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fast as men and funds could be commanded; and on February 3d, 1853, when the first session of the California Conference proper was held, we had the following goodly array of men: William Taylor, S. D. Simonds, Edward Bannister, George S. Phillips, D. A. Dryden, E. A. Hazen, Charles Maclay, A. H. Shafer, H. C. Benson, A. L. S. Bateman, David Deal, E. Merchant, I. B. Fish, A. S. Gibbons, J. W. Brier, J. Corwin, J. D. Blain, Joseph Pettit, R. B. Stratton, W. Morrow, J. McH. Caldwell, John Bennem, B. F. Rawlins, J. Daniel, Jessie L. Bennett, W. Wilmot, W. Oliver, W. J. Casper, James Hunter, W. Hulbert, A. Bland, R. R. Dunlap, A. McLean, J. B. Hill, H. B. Sheldon, M. C. Briggs. Most of these men had from two to ten out appointments. Since that time the Conference has been twice divided, and at this date, the mother Conference has a muster roll of a hundred and forty-three in full connection and ten on trial.

The subject of education engaged the attention of the pioneers. In January of 1851 the ministers met at San José to plan for schools. Edward Bannister had already established an academic school at San José. In 1851 a charter was procured for the California Wesleyan College. We had a seminary at San José, one at Santa Cruz, and one at Sacramento. The California Wesleyan College grew into the University of the Pacific, and that has been growing as fast as it could ever since, in an ambitious effort to fill the proportions of its name. It is now a well-rooted institution, and commands a large and increasing patronage. Besides the University of the Pacific, the Conference has under its care the Napa Collegiate Institute, a school of great excellence, and literally full of students. In the Southern California Conference is another very flourishing institution assuming the name University.

The temperance record of the Methodist Episcopal Church has always been above suspicion. That Church is today the strongest temperance organization in existence. Its members are forbidden to make, drink, buy, sell liquor, rent buildings for the liquor business, loan money for carrying it on, or sign


petitions for license to sell liquors. Church has always been in the van of the great contest, and is fully committed to the policy of Constitutional Prohibition.

It could hardly have been otherwise than that Methodist ministers and members should have a prominent part in the fierce controversy springing out of a sinister attempt to perpetuate slavery in this State after the adoption of the Free Constitution. At the time of the forming and adoption of the Constitution, California was regarded mainly as a place to get gold to spend elsewhere; but before the State was admitted, all eyes were opened to its great agricultural and climatic resources, and the friends of the slave system were deeply chagrined at their oversight and indifference, and many will remember how strenuously the admission of the State was opposed in Congress. It was admitted, however. This fact ought to have put a quietus upon the contention; but proslavery politicians in California and the South resolved to break down this new barrier to the spread of their loved institution. A convention was quietly held at Wilmington, N. C., to devise plans. The results of that conference were embodied in a secret circular, intended only for the eyes of friends of the scheme. It proposed three methods: 1st. To introduce more slave property by the connivance of the Southern Governor of California, and thus strengthen the plea in equity for the repeal of the anti-slavery clause in justice to vested rights. 2d. To secure the calling of a convention to revise the Constitution, and so shape the composition of the convention as to secure the result desired. 3d. In case this second method should miscarry, to call a convention to divide the State, under plea of its unwieldy length, and throw the southern part back under a territorial government, then concentrate slave property and slavery propagandists, and make a new Slave State.

Either by design or misdirection, one of these circulars came into the hands of a Methodist minister, and one into the possession of Ex-Lieutenant-Governor Purdy. The "California Christian Advocate" issued its



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A first number Oct. 18th, 1851. The brother who of held the circular, and had watched with deep to: but silent concern the movements of parties in interest, was one of its editors. In the set paper of November 12th, 1852, being fully sha satisfied of the sincerity and earnestness of the attempt to carry out its suggestions, the mpt editor aforesaid exposed the scheme of the circular in a two-column editorial, which now lies before me. That editorial, supported by some notices by Governor Purdy which soon afterward appeared, opened a battle which she raged with much fierceness for nearly two years; and its "confused noise" was not fuladly hushed till the organization of the Repubslican party, in 1856. The Methodist EpisO copal Church was as "solid" against the revolution attempted as against rum, and some of its ministers were forced into a prominence which nothing but conscience could have made them willing to endure. They turned pen, voice, prayer, and personal exhortation against the desecration of a soil already dedicated to freedom, lectured in all parts of the State, and, with some brave brethren of other churches, bore the brunt of the day that tried men's souls. Happily, that day is passed. Wise men throughout the nation thank God. Other great questions, such as Temperance, Common-School Education, and the Sabbath, occupy the field of vision. Permit me to express the fullest confidence that our people, cleric and lay, with respect to all these issues, will be found faithful to their creed, their traditions, and the memories of the past.

