Thomas A. (Thomas Asbury) Morris.

Miscellany: consisting of essays, biographical sketches and notes of travel online

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and opossum, served up in wooden bowls. After the
council convened, and each member was seated, with his
dog lying under his knees, the chief's wife handed the


first bowl of meat and broth to her husband, the second
to the missionary, and then went round according to sen-
iority till all were served. Each man having picked his
bone, gave it to his own dog to crack, which knew the rules
of the council better than to leave his place behind his mas-
ter's feet before the feast was ended. Next the tomahawk
pipe of peace passed round, each taking his whiff in turn.
This ceremony over, the chief struck the blade of the
instrument into the ground, and inquired what was the
object of the meeting. Jesse informed him that he had
come a long journey to bring them the book which the
Great Spirit had sent to all his children, both white and
red, and to ascertain whether they would allow him to
establish a school among them, and teach their children
to read it. So saying, he handed a Bible to the chief,
who examined it deliberately and carefully, as a great
curiosity, and then passed it round till every member of
the council, in his proper place, had done the same. After
examining the Bible, the chief rose and replied as follows :
" The white children's Father had given them a book, and
they would do well to mind what it told them ; but they
doubted whether it was intended for his red children.
However, as some of their older men were absent, they
could not then decide the matter; but, in a few days,
they would hold a larger council, and then give him an
answer." The result of the second council was leave to
establish a mission school. Having settled this matter to
his mind, Jesse returned to make preparation for the mis-
sion, and to attend the General conference next spring, at
Baltimore, leaving a pledge that he would visit them next
summer, and commence operation in their villages. After
he had proceeded nearly a day's journey from the camps,
a messenger came galloping after him, and said, "The
chiefs have sent me to tell you to be sure to come back
next summer," which he again promised to do. While od


his way to Baltimore, he called on the Secretary of War,
at Washington City, and obtained his sanction to go on
with the mission.

Here his verbal narrative ceased. The Minutes of the
Missouri conference, for 1824, contain this entry: "Jesse
Walker, missionary to the Missouri conference, whose at-
tention is particularly directed to the Indians within the
bounds of said conference." But few men, even of his
day, performed more hard labor, or endured more priva-
tions, than Jesse Walker, and certainly no one performed
his part with more cheerfulness or perseverance. While
his ashes quietly sleep in the north part of Illinois, bis
spirit is with Christ above.


Rev. William B. Christie was born at Williamsburg,
Clermont county, Ohio, September 2, 1803. Of his early
history but little is known to us of much importance to
the public. He embraced religion and joined the Meth-
odist Episcopal Church when a youth ; and so far as we
are informed ever after adorned his Christian profession.
Subsequently he was for some time a student at Augusta
College, when the Rev. John P. Finley, of precious mem-
ory, was president* of that institution, where he made rapid
progress in his literary studies; and where he laid the
foundation on which he, in after life, erected a super-
structure of knowledge, creditable to himself and useful
to his fellow-men. Having commended himself to the
confidence of his brethren as a member of the Church,
and as an exhorter, and as one called of God to the
work of the ministry, they licensed him to preach, and
recommended him to the Ohio conference for a traveling


preacher. He was admitted on trial in 1825; received
into full connection, and ordained deacon in 1827, and
graduated to the office of elder in 1829. In all these
relations he was not only acceptable, but highly esteemed
for his work's sake, and also on account of his personal
virtues and consistent piety. He was a man of regular
habits, even temper, easy manners, and great self-posses-
sion ; and though possessed of a high sense of honor, and
of that dignity of character which becomes the Christian
minister, he was influenced by a "meek and quiet spirit,"
Which so chastened his conduct and conversation, that he
seldom had the misfortune to offend any one. He has
been heard to say, that naturally he was as ambitious as
Caesar, but this only prompted him as a preacher to excel
in the acquisition of useful knowledge and in doing good,
so that he enjoyed the confidence of his brethren generally
in the ministry and membership, and was highly respected
by the entire community wherever he was known.

