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end of the loft, the prophet's bed is discovered. It is a bear-skin, a buffalo-skin, or a tick filled with shucks. Having laid him on his couch, our prophet, if he be thoughtfully inclined, can study astronomy from his resting-place, through the rifts in the roof; and when it rains or snows, he has the benefit of the hydropathic treatment, without fee or prescription.

Many a time was the bare, bleak mountain-side his bed, the wolves yelling a horrid chorus in his ears. Sometimes he was fortunate enough to find a hollow log, within whose cavity he inserted his body, and found it a good protection from the rain or frost.

Sitting, one fine summer afternoon, beneath the shadow of a noble tree, intently studying his book, he heard a rustling in the branches above, then a low warning "whist" from some one near at hand, followed by the sharp crack of a rifle. Crashing through the branches, there falls upon the ground at his feet a huge panther. The beast had been crouching in preparation for a deadly spring, when a ball from the rifle of his hunter host saved his life.

Once, seated at the puncheon dinner-table with a hunter's family, the party is startled by affrighted screams from the dooryard. Rushing out, they behold a great wild cat bearing off the youngest child. Seizing a rifle from the pegs over the door, the preacher raises it to his shoulder, casts a rapid glance along the barrel, and delivers his fire. The aim has been unerring, but too late the child is dead, already destroyed by the fierce animal.

That same year, he had a hand to hand fight with a bear, from which conflict he came forth victor, his knife entering the vitals of the creature just as he was about to be enfolded in the fatal hug.

He must ford or swim mountain torrents as they boil




and rush along their downward channels, in cold weather as in warm. Often he emerged from the wintry stream, his garments glittering in the clear, cold sunlight, as if they had been of burnished steel-armour, chill as the touch of death. During that twelvemonth, in the midst of such scenes, he travelled on foot and horseback four thousand miles, preached four hundred times; and found, on casting up the receipts, yarn socks, woollen vests, cotton shirts, and a little silver change, that his salary amounted to twelve dollars and ten cents.

Undaunted by the suspicions of his brethren, their fears that he would not make a preacher, by the hardships and perils of the way, he persevered.

One other incident of his eventful career let me relate, as he told it to me himself. He was preaching in a large country church on a bright Sabbath morning. The house was crowded to its utmost capacity, the windows were all open, one of which was immediately behind the pulpit, overlooking the rural graveyard. The preacher was indulging in a description of the various typical forms and manifestations of the Holy Spirit. Who that ever heard him in one of his happy moods, does not remember the enchaining power of his oratory? Spellbound, breathless, the audience hung upon his lips. It was the baptism of Jordan. With John they saw the opening heaven, the Spirit of God in the form of a dove nestling upon the Saviour, when silently, suddenly as an apparition, a milkwhite dove flew through the open window at the rear of the pulpit, and nestled on the preacher's shoulder. Astounded, he paused; an instant it sat, then rose, and describing a circle around his head, away flew the snowy bird to the vernal pastures and summer woods. The effect of this startling coincidence upon the audience I leave you to imagine.

I have said he persevered. He became a Doctor of

degree, which is no faint He became the President chair he filled; he became

Divinity, and deserved his praise in the United States. of a University, and graced the a Bishop in the Church of God; and a truer, nobler man never trod this continent, than was Henry Bidleman Bascom.

These men had the wilderness for a college; their theological seminary was the circuit; and lessons enough in pastoral theology did they get. Their text-book was the Bible; for more than many others that I know of, they were men of one book. Their commentaries and works of exegesis were their own hearts, and the hearts of their fellow-men, which they prayerfully and devoutly studied. They were "workmen that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

As we in colder mood attempt to estimate their character, it may seem as if their faith verges upon credulity, their zeal degenerates into fanaticism. I have heard a story which illustrates one portion of their character.

A wayfarer, who for many years had preached in the North-western Territory, after its division into States, found his operations circumscribed to Indiana. Himself and family had subsisted upon the scanty pittance allowed them barely enough to keep soul and body together. They had borne their poverty and toil without a murmur. The preacher was much beloved, tall, slender, graceful, with a winning countenance, a kindly eye, where flashed the fire of genius, a voice silvery and powerful in speech, sweet as a wind harp in song. As the country began to settle, a large landholder, much attached to the preacher, knowing his poverty, wishes to make an expression of his grateful regard and affection. Wherefore he presents him

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with a title-deed of three hundred and twenty acres — a half section of land. The man of God goes upon his way with a glad and humble heart. Thus he has provision made for his own advancing age, and the wants of his rising family. In three months he returns; alighting at the gate, he removes the saddle-bags and begins to fumble in their capacious pockets. As he reaches the door, where stands his friendly host to welcome him, he draws out the parchment, saying—

"Here, Sir, I want to give you back your titledeed."

"What's the matter?" said his friend, surprised; "any flaw in it?"


"Isn't it good land?”

"Good as any in the State."

"Sickly situation?"

"Healthy as any other."

“Do you think I repent my gift?"

"I haven't the slightest reason to doubt your generosity."

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Why don't

you keep it then?"

"Well, Sir," said the preacher, "you know I am very fond of singing, and there's one hymn in my book, the singing of which is one of the greatest comforts of my life. I have not been able to sing it with my whole heart since I was here. A part of it runs in this


"No foot of land do I possess,
No cottage in the wilderness;
A poor wayfaring man,
I lodge awhile in tents below,
And gladly wander to and fro,
Till I my Canaan gain;
There is my house and portion fair,
My treasure and my heart are there,
And my abiding home,"

"Take your title-deed," he added, "I had rather sing that hymn with a clear conscience than own America."


He went his way and sang his song, confiding his family to the care of Him who had promised, "I will be a husband to the widow, and a father to the fatherless." They never lacked nor suffered hunger. The preacher went to his home on the other side of the river long years ago. have been young," said the Psalmist, "but now I am old; yet have I never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." These men trusted that what the kingly singer never saw, could not be seen by their contemporaries. They trusted God, and their faith was counted to them for righteousness.

Their preaching was sometimes dogmatic and polemic; but even then it was spiced with pungent practical expostulations. They spake in the idiom of the people, they used the words of daily life. If they meant anything for you, you would be apt to find it out. They may not have been metaphysical, rhetorical, logical, oratorical, but they spake to the point. They lived in a country where men would "pick out" a squirrel's eye at a hundred yards, or drive a nail with a bullet at seventy-five. They were preaching to a people who despised ambiguity and circumlocution. Their three rules of oratory were — and they were good rules first, never begin till you have something to say; second, say it; third, quit when you are done.

Take the following as a specimen of their prelections. It was a discourse delivered by the Rev. James Axley, familiarly known as "Old Jimmy," a renowned and redoubtable preacher of East Tennessee. It was related by Hugh L. White, for many years a distinguished judge in that State, and afterwards a conspicuous member of the Federal Senate.

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