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The Life of Rev. John Jasper,
Pastor of Sixth Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Richmond, Va.,
from His Birth to the Present Time,
with His Theory on the Rotation of the Sun:

Electronic Edition.

Randolph, Edwin Archer, b. 1854

Funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation
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First edition, 2001
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Source Description:
(title page) The Life of Rev. John Jasper, Pastor of Sixth Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Richmond, Va., from His Birth to the Present Time, with His Theory on the Rotation of the Sun
Randolph, E. A., LL. B.
xii, 1-167 p., ill.

Call number 922.673 J39R (Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University Libraries)

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Library of Congress Subject Headings, 21st edition, 1998

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Revision History:


John Jasper.

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[Title Page Image]


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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1884, by
R. T. HILL & Co.,
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.

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        IN preparing this history of the Rev. JOHN JASPER, and the sketch of his theory on the "Rotation of the Sun," it has been the author's particular aim throughout to link the events of his life, that the public may know and understand thoroughly the story of his wonderful career

        The author has been fortunate in gathering a great deal which has been said of Mr. JASPER by others; so, also, it has been the particular good fortune of the author to have been honored with his friendship, and he ventures to say that the world of literary men may be searched without finding one on whom the dignity of free thought and manly spirit rests with a grace more natural and familiar, and whose acts, whether daily or otherwise,

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were wont at all times to be more forcibly expounded than his.

        The author returns his thanks to the kind friends who have assisted him in his efforts to gather material necessary for the work, and would particularly acknowledge his indebtedness to Miss Maria E. Anderson and Miss Kate G. Randolph.

        This work has not been written to illustrate the personal efforts of its subject, but more particularly to illustrate the actual ministry of his life; therefore, it is hoped that some blessed influence will be felt through hearts whom God may incline to a fellow feeling with the principles delineated in the following pages.

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        TO appreciate a man's motives, to understand his character and conduct, it behooves one to have a clear conception of the temper and spirit of the times in which he lives, the circumstances by which he is surrounded and the class of men to which he belongs. All men who have become famous in ancient, mediæval or modern times may be divided into two classes; the one the famous good, the other the famous bad. A knowledge of the man compels us to place the hero of these pages in the former class. He is in every respect a man of great influence; a man around whom centres great interests; and the fact that he has elevated himself from obscurity to a plane of eminence naturally excites and stimulates curiosity.

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        The sketch which we present must be to every intelligent mind an interesting one, and in preparing it we have been very careful in getting our information from the best and most reliable sources, and if we have omitted some of the important incidents of his life it is because their authenticity might be questioned.

        Having said so much by way of introduction, we are satisfied to commit the following pages to the candor of the public.

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        The Birth of Jasper, his Boyhood and Occupation--His Parents and their Occupation--Philip Jasper, John's Father--The Death of Philip--Mr. Peachy, John's Old Master--The Peachy's Estate--John sent to Richmond for the first time--His working in the Coal Mines in Chesterfield--His Return to the City--Mr. Jasper's Notice of the Falling Stars--The Superstition of the Colored People the Cause of a great many to Join the Church.

        THE Rev. JOHN JASPER was born a slave, in the county of Fluvanna, Virginia, in the year of 1812, on the 4th day of July.

        But before entering into his personal history, it may be well to note some of the most important events of the year and day of his birth, in reference to the political affairs of his country:

        Louisiana, the first State formed out of the territory purchased from France, was admitted into the Union in 1812, making the eighteenth State.

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        General Hull was court-martialed and sentenced to be shot for the surrender of his whole army, together with the city of Detroit, and all Michigan, to the British, but was pardoned by the President for his gallant services rendered in the war of the Revolution, in 1812. We shall always keep fresh in our memories the 4th day of July, from the simple fact that two of our most able presidents died on that day: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

        In accordance with a resolution offered by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia, in Congress, two committees were appointed, one to prepare a Declaration of Independence, and the other to prepare articles of confederation.

        The Declaration of Independence was drawn by Mr. Jefferson, the chairman of the committee, who reported on the 28th day of June, but all action was delayed until the 4th of July, and with unanimous consent Congress declared the thirteen Colonies to be free and independent States.

        The announcement of the declaration was received everywhere throughout the entire country with great rejoicing. When the news reached the city of New York, a large number of people rushed to the public square, in which stood a leaden statue of King George the III., dragged it down from its pedestal, which afterwards was moulded into bullets, with which to fight the King's soldiers.

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        Since the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the 4th day of July has always been and will ever be remembered and celebrated by the American people in commemoration of their independence.

        Philip Jasper and Tina his wife, the parents of John, so far as we are able to learn, were born in the county of Fluvanna. This county is located in the central portion of Virginia, and is bounded on the south by the James river. It was one of the largest slaveholding counties in the State. Its chief products are wheat, corn, tobacco and persimmons. Philip was a Baptist preacher, called, chosen, and set apart unto the good work by God, but in accordance with the laws and customs respecting the slaves in Virginia, he could not execute even the duty imposed upon him by his Creator.

        Just about this time slavery in the South was at its zenith. Virginia was the medium through which the sentiment of the entire South was known to the North. Colored people in that day had a gospel preached unto them by white people, such as they thought best suited the situation and condition of the slave, the text being always, "Servants, obey your masters."

        Philip, in the midst of the many difficulties and surrounding circumstances, persisted in preaching the gospel, and by so doing gained for himself, on account of the earnestness of purpose, and the zeal with which

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he undertook the work, a wide reputation; he was said to be the greatest preacher in all that section of the country where he lived.

        The custom being in the days of slavery not to keep any official records of the marriages of the colored people in the South; therefore, for this reason we have no evidence of the date of Philip's marriage with Tena, or that he ever was married but once. He had by his wife Tena twenty-four children, of whom John was the youngest, and most of folks say "mamma's baby."

        Philip died about two months before John was born. thus depriving John of the benefit of any knowledge gained from good examples set directly by his father.

        Tina Jasper was a wonderful woman, of whom more will be said hereafter. John and the whole of his father's family belonged to the Peachy's estate. Mr. Peachy owned large real estates in different parts of Virginia, and was continuously transferring his slaves from one to the other; thus John, with a portion of the children, together with their mother, were transferred from Fluvanna county to the city of Williamsburg, while John was too young to remember very much about it. Tina, before she left Fluvanna, had always been worked on the farm; she occupied the position of head woman, or leader of the women on the farm; but when she went to Williamsburg, she was taken out of the field and brought to the house to do

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general house-work. She had a great many children, and at this time had become disabled to work upon the farm any longer. After a little while her whole duty became that of spinning and making up clothing for the slaves who worked out on the farm. All of her children worked on the farm, with the exception of one daughter, who was employed as a house-woman; her principal duty was that of a seamstress.

        Estates in real property owned by the Peachy family, as mentioned hereinbefore, necessitated a large number of slaves to work them. Besides the farm in Fluvanna and the farms near Williamsburg, there were two in James City county, one called the Upper and the other the Lower farm, very near or at Jamestown, and just below Jamestown there was one called the Upper and the other the Lower farm.

        Mr. Peachy also owned a large and fine mansion, together with other property, in the city of Williamsburg: Tazewell Hall, Sands' Quarters, and what used to be called the Old Spring Lot.

        John's first work for his master was that of a cart boy--the cart-boy was one who went with the ox-cart to help the driver to manage the oxen; his principal duty was to stand before the oxen while the cart was being loaded and unloaded.

        John being such a bright and quick little fellow--in fact more so than any of the other slave boys--was

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taken from the ox-cart at an early day, and put to work around the great house, as it used to be called in the days of slavery; his duties were such as waiting on the dining table, working in the garden and the yard around the house, which he continued to do until the year 1825, when he was sent to the city of Richmond, and hired out to a man by the name of Peter McHenry, for whom he worked about one year.

        The following year he was hired out in the county of Chesterfield to Dr. Woldridge, where he worked for one year in the coal pits, and during this year the first railroad was laid from the coal pits to the city of Richmond.

        The next year he was brought back to Richmond and hired out to Mr. Samuel Cosby, to work in the factory, then situated on the corner of Sixteenth and Cary streets. He worked in this factory about six or seven years, during which time stars fell. The falling of the stars, as it was so termed in this part of the world, excited the colored people very much. I remember, when I was a little fellow, I used to hear the old people talking about the time when the stars fell, and I always thought I would liked to have seen the sight, grand and beautiful as it must have appeared.

        Mr. Jasper, who has always made a study of the planetary system, using no instruments at all save the

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natural eye, was the first, of course, among his co-laborers in the factory, to discover the falling of the stars; he called the attention of the other hands to the fact. This was in the night season, about two hours before the break of day, though the slaves were at work (it was nothing unusual for the slaves to be at their work two or three hours before daylight); they watched the falling stars until nigh the rising of the sun.

        The next year there was a great epidemic in the land of Virginia, known as the Cholera year. This disease was so disastrous among the colored people, that it caused a very large number of them, as they used to say, "to sit out to pray," believing that the last day was not far off. While their views were by some considered not at all intelligent, but rather superstitious, a great good was the result and many were added unto the church.

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        The Death of Mr. Jasper's Old Mistress and the Division of her Estate--The Death of his Young Master--Mr. Jasper's Regeneration and when he became Sensible of the Fact--The Fourth day of July, 1839, Mr. Jasper Begins to Preach--When he Joined the First Baptist Church--How and by Whom He was Taught in the New York Speller--Mr. Jasper's Marriage--He leaves his Wife in Williamsburg and was not allowed to Return--Mr. Jasper's Separation from his Wife--The Church authorized the Second Marriage--Where he has Preached--His Sermon in Rocketts--A Justice of the Peace Attempts to Prevent Mr. Jasper from Preaching on the Farm of Dr. Winfree.

        MR. Jasper was next hired out to a man by the name of Hargrove, with whom he lived for about two years, during which time his old mistress, Mrs. Peachy, died in the city of Williamsburg. After her death the estate had to be divided among her children, and all of her slaves, who were hired out in the city of Richmond and other parts of the State, had to go to Williamsburg to be, with her other property, divided. In the division of the estate, John fell to her son John Blair Peachy, who afterwards married a Miss Bannister, of Amelia county. He was a lawyer by profession and a farmer by practice; he had large cotton farms in the state of Louisiana.

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After this young man had received all that was due him, his intention was to take his wife and his portion of the slaves with him to Louisiana, but thought it would be better for him to go down first and make necessary arrangements for their reception; but before his arrangements were completed a letter was received stating the sad intelligence of his death--sad to his young wife, but glad to the old slaves, for nothing ever displeased them more than for their masters to take or send them South.

        John again was sent to Richmond after the death of his young master, to be hired out in the factory by the year, thus making the third time he had been sent to Richmond and hired out to work in the factory. He was the second time hired to Mr. Hargrove, with whom he lived for about twelve years.

        While walking through the Capitol Square, on the Fourth day of July, in the year 1839, in the midst of the great crowds of white people, while they were celebrating this memorable and historic day, Mr. Jasper was deeply convicted of his sins; and his distress of soul greatly increased from that day until the 25th day of the same month, when he felt that it was his duty to make a confession of his faith in Christ and to unite himself with the church.

        He was at once fully persuaded and convinced by the power of God that he had been called and chosen

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unto the sacred work of the Gospel. Satisfied within himself that a duty had been imposed upon him, he commenced to reason with himself as to his fitness and ability to execute the duty, and having faith in his belief, also remembering the promise made to the apostles of old when they were to preach the Gospel to all the world, Mr. Jasper, in all confidence under the same promise, went forth in 1840, after giving evidence of his regeneration to the brethren of the old African Baptist church, to preach that same Gospel of Jesus Christ.

        As a general thing all who have had the opportunity and advantage of attending school always regard the days spent there the happiest in the history of their lives. Mr. Jasper, by reason of his condition in life, was deprived of this grand privilege; therefore one of the most important and interesting parts of his biography must of necessity be omitted. His opportunities were few and his advantages limited. He was taught only about seven months how to spell in the New York Speller by a slave whose name was William Jackson.

        About four years after the division of the "Peachy estate" Mr. Jasper was for the first time married. His marriage was with a woman whose name was Elvy Weaden, a slave, of the city of Williamsburg. Mr. Jasper left Williamsburg on the same night of his

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marriage for Richmond, leaving his bride behind him, and was not allowed to return to see her again.

        At that time the slaves of Virginia were rapidly making their escape into the free States, and it was feared that if Jasper were permitted to leave Richmond for Williamsburg that instead of going to Williamsburg he would go North into some one of the free States. So he had no opportunity to go North, nor see his wife any more after the night of his marriage. And after his wife found that he was not permitted to come to see her, she wrote to him saying that if he could not or would not come to see her, she would consider herself at liberty to get married again. In reply to her letter Mr. Jasper wrote saying she would have to get married then; that it was impossible for him to come.

        It must be remembered that marriages between the slaves in the South were not recognized by the law as being anything. All that seemed to have been necessary for either of the parties to do was to notify the other of his or her intention to marry again, and in a great many cases even this was not done.

        After Elvy received Mr. Jasper's answer she then married again and wrote him a letter stating that fact.

        It may be proper to state just here that while there was no recognition by the civil law in regard to the marriages of the slaves, the Church had some canons

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by which the marriages between its slave members were somewhat regulated.

        Mr. Jasper at this time being a member of the old African Baptist church of Richmond, took the letter before the church and inquired of the brethren what he should do in such a case. The brethren to this effect instructed him, that as his wife had married again, they could see no reason why he should not be allowed the same privilege to marry too, provided he so wished, and by a simple motion he was permitted to marry again whenever he felt disposed to do so.


        We come now to the second marriage of Mr. Jasper. By his first wife he had no children.

        His second marriage was with Candus Jordan in 1844, by whom he had nine children, though there never existed a very pleasant relationship between them; and after long years of trouble and dissatisfaction Mr. Jasper finally obtained a divorce from her upon good and just grounds.

        He at this time had gained great influence among his people. It is admitted by all who knew him then that his hold upon the colored people was stonger than any other colored man in Virginia. When he would go out within a radius of eight or ten miles

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from the city, very large crowds of people would follow him just to hear him preach, in fact, so much so that it created jealousy on the part of the other colored preachers in the city; because, when he would preach in or near the city, his preaching always took the people away from other churches. There were a great many people who were prejudiced towards Jasper, simply because of his great influence with the people. They would often take advantage of his absence from the city, in going to his house and telling his wife unpleasant little things about him, in order to create family troubles. Four of the nine children by his second wife are alive--two sons and two daughters--three of whom are in the city of Richmond and one somewhere in the North, a daughter whose name is Irene Johnson; the other daughter is Mary Elizabeth Glover, who still lives in Richmond. The names of the two boys are Abram and Shederick Jasper. He also has several grandchildren, about nine in all; both children and grandchildren, with the exception of Irene, are living in Virginia--most of them in the city of Richmond. It is not known for a certainty in what portion of the North Irene lives. It has been quite a long time since Mr. Jasper has heard anything of her, but, as near as he can remember, that when he heard from her last she was living in the city of New York, and he is perfectly satisfied that she is not dead.

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        Mr. Jasper has preached in every city in the State of Virginia and two-thirds of its counties. Whenever he was invited out of the city to preach, it was encumbered upon those extending the invitation to pay a tariff of one dollar for every day Jasper would be absent from his work, Sundays excepted. In cases when the three weeks' task was done the money went to Jasper, otherwise to his boss. After preaching nearly every day in the week, he always had to preach two or three times on Sunday. He received nothing special for his preaching on Sundays; but whenever he went out into the country to preach, after preaching there was always a liberal collection given him.

        While Mr. Jasper was preaching to a large assembly of people in Rocketts one Sunday, some white ruffians came up, and, interfering, said that a colored man had no right to preach, and that he ought not to be allowed by any means to preach the Gospel. A sailor, who was standing close by, told the ruffians to let Jasper alone, that he was a smart man, the smartest colored man in Virginia, and if you take that man where I came from he would be treated as a man, and would be considered a smart man. A little white boy who was also standing near by and hearing Jasper while he preached, exclaimed, in an excited manner, saying: "I know Mr. Jasper is right, because what he says I have read it; yes, all of it in the Bible,

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so let him go on," and before Mr. Jasper got through there were more white people present than colored.

        On the following Sabbath day Rev. Jasper received an invitation, from Dr. Winfree, inviting him to his farm, about six miles below the city of Richmond, in the county of Henrico, to preach the funeral sermons of some five or six of his slaves who had died from time to time. Mr. Jasper accepted the invitation and went down. When he got near the plantation of Dr. Winfree, he met great crowds of people coming away from the place where the preaching was to have been, saying that the white people had taken possession of the grounds, and who had told them that no colored man should be allowed to preach there on that day, that according to law it was unlawful for a colored man to preach; and they told Mr. Jasper not to go any further, and if he went down where the white people were they would shoot him. Mr. Jasper told them that he would rather go down as he had been invited there by the Doctor; so those who met him said if you will go we will go with you, and, if necessary, we will die with you to-day. When he arrived at the place he found everything true, as had been represented to him by the friends who met him. He also found a justice of the peace there with all his law books, Mayo's Guide, &c.

        The Justice told Mr. Jasper that he could not preach

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there on that day. Mr. Jasper then sent for Dr. Winfree, who had invited him there to preach, and when the Doctor came he found Mr. Jasper entirely surrounded by the great mass of people, both white and black, who had congregated upon the ground--some to hear Jasper preach, and some to prevent him if possible from preaching. After Dr. Winfree had gained the attention of the justice of the peace and others who were opposed to Mr. Jasper preaching there, he told them that he had invited Mr. Jasper down to preach on that occasion, that it was his plantation, and furthermore, he would have the preaching go on and would stand all the consequences of the law himself.

        It was the custom to have a white preacher, also, who was always accorded the first honor--that is to say, to open the services and preach the first sermon. So after those who were opposed to Jasper's preaching found out that Dr. Winfree fully intended to have the funeral sermons of his dead slaves preached, and that by Jasper, too, they made themselves satisfied as best they could and accepted the situation as it was.

        The white divine who was present on this occasion, and whom Jasper had to follow, then took the stand, which had been erected under an old shady oak tree in the yard, opened the meeting and began his preaching. He was very bitterly opposed to Mr. Jasper

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having anything to say at all, and in order not to have him preach he tried to use up all of the time, which was not more than two hours and a half, allotted to both of them. The white preacher occupied the stand two hours, thus leaving but the half hour for Jasper.

        When Mr. Jasper took the stand the white people all cried out aloud "now we will hear the nigger logic," and when Mr. Jasper commenced they all laughed and mocked him; but before he had gotten through his sermon they all were wiping the tears from their eyes, and when Mr. Jasper had gotten through, many of those who were most bitterly opposed to his preaching went up to him and took him by the hand and congratulated him, extending a most cordial invitation to come down the next Sunday and preach to them again, and that not a single soul should interfere with him. For this Mr. Jasper thanked them, saying that it was impossible for him to come down the next Sunday, because he had made a previous engagement to preach to the people of Charles City county on the following Sabbath day, but would be glad to preach to them again at any time after that.

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        Mr. Jasper goes to Petersburg before the War--His Invitation to Preach on certain Sundays in Petersburg--Rev. Kean, a White Preacher, goes to hear Mr. Jasper Preach--Mr. Jasper's charge of the Third Baptist Church of Petersburg--Mr. Jasper's Sermon in Farmville--How he used to be let off to Preach--His Wagon Breaks Down on his way to Hanover to Preach--Mr. Jasper's Sermon on Pollard's Farm--Mr. Jasper and a Campbellite Preacher--Tina, the Mother of Mr. Jasper--the Death of Tina.