For some years after brother Christie entered the itiner-
ant ministry, he applied himself with uncommon assiduity
and perseverance to close, hard study, which, together
with his abundant pulpit labors, materially injured his
health and superinduced such bodily afflictions as ever
after embarrassed him more or less in the prosecution of
his ministerial work. If, during the latter years of his
life, he studied less and made less rapid progress in knowl-
edge, it was because his constitution was broken and his
mental labor thereby restricted. His particular friends
need not to be informed that he was a man of much afflic-
tion; and when some individuals occasionally complained
that he commenced his public discourses in too low a tone
of voice, they should have known that it was not for want
al, but want of physical strength. We trust that
young brethren in the ministry will learn by the things
which he suffered, to regard their health for the good of


the cause; and that unreasonable hearers will learn to
make some allowance for such of them as labor under
bodily infirmities, lest they die in the midst of their use-

Notwithstanding brother Christie's difficulty, arising
from the want of good health, he attained to an eminent
position in the Church, and for a series of years filled
some of the most important stations and districts in the
Ohio conference, acceptably and usefully. Thrice his
brethren elected him as one of their delegates to General
conference, where he filled his place with dignity and
usefulness. He was a man of general information. Few
individuals of any profession were more familiar with the
history of our country, its institutions and leading men,
than he was. His literary attainments were respectable,
especially such as were most intimately connected with his
profession as a preacher ; but his greatest proficiency was
in the study of theology. He was an acute theologian,
an accomplished divine. There are but few men in our
connection of his age that equaled, and perhaps none
that surpassed him, in a critical knowledge of the doc-
trines of the Gospel, or that can explain and defend them
with more clearness and force than he could. Rich in
figure, fluent in speech, chaste in language, strong in
argument, and mighty in the Scriptures, he seldom failed
to enchain the attention and affect the hearts of the mul-
titudes that thronged his ministry. He could reason like
a wise master-builder on a controverted point of doctrine,
divest it of every needless appendage, present it in its
proper form, and then test its truth by "the law and the
testimony," with as much ease as any other man of my
acquaintance. But his favorite topic was Christ crucified.
It was his delight to offer every son and daughter of
Adam a present, full, and free salvation, through simple
faith in the blood of Christ. And when he had shown

BICH 195

the necessity, nature, consistency, fullness, and freeness of
the atonement, lie was nor satisfied with merely arriving
ot triumphant conclusions in the argument, but added
■fill appeals to the heart and conscience, urging the
people to accept ottered mercy, and secure everlasting life.
Of course his preaching was attended by the Spirit of all
grace to the hearts of many, and was frequently followed
by salutary consequences. Many sons and daughters in
the Gospel, from his different fields of labor, will rise up
at the last day and call him blessed.

Brother Christie's acknowledged ability to preach was
not the only qualification he possessed for the work of the
ministry. He was, for one of his age, exceedingly well
versed in all questions of ecclesiastical law, all rules of
discipline connected with the Church of which he was a
minister, and united becoming firmness and moderation in
the administration of it, so far as it was committed to his
hands. His mind was adapted to the discussion and com-
prehension of such subjects ; and he did not bury this
talent, but used it diligently in accomplishing the great
objects of his ministry. Taken altogether, he was justly
regarded as an able minister of the New Testament,
he taught publicly, was enforced by priyate exam-
ple. He enjoyed not only the communion of saints, but
the fellowship of the Spirit. The Lord sealed his ministry
with the conversion of souls, which are his living epistles
known and read by all ; and while he rests in the grave,
the effect of his labor tells favorably on the interests of
the Church. He lived a bright luminary in the Church
on earth; and, we doubt not, will "shine forth as the sun
in the kingdom of his Father" forever.

