The Preaching Tours and Missionary Labours of George Muller - LightNovelOnl.com
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In a "Memoir of his Life and Labours," published in the United States, his biographer remarks that--"His out-of-door audiences consisted of twenty, thirty, and forty thousand at a time, whose singing could be heard two miles off, and Whitefield's own voice also could be heard at a distance of a mile from where he stood. When exhorting Howell Harris about his people in a letter, Whitefield wrote--"Show them in the map of the Word, the kingdoms of the upper world, and the transcendent glories of them; and assure them that all shall be theirs, if they believe on Jesus Christ with their whole hearts. Press them to believe on Him immediately. Intersperse prayers with your exhortations, and thereby call down fire from heaven, even the fire of the Holy Ghost. Speak every time, my dear brother, as though it were your last; weep out, if possible, every argument; and, as it were, compel them to cry,--"Behold how He loveth us!" The author of this Memoir further says--"Present duty was the only thing that ever pressed hard upon him; past bitternesses he quickly forgot; future troubles he left with God. He lived one day at a time and lived it _thoroughly_; exhorting every one around, to follow his Lord and Master."
On the afternoon of Nov. 4th, Mr. Muller preached again at Whitefield's Church. During our stay at Newburyport, he held three other meetings, and on the evening of the 7th at the Baptist Church he gave a farewell address. On the 8th we went to Amherst, where there is a College containing 350 students, to whom and to other hearers from the town, my husband spoke for an hour on the evening of that day. During our stay, at the house of President Seelye, Principal of the Institution, the following interesting account of a former College student (a Japanese) was related to us. Whilst in his native country, many years ago, this young man, becoming dissatisfied with his gods of wood and stone, happened one day to meet with a Primer for children, written by a missionary in the Japanese tongue, when his eyes lighted upon these words:--"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Genesis i, 1. The thought, that there was a Being who had _created_ the material universe around, the beautiful earth with all its wonders, and the starry host in the spacious firmament above, struck him forcibly.
"_That_ God (thought he) is the Being _I_ will worship;" and for some time he ignorantly, but sincerely, worshipped the God of Genesis i. At length, ardently desiring to learn something more about the true God, he determined to leave the country secretly, and to go to China, with the hope of obtaining further light. At Shanghai a New Testament in the Japanese language was given him, when, on opening the book, he immediately caught sight of this verse:--"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John iii. 16. "Whosoever?" (he thought to himself) "that must mean _any_body, and as _I_ am somebody, that must mean _me_." He studied his New Testament with the deepest interest; _believed_ what he read, and, through the teaching of the Holy Spirit, became a decided Christian. Desiring to be more fully instructed in the truth, he determined to go to the United States, and sailed for Boston in a ship belonging to a Christian merchant of that city, who, on his arrival, became so much interested in the young convert, that he sent him to school at Andover, where he remained three years. After that, he studied for three years at Amherst College, and then returned to Andover, where, at a Theological Seminary--as he intended to become a minister of the gospel--his education was further carried on. Finally he returned to Japan as a missionary, and was the means of bringing his parents and brothers to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. A photograph of this young man was shown to us by President Seelye.
On Nov. 9th we took a drive to Mount Holyoke Seminary, South Hadley, founded by Mary Lyon; a most interesting and important Institution, where, in a large Hall, Mr. Muller addressed the 225 lady students and their 25 teachers. We afterwards walked through the beautiful and extensive grounds connected with the Seminary, were conducted through its various Departments, and visited Miss Lyon's grave. From Amherst, on Nov. 10th, we went to Providence, Rhode Island, where my husband preached four times to large, attentive audiences, and--at the request of the President--addressed the Students of the University. After leaving Providence we proceeded to New York. There he spoke for an hour at the Bible Union meeting, preached at the Baptist Central Church, and at the Hall of the Young Men's Christian Association addressed a very large German congregation, including about 30 German ministers. On the 15th, at the Presbyterian Church, Orange, New Jersey, he addressed the teachers of 22 different Sunday Schools with reference to their service, when the building was crowded with an immense congregation; and on the 16th, preached at a Baptist Church, New York.
On Nov. 17th, we left for Jersey City--at which place, as well as at Elizabeth and Morristown, several important meetings were held--and on the 24th, went on to Philadelphia. There my husband began work the next day, and, during our stay, preached many times to crowded congregations.
On the evening of Nov. 26th, a meeting for Christian workers was held at Chambers' Presbyterian Church, when he addressed about 1,400 brethren and sisters in Christ for an hour and a half, with great help from the Lord, and on the morning of Dec. 3rd (by invitation) attended a meeting of pastors at one of the Methodist Episcopal Churches, where, at their request, he addressed about 500 ministers of various denominations, who had assembled to hear him. Upon this occasion he spoke to them for an hour and 20 minutes on 15 different points connected with their service for the Lord, and considered this meeting one of the most precious opportunities of witnessing for Christ ever afforded to him in his whole life. Numbers of these brethren pressed round him afterwards, expressed their thanks, and cordially invited him to preach in their churches. In a very short time also, he received an invitation to address the _Episcopal_ ministers on the following Monday morning. On the 4th Dec.
he preached at the Scott Methodist Episcopal Church from 1st Tim. i. 15, 16, with great power, when the people appeared to be deeply impressed; and on the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 9th, spoke at the Hall of a Sunday School, built by a Christian gentleman at a cost of 150,000 dollars.
