The Columbia Democrat. (Bloomsburg, Pa.) 1837-1850, November 24, 1849, Image 1

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f From the Knickerbocker.
f Uenlicl fo a Itachdor.
Don't tell me "you bavn't got time" -What
other things claim your itteution ?
There's not the least reason or rhyme
In the wisest excuse you can mention
Don't tell me shout "other ,fish-"
Your duty is dono when you buy'em;
And you never will relish the dish.
" Units you've a woman to fiy'ein.
You may dream of poetical f."'. the story may chance to miscarry j
Tbe bust way of sending one's name
To posterity, Charles, is to marry
. And I here 1 am willing to own
After soberly thinking upun it
I'd very much rather be known
Through a beautiful sou thau a sonnet,
1 could give you a bushel of reasons
For chosing the "double estate ;"
It agrees with all climates and seasons,
Though it may be adopted too late.
To one's parents 'lis (gratefully) due j
Just think what a Urible thing
Twould have been, sir, for me and for you,
' If ours bad neglected the ring !
Don' t search for an "angel a minute:
.. For suppose you succed in the sequel,
Alter all the deuce would be in it,
' For the match would be mighty unequal;
The angels, it must be confessed,
In this world are rather uncommon j
And allow me, dear Charles, to suggest,
You'll be better content with a woman.
Dame fortune queerly plays her cards,
. And dearly loves s prink ;
She turns one Louis up a kuavc,
Another, out a Blanc.
Juliithinan, writing from the west, says pork
is so plenty that "every thiid man you meet is a
The Circuit Treacher.
The Methodist circut preacher is in the
way of seeing human nature in many rare
and curious aspects. Under the itinerat
ing system, the whole of these United
States are divided into conferences, dis
tricts, and circuits. The conference usual
ly embraces a state, the district a certain
division of the state or conference, and the
circuit a portion of the district. To every
circuit is assigned a preacher, who is ex
pected to provide himself with a horse, and
his duty is to pass round his circuit regu
larly at appointed seasons, through the
year, and meet the memhers of the church
at various places of worship established on
the circuit. Every year he attends the an
nual conferences of preachers, at which
one of his bishops presides, and is liable to
bo assigned a new circuit, in the selection
of which, as a general thing, he has no
choice the bishop making all the appoint
ments. And so, term after term, he goes
to a new place, among strangers. Before
nny strong attachments can be formed, the
relation between him and his people is
severed; and he begins, as it were, life
anew hundreds of miles away, it may be,
from the former field of labor. To a sin
gle man, this system is one involving great
self-denial and sacrifice ; but to a man hav
ing a family, the self-denial and sacrifice
assumes often painful character.
In those circuits that embrace wealthy
nd popular sections of the country, the
Methodist preacher is well taken care of;
but there are many other sections where
the people are not only very poor,- but in
different to matters of religion, ignorant in
the extreme, and not over burdened with
kind or generous feelings. On circutits of
this character, the preacher meets some
times with pretty rough treatment; and if,
for this year's service!, he is able to get, be
ing, we will suppose, a single man, fifty or
hixty dollars in money, he may think him
self pretty well off.
To one of these hard circuits a preacher
whom we shall call the Rev. Mr. Odell, of
the New Jersey Conference, found him
V 0 E T
self some years ago assigned by the bishop
who, on that occasion, presided at the an
nual conference. The change was felt ts
pretty severe, he having been on a comfort
able station for two years. Hut, as he
must take evil) with the good, Mr. Odell
conscientiously repressed all natural re
grets and inurmurings, and as in duly
bound, started at the close of the confer
ence for his new field of labor. A day or
two before leaving, and after the appoint
ments were announced, Mr. Odell said to
tho brother who had ridden this circuit du
ring the previous year :
'Sit 1 am to follow your footsteps ?'
'It appears so,' was the brief reply.
How did you like the circuit?'
'1 Htn very well pleased to change."
Not much encouragement in that an
swer.' 'We cant t till have food places, Some
of us must take our turn ia the highways
and byways of the land.'
'True. I am not disposed to complain.
I have taken up the cross, and mean to
bear it to the end, if possible, without a
As we all should. Well brother Odell,
if you pass the year on the circut without
a murmur, your faith and firmness will be
strong. 1 can assure you that it will be
more than I did a great deal more.'
'I have been among some pretty rough
people in my time.'