In the morning of his existence, this man of God, in
obedience to the Spirit's call, had devoted himself, his
time and talents, life and reputation, soul and body, to the
\vork of the itinerant ministry ; but before he reached the

196 MISCLLLA^' Y .

meridian of life, Lis constitution began to give way, and
with it his hope of extensive usefulness. For many years
his health had been precarious and declining, and his
complicated diseases finally resulted in pulmonary con-
sumption, with which he died. His brethren and friends
saw that his strength was failing two or three years,
and rather encouraged him to desist from regular service,
and seek relief in rest and retirement ; but he could not
feel reconciled to leave the work, and continued to receive
regular appointments from year to year, and do what he
could. And while his extraordinary resoluteness induced
him to continue in the field longer than was expedient,
zeal for the cause of his Master frequently carried him
beyond what his strength would bear. Some months
later, however, he was compelled by bodily weakness to
desist from preaching entirely. After lingering through
the winter, he concluded to visit his friends in Cincinnati,
and avail himself of such means of recovery as could
there be afforded. When about to leave Urbana — his
regular field of labor — the brethren kindly offered to con-
vey him to the city, but he declined the favor ; and with
a courage, peculiarly his own, drove the carriage which
conveyed himself and family to Cincinnati, only about
eleven days previous to his decease. On the way he ap-
peared to be revived, so that he attended public service at
Ridgeville, where he rested on the Sabbath, and heard
preaching. But when he reached Dr. Wright's, in Cin-
cinnati, on Tuesday evening, he was much prostrated,
look his bed, and declined more rapidly than before.
The next morning after he arrived, two of us called to
see him ; his face was flushed with fever, and his system
wasted almost to a shadow. He was much affected at the
interview, and said his nerves were shattered, but his
confidence in God was unshaken : he knew in whom he
had believed : he had not preached an unknown, or unfelt


Savior, an J the Gospel which he had long preached to
others, was then his consolation. The calls of his nu-
merous friends so taied his sympathy and his strength,
thai his physicians found it requisite to lay some restric-
tion on them, or suffer him to be much hastened in his
departure ; and with all the care that could be taken by
physicians and friends, he did not last long.

Among the numerous incidents indicating the state of
his mind during the last hours of his earthly existence,
I will recite only a few.

Saturday morning, a little after midnight, he requested
a brother who was sitting with him, to call Dr. Wright,
who came in and found him rapidly sinking. He asked
brother C. if he felt worse ? His reply was that he had
great difficulty of breathing. After some means of tem-
porary relief had been administered, he asked the Doctor,
"What does this mean?" In reply, the Doctor inquired
if he would like to see some of his friends? Brother C.
then said, "Why do you ask the question? Do you think
I am pretty near home?" On being informed that he
was undoubtedly worse, he looked round upon his wife
and friends, calm and collected, and said, "I am not
alarmed. I am not afraid to die." Extending and look-
in >y at his hands, he remarked, "Jesus, with his bleeding
hands, will not thrust me away." Next, he took his two
little sons, embraced and commended them to God. Soon
after this, brother Sehon — having been sent for — entered
his room, to whom he extended his hand, and with a
countenance bright with hope, said, "Brother Sehon, I
am almost home." After exchanging a few words, he
requested brother S. to pray ; and, during the prayer, he
appeared to be perfectly happy. This over, he beckoned
brother S. to his bed, and by him sent the following mes-
sage: "Tell my brethren at the conference, if they think
my name worthy of being mentioned, that I have not

198 M igCKi l a ;s y .

preached au unknown and unfeli Christ. Tell them that
though unworthy and unfaithful, that Gospel which I have
preached to others now sustains me, Tell the preacher?
to preach Christ and him crucified. Tell them my only
hope, my only foundation is in the blood of sprinkling.
Precious blood 1 the fullness, the sweetness, the richness
of that fountain i" After praising God for some time, he
turned his eyes on his weeping companion, and made
some reference to his temporalities, but instantly observed
they were small matters, little things, assuring her that
God would provide for her and his little children. About
two o'clock I arrived, and found him bolstered up in his
bed, covered with the sweat of death, and much exhausted
by the efforts he had made to speak, as above described.
He, however, reached out his hand, and said distinctly,
"I am almost home. I feel that God is good to me, and
that Jesus Christ is my salvation." No question being-
asked him, and exhausted, he desisted from speaking for
awhile, and then looking at his distressed wife, I under-
stood him to say, "Jesus is precious." When unable to
articulate, he often lifted his cold hand in token of vic-
tory ; and again, as though anxious to make us understand
his meaning, he raised his hand high above his head and
waved it in triumph. After some time, he raised both his
hands at once, and extended them before him, as if just
rising on "the wings of love and arms of faith;" and
then, in an animating manner, brought his hands together,
triumphing over death, his last enemy. At that time, I
supposed he would speak no more ; for when his compan-
ion desired to hear his voice once more on earth, he could
only look at her and point his finger toward heaven.
However, not long before his exit, he raised his hand
high, and brother S. asked him if he wanted any thing?
He shook his head. Brother S. then asked him if it was
pow r er and glory ? His countenance brightened up, while