This school (probably the largest in the world) is generally attended by 2,200 children; but, on this occasion, the younger ones having been dismissed, 1,500 only were present. As about 1,500 other hearers, however, were there, he had altogether a congregation of 3,000. The arrangements connected with this Sunday School were the most perfect we have ever seen, and the Hall, where the school is held, is a very large beautiful building. Before our departure from Philadelphia, Mr. Muller preached at Haddonfield, New Jersey, on Dec. 6th and at German Town, on the 7th, to a very large audience, at the great Hall of the Young Men's Christian Association. On Monday, Dec. 10th, he attended the united meeting of Episcopal ministers already referred to, when he addressed them for an hour, on ten weighty points connected with their service; 48 were present. At All Saints Episcopal Church, on the evening of Dec.
14th, he preached from the 103rd Psalm, when the church was filled with hearers. No clerical gown was put on, and a few collects only were read by the minister at the commencement of the service.
On Dec. 15th, we left Philadelphia for Baltimore, where, the next morning (Sunday, 16th), he preached at the largest Methodist Episcopal Church, which was crowded, the aisles, etc., being thronged; and in the evening held a meeting at the First Presbyterian Church, when this building also was filled--many had to stand, and others to go away for want of room. During the whole of our stay at Baltimore, my husband continued to labour uninterruptedly, preaching night after night to immense audiences; but as a minute account of his work in the various cities we visited, throughout our long tour, would take up too much space, a few particulars only of his ministry at the most important places can be given. On Dec. 21st, he spoke at a State Convention, in the presence of about 150 gentlemen connected with jails, reformatories, etc., who had assembled to consider this subject--"Is religious instruction an agent necessary for the reformation of prisoners?"--a question which was answered by him most decidedly in the affirmative.
On Dec. 22nd we went by rail to Annapolis, 21 miles from Baltimore, and by steamer afterwards down the Severn out into the Bay of Chesapeake, which is the largest Bay in the United States. On our return to Baltimore by water, we got into important conversation with some German infidels, and were glad to have opportunities of giving little books and tracts to them as well as to other passengers on board the steamer.
On Dec. 25th, Mr. Muller preached at the Independent Methodist Church, and continued to labour at Baltimore until the 29th, when we went to Washington. There, on the morning of Sunday, the 30th, he preached at the Congregational Church--the largest in the city--and in the afternoon at 3 o'clock at Lincoln Hall. On the evening of Dec. 31st, at Dr.
Sunderland's Church, he spoke from Psalm ciii. 3-5, with particular reference to the close of the year, when he addressed his hearers with great solemnity, earnestness, and power.
On Jan. 1st, 1878, the firing of canons early in the morning ushered in the new year, which is a time of much excitement and gaiety in Washington, when the President holds a "reception," and there is a great deal of visiting from house to house. On the evening of that day my husband preached at the Foundry Church, from Exodus xvii. 1-7, when, although it was a time of so much pleasure and amusement, between 700 and 800 people were present. On Jan. 3rd we visited Wayland Seminary, a few miles from Washington, where he addressed 97 male and female coloured students, who were being trained for missionary work: a deeply important service. As they possessed great taste for music, and considerable vocal talent, it was quite a treat to hear them sing; for music--in the Lord's service--being carefully studied at this Seminary, the sacred pieces which they sang were exquisitely given. In the evening Mr. Muller preached at Dr. Mitchell's Church, from Romans xii. 2, where, after the service, one of the pastors came up to him and said: "God sent you to America, dear Brother. That's _just_ the kind of teaching that we want; something that will rouse and wake up _Christians_ as well as the unconverted. God sent you to America, Sir; of that I am certain." On Jan. 4th he preached at the Calvary Baptist Church, and on the 5th we went to the Virginia Episcopal Theological Seminary, near Alexandria, about 11 miles from Washington, and were driven three miles from the railway station to the Institution in an open carriage in bitterly cold weather, the thermometer being six degrees below zero, that is, it registered 38 degrees of frost. There, in the presence of their professors--4 in number--and the President, my husband addressed 41 young men, students, who were preparing for the ministry and for missionary service; and about 40 young students from the High School besides, who, with their tutors, had been invited to attend the meeting.
On Sunday, the 6th, he preached three times: in the morning at the Metropolitan Church, a very large one, which was crowded; in the afternoon at Lincoln Hall to about 1,500 persons; and in the evening at the Foundry Church.
On the morning of Jan. 10th, at half past 9, we accompanied Mr. Shipley, of Cincinnati (by appointment), to the White House, to be introduced by him to the President and to Mrs. Hayes. They received us with much courtesy, and, after making some inquiries about our work in England, the former entered for half an hour into conversation with Mr. Muller.
Mrs. Hayes afterwards conducted us through the White House, a large old mansion, and showed us the State apartments, with the various objects of interest which this residence contains.
On Jan. 11th Mr. Muller addressed about 1,000 Christian Workers, at the Lutheran Memorial Church, for an hour and 20 minutes; and on the 15th spoke to the coloured students at Howard University for an hour, where the work carried on is of a most important character. During the whole of our stay at Washington, his time was fully occupied, and he preached every evening, and sometimes twice a day, as long as we remained. On the 19th we visited the Capitol, which has a dome nearly 400 feet in height; from the top of which the river Potomac, Mount Vernon, Alexandria, Washington, and the whole neighbourhood could be seen, and afterwards walked through the Government Buildings, public offices, etc. On the morning of Sunday, Jan. 20th, Mr. Muller preached at the First Baptist Church, and in the afternoon at 4 o'clock gave a farewell address at the Lutheran Memorial Church to a very crowded audience.
