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of my preaching places, and having the rock four miles, with which to made no converts, at length seemed to stone it-I can now say we are comgrow impatient, and preached his fare-fortably "fixed."
This portion of Iowa being very new, and
Only one Sunday school, of about 25 members, is continued through the win-remote from mechanical conveniences, the ter. In this there seeins to be a considera- work of building a shelter for his family was ble interest. By the generosity of Chris- both indispensable and difficult. Probably, tians at the East, we have received, at the East, where there are sympathisince my last report, a box of books zing friends around, and the requisite facilities from the A. S. S. Union. As I hope to of materials and labor, a minister might build have six or seven schools in the spring, a good frame house at less expense of time these will be very seasonable. I have and personal effort, than the cabin above decheering evidence that the S. S. books scribed occasioned to the missionary in the are doing much to create a taste for New Purchase. reading, and awaken an interest in reference to Sabbath schools. Had we a few more faithful and competent teachers, the usefulness of our schools would undoubtedly be greatly increased. I have established Bible classes at From Rev. C. H. A. Bulkley, Janesmy principal stations for preaching, four in number, which are pretty well attended. Since my last report another day school has been opened, making two now in the county. We hope there will be one or two more in the spring.
ville, W. T.
Rejoicing in the missionary work.
I cannot restrain my emotions of gratitude, nor withhold their expression from you, at the retrospect of the way along which my Master has led me. If I know my own heart, and am not too self-confident, I may say, "Here, O Lord, let thy servant abide." I am sure I can exclaim with one of old, "I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth which thou hast showed unto thy servant."
Much excitement has existed among the people in regard to the land sales that were expected to come on in February. Not one in ten or fifteen was prepared to pay for his land, and much anxiety was felt. But at length the news came that the sales were indefi-"beautiful for situation"-the central nitely postponed-news most welcome to the majority, but not so to those who were prepared to enter their land.
Our people have commenced building a log school-house in Troy, which is also to be occupied as a house of worship.
With gratitude to God am I able to say, that we now have a comfortable house to live in, and a good well of water. During the last spring we were literally drenched with the rains. I had no other alternative, if I remained in the county, but to build or repair a house. I concluded to repair a loghouse, (there is but one frame house in the county,) and having put on two more logs round, to make room for a chamber, put on a shingled roof, and a good tight loft floor, besides pointing (putting mortar between the logs) it anew; and having dug a well-hauling
But I must speak of Mount Zion,
eminence of a vast prairie and woodland circumference. A communion season, rich to me in enjoyment, and pleasant as well as profitable in its remembrance, was spent in the little temple there erected to the Lord, and that too for the first time. On that occasion there were admitted by letters from eastern churches, seven members, five of whom were part of a large family, being the parents and three daughters. Our church building is not entirely completed, nor sufficiently warmed, to exclude the piercing prairie winds, and render it comfortable for worship; yet, notwithstanding this, we have ordinarily from 60 to 70, and sometimes 100 attendants-a congregation, which is quite large for the country around. Six months ago, there was no clergyman residing here, no afternoon services, no
ence upon your fostering care, the knowledge of their success may afford encouragement, and stimulate to greater devotion to this labor of love.
prayer-meeting, no church organiza- your Society, and principally in dependtion but the Methodist, and but little heed given to religious matters. Now we have three resident clergyman; services three times on the Sabbath; four church organizations; a Sabbath school; a weekly prayer-meeting, and withal a singing school, in all which an interest is now evidently increasing.
On the 11th of January a meeting was called for the purpose of forming here a church, at which brother Peet was expected to be present. By some mistake he did not arrive in season, and I proceeded to effect the organization, which was done orderly and harmoniously. The number of members enrolled is fifteen; small, indeed, but which yet, by the blessing of God, may
in time become a thousand.
It is now a little more than a year since I came into the "Mining Region," and about 10 months since I took up my abode in this place. I commenced preaching at Fairplay, Hazle Green, (late Hardscrabble,) and New Diggings. church edifice, or school-house, and Except at F., there was neither church, less than $100 could be raised on the whole field for the support of the Gospel. Since that time, a neat, substantial church and school-house united, 26 by 30, has been erected at Hazle Green, made the field for a new minister, toand that place with Fairplay has been wards whose support they will contribute from $150 to $200.
New Diggings, where I am now preaching is a new field. When I came here, there was no regular preaching of any denomination in the place.
From Rev. John Lewis, New Diggings, found a few scattered Presbyterians
Mr. L. was one of the company of Missionaries who went to Wisconsin in the autumn of 1843. His original field, Fairplay, Hardscrabble, (now Hazle Green,) and New Diggings, has been divided, and Mr. L. gives his whole attention to the last named settlement. The good already accomplished by this mission should encourage the friends of Christ to attempt greater things in behalf of the Mining Region.
