1900 Jubilee of the
Prospect Presbyterian Church
Submitted by Ron Butler
These proceedings, etc., are published according to the vote of the congregation, at a called informal meeting held July 11th, 1900. Many of those present at the anniversary services, both former and present members, expressed an earnest desire for their publication. The pastor was requested to take charge of the matter. This he does with the prayer that good may come, as a result, to the church and to all who have been or are connected with it.
R. C. T.
THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY
OF THE ORGANIZATION OF
*PROSPECT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.
Jubilee exercises were held June 8th to 10th, according to the program published. Providence favored us with almost perfect weather. This was a most joyous and happy occasion for the former and present members and friends of this church. The membership of the church and friends in the bounds of the congregation were well represented at all the services. Also a large number of former members and friends were present, and their presence was appreciated greatly.
The exercises began at 10:30 A. M. Friday, with music and prayer. This was followed by an address by Rev. George Dunlap ‑"The Country Church and the Country Boy." Rev. Mr. Dunlap's life runs parallel with the life of Prospect church, in whose bounds he spent his childhood and youthful days, and being a country boy, attending this particular country church, his address was of special interest to the members and friends of Prospect church, and is as follows
THE COUNTRY CHURCH AND THE COUNTRY BOY.
Father Hervey used to say when he had read some article on bees or raising fruit or grafting, that was not in accord with his experience: "People usually write on the subjects they know least about." But I am not liable to that criticism in the present instance. If there is any church I know anything about it is the country church, for it is in the country church I have worshiped all my life, except during my school days, and I have served a country church as minister for near twenty‑five years.
As to the country boy, I was one myself, I have one for a son and have been associated with country boys all my life. I cannot claim to know much about boys, but it is the country boy I know most about.
*Before the church was organized, there was much discussion as to the name by which it should be known. Many names were proposed but none agreed upon. After some time had been thus occupied, Dr. Yates said the remarks made were, perhaps, unprofitable and certainly premature, as they had nothing yet to name, "for our church is still in prospect." Whereupon the name Prospect was proposed and unanimously agreed upon.
This information was given by W. A. Hervey, who heard his father relate it frequently.
But the main part of my subject is not the boy, but the church; the church as seen by the boy.
There have been two very important things connected with my life that have had a large influence on me. One is, that when these settlers came from West Virginia to Illinois they brought their religion with them, and as soon as they could they established their church here. It was a great thing for me and my father's house that it was established near us and later was ready to win and welcome us to its fellowship.
The other important event I refer to is, that when I first asked mother about the plain old bible we used to have in our house, she told me, "it is God's book." That answer abides with me as one of the fundamental truths learned in my childhood and never to be disputed.
My earliest remembrance of Prospect church is of the new building rising across the field from our home. I was told that it was the church, and I gradually learned what that meant. For me the building itself always had a significance.
As I came in view of it when playing or working in the field, it was ever a reminder of purity and righteousness. Thus the very building had a silent influence on the country boy.
The interior of this church, as I came to know it, was a plain room, surmounted by a broad flat ceiling. This after a few years was found to be insufficiently supported and two rows of neatly dressed pine posts or pillars with three in each row appeared one week in the sanctuary, and were ever after one of the: features of the interior. The seats were uncushioned and the floor uncarpeted. Later, matting was secured for the aisles, and two kerosene lamps were suspended over each aisle by a cord running over pulleys, and bracket lamps were placed on the walls. These would now be counted rather feeble lights, but their introduction marked an epoch, and the old announcement that "service will begin at early candle lighting" was no longer the correct expression.
To this church I went in early boyhood as an attendant at Sunday school and here I found a welcome I recall that one Sabbath, Uncle John Yates was my teacher, and when he learned who I was he said significantly: "I am glad to see You here." Here, too, I found other boys. We sat together in Sabbath school, and at its close chatted for a few minutes before going in to find the minister in the pulpit and the services about to begin. For a time I went home after school, no doubt considering that the child's church. But I got ashamed of going the wrong way just while other people were going to church and so I just stayed for the whole service.
The preaching service then differed little from the Presbyterian service of today save: in a few minor matters. The doxology was never used at the opening of service. When used, it was at the close. During prayer the people stood. There was no organ or choir. The minister announced the hymn or psalm, and Uncle John Hervey decided what tune would fit the meter and started the singing. For a half line or more he was alone or until the congregation caught the tune and then there was a full volume of sound. Later the Bouslough family were the leaders, having a quartet within their own family.
In the Sunday school the Bradbury music was introduced quite early. First the Golden Chain and they the Golden Trio. There were no uniform lessons then, but different classes were engaged with different parts of the bible. At a later day there were question books for a year based on some Gospel or other book. My class spent a year or more in the study of an excellent book on the Shorter Catechism. One feature of Sunday school study was the reciting of verses learned at home. This was the first part of the work in the class. This done: and the catechism question recited the class proceeded to read a chapter of scripture, the teacher commenting; or asking occasional questions.
We have doubtless made some improvements on these methods of teaching, but I am just enough of an old foggy to think that the committing to memory of scripture by whole chapters was a good thing that it is a pity to have lost from Sunday school methods.
One notable feature of the Sunday school then was the number of male teachers, a feature quite in contrast with many of the schools of this day, and a wholesome feature in its influence on the boys.
But the prayer meeting of those days was a marked feature of Prospect Church. There must have been near twenty families who attended habitually. The service was not a short one, and to us boys the prayers seemed very long sometimes, but these well attended meetings were in their influence an essential part of church life. And does it not seem, Brother Pastors, that the more we shorten and brighten the prayer meeting and sugar coat its exercises, the more people stay away from it?
In the Sunday school I came under the influence of teachers whom I recall as having done much to lead me into the Christian life. Among these were Brother Will Brown and Mr. Maxwell, here present. Then the class of boys of which I was one and Brother Will Hervey another, settled down with Uncle John Hervey as teacher. We chose him year after year. I do not know how advanced Uncle John's education was, but he had good knowledge of the Bible, and his honesty and sincerity and earnestness commended him to us boys.
Then there was a day school teacher to whom I owe much, Miss Emeline Wilson (afterward Mrs. Hugh Morrow), was an earnest Christian in the school room. She read to us from the Testament in the morning and then led in prayer in a way that made a deep impression on me. I wonder if she is here to‑day. If she is, I should like to meet her and thank her for what she has done for me.
Of the ministers of those days I well remember Mr. Cairns and Mr. Simpson. I went away to school soon after Mr. Gardiner came, and was only here in vacation time after that.
As a boy a great deal of the sermon was only a dead level to me, but I caught the illustrations and the truths they taught and gradually grew to a better understanding of the whole discourse.
As to the congregation of that time, I best remember those whose place in church brought them within my range of vision there. Of the fifty‑two seats ours was No. 31, and was near the middle of the house. This was my point of observation. To me there were moral "giants in those days." There were Adam and John and Dr. Yates; there were David and John and Henry Hervey, and the Jones brothers, and the saintly wives and sisters, and the sweet singers of the Bouslough family. Then I have a vivid recollection of Joe Yates, tall, broad shouldered, quick, athletic‑possibly not as much at home in a prayer meeting or a Sunday school as some, but he was a generous, kind and noble man, just the man a boy would admire.
Then there was a seat full of girls‑ there were four of them‑a little forward of ours in which I gradually became interested. The youngest and most restless of these‑she is more demure now‑--has been my companion in the ministry these twenty-four years.
And there came a glad day to me and my father's house. I remember that Sabbath evening well. The minister had been at our house that day on invitation. There had been an earnest talk followed by prayer. I shall never forget the sensations with which I saw father and mother rise and go forward on the minister's invitation. "Salvation had come to that house."
This was part of the fruit of the faithfulness of the true men and saintly women who had banded themselves together in a church on the bank of the Kickapoo who had maintained their family altars and Sabbath services and mid‑week prayer meetings, and who had lived honest and conscientious and Christian lives. I and my father's house owe much to Prospect church.
And now, fellow workers, there is encouragement for us here. As the boys of forty years ago were won, so may we win the boys of today in our Master's name.
"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable always, abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
Following the address by Mr. Dunlap was the greeting by Mrs. Dorothy G. Parks.
"There shall be a handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon, and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth."
Between the years of 1847 and 1850 a number of families emigrated from West Virginia to Peoria County, Illinois, and settled along the banks of Kickapoo Creek. Like the Pilgrim Fathers they brought their religion with them, and soon began to look around for a suitable place in which to worship God. Accordingly they procured the use of the school house, and in a short time made application to the Presbytery to be organized into a church, which request was granted, and a committee sent who organized a church of fifteen members, and today we meet to celebrate the anniversary of that event.
Just fifty years ago today the parents and grandparents of many who are here present, stood up and took upon themselves the vows of the church. Of that number all have passed over the river except one, and to‑day it is my pleasure to greet her in the name of Prospect church, and say: "God bless you, Aunt Sarah Yates, and make your declining days bright with his presence."
This handful of corn did not remain inactive, but immediately began an effort to secure: the regular ministrations of the word. Other friends had followed from their eastern homes and cast in their lots with them, one of them a minister, Rev. David Hervey, whose services were secured as supply.
Of that number of later arrivals but one is living, and were she present we would be glad to greet her.
A short time later a number of the sons and daughters of the pioneers were added, and, although some have died and others gone to build up Christ's kingdom in other places, a few of them are with us to‑day, and to them we extend most cordial salutation. One of this number deserves especial mention in that her connection with this church has never been severed.
About this time the school house became too small to worship in, and they decided to build a church, which was located a mile north of here and was dedicated in June, 1854. In this building we worshiped until 1877, when, the building being very much out of repair, and the Village of Dunlap having sprung up, the present building was erected, but retains the old name Prospect.
Of the different pastors we have had, but two are living, and but one, Dr. Silas Cooke, who for thirteen years broke unto us the bread of life, is present today. Brother Cooke, we are most happy to greet you, and say: "God bless you and yours."
Two of the others lie side by side in the cemetery, and the others are gathered to their fathers in various places. But may we not look with the eye of faith and see them greeting us from the other shore?
The wife of one of our former pastors lies in our city of the dead‑‑ a grand and noble woman, a daughter of the lady who composed the hymn:
"I love to steal a while away
From every cumbering care,
And spend the hours of setting day
In humble, grateful prayer."
Near by rest the remains of another minister and his wife, who, after years of active service in other places, settled in the vicinity of Prospect Church, where they did valuable service for the Master until called home by death. They have passed beyond the veil, and have heard the greeting: "Well done, good and faithful servants."
