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THE GRAVE OF M'CORMICK.
byterian, and in earlier life maintained the family
altar; but subsequently was induced to establish EDITORIAL.*
a distillery, and from that time began to neglect THE early history of every great religious move- religious duty and fall away into irreligion.
pecially is this true as applied to Methodism. young man, The first Methodist preacher be We hail with delight the efforts now being made ever heard was the Rev. William Jessop. The to save from oblivion the stirring incidents and people were overwhelmed and wept aloud. His facts of the early and heroic age of Methodism heart was filled with madness, and he resolved to in the west. Whatever is done toward this must attend such preaching no more. His wife, howbe done quickly. The unwritten tradition of the ever, persisted in attending till he positively forfathers, as yet reliable in its data and rich in his- bade her. Subsequently he became very much toric lore as well as personal incident, unless awakened and consented to attend meeting with placed speedily upon record will fade away and his wife. After preaching he staid to the lovebe forever lost.
feast. “The simplicity, love, and union that These thoughts came upon us with irrepressi- prevailed,” says he, “I was quite charmed with; ble force last summer, as we stood by the grave surely, thought I, these are the people of God. of one whose life and labors were blended with Yet for all this, when the invitation was given the early toils and triumphs of Methodism in the for people to join society, my wife being one of great north-west, but whose memory had well. the first to join, I was so angry that I went off nigh been lost to Methodistic history. We refer home and left her. I was so filled with the to Francis M'Cormick, by whom the first Meth- wicked one that I scarcely knew what to think odist class in the North-Western territory was or- of myself, for I then as much believed she was ganized, and who, in all the earlier history of doing right as I should now,
person the country, abounded in labors for the cause of was becoming a member.” Passion was warring Christ. While standing by his grave with one against reason. Still more was he impressed hand resting upon his tombstone, and listening with the conviction that the Methodists were to the traditions of his early history and the right when he learned that they “ prohibited their marked traits of his manly character, we determ- people from drunkenness and tippling.” While ined to do what we could to rescue his memory in this state of mind—“miserable beyond exfrom oblivion. The results are embodied in these pression"-he went to hear Lewis Chasteen, an pages and in the picture with which our number eminently-useful man in his day, preach. This opeos.
sermon was a word in season to his soul. But Francis M'Cormick was born in Frederick we prefer to give the result in his own language: county, Virginia, June 3, 1764. His father was "The preacher was at prayer when we arrived. a farmer in easy circumstances. He was a Pres. When done he took his text, 'And now also the
ax is laid unto the root of the tree; therefore * For much of the material and a portion of the
every tree,' etc. It appeared to me that all the composition of this article, the editor is indebted to
wickedness that I had ever committed stared me the Rev. J. W. Fowble. He is also indebted to
in my face. A trembling seized me as though sketches published by Thomas S. Hinde in the old all my flesh would drop from my bones. He apMethodist Magazine for 1822.
peared to preach like a son of thunder, as he
truly was. After public service was over, he was then that my load of guilty woe was removed; gave an invitation to such as desired to become and how did I feel! All peace and joy! But I members to join. There were none but members had not the witness of the Spirit for some days. present except myself and a young man by the Finally, I began to reflect on the trouble I had name of Murphy, who had for some time been just been in to mourn because I could not grieve under awakenings, but he declined, like Felix, for my sins. At last I discovered by faith that for a more convenient season. Living in the they were all forgiven. Then the Spirit bore midst of about a hundred relatives, all enemies witness with my spirit that I was a child of God, to the Methodists, how is it possible that I can the peace and joy that followed no language stand to be opposed by such a multitude; it stag could express. I wondered at my own stupidity, gered me in a wonderful manner, but it appeared and all the rest of Adam's race, that they could as though I heard a voice from heaven, ‘My have any thing against religion; and I could Spirit shall not always strive with man.' This truly say with David, 'I was glad when they said, had such a powerful effect on my mind that I Come let us go up to the house of the Lord to was resolved I would make the trial, let the con- worship.' I have thought a thousand times of sequences be what they might. Christmas that the lengths of sin I ran into before I was twentyyear–1790-came on Sunday, and I joined on six years of age-such as drinking, Sabbaththe Tuesday preceding.
