Founder of Christianity vs Founder of Islam

John Quincy Adams quotes regarding the Gospels of Christ

John Quincy Adams regarding the promises of the Christian gospel [Click to enlarge]

1 John iv. 1-3: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”

The spirits and their utterances are to be tried by their attitude to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Anointed and sent of the Father, the Saviour of the whole world, in whom God is well pleased.

John Quincy Adams quotes in regards to reading the Holy Bible

John Quincy Adams in regards to reading the Holy Bible [Click to enlarge]

Christian Spectator Vol 1 excerpt; I Am not a Mohammedan i.e. Muslim, Because; Author unknown

I Am not a Mohammedan,—1. Because I cannot allow to the prophet of Arabia the character which he assumed, and which his followers ascribe to him :—in oilier words. I cannot admit that Mohammed was the most illustrious of all the messengers sent from heaven to our world. I should thus exalt him above all the prophets and apostles; above the Son of God himself. This I should also do, not only without reason, but in opposition to most weighty evidence.

The appearance of Mohammed, certainly his appearance in the character which he assumed, is no where foretold in the sacred scriptures, which even his followers acknowledge to be diviue. This is by no means true, with regard to the Lord Jesus Christ. Long before his incarnation, his appearance, his character, the circumstances of his life and of his death, had been minutely detailed by prophecy. If the pretensions of Mohammed were well founded, why is not the same true, at least in a degree, with respect to him ?—why do the sacred pages contain so many predictions concerning him, who was to be born at Bethlehem, while nothing is said of him, who was to be born at Mecca? This is altogether unaccountable on the supposition, that the latter of these, surpasses the former in the dignity and importance of his character. I will not assert that no allusion is had to Mohammed in the prophetic parts of scripture; but if he is mentioned at all, it evidently is under the appellation of the false prophet.

Mohammed performed no supernatural operations, foretold no future events. The world is entirely destitute of evidence, that he ever did the least thing beyond the natural powers of man. For a long season, he made no pretensions of this kind. At length, to silence the demands of his opposers, and allay the apprehensions of his friends, he professed to have effected certain marvelous absurdities by supernatural assistance. But these things, beside being strangely inconsistent and self contradictory, want the proofs essential to establish a miracle. They were not performed in the face of day, nor under the eye of spectators,—consequently were never, like the miracles recorded in scripture, exposed to examination by the senses. These wonderful works, gained no general credit, even among those who lived at the time when tbey were said to be wrought; the story of them, was believed only by a few among the ignorant multitude; little dependence was placed on them by the prophet or his followers. If Mobammed was the most distinguished of all the messengers seut from God to men, how happened he to be destitute of this most important test of his divine mission?

I remark again, that the personal character of Mohammed, affords convincing evidence, that his high pretensions were unfounded. The prophets and apostles, who have spoken to men in the name of God, have uniformly been men of holy lives. For the Most High, to employ persons of any other description in this manner, would be inconsistent with all our ideas of his character. How then can we suppose that a man given up to debauchery, a man contemptible for the profligacy of his life, should be selected by Jehovah, as his most distinguished ambassador to our world? Such a man was Mohammed. This fact is abundantly supported by history, and is alone sufficient to destroy all belief that he was a true prophet; it clearly stamps him as an impostor. Mohammed’s retiring from public view for a season, and pretending in his seclusion to commence a reformation, and to receive certain secret communications from the invisible world, instead of diminishing, greatly increases our distrust in his assumed character. Such a course was admirably suited to promote the corrupt designs of a wicked and artful impostor.

I am not a Mohammedan—2. Because I cannot allow to the Koran, that respect, which belongs to the word of God. The difference between these books is vastly too great to admit the supposition, that both came from the same author. Their different style shews at once, that they are derived from different sources. The contrast between the Bible of Christians, and that of Mohammedans in this respect, is eloquently given by Mr. Gibbon, a man certainly not void of taste, nor prejudiced in favor of the sacred oracles. Of the Koran he says—”The harmony and copiousness of style, will not, in a version, reach the European infidel; he will peruse, with impatience, the endless incoherent rhapsody of fable, precept and declamation, which seldom excites a sentiment or idea, which sometimes crawls in the dust, and is sometimes lost in the clouds. The divine attributes exalt the fancy of an Arabian missionary; but his loftiest strains must yield to the sublime simplicity of the book of Job, composed in a remote age, in the same country, and in the same language.”

With regard to the most important religious doctrines, the Koran is still more diverse from holy writ. In the sacred scriptures we are clearly taught the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, and are assured that it is only by his obedience unto death, that any of our race can be pardoned and received into favor with God. In the Koran, Christ is declared to be only a man like ourselves. So far, is he said to be, from dying on account of human guilt, that even the fact, that he died at all, is denied. According to this book, the sufferings of the Saviour were only in appearance, and men, instead of needing a vicarious atonement for their sins, may, by a trifling restraint from open vice, become interested in the divine favor, and entitled to the happiness of heaven. Nor is the heaven promised, less different from the heaven of the scriptures, than the means of obtaining h. While the Christian expects a heaven, where he will be free from sin, where he will be entirely divested of every sensual appetite, and be happy only in the enjoyment of God, the Mussulman is taught to look for a paradise, great part of whose happiness will consist in carnal indulgence. Thus diverse, thus directly opposite, are the doctrines of the word of God, and those of the Koran of Mohammed.

Nor do these volumes bear a nearer resemblance, when we contemplate the morality which they inculcate. The former enjoins upon men, the restraint and the correction of their disorderly passions and propensities; requires them to be holy as their Father who is in heaven is holy; lays the foundation of morality in the heart, and inculcates love and benevolence towards all mankind. Wherever the precepts of the gospel have been obeyed, friendship and peace have prevailed, and the human character has been refined and exalted. Precisely the reverse of this, is true of the Koran. It is, in every respect, such as might be expected from its author. It requires no mortification of corrupt affections, no subduing of wicked passions, no guarding of the heart from sin. On the other hand, it encourages the indulgence of envy, pride, ambition, and sensual desire. Instead of breathing peace on earth and good will to men, it speaks misery and extermination; it literally declares war upon the human race.— Hence, in a moral view, the Koran has ever carried with it pestilence and death. Wherever its principles have been reduced to practice, man has been rendered the foe of man, and has sought the mischief and the ruin’ of his fellow;—in a word, the doctrines of this book, are, in a high degree, adapted to debauch and to brutalize the human character. Other points of difference between the sacred scriptures and the Koran, might be mentioned; bat enough has been said to shew, that if one of these books is what it purports to be, the other must be a forgery. Hence, before I can be a Mohammedan, I must regard the word of God as a fable; but then my Mohammedan creed would be imperfect, since Mussulmans [Muslims] profess to acknowledge the divinity of the holy scriptures.

As a further objection to Mohammedanism, should be mentioned the manner, in which this religion was originally propagated in the world. At first, it was established by fraud and deception, afterwards by fire and sword. It was never, like the religion of Christ, addressed to the understanding and the conscience of men, and spread in opposition to the corruptions of the human heart, and the power of civil authority. Islamism, however, was never proposed for investigation; it lays its strong hold in the depravity of man; has ever been supported by the arm of the magistrate, and has erected its bloody trophies over the miseries and desolations of the world.

Thus, whether I consider the personal character of Mohammed, or the want of prophecy and of miracles in his support; when I reflect on the style, in which his instructions are delivered; on the doctrines which he taught; the morality which he inculcated, or the manner, in which his religion was spread,—when I contemplate these things together or apart, I find abundant reason, why I cannot lay my hand on the Koran and cry,— “Ala, there is but one God, and Mohammed is his prophet.”

John Quincy Adams quotes regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ

John Quincy Adams regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ [Click to enlarge]

Extract from A Missionary’s Letter to a Muslim friend

Attitude of the Quran to Christ.

Testing the Quran thus, it is found to be characterized by a certain veiled hostility and studied depreciation of him. While it admits his perfect sinlessness and prophetic character, it bitterly denies his divinity, and all implied in his being the Son of God. I will quote a passage at random, a sample of countless others.

Sura XLIIL, Surat al Zukhraf, Ornaments of Gold, v. 59: “Jesus is no other than a servant, whom we favored with the gift of prophecy; and we appointed him for an example unto the children of Israel.” V. 63: “And when Jesus came with evident miracles, he said, Now I am come unto you with wisdom, and to explain unto you part of those things concerning which ye disagree.”

It is not strange that, while Muslims say much of their love and honor for the Lord Jesus, he is to the Shiahs only one of one hundred and twenty-four thousand prophets, all considered sinless, Adam and Noah being among the number. The Sunnis recognize a hundred and forty-four thousand. Neither is it wonderful that so few of them take the trouble to familiarize themselves with the life and teachings of one who, as they suppose, was only a prophet for the Jews.

In the light of the great discrepancies and flat contradictions existing between the Bible and the Quran, I beg you to examine with the greatest care the foundations of Islam, remembering that your salvation depends upon arriving at the truth. Are you prepared to venture all on the word of one man, or even one angel, when that word plainly supersedes and abrogates the well-established revelations which preceded it? The former systems of religion are like a strong castle founded on a rock, and standing “four square to every wind that blows”; but Islam, resting on the authority of one witness, rather resembles a pyramid poised on its apex.

Jefferson quote concerning the advantages of serving Jesus

Thomas Jefferson concerning the advantages of Jesus [Click to enlarge]

Words of Jesus

Let us look at the words of Jesus, for to them he appealed to authenticate his divine character and mission. Leaving out those spoken by him, as we believe, through the prophets before his birth, and the apostles after his ascension, we will confine our attention to the utterances of his brief ministry of three and a half years.

The wisdom of the whole world has produced nothing like them; they unlock the mysteries of time and eternity, bring ” life and immortality to light,” and satisfy alike the loftiest demands of the intellect and the deepest cravings of the heart. How inimitable his parables! how perfect his precepts, wonderful in condensation and scope! What stores of comfort and instruction in every word, whether uttered in formal teaching or in the familiar intercourse of daily life!

Teachings of the Quran.

But when we turn to the Quran we are reminded of the saying, “What is true is not new, and what is new is not true.” The great doctrines of the unity and holiness of the Creator, his wisdom, justice, and mercy, sin and judgment, the resurrection of righteous and wicked men, heaven and hell, had long before been so fully set forth in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures that no additional revelation was needed. Had the knowledge of sacred books been diffused as it should have been, the Arabs could never have made the mistake of supposing these cardinal truths to be revealed for the first time. We must confess this to have been the fault of the Christian Church, which, having left the simplicity of the faith for image and relic worship, and received for doctrines the vain traditions of men, had forgotten to preach a pure Gospel, and neglected the last command of her Lord to teach all nations his words and works. She paid the penalty of disobedience in being powerless to prevent the rise of the new persecuting religion which was destined to prove her mortal enemy.

“What was true was not new.” Nothing, absolutely nothing, is added by the Prophet in the way of information or enforcement, while many of the old truths are belittled, misstated, and contradicted.

“What was new was not true”: the change of base from Isaac to Ishmael, from the Jew to the Arab, from Jerusalem to Mecca, from Jesus Christ to Muhammad, from salvation by grace to salvation by works, cannot be accepted. The new views of God, the new terms of salvation, the new regime of force, the mechanical character of the new obedience, are all inferior to the light, life, and liberty of Christianity. How, then, can we believe they emanate from the same source? He who has known the liberty of a son in the Father’s house cannot but hesitate when called to assume the station of a slave bowing beneath the inscrutable will of a far-off and unapproachable Master.

George Washington quote concerning the guidance of God.

George Washington quote concerning the guidance of God in his life [Click to enlarge]

Prophetic Gifts and Saving Grace.

We have already adverted to the gifts of prophecy and miracle abounding in the Lord Jesus, but in Muhammad conspicuous by their absence; but we must not lay undue stress on these as primary credentials of a true prophet.

The Old Testament, in the example of Balaam, and the New in that of Caiaphas, show us that, anomalous as it may appear to us, God can use wicked men to utter true prophecies. Of miracles, we see no reason to doubt that they were wrought by Judas as well as his fellow-apostles when Christ sent them out “with power and authority over the devils, and to cure disease.”

Matthew vii. 21-23, our Saviour says: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Matthew xxiv. 24: “There shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

2 Thessalonians ii. 9: “Whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders.”

Those whose trust is based only On the evidence of prophecy and miracles, or what appears to be such, may build on a sandy foundation, and in the decisive day of trial find themselves overwhelmed by fearful and remediless disaster. God, in his mercy, has provided us with a criterion by which to judge the pretensions of those who profess to be his representatives.

James Monroe quote concerning the blessings of God.

James Monroe concerning the blessings of God. [Click to enlarge]

Test of True Prophets.

Matthew vii. 15-18: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” The supreme test taught and met by Christ himself is personal holiness of character. He spoke of himself as coming, not to destroy, but to fulfil the law of God. If we accept his own word, he as divine was the author of the moral law, yet we never find him taking up a position of superiority to its requirements. On the contrary, we recognize in him the only human being who has ever completely kept the commandments in letter and spirit. Perfect in love to God and love to man, he ” brought in an everlasting righteousness ” sufficient to satisfy all demands of justice, and, as imputed to those who trust in him, able to save even ” unto the uttermost.”

James Madison quote regarding the Rights of Conscience

James Madison regarding the Rights of Conscience. [Click to enlarge]

Sinlessness of Christ.

He set a faultless example to his followers, offering to God a perfect obedience to his will, and to man a wondrous devotion, even laying down his life for the guilty race with which he identified himself. We have the testimony of his disciples to his sinless perfection, men associated with him for three and a half years on the familiar terms of close intimacy. Much of this time was spent in touring: on the road, or in the crowded conditions of Oriental village hospitality, so trying to ordinary friendship. They saw him weary, hungry, exposed to strong provocations. They saw him when the popular tide ran strong in his favor, and again when it ebbed, and most of his followers left him, in danger, betrayal, and death. Looking back on all, they deliberately tell us his life sustained his professed character, and he was indeed a sinless man. Not only their word, but the record of his words and actions as we have it, bears them out in their assertion. Tried by the most exacting standard of modern morality, he is without fault. His friends had every opportunity to judge him by the highest criterion, not the ability to utter beautiful poetry, which even depraved men often possess, but the power to lead a holy life.

We have seen his enemies dogging his steps with keen eyes of hate and prejudice, but unable to find any accusation against him. We have seen the infidelity of nineteen centuries scanning his life, eager to discover some flaw in his moral perfection, but compelled, like the Roman judge, to declare, ” I find no fault in him.” Those who reject him as a divine Saviour are lavish in praising him as the ideal man, the unique flower of humanity. The worst reproach brought to-day against Christians is that they are not like their Master, Jesus of Nazareth, the obscure Jewish carpenter, dying early as a criminal and an offender against Roman law. He who bore the punishment of a slave on the accursed cross furnishes to-day the standard by which all men are judged, while he himself is judged of no man.
John Adams quote regarding Christianity

John Adams regarding Christianity [Click to enlarge]

Morality of Muhammad.

What a contrast to Muhammad, who, setting up a far inferior code of morals, giving indulgence to the weaknesses of the flesh, and proclaiming liberty to its lusts, could not himself observe the law he promulgated as from God! On the ground of his prophetic office he claimed to be superior to its requirements and exempt from its penalties, and it is notorious that he freely acted on this principle.

Readers of the Quran are familiar with the Suras, which specially excuse him from observing the marriage and divorce laws of Islam, though they appear to most persons sufficiently elastic to satisfy any one. To cite but one instance. Sura XXXIIL, Surat ul Ahzab, the Confederates, v. 49-57: ” O Prophet, we have allowed thee thy wives unto whom thou hast given their dower, and also the slaves which thy right hand possesseth, of the booty which God hath granted thee; and the daughters of thy uncles, and the daughters of thy aunts, both on thy father’s side, and on thy mother’s side, who have fled with thee from Makkah, and any other believing woman if she give herself to the Prophet, in case the Prophet desireth to take her to wife. This is a peculiar privilege granted to thee above the rest of the true believers. We know what we have ordained them concerning their wives and the slaves which their right hands possess; lest it should be deemed a crime in thee to make use of the privilege granted thee; for God is gracious and merciful. Thou mayest postpone the turn of such of thy wives as thou shalt please; and thou mayest take unto thee her whom thou shalt please: and her whom thou shalt desire of those whom thou shalt have before rejected; and it shall be no crime in thee. This will be more easy, that they may be entirely content and may not be grieved, but may be well pleased with what thou shalt give every one of them. God knoweth whatever is in your hearts: and God is knowing and gracious. It shall not be lawful for thee to take other women to wife hereafter, nor to exchange any of thy wives for them, though their beauty please thee, except the slaves whom thy right hand shall possess; and God observeth all things. O true believers, enter not the houses of the Prophet, unless it be permitted you to eat meat with him, without waiting his convenient time; but when ye are invited, then enter. And when ye shall have eaten, disperse yourselves, and stay not to enter into familiar discourse; for this incommodeth the Prophet. He is ashamed to bid you depart, but God is not ashamed of the truth. And when ye ask of the Prophet’s wives what ye may have occasion for, ask it of them from behind a curtain. This will be more pure for your hearts and their hearts. Neither is it fit for you to give any uneasiness to the Apostle of God, or to marry his wives after him forever, for this would be a grievous thing in the sight of God. Whether ye divulge a thing, or conceal it, verily God knoweth all things. It shall be no crime in them, as to their fathers, or their sons, or their sister’s sons, or their women, or the slaves which their right hands possess, if they speak to them unveiled: and fear ye God, for God is witness of all things. Verily God and his angels bless the Prophet; O true believers, do ye also bless him and salute him with a respectful salutation. As to those who offend God and his Apostle, God shall curse them in this world and in the next, and he hath prepared for them a shameful punishment.”

V. 60-61: “Verily if the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is an infirmity and they who raise disturbances in Medina, do not desist, we will surely stir thee up against them to chastise them; henceforth they shall not be suffered to dwell near thee therein except for a little time and being accursed: wherever they are found, they shall be taken and killed with a general slaughter.”

It is not from unfriendly or neutral historians, but from his own apologists and eulogists, we learn how fully the Prophet availed himself of his exceptional matrimonial privileges. “It is said, in his youth he lived a virtuous life. At the age of twenty-five he married Khadijah, a widow forty years old: and for five and twenty years was a faithful husband to her alone. Shortly after her death he married again, but it was not till he had reached the mature age of fifty-four that he became a polygamist, taking Ayesha, a child of seven or eight years, daughter of Abu Bekr, as rival of Sawda. In his fifty-sixth year he married Hafra, daughter of Umar; and the following year, in two successive months, Zeinab bint Khozeima and Omm Salma; a few months after, Zeinab, wife of Zeid, his adopted son. In the same year he married a seventh wife and also a concubine. And at last, when he was full three score years of age, no fewer than three new wives, besides Mary the Coptic slave, were within the space of seven months added to his already well-filled harem.”* The injunction touching his obnoxious neighbors, the Jews of Medina, we learn from Muslim historians, was carried out by assassination and banishment of his opponents, whole tribes being expatriated or exterminated.

John Adams Quote regarding Christians

John Adams regarding Christians [Click to enlarge]

Force as a Means of Propagandism.

While Islam has not been a religion propagated solely by the sword, it is a well-established matter of history that a large part of its success has been by force of arms. As we have seen, the Quran permits and commands believers to put the enemies of Islam to death. It is written in the Hyat ul Kuloob of the birth of Muhammad: “On that night under the name of the Prophet, in every Torat, Inj eel, or Zabour in the world, a drop of blood appeared, signifying that he would be a prophet armed with the sword.”

We find it impossible to associate such ideas with the personality of the Lord Jesus. In him what meekness, obedience, reverence for the Father, purity, zeal, hatred of sin, combined with infinite love for the sinner and matchless self-sacrifice! In Muhammad what growing pride, ambition, love of power, self-glorification! His apologists are never weary of reminding us how far he rose above his contemporaries, the idolatrous Arabs who surrounded him. Do they not admit the weakness of their cause by thus measuring him from that which was confessedly a very low standard instead of by that perfect ideal of manhood which had been given to the world almost six hundred years before? If he were a true prophet, we have a right to expect higher moral and spiritual attainments than we find in his predecessors. If he were not a true prophet sent of God, what was he? We read the earlier Suras, and admire the lofty thoughts and exalted descriptions of God, imperfect though they seem when placed beside our inspired Scriptures. Turn then to the later Suras, and mark how the commanding personality and central figure has become that of the Prophet himself. He dominates everywhere; we are not suffered for a moment to forget him. The Almighty, relegated to the background, has become an infinitely great and powerful shadow of Muhammad, constantly ministering to the Prophet’s glory, and promptly complying with his desires. A tradition says that Ayesha once said to him: “How kind your God is to you! Verily he always does whatever you wish!” The archangel Gabriel speeds from heaven—for what? To reveal some wondrous depth of divine wisdom, some sweet secret of eternal love, some new incitement to holiness, benevolence, purity? No, verily, but to say to the Prophet, if his wives are not content with his treatment and provision for them, he is permitted to divorce them and God will give better ones in their places. Or he comes to adminish visitors not to indulge in loud conversation before Muhammad’s door, to enter unbidden, or prolong their stay. He comes to vindicate the reputation of one wife, to reinstate her in the affections of her suspicious husband, and to rebuke the jealousies and contentions of the rest of the harem. One cannot help thinking if a prophet, and the greatest of prophets, could not manage his polygamous household without such frequent intervention and aid from above, what can ordinary men do under like circumstances? One fact stands out clearly: Muhammad is evidently the principal figure in his own estimation, and everything, angelic visits included, is made to subserve his glorification.

Thomas Jefferson quote regarding his Bible

Thomas Jefferson regarding his Bible [Click to enlarge]

Superseding of Jesus as Saviour.

We understand from the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments that God accepted and commissioned the Lord Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world, the only Mediator between man and his Maker. In him he found a perfect righteousness, which by faith could be imputed and imparted to the sinner, a perfect example of the obedience man owes to God, a perfect sacrifice to take away the guilt of sin and bear its punishment. God gave to Jesus the promised sign of acceptance by raising him from the dead on the third day, and causing him to ascend to heaven in the sight of his disciples. He was afterward seen in vision sitting at the right hand of the Father, waiting, as had been predicted of him, till his enemies should be made his footstool. When and why did God reject this Holy One whom he himself had chosen, and with whom he was well pleased—with whom he had covenanted with an oath, sworn by himself, that all kingdoms and tribes should serve him, and of his kingdom there should be no end? If the Lord was faithful, as we know he was, even unto death, why should God remove him from his office and introduce another scheme of salvation for mankind? Was not the divine law of perfect love to God and love to man, which Jesus taught and practised, the highest and best rule of life of which we can conceive? Is it not sufficient to transform earth to heaven and sinners to saints? What need had man of Muhammad? What need of Islam?

Thomas Jefferson quotes regarding the character of Jesus Christ

Thomas Jefferson regarding the character of Jesus Christ [Click to enlarge]

Muslim Intolerance.

As you know,  Islam is the paramount faith; the adherents of other religions only exist on sufferance, theoretically with no rights, in a semi-servile state, dependent on the mercy of the dominant race. No Muslim is allowed to change his belief, on pain of death, nor is he permitted to hear of or investigate the truth of any other religion.

Thomas Jefferson quotes regarding Morality and Religion

Thomas Jefferson regarding Morality and Religion [Click to enlarge]

Christianity in Great Britain.

About the same time that the conquering sword introduced Islam into your country, the Gospel entered the British Isles with no weapon save the “sword of the Spirit,” the Word of God. It came with persuasive love and power to a people far below the grade of the civilization of your ancient land, a race little removed from the level of savages, wild and idolatrous. You have asked, Where are the modern miracles of Christianity? Surely the mental, moral, and spiritual change wrought by the Bible on the Anglo-Saxon race, and the manifest blessings they have enjoyed since they accepted Christ, may answer your question.

It is true that Christian countries contain much of crime and evil, because no nation, as such, has yet become thoroughly Christian. The kingdoms of this world are still ruled by Satan; they are not yet the kingdoms of God and of his Christ. No church even in its entirety is a perfect exemplification of the character and teachings of its Divine Founder. The tares flourish among the wheat, which itself is not yet fully matured and ready for the garner. No individual Christian even has attained to the perfection which is set before him. The sins of so-called Christendom are black enough, but they constitute no part of our religion; indeed, they are flagrant transgressions of it, and as such always strongly for, bidden. But polygamy, slavery, divorce, religious war, disregard of the rights of non-Muslims, are vital and essential points of Islam, practised by its founder and commander in its sacred book.

It is not fair to judge your religion by the conduct and character of all its adherents. I do not wish you to form an opinion of Christianity from the lives of many who profess and disgrace its name. Let us compare those who have most truly received and most deeply drunk of the spirit of their respective faiths, who most carefully regard the precepts and most closely imitate the founder of their religion. We fear no such comparison of the true Christian with the true Muslim.

Nor do we fear any examination of the two religions as to their power of renovating and purifying the heart, of sustaining in the trials and exigencies of life, and of conquering in the dread hour of death. You have tried Islam many years, but, after all, confess it has brought no real peace to your soul. You have said, did you not fear to rush unbidden into the presence of a justly offended God, you would gladly throw aside life as a burden too heavy to be borne. But the Christian’s inheritance is peace, left to us by the last words of our Saviour—John xvi. 33: “These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” The Christian endures the ills of life without a murmur, sustained by a secret joy; in his cross is a hidden sweetness, since its heavier weight is sustained by an invisible companion and lightened by an enduring hope. He knows his trials are ordained by infinite wisdom and love, to secure his final perfection and harmonious relation to God; he anticipates endless holiness and happiness in the society and under the rule of his adored Redeemer. 1 Peter i. 8, 9: “Whom not having seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

Volumes of evidence might be adduced to show the holy lives and triumphant deaths of Christians. My own eyes have repeatedly seen how

“Jesus can make a dying bed
Seem soft as downy pillows are.”

Nay, more, the departing believer often experiences such rapturous joy, such foretastes of eternal bliss, that death is no more death, but truly “swallowed up in victory.” The wondering eyewitnesses of such a scene can only exclaim, ” Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.” And why should not he rejoice who can say, ” The eternal God is my refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms?” “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.” “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me: thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

In the New Testament the Christian is never spoken of as dying, for the brief sojourn of our Lord within the realm of death has robbed the enemy of his terrors. Christ is risen! his body rests in no earthly grave: “He is ascended on high, leading captivity captive.”

But the body of Muhammad has long lain at Medina, and the pilgrimages made to his tomb and to those of his successors tell us that your hopes rest on dead saviours, who could not rescue themselves from death and the grave.

Thomas Jefferson quotes regarding God's Divine Will

Thomas Jefferson regarding God’s Divine Will [Click to enlarge]

Islam in Death.

You know better than I what hope or comfort your religion offers in the last hour to the trembling spirit, bowed under a load of guilt and apprehension, and what are its consolations for the survivors. I have seen the deep gloom cast by the mention of death on your people, the unreasoning terror they manifest on its occurrence in their homes, and have heard the wild cries of anguish when the blow has fallen, and they seem to “mourn as those without hope.” That event must indeed be invested with dark forebodings to those who dare not say of the dead that their immediate salvation is assured. I have heard them comfort themselves with the assurance that whoever recites the Muslim Creed in death, the Kalima Shahidat, “There is no God but God, and Muhammad is the Apostle of God,” will find his sins fall from him as the leaves of a tree in autumn. But, alas! if the analogy were true, when the tree buds again, its leaf and fruit will be unchanged. He who has no guarantee of a radical change of nature must needs fear that, as he has sinned here, he will continue to do so in another world. Where sin remains, must remain alienation from God, punishment and sorrow.

The traditions which we may take as representing the popular belief are far from reassuring. In the Hyat ul Kuloob is written that Salman, the freedman of the Prophet of God, before his death, went to a cemetery to interrogate the dead. “One in his grave began to speak, saying, ‘ Lo, I hear thy words, and will quickly answer. Ask what thou wilt.’ Salman rejoined, ‘ O thou that speakest after death and its sorrows, art thou of Paradise, or of hell?’ The dead replied, ‘I am of the number on whom God has bestowed favor and in his mercy introduced to Paradise.’ Salman said, ‘Thou servant of God, describe to me what thou hast experienced.’ He answered, ‘Verily, cutting the body to pieces many times with shears is easier than the agonies of death. Know thou the Most High had bestowed divine favors on me in this world, and I had well discharged my duties. I read the Quran, and was very dutiful to my father and mother. I avoided what was forbidden, and feared to be unjust and oppressive to servants. Night and day I took pains and strove to find out and do what was lawful, through fear of standing before God to be questioned. The angel of death now approached and gradually drew my soul from my body. Every pull he made was equal in agony to all the pains under heaven. This continued till he reached my heart, when he signed to me with a dart, which, if he had laid upon the mountains, would have melted them, and forcibly drew my soul from my nostrils.'” He then tells of his burial, of the dreadful ordeal of examination by the two angels Munkir and Nakeer, who question him of his faith and practice. Of the latter angel he says, “He then laid me down in the grave, and said, Lie like a bridegroom. At my head he opened a door to Paradise, and at my feet a door to hell, and said, See what you will enjoy and what you are saved from. He then closed the opening to hell and expanded the gate of Paradise, from which its delightful perfume was wafted to me. He then enlarged my grave as far as the eye could see, and left me.”

 
Benjamin Franklin quotes concerning the Holy Bible

Benjamin Harrison concerning the Holy Bible [Click to enlarge]

State of Muslim Women.

Of one feature of Islam I am, perhaps, better fitted to judge than you, with your limited circle of female acquaintance: that is, the effect it produces on the character and condition of woman. As a rule, where the provisions of the law are strictly carried out, only your wife, mother, sister, and daughter can speak with you freely and with unveiled faces. You are not permitted to see the countenances of even cousins and relatives by marriage; all conversation or association with them is watched and guarded with suspicious espionage. You have not concealed from me your very unfavorable estimate of your countrywomen, even while you acknowledged them capable of better things. But you have never lived in a Christian land, and you must pardon me for saying your ideal of womanhood cannot be so high as if you had seen it developed under the influence of light, liberty, and equal legal and moral rights. Remembering how often we are shocked beyond expression by the unintentional coarseness and unconscious vulgarity, the low standard of thought and morals betrayed by your best, most amiable, cultured, religious ladies in even a short, ceremonious call; remembering howling mobs of ragged village women, wild with curiosity, steeped in ignorance, shameless of speech and manner, and contrasting them with the same classes in Christian lands, we are forced to ask, Whence this difference? Forgive me if these criticisms seem harsh, though these women speak of themselves more severely than I should venture to do. “We are beasts, we are donkeys, what do we know? what can we do?” Their husbands seem generally to regard them as a necessary evil, something to be ashamed of, and kept in the background as much as possible. Seeing this, our sisters, many of them so beautiful, talented, attractive, gifted by nature with every requisite of a graceful and virtuous womanhood, we are filled with indignation at their imprisoned and degraded condition, treated as if unworthy of honor or confidence, perpetuating their own ignorance and superstition not only in their daughters, but in their sons. But such is the condition of woman, and even worse in non Christian lands. Jesus alone has brought her into a life of light, liberty, and usefulness. We have learned to love and pity many of these women, and have entered into the shadow where they dwell under a habitual consciousness of inferiority and contempt. We have seen their bitter tears and vain struggles on the entrance of a rival in their homes, we have heard their complaints of their prophet and their attempts to console themselves with the thought that the Christian woman, if happier here, is doomed to the flames of hell, while their sorrows will earn for them the joys of Paradise. We know the insecurity of their position, liable to divorce at the pleasure of their masters, thus taught to separate their interests from those of the husband, according to the proverb, “Bring a wife, bring an enemy.” How often jealousy, deceit, intrigue, and the worst passions of the human heart poison and destroy the happiness which God intended to spring from the family institution! It is not always thus: there are homes where the wife is loved and respected, the husband honored and obeyed, where there is no fear of rivalry or desertion, no strife between the children of different mothers. But such rare examples exist in spite of your religion, and only testify that home happiness is inseparable from permanence and sacredness in the marriage relation. A family fully governed by Christian principle must needs be pure and peaceful; one ruled by the precepts and permissions of the Quran must be like that of Muhammad himself, vexed with jealousy, dissension, suspicion, discontent, and scandal; without any convenient Gabriel to lend a hand in its management. No race can expect to seclude, suppress, and keep in ignorance half of its number without paying a fearful penalty. If a young Muslim is educated, enlightened, where can he find a home companion to understand, to sympathize with him, to prove herself a true helpmeet? Blindfolded, you stretch your hand into the darkness to grasp that of an unknown wife, with whom, as a rule, you have never exchanged a word, or even seen her face; of whose tastes, qualities, and temper you are perfectly ignorant, and who may cause you untold misery. The saddest part is that the harem, the curtain, the veil, the ignorance of women, are essential if society is not to become worse. No greater misfortune could befall Muslim women in their present state than to be put in possession of the privileges enjoyed by their Christian sisters. What causes this difference between the two? Why can one woman be trusted to make no improper use of her freedom, while, as the whole fabric of Muslim society seems to testify, the other cannot? I remember a Muslim gentleman, truly attached to his beautiful wife, an educated woman, by the standard of this land, and a true companion to him. He said once: “I would gladly see my wife free as the Christian ladies are. The veil and the harem curtain are no pleasure to me, I can trust her; but the state of society is such, it would, not be safe, I should be killed for her sake.”

 
William Penn founder of Pennsylvania quotes concerning Christianity

William Penn founder of Pennsylvania concerning Christianity [Click to enlarge]

Fundamental Teaching of Christianity.

But let us come to that which fundamentally distinguishes true Christianity from all other religions. We say, true Christianity, because much that goes by that name is counterfeit, a baptized heathenism, often possessing much in common with Islam and idolatry. The unique doctrine of the Bible is that of the new birth. By this we understand that a lost and ruined sinner, totally unable to help himself, may be made over, have another chance, begin again. Nay, more, that by God’s free grace, he may attain a higher condition than if Adam had not sinned, becoming “an heir of God,” ” a partaker of the divine nature,” dead to sin for evermore, alive to righteousness. Jesus brought us this blessed hope, and, by the gift of his indwelling Spirit, makes this new life a matter of personal consciousness to myriads of men, women and children, who know and can witness that they have received and enjoy it.

Under the influence of Christ, the drunkard becomes abstinent, the libertine chaste, the murderer loving, the thief honest, the liar truthful. As the Muslim says of the good he cannot attain, “Satan will not let me,” the Christian says of the evil from which he is withheld, “Jesus will not let me.”

Our Lord, constantly working these spiritual miracles, lives on the earth to-day as a personal force of infinite power, a real and present personality to his obedient subjects.