With the return of the New-Year, my thoughts have been busy with the past. Of trials I have nothing to say. I have had a share of these blessings. The work is no where without them. They are here different, but perhaps not greater than the minister of Christ is often subjected to in the highly favored East. To my own mind, the review of the past has afforded abundant encouragement, to persevere in the effort to build up the cause of Christ in the "Mines"-a region long noted for its impiety and forgetfulness of God. Of these causes for encouragement, many cannot, from the nature of the case, be communicated to you. Yet as these ef forts have been made in connection with
and Congregationalists, and commenced preaching to about a dozen people half a mile from the village. It was in a small dilapidated log cabin, about the best, and indeed the only place which could be obtained. The Sabbath was awfully desecrated, hardly being recognized except as the chief day in the week for business and dissipation. The stores, groceries, (i. e. grog-shops) and gambling-rooms were all open, and crowded above most days of the week. Intemperance was very general, and gambling almost universal. As a consequence of this state of society, fighting, often very severe, was common. But while truth compels me thus to speak of the state of morals among the miners in this region, it allows me to say, at the same time, that they have many redeeming traits. A more open-hearted, shrewd, intelligent class of men can hardly be found in our land. We have indeed, some from foreign climes, not a few deluded adherents to a system of false religion, which teaches that "ignorance is the mother of devotion." Here, too, are men of highly cultivated minds, physicians, lawyers, teachers, mechanics, merchants, all delving in the bowels
of the earth, with the fond hope of "striking a lead," and making themselves independent. Some of them are children of pious parents, deacons, elders, ministers of the Gospel, who are ignorant of their fate, and not unfrequently remain in ignorance until they are successful in mining, or die in the fruitless search.
Church formed in a Bowling Alley.
Early in the spring, we removed from our inconvenient log cabin to an unfinished frame house in "the Diggings," and there commenced a protracted meeting. Soon the room was too small for us, and we removed to the "Bowling Alley," which was fitted up for the occasion with rough boards for seats. Here standing on the spot devoted to the "nine pins," and with a gaming table for a pulpit, we preached the Gospel for seven evenings in succession. The Holy Spirit was evidently present, and good was accomplished. In this same bowling alley our church was formed, containing 14 members. Since then 4 more have united, making in all 18, our present number. A church edifice, 26 by 36, has been erected, which is now completed, though not quite paid for. The moral aspect of the community has so much changed, as to be a frequent subject of remark among impenitent men. The Sabbath is much more regarded, the stores are nominally closed, though we fear some back doors are still kept open. A temperance society has been organized, which now contains more than one hundred members. This, indeed, is only a small portion of our population, but it is a good beginning, and the reform is going forward. Fighting is much more rare. A physician told me a few days since that it was now a rare thing for him to be called to bind up a broken head. In short, we are becoming quite a moral, respectable community, and wiping off the stain which has long attached itself to our town. I have received a request to preach here every Sabbath, and a subscription of $200 towards my support has been raised. The way is now open for doing great good. Let us ask in addition to your benefactions, your most earnest prayers that the cause of
Christ may advance, and that where iniquity has abounded, grace may much more abound.
A strange thing.
Is it not humiliating to the Church of Christ, that such a case as the following should be spoken of as peculiar!
Let me say something concerning our deacon, whose conduct has been unlike that of any other professor of our denomination here, or that of most professors at the West. On his removal to this place, and his first attendance on my preaching, he announced to me the fact of his being a member of an eastern Congregational church, and desired me to visit his family, two of which, besides himself, I found to be members also. It is a deeply painful fact, that many former professed disciples of Christ now withhold their co-operation, and that too without any justifiable grounds. Instead of coming spontaneously to the work of their Master, attracted by spiritual affinity to his people, they need his compulsory arm, with a whip of cords to scourge them on to duty.
From Rev. R. R. Snow, Troy, Wis.
Since receiving my commission, by the favor of a kind Providence, I have enjoyed a prosperous journey and introduction to my field of labor. I arrived in the territory about the middle of October, and by the invitation of the church in this place, and the approbation of your agent here, commenced my labors among this people on the second Sabbath in November. My efforts have consisted principally in preaching, attending prayer-meetings in different parts of the town, visiting from house to house, especially among the sick and dying, of whom there have been many since my residence here-looking up professors of religion who had not joined any body of Christians since coming west-visiting schools, lecturing on
temperance, &c., all which have been attended with some obvious, and in some cases encouraging success.
tesies of a man, much more of those that ought to pertain to a Christian, and a christian minister.
I have not preached on the subject of ministerial support. This is a heteregeneous community, and I thought it might do more hurt than good. The people have been preached almost to death by Universalists, Mormons, Baptists, Episcopal and Wesleyan Metho
The state of religion, on coming here, I found low and feeble, and there still remains much to be done, both by minister and church, before we may feel like rejoicing in our spiritual prosperity; yet there has been some advancement in the spirit and action of Christians, and in the general interests of re-dists, and nameless exhorters. All ligion; meetings on the Sabbath are well attended, the Gospel is listened to with attention and candor, and many are praying for a special outpouring of the Spirit's influences.
these, except the Baptist, have sought to leave the impression that it was not money, "like other denominations," (meaning ours,) but the "love of God and truth," that caused them to preach. do not know what is best to do in reference to these things. When I preach I have a good audience and attentive hearers.
