Christian Recorder: March 16, 1876
Mr. Editor:--One month more and we close our books for this another conference year and take our departure for Newark, where we have been summoned to meet our Annual Conference, whether we have accomplished much or little. Our time then runs out. From one end of Jersey to the other, itinerants will wend their way to offer their reports and themselves up, and then receive their Annual doom. We look expectantly for all of our forces but one. The Rev. Joshua Woodlin will not be there. He went out with us, but we loss him now as we are coming in. He has left his favorite conference on earth and gone ahead to the sublime conference above—where we will strive to meet him, God being our helper. We look upon these gatherings with deep solemnity, and ask ourselves the question, have we done what we could? Have we filled our post with honor and with Godly fear? Have we walked circumspectly and fed the flocks of Christ committed to our care, knowing that we must give an account thereof? Yes, one of our members has paid the debt of nature, died a natural death at home and at his post and one only. Thank God. How many have died spiritually far away from home and from their accepted post? Time will tell and the brethren will answer for themselves.
As we lead off in the sessions of ’76 in this Episcopal District, much will be expected from us. There will be something to carry to the General Conference and something for an example to those who convene after us and of course there must be no marks of apathy on our part….. then to Jersey, let us arouse and put all the armour on. I say to the young men come up, come up. Be not behind and no man will dare despise your youth. Fathers and Elders, lead off as landmarks, and as good sons we’ll follow on….We mean it and our people are anxiously zealous, and intend to conquer though they die. Our quarterlies are over, and we are gleaning, and gathering up the good fragments that nothing might be lost. The good gospel measure of twenty dollars the young people gathered up, and for fear of losing it, they brought it to my room and laid it near my drawer for me to stow away. I, according to the Scriptures partook of what was before me and asked no questions. God bless the church and her benefits. Our people are proud of their premiums from the Financial Secretary. The splendid pictures of our Bishops. I believe there never was more talk about our bishops than now as they hang conspicuously beside the pictures of Presidents Lincoln and Grant, the leaders of our people. God is truly blessing our church, and may He ever continue to waft on her leaders and speak to her children to go forward. May our Conference be attended with the beat of consequences. May we all meet as though it were the last time and as in the immediate presence of God. Who out of our ranks will be called away before another conference. None can tell. But if found like Elder Woodlin, at our post when the Master calleth, all, all will be well, all will be well.
Woodbury, March 14, 1876