On Jan. 21st we left for Salem, in Virginia, 239 miles from Washington, and on our way passed many of the places which were the scenes of deadly conflict between the Federals and Confederates during the civil war that raged in the United States many years ago. Near the line of railway Cemeteries were to be seen, filled with long rows of graves placed close together, and marked by white stones, where the corpses of those who were slain in battle lie interred. Alas! what an awful, melancholy war was _that_! After travelling for twelve hours, at 8 p.m.
we arrived at Salem, a small secluded town, 1,450 feet above the level of the sea, situated in a beautiful valley amongst the Alleghany Mountains. On the following evening my husband preached at the Lutheran Church to a most crowded congregation, consisting of pastors, theological students, ladies, country people, negroes, children, the visitors from the Duval Hotel--where we were staying--its three proprietors, the servants (one woman only being left at home); and an elderly Welch minister from Merthyr Tydvil, for 30 years a resident in the United States, walked seven miles from the country to be present at the meeting. All who could possibly attend turned out to hear George Muller, of Bristol, England, who preached for upwards of an hour, and was listened to with the liveliest interest and attention. On the evening of the 23rd he held a second meeting at the Lutheran Church, and addressed a densely crowded congregation, when the appearance of the building plainly showed that it is not necessary to go to large cities in order to have vast audiences. Hundreds of young men were present, most of them students from Roanoke College and the Theological Seminary, many of whom were standing at the entrance closely packed together; whilst others sat upon the pulpit platform side by side. The gallery was thronged. At the back of it several young men were standing upon forms, with their heads near the ceiling, and upon the edge of the front seats in the gallery a few boys were perched, with their legs hanging over the pews, in a somewhat dangerous position. Mr. Muller spoke for an hour and 35 minutes, giving (by particular request) some account of his life and labours, and the meeting, which lasted two hours, was a very blessed one. The next morning he spoke at the Theological Seminary to the students, and in the evening preached for the third time at the Lutheran Church, his particular object being to address the young men from Roanoke College and the students of the Theological Seminary. The portion of Scripture from which he spoke was Eccles. xi. 9, 10, and chapter xii. 1.
On Jan. 25th we rose at 4, left the railway station--at some distance from our hotel--at a quarter past six, and travelled, _via_ Lynchburg, Dundee, Salisbury, and Charlotte, to Columbia, in South Carolina, where, after a long, fatiguing journey of 378 miles, which it took 21 hours to accomplish, we arrived at half past 3, early on the morning of the 26th, and (by special invitation) went to the house of Chief Justice Willard.
The next day, (Sunday,) Mr. Muller preached in the morning at the Presbyterian, and in the evening at the Methodist Episcopal Church, where, though the congregations were small compared with those in the North, they were large for the Southern States. On the morning of the 28th we went through the State House, the Capitol of Columbia, and were introduced by Judge Willard to the Governor, the Secretary of State for South Carolina, the Comptroller-General, and other government officers.
We visited the Senate Chamber also while the senators were sitting, and the House of Representatives, where, on the following morning (by particular request), Mr. Muller opened the deliberations of the day, according to custom, with prayer. At 1 o'clock he addressed the young men and lads at the Reformatory Prison, and, before our departure from Columbia, preached four times at the different churches, giving an address besides to 41 students, with their President and professors, at the Theological Seminary on Feb. 21st. Columbia _was_ a fine city once; but two-thirds of it were destroyed by fire during the civil war, and the place, though now re-built, has never thoroughly recovered its former beauty. It is situated on the Bluffs of the Congaree, and used to be celebrated for its delightfully shaded streets, its lovely flower-gardens, and the model plantations in its vicinity.
On the afternoon of the 1st we left Columbia for Charleston, the metropolis of South Carolina, seven miles from the ocean; and after a journey of 135 miles, arrived there on the 2nd, at half-past 12 in the middle of the night. There, on the morning of Sunday the 3rd, Mr. Muller preached at the Citadel Baptist Church, and in the evening at Trinity Church; but in consequence of the rain, which fell heavily all day, the congregations were only small. On the two following evenings he held meetings at the Second Presbyterian Church, addressed the orphans of the Charleston Orphan Asylum on the 6th, in the presence of their teachers and a number of gentlemen and ladies connected with the Institution, and on the evening of that day preached at the First Baptist Church. On the following evening he held a meeting for Christian Workers, and on the 8th preached at Morris Street Coloured Baptist Church, with great help from the Lord, to 1,000 negroes and coloured people, and about 60 whites. On the morning of Sunday, the 10th, he preached at the Bethel Methodist Church, and in the evening at the Citadel Baptist Church, a very large building, where a union service or mass-meeting was held, which was crowded to overflowing, most of the churches in the town having been closed, that their congregations and ministers might be present. On the following morning he addressed a meeting of pastors for an hour and 10 minutes, preached in the evening at the Old Bethel Church for coloured people, and on the 12th held a meeting at the Centenary Church, where an immense congregation of negroes and coloured persons assembled, many of whom stood in the aisles and outside the doors, whilst numbers were unable to get in.
On Feb. 13th we left Charleston for Savannah, the chief city of Georgia, and travelled all day slowly by "accommodation train" through one of the great American swamps, a morass with stagnant water and luxuriant vegetation on each side of the railway.