'So have I. But' and he checked
himself 'however' I will not prejudice
your mind. It would be wrong. They
do as well, I suppose, as they know how,
and the best can do no more.'
Truly 6aid. And the more rude, igno
rant, and selfish they are, the more need
have they of Gospel instruction, and the
more willing should we be to break for
them the bread of life. If your Master had
not even 'where to lay his head,' it ill be
comes us to murmur because every natu
ral good is not spread out before us.' '
In this state of mind Mr. Odell went to
his new circuit. Having deposited his
family, consisting of a wife and one child,
in the little village of IS , with a kind
brother who offered them a home ata mere
nominal board, he mounted his horse, and
started forth on a three weeks' tour among
the members of church to whom he was to
minister during the next twelvemonth in
holy things. The first preaching place
was ten miles distant, and the little nieet-ing-house
stood on the road side, nearly a
mile away from nny dwelling, and in an
exceedingly poor district of country.
Before leaving S , Mr. Odell made
inquiries of the brother at whose house he
was staying, in regard to the route he was
to take, and the peploe among whom he
was going. As to the route, all that was
was made satisfactory enough; but the ac
count given of the people was not encour
aging in a very high degree.
'The fact is,' said the brother, rather
warmly, 'it's my opinion that they don't
deserve to have the Gospel preached among
To this, however, the preacher very
naturally demurred, and said that he was
not sent to call the righteous, but the wick
ed, to repentance.
'Where will 1 stop, to-night V he inqui
red. It was Saturday afternoon, and on
Sunday morning he was to preach at his
first appointment.
Well.' said the brother, slowly and
thoughtfully, 'I can tell you where you
ought to stop ; but I don't know that you
will be so welcome there as at a poorer
place. Brother Martin is better able to en
tertain the preachers comfortably than any
one else in that section : but I believe he
has never invited them home : and they
have generally gone to the house of a good
widow lady, named Kussel, whose barrel
of meal and cruse of oil deserve never to
j fail. She is about the only real Christian
I Ullliinir thpin '
Is brother Martin a farmer?'
'Yes : and is tolerable comfortably off:
j but how he ever expects to get his load of
selfishness into heaven, is more than I can
'You inusn't b-: uncharitable, brother,'
said Mr. Odell.
"That ,ov i init( iit i the
'1 know that. But the truth is the truth.
However, you' must see and juduo for
yourself. 1 think you had better go to the
house of sister Kussel, who will w elcome
you with all her heart, and give you the
best she has.'
'And I want no more,' said the preach
After getting prcciso directions for find
ing sister Kussel, he started on his journey.
It was nearly five o'clock, and he made his
calculation to reach sister Russel's by sev
en, where he would remain all night, and
go with her to the preaching place on Sun
day morning.
lie had not, however been half an honr
on his journey, before heavy masses of dark
clonds began to roll up from the horizon
and spread rapidly over the sky; and ere
he had accomplished half the distance tie
was going, large drops of rain began to
fall, as the beginning of a heavy storm.
The preacher was constrained to turn aside,
and seek the shellher of a farm house,
where he was received with much kind
ness. Nightfall brought no abatement of the
tempest. The lightning still blazed out in
broad masses of fire; the thunder jarred
and rattled amid the clous like parks of ar
tillery, and the rain continued to pour down
unceasingly. The invitation to remain all
night, which the farmer and his wife ten
dered in a!l sincerely, was not, of course,
declined by the preacher.
In the morning, after being served with
a plentiful breakfast, Mr. Odell returned
his warmest thanks for the kindness he
had received, and poocceded on his jour
ney, lie has six mils to ride ; but it was
only half-past eight o'clock when he star
ted, and as the hour of preaching was ten,
there was plenty of time for him to proceed
at his leisure. As sister Russel lived near
ly a mile from a direct course, he did not
turn atidc to call upon her, but went to the
meeting house. Pa reaching the little
country church, Mr. Odell found a small
company of men assembled in front of the
humble building, who looked at him cu
riously, and with something of shyness in
their manner, as he rode up and dismoun
ted. No one offering to take his horse, he
led him aside to a small grove, and tied the
reins lo a tree. One or two of the men
nodded, distantly, as he passed them on
his way to the meeting house door; but
none of them spoke to him.
On entering the meeting house, Mr.