Does the Quran offer us any substitute for this doctrine, or does it even recognize its necessity? Search its contents from beginning to end, and you will see guilty man practically left to be his own savior.

Benjamin Franklin quotes regarding those who quarrel about Christianity

Benjamin Franklin regarding those who quarrel about Christianity [Click to enlarge]

Christianity Judaism Developed.

Till Christ appeared, this transcendent mercy of God to the sinner was conserved, lying dormant, as it were, concealed within the ceremonial law and the rigid observances of Judaism, as the germ within the seed, the bird in the egg. His magic touch evoked the light and beauty of Christianity, the flower and crown, the full development of what was first entrusted to the guardian care of Israel, then thrown open to all the world. The types and shadows then vanished; the ceremonial law was no longer needed. Men learned “the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”—Rom. xiv. 17. They understood “He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter, whose praise is not of man but of God. “Hebrews ix. 8-12:” the first tabernacle was as yet standing, which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience: which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them till the time of reformation. But Christ being come, a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building, neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God!”

The ceremonial law, we must not forget, was given only to the Jews, and none were bound to regard or observe it, or could do so acceptably, except born Jews by birth and proselytes. We are taught it was given to meet a temporary want: to show man his need of a Saviour; and to prefigure an atoning sacrifice yet to be offered.

John Quincy Adams quotes regarding the Christian Faith

John Quincy Adams regarding the Christian Faith [Click to enlarge]

Salvation by Faith Taught from the Beginning.

Yet, from the beginning, God left not unrevealed to man the true way of salvation, nor allowed him to suppose it could be attained by his own efforts. These were aptly typified by the frail, withering fig leaves with which Adam and Eve labored to hide their nakedness after the fall. A pitying God clothed them with the warm and durable skins of innocent animals, whose blood flowed before the gift could be made. Have you never wondered that of all animals, man alone is compelled to use artificial coverings? Is there here no hint of a spiritual truth, that he has no merit of his own, and must receive his robe of righteousness, imputed and imparted from God as a free and undeserved gift, if he would not suffer eternal shame?

Salvation by faith: not the intellectual assent to dogma, but the loving and obedient trust of the soul, tried and found to control the life, linking the frail finite creature with the Holy and Infinite Most High by a living bond—this is the very warp and woof of Old and New Testaments. Four times their pages repeat, “The just shall live by faith.”

Four hundred and thirty years before the giving of the Mosaic law, it was said of Abraham, Gen. xv. 6: “And he believed in the Lord, and He counted it to him for righteousness.” Christianity returns to Abraham, but Muhammad’s search for truth never brings him to the land of Canaan and the promised possession of Mount Zion. Like Ishmael, he wanders in the desert of Arabia, and coming to Mount Sinai, hearing only the law given to Moses, and that imperfectly, accepts it superficially, apprehended as the best God has for man. He hears the ready response of the people to Jehovah’s awful demand for perfection, and answers with them in their hasty ignorance, “All that the Lord hath said, we will do and be obedient.” He is ready to join them, or rather to make an independent promise of his own, taking the place in God’s house of a sinner saved by his own works and a vague confidence in what he calls the mercy of God. He fails to remark that after their rash promise, Moses sprinkled them with “the blood of the covenant,” a significant intimation of the only road to acceptable obedience.

The Christian is a son, twice born, once of the flesh, again of the Spirit. He has his place in the house, not as a hireling, but by birth. Long ago, for those who could see, this was enacted in parable when Ishmael and his mother were sent portionless away from the tents of Abraham, as told in the twenty-first chapter of Genesis, and explained Gal. iv. 22-26, 29-31: “For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a free woman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the free woman by promise.”

“Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants: the one from the Mount Sinai which gendereth to bondage, which is Hagar. For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem, which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. But as then, he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless, what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son; for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.”
John Quincy Adams quotes  regarding the Glory of the Revolution

John Quincy Adams regarding the Glory of the Revolution [Click to enlarge]

“What Shall I Do to be Saved?”

The one question our race is ever laboring to answer is, “How shall man be just with God?” Turning to Islam with this query, we are referred first to dead works of the flesh, already thoroughly tried and found inadequate to meet the case. As well return the radiant flower to the discarded husk which protected its germination, or compress the soaring, singing bird in the narrow confines of its outgrown shell! Failing the obedience required, man is to trust to a vague hope of the mercy of God, earned by repentance, not necessarily a forsaking of sin, but a sense of regret, evinced by tears and other outward demonstrations. But, alas! who knows when he has repented enough? If God is merciful, he is also just; the sentence has never been repealed, “The soul that sinneth, he shall die.” This means the eternal cutting off the sinner from the source of true life, and finds its ready illustration in the dry and lifeless branches we use for fuel.

Has Muhammad shown his worthiness to displace Jesus, and Islam to supersede Christianity? If it be God’s last word to man, it should as far surpass our religion and its Founder as he excelled Moses and his dispensation. Equality is not sufficient; the inference of superiority cannot be tolerated for a moment.
John Milton quotes regarding Jesus and Christianity

John Milton regarding Jesus and Christianity [Click to enlarge]

True and False Religions.

To my mind, all religions fall into two classes. In the first, God saves his ruined creatures by free grace, by the merits and death of his incarnate Son, “imputed to us and received by faith alone.” A heart renewed and transformed by so great love ascribes the glory to him alone. In the other, man is glorified as his own savior, his own righteousness, or that of other mere creatures, laying God under obligation to save and grant him eternal felicity. Salvation is not a gift, or only partly so; it becomes a debt owed by the Creator to the possessors of accumulated merit, which, they fondly believe, outweighs their actual transgressions. These views, held under a great variety of outward forms, are characterized by a low estimate of sin. They ignore the hereditary taint and corruption of our nature, wherein lie boundless possibilites of disobedience to God and disorder to his creation. They overlook the fact that not only does the law require us to refrain from its violation, it expects of us perfect obedience to its commands, and conformity to its spirit. To the helpless penitent, trusting the authenticated Saviour provided by divine love and wisdom, full forgiveness is granted; of him who prefers to be saved by his own righteousness, or that of unauthorized mediators, or by his own sufferings in purgatorial flames, the debt will be exacted to the very last farthing. We shall not be measured by the low standard of not having been as bad as we could, but by the higher one of the law’s demand for absolute moral perfection. He who failed of being what his Maker meant him to be will be rejected, and his good qualities and deeds may be likened to the two or three grains of silver found in a counterfeit coin, which do not persuade any one to accept it as genuine.

The only man who has ever fully met all the requirements of the divine law of perfection is the Lord Jesus Christ; only as identified with him can we hope for safety.

You have sometimes expressed the hope that both our religions may finally prove to be true— yours for you, mine for me; that all men, if only sincere and obedient to their respective faiths, may, by diverse roads, meet at the same goal. One or two doubtful passages in the Quran may seem to encourage this idea, in the case of Jews and Christians, but the Bible does not countenance it for a moment. “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me.”—John xiv. 6. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”—Acts iv. 12. These are but two of many unequivocal utterances which have made Christianity the most fervently hated religion in the world. It must be all or nothing: it “brooks no rival on the throne.” As you know, Islam occupies exactly the same position, but carries it to the extent of declaring herself divinely commissioned to destroy those who reject her claims. Instead of the “foolishness of preaching,” or rather perhaps to reinforce it, she uses the logic of the sword. This is no empty threat, or unapplied theory. In large tracts of the fairest portions of Europe, Asia, and Africa it has been enforced in tears and blood and fire; the shrieks of the captive and clanking chain of the prisoner have echoed back its war cry, and emphasized its intolerance of all faith but its own. No, my friend, our religions are enemies to the death, and must so remain to the end: no uncertain one; for Christianity, though by her nature and laws debarred from contending with an arm of flesh, has her own peculiar weapons with which she must finally conquer. Your kindness of heart would fain hope a better fate for those whom you esteem and love, and who obstinately reject your religion. But that faith itself offers them nothing but eternal hell-fire.

I beg you to be assured this letter is written with none but the kindest feelings to your country and its people: a race possessing many fine qualities, and ability to be a blessing to the world, a country dear to me as my own, the home of my deliberate choice. Nor is there any thought of boasting, or fancied superiority. When the Anglo-Saxon recalls his savage and debased heathen ancestry, he has no cause for pride, only for deep humility and thankfulness. And should he not be among the foremost to communicate the blessings he has received to every nation, at any cost, even to the sacrifice of life itself?

How deeply should I regret to have learned so much of the unrest and hopelessness of your life, were there no remedy to offer! Knowing of such a remedy, having tried it myself, I cannot but urge it upon you. It may, it is true, cost you all your earthly possessions; you may, as others have done, literally lay down all, but Jesus is worth it!

The heart is the citadel of our life, the controller of the springs of thought and action. The head may assent to overpowering evidence, but the heart only yields to personal experience. You are not invited to a religion, an intellectual persuasion, a human society, but to a personal relation with a personal and ever-present Friend, found of all who seek him with the whole heart.

The whole world is well lost to him who has discovered the love of God in Christ, the priceless pearl, the hidden treasure, our joy, our life, our crown, and our eternal portion. May you seek and be found of him, and find in him the Good Shepherd of the wandering sheep!

End of excerpt from letter

Muslim Fanaticism

Mohammedans have earned for themselves throughout the world the title of ” fanatics,” as a consequence of their wild words and actions in connection with the Faith, once delivered to them by Mohammed. The feeling amongst Moslems has been and is, that they are the chosen of Allah, that they are the appointed instruments of God to bring all men, even by the power of the sword, to the knowledge of the only true faith. Consequently woe be to the individuals, communities, or nations, that will not listen to the call to accept Islamism with all its forms and ceremonies!

It is true that at the present time the power of Mohammedanism, is a conquering religion, or the desire to conquer still remains, and the old feeling of intolerance and fanaticism is probably everywhere almost as strong as ever it was.

In my researches into the history of Mohammedanism I have met with many instances of fanaticism, some of which I would now mention, as they will help us to understand what Islamism really is in the intensity of its wild faith and zeal. Fanaticism in war may well come first. Mohammed, though in the early days of his career a man of peace, and an advocate of mild measures in the propagation of truth, eventually developed into a man of war, and a stern and enthusiastic propagator of Allah’s religion by the sword.

The later books of the Koran teem with passages which counsel strong measures to be taken with infidels. It is written: “Fight against those who believe not in God until they pay tribute by right of subjection, and are reduced low.” And again: “When ye meet the infidels, strike off their heads, until ye have made a great slaughter among them.” And then it is added: “As for those who fight or fall in defence of God’s true religion, He will not suffer their deeds to die. Verily, God loveth those who fight for His religion.” “Paradise,” it was declared, “is under the shadow of swords.” “The sword,” it was asserted, “is a surer argument than books.”

Is it to be wondered at that a people thus taught should have grown to love war as the very breath of their nostrils, and to revel in it with a fanaticism that was cruel as the grave? Even before the Prophet died his terrible injunctions began to bear fruit, and after his death the fighting spirit raged throughout Arabia, and the Moslems went forth conquering and to conquer. From the Caliph to the meanest servant or slave in Islam the fanatical creed was accepted, that “the sword was the Key of Heaven and Hell, that a drop of blood shed in the cause of God, a night spent in arms, were of more avail than months of fasting and prayer.”

Fanaticism in war showed itself not merely in the determination to overcome an enemy, but in the ardent wish, if Allah willed it, to die on the field of battle, as thus to be “martyred “in the cause of God was believed to be the most certain way of obtaining the highest joys of eternal life in the world beyond the grave.

Listen, for example, to the words of an Arabian youth, whom a fond mother and sister vainly sought to persuade from adopting the profession of arms. His parting speech to those who loved him was: “Hold me not back, nor grieve that I leave you! It is not the delicacies of Syria or the fading delights of this world that have prompted me to devote my life in the cause of religion. But I seek the favour of God and His Apostle: and I have heard from one of the companions of the Prophet that the spirits of the martyrs will be lodged in the crops of green birds, who shall taste the fruits and drink of the rivers of Paradise. Farewell! We shall meet again among the groves and fountains which God has provided for His elect.”

I have read of another case of a warrior who on the field of battle fought with reckless fury, raving, as he slashed right and left with his sword, about the joys of Paradise promised to all true believers who fell in the wars of the Faith. “Methinks!” he cried aloud, so as to be heard above the din of arms, “Methinks I see the black-eyed girls looking upon me; one of whom, should she appear in this world, all mankind would die for love of. And I see in the hand of another a handkerchief of green silk, and a cap of precious stones, and she beckons me and calls out: ‘Come hither quickly, for I love thee !'” Scarcely had the fanatic thus spoken when a javelin pierced his heart and despatched him to his vaunted elysium. And these two instances are but types of countless thousands in Islam whose fanaticism has exceeded all bounds in the race for martyrdom in a jihad, or holy war.

Besides the joy of fighting for the Faith, and the incentive of the pleasures of Paradise for the valiant, the fanaticism of Mohammedans has been deepened and strengthened by the doctrine of predestination, as taught by the Prophet, or at any rate as believed by the Faithful. The ‘Koran says in one place: “The fate of every man have we bound about his neck;” and in another, “No soul. can die unless by the permission of God, according to what is written in the book containing the determination of things.”

Mohammed inserted these passages after the temporary defeat of his followers at Ohod, to inspire them with fresh courage. He represented to the Faithful that the time of every man’s death is decreed and determined by Allah, and that those who had fallen in the battle could not have avoided their fate had they stopped at home, so there was no reason to grieve unduly, or to be discouraged and disheartened.

Thus did the Prophet instil into the minds of his soldiers a belief in Fate, and under this persuasion did Moslems engage in battle without anxiety or fear, believing that what would be must be, that no one could die before his time, and that no human sagacity or foresight could evade the hand of death if the moment had been preordained. We can see how such a doctrine of predestination spurred the Faithful on to deeds of recklessness, and made the early soldiers of the Crescent men to be dreaded beyond the ordinary run of adversaries, for they were fanatics.

One of the most remarkable of these warrior-fanatics was Kaled, who was employed by Abu Bekr and Omar in the wars in Syria. He was a man who added superstition to his belief in fate, for he was wont to declare that a special providence watched over him, and that as long as he wore a certain cap which had been blessed by Mohammed he was invulnerable to all the darts of the enemies of Islam. And truly it seemed as if he bore a charmed life, for though in every battle he rushed into the thickest of the fight, and was ever surrounded by dangers, he always marvellously escaped, and in a good old age died in his bed.

The exploits of this fanatic in the siege of Damascus are almost beyond belief. He rushed madly at every antagonist, generally singling out the strongest and the bravest, and he was always conqueror. On one occasion, after a desperate struggle with a bold Christian General, which left him exhausted, a fresh adversary spurred his charger to attack him. A companion in arms, the gallant Derar, seeing the exhaustion of Kaled, called out to him: “O Kaled, repose yourself for a moment, and permit me to supply your place,” but the reply he got was: “Not so, good Derar; if I needs must rest, it will be in Paradise. He that labours to-day will rest to-morrow.” At the word he sprang upon his foe, and hurled him lifeless to the ground. Kaled by such deeds earned for himself the title of “The Sword of God.”

But the doctrine of predestination can influence in two ways: It can make fanatical cowards as well as fanatical braves. And in these latter days it seems in Moslem countries to be producing a weak and degenerate race. The belief in fate is as strong as ever, but it now takes the form of lazy, instead of active, fanaticism, and it is striking at the root of all enterprise and progress. As one writer has said: “Many Moslems positively refuse to exert themselves, while they excuse their natural indolence by declaring: ‘Everything is determined: what is to be will be: if God intends that we should become rich we shall become so without any personal exertion : if He intends that we shall be poor, poor we shall have to remain, despite our labour.'” Thus the doctrine of predestination as held by Mohammedans is baneful, whether in war or peace, for when exercised in the sphere of the former it produces a hard and cruel race of warriors, and when in the sphere of the latter, a race of weak and helpless citizens.

Fanaticism has shown itself very markedly in the department of teaching, and especially in the teaching of the truths of the Koran. The verbal inspiration of the Scriptures has ever been part of the orthodox creed of Islamism. Some of the Faithful at various times have questioned the doctrine, and have even striven to show that the Koran contains passages that contradict each other, and therefore cannot be infallible: but such liberal views are far from common.

In every age Moslems, as a whole, have been most dogmatic in their teaching, and perfectly fanatical in their enforcement upon others of what they have conceived to be truth. Take for example the time of the Abbasides of Bagdad. The author of “Islam under the Caliphs of Bagdad,” says, “Every one who either in act or word questioned a single syllable of the Koran was regarded as an infidel, and was in peril of being torn in pieces by the devout.”

Then to look at an earlier period. Omar, the second Commander of the Faithful, delighted in teaching the law, and would brook no interference from doubters or cavillers. There is a characteristic story told of him when he was on his famous journey from Medina to Jerusalem, when the latter city was subjected by the Moslem arms. The Caliph often stopped by the way as he passed through Arabia and Syria to administer justice and expound the Sacred Koran. Usually a crowd gathered round him to see and hear the grand old man. On one occasion he took for his text a few words from the Koran which assert that those whom God shall lead in the right way are secure from all harm, but that those whom He shall lead in the way of error are doomed to punishment. As Omar enforced these pregnant lessons a grey-headed man in the audience disturbed the flow of the preacher’s utterance by remarking aloud, “Tush! God leads no man into error!” The stern, fanatical Caliph deigned no direct reply, but turning to his body-guard, he said: “Strike off that old man’s head if he repeats his words!” The preacher met with no further opposition.

One of the most fanatical acts on record is associated with the name of Omar—I refer to the destruction of the Alexandrian Library. I know that the story has been gravely questioned of late years. Gibbon and others have made light of it, but still the tale was believed for centuries, and it has not yet been proved false, and it is certainly just such a deed as a fanatical Moslem prince like Omar might have committed.

“The Alexandrian Library was formed by Ptolemy Soter, and placed in a building called the Bruchion. It was augmented in successive reigns to 400,000 volumes, and an additional 300,000 volumes were placed in a temple called the Serapeon. The Bruchion, with the books it contained, was burned in the war of Caesar, but the Serapeon was preserved. Cleopatra, it is said, added to it the library of Pergamus, given to her by Marc Antony, consisting of 200,000 volumes. It sustained repeated injuries during various subsequent revolutions, but was always restored to its ancient splendour, and numerous additions made to it. Such was its state at the capture of Alexandria by the Moslems.” The famous library was, in fact, the finest in the world.

The story goes that Amr, the Conqueror of Egypt, and the leader of the Moslem armies, had his attention drawn to the Library by the learned Greek known as John the Grammarian, to whom Amr had granted many favours. John asked that the books might be given to himself, as the Moslems would probably have no use for them. The General was inclined to gratify the wish of the Grammarian, but his rigid integrity refused to alienate anything without the permission of the Commander of the Faithful, to whom he at once wrote. The answer which Omar is generally believed to have sent was inspired by the ignorance and zeal of a fanatic. It ran: “If these writings of the Greeks agree with the blessed Koran, the Book of Allah, they are useless, and therefore need not be preserved; if they disagree, then they are pernicious, and ought to be destroyed.”

Washington Irving, commenting on this extraordinary message, says: “Amr, as a man of genius and intelligence, may have grieved at the order of the Caliph, while as a loyal subject and faithful soldier, he felt bound to obey it.” Consequently the command went forth to seize and to destroy, and the valuable manuscripts and books were distributed as fuel among the five thousand baths of the city of Alexandria, and, it is said, so numerous were they, that it took six months to consume them. Thus perished by a deed of Moslem fanaticism much of the learning, the arts, and the genius of antiquity.

Fanaticism in Moslem lands is not confined to men, but is as strong or stronger amongst women. Notwithstanding the disabilities and hardships under which women labour in Islam, they cleave with blind enthusiasm to the teaching of the Prophet of God, hugging to their breasts the Book which has made their degradation an article of faith and binding throughout the ages.

And little children too are veritable fanatics. Lane, in his “Modern Egyptians,” tells us that from their earliest days Moslem boys and girls are taught to hate “infidels” with a perfect hatred. It must be remembered that in the eyes of Mohammedans all are infidels who are not of the true Faith—that is, Islam. Let me quote a prayer that is now in use amongst the children of Moslems. Lane translates it thus: “O God, destroy the infidels and polytheists, thine enemies, the enemies of Islam! O God, make their offspring orphans, defile their abodes, cause their feet to slip, and give them and their families, and their children, and their possessions and their race, and their wealth, and their land, as booty to the Moslems.” What an awful prayer to put into the mouths of boys and girls! Little wonder that the rising generation, like all preceding generations in Islam, regards the world with eyes of anger and hate!

A little incident that happened in my own experience may not be unworthy of notice. I was travelling at the time in Palestine, and was drawing near the ancient city of Hebron, once so famous in Jewish history, but now in the possession of Moslems. The day was hot, and I had ridden far, and was suffering from thirst. Suddenly I espied by the wayside a maiden, perchance of seven years of age, tripping gaily along with a waterpot poised on her head in Eastern fashion. I hailed her and made signs for a drink of water. That she understood me perfectly was clear, but to my surprise she was not prepared to grant my request. Now, usually in the East, if the traveller can get nothing else, he can get a drink of water from the people he sees, for it is considered churlish indeed to refuse such a necessary of life.

However, the heart of the little maiden at Hebron was closed against all not of her own Faith. And so insulted and enraged was she that I should have even presumed to ask anything from her, that she put her hands up to her head, and in a tempest of indignation dashed the unoffending waterpot to the ground. Then pointing to the spilt water, she declared, with oaths and curses, so my Dragoman told me, that she hoped that thus would my blood ere many days be spilt and sink into the ground. For the time being the maiden was a little fury, and I was convinced that the fanaticism of the people of Islam was, even amongst the juvenile members of society, something to be carefully watched by travellers, or dangerous results might follow. The inhabitants of Hebron or, as it is now called, El-Khalid, are notorious for their fanaticism, and by their conduct they belie both the ancient and the modern name of their city, which names, being interpreted, mean, “the Friend.”

Sometimes the evil results of the fanaticism of Mohammedans have not been confined to strangers, but have made themselves felt within their own borders; as, for instance, in those sad cases of regicide which have been so common in Moslem countries. As we have seen in the course of these Studies, Omar, Othman, and Ali, three of the Commanders of the Faithful, fell victims to the mad zeal of some of their own followers, who conceived that they were doing God and Islam service by despatching the Caliphs with their daggers.

The truth is fanaticism is an uncertain instrument to use: it is a two-edged tool which it is dangerous to handle. The leaders of Mohammedanism in all generations have found that they have not always been able to control the fierce spirit they have called up, and they have been taught by a terrible experience the truth of that saying: “They that take the sword shall perish by the sword.”

I wonder sometimes whether Mohammedans will ever learn that their best interests lie in realizing the great truth of the Brotherhood of Humanity. There can be no peace, no prosperity, and no real happiness in Islam, until the feelings of cruel religious fanaticism nurtured by the Koran have been replaced by feelings of brotherly sympathy and love for all nations and peoples.

Sources: “Islam and Christianity or the Quran and the Bible: A letter to a Muslim friend,, by a Missionary” by G. Halliday published 1901
Studies in Mohammedanism, historical and doctrinal by John J. Pool; published 1892
Picture quotes taken from various writings of the Founding Fathers of the United States

Copyright © 2015 TeaPartyEdu http://teapartyedu.net Foundation Truths http://captainjamesdavis.net The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

Cold Winters in Philadelphia Pennsylvania and area, previous to 1790

Snow at Glansevern

Snow at Glansevern, Wales

More evidence of the myth and fallacy of the religious faith called man made or man caused Global Warning and Climate Change.

Cold Winters in Philadelphia, &c, previous to 1790.

The winter of 1789 was very mild until the middle of February, when the weather became exceedingly cold to the close of the month. The whole spring was so cold that fires [used to heat homes] were comfortable until June. The summer months were excessively hot, the mercury frequently rising to 96 in the shade.

The whole winter of 1788 was intensely cold. The Delaware was closed from the 26th of December to the 10th of March due to ice.

The winters of 1786 and 1787 were tolerably mild. There were some cold days of course.

The winters of 1784 and 1785 were tolerably mild, notwithstanding much snow fell.

The winter of 1783 was long and severe. The Delaware closed as early as the 28th of November, and continued ice-bound until the 18th of March. The mercury was several times below zero.

The winter of 1782 was also very cold. The Delaware froze over in one night opposite the city.

The winter of 1781 was very mild, but the spring was cold and backward.

The whole winter of 1780 was intensely cold. The Delaware was closed from the 1st of December to the 14th of March. The ice was from two to three feet thick. During the month of January the mercury was several times from 10 to 15 below zero, and only once during the month did it rise to 32. Long Island Sound and the Chesapeake were so completely ice-bound as to be passable with horses and sleighs.

The winter of 1779 was very mild, particularly the month of February, when trees were in blossom.

January 9, 1773, the mercury was 9 degrees below 0, and there was much snow and cold weather until the 10th of March.

During the winter of 1772, the Delaware was covered with ice for three months.

The winter of 1765 was intensely cold. On the 19th of February, a whole ox was roasted on the Delaware.

On the 31st of December, 1764, the Delaware was frozen completely over in one night, and the weather continued cold until the 28th of March, with snow two and a half feet deep.

The winter of 1760 was alternately very cold and very mild. In the month of March there was the heaviest fall of snow ever remembered so late in the season.

The winter of 1756 was very mild; the first snow storm was as late as the 18th of March.

The winter of 1750 was very open and mild, but all the spring months were cold and stormy. As late in the season as the 30th of May, snow lay on the ground.

The next record we find is 1742, which says, “One of the coldest winters since the settlement of the country; a gentleman drove himself with a horse and sleigh through Long Island Sound (on the ice,) to Cape Cod!”

The winter of 1741 was intensely cold. The Delaware was closed from the 19th of December to the 13th of March. Many creatures died from hunger and cold. As late in the season as the 19th of April, snow fell to the depth of three feet, after which the weather became very warm, and the whole summer was intensely hot.

The winter of 1740 was very cold and stormy. The Delaware continued closed until the 14th of March.

The winters of 1736 and 1737 were both intensely cold, and many persons perished.

In both the winters of 1727 and 1728, the Delaware was closed for three months.

The whole winter of 1725 was mild, but the spring very cold. In March snow fell to the depth of two feet in one night.

The winter of 1717 was long and severe, and there were the deepest snows remembered by the oldest inhabitants. Their depth is not recorded.

The winter of 1714 was very mild after the 15th of January; trees and shrubbery were in bloom the first week in February, and the spring was unusually mild. After this we could find no record of the weather, or even a word respecting it, until the winter of 1704, which was long and severe, with many deep snows.

The 14th of December, 1708, is recorded by a New England writer, as being the coldest day ever known there up to that time! But he forgot to say how cold it was! At this time thermometers had been in use eighty-eight years. They were invented in 1620.

The winter of 1697 was intensely cold. Boston harbour was frozen as far down as Nantucket.

After this the only record we can find respecting the weather in America is, “on the 11th of December, 1681, the Delaware river froze over in one night, so as to be passable on the ice.”

The severest drought ever experienced in America was in the summer of 1762. Scarcely a sprinkle of rain fell for nearly four months, viz. from May to September. Vegetables of every description perished.

Copyright © 2010 – 2015 TeaPartyEdu http://teapartyedu.net Foundation Truths http://captainjamesdavis.net The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

Cold and Stormy Winters in Europe From A.D. 202 – 1841

Snow

More evidence of the myth of man-made Climate Change; which is actually akin to a faith and religion, in that those who believe in man caused global climate change, and the climate models are just as wrong as the weather models, and forecasters who made predictions about historic and record snow fall in NYC and the Northeast United States in the last week. Which shows without doubt belief in man made Climate Change is a religious faith, there is no perceivable evidence to back up the claims of the proponents or ministers of man made climate change.  The “blizzard” and snow storm of 2015 was anything but historic or record breaking in New England.

COLD AND STORMY WINTERS,
In Europe, &c.

Christian Era [A.D.; Anno Domini: In The Year of Our Lord] 202 A.D., &c. The winters of A.D. 202, 250, and 291, were intensely cold for four months. The Thames was frozen for nine weeks.

In the winter of 301 A.D. the Black Sea was frozen entirely over.

In the winter of 401 A.D. the Pontus Sea [Southern Black Sea] was frozen over, also the Sea between Constantinople and Scutari [Skoutari a bay on the east coast of the Mani Peninsula, Greece.]

In 462 A.D. the Danube was frozen over. In A.D. 508 and 558 the Danube was again frozen over, also all the rivers in Europe were more or less frozen.

In the winter of 695 A.D., the Thames was frozen so hard, that many booths were built thereon.

In the winter of 762 A.D., the Dardanelles and Black Sea were frozen over, and snow drifted to the astonishing depth of 50 feet!

During the winters of A.D. 859 and 860, most of the rivers in Europe were frozen for two months.

In the winter of 923 A.D., the river Thames was frozen for nine weeks; and in the winter of 987 A.D. it was frozen 120 days.

In A.D. 1063, 1067, and 1076, the winters in Europe were long and intensely cold, and many persons perished by cold and hunger.

In the year 1214 A.D., the Thames was so low between the tower and bridges, that men, women and children waded over it, the water being only four inches deep. And again in A.D. 1803 and 1836, the water all ran out, and many persons passed and repassed.

In 1235 A.D., the water rose so high in the Thames as to extend up round Westminster Hall, to such a depth, that the judges and lawyers were taken from the Hall in boats.

In the winters of A.D. 1234, 1294, and 1296, the sea between Norway and Denmark, and from Sweden to Gothland, and the Rhine and Baltic, were all frozen, and snow fell to a frightful depth.

In the winter of 1133 A.D., the cold was so intense in Italy, that the Po [river] was frozen from Cremona to the Sea. The wine froze and burst the casks, and the trees split with a great noise.

The winters of A.D. 1216 and 1234, were very similar to the last mentioned.

In the winter of 1282 A.D., the houses in Austria were completely buried in snow, and many persons perished with hunger and cold.

The winters of A.D. 1323, 1349, 1402, 1408, 1423, 1426 and 1459, were all intensely cold, and the Baltic was so firmly covered with ice, from Mecklenburg to Denmark, that merchandise was conveyed over it with horses and wagons.

In the winter of 1384 A.D., the Rhine and Scheldt, and the Sea of Venice, were frozen.

In the winters of A.D. 1434 and 1683, the Thames was frozen below Gravesend. Also, in 1709, 1760, 1763, and 1784.

In the winter of 1620 A.D., the sea between Constantinople and Iskodar [town in north-west Tajikistan] was again frozen.

The winters of A.D. 1670 and 1681, were intensely cold. The Little and Great Belts [Denmark] were frozen, and many persons perished.

The winter of 1692 A.D. was awfully severe in Russia and Germany, and many persons froze to death, and many cattle perished in their stalls.

The winters of A.D. 1709, ’16, ’39, ’47, ’54, ’63, ’76, ’84, ’88 and ’89, are all recorded as having been intensely cold throughout Europe.

On the 11th October, 1741 A.D., there was the most awful and destructive storm in India which was ever experienced. It was computed that three hundred thousand persons perished on the land and water. The water rose 40 feet higher than ever before known. It was also computed that more than a thousand vessels were lost, and among them eight English East India ships, with all their crews.

On the 7th March, 1751 A.D., there was a terrible storm at Nantz, which destroyed 66 square-rigged vessels, and 800 seamen perished. On the 8th of December, of the same year, a still more destructive storm occurred at Cadiz, in which 100 vessels were lost, and three thousand sailors perished.

A London paper of January 29, 1762, says, “the Thames had been frozen so firmly since Christmas, that horses and carriages were driven thereon. Also, that booths were erected, and fairs held thereon.”

A German paper of December 17, 1788, says, the cold was so intense, as to sink the mercury 27 degrees below zero.

On the 13th July, 1783, at St. Germain, in France, hail fell as large as pint-bottles, and did immense damage. All the trees from Vallance [Valence, France] to Lisle [ L’Isle, Switzerland], were destroyed. [A distance of 300 +/- Km or 186.4 miles]

On the 10th Jan. 1812, the fog was so dense in London, that every house was lighted with candles or lamps; and it was so dark in the streets at mid-day, that a person could scarcely be discerned at a distance of eight or ten feet. On the 27th December, 1813, a similar fog occurred in England, which continued for four days, and several persons missed their way and fell into canals and rivers.

In December 1840, the weather was so severe in Sweden, that it was computed that three thousand persons perished. A London paper of February 3d, 1841, says, “The weather is awfully severe and boisterous, and numerous disasters have occurred to the shipping, &c. The Thames steamboat, from Ireland, was wrecked, and out of sixty-five passengers, only four were saved.

Source; A Meteorological Account of the Weather in Philadelphia: From January 1, 1790 – January 1, 1847: By Charles Peirce; Including 57 years with Appendix Containing numerous accounts of historic weather events.

Copyright © 2010 – 2015 TeaPartyEdu http://teapartyedu.net Foundation Truths http://captainjamesdavis.net The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

United States The “Real” Blizzard of 1888 #blizzardof2015 #Snowmageddon2015

Photo courtesy of @JosephMRyan1

Photo courtesy of @JosephMRyan1

CLIMATE CHANGE: UNITED STATES NOTICES OF REMARKABLY COLD WINTERS

Climate Change hysterics and fear-mongers spent the 20th century warning of the “coming ice age”. I expect they’ll spend the 21st century frothing & fretting about global warming.

Weird Weather in the United States evidence of Climate Change?

Thomas Paine explains the push for Climate Change regulations, taxes, etc.

Thomas Paine explains the push for Climate Change regulations, taxes, etc. (Click to enlarge)

 

THE GREAT BLIZZARD OF 1888

From the Hartford Courant, March 13, 1888

“March 12, 1888, will be memorable during the present generation as the beginning of one of the most remarkable storms of this remarkable century. In its almost unprecedented severity,—in the wide extent of country affected,— in the total demoralization of railroad and telegraphic facilities, and the complete blocking of local travel and business of almost every kind, it has no rival in the record of storms since railroads and telegraphs were invented. It is certain that many persons caught in the storm in the country must have perished, for even in the cities there would have been many deaths had not friendly hands been near to give relief and shelter.” To show that this storm was not local: “New Haven, March 12, 1888.—The storm here is the most horrible ever known. The streets are impassable for teams, and drifts are piled from ten to forty feet high on the sidewalks.”

“Providence, March 12.—A hurricane of wind and rain followed the storm of snow and sleet, and has brought business to a standstill. At Newport the breakers are the largest ever seen.”

“Springfield, Mass, March 12.—The storm is simply unprecedented. By noon business began to be suspended. The schools then closed for the day, and many children were lost in the blinding sleet and awful drifts, but no fatalities are known. The street railway company abandoned cars along its lines and there they stand stalled. No hacks or other conveyances could be hired to leave the stables, for most of the streets were impassable. The depot is filled with trains which came in early in the day, and all attempts to start trains out were futile.”

