T. H. (Timothy Horton) Ball.

The lake of the red cedars ; or, will it live? Thirty years in Lake online

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For thou couldst smiling say,

" Jesus is precious to me now," —
Thou didst not long to stay;

And 'tis a joy for us to know

Thou wast prepared and glad to go.

Thy mortal frame doth rest in hope,
We know " 'twill rise again,"

And trust it never more will know
Sickness or want, or pain ;

Then rest, dust, low in the ground,

Until the trump of God shall sound.

Thy living soul, we do not doubt,
Has entered into rest,


And that with all the blood-washed throng,

'Twill be forever blest :
And we too hope when life shall end,
In heaven eternity to spend.

T. H. B."

Mrs. Sarah Farwell

has been mentioned as one of the two baptized
in May 1845, which was the third time baptism
had been administered at Cedar Lake.

It has been stated that her conversion was
remarkable, her experience somewhat peculiar,
and her growth in grace was rapid. Her own
expressions, in regard to one special time of
enjoyment and manifestations of Divine grace,
cannot now be recalled, but the following ex-
pressions from the experience of Mrs. Sarah
Edwards are so similar that they are here given
as illustrating a precious period in Mrs. Far-
well's life. "The greater part of the night I
lay awake, sometimes asleep and sometimes
between sleeping and waking. But all night I
continued in a constant, clear and lively sense
of the heavenly sweetness of Christ's excellent
and transcendent love, of his nearness to me
;: ' ' :: " with an inexpressibly sweet calmness of
soul in an entire rest in him. I seemed to
myself to perceive a glow of divine love come
down from Christ in heaven into my heart, in


a constant stream, like a stream or ray of sweet
light." Mrs. Farwell's constant state of mind
might be safely expressed by the term perfect
peace. Although responsibilities were resting
upon her, she expressed herself as having no
troubles, no cares. She had learned the prac-
tical meaning of that passage in Philippians,
"Be careful for nothing," and it did seem, to
one who often visited her home, that the peace
of God, passing all understanding, kept her
heart and mind through Christ Jesus. Three
short, pleasant years completed her Christian
pilgrimage, and she died, in the full trustful-
ness of faith and love, at the home of her
daughter, Mrs. Clark, two miles east of Crown
Point, in 1848. Her remains were conveyed
to her old home and laid beside the dust of her
husband, there to rest until the resurrection
"of the just." Her sons are scattered in the
West and in the East. Two daughters of her
daughter, Mrs. J. Brown and Mrs. O. Wheeler,
reside in pleasant homes at Crown Point.

Whatever wealth or position may do for
them and theirs, God bestows in this world no
richer blessing than such peace and love as
were upon their grandmother so graciously
bestowed. No brighter exemplification of a
life of "peace," with one upon whom family
cares and duties rested, has there been in the


county of Lake, than was seen for the last three
years in the life of Mrs. Sarah Farwell.

Rev. Thomas L. Hunt

was born in Abington township, Wayne county,
Indiana, in 1822.

He was the son of General George and Mar-
tha Hunt. In the spring of 1835 his parents
and the family removed to Rolling Prairie in
Laporte county Indiana, the Whitehead family
also settling there the same year. On the first
Sunday in August, 1839, then seventeen years
of age, he was baptized by Elder A. Hastings,
upon profession of his faith in Christ. The
harvest season of this year, in the great wheat
growing region of Northern Indiana, had been
for the Rolling Prairie Baptist church a precious
revival season and a time of ingathering in a
spiritual harvest. On this same Sabbath twen-
ty-two were there baptized, among them the
father and brother of Thomas L. Hunt, and J.
M. Whitehead, who has since been such a suc-
cessful pastor in Indiana and in Illinois, and* it
is believed, that young girl who has been men-
tioned in this volume, Ann Belshaw.

T. L. Hunt became at once an active, living
Christian. In 18-10 he was a Sabbath school


In November, 1844, he and J. M. White-
head were licensed to preach the Gospel. Feb.
27, 1846, T. L. Hunt, Stephen G. Hunt, and
James M. Whitehead, cousins and members of
the same church, were all ordained as regular
Baptist ministers. The ordaining council was
large. The churches of the association were
well represented.

Elder E. H. Hamlin was Moderator.