Our present pastor deserves a word of hearty salutation on this occasion. To you and your faithful wife much of the labor and success of this anniversary belong, and in all the affairs pertaining to the welfare of our church, you are always ready to give a helping hand. Please accept our cordial greeting.
There is another class whom I would like to mention at this time. They are those who have gone out from us to proclaim the glad news of salvation to a dying world. Three are in Japan, striving to lead the heathen to Christ; one is in California, one in Kansas, one in Washington, while the other, after selecting one of Prospect's fairest and brightest maidens as companion and assistant, settled and is preaching in the northern part of this, his native State. They are with us to‑day. Brother and Sister Dunlap we salute you, and though we are privileged to see you more frequently than some of the others, you are none the less welcome.
Another class should to‑day receive our congratulations. I refer to those who have been, or are at present members of the Session. Those who were first elected after the organization of the church have entered the church triumphant. Of those who came after quite a number reside in different parts of the country. Some, perhaps, are with us to‑day, and to such and also to those who occupy that position at present we offer our heartfelt congratulations.
We would not omit a reference to those who, when our country was in danger, buckled on their armor and went forth in her defense. Some laid down their lives on the battlefield or in the hospital, and year by year we lay our floral offerings upon the graves of our dead heroes. A part were permitted to return, and are with us to‑day, the fires of patriotism still burning brightly in their hearts. To you we extend the hand of greeting, and pray that the time may speedily come when war and bloodshed shall cease.
A word to the present membership: We are so glad to meet each other here in this house dedicated to the worship of God. Many of us used to gather in the old church, and were led in singing by the old choir, whom we expect to have the pleasure of listening to again today. Oh! the music of those old hymns; how they thrilled our hearts as the choir led out in such hymns as "Rock of Ages," "Coronation," "Loving Kindness," "How Firm a Foundation," etc. How we have rejoiced together over the conversion of near and dear friends, and since our removal to this Present building we have been made glad from the same blessed cause.
The fruit we have gathered has shaken like Lebanon, and is scattered abroad in the earth. To‑day we lift our hearts and voices in praise: and thanksgiving as we are permitted to greet each other oil this, our Golden Anniversary.
To friends, one and all, whether descendants from the old ancestral church, or coming from other places, we extend to you all a most cordial greeting. Can we not all say from our hearts:
"I love Thy kingdom, Lord
The house of Thine abode;
The church our blest Redeemer saved
With His own precious blood.
I love Thy church, O, God!
Her walls before Thee stand
Dear as the apple of Thine eye,
And graven on Thy hand.
For her my tears shall fall,
For her my prayers ascend,
To her my cares and toils be given
Till toils and cares shall end."
Following the greeting, the pastor, Rev. R. C. Townsend, presented to the church a group of pictures of former pastors and stated supplies, framed in a walnut frame, the wood of which was taken from the school house, still standing, in which the church was organized. This material did service in the old building fifty‑eight years. Large pictures of Mr. and Mrs. Winn were presented to the church by their son, George Winn, of Kansas City, Mo. The pastor called attention to the top of the old pulpit from the first church building of Prospect church, secured from Mrs. Richmond, on which were arranged a picture of the school house in which the church was organized, as it looks to‑day, a picture of the first church, dedicated in 1854, and a picture of the present church building. Mrs. Parks brought also a piece of the plush and fringe, such as was used to cover the old pulpit‑a part of the original piece. At the close of the morning program, dinner, in bountiful supply, was served to all at the Grange hall by the ladies of the church in a way that reflected great credit upon them.
The afternoon exercises began at 2:30 o'clock. The first paper, "Reminiscences," by Mrs. Mary F. Kelly, who has had the longest continuous membership in this church, dating back to 1853 was read by Miss Jennetta Yates, as follows:
Away back in the spring of 1848, Uncle John Yates came to our house in Virginia one day to tell of his visit to the far‑off prairies of Illinois. Among other words of praise he said: If there is a paradise on earth Illinois is that favored garden spot," and that in comparison "Virginia was too low down to tally about. He presented us a large, yellow, pink‑eye Illinois potato, whereof the eyes were carefully cut out and planted, and the balance of the potato was cooked and made a rare hit for numerous eager tastes.
There were no railroads from east to west in those early days, so in March, 1849, Uncle John's family and ours gathered up bag, baggage and children, and journeyed away by steamboat, landing in Peoria at a high water mark of the river that has not been equaled since.
The original families of Prospect church gathered into a settlement from 1847 to 1850, Uncle Joseph Yates being the earliest comer of all. I remember the first preaching service after we came was held in his house, being conducted by the Rev. Robert Breese, the Princeville minister. He was a plain, earnest, kindly man, devoted to the service of the Master, and served us well and often in those early days.
Before the church was organized the Presbyterian families of us usually drove to Princeville on fine days for the Sabbath service. A wide scope of country north of the George Yates cross roads was open prairie then, and we drove on a straight angle from the creek at Burton Hitchcock's to the Hugh Morrow farm in the edge of Prince's Grove. I remember one Sabbath, in the fall of 1849, we were returning home from Princeville church, and had gotten to a half mile northwest of Tow Head when a prairie fire was observed coming up on a stiff gale in the rear. The team was put on a swift gallop, and we raced ahead all the way to a place of safety in the creek timber at Hitchcock's, the sweeping prairie fire very close behind.
All the people rode in wagons then, buggies being such a rarity that Uncle David Hervey kept his Virginia carriage closely housed at home, lest the neighbors make merry over his airy pomp and style if he used it. Sometimes the wagon was seated with the kitchen chairs, but usually with boards across the wagon box. One step of progress was sprint seats, rigged on holes placed on iron hooks inside the box. As these poles sprung up and down with the jolt of the wagon, they acted like shears and cut holes in the women's Sabbath gowns.
Prayer meetings were early established around at the, members' houses. Uncle Joseph Yates, being an elder at Princeville, usually lead the devotions, and sometimes had his son, John C., then a school teacher, read a printed sermon.
At that early day the Methodists and Campbellites held Sabbath services in the old Benjamin school house, now on the Edwards farm, and we often attended their evening meetings. Of the Methodist ministers, I recall the names of Mowry, Swartz, Smith and Caldwell. One day one of them went home with a Bristol family for entertainment after the sermon, and while they were picking wild strawberries for dinner, a rattlesnake inserted its fang into his finger and he had to drink a lot of whisky to save his life. The whisky jug sat along side of the vinegar jug in the settler's cellar those days, and all because of the family pickles. Truth to tell, some of the fathers of the church cheated the pickles through borrowing that demijohn to cheer up the labors of the harvest field.
Aside from the rattlesnakes we had an equal plenty of tuneful frogs and of shaking ague, for swampy ponds and sloughs were numerous. So prevalent were the "shakes" that the story was current that some housewives blew the dinner horn when it was time for the men folks to come in from the plow and take their quinine.
Our present Sabbath school was organized in the old school house by a Mr. Pilkington. He told us to remember his name from its significance, as follows: "Pill," medicine; "king," monarch; "ton," weight.
We had Sabbath school celebrations, with programs and feasts in that same old school house. The first superintendent was Captain Ira Smith, and the main exercises of the school were to recite chapters of the Bible that had been memorized. Doctor Thomas Yates and McKinley Jones were active helpers in this first Sabbath school, and were faithful stand‑by workers in building up and carrying on the many labors of the early church.
When the church was organized, a choir was soon collected to lead the music. There were thirteen singers in it; Samuel Bouslough and wife, Margaret and Mary Yates, Joseph Yates, Jr., Samuel McCoy, Thomas and William Hervey, Mary and Jane Ann White, and Mary, Jane and Elizabeth Keady. Mr. Bouslough was the leader, and it is proper to say that, although Lutherans, and not enrolled members of our church, Mr. and Mrs. Bouslough were for many of those early years valued leaders in the music, the Sabbath school, the prayer meeting and the financial support of the church, and those of us knowing of their many faithful labors, hold them in loving remembrance.
As I remember Rev. David Hervey, one of our early stated supply ministers, he was a broad shouldered and tall old man, towering up from the little home made school house pulpit until his gray head barely missed the low ceiling. His hair was short cropped. Of a winter day he preached in a long blue blanket overcoat, made for him by some of the church ladies; his spectacles were shoved up on top of his head; his left hand in his pants pocket, while with the right he cut the air in dignified gestures; he preached deep practical sermons and was a witty favorite when out among the people.
Rev. Father Isaac Keller often drove up from his home near Peoria, preached the Sabbath morning sermon, had dinner with some member's family and returned home in the evening. He gave us good sound exposition of bible doctrines and was an entertaining guest at the fireside, being a pioneer of pioneers and full of incidents of early day Illinois.
Rev. W. H. Snyder, came to us as a Presbyterian clergyman and preached for a time in the schoolhouse. He was elderly and bald headed, and had a hobby that meat and all spices were very unfit as human food. He wore a tall white hat, and therein carried a temperance and anti‑meat pledge around for the children to sign. Meanwhile he was testing a new brand of hair restorer, the oil of which soaked into the temperance pledge and some of the naughty young ladies chided their mothers for the sin of wastefulness in not boiling that pledge into a kettle of soap. Mr. Snyder was, no great preacher, and there were doubts among the brethren if he had preaching credentials. There was active dissent from some of his pulpit utterances, and for this he had Father White and Father Keady cited before the Session‑-undoubtedly the first case of discipline in Prospect church. He was eventually sent away and no word has ever returned of his later career.
Rev. John Turbitt was the first pastor, and temporary benches were put into the new church for the installation services. My recollection is that he was an able man in the pulpit, but, being a bachelor, was easily disturbed when a fretful baby cried.
The building of that first church was a noteworthy event. Its site and the cemetery grounds were given by Uncle Adam Yates. The men folks of the congregation met one day with their teams and hauled the lumber from Chillicothe, loading it out of a Chicago canal boat.
Father Keady died before the church was built. He was the first of the original members called away, and the first to be buried in the Prospect cemetery.
It was a social custom of the church young people, in the early fifties, to meet around at each other's homes to practice music. The singing books then had what they called "buckwheat notes." Every young man of any musical pretensions carried a "tuning fork," and after the tune was selected, the leader reached into his vest pocket for his tuning fork, snapped it between his teeth, held it to his ear, and invited the singers to "sound their parts." After singing themselves hoarse, cake was passed around, the Parting Hymn was sung, and then the mating was in order for the walk home in the starlight.