breaking, etc., and no one admonished me; but "The Saturday following my father, who lived as soon as I began to go to meeting and what with one of my brothers, sent for me to come they called losing time, then the cry was, 'You and see him. There were a number collected of
will be ruined!' "Take care that you are not debrothers and their relatives by marriage to keep ceived!''The Methodists will all come to nothChristmas in their and my old way, and I have ing!' and what is still more astonishing, it is the always thought that their aim was to get me in
cry of some people down to the present day.” toxicated: be that as it may, they missed it.
At a later period, when his father was upon They were very kind indeed—more so than com his death-bed, he sent for his son to pray for him. mon—and said nothing to me about religion till
Even in those solemn circumstances several of I refused to drink with them; then my father the family left the room, unwilling to hear the said, 'How came you to join the Methodists with prayer. The praying son, however, found acout my leave? I told him that I did not know cess to the mercy-seat, and ever after indulged it was my duty to obtain his consent; and added the hope that his prayer prevailed with the Most in the language of Scripture, 'Except ye repent, High. ye shall all likewise perish. He replied, 'What
Soon after his conversion he was appointed have you done that need repentance? Have class-leader by the Rev. Valentine Cook, and in you killed any body? Well,' said he, 'you must 1792 was licensed as a local preacher. leave the Methodists, and I will give you the In 1795 he emigrated to Kentucky and settled farm to live on and treat you as a son.' I re in Bourbon county; but having brought with him plied that I thanked him for all the pains and
from the Old Dominion a strong dislike to the trouble he had been at in bringing me up, but to system of slavery, he soon became dissatisfied leave the Methodists was out of the question, for with the state of the society into which he had I would not leave them for all the land in the fallen. It did not take him long to determine world. He then flew into a great rage, and told his course. With his family he crossed the Ohio! me to be gone and he would burn the house over river into the great and free "North-West terrimy head. A number of those present laughed tory," and settled at Milford, in Clermont county. and made sport of me; and my poor wicked Seven years later he removed to a place for many heart resented it for a moment, till I thought, years known as “The M'Cormick Settlement”— “Just such a one was I a few days ago.' But
now Salem-about ten miles east of the present upon the whole I have thought I could have city of Cincinnati. It was then little better than passed through the fire rather than draw back to a wilderness. Now it is one of those rural spots perdition, and I can truly say that none of these where the eye is feasted with beauty and the earl things moved me.
with melody-making one dream of Arcadian “The next day-Sunday—I went to meeting. I loveliness. In its quiet graveyard—seen in our Brother Chasteen preached again from, 'There engraving—his ashes now slumber. He died in was a little city, and few men within it,' etc. In 1836, at the age of seventy-two, after a ministry the discussion of the subject, I saw the dreadful
of forty-five years. situation our world was in through sin, and the Though a mere lad, M'Cormick, fired with the wisdom of the poor wise man in the redemption spirit of liberty, served two campaigns in the ! of fallen man from death and destruction. It | Revolutionary army, and was a participator in
the siege of Yorktown, and a witness of the sur the Lord, who gave testimony to the word of his render of Cornwallis. No doubt he was as brave grace. The little band was much rejoiced at my and devoted a soldier in the service of his coun arrival among them, together with the prospect try as he afterward became in the service of his of having circuit preaching and all the privileges God.