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Of the two pioneers of the pioneers, Isaac Owen and William Taylor, the one in heaven and the other in Africa, I must indulge myself with the pleasure of attempting a brief sketch. All history is barren without the portraiture of its chief actors. The brethren whom I have named were men of mark, each in his way.

At nine years of age Isaac Owen knew not a letter of the alphabet, but he could bring down a deer or prairie chicken with quick and unerring aim. His ambition ran toward the game of the prairies and forests of IndiHis sound conversion in early life was his salvation in more senses than one. It


changed the current of his life so decidedly that the past dropped away as a dream when one awaketh. From that day he sought books as miners seek nuggets. At seventeen he began to "exhort" among the primitive and kind-hearted people with whom he lived. His selection as one of the missionaries to California was an instance of admirable foresight. He found a surging, heaving sea of men, of high average intelligence, unconquerable energy, and insatiable greed. His activity, geniality, hardihood, fertility of resource, and agility of tongue, opened his way. He must have been born with a smile on his face, for it never faded during his lifetime. The defects of his early education, imperfectly repaired at the hardest, made him zealous in the cause of learning. He would have established a high school at every crossroads and a college in every county. His virtue in excess ran close to the borders of mistake, and it cost his brethren some effort and time to set right that which a too uninformed zeal was near making disastrously wrong. But, take him all in all, that short, square-shouldered, dark-eyed, ever-smiling man with retreating forehead and repeating Greek, was a marvel of labor and success.

William Taylor, now Missionary Bishop for Africa, is one of the men whom the world will need to grow half a century older to appreciate as he deserves. Physically, he was fashioned for feats of strength and endurance. More than six feet in stature, spare, but not thin, erect, free-motioned, with an eye that would not quail before a whole army of assailants, a voice to be distinctly heard a mile away, and a spirit as unconquerable as Paul's, this Virginian who hated slavery, this American who loved the world, undertook and is still prosecuting a work more apostolic than that of any other man of this century, and unexcelled for self-forgetfulness and heroic consecration in any century of the past.

No parsonage with a reception committee at the door welcomed Taylor and his young wife. No official board met to hear the report of the estimating committee and fix his salary. With his own strong hands he rived out the redwood stakes in the Contra Costa

Mountains, hauled them to where East Oakland now is with an ox-team, rowed them across the bay in a whale-boat, and built a house for himself. I believe this historic edifice is still standing in or near John Street, San Francisco. Not content with preaching in the church on Powell Street, on the edge of the Plaza, on the wharves, in the hospital, and at funerals in private houses and hotels, he must needs undertake a great Bethel enterprise for the benefit of seamen. The scheme included a Bethel ship, a house built on it, and a large sailors' home. Mr. Taylor's energy commanded universal confidence, his credit was boundless, money was plentiful, but all notes had to be signed by him personally. The enterprise prospered till the great financial crash in 1855, when it went down under pressure of a general financial wreck. Banks, merchants, real estate men, all fell into the pit together. Most of the unfortunate relieved themselves from the pressure of their debts by the bankrupt law. Not so William Taylor. The dauntless manhood in him (coincident, as I believe, with the providence of God over him) rose to the occasion, and he set out on his world-wide mission, publishing and selling books, preaching in many lands, declining donations, and paying percentages on his debts as fast as possible. I paid thousands of dollars for him, in obedience to his scheduled directions. He had put every dollar of his private property into the hands of creditors of the Bethel, and left his family without lot, house, or income. His homestead in Alameda was paid over. Annually he made remittances to his wife sufficient for a modest support. By working hard with her own hands, and practicing a severity of economy of which few people can form a conception, Mrs. Taylor saved a part of he annual allowance, and when real estate went down to a low figure in Alameda, she was able to buy back the old place on High street. In the same way she has purchased some additional realty, but has nothing which yields an income worth mentioning. For more than a quarter of a century this noble struggle on both sides has gone on. Bishop Taylor is a man of dauntless cour