Some of the earliest comers of the young men who sojourned briefly in the settlement and co‑operated in church work were Thomas Hervey, David Newell, William Smith, Faris Hervey and William Frazier.
I recall that Thomas Hervey got lost on the open prairie one dark Saturday night, and, after many fruitless wanderings, at length found a hay stack and camped in its shelter until morning. He tried to hide the incident, but the hay seed in his hair gave him away. Only a year ago he died of old age in West Virginia.
Dr. Cutter, of Princeville, was the first temperance lecturer we had in the school house church. He advised us, truly enough, that alcohol is liquid death, and urged us I to set both feet on it and to set them on hard.
Rev. George Cairns was our second pastor, and he remained with us until his death, time of the war. He was a most excellent man, both in the pulpit and among the people, being well beloved of all. I remember a familiar pulpit expression of his, when explaining a seemingly obscure Bible meaning, was, " Even so, Father, for it seemeth good in Thy sight."
He retained his home in Princeville, but was always promptly faithful in meeting church and pastoral appointments, sometimes making the long journey on foot when the roads were bad.
One Saturday evening Mr. and Mrs. Cairns and their little daughter, Nettie, arrived unexpectedly at Mother Keady's house to stay over night. As it happened, corn meal mush was on the program for the family supper that night, and as furthermore it was the hospitable custom of those days to regale the clergy on jam, cookies and chicken fixings, the mush pot was whisked out of sight into the pantry while the minister was knocking at the door. But the pastor scented the penetrating fragrance from that secreted pot and urged a continuance of the mush repast, for he was tired of ministerial chicken and wanted some porridge.
Rev. Mr. McCutcheon, a Methodist minister of Princeville, was a special favorite of Pastor Cairns, and of the Prospect people, and he was often called upon for revival and other extra services.
Among the early‑day young men of Prospect was John Maxwell, who had fluent gifts in prayer meeting, and some of the senior members of the church broached the plan of skipping college, and putting him through the Theological Seminary, but the Presbytery did not so agree.
When the war came on, and the rout at Bull Run, most of our families soon had sons in the army, and there were solemn, exciting and patriotic times in the old church.
Daily papers were out of the question then, so far from town, but the Peoria publishers printed extra slips every few hours each day, to give the latest war telegrams, and every farmer who went to town brought home the latest extra. Often a late comer from the city, on Saturday night, would bring one of these extras to church with him the next morning, where it would be passed tip to the pulpit and read to the congregation, be it long or short, with such headlines as these, "All quiet on the Potomac!" "Skirmishing on the Rapidan!" "Bloody battle in the Southwest!" And then the heart breaking suspense of waiting for the list of killed and wounded.
There were frequent war meetings in the neighborhood, and Rev. Robt. Johnson, of Peoria, addressed such a rally in the church. The flag was afloat, the fife and drum rattled off martial music, and recruiting for the army went forward in the sanctuary. There was a local homeguard company organized and drilled for emergencies. It was uniformed in blue drilling regimentals, with a red sash at the waist, and a brass eagle on the front of a flat Dutch cap. Napoleon Dunlap is now the senior or ranking officer alive.
I well remember that woeful Sabbath when we were all at church and the news arrived that President Lincoln was assassinated. For a time all attempts to hold the regular service were abandoned. The women cried and draped the pulpit with their shawls and veils, and the men acted grim enough to seize their guns and avenge the martyred idol of the North.
The Rev. John Faris was the minister present that day, and when he could control his voice lie ascended the pulpit and gave out the hymn beginning:
"God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His foot‑steps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm."
The services of that long gone but unforgotten day were a sad blending of human sorrow, human indignation and a truthful but sorely tried faith, looking up to God when the human arm was powerless in the midst of National calamity.
But these random memories are running on and widening out beyond their allotted space, and I now give way to the next on the program, with an earnest wish and prayer for God's guidance and blessing on those who follow after in another half century of work and progress in Prospect church.
Mary F. Kelly
This was followed by the recitation of a poem by Miss Flora Case, prepared for this occasion by Mr. Thomas Keady.
From the hills of Virginia a colony came--
The Yates's, the Hervey’s, the Keady's, by name
To rear their altars, and to seek new homes
Where the prairies were rich in their fertile loams.
In the vale of the Kickapoo, brightly green,
And gracefully spangled in the summer sheen
Of many‑hued flowers, their tents they pitched
In a garden of Eden, by nature enriched.
And they sowed, they reaped, and they prospered apace,
A frugal, a hardy and laborious race,
With the pioneer's hope of a broader life
For their children born to a world of strife.
And they bended the knee in worshipful praise,
And counseled and planned a Bethel to raise
A temple of God‑where the Sabbath day
Should gladden the week in the Christian's own way.
And so, in assembly, just fifty years back
On the slow‑moving cycle of the century's track,
Those fathers and mothers made Biblical research,
And prayerfully founded the Prospect church.
In numbers how weak, yet in faith how strong,
As with hope and resolve they labored along
In that little old school room, the Temple of Praise
That served well the need of those primitive days.
From the records we glean, as the years sped on,
Of trials and blessings; of pioneers gone,
At the call of the Master, "across the tide,"
And of one still waiting on the earthward side.
Thus we hail to‑day the living and last
Of the founders and guides of our church's past,
The dear old mother in Israel, whose hand
Was open and ready at every demand.
May the evening of life be tranquilly sweet,
As she journeys along and pauses to greet
The old‑time friends, who are journeying, too,
From the long ago years, and are loyal and true.
And we bid her God speed and joys evermore,
When summoned to walk the "ever‑green shore"
With kindred and dear ones‑that God‑loving band
Who gave us the church in this fair, fruitful land.
Owing to an accident, Mrs. Nancy M. Short was unable to read her paper, but at her request it was read by Mrs. Rachel Dunlap:
OPPORTUNITIES OF PROSPECT CHURCH.
Of the opportunities for good our church has had I will not say much. Many of them have been improved and great good has been done. There were also times when we didn't improve the opportunities we had, which was a great loss to the church and to the community.
But those things are past and gone. Now it is our duty to improve those which are to come. This we can do only by watching, working and praying.
The opportunities of our church are many, and, if, used aright, will surely be the means of doing much good. should work for a letter observance of the Sabbath day, both by precept and example, thus teaching the children and those around us to reverence God's holy Sabbath.
We all understand well how the training of early life determines, to a large extent, the: character and life of later years.
Then there is the temperance cause, for which we should never lose the opportunity to show the people of this community how we stand on that question. Shall this terrible curse slay thousands yearly, and church. members who sustain it be not guilty?
Prospect church has done much in the mission cause, but there never was a time when missions were manifestly our duty so much as now. The fortunes of war have thrown millions of people upon our country who are ignorant and superstitious, many of them poor and helpless. They are, as Kipling says, "The white man's burden." We surely have an opportunity to do our part in sending missionaries and the Gospel to them.
We cannot expect to accomplish any good, or advance the interest of our church without the use of proper means. No one with the exercise of his right reason expects a harvest, even at the right season, unless the ground has been broken, the right kind of seed planted and proper care taken of it.
There is a wide field around Prospect church that needs work and the right kind of seed planted so that there may be a harvest of redeemed souls. We should watch for opportunities to do good, and improve them as they offer be they great or small, doing all for God's honor and glory.
We have our preaching service, our Sabbath school, Christian Endeavor Societies, Missionary Society, Temperance Society, Children's Day, Rallying Day for the Sabbath school, in which all, large and small, can take part.
We should stand by our pastor and help him in his work. Nothing injures us much more than to be finding fault with our pastor and other church and Sabbath school workers, because they do not work according to our ideas, especially when we are doing nothing in that line ourselves.
Are we likely to lead outsiders to Christ that way? There are some who are gifted as speakers or teachers, who can go to the school houses and visit Sabbath schools, or teach or superintend those schools. While there are others of us who are not qualified, or have not the gift to speak, teach or even sing in public, but we can all so live that those around us may be better and not worse because we have lived here. Actions oftentimes speak louder than words.
"Little deeds of kindness, little acts of love" may do more good than a sermon.
Next was a paper by Mrs. Phoebe Rose:
OUR FORMER PASTORS.
The Prospect Presbyterian Church was organized in 1850 under the leadership of the Rev. A. Coffey. The meetings were at first held in an old schoolhouse. The membership was at first small, but has been steadily increasing until at the present time we have enrolled 150 members, and, we are thankful to be able to say, are still increasing and prospering.
The first church building was erected north of Dunlap on the land now occupied by the Prospect cemetery. Here church was held until our present building was erected in Dunlap in 1877. Rev. David Hervey filled the pulpit as S. S. one year. Our first pastor was the Rev. John Turbitt, who came to us in 1853 and remained two years, being followed by the Rev. Thomas T. Smith, who filled the pulpit as S. S. for a short time.
Our next pastor, Rev. George Cairns, came in 1858, remaining until 1863. The position was next filled by Rev. J. A. E. Simpson as S. S., then by the pastor Rev. Abraham S. Gardiner, from 1860 to1877.
Next came the pastor Rev. John Winn, from 1872 to 1877. Then the Rev. Silas Cooke, D. D., as pastor, filled he pulpit from 1878 to 1890, making twelve years, the longest period filled by any of our pastors as yet. He was followed by the Rev. Henry V. D. Nevius, D. D., as S. S., then by the Rev. Harry Smith, as pastor, from 1893 to 1896. Next came the Rev. R. Cameron Townsend, our present pastor, who filled the position as S. S. for two years and then was installed as pastor, which position he is ably filling at the present time.
We owe a deep debt of gratitude to our former pastors for the patience with which they have borne with us; the assistance which they have always been ready and willing to render us; and the interest which they have always manifested in the affairs which concerned us.
And we all feel that we have indeed been made better men and women by their living in our midst and our associations with them. Earnestly desiring that the blessing of the Lord may rest on this church, its pastors, and also on our former pastors wherever they may be, scattered over the Lord's vineyard, and may we finally be gathered as an unbroken church, reunited with all our pastors, should be our earnest desire and prayer.
Mrs. Hattie Yates then read an original poem, "Looking backward:"
Fifty years, looking forward, how long both seem,
But, to look back, seems like a sad, sweet dream--
A mixture of the sad and gay.
We have here of the first members, one alone;
They have crossed the river one by one
And up the beautiful shining way.
What do we see in this panorama to‑day,
As we look at the milestones that mark the way?
Changing scenes, twixt darkness and light.
Here a scene of brightness, while there is a cloud,
Happy faces, then heads that are bowed,
When the can seems set in sudden night.
