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Diaries of Bishop Jesse Truesdell Peck - 1852 Diary

Daily Memoranda
October 1852

FRIDAY, October 1
Experience meeting this morning at 10 Not many present but a gracious meeting. My poor friend MR. M. knelt at the altar during the first prayer - Commenced wrestling for victory - He groaned agonized & prayed & God soon appeared. Oh how he did praise the Lord. My other esteemed friend Mrs. P. who had been busy sinking in much darkness came into the light & another I found blessed who had sought for some five weeks - Thus did God appear in this little meeting and make it more directly useful than many larger ones.

SATURDAY, October 2
This Saturday tried to rest but found such longing of spirit for the salvation of souls that I could not rest - I went into the streets to warn sinners from house to house & God was with me.

SUNDAY, October 3
This has been a great day in Zion. The crowd was large - Sermon on the Delivery of Christ - God gave me great liberty - Had power to sit for the Mediation in its two great feats - At & Recd - & the audience seemed greatly moved. 25 joined - May God preserve them - the Sacrament was excellent -

Eve - I took up the great question & urged it with all my might before a vast multitude. The work advanced powerfully.

MONDAY, October 4
Mrs. D. came forward & I looked the whole house over for her husband & failed to find him - Went back to the altar saw him in the gallery - Crowded my way up to him - Told him his wife was there - he soon said I'll be there directly & sure enough he came a strong fine man a young man of great influence. Many never came down also a great night - & a great day & night for many

TUESDAY, October 5
I am finding mourners and praying with them from house to house. A marvelous work is going on - No need of argument - as soon as the opportunity is given large number come to the altar. God sends down his power & some are converted while others remain in the dark - Last night Mr. M. & his wife came forward - bless the Lord - They are fervent & will doubtless get thro.

WEDNESDAY, October 6
This Eve - a very interesting incident occurred - I preached on the Cyro-Phoenician woman importuning in prayer - the work was powerful - many converted - a Lady after the benedictory came to Mrs. Peck & said can I have religion & if I can will you tell me how to get it? It was Mrs. B. Wife of a druggist on the Avenue - O may she soon come into the light.

THURSDAY, October 7
- dined at Br. Sewells in Georgetown

Another glorious night. The altar crowded - no appearance of a diminution of interest - the dear brethren sing & pray & rejoice as tho. they were fresh. I have tried to economize their strength - I get as much work as possible out of visiting brethren from other Stations and many of the best labourers in the city come to our help a number of mourners comforted.

FRIDAY, October 8
A day of hard pastoral labour & much triumph. The meeting was fine beyond all calculations - Dear Mr. M. & several other experienced religion - powerfully converted & many in the congregation humbled & were almost persuaded to go to the altar - The work increases in spiritual power. There is everyday more of God & less of man in it. Surely God intends a work that shall sweep thro the city.

SATURDAY, October 9
This morning a fine young Gentleman who was at the altar the evening previous came to My Library with a burdened heart. I tried to instruct him. Br. R. came in & we bowed in prayer When we had both prayed he remained still on his knees pleading I called Mrs. P & Sister & Br. G came each prayed & the dear young man emerged into light. My room is now solemnly dedicated by the conversion of a Sinner.

SUNDAY, October 10
Prepared & preached a Sermon on life - Spiritual its origin & development. It rains - the first inclement Sunday for six weeks - Audience much smaller than usual - took in 11 on proba- God spirit prevailing - my sermon perhaps too philosophical but God gave it his blessing - Another Eve of God's power - The rain had ceased an the crowd was very great. I preached from "Almost persuaded to be a Christian" & God helped me - a large number at the altar some new ones several powerfully converted. Pr. God.

MONDAY, October 11
Laborious day of pastoral visiting. Started with my dear wife 10 1/2 am. Called on sick poor healthy & comfortable & believers mourners & impenitents O what general interest - all glad to see us - rushed home 4 PM. Went again & returned. No time for tea or rest - a man at the door in tears saying "do come & see my wife she is about dying & no religion - I went -

One of the greatest meetings we have had yet - Experience & prayer meeting - altar crowded & several powerfully converted.

