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REV. W. A PASSAVA.NT. D D. 



LIFE AND LETTERS 



OF 



W. A. Passavant, D. D. 



BY 



G. H. GERBERDING, D. D., 

Professor of Practical Theology in the Theological 

Seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran 

Church, Chicago, 111. 



AUTHOR OF 



The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church — New Testament 
Conversions — The Lutheran Pastor, Etc. 



FOURTH EDITION. 




THE YOUNG LUTHERAN CO.. 

GREENVILLE, PA. 
'■1906. 



Copyright, IQ06. 

By G, H. Gerberding. 






(?i(^lo^\ 




DEDICATION. 

To the cause of Inner Missions, which is one of the crown- 
ing glories of our Church in other lands, and one of her coming 
glories in this land where she only awaits the proper leader, this 
book is hopefully dedicated by 

Tlie Author. 



" Co LitJe, to Lotje, to Laftor/' 



INTRODUCTION. 

The Life of Dr. Passavant should have been given to the 
Church at least a decade ago. All good biography is history 
in the concrete. In the lives of God's eminent children we have 
most useful and delightful information for the mind, inspira- 
tion for the spirit, braces for our faith, stimuli for our hope 
and most effective incentives for our love. Such lives are lived 
for others. They are not over when those who lived them are 
gone, but being dead they yet speak. The stories of these saints 
are written for our inspiration, for our warning and for our 
comfort. If posterity is to have the benefit of such lives, their 
story must be written. It ought to be written while the memory 
of the heroes is still fresh and the heart still warm towards 
them. Few lives have been so eminently beautiful and attract- 
ive, so useful to others, so many-sided, so helpful to the Church 
and so signally owned of God as the life of Dr. Passavant. 

The Rev. William A. Passavant, junior, the gifted and 
grateful son, had fully intended to write the story of that won- 
derful life. He had made considerable preparation. He was 
selecting and arranging the thousands of letters in hand when 
death came and stopped it all before he had written a page. 

About five years ago the Author of this book was officially 
requested by the Passavant family and by the Institution of 
Protestant Deaconesses to undertake the work. On account of 
pressure of work in and for the Chicago Seminary he hesitated 
and at last after much urging reluctantly undertook the task. 
The Passavants put the accumulated letters of a lifetime and 
files of papers edited by the Doctor together with fragmentary 
journals and other documents at his disposal. As Dr. Passavant 
had preserved all his letters, there was a very formidable mass 
of them. Detmar L. Passavant was specially helpful in gather- 
ing and chronologizing this vast correspondence. 

5 



6 INTRODUCTION. 

The author's difficulty was not in any lack of material, but 
in the selecting of what was most needed for his purpose. 

Dr. Passavant was an editor for fifty years. He wrote on 
almost every conceivable subject. "What wealth of wisdom was 
here! What a tempting rhass of material! Volumes of interest- 
ing, instructive and inspiring reading matter might be culled 
from what was before us. At every point the writer had to re- 
strain himself. Again and again he cut out what had already 
gone into the manuscript. He tried to select and retain only 
what seemed necessary to the understanding of the man and his 
work. What was needed to throw light on his character, his 
spirit, his inner life, his motives, his aims and achievements was 
retained. The man and the life were found a most absorbing 
study. Four summer vacations were spent on the manuscript, 
before it went to the publisher. 

We present to our readers not merely our story of that 
Life. We offer the "Life and Letters," including under letters 
anything that he wrote. We have tried to make it an Auto- 
biography rather than a Biography. As far as possible, we 
have made the Doctor tell his own story. 

Dr. Passavant 's Life covers a most important period of 
American Lutheran Church History. It was a formative period. 
He threw his whole great soul into the life and development of 
that part of his church which God, in His Providence, had 
planted first on our shores. That formative period was of 
necessity a period of searching, sounding and sifting. The old 
Church found herself in a new environment. In how far could 
she adapt herself to the new surroundings, without giving up 
her distinctive character and life? How could she become a 
proper child of her new motherland and do her part in the 
making and conserving of her new home? How could she be- 
come thoroughly American and yet remain thoroughly Lutheran ? 
Should she throw aside all her traditions, all her hallowed asso- 
ciations, repudiate her distinctive faith and life and be content 
to be recognized as one of the many American denominations, 
affiliate with them on grounds of equality and gradually lose her 



INTRODUCTION. 7 

identity ? These were the questions that had to be settled. Able 
and aggressive men took opposing sides. Controversy was in- 
evitable. Dr. Passavant took his full share in the controversy. 
His life could not be written without going over some of these 
old controversies. The writer, being a friend and advocate of 
Lutheran Union on a proper basis, and not a partisan of any 
particular branch or organization in the church, being by na- 
ture a friend of peace rather than of polemics, regrets the neces- 
sity of the controversial statements and references. Facts, 
necessary to the understanding of our church, ought however to 
offend no one. 

The pages of the book will show to how many kind friends 
the Author is indebted for helpful material, assistance and ad- 

» 

vice. He is under special obligation to Mr. D. L. Passavant for 
his counsel in selection of matter, to the Rev. Wm. J. Finck for 
assistance in reading the proof, and to the Rev. J. R. E. Hunt 
for preparing the Index. 

We send forth this book with the prayer that it may move 
young men to consecrate themselves upon the Altar of Christ, 
even as our sainted hero did, and then go forth and serve God 
and humanity even as he served. 

Cottage Rest, 

Grand Junction, Mich. 
August, 1905. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER I. 

m 

THE PASSAVANT FAMILY:— The Burgundians.— "Burg Passa- 
vant. "— Anselm 's History. — Eminent Names and Achievements. 
— Protestant Refugees from Burgundy. — Passavants at Basel. — 
In Distant Eegions.— In Frankfurt.— Jacob Passavant.— Goethe's 
Poem. — Detmar Basse. — His Estate at Zelienople, Pa. — Marriage 
of Ludwig Passavant and Zelia Basse. — Journey to Bassenheim. 
— Pioneer Privations and Trials. — Character of Ludwig Passa- 
vant.— Of Zelia Basse Passavant 17 

CEAPTEB II. 

THE CHILDHOOD OF WILLIAM A. PASSAVANT:— Birth.— In- 
fancy. — Early Training. — Scenic Surroundings. — Their Influence. 
— Fondness for Pets.— His First School.— Mother 's Influence.... 24 

CHAPTEE III. 

AT COLLEGE:— Jefferson College.— Its Standing.— Its Eeligious 
Life. — President Brown. — His Influence on Passavant. — Letters 
Home. — Religious Experience. — Letters from Gottlieb Bassler. — 
Studying German. — Canvassing for Church Papers. — Finding of 
Brobst and Schweigert. — His Mother's Counsels.— His Love of 
Home. — The Burn-Out Miller. — His First Literary Work, a 
Lutheran Almanac. — Sunday-School Teaching on a Log. — Colored 
Sunday-School. — Phrenologist. — Death Detmar. — Out of School. — 
Letters from College. — Back in His Class. — Pioneer Lutheran 
Sunday-School Work. — His College Life Characterized by Class- 
mates , 28 

CHAPTER IV. 

IN THE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY:— Critical Period in Luth- 
eran Church. — Suggestions of Union with Other Denominations. — 
Of Lutheran Union. — Of a General Synod. — Objections. — Organ- 
ized in 1821. — Its Weakness. — Its Laudable Purposes.— Opening 
of Gettysburg Seminary.— Dr. S. S. Schmucker Characterized. — 
Teaching and Influence of Gettysburg. — Passavant 's Journey 
Thither. — Writes His First Impressions to His Mother.— Charac- 
terizes the Preaching of Professors. — Favors Preaching by Stu- 
dents.— Tells of a Great Revival.— Revival Criticized by Parents. 
— Canvasses for Observer. — First Visit to General Synod. — Meets 
AbralTam Reck.— Student Manners. — The Lutheran Almanac Out. 
— Its Contents. — Not the First Lutheran Almanac— Bible Can- 
vass in the Mountains.— Dr. Eyster's Reminiscence.— Christmas 
Donations to Poor.- Lack of Clearness in Lutheran Pulpit.— Vir- 
ginia's Letter.- Offer to become Assistant Editor of Observer. — 
His Mother's Misgivings.— Preaches in Penitentiary. — Dr. Eyster 
on Passavant 's Seminary Life.— Dr. Ziegler's Reminiscence.— Pas- 
savant 's Private Journal.— His Rules for His Daily Life.— His 
Agonizings. — Growing Clearness. — Pleads and Labors for an Eng- 
lish Church in Cincinnati.— Believes in Fasting.— Recounts Five 
Special Sins.— Makes More Rules for Himself 48 



10 TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER V. 

IN BALTIMORE:— First Impressions Concerning Dr. Kurtz.— 
Krauth's Mission at Canton. — Passavant Called.— Luther Chapel. 
—Licensed October 17th, 1842.— His Account to His Mother.— 
His "New Measures. "—Reek's Revival.— Controversy on New 
Measures.— Passavant Visits Fountaindale and Gettysburg.— Is 
Urged to take Observer.— Mother Advises against.— Remains 
Assistant. — His Editorial Work. — Letters Home.— Estimate of 
the "Learned Blacksmith. "—Favorite Books.— Hears Alexander 
Campbell.— A Fruitful Year.— His Mother's Advice on Sermon- 
izing.— Pastoral PLxperiences.— Starts a New Sunday-School.— In- 
fluenced by the Wesleys.— A Letter of Reminiscence and Pastoral 
Counsel.- Preaches to Negroes.— Restlessness.— His Mother's 
Counsel.— News from the Young English Church at Home.— Re- 
signs at Canton.— Weddel's Account of Passavant 's "Work there. 
—Desire to "Collect and Organize. "—His Love for Children.— 
Estimate of the General Synod. — Gossip. — Estimate of a Sensa- 
tional Preacher.— Uses Shovel and Mattock for a Chapel.— Visit 
to Philadelphia. — Finishes His Sunday-School Hymn Book.— Crit- 
icism of the Lutheran Standard. — Visits Lancaster. — Solicits for 
the Historical Society. — Characterizes Dr. Baker. — Visits York. — 
Characterizes Krauth's Preaching.— Lehmanowsky.— Call to Pitts- 
burg.- Perplexed.— Gossip.— Counsel from Home.— Engaged.— De- 
sires to Accept Pittsburg. — Mother against. — Accepts. — Retracts. 
-Second Call 78 

CHAPTER VI. 

BEGINNINGS IN PITTSBURG: -A Visit Home.- The First Church. 
— Pittsburg. — Sketch by Thomas H. Lane. — By Rev. A. H. Waters. 

— First Mention of Rev. Gottlieb Bassler. — JPassavant Missionat- 
ing. — Preaches in the Jail. — Congregational Missions. — His 
Preaching. — McCollough 's Estimate. — Death of Virginia Passa- 
vant.— First Mention of Organizing Pittsburg Synod.— Passa- 
vant 's Part In.— The Rev. J. M. Steck. — Meeting in Pittsburg 
Church. — Organization. — Missionary Spirit. — Educational Work. — 
Constitution.— His Mother on New Measures.- Union Efforts. — 
Foreign Mission Interest. — The Pittsburg Fire.— Marriage.— Mrs, 
Passavant 's Account.- Married Life.— To Go Abroad.— Rev. Mel- 
horn's Letter.- Relief of the Poor.- Missions at Home. — Trip to 
the Furnace. — Other Trips. — Increasing Work. — Correspondence. 
—Failing Health.— Sent Abroad.— Evangelical Alliance 113 

• 

CHAPTER VII. 

ABROAD:— Preparaitiong.—Leave-Taking.— On the Sea.— Halifax.— 
Its Old Lutheran Church. — Results of Passavant 's Investigations. 

— The Evangelical Alliance.— London Sights. — Meets Noted Per- 
sons.— An Epitaph and Tribute to His Wife.— Visits Other Cities. 
Kaiserswerth.—FIiedner.-Duesseldorf.—Elberfcld.— Letter to His 
Congregation.-Paris.— Belgium.— Up the Rhine.— Frankfurt.— 
Religious Life in Germany.— Basel Mission.— Rationalists.— Dea- 
conesses.— Needed in Pittsburg. — Admonitions. — Pestolozzi. — Hen- 
rietta Passavant.— Bunsen.—Cappel.— Stanley. — Impressions and 
Lessons from Evangelical Alliance.— Maternal Counsels.— What 
the Alliance Accomplished.— Its Weakness.— Estimate of Kurtz, 

the Church Historian , 141 

CHAPTER VIII. 

HOME AGAIN:— Welcomed.— Receptions.— Sorrow in the Home.— 
At Work again.— DiflBculties.-Loose Lutheranism. — Wyneken. — 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 11 

Reynolds.— Dr. Lane.— Krauth.— B. M. Schmncker. — Seiss.— Spiel- 
man.— Lehman.— Morris. — The General Synod. — Reynold's Ad- 
vice. — Morns. — Reuben Weiser. — A Retrospect. — Called to New 
York. — Advice from Mother. — Recalls. — The Jewish Orphan House 
in London. — Its Influence. — Fliedner 's Work. — Influence on Pas- 
savant. — His Account of the Restoration of the Deaconess Office. 
— To Bring Deaconesses to Pittsburg. — Plea for American Can- 
didates. — A Later Account of Kaiserswerth. — Extract from Ser- 
mon. — Opens House for Deaconess Hospital. — Cautioned by 
Mother.— Opening of First Protestant Hospital. — The First Pa- 
tients and Nurses. — Trials.— Exciting Experiences. — Removal. — 
Purchase of Site. — Arrival of Fliedner. — Consecration Service. — 
Summary of Two Years' Work.— Organization and Principles of 
the Institution of Protestant Deaconesses. — Death and Burial of 
Father Steck 162 

CHAPTER IX. 

WORK FOR SCANDINAVIANS AND GERMANS : —The EvangeU- 
cal Review.— Opposed by theO&server.— Need of a New Church 
Paper. — Passavant Starts the Missionary. — Its Standpoint and 
Purpose.— Contents and Tone of Early Volumes.— Criticisms.— 
Weddell. — Commendations. — Krauth. — Reynolds. — Jacobs. 
— Observer.— Standard.— Editorial Life. — Interest in West.— In 
the Germans.— In the Scandinavians. — Swedes on the Delaware. — 
Norwegians. — Rev. Diedrichsen. — Clausen. — His Ordination. 

' —Sanctioned by the Theological Faculty of Christiania. — Preuss 
and Stub Arrive.- Ellmg Eilsen.—Proselyters.— Passavant 's In- 
terest.— Testimony of Norelius.— Lars P. Esbjorn.— The Franck- 
eans.— Passavant Solicits Literature and Money for Esb,]orn. — 
First Trip West.— Letter to Mother.— Paul Anderson.— In Chi- 
cago — Unonius the Episcopalian.— Passavant Exposes Him.— Ap- 
peals to Eastern Lutherans for Help. — Shows What Ought to be 
Done. — Jenny Lind is Deceived by the Fpiscopalians. — Their ^ 
Schemes Thwarted by Passavant. — Esbjorn and Norwegians 
Aided. — Welcomes and Assists Hasselquist. — Ole Bull. — Renegailes 
and Def amers 194 

CHAPTER X. 

ORPHAN WORK:— Multiplied Labors.-Counsels.— Material Aid.— 
Selects Right Helpers.— Beginnings of Orphan Work.— Incidents. 
— Removal to Zehenople. — Bassler becomes Director. — Erection of 
Main Building. — Prayers with the Workmen. — Basic Principles. — 
The Rev. G. C. Holls.— The Rev. H. Reck.— The Germantown 
Home.^-Opposition. — Fire m Pittsburg. — Fire in Farm School. — 
Check from Ladies' Seminary. — Expenses of Orphans.— State Aid. 
— Fruits of Orphan Work. — Missions of the Pittsburg Church. — 
First American Deaconess. — Events in Passavant 's Church. — His 
Daily Schedule. — Home Life. — Christmas in Hospital. — At Home. 
— In Church. — Deliverances. — A New Deaconess. — Plans a Home 
for Colored Girls.— Helps Student Norelius.— Trip to Gettysburg, 
—To Baltimore.— Death of Mr. Passavant 's Father.— Deaconess 
Work.— Visit to Canada. — Organizes First Conference There. — 
Plea for More Institutions of Mercy.— Visit to New York and 
Philadelphia.— A Touching Case of Charity.— Cholera in Pitts- 
burg.— Work of Hospital.— Support.— Tribute to the Deaconesses. 
— A Morning among the Sick.— Attack on Lutheran Church. — 
Passavant 's Defense.— Criticism by Parishioners. — Defense. — Dif- 
ficulties in Work.— Fluctuating Population.— Isolation of Congre- 
gation.— Debt.— Progress.— Cause for Thankfulness 221 



12 TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XL 

LIFE AND "WORK IN PITTSBURG: — The First Church a Fruitful 
Mother. — The Bimiiiigham Church.— The Rev. H. Reck.— The Al- 
legheny Church.— Manchester Church.— East Liberty Mission.— 
Church at Chartiers Creek.— Sunday-Schools at Bayardstown and 
Lawrenceville.— Early Events in First Church.— The First Amer- 
ican Deaconess.— Home Life.— Bereavement.— Charles Porterfield 
Krauth.— Christmas in Hospital, Church and Home.— Compassion 
for Colored People.— Plea for Canada and Texas.— Trip to Gettys- 
burg and Baltimore.— Death of Philip Louis Passavant.— Sidney 
Passavant.— Deaconesses Marry.— Deaconess Work.— Trip to Can- 
ada.— Plea for More Institutions of Mercy.— New York and Phil- 
adelphia.— Mercy to Orphans.— Work of the Infirmary.— Cholera. 

— Support of the Infirmary. — Manifold Activities. — Further In- 
firmary Work.— Defence of Lutheran Church.— Her Achievements. 

— Tenth Anniversary Sermon 249 

CHAPTER XII. 

RESIGNS FIRST CHURCH: — Multiplied Labors. — Gathers and 
Builds Churches. — Growing Labors. — Thinks of Resigning. — His 
Mother's Protest. — Answers. — Begging Sermons. — Secular and 
Spiritual. — His Mother Reconciled. — Resigns the First Church. — 
Resolutions. — New Mode of Life. — Missionary President. — Builds 
Church and Congregation in Rochester, Pa. — How Supported. — 
Receives D. D. — Rescues Germantown Orphanage. — Missionates in 
Baden. — Logstown. — Crow's Run. — Rehoboth. — An Earnest Plea 
for Such Missions at Home. — Tells the Story of these Churches. 
— Account of Rev. H. Peters. — Reminiscence of the Writer. — Pas- 
savant on Pastoral Visiting. — On Being Rightly Called. — 
' ' Blessed are They Who Stick. ' '—A Donation 280 

CHAPTER XIII. 

WAR, VIEWS, AND WORK:— Disturbance and Distress.— Troubles 
in the Church. — Tendency of Lutheranism. — Lincoln Elected. — Ex- 
citement. — Editorials on Our Comfort, Our Duty, Our City. — De- 
moralization of War. — The Times. — Nurses for the Army. — Doro- 
thy Dix. — Passavant Goes to Washington with Deaconesses. — 
Their Work.- Colonel Ellsworth.— Letter to Mother.— Public Trib- 
ute to the Sisters. — Passavant Elected President of His Synod. 
—Called to be Army Chaplain. — Works among Soldiers with 
Sisters. — The Inevitable Negro. — Teaching Him the Testament. 
— Preaching and Evangelizing among the Soldiers.— Letters from 
the Sisters.— From ^liss pix.— Description of an Improvised Hos- 
pital. — Rescues Southern Orphans. — Efforts for Prisoners.— Gen- 
eral Interest in War.— Assassination of Lincoln 301 

CHAPTER XIV. 

STORM AND STRESS IN THE CHURCH: -Dangers from Doc- 
trinal Laxity. — Examining the Foundations. — Witnesses for 
Sound Lutheranism.— Radical Opposition. — The Observer.- Defi- 
nite Platform. — Its Defenders.— Passavant 's Criticism. — Proposed 
New Paper.— r/ie TVeclly .limtOTiari/.— Explains It to His Mother. 
—Contents of First Volume.— Principles and Purpose.— Pitts- 
burg Synod on Platform.— Passavant Explains His Change of 
Views to His ^fother.- Influence of Loose Views on the Ministry. 

— Proposal to Merge the Lutheran with the Missionary.— Writes 
His Mother.- Her Criticism.— Two Parties in General Synod.— 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 13 

Editorials On.— Good Wishes for the York Convention.— Adverse 
to Division.— Favors Philadelphia Seminary.— Preaches to Grad- 
uates.— Commended.— Extract from 326 

CE AFTER XV. 

WORK AND INFLUENCE AMONG THE SCANDINAVIANS: — 

Church Must Occupy Cities. — Rev. Erland Carlsen. — His Labors in 
Chicago.— The First Norwegian Church.— The Rev 0. J. Hatlestad. 
— Passavant Warns Norwegians. — Advocates Their Union with 
General Council.— Influence in Norwegian Augustana Synod. — 
Lutherans in Minnesota. — Visits Them. — Writes Norelius. — Father 
Heyer.— Norelius for English.— English Needed in Milwaukee. — 
Assists in Erie and Fort Wayne. — Visits Canada. — Counsels 
Norelius.— Organizing of Augustana Synod. — Esbjorn Returns to 
Sweden.— The Indian Massacre.— Aid Sent.— Fears for Paxton 
Seminary Scheme. — Advice on Swedish Orphans' Homes. — On Col- 
onies.— Dangers.— Secures Land for Gustavus Adolphus College. 
— Visits Augustana Synod.— The Starter of Synod of North- 
west.— Exposes Proselyters.- The Right Spirit.— Interest in the 
Icelanders. — On Notoriety Seekers 354 

CHAPTER XVI. 

THE FOUNDING OF MILWAUKEE HOSPITAL:— Pastor Muehl- 
haeuser. — His Plea for a Hospital. — Passavant 's Story of Its Be- 
ginnings.— Selecting the Site. — Wonderful Deliverance.— Opening 
Service.— Collecting Funds.— Mercy Work.— Sister Barbara.— Wil- 
liam Huth, Sr. — William Huth, Jr.— His Reminiscence of Dr. 
Passavant.— A Reminiscence of the Author.— Dr. Passavant En- 
courages Bassler. — Death of Pastor Muehlhaeuser. — A Newsy Let- 
ter. — Sends Young Muehlhaeuser to Philadelphia Seminary. — Op- 
position to Milwaukee Hospital.— The New Building.— Plea for 
Support.- Unfinished Building Fired.— Faith and Courage.— An- 
other Plea. — Opening of New Building. — Feast Spread for La- 
borers.— Sister Martha.— Letters to Her— Sister Mary.— Dr. Pas- 
savant's Thoughtful Solicitude for Sisters. — His Christmas Bene- 
factions. — Interest in Patients. — Remarkable Deliverances. — Trib- 
ute to Deaconesses. — The Doctor a Patient 389 

CHAPTER XVII. 

THE CHICAGO HOSPITAL. — BASSLER 'S DEATH. - PASSA- 
VANT 'S FAME:— Passavant 's Trouble with Incompetent Help. 
— With Incorrigible Orphans. — Ungrateful Patients.— Milwau- 
kee's Success. — An Unenjoyed Vacation. — Chicago's Need of a 
Hospital. — Story of Its Inception.— Toils and Triumphs.— The 
First Patients. — Opening Service.— Character of Patients.— Sister 
Isabella's Story.— The First Board of Visitors. — Munificent Gifts 
Offered.— Swept Away by Fire.— Doctor Passavant 's Indomitable 
Faith.— Fourteen Years of Waiting.— Help from Relief Commit- 
tee.— Purchase of Two Sites.— Rescues Church of Mercy. — Story 
of Its Beginnings. — Writes Bassler of Hospital.— Acknowledges 
and Retreats.— Hasty Words.— Bassler 's Illness.— Passavant 's So- 
licitous Care.— Last Days of Bassler.— Passavant 's Tribute. — 
Mother Passavant 's Blindness.— He Comforts Her 416 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

FORMATION OF GENERAL COUNCIL: -Relation of Pennsylvania 
to General Synod.— Withdrawal at York.— Reappearance at Fort 
Wayne.— Ruled Out.— Passavant 's Speeches.— Disruption.— Bitter 



14 TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

Controversy.— Passavant Defended.— Faults on Botk Sides.— Pas- 
savant's Faults.— Still Great.— Influence in Beading Convention. 
—Irony. — Righteous Indignation.— Pretenders to Superior Spirit- 
uality.— The First Church, Pittsburg.— A Bitter Letter.— Spicy 
Irony from Dr. Morris.— Church Trial at Kittanning.— Sorrow at 
Home.— Defection of Ziegenfuss.— General Council Blamed for 
Leading to High Church.— Episcopacy.— The Defense.— List of 
Apostates from the General Synod.— Opinion of Kelle 443 

CHAPTER XIX. 

ORPHAN WORK.-ROCHESTER, ZELIENOPLE, WARTBURG:- 
Removal of Orphan Girls to Rochester.— Dedication.— Location.— 
Consecration of Three Deaconesses.- Passavant 's Sermon.— Plea 
for More Deaconesses.— To Zelienople,— Corner-stone Laid.— Pas- 
savant's Poem.— In New York. — Sees Need of Orphanage.— Se- 
cures Donations.— Perplexed as to Assuming the Work.— Secures 
More Subscriptions. — Tells Mother of Third Trip to New York.— 
Raises More Money and Buys Wartburg Farm.— Opposition from 
Liberal Lutherans.— Frustrate Securing of Charter.— Encourage- 
ment from Dr. Schaflf.— Holls Called to the Wartburg.— Scarcity 
of Orphans. — Corner-stone Laid.— Muhlenberg 's Hymn.— Charter 
Settled.— Brook Farm Colony.— Passavant Helps to Purchase 
Farm for Orphans.— Death of Rector Holls.— Passavant 's Trib- 
ute 463 

CHAFTEE XX. 

MERCY WORK IN JACKSONVILLE.-FOR EPILEPTICS.-FOR 
IMMIGRANTS: — Offer of Jacksonville Property. — Refusal. — 
Pressed on Him.— Accepted.— Orphans Taken Out by Reck.— Pas- 
savant Craves His Mother's Blessing on Enterprise.— Donor Dis- 
satisfied with Orphanage.— Gets Back Property by Lawsuit.— 
Gives It Back for a Hospital.— Its Humble Beginnings. — Its 
Blessed Work.— Passavant 's Review of Julia Sutter's "Colony 
of Mercy. "—Purpose to Open a Similar One.— Carried Out by 
His Son.— Rev. William Berkemeier.— His and Passavant 's Inter- 
est in the Immigrant.— Story of the Founding of the Emigrant 
House. — Passavant 's Assistance and Lifelong Interest. — Three 
Published Letters 483 

CHAPTER XXI. 

THIEL COLLEGE. -COLLEGE LIFE.-HOSPITALITY: -Louis 
Thiel. — Professor Copp.— H. E. Jacobs.— Reminiscences of Thiel 
Hall.— Passavant 's Tribute to Jacobs.— Willie 's Confirmation. — 
Thiel Hall becomes Thiel College. — First Corner-stone Laid in 
Greenville. — Passavant 's Address. — Letters to William at College. 
— On College Fraternities. — Wants William to become His Helper. 
— Letters to His Own College Mate, Rev. Hugh Brown. — Editorial 
on Higher Education.— Death of Mother Passavant.— The Passa- 
vant Mountain Home.— Its Hospitality.— A Word for Decorah Col- 
lege 501 

CHAPTER XXII. 

TRIBUTE TO DR. KRAUTH.— LETTERS.— JOURNEYINGS.— RE- 
FLECTIONS AND DELIVERANCES:— Tribute to Dr. Krauth. 
— On the Luther League.— Letters to Berkemeier.— Tribute to 
Doctor Greenwold. — Letter to William in Leipzig. —Tribute to 
Doctor Walther.— Daniel Payne. — Letter from. — Appeals to 
Schack for Freedmen.— Hasselquist 's Interest.— To Pacific Coast. 
—Stops at Fargo.— Other Stops and Plans for Churches and In- 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 15 

stitutions.— Tells Doctor Morris.— A Weakness in Passavant. — 
Writes of Deaconess Work for Iowa Synod. — Newsy Letters to 
Morris.— Reflections on Many Subjects.— Tribute to Schweigert. 
— Wonderful Deliverances 524 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

THE EDITOR.— CHICAGO SEMINARY.-THE MINISTRY: — 
Need of New Church Paper. — Starting of the Workmmi. — Lts Mis- 
sion and Influence. — Its Transfer to William. — The Doctor Re- 
assumes It. — Plans for Chicago Seminary. — Preaches Sermon to 
General Council. — Krauth's Resolutions. — Jacobs Elected Profes- 
sor. — Passavant 's Editorials on Seminary. — Organization of 
Board. — First Professors.- Opening. — Three Years Later. — Passa- 
vant 's Last Commencement. — Next to Last Editorial. — Spirit and 
Purpose of Seminary. — On an Increased Ministry. — Kind of Boys 
Wanted.— Exposure of Impostors 551 

CHAPTEB XXIV. 

THE LAST WEEK. — DEATH. — BURIAL. — CONDOLENCES. — 
CHARACTER SKETCH:- The Last Chapter.- The Wonderful 
Last Week.— Last Works and Words. — The Last Editorial. — 
William's Story of Last Illness.— Death. — Funeral. — The Grave. 
— Condolences. — Character Sketch.— Secret of Power 575 

CHAFTEB XXV. 

THE PASSAVANT INSTITUTIONS:— Rev. W. A. Passavant, Jr.— 
Preparation for His Father's Work.— Becomes Director. — Con- 
solidates Orphan Homes. — Spirit and Regime. — Mr. and Mrs, 
Kribbs.— Changes.— A Deaconess Station.— Other Orphanages 
Out of Passavant 's. — An Old People's Home. — The Epileptic 
Home.— Passavant 's Helpers.— Mrs. Thaw.— History of Homes. 
— Milwaukee Hospital. — Improvements Within. — Without. — 
Doctor Frick.— Doctor Ohl. — What He Accomplished. — Passavant 
as Rector. — The Motherhouse. — Rev. H. L. Fritschel.— Sister Cath- 
arine.— Pittsburg Hospital.— Place for a Memorial.- Fifty Years. 
—Fifty Thousand Dollars. — The New Wing.— Doctor H. W. Roth, 
— Sister Katharine Foerster. — Miss Sarah Shaffer. — Her Sister- 
house. — Chicago Hospital. — Passavant 's Disappointment. — Mrs. 
Waters. — Improvements. —Jacksonville. — Sister Caroline. — Mission 
of the Hospital.— The Chicago Seminary.— Spirit.— Work.— Men. 
— Achievements. — Future 589 




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Cl)e Jlife of Wi. Z. ^aesaUnt 



CHAPTER I. 

THE PASSAVANT FAMILY. 

"When we study the life and achievements of one of God's 
eminent men, we always are interested in his antecedents and 
lineage. This is especially true of one of whom it has been 
well said: ''Of such men, God gives us only one in a century." 

In the ancient dukedom of Burgundy of France lies the old 
city of Luxeuil or Luxon. The original Burgundians were 
Germans, who from the banks of the Oder and the Vistula had 
extended themselves to the Rhine and Neckar and in the year 
406 had penetrated into Eoman Gaul. In after ages, the do- 
mains of Burgundy, were incorporated with France. 

About fifteen or twenty miles from Luxeuil lies the lonely 
little town, "La Cote Passavant," overlooked by the ancient 
castle, "Burg Passavant." ^ 

Only the ruins of the ancient fastness remain. Conspicu- 
ous among them stands the old round tower about sixty feet 
high built of massive hewn stone. This Burg was the seat of 
the Seigneurs de Passavant, a line out of the ancient generation 
of the De la Haya which appears as early as the tenth century. 
The oldest account of this family which we have is found in 
Anselm's General History and Chronology of France (Paris 
1712). The De la Haya family divided into six lines of which 
La Haya Passavant is the fourth. This is the oldest and best 
known of the Passavant families in French history. 

Johann David Passavant von Passenburg, the eminent 
French art critic and connoisseur, has gathered a chronological 
register of this line reaching from 1200 A. D. to 1679. The 



^ There are at least three other Passavant castles in France, viz. 
a little town and fortress in Angou nine miles from Montreuil Bel- 
lay; a second in the province of Champagne, six miles south of Clermont, 
and a third in the canton De Beaune, eighteen miles northwest of Mont 
Beliard. It has not been definitely ascertained whether the Passavants 
of these different castles all came from the same family. The line of the 
Passavants with whom we are concerned can, however, be traced to 
the ancestral seat in Luxeuil in Burgundy. 



18 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

register was improved and enlarged by inspector Johann David 
Passavant. - 

In this remarkable register, we meet the names of men and 
women who were eminent in church and state, in literature and 
science, in bravery and benevolence. Among others, one Jean 
de Passavant is mentioned by Kurt Sprengel in "Versuch einer 
pragmatischen Geschichte der Heilkunde," as Dean of the Med- 
ical Faculty of Halle about 1295. 

Jacopo Passavant who lived in Florence became a very 
learned man, an organizer and Prior of a number of Cloisters 
and Bishop of Monte Cassino. A relief figure may still be seen 
in the Monastery of St. Mary's in Florence where he is buried. 
Among other learned works, he wrote a devotional book, "Lo 
Speechio della vera Penitenzia," "The Mirror of true Repent- 
ance," which ranks with Thomas a Kempis', "Imitation of 
Christ." A zealous champion of Romanism, Louis de Passa- 
vant, in 1528, wrote a book against Johann Agricola which 
Luther noticed and called "a cunning, wicked and poisonous 
book." 

It seems that most of the other Passavants felt themselves 
drawn towards the new teaching emanating from "Wittenberg. 
At any rate, we find that in the persecutions of the French 
Protestants preceding and following the revocation of the Edict 
of Nantes in 1598, a number of the refugees left Burgundy and 
became exiles for their faith. In an old chronicle of the refu- 
gees, M^e read: "Among these refugees from Eastern France, 
the Passavant family was prominent. In 1595, Nicholas Passa- 
vant came to Basel with his wife and one child, from Luxeuil 

in the Vosges He soon identified himself with the silk 

industry and lace-making." This Nicholas Passavant seems 
to have been a grandson of the preceding Louis Passavant, 
the ardent Catholic. Of the Passavants who came to Basel from 
Luxeuil, it is written that they were scrupulously careful to have 
their children marry only into families of noble ancestry and 
high standing. How jealous they were of the Protestant faith 
is showTi by the following incident: The Passavants that re- 
mained in France and in the Catholic faith saw that their name 
was in danger of becoming extinct. To prevent this, they wrote 
to I^'rankfurt and begged to have two Passavant youths sent 



" See pages nine to eleven "Johann David Passavant," Ein Le- 
bensbild von Dr. Adolph Cornill, Frankfurt am Main, Verein fuer Ge- 



schichte und Alterthumskunde, 1864. 



THE PA8SAVANT FAMILY. 19 

over to be trained in the ancient traditions and faith and to 
propagate the Passavant name. This request was never an- 
swered, but was burned leaf it might become a temptation to 
some young man. 

From Basel, the family spread into many distant regions. 
Descendants of Nicholas found their way to London, to Mo- 
rocco in Africa, and to Tranquebar in India. Johann Ulrich 
visited the four continents; another became a missionary in 
Surinam. Fanny Passavant gave herself, her means and her 
life, to the care of the sick and poor. 

Rudolph Emanuel, grandson of Nicholas Passavant of 
Basel settled in Frankfurt, became a rich merchant a,nd a pil- 
lar in the Reformed Church. He was the progenitor of the 
Frankfurt line and died in 1718. His son Rudolph followed 
in his steps. A valuable coin worth sixteen ducats was made 
by the City of Frankfurt in honor of his golden wedding in 
17.59. His son, Johannes, in the same year had the order of 
nobility conferred on him by the Emperor Francis I. Through 
his son, Peter Frederick, his grandson Christian and the lat- 
ter 's son, Philip Theodore, the line was kept up. 

A step-brother of Rudolph, the son of Rudolph Emanuel, 
named Jacob, was the head of another line. He was very suc- 
cessful as a merchant, became wealthy, and was the father of 
twelve children by his wife IMargaret, nee Ziegler, with whom 
and his descendants he celebrated his golden wedding in 1758. 
For this occasion the City also had made a suitable gold coin. 
Johann Ludwig, the son of Jacob, married the beautiful and 
high-born Maria Koch. 

Of their five sons, we are especially interested in Jacob who 
'carried forward his father's large business and in 1744 married 
Susanna Fredericke Philippine Schuebler of Mannheim. His 
brother Ludwig, then a student of theology, was an intimate 
friend of the poet Goethe and had him write a poem in honor 
of Jacob's marriage, entitled "Dem Passavant und Schuebler- 
ischen Brautpaare die Geschwister des Bnmitigams. ' ' ^ 

Philip Ludwig, the eldest son of Jacob was born in 1777, 
was brought up in his father's business and also became a suc- 



3 See the poem in "Johann David Passavant," Ein Lebensbild, 
from Dr. Adolph Cornill, pp. 26 and 27. The poem was not finished in 
time for the wedding, but was presented after marriage and read at 
the golden wedding in 1824, together with the congratulations of 
Goethe. 



20 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

cessfiil merchant. He was attracted by the beautiful, accom- 
plished and amiable Zelia Basse, born Nov. 20, 1786. * 

Her father, Detmar Ba.sse, an only son, was a man of 
wealth and s'ood taste. He had held several positions of trust 
in his own country. During the Napoleonic wars, he had been 
sent as an ambassador from Frankfurt to Paris where he re- 
mained for ten yearc and where his Avifc died in 1800. In the 
year 1802, possibly drawn by a desire for adventure, he came 
to America. Exploring the land west of Pittsburg he was at- 
tracted by the beautiful and fertile Connoquenessing Valley. 
Here he purchased 10,000 acres from the government, in Butler 
and Beaver Counties: and on the pleasantly-located south side 
of the stream, on an elevated plateau of wide extent., this cult- 
ured and scholarly German determined to found a town and a 
Bassenlieim. To the prospective town he gave the name of 
Zelienople in honor of his daughter Zelia. The place is indeed 
beautiful for situation. To the northward the wide Conno- 
quenessing extends its course around wooded hills whose grace- 
fully arching summits are a pleasant contrast to the level 
valleys. 

In 1806 Mr. Basse returned to Germany, On his arrival 
there Philip Passavant asked him for the hand of his daughter 
Zelia. The father was at first averse to the union but after- 
wards consented, on condition that the young couple go back 
with him to America and permanently reside on the Bassenheim 
estate at Zelienople. To thir they consented and in 1807 they 
accompanied the father to their nevv^ wilderness home. They 
sailed from Amsterdam on the Frederick Augustus and landed 
in Philadelphia, September fifteenth, one thousand eight hun- 
red and seven. 

Here father Basse had built a large three story frame 
house and christened it the "Bassenheim." It was built in 
imitation of a German castle, the main portion being three 
stories high. There were two porches in front, one above the 
other, with two bow windows. The front door was reached by 
a long flight of steps. The house had two wings, each two 
stories high. The roof of the main part was flat and sor- 
rounded by a railing. There were many out-buildings of var- 



* Her baptismal name was Freclerice Wilhelmina. It was changed 
to Zelia on account of a little story which she wrote when a child, 
in which the principal character was named Zelia. Her parents were 
so much pleased that they began to call her Zelia and continued it. 



THE PA88AVANT FAMILY. 21 

ious and curious shapes. The whole villa lying half hid by the 
large trees made a strange and romantic impression. Mr. 
Basse had laid out a road from Bassenheim through the woods 
to the village. This antique and interesting house, a landmark 
for the regions round about, was destroyed by fire in 1842. 

As Mr. Basse had a knowledge of the use of simple drugs, 
he often prescribed for the ailments of his neighbors and was 
familiarly called Dr. Basse. As he built and operated the first 
grist and saw mill, he was also called Dr. Miller. He brought 
the first merino sheep to Western Pennsylvania. People came 
from the eastern states to purchase them at enormous prices. Mr. 
Basse also built and operated the first furnace in these parts, 
called the Bassenheim furnace, in which pigiron was manu- 
factured and pots, kettles and flatirons were cast. 

Mr. Basse was noted for his fine appearance and attractive 
manners. He finally returned to Germany in 1818 and died 
June 19th, 1836, in Mannheim where he was also buried. Could 
the story of his life in America be written, it doubtleSs would 
be romantic and interesting. 

We return now to Philip Louis (Ludwig) Passavant. Mr. 
Basse had consented to let him have his daughter Zelia on con- 
dition that the young couple would return with him to America 
and occupy and manage the Bassenheim estate. 

After a hard and tempestuous voyage of nearly four 
months, they arrived in Burlington, New Jersey, where they 
were hospitably entertained in the family of a Mr. Wallace. 
Here a warm friendship sprang up between the young Mrs. 
Passavant and Miss Eliza Wallace. In a letter to Miss Wallace 
of Jan. 8, 1808, Mrs. Passavant describes the hardships of the 
five weeks overland journey by wagon from Burlington to 
Zelienople; also her impressions of the lonely settlement, the 
unfinished buildings of Bassenheim, the primitive mode of liv- 
ing — so devoid of the comforts and luxuries to which she had 
been accustomed all her life. On the first morning after their 
arrival, they found their bed covered with snow. She had been 
accustomed to have all the servants she needed. Here she had 
to bake her own bread and make her own clothes. In her lone- 
liness, and isolation from kindred spirits, ^he shed many bitter 
tears in secret. Before her brave husband she kept up a cheer- 
ful appearance and encouraged him in his pioneer work of 
finishing the house and mill and other buildings. To Miss Wallace, 
Mrs. Passavant also writes feelingly of her loneliness on account 



22 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

of the lack of the kind of society in which she had always moved. 
Pier confidential and loving correspondence with Eliza Wallace 
was kept up for ten years. It gives a deep insight into the 
heart, character and life of this noble and gifted woman. It 
shows iher devotion and helpfulness to her manly, energetic, 
thrifty and pious husband. It brings out her loving care and 
scrupulous training of her children and her wholesome in- 
fluence over all with whom she came in contact. In the midst 
of her cares and privations, she kept herself well informed 
and took a deep interest in the stirring events in her Father- 
land. 

For a time she kept a weekly journal concerning the con- 
duct and behavior of her children. This it seems she would 
read to the children on Sundays. It is full of the most mother- 
ly solicitude for the developing character and tendencies of 
each child. Most earnestly and affectionately does she warn, 
counsel, admonish, entreat and encourage her dear children. 
She speaSs of their forgetfulness, thoughtlessness, unkindness 
toward each other and occasional disobedience to herself. She 
reminds them of their advantages, of her pains and privations 
in their behalf and of her heart's desire that they might learn 
early to curb the evil propensities, to cultivate the good and 
to grow up into such men and women as she would have them. 
She speaks of her reading to them from the New Testament 
and of teaching them the hymns which she loved, and regretted 
their lack of interest in these things. She was a true mother in 
Israel, a follower of Hannah and Elizabeth and Mary and Eunice. 
No wonder that her praise was in the gates and that all her child- 
ren rose up afterwards and called her blessed. 

Philip Louis Passavant was for years the most influential 
citizen of Zelienople. He was the first merchant in the place. 
Bringing some goods with him in 1807, he built a store and con- 
tinued it until 1848 when he sold it to his son C. S. Passavant 
whose son until a few years since continued the Passavant 
store. Philip Passavant gave the land for the German Evan- 
gelical Lutheran Church, called the Stone Church, which was 
the first church built in Zelienople and which is still used by 
the congregation. It was built in 1826. Before this the congre- 
gation which was organized in 1821, had met in the town hall 
or school house. Mr. Passavant gave the stone and furnished 
much of the labor. He was one of the first trustees and con- 
tinued all his life one of the most active workers and the most 



THE PASSAVANT FAMILY. 23 

liberal supporter. The Rev. Mr. Schweitzerbarth was tbe first 
pastor and remained for thirty years. Mr. Passavant acted as 
agent for the disposal of the land of the Basse estate. He 
bought for himself the tract on which the town now stands. 
He died in Zelienople in 1853 and was buried in the church- 
yard which he had presented to the Lutheran Church . He and 
his good wife are held in grateful remembrance for their simple 
and unaffected piety, their kindness and charity to the poor, 
and their constant efforts for the culture and improvement of 
the community. The Rev. Dr. Passavant, the subject of this 
biography, always maintained that the divine favors vouch- 
safed to him were largely due to the blessing of God for the 
piety and goodness of his parents which God remembers and 
covenants to children and to children's children. 



24 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT, 



CHAPTER II. 

THE CHILDHOOD OF WILLIAM A. PASSAVANT.— 
HIS MOTHER'S INFLUENCE. 

Oct. 9, 1821, William Alfred Passavant was born, in the 
Bassenheim home. He was the third son born in the house. The 
oldest, Detmar Philip, was born in 1813, and the second, Sid- 
ney, in 1816. 

Of William's boyhood we know little. That he was lively, 
from the beginning is evident from the scrap of a letter writ- 
ten by his mother to her oldest son Detmar, in June, 1824: 

"Little William of whom you beg me to tell you is making 
such a noise about me that it is hard to write a sensible word. 
He has brought the tin watering-pot upstairs on which he is 
striking with a stick to imitate the sound of his favorite in- 
strument, the drum. He has been gratified with two promo- 
tions since you left. The first is a seat at table in the dining- 
room: the second, to wear pantaloons on a Sunday. When he 
is dressed in them, and walks about with his broad-brimmed 
straw hat, lined with green, he looks too sweet, and, I believe 
thinks himself a complete gentleman. At table, he behaves 
likewise much better than I expected and his dear little prattle 
amply compensates for the unavoidable trouble he gives. In- 
deed, when nobody teases him, he is one of the best as he is at 
all times one of the most engaging of children. How cruel, how 
sinful, would it be to spoil his temper by constant and unneces- 
sary irritation, and yet do I know persons who pretend to love 
him and cannot be deterred from following this injudicious line 
of conduct whenever they have an opportunity." 

A month later she wrote: "Dear little Will is still the best 
of boys when he is alone with me. His prattle is so affectionate 
and engaging that it is impossible not to be delighted with him, 
but where he believes himself less constrained, he shows a very 
passionate and imperious disposition and one of the most dar- 
ing boldness. The little creature is afraid of nothing. Yester- 
day evening he made his escape unperceived through the store 
into the street and walking up to Mr. Beltzhoover's large horse 
he seized it by the tail! It is a wonder to me, and an evident 




ZELIE BASSE PASSAVANT 




Pi-IILLIPPE LOUIS PASSAVANT 



CHILDHOOD OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 25 

truth that children have their guardian angel watching over 
them, that he was not dashed to pieces. Every day he is ex- 
posing himself to danger in some shape or other by his extreme 
fearlessness. ' ' 

Again four months after this, she writes: ''Willie, whom 
I asked just now what I should write to his 'Detta,' wishes to 
tell you 'that he is a good boy' — which, however you ought not 
to believe too implicitly. When he is good, he is indeed most 
engagingly so, but there is many a storm and shower produced 
by the quickness of his passions, which will require constant 
attention- and firmness to curb and control." 

These are all the notices of the boy that we have from her 
pen. As we shall find as we proceed with our story, Mrs. Passa- 
vant was an unusually gifted and interesting letter writer . If 
we could have access to the letters she wrote during William's 
childhood, we should doubtless have a vivid and satisfactory 
account of that promising child. 

In the letters that William wrote to his mother from col- 
lege and in the journal that he kept during his Seminary years, 
he calls to mind the maternal monitions and his own private 
derelictions. Like David he cried, "Remember not the sins of 
my youth nor my many transgressions. ' ' Under her watchful eye, 
W^illiam grew up in that quiet, cultured and Christian home. 
The town was a small country village. His father kept the 
only store. The country round about was largely an unbroken 
forest. Its shades were full of game and its stream abounded 
in fish. Settlers were few and lived in the most primitive style. 

In this region, unspoiled of its natural beauty, his sus- 
ceptible spirit drank in that love of nature which remained with 
him throughout life. He always loved the country. The strength 
of its hills, the uplift of its trees, the life of its winds, the 
music and sparkle of its streams, its bloom and beauty and 
birdsongwere always a delight. How often did we not see the tired 
man, in after years, unbend and unburden himself, as he stood 
or sat on a hilltop, porch or log and drank in the ins'piration 
of the forest, field and flowing stream ! How he would look up- 
on the beauty of the sunset and speak of the greater glories and 
the even more perfect peace on the other side ! How eloquently 
he would speak of the goodness of God and how the peace of nat- 
ure would inspire lessons of trust and hope ! We recall an inci- 
dent : When he was nearing his three score years, we assisted him 
in a week's Passion and Easter services on the banks of the beau- 



26 THE LIFE OF W. A, PASSAVANT. 

tiful Ohio. In visiting the primitive and spiritually neglected 
settlers, he read, prayed with them and admonished them; and 
then preached to them in schoolhouses and private homes in the 
evenings. One evening after a day's climbing of the hills and 
fences and after evening services, we heard him ask a young lady 
of the house where we were stopping, whether she would get up 
ejarly, call him and go with him to the hills to gather trailing 
arbutus. Before sunrise, he was out on the hills with her, hunt- 
ing this earliest and most fragrant of spring flowers. 

As a boy, he always had his pets in the barnyard as well 
as in and near the house. Even in after years, when writing 
home, he would inquire concerning the little ducks and chickens 
and kittens. When we would call upon him in his study in 
Pittsburgh, a large cat would generally be sleeping on the rug 
before the fire and a big "Bismarck" dog would frisk with him 
in the garden. 

There was as yet no public school in Zelienople, as the 
Common School Law of Pennsylvania was not passed until 1835. 
There was a subscription school in the town to which boys and 
girls of the neighborhood from far and near came for their 
rudimentary education. Mrs. Passavant diligently instructed 
her children at home. But the bright-eyed, black-haired, neatly- 
dressed lad also attended the village school with the other boys. 

Anthony Beyer, at this writing eighty years old and still 
living in Zelienople, went to school with little William. From 
him a few of the reminiscences here recorded have been ob- 
tained. Another friend and schoolmate was G. A. Wenzel who 
afterwards attended Jefferson College and Gettysburg Semi- 
nary with him, and became an honored Lutheran minister and 
a lifelong friend and helper. George Wenzel 's first recollection 
of William was when he met him on the street one morning 
carrying a large duck under his arm. ' ' Where are you going ? ' ' 
asked George. "Out to Fiedler's to trade ducks," said Willie. 
These two boys afterward attended the Bassenheim Academy 
together. This was a private school on a part of the Bassenheim 
estate, about three fourths of a mile west of the village. It was 
carried on under the auspices of the Pittsburg Presbytery and 
combined manual training with classic education. Superin- 
tendent Saunders gave the boys a chance to earn their board 
and tuition by working on the farm, in the carpenter shop and 
in the blacksmith shop. The average attendance at the Acad- 
emy was about sixty. Young Wenzel who used to plow the 



CHILDHOOD OF W. A. PA8SAVANT. 27 

fields with a yoke of oxen, often amused the school boys and 
villagers with his stentorian calls "Gee Buck," "Haw Berry." 
In those early days, Willie Passavant was a leader among the vil- 
lage boys. No game seemed to be complete without him. * ' Where 
is Billy Passavant?" they would cry, as they met on the village 
green. He was not always there. His watchful mother did 
not allow him on the streets after dark. She always knew where 
her boy was. A leader he would always be. His mother was 
once asked in a company of ministers gathered at her house, 
about his boyhood. She said, "When the boys play soldier, 
Willie always wants to be captain." Was this a premonition 
of his future leadership of men? Undoubtedly. The boy that 
gets into the lead, if otherwise without vicious, impure or 
treacherous tendencies, is the one to pick out for a minister, who 
must be a leader of men. 

After Mr. Passavant 's death there was found among his 
papers a little book in his mother's own hand, containing passages 
of Scripture, favorite hymns, prayers of her own composition, 
for the use of her children when away from home, whether on 
a visit or at school. 

Several years before his death, Mr. Passavant stood by the 
grave of his mother, with the Rev. J. A. Kribbs. His thoughts 
went back to those early days spent under her watchful and lov- 
ing care. He spoke of her kindness to the poor, recalled how 
again and again she had sent him as a lad to some sick or poor 
family in the town or country with baskets of preserves, fruits, 
food, clothes, bedding and other comforts. There, at his mother's 
grave, Mr. Passavant acknowledged that those early errands of 
mercy had their influence in making him think of and take pleas- 
ure in relieving human suffering in after life. 

It was when he stood, deeply impressed, before a Jewish 
Orphanage in London erected as a memorial to a departed wife, 
that the thought came to him, "Could not I erect an Orphan's 
Home as a memorial to my good mother?" And this thought 
was with him in the founding of those blessed asylums and 
schools for bereft little ones. He also ascribed to his mother's 
influence his first conscious spiritual impressions. In the last 
number of the Workman before his death, he spoke tenderly of 
his mother and of her influence and blessing at the time of his 
confirmation. 



28 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 



CHAPTER III. 

AT COLLEGE. 

At the age of fifteen, William Passavant was ready for col- 
lege. As there was no good Lutheran college west of the Alle- 
gheny Mountains, he was sent to Jefferson College, Canonsburg, 
Pa. This Presbyterian institution was at that time one of the 
best colleges in the land. "The students were from all parts 
of the United States. They came from all ranks, vocations and 
stations of life, so great was the popularity and celebrity 
of old Jefferson at the time. They were of all ages, from fifteen 
to fifty years, and were manly, jovial, practical and studious." 

The college had had for presidents such able scholars and 
educators as Drs. Andrew Wylie, Wm. McMillan and Matthew 
Brown. The last was president during the course of young 
Passavant and had no little influence in molding and developing 
his intellectual, moral and spiritual character. 

Other men who became prominent in the Lutheran Church 
received their college training here. Among them we mention 
Drs. F. A. Muhlenberg, G. A. Wenzel, Rev. S. K. Brobst and 
Rev. J. K. Melhorn. 

Of the spirit, influence and personnel of the college during 
the years of Passavant 's residence there, the Rev. Dr. Wm. 
Speer wrote in the Memorial Workman, Nov. 22, 1894, as fol- 
lows: 

' ' The college life of Dr. Passavant gave to him an extraordi- 
ary fervor of religious character. He entered it while there re- 
mained in the more advanced classes many who had been con- 
verted by a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Some of 
the members of these classes became eminent preachers of the 
Gospel, instructors in literary and theological institutions, and 
others became foreign missionaries. At the same boarding house 
with him in the summer of his sophomore year, 1837-8, were the 
saintly and able Walter M. Lowrie, the eminent pioneer of 
Presbyterian missions in China; Prof. Robert Patterson, his 
lifelong and intimate friend, and the writer, whose life has 
been spent in foreign missionary labors in China and California 
and in home missionary and educational employments. John 



—^^ jBBs:.-^ :2*c.-«sk. * 





TPIE PASSAVANT HOMES ';AD, ZELIENOPL3. PA. 



AT COLLEGE. 29 

Lloyd and Hugh A. Brown, also missionaries to China, and 
Wm. L. Richards, son of the missionary who was born in the 
Hawaiian Islands and died after some years' service in China, 
were all in college with him. Cyrus Dickson, the fervent Sec- 
retary of the Home Missions in the Presbyterian Church; John 
M. Stevenson, the able and devoted Secretary of the American 
Tract Society; Frederick A. Muhlenberg, the learned and ear- 
nest Lutheran preacher and professor in the University of 
Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, and other institutions, and sev- 
eral other ministers of wide and just reputation, were then or had 
recently been there. The savor of the powerful influence of the 
Holy Spirit abode in many hearts and lives. 

*'It was the fervor, the consecration, the prayerfulness, the 
willingness to go forth and labor, and suffer, if needs be, wher- 
ever the dear Master might call him, which came with that 
'shower of blessing,' and which was shared in such associations, 
that was one of the most important means of forming the sub- 
sequent character, and giving its extraordinary energy and fruit- 
fulness to the life of this faithful and dear servant of Christ. 

. "While in college, Mr. Passavant taught in different mission 
Sunday schools, especially in one on the farm of the Hon. 
John H. Ewing, four miles distant, on the road to Washington. 
His memory is still cherished in the hearts of some who remem- 
ber his loving fidelity and earnest instruction. He was hearty, 
too, in amusements which were innocent and healthful. Thus 
he maintained the vigor and elasticity of the body which has 
served him so well in his laborious and long life. Our little com- 
pany, before mentioned, at Jefferson College, were mirthful and 
affectionate, and never quarreled with one another. We took 
a lifelong interest in each other's course and success in our 
Master's service." 

In his first letter from college to his mother. May 7, 1836, he 
speaks of the journey from Zelienople to Canonsburg, of the 
first impression of the place, of his boarding in the family of 
a Seceder minister's widow, and of joining the Franklin Socie- 
ty, ''because it was the largest, the best and the most respectable." 
He tells his mother that he "meditates with pleasure on those 
parents who are surpassed by none in the world for excellence 
of piety and of that sister whose face he longs to see and of the 
happy home which he has left." "Dear mother," he says, "As 
we cannot see each other, we will raise our voices to the Al- 
mighty for the safety of each other and that God will protect 



30 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. • 

the parents as well as the children." In this letter he speaks of 
exploring the woods and finding some petrified stumps from 
which he loads himself with relics. In another letter he tells of 
a farmer bringing him a few Indian curiosities and of asking 
a friend at home to collect all the relics he can find and to go 
to "Billy Watson's for a stone hatchet which he has." In a 
subsequent letter he says: "It was very hard at first to keep 
up with my class but now I can get along as well as any of the 
others. ' ' 

In a letter of May 19, he speaks of the wicl^dness and ex- 
travagance of some of the students. "Dear mother," he says, 
"You have no idea of the wicked conduct of some of the students 
whose confectionery bill is sometimes fiftj' dollars a session. I 
have been in one of these shops once and have been invited more 
than twenty times to drink lemonade and eat ice cream, but once 
is enough for me. The commands of Grod and my parents are be- 
fore me to guide me through. I have these resolutions : 1, Not to 
go to any shop if I am invited or not ; 2, not to play cards ; 3, not 
to read novels and to do only those things which my parents 
would commend; and I hope that I may succeed." In a subse- 
quent letter he tells his mother with considerable indignation hoiv 
some of the students spend more money for sleigh-hire than would 
pay the tuition for a term. He says; "I have not yet been out 
sleighing and do not expect to be, since it is more delightful to 
spend my pocket money in mitigating the wants of two old 
widows who live in a cabin near our fort, than to engage in 
those vain pleasures which gratify but a moment and leave a 
bitter taste behind. ' ' On the death of a student 's mother he writes : 
"Oh, cannot we say with truth, 'Thy mercies unto us are great, 
God, and Thy ways past finding out. ' ' Surely mercy and good- 
ness have followed us all the days of our life ? ' " His letters show 
scrupulous economy in expenditures; he frequently walked be- 
tween Pittsburg and Canonsburg to save coach fare. All through 
his college course he sent to his parents itemized reports of his 
expenditures. From subsequent letters, it is clear that he con- 
fided everything to his parents and had no secrets. His life was 
as open as a book. He wrote home every week. All his letters 
breathe affectionate devotion and submission. 

In a letter to his mother, Nov. 30, he tells how he spends his 
day: "I rise at five, study and fix my room till seven, take 
breakfast and have prayers at eight, commence and study till 
one o'clock dinner, at two go to recitation and then do work in 



AT COLLEGE. 31 

a carpenter shop one hour, take supper at six, have prayers after 
supper, read until ten and then go to bed. Have been working 
daily with a carpenter and have learned considerable in the art. 
He offers me eighteen and one quarter cents a piece for the mak- 
ing of fifty coal boxes which I could do this winter by working 
one hour daily. I could finish one in two hours and it would be 
a source of much amusement as well as good exercise for me. 
As yet, I have not made up my mind, nor shall I until I have 
heard your opinion on the subject." 

Before Christmas he wrote a letter of confession to his par- 
ents. He says: "My dear father and mother; My beloved par- 
ents, I hasten again to beg my Christmas gift as I have done ever 
since I can remember. A gift not as I have formerly asked but 
for one which will comfort my soul. For, reviewing my past life 
since the time when I could distinguish right from wrong, good 
from evil for the first time, I weep and fear the vengeance of the 
just God as I remember the innumerable acts of unkindness and 
unthankfulness, of ingratitude, of headstrongness, of open defi- 
ance to your commands; or when my mind reverts to later days 
I find the same long list of sins committed against my par- 
ents, against those who have labored during their lives for my 
support and those who have passed many a sleepless night on 
my account : those who have watched and prayed for my safety 
during fifteen long years of my life and have undergone so many 
bodily privations for me during my infancy. I have longed to fall 
on my knees and ask your forgiveness for every pang that I have 
caused your hearts. Every unkind look I have given you, every 
unkind word I have uttered against you has given me the sin- 
cerest sorrow. Every remembrance of ingratitude has awakened 
repentance and remorse in me, and now, best of parents, I ask 
a forgiveness for all my ingratitude to you, hoping that when I 
have received your pardon my mind will be at ease and my con- 
science will be at rest. I also thank you for the example you 
have given me and the instruction in religious things. Remember 
me in your prayers. Farewell, dear parents, forget not your son, 

W. A. Passavant." 

His mother answered: ''As for the 'forgiveness' you ask, do 
you not know, my beloved child, the hearts of parents are such 
that offences are forgotten as soon as repented of and my mem- 
ory recalls nothing at the end of this year but proofs of affection 
and obedience from my o\\ti dear Willy." She also sends him a 
sermon from the Rev. Mr. Henkel. 



32 TEE LIFE OF TF. A. PASSAVANT. 

It appears that during the season of special spiritual inter- 
est in the college, William with many of the students was deeply- 
moved. All those who had been thus awakened were invited to 
commune in the Presb^i:erian Church and Passavant also took 
part in the Sacrament of the Altar. IMarch 25, 1837, Dr. Brown, 
president of the college, wrote to William's father as follows; 
"The students at college who give evidence of piety are admitted 
to commune and partake of the Lord's Supper together, with the 
distinct understanding that this is not to interfere with the 
church communion with the particular denomination to which 
they belong or may afterwards choose to be connected." About 
the same time his mother had written him as follows : ' ' Dearly 
beloved, your letter which has just arrived relieved our minds 
from great uneasiness as we could explain your silence only by 
your being either sick or too distressed by religious feelings to 
write. I am happy to see that you are willing to pursue the only 
way by which the Scripture and reason warrant us to hope for an 
assurance of pardon 'by the use of the appointed means' — and 
that you are willing to show yourself openly on the Lord's side 
by joining His church on earth. The most suitable opportimity 
is offered you for doing so — in March when Rev. Schweitzerbarth 
will hold as you know a confirmation here for which the chil- 
dren are now being instructed . Anxious that these lines should 
be sent off to-morrow I have no time now to speak with him, but 
am certain that he will most willingly admit you with the rest, 
provided you are able to answer the questions in your Lutheran 
Catechism, at least as far as the Commandments, the Creed and 
the Lord's Prayer which you have quite sufficient time to learn 
yet. By this means you will belong to the same church to which 
your parents, brothers and sisters belong. If you should become 
a minister you would have a wide field of usefulness before you 
in our neglected Zion and this will be much better than to take 
your Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church and then, when you 
must look on yourself as an admitted member there, have again 

to undergo confirmation as a form of admittance If you 

leave Canonsburg on the seventeenth, spend the nineteenth, 
which is Sunday, with your brother Sidney in town, you can 
come out together in the stage and we will all be able on Easter 
Sunday to take the Sacrament together. What think you, dearest, 
of this delightful plan ? Answer me immediately that I may ac- 
quaint your brother with it and speak with ]Mr. Schweitzerbarth. 
Meanwhile apply to your catechism with all diligence, and con- 



AT COLLEGE. 33 

tinue to pray to your heavenly Father that you may be steadfast 
and that He would grant you the Spirit of all grace. ' ' 

He came home as his mother desired but after due consulta- 
tion, he preferred to postpone his confirmation until Pentecost 
in order that he might be better prepared. This marks an import- 
ant epoch in his spiritual life. 

Among his old papers we find this intensely interesting ac- 
count of his religious experience at college about this time. The 
paper is so old and faded that it is scarcely legible. It reads like 
a confession of Augustine, of Luther, or of John Bunyan. It 
shows that the young student did not rightly understand the pre- 
cious doctrine of justification by faith. Had he had a Lutheran 
spiritual adviser, such as he himself afterwards became, his 
heart-rending struggles and anguish would have been spared 
him. The old paper throws such light on the deep sincerity and 
earnestness of his inner spirit and life at this early age that we 
cannot forbear giving it all just as he wrote it. 

' ' On Saturday afternoon while sitting in my room at the col- 
lege an intimate friend and classmate, Hugh A. Bro'v^Ti, paid me a 
visit. This faithful servant of Jesus, like his Master, 'went 
about doing good' and had spoken to me on the subject of relig- 
ion on several occasions before. The previous Saturday he had 
given me a tract entitled, 'Are You Ready,' and he inquired 
about it immediately after he entered my room. I went to my 
desk and having found it returned it to him thanking him kindly 
for the loan of it, while to speak the truth I had never looked at 
it before and had forgotten that he had requested me to read it. 
He took a seat beside me and with a solemnity which quite over- 
came me, asked: 'And are you indeed ready for death?' I an- 
swered: 'I fear not.' He then spoke on this subject for a few 
moments with the tenderest affection and requested permission 
to pray with me before he left. We knelt down together and 
while he prayed such a sense of my sin came upon me that I 
burst out in tears after he had departed. I read the tract with 
tears and strong cries and so great was the sense of my danger 
that I almost feared the earth would open and swallow me up. 
All my carelessness and indifference were now over and I could 
think of nothing else but how I might secure the salvation of my 
soul. Though particularly careful to conceal my anxiety from 
others, it was soon discovered that something was the matter 
and some formal and lukewarm professors of religion often ques- 
tioned me ' If I were sick. ' 



34 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

' ' Of the nature of my feelings at this time I can speak cor- 
rectly when I say that it was only a general anxiety about my 
salvation and the sense of such a heavy load pressing me to the 
earth. Of sorrow for individual sin I knew nothing, and of the 
way to escape from wrath to come still less. In looking back I 
find that I was in the greatest ignorance and spiritual blindness 
of heart and when I pass along my Christian course I am led to 
adore the tender compassion of God who led me step by step un- 
til the way became plain and bright to me. If I recollect aright, 
I remained in a state of doubt and anxiety and darkness for over 
two months. During this time my unbelief was at times so 
great and so sorely was I buffeted of satan that I even doubted 
my own existence and so violent were the assaults of the devil 
that I would cast myself in despair on the floor and cry out, '0 
my God, let me not be tempted above w'hat I can bear.' Prayer 
was the only w^ay to find relief and often I would kneel down 
in anguish inexpressible. I would rise up with all my doubts 
gone. I greatly needed the counsel of some experienced Christian 
friend during this long season of midnight to my soul. Though 
a number of Christian friends spoke with me, not one ever 
pointed out the way to Jesus, even by faith in Christ. However 
much I prayed, I did not seem to come near the Savior or to 
gain any knowledge of the way in which I was to come to Him. 
My anxiety all this time was very great in behalf of my im- 
penitent friends. God alone know^s how often I retired to the 
fields to pray for my impenitent companions. I could have em- 
braced the whole world in the arms of my love and warned them 
to flee from the wrath to come. One evening I w-ent to the room 
of a former companion in sin in search of one for whom my soul 
was in travail. Here the brandy bottle was produced and offered 
to me. I left the room in horror and on my road home poured 
out my soul in behalf of my sinful and careless companions. As 
I walked along and looked about over the face of nature I 
thought of the goodness of God and felt a drawing of my heart 
to the Savior which made a calm within. My load of sin was 
quietly removed and I felt it no more. I could not doubt the 
change and ran home to tell a Christian brother what the Lord 
had done for my soul. We knelt down together and returned 
thanks to the Lord. The Bible now appeared a new book and 
in a few weeks I learned more of its precious truths than I had 
during the fifteen years of my life." 



AT COLLEGE, 35 

Fifty years later his classmate the Rev. Dr, H. A. Brown 
by request wrote this reminiscence : ' ' JNIr. Passavant was a Frank 
and I a Philo and our boarding places were never close together, 
so that our intimacy was not close till after he became deeply 
interested in religion. In one or more of his letters he spoke 
of me as his 'Spiritual Father,' alluding to the influence I had 
in bringing him to a saving knowledge of Christ. That happened 
in this way. I was taking a walk for exercise one winter's day 
and called by the way at his room at Tusculum. I was a young 
Christian then myself, but was moved to speak to him on the sub- 
ject of personal religion and I think left a tract with him. This 
appears to have been the beginning of his religious life ; although 
he once wrote me, (there must be several of his letters now mis- 
laid,) that he traced the commencment of his spiritual life to 
his mother's influence." 

On Christmas 1837, Gottlieb Bassler, then a student in 
Pennsylvania College at Gettysburg and afterwards an intimate 
friend and co-worker, wrote him this letter: "Having had some 
intimation (for I will speak plainly and truly) that your mind 
has been somewhat directed to the subject of Christian ministry 
and looking abroad upon the great harvest field of the world 
and seeing that even at this day we are constrained to repeat 
the words of Christ, 'The harvest truly is great but the laborers 
are few, ' I have been induced to write a few lines to you on this 
all-important subject. 

"In addressing you on this topic I take it for granted that 
you are fully impressed with the importance of the Christian 
religion. This being the ease, I would ask you to view with me 
the great want of suitable men to proclaim this religion to perish- 
ing men. Even in our own country, which is called a Christian 
country, thousands do not hear the Gospel preached. This is 
particularly the case of our southwestern states. But our country 
is merely a speck on this globe, the greater part of which is sunk 
in heathenish darkness and idolatry. ' ' In another letter Bassler 
writes: "You are acquainted that in Gettysburg I have lived 
in a club for the last few years for the sake of economy. During 
this time our club, which consisted always of from four to eight 
persons and two to four rooms, always set apart an hour on 
Tuesday evening to meet together for the purpose of praying 

for the conversion of our fellow students May none of us 

use the Christian's weapon with a weak or palsied arm, neither 
let us fight 'as one that beateth the air', but let us contend in 



36 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

the strength of Him whose weakness is stronger than our strength 
and may the Spirit of the Lord breathe upon these dry bones in 

this valley of death I hope and pray that whatever I may 

do I may never neglect the reading of God's Holy "Word and 
prayer every morning and evening of my life, for I am convinced 
that whatever other knowledge a minister may possess his use- 
fulness in the cause of God will depend very much upon the 
knowledge of the Bible and experimental piety. Pray for me, 
my dear brother in Christ, that God may make 'a man after his 
o^\^l heart' of me and make me abundantly useful in his cause. 
And my hope and prayer to God is that we may both labor in 
the vineyard of the Lord and do something for his honor and 
glory." From this it appears that young Passavant had not yet 
fully decided on his life work. The following spring Bassler 
wrote him again to urge him to study for the ministry. 

In 1838 he informs his mother that he is attending a special 
class in German taught by a student, G. A. Wenzel,whom we met 
as a boy companion at Zelienople, who afterwards became pas- 
tor of a large German church in Pittsburg and Chaplain of the 
Pittsburg Infirmary. Passavant complains of the difficulty of 
the language. He has trouble with the gender of the nouns and 
with the article. He hopes to put in his next vacation in the 
study of German and is very eager to become proficient in it. 
About the only place that he visited socially was at a family 
named Cummings. Miss Nancy Cummings seemed determined 
to show him special favor, 'and made him lug home a bunch of 
flowers for his flower pot,' and invited him to go mulberrying 
with her. Another young lady sent him a fine hand-made 
watchguard. 

In several of his letters he speaks deprecatingly of the 
controversies in the Lutheran Observer. Aug. 14, 1838, he 
tells with considerable interest of receiving the first number of 
the Lutheran Kirchenzeitung. He says: "Have lately received 
the first number of the new German paper styled Lutherische 
Kirchenzeitung. It is printed in eastern Pennsylvania by Rev. 
F. Schmidt at the price of two dollars per annum and I rejoice 
to tell you that it is precisely of the same stamp as the Observer. 
Do you not think it would be an advisable thing to take an 
Evangelical paper in the place of the present German papers 
which now come to us? It would, if sent to me after being 
read at home, be of great assistance in advancing my progress 
in the German language. I will patiently wait to hear your 



AT COLLEGE. 37 

opinion in your next letter. " In a later letter he speaks of re- 
ceiving the paper regularly and finding great pleasure in read- 
ing it, of handing it to Prof. Smith and securing his subscrip- 
tion. He canvassed the town of Canonsburg and also walked to 
Washington soliciting subscriptions for the paper. On one 
occasion he walked all day and came back to college utterly 
fatigued after having obtained five subscriptions. 

It was during these canvassing tours, as he went from house 
to house, from store to store, and from shop to shop, that he 
found two young German journeymen, the one a tinker and 
tTie other a tailor. Finding both of them intelligent above their 
companions, sincerely pious, and ardent members of the Lutheran 
Church, he interested himself in their welfare. Both were poor 
and hungry for knowledge. They regretted that they had not 
been able to get a better education. Young Passavant directed 
their attention to the spiritual destitution of the German Luther- 
ans throughout the land. He awakened in them a desire to pre- 
pare for the ministry and arranged for and aided them in pre- 
paring for the holy service. One of these was S. K. Brobst and 
the other M. Schweigert. Both afterwards became eminently 
useful ministers of the Lutheran Church. Both did important 
pioneer mission work. Brobst labored among the Germans in 
Eastern Pennsylvania and Schweigert did the work of an evan- 
gelist in the neglected settlements of Western Pennsylvania. 

He also expresses great indignation at a drinking bout among 
the students, is horrified at their carousing and profanity for 
which seven were expelled from college. He complains that four 
societies, of three of which he was made a member without being 
consulted, take much of his time and interfere with his study 
and reading. He was at this time reading poetry, biography 
and travels. He also complained of certain of the students who 
came into his room "to loaf." 

In one of his letters to his mother he is greatly exercised 
because the Franklin Society is being eclipsed by the rival Philo. 
His mother admonishes that the Franklin members work the 
harder to make up in excellence of quality what they lack in num- 
bers. She was in every way competent to give counsel to a college 
student. In one letter she speaks of some useful lessons to be 
learned from the Life of Walter Scott. In another she advises 
that he copy into his Iliad this verse: 



38 THE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT. 

De PATEIA HOMERI 

"Seven different towns, fair cities of the earth, 
Heirs for the fame of mighty Homer's birth; 
But none the hard contested claim can prove — 
The native place of Homer is above." 

She also expresses the hope that William will succeed in his de- 
bate with young Muhlenberg, the son of the would-be Governor 
of Pennsylvania. The question that William was to affirm was 
" Resolved, That there is more profit in the study of modern than 
of ancient literature." In this exciting debate Passavant was 
declared the victor. 

In another letter she says : * ' The great popularity you seem 
to enjoy, from whatever cause it may proceed, is a dangerous en- 
joyment both from a spiritual and an intellectual point of view. 
For while it might easily 'puff you up' and make you think of 
yourself 'more highly than you ought to think,' it might act on 
your mental faculties like the stimulus of a hot-house on plants, 
causing them to bud and expand before their natural time, to 
the detriment of the soundness of the stock. Read once again 
the extract from Newton I sent you to Baltimore on this subject. 
You will find the remarks and advice it contains very applicable 
to your present situation." 

Mrs. Passavant frequently gives advice on historical and 
general reading. Here is her estimate of a book written in her 
later years when it was beginning to attract public attention : 

"Mr. Bassler presented his wife at Christmas with a book 
called 'The Chronicles of the Schoenberg-Cotta Family.' And 
she — kind as she always is — absolutely insisted that I should 
read it first. It is a romantic narrative but embodies in a very 
skillful manner all the circumstances and details about Luther, 
his friends and his work with which history has acquainted us. 
I think it is much more calculated to make one love the great 
Reformer and the Lutheran Church than will ever be accom- 
plished by the angry disputations in certain religious papers." 

William received many letters from his two sisters. Emma, 
the older one, had married a Presbyterian minister named Jen- 
nings, a very amiable and worthy man; one of the old school, 
scrupulous, scholarly, dignified, faithful in all his work and of 
more than ordinary ability. Emma wrote her brother many good 
letters breathing affectionate interest and full of sisterly solici- 
tude. 



AT COLLEGE. 39 

Virginia, the accomplished, attractive and universally ad- 
mired younger sister, also wrote frequently. Her letters are viva- 
cious and full of tender affection. 

His oldest brother, Detmar, had spent over a year in 
Europe, traveling and purchasing goods for his father's store. 
His home-coming was an occasion for a glad family reunion, 
in the fall of 1837. The spirit of delightful harmony and 
cordial affection that prevailed in the Bassenheim home was 
indeed remarkable and unusually happy. Parents, brothers and 
sisters all seemed to have a special and affectionate interest in 
the college student and in all his affairs. The student on the 
other hand, amid all the attractions and distractions of col- 
lege life, never failed to exibit the keenest interest and 
warmest love for the members of the dear old home. This beau- 
tiful family interest and devotion lasted through all his life. 

William was an unusually bashful boy. On on occasion 
when he stopped to see his sister Virginia, who was attending 
Mrs. Barlow's Girls' Boarding School in Pittsburg, he was in- 
vited to stay for supper, but this was too much for him. He 
writes to his mother: "I stayed with Virginia a shorter time 
than I could have wished, as Mrs. Barlow went into the kitchen 
to hasten the supper, which so frightened me when I thought 
of all those girls at table, that I hastily bade Virginia adieu and 
made my exit, thinking this the safest way, as she also insisted 
that I stay all night." 

In the Autumn of 1838 his mind was turned more and more 
toward the Theological Seminary at Gettysburg and he wrote 
to his friend Bassler for information. 

On the occasion of a visit to his sister Emma in Pittsburg, 
he witnessed the burning of a grist mill. On learning that the 
owner had his life's savings in the mill and that he was now 
reduced to absolute poverty, his sympathies were deeply stirred. 
He writes to his mother: "When I passed the smoking ruins 
on my road to town, and saw the whole group of helpless chil- 
dren, and one poor deformed girl, gazing on the destruction of 
their all, I involuntarily found myself open my pocketbook in 
search of some money. But my old selfish propensity was fast 
gaining on me when I cried, 'Now or never', and forthwith turned 
my horse to the house and deposited a three dollar note in the 
hands of the grateful mother, telling her I had no more. I well 
knew that so small a sum would not mend their misfortune in 
any essential degree but I felt confident that the sympathy and 



40 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

pity of a stranger might in some measure alleviate their grief. 
After leaving the house which I did immediately, I felt as one 
of the happiest beings in the world and have often thought that 
I would not have forgone that hour of pleasure for a week 
of labor". 

In 1837 he planned and partly prepared a Lutheran Alma- 
nac. He submitted his plan and manuscript to a Philadelphia 
publisher who refused to accept it because there were already 
one German and one English Lutheran Almanac in the field. 
"With the persistent courage which was one of his most marked 
characteristics and had so much to do with his future wonderful 
achievements, he prepared a new manuscript in 1839 and sent it 
on to the same publisher. He gave explicit directions as to the 
attractive style in which he wanted it published and that his name 
was not to appear in any way in connection with it. To both of 
these conditions the publishers objected; to the first, because it 
would make the publication too costly, to insure a large sale ; to 
the latter, because the publisher belonged to the German Re- 
formed Church and did not think it proper to appear as the 
author of a Lutheran Almanac. And so the second attempt at 
authorship failed ; but as we shall see, Passavant never gave up 
a good cause. For this rejected Almanac he had written the 
following preface: 

"We deem every apology unnecessary in presenting this 
Almanac to the Lutheran Public. The fact that the great 
majority of our members were unacquainted with the institutions 
of the church, was a sufficient motive to induce the compiler to 
the publication of the Lutheran Almanac; and although his 
means of obtaining correct information were but small and the 
accounts of the various operations of the church deficient, yet 
he would fondly hope that all who are interested in the welfare 
of our Zion will make their utmost endeavors to dispose of a 
number of copies. Let none think such labor beneath their notice, 
since even the Almanac exerts a great influence thus for weal or 
woe on the mass of the community. The principal part of the 
information contained in the Appendix has been obtained from 
the bound volumes of the Lutheran Intelligencer, the Minutes 
of the different Synods and from individuals; but principally 
from the files of the Lutheran Observer since its commencement 
in 1831. The astronomical observations are calculated to suit 
the latitude of the principal cities in the United States. As the 
compiler expects no pecuniary compensation for his labors (since 



AT COLLEGE. 41 

the profits are devoted to the Parent Education Society) he 
hopes that notwithstanding its many imperfections, every Luth- 
eran minister will feel it a duty to procure a supply for those 
committed to his charge. Finally if his Almanac be the means 
of diffusing any information among our people and of exciting 
their interest in the Literary and Benevolent Institutions of our 
Church, his labors in preparing this Almanac will never be a 
source of regret but a cause of exultation, pleasure and joy. The 
Compiler, February 20th, 1839." The manuscript contains 
carefully prepared statistics of these thirteen Synods: Synod 
of Eastern Pennsylvania, Western Pennsylvania, New York, 
Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina, Synod of the West, 
Eastern District Synod of Ohio, Hartwick Synod, Western Dis- 
trict Synod of Ohio, English District Synod of Ohio, Franckean 
Synod, Sjoiod of Virginia. The statistical summary of the whole 
Lutheran Church in the. United States was : 

Ministers „ 268 

Congregations 711 

Communicants , 72,198 

Baptisms for the year 1,222 

Confirmations 6,167 

Sunday Schools 226 

Teachers 542 

Scholars 4,137 

Here is his account of some Sunday School work that he 
was doing in 1839: "On Sunday afternoon in the company of 
three other students I attended a Sabbath school three and a half 
miles out on the Washington Road. The School is held in a 
little brick schoolhouse on Mr. Ewing's farm. Miss Ewing, a 
very fine and pious young lady, is one of our teachers. It 
contains about twenty scholars and as the room is small, the 
classes of boys after the school has been opened go to a grove 
just near and sit on large logs. Singular enough, you will no 
doubt say; so then, dear ]\Iamma, you may know that every 
Sunday at five o'clock in the afternoon I am hearing a Bible 
class of eight members on a big log." 

With some of the students young Passavant had also 
started a praj^er-meeting among the colored people in Canons- 
burg in which he took a deep interest until the close of his 
college course. 

His interest in these lowly and despised children of Ham 
continued through life. On one occasion while on a journey 



42 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

from Baltimore to Pittsburg on the Baltimore and Brownsville 
stage coach he expected to take the steamboat from the latter 
place to Pittsburg. He missed the boat and was left for several 
days in Brownsville. Naturally tired from the wearisome 
journey he might have rested, but instead he employed his time 
of waiting in visiting and praying with the colored people of the 
town and preaching to them every evening while he remained. 
On another occasion at a synodical meeting in Baltimore he was 
expected to preach in a prominent church on Sunday evening. 
Finding that no provision had been made for preaching to the 
negroes he protested, secured a substitute for the large white 
church, and went himself and preached to the colored people. 
As he told the writer years afterward: "We had a great shout 
in the camp that night." He was a lifelong opponent of hu- 
man slavery and vigorously used his voice and pen for emanci- 
pation. 

About this time he had his head examined by a visiting 
phrenologist. He reports to his mother: "As everybody had his 
pate felt I thought I might see how much truth there was in the 
system, from the numbers he gave me, so at it I went. He told 
me that all the social bumps were fully developed; that I had 
a great taste for poetry and everything connected with romance, 
that I was enthusiastic in my affection for friends, that I was 
an aristocrat by nature, proud of my family connections, that 
I would make a good preacher. Lastly he told me that I re- 
sembled my mother more than my father which is undoubtedly 
true." 

In the autumm of 1839 his brother Detmar suddenly died 
in Pittsburg. From there William writes thus to comfort his 
mother: "Ours has been a course of much earthly enjoyment 
and now since the rod of affliction has been laid upon us very 
sorely it is without doubt to wean our affections from earth and 
place them on objects which are of an enduring nature. We 
know that whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth 
every son whom He receiveth. We have in a great measure 
been without chastening and now when it has been sent us, may 
God in mercy enable us to bless the rod and acknowledge the 
hand of our heavenly Father. Although everything wears 
such a gloomy appearance at present, yet did we but believe it, 
'these afflictions which last but for a moment shall work out for 
us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.' We 
are but pilgrims here and sojourners in this world and, if we 



AT COLLEGE. 43 

are to go through the furnace of affliction here, it must be for 
the purpose of cleansing us from the dross and corruption of 
sin so that we may come out refined and prepared for the treas- 
ury of Heaven. 0, how comforting the thought that 'the 
Lord reigneth,' that however unfavorable things may seem, 
everything is working together for the good of his own people. 
Let us look to that kind hand which has supported us for a con- 
tinuation of his unmerited mercies, and pray that as we can 
no longer all meet on earth, we may meet and dwell together, 
a beloved family circle in Heaven." 

In the same letter he tells her that he has been to the court 
house to hear the Rev. McCron preach to the little flock that be- 
came the First English Lutheran Church in Pittsburg and of 
which he himself afterward became pastor. He also tells her that 
the German church of the Rev. C. F. Heyer, who afterwards be- 
came the veteran missionary to India, was under roof and would 
be quite a neat building. 

On account of Detmar's death, William was kept out of col- 
lege during the winter of 1839 — 40. The letters that came to 
him from "Old Jeff" show the esteem in which he was held 
pnd the void caused by his absence. These letters also give 
a clear insight into the inner life of the college. 

Here is an extract from the Vice President of the Frank- 
lin Society. "Sorry, indeed, am I that we cannot now as in 
former sessions meet together at our daily recitations; but let 
this go — could you only join in with your fellow Franklins on 
Friday afternoon all would be well. Pass, I miss you more 
than anyone of the Senior Class; little did you think last 
session that you would not be one of us this winter and, my dear 
friend, since it is by the interposition of Divine Providence that 
you are not among us this winter, I will not complain; still I 
wish you would come on again in the spring and graduate with 
the present Senior Class, with the members of which you are 
most intimately connected. This is my only hope. ' * 

In the spring of 1840, Passavant made a trip to Greens- 
burg to secure subscriptions for the "Kirchenzeitung" and the 
"Observer." On the occasion he visited the grave of General 
St. Clair in the Presbyterian graveyard. He expresses his 
feelings m these words: "I felt the most singular sensations 
when I stood at the grave of this great man, whose name had 
been extolled to the skies, and at another time had been men- 



44 TEE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT. 

tioned with indignation. Poor man! after all his reverses he 
died a miserable drunkard and scarce a score know his grave." 
Passavant returned to college at the beginning of the 
spring term in 1840. He had studied privately during the 
winter, while assisting his brother Sidney in the store at Pitts- 
burg, and was able to re-enter and go on with his class. 

During his Senior year, he gathered and organized a Luth- 
eran Sunday school at Pigeon Creek, fourteen miles from Ca- 
nonsburg. Starting at five o'clock on Sunday morning, on 
horse back when he could secure a horse, on foot when no horse 
was available, he was at his place every Sunday at ten thirty 
in the old Bethlehem Lutheran Church. He wrote to S. M. G. 
Schmucker, a son of Dr. S. S. Schmucker, then a student at 
Washington College, requesting his assistance. Mr. Schmuck- 
er replied: "I rejoice, dear brother, that in this neglected 
portion of God's moral vineyard so long under the control and 
influence of the errors of Presbyterianism and Campbellism 
and sundry other errors, the word of God will be disseminated 
in its purity." Mr. Schmucker regretted that he could not 
come regularly, as he had but recently taken up a class in the 
colored Sunday school of his town. He promised, however, to 
come and help whenever possible. To his mother, "William 
gives this account of his work: "My Sunday school in the 
country is flourishing as well as could be expected. On the 
second day we met, our number was one more than twice as 
great as on the first Sabbath. I went out on Saturday after- 
noon for the two last times and scoured the country from 
house to house to beat up recruits and was utterly surprised 
to find such wild and uncouth families in this country which 
has been settled for upwards of eighty years. At one house 
the woman seemed about half savage and spoke so loud that it 
was not far from yelling order. One of the little boys had hair 
above a foot and a half long. Never was I more convinced that 
religion, pure and undefiled, is the very best means of elevating 
the condition of our fellow men to the rank of intelligent be- 
ings. Such is the kind of a place I am engaged in and if my 
weak and feeble labors will tend in the smallest degree to im- 
prove the condition of the rising generation in that congrega- 
tion, they are entirely welcome to them. I have already procured 
two subscriptions to the German paper and I expect if nothing 
happens to get a few to the 'Observer'." 

Many years after, when Dr. Passavant 's hair was silvery 



AT COLLEGE. 45 

white, we heard him speak with great interest of these youth- 
ful journeys and labors. He would recall with a smile how 
when invited to dinner at a stranger's place, his bashfulness 
would overcome him and he would say, "No, thank you, I am 
not hungry" and how he would try to appease his hunger by 
eating blackberries along the way. The Rev. J. K. Melhorn of 
Pittsburg writes feelingly of these labors of young Passavant 
and wonders how many students would now go and do like- 
wise. Referring to his Sunday school work, his mother writes 
to him: "The long ride, fatiguing as it may seem, will at your 
age and during the fine weather be more of a pleasure than a* 
troable and prove I hope conducive to your health, while the 
consciousness that you have benefited your fellow creatures 
will be a lasting enjoyment to your soul. May the good seed 
which you are sowing spring up and bear fruit a hundred 
fold." 

Of his last visit to the school he speaks thus impressively 
in a letter to his mother dated Sept. 3, 1840: "You may well 
imagine that it was not the most pleasant thing to bid farewell 
to my little school in the country, especially as I never expect 
to see the place again. During the summer I traveled three 
hundred miles in going out to that school and things are begin- 
ning to look a little brighter than when it was commenced. A 
prayer meeting has been established and is making no little stir 
in the neighborhood and the room where it is held is generally 
filled. This is the first thing of its kind ever established in that 
congregation and I trust that its influence may be felt to the 
salvation of souls." In the same letter he tells his mother of 
his class examinations: "Dear mother, agreeable to promise I 
sit down to answer yours of the fifteenth of last month and am 
able to hail you as a 'Bachelor of Arts' from my headquarters 
at Canonsburg. Our examination closed last week at which 
time I got off, together with our whole class, to my entire satis- 
faction. So then we are done, forever done, with our college 
studies!" 

His commencement oration on the subject, "The Rela- 
tion of Science to Religion,'* was enthusiastically received and 
occasioned much favorable and flattering comment. He 
wites feelingly of his taking leave of his room, the college, the 
town, the teachers, students and friends. 

His college days were over. We are safe in saying that no 
student left behind him, among professors, students and citi- 



46 THE LIFE OF TT. A. PASS AY AST, 

zens, more admirers and warmer, closer friends than did "William 
Passavant. 

After his death, his classmate, Hugh A. Brown, wrote to 
D. L. Pasavant: 

"In college your father showed a fine literary taste and an 
aptitude for the natural sciences. In his Senior year, he was 
made Curator of the Lyceum. He was a graceful writer and 
speaker, and a fair scholar in his academic studies, giving good 
promise of success in life. I look upon him as one of the chief 
glories of our class, unsurpassed and hardly equalled in in- 
fluence and usefulness by any other member. 

The Rev. Dr. X. G. Parke, another classmate, wrote : ' ' He 
was youthful in his appearance. ^My impression is that he was 
one of the youngest, if not the youngest member of the class. I 
was not twenty when we graduated and he was younger than I. 
But his appearance was youthful when he graduated and it was 
the same after he had been graduated fifty years. This was 
spoken of at our college meeting in 1890, when seven of the 
class met in Washington to hear the class history. 

"The dominant feature of Passavant 's life and character 
while in college was what might be termed the religious element; 
and judging from the lines of his work, and the results of his 
work, it so continued through life. He was not a recluse. The 
social element was not wanting in his nature. He was popular 
in his class and among the students of the college generally, but 
he took little interest or part in the athletic sports on the college 
campus. His nature apparently was intensely religious. This 
was manifest not in a demonstrative way, but quietly. He had 
no 'religion to boast of but a spirit of devotion to his divine 
Master breathed in all he did. And now that we know the lines 
in which he elected to work in life, we may infer that while yet 
a student in coUege he was planning for his life work. 

•*In the president of the college, the Rev. Dr. M. Brown, 
he found a congenial spirit. Perhaps I might put it differently, 
Dr. Brown found in young Passavant a congenial spirit. Dr. 
Brown was a decided Presbyterian and Passavant was just as 
decided a Lutheran, but between them there was a spirit that 
united David and Jonathan. At our class jubilee in 1890, there 
were seven in the class living and at their work. Now, after 
thirteen years, only two remain. Passavant had changed since 
we parted in 1840, but he was the same unassuming, courteous, 
earnest. Christian gentleman." 



AT COLLEGE. 47 

Nov. 14, 1847, Passavant was chosen orator of the Franklin 
Literarj' Society at its fiftieth anniversary. 

The address is published in the History of Jefferson College 

of 1857. 



48 TEE LIFE OF W, A. PASSAVANT. 



CHAPTER IV. ' 

IN THE SEMINARY AT GETTYSBURG. 

William Passavant was born and reared in a critical period 
of the Lutheran Church. Dr. Jacobs in his History of the Luth- 
eran Church in the United States, (p. 353) thus describes this 
period : 

''Candidates for the Lutheran Ministry were in attendance 
at the denominational and other colleg^es that were coming into 
existence. Columbia College, New York; the University of 
Pennsylvania; Dickinson College, Carlisle; Jefferson College, 
Canonsburg ; either had or were soon to have students and grad- 
uates in the Lutheran churches and ministry. The influence of 
Christian scholars of decided convictions and of other forms of 
religious life upon those thus trained was inevitable. When the 
Presbyterian Church established its theological seminary at 
Princeton, N. J., in 1812, Lutheran candidates for the ministry 
were soon among its students, and found there students from the 
Episcopal and perhaps other churches, with whom they became 
intimate. Who would affirm that the influences there exerted 
were not to be preferred to the neology that had gained the up- 
per hand at all centers in Germany ? When the Lutheran Church 
in Germany could offer nothing better, it was only natural to 
look beyond the Lutheran Church for the advocates of a more 
positive faith. Nor, under these circumstances, was it to be 
wondered at that an open door was found in some places for 
revivalistic methods, which were becoming prevalent throughout 
the country." 

On page 356 he writes: "The movements preliminary to 
the Prussian Union of 1847 combined with the feeling caused 
by the common interests of language and intermarinage among 
the Reformed and Lutherans in Pennsylvania to suggest the 
thought of a union between the two denominations. This does 
not seem to have been embodied in any formal action. The pro- 
posed common theological seminary has already been mentioned. 
The Reformed, with the Episcopalians and Presbyterians, were 
invited by the Ministerium of Pennsylvania to unite in the cele- 
bration of the tercentenary of the Reformation. ' * 



IN THE SEMINARY AT GETTYSBURG. 49 

The Ministerium of Pennsylvania in 1818 had resolved that 
"in its judgment it would be well if the different Evangelical 
Lutheran Synods of the United States were to stand in some way 
or other in true union with one another". Other Synods were 
corresponded with and in 1818 "A Proposed Plan" was adopted 
by a vote of forty to eight. This plan was sent to other Synods 
for discussion and adoption. A number of trivial objections 
were urgently and persistently raised and published; e. g., that 
it was a scheme of the ministers to tread the rights of the people 
under foot; that it will be "an aristocratic spiritual congress;" 
that the rights of the Germans will be given away ; " as to the 
expenses, who is to pay ? We farmers, collections upon collections, 
etc." Such objections came mainly from country pastors and 
were intended to frighten their people. 

The principal objection, however, and the one that carried 
much weight was that the proposed General Synod would inter- 
fere with the plans that had been projected for a closer union 
with the German Reformed Church and the establishment of a 
Lutheran-Reformed Theological Seminary. 

Only ten delegates met in Frederick, Md., Oct. 21, 1821, rep- 
resenting the Ministerium of Pennsylvania, the N. Carolina, Ma- 
ryland and Virginia Synods, and organized the General Synod. 
On account of the urgent and persistent objections of the 
country parishes, the Ministerium of Pennsylvania felt itself im- 
pelled to withdraw temporarily from the General Synod in 1823, 
leaving only three small Synods in the General Body. 

The General Synod naturally partook of the spirit of the 
age. It had its weaknesses. It failed to determine specifically the 
contents of the Lutheran faith. It was not ready to return to 
the foundations laid by Lluhlenberg and his associates. There 
had been a general recession from the foundations for twenty-five 
or thirty years preceding. On the other hand, Dr. Jacobs cor- 
rectly says: "The General Synod was a protest against the 
Socinianizing tendencies in New York, and the scheme of a union 
with the Reformed Church in Pennsylvania and with Episcopal- 
ians in North Carolina. It stood for the independent history of 
the Lutheran Church in America and the clear and unequivocal 
confession of a positive faith. ' ' 

At its third convention, in 1825, the General Synod resolved 
to commence the establishment of a theological seminary. This 
seminary was opened in Gettysburg in 1826. Its first professor, 
Dr. S. S. Schmucker, had received his college training in the 



50 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

University of Pennsylvania and his theological training in the 
Presbyterian Seminary at Princeton. He had never made an 
earnest study of Lutheran theology but was thoroughly imbued 
with the teaching, spirit and life of the Reformed Churches. Of 
his theological standpoint, Dr. Jacobs says, (History of the 
Lutheran Church in the U. S., p. 367) : 

' ' His theological standpoint can never be involved in contro- 
versy; he was too outspoken in confessing it. Beginning with a 
more conservative position, he soon publicly protested from the 
professor's chair and in the press, not only against the dis- 
tinctive Lutheran doctrine concerning the Sacraments, but 
against those of original sin and the Person of Christ. In his 
'Popular Theology', his 'Lutheran Manual', and 'American 
Lutheranism Vindicated', he teaches what he regards a modified 
Lutheranism, which retains the elements of truth found, as he 
believed, with a number of errors, in the Lutheranism of the 
Augsburg Confession. In the 'Definite Synodical Platform', 
prepared by him in 1855, he expurgated and changed the 
doctrinal articles of the Augsburg Confession, and, in a preface, 
states what he regards the five errors of that document. ' ' 

Such was the first professor in the seminary during the two 
years of Mr. Passavant's theological course. The second profes- 
sor, Dr. H. I. Schmidt, was more conservative but less energetic 
and influential. 