and ordinances of our Church.” On his settlement in Milford he found no con We quote from brother Fowble's manuscript: genial religious society. His soul was stirred up "After spending five days in and near Milford, at the prevailing wickedness and irreligion. He Kobler and M'Cormick started out on the first invited his friends and neighbors to come to missionary circuit ever traced in the Miami gether, and became to them “the voice of one country, if not the entire North-West territory. crying in the wilderness." His labors resulted They traveled up to the head-waters of the Miin the formation, in 1797, of what is generally amis and Mad rivers, to the outskirts of the white conceded to be the first class in the North-West population, and returned southward down the territory. He soon extended his labors into other Great Miami to its mouth and thence eastwardly sections—forming two other classes—the first at to Milford, the place of beginning. This circuit "Mr. Ramsay's," near the present site of Lock- embraced about one-half the territory now inland; the other at “Mr. Nutt's,” near the present cluded in the Cincinnati conference. site of Columbia, the original Cincinnati. He "After seeing Methodism well established on now sought to place these newly-organized socie- the north bank of the Little Miami, Mr. M'Corties under the watch-care of the regular itinerant mick once more changed his location and settled ministry. After one or two unsuccessful efforts, in Hamilton county, about ten miles east of CivJohn Kobler, a man of blessed memory, was sent cinnati. Here again his ardent soul went out by Bishop Asbury to take charge of the work. in prayer and ministerial effort for the conversion The following is Mr. Kobler's account of his of his neighbors, and again God set his seal of entrance upon the work: “In the year 1798, approbation to the labors of his devoted servant. while the Kentucky district was yet in my charge, A class was soon formed and the neighborhood at my second quarterly meeting for Hinkston supplied with regular circuit preaching, Mr. circuit, I was met by the Rev. Valentine Cook on M'Cormick pushing out in all directions to open the 28th and 29th of July, who was sent from the
way for the itinerants, thus continually widenBaltimore by Bishop Asbury to take my place on ing the area of spiritual freedom, the district, with orders for me to go over into “This class was the beginning of what has been the North-West territory, now the Ohio state, and long and widely known as the 'Salem Society,' form a regular circuit. This order was very sud- and in early times became identified with the old den and unexpected to me; yet I conferred not White Oak circuit, from the bounds of which near with flesh and blood, nor hesitated for a moment, fifty preachers have been raised up for the regubut received it as a call from God to push on the lar work of the Methodist ministry. Among this victories of his cross and enlarge the borders of number we record the names of Winans, Light, the Redeemer's kingdom. After giving my suc- Simmons, M'Clain, Eddy, Raper, Christie, Baughcessor that information which was necessary for man, Foster, holding in reserve a long list, havhis taking the district, I started for the place of ing as honest, though perhaps not so wide a fame. my destination-traveled a north-western direc- This class, the germ of the Salem society, was tion through many hills and desert places, and formed in Mr. M'Cormick's new double log-cabin. on August 1st crossed the Ohio river at a little It can not now be asserted who had the honor to village called Columbia. As soon as I set my pronounce the dedicatory address in this primifeet on the western shore I bowed my knees to tive Church in the wilderness;' but we know the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and implored that its pulpit—a space behind a chair upon
the his direction, his support, and the guide of his white ash floor—was afterward occupied by such divine providence in my undertaking. That men as Bishops Whatcoat, Asbury, M'Kendree, erening I reached the house of the Rev. Francis George, and Roberts, as well as by the chief M'Cormick, a local preacher from Berkley county, lights of our early western ministry. This cabin Virginia. He lived ten or fifteen miles from Co
was one of the principal land harbors into which lumbia, on the bank of the Little Miami river. those men put for shelter, provision, and repair. On Thursday, August 22, I preached at his house Here was held many a bishop's council, for our to a tolerable congregation on Acts xvi, 9, 'And local preacher was one of those wise and judia vision appeared to Paul in the night: There cious men whom a bishop might safely consult. stood a man of Macedonia and prayed him, say “This humble tribute to departed worth has ing, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.' It been composed within a few feet, and perhaps withwas a time of refreshing from the presence of in a hand's breadth of the very spot where these
sainted men of God conversed and kneeled in our engraving. It is fitting that the dust of the prayer, and by the identical bearth-stone that old pioneer should slumber beneath its shade. was the resting place of their feet; and if we How Mr. M'Cormick was exercised under these could invoke the 'stone to cry out of the wall,' excitements and calamities will best appear from and 'the beam out of the timber' would answer his own words: “While writing this sketch, one to our request, we could furnish “table-talk' and of the preachers informs me that an old member 'fireside reading' which would possess an inter- of forty years' standing has left us, and a local est far beyond that which is embodied in this un- preacher likewise—their cry is, *Tyranny! tyradorned narrative.
