Collections and Personal Papers:


Diaries of Bishop Jesse Truesdell Peck - 1852 Diary

Daily Memoranda
May 1852

SATURDAY, May 1
Off at 5 o.cl. AM. for Washington - In Baltimore in time to take a hearty breakfast at U.S. Hotel before the 4 o.cl. train for Washington Had my seat in time Met Hon. Mr. A. Member of congress - Had pleasant and profitable conversation on politics & religion. Also Father Henry an eccentric but good old man. Very useful - At home at Br. Gs for a while several pastoral visits

SUNDAY, May 2
This has been a day of unusual religion interest to me & I believe to many

Preached to a multitude on the sympathy of Jesus. Seldom have more freedom - God helped me. O how my soul longed for the Salvation of the dear people - The Sacrament followed and it was a season of great power We were [sub__] to tears as we knelt around the altar. Eve preached on faith. Heb 11.6

MONDAY, May 3
Left the house of my kind friend Mr. L. at about 5 1/2 AM. for home. I feel a deep interest in the welfare of this family. Mr. L. is a devoted Methodist. 1 daughter belongs to the church & grandfather is one of the noblest specimens of the Christian character I ever knew. The rest of the family tho. All brt. up in the lap of Methodism all out of the church. I hope to see them converted

Pleasant ride home & safe arrival

TUESDAY, May 4
Found some things wrong in college. Had no little trouble to regulate them but believe I have succeeded - The unfavorable symptoms have subsided and the erring ones will I think be saved - This is my policy. Others may rave & cut & [___] for the sake of order. Dismiss or expell for every offence. But I can not. I must put forth every effort to save the offender.

WEDNESDAY, May 5
Some I cannot save Some offenders must be marked Some exemplary punishment must be inflicted. Where it must be, I can do it - but not without a Father's grief. I have recently advised the Principal of the G.S. to send away a young man for whose salvation I have done everything in my power. My heart bleeds for him.

THURSDAY, May 6
Our meeting for the promotion of holiness is increasing in numbers & power. This night the room was nearly full & there was more of the Divine presence than we have had in any college meeting for months - O how the dear young men did plead for piety. Such faith - Such agony - Such triumph I have seldom seen Eternity alone will disclose the good accomplished in these little meetings.

This evening went out a short distance into the country to take tea with our good friends Mr. & Mrs. Stayner[?]. Mrs. P went out before me on horseback - A most delightful visit They are pleasant people. have a pleasant place - a beautiful yard & orchard & garden. In this spring it seems a sort of Paradise there They [si__] God - Let them enjoy his bounties.


SATURDAY, May 8
Very little accomplished today - Felt quite overcome by the heat - Tried to rest - Did some important office business - Feel that I have hardly time to finish up my work before commencement I must try to leave everything in the best possible condition for my successor. I will do my best - O if we could have a few more students converted before I leave.

SUNDAY, May 9
Attended church this morning & heard an excellent sermon from Dr. W. He is indeed a superior preacher & well adapted to this place.

Studied two sermons one on the promises - the other on the fall & the restoration - Had thot of them much - preached on the first but never put anything on either to paper before - Preached from the [__] at N - in L. Church.

MONDAY, May 10
Am this day working hard to finish my college work preparatory to a weeks absence With the advice of all my colleagues accepted an invitation to deliver an address at the anniversary of the American Temperance Union in B. W. Tabernacle N.Y. Must leave tomorrow morning I feel it to be a call of duty & pray that it may be blessed of God.

TUESDAY, May 11
Left in cars for N York at 9 1/4 o.cl The ride was rather pleasant - rendered so by the presence and conversation of Rev. Mr. G. from Carlisle He is a graduate of Dickinson - A minister of the P. Ch. Old school on his way to General Assembly.

Cars did not connect at Philadelphia - I must therefore disappoint my dear friends at Newark. But thank God I am favored with an evening and night at the home of my esteemed friends Dr. Tilden & Lady.

WEDNESDAY, May 12
Wed. Morn - took cars for New York - Met my dear friend Br. Longaun[?] & others on their way to Gen. Conf. for the purpose of assuring the delegates by indisputable evidence that the Laymen do not want a change in our Church government.

