Washington Correspondence

Christian Recorder: November 15, 1862

Turner offers a review of the Sabbath School Union meeting and other meetings taking place in Washington and Baltimore. 

Keywords: Ministers, Sabbath School Union, Missionary Society

Mr. Editor—Again the snowflakes have carpeted our sometimes dusty then muddy city. Everything looks white and pure, and if some celestial visitor, upon whom the charm of deception could effect its bewilderment, were to visit our wicked and corrupt metropolis, he might suppose all was purity and perfection.

They have been holding a series of meetings in Israel Church for the last two weeks, the result of which has been the conversion of many souls. The entire church presents a more spiritual aspect at present, than she has at some time.

Last Sabbath, the 2d inst., the second quarterly meeting of the grand Sabbath school Union was held in Israel Church at 3 o’clock, P.M. This association is composed of delegates from various Sabbath schools of the entire city, organized by Bishop Payne and the late John F. Cook, seventeen years ago.

The meeting was opened by singing and prayer, roll called, minutes of the previous meeting read and approved. The president, Mr. John Thos. Johnson, then called for the quarterly reports of the various schools, the majority of which were very intelligently represented. And the flattering reports which came from many of the schools indubitably showed, that neither industry nor discretionary genius commensurate were lacking. After which the following gentleman approached the audience:-

Mr. Adolphus W. Winkfield, who spoke to the children. His remarks were very pathetic, and suitably adopted to the tender feelings of the young. Likely no one present could aggravated himself into their youthful minds and their attention more successfully than did Mr. Winkfield. I also think that this good brother is destined for the work of the Christian ministry, as the zeal and burning fervor which is lambent in his gestures, glows in his countenance, burns in his words, yet threaded with so much Christian….bespeaks a fitness for some higher calling in the Christian church.

Rev. Alexander Sandy of the Third Baptist Church, spoke to the teachers, His remarks were very pointed and uncompromising with non Sabbath School teachers. He paid a lasting tribute to those trifling parents who deny or mean to discharge their parental duty…showing the almost impossibility of Sabbath School rearing children for God when the parents took no interest in their religious training.

3d. John Thos. Johnson, President, spoke to the parents. His remarks evinced no small acquaintance with literature. He handled his subject in a masterfully manner and demonstrated clearly that the reflection of cast could only be abrogated by the force of literary competition.

Mr. H. A. Wormly is the secretary of the Association. This gentleman has the appearance of one who possesses the ability adequate to whatever position may be reserved for him

Upon the whole, the demonstration told well for those who are engaged in the work of youthful culture.

I had the pleasure of visiting Baltimore this week, where I found assembled the Executive board of the Baltimore Annual Conference Missionary Society, which board is composed of Rt. Rev, D. A. Payne, and Revs. J. M. Brown, A. W. Wayman, J. A. Handy, B. T. Tanner, Jas. Lynch, H. M. Turner. They were in session three days during which time some heavy discussions took place. Two applications for establishing missionary fields were presented. One was sent from Africa and the other from South Carolina. The application from Africa was largely and warmly debated upon. Not being authorized by the Board, I forbear giving the result of the proceedings; but will merely state to the members of the Baltimore Annual Conference, that they will soon be officially notified to raise the sum of thirty five cents from each and every member of their circuit or station to meet the exigencies of our missionary demand. The Board adjourned to meet in Washington the 1st Monday in December.
I also met in the Monumental City the distinguished lecturer and very popular orator, Mr. Wm J. Watkins. Baltimore is his birthplace and no man ever experience from his friends a more cordial reception upon his return to Hayti. He has been lecturing for some time now to crowded houses, though an admission fee has been charged. No lectures among our people have been so well attended. I will give you the subjects which he has been discussing:-

1st. The colored people of the United States—our defects, duties, and our probable destiny.
2d. The relation of the colored population of the United States to the present crisis.
3d. Human progress
4th Our wants as a people
He has surpassed the expectations of all by his splendid elocution, his inimitable power of description, his bold and vivid imagery, his burning satire, and his glowing eloquence. He first lectured by invitation of the Galbraith Lyceums, through the Baptist Church in which he was to lecture was refused at a very late hour by Rev. Noah Davis, (colored) on the ground of Mr. Watkins’ abolition notoriety.
The Presbyterian Church, of which Rev. Hiram Revels is the learned and faithful pastor, was tendered, and crowded to overflowing, and he has since lectured in Bethel and Sharp Street Churches. Thus, the people rebuked the needless timidity, the suicidal jealously of old decrepid fogyism. A man of Mr. Watkins caliber cannot be suppressed and I am glad to know that no man among us has more ardent friends than he. May the Lord prosper him in his efforts to instruct and to elevate those who so much need his counsels.

I am informed that the Fifteenth St. Presbyterian Church has employed a temporary pastor. He is a white minister, and said to be a very good man, but only an ordinary preacher. May heaven bless his labors.

The Central American Expedition will be delayed some three or four months. The reason of which is that the president concurs with the views of Secretary Seward, in first making a treaty with the government of New Granada, so that all emigrants will be entitled to the protection guaranteed by the United States Government and this treaty must be ratified by Congress. I suppose this arrangement has constituted the basis of Mr. Seward’s heretofore urged objections. I am informed that the prospective Governor, Mr. Joseph E. Williams, will occupy an office in the Interior Department till the expedition is ready.


Washington, Nov. 8, 1862

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