The American Presbyterian. (Philadelphia) 1856-1869, December 23, 1869, Image 1

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Series, Vol. VI, No. 51.
Strictly ln itdvanee $2.50, Otherwise $3.
postage 20ets, to be paid where delivered.
blur eurropoantt.
Peaceful Conquests in the Track of Sheridan
From Oroomiah to East Tennessee
John Chinaman in California
Large Accessions to City Churches
About the Freedmen, from one of them—" Light,
more light I"—Elherldan's trneke In the Valley..
The want of the South: Schools for the moose.;
-Excellent Reeokd of the Presbyterian Church
-The work demanded of her to-day,
Our work among the Freedmen of the She
,. ioduah Valley, and other parts ,of Virginia,
K satisfactorily. During the past autumn
w schools have been opened, and the :Bible
,o ]d spelling-book made
,ivailable to hindrerre
o re of those, who hitherto have sat iu the re
:lon and shadow of darkness. As rapidly as the
Ircumstanoes will warrant, new fields are entered
i on, teachers sent forward, and day schools and
tbbath schools established for all who may
~nose to attend. At all of the principal towns
this valley, and at quite a number of the minor
,ces, has the Work been inaugurated and great
d done. The avidity with which the Freed
.o avail themselves of educational privileges,
.„I,t not only be gratifying to the supporters of
r mission, but foreshadows for the former a
duns and happy future. There is, perhaps, no
,tance on record, where an emancipated people
e made such rapid strides in education, mo-.
lily iudustry, and, in fact,
,everything that
.1.1, toward elevated life. The one long and ear
,;.t appeal of the Freedmen, all through the
• .utli, is " Light, more light." Thanks to a
Jnerou4, Christian philanthropy, born amid the
struggle with slavery, their cry remains
, tirrit,,,vvered.
Two years ago, the path to complete neon
:ruction and national tranquility, so far as the
S)uth,:rn States were concerned, seemed plain
nail straight. if the most casual observer can now
:ravel through the South, from Virginia to Lou
:.iana, and return settled in mind as to the so
of the above result, he would cer
:jaiy earn the right to be classed with those
who having eyes see not, and ears hear not."
I will nit go so far as Mr. Garrison, and say,
re :oustruction is a bad failure," but I will
,ty that it is not a complete success. Why? If
no other reason, simply because the measures
Llup!ed by Congress are insufficient, 'and, such
tiny arc, have been executed in so weak a
runner, as almost to preclude the possibility of
-miess. Tennessee, the mildest case of incipient
where is she ? Georgia, the first to be
)to meted, and the first to go back on the
~ !ry Fpirit of reconstruction. It is not enough
tilat a tree be planted; it must, also, be digged
.i - iout," and cared for until it takes firm root.
The political power of the South is gradually
tiling, hack into the hands of the old leaders.
some iustances this is not much to be regretted,
' SOIIIO of the later leaders are men skilled in
?ery art of duplicity and cunning. At moat, it
only a change from bad to worse.
It was Sheridan, I believe, who said that the
vdr left the Shenandoah Valley so desolate that a
row could not go over without carrying rations.
A viisit through this valley, even at this day, helps
He to realize what it was in '65. Along the
routes there is some improvement, but once
1' the railroads (what few there are) and the
' npikes, one is impressed with the idea that he
las 00100 up " just after a storm." We look in
,:Ci e for those evidences of thrift and prosperity
which might naturally be expected among in
!,bitants of so rich and fertile a valley as the
\ iletiandoah. With a soil scarcely equaled any
.A here for productiveness, certainly not surpassed,
, Ld with a climate mild, salubrious, and so healthy
Lat one doctor will answer for a whole conreu•
:y, it ought to be a garden spot, teeming with
, lity and happiness. Emigrants from the North
1 elsewhere are coming in, but as a general
4 1g they are men of small means, and of so
force of character as to be unable to main
in their own, among the more numerous natives,
lliui antagonistic principles.