Of the effect of the seminary's teachings and spirit on 
ministers and congregations in general. Dr. Jacobs writes, (pp. 
370 and 371) : 

"More harmful than any positively erroneous teachings pro- 
pounded from the professor's chair or issued from the press, was 
the lack of cultivation of any decided form of church life. The 
seminary course was very brief and the teaching scarcely rose 
above, if it equaled, the standard of the better catechetical in- 
structions. There was even a tendency to depreciate sacred learn- 
ing, as relatively unimportant, and to throw all stress upon de- 
votional exercises. The teaching became hortatory instead "of 
doctrinal, and no longer covered the full extent of revelation. 
There was more success in home missionary work than in build- 
ing up established congregations and instructing experienced 
Christians. Young pastors uninstructed in the modes adopted by 
the Lutheran Church, and sincerely earnest in the endeavor to be 
faithful, readily adopted the methods of other churches. The 
old ways of the fathers were looked upon with suspicion. Where 



IN THE SEMINARY AT GETTYSBURG. 51 

this was avoided, in the uncertainty and wish to compromise, the 
most deplorable inactivity and stagnation resulted. The peril 
of compromises on church principles lies in the paralysis of 
church life by the endeavor of antagonistic parties to forbear do- 
ing aught that might offend those with whom they differ, and 
thus doing nothing. Where intense conviction enters, it bursts 
the shackles of compromises, and it is fearless in adopting what 
it regards the most efficient measure to discharge its full duty. 
A Lutheran church life can never be nourished except in accord- 
ance with the principles of that church. Methodism, Presby- 
terianism, or Anglicanism within the Lutheran Church soon 
runs its course. The Lutherans in America, who imagined that 
the salvation of their church was dependent upon its adoption of 
the peculiarities of its neighbors, were only temporarily misled. 
They were yet to awaken to the realization of the rich provision 
their church contained for the full development of all their 
spiritual capacities. The more they realized this, the more could 
they appreciate conceded excellences in other forms of Christian- 
ity when exercised within their own peculiar spheres. But how- 
ever sure it is that the church ultimately regains its lost vantage- 
grounds, the lamentable results of the losses suffered meanwhile 
by inaction remain. Dr. Hazelius, e.g., deplored greatly the 
widespread abandonment of family worship, as one of the conse- 
quences of teaching that all prayers except those made extem- 
poraneously are formalism. The layman who found it difficult 
to offer a free prayer, banished the prayerbook from his altar, as 
though by its use he would do God dishonor; and the next step 
was that prayers in the household entirely ceased." 

Such was the general condition of the church and the semi- 
nary when on Nov. 3. 1840, William Passavant started for the 
theological seminary at Gettysburg. He traveled by stage from 
Pittsburg. He described at length the tedious journey which 
occupied two days and two nights without intervening rest. It 
rained incessantly and he was alone in the stage. No wonder 
that he arrived at Gettysburg in a depressed and exhausted con- 
dition. 

To his mother he describes the city which then had two 
thousand inhabitants, two Lutheran and two Presbyterian 
churches, one Methodist church and six Catholic chapels. He 
tells of the seminary building and of the beautiful and divers- 
ified view from its cupola. About sixteen acres of ground be- 
longed to the seminary on which were three buildings. He tells 



52 THE LIFE OF W. A. PA8SAVANT. 

her of his room and of his board which was good and cost him 
one dollar and fifty cents a week. Among the students, five were 
from Union College, three from Pennsylvania College and several 
without college training. He spoke well of Dr. Schmucker as a 
professor and also as a man. The students impressed him as 
less intelligent, less refined than those at Jefferson College, a ad 
many had scarcely ever been beyond the bounds of their home 
townships. He was somewhat attracted to Chas. A. Hay, a rela- 
tive of Dr. Morris of Baltimore. Of young Chas. Porterfield 
Krauth he says : ' ' He is considered very talented, but the misery 
with him is that poetry and the ladies seem to enter into his con- 
stitution most too much for me". He complains of the "out- 
rageous characters" of Hebrew which he recites to Prof. Chas. 
Philip Krauth. New Testament Exegesis he studied under Dr. 
Baugher. He read Schiller's Thirty Years' War v/ith Dr. H. I. 
Schmidt. Altogether, he had only nine hours of recitations a 
week, which gave him much leisure for private reading and study. 
He also complained that there was no personal intercourse be- 
tween professors and students and that it was not like Jefferson 
where the professors' houses were always open to students and 
the most delightful intercourse and intimacy existed between 
them. 

Prof. Schmidt was at this time pastor of the second English 
Lutheran Church, where the students and professors wor- 
shipped. He was assisted by the college and seminary professors 
in turn. Of the preaching, Passavant expresses his opinion thus : 
"The best preacher is Dr. Schmucker; the next Prof. Baugher 
and Dr. Krauth; Schmidt reads his sermons, which are indeed 
beautifully composed, but seem to lack the power and efficiency 
of the Gospel. He is doubtless an excellent man but is not of 
those ministers who people heaven by their preaching." He con- 
tinues : ' ' This is an excellent place to get a sight of many of the 
old documents and speeches. The other day I discovered a large 
bundle of printed journals of Rev. H. M. Muhlenberg extending 
back to the year 1743 and I found a great deal of pleasure and 
profit in reading over the records of that great and good man." 

He speaks of the missionary society in the seminary which 
had four stations in the mountains which were regularly supplied 
by the theological students after a residence of one year in the 
seminary. A congregation had been recently organized at one of 
these stations and placed under the care of a neighboring pastor. 
He observes that this missionary preaching has two great advan- 



IN THE SEMINARY AT GETTYSBURG. 53 

tages. First, it gives the students practice in preaching before 
all kinds of people, and second, it brings the Gospel to the spir- 
itually destitute mountaineers. 

Feb. 16, 1841, he gives his mother an account of a great re- 
vival in the old Lutheran Church at Gettysburg. This account 
throws a significant light on the spirit of the English Lutheran 
Church at that time as well as on the views and feelings of young 
Passavant. He says: 

**At present the old Lutheran Church is enjoying a most 
powerful revival. There is no noise or confusion in the meetings 
and the awful silence which pervades the congregation makes the 
place appear like another world. In the evenings after preaching 
persons are invited forward to be prayed for and the young and 
the old, fathers and mothers and sons and daughters are not a- 
shamed to ask an interest in the prayers of God's people. Yester- 
day morning after a sermon by Prof. Baugher, a great multitude 
knelt down around the altar and after the congregation was dis- 
missed it was found that all the men but two and several of the 
women had found peace and joy in belief. 0, how like heaven 
was that place ! Some of these individuals have been crying for 
pardon for weeks and to see such a number feeling their burdens 
removed and swallowed up in the love of Christ was indeed a 
glorious and an awful sight. Not a word was said but every 
heart was filled with the peace and glory of God. Some of the old 
and faithful members of the church, and some of the church 
council were the first to declare that they were strangers to the 
power of religion and many of these went out, going on their 
way rejoicing with a new song of praise in their hearts. 
Nothing of the kind was ever before witnessed in that church, 
and Mr. Keller was violently opposed to anything which savored 
of New Measures. But a change has taken place in his views 
and above all there has been a change in the hearts of many of 
his people". 

In her answer, his mother informs him that his pious father 
did not at all believe in such Methodistic services. He believed 
that they were contrary to the teachings of the Scriptures and 
belittled God's means of grace, showed unclearness as to the 
nature of true conversion and if not productive of real harm 
would certainly do no lasting good. He even thought of taking 
his son out of the seminary on account of the prevalence of the 
"new measure" spirit. 



54 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

During the spring vacation of this year, Mr. Passavant 
made an extended trip into Maryland and Virginia to canvass 
for the "Observer" and also for the first time to look in on the 
General Synod about to meet in Baltimore. At Frederick, Md., 
he met the Rev. Abraham Reck of Indianapolis, Indiana, who 
was a delegate on his way to the General Synod. Of this delight- 
ful meeting he writes to his mother. 

"Here I became acquainted with Rev. A. Reck, a delegate 
of the Synod of the West to the General Synod, and never did 
I enjoy such a treat as the conversation of this venerable soldier 
of the cross and pioneer of the Lutheran Church in the West. 

"He is a man of about sixty and of remarkably plain and 
simple appearance, but when in conversation, the fire of youth 
flashes from his eyes and the enthusiasm of the devoted Christ- 
ian shines from his serene and amiable countenance. We were 
put into the same room for the night and the clock struck one 
before we closed our eyes in sleep. You know, dear mother, I 
have often spoken to you of the West and have at different 
times said that in that valley my feeble efforts, would be 
exerted, if health is spared, for the cause of our Saviour. Ex- 
perience, however, and grace have changed my ideas on this 
subject. I have endeavored to mark out no place for future 
labor but to place the entire matter in the hands of my heaven- 
ly Father and calmly wait until He speaks where His servant 
shall go and work. If I know my own heart, I am willing to 
go any place, wherever there are sinners to be saved and while 
I confess my feelings and heart all are with the West, I am en- 
deavoring to pray, 'Lord what wilt Thou have me to do?' 
There are a large number of delegates and other ministers at- 
tending the meeting of the General Synod and eight or ten of 
our students are likewise present. Rev. Lintner, D.D., of New 
York is president and Rev. C. A. Smith is secretary. Some of 
the meetings are cf great interest and a most excellent spirit 
prevails in all delegates of this body. ' ' 

He sums up the results of his trip in these words: "I 
gained six pounds, got a sunburned face, introduced the 'Ob- 
server' into thirty-nine families, saw the country, walked two 
hundred miles, made a multitude of acquaintances, saw con- 
siderable of human nature and of the triumphs of the Gospel 
over sin, rummaged into old documents, especially on our 
Church, regained my health more entirely, walked through a 
pair of soles and paid the expenses of the way. ' ' 



IN TEE SEMINARY AT GETTYSBURG. 55 

About this time he is much exercised over the loss of the 
manners and customs of refined society. He writes: 

"To be candid, I am even, if possible, more of a barbarian 
than when I left home last fall, for no kind mother or sister 
was near to prune off the growth of the winter and in this 
way you will doubtless find me in the fall. I am getting to 
say, 'I can't help it,' but I mean something very much like this 

old expression of my childhood Situated as I am here 

in the seminary and having no aquaintances in toAvn, I as 
naturally sink into a state of indifference to the rules of genteel 
society as if shut up in the walls of a monastery. Students, 
^ you know, are a mannerless set all over the world and though' 
perfectly at ease among themselves are exceedingly awkward 
in company. When I think of this subject, I often fear it will 
injure my usefulness in the world. But what can I do to undo 
the matter? I have received invitations enough to visit at those 
places where most of our students resort, but finding no 
pleasure or profit, have invariably declined, preferring uncouth 
manners to the dulness and tedium of conversation in which I 
have no heart. I daily become more indifferent to the opinions 
and fashions of the busy world without; so, dear mother, if 
we are spared to meet in the fall, you will please look over the 
blunt ways of a student and I will at the same time promise to 
study under the teaching of the family the refinements and 
rules of a civilized life." 

For four successive years he had prepared manuscript for 
a Lutheran Almanac. At last he had succeeded in having it 
published. He thus expresses his feelings on reading the first 
printed copy: 

"I received a copy of the English Almanac on last Satur- 
day. It looks very genteel as to the ' outward man ' 

The conclusion of the whole observation I have had in this 
business is that he who purchases an Almanac for six pence 
has the cheapest bargain of his fellows. I am indeed glad it 
is 'out', after all my hopes and fears and labor, and I can now 
fervently ask the blessings of God as I have always done on 
this humble attempt to infuse correct information of our 
church and he^ institutions among the dwellers in the lowly 
cabins of the poor and the stately mansions of the rich ' '. 

He had distinctly stipulated that his name was not in any 
way to appear as author and that he would accept no pecuniary 



56 TEE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT. 

profit. All profits were to go into the treasury of the "Parent 
Education Society". 

This Lutheran Almanac of the year of 1842 lies before us, 
as also a German edition with nearly all the matter of the 
original English. The later has thirty-two pages, it is pub- 
lished at the "Publishing rooms" of the Evangelical Lutheran 
Church at Baltimore. In addition to the usual calendar mat- 
ter, ■ this almanac contains : Luther 's Celebrated Prayer ; 
Christ, our Example; Prof. Francke's rules for our conduct in 
company; A short history of Pennsylvania College; of the 
Theological Seminary at Gettysburg; Columbus Literary and 
Theological Institute; Hartwick Seminary; Theological Semi- 
nary of the Synod oi South Carolina and adjacent states, at 
Lexington, South Carolina; Emaus Institute, Middletown, Pa.; 
"Parent Education Society"; Foreign Missionary Society; 
"The Book Company of the Evangelical Lutheran Church at 
Baltimore ' ' ; Increase of ministers during the year 1 841 ; deaths 
of ministers; a brief history of the Augsburg Confession; list 
of Lutheran periodicals; statistics of the Lutheran Church in 
the United States; Statistics of the Lutheran Church in the 
world; list of SjTiods; alphabetical list of ministers and 
their post-office addresses. Of this almanac eighteen thousand 
copies were sold. The Lutheran Almanac number two was 
issued in 1843 and like its predecessor was filled with useful and 
edifying reading. After this, Mr. Passavant published no 
further almanac and others took up and continued the work 
he had so auspiciously begun. ^ 

The Pennsylvania Bible Society had sent a request to the 
faculty of the seminary that the students canvass Adams 
County in the interest of its work. The matter was laid before 
the students and volunteers were asked for. Among the first 
to offer themselves was Mr. Passavant. The students were 
sent out like the seventy, two and two. In July, 1841, William 



5 The statement has been made and published that Dr. Passa- 
vant composed the first English Lutheran Almanac in the United 
States. This is a mistake. There lies before us "The Lutheran Al- 
manac for the year 1836 (which refers to the issue of the previous 
year) Troy, N. Y., published by the Lutheran Revival Tract Society 
and sold by N. Tuttle, printer and agent, 225 Eiver St.,; and also at 
the general depository, Albany, No. 70, corner of Lydius and Green 
streets., price six and one quarter cents, four dollars a hundred". 
Its statistics show two hundred and eighteen ministers, twenty-seven 
licentiates, eight hundred and twenty-two congregations and four 
theological seminaries. 



IN THE SEMINARY AT GETTYSBURG. 57 

Passavant and William F. Eyster were sent out on this in- 
teresting mission which required ten days and nights in the 
mountains. Here is his own account of the work : 

"In the very hottest week we were sent over the country 
and were engaged in the distribution of Bibles for ten days. 
The township assigned to another student and myself lay 
principally among the mountains and the roads were so rocky 
and narrow that it was with the greatest difficulty that we 
drove our little carriage. Such scenes as w^e witnessed among 
the poor charcoal burners in the Alleghenies ! Some of the 
people had no idea of such a book as the Bible; others, when 
requested to show us their Bible, would bring out some re- 
ligious book which they said in all simplicity was a 'kind of a 
Bible'. A few Catholics told us they 'had no use for a Bible' 
they had 'their prayerbook and other good reading ifi the 
house'. Some wept for joy when we presented them with a 
copy of the Scriptures, while others called us a set of specu- 
lators and would have nothing to do with us or our books. We 
had to talk for our lodgings and it would have amused you to 
have seen me talk around an ignoramus of an Albright for a 
night's entertainment. I finally prevailed, but such a place 
in a civilized community! Never did I leave a place with less 
regret than this one in Menallen township. More when we 
meet face to face." 

His fellow missionary, Dr. Eyster, writes this reminiscence 
of that Evangelistic tour : 

"Among the incidents connected with Mr. Passavant 's 
student life at the seminary is the memory of the Bible col- 
porteur work among the mountains of Adams County, Penn- 
sylvania. To each pair of students was assigned the duty of 
a thorough house-to-house exploring of a single township. And 
so it came to pass that the writer of this sketch was united 
with his friend and classmate, Passavant, in this good work. 
To us was assigned the most difficult field. Menallen town- 
ship lies mostly among the mountain regions which stretch 
north and south about seven or eight miles from Gettysburg. 
Its inhabitants for the most part wring a scanty subsistence 
from a rugged and stony soil. Their educational and religious 
opportunities were few and imperfect. A large element of the 
population was Roman Catholic. Books of any kind were few 
among them and to many the Bible was almost an unknown- 
book, except as it was quoted in the Missal or Prayerbook. In 



58 THE LIFE OF W. A. PA8SAVANT. 

one instance when Mr. Passavant inquired of the head of a 
family whether they had a Bible in the house, he seemed at 
first doubtful and then brought out a copy of Luther on the 
Galatians which some enterprising peddler had sold him, the 
only Bible he knew or possessed. 

"It was, indeed, what Guthrie would have called a 'beauti- 
ful field' in the sense of need and opportunity. It was true, 
the work required was difficult and in some sense self-denying. 
The road was rough and rocky, the scenery wild, the civiliza- 
tion of the mountaineers primitive, and certainly they wasted 
no words of superfluous civility on the stranger who called at 
their house with the strange question, 'Have you a Bible?' If 
the answer was in most instances courteous and to the point, in 
some it was rude and repelling. From a single house, we 
were repelled with the savage threat of a dog. Meals were 
irregular in the absence of houses of public entertainment, but 
the hospitality extended was generally kind and cheerful. Our 
rooming places at night were usually in some poor dwelling 
with such scanty accommodations as the circumstances per- 
mitted. I look back to those far-off days with a pleasant me- 
mory of the cheerful spirit with which my friend and fellow 
student carried on this work of giving the Bread of Life to 
the destitute. I can recall the echoes of his voice which often 
made the mountains ring with merry laughter over some amus- 
ing incident in the day's experience, — or the graver tones of 
his voice as he poured out all his soul in deepest compassion 
over the spiritually destitute, revealed all along our route. 
Those ten days of close association and intimate friendship in 
a good and blessed work revealed to me more fully the lovable 
Christlike spirit of my friend than many days or years of 
more casual acquaintance could have done. It was then I felt 
impressed as never before with the charm of his winning per- 
sonality over other minds. Under its influence native rudeness 
was often changed to gentleness and repulse into welcome. The 
memory of that Bible canvass was to both of us among the 
most pleasant incidents of our seminary life and work, and an 
occasion of devout gratitude to God. In a letter to me dated 
February 19th, 1892, brother Passavant writes: 'Think of 
your old fellow traveler on the mountains of Adams County 
and offer up a 'Vater unser' for him'." 

A little incident of the Christmas season of this year 
shows that Passavant never forgot the poor among his friends. 



IN THE SEMINARY AT GETTYSBURG 59 

In Canonsburg he often had visited and assisted poor old 
Mrs. Herron, who, like many aged dames of that day, took a 
good deal of comfort from her pipe. So at Christmas time he 
sent her through his friend of college days, the Rev. R. B. 
McAfee, enough money to buy a calico dress, a handkerchief, 
a cord of wood, molasses for the buckwheat and a pound of 
smoking tobacco. 

As we have seen, there was at this time a sad lack of 
Lutheran literature in the English language and much un- 
Lutheran teaching from the pulpits of the English churches. 
The preaching was often lifeless, dry and cold, satisfied with 
a form of godliness but devoid of its power, addressing itself 
almost entirely to the intellect and ignoring the heart. On 
the other hand, there was, especially in English pulpits, a le- 
galistic, unhealthful, morbid, emotional type of preaching, 
made up of pious platitudes urging to sentimental frames, 
physical feelings and sickly self-inspection. The inevitable 
result was that many devout and inquiring souls were in the 
dark as to their own salvation and passed their days under 
a cloud, devoid of peace and filled with fears and forebodings. 
The question, "What must I do to be saved?" had never been 
clearly answered for them. They knew not the Evangelical 
way of salvation. Here is one of hundreds of similar cases. 
Virginia Passavant wrote to her brother William: 

"You now wish to know whether I feel my sins to he for- 
given — and here I scarcely know what to say. So much do 
I fear to deceive you or still more myself on so important a 
subject. I have sometimes thought that my state might be 
that spoken of in Mark 4: 28, 'First the Blade', or that there 
might be a beginning like * A grain of mustard seed', but 
then again I doubt that such is the case. While the proofs of 
love which I receive from my family and friends warm my 
heart with gratitude, the long suffering love of God leaves me 
insensible and cold; and though I think I can say with sin- 
cerity that the greatest wish I have long formed for myself 
is for that peace which the world can neither give nor take 
away and that in a measure I have sought for, I cannot be- 
lieve when I look at the state of my heart and examine the 
motives which influence my thoughts and actions that I am a 
true Christian. I know that the Saviour is more ready to 
grant forgiveness than we are to receive it and that I can never 
have sought for it aright, and I cling too much to self and to 



60 THE LIFE OF W, A. PAS SAVANT. 

a thousand sins Avhicli prevent me from giving my whole heart 
to God. I think I understand the plan of salvation through 
Jesus Christ and have heard and read too much on the subject 
to be ignorant of anything which is necessary to be kno^\Ti; the 
fault lies in my own heart. ' ' 

After the exchange of several more letters with her 
brother, Virginia also found peace by simply accepting Christ 
as the one Saviour who had taken away all her sins. 

Feb. 12, 1842, Mr. Passavant received a letter from Dr. B. 
Kurtz urgently requesting him to come about the first of June 
and take charge of the Observer during his contemplated absence 
and to be permanent assistant editor. In another letter Dr. K. 
informs Mr. Passavant that he will also be expected to assist 
in the building up of a new mission in the western part of the 
city where a church was in course of erection, as also at "Old- 
town" where Dr. Morris was starting another mission. For 
the editorial work, a salary of three hundred and fifty dollars 
a year was promised. Dr. K. also informs him that the Rev. 
Mr. Morris will advise and assist him. Young Passavant had 
experienced a number of spells of sickness during his student 
years and his constitution was considerably weakened. He 
had suffered severely from a sore throat during the late win- 
ter. He sometimes feared that he might not be able to serve the 
Master with his voice but hoped that in that case he might 
serve with his pen. His own inclination, therefore, was to ac- 
cept Dr. Kurtz's offer, but he was still such a dutiful and 
affectionate son and had such unbounded confidence in the judg- 
ment of his mother that he could not believe that it was God's 
will until he had the approval of his parents. He therefore 
asked his mother's counsel before he answered Dr. Kurtz. 

His mother answered guardedly. She would prefer that 
he first finish his seminary course. Only in case that the state 
of his health really required a change would it be advisable 
to leave the seminary. But even in the event of his acceptance 
of the offer, she hopes that it will not prevent him from ulti- 
mately becoming a settled pastor as infinitely preferable to the 
still more fatiguing, laborious and outwearing life of an editor 
who is mentally harrassed by a thousand vexations and dis- 
heartening attacks from friends and foes. She admits that the 
offer has its advantages; e.g., intercourse with the world and a 
consequent improvement of manners and address; improve- 
ment in style of writing; opportunity to hear great orators in 



IN THE SEMINARY AT GETTYSBURG. 61 

the pulpit and on the platform ; opportunities to perfect himself 
in the German language. "On the other hand, your father is 
much afraid that coming continually in contact with such an 
arch-revivalist (Dr. K.) will make you, enthusiastic as you are 
by temperament, still more Methodistical The con- 
clusion of our deliberation, therefore, is that you may accept 
the offer proposed if you really believe that it will be bene- 
ficial to your health; but with the following conditions added 
to those that you mentioned in your last letter: first, that the 
agreement is to be made for only one year. In that time you 
will have had a fair trial of how you like it and I am almost 
certain that you will be disgusted with the confining, bodily 
labors and with the unavoidable controversies, excitements and 
manifestations of bitterness of spirit, of such a course of life. 
If your throat is then well, you can perhaps finish your 
theological studies at Princeton. 

' ' Second, your name is not to be blazoned forth in the Obser- 
ver. ... To have you publicly known as an assistant to Dr. 
K. would also create an unconquerable prejudice against you 
in the minds of most of the ministers of the west where it 
was always your intention to labor in the future. Pastor 
Schweitzerbarth will rave when he finds out your new employ- 
ment. I expect nothing else but that he will pray in the 
pulpit that you may be preserved from the snares of wolves 
in sheep's clothing, the inveterate enemies of the church. You 
may be sure that we will not tell him of it. " 

The offer was finally accepted by Mr. Passavant. April 
1st, he writes his last letter from Gettysburg to his mother. 
He warmly thanks his parents for all their kind assistance 
during his college and seminary course. He has counted up 
that they had sent him in all more than eleven hundred dol- 
lars. He hopes to show himself grateful and worthy of the 
favors shown him. He arranges to have the coming seminary 
lectures transcribed and sent to him. Before going to Balti- 
more, he paid his parents a short visit. Passing through 
Pittsburg, he stopped with his brother Sidney over Sunday 
and preached to the prisoners in the penitentiary. 

The above-named Dr. Wm. F. Eyster, writes this reminis- 
cence of seminary days: 

"My aquaintance with Mr. Passavant began in the fall 
of 1840 in the seminary at Gettysburg. He came a stranger 
into our new associations. I well remember the pleasing im- 



62 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASS AY ANT. 

pressions of his face and manner. He was then in the bloom 
of his early manhood. A spiritual magnetism seemed to draw 
out to him the confidence and affections of his new companions, 
productive of that strange power of personal influence which 
gained in strength through all the future years of his devoted 
and philanthropic life. 

*'0n every one who knew and watched him during his 
student life in the seminary he impressed the conviction that 
the work of preparation for the sacred ministry was a grave 
and real work demanding the best energies of his mind and 
soul. The inward spring of this sense of duty was his fervent 
piety. His love to God in Christ was ardent and constraining. 
It was a deep-seated radical principle that influenced his whole 
nature, being and life. 

"He had a keen sense of humor and could perceive all 
that was grotesque and ludicrous. But I never knew him to 
be cynical or to find pleasure in satirising the faults and 
foibles of others. His cheerful spirit found a joy in life, but 
along with this was united a gravity of soul that felt deeply 
the serious, solemn aspect of life and longed for opportunity 
to bear his share in toiling and sacrificing for the relief of the 
spiritual and physical health of humanity. 

"It was thus as a fellow student during these seminary days 
that I learned to interpret and understand Mr. Passavant and 
so understanding him, admired and loved him and was in 
turn loved by him through all the future years of his life." 

The Rev. Dr. H. Ziegler wrote this reminiscence in the Me- 
morial Workman published after Dr. Passavant 's death: 

"In the seminary brother Passavant proved himself to be 
a Christian of ardent piety, true friendship, and always active 
in the Master's work. In illustration of this, the following 
reminiscences are herewith given. 

"Six of us theological students banded together to hold 
weekly devotional meetings in our private rooms, for our 
spiritual improvement and edification. The six were Walter 
Gunn, Wm. H. Harrison, Jacob Sherer, Gottlieb Bassler, W. 
A. Passavant and myself. The intimate friendship of the six 
there begun and cemented, continued through life. Four of 
these have long since gone home to receive their reward. 

"After the death of our lamented brother Bassler, Dr. 
Passavant and myself were the only two surviving members 
of the fraternity. We frequently spoke of this in recognition 



7iV THE SEMINARY AT GETTYSBURG. 63 

of God's goodness to us. But we shall speak no more of this 
on earth — he has gone to his reward and I am left the lone 
one of the six — ,for what purpose I know not. Here I may 
use the words of David: 'Behold how good and how pleasant 
it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.' To us it was, in- 
deed, good and pleasant here, and it will be more so in the long 
hereafter. 

"The theological students of the seminary constituted a 
missionary society for the purpose of supplying destitute 
places around Gettysburg with ministrations of the Gospel. 
One of these stations was at Cold Spring (also called Fountain 
Dale), twelve to fourteen miles west of Gettysburg, in the 
mountains. In 1841 or 1842, when brother Passavant and 
myself filled one of the appointments there, he selected for his 
text, Neh. 2.18, 'And they said, Let us rise up and build. So 
they strengthened their hands for this good work. ' 

"The design of this sermon was to induce the neighbor- 
hood to build a house of worship. A church was ere long 
erected and dedicated. For some cause, however, the place 
was subsequently neglected until it became a spiritual wilder- 
ness. 

"Of late the student's work has been resumed there. An- 
other church is being built and from henceforth regular service 
will be held there, where myself and young Passavant sowed 
seed fifty years ago, some of which is still bearing fruit. 

"I will yet add that brother Passavant 's interest and 
zeal in Home Missions, as manifested during his seminary 
course, was continued through life with increased and un- 
abated earnestness. It culminated in the organization of the 
Canada Synod and the Synod of Texas, and is felt in many 
directions in the far West. Besides, it has permeated the 
General Council, and awakened its zeal in the work of Home 
Missions. It is diffused also throughout the General Synod. 

"Dr. Passavant 's foresight, fifty years ago, concerning the 
need and work of Home Missions in the Lutheran Church was 
far in advance of the age. May he have many worthy suc- 
cessors. ' ' 

During the seminary course, Mr. Passavant kept a private 
journal recording the inner experiences of his spiritual life. 
It is the most remarkable modern spiritual record that 
we have ever read. Much of it would be worthy of being 
published in separate form for the devotional use of theological 



64 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PAS8AVANT. 

students and ministers. It shows that its author was not yet 
clear on the great foundation truths that concern our sal- 
vation; that he had not fully apprehended in all its bearings 
the peace-bringing doctrine of justification by faith and the 
kindred doctrine of grace through the means of grace. 

But while making due allowance for this lack of doctrinal 
clearness at this period, we cannot but admire and wonder 
at the rare spirit of humility, devotion, consecration, prayer 
and love for his Saviour. 

The journal also shows what writers and books influenced 
his inner life at this period. Had he had access to good Eng- 
lish translations of Gerhard's Sacred Meditations; Arndt's 
True Christianity; Starke's Hand Book and Sermons; Scriv- 
er's Soul Treasury, (Seelenschatz) ; Calvor's Heavenly Lad- 
der of Devotion; Starke's Synopsis and other such works which 
so beautifully combine doctrine and devotion and in which the 
Lutheran Church is richer than any other church, his mind 
would have been clearer and his heart more full of that happy 
quiet, trust, and peace, so characteristic of the devout Lutheran 
Christian. 

As we read this journal we begin to understand the secret 
of that wonderful life and of its marvelous achievements. We 
also see clearly what is the cause of the barrenness in so much 
of our pastoral and church life. God is ready to give grace 
and power and fruit to us as He was to give them to Passavant. 
Wherever the same spirit of faith and of prayer, the same 
readiness to serve and to sacrifice, and to spend and be spent, 
are present, there the same blessings will be present also. As 
nothing that we can say can give so clear an insight into the 
inner spirit and nature of this young man in the theological 
seminary, we present a few extracts from his journal. 

The caption is : 

' ' Do all to the glory of God. ' ' 

Jan. 1., 1841. How swift the days and years of our life 
are passing along. Yesterday evening and this morning; how 
like the day of our birth and death ! May God so add grace to 
my weak and feeble strength, as to support me in all the trials 
of the coming year, so that instead of my doubting heart, my 
mountain may be made strong. In Thy name. Blessed Jesus, 
would I begin the new year. In Thy strength would I fight 
against sm, and in humble reliance on Thy blood would I 



IN THE SEMINARY AT GETTYSBURG. 65 

pray for the pardon of all my sins and guilt. To Thy glory 
would I live and study and labor and pray. Do help me to do 
all things to Thy praise and honor. I have drawn up the 
following resolutions and, with a firm conviction that I can do 
all things through Christ which strengtheneth me, I set them 
down in writing, where I can see and read them every day. 

First, that I will in addition to my present private 
duties, daily commit one verse of Scripture, commencing at 
the Epistle to the Romans. 

Second, that when arguing with a Brother I will not 
interrupt him, while speaking. 

Third, that whenever I feel in an indolent state of mind, 
then I will cry for help and go immediately to my studies. 

Fourth, if possible always to finish whatever I have com- 
menced before it lies on my hands. 

Fifth, to endeavor to live more by system, especially in 
the time and hours of studying particular lessons and tran- 
scribing the lectures, etc. 

Sixth, whenever anyone gives me an unkind word, not to 
reply before going over the Lord's Prayer. 

Jan. 2. Began the method of "a verse a day", and find it 
an excellent help to the proper understanding of the Holy 
Scriptures. In II. Cor. 13 :5, I find the words, "Know ye not your 
own selves how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be repro- 
bates;" after this can anyone deny the possibility, yea the abso- 
lute necessity, of every man's knowing whether he is a Christ- 
ian? Retired to rest at ten. 

I wrote a letter to a dear Christian brother in Pennsylvania, 
and encouraged him to persevere in the way of the Lord. Re- 
tired to rest at eleven after a precious season in private 
duties. 

Jan. 4. Notwithstanding a great deal of interruption the 
Lord granted me much liberty in prayer and reading the 
Scriptures. In looking over the hours of the past day, how 
many instances of awful sins committed do I find. 0, what a 
thorn in the flesh is my light disposition, prompting me almost 
continually to mirth and sinful conduct. I can truly say, "It 
is of Thy mercy and goodness, my God, that I am not con- 
sumed", and spurned from the seat of mercy. But where can 
I go or whither shall I fly? Lord, I would humbly come to 
Thee, for Thou only hast mercy and pardon. 



« 



66 THE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT. 

"In Thy dear wounds I'll find relief, 
And hide me when my troubles rise." 

I feel a deeper work is necessary, and I long to be swal- 
lowed up in the love of the Saviour; to derive all my enjoy- 
ment from Him; to go to Him under every temptation and 
assault; and to war against all sin, in the strength of my Re- 
deemer. Lord, Thou knowest this is the sincere desire of my 
heart. 0, come quickly. Come quickly, and visit me with 
Thy salvation. Wrote to sister Virginia on the subject of 
enjoying a nearness to our blessed Master. May it be blessed 
to her soul. 

Jan. 11. Was enabled to begin the day with prayer for 
the presence of God, as soon as I awoke. I feel conscious of 
repeated instances of a trifling and thoughtless disposition 
during the past day. 0, when shall I feel the presence of my 
Saviour with such power as to exclude all thought of sin and the 
world. Spent a happy season in prayer this evening and felt it 
indeed a privilege to call on God in prayer. Retired to rest 
at ten. 

Today my thoughts have wandered on a subject which I 
have for once and ever forbidden myself while in the course of 
preparation for the ministry. May grace be given me to avoid 
everything which would draw away my soul from the Saviour. 
Retired to rest at eleven. 

Today while reading in the "Accounts of the Lutheran 
Church in Pennsylvania", published in Halle in 1744, my 
feelings were very much drawn out to those who risked all to 
preach Christ in the Western World. Shall I ever be thought 
worthy of such an honor as this? The idea of proclaiming a 
Redeemer to a world in sin and misery, is to me the most 
exciting and glorious of all other aims; and if I too am to take 
a part in the ministry, I will thank and praise God through- 
out all eternity. 

The Bible, I fear is not as precious to me as it once was. 
Then the good book was my pocket companion, and whenever 
alone its precious pages were opened and read with delight. 
Is this because I do not read it enough? Examine and see what 
is the reason of this, O my soul. Felt some encouragement to 
continue on in earnest prayer for greater holiness of heart and 
soul. On this subject I have received much light from reading 



IN THE SEMINARY AT GETTYSBURG. 67 

the Memoirs of Carvasso, a brother of the Methodist connection 
in England. Retired to rest at ten. 

Jan. 23. It is with a full heart that I sit down to record 
the mercy of God to my soul during the last week. During the 
last three days the candle of the Lord often shone in my heart 
and my desires after holiness of body and soul were stronger 
than ever. Surely this is of the Lord's doings, and not by 
works of righteousness which I have done. At different times in 
prayer, I had the assurance that my sins were all pardoned for 
Jesus' sake. And I was happy in believing. 0, may this be 
but the beginning of good times to unw^orthy me. But after 
all, a dark cloud would now and then dim my vision and show 
me the wickedness of my unsanctified heart. Lord, I would live 
nearer the cross of my Master, Jesus, and enjoy His presence 
every moment of this day. 

"O, that I could forever sit 
"With Mary at the Master's feet! 

Be this my happy choice. 
My only care, delight and bliss, 
^y joy, my heaven on earth be this, 

To hear the Bridegroom 's voice. 
O, that I could with favored John, 
Recline my weary head upon 

My dear Redeemer's breast! 
From care and sin, and sorrow free, 
Give me, O Lord, to find in Thee 

My everlasting rest." 

Jan. 25. After retiring to rest last night, a sweet and de- 
lightful peace filled my heart and I lay for an hour pouring 
out my heart in praise to God for his gracious presence to un- 
worthy me. Much liberty and peace was my portion in the 
private duties of this morning. How gladly would I have 
spent the day in prayer to the prayer-answering God. When 
I awoke this morning, my spirit was perfectly indifferent and 
while I cried for help to sustain me through the day, the 
precious words came to my mind, "I can do all things through 
Christ strengthening me " . . . . During the day the pressure of 
studies was so great as almost to keep my thoughts from God 
and Heaven. But I longed for the presence of Him "Whom 
my soul loveth", and I was still happy in Him. How ought I 
to pray* for the meek and gentle spirit of Christ ! Today 
several times the angry passions rose within, and I was com- 
pelled to ask myself, are not all the joys you have lately ex- 



68 THE LIFE OF W. A. PAS8AVANT. 

perienced the effect of natural excitement instead of the com- 
forts of the Spirit? Lord help me to examine and prove myself 
in this matter. Let me be simple and humble as a little child in 
all my words and actions. . Let me pray for the meek and 
lowly spirit of Jesus. 

Feb. 1. This has been a good day to my soul, and the 
mystery of justification by faith is opening before me. I find 
a constant dialogue going on within, and the question often 
arises, "Are you not presuming too much by ceasing to trust in 
works, for the grace of God?" "How can simple faith take 
away your sins?" "Is not this a doctrine of convenience to 
get released from the trouble and gall of repentance?" Thank 
God my Bible answers all these difficulties for me and I rejoice 
that "God can be just and yet the justifier of him who believeth 
in Jesus" and that it is by faith and not the works of the Law 
that we stand acquitted in the presence of God. 

Feb. 6. Blessed be God for the bodily afflictions with 
which I am tried. They have taught me to place all my de- 
pendence on God and have led me by a painful course to feel 
that nothing but faith in Christ can save my soul. Thanks to 
the unspeakable mercy of Him who maketh all things to work 
together for good to those who love Him. 0, how greatly have 
my views been altered since the beginning of this year! It 
seems scarcely possible to believe that I have professed to love 
the Lord for so long a time, and never knew what was meant 
by justifying faith. Long have I prayed and sought for this 
great blessing, but no one directed me and I endeavored to ob- 
tain it by the works of the Law. -Thanks to the unspeakable 
mercy of God that I was sho^ATi that nothing but faith in 
Jesus Christ could give relief. My peace has flowed out like a 
river since then and I cannot doubt of my acceptance with my 
heavenly Friend! Glory to God for this change. If it is a de- 
lusion, how precious is the delusion ! Read considerable in the 
Memoirs of Whitefield, by Phillips. There are many new and 
interesting facts related of this blessed "Gospel man". O, 

may I follow him as he followed Christ Wrote a letter 

to Mr. Schweigert, the young man who is studying at Canons- 
burg. Retired to rest at eleven. 

Feb. 10. Rev. Cares and Reynolds preached this evening. 
As I listened to the latter addressing an audience of anxious 
enquiring souls, as if in a lecture room, an awful horror 
chilled my very soul. May God enable me (if spared to 



IN THE SEMINARY AT GETTYSBURG. 69 

labor in the cause) to be earnest and importunate in urging 
sinners to repentance and in warning them to flee the wrath 
to come. How can anyone speak in a cold and formal manner 
on such an occasion? Methinks the plain truths of God's good 
book must make the minister earnest and all on fire. Perhaps 
this sermon was permitted, to make us feel that all the power 
is of God and that vain is the help of man ! 

Hope often sinks within me and the prospect of being 
prevented from entering the ministry fills me with dismay. 
The swelling in my throat does not seem to grow less and when 
I think of the probable consequences of such a disease my heart 
sickens and I am ready to faint from absolute despair. But 
why this murmuring and repining? Surely the God of heaven 
will do right! Lord, Thou knowest the desire which is upper- 
most in my heart. But Thy will not mine be done. Here am 
I, ready at Thy command to go to the uttermost parts of the 
earth and preach Christ crucified. Speak but the word and Thy 
servant shall be made every whit whole. 

Feb. 13. Employed this afternoon in reading Tholuck's 
sermons. Blessed be God that there are not wanting faithful 
witnesses for His cause in Germany. Surely true religion is the 
same in every clime and in every age, and when I read the 
writings of such a one, an ApoUos in very deed, mighty in 
the Scriptures, and find that faith in Christ is held up as the 
condition of our acceptance with God, I am more and more 
confirmed in the conviction that God in His infinite mercy has 
brought me to know how He can be just and still the justifier 
of him that believeth in Jesus. 

Feb. 14. Have determined by the help of God to have an 
English congregation established in the city . of Cincinnati. 
The plan is, to collect two hundred dollars and with this sum 
assist a single man during the first year of his labor. At present 
I employ my leisure hours in writing a series of articles in the 
Observer on this subject. In the first number which will ap- 
pear tomorrow, I started a subscription to this effect with 
twenty-five dollars. Some I expect to receive from my Alma- 
nac. May the blessings of God rest upon this humble attempt 
to do good work. 

Feb. 21. Enjoyed a delightful season in reading the 
Scriptures and prayer, but did not possess a calm and meek 
spirit during the past day. Was greatly troubled by visitors 
whose conversation was not of such kind as to help on the soul 



70 THE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT. 

in the divine life. Made considerable progress in the German 
studies and worked a couple of hours at the hymn book which 
I am now preparing for the press. Have concluded to call it 
the "Cottage Hymns". Blessed be God for the privilege of 
thus laboring in the cause of the Redeemer. 

Lord's day, 25. My time during the past has been taken 
up in attending to the duties of the seminary and working at 
the "Cottage Hymns". I have read nothing but the Bible 
during this time and have reason to bless God for much com- 
fort and instruction. This shall be my man of counsel and my 
system of theology. May I read and study it with childlike 
simplicity and receive the word in the love of it. As long as 
I know so little of the Bible I shall study nothing in the shape 
of systems of divinity, they are mere dross in comparison with 
the pure gold of the Word. 

The blessed Lord has opened the hearts of His servants to 
the wants of our brethren in Cincinnati. Two hundred and 
fifty-five dollars are pledged, though only two hundred dollars 
were proposed. Sent off the fourth number on this subject to 
the Observer this evening. My poor little essays are awakening 
an interest ill this cause and I humbly trust the enterprise will 
be carried through this fall. To God be all the glory. Oh, for 
a heart to thank Him for this privilege of doing a little service 
in the Master's cause. Amen. 

Read considerable in the life of Joseph Alleine, the author 
of the "Alarm". Truly he was a burning and shining light in 
the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. As he re- 
sembled Christ, may I imitate him. Took a walk of several 
miles with brother Gunn. We spoke of our spiritual state, and 
retired to a wood to spend a season in prayer. It was good to 
be there. 

Oct. 29. Returned from home the day before yesterday in 
good health and circumstances of mercy. Had a delightful 
Christian company in the stage, and the road from Pittsburg 
to this place was spent in speaking of the things of God and 
singing the sweet hymns of Zion. Blessed be God for the com- 
munion of saints in this lower world. 

Determined to begin this session by fasting and prayer 
and was thus engaged when one of our old students paid us a 
visit. I was so engaged in conversation that my thoughts 
wandered entirely off and I nevermore thought of fasting till 
I found myself by the dinner table. Shame on me! I did not 



IN THE SEMINARY AT GETTYSBURG. 71 

resume these duties after dinner, my resolution was broken 
and I spent the day to very little purpose. Endeavored to 
cast myself in the arms of my heavenly Father, and think I 
felt that the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin. When I 
compare the views and feelings of last session to those I now 
have, I fear I have made little progress during the vacation, 
perhaps none at all! If I know my own heart I do desire to 
serve and love God, but there is such an indifference and want 
of spirituality in all my attempts and prayers, that I almost 
despair of getting free from this miserable state. Come quickly, 

Lord, and bring deliverance. Gave five dollars to a poor stu- 
dent and five dollars more to assist the mission in P I 

have been greatly encouraged since my return by hearing that 
several persons have been moved by my humble essays in the 
Observer to go to Cincinnati. It is not known who wrote them. 
Let not this enterprise fall through, merciful God, but prosper 
it for Thine own glory. Amen. Good Father Reck has an idea 
of going there as a missionary, Hope and pray he may not 
give it up. 

6th. Went to the mission station in Fountain Dale in 
company with brother Gunn. Had an interesting though a 
cold ride. Slept with Mr. B. and was very kindly treated. 
After supper paid a visit to a family a quarter mile off, where 
there was a young boy who greatly desires to obtain an edu- 
cation. Gave him such advice as we thought appropriate. 
Before leaving asked permission to have family worship which 
was granted with all readiness. Brother Gunn made some 
feeling remarks, and I closed with prayer. As a matter of 
course we recommended the Lutheran Observer to him, and 
he willingly subscribed. 

Preaching this morning by Dr. Krauth from the words 
"Blessed is the man who trusteth in Thee". Feel sorry that 

1 expressed myself so freely on the character of his preaching. 
On account of the absence of brother B. I superintended the 
colored Sunday school. Eighty scholars were present, and 
everything was done decently and in order. A poor drunken 
man came in and remained quietly seated during the whole time. 
Took him out in the passage and spoke with him on the danger 
he was in of losing his soul in hell, by indulging in this vice. 
He hearkened as a poor drunkard usually does. Said he knew 
all these things. I then repeated to him that he who knew his 
Master's wiU and did it not, would be punished with many 



72 TEE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT. 

stripes. He returned with me to the school and behaved very- 
well. God have pity on this poor man, and use me as an instru- 
ment to bring him to Thee. Made an address to the school. 
Considerable liberty in speakincr, though not without tempta- 
tions to be spiritually proud. Saw some tears flow, they were 
as fire in my bones and aroused me to great earnestness in 
urging repentance and faith in Christ. 

The brethren who were at Fountain Dale brought the 
the news that a mighty work is going on in Lanesboro. Glory 
to God in the Highest! Let it spread most gloriously over the 
whole country. Amen and amen. Gray-headed sinners are 
among the converts and young men and women. To God be 
all the praise. 

As there was no conference this morning on account of 
Dr. Schmueker's absence, spent the time in reading the 
Scriptures and Fletcher's Life. Am surprised and rejoiced to 
find my experience on the subject of justifying faith so like 
his own. And I bless God that my views were not gained from 
books or treatises but in the bitter yet blessed school of exper- 
ience. Preaching or rather reading in church this morning by 
Prof. Reynolds. What a pitiable substitute for the preached Gos- 
pel are these modern discourses ! Went to see a German family 
in the afternoon to lend them some tracts but no one was home, 
so I went to a second house and left one with a prayer for its 
success. Had a conversation this evening with one of the col- 
lege students, pleaded and prayed with him to bestir himself and 
labor for the conversion of his companions. Endeavored to 
show him that now was the time to be useful, and urged him 
not to put off making efforts until he should enter the ministry. 
Hope my efforts were not in vain. Wrote a letter to Miss M. 
in Canonsburg enclosing three dollars for my poor old widow 
there, and also a second letter to them beseeching them to make 
their peace with God ere they are no more. Retired to rest 
with a calm and peaceful mmd and with many prayers for 
blessings on the labors of the past day. 

Yesterday evening brother S., the young man whom I 
brought from Canonsburg, gave me the history of his conver- 
sion. How was I humbled when he mentioned me as the in- 
strument of arousing him from the security of his natural 
life! Glory to God in the highest for this amazing honor. Let 
me not become puffed up with self on account of it but be 
made more humble and little in my own sight. 



IN THE SEMINARY AT GETTYSBURG. 73 

Several of the little girls and boys of our steward came 
to my room and recited the hymns I had given them. We sang 
several of them together. I then gave them some appropriate 
tracts to read and bade them come again. Query, are they 
not old enough to become the disciples of Jesus, and can I not 
strive to make them such? 

Sabbath day, Dec. 5. Have had a slight attack of fever 
for several days past. During this time I have been in great 
darkness, resulting from omission of known and important 
duties. 

Instead of becoming meeker under the rod of affliction, I 
made an excuse for my indisposition, and did not give the 
allotted time to prayer and the word. Shame on me ! Was not 
careful to conceal the faults of a brother, on the contrary, spoke 
of them where I should not. My iniquities have risen above 
me and my sins are more than the hairs of my head. 

On Thursday evening the Lutheran Observer came to hand 
informing me that one of the Ohio Synods and the Synod of 
the West had pledged themselves to raise four hundred dollars 
for the support of the missionary at Cincinnati. The venerable 
Father Reck has been sent there and the mission has com- 
menced ! Ten thousand praises to the glorious name of the 
Lord. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and joy at this happy 
result of my poor labors. Blessed be His name that the weak 
things of this world are taken to confound the things that are 
mighty. Surely it was God who put it into my heart to write 
these articles and it was the same Almighty power who dis- 
posed the hearts of the brethren to lend a helping hand. On 
reading this intelligence I closed the door and bowed my 
knees in prayer and praise to Him who hath the hearts of all 
men in His hands. Oh, may I be kept humble and lowly under 
all this honor which God has put upon me. 

While on a visit at the H. I heard a sermon which I pray 
I may never forget. In the course of the conversation I used 
a coarse word which was both undignified and vulgar. The 
little boy who was sitting at the table and hearing it com- 
menced laughing most boisterously so that his mother had to 
reprove him. The reproof came from an unexpected quarter 
and went like lightning to my inmost soul. Friends pass over 
our faults out of respect to our feelings and in this way we ob- 
serve them not, but when children and domestics make an 



74 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

error on our account it is time to watch out and guard against 
them. 

Lord's day, Dec. 19. Sent a communication on the subject 
of the mission to C. to the Observer, enclosing thirty dollars 
to this object. Five dollars of this I begged and the other 
twenty-five are from my "poor purse." Blessed be God, I 
have been able to give away forty-two dollars during the last 
twelve months to different benevolent objects. I have at- 
tained this amount by making no unnecessary expenses, by 
wearing plain clothes and by taking care of them and by the 
proceeds of my Almanac. It is well for me that I have no 
worldly posessions, for I fear I could not keep them, the cry 
for spiritual bread is so great! However, my pocket has never 
been empty during all this time, a thing that is quite unac- 
countable to me. 

Saturday evening paid a visit to the reformed drunkard 
who accompanied me to Rock Creek Chapel. Spoke with him re- 
specting his soul, and he seemed somewhat moved. He in- 
formed me that he had not been to church till lately for nine 
years. May God have mercy on him. Amen. 

Am a little cast down in spirit on account of the continued 
soreness of my throat. But my times are in Thy hands, Lord 
of hosts. I can trust Thee for a sound throat 

Fountain Dale, Pennsylvania, Jan. 4., 1842. Brother 
Brown and I went out this morning up the mountain and con- 
tinued until evening visiting from house to house. In all 
fifteen families were visited, with all of whom we read the 
Scriptures, prayed, and warned everyone separately as God 
gave us grace. In almost every. house we found some slain by 
the Spirit, both old and young, moralists and drunkards, Je- 
rusalem sinners, and Gospel-hardened. 

A number of families have commenced family worship 
and have resolved that, let others do as they will, as for them 
and their houses, they will serve the Lord. 

6th. Visited a family of the Methodist Church several 
miles from this place, who are engaged in the whiskey busi- 
ness, and endeavored to show them the sinfulness of their con- 
duct. The son was not at home but the cause found an advo- 
cate in the old lady. She spoke at great length of "The wit- 
ness of the spirit," and "The fruits of good living," but could 
not see any sin in giving poison to her fellow men. Gave her 



IN THE SEMINARY AT GETTYSBURG. 75 

John Wesley's rule "Never to engage in anything on which 
we could not ask the blessing of God." 

Lord's day, 9th. This evening was our last meeting and 
as I felt concerned for the welfare of those who had made a 
commencement in the new life, I preached from these words, 
"And Ruth said. Entreat me not to leave thee or return from 
following after thee ; for whither thou goest I will go ; and where 
thou lodgest I will lodge; thy people shall be my people and 
thy God my God." Every space was crowded to excess and 
some out in the cold ; though I was weak, God so mightily stood 
by and strengthened me that I spoke with ease and great en- 
largement for the space of an hour. I endeavored to show the 
character, manners, duties, etc. of God's people in such a way 
that those who had been lately justified might be benefited, and 
what was meant by taking God as our God. The conclusion 
was awfully solemn and tears fell like the rain. After I con- 
cluded brother Leffler bade them in like manner farewell. We 

then sang a parting hymn We then united in prayer 

and were dismissed. After this we shook hands and amid many 
kind wishes and much weeping bade them adieu. 

Oh how delightfully has the last week passed away! The 
sweet hours spent in visiting from house to house and pointing 
souls to Jesus, will not. soon be forgotton. Neither Will we 
soon forget the scenes of God's power which were witnessed in 
the Schoolhouse in Fountain Dale. We may well say, "What 
hath God wrought!" Upwards of thirty persons of different 
ages and both sexes, have, we trust, been justified by faith in 
Jesus Christ. Probably a score or more are still seeking de- 
liverance from their sins. That these precious souls might not 
be turned to the world, we organized a prayer meeting to be 
held every Sabbath evening, and thirteen persons have signified 
their willingness to unite in prayer. God help them all to con- 
tinue unto the end. Two problems have been solved in my 
mind by these means. First, that I am so far recovered from 
sore throat that I may yet become useful in the Master's ser- 
vice. Secondly, that I shall not be under the necessity of writing 
out my sermons, but can speak with freedom after faithfully 
studying the subject. 

13th. No diary since Monday. I feel every day the need 
of a deeper work within. I want more love, more meekness, 
more charity, more faith and confidence in the promises of God. 
Believing that fasting will prove of the greatest benefit to my 



76 TEE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT. 

growth in the love of Christ, I hereby resolve in the strength 
of God: to abstain from animal food on Wednesdays and Fri- 
days and so arrange my studies that I will be able to devote 
much of this time to meditation and prayer. In looking over 
the past day, I am clearly convinced of the following sins : One, 
desire for praise; two, waste of time; three, ingratitude to 
God for mercies; four, want of meekness and heavenly mind- 
edness; five, eating more than a sufficiency of food. May God 
give me grace to shun them for time to come. 

Had a long walk and conversation with brother Ziegler. 
The question was, "How can we make ourselves more useful 
than heretofore?" The answer agreed upon was, first, by 
praying more fervently for an outpouring of the Spirit in our 
midst. Second, by walking more constantly before God and 
our fellow men. Third, by embracing every opportunity of 
speaking to brethren of the college and urging them to more 
direct effort for the conversion of their fellow students. May 
we have grace from on high to do our duty in these things. 

Visited Prof. Baugher this evening but not finding him 
home walked down to the "poor house" where I found a poor, 
sick man with whom I conversed and prayed. 

18th. and 19th. Received a letter from Dr. Morris, on the 
reception of which I commenced writing a preface to Luther's 
Preface to the Romans, and continued writing till twelve in 
the night. Today I finished. May souls be saved by this little 
treatise .... Took a walk and met with a poor German break- 
ing stones on the turnpike. We conversed together for an 
hour on the subject of religion. I think I could see something 
like spirituality in his conversation. Perhaps he may be one 
of God's dear children! Promised to pay him a visit out in 

the country Read considerably in the journal of John 

Wesley. What a saint! How beautifully the fruits of the 
Spirit were manifested in his walk and conversation. 

Jan. 30. Spent the greater part of the afternoon in read- 
ing Wesley's journal. 

Feb. 1. Have spent a most heartless day. The reason is 
plain: I was not diligent in business and consequently not 
fervent in spirit. These two things always go hand in hand 
with me. Lord, make me more careful to improve and redeem 

the time In reviewing the past days of my life, I am 

clearly convinced: one, that half of my time has been lost by 
the want of system, two, that if I wish to become useful in the 



IN THE SEMINARY AT GETTY SBVRG,. 11 

church I must study more and that more thoroughly. In order 
to remedy the first and carry out the second, I hereby lay 
down for my direction the following rules: First, before re- 
tiring at night I will make a system of action for the coming 
day. 

Second, before going into the room of a brother, I will ask 
myself, "Is it absolutely necessary? " 

Third, When I visit the room of anyone I will attend to 
my message and go away. 

Fourth, That I will study more critically, frequently asking 
myself, "Do I comprehend the author 's meaning, ' ' and after 
having gone over the lesson, ask, **Can you give the arguments 
and facts as they occur ? " 

Oh may God help me to observe these simple directions! 
Then can I live twice where before I scarcely lived once. 



78 THE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT. 



CHAPTER V. 

^ FIRST CHARGE AND WORK IN BALTIMORE. 

As we have seen from Mr. Passavant's journal, before he 
left Gettysburg, he had undertaken to raise money for an Eng- 
lish Lutheran Church in Cincinnati. In this he had succeeded 
• and at his suggestion the Rev. A. Reck was sent there. This 
was the beginning of English Lutheran work in Cincinnati. 

On his way from Zelienople, where he had taken a short 
rest, to Baltimore, he stopped at Wheeling, preached English 
in the German church and was deeply impressed wth the need 
of an English mission there. He tried to interest some others, 
but they were not so sanguine and the work was delayed for 
a time. During the same summer he began to agitate for an 
English church, in Louisville, Ky. To this end he corresponded 
with the Rev. M. R. McChesney, personally interested leading 
men in the east and advocated the project in the Observer. 
This resulted in the beginning of the English work in that city. 

Arriving at Baltimore, young Passavant found himself in 
the office of "The Book Company of the Evangelical Lutheran 
Church in the United States" as nominally assistant editor of 
the Observer but really, as far as the work was concerned, prin- 
cipal editor Dr. Kurtz told him on his return from his jour- 
ney that "all things had been conducted according to his 
mind in his absence which had never before been the ease". 
Mr. Passavant writes his mother: "The difficulties of the times 
have given Dr. Kurtz a considerable degree of sourness in all his 
dealings with others but towards me he has hitherto manifested 
a kind spirit and I cannot complain of anything wrong in this 
quarter". 

His former fellow student, the youthful Charles Porter- 
field Krauth, was laboring in a suburb of Baltimore as a 
licentiate of the Maryland Synod. His field had been selected 
by the Rev. Dr. J. G. Morris. The mission was called "The 
Congregational Church in Canton adjoining Baltimore". The 
field is thus described by Mr. Krauth in his journal: 

"A large portion of the inhabitants are, however, from 
the very dregs of the city. The number of inhabitants within 



FIRST CHARGE AND WORK IN BALTIMORE. 79 

a distance presenting no reasonable obstacle to their attendance 
on my preaching, is perhaps two hundred, yet even of this 
comparatively small number only a small minority are atten- 
dants on divine worship, and of the twenty or twenty-five who 
attended chapel but one man makes a profession of religion. 
He together with two or three pious ladies and myself, are the 
forces with which the Lord has seen proper to take field against 
satan in this place. 'Not by might, not by power, but by 
my Spirit,' is the greatest declaration that He has made of 
His mode of operation. In Him then we will trust; may He, 
as He has often done, conquer the mighty by the weak, and by 
the little leaven impenetrate and modify the whole lump. 

"The Sunday school numbers about twenty-five today, 
having nearly doubled its number since the Sabbath I came. 
There are now three female and three male teachers including 
myself. ' ' 

After laboring there for nine months, Mr. Krauth writes: 

"My congregation at Canton does not increase rapidly, 
nor indeed is there the material here for a congregation. There 
are perhaps one hundred and fifty or two hundred from whom 
the church is at a convenient distance, including all men, 
women, children and infants. Of these some attend on the 
Point, some cannot be persuaded to attend anywhere, some are 
drunken and worthless creatures, so that after having gathered 
in all the material that can be worked upon, there are not a 
dozen families to whom we can reasonably look for support. 
The project is untenable, in this present form almost foolish, 
and I entertain no doubt whatever, that in another sphere I 
might be incalculably more useful. If the representations 
made to me by some in regard to the unhealthfulness of the 
place should be at all realized, I shall not be able to stay; but 
I think they are exaggerated. It is undoubtedly fever-and- 
ague-ish". 

To show something of the character of the mission work 
to be done there, we give this characteristic account by Mr. K. 
of one of his pastoral visits: 

"I devote every afternoon to visiting. I go to a house at 
which I have never been. Tap, tap, tap. Enter, a dirty woman, 
a litter of puppies, three dirty children, like the king and the 
two fiddlers in the play. 'What do you want?' 'I am 
the preacher, ma'm, I preach in the little white church over 
here.' 'Yes, sir.' 'I guess, ma'm, I'll walk in and take a seat.' 



80 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

'Well, I guess you can. Run, Tommy, empty the wash water 
out of the big tub, and turn it up ior the gentleman to sit on, 
and put a bone on the fire and blow it up clare. ' 'Ain't no 
bone, mammy, pup run off with it ; hoop 's off the big tub. The 
gentleman will get spilled if he sits on it.' 

' ' By this time I have made my way into the room that com- 
bines within itself the various characters of the dining room, 
drawing room, kitchen, woodhouse, ash hole, dirt box, sleeping 
room, nursery, parlor. A bedstead without a bed, a hearth with- 
out a single coal, the half of a woodcut once occupying the head 
of a circus placard pasted over the mantel piece, a handful of 
the leaves of a worm-eaten and dust-covered Bible — a table with 
two whole legs, with one broken one, and with another one not 
there, a triangular piece of looking glass fixed over it with two 
tacks and a piece of shoemaker's wax, the bowl and part of the 
stem of a common tobacco pipe, and one solitary skillet, with 
the same number of feet as Ionic verse, constituted the furni- 
ture. 

"As the foreground to this picture let me present to your 
notice the aforesaid mother, children, puppies, and the pulices 
irritantes (which last animated little being, however, no living 
author but Combe could properlj^ develop or bring into full 
view). Then in the farthest corner with the brow as dark 
metaphorically, as dirt had rendered it literally, stood the oldest 
daughter over that very tub, whose contents the representa- 
tions of Tommy in regard to the unsoundness of the vessel had 
for a time spared. The chair on which it stood had three legs, 
and the place of the fourth was supplied by the knee of the 
young lady, to whom, if I mistake not, the mother applied the 
romantic title of Pumkin-blossom, or some other of about the 
same length and equally euphonious. Her red arms, bare to the 
shoulder, gave support and motion to a tremendous pair of 
hands which with firm grasp had seized on the lower extremity 
of a solitary little shirt, which floated 'alone along upon the 
wide, wide sea' of soapsuds. Before I had completed the rapid 
survey Avhich I have detailed, one of the children had crawled 
under the bed and now, giving a loud yell of triumph, next 
moment came forth in clouds of feathers and fine dust, holding 
vigorously to the hinder leg of that animal so hated by Jews, 
so cherished by the sons of green Erin. Oh what a scene then 
took place ! ' Ye de\'il 's brats, ye ! Lit go of Tony ', screamed the 
mother. 'Bate him, Billy — pull him Billy boy — give it to him — 



F1E8T CHARGE AND WORK IN BALTIMORE. 81 

twitch his little tail,' roared the young ones, who fairly kicked 
in ecstatic delight as Tony ran here and there dragging the 
boy after him, squealing such agonizing notes, tearing every 
nerve. Glad to escape from this scene, and satisfied for the 
present that I could do nothing, I made a hasty retreat." 

In less than a year after he had taken charge, Mr. K. re- 
signed and recommended his friend Mr. Passavant as his suc- 
cessor. The people therefore invited Mr. Passavant to preach 
for them. He consented on this condition, that they would per- 
mit him to organize a Lutheran Church. To this they readily 
agreed and so he took temporary charge of Canton as his first 
pastorate and organized 'The First English Evangelical Luth- 
eran Church of Canton'. The little flock was made up of mixed 
and heterogeneous material. They offered him a small salary. 
"But," he says, "as I was only laboring for them on Sundays 
and my labors were very poor for want of due preparation, I 
refused to receive anything". On account of his labors on the 
Observer, he did not intend to be permanent pastor but hoped 
that the church of Canton would be placed under the care of 
another. He was pressed, however, by Dr. Morris to accept a 
regular call to Canton and also to another church at Oldtown 
on Monument St., called Luther Chapel. The call to these two 
missions is as follows: 

"Baltimore, August 29, 1842. 
To the Rev. Mr. Passavant, 
Dear Sir: 

At a meeting of the council of the Lutheran congre- 
gation at Canton and at Luther Chapel, Monument St., the 
following resolution was unanimously adopted. 

'Resolved that the Rev. Mr. Passavant be invited to 
take the pastoral charge of the two congregations for six months 
and that a compensation or salary of ^150 be offered him for 
that time'. 

In accordance with the above resolution we, in behalf 
of the congregations which we represent, respectfully solicit 
you to occupy our pulpits for the time mentioned and in the 
event of your acceptance of our invitation sincerely hope that 
God will abundantly bless your labors amongst us. 

^ • ■ Yours very respectfully 

■■: ^ii^ '<- Nathan Bowen 

>u^:i 'I' William Lusley 

Wm. Tensfield 
Wm. A. Wesong 
Henry Mowry 
Thomas H. Coulson." 



82 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

At Luther Chapel the outlook was better than at Canton. 
Mr. Passavant writes his mother: 

"Luther Chapel was erected by Dr. Morris's members as 
a house for a new Sunday School which they had established 
in this part of the city and as a temporary church. It will hold 
between three and four hundred people. Here I have not yet 
organized a congregation. Last Sunday morning, I preached 
at this place for the first time. About ninety or one hundred 
persons were present, almost all of whom are of Lutheran 
parentage, and expect to attend regularly. This chapel is lo- 
cated most favorably for us, and I have not a doubt, but that 
I shall be able to organize a congregation of from fifteen to 
thirty members by the first of January, 1843. Our Sunday 
school numbers one hundred and sixty-two scholars and in- 
creases every day. The best of all is, that we are almost out of 
debt, only five hundred dollars remaining against us. This 
shall be paid by spring, and then we will owe no man anything 
but love. I mention these things in order to give you some 
idea of this immense field, which covers the whole of Oldtown, 
and to correct the wrong idea you are under that I will have 
but a few families to visit. On the contrary I must visit from 
house to house and have much more of this kind of duty than 
Mr. Morris or Krauth." 

Mr. Passavant was licensed by the Maryland Synod in 
Frederick, Md., on the evening of Oct. 17., 1842. Mr. Krauth 
was ordained by the same Synod on the next evening. 

Mr. Passavant gives his mother this account of his licen- 
sure and of the emotions that accompanied the solemn act : 

"Having made application for membership, the president 
appointed an examining committee, Drs. Morris, Kurtz and 
Prof. Baugher, to examine me before the whole Synod. This 
they did for the space of one and one half hours, 'to their 
entire satisfaction'; at the end of which time, they informed 
the Synod that they regarded the whole as a mere matter of 
formality in my case, being prepared to vote for me without an 
examination at all. Consequently the examination ceased at 
this stage, though the committee had not questioned me on half 
the subjects laid down in the Constitution. After the sermon 
in the evening, I was publicly licensed to perform all the duties 
of a minister of Jesus Christ. Dr. Kurtz then made a long and 
most fervent address to me, charging me to know nothing else' 
and to preach nothing else but Jesus and Him crucified. I trust, 



FIRST CHARGE AND WORK IN BALTIMORE. 83 

dearest mother, that I may be able to do that while I live. I 
took the world by the hand and gave it a farewell grasp. Now 
I am the Lord 's, fully, wholly, and unreservedly ! I am will- 
ing to do, be and suffer, anything and everything which He 
may command. I am perfectly happy in my choice. I could 
not possibly do anything else than preach the Gospel, either 
with my living voice or the pen. This is the consummation of 
all my hopes for the last five years, and now that I enlisted in 
the service, 'God being my helper', I will die fighting. Do pray 
for me, that I may be a fearless and successful preacher of the 
New Testament. But I may not say more on this subject, for 
my paper will not contain all I should like to write. ' ' 

He returned to Baltimore and took up his work more ear- 
nestly than ever. He was at this time thoroughly imbued with 
the New Measure spirit and it was his constant effort to bring 
about a revival. In his private journal he shows how he prayed 
and preached and exhorted night after night, urging mourners 
to come forward for prayer that they might be immediately 
converted. These high pressure methods called New Measures 
were brought to bear after every evening sermon. Sometimes 
the meetings were "protracted" until after midnight. Among 
the mourners or seekers and exhorters there was a confused 
mingling of tears, groans, cries and occasional loud shoutings. 
Praying, singing and exhorting often went on at the same 
time. The journal records cases of persons falling to the floor 
and becoming as stiff as if dead. 

It seems strange to read of such things being done in a 
Lutheran Church. But it was the spirit of the age. Emotional 
revivalism was in the air and nearly all the Reformed churches 
were affected by it. The English Lutheran Church, as we have 
seen, had in many cases followed the churches around her. The 
so-called New Measures were encouraged and practiced by the 
professors of the seminary at Gettysburg. Here is a description 
of a revival in one of the congregations of Rev. A. Reck who 
was the pioneer of the English Lutheran work in Indianapolis 
and the region round about and in Cincinnati. He tells his 
story thus : 

*'It is now about twenty-six years ago that I left Win- 
chester, Virginia, one Sunday morning to preach in the town 
of Strasburg. As I rode along, I endeavored to think of a text 
from which to preach, but could find none to suit me. When 
I came to the church I had not yet determined on any particu- 



84 THE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT. 

lar one and did not know what I should do. Neither could I 
imagine why my tastes were so hard to please, as I had never 
before experienced any difficulty in making a selection. Before 
giving out a hymn I turned over the leaves of my Bible, but 
all in vain; nothing would suit, and in the dilemma I still 
remained while the hymn was sung. What was to be done, I* 
knew not, but I thought I would ask God in prayer, A short 
time after I had commenced praying, the windows of heaven 
were opened and more than one half the audience were on a 
sudden prostrated to the ground, crying out with the most 
dreadful shrieks 'What must we do to be saved?' I continued 
on praying with great fervency and when the prayer was con- 
eluded, I was lost in amazement at the singular sight the con- 
gregation presented. As I could not find a subject on which to 
preach I changed the meeting into a meeting of prayer and 
in this way we spent the usual time appointed for public wor- 
ship. From this moment I was marked out as a victim of the 
most violent persecution. I then appointed a prayer meeting 
in a private house at early candle lighting and particularly in- 
vited all who were convinced of sin to be present. We locked 
the doors and windows to prevent interruption from without 
and endeavored to seek the Lord by diligent and persevering 
prayer. The God of praytr was truly in our midst and the 
whole assembly were at work in mighty wrestlings with Jeho- 
vah. No disposition was manifested to give over and we con- 
tinued till eight o'clock in the morning in this awfully solemn 
and delightful employment. As the room we were in was not 
large, we placed all those in the next room who had found peace 
in believing, and as soon as one was converted the door was 
opened and he would be welcomed in by those who were al- 
ready there. Never did I see such rejoicing, such exceeding 
great joy as in that room. They sang praises to God for de- 
liverance, they embraced each other and strove with Jacob's 
God for the blessing on those who were yet groaning under the 
weight of sin. I can almost hear the glad sound of praise 
again though twenty-five years have sadly dealt with my re- 
collection. When husbands and wives met in the same room 
their rejoicing would go beyond any idea which could be 
formed of such a scene. .Oh ! the memory of that night is pre- 
cious. It fills my soul with gladness even at this distant period. 
If I recollect right, brother Wm. Keil, now in Senecaville, 
Ohio, was among the last, if not the very last whose heart the 



FIRST CHARGE AND WORK IN BALTIMORE. 85 

Lord opened that night. He was then a carpenter in Stras- 
burg and had sixteen months of his time to serve with his 
master. As his call to preach was so evidently of the Holy 
Ghost, I bought out his time at the rate of eighteen dollars per 
month and being unmarried I took him to myself. He remained 
several years, boarding with me, preaching the Gospel not only 
with zeal and faithfulness but also with fruit. He then la- 
bored in Virginia for a number of years and finally removed to 
Ohio, where he has been honored of the Master in the conversion 
of a vast multitude of souls. After this heavenly shower of 
grace, my life was threatened if I were ever to return to 
Strasburg. ' ' 

The excesses of these New Measures occasioned much earnest 
thought and study in the minds of intelligent Lutherans. In 
other churches, also, earnest voices were raised against them. 
Rev. Dr. Alfred Nevin, professor in the theological seminary of 
the German Reformed Church in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, 
published a ringing pamphlet called "The Anxious Bench", 
which produced a marked effect. Earnest protests were raised 
against the Gettysburg Seminary and the Lutheran Observer 
for advocating these measures. The ]\Iinisterium of Pennsyl- 
vania in 1842 passed a resolution recalling the recommendation 
which it had given to the Lutheran Observer at its former meet- 
ing, but recommended the Kirchenzeitung as highly desirable 
inasmuch as it "promises to exercise a happy influence in the 
preservation of pure doctrine and cheerful, active Christian- 
ity in the Church." The same convention accused licentiate 
W. Laitzel of introducing the New Measures into his church 
and refused to renew his license "As long as he shall not have 
changed his views in accordance with the principles of this 
Synod." At the same convention the theological seminary at 
Columbus was recommended "as an institution worthy of our 
support", and a committee of two members was appointed to 
correspond with that institution as to the manner and to what 
extent this body might enter into connection with it. 

The Synod of the Eastern district of Ohio also passed 
resolutions against the New Measures. The Synod of Indiana 
resolved to appoint a committee "to write an expose of the con- 
duct of the ' Generalists ' and show up their attempt to subvert 
the Lutheran doctrine and discipline". The Tennessee Synod 
also severely denounced the General Synod and appointed a 
committee to ' ' draw up resolutions against it. ' ' 



86 THE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT. 

During the Summer Mr. Passavant visited and preached 
at Fountain Dale, near Gettysburg, where he had gathered and 
organized a congregation during the previous winter. The 
congregation was now building a church and he was invited 
to preach at the laying of the corner stone. He remained for 
some days "visiting from house to house, preaching, praying, 
reading the Scriptures and speaking to all, old and young." 

From Fountain Dale, he went to the seminarj^ and con- 
sulted his former professors about giving up his connection 
with the Observer, as he had never agreed to engage himself 
for a stipulated time. "Everyone urged me" he says "to re- 
main in Baltimore and gave as a reason that Dr. Kurtz's un- 
popularity in the church was so great that he would feel the 
necessity of retiring from his present seat in order to keep the 
Observer afloat and that I would certainly have to become his 
successor." "Our minister in York also spoke to me in the 
same way and I have received letters from all parts of the 
church expressive of their pleasure in the pacific course which 
has been observed in conducting the Observer. Even Mr. Kurtz 
has told me that he would retire before long and that I would 
be offered the position of editor by the General Synod." 

His mother on being informed of this state of affairs gave 
him this sound advice : 

"First, let me premise that the idea of your supplanting 
Mr. K. in the editorship of the Observer (flattering though it 
may be) is a very painful one to me because I know full well 
that if they have saddled you with it, it is a charge you will not 
easily be able to shake off. You may find it 'delightful' to 
write occasional editorials, but for years to come, sick or well, 
you have the whole responsibility on your shoulders, to gain 
the ill will of opponents, to get often unavoidably involved in 
theological discussions for which your unfinished studies do not 
qualify you, is too much for a youngman of your age and delicate 
constitution and sufficient to sour your temper and make you 
prematurely old. If the loss of your voice precluded any other 
sphere of usefulness, it would be a different thing, but that 
being mercifully restored, it would certainly be more pleasant 
to become the beloved pastor of a church ! In case you should 
be offered the sole editorship on Mr. K. 's retiring you could 
with great propriety decline it on account of your youth and 
'your not feeling yourself competent to assume so weighty a 
responsibility'. Our church surely cannot be in such a low 



FIRST CHARGE AND WORK IN BALTIMORE. 87 

intellectual state but that an equally well qualified person 
might be found to take charge of it, and while you would gafn 
credit for your modesty, you would retire with honor from 
a place where a longer occupancy would probably betray your 
deficiencies. ' ' 

On receipt of this letter, Mr. Passavant positively refused 
to listen to any further propositions to become editor-in-chief. 
Under the pressure that was brought to bear, however, he re- 
lunctantly consented to remain for the present as assistant 
editor. 

During the short time between June and October, 1842, 
he wrote editorials on Street Preaching, Temperance and Re- 
ligion, Pulpit Eloquence, Revivals. There is also a draft of a 
proposed Historical Society. In this he took a deep and active 
interest. He did more than any other one man for its found- 
ing and its promotion. He gives us this picture of his editorial 
work: 

"Well, beloved mother, I have now had a trial of editorial 
life and a hard one it has been. Since the departure of Mr. K. 
every moment of my time has been occupied in selecting, cor- 
recting, reading proof, writing or trying to write editorials, 
selling books, answering letters, etc., etc. and all, too, amid the 
clatter and rattle of drays, negroes, our large power press, and 
'printer's devils'." 

Amid all his various and exacting duties he was still the 
same loving son and his thoughts returned again and again to 
the quiet, congenial home on the beautiful Connoquenessing. 

Feb. 6, 1842, he writes this: 

"I cannot tell you how grateful your letters, dearest 
mother, are to me in my solitary hours. I read them over 
and over again, and often when all is heavy and dark within 

do they give me light and comfort I thank God for 

parents, for brothers and sisters, for that dear circle which 
composes our family. As every member makes up a part of 
that circle, I rejoice, though separated by time and distance, to 
occupy my appropriate chair." 

In the same letter he speaks thus of his work: "In fact I 
am the servant of all men — black as well as white. Catholic 
and Protestant. I have introduced a separate clause in the 
service when I baptize the children of negroes. I make them 
take a solemn promise that they will teach them to read and 
write as soon as they are capable of learning. ' ' 



88 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

In his journal, Nov. 26., he gives this account of a visit 
to hear a man who was very famous in his day : 

"I went to Mr. Hammer's church in Hanover St., this 
evening, to hear Elihu Burrit, the 'learned blacksmith,' lecture. 
His subject was Roman Patriotism and he treated it in a style 
truly masterly. He forges the nervous thoughts and words 
with all the ease of play. He is without doubt one of the most 
astonishing men of the age. Though but a common blacksmith, 
working eight hours every day, yet has he acquired sixty lang- 
uages during the last ten years of his life. And all this, too, 
without the aid of an instructor. What will not labor and per- 
severance accomplish ! ' ' 

Nov. 28., he adds: ''In the evening went to hear the 
learned blacksmith. His subject was 'Genius' and the object 
of his remarks was to prove that eminence in knowledge de- 
pends not on 'natural gifts', 'natural talents' or 'genius' but 
on laborious and persevering study. 'What man can do I can 
do' was a favorite expression. I came away fully determined 
by the help of God to aim at greater usefulness than any man 
has yet accomplished." 

For lack of Lutheran Literature he distributed in his 
pastoral work the publications of the "American Tract So- 
ciety". Besides smaller tracts, he used such books as The 
Dairyman's Daughter, Harlan Page, Baxter's Call, Baxter's 
Saint 's Rest, Doddridge 's Rise and Progress, Pilgrim 's Progress, 
Pike's Guide to Young Disciples, James' Anxious Inquirer 
and other books of that nature. He tells us how he himself 
studies Charles Wesley: "During the interval of yesterday 
and today, I carefully read Jackson's life of Charles Wesley. 
There is much interesting matter on the early history of 
primitive Christianity set forth in this volume, which is not to 
be found in the lives of Whitefield and J. Wesley. The manner 
in which these young men were led to the simple truth in Jesus 
and raised up of God for His own work is truly' past won- 
derful'." 

In another place he says: "Read through a German 
pamphlet on the 'New Birth'. Intend to read some German 
every day to become able to preach in this language to the 
thousands of Germans who daily flock to our shores." 

In his pastoral visits he took special pains to hunt up the 
sick, the poor and the colored people who were without any 



FIRST CHARGE AND WORK IN BALTIMORE. 89 

church connection and won many of them for Christ and His 
church. 

He was at this time easily carried away by his feelings. 
After going to hear the then famous Alexander Campbell, he 
says: "Went to the Disciples Church to hear this celebrated 
man of Bethany, Virginia, deliver a most glorious sermon on 
the person, character and office of Christ. His opponents have 
represented him as Unitarian in his sentiments. But never was 
anyone more unjustly misrepresented." 

On Thanksgiving day, 1842, he thus reviewed the year. 
"To me this has been a year of mercy. My throat is perfectly 
restored. I can now, blessed be God, lift up my voice like a 
trumpet. God has owned the exertion of His unworthy ser- 
vant in a wonderful manner. I can well say: 'What hath God 
wrought ! ' I have through His help collected and organized 
two new congregations: one at Canton and the other at Foun- 
tain Dale, Pa., have collected another at Luther Chapel in this 
city and am beginning a fourth at Fell's Point. I have also 
succeded in persuading a brother to begin a mission in Louis- 
ville, Ky., and by the articles in the Observer on Western 
Missions have raised him a support. During the past year, I 
issued from the press the Lutheran Almanac in English and 
German, the preface of Luther to the Romans, besides editing 
the Observer for a period of four months. Lord, what have 
I done that Thou shouldst lay this honor on me ! But the best 
of all is that many scores of sinners have been converted to 
God and now show forth the peaceable fruits of righteousness. 
I have enjoyed one continuous revival in the district since I 
was received into the ministry two months ago. Lord humble 
me and lay me in the dust ! It is too much, it is too much ! Let 
me feel that I am a worm but Thou, Almighty God, dost take 
the weak things of the world to confound those that are mighty ! 
Hallelujah, praise the Lord!" 

On New Year's day, 1843, he writes: "And now another 
year has commenced. Am I certain that it will not be my 
last? Let me then do the work of Him that sent me while it is 
day before the night cometh when no man can work. ' ' 

Jan. 9., he gives his mother this account of his work: 

"As I know you to be interested in my humble affairs in 
this city, I must tell you something more of my Oldto'WTi 
diocese. On the last Thursday in the old year," I organized a 



90 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

congregation at Luther Chapel in Monument Street. Our num- 
ber of members is between thirty and forty. Several of these 
belonged to Dr. Morris' church but, on account of the distance, 
and of his request, united with the chapel. The others were 
from the world, some of whom were drunkards and Sabbath- 
breakers who have been caught in the net of the gospel, since 
the chapel has been erected. Our congregations have of late 
increased in a very encouraging manner. On Sunday nights 
the house is crowded from end to end by persons of all denomi- 
nations; among these are many who scarcely ever attend the 
house of God, and it is among this class particularly that we 
hope to be useful. I cannot be sufficiently grateful to Him 
who has given me favor among these people. I have not had 
time to write a sermon since the first one I preached, and since 
am compelled to preach with or without notes just as it 
happens. This to one without much practice is no easy task 
and I sometimes feel so humbled after preaching that I wonder 
how anyone will have the patience to listen to my efforts. This 
is not vain talk. I have often wished myself a thousand miles 
away, not because I am tired of my Master's work, but because 
I feel deeply conscious of my own imperfections. - I endeavor 
to do the best I am able but Oh, how feeble my attempts, and 
yet God has set His seal upon the work of my hands ! To him 
be all the honor. I am happy to be able to give you a good 
report of our little flock in Canton. So far they have all con- 
tinued faithful 'in the apostles 'doctrine, and in prayer and in 
breaking of bread'. My rejoicing is not weak when I go there. 
Such a simple, loving people I have never seen. I expect to 
confirm several more at our next sacrament. The church there 
has lately erected a belfry on the chapel and a bell of one 
hundred and fifty pounds now calls the worshippers together." 
His mother gives him this sound homiletical advice: "The 
idea of preaching so often, not only without written sermons, 
but even without notes, seems perfectly frightful to me and al- 
most presumptuous and irreverent; as if subjects so high and 
exalted did not demand at our hands all the preparation we 
could make." 

Jan. 20., he writes in his journal. ''In the morning visited 
from house to house, praying and counseling all as grace was 
given me. Spoke to some of the brethren on the necessity of 
building a new chapel, as the one in which we worship will no 
longer hold the congregation. Blessed be God, the house which 



FIRST CHARGE AND WORK IN BALTIMORE. 91 

a few months ago would hold five times the people we could 
then muster has now become too strait for us. 
Feb. 1., he records his pastoral experiences: 

"This is the first day of the second month. During the past 
month, I have preached about twenty times, and done much in 
the way of exhortations. Oh, for a grateful heart that I have 
been enabled to accomplish something for Him who has re- 
deemed me by his own precious blood. Visited a large number 
of families this morning. Called on Mrs. K. who has a diffi- 
culty with one of her sisters, who has already asked her pardon 
time and again. After spending an hour's talk and praying 
with her she flatly refused to forgive her. I told her the conse- 
quences, and besought her to save her soul, but it was vain talk. 
She said, 'Mr. Passavant, I cannot,' Well my hands are 
washed in innocency. I have delivered my soul. This woman 
was a backslider once before. A few weeks ago she raised the 
whole neighborhood by her shouts of 'glory'. Now she cannot 
forgive the smallest offence; Oh what a Christianity! From 
this moonshine religion, good Lord deliver us for Jesus sake." 

In March we find this entry: "Walked up from Canton 
this morning, visited several schoolrooms on the Point, to select 
one for a Sunday School which I design establishing among the 
Germans on the Point. Hired the lecture room of Trinity 
Church for eighteen dollars per annum and expect to commence 
on Sunday. Oh, may God's blessing rest on this infant enter- 
prise! Finished the rules for Lay helpers and sent them to 
brother Kurtz for revisal. Wrote to brother B. at G. concerning 
the church in Canton. Lord, send deliverance out of Zion. 
Send it speedily. Began the Constitution of the Baltimore 
Conference. ' ' 

A week later this: "Lord's day. After breakfeast I 
walked down to our new Sunday School in Trinity. It already 
numbers forty scholars, though this was only the second mor- 
ning on which it was held. I was much gratified with the sight 
of so many happy children, so quiet and orderly. I confidently 
believe that this school will yet become the nucleus of a 
church. " 

He was still setting great store by the Wesleys and was 
beyond doubt much influenced by them. It would have been 
better for him if he had given the same earnest study to Luther, 
Gerhard and Arndt. 



92 TEE LIFE OF W, A. PAS8AVANT. 

Here is an extract from his journal of April 30. : 

''Remained at home this evening and read over some of 
Wesley's journal. They are the best works on pastoral theology 
I have ever found. For in them we have theory put into prac- 
tice. "While reading over Wesley's experience, the thought oc- 
curred to me that I might be an instrument in the spread of 
'Scripture holiness' by writing a small treatise on justification 
and publishing it in connection with Wesley's experience, or 
rather publish the narrative of his justification, with a preface 
and notes of my own. My time is now so fully occupied in the 
duties of my charge that I could not find time to carry the 
idea to maturity. Meanwhile I will give myself to prayer and 
reflection thereon. Perhaps good may result from the thought." 

We select also this characteristic specimen from his joui-nal, 
to show the legalistic state of his mind at this time. When he 
was so sick and weak that he could scarcely be on his feet he 
made this entry, May 2.. 

"Overslept myself this morning and thereby lost an hour! 
Forgive me this also, Oh God. Spent the morning in study. 
In the afternoon visited six or seven families. Neglected to 
pray at several places where I should not have omitted this 
duty." 

Here is a heart-to-heart letter in which he recounts his own 
deep inner experience and incidentally his pastoral methods 
written a short time before his death for the instruction and the 
encouragement of a young minister, who wrote for advice. 

"My dear friend M. 

Grace and Peace! I need not assure you that your letter 
was a source of unusual consolation to my heart. It carried 
me back upwards of half a century when the Lord was pleased 
to reveal his Son to me, not only as the Saviour, which I had 
known from childhood, but as the blessed One who loved me 
and died for me. Few could have been more conscientious than 
John Wesley, who, with a little band of devout young men at 
Oxford, had braved the ridicule of the collegians and lived a life 
of self-denial and compassion to the poor and imprisoned, and 
yet this man, in 1742, had to learn from the pious Lutheran 
Salzburgers and a little band of Moravians on the vessel which 
carried him to Savannah, Georgia, that he had only the faith 
of a servant and not the child ! Going back to England, crushed 
and miserable, without any true rest for his soul, he wrote as 
you do, that he had 'never before been converted', and sought 
peace with God diligently and with fear for a whole winter 



FIRST CHARGE AND WORK IN BALTIMORE. 93 

among the Moravians in Hernhut, Germany, but at las"' was 
enabled to believe with the living and personal faith that Christ 
Jesus had died for him and that he, even he, was forgiven for 
Christ's sake! Then when like Luther, through the hearing of 
one of his tracts (his Preface to the Epistle to the Romans) he 
attained to this personal knowledge of the Savior and was 
justified by faith — he began to preach to others the unsearch- 
able riches of Christ. You speak kindly of a conversation with 

me on the porch of , but it was this incident in the life of 

Wesley, which, in a very providential way came into my hands, 
that revealed to me the great want of my soul. I was about to 
go to the seminary at Gettysburg and to preach Christ to others, 
and yet I could only say 'I know He is the Savior of all men', 
but I could not say, 'He is my Savior, who hath redeemed me 
a lost and condemned creature, not with silver and gold but 
with His holy and precious blood and with His innocent suffer- 
ings and death' (see second article in Catechism). Oh, the 
bitterness of those months of uncertainty and wretchedness! 
And yet, when, after tears and strong cryings unto God, I was 
reduced to the confession, that I was a poor and helpless sinner 
who could do nothing towards meriting salvation, it pleased 
God by the foolishness of preaching to work in me the saving 
trust in Christ. I, too, thought I had never been converted, but 
this was a mistake in my case, as in that of Wesley and count- 
less others. There is the faith of the servant full of carefulness 
and the fear of offending God, and when yve believe with all the 
heart that Christ has died for our sins, and risen for our justi- 
fication, love takes the place of fear and God gives us the faith 
not of a servant but of a child, which cries ' Abba father ' ! 

"This consciousness of personal salvation is the greatest 
of all consolations, especially to a minister of the Word. It 
brings us into a new world of life and love. It enables us 
rightly to divide the Word of truth, preaching the law of a 
holy God and thus slaying all earthly hope, and then to come 
with the blessed Gospel to heal, the broken-hearted and 'bring 
them under Jesus'. 

"In all the trying experience, through which we poor 
ministers must pass, nothing is more helpful to us than this 
experience of a soul struggle with the light and love of God. 
It is the one great proposition without which we may indeed 
be useful in holding the lamp at the door for others to enter 
in and be saved, while we remain without in the dreariness and 
trembling of a chill servitude, but this alone can make our 



94 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

ministry a tMng of unspeakable gladness and enlarged use- 
fulness. 

"Now, dear M., now that God has done great things for 
you 'whereof you are glad,' 'give all diligence to make your 
calling and election sure'. Sacredly devote an hour after break- 
fast in the morning and one hour between nine and ten in the 
evening to the devotional reading of the sacred Scriptures and 
(memorizing certain passages) with self examination and 
prayer, praying over a list of all the catechumens, members and 
occasional hearers as well as special objects, not so much kneel- 
ing as walking up and down the room to keep awake and in 
this way find a wonderful opening of the truth. A chapter in 
the old Testament in the morning, read over, prayed over and 
studied, often on my knees, and in the evening one in the new 
Testament, in the same spirit, did wonders for me. Of course, 
I read regularly, until the whole bible was studied, and I was 
amazed at both my simple ignorance of the Word and my ad- 
vance in knowledge ■ by thus comparing spiritual things with 
spiritual in the Old and the New. I was especially inspired and 
quickened to find a personal faith in Christ, the Lamb of God, 
like a great meridian line stretched over the four thousand years 
of the history of the Old Testament into the New and that thus 
Christ became all in all to those who believe in Him and are 
saved. May I recommend this method to you, dear brother, 
very earnestly. Silence and solitude are the home of the mighty. 
Be much with God that you may do much for men. Make the 
new year a new life, by adopting new life rules, 'stick unto 
God's testimonies' while life and breath remain. Judging from 
my own sorrowful experience in the first years of my ministry, 
let me again suggest taking your texts from the Gospels and 
Epistles, and study them on your knees, if necessary, to get at 
the heart of them. They are full of Christ and their richness 
will wonderfully strengthen, comfort and establish you in the 
knowledge and love of God. Peace be with you. 

"When I came to Pittsburg, I made a list of members, 
with their streets in certain parts of the city, so that I might 
drop in and see as many as possible when in that part of the 
city. Then I had another list of young persons, not yet identi- 
fied with the Church, and also of adults, and I prayed for four 
or five of these daily and always before calling at the place 
where they were. In this way, among others, your dear father 
was drawn to the Church, and many others. I hereby send 
you a little book which you can carry in your pocket and over 



FIRST CHARGE AND WORK IN BALTIMORE. 95 

the certain parts, ask God's blessing upon it daily. — A word 
from Luther: 'You have entered the ship with Christ and what 
do you expect? Fair weather and pleasant sailing? Nay, but 
storms and tempest and at times Christ Himself will seem to 
sleep. But how blessed the awakening, when He will say: 
'peace, be still' ! And there will be a great calm !' " 

Here is a characteristic sample of his work : 

"At three in the afternoon I preached to the colored people 
in Fifth Street. The house was crowded to overflowing. About 
sixteen hundred persons were present. The singing was glorious 
but the incessant shouting of these people was anything but 
pleasant to me. I had scarcely become warmed up by my subject 
before they commenced shouting so lustily that I was obliged to 
stop and beg them for my sake to be a little more moderate. 
This reproof lasted for some fifteen or twenty minutes when 
one old negro shouted at the top of his lungs 'INIassa, I must 
respond', and with this the whole mass gave vent to their feel- 
ings with the most extravagant expressions of joy. I then told 
them I supposed I should have to let them worship God as 
they were accustomed and continued my remarks in tolerable 
quiet to the close. I think I never spoke plainer in my life. 
May God in mercy bless the truth to the praise of His glory. ' ' 

In April the six months for which he had accepted the call 
to the two congregations were ended. A letter to his mother 
shows the restless state of his mind. He writes : 

* * Then the idea of sitting down in one spot and becoming as 
other ministers, having the same round of duties from week to 
week and year to year, is to me now as it has always been very 
melancholy. You may think me foolish on these subjects, and 
perhaps I am, but my feelings are unchanged on these matters. 
I always longed to be a gospel ranger, to go from place to place 
assisting my companions in labor, or laying a foundation on 
which others might build. Had I kno^^^l the result of this 
winter's siege — ^^that I should have to remain here after my six 
months were over, I should never have consented to stay. I 
would now be free to accede to the wishes of different brethren 
of our Synod, to ' come over into Macedonia ' and help them. As 
it is, I am bound hand and foot and must stay at home if I 
would not have the congregation dispersed." 

In the same letter he says : * ' Our new Sunday-school is now 
fairly under way. "We are only a few weeks old and yet the 
number of scholars amounts to seventy-five. I have given it the 
name of Muhlenburg Sunday School and confidently believe 



96 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PAS SAVANT. 

that before many years we will have a Muhlenburg Chapel in 
that section of the city. 

"I preached a sermon on Palm Sunday to the children of 
our Sunday-school in the Chapel. My text was one of my old 
proverbs 'I love them that love me and those that seek me early 
shall find me'. Our school here is very large, numbering two 
hundred and thirty scholars, and the Chapel was crowded by 
many of the children of other schools. After the sermon, the 
children came up to the altar which was tastefully decorated 
with pines and flowers and deposited their little earnings and 
savings in the missionary treasury. It was a lovely sight, and 
I almost wept for joy. Some of the children were so small that 
they had to be lifted up by their teachers. The collection 
amounted to eight dollars and twenty-five cents which we re- 
solved to give to the Louisville Mission. Need I tell you that 
I gave the reason why I selected the text from Proverbs? I 
told them of the little book with the brown cover, repeated some 
of the proverbs, spoke of my dear absent mother and other 
things. On the subject of instruction in the catechism, I would 
only remark that I keep a class from week to week and the 
catechumens still attend after they are confirmed. I find this 
plan a good one, and as we have communion every second 
month, I always confirm any who are prepared on these 
occasions. ' ' 

For several weeks he had been busy preparing a lecture 
on "Natural Science as it confirms Revelation", which he de- 
livered in Luther Chapel for the benefit of the new Sunday- 
school. The lecture netted forty dollars which was devoted to 
the purchase of a Sunday-school library. 

Upon the subject of his restlessness in his work, his mother 
advises : 

"From the prospect of building at Canton and the interest- 
ing state of your two congregations I take for granted that you 
have no idea of leaving them at the end of the six months you 
at first engaged yourself for. It would appear, at least in our 
eyes, like folly to quit a field of usefulness where your labors 
seem so blessed for the sake of seeking others at a distance, 
where success is still uncertain and accompanied with many 
privations and still greater dangers to your health from ex- 
posure and climate. Inform us, dear son, what are your 
definite plans on this subject." 