        MR. Jasper was sent to the city of Petersburg in the place of Mr. Joe Abram, of the city of Richmond, who used to be sent every year as a delegate, and for the purpose of carrying the donations given by the colored Baptist churches, of Richmond, to the Foreign Mission Board. This money was to be sent to Africa.

        After the death of Mr. Abrams, Mr. Jasper was selected by the brethren of Richmond to represent them and to carry the donations. This Foreign Missionary Board always held its annual meetings in the city of Petersburg.

        After the colored people had heard Mr. Jasper preach, many of them offered him great inducements to try and get himself hired out in Petersburg, so that he might

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preach to them every Sunday, but he found it was a matter of impossibility for him to do this. The next step taken by them to get him in Petersburg to preach was done by the members of the Third Baptist church, though he preached for them long before this; he also had often preached in the Gilfield and Harrison Street churches.

        The brethren of the Third church extended an invitation to Mr. Jasper to come to Petersburg on the third and fourth Sundays in each month. He accepted the invitation and used to go over every third and fourth Sunday in each month and preach for them; but under the law at that time there was obliged to be a white minister or person at the head of the church, because a colored man could not be ordained as a minister of the Gospel, but it made no difference whether the white man was ordained or not. And while they were not allowed to hold their meetings unless some white person was present, Mr. Jasper was virtually the pastor of the church.

        When Mr. Jasper commenced his preaching in the Third Baptist church the people all left their own churches and went to hear Jasper preach, in fact, they did it to such a great extent that it caused the ministers of the Gilfield and Harrison Street churches to make many complaints about their members not attending their own churches; and when these ministers

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inquired of the whereabouts of their members they were told that all of them went to the Third Baptist church every Sunday to hear John Jasper preach. Rev. Kean, the pastor of the Gilfield church, asked some of his members who this man Jasper was, and that he (Kean) would like very much to see this man Jasper, for he could not be a minister of the Gospel, because God had not ordained that a colored man should be a minister of His Gospel. They told him that Mr. Jasper would be over on the third Sunday in the month, and if he would come to the Third Baptist church he could have an opportunity to hear Mr. Jasper preach, then he could judge for himself as to whether Mr. Jasper could preach or not. On the third Sunday Rev. Kean went and heard Mr. Jasper and was much disappointed.

        Jasper on that day preached, taking his text from the sixth chapter and second verse of the book of Revelation: "And I saw and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow, and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering and to conquer."

        When Jasper had preached about ten minutes the white preacher and all of his white friends, who went with him to hear John, were drying the tears from their eyes. A few days after, one of Jasper's friends met the Rev. Kean in the street and asked him how

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did he like Jasper, and what he thought of his preaching. The Reverend, in replying, said: "I like him first rate; Jasper is the only colored man that God has ever ordained to preach the Gospel."

        When Mr. Jasper took charge of the Third Baptist church they were in almost a helpless condition, the house was in a dilapidated state, and besides their current expenses they had a debt of nine hundred dollars hanging over them, and within a year's time Mr. Jasper had paid off all of the indebtedness and put a new pulpit in the church, also a new fence around on the outside.

        Mr. Jasper always made funeral sermons a speciality.

        He was on one occasion invited to Farmville, Va., to assist a white preacher in preaching the funeral sermons of three or four colored persons who had died during the year. When the people heard that John Jasper would be in Farmville, and that he would preach, they came from a far distance to hear him.

        When the white minister had come, and seeing so many colored people gathered there to hear Jasper, he was somewhat afraid to let Mr. Jasper have anything to say; but, after a little consideration, he consented and called on him for the opening prayer, and told him that it would not do for him to preach at the morning services at all, but it would be well for him to preach in the "afternoon" or "evening"; but

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the people, both white and colored, were so anxious to hear Mr. Jasper, that as soon as the white preacher had concluded his sermon, they called out in many voices for Mr. Jasper, who stood up and spoke for about twenty minutes, and the people said that they had never heard such wonderful preaching in that town before.

        Mr. Jasper was again invited to Hanover county by Mr. Tinsley, to preach the funeral sermons of some of the old slaves. Mr. Tinsley, before this, had always had a white preacher to preach the funeral sermons of his slaves, and the reason they had Mr. Jasper this time was because some one of the slaves had heard by some means about Mr. Jasper, who asked his master, Mr. Tinsley, would he allow Mr. Jasper to come down and preach for them on that occasion, or would he invite Mr. Jasper down. His master told him that he did not believe that any Negro could preach the Gospel, and it was not any use in sending for Jasper. That old slave went off and got many others and came to his master again, begging him to let Jasper come down and preach, saying to his master that if he did not think Mr. Jasper could preach, after hearing him, they would not ask him any more to let him come down. Mr. Tinsley said then, "Well, let him come." But they told him that Mr. Jasper would not come unless you send him a note inviting him to come.

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Their master then wrote a note, not because he thought anything of Jasper's preaching, but in order to satisfy his slaves.

        When the people had heard that John Jasper would be down to Mr. Tinsley's plantation to preach the funeral sermons of their dead friends and fellow-slaves, they went from all parts of the county there to hear him, also many from the city of Richmond. The wagon which took Mr. Jasper on that occasion was so heavily loaded that it broke down when they were but half of their way to their destination, which caused Mr. Jasper to be late--so much so, that many of the people who had been on the grounds all of the morning were beginning to leave, thinking that Mr. Jasper would not be there at all; but when some of the brethren saw that they were going so rapidly, they called on Deacon Claiborne Storrs to speak to the people in order to hold them, if possible, until Mr. Jasper could get there. When Mr. Jasper arrived he found the deacon speaking to an immense gathering of people, both white and black. When the deacon got through, the people all called for Mr. Jasper. Though late in the day, they wanted to hear him preach--some of them having heard so much of him and had never had an opportunity of seeing him before that Sunday. Mr. Jasper then stood up, and took the very same text, or portion of the Scripture, which Brother Storrs had chosen,

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and upon which he had spoken, and began to preach. Mr. Tinsley, who had said that he did not believe that a Negro could preach the Gospel, gave Mr. Jasper his undivided attention, and he became very much interested in the sermon, which was demonstrated by the fact that when Mr. Jasper had gotten through, he went up and put five dollars in Mr. Jasper's hand, and said to him that he had never heard a colored man preach before. He was so much pleased with Mr. Jasper's preaching that he wanted to know whether Mr. Jasper would be able to come down the following Sunday and preach again. Mr. Jasper told him that he would be very glad to do so but for the fact that he had made a previous engagement for the following Sunday to preach at Mr. Pollard's farm, in the same county, about twenty-three miles from the city of Richmond, and to associate with a white Campbellite preacher. After this preacher found out that Mr. Jasper was a colored man, he did not want him to have anything to say at all, and to prevent him from saying anything, he occupied all of the time, which was about two hours; and when he got through, the people all called for Jasper, and there were many white people present who wanted especially to hear Mr. Jasper. And by general consent Mr. Jasper was allowed the privilege to speak. And when he had preached about fifteen minutes, they all said, the white people more especially,

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that Mr. Jasper did more preaching in fifteen minutes than the white preacher had done in the two hours that he had been preaching.

        Mr. Jasper has always been and is now well known in Amelia county. He used to make his visits there about three times a year, and would preach all of the funeral sermons of the colored people in all that section of the county. Tina Jasper, the mother of John, lived in that county. She was a noted woman; was very useful in times of sickness of the slaves. She belonged in the Bannister estate; but, as the Bannisters, Barksdales, and the Tabbs were all closely related to each other, and all of whom owned large estates in lands and Negroes, consequently their slaves were all closely related to each other, and Tina used to visit from one plantation to the other, on each rendering good and valuable services to both the colored and the white women in their peculiar sicknesses. She was highly thought of and esteemed by all who knew her. Her genius and ability in many of the cases she attended far excelled that of some of the best medical doctors in that part of the State.

        After the death of John Blair, Peachy, his wife, returned to her people and their home in the county of Amelia, and took with her Tina, to whom she had become so much attached.

        Tina was one of those women in whom the strongest

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and best qualities of noble womanhood exist. She had a mother's disposition and a love, not only for her own children, but for those of other mothers. Her memory is to-day cherished, and ever will be for deeds of kindness, and love, and beneficence, written not with pen and ink, and will ever remain fresh upon the tablets of many hearts in all Virginia, where she lived. She, in her day and time, was a useful woman, and after a long and well-spent life, accomplishing great good, died at a ripe old age of about an hundred years, in 1867.

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        Mr. Jasper Preaches to the Sick and Wounded Soldiers in the Confederate Hospitals at Richmond--Mr. Jasper Works in the Rolling Mills--His Indebtedness at the Fall of Richmond--The Amount he had at the Close of the War--Mr. Jasper Works on the Streets in Richmond--Mr. Jasper Called to Petersburg--His Invitation to Preach in Weldon, N. C--The Second Invitation--Mr. Jasper gives up his charge of the Petersburg Church--The Organization of his Church on Brown's Island--His Church in the Carpenter Shop--The Purchase of his Present Church Property--The Separation of the White and Colored Baptists in the First Church--The Establishment of Other Baptist Churches in the City--The Organization of the Sixth Mount Zion Church--Mr. Jasper's Third Marriage.

        DURING the late civil war Mr. Jasper was employed to preach to the sick and wounded soldiers in the Confederate Hospitals on Chimborazo Hill, and on 19th and Franklin streets; he preached during the war with impunity as he did before it--no one interfered or troubled him at all.

        It must always be remembered, that all the time he was hired out as a factory hand by his owners for a good salary per annum.

        In the year 1859 or '60 he left the factory and went to the Rolling Mills, just above the city, on the James

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river, where he worked until the fall of Richmond, and while there he often preached to the hands in the mills. The last sermon he preached before the fall of Richmond was down at the mills, on the second day of April, 1865, and Richmond was surrendered on Monday, the third of April, 1865.

        At this time, when Mr. Jasper had become a free man in body as well as soul, he had seventy-three cents, and was in debt to the amount of forty-two dollars for house rent, and to-day he is worth over five thousand dollars.

        This brings Mr. Jasper to that period in his life where the new order of things takes place, practically, in the condition of the colored people in the State of Virginia. He now must preach the Gospel, surrounded by entirely different circumstances than ever before; he must preach now to a people like himself, who have just been made free in body as well as soul; he must preach now to them alone.

        This new order of things necessitated a new arrangement of them. The colored people had been holding their meetings in the houses of their masters, now they have no masters, consequently they have no meeting-houses. During the unsettled condition of affairs, from April 6th, 1865, to the 4th of July of the same year, Mr. Jasper worked on the streets of Richmond, cleaning bricks for a compensation, so much per

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thousand. This noble feature of his life readily reminds one of the same incident in the history of the life of the Apostle Paul, when preaching got dull with him, and before he would do nothing or wait until business got better, went to his trade--"tent making."

        After the war, Mr. Jasper was called again to the Third Baptist Church of Petersburg, and this time directly by the colored people. He accepted and took the charge. About a year after this he received an invitation from the brethren at Weldon, North Carolina, asking him to come down and organize a Baptist church, which is known unto this day as the First Colored Baptist Church of Weldon.

        When Mr. Jasper arrived in the city of Weldon, he found there about thirty-five baptized believers in the Christian faith, and after the organization of the church, there were about thirty-five more baptized by him, thus making, in all, a membership of 70.

        About a year after the church in Weldon had been established, Mr. Jasper again was sent for, for the purpose of organizing a Baptist church in the town of Gaston, just across the Roanoke river, but he was compelled this time to decline going down, because he had so much on his hands at home that it was impossible for him to leave.

        In December, 1866, he gave up his charge of the Third Church in Petersburg and came back to Richmond,

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and from this time until September, 1867, he did general missionary work, both in the city and country; during which time he had a great many calls, but accepted none. Many of the people in Richmond were very anxious and desirous that he should have charge of a church in this city, and at that time many of the members, congregation and friends of the Old African Baptist Church thought that he ought to have had charge of that church, which is now better known as the First Colored Baptist Church of Richmond, and is commonly called by its members and congregation as the First Church, of which I shall say something more in connection with this work.

        On the first Sunday in September, 1867, Mr. Jasper organized his present church, with nine members, on Brown's Island in the James river, just opposite the city, in a little, old wooden shanty, which had been used by the government for a stable. The membership and congregation of this church increased so rapidly in one year's time, that the old stable was not large enough to accommodate them, so they left the island, and came over to the city and rented an old carpenter shop on the corner of Fourth and Cary streets, in which they held their meetings for two years. When the membership and congregation had gotten too large for the old shop, they were compelled to look out for another and more spacious house for their

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worship. During this time they heard that there was a little brick church, on the corner of Duval and St. John's streets, for sale, and could be bought for a reasonable sum. They immediately took advantage of the opportunity, made the necessary arrangements, and bought the church for the sum of two thousand and twenty-five dollars. Since that time they have made great improvement in it--remodeling it at a cost of six thousand dollars. The church has a membership of about two thousand, and is paid for and clear of any debt or encumbrance of any shape or form.

        Mr. Jasper at one time baptized three hundred candidates, commencing at eleven o'clock in the morning, and by one o'clock in the afternoon he was through, thus taking only two hours.

        He was a member of the Old African, or First Baptist Church, and at that time white and colored people were in the same church, the white people up stairs and the colored people down stairs; but that custom has somewhat changed now in Richmond--in most of the white people's churches, in fact, we believe in almost all of them, the colored people sit up stairs. This Old African Church, of which we shall say more, was the first Baptist church in the city. The white portion of the members drew out and established a Baptist church on the corner of Twelfth and Broad streets, which is known as the First

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White Baptist Church of Richmond, and its membership and congregation are composed of some of the wealthiest people in our city. After the membership of the Old African Church got so large, about fifty or sixty of them came out for the purpose of establishing a Second Colored Baptist Church, but before they could find a suitable place either to rent or buy, and in order to keep themselves together, they were obliged to and did accept the basement of the Second Baptist Church (White), in which they held their meetings until they secured a place of their own.

        Not very long after this, another outgrowth from the Old African Church went up High street, near Brook Avenue, and established a third African church, called the Ebenezer. Mr. Jasper was one of the first persons who subscribed five dollars for the building, and after its erection used to preach for them whenever called upon.

        Not very long after the establishment of this church, another and third outgrowth from the Old African Church went over upon Church Hill, for the purpose of establishing a fourth Baptist church, and while they were looking for a place, held their meetings in the Leigh Street (White) Baptist Church. These people had some little trouble in getting a suitable lot. They first bought a place called "Bloody Run Springs," but on account of some defect in the title they were compelled

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to give it up; after which, they bought land and builded their present church, which is a very good and substantial house. Mr. Jasper preached to them all of the time they were worshiping in the basement of the Leigh Street Baptist Church.

        The organization of the Sixth Mount Zion Church (better known as Jasper's Church). This church was organized with nine members: three from the Old African Church, three from the county of Chesterfield, and three from the county of Goochland.


        On the second day of September, in the year 1863, he was married to Mary Anne Cole, the widow of a man whose name was Archer Cole. She had only one child, a daughter, by the name of Mary Elizabeth Cole, and after the marriage of Mr. Jasper with her mother, she took the name of Jasper, and was known by such until her marriage with Charles Barnett.

        Mary Anne Cole had no children by Mr. Jasper. She died on the 6th day of August, 1874.

        Mary Elizabeth was married by Mr. Jasper in the latter part of 1874, shortly after the death of her mother. Both she and her husband are members of the choir of the Sixth Mount Zion. Mary Elizabeth was but ten years of age when Mr. Jasper married her mother. He always regarded her in the same light as one of his own children.

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        Mr. Jasper's Theory on the Rotation of the Sun--Rev. Wells Denounced Rev. Jasper--Mr. Jasper gets the Best of Mr. Wells--Mr. Jasper's Lecture Tour to the North--Wells calls a Baptist Council--Mr. Jasper appears before the Council--Wells calls Mr. Jasper a Base Fabricator--Wells' Denial--Rev. W. H. Brooks' Advice to Rev. Wells--The Council Condemns Rev. Wells--The Report of the Council--Rev. Bingas' Resolution--Wells' Card--Rev. Jasper's Reply to Well's Card--Jasper's Views on the Sun Endorsed--Mr. Jasper's outline of his Sermon on the Sun--The Sun Sermon, as reported by the Richmond Whig--J. Gordon Baugh's Letter to the National Monitor; the Editor's Comment; Mr. Jasper's Reply--Jasper's Fame greater than Mahone's--Mr. Jasper's Sermon in Charlottesville--Letters from Prominent Men Inviting Mr. Jasper to Preach his Sun Sermon.

        A COLORED man by the name of Lester Woodson, a member of Mr. Jasper's church, and a white man whose name is unknown, got into a hot conversation about the rotation of the sun, or about the meaning of the third verse of the 15th chapter of Exodus, "The Lord is a man of war, the Lord is his name."

        They were unable to come to any satisfactory conclusion in regard to their subject, so they agreed to

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submit the decision to Mr. Jasper, asking or requesting him to preach on the subject, taking the above scripture for his text.

        Mr. Jasper kindly accepted the duty put upon him by these contestants, saying to them that he would take great pleasure in preaching from the above-named text, and would throw as much light upon it as possible.

        This being the first time, the public mind was attracted by his preaching about the sun. After he had preached this sermon giving his theory on the rotation of the sun, a large number of people, both white and colored, became very much interested in him, and anxious to hear him upon that particular subject, and in a very short time his theory became known to the world, though not by any means the first who believed such to be a fact. When his ideas had gone abroad, letters and postals came from all parts of the country, some asking about his theory, and others inviting him to come and preach or lecture upon the sun, as the case might have been.

        After his first sermon on the rotation of the sun, Richard Wells, pastor of the Ebenezer Church, denounced Jasper and his theory very bitterly in a publication of a card in the Richmond Dispatch.

        Mr. Jasper, in an able manner, replied very generously to Mr. Wells' card, which was generally conceded

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by all that Mr. Jasper on that occasion decidedly got the best of "Dick Wells."


        He lectured in the cities of Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and some of the New Jersey cities. He lectured in Lincoln Hall, Washington, to a crowded house. Many congressmen and other distinguished men were present to hear him on his famous subject, "the sun." He had good houses wherever he lectured, and was received kindly by all. When asked by some one about his lecturing in the North after his return, he replied by saying, "I regard my tour North a very successful one." He has often lectured upon the subject in Richmond to crowded houses, both white and colored. It might be, as a great many claimed, they only went to Jasper's lectures to hear what he had to say and how he said it, not that they believed in his theory, or that they could learn anything from him by hearing him preach. The fact is, however, they did go. He lectured in the Mozart Hall to as fine and intelligent an audience as ever went to hear any of the great literary lecturers of the country. He was invited to deliver his lecture before the Virginia Legislature.

        Soon after he returned from the North, Mr. Wells

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had a Baptist Council called to settle matters out which many troubles and animosities had grown up between himself and Mr. Jasper. The Council was called, and Mr. Jasper was notified to appear before it. He at one time refused to do so on the ground that, in his opinion, the Council was not a legal one. The next day the Council appointed a committee, consisting of Revs. Binga and Troy, who waited upon Mr. Jasper, and told him that if he would come to the Council and make any charges against Rev. Wells, that he should be heard, and that justice would be meted out to both of them according to the canons of the Church. Mr. Jasper then concluded to go, and did go, and preferred charges against Mr. Wells; that he (Wells) had called the word of God "base fabrication," and all he (Jasper) wanted was that Rev. Wells should go and take back what he had said about him in a card publication in the Richmond Dispatch.

        Rev. Wells denied having said anything derogatory about Mr. Jasper and his theory in reference to the sun; that he (Wells) meant his card as an answer to something that the New York Witness had said about the colored people.