"This route lies within a few miles of the coast, and passes through many of the seaside and lowland towns and villages of the State, situated in the midst of the wildest, richest scenery. For miles the rails are laid on piles passing through marsh and morass, and crossing swift rushing streams; but it is in regions of this nature that the grandest and most tropical vegetation is to be found. In this country of miasmas, fever, and excessive heat, where, in the summer months, few but the negro can exist, the most profuse and abundant vegetation thrives luxuriantly. Extensive pine forests, lofty cypresses wreathed with garlands of grey moss, the bay and the laurel covered with the vines of the wild grape or ivy, and immense live oaks, line the road on each side. Wild flowers grow in profusion during the spring and summer, and the canebrake rises to a height of ten, twelve, or fifteen feet. In these regions alligators abound, which delight in the muddy, stagnant waters, and find in them a river home."
We passed many negro log-cabins, built where the ground was tolerably firm; but they were wretched-looking habitations, damp and miserable, many of them being mere hovels of a most unhealthy character. Though the rice fields, cotton, sugar, and tobacco plantations may be benefited by a constant supply of moisture, the damp heat produced by the sun's scorching rays in summer, as they fall upon this marshy ground, is exceedingly unhealthy, and produces yellow fever, which is often most fatal in the Southern States.
Upon our arrival at Savannah--a beautiful city with plantations of orange and lemon trees growing in winter in the open air, and adorned with geraniums, creeping plants and various choice flowers--we accepted an invitation to the house of Mr. Charles Green, a Christian merchant; and during our short stay were entertained at his mansion most hospitably. Whilst there, Mr. Muller preached at the Baptist, Independent, Presbyterian, and Methodist Episcopal Churches, gave addresses to the girls of the Episcopal Orphan Asylum, of Whitefield's Orphanage in Georgia, and spoke to the children of the Preventive Home.
Before our departure from Savannah, we took drives to Buonaventura Cemetery, to Plantation, and to Thunderbolt, and particularly noticed the luxuriant, but peculiar-looking, Spanish moss which attaches itself to the trunks and branches of the trees, and grows in great profusion all through the Southern States. Being of a grey colour, it is unlike European moss, and forms a long, deep fringe, a kind of sweeping, mournful drapery, which, as it is waved about by the wind, has so melancholy an appearance that it seems appropriate for cemeteries, where it is found in great abundance.
On Feb. 25th, Mr. Muller gave a farewell address at the Presbyterian Church, and on the 26th we went on board the "City of Bridgetown," an "inland route" river steamer, in which, with 136 other passengers, we sailed (via Brunswick and Fernandina) for Jacksonville, in Florida. By the term "inland route," is meant a voyage down the river Savannah, across lakes, estuaries, and along wide streams, but inside the land which forms a boundary to the Atlantic Ocean. Our voyage proved, however, most tedious and intricate; for several times the vessel grounded, and as it was necessary to wait for the tide to rise and set her afloat again, great delay and inconvenience were occasioned; but on the afternoon of the 28th, after steaming through a most tortuous water-course, a perfect labyrinth of winding streams, we got safely into the St. John's river, and in the evening reached Jacksonville, after a voyage of 350 miles, which it took 52 hours and a half to accomplish. We arrived too late, however, for Mr. Muller to preach that evening, though the service had been advertised. He held meetings therefore in this city five times only, all of which were numerously attended; and at Polk's Hall, on Sunday evening, March 3rd, there was a union or mass meeting, where a vast audience assembled, which was said to be the largest congregation ever known in Jacksonville. Here, and in Florida generally, vegetation was most luxuriant; for, as some parts of the coast are only 130 miles from the West Indies, the climate of this State is tropical; and flowers, fruit, and vegetables were in season, that in most other countries can be obtained only in the summer.
On March 4th, at 3.45 p.m., we left Jacksonville, and travelled all night in a train where the sleeping arrangements were more comfortable than usual. The following day we crossed the Chattahoochee River, and in the course of our journey became interested in a gentleman, very ill in consumption, whose severe cough had reached us often in the night. He had been staying in Florida for the benefit of his health; but, as he said, "I can't talk," we ventured to hand him a couple of tracts; "Eternity," and "How is it with you?" which there is reason to believe he read. The train stopped at Dawson, Eufala, and many other places; and at 9 o'clock on the evening of the 5th, we arrived at Montgomery, in Alabama, after a tedious journey of 483 miles. Here, desiring to get on quickly to Mobile (in Alabama) Mr. Muller preached a few times only; and, on the morning of the 9th, we rose at half-past 5, in order to continue our journey further South. In the course of it we passed several large cotton plantations, where cotton of the previous year still remained upon the plants; peach trees in full blossom were growing wild in great abundance, fir and pine trees by the million lined each side of the railway, and occasionally "turpentine orchards" containing the fir trees from which turpentine is made, were close at hand. At a distance of about 20 miles from Mobile, we crossed the rivers Alabama and Tombigby--fine broad streams, filled with water to the brim--a few creeks, and a great quantity of marshy ground; and afterwards entered one of the great "swamps," with which the Southern States abound. At length, after 11 hours' slow travelling by "accommodation train," at 7 p.m. we reached Mobile, 180 miles from Montgomery, and were most kindly received there by Judge Horton and his family, to whose house we went.
In this city, Mr. Muller held a number of meetings, which (for the Southern States) were numerously attended, and had daily happy intercourse with Christian friends.
Our stay, however, was but short, for on the morning of March 15th we bade them all adieu, and set off for New Orleans, Louisiana, 141 miles distant, where, after stopping at 25 stations, travelling through inlets of the Mississippi Sound, much swamp and water, and crossing the Bay of St. Louis (a portion of the Gulf of Mexico) by a railway bridge two miles in length, we arrived at a quarter before nine, on the evening of the same day.
