xt734t6f233d https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt734t6f233d/data/mets.xml Noland, Stephen, 1818- 1887  books b92-40-26750376 English Southern Methodist Publishing House, : Nashville : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Noland, Stephen, 1818- Will makes way  : or, Autobiography of Rev. S. Noland. text Will makes way  : or, Autobiography of Rev. S. Noland. 1887 2002 true xt734t6f233d section xt734t6f233d 







WJTL  L   MA      K. ES     WAY;



                  OR,



   AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF REV. S. NOLAND,
OF Tl.E KENTUCKY CONFERENCE. Ah. E. CHURCH, SO UTH.



A B OOK FOR YOUNG MEN.









           NASHVILLE:
SOUTHERN METHODIST PUBLISIIING HOUSE.
       PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR.
             I Ss87.

 

jnLered, according to Act of Congress, in the year ]Sj, by
                   S. NOLAND,
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, At Washilczon.

 

                     PREPRgE.

  MANY persons have asked me to write my own history.
For a long time I refused, but have at last consented to do
so, hoping that its lessons will benefit the youth of our
country. Some of the lessons are for imitation, some for
avoidance, but each ingenuous youth can easily draw the
proper distinctions. To them I dedicate this book.
  Some thirty-five years ago Judge Goodloe and myself
were riding together on horseback from Richmond, Ky.,
to Nicholasville, Ky., to attend the Circuit Court of Jessa-
mine county. He was the Judge of the court, and I was
Commonwealth's Attorney. He was in a thoughtful mood,
and after a prolonged silence he said: " Noland, when we
die we will not be missed from the world more than a bub-
ble breaking on the ocean." I answered: "Judge, that is
true; but if we are ready, all will be well."  He was a rigid
Calvinist in theory, and had never joined any Chutrchl. My
answer giving the subject a religious turn, he said: " I have
been waiting a long time for the Lord to move me and
show me that I was his child, but I have never felt any
impression in that way." I replied: "Judge, if I had wait-
ed as long as you have waited, with no better result, I would
begin for myself and try to reach the Lord through repent-
ance and faith, feeling sure that any thing I could do
                                             (3)

 

4                    PREFACE.

would not interfere witl the decrees." He made no reply.
He was then approaching old age. Choice of life should
be made early in life. Each day postponed is two days
lost-one because of the good that could be done, and one
because of the evil that is done. Judicious and persever-
ing effort, withl the grace of God accompanying, will work
visible changes ill our life and secure for us a place in
heaven.
  We commend this book to the young for several reasons.
It is true without exaggeration. It is unlike any other
that they will ever read. Its lessons are moral and re-
ligious. It is plain without pretension. We send it on its
way, asking the Divine blessing to accompany it from home
to home, and from heart to hearts       S. NOLAND.

 

                   INTRODUCTION.
   BY 0. P. FITZGERALD, D.D., EDITOR CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE.


   THIs is a fascinating book. Its charm is in its natural-
ness. The author talks right out of his heart, and so gets
right into the heart of the reader. He keeps nothing back.
You feel as you read these pages that there is no suppres-
sion on the one hand nor exaggeration on the other. There
is no human life, thus told, that does not possess a thrilling
interest and a tender pathos. The readers of this book,
old and young, will find themselves, before they know it,
melted to tears or tickled with laughter. The human
nature that is in it will make every reader feel akin to the
wise, frank, quaint, genial soul that breathes through it.
  This is a valuable book. It is such a book as can be
placed in the hands of every boy in the land with unalloyed
pleasure. Its lessons are good, and they are given in a
way that will make them stick. The delightful narrative
is not interrupted by tedious moralizing, but the lessons
are there. I feel assured that by it many young persons
will be warned against wrong courses and strengthened in
their love for truth and right living. The book is thor-
oughly wholesome: there is in it no doubtful morality, no
taint of the sensationalism that defiles so large a part of
                                              (5)

 

6



INTRODUCTION.