        The Rev. Walter H. Brooks was a member of the Council, then pastor of the Second Baptist Church, now pastor of the Nineteenth-Street Baptist Church of Washington, D. C., while addressing the Council,

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said: After Mr. Wells had written the card referred to, brought it to him, and asked him to read it; afterwards what he (Brooks) thought of such a card. Brooks told Wells that he would advise him not to publish such a card; but Wells said to Brooks that he would do it. Brooks said, "Well, if you will, do it, but if I were you I would strike out 'base fabrication.' " Wells said, "No, I can stand it."

        The Council took action on the matter, and as we can best understand it, condemned Wells for the publication of the card, and passed an order that Wells should retract what he had published about Mr. Jasper.


        Rev. Wells published a card which he took occasion to criticise Rev. John Jasper's theory in relation to the rotation of the sun, in which he used the words "base fabrication" in connection with Jasper's theory. This card excited the indignation of Mr. Jasper and his congregation. It was decided that the subject should be laid before a council composed of the minister and two deacons from each colored Baptist church in the city and vicinity. This council was called by the Ebenezer Baptist church, but met at the Moore-Street Baptist church. The Rev. Scott Gwathmey, pastor of the Fourth Baptist church, was elected

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moderator, and B. F. Edwards, of Manchester, was elected secretary.

        At the second sitting of the council, a committee was appointed to invite Mr. Jasper to attend, in order that he might make a statement of his grievance before the council came; and by an invitation, addressed the council, stating that he had been accused by the Ebenezer Church of uttering "base fabrication" in his sermon on the rotation of the sun.

        Elder Wells stated that he had no reference to Elder Jasper at all in the article referred to, but, on the other hand, he meant to reply to an article which he (Wells) had seen in the New York Witness.

        The Rev. Binga, of Manchester city, offered the following resolutions, which he hoped would meet the case and express the feelings of the Ebenezer Church and Rev. John Jasper:


        "Whereas we find the article published in the Richmond Dispatch of March 28, 1878, relative to the theory held by the Elder Jasper, is regarded by the brethren, in council assembled, a personal reflection upon Elder Jasper; and

        "Whereas the language, 'base fabrication,' &c., used in the article, is regarded as being too strong to express our good intention; and

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        "Whereas it has had the effect of estranging the affections of the members of the Ebenezer and the Sixth Mount Zion churches; therefore,

        "1st. Resolved, That we regret to have wounded the feelings of Brother Jasper, and would modify the article published by us on the 28th day of March, 1878, by saying we do not hold the views expressed by Elder Jasper, and therefore do not subscribe to his theory.

        "2nd. Resolved, That we heartily extend to the pastor and church a fraternal hand."

        These resolutions were adopted and approved by Rev. John Jasper and Rev. Wells, who signed with the understanding that the secretary of the council was to go immediately to the Dispatch office and publish a card retracting everything that the Rev. Wells had said about Rev. Jasper; but the secretary failed to do it, and it has never been done satisfactorily to Mr. Jasper unto this day.


        We have received the following communication from a committee of the Ebenezer Baptist Church (colored) in this city, in reference to a sermon recently delivered by John Jasper. The committee is composed of the pastor and two deacons of the church:

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        Editors of the Dispatch: "Sirs,--Allow us through your most excellent paper to make a single statement in reference of ourselves as members of a colored Baptist church in this city.

        "There have been several sermons preached in said city that have caused a great excitement among its citizens, both at home and abroad. The sermons we have allusion to are those concerning the sun running around the earth, and the earth standing still. We present these lines to the public, both at home and abroad, that to all whom they may come to may know that we, a church, do hereby enter our solemn protest against all such base fabrication, from whatever source it may come.

        "Sirs, we are of the opinion that those sermons were out of time and place, and have really done more harm than good, for they have drawn together a large number of excited people from all parts of the city and vicinity to listen to an uncalled for statement in regard to the sun running.

        "The reason, we have said above, that the sermons have done more harm than good is, because many made efforts to push their way into the house and got

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themselves hurt, and perhaps will never be entirely well again in this life.

        "Again, we are of the opinion that if 'Jesus Christ, and Him crucified' had been preached that more good than harm would have been done throughout the city and State; for there is no Gospel in such sermons, let them be preached by whoever they may.

        "Many of the papers abroad have asserted that colored people of this city endorse the discourse. This is not the case.





"RICHMOND, VA., March 28th, 1878. "

        Mr. Editor:--You will please to enter these few lines in your paper to the public, and let the public know that I have said nothing about the sun running around the earth in the sermons I have preached. And I never knew before that I had to go to the Ebenezer Baptist church to know what part of the Bible I was to preach. I thought that that was God's business to see what part I should preach, and not that church.

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        "Those three hypocrites who put my name in the paper had forgotten the seventh chapter of Matthew and fifth verse, when I preached at their church about two or three years ago, and so many got hurt; it was all right then, because I was making money for them. When the people were jumping out of the windows and doors, and seized their things, all was right. Then the gentleman's own wife got hurt, but nothing was said. He did not ask you to put that in the papers, and say if I had been preaching 'Jesus Christ and Him crucified' the people would not have been hurt. But, as soon as a few got hurt at my church, he says it was because I was not preaching 'Christ and Him crucified.' "But that's not it. Its deep jealousy and hatred that caused it to be put in the papers, and nothing else. I have not preached anything but the Word of God, and that I have proved.

I am yours most respectfully,

Pastor of the Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, Richmond, Va.


        The Rev. John Jasper, of Richmond, is not without good company in his opinion that the world is flat,

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and that "the sun do move." This is the doctrine held by the Zetetic school of philosophy, which some years ago made quite a stir in England. The name is formed from a Greek word meaning to seek or inquire. An active propagandist of Zetetic doctrine is Professor William Carpenter, 71 Chew street, who has been in this country about five years. He is a man of medium height, auburn hair and beard, with bright, restless eyes and animated manner. He has literary tastes, and when the reporter called he was turning off a clever little acrostic poem.

        "Jasper is right about the matter," the professor said, "although he has not a complete understanding of it. There are plenty of men who agree with him, but there are few who are willing to acknowledge the belief. It is unpopular and keeps a man back in the world, but I care nothing for that."

        The founder of the Zetetic school, the professor explained, was an English chemist named Rowbotham, whose views were formed as far back as 1838. In 1861 he lectured at Greenwich, Professor Carpenter's native town.

        The Professor, then a journeyman printer, laughed at the idea of a man going about lecturing that the earth was flat, but went to hear him. "I listened to that lecture for an hour and a half," said the Professor, "and since then I have never doubted that the earth is flat."

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        In 1866 he issued a work on the subject. He put his thoughts directly in the type, and it took him three years, working in his leisure hours, to compose the work.

        Since then he has gotten out a number of pamphlets, and with pen and voice has stoutly maintained the Zetetic doctrine.

        The doctrine is that the earth is a flat disk, with the North Pole at its centre.

        The seas encompass the land and impenetrable ice surrounds the seas, "and what is beyond," says the Professor, "God only knows."

        The sun and other heavenly bodies are lights in the firmament, circling over the earth around the pole-star as a centre.

        "The key note of this philosophy is that water will seek its level. If the earth were a globe, water would have to be curved, but since water is demonstrably always level, the earth cannot be round."

        Rowbotham's views were originally suggested by observations on the old Bedford Canal. For twenty miles in Cambridge county, England, it runs in a straight line: Rowbotham spent some nine months along the canal in daily observations, and in whatever way he looked along the surface of its waters he always found it level.

        When Professor Carpenter's book was published, it

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made a zealous convert of Mr. John Hampden, who, the Professor says, is a descendant of the Hampden of Cromwell's time. He bought Carpenter's copyright, and challenged the scientific world to prove the convexity of any surface of water. Professor Alfred R. Wallace accepted the challenge, and a wager of £500 a side was made. The test was made in March, 1870. Professor Wallace's method was the placing of three signal disks along the canal for six miles, all at the same elevation. His proposition was that if there was no curvature of the earth's surface, a telescope, placed at the same elevation, would bring all the disks into line, but that, in fact, the central disk would show above the terminal disks. Mr. Carpenter was Hampden's referee. Dr. M. W. B. Coulcher was Wallace's referee. They disagreed as to the result of the test, each claiming victory on his side. J. H. Walsh, editor of the London Field, who was the umpire, decided that Wallace had won, and paid over the money to him. Hampden denounced Wallace as a swindler, and was eventually sent to jail for twelve months for libel. He sued for his money, and got a verdict on the ground that the wager was illegal. The affair bankrupted Hampden, but did not shake his conviction.

        Professor Carpenter eagerly meets every objection advanced. The circumnavigation of the earth is simply describing a circle on the disk about the North

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Pole as the central point. He says that it is the only astronomical theory that accords with Holy Writ, which is what commends it to the Rev. John Jasper.

        Professor Carpenter says that the belief is privately held by great numbers of persons, who are deterred from avowing it by its unpopularity. He showed a letter received last week from Fortress Monroe, in which the conversion of a non-commissioned officer to the Zetetic doctrine was reported.--Baltimore Sun.


Pastor of Sixth Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Richmond,

        Having so often been asked to write my sermon in full, I now take pleasure in doing so.

        The text is found in Exodus, chapter XV, verse 3: The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name."

        Genesis, chapter xii, verses 1st, 2d, and 3d: Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee: And I will

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make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

        Also, see chapter xv, verse 5: And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars if thou be able to number them; and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

        Verse 13: And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years. And, also, that nation whom they serve will I judge; and afterwards they shall come out with great substance.

        See, also, chapter xvii, verse 8: And I will give unto thee, and thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan for a everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

        Notice when the time came for the children of Israel to come out of Egypt, Pharoah refused to let them go, and lifted up his arms against him and fought against him. See Exodus, chapter viii; also, chapter xiv, verses 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.

        See, also, 24th and 25th verses: And it came to pass that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire

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and the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, and took off their chariot wheels that they drave them heavily; so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians.

        Notice Revelation, chapter vii, verse 1: And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

        So we are living on a four cornered earth.

        See, also, Jeremiah, chapter xxxi, verse 37: Thus saith the Lord, If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord.

        Psalm cxiii, verse 3: From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord's name is to be praised.

        Psalm i, verse 1: The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.

        Malachi, chapter 1, verse ii: For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles.

        Isaiah, chapter xxxviii, verse 8: Behold I will bring again the shadow of the degrees which are gone

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down in the sun-dial of Ahaz ten degrees backward; so the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.

        Ecclesiastes, chapter i, verse 5: The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down and hasteneth to his place where he arose.

        Joshua, chapter x, verses 12, 13, 14: Then spake Joshua to the Lord, in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the Children of Israel, Sun, stand thou still on Gibeon, and thou moon in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people avenged themselves upon their enemies. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.

        Judges, chapter xiv, verse 18: And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day, before the sun went down, What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion?

        Psalm xix, verse 6: His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the end of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

        Mr. Jasper, in the historical review of the Children of Israel, shows that he had given the subject no little attention and study. During the course of this sermon he repeatedly refers to the following verse: "I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth."

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He says, "So we are living on a four-cornered earth; then, my friends, will you tell me how in the name of God can an earth with four corners be round!"

        He claims that his theory, supported by the Bible, is true; and if the earth is like others say, who hold a different theory, peopled on the other side, those people would be obliged to walk on the ground with their feet upward like flies on the ceiling of a room.

        In the 10th chapter, 12th and 13th verses, in which Joshua commanded the sun to stand still upon Gibeon, is often referred to as one of the strongest points Mr. Jasper makes in support of his theory. The verse are as follows: "Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies."

        "Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day."

        Mr. Jasper says his theory must be a true one, because he proves the fact that the sun moves by the highest law given to man.

        In referring to the common theory of the philosophers of to-day, in reference to the distance of the sun

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from the earth, he says there is no way by which a person can measure the distance from the earth to the sun, because no one could take enough food along to last all the way. Then he asks this question: "How can a man take a tape line and measure from the earth to the sun?"

        Mr. Jasper's opinions have been discussed in every quarter of the globe.

        It ought not to be wondered at, nor strangely thought of, that the opinions of Mr. Jasper in reference to the sun and the earth aroused such a general and profound interest, because, with but a few exceptions, the very same opinions of Mr. Jasper were the ideas entertained by almost all the old philosophers of Greece and Rome. A theory concerning the earth, sun and moon, not very much unlike Jasper's, was taught daily in every school of learning in Greece. Plato and Socrates firmly believed that the earth was fixed and immovable in the centre of the great solar system, and that the sun, moon and stars revolved around it. To a very great extent these ideas were the firm belief of the Church also.

        Kiddell, in his astronomy, says: "For more than two thousand years before Capernicus the general belief had been that the earth is the centre of the universe and that all other bodies revolve around it."

        It matters not how much we may disagree and differ

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with Mr. Jasper in regard to theory upon the "rotation" of the sun or the form of the earth, we can arrive at no other conclusion save that the causes for his ideas come from the very same natural source from which the old philosophers derived theirs.

        It has been said that Mr. Jasper cares to read no other book than the Bible. We state that the saying is entirely untrue, and that Mr. Jasper has a library containing a fine assortment of modern books, which he finds pleasure and wisdom in reading. His library contains philosophical works of the most eminent philosophers.

[Published in the Richmond Whig, Tuesday, March 19, 1878.]


        As far back as Saturday, the colored servants in many households had spoken for early leave of absence for Sunday.

        It was evident, from their earnestness, that something of great importance was to take place on the Sabbath--something that interested our colored population more than ordinary every-day affairs.

        It was not at all a difficult matter to ascertain what this subject of absorbing interest was. Every colored

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man, woman and child knew that Rev. John Jasper, of Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, had, at the request of a number of prominent white citizens, including members of the Legislature and city officials, consented to preach his great sermon upon "The Sun."

        "Three o'clock Sunday evening is the time, and if you want to get in sight of the church you had better go at twelve o'clock," was what a barber told the Whig reporter Saturday night.


        This was literally true. At 12 o'clock Sunday, the neighborhood of the church was crowded. Indeed, many of the morning congregation remained at the church until the time for the services to begin. The rush for admittance on the part of the colored population was great.

        Every square alley and cross street that led to the church was, by I o'clock, thronged with a vast concourse of colored people, all on the way to hear Rev. John Jasper preach.

        Not only was the text a popular one, but the fact that the colored minister repeated the sermon at the request of honored white citizens lent an additional interest to the occasion.

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        By 2 o'clock hundreds could be seen coming back from the church, disappointed because they could not get within hearing of the preacher's voice--not even get in sight of "Zion."

        The Whig reporter was met on his way to the church, and was told that it was scarcely worth while to go, because he would not be able to get in sight of the church; but, despite the warning, he moved along with the crowd.


        Reaching Duval and St. James streets, and standing on the edge of the great crowd which rendered approach to the church impracticable, the chances of getting in sight of the preacher, not to say in hearing, looked rather blue.

        The windows of the church were packed; the windows, doors and porches of the houses in the neighborhood were likewise filled; and the vast crowd surged and swelled and laughed as they saw the long procession of people still moving on to "Zion," many of whom were never destined to reach that happy home.


        As the reporter was looking hopelessly upon the vast crowd, and devoutly wishing that Superintendent

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Kates was along, and that telephonic communication had been established between Rev. John Jasper's church and the outer world, as colored people of all hues came and went, like dark and light shadows playing upon the water on a ghostly night, a colored deacon came through the crowd and politely informed him that if he wished to get in church he would pilot him there. The reporter would like to have the name of that brother and several others. They treated their white visitors with Chesterfieldian courtesy, and exemplified the fact, long known to Virginians, that the colored people of this State are possessed of as good manners as any people in the world.

        The members and officers of Zion church showed every attention to the visitors, and gave every white person a seat in the church, even though it caused some discomfort to themselves.


        If the crowd was large outside, it was as large inside the church. The reporter occupied a seat on the platform, and was flanked on one side by Barister Samuel B. Witt, and on the other by ex-Adjutant Ed. D. Starke and ex-Adjutant John E. Laughton, Jr. A large number of ladies and gentlemen occupied seats on the platform and in the church.

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        After the usual exercises of singing and prayer, the pastor of the church,


        stood up and gave his text. He is a Richmond man, and is, perhaps, fifty-five or sixty years of age. He is nearly six feet in height, and light ginger-bread in color, an open countenance, tall forehead, rather high cheek-bones, features more prominent than usually seen in the colored race, short and bushy whiskers, and bald head. Such is the description of this popular colored Baptist minister, who proposed to demolish the theories of philosophers and atheists, and show that the sun moves. He was attired in a clerical-cut suit of black, and wore a neat white neck-tie, while a pair of heavy silver spectacles, tied on the top of his head with a piece of white string, gave an additional clerical shade to the already good picture of a colored Baptist minister.


        When the subdued mutterings of the vast congregation had been hushed, Rev. John Jasper began his sermon. Before doing so, however, he expressed his regret that the church would not hold all the people

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that wanted to get in it on this occasion. He expressed his pleasure at the presence of many cultivated white ladies and gentlemen. He went on to say, modestly, that he did not consider himself a scribe. "I am," said he, "sixty-six years old on the fourth day of this coming July. I came here in 1825. I have never been sent to school, and have never been in any school. I spent six or seven months with spelling in the New York Spelling Book. I set out in 1839 to seek the salvation of my soul."

        He then took occasion to exhort the congregation, and tell them that they must be cleansed from their sins, and seek pardon for their sins, and to assure them that salvation came only from the Lord.


        He went on to say, that in 1839, on the 3d day of July, at half-past 9 o'clock, while he was working in Samuel Hardgrove's tobacco factory, in this city, he was anointed by the Holy Ghost. He had felt that he was called of God and set apart for this work. Prior to the time of his conversion, if any one had asked him to separate the Old Testament from the New, he could not have done it. But, he went on to argue, it was not necessary that a man should be learned because he was called of God to preach the

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Gospel. When he was first called he felt that he was incompetent, but he knew that he was called to preach, nevertheless.


        Looking at his uneducated condition at the time he was called to preach, he had, at first, been deterred from beginning, by the reflection that he was uneducated and could not read. Perhaps the Devil had said this to him. "If," said he, "the Devil spoke to me, he was a bigger fool than I thought he was." He went on to say that he took God by his word, and began to preach. He went on to show that if men want wisdom, they must get it from God, and he insisted that the carnal mind cannot promote spiritual things.


        He then said that he repeated this sermon at the request of several gentlemen.

        The text was to be found in the fifteenth chapter of Exodus, third verse: "The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is his name."

        The preacher then said that in entering upon this text, he would endeavor to prove that the sun moves. He said, "If I do not prove that the sun moves, by

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Bible authority, then I will agree never to preach again."

        He alluded to the fact that many people were imbued with prejudices and would not allow them to be removed.


        He only asked a careful consideration of what he was going to say, and he got all his facts from the Bible. He appealed to the ladies and gentlemen present to go with him in his argument, and said: "When I undertake to prove that the sun moves, I shall expect every lady and gentleman present this evening to say whether that be so or not, after they hear what I have got to say. I shall only ask reasonable questions. I shall have some right smart work to do in Egypt before I ask you any questions, and I shall be philosophizing words to show the ground I take that the sun moves. I hold that ladies and gentlemen must respect it if I produce it by evidence of the Bible, and not by notion. I will undertake to prove, by Bible authority, that the sun moves. I want everybody to look at my authorities."

        The preacher then handed to the ladies and gentlemen a slip of paper, upon which he had written the passages of Scripture which he proposed to quote during the evening, and requested them to pass the paper around so that all might read.

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        The minister then proceeded, as he had indicated before, "to do some smart work in Egypt."