\\l a the South needs more than anything
is ~ eliools for the masses. As a general thing,
'" 2 Wealthier people sustain very fair private
. 4 leulies and seminaries, and their children grow
't' pretty well educated. But popular education,
ri it, widest sense, is a thing yet to be introduced
to find favor in this region. I have no idea
' l4 t the legislature, even if the State should be
admitted to the Union during the present session
of Congress, will take immediate steps toward the
inauguration of a system of common schools.
Those who would support such a measure, are in
the minority in that body.
If our denomination does not sieze the present
opportunity of putting forth a strong effort for
the education and evangelization of the colored
people - of the South; it will commit one of the
grandest of blunders. The harvest is ripe. Thou
sands and tens of thousands are waiting to be
gathered into schools and churches, and -to be
elevated to the dignity of Christian life. What
church is so well calculated to take this benighted
people by the hand, and lead them in the walks
of Christian virtue ? I say it with a feeling of
pride, yet not boastingly, that wherever I have
traveled among the Freedmen, I have found the
kindliest feeling toward Presbyterianism. It is
not a generally known fact,, that the members of
our faith, even in the South, in the days of sla
very, were disposed to teach their servants to read
and write. In nine cases of ten of those who
possess these rudimentary arts, they will be found
to have been reared in Presbyterian families
Even if they failed -to teach their servants to
read, they atoned for it by " catechizing " them
without mercy. It is the general testimony of
the Freedmen, that our denomination was more
friendly toward them than any other.
Our work of evangelizing the Freedmen will
not be unattended by difficulties. The first will
be to get the Church awakened to a full sense of
its magnitude and promise. - The second will be
the opposition, we shall meet from other denomi
nations already in the field. The third and
greatest difficulty we shall find, will be to obtain
suitable missionaries. The latter cannot now be
had in the North, nor can they be had in the
South, in sufficient numbers. The teachers of
Gospel truth whom we shall send among this
people, must be produced here on the ground.
How ? The Committee of Home Missions should
rat once take steps looking to the establishment 9f
an -institution somewhere in this, State, in which
there shall be a classical, theological, and normal
department, whose special object shall .be to pre
pare native young colored men for the ministry.
From such an institution we could send out in an
incredibly short space of time many who would
perform well the part of pioneer missionaries,
among their brethren. Ido not believe there is
any other practicable mode of enemas. Of course
we shall be able to put a number of workers in
the field at once, but the main body must be
drawn from some such source as I hge sug
gested. I feel perfectly confident that we could
gather to us, in a short time, the best talent
among the colored people of this State.- Of course,
this is not the time nor place to consider the de
tails of such a plan, and I shall not now further
enlarge upon the idea.
So far, our work in this State has been con
fined mainly to day-schools and Sabbath.schools.
These, I am. pleased to say, have prospered be
yond expectation. We entered this State with
the determination simply to do whatever our
hands found to do. We found whole communi
ties of Freedmen without schools of any kind,
and for such we provided teachers. We found
gangs of youth running wild on the Sabbath
day, engaged in every conceivable form of dissi
pation. ,Such we have, in a great measure,
wherever we have gone, succeeded in drawing
into the Sabbath-school, organized them in
classes for Bible instruction, and taught them the
sweet songs of Bradbury.
So much for the past. What of the future?
Shall we continue to move forward, or pause
here ? Let the Church answer.
Reception of lire. Rhea and, her, Daughter.
Fruits oir r Paran ial Faithfalaeas.
Your readers may be interested in a scene
which transpired in our newly repaired church,
in Jonesboro, on last Sabbath. It was when we
were about to sit down at the table of our
bleSsed Master. It was a touching as well as a
sublime and tender scene to all who witnessed it.
The house was filled to overflowing. All the
Christian people of our town were present. The
spirit of union seemed to come to us, in its full
ness, in the person of the Rev. Samuel Sparks,
who is with us from Pittsburgh, on a Visit to his
aged mother. The young minister, Rev. P. D.
Cowan, who assisted us in the meeting, preached
on personal consecration, and most ably illus
trated it by that fragrant and consecrated life
commemorated in " The Tennesseean in Persia."
