dear ones Nov. 12, and commenced meeting the 15th.  Had good meetings, and we have reason to believe, that the church on earth, and angels in heaven, did rejoice over the result of our meetings.  From here we went to the Elkhart church, and labored about three weeks, at two different points.  Again the waters were troubled, and, lo, joy on earth and in heaven.  From here we went to the Rock Run church, and tried to preach Jesus to a large and well-behaved audience.  Notwithstanding the large crowd, every one bowed in time of prayer.  Oh! I wish others would do likewise.  We labored here almost one week, and again tears of joy were shed, seeing sinners and dear ones coming into the ark.  Our next stopping place was the Pleasant Valley church, in Elkhart Co., where we labored one week for the people and members.  We had glorious meetings together, and I can say for one, it was good for me to be there.  Again sinners were made willing to come to Christ, and be raised from a watery grave, we trust, to walk in newness of life.  The members know how to make a minister welcome, and feel at home.  Of a truth, we had homes, and brethren and sisters, and fathers and mothers, in abundance.  During our weak efforts, the Lord added twenty-one precious souls to the fold.  May he keep them from the evil, and when the toil and trials of earth are all overcome, give them a crown of righteousness in heaven, is my prayer.

I formed many new acquaintance's which will last as long as my memory remains with me.  To all the dear members and friends, who were so kind and charitable to me in various ways, I wish also to tender my thanks, in which thanks my wife heartily joins with me, and may the Lord reward you richly.

I returned home Jan. 5, found all well save wife, who is better at this date.  Thank the Lord for his love and care over us continually.                                                                                    Isaiah Rairigh.

Woodland, Mich.

From the Eden Valley Church.

Since my last communication, one more has been added to the church by baptism, and several by church letter.  One year ago this church numbered but thirty members, and now it numbers over eighty.  Most of this increase is by Brethren moving in, and settling with us, and still more are getting ready to come.  May the Lord bless many more, and enable them to come.

We certainly have a good country, and a vast field for the Brethren to labor in.  We are now holding regular meetings at places, where at least two more churches should be organized in the near future, and will be, if a few more members and a couple of ministers will settle at those points.  It is hard on us and our teams to go so far, thirty and forty miles, to preach, but we cannot feel satisfied to let those dear brethren and sisters starve for the Word of God.  We have gone several times, thinking we must recall the appointment and go no more, but we could not do so.  The warm reception, the careful entertainment and the many thankful expressions overcame us, and another appointment was left.  Correspondence solicited.                                                                                                        Michael Moorhead.

Great Bend, Kan.

From Falling Spring Church, Franklin Co., Pa.

Brother Jacob Hedrick, of Midland, Fauquier Co., Va., came to us in the evening of the 26th of Dec., and remained with us until Jan. 4.  He preached in all, seventeen sermons.  The immediate result was four precious souls added to the fold.  Two of them, a young married couple, and the other two a brother and sister in the flesh.  We can truly say that our dear brother did not shun to declare the whole counsel of God to a dying world.  Others, apparently, were very near the kingdom, but for some reason unknown, they, like many others, are putting it off for a more convenient season.  Oh! how many, like Felix of old, are ushered into eternity without ever having that convenient season in which to receive the pardon of their sins!  We are made to wonder, when people hear the gospel made so plain, why they do not accept it?  But as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it also be in the coming of the Son of Man.

There are people in the world who would rather pay large sums of money to have the Word of God perverted, than to accept it in its primitive simplicity without money and without price.  Some will even mock, and make unbecoming remarks about the plain commandments of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and his humble followers.  But, dear brethren and sisters, let us remember that persecution is part of the Christian's happiness. Matt. 5: 11-12.  Therefore we should not be discouraged, but let us the more earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints, and in the end receive the crown, which the Lord has promised to them that love him.                                                 Wm. C. Koontz.

Marsh Creek Items.—No. 11.

—On Dec. 9, Bro. C. L. Pfoutz and wife arrived safe at home.  They were much pleased with their visit among friends and Brethren in the West.

—On the 11th, we were called upon to consign to the tomb our well-beloved brother, Michael Trostle.  Of his valued life, and unexpected death, more will doubtless be written.

—On the 12th, Eld. E. W. Stoner, of Union Bridge, Md., arrived and lodged with Bro. Bushman, and was taken by him to Marsh Creek church, where a protracted effort was commenced.  He remained in the congregation until the 28th, preaching in all nineteen sermons, at different points.  His arguments were earnestly and clearly presented, and cannot fail in accomplishing good.  He also made a number of calls and visits, which were also promotive of great good.  The only immediate result was the return of one who had wandered from the fold.