        "The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name."

        "This is the text," said he; "and in order to prove that God be a man of war, we shall have, in the first place, to trace Providence in Egypt."

        He then proceeded to give a graphic sketch of the Israelites, beginning with Abraham, whom God had chosen to make the father of a nation. He spoke eloquently of Abraham's obedience to God's command, and dwelt particularly on the proposed sacrifice of Isaac, who, he said, God had early liked. "God looked on that boy in his infancy; I suppose he estimated that boy very high," said the preacher, facing his white auditors.

        The speaker then spoke of how God tempted Abraham and tried his faith to see whether or not he relied on His promises.


        Mr. Jasper, whose warmth and eloquence was increasing as he spoke of Abraham and Isaac, kept his audience spell-bound by a thrilling picture drawn from

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the scriptural account of the sacrifice. He depicted with great force the feelings of the father, who was about to slay his beloved son, and kept the interest of the vast congregation right to the point where Abraham was about to raise his arm to strike the fatal blow, "when," said Mr. Jasper, "when he was about to slay his son, there was an angel of God in the bushes near by, who said, 'Lay not thine hand on him. Draw in that arm which is about to assassinate him. Let your son live, that my promises be fulfilled.' "

        The speaker then did some smart work on the history of Isaac, and pictured his married life, and told how long he had to serve before he could get his wife.


        Mr. Jasper then spoke of the land of Canaan. This land "flowed with milk and honey." This passage, he explained, "did not mean the kind of milk we carry about here; the true meaning of it is, that they got all the luxuries of life."

        Then the speaker eloquently spoke of the persecution of the "children of Israel by Pharaoh," and how God hardened Pharaoh's heart. His pictures of some of the plagues were graphic. How the rivers became blood, and when the Egyptians wanted to

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drink they had nothing but blood. "Then the plagues of frogs, which came even into Pharaoh's bed-chamber, and in the kitchen, and into the servants' houses, until at last, he said, take them away, and I will let the children go. And the other plague, the louse, those terrible insects."

        The speaker showed how unwise and wicked it was for Pharaoh to be resisting God in every instance.


        Then the minister, who was listened to with the closest attention, gave a grand and thrilling description of the passage over the Red Sea. The children of Israel passed safely over. "Then the chariots of Egppt with their captains and colonels followed them," said Mr. Jasper. He then paused in his narration of this portion of Scripture history, to assure his hearers that God was fighting with the Egyptians all the while. He said, "God does not fight like our people fight." When we fight we can see each other; but when God fights He is invisible. He does not need to throw up any breastworks like men fight. God has his way in the whirlwinds and in the clouds. When He found out that Pharaoh still followed the children of Israel, He said, "I will show him I am a man of war." Pharaoh's

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defeat and death was told with great force by the speaker. He said there were in all two millions of the children of Israel in the wilderness, and of those two millions only two ever saw the promised land. How could God verify the promise? They raised up young tribes.

        The speaker hurried on to speak of the many victories gained by the children of Israel because the Lord was on their side; all of which showed that "the Lord is a man of war."


        The pastor then spoke of Joshua. It was Joshua's pleasure to ask God that he might stop the sun. When Joshua asked God's sympathy, God granted it, and the sun stopped.

        Said Mr. Jasper, "The philosophers say the sun does not move. I want to make a fire with those philosophers' books this evening." (Subdued voices from brethren and sisters in the audience: "You're right.")

        "The Bible said the sun stood still. Is anybody going to say that the sun was standing still before Joshua told it to stand still? Do you mean to tell me that the sun wasn't moving when God told Joshua to make it stand still? Do you think that Joshua would

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have asked the privilege to stop the sun if she had not been moving? And yet the philosophers say the sun stands still and the world revolves around it." (Brethren and sisters in the audience: "Umph, umph, Oh!") "Where in the name o' God he gets his authority from, I don't know. This morning, when the sun rose it was over there (pointing to the east); how in the name o' God could the sun get from that side of the house to this (pointing to the west) unless it moved?


        "Now, I believe," said Mr. Jasper, turning to some of his white auditors, "that I have got some good grammarians here. I want to ask them when they teach grammar if they don't teach that the word 'arise' means a moving action? Does the word 'arise' mean stand still? Does the word 'hasteneth' mean stand still? The words 'goeth down,' is that a stand-still action? 'The sun riseth and goeth back down to his place,' " said the preacher, quoting from the Bible. "Is it possible that the sun does not move? Now, Solomon was certainly a man of distinction and a scholar. Do you know that he is the man who said, 'The sun ariseth and goeth down and hasteneth back to the place she moved from.' It is

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nonsense to say that the sun does not move. David, in the fiftieth Psalm, first verse, says: 'The mighty God; even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.' Is it possible that this means that the sun does not move? Malachi, Ist chapter, IIth verse, says: 'For from the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles.' And yet the philosophers say the sun does not move!

        "What did Isaiah say in the 38th chapter and 8th verse? When Isaiah says, 'Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed unto the Lord,' and when Isaiah says 'this shall be a sign unto thee from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing that he hath spoken. Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward; so the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.'

        "Here," said Mr. Jasper, "God declared that the sun goes backwards. That man who says the sun does not move, he does not read this Bible. This is the superior book to any in the world. No set of men can consolidate themselves and write such a book as this.

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        "You cannot make the word 'rise' in grammar mean the standing position. You cannot make the word 'hasteneth' the standing position. Going down is an act of moving. And yet the philosophers say the sun does not move, and that are but nine stars. Where do they get their authority?"

        The preacher then urged his congregation never to leave the Bible for any set of men. The Scriptures are given by God to man, and they are good for doctrine and for instruction. This is what the Bible said. The word of God was fully competent for that business, and it is no use to go to philosophers to learn about the sun when the Bible tells us it moves.


        Mr. Jasper then went on to ridicule the philosophers. He said, "The philosophers sometimes say 'cloudy and snow to-morrow,' and when to-morrow comes it is clear and beautiful. He says we are going to have thunder this month, and it is calm." ["That's so; he is talking the Gospel truth, he is," say brethren and sisters in every part of the church."] "The carnal mind cannot reach these things. If the sun does

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not move, I am not living. We have here taken the Bible, which is our guide when we are in utter darkness. That says the sun moves. Whenever you see a man contradict God's word, tell him good-bye. The philosopher will tell you that a hundred thousand people believe that the world revolves around the sun." [Several sisters, "Oh! ah!"] "It is strange that when the world moves, nothing else moves. My house this morning is where it was last night." ["That's so."]


        The colored divine then went on to express his wonder that people should believe anything so absurd and contrary to the teachings of the Bible. And yet, people were misled by these philosophers. Preachers ought not to say that the world revolves around the sun, because it is contradictory to the word of God. God's word, he said, must be trusted; and those who heard him this evening, and who had been misled by the false doctrines of the philosophers, ought to say, "If I have been led in an error, I will be so no longer."

        "Now," said Mr. Jasper, turning to the vast congretion which, with breathless attention, listened to him, "everybody who believes that the sun moves hold up their right hand." Every man, woman and child held

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up a right hand. There was no doubt of their being convinced that the sun moves.

        Mr. Jasper was plainly very much gratified at this, and said: "I hope you will always take your stand on God's side. Do not suffer yourselves to be carried away by false doctrines. Confide in God's word."

        The preacher, in closing, paid a glowing compliment to the white ladies in attendance, and said he could see the bloom of culture in their faces. He asked them to consider the arguments he had advanced; to think over them. They would be convinced that his questions could not be answered.

        The vast congregation left the church well pleased with the discourse of their pastor. If any doubted that the sun moved before, they were all convinced that it does move, by the eloquence of Rev. John Jasper.

[Published in the National Monitor, Thursday, April 4th, 1878.]


        My Dear Brother Perry:--Don't you feel sorry for us? Don't you weep with us? Yet I don't feel as badly for Jasper as I do for the class of whites who are encouraging him to make a fool of himself before

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the world. The poor man is to be pitied more than blamed. It cannot be denied that he has one of the finest memories I ever knew of; but the great trouble is, he never reads anything but the Bible, and he does not believe that a minister of the Gospel has any business to say anything in the pulpit unless he can bring the very letter of the Scriptures to bear upon it. He does not seem to know that the Bible is to us what the compass is to the skillful mariner. No seaman expects the compass to guide the ship; but he must guide the ship by the compass. Our friend, on the contrary, looks to the compass to guide his ship of church, and refuses positively to examine his log-book to find out the stream or course he is in. It is said to be a fact that his entire library consists of a Bible, and that he boasts that he never reads any other book than the Bible. Isn't it a shame in this enlightened age?

        The Ebenezer church attempted to vindicate itself by publishing a card in the Dispatch, and, as you shall see, it was a perfect failure in language and composition. Friend Jasper has certainly gotten the best of them this time. In a card he publishes in the Whig of the 29th, he gives them a few solid blows.

        The Rev. Walter H. Brooks has a very finely written article in the Star of this week, in which, I think, he does himself great credit. We propose at an early

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day to have the Rev. Brooks or Prof. Jones deliver a public lecture on the Copernican system.

        Where is Dr. Newman? We never hear of him now. Stick to your text; let the Monitor stay where it is.

Yours, etc.,


Richmond, March 30th. NOTE.--The Dispatch and the Whig, containing the cards referred to, are before us, and we concur in the opinion that "friend Jasper has certainly gotten the best of them this time." But what astonishes us most is that Elder Wells should publish such a card. O, foolish brethren! Do you not see what fun you are making for those before whom you would appear sensible? Yes, we advise Brother Brooks and Prof. Jones to let the sun alone, and lecture rather on immediate needs and duties of our unimproved and peculiarly circumscribed, proscribed, taunted, and abused race.
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[Published in the National Monitor, Thursday, April 18th, 1878.]



        [It is due to the Rev. John Jasper that we publish the following letter. It was not designed for publication, but he is fairly entitled to what in this case he does not claim.]

RICHMOND, VA., April 6, 1878.

        Dear Brother Perry,--Your paper came duly to hand, with a card in it relating to the sermon I preached about the sun moving. I did think that as a pastor of a church if a member came to me and asked me to preach from a certain text, and give some information on it, it was my privilege to do so. I preached from a pure motive, and set forth the Scripture to prove my text. I have preached nothing but the word of God, and if I make a fool of myself by so doing, I shall live a fool and die a fool, for God has said: "If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life."

        Neither of the gentlemen you spoke of died for me,

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nor do I expect to be saved by them. By Jesus Christ, and Him alone, do I expect to be saved. All the prophets and apostles had to suffer the same as I do now. But God is my friend, and in Him do I trust.

        I have never said in my life that a minister should read no other book than the Bible. To say that I have, is only a falsehood put out by jealous preachers who don't know what respect is due to an elder; who are always learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. I shall never put any book before the Bible, while I live, to satisfy the notion of any man. As to boasting of never having read any other book but the Bible, no bigger lie was ever told, for I have read almost all kinds of books in some way. But I never put any book before the Bible, and never will. So far as laughing at me is concerned, they did the same thing to the Saviour when he was on earth.

        After you have read this letter, you will please hand it to the learned gentleman, as I don't know him. But you may ask him to pity himself and prepare to meet his God.

I am yours, most respectfully,


        The Richmond correspondent of the Norfolk Ledger, writing on January 15th, says:

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        "Rev. Dr. John Jasper, whose fame has spread throughout this land and Europe, preached Sunday at his little church on Duval street. The attendance was, as usual, quite large. The Dr. scouts the idea that his usefulness has been, in the slightest degree, crippled by the attempts of his enemies to cause a rupture in his congregation. He claims that his flock still numbers nearly two thousand, and it is said that the membership of his church reaches about that number. As he stated to me some months ago, many of his members have been compelled to leave the city to find employment in other parts of the country. Many of these, the philosopher says, still retain their membership in his church and often write to him for counsel and religious advice. There is no doubt about the fact of his wielding a powerful influence over those of his own race in this community, not only in his own church, but among the outsiders.

        "Unlike some other colored clergymen in this State, the Dr. has, so far as I am aware of, never taken any part in politics. He seems to pursue the even tenor of life. I often see him go along the street past my window, his tall form towering above most passers-by. Some one has suggested the idea of the old fellow's taking a trip to Europe. His name is already quite familiar to the savans of many of the capitals of the Continent. Indeed, the Dr.'s peculiar views on the

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solar system have received attention at the hands of some of the London scientists. Imagine Richmond's famous sable philosopher delivering, in his own peculiar way, his renowned sermon on his favorite subject before an assemblage of London or Paris scientists. His fame is already made, and it matters not whether he ever crosses the Atlantic, John's name and views will pass into history. He will be remembered long after most of the small-fry Mahone politicians of his day shall have been forgotten."


        The Chronicle says that "when he took his position on the stand, it was announced by Elder Herndon that a vote of the congregation would be taken to decide whether Mr. Jasper should preach from the text announced in the advertisement or his famous sermon on the 'Sun do Move.' The result was in favor of the latter almost unanimously.

        "Mr. Jasper arose. He is a tall, shapely man, seventy-two years of age, bald-headed, and several shades darker than snow. His head is peculiarly formed--the forehead commencing at the eye-brows and running at an angle of forty-five degrees to the top of the head, where it swells out, while on the rear is a precipice.

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A phrenologist would be puzzled to decide where the intellectual faculties cropped out, as the whole formation is antagonistic to the principles of that science. His features are good, however, and kindliness, benevolence and good nature shine in every lineament.

        "We have given enough to show the drift of his argument. Mr. Jasper has oratorical powers of no mean order, and is said to be a most effective preacher of the simple doctrines of Christianity. His effort here was badly marred by personal reference to one of his clerical critics, whom he denounced as a false teacher, and no more fit to be in the pulpit than a whip-poor-will."

RICHMOND, NOV. 14, 1882.

Rev. John Jasper:

        Dear Sir,--I write to ask you please to inform me if you expect to deliver your sermon concerning the movement of the sun within a month from now. There are some visitors here from the North, together with a good many residents, who are very anxious to hear it. I assure you I write through no want of respect for you or your opinions; we simply want to hear the Bible teaching on the subject. Should it suit you to deliver this sermon, send me notice of time and

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place, and I will have it inserted in the Dispatch of the previous day.

        Hoping it may be your pleasure to gratify us,

I remain yours truly,


I enclose directed enveloped for reply.

J. H. E.

Headquarters Grand Army of the Republic,
Department of Virginia,
Norfolk, Feb. 3, 1883.

Rev. John Jasper, Richmond, Va.:

        Dear Sir,--I write for the purpose of securing the delivery of your famous lecture in Norfolk "On the Sun." What would be your terms, &c.? If I can effect a satisfactory arrangement, would propose, say, 12th of the month. I want your lecture under the auspices of the Grand Army of the Republic.

        Your early reply will oblige,

Post Commander, Norfolk, Va.

FEBRUARY 5, 1883.

Rev. John Jasper:

        Dear Sir,--I take the liberty of asking you to repeat your "Sermon on the Sun," at your earliest convenience.

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        I would not take this liberty, but I have been requested by a great many ladies and gentlemen who have never heard you, and who are very desirous of doing so.

        A reply as early as convenient will very much oblige,

Yours, very respectfully,

At the Haxall-Crenshaw Co.

BRIDGEPORT, CONN., March 13, 1883.

Rev. Mr. Jasper, Richmond, Va.:

        Respected Sir,--From your active and important labors, may I request a few moments to settle a discussion regarding what you teach as to the earth.

        You are reported as saying, and fortifying your position by Scripture texts, that--

        I. The earth is square and immovable.

        II. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west; and,

        III. The world is flat.

        These were the beliefs of Pious Bede, of holy memory, one of the most devout of the early English writers, and whose writings, although composed in the seventh century, are still authoritative upon the subjects of which they treat.

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        Now, can I make bold to ask you to briefly tell me your belief upon the shape of the earth, how the sun returns from the east to the west, and the Scripture-texts upon which you found your belief (and to explain what protects people from falling over the edge of the earth and the waters from flowing over).

        Enclosed find stamps (6 cents).

I have the honor to remain,
Your obedient servant,


No. 266 State Street, Bridgeport, Conn. If you can conveniently let me have an answer before next Sunday, it would greatly oblige.

BALTIMORE, March 27, 1883.

Rev. Jno. Jasper, D. D.:

        Dear Sir,--I am making a collection of autographs of prominent clergymen to place in my album as souvenirs, and I would like to add yours also to the number.

        Will you have the kindness to write your name on the enclosed slip of paper and return to me in the addressed envelope, also enclosed? If so, I will esteem it a favor and greatly obliged and gratified thereby.

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        Hoping you will pardon me for troubling you thus, and kindly grant my request,

I am, yours respectfully,

No. 334 E. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, Md.

Rev. John Jasper:

        A friend from the North, with his family, is in the city. Will you be kind enough to preach on Sunday afternoon your famous sermon, "The Sun Does Move."



Office of Dr. Herbert A. Paris,
Richmond, Va., March 10, 1884.

Rev. Dr. Jasper:

        Dear Sir,--I am passing a week or two in your city, together with some friends from my own city. Some of us are anxious to hear you elucidate your cosmic theory, and if you should happen to deliver your celebrated sermon on the subject while we are in your city, will consider it a great pleasure and satisfaction to listen to same. The old theory of the rotundity of

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the earth, etc., is, I think, utterly indefensible in a biblical light, and it appears to be decidedly shaky in a scientific sense, and, unless its advocates can develop more definite proofs than they offer at present, will soon have to go the way of other erroneous theories.

        I have the honor to remain,
Very fraternally, yours, etc.,

P. S.--Hope you will deliver same next Sunday afternoon.

        The gentlemen herein mentioned take pleasure in stating that they heard with great interest the sermon preached on last Sunday by the Rev. John Jasper from the text, "The Lord is a man of war." Mr. Jasper displayed great knowledge of the Scriptures.

Messrs. BARTON,



















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Commonwealth of Virginia,
Office Superintendent Public Printing,
Richmond, February 5, 1884.

Rev. John Jasper:

        Many members of the Legislature would like to hear your sermon on the astronomical relation of the sun to the planetary system. Will you do them the kindness to designate at what time you will preach on that subject? They would be glad to attend.

Yours truly,


Office of H. Wallerstein & Son,
General Commission Merchants,
1204 E. Cary Street,
Richmond, Va., Feb. 6, 1884.

Rev. John Jasper:

        Dear Sir,--At the earnest solicitation of some lady friends visiting our city from the Northwest, we shall be pleased to have you preach your ever popular sermon, "The Sun Do Move," on next Suhday, Feb. 10, 1884.

Hoping it may meet with your approval,
Yours respectfully,


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                         "Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see,
                         Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be;
                         In every work regard the writer's end,
                         Since none can compass more than they intend;
                         And if the means be just, the conduct true,
                         Applause, in spite of trivial faults, is due."

        The instructive history of literature shows that many of the greatest productions of the human mind have originated in very trivial causes.

        That famous ode of musical Pope, "The Dying Christian to His Soul," was written at the desire and solicitation of Mr. Steele.

        That exquisite poem, "The Rape of the Lock," was occasioned by an act of gallantry on the part of Lord Petre. Smitten with the Cupid dart of affection, he cut off a lock of hair from the head of Mrs. Arabella Fermor.

        The reason for the delivery of this sermon was at once simple and natural. On the 16th of March, 1883--a Sabbath day--I had the pleasure of listening to his noted discourse.

        He somewhat minutely detailed the reason of his preaching. Two honored members of the church had discussed, with some warmth and zeal, the form of the earth and the biblical statements concerning the sun.

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        One strongly maintained the advanced opinions of scholars, scientists and philosophers--that the earth is nearly round, and the earth rotates around the sun. The other as stoutly argued that the earth has four corners, and the sun revolves around it.