Fifty years ago, look then at the scene here--
The many wild prairies that stretched far and near
Covered over with lovely flowers.
The steam whistle was never heard then,
But the soft, sweet call of the prairie hen,
As she nestled in her grassy bowers.
There were many hardships for the pioneer,
Who bore them without complaint or fear,
While neighbors were few and far between.
But there was peace and content amid the toil,
As the sturdy farmer turned the virgin soil,
And many a gay and happy scene.
The young folks met after the set of sun
To pare the apples, with frolic and fun,
And had many a merry husking bee.
The ladies met often to quilt or to sew;
To help each other, and they talked some, too,
And at eve the men came in to tea.
Amid these scenes of peace comes the cannon's boom,
And the nation is cast into fearful gloom
As brothers fall in the awful blast.
The scene grows darker, for the assassin's hand
Lays low the chieftan of this glorious land
And the flag floats only half mast.
Again it changes, and the halo of peace
Rests over all, for strife and tumults cease,
And the mists and clouds pass away.
Then time, like a peaceful river, still flows,
For God, in his mercy, heals all our woes
And guides safely through each dark way.
And so, through the seasons of the passing years,
Midst scenes of laughter and scenes of tears,
Each passing cloud shows a golden lining.
The dark days are few and the bright are more,
And after the clouds and the storms are o'er,
Seems the sweeter the sun's clear shining.
See, now the iron horse, so wondrous and strong,
Goes over the prairies so swiftly along,
While towns are dotted along the way.
And factories, too, have come in the course,
And electricity, with its wonderful force,
Giving a light like the rays of day.
But here is a monster whose eyes are green,
Whose trail throughout the land is seen,
And destroying more than guns and swords.
But, saddest of all, and queer to tell,
This monster is petted and treated well
And given the best the land affords.
What of our beloved church these fifty years?
Her influence in many a land appears
And she stands as a beacon light.
Of those around her who groped in sin
There were many she lovingly gathered in
And turned from wrong to paths of right.
How we love the church of our early days,
The happy scenes and her pleasant ways;
And may her pure light never go out,
But grow still brighter as her years increase
Till it shines in the light of perfect peace
When those who sleep wake to Gabriel's shout.
Mrs. Eliza Dunlap than read her paper:
OUR SONS IN THE MINISTRY.
The first to prepare, Rev. George Dunlap, a graduate of Knox College, and McCormick Theological Seminary in 1875, ordained and installed at Will church, Chicago Presbytery, October, the same year. He is now pastor of Waltham Church, Ottawa Presbytery. He has only had the two charges in twenty‑five years. Rev. Thomas C. Winn, son of Rev. John Winn, pastor of Prospect church, 1872 B 1877, a graduate of Knox College. He went two years to McCormick Theological Seminary and one year to Union Theological Seminary, New York, ordained for a missionary to Japan, where he now is. William Jones, an elder in the church, moved to Kansas and went into the ministry. He is now in California still preaching. William Y. Jones, his son born and baptized in the church, a graduate of Park College and McCormick Theological Seminary, ordained for a missionary to Japan, where he is now. William Avling, a member of our church. He moved to Kansas and united with the U. B. Church, and is preaching in that denomination. Franklin Brown, a member of our church, a student of Park College. He want east to finish his course. He is now at Gainsville, Idaho. Six in all -- two baptized children of the church: one, Rev. George Dunlap, ordained and installed both the church; Rev. T. C:. Winn, Ordained by Peoria Presbytery for his work. So the influence of the church far over the isles of the sea. May its influence still extend and more sons be consecrated to the Master.
Mrs. Nettie Ropers recited the poem, "No Sects in Heaven," in her forcible and pleasing manner. After which David H. Hervey read an original poem on the early settler, and their relation to the church.
POEM BY DAVID H. HERVEY.
Full fifty years ago today,
So doth the record pages say,
A little band of earnest men,
And women, too, who stood with them,
Determined here their notes to raise
To Heaven's King, in grateful praise.
They left their native, rocky hills,
And cast their lots, for good or ill,
Amid these prairies of the west,
This fertile soil which God path blest,
But could not bear, in heart or mind,
Jehovah's Courts to leave behind.
So to the work, with full intent,
They freely gave, with one consent,
Their arduous toil, and earnest prayers,
That in the untried coming years,
While tarrying in this "vale of tears"
The earthly temple might appear.
At length, success their labors crowned,
A modest building graced the ground;
Nine furlongs north, by one to west,
Upon a verdant rolling crest
Of virgin prairie soil.
There hope into fruition burst.
And there was founded Prospect church.
For fifty years this beacon light,
Guarded by him whose word is might,
Has stood the storms of earth and time,
And still its friendly light doth shine,
To point lost souls from sin's dark night,
To Heaven's bright goal, eternal light.
That little band of earnest souls,
Who first comprised the church's rolls,
Have one by one been gathered o'er
To Canaan's blissful happy shore;
Their race is run, their labor's o'er,
"And time and sense are all no more,"
But one remains blest view to give,
Of how a Christian ought to live.
"Oh God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our Eternal Home,"
Help us thy mandate to fulfil,
To send Thy blessed Gospel still,
Till every land and every clime
Has learned to praise Messiah's name.
After this the opportunity was given to visiting friends speak, the preference being given to those who could only attend the Friday's meeting. Many brief, enthusiast and congratulatory addresses were heard which showed how thoroughly all had enjoyed the day.
A very pleasing feature of the afternoon program was that the music was furnished by the old choir, supervised by George V. Yates. A dozen or more of the members of the choir of years ago participated. One hymn was "lined out" by William Maxwell and sung in the old‑fashioned style. Supper was also served in Grange hall.
About 8 o'clock the evening exercises began. The minutes of the first congregational meeting held March 1, 1850, written by McKinley Jones, who attended these jubilee exercises, were read by the secretary of the congregation, Arthur H. Yates. These minutes gave an account of the petition to Presbytery for the organization of a church. The first Sessional record, containing an account of the organization of the church with fifteen members by a committee of the Presbytery consisting of Rev. A. Coffey, Rev R. Breese and Elder Henry Schnebly, was read by Willie A. Hervey, clerk of Session. The address of the evening "Tightening our Girdles" by Rev. Dr. Silas Cooke, a former pastor of the church, was a forcible presentation of the thought suggested by the subject and showed that church work, as well as any other kind of work, demands our best and most earnest efforts. There must be nothing loose or slip‑shod, if we would succeed.
Address by Rev. Silas Cooke, D. D. pastor of the Presbyterian Church, Red Oak, Iowa:
TIGHTENING OUR SPIRITUAL GIRDLES.
I Peter 1:30: Gird up the loins of your mind.
The need of the hour is a Godly people ready and aggressive.
The force of this figure used by the apostle Peter, can be seen only when we understand the customs and dress of that day.
A long, flowing garment was worn, and at ordinary times was left unrestrained; but when active exercise was to be taken, as running, working, taking a journey, the robe was gathered about the person and bound by a girdle, so as to leave the person unimpeded.
The first instructions of the angel to Peter, as he aroused him to flee from the prison, were, "Gird thyself and bind on thy sandals."
From this use it was taken to represent intellectual, moral and spiritual things; to denote complete equipment of character, or the whole spiritual part of man, in distinction from the body. It was used to describe certain characteristics of the Messiah.
Is. 11:5: "Righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins and faithfulness the girdle of his reins." It sets forth the readiness of a true man;
Luke 12:35: "Let your loins be sided about and your lights burning."
"What does this tightening of our spiritual girdles imply?
I. It implies personal consecration to some part of God's great purpose and work. As the mission of Christ was to save, so we who are Christ's are saved to save. It means a death grapple with sin and wrong; a helping hand for righteousness and truth: a willingness to do, to fight, to run the race, "to wrestle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
It means self‑sacrifice as good soldiers of the cross, not self, but Christ, and others for Christ's sake.
But self‑sacrifice has its rewards. It is told that in "Sherman's campaign it became necessary in the opinion of the leader to change commanders. General O. O. Howard was promoted to lead a division, which had been under the command of another general. Howard went through the
campaign at the head of the division, and on to Washington to take part in the review. The night before Sherman sent for Howard and said to him: 'Howard, the politicians and friends of the man you succeeded are bound that he shall ride at the head of his old corps, and I want you to help me
out.' 'But it is my command,' said, Howard, 'and I am entitled to ride at its head.'
'Of course, you are, said Sherman, `you led them through Georgia and the Carolinas, but, Howard, you are a Christian.'
'What do you mean?' replied Howard. 'If you put it on that ground it changes the whole business. What do you mean, General Sherman?'
'I mean that you can stand the disappointment, you are a Christian.'
'Putting it on that ground, there is but one answer. Let him ride at the head of the corps.'
'Yes, let him have the honor,' added Sherman, 'but, Howard, you will report to me at 9 o'clock, and ride by my side at the head of the whole army.' In vain Howard protested, but Sherman said, gently, but authoritatively, 'you are under orders.' When the bugle sounded the next morning, Howard was found trembling like a leaf, and it required another order from General Sherman before he was willing to take the place assigned to him. He had as a Christian yielded the place to another which rightly belonged to him, and in the grand review found himself not at the head of the corps, but at the head of the army. Even worldly men know where Christians should be, who have laid down their all in self‑sacrifice for others."
Too many of us are carried away with visions of Elijah's chariot, forgetting the exile hunted as a wild beast by Ahab in every nation; or the sore‑footed refugee speeding on his way to Horeb front the vengeance of an enraged Jezebel. None of us will ever go to heaven in a chariot of fire unless we do Elijah's work.
II. This girding, again, implies the massing together of all our powers for spiritual work and duty. The consecration of our spiritual nature to Christ demands the concentration of our spiritual energies upon the work to which he has called us. Paul looked well to his spiritual girdle when he exclaimed: "Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." It is stated that Pericles, the reformer of Athens, knew but one street in the city, from his home to the executive chamber. Christ says; "Ye are the light of the world," but we too often scatter the rays so as to lose in warmth and power. Paul brought the rays to a focus and set things on fire, "This one thing I do." Dr. Kane proved that even a slab of arctic ice, when properly shaped and adjusted, could kindle the driftwood along the shore. Too often in our spiritual life the centrifugal force becomes too strong for the centripetal, and we fly to pieces, and have need of a girdle to pull us together.