—During the year 1885, six of our number were removed by death, three took out letters of membership, and two souls were added, one by baptism and one by letter.  So we readily perceive our ranks are being thinned, with but few recruits to fill the vacancies.—We are hopeful however, that before the close of the present year, some important events may be chronicled.  Surely, the church at this place has had a plenteous seed-time; may we now anxiously await a bounteous harvest.

B. F. Kittinger.

From the Sam's Creek Church, Md.

I will give you a short sketch of our meetings, which are among the things of the past.  On Saturday night, Dec. 12, Eld. Jacob Hedrick, of Midland, Va., commenced a series of meetings, and continued until Monday night, the 21st, when he preached his last sermon to a large and attentive audience.  He preached ten sermons in all.  On Tuesday, Bro. Jacob took the train at New Windsor, on his way home, and our love and best wishes went with him.  Come again, Bro. Jacob, you will be very welcome.  We felt very much revived and encouraged, through the labors of our dear brother while with us.  His preaching was delivered with much power and demonstration of the Spirit.  The people of our community are mostly Methodists, both Northern and Southern.  Consequently our congregation was composed mostly of Methodist people, who seemed to take an interest in Bro. Jacob's manner of preaching the gospel, notwithstanding it was quite in opposition to what they practice.  The meetings were well attended, and good feeling seemed to prevail.

One night during the meeting, the brother took for his text, "Strive to enter in at the straight gate.  For many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able."  Luke 13: 24.  The brother, in the beginning of his remarks, said to his congregation that he would try to tell them what was safe ground to occupy, and what they must do, in order to be saved, and by the time he was through with his subject they would all agree with him, and the only differences between them and us would be in the practice of the gospel.  Sure enough, at the end of his sermon all the Brethren and Methodists were ready to admit that if we all lived up strictly to what he preached, we would be on the safe side of the question, except one Methodist lady, who said, "We will agree to disagree," as much as to say that not every word that cometh from God is essential to our salvation.

Although there was none added to the church during our meetings, yet we believe much good was accomplished.  The brother did not shun to declare the whole counsel of God.

On Tuesday morning, Dec. 22, our beloved sister Mary Miller, Bro. Samuel Miller's companion, and family took the train at New Windsor, on their way to Southern Kansas, where Bro. Samuel secured a home last fall.  We hope they all have landed in safety before this time.

On last Sunday morning, Dec. 27, after our regular meeting, Willie R. Franklin [sic] was installed into the ministry by Eld. Solomon Stoner.  Eld. John Flory, of Va., and Eld. Switzer of Kan., were present.  Bro. Switzer preached a very interesting sermon.                                                         Wm. H. Franklin.

Notes from our Correspondents.

Bro. John C. Johnson is expected to hold a series of meetings for the Brethren at Purchase Line, Pa, beginning Feb. 12.

Bro. M. Rucker, of Sinking Springs, O., says that they started a prayer-meeting at their homes, and are much encouraged by the success of their weak efforts.  The meetings are growing in interest.  This is right; —the people of God cannot spend an evening of each week any better, than to meet together to sing and pray, and to read God's Word.  This is according to the gospel, and we wish that in every community of the Brethren there might be a social meeting of this kind carried on.

Bro. Robert Metsker, of the Mexico Church, Ind., spent some time in Mt. Morris, last week.  We had a pleasant visit from him at the Messenger office.

A series of meetings has been in progress at the Pine Creek church, Ogle Co., Ill., for the last week.  We have not had a report from there yet, but hope much good may result from the meetings.

Bro. P. R. Wrightsman is holding meetings in the Pleasant Grove congregation, Kan.  The result, as reported by Bro. J. Herr, is two baptized, one reclaimed, one applicant, and others seriously counting the cost.

Eld. Samuel Murray, of River, Ind., writes that Bro. D. Younce is holding meetings for them.  They have large congregations and good interest.  Bro. Murray's health is not good, and he asks an interest in the prayers of God's people.

The Mission Board of North-western Kan. and Col., will meet in a few days.  They are anxious to see the work move forward.  In each District we should have at least one faithful missionary in the field.  There is plenty of work, but the laborers are few.

Bro. M. M. Eshelman, of Belleville, Kan., would like to have a few copies of the Messenger, No. 45, 1885.  We are entirely out of that number.  Any one wishing to give, Bro. M. that number, will confer a favor upon him by sending it to him.  Address as above.

Bro. J. M. Mohler is now preaching at Cherry Grove, Ill., a few miles north of Lanark.  The meetings at Lanark were well attended, and much interest was taken in them.  No accessions were made to the church, but we believe much good was done, and we hope the good seed sown will bear fruit in the Lord's own time.


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