Mr. Passavant was naturally deeply interested in the Eng- 
lish Lutheran work in his home county, and especially in the 



FIRST CHARGE AND WORK IN BALTIMORE. 97 

English congregation which had recently been organized in 
Zelienople. His sister Virginia writes him this interesting ac- 
count of the home church : 

"Yesterday our school commenced, of which Sidney can 
tell you all particulars. The Sunday before, the English con- 
gregation had its first communion, upon which occasion Bassler 
certainly preached the best sermon I have ever heard from him. 
It could not fail of doing much good. Yesterday I was at our 
German school, and if 'coming events cast their shadows be- 
fore', coming events will be of painful nature to poor Mr. 
Bassler and his little flock. The 'Bishop' again denounced with 
great severity the Gettysburg institution as unorthodox, anti- 
Lutheran, etc. Spoke of its students and ministers as mischief- 
makers aiid a source of discord in the church, and animadverted 
bitterly upon a prayer which he had heard poor Mr. Muntz 
make. (Without mentioning his name he described him so 
plainly that the most stupid could not be at fault). I must say 
that I sincerely wish that what are generally called 'New 
Measures' had never been introduced in our church. They 
appear to me as those things to which St. Paul's words might 
be applied, 'All things are lawful for me, but all things aro 
not expedient. All things are lawful for me but all things 
edify not'! If he was willing to eat no flesh while the world 
stood lest he should make his brother to offend, I think Christ- 
ians of the present day might refrain from sitting or kneeling 
at particular benches, etc, when their doing so causes pain and 
uneasiness to so many truly sincere and conscientious Christ- 
ians. I do not speak with reference to the bishop, for he would 
be quite miserable if he had nothing to contend against, and if 
that were removed, would have abundant other equally im- 
portant and exciting subjects to fight for. Indeed, his great 
trouble at present is that the 'New Measure men' have anti- 
scriptural views about the Lord's Supper and baptism. Mr. 
Bassler, to succeed in his present situation, truly needs to be 
wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. The bishop's un- 
generous, not to say unchristian persecution of poor Mr. Muntz, 
distresses me very much. His faults are of such a kind that 
they render him more unpopular than his crimes would; but 
who that knows him well, can doubt that he is a sincere and 
conscientious Christian, anxious for the good of others; yet 
doubtless in a great measure owing to Mr. Schweitzerbarth 's in- 
fluence, he is generally considered far and wide as a hypocrite. 
You would be shocked and astonished to hear what an opinion 



98 THE LIFE OF W. A. PAS SAVANT. 

many of the country people have of his character. Of course 
his usefulness is thereby diminished and whatever good work 
he is active in, is looked upon by many with suspicion. All 
this is distressing but we know that everything can be made to 
work together for good to those who love God. Our poor bishop 
is most to be pitied." 

June, 18., he wrote this account of his resignation at Canton : 
' ' Preached my farewell sermon to the Canton church this morn- 
ing from the words: 'Finally, brethren, farewell, be perfect, be 
of good comfort, be of the same mind, live in peace, and the 
God of love and peace shall be with you'. We had a weeping 
and sorrowful time. The house was very well filled and it al- 
most broke my heart to say adieu to my children in Jesus 
Christ. I have now been preaching in Canton almost a year. 
During my connection with the Book Concern I went down on 
Wednesday evenings, and regularly preached there on Sunday 
mornings. While thus engaged these hands administered to my 
wants. Since the sixteenth of October last, I have been the 
pastor over the little church I organized there. During this 
time, I have received by certificate, baptism and confirmation, 
about forty persons into the church. A few have proven that 
they never had the root of the matter in them, and several have 
removed from Canton. At present we have thirty or more 
members who are united in love and good fellowship, the one 
with the other, and walk as becometh the Gospel of Christ. 

"As I found that my duties at the chapel would not suffer 
me to do justice to these people, I have resigned their charge. 
At my'recommendation, the church has elected brother Weddell 
of Frederick County as their pastor. He .will be in the city on 
tomorrow morning. 

"At two and a half, I went to the Sunday School and en- 
deavored to bid adieu to the children but I was prevented from 
saying much by a flood of tears. The children rose up and sang 
a parting hymn after which I retired. 

' ' Jesus Christ, Thou head of the church, bless, sanctify, and 
keep this little flock ! It is the purchase of Thy blood. Never 
leave or forsake it. May our brother who has the oversight of 
it in the Lord, find favor in the eyes of the people, and be 
abundantly more useful than I have been, for Jesus' sake, 
amen. " 

The Rev. Dr. A. J. Weddell, who became his successor 
at Canton, writes this reminiscence in the Memorial Workman. 



FIRST CHARGE AND WORK IN BALTIMORE. 99 

"Mr. Passavant was then in the bloom and vigor of young 
manhood united to womanly beauty. His preaching was full 
of fire and earnestness. Summerfield was his model as a man 
and a preacher. In taking charge of Canton Chapel, he found 
that the common order of the Lutheran service made but little 
impression upon the people that resided in Canton, and in order 
to move and attract them to the Chapel he introduced what was 
then called the 'New Measure' system, which had been adopted 
by most of our Maryland churches. He carried it to the ex- 
treme, and through it added a number to the small congregation. 
The Rev. Passavant was a most active worker. He went from 
house to house preaching the gospel, praying in every family, 
and inviting them to attend the services in the Chapel. In most 
cases he met with a kind reception. But in one family, whose 
head had been converted from a low and drunken life to be a 
humble and earnest Christian, he was met by the wife, who was a 
bad Roman Catholic, with the vilest abuse, and driven from the 
house with curses and threats of bodily violence. 

"After having been pastor for. some time he commenced 
a protracted meeting which feontinued for a number of weeks. 
These meetings were kept up to a late hour at night, and the 
noise could be heard all over . Canton. Nearly all those who 
professed conversion led in public prayer, men and women. 
With these he established experience meetings — the men under 
Elder Rice and the women under the pastor. 

"After resigning Canton Rev. Passavant continued to serve 
the mission on Monument Street where a small building called 
Luther Chapel had been erected. This grew into the First 
Church, and the small band gathered by him has since become 
a large and flourishing congregation. But his interest in the 
Canton people did not cease. When I became pastor he came 
down almost every week, aiding me in my work and encourag- 
ing me to faith and perseverance in the almost barren, fruitless 
field in which I had been placed. ' ' 

Mr. Passavant was still longing to do a wider work in the 
West. He writes again : "I confess the disappointment of 
which I spoke in my last is not a trifling matter. But perhaps 
it is all for the best at present. I shall thus have more time to 
prepare for the peculiar work to which I think I am better 
fitted — viz., to collect and organize." Was this a premonition of 
that broad and varied work which was before him but was yet 
hid from his eyes ? 



100 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

With that childlike and submissive spirit which character- 
ized his whole life work, he made the best of the situation and 
labored on as if he were to stay there for life: Always fond of 
children, he took great delight in his Sunday-schools. To his 
mother he confides : " As I have no ladies to visit, I sometimes 
spend the evenings among the Sunday School children and feel 
as happy as a king. It would make you smile to see me at 
such a time. You would set me down as a complete ' Gross- 
papa'. " 

Of the General Synod M^hich met in Baltimore in May of 
this year, he says: 

"Whatever may be said of the extravagances of some 'New 
Measure' men, the representatives of this Synod are a noble 
body of self-denying and laborious workmen in the vineyard 
of the Lord. Among the delegates was Dr. Bachman of Charles- 
ton, S. Carolina, who is becoming venerable with age and whose 
countenance is the mirror of kindness and affection. He is one 
of the most celebrated naturalists not only in this country but 
in the world. The great work of Audubon on the Birds of ' 
America is indebted to him for one half its information and 
many of the paintings were done by his daughters who are 
married to the sons of Audubon. He is at present engaged in 
the preparation of a new work on the Beasts of America in 
connection with Mr. A. It will be sold at the enormous price 
of three hundred dollars." 

In the same letter he thus refers to some idle gossip of a 
supposed engagement that had reached Zelienople : "I could 
not help smiling when I read the 'sisterly advice' in your 
second letter. How could you for a moment suppose that such 
a thing was going on without my having made known the whole 
matter to our parents? I should certainly find out the views of 
papa and mamma before going one step towards such an affair. 
However, this has done me some good. I will be more careful 
in the future to avoid anything which would give rise to such 
reports. ' ' 

Of a puffed-up and popular preacher he thus expresses 
himself : 

"At present there is a Methodist preacher from Missis- 
sippi preaching every night in one of our churches. He is puffed 
in the papers as one of the great ones, but when I heard him I 
could observe no particular qualities which appeared striking. 
But the system of puffing is carried on among some of these 



FIRST CHARGE AND WORK IN BALTIMORE. 101 

good people to such an extent that it becomes absolutely dis- 
gusting, for truth, reason and Scripture are all made to give 
way before the popular applause. When I hear such men who 
may well pray to be delivered from their friends, I think of 
Cowper's description of a gospel minister." 

Of the part he had in putting up the infant Sunday-school 
room, after collecting all the money for it, he says : 

"On Monday morning a week ago, Mr. Murry and I com- 
menced to work with shovels and mattocks and by evening suc- 
ceeded in digging out the foundation. On the following Thurs- 
day evening at four o'clock we laid the corner stone amid great 
rejoicing. ' ' 

On the occasion of a visit to the East Pennsylvania Synod 
then in session in .Philadelphia he called on Dr. Demme of old 
Zion's German Church, Dr. Mayer of old St. John's English 
Church, Philadelphia, and on Pastor Vogelbach. He gives this 
account of his visit : 

"During my stay in Philadelphia, I called on Dr. Demme 
and as I had no one to introduce me, I introduced myself. As 
soon as he heard my name, and found out my residence, it was 
all right, and he was as kind as I could have asked from this 
orthodox champion of old Lutheranism. He asked very kindly 
about papa, and from his minute inquiry I thought all came 
from a sincere heart. In about twenty minutes I was among 
the documents, and as Dr. Demme is as great an admirer of 
these things as I, we spent a pleasant hour together. He 
showed me some large blank books in the hand-writing of Muh- 
lenburg and I had the satisfaction of seeing and poring over 
the history of some of our early churches from the pen of this 
good and great man. On leaving, he thanked me for calling, 
gave m-e his printed works for the Historical Society, and 
begged to be remembered affectionately to papa. Prof. Rey- 
nolds at my request took me to see Dr. Mayer who was equally 
if not more friendly. My heart still cleaves to the old man for 
the manner in which he spoke of papa and as I felt his love 
I could scarcely refrain from tears of gratitude to my Heavenly 
Father for the gift of such a parent. I am not proud, but I 
am thankful, that I am the son of one, everywhere loved, re- 
spected and honored! Although Dr. M. probed me sharply on 
the subject of what is commonly called 'New Measures' and 
drew me out entirely, he notwithstanding invited me to preach 
in the evening. I begged off but it was of no use. He would 
take no denial, so in the evening I preached in his lecture room to 



102 THE LIFE OF W. A. PAS8AVANT. 

a good congregation, much to my own satisfaction, and 1 trust 
to the edification of the people. After sermon I walked home 
with the doctor's family and spent an hour in the society of one 
of the most charming circles I have ever seen. There are some 
four or five single daughters in the family, and they seem so 
united in heart and in mind that it reminded me in a striking 
manner of our own. In bidding the doctor adieu, he thanked 
me for the sermon and invited me to his pulpit if I again re- 
turned to the city. When I went home and it became known 
among the brethren of Synod that I had preached for Dr. M. 
they crowded around me with a thousand inquiries. As the 
doctor had not made his appearance at the Synod and had 
stood aloof from any connection with that body, it was a matter 
of no little surprise how I got into his good graces. One said 
'How came you who are as great a heretic as any to be the 
favored one?' Another, 'Pass, what did the Doctor say of the 
Synod?' I honestly told them that I went in under the shadow 
of my father, but as no one had been asked to fill his pulpit on 
Sunday, they all seemed greatly astonished at this move. On 
second thought, I looked on the whole as providential, for when 
we build the Chapel, I shall go straightway to Philadelphia, and 
doubt not that something considerable will be done in that large 
and wealthy congregation. 

' ' As my stay in the city was limited by engagements here to 
Thursday morning, I did not get time to see much of the place 
and its many attractions. On Wednesday morning, however, I 
walked to Girard College — that splendid monument of human 
pride and folly ! 

''Good Mr. Vogelbach did not wait for an introduction, but 
came up with his broad German face and shook me heartily by 
the hand. As soon as he said 'Bruder' I knew whence he came, 
for his speech betrays his Swabian birth." 

In the same letter he discloses his sentiments towards the 
fair sex: 

"I was quartered at a very pleasant home, the more so, as 
there was a handsome young lady in the family. I also drove 
out several times and made some pleasant acquaintances among 
the 'sex' of whom there is apparently any number in brother 
Stork's church. You need not become alarmed by this reference 
to the ladies. I am beginning to be of the opinion that I have 
no soul or heart or that I am not like other young men. How- 
ever, I suppose the reason is 'The time is not yet'." 



FIRST CHARGE AND WORK IN BALTIMORE. 103 

In another letter he speaks of a certain young lady's mar- 
riage, expresses his congratulations and confesses that she had 
been 'his first and only flame.' 

He has this to say of the Sunday School Hymn Book on 
which he had been working for some time: "Yesterday night 
at half past eleven o'clock I finished making out the index for 
the Sunday School Hymn Book. This letter was commenced 
on Monday morning, but the printers sent me the printed proofs 
in all haste and all my leisure time has been taken up with 
that disagreeable and tedious business until this morning. As 
this is the first book which my poor efforts have yet brought 
into existence, I am anxious to see what an appearance it Avill 
make. Solomon has said that 'Of the making of many books 
there is no end'. I should be sorry if this were to be fulfilled 
in my case, for this book-making business to me, is of all others 
the most troublesome." 

Of the Lutheran Standard he says. "The Lutheran Stan- 
dard which you have had the kindness to send to me, comes 
duly to hand. I am truly thankful, dear mother, for the oppor- 
tunity of reading this paper. As it contains church intelligence 
which the Observer does not, it fills up an important vacuum 
in my knowledge of the state of the Church in Ohio. As to the 
selections in the Observer or Standard or any of our German 
papers, I find very little time to read them. Its weekly visits 
continually remind me of a mother's affectionate regard. As 
to those good men in Ohio, I bear no prejudice against them. 
Only I think they are not pursuing that course which would 
bring the greatest good to the souls of men. I never questioned 
the sincerity of such men as Greenwald, Schaeffer and others, 
but yet I believe they might be abundantly more useful were 
they to hold different views, and adopt a different policy." 

He kept up a most happy correspondence with his Jefferson 
classmate, Robert Patterson. He had hoped to secure him as a 
teacher in his projected academy and had written him a formal 
request to come, which was firmly but lovingly declined. 

Here is his account of a Christmas visit to Lancaster, 
Pennsylvania : 

"Calling at the house of Dr. Baker and showing my letter 
of introduction I was kindly received and invited to occupy his 
pulpit at night. At seven I preached to a large congregation 
in the very large Lutheran Church from the words of the 
prophet, 'Thus saith the High and Holy one, etc' Shall any 
seed sown his evening take root? On my return to the Rev. Dr. 



104 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

Baker's, I had a visit from Mrs. Baugher of Fountain Dale, Pa. 
She informed me that the little seed had grown up and become 
a great tree. The handful of members whom I joined together 
while a student in the seminary, have increased to nearly one 
hundred. They have a handsome and commodious church and 
are now in the Taneytown and Emmetsburg charge. I re- 
mained in Lancaster Tuesday and part of Wednesday. Renewed 
my acquaintance with my old friend F. A. Muhlenburg of 
Jefferson College, who is still teaching in the Academy. At the 
house of his father, I saw the object of my visit to that place, 
some of the journals, and other manuscript writings of the 
venerable Muhlenburg, the pioneer Lutheran missionary in this 
country. I endeavored to get them as a donation for the 
Historical Society but did not succeed. They may perhaps be 
secured on deposit. Without them a biography of Muhlenburg 
or a history of his life and times could not be written. Dr. 
Baker gave some valuable donations of books, pamphlets, etc. 
to the Society and expressed himself highly gratified with the 
Society and the object it proposes. I must not omit to note 
down a few particulars of the remarkable work of God which 
has been wrought during the last year in this city. 

"The general interest on the subject of religion which pre- 
vailed everywhere last winter was felt in Lancaster in several 
of the Evangelical churches. Dr. Baker had for a long time 
opposed what are commonly called 'New Measures' among us, 
but at the same time he preached experimental religion with all 
his might. The result was here as everywhere else under such 
preaching. The people of their own accord and with his con- 
sent met together in private houses and edified each other by 
singing, prayer and reading the Scriptures. These meetings 
were held almost every night during the week, and r^ome were 
awakened and justified almost every evening. The wealthier 
members of the congregation stood aloof, as in former times — 
the nobles put not their shoulder to the Avork. But the common 
people met together gladly, and they with the Doctor on their 
side prevailed. Several hundred persons of both sexes were 
converted during the course of the winter and the whole cha- 
racter of the congregation has, since then been changed. The 
good Doctor is now one of the most decided revivalists in the 
church. He says, 'These measures will either drive ministers 
into their use or they will drive men out'." 

In a letter to his mother he gives this account of Dr. 
Baker : 



FIRST CHARGE AND WORK IN BALTIMORE. 105 

"After spending the evening very pleasantly till ten o'clock, 
Dr. Baker kept me till one talking at a prodigious rate about 
church affairs. He is one of the most pleasing men I have ever 
met, full of kindness and love to the whole world, and at the 
same time so full of energy and activity that his whole body, 
hands and feet, face and all, are at work when he speaks. He is 
greatly beloved, I might say almost worshipped, by his congre- 
gation. When they speak of him it is with real enthusiasm; 
indeed he is a father among his people. All denominations of 
Christians love and respect him, and he is at the head of all the 
societies, and schools, both classical and primary, in the city. 
His engagements are frightful to think of. He preaches three 
times on Sunday, besides attending and superintending the 
Sunday-school, and has a meeting either in English or German 
of some kind on every night in the week but Saturday. He 
says he is killing himself, and yet he continues from year to 
year as before. I thought he would never grow weary of tell- 
ing me the beneficial effect 'new measures' so-called have had 
upon his congregation. Until the last year, he was always op- 
posed to these things, and was generally the spokesman for the 
Germans in the East Pennsylvania Synod. But his people 
finally commenced prayer-meetings in their own houses and 
when he saw, after a few months, the happy effect which was 
produced, he threw up his prejudices at once, attended and led 
the meetings, and now has two very large prayer-meetings in 
English and German every week in his lecture room, besides 
several which are held in private houses. He says that since 
these meetings have been held, his communion members have 
more than doubled. In his earnest emphatic manner, he would 
repeat this again and again, and then as if speaking to some 
opposing brother at S>mod would say. 'No, gentlemen, I must 
ridicule these things no more, indeed I cannot, my people are 
now like a family of children together; they love each other, 
they pray for each other, etc. No, while I live I shall let my 
people know that I approve of these things ! ' 

' ' It must be confessed that the whole congregation does not 
go with him on that point. Some of the most influential of his 
members did all they could to put them down, but it would 
not do. These persons still stand aloof from all part or lot in 
these meetings, though as firmly attached to the church as ever, 
and as constant in their attendance. 

"I have been thus particular in my account of Dr. Baker 
because he is one of the first ministers in the church, both as 



106 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

respects the sphere in which he moves and as regards his talents 
as a preacher. This change in his views and feelings, on this 
exciting question, is remarkable in more than one aspect. At 
his age in life men seldom change their opinions and anyone 
who knew him before and nov.' must admit that nothing but a 
candid investigation of the truth could have brought him over 
to the position he now occupies." 

On his way home he stopped at York, visited his former 
fellow student Rev. Charles Hay and Pastor Lochman. Here 
he collected a number of records for the Historical Society. 
Here is his account of his delightful visit: 

"So between turkey dinners and turkey suppers and talk- 
ing half the night with Charles and preaching twice at York, I 
rather recruited backwards instead of forwards. After I had 
indoctrinated Hay about the Historical Society, he was in- 
defatigable in hunting the documents. We ransacked some ten 
or fifteen libraries and garrets in York and secured some val- 
uable prizes, among which was a beautiful portrait of the Rev. 
Jacob Goering, one of the fathers of the church, who preached 
the Gospel and had revivals in the darkest period of her history. 
It was really gratifying to see how willingly these things were 
donated to the Society. Everyone with whom we conversed 
was favorably impressed with the design of its formation." 

During this visit he received several flattering and tempt- 
ing offers to locate and labor in this Mecca of Lutheranism. 
To these propositions he gave no serious thought on account of 
'the pressing need and poverty of his Baltimore people.' 

Here is his estimate of his dear friend Krauth: "Charles 
Krauth is now in Philadelphia on a visit. His church is crowded 
to excess on Sunday afternoons by the most gay and fashionable 
young people in the city. But unfortunately the church does 
not increase in strength as might be expected from such good 
congregations. He is a delightful speaker, gifted in thought 
and address, but in the opinion of those who love him most 
and know him best, he is not sufficiently practical to be 
eminently useful." 

He gives this little sketch of a very remarkable character in 
the Lutheran Church of that day: 

"Brother Lemenowsky of the Synod of the West preached 
in the Chapel to a large and interested congregation. This 
brother was for twenty-three years in the army of Napoleon 
Bonaparte, and after a most eventful life on the continent came 
to this country some twenty-seven years ago, escaping from 



FIRST CHARGE AND WORE IN BALTIMORE. 107 

prison in Paris where he was condemned to be shot for aiding 
in bringing Napoleon to Paris. He embarked on board a vessel 
and reached New York not only penniless but in debt sixty 
dollars for his passage, without hat, without shoes, stockings, 
cravat, and nothing in the world but a woolen shirt and a pair 
of linsey pantaloons. At first he supported himself in Phila- 
delphia and in different parts of the United States by giving 
lessons in sword exercises. At length he got a situation in one 
of the offices of the general government in Washington City 
where he attached himself to a German Church which was or- 
ganized some twelve years ago in that city. He was there and 
then elected one of the elders and as such came to Baltimore at 
a meeting of the General Synod. "^ 

Here is his account of an important meeting which he at- 
tended Jan. 19. : 

"At seven in the evening attended a union meeting in Dr. 
Morris' lecture room, composed of the members of the different 
Lutheran churches in the city. Dr. Morris made a short address, 
after which I spoke for some time urging the brethren to be up 
and doing for the salvation of the German brethren after the 
flesh in the city. At the close of my remarks, I proposed that 
we raise the sum of three hundred dollars for the support of 
a new Lutheran preacher on The Point and in Canton. After 
singing a hymn, Dr. Kurtz made an appropriate address and 
then a general invitation was given to any who were disposed 
to speak. The excitement of the occasion was very great and 
some half dozen of the brethren rose and expressed themselves 
on the necessity of doing something for this work on the spot. 
At their own desire, papers were circulated and in a short time, 
the handsome sum of two hundred and sixty-four dollars was 
raised for the support of the missionary and between three and 
four hundred dollars for the new chapel which it was proposed 
to build. This was all freely given. The whole was as grate- 
ful to my feelings as it was unexpected. After prayer by 
brother B. Kurtz, we separated, praising God for His mercy 
and kindness toward us. ' ' 

Feb. 18., Rev. Wm. Smith, pastor of the First English 
Lutheran Church of Pittsburg visited him. Mr. Smith was 
about to resign from his church on account of his health, and 
the object of his visit to Baltimore was to secure Mr. Passa- 



° The romantic story of this man is told in "Under Two Captains" 
by Eev. Dr. W. A. Sadtler, General Council Publication House, Philadel- 
phia. 



108 THE LIFE OF IT. A. PAS SAY ANT. 

vant's consent to go to Pittsburg, "as he would certainly be 
called". He records his reflections in these words: 

"When I went to rest last night it was to think but not 
to sleep, and even during sleep my mind was actively engaged 
in thinking over the subject of brother Smith's visit. Oh, that 
I could be at rest on this and kindred matters which are pre- 
sented to my mind and on which I must decide. With regard 
to the call from York last week, I had no difficulty, whatever, 
in seeing that under existing circumstances it was not my duty 
to leave this place. But my mind is painfully harrassed on 
this subject. During the past day I have had several conver- 
sations with brother Smith, and Drs. Morris and Kurtz, with 
reference to this matter. Oh God ! Let me not mistake the path 
of duty. Thou hast hitherto led me by Thine own hand. Oh, 
let me not in this my extremity wander from the path in which 
Thou wouldst have me go. I am Thine: then use me as it 
seemeth good in Thy sight to the praise of Thy great name 
through the Beloved." 

^larch the 7th, he received the following letter from Pitts- 
burg. When it was handed to him he says, "I trembled, while 
I read it, to such a degree that I had to lay it aside for some 
moments. ' ' 

"I write you in haste to inform you that my resignation 
was accepted last evening by the Council of our church and 
you are unanimously elected as my successor. I recommended 
you on the ground that you would come on immediately, say- 
ing three days or at most seven, and that you would make a 
zealous and faithful, and I hope a successful pastor. If you 
can come immediately, do so, and I will instantly repair to 
Baltimore to fill your place until better supplied. The Council 
offers vou five hundred dollars salary- and I think vou will be 
pleasantly and happily located here. My health requires that I 
should leave immediately. Do come on without delay and oblige 
your sincere brother, William H. Smith." 

He thus reports his deep emotions after reeei\'ing this 
letter : 

"Before this came on, I thought my mind was made up 
to accept the call should one come, but I am at a stand. I know 
not what to do. ^ly own will draws me now here, now there. 
Oh God, my God, into Thy arms I throw myself. In this most 
important transaction of my life, let me not be guided by any 
other than Thv merciful hand. Oh, Thou guide of mv vouth, 
lead me in the way I should go. Let me hear Thy voice sajdng 



FIRST CHARGE AND WORK IN BALTIMORE. 109 

'This is the way, walk ye in it'. I fear my own will or wish may 
bias my mind in this matter, though I do not even know what my 
preferences are. Lord, let me not deceive myself. Make me 
willing to do Thy will and let me know what Thy will concern- 
ing me is. For Jesus the Redeemer's sake, Amen." 

Besides the calls to York and to Pittsburg, the young 
minister had other serious matters engaging his attention at 
this time. His friend Krauth was boarding in the hospitable 
home of Z. G. Hewes where Mr. Passavant frequently visited 
him. He was always welcomed in this family and frequently 
remained to tea. A niece of Mr. Hewes, Miss Eliza "Walter, was 
at this time making her home there, and Mr. Passavant natur- 
ally became well acquainted with her. He often received 
complimentary tickets to various entertainments for "himself 
and lady". On one occasion he made bold to ask Miss "Walter 
to accompany him to hear a famous lecturer. This at once 
started the gossips and he soon heard that he was engaged to 
Miss Walter and was asked when he was going to be married. 
Dr. Morris had always -counselled him to be very cautious in 
these matters and to keep away from the young ladies. Great 
was Passavant 's surprise, therefore, when the good doctor 
called him aside and informed him that he had heard of his 
attentions to Miss "Walter, congratulated him on his good taste 
and good fortune, commended the young lady most highly and 
advised him to "hold on". As Mr. Passavant had paid no 
special attention to the young woman beyond the one occasion 
referred to and really had no serious intentions, he was greatly 
disturbed by all this. As usual, he gave a full account of this 
embarassing situation to his sister "\"irginia and to his mother. 
He tells them frankly of the good qualities of the modest and 
pious young woman and of the high esteem in which she was 
held bv all who knew her. As his income was barelv sufficient 
to support himself, he had no intention of being married and 
sincerely deprecated even the possibility of raising false hopes 
in the young woman. He therefore craves the advice of his 
sister and mother. 

Virginia answered him in her own frank manner, gently 
chided him for being wrought up over so small a matter, and 
ad\4sed him to pay no attention to gossip, to keep cool, take his 
time and get advice when there would be something to give ad- 
vice on. 

His mother took it more seriously, told him that he was 
too young to think of being married, that he ought not to give 



110 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

it a thought until he should be able to support a wife properly. 
She was not a little vexed at Dr. Morris for his "match making" 
and his ill-timed advice on the subject. 

On the reception of this double advice, young Passavant 
made up his mind to make haste slowly and to do "no courting" 
for the present, and yet he could not help but occasionally visit 
his friend Krauth and so meet Miss Walter. In this manner, 
even though unconsciously, the tender passion was gently 
rooting. 

As we shall see, Miss Walter in due time became Mrs. 
Passavant. At the ripe age of eighty, on being earnestly re- 
quested, she wrote out some of the memories of that happy 
period. She says : 

"Rev. Passavant was a frequent visitor to Rev. Krauth. 
On one of these visits he was invited to take tea at which time 
Miss Walter, a niece of Mrs. Hewes, was introduced to Rev. 
Passavant. This gentleman's visits became frequent. A sincere 
friendship existed between these young people. There 
was something about this young preacher that was very in- 
teresting, all absence of self assertion, and a humble trust in 
divine help as to success of his labor. There was marked 
difference between these two young men. Rev. Krauth was won- 
derfully gifted intellectually for one so young and brought to 
his church crowds to listen to his wonderful sermons; the Rev. 
Passavant began his labors among a poor middle class of people 
in a very humble church. The difficulties that had to be fought 
and surmounted to one less in earnest in the Master's work 
would have made him give up in despair. But his success was 
grand; he built a new church, was loved and respected by all 
where he labored, until in 1844 when he was called to the First 
Church of Pittsburg. After a friendly correspondence. Rev. 
Passavant came to Baltimore to see his old friend. After a 
few days Miss Eliza Walter and he were engaged, but they 
were not to be married until he had been one year in Pitts- 
burg. ' ' 

The call to Pittsburg was a matter of the most intense per- 
plexity to Mr. Passavant. His inclinations were all in favor 
of accepting the call. In his view the drawbacks in Balti- 
more were: 

First, The low ceiling of the Luther Chapel made preaching 
exceedingly difficult for one who spoke with his animation and 
force. He says: "I am always exhausted in one service and 
must lie down for several hours before I am able to hold the 




ELIZA WALTER PASSAVANT. 



FIRST CHARGE AND WORK IN BALTIMORE. Ill 

>/ 

evening service. When I preach in Dr. Morris'," brother 
Krauth's, or any other large city church, I feel nothing of this 
exhaustion." He felt that if he could see any prospect for a 
new church, he would be willing to remain. 

Second, The location of the Chapel on the outskirts of the 
city was unfavorable for the gathering of a large congregation. 
In coming to his services, the people had to pass many churches 
that were much larger, more comfortable and inviting. 

Third, To his mind Pittsburg offered a more extensive 
field for usefulness, besides it was the gateway to that great 
promising, expanding West to which his heart and mind had 
been so forcibly drawn. 

Fourth, In Pittsburg, he would be nearer to his home and 
its loved ones. 

Fifth, Mr. Krauth told him that it was foolish to hesitate; 
as for him, he would in a like situation, accept such a call " 
at once. 

On the other hand, his mother gave some weighty reasons 
against his going to Pittsburg. Though her heart yearned to 
have him near home, her good judgment and common sense 
saw the difficulties in the way. As to hard work, it would cer- 
tainly be no less so in Pittsburg. There were the heavy debt and 
the disheartened people. In Baltimore he had trained up his 
own people and they were harmonious, affectionate and ready 
to follow his leading. Again the Pittsburg congregation was 
spread over two cities and the country round about. It would 
take much more time for visiting and there would be less time 
for study and self -improvement. As for health, there was the 
sulphurous smoke which might be worse than a low-ceiled 
church. The fact that neither the Rev. Mr. McCron nor the 
Rev. Mr. Smith had been able to remain long was proof posi- 
tive of the difficulty of the field. As to being nearer home, 
while that had its pleasant side, there was also another con- 
sideration. His father and Bishop Schweizerbarth were both 
strongly opposed to all "New Measures". They would cer- 
tainly watch him and would take offence at such revival meet- 
ings, with anxious bench and mourners, as he had in Balti- 
more. Schweitzerbarth would certainly make it very unpleas- 
ant for him. 

The perplexed young pastor went first of all to God for 
counsel. Then he consulted his parents and lastly his church 
council and brethren of the ministry. After due deliberation 
and prayer, he wrote his acceptance of the call and carried it 



112 THE LIFE OF W. A. PA8SAVANT. 

to the post-office, when, immediately on his return, he was met 
by the members of his church council. They informed him 
that by an almost desperate effort they had secured subscrip- 
tions to the amount of three thousand dollars within the con- 
gregation for the building of a new church; that leading 
members of Dr. Morris' church had informed them that their 
members would doubtless easily make up the other three thous- 
and that would be needed, if Mr. Passavant would remain in 
Baltimore. This spirit of devotion and sacrifice so touched 
him that he hastened to the post-office and took his letter out 
again just before the mail was taken away. He writes: "As 
the poor people have exerted themselves day and night and the 
congregation is so inexperienced that I fear to leave them, I 
have at last resolved to stay. I trust that this is Gpd's will, 
I am sure that it is not my own. Poor dear people; may God 
' bless and reward them for their kindness." 

And so when he had declined the call he went to work 
anew to build up this congregation, to erect their new church, 
to strengthen Muhlenburg Sunday-school, and to labor for a 
congregation there. But he was still kept in an unsettled state 
of mind. Letters came from leading men of the Pittsburg 
church and from brethren in the ministry, telling him of the 
critical period that was upon that congregation, how much was 
at stake for the Lutheran cause in the West and urging him 
to reconsider his refusal. April, 22., a second unanimous and 
most urgent call came from the First English Lutheran 
Church of Pittsburg. 

This time, after again laying the matter before God with 
strong cries and pleadings, he finally felt that it was the Lord's 
will that he should go. Notwithstanding the affectionate and 
pathetic grief of his people, he saw that he dared no longer 
follow his feelings. Duty called and'he must go. The congre- 
gation, the Sunday School and Library Association of Luther 
Chapel, all passed and presented appreciative and suitable re- 
solutions. Numberless presents and tokens of affection came 
in. The scenes of the last days in Baltimore were both distress- 
ing and exciting. He visited from house to house, explained 
his motive and tried to have them reconciled to his leaving. 
And so they finally parted as the best of friends and he was 
not conscious of leaving a single enemy among them. It was 
hardest to leave his six , hundred Sunday-school pupils. For 
a long time afterwards, the tears would flow every time he 
spoke of his leave-taking. 



BEGINNINGS IN PITTSBURG. 113 



CHAPTER VI. 

BEGINNINGS IN PITTSBURG. 

Mr. Passavant spent several delightful weeks in the old 
home, before going to Pittsburg. His mother writes Virginia 
who was away from home: "As for Willy student-like, he has 
lost his former love for manual labor and looks so frail and thin 
that I do not like to see him fatigue himself." He preached to 
the gratification and edification of all in Zelienople, Harmony, 
Prospect and Butler. His mother says: "He might just as well 
be in Pittsburg, attending to his own congregation as to be en- 
gaged in these self-imposed services." 

Of the condition of the church in Pittsburg and of the be- 
ginning of Mr. Passavant 's work there, Mr. Thomas H. Lane, 
a life-long member, worker and pillar of the church, wrote this 
interesting sketch for the Memorial Workman, as also, by re- 
quest, another reminiscence for this work. We quote from both : 

"Rev. Passavant took charge of the feeble organization 
known as the 'First English Evangelical Lutheran Church in 
Pittsburg,' in the Spring of 1844. 

"The organization had been formed by Father Heyer, Jan. 
15, 1837. After serving it for a brief period, he resigned to 
organize a German congregation, now known as Trinity German 
Evangelical Lutheran Congregation, w^hdse church is located on 
High Street. Rev. Emanuel Frey succeeded him for the brief 
period of a few months, when he was forced to abandon the un- 
dertaking by failure of health, which permanently disabled him 
for performing the duties of a minister. In 1839, Dr. John 
McCron, freshly graduated from the Theological seminary at 
Gettysburg, assumed charge as 'resident missionary,' commis- 
sioned therefor by the West Pennsylvania Synod. In 1840 the 
church on Seventh Avenue was built, and was dedicated during 
the session of the West Pennsylvania Synod, which met in con- 
vention that fall in the new edifice. 

"Dr. McCron was succeeded by the Rev. W. H. Smith, of 
Charleston, South Carolina, in April, 1843. After one year's 
service, he resigned. Mar. 4, 1844. Rev. W. A. Passavant, then 
in Baltimore, Md., had a call extended to him to become pastor, 



114 THE LIFE OF W. A. PA8SAVANT. 

which he declined to accept. Apr. 22, 1844, the call was re- 
peated and to the great joy of the feeble and disheartened flock, 
who tremblingly awaited its results, he communicated his ac- 
ceptance 

"His flock were a feeble folk, regarded either numerically 
or in relation to their social standing or to their financial re- 
sources. They were oppressed under a debt of fourteen thoas- 
and dollars, incurred in the purchase of the property and the 
erection on it of their church building. They were unable to 
meet the interest on their obligations, and had actually been in 
the clutches of the sherifi^ from which they were barely released 
by the exertions of one member, George Weyman, who then pos- 
sessed the requisite means, but who staggered under the weight 
of almost the entire cost of the enterprise. Confronted by such 
obstacles, a young man, not far advanced beyond his twentieth 
year, in the name of the Lord set up his banner. He aroused 
the fainting courage of his people, he counselled them and en- 
couraged them by his stalwart faith. He added greatly to their 
numbers, and developed to the utmost their growing strength. 

"Providence had gifted Mr. Passavant with an attractive 
appearance and a prepossessing manner and address. He had a 
musical voice and other natural gifts of oratory which had been 
trained and cultured during a thorough course of collegiate and 
seminary instruction. His personal intercourse was polite and 
dignified. His disposition genial and cheerful and his sympa- 
thies cordial and sincere. He at once won the admiration and 
pride of his people, and rapidly became a favorite among all 
classes and denominations in our city. These personal char- 
acteristics widened and deepened with the experience of his 
future years, and up until the close of life. In occurrences of 
sickness or death in families or the community outside of his 
own denomination, during the absence or lack of a regular pas- 
tor, his ministrations were sought with surprising frequency. 

"His influence upon the young was wonderful. He stim- 
ulated them to effort in all directions. The Sunday School 
grew surprisingly, animated by his constant exertions and his 
hearty co-operations. Systematic efforts were directed by 'Mite 
Societies, ' and other means to increase the revenue of the church. 
The catechetical instruction was systematically maintained. 
The sick and indigent were conscientiously cared for, and an 
esprit de corps aroused, which banished despondency with its 
attendant supineness. His personal intercourse with the young 



BEGINNINGS IN PITTSBURG. 115 

men of his charge induced not a few to resolve to devote their 
lives to the ministry and in repeated instances these were aided 
in their efforts to obtain suitable education, directly by his own 
aid, or that procured through him from others. His cheerful, 
happy temper relieved the niinds of the young from that repres- 
sive influence which in the lives of so many good people tends to 
appall the young. 

"After the exercises of his catechetical class held on Satur- 
day afternoon, he would occasionally accompany them in a 
stroll over the adjacant hills. 

"There was but little distinctive Lutheranism either in cus- 
tom or teaching; the emphasis indeed was laid upon the dis- 
proval of our difference from the orthodox denominations. It 
was esteemed a favor to have a minister of a different denom- 
ination to fill the pulpit. This would naturally imply that there 
was not much acquaintance with Lutheran doctrine. The Augs- 
burg Confession was probably neither known nor possessed by a 
single member of the congregation. There had been a bitter 
controversy pervading the church about this time, over the 'new 
measure' system. The appearance and discussion of Dr. Nevin's 
'AnxioiLs Bench,' emanating from Mercersburg, whilst Profes- 
sor in the Reformed Seminary there, and similar publications 
in both churches, involved both Reformed, and Lutheran 
Churches in a very bitter controversy. Dr. Kurtz, through the 
columns of the Observer, which he edited, wrote the most in- 
flammatory editorials, and filled his columns with contributions 
from correspondents and reports of the refreshing out-pouring 
of the Spirit, which was attending the most extravagantly con- 
ducted meetings held all over the church. Those who opposed 
such proceedings were denounced as Puseyites, formalists, and 
by any epithet which would imply the destitution of the genuine 
spirituality." 

The Rev. A. H. Waters who became the lifelong friend and 
co-worker of Dr. Passavant was at this time a worshiper in the 
First church and a member of the Young People's Society. By 
request he also began to write a reminiscence of Passavant 's 
entry upon the work in Pittsburg. The writing of this reminis- 
cence was broken off by his sudden death. We give the unfin- 
ished notes : 

"For several years the First church of Pittsburg had been 
struggling under great difficulties, and was heavily in debt. It 
had been under the care of able men but seemed to make no 



116 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

progress. The Lutheran Church was scarcely recognized aniong 
others and seemed a forlorn hope. The call of Dr. Passavant 
was a most opportune event in the history of the struggling con- 
gregation. A young man with little experience, he entered upon 
this mission, which had been served by older and brilliant men 
and left after brief service. 

"The writer of this reminiscence can well remember the 
interesting colloquium held in his presence, between him and two 
of the officers of the church after his first visit and services. The 
subject of conversation was his call and the compensation. 

"Five hundred dollars was all the congregation felt able to 
give, and it was thought that that was sufficient to support a 
single or unmarried man. Mr. Passavant suggested that besides 
mere living something was needed for books. But the call was 
accepted, and the writer recalls the interesting fact that he was 
made the messenger of his first quarter's salary which was 
handed to him with not a little self-importance at the close of 
catechetical instruction. 

"The young pastor at once took a prominent place among 
the pastors of the city and the church was filled with delighted 
hearers. His personal appearance, which was exceedingly at- 
tractive in his youth, as it was in later years, his sweet melodi- 
ous voice and his eloquence all combined to draw to his preach- 
ing admiring crowds and to rapidly swell the struggling con- 
gregation with devout worshippers. Mr. Passavant became very 
popular in the city and beloved by the other ministers, and es- 
pecially was drawn with remarkable fellowship and endearment 
to Rev. Dr. Herron, the venerable and able pastor of the First 
Presbyterian Church. 

' ' But while he was led to Pittsburg to perform a great work 
in the lifting up of the struggling church, a greater work was 
before him. In his coming to Pittsburg there was a remarkable 
coincidence. About the same time the Rev.G. Bassler, of blessed 
memory, came to Zelienople and entered upon the laborious and 
self-denying work of preaching the gospel in that somewhat 
sparsely settled region. 

"Their disposition, their bent of mind, and their manner 
of work were as different as they could possibly be, and yet 
there was a magic power exercised by each over the other, so 
that in their great diversity there was a wonderful unity. The 
one seemed necessary to balance the other. The divine mind 
was directing these two men in the accomplishment of a great 



BEGINNINGS IN PITTSBURG. 117 

work for the church and for suffering humanity. It was soon 
apparent that the work of Dr. Passavant reached beyond the 
narrow limits of a single congregation. His heart went out to 
the regions beyond. There loomed up before his mind the vast 
multitude of the Church of the Reformation that must be 
looked after." 

Mr. Passavant took hold of the work in the Pittsburg church 
with the same aggressive zeal which he had shown in Baltimore. 
After securing a list of the members and as far as he could of 
the attendants of his church, he started out on a tour of visita- 
tion. The congregation was scattered over Pittsburg, Allegheny, 
Birmingham and a half dozen suburbs. There were neither 
railroads nor street cars. Only in the center of the city were 
there pavements or board walks. Mud roads led to Riceville, 
Bayardstown, Soho, East Liberty, Temperanceville, Manchester 
and Sharpsburg. 

Along the streets and lanes of the city, across its hills and 
vallies, through rain and mud, heat and dust, trudged the young 
pastor. At home alike in the elegant mansion, in the lowly cot- 
tage and in the wretched hovel, knocking at front doors and at 
back doors, stopping in at the workshop, the factory or the store, 
or walking out into field or forest to find a man, he was every- 
where seeking for souls. With that gentle and kindly tact which 
was part of his nature, he knew how to approach all classes and 
conditions of men, women and children, and how to make all 
feel at ease in his presence. The servants and strangers were not 
forgotten. To the Germans he became a German ; to the French 
he could say a few kind words in their tongue, while for the 
negroes he always had a word of that simple good-natured patois 
which found its way to the heart. But these calls and conver- 
sations were not merely social visits. They were pastoral calls. 
He left behind him some word or truth of God, the impression 
that a man of God had been in the house. Where convenient, 
he read the Word and offered prayer for the household. In 
this manner he spent a large part of the first summer, preach- 
ing from house to house, getting acquainted with the members 
of his flock, gaining their confidence, drawing them to the church 
and her ordinances and enlisting all he could in some good ser- 
vice for the souls and bodies of their fellow men. 

But his mission was not only to the members of his church. 
Like a good under-shepherd, he was always seeking the lost. 
Wherever he could find an unchurched, an unsaved soul, there 



118 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

he believed that he had a mission. All such were admonished, 
counseled and invited to the house of God. 

In the midst of all this work in hLs congregation, he began 
to hold regular services in the city jail. Of this work his 
mother writes : 

"I express to-day my delight at the good work you have 
been commencing by your visits to the jail. Oh how glad I am 
that you have been thinking of those poor wretched prisoners 
and perhaps may be the blessed means of leading them to a sin- 
cere repentance, either to submit with a resigned heart, if punish- 
ment should be awarded, or to begin a new life if the law pro- 
nounces them free. In their forlorn situation, shut out from all 
external influences, it seems as if the gospel must have more ef- 
fect than when preached to sinful men out of jail where the 
good seed is straightway carried off by the birds of the air — 
the cares and follies of the world. If the are any tracts or 
books that you know of calculated to be useful to these men, buy 
them on my account. I shall be too happy to contribute in the 
remotest degree to so good a work." 

During his canvassing, his alert eye and his missionary 
mind were busy planning and projecting Lutheran missions in 
the different quarters of the city and in the outlying districts. 
During the years of his Pittsburg pastorate, he secured build- 
ing lots in Allegheny, Birmingham and in nearly every suburb 
of the city, which he held for future churches. A number of 
these became the starting points for English Lutheran churches. 
If all his missionary plans were not carried out, it was because 
he became absorbed in another line of work and also because 
he could not enlist the co-operation of those on whom he had 
counted. Great men are always sanguine, hopeful, optimistic. 
If their projects do not all mature, many do; and even those 
that fail, point the way and stir up others to work. 

To the second meeting of the Pittsburg Synod Mr. Passa- 
vant could report: "This congregation has connected with it six 
Sunday-schools numbering over five hundred scholars. Three 
are in the bounds of the city of Pittsburg, one in Allegheny and 
two in the country." 

This large canvassing and personal work of the new pastor 
soon made itself felt. People flocked to hear him preach. This 
in turn stirred him up to diligence in study and preparation. 
As the numbers of hearers increased, the preacher increased in 



BEGINNINGS IN PITTSBURG. 119 

unction and in power. Of his preaching in Pittsburg, Mr. Lane 
writes : 

"During his pastorate in the Pittsburg church, he was un- 
doubtedly one of the most popular of our pulpit orators. And 
up to that day, it is doubtful if any of our city clergymen had 
attracted larger numbers outside of his own congregations, than 
those who statedly attended his preaching. This was especially 
the case at night service, when sitting accommodations could 
scarcely be secured by many of those who thronged to hear him. 
The style of his speaking and of his writing was pure and liquid 
in its flow, and whilst at times he was most earnest and forcible 
in his appeals, he was never either coarse or satirical in his 
expressions. When most absorbed in a congenial theme, his 
treatment was winning and persuasive, and abounded in pathos. 
He then especially preached with unction, in the intrinsic sense 
of that much misused term. Had not the exacting demands of 
his institutions of mercy deprived him of nece&sary periods of 
study and preparation for the stated demands of preaching, his 
people would never have assented, to his resignation of his con- 
gregation when he finally and peremptorily did it, to give un- 
fettered devotion to the former. ' ' 

Mr. Andrew W. McCollough, a leading citizen of Butler, 
Pa., an elder in the Presbyterian Church, writes this interesting 
reminiscence of Mr. Passavant when thirty-three years old. It 
was on the occasion of the laying of the corner stone of the first 
building of the Orphans' Farm School, July 4, 1854, that the 
country boy, 'Andy' McCollough, first saw and heard of Mr. 
Passavant. Here is his impression of the personal appearance 
of the young preacher : 

* ' It was the first time that I had seen and heard the beloved 
Passavant. I thought then he was the handsomest man that I 
had ever seen and I think so still. From that day to this, he 
has been my ideal minister of Christ. His shapely head, his 
lofty brow, his classic features aglow with benevolence, his spirit- 
illumined face that shone in his fervid prayer with the very 
light of heaven — so strangely luminous was it — his black hair 
falling in long silky tresses about his shoulders, and the sur- 
passing tenderness of his soft sweet voice; all combined to in- 
vest him with something akin to the supernatural as he stood 
with outstretched arms and streaming eyes pleading for the 
fatherlass and friendless. His was a most marvelous person- 
ality. He was magnetically eloquent, as he was fascinating in 



120 THE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT. 

beauty of countenance and in polish of manner. He lived so 
close to the Redeemer of men that he grew into His likeness 
here below ere he passed into the heavens. 

"Bishop Whitehead, in speaking to me in my home of Dr. 
Passavant a short time after his death, said: 'He was the most 
attractive man that I ever saw.' In this remark, the venerable 
Bi.shop but voiced the universal testimony of all who knew him. 
The Rev. Dr. Swift of Allegheny City once told me that Dr. 
Passavant could have become one of America's foremost pulpit 
orators — a veritable Henry Ward Beecher — if he had not chosen 
instead to be America's greatest philanthropist. 

"At one time near the close of his college career, Mr. Passa- 
vant was invited to deliver an address on temperance at a con- 
vention in Evans City during the Washingtonian Temperance 
Movement. I think it was during the delivery of one of his elo- 
quent periods that Mr. George A. Kirkpatrick of Prospect, Pa., 
was carried off his feet by the force and fervor of oratory so that 
he shouted 'Hallelujah' with genuine Methodistic vehemence. This 
started such a peal of enthusiastic cheering that it was some- 
time before the speaker could proceed." 

Not many weeks after entering upon his arduous labors in 
his new field, the young pastor was called upon to pass through 
another great sorrow. His affectionate, attractive and gifted 
sister Virginia, after a brief illness, died in the twenty-fifth 
year of her age. From one of the many appreciative obituary 
notices, we quote: 

"Died at Zelienople, Pennsylvania, on Friday, June 19th, 
Miss Virginia C. S. Passavant, second daughter of P. L. Passa- 
vant, Esquire. To those who were intimately acquainted with 
the deceased, it is unnecessary to say anything of her true, love- 
ly character. They will ever remember her as the tried friend, 
the engaging companion, the humble, yet decided follower of 
Jesus Christ; and though time may wear away the freshnass 
of that remembrance the fragrance of her memory will remain 
like the scent of the rose when its bloom is gone. It will be a 
source of melancholy pleasure to them to know that she died as 
she lived— in the Lord. Even in the wildness of her delirium, 
the streams of her life, 'in whose calm depths the beautiful and 
true were mirrored,' flowed on as pure and beautifully as ever, 
and so natural was the flow of the stream into the ocean of 
eternity that it could scarcely be perceived when mortality was 
swallowed up in life. But the vacancy in the hearts and home 



BEGINNINGS IN PITTSBURG. 121 

of her afflicted family tells in language of dreadful certainty 
that she is not here, she is gone to a better country, even an 
heavenly, where there is no more death, neither sorrow nor cry- 
ing and where her life is hid with Christ in God. 

* * Sweet spirit, farewell. Though our hearts bleed and nature 
sinks under the stroke of the heavenly chastisement, we would 
not call thee back; we shall come to thee but thou shalt not re- 
turn to us." 

After Virginia's death, her share of the estate was equally 
divided among the other heirs. Mr. Passavant set apart his en- 
tire share of her estate for a special use. From the proceeds 
of this, he helped poor students, needy ministers and special 
cases requiring succor. The principal of that fund has been 
sacredly kept, and he never used a cent for himself. 

During his first year in Pittsburg, Mr. Passavant felt the 
need of a Synod with that city as a center. A visit home to at- 
tend the consecration of the English Lutheran church gave oc- 
casion for the first consultation on the subject. From the Work- 
man of Jan. 17, 1884, we clip this interesting account : 

"In Sept. 1844, he preached at the consecration of a modest 
brick church which had been erected by the English congrega- 
tion at Zelienople. The lot was donated and the cost of the 
building amounting to one thousand dollars was provided for 
by the subscriptions of the members, and the donations of a 
few friends from abroad. This was the second English Luther- 
an church in the whole territory now occupied by the Pittsburg 
Synod, and its erection was an event so full of inspiration that 
it led to the idea of the formation of a Synod in the western 
counties of the State. 

*'0n the Monday after the consecration, in a walk along the 
Connoquenessing, the necessity of such an organization was first 
broached. Rev. Mr. Bassler, who afterwards became the first 
president of the General Council, at once received it with favor, 
but the most intelligent laymen in the church thought the idea 
chimerical. He, however, made the remark, 'that while the for- 
mation of a Synod could not be expected in our time, it might 
yet be possible to organize some kind of an association or con- 
ference so that at corner-stone layings and dedications and the 
installation of pastors, two or three ministers might be present 
to aid the churches.' This memorable walk, with the subject 
then discussed, is here referred to in order to indicate the feeble 



122 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

beginnings forty years ago, and the sacred duty 'not to despise 
the day of small things. ' ' ' 

The next step was taken in Butler during the autumn of 
the same year. In the Workman of Mar. 24, 1887, we have this 
account : 

"There was a conference of a few Lutheran ministers resid- 
ing in western Pennsylvania, Aug. 27, 1844, who met in this 
front room. The number with Rev, Mr. Bassler was but five or 
six and the object of the meeting was to consult in what way 
the best interests of the church could be advanced, either by 
uniting with some existing Synod or organizing a new one. Much 
of the time was spent in prayer to God for the guidance of the 
Holy Spirit, and as a result the conviction was strengthened 
that for effective church work a Synod was indispensably neces- 
sary. ' ' 

At this meeting it was unanimously resolved that prelimin- 
ary steps should be taken to organize a new Synod in the inter- 
ests of our scattered Lutheran people in western Pennsylvania. 
The territory in as far as it had been looked after at all was 
claimed by both the Ohio, the West Pennsylvania, and other 
Synods. These Synods were not in harmony with each other 
and much time and energy were often spent in both trying to 
occupy the same locality. The territory had been settled 
mostly by the sturdy Scotch-Irish. But there were also many 
settlements of Germans and their Americanized descendants 
scattered from the Allegheny Mountains to the western prairies. 
It was mainly fco secure harmonious effort and co-operation in 
looking after these children of the Lutheran Diaspora that the 
zealous young pastor of the First church of Pittsburg wanted 
a new Synod. It was he who had called together the five pastors 
in Bassler's study in Butler. After this preliminary confer- 
ence, it was he who traveled, visited, urged and corresponded 
with the brethren in these regions and tried to stir up their in- 
terest in this new movement. 

Here is a letter from the Rev. M. J. Steck of Greensburg, 
who became the first president of the new Synod : 

"Yours of the 4th inst. came duly to hand. I should have 
written sooner but I could hardly come to the conclusion what 
to do in the organization of a Synod in the western part of this 
State. But inasmuch as you desire it, I will frankly state my 
opinion on the subject. I have thought and prayed, since your 
visit to me and especially since your letter of the fourth, most 



BEGINNINGS IN PITTSBURG. 123 

sincerely that God might direct me to that which would be most 
conducive to the welfare of the Lutheran Church and especially 
to the Western part of this State; and I cannot help telling you 
that I am firmly of the opinion that we could labor to far greater 
advantage, and do far more good to this section of the country 
in preaching Christ and Him crucified to the world, if we had 
a Synod of our own. 

''One thing I know, that I have no more satisfaction at our 
Synodical meetings. Until about eight or ten years ago I re- 
joiced when the time drew near when I should meet my breth- 
ren in the Synod, but now it has become a burden to me, in our 
eastern district especially; and what prospects can we have for 
the better, if such men as B. are put at the helm? Yet it is 
very painful for me to separate myself from the western breth- 
ren, whom I love as the apple of my eye, and with whom I have 
been united in the same Synod for nearly thirty years. I can 
hardly think of it— yet I know it is my duty to love the Church 
more than the brethren. Dr. ]\Iechling thinks and feels as I do. 
I had a long conversation with him on this subject, and I think 
he will go in for it if I do. Yet I am free to confess that I can- 
not unite with the brethren in a Synod Avhere New Measures are 
carried to that extent to which they are carried in some places. 
If I do unite with you, and such things should take place, I 
would be imder the disagreeable necessity of withdrawing from 
the Synod. 

"What shall be the result in the event of our uniting in a 
Synod? Shall we have to join the General Synod? Will this 
Synod be bound to support the Gettysburg Seminary? or will 
each brother be allowed to support such a seminary as he thinks 
proper? To the first my objections are not very strong, but if 
I should be compelled to support the eastern seminary, when 
I would feel it my duty to support that of Columbus, this would 
be hard. I do not know whether I could." 

A number of those on whom Mr. Passavant counted hesi- 
tated. They thought that there were Synods enough, that it 
tvould stir up needless opposition to organize another, that those 
who would go into it were so few and so widely scattered that 
they would not be able to accomplish anything and that they 
would not agree with each other as to doctrine and measures. It 
was tlie same spirit of timidity and apathy with which Mr. Pas- 
savant had to contend during his whole life. This spirit cost 
him more grief and anxiety than all his hard labors. 



124 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

It was not his nature, however, to give up. He felt that 
the new Synod was needed in the Lutheran Church and for the 
Kingdom of God and so he finally succeeded in bringing to- 
gether eight ministers and six lay delegates in his church in 
Pittsburg, Jan. 15, 1845. 

It meant something in those days to go to Synod. The only 
one living at this writing who was present at that convention, 
the Rev. David Earhart,^ writes this reminiscence : 

"In December I received an invitation from Rev. W. A. 
Passavant to meet other pastors in convention at Pittsburg, Pa., 
with a view to form a Synod for the western counties of Penn- 
sylvania. The convention was to meet in the early part of Jan- 
uary, 1845. At that time the Pennsylvania Canal was closed 
and the only means of transportation was by private convey- 
ance. I borrowed a horse, and, with others, rode the thirty-five 
miles from Leechburg to Pittsburg in midwinter. Wliilst two 
or more accompanied me, I remember only the name of Rev. G. 
F. Ehrenfeldt. At that time the subject of 'old and new meas- 
ures' was the burning question in the Lutheran Church. 

"Brother Ehrenfeldt was intensely 'new measure,' and at 
once after our first acquaintance put the question to me as to 
which side I belonged. I felt a little shy, being a stranger in 
the charge, and I tried to evade a direct answer; but he would 
have no evasion and pressed me for an answer. I then answered 
'old measure.' Brother E. then connected the word 'old' with 
the name Adam, and said he did not like the 'old Adam.' I 
tod him I connected the word 'old' to Adam before his fall, 
if the word 'old' was to be associated with Adam, and there- 
fore the word 'old Adam' suited me right well if it applied 
to him before his fall. 

"But I paid pretty dearly for my position. "When we 
reached Pittsburg, and entered the church I soon learned that 
a new measure revival was in progress, and brother Ehrenfeldt 
was invited to the inner circle, and I was left out." 

After devotional exercisas, the meeting was organized by 
electing Rev. Michael J. Steck, president and Rev. Gottlieb 
Bassler, secretary. 

The pastors prasent were : Rev. Michael J. Steck, of Greens- 
burg, representing seven congregations; Rev. W. A. Passavant, 
of Pittsburg, one congregation ; Rev. Gottlieb Bassler of Zelien- 



• Died August, 14, 1903. 



BEGINNINGS IN PITTSBURG. 125 

ople, five congregations; Rev: G. F. Ehrenfeldt of Clarion, two 
congregations ; Rev. Abram Weils, of Ginger Hill, two congrega- 
tions; Rev. Elihu Rathbun of Mercer, three congregations; 
Rev. Samuel De Witt, of Shippenville, two congregations; 
Rev. David Earhart, of Leechburg, four congregations. 

The six lay delegates, representing the principal parishes 
were : Jacob S. Steck, of Greensburg ; George Weyman, of Pitts- 
burg; C. S. Passavant, of Zelienople; James Griggin, of Mercer; 
Frederick Carsten, of Scenery Hill; and Joseph Shoop, of Free- 
port. 

To this little gathering of chosen spirits, fraught with so 
much interest for the future of the Lutheran Zion, Mr. Passa- 
vant in his own eloquent way said : 

"Our people are widely scattered through this portion of 
the State, and many of them are poor. One-fourth of the estab- 
lished congregation are without pastors, while the Lutherans 
living in the towns and outlying districts could not be gathered, 
because the laborers were so few and no organized efforts had 
been made to reach them. Deprived of the privileges of their 
church, they and their children were fast becoming a prey to 
surrounding denominations, furnishing material for building up 
their congregations." 

* After due deliberation and much earnest prayer this little 
convention resolved: 

First, "That it is the deliberate and unanimous opinion 
that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the western counties 
of Pennsylvania loudly calls for the formation of a new Synod." 

Second, "That a committee of three ministers and two lay- 
men be appointed to propose to this convention a plan of union 
on which we may unite to form a Synod according to the pre- 
vious resolution." 

Revs. Steck, Passavant and Ehrenfeldt, and lay delegates 
Carston, and Griffin were appointed on this committee. They 
subsequently presented the following report, which was unani- 
mously adopted : 

"We, the undersigned ministers and delegates of the Evan- 
gelical Lutheran Churches of western Pennsylvania, being pain- 
fully sensible of the great destitution of the preached Word and 
ordinances of the gospel in our midst, and fully persuaded of 
the necessity of uniting our efforts for their supply, hereby 
form ourselves into a Synodical body,with the express under- 
standing that each minister and church shall be at perfect liber- 



126 THE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT. 

ty to support such literary, theological and benevolent institu- 
tions as may best accord with his own view of duty; and, also, 
that as a Synodical body we recognize no such distinctions as 
'old' and 'new' measures, and that this Synod is to be known 
by the name of 'The Pittsburg Synod of the Evangelical Luth- 
eran Church.' " 

The new Synod acted upon the principle that wherever 
there were those uncared for, the Synod had the right to enter, 
when the proper call came. The Synod was composed largely 
of young men and its missionary operations were guided chiefly 
by the unwearied activity of Mr. Passavant. The great exten- 
sion of the missionary operation of the Synod required the most 
thorough organization of its resources. A missionary President 
had the immediate care of the missions. The system of Synodi- 
cal apportionments, now widely used, was first introduced by 
the Pittsburg Synod. 

The purposes which under God the new Synod expected 
to accomplish, were : 

First, "To unite the hitherto separated congregations of 
our Church in Western Pennsylvania, in one body. 

Second, ' ' To provide these churches with an able and holy 
ministry. 

Third, "To carry the gospel of the blessed God and the 
ordinances of religion to the scattered members and destitute 
settlements of our Zion within the bounds of our own Synod. 
And, 

Fourth, "To send the news of salvation to other destitute 
places in our own and other lands, and aid in filling the com- 
mand of our Saviour to preach the gospel to the ends of the 
earth." 

A fervent missionary zeal characterized the life of the 
Synod from the beginning. At the June Meeting, held in Ship- 
penville, 1845, five months after her organization, a traveling mis- 
sionary, in the person of the Rev. H. Ziegler, was chosen for the 
northwestern counties. 

North, South, East and West, the work of exploration for 
missions was carried forward. Within six years twenty-six 
churches were built by these indefatigable missionaries. 

The Synod also engaged in educational work from the be- 
ginning. At its second convention a proposition was made to 
establish a Synodical Academy. The Rev. G. Bassler was elected 



BEGINNINGS IN PITTSBURG. 127 

principal at a salary of one hundred dollars. He carried on the 
school successfully for three years in Zelienople. In the au- 
tumn of 1848, it was removed to Greensburg and continued in 
operation till the fall of 1850 when on account of the death of 
some of its main supporters and the financial embarrassment of 
the Synod, it was closed. The Rev. Mr, Bassler was then pre- 
vailed upon to reopen the Connoquenessing Academy at Zelien- 
ople. This effort was more successful than any of the foi*mer 
ones. Here Prof. Titzel began his long career as a teacher. 
Many of the future ministers of the Synod received their pre- 
paratory training here. Prof. McKee had started a private 

school at Leechburg which grew into an Academy. This insti- 
* tution was largely patronized and gave to many ministers of the 
next generation their preparatory training. 

The first constitution of the Synod was drawn up in the 
main by Mr. Passavant. It was submitted and discussed at 
several conventions and was not finally adopted until at the 
Leechburg convention in 1847. Among other provisions it af- 
firms that the minister "shall be known by the title of Bishop;" 
that "its members shall not go to law with each other under 
ordinary circumstances;" "shall not engage in the sale of in- 
toxicating liquors as a beverage or become partakers of the sins 
of others by renting houses for this purpose." The Augsburg 
Confession was not mentioned in the first draft of the constitu- 
tion but was formally adopted about a year later. 

The Rev. Michael J. Steck, the first president was a remark- 
able character. His father, the Rev. John Michael Steck, was 
ihe second settled Lutheran minister in Western Pennsylvania, 
where he settled in 1792. A true missionary, he sought out Ger- 
man settlements, all over Westmoreland and adjoining counties, 
preached in groves, barns, school-houses, private housas and 
wherever he could get a hearing. He was the patriarch of Luth- 
eranism in Western Pennsylvania, where he labored amid the 
privations of a pioneer preacher for thirty-eight years. 

His son, Michael J. Steck, was trained under his father 
and licensed to preach in 1816. His first parish was in Lan- 
caster, Ohio. When his father died, he took up the vast work 
in Westmoreland count3^ His missionary parish extended over 
a circuit of thirty miles from home. In this region, traversed 
by primitive trails, he did the work of an evangelist, preached 
from three to five times a Sunday and as often during the week. 
He understood the signs of the times, catechised and preached 



128 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

in English and organized the first English Lutheran church 
in Greensburg, where he lived and reared his interesting family. 

The young Mr. Passavant appreciated the character and 
organizing ability of Mr. Steck. The two became fast friends 
and had many earnest interviews on the organization of the new 
Synod, of which Mr. Steck became the first president. The 
earnestness of Mr. Steck is illustrated by the following inci- 
dent: 

Shortly before the day set for confirmation, a number of his 
catechumens attended an old-time shooting match, a place where 
gambling and drinking were the order of the day. Father Steck 
felt that such an offence deserved public rebuke. In the Brash 
Creek church he preached with such earnestness and energy 
that he took off his coat and in his shirt sleeves reproved, re- 
buked and exhorted, until there was scarcely a dry eye in the 
audience. The young men, several of whom are still living, came 
forward, publicly confessed their sin, and tearfully craved for- 
giveness. 

Amid the multiplied cares and labors incident to the launch- 
ing of the new Synod, Mr. Passavant did not abate his labor in 
his congregation. During a protracted effort in which he was 
engaged in connection with a pastor of the neighboring Cum- 
berland Prebyterian Church, his mother gently chided him for 
his overwork. She says : 

"You lose your precious health, shorten, perhaps, your life, 
to carry out your favorite 'new measure system.' I will not now 
take up that apple of discord in the church, nor discuss whether 
the same amount of good might not be done by faithful catechi- 
zation and the preaching of the Word. You fully know our 

opinion on this subject All I will insist on is the effect 

such mental excitement and nightly exercise will have on your 
constitution To a frail reed like you, it is actually sui- 
cidal." 

That he made his labors tell, is shown by the fact that he 
added seventy-nine communicants to his church during the first 
nine months of his pastorate. 

Mr. Passavant was at this time one of the most prominent 
champions of union with other Protestant bodies. With this 
end in view, he enlisted his neighbor, the Kev. Mr. Bryan of the 
Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and had him attend the Gen- 
eral Synod and advocate a union between his body and the 
Lutherans. Just before the convention, Passavant had written 



BEGINNINGS IN PITTSBURG. 129 

a strong article in the Observer, urging this project on the Gen- 
eral Synod. At the same time, he wrote a letter to his Baltimore 
friend, the Rev. J. Gess, who replied : 

**I think the matter worthy of consideration. It is quite 
interesting and may turn out to mutual advantage. I do not 
know whether you propose any definite plan ; but if the General 
Synod does not feel itself authorized to commence a corres- 
pondence, could not some of our local Synods do so ? I have no 
doubt that we could harmonize very well, unless they are too 
rigid sticklers for the ' divine right of Presbyterianism. ' If they 
regard it as a matter of opinion merely and not of conscience, 
and are liberal, live Christians in their views of church govern- 
ment, what is to hinder a more close alliance or at least, a 
fraternization? Our natural relatives, the German Reformed, 
are withdrawing farther and farther from us every year, the 
new English Congregationalists are too starched and too distant, 
the Methodist Protestant as a body are yet too Wesley an and 
bigoted (I allude to the people, not to ministers), and where 
then may we look for a people more nearly assimilated to us 
than to the Cumberlanders ? When I see your article, I may 
add a word the week later, unless it be thought best not to agi- 
tate the subject publicly as yet. I know your ardent tempera- 
ment may lead you a little too far. You are aware that many 
good things can be done more effectually when very few are in 
the secret." 

How deeply Mr. Passavant was concerned in the scattered 
sheep and the waste places is shown by a letter to the Rev. M. 
J. Steck, president of the young Synod: 

* ' What a field is before us ! Our fourteen counties are full 
of materials upon which to operate, but alas ! how poor and 
feeble are the efforts we are making for their relief! When I 
see the thousands upon thousands of Germans in this city and 
Allegheny and remember that Dr. Jenson is the only man of our 
church, who with power and effect, preaches the gospel, I find it 
almost impossible to keep quiet, to fold my arms and say: 
'Nothing can be done for them.' Oh God, come to our help! 
Bring deliverance out of Thy holy hill! Dear and respected 
brother and father in the ministry, let us aim at doing much for 
Christ, not only in our own charges, which (mine at least) are 
far, very far, from being 'A glorious church without spot or 
wrinkle or any such thing,' but also in the waste places of Zion 
all around." 



130 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASS AV ANT. 

Mr. Passavant had been a fellow student of Walter Gunn 
who followed the Rev. Mr. Heyer to Guntur, India. The two 
kept up a most cordial correspondence and the former mani- 
fested the deepest interest in the India Mission. With all his 
absorption in home and inner mission work as well as in educa- 
tion, he remained all through life an ardent advocate and liberal 
supporter of the church's foreign mission work. 

He was also an intimate friend of missionary Heyer. He 
had helped him vigorously in his city missionary work in Pitts- 
burg and afterwards in the regions beyond. In The Missionary 
which he began to publish in Pittsburg in 1848, there is scarce- 
ly a number that does not contain long letters from Heyer and 
Gunn, as well as earnest editorials and extracts of other writ- 
ings commending the foreign mission work and pleading for a 
deeper interest and greater liberality. It might be hard to find 
a church paper, outside of those devoted exclusively to those in- 
terests, that had more of the missionary tone than had Rev. Pas- 
savant's little monthly. To it belongs the credit, more than 
to any other single agency, of arousing interest and giving to 
our church the impetus that has made her do what she has done 
in the work among the heathen. 

Apr. 10, 1845, came the dreadful fire which swept the busi- 
ness portion of Pittsburg. Many of the members of Mr. Passa- 
vant 's church lost their homes and were reduced to absolute 
penury. The merchants of the church also lost heavily and some 
of them became bankrupt. What this meant to a congregation 
burdened with debt as this one was, and which had just begun 
to take heart and hope, may easily be imagined. But what it 
meant to a pastor who was fully persuaded that a congregation 
dare no more allow any of its members to suffer than a Chris- 
tian family could see one of its members in sore distress, we can 
scarcely conceive. 

The first of May had been set for his marriage with Miss 
Eliza Walter. But now amid the general distress even this had 
to be put out of mind. For several weeks he might have been 
seen by day and by night among the sufferers, relieving their 
immediate wants, and among those who had escaped the calam- 
ity, soliciting funds, furniture, food and raiment for the desti- 
tute. The members of that church were made to realize that 
their congregation was indeed a household of faith, a family of 
the redeemed. 

Worn out and weary, the bridegroom started for his bride. 



BEGINNINGS IN PITTSBURG. 131 

He was glad to rest even in the cabin of the primitive steam 
boat and in the cramped quarters of the rattling stage coach. 

We shall let the bride, at this writing eighty years old, tell 
the story of the marriage, the wedding trip, the honeymoon and 
the beginnings of married life: 

*'Rev. Passavant came, accompanied by his brother Sidney. 
His changed appearance was immediately noticed by all. He 
was thin and tired but said he was well. The wedding was a 
quiet home affair with a few friends of the family. Rev. B. 
Kurtz, Rev. C. P. Krauth and wife who had been married six 
months before, and several other friends of the bridegroom made 
up the wedding party. The beloved Dr. Morris was the officiat- 
ing minister. There were the necessary orange blossoms and 
lilies of the valley held in the hand and the bride was kissed 
by all the company, Dr. Morris setting the example. The bridal 
trip was by rail to Philadelphia, the General Synod being in 
session in St. Matthew's church, New Street. "Who the pastor 
was at that time is not now remembered. The bride had a very 
intimate friend, who had come on to the wedding, living op- 
posite the church. At this friend's house we spent a very de- 
lightful time. The poor bride who had lived quite a retired 
life had a trying time in being introduced to so many Reverend 
friends. 

* * The young people returned to Baltimore to bid farewell to 
'Dear relatives' and friends. In those days, going to Pittsburg 
was looked upon as going to the far west is, in these days. The 
Baltimore and Ohio railway ran to Cumberland. From there 
the stage, whose four horses were changed every ten miles, went 
over the Allegheny Mountains to Brownsville. From thence 
steam-boats ran to Pittsburg. This trip when taken for the first 
time can never be forgotten. The scenery from Baltimore to 
Cumberland was beautiful, and as the ride over the mountains 
took place at night, their magnificence was lost to the passen- 
gers of the crowded stage. Mr. Hewes left the young people 
at Cumberland, hoping they would have some comfort as there 
was but one lady and one gentleman passenger beside ourselves. 
The gentleman was the beloved friend of Rev. Passavant, Dr. 
Brown, president of Jefferson College, from which institution 
Rev. Passavant had graduated a few years before. There was 
mutual joy at this meeting. On being introduced to the young 
wife this venerable gentleman was very kind and friendly. Much 
good advice was given as to our future life. He spoke of his 



132 THE LIFE OF W. a. PASSAVANT. 

great love and respect for Rev. Passavant, having had him many 
years under his care. In order to pass the weary hours, he sang 
with a sweet touching voice several hymns. One was, 'We sin- 
ners saved by grace.' We arrived in Uniontown early in the 
morning, at Brownsville at noon, and boarding the boat arrived 
at Pittsburg about six o'clock. In many of the large warehouses 
in which grain had been stored the ruins were still smoking and 
of course sent out a sickening smell. 

' ' Mr. Passavant being single during the first year in Pittsburg 
was a favorite with the young people and was frequently in- 
vited to make one of a pleasant evening company. Another 
cause of his popularity was that his family was well known by 
all the best people in the city, having lived since 1807 at Zelien- 
ople, Butler Co., about thirty miles from Pittsburg. The time 
came for the young couple to get a home of their own. This was 
in a house next to the one in which they had boarded. Now the 
pleasant business was to furnish a hou.se. This can be done with 
little trouble when the purse is long and well filled, but this was 
not the case here. Paying rent out of a salary of nine hundred 
dollars would not afford luxurious living. The furnishing of 
the house was done by the parents. Many beautiful, valuable 
and useful gifts came from the congregation which were re- 
ceived as loving tokens of appreciation. Then came to this de- 
voted couple a lovely gift as from heaven, a child so perfect 
in face and form that all who saw him would exclaim. Oh, 
what a beautiful child! This filled the heart of parents with 
joy unspeakable. But the loving mother had her troubles with 
the smell and dirt of Pittsburg, and her difficulty with servant 
girls. Of this trouble little was known in Baltimore, where we 
were accastomed to colored servants. The deep interest of sev- 
eral ladies of the congregation in the well-being of their pastor's 
family was developed about this time. Their loving and lasting 
care in doing the kindest and most beautiful things for their 
happiness, can never be forgotten while life lasts. Many have 
gone to their rich reward where no doubt the beloved pastor 
has communion with them in the Father's house above. 

"Mr. Passavant had many burdens upon his shoulders. Aside 
from his regular services, he had many extra meetings some- 
times of weeks' duration and while he had other ministers to 
preach and assist, it was still a great drain on his strength. 
He was a great favorite with the Presbyterian ministers. Dr. 
Herron of the First Church was very fond of him. Our eve- 



BEGINNINGS IN PITTSBURG. 133 

ning service was attended by crowds of the young people. 
A large number of students of the Presbyterian Seminary in 
Allegheny were regular attendants." 

We return to his labor in the Pittsburg church. Of this 
the Rev. J. K. Melhorn/ a graduate of Jefferson College, at this 
writing over seventy-five years old, and a warm friend and 
fellow- worker with Passavant from college days, writes: 

"When he was pastor in Pittsburg and some special oc- 
casion presented itself, in which the different denominations 
were interested, they frequently picked on him to be the speaker. 
A friend of mine told me that he went on one such an occasion 
to hear him, saying that he put (I think) fifty cents in his 
pocket, thinking that was all he would be willing to put in the 
collection box. But, said he, before he closed his sermon, I had 
borrowed five dollars to put in the basket or box. It had been 
said that he had a peculiar tact to loose the purse strings. He 
evidently was a power for good in private intercourse and in 
public address, especially on objects of mercy and Chris- 
tian beneficence. In the Christian home and in the social 
circle, he was like a summer morning enlivened with the sing- 
ing of birds. In the sick room and by the bedside of the dying, 
he was an angel of mercy. I need not tell you how the father- 
less ones gathered around him, and how the sick were comforted 
by his counsels and prayers. You know right well how intense- 
ly earnest he was for the defense of the pure faith as held by 
our dear old Church." 

How he trained his church to look after the poor is seen 
from the article on "The Duty of the Church toward Her 
Indigent Memjpers," which he afterwards published in The 
Missionary : 

"We had long since designed to call attention to this sub- 
ject. Its importance cannot be over-estimated. It may be re- 
garded as the duty affecting not merely the health, but the very 
life of the Christian Church. Mournful is the fact, that in 
many churches there is no system, arrangement or provision 
for this class of members. If some benevolent persons chance to 
discover their wants, they are relieved, but this is more fre- 
quently done by individual members than by the Church in her 
churchly capacity. There is no want of interest or sympathy 
among our people for the poor and unfortunate, but the want 



^ Departed this life October 20, 1904. 



134 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

of a system which should meet all wants of the case, is sorely 
felt, and often leaves the greatest destitution unsupplied. 

"In the church over which, in the providence of God, we are 
placed as pastor, the following plan has been adopted, and is ' 
found to work to the greatest satisfaction of the members. At 
the January meeting of the Church Council, two committees 
are appointed, to whom the matter is committed. These are, 

First, A committee to ascertain the need of the members. 

Second, A committee to supply that need. 

These committees are composed of the deacons of the 
church. The pastor is chairman of the first committee, and 
when a case of suffering occurs, he calls a meeting of the com- 
mittee, to examine its claims, and, if approved, a statement is 
made to the second committee which immediately supplies the 
need. In order to furnish the deacons with funds for this dis- 
tribution, six collections are annually made for the poor — one 
at each communion season — and if these are not sufficient, the 
committee raises the necessary means by private assessment. 
The regular collections furnish a certain sum in advance, so 
that, unless there are unusual claims, there is always on^ collec- 
tion on hand. In this way, the poor and distressed are relieved, 
without the knowledge of the church. Their names are known 
only to the proper officers, and their feelings are respected and 
spared. ' ' 

From the beginning of his ministry, Mr. Passavant had 
been deeply concerned and perplexed about the orphaned, the 
homeless and destitute sick. That it was the duty of the Church 
to care for and minister to these, was his firm conviction. He 
fully realized that the gospel is to bring relief ^to the ills and 
sufferings of the body as well as to the wants of the soul. But 
he did not as yet see how this was to be done. To the shame of 
the whole Church, there was not yet a single Protestant hospital 
in the United States. What was the sympathetic young pastor 
to do ! He could only study, plan and pray. The light was to 
come from abroad. 

Meantime he was busy not only in his own congregation but 
in the regions beyond. Sunday schools, prayer-meetings and 
periodic preaching services were held in Allegheny, Birming- 
ham, Lawreneeville, Lacyville and at other points. Among his 
own people he had trained all who had the proper gifts for 
service. Colporteurs were sent out to canvass, distribute liter- 
ature and gather Sunday schools in the outlying districts. From 



BEGINNINGS IN PITTSBURG. 135 

the First church there went out Sunday after Sunday indi- 
viduals and groups to these various Sunday schools. Had this 
early activity been kept up by the church in its after history, 
the English Lutheran Church would at this day be one of the 
leading forces in Pittsburg, Allegheny and the suburbs. If the 
central churches in all our large cities had pastors with the 
spirit of young Passavant, the English Lutheran Church would 
outstrip all others in most of our large cities. "When Mr. Passa- 
vant and his people were doing all this, there was as yet no 
Church Extension Fund from which to draw, except the one 
which he organized in his debt-burdened church for local work. 
There was no Home Mission Board to which he could look, ex- 
cept the immature and weak one which he had projected in the 
infant Synod, whose mission superintendent he was during a 
large part of its early, history. Amid the multiplied labors in 
the city, he had on his heart "the care of all the churches" in 
the Synod. His counsel and personal aid were demanded on 
every side. He was in labors abundant, in journeys oft, and 
in perils from the exposure of his frail frame. Here is a sample 
of one of the numberless missionary tours taken sometime 
later for Zion's sake and for the encouragement and strengthen- 
ing of the weak places : 

"Woe is me if I evangelize not! And so, yielding to the 
solicitation of friends, we set out on the ninth of February for 
Buffalo Furnace, Armstrong Co., Pa. Everything was frozen — 
the Allegheny, the Canal, the roads— and before we arrived 
there, after a two days' ride in spite of cloaks, comforts, and 
two pairs of almost everything else, we too were well-nigh froz- 
en. While riding over the jagged roads at a solemn walk, alone 
amid a tremendous snow storm, how did we philosophize about 
railroads and steamboats 

"The place of the meeting deserves a passing remark. It 
is about forty miles from Pittsburg, six miles from Kittanning, 
and lies on the turnpike to Butler. It is one of the many es- 
tablishments for the smelting of iron ore, vhich are so numer- 
ous in Western Pennsylvania. The furnace is on a small stream 
called the Buffalo, and the little village, composed of shops and 
dwellings, flouring mills, store, chapel, and school-house, is pleas- 
antly situated on its banks. Of this place, a beloved brother 
from the English Lutheran church in Pittsburg, became one 
of the proprietors four years ago, and removed there with his 
family, to the regret of the church and its pastor. For more 



136 THE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT. 

than two years, these dear brethren retained their connection 
with the Pittsburg church, and though a chapel has been erected 
through their efforts, for religious meetings and preaching re- 
cured once a month, by a neighboring brother, and a Sunday 
school had commenced its noiseless but efficient agency, they 
were the only Lutherans known in the vicinity, and with no 
human prospect that a church would be organized, they often 
'wept when they remembered Zion.' 

''In a short time however, things began to wear a changed 
aspect. The influence of Christian example and Christian 
teaching gradually made itself felt. Drunkenness and open 
profanity, before so common, found no countenance. To some, 
the place became too dull and to others too hot, and they gladly 
escaped to other furnaces where there was 'no religion to trouble 
them.' Others, however, took their places, a considerable num- 
ber of the workmen became reformed, and not a few were hope- 
fully converted to God, and thus a little company was gathered 
out of the world, who requested to be formed into a church. 
Accordingly, an organization was made by Brother G. F. Ehren- 
feldt, the pastor, about eighteen months ago, and the present 
meeting was on the occasion of administering the Lord's Supper 
to this little flock. 

"Arriving on Saturday afternoon, we found the services pre- 
paratory to the communion already over, having been conducted 
in German by the pastor, and in English by his brother, C. A. 
Ehrenfeldt. A sermon in the evening closed the exercises for 
the week. The people came together from far and near, and 
the chapel was entirely too small for the con«:regation. Some 
fifteen persons, from the hoary head to the blooming youth, 
were added to the church by baptism and confirmation, and 
after a sermon the Lord's Supper was administered to the Eng- 
lish portion of the little flock and the brethren from other 
places. In the afternoon after a sermon by the pastor, the 
Lord's Supper was administered to the German members, to 
the number of thirty. The deepest solemnity pervaded the con- 
gregation during the day, and to many, we are assured, it was 
indeed a feast of love. In the evening, and on Monday night, 
the Word was again preached to a large and deeply affected 
congregation. In the mornings at ten o'clock a meeting for 
prayer and religious' conversation was held, at which a goodly 
number attended, and here personal instruction was given to 
those who were inquiring the way to Zion. We could not but 



BEGINNINGS IN PITTSBURG. 137 

feel, as in quietness and solemnity we waited on God, how 
vastly preferable were such meetings for imparting instruction 
to the inquiring or penitent, to inviting them out after sermon 
in the crowded and heated church, at a late hour of night and 
when amid the singing of the congregation the minister must 
often speak at the top of his voice to be heard at all, by those 
who so much need instruction. At the close of the services, a 
class of catechumens was formed, including some ten or twelve 
individuals who had been brought during the meeting to a 
solemn consideration of their ways. They will be faithfully 
instructed in the truths of God's Word and we cannot but hope 
they will become enlightened, fervent, and active Christians. 
Holy Father, bless, sanctify, and keep these lambs of Thy 
flock 

"When it is recollected, that this congregation now number- 
ing above eighty communicants, with its Sunday schools, prayer- 
meetings, arrangements for a minister to reside among them, a 
church in view, and the fair prospect for an increase, is little 
more than a year old, that it has been gathered out of a com- 
munity who knew nothing of the Lutheran Church, and were 
educated under other influences, well may we say, 'what hath* 
God wrought.' They who have been the instruments under 
God, in this happy result, are filled with gratitude, wonder, 

and delight, and so far from taking to themselves any of the 
credit or of the praise, desire with those who have been saved 
through them, to ascribe to the Redeemer all honor and glory, 
dominion and power, forever." 

From this account of the meeting at the Furnace we see 
that Mr. Passavant had changed his liiind and method in regard 
to his former favorite measures. In speaking of this same ser- 
vice many years later, he told the writer how, after the evening 
sermon, the pastor had begged him to call the mourners forward 
or to allow himself to do so, but that he firmly refused. He had 
had enough of the un-Lutheran method and had seen the error 
of his ways. He requested the pastor to let him show him a 
more excellent way. So he announced to the crowded and deep- 
ly affected congregation that the pastor and he would be glad 
to meet anyone, who was concerned for his soul's salvation and 
desired counsel and prayer, at the parsonage on Monday at ten 
o'clock or at a special service at the church in the afternoon. 
The pastor lamented the loss of so glorious an opportunity at 
the close of the evening service and said he might have had 



138 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PA8SAVANT. 

twenty mourners. Passavant said, "If the impressions made 
are of the spirit of God, they will keep until Monday. If it is 
the mere contagion of feeling, it will do no good to call them for- 
ward. " 

On Monday morning while at the breakfast table at the 
parsonage, a man came in deeply agitated and evidently under 
conviction of sin. As Mr. Passavant expressed it to the writer, 
"He was like a bull in a net." He was given such counsel and 
admonition as was needed, was prayed with and was sent home 
to meditate and pray alone. Others came later and still others 
to the special service in the church. Twenty-five years later, 
Mr. Passavant was accosted by a stranger on the street in Pitts- 
burg who said, "Dr. Passavant, don't you know me? Don't 
you remember the meeting at the Furnace? It was your ser- 
mons there that awakened me and brought me to repentance and 
to peace. I shall never forget that meeting and those sermons 
of yours." 

Mr. Passavant was called upon and urged to make many 
similar hard trips to distant places, through all kinds of weather 
and over all kinds of roads. His missions were not always so 
agreeable as was the one to the furnace. Oft-times there was 
trouble between pastor and people or there was strife in the 
congregation, or there was disorder and threatened defection on 
account of the intrusion of false prophets. For the peace of 
Jerusalem, he was always ready to go, heedless of the hardship 
or exposure. 

In addition to his large and increasing personal work for 
the Synod and its missions and churches an immense correspon- 
dence grew on his hands. He was appealed to for advice in the 
most delicate and difficult matters. Assistance was needed and 
unobtrusively given to hundreds of cases of distress and desti- 
tution. Apostolic epistles of encouragement and comfort were 
sent to pastors and churches and often proved the turning point 
for a better day. 

What wonder, therefore, that about a year after his marriage 
he was so exhausted that his family and his friends were deeply 
concerned for his health and that the good people of his church 
saw that he was failing and must have a rest ? The church coun- 
cil urged upon him that he owed it to them as well as to him- 
self to recuperate his waning strength. They insisted that he 
must take a long rest. His mother had been uneasy for some 
time and had likewise begged of him to take a rest. He finally 



BEGINNINGS IN PITTSBURG. 139 

consented on condition that his pulpit be regularly filled and 
that the mission points be kept going. There was no Lutheran 
available for the pulpit. The unionistic spirit that prevailed in 
the English churches of the day saw no objection whatever to 
getting pulpit supplies from other denominations. A theologi- 
cal student of the Presbyterian Seminary of Allegheny, Mr. 
J. Swift, who was a personal friend of Mr. Passavant, was en- 
gaged to fill the pulpit every Sunday morning. A committee 
was appointed to secure supplies for the evening services. And 
so the weary pastor was to have his first vacation. 

His wise and resourceful mother saw that the only real rest 
would be a trip abroad and together with her husband she ar- 
ranged to furnish the ^eans. 

The first general conference of the Evangelical Alliance 
was to meet in London during the summer. Drs. Kurtz, 
Schmucker and other leading lights in the General Synod had 
written enthusiastic articles in favor of this new attempt to 
bring about an affiliation of Protestant Christendom. 

When the zealous young pastor of Pittsburg found that a 
dream of his life was about to be realized in spending a summer 
abroad, his plans naturally took in a visit to the Alliance. When 
the Pittsburg Synod met in June and resolved to send him as 
its official delegate, his joy knew no bounds. The Synod adopted 
the following paper which was to be his official credential : 

"The Pittsburg Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church 
of Pennsylvania, U. S. A., through their delegate, the Rev. W. 
A. Passavant, A. M., to the Christian Alliance to be assembled 
in London, August, 1846. 

Dear brethren; As a Synod, we look upon the selfishness, 
cold-heartedness, and sectarian spirit, which have so long existed 
between different denominations, as calculated very much to in- 
jure the spirituality and cripple the energies of the Church of 
Jesus Christ. We long for the time when ministers, not only 
of the same, but of all denominations which hold the funda- 
mental doctrines of the Bible, shall see 'eye to eye,' and unite 
their individual labors to make known the blessed plan of salva- 
tion through the Redeemer to the ends of the earth. We rejoice 
that efforts have been and are still being made, not only in our 
own country but also in Europe, to accomplish such a desirable 
end. We rejoice especially in the near approach of the 'World's 
Convention' to promote Christian union. To encourage this en- 
terprise, we send the Rev. Wm. A. Passavant, A. M., of Pitts- 



140 THE LIFE OF W. A. FASSAVANT. 

burg to represent our Synod at said convention. Finally, we 
unite our prayers that the great objects for which you assemble 
may be accomplished; that brotherly love, peace and union may 
run through all your deliberations; that when you return to 
*your respective spheres of action, this same spirit may accom- 
pany you; that then by God's blessing, you may breathe it into 
all your churches, and that thus an influence may go forth in- 
creasing and widening until the kingdoms of this world shall 
have become the Kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ. 
Signed in behalf of Synod, 

G. F. Ehrenfeldt, 
June 3d, 1846. Secretary of the Pittsburg Synod." 



ABROAD. 141 



CHAPTER VII. 

ABROAD. 

The friends in Pittsburg showed Mr. Passavant every 
kindness before his departure. Many were the substantial pre- 
sents and tokens of affection that were sent in. A passport was 
secured for him by Mr. Eichbaum. The Rev. Dr. Greer wrote 
him a flattering letter of introduction to the celebrated Dr. 
Tholuck, professor in the University of Halle. 

The little home in Pittsburg was to be temporarily broken 
up. Mrs. Passavant and the baby boy were to go to Baltimore 
to spend some time with her relatives. The wearisome journey 
back to Baltimore was taken by the little family without any 
mishap and all arrived there in good health. Of the leave- 
taking in Pittsburg and Baltimore, Mr. Passavant writes to his 
parents : 

"While speaking of Pittsburg, I ought to mention that the 
council paid me off to the uttermost farthing which enabled 
me to pay all dues and at the same time leave a handsome sum 
in the hands of my wife in case of need. The friends were 
exceedingly kind, in accompanying us to the boat, and aiding 
us in getting things arranged for starting. Their weeping and 
affectionate adieus on Sunday night quite overpowered me, 
and the excitement of the day together with the labor of Mon- 
day in packing, etc. left me very much exhausted. The com- 
munion was larger than ever before seen in the church; among 
the communicants were about thirty or forty of other denomi- 
nations, and the pleasing evidence of increasing interest in the 
church was the accession of five interesting members, of whom 
one was a member and three descendants of other religious 
societies. This was an evidence to my mind and to Mr. J. 's 
who was present, that no idea of failure or depression exists 
in the congregation on account of my temporary absence 

"When I think of so soon leaving my wife and child and 
that too for so long a season, my heart dies within me. To 
stay in Pittsburg with my present health would be certain 
suicide, for my constitution is much more weakened than 
I supposed at first. To travel here without object is ennui 



142 THE LIFE OF W. A. PAS8AVANT. 

in the extreme, and to lie about in Baltimore or some watering 
place, doing nothing is insupportable; I must, therefore, do 
something else and travel abroad will do for me, I hope, what 
nothing else will." 

July, 16., at 2 p.m., he sailed from Boston on the steamer 
Britannia. The vessel was chartered to stop at Halifax, Nova 
Scotia. On the treacherous coast of Newfoundland, they struck 
several rocks and the ship was injured to such an extent that 
they were obliged to stop at Halifax for two days for repairs. 
From here several Methodist ministers were afraid to go on in 
the vessel and returned to Boston. Mr. Passavant spent the 
two days in becoming acquainted with the city. The quaint 
old town with its ancient buildings interested him deeply. His 
natural bent drove him to take even a deeper interest in every- 
thing that pertained to his church. Of this he says in a frag- 
ment of his journal which is all that is left: 

"In addition to a number of Episcopalian, Catholic, Pres- 
byterian, Baptist and Wesleyan Churches concerning all of 
which I made inquiries, I heard from an old gentleman that 
many years ago a Lutheran Church had existed in this place. 
My next effort was to discover the old building where the Ger- 
man colonists formerly worshipped. This was not a difficult 
matter, as even the children in the street knew where the' Dutch 
Church', was, and pointed it out in answer to my inquiries. 
It stands in one end of the town, on the corner of a large 
burying ground, which is surrounded by a substantial stone 
wall. The church itself is a small one story edifice of frame, 
with an old-fashioned cupola or belfry surmounted by a large 
weathercock of tin. At one end is a plain board with the 
following inscription : 



St. George's Church 
1761 



"The sexton of the Episcopal church of St. George' parish 
kindly showed me this venerable pile and the burial ground. 
The gravestones in the latter mostly bear German names, 
though the inscriptions are in English characters. Among 
these was that of Mrs. Hausihl, wife of the Rev. Mr. Hausihl, 
the last pastor of the congregation, who is buried in the church 



ABROAD. 143 

under the place where the pulpit formerly stood. The church 
has been cleared of all the pews and interior arrangement, and 
a day and Sunday school for girls is kept in it. The sexton 
informs me that the burial ground was granted to the congre- 
gation either by the British Government or the city authorities 
in 1749 or '50, though the church itself was not erected until 
1761. So far for the history of the congregation. A more 
detailed account of it I am informed may be found in Judge 
Haliburton's History of Nova Scotia, which work I have taken 
measures to secure. 

"Dr. Hoffman, a German whose aquaintance I made in 
Halifax, gave me some valuable information concerning a large 
colony of German settlers at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, some 
sixty or eighty miles from that place. As, however, I did not 
rely with absolute certainty on the accounts I received, I defer 
making any entry in my journal until I can obtain a copy of 
Judge Haliburton's work on Nova Scotia. In Dr. Schmucker's 
portraiture of Lutheranism and other works published by our 
American clergymen, no mention whatever is made of Luth- 
eran settlements at Halifax and Lunenburg, from which cir- 
cumstance it may be safely inferred that nothing whatever is 
known concerning these colonies. It is said by persons in Halifax 
with whom I conversed that a German Lutheran minister still 
resides in Lunenburg. If this be so, a correct history may yet 
be obtained concerning these colonies, and possibly an Evan- 
gelical Lutheran Church may be reared up from the ruins of 
the old congregation." 

On his return from Europe, Mr. Passavant secured the 
above-named work of Judge Haliburton which put him on the 
track of some ancient records of the Lutheran Church in Nova 
Scotia. He discovered that a Rev. Carl Ernest Cossman had 
been at work in Lunenburg County since 1835. He entered 
into correspondence with him and did much for the Nova Scotia 
Lutherans. This finally eventuated in the missionary trip of 
the Rev. Dr. H. W. Roth to these Lutherans of the Diaspora. 
As a result of this trip several young ministers of the Pittsburg 
Synod were called who recaptured one church after another 
from the Episcopalians, formed themselves into the Nova 
Scotia Conference of the Pittsburg Synod, and are now The 
Nova Scotia Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. 

After leaving Halifax the only diversion on the ocean 
voyage was the sight of several schools of porpoises and of 
several whales. The company on board was a mixed one, Ger- 



144 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

■ 

mans, Scots, French, Spaniards, Americans, English, Irish, and 
Canadians. As is usual, the passengers soon divided into two 
groups. The one spent its time drinking, dancing, playing 
cards and in other congenial pastimes. The other group, among 
whom were several ministers, took sweet counsel together con- 
oerning the things of God. They held their own devotional 
meetings. Mr. Passavant conducted several services in the 
main cabin of the boat. His room-mate was a scholarly Ger- 
man, Mr. Obermeyer, from Augsburg, who had been traveling 
in the United States for several years studying the institutions 
of the country. He had made such a favorable impression on 
President Polk that he was appointed American Consul to 
Bavaria. With him Mr. Passavant studied German and mapped 
out a tour through Germany. And so after a pleasant voyage 
of fifteen days, without even a touch of sea-sickness, he reached 
Liverpool. From here he hastened without delay to London. 

In a letter to his wife he speaks of the organizing of the 
Alliance, of the long, heavy and often dull speeches, of the great 
crowds in Exeter and Freemason's Halls, of the difficulties of 
agreeing on the basic principles, of the injudicious injection of 
the slavery question and of the final colorless and compro- 
mising generalities adopted. 

He tells her how he visited the tombs of the Wesleys, of 
Fletcher, Adam Clarke, Richard Watson, Dr. Coke, John 
Bunyan, Isaac Watts, Philip Doddridge, Richard Baxter and 
many other departed worthies. He mentions his meeting and 
his interviews with Chevalier Bunsen, Dr. Tholuck, Rev. Stein- 
kopf, a German Lutheran Pastor in London; Pastor Barth, a 
celebrated writer of books for children; The Rev. Mr. Herchel, 
a missionary to the Jews; and Lizerski, a converted Jew who 
assisted him and whose work among his own people Mr. Passa- 
vant praises very highly. 