Odell found some thirty persons assembled,
most of them women. If there were any
'official members' present, they made theni
selvs in no way officious in regard to the
preacher, who, after pausing at the door
leading into the little altar, or chancel, for
a short time, and looking round with an ex
pression of inquiry on his face, ascended
the pulpit stairs, and took his seat. All
was as silent, almost, as if the house was
In a little while the preacher arose, and
gave out a hymn. But there was no one
to raise the tune. One looked at another
uneasily. Sundry persons coughed and
cleared their throats, but all remained si
lent. Mr. Odell was not much of a singer,
but had practised on 'Old Hundred' so that
he could lead that air very well, and the
hymn happening by good be set to a
long metre tune, he was able to start it.
This done, the congregation joined in, and
the singing went off pretty well. After
praying and reading a chapter in ihe Bible,
he set down to collect his thoughts for the
sermon, which was, of course, to be ex
tempore, as all Methodist sermons are. It
is usual for the choir, if there is one, to
sing an anthem during this pause; or,
where no singers are net apart, for some
member to strike up an appropriate hymn,
in which the congregation joins. On this
occasion all was silent. After the lapse of
a few minutes, Mr. Odell arose, and turn
ing in the Bible to the chapter where the
text from which he was to preach, was re
corded, read the verse that was lo form the
groundwork of his remarks. Before open
ing the subject, he stated bri My, that he
was the preacher who was to ! ,,- among
them during the ensuing ji. . ! hoped,
in Divine Providence, th . 1 j tli
to them and 'o him would r.i,: ,.Jt, ,,r
best which jfoverii It'al."
new spiritual relations that were about to
commence. Then proceeding with his
discourse, he preached lo them and ex
horted with great earnestness, but without
seeming to make any impression. Not an
'amen' was heard from any part of the
house j not an eye grew moist not an au
dible groan or sigh disturbed the air. Noth
ing responded to his appeals but the echo
of of his own voice.
Never had the preacher delivered a dis
course in which he felt so little freedom
His words came back upon his ears with a
kind of dull reverberation, as if the hearts
of hit hearers were of ice instead o
Bef re singing the last hymn, Mr. Odell
gave out that at the conclusion of the ser
vice he would hold a c'ass-meeting. Af
ter he had finally pronounced the bene
diction, there was a pretty general move
ment towards the door. Only seven re
mained, and these were all female men
bers ; most of them pretty well advanced
in their life-journey. Mr. Martin was at
meeting, but, ere the preacher had descen
ded the pulpit stairs.he was out of the house
and preparing to leave for home.
"Where is the new preacher going !' as
ked a member of Mr. Martin, as lie led
out his horse.
'To sister Mussel's, I presume.'
'Sister Russel is not here."
'Isn't she ?'
'No. She's sick,'
'He stayed there last night, I suppose,
and will go back after class.' Martin sprang
upon his horse as he said this.
We ought to be sure of it,' remarked
the other.
'I can't invite him home,' said Martin.
If I do I shall have him through the whole
vcar, and that is not convenient. The
preachers have always stayed at sister
Russel's, and there is no reason why they
shouldn't continue lo do so.'
1 havu'la corner to put him in,' remar
ked the other. 'Besides these preachers
arc too nice for me.'
'It is all right, no doubt,' said Martin, as
he ballanced himself in his saddle ; 'all
right. He stayed at sister Russel's last
evening, and will go back and stay there
until to'inorrow morning. Get up Tom.'
And with this self-satisfying remark, the
farmer rode away. The man with whom
he had been talking, was, like him, a mem
ber, and, like him, had omitted to attend
class, in order to shift off upon some one
else, the burden of entertaining the new
preacher ; for whoever first tendered him
the hospitalities of his house ami table,
would most probably have to do it through
the year. lie, too, rode off, and left oth
ers see that the preacher was duly cared
An icy coldness pervaded the class mee
ting. Only four out of the seven sisters,
one of whom was an old black woman,
could muster up courage enough to tell in
answer to the preachars call, the 'dealings'
of Providence with their souls ; and only
two of them could effect an utterance loud
er than a whisper. What they did say
had in it but little coherence: and Mr.
Odell had to content himself with an ex
hortation to each, of a general rather than
of a particular character. When the hymn
was sung at the close, only one thin, whis
pering voice, joined in the song of praise,
and not a sob or sigh was heard in response
lo his prayer. The class paper showed
the names of thirty members : but, here
were only seven ? This was rather dis
couraging for a commencement. Mr.