the literature of the day. Evil is made to look the ugly,
hateful thing it is; truth and goodness shine in their own
clear, sweet light.
  This is a book for all the family. A good book for a boy is
a good book for a man. Boys and girls alike enjoy the best
things in this line. The families that will enjoy the read-
ing of these chapters sitting together around the fireside
have a luxury in store for them. Such family readings
ought to be more common among us; every book like this,
that will foster such a practice in our homes, should meet
with a welcome doubly warm. The touches of adventure
will interest all alike, while the wise aphorism aptly dropped
at the right place, and the occasional touch of philosophy
or polemics, will enlarge the mental horizon of the youth-
ful reader to whom is opened the new wide world of
thought.
  The golden thread of providential guidance runs through
every line of this autobiography. A present God is rec-
ognized by the writer as directing him in all his ways; and
as we follow him from chapter to chapter, the pages are
illuminated with the soft and holy light that beams from
our Immanuel's face.
  I am glad that my good friend has done this good work
before he leaves us. It will live after he is gone, and speak
with profit to thousands who never heard his living voice.
NAIEViLLz, August, 1885

 

                   gONTENTS.
                                              PAGE
CHAPTER I. Early Incidents .......................  9
CHAPTER IL. Removal to Kentucky .    ............... 16
CHAPTER III. Starting in Life .................... 26
CHAPTER IV. A Trip to Mill        .     .      36
CHAPTER V. On to Richmond         .     .      41
CHAPTER VI. Five Years in Clerk's Office  ..     52
CHAPTER VII. Clerk's Office Life Continued  ... 65
CHAPTER VIII. First Fire .    ........................ 78
CHAPTER IX. My First Courtship      .    .     88
CHAPTER X. Bashfulness .    ........................ 97
CHAPTER XI. Life in Irvine   .     .............. 108
CHAPTER XII. A Strange History   .    ........... 125
CHAPTER XIII. A Debate    .     ............... 142
CHAPTER XIV. Elected Commonwealth's Attorney.. 156
CHAPrER XV. Official Life  .     .............. 174
CHAPTER XVI. Official Life Continued .  ......... 186
CHAPTER XVII. Debt     .      ................. 199
CHAPTER XVIII. Debt, Expenses, and Labor ....... 208
CHAPTER XIX. Banker's Life  .     ............. 222
CHAPTER XX. Conclusion    .     ............... 229

                                     (7)

 This page in the original text is blank.


 

   WILL MAKES WAY.


                CHAPTER I.
             EARLY INCIDENTS.

          "I remember, I remember
          The house where I was born."-Hood.
T HE first sentence in David Copperfield
    reads, " I am born." This was exactly my
introduction into the world. It is true that
memory fails to recall any of the particulars of
that inauspicious event, and I could only give
the details from unwritten history just as
Dickens described his hero; but inasmuch as
this is no better than hearsay testimony, which
is not allowed a place in law, and because my
life is only a common and not a heroic life like
the one named, I shall content myself with sug-
gesting to the reader that my birth was a very
                                   (9)

 


common affair, and from it no augury of the
future could be made.
  My birth took place May 13, 1818, as I
learned from my father's Bible. Of the accu-
racy of this date I have no doubt. My father
was a very honest and sensible man, and would
not falsify dates to give me a particular birth-
day. Indeed, I have always observed that the
truest history we have is the family history
written in the Bible. Not many men are so
hardened as to write a lie in the sacred volume.
They may write any number of falsehoods about
the Bible, but in the book itself they write the
truth.
  The place of my birth was Wayne county,
Indiana. It was about three miles south of
Centreville. I was the oldest of four children.
The two next to myself died young and entered
paradise. The youngest of the four, a sister,
lived to be fifty years old, and died only a few
years ago, a Christian woman. I was born in
a cabin, a house with one room. We had a
large fire-place on one side for burning wood,
and only one window with small panes of glass.



10



WILL MAKES WA Y.

 
EARLY INCIDENTS.