Reached Newark about 1. P.M. was met at the cars & conducted to the house of my friends Mr. & Mrs. Dimmock Had a most delightful visit In the P.M. went to New York to do some book business & ascertain order of Temper. Ass - returned at 7 - A pleasant eve - Thurs. Mor. rose early & studied my speech Went to N.Y. - attended anniversary of Bible Society an excellent meeting - good speaking - Evening went to the Tabernacle to make a speech was completely tired out when I began Had been in company all day without a home & could not rest - My speech seemed to give satisfaction It was warmly & frequently applauded but it did not satisfy me. The small things rushed upon me & the great things I had intended to say deserted me - The place of the meeting was bad - Too many speakers - But I trust the great cause of Tem. was promoted

Left my friends in Newark at 9 - ocl am Friday & went directly thro to Washington - Had agreeable company Br. I. P. Cook just returning from Gen Conf. Has all the speculations about offices - Surprising what a fever of interest exists on these subjects - I trust in God & have no concern.

SATURDAY, May 15
Sat - at Bro. Y's in Washington Spent the day in pastoral visiting - Dear people how glad to see their pastor

SUNDAY, May 16
A most delightful day - church crowded - Preached morning & evening on the perseverance of Christ - Had a free time. God was signally with us - Many were melted under the word. I can not describe the wonderful joy & triumph I feel in that pulpit It is my home - Glory be to God for a home in the Pulpit.

At night such was the manifestation of Divine power that Judge McClane thot we ought to have called the mourners forward - If the time had not been so brief I think it would have been desirable & probably successful. I am sure we shall have a glorious work of God at the Foundry.

MONDAY, May 17
Monday morning left my dear friends Br. & Sister Young for the cars at 6 - after a few drinks of coffee. How very kind these people are - Reached Carlisle at about 4 P.M. after a pleasant ride -

Could not stop as I had agreed to go to Shippensburg to marry a Br. in the ministry - Hard to go in sight of home after a long weeks absence & not be at liberty to stop - Spent a pleasant - Eve - found an appt. out for me without my consent - Preached on "Jesus" & God was with me.

TUESDAY, May 18
Tuesday morning married Rev. N.S. Buckingham to Miss Margaret Duncan of Ship - A pleasant wedding all expenses paid &c. - Home again.

WEDNESDAY, May 19
Found the affairs of College on the whole good - Some [__] offenders annois particular professors a common college vice which I know of no way entirely to prevent. If however we are able to conclude the year & with as much general good order as have had thus far it will be remarkable A tolerably full class but quite dull.

THURSDAY, May 20
The great topic of interest at this time is the General Conference now in session in Boston. Much anxiety exists in relation to the Officers to be elected - Several Bishops three or four probably are to be chosen Agents Editors &c. - May God direct. I believe he will. I have confidence in God & under his guidance much in my brethren The only danger is that some will yield to the weakness of human nature & act from personal or interested motives - Doubtless we shall have much of man in all this work but God over all - guiding when the Brethren will be guided & overruling whose they will not. I trust in God & believe the church to be safe in his hands

Thursday eve. prayer meeting well attended - not quite So spiritual as usual - Friday - Evening - good prayer meeting - excellent.


SATURDAY, May 22
Have this day presided at the last declamation for the year - and my last - I am thankful that it is so - for I may safely state that presiding over Saturday declamation for fifteen years has been my most disagreeable duty- It is harder to keep order - good order in the midst of humour - nonsense favoritism & prejudice than upon any other occasion.

SUNDAY, May 23
A pleasant Sabbath. Ex Ch with Rev Mr. Wing. He being in Washington attending General Assem could conveniently supply my pulpit at the Foundry & I as conveniently could supply his here - Made a new sermon & preached it on "Be kindly affectioned one toward another" &c.