anny! Another has left because he was not or“On one occasion Bishop M'Kendree was dained, his moral character not being fair: a preaching in this cabin, taking his position near third, whose talents were not sufficient to preach the door inside so that the crowd withont might the Gospel; and this is the way they go, full of hear. In the midst of his discourse a messen- prejudice as they can hold, and I am awfully ger came from an adjacent appointment on spe- alarmed on their account; and the dreadful concial business with the preacher on the circuit, sequence, I fear, will be, they will lose their souls. who was an auditor in the crowd. He immedi- I have long been convinced that the Church can ately arose to go out, but while stooping to pass do better without me, and thousands such as I M'Kendrce, the Bishop placed his hand gently am, than I can do without the Church. They on the preacher's head, saying, 'Sit down, brother talk-those who are disaffected—about oppres
and hear the sermon.' Brother - qui- sion and maladministration; but I do not feel it etly subsided and moved not again till the serv any more now than I did thirty years ago, and I ice ended."
very much question whether we should hear the The Baptists and the Methodists erected a cry that we now hear if we would all keep the union log-church for the accommodation of their simple spirit of the Gospel, or, as we receive congregations in Salem. The first time Mr. Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.
As we M'Cormick preached in it he was called upon to all have a small opinion of ourselves and our administer Christian baptism to an infant. Just performances, or ought to have, so I think we as the child was being presented an old Baptist, ought to continue and keep in mind the word of who had occupied a seat near the door, started life. What have we that we did not receive ?" for the pulpit, crying aloud, “Stop, stop, you will In person Mr. M'Cormick was large and welldefile the house!" Mr. M'Cormick looked at him developed. His hight was full six feet, and his for a moment, then quietly saying to the parents, usual weight two hundred and forty pounds. His “Follow me," took up the bowl and went out in gigantic body was surmounted by a well-develfront of the church, where the infant was bap-oped head and a florid face, expressive of good tized with due solemnity. From that time for temper, intelligence, and benevolence. He was ward, though he retained his love for all follow the center and charm of the social company ers of Christ, whatever might be their name, he which his position and character drew around would have nothing to do with “union meeting him. As a preacher Mr. M Cormick was not dishouses.” He was convinced they did not con- tinguished for remarkable pulpit abilities, but his duce to Christian union, while they not unfre- fervent piety, genial nature, and good sense, proquently seriously crippled the energies of the cured him attention and respect wherever he offiChurches represented in them.
ciated. He possessed the largest liberalityDuring the radical secession in 1827 Mr. house, table, money, time, and influence were M Cormick was left to mourn over the desola- freely devoted to God and his Church. On one tions of Zion. The Salem society was not only occasion he publicly proffered the contents of his distracted by dissension, but a large portion of corn-crib for the free use of a camp meeting. it withdrew from the fellowship of that Church, It was cordially accepted—tradition says-till in which they had been nurtured so many years. the last ear of corn was taken to feed the horses Indeed, every male member withdrew except Mr. at the meeting and to make bread for home purM'Cormick and his honored son-in-law, the late poses. Thomas Mears, Esq. This was a dark day-a His house was for many years a preachingpainful period in his history. Yet he lived to place, and not unfrequently the people would see that society rise from the ashes of its ruin. come forty miles or more to hear the word of In 1&28 a new and commodious brick church, life. All such found cordial welcome, not only erected chiefly through his energetic liberality, to a free Gospel, but to a free entertainment. was completed, and thus the little society estab- | He lived not for himself but for the Church and lished upon a firm foundation. That church- the cause of God. now old and somewhat dilapidated—appears in The Rev. N. Callender, the present superin
BY VIRGINIA F. TOWNSEND.