My father was a very poor man, being a school-
teacher, and receiving a salary that did not ex-
ceed two hundred and fifty dollars per year at
any time. On this meager sum the family was
supported. Of course food, clothing, and
every thing else had to be of the plainest and
cheapest kind. When he died, after a long
sickness of a year or two, it was about the time
of my release from my first embarrassment in
debt, named hereafter, and he only owed three
hundred dollars, which I paid for him so that
my step-mother could hold the household prop-
erty.
  I remember my first pantaloons. They were
made of cotton goods having black and white
stripes alternating the length of the goods.
That was my proudest day when first allowed
to wear them. New pantaloons and a four-
pence to buy a ginger-cake at the election were
the height of bliss. But there was this advan-
tage in being poor, and being born and reared
in the country. I do not think my father or
mother ever dreamed that I was an unusual
child, and they never flattered my vanity by



11

 
WILL MAKES WA Y.



telling me that I was remarkable. The num-
ber of boys to-day who ought to be President
of tho United States, their parents being
judges, would be sufficient to give a Chief
Magistrate to each county in each State, and
have enough left to supply one for each town,
city, and country-place in all Europe. There
is such an unexpected falling off in most boys as
they grow up, that one would think the whole
nation had a hereditary softening of the brain.
  How dim and shadowy the pictures of mem-
ory become aswe travel back to childhood! It
is pleasant to call up our first recollections.
It seems to me that I was not more than four
or five years old when a Methodist circuit-rider
preached at the house of a neighbor near where
we lived. His zeal and his animation wonder-
fully excited me, and I can just remember that
I went away to myself after returning home
and tried to preach like the preacher. That
preaching-day and that childish effort are
among the first of my memories. Was the
dear Lord then calling me to the ministry
My father was a Universalist, and my mother



12

 

EARL Y INCIDENTS.



died when I was seven years old, so that I do
not remember any religious impression that
was ever made on my mind at home. Old as I
am now, if I had a religious mother living any-
where in the world, as thousands of boys and
girls have, while I may never see Europe, or
visit Palestine, I would make the circuit of the
globe to see the face of that dear woman who
gave me birth. Next to Jesus, when I reach
'heaven, I desire to see her a saint in the saint's
rest.
  On the day that I was six years old I started
to school. I returned home sick, and was con-
fined to the room with chills and fever for a
long time. But as soon as I was able I returned
to school, and by the time that I was seven
years old I had mastered the spelling-book
and could read well.
  One event that I can remember is the begin-
ning of life-long providences of God in my
behalf. The school-house was a quarter of a
mile from our house. We crossed a creek on
the way, passing over on a large log. One day
while returning home I ran over on the log,



13

 
WILL MA KES WA 1'.



and when nearly across missed it, striking the
log with my breast. I gave one scream and
then became unconscious. My father heard
the scream and ran to my assistance. He told
me that he gave me over as dead two or three
times, and actually started to the house with
me in his arms as dead when the thought
came to him that my mother would be almost
heart-broken if he carried me to the house
lifeless; so he returned to the creek, and after
some time I breathed and lived. So near was
I to eternity. But God had work for me to do,
and I laud and magnify his name for the priv-
ilege of having been for a long time an hum-
ble laborer in his vineyard.
  A pleasing incident remembered well of
these first years was a long walk I took with
my father to Centreville, where he bought me
the first book that I felt was my own. It was
styled "The Pleasing Companion," and by
board lights at night I devoured its contents as
a hungry man would devour food. I could not
only read all its pages, but its lessons had a
molding influence on my future life. Accord-



14

 
EARLY INCIDENTS.



ing to that book, virtue was bright as the stars,
vice was dark as Erebus.
   One of the saddest of memories will con-
clude this chapter of early incidents. My
young sister was four weeks old. I awoke one
morning and a kind woman took me by the
hand and led me close to my mother. She was
lying down covered with white covering, and
was very still. Not seeing her move, I was
surprised and alarmed; I reached out my little
hand and touched her face, and it was cold.
She was dead. I had never known grief until
that hour. When I came to understand that
she was gone from earth to heaven, and would
have to be buried out of our sight, and that I
would never see her again in this world, I felt
that I had lost all that was dear to me, and did
not see how I could live. But she passed to
heaven, and I was left to struggle with poverty,
sickness, and many trials through a long pil-
grimage.
           I remember, I remember
             The fir-trees dark and high;
           I used to think their slender tops
             Were close against the sky.-Hood.