“New York, March 13.—The mercury in New York this noon was down to zero. All railroads are utterly demoralized. President Depew of the New York Central says there never was such a state of affairs on the road before. No street cars are running in New York city or Brooklyn.

Elevated roads are only partially in operation. The East river is frozen over, and thousands of people are crossing over on the ice. No ferry boats are running. Trains with two engines are being run every 15 minutes across the bridge, but the roadway of the bridge is closed. Immense drifts block up streets. The western side of Broadway has the appearance of a backwoods path. There are thirty trains stalled between Grand Central depot and Spuyten Duyvil.”

From the Courant, March 16th, 1888:

“And now they tell us it wasn’t much of a storm. It began down by Alexandria, Virginia; was not felt west of Pittsburg and Buffalo; did not go further north than Saratoga, and was not felt much east of Boston. This is the Western Union’s outline, and as that company’s feelers are out all over the country, it ought to be accurate. It was within 300 or 350 miles of the seacoast all the time, and it only swept over about 350 miles of territory lengthwise, if a bee line is taken from Alexandria to Boston. It managed to paralyze the Pennsylvania and the New York Central roads, and all the roads that centre in New York, as well as in New England. Its like was never seen before.”

The following “Letter of Condolence” is of interest:

(To) Robbins Battell, 74 Wall Street, New York.
“Des Moines, Iowa, March 12, 1888.

‘”I‘o New York, Pennsylvania and New England Friends:

“In this, your hour of affliction, we deem it fitting to assure you of our heartfelt sympathy. We know we cannot realize the fullness of your suffering, for the terrible blizzards recently visited upon you have surpassed anything we have ever known in Iowa, Nebraska, or Kansas. So far as possible, however, our hearts go out to you, and when we offer you, in behalf of our happy, prosperous people, such financial aid as may be needed. we beg you to accept it in the spirit it is offered.

Kindly preserve our little card as a reminder of the date of your latest dire calamity, remembering also that at the same date the sturdy farmers of Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa are out in the beautiful sunshine, preparing the soil to receive the seed which will spring forth into a magnificent harvest. with which to supply your physical wants.”

Very sincerely yours,

“CENTRAL LOAN AND TRUST COMPANY.”

But some Norfolk descendant “out west” may say, “Why don’t he tell us whether it stormed in Norfolk or not?”

A good old man was once reading to his wife an account of a railroad catastrophe, which said, “John Smith was struck by a locomotive at a surface crossing; the entire train passed over him, severing his head from his body, and he was literally cut into pieces.” His good wife said, “Does the paper say whether he was killed or not?” The good old man read the account again and remarked, “It don’t say that it killed him, but I ruther reckon it must “Iv.

Yes, gentle reader, it snowed in Norfolk, and it also blowed, as can still be proven by eye-witnesses, and there were some drifts. From a “Journal of the great snowstorm,” kept by a resident of the town, and copied for Miss Cynthia Foskett’s Scrap-book, some extracts follow: “Monday, March 12, 1888.—Snow began to fall Sunday afternoon, but not in any great quantity until Sunday night. This morning there was nearly three feet of snow on the ground, and still falling with great rapidity. This afternoon the storm turned into a veritable blizzard, the wind blowing a gale, the air thick with the finest particles of snow I ever saw. But very few people ventured out; the cold and wind were so intense that hands, ears and noses were quickly frozen.

Tuesday, 13th. Snow still falling steadily. When I reached the office there was no office, not a foot of the building being in sight,——only an immense bank of snow, the top of the chimney being covered by at least two feet. Snow continued to fall during the entire day. The wind is subsiding.

Wednesday, 14. At exactly ten o’clock the snow ceased falling. This makes an unbroken record of falling snow

from Sunday afternoon, March 11, to Wednesday morning, March 14. It is hard to tell the exact depth of the snow on a level; various estimates place the depth from four to six feet. The drifts are 12, 15 and 18 feet high by measurement. The snow is up even with the roof of the church sheds. The Post-mistress is blockaded in the Postoffice, and has not been to her boarding place for two days. There are no trains and no telegraphic communication. The railroad track is an unbroken mass of drifts. The wind has been north-west from the beginning of the storm.

Thursday, 15. The railroad has been opened from Winsted to Hartford. Some of the largest drifts have been photographed by the local photographer. It was agreed to turn out in force tomorrow and assist the railroad company.

Friday, 16. The weather is warm and pleasant. By nine o’clock fifty men were at work trying to find the lost Railroad track, and this force was soon swelled to sixty-two. Miss Anna Battell ordered a dinner from Mr. Stevens, the hotel keeper, for the entire party of sixty-two, which was served in the old Spaulding farm-house at one o’clock, in camp-fashion. A large number joined the force in the afternoon; three engines fastened together and well braced in front with timbers came up from Winsted in the afternoon, followed by a gang of laborers. The entire force now numbered one hundred and fifty, and with the help of the engines the work proceeded rapidly. At 4.30 o’clock the road was clear from Winsted to Norfolk At seven o’clock a fourth engine arrived and brought last Monday’s mail.

Saturday, 17. The engines with the regular force of laborers and some volunteers started, and at 9.30 reached Canaan. We received a telegraphic dispatch from Mr. Battell, in New York. The first dispatch received in Norfolk from New York since last Monday. The first passenger train arrived at noon and brought the first New York mail. Thursday afternoon a Hartford paper reached Winsted, and was read to Norfolk people by telephone; one man receiving the news at this end, and shouting it out as it came.

Sunday, 18. Beyond Twin Lakes the drifts are reported to be twenty feet in height and more. Work will be continued today.

Monday, March 19. Several hundred laborers worked on the track yesterday, and by tonight Millerton will probably be reached. The road has been closed now exactly one week. Finis.”

The severe winter of 1856 and 7 is mentioned in the foregoing. Then the State elections were held annually on the first Monday in April. The election in the spring of 1857 was one of unusual interest in Norfolk, as the candidates for election to the State Senate in the old Seventeenth Senatorial District were both prominent citizens of the town, Mr. Nathaniel B. Stevens being the candidate of the Democratic party, and Mr. Samuel D. Northway that of the recently formed Republican party, and naturally each was anxious to get out his full vote in his own town. The snow in the roads in all the out parts of the town over which teams had driven all winter was at that time just melting, and was then as high as the top of the fences a large part of the way; and where the large drifts were it was ten feet deep and up, thus making all roads simply impassable until they were shovelled out. The turnpike, (from Winsted to Canaan), had been opened up before election day, but the only team oif from that line of road that came to the election was one that Mr. Northway started at sunrise with a light-footed horse, to bring Dea. Noah Miner and Daniel Cady, who were too old and lame to walk from their home in the south part of the town. Dea.. Miner staid and visited with friends a day or two, and in the course of the week made his way home on foot, stopping over night with friends on the way.

The following letter concerning Norfolk winters and other matters, is of interest. It was addressed to Mrs. Mary Oakley Beach, a well known native and resident of this town, recently deceased, by Mr. Kneeland J. Munson, a son of Mr. Joshua Munson, who was a life long resident and an extensive and successful farmer, his farm being on Canaan Mountain a mile or more south of “Canaan Mountain Pond,” as it was called in his day; now, Lake Wangum. Mr. Kneeland Munson was president of the 01d Norfolk Bank for several years, and was well known in this town.

Millerton, N. Y., November 16, 1894. Mrs. Mary Oakley Beach:

“Your letter of the 15th received. I hardly understand it, particularly about the sheep business. In the fall of 1826 my father bought about 150 shoats (young hogs) and turned them into what was called Norfolk woods, east of his place, to grow fat on beach nuts. 0n the 30th of December commenced a snow-storm which lasted four days, snowing steadily and heavily for the whole time, leaving over four feet of solid snow on the ground. When the storm abated, my father, with what help he could get, spent several days wallowing in the snow, trying to find the hogs. They finally succeeded in finding and getting home about 100; the other 50 were left to their fate. The snow was expected to make a great flood when it went off, but it lay on all winter and went 0!! gradually by the sun the last of March and April, without any flood at all. In the fore part of April, 1827, two or three of these hogs found their way out to a collier’s hut, and he gave my father notice of it. They then made another rally and search, and found quite a number, perhaps 20 or 25, but they were as wild animals. Some of them jumped out of a high pen after they got them home, and made their escape. For several years there was quite a crop of wild hogs in that region, until they became so troublesome that they had to be hunted down and destroyed.”

Respectfully yours,
K. J. MUNSON.”

From a thoroughly reliable source the writer has been informed, that at a certain point on the east side of Chestnut hill, or Gaylord hill as it has been sometimes called, where the snow drives over from the north-west and drifts in at the foot of av ledge, many years ago at the end of a snowy winter a man out a notch at the surface of the drift in the top of a tree that was mostly buried by the snow. When the snow was all gone he cut down this tree, and by actual measurement found that the snow at that point was seventy feet deep.

0n the first Monday of May, 1840 or ’41, Mr. Hiram Wheeler with another young man started from his home in North Norfolk to attend training down town, that being training day. Seven or eight inches of snow had fallen the night previous. They crossed a pasture into which Mr. Anson Gaylord had turned a flock of sheep, and discovered that the sheep had taken shelter from the wind upon the south side of a stone wall, and that the snow had drifted to the top of the wall and completely buried many of the sheep, from which imprisonment the young men liberated them.

 THE GREAT ICE STORM.

People who were living in Norfolk and vicinity at the time, will not soon forget the ice-storm of February 20 to 22, 1898. The effects of that storm are still plainly seen in the broken shade-trees, fruit-trees, and forests, in this entire region; many tall young forest trees which were then bent to the ground by their load have never raised their heads since, and never will.

The local papers said, “An ice-storm, the severest in the memory of the oldest inhabitants, visited Northwestern Connecticut, entailing thousands of dollars loss. Trees that are old landmarks, and others, are spoiled for years to come, and a great deal of the storm’s damage is irreparable.”

“Twigs an eighth of an inch in diameter had an overcoat of ice an inch and a quarter thick.”

“An ice coated twig weighing one and a half pounds, minus the ice weighed two ounces.”

“The big elms and fruit trees suffered most. One of the big elms split in the middle, one half falling on to the town hall.”

ACCOUNTS OF OTHER COLD & SNOWY WINTERS IN NEW ENGLAND

“The records of hard winters in Connecticut during the past two centuries, which stand out conspicuously, will be looked back to with considerable interest. During the winter of 1872-3, there were thirty-six zero mornings, and 102 days of sleighing in Hartford. The winter of 1856-7 was very severe. The winter of 1837-8 was noted for deep snows. The winter of 1815-16 was also noted for its terrible snow storms. In February, 1791, a snow fall of four days duration occurred, the snow falling six feet on a level. The winter of 1761-2 was very cold, with deep snows. The winter of 1741-2 was famous throughout New England for deep snows and intense cold weather. The first deep snow fell on the 13th of November, giving good sleighing which lasted until the 20th of April, making 158 successive days of good sleighing in Connecticut. In February, 1717, occurred the greatest snow storm ever known in this country. It commenced on the 17th and lasted until the 24th, the snow falling from ten to twelve feet on the level. This snow made a remarkable era in New England, and the people in relating an event would say it happened so many years before or after the great snow. In February, 1691, a terrible storm occurred. In February, 1662, the snow fell so deep that a great number of deer came from the woods for food and were killed by the wolves. It will be noticed that all of our great snow storms have occurred in February.”

1641—50 days crossing Connecticut river on ice.

1664—Large comet seen in New England.

1669—In February, deep snow storms.

1691—Terrible snow storms.

1717—Snow 11 feet deep; one storm commenced 17th lasting until 24th.

1740—Sleighing Nov. 13 to April 20.

1761—Very cold; deep snows.

1773—Very severe winter.

1774—Largest snow storm known.

1780—May 19, the dark day in Northern states; winter very severe; Long Island sound frozen over.

1784,1786,1788,1792, 1796 and 1799, severe winters.

1791—One snow storm of four days; snow 6 feet deep.

1793—Feb. 4, 34° below zero.

1800—Snow 3 feet deep, three months.

1803—May 8, snow fell over a foot in depth—freezing for two nights.

1807—Cold so intense Feb. 7, that forest trees cracked like reports from guns firing.

1816—Jan. 15-17,snow four feet deep; cold summer; frost every month in the year.

1818—May 17, snow lasted five days.

1821—Intense cold so long and continuous that Long Island sound was frozen over.

1823—Nov. 6, first snow; sleighing for 151 days. .

1827—Oct. 17, snow fell fifteen inches deep, and in all New England; a few miles above Hartford it did not go off until spring opened. Thousands of bushels of potatoes remained undug until spring, when they were found in good condition.

1835—Cold winter of this century; February, from 1′ to 28° below zero, with deep snows.

1837—Was noted for deep snows.

1841—Oct. 3, snow fell one foot deep.

1856—Below zero 47 times, and crossing the ice on Conn, river, to near the sound, was continuous until the the 1st day of April, 1866, inclusive, and the next day steamboats steamed up to Hartford.

1867—Jan. 22-24, for 42 consecutive hours it was 18° to 30° below zero.

1859—Jan. 9-12, from 2° to 27° below zero. July 4 mercury was 36°, and a slight frost in several towns.

1861—Jan. 13 and Feb. 8, 18o below zero.

1866—.Tan. 8, 18° below zero.

1871—Feb. 6, 12° below zero.

1873—Jan. 80, 32° below zero; 86 zero mornings this winter, and 102 days sleighing.

1874—April 25, 28-30, snow storms.

1875—Jan. 10, 10° below zero.

1878—Jan. 9, 18° below zero. May 11, snow in several states; frost in Conn, for three successive nights.

1879—Jan. 10,10° below zero.

1880—35 snow storms and 43 inches snow fell. Several times below zero.

1881—Jan. 1—12° below zero.

1882—Jan. 24, 16° below zero. Feb. 4th, a severe snow storm that drifted so as to universally stop all traveling—many churches were not opened for service.

1883—Dec. 22, 18° below zero.

May 29, 30,1884, there were severe frosts throughout all New England and western states. Ice formed from $ to 1 inch in thickness, killing early beans, potatoes, corn, etc. Thermometer 24° in this city. A snow storm in Litchfield county. The frosts extended southerly to Virginia. It was’ a huge polar wave that made a “Black Friday” for the farmers.

June 15,1884, another severe frost, killing all tender vegetables, throughout the most of New England and the West, Aug. 25, another frost; but September fol lowing was intensely hot.

1885—Last of January and month of February, Intensely cold weather, from zero to 20° below.

1886—January 10-13, 10 to 20° below zero.

The Historic Winter of1716-1717.

IN December, 1716, snow fell to the depth of five feet, rendering travelling very difficult, and almost impossible except on snow shoes. The temperature throughout the winter was moderate, but the amount of snow that fell that season has never been equalled in New England during the three centuries of her history.

Snow fell in considerable quantities several times during the month of January, and on February 6 it lay in drifts in some places twenty-five feet deep, and in the woods a yard or more on the level. Cotton Mather said that the people were overwhelmed with snow.

The great storm began on February 18, and continued piling its flakes upon the already covered earth until the 22nd; being repeated on the 24th so violently that all communication between houses and farms ceased. Down came the flakes of feathery lightness, until

“the whited air

Hides hills and woods, the river and the heaven,
And veils the farmhouse,”

within whose walls,

“. . all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.”

Whittier, in his “Snow Bound,” has pleasingly described the coming of the snow in the country. The east wind brought to the settlers the roar of the ocean rolling up on its frozen shore ; as night came on, the chilly air and darkened sky gave signs of the coming storm; and soon the blinding snow filled the air.

“Meanwhile we did our nightly chores,—
Brought in the wood from out of doors,
Littered the stalls, and from the mows
Raked down the herd’s-grass for the cows;
Heard the horse whinnying for his corn;
And, sharply clashing horn on horn,
Impatient down the stanchion rows
The cattle shake their walnut bows;
While peering from his early perch
Upon the scaffold’s pole of birch,
The cock his crested helmet bent,
And down his querulous challenge sent.

“Unwarmed by any sunset light,
The gray day darkened into night,
A night made hoary with the swarm
And whirl-dance of the blinding storm,
As zigzag wavering to and fro
Crossed and recrossed the winged snow;
And ere the early bedtime came
The white drift piled the window frame,
And through the glass the clothes-line posts
Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.

“So all night long the storm roared on;
The morning broke without a sun;
In tiny spherule traced with lines
Of Nature’s geometric signs,
In starry flake and pellicle,
All day the hoary meteor fell;
And, when the second morning shone,
We looked upon a world unknown,
On nothing we could call our own.
Around the glistening wonder bent
The blue walls of the firmament,
No cloud above, no earth below,—
A universe of sky and snow!
The old familiar sights of ours

Took marvellous shapes: strange domes and towers
Rose up where sty or corn-crib stood,
Or garden wall, or belt of wood;
A smooth white mound the brush pile showed,
A fenceless drift what once was road;
The bridge post an old man sat
With loose-flung coat and high cocked hat;

The well-curb had a Chinese roof,
And even the long sweep, high aloof,
In its slant splendor, seemed to tell,
Of Pisa’s leaning miracle.”

During the storm enough snow fell to bury the earth to the depth of from ten to fifteen feet on the level, and in some places for long distances it was twenty feet deep. The twenty-fourth was Sunday, and the storm was so fierce and the snow came in such quantities that no religious meetings were held throughout New England.

“No church-bell lent its Christian tone
To the savage air, no social smoke
Curled over woods of snow-hung oak.
A solitude made more intense
By dreary voiced elements,
The shrieking of the mindless wind,
The moaning tree-tops swaying blind,
And on the glass the unmeaning beat
Of ghostly finger-tips of sleet.
Beyond the circle of our hearth
No welcome sound of toil or mirth
Unbound the spell, and testified
Of human life and thought outside.
We minded that the sharpest ear .
The buried brooklet could not hear,
The music of whose liquid lip
Had been to us companionship,
And, in our lonely life had grown
To have an almost human tone.”

Indians, who were almost a hundred years old, said that they had never heard their fathers tell of any storm that equalled this.

Many cattle were buried in the snow, where they were smothered or starved to death. Some were found dead weeks after the snow had melted, yet standing and with all the appearance of life. The eyes of many were so glazed with ice that being near the sea they wandered into the water and were drowned. On the farms of one gentleman upwards of eleven hundred sheep were lost in the snow. Twentyeight days after the storm, while the search for them was still in progress, more than a hundred were found huddled together, apparently having found a sheltered place on the lee side of a drift, where they were slowly buried as the storm raged on, being covered with snow until they liy sixteen feet beneath the surface. Two of the sheep were alive, having subsisted during the four weeks of their entombment by feeding on the wool of their companions. When rescued they shed their fleeces, but the wool grew again and they were brought back to a good degree of flesh. An instance of a similar nature occurred the present winter (1890-91) in Pennsylvania, where during a snow storm three sheep were buried in a hollow twenty feet under a drift. After twelve days had elapsed, they were discovered, and shoveled out, all being alive. They had not a particle of wool on them, hunger having driven them to eat it entirely off each others’ backs. With proper care they were restored to their usual condition.

Other animals also lived during several weeks’ imprisonment under the snow. A couple of hogs were lost, and all hope of finding them alive was gone, when on the twenty-seventh day after the storm they worked their way out of the snow bank in which they had been buried, having subsisted on a little tansy, which they had found under the snow. Poultry also survived several days’ burial, hens being found alive after seven days, and turkeys from five to twenty. These were buried in the snow some distance above the ground, so that they could obtain no food whatever.

The wild animals which were common in the forests of New England at this period were robbed of their means of subsistence, and they became desperate in their cravings of hunger. Browsing for deer was scarce, the succulent shrubs being buried beneath the snow, and when evening came on those in the forests near the sea-coast started for the shore, where instinct had taught them that they would be likely to find more food. Another, and a greater reason, perhaps, was, that there were other starving animals in the woods beside themselves of which they were afraid. Bears and wolves were numerous then, and as soon as night fell, in their ravenous state they followed the deer in droves into the clearings, at length pouncing upon them. In this way vast numbers of these valuable animals were killed, torn in pieces, and devoured by their fierce enemies. It was estimated that nineteen out of every twenty deer were thus destroyed. They were so scarce after this time that officers called deer-reeves were chosen in each town to attend to their preservation. These officers were annually elected until the country had become so densely populated that the deer had disappeared and there was nothing for them to do.

Bears, wolves and foxes were nightly visitors to the sheep pens of the farmers. Cotton Mather states that many ewes, which were about to give birth to young, were so frightened at the assaults of these animals that most of the lambs born the next spring were of the color of foxes, the dams being either white or black. Vast multitudes of sparrows also came into the settlements after the storm was over, but remained only a short time, returning to the woods as soon as they were able to find food there.

The sea was greatly disturbed, and the marine animal life was in a state of considerable excitement. After the storm ceased, vast quantities of small sea shells were washed on shore in places where they had never been found before; and in the harbors great numbers of porpoises were seen playing together in the water.

The carriers of the mails, who were in that period called “post boys,” were greatly hindered in the performance of their duties by the deep snow. Leading out from Boston there were three post roads, and as late as March 4 there was no travelling, the ways being still impassable, and the mail was not expected, though it was then a week late. March 25 the “post” was travelling on snow shoes, the carrier between Salem, Mass., and Portsmouth, N. H., being nine days in making his trip to Portsmouth and eight days in returning, the two towns being about forty miles apart. In the woods he found the snow five feet deep, and in places it measured from six to fourteen feet.

Much damage was done to orchards, the snow being above the tops of many of the trees, and when it froze forming a crust around the boughs, it broke most of them to pieces. The crust was so hard and strong that cattle walked hither and thither upon it, and browsed the tender twigs of the trees, injuring them severely.

Many a one-story house was entirely covered by the snow, and even the chimneys in some instances could not be seen. Paths were dug under the snow from house to barn, to enable the farmers to care for their animals, and tunnels also led from house to house among the neighbors if not too far apart. Snow shoes were of course brought into requisition, and many trips were made by their aid. Stepping out of a chamber window some of the people ventured over the hills of snow. “Love laughs at locksmiths,” and of course, says Coffin, in his History of Newbury, Mass., will disregard a snow-drift. A young man of that town by the name of Abraham Adams was paying his attention to Miss Abigail Pierce, a young lady of the same place, who lived three miles away. A week had elapsed since the storm, and the swain concluded that he must visit his lady. Mounting his snowshoes he made his way out of the house through a chamber window, and proceeded on his trip over the deep, snow-packed valley and huge drifts among the hills beyond. He reached her residence, and entered it, as he had left his own, byway of a chamber window. Besides its own members, he was the first person the family had seen since the storm, and his visit was certainly much appreciated.

In the thinly settled portions of the country great privation and distress were caused by the imprisonment of many families, and the discontinuance of their communication with their neighbors. Among the inhabitants of Medford, Mass., was a widow, with several children, who lived in a one-story house on the road to Charlestown. Her house was so deeply buried that it could not be found for several days. At length smoke was seen issuing from a snow-bank, and by that means its location was ascertained. The neighbors came with shovels, and made a passage to a window, through which they could gain admission. They entered and found that the widow’s small stock of fuel was exhausted, and that she had burned some of the furniture to keep her little ones from suffering with the cold. This was but one of many incidents that occurred of a similar character.

The Historic Winter of 1740-41.

THE summer of 1740 was cool and wet. An early frost injured much of the corn crop, and the long season of rain which followed hindered its ripening. One-third of it was cut when green, and the rest was so wet that it very soon molded. There was, therefore, very little seed corn in New England for the next spring’s planting, and the amount of dry corn for the winter’s consumption was also small. The rain of the summer and fall flooded the lowlands of the country everywhere.

The rivers of Salem, Mass., were frozen over as early as October, and November 4th the weather became very cold. In that year the thirteenth of November was observed as Thanksgiving day. It was then severely cold, and all that day snow fell, continuing until the fifteenth, when in Essex County, Mass., it measured a foot in depth.

The weather remained cold until about the twenty-second, when its rigor relaxed, and a thaw, accompanied by rain, came on. The rain continued to fall for nearly three weeks, during the day only, the stars shining brightly each evening, but the morning following, rain would be falling again as energetically as ever. The snow melted, and a freshet occurred in the Merrimac river, nothing like it having been experienced there for seventy years. At Haverhill, the stream rose fifteen feet, and many houses were floated off. In that part ot Newbury, which was afterwards incorporated as West Newbury, was a piece of lowland at Turkey hill, known as Rawson’s meadow, which was covered with water to the depth of twelve feet. In another part of Newbury between the mill and the residence of a Mr. Emery, a sloop could have sailed. The freshet carried away great quantities ot wood, which was piled along the banks of the river, and from the shipyards located in that part of Newbury now included in the city 01 Newburyport considerable timber that was lying ready to be formed into vessels was also floated down the harbor, much of both wood and timber being lost. To save as much of it as possible, the dwellers on the shores of the river turned out, and for fourteen days worked from the banks and in boats, securing large piles which were scattered for miles on both sides of the river and the harbor. It was estimated that two thousand cords of wood were also saved at Plum Island.

The freshet was also very disastrous at Falmouth. On the twentyfirst of the month the Rev. Thomas Smith of that town says, in his diary, that he rode to Saco, where he lodged with his father. He was there forced out of his lodgings “by vast quantities of ice, which jambed and raised the water eighteen inches higher” than his bedstead.

Plum Island river was frozen over on December twelfth, and remained so until the end of March. The Merrimac river was also closed by the extreme cold, which continued so severe that the ice very soon became thick enough to support teams, and before the end of the month the river became a great thoroughfare. Loaded sleds drawn by two, three or four yoke of oxen came from the towns up the river, and landed below the upper long wharf near where the ferry was then located in Newbury. From twenty to forty such teams passed down the river daily from Amesbury and Haverhill, and people travelled down the harbor as far as half-tide rock. On February 28, for the purpose of ascertaining the thickness of the ice in the Merrimac, Wells Chase cut a hole through it at Deer Island where the current ran swiftest and found it to measure thirty inches, although people had constantly sledded over it for two months. No one then living had ever heard of the river freezing so hard before.

As far south as New York, the harbors were so frozen that vessels could not come into them, and those already in were compelled to remain until a thaw should come to their release. The sea was also very much frozen, and people travelled out long distances. In Boston harbor, a beaten road through the snow was kept open on the ice as far out as Castle William. Over this course horses and sleighs, and people on foot continually passed up and down, and on the way two tents for the sale of refreshments stood invitingly open. Loads of hay on sleds were drawn nearly straight from Spectacle Island to the town.

The ice formed so solidly around some mills that they could not be operated, as at Byfield parish in Newbury, where Pearson’s mill was stopped from February 3 to March 31, and the people of Newbury had to go to Salisbury to get their meagre grists of corn ground.

The reign of cold seemed to be broken on January 10, when the weather moderated and a thaw began; but it continued only three days, and the low temperature was resumed.

Not only was the winter severe in temperature, but great snows came until, in the estimation of the people then living, taking it as a whole, it was the most rigorous season that had been experienced here since the first settlement. There were twenty-seven snow storms in all, most of them of good size. February 3, nearly a foot of snow fell, and about a week later there were two more storms, which filled the roads in Newbury, Mass., and vicinity to the tops of the fences, and in some places the snow lay to the depth of from eight to ten feet. On April 4, the fences were still covered, and three days later another foot of snow fell. In the woods it was then four feet deep on the level; and there were drifts on the islands off Dorchester, Mass., not quite melted on May 3. The snow remained so long that the spring was very backward; and when the ground was ready for planting, the farmers were almost discouraged, thinking of the failure of the corn crop the year before.

The Historic Winter of 1747-48.

THE old people of to-day think that we do not have as severe winters as they had when they were in their youth, and they certainly have good reasons for such conclusions. The winter of 1747-48 was one of the memorable winters that used to be talked about by our grandfathers when the snow whirled above deep drifts around their half-buried houses. There were about thirty snow storms, and they came storm after storm until the snow lay four or five feet deep on the level, making travelling exceedingly difficult. On the twenty-second of February, snow in the woods measured four and onehalf feet; and on the twenty-ninth there was no getting about except on snow shoes.

There seems to have been more snow in Essex County, Mass., than in other parts of New England, and it came there very early in the season. On December 14, it had become so deep, and the wind blew it so fiercely that John Bowles was smothered to death on the Neck at Salem.

There is an incident connected with this winter’s weather which will fix it in the minds of readers. In the west parish of Newbury, on majestic Crane Neck hill, lived a family by the name of Dole, their little son, but six years old, lay sick with a fever as the storms of December raged, and on the twenty-second of the month he died.

“Their kindred slept a mile or two away,
The snow lay deep in drifts upon the ground,
The roads unbroken no one could discern,
Twas hill and vale of deep untrodden snow.
‘Where should the little boy belaid to rest?’
Was asked by anxious hearts. ‘He must lie there,
Where generations gone beneath the sod
Repose in peace, beneath the hallowed ground,’
Was answered by the father.

“Across the fields And pastures, down through the vale they started The saddest Christmas morn they yet had known. They soon stopped, the horses wallowing deep Were fastened in the snow. Now on again They move, but in a moment more they stop, They start and stop, and start and stop again, And fail to gain upon their funeral way. Discouraged in his vain attempts to reach The sacred burial-place so far away, The father said, ‘We cannot further go; Let us bury our dead here where we are.’ And there beneath the deep snow they laid him Alone upon the valley’s broad expanse, Then turned their faces back to their lone home, From which the light had gone, no more to shine At least on earth.

“Around the little grave others laid their dead, till in that lowland scores lay buried. To-day it is a place where antiquarians love to wander; And hunting round for the oldest gravestone they find this one of Micah Dole’s, whose date is seventeen hundred forty-seven, And looking farther down they read that he was first of all to lie upon that lea.”

The Historic Snow Storms of December, 1786.

THE winter of 1786-87 set in very early. At Warren, in Maine, on the fourteenth of November the St. George’s river was frozen so hard and thick that the ice bore horses and sleighs as far down as Watson’s Point, and on the following day to the mouth of the stream. It did not break up until the latter part of the following March. The sloop Warren, lying at the wharf in Thomaston and loading with a cargo for the West Indies, was frozen in and compelled to remain there all through the winter. By the twentieth of November, the harbor of Salem, Mass., was frozen over as far out as Naugus Head; and the Connecticut river was congealed so quickly that, at Middletown in that state, within twenty-four hours after boats passed over it the ice had become strong enough to bear heavy weights and people were driving on it with their horses and sleighs. Frozen into the river were between thirty and forty vessels that had been prepared for their voyages, the masters expecting to sail before the river was closed by ice. The month of December was unusually severe, and snow storms came frequently and terrifically, great quantities of snow covering the earth to a depth that impeded travel in all portions of the country. The remainder of the winter was also severe, and in the vicinity of Rockland, Me., snow remained on the ground as late as April 10, so deep and hard-crusted that teams passed over the fences in every direction without obstruction.

The first storm in the month of December began about noon on Monday, the fourth. The weather was very cold, and during the forenoon a piercing northeast wind blew. About noon snow-flakes began to fall, and they increased in number so fast that soon a blinding snow storm was raging in all its fury. The strong wind brought in the tide, until it became one of the highest that was ever experienced on our coast. On the salt marshes, stacks of hay were lifted from the staddles and floated away, most of them never being recovered, while much that was saved was so wet that it was worthless as fodder. On the marshes of Rowley, Mass., hundreds of tons of hay were floated across the river and marshes to the lee shore of Ipswich, most of it being lost. The storm continued all Monday night, through the next day and until another evening, without intermission, so much snow falling that it lay six feet deep in Boston. The newspapers of that time said that it was as severe a snow storm as had been experienced for several years.

The tide was so high on Tuesday that at Boston the water overflowed the “pier” to the depth of several inches and entered the stores on the lower part of it, greatly damaging the sugar, salt and other articles that were in them. The wharves generally were overflowed, and from them quantities of wood and lumber were floated away.

Several vessels were expected to arrive in Boston at the time of the storm, and their owners and the families of the crews were very anxious concerning them. They all, however, afterward came safely into port, with the exception of two or three that were wrecked. One of these was the brig Lucretia, Captain Powell, master, owned by Messrs. Boiling and Sharp of New Haven. She had come from St. Croix, had weathered the storm during Monday night and reached the entrance to Boston harbor when, about nine o’clock on Tuesday morning, in the violent wind and blinding storm she ran on Point Shirley. There were eleven persons on board When the vessel struck, Mr. Kilby the mate, two of the crew, a Mr. Sharp, who was a merchant, and a negro jumped into the foam, at the risk of losing their lives in the terrible surf, and succeeded in reaching the shore. They travelled through the deep snow and endeavored to find one of the houses on the point; but being exhausted by their terrible struggle with the waves they were not able to battle with the storm, and they perished in the snow. Captain Powell and the five men who remained on the brig continued there until the storm abated, when they made their way to the shore in safety. The vessel was so strained and racked that it was bilged, but the cargo was saved. Mr. Sharp’s body was brought to Boston, and his funeral was held at the American Coffee House, on State street, at four o’clock on the afternoon of Tuesday of the following week, it being attended by a large number of the merchants of Boston and other people.

On Monday night, the sloop Thomas, from Baltimore, which was commanded by Jonathan Smith, was wrecked on Marshfield beach, and the captain and mate were frozen to death before assistance could come to them. The cargo was saved, but the vessel was cracked so much that it was bilged.

A day or two before the storm a sloop, owned by Jacob Curtis, sailed from Arundel, on the coast of Maine, for Salem; and on Tuesday, in the violent snow storm, was driven on Plum Island and wrecked. There were only three persons on board, and two of them, Mr. Curtis and Benjamin Jeffries, died from the effects of the cold. Mr. Curtis left a wife and eight children who deeply felt the loss of the husband and father of whom they were in so much need. Mr. Jeffries was about twenty-two years of age and unmarried. The survivor of the crew was severely frozen, but after good treatment and months of suffering he recovered. On the next day, the bodies of the lost mariners were found under a stack of hay and brought to Newburyport, where a jury held an inquest. The remains were properly interred on the following Friday afternoon.

