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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 232, October 17, 1858

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Identifier: DX03597327

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 232, October 17, 1858

Description: Describes attending a sermon in a Methodist church in Elmira, New York.

Transcription:

seperate from the men. I believe this is usual in American Methodist churches. Myself and Mr E. [Eldredge] sat in front, close by the minister. He was a portly man, with a fleshy massive head and smooth, thin hair; dressed in a suit of not particularly well-made thin black cloth. Any one predisposed to do so might have found him a little Chadbandish. The congregation were all country folk; some of the boys had neither shoes or stockings. Presently the services began by a prayer, or a hymn, given out by the preacher “from the Arrangement.” He did not mount to what might be called the pulpit — it was of no great heighth — but walked to and fro in front of it. His prayer was zealous, passionate, moving, and some of the congregation joined in, Methodist fashion, with ejaculations of “Lord!” “Amen!” and the like. The man was so much in earnest that I saw a tear drop from his perspiring face — it was a tear. His sermon was a good one, its text from the Psalms. He dwelt on the old, pretty story of David and Goliath with an earnestness and interest which was really touching. He was eloquent, enthusiastic, in spite of his occasional provincial pronunciation — his “bens” instead of “beens,” his Americanisms of word and sentence. Nor did he lack good strong sense, for, when he came to speak of David rejecting Saul’s armour, instead of “improving” it as I expected — by bidding his hearers rely not on “the fleshly arm,” but the God of battles &c &c — he launched out into a splendid, almost [Thomas] Carlyelish assertion of the necessity of Individuality of Character. When excited he shouted tremendously (being accustomed to a larger church

Rights: NoC-US

Place:

Dates: 1858-10-17

Type(s): Diary
Page

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Methodist Church
Clergy
Diaries
Religion

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