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is so, you must accept my resignation.” England, had asked me to associate myself He could not do that, because he did not with him to take up mission service want to come back; and so it went at in England ; but I did not want to go that, and I had the power given into my back to England just then. His invitahands, but in that unwelcome way.
tion, however, gave me the idea to take Of course these people went away growl- up missions in the States, for then I could ing and grumbling, and I was lonelier than get away from my troubles about baptism. ever; but the congregations began to grow. I also had an invitation from a large PresThis was not because my preaching had byterian church here to accept the pasany special value; for, looking back, I can- torate of that church, but I did not want not but feel that it was made up of the most to accept the pastorate of any church. I hastily constructed, unconsidered, extem- wanted to be free until I could see my poraneous utterances that a boy with a way clear and go back in peace to my certain volubility and doing the very best' own land. So, having about decided to he could was capable of. It was Centen- take up mission work in the States, when nial year—a fearful summer; during July the time came for me to go from New and August the thermometer in New York York, I asked the rector for letters of averaged 84, night and day. I suppose introduction. It was a blow when he there was not another church open on Fifth refused to give me letters. I pressed for Avenue during that summer ; people were reasons. I said, “I have worked hard crowding the city on their way to the here, and of the result of my work I think Centennial, and so after a time the tent you are fully aware; why will you not was almost full. On Sundays the church give me letters?” “Well," he said, “if was quite full, and I began to taste for the I give you letters to different churches, first time the sense of being able to put you will go there and unsettle the rector; things through, and it thrilled me. It the people may want you, not him, after was sweet beyond words. I was sick and a fortnight.” “But," I said, “I am not tired; I could not sleep at night; I do seeking a place in the Episcopal Church ; not think I averaged more than four I am not seeking your place or any one's. hours' sleep every night during that sum- Here is the list of two hundred people who mer; and the mosquitoes, which I had have come to me as a result of my work. known nothing of before, worried me; but All I want is a chance to earn my bread I began to feel that I had plunged into the so that I will not be obliged to go home midst of things. I felt that I had a mes- until I can see my way and know what sage for these people in New York, as to do." I had had a message for the people in He would not give me any letters, Norwich.
and I was almost in despair. I had no I had a good many discouragements. money, and I was on the point of cabling For instance, the rector came back before to my father for funds to take me back the four months were over. I had a again. (I might say incidentally that I definite engagement with him, so he could owed a dentist's bill of $14, which I was not put me out; but he advertised him- not able to pay for a long time.) I had self to preach at the same hour in the never taken money from my father after church opposite, and I had much to con- leaving Cambridge, and I did not want tend with.
to begin. In my quandary I went to I finished my work on the 15th of Sep- Bishop Horatio Potter. I took my letters tember. I had carefully made a list of of orders out of my pocket and said : “Sir, all the people who came to me; I took I am a clergyman in good standing. I names and addresses; and so, when my have been preaching every Sunday for work was done, I had a list of over two four months in the church at — Street, hundred names of people who said they and every evening in the tent on Thirtywished to join this church in which I had fourth Street and Broadway. I want to been laboring. When my time was up, I take up mission work in the Episcopal handed the list to the rector, and said Church in this country, and I cannot get I had done the best I could. I might letters commendatory to the clergy from say right here that about this time Mr. the rector. I want to know whether you Aiken, famous in America as well as in will give me a letter.” I shall never
forget the quick and loving response I was directed to an insurance agent, wbo which the old man made.
was a deacon in the church. I went i. “Mr. Rainsford, I attended some of him, and found him a delightful mar. your meetings in the tent, and I liked the Yes, I found a lifelong friend. work, sir. I shall gladly give you a letter, “Do you know anything about a mission
to begin in your church next Sunday?" I “May I use the letter ?” I asked. asked.
“ You may use the letter in any way “No.” you please, sir.”