Among the several incidents of this storm is one that is curious and interesting. Where the river which flows down through the marshes of Rowley, Mass., empties into Plum Island sound, is a tract of upland known as Hog Island, on which at the time of this storm was a hut belonging to Samuel Pulsifer and Samuel Elwell, both of Rowley. They had gone down the river on Monday morning with the intention of spending the night there, a practice which has ever since been common among the people of the towns bordering on the marshes. Fresh, succulent clams constitute the principal food of such excursionists and these men had been digging their supply on the flats of the sound off the island during the forenoon. After obtaining the quantity they desired they returned to the house. The snow storm had already begun, and it increased so rapidly that they concluded to give up the idea of staying there in such a storm as appeared to be beginning and return to their homes. The tide was now low, and they started across the marshes and creeks, but soon lost their way in the blinding storm. Finding no landmarks to direct them across the level marshes that stretched away for miles, they wandered about for some time, bewildered and tired. At length they found a stack of dry hay in which they dug a hole, and concluded to encamp therein until the storm should be over in the morning. They passed the night as well as the circumstances and severe cold would permit. At length morning came, but the storm had not abated. It still raged as fiercely as when darkness closed in upon the marshes the night before. To their astonishment, the men found the tide had risen so high that it wet the hay around the place in the stack where they had spent the night, and they were obliged to go to the top of the stack to keep above the water. They began to consider the new dangers of their situation, which had become truly alarming. How much higher would the water rise, and would their weight be sufficient to keep the stack upon the staddles if the water rose much higher, were questions which arose in their minds, and they had but slight expectations that the result would be in their favor. The questions were soon answered. A huge cake of ice struck the stack, jarring it off the staddles, and it floated away with its human freight through the sea that was raging around them. The snow was falling so thickly and the clouds were so heavy and dark that they could see nothing but the water that covered the marshes. The points of the compass were entirely unascertainable, and they could not tell the course in which they were being driven. Around them only the turbulent waters could be seen. Sometimes they went directly forward, and at intervals the stack whirled around, threatening every time to go to pieces or throw them from it into the freezing waters where they would become benumbed and quickly perish by drowning. At length, with horror, they felt the stack suddenly disintegrate beneath them. But their hopelessness was turned to joy as another stack of hay, large and solid, came along so near to them that they leaped upon it. They were driven along on this new stack, exposed to the extreme cold, snow and wind, and the water which continually dashed upon them, for two hours longer. During their inactivity they became almost stupefied with the cold, and began to feel sleepy. In this semi-conscious condition they chanced to look about them and saw land only about four rods away. Toward this the wind had driven them. Between them and the land were cakes of ice, which hindered the stack from approaching nearer the shore. The place was Smith’s cove, so-called, at Little Neck, in Ipswich, situated between three and four miles from the place where the men were set adrift on the first stack. They made no exertion to get ashore, but lay there a considerable time. After a while, they discovered that they were being carried out to sea by the wind and tide. This brought them to their sense of self-preservation. Mr. Pulsifer immediately threw himself upon the ice and advised his companion to do the same. Mr. Elwell was so stupefied with the cold that it seemed impossible for him to ever reach the land; but after considerable endeavor he managed to get on a floating cake and reached the shore in safety. Mr. Pulsifer succeeded in getting near enough to the shore to touch the bottom with his feet; but his legs were so benumbed by the cold that he could not step. For a while it seemed that he must die though only a rod from the shore; but before it was too late he conceived the idea of moving his legs ahead one at a time by his hands, as if they had been sticks. By this means he reached the land safely. Now they felt themselves saved, and the thought of their preservation invigorated their faculties. They ran a few rods to get warm and recover the full use of their limbs. But where were they? They had not given a thought to the location of the land where they were. The fact that it was the solid earth was enough to satisfy them for the first few moments they were upon it. Probably they had but a faint conception of the distance and direction they had been driven while on the stacks of hay. On looking about they found that they were on an uninhabited island, and though the mainland was not far away it was impossible to reach it. They must either freeze or starve to death if they remained where they were. They found a stack of dry hay and into that they crept for warmth. At length, they came out and went upon the highest part of the island and with what strength of voice they had they shouted for help, that being the only thing they could do. After a while a man was seen on the mainland by Mr. Pulsifer, and feeling that by him was a way of escape from their dangerous situation they made a vigorous demonstration; but in vain, the man unheeding passed out of sight. They now became utterly discouraged, and death seemed to be their inevitable lot. They had had nothing to eat for about two days, and the pangs of hunger intensified their hopelessness. Their hopes again revived, however, when three quarters of an hour later Maj. Charles Smith of Ipswich, with his two sons, came within sight of the island in search of some stray sheep. One of the men stood upon the stack of hay, waved his hat, and hallooed for assistance. One of Major Smith’s sons saw him and the father, who knew of a causeway leading to the island which was then covered with water about a yard deep, waded through it to the place where the men were. They were assisted to Major Smith’s house, which was some little distance away, and he provided them with everything necessary to their comfort. On Thursday they returned to their homes, thankful that their lives which had several times seemed lost were preserved.

 On the night of Friday of the same week another terrible snow storm with a furious northeast wind began. It continued through the next day, increasing as night came on, and abated Sunday morning. The snow was already very deep, and this storm so increased its depth that it was estimated at this time there was more snow on the ground than there was in the winter of the great snow, seventy years before. Travelling was extremely difficult and in many places it was totally stopped. In Boston, on the day following that on which the storm had cleared off, a number of people were employed in “levelling” the snow in the streets, and the next day the Massachusetts Gazette of the time said, “It is hoped they and many others will turn out this day for the same laudable and necessary purpose.” Up to this period the roads and streets were not cleared of snow, except in a few unimportant instances, and they remained in the condition in which the storm left them, whether the snow came on a level or in drifts. And it would seem that even in Boston it was unusual for the people to remove, level or path the snow. The roads were completely filled from wall to wall throughout New England. The people could not get to the churches on Sunday on account of the great drifts, and so of course no religious services were held.

This was one of the most difficult storms to withstand that was ever experienced. Several persons who were out in it became lost and were smothered to death in the snow, or, becoming exhausted, sank down and perished with the cold. A man living near Portland, Me., left that place for his home and was never again heard from, it being supposed that he died on the way.

On Saturday evening, Thomas Hooper and Valentine Tidder, jr., of Marblehead, Mass., who had been in Salem during the afternoon, started in the storm on the return home about dark. They did not come, and it was supposed by their families and friends that they had forborne risking their lives in the cold and snow, remaining at Salem over night and that when the storm abated and travelling became practicable they would return in safety. But before the storm had cleared, news came that the men had been seen in the evening on their way to Marblehead. Then their families knew that there was but little chance of their being alive, for if they had reached Marblehead they would have come home. A searching party, consisting of a large number of their townsmen, was formed and during Monday they searched the snow in the road over which the men would be most likely to travel on their way home; but night came, and they had not been found. The search was renewed on the following morning, and this time it was successful, the bodies being found in the fields at some distance from the road and apart, as if the men had become separated and wandered from each other. The funeral of one of them took place on Thursday and of the other on the Friday following. Mr. Hooper left a wife and a large number of children, and Mr. Tidder, who was considerably younger than Mr. Hooper, left parents and a wife and child. The bereaved were very deeply affected by the sad and sudden deaths.

A sadder case than the foregoing occurred on the same evening at Litchfield, Conn. The storm was very severe there, the snow came in great quantities, and the wind blew a gale. A man by the name of Elisha Birge lived in a house which was so old and decayed that his wife Mary, who was naturally timid, thought it could not withstand the tempest. She was afraid to remain in it through the night, and on this Saturday evening, in spite of her husband’s persuasions, started out to go to a neighbor’s to spend the night. She soon lost her way in the blinding storm and wandered about in the cold and whirling snow, floundering in the great drifts until she knew not where she was. She had not been gone long when her husband repented letting her go off on her hazardous journey alone and started after her. He soon overtook her, and together they tried to find the house she sought. But after wandering about for some time in their fruitless search, she sat down by the trunk of an ancient tree to rest. Mr. Birge suggested that they had mistaken the road and urged her to return. She made no reply, and looking at her he discovered that she had fallen asleep, cold and exhaustion having taken away her senses. He tried to arouse her from her stupor, but it was too late, and she expired in his arms.

The storm was very severe along the coast. In Long Island sound, many vessels went ashore, and some were entirely lost. All the vessels at Stonington, Conn., were driven ashore, except a small schooner which was forced out to sea and never heard from. At Newport, R. I., ten or twelve ships, brigs and other vessels of the larger build were driven from the wharves and forced on shore at Brenton’s Neck, and a considerable number of small craft were dashed to pieces. A small schooner bound from Freetown to Newport foundered, and several people that were on board were drowned. Two sloops went ashore at Nantasket beach, and a small schooner was cast away at or near Cape Ann, its crew perishing.

A sloop, engaged in coasting between Damariscotta and Boston, Capt. John Askins, master, was driven on Lovell’s island in Boston harbor. There were thirteen [A later report said that there were fifteen, and that thirteen of them were lost, but failed to give the names of the other two] persons on board, twelve men and one woman, all of whom perished. Their bodies were found, and on the Thursday following brought up to town. Besides the captain, the persons lost were John Adams (or Adamson) of Medfield, two young men by the name of Cowell, a Mr. Grout of Sherburne, Samuel Ham of Durham, N. H., Miss Sylvia Knapp of Mansfield, Henry Read of Boothbay, Joseph Robeshaw of Wrentham, two men by the name of Rockwood, Capt. Oliver Rouse and a sailor belonging in Nova Scotia, whose name is unknown. All the bodies were soon found except those of Captain Rouse and John Adams, which were not discovered until the second day of January, more than three weeks after the disaster, when they were dug out of the snow and brought up to the town. Adams was buried the same day, under the direction of the coroner. Captain Rouse had been an officer in the American army in the revolution, and his body was conveyed to the house of his friend John McLane, on Newbury street, whence the interment took place on the evening of Sunday, the next day. The next year the Massachusetts Humane Society erected on this island a small house for the relief of shipwrecked mariners. It stood on the northwest side of the island, about sixty rods from the shore.

On Cape Cod, a schooner, belonging to Boston, Captain Godfrey, master, while on a trip from the eastward, was driven ashore, and all on board perished. On Sunday morning, the schooner Nancy of Salem, Mass., Captain Fairfield, master, bound from Port-au-Prince to her home port, was also cast ashore there, about three miles from Province town. The storm was so terrific that the waves washed over the deck and filled the cabin and hold, and the men were obliged to leave the wreck at ten o’clock in the evening. In the deep snow they travelled all night in search of shelter, but in vain. Eastick Cook of Salem perished in the search with the cold, and the limbs of the rest were much frozen. In the morning the other men returned to the place of the wreck, and found several persons there, they having observed the vessel and come down to it to render what assistance they could to the needy mariners, if they were still alive. They treated them very humanely and furnished them with clothes from their own backs, affording them every assistance in their power. The vessel was wholly lost, but the cargo was saved.

A coasting sloop, Capt. Samuel Robbins, master, bound to Plymouth, sailed from Long wharf, Boston harbor, between one and two o’clock on Saturday morning, it being deemed that the impending storm would not be very severe. There were several passengers, who with the crew made the number on board sixteen, among whom was Rev. Mr. Robbins of Plymouth. When they started the wind was blowing from the northeast, but after they had sailed about six miles beyond the harbor light it veered to the east-northeast, the heavens suddenly grew dark, and a squall of snow set in. They concluded to return to the harbor, and endeavored to do so, but the compass being out of order they could not find the harbor light again in the blinding snow. After sailing in what they supposed to be the right direction for about half an hour it was thought to be very hazardous to proceed further toward land, and the sloop was again headed in the opposite direction. The storm increased until the wind blew with great violence, splitting the mainsail, and with extreme difficulty they kept off the shore until morning. They hoped that daylight would bring some one to their rescue, but such a hope had no fruition. They could not discover land. It seemed that the only probable means of saving any of their lives was to run the vessel ashore, and at about eight o’clock in the morning it was solemnly agreed to do so, though they knew not where they were. The reader can, perhaps, imagine the thoughts that now came into their minds. There was but slight hope of being saved, and death seemed to be certain. As one of them afterward said, “Heaven appeared for us!” The order was given to run ashore, and a solemn and awful interval of ten minutes elapsed before the vessel struck. Each one gave himself up for lost. They had reached the border line of time and must immediately appear before their Maker. They saw the terrible breakers on shore, and the faint-hearted among them grew pale and weak as they gazed at them,— ” dread harbingers of their approaching destiny.” A shudder ran through their already chilled bodies and hearts when the helmsman (though mistaken) cried out, ” Nothing but rocks! The Lord have mercy on us, not a single life to be saved.” A minute later the sloop struck upon a sand-bar and was carried over to a point within two hundred feet of the shore. When the vessel stopped, her boom suddenly broke and fell upon the deck among the people, but fortunately only one person was injured, and that one but slightly. Thinking that the sloop would beat to pieces in a very short time, the boat belonging to it was immediately gotten out and by means of a long warp, one end fastened to the boat and the other to the vessel, the people reached the boat in safety. By making three trips, every person safely reached the shore. The success of the undertaking, considering its dangerous nature, the surf being heavy and the undertow exceedingly powerful, was almost wonderful. They found themselves on the beach at the northern end of the Gurnet peninsula, several miles from any human settlement. Though wet and cold, they travelled about to keep from freezing, being perfectly ignorant of the locality. The storm became more severe, and the cold seemed to be driven through their very vitals by the piercing wind. After all but two of them had been travelling about a mile in a northerly direction, as they thought, at about eleven o’clock in the forenoon they found a small hut that had been erected by some gunners as a temporary residence. In it they discovered a loaded gun, by means of which they made a fire ; and but for this some of them at least must have perished. The others of the shipwrecked company upon landing took an opposite course in quest of shelter, and at length arrived at the Gurnet lighthouse. One of the assistants there was despatched to seek the other members of the company. He came to the hut, found them and told them where they were, offering to conduct them to the house. All but five, who spent the succeeding night in the hut, seeking rest before travelling so far, set out with him. They travelled in the whole a distance of nearly seven miles, in the violent snow storm, for five hours on the desolate beach, suffering from inexpressible fatigue and being wet, cold and hungry, some of them having eaten nothing for more than twenty hours. They all, finally, arrived at the friendly house of Mr. Burgiss on the Gurnet, where they received every attention and kindness that compassion and generous hospitality could afford, until means were obtained for their safe return home.

The Historic Long Storm of November, 1798.

THE long and severe winter of 1798-99 began on the morning of Saturday, the seventeenth of November, 1798, with one of the severest snow storms that has ever been known in New England. On Sunday it became quite moderate, and for a time appeared to be clearing off, but when night came on the snow began to fall fast again, and the wind blew from the northeast with the force of a gale. The storm continued all day Monday and Tuesday and until the night of Wednesday, when the weather cleared, the wind ceased to blow and the snow to fall.

The great quantity of snow that fell was unprecedented so early in the winter, and in but few instances had the settlers experienced such a snow storm during any part of the year. The mail carriers, or postboys, as they were called, were obliged to ride through fields for miles at a time, the roads being impassable in all parts of the country. The snow was so deep that in some places where the highways had been shovelled out the banks of snow on both sides of the road were so high that men on horseback could not look over them. Many houses were so deeply buried in the snow that the families which lived in them found it very difficult to make an egress without tunnelling through the drifts.

The snow fell so densely, and the wind blew so terrifically, that great damage was done to the vessels along our coast. One of them that sailed from one of the northern ports for the West Indies a few days before the storm began was commanded by Captain Hammond. He was in the height of the storm off Cape Cod, and though his was one of the vessels that weathered the gale he was nearly driven on shore, all but one of about forty horses that formed part of the cargo perishing on the deck. As soon as it was possible the vessel returned to the port from which it had sailed.

Many vessels were wrecked on the Cape, and seven of them went to pieces, all the people on board being lost. The bodies of twentyfive of the men who lost their lives here in this storm washed ashore, were found and buried. One of the ill-fated vessels was the schooner Rachel, of one hundred tons burden, nearly new, and commanded by Capt. John Simpson of Frenchman’s bay, Sullivan, Maine, who was then about thirty-five years of age. He was the sole owner of the craft. With a cargo of lumber he sailed from Sullivan for Salem, Mass., about the middle of the month, his crew consisting of William Abbot, mate, Zachariah Hodgkins, Stephen Merchant, and James Springer. There was also on board a passenger, Paul D. Sargent, a young son of Paul D. Sargent of Sullivan, who was on his way to attend a school in Salem during the winter. As far as Herring-gut harbor, St. George, Maine, they kept company with another schooner, which bore the name of Diana, whose commander was a brother of Captain Simpson. The weather had then become quite threatening, and the wind began to blow very strongly from the northeast. The two schooners were so near each other at this time that their captains discussed the situation. They were of diverse opinions, and the result was that the Diana made a harbor, while the Rachel kept on its way before the wind, its captain believing that the strong breeze would enable him to reach his destined port before the storm should come upon them. His calculations proved to be erroneous, for he had accomplished but a small part of the distance when

“The black clouds the face of heaven defined,
The whistling wind soon ripened to a storm,
The waves tremendous roared, and billows rolled.”

Snow began to fall, and blasts from the northeast swept the craft on through the blinding storm. Fearing the wind would drive them ashore they steered away from the land as far as possible, and though the general line of the Massachusetts coast was cleared they did not escape the sandy peninsula of Cape Cod, that great arm of the Commonwealth that is thrust out into the sea as if to grasp the vessels as they pass. With many others the schooner was driven upon the beach a short distance below where the Highland lighthouse at Truro stands, between the second and third sand hills. Every person on board was lost, all their bodies being found, some on the wreck and the rest on the beach. That of the captain was easily recognized by his clothing and the articles found in his pockets. The young passenger was identified by his apparel, which was better than that of the crew. Many little things belonging to the captain were found, carefully preserved and forwarded to his family. There were among them a small trunk covered with sealskin, also a pearl-handled pocket-knife and a small handkerchief, the latter having been put into his pocket by his five year-old daughter the day he sailed from home. The bodies of the drowned were all tenderly interred in the old cemetery at North Truro, where there has been erected to their memory a tablet of fine Italian marble set in a base of granite, quarried near Captain Simpson’s home in Sullivan.

The brig Hope, commanded by Capt. James Hooper, sailing from Demerara, British Guiana, South America, was off the coast when the storm commenced. A harbor could not be made, and at length the gale came on so terrifically that they were in the utmost danger. They cut away their mainmast and dropped both their anchors, but were still driven before the blast. Fearful that they would run upon some rocky shore and be dashed to pieces, the captain and his crew left the vessel and embarked in an open boat, hoping that it would live among the furious billows. They were then about six miles from the nearest lighthouse in the direction of which they sailed, and finally reached a harbor in safety. After they left the brig it parted both cables, and at last was driven upon the beach at Hampton, N. H. The seamen remained at the place where they were until the storm was over and they had learned the fate of their vessel, when the captain with the owners went to Hampton, where the brig was found high on the beach in an upright position. Its hull had suffered but very little damage, and the cargo, consisting of rum, coffee and sugar, was but slightly injured.

The Great Snow Storm of February, 1802.

THE winter of 1801-02 was very mild, the month of January being so warm that on the twenty-fourth, the ice on the Merrimac river began to move down the stream, and on the twenty-eighth, at Salem, Mass., the thermometer indicated sixty degrees above zero. It was the warmest January that the people remembered. There had been but little snow, and they congratulated themselves upon the pleasant winter and the prospect of an early spring.

On Sunday, the twenty-first of February, the aspect of the weather wholly changed. The first part of the day was remarkably pleasant, but the wind soon changed to the northeast, and a fierce snow storm came on. The storm continued for nearly a week, covering the earth with snow and sleet to the depth of several feet. Intense cold prevailed, which produced much suffering among all classes, and caused the sleet to freeze upon the snow, forming a crust so hard and thick that the people, not distinguishing the location of the roads, drove in their sleighs across lots over fences and walls. Hon. Bailey Bartlett, Ichabod Tucker and several others of Haverhill, Mass., drove from that place to Ipswich, a distance of sixteen miles, in a large double sleigh upon the crust of snow across fields and pastures. The mail carriers were also greatly interrupted in the performance of their duties.

This was one of the winters to which the old folks of two generations ago were wont to refer, when no roads were broken out, and the farmers dragged their grists of corn on hand sleds upon the crust of the snow across fields, through woods and over fences and walls to the mills to get it ground.

The storm proved very disastrous to the vessels along the coast of Massachusetts. A schooner came ashore at Plum island, and a brig and a sloop were cast away at Cape Ann. On Chelsea beach a ship and a schooner were wrecked. The brig Eliza, commanded by Captain Ricker and owned in Berwick, Maine, while on its trip from Demerara to Boston, by way of the Vineyard, was driven on shore near the place of its destination on Monday, the twenty-second. Two schooners were also cast ashore at the same time and place, one of them being from Havana and bound to Salem, and the other belonging in Marblehead. Fortunately, no lives were lost from either vessel. Two pilot boats belonging to Messrs. Cole and Knox were driven ashore in the bay at Braintree, and a schooner, bound from Halifax to Boston, was wrecked on Cohasset rocks, one or more of the crew perishing. At Marshfield, the ship Florenzo, commanded by Captain Ham, bound from St. Ubes to Portsmouth, N. H., by the way of New York, was driven on shore, a pilot, whose services they had secured at the Vineyard, and three of the crew being lost. Cape Cod, however, was the scene of the principal shipwrecks, among them being that of a schooner from Martinico, which was driven ashore at Sandwich, her crew and cargo of molasses being saved.

Fifty years ago, the storm was best remembered by the people living on Cape Cod, on account of the wrecks there of three East-Indiamen, from the port of Salem, Mass. They were all full-rigged ships, and were named Ulysses, Brutus and Volusia, being commanded by Captains James Cook, William Brown and Samuel Cook, respectively. The first two were owned by G. Crowninshield and sons, and the other by Israel Williams and others of Salem. On that lovely Sunday morning, the three vessels proudly passed down the harbor of Salem, the Brutus and Ulysses being bound to Bordeaux, in France, and the Volusia to a port in the Mediterranean. A few hours after their departure, snow began to fall, the temperature descended very quickly, and before the next morning dawned, the wind blew a gale.

The storm came on so suddenly and was so furious that the people in Salem, to many of whose families the officers and crews belonged, were anxious to learn something from the vessels, and their owners also were interested as the ships and their cargoes were valuable. The first information that was received indicated that all the vessels and their crews were lost. Gloom rested upon the faces of the people as they conversed about the probable accuracy of the report.

“There is waiting, anxious waiting, for the tidings of the missing— And tearful eyes are looking in sadness to the shore;
And the mother’s heart is aching as the child she’s fondly kissing
Whispers softly from its cradle,’ Will papa come no more?'”

They were kept in suspense several days, and not till the fourth of March did they begin to learn the particulars of the great disaster that had come to the vessels and their crews. The story has been told thousands of times around the hearth-fires of a past generation, always being listened to with great interest. A warm summer-like day in February would bring the tale to the minds of those who remembered how lovely that quiet Sunday was, and what a terrible storm of snow, sleet and wind immediately followed.

At sunset on that beautiful day, the ships were about ten miles south-southeasterly from the Thatcher-island lighthouse at Cape Ann, the wind was blowing lightly from the southeast, and all three vessels were sailing together toward the east northeast. Snow began to fall soon after, and a storm seemed to have begun. During the latter part of the evening the captains spoke each other, and discussed the situation. Had they better return and wait until suitable weather came, or push out to sea as fast as possible? They finally concluded to continue on the voyage, and turning their prows toward the east added to their sail. They made but very little progress, however, as the breeze was so light it had but slight effect upon the canvas, and at times seemed to leave them entirely. They continued together until midnight, when the snow fell faster and the wind grew strong, having suddenly changed to the northeast. The weather had now become so threatening that the captain of the Volusia regretted that he had consented to continue on the voyage, and at half past two in the morning, concluding to risk the trip no farther, he put about on his return to Salem. The other vessels were so far from him that he could not see them, and he therefore started back without informing them of his change of mind and course.

Before the Volusia could reach Cape Ann, the snow fell so thickly, and the wind blew so hard that it was found impossible to enter the harbor. Thwarted in their design they were now under the disheartening necessity of running before the wind, and endeavoring to keep the ship away from the dangerous coast. With reefed top-sails they managed to do this through the early morning hours and most of the forenoon, though the wind was blowing a gale from the east-northeast. At eleven o’clock they saw land to the leeward, which was immediately recognized as Cape Cod, whose perilous shores they knew full well. They saw that it was almost impossible to weather the cape, and that the only thing they could do would be to tack and try to run into the cape harbor. Just then the wind parted the fore-top-sail sheet and tore the sail into shreds, at the same time carrying away the slings of the fore-yard, which brought the yard down on deck, and rendered the head sails useless. Their hope of reaching the harbor was now utterly gone. They could do nothing but let the vessel drive on shore, and if they succeeded in reaching it all would be well; but how little hope any of the men had that they would survive the terrible breakers and the powerful undertow. They had spent their lives on the ocean and knew how slight their chance of preservation was. They thought of Salem, of their homes, their wives and children, that they would probably never see again, and they seemed to love them all then with an affection that was a thousand-fold stronger than they had ever felt before. Kindred thoughts filled their minds during the ten minutes that elapsed before the ship struck the bar, about a mile from the shore, off Truro near the Peaked hills. The crew had already cut away the mizzen-mast, and now the main lanyards were severed, and the main-mast fell over the side of the ship. After a short time the vessel beat over the bar, and was driven quite near the shore. Hope came to them again. They knew at what time of the day low-tide would occur, and so they patiently waited until the afternoon when the tide was at the lowest point. Many of the inhabitants of the cape had gathered on the beach, and with their assistance the land was successfully reached by the entire crew. The vessel and part of the cargo were also saved, although much damaged.

Let us now return to the Brutus and the Ulysses that the Volusia left in the night, plowing their way oceanward in the storm. The Volusia had left them at half-past two in the midnight darkness of the early morning, they not being aware of what had become of her. An hour later the captains of the two vessels spoke each other, and now agreed that the safest plan would be to tack to the north-northwest till daylight came, and then endeavor to run out of the south channel. They accordingly changed their course, and continued in the proposed direction until six o’clock. The Brutus then turned to the southeast, but the Ulysses headed for Cape Ann as the Volusia had done earlier in the morning. Captain Cook of the Ulysses kept his course until eight o’clock, then brought the ship round and stood out of the bay, under as much canvas as she could possibly carry. The gale increased, and they were obliged to reduce the amount of sail in the afternoon. At five o’clock they sighted the highlands of Cape Cod, and immediately tacked to the westward. The sky was dark and gloomy, the snow was falling thickly and the wind blew with so great fury that the only canvas the ship could carry were her foresail and mizzen-top sails. They did not dare to expect that they would weather the shoals, and thought they must strike immediately. The waves dashed over the deck carrying away from the bows one of the anchors, and more than an hour was spent in heaving it into place again. At ten o’clock in the evening the ship struck on the bar at the northern pitch of Cape Cod. The bowsprit and foremast were soon carried away by the wind and waves, and the main-mast, the mizzen-mast, the boats and everything on the deck followed a few moments later. The hull only remained, and the crew fled to the cabin for protection. The ship lay thumping upon the bar but a few minutes, when some gigantic waves lifted it over, and carried it toward the beach. There they remained all night in almost utter hopelessness. The ship had bilged, and the men watched it fill with water until the floor of the cabin was covered. Their situation was now most serious, as the vessel was filling with water and they were far from shore. Before morning dawned, the tide had reached its extreme ebb, and the ship was happily left on the beach, near the water’s edge, only about a mile from the wreck of the Volusia. The crew easily reached the shore, and received assistance from some of the people of Provincetown. A part of the cargo was saved, though it was much damaged, but the vessel finally went to pieces.

When the Brutus separated from the Ulysses at six o’clock on Monday morning, it changed its course to the southeast, carrying all the sail it possibly could. It weathered the gale all through that day, but was constantly driven shoreward. During the day Andrew Herron, who belonged in Salem, while engaged in reefing the foresail was blown from the yard, and fell, being instantly killed. He was a foreigner by birth, and a prudent and industrious young man, who by hard labor had accumulated considerable property. He was engaged to be married to a worthy lady of Salem, who was greatly affected by his death. About eight o’clock in the evening, the^hip struck on the bar, two miles from the lighthouse and near the place where the Volusia and Ulysses came ashore. She remained on the bar some time,

and at length was lightened by throwing overboard a large part of the cargo. The waves then carried her over, and she ran upon the beach. The mizzen-mast was now cut away, and a few moments later the main-mast also. Hardly had this been done, when the crew were horrified to discover that the ship was parting in the middle. They must get on shore immediately, or perish in the waves. But how could they reach the land? Fortunately, the main-mast had fallen toward the beach, and on that they crawled as far as they could, Captain Brown bravely leading the way. He was the first man to get on shore. The two mates followed, and then came the seamen. All but one man, George Pierce of Marblehead, reached the beach in safety. He was overcome by the terrible waves, and drowned. The men were wet and cold and exhausted, and it seemed to be as fatal to remain on the beach as to have staid on the vessel. Something must be done for their preservation immediately. They determined to keep in a body, and if possible to cross the neck of land and seek a place of shelter. This was the coldest night of the winter, the temperature being below zero, and the strong northeast wind pierced them through and through. Captain Brown was very thinly clothed, having lost his thickest garment as he left the ship. He soon succumbed to the intense cold and the fatiguing march through the deep snow, which was too exhausting for his weak limbs to continue further. Mr. Ruee, the first mate, and the other seamen tenderly assisted him as well as they could, but they could not rally his waning strength and will. When they had reached the western side of the bay, about a mile from Provincetown, between that town and Truro, the captain gave up entirely, and soon after expired. It was now nearly midnight. One by one the men began to give out, Jacob Ayers of Manchester, the second mate, a worthy and promising young man, being one of the first to perish in the snow. Soon after, several others of the crew, becoming exhausted, dropped into the drifts, and froze to death. The survivors travelled about, not knowing whither they went, till about four o’clock in the morning (Tuesday), when they discovered a lighthouse. The party was now reduced to five persons only. They had wandered about, back and forth, in the course of the night, more than twenty miles. With limbs stiffened by cold and fatigue, they were just able to drag themselves to a small house situated in the vicinity of the lighthouse. They made their presence known to the people within, who opened wide their doors, and assisted the wretched mariners to enter. Here the sufferers received the most humane treatment. Search was immediately begun for those who had fallen in the snow during the night, but not one of them was saved. Had the wrecked seamen varied their course either to the right or left, they would have seen either the town of Truro or Provincetown, and probably fewer of them would have been lost. One of the men, Benjamin Ober, who belonged in Manchester, was found buried in the sand and snow, after having been there for thirty-six hours, being all that time in his full senses, and perceiving people continually passing near him, but powerless to move his body or make the party of rescuers hear his feeble voice. At length he held up his hand through the snow, and a boy saw it. Willing and strong arms immediately bore him to a warm room, but it was too late to revive his feeble life, which soon ebbed away.

The following is a list of the names of the crew of the Brutus. Those that perished were William Brown of Salem, captain; Jacob Ayers of Manchester, second mate ; and Benjamin Ober of Manchester, Andrew Herron of Salem, Samuel Flagg of Andover, George Pierce of Marblehead, and three negroes belonging in Salem, named Benjamin Birch, John Lancaster and John Tucker, seamen. The five men who survived were Thomas Ruee of Salem, first mate ; and Joseph Phippen, jr., Robert Martin and William Rowell, all of Salem, and Daniel Potter of Marblehead, seamen. The bodies of those that perished were found the next day, and properly interred. Captain Brown, being found near Provincetown, was buried there, but the rest of the men having perished near Truro, were there given their last resting place. Captain Brown’s death was sincerely mourned by a large number of people, as he had been a most valuable member of society.

During an easterly storm in 1880, the waves washed away a portion of the bank where the wreck of the Brutus had lain, and under it was found the skeleton of a man, who was supposed to have been an officer of that ship. With his bones were found some silver coin, and a watch that had stopped at two o’clock, which was shortly after the hour that the wreck occurred. The author of the History of Truro adds, “The wheels of the watch and the wheels of life stood still, and had been wrapped in their sandy winding-sheet for seventy-eight years.”

Historic Storm of October, 1804.

AT about nine o’clock in the morning of Tuesday, October 9 r1 1804, the temperature fell very suddenly, and a storm of rain J and snow, accompanied by thunder and lightning, began. In the southern part of New England it rained, and in the northern portion the storm began with snow. The wind blew from the southeast until one o’clock in the afternoon, when it changed to the north-northeast, and before sunset became so powerful that it blew down houses, barns, chimneys and trees. The wind reached its height in the evening, and at midnight began to blow less violently, abating considerably before morning, though the storm of rain and snow continued until Thursday morning. People sat up all that night, fearing to retire lest their houses would blow down. Wednesday morning revealed the streets in towns encumbered with sections of fence, whole or parts of trees, and many other things that the wind could carry away ; and the country roads were everywhere obstructed with fallen trees.

In the southern portion of New England the rain fell in extraordinary quantities until the wind grew less violent, when snow began to fall, continuing all day Wednesday, that night and until the storm ended the next morning. In Vermont, the snow fell till Wednesday morning only, covering the earth to the depth of four or five inches, though along the higher lands the wind blew it into such large drifts that the roads were blocked, thus giving it the effect of a much greater storm. At Concord, N. H., the snow was nearly two feet deep, and in Massachusetts from five to fourteen inches. In the southern portion of New England it melted in a few days, but in the northern states it remained in places until the next spring.

It was the earliest snow storm that the people of eastern Massachusetts had experienced for fifty years ; and “the oldest inhabitant” did not remember so violent a storm occurring there before. It did not reach far either north or south, but was felt inland beyond the limits of New England.

The effect of the storm on apples and potatoes was very disastrous. The fruit was blown from the trees, and in the northern sections large quantities of potatoes that remained undug were frozen into the ground, where they were left until the next spring, being harvested after the frost was out. The storm also caused the death of large numbers of cattle and sheep, and fowls of all kinds, especially around Walpole, and at Newbury and Topsfield, Mass. At Newbury nearly a hundred cattle were killed, thirty being found dead in one section of the town. The snow also greatly damaged the fruit, shade, and ornamental trees, being so damp that it clung to the boughs and broke them down by its weight. The noise of breaking limbs of trees was continually heard in the woods.

The gale was very injurious to the pine and oak timber trees of the forests, destroying the larger portion of the best oaks that were useful in ship-building. It has been said that so many of the great oaks were destroyed that the building of vessels declined in Massachusetts, and that the great gale of 1815 brought about its entire abandonment in several places. At Thomaston, Me., a sixty-acre timber lot was almost entirely blown down. Such great sections of the woods were levelled that new landscapes and prospects were brought into view to the surprise of many people. Houses and other buildings and hills that could not be seen before from certain places were now plainly visible. The change was so great in some localities that the surroundings seemed to have become entirely different, and people felt as if they were in a strange place.