Oh how sweet the theme. The people seemed to drink it in like water For Evening - [_____] a sermon on "I will lift up mine eyes" &c. A precious season

MONDAY, May 24
Sick this day - Took a head cold yesterday after preaching felt soreness in my throat & bones pain in my head & bowels - Had a good operation of Medicine at night & after a night of uneasiness & pain - got better - Learned that four new Bishops were to be elected on Tuesday morning at 9 o.cl. Called the family to prayer under a distressing sense of danger to the church of God from interested & weak human nature - My dear wife knelt by my couch & plead with God most fervently to take the matter into his own hands - Our dear friend Mr. P. soon after coming in I urged him to plead with God to control the ballot. He did so & it seemed that God was near to answer

TUESDAY, May 25
Tuesday morning - As the hour of election approached we plead for divine control & believe he will do it.

Bless the Lord alls well. Telegraph brings news of the election of Brothers Simpson Ames Scott & Baker to the Episcopacy - I believe it will be for the best interest of the church. I trust in God there is a great blessing in this result. I believe the brethren all to be sound in piety & Methodism - of broad comprehension and safe views of progress - of a kind & excellent spirit - Their super education general intelligence & talents will command respect from the Church & community.

THURSDAY, May 27
This day recd a dispatch informing me that my brother & friend Walters of Foundry Station Washington is dying & desires to see me - demanding immediate answer - I consulted my colleagues & with their consent replied that I would leave tomorrow Spent the balance of the day in completing my preparations to leave. O. that it might please God to spare Br. W to us a little longer. He is a useful man and much beloved.

FRIDAY, May 28
Did up all my college work faithfully & left for Washington at a little after 4. I always become contemplative the moment I enter the cars. I have spent so much time in riding thousands of miles to meet my appointments that I have felt myself bound to Save the time by study Have made it a habit & now I think the time I spending the cars among the most profitable I enjoy Must stay in York till 5 o.cl. Sat morning - was moving on toward the hotel when I was escorted in a friendly way by the ticket agent Asked him if Mr. J is at home Said I had agreed to spend a nt with him Thot of going to night He invited me to stay with him urged it & I consented. He treated me with the very perfection of hospitality - Gave me breakfast & sent me on my way at 5 a.m.

SATURDAY, May 29
I reached Wash. about 11 a.m. I was met by several of my very dear Brethren at the Depot & found to my joy Br. Walters still living - after a change & a few minutes rest went to see him. He could not see was nearly insensible but when I spoke to him he round up & recognized me. A wonderful demonstration of the power of religion. On this there he was clear as light while he hesitated and surely sensible upon any other. I told him I would call again about 9 o.cl' - Sunday morning I called again - His dear wife said she believed he was entirely unconscious. He had seemed for hours to be so. I took his hand & called him Br. Walters. Sister W said this is Dr. Peck - He has come to see you. He began to say just above his breath, Dr. Peck - Dr. Peck Has he come? He said hed come about 9 o.cl. We were utterly surprised - He stretched out both hand and grasped mine. He said "My dear Dr. Peck - I love Dr. Peck. Oh is it possible that he is here & I can't see him He was much affected. I said you rely upon Jesus He said yes he has never disappointed me - He has redeemed all his promises - he is faithful - O precious Jesus We sang & prayed & he seemed lost & swallowed up on God As soon as we finished he seemed to sink away again & was soon unconscious - How true is the soul to its ruling desire & predominant interest & how evident it is that it is not the soul that is dying. I saw him again but he seemed so far gone that I did not speak to him

SUNDAY, May 30
My pulpit was filled this day by the Gen. As of the New School Presbyterian Church Rev. Dr. Gilbert of Pha preached a right sensible sermon on Be ye not hearers only In the evening we had Rev. Mr. Goss from Utica Presbytery. He read - his sermon was good but not so much appreciated on the account of its being read - One people will not be reconciled to Me preaching. God grant they never may. It destroys the life of both preachers & hearers. It pains me that some of our young ambitious & misguided brethren are affecting to be wise above their Fathers & are trying to take up a style of preaching of which the whole world is thoroughly sick & just as many of the strongest men in other churches are laying it down I hope our Confreres & Bishops will stand firm against this innovation An innovation which both indicates & induces a tendency from spiritualism to formalism.

MONDAY, May 31
Monday started for home at 5 o.cl. Arrived safely at 4 P.M.

Back                 Forward