        Differing so widely in their respective views, they determined to submit its decision to the trusted judgment of their beloved pastor.

        Convinced that it was his Christian duty to enlighten the understanding of his members, he willingly consented to deliver a discourse concerning the interesting and instructive question in debate.

        In this brief sketch of the theory of Rev. John Jasper, we propose to present to the reader a clear and impartial view of the opinions of Rev. Jasper, not those of himself or any other thinker. The prevailing beliefs of the cultured followers of famed Galileo, Kepler, Herschel and Kant will be but incidentally presented.

        On several occasions we availed ourselves of the rare opportunity of hearing the reverend gentleman discuss his widely known and original sermon. On the Sabbath of the 16th of March, 1884, we, in company with Messrs. E. D. Black and R. B. Baptist, heard him on one of his extraordinary occasions.

        The daily newspapers had duly heralded to the citizens in general that on the following Sabbath (the)

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Rev. John Jasper would preach his celebrated sermon, "The Sun Do Move." Arriving at the sanctuary almost an hour before service, we unexpectedly found it crowded to almost its entire capacity. The entire body of the church was filled with whites. Aged men and old women were there; young men, dressed in the latest fashion, seated by the side of blooming, beautiful ladies, habilitated in glistening silks, dark red garments and glossy velvets, were there. They had willingly come from various portions of the city. Some were strangers; some were residents. All appeared eager and expectant. When, at length, the erect, commanding figure of Rev. J. Jasper promenaded the aisle toward the pulpit, all eyes were staringly fixed upon him. After Mr. Jasper had seated himself in the pulpit, the church choir cheerfully sang a melodious hymn. The preacher--the observed of all observers--calmly arose and read in a dispassionate, deliberative manner the Holy Scriptures. After divine invocation, he announced as his text the 3d verse of the 15th chapter of Exodus: "The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name."

        He ably and minutely illustrated the text from the earlier history of the children of Israel. The first, second and third verses of the twelfth chapter of Genesis declares: "Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy

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kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed."

        In the thirteenth verse of the fifteenth chapter we learn: "And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a (strange) land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years."

        The 14th verse continues and says: "And also that nation whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward they shall come out with great substance." He, at some length, narrated the inhuman selling of Joseph, the providential meeting of Jacob and his supposed dead son; the growth and enslavement of the descendants of the household of Jacob, and the final deliverance of the Israelites.

        It was the Lord, and not the followers of meek Moses, who overturned and destroyed the proud Egyptian host. The haughty Egyptians were strongly convinced of this themselves, for they said, "Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians." Having more clearly illustrated the text, he attempted to show how the Lord fought for Israel, not only by encouraging them

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through their leader, Joshua, to go forward, but also by lengthening the day of hotly contested battle, in causing the sun to stand still over Gibeon. Having come to this point in the discourse, he quietly stopped and said: "I am now where you want me to come." I shall now endeavor to adduce all the scriptural evidence furnished by him that "The Sun Do Move."

        This first argument is found in the 12th and 13th verses of the tenth chapter of Joshua: "Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou Moon, in the valley of Ajalon; and the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies." He strenuously argued, that if the sun had not been moving, Joshua would not have commanded it to stand still.

        His next argument is based upon several passages of Holy Scripture, which assert the rising and setting of the sun. The first verse of the 50th Psalm reads: "The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof."

        The third verse of the 113th Psalm contains the following: "From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the Lord's name is to be praised."

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        Again, the eighteenth verse of the fourteenth chapter of Judges reads: "And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day before the sun went down, What is sweeter than honey and what is stronger than a lion?" The fifth verse of the first chapter of Ecclesiastes read: "The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose."

        The eleventh verse of the first chapter of Malachi proclaims: "For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles." He quoted with much fervor and force the eighth verse of the thirty-eighth chapter of Isaiah: "Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun-dial of (King) Ahaz ten degrees backwards. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down."

        He contended, with much warmth and enthusiasm, that the sun could not have possibly returned if it had not been moving. Nor did the contradictions of philosophers and scientists, as to the distance of the sun, escape his vigilance. He boldly declared that some had fixed the distance of the sun from the earth at 95,000,000 of miles; others, 130,000,000; and others, 65,000,000.

        This, he stated, was conclusive proof of their ignorance of the sun in general.

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        But this much-discussed sermon not only concerns the chief luminary of our solar system, but also deals with the shape of the earth. He fortifies himself from scriptural passages, in the belief that the earth is flat and has four corners. The ground for this peculiar idea is found in the first verse of the seventh chapter of Revelations: "And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree." "So we are living on a four-cornered earth!" he enthusiastically exclaimed.

        "They tell us," he said, "that people are living directly under us. How in the name of common sense can they walk, unless they move like flies on a wall with their feet upward."

        None but an eye-witness could obtain a clear conception of the effect of this striking discourse before a promiscuous assembly of white and colored. The peculiar and unsuspected ideas advanced, answer all the demands of wit, as set forth by Hart or Campbell. He said: "They tell us that the sun is 92,000,000 of miles from the earth. How can a man take a tape line and measure from the earth to the sun."

        The strange wit like that of Steele which aroused in its hearers an uncontrollable merriment, but seemed not to influence himself; the droll, dry humor sprinkled

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through the entire sermon, were sources of unusual delight.

        But the great and most striking effect of this sermon is to convince the hearer of the intense earnestness of the speaker. He speaks as a man on oath. He boldly and repeatedly asserts that the Holy Bible teaches that "The Sun Do Move." He wisely and adroitly represents himself as the humble interpreter of the Scriptures. His real earnestness may be further seen from the logical conclusions which he skillfully draws from his interpretation of the Bible. He unequivocally asseverates, that all who deny that "The Sun Do Move," are preaching a doctrine contrary to the Word of God. They are opposers of the Divine Word and enemies to true religion. The manly fearlessness, the fierce denunciation of opposers, the natural eloquence, the quaint wit and the chain of Wayland-like logic, evinced in the enlargement of this idea, compel even those who differ mostly from him to be convinced of his seriousness.

        This sermon has had a checkered but an interesting history from its birth to the present time. It created a living enthusiasm among the members of his own church. Then its fame rapidly overspread Richmond. Several ministers who honestly differed from Rev. Jasper vigorously opposed the idea that the Bible inculcates that "The Sun Do Move." This led to an

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estrangement between Rev. Jasper and several ministers. But the name of the eloquent divine and his sermon were mentioned in scientific journals of the North. While a student at Worcester, Mass., I read in a leading scientific monthly an account of his views. Several white persons requested Mr. Jasper to enter upon a traveling tour for the purpose of delivering this sermon, which had become so well known even in the North.

        He journeyed to historic Baltimore, where he preached with great success before white and colored. At Washington and Philadelphia, too, he met flattering audiences. He then returned to Richmond. Everywhere the native ability, the dignity, eloquence, wit, humor, logic, the natural gesticulation and earnestness of the preacher, were highly commended by those whose views were entirely opposite. The Mozart Association succeeded in obtaining his services some time since. Mozart Hall was packed to its entire capacity. The people (the elite of Richmond society) highly enjoyed its delivery. He once, with flattering success, preached it to some Northern ladies and gentlemen in the brilliant parlors of Ford's Hotel.

        For the last four years he has delivered this remarkable discourse before scores of white audiences, gathered at his own church. And though it has been so often heard and written about, the interest in it seems

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not to abate. Few discourses have enjoyed such a continuous celebrity before learned and ignorant, rich and poor, white and colored, as this. The scientists of London, Berlin and Paris--the philosophers, scholars and students of America and Europe--have discussed orally and in print the opinions of Rev. John Jasper.

        Nor is it at all strange that his opinions have aroused such a universal and profound interest. His ideas concerning the luminous orb and the opaque earth were, with rare exception, the belief of antiquity. That prince dialectician of Greece, the eminent Aristotle, was an enthusiastic teacher of the same thing. He conceived the moon, sun and planets set in a hollow crystalline sphere by which they were borne around the earth. Illustrious Socrates and learned Plato diligently inculcated that the earth was the centre of the solar system, and that the sun constantly revolved around it. The philosophers and scholars of Rome accepted the teachings of Greece and diligently taught it.

        The great and good men of the early church were likewise convinced. Origen, Athanasius, Augustine, Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, and others, simply accepted the belief of the age.

        The Christian church once passed a resolution declaring "that if any person believed that the earth was

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round and revolved around the sun, he should be expelled from the church."

        The priests and teachers, the highly learned and eminent men of the church were firmly convinced that the Holy Scriptures plainly taught that the sun moves around the earth, and that the earth is flat and has four corners.

        Kiddell, in his Elements of Astronomy, declares: "Previous to Copernicus (1543) the general belief for more than 2,000 years had been that the earth is the centre of the universe, and that all other bodies revolve around it."

        Again, he says: "As late as 1633 it was deemed irreligious to believe in the motions of the earth; and Galileo, in his seventieth year, was imprisoned and finally compelled to acknowledge himself as guilty of error and heresy in teaching this astronomical truth."

        It has been only two hundred years since the present prevailing opinion was advocated. The happy invention of the telescope performed a scientific revolution. Men who had been foremost in the belief that the sun moves around the earth relinquished their opinions and advocated the contrary belief. They argued that the sun, in relation to the earth, is stationary, while the earth revolves around it.

        In view of the teachings of antiquity and the apparent evidence of Scripture that the sun moves around

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the earth, it must not be considered strange nor unprecedented that Rev. Jasper so strongly maintains his seemingly peculiar tenets. However we may differ from him in the interpretation of Scripture, or the deductions of modern science, we are forced to the acknowledgment of powers of reason and eloquence, as well as of his spirit of religious seriousness.


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        Mr. Jasper's Church known as the Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, of Richmond--Mr. Jasper's Country Visits; his Preaching in the Country; his Camp Meeting Sermons; his Country Friends, with whom he lives; his Fishing Expeditions--The Reception of his Visitors--What Mr. Arnold says of Jasper--The difficulties which hinder an accurate History of one's Life--What Mrs. McDougall says.

        This church is known as the Sixth Mt. Zion Baptist Church of the city of Richmond, not because there are five other Mt. Zion Baptist churches in the city, but simply because Mr. Jasper and his members like the name--Mt. Zion. This church is situated on the northeast corner of Duval and St. John's streets, the most thickly inhabited portion of the city with the colored people--in that part of the city, which is better known to the citizens of Richmond as Africa; for the same reason that the colored people are more thickly settled in that section of the city than any other portion. This is the northwestern portion of the city--and by no means the worst looking portion--though it has not had as many improvements as some other portions of the city. And it is for this reason that there are but few white people

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living in that part; and white people having, of course, control of the city government--being Democratic, too--they have not manifested by the expenditure of any large amounts of money for its improvement.

        All of Africa lies in what is commonly called the black ward (Jackson Ward), in which the colored people have entire control, so far as ward politics are concerned.

        The inside of the church is very conveniently arranged. It has a seating capacity of about nine hundred. It has two galleries, one on each side of the pulpit, commencing at the pulpit and extending back about half-way of the church. There are two anterooms, one on each side of the pulpit. The church has a baptistery in the usual place--under the pulpit platform. In fact, the church has nearly all the modern improvements in it. It is well lighted with gas. There are any number of doors, by which all may escape in case of fire or accident. It has sixteen large windows, most of them extending from the ceiling to the floor. The furniture of the church is in a fair condition. The church is built of brick, and has a fine stock front. It has a bell-tower, in which hangs a large bell, which is rung by the sexton to notify the congregation of the time for the meetings of the church. The church sets back from the street about twenty feet, within a pailing fence.

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        The house is by no means large enough for the accommodation of the congregation and of their friends, and at a very early day the congregation will rebuild.

        With all of the ignorance, vice and crime, this can be said of the colored people of this country, for which they should be praised--that is the building of fine churches; and when Mr. Jasper's congregation builds their new church, they will have done no more than all of the other colored congregations of the city, and especially those of the Baptists.

        Rev. Jasper never attends prayer-meetings of the church. He says he is too old to run about so much at night, and that the deacons must see after all such meetings and the routine business of the church. He preaches twice every Sunday, morning and afternoon, except the Sunday on which Sacrament is administered, and then he preaches morning and night. Although his sermons are not as polished and rhetorical as many we have heard, they are solid and orthodox, and always draw large audiences. To say that Jasper is going to preach is all that is necessary; the house will be packed. He rarely ever preaches during the week. So frequent were the requests to preach funeral and special sermons during the week, that he has now positively declined, and now a sermon from him during the week is very rare indeed. But on Sunday

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he will preach any number of funeral sermons, or, as it really is, mention them in his regular services.

        A great deal has been said about the recent troubles in his church, and it is hardly out of place to mention something about it here.

        The trouble was but the cause of a past action of the Baptist churches, when they met in council and withdrew the "hand of fellowship" from the First Baptist Church. After a year or two, the other Baptist churches tacitly recognized again the First Church, without any formal action whatever, which this, the Sixth Mt. Zion Church, by her pastor, refused to do, and passed a resolution preventing his members from singing, praying, or taking any part whatever in the services at any church that had again recognized the First Church; but if the members from such churches felt disposed to, they could, with all good faith, take part in any services at the Sixth Mt. Zion.

        This resolution, as stringent as it was, passed, but not without some opposition.

        Though Mr. Jasper does not preach but twice on Sundays, he never fails to cover the whole ground, and on all and every occasion, whenever he is asked to aid or speak from his pulpit of any enterprise, the object of which being for the benefit of the colored people, he always with great pride finds an opportunity.

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        Some of the prominent members of the choir are William H. Woodson, Abram Rankins, Martha Pryor, Moore Holmes, Richard Robinson, and Patsey Gooding.


        The Church Aid Society was organized on the 11th of February, 1884, with Charles Lemas as president, and Robert Bullock as secretary.

        This Society has an executive committee, whose duty it is to look after and attend to the sick, disabled and poor of the church and congregation.

        This Society has a membership of about three hundred.

        Those who take most active part in the prayer-meetings of the church are Joseph Woolfolk, Richard Cottrell, and Lanius Woodson.

        Those who take most active part in the business of the church are Moore Holmes, Richard Cottrell, William Glover, George Preston, Aaron Garnett, Nicholas Robinson, Mathew Brown, Jerry Delard, and Frederick Watkins.

        Mr. Jasper takes a vacation every summer in the month of August, which is spent in the counties of Hanover and Caroline. His vacation is to give him rest from his arduous labors here in the city, but when

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he gets to the country among so many of his friends, and those who are always anxious to hear him preach, he is compelled to a great extent to reply to the many requests, thereby preaching about as often as he would have done had he not taken any vacation at all. His visits are at that season of the year, when out-door meetings are carried on in the country very numerously, among both colored and white people, especially in that section. Some of these meetings, and more particularly those which are called "big meetings," are carried on for a week or ten days at one place; and when this is the fact, there are generally invited to attend all of the preachers from the surrounding country, and they are all, as a general rule, on hand promptly. These preachers take their turns to preach, according to the arrangements of those who are in charge of the camp.

        It would not be entirely out of place to mention just here that preaching by no means is the only class of speaking that is done at these camp meetings; because, too well do we remember, during the hottest and most exciting part of some of our political contests, when we have made it a point to happen to be at one of these camp-meetings in order to get a chance to address the camp, and by this means a great many people have been politically reached whom we would not have otherwise to address.

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        Now, if our readers should in the least doubt us on this point, we beg to refer to the Rev. J. Anderson Taylor, of this city.

        It would be well to say, too, that by no means are these meetings composed entirely of people exclusively of any one denomination, nor are the preachers and speakers all of any one denomination.

        In consequence of the wide reputation which Mr. Jasper has made for himself for preaching at such meetings, he is always appointed to preach on the most favorable and appropriate day of the session, because he is always preferable, and as a matter of fact draws the largest number of people to the camp.

        The object of these meetings is supposed to be well understood by all; therefore it would be useless for us to make any attempt to state it here; for if we did, we could only give it as we have so often heard it given by some of our good Methodist brethren.

        Some of the friends with whom Mr. Jasper stops while in the country are Mr. Samuel Taylor, Mr. Henry Green, and Mrs. Keziah Kemp, of Hanover county; and Mr. Cyrus Scott, of Caroline county, who never think of making any charge against Mr. Jasper for board or any other expense he might have caused them to incur.

        When Mr. Jasper is not engaged in religious work, he amuses himself with his favorite sport, which is

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fishing. There are fine facilities for fishing on the rivers of Hanover and Caroline counties. And just here we will relate a little story in connection with Mr. Jasper's fishing in the country.

        While alone, one afternoon in the month of August, he was fishing, and by an accident broke his hook, and while trying to fix it, he dropped his jack-knife into the river, and before he could devise the necessary plans for fishing it out, the night was come; so he marked, as nearly as possible, where the knife fell in and went home, and the next morning he arose, bright and early, went to the garden and got a hoe, and down to the river he went, and found the place where the knife fell in by the means of his mark which he had made the night before, and with the hoe fished out his jack-knife.

                         "Rich are the diligent who command
                         Time, nature's stock; and could his hour-glass fall,
                         Would, as for seed of stars, stoop for sand,
                         And, by incessant labor, gather all."

        "Seest thou a man diligent in his business, he stands before kings."

        Mr. Jasper is a very determined man in the execution of his own plans; and whether home or abroad, he carries out his peculiar habits and customs.

        There seems to be something very extraordinary

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about Mr. Jasper's fishing--he catches fish when nobody else can.

        While it is a fact that Mr. Jasper preaches more and works harder during his vacations than at any other time, he always returns to the city much invigorated, to enter upon his duties as pastor of his church, where he is most kindly received by all; because in it he has no favorites, he treats all alike, and by so doing all admire and love him alike. Whenever he is sick and cannot be out to attend to his duties as pastor of the church, he is always glad to have his members and congregation come in to see him; but he receives nothing from any one. While he was sick, one of the female members of his church brought some little nourishments and presented them to him, but he refused to receive them, telling the lady that he did not want her to bring him anything at all, that he had a plenty of everything to eat, and if he did not have it in his house that he could get it, that there were enough poor people who needed what they could give a great deal more than he did, and advised her to give what she could to the poor of the church.

        Mr. Arnold expressed a great desire to hear Mr. Jasper preach his famous sermon on the "Sun Do Move."

        It is no exaggeration to say that Rev. John Jasper has a greater reputation in Europe than any other

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Southern man since the war. His sermon was published in one of the French papers, and was discussed in the London Club.


        Alexandria Gazette.

        No one can for a moment be prevented from appreciating the many difficulties and obstacles which stand in the way to hinder one from writing a clear and accurate account of one's life during the lifetime of said person. On the other hand, no one can ever appreciate the innumerable embarrassments which are met save he who undertakes the important and difficult task. For one occupying the place or position which Mr. Jasper holds in the eyes of the people, his private character could not be than otherwise well known. He has not, as some may think who never knew him, such a winning address as would likely to draw all men unto him at first sight, but the more one sees him the more he impresses one; and the more one knows of him the better one likes him. He never allows himself to seek association of any one. He is very conservative in his manners.