TUESDAY, October 12
Oh how the grace of God triumphs in the salvation of souls - Every day bring its good news and some evidence of the progress of the work.

This Eve we seemed to be more fatigued & to do less then any time within several weeks. All seemed to be dissatisfied with the result - several mourners one probably convt.

WEDNESDAY, October 13
This evening we must try harder - we go to meeting with strong faith & determined presence. I preached on Let us not be weary in willing &c. God gave me liberty all hearts seemed to be managed. Some new ones came to the altar I went to a large fine looking man Standing in the core - spoke to him. He said Sir I am satisfied there is nothing of this world. It is all vanity & trifling. I am sure if one would get happiness he must seek it in religion. At my request he rose & went to the altar. His prayers were earnest - the altar was crowded - several professed conversion - praise the Lord.

THURSDAY, October 14
Thursday - a very rainy day went to see mourners - Mr. F. the glutton refused to yesterday - Found him all melted down & deeply in earnest - His wife was also affected - Meeting nearly failed on acct of rain.

Wed. I was called to see poor Tom Baldwin - A noted sinner once a Methodist - a Backslider - Had gone on for years in high-handed wickedly disipatic & profanity but now arrested - His leg crushed by cars Must die in a few hours - O how awful his condition - prayers warding exclamations alarms & expressing confusion all mingled together - His son would send for me if any hopeful change - Heard nothing - Went to the infirmary on Thurs to see him but he was dead & gone - Am [h___] a fearful death -

SATURDAY, October 16
Sat - Undertook to rest and think of my sermons - but felt uneasy - my soul trembled for some who were trying to get mercy & I went out to seek them - Poor Mr. D. I found almost discouraged - reached him just in time - caught him as I would a drowning man - God helps me I believe he will be saved. Could do a little more than think of a text. Called on my dear old friend Father P. & found him dead - Alas! What a charnel house the world is. He was ready - Died in peace.

SUNDAY, October 17
Seized my pen to prepare a sermon on "Absence from Church in inclement weather" - It took the people by surprise. Preached an hour & a Qt. hope not to be so imprudent again - felt easy & obtained help to drive home the argument against a vicious habit.

Religion [___] interpreting nature - crowded recd. 7 on trial - P.M. Buried Br. Potters child - Eve - House literally packed long before the time - God helped me to preach on the day of Salvation 7 freed - 1. convt.

MONDAY, October 18
Felt much fatigued from Sunday labours - Rally needed rest - Went out on business & the Lord gave me an opportunity of conversing very pointedly to several persons - Went to see poor Mr. B. dying with consumption - Mind is a hopeful state - Called on Mr. R to speak to him of God - found his seriously hurt by inconsistent (or as he thinks dishonest) conduct of Cs & especially of Rev Mr. T. Oh how careful we ought to be lest by our sins we send others to hell - experience meeting very large but not very successful - a few mourners one new one & I fear no one converted!

All this day I am oppressed with anxiety. We have come to a breast work of the enemy & we must carry it. God Jehovah gives us power - Building Faith Pillars - a man of God goes safe

The Eve has past - The struggle was a desperate one but God gave us the victory at first no one came to the altar - soon one - I took the altar to exportation - My heart was full - at last they moved - 12 came & several were converted.

WEDNESDAY, October 20
This day went with Mrs. Peck to see our dear friends Brother & Sister Brian[?] & Georgetown - The visit was pleasant I trust profitable - Went down on to 6 st. to see poor Mrs. Z dying with a cancer - she wished me to call - A member of the M.E.C South. Her husband a leading member.

Preached on Lo this man will I look - Had great liberty - Several very earnest members - Three professed conversion - The work goes on secretly but faith is word.

THURSDAY, October 21
Called to see a Presbyterian lady supposed to be dying - Her Pastor out of Town - Dear woman she must go - She seems ready Has been frequently at our night meetings - Hope benefited.