He describes a visit to Hyde Park, its great beauties, its 
fine equipages, its display of wealth and of the nobility which 
disgusted him and moved him to much moralizing on the dan- 
gers and sin of the idle rich. He speaks of his visits to the 
various hospitals and other charitable institutions, of the 
lessons learned there and tells his wife how they would put 
these lessons into practice when they would start their new 
hospital in Pittsburg 

He copies this epitaph of Mrs. Bunting, wife of Dr. Jabez 
Bunting. 



ABROAD. 145 

"Here rests Sarah, 
The dear and beloved wife of Jabez Bunting, who, after 
a life of faith in the Son of God, having brought up children, 
lodged strangers, delivered the afflicted and diligently followed 
every good work, fell asleep September, 29., 1835, aged 53". 
He then paid this beautiful tribute to his wife: 

"I bless God that in all these most essential duties and 
virtues of a Christian pastor's wife, thou art not wanting. May 
the Grace of Christ make thee perfect and strengthen thee in 
every good work yet more abundantly." 

In another letter to her he speaks briefly and enthusiastic- 
ally of a hasty trip to Rouen, Paris, Versailles, Fontainbleau, 
Brussels, Antwerp, Cologne and Bonn. In all these interesting 
cities he gave special attention to the churches, institutions of 
charity and seats of learning. His description of the ascent of 
the storied castle and cathedral-crowned Rhine is full of poetic 
and dramatic interest. How his imagination reveled in the 
passing panorama and how his mind absorbed the historic and 
hallowed associations and how his heart was filled and thrilled 
with prayer and praise he could not all express, yet could much 
less conceal. Into these memorable days were crowded gene- 
rations of life and of Providence. Space forbids the giving of 
these interesting personal letters as a whole. For his parents,Mr. 
Passavant wrote daily observations, which he sent to them from 
time to time. In these letters he fully describes his movements 
to places, the persons he met and the impressions made. 
Thus he gives them a fuller description of his itinerary from 
London to Frankfurt than he had given to his wife : 

"Again I am on the mystic Rhine at Kaiserswerth, an ob- 
scure village of two thousand inhabitants but celebrated all 
over Europe for the interesting institution of Protestant deacon- 
esses which Pastor Fliedner, an unobtrusive Lutheran minister, 
has established there. As I had letters from Bremen and from the 
Sisters in the hospital in Frankfurt and London, Fliedner at 
once made me welcome and we were soon seated around a 
frugal but comfortable repast to which my long walk enabled 
me to do ample justice. During the afternoon, we went over 
the whole institution which, from nothing but a believing heart, 
has gradually increased to an ample establishment, consisting 
of a hospital, an orphan home, an infant school, a day school, 
an asylum for released female prisoners, an institute for the 
training of Evangelical teachers, and a mother house for dea- 



146 THE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT. 

conesses! Building after building goes up and, with nothing 
but faith for a capital, the necessary means are always at hand. 
Though the institution is only a few years old, it has already 
sent forth two hundred and sixty female teachers and a large 
number of nursing sisters who are scattered over Europe in 
hospitals, from St. Petersburg to Rome! It is interesting to 
see how the good and great from all lands make their pilgim- 
ages to this obscure spot. Kings, queens, nobles, philanthro- 
pists, and others from all parts of Europe have seen, examined 
and approved of this institution; but I must not enlarge. 
Fliedner gave me all the reports, documents, etc., and these, 
I am sure, you will be delighted to read. At four o'clock, we 
drank coffee with the deaconesses and teachers and other mem- 
bers of the institution who were specially called together on 
this occasion. I had expected to speak in English, but Mr. 
Fliedner could not translate, so I endeavored to make a German 
address and succeeded by his occasionally putting in a word 
to express what I desired. Among the deaconesses were several 
ladies of the nobility, one of whom came from Sweden with the 
purpose of remaining a year and then founding a similar insti- 
tution in her own land 

"From Kaiserswerth, we went to Diisseldorf and thence to 
the beautiful Wupperthal. This is a small valley a few miles 
in length and owes its prosperity to two causes. First to a 
Protestant population and secondly to a small stream which 
flows through its entire extent. The waters of this stream are 
so admirably adapted for dyeing wool and cotton that two 
cities from twenty to thirty thousand each have sprung up in 
the valley. These consist of an endless succession of factories 
with the dwellings for the laborers and the whole valley seems to 
be more or less concerned in some one or other of these estabish- 
ments. Elberfeld and Barmen are about half a mile apart and 
between them, on a lovely spot of ground, is the Barmen 
Mission House. This valley is at once the center and source 
of a missionary influence which is felt from the Western settle- 
ment of America to central Africa and Borneo and already it 
numbers a large Christian population among the heathen who 
have been Christianized and civilized by the labors of two de- 
voted missionaries. Fortunately the Executive Committee was 
in session when a friend took me to the Mission House and 
though we were together in session for five hours, by eight in 
the evening I was on my way back to Diisseldorf. By a similar 
combination of circumstances, I was taken to the house of a 



ABROAD. 147 

German merchant on my way to Elberfeld who was just the 
man I wanted to show me everything of a religious character 
in the town. He received me with Christian kindness, invited 
me to his house, introduced me to the committee, of which he is 
a member, and in many ways greatly facilitated the object of 
my journey. The Bremen Missionary Society were pleased to 
make a donation of missionary books to the Academy at Zelien- 
ople and this holy Christian master of the poor school added 
a present of several volumes additional to fill up the box, for- 
warding it to Bremen, and packed in it some beautiful pictures 
of Luther and his family for my parlor. I found that he w^as 
a friend of Chas. Hay, who stayed at his house in Elberfeld, 
and the partner of Mr. Pestalozzi of Zurich of whom I have al- 
ready said so much. The celebrated Elberfeld preacher. Dr. 
F. W. Krummacher, on whom I called, was unfortunately ab- 
sent from home. He is about to remove to Potsdam where he 
has been called as Hofprediger. 

Here is a summary, in his own characteristic style, ad- 
dressed to his congregation in Pittsburg: 

"London, Oct. 18th., 1846, Sunday morning. 
Dear brethren and sisters, — 

The rain is coming down in torrents so as effectually to 
prevent me from going to church this morning. In the hope 
that I may yet have an opportunity this evening, I shall re- 
main at home and devote these hours to my beloved congre- 
gation. 

"By the kindness of God, I have been permitted safely to 
return thus far on my homeward journey. We arrived here, 
after a stormy and most disagreeable passage of several days, 
on Thursday night, and since then my time has been con- 
stantly occupied with writing and transacting business in time 
for the steamer of tomorrow — Oct. 19th. Though it was not 
my intention to write until the thirty-first of this month, the 
fear that there may be unnecessary anxiety on account of my 
delay, induces me to send a few lines by tomorrow's steamer. 
Hurried and uninteresting as they necessarily must be, I feel 
assured they will yet be welcome. They will at least show that 
in all my wanderings in foreign lands, my heart turns towards 
the church which God has placed under my care as the lode- 
Btone turns to the pole. 

"Let me see where I was when I- last wrote. I believe it 
was in London, in the anxiety and uncertainty which had 



148 THE LIFE OF IV. A. PASSAYAST. 

gathered around the Evangelical Alliance. You have doubt- 
less heard the happy issue of this difficulty in the papers of 
the day. I need not, therefore, occupy time with this subject. 
In company with Drs, Peck, Emory, and a number of other 
clergj-men of the American Methodist Church, I sailed for 
Dieppe in France, the day after I wrote. From Dieppe we 
went directly to Paris, stopping only a few hours in the ancient 
city of Rouen, to see the fine old churches and crumbling ruins. 
We remained upward of a week in Paris, and likewise took ex- 
cursions to Fontainebleau, and Versailles, at each of which we 
stayed a day. During this time with the exception of Sunday, 
we were constantly engaged in looking at the many interesting 
sights which the metropolis contains, so that the very eye it- 
self became pained with seeing and desire and curiosity were 
more than satisfied. If you would have a description of Paris, 
you must look for it elsewhere than in my letter. I can not 
describe its gay pleasure-lo^dng population and therefore will 
not make the attempt. 

"To all human appearances it has no Sabbath, no sacred 
day. "Warehouses, stores, shops, etc., etc. were open as before- 
and only here and there could I find one with shutters closed. 
And yet this great and wicked city, with nearly two millions 
of people, contains many of God's dearest children. The com- 
paratively small handful of Protestants of the Presb^i:erian 
and Lutheran confession are all alive to the work of their 
Master and though greatly hampered in their operations by the 
indifference of the unbelieving on one side, and the intolerance 
of the Roman Church on the other, they accomplish a vast 
amount of good. We have some three or four French and Ger- 
man Lutheran congregations in Paris but I did not succeed in 
finding any of them, so I attended the French Reformed Church 
in the 'Church of the Oratory', 'Rue St. Honore'. This large 
church was well filled with a solemn and attentive congregation 
and the whole services were conducted with a propriety and 
order which made me feel it was God's house. Would that we 
had the admirable custom, which prevails in England and every- 
where on the continent, for the congregation to remain a 
moment in silent prayer after the benediction, instead of rush- 
ing to the door as if in haste to escape from the house of God ! 
I also observed here with great pleasure, what I have noticed 
in all churches in England and on the continent, that each of 
the Christian worshippers engaged in silent prayer on entering 
the church! May the example of others impress your minds. 



ABROAD. 149 

dear brethren, with the propriety of this duty which I have so 
often endeavored to set before you while in your midst. These 
may seem to be small matters, but they are not so; mere forms 
they may be but as expressions of a praying and reverential 
spirit, they are most important. A strange and unaccountable 
feeling of horror came over me on leaving this sacred chapel 
and going into the street. Crowds of people were passing 
along in their laboring clothes; the shops were still open, the 
market people were before the walls of a sanctuary! Highly 
favored people are we, who live in the land of Sabbath, where 
the very stillness and quiet of the day seem to say, there is a 
God, there is a Savior, there is an eternity, where its regularly 
recurring hours afford a blessed opportunity of meeting in 
God's house, parents and children together, and of instructing 
our families around our o^vn firesides in the truths of the 
Word ! Not unto us, Oh Lord, but unto Thy name be the glory 
and the praise for these unspeakable mercies! 

"Leaving Paris, we bent our course for Germany and the 
Rhine, stopping in Belgium only long enough to visit Brussels 
and the quaint old city of Antwerp. Poor unhappy Belgium, 
with its multitudes of priests, eating up the fat of the land and 
grinding the faces of the poor until endurance can scarcely 
hold out longer! Never was I anywhere, where there seemed to 
be such a swarm of ecclesiastics. At every place where the cars 
stopped, a number would enter, and it was painful to see in 
how many instances these men looked sensual, bloated, and in- 
dolent. There were exceptions, as there are everywhere, many 
honorable exceptions, but the general impression made upon 
us by the Belgium priests was that of a bigoted, idle, and sensual 
class, who hang like an incubus upon the people, hindering their 
advancement, sinking them deeper in superstition and form- 
ality. A little incident I must not forget to mention. While 
passing through the streets of Brussels, one day, a carriage 
stopped, and several of our London delegates from Ireland ran 
over the way to greet us in this dark land. They had incidentally 
heard of an awakening among the Roman Catholics in one of 
the most priest-ridden districts of the land and, the evening 
before we met, had the pleasure of addressing (through an 
interpreter) a congregation of over two hundred awakening 
and enquiring people. They were on their way to the city of 
Liege, where a similar movement was going on and where they 
expected to have a similar pleasure ! ' How strangely and won- 
derfully is the Lord carrying on His work in the dark places 



150 THE LIFE OF W. A. PAS SAVANT. 

of the earth' ! The simple story of the cross, and the distribution 
of bibles and tracts by plain and uneducated colporteurs, was 
the instrumentality here employed by 'One who takes the weak 
things of the world to confound the mighty'. We met one of 
these men, selling his bibles and tracts in the streets of Brussels. 
He was dressed in a linen ' blouse ' and like our ' razor strop man ' 
had a crowd of men, women and children around him listening 
to his story. There was a mildness and a sweet composure in 
his countenance which strangely touched my heart and while 
he sold one and another to the gaping crowd, who seemed 
scarcely to know what they were buying, I involuntarily offered 
up the prayer that God would follow with His blessing these 
silent messengers of mercy, to the opening of their eyes and the 
saving of their souls. At Cologne we struck the Rhine, and 
here for the first time had a view of this majestic river. Taking 
the steam boat, we ascended it as high as Mayence, where I 
was reluctantly compelled to bid adieu to our company. The 
scenery of the Rhine is inexpressibly glorious. It is literally 

A blending of all beauties, streams and dells. 
Fruit, foliage, crag, wood, cornfield, mountain vine, 
And chiefless castles breathing stern farewells, 
From gray but leafy walls, where ruin greenly dwells. 

''For many hundred miles it makes its way through a moun- 
tainous country and in the Rheingau its passage seems to be 
a gorge between a ridge of lofty mountains. Many of these 
are terraced to the very top at an immense expense and labor, 
in order to cultivate the grapevine, which here grows in all its 
excellence. The old Gothic castles, nearly all in ruins, crown 
these vine-clad hills and the quaint old towns at their base 
make up a scene of strange but wondrous beauty. Never did 
I more regret the shortness of my time than while on the 
Rhine. It was just in the vintage and everywhere on the 
hills and crags might be seen the peasants gathering in the 
rich clusters of grapes in a kind of hood which seems to be 
fastened to their backs. These grapes are of small size but 
exceedingly sweet and agreeable, and yield a large quantity of 
wine. I had here an opportunity of tasting pure Rhine wine, 
and could scarcely repress my indignation at the abominable 
mixtures which are palmed off in America, as the pure juice 
of the grape. Fortunately my wish to obtain a couple of dozen 
of bottles for the use of sick persons in our congregation was 
gratified in a way I never thought of. I incidentally made the 



ABROAD. 151 

acquaintance of a gentleman, who owned a large vineyard and 
supplies Mr. Rapp at Economy, with the pure article for 
private use. With him, I have made an arrangement to obtain 
a basket or two of an excellent wine for persons recovering 
from sickness. These will be sent to a friend in Philadelphia 
and when once in Pittsburg, I shall be happy to have the 
brethren furnish it for their families in sickness at a trifling 
cost, while to the poor it will be a sincere pleasure for me to 
provide it gratuitously. Could you have seen me on the 
steamer, while ascending the Rhine, dressed in a 'blouse', the 
universal peasant's garb of this country, you would have 
scarcely recognized your old pastor. But thus we travel, ful- 
filling in this respect at least, the old adage 'We must do in 
Rome as the Romans'. Blouse or no blouse, this journey up the 
Rhine was one of the most interesting of my life, and its novel 
and delightful recollections will never be erased, from my mind. 
"Truly happy would I be, could I but compress in a few 
lines that which might be interesting to you in my three weeks' 
stay in Frankfurt, the native city of my excellent parents and 
the residejice of most of my relatives. Though much occupied 
with the business of Synod, and obliged to shut myself up 
daily to attend to it, I yet found much leisure time for the 
offices of friendship, and spent the remainder among my 
friends. In Frankfurt, I found not a few amiable and lovely 
Christians in the higher walks of life, and their simplicity, and 
godly sincerity was most affecting. Many of these are in fami- 
lies entirely composed of worldly people, where spiritual Christ- 
ianity is regarded as 'melancholy', and termed 'pietism'; under 
these circumstances, their light is almost hid, until you, perhaps 
by accident, discover that you are speaking with a disciple. On 
several occasions a single expression or word told the whole 
story. In the country where church and state are unfortun- 
ately united, and many ministers are either rationalists or at 
least unrenewed men, it is by no means taken for granted that 
a man is a Christian because he is a clergyman. Those who 
are Christians are therefore on the lookout to judge the charac- 
ter of a stranger. After an evening's conversation, you may 
receive a warm press of the hand from some silent and suffering 
disciple, who recognized you as a brother from a sentiment 
uttered or a word spoken in the course of your remarks. A 
stranger mentioned the name of Jesus with peculiar solemnity 
and feeling in a promiscuous assembly. On returning home, a 
gentleman came to his residence and looking steadfastly in his 



152 THE LIFE OF ^Y. A. PAS8AVANT. 

face, while the tears flowed down his cheeks, asked him, 'And 
is He your Savior, too?' There is much of this kind of silent 
Christianity in Germany at the present time. Things are however 
coming to a crisis. Light and darkness can not exist together 
much longer. Ministers find they must take sides, as all those 
who are believers are known and loved as such by their 
brethren, while the unbelieving stand off from them and cater 
for the popular taste to support their sinking cause. On all 
sides in Germany we see the evidence of some mighty revo- 
lution in the religious world. At present there is a wonderful 
chaos in spiritual things, the good and bad, the unbelieving and 
believing, are all together in the established church and go 
through the same forms; but soon God will bring order out of 
this confusion, discern between the righteous and the wicked. 
To write intelligently of the state of things in Germany, would 
require more tiiije than I can command and in a letter like this 
all such narrative would be out of place. I can only say in a 
word that, while outward things look gloomy, the good and 
pious in Germany believe that God will soon put a stop to this 
mingling of Christ and Mammon and redeem and vindicate His 
own cause. There is much prayer and faith among the Christ- 
ians of the continent, and but little reliance on any human 
instrumentalities or schemes of reform. They believe, as they 
are unable to take matters in their own hands, that God will 
have mercy on His people and save His Church by the strong 

arm of His power 

"While in Frankfurt, I took a trip to Basel on the bvisiness 
of our Synod. While in London, by conversing with the 
ministers from Berlin, Prussia, I learned that there was but a 
poor prospect there to obtain the kind of missionaries needed 
by Synod for our German Emigrant missions. Instead of 
going to Berlin,! was induced by the representations of Chevalier 
Bunsen, the Prussian embassador in London, to visit in Basel 
in Switzerland. This was manifestly providential, and I am 
happy to say that the mission committee of the mission houses 
there, at once espoused our cause and determined to send us 
six ministers by next May. Should nothing unforeseen occur, 
they will be in Pittsburg in time for the meeting of Synod 
in the spring, where they will be examined and at once sent 
forth to their respective fields of labor. Great indeed was my 
gratification in being permitted to see the Basel Missionary 
Seminary. There are generally sixty or more young men in 
attendance, and every year a number are sent to China, Asia, 



ABROAD. 153 

Africa, and North and South America, where many alas fall 
victims to the climate and to this great trial. 

"They are wholly supported by voluntary contributions both 
while in the seminary and when they go to heathen lands. 
Those, however, who are sent to America are expected to be 
supported by their congregations or by missionary societies 
there. In reviewing the circumstances which led me to change 
my route from Prussia to Switzerland, I clearly see the hand 
of God in every circumstance and rejoice that deliverance has 
come for our poor and scattered Germans from a quarter we 
thought not of. The Basel Missionaries are tried men, and are 
preferred above all others in Europe and even in England. 
The English Church Missionary Society has employed more 
than seventy of them in their East India Missions and a num- 
ber more expect to sail for India in spring under the patronage 
of this Society. 

"Returning to Strassburg in France from Basel, I remained 
several days among some very dear Christian friends and spent 
the Sunday in a little village a few hours' dr^.ve from the city. 
After the bustle and hurry of the week before, in which I had 
been traveling day and night, the quiet of this retired spot, 
and the sweet society of Christians, was most grateful. Often, 
when listening to the wonderful way in which some of these 
dear relatives and friends were led to Christ, and following 
them through their struggles and early trials, I wept and could 
only say 'how wonderful are Thy ways, Oh God, and Thy 
thoughts are past finding out'. The awakened and Christian 
people in Strassburg are earnestly engaged in spreading the 
gospel in the neighboring cities and villages of the 'Department 
De Bas Rhine', and the Vosges Mountains, among which the 
great and good Oberlin once lived and labored. It is a sad 
thought, that, out of nearly three hundred Protestant ministers 
in this part of France, scarcely forty are believers or Christian 
men. The rest are unbelievers or rationalists, as they are 
pleased to term themselves! Nevertheless, even in this dark 
quarter light is springing up. At the head of the Evangelical 
party is the Rev. Pastor Herter, a plain but mighty man of 
God, who, although hated, despised and ridiculed by the world, 
goes on, meekly bearing all and only 'doubling' his exertions 
in the good cause. In connection with a few pious friends he 
has established a 'house for Deaconesses,' a new or rather old 
apostolic office revived, and these excellent women have luider 
their care a large hospital with seventy beds as well as a school 



154 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

for poor children, which already contains upwards of two hun- 
dred scholars. ' Five years ago, this excellent man had nothing 
but faith in God for his capital and now 'behold what hath 
God wrought'! Already have several hospitals been supplied 
with 'nursing sisters', from the parent institution, and the 
poor Protestants of this part of France are beginning to feel 
the blessed results of this sacred institution. 

"Having visited Kaiserswerth on the Rhine, where the first 
Protestant institution of this kind was commenced from which 
all the others are copied, both in Germany, Holland, France 
and Prussia, I shall on my return give myself the pleasure of 
giving the brethren an opportunity of learning more of this 
wonderful institution which is spreading its blessings so 
rapidly over the whole of Europe. In my whole course of obser- 
vation, I saw nothing anywhere which so commends itself to 
the better feeling of the heart as the order just referred to. 
The King of Prussia has erected a large hospital and of his own 
funds in Berlin, which is to be a l^ind of training school for 
a large 'central motherhouse' for all the Prussian dominions. 
In Frankfurt and many of the principal towns I visited, I 
found that the Protestant hospitals and charitable institutions 
of a similar nature were wholly given over to the care of these 
sisters and so great and happy had been the change for the 
better under their management that the city authorities could 
find no language sufficiently expressive of their approbation. 
When once fully admitted and set apart by prayer for this 
holy work, they enter upon it with a self-sacrifice truly aston- 
ishing and many of them never leave the hospitals till removed 
by death ! They make no vows for life, but can return to their 
friends if so disposed. And yet very few ever use this privilege, 
but live and die in the service. Why cannot we find among us 
a devotion and self-sacrifice similar to that manifested by our 
Lutheran sisters in France and Germany? Surely there is a 
need equally as great in America for something of this kind as 
in Europe where so many hospitals and other such institutions 
exist. Especially in our city, where no friendly asylum opens 
its mercy doors for the stranger and the indigent sick, is such 
an order necessary. Under these circumstances, I trust the de- 
votion of our sisters in the faith on the continent will provoke 
us to emulation, and cause some in our congregation to enquire 
whether God has not a work for them to do among the needy, 
the sick, and the unfortunate of our fellow men. 

"But I must hasten to a close. Time will not allow me to 



ABROAD. 155 

describe my journey down the Rhine or to make even brief 
notices of the short visits I made in Coblenz, Cologne, Diissel- 
dorf, Kaiserswerth, Elberfeld, with its interesting mission in- 
stitution similar to the one in Basel, and Rotterdam in Holland. 
Everywhere it was my privilege to meet with dear Christian 
brethren, whose kindness I can never forget and whose holy 
and heavenly conversation refreshed my heart and enabled me 
to 'go on my way rejoicing'. For the 'loving favor' in which 
Christians have everywhere received me, and the preserving 
care and providence of God with the unspeakable blessing of 
health, I desire to be most grateful and beg you with me to 
glorify our Kindest Friend for these things. In all the mercy 
received, I see the answer of your prayers which I have felt 
were following me in foreign lands, and by the help of which 
I have been safely brought thus far on my journey home. 

"May I not, therefore, once more, beseech you, 'to strive 
with me in your prayers to God for me' and do this the rather, 
that i may have a prosperous journey and soon be returned to 
you again. 

"I regret exceedingly that my passage across the Atlantic 
will very probably be a long one. As the berths in the steam- 
ships were all taken a month ago, I could of course not get a 
passage and other circumstances made it necessary to go by a 
sailing packet. The ship in which I embark tomorrow is the 
'St. James' (Capt. Meyer of New York) and is one of the re- 
gular liners between that port and London. The homeward 
trip takes much longer than in coming over and the average 
time is five weeks. If however, we are longer detained, do not 
be uneasy for my welfare. 

'He who led me hitherto 

Will guide me all my journey through'. 

"And He who has so graciously restored me to health will 
if it be His heavenly pleasure, give me many opportunities of 
manifesting my gratitude by diligently laboring in His service. 
"If our good brother Swift has found it out of his power to 
remain with the congregation as long as they desired it and as 
I was anxious he should, I trust it will not have any injurious 
influence upon youi* welfare if for a few weeks longer you will 
have various brethren to officiate in the pulpit. "Wonderfully 
has God arranged everything for your edification during my ab- 
sence and if you but possess an humble, teachable spirit, all His 
faithful servants will be acceptable. 



156 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PAS8AVANT. 

"In conclusion, let me exhort you, as the season of more 
leisure and when the evenings are longer is beginning to ap- 
proach, let me exhort you to redouble your diligence in the 
work of the Lord. This is the most fitting time to set every- 
thing in order for the coming winter. The prayer-meetings in 
the different districts, and the teachers' meetings should now 
be reorganized without delay. The faithful few who hitherto 
have collected together the widow's mite, and the willing dona- 
tion of all in their society should now receive the encourage- 
ment and support of every member and friend to the cause. It 
is only by cooperating with one accord that the praiseworthy 
object of the 'Mite Society' can be carried into execution. Above 
all, dear brethren, live in peace and love among yourselves. 
This will give a loveliness and a heavenly simplicity to your 
Christian fellowship which will attract and subdue the world 
and constrain it to acknowledge that the Lord is with you. 

"Till we meet again as pastor and people, either in the sacred 
enclosures of our earthly temple or before our Savior and Judge 
at His appearing, I bid you an affectionate farewell. The grace 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion 
of the Holy Ghost be with you all. Amen. Yours truly 

W. A. Passavant. " 

Among the notables whom he met in Basel, was the famous 
educator and philanthropist, Pestalozzi, who was an intimate 
friend of his cousin Henrietta Passavant whom he also met 
there. Here are a few extracts of a letter she wrote him after 
he arrived home : 

"Dear cousin. The amiable note Mr. Pestalozzi handed me 
from you has given me a great deal of pleasure and I have to 
beg your pardon for not having thanked you for it sooner. Its 
contents and the particulars Mr. Pestalozzi has communicated 
to us about your labors in the new world have deeply interested 
us, and given us still more regrets to have seen so little of you 
while in Europe, the more as we have understood that you gave 
up your journey to Berlin, and spent in Strassburg and Frank- 
furt the time you had destined for your tour in the north of 
Germany 

"Mr. Pestalozzi has communicated to us the pamphlet you 
gave him relating to the affairs of your church and your religious 
meetings. All this has greatly interested us, and we ardently 
desire to contribute something to the prosperity of your congre- 
gation. I send you for that object two hundred francs which the 



ABROAD. 157 

brother of my brother-in-law, Mr. John Iselin, established in 
New York, will forward to you at the same time with this letter. 
This sum is very small and will be of but little assistance to 
you, but for the present we are hardly able to do more. You 
doubtless know in what a critical situation Switzerland just 
now is placed; distracted as she is by revolutions and great 
dearth, not to say famine, the misery is excessive and the purse 
of the rich is scarcely sufficient to relieve the pressing wants of 
the poor. I hope that after a while we shall be able to do 
something more for our brethren in Pittsburg. Meanwhile please 
to accept this slight offering as a proof of the interest and the 
sympathy which the cause to which you have devoted yourself 
has inspired in us 

"Speak of us to your parents, your brother and sister and 
your wife ! Let them know that in this little corner of the world 
you have relations who are sincerely attached to them and who 
would think themselves happy to prove it some day by more 
than mere words. ' ' 

With many of the eminent men whom he had met he dined 
and afterwards corresponded. Here are a few of the many in- 
vitations : 

"I am sorry to hear you are unwell and regret that I shall 
not be able today to call on you. In the meantime, I send you a 
copy I happen to have renewed, of my ' Andaclitshuch' , adapted 
for the use of German congregations in America. I shall be glad, 
if its meets with your approbation and shall have great pleasure 
in having conversation with you on the subject. If you are well 
enough, will you come and dine with us tomorrow, Wednesday, . 
at seven o'clock, in a friendly little family party? My son 
intends to call on you as soon as he returns from the country. 

Yours sincerely 

Bunsen ' '. 

"But recollect it is not any more than three days before 
I shall (D. V.) get married and you have no idea how I am 
overwhelmed with business of every description .... Do come 
here as soon as the state of your health will allow you; if you 
can, come tomorrow or Friday to breakfast at eight o'clock. This 
is the only time I can with certainty fix to meet you. Do come, 
if you can. I must see you before I leave. Write how you are. 
Much as I rejoice that the Lord has graciously brought me 
so far, yet I am sorry you should just have come in this time, 
when we can have so little of each other. Howeyer, I trust we 



158 TEE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT, 

shall find more time after your and my return to London; the 
latter is fixed for the twenty-second of October, if not before 

this 

"I hope you have received my note of introduction to 
Chevalier Bunsen and send you enclosed some names to whom 
you may apply. My dear friend, once more, come if you can 
tomorrow or Friday for a parting hour. The Lord be with you 
and restore you speedily to health and strength. My sister 
unites in kindest regards and I am 

Your affectionate brother, 

Louis Cappel. " 

"I have just heard from L 'Ashley that you are here and 
therefore lose no moment to enclose you the letter sent to me 
the other day for you. Pray come and breakfast with us on 
Thursday next, twenty-second, at ten. We go to Fulham on 
that day. 

Ever yours faithfully, 

Bunsen." 

**Sir, Though it will not, I fear, be in my power to render 
you any assistance, I shall be very happy to see you on Saturday 
next at half past eleven. 

Yours sincerely 

Stanley." 
"In the absence of my father I opened your note and exceed- 
ingly regret that the unfortunate misunderstanding should have 
taken place. We have not received any letter from your good self 
and no doubt you will get your letters back on application at 
the dead letter office. My father will not be here all this week 
nor probably before Thursday next. However, I shall be most 
happy to see you here on Friday or Saturday or any day after. 
I shall not be here on Thursday or tomorrow, being compelled 
to go out of town on urgent business. I shall be glad to show you 
anything worth while seeing here and in Leeds or the neighbor- 
hood. Request that you will drop me a line saying when I may 
expect the pleasure of your company. 

Yours truly, 
Philip Passavant." 
What impressions and what profitable lessons Mr. Passavant 
carried away from the Alliance, we cannot now tell, as there 
are no letters at hand. But we do know that during those two 
momentous weeks he was himself going through an unconscious 
transformation. He had a special gift for studying and under- 



ABROAD. 159 

standing men and movements. How his alert and practical mind 
must have scrutinized those men ! There he came in contact 
with the leaders of Protestantism in its various forms. There 
he saw and heard and conversed with such great teachers, organ- 
izers and workers as Tholuck, Pestalozzi, F. W. Krummacher, 
Baron Bunsen, C. Cappel, C. Koch of Germany; Monod of 
France; Buchanan of Scotland; and Bickersteth, Wardlaw, A. 
P. Stanley and John Angel James of England and many others. 
Such men could not but greatly enlarge the horizon, sharpen 
the judgment and quicken the enthusiasm of a young man not 
yet twenty-five years old and hungry for knowledge and di- 
rection. Here he saw the difficulties that are a part of an 
indefinite and inconsistent faith. He saw the danger of 
liberalism. He saw the struggle after a foundation on which all 
could stand. He saw that at best such a foundation must have 
its gaps, its weak places and its danger points. Here is an ex- 
tract from a characteristic letter that his mother wrote to him 
in London : 

"The great London excitement is now over and you are 
able to judge whether the much talked of Convention was really 
worth drawing so many hundreds of men from the endearments 
of home and their allotted spheres of usefulness. "Whether after 
all these fine speeches in Exeter Hall (which the half of the 
audience probably could not hear) the world will go on more 
lovingly than before? I expect that the public papers, both re- 
ligious and secular, will give us quite a sufficiency of reports 
on the subject, so that you need not fill your letters with the 
'resolutions' or 'speeches' of even the most eloquent. To hear 
about your health and whatever concerns you personally will 
be infinitely more satisfactory to us. One good effect, I hope, 
that vast assemblage of distinguished and learned men will have 
produced on your mind. It has been your lot of late years, 
dear "William, to be placed in situations peculiarly calculated to 
increase your self-importance. Flattered by men who happened 
to need your services; successful in a congregation more able to 
appreciate kindness of heart and zeal than learning, finally 
called to Pittsburg where your youth and the standing of your 
family certainly had a share in the very outset in interesting 
the public for you, it were no wonder if your popularity had at 
times made you think 'more highly of yourself than you ought 
to think, particularly when you compare yourself with the 
members of your own Synod. But in London there were stand- 
ards of comparison to recall humility. They must have made 



160 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

you feel your inferiority in knowledge, in application, in nat- 
ural gifts, whatever faith and zeal you might have in common. 
Cherish these impressions, dear son, they will be equally useful 
to your own soul, and to the favor you are to obtain in a country 
where modesty is considered one of the greatest charms of 
youth, and the sure companion of merit. Let all you have done 
so far in your ministerial career be in a manner forgotten in 
your conversation and improve your present opportunities in 
seizing the various kinds of knowledge that will be present on 
all sides. Open your eyes wide to the new scenes you will be- 
hold and cull all the rational enjoyment which will doubtless 
have an exhilarating influence on your health and be a source 
of delightful retrospect." 

This meeting of the Evangelical Alliance adopted and re- 
commended the program for the Week of Prayer. It also 
arranged for branch alliances in the various countries of the 
continent as well as the United States. Great hopes were 
entertained for this union movement against Puseyism and 
Romanism. The young, sanguine and optimistic Mr. Passavant 
had also entertained the brightest anticipations. But before 
it was all over, he saw some of the difficulties and before he 
left Europe he had his serious doubts about the feasibility of 
the whole movement. Before many years, he saw that it was 
only one more 6t the many futile attempts that had been made 
to bring about outward harmony where there are serious differ- 
ences of conviction on the question ' ' What is truth ? ' ' 

At this distance, we can safely say that the Evangelical 
Alliance movement has been a disappointment to its best friends 
and its most ardent promoters. 

Of a meeting held in Berlin a few years after the London 
convention, Mr. Kurtz, the church historian, says: 

'The Alliance presented an address to King Frederick 
William IV. in which it was said that they aimed a blow not 
only against the Sadduceeism, but also against the Pharisaism 
of the German Evangelical Church. The confessional Lutherans 
who had opposed the Alliance regarded this letter as directed 

against them Though many distinguished conf essionalists 

were members of the Alliance none of them put in an appear- 
ance. On the other hand, numerous representatives of pietism, 
unionism, Melanchthonianism, as well as Baptists, Methodists 
and Moravians crowded in from all parts and were supported 
by the leading liberals of the church and state. While there 
was still talk about the oneness amid the differences of the 



ABROAD. 161 

children of God, about the superiority of this Alliance over the 
ecumenical councils in the ancient church, about the want of 
the spiritual life in the church even where the theology of the 
confessions was professed; with denunciations of half-Catholic 
Lutheranism and its sacramentarianism and officialism and with 
many a true and admirable statement of what the church needs, 
Merle d'Aubigne introduced discord by the hearty welcome 
which he accorded his friend Bunsen, which was intensified by 
the passionate manner in which Krummacher reported upon it. 
The gracious royal reception of the members of the Alliance 
which Krummacher expressed with his excitable feelings in the 
words 'Your Majesty, we would all fall not at your feet but 
on your neck' was described by his brother Dr. F. W. Krum- 
macher as a tangible prelude to the solemn scenes of the last 
judgment. Sir Culling Yardley declared 'There is no more 
North Sea'. Lord Shaftesbury said that with the Berlin 
Assembly a new era had begun in the world's history. Others 
extolled it as second Pentecost." 



162 THE LIFE OF W. A. PAS SAVANT. 



CHAFER VIII. 

HOME AGAIN, CONTKOVERSY AND BEGINNING OF 

CHARITY WORK. 

After a tedious journey on a sail ship which encountered 
much stormy weather, the impatient traveler landed at last on 
his native shore. No time was lost in getting to Pittsburg. Never 
was a returning one more eagerly awaited or more warmly 
welcomed. He came with renewed vigor, life and enthusiasm. 
Public receptions were held by citizens, by neighboring churches 
and by his own people. Addresses of welcome were made by men 
prominent on the platform, at the bar and in the pulpit. At 
the reception given by his own people, the following hymn, 
composed for the occasion by one of his members, was sung : 

"Glad we are again to meet thee; 
Shepherd, Pastor, thou art come; 
And with joyful hearts we greet thee, 
With a happy welcome home. 
Days of absence ne'er can sever 
Friendship's ties of purity; 
Warm affections strong as ever 
Still unite us all to thee. 

God hath kept thee when in dangers, 
Crossing o'er the mighty sea; 
Traveling in a land of strangers, 
His strong arm protected thee. 
When we heard of vessels driven 
By the sea 's tempestuous wave, 
Then our prayers went tip to heaven. 
That our pastor, God would save. 

Father, may Thy richest blessing 

Still upon Thy servant rest; 

While on earth Thy love possessing, 

May his labors still be blessed. 

When at length his days be ended, 

May his happy spirit rise, 

Where the saints have now ascended. 

To their mansions in the skies. 



HOME AGAIN. 163 

May Thy care and kind protection 

Make us truly grateful, Lord; 

And may all in sweet subjection, 

Bow submissive at Thy word. 

Thus when each his course hath finished, 

May we reach that blissful shore; 

There with pleasure undiminished, 

We shall meet to part no more. ' ' 

Of the new beginning of the home life, we shall let Mrs. 
Passavant speak. 

"The traveler was at last again in the midst of his beloved 
family and people. Great was the joy at his improved health. 
With renewed vigor the work of the church was taken up. Being 
of an observant mind, much rich knowledge had been gained 
on various subjects by his trip, which was used in the future 
years of Tiis life in many situations in which Providence placed 
him 

"An unlooked-for shadow came over our bright home and 
in five never-to-be forgotten days, the sun was darkened towards 
the parents and our baby was taken. The bud had unfolded 
in all its perfect beauty and purity in the garden of our Lord. 
Who can tell the anguish of that father and mother? Only 
those who have felt the same sorrow can know its depths. It 
was God's will and so all these servants of the Master could do 
was to listen to that sweet voice which said 'It is I, be not 
afraid. I loaned him to you eighteen months. Now he is my 
child' 

"In 1847 another child was given to his home, a healthy 
babe. This in a measure made up the loss and was the cause 
of great joy. 

"Some time after this event, the pastor moved his family 
from the center of the city, quite out into the suburbs. The 
streets were not paved nor were here any paved side-walks, it 
was very much like living in the country. In this neighborhood 
in several houses within sight of each othei, our family lived 
for fifty years. In one of these houses, two children, a daughter 
and a son were born." 

And so the work in his congregation, in the various missions 
and in his Synod was taken up again with renewed zeal and 
energy. 

Though his brave people had done their best to keep the 
church together and to keep the missions going, without his 



164 THE LIFE OF W. A. PAS8AVANT. 

able and inspiring leadership, much had gone wrong. The 
finances of the church were in bad condition. Well-meaning 
and zealous women had resorted to means and methods of rais- 
ing money of which he did not approve. With delicate tact 
and great personal effort he went about to restore order, con- 
fidence and hope. Weak and careless members had drifted 
away and needed to be admonished, drawn and reclaimed. The 
always dangerous expedient of having teachers of different 
faiths in the pulpit and in the Sunday school had born its 
natural fruit. Those who were not intelligently established in 
the faith of their own church were easily persuaded that one 
church is as good as another and became an easy prey to the 
blandishments of the nearest congregation. As we have seen, 
the pastor's conviction of the scripturalness of the faith and 
practice of the Lutheran church had been clarified and strength- 
ened. He saw more and more clearly the weakness and danger 
of the laxity and liberality that prevailed in so large a part of 
the English Lutheran Church. He was done with anxious- 
bench-revivals. He had to see and reap the fruits of his own 
mixed sowing. 

The condition in the various missions was even worse than 
in the mother church. Largely depending for service and Sun- 
day school workers on the good people of other denominations, 
the work had been spasmodic and changeable. Several of the 
missions he found closed up and for the time abandoned. He 
was needed in a score of places every day. With his renewed 
strength, he was at it early and late, in his own church, in the 
missions, on the streets and among people wherever he could 
find them. It was a heavy, laborious campaign of regathering, 
restoring, reorganizing and reviving the workers and the work. 

All this city missionary work would have been enough to 
discourage any ordinary man. But this was by no means all. 
In the Synod also much had gone wrong. In those difficult 
days, theological training was weak and diversified. Some 
came from under the loose and indefinite teaching of Dr. 
Schmucker; others from semi-rationalistic schools of Germany, 
and still others from such non-confessional schools as Crischona 
and Basel. Mr. Passavant had himself advocated the latter as 
a fitting institution from which to draw the needed German 
ministers. 

There were not wanting still other varieties of ministers. 
There were some of positively immoral character and others 



HOME AGAIN. 165 

who were merely adventurers. Most of these had come to the 
end of their line in Germany and sought places to preach in 
a free church in a free land. "Put me in the priest's office that 
I may have a piece of bread," was their plea. Because of the 
scarcity of ministers the doors of the Synod and of the church 
were not so carefully guarded as they should have been. The 
natural fruits were division, defection, and disruption. 

To Passavant came the cries and wails of the poor people 
and of the pastors whose righteous souls were vexed with the 
disturbers of Zion. The correspondence became more and more 
voluminous and difficult, the journeyings more oft, the perils 
from exposure and bitter opposition greater. 

The whole Lutheran Church was at this time in an un- 
settled and agitated condition. At Gettysburg, Dr. Schmucker 
was not only indefinite in his doctrinal teachings but was be- 
coming more and more hostile to positive Lutheranism. The 
Observer was on the same platform. It was constantly advo- 
cating a union of the Lutherans with other Protestant denom- 
inations. Its columns were filled with reports and laudations 
of the wildest revivals. The specific doctrines of the Lutheran 
confessions were boldly attacked and openly repudiated. 

A few years previous to this, the Rev. F. C. D. Wyneken, 
then a member of the General Synod, had taken a trip to Ger- 
many and had there disseminated a description of the real con- 
dition of the Lutheran Church in the United States. For this 
he was called to account by the General Synod and a committee 
was appointed to prepare aif address to the various ecclesiastical 
bodies of the Lutheran Church in Europe which was to set 
forth the condition of the church in the United States and was 
intended to remove the impressions that Mr. Wyneken had made 
abroad. When this committee was appointed, Mr. Wyneken 
offered this resolution : 

"Resolved, that the writings of Rev. Drs. Schmucker and 
B. Kurtz as well as a volume of the Lutheran Observer and of 
the Hirtenstimme and other books and papers in which the 
doctrine and practice of the General Synod are set forth, be sent 
to Dr. Rudelbach, Prof. Harless and other editors of promin- 
ent Lutheran journals for examination, so that the orthodoxy 
of the General Synod may be demonstrated to the Lutheran 
Church in Germany." 

This resolution was promptly laid on the table but Mr. 
Wyneken immediately offered the following: 



166 TEE LIFE OF W, A. PA8SAVANT. 

"Resolved that the General Synod hereby disavow and 
reject the afore-mentioned writings of Drs. Schmucker and 
Kurtz, as well as the Lutheran Observer and Hirtenstimme as 
heretical and as departing from the saving faith." This reso- 
lution was not entertained and therefore not acted on. 

The afore-named address was prepared and sent to Ger- 
many. Its effect, however, was contrary to what was expected. 
It plainly expressed anti-Lutheran sentiments. Even those in 
Germany who were not Lutherans could not understand how 
men professing the sentiments expressed in the address could 
call themselves by that name. And of course the confessional 
Lutherans would not for a moment allow that the sentiments 
of the address were orthodox. 

Dr. W. M. Reynolds, a graduate of Jefferson College and 
professor in Pennsylvania college at Gettysburg, was at this time 
the recognized leader of the conservative Lutherans in the 
General Synod. Of the Observer he writes to Passavant : 

"I have for a long time written in its columns because I 
did not want to lose my rights and also to indicate that there 
really was a feeling in the church which the Observer did not 
represent. I also still hoped against hope that there would be 

a change for the better. But now I have lost all hope 

I do not know whether you require any additional information 
as to the state of feeling among our intelligent church members 
in regard to the Observer, but here is one that surprised me last 
night as coming from Chambersburg, where Dr. Kurtz has en- 
joyed the highest popularity, and nvhere 'new rafeasures' have 
been supposed to have attained their perfection. I know the 
writer, Dr. Lane,® only by reputation. He says: 'I have long 
desired to see some able and dignified exponent of the doctrines 
of the Lutheran Church, and am much gratified to see you thus 
employed. The Observer, I am sorry to say comes far short of 

either ability or dignity This 'anxious bench' system 

has in my humble opinion, done more to retard the progress of 
vital piety, and to lower the dignity of the Lutheran Church 
than anything that could have been contrived." 

On the same subject the young Charles P. Krauth writes to 
B. M. Schmucker: 

"Is not the Observer of this week infamous? I do declare 
before God that were I satisfied that such sentiments and such 



* This Dr. Lane was a brother of Thomas H. Lane, the intelligent 
and well-knovATi layman in the Pittsburg Church, quoted above. 



HOME AGAIN. 167 

a spirit did characterize our American Lutheran Church and 
were continuing to be the prevailing tone in it, I would repudi- 
ate it; I would hold to our Germanic brethren or abandon the 
ministry. It is not so much the mere opinion involved, how- 
ever erroneous, as the diabolical, sneaking, lying spirit shown 
in the attack on truth, and there is no opening to defend the 
truth." 

This B. M. Schmucker was a son of Dr. S. S. Schmucker. 
He was a neighbor and a warm friend of young Krauth. 
Joseph Seiss was of about the same age and an intimate friend 
of both. This gifted and promising trio of young Lutherans 
frequently came together and also carried on familiar corres- 
pondence. Krauth was the leader. He had conceived quite an 
interest in the Lutheran confessions and in the old dogmati- 
cians. Through his father he secured copies of Chemnitz, Ger- 
hard, Calovius and Schmidt. These were circulated and dis- 
cussed among the three. The more these young ministers 
studied these writings, the more firmly were they convinced 
that the old Lutheran faith is the faith taught in the Scriptures ; 
and that the theology of Gettysburg and of the Observer was 
without either scriptural or confessional foundation. 

Mr. Passavant who was about the same age and on familiar 
terms with these three, but especially with Krauth, was also 
becoming more and more dissatisfied with his own former un- 
clear position, and with the indefinite and wavering tone that 
prevailed so largely among the English Lutherans. He was 
slowly coming out of his former uncertainty and was gaining 
a footing for himself. His contact with positive Lutherans in 
Germany and their repudiation of the loose Lutheranism in 
our land had made him think and investigate. His parents, 
but especially his mother, had also a decided influence in this 
direction. After his return to Pittsburg, he corresponded with 
Drs. Spielman and Lehman of Columbus who kindly helped 
him to become more and more clear. His old friend, Dr. Morris, 
as well as Prof. Reynolds, also aided him. But the impressions 
and influences of former years could not be overcome in a day. 
In later years, it was a frequent remark that it is much harder 
to unlearn than to learn, and a constant lament that he had 
been started in the wrong direction. That he did not progress 
rapidly enough to suit some of the conservatives is evident from 
a letter from Prof. Reynolds, who writes: 

'*You and brother Bassler speak too much in the tone of 



168 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PAS8AVANT. 

men who are under the weather. What does it matter if you 
are 'old Lutherans' as Luther was? Do you think that that can 
be made a crime in our church in this country? Far from it. 
The very principles of latitudinarianism that are in vo^e must 
shield you. If others have a right to reject Luther's views or 
those of the Symbolical Books, you have the same right to re- 
ceive them, and who dare gainsay it? It may be a nine days' 
wonder and some may talk of heresy, but that cannot last." 

During his seminary course, when a revival was in progress, 
he had spoken slightingly of Prof. Reynolds, "who spoke to 
the mourners as if he were instructing a class in college ; ' ' but 
now he was glad to get the professor's counsels and assistance. 
The Pittsburg Synod had not yet united with the General Synod 
and there were some who were constantly urging the union. Mr. 
Passavant was not satisfied that this would be . for the best. 
He wrote to Prof. Reynolds for advice, who replied : 

"As to the union of your Synod with the General Synod, 
I am pleased with your determination to do the work deliberate- 
ly and intelligently. It may alsQ be well to 'define your posi- 
tion.' But I know of nothing in the doings of the General 
Synod that should prevent you from joining it. The constitu- 
tion is the great point. There you can find nothing anti-Luth- 
eran, however un-Lutheran it may be. Its sins are not those 
of commission but of omission, but there is nothing in it to 
prevent the Synods connected with it from being as strongly 
Lutheran as they please. And this I think was not only neces- 
sary in the first instance but it is well even now. We want a 
little more pliability in our Lutheran Church in this country 
than there is in the Formula of Concord. Undoubtedly, how- 
ever, this matter has been pushed rather too far. Drs. Schmuck- 
er and Kurtz have made out a Lutheranism that is almost any- 
thing and everything. Still there is more of a Lutheran Church 
left among us than there is in most parts of Germany and the 
corrective may not be so difficult. A different public opinion 
and system of theology from that hitherto presented must be 
called forth and presented to our church. One very obvious 
step in this way will be that which you suggest for your Synod. 
Let it adopt the Constitution of the General Synod and send its 
delegates, but at the same time declare that it does not by this 
approve of all the public acts of that body, of the system of 
theology drawn up by Dr. Schmucker at its request and taught 
in its seminary, nor of the spirit, policy, or theology of its 



HOME AGAIN. 169 

professed organ, the Lutheran Observer, wherein thase depart 
from the great and well-established principles of Lutheranism 
and from the general views and practice of the great mass of 
our church in this country. Such a declaration as this would 
tell; at the same time, however, you must be careful not to go 
too far on the other side. Let us here occupy Melanchthonian 
ground. Let us not put upon ourselves a yoke which we may 
■not be able to bear, as our fathers before us were not. Let us 
allow a certain latitude upon certain subjects. Let us pay great 
respect to our symbolical system, but let us not insist upon the 
reception of every jot and tittle of it. Even if it were wise to 
act otherwise, we could not now do it, so far at least as our 
English churches are concerned. They scarcely know of any 
other system of Lutheran doctrine and practice than that which 
Drs. Schmucker and Kurtz have given them. They must first 
know what it is that they are to receive before it is forced upon 
them. For this purpose, I consider your publication of Sar- 
torius just in point. But it must be followed by a new body 
of English Lutheran theology which I have no doubt the wants 
of the church will gradually call forth. !■ have much to say on 
this topic but have not room for it here." 

In another letter he writes : 

''My own views and feelings are against agitating the 
church just now with the doctrinal defection of Drs. Schmucker 
and Kurtz. We can gain much more by keeping quiet and dis- 
cussing these things in private. I have even hopes that Dr. 
Kurtz may be won over to correct views and Dr. Schmucker 
will always go with the majority. But to bring these topics 
before the section of the church now would be premature. It is 
not at all prepared for it, has no light upon the subject and 
cannot have it for some time to come. Wait until your edition 
of Sartorius has been published and has had time to operate. 
That I hope to see followed up by Schmid's Dogmatik, in the 
translation of which Drs. Morris, Krauth, Prof. Baugher, Chas. 
Krauth, Jr. and myself are now busily engaged (but this is a 
profound secret about which you must not breathe a syllable, 
even to the gentlemen mentioned). This work is the most scien- 
tific and the latesc exhibition of the original and unadulterated 
doctrines of the Lutheran Church. Wait until these and other 
things of a similar kind bear fruit, and then we may venture 
into the field of public discussion with some hope of success. ' ' 

Dr. Morris writes: "I hope your Synod will continue to 



170 THE LIFE OF W. A. PAS8AVANT. 

pursue its course of energy and zeal in the missionary cause. 
That is the great business of the day. There is another matter : 
I hope that you will let the church see that though you have 
become more orthodox and * Lutheranish, ' yet that you will not 
abate your activity in every good work. Some of these men 
are absolutely insane or unpardonably ignorant. They think 
that in proportion as a man approximates nearer the old stand- 
ards, the more he deflects from Evangelical spiritualism. Do 
these men know the history of Francke and Spener and the 
other men of Issachar? Oh that such revivals were now preva- 
lent as favored the church in those days of church orthodoxy. 
You and your confreres must show the daughters of Mrs. 
Grundy that the true spirit of true revivalism must go with the 
true spirit of true Bibleism. " 

Some German Reformed visitor had attended the session of 
the Pittsburg Synod at which union with the General Synod was 
discussed. He wrote a distorted account to the Reformed 
■Church Messenger, which represented Mr, Pas.savant and Mr. 
Bassler as bitter and unfair opponents of the General Synod. 
He signed himself "Anglo-German." This article raised a 
storm against Mr. Passavant and he was deluged with letters, 
some of which were full of invective and abuse. When he saw 
the article in the Messenger, he wrote a correction which set 
forth the true status of the affair as well as his own position 
in the burning questions. This correction had a pacifying effect 
on the agitated brethren. 

Here is a characteristic letter from Rev. Reuben Weiser, 
who also changed his views in after years and became a con- 
servative Lutheran. It gives us a lively picture of the unsettled 
and disturbed condition of the church at the time. 

"Selins Grove, Pa., January 17, 1848. 
To Rev. Wm. A. Passavant. My dear and beloved brother in 
Christ:— 
*'I have just received the German Reformed Messenger and 
read your remarks on 'Anglo-German' and to tell you that an 
Sce-berg has been removed from my heart is only giving you a 
faint idea of the sensations it produced in my mind. When 
I read Anglo-German's account of your Synod, and saw the 
language (as I then supposed) of yourself and Br. Bassler, I 
was surprised, astonished, yea amazed and even astounded. I 
feel a deep interest, perhaps as much as any other man, in the 
spiritual prosperity of the Lutheran Church and I have labored 



HOME AGAIN. 171 

hard to promote her welfare, and I have looked upon you as 
one of her spiritual champions and as one who was assisting us 
in faithfully laboring for her good ; and when I read that sland- 
erous production, my heart sank within me, yea it became as 
water. What, thinks I, has brother Passavant also gone over to 
the enemy? But your remarks have relieved my anxiety. You 
are where you always were, and where every true friend of the 
Lutheran Church in America, and everyone who fully under- 
stands our true position is. Your remarks are admirable, just as 
they ought to be, and will endear you more than ever to your 
Lutheran brethren. We always loved you, but now since your 
supposed defection, like an erring child from doting parents, 
and return, we will love you more. The object of this letter is 
not to flatter you, for I don't do such foolish and wicked things, 
but my object is merely to do you an act of common justice, and 
to ask your pardon for any bad thought I may have entertained 
about you and your Synod, and also for any unworthy and dis- 
respectful remarks I may have made about you and your sup- 
posed to me then certain apostasy. As you may well imagine, 
your opposition at this critical time to Gettysburg, the General 
Synod and to Drs. Kurtz and Schmucker produced quite a sen- 
sation among your brethren. In writing to each other, of course 
your case occupied a prominent part of our fraternal letters. 
Well, of course I did not say anything bad about you, because, 
thank God I knew nothing bad about you. But perhaps I better 
itell what I did say about you : To Dr. Keller I said, so far as 
I now recollect, 'Well, I suppose you have heard of Passavant's 
strange conduct; he has left us and gone over soul and body to 
the Dutch. Well, let him go, we niust try and do without him. 
I pity those young brethren in the Pittsburg Synod whose pros- 
pects for usefulness are blasted forever.' And to Dr. Morris I 
said, 'Well it seems as if Pass, has wheeled about and turned 
about and jumped jim crow. If this is to be the result of visit- 
ing Germany, our young sprigs of theology better stay at home. ' 
To. Dr. S. S. Schmucker I said, 'I had a notion to go and visit 
the young brethren of your Synod and raise up an opposition 
and thus save those churches from your Mercersburg influence. ' 
And I had such a notion. I wrote to Br. Witt for correct infor- 
mation. I have not yet heard from him. Now for all this and 
anything else I may have said or written about you, I ask your 
pardon and I hope you will write to me and assure me of it. 
A few other remarks: I think Br. Stroble's remarks are alto- 



172 TEE LIFE OF W, A. PASSAVANT. 

gether uncalled for at this time, I mean his remarks on Baptism ; 
although I do not believe what is called the old Lutheran view; 
yet I think if any brother can believe in baptismal regeneration, 
in the name of God let him believe it. So of the Lord's Supper, 
Let brethren believe what they will on that subject. I hope you 
will resume your editorial department. This will be the best 
way to do good. Your location is important by way of getting 
home missionary intelligence. Your department was always in- 
teresting to me. Do, brother, resume your labors there." 

In the after years Mr. Passavant thus refers to the change 
in the views that had taken place in many men who had become 
eminent in the Church. He does not mention himself but be- 
tween the lines we can plainly see that he is telling his own 
experience also: 

**How is it that one and another of our most thoughtful 
men, after years of doubt, conflict, and the painstaking study 
of the Divine Word, are being brought more and more fully 
into a perfect accord with our Evangelical faith 1 ]\Ien like Drs. 
Krauth, Schmucker, Jacobs, and others in former years, and of 
late, a great company of devout and able men in the General 
Synod like Drs. Sprecher, Conrad, Ziegler, and a score of others 
who regarded the divine testimonies above their chief joy, have 
passed through the same great mental struggles, have broken 
with prejudices and instructions of early education, and are now 
the joyful confessors of a faith which they once regarded with 
disfavor, and deemed it a sacred duty to reject. There was no 
pressure from without upon them. Their former position was 
the one of popularity. Their new position could bring them only 
suspicion, the loss of confidence, and the reproaches of former 
friends. In some cases they were regarded as objects of pity, 
as though they had fallen into coldness, and formality, and 
doors of honorable usefulness in some instances were closed 
against them. But notwithstanding all, the study of the Divine 
Word and of the confessions of the church, drawn from and 
based upon that Word, is doing its silent and blessed work. ' ' 

With the church controversies referred to above, the mis- 
representations and criticisms heaped upon him from both the 
radical and the extreme confessional sides, what wonder that 
Passavant 's heart sometimes failed him. Just at this critical 
time, he had a call from St. James' English Lutheran Church, 
New York City, and in his depressed state of mind, it seemed to 
him like a release from his present burdens. Like a tired child 



HOME AGAIN, 173 

he poured out his heart to his mother. She chided him gently 
and gave him the following advice : 

"I was not a little frightened when I heard of your call to 
New York. I thought you had too much practical sense to think 
of exchanging your useful and comfortable situation for one 
of new and untried troubles. In fact Mr. M. does not hold 
out a single inducement of any weight. As for 'influence' and 
*a larger sphere of influence', you possess already one larger 
than your physical strength is able to do justice to. The salary 
of one thousand dollars in New York is much less than eight 
hundred in Pittsburg. I have no doubt also that here like 
there when the debt is once paid off, the minister's salary w411 
be increased, so that besides all those considerations of nativity, 
family and early attachments, which constitute so great a part 
of the enjoyments of our transitory life, all the advantages are 
on the side of remaining where you are. I hope you will give 
Mr. M. at once a very decided refusal." 

But he never forgot that he was the bond servant of Christ. 
We have seen that from the beginning of his Pittsburg min- 
istry, his mind has been exercised as to the church's duty to the 
destitute and suffering. But he did not yet have a clear and 
definite plan as to relief. One lesson that he learned in London 
was worth more to him than all the addresses and discussions 
of the ^reat men gathered in Exeter Hall. In his most interest- 
ing and touching manner, he tells his own story : 

"Broken down in health and seeking rest abroad, we had 
spent weeks in visiting the great charities of London, not with- 
out the hope that such knowledge would be helpful in the 
cherished plans for the future. In the strange providence of 
God, by which the blind are led by a way they know not, we 
found ourselves in a part of the city unknown before, and in 
a sudden shower sought a place of shelter. Looking in vain 
for one, we came to a modest building, with the inscription on 
the shutter: 'Jewish Orphan Asylum'. To escape the rain, we 
sought admission, and learned from the venerable servant of the 
house that the children had been sent to the country, and that in 
a few days the front building would be torn down to make a 
suitable frontage for the new edifice. Taking us into the yard, 
there stood a beautiful edifice of stone, which was to be the 
future house of the orphan. On a shield in front of the stately 
building were these words: 



174 TEE LIFE OF W, A. PAS8AVANT. 

'JEWISH ORPHAN ASYLUM 
Erected By Abraham M. Lyon, to Commemorate the Virtues 
Of His Deceased Wife, Abigail Lyon. 
'Within the Orphan shall find Compassion'.' 

"We could not, if we would, describe the emotions of that 
hour. It was as if the world were passing like a cloud beneath 
our feet. Dreams of earth dissolved as the mists of the morn- 
ing. How poor did all else appear but truth and purity and 
mercy in man. How sacred did affection seem, when recognized 
and embalmed in loving thoughts for the fatherless. How did 
the humblest act of helpfulness to others, grow great in the 
clear vision of that memorable hour. The soul conflict which 
followed cannot here be recorded. But out of it came a holy 
purpose to begin some humble service for Christ in the person 
of his suffering ones. The sacred name of mother connected 
itself with this work. It should be a memorial to her, who ever 
went before, pressing down the briers and the thorns, that 
others might safely walk through the desolate places of life. 

"How to begin, sight did not behold nor sense grasp. 
Money and influence there was none. But a walk, instead of a 
ride to our distant lodging saved a shilling, and to that wa? 
added, the next day, the savings by a plainer meal. And so 
the work went on, until the accumulations of months became 
a purse of gold, and the purpose developed into a plan, and out 
of it there came a little hospital with beds for a few sick 
persons. And out of this, in turn, there grew a home for the 
fatherless, with hospitals and homes in other places, until, each 
new year beholds similar institutions springing up and shed- 
ding the fragrance of their charity over the land. Compared 
with the princely foundations of some of these, the first be- 
ginnings hardly deserve a mention, but they have done what 
they could, and it is not improbable that their unobtrusive 
work may have provoked others to do much greater things in 
Christ's name. We allude to them, only to trace back the 
spring to their origin in illustrating the influence of such 
memorials to the departed and and in awakening thought and 
leading to higher aims of life." 

From London, as we have seen, Mr. Passavant had traveled 
over Switzerland and Germany. The one place that attracted 
him above all others was the little town of Kaiserswerth on the 
Rhine. There he had met that saintly man, Theodore Fliedner, 
and studied his wonderful work. 



HOME AGAIN. 175 

Of that memorable visit Dr. Jacobs says: "To him the ob- 
jects of attraction were not those upon which tourists ordinarily 
linger, and which abide in their memory for life; but the chief 
interest to him was an investigation of the Christian life, as 
it expresses itself in works of mercy and in conferences for 
edification among his brethren of the faith in Germany. In 
this humble village in Rhenish Prussia, he visited the birth- 
place of the Protestant Deaconess work, at the time but ten 
years old. With him, we may for a moment take our station, 
as, within that house, he enters with youthful zeal into the 
history of this important movement as it is unfolded by its 
♦founder, Pastor Theodore Fliedner. We look backward to the 
establishment of the Female Diaconate in the Apostolic Church, 
and the references to it in the New Testament; to its extended 
usefulness in the early centuries, particularly in the East; to 
its gradual disappearance as the Church receded from its 
Apostolic simplicity and fervor and the hierarchy grew; to 
the perpetuation of the thought through a line of witnesses 
in the centuries in which it was suppressed; to the suggestions 
concerning its reestablishment made at the Reformation; to 
the vague foreshadowing of its reappearance in the Roman 
Catholic Order of Sisters of Charity, founded by Vincent de 
Paul and in the parish Deaconesses among the Mennonites in 
Holland ; to the impulse afforded by the necessities of the sick 
and wounded soldiers in Germany during the Napoleonic wars, 
and the gradual awakening of the German mind to the fact 
that central and most important as family life is for the act- 
ivities of Christian women, there are crises when her services 
are demanded also in other spheres; to the appeals of Baron 
von Stein for the establishment of an institution of Protestant 
Sisters of Mercy; to the zeal and example of Amelia Sieveking, 
in a cholera epidemic at Hamburg, and the Woman's Relief 
Association which she founded; to the labors of Elizabeth Fry, 
of England, in her visits to the prisons and to the personal 
contact with her work into which Fliedner had come during 
a visit to England in behalf of his impoverished congregation; 
to the regular visitations to the Diisseldorf prison which he 
had undertaken m emulation of the work of Miss Fry; to the 
Rhenish Westphalian Prison Association that had sprung up; 
the Magdalen Asylum opened in a small building in his garden, 
for discharged female convicts whom no one else would harbor; 
the school which followed for neglected children and the 



176 THE LIFE OF W. A. PAS8AVANT. 

demand for devoted women as teachers; th6 expansion of pas- 
toral activity and the need of woman 's help in hospitals and the 
care of the sick at home; and to the practical application of 
the theoretical principles of the Female Diaconate, that 
scholars had been recalling to the action of the church. All 
these streams had met at Kaiserswerth, to proceed thence as 
a vast river of blessing throughout the world. Pastor Fliedner 
was rejoicing that, from this feeble beginning, the work had 
grown within ten years to such proportion that in his own insti- 
tutions, and similar institutions in Germany and England, 
there were at the time nearly one hundred deaconesses. Neither 
he nor the young man who was to be the agent to plant it in , 
another hemisphere could have anticipated that before the 
century would close, over thirteen thousand would be enrolled 
in its ranks." 

Here is an extract from a letter from the daughter of 
Theodore Fliedner written to W. A. Passavant, Jr. on receiving 
notice of the death of Dr. Passavant : 

"Your sainted father still appears before me as in my 
early youth I saw him here in Kaiserswerth, talking with eager 
enthusiasm about America, my father acting as interpreter, 
and upon his knees praying with the sisterhood. I was im- 
pressed with the way he proposed to establish the Deaconess 
work there, and when my father had taken him sisters from 
here to America he was quite carried away by your father's 
untiring activities in the work of charity." 

As Mr. Passavant was destined to become the American 
Fliedner and was to introduce the order of deaconesses into 
America, we give here his own account of the restoration of 
the office of deaconess and of the work of the sisters as we 
find it in the missionary of April, 1848 : 

"We cannot better describe the restoration of this office 
to the Christian church in modern times than by quoting the 
language of the Chevalier Bunsen, Prussian Embassador to 
the Court of St. James, at the first public meeting of a German 
hospital in London, The resolution before the meeting was, 
that the necessary steps be taken to procure the services of 
several deaconesses from the training institution in Prussia, in 
the capacity of matron and nurses for the new hospital. In 
proposing this resolution, Mr. Bunsen observed, 'That there 
had existed since the year of 1836, at Kaiserswerth, near 
Diisseldorf, on the Rhine, an institution, which, as it seemed, 




J 



HOME AGAIN. 177 

has given to the Protestant churches the blessing of one of 
the most useful foundations in Christendom. It was in the 
year above named, that Pastor Fliedner, renewed the ancient 
and apostolic institution of deaconesses. He found such dea- 
conesses existing in the ancient Christian congregations for 
relieving the poor and sick. There were (he thought) poor 
and sick brethren and sisters in the Christian community now, 
and why should there not be Christian nurses for them, acting 
in the same spirit as the deaconesses of old ? And why, if they 
are to be found, should they not be called deaconesses as in 
the time of the apostles? The deaconesses of old made no vows. 
Why should ours? Is not (thought pastor Fliedner) our church 
built upon the principles of inward faith, and should that 
principle not be able to produce the works of self-sacrifice and 
charity, without external means, calculated to be binding upon 
the mind, to compel acts which can only be acceptable to God 
as a free will offering? These were his thoughts, but in the 
spirit of the apostles, he did not stop there. He resolved to 
act, to carry out in faith his thought of faith. He and his 
excellent wife (since gone to her rest) assisted by voluntary 
contributions, founded an Infirmary (Krankenhaus) annex to 
their own modest dwelling house, and invited such Christian 
women, who were unmarried and widows, as should feel dis- 
posed to assist him, to be trained as nurses in and for that 
establishment. 

* ' The principle he laid down was, that the deaconesses must 
be willing to be servants of Christ alone, to devote their time 
and faculties entirely and exclusively to Him, and not to look 
to pecuniary emoluments or any other comfort the world 
can give, but to do the work of charity and self-denial out of 
gratitude to Him who came down to serve them, before they 
knew Him, even to death. 

"The rules of the establishment at Kaiserswerth are the 
following: The candidates must not be under eighteen years 
of age and serve from six months to a year on probation. After 
this probationary time, those among them who have been 
found fit individuals for the work of Christ, receive, during 
divine service, a solemn Christian blessing, and then enter upon 
their duties as deaconesses at the Infirmary, which contains 
from one hundred to one hundred and ten beds. They engage 
to serve at least five years, after which time they are allowed 
to leave, or renew their engagement. It is understood, how- 



178 TEE LIFE OF W .A. PASSAVANT. 

ever, that if nearer, personal, or family duties, should make 
them wish for a change of situation during that period, every 
reasonable facility shall be granted to them for that purpose 
by the direction, vested in a committee. They receive no 
salary: a very moderate annual sum is paid by the institution 
or family they serve to the institution at Kaiserswerth, which 
defrays their personal wants, enables them to keep themselves 
decent and respectable, and entirely provides for those whose 
health has suffered in consequence of hard service. 

' ' Such was the fervor of the young Christian women in that 
part of Prussia, that many of them followed this call of pastor 
Fliedner-. A great union was soon afterwards formed by 
Christian friends in the two Prussian provinces of Rhineland 
and Westphalia, under the superintendence of the Protestant 
Provincial Synod, for the purpose of taking care of the poor 
Rnd sick of these territories. Many ladies, who could not 
devote themselves personally to this office, formed auxiliary 
societies. The success with which the establishment at Kaisers- 
werth has met, has been very great; for according to the ninth 
report, 1846. above one hundred deaconesses are now at work 
in different parts of Germany. Sixty are occupied in seventeen 
hospitals and orphan houses at Berlin, Dresden, Frankfurt, 
Worms, Cologne, Elberfeld, etc. Several labor in large congre- 
gations, which have no hospital, and about twenty are sent out 
to private families. 

"The hospital at Kaiserswerth has received in these ten 
years about two thousand five hundred patients of all diseases, 
of both sexes, and of all religious persuasions, the largest 
number of them gratuitously. 

"The deaconesses are not of the lower and middle classes 
only, but several are of the higher and the highest ranks of 
life. One young Baroness of the Grand Duchy of Mecklen- 
burg has just been educated at Kaiserswerth, and is now the 
matron of the large new model hospital at Berlin, lately 
established by the King of Prussia, in which, at least, thirty 
deaconesses will find work, and which is to become a great 
nursery for training deaconesses to serve in the different parts 
of that kingdom. Two other ladies of high rank are at present 
at Kaiserswerth, devoting themselves to the same offices. Some 
nurses have also been educated at Kaiserswerth for Switzer- 
land, for France, and for Holland, and the calls from many 
parts of the continent for deaconesses from Kaiserswerth are 



HOME AGAIN. 179 

so numerous that this establishment cannot satisfy them all. 
It appears from the testimonies of the administration and the 
medical officers of those public institutions, and is a fact of 
general notoriety, that wherever those deaconesses have been 
intrusted with the care of a hospital or a branch of the same, 
a visible change for the better takes place in all departments, 
and the satisfaction, the gratitude and the blessings of the 
patienfs follow those self-devoted nurses everywhere, 

"It is not merely by making provision for the sick and 
suffering that this institution is exerting its sanctifying in- 
fluence over many countries of Europe. In its practical work- 
ing, many of the deaconesses were found to have greater 
natural capacities for imparting instruction, than nursing the 
sick. This gave rise, shortly after its commencement, to the 
establishment of a seminary to educate young female teachers 
for Infant Schools and Female Day Schools, in the villages 
and Protestant parishes in the country. The success of this 
institution has been so great, that nearly four hundred female 
teachers have been educated under the tuition of the deacon- 
esses at Kaiserswerth. Upwards of fifteen thousand children 
in different parts of Prussia, principally of the poorer and 
more neglected classes, have been gathered in the schools and 
receive from these teachers the elements of a good Christian 
education, and are taught knitting, sewing, and other useful 
employments. Through this simple yet effective instrumentality 
thousands of poor children have been brought from ignorance 
and misery, and led to their heavenly Friend. 

"Another branch institution, which Jhe Parent Establish- 
ment contains, is devoted to the education of deaconesses for 
the care and improvement of female prisoners and penitents. 
With it, is connected a Retreat for released female prisoners, 
and those, who by God's grace, have been rescued from a life 
of shame. During the twelve years which this institution has 
existed, it has received into its peaceful walls more than one 
hundred and fifty poor and deeply fallen persons, many of 
whom, by Christian instruction and example, have been con- 
firmed in the better course of life, and are now good servants 
and respectable members of society, 

"The helpless situation in which many children are left by 
the death of their parents gave rise to an Orphan House in 
connection with this Institution. In this porch of mercy, a 
large number of these poor unfortunates find a second home, 



180 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

under the kind tuition of the deaconesses, and are trained to 
habits of piety and usefulness. 

"Indeed, the blessing of the Almighty has rested so abund- 
antly upon the Parent Institution at Kaiserswerth, that al- 
though it has sent forth its devoted servants of the Church over 
France, Switzerland, Prussia, Holland, Germany, Sweden and 
Denmark, it now presents the aspect of a little village, whole 
streets being occupied by the buildings appropriated to the 
different Institutions under its fostering care. All these have 
been erected by the voluntary contributions of Christians in 
different parts of Europe, and now stand as monuments of the 
faith and piety of their honored yet humble founder. His 
sole capital was faith in God. More than this was not needed. 
It was sufficient, richly to supply all his wants, through Jesus 
Christ." 

After giving this account of the deaconesses and their 
work, Mr. Passavant tells how he expected to obtain and utilize 
some of them in Pittsburg. He had left a sum of money with 
Pastor Fliedner for their further preparation and for the 
expenses of their trip to America. He makes an eloquent plea 
for American candidates for this new ministry of mercy. 

"It was, after having studied the practical working of this 
office of the Hospitals, Insane, Orphan, and other Asylums of 
Prussia, France and Germany and everywhere, seeing the 
humanizing and Christianizing influence of these Christian 
women in the different fields of human suffering, that arrange- 
ments were entered into with the Direction of the Parent 
Institution of Kaiserswerth, for the establishing of a Branch 
in the United States. For various reasons, Pittsburg was se- 
lected as the best location for the American Institution, and 
should no intervening Providence delay their coming, four 
deaconesses are expected to arrive in New York in the month 
of June. They will work by the rules of the Parent House in 
Prussia, and for the present will remain in connection with it. 
Should the way be opened in the future, it is understood that 
every encouragement will be given by the Parent Establish- 
ment to the organization of an Institution, entirely independent 
of foreign connection. In the meantime, however, ladies of 
suitable character and qualifications, who wish to devote them- 
selves to the work of mercy and charity, will be received as 
inmates of the Institution, according to the rules of the Parent 
House. 



HOME AGAIN. 181 

''Finally, we bespeak in behalf of this Institution, the 
sympathies, prayers and contributions of the humane and 
merciful. "Who, after considering the facts already mentioned 
of its usefulness and efficiency, can yet doubt that this highly 
interesting institution, this Bethesda for bodies and souls, 
which provides with the water of life the five fields of human 
infirmity and misery, the field of the sick, of the poor, of the 
ignorant, of parentless children, and of the guilty, should have 
refreshed and brought from death to life many perishing 
souls? Who will not hope, that the humble commencement 
about to be made in this country, may be the beginning of a 
new era in the development of Evangelical life and Protestant 
charity? And especially, after the great number of interesting 
cases related in the annual reports of this Institution, where 
these deaconesses have been the instruments of seeking that 
which was lost, of bringing back that which was driven away, 
of binding up that which was broken, of strengthening that 
which was sick, who can doubt that it will, in particular, open 
a comparatively new field of usefulness and blessed occupation 
to female Christians in America? 

"Father in heaven! The only infinite Source 

Of common good! The common Heart is Thine, 

The Common Mind, the Common Voice, Hand, Wealth! 

If then Thou dost approve this cherished plan, 

As honest, righteous, bounteous, needful, wise. 

Let Thy best blessing fill that Heart and Mind, 

With truth and love, consenting; prompt that Voice 

To utterance warm and brotherly; move that hand; 

Unhoard that wealth; and so succeed the hope 

Of comfort, wisdom, holiness and joy — 

And Thine shall be the Revenue of Praise: 

Thine, by the Spirit; through the Son; Amen." 

Forty years later on the occasion of the semi-centennial of 
the Institution in Kaiserswerth, Doctor Passavant was invited 
to be present as one of the Jubilee speakers. He could not go, 
but wrote an appreciative two-column editorial from which we 
clip the following: 

"In all this there was an unfolding of the divine purpose, 
and the successive steps of the Institution were clearly ordered 
of the Lord. From many lands, holy women came to Kaisers- 
werth to study, to learn, and to do likewise. Some remained, 
like Florence Nightingale of England and the Baroness of 
Cedarschaeld, of Sweden, whom we saw there in 1846 and who 



182 THE LIFE OF W. A. PAS8AVANT. 

in the painful school of probation laid the foundation of the 
eminent usefulness to which they afterwards attained. The 
work found a congenial soil, especially in the Lutheran 
churches of the continent and the handful of corn on the top 
of the mountain already shakes like Lebanon. Scores of the 
motherhouses are found over Protestant Europe and it is 
estimated that six thousand deaconesses are associated together 
in these various institutions for the work of the Lord. The 
Holy Land has long enjoyed the blessed influence of their 
labors, and the noble establishment of the Kaiserswerth sisters 
in Jerusalem for the sick, and the education of Arabic children, 
are objects of special delight to all travelers. The hospitals 
in Alexandria, Cairo and Constantinople are Bethesdas for the 
bodies and souls of men. The young ladies' seminaries at 
Beyrut, Syria, and Florence in Italy have no superiors in the 
Orient. Even America has long enjoyed the fruits of their 
providential work and we write this from a hospital in the 
great city of the West which owes its existence to the labors 
of Christian women whose hands smooth the pillows of the 
dying and by gentle ministries do much to heal the dreadful 
maladies of the fallen. Thanks be to God for the restoration 
of this office to the Christian Church! May it soon find intro- 
duction everywhere, and become still .more powerful for good. 
We thankfully acknowledge the invitation so kindly sent us 
from Kaiserswerth to this joyful celebration. Were it only in 
our power, we would be most happy to participate in the de- 
lightful reunion. What a meeting and greeting will there not 
be of the representatives of the motherhouse from all lands! 
The program is a most interesting one. Amid the ringing of 
the bells, the mighty procession, with the hymns of thanks- 
giving to God, will first of all march to the little Garden House, 
the cradle of all the institutions; where the court chaplain 
Bayer, of Berlin, will make the opening address. We cannot 
mention all the exercises which will follow on this memorable 
occasion. The whole is eminently worthy of the Institution 
and the cause. May it redound to the glory of the Redeemer 
and give a mighty impulse to this blessed cause in all lands." 

Here is an extract of the first sermon preached to his 
people after his return: 

"My brethren, in returning again to labor among you,' 
after a journey of thousands of miles, and in seven different 
countries of Europe, if one thought has impressed itself upon 



HOME AGAIN. 183 

my mind more deeply than all others, it is the conviction, that 
much of the religion of the present day is lamentably deficient 
in a merciful spirit, one of the essential elements of all pure 
and undefiled religion as defined by the Gospel, and THE ONE 
which gives ^o Christianity, in the eyes of the world, its high 
preeminence and visibly demonstrates that it is peace on earth 
and good will to men. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall 
obtain mercy. With a profound conviction of the truth of 
this, I have endeavored to improve the opportunities of travel 
by making myself acquainted with the humane and benevolent 
institutions of other lands, in order more effectually to learn 
the divine method of showing that mercv to others, which we 
all so greatly need from God. 

"During the last few months, it has been my privilege 
to visit and learn the working of some of the principal benevo- 
lent institutions of the Old World; and in returning home with 
enlarged views of duty on this important branch of practical 
religion, I desire to lay myself upon the altar for the services 
of our common humanity. And may I not, in time to come, 
as in time past, look to you for sympathy, your prayers and 
your friendly aid in the labors of love in which we may here- 
after be engaged? Yea, I have confidence in you in all things, 
and am happy in the assurance that, though the indifference 
of some and the opposition of others may try our faith, it can- 
not divert our mind from its firm purpose or deter us from 
accomplishing our appointed mission of mercy to our suff- 
ering fellowmen." 

In the Spring of 1848, he rented a house in Allegheny at 
the foot of Montgomery's Hill for his Deaconess Hospital. 
True, the deaconesses had not yet arrived, but his heart was so 
full of the new project that he could not wait. It was his 
nature to be impetuous. He sometimes rushed into undertak- 
ings before due preparation had been made, when he should 
have waited until all things were ready. It was easier for him 
to learn to labor than to learn to wait. 

His judicious mother again chidcd him for his undue 
haste in renting a house, soliciting fine furniture for the re- 
ception room and making all the arrangements before the 
experienced deaconesses had come. In her judgment, the 
sisters would know more about what was needed and how to 
make the arrangements. He should possess his soul in patience 
until they were on the ground to oversee the arrangements for 



184 THE LIFE OF W. A. PAS8AVANT. 

the new institution. At the same time the mother sent a large 
bed for the new hospital. But some of her cautions came too 
late. The zealous son had already partly furnished and fitted 
up the house for a hospital, had published that it would be 
opened before long and had invited public subscriptions. All 
this before he had either a nurse or a patient. 

In 1850, he himself reports: "In consequence of many 
and unforeseen difficulties the house was not opened for patients 
until January, 1849. At that time there was not a dollar in 
the treasury and the prospects were gloomy in the extreme. 
Many doubted the propriety, and more the practicability, of 
such an undertaking. The general public knew next to nothing 
of its existence at first; no one applied for admission, and a 
whole month elapsed before a single patient was admitted." 

The story of the real beginning of the work of the hospital 
is intensely interesting and dramatic. It brings out the most 
beautifully the benevolent heart and character of its founder. 
The Mexican War had just come to an end. A boat load of 
discharged soldiers was brought up . the river and landed in 
Pittsburg. The whole city had been stirred up and great 
preparations had been made for their reception. The city was 
gaily decorated; brass bands and distinguished officials and 
committees awaited the returning heroes. Amid the music 
and the cheering and the jubilations of the citizens, the civic 
and military organizations paraded the town in honor of the 
veterans who were the center of attraction in the great 
procession. 

Mr. Passavant of course knew of their coming. He 
thought that probably there would be some sick or wounded 
soldiers left on the boat, unable to have a part in the joys of 
their comrades. Taking with him his young friend and helper, 
student Asa Waters, he went down and searched the bunks 
of the boat. He found two poor, neglected, sick soldiers, suf- 
fering from ship-fever. A carriage was procured to convey 
them to the empty hospital. But the building was not yet 
ready for patients. The reception room was furnished and 
ready. The kitchen had a cook stove and a table. One nurse's 
room had been fitted up. The sick rooms had one bed and 
several chairs. Several cots and bedding were hastily ordered 
from the store, and so the patients, the embryo outfit and the 
two men, started for the empty house on the other side of the 
two cities. 



HOME AGAIN. 185 

The sick soldiers, after their long journey in the crowded 
and stuffy boat, were badly in need of a bath. But the only 
nurses present were Mr. Passavant and Mr. Waters. Each of 
these inexperienced hands took a dirty soldier, washed him 
from head to foot, put on a clean bed robe and put him into 
a clean bed. The poor sick men gratefully recognized the work 
done for them and in a few weeks were discharged well and 
happy. 

As Mr. Waters writes: "This was the singular and 
remarkable beginning of the Protestant Deaconess Institution. 
It was the day of small things but clearly of the Lord and 
hence not to be despised. It was the work of faith and love. 
It was the opening of the first Protestant hospital in America. 
From it what has God wrought! The work grew to unthought- 
of proportions, fully beyond the conception of him who con- 
ceived it and consecrated his life and energies to its accomplish- 
ment. ' ' 

Mr. Passavant continues the further story of the beginn- 
ings of that work of mercy: 

"What greatly added to the difficulties of the beginnings 
was the fact that the institution was unknown to the public 
and at first was situated in a remote and out-of-the-way place 
in a neighboring city where it attracted but little attention. 
It was too far remote from the center of the population, and 
as the building could only be rented by the year, the continu- 
ance of the work there was regarded from the first as only 
temporary. ' ' 

"As it became known, however, the number of sick gradu- 
ally increased and a case of ship fever, another of erysipelas, 
several of consumption and a family of five motherless children 
with the measles were received. In a short time new patients 
were admitted almost daily, and the number in the house soon 
averaged from ten to twelve. But with the increase of patients, 
new difficulties arose. The want of reliable nurses was most 
severely felt. Had not God interposed at different times in 
the most unexpected manner, the enterprise would have been 
abandoned. Every week was a succession of new trials, and 
it would be ungrateful not to add, of new and singular mercies. 
Its daily history brought to light so much to encourage the 
faith, and to add to the experience of those who were engaged 
in it, and withal, so strengthened the conviction of the divine 
Providence cooperating with their humble efforts in the relief 



186 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

of the suffering, that doubt gradually gave place to hope, and 
fear to confidence in its ultimate success. 

"The first year of its existence was a time of great pecuni- 
ary difficulty. The institution was commenced in humble de- 
pendence upon God, without influence, friends or funds, and 
struggled into life from the womb of insignificance and 
poverty. An English shilling was the first donation received; 
and several of the next were even smaller in amount. Two 
beds, a table, a cook stove and a few chairs composed the 
furniture when the first patient was received, all the bedding 
and furniture for the wards and rooms had to be begged or 
bought, qualified and trusty nurses to be procured at a con- 
siderable expense, and means to be raised for the support of the 
increasing number of sick. 

"The occasion which led to its early removal to the present 
location was the following: In the Summer of that year, the 
cholera suddenly made its appearance at different points on the 
river, and the boats from below brought with them a number 
of cases to our city ; these were admitted to the new hospital. On 
one occasion when a cholera patient was brought in, the prin- 
cipal male nurse precipitately fled from the house, leaving the 
unhappy sufferer struggling in the agonies of death. So great 
was the panic occasioned thereby in the minds of the citizens 
residing in the vicinity, that the house was stoned and the 
director was waited upon by the mayor and a committee from 
the city council, and notified that in case others were received 
and the building destroyed, the city would not be accountable 
for damages." 

The house had to be closed at once, A new location had 
to be found before night. What was to be done? First of all, 
as was the wont of Mr. Passavant, he told his troubles to God. 
Most earnestly did he cry for light and guidance. The conval- 
escents who were able to leave, were sadly dismissed with a 
prayer from their refuge and asylum. There were several who 
were unable to leave their beds. These were loaded into a 
wagon in their beds and the driver was started for he knew 
not where. Mr. Passavant had often looked upon the hills of 
Lacyville as a desirable place for a hospital. Thither the wagon 
was directed with its precious load. Mr. Passavant walked 
ahead, praying as he went. The Lacyville road led over a 
high hill on which stood a spacious building occupied by Rev. 
Dr. Lacy and his female seminary. The building stood alone 



HOME AGAIN. 187 

with no other house near it. Mr. Passavant had previously 
negotiated for the purchase of this property. He had tried 
to interest others in it, but up to this time, his success had been 
small. He had not concluded the purchase. The building 
was empty just now, as it was the time of the summer vacation, 
except that Dr. Lacy occupied a room in one corner. Mr. 
Passavant went in, obtained an option on it and got per- 
mission to unload his patients. Mr. Waters took charge of 
them and so the hospital had a local habitation and a name 
in Pittsburg, across the street from where it now stands. 

Mr. Passavant now succeeded in interesting some of his 
liberal friends, and the seminary together with its fine garden 
was purchased for five thousand five hundred dollars. Of this 
providential purchase, Mr. Passavant says in the report al- 
ready quoted: 

"An immediate possession was indispensable, owing to 
the above mentioned cause; the lease of Prof. Stevens, which 
had several years to run, was bought out, and the hospital 
removed in the month of June to its present location. The 
buildings had been suffered to go to decay and were much out 
of repair; but during the summer the whole was painted with- 
in and without; new floors laid in the kitchen, dining room 
and wash house; the chimneys carefully repaired and built 
higher, to guard against fire; a considerable portion of the roof 
renewed; most of the rooms and wards papered, and one room 
neatly fitted up for the purposes of a chapel. A new board fence 
was also built on one side of the garden, and the yard in front 
of the house enclosed with a substantial iron railing. Various 
alterations were also made to adapt the premises to their 
present use. Considerable expense was thus incurred, but the 
additional comfort, convenience and space, which were thereby 
gained, fully justify all the outlay. 

* ' The location of the Institution is one of the most beautiful 
and commanding within the city limits, and overlooks the 
greater part of Pittsburg, with portions of Allegheny, Man- 
chester, Birmingham and the surrounding hills. From the 
garden, the course of the beautiful Ohio may be traced for 
many miles, while the Monongahela, with its broad breast of 
waters, seems like a tranquil lake sleeping in the valley below. 
In respect also to convenience, health and freedom from the 
noise and smoke, the situation is unequaled. The grounds be- 
longing to this property consist of a front of one hundred 



188 THE LIFE OF W. A. PAS8AVANT. 

and twenty feet, running back two hundred and forty feet 
to another street, and are laid out as a kitchen garden, afford- 
ing also pleasant and suitable walks for convalescent patients. 
May it long remain a refuge for the sorrowful and sick, a 
porch of mercy for the bodies and souls of men." 

Of the arrival of Fliedner and the consecration of the four 
deaconesses, he reports: 

"The arrival of Rev. Theodore Fliedner from Prussia, on 
the fourteenth of July, accompanied by four deaconesses from 
the Parent Institution in Kaiserswerth on the Rhine, seemed 
to indicate Sunday the seventeenth, as the most suitable time 
for consecrating it to the service of God, and to the merciful 
purpose for which it was designed. Accordingly on Sunday 
afternoon, at four o'clock, a large concourse of people having 
assembled, the services of the solemn occasion were commenced 
by singing a hymn, 'Before Jehovah's Awful Throne,' in which 
the assembled multitude, sitting and standing around the 
edifice, heartily united, to the immortal tune of Old Hundred. 
An appropriate prayer was offered to Almighty God by Rev. 
Dr. Cooke, Pastor of the Liberty Street M. E. Church; after 
which the Rev. Fliedner addressed the congregation in German, 
explaining the design of the Institution as an Infirmary for 
the sick, and a Mother-house for the training of Christian 
Deaconesses for hospitals, asylums and congregations in other 
parts of the United States. The remarks of this eminent 
philanthropist, the restorer under God of this office of the 
Christian Church, were listened to with deep interest, and his 
earnest appeal to Christian females to consecrate themselves 
to this holy work will not soon be forgotten. 

"The venerable Dr. Herron, Pastor of the First Presby- 
terian Church, followed in an English address, in which he 
commented on that article in the Statutes of the Infirmary, 
which requires that 'In the admission of patients and treat- 
ment of the sick, no preference shall be tolerated in favor of 
one creed, country or color over another;' assuring the public 
that though the director of the Institution was connected with 
a particular denomination, he had made provision by express 
statute in law, that the Infirmary should be a refuge for the 
worthy sick of every religion, color or clime; that proselytism 
was thus excluded, and that all who aided in this benevolent 
work had the most ample assurance that their donations would 
be sacredly applied. The Rev. Dr. Herron in concluding his 



HOME AGAIN. 189 

remarks, warmly commended the Institution to the support of 
the public, gave it unqualified approbation, and prayed that it 
might long continue to be a Bethesda for the bodies and souls 
of men. The German portion of the congregation then united 
in singing Luther's celebrated hymn, 

'Ein' Feste Burg ist unser Gott,' 

after which an address was delivered by Rev. W. A. Passa- 
vant, and the building was consecrated in the name of the 
Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. A similar address in 
German followed and a consecration prayer was offered by the 
Rev. J. Vogelbach, pastor of the First German Lutheran 
Church. An English and German hymn succeeded, after which 
the Rev. Dr. Cooke made a most interesting address on the 
office of Deaconess in the primitive church. The speaker dwelt 
on the importance to the Christian Church of availing herself 
of the gifts of the female sex, for the instruction of the ignor- 
ant, and the alleviation of human suffering in all its compli- 
cated forms. Dr. Cooke was followed in his remarks by the 
Rev. R. Kaehler, in an appropriate German address, after 
which the audience was dismissed by the Doxology and a 
benediction from the Rev. Mr. Roe." 

The same report gives this interesting summary of the 
work of the first two years, thus affording a clear idea of the 
character and scope of the work carried on ever since: 

''The number of patients received into the Infirmary un- 
til it was placed under the care of the Deaconesses, in August, 
1849, was eighty-two. Since then, three hundred and eighty- 
eight have been admitted, making a total of four hundred and 
seventy, in the one year and eleven months which have elapsed 
since the first patient was received. This number would have 
been more than doubled, were it not that the principles of the 
Institution admit chronic diseases, and other cases of long 
standing and almost hopeless cure, when their sufferings may 
be mitigated and a possibility remains of restoring them to 
partial or permanent health. In consequence of this, a bed is 
often occupied for several months by a single patient, and the 
aggregate of patients received during the year is lessened in 
proportion to the number of sick patients, though the average 
number in the hospital from day to day, may remain the same. 
Of this class of sufferers, many have been on the funds of the 
charity for three months, while not a few have been permitted 



190 THE LIFE OF TT. A. PASSAT AXT. 

to remain four, six and even eight and ten montlis, as their 
necessity seemed to require. 

"'It has been a source of sincere pleasure and heart-felt 
gratitude to God, that a considerable number of the most hope- 
less of this class have been so far relieved, as no longer to be 
a burden to themselves and to society, ^-hile several cases of 
many years' standing and most obsinate character, have finally 
yielded to medical skill and good nursing. 

"There are a number of persons in this vicinity, who after 
years of suffering and wretchedness, are now restored to 
health, and gain an honest livelihood by the labor of their own 
hands. As regards moral and spiritual results, likewise, this 
class of sufferers have been the most interesting and hopeful; 
and the exemplary conduct of not a few who left the Institution 
restored to health, affords the pleasing evidence that the in- 
fluence of Christian kindness and Christian instruction has not 
been in vain. 

"Of the above number, upwards of one hundred were cases 
of contagious or infectious diseases, and fifty per cent of all 
the deaths in the Infirmary' have been among the cholera and 
small-pox patients of this class. Many of these, owing to prev- 
ious neglect and exposure, were in a d^'ing condition when 
brought to the house, and already beyond the reach of medical 
skill Wlien the condition in which numerous cases of ship- 
fever and small pox were received, is taken into the account, 
the mortality is unexpectedly small. No language can describe 
the wan and spectral forms of some of these, covered with 
filth and livid with disease. Yet not a few such live, to thank 
the public for a refuge in their awful visitation, and to bless 
God who brought them back from the valley and shadow of 
death. 

"Of the moral results, which have been brought about 
through the instrumentality of the Institution, it does not be- 
come us to speak in any other but general terms. The light of 
eternity alone will reveal all the impressions for good, which 

have been made upon the patients In an encouraging 

number of instances, however, the signal blessing of the Al- 
mighty has attended the labors of his servants. Not a few 
wanderers have been reclaimed, and of more than one it may 
be said, 'they were bom there'. The faith of the dying saint, 
sorely tried by poverty and neglect, has been strengthened, 
and death itself made welcome bv the consolation of the Gospel. 



HOME AGAIN. 191 

The influence of Christian kindness and example on the part 
of the nurses, has invariably secured for the offices of religion 
the respect of the most reckless, and stout-hearted and wicked 
men have wept under the silent teaching of this practical 
exhibition of religion. A weekly service is held in the chapel 
of the Infirmary, which is attended by those convalescent 
patients who desire it; and the sick are visited in the wards 
several times a week, by the Director and other clerg\Tnen, 
who attend in rotation. In addition to these opportunities of 
religious instruction, and the daily worship of the house, there 
is a respectable library of English, German, French and Welsh 
books, which we are happy to say is highly appreciated by those 
who are sufficiently recovered to read. 

"It is with very great pleasure that I refer to another 
evidence of interest manifested by our citizens in the per- 
manent success of the Institution. At the suggestion of the 
Hon. Thos. M. Howe, the field adjoining the Infirmary and 
containing upwards of four acres, was purchased from A. B. 
Curling. Esq., for the sum of twelve thousand dollars." 

After he had organized the Institution of Protestant 
Deaconesses of the County of Allegheny, Pa., the following 
Principles and Eegulations were adopted. 

GENERAL PRINCIPLES. 

1. The association of Christian females is purely volun- 
tary". The members unite without persuasion, remain without 
vows, and retire without restraint. 

2. It is not an order, but the restoration of an office, that 
of 'Servant' or Deaconess in the primitive church. 

3. Its members heartily confess the faith, engage in the 
worship and observe the discipline of the Evangelical Lutheran 
Church. 

4. Its object is habitually to engage in works of mercy 
among the sick and poor, the ignorant and fatherless, and 
other suffering members of our Lord's body. In the better 
attainment of this object, the association is incorporated and 
fully empowered to establish and conduct the necessary char- 
itable institutions. 

5. Not earthly reward and honor but the desire for an 
opportunity to manifest their gratitude to Jesus Christ in the 
way revealed in His word, has influenced the members to 
associate themselves as servants of Christ and of His church- 



192 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PAS8AVANT. 

REGULATIONS. 

1. The members of the Institution shall consist of the 
deaconesses proper and the probationers, both of whom shall 
be received into the association in the manner hereinafter 
provided. 

2. They shall alike be subject to the Director and the 
Directing Sister in regard to the designation of their field of 
labor and the manner of its performance and shall conscien- 
tiously observe both the letter and spirit of its principles and 
regulations. 

3. They shall reside in the Parent House, unless ap- 
pointed to labor elsewhere by the Board of Managers, in 
which case they shall still retain their connection with the 
parent association, continuing subject to its rules, reporting 
statedly to its Director and Directing Sister, and holding them- 
selves in readiness to be recalled or to be transferred else- 
where whenever deemed necessary or proper by those in 
authority. 