Bow appropriate for such a time ! For then
we welcomed to her home and her childhood's
church, the widow of that holy man, who, nine
years ago, in that 'very church, led her to the
altar a bride, then to the distant land where he
nobly served his Master and won his crown,
gemmed with many stars.
It was our first Communion since Mrs. Rhea's
return. She brought us a letter from the Mis
sion church at Oroomiah, Persia. How near it
brought that distant land, and how much closer
to our hearts it drew that great work in which
Mr. Rhea died. There is a humanity in the
work of Missions, which when seen, brings it
near and makes it more real. That communion
season was one of peculiar interest. Two others
were received by letter; and four young disciples
stood up and named Jesus before the world..
Oue of them was only eight years old—Annie
Dwight Rhea. I thought there was one , present
not seen by natural eyes. He, at least, was
there in spirit, who at Oroomiah, " every evening
when the supper -table was cleared away, would
sit: in hiti chair, with Annie on his knee, and
talk about Jesus; always about Jesus." If all
parents followed•that example, would they not
oftener hear their children saying :n the
pH - city of childhood, " I love Jesus"? Would
not their minds and hearts•be so preoe,cupied with
Jesus that the world could not find room
therein ? You may well suppose Gat the Holy
Spirit was with us on that Sabbath day. We
gained a new baptism. We have continued the
services through the week, and some souls have,
we trust, been converted unto Jesus.
The Sabbath services in the chapel of the Ohio
State Penitentiary, witnessed this morning,
seemed to me worth recording foreyour reader.
Over one thousand men, clad in the prisOn uni
form, marching in from the cells in coinpanies
of thirty to thirty-five men, with a keeper •to each
company—convicts serving out their various
terms of imprisonment, some4r . a
z greater . and
.some for a less period, sixty.fiveOf 4,.)e number
for their lives—all quietly and submissively seat
ing themselves to worship God ) was a strange and
wonderful sight.
The chapel is a long, L-shaped room, the pulpit
being at the angle of the room, and immediately
opposite it. The prisoners file in and are seated
upon benches running the entire length of the
room, the keepers being perched upon high arm
chairs overlooking the whole assembly. Some
twenty minutes were occupied to day in seating
this vast throng; and from the seats set apart fbr
visitors, the writer had the opportunity of studying
the physiognomy of the men, who sat in long
rows,, facing him. ,How his heart was moved with
pity, with charity, as be noted the want of educa
tion manifest in the countenances of the large
majority of these convicts! Some, it is true, bore
marks of intelligence, and my thoughts wandered
in the contemplation of the mystery that en
shrouded the history of such to be found in this
The services commenced by singing the hymn:
" My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary,.
Saviour divine."
Each of the convicts drew from his side-pocket,
on the announcement of the hymn, the hymn-book
used in the prison, and turned to the page an
nounced by the chaplain, Rev. A. G. Byers, who
read the verses in ihe most touching manner.
The organ was in charge of a convict, who pre
sented the strangest anomaly of them all. For
there, seatedin his prison trowsers and jacket, he
played with all the expression and feeling neces
sary to give effect to the beautiful music adapted
to the hymn. After his voluntary, at a signal
from the chaplain, the convicts arose en masse,
and led by a very fair choir of their own number,
sang as though it did them good. When they
had finished, the chaplain announced the morn
ing lesson, and read in a clear voice from the
third chapter of Exodus, imparting to each sen
tence the pathos.demanded by the sentiment,
particularly in the closing of the seventh verse :
"for I know their sorrow,"—pausing to show these
poor men, bereft of hope and shut out fain' their
friends . and the world, forbidden even to speak
to one another by the regulations of the prison;
that God the Lord knew their sor rows.
Passing on to the reply that the Lord made
to Moses, when asked who he should tell the chil
dren of Israelhe had seen and talked with—what
was his name—" Then shalt thou say unto the
children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto
you "—the most wonderful of all of God's names,
" I AM," he left the sentence unfinished, said
the chaplain, that you may realize that He is
whatever you pray that Ile may be, to you, in
your dark and sorrowful position; and then he
read the beautiful lines :
' When God would teach mankind His name,
He calls Himself the great '.I AM,'
And leaves a blank where Christians may
Insert those things for which they pray.