For nearly five years these three young breth-
ren supplied the pulpit of the Rolling Prairie
church, preached in the neighborhoods around,
and kept up, for a time, six Sabbath schools.

In the fall of 1846 T. L. Hunt was married
to Miss Julia Ann Ford, a daughter of Rev. S.
Ford, a Baptist pastor at La Porte.

During the five years of labor on Rolling
Prairie about sixty were baptized by the three
home missionaries. Brother Hunt's mother
was a sister of the father of Rev. J. M. White-
head. In Wayne county the homes of the two
cousins were but one mile apart. On Rolling
Prairie they were but two. Converted, licensed,
and ordained at the same periods, those years
of their home ministerial labor must have been
very pleasant.

T. L. Hunt applied himself diligently to
study. He had studious habits and was a
Christian of marked piety.


In December of 1849 lie commenced labors
at Cedar Lake, entering upon the full respon-
sibilities of a pastor.

His labors in Lake countv have been already
mentioned - , and his zeal in building up a church
at Crown Point, and his untiring devotion to
the cause of Christ. To human appearance he
in some sense sacrificed to this cause his life,
and the church for whose sake he so toiled,
sacrificed, prayed, and hoped, if it erects for
him no marble monument, ought to hold ever
in grateful remembrance the toils and sacrifices
of its first pastor. Fifteen miles away from
Crown Point, seven miles clue south from
Cedar Lake, in the grove south of Lake Prai-
rie, in the Sanders Burial Ground, reposes all
that was mortal of Thomas L. Hunt, the first,
the only Baptist pastor who has died in the
county of Lake. He died July 21, 1853, at
the early age of thirty-one years. He died at
the home of his brother, James Hunt, who
had married Fanny C. Warriner. He was
probably not aware that he was overtasking
his physical endurance ; but like Epaphroditus,
Paul's brother and companion in labor, it might
have been said of him, " Because for the work
of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding
his life, to supply" some one's lack of service.
And such, according to Paul's teaching, should


be held " in reputation." As a minister Roll-
ing Prairie shared in his devoted labors ; but
as a pasloi\ the Baptists in Lake should say,
He is all our own. His dust remains with us,
and his memory tve will cherish. ]STo better
man can the roll of the names of Indiana min-
isters show. He was a true, sincere, earnest,
devoted Christian.

In about one year and a month, the most
mature in soul of the twenty-one whom as
pastor at Cedar Lake he had baptized, Heman
Ball, followed him up to Paradise.

" Go to the grave in all thy glorious prime,
In full activity of zeal and power;
A Christian cannot die before his time;
The Lord's appointment is the servant's hour."

Carefully and prayerfully should those tread
the pathways of ministerial life who are suc-
cessors of such a man as Thomas L. Hunt.

Heman Ball.

Like Lewis F. Warriner and Ann Belshaw,
of whom few in Lake county now retain much
remembrance, Heman Ball also passed away
before his life became to much extent inter-
woven with those now living and acting. Of
him therefore by those now in active life but
little is known.


He seems to have been one of those, of
whom there are many treasured names, like
John L. Bickersteth, and Thomas C. Paul,
and Wilberforce Richmond, who are sent into
this world to gladden, for a few short years,
the family circle, to exhibit the radiance of
loveliness in moral qualities, of gentleness,
humility, patience, and resignation, and to be
refined by severe suffering for the enjoyments
and activities of the future.

Earthly fame to such is nothing, for the
records of their lives, as bright as brief, are
kept in Heaven ; and, with their names writ-
ten in the Lamb's Book of Life, having washed
their robes and made them white in the blood
of the Lamb, they go to be, sometime, kings
and priests unto God forever.

Some one has said : ' c This world is filled
with the voices of the dead. Sweet and sol-
emn voices are they, speaking with unearthly
authority, coming back to us as the messages
of angels."