4. The internal government and regulation of the asso- 
ciation shall be vested in the Director and the Directing Sister, 
both of whom are elected by the joint suffrages of the Sisters 
and the Board of Directors according to the mode described 
in the charter. The relation of the Directing Sister towards 
the other members is, as far as possible, that of a mother or an 
elder sister, while that of the Director is, as far as possible, 
that of the Head of the Family and the spiritual guide. 

5. The sisters shall wear a plain, economical habit, as 
much as possible conforming in style, expense and color, which 
shall be black or gray or blue on week days as they may prefer. 
In regard to the other articles of dress, the counsel of the 
Director is first to be sought before being purchased. The 
wearing of the sister's habit is voluntary to the probationers 
during the probationary year but all display or ornament is to 
be avoided. 

Sept. 10., 1848, the Rev. M. J. Steck, president of the 
Synod and the warm friend of Mr. Passavant, died. The 
latter went to Greensburg to conduct the funeral. Coming home, 
he rode from nine o'clock at night until three in the morning 
on the stage box with the driver. To his mother he gives this 
account of the trip: 

"On Saturday at one o'clock, Mr. Jon. Graff kindly called 
for me with a buggy and drove me to Greensburg. Having 




SISTER C. LOUISA MARTHENS— FIRST DEACONESS^ CONSECRATED IN AMERICA. 



HOME AGAIN. 193 

been closely confined to my room nearly all week, I found it 
most soothing and delightful to ride through the lovely 
scenery on the road to G. and was quite sorry when we reached 
the place of our destination. The beautiful and variegated 
forests, the falling of the leaves, the wild influence of the 
autumnal skj^, gave to this little tour a peculiar charm, and 
richly did I enjoy it all. On reaching G. the family received 
me most kindly, . and after spending a short time with them, 
I returned to my lodgings at Mr. Kuhn's. On Sunday morn- 
ing at eleven o'clock, the services commenced in the church. 
The immense multitude of people, filling the church, aisles, 
stairs, galleries, as well as the yard, were gathered together, 
and listened with solemn attention to the close of the services. 
As these were long and required loud preaching so as to be 
heard outside of the church, I was very much exhausted at 
their close. In the evening service was appointed for me at 
the Episcopal Church (where the English Lutheran congre- 
gation worship) but the house would not hold half of the 
people, and we adjourned to the Presbyterian Church which 
was likewise filled. I endeavored to preach with as much 
spirit as I could, but felt the pressure of the morning service 
very much, while I spoke from the words, 'There is joy in the 
.presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repeuteth.' 
This was the last subject of our faithful brother Steck....I 
can only say now that his family and our poor Synod — of the 
praises of which I am both ashamed and heartily sick — have 
been greatly afflicted. More, when we meet in a few weeks in 
Zelienople. ' ' 



194 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 



CHAPTER IX. 

WORK FOR SCANDINAVIANS AND GERMANS. 

As we have seen, there was much dissatisfaction with the 
character and conduct of the Lutheran Observer. This dissatis- 
faction led to the establishment of the Evangelical Review, a 
quarterly, in magazine form. Prof. Reynolds was its first edi- 
tor. From the very first, it favored a conservative and con- 
sistent Lutheranism. Its principal contributers in addition to 
the editor were Drs. Morris, the Elder Krauth, the Schaefi^ers, 
B. M. Schmucker, J. A. Seiss, and the younger Krauth, who 
contributed an article to the second number on "The Relation 
of our Confessions to the Reformation and the Importance of 
their Study, with an Outline of the Early History of the Augs- 
burg Confession." The new periodical and especially this ar- 
ticle of Krauth 's roused the ire of Dr. Kurtz and the Observer. 
In his opinion, published in the Observer, the second number 
of the Review "killed it dead by its old Lutheranism." He 
regarded it after this as "the most sectarian periodical he ever 
read." Of Krauth 's article he wrote, "How many such articles 
would it take to convert a soul? Poor Charlie! What a prosti- 
tution of talent ! ' ' 

Dissatisfaction with the tone and trend of the Observer 
made Mr, Passavant plan for a paper of his own. He was 
averse to controversy. He felt that polemical articles and bit- 
ter personal attacks are not conducive to the edifying of the 
church. It was his conviction that the church's life, activity 
and progress are hindered instead of helped by such a course. 
He realized as probably no other man in the church did that the 
church of his love has a great mission in this land. He felt the 
need of a church paper for the people, free from the objections 
referred to, popular in tone, calculated to inspire a hopeful and 
aggressive activity in all the interests of the church and moder- 
ate in price. He felt that the church's institutions were too 
little known and therefore poorly supported by the people. The 
people were perishing for lack of knowledge. The need of a 
broader, better and more aggressive missionary policy, at home 
and abroad needed to be impressed upon the people in such a 



AMONG SCANDINAVIANS AND GERMANS. 195 

way as to make the masses feel that it was their privilege as 
well as their responsibility to carry on and enlarge the work. 
He felt that there were other far-reaching activities of the 
greatest possible importance to the full life and existence of the 
church that had not even been thought of, much less entered 
upon. 

From these and similar convictions in his mind, The Mis- 
sionary finally emerged. This little monthly was something 
new in fhe church. It brought Mr. Passavant before the church 
in a new light. By many he had been looked upon as an over- 
sanguine, visionary, restless, unpractical spirit. His paper was 
a surprise to all such. It showed to the church for the first 
time that here was a young man with superior gifts as an editor 
and with practical and far-reaching plans for organization and 
system in church work. 

The first number of The Missionary appeared in January, 
1848. It sets before its readers its purposes, aims and hopes 
in the following prospectus: 

"This paper, as indicated by its name, will be missionary 
in its character. It will not, therefore, interfere with existing 
periodicals devoted to general interests. It occupies a field 
peculiarly its own, and as it aims to be helpful to all, it hopes 
to be helped by all in return. 

The plan we propose is briefly this : the field is the world. 
That portion of it occupied by the Lutheran Church, and those 
parts unoccupied by other Christian Churches, will constitute 
the field of our especial observation. The whole will be regarded 
as a vast mission field, and the numerous and diversified in- 
terests of the church and the world therein, will be considered 
under the general heads of inner, home, and foreign mission;^. 
A few remarks on each of these will further explain its char- 
acter : 

Inner Missions. — These are missions within the church, 
such as Scriptural revivals of religion; the instruction of the 
children of the church, comprehending Sunday-schools, infant 
schools, catechetical classes, Bible classes, etc., etc. ; the' educa- 
tion of our people, comprehending Church schools, academies, 
colleges, theological seminaries, and education societies; the re- 
lief of the temporal need of the members, including the Insti- 
tution of Protestant Deaconessas, together with the various 
funds, societies, and institutions for the indigent, the aged and 
infirm, for disabled ministers, for the widows and orphans of 



196 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

clergj-men, etc., etc.; the improvement of church architecture, 
of congregational singing, of the liturgical service, of the better 
observance of the order and worshjp of God 's house. In a word, 
we shall labor for the purity of the church in faith, govern- 
ment, discipline and religious life, to develop the resources, en- 
ergies and elements of good which are in the church, to make 
them available and cause them to act and react upon herself, 
thus enabling the church to fulfill her mission and destiny in the 
world, this will be the constant aim of the editor and his corre- 
spondents. In doing this, we shall seek out, propose and recom- 
mend, the more excellent Bil)le means, agencies and appliances 
for the accomplishment of the ends in view; and their practical 
w^orking will, from time to time, be spread upon our pages. 

Home Missions.— Under this head, we will give a monthly 
review of the work of evangelization of the different synods 
and societies of the church in America and Europe, among the 
spiritually d&stitute in our land. The various missions among 
the American, German, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and 
French population, as well as among the North American In- 
dians and our colored population, will be reviewed in every 
number. In order to make this department interesting, we 
made arrangements while in Europe to procure the different 
papers and reports published by the numerous societies and 
mission institutes which educate and send forth laborers for 
our emigrant population. 

Foreign Missions.— In addition to a variety of items, and 
a monthly survey of general Christian missions, the official re- 
ports of the Lutheran missionaries in India to the 'Foreign 
Missionary Society of the Evangelical Lutheran Church,' to- 
gether with acknowledgements of moneys by that Society, will 
appear from time to time. The reports of the German Lutheran 
missionaries who are laboring among the Telugus, with Brothers 
Heyer and Gunn, to their society in Germany, will also be 
translated for this paper. 

In a word, to create, increase and develop the spirit of mis- 
sions in our American church, is the great object of the pro- 
posed periodical. 

Our plan comprehends all the synods, and all shall receive 
the same impartial consideration. "We wish this understood. 
The Missionary is the organ of no one synod, party, or society. 
By diffusing information concerning all, it hopes to contribute 
its share in making a divided church one. 



AMONG SCANDINAVIANS AND GERMANS. 197 

God has given us two instruments wherewith to promote 
his cause. One is the pen : the other, the tongue. To these, we 
are endeavoring to confirm the addition of the press. If we 
succeed, well; if not, still well. The pen and tongue may toil 
on, if the press stop ; for the pen costs but little, and the tongue, 
by the grace of God, nothing." 

Most nobly did the little paper carry out this promising 
program. In looking over the early volumes, we find a series 
of articles on the following subjects: Jesus as a Missionary; 
Christian Education; Against Church Fairs and Festivals; Best 
Means of Raising Church Funds; Disciplining Members for 
Selling Liquor; Luther's Pastoral Theology; Discriptions of 
Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and of 
other Western States as Missionary Fields; Letters from India 
and other Foreign Fields; Hospitals and Orphan Homes; pleas 
for boxes for Home Missionaries; a plea for the support of a 
recently opened Colored Orphan Asylum ; Missions among the 
American Indians. We find editorials on Catechizing; on the 
Need of more Ministers, and against Union Churches. There 
are also editorials on the pressing need of English Evangelical 
Lutheran Churches in Chicago, Omaha, St. Paul, San Fran- 
cisco and other large cities, and on how the congregation should 
look after its own poor. 

Much editorial space is given to the Academies at Zelie- 
nople, Leechburg and Greensburg, which Mr. Passavant was so 
largely instrumental in founding. 

We find in the first volume commendatory notice of Muh- 
lenberg College, in Jefferson, Harrison County, Ohio, in which 
such good advice is given that, had it been heeded by the Joint 
Synod of Ohio, the Institution, so auspiciously begun with a 
fine property, would not have been so short-lived. There is also 
like notice of Wittenberg College, Springfield, Ohio ; German 
Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio; German Theological Sem- 
inary, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Mission Institute, Washtenaw 
County, Michigan, a training school for missionaries to labor 
among the Chippewa Indians at Saginaw Bay, Michigan, re- 
ceived warm words of encouragement and hope from the editor. 

For Hillsboro, Illinois, College and Seminary, in the then 
"far West," he solicited and offered to receive books and sub- 
scriptions. 

For the College and Seminary at Altenburg, Perry County, 



198 THE LIFE OF W, A. PASSAVANT. 

Missouri, the pioneer college of the Missouri Synod, he also has 
words of encouragement and counsel. 

There were urgent editorials on the duty of sending mis- 
sionaries to search out and arrange for the ingathering of the 
Germans in Canada and Texas. These early missionary efforts 
became the starting points that finally led to the organization 
of the Synods of Texas and Canada. The same is true of the 
Minnesota and the Wisconsin Synods, whose field the Rev. Mr. 
Heyer explored after his first return from India. Nearly every 
number of The Missionary has a column or more on the Ger- 
mans and Scandinavians of the West and on the Church's duty 
to minister to their spiritual wants. 

This gives us a general idea of the contents and aims of the 
paper. Its tone throughout is serious, sober, earnest, hopeful 
and devout. A deep and loving spirituality pervades it all. 
Every number shows the editor living in close communion with 
that Saviour whom he so ardently loved. There is a remarkable 
absence of that petty, personal strife, jealousy and un-Christian 
controversy that disfigures so much of the church's periodical 
literature. The tone is irenic, the striving is for the thin^ that 
make for peace. It desires not to pull down but to build up. 

The Missionary was -not received kindly by all. Mr. Bass- 
ler writes that some of his people wished to have it discontinued 
because it strongly condemned the custom of having the liquor 
bottle on the table. 

Mr. Weddell writes: "The design of your paper as ex- 
pressed in your prospectus pleases me, but yet on account of the 
unsettled nature of our theological language, I have so far been 
unable to come to a perfect discernment of the definite 'stand- 
point' you intend to occupy. There seems to be a variance be- 
tween the Eastern and Western sense of the technical language 
of our church. I trust, therefore, you will excuse from a friend 
a few special inquiries. In your letter to the German Reformed 
Messenger you profess to be a friend to revivals. By this, are 
we to understand revivals produced by the instrumentality of 
long-protracted efforts and conducted on what may technically 
be called the 'anxious or mourner's bench' system or those pro- 
duced by the faithful continued pastoral labors and catechisa- 
tion? By 'defending the ancient usages of the church' are we 
to understand a denial of the right or propriety of the laity 
leading in prayer in social meetings for that purpose, or the 
contrary ? 



AMONG SCANDINAVIANS AND GERMANS. 199 

"Finally, will the Missionary be devoted to the Augsburg 
Confession entire as the symbol of our Faith or only as teaching 
the ' fundamental doctrines of the word of God in a manner sub- 
stantially correct ' ? I must again ask your pardon for the liberty 
I have taken in proposing" these inquiries, which nothing but 
former friendship, anxiety for the welfare of the Church and 
a desire to know something of the grounds taken by the 'Minor- 
ity' of your Synod has induced me to do. Our Church in Ohio 
is full of schisms and seemingly 'all sorts of doctrines preached 
by all sorts of men.' 

"Unless God with sovereign power interpose I have little 
faith in the stability of our Zion. I feel that some definite po- 
sition must be taken, the hay, wood and stubble must be con- 
sumed and conflicting parties be reconciled without the sacrifice 
of principle, or our identity as a church here will be lost. But 
as I have extended this letter to an undue length, I will con- 
clude expressing my deep anxiety for an early answer or if not 
an answer at least a letter from you on the subjects referred to. 
I think I may be able to raise twenty or thirty subscribers for 
you here. Accept my best wishes for your prosperity." 

But there were not wanting also kindly commendations, en- 
couragements and offers of assistance and support. Here is a 
letter from his young friend Krauth which is interesting not 
only to show his estimate of the paper to which he afterwards 
became a regular contributor, but also to show the feeling of 
cordiality that existed between these two young men working in 
different spheres, representing the two sides of the Church's in- 
terests and destined to become so important in the Church's life 
and pro.sperity. 

"I send you eleven additional names for your paper in 
whose success I feel a strong interest and in whose contents I 
have found much satisfaction . . . The field which it pro- 
poses to occupy is so large that it will require great care, skill 
and economy of space to cover the whole ground. . . . You 
have spoken, my dear brother, of coldness which has risen in our 
past intercourse. Let me asvsure you that there has been no 
time since I have known you in which I have not felt a warm 
and affectionate interest in you. I believe that there was no one 
who loved you more sincerely than myself, but Dr. M. had so 
many remarkable plans, astounding projects, and aerial castles 
which he told me were of your building that a very false im- 
pression was made on my mind in regard to your character 



200 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

which I now know to be in the highest degree practical. "We 
were both ministers, just starting, differing, in some respects, 
in temperament and in views. You highly sanguine, I rather 
disposed to scepticism. You full of the Lutheranism of the 
youngest generation, I with some little tint (I thank God it is 
now stronger) of our older life; 'you disposed to be always in 
the field, I too fond of the retirement of the study ; then things 
which should have bound us more closely together that our 
joint stores might be a common treasure perhaps separated us. 
We have both experienced, since, the ripening effects of time, 
trial and deep affliction. I hope that we will henceforth and 
forever be so near in heart that no alienating voice will ever 
be able to separate us." 

Prof. Reynolds writes: "We are very much pleased with 
your paper in this region, that is to say, Dr. Krauth, Prof. 
Baugher, brother Keller and myself. Mr. Keller has recom- 
mended it from his pulpit and Prof. Baugher will recommend 
it to his people, so that you may expect a considerable number 
of subscriptions from this barren region, that is, provided young 
Hirst goes around to the people as he says he will. The Luth- 
eran Observer will be jealous and do all that it can to throw 
cold water upon your enterprise, but I hope you will succeed; 
not that I wish the Observer any ill, but that I wish it to be 
made better, to stand more fully upon Lutheran ground. And 
this I think will be one incidental though important result of 
your paper. I have done all I could to give the Observer the 
character which I think it should bear, by doing my full part 
to furnish it with matter; but as that does not answer, I shall 
now stop that, for a while at least, and see whether the idea that 
other papers can be got to answer our views, if it will not, will 
have some effect upon the policy of the Observer. Your paper, 
it is true, proposes to avoid all interference with the Observer 
and to occupy a field of its own; but I hope it will set the Ob- 
server a good example and prove that a worthy popularity can 
be secured in other ways besides flattering Tom, Dick and 
Harry. If the Observer will fairly represent the Church and 
maintain a dignified, or at least a decent character, I shall do 
all I can to assist in sustaining it, otherwise not. Let me know 
what the prospect is for establishing 'The Missionary' upon 
a permanent basis. Could you not get a good agent to visit cer- 
tain points where you might perhaps obtain a considerable num- 
ber of subscribers?" 



AMONG SCANDINAVIANS AND GERMANS. 201 

Here is Dr. Jacob's recent estimate of The Missionary and 
its editor: "Through the small monthly, The Missionary, in 
his youth he enlisted a wide sympathy in all the enterprises 
started through his agency. Never has the Lutheran Church 
in America had an editor who entered into such close relations 
with his readers, and could move them so thoroughly. His pen 
glowed with the interest with which his work held him. He 
wrote as one po.ssessed of trutlis which he had to express. His 
knowledge of persons and things was so extensive, the facts pre- 
sented w^ere so numerous and diversified, the horizon covered 
was so wide, the language was so plain, so forcible, so diversi- 
fied, so full of unction, so directed to one point, the judgments 
concerning man and events and movements were so pertinent, 
so positive, so decided, while calm and discriminating, and so 
completely was the bond of sympathy with his readers main- 
tained, that the arrival of the paper was awaited almost with 
impatience in hundreds of Christian homes." 

Even the Observer yields gracefully and says: "Brother 
Passavant's zeal, and his peculiar competency for such a work 
as he has embarked in, are too well known in the Church to 
require any commendation at oiu* hands, and we hope he will not 
regard it as a ' matter of course, ' or as a mere compliment, when 
we say that we wish him a hearty 'God speed.' If he can find 
time and has sufficient strength to add to his numerous labors 
those arising from the management of a periodical, there can 
be no doubt of his ability to render The Missionary both use- 
ful and interesting." 

The Lutheran Standard gives it this hearty welcome: "We 
hail with pleasure this spirited missionary journal, and we in- 
dulge in the hope that all our ministers and members, who are 
familiar with the English language, will unite in its support. 
A paper of this kind, to arouse and bring into activity a spirit 
of missions throughout our Church, was long since needed, and 
we are glad that brother Pa.ssavant has undertaken the task. 
We feel confident in our opinion, that, under his direction, the 
'Missionary' will not only bring the joyful news of the triumph 
of the Gospel at home and abroad, and point out the destitu- 
tions and wants of our Zion and the means to supply them, but 
also advocate the principles and doctrines of our Church as 
laid down in her Confession." 

Here is Mr. Passavant's own estimate of editorial life, writ- 
ten one year before he died: 



202 THE LIFE OF W. A. PA88AVANT. 

''Fifty years of editorial life! Few who are unacquainted 
with such a life have any conception of what it means. It is not 
only a knighthood of anxious thought, plodding toil, and finan- 
cial struggle, but an incessant conflict with the world, the flesh 
and the devil and, worst of all, with the whole trinity of evil 
in the Church of the living God. It is an unceasing teaching, 
reproving, exhorting, encouraging and lifting up of the dispir- 
ited forces of the Church, and inciting them to come up to the 
exalted mission committed to her of the Lord . . . But for 
the unwearied labor and indomitable rasistance to unscriptural 
doctrines, tendencies and usages, by our church papers, what 
would have been the condition of the Church and its constitu- 
tions in the dark days of the past, when faith was weak and 
principle was weaker, and the ark of the Lord seemed to be 
removed from the sanctuary?" 

To show the wide and far-reaching influence that the young 
editor exerted on the Lutheran Church throughout the land by 
means of the Missionary, it is only necessary to glean from its 
pages what he advocated, planned and did for the scattered 
Lutherans of various nationalities who were at that time just 
beginning to settle in and make themselves felt throughout the 
best parts of the new West. It is not too much to claim that 
no other single man did as much to arouse the whole church 
to see the importance of the we.stern Lutheran Diaspora and to 
realize her responsibility toward them. No other man under- 
stood the West and the value of its Lutheran settlers as well 
as he. None other did as much to investigate, direct and assist 
the western work. 

Mr. Passavant was as free from narrow nativism as he was 
from party spirit. As he was concerned for the welfare of all 
the inhabitants of his land, whether white, black or red, so he 
was concerned for all the children of his church, whether Amer- 
ican, German or Scandinavian. We have already noticed his 
interest in the thrifty and pious Germans from whose sturdy 
stock his parents had come. He was constantly looking up and 
finding- out their settlements in the country and their quarters 
in the city. He kept his Synod on the lookout and on the hunt 
for them throughout its bounds. It might be hard to find a 
German Lutheran Church in western Pennsylvania or eastern 
Ohio and Virginia in whose starting he did not have a hand. 
He, more than any other man, was instrumental in the begin- 
nings in Pittsburg, in Allegheny, in Wheeling, in Erie and in 



AMONG SCANDINAVIANS AND GERMANS. 203 

nearly every town reached by his Synod. He had his eagle eye 
on every large city in the land and had a most remarkable facul- 
ty for finding out where there was material for a German 
Church. To these places he called the attention of the German 
ministers ■ and German Synods. He willingly lent his services 
in procuring the men and the means for these beginnings. As 
is noted above, it was he who prevailed upon his Synod to send 
Mr. Bassler and Mr. Diehl on a tour of investigation to Canada 
to gather and organize the scattered Lutherans in those regions. 
He was instrumental in sending the first missionary to Texas, 
and Mr. Heyer to Minnesota. What he did for the German 
immigrants we shall see later on. The German Lutherans owe 
more to him than they are willing to acknowledge. 

But he was not less interested in the warm.-Tiearted, devout 
and open-hearted Scandinavians. What he did for them in the 
early days of their weakness and helplessness, is well worthy of 
a chapter. 

The first settlements of the SVedes on the Delaware had 
proven disastrous, as far as the church of their fathers was con- 
cerned. It is indeed incomprehensible to us that a people, whose^ 
ancestry and traditions all favor a thorough education of head 
and heart in every child among them, should have so sadly and 
so sinfully neglected the planting of church schools. Settled 
among English-speaking people, these early Swedes were satis- 
fied to let their bright children get all their education in the 
English day and Sunday-schools around them. The Episco- 
palians were not slow to recognize the sterling worth of these 
youths, flattered them and their parents, and successfully car- 
ried out the baseless and false pretense that the English Episco- 
pal Church is the same as the Lutheran Church in Sweden. 
They captured the third generation of those early pioneers, un- 
able longer to worship intelligently in the language of the 
fatherland. They ,got possession of the churches which the 
Lutheran fathers had built at so much sacrifice and consecrated 
with so many prayers and tears. They own today some of 
those venerable churches, their burying grounds and the very 
bones of the dead. A few years ago a descendent of the early 
Swedes requested before his death that he be buried with his 
fathers in the grounds of the Old Swede Church in Wilming- 
ton Deleware, where the moss-covered stones still bear the names 
of Lutheran pioneers. But because he had not been a member 
of the Episcopal Church, his body was refused a resting place 



204 THE LIFE OF W. A .PASSAVANT. 

in the chiirch-yard which his fathers had paid for and where 
they are sleeping their last sleep. 

There came a later migration of Scandinavians to our 
shores. One of the first of their colonies was that of some Nor- 
wegians from Stavanger who settled near Rochester, N. Y., in 
1825. In about ten years thCy removed to La Salle County, 
III. About this time Clem Pedersen explored the then Territory 
of Wisconsin and made his countrymen acquainted with that 
region. This gave the first impulse to that great migration to 
the Northwest which is still going on and is possessing the best 
part of the land, from the lakes to where the western shore is 
washed by the Pacific. In 1850, when ]\Ir. Pa.ssavant first vis- 
ited the West, there were supposed to be thirty thousand Scan- 
dinavians in Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. July 9, 1844, the 
Rev. G. A. C. Diedrichsen, who had been ordained in Chris- 
tiania as a missionary to his countrymen in America, arrived in 
New York. At this time there was lying in New York harbor a 
ship belonging to Captain N^ssen, who belonged to an associa- 
tion of pious Swedish ship captains who had made an agree- 
ment to hold religious services on all their vessels on every 
Lord's day. The Archbishop of Sweden had consecrated the 
Bethel flag, the raising of which was the signal for divine ser- 
vice. On Captain Nyssen's ship, Mr. Diedrichsen held regular 
services while in New York. He also hunted up the Norweg- 
ians, Swedes and Danes in .the city and preached to them every 
Sunday in St. Matthew's German Lutheran Church. 

From New York, he went by way of Albany, Buffalo and 
the Great Lakes to Milwaukee. He visited all the Scandinavian 
settlements that he could hear of in Illinois, Wisconsin and 
Iowa, To his surprise he found a Rev. C. L. Clausen laboring 
among the Norwegians of Muskeego, Avhich is supposed to have 
been the first Norwegian settlement in Wisconsin. This Mr. 
Clausen was a Dane. He had intended to become a foreign mis- 
sionary, but the pious pastor Schreuder of Christiania had per- 
suaded him to go and labor as a school-master among the desti- 
tute Norwegians in IMuskeego. Arriving in 1843, he found them 
without a minister, church, sermons or sacraments. They im- 
plored him to become their pastor. This he was unwilling to do 
without being regularly examined and ordained. He therefore 
applied to the German Lutheran pastor, L. F. E. Krause, who 
was laboring among the Germans near Milwaukee. This brother 
carefully examined and then ordained him, and so he became 



AMONG SCANDINAVIANS AND GERMANS. 205 

the first Norwegian Lutheran minister in Wisconsin. There 
were those, probably instigated by the Episcopalians, who had 
their doubts about the validity of his ordination. To satisfy 
these doubters, Mr. Clausen wrote to the Theological faculty of 
Christiania and laid his case before them. The faculty returned 
this answer: "That the services of an ordination to the priest- 
hood (ministry) by a priest and not by a bishop cannot in and 
of itself overthrow the validitj^ of an ordination to the minis- 
try." This has always been the position of the Church in Nor- 
way, Sweden and Denmark. Do the Episcopalians not know 
this or are they wilful deceivers and acting as if they do not 
know it? 

During the first year of his labors, Mr. Diedrichsen organ- 
ized churches at Koshkonong Prairie. Rock River, Hamilton 
Diggings, Rock Prairie, Shoponong and Milwaukee in Wisconsin. 
Also at Rock Ground, Long Prairie and Chicago in Illinois. He 
then returned to Norway to induce other ministers to come to 
labor among their destitute countrymen. Failing in this, he re- 
turned alone and began again to labor as an apostolic mission- 
ary. He kept on pleading, however, to the church at home to 
send shepherds among their scattered sheep. In the year 1850, 
in response to his earnest entreaties, the Revs. A. C. Preuss and 
H. A. Stub came to his assistance. The difficulties of Mr. Died- 
richsen and his three colaborers were greatly enhanced by the 
disorderly and fanatical, even if well meaning, efforts of a cer- 
tain Elling Eilsen and a small coterie of congeners who went 
into the congregations and cast suspicion on the piety of the 
three educated and self-sacrificing ministers who were endeav- 
oring to inculcate the orthodox Lutheran faith and churchly 
practices among their people. The Methodists and Baptists 
were also busy with their nefarious proselytizing -efforts. The 
Episcopalians had a theological seminary at Nashota and did 
all they could to entice Scandinavian students into their insti- 
tution, convert them into Episcopalians and then send them 
out to persuade their countrymen to aspostatize from the 
church and faith of their fathers. They succeeded in winning a 
Swede named Unonius, and Bishop Kemper ordained him in 
1844. We shall hear of this renegade again. 

We have thought it well to give this sketch of Scandinavian 
church history because of the deep and abiding interest which 
Mr. Passavant took in these Lutherans from the Northland. He 
had made himself thoroughly acquainted with the character, 



206 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PA8SAVANT. 

condition and history of these people. This is abundantly proved 
by leafing through the files of The Missionary. He realized 
from the beginning that these people were destined to become 
a mighty power all over the West. He understood and appre- 
ciated their sterling character, their trustworthiness, their un- 
ostentatious and intelligent piety, as well as their thrift and 
prospective prosperity. He had a prophet's vision and saw 
what all this must mean to the Church of the Reformation. He 
knew the danger to which they were exposed amid their new 
and strange surroundings. He understood the schemes and de- 
ceptions of the sweet-mouthed proselyters. His great heart 
went out to these children of the Diaspora. He knew that in 
their influx God was giving to His dear Church a second great 
opportunity. He felt that an immense responsibility was laid 
upon the whole Lutheran Church. 

The venerable and apostolic Dr. Norelius, at this writing 
the president of the Swedish Augustana Synod, says : 

"In the Lutheran Church of America, no name is perhaps 
as well known as that of Passavant. No one who did not be- 
long to our nationality was as w^ell known among Swedish Luth- 
erans as he. He had early come in contact with us and had 

become intimate with us and with our work 

"We can safely say that his special mission, in the Kingdom 
of God and within the Lutheran Church of America, was to 
become a leader in the Home Mission field in its widest sense. 

"Early in life his attention was directed to the great neces- 
sity of extending the work of the Lutheran Church in his coun- 
try. He not only placed himself in active communication with 
ministers of different nationalities, but made long and expensive 
trips to different parts of the country in order that he might 
assure himself personally of the various needs and then adopt 
ways and means to meet them. In this manner he came in con- 
tact with the Swedes at an early day. He often appeared at 
the meetings of the Augustana Synod and made our hearts 
warm through his devout and ardent sermons and addresses." 

Our space forbids the quoting of all the good things that 
The Missionary says of these children of the Vikings; or of 
the plans he suggested, the counsels he gives and the aid he ne- 
cures and extends to them. AYe must, however, bring before the 
reader a few facts that make his desires and deeds in this di- 
rection stand out in a clear light. 



AMONG SCANDINAVIANS AND GERMANS. 207 

In 1850, he learned from the "Herald of the Prairies," 
published in Chicago, that the Rev. Lars Paul Esbjorn had 
made a request, for aid in his labors among the Swedes in Illi- 
nois, to the "Central Association of the Congregational Churches 
in Illinois." This moved him to write in The Missionary in 
January, 1850 : 

"While we cannot but recognize with the deepest gratitude 
the fraternal course of our Congregational brethren towards the 
Rev. Mr. Esbjorn, in lending him their countenance and aid, 
without requiring him to change his ecclesiastical relations, we 
are deeply pained, that, from the want of a Synod of our own, 
composed of Norwegian and Swedish ministers, such a course 
would seem to be necessary. Had we not been assured by the 
officers of the Home Missionary Society, that it was their design 
to do something for the Norwegians and Swedes of the West, 
the mission committee of the Pittsburg Synod would have sent 
a deputation to our Scandinavian brethren, two years ago, and 
labored to bring about a Synodical organization in Wisconsin 
and northern Illinois. This mission dare not longer be delayed. 
The immigration of Swedes and Norwegians is increasing from 
year to year and if we neglect this great interest now, the voice 
of our lamentation will be taken up when it is too late. We 
speak advisedly when we say that something efficient must be 
done, and that quickly, if the interests of Zion and her King 
are not to suffer an irreparable injury." 

Of the efforts of the very liberalisttc F'ranekean Synod 
among the Scandinavians he says in the April number of the 
same year: 

"From information in our possession, we know that there 
are from twenty-five to thirty Norwegian Lutheran churches, 
and some of them very large, in Wisconsin alone, in addition 
to the churches which have been formed by the Rev. Mr. An- 
drewson of the Franckean Synod. Several of these are sup- 
plied by worthy pastors, while others are imposed upon by 
wretched men, who 'have stolen the livery of heaven to serve 
the devil in.' That these churches, or the people to any great 
extent will throw away the Augsburg Confession, and substi- 
tute in its place the Articles of Faith, drawn up by J. D. Law- 
yer, (now erased from the role of the Franckean Synod), w^e 
have no idea whatever. Here and there, existing churches may 
be broken up, and feeble congregations may be organized upon 
the doctrinal basis of the Franckean Synod ; but the mass of the 



208 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

Lutheran population can never be evangelized after this fashion. 
They cling with wondrous .tenacity to the faith of their fathers 
and will not, without a struggle, cast away even the form of 
sound words. If they are to be influenced to any extent, it 
must be from other quarters than the Franckean Synod. The 
operations of the 'Old Lutherans' among them will be equally 
abortive, though for quite opposite reasons. Under these cir- 
cumstances, we would again urge upon the Church, the import- 
ance of doing all in their power to effect the organization of a 
Scandinavian Synod, based upon our acknowledged Confession. 
In this way alone can the thousands of Norwegians and Swedes 
be effectually provided with the gospel, and its Institutions, and 
the people be led into green pastures and by the quiet waters of 
salvation." 

Here are some extracts from a letter from Mr. Esbjorn, 
published in the July number: 

"In appearing before the Central Congregational Associa- 
tion, in Galesburg, (narrated in number one of your paper), I 
related the points of doctrine of our Lutheran Church, and some 
of the members tried to persuade me that our doctrine was not 
right in all points, as for instance that of baptism and the Holy 
Supper, the possibility of a regenerated man's falling from the 
state of grace and others. But I openly confessed that I know 
and believe that our doctrine is founded on the Holy Scriptures. 
I have, since my conversion, upwards of ten years ago, diligently 
examined our doctrine, and found it in accordance with the 
Word of God. Other Christians may find it otherwise, for we 
know in part, and we prophesy in part in this world, but I 
would not say that a Christian brother of another denomination, 
for that reason, is only half enlightened by the Holy Ghost, or 
'Sees men as trees walking.' 

"Just now I received number four of The Missionary. The 
article on page twenty-seven, concerning a Scandinavian Evan- 
gelical Lutheran Synod, gives me a opportunity to declare that 
I have not yet united with any Synod, for I want time to ex- 
amine the religious matters in this country. I have the hope 
that a Lutheran Synod may be opened in Illinois, and I would 
be pleased to unite with the same, unless it 'throws away the 
Augsburg Confession.' I openly confess that I never can unite 
with a Synod which does so, and the meaning of our organization 
is not that. 

"We believe that said Confession is in accordance with the 



AMONG SCANDINAVIANS AND GERMANS. 209 

Word of God, and have not buried any trick under the words, 
'that we adopt the resolutions of synods and the symbola, only 
as far as they accord with the Word of God. ' 

"May God out of His great mercy bless you, and all them 
who love the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ ! We desire a 
remembrance in your prayers." 

On this letter Mr. Passavant remarks: 

"From this communication it will be seen, that God, in 
His providence, has raised up a truly spiritual shepherd for 
these scattered sheep, and that amid poverty and many diffi- 
culties, he is seeking to lead them into green pastures by the 
quiet waters. 

' ' We cannot but believe that God 's hand is in this whole mat- 
ter, and that now a commencement will be made for the evangel- 
ization of our Swedish population which will be steadily kept up 
with the increase of these interesting strangers among us from 
year to year. For the present, we could only add that a dele- 
gation of our ministers, deeply interested in the welfare of the 
Swedish and Norwegian population in the Northwest, propose 
(D.v.)to visit Wisconsin and Illinois this summer, for the pur- 
pose of ascertaining what measures should be adopted for the 
supply of their spiritual need. The result of his visit, we hope, 
ere long, to lay before our readers. 

"A friend at our elbow has kindly furnished the means for 
the purchase of several dozen English catechisms. The bibles 
will be attended to as soon as possible. The suggestion of 
brother Esbjorn, concerning a tract for distribution among the 
Swedish immigrants on their arrival in New York, is a good one, 
and as twenty or thirty dollars will print a large edition of a 
four page tract, such as he speaks of, we hope some benevolent 
person will furnish us this amount. 

"Will not some of our brethren send us donations for the 
completion of the Swedish Church referred to by brother 
Esbjorn ? Christian reader ! how much owest thou thy Lord ! 
Then sit down quickly, take thy pen, and write a check for 
five, twenty, or fifty dollars for these poor brethren in Christ." 

In the year 1850, Mr. Passavant made his first missionary 
journey to the Scandinavians of the west. Such a journey 
meant something in those days when there were no railroads 
west of Pittsburg. The great lakes, rivers, the stage-coach, the 
primitive wagon, the saddle and apostolic feet were the means 
of conveyance. 



210 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

From Pittsburg, Mr. Passavant went to Springfield, Ohio, 
to visit the young Wittenberg College, the only English Luth- 
eran college west of Gettysburg. Thence he traveled to the 
German Lutheran Seminary at Columbus, Ohio. From there he 
pushed on to Chicago and as far as Milwaukee. Here his trip 
was cut short by a dispatch announcing the breaking out of 
cholera in Pittsburg and serious sickness in his hospital family. 

His mother had objected to his taking this trip .because of 
his already abundant labors and also because there were still 
sporadic cases of cholera in Pittsburg, which in her opinion 
were dangerous to his family and hospital work. The good 
mother did not understand the importance of the West and of 
its Scandinavian pioneers to the future of the Church. In 
this case, the son believed that it was his sacred duty to go and 
so he obeyed God rather than man. On his return he wrote his 
•mother a letter from which we quote : 

"Prof. Reynolds accompanied me from Columbus, and his 
presence and valuable aid was the life of the expedition. In 
Chicago we made a good beginning in the Norwegian Church 
and gained much valuable information concerning the state of 
things at the different settlements of these people in Wisconsin 
and Illinois From Chicago we went per steamer to Mil- 
waukee, the most beautiful city I have ever seen, and having 
made the acquaintance of Judge Miller, one of the principal 
citizens in the state, we spent a day with him in procuring addi- 
tional information concerning the interior. Our plans were all 
finished and we were to have left the next morning for Madison 
and the Fox River country where the majority of these people 
reside. But the dispatch came and I was under the necessity 
of bidding adieu to Prof. Reynolds, who continued on alone 
with as sad a heart as mine. 

"Now that I am once more safely at home, I can look back 
and see that all things have been arranged wisely and well. 
Had I not left Pittsburg when I did, Reynolds would certainly 
not have visited these regions and the attention of the church 
in the United States would not have been directed to these 
interesting people.. It was high time to do something for them 
and a little longer delay would have been most ruinous to all 
our efforts in their behalf as our reports will show. Though my 
journey was cut off so suddenly, it was still an exceedingly in- 
teresting and pleasant tour, and I have returned home greatly 
renewed in health and spirits. Though I have seen so little of 



AMONG SCANDINAVIANS AND GERMANS. 211 

the West, I trust this little will enable me to labor in the 
Missionary with new life and energy in its behalf and stir up 
the sluggish current of our Zion in the East to a proper sense 
of the importance of action and prayer for the West." 

He writes a full account of this memorable and apostolic 
journey in the Missionary. He describes most accurately the 
, Norwegian and Swedish settlements in Illinois and Wisconsin 
with his own estimate of the men who labored there. He seems 
to grasp the situation intuitively, and in many instances under- 
stands the field and the material better than the Scandinavians 
themselves did. We could fill pages from this interesting story. 
Lack of space forbids. We select only the account of Chicago 
and the dangers and difficulties of its early Lutherans. 

Chicago — "Here, the Scandinavian population is esti- 
mated at about eight hundred to one thousand, two hundred of 
whom may be Swedes. The Rev. P. Anderson, a member of 
the Franckean Synod, is pastor of the interesting Norwegian 
congregation in this place. They own a neat and comfortable 
frame church, and are evidently walking in the fear of the 
Lord and the comfort of the Holy Ghost. It is enough for us 
to know, and to state for the information of the church and of 
the public, that brother Anderson firmly holds the doctrines of 
the church set forth in the Augsburg Confession; and that he 
instructs his people in the Vf ord of God as thus explained ; like- 
wise using Luther's Small Catechism and Pontoppidan's Ex- 
position, for the instruction of the youth and others seeking ad- 
mission into his church. We could have wished that more of 
the usages of the Norwegian Church had been retained in their 
worship, but rejoice that we found so m.uch to commend in their 
religious services. That he is laboring faithfully and success- 
fully and with the most cheering evidences of divine presence 
and blessing, we are well assured. His church is filled with an 
attentive audience, many of whom testify by their purity of 
life to the soundness of their faith. The church now numbers 
about one hundred and seventy communicants, with a congre- 
gation of about three hundred persons; and gentlemen of in- 
telligence not connected with it have assured us that the in- 
fluence exerted by ]\Ir. Anderson over the Norwegian popu- 
lation, generally, is of the most salutary character. In fact, 
the most superficial observer cannot but be struck with the 
manifest improvement and progress of the members of this con- 
gregation, in the outward decencies and comforts of life, which 



212 TEE LIFE OF Tf. A. PASSAT ANT. 

we take to be an incidental result, if not a jirimary desigm, in 
the promulgation of the gospel. 'The tree is known by its 
fruits.' The influence of this church upon the Scandinavian 
population cannot but be great. It stands at the door by which 
the great body of those taking up their residence in Illinois, 
enter the country. It at once extends to them the hand of 
brotherly love and Christian kindness; it gathers them in from 
the vessels by which they arrive; turns away their feet from 
the places of temptation to the house of God; and serves as a 
bond of connection between this place and the new home wher- 
ever they may be settled. Its labors cannot but tell powerfully 
upon the religious interest of a large part of our Norwegian 
immigrants. For these reasons, it is obviously of the highest 
importance that this church should be efficiently sustained, and 
that it should attain such a high standard of Christian character 
and activity, that the whole Scandinavian population should 
unite in it. 

"In addition to this, there is another Scandinavian church 
under the care of a Rev. Mr. Unonius. This is a very neat edifice 
not quite finished, and capable of containing perhaps three 
hundred people, though there were not half that number pres- 
ent. Mr. Unonius is a Swede but the services were in Norwegian 
or Danish. The liturgj', especially the baptismal service, which 
is used for the baptism of an infant, seemed to be a mixture 
of the Danish Liturgy and that of the Church of England. 
The parents are required at the close to 'Bring this child, when 
of a suitable age, to the Bishop to be confirmed,' a thing un- 
kno'mi in our Lutheran churches, where the rite of confirmation 
is performed by the pastor and not by the bishop. It was in- 
teresting and delightful to one accustomed to the glorious Ininns 
of the German Lutheran church, to find these in a very fair 
Danish translation, and to hear them sung to their original and 
appropriate melodies. We were also informed by the pastor, 
that he used Luther's Small Catechism, and the excellent Ex- 
position of it prepared by Pontoppidan, in the instruction of 
the children of the congregation. This and the ceremonies gen- 
erally, are sufficiently Lutheran, and had Ave looked no further, 
and known no more, we might have thought ourselves among 
genuine Lutherans. But several hours' conversation with ]Mr. 
Unonius, and a printed sheet which he had published in the 
name of his congregation, presents the subject in a very differ- 
ent Light, and makes his position and that of his people quite 



AMOXG SCAXDIXAVIAXS AXD GERMANS. 213 

unique. ]\Ir. Unonius is not a Lutheran but an Episcopalian, 
never having been a elero:;s'man in the Lutheran Church, but or- 
dained by an Episcopal bishop in this countfy, and regularly 
enrolled as a member of the diocese of Illinois. Nor is his 
church in connection with any Lutheran body in this or any 
other country. Of course, Mr. Unonius having subscribed to 
the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England, and re- 
ceived the Canons and Constitutions of the Episcopal Church 
in the United States, thus rejects the Augsburg Confession and 
other symbolical books of the Lutheran Church, and can in no 
way be regarded as a Lutheran. Notwithstanding all this, he 
thus expresses himself in an address, ' (Negle Ord til de Scandi- 
na\'ianske Udvandue i Chigago),' which was some time since in- 
dustriously circulated among the Scandinavians in Chicago : 

'Among all the numerous religious associations, which here 
surround us upon all sides, the Protestant Episcopal Church 
is the only one that answers to the church in our native land. 
Both these churches are real (living) branches upon the holy 
catholic, which is 'built upon the foundation of the Apostles and 
prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone : ' they ori- 
ginate not from any human authority or right, but from God 
himself. . . . ! In one word, in the Protestant Episcopal Church 
in America, although bearing a different name from the Church 
in our native land, we still believe that we find the character, 
doctrine and faith of the former, — ^the Lutheran church. It is 
not so with any other Church in this country, by what name 
soever it may be called.' 

"In reference to this exposition of the principles of 'St. 
Ansgarius Church, ' as the society over which Rev. Unonius pre- 
sides is called, we scarcely know whether to be more filled with 
pity and compassion at the ignorance that it displays or aston- 
ished at the boldness and recklessness of its charges against the 
Lutheran Church in America. We consequently felt it to be 
our duty, both in a public meeting of Scandinavians in Rev. 
Anderson's church, and in a communication over our signatures 
in the 'Prairie Herald,' to expose the flimsy sophistry of these 
assertions, and to place such a method of procedure in its true 
light before our brethren. "While St. Ansgarius congregation 
is bv its constitution, an 'Evangelical Lutheran' church, using 
the Lutheran h^nnn book and Liturgj- of their native land, ad- 
hering to the Augsburg Confession, and their children are in- 
structed in 'Luther's Small Catechism,' it is in law, an Epis- 



214 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT, 

copal church and is so represented in the conventions of the 
diocese of Illinois. A Lutheran clergyman could never become 
the pastor of this Lutheran church ! "We cannot believe that the 
Episcopal church in this country, will, when it understands it, 
approve of the course pursued by Mr. Unonius, who is in fact 
establishing an Episcopal church among our Norwegian 
brethren, under the baseless pretense of its identity with the 
Lutheran church of Norway and Sweden. Leaving orthodoxy 
out of the question, we ask whether any honest or honorable 
man, who is not self-deceived, can approve of such a course 
or procedure? We do not for a moment question the right of 
our Episcopalian brethren to exert themselves in m.aking pros- 
elytes out of the members of our Norwegian or Swedish, or 
any other of our churches, but we cannot bring ourselves to be- 
lieve that they can approve of this mcde of effecting the work. 
"A most important inquiry now addresses itself to our Ame- 
rican Church, in view of this large and increasing population of 
Scandinavians, who are making their home in this New World. 
It is the interesting question, what is our duty to these, our 
brethren in the common faith? Here are vast interests, physical, 
intellectual, and spiritual, which dare not longer be neglected. 
The church should recognize her responsibility, and joyfully 
and earnestly labor for their welfare. We may thus briefly 
designate the work that ought to be done, — 

1. The Church should extend her sympathies and prayers 
to these brethren. In this holy cause, all can bear a part. Our 
editors and pastors especially, can contribute much to this end, 
by the dissemination of the information concerning the wants 
of these interesting strangers. The whole church should remem- 
ber them in her social and public prayers. 

2. A few tracts in Norwegian and Swedish, suited to the 
circumstances and wants of these immigrants, to be circulated 
among them at New York and other sea, ports, on their arrival 
in this country are needed. 

3. A missionary chaplain conversant with both these 
languages, should be stationed at New York city, to labor among 
these immigrants and the Scandinavian seamen, Avho, in great 
numbers, frequent that port. We earnestly commend this sub- 
ject to the attention of our different missionary societies as one 
of primary importance. 

4. Our educational societies and colleges should encourage 
the education of young men who can preach the Gospel in Eng- 



AMONG SCANDINAVIANS AND GERMANS. 215 

lish, as well as in their native languages. As a means to this 
end, the importance of endowing a professorship of Scandinav- 
ian literature, in some of our institutions, cannot be over- 
estimated. 

If at all practicable, all our Norwegian and Swedish min- 
isters and churches should unite in the organization of a Scan- 
dinavian Synod. The interests of these people imperatively 
demand the existence of such a Synod. It would be a center of 
unity, effort and influence to this entire population, and under 
God, could not fail of producing the most happy results. 

5. The importance of this field of labor to our American 
Zion is immense. These immigrants occupy a vast body of the 
most fertile and beautiful land in the United States. With our 
German brethren they will form the great mass of the popu- 
lation in Wisconsin and Illinois. Now is the time to lay deep 
and broad the foundation of the churches in the northwest." 

Mr. Esbjorn was highly gratified with this report in the 
Missionary. The following extract from a letter to Mr. Passa- 
vant shows not only his own gratitude but it shows incidentally 
also how the crafty Episcopalians had deceived and inveigled 
the great and guileless Lutheran singer, Jennie Lind: 

"Your 'report' in the Missionary has given me much pleas- 
ure and much information. I intend to send that number to 
the Swedish Missionary Society at Stockholm, Sweden, and will 
thus lose my own copy. I therefore beg you to do me the great 
favor to send me another copy of number ten for my own use. 
I feel also very anxious that Miss Jennie Lind should very soon 
have a copy of the same number ten. I dare, therefore, to beg 
you too, to send a copy by mail to Rev. Dr. Robert Baird, New 
York, (to whom I write today about it) unless you think you 
may directly send it to Miss Lind. But she will rather read it, 
if she gets it from his hand. I sent a letter of request to her 
through him before she arrived in New York, but it looks as if 
she had not given it much attention. Mr. Unonius came per- 
sonally and got one thousand dollars for his amphibious church. 
Now another letter is forwarded to her in which the above men- 
tioned report is quoted. At present, I am busy in writing to the 
Norwegian ministers of all colors about forming a Scandinavian 
Lutheran Synod. May God in His grace enable us to build up 
His Kingdom and destroy the power of the devil among our 
countrymen ! ' ' 



216 THE LIFE OF IF. A. PASSAVANT. 

The above reference of Mr. Passavant to the Kev. Mr. 
Unonius brinfjs to light an important movement and crisis in 
the Scandinavian Lutheran Church of Chicago. The smooth 
and bland Episcopalians had succeeded in gaining over Unonius 
a Swede, and also a Norwegian student, and had Episeopally 
ordained them. These young men had thus become full-fledged 
Episcopal rectors and were enrolled among the clergy as mem- 
bers of the diocese of Illinois. It w^as the intention to use these 
renegade Lutherans to entice other Lutherans into the Episcopal 
fold. 

The Chicago Lutherans had been unfortunate in having a 
disreputable character, named Schmidt, as their first minister. 
His career was short, but long enough to divide the Lutherans 
into two hostile factions. One became embittered against Schmidt 
and, as is so often the case, vented its hatred not only against 
him but against the Lutheran Church. Of this misfortune and 
disaffection, the Episcopalians took advantage and sent Unonius 
to Chicago to missionate among the dissatisfied ones. He gath- 
ered a little congregation mainly out of this element, called it 
St. Ansgar's Evangelicjil Lutheran Church, palmed himself off 
for a Lutheran and made his deluded followers believe that they 
alone were the genuine and true Lutherans. 

The visit of Mr. Passavant and Reynolds was very oppor- 
tune. They exposed the whole situation. Through the 
papers and hy public and private announcemt-nts, they 
invited all who were interested to come and hear the 
whole matter openly discussed in Mr. Anderson's church. 
For three days there was a public discussion in the church in 
which a number of Episcopalians besides Unonius took part. It 
is needless to say that the Scandinavians of the city had their 
eyes opened. The schemes of the Episcopalians were laid bare 
and brought to naught and many of those who had been be- 
guiled came back from the fold of Unonius into the Lutheran 
church. 

Prof. Reynolds showed himself especially able in this dis- 
cussion. "With his large historical learning, he exposed and dis- 
proved the fallacies and baseless assertions of the Episcopalians. 
The history of the Lutheran church in Chicago might have been 
much sadder than it is, had not Passavant and Reynolds come 
to its rescue. St. Ansgarius church still exists as the lone repre- 
sentative of Scandinavian Episcopalianism. It has led a pre- 



AMONG SCANDINAVIANS AND GERMANS. 217 

carious life, while there are a half hundred strong Scandinavian 
Lutheran Churches in the city and suburbs. 

On this matter of proselytism, Mr. Esbjorn writes to Mr. 
Passavant : 

"It is a sad spectacle to see several denominations in this 
country run a race to get the 'simple-hearted Scandinavians' 
into their societies, rather for the purpose of giving numerical 
strength to themselves than of laboring for conversion and true 
life in God. If they get one Swede or Norwegian into their 
communion, they seem not to care that a hundred will perish 
by the distraction and the hesitation that sach a course undoubt- 
edly will create. A Christian minister of high standing of the 
Congregational Calvinistic Church who formerly resided in 
Chicago, once said to me: 'I would not wish that the Swedes 
should be turned over to any other denomination, not even to 
my own ; because it is certain that if a true Christian Lutheran 
Church be organized among them, that will operate most effect- 
ually upon all Swedes to come, yea, it will, also, in a salutary 
way, react upon the Church in ^our home ; but if they turn over 
to other denominations, such a course will produce prejudices 
on the whole and do but little- good. ' Oh ! that such sentiments 
might prevail among the foreign denominations that are now so 
busy to separate the Swedes and the Norwegians. Oh ! that they 
were as anxious for building up the Kingdom of God among 
them, as for forming them in accordance with new ' Constitutions 
and Canons! Oh! that these persons that undertake to form 
churches had better motives than that 'the temporal happiness 
and freedom, cannot be obtained, secured and really enjoyed' 
without religion ! ' ' 

In 1851, two Norwegian church papers were started in 
Chicago, one by the Pastors Preuss, Stub and Clausen and the 
other by Pastor Hatlestad. Mr. Passavant gave both papers a 
hearty welcome and offered that if any one would send him 
fifty subscribers for the Missio7iary, he would send the twenty- 
five dollars to the two Norwegian editors to be used for the free 
distribution of their papers among those who were too poor to 
pay for them. In the same year he arranged a collecting tour 
for Pastor Esbjorn in the East and assisted him through the 
Missionary, by letters, and by personal efforts. He also made an 
earnest and eloquent plea on the duties of the whole church to 
the scattered Germans. 

The Observer had published this statement : 



218 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

"A respectable writer, who knows as much about the state 
of Europe as any man living, says there are twenty thousand 
Lutheran ministers in Germany, of whom, in the judgment of 
charity, there are not two thousand who even profess to have 
faith in the Lord Jesus ! The Congregational Journal asks. Are 
these the men to teach our ministers and theological students 
the interpretation of the Scriptures and Christian doctrine?" 

This roused Mr. Passavant's righteous indignation and he 
devoted a column to chiding the Observer, defending the Ger- 
mans, and lamenting the evil influences of the State over the 
Church in every land where these were united. He ends up 
with these glowing words : 

"No Church ever did, or ever could, preserve its purity 
in connection with the State. The alliance of the Church with 
a worldly power, is like the embrace of a living man with a 
corpse : foot to foot, arm to arm, face to face, corruption to life, 
would not be more terrible and fatal than such a union. Who 
shall deliver the church from the body of this death? Christ 
has not forsaken His Church. There is yet hope, 'I thank God, 
through Jesus Christ our Lord'." 

When the Rev. Mr. Hasselquist arrived, Mr. Passavant 
warmly welcomed him, introduced him to the Rev. Paul Ander- 
son of Chicago, and advised their co-operation. These two 
brethren together organized the First Swedish Lutheran Church' 
in Chicago, in 1852. For this and for the Swedish Church in 
Andover and Moline, Mr. Passavant again made a most earnest 
plea. He took up the first collection in his church in Pittsburg 
for the church in Andover. At the same time he rejoiced in 
the holding of the first Swedish conference meeting in the 
United States, held in Moline, Jan. 6-9, 1853. He also reported 
how Ole Bull, the famous Norwegian violinist, who was a Luth- 
eran, had contributed towards the building of Paul Anderson's 
church. 

Speaking of some hypocritical proselyters, Mr. Passavant 
shows his righteous indignation and incidentally brings in Ole 
Bull again: 

"It requires a large share of grace, and more than an 
ordinary stock of good nature, to keep one's peace, when read- 
ing in our exchanges all that is said about the poor, cold, dead 
Lutheran church of Europe and the LTnited States. Run-away- 
students, men of doubtful character and persons who have been 
refused admission to our synods because of their stupidity and 



AMONG SCANDINAVIANS AND GERMANS. 219 

unfitness, suddenly turn up in sister churches as evangelists and 
missionaries, and American audiences hang in ecstasy upon 
their lips, while in broken English they rehearse their pompous 
stories of the conversion of hundreds among their 'poor be- 
nighted Lutheran countrymen'! These gentlemen of immaculate 
holiness, could not remain in their own church because of its 
coldness and formality and therefore, (pious souls) left it lest 
their garments might be soiled. They find it much easier to 
play the game of deception, and live on the handsome salaries 
they receive from the great missionary societies in New York, 
than to be the obscure men they would be in their own com- 
mamion. And thus the old song is sung over again until at 
length even the unsuspecting committees, begin to suspect that 
all is not right, and that in reality, they have been shamefully 
■ humbugged all the time. 

"We are not a little amused at the account given us by Ole 
Bull, of a visit which one of these gentlemen paid to him when 
in Cincinnati a few years ago. The preacher had come all the 
way from Wisconsin, to see his distinguished countryman, and 
to procure from him a large donation for a church which he 
had commenced for his converts, but on which the sheriff was 
casting an evil eye. Although well dressed, and duly supplied 
with letters, his appearance was unfortunately against him. But 
Ole Bull heard him through, as he told his story, describing the 
dead and corrupt condition of the Lutheran Church, and warmly 
setting forth the necessity of doing something for true spirit- 
uality by paying the debt of the church which he had built for 
his converts ! Then came a lesson and a reproof from his patient 
listener, which took the sectarian all aback and made him seek 
for the door with much more celerity than he had entered it. 
The thing which excited Ole so much was, as he explained it, 
the idea that such a man, 'so gross (fleshy) a man,' should thus 
prate about spirituality, while he bore upon his very countenance 
the unmistakable marks of grossness and sensualism. 

" As a specimen of the spirit and style, in which the Lutheran 
Church is spoken of by not a few persons, take the following 
beautiful morsel, which appears in the German paper published 
by the so-called, 'United Brethren in Christ,' in Dayton, Ohio. 
It is an extract from the report of a certain 'Reverend' Bright, 
the Missionary Secretary of their Mission Board. This indi- 
vidual writes among other things, as follows : ' The American 
people, in general, are provided with a living ministry and the 



220 TEE LIFE OF TT. A. PAS8AVANT. 

pure Gospel. But this is not the case with the Germans. The 
great mass of these are Roman Catholics, Old Lutherans, and 
sceptics. They know nothing of a religion, based upon ex- 
perience; their ministers are dumb dogs, blind leaders of the 
blind, and if not delivered from their deceptions, ministers and 
people will stumble and fall into the bottomless pit.' 

"This is the old song, and the old bitter spirit of sectar- 
ianism. But we will not return railing for railing. INIay God 
forgive them, for they know not what they do." 

The Missionary also rejoiced in the resolutions of the 
Northern Illinois Synod, to which Paul Anderson and the 
Swedes at that time belonged, to establish a Scandinavian pro- 
fessorship in the college at Springfield, Illinois, and commended 
the project of sending Pastor Esbjorn to Norway and Sweden 
to collect money to endow such a chair. 

We might go on filling page after page showing not only 
the warm interest and sympathy but also the practical help that 
Mr. Passavant extended to the Germans and the Scandinavians. 
This was a trait of his character throughout life. He realized 
from the beginning that the Lutheran church is greater than 
any tongue or nationality and that the Lutheran faith is more 
important and precious than any synod or organization. 



ORPHAN WORK, 221 



CHAPTER X. 

ORPHAN WORK. 

While Mr. Passavant was extending help to the scattered 
Lutherans of the different nationalities in the west, his various 
enterprises at home were not laid aside. For many years he was 
Missionary Superintendent of the Pittsburg Synod. He traveled 
over the widely scattered regions, visited the churches and 
missions, advised, encouraged and aided everywhere. The al- 
most impassable roads and the poor accomodations of the pio- 
neers, he endured, without complaint. He was flooded with 
letters and complaints and appeals of every kind. Preachers 
and people had found him a helper in need and appealed to him 
for aid, whether in feigned or real distress. Hundreds of such 
letters lie before us. Many of them are the basest frauds ; others 
are what the Germans call "unverschaemt," and still others are 
pitiful cases of real want. No one except the good Lord and 
himself ever knew how many of these were quietly helped and 
how many were carried in his benevolent hand and heart for 
years. Not only did he do his own full share, but he also knew 
how to interest others in these private charities. By the simple 
telling of a story of want, as he alone could tell it ; by the writ- 
ing of a letter, as only he could write ; by a few lines in the 
Missionary, as he knew how to put it; he touched hearts and 
opened hands on every side. To this day, in the regions of the 
Pittsburg Synod, in different parts of the west and south, from 
Canada and from Texas, aged pastors or their widows or their 
children tell touching stories of missionary boxes and personal 
aid sent by good Mr. Passavant in the years long gone. 

His congregation, its mission branches, the Infirmary and 
the Missionary, still demanded his time, labors and prayers. 
Had he enough to do ? Yes, more than enough. His mother could 
not help warning him against taking upon himself more than 
he could bear. And yet he did take more and kept on taking 
more as long as he lived. His long and wonderful life stands 
before us as a living verification of the promise "As thy day so 
shall thy strength be. ' ' With added labors, he found added 
helpers. And here we meet another marked characteristic of the 



222 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

man — one that is generally found in every great leader. He had a 
remarkable knowledge of human nature. He understood men 
and women better than they understood themselves. He knew 
how to select his aids. He put the right helpers in the right 
places. Sometimes he missed it. He was not infallible. He 
could be deceived. But on the whole, he was wonderfully suc- 
cessful. 

We have seen how his tender heart was touched at sight of 
the Jewish Orphanage in London. The impressions of that hour 
never left him. They moved him to the starting of the Infir- 
mary. Hospital work almost necessarily demands orphan work. 
Fathers and mothers who are homeless die in the hospital. The 
orphans are left without homes or protectors. What is to be- 
come of them ? The Pittsburg Infirmary had not long been open 
before it had orphans on hand. IMr. Passavant was not the 
man to send them adrift or to throw them on doubtful charity. 

Over and over again he thought of that hour in London. 
He alludes to his perplexities and doubts in these words : ' ' The 
mind may have been filled for years with painful doubts and 
earnest inquiries. Some circumstance, seemingly trivial, may 
decide the question and decide it forever. The thought of faith 
becomes the work of faith and the labor of love. This is strik- 
ingly illustrated in the history of the Home and Farm School." 
He repeats the story of that hour in London and continues : 

"How wonderful are the ways of God in His dealings with 
men ! What we call accidents are but His wise arrangements. 
Apparent trifles are the important links in the great chain of 
causes which work out His will, and fulfill His word. Unto 
Him then, be all the glory by His church throughout all ages." 

The story of the feeble beginning of his first Orphanage, of 
the trials and triumphs of faith, as well as the statement of the 
principles on which it was founded and carried on, together 
with a portraj'al of the inner life of the Institution, Mr. Passa- 
vant has himself written. This report was read at the annual 
meeting of the directors in 1860. We give extracts from what 
he wrote, read and published: 

' ' The first donation for the Home, was a dollar, and the cir- 
cumstances which suggested it, the following. In July, 184:9, 
the Rev. Th. Fliedner, of the Deaconess Institute at Kaisers- 
werth, then on a visit to Pittsburg, was spending an evening with • 
a few friends, and warmly urged upon them the duty of mercy 
to the orphan. A German colporteur calling at the house, 



ORPHAN WORK. 223 

listened attentively to his remarks, and on retiring handed a 
dollar to one of the ministers present, with this remark, 'Here 
you have a commencement for an Orphan House.' Fully 
occupied at the time with the care of a church and the In- 
firmary, we looked to others to begin this work and three years 
elapsed before other contributions were received. "''.,.... 

The announcement of the purpose to establish an Orphan 
House, was first made in the Missionary of September, 1851. As 
a part of the history of the Institution, and an expression of 
the aims and views of its founders at that time, it is given almost 
entire : 

"A few friends in this vicinity, moved by the love of Jesus 
Christ, and the sad lot of the orphan, propose to establish a 
Home for these bereaved children. It is designed to be a Church 
Institution. AVhile none will be excluded, the orphans of the 
ministers, teachers and members of the Lutheran Church will 
have the preference in the way of admission. The faith of the 
Church, as taught in her Catechism, will be the basis of the re- 
ligious instruction imparted; and the chief aim of those who 
have charge of the Institution, will be to bring these little ones 
to the knowledge of the Redeemer. Daily instruction, daily 
prayer, and the watchful oversight of a Christian pastor, will 
be employed with a reference to this great end. In this way, 
it is hoped that many neglected orphans will be trained up in 
the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and qualified to fill 
positions of usefulness and respectability. 

' ' The friends who have undertaken this work, depend wholly 
on God for the means to erect the necessary buildings and to 
support the children. They will commence, as soon as possible, 
on a small scale, and extend and enlarge their operations as the 
need may require. All display and useless expenditure will be 
conscientiously avoided, and the contributions of Christian 
friends will go directly for the sacred purposes for which they 
may be designated. 

"Words need not be multiplied to commend such an Insti- 
tution to the sympathy of the Church. The simple fact, that 
the Lutheran church in America, with more than one million of 
population, and hundreds of thousands of immigrants from the 
Old World, has not a single asylum for her poor orphan chil- 
dren, is all that need be told. In the almshouses of our cities 



9 That minister was himself. 



224 THE LIFE OF T7. A, PASSAVANT. 

t 

and sea-ports, multitudes of forlorn orphans may be numbered 
who are growing up amid the society of paupers and wretched 
women and men; and among these how many of 'those of our 
own household' are found, whom the Church has hitherto over- 
looked with a most unnatural and cruel neglect. " 

"As early as 1850, two orphans were received, the sons of a 
clergyman from Germany who died on his arrival in this city. 
As the Home was not yet in operation, they lived in the Infir- 
mary upwards of two years, making themselves useful in various 
ways and attending the public schools. 

"Two others were admitted shortly after, the sons of a 
teacher in Switzerland, who remained for a shorter time. Suit- 
able places were procured for them, and they have since acquired 
usefvil trades, with credit to themselves and Ifonor to their em- 
ployers. The Home was organized as a separate Institution in 
April, 1852, by the appointment of Sister Louisa Marthens to 
the charge of the children. On the 15th. of that month, the 
first orphans were received, two Norwegian boys and one girl, 
brothers and sister, from Chicago, Ills. They were accompanied 
by the Rev. P. Anderson, who gave them over to the Institution 
with a pastor's fervent blessing. On the 20th of the same month, 
two German children of a very tender age, were admitted. To 
these, two of the above-mentioned boys were added, making the 
orphan family seven in number. The withdrawal of the two 
youngest children in a few weeks, and the going to a trade of 
the two larger boys, soon reduced the family to its original num- 
ber. By September of the same year, however, five other chil- 
dren had been received. One of these was committed to the 
Institution with many tears, by a father who died in the In- 
firmary. Another was brought to it by a justice of the peace, 
in consequence of the dying charge of her father, who left his 
child with his little all, to the Home. ' ' 

Many years after the foregoing report was read the writer 
of this heard Mr. Passavant tell these interesting stories of 
those early beginnings : 

One of the early consignments of children was sent from 
Philadelphia. Mr. Passavant went to the station expecting to 
meet a group of bright, clean and happy children. Instead of 
this he found them begrimed with dust of travel and bestained 
with tears. When he told them who he was, one of the larger 
girls ran up to him, threw her arms about his neck and sobbed : 




THE ORPHANS' FARM SCHOOL, ZELIENOPLE. PA. 

1854. 



ORPHAN WORK. 225 

"So you are Mr. Passavant, and you will be our father." Then 
and there, he told us, he received a new and needed lesson on 
what it means to be director of an Orphanage. Then he knew 
that he must be a father and love these desolate little ones into 
goodness and happiness. But the romance and the visions that 
his fervid imagination had pictured were gone. Orphan work, 
and all mercy work henceforth meant to him the giving of life 
and love. 

When the cholera was raging in Chicago Mr Passavant 
on a hasty trip to that city found a Swedish Pastor making 
coffins, with his own hands, for the poor among his people who 
had been cut down by the pestilence. — If we recall correctly 
this was the Rev. Father Carlson, the devoted pioneer mission- 
ary among the Swedes of Chicago. Wringing his hands he said 
to Passavant, "What shall I do with their orphaned children?" 
"Send twelve of them to my orphan's home in Pittsburg," was 
the ready reply. The twelve were sent in charge of the Nor- 
wegian Pastor, Paul Anderson. Mr. Passavant met them at the 
station and they were soon made comfortable and happy. Some 
of these became men and women of mark and all became useful 
citizens. 

"When the Home was commenced in Pittsburg, one insti- 
tution was thought to be all-sufficient. The experience of the 
first six months, however, revealed the necessity of a special 
Institution for the larger boys. The want of out-door employ- 
ment, and many other reasons, pointed to the country as the 
most suitable place for this branch of the Institution.. Accord- 
ingly, after an examination of different localities, a small farm 
joining the village of Zelienople, Butler County, Pa., was selected 
as the site of the proposed Farm School.. The land was purch- 
ased in September, 1852, from Joseph Ziegler, at sixty dollars 
per acre, and possession was obtained the following April. 
Among the reasons which led to the selection of this land, were 
its fresh .and mineral springs, its grove of noble forest trees ad- 
joining the site of the proposed building, the fertility of the 
soil, the beauty of the situation, and its seclusion from the busy 
scenes of men. The location is much admired for its quiet beauty 
and the romantic scenery by which it is surrounded. It is alike 
accessible from the east and west and from the north and south, 
being but 28 miles from Pittsburg and ten from Rochester Sta- 
tion on the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago and the Pittsburg 



226 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

and Cleveland railroads, which connect with leading western 
and southern roads. ^'^ 

It also combines the advantages of all the other places pro- 
posed, such as general healthfulness, good water, cheapness of 
living, access to a large city, and a surrounding community, in- 
dustrious and virtuous. 

The necessity of a suitable dwelling for the director of the 
proposed school, led to the erection of a neat and substantial 
Gothic cottage in the summer of 1853. During the year, other 
improvements were made, such as the digging of a well, the 
building of a stable, out-houses, and fences. In April, 1854, 
the Rev. G. Bassler of Middle Lancaster, Butler County, having 
been appointed to the charge of the Farm School, removed into 
the Director's house. The advantage of his presence was soon 
apparent, not only in the preparations for the erection of the 
main building, but in the improvement of the grounds, and in his 
valuable co-operation in everything relating to the interests of 
the Institution. 

In the spring of 1854, two years after the first orphans 
were admitted, the Home in the city was already crowded, and 
new applications were constantly received. It was therefore 
determined to make a commencement at the Farm School with- 
out delay. Accordingly, some rooms were rented for this pur- 
pose, in the building in Zelienople now occupied by the Aca- 
demy, and in May, 1854, eight of the larger boys from the Home 
were organized as the first family of the proposed Institution. 
The services of a worthy woman were fortunately secured; the 
most necessary furniture was procured for housekeeping, and 
with a student as an elder brother, the Institution went into 
operation. The mornings were occupied in various kinds of 
labor on the farm, and the afternoons in the exercises of the 
school room, under the Rev. A. H. Waters, who had re-com- 
menced the Academy in the village. In looking back to the first 
year in the country, the remembrance of many trying and un- 
looked-for difficulties recurs to the mind. The whole was an ex- 
periment. The experience of others was not at hand to guide 
us. The inconveniences attendant on the first trial, were un- 
usually great. The rooms occupied by the Institution were so 
small, that the boys had to sleep in the garret both during the 
summer and winter. And the entire failure of the gardens and 



10 The B. & O. E. K. now passes through the town. 



ORPHAN WORK. 227 

crops by the excessive drought, not only made their labor in 
vain, but rendered it necessary to bring most of the provisions 
and flour from a distance and at a great expense. Some of the 
experiences of this period were as amusing as they were try- 
ing, but all the difficulties incident to the new undertaking were 
met by a cheerful faith, which turned the gloomy shadows into 
sunshine, and looked forward to a better day. 

The erection of the principal building at the Farm School 
was the great event in its history. It was originally designed 
to build a number of cottages for orphan-families of from ten 
to twelve children, but on mature reflection, and for reasons 
which need not here be detailed, it was finally decided first to 
erect the main building, which would contain the necessary 
offices, school, work and dining rooms, with kitchen for the 
whole Institution, and sleeping apartments for sixty or eighty 
children. Accordingly, in the spring of 1854, the ground was 
broken, and preparations made for the new edifice. By July 
the foundation had been finished, with the exception of the 
range work, which was rapidly approaching completion 

The work was vigorously prosecuted. At an early hour 
every day, between thirty and forty men, before going forth to 
their toil, met in the woodshed, and united with the Director 
in prayer to God, that He would bless the labor of their hands 
and give the Institution its daily bread. Seldom, perhaps, was 
there more unity of purpose and heartiness of will among work- 
men. Though none could be poorer than the Institution, the 
men were paid with a promptitude to which most had been 
strangers. It was a frequent remark among many, that they had 
never before received their wages with so much regularity. Not 
only were friends raised up to contribute out of their abundance 
and their poverty to the advancing work, but others kindly 
brought money and loaned it to us without security. Others, 
who had furnished materials and labor, allowed their account 
to stand until it became convenient to pay. Notwithstanding 
the heavy outlay, there was no interruption, and by the end of 
November the building was roofed and enclosed Avithout injury 
or accident. The year 1854 was thus happily closed and the 
following entry made in the journal of the Institution: 

'Hitherto Hath The Lord Helped Us.' 

With this utterance of gratitude we desire to close the 
year. It would be deeply sinful not to bless the name of God, 



228 THE LIFE OF W. A. PA8SAVANT. 

who hath done ■wonderful things for us and crowned the year 
with His goodness. "With a leeord of hourly mercies and daily 
deliverance have not the two Institutions experienced ! The 
officers, teachers, children, spared in the midst of contagion and 
death, their daily bread supplied in the midst of general want, 
the wisdom and counsel of the Highest bestowed in our ig- 
norance and inexperience, the necessary means furnished by 
gifts and loans, in every time of need, preservation from loss 
of life and limb to those engaged on the building, and to the 
edifice itself protection from fire and lightning and storm. 
Again and again have we been taught the lesson, that 'except 
the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it.' And 
now, in the review of the trials and deliverances of the past 
year, we desire, not with words merely, but from the heart to 
say: 'Not unto us, not unto us, but unto Thy name, Oh Lord, 
give glory and praise.' 

During the two preceding years, the labors connected with 
the orphan work, w^ere, to a great extent, free from pecuniary 
anxiety. The number of children in both Institutions had in- 
deed increased to twenty-four by the beginning of 1855, but the 
means for their support were generously supplied by a sym- 
pathizing Church. Through the accumulation of previous years 
and a few special efiPorts, the cost of the Farm, the Director's 
house and other improvements, was met without difficulty, 
and on the first of April, 185-1, the last obligation was paid. 

It is indeed true, that only 75 cents remained in the treasury 
after this was done. To stand still, however, seemed impossible. 
The call to go forward appeared as from heaven. The con- 
tracts were therefore made for the main building, nothing 
doubting that the Lord would provide. Looking back, in cold 
blood, upon this step, we acknowledge that our course seems 
presumptuous and indefensible. But, then, we could not so 
regard it. The duty of large and immediate action appeared 
clear as the sun in the heavens. The ability of the Church for 
such a work, and the power of God to move the heart, unhoard 
the wealth, and prompt to generous charity, could not be 
doubted. The concurrence of many favoring circumstances, 
and the voluntary offerings of the benevolent, together with 
the painful and increasing want of a suitable dwelling for the 
orphans, made the call to go forward irresistible 

Scarcely had the corner-stone of the Farm School been 
laid, when the springing crops withered away before the 



ORPHAN WORK. 229 

drought. What the heat did not destroy, clouds of grasshoppers 
consumed. In many places, the cattle perished in the fields. 
Flour rose from five dollars a barrel to twelve. Labor, build- 
ing materials and food of -every kind, advanced in proportion. 
But the work could not stop with unfinished walls. At any 
price, the building must be inclosed. 

On the 14th of September, the cholera broke out in Pitts- 
burg with awful virulence. In a fortnight, nearly a thousand 
persons were numbered with the dead. The wards of the In- 
firmary were crowded with the sick. Among the victims of 
the plague, were many helpless orphans, whole families of 
whom were received into the Home and Farm School. By this 
visitation, the expenses were greatly increased at the time of 
painful embarrassment. 

A few months later came the financial crisis. Men's hearts 
failed them with fear. Strong houses were crushed by the storm. 
Others shook to their foundations. Among these, were generous 
friends of the orphan enterprise. Some of the largest subscrip- 
tions were thus lost, but the obligations which had been assumed 
in reliance on them, remained, and only after years of anxiety 
and trial, could they be finally paid. 

These were but the beginnings of sorrows. The embarrass- 
ments of the country were passing away, when the financial 
crisis of 1857 caused a panic and revulsion throughout the 
world. The voluntary loans which had been made to the In- 
stitution in prosperous times, were now called in. Some of 
them were from widows, and others from business men, and 
could not be withheld, and yet, w^hile the orphan family was 
rapidly increasing, the contributions, in consequence of the 
panic, fell off by one half. All the banks were closed. Confi- 
dence between man and man was almost gone. There was re- 
lief nowhere but with God. The struggles and pleadings of 
that dark year are known only to Him. But here was 'The 
anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast, and which entereth 
into that within the veil. ' 

At its commencement the Home was without Constitution 
or Eules. Perfect freedom, in the way of providential develop- 
ment, was felt to be a necessity. Its plan was based upon the 
idea of a Christian home; but to develop that idea in an 
orphan institution, is a work of time and difficulty. The absence 
of the home feature, in many existing orphan asylums, was 
painfully apparent in the very looks of the children and in all 



230 THE LIFE OF W. A. PA8SAVANT. 

the internal arrangements; but to supply this want and give 
the Institution, as far as possible, the character of that divine 
society, where God has set the solitary into families, has been 
the cause of continued thought, anxiety and effort. In ad- 
dition to this, and in immediate connection with it, other issues 
were from time to time presented, which could be met only 
after a patient examination of all the circumstances in the case, 
and the application to them of the teachings of Christ. While 
perfection has not been attained, nor even the full measure of 
truth in its relation to these and to the general principles of 
the Institution, they are given as the results of our experience, 
after eight years of patient trial, and earnest prayer for the 
divine guidance. 

Children Received, w^ithout Reference to the Religious 

Faith of Their Parents. 

In the appeal first sent forth, it was stated that while none 
would be excluded, the orphans of the pastors, teachers and 
members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church would have the 
precedence in the way of admission. The institution having 
been at first designed mainly for the orphans of the Lutheran 
Church, such a precedence was thought to be necessary and 
proper. The teachings of Christ and of experience, however, 
have swept away this slight restriction. It was early seen that 
Christian mercy is infinitely above all denominational distinc- 
tions. It is based on the fact that Christ comes to us in the per- 
son of the orphan, and that whoso receiveth one such little 
child, in His name, receiveth Him. This principle settled, the 
Institution was at once placed on a purely Christian founda- 
tion. The children were received "in His name," and all lower 
motives were discarded. From that moment, they were loved 
and cared for because they were His. All doubt, too, in regard 
to their support, instantly ceased. God became the father of 
the fatherless. Our children ceased to be ours, and became vir- 
tually His; and the resources of the universe were all pledged 
for their maintenance. 

Entire Orphans Alone Received. 

In no respect has the plan of the Institution been so ma- 
terially modified, as on this point. The first children were, 
with few exceptions, half-orphans, and had the rules then been 
framed, provision would have been made for their continued 



ORPHAN WORK. 231 

reception. It was sincerely desired to be helpful to many 
struggling widows in the support of their needy little ones. Ac- 
cordingly, children of this class were freely admitted for several 
years, and only after an experience the most painful and dis- 
couraging, was this reluctantly discontinued. The chief diffi- 
culty arose from the plan of the Institution as a Home. The 
heart of the home, is the parental relation. In the case of most 
half-orphans, the Institution could not take the parent's place. 
There were virtually two parents, the one without and the other 
within. Our efforts to exercise proper discipline over the children 
failed. In several instances, this led to a conflict of authority, 
and between the two, obedience was broken down. To the 
natural love of the mother, was often added an undue tender- 
ness because of orphanage, which made the government of the 
children and the correction of evil habits well-nigh impossible. 

Other serious difficulties gradually manifested themselves. 
The changing circumstances of the surviving parent, often 
made the children comers and goers. Instead of a home, the 
Institution became a house-of-call. Nothing permanent could 
be done, in the way of Christian nurture and education. The 
very objects of the Institution were in danger of being defeated, 
in the effort to attain them. There was reason to fear that, not- 
withstanding the precautions taken, it would be largely used for 
convenience, rather than charity, and that the thriftless and 
undeserving would impose their offspring upon it, to the ex- 
clusion of those who were orphans indeed. The trial made was 
sufficiently discouraging. In several other cases, the interference 
of the parent was so constant and annoying, that the children 
could not be retained. 

The final result, was the adoption of a rule admitting 
none but full orphans. Ordinarily, they are the most destitute. 
The Institution becomes their home. Its officers sustain to them 
the relation of parents, and they stand to them more in the po- 
sition of children. There is no conflict of authority or of control 
in their case. They are more easily governed and taught in 
.' the way they should go. ' There is a greater measure of charity 
in their reception, and a larger promise of future good to the 
orphan. 

The Children to Be Legally Indentured to the Institution, 

The necessity for such a provision was early apparent. In 
its absence, their stay was dependent on the whims of child- 



232 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PA88AVAXT. 

hood or the caprice of officious friends. To do the children 
justice, it was soon felt that their entire control was indispensable. 
In this respect, the Institution must stand to them fully in the 
place of their parents. It is true, the carrying out of this 
arrangement imposes very responsible legal obligations on the 
officers, but in no other way could the necessary control be se- 
cured. If it is thought that such an authority over the children 
ought not to be required, we reply, that this arrangement is 
universal in all other Orphan Houses, and that in one organized 
on the plan of our Home, it is indispensable to its very existence. 
In all cases, then, where orphans are received they must be 
legally indentured by their friends, the Court, or the Guardians 
of the Poor. In this way alone can they be adopted into its 
family, enjoy its support, protection and counsel, and receive 
the legal pledge of a proper training in such branches of reli- 
gious, secular and mechanical knowledge as will qualify them for 
usefulness and respectability in after life. 

The Children to Remain until of Age. 

It is this feature which presents the greatest attractions 
and the most repulsions to different minds. This, likewise, 
distinguishes the plan of the Home from that of other Orphan 
Asylums. A brief explanation of the reasons which led to its 
adoption, therefore, will not be without interest. 

In calling the Institution "The Home," it was earnestly 
desired to make it a home, in the best sense of that word. It 
was felt, that the Church owed a home to her destitute orphans, 
and that any provision for their welfare short of this, would not 
meet their wants, nor yet fulfill her duty to the fatherless. It 
only remained to comprehend the nature of the home, and to 
give to the Institution, as much as possible, such a character. 
A temporary asylum or retreat, would not be home. The idea 
of permanence, as well as of parentage, is inseparable from it. 
All feel the sacredness of the spot men call their home, the cradle 
of their childhood, the scene of joyous youth, and the cherished 
abode, toAvard which the thoughts wander back in after life. 
To provide such a home for his offspring, is the aim of eveiy 
right-minded man. He would gather around it the adornments 
of taste, and dignify it with the supports of knowledge, virtue 
and religion. Under its benign influences, he fondly hopes to 
rear his children, and not until they are prepared for the change, 
are they sent forth from the parental roof, to struggle with the 



ORPHAN WORK. 233 

realities of life. Even then, a father's blessing and a mother's 
love follow them, and the sacred endearments of home become 
a guidance and defense, amid the duties and temptations of 
life. Such a home the Church should give to her orphan mem- 
bers. She must be a father to the fatherless, and in the erections 
of her charity, the Christian Home, where their infancy and 
youth may be guarded and sanctified by the word and by 
prayer, must not be forgotten. Around it should taste gather 
its attractions, and purity and love make all beauteous with- 
in. Though not their first dear home, it must yet be the home 
of holy affection and tender solicitude and watchful oversight; 
and when the appointed hour of departure comes, with the bless- 
ing of her pastors and teachers, will these youthful ones go forth, 
prepared for the appointed duties of life. From thence, as from 
a home, must go out the directing influence to govern their 
course; and to it, as to a home, should the heart of the orphan 
turn, as to the one loved spot around which are clustered the 
holiest remembrances of life. 

With, such a view of the Church's duty to the fatherless, 
it will be understood why the children are retained in the In- 
stitution, instead of being bound out in early years. While it is 
conceded, that no Institution is to be compared to a well-regu- 
lated Christian family as a home for the orphan, experience has 
fully proved that those who are least qualified to assume the 
responsibilities of - foster-parents, are often the most ready to 
do so. The result is painfully manifest in the history of many 
orphan children. Notwithstanding the carefulness of Managers 
and friends, scarcely one in five, thus put out, finds a suitable 
and really Christian Home. We know this from the testimony 
of others and from personal observation. Not a few of the 
children in the Home, had already been in from two to five 
families. In several instances there was gross and shocking 
abuse. In most cases, the children had been received not from 
principle but for convenience, and when inherent sins and neg- 
lected habits made them repulsive, they were coldly thrust 
away. In contemplating the case of such, we could not but un- 
derstand the language of a poor lad, who, when asked where he 
had been since his father died, three years before, feelingly 
answered, that he 'had been knocked about since,' while the 
scars and seams on his frail person confirmed the truth of his 
reply ! 

This provision, therefore, which gives to the orphan a per- 



234 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT, 

manent home, in which the Church has placed her pastors and 
teachers and around which her sympathies and prayers cluster, 
is the purest mercy to the fatherless. Their nurture, education 
and development are in her hands, and go on under her eye. 
Every noble trait is fostered, every talent carefully marked and 
improved, every evil tendency perseveringiy resisted, and all the 
habits of order, industry and piety diligently cultivated from 
day to day. The child has been adopted by the Institution 'for 
better or for worse' and the motives of the Gospel- and the 
obligations of the law alike bind its officers to a conscientious 
fulfillment of assumed duty. How great, in some cases, such 
a trial of faith and patience becomes, every parent will com- 
prehend; but how necessary, that when death robs the child of 
its natural protector the Church of the Redeemer should stand 
in his place and fulfill to him the offices of a faithful and self- 
denying devotion ! 

The Children to Be Carefully Instructed in Religion. 

To guard against all uncertainty on this vital point, and 
to secure for the children the benefits of a pure and positive 
faith, whatever may be the fluctuations of human opinion, or 
the decline of truth, hereafter, special legal provision is made 
that the Holy Scriptures and Luther's Smaller Catechism shall 
be daily taught in their integrity by all who are employed as 
directors or teachers in these Institutions. The Church owes it 
to her orphan members to guard them against the perils of 
error and to instruct them thoroughly in the doctrine and 
duties of her Evangelical faith. Such instruction, is the richest 
blessing she can confer upon them, and time and experience 
alone will fully demonstrate the wisdom and mercy of this pro- 
vision. In the spirit of the principle involved in this arrange- 
ment, the children, with their teachers, attend the regular ser- 
vices of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. As one of the re- 
sults of this familiarity with the Word of God, we record with 
gratitude the interesting fact, that the majority of the boys now 
at their trades, have of their own accord "witnessed the good 
confession," and are consistent members of the Church. 

Children Not Admitted above a Certain Age, Nor Those 

OF Vicious Habits. 

It has been fully demonstrated by the experience of both 
Institutions, that children who are more than ten years of age 
cannot be received with advantage to the other inmates, unless 



ORPHAN WORK. 235 

in very special cases. In most instances, the habits have be- 
come so fixed and the characters so developed under unfavorable 
circumstances, that it is a work of the greatest difficulty to cre- 
ate in them the spirit of true obedience, or impart to them 
that home-feeling, without which they become restive and im- 
patient of restraint. The earlier, therefore, children are placed in 
the Institution, the more certain are they to grow up in all 
the habits of obedience, industry and virtue. 

Nor are orphans of vicious character and corrupt habits 
received into the Institutions. A fair trial has been made with 
such unfortunates, but the injury inflicted upon the other chil- 
dren more than counterbalanced the good done to them. The 
influence for evil which one depraved child may exert upon a 
whole family, no tongue of man can utter and the officers are 
unwilling to imperil the principles and morals of the children 
by the admission of those who are proper subjects for a house 
of correction. The demands of some persons in behalf of such 
children are in the highest degree unjust and unreasonable. The 
Institution is not a prison for old offenders, nor a house of 
correction for youthful criminals. The same principle which 
separates them from the family, excludes them from the Home. 

For the same reason, those orphans are not admitted who 
are suffering from diseases, which would injuriously affect the 
health of the other children. Sympathy for their wretchedness 
must not inflict their misery upon the rest. Other modes and 
places of living must be sought, where they may be taken in 
without peril to others. 

Such are some of the leading results to which the Insti- 
tutions have been brought by the practical working of the 
past eight years. They differ materially from the details of 
the original plan, and have been gradually reached over pre- 
viously formed opinions and efforts, to bring about a different 
result. On this account they are more reliable, as they are not 
theories but the teachings of experience, gained in the difficult 
school of trial and tested by the operation of years 

In seeking to restore to our orphans a home, the idea of 
the family relation is constantly kept in view. At the home in 
the city, owing to the peculiar character of the building occu- 
pied and for other causes, the children are not divided but con- 
stitute a single family, under the supervision of two of the 
Deaconesses. At the Farm School however, there is an approxi- 
mation at least toward a 'family system' of the Rough House 



236 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

near Hamburg. The boys are classified into families of from 
ten to fifteen each and are placed under the special care of 
young men of approved Christian character to sustain to them 
the relation of elder brothers. 

Music and good singing we consider, next to the Word of 
God, one of the best means of touching the heart of the child. 
We therefore, teach our boys to sing, and if they do not yet 
sing beautifully, they do their best, and hope to improve by 
and by. English and German hymns and songs from different 
sources among which I mention the beautiful collection of Ger- 
man songs used in the 'Rauhe Haus' of Dr. Wichern, called 
'Unsere Lieder. ' We are endeavoring to make some of these 
our own, and hope the day is not far distant when a volume 
of 'Our Songs,' printed by our boys, will be in the hands of 
many of our friends 

A lively sense of obligation to those with whom it has 
been our happiness to be more immediately associated in the 
orphan work, will not suffer us to close this report without a 
few remarks. The hand of Providence has been as plainly 
manifest, in qualifying and bringing together the required la- 
borers, as in providing the means necessary for the support of 
the Institutions. 

From the commencement of the Home, several of the 
sisters of the Deaconess Institution have devoted themselves 
wholly or in part to the care of the children, a service of toil 
and anxiety which can be appreciated only by those acquainted 
with the previous surroundings of neglected orphanage. In 
the day when that which is done in secret shall be rewarded 
openly, their labor of love and patience of hope will find a 
glorious reward, in the salvation of many a rescued child, and 
the eternal benediction of Christ himself: 'Inasmuch as ye 
have done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done it 
unto Me.' 

From the organization of the Farm School, in 1854, to 
the present time, the Rev. G. Bassler has sustained to it the 
responsible relation of Director and has resided in the Di- 
rector's house, adjoining the main building. To his fidelity, 
practical tact, and self-sacrifice, the Institution is largely in- 
debted, not only for its economical management but likewise 
for the good behavior and general improvement of the pupils. 
Mr. Bassler is at the same time pastor of the English Lutheran 



ORPHAN WORK. 237 

congregation in the village, the Siinday-school and church of 
which the children regularly attend. 

During the first year and a half, the duties of teacher at 
the Farm School were discharged by different persons who ap- 
peared to have been sent in the very hour of need. In No- 
vember, 1855, however, the Institution was so fortunate as to 
secure the services of J\Ir. G. C. Holls, then principal of the 
academy in Pomeroy, Ohio, as Head Master and House Father 
to the boys. Having spent several years in the celebrated 
'Rauhe Haus' of Rev. Dr. Wichern, and since then greatly 
enlarged his experience by teaching, study and travel, he 
brought with him to his new position qualifications as rare as 
they are valuable. Entering into the orphan work from prin- 
ciple, he has devoted himself to the welfare of the children 
with great assiduity and rendered the most important services 
in developing the inward life of the Institution. 

Whatever may have been the anxieties and labors of our 
position, in the general superintendence of the Institutions, 
they have assuredly not been more perplexing than the daily 
duties and cares of these, our beloved associates. Without their 
valuable aid, little could have been accomplished. The material 
structure might indeed have arisen, and the outward organiza- 
tion have been made, but the true home-life within would have 
been wanting. To these our fellow laborers is largely owing 
the measure of success which has been attained, and with pro- 
found gratitude to God we record their capacity, fidelity and 
self-sacrifice in this holy work, as among the greatest blessings 
which have been conferred upon the Institutions. 

Our sincerest acknowledgements are likewise due to Mrs. 
Rev. Bassler, Mrs. Holls, and Mrs. Gottlieb, the matron, for the 
many and valuable services which they have so cheerfully ren- 
dered to the inmates of the Farm School, and for their kind 
attention to the numerous strangers, visitors, and relatives of 
the orphans. 

We would be doing violence to our feelings, did we not, 
in conclusion, express our great indebtedness to theRev.H.Reck, 
of Pittsburg, for his generous sacrifices of time, labor and 
position in behalf of the Institutions. Though prevented until 
lately by pastoral duties, from an official connection with them, 
he has nevertheless, for the past six years, shared largely with 
us in the unavoidable toil and drudgery of this work. Recently, 
he has even resigned his church, that he might devote himself 



238 THE LIFE OF W. A .PAS SAVANT. 

more fully to the relief of the suffering and the fatherless. The 
assistance, thus rendered, which money could scarcely have 
procured, was given as cheerfully as it was bestowed gra- 
tuitously. 

"We have referred thus publicly to our associates in the 
Home and Farm School, not for vain compliment, nor yet 
merely in the way of deserved acknowledgement, but mainly to 
remove the impression that these Institutions are the result of 
individual exertion. All who have been engaged in their estab- 
lishment and care, have alike given their pains and prayers and 
toils to the common end. 

The Home and Farm School M^ere commenced under the 
clear conviction that the cause of the fatherless is "the cause of 
God. Our sole reliance was on Him, who had graciously promised 
to supply all our need through Jesus Christ. The ordinary 
modes of paid agency were therefore discarded. "Begging" 
sermons and appeals were persistently refused. Only where it 
w^as requested, was a simple statement of the objects and plans 
of the Institutions made at the close of the service or in the 
Sunday-school. Collections were seldom taken, and offerings 
were privately handed in, or wei'e sent to the Treasurer. Every 
thing was avoided which would mar the purity of Christian 
faith, or weaken the fervor of that Divine charity, which flows 
without constraint from love to God. 

Going thus forth without purse or scrip, to receive every 
indigent orphan child of the requisite age and character, the 
question may be asked, "Lacked ye anything?" After an ex- 
perience of eight years, Ave must joyfully answer, "Nothing." 
Every worthy application has been cordially welcomed. And 
yet, God has given our children bread and flesh every day, and 
water from the brook. He has provided them a house to dwell 
in, such as his ow^n dear Son had not. Every real want has 
been supplied. In the midst of scarcity and embarrassment, 
the Institutions could say with the apostle, 'as sorrowful, yet 
always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having 
nothing and yet possessing all things.' What seemed to our 
impatience, withheld or bestowed only in measure, is now 
clearly seen to have been for the highest good. It h&s taught 
the difficult lesson of dependence upon God. It has led to a 
simpler faith, and to strong crying to the Lord. It has rendered 
indispensable the strictest system and economy in the admini- 



ORPHAN WORK. 239 

stration of affairs. It has prevented indulgence, softness and 
ease among the children. It has resulted in a training, frugal, 
earnest and manly. Poverty, struggle and embarrassment have 
been a school whose, teachings have been above price 

The New Home in Germantown, Pa. 

Though not connected with the Home or Farm School, by 
any outward organization, the Home at Germantown, in some 
sense at least, may be regarded as an offshoot of these Insti- 
tutions. From their commencement, a lively interest was mani- 
fested in their welfare, by the pastor and congregation of St. 
Michael's Lutheran Church in Germantown, and a zealous band 
of ladies were associated in laboring for the support of the 
fatherless. The bread thus cast upon the waters was found 
again after many days. The relief of parentless children 
abroad awakened attention to the same class nearer home. The 
desire was repeatedly expressed by the pastor's wife, to be more 
directly engaged in the same blessed work, and eight years 
ago, a dollar was placed in her hands, as the first donation 
toward this object. Seven years passed away, during which 
she greatly desired 'to carry out in faith the thought of faith, 
which God had put into her heart. But sickness and other 
causes hindered the realization of this desire. At length God's 
time came, and every obstacle disappeared. A small house 
was rented "in the name of the Lord," the necessary furniture 
procured, and in the early part of March, 1859, Sister Louisa 
Marthens, with four orphans from the Home in this city, ar- 
rived in Germantown, and entered into the humble dwelling 
which had been selected as the cradle of the Eastern Home. In 
the short space of eight weeks, seven new orphans were re- 
ceived, and the services of a Matron having been secured, 
our sister and her little charge returned to Pittsburg. Since 
then, the progress of the new Institution has been as rapid 
as it is gratifying. The principles of the Home and Farm 
School have been adopted, and have been found, on trial, to 
meet every want. A Board of Managers, consisting of two 
ladies from each Lutheran Church in Philadelphia, with a Di- 
rectress, superintend its affairs. Thirteen orphans now com- 
pose the family, and a fourteenth has been sent to the Farm 
School at Zelienople. A small rented house has given place to 
a larger one of their own, which, with its extensive grounds 
has been purchased at a cost of seven thousand dollars and of 



240 THE LIFE OF W. A. PAS SAVANT. 

4 

which nearly two-thirds have already been paid. While we pen 
these lines, the orphans are removing into their new home. 