The labours of the day fatigued me - I spoke at night of the forbearance of God. It seemed to reach the hearts of the people - no new one at the altar - I fear no conversion - God have many only sinners getting hard.

FRIDAY, October 22
This afternoon one of our dear mourning friends was powerfully converted at the female prayer meeting. Dear Mrs. Peck inspite of feeble nerves & sometimes a most distracted mind from severe neuralgic pains has kept up these meetings almost constantly wherean she has tried & I think done much good.

A very good meeting this Eve - but on the whole it has been harder work than on any previous work. Among the sick nearly all day.

SATURDAY, October 23
I intended to rest this day - but at market thot of calls I ought to make - began & went on from one to another until near 4 ocl. I wish I could do more. My heart pants for the grace to be more efficient in my visits - O God give me strength to go until I reach all who need my attention & power to rouse the slumbering & dead - Too tired this eve - to do anything by way of preparation for the pulpit.

SUNDAY, October 24
Hard at work studying the great theme of justification by faith properly the method of works & of faith contrasted. Went into the pulpit to meet a crowd somewhat concerned - My preparations very imperfect - but God helped me - Rec.d 4 on trial one by letter - P.M. cont to the mission appointment at T.H.

Eve. Preached from "how long hast ye between two opinions" - Had to be mild & easy but was able to say strong things & make a powerful appeal - Several at the altar.

MONDAY, October 25
We have commenced the 9th week of our meeting. Can't stop while the interest keeps up - Congregation large & serious & some constantly at the altar.

A most delightful love feast began early - Speaking continued for nearly an hour & a half & hardly a half - dozen were old Christians - Young converts & of our own congregation occupied almost the whole time & it was really refreshing to hear them A few at the altar. One new one.

TUESDAY, October 26
I thought I could be justified in taking a little rest - After preachers meeting ove I went to Alexandria whith Mrs. P. & Sister had gone with Br. & Sister Bates - Dined at 3 - with my dear friend Dr. Williams - Returned more tired than usual - Went to church feeling unable to do anything useful - called the mourners - four came called the brethren up for prayer meeting had a good one.

WEDNESDAY, October 27
Disappointed this week - The good work seems to be diminishing in power - Our brethren are tired out - Indeed we seem to have continued extraordinary means of grace until they have become ordinary - Nothing now in the fact of a protracted meeting & special efforts that makes any impression - We are doing something every night by the power of truth & prayer. Preached on "How shall I give it up?" Some mourners.

THURSDAY, October 28
Spent all this day in visiting &c - took the city missionary into the North District - Introduced him to several families - Engaged a room kindly offered for the meetings - Arranged the plan of work - He is to visit Monday & Tuesday on Capitol hill Wednesday & Thursday in North part city Preach & hold prayer meeting Thursday eve - Friday & Sat about Temperance Hall & between av. & canal. Preach Sunday morning on capitol hill & P.M. in Temperance hall.

FRIDAY, October 29
I feel a special interest in the appointments at T.H. & in [Bo___ H___] - Hope to be with means of beginning new congregations & finally building church in those plans - Went on a trip to Mt. Vernon with our friend Mr. Pierce brother of our son in law - A pleasant but fatiguing trip - The neglected appearance of everything about the home of the great Washington (excellent meeting) is dreadful.

SATURDAY, October 30
Time mostly taken up today is business transactions. Can hardly afford the time - Feel uneasy in all attempts at relaxation Prefer to be engaged in saving souls. It is the very joy of my heart. It rests me to see a sinner converted.

Rains & we kept in toward night - seems likely to be a "Stormy Sunday" - Strange to be at home all the Eve.

SUNDAY, October 31
The mist clears away this morning - and the day is beautiful No chance to try the effect of my sermon on Stormy Church Days & congregation very large & deeply solemn.

I preached again on justification by faith. The righteousness of faith. Oh what splendid views of this great [d___] rushed upon me.

Eve Preached to a silent crowd on "the harvest is past" Much deep conviction - several at the altar one new one.

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