“Do you know anything about a ma: And the old man wrote me a magnifi- named Rainsford who is coming down to cent letter. I had the letter printed, and take charge of it?” then I broke down. I had a sudden “Never heard of him," he said, chet sharp attack, and with the last money I fully. had I went off into the Maine woods for “Well, then, there's nothing to be done: ten days, with a guide; and, being young I'd better go back to England," I said. and strong, I came back feeling all right “What do you mean by a mission. again.
he asked, beginning to be interested. I sent a copy of the Bishop's letter to I sat down and talked to him about different churches, and received a response half an hour, and he said, “ Why, that's from a church in Baltimore--you know just the thing we want." the Southern way-full of enthusiasm : “But there's no preparation made at “Mr. Rainsford, will you come and hold a all," I replied. mission in such and such a church? We “Well," he said, “Dr.— has forgotten have heard of your work in the tent; our all about it; that's just like him ; he'll not people are church-going people, but they be back before eleven o'clock Saturday need to be stirred up; you are just the night; but this is, I believe, God's doing : man we want. Will you come down and you stay-" hold the mission ?" I think this was about “But what can I do without any prepthe first week in October. I wrote back aration ?” saying I would be glad to come, and asking “Go ahead any way you like," he said. them to make some simple preparation I took the last dollars I had in the for my coming. Then I stayed with world and had two hundred posters friends in New York until the time came- printed : at the one single house in the city where “Mission, such and such a church. I was received—and on the Friday Beginning Sunday, such and such a time. before the Sunday I was to begin my W. S. Rainsford will preach Sunday mortmission I left for Baltimore. I wrote ing and evening and each day in the week saying I was coming. There was no one Bible readings (as we called them at 1! at the depot to meet me. I left my port- o'clock. Gospel services 8 o'clock. All manteau and made my way to the rectory. welcome.” When I got there, the rectory was I took these two hundred circulars closed. I made inquiries and found that under my arm—all I could afford—and the rector was in Philadelphia at the succeeded in getting these posters placed Centennial.
in the windows of the best shops o “Is there no other clergyman connected Charles Street; I also got the street-ca? with the church?” I asked.
people to put them up, free of charge "No."
two things which I have never been able “ None at all ?”
to get done in a town since; and then I "No."
waited for Sunday to come. “Do you know of any mission to be At eleven o'clock Saturday night back held here?”
came the Doctor. I was in his study “No, don't know anything about any waiting for him. mission; the missionary collections were “Mr. Rainsford, I am glad to see you. taken some time ago, and we don't want delighted to see you, sir. I have not any more.”
made any preparation-in fact, our people I asked if there was no one to give me are not back in town yet, but I'm glad to information about the church, and finally see you. I am going to preach Sunday
morning, the Bishop will preach Sunday munion-table. On Wednesday evening I night, and you will begin Monday,” heard the sound of emotional crying. I
“Dear Doctor," I said, “I have only looked down, and there sat the Doctor, his come here to help you, but I cannot agree head wrapped in his surplice, crying like to the arrangement that you preach in the a baby. Before I could give the blessing, morning and the Bishop in the evening. he ran to the front of the church, spread I've got to get hold of the people on Sun out his arms, and cried : day if I hope to reach them during the “Friends, you must come to hear this
young man !" "Mr. Rainsford, you are a stranger in After that the church was always full. this country; you do not understand; I That was my first mission in the United am rector of this church, and I repeat, I States. For two and a half years I went shall preach in the morning, the Bishop all over the country holding missions in a Sunday evening, and you begin Monday.” similar way; and I have always been It was a little thing, you may say, but it thankful for the good opportunity it gave was a real crisis.