The Orphan House in Germantown, though not under the 
same management as the Parent Institution, is one with them 
in principles, aims and plans. No emulation exists between 
them, but to excel in being helpful to each other and to the 
fatherless. The boys of the new home, for the present, are sent 
to the Farm School, on arriving at the required age, just as they 
are transfered to it from the Home in Pittsburg. Its future 
history is with God, who hath called it into life, and whose shall 
be all the glory for its success." 

The Treasurer's report, read at the same time, closes with 
these words: "The report is earnestly submitted with the 
single remark that the important and laborious services of the 
Rev. W. A. Passavant have, from the commencement, been 
given to both Institutions without charge. He has from the be- 
ginning refused a compensation and has thus, in addition to 
his generous personal donations saved the Institution many 
thousands of dollars in salary." 

In the above interesting and full report, Mr. Passavant has 
not recounted all his trials. Doubtless among the sorest of these 
was the fact that many of those on whom he had counted for 
encouragement and support not only wavered and discouraged 
but positively opposed him. So, when about to purchase the 
first thirty acres for the Farm School, a warm and valued 
friend remonstrated: "Why Mr. Passavant, do not do it. Just 
think! flour is eleven dollars a barrel and potatoes a dollar 
and a half a barrel." "Yes, I know it," he quietly answered, 
"but God wants me to begin or He would not have sent me 
these poor children to care for. The Lord will provide." 

Probably nothing hurt him so much as the decided oppo- 
sition of his good mother. To this we shall refer later. 

Certainly, one of the most highly prized donations for the 
orphan work in those early days was a gift of twenty-five dol- 
lars sent, at the request of young Mr. Krauth's wife on her 
dying bed, by the broken-hearted husband. 

Nov. 8, 1861, a fire broke out in the building used as the 
Girl's Orphan Home in Pittsburg. While the building itself 
was saved, the contents were almost entirely ruined. This 
meant new anxieties and labors for Dr. Passavant. The event, 
however, served also to bring out anew the sympathies and 
charities of many friends. 










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ORPHAN WORK, 241 

At the opening of the new year, Mr. Bassler took upon him- 
self a considerable part of the duties which Dr. Passavant had 
hitherto performed. Mr. Eeck, at the same time, was made 
Director of the Home in the city. This took another load from 
the shoulders of Dr. Passavant. He still remained Director of 
the Deaconess Institution and of the Infirmary. He still had 
the responsibility of raising the supplies for all three Insti- 
tutions. 

In December of the same year a worse calamity than the 
one in Pittsburg befell the Farm School at Zelienople. Of this 
Mr. Passavant writes in the Christmas number of the paper: 

" 'Our holy and beautiful house' for the fatherless, the ob- 
ject of years of anxiety, toil and sacrifice and the cherished 
'home' of our orphan boys, 'is burned with fire.' The destruc- 
tion is complete. Already on the evening of the sixth the entire 
north wall, notwithstanding its great thickness, fell carrying 
with it most of the interior walls, while those that remain are so 
much injured that they cannot stand. So intense was the heat, 
that the stone foundation in certain places is burnt and broken 
up as if a battery had played upon it for hours. 

"Of the origin of the fire, nothing certain is known. The 
most probable supposition is that it was caused either by a de- 
fective flue or by too close proximity of some timber to the 
chimney through the carelessness of the masons. When first dis- 
covered at ten o'clock on the morning of the sixth, smoke and 
flame were breaking forth from the eaves of the entire roof. 
In a few moments more the cupola was in a blaze, and shortly 
after, the bell came dowTi with a fearful crash. The children 
were at the time in their family rooms, practicing singing under 
the direction of the 'Brothers, 'and were at once removed to a 
place of safety. As the wind blew a perfect gale, all hope of 
extinguishing the flre was abandoned and every effort directed 
to save the furniture, clothing, etc. on the lower stories. In 
this good work, the teachers were most nobly assisted by the 
people who came from the village and vicinity. Some of these 
even risked their lives in saving property, and ceased their 
exertions only when their retreat was cut off through the doors 
and they were obliged to escape from the burning pile through 
the windows. Their reward was the consciousness that by their 
united exertions more than half the furniture, books, clothing 
and bedding were safely brought out and that although most 
of the winter provisions and stores were unfortunately eon- 



242 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

sumed, yet that not a few valuable articles were rescued even 
at the last moment which are of essential service in this our time 
of need. 

"When all was over, the sight which was witnessed around 
the Director's house, drew tears from many eyes unused to weep. 
In the foreground were the blackened walls and smoking ruins 
of the once beautiful Farm School. The gardens and play 
grounds were covered with furniture, boxes, bedding, books and 
clothing. The Director and House father w4th their households, 
the brothers and their families of fifty-five orphans, and the 
various helpers in the work, looked sadly on the scene and 
seemed for the first time to realize their loss. The poor children 
appeared to feel it most deeply. Once before in their young life 
had they been bereaved in the loss of both parents and a home 
and now for the second time their 'home' was gone! Whither 
w^ere they now to go?What were they to do under this new and 
appalling calamity? Many wept as if their hearts would break. 
Others brushed away their tears and addressed themselves to 
the duties of the hour. In a short time, wagons were sent by 
the villagers and all were engaged in removing the scattered fur- 
niture and clothing to the neighboring barns and houses. So 
general was the sympathy felt for the children that they were 
taken into the families of the citizens and treated with great 
kindness. On Sunday morning at 8 :30 o 'clock they reported at 
the Director's house and in their weekday clothes went as usual 
two by two, to the village Sunday-school. That Sunday was 
a sorrowful one and will never be forgotten by those young 
friends. 

"Immediately after the fire, a messenger was sent to us at 
Rochester, twelve miles distant, and after church on Sunday 
morning we at once went to Zelienople. We found the friends 
weary and downcast, but after the rest of the night calm and 
hopeful. Though their 'flight was in winter,' and difficulties 
seemed to thicken around their path, we rejoiced one with 
another because of our remaining mercies. The preservation of 
life was a cause of special thanksgiving. The merciful exemption 
from all accidents was another. For the first time, we realized 
that ' the life is more than meat and the body than raiment.' 
But a cause of the most devout gratitude to God was that no 
moral calamity has befallen the Institution, no breaking down 
of principle, no denial of faith, no dying out of love to Christ 
and to those ' little ones who believe in Him. ' If we wept together, 



ORPHAN WORK. 243 

it was not tears of earthly sorrows because of the destruction of 
property or the discomforts and embarrassments of our altered 
circumstances, but tears of thankful joy that we have been to- 
gether kept by the power of God from the great moral calami- 
ties which, but for His preserving grace, might have long since 

overwhelmed both us and the work of our hands 

"The amount of our pecuniary loss by the fire, without 
counting the cost of temporary shelter and the increased ex- 
penses of living, may be set down at twenty-five thousand dol- 
lars. On this there is an insurance of ten thousand dollars, 
which it is expected will be paid after sixty days. It is very 
desirable that this sum should at once be increased to twenty-five 
thousand dollars so that preparations for enlarged accommo- 
dations may be commenced without unnecessary delay. We 
are deeply grateful for the sympathy which has already been 
manifested from various quarters and believe that with the 
divine blessing this amount can be obtained 

"In reply to the inquiries, where are the children and what are 
they doing? we would state that a number of them are yet very 
kindly entertained by the friends in the village of Zelienople, 
while the remainder are living for the time at the Academy in 
the family of Prof. Titzel and at the Director's house with the 
family of Rev. G. Bassler. The number of inmates at present, 
in the dwelling of the latter alone, is twenty-seven, and three 
several times must the table be spread at each meal in order to 
accommodate them ! We deeply sympathize with all concerned, in 
the discomforts and inconveniences of their station, but rejoice 
that they bear up nobly under this trial. The erection of the 
plank 'Barracks' goes on slowly owing to the great difficulty of 
getting workmen. The hauling of lumber twelve miles over the 
winter roads is also a difficult undertaking. So far as employ- 
ment for our boys is concerned, there Avill evidently be no lack. 
The cleaning away of the rubbish, and especially of between 
seven and eight hundred thousand brick from the walls of the 
old building, will require much time and toil. A commencement 
has been already made at this time, but after a week's work, 
it seems scarcely commenced. It is hoped that in a few days 
more several of the temporary houses will be up and that when 
the scattered children are once more arranged in their ac- 
customed family order the embarrassment will gradually cease 
to be so painfully felt. For the present, it is evident that no 
additional orphan boys can be received, the friends at Zelienople 



244 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

having their hands full of difficulties both from without and 
from within. They deserve the sympathy and co-operation of all 
good men, for the loss is most inconveniently felt in the do- 
mestic affairs of the Institution." 

On the occasion of a visit to Steubenville, Ohio, Dr. Passa- 
vant was invited to address the students of the Young Ladies 
Seminary of that place. At the close of his address, the prin- 
cipal. Rev. Mr. A. ]\I. Reed requested him to say something 
to the young ladies of his work for the orphans, which he 
did in his usual, happy way. A week later, he received this 
letter : 

''Please find enclosed my check for twenty-five dollars, the 
amount of a- collection the young ladies have made for the or- 
phans under your care. It is their own free-will offering. What 
was said has evidently reached their hearts, and they begged me 
to let them do something to help along this noble cause. This I am 
most happy to do, and now send the result. May God abund- 
antly bless you, in your efforts to ameliorate the condition of 
the poor and afflicted. In the best of bonds." 

Of the cost of keeping the Home and Farm School, he 
writes : 

"Some may be disposed to ask, have not the expenses of 
the Institution been met during the past year? "We answer 
frankly, ' Not by one half. ' If anyone is curious to know what 
it costs to keep up two institutions, with some eighty or more 
orphans, let him take a pencil and figure it out. For example, 
look at one item of food. There are on an average, at least 
three barrels of flour consumed every week, making in the course 
of a year, say, one hundred and fifty barrels! If flour costs but six 
dollars per barrel, and it is often much more, lo! here is the 
flour of nine hundred dollars ! Now, let it not be forgotten that 
man 'does not. live by bread alone,' and anyone can estimate 
the cost of clothing, shoes, feeding and schooling of such a troop 
of youngsters who have good appetites, are growing finely and, 
like all active children, are 'hard on clothes'! If anyone is 
fond of figures he can count up the donations of the past few 
weeks and he will see what proportion of the whole is gone to 
pay the flour bill alone ! We hope no one will be frightened and 
give up in despair. It is but a little thing for God, who careth 
for all, to provide for his fatherless ones. Let us rejoice that 
we are permitted to bear our part in this blessed work, and 



ORPHAN WORK. 245 

may the bread we thus cast upon the waters be found again 
after many daj^s!" 

Dr. Passavant was generally averse to soliciting State aid 
for his institutions. He wanted them supported by gifts 
prompted by love, and felt that State aid would dry up the 
fountains of true benevolence. In 1864, however, some of his 
friends secured a grant of ^5000 for the Orphans' Farm School. 
Of this he writes to Bassler: 

"You have seen by the papers that the Legislature agreed 
to give us ^5000 for the Farm School. This was wholly without 
any effort on our part and we have submitted to it as from the 
Lord. It has, however, completely stopped my subscriptions 
here. For six weeks I have not been able to ask for a dollar. 
My suggestion to you is that we appropriate this sum for the 
purchase of additional land." 

The Doctor had many encouraging and comforting compen- 
sations for his unselfish labors. Incidents like the following 
were always appreciated. They were more highly prized than 
riches or worldly honors. They brought what gold could never 
bring. Outside of the consciousness of God's approval and 
blessing, these evidences of appreciation and accomplishd good 
were the joys of his life. He was human enough to appreciate 
appreciation. We submit these incidents which show: 

What Becomes op Our Orphan Boys. 

"In looking over a bundle of letters from some of our dear 
children, the thought occurred to me that if some of our kind 
friends could read short extracts from a few of them, it would 
be of interest. Frequently the question is asked, 'Do you ever 
hear anything of the boys after they go away?' 'Do they ever 
write?' 'Do you know what they are doing, or where they are?' 

"How comforting to us and satisfactory to benefactors to 
read: 'Ten years ago I left your institution, and look back on 
the days spent there with pleasant memories. I would like to 
hear again from my home : this is my purpose in writing. My 
race being in a crude state of civilization and needing the 
teachings of Christianity, I speak in behalf of them. Bordering 
the county, in which I live, my people live in a wide territory 
reserved for them by the United States. Missionaries are work- 
ing among us, but I speak for more help. In knowing the Luth- 
eran church and what it is composed of and having been taught 
its tenets, I could lend aid to the work among my people, and 



246 THE LIFE OF ^Y. A. T ASSAY ANT. 

fruitful ends might be attained.' This is from an Indian boy 
who is now studying in a lawyer's office in Nebraska. 

"Another writes from Ohio, who is a photographer and 
copies pictures in colors: *It has been a little over five years 
since I left the Home. Although but a short time, many changes 
have been wrought, and things are not what they seem to be; 
'old things have passed away, and all things have become new.' 
My wild, rambling notions enticed me to wander into the world 
tc seek its pleasures, but worldly pleasures would not suffice. 
Something whispered to me that my mission was to be more 
than a sailor, and often when ridiculed by my companions for 
not joining them in their wrongs, and when far from friends 
and home, and among those who scoffed at religion, even then 
the good Spirit followed me and kept knocking at the door of 
n.y heart, and I have found that God is more willing to forgive 
than we are to be forgiven. The world I found to be cold and 
friendless, so different from what I expected, but each conflict 
and trial has brought back more vividly the good advice of my 
kind superiors which w^as so often dirsregarded and unappre- 
ciated at the time. The parental care and training which I 
received can never be forgotten, and when I look around and 
see the condition of so many who have been brought up care- 
lessly, I feel grateful to my Heavenly Father that He took me 
and placed me among Christian friends to receive Christian 
training, which is worth more to me than anything the world 
could give.' 

"Another who is working on a farm in western Pennsylvania 
expresses his regrets that he was not more studious while in 
Bchool. 'I miss it now. I think it so strange, something always 
seems to restrain me ; I mean in this way : One evening I went 
down to the store, and some of the boys bought beer, and they 
tried hard to get me to drink, but I would not touch it. I 
never will drink a drop. Something always keeps me back, some 
Scripture text comes into my mind, and I don't forget them 
easily. ' 

"Another dear child, under date of January 13, 1889, now 
engaged in teaching school in Kansas, writes thus: 'There is 
no church here, and the first week I taught here the children 
coaxed me to start a Sunday-school. I tried to discourage 
them, but they insisted, and brought me money to send off for 



ORPHAN WORE. 247 

needed material, and when we met the first Sunday the school- 
house was full of children, and not an adult beside myself. I 
felt quite nervous, but I asked God to guide me what to do, 
so we sang several hymns, read the Scriptures, had a prayer, 
and then I told them to come again next Sunday and to be 
sure and bring their parents along, which some few did. Every 
Sunday we have from thirty to forty-five scholars in attend- 
ance. I am fond of the work, I love Jesus better than my life 
and will work for Him, for it is my chief pleasure. The people 
here are from the New England States, and are not churchly. ' 
"And here is another: During the absence of the Editor 
at the Wartburg Home, near New York, a gentleman called 
at his house and introduced himself as a brother of a family 
of four Swedish orphans who had been received into the Home 
in this city in the first year of its history, and who remained 
here until they grew up and went forth to positions of useful- 
ness and respectability in the West. Disappointed as he was 
at not meeting us, he yet remained in pleasant converse with our 
family and expressed his unaffected gratitude to God at the 
loving Providence which had watched over the younger children 
who were cared for in Pittsburg, and the elder ones who con- 
tinued on their way with a company of Swedish emigrants. 
These, on being discovered to be in the greatest want, were pro- 
vided with food and the needed means to take them to Chicago, 
and a Swede who spoke English was sent with them to protect 
them from a worse fate than that which threatened them here. No 
one could be more grateful than this worthy man. He had 
been to the Outer Depot in the Fifth Ward to find the old 
shed, where in absolute poverty a company of forty poor 
Swedish emigrants had waited and prayed to God for deliver- 
ance. Then a boy of twelve years of age, he remembered the 
dreadful fast of thirty-six hours, the despairing cries of hungry 
parents and starving children for bread, and the scenes which 
followed the arrival of one with an interpreter, and the ample 
supply of food, the separation which quickly followed from 
his brothers and sisters, the taking of the Chicago train and 
their arrival there. He supposed that we had done it all, and 
he looked upon us almost as an earthly savior. But he was 
mistaken in the person who really did it. This was only one 
of the many merciful acts of the late George Weyman, Sr.. 
whose services and sacrifices, under God, bore so important a 



248 THE LIFE OF W. A. PA8SAVANT. 

part in the establishment of the English Lutheran Church of 
this city. When the children were brought to us, all the 
necessary arrangements had been made for the comfort and 
removal of these helpless immigrants, and the poor people soon 
went on their way west rejoicing. In this and numberless 
other acts of mercy 'the work' of this unobtrusive but really 
great and good man 'follow him,' and though he rests from his 
labors, he yet lives and labors mightily for God. 

"The Swedish gentleman in question is now at the head of 
a large manufacturing company in a western city. He is also 
an officer in a leading Swedish Lutheran congregation of the 
Augustana Synod, which on next Sunday will dedicate to the 
service of Christ the largest and most costly Swedish Lutheran 
church in America. What an illustration this of the im- 
portance of caring for the poor, the fatherless and the stranger 
within our gates! Alas! that through our neglect of Christ 
in the persons of His suffering ones we not only lose the riches 
of faith and the vast capabilities of good which are found in 
men, but that we lose the presence and felloAvship of Christ 
who said, 'Inasmuch as ye did it unto the least of my disciples, 
ye did it unto me.' " 



LIFE AND WORK IN PITTSBURG. 249 



CHAPTER XL 

LIFE AND WORK IN PITTSBURG. 

We return to the life and work in Pittsburg. Mr. Passa- 
vant was still pastor of the now large and widely scattered 
English Lutheran church. That church had become a fruitful 
mother. 

In Birmingham a large corner lot had been secured on 
Carson Street. A neat brick chapel had been built, called 
Grace English Evangelical Lutheran Church. The Rev. H. 
Reck became the first settled pastor. He made his home with 
Mr. Passavant and, in addition to his pastoral labors, assisted 
on the Missionary and as chaplain of the Infirmary. Mr. Passa- 
vant in turn assisted in raising funds for the building of 
Grace church. 

In Allegheny a frame chapel was built on Liberty Street 
where Mr. Passavant, with the assistance of his members, 
gathered a Sunday-school and organized a congregation called 
Trinity English Lutheran church. Of this church the Rev. Mr. 
Gottman became the first settled pastor. 

In Manchester a Sunday-school and congregation had been 
gathered by Mr. Passavant and his peopele. A lot had been 
secured and a chapel was in process of building in 1850. When 
it was under roof and paid for as far as finished, a hurricane 
blew it down. It was never rebuilt but after many years 
Emanuel English Lutheran church took its place. 

In East Liberty a lot was secured, a Sunday-school and 
congregation gathered, and the Rev. J. K. Plitt became th3 
first pastor. Christ and Bethany English Lutheran churches 
are there to-day as a fruit of these early efforts. Out of Christ 
church has grown an English Lutheran church at Wilkins- 
burg. 

In 1853 several acres of ground were secured near the 
mouth of Chartier's Creek, and Mt. Calvary church was erected 
on it. This church in after years became the basis from which 
a young pastor operated on the Allegheny side, built Mt. Zion 
church and congregation, started the work of Memorial church, 



250 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PAS SAVANT. 

regathered and reorganized the remnants of the abandoned St. 
John's church out on the Perrysville Road. 

Under Mr. Passavant a Sunday-school was also carried on 
in Bayardstown and another in Lawrenceville. For want of 
proper support these were afterwards abandoned. 

In that old Seventh Street church the Pittsburg Synod 
was organized, mainly through the efforts of its young pastor, 
in 1845. In it the first collection was taken for the first 
Protestant hospital in the United States. In 1850 the first 
American deaconess was solemnly set apart for the ministry 
of mercy within its walls. Her name was Catharine Louisa 
IMarthens. She had been catechized and confirmed by Mr. 
Passavant. From his lips she had heard the story of the 
blessed work of the Kaiserswerth deaconesses. She was present 
when the four sisters from Kaiserswerth were consecrated by 
Pastor Fliedner, When the hospital was opened in Allegheny 
and no means were at hand she heard how her pastor and 
student Waters had washed and nursed the first patients. Her 
heart, warm in its first love to the Saviour, moved her to offer 
her services, and she became the first regular nurse. She 
helped to nurse the first cholera patients. She was present 
when the house was mobbed and stoned as a "pest house." 
She stood by her post, moved with the patients to Lacyville, 
and became the first nurse of the Pittsburg Infirmary. She 
became the first matron of the Pittsburg Orphan Home. She 
took the four orphans from the Pittsburg Home to the new 
orphanage in Germantown, and helped to set that institution 
of mercy going. She afterwards became the Matron of the 
Girls' Orphan Home in Rochester, Pa., and in later years was 
the Matron and guiding spirit of the Passavant Hospital in 
Jacksonville, 111. 

We return from this tempting digression to the First 
church. Within its walls the Pittsburg orphans and the dea- 
conesses worshipped. The first missionary to Texas, through 
whom the Texas Synod was afterwards organized, was com- 
missioned in this church. The same is true of the first mis- 
sionary to Canada, out of whose initial labors the Canada 
Synod grew. The German congregation, of which Rev. Wm. 
Berkeraeier became pastor, was organized in the lecture room 
of this church. Here the first subscriptions were gathered for 



LIFE AND WORK IN PITTSBURG. 251 

the erection of the first Swedish churches of the West. Here, 
also, several thousand dollars were subscribed to send Pastor 
Hasselquist to Sweden and to pay the passage of students and 
missionaries secured by him from Sweden to America to labor 
among their scattered countrymen in the West. 

What a history! What a fruitful church in the years 
when that consecrated man was its pastor! And all this while 
he was carrying the many burdens of Synod, of struggling 
missions, of poor and discouraged pastors, of debt-laden acad- 
emies and institutions of mercy. How could he do it? We 
know not, except that, like Luther, he always joined prayer 
with his labors and prayed most when he had most to do. 

In 1851 he informs his mother how he divides his time. 
He spends his forenoons at home in private devotion, corre- 
spondence and study. At one o'clock he goes down to the city, 
gets his mail from the post-office, goes into the office of Mr. 
Weyman and remains there for an hour or two to receive 
persons who desire to see him. While waiting there he looks 
over his mail. The remainder of the afternoon he spends in 
makin,g short calls, first of all on the sick, then on the careless 
and on those who need special counsel and encouragement. If 
there are evening meetings or services, of which he had a large 
number, he takes his supper in the city and does not go home 
until after these services. 

Of his home life during these busy years we shall again 
let the eighty-year-old Mrs. Passavant tell the story in her own 
artless way: 

"We were now living in Lacyville, which was then in the 
country. There we occupied in turn three houses in sight of 
each other. In one of these houses the first two children, a 
daughter and a son were born. The Rev. Mr. Reck was living 
with us and assisted Mr. Passavant. The Infirmary had now 
been opened near our home. How well do I remember the 
coming of Pastor Fliedner and the deaconesses. Their stay at 
our house was an event never to be forgotten, and was much 
enjoyed by the family and the many visitors who there called 
on Mr. Fliedner. Our house was a stopping place for ministers 
of all kinds, Germans, Swedish, Norwegians and others. In 
fact, all kinds of people found out where the English Lutheran 
minister lived, he being at that time the only one in the city. 



252 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PA8SAVANT. 

All were made welcome with true Christian hospitality. In our 
second house in Laeyville another daughter and our lovely twin 
boys were born. What a joy came with this precious gift. 
They were solemnly dedicated to God in baptism, as were, 
indeed, all our beloved children. This was a busy family. The 
father had the care of the many outside interests connected with 
the institutions and the missions. The mother had the large 
family to look after, with the care of the home and its many 
guests. Our love was unselfishly bestowed on all, especially 
on these precious children committed to our care. In all our 
labors we found the blessing of God resting upon us and upon 
our interests, to the glory of His grace. 

"Time moved along and brought increasing cares and 
responsibilities. We moved to another more beautiful place in 
sight of the one we had occupied, which had large grounds, 
fruits and flowers and a stream of water to add to its charms. 
Here the family was visited with scarlet fever; every member 
had it except the parents. The lovely eldest daughter, ten 
years of age, was taken to her heavenly home. Truly a saint 
fit to enter the blood-washed throng. She had longed to depart 
and to be with Christ. This was the consolation of the heart- 
broken parents. The anxious solicitude as to the life of two 
others, a son and a daughter, whose lives were hanging in the 
balance, drove the parents to cling more and more to their 
heavenly Father. They had to learn to say in broken words, 
'Thy will be done.' All the sick were restored to health. By 
and by another son was born, and many happy days came again 
to this sweet secluded home. 

"When Mr. Krauth became pastor of the church he lived 
quite near us and was a frequent guest in our home. He was 
very much beloved by the children. The departed daughter 
had been a special favorite of his." 

Mr. Passavant always made much of Christmas, He fully 
appreciated the true Christmas spirit which had ever been 
manifested and implanted in his parental home. At this blessed 
season he had a special thought and care for the sick, the 
sorrowing and the suffering of every class. The lonely and sick 
patients in the hospital wards were made glad with true Christ- 
mas cheer. A tree was set up in each ward, filled with presents 
and candles. On Christmas Eve the tree was lighted. A short 



LIFE AND WORK IN PITTSBURG. 253 

and sympathetic service was held in which the symbolism of 
lights and presents was made to set forth God's unspeakable 
gift to poor and suffering humanity. Then the presents were 
distributed amid the smiles and the tears that suffused the pale 
and wan faces on the couches of pain. These Christmas Eves in 
Passavant's hospital wards were never forgotten. To many a 
careless, hardened, homeless one they brought back memories 
of purer and better days and became the turning points toward 
a better life. 

Of a Christmas in his own home and in the church he 
writes his mother: 

"After I came home from the Infirmary service we had 
our own tree. It would have made you weep for joy to see the 
delight of the children as they capered with Mary over the 
room, Jinny, with her doll, etc., and the professor (one of the 
boys) running away from his top, which he said was a 'hum- 
mmg bird trying to catch him.' I believe all enjoyed them- 
selves most heartily, from Mr. Muntz down to the youngest of 
the family. 

"At ten o'clock on Christmas morning we had service in 
the church, Mr. Plitt preaching for me, after which I examined 
my class of eighty children before the congregation, sang several 
hymns and then presented each one with a little book containing 
a text and verse for every day in the year. Mr. Plitt and Mr. 
Rodell (the new missionary of the Birmingham mission) took 
dinner with us, and we enjoyed ourselves greatly in each other's 
society. A visit to a poor unfortunate German in jail and 
services with the patients in the evening closed the day. It was 
a pleasant and, I trust, not unprofitable Christmas." 

Mr. Passavant was loved most sincerely by his people. 
They showed their love especially at Christmas time. But at all 
times, indeed, he was the recipient of gifts of love; many of 
them quite costly and all highly prized for the sentiments that 
prompted them. He keeps his mother informed of these tokens 
of love. 

Of the early trials and deliverances of the Infirmary Mr. 
Passavant wrote his mother: 

"I am almost afraid to say anything about the Infirmary, 
for one day we are exalted and then God shows us who and 
what we are. I could, however, fill this sheet with pleasing and 



254 TEE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT. 

encouraging instances since I last wrote. On Friday evening 
last, as I had just returned from the Infirmary and was asking 
Eliza to lend us a few comforts till we could get some more 
made, a dray stopped at the door with a package, and on open- 
ing it, how was I rejoiced to find ten most beautiful blankets, 
a present from Father Rapp, of the Harmony Community." 

He was always averse to the publishing of these wonderful 
deliverances. Had he published them all, we should have a 
record no less remarkable than that of George MuUer, of Bristol. 
He experienced the most signal answers to prayers. He has 
left us the accounts of only a few, and even of thes^ he speaks 
apologizingly, as it was against his nature to parade himself 
before the public. In the Missionary for January, 1851, he 
gives this account : 

" 'The Lord will provide.' This sweet truth is every day 
made good in the history of the Infirmary. Humanly speaking, , 
the support of a family of more than thirty persons without 
any vested funds is a serious business ; but so wondrous are the 
resources of God that, like the disciples whom Jesus sent forth 
without scrip or purse, it has never lacked. The promise of the 
Lord has been daily realized, and their bread and water have 
been made sure. In so many ways, the most unlooked-for and 
remarkable, does God provide, that unbelief is rebuked, and 
distrust would seem to be the most unnatural of sins. 

"Here are a few instances, out of many similar ones, of 
the way in which God provides. The cellar is empty, the 
treasury exhausted, twenty-five patients in the house, and other 
sufferers are seeking admission. Coming home in the evening 
we find the passage filled with ba,gs, potatoes, apples, flour — two 
dray loads in all. The next day a canoe load of potatoes comes 
from Neville Island, nine miles below the city. It is the close of 
the year. The first of January is approaching, the time for 
settling accounts; bills are sent in for bread, medicine, coal, 
and other necessaries of life, and these must be paid; but the 
Lord knoweth that we have need of all these things, and He 
provides. One day a gentleman in passing presses a five-dollar 
note into our hand. Coming home, a letter with ten dollars is 
on our table. Calling at a store on business, a merchant, 
unasked, makes a donation of one hundred dollars. Going to 
church on Christmas morning, two ten-dollar gold pieces are 



LIFE AND WORK IN PITTSBURG. 255 

handed us from the boarders at one of the hotels. A gentleman, 
almost a stranger, obtained a number of annual subscriptions 
and calls to communicate the names. 

"Nor may we overlook another remarkable instance of the 
same kind. The Institution is three thousands dollars in debt 
on the Infirmary building, and a payment of one thousand 
dollars is just due. But for this, also, the Lord provides. A 
society of ladies brought one hundred dollars as the proceeds 
of their labor during six months, and on last week gave a 
festival which realized four hundred dollars more. So kindly 
did the public smile upon this effort that multitudes could not 
obtain admittance into the hall; and at the urgent request of 
many of the citizens it will shortly be repeated, and an attempt 
will be made to wipe away the whole remaining debt 

"The want among us, in carrying forward the cause of 
mercy and religion, is neither means nor men,' but faith in God. 
Oh, that we believed our Father's word: 'AH things are possible 
to him that believes.' " 

In the beginning of 1852, to the great joy of Mr. Passavant 
and the small force of sisters, a new deaconess arrived from 
Kaiserswerth. She had been an orphan in an asylum in Frank- 
furt where she had been maintained by one of the Passavants 
still living there. He had sent her to Kaiserswerth and had also 
influenced her to come to the Pittsburg Institution. 

During his whole eventful and eminently useful life Mr. 
Passavant often said that he wished that he might have ten 
lives instead of one, when he saw the amount of suffering and 
need around him. The hill above Pittsburg, on which the 
Infirmary was located, was being settled more and more with 
colored people. He was often moved with compassion for them 
v;hen he saw their poverty-stricken homes, shiftless, thriftless 
lives, their easy virtue and how readily they became a prey to 
the sins of the flesh. Could not something be done for them? 
Could he not do something? He never could carry out all his 
benevolent intentions, but it is interesting to note them as they 
throw an additional light into his wonderful nature. To his 
young Baltimore friend. Miss Carolina Super, he writes in a 
letter in which he expresses the hope that she may yet see her 
v/ay clear to give herself to the holy calling of the ministry of 
mercy, which letter had a decisive influence in winning her 
finally for the cause: 



256 THE LIFE OF ^Y. A, P ASSAY ANT. 

"The Deaconess interest is gradually extending itself more 
and more. By spring we design to open a school of an indus- 
trial character to educate some of the many poor colored giris 
who live in the neighborhood. IMany of these poor unfortunates 
grow up to a life of infamy for want of an honest way of 
making a livelihood, and we hope to be able to do much good to 
this unfortunate class." 

In 1850 Mr. Passavant sent twenty-two dollars to Pastor 
Esbjorn to help send a Swedish student to Capital University, 
Columbus, Ohio. The student was young Norelius, who is, at 
this writing, the venerable president of the Augustana Synod. 

In the spring of 1852 Mr. Passavant visited the Ministe- 
rium of Pennsylvania and made a strong plea for assistance in 
the work in Canada and Texas. This plea brought in about 
four hundred dollars in cash and permanently interested the 
Ministerium in these missions. This trip also won many friend^: 
for his Infirmary and Orphan Home. 

Here is his own account of an interesting trip to Gettys- 
burg in the spring of 1853: 

"My trip to Gettysburg was a very agreeable one, espe- 
cially as I met Rev. Dr. Schaff on the way, with whom I had 
the pleasure of traveling to Chambersburg, where his family 
was staying during the vacation. In Chambersburg I went ai 
once to the Lanes, where I found one of my members, Thos. H. 
Ijane, of this city, and received such a welcome as made me 
quite at home. As the services at Gettysburg were to be at three 
o'clock on "Wednesday afternoon, and the stage did not run in 
time, one of the friends made up a party and drove me along 
with them in a carriage, so that we got there in good time, to 
the great relief of Asa Waters and many others who had given 
me up for lost, thinking that I would come by New York and 
Hanover. The exercises went off 'as well as could be expected,' 
and although I was not satisfied with the performances, there 
seemed to be a grand satisfaction on the part of professors, 
visitors and students, so that I feel more comfortable than T 
had hoped. The commencement took place on Thursday and 
was truly an interesting occasion. The young men, and espe- 
cially Asa, acquitted themselves well, and the Institution ap- 
pears to be in a flourishing condition. After so many years of 
absence my intercourse with the professors, and particularly 



LIFE AND WORK IN PITTSBURG. 257 

witli Prof. F. A. Muhlenberg, of Lancaster, (who was a student 
at Cannonsburg when I first came there), was very agreeable. 
I was to stop with my old friend, Aunt Polly Geiger, who 
formerly lived at Fountaindale, and has eVer been a true friend 
to me, amid all the changes of time. There were quite a number 
of old acquaintances at Gettysburg whom I had not met for 
many years, so that on the whole, although I was there but a 
short time, I had many opportunities of social and familiar 
intercourse with old friends. 

''On Saturday I took the stage for Hanover, thence by the 
New York Railroad for BaJtimore, where I arrived; quite 
unwell, by eight o'clock in the evening. It seemed that I had 
taken a severe cold, and on Sunday morning I was so ill that it 
was with difficulty that I got up and went over to the chapel; 
but the surprise and excitement occasioned by seeing such an 
elegant and costly church, together with all the associations of 
the past, broke the fever, and I was able to preach in the 
afternoon. The services were quite interesting and instructive, 
and it was a day long to be remembered by all present. It is 
truly wonderful how those poor people have risen out of 
obscurity, and that mainly by the labors of one man, my dear 
friend Wysong, who is still as faithful and persevering in the 
school and church as when I was yet there. It was with great 
difficulty that I could tear myself away from the old friends 
whose affection is still touching in the extreme. Fearing the 
night air. Uncle John drove me out to his home immediately 
after the afternoon services. In the evening Dr. Morris again 
preached to a crowded house. Monday and Tuesday we devoted 
to visiting old friends both at the chapel and at Oldtown, so 
t"hat there w^s no time lost. In the intervals I labored some 
for the Pittsburg Orphan Home and was tolerably successful. 
Owing to the rain and George Walters not coming in on 
Monday, I did not go to his place in the country but drove out 
again with Mr. Hewes on Tuesday night, taking supper at 
Margaret Downing 's and spending the evening. I also baptized 
their youngest child, a solemn and deeply affective occasion, in 
view of their second affliction and the death of their little boy 
a short time before. 

"The friends were very cordial, indeed, and I enjoyed 
myself much among them. On leaving, one and another un- 



258 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAT ANT. 

solicited gave me donations for the Home. And this reminds 
me that I ought to mention that there is but one feeling on this 
subject among all our people in the East. They seem to feel 
that they are alike interested in its prosperity and are disposed 
to do everything in their power for its establishment. Even 
those men who have hitherto stood aloof are gradually coming 
over and take collections for its support. Unto God be the 
praise." 

Mr. Passavant had two great sorrows in the year 1853. 
His father, Philip Louis Passavant, who for years had been the 
most influential citizen of Zelienople, died in Christ and in 
peace, April 15, in the 76th year of his age. He had come to 
Zelienople in 1807 and had established the first store in the 
town, which he had carried on until 1848, when he sold it to 
his son Sidney. ^^ During his long life in Zelienople he had been 
an unobtrusive and quiet helper of the saints. Again and again 
he had come to the relief of the churches, missions and institu- 
tions of his son. He had also been a succorer of many of the 
poor of the community, who were among the sincere mourners 
at his funeral. He was laid to rest in the Passavant lot in the 
beautiful churchyard, the grounds for which he had presented 
to the Lutheran Church. A modest marble monument with 
suitable inscription marks his resting place. 

Burdened as the young Mr. Passavant was with the cares, 
sorrows and sufferings of others, with debts and financial bur- 
dens, he felt the loss of his father all the more. But he knew 
where and how to find comfort and strength, and sorrowed not 
as others who have no hope. After the funeral he plunged 
again into his work and buried his own grief in his efforts to 
relieve the woes of -others. 

During the same year two of his Kaiserswerth deaconesses 
were married, and he lost their sorely needed services. What 
wonder that in his sore straits he felt deeply disappointed? 
In his distress he wrote a letter of grievance to Pastor Fliedner. 
This large-hearted man replied in a kindly letter, endeavoring 



" This Sidney was at this time working in a store in Pittsburg. He 
remained in mercantile business all his life. He was a founder and a pil- 
lar of the English Lutheran Church at Zelienople. He was known far and 
wide for his business integrity and liberality. All through his long and 
prosperous life he took a deep interest in and liberally assisted in all the 
charitable work of his brother William. 



LIFE AND WORK IN PITTSBURG. - 259 

to comfort and reconcile his young friend. He assured him 
that such cases occur and will occur among deaconesses, that 
they have them in Kaiserswerth, also, and that when a sister 
becomes enamored (heiraihslustig) , it is best to let her go with 
a benediction. The number of deaconesses was thus reduced 
to four. 

Of the work of the deaconesses in the Infirmary and else- 
where we find this account in the Missionary, June, 1853: 

"Hitherto the principal labor of the Sisters has been the 
care and relief of the sick. For this purpose a hospital has been 
established, grounds purchased and the building erected, which 
offer every accommodation, comfort and facility in the treat- 
ment of the suffering. There are forty beds in the Infirmary, 
though the number of sick is generally from twenty-five to 
thirty. During the past year the number of patients received 
was one hundred and eighty-five, making a total of nine hun- 
dred and twenty-seven in the four years since the Institution 
was commenced. In this large number almost every form of 
suffering finds its representative, and some of the combinations 
of disease, wretchedness and want could not be described in 
human words. In the language of the last report: 'To those 
reared amid the comforts of home, and unacquainted with the 
trials which sickness and poverty bring in their train, it is 
difficult to convey a proper estimate of the usefulness of such 
institutions which provide shelter and healing for the shattered 
body and seek by the offices of mercy to shed upon the chafed 
and wearied spirit, the peaceful light of the religion of Jesus. 
II is not merely, nor even mainly, by the number of patients 
cured or relieved that their importance is to be estimated. The 
moral and spiritual results are the true tests, and instances are 
constantly occurring which more than reward all the toils and 
pains which have been endured for the many, who, though 
restored to bodily health, go away apparently without one 
thought of Him who healeth all their diseases and crowneth 
their lives with His goodness. 

"In addition to the above about forty have been nursed 
by the Sisters in their own homes in this vicinity and other 
places, principally in the cases of cholera or other contagious 
and dangerous diseases. The greatest gratitude has been man- 
ifested by those relieved under such circumstances; for in not 



260 TEE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT. 

a few instances had the nurses fled, and neither love nor money 
could procure the necessary assistance. 

"A second field of labor has been among the female pris- 
oners in the Western Penitentiary, located in Allegheny City. 
Owing to the pressure of duties among the sick, these visits 
have frequently been interrupted, but they were always thank- 
fully received by the wretched inmates, and, it is hoped, have 
not been entirely in vain. 

"A third field of labor has been among the orphans. 
Within the last twelve months several of the Sisters have been 
wholly employed in this department, and quite a family of 
orphan children have been gathered together under their care. 
A small farm has been purchased, and buildings are being 
erected to which the larger boys will be removed, while the girls 
and smaller boys will remain here under their entire control 
and instruction. The number of the children is constantly in- 
creasing, so that more laborers are needed for this department. 

"A fourth class, for whose relief something has been done, 
are aged and friendless females. Two such aged people, one 
in her ninety-second year, have been received during the past 
year, but owing to other duties all other applications have to 
be refused. Until more laborers are raised up it is clear that 
nothing further can be done in this respect. 

"All this has been accomplished under God by a mere 
handful of Christian women associated with their pastor in 
endeavoring to carry out the merciful precepts of the Gospel. 
If our small number were doubled or trebled, how much more 
might be done ! What is requisite to such a service is not 
brilliant talent or romantic zeal, but, first of all, devoted love 
to Jesus Christ ; secondly, good common-sense ; thirdly, vigor- 
ous health of b.ody and mind, and, fourthly, a mind for the 
work. Not a few persons have come recommended by their 
pastors who were totally deficient in several of these respects, 
and after a short trial had to be refused. The Institution is a 
simple society, all living in community and working by the 
same rule. No vows are made, and no binding force requires 
the members to continue longer than they feel it to be their 
duty. But a field of usefulness is here open to Christian females 
who have a mind for the work of the Lord, and who, like Phoebe 
of old, would be * succorers of many. ' To such we give a cordial 



LIFE AND WORK IN PITTSBURG. . 261 

invitation to enter this service. We invite them to visit the 
Institution and to make themselves familiar with its character; 
the probationary period will give them an opportunity to prove 
their own feelings and enable the Institution to judge of their 
fitness for this service. We ask our pastors to second our feeble 
efforts and help these women who labor with us in the Gospel. 
We trust that parents, instead of dissuading their daughters 
from entering such service, will lend their approval and counsel. 
Truly the harvest is great, but the laborers are few. In believ- 
ing obedience to the command of Jesus, we will pray that He 
would send forth more laborers into the harvest." 

In July, Mr. Passavant made a missionary trip to Canada 
and helped to organize the first Lutheran conference there. We 
present tw^o short extracts from his report: 

"I can only refer to one or two subjects which occupied a 
large share of the attention of the conference. One of these was, 
of course, the cause of missions and the connected work of 
education. The large number of immigrant Germans who are 
rapidly filling up the western districts bordering on Lakes 
Huron and Erie demand the immediate and most earnest at- 
tention of the Church, both in Canada and in the United States. 
With the exception of some eight ministers who are connected 
with different Synods, the remaining persons who officiate 
among them are wretched imposters. These miserable men have 
hitherto wasted and despoiled the heritage of God without let 
or hindrance, until the Church, in several important places, is 
almost totally and hopelessly, ruined. Still there are many 
inviting fields where the prospects for usefulness are encourag- 
ing, and only laborers of zeal, prudence and faith are needed, 
to make the wilderness blossom as the rose. It is a wonder of 
mercy that the cause is not more hopeless than it really is, and 
this, in connection with other considerations, encourages the 
belief that by prompt and effective action our Church in Canada 
may yet become a glorious Church without spot or wrinkle or 
any such thing. 

"The Conference adjourned on Saturday, to meet again in 
Waterloo, C. W., in the month of October, and the Lord's day 
closed the religious services of the occasion. After the ordina- 
tion of Brother Wurster and sermons in German and English, 
the Communion was administered to a large number of com- 
municants. It was deeply affecting to see so many aged men 



262 THE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT. 

approach the altar, and to think that after almost half a 
century of conflict, neglect and destitution, the day of Zion's 
glory has at length dawned." 

In February, 1854, he makes a plea for more institutions 
of mercy: "The Lutheran Church has not a single Hospital 
or Retreat for her suffering immigrant population in any 
Eastern, Northern, Southern or far Western city. Such insti- 
tutions are imperatively needed in New York, Philadelphia 
Baltimore, New Orleans, Galveston, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Chi- 
cago, ]\Iilwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo. And thou- 
sands die annually by fever, destitution, neglect and sin, and 
are eternally lost through the culpable and awful neglect of the 
Church to her own flesh. With our thousands upon thousands 
of destitute and orphan children, what provision have we made 
for them? Twenty or thirty asylums, retreats, homes and 
houses of recovery and refuge? No! To our shame be it con- 
fessed, we have one small and struggling home, with twenty-two 
orphans and a few half orphans of ministers, who draw an 
annuity from its funds. Tes! This is all, and in a country, 
too, which contains upwards of three millions of Germans and 
nearly one million of population under the care of the Lutheran 
Church ! 

"If it be said that there are city hospitals, 'fever sheds' 
and asylums for children in most of our seaports and cities, we 
answer that we know there are, such as they are, but what has 
this to do with the real issue? 'Let the dead bury their dead.' 
State and city provision for their own is well enough, but the 
Church of Jesus Christ cannot kneel down before them to ask 
alms for her own, and a pauper's portion is not the provision 
either bodily or spiritually which the Church should make for 
the suffering." 

On a business trip to New York he made some effort to 
gather funds for his orphans and reported: 

"Having some acquaintances among the German importers, 
Monday and Tuesday mornings were employed in making an 
effort among a few of them, which resulted in the collection of 
two hundred and ten dollars, with the prospect of more here- 
after. From the interest which was manifested in this cause by 
these gentlemen we are persuaded that if our brethren m New 
York would make a vigorous effort to establish a similar institu- 



LIFE AND WORK IN PITTSBURG 263 

tion for fatherless emigrant children near the city, they would 
find many large-hearted and liberal supporters among this class 
of their citizens. 

"Returning home by way of Philadelphia we had the 
pleasure of receiving the "wluntary contributions of several 
friends. A member of a sister church whom we had frequently 
met in Pittsburg in former years came up to us and remarked r 
'See here; are you not establishing an Orphans' Home?' On 
answering m the affirmative he replied : ' Come into my store 
a minute, for I must have a brick in that institution.' On 
going out and examining 'the brick' it proved to be a ten- 
dollar note. A member of Dr. Barnes' church, whose acquaint- 
ance we had the pleasure of making while visiting one of the 
missions, kindly volunteered to 'buy a few bricks' for the new 
building, and his bricks likewise turned out to be ten dollars. 
So easily can God raise up friends and means for His fatherless 
children. 

"After an eight days' absence we returned home, if not a 
wiser, a more humble man. We could not but wonder at our 
unbelieving heart, so prone to doubt and so slow to trust the 
promises of the eternal God. We felt grateful, deeply grateful 
to the Giver of all good for the many tokens of His favor 
received during this short journey, but we see more than ever 
the sinfulness of being unduly solicitous for the support of 
those of whom God hath said, 'I will be a Father to the father- 
less. ' The mighty and merciful God is the Father of the orphan. 
Will not He provide for His own children? Let us then no 
longer doubt." 

Here is one of scores of cases of mercy to the orphans: 
"A family from Norwaj^ consisting of father, mother and 
four children, through the aid of benevolent persons at home, 
had obtained the means to emigrate to this country. They 
tared well across the Atlantic Ocean, and a little farther than 
Buffalo, N. Y., where the father, by accident, was caught under 
the wheels of a car which passed over his body and cut off his 
legs above the knees. The cars passed on at their usual rate, 
leaving the poor man to his fate on the track. The widowed 
mother came on West to the Norwegian settlement at Lisbon, 
111., and died of cholera the next day, leaving the four children 
without relatives or anyone to provide for them. The man with 



264 TEE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT. 

"whoin these children now live has himself a large family and is 
in limited circumstances. When I last preached in that neigh- 
borhood he spoke to me of the necessity of making some ar- 
rangement for their care, and I advised that some of the mem- 
bers divide them amongst their families until I could write 
whether there was still a place in the Home. The common 
practice out here has been to bind such children out, regardless 
of the character of those to whom they are given, or, in other 
words, to enslave them up to a certain age, a system which I hate 
from my very soul. We need scarcely add that we immediately 
wrote 'to send the children on. ' " 

Of the w^ork of the Infirmary during the frightful visitation 
of cholera in Pittsburg during the summer of 1854 he gives this 
account : 

"At the request of several friends at a distance and in the 
hope of directing attention to the importance of the Church 
engaging in works of mercy among the poor and suffering, 
we will be permitted to say a few words concerning the In- 
firmary during the late awful visitation of cholera. It is 
generally known that a number of Christian women, members 
of the English Lutheran Church of Pittsburg, are associated 
together with their pastor for the exercise of mercy. One of 
the Institutions under their care is the Pittsburg Infirmary, 
which, by its character, is open to persons of every creed, color 
and country, and sincerely seeks to do good to all, without 
partiality and without hypocrisy. The number of beds for the 
sick is thirty-five and the average number of patients about 
thirty. For the support of this large family our sole reliance 
is on voluntary contributions, and though often reduced to 
the greatest straits, we can say, to the praise of the divine 
goodness, that none have ever gone away from its doors hungry 
or unrelieved. The Institution was pursuing its unobtrusive 
course of usefulness when the cholera suddenly broke out in 
our city on Thursday, Sept. 14, with unexampled virulence. 
On Friday morning 46 deaths were reported in the papers, and 
mortality increased daily to a most alarming degree, so that in 
a fortnight nearly a thousand persons were numbered among 
the dead. Words are incapable of describing the scenes which 
were witnessed in our city during this time. The streets were 
filled with funeral processions, many of the factories and 



LIFE AND WORK IN PITTSBURG. 265 

workshops were shut, men were hurrying to and fro, or were 
collected in anxious groups to hear the latest intelligence of 
the disease. After the first panic scenes of suffering and neglect 
were brought to light among the poor and in families where the 
plague had done its worst, which were heart-rending. A How- 
ard Association was formed to seek out and relieve such cases, 
and then only was fully seen the advantage of hospitals, whither 
the suffering who were without a home or proper attendance 
might be removed. Both the Roman Catholic Hospital and 
the Infirmary, under the care of our Deaconesses, were filled 
to their utmost capacity, and at the latter the physician's rooms 
and the parlor were turned into wards for the sick. In addition 
to the patients already in the house, sixty cholera patients were 
received into the Infirmary, nearly two-thirds of whom were 
happily restored. Our dear sist.ers were indefatigable in their 
labors of love, and although at times almost prostrated by the 
exertions and watchings of this time, they were yet wonderfully 
sustained by the grace of God and the blessing of those who 
vrere ready to perish. In the language of one of the city papers : 
'They labored night and day, when hired nurses could not be 
obtained, and performed the most disgusting offices for the 
poor sick under their charge with the greatest readiness and 
cheerful pleasure. ' Our heart swells with gratitude to God who 
strengthened them in this trying time and mercifully spared 
their lives in the valley of the shadow of death. The physicians 
of the Institution were likewise unremitting in their attentions 
to the sick, and one of them, Dr. J. H. Nelson, died during the 
first week of the disease. 

"The kindness of a humane public and the encouraging 
words of Christian friends sustained the hearts and upheld the 
hands of all engaged in the severe duties of the hospital. We 
had no time for appeals to the public for aid, neither did we 
think of the fact that the Institution had been almost wholly 
without funds for months before. But He who knew our need 
supplied it without efforts on our part." 

From the fourth annual reports of the Infirmary we clip 
this paragraph: 

"The question has been repeatedly asked by persons both 
here and abroad, 'How is this Institution supported without 
an endowment or any visible means of support ? ' Neither is 



266 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PAS8AVANT, 

the difficulty removed when we answer, 'Solely by the free-will 
offerings of the humane.' 'But have you not considerable 
funds on hand to supply the wants of the sick ? ' ' No, often less 
than three penny's worth of bread and a few small fishes.' 
'But what do you do then? Do you not refuse further admis- 
sions?' 'Certainly not; we continue as before to receive any 
worthy applicant until all the beds are occupied.' 'But does 
not the Institution become hopelessly involved by such a 
course?' No. the very reverse is the case. Experience has fully 
proven that it is only when the Institution opens wide its doors 
to the suffering without reference to the state of its own re- 
sources that its wants are more readily supplied. From its 
commencement the Infirmary has been conducted on the prin- 
ciple that we have but one care, viz., to see that none but 
objects of real suffering were received, and that all means 
entrusted to us for their support were conscientiously and 
economically expended. The experience of every new day has 
confirmed the correctness of this position. Athough greatly 
straitened at times for want of funds, no sooner was this known 
than our wants were supplied. Instead of abandonment and 
ruin the unavoidable debts incurred by the erection of the 
hospital building were diminished every year until they finally 
disappeared, while for a period of six years the wards of the 
Institution have been filled to the utmost capacity by the 
hundreds of patients who have sought relief within its walls. 
To the praise of the divine goodness we can say with deep 
gratitude that during all this time no one of these ever wanted 
for the necessary care or food or raiment which their circum- 
stances required. Distribution was made unto all as every one 
had need." 

While the editor, solicitor, traveling missionary and pastor 
was busy in his office where he spent about two days a week ; on 
the street soliciting funds for churches and institutions in all 
parts of the land; on the train, in the boat or in the buggj' 
going by day and by night, preaching in his "gravel church" 
in Rochester, Pa., or visiting from house to house in the town, 
he was still director and provider of the Infirmary and the two 
Orphan Houses. Night after night, also when others were 
comfortably sleeping, he was on his knees in his closet, telling 
his needs and the needs of the Church, the sick, the fatherless, 
to his Heavenly Father, casting all his cares on Him who careth 



LIFE AND WORK IN PITTSBURG. 267 

for His own. Of the work and influence of the Infirmary he 
speaks in his ninth annual report from which we cull a few 
extracts : 

"During the period occupied by this Report an unusually 
large number of chronic and other cases of long standing have 
been under treatment. Owing to the time which is necessarily 
required for their relief, and the expense of their maint<?nance, 
this class of sufferers are excluded from most hospitals. Other 
hospitals are confined principally to acute surgical cases. Ex- 
perience, however, has fully confirmed us in the opinion that 
scarcely any one class of the suffering appeals more rightfully 
to Christian mercies than do these unfortunates. Through long 
sickness and consequent poverty their situation is most distress- 
ing, and so long as a probability remains of a permanent or even 
partial recovery it appears to be a plain duty to 'take them in.* 
In obedience to this many patients of this class have been on 
the funds of this charity for three or four months, while not a 
few have been permitted to remain from six to ten months, as 
the treatment of their case required. The results of this course 
have fully justified all the expense and toil. In many 
instances diseases of long standing were so far relieved 
that the sick ceased to be a burden to themselves and to society, 
while in numerous other cases the most obstinate chronic dis- 
eases finally yielded to medical skill, suitable diet and careful 
nursing. Many such are found in our community, the dark 
shadow of whose former life has turned to brightness, and from 
their peaceful homes and happy firesides benedictions are con- 
tinually invoked upon the Institution which gave them shelter, 
food, healing and spiritual rest when the poorhouse or the grave 
seemed their only refuge. 

"Notwithstanding the general good health and the absence 
of cholera, no less than fifty-one cases of contagious and infec- 
tious diseases are reported. These were principally of smallpox 
and a malignant form of typhus fever, of the former of which 
no less than twenty were under treatment at one time. For 
nearly two months, in addition to the large number of sick in the 
Infirmary proper, the building appropriated to such cases was 
filled with the victims of this loathsome disease, while the wants 
of these unhappy sufferers, many of them in the wildness of 
delirium, required the unwearied care of the nurses by night 
and by day. With three exceptions all recovered, a sufficient 



268 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

reward for the nights of watching and days of weariness devoted 
to them. 

"As heretofore, we prefer to allude briefly to the spiritual 
side of these labors among the suffering. Many incidents might 
be given from the journal of the Director, where the ministry 
of mercy was made effectual to the recovery of those who had 
condemned the living ministry; where the long-lost prodigal 
was restored to purity and peace by the power of kindness; 
where doubt departed before the daily illustrations of true 
religion and death itself was made easy, and at timeis triumph- 
ant by the consolations of the Gospel. . 

"By a reference to the donations, their interesting and 
diversified character will at once be perceived. As heretofore, 
the mite of the poor and the bounty of the rich stand side by 
side. Churches, associations and societies of various kinds have 
sent in their voluntary offerings. The husbandman, the mer- 
chant, the mechanic and the capitalist have each aided the 
Institution in his own peculiar way, while the sweet piety of 
childhood has breathed forth its prayers and cast its alms into 
the treasury. Nor may we forget the obligation of gratitude 
to those excellent women, who in the summer's heat and winter's 
cold have labored so unwearyingly at the annual and special 
festivals which were given for the Infirmary. ... 

"We cannot conclude this imperfect review of the past 
history and present condition of the Institution without a 
public acknowledgment of the invaluable services of those 
excellent Christian 'women who labor with us in the Gospel'. 
To them are committed the management of its domestic affairs 
and the care and nursing of the sick. Were it not for their labor 
of love, their calm endurance and their unwearied attention 
to the patients, its doors would probably have been closed. 
The Infirmary is a standing monument to the power of faith 
and love in the breast of Christian woman. Only they who 
know their daily duties can appreciate their labors and under- 
stand their value to such an Institution. In seeking not their 
own but the things which are Christ's they give to the Institu- 
tion at once the enei'gies of a free and loving heart and the 
largest sacrifices of time and strength." 

At the next meeting of the Board of Visitors of the Infirm-- 
ary, Mr. Passavant could report that for the first time in its 
history the Institution began the new year without a debt. 



LIFE AND WORK IN PITTSBURG. 269 

It might not be amiss to mention here, also, that for the 
former year's work as editor of the Missionary, Mr. Passavant 
had received two hundred dollars. This was his first remunera- 
tion for this work. 

Of a morning among the sick in the Infirmary he gives this 
interesting sketch: 

"In the female ward several new beds are occupied, while 
two patients have been discharged cured. One of the new cases 
is a German servant girl from the Fifth Ward with violent 
fever and in great bodily pain. Spoke a few words of encour- 
agement to her, but she looked wildly around and seemed not 
to understand their meaning. Another, an aged disciple, with 
paralysis, a member of the Methodist Church, for whose care 
a few friends had agreed to make up something, as no family 
was willing to take the trouble of such a charge. She expressed 
herself free from suffering and as 'very comfortable.' An- 
other was a little German girl, perhaps three years of age. 
The mother is a poor washwoman with four children, who is 
obliged to go out and wash, and by permission brings her little 
imbecile on those days to the Infirmary. The joy of this poor 
sufferer, on being told that she would be carried out under the 
apple trees where the men were making hay, was quite affecting. 
Her sad countenance became radiant with joy and she clapped 
her thin, bony hands with an expression of the greatest delight. 
(Oh, my God, let me learn from this suffering child to thank 
Thee for help, and that I may walk forth into this beautiful 
world!) Mrs. B., the consumptive, still lives, but is very weak. 
Her mind appears more at rest since we consented to receive 
her little boy into the Home after her death. Poor, sad heart! 
In a little while weakness will give place to strength, and then 

'Unkindness shall be felt no more 
And all life 's bitterness be o 'er. ' 

"The young woman who suffered so inconceivably with 
what was supposed to be cancer in the mouth is pronounced 
convalescent by the physicians and will soon be discharged. 
She appears to be deeply thankful to God and man, and ex- 
presses her gratitude that she found a retreat in the Infirmary 
during the long months of her awful suffering. 

"The first male ward likewise contained a number of new 
patients. Most of the former ones had been discharged cured. 



270 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PA8SAVANT. 

Among the new ones is a young German who reminded me 
painfully of Bunyan's 'Man in Despair.' He is almost reduced 
to skin and bone, and his sorrowful look is enough to move 
one to tears. Sitting down by his bedside, I sought to find 
out the cause of that heart sorrow which was evidently hurrying 
him to the grave. He insisted that he had committed some 
dreadful wrong against his fellow-men, but nothing could extort 
from him the nature of his crime. I tried in vain to pacify 
his mind by telling him of the mercy of the Lord to all who 
confessed and forsook their evil ways and humbly came to 
Christ for pardon. A few wandering words of reply told 
his sad fate. Reason was dethroned, and I was talking to a 
maniac ! On going to bed Number 10, I found a young man 
who works in a foundry in this city, in the first stages of 
consumption. He is from Ireland, and his parents were mem- 
bers of the Reformed Presbyterian or Covenanter Church, but 
since they came to America 'they attend no church in particu- 
lar.' He was reading the Psalms, and as I talked with him he 
listened with attention, but without any apparent interest, 
until the mention of Jesus opened the fountains of feeling, and 
he wept like a child. Thanking me for the visit and solemnly 
promising to seek that Saviour whom he had neglected and for- 
gotten in health, he begged me with tears to come soon again. 
Poor W. still lies in his corner. His hands and feet were so 
badly frozen in January that his fingers and toes dropped off. 
The process of healing goes on very slowly, but patience must 
have her perfect work. What a time for reflection on his 
previous life! He was thoughtfully reading God's Word, and 
may we not hope that although he may leave the Institution 
a cripple for life, yet that his heart may be made every whit 
vrhole ? 

"In the second male ward there were no new faces. The 
patients are rapidly recovering and some were making hay in 
the Infirmary grounds, while others were walking and sitting 
under the trees in the orishard. It is a real blessing that the 
Institution has such a breathing place where our poor fellows 
may stretch their weary limbs after the long confinement of 
the sick room. 

"The room above the balcony has two patients to-day, the 
one a colored girl who has occupied another room for some time 
past, and an old colored woman, so old that 'indeed, young 



LIFE AND WORK IN PITTSBURG. 271 

master, I don't know how old I is.' Mary is very much worse, 
for the fatal rattle in her throat tells but too truly that death 
is at the door. 'What is your hope, Mary,' I said, 'in view of 
your departure?' Raising herself up in her bed and gasping 
for breath, she calmly replied, 'The merits of Jesus Christ.' 
To various other questions her answers were even more satis- 
factory, and these, taken in connection with her previous life 
as a consistent member of a Christian church, awakened the 
conviction that in ministering to this poor and neglected daugh- 
ter of Africa the Institution was ministering to Christ Himself 
in the person of one of His disciples. After prayer, in which 
I endeavored to commend her spirit to the mercy of God, I 
engaged in conversation with the old colored woman. She is 
a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, her 
friends are all dead, and for many years she has lived with 
different people, 'doing little turns and nursin' the baby, honey, 
till I couldn't stand on my sore leg any longer. De bredren 
and sistering war very kind, but you know, my child, dat it 
ain't home to a body no more when they can't do nothin'.' So 
she, too, had sought a refuge in the Infirmary 'till her leg got 
strong agin,' and her heart was full 'that the swellin' war goin' 
away.' And yet, notwithstanding the sorrows of old age and 
poverty, she is cheerful and even happy. 'It^s all well, honey; 
dat is, I takes it all for well, bekase de Lord gives me grace to 
believe dat what He do is all for de best.' Here is the patience 
of the saints, and the wise and the philosophic may learn from 
this poor and illiterate African the true wisdom and the only 
real philosophy which will meet the wants of the human hearts 
amid the sufferings of life." 

In March, 1855, he made this noble defence of the Lutheran 
Church against a Presbyterian correspondent of the New York 
Evangelist, who had written: "The Reformed churches have, 
from the beginning, laid great stress upon Moral Reforms 
and Practical Christianity, while Lutheranism is theoretic and 
contemplative, and prefers the enjoyment and profession of 
faith to its practical manifestation and actual life": 

"It is the peculiar glory of Lutheranism that she ever has 
made herself most powerfully felt by 'the practical manifesta- 
tion of Christianity in actual life.' Notwithstanding her un- 
happy union with the State in most countries, by which she 
has been greatly shorn of her strength, there have perpetually 



272 THE LIFE OF W. A. F ASS AY ANT. 

appeared in her communion men of simple apostolic faith and 
character who have been the lights of the world and the bene- 
factors of the race. 

''Hans Egede, the first Protestant missionary, went forth 
from her bosom. Schwartz and his companions laid the foun- 
dations of Christianity in India, when Episcopalian and Pres- 
byterian missions were not thought of, and the name of Father 
Schwartz is to this day associated in India with everything holy 
and pure. Francke built the first Protestant orphan house in 
Halle and electrified both hemispheres by his labors of faith 
and love at the time when 'pure and undefiled religion' was 
habitually neglected. Oberlin civilized and Christianized his 
degraded parishioners of the Vosges when most men thought 
a pastor's duty was performed by the preaching of the Gospel 
from the pulpit of his charge. When Mrs. Fry commenced her 
work of prison reform she found Pastor Fliedner in a prison 
of Diisseldorf, where he had been carrying out his reforms for 
years. To the same remarkable man are we indebted, under 
God, for the restoration of the House for Christian nurses, 
which extends from Jerusalem to Stockholm, from Paris to 
Pittsburg. The gigantic labors of Dr. Wichern, described in 
this correspondence, furnished a striking refutation of the 
opinion above expressed, and the ragged schools of England 
and the industrial schools of America are but imperfect imita- 
tions of the great principle illustrated by Wichern in his ' Rauhe 
Haus,' that love is stronger than force, and a home of affection 
a truer school for reforming vice than stone walls and houses 
of correction. The Moravians, who are Lutherans in their faith, 
have given to the world the most sublime examples of missionary 
enterprise and success among the most hopeless of the race, and 
the Lutheran Church of Wurtemberg has furnished more mis- 
sionaries for the heathen world than all the Protestant churches 
in the United States. So, too, in this connection, we might 
mention the interesting fact that the devoted Miss Nightingale, 
the head of the noble women of England, who are nursing the 
sick in the hospitals of Scutari, although an English lady by 
birth, united with the Lutheran Church in Germany, where her 
heart was charmed away from earth, and her very being con- 
secrated to Christ. In fact, the practical character of Lutheran- 
ism is everywhere on the continent making proof of its power 
to grapple with the great social needs of society, and what it 



LIFE AND WORK IN PITTSBURG. 273 

may and probably does lack in administrative talent it more 
than makes up by the patience of hope and the perseverance 
01 never- failing love." 

In June, 1854, Mr. Passavant preached his tenth anniver- 
sary sermon. The main part of it is published in the Missionary 
for September and October. It makes intensely interesting 
reading. The first half is mainly historical. As all facts there 
mentioned have been brought out before, we need not repeat 
them here. The preacher also warmly defended himself against 
the criticisms of those who blamed him for taking upon himself 
too much work outside of the congregation. From this it ap- 
pears that there were those in his church who were opposed 
to his work of mercy in founding and carrying on his institu- 
tions. He was also blamed by some for giving so much of his 
time to mission work in the city, the Synod, the West and the 
South. In view of these criticisms we may well ask where would 
be the Passavant institutions of mercy which have done so much 
for sinning and suffering humanity, and which are among the 
crown jewels of our Church, had he followed the advice of these 
church members? In his defence against his critics he says: 

"Seven years of observation have not changed the convic- 
tion then expressed or weakened the purpose then declared that 
it is the duty of the Christian ministry to engage personally 
in all those labors of mercy which adorn the life of our blessed 
Lord. If other interests may have appeared to be secondary, 
the reason has not been an unwillingness to attend to them, but 
a deep and ever-present conviction that religion was dishonored, 
misunderstood and neglected by too exclusive attention to so- 
called spiritual duties, while the exercise of mercy to the suffer- 
ing was in a great part overlooked by the Church of our day. 
And here permit me to add, that while there have been occa- 
sional notes of dissatisfaction, that a part of the pastor's time 
and strength was given to those who seemed to have no claim 
upon him, at least no claim over those who thought they had 
a right to look upon the whole as belonging to themselves, the 
church members, with very few exceptions, have nobly stood by 
their pastor in every effort to relieve the suffering and provide 
a home for the fatherless. And now, what, I ask, has been the 
effect of this course upon the congregation? Have their souls 
prospered less than if they had received five visits from their 



274 THE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT. 

pastor where they perhaps received but one? Have they a 
fainter resemblance of character to Jesus Christ for having 
forgotten their own comfort, convenience and advantage? Are 
they poorer for having made many rich? Has the Church 
suffered or has it prospered in comparison with the other 
churches of our city by its intimate connection with the exer- 
cises of mercy to the afflicted? Comparisons are said to be 
odious; but where a great principle is involved it cannot be 
amiss to state that of eight churches in our city, which were 
established a few years before this, and all of which, ten years 
ago, were stronger and more flourishing than it, but two have 
now an equal number of members, and none of the whole 
number can be said to be in a more prosperous condition. 
Indeed, five are weaker than they were ten years ago, and 
several are maintaining merely a sickly existence. 

"I allude to these facts, not for display or from party 
spirit, but to show that the word of the Lord standeth sure. 
Jesus Christ hath said : The merciful shall obtain mercy. Seek- 
ing our own, we lose even our own. Sacrificing our own 
advantage, comfort and self-interest for the good of others we 
gain an hundredfold, even in this life, of all that we seem to 
have lost. I speak of these things thus publicly because of the 
frequent prediction of the decay and ruin of the church because 
of the union of other labors with what was conceived to be 
the sole duties of the ministry. And I desire here to record the 
prosperity of to-day as a sufficient answer to all that may be 
said against the course which has been pursued. Instead of one 
feeble church of sixty members with a debt (in principal and 
interest) amounting to fifteen thousand dollars, we have become 
several bands, and the present debt of the parent church is 
secured by good subscriptions." 

He then tells of mission churches and Sunday-schools al- 
ready established and of lots secured for others. This second 
half of the published sermon we give entire: 

"In this connection we would divert to a few of the princi- 
pal difficulties which have operated to the injury of the congre- 
gation, and have made our progress slow in comparison with 
what it might have been had these hindrances not existed. 

** First. Prominent among these may be mentioned the 
fluctuating character of our population. Situated, as Pittsburg 



LIFE AND WORK IN PITTSBURG. 275 

is, between the East and the West, it may be said to be * A house 
of call' for all points of the country. Persons who have not 
given this subject their attention have not the least idea of the 
migratory character of our American people. In the towns and 
cities of the West (more, perhaps, than elsewhere) they are 
constantly coming and going, here to-day, and to-morrow a 
thousand miles off. It may be safely said that not more than 
one-fifth of all those who reside here for a season make it their 
permanent home. Many who come from the East to better their 
condition, or for the sake of their children, find the cost of 
living so expensive, the avenues of business so thronged and 
competition so great that they either return after a brief stay 
or go farther west. It is this peculiarity of our population 
which gives to our congregation its fluctuating character and 
greatly increases the labors of the pastor. As strangers they are 
to be visited and added to the church, and, if possible, made 
acquainted with the members in their vicinity; but scarcely 
do they become interested in the church and Sunday-school than 
they frequently remove from the city and seek another home. 
It is thus that the membership is perpetually changing, so that 
while additions are made at every communion, this exhausting 
process is constantly going on, and the actual increase of the 
church is scarcely perceptible. During the past ten years no 
less than 135 persons have received their dismissal from the 
congregation on removing from the city, while the whole number 
received by certificate from other churches here and elsewhere 
was but 205 ; and after deducting twenty-five of this number 
who were dropped from the records only forty-five remain in 
the communion of the church of all who were thus received. It 
will be seen from these statistics how much of a city pastor's 
labors are scattered over the land, even though they cannot be 
said to be entirely lost. His principal duties are among the 
comers and goers of his flock, and for their spiritual welfare he 
must be content to labor without the hope of seeing much of the 
fruit of his toil. It is among the poorer portion of this class, 
a^so, that his largest number of pastoral visits are made; for 
affliction, poverty and death often come upon them like an 
armed man; without friends and means, and strangers in a 
strange land, they especially need the consolations of religion 
and the merciful offices of the Church. We complain not of 
this large expenditure of time and strength, for the peculiar 



276 TEE LIFE OF W. A, P ASSAY ANT. 

province of the ministry of the Word is to this very class. We 
refer to these facts only to show that the fluctuating character 
cf our population has ever been a serious obstacle in the 
establishment of our church. Other congregations have been 
increased by those who were here gathered out of the world, and 
it is a source of unspeakable consolation to know that many of 
those who here witnessed the good confession are pillars else- 
where. But the parent church has been sadly weakened by this 
constant drain upon her membership, and years of patient toil 
have been necessary again to fill up the ranks and strengthen 
the things that remained and were ready to die. On the other 
hand it is also true that many valuable accessions have been 
received by occupying the position which we do. We dismissed 
almost as many as we received from sister churches, and on 
several occasions the congregation was weakened by the loss 
of its most efficient members who were here brought to the 
knowledge of the church. 

"Second. Another obstacle in the growth of the church is 
found in the fact that this was the only English Lutheran 
congregation in Pittsburg and vicinity. • Other denominations 
were well supplied with pastors and churches, not only in 
the different parts of the city, but even in the suburbs and 
surrounding villages. By their local position they were enabled 
to cultivate their respective fields with what Dr. Chalmers calls 
'the thick-set husbandry.' They could explore every foot of 
their territory, penetrate into every alley and street, and ascer- 
tain the spiritual destitution of their inhabitants, and by the 
machinery of Sunday-schools and benevolent societies could 
gather in the neglected youth and the outcasts from society and 
from God. In our case, however, this kind of thorough work 
was an impossibility. The most that could be done was to 
superficialize over a large surface and be satisfied with the 
results. The membership of the church were scattered over 
a large area of nearly ten miles in boundary. They reside not 
only in Pittsburg and Allegheny, but also in East Liberty, 
Oakland, Minersville, Lawrenceville, South Pittsburg, Sligo, Mt. 
Washington, Temperanceville, Chartier's Creek, IManchester, 
Troy Hill and Sharpsburg. After the increase of the congrega- 
tion and their dispersion over so large a territory the most that 
could be accomplished by the pastor was to visit the sick and 
afflicted in all cases which came to his knowledge, and con- 



LIFE AND WORK IN PITTSBURG. 277 

scientiously to improve the remaining time in such pastoral 
visitations as appeared most needful and were within his 
power. During the principal part of the past ten years he has 
felt that, to be permanently useful, much of his work must be 
missionary in its character. While his first care was to build 
up the church committed to his charge and relieve it from its 
embarrassment, the secondary object was to prepare the way 
for the organization of other churches in his field. And if these 
efforts have not been so successful as was hoped, the regret of 
no one was greater than his own when he saw that the same 
condition of things must still continue, and that the day of 
relief was still as far distant as before. In attempting to 
cultivate so large a territory he does not claim to have done 
what other minsters ought to do, and many have done, to the 
people in their charge. He is, however, conscious that he has 
endeavored to do what he could under all the circumstances 
of the case. That he has failed to satisfy himself and, perhaps, 
others, he is painfully sensible; but he is persuaded that no 
man can satisfy his own conscience nor the people of his charge 
in so extended a field. Until additional laborers are procure<l 
and other congregations are established, the time, energy and 
strength of a pastor must be to a great extent occupied in keeping 
in repair the enclosures of the field entrusted to his care instead 
of cultivating the ground. 

"A third difficulty in our establishment as a church has 
been the pressure of the debt which remained after our house 
of worship was consecrated. The existence of such a debt will 
not be thought surprising when the fact is remembered that in 
October, 1840, when the church was consecrated, only thirty- 
nine communicants were reported as belonging to the congrega- 
tion. The cost of the lots on which the church and sexton's 
house stand was eight thousand five hundred dollars, and of 
the building probably nine thousand dollars more, making the 
whole cost nearly eighteen thousand dollars. Of this amount 
about three thousand five hundred dollars were collected by 
arduous exertions at home, principally from the few members, 
and perhaps a thousand dollars abroad by the Rev. J. M'Cron, 
the pastor, thus leaving a debt of thirteen thousand five hundred 
dollars. From the beginning this has been a source of great 
affliction. But for this hindrance the church might have es- 
tablished a number of mission churches in the new wards and 



278 THE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT.. 

at the same time greatly increased her own efficiency and 
strength. Its apology for contracting such a debt is that, 
though poor and weak and unsupported by denominational 
connections in this community, it was urged into its contracts 
by the most flattering public and private encouragements. 
These contracts ultimately involved a much greater expense 
than was anticipated; the sudden revulsion in business affairs 
augmented and multiplied difficulties, and when by the unex- 
pected and most generous kindness of one of the members in 
the hour of greatest need, the money was advanced to pay for 
the lots and the contractors' bills, and the church was thus 
saved from the sheriff's hands; it became impossible, at that 
time, to free it from embarrassment. This unwavering friend 
of the church, though wonderfully sustained, has been at times 
greatly embarrassed, while the pastor and council, most anxious 
to see that everything possible should be done for his relief and 
the redemption of the church, have been often distressed almost 
beyond measure. 

"It is not necessary that I should recount the different 
efforts which were made to bring about this result during the 
past ten years. With a unanimity and liberality which was 
delightful to contemplate this great undertaking was com- 
menced and prosecuted with spirit. Notwithstanding these 
repeated efforts a debt of some six thousand dollars still re- 
mained. It will be gratifying to the congregation to learn that 
this sum has just been subscribed by the liberality of a few of 
the members who have given their notes for this amount, so 
that the church in a few years will be free from all pecuniary 
embarrassment. It is with a glad heart that we make this 
announcement, for we regard this as the crowning act which 
opens to our church a future and eminent success. For what 
right have we to expect the divine blessing when we suffer the 
house of God to be weighed down with the pressure of debt? 
How can religion prosper when its pastor and officers are 
perplexed and care-worn about the outer business of the house 
of God? How can we enjoy the comforts of our own homes 
and dwellings when we know that the very temple in which we 
habitually worship is encumbered with pecuniary liability ? No, 
my brethren, the place of prayer must not, dare not, be in debt. 
We rejoice in the speedy prospect of relief in the case of this 
church. We sincerely thank those brethren who have done 



LIFE AND WORK IN PITTSBURG. 279 

themselves the honor to wipe out this stain from our history, 
and we pray God so to bless them in their basket and store that 
they may be able, even before the promised time, to remove all 
the traces of our former embarrassment. 

"We have thus hastily reviewed the struggles of the past 
ten years in the hope that, by weaving together the perishing 
fragments of our history and thus renewing the remembrance 
of a period which to many of us is the most important in our 
lives, we might be led to adore the God who hath hitherto 
helped us, and to render to Him the praise and glory which 
are His due. Surely He who hath prepared for us a table in the 
presence of our enemies and made our cup to run over will 
cause His goodness and mercy to follow us all the days of our 
life, and we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. 

"The history of this church for several years past is known 
to most of you who are present this morning. I need not enlarge 
on this topic or endeavor to call up before your minds those 
scenes in which you have so recently taken a personal part. 
They are as familiar as household words and will live in your 
remembrance as the lights and shadows of your religious life. 

"Did time permit it would be a pleasing task minutely to 
describe the present condition of this church in order to excite 
our gratitude to God for His mercies. We live in constant 
enjoyment of its privileges and ordinances. Every returning 
Sabbath finds us with our families in this earthly temple, 
participating in the high and solemn services of the sanctuary. 
We have peace in our borders and prosperity in our palaces. 
We have a pure Gospel, a fellowship of brethren and a com- 
munion with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. 
The congregation is increasing; the membership is increasing; 
the spirit of liberality is increasing; the spirit of humanity is 
increasing; and the kind, merciful spirit of pure religion is 
increasing; a desire for knowledge and holiness is increasing. 
In a word, there is a more intense longing among us for the 
pure, peaceful, gentle and merciful religion of the Lord Jesus 
Christ in our hearts and in the hearts of all men. ' ' 



280 THE LIFE OF W, A. P ASSAY ANT, 



CHAPTER XII. 

BESIGNS FIRST CHURCH. MULTIPLIED LABORS. 
GATHERS AND BUILDS CHURCHES. 

For some time previous to this sermon Mr. Passavant had 
felt that he could not carry the church much longer together 
with all his other work. He felt that the church was not getting 
the attention that it deserved, and that there was some ground 
for the criticisms against which he had defended himself in the 
sermon. He knew, to his sorrow, that his pastoral visits had 
been sorely neglected. He was also sadly conscious of the fact 
that his sermons could not and did not receive the time and 
attention that should have been given them. He had little time 
tor study, and he often felt guilty when he entered the pulpit, 
and more guilty when he left it. His ideals of preaching were 
high. His ability was far above the ordinary. He was recog- 
nized as among the best preachers in Pittsburg, which* at that 
time had an unusual array of brilliant pulpit orators. His 
church had attracted more intelligent outsiders than any other 
in the city. Its delighted hearers had been from among the 
best classes in all denominations. The students from the 
Presbyterian Seminary in Allegheny frequented his evening 
services, and he had been much sought after to speak on all sorts 
of public occasions. 

But during the late years of his multiplied labors he knew 
that he was not doing justice either to himself or to his people. 
What could he do? He dearly loved his people and was not 
less loved by them. He could not for a long time endure the 
thought of resigning, but the unwelcome necessity became more 
and more clear. He became satisfied that it must come. 

During the latter part of the year 1854 he first mentioned 
his determination to his mother in these words : 

"At the next meeting of the church council I intend to 
hand in my resignation, to take effect on the first of April, and 
if they cannot be supplied before by another pastor and desire 
me to continue, on the first of June. If the latter is the case 
I will then have been pastor for eleven years. A long time, and 



RESIGNS FIRST CHURCH, ETC. 281 

yet how short it appears now that it has nearly passed away. 
1 can say with truth that no one act of my life has been longer 
or more calmly considered, and I am perfectly easy in my mind 
about the question of duty in this matter. Possibly I may be 
mistaken in the indication of events, but it appears to me that 
my life is to be devoted to the cause of mercy among the poor 
8nd suffering. Should the future convince me that I have 
mistaken my vocation, I shall know that no earthly motives or 
object impelled me to accept the course I have taken." 

His mother was greatly exercised and not a little worried 
at this news. To her mind it meant a laying down of the 
ministry of the Gospel. She had objected more and more to 
his taking upon himself so many heavy burdens. Her German 
heart was especially vexed at the contracting of so many and 
such hea^y debts and at the need of the constant "begging," 
as she called it. When he was about to contract for the erection 
of some necessary buildings on the Zelienople Orphan Farm 
she had written him this almost bitter complaint : 

"As to your success in collecting, no one else, I believe, 
would have got so much in so short a time ; but, after all, what 
are the feAv hundreds in view of the many thousands necessary 
for the immense building you are again undertaking? For, 
besides the fifteen thousand dollars as per contract, there will 
again be many 'extras,' fencing, laying out the grounds and 
now the building of a stable and necessary conveniences for Mr. 
Bassler, which will swell the already enormous sum to several 
thousands more. What 'appeals,' what 'festivals' will be 
needed till this large amount is collected, and how mortifying 
to always see my son before the public in the character of a 
beggar ! The ' faith ' of which you speak so much seems to me 
in such a case nothing but presumption. In fact, faith, being 
the substance of things not seen, relates more to spiritual things, 
and in temporal ones only to assistance from ills which we have 
not brought on ourselves by our own fault. But when we rush 
headlong into difficulties, make enormous debts while we are 
commanded to 'owe no man,' I do not believe we are authorized 
to expect relief. You will perhaps reply 'that it is too late now 
to pause.' But you must remember that from the first I made 
the same objections, and when you engaged the land from 
Ziegler (while I happened to be absent in Ohio) you comforted 
me with the assurance 'that it would be years before buildings 



282 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

would be erected.' You must, therefore, not wonder that I am 
dismayed when I find these troubles come on like an avalanche 
while I am yet here." 

He answers her briefly thus: 

"I have been greatly troubled of late, dearest mother, to 
find that you take things so hard concerning the responsibilities 
which I have assumed. Would that I could say something to 
allay your fears in my behalf. But I can only add, in addition 
to what I have already said, that every day 's experience con- 
vinces me more and more that 'he that believeth shall not be 
confounded.' On Wednesday, in visiting a sick lady near 
Lawrenceville (Mrs. Collins, who has had a stroke of paralysis) 
a gentleman met me and told me that on mentioning his inten- 
tion to his wife to give two hundred dollars to the Home she 
begged him to make it two hundred and fift.y and charge her 
with the additional sum. And so instances of similar interposi- 
tion are constantly occurring which make it impossible for me 
to doubt that there is a hand above which is adjusting all Ihings 
to the praise and glory of His holy name." 

But when he finally resolved to resign she almost rebelled 
and wrote one of the severest letters he had ever received from 
her. This letter from that good mother, whom he loved so dearly 
and whose good advice he delighted to follow, hurt him sorely, 
and he answered: 

"Your truly kind letter has been duly received and is 
gratefully acknowledged. I confess, however, that it has caused 
me no little uneasiness, for I see that you greatly misunderstand 
my position in the future, and I do not wonder that this gives 
your tender heart anxiety and pain. There is no one or earth 
whose opinion has more weight upon my mind than yours, 
dearest mother, and certainly there are none whom I am more 
anxious to gain over to my way of regarding certain things than 
you, the guide and friend of my youth and the one to whom 
under God I owe the little of good that is in my character, and 
the measure of usefulness which I have been permitted (though 
so unworthy) to attain. And, therefore, on the risk of writing- 
en a thread-bare theme, for my own peace of mind and your 
relief (for I cannot but think that much of your pain arises 
from a misconception) you will permit me to write once more on 
the subject. 



RESIGNS FIRST CHURCH, ETC. 283 

"And first, I confess to the sad side of the picture, the 
resignation of my church and the sundering of the ties which 
have so long and so pleasantly bound me to this people. That 
I will feel all this, even more deeply than the congregation, I 
knew full well and have reflected upon it much for many years 
in looking forward to this event. 

"But in the second place you greatly err in regarding this 
as a laying down of the ministry for what you regard as secular 
things pertaining merely to the bodies of men. I confess that I 
v«'as wounded by tjie quotation from the letter I wrote when I 
entered the ministry, nor do I see in what way I am to be 
charged with having forsaken the ground then expressed. My 
views and feelings are precisely the same, and no price could 
induce me to cease preaching the gospel, I mean not a 'begging' 
gospel, but the gospel of Christ, 'which is the power of God 
unto salvation to every one that beiieveth. ' I have never yet, 
when away from home, preached a sermon on 'giving,' never 
anything that referred to it, never one in the cause of orphans 
or the sick, but always a sermon for the spiritual welfare of the 
congregation; and when any addresses were made on these 
topics they were announced as such in the evening or generally 
during the week. Sermons on 'giving,' etc., I have none, and 
while some brethren may be able to preach them, I cannot. The 
most that I have ever done in this line when abroad was to 
make a brief statement of five minutes in length of the Home 
and its aims just before benediction, and then leave the whole 
subject to the voluntary action of pious people to send in any 
money if they desire it. Nor have I ever yet taken up a 
collection in a church for the Home after such a statement. 
This, dear mother, is the amount of my 'begging' and the idea 
and mode I pursue when I go East and as occasion may offer 
labor between times for the Home. Unless my views of duty 
as well as all my feelings undergo an entire change, it is the 
course I hope to pursue hereafter. 

"Besides all this, so far from not preaching at home and 
having idle Sundays, I have no idea of anything of the kind. 
Preach, I will, and preach I must, and 'woe is me if I preach 
not the gospel.' But I cannot but add a remark or two on the 
expression 'secular' in opposition to 'spiritual' anxieties, of 
which you speak in your letter. Here is just where I have all 
along differed with so many of our Protestant ministers. Al- 



284 THE LIFE OF W. A. PA8SAVANT. 

ready in Baltimore I had a society for the relief of physical 
suffering, because such suffering had to be relieved in order to 
do the unhappy victims spiritual good. I do not, dearest 
mother, think that anything is comparable to the soul and its 
salvation. But what wonder that the suffering lose all belief 
in spiritual things when so many pastors neglect the plainest 
duties to their wretched and miserable poor? What wonder 
that reflecting men are disgusted at the religion of our pewed 
city churches with their awful want of mercy and charity? 
Take the following as an illustration. You know I found poor 
Alonzo Gross in jail, a raving maniac ; and for some weeks 
past we have had Wesley Hoon in the Infirmary, literally 
covered with the most loathsome smallpox. Here were the 
sons of our two next neighbors, both companions of my boyhood, 
both 'strangers' in the city, both unable to find a home in the 
hour of their distress at any price; and what had the secular 
authorities for these unhappy ones? A jail for one and 
absolutely no place for the other. The spiritual authorities of 
the city had done nothing, but, like the priest and the Levite, 
were passing by on the other side. Now, when such a state of 
things exists here and elsewhere, is it going out of the appro- 
priate sphere of the ministry to endeavor to do something more 
than to preach the gospel ? The gospel must be lived as well 
as told, or men disregard it as an idle dream. All this we feel 
more deeply in such a bustling city where every one is for 
himself and people scarcely know each other, much more than 
it is possible in the quiet homes of our village. And if I 
express myself strongly, it is not for want of a proper regard 
for the opinions of her whose will to me is next to that of God, 
but because I see such an amount of uncared-for wretchedness 
from day to day, and such general and awful insufficiency, 
indifference and positive neglect on the part of many ministers 
that I feel it to be my duty to preach in a position in which I 
may be able at the same time to contribute my mite in the 
relief of suffering humanity and its salvation." 

His answer in a manner reconciles his mother, and she 
replies : 

"I was glad to find from your letter that you still take 
the same delight in preaching as in the happier times when yon 
first entered the ministry. But could you not spiritually do 
good by assisting other ministers without encumbering yourself 



RESIGNS FIRST CHURCH, ETC. 285 

afresh with a new congregation ? Have you not experimentally 
discovered that it is impossible for you to do justice to it and 
also to your troublesome Institutions? For although your 
congregation may be but small at first, yet the convenience of 
'free seats' will soon fill it, and with a people too unable to 
contribute much to the necessary repairs and church expenses, 
so that by this new undertaking a prospect of more collecting 
labors is before you and the certainty of greatly hurting the 
feelings of your old congregation, who will very naturally 
conclude that if you can attend to the duties of a new congre- 
gation (in some respects more arduous) you might just as 
well have remained with one where everything was under way 
and in order. I am unfortunate, dear William, to be obliged to 
act so often as a damper in your well-meant zeal. It is not from a 
wish to contradict, but because I have more experience and fore- 
thought, and our minds are entirely differently constituted. 
The happiness of your life is to give scope to your fertile 
imagination and form plans on which you allow yourself to 
dwell till they become 'convictions' of duty, while it would make 
me insane to be distracted with such manifold responsibilities. 
Therefore I shall add nothing more on these subjects but my 
sincerest wish that you may not fail in your multifarious 
enterprises. ' ' 

When, on Jan. 8, 1855, he offered his resignation to the 
church council, he made it final, so that the council was 
compelled to accept it. A committee was appointed to draw 
up an address to the retiring pastor. This committee afterwards 
reported these resolutions through Thomas H. Lane, which were 
unanimously adopted and presented to Mr, Passavant: 

"Whereas, The pastoral relation which has existed during 
the last eleven years between the Rev. Wm. A. Passavant and the 
First English Evangelical Lutheran church of this city has been 
terminated by his voluntary resignation, he being impelled to 
the relinquishment of his charge of the congregation by the 
accumulated labors and responsibilities incident to the ex- 
panding demands of benevolent enterprises founded by him in 
the church, and to which he feels called by the voice of God to 
devote entirely his time and energies, we feel prompted to 
record our sense of sorrow at the loss we sustain as a congrega- 
tion in thus being deprived of his able and earnest ministra- 
tions ; therefore 



286 TEE LIFE OF W.A. P ASSAY ANT. 

"Resolved, That we cherish with gratitude to God the 
remembrance of that period of our history during which he 
presided over our congregation, a period characterized by a 
mutual participation in many signal manifestations of mercy, 
as well as the endurance of many dark hours of adversity and 
affliction. 

"Resolved, That we esteem him as an able ambassador for 
Christ, who in the public discharge of the duties of his calling 
amongst us has been distinguished for his earnest and eloquent 
presentation of 'the truth as it is in Jesus,' and that whilst 
preferring to win souls to the service of the Redeemer by the 
persuasive motives of the cross he 'kept back nothing that was 
profitable to us. ' Whilst he ever sought prominently to set before 
his people that 'pure religion and undefiled before God and 
the Father is this: To visit the fatherless and the widow in- 
their affliction and keep ourselves unspotted from the world,' 
his own private character has beautifully adorned the sacred 
precept. 

' ' Resolved, That we shall not only cherish the remembrance 
of his former labors amongst us, but shall likewise follow with 
our sympathies and prayers his efforts to relieve suffering 
humanity and extend the Master's Kingdom in the sphere of 
his present engagements, commending him, his family and his 
prospects to the guardian care of Him whom we serve in the 
full assurance that 'he shall in no wise lose his reward.' " 

As no pastor could be secured at once, Mr. Passavant still 
had to serve for about half a year. During these final months, 
he and his family were made to feel more than ever how deep 
was the love of this people toward them. The last Sunday came 
and with it the tears and kind words and silent pressure of the 
hand that speaks more than words. The heavy labors of a city 
pastor were over. He writes to his mother: 

' ' I find it exceedingly delightful to be relieved in mind from 
the heavy charge of so large a congregation, and cannot be 
sufficiently grateful to God that I was enabled to make the 
sacrifice of my situation for the sake of His suffering poor. 
Since my resignation everything has worked together for good, 
and in many delightful ways has God given me to feel that 
I am assuredly in the path of duty. I will tell you of some of 
these strange and delightful experiences when we meet." 



RESIGNS FIRST CHURCH, ETC. 287 

About Christmas 1855, he writes his mother this interesting 
account of the new manner of life: 

''My dearest mother, A happy Christmas to you, thou dear 
and faithful Guide and Friend and Mother of my youth and 
manhood ! May our heavenly Father look graciously upon you 
on the morning of this sweet day,which commemorates the 
coming of our Lord in the flesh, and bless you with a long life 
and vigorous health, and His peace which passeth all under- 
standing. May you be cheered by the filial love and gratitude 
and obedience of your children while you live, and be refreshed 
by the unmistakable evidences of God's blessing resting upon 
them and their offspring. These with every other benediction 
which a loving heart can wish for those it loves, I fervently 
beseech Almighty God upon your behalf 

"I cannot omit speaking about the results of my new mode 
of life, dearest mother, as this has given you so many anxieties 
and cares for our sake. In a few days more it will be seven 
months since I felt called upon to resign the church and cast 
myself and family upon God. After thirteen years of severe 
pastoral labor I feel that I needed a change for a longer or 
shorter period as the case might be. I needed time for the 
settling up of many unsettled things, for a freer mode of opera- 
tion, unhampered and unhindered by the incessant funerals 
and visitations of a large and widely dispersed congregation. 
After seven months of trial I have learned not a few lessons, 
but I am more and more thankful every day for the step which 
God gave me grace to take. In addition to the collection of 
several thousand dollars for the Home and Farm School and 
Infirmary, and the great amount of labor, traveling and corre- 
spondence which were required by the peculiar situation of the 
Farm School just at its commencement, the sum of five thous- 
and dollars has been given me for the purchase of the farm of 
the Widow's Home at Rochester. A beautiful site of eleven 
acres adjoining it has been presented for a school for poor 
children, and a conditional promise of three thousand dollars 
voluntarily made me towards it by a gentleman in this city. 
In the case of both these things I will do nothing, so help me 
God, until the means are furnished to complete the building, 
while a good residence for the director already stands on the 
place with all the necessary outhouses. Besides attending Synods 
in Harrisburg, Canton, and Dayton, and in many ways preach- 
ing, lecturing and operating for missions and mercy, I have 



288 THE LIFE OF W .A. PASS AV ANT. 

visited some six of the Missions of Synod, as IMission President 
and in different ways sought to establish and build them up. 
During the unoccupied Sundays I have gone down to Rochester, 
where a church ninety feet in length is now being roofed in 
and where every prospect exists of establishing a much larger 
congregation than the one I resigned. What the final results may 
be at Rochester, I cannot now say, but I have never before 
labored in a more hopeful field, or with more of hope and satis- 
faction than there. You will therefore, see that so far from 
retiring from the active duties of the ministry by such a life^ 
I am in them as fully as ever and the results of the first seven 
months' labor have far exceeded my most sanguine hopes. I 
desire to give all the praise and honor to Him who alone has 
given this success, and to thank Him unceasingly for His 
mercy. 

"The great advantage of my present position is that my 
services cost these different interests nothing, while the fact 
that I was laboring freely and in a disinterested manner has 
not only increased my usefulness but greatly augmented the 
amount of collections and donations in their behalf. 

"But how have I been supported? I scarcely know, if I 
must confess it. One gentleman in Baltimore, an Episcopalian, 
gave me fifty dollars, a member of my church gave twenty 
dollars, and this is the sum total of donations in money yet 
received ! And yet I have paid my rent till October, have made 
no debts, and am now more liberally provided for with pota- 
toes, cabbage, sauerkraut, meat, flour, meal, sugar, coffee, tea, 
etc., than I ever have been since we kept house. Neither have 
I used the legacy from Germany nor the five hundred dollars 
of wedding fees which I borrowed from Eliza to meet a payment 
on a church lot adjoining the Infirmary and which is on interest. 
During all this time, I can say with perfect truth that we have 
never lacked, and though not a few times without a farthing, 
whenever we really needed either money or other things, we re- 
ceived them in one way or another without our interposition 
or asking. As an example, just as we were about laying in 
our winter stock of groceries last week there came from some 
unknown source a barrel of flour, a bag of coffee, keg of sugar, 
tea, rice, starch, etc. Very few persons know anything or 
even suspect anything of my real situation, but still God sup- 
plies all our wants and we know neither care nor anxiety about 
the future. Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His good- 



RESIGNS FIRST CHURCH, ETC. 289 

ness and for His wonderful mercy to the sons of men. Earewell. 
Dear Eliza unites in tender love to you all and the little ones 
send each a kiss to their dear grandmamma." 