" There are few who do not number in their
families those whose places are vacant at the
table and the hearth, and yet who are not reck-
oned as lost, but only gone before. And when
the business of daily life is for awhile sus-
pended, and its cares are put to rest — nay,
often in the midst of the world's tumult —


their voices float down clearly and distinctly
from heaven, and say to their own, Come up

Heman Ball was born in Columbia county,
Georgia, January 15, 1832 ; he spent three
years in Massachusetts, and was five years of
age when* he became a resident of Indiana.
He was almost six years of age when in Decem-
ber of 1837 his home was fixed at Cedar Lake.
Eight years of life glided away quite uniformly
and pleasantly. Like other boys in similar cir-
cumstances he worked in summer according to
his strength ; he picked the flowers of spring
for his sisters, and gathered the rich wild straw-
berries of June, which in those years were very
abundant in fruitful seasons, and collected with
the other children the hazel nuts and hickory
nuts of autumn. Delightful were those nut-
gathering days when the whole group of boys
and girls made the October woods echo with
their cheery voices. He pursued the usual
studies of the members of the household ; he
read, he hunted, he enjoyed the summer baths
in the lake and the winter skatings upon its
smooth, glare surface. Healthful and invig-
orating and gladsome were the hours when the
boys and girls of the lake met on that dark
crystal ice, sometimes two feet in thickness,
and spent some of the beautiful moonlight
evenings with their sleds and skates.


In the early summer of 1846, now fourteen
years of age, he had an attack of sore eyes.
Until this time he was a healthy, tall, and
quite vigorous boy, with bright, strong, hazel
eyes, full of life and joy, as light-hearted as the
birds that sung to him in spring time, as free
and buoyant almost as the spotted fawn that
bounded through his groves and over the open

But a change was coming. Those strong eyes
were to be inflamed and ulcered ; those lungs,
that inhaled the prairie breezes with so much
pleasure, to become feeble and diseased and to
waste slowly away ; that manly form was to be
laid many a time upon a bed of languishing
and then to be placed in an early grave ; and
yet the brightest period of his life was now

The brightest, because the Holy Spirit came
to his soul, to draw him to the Saviour, to
implant within that soul a new, pure, holy
nature, to make him an heir of God, heir of
eternal glory. Surely it is a bright period of
human life when this Heavenly Visitant comes
to renew a human soul.

In the summer of this same year he was taken
sick with fever. He recovered in part, but lin-
gered on through the winter, apparently on the
.border of consumption. He never after fully


recovered. His lungs were constantly weak,
and he had many attacks of lung fever.

His New York city uncle, who saw him when
he was far from his worst stages, wrote, " I fear
his eyes will never be restored, and when I
think of his deplorable situation it makes me
shudder." Whatever he himself may have
felt, he never murmured, nor .seemed to lose
at all his characteristic spirit of cheerfulness.
One of his eyes became dreadfully ulcered, and
he was in Chicago for some time, in the care of
a distinguished oculist. Some relief was ob-
tained, but no permanent cure was effected.
While in Chicago he learned in regard to all
the trains, their number and variety, then run-
ning into the city and out to various places.

In the summer of 1847 he was able to be
again upon the farm. Life was pleasant amid
the winds, and flowers, and fruits, and bees,
and birds.

But moral changes were taking place around
him. His mind now awoke with all its vigor
to the importance of personal religion. It en-
grossed his attention, occupied his thoughts,
became his great study, and to secure, to ex-
perience it, was now the great object of his life.

He heard much preaching, studied, prayed,
and yet for months there was darkness about
his mind.


At length the light into his spirit shone. He
attended a meeting of the Cedar Lake church,
professed his faith in Christ, and requested
baptism. As he mentioned the steps in the
path he had followed, and stated the evidences
which he had of a new nature, he stated that
during the months of spiritual darkness, there
had been one thing which he was not willing to
do. Now he was willing to do anything, to be

When that conflict was over and his spirit
yielded fully to the Supreme Will, he came out
from the cloud, his light was clear, his mind
serene. He was baptized in October, 1851.

About three years more on earth for him
remained, and they belong to one of the high-
est types of human life. Men call the exploits
of the plumed warrior grand and imposing.
Merchant princes who are amassing millions ;
statesmen controlling the destinies of nations ;
poets, orators, philosophers, artists ; consider
themselves no doubt as in the high places of
earth. But the humble walk of a suffering
Christian is grander than all these. God re-
gards it with a pitying eye, angels look upon it
with angelic emotion. Says Scougal, speaking
of love to God, charity to man, purity, and
humility, "These are the highest perfections
that either man or angels are capable of, the


very foundation of heaven laid in the soul, and
he who hath attained them need not desire to
pry into the hidden rolls of God's decrees, or
search the volume of heaven to know what is
determined about his everlasting condition ; but
he may find a copy of God's thoughts concern-
ing him written in his own breast. His love to
God may give him assurance of God's favor
to him ; and those beginnings of happiness
which he feels in the conformity of the powers
of his soul to the nature of God, and compli-
ance with his will, are a sure pledge that his
felicity shall be perfected and continued to all
eternity ; and it is not without reason that one
said, ' I had rather see the real impressions of
a God-like nature upon my soul, than have a
vision from heaven, or an angel sent to tell me
that my name were enrolled in the book of