15

 

                CHAPTER II.
           REMOVAL TO KENTUCKY.

         I weigh not fortunes frown or smile,
           I joy not much in earthly joys;
         I seek not state, I seek not style,
         I am not fond of fancy's toys;
         I rest so pleased with what I have,
         I wish no more, no more I crave.-Syvester.
I AM a man of light weight growing out of
   that long sickness already named, and the
many, many days that I have lived in pain
and suffering. My kindred were a large race
of people. At the time of the death of my
mother, my uncle Smallwood Noland was a
stock-trader between Kentucky and Louisiana,
mainly New Orleans. On returning home
from having sold some horses, he came through
Indiana to make us a visit. At that early day
in the history of the country such trips were
often made on horseback. He reached our
     UP6)

 
IREMOVAL TO KENTUCKY.



house a few days after my mother was laid
away in the grave. At once he proposed to
my father to take me home with him to Ken-
tucky, to live with my dear grandparents,
my grandmother being to me a second moth-
er; and as soon as my father could find some
kind woman who would take charge of the
four-weeks-old babe, he would follow. My
father and mother were of the same name, and
were first cousins. This may make me a little
eccentric, but I am by no means a crank.
Cranks are my abomination. He had lived in
Kentucky and she in Indiana, and he had gone
to that State and married her, and located
there as a school-teacher.
  Some incidents of our journey are fresh in
my memory. I had a long linsey overcoat that
came down to my ankles and gave me the ap-
pearance of a little man. Riding on horseback
was awkward and fatiguing to me, as I had
never been accustomed to it. My uncle had
many acquaintances along the road. When
we were within a few miles of Cincinnati, a
friend of his came up with us in a little Dear-
    2



17

 

WILL MAKES WAY.



born wagon drawn by two horses, having two
ladies and himself in the wagon going to the
city. Cincinnati was then only a large town.
I am speaking of events that took place in
1825. My uncle asked his friend to give me a
seat, as I was very tired of the horse, and when
he reached town to leave me at a house kept by a
widow lady as a public house for boarders and
travelers. I can remember along the road as we
crossed a small stream that the gentleman took
his bucket and watered his horses, and then
without washing out the bucket filled it half
full of water, and drank. His wife's spirit of
cleanliness was greatly shocked, but he laugh-
ingly told her that he loved his horses, and
that they were as clean as himself. I think
she was right and he was wrong. Cleanliness
promotes godliness. A clean soul is not often
found in a dirty body.
  At the boarding-house of the widow lady I
found she had two sons dressed in broadcloth,
one of them about my age and the other a
year or two younger, and that they were taught
by a gentleman who was their private tutor.



is

 
REMOVAL TO KENTUCKY.



I watched their proceedings closely for an
hour or two until my uncle rode up, but they
had paid no attention to me, except to look on
my strange apparel with curiosity. My uncle
was proud I had made progress, and as soon as
he heard the boys say a lesson, he proposed to
the teacher to spell me against his oldest pupil.
This was a great surprise to the teacher and
the boys. But they were kind and polite, and
the teacher readily turned.to the hardest page
of words in Webster's Spelling-book, and gave
out the lesson to us. We spelled by turns,
and went through the page without missing a
word. The youngest boy then made us a
speech, complimenting our attainments and
exhorting usto greater efforts to become learned
and famous. All this impressed me favorably,
and did my young heart good. The old lady,
who had witnessed the spelling-match, took me
by the hand and led me into her own room,
where I was to eat my dinner. She gave me a
motherly talk full of good advice, which makes
me love her to this day. My uncle had given
me a silver dollar to pay for my dinner, which



19

 
20WILL M1A KES WA Y.



