Collections and Personal Papers:

Diaries of Bishop Jesse Truesdell Peck - 1852 Diary

Daily Memoranda
November 1852

MONDAY, November 1
Our protracted meeting is now closed - It had continued nine weeks every night excepting Saturdays. God has given me strength to be regularly in the pulpit every night for the whole time - I have only had one sermon & one opening exhortation from my brother. More than 100 souls have been triumphantly converted 95 have joined our probation - 10 before the meeting the church greatly improved. I have come out of the battle unharmed - Praise the Lord. Splendid prayer meeting.

TUESDAY, November 2
This is election day. This day the people of this great nation will choose their chief magistrate for four years. What momentous importance attaches to this day. May God direct the ballot. I freely confess I can not tell which would be best for the country but I have hardly a doubt that Gen Franklin Pierce will be elected by a large majority over Gen. Winfield Scott. We shall see tomorrow.

WEDNESDAY, November 3
This morning the election returns sufficiently indicate the election of General Pierce by an unprecedented majority. May he guided by a wise and merciful Providence.

Much fatigued from pastoral visiting. Hardly a moment to rest or prepare my lecture A fine audience in Lecture room began a regular course on growth in grace - an excellent time - 3 mourners - the Lord be praised.

THURSDAY, November 4
Commenced yesterday to raise balance of money needed for paying for parsonage about $1,000 & for furnishing about $400. Don't know who shall get the 1,400. Must be all paid before I leave the station & if possible this year - Spent the day in getting subscriptions & pastoral visiting A lovely day - Such kind friends All is well - Eve. Met home missionary cont a Union Chapel - Made a speech in favor of church extension.

FRIDAY, November 5
A pretty good day's work. The Lord with me of a truth. Had a very full leaders meeting & conversed pleasantly upon the divine of classes - Nobody wishes to divide - No members wish to leave their Leaders - can't please everybody in this business but must diminish the size & increase members of the class - Will do the best I can.

SATURDAY, November 6
To market intending to go on with my subscription list for parsonage but the rain came down so abundantly that I went home & remained home nearly all day. A strange thing for me to do. It ought to have been a day of profitable study but it was not. I felt an unaccountable stupidity & gave up to rest & sleep - on the whole evidently my duty.

SUNDAY, November 7
Rains this morning - congregation will doubtless be small - Tried to prepare a sermon on the Baptismal formula - Rain stopped & a good congregation came in Laboured in preaching but got out the idea I had in view the teaching import & obligations of Baptism. Baptised some 18 or 20 - admitted seven on probation - Had a profitable communion. P.M. Heard Dr. Murry & Kirwan - good but not great - Preached in the evening on Ephraim joined to idols 2 mourners.

MONDAY, November 8
This day worked hard in circulating subscription & pastoral visiting - The people are in excellent spirits - all receive me kindly & do cheerfully whatever their duty requires. But it will be a considerable effort to raise $1400 in addition to $2,500 raised before for this object - It will be done - I hope before conference.

Prayer meeting excellent well attended.

TUESDAY, November 9
Work the same as yesterday for the forenoon - Accepted invitation of Br. Sibley to go with him & seval brethren 9 ms. into the country, preach at a protracted meeting - Omnibus driver came near 1 1/2 behind time. I got in 1/4 to 5 poor team - Went about 3 ms & stalled - Got out. I took one leader by the head & induced him to move the whole load - Had to get out at every little hill & lift to help the poor weak team draw the empty omnibus. It would have amused any body to have seen me & several of my friends tuging away at the whales & hind end while two of our company ran on each side with a switch whiping the horses' legs to get the empty carriage up a moderate rise of ground - About meeting time found us 1 1/2 mi from the place - fast in a creek.

Some on this branch of the creek unable to get over One on a horse trying to move the team. I & bro. J. in omnibus too far on to get back & unable to get forward. I took a cake out of the basket & went to eating & sang "O how happy are they" at last one jumped into the creek and by a great effort with the drivers whip got out just onto the shore but could get not further. I sprang from the omnibus & moved off toward the meeting house at a rapid rate leaving my friends to get over as they could - Horses were sent over & they rode across two on a horse overtook me and Br. J. I could hardly have got there but for the support of brethren - Arrived 1/4 to 8 - Preached to a full house of people who drank in every word - An experience meeting followed. My four dear class leaders & 4 young converts spoke delightfully. It was a gracious time - Went home with Col. J. rode flat on the bottom of a covered wagon drawn by mules - How primitive - Had a good supper 12 1/4 am. At night - slept well till new sun - joined half our party at Mrs. J's Baptized two little negro children - all started about 10 - Got home 1/2 past 12 - thankful to God for his blessing & far from dissatisfied with our expedition.

Wed - 10. Lectured again on grant in grace - Thursd - Frid - & Sat. devoted to pastoral visiting - Poor Mr. Morsel seems likely to die - Not prepared but trying to be May God bless him.

SUNDAY, November 14
Preached this morning to a full house on separation from the world - Solvably free.

Preached P.M. to Zion colord church near capitol - a good time their singing is excellent. They shouted aloud for joy.

Returned & married a couple in church.

Preached again in eve to a full house - very attentive continuation of same subject God helped me.