BlOii R A P II I A L 8 K E T C H E 9 1 99

lie nodded his head affirmatively, and his strength return-
ing to him, he shouted aloud, clapping his hands and
giving glory to God. The same peculiarity of manner,
form of expression, and even gesture, which marked his
pulpit and altar performances, were strikingly exhibited in
his closing scene. To the last, he seemed to be conscious
and triumphant. About seven o'clock, Saturday morning,
March 26, 1842, without a sigh or groan, his deathless
spirit passed in peace and triumph from earth to appear
before the presence of God with exceeding joy.

Most of my early associates in the ministry, and many
of my junior brethren, have disappeared from these scenes
of earthly toil and sorrow, while I am still lingering on the
stage of life. How pleasant to recall to mind the names,
the religious conversation, the Gospel labors of those
loved ones now sleeping in Jesus !

Among the departed, there are few, if any, of whom I
think more frequently or pleasantly, than the lamented
William B. Christie. My impressions of his personal
appearance, voice, action, social habits, and manner in the
pulpit and in the altar, are as vivid now as when he lived,
mingled, and talked with us. His person, of medium
hight, was always delicate, but erect, and of manly bear-
ing; head unusually large, and covered with a beautiful
suit of fine dark hair; eyes black, sparkling, glowing with
intelligence, and softened with benevolence. In his social
habits, he observed a proper medium between levity and
melancholy; he was cheerful but not trifling, religious but
not sad. In action he was easy, graceful, and dignified,
and neat in his apparel ; but nothing in his dress or
address indicated any hauteur. He was, in the best sense
of the phrase, a Christian gentleman ; always displayed
independence and firmness in maintaining his own views
of every important subject, but never contradicted any
one, or betrayed rudeness of any sort.


As a preacher he excelled, greatly, in three particulars;
namely, beauty of language, strength of argument, and
power of application. By the first he secured the atten-
tion of all ; by the second he convinced the judgment,
pouring floods of light upon the understanding; and by
the last he overpowered the feelings of his audience.
While his profound knowledge of theology and his logical
acumen deeply interested the most learned, his religious
ardor and fervid eloquence arrested and led captive the
most careless, and made the most simple-hearted joyful.
Perhaps his only fault in the pulpit was occasionally
preaching a long sermon, which, however, was but little
complained of, because his superior intellectual strength,
and an unction from the Holy One, enabled him to enchain
multitudes to the last moment of his longest effort. Nor
was he satisfied merely because many hearts were sub-
dued under his powerful discourses, and retired with
tearful eyes and throbbing bosoms : he followed such to
their homes, led them to the altar of prayer, and pointed
them to the Savior, till he could rejoice over them as
happy converts to Christ. The character given to the
amiable Barnabas would, in some degree, be applicable to
brother Christie; "For he was a good man, and full of
the Holy Ghost, and of faith : and much people was added
unto the Lord."

It is to be lamented, that such a mind as his left so few
traces of itself upon paper. He had no ambition what-
ever to figure as a writer ; otherwise, it would not now be
necessary to tell those who never saw or heard him, that,
when he died, "there was a prince and a great man fallen
that day in Israel."

The closing scene of his earthly pilgrimage was all that
could have been expected, or even desired by his most
partial friends. Though I have often seen happy Chris-
tians die, never did I witness a more signal victory than


that of brother Christie. It was enough to inspire confi-
dence in the most timid believer, and enable him to sing,

"When death o'er nature 6hall prevail,
And all the powers of language fail,
Joy through niy swimming eyes shall break,
And mean the thanks I can not speak."