III. It implies, also, correct thought -‑on spiritual things, "The loins of your mind." A loose, undisciplined mind produces loose thought, and loose thinking is apt to lead to loose doctrine, and loose doctrine to loose doing, loose morals, loose social life, loose church life. A man is as his creed, broad or narrow, large or dwarfed, defective or complete. Orthodoxy, or right thinking, leads to orthopraxy, or right doing, and heterodoxy leads to heteropraxy.
It is a dangerous symptom when ministers and churches begin to loose the girdles of the mind, heart, convictions, conscience: When they begin to loose their grip on Christ, the Bible, the sanctuary, the Sabbath, the great doctrines of redemption and the life to come. Of this we have had some notable examples of late. When a person begins to play and dally with skepticism, agnosticism, or any of the wild isms of the day, that troop up to the door of our hearts and seek admittance, he is treading on dangerous ground. There are some people that Satan can catch with a bare hook; but for others he has to bait it with some reward or promise, or label it Christianity.
IV. The tightened girdle also denotes readiness for duty. Consecration requires careful preparation for work. Christ was thirty years in preparation for his work of three. The Apostles were under his instruction and supervision for three years before he entrusted to them the great commission. David never slung the pebble straight to the giant's forehead without previous practicing, anti he showed his good sense in refusing Saul's armor without having practiced with it, and consequently could not fight in it. Let every person practice with the weapon he can best use, but let him he ready with some one, for there will come a supreme hour when he will need it. Let his inquiry ever be, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" Readiness for duty implies that the person is free from entanglement, and not with loose spiritual garments, snagged on worldly habits and practices, and impeding his spiritual progress anti work.
V. A tightened girdle represents that the person wearing it possesses courage and strength; a determination to accomplish, overcome, conquer, to use his strength for the world's betterment, to be ready to do his beat. The world today needs strong men, physically, intellectually, morally and spiritually; brave men with vision and confidence and courage and conscience and will; trained in all the attributes of manliness, and with a courage that will make these qualities a force in every line of worthy achievement. The value of a man today is not to be measured by the strength of the man alone, nor even by developing and bringing to the front the strength that has been lying dormant, but the man at his best, plus the power he can command. The savage may be perfect in his physical make‑up, but with his bow and arrow he cannot compete with the man with the Winchester; nor with his canoe can he compete with the man with the steam launch under his control, or the battleship; and, though he may have more personal courage and strength, yet he cannot measure up to his weaker competitor. So the highest, the most useful man, is the man with all the powers he can by training command and use, plus God. To such a man God says, "All things are yours."
VI. This girdle is truth. Eph. 6:14, "Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth." No truths have passed such crucial tests as the Gospel of Christ, and it is the knowledge and belief of this truth, spiritually apprehended and believed that is the first and indispensable qualification for a Christian soldier.
Its cardinal principle is antagonism to sin, to error and all the enemies of God and man. There can be no cessation of hostilities between them, no compromise, no protocol, no treaty of peace. The mission of those, girded by its strength and power, is to dispel darkness and ignorance and unbelief, and put to shame and flight the armies of the alien. Under its light the atheist has become a mummy, handed down from prehistoric time. He antedates creation; for the very heavens are in evidence against him. "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard."
I would not say that under its poorer the infidel has become an antedeluvian, but he is a back number, out of print, not in stock, patterns lost, and he should at least write B. C. after his name. For Christianity itself, in its progress and beneficent influence, is the strongest evidence that is needed for Christ and his claims, and that the Scriptures are the truth of God. Christianity is so interwoven with all this nineteenth century progress, civilization and political and social growth, that it cannot he separated from them; but, if it could, we would sec that all these forces, that seem or pretend to work outside of Christianity for the benefit of the world, have their origin from God's word of truth.
Some would have us turn for the full girdle of truth to the other religions of the world and draw from all these sources, Heathenism, Mohamedanism, Mormonism, etc. But wherever they have touched they have proved themselves obstructers, and must move out of the way as the truth and purposes of God in Christ move on. A ridge of rock in Pennsylvania jutted out into the valley; an hundred years ago the currents of wind swept over it, the storm clouds burst upon it, the floods beat against it, and the rains seamed duel furrowed its sides, yet it interfered with no one. But, when railroads began to be built, and the great coal fields were opened up, and commerce extended, and the material was wanted for cities and towns, the ridge was torn to fragments. First the railway plowed through it, then the quarrymen attacked it, until nothing was left but a few broken and worthless remnants. For centuries great rocks lay in New York harbor; the Indian's canoe glided among them unhurt, the currents adapted their course to them, the fishes made them their hiding place, and no one was interfered with. But when the Dutch began to build there a great city, and the hundreds grew into millions, and the commerce of the world began to crowd its waters, then those rocks became dangerous obstructions and had to be blown to pieces and removed that the commerce of the nations might flow in. Such must be the end of everything that stands in the way of God's truth to obstruct it.
The fundamental sin is idolatry, the substitution of the creature for the Creator.
The monumental sin of today is the rejection of Christ. Even the sacred phrase, "The Fatherhood of God" is used to turn the searchers after truth away from the Sonship of Christ.
The most destructive sin is the dethronement of the Spirit of Truth and the Word of Truth. When we see so many ignoring the voice of the Spirit and wandering after seducing spirits; treating lightly the claims of Christ and substituting the claims of others; when we witness the attacks upon God's word, and it pushed aside even by those who claim to speak for God, it is time for those who love truth to gird up their loins and put on strength.
The army moves as a unit, but it is because the units that compose it are of one mind, obedient to the voice of their leader. So Christ does his work of salvation by each one of his soldiers standing fast and acquitting himself like a man.
It is said that Ole Bull's famous violin was made of very soft wood, and that the vibrations under his magic touch produced in the body of the instrument "waves and undulations, deep ovals and circles, intercepting each other." These are called spiritual carvings, and a violin to obtain true qualities of tone and retain them must be well played on. So God's people are his spiritual forces, through whom He is doing His spiritual carvings in the world, conforming it unto Himself, and they should see to it that they do their word thoroughly and well, producing no discordant notes to mar the character of the work.
As Christian workmen we need to pull ourselves together and gird up our loins on a great many things‑‑on the Lord's treasury, on the rage for money, on misspent money; for money represents the amount and direction of the world's energies. For what are these energies exerted? For what are the energies of the church spent? Our country spends four times as much energy, as measured by money for chewing gum, as for foreign missions; one hundred times as much for tobacco, and two hundred times as much for liquors.
We need to gird ourselves more tightly on word and doctrine. The heart of the church is right, but it lacks courage; courage to undertake for Christ, to give and persevere for Christ; to grasp by faith, and hold and do what the word of God demands, so we let our girdles get slack
and the folds of our spiritual garments flow out to be caught and torn by the briars and thorns planted by the enemy.
Many do not comprehend what a Christly girdle is, while others occupy their time and energies looking around for substitutes. Facing the duties to which God's sacred Sabbath calls them, one, as the last touch to her toilet, stoops down and neatly tucks the ends of her shoe strings away in hiding, and with a last look into the glass, exclaims, "Now, I am girded." Another adjusts her ribbons in the latest style and says, "Now, I am girded." A young man gives the approved set to his necktie, and agrees with himself that he is girded. Another laces her corsets a little tighter to conform to the new dress, and with a long breath declares that she is properly girded, and with many it is as far as their girding goes for the work of the Master and the Sabbath.
Then there are substitutes of seances and sciences, and theosophies, and pansophies, and lodges, and clubs, and fraternal insurance societies galore, all contributing to the golden calf that is to bring the world out of Egypt. Starving spiritually the devotees clamor for the leeks and onions and garlick of their captivity and loathe the manna of God. Even churches cry and whine and murmer and lie down to die in the wilderness, while the Lord calls to them to gird up their loins like men and move forward with their faces toward Canaan, with Egypt and the wilderness, their sins and their substitutes, their worldliness and follies forever behind their backs. They cry out, "Put on thy strength, O arm of the Lord," while the Lord flings back the challenge to his neglected church, "Put on thy strength O Zion, put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem."
After this address opportunity was given for remarks; and brief addresses were made by members of the Session and others, of the same character as those in the afternoon.
One of the speakers, Elder William A. Hervey, gave an interesting description of the first Sunday school which he attended and recited the first Sunday school lesson which he learned as follows:
"The ox is fat, he cannot run;
The dog is lying in the sun;
Tom can skip and hop and jump,
And follow Pete around the pump."
The services of this historic day were closed at a late hour, but none regretted the time spent in meetings of such extraordinary interest.
Saturday, June 9th, at about 2:30 P. M., after devotional exercises, the history of the church by pastorates was reviewed.
First Period‑Rev. David Hervey was stated supply 1850‑1851. An interesting letter from his daughter, Mrs. Jennie Hervey Marshall, the wife of Rev. A. B. Marshall, D. D., of Des Moines, IA., was read by David H. Hervey. Following this period Rev. Isaac Keller supplied the church for a short time.
Second Period.‑ Rev. John Turbitt was pastor 1853 - 1855. During this pastorate the first church building was erected and dedicated in June, 1854.
Third Period.‑‑ Rev. Thomas F . Smith was stated supply 1856‑1857. Membership of the church, 37. About this time Rev. James K. Large supplied the church for a short time and died here, March 18, 1858, aged 33 years.
Fourth Period.‑‑Rev. George Cairns was pastor 1858 - 1863. In the year ending March 31, 1859, 62 members were received into the church, 47 by examination and 15 by letter. This was the largest accession to the church in any one year of its history. Mr. Cairns died June 26, 1863, aged 45 years, and at that time the church had 95 members enrolled. Probably about this time Rev. William Cunningham supplied the church several months.
Fifth Period.-‑Rev. J. A. E. Simpson was stated supply 1864‑1866. At the close of this pastorate 121 members were enrolled. The year ending March 31, 1866, 22 members were received by examination and 9 by letter, 31 in all.
Sixth Period.‑Rev. A. S. Gardiner was pastor 1866 - 1871. The year ending March 31, 1870, 60 members were received, 54 by examination (the largest number received by examination in any one year of the church's history) and 6 by letter. The membership of the church was then 170‑the largest membership it has ever had.
Seventh Period.‑Rev. John Winn was pastor 1872 - 1877. In 1877 the present church building in the village of Dunlap was first occupied, the church having been moved from the ground north of the village, now used as a cemetery. During this pastorate the Woman's Missionary Society was organized.