What higher type of life than, amid disap-
pointment and suffering, living to become like

For a short time Heman Ball continued to
engage in out-of-door labor, but one summer's
day, while mowing with the others, the pain
in his head became too severe. His scythe
was laid by, never more in his hands to make
the green grass and the flowers bow before
its keen edge.


About the house he was still active, and
was thus almost constantly with his mother.
His mechanical abilities, of which he had a
large share, were constantly called into exer-
cise. He delighted to make experiments and
secure practical results. He, only, knew every
graft and every variety of fruit in the large
orchard. His favorite apple tree, besides dif-
ferent varieties of apples, bore also excellent
pears. He invented and made for his mother
a cheese press, on a principle then new, which
proved to be the best press she had ever
seen used. There are many evidences that
his intellect was richly endowed. Philosoph-
ical clearness, love of investigation, great
intuitive perception of truth, quickness of
comprehension, rapidity of planning, a very
retentive memory, with a clear and sound
judgment, were prominent traits. He had
not only mechanical and inventive, but much
architectural talent. Had he lived, and had
circumstances been favorable, he might have
become an eminent architect. Whatever he
undertook he had both -the perseverance and
the ability to accomplish. He read much, his
mind was rich in thoughts, and scarcely a
subject could be mentioned in his presence
on which he had not more than common place
ideas. In the Cedar Lake Lyceum, of which


he was a member, lie was a handsome, earnest
declaim er, and ready in debate. In social life
he was exceedingly obliging, ready to do any-
thing in his power to assist another, pleasant
and liking a species of pleasantry, gentle,
amiable, winning, in all his deportment.

As a Christian he took a deep interest in
missions and in Sabbath school work, and in
all evangelical labors. His confidence in the
Saviour, his spirit of devotion, his humility,
brotherly kindness, the manner in which he
at length met death, could not fail to impress
those who knew him that his was not an or-
dinary type of religion. His general bearing
and manner in any outward acts of devotion
indicated the deep under current of the soul,
that it was what persons sometimes call
heavenly minded.

Said Rev. W. Townley, of Crown Point, ' ' I
was much struck with the manner in which
he asked a blessing one day at my table."
Said a New York city- merchant, of close ob-
servation, who was inclined to be a severe
judge of professed Christians, and who had
visited at Cedar Lake, "I studied his character
closely when I was there, and the conclusion
was irresistible that his life and bearing were
as truly Christian as any person with whom
I am acquainted.''


The following letter will show some of his
thoughts and feelings, and how he expressed

"Dear Brother. — Your letter mailed Octo-
ber 4, was duly received, and I should be
glad to express to you some of the thoughts
which it calls forth.

"When I contrast your lot in life with mine,
it seems strange there should be such a differ-
ence between two members of the same family,
difference in natural and acquired powers, in
thoughts, feeling, and action. You * * * are
now engaged in the active scenes of life; * * *
I am here doing nothing for myself or others.
You speak of ambition as though it was some-
thing peculiar to yourself, and others might
not be subject to it. As for myself I know
that I have enough. There is a longing in
my heart to do something, to be something,
to make my 'mark.'

"The world seems to be open before me
with bright prospects for usefulness, if I had
health to improve them.

"About a year and a half ago I had a strong
desire to go to New Mexico. There was an
urgent appeal made by our missionary there,
who was then in the States, for two or three
young men to go as teachers among the In-
dians and Mexicans around Santa Fe. My


heart, responded, ' I will go'; but insurmount-
able obstacles were in the way, and I was
compelled to abandon the project. He re-
turned alone.