The society here took early mea-I sures, on my coming among them, to secure my continuance in the place. They have raised by subscription the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars, and express the hope that in another year they shall be able to increase the amount, and the church and society have unanimously concurred in extending to me recently a call to settle with them as their pastor. This kind of action I regard as indicating favorably on
On the 22d of December I preached on the subject of "our Puritan ancestors" to large and deeply attentive audiences. I endeavored to trace their the part of the people, and it affords meerted (especially in this land) on relicharacter; the influence which they ex
great encouragement to persevere in my labors among them. The monthly concert is regularly attended, and a growing interest in its object is mani
A successor of the apostles!
gion, education, and civil government,
and the causes which combined to make them what they were. Among these I endeavored to make it appear that the exile of so many English Puritans, the residence of some of them at Geneva, and their acquaintance with Calvin, and his principles of religious and civil freedom, were prominent means in the ordering of Providence, in preparing them to be the founders of a purer church, and a republican government in this new world.
The community is in a ferment, occasioned by the measures and efforts of a pretended "successor of the apostles." He endeavors to monopolize the whole ground, utterly disregarding the privileges and rights of all others. He has crowded himself into, and claims the right of occupying, our district school- During the last quarter I have also house (just finished) to his heart's con- performed some colporteur labors. One tent, thus excluding our church, some excursion in particular I will relate. of whom have paid a heavy amount to- Having procured a quantity of Testawards building it, unless we contend for ments, tracts, and volumes of the Ameour rights and have another commotion rican Tract Society's publications, I in the community. At he has proceeded to -, a newly settled knowingly taken the place and time, and town in the south-west corner of this preached to the congregation assembled county. I devoted Saturday to visiting to hear brother P., by getting into the and religious conversation, selling and desk a few minutes before he arrived. giving away Testaments and books, and I hesitate not to say that I regard this distributing tracts. I found a few proman as destitute of the common cour-fessors of the Seventh Day Baptist,
Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian denominations, with errors and spiritual desolations over which the heart could not but weep. According to appointment I preached to them the next morning, and then, through a storm of rain and snow, over a rough and muddy road, I travelled twelve miles in two hours, and met one of my regular appointments for preaching, I was then six miles from home, to which I returned the same evening.
It is exceedingly desirable that every missionary should have all the facilities to be derived from books, tracts and Bibles; since the frequency with which he traverses his field, and his knowledge of individual cases, give him great advantages for usefulness over the mere transitory colporteur. Assistance of this kind has been generously furnished by the American Tract Society, to the amount of $600 or $700 during the first half of the current year, principally in tracts, and in the eastern part of the great field; but the missionaries in the West alone, ought to have three times this amount.
would do for him to put in. "O," he said, "that wont buy a Bible, and I want the heathen should have it quick." After returning from church he said: "I wish there were a contribution every day, so I could give all my money-I like it." Dear boy! at the rate he had given he would soon exhaust his funds, for he had already given more than half his money. But his mother had taught him, that the Lord loveth a cheerful giver, and that he would lose nothing by lending liberally to the Lord. And he was realizing something of that truth, for he received, as a New-Year's present, a Prussian Thaler, (624 cents,) from a friend who knew nothing of his contribution to the missionary cause. When the church at large shall give as liberally, believing that God will most richly repay those that lend to him, your treasury, dear brethren, will not be so exhausted as it has recently been, and the desolate places will not call in vain for help as they too often now do.
The liberal giver.
We had a very interesting meeting of our Juvenile Missionary Society on Christmas day. About sixty happy young faces were assembled at my house to contemplate the condition of the heathen world, to engage in prayer for the benighted, and to look at their own obligations to the perishing and to themselves. The meeting was rendered solemn by alluding to the fact that one bright lad, who had enjoyed the meeting a year since, was now sleeping in the cold grave, having been very mysteriously drowned a few weeks since. After the devotional exercises a collection was taken of $4,77, for the foreign distribution of the Bible. One lad, under seven years of age, who contributed that day from his own little funds, of his own accord, 75 cents, and who never paid a shilling for toys or sweetmeats in his life, on the fast day that soon followed, threw into the missionary box two dimes and two half dimes. His father told him, before going to church, that one small piece
A lamentable Fact.
One great obstacle to the spread of the Gospel here, arises from the fact, that so large a proportion of the commu nity are, or have been, professors of religion. They have heard all, seen all, and as they imagine, felt all of Christianity-they are thoroughly Gospel hardened. They are of every grade, from the Judas and Simon Magus apostate, to the Demas outside and inside of the church, and the barren fig-tree genus of Christians, who while they live on the fat of the land, are naught but "cumberers of the ground." It takes a Christian, and one of Bunyan's "Great Heart" kind, to stem a tide of worldliness, like that which here sets perdition-wise from January to January, by day and by night. Thank God, therefore, that if the West is not the place to multiply converts, it may still be of vast service to the church as a refiner's furnace. From the fires in which she tests the moral integrity of the immigrant, there will eventually come forth, I trust, a chosen generation of Christians, men who will be willing to follow their Master through evil or