Eighth Period.‑‑‑The longest pastorate was that of Rev. Silas Cooke, now Dr. Cooke, who was the successful and beloved pastor from 1877 (date of the call) until 1890. During his pastorate Rev. James Fleming, who lived here a decade or more and whose influence was for the good of the church, died at the advanced age of 80 years, in November, 1886. The Christian Endeavor Society was organized in May, 1889. During this pastorate the Sabbath school had a steady growth; the benevolent contributions of the church were largest in its history. The year ending March 31st, 1886, they amounted to $916. The total contributions for five years was more than $2,000 each year. For five or six years they reached nearly $2,000. For a period of at least eight years this church averaged second in the Presbytery in gifts to benevolence.
Ninth Period.‑‑Rev. H. V. D. Nevius, D. D., supplied the church 1891‑1892. Dr. Nevius was a scholarly man and an able preacher, and his work will not soon be forgotten. Its influence, always for good, cannot be estimated.
Tenth Period.‑Rev. Harry Smith was pastor 1893‑1896 and did excellent service here. During this time the junior society of the Christian Endeavor was organized. Owing to deaths and removals the church did not much more than hold its own for twenty years or more.
Eleventh Period.‑The present pastor, Rev. R. C. Townsend, was stated supply from June 1, 1896, until January, 1898, when he was called as pastor and installed February 4, 1898. The year ending March 31, 1898, 41 members were added to the church, 33 by examination and 8 by letter. In 1899 the membership was 158, the largest since 1870. The membership this year is 150, The organization of Alta took a few members off our roll. Last year there were several deaths and removals.
Throughout this review and afterwards opportunity was given for brief addresses and reminiscences, and there were many eager to speak, but the time was too short to hear all.
Numerous congratulatory letters were read from former members and friends of the church. These as well as the addresses were greatly appreciated.
The elders who have served this church are:
Joseph Yates, Sr.
David G. Hervey
James M. White
James L. White
George V. Yates
Wm. A. Hervey*
Seba H. Harker*
Wm. Jones (now a minister).
*Present members of session.
Those who have been separated from us by death removal are gratefully remembered and this includes many besides members of Session. Special mention was made ministers' wives and others who were great helpers in the Lord's work.
This interesting and protracted service was concluded by a brief address, preparatory to communion, by Rev George Dunlap, and by the singing of "Rock of Ages Clef for Me," as a prayer.
The address is as follows:
And now, considering the lateness of the hour, it is no best to have a formal discourse, nor is it best to gather here again tonight. You people are tired and it will be best for you to rest this evening. The preparatory discourse can very well be omitted at this time for its object has already been accomplished. It is not half so important that I deliver a sermon as that we be prepared for coming to the Lord's table. I believe the reminiscences we have been recalling and the influence they have had on us have clone more to prepare us for the communion service than any formal address could do.
Let us seek to come in the spirit of Heb. 10: 21‑22: "And having a high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water."
The figure is that of the old‑time high priest entering the most holy place on the day of atonement. Only he might enter there and that not without blood. But Our High Priest enters the most holy place and invites us to come. This holy place is the advanced Christian life, the noble and mature character of those who abide in Him. This it is our privilege to enter.
"Having our hearts sprinkled froth an evil conscience." Perhaps the thought is here that in Christ and the advanced life in Him conscience has no longer occasion to reprove us. Perhaps, also, it refers to deliverance from an unfaithful conscience, a conscience not sufficiently educated, or sensitive enough to have been a safe guide. We are invited to come with a quickened conscience and yet one that is at peace.
"And our bodies washed with pure water." The high priest must wash carefully at the great layer before entering the holy place. Our baptism signifies our washing. And it is our privilege to come not only cleansed in spirit but in body. The cleansing of the new life applies to the whole nature. Our bodies are to be the temples of the Holy Ghost.
Then, let us accept the invitation of our Great High Priest and may this day's delightful experiences and tomorrow's communion service be a part of our entering into the most holy place, the advanced Christian life.
A partial list of those who spoke who were not on the program is as follows:
S. B. Parks
Mrs. Martha Means
S. M. Yates
Mrs. Martha Horton
Mrs. Martha J. Work
Mrs. Belle Wainwright
Sabbath, June 10, was a full day. At 9:30 A. M. Sunday school jubilee began with a song service, led by the superintendent, J. E. Watson, and the children of the school, followed by prayer and the reading of the lesson.
A number of brief addresses were heard. The fact was brought out that a Sabbath school called the Good Will Sunday School Union was held in the school house before the church was organized. Records are meagre but the number of verses of Scripture recited reaching up into the thousands each year, sometimes over 12,000 from May to October, the usual time for keeping the school running, was recorded, and sometimes over 8,000 in a quarter were recorded. After the review of the work of the school those present were divided into classes taught by Rev. George Dunlap, William Maxwell, J. H. Parks and Mrs. Rachel Dunlap. Fifteen or twenty minutes were taken up in the study of the lesson in this way. Closed with song, 206 present.
At 11 A. M. the communion service was held. The sermon was preached by Rev. Dr. Cooke, from the text, "Arise, let us go hence," John 14:31, an appropriate and very helpful discourse. The bread was administered by Rev. George Dunlap and the cup by Rev. Dr. Cooke. The elements were distributed to the congregation by the elders of the church, assisted by Elders McKinley Jones, William Maxwell and Steen B. Parks, former members of this church, now serving as elders in other churches. Closing remarks were made by the pastor. At this service an offering of $28 was made for foreign missions.
Communion Sermon by Rev. Silas Cooke, D. D, Text: John, 14:31, "Arise. let us go hence."
Our Saviour had now come to the closing hours of His teaching and work in preparing the people for the reception of His salvation. He is now ready to be offered to make atonement for the sins of the world, and He gives His last moments of quiet alone with His chosen ones.
His disciples had prepared the passover and they had eaten it with Him, and He had left with them the memorial of His sufferings and death in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
Then comes that wonderful and touchingly beautiful discourse recorded in John (chaps. 14‑16); consolation and comfort, the vine and the branches, the work of the Comforter, and encouragement to prayer. In the midst of it He speaks the words of the text; and then, while standing, or between the upper room and Gethsemane, He completes it, concluding with the pathetic prayer of the seventeenth chapter. In this He reveals His relation to the Father, their relation to the disciples, and prays for the safety and unity of His followers and for all them that should believe in Him through their word. "Hence!" That word supposes an objective point, and it is for us today to find that objective.
1. " Hence," to Gethsemane, with its three times prayer of agony, where the great and final decision was made to endure the hiding of the Father's face and bear our sins and drink the cup of suffering alone. Then His human nature turned to His disciples for human sympathy, but found it not. Thoughts of the Master in His deepest sorrow were crowded out by sleep. The only bright spot in that place of gloom was the heavenly visitant who ministered unto the Author of our salvation as they now minister to them who shall be heirs of salvation.
Then the rough crowd, headed by the betrayer, break in upon the sacredness and solemnity of the place. Then follow the deceitful kiss, the manifestation of divine power, the arrest, and Jesus is led back again to Jerusalem to undergo the trial of mockery.
2. " Hence," to the judgment, to the false trial, where "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world" was tried and condemned to the cross by false accusers, false witnesses, before a false governor, and a false high priest officiating in the name of the true God, to bear the cruel mockings and scourgings of soldiers, servants and savants, rulers and rabble.
3. "Hence," to the cross, to its sufferings and shame and ignominious death. Yet it was not the cross, or the cruel nails and thorns, or the rays of tile beating sun, or the jeering crowd, or the false representatives of a holy religion, as they flung their taunts in His face, that formed the keen edge of the sword that pierced through His own soul, as it was then piercing the heart of Mary, but the withdrawal of the Father's face and the bearing of all this alone: -‑" My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me"
But the hours of deepest darkness for the world's Redeemer are over, His garments parted, the rending rocks silent, the torn veil flung back, revealing the Holy of Holies; and having borne our sites and carried our sorrows, He again lifts up His voice to the Father and is heard: " Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit." "It is finished." "And bowed His head and gave up the Ghost."
4.. " Hence," to the tomb, the symbol from the fall to that day of death's victory, of sin's and Satan's victory; but the symbol ever since of their defeat. "Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ."
The tendency of the day is to change the monuments over our dead from the spiral form to the massive block, and our church spires to towers. But, while we gain in strength and solidity, we lose in symbol, for the spire speaks of Christ's triumph and our triumph through Christ in the resurrection; for since the angel rolled the stone away from Joseph's tomb and sat upon it there is no need to fear the grave.
5. "Hence," to meet them there again after the resurrection, after the victory over death and all his enemies, no profane hands could be laid upon him now; no power in earth or hell could prevail against the kingdom He had founded in His own life. To meet them again, the same; for they heard the same loving voice of instruction, of promise, of power and of hope; yet not the same; for there were the scars in hands and side, and the manes of the cruel thorns; and death had no more power over Him.
So we as Christians go forth today, from Our homes, from the sanctuary, from the communion table, never to return again the same as when we left. But we go back with new victories; for His death is ours, His victory ours, His resurrection ours, and we rise with Him to newness of life, and are being " changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
6. "Hence," to the right hand of the Father in glory Heaven was His great objective. He came forth from the Father and came into the world; and now, having performed the work the Father gave Him to do, He must again leave the world and go to the Father, that He might bring back the spoils of victory and send the Spirit of life. If there is rejoicing in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, how much greater must have been the songs and shouts of joy and triumph when He, who by His blood opened the door of heaven for the penitent sinner, came back from His mission of love.
"But none of the ransomed ever
How deep were the waters crossed,
Or how dark was the night that our Lord passed through
Ere He found His sheep that was lost."
The way back
was by way of the garden, the cruel mockings and the cross, bearing all the way
the world's load of sin and woes. Drop tears as you look upon the praying
Saviour in the garden and the suffering victim upon the cross; let them flow as
the heavy stone closes the door of the tomb and is sealed. But brush them away
and look again. The garden is deserted, the cross stands without a victim, the
tomb is empty. On the dusty road to Mount Olivet you trace the footprints of
twelve men. One was not for he went " to his own place." You turn and trace
eleven back; one is not, for God took him, and the cloud has disappeared. You
pass by the upper room and you hear the voices of men and women in prayer, the
voice of Mary, the ponderings of her heart answered. But wait! there: comes the
fire, cloven tongued. The promised Spirit has fallen and set their souls on
fire. They go " hence," out into the gathering throng and the world is kindled
with the sacred fire from God's Holy of Holies, and is burning yet with
multiplied power. So heaven, where Christ is, is your objective. Rut you also
reach it by way of the garden of decision; the cross, where you are crucified
unto the world and the world is crucified unto you; the tomb, where you leave
behind the world, its sins and its vanities, its follies and its foibles, where
you put off the old man with its deceitful lusts, and put on the new man which
after God is created in righteousness and true holiness," and rise to newness of
life in Christ. Why did He go forth from that upper room to meet those insults
and sorrows? Why not leave the world that had rejected Him, to eat of the fruit
of their own way, to Satan and to woe, and return to the Father? Will you
answer? John has answered, and you answer, having loved His own, which were in
the world, He loved them unto the end."