Buildings and chimneys were blown down or greatly damaged by the wind. At Danvers, Mass., the South church (now included in that part of the town which was afterward incorporated as Peabody), and also the Baptist church at the port were unroofed, the latter having one of its sides blown in and the pews torn to pieces. At the brick-yard in that town belonging to Jeremiah Page, thirty or forty thousand unburned bricks were ruined by the rain, the wind blowing so violently that no covering could be kept over them. At Beverly, the spire of the lower meeting house, as it was then called, was broken off. At Salem, the dome and belfry on the Tabernacle church were torn to pieces; and a barn belonging to a Mr. French was blown down, killing one of his truck horses. Several sheds were also blown down. Many chimneys could not withstand the blasts, and fell. The three chimneys on the ancient court house that stood in front of the Tabernacle church in the middle of Washington street, being observed to be broken near the roof and tottering as if about to fall, were pushed over before they had caused injury to any one. Among the other chimneys blown down were three on William Gray’s house in Essex street, and two on Captain Mason’s house in Vine street, one of the latter falling upon the roof of Asa Pierce’s house, which it broke through. No one in Salem suffered personal injury, fortunately. At Charlestown, the roof of the Baptist church was blown off, the spire on Rev. Dr. Morse’s church was much bent, and two large dwelling houses were demolished. A brick building in the navy yard that had recently been erected was very much injured and had to be taken down. The brick-yards there were also much damaged, many bricks being destroyed. The wharves in Boston were somewhat injured, particularly May’s, and the damage to buildings was considerable. Several new buildings were badly shaken and twisted, being so much injured that they had to be taken down and built anew. At the western part of the city, the wind blew the battlements from a new building upon the roof of an adjoining house, which was occupied by Ebenezer Eaton. Shortly before, a neighbor noticed that the battlements were giving away, and directed the attention of Mr. Eaton to it. He accordingly took his wife and children, and went to a safer place. A few minutes later the battlements fell and demolished the house, burying in its ruins the four persons who remained in it. These were a servant woman, named Bennett, who was killed, and another woman, a man and a boy, who were seriously injured. The roof was torn from the tower of King’s Chapel, and conveyed two hundred feet. The beautiful steeple on the North church fell, and demolished a house, the family that lived in it fortunately being away on a visit. While the wind was blowing very violently, a stage was upset at the bridge at the west-end, some of the passengers being considerably hurt. Houses were also damaged at Newport and Providence, R. I. The shipping was also very much injured by the wind all along the coast from Rye, N. H., to Newport, R. I. Many vessels in the harbors dragged their anchors or broke their cables, and dashed against each other or the wharves, or were driven upon lee-shores and wrecked. The lives of many seamen were lost. In Vineyard sound a sloop was upset, and all hands perished, and on the back of Cape Cod the schooner John Harris of Salem was lost with all on board. Five miles south of Cape Cod lighthouse, the ship Protector, of about five hundred tons burden, while on a trip from Boston to Lima, ran on the outer bar, about two hundred yards from the beach. This was a large vessel for those times, and was quite attractive, having yellow sides and a white figure-head. She went ashore stern first. Her bowsprit remained for some time, but the quarter deck, a part of the stern and the anchor on the larboard bow, with the boat, sails and rigging were soon washed away, some of the wreckage coming ashore. Of her cargo, which was worth a hundred thousand dollars, a considerable part was saved. One man was lost. Several vessels were driven ashore at Plymouth, and the dead body of a mariner was found on the beach and those of two others in a wreck. Vessels were driven out to sea from Marblehead, Manchester and other places and lost.

The brig Thomas of Portland was returning from a voyage to the West Indies, when she went ashore on Scituate beach. The cargo of sugar and molasses was safely landed, and the vessel was gotten off without much damage being done to it.

The sloops Hannah of North Yarmouth, Capt. Joshua Gardner, master, and Mary of New Bedford, which was commanded by Captain Sanson, drifted together out of the harbor at Cape Ann, and were driven on shore at Cohasset at about the same time. The Hannah struck on a ledge some distance from the shore on Wednesday noon at twelve o’clock, and the first sea that swept the deck carried off the master, who was drowned. Two of the men lashed themselves to the boom, and remained on deck about two hours, until the vessel went to pieces, when the boom with the men still lashed to it washed ashore. Several of the citizens of Cohasset saw the men plunging in the surf, and came to their assistance, saving them when they were nearly exhausted. The people on board the Mary were all saved, and the vessel was afterward gotten off. Three other vessels came ashore at Cohasset, and were wrecked.

At Boston, many vessels in the harbor were damaged by being forced by the wind violently against the wharves. The Laura, belonging in Gloucester and commanded by Captain Griffin, was nearly beaten to pieces at Long wharf, and her cargo was very much damaged. Many of the small craft were so blown about and strained that they bilged and sank, several of them being staved to pieces. Some of the larger vessels also bilged, and several had bowsprits, sterns and other sections broken. Cargoes were also damaged. Several men were drowned there during the gale, two being cast into the water from a boat that upset at May’s wharf, and drowned before they could be rescued. A lad was endeavoring to keep a sloop free of water near Four Point channel, but his efforts proved unsuccessful. When the vessel was sinking he clasped a plank, but was soon washed off and drowned.

The vessels in the harbor at Salem also drifted about, their anchors failing to hold them. Very few were injured, however, except two schooners, one of which drifted in from Gloucester, and the other, the Success, commanded by Captain Robbins and laden with fish, oil and lumber, put in here while on a trip from Passamaquoddy to Boston. They were both cast ashore, and damaged more than any of the others. The Success lost her anchors and her main and jib booms, and finally bilged.

Near Fresh Water cove in Gloucester, a sloop belonging in Kennebunk, laden with rum, was lost. The master and crew were saved, but a lady passenger perished. A schooner, belonging in Connecticut, with a cargo of corn, also went to pieces there, the people on board being rescued. Several other vessels were wrecked on different parts of the cape; and six large crafts there had to cut away their masts, among them being an English ship from Newfoundland. Four or five vessels were driven out of the harbor, some of them being lost, with their crews. A fleet of fishing vessels were off the northern part of the cape, and for a while the people were much concerned for their safety.

The schooner Dove, of Kittery, was wrecked on Ipswich bar, and all of the seven persons on board perished. An eastern vessel was lost on Rye beach, in New Hampshire, and a woman, who was a passenger in it, was found dead on the sand, with an infant clasped in her arms. Near Rye was also wrecked the schooner Amity, from Philadelphia, commanded by Captain Trefethern. All the people on board were saved, except a passenger named Charles Schrceder, of Philadelphia, who was drowned.

“Cold Friday” 1810.

“JANUARY 19, 1810, is the date of the famous day known in the © I annals of New England as “Cold Friday.” It was said to have been the severest day experienced here from the first settlement of the country to that time.

To this date the winter had been unusually moderate. December had been quite warm, even milder than November. Very little snow had fallen and the ground was bare in southern New England, but in New Hampshire and other northern states there was good sleighing. The preceding day and evening had been mild for the season, with a warm south wind, but at about four o’clock in the afternoon there was a squall of snow, the wind sprang up, and immediately changed to the north-northwest, increasing in force until it blew with great violence. The temperature was then forty-five degrees above zero at Salem, Mass., and it suddenly began to descend. The next morning, only eighteen hours later, it was five degrees below zero, having fallen fifty degrees. At Amherst, N. H., it was fourteen degrees below zero, and in other places thirteen, having fallen as many degrees as it had at Salem. At Weare, N. H., the temperature fell fifty-five degrees in twenty-four hours, from Thursday morning to Friday morning. The strong piercing wind enhanced the cold to a great degree, and penetrated the thickest clothing, driving the cold air into all parts of dwelling-houses, and making the day almost insufferable in common houses and terrible out of doors. Few people ventured out, and those that did had their hands, noses, ears or feet almost instantly frost-bitten. Many people were frozen to death while travelling along the highways. At times and places the wind was so strong that it was difficult to keep on one’s feet. The gale continued all day, and houses, barns, and vast numbers of timber trees were blown down, or broken to pieces in such a way as to render them unfit for timber, being left to decay where they fell.

At Chester, N. H., the wind lifted a house, letting one corner of it fall to the bottom of the cellar. At Sanbornton, the three children of Jeremiah Ellsworth perished with the cold on this morning under very sad circumstances. As Mr. Ellsworth and his wife were uncomfortable in bed, they rose about an hour before sunrise. Shortly after, a part of the house was blown in, and it was thought that the whole structure would be demolished. Leaving the two elder children in bed, because their clothes had been blown away, Mrs. Ellsworth dressed the youngest child and went into the cellar for safety, while her husband started for assistance to the house of the nearest neighbor in a northerly direction, which was a mile distant. He found it to be too hazardous to face the wind and so changed his course toward the house of David Brown, which was the nearest in another direction, being only a quarter of a mile away. He reached it as the sun rose, his feet being considerably frozen, and his whole person so benumbed by the cold that he could not return with Mr. Brown to bring his wife and children in a sleigh. Having arrived at the house, Mr. Brown put a bed in the sleigh and placed the children upon it, covering them with the bed clothes. Mrs. Ellsworth also got into the sleigh; but they had gone only six or eight rods when it was blown over, and all the persons and every thing were lodged in the snow. Mrs. Ellsworth held the horse while he reloaded the sleigh. She decided to walk, and started off ahead, but before Mr. Brown’s house was reached was so overcome by the cold that she thought she could not go farther, and sank into the snow. She thought that she must perish, but at length she made another effort and crawled along on her hands and knees until she met her husband, who was searching for them. She was so changed by her experiences that he did not at first recognize her. By his help she reached the house. Mr. Brown had not yet come. After Mrs. Ellsworth left him, he again started, but had gone but a few rods when the sleigh was torn to pieces by the wind, and the children thrown to some distance. He collected them once more, laid them on the bed and covered them over. He then hallooed for assistance, but no one answered. He knew that the children would soon perish in that situation, and as their cries of distress pierced his heart, he wrapped them all in a coverlet, and attempted to carry them on his shoulders.

But the wind blew them all into a heap in the snow. Finding it impossible to carry all three of the children, he left the child that was dressed by the side of a large log, and took the other two upon his shoulders. But again he failed to carry them against the strong wind. He then took a child under each arm, they having on no other clothing than their shirts, and in this way, though blown down every few rods, he finally reached the house, having been about two hours on the way. The two children, though frozen stiff, were alive, but died a few minutes after reaching the house. Mr. Brown’s hands and feet were badly frozen, and he was severely chilled and exhausted. The body of the child was found before night. Mr. Brown lived many years after this experience, but never recovered from its effects, becoming blind in consequence.

The cold continued to be extreme until the forenoon of the following Monday, when the wind changed to the southwest, and the temperature began to rise.

At Springfield, Mass., on the cold morning, a heavy fog seemed to be passing down the river. The cold air congealed it into fine snow, which rose as high as forty feet above the water. It continued through the day, but was most conspicuous about two o’clock in the afternoon. A similar phenomenon was seen at the same time in Salem. It there had a smoky appearance, being so dense that it was opaque, but rose only a few feet above the surface of the water.

Historic Winter of 1833-36.

THE summer of 1835 was dry and remarkably pleasant, but the winter following was one of the severest seasons ever known in New England. It had many exceedingly cold days, and all the harbors from New York to Nova Scotia were thickly frozen over. Massachusetts bay was covered by the ice for a long distance from the shore. The first snow fell November 23, and from that time to the end of March snow storms came frequently, covering the earth to a great depth, and making excellent sleighing, which continued for twenty weeks.

December 6, Sunday, was a bitter, cold day, with a high wind from the northwest. The harbor of Salem, Mass., was then frozen over as far as Naugus head. An incident of that day was the loss of the crew of a small craft bearing the name Bianca, in sight of their own homes at Pond hollow in Truro, on Cape Cod. There were five of them, and they had been to Provincetown to ship their fish to Boston, for they were fishermen, and had started home this Sunday morning against the advice of older and wiser men. The sea was heavy, and the boat was capsized on the bar, all the men being drowned.

Wednesday, December 16, was the coldest day that had been experienced for many years, and taking the whole of the day it was the severest on record, being colder than either of the “Cold Fridays.” The sun shone brightly, and a boisterous piercing wind prevailed throughout the day, rendering exposure to the open air scarcely endurable. At Salem, Mass., the temperature at six o’clock in the morning was eight degrees below zero. By nine o’clock it had risen three degrees, but immediately began to descend. At noon it was eight below, and two hours later twelve. During the next hour it rose about two degrees, but again descended, being at eight o’clock in the evening eighteen below. At Greenfield, Mass., at noon on that day it was fifteen below. The next morning it was seven below, and by noon at Salem it had risen to seven degrees above zero. Many fingers, noses and ears were frozen. An instance is recorded of a judge, who, upon entering the court-room immediately after returning from his morning ride on horseback, found that his ears were frozen. The drivers of the stages on the eastern route suffered much from frozen extremities. During the night many buildings were burned, probably on account of the great fires that were made to enable the people to keep warm, and there was such a demand for fuel that the price advanced to an extreme limit.

Through November and December there was that rare affliction, a winter drought. The streams were so low that a considerable number of the manufacturing establishments were obliged to suspend operations, and many poor people were thus thrown out of employment in the middle of a hard winter. All wells were very low, and many dry. Water for domestic purposes was brought from a distance by teams. On Christmas night a slight thaw began, and fog and rain set in, which cleared the ice out of many harbors. The rain fell quite copiously in central Massachusetts, carrying off most of the snow which was on the ground. The springs were not much affected by it, however, the ground being too much frozen to permit the water to go through it.

The month of January was as severe as the preceding month had been. Many disasters to vessels on our coast occurred, and a number of lives were lost. Among the wrecks was that of the brig Regulator, bound from Smyrna to Boston, which ran on an island in Boston harbor. The foremast went by the deck, and the main top-mast followed, taking with it the head of the main-mast close to the rigging and the tops. It was low tide, and the sea broke over the decks, filling her with water. As the tide rose she beat over the island. Some of the crew were lost, but Captain Phelps and several others climbed into the rigging, and there remained until rescued by the crew of the brig Cervantes, after they had struggled five hours in the waves trying to reach the wreck. The survivors were all more or less frozen. The rescue was very opportune as the vessel was already submerged only the bowsprit and a few other projections being above water.

On February 21, the three months’ run of cold weather in eastern Massachusetts was broken and another thaw set in. The snow was deep everywhere, in the woods and fields and highways. In most of the streets of Boston the snow and ice had accumulated to from three to four feet in depth, and in many of the narrow streets was even deeper. The roofs of buildings were heavily burdened with it, and they leaked like sieves. As the thaw came on, people were afraid their roofs would break with the weight of snow, and they hurried to relieve them. Cellars were inundated, sidewalks and streets were generally overflowed and impassable. The scene there was interesting. Axes, hatchets, spades, shovels and brooms were called into use to counteract the effects and avoid the inconvenience of a freshet. Young and old, large and small, black and white, rich and poor, people of all conditions and both sexes, with their various implements, from the ponderous pickaxe to the broom, were industriously delving and digging to open passages for the water in directions away from their own premises.

April 1, snow was four feet deep in the New Hampshire woods, and not a speck of bare ground was to be seen there on hill or in dale. The weather was still very cold.

The Storms of December, 1839.

DURING the first two weeks of December, 1839, the weather was uncommonly pleasant, and without the least intimation of the terrible storms that were about to ravage the New England coast. Saturday, the fourteenth, was very mild, with a perfectly clear sky, and many vessels on our northeastern coast left their havens bound for Boston, New York and other southern ports. Soon after midnight snow began to fall and the wind to blow from the northeast, and they were driven down the coast, with the mist that ever exists in the Bay of Fundy, which shielded the breakers and bars from sight. The warning rays of the lights along the shore struggled to penetrate the heavy fog that shrouded the turbulent billows.

The wind suddenly changed to the southeast, and during the night and the next forenoon many of the vessels that had left the ports of Maine and New Hampshire the day before were run into the nearest port for refuge. At noon the wind had greatly increased in violence, and in the afternoon it blew a gale in many places. The ocean has rarely been seen in such violent agitation, and possessed of such terrible power. Accompanied with mingled rain and snow, the storm continued all day; and all along the coast the harbor scenes consisted of the vessels tossing on the darkened stormy waters, and blown by the wind and thrown about by the waves, being watched with intense interest and anxiety by the dwellers along the coast, who saw the fate of the hapless mariners in the awful breakers on the lee shore. Many people with willing hands and noble, stout hearts hastened to afford assistance if chance should offer, or it could avail. One after another the vessels were seen to drift, and apparently hurry on to destruction, while many silent, earnest prayers ascended from the throngs on the beaches in behalf of the impotent mariners. Some of the crafts turned over and went down at their anchors bottom up, with the crews, who were seen no more. The fearful end of many vessels, however, was checked by cutting away the masts. Others were steered for sandy beaches, upon which the wind drove them, and with assistance from the people on shore, the lives of most of the sailors were saved. Several of them were dashed upon rocks and shivered to atoms in a moment, in some instances the crews being saved in various ways by the strong arms of mariners who had battled with the waves and storms for years. As night came on the storm seemed rather to increase than diminish and the wind blew more violently than it had before during the storm, darkness with all its gloom settling down over the scene that was never to be effaced from the memory of those that witnessed it. The wind blew with mighty power and the sea raged all through the long night. Many persons remained on the beach during those dreadful hours to render aid, but they were rarely able to do so for the fury of the storm. About two o’clock in the morning the wind veered to the northeast, and the gale somewhat abated. It continued to storm and the sea to rage, however, until late Monday night, but most disaster was caused Sunday night. The exact loss of life was never known, but it must have been great. The whole shore of Massachusetts was strewn with wrecks and dead bodies, and the harbors of Newburyport, Salem, Marblehead, Boston, Cohasset, Plymouth and Cape Cod were almost literally filled with disabled vessels. But on the shores of Maine and Connecticut the storm was less severe. On the land the force of the wind was terrific, many buildings being blown down and hundreds of chimneys overturned. The tide rose higher than many of the highest water-marks then known. Inland as far as northwestern Massachusetts the snow fell in great quantities, and its depth rendered travelling almost impossible, the deep embankments in many places extending to the second story 01 houses. This was the first snow storm of the season.

At Boston, the tide rose higher than the old water-marks, and swept completely across the Neck, the force of the wind being so great that at the south part of the city on Sunday there was no apparent fall 01 the water for three hours. Many chimneys, signs and blinds were blown down. A corner of the roof of the Maverick house and a part of the roof of the car-house at East Boston were blown away. Several vessels in the harbor had their masts carried away, and many were badly chafed. A ship and a brig were sunk at their wharves. Many vessels dragged their anchors, causing collisions, which sank small crafts and greatly damaged large ones. The schooner Hesperus, which belonged in Gardiner, Maine, broke her anchor chain, and was driven by the wind against a dock, carrying away her bowsprit and staving the end of her jib-boom through the upper window of a four-story building.

On the rocky shores of Nahant, at about four o’clock Sunday afternoon, the schooner Catherine Nichols, commanded by Captain Woodward, and bound from Philadelphia to Charlestown with a cargo of coal, was literally dashed to pieces. They had run in under the lee-shore, but the wind veered and drove them out. Thirty minutes later they had parted their cables and were driven on the peninsula. With great difficulty and the assistance of the people of the town, the captain and three of the crew reached the shore in safety. One of these, John Whiton of New Bedford, as they brought him from the water exclaimed “Oh! dear,” and upon reaching the shore he motioned to them to put him down, which was done, and he immediately died. Levi Hatch, another of the crew, was drowned, or died from the effects of bruises before he came to land. He belonged in North Yarmouth, where he left a wife and two children. The mate staid by the vessel to the last, and died amidst the roaring surf, his body being found jammed in among the rocks almost entirely naked. John Lindsay of Philadelphia, another of the crew, was last seen clinging to the rigging, which with the foremast, the last one to fall, drifted out to sea, and he was never heard of again. The bodies of Whiton and Hatch were taken to Lynn, and buried on Tuesday from the First Methodist church, the pastor Rev. Mr. Cook, preaching a sermon, after which the citizens followed the remains to the cemetery.

In the harbor of Marblehead several vessels were injured, the masts of some were cut away, and quite a number of schooners were driven on shore. The schooner PaulJones was forced high upon the rocks, where she became bilged. Another schooner named Sea Flower was driven on the beach and wholly lost, together with part of her cargo which consisted of four hundred bushels of corn and one hundred and twenty barrels of flour.

At Salem, the wind did not blow very strongly, and little damage was done in the harbor. A few vessels were slightly injured by chafing against the wharves, and a small schooner was driven up Forest river near the bridge. Several chimneys and two barns in the vicinity of Bridge street were blown down.

The scene in Gloucester harbor during this storm has never been equalled in any other New England port. Many vessels sought this haven of refuge from the tempest, and in all as many as sixty were there during the gale. Between three and four o’clock on the afternoon of Sunday, they began to drift, dragging their anchors or breaking the cables that bound them. Upon the beach were many willing fishermen to assist the mariners if it were possible. Within plain sight of them lay a schooner to whose shrouds were lashed three men. On all the coast of New England at that time, it is said, there was not a single life-boat, and no other small craft could live between the wreck and the shore. With full knowledge of this, the shipwrecked mariners bore their sufferings in silence, until finally as the rigging swayed to and fro by the motion of the waves, they were submerged and drowned. As another vessel approached the breakers, two men tried to escape death in their boat; but had scarcely loosed from the vessel when a merciless sea swept them into eternity. Such scenes constantly occurred before the eyes of the kind-hearted Cape Ann fishermen, and they were nerved to exert themselves in the face of the great dangers of the storm. With ropes tied to their bodies, they repeatedly leaped from the rocks and saved many lives.

On Monday morning only a single mast was left standing in the harbor. Twenty-one vessels were driven ashore, three schooners sank, and seventeen were so thoroughly dashed to pieces that in some cases no fragment larger than a plank was left. Twenty vessels still rode in the harbor, all butone without masts, they having been cut away. From each vessel a slender pole stood to bear aloft a signal of distress. They were tossing like egg-shells upon the still raging sea, liable at any moment to part their cables and be driven to sea with all on board. The pieces of twenty-two wrecks were scattered along the shore, scarcely any one of which being larger than a horse could draw. The crowd had staid on the beach all night to give assistance if it were possible. On the following afternoon as soon as it was considered safe to do so, a brave volunteer crew under the direction of Capt. William Carter procured the custom-house boat, and pulled out to the vessels that still floated, taking the weary and suffering seamen to the shore. The shipwrecked men were obliged to jump from their decks into the boat, as the sea was still too violent to enable the gallant little craft to approach nearer. One of the vessels, just after her crew were taken off, drifted out of the harbor and was never again heard from. But that night the calm, low voice of the Unseen was heard by the elements, “Peace, be still,”—the tempest went down, the wind was taken away, and the mighty waves ceased their madness, sinking into a repose as quiet as that of a child after a hard day’s play. The next morning’s sun revealed the fragments of the many wrecks strewn along the beach, mixed with spars and rigging. But this was not all, for the articles of the varied cargoes, the personal effects of the seamen,

“And the corpses lay on the shining sand—

On the shining sand when the tide went down.”

To the shipwrecked mariners was extended every relief and comfort that humanity could devise, and on that evening a public meeting of the citizens was held in the town to adopt means for their assistance. The exact loss of life was never ascertained. About forty lives were believed to have been lost, including the persons who perished by the wreck of a schooner near Pigeon cove, and twenty were known to have died, though only twelve bodies were recovered. The remains were tenderly cared for. One of the bodies was taken away by friends, and the funeral of the other deceased mariners was held at the Unitarian church on the following Sunday afternoon. All the other churches in the town were closed, the clergymen attending and taking part in this service. The pastor of the church, Rev. Josiah K. Waite, preached a sermon from the words, “Thou did’st blow with thy wind, the sea covered them : they sank as lead in the mighty waters.” [Exodus xv: 10.]  The people of the town were so deeply in sympathy with the occasion that between two and three thousand persons listened to the exercises. In the church the eleven coffins were arranged in front, and at the close of the services were placed in carriages prepared for their conveyance, being appropriately shrouded in national flags. The vast congregation formed in a procession, which was nearly a mile in length, and followed the remains of the mariners to the public tomb. The dead were Capt. Amos Eaton, Peter Gott and Alpheus Gott, all of Mount Desert, Maine, William Hoofses and William Wallace, both of Bremen, Maine, Reuben Rider of Bucksport, Maine, Joshua Nickerson, Isaac Dacker, Philip Galley, a Mrs. Hilton, and two other persons whose names are unknown. The remains of Mrs. Hilton were taken to Boston before the funeral by friends in that city, and later in the season the bodies of Nickerson and Dacker were removed by water to their homes.

At Ipswich, another sad shipwreck was added to the list, which is already much too long. The storm was as violent in Ipswich bay as at Gloucester, and the schooner Deposit from Belfast, Maine, commanded by Captain Cotterell, was hurried before it through the foaming breakers on the sandy beach near the light-house at midnight on Sunday. Although the vessel was on the beach the heavy surf in which no boat could exist was between it and safety. The waves washed over the wreck continually from midnight till dawn, and the seven persons in the rigging and elsewhere about the wreck managed to prevent themselves from being swept off by the wind and waves, in several instances, however, only to survive that they might die from the cold and exposure. Before daylight came, the strength of a boy had failed, and he was lying in the scuppers dead, and a negro, becoming exhausted, had lain down and died. At daybreak, only five were alive. The storm was still raging with unabated fury, and threatened every moment to dash the remaining persons from their hold. Their feelings cannot be described. Was there no one on the shore to aid them? They screamed for help;

“And ever the fitful gusts between
A sound came from the land;
It was the sound of the trampling surf
Upon the hard sea-sand.”

A man named Marshall was at the beach on that Monday morning, and discovered the wreck. He gave an alarm, and then he and Mr. Greenwood, the keeper of the light-house, went as near as they possibly could to the vessel. It was apparent that no boat could pass in safety through the surf. But the piteous cries for help from the sufferers, among whom was the captain’s wife, nerved them to desperate action. Mr. Greenwood dashed into the water, and after an almost overpowering struggle with the waves arrived at the vessel. With a rope he hauled Mr. Marshall and a boat to the wreck. The captain who was completely exhausted and almost senseless, was first lowered into the boat which Marshall was keeping close to the vessel. But a wave instantly upset it, and threw them both into the surging water. Marshall went under the wreck, but on rising to the surface caught hold of a rope and saved himself, but the captain was so exhausted that he was drowned. His wife saw him as he was buried beneath the billows and her shrieks rose high above the thunders of the storm. Two of the crew were helped to the shore, one of them by floating on a boom. Mrs. Cotterell, wife of the captain, was lowered from the stern of the vessel by ropes, and the two rescuers standing in the surf received her in their arms as she came down to the surface of the water. They then waited until a mighty wave came, which they allowed to carry them all on shore. On the beach was a farm-house, then owned and occupied by Humphrey Lakeman, a retired sea-captain, to which the three survivors were conveyed, and medical aid procured. The two men that were saved were George Emery and Chandler Mahoney. The bodies of the lost were taken to the village and properly buried on the Wednesday following. The funeral was held at the South church, and was attended by a great number of people, who followed the remains to the cemetery. Sixteen sea-captains acted as pall bearers. The people of Ipswich had never before been so affected by any incident. The sadness of the wreck, the dead, the saved, and the actions of the two noble-hearted self-sacrificing men touched sympathetic chords in every breast. The crew were all young, and that fact added to the general sorrow. The expression upon the faces of the deceased, and especially that of one named Dunham, was peculiarly sweet, as if they were enjoying a most refreshing and peaceful sleep of the body rather than that from which they would never again awake. The survivors remained in the town until they were sufficiently restored to travel, receiving every comfort and attention.

At Newburyport, the tide overflowed the wharves on the river side, and large quantities of wood and lumber were floated away. Some fifteen or twenty fishing schooners that were lying at the wharves suffered more or less damage by chafing, and a large number of other vessels that were anchored in the harbor were more or less injured.

The second severe snow storm of this month began on Sunday, the twenty-second, and the next morning the wind was fiercely blowing from the northeast. The storm continued all through the day, and snow fell in such quantities that railroads in Massachusetts were blocked, and great damage was done on both land and sea, many vessels being driven ashore and more or less damaged. The storm reached as far south as Baltimore, where snow began to fall as early as Saturday.

The northern portion of Plum island was so flooded that the keeper of the light-house could not get to it. The water flowed quite across the island, in a number of places, making deep ravines, and causing many acres of grass land to be covered with sand. The hotel, which was then conducted by Capt. N. Brown, was entirely surrounded by water and the turnpike road and the bridge were flooded. Sand-hills twenty feet high were carried off and others equally large were formed. The whole eastern shore of the island was washed away several rods in width.

The storm was indelibly impressed upon the minds of the people of Newburyport by the wreck at Plum island of the brig Pocahontas, Capt. James G. Cook, master, bound from Cadiz to Newburyport, it having sailed from Cadiz in the latter part of October. She had set sail first in September, but, being run into by a Spanish ship, was so much damaged that she had to return for repairs. The crew consisted of the officers and nine hands before the mast. The brig measured two hundred and seventy-one tons, and had been built in 1830. Her masts had been carried away by the terrible wind, and she had probably been anchored in the evening, but in the darkness and the blinding snow, the mariners did not know that they were so near the sandy beach. The anchor dragged, and stern first she was driven on the reef, where she thumped until the stern was stove in, the noble vessel at length being torn to pieces. It had been driven upon a reef about one hundred and fifty yards from the beach, at a point half a mile east from the hotel, which was the most dangerous place on the island. Soon after daylight on Monday morning, Captain Brown, the keeper of the hotel, discovered the vessel, and news of the disaster was quickly conveyed to Newburyport. A few minutes later amidst the roar of the storm the cry rang through the streets that a wreck was on Plum island. A number of humane men from the lower part of the town donned their thickest and heaviest boots, and quickly hastened over the marshes to the sandy island, which was trembling under the tremendous roll of the maddened waves.

The deck of the brig was slippery, the ropes stiff and glazed, and the cries and shrieks of its human burden were drowned by the cruel winds and the roar of the ocean. Tons of water were rushing down the hatchways. When the vessel was first noticed, three men were seen upon it, one of them being lashed to the taffrail, and nearly or quite naked, apparently dead, and two were clinging to the bowsprit. In a short time and before the intelligence of the wreck had reached the town, only one man, who was clinging to the bowsprit, remained, and mountainous waves were rolling over him. Still he clung with a desperate grip. To his rescue, a number of hardy young men, veritable sons of Neptune, insisted upon going through the tremendous sea with Captain Brown’s little skiff, the vessel being too far away to throw a life-saving line to it, and even if it had not been the man was evidently too much exhausted to avail himself of such means of escape. They hauled the boat over the beach for three-fourths of a mile, but finding it impossible for any common boat to live one moment in that terrible surf, they very reluctantly abandoned their plan. The ill-fated man maintained his position on the vessel for several hours, growing so weak that at one time he lost his hold, but luckily regained it. Still the unpitying storm beat on. The men could only look at each other through the falling snow, from land to sea, from sea to land, and each realized how impotent they all were. Just before noon, the mariner was a second time swept by the heavy sea from the bowsprit, which also immediately followed him, and this time he was -seen no more. A few minutes later the wreck was washed in and cast upon the beach. A man was found lashed to the vessel and he was still breathing, but so exhausted that he simply drew a few breaths, and then all was over. The sea had beaten over him so fiercely and continually that his clothes were almost washed off from him. Whether the majority of the crew perished by the cold and exposure or were washed from the vessel by the waves will never be known, as not one of the thirteen souls on board survived to tell the tale. The people were deeply affected at knowing that young Captain Cook, toilworn as he was, after beating about on a stormy coast for several days, should be wrecked, and perish within sight of the smoke ascending from his own hearthfire. The bodies of several of the unfortunate men washed ashore and were taken up on the beach at some distance from the wreck, the small boat belonging to the brig lying near them indieating that they had attempted to reach the shore in it, probably about daylight. In all, there were recovered the bodies of the captain, first mate, who was Albert Cook, also of Newburyport, and seven others of the crew, who were strangers. Captain Cook’s funeral was on Saturday, and after several days had passed, it having become almost certain that no more bodies would be found, the other eight corpses, with the American flag thrown over each of them, were borne into the broad aisle of the South church in Newburyport, while the bells were being tolled. Amid a concourse of twenty-five hundred persons, a solemn prayer was offered over the remains of these human waifs, untimely thrown upon our shores, and then they were borne at the head of a procession numbering several hundred persons, to the cemetery, while the bells were again solemnly tolled, and flags hung at half-mast from the vessels in the harbor.

At Nantasket beach, on Monday, at about noon, the bark Lloyd of Portland, Maine, bound from Havana to Boston, and commanded by Captain Mountfort, with masts gone, went on shore. The weather was still very thick, and a heavy sea was running, the surf being so high that no boat could put out to its assistance. Four of the crew lashed themselves to the rigging. The six other persons on thevessel succeeded in getting out and launching the long boat, into which they got, but the mighty waves upset it, and they were drowned. Finally the vessel was dashed to pieces, and all on board perished, with the exception of George Scott, an Englishman, who floated on an oar within reach of the people on the beach, and they pulled him out of the water when he was nearly exhausted. Captain Mountfort, who had lashed himself to the rigging, was brought ashore in a boat belonging to a vessel that was lying near, which also suffered from the storm, after three perilous efforts had been made to reach him, and was immediately taken into one of the huts of the Humane Society, every effort to resuscitate his insensible body being made, but in vain. He was the oldest shipmaster that then sailed out of Portland, and was much respected.

During the middle of the week, the weather was unusually fine for the season, but just before noon on Friday, another terrible storm began, this time of rain, which fell in small quantities, however. It was more tempestuous than either of the other storms had been, and the wind came from the east-southeast, increasing during the night to a violent gale, and reaching its height toward morning. It continued thirty hours in all, and brought in the tide to a great height, overflowing the wharves, and doing more or less damage to nearly all of them.

At Portland, Maine, the storm was very violent, and a number of vessels were injured. The tide rose so high that the sea swept over Tukey’s bridge, and the Eastern stage was not able to pass that way.

At Newburyport, Mass., the tide overflowed the wharves, and floated off and destroyed a large amount of property. The damage done to the shipping in the harbor was much greater than had occurred in the other storms. Forty-one of the one hundred and thirty vessels there were more or less severely injured by chafing, collisions and sinking.