        The following extract from the New York Weekly Witness is what Mrs. McDougall said of him February, 1883:

        "After having heard him, I am more interested in

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the little scraps I get about his life as a slave, of his determination to preach from a boy, of his persisting to preach when preaching was followed by the lash, of how his ministration was acceptable to his brethren, how they used to pay his master for his time, so that he could be got to preach a funeral sermon. I do not think that the Rev. Mr. Jasper has any love for the professional interviewer, but he is a man who naturally leaves one anxious to know more of him. He is not covetous of parade and high personal attention; he never courts the fashion or puts himself upon the tide of popular feeling to be drifted on to fame and distinction, though he is very ambitious; but his ambition is not of that kind which makes an impression simply for honor. Unlike many who are not so universally known, he has no aspirations at all for any honors, whether they be political or otherwise, which might be conferred on him by the people. He is never seen in any public gatherings other than those of his church; he cares little or nothing for politics, so far as taking any active part in them; in principal he is a Stalwart Republican, and to express the term in his language, we would say a 'Radical Republican.' He is thoroughly identified with his people, and to the greatest extent strives to help and aid them in every respect; while many think, and even go so far as to say that he is opposed to education and intelligence,

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his whole course and actions have proven to the contrary. When he was interviewed in the spring of 1882 by some of the most inteliigent colored citizens of Richmond, in reference to the appointment of colored teachers over colored schools in the city, he readily approved of and endorsed the application favoring the measure.

        "Mr. Jasper is an extraordinary looking man, well proportioned, stands in his socks about six feet, and weighs not less than a hundred and seventy-five pounds. His habits are regular, takes his breakfast at eight o'clock every morning, and his dinner about four, making only two meals each day, He keeps in, and enjoys good health, and is scarcely ever out of his pulpit. He is a great smoker, and whenever one goes to his house to see him, he is very apt to be found in his room alone perusing his books. He has a fine library, with which he is well acquainted. His house, 1112 N. St. James street, is a neat-built frame house of two stories, four rooms above the street, and sets back on a little elevation just about ten feet high. Mr. Jasper's bed-room and study is in the second story; here he receives all his visitors. There are two beds in this room, a large old-fashioned bed and a small one, which are always kept in the most tidy manner. On entering his room, the first thing one meets is a strong order of tobacco; and if he is smoking,

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one will be very apt to detect this as he ascends the stairway before entering the room. Everything in the room is neat, and kept in perfect order. Some of the most conspicuous objects one will be most likely to observe before leaving are the several pairs of boots, all brushed as bright as possible, setting side by side just to the right of the door as one enters the room; a large crayon photograph of himself hangs directly in front of the door on the north side of the room, subscribed Rev. John Jasper, D. D. On his bureau are piles of books, papers, and letters which he has received from time to time; some asking questions about the 'sun,' and some highly endorsing 'his theory.' These books, papers and letters are most neatly arranged, and everything betrays method and exactness, which are strong domestic habits. He receives all friends kindly, and talks freely with everybody; the last time the Hon. Frederick Douglass was in Richmond, he called on him. Mr. Douglass had never had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Jasper; he (Douglass) said he would be much gratified and highly pleased to have the opportunity of seeing this great man, of whom he had heard so much. When Mr. Jasper was presented to Mr. Douglass, he said: 'Sir, I am proud to meet you; you are one, and I am de oder.'

        "The two characteristics which mark Mr. Jasper

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most prominently are his independent thought and action. He courts no man for his opinion; he always thinks for himself and acts upon his own convictions. Though he is seen daily and known by all, whenever he is met in the street he is always noticed and treated with the most profound respect. He is generally seen alone; but may sometimes be seen on the Capitol Green sitting on one of the public benches in conversation with those who go upon the Green for rest or to seek pleasure. He is a fluent talker, and on most any pleasant day will have gathered around him any number of people who always delight in hearing him talk. He smokes his pipe any and everywhere, which seems to be his nearest and best companion. He is wedded to the 'weed' possibly on account of his early and close connection with it while serving his time in the factory. He takes great pride in his garden; his garden is small, but it is well kept. He raises the principal vegetables, and all of the garden fruits, such as apples, pears, peaches, cherries and apricots."

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        Extract from the Missionary Journal--A Reply from Mr. Jasper's Church to the Council which Withdrew the Right Hand of Fellowship from them--The Appreciation of the Deacons and Offices of his Church--The Colored Churches of the City--R. J. Chile's Estimate of Mr. Jasper.--Mr. Jasper's Success in the Ministry--He does not Claim to be Educated--His Dealings with his Church--What Miss Josephine Turpin says of Mr. Jasper--Mr. Jasper's City.

        A letter in the Missionary Journal for April stated that a Rev. Mr. Johnson taught Rev. John Jasper how to write. We learn that about thirty-three years ago Rev. Jasper asked Rev. Johnson to set him a writing copy. Rev. Johnson, in attempting to do so, showed his incapacity. Rev. Jasper then procured a book containing writing, from which he obtained a start and continued, learning himself how to write. As reading is generally before writing, so in this case, Rev. Jasper could read before he asked the favor of Rev. Johnson to set him a writing copy. He learned, and he can tell how, and his reading has attracted the attention of Europe and America.

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        Since a Council has been called by a number of excluded members from Sixth Mt. Zion Baptist Church, and composed of delegates from all the Baptist churches of the city of Richmond and Manchester and vicinity, to hear the complaints made against the Sixth Mt. Zion Baptist Church, and praying that they would recognize them and give them God-speed, and since the council, after hearing their statements, gave them the right hand of fellowship, and since the Rev. Evans Payne, of the Fourth Baptist Church, offered a preamble and resolutions denouncing in bitter words the Sixth Mt. Zion Church for dealing with her members, and since he was very explicit in charging the Sixth Mt. Zion with acting contrary to Scriptures in excluding her members, and since he recommended to the churches of the city and vicinity the withdrawing of the right hand of fellowship from us, and since he gave his reasons for so doing, and was silent upon our cause, we now make known to the public our grounds for so doing.

        We do not deny that the church by a vote decided that her members should not worship in any church in the city of Richmond until reconciliation had been

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made. But we have never denied admission to our church of other members, knowing that we have no authority over them.

        We first refer our readers to a communication which appeared in the Richmond Dispatch February 22d, 1881.


        Our readers will remember the account published in the Dispatch some months ago, of the difficulties among the members of the First African Church, in which the police was called into a church meeting to quell disturbances and which culminated finally in the exclusion of a large number of members, who subsequently formed the Fifth-Street Baptist (colored) house of worship. The excitement amongst the colored Baptists growing out of these occurrences continued with more or less warmth until a council was called, composed of delegates from all the colored churches of Richmond, to adjust the trouble. It met, condemned the First Church, sustained the Fifth-Street Church, and adjourned to meet again to give the First Church an opportunity to show cause why the right hand of fellowship should not be withdrawn from them.

        This adjourned council convened yesterday at 12

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M., in the Second Church (colored). John H. Adams was moderator, and W. H. Carter, clerk. All the colored Baptist churches of the city were represented, except the First.

        After much discussion, the following preamble and resolution were adopted by a vote of ayes 24, noes 11:

        "Whereas we, the ten churches of the city of Richmond and vicinity, adjourned to meet February 21st instant, for the First Baptist Church to show cause why the right hand of fellowship should not be withdrawn from said church; and whereas said church has treated the Council with contempt by refusing to come; and whereas said church called in the police and had the brethren taken out of their church in violation of Baptist rules; and whereas said church violated the 18th chapter of Matthew, 15th and 16th verses, by excluding them without hearing; and whereas entered charges over the heads of the above named churches in their associations before consulting them; therefore,

        "Resolved, That we, the council, do withdraw the right hand of fellowship from said First Baptist Church."

        A communication from the First Church was read, asking the council to adjourn to some day subsequent to the meeting in March of another council called by the First Church, to be composed of white and colored delegates. It was also intimated that the First and

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Fifth Street Churches would themselves be able to settle their troubles.

        This communication, without other action, was laid on the table.

        This was the final action of the council submitted to the public, and if satisfaction has been, or the trouble between the two churches has been settled, neither the church nor the public has ever been informed.

        This cutting off from fellowship was done by all the churches of the city and vicinity; and the very brethren who have denounced the Sixth Mt. Zion were the same ones who labored so arduously for the laying of the platform on which we now stand. And it has never been in the history of the church to fellowship either brethren or churches from whom you have withdrawn yourself on account of misdemeanors before they atone for the sin they have done.

        Christ has never recommended us to forgive a transgressor until he asks forgiveness. The council that withdrew the right hand of fellowship from the First Church decided that they (the First Church) violated the Scripture, found in 1st Cor., 6th chap., from the 1st to 7th verses; and 2d Cor., chap. 6th, 14th to 18th verses; and also the 18th chapter of Matthew, 15th and 16th verses. These are the grounds the council took in condemning the First Church and sustaining

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the Fifth-Street Church. If the First Church has ever atoned for these wrongs, she has never made it known. The churches of the cities of Richmond and Manchester are now fellowshipping what they have condemned and submitted to the world as sin and corruption.

        The First Church has never asked forgiveness, never made peace, and therefore we simply express the words of the council when we say, they are all corrupt, and refer them to 2d Peter, 21st and 22d verses.

        The author of those resolutions, the Rev. E. Payne, has charged us with abridging the rights of our members. This we emphatically deny.

        We refer him and the council to the 18th chapter of Matthew, 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th verses. Will he please show us what condemns us? Rev. E. Payne, in company with Rev. Isaiah Lee, as a committee appointed from the council to ask the Sixth Mt. Zion if they would send a delegation to sit in council to show cause why our excluded members should not be recognized as a church, was asked by the deacons of the Sixth Mt. Zion to show their authority for setting apart excluded members as a church. To this question no satisfactory answer was given by either of them; and it was also said that we were acting contrary to Scripture by not fellowshipping the churches of the city under the present circumstances;

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but we again refer them to the 16th chapter Romans, 17th and 18th verses, and if these don't justify us, we ask to be shown those that condemn us. Rev. E. Payne also advised the so-called Union Church to keep her doors of refuge open so long as the iron laws of Rome exist in the Sixth Mt. Zion.

        The Rev. Payne, who is very familiar with our mode of transacting business, and also our worship, knows as well as we do that Christian liberties have never been suppressed. He also knows he himself has often exhorted our members to be in keeping with the exhortation given by the Apostle Paul, 1st Thess., 5th chapter, 16th and 19th verses. He has also advised them to flee to the so-called Union Baptist Church for refuge, to escape the fangs of the emperor.

        The so-called emperor has always submitted to his congregation; he has only given to them and the public in general the truths found in the Bible. He has never usurped any person's rights, but has only done what is plainly accorded to him by the Holy Scriptures, acting as pastor of the Sixth Mt. Zion Church. Every decision rendered by him has been sustained by the church, and he has never failed to show the church her power, and to teach that we are a band of brethren subject one to another.

        It has never been our desire to inflame passion or

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to keep up strife; but anything that has been published and heralded to the world cannot be called a secret. So if there is peace and reconciliation, it is still under the bushel and we know it not. It has been intimated that we should allow this trouble to pass; that we should fellowship, in the face of what the council did (February, 1881); that we should recognize those from whom we have withdrawn. Now, does Rev. E. P. mean to tell us that such is the teaching of his Bible? Does the council mean to say that such a church has the right to sit in council and be in union with Baptist churches of good and regular standing?

        Again, we refer the learned Dr. and council to 1st Kings, 18th chapter, 17th and 18th verses.

        All of the excuses offered, all the reasons given, are too small and too weak to be assigned as the cause of the Baptist churches backsliding and holding fellowship and communion with what they have publicly denounced corrupt. If the council did wrong in withdrawing, why, let the churches come together like brethren and Christians and remedy the wrong done.

        We will gladly welcome that day, when union will be made, such a union as will redound to the glory of God and that will reflect credit upon the Baptists of

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this city. But this union can only be effected by purging out the old leaven that leaveneth the whole lump, knowing that God will not hear us if we regard iniquity in our hearts. Clean hands are strong hands, and the same is true in the Church of Christ; if they allow God's covenant to be broken, the accursed thing to be smuggled, Achan to go undisciplined, they can't expect God's blessing upon them.

        We would further inform Rev. E. Payne and the council, that this is not an edict from the tyrannical emperor of Rome; that the Sixth Mt. Zion confides in the teachings of her pastor, and ever will so long as he does not forsake the Word of God.

        We further wish to inform the Rev. E. Payne and the council, and the world, that there has been no division in our church; but we have only excluded fourteen disorderly, rebellious members (and have restored one since), who could not be controlled, and who treated the church with contempt. When these were excluded, there were present between six and eight hundred members, the meeting quiet and orderly, and no police present.

        We have only this to say in conclusion: As a Baptist church, we have a right to exclude transgressors, and do not acknowledge the right which any other church has to interfere, and especially any which has

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been publicly cut off from fellowship with sister churches and declared corrupt in practice and doctrine. We are not following the traditions of men, but the commandments of Jesus Christ who purchased the church with His own blood.

        Done by order of the church at a regular meeting, Monday, December 3, 1883.



RICHMOND, VA., May 14, 1884.

E. A. Randolph, Esq.:

        We, the deacons and officers of the Sixth Mt. Zion Baptist Church, being aware of the fact that you are now engaged in writing the history of the life of our beloved pastor, the Rev. John Jasper, beg leave to add the simple offering of our appreciation and endorsement of his value, worth and services as pastor of the said Sixth Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

        His course with us in all of his dealings has been positive, straightforward and plain. We love and honor him for his noble and manly traits of character, for his illustrious services he rendered as pastor and shepherd of our church. We recognize in him all the

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elements of a worthy man. Neither age or labor seems to impair his faculties, nor the vigor of his manhood. His long career of increasing usefulness is secure in the confidence of the church, and we are frank to say that there is, in our opinion, no pastor of any church in the city who so completely holds the confidence and appreciation of the members of his church as does Mr. Jasper. To them his presence is always an inspiration. We have always found in him the very best qualities of manhood. He is a man of great natural ability. In him always exists the earnestness of purpose and a conscientious devotion to his duty. In his station and circumstances he has no superior. The common and plain way and manner he preaches is only in keeping with the openness and candor of his heart. His noble and grand character will ever be a beacon light of truth, shining along the pathway of life. The influence and force of his character are always felt in the simplest speech.

        While we have not taken the pains to trace this great man through all the eventful scenes and changes of life, we well know, on account of his situation, he is of lowly origin, and in this he is not unlike thousands of others; owes his fame to no line of illustrious ancestors, but to his own honest exertions and character. His high moral bearing is always the same, whether in the pulpit or the walks of private life. Therefore,

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it is with the most profound pleasure and respect that we subscribe our names, in recognition of his great worth.

                         "Active doer, noble liver,
                         Strong to labor, sure to conquer."













                         "Active doer, noble liver,
                         Strong to labor, sure to conquer."--Browning.


        The author fully intended in the onset of this work to give a synopsis of the history of the colored churches of Richmond, merely for the purpose of showing the growth and condition of them since the war, and more especially the Baptist churches, because Mr. Jasper has been, and is now, closely connected with all of them, and had a great deal to do with their organization. But as it is an undeniable fact, that the church

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has grown more rapidly than any institution, as a general thing, among the colored people, this fact is no less true of it in Richmond. Therefore, he deemed the synopsis wholly unnecessary. Though he is frank to say, without any selfishness, that the colored people own as good and valuable church property in Richmond as is owned by colored people in any city in the Union of its size.

        The following extract from the Richmond Planet shows the condition of all the colored churches of Richmond for the year 1883:

        There are 15 colored churches in the city; their denomination, membership, number of pupils attending Sunday School, and collection, are as follows:

  Members. Collection. Pupils S. S.
First Baptist 2,635 $6,270 60 683
Second Baptist 2,880 3,000 00 600
Ebenezer 1,583   610
Fourth Baptist 1,890   500
Fifth Baptist 120 900 00 126
Sixth Mt. Zion 1,068 1,577 60 100
Moore Street 118 550 00 90
Shiloh 61   60
Fifth-Street Baptist 909 1,200 00 300
Mt. Calvary 107 402 75 167
Union 30    
A. M. E. Third-Street 211 1,254 02 100
Asbury Chapel 64 400 00 45
Leigh Street 135 1,234 55 42
St. Philip's 180 1,282 99 152

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  Members. Collection. Pupils S. S.
Baptist, 11 11,401 $13,900 95 3,236
Methodists, 3 410 2,888 57 825
Protestant Episcopal, 1 180 1,282 99 125
  11,991 $18,072 51 4,186

        In giving one's estimate of another's character care should be taken to avoid both the extremes of praise or condemnation; such a judgment should be the combined effort of conscience and intelligence. The Rev. John Jasper is an exceptional character in many respects. Gifted with a wonderful memory and extra-ordinary faculties of mind, a soul-stirring earnestness, a dignified and majestic personality, he is on the other hand intensely dogmatical, and unalterable in his views and feelings, and deliberately ignored those opportunities of intellectual cultivation that would have made him one of the most learned and eloquent preachers of the day, and indeed of the age. Moses, with whom the Rev. Jasper is peculiarly fond of comparing himself, was different from him in one grand and essential particular. Moses was a man learned in the language, manners, and customs of the time; a mighty legislator whose comprehensive genius ranged over all the aspects of civil, practical, and political life. God fitted

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him for the sublime work of prophet and statesman. Moses was a thoroughly educated man. Moses was a meek man, who saw the weakness of his own nature and measured the extent of his infirmity; unquestionably great and noble, he disobeyed God and was not allowed to enter into the promised land. The profound significance of the lives of David, Solomon, Moses, lies in the fact that we are all liable to go astray. But I must say frankly that, after listening for many years to his sermons and witnessing his actions, that in the relentlessness of his views and the practical assumption of their infallibility his intense egotism strangely repels and appalls.

        Throughout the long and fierce controversy in reference to his astronomical views, he rejected all overtures of reconciliation, and scorned and scoffed at all compromise. His terrible invective against his brother ministers is alike discreditable to humanity, his conscience and his profession.

        Rev. John Jasper has always condemned that baleful superstition among our people, hoodoism or conjuring, and has done a great deal towards emancipating the minds of hundreds from this heathenish belief. He has been very liberal in the cause of missions, and the door of his church was always open to the one who came in the name of Christ to plead for help in the regeneration and Christianization of Africa.

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        Mr. Jasper is nearing the western horizon of life. For forty years or more he has preached, in slavery, in war, in freedom. As we muse over his strange, lonely, eventful life, with its pathos and often with its bitterness, as we think of his exquisite imagery of nature, as we seem to hear his trumpet voice ringing along the arches, and see how grandly and bountifully he was endowed, and yet how much that endowment lacked cultivation, that gave its appropriate setting, the sweet and touching lines of Whittier comes to us--

                         "Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
                         The saddest are these--'it might have been.' "

        Those who suppose Mr. Jasper knows nothing about the figurative character or symbolizations of many portions of the Bible are sadly mistaken. We heard him preach a remarkable funeral sermon once at the Second Baptist Church, and draw his illustrations from Roman history. He spoke of the triumphant Christian as like the victorious Roman, drawn in chariot with white horses, palm of victory in his hand, and clothed in white robes. It was a sermon richly worth hearing and preserving.

        R. J. CHILES,

        Editor of Industrial Herald.

        It has been said that in a republican form of government

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the circumstances of birth confer no claim to honor or distinction. The saying is true, for if otherwise, we could not claim for our subject any distinction at all. In a biographical work it is always a proper compliment to the subject to notice in some manner or form his ancestry, because it is useful to exhibit the circumstances and associations of early life.

        The family to which Mr. Jasper belonged had no existence save as mere chattels, therefore the peculiar circumstances which surround them had but little influence in forming his character. Outside of all home influences and favorable circumstances of birth, &c., we feel content to let by-gones be by-gones, and speak of the man, and as such, Mr. Jasper is a man who makes deep impressions upon the minds of all who converse with him to know him. There is a moral force about him, a dignity of demeanor, an air of elegance and superiority which always produce a lasting atmosphere of unconscious awe in the minds of every one with whom he comes in contact. He has won an honorable distinction for himself by the force of his own powers, and if we give credit to the self-made men of our times--men whose early advantages were so limited and some of whose lives are so beautifully portrayed in volumes of innumerable numbers by the most eminent writers, we may none the less place and compare favorably the

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success and fame of Mr. Jasper, with his limited advantages, peculiar circumstances and obstacles, as of an entire different nature.