Why do you go forth and cast in your lot with the despised Nazarene? Why will ye forsake all and follow Him? And you answer with Peter, "He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God"; and with Paul, "He loved me and gave Himself for me"; I was His lost sheep. Why do you this day eat of this bread and drink of this cup? Out of the fullness of your heart of gratitude and love give Him the answer.
The children's meeting was held in the afternoon at 3 o'clock, conducted by the junior Superintendent, Mrs. Rachel Dunlap. The leader was Miss Maude LaMay. After the consideration of the topic, "How can we make other lives better?" the roll was called and the children responded with verses of scripture. Then followed an address by Dr. Cooke and brief addresses by Rev. George Dunlap, the pastor, and Mr. J. H. Parks, and an interesting children's meeting was closed.
The Y. P. S. C. E. commemorative service announced for 7 o'clock was held with Mrs. Townsend as leader. Appropriate music was furnished by the choir. One of the pieces was entitled, "The Golden Years are Rolling By." The regular topic, "Lives that Lift," was considered. The principal talk of the evening was by Dr. Cooke, who organized the society. He told of the young people's society which began as a young men's prayer circle before his pastorate began and was continued as such for several years, then widened out so that the young ladies were admitted and that this society did work very similar to that the Christian Endeavor has been doing for years. The song, "What Are You Doing for Jesus?" was sung. Four members were received and publicly welcomed by the society. They were: Misses Flora Case, Lillie Turner, Myrtle Harker, and Paul Harker.
Meeting closed with the singing of a song entitled " Mizpah," by Misses Myrtle Byers and Bessie Comp.
The evening service began with a special anthem by the choir, who also furnished appropriate music for the other services. After Scripture reading and prayer, Arthur Case, president of the Christian Endeavor Society, read a paper on "The Organization and Work of the Society." Miss Lue Parks then read a paper prepared by Mrs. Isabel Parks on "The Organization and Work of the Ladies' Aid Society." This society was organized during war times as a soldiers' aid society and did good work. Some years later it was organized in its present form and has been a help to the church in many ways, financially and otherwise. A solo was sung by Mrs. Rachel Dunlap. Mrs. Rebecca Keady gave a report of the Ladies' Missionary Society. This society has been in existence more than twenty‑seven years. Over two years ago the twenty‑fifth anniversary of its organization was observed in an appropriate way. Regular monthly meetings are held, the various mission fields studied and considered. Hundreds of dollars have been raised for missionary work.
Miss Myrtle Harker gave a report of the Young Ladies' Missionary Society, organized in June, 1899. This society is also doing faithful work and is developing missionary enthusiasm. The old missionary hymn, " From Greenland's Icy Mountains," was sung, after which the pastor, Rev. R. C. Townsend, delivered an address entitled
RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT.
and two days ago, as far as Prospect church was concerned, there was no
retrospect. There may have been prospect for some months, and when the prospect
was realized, June 8th, 1850, it was still Prospect, and it has been Prospect
ever since. But these conditions have changed; in fact, they began to change
fifty years ago, and retrospect as well as prospect was possible, and much of
what we have heard the past three days has been retrospect. It has been most
delightful, especially to those associated with the early history of this church
who yet remain and are or have been here present, to participate in this
reminiscent service. It has been a pleasure to the younger members also to hear
this review of the past, as they delight in family reminiscences. It has been a
pleasure as well to those who have been or are associated with you in the
relation of pastor or church officers; and with what delight we all greeted the
only living charter member of this church as she came in yesterday and how
pleased we were to see her here again today. But we desire that this jubilee
occasion shall be for pleasure not only, but for profit as well.
Surely we are grateful to God for the countless blessings bestowed and the way which He has led us these many years. Surely we are thankful for the helpful sermons and kind words of Brothers Cooke and Dunlap, who have been with us throughout these services.
Tonight our look shall be more particularly a forward and an upward look than a backward look.
1. We look back long enough to say with Joshua (ch. 23:14), "Ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you."
We can say -‑not as Moses said at the end of the wilderness journey‑- "forty years," but "fifty years the Lord thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing. "This is retrospect; and when we sit down at the table of the Lord to commemorate His love, as we did today; and as the Israelites kept the Passover from year to year, that is largely retrospect, though it has also in either case a happy forward look. With the Israelite the Paschal Lamb looked forward to the offering up of Christ on the cross; with us the feast which today we celebrated looks forward to the time -‑ it will not be long ‑‑ when we shall sit down at the "Marriage Supper of the Lamb." But when we say with Joshua (chap, 13 : 1 ), " There remaineth yet very much land to be possessed," that is prospect; or with the apostle, " I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ, Jesus," that is prospect. " Now are we the children of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is," that is prospect. " Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face," that is prospect.
My friends, this Bible is a book of prospect. From the beginning to end it points out glorious possibilities for the future. God will do for us exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.
2. In our retrospect these days we have seen the early settlers of this community who loved the church and were willing to make sacrifices in order that they might have a church home of their own. And we can never know the full measure of the sacrifices they made as they laid the foundation stones of the church and of society in this community.
We have called to mind former pastors and officers, the women of the church, the youth, and the children (now the men and women).
We have reviewed past opportunities and exploits. We have lingered upon some blessed memories. We have called to mind our sacred dead who lie in yonder cemetery, and their noble work for the Master; and some of us may be trying to live in the light of departed blessings and we say " (Eccl. 7:10) the former things were better than these" and the former days better than the present; but surely this is not wise, for one who takes such a course has no heart either for present mercies or present duties.
No, it is not true that the past is better than the present if we have been making even natural growth. The tree is beautiful in the springtime when it is covered with blossoms, but is it not more beautiful as we behold it covered with the delicious fruit of autumn? Of what value would the blossom be without the fruit? The field is beautiful when the green blades appear, but is there not a higher kind of beauty when we behold it covered with golden grain ready for the harvest?
The opening years of life are beautiful. What is more beautiful than the little child! but life's close may be and ought to be glorious. So in the Christian life or the church life the blossoms may have perished, but you have instead the mellow, luscious fruit. Though the bloom and freshness of other days have gone there are the rich clusters of ripened grapes hanging from the boughs. Though there be marks of conflict there are matured graces as a preparation for entrance into the joy of the Lord. So that with this view of life, especially if we keep our look constantly upward, the former days are not better than the present. To him who has lived for God and not for self, as the Christian longs to do, who has lived to do good to his fellow men, who strives to make the world better by his life, who has made God's Glory the great end of His being, the latter days are better than the former, and the best part of it is the prospect brightens with the passing years. Each tomorrow is ready to give us more than we have lost by the rapid flight of time if we profit by the experience of the past. The Christian life is always expanding to the fullness of everlasting joy, and the church life ought to be expansion after the same fashion. This is true of the Church of God in general, and it ought to be true locally. Prospect church ought always to be striving to live up to her name.
The Church of Christ has seen many bright and prosperous days‑‑Pentecostal times, seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, e. g., the first great outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost and one success after another, till in the time of Constantine Christianity became the state religion of Rome. Then in later times under the preaching of Wesley and Whitefield, Edwards, Finney and Spurgeon, and Moody, there has been advancement to a higher and higher state of power; and there is more life in the church today than in any former century since the world began. There are more, and larger and greater efforts for advancing the Redeemer's kingdom, and the prospect for the future is as bright as the promises of God. The little stone cut out of the mountain without hands is becoming a mountain filling the whole earth.
3. The incidents of the past are full of lessons, even if they have shown us our limitations and marked our weaknesses; especially if we have seen God's hand in all, regulating and shaping what has befallen us. The future is unknown, thank the Lord, except as we see it by faith in God and His Word. "The past has uttered its solemn messages, the future beckons us on," and our prayer is (Ps. 18:25) "O Lord I beseech Thee send now prosperity."
4. The past history of this church illustrates what can be done under difficulties, and has, in a small way at least, helped to make the religious history of Illinois; and not only Illinois, but also other states and even other countries, where our former members have been scattered. We reviewed the history of the church yesterday, and heard from many who were once here united in the work of Prospect church, but who are now engaged in the Lord's work elsewhere. Who can tell what influences for good have thus been started and are still going on? And the future, I trust, will show yet greater things which may be done, for the past is the pledge of the future, and if God has verified His promises surely He will continue to do so. And the same faithfulness which secured for us, in years gone by, mercies numberless and blessings abundant which call out our gratitude, will secure a continuation of these in the future if the are true to ourselves to each other and to God.
5. The past history of this church ought to encourage us and fill Its with hope. A Swedish proverb says: "Hope carries a king's crown." Where there is hope almost any difficulty may be overcome; for hope with its king's crown is stronger than discouragement. Hope, sure and steadfast, is called the anchor of the soul, and with this firmly holding to the coast of life we will be able to keep out of the dangerous deep of destruction. The hope of salvation is called (Thess. 5: 8 ), also an helmet and here also there is the idea of protection. God by this means gives us strength, protection and assurance in the conflict of life.
He would have men ( Ps. 78: 7 ) set their hope in God and not forget His works, but keep His commandments.
Memory and hope are closely connected, so that it has been said " Hope owes to memory the pigments With which it paints, the canvas on which it paints, and the objects which it portrays there." But hope is not fed simply by experience and remembrance. The Christian man's hope for this life and the next is set on God and His eternal word; and it is not a "may be," but a "will be;' and he is as sure of tomorrow as of yesterday even though he dies today. He sees enough of the eternal future to make the life bright and the heart calm. And though darkness might come and might remain, He knows that he shall not drift beyond the love and care of God. And though the visible and the tangible are passing away, God and glory, and Heaven and hope are Sublimely real.
For each of us, after all, if we have eternity in view, the past is brief, the future is long. Well for us if we fill the passing moments with deeds of loving obedience, and when the present glides into the past it will be remembered with satisfaction, and our hope for the future will not be put to shame. So that our retrospect ought to cause obedience even as it gives us hope. To the man who desires to obey God life is real and earnest, most of all because it is the preparation for an endless life, and we should live for a great purpose since we are created in the divine likeness. We should live for eternity. Be diligent in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. And when God reveals Himself to us from time to time, as He will -‑ for eye hath not seen nor ear heard the things which God will reveal to them that love Him -- we should be able to say with the apostle " I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision." And again, "God, whose I am and whom I serve, stood by me." A past full of blessings demands the sacrifice of loving hearts and willing hands.