The immense concourse of people that attended his
funeral, at Wesley Chapel, filling it to overflowing, while
multitudes retired for want of room, was ample proof of
the influence which he had exerted in Cincinnati. In that
assembly distinguished individuals appeared who were
never seen in that church before, nor since. All was
solemn as death, and silent as the grave, except the voice
of the minister, and the sighs of the weeping multitude,
while he attempted to draw a brief outline of the Christian
and ministerial character of the deceased, under the
appropriate motto, taken from Daniel xii, 3, "And they
that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firma-
ment ; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the
stars forever and ever."

Mas. Rust, my only daughter, was born at Spicewood
Cottage, Cabell county, Va., February 27, 1815, and was
baptized the same year by Rev. David Young, of the Ohio
conference. Her constitution was naturally feeble, and
her health delicate all her life; but that did not materially
injure her mild and amiable disposition. Neither her
parents nor teachers ever had any difficulty in governing
her. She was as steady and thoughtful in childhood and
youth as most persons are at mature age. The most
striking features of her character were meekness and


kindness : the former appearing in every thing pertaining
to herself, and the latter in whatever respected others.
As a member of the family she was always attentive to
her duties, and as a student, to her studies. When only
live years old, she read fluently and gracefully. She
learned her lessons with great facility, especially such as
were committed to memory, and being always diligent in
preparing to recite them, seldom failed to stand first in
her class ; but was never known to take any credit or
praise to herself on that account. On the contrary, kind-
ness to her classmates frequently led her to extra exer-
tions in learning the dullest and most negligent of them,
to keep them out of difficulty with their teachers.

When Jane left Science Hill Academy, at Shelbyville,
Kentucky, in the fifteenth year of her age, she had
acquired all the essential elements of a sound and
useful education, and some of the ornamental branches,
and bid fair to excel in literary attainments. The state
of her health, however, about that time, rendered it neces-
sary that she should exchange her sedentary habits and
mental exertions for an active life in the domestic business
of the family, then residing in Lebanon, Ohio. But sub-
sequently, by reviewing and extending her studies, she
improved her education, so that, when seventeen years
old, she read her French Bible nearly as well as the
English. Her books were then all the recreation from
domestic business that she desired. No place was so
pleasant to her as home, however humble its appearance.
She strictly regarded the rules of Christian courtesy
toward all classes of society, which to her was an easy
task, but had no relish whatever for fashionable amuse-
ments or gay company. She never wore a particle of
jewelry or any superfluous article of dress in her life, but
always appeared plain and neat at home and abroad.
When she made calls out of the immediate circle of the


family, they were generally made at the chamber of afflic-
tion, and accompanied with some supplies, or other tokens
of kindness toward the distressed- The Sabbaths of her
youthful years were taken up with her Bible, attending
Church, and Sabbath school, first in the capacity of a
scholar, and subsequently that of a teacher, where she
was both diligent and useful, till broken off by family
i ements.

At the age of twenty-one years, she was happily united
in marriage to Mr. Joseph Gr. Rust, of Cincinnati, who was
an only child, bad been pious from his youth, and whose
natural disposition and moral habits were congenial to her
own. She became the mother of threo children, two of
whom are still living. As she had been a most affection-
ate and dutiful child to her parents, so she proved herself
to be a faithful wife, and tender-hearted but judicious

Mrs. Rust never abandoned the principles of her early
religious education. From the time she was first able to
repeat the Lord's Prayer at her mother's side, she never
omitted prayer one day during life. But the form of
religion did not satisfy her mind. She commenced seek-
ing a change of heart very earnestly, as near as I can
recollect, in her ninth year, and for seven years missed no
opportunity of going forward to be prayed for when cir-
cumstances were such as to allow it. She became a
member of the Methodist Episcopal Church in her four-

Online LibraryThomas A. (Thomas Asbury) MorrisMiscellany: consisting of essays, biographical sketches and notes of travel → online text (page 15 of 30)