In Gloucester, the storm was severer than it was on the fifteenth, the wind being extremely fierce. At times it seemed as if everything would be swept before it. Houses almost tottered upon their foundations, and it was a fearful as well as a sleepless night to the people of the town. The tempest was at its height from four to six in the morning, but all night long the roar of the wind and sea was frightful. Few vessels were in the harbor, and several of those were lost. One of the wrecks was that of the brig Richmond Packet belonging in Deer Isle, Captain Toothaker, commander, and bound from Richmond to Newburyport with a cargo of corn and flour. It was driven ashore on a point of rocks and went entirely to pieces. Beside the crew, the captain’s wife was on board. When the vessel struck, the captain jumped overboard with a rope and succeeded in getting safely upon the rocks, where he made the rope fast. By its means he endeavored to rescue his wife, but just as he was ready to do so, the brig gave a sudden lurch, and the rope snapped. Later Mrs. Toothaker was let down upon a spar into the water, hoping that upon that timber she would float ashore, but she had hardly reached the waves when a heavy sea swept her from the support. With a loud cry, she went down, and was seen no more until her lifeless body was discovered on the rocks. The crew were all saved.

At Salem, all the wharves suffered more or less, and everything was swept off them. Several vessels were forced from their moorings, there were some collisions, and a few ships and schooners were driven on shore. It was necessary to cut away a large number of masts. A small old house in the lower part of the town was blown down, the roofs of several sheds were torn off, and a number of chimneys injured. At several places on the railroad, the road-bed was washed away for a distance of one or two hundred feet each, preventing the progress of trains through the forenoon of Saturday. The mails from Boston were brought over the road in stages.

In Boston, more damage was done than in the storm of the fifteenth. The injuries to shipping were very extensive, wharves were overflowed, and lumber, wood, coal, etc., were swept away. The Front street dike, as it was called, was broken down, and water covered nearly all the low land between Front and Washington streets, from the Neck to Northampton street. It also came into Water street, and damaged dry goods in cellars to a large amount. The causeway leading to Dorchester, and the lower streets of the city were submerged, so much damage being done that crowds from the surrounding towns came to see it.

The large, beautiful ship Columbiana, of six hundred and thirty tons burden, one of A. C. Lombard and company’s line of New Orleans packets, parted her cables at about four o’clock in the morning at Swett’s wharf in Charlestown, where she was loading with ice. The wind took her on the flow of the tide, and drove her completely through the Charlestown bridge, carrying away two piers, as though there had been no obstruction there. The vessel then struck Warren bridge on its side, the mate having succeeded in bringing her into that position. The bridge was considerably injured, but it withstood the shock. The stern then quickly swung around, and struck the wharf which was built out from the draw with such violence that it demolished a dwelling-house one and a half stories in height, that was standing on the bridge, being occupied by the draw-tender. In the house were nine persons, who were in bed at the time, and they escaped without injury. One of them was thrown into the river when the concussion occurred, but was rescued by his companions. The ship was uninjured, in spite of her violent freak.

The storm was so severe at Provincetown, on Cape Cod, that the damage done to the shipping and the property on the wharves amounted to fifty thousand dollars, and many of them were entirely carried away, several persons being injured. Cellars of houses were inundated and a considerable number of the inhabitants were obliged to seek shelter elsewhere. Ten or eleven stores were knocked down by the vessels, two salt-mills were blown down, and many salt works were carried away.

The snows of this winter of 1839-40 were deeper and more severe than those that the old people of that time remembered. In the valleys in the western part of Massachusetts, snow was two feet deep through the winter, and on the Berkshire hills four feet. Many roads remained unbroken on account of it, and people travelled about on snow shoes. In many places the snow was fifteen feet deep, and travellers passed over the diifts in well-trodden paths. In Chesterfield a man died, and the snow was so deep that for four days the family could not get to a neighbor’s house for assistance. But the sea-shore witnessed the greater suffering. The month of December, 1839, was indelibly fixed in the minds of multitudes as one of the most awful seasons that they had ever known. If all the disasters that occurred along our coast were known and written out an immense volume would be the result. We do not put it too strongly when we say that upwards of three hundred vessels were wrecked, a million dollars’ worth of property was destroyed, and more than a hundred and fifty lives were lost in these three storms. How many widows and orphans afterward sat at the windows of their cottages at Mount Desert and many other places looking for the sails that they knew so well, yet not daring to hope that they would see them again!

“Looking out over the sea,
From a granite rim of shore,
Looking out longingly,wearily,
Over a turbulent, pitiless sea,
For the sails that come no more.
Waiting and watching with tear-wet eyes
Till the last faint hope in the bosom dies;
While the waves crawl up o’er the chill white sand,
Those watchers long for a clasping hand,
And turn away with a thrill of pain,
But often pause to look again
From the rough dark rocks of the sea-beat shore,
For the gleam of snowy sails once more;
Sadly, longingly, wearily,
Looking out over the sea.”

Severe Cold Winter 0f 1856-57.

THE winter of 1856-57 was one of the severest winters ever known in this climate, and is the last very rigorous season that has occurred in New England. It began much earlier than usual, and continued far into the spring. There were thirty-two snow storms in all, three more than the average number for a score of years, and the snow fell to the depth of six feet and two inches, the average depth for twenty years having been but four feet and four inches in eastern Massachusetts.

The preceding summer had been hot, and the weather was pleasant nearly all the time to the middle of December, though considerable snow had fallen and there had been some sleighing. Extreme cold weather, however, began on the night of the seventeenth of the month, when the thermometer fell in Massachusetts to twelve degrees below zero, and in Maine to sixteen below. The next day the temperature was scarcely above zero anywhere in New England, it being the coldest day that had been experienced since December 16, 1835. During the remainder of the month the weather was very inclement for the season, with strong and boisterous winds. On the night of the twenty-third there was a violent snow storm, which extended over a large tract of country, and during which snow fell to the depth of four or five inches on the level, making good sleighing. During the storm, the strong wind caused several wrecks on the coast. ,

January opened with a snow storm on the third, accompanied by a violent southeast wind. Snow was now twelve inches deep on the level, and sleighing was good. The railroad companies were more or less hindered by the snow which blocked their tracks and prevented the cars from running. The temperature became colder and colder, being from the sixth to the eighth below zero and almost unbearable because of the strong piercing wind which prevailed and which penetrated the thickest clothing. The whole country was afflicted by the rigor of the season, the west especially suffering terribly from it. The roads were still drifted, and mails and trains from the south and east were greatly delayed. In New Hampshire, on the twelfth, the thermometer indicated nineteen degrees below zero, and there was a very severe snow storm prevailing, accompanied by a gale that caused damage to the shipping along the coast.

“O the long and dreary winter!
O the cold and cruel winter!
Ever thicker, thicker, thicker
Froze the ice on lake and river,
Ever deeper, deeper, deeper
Fell the snow o’er all the landscape,
Fell the covering snow and drifted
Through the forest, round the village.”

Provisions were sold at extremely high prices, and poor people suffered much for want of good and necessary food. Contributions for their benefit were taken in many of the churches in the cities.

On the night of Saturday, January 17, and also the next day, the cold was severer than it had been during the winter. At Salem, Mass., the temperature was twenty below zero on Saturday night, and five below on Sunday noon. At Lowell, Mass., on Sunday morning it was twenty below, and at noon six. By evening, however, it had risen to twelve above zero, and snow had begun to fall. The wind was strong and from the northeast, and as the night advanced the storm increased until it became one of the severest and most violent that had been known for very many years. For several hours after sunrise the next morning the wind continued to be very cutting, and it was hard to face. The violence of the storm ceased before eleven o’clock in the forenoon, but snow continued to fall in flurries all through the day. Snow fell to a great depth, drifts on the northern side of Essex street in Salem, Mass., being from eight to twelve feet deep. Business was necessarily almost entirely suspended everywhere, and the streets were so blocked that no draught animal made an appearance during the day, milkmen, bakers and butchers making no attempt to distribute their supplies in the ordinary manner. A Sabbath stillness prevailed in the city as well as in the country. No cars could be run, no mails came or went during the day, and scarcely any one travelled about the streets. The snow was too deep to be pathed in the old-fashioned ways by oxen, either with a log or with the Swedish heater. Not quite as much snow fell in Maine during this storm as in Massachusetts, but in the south it came in remarkable quantities, being at Washington, D. C, two feet deep. The wind forced the snow into every crevice and cranny, and large drifts were deposited in barns and other buildings that were apparently water-tight. The streets in Boston were piled full of snow, and three days afterward many of them had not been broken out. Several people were nearly smothered or frozen to death, the cold during the storm being most intense, and the wind drove the snow into the faces of those that were travelling. Snow shoes were found to be necessary to pedestrianism, and many of the old ones were hunted up and brought into use again.

The violent wind which prevailed during this storm wrought many disasters on both sea and land. The steeple of the church in the village of Campello, [A part of Brockton] Mass., blew down, crashing through the body of the church into the cellar. The steeples of the Episcopal and the Second Congregational churches in Waterbury, Conn., met with the same fate, as also did the spire on the Congregational church in Fairhaven, Mass., which was one of the tallest in the state. A house in New Bedford, Mass., was also completely demolished by the wind. The gale was unusually severe on the ocean, being very disastrous to the shipping; many vessels were driven ashore and several lives lost. At Provincetown, on Cape Cod, it was one of the worst storms ever experienced in that vicinity, the wind blowing a hurricane from ten o’clock Sunday evening until twelve o’clock Monday night. Seventeen of the twenty vessels in the harbor were driven ashore. Another vessel, the schooner Bonita of Eastport, Me., which had sailed from her home port before the storm, had anchored at Cape Ann on account of the wind. She parted her cables and, drifting across Massachusetts bay in the thick snow storm, was finally driven on shore at Provincetown, about half a mile east of Race point, on the night of the nineteenth. After striking, the sea made a complete breach over the vessel, washing overboard a man, who was drowned before he could be rescued. Another man perished on board, being buried under the floating rubbish of the cabin. By the strenuous and noble efforts of the people of Provincetown, four of the crew were saved. In the steerage the water had risen above their waists, and the captain had lashed himself to the bit heads, while others of the crew clung about the gaff and mainmast. The mate succeeded after great exposure and suffering in floating some yarn through the surf to the beach, where it was secured by the inhabitants, who attached to it a small rope and to that a small hawser which were successively pulled on board the wreck by the mate. To the hawser he fastened the captain, who was very much benumbed, and threw him overboard. The other two of the crew that remained alive were then fastened on and thrown overboard. He then tied the rope around himself, and all four were successfully hauled through the surf, a distance of more than a hundred feet. The captain was severely frozen and nearly exhausted before he was cast into the water, but by the excellent nursing of the rescuers he, with the rest of the men, was finally restored to health and strength.

During and immediately following this storm, the temperature descended to an extremely low point, and remained there for a whole week. Sunday and Monday, the eighteenth and nineteenth of the month, are supposed to have been the two coldest days known in New England during this century. The “Cold Friday” of 1810 was more blustering, but the temperature was not so low. At sunrise on the morning of the nineteenth the mercury congealed at Franconia, N. H., and at Montpelier and St. Johnsbury, Vt., it was fifty degrees below zero, the coldest ever known there. The following are some of the degrees below zero that the thermometer indicated at the same time in the different places named. In Maine, at Portland, twenty-nine ; Bangor, forty-four; and at Bath, fifty-two. In New Hampshire, at Keene, twenty-four; Nashua, twenty-eight; Dover, thirty- one; and at Manchester, thirty-five. In Vermont, at Northfield, forty. In Massachusetts, at Boston, sixteen; New Bedford, twenty; Fall River, twenty-six; Worcester, twenty-six; Salem, twenty six; Lowell, thirty; Maiden, thirty; Taunton, thirty; and at Springfield, thirty-three. In Rhode Island, at Providence, twenty-six; and at Woonsocket, thirty-five. In Connecticut, at New Haven, twenty-seven ; Hartford, thirty-two; and at Coventry, thirty-two. The temperature continued to be as low as it was on the nineteenth until the twenty sixth. At Auburn, Me., on the twenty-third it was twenty-two below zero, and at Weare, N. H., forty below, and although the temperature was lower than it was on “Cold Friday” the day was much more bearable as there was no wind. This was not true in all parts of New England, however, as in some sections a brisk northwest wind prevailed throughout the day, causing the thermometer to descend at Lawrence, Mass., to thirty-two degrees below zero; at Amherst, N. H., to thirty-five; at Northfield, Vt., to forty; at White River junction to forty-three; and at Bangor, Me., to forty-four. Long Island sound was frozen the whole width for the first time as far as known. The twenty-fourth was thought to have been the severest day ever experienced in New Hampshire, the thermometer at Amherst descending to thirty-seven degrees below zero. The air was very thin and peculiarly transparent and light, and the sky therefore remarkably clear. A strong northwest wind blew all day. At Franconia, N. H., the temperature was forty-nine degrees below zero, and it was the severest day ever known there. At Auburn, Me., it was forty below, and at Manchester, Mass., it was thirty-seven. On the twenty-fifth, the weather had moderated a little, being then at Auburn, Me., only six degrees below zero, and at the same place on the next day two below. This was the coldest week ever known in New England, and the severest January there had been at least for ten years. During this spell the harbor of Portsmouth, N. H., was frozen over, a thing that was never known to have occurred before. In fact the reign of this rigorous weather continued from December 20 to January 27, and during all that time snow did not melt on the roofs of buildings in the greater portion of New England.

On the twenty-seventh of the month, it began to thaw, and rain fell. Two heavy rain storms followed, one immediately succeeding the beginning of the thaw and the other after the lapse of a week. The rain fell in the greatest quantity on Sunday, February 8, when a vast amount of snow was carried away, causing freshets on the ninth and tenth in all parts of the country. At Norwich, Conn., the destruction of property on the Shetucket river was very great; and the heavy timber from Lord’s and Lathrop’s bridges (which were carried away) was driven down the stream with fearful power. East Chelsea was submerged in 1807, but at this time the water front of Norwich was swept over by the raging flood. Below the city the river was blocked by ice, which caused the water to be thrown back upon the wharves and buildings of Water street, suddenly deluging the territory.

The freshet was followed by fine weather, though the temperature was often below zero. The snow was still very deep in Vermont, and sleighing was good throughout New England. One of the most powerful and destructive slides of snow that ever took place in New England occurred on February 22, on the side of a hill at Castleton, Vt., completely demolishing the barn and wagon shed of Merlin Clark. His residence was also in its course, being a few rods farther down the hill, and that also would have been destroyed had not the barn and shed lessened the force of the avalanche. As it was, the doors and windows of the house were broken, and the rooms almost filled with snow, ice and water. A child that was lying in a cradle in one of the apartments was completely buried by the snow, but was rescued without injury.

During the latter part of February the weather was mild, and on the first of March, bluebirds, blackbirds and robins appeared in Massachusetts, three weeks earlier than usual; but on that afternoon snow began to fall again, and the mercury descended to a point below freezing. The wind also rose, and before midnight was blowing most violently.

The weather during the spring was very changeable. March 31 and April 1 were mild and genial days, the temperature being as high as sixty degrees above zero; but at eleven o’clock in the evening of April 1 a change rapidly occurred. A blustering snow storm set in, which continued through the remainder of the night. The next morning the thermometer had fallen to seven degrees above zero. On the third of the month three inches of snow fell during a piercing gale of wind; but the sixth was very warm, the temperature being fifty-four degrees above zero, the wind south, and the weather dull and foggy.

On April 20 and 21, there was a severe rain storm, which flooded cellars, and carried away every bridge in Bartlett, N. H. Vessels chafed at wharves along the coast, and many were driven ashore. At Salem, Mass., snow fell for several hours, and at Deerfield, in the same commonwealth, there was still good sleighing.

This was one of the coldest winters ever known in the south as well as in the north and west, and it is said that the first snow storm known to have occurred in the city of Mexico was experienced this winter, on the night of January 31.

 Copyright © 2010 – 2015 TeaPartyEdu http://teapartyedu.net Foundation Truths http://captainjamesdavis.net The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

THE GREAT DESIGN OF CHRISTIANITY by William Penn of Pennsylvania

Admiral William Penn (1621-1670)  *oil on canvas  *127 x 101.5 cm  *1665-1666

The Truth is Timeless

THE

GREAT DESIGN

OF

CHRISTIANITY.

A Sermon preached at the Quakers’ Meeting-House, in Wheelers-Street, London, Jan. 27, 1694.

BY WILLIAM PENN.

THE great end for which God hath in all ages and generations visited the sons and daughters of men, hath been to bring them home to himself; to make man and woman sensible of that duty which they owe to God, to their neighbors and to themselves. And in order to effect this, great hath been God’s love, and manifold have been his mercies: he hath not taken man at his word, neither would he be put off at once, twice, or thrice, but repeated have been the visitations of God, and the calls of God in every age and generation of the world, according to the various administrations thereof; yea, the Lord hath waited to be good and gracious to mankind from the beginning.

And now, my Friends, we have not only the testimony of the holy records of the scriptures of truth, but we have our own experience to exalt God’s love by : we in our day, we mankind in our age and generation; we can say that God is good, we can say that God is a long suffering God, and that God is a God of patience, and that he is a God of mercy, and that he hath waited long to be gracious to us, or we had been cutoff long ago, and taken out of the land of the living. I would have all those that have not laid hold of the long suffering of God, but have made light of it, not to do so any longer, but that the long-suffering of God might lead them to repentance, and bring salvation to them; that they would lay hold of the time and blessed opportunities which God giveth them, and hearken to the voice of the Charmer, and give ear to the voice of God, and seek the Lord while he may be found, and call upon him while he is near to hear them, while he is near to help them, while he is near to save them. This is the experience we have bad, the Lord hath visited us and touched us, and made us sensible of his love and kindness to us, in his gathering of us; and that he hath made us nigh, that were afar off; and that those that are not convinced, may be made sensible of their sin ; and those that are convinced, may be converted; and those that are converted, may persevere to the end, and receive the end of their faith, the salvation of their souls, is our travail.

Let all that are really convinced of the evil of their ways and doings, of their wantonness, worldliness, malice and bitterness, strife and envyings and animosities, and those things that the light of Christ in their own consciences condemn them for; let all that lire in such a state of conviction turn from that evil they are convinced of.

But here is the sin, and misery, and ruin of many men and women, they flatter themselves into hell, with their false hopes of heaven: They hope to live eternally happy by the death of Christ, and yet they will not leave one sin for the love of Christ; so that sin and death reign over them. They that will not mortify sin, and die to sin here, must die for their sins hereafter. It is only unpardoned sin that will sink men into perdition. They that have a mournful sense of sin, and a true contrition for it, they will humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, who will exalt them in due time. They breathe forth holy desires, and lift up their hearts to God. and say,’ Lord, I am as clay in the hands of the potter, O fashion and shape me, that I may be an honourable vessel in thy house, that I may be fit to glorify thee, and shew forth thy praise:’ ‘Blessed are they that dwell in thy house, for they will be still praising thee;’ they offer praise and glorify thee here for a short time, and thou wilt glorify them to eternity. God called Abraham, the father of the faithful, out of his own land, a land of idolatry; he obeyed the voice of God,, went into a strange country and followed the Lord, not knowing whither he went: So God calls the sons and daughters of men out of their sin and transgression, that they may come to a land that flows with milk and honey; that after all their wearisome labours and travels, through the wilderness of this world, they might come to an everlasting rest, and obtain salvation for their immortal souls. They that come to be convinced of the evil of their ways, and turn from them, that bitterly bewail their sins, and lament and mourn for their transgressions, and turn to the Lord with all their hearts; it may be said concerning such, these have learned that divine arithmetic, of numbering their days, and applying their hearts to true wisdom: These are the persons that take heed to their ways, and turn their fact to God’s testimonies. They take more care, and are more concerned for their souls, than for all the perishing things of this world. Such an one will say, my soul is more worth, than ten thousand worlds: ‘What will it profit me to gain the whole world, and lose mine own soul? Or what shall I give in exchange for my soul?’ What is this world but an empty bubble, a shadow that flies away? All its glittering profits, and charming pleasures, and delusory honours, that appear great to a carnal eye, how quickly do they vanish and disappear, and afford no true satisfaction to them that admire them, and pursue after them? ‘Vanity of vanities (saith the wisest of men). Vanity of vanities, all is vanity, and vexation of spirit!’ But worldly minded men, that set their hearts upon this world, they are not for these holy reflections; but the truly convinced men and women, that are touched with a deep sense of their misery, and of their own erring and straying, and wandering from God’s holy ways, that fear to sin and provoke the Lord, and stir up the indignation of the Almighty, they love to reflect upon themselves, and to consider their ways, and turn to the Lord, and to set their faces Zionward: I say to all such persons, travel on, the Lord hath been gracious to you.

O improve your precious time! You know not how few days you have yet remaining to run your great race in. ‘To day, while it is called to day, if you will hear the voice of God, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness.’ Let none of you be careless and black, but let every one of you consider your latter end, consider how far you have done the work of God and whether you have been working out your own salvation, with fear and trembling, and give all diligence to make your calling and election sure; that when you come to lay down your heads, it may be as conquerors that have fought the good fight, and overcome the enemy of your souls.

O Friends, we have a great and subtle enemy: If we be secure, and keep not our watch, he will surprise us and overcome us; but if we resist him, and fight against him, we shall overcome him, through Christ that hath loved us. ‘O wretched man that I am, (saith the Apostle) who shall deliver me? I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord;’ He will deliver me from this great Goliah, that hath led me captive at his will. It is Christ that stands at the door of my heart and knocks, and bids me open to him that will be my deliverer: It is he of whom, David was a type, he will deliver me, and enable me to overcome that Goliah, that grand enemy of my soul. When the sons of Jesse came before Samuel, one of whom God had appointed him to anoint king over Israel, the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature, because I have refused him, for the Lord seeth not as man seeth: for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart: and Jesse, made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel, and he said to Jesse, the Lord hath not chosen these: then he sent and brought David, his youngest son, a keeper of sheep, and he was anointed king.’ He was little in stature, and ruddy, and withal of beautiful countenance and complexion; yet was strong in heart, and of great courage; of a wise and heavenly mind, that lived in the fear of the Lord, and also a man after God’s own heart. When he came to fight Goliah, that monstrous giant, that defied the armies of the living God, king Saul armed young David with his own armour, and put an helmet of brass upon his head, and also put on him a coat of mail, and he girded his sword upon his armour. And David put them off him, and said to Saul, I cannot go with these, for I have not proved them. David fights Goliah after his own manner, out of the road of the mighty, and of the great ones of the earth: ‘he took only his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, and his sling was in his hand, and he drew near to the Philistine: and when Goliah saw David, he despised him, for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance; then said David to the Philistine, thou comest to me with a sword and a spear, and with a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, whom thou hast defied; this day will the Lord deliver thee into my hand: and David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone and slang it, and smote the Philistine in the forehead, and the stone sunk into his forehead, and he fell upon his face to the earth; so David prevailed over Goliah, with a sling and a stone, and smote him, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.’ Thus he conquered that great giant, though he was little and despised. So our Lord Jesus Christ (of whom David was a type) when he came into the world, he was rejected and despised of men; but notwithstanding, there were many that beheld his glory, as the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

My Friends, it is Christ that hath conquered the devil, that Goliah and great enemy of our souls: he hath spoiled principalities and powers, and overcome death, and hell, and all the powers of darkness: we also obtain the victory and are made more than conquerors, through the Lord Jesus Christ, the great Captain of our salvation. We are a people of his setting up: it is not by strength and human wisdom, not by arts and parts, and academical acquirements; not by power and might; but by the Spirit of the Lord, that we are enabled to overcome the enemies of our salvation, sin, hell, and the grave, and to triumph in the power of God, and sing the song of Moses, and the song of the Lamb, a song of deliverance. But before we come to sing this song of Moses, there must be first a mourning state, an humbling of ourselves, and a bowing down before the Lord ; we must say with the returning prodigal, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son:’ and we may say, as the centurion, ‘Lord I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof.’ The power of divine truth must lay us low, and sink us into a deep humility; they that come not to hear the voice of judgment, can never enjoy mercy of the Lord, nor know the working of God upon their souls effectually to salvation. Yet he will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax, till judgment break forth into victory. Where judgment hath not victory, nor patience its perfect work, people will not be patient, under God’s judgment. But ‘ Zion must be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness. This is promised to the citizens of Zion, and Jerusalem shall be the praise of the whole earth. Then they shall sing the song of Moses and of the Lamb, a song of deliverance and redemption. The Apostle Paul sung this song, after he was sensible of his miserable state. ‘O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death! I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’

All are in a condemned state out of Christ; but when once in Christ, there are new thoughts, new desires, and new will and affections. Then we shall shake; off every weight and burden, and the sin that doth so easily beset us, and run with patience the race that is before us, and deny ourselves, and take up the cross of Christ, and follow him, and learn of him a holy resignation to the will of our heavenly Father; and say with him, ‘Not my will but thy will be done.’ Thus God gathered a people in the beginning, and thus he reacheth people now, and is gathering a people to this day.

Blessed are they that live and walk according to the ministration of the grace of God in their hearts, and that come, by Christ, to be made free from the law of sin and death. It is Christ alone that giveth grace and truth in the inward parts, to make us free; and that giveth us power against the enemy: And though the devil our enemy be too mighty for us, he is not too mighty for Christ, who is mighty to save, and to save to the uttermost too, all that come unto God by him. Our Lord Jesus foiled the enemy in all his assaults, and conquered him by his divine power, even then when he ‘ was led of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.’ The tempter knew he was hungry, he knew he wanted sustenance: ‘If thou be the Son of God, (said he, ‘command that these stones be made bread.’ But he answered and said, ‘It is written, man liveth not by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ Then he attacks him, and ‘taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, for it is written he shall give his angels charge concerning thee, lest at any time thou shouldst dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’ Then again the devil assaulted him, ‘ and taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee behind me, satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.’ Thus our blessed Lord overcame the devil, and vanquished him in all his assaults and temptations. ‘Then the dev.il leaveth him, and behold angels came and ministered unto him.’

This is an emblem of what Christ will do for all his followers, that open the door of their hearts to him: He will enable them to overcome the devil when he does attack them; and to conquer that enemy that hath sometimes overcome them. He will put upon them the whole armour of God, and they shall be able to stand in the evil day, having their loins girt about with truth, and having on tie breast-plate of righteousness, and having the shield of faith, wherewith they shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked; and the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God ‘Pray always, with all prayer and supplication in the-Spirit, watching thereunto, with all perseverance. ‘Our Lord Jesus Christ will preserve his people under his pavilion, and cover them under the shadow of his wings, all those that make their applications to him, and obey him, and submit to him, when he reproves them for sin. If they turn from their evil ways, they shall know his power that overcometh the world, and all the powers of darkness, and obtain salvation from sin, and from the wrath to come. Take away the cause, and the effect ceaseth: Can you hope to escape the wrath of God, while sin, that is the cause, remains? This is as great a contradiction as the doctrine of transubstantiation, that a thing is, and is not, at the same time. O that people would come to be wise, and in this their day consider the things that belong to their eternal peace, before they are hid from their eyes!

God hath given Christ to be a Redeemer to us, to finish transgression, and make an end of sin, and bring in everlasting righteousness; and behold Christ stands at the door and knocks; if you open the door of your hearts and let him in, he will bind the strong man, and spoil him of his goods, and cast him out, and take possession for himself. My Friends! you that have heard the call of God, and obeyed the voice of your Maker, and known the operation of his divine hand; you that have known the work of conviction and conversion, and do persevere to the end, happy are ye. You do not know how soon God may call you. The time past is gone, only the present time is yours. Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation, let none harden their hearts, now is the time wherein we are to act for eternity. Now we have time and opportunity, for the saving of our souls; we are shortly to go out of this world, and the Lord will call us to account for our time, and all the talents which he hath given to us. O that we may so live as to give up our account with joy! It is the desire of my soul that all the opportunies and seasons of grace we now enjoy, may bring us nearer to God, and bring us to a better frame of spirit; that we may acquaint ourselves with God, and be at peace. Thus saith the Lord by the prophet, ‘Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you.’ As men come to turn from their sins, and from the evil of their ways and doings, they shall come to know the mystery of God’s salvation revealed to them. ‘The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he will shew them his covenant.’ O keep yourselves from iniquity, and say when a temptation presents itself, ‘How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?’ Do not rush into sin, as a horse into battle, with a brutish violence; not considering that death is before him. Do not indulge yourselves in any sin; do not gratify your lusts, and passions, and appetites, but keep them under government. Be of a considerate heart and mind, having the fear of God before your eyes, that you may say with the Psalmist, Psal. Xvi. 8, ‘I have set the Lord always before me, he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.’ The enemy shall not move me, not hurt me, nor prevail against me; he cannot ensnare me. If I set the Lord always before me, I shall not want power and ability to resist the devil and overcome him. Those that have set the Lord before them, he will be at their right hand, and they shall know and experience his preserving arm and power in the time of affliction and distress, and losses, and crosses, and disappointments: And in time of great calamities, God will be present with his people; even in the night season, he will sweetly refresh them, with the sense of his love, and lift up the light of his countenance upon them.

‘Take therefore,’ Friends, ‘no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself, sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof,’ Matt. vi. 34, whether they be moral evils, or providential evils; the evils we do, or the evils we suffer; the evils and sins we commit, or the evils that God by his providential hand inflicts upon us. Upon our repentance God will graciously pardon the one, and assist us by his grace to bear the other. God will help us by his grace and Spirit to overcome moral evils, to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. What hope is that which the apostle there mentions? (Tit. ii. 15,) It is the hope of the glory of heaven and eternal happiness: That we shall come to ‘ Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first born, who are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, which speaketh better things than the blood of Abel.’

This world is but an inn, and we must not think to dwell here. We are travelling in the way to heaven, the undefiled way; and glory, immortality, and eternal blessedness are our mark we aim at; the recompense of reward, and the eternal inheritance. Christ the forerunner, that shall be the desire of all nations, is gone before us, and we cannot be followers of him, if we walk in pride, envy, covetousness; we must learn of him to be humble, meek. and lowly, and bow to the name and authority of Jesus; to submit to his sceptre and government. Let us walk in the way of holiness, humility, self denial, and take up the cross, and be crucified with Christ, and glory in the cross of Christ by which we are crucified to the world, and the world to us; and then we walk in the way that leads to heaven and glory; and look up to the things which are not seen, which are eternal.

Dear Friends, take heed of visible things have a care that you stumble not on things below, that are temporal; but look up to the things that are invisible and eternal, and lay up treasure above, against a stormy day. There are many that build upon a sandy foundation, and not upon Christ, the rock of ages, the chief corner stone. Such are likened by our Saviour to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. and the rain descended and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. These were among the foolish virgins, they had lamps and made a profession, but a mere profession will not do. The graces of the Spirit of God, and the life of the Son of God, leads ta a life of righteousness and holiness; that is the oil of the lamp which they wanted. Blessed are they that have this oil in their lamps; they that have it not, let them make haste to buy before it be too late, when time shall be no more. And you that have it, see that your lights continue to shine before men, and thereby glorify your heavenly Father. It is the desire of every honest hearted Christian, that this light may shine and cover the nations, according to the prayer of the royal Psalmist, that ancient servant of God, ‘Lord send forth thy light arid thy truth.’ Where must this light go forth? It must shine forth of your hearts, and lives and conversations, that people may say concerning you, God is with them, of a truth. O Friends, answer the love and kindness of God, in this day of your visitation! If ever God appeareth in any age, he bath hath eminently appeared in this of ours. He called, and qualified, and sent forth to preach the everlasting gospel, a company of poor, unlearned, and illiterate men, and he hath given them power, and they have gone out in the name of the Lord; without academical education, without logic and philosophy, arts and acquired parts, and they have declared the whole counsel of God. I wish that every one may know the day of their visitation. They that will not bow to the mercy of God, shall bow to his judgments. Dost thou think, O man, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God, if thou despisest the riches of his goodness? No; God will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory, and honour, and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, that obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath. Tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doth evil: of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile. But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good; to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile; for there is no respect of persons with God.

When the Pharisees sent out men to ensnare and entrap our Lord Jesus Christ, they were astonished at his doctrine, and declared to those that sent them, ‘Never man spake like this man.’ He had reached their hearts and spoken to their consciences. When our Saviour had declared himself to be the bread of life to believers, John vi. 51, many of the disciples departed from him. ‘I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever: and the bread that 1 will give him, is my flesh, which I give for the life of the world. Then many of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is 4 hard saying, who can bear it? As the living Father bath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me even he shall live by me. It is the Spirit that quickens, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life. From that time many of bis disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, will ye also go away? And Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life?’ We did not want words, we wanted life. Thou hast living words, the words of eternal life dwell with thee. ‘In him is life, (saith the Apostle John) and the life is the light of men.’ And our Saviour says, Mark x. 29, ‘And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundred fold, and shall inherit everlasting life. Peter said unto him, Behold we have left all and followed thee, what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me in the regeneration, when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’ I have sometimes told you, that man’s travel in this world is like Jacob’s ladder; we ought to ascend every day one step towards heaven: Every day is a step towards our latter end, and towards the grave; let then every day be a step towards God and heaven.

O you young ones! It is my heart’s desire and prayer, that you may be saved in the great day of the Lord Jesus; that you may now have an holy tenderness and brokenness of heart, and that you ‘may receive the truth in the love of it; and love ‘the truth as it is in Jesus, and serve the Lord in your generation. It is not the faith of your parents will save you, nor will their well-doing recommend you to God. You must walk in the same path of life, and take up your cross also, and follow Christ, and then God will take delight in you, and consecrate you vessels of honour in his house; and you shall declare and tell of the goodness and loving kindness of God, and of his wonderful works, to the generations that are to come after, when your parents’ beads are laid in the grave.

O you young ones! I tell you once more, it is my hearty desire and prayer to God for you, that ye may be followers of them who through faith and patience do inherit the promises; that you may receive the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

I speak to you all, that make a profession of the truth as it is in Jesus. Let all that converse with you behold your holy walking, be witnesses of your watchfulness and tenderness, and observe with what a holy fear, and awe, and reverence of God, you carry yourselves; that their consciences may witness for you and say, Well, these people are such as truly fear the Lord, and have religion not only in their mouths, but at their very hearts: These are Christians indeed, Israelites indeed, in whom there is no guile. This, Friends, is the way to approve yourselves to God and men, and to your own consciences. God will then bless you in your trades and callings, and in your basket and store, when you do all you do in the name of Christ, and to the praise and glory of the eternal and ever-blessed God.

O my Friends, have a care that none out-live that tender state that God brought them into in the beginning, but let every one of you stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made you free: I speak both to you and your children; stand fast in this liberty: ‘If ye be circumcised, (saith the apostle,) Christ shall profit you nothing.’ So I say to you, if ye go back again to the spirit of the world, and be conformed to the world. Christ shall profit you nothing. Let none look back, as Lot’s wife did, lest they also become a standing monument of God’s judgments. O take heed of the accursed thing, the lusts of your own hearts, these enemies of your own peace, that would not that Christ should reign over you; ‘Bring them forth, (saith Christ,) and slay them before me.’