Odell hardly knew what course to take
whether to stir up with some pretty sharp
remarks the little company of believers who
were present, and thus to seek to impress
the whole through them, or, to wait until
he came round again, and have a good
chance at them from the pulpit. He con
cluded, in the end, that the last course
might be the best one.
In calling over the names on the class
paper, he found that sister Russel was ah
sent. On dismissing the meeting, ull ex
cept the old black woman retired. She
lingered, however, lo shake hands with the
new preacher, and to show him that, if she
was old, her teeth were good, and her pyes
white and lively.
NOV. 21, 1 849.
On emerging into the open air, Mr. 0
dell saw the last of his Hock slowly retiring
from the scene of worship. Tor two of
the womeii.their husbands had waited out
side of the meeting-house, and they had
taken into their wagons two other women
who lived near them. These wagons
were already in motion when the preacher
came out, followed by the old black wo
man, who, it now appeared, had the key of
the meeting house door, which she lock
Then you are the sexton, Aunty, re
marked Mr. Odell, with a smile.
'Yes, massa, I keep de key.'
'Well, Nancy,' said he, who had al
ready made up his mind what he would do
I'm going home to dinner with you ?'
'Me. massa?' Old Nancy looked as
much surprized as a startled hare.
Yes. You sec they've all gone and
left me. and I feel very hungry. You'll
give me some of your dinner V
'es, massa, please God ! I II give you
all of it but, it's only pork and hominy.
'Very good; and it will be all the sweet
er, because 1 am welcome,'
'Deed, massa, and you is welcome, five
hundred times over! But it was a down
right shame for all de white folks to go ofi"
so. l never seed such people.
'Never mind, Nancy, don't trouble your
self. I shall be well enough taken care of.
I'll trust vou for that.'
And so Mr. Odell mounted his horse,
and accompanied the old woman home.
She lived rather over a mile from the meet
ing house ; and the way was past the com
fortable residence of Mr. Martin. The lat
ter did not feel altogether satisfied with
himself as he rode home. He was not cer
tain that the preacher had steyed at sister
Russel's on the night before. Ho mignt
nave ruiueii over lrom & , since mor
ning. This suggestion caused him to feci
rather more uneasy in mind ; for if this
were the case, it was doubtful whether, af
ter class was over, there was any one who
could or would invite him home.
'What kind of a man is the new preach
er ?' asked Mrs. Martin of her husband.on
his return from meeting.
'He seemed to be a very good sort of
man.' replied Martin, indifferently.
'Is he young, or old ?'
'He's about my age, I should think.'
Married ?'
'I'm sure 1 don't know.'
'Did you speak to him !'
'No ; I came away after the sermon.'
'Then you didn't stay to class ?'
'No.' '
'Sister Russel was not there ?'
'No ; she's sick.'
'So I heard. The preacher didn't stay
at her house last night.'
'How do you know ?'
'Mrs. Williams called in while you were
away. She had just been to sister Rus
sels.' 'And the new preacher didn't stay at her
house last night ?'
'No. Mrs. Williams asked particular
ly.' 'He must have ridden over from S ,
this morning. I'm most sorry I didn't
wait, and ask him to come and stay with
'1 wish you had. Sister Russel is too
sick to have him at herhouse,if he should
go there. Who stayed to class meeting V
'Not over a half dozen, and they were
all women. 1 left Bill Taylor and Harry
Chester waiting outside for their wives.'
'They wouldn't ask him home.'
But it can't be helped now ; and there is
no use fretting over it.'
Soon after this, dinner was announced,
and the farmer sat down with his family
to a table loaded with good and substantial
things. lie ate and enjoyed himself:
though not as highly as he would have
done, had not thoughts of the new preach
er intruded themselves.
After dinner, Martin took a comfortable
nap, which lasted about an hour. He then
went out and took a little walk to himself.
While standing at the gate, which opened
from his farm to the country road a few
hundred yards from the house, a man who
lived half a mile below, came along, 'i bis
man was not a member of any church.and St:illKSfOf.' TWELVE.
jto.Wvvb-eo. 36.
took some delight, at times, in having his
jest with professors of religion.
'Fine afternoon, Mr. Ellis,' said Martin,
as the man slopped.
'Very fine. How are you all !'
'Quite well. Any news stirring?'
Why no, not much. Only they say
that the Methodists about here have all
'joined the Amalgamation Society.'
W lio says so ?" enquired Martin, slight
ly coloring.