tendent of the old Milford cirenit, in a letter to STORIES FOR CHILDREN-ONLY A LITTLE FUN. the writer says: “This old circuit, though she has been growing 'beautifully less' in extent, has never lost her identity. She is yet the mother
FRANK, you are a great tease," and she of circuits, stations, districts, and conferences, put up her embroidery needle playfully and from the lakes of the north to the sunny south, touched his ear with the point, but very carefully, and westward to the slopes of the Rocky Mount so that he should scarcely feel a sting. ains. This was the birthplace of western Meth “But you know it 's true, sis; now be a good odism. The first Methodist log-cabin, combin- girl and own up," and the boy lifted one of the ing both the dwelling and the church, has a golden bronze curls, and swept it back and forth history, written and written, such as can not over his sister's forehead as he hung on her be claimed by the most splendid palace in the chair. land. It had more to do in forming the charac “Well, what if it is true; do n't you think ter of the rising empire of the west than any they 'll be a handsome Christmas gift for any other edifice ever erected in this great valley. body?” asked the young lady as she laid down Here the first class in the North-Western territory the square of black broadcloth in her lap and was formed, and here the doctrines and usages surveyed the beautiful work which had been of Methodism were first made known to the new gradually expanding under her fingers. settlers. And so long as Methodism, in her fact, The graceful design had been most tastefully or in her history, shall last, the ‘M'Cormick class' executed—a robin poising its slender feet on a and the 'M'Cormick cabin' shall be held in grate small rose-branch, which fairly bent under the ful remembrance. The site of this cabin is now delicate weight; and the half-opened Hower, in the midst of a cultivated field some three- heavily wrought from the center, with brilliantly. quarters of a mile above the village of Milford, shaded worsted, seemed to hang heavy with on the Little Miami. It is a beautiful spot, and morning dews in the midst of its green leaves. in the midst of fertility itself.
“Yes, they will, that's a fact, Lu," answered “In one of the pleasant days of last autumn, the boy, as he gazed admiringly on the work. the writer, with Dr. Waterhouse, his colleague, onr “Somebody else will think so, too, when he puts families, and other friends, while enjoying a social 'em on, I reckon.” afternoon with brother A. H. Matson, grandson “Now, Frank, be still;" but she laughed out as of Rev. Philip Gatch, and the present proprietor she caught the roguish look in her brother's eyes of the first M'Cormick homestead, visited the a laugh that was sweet and clear, and full of spot where his 'cabin in the wilderness' was merry gurgles as her face was of dimplesma erected, and where Methodism was first planted laugh that just suited its character and expresin the North-West territory. Notwithstanding sion. the waste of time and the work of the busy plow, “Well, say, now, I want you to put that up, we found some of the chimney stones' get re Lu, and come and have a swing in the barn. maining-enough to form 'a heap' or 'build an George and I have put one up bunkum,' I can altar.' Under the inspiration of the scene and
tell you." of the thoughts that rushed upon us, we all be "Wait 'half an hour, that 's a good boy,” as gan to collect and throw the stones together, she selected from her work-basket a skein of darkerecting a rude monument, which remains to this brown worsted. ve got this stem to finish, day. We would not glory in men, nor in their and a drop of white to put in that bird's wing. works; but we rejoice that 'the righteous shall | Then it will be all done." be held in everlasting remembrance,' and that “Well, now, you must be ready, for it 'll be 'their works do follow them.'
dark by five," taking up his bow and arrow and During the latter part of Mr. M'Cormick's life whistling as he went out of the room. he was partly disabled from active service in the Francis and Louisa Palmer were the only son Church by disease which he had contracted by and daughter of Doctor Rufus Palmer, of Woodhis frequent exposures to wet and cold in his ford. They were children dearly beloved, and earlier ministry. Yet the evening of his days carefully and tenderly reared by fond and Chriswas cloudless and hopeful. He descended to the tian parents. Perhaps; as is too often the case, grave in the midst of his friends; and though the affection of the latter blinded them somenot rich in the goods of this world, yet was he what to the faults of their children, and perhaps rich'in faith and in ample treasures laid up they had been over-indulgent in their moral "where moth doth not corrupt."
training. He died in great peace, uttering as his last Still, the example of both father and mother words, “Glory, honor, immortality, eternal life!" | had exerted a silent but mighty influence over