Blessed be the Lord, that hath given us the liberty that we see this day: God is pleased to renew his mercies every day, from one season and opportunity to another.

It is the most ardent desire of my soul, and I earnestly beseech the Lord, that you may all here present feel and enjoy the blessing of our great High Priest before you go. O you that know the Lord Christ Jesus to be your high priest, come and be anointed of him. The ointment that was on Aaron’s head ran down to the skirts of his garments. O bring your lamps to Christ your blessed high priest, and he will give you oil to fill them: Yea, he will sprinkle you with his blood, and bring you into the holy of holies. He is a good Shepherd, that will feed you, and bring you into green pastures; and when you are filled and satisfied with the fatness of his house, he will make you drink of the rivers of his pleasures, and bring you to the fold of eternal rest. But to the wicked he will say, ‘Depart ye cursed:’ here is no room for you in these mansions of glory. He will cast them into utter darkness.

O my Friends, let your souls bless the Lord, and all that is within you praise his holy name. Let your hearts and tongues extol and magnify him; and let your lips and lives show forth his praise; and say with the Psalmist, ‘Holiness becomes thy house, O God, for ever.’ I will adore and worship Thee in the beauties of holiness, with the lowest humility, and highest admiration: For thou are worthy of all honour, glory, praise, dominion and thanksgiving, who art God over all, blessed for ever and ever. Amen.

Copyright © 2010 – 2015 TeaPartyEdu http://teapartyedu.net Foundation Truths http://captainjamesdavis.net The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

THE DYING COUNSEL or THE WONDERFUL, COUNSELOR by William Penn of Pennsylvania

Cross

THE

DYING COUNSEL

or THE

WONDERFUL, COUNSELLOR.

A Sermon preached at the Quakers’ Meeting-House, in Devonshire-Howe, London, January 20, 1694.

BY WILLIAM PENN.

IT was the blessed encouragement that our Lord Jesus Christ gave to his disciples, and all his followers (when he took on him the nature of man, and was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us) and therein to all the sons and daughters of men, who should follow him through the many and great tribulations, and give up their names and hearts to him, to be witnesses of his truth, and of that holy testimony which he should communicate to them near his farewell, and a little before his being offered up, ‘Let not your hearts be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me: in my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; I go to prepare a place for you, and I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there you may be also; now my Friends, these mansions they are the recompences of reward that are set in the view of the righteous, and promised of God by Christ Jesus. These many mansions are the manifold rewards, diversities of rewards, that refer to the diversity of states, and conditions and persons, unto whom these many mansions do belong. As all are not of the same stature and growth, neither are all these mansions of the same degree of glory and felicity. There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory; yet all these stars shine with a lustre and glory, and the least star hath a beauty and excellency in it; and so the least of these many mansions hath a marvellous light and glory in it. This refers to the state of every man and woman here below. All members are not the hand, all are not the head, but every member of the body hath its service, and will have its reward. This is that which did spring up in my soul this morning, as I sat here among you O that all here present may become the living members of Christ Jesus our blessed head, and live the life they live in the body, by the faith of the Son of God. He that made us, knows our frame; He that created us, and formed and fashioned us after his own image, and gave us power and faculties to glorify and serve him, that we may come to enjoy him for ever, he requires of no man or woman more than he hath given them power and ability to perform. It concerneth us all therefore to live in the exercise of that divine gift, and grace, and ability which our Lord Jesus Christ hath distributed and communicated to every member of his body, that we may come to shine as stars in the firmament of glory. We should do good in our several places and station?, according to our different powers and, capacities. And as every member is by the circulation of blood made useful and beneficial in the natural body, so the divine life and blood of the Son of God circulates through his whole mystical body, and reaches life to every living member. Here is no obstruction through unfaithfulness, or inordinate love of the world, or any temptation from without us, or corruption from within us. Here is a free channel, here is an open passage for life and quickening influences from Christ our glorious head, to all his members. There is in Christ (in whom the fulness of the god-head dwells bodily) a river whose streams make glad the city of God: a fountain to supply and refresh the whole generation of the righteous, that desire to be found in him, (as the Apostle speaks,) not having their own righteousness, but clothed with the robe of his righteousness, which is the garment of salvation. Therefore wait this day, my dear friends, to have your hearts filled with the love and life of the Son of God, that you may appear with joy at his tribunal, where all mankind must appear, and every one give an account of what he hath done in the body, whether it be good or evil. Let every one of you be careful to live according to what you know, and improve the talents that God hath given you, and you shall find that in keeping his commandments, there is great reward, and that God is good to Israel, to them that are of a clean heart. Had not the Lord been on our side, may Israel say; had not the Lord been on our side when men rose up against us, may we say, they had swallowed us up, and the temptations of the devil would have prevailed over us, and we had fallen long ago. It is not we that have stood firm in times of trial and trouble, but it is the Lord that hath stood by us, and made us to stand: and the love of God to his people now, is as great as ever it was: his arm is not shortened that it cannot save, nor his ear heavy that it cannot hear; therefore travel on and feint not, and you shall come with joy to the end of your journey, and you shall be satisfied with the fatness of God’s house, and say with the Psalmist, ‘blessed are they that dwell in thy house, they shall be still praising thee.’ It is the faithful and sincere that shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever, and enter into his everlasting kingdom. O my friends, live as a people bowed down in the presence of the great and holy God, and walk humbly, with him: be humbled under his mighty hand, and you shall be exalted in due time.

The God of heaven hath visited your souls with his divine power and grace, and given you a refreshing sense of his love, that you may perceive and feel a daily renewing of your strength. O wail upon the Lord for his divine power to enable you to conquer the power of Satan, that you may go on conquering and to conquer, till you come to the New Jerusalem, the city of God, and land of peace and rest. Beware of idolatry! bow not down to the work of your own hands : for though you may not be guilty of gross idolatry, yet there is a secret, and more hidden idolatry, that too many are guilty of, who set their hearts and affection, on low and earthly things: this sticks but too near to many. Let the word of exhortation of the Apostle enter into your hearts; ‘little children keep yourselves from idols.’ Let this be the cry of your souls. Lord preserve and keep me this day, every day, and to the end of my days, that I may not only be convinced of the truth, but really converted to it, and walk in the truth and persevere therein to the end, that I may be saved. Remember Lot’s wife; look not back to Sodom: walk in the light as children of light, with your faces Zionward; and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. ‘Ye were sometime darkness, but now (saith the Apostle) ye are light in the Lord’ O shine as stars in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. Shine in the beauties of holiness, and walk in the light of Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, who was given for a light to lighten the Gentiles, and to be the glory of his people Israel. He shall be the desire of all nations; the mighty Saviour, upon whom God hath laid help. Believe in him, cleave to him, and follow him. and you shall be saved, both from your sins, and from the wrath to come. ‘God is light (saith the Apostle John) in him is no darkness at all; if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we shall have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin;’ we know him to be the true Bock and the foundation of God, which standeth sure, and which will stand sure, in stormy and tempestuous times: blessed are they that build upon this foundation which God hath laid.

Blessed be God, which hath opened your eyes, and given you to see this sure foundation, which we must build all our hopes of salvation upon: and not upon any other foundation whatsoever. Not upon men’s arts, and parts, and human acquirements. O the unsearchable riches of Christ! that we may, and are only to covet and seek after; then we shall inherit substance indeed,,and may say of a truth, the Lord is good unto his people; He will satisfy them with his loving kindness, which is better than life, and surround them with his almighty arm, and be unto them as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. Be not discouraged, notwithstanding the furious and impetuous assaults of your spiritual enemies; when God is pleased to arise for your help, your enemies shall be scattered. ‘In the world (saith our Saviour) ye shall have trouble, but in mo ye shall have peace; be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.’ Our Lord Jesus Christ conquered and triumphed over the world, and over principalities and powers, and death, and hell, and we shall overcome through him that hath loved us; his grace will be sufficient for us; let us wait for his salvation, and in order to it, wait to know, and then do his mind and will, and so redeem our time, and double our diligence, that we may improve our talents, and give up our account with joy And then if we are under doubts and fears, we may say with David, ‘ why art thou cast down, O my soul, and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise him, for the help of his countenance.’ God is pleased to exercise his people many times with divers troubles, trials, and afflictions, to wean them from this world, and from an inordinate love to the pleasures and enjoyment of it, that their minds may not be drawn away by the things that are seen, which are temporal, from the things that are not seen, which are eternal. Let us take straight steps towards the glory that shall be revealed; that as every day we are a step nearer the grave, we may be also a step nearer to a blessed eternity. It was the voice of Moses the man of God, and that which he had in charge from heaven concerning the children of Israel, in their march towards Canaan, say unto the people, go forward ; there is a good land before you; a land flowing with milk and honey. The Lord was with them and wrought great things for them, and he hath also wrought great things for us. Let us all press therefore forward towards the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, till we come to that city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God; and that kingdom that cannot be shaken, which God hath prepared for them that love him. O that every one of you, upon a serious examination of yourselves, may find yourselves in a good state and condition towards God: travelling through the wilderness of this world, your eyes upon heaven. Let your prayers and strong cries be to the Lord for his help; for we are not sufficient of ourselves for any good word or work. It is his almighty arm and power only that can enable us to overcome our spiritual enemies, and to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling; yea and to work in us, ..both to will and to do of his own good pleasure. And pray let us, with Moses, choose rather to suffer afflictions with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin fur a season: and turn our backs upon this world, and the glory of it; and live so, as seeing him that Is invisible. Let us follow them who, through faith and patience have inherited the promises. There are thousands of faithful witnesses gathered to their eternal rest; let us follow the foot-steps of the flock; that little flock, for which God hath prepared a kingdom. Take a prospect of heaven by the eye of faith, in the light of Christ Jesus; and behold the glory of God shining upon you in the face of Jesus Christ. Suffer not your hearts to cleave to this world, nor to any pleasure or enjoyment in it, that may be a snare and temptation to draw your minds and affections from the Giver to the gift. Live a self-denying life: keep your dominion, you that have it, over that which hath dominion over you, and then you may say, thy kingdom is come, and thy will is done, on earth as it is in heaven. Then the power of sin shall be subdued in your souls, and the body of sin, and death shall be destroyed; and as you have had cause to cry out, with the Apostle, ‘O wretched man that I am. who shall deliver me from the body of sin and death!’ so each of you will be able to rejoice, and say with him, I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord, I am made free from the law of sin and death. And my friends, when the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be set a top of all the mountains, then shall you rejoice and praise his holy name.

O that the nations round about might come to the saving knowledge of God and Jesus Christ, which is life eternal. O look for the appearance and manifestation of the Son of God in your hearts, then you will admire and adore the mercy, justice, holiness, goodness, patience, and long suffering of God, which will lead you to repentance, then you will cry out and say God is just, God is merciful, God is holy, and abundant in goodness and truth; He hath made us sensible of the riches of bis goodness, and of his forbearance, patience, and long-suffering: I will bless and praise his holy, great and excellent name; and say,’ whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of thee; in thy favour is life, and thy loving Kindness is better than life,’ and that which I esteem above all tilings on the face of the earth. O friends, be you thankful to God for the manifestation of his love and mercy to you!

Take heed of an ungrateful spirit. Trust in the Lord and he will deliver you, and wound the hairy scalp of your enemies. Many have outlived their youthful greenness, and that tenderness they had when God first awakened them to consider their ways, and to seek after him with their whole heart. ‘I remember, saith the Lord by Jeremiah, the kindness of thy youth, and the day of thy espousals.’ God will remember you, if you remember his loving kindness, and have it ever before your eyes, and walk in his truth. When there was nothing but darkness in Egypt, there was light in Goshen, ‘ we (saith the Apostle) were sometimes darkness, but now we are light in the Lord:’ Let us walk as children of the light, and hate the works of darkness.

We that are made living witnesses of the power, and wisdom, and goodness of God, let us sink down into self abasement, and humility, and we shall feel the living openings of the spirit of truth in our own hearts, and receive with meekness that ingrafted word, in which is light and life, that is able to save our souls; and submit to the authority of God therein; and the word of Christ may dwell richly in us, and become the power of God to our salvation.

‘Now the God of peace which brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great shepherd of his sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work, to do his will; working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, to whom be glory, praise, and thanksgiving, who alone is worthy, who is God over all, blessed for ever and ever.’ Amen.

Source: The Harmony of Divine Doctrines: Demonstrated in Sundry Declarations on a Variety of Subjects. Preached at the Quakers’ Meetings in London.

Copyright © 2010 – 2015 TeaPartyEdu http://teapartyedu.net Foundation Truths http://captainjamesdavis.net The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

GEORGE WASHINGTON’S PRAYER AT VALLEY FORGE

GeorgeWashington-prayervalleyforge

GEORGE WASHINGTON’S PRAYER AT VALLEY FORGE [Age 45-46; 1777-1778]

(1) Reverend Mason L. Weems Account In the winter of 1777-78, while Washington, with the American army, was encamped at Valley Forge, amidst all the perplexities and troubles and sufferings, the Commander-in-chief sought for direction and comfort from God. He was frequently observed to visit a secluded grove. One day a Tory Quaker by the name of Isaac Potts “had occasion to pass through the woods near headquarters. Treading in his way along the venerable grove, suddenly he heard the sound of a human voice, which, as he advanced, increased in his ear; and at length became like the voice of one speaking much in earnest. As he approached the spot with a cautious step, whom should he behold, in a dark natural bower of ancient oaks, but the Commander-in-chief of the American armies on his knees at prayer! Motionless with surprise, Friend Potts continued on the place till the general, having ended his devotions, arose, and, with a countenance of angelic serenity, retired to headquarters.

Friend Potts then went home, and on entering his parlor called out to his wife, “Sarah! my dear Sarah! All’s well! all’s well! George Washington will yet prevail!”

“What’s the matter, Isaac?’^ replied she; “thee seems moved.”

“Well, if I seem moved, ’tis no more than what I really am. I have this day seen what I never expected. Thee knows that I always thought that the sword and the gospel were utterly inconsistent; and that no man could be a soldier and a Christian at the same time. But George Washington has this day convinced me of my mistake.”

He then related what he had seen, and concluded with this prophetical remark! “If George Washington be not a man of God, I am greatly deceived — and still more shall I be deceived, if God do not, through him, work out a great salvation for America.”

(2) Benson J. Lossing’s Account: Isaac Potts, at whose house Washington was quartered, relates that one day, while the Americans were encamped at Valley Forge, he strolled up the creek, when, not far from his den, he heard a solemn voice. He walked quietly in the direction of it, and saw Washington’s horse tied to a sapling. In a thicket near by was the beloved chief upon his knees in prayer, his cheeks suffused with tears. Like Moses at the bush, Isaac felt the he was upon holy ground, and withdrew unobserved. He was much agitated, and, on entering the room where his wife was, he burst into tears. On her inquiring the cause, he informed her of what he had seen, and added, “If there is anyone on this earth whom the Lord will listen to, it is George Washington; and I feel a presentiment that under such a commander there can be no doubt of our eventually establishing our independence, and that God in his providence has willed it so.”

(3) Testimony of Devault Beaver: Extract of a letter from a Baptist minister to the editor of the (Boston) Christian Watchman, dated Baltimore, January I3, 1832:

“The meetinghouse (which is built of stone) belonging to the church just alluded to is in sight of the spot on which the American army, under the command of General Washington, was encamped during a most severe winter. This, you know, was then called ‘Valley Forge’ It is affecting to hear the old people narrate the sufferings of the army, when the soldiers were frequently tracked by the blood from the sore and bare feet, lacerated by the rough and frozen roads over which they were obliged to pass.

“You will recollect that a most interesting incident, in relation to the life of the great American commander-in-chief, has been related as follows: That while stationed here with the army he was frequently observed to visit a secluded grove. This excited the curiosity of a Mr. Potts, of the denomination of ‘Friends’ who watched his movements at one of these seasons of retirement, till he perceived that he was on his knees and engaged in prayer. Mr. Potts then returned, and said to his family, ‘Our cause is lost’ (he was with the Tories), assigning his reasons for this opinion. There is a man by the name of Devault Beaver, now living on this spot (and is eighty years of age), who says he has this statement from Mr. Potts and his family.

“I had before heard this interesting anecdote in the life of our venerated Washington, but had some misgivings about it, all of which are now fully removed.”

(4) Testimony of Doctor Snowden: The following note was written to the Rev. T. W. J. Wylie, D.D., pastor of the First Reformed Presbyterian Church, of Philadelphia, February 28, 1862:

My Dear Sir — Referring to your request, I have to say that I cannot lay my hands at present upon my father’s papers. I recollect that among his manuscript “Reminiscences,” was a statement of his interview with Mr. Potts, a Friend, near Valley Forge, who pointed out to him the spot where he saw General Washington at prayer in the winter of 1777. This event induced Friend Potts to become a Whig; and he told his wife Betty, that the cause of America was a good cause, and would prevail, and that they must now support it. Mr. Weems, in his “Life of Washington,” mentions this incident a little differently; but my father had it from Mr. Potts personally, and the statement herein made may therefore be relied on as accurate. I am, with great regard,

Yours truly,
James Ross Snowden.

Dr. Wylie says, “We have heard the incident just related from the lips of the late Dr. N. R. Snowden, who was informed of it by the person himself.”

    (5) General Knox A Witness It may be added that besides the individual named above as having witnessed the private devotions of General Washington at Valley Forge, it is known that General Knox also was an accidental witness of the same, and was fully apprised that prayer was the object of the Commander’s frequent visits to the grove. This officer was especially devoted to the person of the Commander-in-chief, and had very free and familiar access to him, which may in some measure account for his particular knowledge of his habits.

That an adjacent wood should have been selected as his private oratory, while regularly encamped for the winter, may excite the inquiry of some. The cause may possibly be found in the fact that, in common with the officers and soldiers of the army, he lodged during that winter in a log hut, which, from the presence of Mrs. Washington, and perhaps other inmates, and the fewness of the apartments, did not admit of that privacy proper for such a duty.

    (6) Independence Born Of Prayer “Few scenes have had so much moral grandeur in them as this. Repeated disaster and defeat had disappointed the army and the nation. Suffering, to an extreme degree, was in the camp, and thousands of brave men were without the necessities of life. The independence of the nation was in jeopardy. Attempts were made to stab the reputation of the commander, and to degrade him from office. Provision for the army was to be made, murmurs and discontents suppressed, calumny to be met, plans formed for a future campaign, the nation to be inspirited and aroused; an active enemy was in the neighborhood, flushed with recent victory, and preparing to achieve new triumphs; and in these circumstances the Father of his Country went alone and sought strength and guidance from the God of armies and light. The ear of Heaven was propitious to his prayer; and who can tell how much of the subsequent brilliant success of the American armies was in answer to the prayers of the American general at Valley Forge? To latest times it will and should be a subject of the deepest interest that the independence of our country was laid, not only in valor and patriotism and wisdom, but in prayer. The example of Washington will rebuke the warrior or the statesman who never supplicates the blessing of God on his country. It will be encouragement for him who prays for its welfare and its deliverance from danger.”

    “Example Of Christian Charity” While encamped at Valley Forge one day a Tory who was well known in the neighborhood was captured and brought into camp. His name was Michael Wittman, and he was accused of having carried aid and information to the British in Philadelphia. He was taken to West Chester and there tried by court-martial. It was proved that he was a very dangerous man and that he had more than once attempted to do great harm to the American army. He was pronounced guilty of being a spy and sentenced to be hanged.

On the evening of the day before that set for the execution, a strange old man appeared at Valley Forge. He was a small man with long, snow-white hair falling over his shoulders. His face, although full of kindliness, was sad-looking and thoughtful; his eyes, which were bright and sharp, were upon the ground and lifted only when he was speaking. . . .

His name was announced. “Peter Miller?” said Washington. “Certainly, Show him in at once.”

“General Washington, I have come to ask a great favor of you,” he said, in his usual kindly tones.

“I shall be glad to grant you almost anything,” said Washington, “for we surely are indebted to you for many favors. Tell me what it is.”

“I hear,” said Peter, “that Michael Wittman has been found guilty of treason and that he is to be hanged at Turk’s Head to-morrow. I have come to ask you to pardon him.”

Washington started back, and a cloud came over his face. “That is impossible,” he said. “Wittman is a bad man. He has done all in his power to betray us. He has even offered to join the British and aid in destroying us. In these times we dare not be lenient with traitors; and for that reason I cannot pardon your friend.”

“Friend!” cried Peter. “Why, he is no friend of mine. He is my bitterest enemy. He has persecuted me for years. He has even beaten me and spit in my face, knowing full well that I would not strike back. Michael Wittman is no friend of mine.”

Washington was puzzled. “And still you wish me to pardon him?” he asked.

“I do,” answered Peter. “I ask it of you as a great personal favor.”

“Tell me,” said Washington, with hesitating voice, “why is it that you thus ask the pardon of your worst enemy?”

“I ask it because Jesus did as much for me,” was the old man’s brief answer.

Washington turned away and went into another room. Soon he returned with a paper on which was written the pardon of Michael Wittman.

“My dear friend,” he said, as he placed it in the old man’s hands, “I thank you for this example of Christian charity.”

    Acknowledges Receipt Of Sermon: On March 13, 1778, he writes from Valley Forge to the Reverend Israel Evans, acknowledging the receipt of his sermon, as follows:

Your favor of the 17th ultimo, enclosing the Discourse which you delivered on the 18th of December, the day set apart for a general thanksgiving, never came to my hands till yesterday. I have read this performance with equal attention and pleasure; and at the same time that I admire and feel the force of your reasoning which you have displayed through the whole, it is more especially incumbent upon me to thank you for the honorable but partial mention you have made of my character, and to assure you that it will ever be the first wish of my heart to aid your pious endeavors to inculcate a due sense of the dependence we ought to place in the all-wise and powerful Being, on whom alone our success depends.

    Fasting: An order issued at Headquarters, Valley Forge, April 12, 1778, includes the following directions for a day of fasting and prayer:

The Honorable the Congress having thought proper to recommend to the United States of America to set apart Wednesday, the 22nd inst., to be observed as a day of Pasting, Humiliation and Prayer, that at one time, and with one voice, the righteous dispensations of Providence may be acknowledged, and His goodness and mercy towards our arms supplicated and implored:

The General directs that the day shall be most religiously observed in the Army; that no work shall be done thereon, and that the several chaplains do prepare discourses suitable to the occasion.

The ChristianPatriot2

Christian Above Patriot:The following order was issued at Headquarters, Valley Forge, May 2, 1778:

The Commander-in-chief directs that Divine service be performed every Sunday at 11 o’clock, in each Brigade which has a Chaplain. Those Brigades which have none will attend the places of worship nearest to them.—It is expected that officers of all ranks will, by their attendance, set an example for their men. While we are duly performing the duty of good soldiers we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of a Patriot it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of a Christian.

The signal instances of Providential goodness which we have experienced, and which have almost crowned our arms with complete success, demand from us, in a peculiar manner, the warmest returns of gratitude and piety to the Supreme Author of all Good!”

Thanksgiving Ordered: An order issued at Valley Forge, May 5,1778, begins as follows:

It having pleased the Almighty Ruler of the Universe propitiously to defend the cause of the United American States, and finally by raising us up a powerful friend among the Princes of the earth, to establish our Liberty and Independence upon a lasting foundation; it becomes us to set apart a day for gratefully acknowledging the Divine Goodness, and celebrating the event, which we owe to His benign interposition. The several brigades are to be assembled at nine o’clock to-morrow morning, when their Chaplains will communicate the intelligence contained in the Postscript of the Gazette of 2nd inst., and offer up a thanksgiving, and deliver a discourse suitable to the occasion.

“Washington, with his lady, and suite, Lord Stirling and his lady, with other general officers and ladies, attended the religious services of the Jersey brigade, when the Rev. Mr. Hunter delivered a discourse.”

    Recognizes Protection Of Providence: In a letter to Landon Carter, written from Valley Forge, May 30, 1778 he says:

“My friends, therefore, may believe me sincere in my professions of attachment to them, whilst Providence has a just claim to my humble and grateful thanks for its protection and direction of me through the many difficult and intricate scenes which this contest has produced; and for its constant interposition in our behalf, when the clouds were heaviest and seemed ready to burst upon us.

To paint the distresses and perilous situation of this army in the course of last winter, for want of clothes, provisions, and almost every other necessary essential to the well-being, I may say existence, of an army, would require more time and an abler pen than mine; nor, since our prospects have so miraculously brightened, shall I attempt it, or even bear it in remembrance, further than as a memento of what is due to the great Author of all the care and good that have been extended in relieving us in difficulties and distresses.”

Source: George Washington the Christian By William Jackson Johnstone (1919)

Christmas; Christ’s Nativity: The Manifestation of Christ, or Epiphany.

The Child of Promise and The Nativity of Christ

“The Greek word signifies manifestation, and hath been of old used for Christmas day, when Christ was manifested in the flesh; and for the day wherein the star did appear to manifest Christ to the wise men, as appears by Chrysostom and Epiphanius. For the antiquity of the day, Augustin says, The solemnity of this day, known throughout all the world, what joy doth it bring in!”—” This feast has several appellations amongst the Greek fathers, sometimes it is called, the day of sacred illumination, (Gregory Nazianzen); sometimes the Theophany, the manifestation of God. It often imports Christ’s birth-day; now is the festival of the Theophany, or Christ’s nativity. Yet sometimes they are distinguished, The nativity of Christ and the Theophany, &c. are to be accounted for holidays. And again, The first festival is that of Christ’s birth, the next is that of the Theophany, (Epiphanius). But of all the names most usual, and most frequently applied to it, is this of Epiphany, though under the patriarchate of Alexandria communicated both to the nativity and baptism of Christ.”

I.— The manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles.

The order of divine providence, to a contemplative mind, affords one of the strongest evidences of the over-ruling power of Almighty God, in arranging and completing the purposes of his will for the final benefit of all his creatures. The establishment and administration of nations, and even the successive transactions of every man’s life, sufficiently declare, “this is thy hand, and thou Lord hast done it.” The motive may not always be visible to the limited view of man, but the effect is always visible; or at least, may be deduced from the variety of combinations which every man sees before him. In nothing is this observation more conclusive, than in a comparison of the volume of Scripture with the general history of the human race; and still more, with the history of the human heart.

The manifestation of our blessed Saviour to the world, is the grand key of those unsearchable riches, which the grace of God has given to mankind. He was first manifested by the voice of prophecy, generally, and obscurely, in the early ages; afterwards, more fully revealed in the family of David; and at last, expected and received in the manger at Bethlehem. Could this have been thought possible? Could it ever have been imagined, that he who came specifically into the world to save sinners, and to establish for himself a spiritual kingdom, a kingdom, sooner or later, to comprehend all people, nations, and languages, should be received in a stable amongst the meanest of mankind? But this was an indispensable link in the history of redemption. The more wonderful, because the more unlikely.

Our Lord’s nativity, doubtless, was his first personal manifestation to the Jewish nation, to whom his Gospel was to be first offered. Connected with this was the manifestation of himself, at his baptism by John, by a miraculous appearance, and a miraculous voice. “Then Jesus when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and lo! The heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him; and a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. We cannot imagine any exhibition of himself more impressive, illustrious, or sublime. And if we refer on this occasion to the inspired words of the Evangelical Prophet, the scene before us becomes our own. “Behold my servant whom I uphold, mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth. I have put my Spirit upon him, he shall show forth judgment to the Gentiles.

It will not be supposed that great events can be accomplished without great  manifestations. There must be something of no common nature to mark the circumstance, and direct the attention. Though some mystery hangs over the disclosure of the wandering star to the wise men of the East, none whatever attaches to the object of their journey. The appearance of a star of an uncommon description was likely to attract the notice of celebrated men belonging to a nation long distinguished for their study of astronomy. How they were made acquainted with the expected, or actual birth of Christ, does not appear. The Chaldeans were a wise and an inquiring people, and might have heard, or read of, the predictions relative to the Messias from the books of Moses, through the information of travelling Jews; or they might have had the circumstance particularly revealed, an opinion I am inclined to adopt, as they were warned by God in a dream to return by a different road. However it was, a star of so particular a description pointing out distinctly to them a line of road leading to the very object of their search, was a pre-disposing cause of their journey; and a miraculous interposition of Divine Providence to reveal the new-born Saviour to a remote region of the Gentile world.

The leading of the star was a moral movement, and every step of the Magi was on sacred ground. They had a Saviour in view, and were little molested with the difficulties of their journey. Christian traveller! dost thou see any resemblance to thyself? The Gospel is thy star, and the heavens above thee are clear. Thou hast no Alps to climb, nor torrents to obstruct thy path; but thou hast dangers to encounter which they never felt, perverse passions and pernicious principles; thou art way-laid by temptations—the world, the flesh, and the devil, are inveterate enemies in that wilderness which thou must pass. But look upward! thou hast a guide and protector as well as them; the star is as visible to thee, as to any of the eastern sages. If the star was emblematic of the Gospel, thou hast the reality of what they only had the figure. The bright and morning star is thine. There was a time in the course of their journey, that the wise men lost sight of the friendly star. They were searching at Jerusalem, and saw it not . Their interview with Herod was of a dangerous nature, and excited both the jealousy and cruelty of the tyrant. Their fears might be proportionate. They departed, it may be, dejected with disappointment from the holy city on their road to Bethlehem; but they had not proceeded far, when the star again appeared, and “they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.” Thus the man that mourneth for his sin committed against conviction, fallen from prospects of holy hope through the infirmity, and perhaps worse than the infirmity of the flesh, when he again beholds the blessed star of salvation beam upon his soul; when the faith which once led him over floods of ungodliness, and the barren sands of an Arabian desert, begins again to influence his breast, and the spirit of divine love to re-assure his heart, then does he resemble the wise men of the East, rejoicing at the re-appearance of their star, and warmly pursuing their path to the place where the Saviour lies. Happy is the man that recovers from his sin, from the hiding of God’s face, with all the fatal consequences of such a privation; happy in the acquisition of that treasure which the wise men found at Bethlehem; most of all happy, in being taught by the grace of God how to value it! Their own treasures presented to the holy babe, were trivial in comparison with those which he had to bestow. Gold, and frankincense, and myrrh, might be appropriate marks of their own characters and country, and might not be without an allusion to the heavenly Prince, the object of their journey; but the offering of a convert of the Gospel, the offering of one wearied and heavy laden with the burthen of his sin, where was that to be found, but in the very bosom of him whom they came to worship.

Blessed Lord! accept thine own offering; neither the calves and goats of the Jews, nor the lip-labour of the Christian, if I may use a term too degrading for the holiness of his profession, can be a sufficient offering for thee, who art all in all to us. Let us, impressed with this, conviction, approach the humble cottage of the lowly Jesus, and present our own gifts before him; not indeed earthly treasures, to whatever they may allude; not costly presents, such as have too often deceived men of this world; neither with ashes on our heads, nor sackcloth on our persons, but such as the Gospel, pure and unadulterated, rejoices to present, a pure faith, a contrite heart, and an holy conversation.

But our contemplation on the Chaldean manifestation of Christ does not end here. Herod’s cruelty was itself a manifestation of its cause. How shall we reflect on the case of the poor infants who were slaughtered on this sad occasion? Even with that comfort which the Gospel only can bestow. No death is premature which the Almighty has designed; nor any injury inflicted, which the Son of God cannot cure. In infancy, every man may be satisfied with death. If unsinning life may be presented as an offering, through the merits and mediation of him who merited all for us, Oh! let the tear be checked which is shed for a dying babe. Nature may make some resistance, but grace is the healing balm. These poor infants resemble the souls under the altar, in the book of St . John’s revelation, who were “slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held. It may be said that they were baptized in blood. True; it was the blood of Christ which taketh away the sin of the world. Youth and age are as nothing in the sight of him, to whom a thousand years are as one day. “Cease, then, from man, whose breath is in his nostrils, for wherein is he to be accounted of?”

II.—The manifestation of Christ by his First Miracle.

To rejoice at every manifestation of the Saviour to the world is a Christian feeling, and must be considered as a manifestation of the increase of our Christian faith. Blessed are the people that are in such a case! and truly blessed is the heart that can sympathize in so holy an affection, that can go on from grace to grace, till he appears before the Lord in Zion.

Our Lord’s manifestations of himself were gradual; like that of the morning, which first irradiates the hills, then penetrates to the depths of the valleys. Each ray brings an accession of light, till the whole atmosphere is sensible of the blessing. If the revelation of natural beauty makes such an impression on the mind, what may we not expect, what, indeed, do we not experience, when the deepest recesses of the soul become the receptacles of spiritual joy, and the “whole of man’s existence is absorbed in the high conception? I speak this under correction; for being compounded of body as well as soul, our warmest aspirations must accord with our relative situation. This union cannot be forgotten, and when rationally, though spiritually established, it must afford the just measure of every religious feeling.

It was a manifestation of our Lord’s person and character, when, at an early period of his life, he was discovered by his mother, sitting in the midst of the learned rabbis in the temple at Jerusalem, hearing them and asking them questions. His proficiency, natural rather than acquired, amazed his hearers, and astonished his mother, who had reason to believe that the Son of Miracle was destined to sustain a character of undefined greatness. The immediate effect of this voluntary appearance is unknown; but, doubtless, it led the way to the disclosure of his future character, and was a link of that chain which bound in one, both the Jewish and the Gentile world: and though Scripture is silent on the subject, it is possible that a Nicodemus, or a Joseph of Arimathea, might be influenced to believe, from a remote circumstance, in the divinity of his character; and, finally, to adopt that acknowledgment of it afterwards, so honourable and valuable to themselves.

The true character of Jesus was, if I may so say, in abeyance with respect to his public history, till he had attained the usual age of public teachers. He then stepped forward with that divine dignity, which accompanied him to the end of his short ministry upon earth.

That which attracts attention in any great character must be something above the ordinary efforts of mankind; something allied, as it were, to a divine original: and though in the common dispensation of God’s Providence, the course of nature is smooth and undisturbed, yet, when his will is to be displayed for purposes higher than man’s understanding, he speaks a language that must be heard, and in accents derived from himself—the clouds pour out water, the air thunders, and his arrows are abroad. Miracle is the signal of God’s peculiar interference at the delivery of the law. The grandeur of the scenery is equal to the importance of the occasion. The Gospel also has its introduction. It is, indeed, a covenant of mercy, and therefore introduced with a milder designation of God’s will. Here miracle is equally conspicuous; but the lenient hand of the Saviour distributes it under a different principle. The law says, the soul that sinneth, it shall die—the Gospel, come unto me and ye shall live. There are also inward as well as outward miracles; miracles of grace as well as miracles of glory. The conversion of a sinner’s heart, and magnifying the glory of God by a miraculous interposition, are conspicuous proofs that God is in us of a truth.