'Well they say it down our way: I thought it
was only a joke at fust. Cut a little w hile after
dinner Aunt Nancy's Tom came over lo my house
for some oats and hay for your minister's horse.
He said the preachers were going to stop at the
old woman's alter this. 1 half doubled the ras
cal's story, though I let liirn have the provender.
Sure enough, as 1 came along just now, who
should 1 see but the preacher, sitting before the
door of old Nancy's log hut, as much at home as
if his skin were the color of ebony. These are
rather queer doings, friend Martin ; I dtin't know
what the folks'll say.'
We will not pause to describe the astonishment
and confusion of Martin, on Warning this, but
slept down to Aunt Nancy's, where Mr. Odell,
after dining on pork and hominy, with the addi
tion of potatoes and corn bread, was sitting in the
shade, before the logcabin of the old negto. The
latter was busy as a bee inside, in the preparation
of something for the preacher's supper, that she
thought would be more suited to his mode of liv
ing and appetite, than poik, corn bread, and
Mr. Odell was rather more inclined to feel a
mused thau annoyed at his new position. Aunt
Nancy's dinner had tasted very good ; and had
been sweetened rather thau spuiied by the old
creature's loquaciuus kindness, and officious con
cern, lest what she had to set belore him would
not be relished. While he thus sat musing Ihe
subject of his thoughts is of no particular conse
quence to be known his attention was airested
by hearing Aunt Nancy exclaim
'Kie ! Here comes Masa Martin !'
'The preacher turned his head, and saw a man
approaching with the decided and rather quick
step ot one who had somcthinc on his mind.
'Is that broiher Martin ." asked Mr. Odell, cal
ling to Aunt Naucy, who was near the window
of her hut.
'Yes, please goodness! Wonder what he's
comin here 'bout ?'
'We'll soon see,' returned the pteaehcr, com
posing himself in his chair.
In a few in inutes, the farmer, looking sjdly
'flustered,' arrived at the door of the old negro's
humble abode. Mr, Odell kept his seat with
an air of entire self-possession and uncon
cern, and looked at the new comer as he would
have done at any other stranger.
'Mr. Odell, the new preacher on this circuit
said Martin, in a lespcctable manner, as he ad
vanced towards the minister.
'Yes, sir,' replied Odell, without rising orcvin-
cing any surprize at the question.
'I am very sorry, indeed, sir ! very sorry,' bo-
gan Martin, in a deprecating tone of voice, 'that
you should have been so badly neglected as you
were to-day. 1 had no idea 1 never once thought
the preachers have always stayed at sister Rus
sel's I took it for granted that you were theic.
To think that you should not have been invited
home by any one, 1 am mortified to death.'
'Oh, no,' responded the preacher, smilirn;, 'it is
not quite so bad as that. Our good old sister
here, very kindly tendered me the hospitaliliesof
her humble home, which I accepted giatelully
No one could be kinder to iiie than she has been
no one could have given me a warmer wel
come.' 'But but," stammered forth Martin, 'this is no
place for a preacher to stay.'
A far better place than my Lord and Master
had. The fuxe hute holes, and the linl.i of the
air have nests, but the Fun of Man hath not'
where to I uy his head. The servant u ust not
seek to be greater than hi lord.'
'Cut my clear sir, my home is a far more suit
able and congenial home for you,' urged the dis
tressed broiher Martin. "You must go there
with me at once. My wife is terribly hurt about
the matter. She would have come over fur you
herself, but she is not very well to day.
'Tell the good sister,' replied Odell.aiTecting not
to know the individual before him, 'that I am so
comfortable here, that I cannot think of changing
my quarters,'ter Aunt Nancy has beens j
kind as to invite me to her home, and provide for
both me and my horse, when no one else took the
least notice of me, nor seemed to care whether I
got the shelter of a roof or a mouthful of food, i'.
would not be right for me to turn away from her
because a more comfortable place oiTercd.'
It was in v:iin that Martin argued and persuad
ed. The preacher's mind was made up to stay
where he was. And he did stay with Aunt Nan
cy until the next morning, when, alter prayine;
with the old lady, and giving her his blessing, he
started on his journe y.
When, at the end of four weeks, Mr. Odell a
gain appeared at the little meeting house, you
may be sure he was received with marked atten
tion. Martin was the most forward of all, nd
alter preaching and class meeting there was a
pretty full attendance at both took the minster
home with him. Ever since that time the preach
crs have been entertained at his house.