me for knowing the country and the peo“Dear sir," I said again, “ I am only ple. I twice had a mission in Baltimore, here to help the work in this church and one in Washington, in Philadelphia, in to do the best I can, but I know my busi- Boston, in Harlem, several places in Ohio, ness. If I begin the way you suggest, the in Kentucky, etc.; I got pretty well around mission will be a failure. No doubt you the country. are going to preach to-morrow morning After a time, at the end of the second and the Bishop Sunday night, but then I or beginning of the third year of mission am not going to begin on Monday.” work, I got an urgent invitation to go to
He stormed up and down his study for Canada ; and I went to London, Ontario, twenty minutes. I did not say a word; where I had one of the most successful I sat on the sofa and looked at him. At missions in my whole experience. That the end of twenty minutes he rushed out led to my being asked to Toronto, and saying he had got hold of a rampageous there the work developed into something Englishman who was bound to have his more than a mission; it led ultimately way, and asked the Bishop to let him off. to my living in Toronto for four years. The Bishop let him off, and I began Sun The Cathedral Church of St. James, day morning. It was not exactly encour- Toronto, by which I was invited to hold aging. It was a wet, stormy day. I a mission, was a large and unusually fine preached in the morning, and I really church, very well endowed. It held to felt that God stood by me. When I got Toronto somewhat the same position that through, the Doctor said, “You did a long ago Trinity held in New York; it great deal better than I expected ; you represented an endowment given by the will make a preacher. But you made a Government for the Church of England in great mistake; you did not take any the whole town of Toronto. At the time text.”
when the endowment was given Toronto “ Doctor," I said, “I am not here to had not 5,000 inhabitants; when I went preach sermons. You have been taking there, there were 85,000. Meanwhile the texts and preaching better sermons than church held the endowment. St. James's I can preach all these years; I am here seated 2,300 people. The Dean of the only for ten days; I must work in my own diocese was rector of the church-a man way."
of culture, refinement, and very considera“Go the way other people have gone," ble learning, and a graduate from some he replied; “ do not do that sort of thing." Oxford College, I forget which. He was
I preached again in the evening, and distinctly evangelical, but of the cultured we had as many as in the morning; again school ; it was not quite the evangelical the Doctor grumbled because I took no school to which my father belonged. He text; on Monday as many as on Sunday, was an old man, beginning to fail rapidly, and by the time Wednesday came the and he was urged to have me there to church was three-quarters full. There hold a mission. In fact, the whole town was an old-fashioned pulpit, from which of London, Ontario, had been moved, and one could look right down on the com- that led to an insistent call to Toronto. Let me say that I am speaking now of end of three weeks I had administered the year 1878. There had been no move- Holy Communion to such crowds as had ment in Canada such as Moody had been never been seen before in St. James's; associated with in this country; the peo- nothing approaching it had ever been ple were ready for a serious religious seen before in Canada. I prolonged my movement. They were church-going peo- mission ; but at the end of three weeks I ple, well grounded in the Bible. They was about played out. I had preached were a moral community--very moral, as nearly every sermon I had ; but people I look back and think how they compared came to me and said: with others; but there had been no dis “You must not go ; it is absolutely tinct religious awakening at that time. essential for you to stay longer ; stay four The time was ripe when I went into Can- months, and preach twice on Sunday and ada. I was not responsible for the wave once during the week.” that came; I only happened to come with It seemed to be God's call, and I had that movement, as it were.
to stay. The Dean went to England. I I went to Toronto, and I had from the lived in the deanery, and preached twice start the evidence there of the presence on Sunday and once in the week; and the of God moving on the consciences of men crowds were almost as big and as eager as I have never had at any other time in at the end of four months as when I commy life; from the start the crowds were menced. perfectly enormous.
You will understand that at the end of It was midwinter, and I had been the four months I was absolutely preached preaching ten days. As I say, the crowds out. I was spiritually exhausted, not were immense-crowds outside the church physically exhausted, because I was young waiting to get in; I do not exaggerate; and strong, but I had a feeling as though there would be thousands turned away I never could preach a good sermon again. each night; I have seen four hundred I felt as if I had put the last thing I ever and eighty people stand, with perfect knew into my last sermon; I was preached reverence, inside the chancel rails. The out. people came there to hear. You could It was a tremendous wave of religious hear a pin drop. It was like the things excitement at that time; I could not get you read of in Finney's life. The peo- away from it. I preached against dancing; ple were fired. I did not attempt to we all did; I told people they should not have after-meetings in the church. There go to the theater; they did not go; dances was a Sunday-school room that would were broken up. People who came to seat perhaps six hundred people at dance remained to pray, and all that sort the other side of the church, across a of thing. plot of ground ; and in order to restrain There is a completeness about the misand prevent mere emotionalism I had sion sermons that a missioner preaches that my first after-meeting there, not in the makes them better in a way than sermons church. I said, one evening, after I had preached from Sunday to Sunday; for preached, “ If there are any present who this reason. In three years a mission would like to talk with me on matters of preacher addresses himself to certain personal religion, if they will go to the topics, and approaches those topics from Sunday-school room, I will be glad to all sides. He listens to confessions of speak with them." I waited a short time, faith, he picks up different illustrations of and when I went into the Sunday-school an idea, and, if he is methodical, as I was, house, I found not less than five hundred he puts all down. He works, he reworks, people on their knees. I grappled with he polishes; and there is no excuse for them as best I could.