The meaning is as if be said,
' I Am' thy life, though thou be dead.
If thou art weak, thou need'st not fear;
' I Am' thy help, and Am' near.
Dost thou because of sin repine?
' I Am' thy God who saves from sin.
Although thy footsteps wandering rove,
Come, taste my mercy—' I Am' love.
If thou art dark, I Am' thy light ;
If thou art blind, I Am' thy sight;
And when distressed, 'I Am' indeed
A present help in time of need.
Art thou compelled to take the field
Against thy foes? I Am' thy shield
And thine exceeding great reward ;
Depend on me— 'I Am' the Lord.
I Am' to those who on me call
Their Lord, their Saviour, and their all,
Their consolation and their peace—
' I Am ' their Lord and Righteousness."
After a devout prayer, couched in the most
simple language, adapted to the understanding
of the convicts, closing with the Lord's Prayer,
in which many joined in an audible voice, the
second hymn was announced :
"f" Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love."
This was sung as before, excepting thht the eon.
victs remained seated.
The text was then announced : ,
"Him that cometh.unto me, I will in no wise oast
The simplicity of the plan of salvation was
brought to the minds of the most decorous, at
tentive audience that we have ever beheld. Mr.
Byers has the most happy faculty of adapting
his language to the most limited capacity, and by
stories of home and of children, he caused the
truth to touch the hearts of many of those hard
ened, benighted men, whose eyes were at, times
moistened with tears, which, their remnants of
handkerchiefs were ever and anon, brought
forth from their striped shirt-fronts to stifle.
Among other things, he said, the , plan of sal
vation was so simple, that wise men could not
understand it—they wanted to know the reason,
- of it, and how it could be , done. Said he: we do
not read of the blind man, when Jesus, took the
clay and the spittle and• put it upon his eyes—we
do not read of his saying he would like to under
stand the philosophy of the remedy—how it was
to cure his blindness. No; he wanted to see, and
be did see, and did not stop to have explained
what, the effect of the clay and spittle was to be
upon his eyes. So with the Saviour. "
that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast oat."
Simply come to Jesus, and be saved.
After the conclusion of the sermon, the fami
liar Sabbath School song and chorus, "Battling
for the Lord," was sung in fine style and with
much spirit by the entire -audience, the whole
closing with " Home, home, sweet, sweet
home I"
After the benediction, the warden of the prison
took the pulpit and announced to the convicts
the names of those whose term of service expires
during the month of December. By the laws of
Ohio, a deduction of fifty days for each year of
the sentence is made for good conduct, and so a
ten-years' sentence would be lessened five hun
dred days, and so on. The joy to some of the
convicts was unmistakable ; for they lose their
reckoning in this dark place—and some were
evidently unprepared for the quick expiration of
their sentences.
Those convicts who are the recipients of the
full deduction for good conduct, also have 10 per
cent. of their -earnings while in prison paid to
them in money on their discharge from the pri-
The Ohio State Penitentiary is not only self
supporting, but, as the writer learned upon in
quiry, the receipts for labor exceed the expen
ditures $27,000 per annum. The establishment
is under the excellent supervision of Colonel
Burr, assisted by the chief clerk, Mr. R. S.
Duden, for whose courtesy and attention your
correspondent returns his grateful acknow!
ledgments. The sub-officers and guards number
sixty three men. There are only thirty-four fe
male convicts in this large number of more than
one thousand.
The chaplain is appointed by the Board of In
spectors, who are State appointees. His arduous
duties consist of the public service in the chapel,
on Sabbath, and the daily visiting of the prison
ers in their cells, or in the hospitals, for religious
advice and information. Only four really sick
men were in the hospital—some eighteen or
twenty embracing the whole number of convicts
under medical treatment. The teachings of this
day will never be forgotten by the writer, who
hopes the recital of them may cause a new interest
in the prisoner in the hearts and prayers of your
Christian readers. H. D. M.
Cohembus, Dec. 1869.