I offered to the good woman as soon as I had
finished eating. I shall never forget her reply.
She said: "My son, you do not owe me any
thing. Any boy of your age in the United
States who can come here and spell as well as
my boy shall have his dinner free. Be a good
boy, and may the Lord be your strength." How
glad I would be to know to-day what became of
that family. I have always believed that those
two boys, if they lived to manhood, made hon-
orable marks in the world.
  We started on our journey, and soon came ta
the Ohio River. It may seem strange to the
people of this day when I describe the manner
of crossing. An old-fashioned flat-boat, with
an oar behind for steering and an oar on each
side for drawing, making it necessary to have
three men at work, was our craft and its fur-
nishing. The boat had to be firt drawn up
the river along the bank some two hundred
yards, to allow for the current carrying it down
the river in crossing, and then the steersman
keeping it on a certain angle, and the oarsmen
laboring with might and main, the crossing



20

 

REMO VAL TO KENTFCKY.



was effected, striking the Kentucky side just
below the mouth of Licking River. When we
had landed and led our horses to the bank, my
uncle asked the charge for ferrying us over.
One dollar was demanded. My uncle said to
the ferrymen that the law allowed twenty-five
cents for a man and horse, and that he had
only two horses and there were but two of us,
and that fifty cents was all they were entitled
to. They claimed that they had made a new
oar for the boat that cost them some money,
and they had to charge extra to get that money
back. Uncle told them that it was their duty
to furnish boat and oars without any extra
charge. One of the three, being by this time
nettled, said that any gentleman would pay so
small a sum without complaint. My uncle
weighed over two hundred pounds, and was a
strong man and active as a cat, and actually
delighted in a fight. He replied to the men
that if they would land their boat, which they
had pushed from the shore, and come up the
bank where he was, if lie could not whip all
three of them together lie would pay them a



21

 
WILL MAKES WVA Y.



dollar, and if he succeeded in whipping them
they were to let us go without paying. Their
reply was that they did not make their living
in that way, and so continued to recross the
river. When we were riding through Coving-
ton, I asked my uncle how he expected to fight
three men at the same time. He said the men
were small men and evidently cowards, and
that he intended as they came up the bank to
strike the foremost man in the burr of the ear,
almost killing him, and simultaneously with the
blow to kick the second comer in the stomach,
and then the third man would take to his heels.
I had no doubt in my childish brain that the
result would have been as he described.
  My grandfather lived in Estill county, Ken-
tucky, and our route from Cincinnati lay
through Paris. I remember it as a small town,
and the hotel where we staid all night as a
small house, with its usual number of loafers
and topers sitting in the bar-room until a late
hour telling tales, swearing, and the like.
  After we had left Paris an event occurred
which I remember very distinctly, and which



22

 

REMOVAL TO KENTUCKY.



leads me to renew my acknowledgments to a
watchful Providence for preserving my life.
At the' door of a house where we had stopped
I was placed on the horse that I had been riding
with my feet in stirrups belonging to a saddle
made for men. As the horse started from the
door we came to a fence three or four rails
high. The horse was gayly and active, and he
leaped over the fence. I was either off my
guard or very much fatigued, and the un-
expected motion of the horse threw me from
his back, and my foot ran through and hung in
the stirrup so that I was helpless. This
frightened the horse, and in a moment more
he would have dashed out my brains but for
my uncle. He was just ahead and had not
mounted his horse, and being a very strong
and resolute man, quick as thought with his
right-hand he seized the horse that I was riding
'in his nostrils and held him perfectly still,
while others drew my foot from the stirrup.
God was good to me, but I have believed ever
since that hour that a horse is a vain thing for
safety.



223

 
WILL MAKES I WAY.