him if, after three or four years of that I might say in passing that the effects work, he cannot produce a couple of dozen of that work were largely permanent. of such sermons as are about perfect of Men of first-rate position in the city con- their sort. The sort may be very poor; but fessed conversion; lived up to their con- as instruments to produce what a man is fession for many years—are living so after, they ought to be very good. The to-day. Multitudes of young men came point that I am coming to is, that their forward to join the church ; and at the effect on a congregation is marked and
apparent, but the effect on the mind of the I did not feel that I could be a curate in man who preaches them is not so favor- the Church of England, and I was upset able, if he does not supplement the work and unsettled. Then an appeal which I with other things. The minù gets into a could not resist came again from Toronto: rut. It is working and reworking in a “ The Dean is getting very old; the circle, and it may become a vicious circle. doctors say he cannot live long; there This is my judgment; and I am quite are signs of brain trouble. You have certain that the experiences of others verify built up the whole community; they look what I say. I do not want to quote to you. Come back and be assistant names, but I can think of several good rector. We give you both our hands, as men who have, in my judgment, greatly you know you have our hearts, and our deteriorated by constant mission preaching. universal pledge that, on his death, you
I parted with the people of Toronto at shall be our rector.” the end of four months, my heart wrung. That pledge was given with most absoKindness is no word to use for what I lute assurance on their part of good faith. received. I cannot describe the effect on I laid the matter before my wife, asked myself when I quit preaching, except as a her if she was ready to go with me for general let-down. I went to England to some years to Canada, she said “ Yes,” take a six months' rest and to be married. and we went. I was still in a quandary as to my future.
[TO BE CONTINUED]
The Great Civic Awakening
By J. Horace McFarland
President American League for Civic Improvement C OME of the larger centers of popula- but slightly related to political conditions,
tion in the United States show spec- is of unrealized extent and force, and it N tacular evidences of a desire for pervades the entire country. Little towns, better conditions, in certain great up small cities, the great metropolitan cenheavals. New York turns out Tammany, ters, all seem actuated, aside from political St. Louis partially sustains the heroic fight reformation, with a desire for civic rightof her District Attorney in hunting down eousness, for a return to that natural boodlers, Minneapolis brings to trial her beauty which is the heritage of many unspeakable ex-Mayor, Boston scores a American towns. victory for the people in a battle with the The feeling is aptly expressed in the trolley companies, Baltimore elects a constitution of the St. Louis League for Mayor who puts its city business in a Civic Improvement, organized “ to unite businesslike shape, Chicago introduces the efforts of all citizens who want to make the novelty of honest Councilmen. This St. Louis a good place to come to and a pronounced and somewhat spasmodic better place to live in." The distinction movement shows the deep unrest of the between the political regenerative work people, and evidences their growing inter- and this absolutely unpolitical movement est in the things which have to do with is well pointed in this case of St. Louis, their rights and duties. It is, however, also ; for while this League, organized by largely in respect to these more notable an energetic woman vice-president of the evidences of a discontent with political American League for Civic Improvement, misgovernment that the forward move is proceeding energetically to live up to ment has been described. The turning its constitution, with the aid of some 1,400 out of the rascals is but indirectly, though members, it has no connection whatever very importantly, connected with another with the superb work of Mr. Folk. movement for cleaning up, beautifying, The American League for Civic Imand making the city or the hamlet more provement, a National organization, is the sightly and more comfortable for its result of this insistent bubbling and upcitizens.
rising of the desire for better things, This latter movement, which is often Three years ago it was a National League