Genesee Evangelist. No. 1231..
—The Dedication Week at Oxford Church
has closed. It was a memorable occasion and
auspicious of a glorious future to that church
and neighborhood. Large audiences assembled ;
grand discourses were preached by Drs. Storrs
and John Hall and Bishop Simpson ; the social
and musical services were held as announced; a
couple of wedding parties, not on the programme,
were generously thrown in; between four and
five thousand dollars were contributed towards
the payment of the debt, and a total, of $22,500
was raised from premiums on pew rents; so that
there remains but little more than $20,000 of
liabilities on property, worth nearly ten times that
amount. The services of last Sabbath were
especially interesting. In the morning the place
was filled with the Oxford congregation. At
night Dr. Newton preached to children. His re
ception was an ovation. The place was crammed
to overflowing. The family of the pastor itself
was unable to get admittance, and worshipped in
a neighboring church. Twelve hundred persons,
it is supposed, were in the building. The union
prayer meeting of Saturday was of a most en
couraging character, insomuch that it was recog
nized as the beginning of a more general move
ment for good. A Union prayer meeting for the
northwest of the city was organized, which will
be held every Saturday afternoon at four o'clock.
The next meeting will be at the Central Congre
gational church, Rev. Dr. Hawes', at 18th and
Mt. Vernon Sta.
It may be proper to say here, that the first step
towards building the, outward edifice,—the pur
dhase of the ground—was taken by the present
pastor, Mr. Robbins, as far back as 1863, and it
was made from funds exclusively in his own pos
session, in consultation with Alexander IN hildin.
Afterwards, the pecuniary aid of Mr. Baldwin
and Mr. Whildin was rendered in building the
chapel. it seemed necessary to the truth of
history' to put these statements on record just at
this time.
—Sixteen persons, nearly all by profession,
united with the - Union church, Thirteenth St.
below Spruce, Mr. McCorkell pastor, last Sab
bath. it was the most largely attended commu
nion season in five years, and the usual collection
for the poor was double that of former times.
The pastor will preach a discourse commemora
tive of the conclusion of five years' of his pas
torate on next Sabbath. This church, although
singing Rouse's version, is among the most
advanced in Reunion sentiment, as it had the
editor of a late very radical New School paper
to preach last Sabbath evening.
These have been in progress now for more than
two weeks. The Spirit of God has been abun
dantly poured out in connection with them. The
effect of his preaching and of the personal work
following, upon the children, and afterwards upon
older persons, has been seen in hundreds of con
versions. The daily morning prayer meetings,
always the most delightful of all Mr. Hammond's
services, are attended by nearly a thousand peo
ple, and the Herald says of them :
" The requests for prayer, the reports of the
work in the churches, the brief exhortations and
- the sweet singing, make the hours pass like
minutes, so heavenly is the atmosphere, so de
lightful the spirit of Christian unity and love."
Most encouraging signs of the Divine presence
appear, in connection with the labors of others,
in the city and vicinity. At the exercises in the
County Jail, held by members of the Y. M. C.
A. on Sunday, December 12th, forty persons
asked for prayers, At the new Work House
Chapel, opened the same day, after Thane Miller
and others spoke, fifty of the one hundred and
sixty inmates asked for prayers. Twenty-one
persons, mostly by profession, were admitted to
the Central church. At the church in New
port,-which previously numbered but sixty-five,
forty-five were admitted, thirty-seven on profes
sion. This is good news from a city, which is con
fessedly one of the neediest of revival influences
of any in our land. The work is still going for
ward with power. •
A correspondent sends us the following in
quiry :
MESSRS. EDITORS : -Will you please inform
your readers whether you are willing (if - a ma
jority of the School Board should so decide)
that the version of the Bible known as the
Douay Bible should be read in our public
schools. Yours Resp'y, D.
Awswm.—We are more than willing that
the children of Roman Catholics Should read
in their own version, and that our proportion of
school-tax should go to furnish the books.
J Home & Foreign Miss. $2OO.
I Address :-1.334 Chestnut Street
PHILADA, Dec. 20, '69