   I shall close this chapter by relating a little
 incident that will throw some light on the
 vexed question, Were the former days better
 than our own When nearly home, my uncle
 told me that he was going a few miles out of
 his way to see his sweetheart, who was soon to
 become his bride. This raised my curiosity to
 see her, as I supposed she must be an angel to
 be worthy of my uncle. We were to stay all
 night at the house of her father, and this
 would give my uncle abundant time to speak
 sweet words to his affianced love. The people
 in the mountains were generally poor, and the
 bed where we were to sleep was in the sitting-
 room. The month was November, and there
 was a good fire kept in the room during the
 night. I awoke about midnight or later, and to
 my great surprise I saw by the firelight that
 my uncle and his love occupied chairs near
 each other and near the fire, and their arms
 were actually around each other (I am blush-
 ing now, but history must be full and true), and
 both were sound asleep. To be sure of the
situation I arose from the bed and went nearer



24

 
REMOVAL TO KENTUCKY.



the devoted ones that I might know my eyes
were true. They were true indeed. I then
believed my uncle was in earnest, and that the
lady loved him with all her heart.
  But see how this world changes and passes
away. No man knows what a day may bring
forth. We had not more than reached my
grandfather's when my uncle was taken sick
with fever contracted at New Orleans, and in
two or three weeks he was dead. So that in
the period of a month I saw two of my loved
ones cold in death. My young heart was al-
ready a mourner. I shall never forget how my
dear old grandmother paced the floor hour
after hour mourning the unexpected death of
her beloved son. Willingly would she have
taken his place if her son could have lived.
      The air was full of farewells to the dying,
        And mourning for the dead:
      The heart of Rachel for her children crying
        Will not be comforted.-Lon(ellow.



25

 

                 CHAPTER MIl.
               STARTING IN LIFE.

         Blessings on thee, little man,
         Barefoot boy, with cheeks of tan;
         With thy turned-lip pantaloons
         And thy merry-whistled tunes.- Whiaier.
 S OON after my father reached Kentucky
    he resumed his former occupation, and
began teaching, which lie continued until near
the close of his life. I lived with my grand-
parents, and was the especial favorite of my
grandmother. She would say, "Stevie will
never tell a lie." I have endeavored to make
her words true. Let me say here to the young
who may read these pages, that a business life
of more than fifty years has demonstrated in a
thousand ways the advantages of truth over
falsehood, besides the value of an easy con-
science. In the practice of the law from the
year 1839 to 1862, and especially wbih .1 was
     (26)

 

STARTING IN LIFE.



Commonwealth's Attorney from 1851 to 1856,
I am not conscious of ever telling a client that
the law was on his side unless I believed it
was on his side, or of misquoting testimony
or misapplying the law before a court or
jury in any case. This is not written in a
spirit of boasting, but as the plain duty of
every lawyer, and as the sure road to success.
Talking once with Judge McHenry, an able
lawyer formerly of Shelbyville, Kentucky, on
this subject, he assured me that such had
been his practice, and that he attributed his
success mainly to being truthful.
  In a few years my father married a young
woman named Howell. They went to house-
keeping, and I lived with them several years.
A family of four children was their heritage.
During these years I went to school to my
father, and was taught reading, writing, and
.rithmetic. At home I did a large portion of
the work, such as preparing firewood, working
in the garden, feeding the cows, and nursing
the children. I was an adept at these things.
My step-mother was kind to me, and I know



27

 


that I was faithful and serviceable to her.
This is a pleasant recollection, that young as
I was my life was useful in many ways. The
life of a drone I never lived.
   When twelve or thirteen years old I began
to realize the necessity of being self-support-
ing, and of accomplishing more than could be
done by making fires and nursing children.
I must have had some ambition. My first em-
ployment, I am sorry to say, was to sell whisky
in a bar-room in Irvine. What a fearful risk!
I staid there only a month, remaining sober
all the time, not even tasting the fire of the
still. Bless the Lord, 0 my soul! But I
tremble now as memory carries me back to
many periods of temptation, and attribute to
the grace of God my escape from them all. I
then went to plow for a farmer a few miles
from Irvine, and remained a month or two.
Hle taught me to play cardsfor amusement;
but I left his house, quit cards, and was again
saved.
  To get employment where I could improve
by reading and the like was my ardent desire.



28



WIlLL MAKES WA Y.

 
STARTING IN LIFE.