At New Orleans my husband held many meetings, including services at the Canal Street Presbyterian, Carondelet Street, and Methodist Churches; he preached also in German, at three different places of worship, and gave two addresses, one to the 250 coloured students of Leeland College, and the other to the coloured students of Straight University, 215 in number. New Orleans, which is the chief cotton mart of the world, contains a large Roman Catholic, French, and Spanish population, and is said to be the most wicked city in the United States. During our visit, Popish processions frequently passed along the streets, and little or no regard was shown for the Lord's Day, when business was carried on as usual. Before our departure we visited the Orange Groves and Lake Pontchartrain; but with this exception, saw very little of the neighbourhood.
On the afternoon of March 29th we went on board the "John Scudder," a large river steamer, and at 6 p.m. left New Orleans, and started on a voyage up the Mississippi, for Memphis, Tennessee. The room we occupied was rather large, and was one of a great number of cabins ranged along the sides of a very long saloon, used as a general sitting and dining-room by the passengers. It had two berths, six little windows--or ventilators--close to the ceiling, and two doors, one of which opened into the saloon. The food provided for the passengers was excellent, but no drinking water was to be had on board, except the unfiltered water of the Mississippi; and this was so full of impurities, and muddy sediment, which formed a thick deposit on the bottom of any vessel where it was allowed to stand, that we could neither make up our minds to drink it cold, nor in the form of tea or coffee, particularly as it was said to have an injurious effect upon the health. We therefore obtained a jug filled with ice, allowed the ice to melt, and after mixing a little wine with the water, to take off the coldness of it, procured a wholesome palatable draught. On the evening of March 31st, Mr. Muller (by permission) held a meeting in the saloon, when he addressed the passengers, coloured servants, and as many of the ship's company as were able to attend; but though there were a few Christians on board who appreciated the service, the passengers were chiefly worldly people, who amused themselves every evening in the saloon with music, singing, dancing, and card-playing, from which there was no escape, as in our cabin, we could distinctly hear, even if we did not see, all that was going on. The voyage, however, though slow, was a pleasant one upon the whole. The Mississippi, or "Father of Waters," from its source in Minnesota, to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico, is 3160 miles in length; but the _Upper_ Mississippi is considered much more beautiful than the lower portion of the river. Whilst on board, Mr. Muller was occupied a few hours every day in writing the new Report, and on April 3rd, at 6 p.m., we landed at Memphis--situated on one of the Chickasaw Bluffs of the Mississippi--after a voyage of about 800 miles. There we passed the night at an hotel in very _un_comfortable quarters, and, at 11.15 on the morning of the next day, left by rail for St. Louis, Missouri, a city of more than half a million of inhabitants, where, after a journey of 327 miles, we arrived at 7.15 a.m. on April 5th, and went immediately to the Planters' House.
On Sunday, April 7th, Mr. Muller began his work by preaching in the morning at the Second Presbyterian Church, and in the evening at the Pilgrim Congregational, when, upon each occasion, the audience was immense. On the 8th, he gave an address on prayer at the Methodist Episcopal Church, to crowds of hearers, and preached at Pine Street Presbyterian Church on the evening of the 9th. On the 10th and 11th, he held meetings at the Second Baptist and at Lafayette Park Presbyterian Churches, and on the 12th addressed an assembly of at least 2,500 at the Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church, the largest in the city. On the 13th, at the German Protestant Orphan Home, nine miles from our hotel, he spoke to 161 orphans in German, in the presence of their teachers and other persons; on Sunday morning the 14th preached at Dr. Brookes's Church, Walnut Street, on the second coming of Christ, and on the evening of that day, at the Mercantile Library Hall, addressed a mass meeting of Germans, about 2,000 in number. On the morning of the 15th, he attended a meeting for pastors--when he spoke to 150 for an hour and 20 minutes--and in the evening preached at a German Church, at the corner of Autumn and Tenth Streets. On the 16th, a meeting for Christian Workers was held at the First Presbyterian Church, when he addressed a congregation of 1,200, and on Wednesday evening, April 17th, preached a farewell sermon at Dr. Brookes's Church, from the Epistle of Jude, verses 20-21, with great power and solemnity. Throughout the whole of our stay at St. Louis the meetings were exceedingly large, on week evenings as well as on Sundays; and the interest and attention manifested throughout the whole series of services were most encouraging.
On April 18th we rose at half past 5, and commended ourselves to the Lord in prayer for the long journey to San Francisco--undertaken after much waiting upon God--before us; and at half past 8 left St. Louis in a Pullman's car. In the course of the morning we crossed the Missouri, and, the weather being lovely, with vegetation in perfection, the journey was delightful. In the evening we alighted at the supper station to partake of some refreshment, and at 9 o'clock retired to rest. The little room we occupied was comfortable, and the sleeping arrangements were excellent. Our windows remained shut, but as the six ventilators above them were left open, there was thorough ventilation; and, after passing a good night, at 9 o'clock the next morning we reached Council Bluffs. There, after breakfast, at half past 9, we got into the same train; but, having to take seats in one of the other carriages until the Pullman cars were unlocked, a multitude of emigrants--who were pouring into California at the rate of 1,000 per day--soon surrounded us, amongst whom we distributed some tracts. At Omaha, Nebraska (476 miles from St. Louis, where the Union Pacific Railway begins), we arrived in half an hour; and, after waiting three hours at the station, got into another train, without emigrants, and there engaged a second little private room. At 1 o'clock our journey was resumed, and soon after leaving Omaha we entered upon the prairies, which consist of millions of acres of wild, barren, uncultivated land, stretching away for hundreds of miles in all directions, with scarcely a bush, tree, or plant of any size upon them, and covered only with dry, short, stunted grass. Throughout this district (appropriately called the "American Desert") the cold must often be intense, for there is no shelter for many miles, and nothing to break the force and severity of winter gales.