age. Many years ago he published an appointment to preach at Five Points, New York City. Five Points was then at its worst. The police authorities sent an officer to say to him that they could not protect him in that place. He thanked the officer. Sabbath morning came, and precisely at the hour stated in the handbills, the tall, commanding form of the preacher appeared on a cask, and his voice rang out the Gospel Proclamation." An immense crowd of all colors gathered about him. He said to the motley swarm :

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"The police have notified me that they can't protect me in this place. All I have to say to the police is what the sailor said to the Lord in the storm: Help, Lord, if you can help; if not, hands off, and I'll take care of myself.'

Every man was on his side in a moment, and the great crush listened with most respectful attention, many of them in tears. The secret of this wonderful power is this he trusts God and trusts men.


Mr. Taylor is a man of unconquerable perseverance. In his extensive travels he preached with great success in most of our States, in Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, South Africa, Ceylon, and India. He founded the South India Conference of self-supporting charges, and planted numerous self-supporting churches and schools in Central and particularly South America. One of his enterprises was the building of a college in South America. Money was scarce for so great an undertaking, but muscle and heart were strong. La Fetra and the other teachers were ready to follow his ever cheerful lead; and for five months William Taylor lived on bread and figs, at a cost of one dollar a week, and wrought hard all the week. days, filling the Sabbaths and evenings by entering every door of opportunity.

At the last General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Mr. Taylor was elected Missionary Bishop for Africa. The election was as the breath of God. The Conference could not help electing him. Conviction and impulse swept over the body like a resistless sea-tide. And he has gone. With a company of well toward sixty




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including a son, daughter-in-law, and four M young children, he is marching toward Central Africa. His first thought was to discourage ladies from making the attempt. He pictured in strong language the hardships and perils they might anticipate. But they would go. Men of all callings offered themselves. The five confederate tribes or nations on the vast table-lands about the head waters of the Congo are the objective point. The Bishop's plan is to take the Bible, particularly the New Testament, in phonetic characters, and teach English and Christianity together. He has enough helpers with hav him to carry on a method of object-teaching by the personal acting of the sense of words in the sight of the heathen. The conception is a grand one. If he succeeds, the world


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will applaud him. If he fails, the world will pity or denounce him. But whether he succeeds or fails, his example of consecration and the grandeur of the work God has already wrought through him will edify the Church and bless the world in all the coming ages. His is the sublimest example of the courage of faith which our eyes have seen.

My pen is reluctant to desist; an incident or two out of hundreds appears so meager a portrayal of a unique career. Then, how many other true men swarm upon my memory! The time would fail me to tell of Daniels, and Bannister, and Tansey, and Brooks, and Merchant, and Bennem, and an honorable list who have

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But, as one whom fate denies
Something longed for, so her eyes
Held a wish unsaid,

As she often turned her gaze ·

Toward the flowers whose summer blaze
Filled each garden-bed.

Silent, she was wont to read,
As, by common stranger-creed,

But one day she spoke her thought,
Told what daily to this spot
Her faint foot-steps led.

"Once I had a garden, too;
Ah, what lovely flowers grew
By my home," she said,
And then drew a tired sigh
For that time so long gone by
With its beauty fled.

In her homesick heart remained
Still a thought that inly pained
And disquieted :-

In a stranger-land to die,

Under foreign sods to lie
All unvisited!

Maybe in that other land,"
And her trembling, wrinkled hand
Pointed up o'erhead,

"I shall have my flowers some day.
Do you think perhaps I may ?"
Wistfully she said.

Ah, sad soul, long years have passed
Since your lips that question asked;
Lingering in your stead

Still your memory will stay,

With that old seat by the way,
Which, interpreted,

Saith to me, forevermore

When I look out from iny door,

"Ah, she is not dead,

But, beneath far nobler trees,

Those whose leaves heal earth's disease,

She is comforted."

Mary E. Bamford.

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