        Has Mr. Jasper been successful in the ministry? It has been often said by many that a man like Mr. Jasper does not and cannot accomplish any good for the race. Such is said by those who know but very little or nothing of the man. It would be folly for us to try, by entering into a long argument, to prove that Mr. Jasper has done and does accomplish great good. By his independent thoughts and actions, he has become the most famous of all the colored preachers in Virginia. His grand achievements have made him great, and the great success which has attended his efforts stand to-day, and will ever stand, as a monument to his glory.

        Can all this be the result of having done nothing, or no good? While we recognized the painful fact, that, on account of the condition of things, Mr. Jasper had no opportunity of attending school, where he might have been taught in the arts and sciences, we venture to say that all things being equal, Mr. Jasper is superior to any man in the country. He does not claim for himself any education such as generally obtained by attending school; but he does claim that, so far as his knowledge of theology goes, he is taught directly from God. This he claims, and no one, in our

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opinion, has any right to deny. This may be said of Mr. Jasper, that, whatever he undertakes, he does it with an earnestness of purpose, believing conscientiously that he is right. The great pathway of human welfare lies thick with obstacles, and they who are the most persistent, working in the spirit, will invariably be the most successful. Success follows close on the heels of every right effort. Then, if this be true, Mr. Jasper's success comes from the fact that his efforts have been right. Good acts always produce right results.

        Those who know Mr. Jasper most intimately honor and love him most sincerely. It is not very easy to make his acquaintance, or to be admitted to his confidence. But there are those who can testify, from a frank and unreserved knowledge, that he is a rare man, a man of great nobleness, a man of great inspiration, a man of great integrity of character. As a Christian believer, he is one of the most devout and sincere, and positive and earnest in all he undertakes. Mr. Jasper is plain and straightforward in all his dealings with the church and his fellow-man, and his character stands above reproach. Good character is the noblest of man's possessions. It has a greater influence and power than wealth, and it secures to a man all the honor without the jealousies of fame; in short, it is but human nature in its best form. A man may

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have but little culture, and small wealth, but if his character is good, he will always command an influence, whether it be in the church or elsewhere. Mr. Jasper always acts on his own responsibility, and holds no one responsible for the results.

                         "For who can always act; but he
                         To whom a thousand memories call,
                         Not being less but more than all,
                         The gentleness he seemed to be,
                         But seemed the thing he was, and join'd
                         Each office of the social hour
                         To noble manners as the flower
                         And native growth of noble mind,
                         And thus he bore without abuse
                         The grand old name of Gentleman."


        We cannot know how pure a soul may be amid the darkest surroundings. We cannot understand what heights the sin and crime-surrounded heart may long to reach; nor how a sympathetic smile or tear or little word of praise or hope may help to light the path.

                         "On the sands of life
                         Sorrow treads heavily and leaves a print
                         Time cannot wash away."

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        Few of the Negro race are more widely known than is the Rev. John Jasper. His fame has gone abroad, even beyond the seas. No stranger visiting Richmond feels that his knowledge of the place and people is complete, without seeing and hearing this remarkable man. One having seen and heard him, does not fail to carry away the impression that this is no common character.

        Mr. Jasper's very appearance is striking. His tall, commanding form, dignified bearing, and his deep and searching eyes render him noticeable in a crowd. He has, too, a half-conscious air of superiority, the natural result of self-knowledge in one endowed with more than ordinary abilities; and, in some indefinable way, he gives one the idea of possessing reserve strength for any emergency liable to arise.

        In his presence we feel the force of a mighty will, having magnetic power. This has, in great measure, contributed to his unbounded sway over the hearts and minds of his many hearers. By the exercise of this power he bears them along with him, excites their interest in his discourse, arouses their sympathy for his earnest advocacy in the cause he deemed right,

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even though they, perhaps, dissent from the opinions expressed.

        Unskilled in the knowledge of the schools, his language is of the most homely kind. No big, ponderous Latin derivatives constitute his vocabulary; his words are mainly from the good old Anglo-Saxon stock--clear, terse, and forcible. In the aptitude to combine these words so as to form suggestive images, he is surpassed by few.

        Mr. Jasper possesses marked descriptive powers, a remarkable facility in producing wondrous word-pictures. He makes the past present, brings the absent to hand, gives an awful vividness to the horrors of hell, and a perceptible reality to the glories of heaven.

        Not least among the gifts Nature bestowed upon this sable preacher is, his power to move the passions. I might even say, and many would agree with me, that of all his powers this is the greatest, and that all the other elements of his being contribute to the intensity of this, and help to render it the grand secret of his influence, the chief characteristic of the man. Mr. Jasper moves others because he himself is moved. In the words of the poet:

                         "Wouldst thou unseal the fountain of my tears,
                         Thyself the signs of grief must show."

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        An impression which some, lacking this subtle spell, would use a vast array of words vainly striving to produce, he, with a soul stirred in deep emotion, can oftimes effect by means of a single epithet. Believing firmly in the truth of his own utterances, courageously advancing independent opinions, his style has the added charm of earnestness and originality. He feels, and he shows that he feels. He exhibits a concern for those whom he addresses, he appeals to their interests, to their affections, to their convictions of duty. With a keen insight into human nature, he is able to touch the mainsprings of action, to play with artistic skill upon the feelings. Nature pre-eminently gave him the power to lead and persuade the people.

        Mr. Jasper is not an educated man; he lacks the advantages of systematic training. This is his misfortune, and not his fault. That barbarous institution which did all it could to dwarf the black man, by stupendous efforts to hinder the progress of superior minds when these dwelt under dark skins, has, among its infinity of infamous results, to answer for the wrong it did to this man of wonderful gifts. Had he been born and reared amid favoring circumstances, he would undoubtedly have been one of the great men of his race, of his calling, of his country. We honor him for his native worth; we admire him for his natural abilities. Though the diamond has not been under

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the hand of the polisher, yet we recognize and value it as a jewel most precious in the sight of God.


March 12, 1884.

        Mr. Jasper is known to the world as a citizen of Richmond, Va., while he was not born in Richmond. Since boyhood he has been living in Richmond; and as there are thousands of people who have read and heard of Mr. Jasper, and know him only by reputation, who never had the pleasure of visiting Richmond, are thereby deprived of knowing save by hearsay, what a beautiful city Mr. Jasper has the honor of being a citizen.

        For the benefit of all who may read this book, I take it that it will not be very much out of place just here to give them a bird's eye view of Mr. Jasper's city. North of the Potomac river, no one ever thinks of Richmond without associating the name of Rev. John Jasper with it; and whenever one goes North, and makes the fact known that he is from Richmond, the very first question asked is, whether he knows the Rev. John Jasper or not, and if the person is found not acquainted with or knowing something about Mr. Jasper, he is recognized as being very poor authority for Richmond information.

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        Mr. Jasper's reputation and fame has brought thousands of people to Richmond who never would otherwise have found opportunities for so doing. No one, white or black, ever considers his visits to Richmond complete without calling on Mr. Jasper.

        It is needless for us to state the fact that Richmond has grown rapidly within the last nineteen years, notwithstanding the close of the war left it in a state of demoralization.

        In reference to Richmond, it is our purpose to show its business capacity rather than its beauty. The natural and artificial facilities equal those of any other city in the Union of its size; therefore, for fear our readers might think that we are partial towards our own city, we respectfully submit the following extract from the Palladium as an impartial estimate of Richmond's business capacity:


        The capital city of Virginia will never cease to be a wonder to those who know what it was in 1865, what it has become, and what it is destined to be. Almost as much as Atlanta, Richmond is the Southern phoenix. Left in ashes and desolation when the war closed, her business destroyed, her capital obliterated, Richmond would have lost her ancient importance and sunk into

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obscurity had it not been for the indomitable energy of her citizens. Now long lines of stores, warehouses and factories, thronged streets, a bustling, driving people, and an increased commerce, indicate somewhat the vast changes that have occurred since the war. From the centre of the city to its extreme eastern limit, the entire water-front and the streets parallel to it are devoted to business, both manufacturing and commercial. Flour mills, tobacco factories and warehouses, iron and fertilizer works, as well as numerous small industries, give steady employment to thousands. The magnificent water-power that drives the machinery of the Tredegar Iron Works and the wheels of many great mills is not yet half employed, although every year of late the draft upon it has been largely increased. Nature has given Richmond many helps to becoming a great city besides this unfailing water-power. Coal and iron are close at hand and cheap, ocean steamers load and discharge at her docks, while she is surrounded by one of the richest agricultural regions of which this country can boast.

        To these natural advantages the seven lines of railroad that enter the city have added many others too apparent to need specification.

        The merchants of this city were always noted for enterprise. Before the war they had a heavy and profitable freight trade, including almost absolute control

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of the South American flour market. The secret of their ascendancy in that market was that no other flour was of a chemical composition suited to the climate and to the tastes of the wealthy classes of Brazil and of other States of the southern half of our continent, who alone are consumers of this article. The war destroyed that business, and South America had to look to all the wheat-producing countries of the world for an acceptable substitute. California supplied the western, and Europe the eastern coast, but only flour from these that at all equalled the favorite Richmond brands was found in Hungary.

        After secession failed, Richmond shippers looked up their old customers, who received them with a hearty welcome. California soon lost a bulk of its flour trade on the west coast, and the only competition Richmond mills fear in that entire market is the Hungarian. I have stated this at some length because it involves a subject of much interest to manufacturers. Shippers loading with flour at Richmond take out also a mixed cargo of stoves, cotton goods, furniture, brooms, knicknacks and notions. At present this miscellaneous cargo is put aboard at New York or Boston, and the ship proceeds to Richmond for its flour. The business men of that city are disposed to aid in the establishment of such manufactures in their midst as will supply this large foreign trade and enable them

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to give full cargoes to ships bound for Rio or South American ports. One intelligent gentleman, a man of large affairs, who has made this trade a subject of careful study, told your correspondent that one of the most extensive and profitable trades at Rio was in fine household furniture, of which immense quantities were sold annually. Brazil ships to the outside world her hard woods, which are cut up into veneers, but she cannot turn them into furniture; they are too heavy for that. Besides, coffee plantations pay larger profits with less labor than anything else, and until something occurs to reduce these far below their present annual average, no attention will be paid to manfacturing by Brazilian capitalists.

        Among the places of peculiar interest to business men who visit Richmond is the Tobacco Exchange, at which an hour or two may be profitably spent. Here a daily auction sale is held, which at times becomes as exciting as a lively spurt in the New York stock market, and this is because Richmond has regained her old-time eminence as the hub of the tobacco interest and the arbiter of prices for the world. In the minds of many Northern people a tobacco factory is associated with recollections of Libby Prison, and looked upon therefore as a dreary, dirty place. Let any one having this idea visit one of the several score great establishments of this city and he will change

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his opinion. Then let him go to the Exchange and watch the throng of acute, courteous men that make up its regular attendance, and he will soon conclude that there is more in "the weed" than he had ever thought of. The auction sales are but a small part of the daily transactions at the Exchange. They serve only to fix ruling values, while the great sales that run up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars are quietly made at the long counters on either side of the centre. These sales are on domestic and foreign orders, and aggregate a business of immense volume.


        The Sixth Mt. Zion Baptist Church was crowded to its utmost extent. It was indeed a representative gathering. Many white persons were present, all anxious to get a glimpse, and listen to the eloquence of this famous divine.

        While the congregation were waiting several hymns were sung, and at a quarter after eleven o'clock Rev. Jasper walked up the aisle with that air of independence which makes one as dignified as an English lord.

        After ascending the pulpit, the Rev. Jasper announced

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hymn No. 921 as the opening of the morning services. Mr. Jasper read the hymn through first, and then read it out stanza after stanza, while the congregation sang it through after him.

        Mr. Jasper then read the 10th chapter of the gospel by St. Matthew, beginning at the 5th verse.

        When he had finished reading, he called on a brother to offer prayer. This prayer was strong, appropriate and sympathetic; after which the choir sang sweetly a beautiful anthem, the conclusion of which brought us to the text.

        The Rev. Jasper then arose, adjusted his spectacles, and read his text from the 37th chapter of Ezekiel and the 1st verse:

        "The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones."

        Mr. Jasper then commenced to preach by stating to the congregation that he had chosen the above text because he had by special request been asked to preach from it this morning.

        In the offset, Mr. Jasper said that the text had no literal meaning, but was only figurative in its nature and meaning, and could not be taken in any other sense than a figurative one.

        "During the time of Solomon," said the speaker, "there was no division of the Jewish people, they were

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one consolidated body, but after Solomon they were divided.

        King Rehoboam, the son of King Solomon, succeeded his father and took ten tribes of the Jewish people; and that there was a great complaint made to King Rehoboam by the people that their yoke had been heavy, made so by his father, and that if he (Rehoboam) would make the yoke lighter, they (the people) would faithfully serve him.

        Upon this request Rehoboam said unto them, "Depart, and come again within three days." So they departed.

        "Then," said the speaker, "King Rehoboam consulted old men and said: 'How do ye advise that I may answer this people?' and the old men said unto the king: 'If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants forever.' But the advice of the old men was not taken by the king; but, on the other hand, the king went off and consulted the young men as to what he should do in the matter of making the yoke of the people lighter; and the young men advised him to make their yoke heavier instead of lighter, and that, when the people returned to the king after three days, he told them, 'Whereas my father put a heavy yoke on you, I will add to it; and as my father had chastised you with whips, I will chastise you with scorpions.' "

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        Just here the speaker said: "You see the people were worse off under King Rehoboam than under King Solomon."

        Mr. Jasper continued, saying, The kingdom of the Jews is now broken, and that the Samaritans were an idolatrous people. And when the Hebrews went into the country of Samaria and married the daughters of the Samaritans, it brought about great hostility between the Jews and the Samaritans; and when the Jews wanted to unite their friendship with the Samaritans, they (the Samaritans) objected on the ground that Jews did not believe in but five books of the Bible, or did not believe but five books of the Bible to be true. The second objection was that the Jews had married their daughters, and that they (the Samaritans) did not like it. Just here he cited a few verses from the 4th chapter of the gospel by St. John.

        Mr. Jasper at this stage of the sermon gave a complete history of the Jews as a conclusive fact foreshadowing the coming of Christ. The preacher said that every line of the old Bible proved the coming of Christ. He said, when Ezekiel was carried out in the valley of dried bones, he (Ezekiel) said, "What do these dry bones mean?"

        In conclusion, Mr. Jasper said that there was a division among the Jews until Christ came, and that the Saviour brought back every wandering Jew in that he

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sent his disciples into all the world to preach his gospel to all people. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; and he that believeth not shall be damned."


        Rev. Jasper, in his preliminary remarks, said: I am thankful to my God that I am here this afternoon to do God's service. Yes, I am here, and the devil is mad about it; but I am here on my iron legs to stand for the principles of the gospel and to preach God's holy word. And I am not afraid to preach it, as I am satisfied as to my calling, just as well satisfied as a skilled mechanic who, by being well-versed and skilled in all the mechanical arts, is well-satisfied about his calling. I tell you I am not guessing at mine.

        The reader will notice, as he peruses the following sermon, the accuracy with which Mr. Jasper quotes the many difficult passages of biblical history. It is indeed miraculous, even wonderful, how he calls and recalls the names of prophets, kings and people of the Bible times. We are taught that memory declines with age, because of a want of frequent association of co-existing ideas, or for a want of sufficient conception

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of them, when they are presented to the mind. We find in Mr. Jasper a strong exception, for though seventy-two years of age, his memory seems to grow stronger as his years multiply.

        Like Themistocles, who could call by name each one of the twenty thousand citizens of Athens, Mr. Jasper rattles off the difficult names of the Bible with such ease as baffles the most critical minds.

        Of the hundreds of sermons he has preached, he never wrote one or took a note. Mr. Jasper closes the Bible just as soon as his text is taken, puts away his spectacles, and preaches all the way through from memory.


        On Sunday, July 20th, 1884, Rev. Jasper preached from Daniel ii, 45:

        "Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain and the interpretation thereof sure."

        The Rev. Jasper then began his great sermon by saying it is useless for any one to play with God.

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        It has always been the purpose of God to set up men in the world, especially in civil authority. But good men did not always get in places of high authority, for often some good men and some bad men would be placed in power. In all ages of the world it has been so. God is the authority, for Christ Jesus the Immaculate Lamb of God did not set up all good men, as in the case of Judas Iscariot. Now Nebuchadnezzar was placed in an honorable position; God placed him there by giving Jehoiakim, king of Judah, into his hands. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, took part of the vessels of the house of God and carried them to the land of Shinar to the house of his god.

        The Rev. Jasper, in a convincing manner, here said that Nebuchadnezzar not only had authority over all Babylon as its king, but also over the land of Edom, the land of Moab, the king of the Ammonites, of Judah, and in fact over all the interior kingdoms, even the servants of toil, and the beasts of the field. If you don't believe me, look in the 27th chapter of Jeremiah. All the nations of the earth should serve him--this great king of Babylon--and not only him, but his sons and sons' sons should be served by all nations of the earth. He could set up whom he wanted to rule the land, and put down whom he wanted to put down. Unlimited power was given to him.

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        Now, there is a wide difference between a limited monarch and an unlimited monarch. A limited monarch is a ruler whose powers as a king are confined within certain bounds; he has not the power over all the land, but is circumscribed according to the wishes of the people, and cannot go farther than they say he must go; he dare not go one inch farther.

        Now, an unlimited monarch does not consult the will of the people, but does whatever seemeth good unto himself, because he has dominion and power not only over the land and beasts, but over the entire universe and the people; their laws and all their ways must be governed by his will.

        Nebuchadnezzar was an unlimited monarch authority and power, given to him by Almighty God.

        You remember when all Judah and Jerusalem had rebelled against God, how He decreed against them and told Jeremiah, the prophet, to say to them that this whole land should be desolation, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. All the lands have I given into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, my servant, the king of Babylon--and the beasts and the nations shall serve him--and whatever nation or kingdom that refuses to serve and obey Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, I will visit with destruction, I will punish with the sword, and with famine, and with pestiience, till I have consumed them from the face of the earth.

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        Then hearken not to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which say you shall not serve the king of Babylon.

        Hananiah, son of Azur, tried to deceive the people by saying, in the presence of the priest and all the people, that Jeremiah had prophesied a lie unto them, which thing brought all the people in the house of the Lord against Jeremiah; and the princes of Judah said that this man is worthy to die, for he has prophesied against this city. But Jeremiah said, Do what you will with me; I am in your hands; but the Lord sent me to prophesy against this city, and I say unto you, Amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of God. But when Hananiah said, Thus sayeth the Lord: I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon; within two full years will I bring again the vessels of the Lord's house, that Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, took away from this place, and I will bring back Jeconiah, son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah. Now, let us see and know that whichever prophecy comes to pass, then shall the prophet be known that the Lord has sent him. Jeremiah said amen to that; if that be a fact, that all the nations of Judah that were taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, shall return in two full years, and I have told a lie, then, if they return in two years, you will find out

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whether the Lord has sent me or not, and the princes and the people will know who is the false prophet.

        Now, Hananiah's prophecy failed to be true, for the Lord sent Jeremiah, the prophet, to Hananiah, who said to Hananiah, Thou hast broken the yoke of wood, but I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve the king of Babylon; and I say unto you, Hananiah, the Lord hath not sent thee, but thou makest this people trust in a lie. Now, the Lord hath said, Behold, I will cast thee from the face of the earth, and this year thou shalt die, because thou hast rebelled against the God of all the earth. And Hananiah died in the seventh month.