During this portion of our journey the train advanced only at the rate of 15 miles an hour; for, though travelling _apparently_ over immense level plains, we were gradually ascending some thousands of feet above the level of the sea. On April 20th, at noon, the engine got out of order, and as we and all the other passengers alighted from the train, there was further opportunity of distributing tracts and of surveying the immense plains around. Some idea could be formed also of the wilderness through which the Children of Israel passed, on their way to Canaan, the promised land. Soon after continuing our journey, the elevation became greater, and quantities of snow in large patches were seen lying on the ground. Just before reaching Archer, distant ranges of the Rocky Mountains became visible, having peaks covered with perpetual snow; but, in consequence of defective power in our locomotive, Cheyenne, the dinner station (a town 5,931 feet above the level of the sea, consisting chiefly of detached wooden houses,) was not reached until 4 p.m., when the train drew up at a short distance from the Inter-Ocean Hotel. After leaving Cheyenne, numerous snow sheds were passed, erected at intervals to protect the railway from great snow drifts in heavy winter storms; and during the night we ascended to Sherman, (8,235 feet above the level of the sea, a point more elevated than the summit of the Rigi, and the highest railway station in the world) where the cold became severe, and the snow in places was several feet deep.
On April 21st all through the day we continued to travel in the midst of a wild, barren, desolate region, with long ranges of lofty, snow-capped mountains in the distance, and snow in great abundance everywhere. There was neither foliage nor vegetation, and though the railway carriages were warmed, the cold outside was piercing. For several hours we passed repeatedly under snow sheds, of which there were considerable numbers; and, in consequence of our detention on the previous day, arrived at the breakfast station very late. In the afternoon, at 3 o'clock, Evanstone, 6,870 feet above the level of the sea, was reached, and towards the evening we descended gradually towards the valleys, where the wild and desolate character of the scenery gave way to grandeur and magnificence. At Ogden (35 miles only from Salt Lake City, where the Union Pacific Railway terminates and the Central Pacific begins) we arrived at 7 o'clock, and after waiting there an hour and a quarter, changed trains; but were obliged to be satisfied then merely with a "section," as the only little private room in the next train had been engaged. On April 22nd we rose at half past 5, at 9 a.m. reached Elko, Nevada, 5,650 feet above the level of the sea, and afterwards travelled across the American alkali desert, consisting of vast plains covered with sage brush, bounded by long, snowy mountain ranges. At Wells, an elevation of only 5,030 feet above the level of the sea, where the train stopped for half an hour, we observed groups of Indians, wrapped either in scarlet blankets or in striped woollen mantles dyed with brilliant colours. They wore curious looking hats, trimmed with feathers and wide ribbons, and had their faces painted with patches of vermilion. At some of the stations a few Chinese also were standing about, with their hair plaited in long tails, reaching nearly to the heels. At Bewawe and Battle Mountain there were more Indians, and towards evening we reached Winnemucca, where several copper-coloured men and women gathered round the train. On the morning of April 23rd, at a very early hour, we entered California, and then the ascent of the Sierra Nevada Mountains became so steep that two locomotives were employed to draw the train up hill. At short intervals strong wooden snow sheds, like tunnels, had been erected, as a protection to the railway against injury from heavy snow drifts; but they could be regarded only as necessary evils, on account of the interruption they occasioned to the possibility of seeing everything around. At 6 o'clock we reached Summit Station, 7,042 feet above the level of the sea, an elevation to which the train had been gradually mounting in the night, and here a magnificent prospect of indescribable grandeur suddenly burst upon our view. Far above the station innumerable mountain peaks were towering towards the sky; the sun, which shone brilliantly, lighted up the snow to a whiteness that was dazzling; deep abysses, chasms, and ravines surrounded us; millions of pine and fir-trees were growing up the mountains' sides; and thousands of feet far down below, valleys clothed with the richest verdure, added beauty to the scene.
During the construction of this wonderful mountain railway, it is said that the sum spent upon blasting-powder alone amounted to a million dollars. At 8 o'clock, the door of our compartment was thrown open, and the conductor called out, "Cape Horn!" when all the passengers jumped up immediately and looked intently out of window, for the train was travelling slowly along the very edge of a precipice, 2,450 feet in height; a point from which an extensive landscape of great beauty could be seen extending far and wide. After leaving "Cape Horn," we crossed a timber bridge, erected over a portion of the valley, proceeded to "Emigrant's Gap," thence to Colfax, and afterwards descended the mountain with a rush, further on into California, where the weather was warm, and the country looked most beautiful, the trees being covered with foliage, and the ground highly cultivated everywhere. For many miles we passed rich meadow land, and numbers of large trees; the fields were covered with grass, intermingled with brilliant masses of wild flowers; lupines, eschcoltzias, wild roses, geraniums, etc., were flourishing in many places, and millions of Californian poppies of an intense yellow, deepening into orange colour, outshone all the rest. An American gentleman once said: "I never saw flowers till I saw them in California." At half past 10 we arrived at Sacramento, and, after remaining there an hour, travelled all day through a beautiful part of the country, favoured with fine summer weather. In the course of the afternoon Livermore and Niles were reached, the train stopped a few minutes at San Jose, and finally we arrived at Oakland, a suburb of San Francisco, where two gentlemen entered the carriage who welcomed us cordially, and earnestly invited my husband to preach there. At 5.35 we alighted at the station, where two brethren were kindly waiting to receive us, with whom we went on board the "El Capitan," a large ferry steamer; and, after crossing the Bay, landed at San Francisco, where our friends conducted us to the rooms they had engaged at the Palace Hotel.