MONDAY, November15
Took a hack & with wife and sister rode out onto Delaware Avenue to find my old friend S. Hoes - A former student of Cazenovia at about the time I was - knew him there - young, strong, zealous & a powerful preacher - Entered the traveling committee with most flattering prospects. Became a strong anti-slavery man & at length a violent abolitionist - Involved himself in the controversy - Injured his usefulness & at length in 44 withdrew & joined Scotts party Since he has been trying to preach but to little purpose - been a farmer & to California returning with some $5000 in gold but with disease deeply seated on his vitals - Is now far gone with consumption - On his way south to try to lengthen out his life - I sought him out because he was the companion of my youth - a noble fellow - Nosed[?] in misfortune in need of kindness his wife my old Preceptress when a student at C. & himself are early associate of my wife & sister & a beloved quest of my fatherinlaw - Found him greatly moved at the attentions pleased him coughing fearfully droping into the grave - Took him to my home & kept him bestowing upon all possible attention for some 5 days - Poor man - he has mistaken his duty in regard to the slave - as paid the forfeit - His spirit once bold & commanding is subdued humble & devout - He conveys all his desires his hopes & fears in religion. Feels well prepared to die - And I believe he is - He has lost none of his hatred to slavery but is calm submissive to Providence & prudent - I thank God for the opportunity of showing him kindness in his afflictive -

Usual routine Tues. Wed & Thursd.

FRIDAY, November 19
This day (Friday) my poor friend left me. I think he will return no more - He goes South alone I think to die - May Heaven protect him.

Went with a few friends to administer the Sacrament to Mr. Morsell - a moral man near death from consumption a most affecting scene - Himself & wife with son & six daughters knelt & commended together.

SATURDAY, November 20
I propose to spend more time than usual in my study but it was to little effect. Company inspite of all my firmness will occupy more or less of the time which I need for other things. It would have annoyed me much today but for the fact that my preparations for the pulpit were already nearly made. Must take care of my time. Qt. Conf.

SUNDAY, November 21
Early this morning did my best to prepare for the delivery of my sermons - Felt desirous to preach in the demonstration of the spirit & with power. Q. M. - could not have the P.E. cong. large - Preached morn. from "Blessed are the pure in heart" Some enlargement - Eve on the blessings of persecution - A good time. Thought a deep impression was made in favor of the high moral power of the gospel.

MONDAY, November 22
A very stormy day - Fear our Love feast tonight will be a failure - Oh how it rains, Thank God - some sixty souls came out to love feast in the midst of a great rain - Mainly all young converts - The speaking was excellent. The P.E. was with us - Was much pleased with the meeting - especially with the young converts - "Bless the Lord oh my soul"

TUESDAY, November 23
My pastoral work engrosses nearly all my time - I do the best I can it is impossible for me to meet the demands of the people - I visit poor Mr. Morsell every day. He seems highly gratified with my visits & really enjoys singing & prayers. I have watched the state of his mind most anxiously for some six weeks. It was hard for him to yield to admit the necessity of effort - Believe he had a degree of religion - Had always lived a praying life & still prayed - Hoped all would be well - had no doubt of his own recovery. This comment of self-righteousness had to be broken - I adopted every means in my power to do it but often found him in such an agony of pain from disease or so stupid from the effect of medicine that I could do nothing but pray for him - But I must persevere - I found him gradually rousing - talking more freely & praying more fervently - His convictions - communication & faith [___ed] until he asked for the sacrament - which after full examination & instruction I gave him. He has since been very calm very content & fervent in his prayer & expressed great confidence in the future safety of his soul. I am not without hope that he will die a Christian, But O what an escape! Who would wish to run such a risk. Thursday I visited to tell him that in all probability he had but a few hours to live - He said "is it possible"? "And I am so comfortable" He had since spent much of his time in prayer - Th - night was thot to be dying. I was sent for but not at home - Friday went twice in an awful rain to see him. His end approaches & he is more triumphant.

THURSDAY, November 25
Thursd - preached a thanksgiving Sermon - Saw the first large audience I ever saw upon such an occasion - Text happy is that people whom God is the Lord" seemed pleased & profited - Lectured on Maine Law in T.H. at night - rained Audience & effort good - no other incidents in the week.

SUNDAY, November 28
Preached this morning in Wesley chapel for Br. R. cong. Large Theme "The name Jesus" I felt clear & totally happy. Much talk among my own people about my being out of my own pulpit - Believe I did right - The majority thot so.

Eve preached to a large audience on Christian charity - Had liberty - P.M. Buried poor Mr. Thompson - Hope he has gone safe.

MONDAY, November 29
Am determined to spend more of this week in my study - Just trying to bring up my writing.

I have just recd intelligence of the death of my dear friend Mr. Morsel. Beloved man. He has gone to try the reality of those principles which I have endeavored to urge upon him & which he has so cordially recd during the last six weeks. I thank God for the opportunity & successfully pointing a dying man to the Savior.

TUESDAY, November 30
A day of deep solemnity after spending much of the forenoon in visiting the sick & the poor during which my heart bled for the suffering, I attended the funeral of my departed friend Mr. Morsel. Everything was solemn as death - the audience very large & many moved to tears - Oh when will the sons of man learn wisdom & made their preparations for death while in health.

Back                 Forward