On the occasion of a visit to the East in the Autumn of 
1860, the Board of Trustees of Pennsylvania College conferred 
upon him the title of Doctor of Divinity. He positively de- 
clined the honor. To his mother he writes : 

"My visit to Gettysburg was a season of high social enjoy- 
ment and only one thing gave me trouble, and that was the 
foolish and most unwelcome doctorate which annoyed me be- 
yond measure, until I had met with the Board in the afternoon 
after Commencement, and after thanking the Faculty and the 
trustees for the unmerited compliment, politely handed the 
whole affair back. Headache and heartache were then gone 
and though I was severely censured by my best friends (with 
the exception of brother Bassler) I was once more relieved and 
happy. Apropos of such trifles, I think them all 'well enough' 
in the case of eminent scholars and divines, but wretchedly 
out of place in the case of the great bulk of men who wear 
them or strain after them, as many do. Hence, I was wholly 
unwilling to have such a handle to my name, which ought to 
mean a great deal, but in my case and many more means really 
nothing. But enough on this unpleasant subject. Never will 
I use it in connection with my name and trust that others 
will respect my feelings and do me the kindness to leave it off 
forever. ' ' 

In spite of all his disclaimers, however, the title stuck to 
him and from the time he received it we call him Doctor Passa- 
vant. 

During the winter of 1858, his family was afflicted for 
nine weeks with scarlet fever. This virulent disease had broken 
out in the Girls' Orphan Home and had been carried from 
there into Passavant's home. During all these weary weeks, 
when death seemed to be hovering over the family, the goad 
and grind of the work iiust go on. The large family of sick 
and orphans in the Institutions must have medicine and bread. 
Collections must be made to pay the bills that were daily ac- 
cumulating. The Missionary must be edited and correspondence 
kept up and the care of all the churches carried. 

In the chapter which gives us the Director's report on the 
orphans, we have an account of the opening of the Germantown 
Orphan Home and of the hand that Dr. Passavant and his 



290 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASS AY ANT. 

Deaconesses had in its inception and initial management. The 
discouragement and hardships incident to its starting, especial- 
ly during the long siege of sickness in the Passavant family, so 
discouraged the majoagement that they thought of temporarily 
closing its doors. When Dr. Passavant was informed of this, 
his patience almost failed him. He would not hear to such a 
movement for a moment. The idea of closing up an Institution 
of mercy, which he believed was, as all his other institutions 
were a child of Providence and of prayer, seemed to him to 
savor too much of unbelief and disobedience toward the divine 
Master. Pie protested vigorously, went on at once to German- 
town, lent a helping hand and again revived hope and courage. 
The Institution was not closed. Mrs. Schaeffer was the efficient 
and courageous local leader in the movement. She stood nobly 
by Dr. Passavant and at his suggestion took up the work with 
new determination and zeal. 

On the occasion of this hasty trip to Philadelphia, Dr. 
Passavant was urged to allow himself to be called as pastor to 
St. Mark's English Lutheran Church. This was one of the 
most desirable congregations in the General Synod, but nothing 
could tempt him from his chosen path in the work of mercy. 

We have noticed incidentally how the Doctor for a number 
of years missionated among the hills and valleys of Beaver 
County about eighteen miles below Pittsburg. In connection 
with his work at Rochester, Pa., begun by preaching in the car 
shop there, he used to visit the village of Baden on ' Sunday 
afternoons. There he preached at first in a school house and 
afterwards built the neat frame church. After he had gathered 
a goodly congregation and built a church at Rochester, he re- 
resigned that congregation and gave his Sundays to Baden and 
the regions round about, establishing congregations and build- 
ing churches at Logstown, Crow's Run and Rehoboth. Thus 
he set an example of how mission work can be done at home by 
every pastor who is willing to take up the extra toil it costs. 
In urging such mission work upon our pastors, the Doctor 
writes : 

"Now it is not too much to say that there are thousands 
of such neglected fields over the land. We know of great 
stretches of country, indeed, whole counties into which our 
German and Scandinavian people have been going for years 
for whose spiritual benefit no provisions whatever have been 
made. Ask the pastors in the adjoining counties and they will 



RESIGNS FIRST CHURCH, ETC. 291 

probably reply that here or there may be found an individual 
or family of emigrants, but that 'they are so scattered that 
nothing can be done for them.' In fact no one knows the real 
condition of affairs, and the consequence is that nothing is 
done to explore the field or look after these neglected ones. We 
have before us such a county, only now partially visited, where, 
under faithful exploration a most hopeful mission has been 
laid out with every prospect of establishing three churches. 
Not a few families have lived there from twenty to thirty years 
and have worked their way up from poverty to comfortable 
homes and farms. .Such instances might be multiplied to an 
indefinite extent. They show that our present system of 
missionating in the east is a most imperfect one. Even where 
Synods are most energetic in looking after the neglected, com- 
paratively little is done in seeking the scattered individuals of 
our home and foreign population. Thousands find themselves 
in a nominally Christian land with churches on every side, 
but without the ability to understand the language in the land 
in which they are strangers. The isolation is often most sad 
and their spiritual state pitiable. The children grow up care- 
less and godless or are alienated from the faith and the church 
of their parents, never to be gathered again. 

* ' If it be said in this connection, that our ministry is wholly 
insuf^cient for this great work, it is enough to add that we 
should do what we can to supply the need. Voluntary mission 
work might easily be done by at least a thousand of our 
pastors in destitute localities not too far to be reached from 
the parent church. Even supposing that the appointment is 
but a monthly one and on Sunday afternoon the preparatory 
work can thus be done towards the ingathering of the people 
into churches and the establishment of classes of instruction 
and Sunday schools. We know of entire pastorates thus built 
up without the sound of a hammer or the outlay of a dollar of 
mission money. Let the members of the Council occasionally 
accompany the pastor to such points and in the absence of 
suitable workers let some friendly conveyance take out the 
needed singers and teachers. In a word, instead of our churches 
being mere funnels into which the water of life is poured, 
learn the lesson of sending forth water from the wells of sal- 
vation. Every church, however, small or weak, should be a 
missionary church to share with others the bread of life. Such 
home mission work would bring new life into the churches 



292 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

and revolutionize all old conceptions of the gospel and its 
blessings. 

"The work of exploration in neighboring places and counties 
dare not be neglected. If necessary, without longer delay, let 
a few neighboring pastors supply the charge of one or two of 
their number and after the churches have commended them to 
the grace of God, let them go forth to seek the lost sheep of the 
house of Israel. At the first coming in many places, only a 
simple service can be held in the evening, a few neighbors 
being called in, but appointments could be left for the preach- 
ing of the Word on their return. In this -way, in a few weeks, 
pcores of places could be visited and the word of salvation 
brought to many a home. 

"But to do this effectually, love to God and man must be 
the great motive power. If attempted in another spirit, it will 
be a wretched failure. It cannot be done in cold blood. The 
fire of divine love must warm the heart. The holy enthusiasm 
of saving souls must fire the spirit. 'That my house may be 
full' is the motive of Christ. He Svill have all men to be 
saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.' Into oneness 
with this merciful purpose, the Church must be brought and 
then will it' teach transgressors His way and sinners shall be 
converted to God'." 

Afer the dedication of the new church in Rochester, Pa., 
Dr. Passavant writes this reminiscent editorial, which looks 
back to the Pittsburg Church: 

* ' In looking back over the history of this church, we cannot 
but say: 'What hath God wrought!' In July it will be thirty 
one years since the first sermon was preached by a Lutheran 
minister in Rochester. In the absence of any church edifice 
in the place, a mixed multitude were assembled in an un- 
finished car factory, while the work bench, with a board nailed 
across it for the Bible, was pointed out as our pulpit. There 
and in a large paint shop, we preached for eighteen months, 
without a single member. The year after, a large Gothic church 
was built and at first service in the unfinished building, with 
muslin in the windows, and rough planks for seats, tw^elve per- 
sons were baptized or confirmed. Once by the breaking up 
of the Car Company and twice by the deaths of members during 
the war, the little flock was well-nigh scattered. So also, by 
pastoral changes and the destruction of the church by fire, with 
long vacancies between, the faith of the congregation was 



RESIGNS FIRST CHURCH, ETC. 293 

sorely tried. And yet it clung to life with marvelous tenacity. 
It was, indeed, cast down, but was not destroyed. Often it 
seemed ' as one dead ' and some said ' it is dead. ' But it heroically 
said, ■' I shall not die, but live and praise the name of the Lord. ' 
And here is the result: 

"In addition to the fine church at Rochester, the Baden 
charge of four congregations, each having their own comfortable 
church, has since been established on a territory where not a 
member of the Lutheran Church was knoA^Ti for eighteen 
months after services were held. These all, in a certain sense, 
may be said to have grown out of the undertaking at Rochester 
while the present church with a beautiful house of worship and 
a membership of nearly one hundred and their own pastor 
enters upon a new career of resurrection and life. Truly this 
is the Lord 's doings and it is marvelous in our eyes ! ' Unto Him 
be glory by the church throughout all ages, world without end. 
Amen ! ' 

"But this lesson of the divine working is not the only one 
which the history of this church and its connections presents. 
It shoM's that the apostolic faith which Rome stigmatized as 
' Lutheranism, ' is but another name for primitive Christian- 
ity. All the material it needs, out of which to build up living 
churches, is sinning and suffering men. From the first, the 
ministrations of the gospel in these places were to the neglected 
and lost. It was carried into the lanes and streets, the highways 
and hedges, and men were made to see that they must repent 
and believe or perish. In several localities, which no one would 
enter, the poor had the gospel preached to them and the hill- 
side was the pulpit and the hearers sat upon the ground. The 
result is seen in Christian congregations and well-ordered com- 
munities, while the young are growing up in Christian house- 
holds. Out of the debris of such neglected people and denomi- 
nations, God's word has silently builded up believing churches 
whose charities already extend from the suffering at home to 
the heathen in India and the destitute in our o-wm land. It is 
indeed 'a little one,' but great truths have been established and 
all can see from the results that our Church can go forth every- 
where preaching the Word. The same blessed results will follow, 
for the Word which we confess and preach 'is the power of 
God unto salvation to every man that believeth, to the Jew first 
and also to the Greek'." 

During the Summer of 1872, Mr. Peters had charge of the 



294 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

congregation at Chartiers and Rochester, Pa., under the super- 
vision of Dr. Passavant. Of his experience during that memor- 
able summer, he sent us the following reminiscence : 

"It was in these two congregations that I had my first ex- 
perience as the pastor and preacher under the direction and 
counsel of Dr. Passavant. My very first experience in pastoral 
work was with him at Chartiers. One morning he took me with 
him and we climbed the hills and threaded the valleys together, 
visiting from house to house and always paying special attention 
to the poor and the most needy. After a few words of greeting 
and inquiry the Doctor would take the Bible, read and comment 
briefly upon a passage and then we would all kneel and he would 
offer a prayer or call upon me to do so. This I did with hesita- 
tion and trembling in his presence. The manner in which I 
was enabled to discharge this humble duty seemed to please 
him and was a source of encouragement to me and aided me 
in the conviction that I had not mistaken my calling. I was 
with him a great deal during that summer. Whenever he re- 
turned from one of his many absences, he would send for me 
to tell him the state of affairs in his large parish and I would 
thus be enabled to spend a profitable hour in his study. Al- 
though one of the busiest of men at all times, and the greatest 
letter writer I ever knew, he would always find time to talk to 
young men who were studying for the ministry. I soon found 
that one of his habits in dealing with young men was to put 
them on their mettle. Frequently, it would be Saturday evening 
before I would find out where I was to preach next morning. 
He had advised me in the beginning to prepare a few good 
sermons of a general character and to master them so thorough- 
ly that I could make use of them on short notice. He even sug- 
gested subjects for such sermons. But after I had preached 
for some time in the two congregations, my stock was used up 
and Saturday evening, would find me unprepared to go to the 
same place where I had been the Sunday before. The Doctor 
believed in testing his boys in this way. "We did not take to it 
kindly at the time but it proved beneficial in the future. The 
severest test I had was at a reunion of the boys and girls of 
the two orphan homes held at Zelienople. I rode over with the 
girls from Rochester in the big wagons, singing along the 
way. After dinner in the grove, the Doctor came to me and 
said that he would call upon me for a short address. After 
much fear and trembling, I got through after a fashion. Noth- 



RESIGNS FIRST CHURCH, ETC. 295 

ing that I ever did in my connection with the Doctor pleased 
him so well and he was unusually free in his commendations. 
"During the whole summer the Doctor never said a word 
about remuneration ; this was another of his favorite tests. 
The congregations gave me nothing. As the time to return to 
the Seminary drew near, I became quite anxious. The Doctor 
had provided for me at the hospital and had furnished me with 
traveling expenses and pocket money. But how was I to get 
through the Seminary? A few days before I was to leave for 
Philadelphia, the good Doctor called me aside and handed me 
two hundred dollars. I tell you I was glad. I thanked God 
and took courage. I never found out whether he paid this out 
of his own pocket or received it from the congregations." 

Dr. Passavant knew the value of pastoral visits. We have 
seen that while he had a church he was a model pastor among 
the people. He knew how to approach all classes and conditions 
of men and how to give to each a word in season. He knew how 
to make every visit count for the temporal and spiritual good * 
of the one visited. The writer of this, when a theological stu- 
dent, had the privilege of assisting him for two summers in his 
mission work in the congregations of Chartiers Creek and in 
Beaver County. Those months of missionating can never be 
forgotten. It was then and there that we learned our pastoral 
theology. It was in the daily companionship of this man of God 
as he went in and out, talked, read and prayed with all kinds 
of people in all kinds of places called homes, that we began to 
realize what "Seelsorge". or the care of souls means. What 
a blessing it would be if all our theological students could thus 
spend a year going about in pastoral work with a godly and 
consecrated " Seelsorger. " Again and again the thought comes 
to us that a great desideratum of our theological training is a 
real soul clinic under the guiding and inspiring eye and hand 
of a soul physician. We give a brief editorial of Dr. Passavant 
on Pastoral Visitng : 

"It would be difficult to overstate the importance of pastor- 
al visiting. The reader will please put emphasis on the right 
word, we say, pastoral visiting. Ministers sometimes excuse 
their neglect of this duty by alleging that they can see no 
good resulting from their visits. ^ But they will find, if such 
be the case, that the reason of it almost invariably is that they 
do not visit as pastors. To hurry into a house, loll for a few 
moments on the sofa, look at the pictures on the walls, ask care- 



296 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

lessly one or two questions about the family without listening 
to the answer, this we freely admit is useless. Indeed that word 
is too complimentary if by it is meant that such visits by the 
pastor are merely unprofitable. They are pernicious. Neither 
does it add to the benefits of his call if the pastor enters the 
house langiiidly with the air of a wretched mortal goaded to 
the performance of an unpleasant duty. Even though his 
visits be prolonged, and he contrives to pass through the topics 
suggested by the weather and the news of the day and passes 
through the church chat, (for even the sanctuary may have its 
prattle and its scandal), even with these agreeable variations 
the visit of the pastor is not likely to accomplish good. 

*'The visit that profits must be truly pastoral. It must 
present the clergyman in his official character as a minister of 
righteousness and must be designed for the spiritual good of his 
people. Let his zeal, however, always be directed by a sound 
judgment and let him remember that where disgust begins profit 
• ends. The man who recklessly assails even the prejudices of 
his fellowmen will conciliate no regard for himself nor respect 
for the truth he is aiming to diffuse. The visits of a pastor, if 
faithfully made, will benefit him as much as they do his people. 
They will tend to spiritualize his heart, to give refinement and 
depth to his Christian character, to impart variety to his ser- 
mons, and to render his ministration rich in practical and ex- 
perimental value." 

Dr. Passavant always laid great stress on being rightly 
called. He would never undertake anything without the assur- 
ance that it was God's will that he should do it then and there. 
This was one of the distinguishing and strong factors in the 
character and life of the man. This formed the text for many 
a letter to a restless place-seeker. He had no patience with the 
itch for change, the hankering for fields untried and pastures 
new. He believed that no consideration of ease, inclination, or 
environment should come between a vocation and a minister. 
When the writer of this was in the senior year at the Seminary 
and had assisted Dr. Passavant at Chartiers and Baden for 
two summers, the people at Chartiers expressed a unanimous 
desire to have him as pastor. Though not yet in written form, 
the Doctor believed that this ^express desire was a call from the 
Lord through the church. Meanwhile the writer had a written 
call from Nova Scotia. He wanted to go with a classmate who 
had accepted a contiguous charge. He naturally consulted 



RESIGNS FIRST CHURCH, ETC, 297 

Dr. Passavant and several letters passed between them. To give 
a sample of the Doctor's creed on a call, we append the following 
extract from one of his letters which had an influence that could 
never be lost: 

"You may not realize the utter wretchedness of laboring 
in a field where you have placed yourself nor can you yet under- 
stand the consolation of being in a place where you have been 
placed by the great Head of the church. But for the certainty 
I feel in my vocation from Christ, I would long since have 
fallen in despair, but I stand in darkness as in the day, know- 
ing 'whose I am and whom I serve,' and quietly abiding at my 
post. 

"Let this suffice, then for the present, in regard to Chartiers 
or Nova Scotia. What God does is well done. The reverse is 
equally true for 'without Him we can do nothing'." 

Dr. Passavant always deprecated and deplored a restless 
ministry ever on the lookout for call to a new field and con- 
stantly changing from place to place. Here are extracts from 
an editorial on a New Beatitude, Blessed are they who stick: 

"The sad influence of the prevalent unrest is seen even 
in ministerial life. The pastors of some of the most numerous 
denominations cannot remain more than from three to five years. 
The average in some other churches, where such a restrictive 
rule does not exist, is not greater than this. The consequence 
is a perpetual change of pastors and a frequent vacancy of 
the churches. Some men, not ten years from the seminary, have 
changed twice, thrice and even four times. They went into 
the work with great zeal, they laid the foundations for needed 
improvements, they gained the confidence of the people and 
began to know the community. They were encouraged to go 
forward and had every prospect of enlarged success, but in the 
midst of all, a mistake was made, some misunderstanding oc- 
curred, some friends were alienated, some opposition was en- 
countered, and instead of living down all these by meeting and 
overcoming them in a Christian way, they yielded to the tempta- 
tion and were 'available' to calls from other churches. And 
they 'went elsewhere,' again to 'go elsewhere,' and to follow 
on changing and shifting until their reputation was gone and 
calls, even on suggestions from themselves and others, came no 
more. 

"Now, while nothing is more certain than that some changes 
are necessary in doing the work of the Church, and that certain 



298 TEE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT, 

other changes, because of sickness, disability and other causes 
are unavoidable, this everlasting changing from one field of 
labor to another is a source of great weakness in the church. 
When once called of God, 'rightly called' as our Confession 
has it, there is no greater source of blessedness in ministerial 
life than the conviction that we are where the Holy Ghost has 
made us 'overseers' or 'bishops.' Knowing this, the hardest 
field becomes a very garden of the Lord. It may be a waste 
place of Zion or a burnt district or a field where Satan's seat 
is, with few or no advantages of society or culture, but 
it is a place so near heaven where we know that God has called 
us that a blessedness of a pastor's life is indescribable and quite 
on the verge of heaven. In such a position the Christian pastor 
may safely remain, doing his utmost to build again Zion, and 
working on hopefully against all discouragements. If he is 
to go elsewhere, he need not be careful about the time when 
or the place whither. He may quietly remain where he is, 
doing his whole duty as before, and leaving all in the hands of 
God 

"The blessedness of such 'patient continuance in well 
doing' is seen i;i many striking instances in the history of our 
Lutheran Church. The work of Oberlin, among the barren 
rocks of Steinthal in the Vosges Mountains of Alsace, and the 
labors of Harms in the sandy heaths around Hermansburg, 
Hanover, show what faith and persistency in duty can ac- 
complish in the most hopeless fields. We have few such fields, 
but we have many where success is impossible without the 
same faith which made them as the very garden of the Lord. 
What our system cannot effect by any rule, a heroic faith with 
love must accomplish. The old heroic spirit must be renewed 
as in the days of old. The call of duty, the vocation from 
God, the obligation to abide at our calling until ordered else- 
w'here, the love of souls for whom Christ died, and above all 
the love of Him who hath redeemed us by His holy blood, 
these mighty influences must enter as living factors into our 
spiritual life. When this is more largely the case, we will 
realize the blessedness of abiding where we have been called 
of God." 

When the writer of this, during his first years at Chartiers, 
found it next to impossible to pay off his seminary debt and 
support his family on five hundred a year, and felt restive 
under the strain. Dr. Passavant kindly proffered assistance 



RESIGNS FIRST CHURCH, ETC. 299 

which was not a charity and inspired new heart and hope with 
the following words: 

"Labor on for the poor and the wandering as you have 
done and even more abundantly, walking not by sight but by 
faith as seeing Him who is invisible. 'Er der Allmaechtige 
Gott wird alles herrlich maclien wenn Seine Zeit da ist.' 

"I hope that nothing visible nor invisible will keep you 
back from the duties of each new day. 'Sow beside all waters.' 
The most unpropitious soil often proves the most hopeful and 
the reverse, alas, is often the case. God has placed you in a 
position of trial and struggle to hold 'the fort' for Ilim, where 
Romanism and indifference reign. Let this develop the true 
Christian heroism of fidelity to the uttermost in the sphere 
where you are placed. Make full proof of your ministry, do 
the work of an evangelist; live near the Savior and walk with 
God before the world and your household." 

Here is an account of another remarkable manifestation 
of good will that came in unexpectedly and kept him and his 
family comfortable and free from care without any visible 
means of support. He writes his mother: 

"As you may hear some intimations of what has lately 
happened to me, I must not longer conceal from you the fact 
of a very pleasant donation visit which I received on Thursday 
night. Last week, a committee of ladies, among whom was Miss 
Morehead, called at our house and informed us that they were 
deputed to inform us that some friends from the community 
at large would call at our house Thursday afternoon and night, 
for the purpose of testifying their appreciation of my labors 
among the poor and showing their personal good will. Accord- 
ingly, as it was quite out of the question to refuse (especially 
as the whole affair had gone on too far to stop it) we gave a 
reluctant consent and on Thursday morning the ladies came 
and took formal possession of the whole house. 

"My study and Mr. Reek's room were turned into one, 
and three or four tables were stretched out from end to end 
which were quickly loaded with all manner of good things, such 
as hams, cakes, preserves, pickles, etc., until it looked like a 
feast for a regiment, or even a supper for a wedding party 
All these things were sent in by ladies from the neighborhood 
and Minersville, and it was quite an amusing sight to see the 
ladies up to their arms in all manner of queer operations in 
the kitchen, getting these various things ready for the company. 



300 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

After three o'clock in the afternoon, the people besran to call, 
and on their arrival were taken charge of by the ladies, and 
after spending an hour or two in the parlor talking with each 
other and with us, they were invited out to take some refresh- 
ments at the table in the dining-room. A committee of gentle- 
men and ladies took charge of everything they brought, so that 
we saw nothing, until the company had retired, of the 'material 
aid' of this affair. In the evening a large number of people 
came, and at about nine o'clock all were invited into the refresh- 
ment room where the most ample justice was done to the nice 
things which had been prepared. Afterwards, several hours 
were spent in friendly intercourse in the parlors, and the whole 
exercise was concluded by a brief prayer. 

"Owing to a mistake in one of the parties having been pre- 
vented from delivering a large number of invitations (printed 
notes) most of my personal friends knew nothing of the affair, 
but the house was nevertheless quite crowded and the proceeds 
were some three hundred dollars in money and two hundred 
dollars faboutj in groceries, dry-goods, etc. With the exception 
of the above failure, everything was managed with great order 
and delicacy, and we saw nothing and heard nothing of the 
donations, until the company retired, when Mr. Joshua Ilanua 
handed Eliza the box with the above sum. The whole thing took 
us quite by surprise, and was gotten up entirely by people out- 
side of our church. On this account it was doubly grateful to 
our feelings, and greatly encouraged us in the new life we now 
live. Indeed, I. quite forgot the peculiar nature *of the party, 
and enjoyed myself as much as if in the company of friends at 
a neighbor's house, no one making any allusion to the circum- 
stance which brought them together. Several ministers, such 
as Mr. Howard, Sparks, and others have already had similar 
visits this winter." 

During all these busy years Mr. Passavant was a leading 
spirit in the Pittsburg Synod and for a large part of the time 
its missionary president. To show what the spirit and enterprise 
of the Synod accomplished in these years of its weakness, in 
spite of the many inefficient ministers that had to be used be- 
cause no better could be had, it is only necessary to glance at the 
list of the new churches built during the first ten years of its 
history. Before us lies a list of sixty new churches with their 
names and locations erected during this period. 



WAB.-VIEWS AND WORK. 301 



CHAPTER X[II. 

WAR.— VIEWS AND WORK. 

The later fifties were a period of storm and stress in the 
State. The nation was agitated from center to circumference. 
The weak James Buchanan was in the presidential chair. The 
Missouri Compromise had been repealed. The disastrous Dred 
Scott Decision had followed. The Underground Railway was in 
lively operation. Squatter's Sovereignty raged and uprisings 
were rife in Kansas and in Nebraska. The Lincoln and Doug- 
lass debates were attracting not only the Nation but the world. 
John Brown's tragic raids startled and frightened the whole 
country. Abolition routs and riots were becoming common in 
the eastern cities. The South was sullenly brooding and pre- 
paring for war. The President was lending encouragement and, 
negatively at least, was giving assistance. Yellow Journalism 
with its flaming headlines was springing into existence and 
fanning the flames of excitement. 

In the nature of things, the Church could not remain un- 
affected. Fierce and fiery debates broke out in nearly every 
church convention. Brethren became embittered and were alien- 
ated. The great Protestant denominations were threatened with 
disruption. Some divisions had already taken place. The 
columns of religious journals teemed with bitter and biting 
editorials and contributions. 

The Lutheran press had kept itself comparatively calm. 
It is in the nature and genius of Lutheranism to spend its 
strength in trying to make the tree good rather than in worry- 
ing about the fruit. It endeavors rather to make new men 
and leave it to them to do the new work, and to implant right 
principles and then leave it to time and occasion to work them 
out in practice. 

The year of 1860 was a memorable one in the history of 
our country. The fiercest political battle that the nation had 
yet known was fought through at the polls. Abraham Lincoln 
was elected president. The wildest excitement took possession 
of the people in the North and the South. The voice of the press 
and of the pulpit was full of fears and forebodings. Inflam- 



302 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT, 

matory editorials and sermons added fuel to the fire. Men's 
hearts failed them for fear of the things that were to come. In 
the Missionary, Dec. 12, the editor closes an article in these 
words : 

"But deliverance is not to come from Washington. Pro- 
motion Cometh not from the North nor from the South, but 
alone from God. The Christian patriot must go to Him. What 
his purposes are, in this conflict of principles, it is not ours 
to know. But, this we know, that 'justice and judgment are 
the habitation of His throne.' Into His hands we may, there- 
fore, safely commit our whole country and its institutions, in 
the fervent prayer, that what He proposes may stand, and that 
what He condemns may be destroyed forever. Here only is 
our hope, and to this refuge let us fly. In the family and in 
the church, let the prayer of faith go up unceasingly to God, 
for delivering mercy. Whatever be the present issue, the final 
one will bring glory to God and good to men. This should be our 
only concern, amid the troubles of the times. 'The Lord reign- 
eth!' Let this sweet truth calm the heart, amid the troubled 
waters. If Christ is in the ship of State, she cannot sink. 
Tempests may come and the wild winds, roar, and the Master, 
as now, may seem to sleep. But the cry of faith must rise above 
the winds and the waves, before His voice will say, 'Peace, be 
still!' Then, when the great calm comes, a grateful people 
shall shout, 'Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth'. " 

When Ft. Sumpter had fallen and the heart of the nation 
was bowed with grief, the Missionary had a column editorial, 
ending thus. 

* ' But while we thus indicate what we conceive to be a most 
important duty of every Christian in this awful crisis, there 
are other duties which are equally important. Foremost among 
these, is to 'put away all bitterness and wrath,' to guard against 
the war spirit, which, under such provocation, comes in upon the 
soul like a swelling surge, and to bear in mind that 'the wrath 
of man worketh not the righteousness of God. ' Another duty is 
to make unceasing prayer to God for our country, that it may 
be preserved from the demoralization of the war, and the break- 
ing doAvn of moral principle; for our rulers, that they may be 
indued with justice, wisdom and courage to do the right; for 
our enemies, that God would give them the right mind, and 
bring to naught the counsels of their wickedness. Happily for 
us, the cause in which we are engaged, is one which appeals to 



WAR.-VIEWS AND WORK. 303 

every Christian heart. The preservation of our Government 
involves all the interests of humanity and religion. Let then 
the closet, the family, and the sanctuary, be witness to the fervor 
of our supplications. The final results are with the Lord, and 
no great interest will suffer in His hands." 

In the next number is this editorial on "Our City:" 
"It is impossible for those at a distance to conceive of the 
excitement in our city. In this great hive of industry, the sound 
of the grinding is low, and the wheels of forges, furnaces, and 
factories drag heavily. The number of volunteers from the 
stores and from the shops is so great that business moves only 
with greatly diminished pace. Our streets, and especially 
"Wood and Fifth streets, are crowded with troops and with the 
populace. The Stars and Stripes wave over every church and 
cathedral, over factories and dwellings. Every hour witnesses 
the passage to and fro of armed men. The incoming and 
departing trains are filled with troops, hurrying forward for 
the protection of Washington. The churches on the Lord's 
Day are filled with anxious thousands, but the stillness of the 
day is disturbed by martial music and the unending marching 
of troops. The pulpit, Protestant and Catholic, gives forth no 
uncertain sound, and one sentiment, strong as death, pervades 
all hearts, that the Government must and shall be sustained. 
Politics has given place to patriotism. Parties have fallen to 
pieces. A noble spirit of self-sacrifice manifests itself on every 
side. Men hold property, time, and even life, cheap at such a 
crisis. Money flows in by thousands for the equipment of 
troops, for the support of their families, for the protection of 
the community. The patriotic ladies of the various churches 
are busily engaged in making bandages, lint and other necessary 
articles for those who may be wounded in the service of their 
country. The Vigilance Committees are unwearied in prevent- 
ing the passage of contraband goods, and only yesterday seized 
on several dray loads on their way from the east to South 
Carolina. Since the stoppage of the telegraph lines the anxiety 
of the public to hear the news is intense, and the most painful 
suspense fills every mind. If this is but the beginning of the 
strife which has unhappily broken out in our land, what will 
the end be? How long, Lord? How long?" 

And again, in the number for May 2, we find this on "The 
Demoralization of War": 



304 TEE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT. 

"No tongue of man can describe the dreadful demoraliza- 
tion consequent upon war. Let the Church put forth her 
whole infiuence to arrest this gigantic evil. Let ministers and 
people follow with their prayers and best counsel those who 
have gone to battle for their country and the right. Let her 
most able and earnest pastors be sent forth, with the blessing 
of the Church, to preach to the soldiery the whole counsel of 
God, and in this way seek to gather around these brave men the 
holy influences of the gospel. We copy the following from a 
letter just received from an eminent physician of this city, who 
is attached as a surgeon to the army. It is written from the 
camp near Harrisville : 

*' 'Now let me say that I am more than ever opposed to 
war. It is a dreadful necessity which drives us into this one. 
But I believe, before God, we are right, and that it is our duty 
to prosecute this contest with all the vigor we possess. God 
pity the poor soldiers and save them from the demoralizing 
influences of the camp.' " 

From the next number we quote the editor on "The Time 
in which We Live " : 

"Who has not inwardly thanked God for the privilege of 
living in this grand and awful time ? The man who does not ap- 
preciate this hour has not studied the book of Providence. This is 
not an ordinary period, but a crisis, an epoch in the history of 
the world and of the Church. Two forms of civilization meet and 
struggle for the mastery. Two religions, each appealing to the 
same inspired source, give their benedictions to opposing hosts. 
The question is to be settled whether might shall make right, 
whether treason against constitutional government is patriotism, 
Avhether crime is Christianity, whether slavery which com- 
menced with theft and has been since perpetuated by force, is 
to be the ruling idea of our land, or whether liberty shall be the 
law and slavery the exception to be endured only that it may 
be the more effectually removed from the land and the inhab- 
itants thereof forever. 

* ' These vast issues are thrust upon us, and whether we will 
or will not, we must meet them. Peaceful men have held Iheir 
peace. Prudent men have counselled prudence. Timid men 
have spoken in whispers. Politic men have acted by compro- 
mise. The great parties, societies and churches have well-nigh 



WAR.— VIEWS AND WORK. 305 

gone to one place in the effort to keep silence or to enjoin 
feilenc^ upon others. And what has it all availed? Nothing, 
absolutely nothing. In spite of fear and prudence and counsel 
and compromise and a thousand resolves all men now speak 
and act from the house-top in reference to the very things 
concerning which they feared to speak in whispers. God 
has taken up the subject, and He is speaking from the secret 
place of thunder. His arm shakes the nation. His judgments 
are abroad in the land. In one word, our sin has found us out. 
That sin is our oppression of the poor. This has caused the 
trouble. This has made Secession. This has fired the mob, 
inaugurated the reign of terror, driven away thousands of 
peaceful citizens from the south, stolen forts, robbed the. 
treasury, demoralized the army, decimated the navy, and turned 
our once peaceful land into a battlefield where law and anarchy, 
liberty and slavery are grappling together in a struggle for life 
or death. 

*'It is good to live in such a time as this. Our great danger 
was the complete going down of moral principle. We were 
becoming a nation of materialists. Virtue was at a discount. 
Patriotism had degenerated into party spirit. Nobility of soul 
was sinking under the influence of a soft and luxurious age. 
Truth, justice, liberty had well-nigh given way before gain and 
advantage. Manly virtues were dying out and our nation 
exhibited the sad spectacle of a youthful people falling into 
the vices of an old and effete civilization. Then God spoke, and 
the voice of His thunder started us from our sleep. The mighty 
spell was broken. The world was as a cloud passing beneath 
men's feet. Principle, right, patriotism, these remained, and 
shone with an unwonted luster. Liberty never appeared more 
blessed ; constitutional government, never more sacred ; virtue, 
never more ennobling; and justice, never more holy, more 
equal and more safe in. all its applications to human sociely. 
Wealth, position, ease and material interest were never held 
so cheap as in this solemn time. God has scattered seed in the 
prepared soil, from which is springing up a nobler crop of 
men than the dull souls who lived and died ingloriously before. 
Woman, too, delivered from the servitude of fashion and society, 
again comes forth in all the strength and tenderness of her 
nature as the advocate of the right and the helper and sharer 
of men's toils. Even where the frenzy of the hour has won 



306 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

ber heart for the delusion of the south, her noblest influences 
have been quickened into life, and every day attests the sub- 
limity of her devotion and the power of her sacrifice. 

"Apart from its final results on the great problem of 
human liberty, the struggle through which we are passing 
cannot but have a happy influence upon the Church. Times 
of softness are cowardly times. Wars for conquest are ever 
demoralizing; wars for principle often beneficial. The greatest 
moral movements have gone forward in the midst of revolution 
and seeming ruin. They plow the base sod of custom ; they 
vsweep away the abuses of the age. They draw men to the closet 
and to God. They educate men in the lesson of Providence. 
They lead to the exercise of heroic virtues and to noble sacrifice 
for duty and for man. Let but the Church be true to her 
mission, and she shall gather a harvest of souls. Strange as 
it may seem, out of death shall come forth life. Out of the 
grave, her resurrection." 

Also this on "Nurses for the Army": "In reply to numer- 
ous letters of inquiry, we take this opportunity of saying that 
the recent statement in the city papers about our organizing 
a company of nurses to follow the army was made without our 
knowledge or authority. It probably originated from the fact 
that at the first breaking out of the war we had quietly offered 
the services of some of the deaconesses and of ourself to the 
Government, wherever our services were most needed among 
the sick and the wounded; but at no time did we contemplate 
the organization of volunteer nurses for that purpose. Such 
service requires a familiarity with hospital life and labor which 
but few experienced nurses, even with the best intentions, 
could perform. Out of nearly fifty ladies who have offered 
their services but five have been selected who will probably 
accompany the Sisters. We are now holding ourselves in readi- 
ness, and should duty call us to the sad scenes of the Hospital 
or the battlefield, our readers will hear of us as heretofore 
through the columns of the Missionary. 

"Scarcely had our offer been sent to the Government and 
we were beginning to fear that we might be going before we 
were called, when an earnest pica was received through the 
philanthropist. Miss Dorothy L. Dix, asking that several Dea- 
conesses might be sent to her aid in case of an epidemic or a 
battle. This angel of mercy at once went forward to the scene 



WAR.-VIEWS AND WORK. 307 

of danger and is unwearied by night and by day in multiplied 
offices of kind relief to the troops in Washington. A second 
letter, just received, bids us wait till needed, and then hasten 
immediately." 

From the next number we quote: "A Merciful Provision: 
Sickness, suffering and death are inseparable from war. How- 
ever just and sacred a contest may be, these sad results are 
unavoidable. The duty of the Church and of the State is, 
therefore, apparent, and it is manifestly to relieve the sufferings 
and mitigate the sorrows of war by all the appliances of mercy 
within their reach. Our readers have not forgotten the fright- 
ful mortality which fell like a death blight upon the British 
soldiery in the Crimean war, and how the hospitals of Scutari 
became vast pest hoiv?es where thousands more died from 
neglect than fell by the sword. Nor will it be forgotten that 
healing and mercy only entered these sad abodes when Florence 
Nightingale went forth with her noble band to minister to the 
suffering in the name of Christ. 

' ' In the fresh remembrance of these scenes the Government, 
through its proper officers, has wisely established a new office, 
and has vested with ample authority the devoted philanthropist. 
Miss Dorothy L. Dix, to organize and superintend a staff of 
Christian nurses who, from love to Christ and without earthly 
reward, will labor among the suffering in the hospital or in the 
camp. This eminently practical worker in the cause of mercy 
hastened to Washington with the first troops and has since been 
engaged in the most comprehensive and successful efforts to set 
on foot a system of effective relief for the sick and wounded." 

Dr. Passavant's offer to lend the Deaconesses to the army 
in this time of peril and suffering was gladly and quickly 
accepted by that American Florence Nightingale, Miss Dorothy 
Dix. Hasty arrangements were made for the Missionary, the 
Infirmary and the Orphans' Home and the Rev. Mr. Reck was 
left in charge of all. There had been serious sickness and sleep- 
less nights of watching in the Passavant home, but through 
the mercy of the good Lord, little Sidney was now rapidly 
recovering. Mr. Passavant, therefore, took the train with two 
Sisters for Washington city. From his letters "to the Missionary 
we quote : 

*'It had been the plan of Miss Dix to secure a large and 
convenient edifice in the suburbs of the city, with special 



308 THE LIFE OF 1f. .1. PASSAVA^^T. 

reference to the wants of the soldiers of the German regiments: 
but the constant change of troops from one point to another, 
with other circumstances, made this plan inadvisable. After 
a careful examination of the whole field it was mutually con- 
cluded to retain our rooms near the Capitol, to nurse the sick 
iji a hospital which had been extemporized in the Supreme 
Court room, and from this center to go forth daily into the 
different hospitals which might be established with a special 
reference to the bodily and spiritual relief of the numerous 
German soldiers in the array. Full authority had been pro- 
cured by Miss Dix for such a service, so that no obstacles will 
be placed in the way of its performance. Time will indicate 
what may be done more than this, so far at least as our friends 
are concerned. For the present this is enough to engage their 
hearts and hands, and they are deeply grateful for the privilege 
vi doing even this in aid of so holy and sacred a cause. 

"The first night of the Sisters among the sick was that 
of Thursday, the twenty-third, a memorable day in the future 
history of our nation. A soldier of one of the Brooklyn regi- 
)nents had accidentally shot himself that morning and lifi^ 
seemed to be fast ebbing away. One of the Sisters was watching 
by his bedside, while a second was ministering to the other 
poor sufferers who filled the hall sacred to justice and the 
majesty of impartial law. A few minutes before the clock 
struck twelve the clatter of a horse's hoofs was heard in the 
court below. A few moments later the rolling of the drum 
broke the stillness of the night, and in a few moments more 
the soldiers of two regiments stood in rank and file on the 
parade grounds. Quietly and with perfect order they obeyed 
the command to 'March,' and company after company passed 
out of the Capitol gate, leaving none but the sentries, the sick 
and the Sisters behind. Even the soldiers who were on duty 
in the hospitals left, and the hea\y sigh of the sick patients 
alone broke the stillness of the hour. The moon was shining 
with singular beauty, and from the window of the court room 
the whole of this inspiring scene was visible. The next morning 
told all. Alexandria was taken without a blow, and the white 
tents of the United States soldiery covered the heights of 
Arlington. Thursday, on which Virginia was dragooned out 
of the Union, was suffered to pass away, and scarcely had the 
c'.ock struck the hour of midnight before ten thousand troops 



WAR.— VIEWS AND WORK. 309 

were on their march to reassert the authority of the Government 
and strengthen the defences of the CapitoL. 

"The particulars of this masterly movement of General Scott 
have doubtless ere this reached every portion of the land so 
that I need not repeat them. In the midst of the general 
rejoicing, however, the news reached the city that Colonel 
Ellsworth, the young and gallant leader of the New York 
Zouaves, had been brutally assassinated in Alexandria. The 
excitement which followed was indescribable. Strong men 
wept in the streets, and gentle women turned away heart-sick, 
to seek relief in tears. Shops and stores were closed. The fire 
bells tolled in mournful cadence. The engine houses were 
draped in crape. The flags on the shipping and houses hung 
at half-mast. One wide wave of sorrow after another rolled 
over the city, as each sad particular of his brave but pitiful 
death became known. The swift retribution which fell upon 
his murderer was little consolation for his loss. The soldiery 
and the citizens were alike affected with the deepest sorrow, 
while those of his own regiment were heart-broken at his death. 
How strange the mastery which nobility of soul has upon all 
men! A mere youth of twenty-three, and yet a nation mourns 
his fall. The highest functionaries of Government and the 
veterans of many a battlefield weep like children at his bier. 
AVho will not say that these are blessed tokens which shine forth 
brightly amid the materialism of this age? The hour is coming 
when all selfishness and baseness of soul shall sink to shame 
and everlasting contempt, while purity and patriotism and a 
heroic devotion to the right will stand forth as great lights, to 
shed their illumination along the pathway of a nation's life. 

"It is now past midnight; and at four o'clock in the 
morning I leave for Philadelphia, where I hope yet to spend 
a part of Monday with the brethren of the Pennsylvania Synod 
before returning home, and immediately leaving again for our 
Synodical Convention in Canton." 

We quote, also, a few lines from his letters to his mother: 
"You know, perhaps, that Martha Douglass has also gone 
to Fort Monroe. Miss Dix authorizes me to send two more 
ladies and Dr. Lange's wife's sister and Martha were the ones 
selected. They are doing well and are quite happy. Martha 
is superintending the linen interests, which, in a hospital of 



310 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

three hundred sick, is no trifle. She has quite a number of 
contrabands under -her care in her department. 

"Our Sisters write often from Washington and speak very 
encouragingly. Miss Dix appears to be much pleased with 
them and is determined to carry out some necessary reforms 
through their aid. I cannot enter into particulars of the 
nursing work in Washington. It would take me hours to talk 
all over. Several of the papers speak very honorably of our 
Sisters in the hospital in the Capitol building. 

"The Sisters are doing good work in Washington, and, I 
presume, went down to Fort IMonroe with INIiss Dix on the 
news of the late sad battle. They greatly desire me to be in 
Washington to aid Miss Dix, as they fear she cannot endure 
the great fatigue and exertion of her position." 

A Washington correspondent writes to the Pittsburg 
Chronicle : 

"There are a great many strangers here, many from your 
State, pure, honest and disinterested patriots, who would be 
entirely willing to take Government contracts or any little 
service of that kind that they could render the State. I will 
not mention them, for they are too numerous. But there are 
parties here to whom I will allude, who reflect honor upon our 
city. The first are three ladies from Pittsburg, who came here 
under the auspices of the Rev. Mr. Passavant, for the purpose 
of nursing the sick and wounded soldiers. They are volunteers 
in this good work, now in charge of the eminent philanthropist. 
Miss D. L. Dix. They are ministering angels, here at their own 
expense, devoting from fourteen to sixteen hours of the day to 
hospital duties. God bless them ! They will have their reward 
here and hereafter. I was told by a soldier the other day, who 
had been shot through the right breast, and was recovering: 'I 
have lost my mother, but that lady, God reward her, has been 
a mother to me. She never gave me up, nor left me, until my 
hour of peril was past.' In this same hospital were five or 
six of the New York Zouaves, sick and wounded, and the lady 
happening to say in their hearing some words of high compli- 
ment and deep sympathy for Colonel Ellsworth, the poor 
fellows were melted to tears and from that time would have 
devoted their lives to her service. I will not name these ladies, 
their names will be in the good Book. ' ' 



WAR. — VIEWS AND WORK. 311 

As though he had not yet enough to do, the Pittsburg 
Synod at its Convention in Canton elected Dr. Passavant as 
its president. When the voice of the Church called him his 
conscience always responded. How he ever bore his countless - 
burdens is a wonder to all. 

The Pennsylvania Synod, at its spring convention, passed 
a number of resolutions, from which we quote the following: 

"Resolved, That we will be specially mindful of the brave 
and loyal defenders of our country, earnestly commending them 
to the mercy and protection of God, and to the extent of our 
ability affording aid and comfort, especially to the sick and 
suffering among them, to which class our attention has been 
especially directed by the Rev. W. A. Passavant. 

"Your committee also begs leave to add the following 
additional resolutions, having special reference to the class last 
mentioned : 

"Resolved, (a) That it be made the duty of every minister 
connected with this body to lay before his people a statement 
of the condition of the sick soldiers, and especially the German 
portion of them. 

" (b) To encourage the members of the Church to extend 
voluntary and liberal aid to our devoted Christian Sisters, 
known as 'Deaconesses,' who have undertaken the arduous duty 
of nursing the sick soldiers. 

"(c) That all such contributions be placed in the hands 
of our treasurer, Dr. C. W. Shaeffer, of Germantown, to be by 
him transmitted to the Rev. W. A. Passavant, director of the 
Deaconess Institution at Pittsburg, the Executive Committee 
of this Sjmod being authorized immediately to advaneo such 
sums as the missionary treasury may warrant, to be replaced 
by the contributions hereafter made for this object. 

"(d) That inasmuch as so great a proportion of the 
volunteers from Pennsylvania and other States are members 
of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, we realize our responsibil- 
ity as a Church to provide for the spiritual welfare of our 
members, called from their homes to defend our common coun- 
try; therefore, be it further resolved: 

"1. That this Synod call and appoint otir beloved and 
esteemed brother, Rev. W. A. Passavant, to be the missionary 
chaplain of this Synod in the volunteer armies of the United 



312 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

States, and that we pledge the support necessary to sustain him 
in this field of useful labor. 

"2, That the Executive Committee be authorized, in 
connection with Rev. W. A. Passavant, to make such further 
arrangements for the promotion of the spiritual welfare of our 
soldiers as time and circumstances may render needful. 

"(e) That the Secretary of this Synod be instructed to 
communicate copies of these resolutions to the President of the 
United States, the Secretary of War, the Governor of this 
State, our church papers, the Rev. W. A. Passavant, and to 
every minister belonging to this Synod, to be read by him to 
his people." 

When Dr. Passavant received these resolutions he was 
deeply moved. This call from a whole Synod appealed to him 
in the strongest possible manner. His heart was overflowing 
with sympathy for the poor soldiers. Especially did he long 
to do his part to save them from the hardships, temptations and 
demoralizations incident to the camp, the march, the bivouac, 
the battlefield, the barracks and the hospital. To his mother 
he tells his perplexities and longs for a certainty as to his duty. 
After a season of earnest prayer, contemplation and counsel 
from others, he declined the offer. On one point, however, 
his mind was made up. He would do all that he could for the 
soldiers. How he carried out his purpose is clear from the 
account of his second visit to the Sisters in the army hospital, 
published in the Missionary, July 11, 1861. We quote a few 
paragraphs : 

* ' A wide door and effectual is here open to our Deaconesses, 
and the service of their hands is emphatically the patience of 
hope and the labor of love. Nor are their exertions confined 
to the sick room only, but the sphere of their usefulness extends 
in various directions. Through the agency of Miss D. L. Dix 
and the kindness of Christian friends over the land they have 
been furnished with a tolerable supply of Testaments, prayer- 
books, papers and tracts, as well as haversacks, socks, towels, 
shirts and other necessities for extreme cases, which they are 
enabled to dispense among the needy, not only of the con- 
valescent patients, but in the encampment and regimental hos- 
pitals of the vicinity. We made arrangements, when in Balti- 
more, for the weekly shipment of oranges, etc., to the Sisters 



WAR.-VIEWS AND WORK. 313 

for the hospital, and only await the means to carry it into 
eJfeet. When at the Synod in Philadelphia, a grant of five 
hundred of Luther's Catechism in German was earnestly asked 
for, of which, however, we heard nothing. 

"A description of the things at the Fortress, without a 
word about 'the inevitable negro,' concerning whom and the 
right of his toil all State questions seem now to center, would 
be incomplete. It is said that nearly three hundred of the 
colored people of all hues and both sexes have 'come in' since 
the breaking out of the war. Many of them are curious speci- 
mens of the genus man, and seem low down in the scale of 
being. They are employed in various ways about the Fort and 
on the wharf, while others are occupied in the kitchen, the 
hospitals, etc. One morning we met seventeen coming in just 
fresh from 'Nupus News,' as they pronounced it, and in a 
few moments afterwards saw them again in the court of the 
hospital. It is truly amusing to witness their recognition of 
each other, and to hear their odd exclamations of surprise. 
Among them were several women and their little ones, and 
while talking to a sad and weary mother who had traveled all 
night carrying her child, she suddenly recognized, in a waiter 
coming from the kitchen, an old acquaintance in the same 
church, and cried out, 'Why, Brudder John, is you here?' 
'Bless de Lord, Sally, whar you come from? How you git here 
wid dat lil chile?' . 

"It was a touching sight to see a large group of these 
recently arrived gather around one of their number to whom 
the Sisters had given a Testament, trying hard to spell out 
the words of the blessed Book. There they sat like children, 
listening to the sweet sounds which told of rest to the weary 
and peace to the burdened heart. When it was known that 
Testaments could be had, the request to obtain them was very 
frequent, and what is equally noteworthy, most of them also 
begged hard for a spelling book. As these people are now 
'contraband' and Uncle Sam has no objection to their learning 
to read, on our return we will send the Sisters a good supply 
of spelling books. How they will learn is not for us to say, but 
if they do not, the fault will not be ours. One of them quaintly 
remarked, on being told that something he had done was 
wrong, 'Tank you. Missus, whar I was fotched up I didn't get 
much fetching up.' We hope he may get 'fotched up' a little 



31^ THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

more under better tuition, and pray God to show His compas- 
sion to him and all his companions in tribulation," 

And again a few paragraphs from an account of his third 
visit : 

"Miss Dix was in waiting at the station, and we proceeded 
at once to the new hospital which had been opened by the 
Government in the former Seminary of Miss English in 
Georgetown. 

"]\Iy time since Thursday has been fully occupied) in 
visiting the sick and wounded in the different hospitals, and 
in meeting with committees of the Sanitary Commission, After 
preaching to an attentive congregation in Brother Butler's 
church in the morning, on Sunday afternoon I took the place 
of a sick chaplain of one of the New York regiments stationed 
beyond Fort Corcoran, on the Virginia side, and returned to 
the city late in the evening. The pulpit was a camp chest with 
the heavens for a sounding board, while the many soldiers, not 
yet recovered from the prostration of the hurried march on 
]\Ionday last, were stretched out on the ground before me. At 
the close of the service a large number came forward and gladly 
accepted some tracts, but the stock on hand was exhausted 
before half of the soldiers were supplied. Not knowing of any 
Germans in the regiment, no provision was made for an entire 
company of honest fellows who would have been most thankful 
for some German reading. 

' ' Never before did we find a more ready access to men than 
among the wounded in the hospitals. The visits of the ministers 
and other Christians seemed peculiarly welcome. One poor 
sufferer who was very near his end requested us, through the 
rurse, to offer a prayer for him, and afterwards, clasping our 
hand with both of his, in turn invoked upon us the benediction 
of God. It is due to the chaplains of the different regiments 
to say that most of them are attentive to the wounded men, not 
only in the regimental but in the general hospital. The San- 
itary Commission, also, is working day and night to improve 
the condition of the hospitals, while good Miss Dix is un- 
wearied in the multiplied offices of charity in behalf of their 
inmates. The nurses whom she has called here from different 
parts of the land are performing excellent service among the 
v/ounded, and though there are painful hindrances in her way, 



WAB.-VIEWS AND WORK. 315 

owing to the army regulations and other causes, which need 
not be specified, great and invaluable results are being attained 
through the working of these different agencies and organiza- 
tions." 

Here are a few extracts from letters written by the Sisters 
in the field to Dr. Passavant: 

"August 28, 1861. I received your letter yesterday morn- 
ing, and in an hour later I had a visit from Miss Dix. She did 
not feel at all satisfied that Sister Barbara should return in 
so short a time. She said, also, that it whs contrary to law to 
give so many passes, that when she goes to General Mansfield 
for a pass he says *it is contrary to law, Miss Dix, but as it is 
you we will accommodate you ; ' hence she is unwilling to apply 
so often for a pass, and unless we were discontented she would 
prefer our remaining here. We told her we felt contented, 
but, Mr. Passavant, should you rather have me go to Ft. 
Monroe to labor, I am perfectly willing provided arrangements 
could be made to defray traveling expenses, without troubling 
anyone for a pass. I would like to see the Fortress, though I 
feel contented here. I find Mrs. Russell very agreeable, I 
seldom feel the difference in our ages. She is so cheerful that 
we find a good many things here to laugh at in the midst of our 
labor and trials." 

''Sept. 12, 1861. I received your kind letter, dated Sept. 
5, and also the one containing the money, for which receive 
our sincere thanks. It came very opportunely. Please excuse 
our delay in acknowledging it. I find it almost impossible to 
v;rite. We generally rise at five a. m., and every moment, 
nearly, through the day, is occupied by our duties. As I try 
this evening it seems to me every nerve is throbbing. We have 
about one hundred and eighty patients ; there are between forty 
and fifty typhoid fever cases. Quite a number have died, gen- 
erally two every twenty- four hours during the past week; some 
of these were here only a day or two before they died. They 
had been kept in camp too long. This afternoon we heard 
cannonading. It is reported that there is a battle, although 
we are only a few miles from the very scene you will know the 
news before we can. Is it not strange? Yesterday afternoon 
v.'e very distinctly heard the firing of cannons. It caused 
quite a stir among the patients. One poor fellow who is so 



316 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

sick of fever that he can scarcely lift his head off his pillow 
said to me, 'How I would like to be with them to fight.' He 
belongs to the 19th Indiana Regiment. We have a good many 
Michigan and Indiana men here. . . . Miss Dix called 
to see us yesterday. She told us she had met you. Mr. Passa- 
vant, I would like to ask you a favor. I hope you will not 
think us unreasonable. We being on the third story, are obliged 
to run up and down the stairs so much, and it is this which 
wears us out. If we had a gas fixture in our room we could 
make many little things for the sick and thus save time and 
strength. For five dollars we could get one with the necessary 
utensils. It would be invaluable. If possible, please let us 
have money to buy one very soon. We can get it in Washington. 
Mrs. Russell is bringing order out of chaos. She is very active. 
Barbara is in the room now in Mrs. Russell's place. 

Mary H. Keen." 

"Washington, on the 28, 1861. Miss Dix has been to see 
us several times. She wishes very much to see us at the head 
of a hospital. This morning she took us to the Infirmary. We 
went to each patient and spoke a few words. She heard enough 
to make her feel dissatisfied with the arrangements here. 
Gladly would she put us in there if she could safely do it. 
Yesterday she gave them more than one hundred shirts for 
those who need them. Today there was none to be found any 
more. AVhat they had done with them she could not find out. 
Some of the patients told us that they get very unsuitable diet 
for their dinners. Rice, pork and soup for all alike, weak and 
strong. I will go and see the patients every day and inquire into 
their wants, but in how far I will be able to relieve them I can- 
not see yet. 

"After dinner Miss Dix took us out in a carriage to see 
the camp of the Federal troops. She had some business there. 
Some of the officers stated that the troops would need some more 
clothes. Miss Dix requested us to let our friends in Pittsburg 
know. The clothes most needed are shirts, undershirts, drawers 
and socks. All should be woolen. Would you please mention 
this to the ladies who are engaged in preparing garments for 
the army. In returning she told us that she is so much pleased 
with our manner and bearing that she must reserve us for some 

particular duties All is quiet here now but it is expected 

that soon a blow will be struck. Miss Dix has not seen the W. 



WAR.— VIEWS AND WORK. 317 

Hotel yet. They have a few patients. She said she will not go 
so soon there. I cannot but again and again regret that you 
could not remain here. It would be such a relief all around. 
Miss D. looks so weary and tired out that I think she cannot 
stand it much longer to have such an amount of labor resting 
upon her. I believe we will have to bid adieu to Pittsburg for 
a time. May the Lord give us strength and courage to do our 
whole duty as it is pleasing in His sight. ' ' 

"Ft. Monroe, the 20, 1861. Yesterday we notified Miss Dix 
that it is our intention to return to "Washington on the 21st. 
unless she sent us a message to order it otherwise. Only three 
days we were among the patients and yet they seem to cling to 
us already. Situated as we are, we could do but little for them 
except to witness their sufferings and to sympathize with them. 
We also brought some refreshments from Washington which we 
distributed among them. There are now about twenty German 
patients here who can speak but very little English and cannot 
make their wants known. Dr. Kimball thinks they will in 
a short time have five hundred patients. Those persons who are 
here are of the roughest kind. 'Good workers' the Doctor says. 
All we have seen in hospitals cannot but make one weep on ac- 
count of the sad conditions they are in. 

Elizabeth Hupperts." 

Here is a letter from Miss Dorothy Dix to Dr. Passavant: 

"I have not time to write to you at length. It is but per- 
mitted me to hasten from hospital to hospital all the time or 
I would gladly oblige you. Sister Barbara also must stay here 
three months at least. Great confusion is as yet occasioned by 
persons coming and going, of such as are familiar with the 
details and cares of the Institution. It is difficult to keep the 
medical men in good humor; at any rate for that I must ask 
you for the Good Cause's sake to defer all changes even though 
you advance good reasons. The sisters should have come down 
to remain. Objections are made to giving furloughs and I 
hope that will be no difficult solution in Mr. Dudley's case. I 
write making these proposed plans. I think the women should 
have their pay soon. 

"I have only time to say God bless all your good plans 
and aims and that I am yours with esteem, 
August, 28, 1861. D. L. Dix." 

Here is another in which she expresses her high appre- 
ciation of the services of the Deaconesses: 



318 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

"Dear Sir, I may not have the evidence to go by to show 
the value I have placed on the services rendered by Sister Eliza- 
beth and by other Sisters in this beloved Christian duty. Al- 
though we would like to see the end of this unhappy war, it is 
my purpose to have a substantial evidence made of my apprecia- 
tion of our friends and their toil in the cause of humanity. 
Yours cordially, D. L. Dix. Dec. 26, 1861, Washington." 

And another: "Washington, 06t. 5, 1862. 

"Dear Sir, Probably no request was ever more reluctantly 
complied with by any person more or less concerned in the 
affairs of a hospital than is your recalling Sister Barbara, from 
the IMilitary Hospital service to a more limited and remote field 
of action. I have still to say if it be at all possible to construct 
other plans for another point that we all should most grate- 
fully receive and welcome our precious friend and nurse again 
to this field of labor. Yours with esteem, D. L. Dix." 

Here is one that speaks especially of the value of the work 
of Sister Elizabeth. 

"I have your valued letter. I had already written after 
my return from the Fortress to Sister Elizabeth, stating my 
appreciation of her services, and of the great sacrifice she has 
made to the cause in leaving her charge so long. I thank you for 
your hearty co-operation and Christian sacrifice you have made 
to the great work in lending your choice hospital force to the 
service they have rendered and this under serious difficulties. 
I hope Sister Elizabeth received my letter. I shall, if life be 
spared, give a more solid evidence of my appreciation of her 
devotion to an arduous and hard work than heretofore. Please 
present my cordial regard to her." 

We give this final note to show that her appreciation was 
not in word only but also in deed: 

"I send two boxes free to you at Pittsburg intended for 
your Institution and immediately near that place, excepting 
the 'Shoulder rests' which may, if you wish, be more widely 
distributed. The Havelocks, the part of a stock left over when 
that article was in great demand, can by some ingenious and 
economical hand be made useful for other and various pur- 
poses. I wish I could see and hear more of what you have done 
and are doing. 

"Hoping your good works will be greatly blessed to the 
salvation of many helpless and destitute ones, I trust you will 



WAR.-VIEWS AND WORE. 319 

not so multiply without reliable funds for your institutions as 
to hazard failure for your final permanence." 

We cannot forbear giving an extract from another letter 
published in the Lutheran and Missionary after Dr. Passavant 
had visited the battlefield of Antietam : 

' ' It may be interesting to have a nearer view of the hospitals 
in the vicinity of the battlefield. A description of one of the 
largest, for there were between twenty-five and thirty, will 
answer for all. A substantial farm house, half a mile from the 
battleground, was taken for this purpose, its frightened inmates 
having fled as the narrowing circle of fire warned them of their 
peril, from the shot and shell of both armies. The usual hospi- 
tal flag over the house and barn soon told the uses to which 
they were devoted. In a short time every available place in 
the rooms and passages is covered with the wounded. Then, 
the threshing floor of the barn is filled, a little straw and a 
soldier's blanket being laid on the threshed but uncleaned wheat 
which fills its whole extent. The battle rages on, and the 
wounded still come in. Next, the yard is covered with them, 
the rebels in the lower end, and the Union soldiers near the 
house. The barnyard, on which the newly-threshed straw was 
thrown a few days before, with grain stacks on its side, before 
evening becomes another hospital ward, with alleys between 
its poor suffering inmates. The> greater part are under cover, 
such as it is, a blanket or an oil cloth, raised tent fashion over 
their heads, and covering them in whole or in part. Every- 
thing is so quiet within and around these buildings that it is 
difficult to realize the character of the place, and yet more than 
a thousand wounded men are at this single hospital, many of 
them frightfully injured, while the daily mortality tells how 
many of them are near their end ! And yet, in this great number 
of sufferers, a murmur or a scream is seldom heard from our 
men. After going from bedside to bedside, for several hours, we 
heard but a single complaint, and that was because of the neg- 
lect of an attendant to bring some food. In this respect, the 
contrast was most striking between our brave soldiers and the 
rebels. Although they received the same attention and fare as 
our wounded, they appeared like children by the side of our 
noble fellows, they would cry and call incessantly for this and 
that, and seemed quite unnerved when it could not be pro- 
cured. Wretched and ragged as they were, almost starved, and 
often covered with vermin, these miserable creatures had many 



320 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

more wants than our noble soldiers who had been brought up 
in the midst of plenty and in homes of comfort. 

"We will say nothing of the amputating room, and the 
number of eases Avhich had been attended to there. How the 
worthy surgeons bore up under such an accumulation of labors 
and suffering, we confess we cannot comprehend. The Medical 
Director, Dr. J. King, one of the physicians of the Infirmary 
of this city, was assisted by a large number of skillful surgeons, 
among whom we had the pleasure of greeting an old friend in 
the person of Dr. S. Lane of Chambersburg. Worthy of all 
honor are these noble men, who have, in many instances, made 
the greatest sacrifices that they might serve and save the brave 
defenders of their country." 

In the spring of 1864 the confederates had raided Eastern 
Tennessee. A large number of homeless orphans were' left in 
their trail. A pitiful plea was sent to Dr. Passavant for the 
reception of Jthese into his orphan's home. Housefather Hoi Is 
was sent to Nashville to gather up and bring on the poor little 
sufferers. Dr. Passavant writes: 

"The question, how shall the means be raised for the 
rescue and support of these destitute orphans? though not the 
most difficult one connected with this unexpected call, must 
not be overlooked. None will coldly turn aside and say that 
these poor victims of the war should be allowed to sicken and 
die, or be neglected, because our treasury is exhausted and a 
heavy charge already rests upon the Institutions. We had 
either to speak thus or to say, poor and dependent as we are, 
'Come in, ye blessed of the Lord!' The officers of both Insti- 
tutions have said the latter and the number received will be 
limited only to the number of orphans who are in need. The 
Lord must provide for all their wants. Our time and strength 
will be occupied with the preparations for their coming, their 
clothing, shelter, support and Christian training. Those who 
sympathize with them can select the. way which seems most 
feasible to aid in their behalf." 

We subjoin Dr. Passavant 's account, in the Lutheran and 
Missionary, July, 14, 1864,of his efforts for these bereft ones: 

"Shortly before the departure of Rev. Mr. Holls for Nash- 
ville, we received letters from Rev. A. H. Waters, of Prospect, 
Pa., who was then at Memphis, Tenn., laboring in the hospitals 
in the army under the auspices of the Christian Commission. 
In these, there was frequent reference to the sad condition of 



WAR. -VIEWS AND WORK. 321 

the Union refuges and the pitiable state of some children among 
them who had lost their parents by disease, exposure, or the 
fiendish cruelty of the rebel guerrillas. Meeting soon after a 
leading citizen of Memphis, he kindly agreed to co-operate with 
brother Waters in the holy work of rescuing as many of these 
little ones as possible and we immediately authorized the latter 
to draw on us for the necessary means to bring them to the 
Home and Farm School. IMost faithful and laboriously did 
brother Waters seek after these poor victims of the war, extend- 
ing his search as far as Vicksburg, Miss., and Little Rock and 
Helena in Arkansas. Such, however, was the condition of not 
a few of the children found sick and dying with measles, fever 
and various other dreadful diseases, that but twelve could be 
safely brought along. Five others whom he had selected, had to 
be left behind at one place, being unequal to the journey. By 
the kindly aid of a Christian lady from St. Louis, who was on 
her way home from the hospital in Memphis, brother Waters 
finally succeeded in reaching Rochester with his charge one week 
ago. The children were immediately transferred to the care of 
the sisters at the Orphans' Home near Rochester and the Farm 
School at Zelienople. They already begin to^how the influence 
of the new order of things under which they have come, and 
the power of soap and water, pure air, and wholesome food is 
working a wonderous change for the better. Their condition 
was truly indescribable. Several are yet quite ill, and one of 
the boys has already been laid by the side of the quiet sleepers 
in the little cemetery of the Farm School. Poor child! The 
iron hoof of war will, not at least now, desecrate his peaceful 
grave ! 

' ' Though for the most part wholly illiterate, the little new- 
comers are not without promise for the future. Some are really 
bright children, but their conversation is a curiosity. It is 
'down thar,' 'whar,' youns,' 'weens,' 'fotched up,' and simi- 
lar 'negro talk' to the end of the chapter. A poor little girl, 
scarcely three years old, who had been adopted by the soldiers 
and lived with them in camp at first, cried immediately for 
'rations!' At last one of the friends caught the idea that the 
child wanted 'crackers.' Sure enough, when the crackers were 
procured the poor thing was satisfied. The 'rations' are now 
regularly served and the tears are dried up." 

Dr. Passavant's influence and effort were asked and freely 
offered to secure the -release of prisoners of war, especially 



322 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

of such non-combatants as were seized by the Confederates in 
their Northern raids. Gen. R. Ould, the southern commissioner 
of prisoners, had been a room-mate of Dr. Passavant at Jeffer- 
son College. To him he appealed in behalf of a number of young 
men who had been captured and were confined in Libby and 
other prisons. His appeals however, were in vain, as like depre- 
dations were being committed by the Northern army. The 
following interesting letter to his mother mentions his further 
efforts in this direction: 

"Excuse my long delay in writing to you this time, for 
which I have so many good reasons, that I need only mention 
one, viz., my absence in the East for the past two weeks. I 
needed to go to Philadelphia about some business matters but 
just as I was getting ready my poor friend G. Black, got a fifth 
attack of erysipelas and I was consequently under the necessity 
of offering to take his daughter to school at Lutherville, as he 
could not safely go from home. At the same time I received 
a letter from R. Ould, a Rebel Commissioner, in reply to one I 
had written him concerning some ten citizens of Franklin 
County, Pa., who were carried by their army to Richmond and 
have since been in the Libby Prison. This made a further trip 
to Washington necessary, and I. ran over and had a long in- 
terview with Major Hitchcock, who has entire charge of this 
and other prisoner interests in his hands. It remains yet to 
be seen whether my next letter to Ould (we were schoolmates 
at Cannonsburg) will be of any account. I will at least do what 
I can. In Washington I was too busy to look around 
very much. It was the same place as before, 'only more 
so.' It would be difficult to describe the two great tides 
which pour back and forward through this war city, the im- 
mense tide of soldiers and citizens on the street and the endless 
lines of wagons, mules and horses, which perpetually make their 
way through one and another great thoroughfare. I called on 
Miss Dix, but she was at Ft. Monroe, and Portsmouth, Va., 
where our good Sarah Schaeffer is doing so noble a work. At 
Mr. Butler's in Washington I also saw oui" mutual friend Heyl, 
who has an office under Mr. Chase or rather a clerkship in the 
Treasury Department. His whole family are in Philadelphia, 
keeping house, as it is impossible to support them in Washing- 
ton on $1,600 which he receives. He goes over as often as 
possible and boards with our minister, Mr. Baker, in Washing- 



WAR.— VIEWS AND WORK. 323 

ton, so that he is quite comfortable. Poor fellow ! He has lost 
bis property and the labor of many years. His father and 
mother still live. The friends in Baltimore were very cordial. 
. In view of various matters, I finally gave up the idea 
of going to New York this time, and improved the time in 
Philadelphia very agreeably, visiting public institutions, ac- 
quaintances, etc., etc. Good Matilda did all in her power to 
make my stay agreeable, and the friends and brethren were 
very cordial. I cannot describe half of what I saw or heard, 
and will, therefore, not attempt it. But the week spent in 
Philadelphia was a most delightful one to me, and I have 
returned with a revived mind and a refreshed spirit. Nearly 
two hundred dollars were handed me for the Home and Farm 
School without the least collection or intimation of our need. 
So kindly and bountifully does God care for our fatherless 
children, 

"In our family 'Alles geht ruhig und gut.' Since the first 
week in January we have had no girl, though Mary has been 
here again and again, and the last time offered her services. 
We get along pleasantly and comfortably, and all the children 
do their share in the housework. The twins, especially, are very 
industrious. All the children are well, though I should except 
the baby who has a bad cold. The dear little fellow has four 
teeth and is a most fascinating child. He runs around like a 
little partridge and is of a most merry and joyous disposition. 
God bless the dear child." 

We cannot follow all the interesting trips of Dr. Passavant 
to the army hospitals and his services in behalf of the soldiers, 
as they are so vividly set forth in his letters to his mother and 
to the Missionary. For the present it must suffice to say that 
during the whole long course of the war he was the loyal sup- 
porter of the Government, the warm friend and liberal helper 
of the soldiers, and the counsellor and assistant of Miss Dix 
and her noble army of nurses. In the city of Pittsburg he was 
known and honored as one of the leading spirits in the cause 
of his country. His counsels and assistance were continually 
sought after in public and in private and were highly appre- 
ciated by the best men and women in the State and Church. 
His name has an honored place on the rolls of the Sanitary and 
Christian Commissions. During his visits to Washington he 



324 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

frequently preached to the soldiers, and in his intercourse with 
the hospital authorities he met and mingled with the most 
eminent officers in civil and military circles. If he had given 
himself up to this public sphere, or if he had cherished political 
ambitions, he might, doubtless, have had honorable preferment 
and office. But he never forgot that he was first of all a min- 
ister of Christ and of His Church. He loved his nation much, 
but he loved the Kingdom of God more. He honored the flag 
of his country, but placed far above it the cross of Christ. 

On the assassination of President Lincoln, Dr. Passavant 
wrote several editorials. We quote from one: 

"After life's fitful fever he sleeps well; 
Treason has done his worst; nor steel nor poison, 
Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing 
Can touch him further. 

**To die amid the consummations of a grand mission nobly 
performed is glorious. With them the where, when and how 
matters little. 

"Or on the gallows high, 

Or in the battle's van. 

The noblest death for man to die 

Is when he dies for man. 

"Our country's faith has learned a new interpretation of 
her standard. The white typifies the purity of purpose which 
belongs to a true ruler; the red points to the crimson tide in 
which life flows forth a willing ofll'ering; the blue reminds her 
cf the home in heaven to which the good are gathered; the 
stars in her banner tell of light and darkness, and she shall 
learn to range them in a new and beautiful order as the Con- 
stellation and Cross. 

"Wickedness tends to a crisis, some awful and final act 
of atrocity, which so marks its real character, that even the 
weak and vacillating who have feared and hoped and doubted, 
ROW stand aghast at its atrocities. It makes all good men of 
one mind. 

"God has not asked too much of us, even in the sacrifice 
over which we mourn, if He gives to us as a recompense for it 
that pure love of right, that impartial freedom, of the welfare 
of all men which was struck at by the murderer's hand which 
has robbed our nation of the light of its eyes. Years before 



WAR.— VIEWS AND WORK. 325 

the fatal stroke, as if with a presentiment upon the soul of the 
future, he had declared in our city that for this he would will- 
ingly lay down his life, and God's own life is the pledge that 
this and every life sacriticed for the right shall prove not to 
have been laid down in vain. 

"There is no sepulcher so deep as to hide the light forever, 
there is no stone heavy enough to close it in for man. Truth 
may be slain and entombed, hemmed in with rocks, with a 
mighty stone, forbidding all entrance to it and all exit from 
it to the world ; sealed and guarded may be the sepulcher where 
righteousness seems to lie dead in the person of its embodiment ; 
but the Easter day comes, the second earthquake comes, the 
angel of the Lord with countenance like lightning and garments 
like snow, descends from heaven and comes and rolls back the 
stone and sits upon it. Then is the time for the keepers to shake 
and become as dead men; and then the trembling hearts of 
the true take comfort in the words : ' Fear not, ye. ' The blood 
of the innocent descends upon those who sympathize with its 
shedding, from generation to generation. Nothing but repent- 
ance, deep and abiding, can remove it. They have wrought the 
mischief and shall taste, in God's time, its bitterest fruits. Mad- 
dened by malignant passions the murder they commit or pro- 
mote or sympathize with proves their own suicide." 



326 THE LIFE OF W. A. PAS SAVANT. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

STORM AND STRESS IN THE CHURCH. 

As the later fifties were a period of storm and stress in 
the State, so the early fifties were years of storm and stress in 
the Lutheran Church. Those who studied, understood, believed 
and confessed the doctrines that have always made the Lutheran 
Church Lutheran, saw more and more clearly the danger that 
was threatened by explaining away and toning down those 
doctrines until there was no other reason for being a Lutheran 
than that the Lutheran Church was essentially the same as "the 
other Evangelical denominations." The contention of Kurtz's 
book, "Why Am I a Lutheran?" might be summed up in the 
Vvords : "I am a Lutheran because the Lutheran Church has all 
the good that other churches have and differs from them in 
no important point." 

This lax, uncertain and unsatisfactory state of affairs had 
moved a number of earnest men to examine what the Lutheran 
Church and her theologians really teach. Schmid's "Dog- 
matik" had appeared, and American scholars who could read 
German were studying it and had their eyes open to the 
strength, completeness, consistency and scripturalness of the 
Lutheran faith. Dr. Morris and others wanted it translated 
ii)to English. Drs. Nevin, Schaff, Hodge and other Reformed 
theologians were teaching Lutherans what historical Luther- 
anism is. Those who were in favor of a Lutheranism that was 
true to its name and its history had started the Evangelical 
Pieview. The little Missionary had become more and more clear 
and confessional in its tone. Wyneken and Walther, Loebe and 
Lehman, Passavant and Harms were teaching the Church not 
only that there is no antagonism between confessional doctrines 
and living piety, but also that the former demands the latter. 
The elder Krauth, at the opening of the General Synod in 
Charleston in 1850, had preached a sermon that gave no un- 
certain sound as to the relation of true Lutheranism to the 
Church Confessions. 



STORM AND STRESS IN THE CHURCH. 327 

The General Synod was strengthened in 1853 by the en- 
trance into it of the strong, conservative Synods of Pennsyl- 
vania, Pittsburg and Texas. The Pennsylvania Ministerium 
had founded a professorship in Gettysburg Seminary and was 
seeking a conservative man to fill it. Dr. C. F. Shaeffer be- 
came the man in 1856. 

This trend toward a confessional Lutheranism aroused the 
radicals. They had a mighty weapon in the Lutheran Ohserver, 
the oldest and only English weekly east of Ohio. Through it 
they had the ear of the reading and thinking laity. Thus they 
had wielded a direct influence in the congregations of the Eng- 
lish Lutheran churches far greater than their number or ability 
\vould seem to justify. Besides they still had the main professor 
in Gettysburg Theological Seminary who, year after year, was 
molding the minds of incoming ministers. Thus these men 
felt themselves stronger than they really were. They im- 
agined that the whole General Synod was ready to follow them. 
They planned a bold and persumptuous battle-call. 

For months they had been secretly at work on a document 
that was intended to startle the Church, rout the "retrogres- 
sionists," and lead the General Synod permanently into an 
American Lutheranism from which all distinctive Lutheran 
doctrine would be eliminated. 

In September, 1853, an anonymous pamphlet of 52 pages 
was sent through the mails to every Lutheran minister who was 
supposed to have sympathy with and would lend influence to 
the contemplated coup. The mysterious docviment bore the 
expressive and ominous title "Definite Platform, Doctrinal 
and Disciplinary, for Evangelical District Synods; constructed 
in accordance with the principles of the General Synod." It 
claimed in the introduction to be "An American Recension 
of the Augsburg Confession, prepared by consultation and co- 
operation of a number of Evangelical Lutheran ministers of 
the Eastern and Western Synods, belonging to the General 
Synod." 

It claimed to find these dangerous errors in the Augsburg 
Confession; viz., the Romish Mass, Romish Confession and 
Absolution, and a denial of the divine obligation of the Chris- 
tian Sabbath. It also repudiated baptismal regeneration and 
the real presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Lord's 
Supper. It recommended that no minister should be received 



328 THE LIFE OF W. A. PAS SAVANT. 

into any Synod of the General Synod who would not adopt this 
platform. 

As might have been expected, this proposed new confession 
of faith raised a terrific storm. It disclosed, more boldly than 
had yet been done, the real animus and purpose of the radical 
^\ing of the General Synod. The Observer defended it; so did 
the Evangelical Lutheran of Spring-field, Ohio. A flood of 
communications from the radicals commended and defended it 
ill the columns of the Observer. Then for three consecutive 
weeks Dr. Kurtz editorially defended it. Dr. S. S. Schmucker 
followed in the same strain for five consecutive weeks, writing 
eltogether about twenty columns. These acute and learned 
v/riters wrote with a fervor of desperation. They defended 
tlieir position with ability, skill and eloquence. They visited 
the various Synods and pleaded for their platform. But it was 
a lost cause from the beginning. Never were intelligent and 
sanguine men more bitterly disappointed. Not a single Eastern 
Synod adopted the platform. Three little Synods in Ohio were 
all that deigned to do it honor. But it did good work; it 
opened the eyes of the real friends of the Church to the dangers 
that threatened from Gettysburg and Baltimore. 

No one understood and felt the danger more seriously than 
did Dr. Passavant. He followed the movement with the keenest 
interest. In October, 1855, he published the resolution of the 
East Pennsylvania Synod against the platform with this com- 
ment of his own: 

"This earnest and dignified protest against the anonymous 
publication, referred to below, was put forth by the East Penn- 
sylvania Synod at its late session in Lebanon. This decided 
condemnation of all such mining and sapping operations by 
means of 'a dark lantern,' will meet with the hearty approval 
cf the best friends of the Church. If the foundations are to 
be destroyed, let it not be done by honey-combing of the ground 
after such a Jesuitical fashion, but by a General Church Diet, 
which shall possess the learning, piety and charity to construct 
*r. platform' which will at least graciously permit Luther, 
INIelanchton, Arndt, Spener, Francke and other princes in 
Israel to stand upon it." 

A wave of indignation against the Observer broke out over 
all the Church. Earnest men came together and spoke of start- 
ing a new paper. In nearly every such case Mr. Passavant was 



STORM AND STRESS IN THE CHURCH. 329 

mentioned as the best possible editor. Others wrote to him for 
counsel and advice. His monthly Missionary was nearing the 
close of its eighth year. Of these years he could say : 

"In looking over the past eight years we cannot but thank 
God and take courage. We are thankful that amid the going 
down of other more meritorious papers our little sheet was 
enabled to live. We are thankful for the patronage of many 
of the good and the pure over the land, and we trust that we 
i.re grateful that its labor in the Lord has not been in vain. 
Others assure us that a livelier interest has been awakened by 
it in missions and mercy, and that the attention of many Chris- 
tians has been directed to the sorrows and sufferings of the 
affiicted members of our Lord's body. So, too, in addition to 
the numerous and generous donations which have been sent in 
for the Institutions here, a thousand dollars have been paid into 
the treasury of the Home from the profits of the paper during 
this time." 

The thought came to him again and again: Could not his 
Missionary be changed from a monthly to a weekly? Could 
it not in addition to being a Missionary become a more general 
Church paper ? Could it not be a medium for the dissemination 
and the defence of the Church's faith? Might it not serve to 
protect the many against the insidious, unsettling and divisive 
influences of the Ohservcrf For weeks and months he planned 
and prayed and wrote to the wisest and best men in the Church 
for counsel. 

We have before us over a score of letters commending Pass- 
avant's plan. They are from A. T. Geissenhainer, Greenwald, 
Reynolds, H. H. and F. A. Muhlenberg, B. M. Schmucker, C. 
F. and C. W. Schaeffer, Schreck, Manning, Mann, Welden, D. 
M. Henkel, Geo. F. Miller, W. S. Emery, Hoffmann, and others. 

The elder Krauth counsels patience and hopes for better- 
ment of the Observer. Dr. Morris fears Passavant's abolition- 
ism. C. A. Hay deprecates the rising of a "hierarchical" party 
in the Church, claims that the platform expresses the faith of 
the majority of the pious laymen, and pleads for the Observer. 
Henry L. Pohlman counsels delay and patience. Others favor 
the new weekly, but not yet. 

After much deliberation, counsel and prayer Mr. Passa- 
\ ant's mind was made up. In the last number of the monthly 
be writes: 



330 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

* * In view of the past we are hopeful for the future. A 
large number of our most serious and able ministers and laymen 
have urged us to enlarge the Missionary, and change it from a 
monthly to a weekly sheet. After much reflection and prayer 
and an unreserved consultation with leading brethren over the, 
whole land we are convinced that it is our duty to do so. The 
interests of missions and mercy, of truth and righteousness, de- 
mand it. This issue, clearly and satisfactorily settled to our 
own mind, there is no alternative left, but 'in the name of the 
liord to set up our banner.' And this we do with good courage 
and cheerful hope, believing that by so doing we shall be more 
helpful than at present to the Church which Christ hath pur- 
chased with His own blood. 

"Accordingly, by the divine permission, the first number 
cf the new series will appear during the first week of January, 
1856. The rate for subscribers will be one dollar and fifty cents 
in advance." 

To his good mother, who again feared that he was taking 
upon himself a load that he would be unable to carry, he ex- 
plains: 

"When I tell you but a few of the facts in the case you 
v/ill see that I have been led to make this enlargement simply 
from a deep sense of duty, and in doing so my greatest heart 
trouble was your expressed unwillingness to see me engaged in 
such a work. Rest assured that this step has been taken only 
after much prayer, consultation and a long and patient examin- 
ation of the whole subject, ^nd I can say with a good con- 
science that my unwillingness to engage in this was so great 
that I could scarcely overcome it, and had it been possible to 
have done so, I would not have yielded. But the enlargement 
is to be made during the first week in January, 1856; then 
there will be an intermission for three weeks, and on the first 
of February it will go on regularly every week. Brother Reck 
assumes the entire business department, correspondence and 
mailing; Brother Krauth writes a 'leader' for the editorial 
column over his own signature every week; and I edit the 
paper. Friends are pledged for one thousand dollars' dona- 
tion for the first year, some sending one hundred dollars, one 
one hundred and fifty dollars, others fifty dollars, ten dollars, 
and pledges have been sent in for a large number of subscribers 



STORM AND STRESS IN THE CHURCH. 331 

by our leading ministers in the East. Besides some eighteen 
to twenty have offered to write for it every few weeks so as to 
give it variety, interest and life. ... 

"When I wish to leave the city, Brothers Reck and Krauth 
get out the paper, so that I am as free to be away even for 
months as now provided I send on a weekly editorial or two. 

"But why involve myself in this new trouble and expense? 
The expense will be borne by friends who are determined to 
spare no means in order to have a paper which will save the 
Church from the doom w^hich awaits her with Kurtz at the helm 
of the vessel. As for the trouble, I cheerfully endure it for 
Zion's sake, and, moreover, because I am nearly through with 
my travels abroad which suit me as little as they do my family 
and especially the children. In this way I have something to 
occupy me at home, and I can go to Rochester every second 
Sunday until the time comes when they will require a pastor 
of their own. This may be a considerable time hence, as the 
finishing of the church will require all the spare means and 
energies which they can devote at least for a twelve-month to 
come. 

"But the controversy and unpleasantness with Kurtz? On 
this subject I can make you easy. You may rest assured that 
with that man I will have no controversy. He can say and 
think and do just as he pleases, and so he will, as far as I am 
concerned. My strength will be found in keeping aloof from 
these wretched controversies, which are keeping the Church 
from her legitimate work of doing good to the suffering and to 
the immigrant. If he insults me, I will publish him in the 
Missionary, and, by saying nothing in return, silence his talk. 
On this subject my mind is made up, for your sake, and my own 
as well as for the Church's. I shall strive, as I have done for 
eight years, to keep all this kind of strife out of my columns. 
In changing the Missionary from a monthly into a weekly I 
have simply yielded to the pressure which was brought to bear 
upon me, not from the quarreling part of our ministry but 
from the most able, solid and pious men of our ministry. Our 
pastors could no longer stand the infamous charges which 
Kurtz and Schmucker are perpetually making against the 
Church. Their only refuge was in the establishment of a 
newspaper or influencing me to enlarge the Missionary, the first 



332 THE LIFE OF ^Y. A. PAS SAVANT. 

they deprecated, as it would have been a herculean attempt, 
and would have aroused all the hostility of the Observer against 
it as an opposition gotten up specially against it; the last they 
flaxiously and most earnestly pleaded for, as they liked \U 
spirit and its general course. That spirit will remain the same, 
and its general course, likewise, so that they will now have what 
they want, a weekly Lutheran Church paper devoted to missions 
and mercies, to the family, the school and the Church. May 
God forgive me for giving you additional pain, and rest assured 
that in conducting it I will be influenced only by the fear of 
God and the fear of doing anything which would disturb the 
spirit of my precious mother in the evening of her days. All 
well." 

The weekly Missionary was, therefore, launched for the 
defence and spread of the Lutheran faith and for the inspiration 
cf the works that should grow out of that faith. The first 
number appeared in January, 1856. It came in the four-page, 
blanket-sheet form then in vogue. 

In looking over the first volume, probably the most at- 
tractive feature is a series of articles by C. P. Krauth, Jr., on 
"The Church in the Wilderness." These articles give us a 
vivid picture of the state of the Church of that day. They show 
the low and almost hopeless. view of the mission of the Lutheran 
Church in this land, on the part of the platform men, as well 
as the virile and hopeful tone of those who knew and had faith 
in the Church's historic and confessional position. Some of the 
articles are in the form of a dialogue between the Rev. Mr. 
Littlefaith and the Rev. Mr. Hopeful. 

There are numerous articles from his pen on the Augsburg 
Confession, on the Lutheran Doctrine of the Sabbath, in which 
he quotes largely from Luther and the Lutheran dogmaticians, 
a series of learned articles on the Romish Doctrine of the Mass, 
with a defence against the aspersions of the platform men 
against the Confession. They are well worth reading to-day. 
There is a series by J. G. Morris on Life Pictures from the 
Reformation, a series of Letters from a Father to His Son, an 
interesting and instructive series from Dr. Philip Schaff on the 
Religious Life in Germany. There are frequent letters from 
nearly every State in the West, describing the condition of the 
scattered Lutherans, their needs, their hopes and their prog- 



STORM AND STRESS IN THE CHURCH. 333 

ress. Foreign Mission letters, stories and notes are found in 
every number. Instructive and inspiring accounts of the In- 
firmary and the Orphan Home are kept up. There is a variety 
of Church news and items from all portions and Synods of the 
Church, set forth with that spirit, vividness and impartiality 
v.'hich the editor manifested all through life. In the clippings, 
the devotional and family department, the judiciousness and 
tact of happy selection which mark the true editor are manifest. 
Of the purpose and spirit of the paper, the editor says in the 
first number: 

"The general plan of the Missionary remains the same, the 
field of operation being merely enlarged with the enlargement 
of the paper. While it aims to be a periodical for the individual, 
the family, the Church and the times, the spirit of missions and 
mercy will be the controlling spirit. It will 'not shrink from 
confessing, explaining and defending the faith of the Church; 
but, with a profound conviction that the Church must not only 
be evangelical, but evangelistic also, it will labor alike for her 
purity and her operative piety. The motto on our first page 

fully expresses our views and aims. In an age of controversy 

• . ... 

and division we shall endeavor, in dependence upon divine aid, 

to edit the Missionary according to the wisdom that is from 

above, 'which is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be 

entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality 

and without hypocrisy'." 

In the second number he sets forth still more explicitly 

the tone and spirit of the paper: 

"WE BE BRETHREN. 

"Brought together by a power higher than our own, we 
find ourselves on the virgin soil of this new continent, the 
representatives of numerous nationalities of the old world. Our 
childhood, boyhood, manhood, early training, and later educa- 
tion have been widely ditferent, and the associations, modes of 
thought and local surroundings of each individual have not 
been without their influence in the formation of our character 
as a Church. That under these circumstances there should 
be some diversity of thought, and difference of administra- 
tion, together with not a few local and national peculiarities, 
customs and even prejudices, is only what might be expected, 
is only what could not be otherwise. 



33^ lEE LIFE OF TT\ A. PASSAVAST. 

**But while, in the Lutheran Church in this country this 
diversity* confessedly exists, there exists, at the same time, a 
unity in diversit>' which justifies the fraternal declaration, 'We 
be brethren.' We are so in more than one important respect. 
Brethren in Christ, we stand nearly related to all who in every 
place call upon Jesus Christ, both their Master and ours. But 
we are family relations to each other, and a common faith with 
common usages, associations, labors,' aims and hopes, makes us 
one in a peculiar sense. We belong, not merely to the same 
army, but to the same regiment; and side by side and shoulder 
to shoulder we have resisted the same mighty force, stood up 
against the same deadly charge, endured the same agonizing 
suffering, and, after the smoke and dust of the battlefield has 
cleared away, we have together wept over our fallen brethren, 
or made the sky echo with the exulting shout of victory. Three 
centuries with their history of trials and triumphs look down 
upon us this day, a diversified, but yet a united Church. 

"With this great fact of our common brotherhood before 
us, our duty as a Church is clearly apparent. It is, to live and 
love and labor as brethren. If w^ cannot see eye to eye in 
everj'thing let us walk by the same rule, so far as we are 
agreed. Palsied be the arm that would turn the tide of battle 
from the common foe against our brethren. At a time like this, 
when Socialism with its unclean spawn, and Rationalism with 
its icy touch, and Romanism with its corrupt faith and its 
relaxed morality, must not only be met and discomfited by the 
truth as it is in Jesus, but when the overshadowing power oi 
material interest threatens to dry up the very heart of Chris- 
tianity itself, and, in our land turn all into the idolatry of gold, 
divided interests and efforts can oppose no barrier to the over- 
flowing surf. It is a struggle not only for the triumph but for 
the life of Christianity. It affects the whole brotherhood. It 
is a strife pro aris et focis, for our altars and firesides, and the 
weakest as well as the mightiest must stand by his arms in this 
coming struggle which shall shake not the earth only but also the 
heavens. 

"It is not too much to say, therefore, that our common duty 
in this crisis of our history is to seek the things that make for 
peace and things whereby we may edify one another. That 
partisans of different kinds will misconstrue this advice, we 



STORM AXD STRESS IX THE CHURCH. 335 

know beforehand; but what we have written is not ours, but 
the word of the Lord. Under circumstances very similar, the 
holy apostle 'besought the brethren, by the Lord Jesus Christ, 
that they should all speak the same thing, and that there be no 
di^nsions among them, but that they should be perfectly joined 
together in the same judgment.' Christian brethren cannot 
hope to come to the unity of the faith until this law of charity 
is observed; for where divisions are there is contention and 
ever}' evil work. 

"It may not be out of place, in this connection, to express 
the hope that the fact that 'we be brethren' may be reflected 
from all the articles which may appear in the Missioiiary. "With 
cur views of truth and duty we cannot consent that it should 
be an arena of personal conflict and partj' strife. It has a 
holier mission and a nobler work. It will seek to attract, not to 
repel, to make peace, not to wage war, to reconcile brethren, 
not to widen the breach between them. And so, too, it wiU be 
our sincere desire to be helpful, not to a part, but to the entire 
brotherhood, without reference to particular sections, languages, 
rationalities and institutions. This is our aim, and in its prose- 
cutions we invite the co-operation of all who love our Lord 
Jesus Christ in sincerity." 

At a meeting of the Pittsburg SjTiod, held in Zelienople, in 
May. 1856. the definite platform came up for action. In the 
editorial columns of the Missionary, Mr. Passavant gives the 
following : 

"Below will be found the action of the Pittsburg Synod, 
at its late session in Zelienople. on the great question now 
agitating our Church. Its character will be as unexpected as it 
will be gratif^-ing. A large majority might have been obtained 
for the strongest resolutions condemnatory of the platform 
movement, but truth never suffers from moderation, and a 
united testimony for the purity of our faith was regarded as 
more important than the most violent denunciation. 

"A whole afternoon was devoted to the discussion of the 
different topics referred to in the report below which was 
presented by t"he Rev. C. P. Krauth. The utmost freedom of 
objection and reply was encouraged: no resolution was acted 
upon until the members expressed themselves fully and were 
prepared for the question; and when the vote was finally taken 



336 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

upon the report as a whole, it was adopted without a single 
dissenting voice. In our whole experience of Synodical action 
we never witnessed a discussion more candid and truthful or a 
more beautiful illustration of the value of fraternal conferences, 
(such as those suggested in the late Missionary,) in the settle- 
n)ent of disputed doctrines in the Church. The most careless 
observer could not but have felt that God was of a truth in the 
place, and during the passage of the last resolutions there was 
scarcely a dry eye in the whole Synod. We fear to weaken the 
force of the testimony so unanimously borne by the Synod con- 
cerning the charges made and the changes proposed in the 
acknowledged faith of the Church, and, therefore, direct the 
careful attention of our readers to the language of the preamble 
and the resolutions: 

'testimony of the synod of PITTSBURG. 

* Whereas, Our Church has been agitated by proposed 
changes in the Augsburg Confession, changes whose necessity 
has been predicated upon alleged errors in that Confession; 
and 

'Whereas, The changes and the charges connected with 
them, though set forth by individual authority, have been en- 
dorsed by some Synods of the Lutheran Church and urged upon 
others for approval, and have been noticed by most of the 
Synods which have met since they have been brought before 
the Church; and 

'Whereas, Amid conflicting statements, many who are sin- 
cerely desirous of knowing the truth, are distracted, knowing 
not what to believe and the danger of internal conflict and 
schism is incurred; and 

'Whereas, Our Synods are the source whence an official 
declaration in regard to things disputed in the Church may nat- 
urally and justly be looked for ; we 

'Therefore, In Synod assembled, in the presence of the 
Searcher of hearts, desire to declare to our churches and before 
the world our judgment in regard to these changes and these 
charges, and the alienation among brethren which may arise 
from them. 

'I. Resolved, That by the Augsburg Confession we mean 
that document which M^as framed by IMelanchthon, with the ad- 
vice, aid and concurrence of Luther, and the other great evan- 



STORM AND STRESS IN THE CHURCH. 337 

gelieal theologians, and presented by the Protestant princes and 
iree cities of Germany, at the Diet of Augsburg in 1530. 

'II. Resolved, that while the basis of our General Synod 
has allowed of diversity in regard to some parts of the Augs- 
burg Confession, that basis never was designed to imply thv 
right to alter, amend, or curtail the Confession itself. 

'III. Resolved, That while this Synod, resting on the 
Word of God as the sole authority in matters of faith, on its 
infallible warrant rejects the Romish doctrine of the real pres- 
ence or Transubstantiation, and with it the doctrine of Consub- 
stantiation; rejects the Mass, and all ceremonies distinctive 
of the Mass; denies any power in the Sacraments as an opus 
operatum, or that the blessings of baptism and the Lord's 
Supper can be received without faith; rejects Auricular Con- 
fession, and priestly absolution ; holds that there is no priest- 
hood on earth except that 6t all believers, and that God only can 
forgive sins; and maintains the sacred obligation of the Lord's 
day; and while we would with our whole heart reject any part 
of any confession which taught doctrines in conflict with our 
testimony, nevertheless before God and His Church, we declare 
that in our judgment the Augsburg Confession, properly inter- 
preted, is in perfect consistence with this our testimony, and 
with Holy Scripture as regards the errors specified. 

'IV. Resolved, That while we do not wish to conceal the 
fact that some parts of the doctrine of our Confession in regard 
to the Sacraments are received in different degrees by different 
brethren, yet that even in these points wherein we as brethren in 
Christ agree to differ till the Holy Ghost shall make us see eye 
to eye, the differences are not such as to destroy the foundation 
of faith, our unity in labor, our mutual confidence and our 
tender love. 

'V. Resolved, That now, as we have ever done, we regard 
the Augsburg Confession lovingly and reverently as the 'good 
confession' of our fathers, witnessed before heaven, earth and 
hell. 

'VI. Resolved, That if we have indulged harsh thoughts 
and groundless suspicions, if we have without reason criminated 
and recriminated, we here humbly confess our fault before our 
adorable Redeemer, beseeching pardon of Him and of each 
other, and covenant anew with Him and with each other to 
know-nothing among men but Jesus Christ and Him crucified, 



338 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

acknowledging Him as our only Master, and regarding all who 
are in the living unity of faith with Him, as brethren. 