Thus ended our journey of 2,390 miles (from St. Louis), accomplished in six days and five nights, the longest railway journey we had ever taken at one time; and truly thankful to the Lord were we for His protecting care during our travels, and for the comforts of the resting place now provided for us.
On the evening of Friday, April 26th, at the lecture room of the Calvary Presbyterian Church, Mr. Muller gave his first address at San Francisco; and, after the meeting was over, James Wilkinson, an orphan formerly on Ashley Down, came up to speak to him. He had been living in the United States for fifteen years, and was not only converted himself, but had been used by the Lord as an instrument of great blessing to the souls of others. On Sunday morning, April 28th, Mr. Muller preached at the Tabernacle Presbyterian Church, Tyler Street, to about 1,800 people; in the evening he addressed nearly 2,000 at the same church; and on the 29th preached at the Metropolitan Temple to a congregation of 800.
On the 30th, a gentleman called in his carriage and took us for a drive to Cliff House, seven miles distant, near the Golden Gate, a strait two miles wide, which leads from the Bay into the Pacific Ocean. Many years ago the spot on which San Francisco now stands was covered with hills formed of sand, blown there in immense quantities from the shores of the Pacific by the strong winds which constantly prevail; but now a "magnificent city" (as some call it) has been erected upon the site that formerly was nothing but a barren waste. Upon arriving at the coast of the Pacific, we took a walk upon the beach, a vast region composed entirely of sand, which, as no rain falls in California from the middle of April until October, becomes extremely troublesome, because it is blown inland in prodigious quantities for miles by the trade winds, for which that locality is noted. During the winter rain falls every day; but frost, except in the mountains and northern portions of the State (generally speaking), is unknown. During our walk the tide was nearly high; but when low, beautiful shells in great variety are found upon these shores. After walking some time upon the sands, our friend conducted us to Cliff House, an hotel built upon a high rock overlooking the ocean, where, from a balcony, we had an opportunity of observing the sea-lions, by which the rocks that stand out in the sea are frequented.
Hundreds of these curious, amphibious creatures were there, with their pointed heads, and bodies shining with salt water. Some were basking in the sunshine on dry portions of the cliffs, others were plunging into the sea, several were climbing up sloping places on the rocks, and others were barking discordantly. Soon after our arrival at Cliff House, a young waiter introduced himself as the brother of Emma Evans, one of the orphans formerly on Ashley Down. He knew we were in the United States, and having often heard Mr. Muller preach in Bristol years ago, recognized him with great delight, and before our departure presented us with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, as a little token of his gratitude.
After our return to San Francisco, on the evening of that day, my husband preached at the First Congregational Church, to a large assembly, with great help and earnestness. Amongst the congregation were some Chinese, who occupied front seats near the pulpit. On the afternoon of May 1st we visited China Town, situated in a part of San Francisco called Sacramento, which is thickly peopled with Chinese, where thousands of them live. The ground floors of many of their houses contain shops filled with curious and costly articles, manufactured by the natives of China and Japan; but most of the Chinese live down in places like cellars underneath their shops, where they dwell crowded together, smoking and eating quantities of opium. On the evening of that day, Mr. Muller preached at Broadway German Methodist Episcopal Church, when he addressed a large number of Germans in their own language; and the following evening held a meeting at a church in Howard Street. On May 3rd, we walked to the top of a hill not far distant, and from it looked down upon the Bay, and upon San Francisco.
"The first house ever built there was in the year 1835, which was the commencement of a village, afterwards called 'Yerba Buena,' or good herb, from a medicinal plant growing in great abundance in the vicinity.
At the present time, great numbers of eucalyptus trees flourish in the neighbourhood; which, from their sanitary properties, are considered a great blessing to the people. In 1847 the name of the city was changed to San Francisco; in 1848 (the year that gold was first discovered in California), the population had grown to 1,000; and from this small beginning it steadily increased, until in 1870 it reached 149,482. Now, the city contains about 256,000 inhabitants, including 50,000 Chinese, and many thousands of negroes."
On the evening of that day, Mr. Muller preached at the Calvary Presbyterian Church, to about 1,200 people, when he spoke for nearly an hour and a half, with great power and earnestness. On Sunday, May 5th, he preached in the morning at the First Baptist Church, and in the evening at the Calvary Presbyterian, from Romans viii. 28-30, when the Church (a very large one) was crowded to the utmost, the body of the building and the galleries being so thronged, that numbers who could not gain admittance went away. His appeal to believers, and words of warning to the unconverted, were of a weighty, solemn character. Several gentlemen and ladies occupied seats upon the platform, and the steps leading up to it were filled with hearers. On the 6th, at 2 in the afternoon, he attended a meeting of pastors belonging to the city and the State (some of whom came a distance of 20, 30, and 50 miles in order to be present at the meeting), when he addressed about 150 of his brethren in the ministry for an hour and 20 minutes. In the evening at the Tabernacle, Tyler Street, he preached a farewell sermon. The congregation was large; numbers took leave of us as they left the building, and a beautiful bouquet of choice flowers was handed in as a parting gift by a gentleman who once lived in England.