With respect to wealth, I think that, with
good health, I might during the next five years
average one thousand dollars a year. The pros-
pect is equally good in Kentucky, and perhaps
still better in Texas although more uncertain.
I see many around amassing property, which
at best is but badly used. There is room
enough here for a great many fortunes to be
made at farming and stockgrowing, but these
are lists which I may not enter.

Last spring our Sabbath school was again
organized and I wanted to attend ; but my
health was such that I could not. * * *

I was desirous of trying the efTects of a
change of climate this fall, but it seems hardly
practicable. Father and Mother do not like to
have me leave home unwell as I am at present,
and here I must stay. Yet, dear brother, think
not that I complain. I know that I was a wil-
ful, wild, thoughtless boy, and perhaps nothing
but afflictions would ever have subdued my
proud spirit. I think, if I know my own heart,
I have learned to trust Providence at all times.
I have had many wearisome days appointed
me, but I have learned to bear them pleasantly


and I hope profitably in communion with my
own heart and with God. While you are far
from home, toiling on in a land of strangers, I
have nothing to do but wait and take what
comes before me. But enough of this.

*• # # -:•:- * -::- *

H. B."

That he had learned to bear his wearisome
days " pleasantly" was a fact evident to all
who saw him. When suffering the most se-
verely with an ulcered eye he seemed to
observers to speak in a more than usually
pleasant manner. He was taught the right
lessons in the school of suffering. Too many,
at such times, fret and worry, complain and
murmur, disturbing their own peace and the
comfort of their friends.

He was fond of music. He lov^d singing.
He had taken considerable pains to cultivate
his voice, having shared the instructions of
some excellent teachers, and many an hour,
■when no reading could be done, he beguiled
with sacred songs, pleasing those who heard
them, pleasant to himself. In his singing there
was a depth of feeling which added greatly to
its interest. Among his favorite pieces were
the following :

"I'm a pilgrim and I'm a stranger,
1 can tarry but a night."


■' My rest is in heaven,

My home is not here.
Then why should 1 murmur

When trials appear?
Be hushed my sad spirit,

The worst that can come,
But shortens the journey

And hastens me home."

Another favorite hymn was,

"Oh sing to me of Heaven,
When I am called to die;"

These pieces call to mind the story of Isabel,
the silk-winder, and the motto of that little
book :

"Sing them, my children, sing them still, *
Those sweet and holy songs~!
Oh, let the psalms of Zion's hill
Be heard from youthful tongues."

A few dajs before his death he had procured
a collection of sacred music called the Melo-
deon, but he had little opportunity to make use
of it. As one of the household saw it after-
wards lying in its place, he thought, It is well. .
They sing on angels' harps tl where he has gone
to dwell."

The summer of 1854 had now arrived. The
Southern visitors reached the Lake of Cedars;
Elder Warriner, from Illinois was present ; the
bridal hour came. None seemed to enjoy his
sifter's marriage more fully than her brother


Heman. Those summer weeks passed rapidly.
Three were about ready to start for the South
when, on Wednesday night, August 23, that
brother took some cold. Thursday he was un-
well, had very severe pain, but still kept about
the house. Friday and Saturday also he went
down once or twice from his chamber. On
Sunday his disease was more alarming and a
physician was procured. Inflammation of the
bowels had commenced in a dangerous form.
Monday morning his oldest brother went to his
room to take the special care of him that was
supposed to be needed, little thinking what
that day would bring forth. He talked with
his brother very pleasantly. Extracts from
authors were read to him and he made remarks
as usual upon them. Two physicians from
Crown Point came in to see him. They exam-
ined his symptoms and went out. As tln?y did
not soon return, he suggested that they dis-
liked to come back and inform him that they
could do nothing for him. His brother there-
fore went out to ascertain their opinion, and
learned, to his great surprise and grief, that
there was no prospect that the sick one would
see the sunset of that day. Mastering and re-
pressing as much as possible his own emotion
he returned to the bedside of the sick one. It
was soon ascertained that he had familiarized


his mind to the idea of death. • Allusion was
made to the words of Judson, "Death will
never take me by surprise," and he expressed
the same feeling. He repeated with energy
and tenderness, with his rich voice and fine
modulation, a passage from the missionary

' ' And when I come to stretch me for the last,

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Online LibraryT. H. (Timothy Horton) BallThe lake of the red cedars ; or, will it live? Thirty years in Lake → online text (page 11 of 19)