It pleased the Almighty, that the first manifestation of the Saviour in his public capacity, should be made by a miracle. The nature of the miracle was appropriate to the circumstance. The person of our Lord had been miraculously attested at his baptism by John. A few, a very few friends had attached themselves to him at this period, by the tie of an affectionate friendship, founded on the holy character which they believed him to possess. These friends, with relatives of his temporal state, were present with him at a marriage feast, probably of one of his family; unconscious that, at that time, he would give any proof of the divine nature of his character. How unconscious are many of us of the moment, or circumstance, which decides the most important event of our whole lives! This observation must be obvious to every reflecting man. A journey is often commenced which, to many, never ends. We enter an apartment, careless and unconcerned, when the presence of a particular person, or an unexpected offer, gives a turn to every prospect of our hearts. This marriage festival, which brought present enjoyment to some, gave salvation to many more. It gave an impulse, through the grace of God, to the first ministers of the Gospel, and showed them the way, through many long and painful travels, to experience the blessings and happy consequences of an apostolic mission.

The order of divine providence is here as minutely followed, as in any other part of our Lord’s various life. The first manifestation of his glory by his first miracle, was apparently undesigned as to every outward circumstance. It was not made in the temple, the most eminent monument of the glory of God; it did not take place in the holy city, where great kings and great prophets had usually assembled; it did not occur in the mansion of the rich, or in the camp of the warrior, where numerous retainers might have maintained his cause, or fought his battles; but it happened in the humble cottage of a poor man like himself, unable to supply all things necessary on a memorable occasion. His mother’s anxiety was excited: for, when they wanted wine, she said unto him,—” They have no wine.” In that country, wine was not the luxury, but the necessary of life: and when he liberally and miraculously supplied the want, justly might they wonder, and lay the first foundation of that faith on which they were to be built up unto eternal life. “This beginning of miracles,” says the Evangelist, “did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory, and his disciples believed on him’.”

Though the conversion of a world was to be the consequence of our Lord’s manifestation, it was necessarily to commence from one point: for in all things there must be an impulse, as well as a final consequence. Here were friends to be convinced, as well as adversaries to be repelled. Both were ready to fill the ranks. Had they been as ready for conviction, or conciliation, the mystery would have been over. But not so, “great is the mystery of godliness.” “A great and effectual door is opened, and there are many adversaries. The harmony, however, of a family of love, as on this occasion, is a picture deserving the contemplation of everyone who would study the intrinsic beauty of Christian society; “after this, Jesus went down to Capernaum, he and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples.”

The object of this miracle was to make Jesus known, as well as to confirm the faith of those who, in a short period, were to become missionaries of the Gospel. Eye-witnesses of such transactions were to be selected for the first preachers. Such was also the selection of witnesses of our Lord’s resurrection.

There is a consistency between this miracle, and the time, place, and persons, when, where, and by whom, it was performed. It had been tauntingly said of Christ, “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Whence hath this man all these things*?” The performance of the miracle was an answer to the inquiry. Even his brethren were convinced.

But Jesus not only manifested himself, but his glory. The word glory, in its spiritual sense, is attributed to Christ in its most extensive signification. The glory of the Lord is an expression continually occurring in Scripture; and no man can read it with out an overwhelming apprehension of that Majesty which no man hath seen or can see; an eminence and splendour which surpass human conception, and when we see “the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,” we have a reflected glory which was communicated to man for the most beneficial purpose of man’s redemption. “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto themWhen these expressions of love reach the heart, the glory of the divine union will excite every better feeling, and produce an animation and joy, as if touched with celestial fire.

Lose not a transport so seldom felt, so quickly lost. Be as one of the heavenly host, even now beholding and contemplating the magnificence of the Saviour. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

III.—Christian Missions.

No man can be satisfied of the value of our Christian faith on its true principle, without earnestly endeavouring to extend its advantages both within, and without his power. If salvation be the end of religion, and the knowledge of religion be derived from the word of God, we have here the first step of those many travels to which the zealous missionary is directed. “When thou art converted,” said our Lord to St. Peter, “strengthen thy brethren .” This was not a general, but a particular admonition. But as universal precepts include particular duties, we may imagine that the conversion of brethren was to be propagated from man to man, as all the benefits of society extend to every member of a community.

When we look around us, do we not wish that all we see were Christian? When we observe ordinary habits become public nuisances, and knowing that we reside in a reputed Christian country where salvation has been preached, and even, where, I trust, it has been found; when we reflect upon the relays of sin that pass along our streets, and still more, of what is concealed from our eyes, are we not disgusted at such circumstances, and feel our hearts sink at so appalling a prospect; and finally, under such an impression, is it not our endeavour, by God’s grace, to lessen the iniquity at least by one? He who takes this view of his situation, must necessarily strive to improve it, and to propagate a saving faith within his sphere as an indispensable duty.

But as every duty has its own qualification, so has even the solemn duty of conversion. The mark may be missed by an improper use of the means. A true zeal must be according to knowledge; otherwise we may mar the very blessing it might have been our happiness to procure. This is not the place, however, to draw distinctions. If Christian missions are necessary, a self-evident proposition, they must be supported; but to make them available, they must be derived from that legitimate authority, originally and especially deputed by the voice of inspiration. I mean not to make any observation on the good men who cross sea and land to make a proselyte; but I have often regretted, that more effectual measures had not been adopted for the promotion of this good cause, within the bosom of our own excellent Church.

The propagation of the Gospel, though miraculously rapid at its first institution amongst the civilized nations of the world, was left to find its way in savage countries, and in remote regions of the globe recently or slowly inhabited, by ordinary means, and by the intrinsic value justly attributed to it by pious, zealous, and intrepid neighbours. We will not speak of late or early propagation of the Gospel, because, to the Almighty Ruler of the universe, a thousand years are as one day; and to the happy country, whenever or wherever converted to pure Christianity, we need only reckon by the same measure of time. That which I would wish to inculcate is, that conversion is a duty of all times and seasons as well as in all places, and incumbent on persons of every age and station. The opportunities of life indeed, are different with respect to every event, but if the heart be right, the duty will find its proper place, and God himself will point out the opportunity. If we travel with our eye under this direction, we can follow the Lord’s leading through the most wonderful tracks, and accomplish his purpose by ways nothing less than miraculous.

Within the memory of man, ships of discovery have been sent out into regions not known, and among people the most unlikely to be brought under the cross of Christ. See! the prophecy is fulfilling, ” all nations shall call me blessed.” At various periods in the history of the world, certain impulses seem to prevail in the developement of new facts. The extension of trade, and the astonishing application of the mechanical arts, constitute new powers in the hand of man. These powers arise from new combinations in the reasoning faculties, and produce effects attributable only to the God of reason; the consequence, therefore, is, that the ways of God are carried into effect in a manner derivable only from himself. Thus it is that the trading ship with its Bible on board, is a messenger of heaven; whilst the vessel itself traverses the ocean unconscious of its treasure.

Though all the Apostles were missionaries, St. Paul was the original missionary of the Gentile Church. Not only his preaching and epistles, but the very circumstances of his travels, were appropriate to his mission. What was his shipwreck on the island of Melita, but a part of this design? When they saw the viper on his hand, was it merely considered as an accident by his heathen spectators? This man is a murderer, they said. But when he shook it off, and found no harm—This man is a god. He was a prisoner at Rome,—why? that he might spread the knowledge of the Saviour, and make proselytes in Nero’s prison as well as in Nero’s palace. It is even said, that this great missionary visited Britain. Certain it is, his doctrines came early to this island. In what state did they find our Saxon ancestors ?—oppressed with the cruel rites of Druidism; rude, ignorant, and idolatrous. How great then are the blessings which a mission has brought to us! Let gratitude, founded on the depths of religion, return the obligation, by doing to others what others have done for us; and may we never fail to express that gratitude with faithful hearts to the Giver of all goodness and lover of souls, who hath called us, and our forefathers, out of darkness into the marvellous light of the Gospel.

It is thus that the same benefits are destined to travel round the world. Every man may lend a helping hand. A man may travel by his prayers; he may travel by his bounty; he may be a missionary by his fireside; in humility of mind, and rich in spirit, he may do all this—neither will his labour be in vain in the Lord—he may cast his treasure on the waters, and it will return after many days.

God uses his own means to accomplish his own ends. The Gospel was never thought of when Cook landed at Otaheite. Yet see the change! I can only draw a general conclusion from the circumstance. But there is more in contemplation in the eye of Providence than can be drawn by the most reflecting mind from the events of the most interesting narrative. “I shall see him, but not now, I shall behold him, but not nigh; there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel.” The star travelled with the wise men from Chaldea, till it became fixed over the revealed Saviour at Jerusalem. The manifestation of Christ is still in progress; nor will it cease till the Gospel of ” the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations’.”

But in casting my eye over the extensive labours of a missionary life, I must not omit other duties, with which we ought to be better acquainted—the mission which presents itself to us at home. And if I add, that this is preparatory to the great and comprehensive plan for the conversion of a world, I trust that I should begin at the right point. Even under the pleasing duties of a parish minister, he cannot but feel discouraged by the carelessness of some, and the obstinate resistance of others, neither of whom he can by any means consider as converts of the Gospel. Here there is ample scope for missionary labours within a narrow compass.

An eminent and eloquent divine, though not of our Church, produces this argument in favour of national establishments of religion.

“An establishment,” he says, “when rightly viewed, has greatly more in it of the character and power of a missionary operation. It may be regarded as an universal home mission. It works aggressively over all the land. That was a prodigious progressive movement which it made at the outset, when it first planted its churches, and chalked out its parishes, and so caused the voice of the Gospel to be heard throughout the whole length and breadth of the territory. And, then, if rightly followed up, we shall discern in its internal workings the same character; for each minister in his own little vineyard is provided with ample scope, and is placed in the best vantage-ground for the high and holy functions of a Christian missionary. It is true that his pulpit is stationary, and there must be some predisposition for Christianity among those families of his people, who are drawn to it by a process of attraction on the Sabbath. But his power is moveable; and by a process of aggression through the week, he can go forth among all the families of his people, even among those who have as little of predisposition for Christianity as exists in the remotest wilds of Paganism. We have not to traverse oceans and continents in order to perform the essential work of a missionary, or to assail an immortal spirit which is not in quest of salvation for itself, with the calls and overtures of Heaven’s high embassy. There is a moral as well as a physical distance which must be overcome; and in the act of doing it, the parochial clergyman may have to face such difficulties, and to force his way through such barriers of dislike, or prejudice, or delicacy, that in the prosecution of his calling, he may, without half a mile of loco-motion, earn the proudest triumphs, and discharge the most arduous functions; and, in short, evince all the sound characteristics of a most deep and devoted missionary. We must not overlook the great Christian good achieved, whether in those rare and transient visitations by which they intersect our land, or in that multitude of fabrics, where they permanently emanate the lessons of the Gospel, and by which they have beautified, with frequent spots of surpassing verdure, the face of our island.”

See also:The Wisdom and Love of God as Shown by His Creation by Noah Webster

Source: Reflections adapted to the holy seasons of the Christian and ecclesiastical year: By John Brewster (1834)

The Child of Promise and The Nativity of Christ

LivingNativityThe Child of Promise.

The word promise, in the Christian acceptation of the expression, is attended with such a pleasing contemplation, that we are prepared to pursue the train of imagination with an alacrity that delights, and a zeal that leads to a conclusion which satisfies the warmest expectation. The land of promise has become proverbial; and we pursue the wanderings in the wilderness till we arrive, with the Israelites, at a country flowing with milk and honey, a country abounding in everything that could please the eye or gratify the senses. That land of promise to the sons of Jacob, was merely an emblem of a spiritual kingdom to the sons of the Gospel. For who is our leader through the wilderness of the world? Who is he that strikes the rock, and bids the living water flow through the Christian camp? One who was indeed the child of promise long before the patriarchal dispensation spread itself abroad in the land of Canaan. By faith, even in the most early days, the elders obtained a good report; and by faith, Abel offered an acceptable sacrifice ‘. This could not have been the case without an original revelation. And if we penetrate a little nearer to the first spring of salvation, we shall witness a grateful promise indeed, that the offspring of our first parents, who brought sin into the world and all our woe, should ultimately bruise the serpents head, and “through death, destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. That this is a great mystery must be acknowledged; but, as a confirmed doctrine of the Gospel, must be believed—believed, not merely as an historic fact, but as the foundation of our Christian dispensation. The purpose doubtless is most beneficial; and though the Almighty has permitted the enemy of our salvation to “walk about seeking whom he may devour’,” we may rest assured that he will be permitted to devour none but those who, virtually or really, renounce the allegiance of our God and Saviour.

If we have evidence of this inestimable promise, disbelief of it becomes tenfold sinful. The distinction of the Apostle is this—” Because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith’.” When we perceive, then, a long train of prophecy bearing on this one event, when we have been enabled to see that event accomplished; when we live after the fact, and are made acquainted with the inestimable benefits to be derived from it; that the child of promise has bruised the serpent’s head, by being himself bruised, and put to grief as a substitute for those who had been led astray by the wiles of the seducing serpent; when the blessings of his appearance have been felt in the breasts of the faithful; when the Comforter has come to soothe the orphan hearts of the miserable and heavy-laden—what can we say but that the voice of joy and gladness has cheered the desert, that “the branch of the Lord is beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel!”

To enumerate the prophecies, would here be out of place; but to lay the elect corner-stone on this foundation, as the peculiar grounds of spiritual deliverance, is to establish a principle, which infidelity, with its fullest train of sophistry, is unable to remove, or destroy.

As the original sin of our first parents was the sole cause of the loss of their happy abode, and degraded and obscured the fine faculties with which they were endowed; as that sin has been but too fatally transmitted to their posterity in every succeeding age, and is still predominant in our own; the Almighty, in the depth of his divine mercy and goodness, proposed a deliverer to propitiate for his fallen creatures. The plan of Providence, as declared in the Scriptures of truth, was intimated in every age, obscurely perhaps at first; but sufficiently intelligible to excite hope; afterwards, in language that could not be mistaken; till at length the time came that Christ burst upon the world and completed the general joy.

I speak here collectively—waiving the hardness of the Jew and the resistance of the Gentile:—but anticipating that day of Messiah’s triumph, that one day, if I may so say, when “the multitudes that went before and that followed, cried, saying, Hosannah to the Son of David: blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosannah in the highest!” Is there any one duly impressed with the necessity of a Redeemer, with the true value of a Deliverer—and such a Deliverer !—” the brightness of his Father’s glory, and the express image of his person,” and one “who, his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree;” is there any man so tame of soul, so destitute even of self-love, as not to hail his appearance with the most joyful acclamations?

This is, indeed, the advent of the child of promise: and to everyone who receives him graciously, he is the child of promise still: as he enters no man’s doors but with this benevolent assurance, this day is salvation come to this house . The promise is completed in the breast of every true believer—the fruit of David’s body now rests on David’s throne. Good old Simeon departed in peace when he had received the infant Jesus in his arms; and Anna, the venerable and aged’ prophetess, spake of him to all those that looked for redemption in Israel.

While our hearts are warm with expectation, let not our bodies faint with apprehension, either under the pressure of sin, sorrow, or affliction. These, indeed, are evils that no man can support without assistance far beyond his own; but he must not forget that help is at hand in the person of the promised child, who came with healing on his wings, with consolation sweet as his pure spirit, with salvation which his merits and his mercies only can communicate. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” Rest then here on the omnipotence of this most explicit prophecy; repose with confidence that he who is all this, can bestow all that he possesses; and be assured, that the Prince of Peace is the holy child of promise.

May the benefits of this promise cheer and cherish the heart of every Christian: “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

The Nativity of Christ.

“When the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son.” We cannot have meditated truly on the preparation which was making for the greatest change which had ever taken place on the moral theatre of the world, if we perceive not the intrinsic value of the person to be introduced. Many great men have unexpectedly appeared at various periods, who, from unusual energy of mind or body, have occasioned great civil and political changes in their respective countries and stations. This age has not been without its instances. But, great as these changes may have been, they passed speedily away. Others may succeed; but none are permanent. New changes possibly form new habits: but do they form new men? We must look elsewhere for such a conformation. And such a change we have had, indeed such a change we now have in the blessed object of adoration on this day of Christ’s nativity.

A very partial and even prejudiced observer, is compelled to acknowledge that an important and visible change in the constitution of the world, took place as on this day of Christ’s nativity; the consequences of which will remain to the end of the world. Even the false apostles of later days, the instructors of new religions, wherever they may be found, are proofs of the existence of one pure fountain from whence their polluted streams have flowed; and when those streams shall be cleared from their defilements, which will be accomplished by an ethereal grace, all will flow together into the sanctuary of the Lord.

“When the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son.” A short selection of passages from the more remote and obscure prophecies to the recent and explicit, will at once illustrate the point of time alluded to by the apostle. “The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent’s head’.”—” In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed—” Of the fruit of thy body (David’s) will I set upon thy throne.”— “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emanuel .”—” Behold! thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus. ” He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of his father David‘.”—” From henceforth,” said Mary the virgin, “shall all generations call me blessed‘.”

This day of our Lord’s nativity presents to us a yearly representation of this fulness of time. It reminds us of another day distinguished in the annals of sacred history, when the children of Israel were delivered from the captivity of Egypt; and may also call attention to ourselves when delivered from the bondage of sin: ” this day shall be unto you for a memorial, and you shall keep it a feast unto the Lord throughout your generations ; you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.” Previous to this day, the Messiah appeared only in figure, in shadow, and prophecy, but on this day of his revelation to Israel, and through Israel to the world at large, the shadow fled, and prophecy was accomplished. Then, indeed, time was at the full. God sent forth his Son: he went forth from himself, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. The passage illustrates, the whole scheme of man’s redemption through Christ, from the pressure of the law of Moses, from the pains and penalties of sin and death, from natural depravity, to an assumption, by the Saviour, into the inestimable blessing of adoption: “and because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father!” The connexion now is as full as the time—” Christ taking our flesh, we rejoicing in his Spirit—he, by us, partaking of our nature—we, by him, partaking of the divine nature, both sealing our duty to him”!

A contemplation of the sacred books, revealing and recording every circumstance relative to him who is the light of the world, is wonderful in every view. They are satisfactory evidences of what God has done for the soul of man; clear as a plan of salvation, consoling to penitent sinners, encouraging to those who are the happy recipients of so inestimable a blessing. When these consequences are fairly understood and appreciated, the prophetic notice of our Lord’s coming, the supernatural circumstances of his birth, the vision of angels to the shepherds, the harmony of the celestial hymn, the painful journey of the wise men of Persia, the presentation of a valuable symbolic offering to an obscure infant in the manger of an obscure inn; and at a later period of the infant’s life, the extraordinary appearance and preaching of his avowed forerunner, St. John; and more, the splendid and miraculous revelation of the Holy Spirit at his baptism;—will be thought far from unseasonable preludes to our hymns of praise and thanksgivings to him, who thus brought tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.

Had the Jews been sensible of such a visitor, as they ought to have been from a knowledge of their own Scriptures; were we sensible of such a visitor, with both the Jewish Scriptures and our own before our eyes, how very different would have been their conduct, and how very different should be our own on the anniversary of this day of our Lord’s nativity! It would not merely be a periodical blessing, but every day would cause a spiritual rejoicing for a new state of existence. “This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will be glad and rejoice in it.”

Considered in this light, we have a fulness of subject, suitable to the fulness of time: a subject which seems to burst beyond common bounds, and offers such a plenitude of thought, as ought, indeed, to fill our hearts with gladness, and our tongues with praise. I do not, however, call upon myself or others to desire an excitement beyond our natural powers. An enthusiastic elevation of mind is no proof of a sound and holy faith. The calmness of our belief is the criterion of our wisdom. “The wisdom that is from above, is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. The subject indeed is high; and requires the highest attainment of spiritual understanding to reflect upon it with edification and improvement: but God has given us, on such occasions, not “the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” If our understanding be charged with righteousness, our Christian path will be as smooth, as if softened by the dew of the morning.

May my heart be prepared by divine grace for so holy a meditation! May it secure to me the calmness of piety; and then may I be allowed to open my eyes and exclaim with the servant of the prophet on the rapture of his master, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof!”

The day of Christ’s nativity must not pass away like common days; neither must it be distinguished by that thoughtless and licentious hilarity, which custom has shed around it. The cheerfulness of true religion requires nothing austere or morose, much less anything brutish or intemperate, to correct it. The domestic virtues are Christian virtues; they are graces emanating from the very spirit of Christianity, and diffusing such a love among family-society, as the angels of heaven may look upon with complacency and satisfaction. Blessed is that season which is made holy by the pleasing and pious intercourse of prayer and praise! Blessed are those Christian friends who meet together to praise God and be thankful: thankful, not only for the comforts they enjoy as members of a Christian family, but as part of an holy brotherhood, of “the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven’;” as one of those that “have obtained a good report through faith, and have received the promise”.

The meditation is awful and interesting to which we are directed on this blessed day of our Lord’s nativity—it rests principally on the great doctrine of the day, salvation by Christ alone; “neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” No obscurity attends the doctrine; neither can salvation be explained away by any moral argument. The original revelation of our Lord’s name and character to his reputed father, -cannot be misunderstood; “Mary thy wife shall bring forth a son, conceived in her by the Holy Ghost, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sin.” “The God of our fathers,” says St Peter, “raised up Jesus, whom ye slew, and hanged on a tree: him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins’.” How was this accomplished? Hallowed be the exposition to every feeling member of the Church of Christ!” I delivered unto you, first of all,” says St. Paul, “that which I also received; how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures ‘.” And the beloved apostle expressly declares, “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

To bring this home to the reflecting heart. We are, or ought to be well satisfied of the insufficiency of human merit; every man bears the evidence within his own breast; and I dare not think that any man can rest on his own merit. No man certainly, who does not greatly deceive himself. If he cannot rest on himself, he must look for help elsewhere. But where, in human life, can he find it? Poor human nature sinks beneath his grasp. No man may redeem his brother. But in the discovery made on this day of God, we have as much as God can send; as much as man can desire. “God sent forth his Son”—his great estimation of the person sent, is implied in the expression. Human feelings are those only by which we can arrive at any adequate conception of things divine. The name of Son needs no interpretation in a parent’s breast. And if we can imagine, even in a low degree, the infinite pureness of the Almighty’s love, then may we attempt to calculate the love of God, which passes all understanding. The Son, too, implies the human nature of Christ without which the object of his appearance would have been in vain. The world in which he appeared, and the character of that world, are consonant with the great purpose of his coming. “In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.”—” He sent his Son to be the propitiation [or, propitiatory sacrifice] for our sins ‘.” That is, to free us from all the evil consequences of sin, and endow us with all possible good; adopt us as beloved children, and invest us with an heavenly inheritance.”

Here then is disclosed, not only the fulness of time referred to in the birth of Christ, but the fulness of blessings attached to it. In consequence of the great event of this day, the circumstances of the world are changed. We were under the law, and subject to its penalties: we are under the Gospel, and expectants of its promises. Under the sentence of the law our very lives were jeopardied; under the benevolence of redemption we are not only rescued, but accepted. Our redemption is not restricted by cruel conditions, or by narrow bounds; the Son, thus given and received by faith in the pardoning mercy of God, through him, is all-sufficient; he is a common Saviour, and his gratuity “a common salvation.”In him shall all nations be blessed;” but not as all nations, or all sinners, but as redeemed, purchased by the blood of the Redeemer. It was a matter of purchase and delivery—” He gave his life a ransom for many,” for the many, the world. To make this redemption effectual it must be accepted in the beloved, the beloved Son of God, for “he that made Christ the Son of man, regenerates men to be the sons of God.”

As practical feeling is the proper result of sound faith, it becomes us to let no moment of reflection pass by without improvement in the contemplation of Divine truth. The fulness of time has brought before us a complete view of man’s salvation, let us inquire, whether our hearts have freely responded to such happy tidings? If they have, the convinced Christian will have great cause for rejoicing. No partial view of his religion will have produced a partial judgment of his condition, not relying on any personal call, he will still consider himself personally interested in an assurance of hope, resting on the firm basis of an assurance of faith.

As we rise by degrees through almost every situation of human life, so by degrees we rise from the humbling necessities of mortality to the triumphant glories of a better world. The progress, which at first is pleasant, at last is delightful. How exquisite the gradations of a Christian mind advancing daily in spiritual strength, daily rising from one eminence to another, and experiencing those sweet consolations, the happy consequences of an increase in religious knowledge! The Christian is springing upwards. At the first step he finds the fulness of comfort, that enviable state of mind, which may be felt, but cannot be described. After a hard day of conflict and of sorrow, he finds himself resting at ease on the bosom of a friend. But why represent in figure, what is best known in substance? The Spirit of God, which has guarded his footsteps in every movement of his variegated life, sheds a benignant glow around his heart, which thrills in every vein. Peace I leave with you—is the glad voice he hears—My peace I give unto you. From hence he springs forward again, in the fulness of duty, to perfect his day of holiness. This is the second step of advance in his growth of Christian grace. Here he calls to mind the wonderful arrangement of the Almighty, in the accomplishment of this day of salvation. The fulness of God’s mercy is manifested in the inscrutable, but sufficient dispensation of his Son. If we have received of his bounty, let us return of our fulness. But fulness of comfort, and even fulness of duty, however valuable in their separate stations, will both be incomplete, without that fulness of thanksgiving and joy, which is the third gradation of piety on this day of the Lord.

If this be a time of seasonable joyfulness, let it be on the best principles of spiritual enjoyment; connecting the passing scenes of a transitory life with the reversion of a goodly heritage, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

The meditating Christian will suffer no reflection to pass by him without improvement. Is this the day of Christ’s nativity? So is every day that rises upon the Christian’s soul. So is every day that finds him on his knees before this shrine. Such convictions are ever new—they spring daily like the tender grass, fragrant as the field which the Lord hath blessed.

Help us then, blessed Lord, so to live through this day of God, that we may indeed rejoice when the day-spring from on high shall visit us!

A double nativity; of our own, and of Christ.

“Unto Us a child is born, unto us a son is given”— the prophet Isaiah was as confident that the child whose high character he describes, (Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace,) would appear in a due season, as if he then stood before his presence. The angels, in a vision, announce the coming of this child on the very day of his nativity, to a company of unpretending shepherds, with an appropriation which cannot be mistaken. The prophet said, “Unto us a child is born;” the angel, “unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord’.” The connection is extraordinary and important. The language of the angel is the interpreter of the voice of prophecy. He not only points out the child, but the end and design of that child’s appearance in the world. It is specifically declared that the nativity of Christ was intended to fulfill a peculiar purpose, and that the beneficial influence of it should extend to the remotest regions, and the most distant people. Unto you, he says, is born a Saviour; but lest the shepherds should suppose the revelation to be confined to themselves, he dispels their personal fears with this reviving and general promise:—,” I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people;” that is, according to the best Scripture interpretation, to all who shall beneficially to themselves lay hold on the good tidings o salvation through the means of faith.

The history of Christianity takes this direction from the first:—” Children of the stock of Abraham,” said St. Paul, “and whosoever among you feareth God, unto you is the word of this salvation sent.  But soon does he make the fatal distinction, “Seeing ye put the word of God from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, Lo! we turn to the Gentiles.” The Gentiles happily received the rejected doctrine of the cross: but “now” says the same Apostle to the Ephesians, “in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

From these considerations, it is clear that this salvation is personal, and therefore interesting: for the Lord Christ came not for his own sake into this miserable world, but that he might succour and save us. Let us then diligently endeavour to believe the angel, that we may enjoy the benefit of his coming. This is the language of Scripture in every part: believe and ye shall be saved; so believe as to make the nativity of Christ your own; and so live as to show that your whole conversation flows from your pure and lively faith: for the Scripture says, “The just shall live by faith.” This is the very ground of Christianity in its purest interpretation; and the end of all Christian knowledge is this.

The object of our present contemplation is that of a double nativity, that of our own, and of Christ; and that, in connection with each other.

The birth of our Lord, however it was received on earth, was the cause of great rejoicing in heaven. This joy is so great in this celestial region, that it cannot be contained, but bursts forth in splendour and in glory, that it may be communicated to the world. In contemplating this revelation we are ready to say, “Had I been one of the shepherds, with what devotion would I have received this holy child! With how much diligence would I have served him! But this presumption is soon checked by the self inquiry, do I duly serve him now? Is my devotion as ardent, and my love as pure, as I imagine it would have been then ?”—We see Christ now walking before us in the person of the poor and miserable. Do we now relieve him? We see his glory spreading over all the world, and the Gospel of his kingdom taking possession of the heart, and yet we are neither affected by the magnificence, nor the interest of the sight; neither do we turn our eyes on our own wants, and on that spiritual part which we are called upon to bear in it.:

Again, we see our Lord in the manger, and in as lowly a mansion as ever received any of the human race. Had I been there this should not have been the case. But, alas! like the three disciples on the mount of transfiguration, we wist not what we say. Let us turn aside from all such vain inquiries, and busy ourselves in those only which will make us wise unto salvation.

Our Lord in his cradle was like a treasure hidden in the earth. Search for it, and find it; open it, and possess it; and then it becomes profitable and precious. Such is this nativity. Use it as the pleasure of the Lord designed it; reflect upon it with all its consequences; otherwise it will be no comfort and advantage—it will be no nativity to us. For if we know no more than the bare history of our Saviour’s birth, and the circumstances which occurred at it—that he was born poor and needy—that he was visited in a stable as a forlorn and helpless infant, and lay reposing in a manger, we might have sympathized with him as a fellow-sufferer, but we could not have profited from this more than from any other history. If we looked upon him as no more than one of ourselves, one born in the ordinary course of human life, and returning again to the dust like other men, what rejoicing could we have had on this day of his nativity? No—look further :—” God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.” And if he was so at his crucifixion, he was not less so on the day of his nativity. Look at the host of heaven announcing the event; hear the song of glad tidings harmoniously descending from the clouds; and, then, if the Gospel be true, not all the arguments of the most insidious skeptic can wrest this overwhelming truth from the record of the Almighty. How, then, it becomes us to inquire, should we use the day of his nativity, whom we acknowledge as the Saviour, the Messiah, “Him that should come, and that we look not for another?” even as I have already said, that if we believe that he was born for us, according to the declaration of the angel that his nativity is ours.

To complete our meditation, we must bring it home to ourselves, by reflecting deeply on the nature of our own nativity. And here we must refer to the same records which have so clearly delineated the purity of our Saviour’s birth, and his celestial origin, before we can duly appreciate our own. Adam’s sin, and man’s degeneracy are too well known to make us strangers to the depravity of our nature. Death was the mark of punishment assigned to the commission of the original sin of man: and the continuance of death in the world, affords decisive evidence both of the sin and the recompense. But though temporal death is unavoidable by the sons of men, as partakers of the fallen nature of their parents, a restoration to spiritual life is graciously permitted to all those who are capable of receiving such a blessing, by means of the merits and mediation of him, who, mercifully and specifically appeared as the promised Saviour of the world. “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

The best men under the first covenant, as well as under the second, have confessed, with heavy hearts, the original corruption of the nature of man. “In sin has my mother conceived me,” is a weight about the neck of every man born into the world; and the longer he lives, the stronger is the evidence. Our nativity, therefore, has but a melancholy presage: and “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us ‘;” the Gospel truth, as well as the truth of our declaration. This will admit of self-evident proof. It is not because a man may say, “I am possessed of rational faculties, and an understanding heart, therefore I will not sin.” Experience is against him. God “destroys the wisdom of the wise, and brings to nothing the understanding of the prudent,” that no flesh should glory in his presence. Men of all learning and of all knowledge have sinned, and come short of the glory of God, as well as those who have had few opportunities of adding to their original stock of attainments. Here then we are all equal, and all bowing before the equitable throne of God. And here should we all have perished, if the wisdom of God had not been wiser than men, and found out for us a nativity not our own. “Christ was made sin, or a sin-offering for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. To deliver us from the effects of our natural nativity, God sent another nativity, which behoves us to be without spot or blemish, that it might make this unclean and sinful nativity pure.

This is that holy nativity, both of our own and of Christ, which we are called upon to celebrate on the anniversary of our Saviour’s birth. Happy is the man that can celebrate his spiritual birth on the same occasion. “If ye shall keep these,” says Luther, “then both the holy nativity of Christ shall be a help and comfort unto you, and also, ye shall be spiritual children of his mother, as Christ Jesus is her child according to the flesh.” In this discussion we have faith in its purest light, and we have love, the effects of faith, in its most brilliant colours.

This is then that most excellent provision which the ‘Lord hath provided for us; but of which none can experience the benefit, but those who accept it through faith. No man can easily believe this, but he that feeleth what his own nativity is; for he that feeleth not his own misery, can have no feeling for the nativity of Christ. If we are truly sensible of the original taint of sin, of our actual guilt and incessant propensity to evil, we shall then see the necessity of a restoration through the grace of God to that image of the Almighty in which man was first created.

This is an enviable situation for any Christian to attain: and the reverse of it, as we value the safety of our souls, carefully to be avoided. For if we feel not the weight of our sins, neither as yet feel the bitterness of them, the history of our Lord’s birth slides coldly to the heart—we may hear it, indeed, but it makes no impression; it never enters into our understanding, nor excites that warm feeling of danger which may rouse our attention, and, by divine grace, rescue us from a precipice, only one degree remote from everlasting ruin. If we really did believe that this nativity was for our advantage, we should fear neither sin nor death; and, therefore, to make this festival effectual to all its holy purposes, a faithful Christian must doubt nothing, that this nativity is as well his, as it is the Lord Christ’s. Let the heart have some confidence in this persuasion, otherwise it will be in a most evil case. This was signified by the angel, when he said, unto you he is born; as if he had said, whatever he is, or possesses to bestow, it is yours. He is your Saviour, and is able to deliver you from the wrath to come, and is truly your ” wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.

When we have meditated on a subject suitable, not to one day, but to every day of every Christian’s life, piously and religiously, are we not well assured that the angel has, indeed, brought us tidings of great joy; as it cannot but be that our hearts must be glad, when we enjoy this Saviour as our own?

When we are bent down with misery and sin, when we are oppressed with calamity and distress, and there remains no comfort or assistance within us, or without us, in a world of trouble; when the heavy heart cannot lift up itself above its burden, the situation is indeed deplorable and sad:—” I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me; refuge failed me, no man cared for my soul’:”—but when we conceive a trust which rises above the world, and are satisfied that Christ’s nativity is ours, and that the benefit of his coming reaches to us, under every circumstance of life or death, then the Sun of Righteousness rises upon the soul, and all creation is gladdened by its beams:—” This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it’!”

See also:The Wisdom and Love of God as Shown by His Creation by Noah Webster

Source: Reflections adapted to the holy seasons of the Christian and ecclesiastical year: By John Brewster (1834)