A few miles from where we lived a large iron
furnace was owned by Wheeler, Mason  Co.
They needed a boy who could weigh ore, sell
goods, and keep accounts. In the mountains
such boys were not easily found. I obtained
the situation and remained there for several
months, having a good home, regular work,
books to read, and no evil associates; but a
protracted spell of fever disabled me from
service, and when I recovered I returned home
to my father. This was in 1832. A single day
during this time gave direction to all my after
life.
  The attention of all young people is called to
the recital given below of the turning period
in my history. At the time named I knew
nothing of the differences between Churches
as to doctrines or government. Where I lived
nearly all the people in the neighborhood who
belonged to any Church were reformers. Mr.
Campbell's views were gaining the ascendency
in many places. The Baptist Church especial-
ly suffered under the divisions that he made.
My employers were reformers.



29

 
WILL MAKES WAY.



   One Sunday in August a man named Stew-
 art had an appointment to preach in a log
 meeting-house a mile or two from the Estill
 Steam Furnace where I lived. I walked to
 meeting on that day. Correct notions of honor
 and industry I had obtained from the teachings
 of my father. But I remember a strange feel-
 ing of dependence that I experienced on that
 day. A poor boy, his mother dead, his father ir-
 religious, without instruction as to a godly life,
 exposed to temptations, inheriting a sickly
 body, and yet realizing in a true sense the
 value of good character and undoubted in-
 tegrity-in this condition and in this frame of
 mind I sat down in the congregation on that
 day to hear preaching. The preacher read and
 expounded as best he could the first chapter of
 Hebrews. The sermon no doubt was very
 common, and not at all artistic. My memory
 of it is limited to one thought. God speaking
 to us in these latter days through his Son, and
 placing him above angels, caused me to magni-
 fy and worship the Son of God with my whole
heart. I believed on the Son of God, and was



30

 
             STARTING IN LIFE.          di

saved. I was saved, and rejoiced. My happi-
ness knew no bound. Walking forward alone
when there was no excitement among the peo-
ple, I gave the preacher my hand and God my
heart. It was an unreserved and joyful sur-
render. No part of the price was held back.
Of course I was to be immersed, but to me it
seemed only a step in duty. I was already
pardoned and a happy boy. We went out to a
clear stream of running water, and there I was
baptized. When all was over I returned home,
running part of the way and rejoicing. It was
not the baptism that made me rejoice, but
Christ in me the hope of glory. My first
discouragement was felt on relating to mem-
bers of the Church, whom I supposed to be as
happy as myself, what I had done and howI felt,
and finding them to a great extent seemingly in.
different as to my course. Is it not true that
the first check many a young convert feels after
accepting Christ is the contact with a believer
who is cold and almost religiously dead But
I had found the pearl of great price, and while
temptations afterward came in like a flod and

 
WILL MAKAS WAY.



almost swept my bark from its moorings, yet,
blessed be the Lord, the anchor held the vessel;
and after fifty-four years of reflection on that
day and the continuing grace of God, I shall
ever look back to it as the time when I was
born again and became a new creature in
Christ Jesus. And what would have been my
fate in the next year or two if I had been
wholly destitute of the power of a religious
life. Ruin, speedy ruin, would have been inev-
itable. In my own strength I could not have
successfully resisted the seductive influences
of sin. Cards, whisky, and other besetments
and pleasures would have given me a short and
swift race to destruction. But while I was
several times nearly ruined, and my feet had
well-nigh slipped, I was graciously preserved
to ascribe praise and honor to my Redeemer.
A boy or girl fourteen years old has not an
hour that they can safely live without Christ.
They would be almost as secure in a frail ca-
noe a mile above the Falls of Niagara in the
middle of the river without paddle or oar.
  Even then the Lord was jmpre tiemig my



32

 

STARTING IV LIFE.



mind with the duty to preach. Good William
Rogers, an elder in the Church who will be re-
membered by the older people, begged me to
try my speaking gifts. With no experience on
that line of danger, I consented. He had an
appointment made for me at a social meeting
to be held at the house of Berry Howell, the
father of my stepmother. The time came, and
I was in the presence of friends. No cold and
unsympathizing critic was there to weigh my
words and measure my gestures.