        The Rev. Jasper here took occasion to refer any who did not believe, or doubted, to the 27th and 28th chapters of the book of Jeremiah, as proof of his bold statements.

        Now, Nebuchadnezzar, who was now king over all the interior countries, and had unlimited power over all the surrounding provinces, had a great dream in the second year of his reign. He was troubled, so that his sleep went from him, and he could not rest. Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and Chaldeans, to tell him his dreams. And when they came and stood before the king, then said Nebuchadnezzar, I have dreamed a dream that troubles my spirit to know the

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interpretation thereof. And the Chaldeans said, Tell thy servants the dream, and we will make known the meaning thereof. But the king said, The thing has gone from me; and if you do not make known to me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut to pieces and your houses shall be made a dung hill; but if you explain the dream to me, gifts and great honor. But the Chaldeans told the king that there was not a man upon the earth that can show the king of this matter, and there is no king, lord or ruler that would ask such things of any magician, astrologer or Chaldean.

        And the king Nebuchadnezzar was furiously angry, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon; and the king's decree went forth into all the regions, that all the wise men should be slain; and Daniel and his fellows were to have been slain also.

        When the slayer was about to execute the decree of the king and slay all the wise men, and the captives of Judah also, Daniel asked the king's captain why was the decree so hasty from the king; and the captain told all that had happened. Then Daniel went to the king and asked that he would give him time, and he would tell him the meaning of his dream.

        Daniel leaves the king and goes to his companions, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, and tells them, We must pray that the mercies of the God of heaven concerning

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this dream of the king, that Daniel and his friends should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

        Now the Lord answered the prayers of his servants and revealed the secret to Daniel in a vision by night. Then Daniel shouted, and gave thanks to the Everlasting God of heaven that He had made known the dream.

        Then Daniel goes to the king and tells him the secret which he had demanded could not be told by wise men, nor astrologers, nor magicians, nor soothsayers, but there was a God in heaven that revealeth secrets and makes known to the king, Nebuchadnezzar, the things that must come to pass in the latter days. Now, O king, I have no wisdom more than any other men, and not prepared with any power of my own, but by the power of God revealed to him he would make known unto the king his dream.

        Now, O king, the things which thou sawest in thy dream and the visions of thy head upon thy bed are these: Thou sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. The head was of fine gold, his breast and arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. And thou sawest till a stone was cut out without hands, which smote

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the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. And the stone which smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. And the dream is sure, and the interpretation is sure.

        Now, the God of heaven has made thee a king of kings--hath given thee a kingdom, power, strength and glory. And wherever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls roam, hath God given into thine hand, and he hath made thee ruler over them all, so that you are the head of gold. And after thee shall there be another kingdom inferior to thy kingdom, and another third kingdom shall come and bear rule over all kingdoms of the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron; and as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things, so shall this fourth kingdom break and bruise the other kingdoms. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and it shall break in pieces and consume all other kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it break in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver and gold, the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter; and the dream is certain and the interpretation thereof sure.

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        But Nebuchadnezzar did not keep the laws of God, but disobeyed that God who had placed him in power, set at naught his statutes, counted his ways unholy and dishonored his precepts. For he made an image of gold, whose weight was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits, and set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

        Here the Rev. Jasper took occasion to explain the meaning of cubits, as follows: Now, one cubit is six inches; one score is twenty; then threescore would be sixty inches; and if six inches make one cubit, sixty times six inches would be three hundred and sixty inches, so that the image would be three hundred and sixty inches high, or thirty feet high, and would also be thirty-six inches broad.

        Then the king commanded all the mighty men, such as the princes, governors, rulers and judges, to come to worship the great image that Nebuchadnezzar, the king, had set up.

        Now, Daniel said to the king, the image of gold which thou sawest in thy dream is thyself ruling over the innumerable number of kingdoms, having power over all the interior kingdoms. And the stone that was cut out of the mountain and broke in pieces, and the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and gold, is Jesus Christ. And the filling of the whole earth is the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,

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and His kingdom shall stand forever and ever. And the kingdom shall be taken from thee, because thou hast not feared the God of heaven; but instead, thou hast turned away from that God who holds the winds in his fists, who hast power to drive all these nations from the face of the earth--from that God, I say, thou hast turned away, and hast placed a golden image for the people to worship instead of the God of all the earth. Yes, the devil's kingdom shall fall, and Jesus Christ, the living stone, shall roll over that kingdom and brake it in pieces. Thanks be to God, that stone has done some terrible rolling; it has broke in pieces every kingdom that the devil has set up. I tell you somebody has always been fighting against Jehovah, and will continue till the seven seals shall be opened; you know only six seals have been opened, but the seventh hath yet to be opened. I say, when the Judge of quick and dead shall come to open the seventh seal, somebody will be fighting against the strong arm of His power. But God will soon put the enemies of His people under His feet, and turn all the nations who have forgotten God into hell. And when Jesus Christ, the Son of God, shall rise and say, Father, I must get up this morning; I am going to call my people from the field; they have been abused, laughed at and made sour for my name's sake, but I am going to call them from labor to reward this morning. Gabriel,

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I want you to go down with your trumpet this morning, and blow; but don't alarm my people, blow calm and easy. I don't think I would be alarmed. No, no; I don't think I should. Now, I don't say it will be a loud report; it will be that same voice you heard before. Do you remember how loud it was when you heard it that morning at the door of your heart, when the Lord called you from the gates of hell? When that trumpet shall call you that morning, you shall have a holy body; the spirit, soul and body shall be united, and we shall meet the Lord in the air, who will take in and introduce us to His Father, and shall say, These are mine, that have washed their robes and made them clean in the blood of the lamb, and have come up out of great tribulations.

        Here the Rev. Jasper referred to General Grant's army, and how he led on to the great victory, and to what a great general he was. But our leader is a greater leader than General Grant. Jesus Christ is our captain, and he is in front of our every battle, and will surely lead you victoriously over your enemies. How do you know, Jasper? Look in Revelation, 19th chapter, 11th verse, and you will see when Jesus Christ is in front he maketh war on the ungodly. Well, Jasper, will he look like Gen. Lee or Gen. Grant? I think not. If you will look in Revelation, 19: 14, you will see that the armies "shall follow him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean."

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        I expect to be there. Well, Jasper, how do you know? Let me hear the introduction. Read the 14th chapter of John: "I go to prepare a place for you * ** * because where I am there ye may be also." You will see old Jasper there, and our Saviour shall ask us in, and enjoy the blessings prepared for you from the foundations of the world.

        Oh, Lucifer! how art thou fallen! For many you will expect to see in heaven you will see just as low in hell--just as low as it is possible for them to get. Read 7th chapter of Matthew, 13th and 14th verses.

        Christ will separate the sheep from the goats; and he shall place the goats on the left and the sheep on the right, and declare to those on the left, I never knew you; but to those on his right he will say, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

        Yes, it is a mighty stone; it has been moving eighteen hundred years, and is moving to-day. God grant that it may move through the devil's camp and brake in pieces every grain of sin. For I tell you that stone is deeper than hell, higher than the heavens, broader than the earth--the tried stone, the stone that was cut out of the mountain without hands.

        But Daniel refused to bow down and worship the image, nor did Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-nego. So, when the Chaldeans saw that the Hebrews had not

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bowed and worshiped the idol that the king had set up, they said to the king, O king, live forever! Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that should hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image. And he that falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast in a burning fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom thou hast placed over the affairs of Babylon--Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have not regarded thee; they serve not thy gods, nor do they worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

        Then the king was angry, and in his fury had Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego brought before him, and asked them if the thing was true. Is it a fact that you do not serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? Now, if you will rise up at the time when you shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made it will all be well; but if you don't worship the god that I set up you shall be cast in the midst of a burning fiery furnace, and we shall see who is that God that will deliver you out of my hands. Look in Daniel, 3d chapter and 16th verse, and see the answer. O king, we are not careful to answer

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thee of this matter; and if so it seemeth good to thee to cast us in, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us out of thine hand, O king. So we will not bow, and never will bow to your god--a god made by men's hands.

        And so furious was the king at the words of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, that he commanded the furnace to be heated one seven times more than it was wont to be heated, and commanded the mighty men to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. And so hot were the flames that they slew the men who took the three Hebrews, while Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego fell into the flames and not a hair of their heads was singed, nor was there any hurt on them.

        And when Nebuchadnezzar the king perceived that fact, he was so astonished that he arose in haste, and said to the wise men, Did not we cast three men bound into the fire? And his counsellors said, True, O king. And the king said, Behold, I see four men loose walking through the fire, and the form of the fourth is like unto the Son of God.

        The king calls, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, servants of the most high God, come forth; and when they came forth, their bodies showed no marks of fire, nor their clothing, nor was there any smell of fire on their persons.

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        Then Nebuchadnezzar opened his mouth and blessed the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.

        I tell you every child of God that puts his trust in Jehovah shall always come out of the power of the devil conquerors, more than conquerors; I do not care how they backbite, how they cast out your name as evil, that God who rules the universe will deliver you.

        The Rev. Jasper here deplored the fact that some had classed that kind of faith as foolishness, and had mocked it. But, God bless your soul, heaven is full of it; and, if it is old fogy, God grant, let us have some more old fogy. Let us continue to give glory and honor and power unto our God. The four and twenty elders seated around the throne of God, casting their glittering crowns of gold, as tokens of honor, at His feet. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices, and the seven lamps burning before the throne are the seven spirits of God. And before the throne was the sea of glass, like unto crystal, and round about the throne were the four beasts full of eyes behind and before, and they NEVER cease crying, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who died to take away the sins of the world. And they are now around the throne of God, and are always praising the God of heaven and earth.

        Is that old fogy? The elders and beasts around

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the altar, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty! Is that old fogy? Just look away over into the future; do you see that sea of glass, and the thousands of God's saints that have been bruised and mangled by the fiery darts of the wicked? What is that song which I hear them singing? It is, Redeemed! redeemed! and washed in Jesus' blood!

        Well, if you call this old fogy, Lord, give us some old fogy to-day. Get into the hearts of the men and women to-day, O thou God of battle. Where is the sinner who stands in open rebellion against God? I tell you if there is one person here in this house to-day who has not had the blood of Jesus Christ applied to his heart, he had better ask God for the pardon of his never-dying soul.

        The Rev. Jasper's appeal to the ungodly was truly grand and pathetic.

        Well, Jasper, have you got any religion to give away? I have been begging for forty-five years, Lord, give me more religion, and stand by me in every trying hour.

        Now, if anybody in this house has not this same religion, you had better go back and ask God for the pardon of your sins.

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Dear Sir and Brother:

        It affords me intense pleasure to stand as a mouth-piece for this vast audience, and voicing the sentiments of so many friends, in presenting to you this cane as a seventy-second birthday present. Our prayer is that the Omnipotent God, who has led you through such a long vicissitude of troubles, may continue by his almighty arm to hold you up until He shall say, Sheath your sword and take the crown. And may you, as Jacob of old, whose first years were clouded by troubles, but the last sunset of his life was majestically calm and bright. In the name of your old and young members, and of many friends, I make you this present, which is of no intrinsic value, but is rich in respect, in love, and in gratitude; and may you continue long to adorn the position which you now hold, assigned you by Almighty God.

        Accept our very best wishes for your future health, happiness and prosperity.

To the Congregation:

        We, as Baptists of the city of Richmond, can, with the strictest propriety, look upon Elder Jasper as a father, and, as the Scriptures have said, "Thou shalt

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rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man;" and again it is said, "Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father;" and again it is said, "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor." Especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. Therefore we can regard Elder Jasper as one who, for the last forty-five years, has been laboring in the word and doctrine, and who has not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. And as Joseph said, when made known to his brethren, that "God has sent me here to preserve life, and has made me a father to Pharaoh," so also we regard Elder Jasper as a man standing among us, now venerable for his age and experience in the cause of Christ, and for his fatherly counsels and instructions.

        I asked for ten dollars to buy a present, which was not sufficient to purchase the present selected, and I appealed for five more, and you gave me ten. I thank you for the explicit confidence you placed in me. By God's assistance I shall always pursue the course that will secure your respect and strengthen your confidence.

        The following is the inscription on the cane: "Rev. John Jasper, from his Congregation, on his seventy-second birthday. 1884."

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To the Congregation at Large:

        I need hardly say with what gratitude I accept this splendid gift, a gift which is dearer to me than gold, since it comes from a set of friends whose acquaintance with me makes their endorsement valuable. And as it has been my aim in life for the last forty-five years to do what is right in holding up the flag of the gospel, through God's assistance and by your prayers, I shall ever endeavor to lead souls to Christ, and to maintain the honor of God's Word, and to encourage Christians in their march. And, as it has been said, that the present is of no intrinsic value, I will accept what has been said; and as it comes abounding with your prayers, and with your love and respect and good wishes for my future health, happiness and prosperity. May the God of heaven, whose hands are always open to bestow or take away blessings, smile upon you and at last receive us all around His throne in heaven above, where God is love."

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        What have scientific thought and positive philosophy not wrested from the domain of modern life? The whole material universe has come to be an open page, wherein there is none who may not read almost the very mystery of creation, and spell out the Alpha and Omega of human destiny. Geology has made our world another world than it was to our fathers of past civilization, than it was indeed to the men of our country fifty years ago. It has taught the omnipresence of law in nature, and has helped to the recognition of a similar law in the social and moral law.

        Chemistry has not only given a tremendous impulse to material civilization, and reduced to order and system the confused knowledge of the ancients, but has thrown light upon the most vital processes of vegetative and animal existence. Astronomy has put shame the superb conceit which could fancy this little world the centre of a universe, for the convenience of which all things were created and for the glory of which all is to be sacrificed. The almost utter insignificance of our earth among the myriads of heavenly bodies, to which it is as a grain of sand upon the seashore, makes the human mind realize the littleness of its individual existence, and develops in it some conception

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of the infinitude of space and time. The discoveay of the laws of the indestructibility of matter and the correlation and conservation of physical forces have given a new aspect to speculation, and in some measure reacted upon every domain of thought. The extensive researches of modern scholars into the primitive condition of man are revealing facts which disprove many long-accepted theories, besides establishing data for future discoveries. Comparative philology is not only throwing a light upon disputed questions of ethnology, but is rapidly trenching, as it were, upon religious grounds, bringing to bear evidence which not only explains away the paraphernalia, but what many consider the very essence of religion. The study of comparative religions is forcing upon Europe the unwelcome truth that Christianity is but one, and that the youngest, of the great religions of the world, and that its origin can be explained only in accordance with the laws that explain the rise and growth of its great sister religions. Biblical criticism has already established the impossibility of an infallible book, and places the Hebrew Scriptures along with the historical writings and religious literature of the past.

        Such, then, is the direction which modern thought is taking, and such the aspect to which it is reducing the greatest questions of life. In every case, the tendency has been to return to a simpler and more natural

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explanation of the phenomena of nature, and to explain history and religion without the aid of tradition, and from a purely rational standpoint. The supernatural is repelllent to the modern mind: it cannot tolerate mysticism under any of its forms.

        Slowly, but surely, we are being stripped of our old ideals, and our new ones are yet without form and void. Man's relations to himself, to his fellow man, and to his age, have all been changed. The world is more realistic to-day than ever before. A purely empirical knowledge seems to satisfy every want of man's nature. The necessary and mechanical absorb the interests of the world, and are assuming an ever-growing importance as the years go by. The greatest possible reverence is paid to the practical and material. Fact is everything, theory nothing. We are growing materialistic, critical, precise: our material civilization is not only outstripping, but is entirely overshadowing that truer civilization which should always keep pace with and exist underneath the mere outward forms of civilization. But, amid so much to discourage, we have indeed to be thankful that a tide is setting in against these material tendencies able at once to maintain itself intact, and oppose with vigor the current tendencies of the age. In modern transcendentalism is the power that can gather into itself the whole of empirical knowledge, and yet save the race from that

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empty materialism into which such knowledge would seem to lead it. The great strength of this movement lies in the fact that it neither derives its authority from the past nor ignores the acquisitions of the present. Its standards are raised above the possibility of hostile attack or learned criticism; for it places the intuitive and emotional side of human nature above the mere discursive understanding, and pleads for the religious and spiritual elements. No true man, who looks out to-day upon a horizon dark with clouds and the ground strewn with broken idols, can ever go back to the past for an answer to his questions of doubt, which, amid all its iconoclasm, the present cannot vouchsafe him.

        Wither, then, shall he look to satisfy the religious promptings which for ages have been associated with those ruins? It is here that the man, if he has reached the ultimatum of doubt, lays aside, at last, all intellectual distinctions, and yields himself to the prophetic voice of the future, as it speaks to him in the language of the heart, the one language from which there can be no appeal. In realizing the extremity of doubt and despair, he finds himself on the border-line of a new and brighter hope. It is thus that transcendentalism fulfills its mission. If it be asked in what the transcendentalism of to-day is manifesting itself, we shall answer: Not in the intellectual subtilties of Kant, Fitche, or even Emerson,

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which expresses only its analytic and negative aspect, and not its vital spirit; but in the great artistic creations of the age is the tremendous force which is reacting upon the age ln redeeming it from materialism and bringing it back to a conception of the spiritual and divine. Let us take, for example, the impassioned literature of to-day. In that, the voices of the soul are distinctly heard, and the questions of the heart are answered. All else is analytic, imperfect, dead: that alone is sympathetic and complete, alive with the mystery of vital movement. Every aspiration there finds a voice: every delicate, vague, half-impression sees itself reflected. The true artist becomes the true prophet, the true saviour of men. He makes them feel the warm love of human fellowship, the beating of nature's pulse, and in all things a sense of the divine. We know, then, not because we see and understand, but because we do not understand, because we only feel.

        Here, we have room for the free exercise of our spiritual natures, to which reason alone could give no just cause for being. The religious instinct may bud, blossom, and bear fruit: criticism cannot trench thus far. Here only are we safe. The poetic is a law unto itself, as mysterious as nature's creative force.

        The poetic sentiment in man is one of the ultimate facts of his being, which no other can explain. Its

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authority is final: from it there can be no appeal. It defies analysis, and commands by virtue of being bound up in the mystery of all life, and the Being from whom all life proceeds. The production of a great poem is a mystery to its author. To explain it would be to destroy that element by virtue of which it is a poem. To succeed in defining that in which any art production consists is to destroy the possibility of all art.

        All vital processes are mysterious; and art, if it be vital, can never be formulated in terms of intellect. A statue, a poem, a great musical production, are alike incomprehensible, and would lose all claim to existence if they were not. The indefinite in man is the infinite in him: his vaguest aspiration is, after all, the one thing in the world of whose reality he is most certain.

        More and more, amid the clash of systems and the influx of men, will the poetic and ideal come to take the place of dead idols and broken faiths; more and more, as all religious systems begin to crumble, and every form of change and transformation is going on in the world around, will man look to the great artists of the world for the living embodiment of all that is spiritual in our human life. And it is fitting that it should be thus. Then only will the secular be purely secular, the religious purely religious, and the completest

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development of each of these elements in man's nature unhampered by the laws and conditions of the other.

        The age will always furnish materials; and it is the office of the artist to casl them into living forms, and infuse into them the life-blood of humanity. Them the age may destroy, but the artist will rebuild in ever nobler forms.

        It is the legitimate province of the intellect to search out new facts and reason about them, but only when raised above the discursive understanding into the region of poetry and emotion is the "fact lifted into worship."