But another effect of this review ought to be to strengthen faith. Surely a rehearsal of past mercies, so great, so abundant, will result in strengthening our faith in God, as well as in sustaining our hope and causing us to obey His every command. Faith takes God at His word, and what He has done is a pledge and fulfillment of what He has promised to do.
He has made us children of God, and though it is not fully revealed what we shall be, "we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is." There seems to be no method by which God in this life can reveal to us the glorious future Of our being. We can neither understand nor fully appreciate the promises of glory to be revealed, Of the prospect before us individually the half has not been told, and no symbol can "adequately express the glory which awaits a redeemed soul." "It doth not yet appear what we shall be;" but how glorious to see Him as He is; not as our weak, feeble minds now conceive of Him, not to see what we are able to see of Him from the Scriptures merely, or from the imperfect lives of His professed followers; but to see Him, who bought its ‑with His own precious blond, called its by His Spirit, saved its by His grace, and keeps, comforts and cheers its by His presence, to see Him as He is, this is the prospect before us tonight. We shall see Him as He is, glory to His name!
But to those who are yet captives of sin and Satan, let me say as could be said to every Israelitish slave in their own land when the year of jubilee had come‑-"Ye shall return, every man to his inheritance."
This is the time when every one may regain his inheritance, when every spiritual debt may he paid. And just thinly of the inheritance which it is your prospect to claim, yours by virtue of kinship with God if ye be no longer aliens. " Blessed be the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you." Yes, on this jubilee occasion each and all of you may be heirs of the kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him‑‑glorious prospect. Your home may be in the golden city where there is no night. Come and claim your citizenship. God's grace invites every wandering one to return. He gave Himself for you. In order that you could have the hope that bears a king's crown, He bore a crown of thorns. In order that you might have salvation, and that you could die with the hope of a glorious resurrection, He tasted the bitter cup of suffering and death.
The blood of Christ will make you free. It is the year of jubilee. You may have a heritage among the children of Cod and return every one of you to his possessions.
My subject tonight brings memory and hope together. May God forbid that any of us should be so depressed or saddened by departed blessings that we will be weakened for present work, and may He forbid also that our forward look should be of that dreamy, castle‑building kind that forgets the exigencies of the swiftly passing moment; but may both retrospect and prospect fit us for the tasks and burdens which the present moment lays upon us.
One thing remains the same at all times and that is stern duty. "Whether we live, we should live unto the Lord, or whether we die, we should die unto the Lord."
Past, present and future are but successive parts of the great river of time whose drops rose from the ocean of eternity and whose waters ceaselessly return to the same source.
After this address the meeting was thrown open for remarks from visitors. A number responded with the same kind of enthusiasm that was manifest from the beginning.
Elder Napoleon Dunlap gave us some idea of the condition of the community before the church was organized, and gave some interesting school records dating back previous to the organization of the present school system. Rev. George Dunlap, his son, gave an appropriate address, which was followed by some resolutions presented by Elder W. H. Hervey, which were adopted by a standing vote.
We, the members and ex‑members of Prospect church gathered in this jubilee Reunion, have been moved with gratitude to God for His good hand upon this people in the half century of the past; that He has been pleased to use human faithfulness to accomplish such noble results. But none the less do we praise Him for what He is doing now through the effort of the church to maintain His cause here, and that He has placed in the midst of this people our present faithful, hard‑working and efficient pastor, the Rev. R. C. Townsend, and his noble wife.
We believe that a large part of the success of the present reunion is due, under God, to our pastor's planning and effort, and we pray and believe that rich spiritual blessings may grow out of this gathering, that shall rest upon the pastor and members of Prospect church and extend to the churches to which its former pastors and members are scattered.
The pastor explained that the first day's exceedingly interesting programme was arranged by an efficient committee of the ladies of the church, the first committee appointed, of which Mrs. Rebecca Keady was chairman.
The closing address by Dr. Cooke was in the same hopeful strain that characterized most of the other addresses and was a fitting conclusion to the many helpful words said on this never‑to‑be‑forgotten occasion. The choir sang an appropriate closing hymn, " We'll Meet Again," and the meeting closed with prayer and benediction by the pastor.
The pastor and officers of the church are delighted to say that all who were asked to assist in the preparation for these anniversary services did so willingly. The committees did their work cheerfully and well, many former members and friends of the church helped us by their presence and evident enjoyment of the occasion; others helped us by their kind greetings and congratulations, and our prayer is that the fiftieth anniversary of Prospect church may be of mutual benefit to all.
We regret that Rev. Harry Smith, the only one of the former pastors of the church now living except Dr. Cooke, and some of the former elders and other members of the church who were highly esteemed for their work's sake could not be with us on this occasion; but may Heaven's richest blessings rest on them and us.
REPORT AS PUBLISHED IN CHURCH
PREPARED BY DR. SILAS COOKE.
church, in Dunlap, Peoria County, Illinois, has just celebrated its jubilee
Anniversary. This church is among the oldest of Central Illinois. It was
organized in a school house on the prairie June 8, 1850, with fifteen members,
by a committee of the Presbytery of Peoria, O. S. The people who originally
composed its membership came from the Forks of Wheeling, West Alexander and West
Liberty churches, in the Presbytery of Washington, and the church is still
largely made up of their descendants. For four years they worshiped in the
school house. In 1854 they built their first house of worship, which they
occupied until 1877, when the present more costly house was erected in the
Village of Dunlap, which, in the meantime, had sprung up near by. One year later
a new parsonage was built.
The church has been served by the following ministers:
Rev. David Hervey, one and one‑half years.
Rev. John Turbitt, two years.
Rev. Thos. T. Smith, one year.
Rev. George Cairns, five years.
Rev. J. A. E. Simpson, two years.
Rev. A. S. Gardiner, five years.
Rev. John Winn, five years.
Rev. Silas Cooke, D. D., twelve years.
Rev. Henry V. D. Nevius, D. D., two years.
Rev. Harry Smith, three years.
Rev. R. Cameron Townsend, since 1896.
Of these only two beside the present pastor are now living‑‑Rev. Harry Smith, pastor at Golden, Colorado, and Rev. Silas Cooke, D. D., pastor at Red Oak, Iowa, the latter being present throughout the celebration.
The church is composed of a staunch and loyal type of Presbyterianism, intelligent and liberal, and while the growth of the church has been slow, yet it has sent out a large number to strengthen churches in many other communities, many of whom were present to take part in the happy occasion.
Rev. George Dunlap, of Waltham, Illinois, was present and took a prominent part during the proceedings; Rev. Thomas C. Winn, of Osaka, Japan; Rev. William Jones, of California, and Rev. Frank F. Brown, a home missionary in the Northwest, have entered the ministry from the membership of this church.
The anniversary exercises began on Friday morning, June 8, and continued until Sabbath evening, June 10.
The programme consisted of greetings, papers, poems, reminiscences, recitations, church records, old‑time music by the old‑time choir, prayer, review of the church by pastorates, and addresses. The principal addresses were given by Rev. George Dunlap on " The Country Church and the Country Boy," Rev. Silas Cooke, D. D., on " Tightening Our Spiritual Girdles," the services closing with an address by the pastor, Rev. R. Cameron Townsend, on " Retrospect and Prospect."
The pastor labored hard to make the jubilee a success and succeeded admirably. He has a strong hold on the hearts of his people, as is evidenced by the resolutions passed at the closing meeting.
Many who were unable to be present sent greetings by letter, which were read as part of the programme. The work of the different societies of the church was also taken up and reviewed.
One feature that attracted much attention was the group of photographs of the pastors that have served the church collected with great care by the present pastor and placed in a walnut frame made of pieces taken from the old school house in which the church was organized, and which is still standing.
This gathering was invigorating and soul stirring from beginning to end, and its influence cannot be other than the cementing and strengthening of this useful church, and the binding of pastor and people closer together in the work of the Master.
Rev. R. Cameron Townsend, Pastor.
Napoleon Dunlap, Elder
Wm. A. Hervey, Elder
Burton Hitchcock, Elder
Seba H. Harker, Elder
Charles M. Case, Trustee
David H. Hervey, Trustee
Jefferson J. Greene, Trustee
J. H. Parks, Chairman of Congregation.
Arthur H. Yates, Secretary of Congregation.
D. H. Parks, Treasurer of Congregation.
OFFICERS AND TEACHERS OF THE SABBATH SCHOOL.
J, E. Watson, Superintendent.
W. H. Parks, Assistant Superintendent.
Miss Alice Byers, Secretary and Treasurer.
A. C. Parks, Librarians
Miss Lillie Turner, Librarians
Miss Dory Parks, Organist
Miss Myrtle Byers, Assistant Organist.
Mrs. Eliza Dunlap,
Mr. J. H. Parks,
Mrs. Rachel Dunlap,
Mrs. M. E. T. Jacke,
Mrs. Flora Watson,
Mrs. Minnie Byers,
Mr. Wm. Parks,
Mrs. Lulu Hervey,
Rev R. C. Townsend.
OFFICERS OF LADIES' AID SOCIETY.
Mrs. L. J. Townsend, President.
Mrs. Lulu Hervey, Vice‑President.
Mrs. Isabel Parks, Secretary.
Miss Mary L. Yates, Treasurer.
OFFICERS OF THE LADIES' FOREIGN MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
Mrs. M. E. T. Jacke, President.
Mrs. Rebecca Keady, Vice‑President.
Mrs. Flora Watson, Secretary.
Miss Mary L. Yates, Treasurer.
OFFICERS OF THE YOUNG LADIES' FOREIGN MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
Mrs. Belle Dunlap, President.
Miss Bessie Comp, Vice‑President.
Miss Myrtie Richmond, Secretary.
Miss Maude LaMay, Treasurer.
OFFICERS OF THE Y. P. S. C E.
Arthur J. Case, President.
Miss Luella Richmond, Vice‑President.
Miss Myrtle Byers, Recording Secretary.
Miss Lue M. Parks, Corresponding Secretary.
Miss Alice Byers, Treasurer.
OFFICERS OF JUNIOR Y. P. S. C. E.
Mrs. Rachel Dunlap, Superintendent.
Mrs. M. E. T. Jacke, Assistant Superintendent.
Wallace Dunlap, President.
Faye Carr, Vice‑President.
Justin Townsend, Secretary and Treasurer.
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Updated September 19, 2006