On May 8th we left San Francisco and went to Oakland, where Mr. Muller preached in the evening at the First Baptist Church. On the 9th he addressed 1,000 people at the First Congregational Church, and on the 10th preached to about the same number at the First Methodist Church. On the 11th a gentleman took us in his carriage to visit the University of California, six miles distant, which stands upon high ground, commanding a distant view of the Bay, Government Island, Goat Island, etc.; but we could see only the exterior of the buildings, as they were closed to visitors on Saturdays. On our return we drove through Oakland, a name derived from the fine groves of "live oaks," in the midst of which the town was originally built. These trees are not ornamental only, but they serve to screen the place from the fierce gales that blow through the "Golden Gap" in summer, to the force of which Oakland is particularly exposed; for the climate of San Francisco and the neighbourhood has this peculiarity, that in summer the strongest and most trying winds prevail, though, at all times of the year, trade winds from the Pacific set in every morning at 11 o'clock, and last for about five hours. During our drive, the only discomfort was the dust, which, from the lack of rain in this country, soon becomes extremely troublesome; and the scorching heat of the sun would have been overpowering, if it had not been tempered by breezes from the Bay. On Sunday morning, May 12th, Mr. Muller preached at the First Methodist Episcopal Church, from 1st Chron. 4-10, to a large, attentive audience, and, when the service was over, Sheang Chack, a Chinese convert, who labours amongst his own countrymen, came to shake hands with us.
In the evening my husband preached at the First Presbyterian Church, a large building in the shape of an amphitheatre, where there was a "Union Service," all the principal churches having been closed, that their congregations might attend this meeting. He spoke for an hour from Lamentations iii. 22-26; but the crowd was so great that hundreds were unable to obtain admittance. After the service, a pastor said--"We have had a glorious meeting." On the afternoon of the 13th, Mr. Muller addressed the young ladies at Mills' Seminary, six miles from Oakland; in the evening he preached in German at the Methodist Episcopal Church; and on the following day attended a Sunday School State Convention at San Francisco, where he addressed many hundreds of Christian Workers for an hour and a quarter.
Early on the morning of May 15th we left by rail for Santa Cruz, in South California, on the Pacific coast, 120 miles from San Francisco; and after a tedious journey reached our destination at 4 o'clock. Rooms had been engaged for us at Pope's Cottage, a boarding-house in a lovely situation on a hill, about a mile from the sea shore; and in the evening at 8, Mr. Muller preached at the Methodist Episcopal Church, where we were heartily welcomed both by the pastor and the congregation. On the following evening, he held another meeting, also at the same church.
On the 17th we went by rail to Felton, seven miles from Santa Cruz, to see some of the "_Big Trees_," for which California is celebrated; and after crossing a rustic bridge and passing through a shady glen, reached a secluded spot, where the large trees became more immense than usual.
Some of them are of gigantic growth, and shoot up their tall, straight trunks, like towering masts into the sky. The largest of these trees is 62 feet in circumference; its height was originally 371 feet, but the upper portion of the trunk having been blown off, its present height is only 296 feet. It is a kind of cedar, called the "red wood," belonging to the "Sequoia Gigantea" species; but in other parts of California, there are "Big Trees" considerably larger than the ones we saw. At Mariposa, for instance, the "Grizzly Giant" is 107 feet in circumference, 34 in diameter, and 400 high; and the first branch (nearly 200 feet from the ground) is 8 feet in diameter. In the evening, after our return, Mr. Muller preached at the Methodist Episcopal Church, for the third and last time at Santa Cruz, as, in consequence of other engagements, we were unable to prolong our stay.
On May 30th, at 9.30 a.m., we set off, via Pajaro, for San Jose (pronounced _Yozee_); and, after a journey by rail of 70 miles, arrived there in the afternoon at half-past 2. At the Auzierais Hotel, the following letter from a pastor at Oakland, was awaiting our arrival:--
"Oakland, May 15th, 1878.
"DEAR BROTHER,--I have just returned from our prayer meeting, and it may be a source of gratitude and encouragement to you to know, that very many testimonies were given to the great benefit received from your ministrations here. In fact there is evidence on every hand, that the seed you have sown, has taken root in many hearts. The faith of God's children has been greatly strengthened, and principles of divine truth and Christian life have been received through your teaching, which will be of great good for _many many_ years to come. I rejoice with hundreds of others here, that God has led you to these shores, to teach us the way of God more perfectly. May the Lord wonderfully sustain you and your good wife, in your labours from place to place. You will have the prayers of a host of brethren beloved, who will henceforth have a great interest in you personally, and a still deeper interest in the cause of our dear Lord which you are labouring to promote.--With much love and gratitude for your faithful services, I am
"YOUR BROTHER IN CHRIST, * * * *."
That night at 8 o'clock, Mr. Muller preached for the first time at San Jose, at the Methodist Episcopal Church, where, though it was Saturday evening, there was a large congregation. He preached also on the morning and evening of Sunday the 19th, to crowded audiences at the same Church.
At the close of the latter meeting, numbers of friends came forward to shake hands with us, who, in the warmest terms, expressed delight at our visit to their city. "San Jose is in the middle of the Santa Clara Valley; and, in consequence of its healthful climate, which is a medium between the cold winds of the coast, and the hot valleys of the interior, is much resorted to by invalids. One street is occupied entirely by French inhabitants, and another quarter only by Chinese."
During our stay there, on May 20th, we took a drive through Alameda Valley, to Santa Clara, a beautiful little town three miles distant, which contains several Churches, Schools, and the Pacific University.
Here Mr. Muller preached twice; and besides the inhabitants of Santa Clara, several persons from San Jose came over to attend the meetings; but we remained one night only, and late on the evening of the 21st returned to San Jose.