'VII. Resolved, That we will resist all efforts to sow dis- 
sension among us on the ground of. minor differences, all efforts 
en the one hand to impair the purity of the ' faith once delivered 
to the saints,' and that with new ardor we will devote ourselves 
to the work of the Gospel, to repairing the waste places of 
Zion, to building up one another in holiness, and in pointing a 
lost world to the 'Lamb of God.' This agreement with each 
other is made in singleness of heart, without personal implica- 
tion, duplicity of meaning, or mental reservation, and we appeal 
to Him before whose judgment bar we shall stand, and through 
whose grace alone we have hope of heaven'." 

Dr. Passavant's good mother w^as greatly grieved by some 
of his editorials and wrote him one of her characteristic cau- 
tions. His reply is so kind and so expressive of his change in 
views and sentiment that we cannot forbear giving it almost 
entire : 

"No one but myself could be aware of all the facts in the 
case, for I alone have the documents in my hands. The course 
of duplicity and double dealing which was being carried on 
under the name of 'spiritual' religion, 'revivals,' etc., was 
beneath all criticism, and had I not put a stpp to it as I did, not 
only would the Missionary have gone down but the most precious 
interests of religion would have suffered. You would be sur- 
prised to read the letters which I receive from reasonable and 
thinking men on both sides. Not from the 'old Lutherans,' as 
you suggest, for not six of them take the paper; but from 
leading members of the Synods belonging to the General Synod. 
In this whole matter I have 'done nothing through strife or 
vain-glory.' Had it not been for me, Anspach would have sold 
his third to Kurtz, ^o disgusted and wearied out was he with 
the machinations of that man ; and yet now he with one breath 
upholds Kurtz's grievous wrong and with the next makes prom- 
ises to the friends of the Missionary that if they but throw their 
influence in favor of the Observer, all will be made right ! I 
was weary of such disgraceful work and put a stop to -it. Now 
they are so much occupied with the revival movement that they 
have no time to clear their own characters of the charge of 
double dealing! Be it so. Our men now know where they 
stand, and they quietly let them go! 



STORM AND STRESS IN THE CHURCH 339 

"You refer, dearest mother, to my former position, and 
say that you 'gloried' in the revivals which I enjoyed in the 
first years of my ministry. But certainly you forget that your 
letters were full of the most excellent counsels and warnings 
not to mistake outward manifestations of feeling for true re- 
pentance and faith in Jesus. 

"Influenced, however, as I was at that time by Dr. K. and 
the Methodistic theology which I had studied at Gettysburg, I 
disregarded most of those counsels. An experience of some fif- 
teen years in the ministry has convinced me that you were then 
right and I was wrong, and besides, I cannot possibly close my 
eyes to facts which I see every day, that the revival system of 
the Observer exhausts the soil of the Church, 'like raising to- 
bacco does the soil of Virginia.' I am as much the friend of 
genuine revivals as I ever was, and even at this very time there 
is a delightful religious interest in my church at Rochester, but 
for the bench- work and religious clap-trap with which Kurtz's 
system is connected, I have nothing but distrust and execration. 
And the reason of this is because I know it, and of the men 
who fill that paper with their lucubrations on this subject, no 
less than fourteen have already, within a few years been ex- 
pelled from the ministry for cheating, adultery and other dread- 
ful crimes. All my present ideas of religion are in open antag- 
onism to this system. 

"But enough. I have said this much only to explain my 
position and to show that I occupy no new ground, but precisely 
the ground of the holiest men in the purest ages of our Church, 
to whose doctrines and usages I am more attached, the more my 
mind, through God's mercy, throws off the unhealthy influences 
which I contracted under the teachings of Drs, Schmucker and 
Kurtz." 

Dr. Passavant loved his Church dearly; whatever hurt his 
Church, hurt him. Through difficulties and doubts and deep 
investigations and heart-searchings he had been led to the firm 
conviction that the truths which Luther had rediscovered and 
experienced and preached, the truths which had made the Refor- 
mation invincible, which reformers and theologians had embod- 
ied in the evangelical creeds and catechisms, which had blessed 
the German and Scandinavian nations and people in proportion 
as they accepted and lived them, that these same old Scriptural 



340 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

truths were needed in our land and age. Not for love of con- 
troversy but for love of truth, was this peace-loving man moved 
^o contend so earnestly for that faith which he was convinced 
had been once delivered to the saints. 

Of the effect upon the ministry of the uncertain and union- 
istic teaching in Gettysburg and through the Observer he writes: 

' ' The years are not long gone since it was no unusual thing 
for our ministers to forsake us, with no very urgent reason real 
or pretended, moving them thereto. The fact is, our Church was 
so utterly dissolved in the Avhite heat of universal philanthropy 
that it ran into any mold that offere<J, sometimes into andirons 
and sometimes into solid pigs. A paper w^hich is not ashamed to 
bear the name of our Church maintained that the Lutheran 
doctrines did not differ in any important respects from those 
of Methodism. This position was indeed taken to make easy 
the transfer of others to us, and did some work in that way. But 
the principle worked in both directions, 'with perfect loose- 
ness. ' 

« 

"Our young men, drilled into the idea that nothing could 
be fundamental that was doubted by the sects among them, 
carried out the conclusion to a still more logical extreme, that 
nothing was fundamental, even if the sects did not doubt it. 
Therefore their church connection, as it involved no principle, 
might be regulated by convenience or self-interest. These im- 
pressions made us some sore losses and gave us some sad gains. 
Some of our best men left us, protesting then, and protesting 
still, that they remain as good Lutherans out of our connection 
{IS in it. And they were right, except in their phrase; they 
meant that they were no more Lutheran in our Church than 
they are, since they went out of it. Of course, the same kind 
oi' view sometimes brought men into our Church, and among 
them were good and true men, who have shown more love and 
loyalty to it than it had the right to demand, on the theory on 
which it received them. But on the whole we have been great 
losers. Some of the men we have lost lacked nothing for the 
highest efficiency in our Church except a deep conviction that 
she is grounded not only in her Protestant doctrines but in her 
distinct faith on God's Word. We can scarcely blame them that 
they had not this conviction, for it was hard to find it ; and the 
few who held it were under the ban of deep and general preju- 
dice. Truth has had to find its way in our Church, and part of 



STORM AND STRESS IN THE CHURCH. 341 

its way has been fought; but there are some who ought to bear 
the scars of the battle, whose energies have been spent in other 
fields and whose names, when the record of this era of our 
Church is made up, will not be found where their birth and 
early attachments once gave promise that they would be en- 
rolled." 

On the state of the Church in 1863 we find this short 
editorial : 

"We glean from our correspondence some illustrations of 
the tendencies in parts of our Church which ought to arouse 
every man who loves the truth : 

"1. 'One of our theological students remarked in refer- 
ence to the Book of Concord, that no minister ought to give that 
book a place in his library.' 

"2. 'One graduated and refused to study theology, saying 
that he wanted to be a practical preacher, and not one of these 
studied metaphysical preachers. He has been in the ministry 
two years, and recently resigned his second charge.' 

"3. 'One of our ministers, when he was urged to take the 
Sunday School Herald, said that they did take a Sunday School 
paper, but he did not know what paper it was.' 

"4. 'At a teachers' meeting in one of our largest and 
most influential congregations the Lutheran Sunday School 
Herald was proposed but they came to the sober conclusion that 
it was sectarian. (Every one of the teachers was a nominal 
Lutheran. ) ' 

"5. ' There' are four contiguous charges known to one of 
our correspondents where they have Sunday Schools and Sun- 
day School papers, but not the Lutheran Sunday School Her- 
ald.' 

"6. 'In one of our congregations the Catechism had not 
been mentioned by its pastor to the people for three years and 
a half. No wonder that one of our ministers took the liberty 
to say: I never thought that that church had any stability.' 

"7. 'In a certain charge the Methodist Christliche Apolo- 
gde had at one time among Lutherans about twenty subscribers 
for three or four years. There are now some eight who take 
it.' " 

In September, 1861, the Lutheran Association for News- 
paper and Periodical Publication, which published The Luth- 



342 THE LIFE OF W. A. PAS8AVANT. 

eran in Philadelphia, made overtures to merge The Lutheran 
and the Missionary into one paper. To this Dr. Passavant was 
opposed at first. But after all, he had the strength of one man 
only. He felt himself in danger of breaking under his many 
burdens. His Institutional work was growing, and he was 
intensely interested in the bodily and spiritual welfare of the 
soldiers. All this made him think more favorably of the pro- 
posal. Then, also, the thought that a merging of the two papers 
would largely increase the circulation of the Missionary, had its 
weight. He went to Philadelphia and had a consultation with 
. the officers of the Association, but no understanding was reached 
at this interview. An offer was also made to get the Observer 
into the union of the papers. But this failed because the 
Baltimore radicals were afraid of the Philadelphia conserva- 
tives. After further negotiations. Dr. Seiss wrote Dr. Passa- 
vant the final result of the Executive Committee's deliberation: 

"As Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Lutheran 
Association for Newspaper and Periodical Publication, I have 
been directed to inform you officially that at a meeting of the 
Executive Committee of said Association, held on the seventeenth 
inst.. Rev. C. P. Krauth, D. D., of Philadelphia, was elected the 
'General Editor' of the Lutheran and Missionary, and yourself 
'co-editor' of the same according to the terms and conditions 
agreed upon, and on record of the archives of the Association. 

"At the same time, also, the following among the by-laws 
was passed, that 'the general editor, or editors, of the publica- 
tions issued by this Association, before entering upon the duties 
of his or their office, shall assure the Executive Committee of his 
or their willingness to conform to the requirements of the tenth 
article of the Constitution.' 

"It was at the same time resolved to enter upon the publi- 
cation of The Lutheran and Missionary as soon as possible, say 
on the day of the Festival of the Reformation, that the size of 
the paper shall be that of the American Presbyterian or The 
Christian Instructor, which is about four columns larger than 
the Lutheran Observer, the price to be one dollar and fifty 
cents in advance and two dollars at the end of three months; 
also that subsribers to the Lutheran and Missionary be carried 
v/ithout additional charge for the unexpired time for which 
they have paid. 

"We hope that all this will meet your approval. Upon 



STORM AND STRESS IN THE CHURCH. 343 

two points you will see that it will be necessary for us to have 
your formal answer, first as regards the aeceptableness of Dr, 
Krauth as General Editor and your concurrence in his appoint- 
ment; and, second, as to your agreement with the conditions 
specified in the by-law quoted above. Will you favor the com- 
mittee with an early reply upon these points?" 

While Dr. Passavant accepted the proposal of the Associa- 
tion he was not altogether satisfied and went to Philadelphia 
again for final arrangements. To his mother he writes: 

"My stay in Philadelphia was considerably prolonged as I 
had both weeks' editorials to write. I was very careful in not 
committing myself to Mr. Krauth, with whom I apprehend no 
difficulty. But the business agent is not a pleasant man to me. 
His course in getting the great heading for the Lutheran was 
intolerable and unjust. But I am so glad that at least some of 
the endless cares of the paper are off my shoulders, and that I 
still have an organ in which to appear for all useful purposes, 
that I made up my mind to submit to some little inconveniences. 
How it will succeed, remains to be seen. I, however, hope for 
tiie best. Mr. Krauth will give the paper his undivided time 
and the stimulus of such an able writer on the paper will do 
me no harm. I need something of this kind to stir up my 
sluggish soul amid the material duties of my vocation."- 

Here is his mother's criticism on the first issues of the new 
paper : 

"You do not allude by a single word, dear William, to your 
editorial concerns, which by the subscribers not being acknowl- 
edged is shrouded in mystery to those who take an interest in its 
progress. I for one, (who belong to the class of ignoramuses), 
get sometimes awed by the amount of theological learning the 
Lutheran displays, and think it almost enough to frighten any 
poor man from the ministry if it is necessary to have perused 
all the works there recommended. But I fully appreciate the 
Lutheran's delightful style and graceful handling of more con- 
genial subjects. His acknowledgments to the ladies who gave 
him the carpet and lounge, his 'conscientious grocer' who throws 
in the stems of the raisins, and in the last paper his tour to 
Chambersburg, was charming, and his selections on the fourth 
page are always very appropriate and interesting." 



• 344 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

The General Synod was anything but a homogeneous body. 
It embraced two widely divergent parties. The one was loyally 
Lutheran, a/ccepting the Aug;sburg Confession in the sense 
v/hich it was intended to convey by its author and first con- 
fessors; the other was unwilling heartily to accept those dis- 
tinctive doctrines which divide the Lutheran Church from the 
rest of Protestantism. The Lutheran and Missionary was set 
first for the defence of the doctrine of the Confessions and, 
secondly for the defence of the General Synod in so far as it 
was true to its own doctrinal basis. The party that did not and 
would not understand, much less accept, the doctrines, was bit- 
ter, hostile and aggressive. Both parties claimed to be loyal to 
Ihe General Synod. Dr. Passavant thought that it was high 
time for his party to speak out and to declare officially and once 
for all what its doctrinal basis meant. In the paper for May 
first he writes: 

"Something Greatly Needed. The time has, in our judg- 
ment, been reached when our General Synod, coming, in her 
calm dignity, into the midst of disputes, should settle, for the 
Church in this country, the questions of fact which have been 
raised in regard to the great standard of our Church, the 
Augsburg Confession. With that Confession the character of 
the Church herself stands or falls, as surely as does that of our 
land with the protection or violation of her flag, the maintenance 
or overthrow of her union. The masses of our people must rest 
their convictions as to matters of fact in the history and doc- 
trines of our Church very greatly on the decisions of their 
teachers, and in no form could a statement of the truth in the 
case reach them so effectively as in a declaration on the part of 
our General Synod. The people have been led to believe that 
the Lutheran Church has taught, in the Augsburg Confession, 
unscriptural doctrines in regard to Baptism, the Lord's Supper, 
Confession, the Lord's Day and the Mass. The friends of the 
Confession assert that, in regard to every one of these points 
erroneous statements have been made ; that the alleged doctrine 
of the Confession in regard to them is, in important respects, 
rot its doctrine; and that the doctrines it does teach upon all 
these points are Scriptural. Now, between these questions there 
is this distinction: that the first is a question touching facts; 
the second is a question concerning truths. A man may ac- 



STORM AND STRESS IN THE CHURCH. 345 

knowledge, with the first position, that the facts have been mis- 
stated, and yet not be fully persuaded in regard to the second. 
This difference does not actually exist. There are those in our 
General Synod who are not prepared to accept certain doctrines 
as they are set forth in the Confession, who are, nevertheless, 
heartily persuaded that those very doctrines have been grossly 
Djisunderstood. We do not believe that the General Synod is 
prepared now to enter into a discussion of the second series 
of questions; but we do believe that it might and should settle 
the first, that is, as to what is taught in our Confession. Our 
people say: One writer tells us this; another, that as to what 
is taught in our Confession, One says it has this meaning; 
another puts a wholly different sense on it ; now let our General 
Synod give us a simple, clear statement of the fact. It is 
indispensable for us, before we can tell whether we receive the 
doctrines of our Church, that we should know what they are. 
Now, let us have the light we need. If it were possible, as we 
believe it is, for our General Synod to set forth a statement of 
facts, to which a decided majority of its members should assent, 
the effect would be good; for the harmony of the Church, the 
heartier love of the brethren, the removal of scandal would be 
immeasurable. How profitable the discussion itself would be; 
how it would remove misapprehensions and curb extremes and 
prepare the Church for a more perfect unity would soon be 
apparent. Let the question be discussed. The friends of the 
Confession desire it; and those who have found fault with it 
ought to desire an opportunity of establishing the propriety of 
their strictures, and both should rejoice in the opportunity of 
correcting their mistakes, if they have made them, or of con- 
firming the truth, if they have it." 

So again in the number for July 10 : 

"Where is the difficulty? Not with the open enemies of the 
truth. We know them, we know they hate the truth because 
it is the truth, and no softening or palliating of it will make 
it acceptable. So far as they are concerned, our simple way is 
to utter the truth as clearly and as pointedly as possible. The 
more what we say hurts and arouses them, the more sure we are 
that it is the truth, and has been set forth in the right way. 

"Where is the difficulty? Not with the open friends of the 
truth. They know its preciousness, and for it are willing to 



346 TEE LIFE OF W, A. P ASSAY ANT. 

contend, and, if need be, to lay down their lives. They know 
low it is hated, how fierce is the war made upon them, how 
insidious the conspiracies and schemes of those who plot against 
it ; and they feel that its friends must be earnest, untiring, and 
uncompromising in their advocacy of it. They want unmistak- 
jible utterances, a trumpet with no uncertain sound. 

"Where is the diiBculty? It is with the secret enemies of 
truth. They wish to be thought on its side, though they hate it. 
They disguise their opposition to its essence under pretence of 
disliking the mode of its utterance. But phrase it as you may, 
so long as the phrase embodies the truth they will find fault 
with it. 

' ' Where is the diificulty ? It is with those who don 't know 
where they stand, or are not willing that others should know. 
They hide themselves in ambiguities and compromises and wish 
others to do so. Earnestness is with them the unpardonable sin, 
and candor the most shocking of indiscretions. 

"Where is the difficulty? W^ith the timid friends of truth. 
They love it, but they are easily frightened. They are overcome 
bj'' the Chinese tactics, and are howled and bellowed into flight. 
They judge of the strength of the enemies of truth by the faces 
they make. They are so overcome with the dismal howling of 
Cerberus that they beseech you to get off his tail and give him 
a sop. They are very sad at the thought that truth must en- 
counter such rancorous falsehoods, such wicked appeals to ignor- 
ance and prejudice. They are so sad and so desirous of peace 
that they are willing to secure it, not indeed by giving up the 
truth— they love it too much for that— but by keeping quiet 
about it." 

Here are his wishes for the General Synod about to convene 
in York, in May, 1864 : 

^^THE GENERAL SYNOD— PI A DESIDERIA. 

"This day. May 5, our General Synod opens its sessions 
at York. What will be proposed in it and still more what will 
be done in it, is largely a matter of uncertainty. There aie 
v/ishes which we deeply cherish in regard to it and towards 
whose consummation w^e devoutly desire to see some movement. 
As a friend of the General Synod we would desire: 

"I. That its .claim to the name Evangelical Lutheran 
should be put beyond all cavil. Its open enemies say it is not 



8T0BM AND STRESS IN THE CHURCH. 347 

an Evangelical Lutheran body. Some, who pretend to be its 
friends, but who are its most dangerous enemies, say that if 
we take the name in its historical sense and define it as it 
was defined for ages, the General Synod is not the Evangelical 
Lutheran; but it is American Lutheran. We wish that the 
statement of both these classes of enemies could be hushed for- 
ever; or that, if they are well grounded, the General Synod 
should openly and unmistakably acknowledge their truthfulness 
with that candor which is the first essential in coming to a true 
understanding and real unity. 

"11. That the General Synod should represent the Evan- 
gelical Lutheran Church in the United States. Now an im- 
mense proportion of our Church, not only pure in the Faith but 
active in good work, stands aloof from it. It is doubtful whether 
a majority of our Communion is embraced in the General 
Synod. 

"III. That the principles on which our fathers first de- 
sired the General Synod to stand were acknowledged and em- 
bodied in its Constitution ; the principles which would have 
given it governmental authority are carefully restricted and 
mild, yet real. 

"IV. That the representation in our General Synod were 
equalized and reduced so that it should fairly represent the 
portions of the Church embraced in it. 

"V. That the General Synod have sole authority to set 
forth : 

"1. One and the same Catechism, in the various languages 
used among us, for official use in the Church. 
'2. One and the same Liturgy. 
'3. One and the same collection of hymns. 

"4. One and the same Confession of Faith, to wit: the 
Augsburg Confession, unchanged and unabridged. 

"VI. That our General Sjmod should declare that the 
adoption of the Definite Platform, or any other substitute for 
the Augsburg Confession, is inconsistent with the proper force 
of the terms of admission stated in its Constitution, and that 
it is the duty of all Synods which have adopted such platforms 
0^ substitutes to set them aside. 

"Yll. As a most necessary means to avoid schism among 
as, that our General Synod should declare that the open assail- 



<< I 



348 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

ing of the doctrines taught in the Augsburg Confession and in 
the Catechism of Luther set forth by its own authority is in- 
consistent with the Lutheran name and with the unity and peace 
of the Church. 

"Let there be pure love for each other and just forbear- 
ance where there are conscientious differences, but let there be 
also a deep love for the truth and fraternal plainness of speech. 
Men cannot build together unless they are agreed as to what 
shall be built. We, who are in our inmost souls convinced that 
the faith of our Church in whole and in each of its parts is the 
very truth of God's Word, cannot believe in the hearty sympathy 
and co-working of those who disregard the Faith as unscriptural, 
Romanizing and soul-destroying. We ask, as a simple matter of 
justice, as a matter of cogent necessity, involving the very 
peace and life of the Church, that men who bear the same hal- 
lowed name with us shall cease to assail the Faith, apart from 
which that name as a Church name is deceitful and delusive. 
With the brethren not perfectly one with us, but who treat the 
confessed faith of our Church justly, fairly and reverently, we 
can heartily labor, looking for and praying for that time, surely 
coming, when God shall bring us to see eye to eye, when He 
shall have ripened us for an unequivocal confessing together of 
the whole truth. But with those who regard the looseness 
which rationalism has brought into our Church as normal, a 
thing to be perpetuated as good in itself, with these all unity 
is impossible ; and the sooner the attempt to keep it up is aban- 
doned, the better." 

That he was very much averse to a disruption of the General 
Synod at this time, and was ready to do all in his power to avert 
it, is clear from this brief note to Bassler: 

"I have been importuned by brethren whose wishes I can- 
not disregard to go on to the Penasylvania Synod and aid, if 
possible, in averting the secession of that body from the General 
Synod. Though exceedingly basy and without the least desire 
for such a fatiguing trip, yet in view of all the facts in the case 
and the absence of some of the brethren of the Pennsylvania 
Synod, I will leave, D. v., at four o'clock this afternoon, hoping 
to be back next Tuesday. Nothing but the peace of JeriLsalem 
could induce me to go away now, with so many matters of im- 
portance in view. But this dread of division and all its conse- 



STORM AND STRESS IN THE CHURCH. 349 

quent miseries and weaknesses urges me to say a word for abid- 
ing in our place and testifying for the peace of Jerusalem." 

The Synod of Pennsylvania, at its spring convention in 
1864, resolved to establish a new Theological Seminary in Phila- 
delphia, Pa. An article in the Lutheran and Missionary of 
June 30, 1864, gives seven reasons for this important step. The 
second reason given is : 

"Because it appears to be absolutely necessary to have an 
institution whose doctrinal character is unreservedly and un- 
alterably based on all the Confessions of the Evangelical Luth- 
eran Church. This character should be clearly known to all 
men and be beyond dispute. It is to be an institution whose 
professors are to be true to the doctrines and usages of the 
Lutheran Church, not only in their lectures and intercourse 
with their students, but in their preaching and in all their 
publications. ' ' 

The article closes with these words: "The principle on 
which the new enterprise rests is of unutterable importance, the 

preservation of the pure faith When error coolly 

makes arrangements for its own perpetuation and makes the 
title of Lutheran a cloak for war to the death upon Lutheranism 
itself, it forces honest men to cut themselves loose from all fel- 
lowship with it, and this necessity the Synod of Pennsylvania 
seems to regard as forced upon it." 

From the time of its projection and for several years for- 
ward, there is scarcely a number of the Lutheran and Mission- 
ary which does not have one or more articles explaining, de- 
fending and commending this young school of the Prophets. 
Dr. Passavant was deeply interested from the beginning and 
Vv^ith his prophetic vision foresaw what an important work it was 
destined to do in the upbuilding of the Church. He eagerly de- 
voted his far-reaching influence and enthusiasm to its material 
and spiritual welfare. This interest he kept up until the day of 
his death. When he afterwards prayed and planned for a 
Western Seminary, he did not lose interest in the one in Phila- 
delphia. He was broad enough to know that there is room for 
both schools and that a Western school is needed to do the work 
which the Eastern cannot do. 

In the spring of 1868, Dr. Passavant addressed the gradu- 
ating class of the Philadelphia Seminary. His sermon was a 



350 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

revelation, an inspiration and a surprise to ?ome of the brethren 
who heard him. His happy way of combining the doctrinal aad 
the devotional, the theoretical and the practical, was new. He 
put warmth and life and inspiration for service into dogmatics. 
His sermons, like Luther's, had hands and feet. They would 
have well suited the old sailor who wanted sermons 'with 
harpoons in them.' "While they were beautiful, tender and 
touching in diction and delivery, they were far more than mere 
productions of beauty to be admired for their eloquence and 
dramatic effect. To the writer of this they often exemplified 
the truth of the saying attributed to Cicero in Dialogues of 
the Dead: "When I speak people say: 'How beautifully Cicero 
spoke to-day;' but when Demosthenes speaks they say, 'Up, let 
us fight Philip.' " Dr. Passavant was a Demosthenes in his 
preaching. Of the impressions made by his Philadelphia sermon 
on the cultured and critical audience, the good but generally 
grave and undemonstrative Dr. C. F. Schaeffer writes him : 

' ' Dear Brother Passavant : You will allow me to state in 
writing what my heart impelled me to say to you in Philadel- 
phia but which your departure prevented me from saying. 
When my family returned from the church on the evening in 
which you addressed the graduates they were in raptures with 
your discourse; and on the next day I found that the brethren 
with whom I spoke were equally delighted. I made serious 
objection to all this when I heard that your theme had been 
'Justification by Faith.' I said that was Dogmatic Theology, 
whereas it ought to have been something from Pastoral Theology. 
I was afterwards so happy as to read your address in the 
Lutheran. And now, dear brother, I thank you most heartily 
for the delight, instruction and comfort which I received from 
the perusal. 'Plere is a man. Dr. Passavant, who has had 
extensive experience among rich and poor, old and young, sick 
and well, believing and unbelieving, and after such a widely 
diversified experience he tells us that after all the best and most 
profitable truth is that we are justified by faith in Christ alone. ' 
Oh, what a glorious doctrine that is! But what charmed me 
most was this, that in place of discussing the subject in a 
theoretic manner you gave it such a practical character and 
showed the students what its value is. Nothing could have been 
more appropriate or of greater practical utility, and after 
reading the address I said what I have more than once said 



STORM AND STRESS IN THE CHURCH. 351 

m reference to you: 'God bless that excellent man.' I thank 
you again for the comfort and encouragement which the reading 
of the address gave me and I hope and pray that it may per- 
manently influence the preaching of the graduates. 

"Forgive me for this effusion, but I really could not feel 
comfortable until I had expressed my thanks for the happy 
effect of your address on me. Very affectionately." 

From the sermon as published in the Lutheran we quote the 
following : 

"Permit me^ my young brethren, in the most fraternal 
spirit, to press upon your conscience the necessity of a personal 
experience of this chief article of our holy faith. What you 
need as ministers of the Word, to make all other gifts, graces 
and attainments available, is the certain consciousness that you 
'are justified freely through the redemption that is in Christ 
Jesus.' Your own personal salvation, by faith alone, without 
the deeds of the law, ought to be to you a matter of joyous 
sympathy. The sweet words of the Reformer in his exposition 
of the Apostles' Creed should be to you full of freshness and 
holy calm: 'I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of 
the Father from Eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin 
Mary, is my Lord. For He has redeemed me, a lost and con- 
demned creature, saved and delivered me from all sin, Trom 
death and from the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, 
but with His holy and precious blood and His innocent suffer- 
ings and death, in order that I might be His, live under Him in 
His Kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, 
innocence and blessedness, even as He is risen from the dead and 
lives and reigns to all eternity.' The sweetness and power of 
the Gospel is often found in its pronouns. The two words, *my 
Lord,' the brief sentence, 'hath redeemed me,' are the principal 
things in this doctrine of faith. You will need the assurance 
and support which they impart more than words can express. 
In the untried path before you, with its bodily infirmities, its 
spiritual struggles, its agonizing doubts, its paralyzing hin- 
drances and, above all, with its temptations to pride and world- 
liness and self-elevation, 'this anchor to the soul, both sure and 
steadfast, ' must be constantly let down into the depth of human 
sorrows, that its flukes may lay hold of the rock Christ Jesus, 
the only strength and stay of the soul. 



352 THE LIFE OF W. A. PAS SAVANT. 

"There is something deeply affecting in the idea of living 
and laboring in the ministry without a clear and well-defined 
experience of this cardinal doctrine. To be ministers of our 
Lord, and yet not to know in whom we believe, to preach 
reconciliation through His blood and yet to hang in doubt be- 
tween Christ and the world, to contend for the letter of the 
evangelical faith and yet to be unblessed with its spirit, is in- 
conceivably awful. What wonder that a warning of unexam- 
pled severity is revealed from Heaven against all such unhappy 
men! 'These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true 
witness, the beginning of the new creation of jGod ; I know thy 
works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would that thou 
wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, I will 
spue thee out of my mouth.' 

"Let no one deem these earnest words of Jesus uncalled 
for in the sad times in which we live. They have a significance 
of tremendous import to all who minister at His altar. Not for 
tlieir own peace merely, but for the highest spiritual needs of 
others, do ministers require this full assurance of faith. They 
must be able to say with the apostle, ' That which we have heard, 
which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon 
and our hands have handled of the word of life, declare we 
unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us, and truly 
our fellowship is with the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.' 
Indeed, nothing can compensate for the lack of this conscious 
apprehension of the Gospel. Neither learning, nor literature, 
nor wisdom, nor oratory, nor eloquence, can make up for the 
lack of this great source and secret of spiritual power. The 
absence of it is moral impotence. In the nature of the ease, 
the whole tone and temper of the ministry becomes relaxefl when 
Christ is not fully apprehended by faith. The want of heart- 
felt reliance upon the atonement begets a service listless and 
time-serving, outwardly fair but inwardly false and without 
power for good. The grasp of faith once let go, the fire of love 
is gone. A cold and mechanical handling of the Word of Life 
is a speedy result. Religious indifference in our hearers suc- 
ceeds. Truth feebly preached hardens. The public conscience 
becomes seared as with a hot iron. Infidelity follows, poisoning 
the minds of intelligent and thoughtful men. Immorality soon 
abounds. Unnatural sins shock the public sense. The ways of 



STORM AND STRESS IN THE CHURCH. 353 

Zion mourn. The enemy comes in like a flood and desolates the 
heritage of God, So certainly and awfully has unbelief in the 
ministry always brought demoralization in the Church and in 
the world." 

Nearly twenty years later, after the fine new building for 
the Theological Seminary of. the Missouri Synod was dedicated, 
he writes editorially in the Workman : 

"The completing of the Concordian Seminary and its 
dedication last Sunday are notable events in this memorial year. 
They belong not to one Synod only, but to the whole Church in 
the United States. We have, therefore, given as full account 
as possible on another page, and feel assured that it will be read 
with profound interest. We have before us, in the Anzeiger des 
Westens, an advertisement of a little Academy in Perry County, 
Missouri, signed by C. F. Walther and four other young, minis- 
ters, in which they, call the attention of parents to this school 
where religion, the ancient languages and the German with all 
elementary branches are taught. This wa-" forty-four years ago, 
and the schoolhouse was a rude log cabin and the Fsculty a 
single teacher. Out of this humble beginning this great Institu- 
tion with ample halls and rooms for two hundred students has 
grown. 

*'It is the most complete ecclesiastical structure in the 
Lutheran Church of America, and is a noble monument to its 
evangelical faith. Under God its influence on our common Prot- 
estantism cannot but be far-reaching, and the energy and faith 
manifested by the Synod in its erection will powerfully quicken 
all other movements in the Church elsewhere to increase her 
facilities for the training up of the future ministry. ' ' 



354 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 



CHAPTER XV. 

WORK AND INFLUENCE AMONG THE SCAN- 
DINAVIANS. 

Dr. Passavant had a deep conviction of the importance of 
the Church's occupying the cities. He lamented the short- 
sighted policy of the Church in the past and encouraged every 
earnest effort to occupy the great centers of population, 
especially in the growing West. Here is a reminiscent editorial 
of Jan. 7, 1864 : 

"An eminent statesman once contemptuously said, 'great 
cities are great sores.' If not sanctified by the gospel of Christ 
they are worse than sores upon the body politic, they are vol- 
canoes within it, whose smoldering fires need only a spark to 
explode and upheave all the ordinances of law and the insti- 
tution of religion. Cities are centers. Not merely population, 
but wealth, influence, and the resources of social, civil and re- 
ligious power are attracted to them by an irresistible law. On 
this account, as well as to show forth the riches of the Divine 
mercy, did Jesus command that the ministry of the gospel 
should 'begin at Jerusalem.' The church at Jerusalem was, 
therefore, the earliest Church of the Saints. In one sense it 
has become 'the mother of us all.' The same law of the di- 
vine operation is strikingly illustrated in the early history of 
the Lutheran Church in this country. Muhlenberg began his 
ministry in Philadelphia, and from that center of German 
population and influence he operated systematically and with 
astonishing success for over half a century over the land. The 
constitution of the first church there became the constitution of 
all our leading churches, and one spirit pervaded the whole 
body during the life-time of this remarkable man. ■ If we who 
come after him have, in a great measure, lost his apostolic 
spirit and seem no longer equal to his great undertakings, we 
must at least be convinced by the bitter fruits of our neglect 
that the course he pursued by 'beginning at Jerusalem' was 
eminently scriptural and beneficent. Though much is already 
lost by the culpable short-sightedness and most inexcusable 



WORK AMONG THE SCANDINAVIANS. 355 

neglect for two thirds of a century, more by far than is in the 
power of any mind to comprehend, all is not lost. There is yet 
a field open before us in the cities of our land for the forth- 
putting of the most vigorous efforts of faith and charity. 
Among our foreign nationalities and our home populations 
which gather in these great centers, the Lutheran Church has a 
work to perform which none other can do for her. Not only the 
cities of the East, but the many populous towns and cities of 
the West present the most inviting fields for Christian effort. 
Something is being done in this department of our work, but 
more, a hundred times mpre, is called for by the necessities of 
the times and the multitudes of our brethren who are 'as sheep 
without a shepherd.' 

"It cannot but be encouraging to those who are alive to 
the great interest at stake, to show from some illustrations what 
may be done by a few earnest men who have devoted them- 
selves to the welfare of their countryman in the cities of the 
West. For the present, we will only furnish a brief statement 
concerning the labors of one of them, the Rev. Erland Carlson, 
the faithful pastor of the Swedish Lutheran Church in Chicago, 
and that merely in connection with his pastoral and missionary 
labors among the Swedes of the Northwest. The statistics given 
were obtained by us during our frequent visits to Chicago 
during the past summer and will be read with much interest. 

"For some years a number of Swedes resided in Chicago, 
and in the absence of a church of their o^\ti, attended the Nor- 
wegian church of Rev. Paul Anderson, or were carried away 
from their own Communion by the deception of Unonius. 
Touched by their desolate condition, after some temporary sup- 
plies by Revs. Esbjorn and Hasselquist, (the latter of whom 
had shortly before arrived and settled in Galesburg, Illinois, 
with the advance guard of a large colony) a Swedish Lutheran 
congregation was organized in Chicago by Rev. Pastors Hassel- 
quist and Anderson on the sixteenth of January, 1853. The 
names of eighty Swedes were handed in as members of the new 
church, and were appended to the call for a pastor, which was 
sent to Sweden. This was forwarded by these brethren to the 
Rev. Dr. Fjellstedt, then at Lund, with power to make the selec- 
tion of a minister who would be suitable for the place. Dr. 
Fjellstedt at once sent the call of the Chicago church to the Rev. 
Erland Carlson, who had already been in the ministry for sever- 
al years in the Diocese of Wexio, in Sweden, and was laboring 



356 THE LIFE OF W. A. PAS8AVANT. 

with much acceptance to his people. The final result cf this unex- 
pected invitation from the New World was its acceptance by- 
Pastor Carlson and his arrival in Chicago on the twenty- 
second of August, 1853. Instead of a membership of eighty 
to welcome him on his arrival, only eight families, consisting 
of man and wife, and twenty unmarried persons, could be 
found of those who had signed the call. More than one half 
of the original signers had either moved away or now remained 
aloof from the congregation. With these thirty-six members 
brother Carlson commenced his ministry, nearly all of whom 
were miserably poor and were compelled to remain and labor 
in the city because they had not means to go farther into the 
country. At the first communion, Oct. 10, 1853, other addi- 
tional members were added to the church, thus increasing the 
number to forty four. Since that time to the present larger 
or smaller accessions have been made at every communion. At 
the late meeting of the Augustana Synod, the membership re- 
ported contained 350 communicants, of whom forty three had 
been received by letter and twelve by confirmation during the 
past year. In addition to this large number, no less than 360 
other communicants had been connected with the church since 
its organization ten years ago, 315 of whom have been dis- 
missed by letter to other Lutheran churches over the West, and 
twenty-seven of whom had died, while seven were excommuni- 
cated, and eleven abandoned our communion. If the very large 
number of persons who for a time attended the services of the 
church and did not unite with the congregation but have re- 
moved from Chicago to various places in the West, is consid- 
ered, it will be seen that few churches in our whole connection 
have had such a steady growth or been more largely instru- 
mental in preaching the gospel to the thousands of immigrants. 
Of the 350 members who have been dismissed to other congre- 
gations it may be safely said that some are found in almost 
every Swedish church in the west. The Chicago church has 
therefore not only been an in gatherer but a feeder to the 
country churches, and hundreds of other immigrants who 
heard the gospel in its humble sanctuary in their temporary 
residence in the city are now zealous members in the places 
where they have made their homes. We might yet mention, 
in this connection, that during the last five months sixty-seven 
new members have been added to the parent church and that 
during the same time seventeen have been dismissed to congre- 



WORK AMONG TEE SCANDINAVIANS. 357 

gations in the country. So wonderfully has the Word of the 

Lord grown and prevailed during the past ten years ! 

"The amount of good which has been accomplished through 
the establishment of this church cannot be estimated. Thousands 
upon thousands of Swedish immigrants have passed through 
Chicago and have received counsel, assistance, and spiritual di- 
rection for their new and untried American life. Many of these 
have been fed and lodged by the pastor and brethren, who have 
never spared themselves in caring for the poor among their 
countrymen. Hundreds who were unable to proceed farther 
have been provided with employment, and have afterwards gone 
on their way rejoicing. No less than seven hundred children 
were baptized by Pastor Carlson in Chicago and at his other 
stations in the country. Nearly two hundred young persons 
were confirmed after long and thorough instructions in the 
catechism. In addition to the instruction of the parochial and 
Sunday schools, the gospel has been faithfully preached and 
the Holy Supper statedly administered and the heart of the 
pastor has often been cheered by the return of many a prodigal 
son and daughter to purity and peace. Discarding all the 
modern methods of getting up excitements or helping on the 
work of the Holy Spirit by human means and expedients, apart 
from the means of grace revealed in the Word, this church has 
enjoyed a continued awakening or revival from its commence- 
ment, and great has been the ingathering of souls. It may 
almost be said of it, as of the one in Jerusalem, ' the Lord added 
to the church daily those that were saved.' Meanwhile it has 
grown not only in number, but in principle, in piety, in 
efficiency and in charity. The beloved pastor moves among 
his people as a father and a friend. He is indeed a man of 
labors and of cares, but the love of God and of his people 
makes every burden light, and he lives only for their good. 
Long may this sacred and beautiful relation between a faithful 
pastor and a grateful flock remain! Long may they 'walk to- 
gether in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy 
Ghost'." 

He then goes on to show how, from this missionary church 
of Pastor Carlson, there grew the congregations at St. Charles 
Geneva, DeKalb, Rockford, Peccatonica, 111. and also at Bailey- 
town, La Porte, Attica and Hobart, Ind. 

Mar. 2, 1856, Dr. Passavant made a hasty trip to Chicago 
to preach the consecration sermon of the first Norwegian Luth- 



358 THE LIFE OF W. A. PA8SAVANT. 

eran church, of which the Kev. Paul Anderson was pastor. He 
gives a full account of this interesting event in the Missionary 
of March 13. The article is headed by a fine large cut of the 
church. After giving a full description of the exterior and in- 
terior of the building, as well as the consecration service, he 
says : 

"In concluding this imperfect notice, "we would do violence 
to our feeling, did we not express our deep sense of the divine 
goodness which has hitherto marked the history of this church. 
'Not by might nor by power, but by my spirit,' saith the Lord, 
and yet it pleases Him who is Head over all things to the 
Church, to raise up from time to time the very instruments who 
are adapted for the most trying positions. How unlikely was 
such a result eight years ago, as was witnessed on last Lord's 
day. Then, a young man without fame, influence, means or 
friends, came to Chicago and began to preach Christ to his 
countrymen. It seemed as if everything had conspired against 
him. Bitter hate, zealotic zeal, poverty, ill health, the pesti- 
lence, over-exertion and innummerable other difficulties beset 
his path. But God was with him. Mountains of difficulty 
vanished, confidence was inspired, friends were raised up, the 
people gathered around him, and the joyful event just de- 
scribed gives delightful evidence of the great work which God 
has wrought through His instrumentality." 

There was a warm and intimate friendship between Dr. 
Passavant and the Rev. 0. J. Hatlestad. This pioneer Nor- 
wegian came to America in 1846 and became one of the editors 
of the first Norwegian paper published in America. He was 
pastor in Milwaukee for a time and there came in contact with 
Dr. Passavant and along with Pastor Muehlhaeuser, assisted 
materially in the founding of the hospital in that city. He was 
the first president of the Norwegian Augustana Synod and held 
that office from 1870 to 1880. Like the Swedish brethren, Carl- 
son, Hasselquist, Norelius, Swensson and others. Pastor Hatle- 
stad had a high appreciation of the wisdom and counsel of Dr. 
Passavant. It was through his contact with the latter that the 
Norwegian Augustana Synod entered into fraternal relations 
with the General Council and would doubtless have become an 
integral part of it, had it not been merged into the United Nor- 
wegian Church. 

In the late summer of 1870 a conference was held at St. 
Ansgar, Iowa, between representatives of the Norwegian An- 



WORE AMONG THE SCANDINAVIANS, 359 

gustana Synod and Pastors Clausen and Ilvisaker and a few 
others who had fallen out with the old Norwegian Synod and 
were standing in an independent position. Pastor O. J. Hatle- 
stad was president of the Norwegian Augustana Synod. It 
was proposed by the Clausen men to organize a conference 
which was to be a kind of free organization which, while 
ostensibly holding all pastors and teachers of churches, should 
hold the churches in such an easy way, "that they should 
nevertheless stand free and independent of the conference as 
such," that is, churches "who employ any of the ministers 
of the Conference have the right to send a delegate to the 
meeting," but they are still "free and independent of 
it as such," and can send or not send, and do or not do 
just what they please, in the very face of the well considered 
advice of their Christian brethren. 

The Eev. Jens C. Roseland who was a leader in the Nor- 
wegian Augustana Synod and afterwards in the United Nor- 
wegian church and to whom we are indebted for many interest- 
ing facts, claims that an address made by Dr. Passavant at the 
St. Ansgar Conference had more to do with the making of Nor- 
wegian church history in America than is usually conceded. 

Of the proposed organization, Dr. Passavant in the Luth- 
eran and Missionary says: 

"It would be difficult to imagine any association more 
powerless for good and more powerful for the propagation of 
radical and revolutionary tendencies than this. Though the 
brethren whose work it is certainly do not see unto what all this 
tends, they could not have devised any association which could 
more successfully repeal the order of God's house than such an 
irresponsible association." 

In this case again, the after results show how truly the 
Doctor divined the un-Lutheran and disintegrating tendencies 
of this free association. President Hatlestad refused to go into 
this uncertain organization. Dr. Passavant ends his editorial 
on the subject with this telling tribute to the young General 
Council : 

"But there is another reason why Pastor Hatlestad could 
not 'unite' in this St. Ansgar movement. In common with all 
the older pastors and churches of the Norwegian Augustana 
Synod, he is in favor of the General Council, took part in its 
organization, is fully persuaded of the Scriptural character of 
its doctrinal and governmental principles, is convinced of the 



360 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

godly sincerity and integrity of those who founded and repre- 
sent it, has carefully weighed the conscientious arguments 
against it and the unworthy slanders which have been heaped 
upon it, and with the liveliest gratitude to God has marked its 
onward course in the midst of every obstacle in the successful 
establishment of schools, colleges and seminaries, the publica- 
tion of tracts, papers, and books, the establishment of hospitals 
for the sick and homes for orphanage, the preaching of the pure 
Word and the administration of the Sacraments to the neglected 
and scattered of all nations in our own land, and the revival and 
reinvigoration of the abandoned mission fields among the heathen. 
He sees that the future of the churches with which he has been 
always associated and that of many others is bound up in the 
future of the General Council, that the little schisms and fac- 
tions and parties of his countrymen which now gather around 
individuals and their peculiarities will one by one pass away 
before the growing influence of the great truths and principles 
confessed by the General Council, and, therefore, he and others 
who have long borne the heat and burden of the day, and 
learned important lessons by the experience and mistakes of 
the past, desire to bring all doubt and vacillation to a speedy 
end by a formal union with the Council at their approaching 
Convention of Synod in October. If they must part with 
cherished brethren, it will be with a sorrowful heart, loving 
them and praying for their return, but their position is un- 
alterably taken, to unite with a very different organization 
than the so-called 'free' one lately organized at St. Ansgar." 

Of the position and influence of Dr. Passavant in the Nor- 
wegian Augustana Synod, Pastor Roseland writes: 

"From 1870 to 1875 Dr. Passavant was looked upon as the 
foremost spiritual adviser of the Synod. It has often been 
asked why the little Norwegian Augustana Synod led the Nor- 
wegian Lutherans in the English work. I believe it was owing 
to the keen interest and the helpful direction of Dr. Passavant 
with whom our early leaders stood in the most intimate relation. 
He served as a sort of connecting link between the orthodox 
English Lutheran Church and the Americanizing wing of the 
Norwegian Lutheran Church. It was undoubtedly through his 
assistance and direction that our classical school at Marshall, 
Wis., became the most thoroughly Americanized Norwegian 
Lutheran School in America. This fact I think is silently con- 
ceded even by those who prefer to say very little about it. Only 



WORK AMONG THE SCANDINAVIANS. 361 

two weeks ago I was asked by a leading pastor of Anti-Missouri 
extraction why it was that the men who hailed from the Nor- 
wegian Augustana Synod used the best English in the United 
Norwegian Church today. My answer was that our little Synod 
was fraternally guided by the wise and safe counsel of Dr. 
Passavant to establish a school in which a thoroughly Amer- 
icanized atmosphere prevailed as far as language was con- 
cerned. ' ' 

Dr. Passavant was elected president of the- first Board of 
Trustees of Marshall Academy and was reelected for four suc- 
cessive years. He attended a number of the Synodical conven- 
tions and on these occasions was always requested to preach. 
He donated a number of church books to the Marshall Academy 
to be used in the morning devotions. He also preached the ser- 
mon at the dedication of Bethlehem Norwegian Lutheran church 
in Chicago. His sermon was afterwards published in full in 
the Norwegian church paper, the files of which contain many 
extracts of his synodical sermons. 

Of the work, wants, and welfare of the Minnesota Lutheraas 
Dr. Passavant writes: 

"The Lutheran immigration to this young State is large. 
The steamers and cars are crowded with the incoming immi- 
grants. A friend writes us of over a thousand Norwegians who 
arrived in a week! The Swedes and Germans are also coming 
in large numbers. It is manifest that Minnesota will soon be- 
come one of the principal strongholds of our American church. 
The settlers almost univerally purchase land, the poorest doing 
so as soon as they earn sufficient money. Township after town- 
ship is thus taken up, and congregation after congregation ia 
organized. Our Norwegian, Swedish and German ministers 
are overburdened with the vast responsibility of supplying all 
these immigrants with the preached Word and the Holy Sacra- 
ments. But they still go forward doing 'what they can' and 
leaving the rest with God. Oh, for helpers in this time of need ! 
The 'Elementary School' of the Augustana Synod in Carver 
County, is now the 'St. Ansgar Academy' and is doing an ex- 
cellent work among the Scandinavians. They, however, greatly 
need a library of good English books, and, should any of our 
readers be disposed to aid in supplying this want, we will be 
happy to select the books, or take charge of those which may be 
sent. A few hundred dollars would be an excellent investment 
in this promising Institution." 



362 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

In the autumn of 1856, he took his first trip to the Scan- 
dinavians in the then farthest west. Before he started, he 
appealed to some of his well-to-do and liberal friends for dona- 
tions toward buying land for schools and churches for the Scan- 
dinavians in the West. From Chicago he took his friend Paul 
Anderson with him to help select the land and the church lots. 
He gives his impressions and descriptions of the long trip to 
the new country and its booming cities, in the most fascinating 
manner. We reproduce only those parts of these letters which 
tell of his Church work : 

"It was evening before we discovered that there were a 
number of Norwegians and Swedes in La Crosse, but through 
the kind offices of several young men, word was conununicated 
to as many as possible, and by eight o'clock some thirty persons 
were gathered together in the house of a Norwegian, to whom 
we preached the Word of God. The services were solemn and, 
to us at least, peculiarly interesting. They had brought with 
them their hymn books and after opening the services with an 
English hynm, the remaining hymns were sung in their own 
tongue. There are perhaps one hundred Scandinavians in the 
town, though the greater part are unmarried and reside here 
but for a season. Several Norwegian settlements are found 
some distance in the country, and many of the young people 
come in to the town to work, while the number of permanent 
residents must necessarily increase with the increase of this 
place. Under these circumstances, instead of taking the packet 
on ]\Ionday morning, we concluded to remain until Tuesday and 
if possible secure a lot for a church. Several owners of property 
were visited, and at length two were found, one of whom gener- 
ously donated a lot on an addition to the city, with the privilege 
of building upon it in five years, and another, who sold us a 
beautiful lot, made a reduction of fifty dollars in the price. 
Several other benevolent gentlemen were called upon who gave 
subscriptions of from fifty dollars to five dollars towards the 
purchase money, so that with the exception of forty-five dollars 
the whole sum was raised. This we advanced out of some 
moneys in our hands, then wrote out the deeds, and had them 
signed and witnessed, as well as registered at the court-house, 
and after a hard day's work, retired to rest as tired a man as 
could be found 

"The Swedish Lutheran congregation in Red Wing under 
the care of the Rev. E. Norelius, have a neat frame church 



WORK AMONG THE SCANDINAVIANS. 363 

under roof, and so far finished that they can use it for worship. 
The German Methodists have likewise one nearly finished for 
their society, which numbers forty members. The German 
Lutherans, we regret to say, are totally neglected and it is 
pitiable, in traveling from place to place, to find that instead 
of concentrating our strength to supply the appalling desti- 
tution in the western States and Territories, our energies are 
weakened and our forces are scattered by intestine feuds, and 
that, too, among brethren. What hope or promise is there of 
ever coming to the unity of faith and to the knowledge of the 
Son of God while we thus turn away from our own flesh and 
refuse to come up to the help of the Lord against the mighty? 
Only they who do God's will shall know the doctrine whether 
it be of God, nor is there a single promise in the Word that we 
shall be guided into all truth while we remain thus careless and 
neglectful toward our needy and perishing brethren. May God 
have mercy upon us, for verily we know not what we do. But 
we are wandering from our subject. Red Wing is quite an im- 
portant point, and with a magnificent prairie country in the 
rear, no time should be lost in securing a location for English 
and German churches, and the appointment of a missionary to 
look after our interests in this portion of the territory. Un- 
fortunately the persons to whom we had letters, were mostly 
absent and no effort could be made to secure church sites at 
this time. 

"As brother Noreliiis, who officiates among the Swedes, lives 
some twelve miles out in the country, we procured a buggy and 
made a visit on Friday afternoon 

' ' We fortunately found Pastor Norelius at home, and though 
we were strangers to each other, we at once felt that we were 
brethren in Christ and partakers of the same blessed hope. 
It was deeply affecting to receive the warm hospitality of 
this dear brother and his faithful companion, and we shall ever 
cherish the remembrance of the night which was passed under 
their roof with pleasant thoughts. For hours we conferred to- 
gether concerning the interests of Zion among the Scandina- 
vian population of the territory, and various plans were sug- 
gested, about which we hope to communicate more hereafter. 
The crying want is pious, educated, and self-denying ministers ! 
At every point of importance the Scandinavians are settling in 
large numbers, but while the Methodists and Baptists have some 
six or eight persons who are licensed as ministers and are sup- 



364 THE LIFE OF W. A. P ASSAY ANT. 

ported as missionaries by their societies in New York, we have 
but two Swedish pastors for the whole territory, and not a 
single minister that we know of among the multitudes of Nor- 
wegians who are already counted by thousands. There ought 
to be at least twelve Lutheran Missionaries among the Scan- 
dinavians now in Minnesota and how many additional ones 
are needed can only be ascertained when the summer's immi- 
gration from Sweden and Norway has ceased. Should this 
paragraph meet the eye of any pious young Scandinavian, we 
would beg him most earnestly to consider the great question 
of devoting his life and his all to the welfare of his destitute 
countrymen. Our seminaries and colleges are all open to him, 
and if he is without means, our education societies will be glad 
to take him by the hand and assist in his education. ' ' 

To this account of Mr. Passavant's visit to Mr. Norelius 
the latter, in a personal letter to the writer adds this interesting 
little incident: 

''In the fall of 1856 Mr. Passavant visited me in my 
'claim-shanty' in Vasa, Minnesota. It was raining during the 
night and as the roof consisted of only a thin piece of canvass, 
we did not altogether escape a wetting. The rain on the bed, 
soaking through to Mr. Passavant's skin, caused him to dream 
that he was lying at the bottom of a sea and to wonder how he 
could escape. " 

Mr. Passavant continues the account of his missionary 
tour: 

"The sun shone brightly after the rain, and poured over 
mount and vale and stream a flood of mellow light, as our stea- 
mer came in sight of St. Paul. The first view of the city with 
the dew and freshness of youth upon it, was truly enchanting. 
It is finely located upon the west bank of the Mississippi, and 
although the houses are scattered over nearly two miles of 
bluff and plain, it appeared from our boat like an old and 
compact town. 

"As we remained in St. Paul for eight days, including two 
Sabbaths, we had an excellent opportunity of becoming 
acquainted with its inhabitants, its resources, and its pros- 
pects 

"After thus taking the bearings of the city from different 
points, and spending some time visiting the suburbs and study- 
ing the genius of the place, we came to the conclusion, that the 
most effective way of doing something for the cause of Christ 



WORK AMONG THE SCANDINAVIANS. 365 

and His Church in the Territory, was to commence in this its 
natural center. Accordingly, after visiting the honorable Mr. 
Sibley, at Mendota, and securing his co-operation, which was 
generously given, we determined, in humble reliance upon the 
divine aid, to secure a lot for an English Lutheran church as 
near as possible to the center of the city. We were, however, 
several years too late to obtain such a site as a gift, although 
two lots were offered us by owners of land on the edge of the 
city,, on condition, however, that the proposed church should 
be erected on them. As there was therefore no alternative left 
but to raise the necessary sum by subscription among the citi- 
zens, we spent several weary days in this self-denying work, and 
although many, who it was thought would have favored the 
enterprise were, unfortunately for us, absent from the city, 
twelve gentlemen generously subscribed one hundred dollars 
each towards the lots, and another, with a truly liberal spirit, 
presented us with a deed for three acres of ground on a beau- 
tiful lake, a mile from the city limits, with permission either 
to sell them for a church, or use them hereafter as a site for 
an Orphan House. Had not our time been so limited, this 
sura might have easily been raised to two thousand dollars, 
but our engagements at home required a speedy return, and 
after making arrangements to have the list continued, we de- 
voted the remainder of the time to a selection of a suitable site 
for the church. Two locations were especially preferred, on 
account of their central and commanding position, both being 
near the State house, and one immediately facing it; but the 
owTiers of both were in other parts of the territory, and we 
were obliged to defer the actual purchase of one or the other, 
until their return. In this connection, we cannot omit return- 
ing our grateful acknowledgements to the Hon. W. H. Sibley, 
ex-Governor Ramsey, and Messers Oaks, Berkey, M'Kenty, 
Rohrer and Levering, who in many ways manifested their in- 
terest and M'armly co-operated in this undertaking. 

" If it be asked whether we found any or many of our Eng- 
lish members in St. Paul, we must confess that with the ex- 
ception of one lady, the daughter of one of our ministers in 
eastern Pennsylvania, and a few persons whose sympathies are 
with the Lutheran Church, but who are not members, we found 
none. There are no doubt a few of our people here, as in every 
other western city, but we are certain that so soon as a mis- 
sionary is on the ground, (which we hope will be early in the 



366 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

Spring) there will be numerous immigrations of our people 
from the East to this promising place. In addition to those 
who may immigrate here, there are many German Protestants 
in the city, some of whom would unite with an English Luther- 
an Church, while not a few of the Norwegians and Swedes, who 
acquire our language with great facility, would be happy to 
identify themselves with an English Lutheran congregation. 
But there is no lack of material in St. Paul, for thousands live 
without Christ and without hope, serving the god of this world; 
while hundreds of energetic young men from the East, who 
have come here to seek their fortune, are accessible to a faith- 
ful minister of the Word, and constitute one of the most hope- 
ful classes for pastoral effort. And the Church of the Reforma- 
tion has a work to do in the metropolis of a territory five times 
the size of Pennsylvania, which will soon be the home of millions 
of industrious freemen. We cannot be true to ourselves, to 
our country and to our God, and continue to neglect these 
centers of population and influence, as we have hitherto done. 
We must perform our part of the work of molding the het- 
erogeneous masses in our western States, and if we spend our 
strength in out-of-the-way places, to the neglect of the larger 
cities, we shall be utterly unable to do our Master's work. 

"It is already late in the day to begin an enterprise which 
should have been commenced with the very commencement of 
the city. The difficulties which are now inseparable from such 
an undertaking, are but the consequences of our sinful neglect. 
But these dare not make us shrink from our obvious duty. 
Whatever be the cost and the exertions in entering the field at 
the eleventh hour, it must be done. And let the importance of 
early and vigorous effort in other States and Territories, such as 
Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oregon and California be fully 
recognized by the Church, for while she sleeps, the enemy is 
awake and is sowing tares 

"The Norwegian and Swedish members of our Church are 
generally found in settlements, though many of them, especially 
the younger portion, may be met with in all the towns where 
work can be procured. This will greatly facilitate missionary 
operations among them, as the number and compactness will en- 
able them to erect churches and schools and support the gospel 
themselves more readily than if dispersed among the American 
population. By attending vigorously and without delay to this 
great and growing interest, which is, the Lord be praised, in- 



WORK AMONG THE SCANDINAVIANS. 367 

tensely Protestant, our Church will soon become the most numer- 
ous Protestant body of Christians in this future State. We hope 
hereafter to suggest something for their intellectual and spirit- 
ual benefit, but at present would only again call the attention 
of our Norwegian and Swedish ministers in Illinois to the im- 
portance of sending one or more of their most able and ex- 
perienced men to reside in St. Paul, or some other central point, 
and operate from thence over the whole Territory in preaching 
the Gospel, circulating good papers and books, and supplying 
the settlements as rapidly as possible with able and faithful 
pastors and teachers. The present immigration into this Terri- 
tory from Sweden and Norway, as well as from Wisconsin, 
Illinois and Indiana, will give our Scandinavian brethren 
enough to do without attempting anything to increase it." 

Oct. 20, 'Mv. Passavant writes to Mr. Norelius, offering a 
personal contribution of fifty dollars and further help for the 
church lot in Red Wing. He also speaks of an offer of land for 
a Swedish college at Lake City, Minn., and asks Mr. Norelius to 
investigate the place. He further gives advice for starting Swe- 
dish work at Carver and New Sweden and continues to secure 
funds for the Scandinavians from churches and individuals in 
the east. ]\Ir. Passavant seems at this time to be principal ad- 
viser and leader of the Scandinavian Lutherans. 

At this point, Father Heyer again comes upon the 
scene. This remarkable man went to India for the first time 
in 1842, when he was forty-nine years old. On account of his 
health, he returned in 1846. He gathered and organized a 
church in Baltimore and went back to India in 1848. In 1857 
he again turned his face homeward. On his way home from 
preaching to the Hindus he crossed the desert of Arabia and 
stopped to preach to a congregation of Europeans camping 
under the shadow of ]\It. Sinai. He went do\m into Egypt, ex- 
plored the pyramids and then visited Bethlehem, Nazareth and 
Jerusalem. He did not come home to rest on his laurels but, 
though sixty-four years old, was ready for work wherever he 
might serve the Lord and His Church. ]\Ir. Passavant, who 
knew him intimately and who had kept the Church informed 
and interested in his India work, had his eye on him for the 
Home Mission Field. He secured his appointment and support 
for the West. Mr. Heyer was accordingly sent to St. Paul to 
gather and build up a German and an English Lutheran church. 

Mr. Passavant writes thus to Norelius: — 



368 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

"You will rejoice %yhen I inform you that I have (under 
God) succeeded in obtaining the services of an admirable min- 
ister for St. Paul. It is none other than Father Heyer, late of 
India. He leaves for St. Paul in two weeks and will probably 
accept a call from the German Lutheran Congregation there, 
and at the same time seek to build up an English Lutheran Con- 
gregation, or at least labor to collect the scattered members and 
prepare the way for the sending out of a faithful English Luth- 
eran pastor by spring. Pray for him, and if you can, do your 
best to slip up to St. Paul and see the dear old man sometime 
soon. I had hoped to be able to come along, but fear it is 
very doubtful whether I can go this fall. The money difficulty 
is so distressing here that I have been in the greatest struggle 
for the last four weeks. Do not, therefore, delay writing but let 
me hear from you imiiiediately on your receiving this. If I can 
go out, I will, of course, stop a day at Red Wing." 

After Heyer had been in the field for a few years he wrote 
this interesting account of his labors to Dr. Passavant: 
"Dear Brother, 

"Among the many items of business to which your attention 
is called, you may perhaps have lost sight of Minnesota where, 
through your instrumentality, the Lutheran Missionary opera- 
tions were first commenced. Allow me to state a few circum- 
stances, which show that the work is still going on. After 
struggling with difficulties which threatened the very existence 
of the Minnesota Synod, our prospects .are now becoming 
brighter. At the next synodical meeting in St. Paul on Ascen- 
sion Day the following members are expected to be present: 
Mallinson, Thompson, Fachtman, Blecken, Evert, Hoffman 
Wolff, Emmel, Reitz, Gur Nedden, Eise and Kuhn; members 
not present, Brand and Heyer, Total fourteen. Several of these 
brethren are from the Chrischona, and have come recommended 
by the superintendent of that Institute. These men are better 
calculated to labor among the German settlers of Minnesota than 
are candidates from universities or from our seminaries in 
this country. The most of them will be able to get along, if 
we can only allow them fifty dollars a year in addition to what 
they may get from the people. After inviting them to come 
over, it would be unfortunate, discreditable, and injurious to 
our cause, if we should fail to assist them with the small amount 
above stated. I have written to the Pennsylvania Missionary 
Committee, and also to the Committee of the General Synod in 



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WORK AMONG THE SCANDINAVIANS. 369 

Baltimore. What these committees may be able and willing to 
do for Minnesota I do not know yet; if you should be present 
at the meeting of the Pennsylvania SjTiod in Easton, I trust 
you will plead for Minnesota. Br. Fachtman is doing what he 
can to provide places, etc., for the new assistants in ^Minnesota, 
but he is sometimes almost overburdened, being poor himself, he 
must be furnished with the means to help the brethren who 
have arrived and others who are yet coming, or there will be 
suffering among them. If it were in your power from any funds 
or resources at your disposal to send twenty-five or fifty dollars 
to Br. Fachtman soon, it would be a great relief to him. In 
conclusion, allow me to make one more suggestion. When the 
war is over, the Christian Commission will have performed its 
great labor of love, the benevolent in our Lutheran community 
should then be encouraged to provide clothing and other ar- 
ticles for our poor missionaries in the far west. 

"I will add no more, but pray the Lord to have you in His 

holy keeping. 

Your aged fellow pilgrim 

C. F. Heyer." 

Here is a letter to Pastor Hatlestad showing the same con- 
cern for the Scandinavian interests about Chicago: 

"I was truly sorry that I could not see you when in Chi- 
cago. Oh, how wonderfully is our work opening up in the great 
West! My heart bleeds when I think how wide is the desti- 
tution and how few the laborers. We need men, men, men! 
But in every case men of purity, piety, principle and power, 
men who are equal to the great work which God has given us 
to do. 

"I fear that if one or two more Swedish pastors of this 
kind cannot be spared to our dear brother Carlson in Chicago, 
we must and will go down. Another fear with me is that the in- 
coming of the masses of unsanctified material into the Swedish 
Church in Chicago will duplicate the New York trouble. A 
good and experienced man is needed for the South Side and 
a strong and devout man for the new enterprise on the West 
Side. Think over these things and cry to God earnestly for such 
men. ' ' 

Dr. Norelius saw the need of purely English congregations 
in the cities and towns of the west when many others ridiculed 
and opposed them. If he could have had his way in Red Wing, 



370 TEE LIFE OF W. A .PASSAVANT. 

the Episcopalians would not have won some of the most prom- 
ising and wealthy young Lutherans of the town and would not 
have built up their strong church so largely out of Lutheran 
material. Pastor Norelius writes to Mr. Passavant, Oct. 30, 1865. 

"It would be very desirable to have an English Lutheran 
congregation established here in Red Wing in time to gather 
in the large material which is already available. There are 
already three different Lutheran nationalities who have estab- 
lished congregations viz., the Germans, the Swedes, and the 
Norwegians. I do hope that by the grace of God we may soon 
be able to establish an English congregation, since otherwise many 
of the young people will be lost to our church." 

Along the same line, Dr. Passavant closes: 

"It will be seen that as yet we have not an English Luth- 
eran Church in Milwaukee. Though a city of sixty thousand 
inhabitants, it is off the line of immigration (with some excep- 
tions) of our people from the east. It is a city of Yankees, Ger- 
mans and Irish; of Norwegians, Dutch and Bohemians. And 
yet the time will come, ere long, when an English church will 
be a necessity. It is very desirable, even now, particularly 
among the Scandinavians, and the worthy pastor of the Nor- 
wegian church is most anxious that an enterprise of the kind 
should be commenced without delay. But the man, where can 
he be obtained? And the means of support, whence are they to 
come? These cannot be overlooked, it will require a living man, 
and even then such a person must be content to sow for years 
before the harvest comes." 

In the spring of 1864 Dr. Passavant made another mission- 
ary trip to the west. On these journeys he always stopped on 
the way and encouraged the brethren of every nationality in 
their pioneer labors and struggles and gave them counsel and 
assistance. Into many a modest pastor's home he came like a 
messenger of hope and courage. The seeds he sowed, the in- 
fluence he exerted, the movements he inspired and started, the 
courage and hope he left behind, eternity alone can reveal. To 
this day the mention of his name makes the eyes of many a saint 
sparkle or dim with tears. He always knew how to speak a 
word in season, not only to the weary pastor but also to the 
struggling wife and mother who shared her husband's toils 
and privations. It would be interesting to quote from his long 
account of this trip to Erie, Ft. Wayne and Milwaukee. He had 
a gift of measuring the importance of every city he visited for 



WORK AMONG THE SCANDINAVIANS. 371 

the Kingdom of God. He had remarkable ability to . gather the 
history and statistics of the early Lutheran settlers. He seemed 
to be able to divine the character of hirelings who came to prey 
upon the scattered sheep. He mercilessly unmasked immoral 
and rationalistic pretenders. To them he was not a welcome 
visitor, as he went to and fro on his apostolic journeys. Many 
a clerical hypocrite was exposed and warned against, and many 
a weak flock saved from ruin. 

Thus in his account of his trip to Erie he tells of the early 
settlements of the Germans, of their spiritual destitution, of the 
labors of young Heyer in their behalf, of the scourging of some 
of the 'independent' pretenders, and of the havoc they made of 
the flock. 

He was instrumental in the gathering and organizing of 
the first English mission in Erie and of the securing of the Rev. 
J. H. W. Stuckenberg for the field in 1861. He did much to aid 
the struggling flock in these early days. He stopped over by 
appointment in Ft. Wayne and preached there three times in 
connection with the dedication of the first English Lutheran 
church. Toward the payment of the six thousand dollar debt, 
he raised about two thirds of the sum. He ends a three-column 
editorial thus : 

' ' We must reserve for another time an account of the pleas- 
ant Monday which succeeded this day of joy and toil. Memory 
will often wander back to the family room in the Rudisill man- 
sion, where genial friends were gathered, and we listened and 
laughed and cried over the old days when the 'Synod of the 
West' embraced Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, and 
the entire west to the Pacific Ocean. Pastor Wynecken, one of 
the few surviving members, was the soul of the company and 
described those early days with their sunny and stormy memor- 
ies, their hard toil and wretched pay, their defeats in one place 
and triumphs in another, their log cabins and 'early candle 
lightings, ' and weaknesses, oddities and peculiarities of good men 
then as now. Vale et vale. The train is coming. We must 
hasten back to work at home. In a little while our toils will 
be over. 'There remaineth a rest for the people of God.' " 

In Sept., 1867, Dr. Passavant made a laborious journey to 
visit the Canada SjTiod. He was sorely needed there, as that 
Synod did not seem to know what it was doing and how it was 
being imposed upon by place-seekers and other uncertain ad- 
venturers. 



372 THE LIFE OF W. A. PA8SAVANT. 

When the Swedish Publishing Society had been organized 
in Chicago he advised, that while the Society would naturally 
import most of its books from Sweden, provision should at 
once be made to publish also such books and tracts as would 
set forth the peculiar dangers that beset the immigrants on 
settling down in this land of sects, schisms and heresies, and to 
give such instruction and direction as would save them to the 
Church of their fathers. He was always a helper of the saints 
and so here also he urged the American Lutherans to assist 
these brethren in the establishment of their Book and Tract 
Society. 

He seemed to have the insight of a seer into all the needs 
and interests of the great West. He understood each locality, 
knew its strategic value for the future of the Church, what kind 
of man it needed and what work he should do. Thus when he 
felt that the time had come for driving a permanent stake in 
Ked Wing, he wrote to Norelius: 

''I want that corner lot near your church, if it can be got 
for two hundred and twenty-five dollars. Would not the pro- 
prietor throw off twenty-five or fifty for such a purpose? Try 
him hard. Now, dear brother, will you not do me the favor to 
take this subscription paper to Messers Freeborn, Phelps and 
Graham and get each of them to give you a good donation? 
Tell them that a Lutheran Church in Red Wing will bring in 
more Pennsylvania and Ohio Germans of the best kind than 
any other thing. It would greatly add to the value of their 
property to get this class of persons to settle among them as 
they all have money and are industrious and enterprising men. 
I must beg you, dear brother, to prosecute this matter with 
vigor. If you can get one hundred and seventy-five of the 
two hundred and twenty-five subscribed and paid either in cash 
or notes, you may draw on me at sight for the other fifty dollars. 
We must try hard to get a good man stationed in Red Wing who 
can preach English and German and in this way he could serve 
the country back for twenty miles and up and down the river 
for the same distance. No doubt it would be a great mercy to 
our Scandinavians to have such a man on the ground. 

"Dear brother Norelius, spare no pains in pushing this 
matter through immediately. 'The King's business requireth 
haste' and as the river will soon open, what we do must be done 
quickly. ' ' 

Not only did Dr. Passavant know how to find out all items 



WORK AMONG THE SCANDINAVIANS. 373 

of interest for himself, but he knew also how to train and use 
others in this service. Thus he directs the ever-willing Nore- 
lius: 

"Now one more request from you and do not refuse me or 
'I will excommunicate you,' as Luther said to Melanchthon 
when he was ill and would not take the soup until thus threat- 
ened. I am most anxious for your monthly notes again. They 
did much good and will do more. Here is a recipe for making 
them. You have the Eemlandet and other Scandinavian papers. 
Now, just lay them in one place after having marked with 
pencil every little notice of a new settlement, visit or whatever 
it may be from father Esbjorn down to the humblest student. 
Then quietly sit down and string these facts together for the 
Missionary. If I only understood the Swedish and Norsk a 
little better I would do so myself, but I am often not quite 
certain of the meaning of words and fear to make blunders. 
A little resume occasionally at the end of a letter would be 
deeply interesting to all our readers. Now, dear brother, know- 
ing your weakness, it is hard that I should thus trouble you, 
but it arises from my strong desire to interest our American 
Zion in our Swedish and Norwegian work. In this way you 
may be as useful as though actually in the field farther west. 
Nay, more, by thus having the ear of the Church east, you can 
get at its heart and pocket likewise. Punktum! as the Germans 
say. We shall therefore expect number one so as to get it in 
the first week in February. Love to Mrs. N . . . . " 

When "The Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran August- 
ana Synod" was organized in Clinton, Wis. in the summer 
of 1860, Mr. Passavant gave it a hearty Godspeed in the 
Missionary. He concluded his editorial thus: 

"The tone of the proceedings of the New Synod is emi- 
nently Christian and catholic. The brethren composing it seem 
intent on their appropriate business. They have separated from 
their former connection, not to strive but to work. So long as 
they observe the apostolic injunction, 'whereunto we have al- 
ready attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the 
same thing,' they cannot but prosper. A work of vast magni- 
tude is committed to their hands. Tens of thousands of immi- 
grants from the old world, look to them for spiritual care. Let 
them be faithful to their own souls and they will be faithful to 
'their brethren after the flesh.' Let them seek first of all the king- 
dom of God and His righteousness, and all else shall be added 



374 THE LIFE OF W. A. PA8SAVANT. 

unto them. Let them do all unto Christ and nothing through 
strife or vain glory. In this way they will not only be able to 
keep the unity of the spirit and to live and love as brethren, 
but also to become eminently useful in establishing pure Christ- 
ian churches and training them in all the virtues of the Christ- 
ian life. 

"The New Synod already numbers twenty-seven ministers 
and upwards of fifty congregations, so that with two periodic- 
als, the Hemlandet, (Swedish) and the Kirketidende, (Norwe- 
gian), a respectable Publication Society and a Theological 
Seminary, this newly formed body, will ere long become one of 
the largest and most efficient of our American Synods. As the 
fields of labor and the nationalities occupied by it are entirely 
distinct from those of existing Synods, we trust that there will 
be no further occasion of strife between them and others. The 
great Northwest is broad enough for all to enter in and gather 
sheaves, without interfering with the rights of others." 

On the return of the Rev. Prof. Esbjorn to Sweden, Dr. 
Passavant writes, July 23, 1863: 

"We deeply regret to announce to our readers that this 
devout and honored pastor and professor has finally determined 
to return to Sweden and devote the remaining years of his 
ministry to the service of the Church in his native land. When 
in Chicago, two weeks ago, we had the sad pleasure of bidding 
him adieu previous to his departure for New York. He is now 
probably on the ocean and, should it please God to give him a 
prosperous journey, he will soon be installed as pastor in the 
dear old 'Hemlandet.' In coming to this decision, so deeply 
painful to all the brethren of the Augustana Synod, and against 
which they publicly and privately urged every possible objec- 
tion, it is but justice to Prof. Esbjorn to remark that a con- 
sciousness of the infirmity of increasing age had much to do 
with his final resolution. For nearly fifteen years he has given 
his whole time and strength to the missionary work among his 
countrymen in the West; and his constitution, greatly impaired 
by the exhausting labors of an apostolic ministry, was, in his 
judgment, at least, no longer equal to the confinement and 
exertion of the lecture room. Having been the first of our 
Swedish Lutheran pastors in America, he continued most faith- 
fully at his post until the last, successfully carrying his classes 
tlirough the winter and spring sessions and receiving the bene- 
dictions alike of its Board and of the Synod. His departure 



WOEK AMONG THE SCANDINAVIANS. 375 

from among us is, humanly speaking, a loss to our American 
Church ; his return to Sweden will be an important gain to the 
Church at home." 

To Pastor Norelius he writes privately after the Indian 
massacre in Minnesota: 

"Your favor of the second has been read with much sad 
interest I have made notice of the information received in 
the paper, which I hope may, perhaps, bring in some material 
aid. By to-morrow I hope to send a box of articles for the 
families of missionaries or pastors of your Synod. In the 
present state of the country I cannot get any unmade materials, 
these being harder to get than money, and with the collection 
of that I am more than occupied with my different orphan and 
sick families. So I send on all the odds and ends of missionary 
boxes which I have received for some time past. In addition 
to these articles I have put in some warm clothing for any poor 
Scandinavians or other sufferer by the Indians whom you may 
meet, and a couple of warm coats which may answer this winter 
for any poor brethren who have no overcoats. . . . Please 
keep me posted up in matters and things in Minnesota. I 
devoutly pray God that you may be successful in providing 
for those poor widows. If the ministers have enough bedding 
and your poor widows have none or little, you can transfer to 
them. Meanwhile be of 'good cheer.' God will yet arise and 
have mercy upon Zion. Let us work on, pray on, and hope on. 
How thankful would I be to see an Orphan House at Lake 
Como! Who can tell but that my orphan investment may yet 
come in just in the time of need?" 

And again: "I write to request that you would immedi- 
ately inform me what ones of your Minnesota Swedish or Nor- 
wegian ministers are most in need. A small sum of money has 
been placed in my hands for Western missions, and at this 
distance I must rely on the judgments of brethren. Will you, 
therefore, give me the post-office address of all the Minnesota 
brethren, and write opposite each a brief statement of about 
what each one now receives and whether he is needy, and, also, 
whether he is zealous in the Master's service. Since your last, 
for which I am much obliged, I have received a box of clothing 
from ladies in Dr. Seiss' church. Are any of your brethren 
unsupplied with overcoats? I could yet supply a few, and 
might send some other useful things. I have taken the liberty 



376 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PAS SAVANT. 

to pay one dollar on the subscription of Dr. Beckman to the 
Lutheran and Missionary, and also one dollar and fifty cents to 
Brother Henderson. You will kindly explain that these sums 
were given me to apply to some struggling brother's paper." 

Of his concern and anxiety for the scattered and unsTiep- 
herded Scandinavians in Minnesota, he writes: 

"But I must close. And yet I cannot close without an 
expression of the deep anxiety which I feel towards you and 
our brethren in Minnesota. In these last sad times, when so 
many good but weak men are led about by the thousand forms 
of error, how great is the need of prayer and silent looking 
unto Christ for His gracious assistance and preservation ! Let 
us, therefore, pray unceasingly for the humility of Christ, for 
the aid of the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth, and for 
living, satisfying faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. Only God 
can fortify our poor dispersed immigrants against the wiles of 
the devil, who in the garb of an angel of light goes about as a 
roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. ... I will 
send you, next week, one hundred Swedish Testaments, one 
hundred Norwegian, fifty Swedish Bibles and fifty Norwegian. 
So soon as they arrive, please notice in your paper; they are 
from the American Bible Society and are to be distributed either 
gratuitously to the poor or sold at the usual cheap rate to those 
who can buy. You may mention now in your paper that 
they will be in Red Wing by the fourth of July, so that the 
brethren can take them home with them. They must report 
sales and grants to you, and you will not fail to report to me, 
first, immediately after you give them to the brethren, and 
afterwards when they write to you the particulars of the 
distribution. All the proceeds of the sales should be sent back 
to me, as I am responsible to the Society for them." 

During the succeeding years Mr. Passavant secured and 
sent a number of boxes of clothing and provisions, together 
with considerable money, to Mr. Norelius, to be distributed 
among those who had suffered from the massacre. 

The Swedish Augustana Synod was organized in 1860. Its 
Theological Seminary was temporarily located at Chicago. In 
the early part of 1863 one thousand acres of land were pur- 
chased from the Illinois Central Railroad at six dollars per 
acre at Paxton, 111., about 100 miles south of Chicago. The 
plan was to lay out the land in city lots, sell them, and with 



WOEK AMONG THE SCANDINAVIANS. 377 

the proceeds to build and equip the Seminary. All this looked 
very feasible and favorable. "Papier ist geduldig," the Ger- 
mans say ; but Dr. Passavant had his fears and misgivings. In 
an editorial, May 19, 1863, he writes : 

"While we most heartily rejoice in the favorable issue of 
this long and anxiously considered project, and see in it many 
evidences of the care and providence of God, we at the same 
time 'rejoice with trembling.' Indeed, we stand in painful 
doubt of all plans and undertaking.s which look so hopeful to 
the natural eye. It ought not, perhaps, so to be; for we know 
of several striking exceptions; but on the other hand so many 
promising schemes for Christ and humanity have come to 
nothing that the exceptions appear but to establish the rule, 
'The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard, which, 
indeed, is the least of all seeds.' Let not, then, our dear 
Scandinavian brethren trust less in God than in the dark hour 
when all but God seemed lost to their view. Let not pastors 
and churches forget that for years to come their earnest efifort 
must be put forth to meet the current expenses of the Seminary 
and its students by the free-will offerings of the people. It will 
require time and exertion to pay for the Seminary land which 
has been purchased. It will require toil and sacrifice to erect 
the necessary buildings. It will require instruction and appeals 
to educate and support the candidates for the schoolroom and 
the ministry. The location is, indeed, admirable and the land 
most excellent, but if pastoral effort is relaxed and if the people 
imagine the Seminary can now take care of itself, the whole 
undertaking will be a failure. But we think better things of 
our brethren, though we thus speak. A word of caution and 
warning may not, however, be in vain, for more hopeful pros- 
pects even than these have been hopelessly blasted." 

How well his fears were grounded is shown by the after- 
history of the Seminary. 

The Swedes, it seems, had intended also to open an 
orphans' home about the same time that they opened their 
institution of learning in Paxton, 111. Later on, when they 
thought they were ready to begin, they felt their need of counsel 
and naturally turned again to Dr. Passavant. 

Their appeal was not in vain. Dr. Passavant recommends 
the project. Always "pious towards land," as he himself ex- 
presses it, he advises the securing of a large tract for the 



378 THE LIFE OF W, A. PASSAVANT. 

institution, encourages them to go forward with implicit re- 
liance on the Father of the fatherless, and prays God's richest 
blessing on the undertaking. 

About this time the Swedes were contemplating the found- 
ing of a second orphanage in Minnesota, and again they con- 
sulted Dr. Passavant. He writes several lengthy letters, goes 
into the subject fully and canvasses the whole ground. He 
K^minds them that the most important thing is not grounds, 
buildings, money or even orphans, but the proper persons to 
direct and man the institution. He advises against a new home 
t.nd counsels concentration on and a more liberal support of 
the one which had been established at Paxton. 

Pastor Norelius had favored colonizing the Swedes into 
settlements. He consulted Dr. Passavant, and the Doctor again 
advises caution and careful preparation. He writes: 

"I too have had such fond and poetical plans about colonies 
in my head. But after studying the whole matter philosophic- 
ally and practically I have come to the conclusion that they 
are nothing. Only two things can give success to such colonies. 
Either a little exclusive fanaticism or an extraordinary degree 
of pure and undefiled religion. The friction is too great be- 
cause of the too great contact and intimacy. I find it much 
easier to colonize people around a church in a good location, by 
getting a devoted pastor and a good school as a center. People 
will buy land in such localities and will be better satisfied than 
by making a joint-stock concern with anyone else. Had I time, 
I could give you many facts on this subject of a very singular 
and fanciful nature." 

In a later letter he writes: 

"You know how fully I sympathize with the general plan 
of a colony and that the general idea of its location in northern 
Iowa or southern Minnesota has long been a favorite one with me. 
So many possibilities must be carefully looked to in its par- 
ticular location that I can now only drop a word of caution. 
First, let the title of the land be beyond doubt. Don't touch it 
unless the legal evidence is brought by the selling party duly 
signed and sealed by the court officers. Secondly, good land, 
good water, plenty of fuel, and tolerable means of access are all- 
important. If possible, get on a railroad. Thirdly, a healthful 
location. This is a sine qua non for such a plan and, finally, 
undisturbed possession and no sectarian, worldly, or proselyting 
English people on the ground. In other "words, let the settle- 



WORK AMONG THE SCANDINAVIANS. 379 

ment be a Scandinavian one, where you can carry out your 
Lutheran ideas of parochial education without opposition and 
your religious ideas, without the annoying presence of hungry 
sects who wait to entrap your people. I charge you by the Lord 
not to care a straw for any offer of land or money which in- 
volves an overlooking of these most important considerations. 
Moreover, do not locate unless you can clearly gain these points. 
The offer of the Railroad Co. is all well, but four fourths is 

what you must have if you are going to succeed By all 

means, dear brother, guard against those rascally Yankees and 
sharpers with which the West abounds. Promises are a perfect 
humbug in America. I would have a printed legal article drawn 
up in which they bind themselves to sell for so much the tract 
numbering so and so and the lands they agree to donate. Every 
mother's son of them would have to sign it or I would not give 
a farthing for a ship load of their promises. I know these 
scamps and hence my anxiety on this subject. I would not trust 
any land speculators or Railroad Co. further than I had them 
tight in a legal vise." 

He was also instrumental in securing the land in Carver, 
Minn., on which was located the school which grew into Gustavus 
Adolphus College. He writes to Norelius: 

"I have the promise of eighty acres of land for your 
school in Carver. It is in the Still Water District. I await more 
specific information in order to get a deed made out. My idea 
is that it should be deeded to you and brother Jackson for the 
benefit of the school. Please let me have views on this point. 
Possibly I may get some more of the same sort." 

Of a visit to the Augustana Synod in session at Rockford, 
he writes: 

"By four hours' midnight travel from Chicago we were 
enabled to look in upon our brethren in this large Swedish body 
on Monday morning, June 22, in the city of Rockford, 111. 
What a spectacle met our view. The representatives of upwards 
of four hundred churches, with more than two hundred pastors 
and students, assembled in the first Swedish Lutheran Church, 
a large and elegant Gothic structure, second to no Lutheran 
church in size, finish, and churchly appointments in the State 
of Pennsylvania. At our first visit to Rockford some years ago, 
a small frame church contained both congregations and Synod, 
and now three large Swedish churches with their own. pastors 
occupy the field. And the Synod ! What a change ! It was more 



380 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

like a dream than a reality. Already a week in session, they 
were to remain a week longer, to look after the diversified in- 
terests of their institutions and churches. They had come to 
study and work and worship, and they meant to stay and attend 
to what was committed to their care. The same old brethren, 
with Pastor Carlson again in the chair as their president were 
there, but also a multitude of new ministers, strangers indeed 
but yet brethren in the unity of the faith and working for one 
and the same high end, to hold forth the Word of Life and lead 
men to God. Kindly introduced to the Sj^nod by the President, 
we endeavored to make an address, but the car wheels seemed 
to whirl around in our brains and the ideas were confused and 
words were broken. But the one thought which was foremost 
was, that the whole future of the Synod depended on the fidelity 
which is manifested in preaching the Divine Word, and espe- 
cially the truth as it is in Jesus. And in proof, we pointed to the 
fact, that, at first, without schools or students, without means, 
without any social position or surroundings and solely by the 
preaching of this blessed Word, the Synod had not only main- 
tained itself and become a powerful body but it had obtained 
one victory after another over earth and hell, now struggling for 
its ovTn life against unhealthy elements from within ; now meet- 
ing ancient errors revived in the Fatherland and brought over 
to our own shores! now resisting the wiles of a plausible secta- 
rianism which compassed sea and land to make a proselyte, and 
again making head against the more dangerous materialism of 
the times which threatened to engulf the best energies of their 
people in a common destruction." 

Dr. Passavant was in a certain sense the founder and 
starter of the English Lutheran work which grew into the 
Synod of the Northwest. He had for several years b^.'en urging 
the importance of occupying Minneapolis and St. Paul. When 
Pastor Trabert was called by the Mission Board as the first 
English missionary west of the Mississippi and finally accepted 
the call, he found that the Doctor had been there two years 
earlier, purchased a large lot and then purchased an old Swed- 
ish church and had it moved upon the lot. When the church 
was opened as St. John's English Lutheran church. Dr. Passa- 
vant was invited to be present. Of his trip and the new mission 
he writes : 

"The old route from Pittsburg to Milwaukee was taken 
for the eighty-ninth time in the last twenty years. 



WORK AMONG THE SCANDINAVIANS. 381 

What changes in the farms, villages and cities traversed 
by the railroads since then! Chicago has quadrupled its pop- 
ulation, Milwaukee has more than doubled its inhabitants. 
Villages along the route have grown into cities, and cities have 
outgrown and overgrown all municipal and natural boundaries. 
It is as if one had lived in two worlds, to have traversed these 
regions in the past and in the present. The development of 
every industrial interest is indescribable because inconceivable 
unless accompanied by the facts and figures which demonstrate 
this wondrous growth of this Eastern world. 

"At three o'clock in the afternoon the St. John's Evan- 
gelical Lutheran, church, formerly the Swedish church, was 
again opened for divine service. The church, after its removal 
from Washington Street, had been occupied by the Swedish 
brethren, and after their removal into their new church it was 
neatly calcimined and otherwise repaired and improved. Al- 
though this work is not yet complete, it is at present a comfort- 
able and capacious church, its dimensions being thirty-five by 
seventy, with steeple, a gallery and chancel. Two years ago 
v/e carefully examined the various locations in the city, and 
with the advice of reliable business men purchased two lots on 
the corner of Eighth Ave.,S. andFifth St., with a frontage of 132 
and a depth of 165 feet. The purchase of the Swedish church 
and its removal, together with these two valuable lots and the 
parsonage on it, cost nine thousand dollars. This sum we 
borrowed from parties in Pittsburg who were deeply interested 
in the establishment of an English Lutheran church in Min- 
neapolis. The increase of values, owing to the rapid growth of 
Ihe city, has been so great since then that eighteen thousand 
dollars would be a moderate estimate of the worth of this 
property with the church and parsonage upon it." 

There had been a sad division and defection in the Luth- 
eran State Church of Sweden. Peter Waldenstrom, a gifted 
and eloquent preacher in Sweden, began to preach against the 
deadness and formalism of the State Church. He made great 
professions of a superior grade and amount of piety. He thus 
drew around himself many impressible followers, among whom 
were enrolled all who had a grudge or quarrel against any 
minister or congregation of the State Church. There doubtless 
was much coldness and worldliness in the State Church and 
among its ministers. But this gave Waldenstrom no right to 



382 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

create a schism and rend the body of Christ. Why did he not 
do as Hans Nilson Hauge had done in Norway? That conse- 
crated Lutheran remained in the Church, tried to revive her 
from within, and never preached seperation or schism. But 
Waldenstrom soon disclosed the animus of his opposition. He 
was out of harmony with some of the fundamental evangelical 
doctrines of his Church. He denied the vicarious atonement 
which is the foundation of the doctrine of Justification by 
Faith. He was drifting towards Socinianism and moralism. 

Some over-zealous Congregationaiists learned of the disaf- 
fection in Sweden, and the Rev. Mr. Montgomery, of Minneap- 
olis, was sent to Sweden to exploit the Seperatists in favor of 
American Congregationalism. As a result of his trip, on which 
he had been careful to avoid loyal Lutheran ministers, scores 
of whom were deeply spiritual and consecrated servants of 
Christ but had consulted and counseled with the enemies of the 
established Church, he wrote a book called "A Wind from the 
Holy Spirit." 

It might be hard to find a book more full of misunderstand- 
ing, misrepresentation and baseless assertion. The whole book 
belies, betrays, slanders and raises injurious reports against a 
Church that had brought inner peace and outward prosperity, 
marvelous intelligence, happiness and beauty of character to 
millions of her sons and daughters, a Church that had made 
Sweden a crown jewel among the nations. 

And yet these false and misleading reports were made the 
basis for an organized effort to proselyte the Swedes and win 
them away from the Church of the Reformation. 

Dr. Passavant watched these efforts and was righteously 
indignant. Here is part of an editorial of July 16, 1885 : 

"For the thinnest kind of superficial religionism, of the 
'sanding the sugar and watering the molasses' kind, commend 
us to some of our modern Yankees who are just now 'working 
up' the so-called Waldenstromian errorists in Sweden and in 
this country, and making them believe that they are Congre- 
gationaiists. The following precious bit of information shows 
■what kind of talk is employed to blind their own honest people 
and get them to endow professorships for the training of 
ministers for these poor Scandinavian (Lutheran) heathen. 

''The Christian Union says: 'The Chicago Theological 
Seminary (Congregational) has already established German, 



WORK AMONG THE SCANDINAVIANS. 383 

Swedish, Danish and Norwegian departments, not yet endowed, 
to provide for the work that must be done among these people. 
Oberlin is preparing to do likewise. These immigrants are 
open to the light and liberty of a Protestant faith: Germans 
are here from the land of Luther, Bohemians from the land of 
Huss, Scandinavians from the land of Gustavus Adolphus. 
One of the most interesting features of the meeting was the 
report of a special committee of their visit to the Independent 
or Free Church of Sweden and Dr. Montgomery's account of 
their life and work in this country. Their natural affiliation 
is with the Congregationalists, to whom they must look, if any- 
where, for fellowship and aid. A conunittee was appointed to 
extend to the churches in Sweden the greetings of the Congrega- 
gational body.' 

"It seems 'their natural affiliation is with the Congrega- 
tionalists. ' Why so ? Is it because they are independent of State 
control? So are all the churches of the Augustana Synod and 
in addition, more truly 'Congregational' than even the so-called 
Congregational churches. If 'their natural affiliation is with 
the Congregationalists' because of doctrine, then these modern 
Congregationalists have simply denied the first principles of 
the Gospel of Christ and become gross errorists! 

"But it is 'fellowship and aid' they need! The Lutheran 
church in Sweden and this country is ever ready and concerned 
to give to these, her erring children, both fellowship and aid by 
the ministry of the pure Gospel and thus to restore to them the 
joys of Christ's salvation. Thousands who were sadly misled 
by the gifted Waldenstrom have already returned to the Shep- 
herd and Bishop of their souls and thousands more will be re- 
covered by the same saving means if their evil is not pronounced 
good and the soul-destroying errors of their leaders are" not 
sanctified by the name of a respected denomination. As for those 
who deny the Lord that bought them and put His atonement to 
an open shame, they deserve neither 'fellowship nor aid' from 
the Congregationalists or other believers in Christ." 

During all his long and useful life, Mr. Passavant was 
ready to defend his Church against the slanders of her enemies 
as well as against the proselyting efforts of those who, under 
pretense of pious zeal, were trying to alienate her children to 
another faith. In the Pittsburg Christian Advocate, the Rev. 
Dr. Baird had gloried in the fact that $46,000 had been appro- 
priated by the Methodist Missionary Society of New York for 



384 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PAS8AVANT. 

the support of missionaries among the Germans in the bounds 
of the M. E. church north and $10,500 for a like work among 
the Swedes and Norwegians in the west. Dr. Baird, as is usual 
with all proselyters, had claimed that the Germans are nearly 
all infidels and rationalists, and that the Scandinavian Luth- 
erans were destitute of a living and spiritual religion. In his 
righteously indignant and warm defence, Mr. Passavant writes 
in the Missionary : 

"In many of the settlements and towns, where the Ger- 
man Methodist Missionaries operate, we already have faithful 
ministers who are seeking to save and bless their countrymen. 
This is a fact which is so well known that it will not be denied. 
Now, are we to understand Dr. Baird, because the right and the 
duty of going to all the world and preaching the gospel to 
every creature is freely conceded, that it is considered brotherly 
and Christian to go to places which are already supplied with 
an Evangelical ministry? Surely, some courtesy is due to each 
other on this point among the Evangelical Protestant churches 
of our land, and there is no excuse for the existence of rival 
churches and ministers in every petty place. It is against these 
unhappy divisions and the consequent injury done to our com- 
mon Christianity which is the result of such a policy, that we 
protest, and not against the Methodist church or any other 
church for compassionating the multitudes of our foreign popu- 
lations, many of whom are as sheep without a shepherd 

"With the exception of two or three, all of these are la- 
boring in the northwest, and in most places, too, we deeply re- 
gret to add, where we already have as faithful Evangelical and 
devoted ministers as the world can produce. The Scandinavians 
being, with very few exceptions already Lutheran, our brethren 
feel deeply aggrieved that such an organized system of prose- 
lytism should be carried on in the bosom of their congregation 
and that, too, without the shadow of an excuse. "We assured 
some of them during our visit west that the executive committee 
of the Missionary Society in New York certainly was not 
cognizant of all the facts in the case, and must be imposed upon 
in many instances by the representations of unworthy men who 
found it easier to make a living by missionating at a good salary 
than by laboring with their hands. 

"Is it strange that our ministers should feel deeply ag- 
grieved under the operation of such a system? If the Lutheran 
Church were to organize a propagandism of this kind and sup- 



WORK AMONG THE SCANDINAVIANS. 385 

port missionaries in settlements of Americans or English, where 
all were in nominal connection with the Methodist church and 
in which Methodist ministers were faithfully laboring amid 
many privations, we would lift up our feeble voice against such 
a wrong and denounce it as unworthy of Christian encourage- 
ment. But if, in honestly endeavoring to carry the Gospel to 
the spiritually destitute, the officers of our Missionary Society 
were imposed upon by persons unworthy of confidence, who, 
instead of doing their appropriate work, would invade the 
congregations of others and by means of a support from abroad 
would organize rival societies and erect altar against altar, we 
should be thankful to anyone who would make us aware of such 
facts. But because we have done this very thing in the case 
of the Methodist church, we are published to the world as striv- 
ing 'to cast odium on the work, and prejudice the missionary 
cause before the public' Now to this we refuse to plead guilty. 
We must and will 'cast odium' on all such un-Christian con- 
duct as that which we have described, but until we have very 
good evidence to the contrary we are unwilling to believe that 
such abuses are known, much less approved, by the officers of 
the Methodist Missionary Society." 

As a noble example on the other side, the next number of 
the Missionary has this editorial: 

"The Right Spirit. 

"The following letter from a Presbyterian minister in Wis- 
consin is so Christian in its spirit and so truly fraternal in its 
object that, although private, we cannot withhold it from our 
readers. Would that this co-operative and catholic spirit were 
more widely prevalent, then would our church be at once en- 
couraged and provoked to enlarged efforts in the gigantic work 
before her of supplying the spiritual destitution which meets 
us on every side. We need scarcely add that we have answered 
this letter favorably, and assured the writer that no effort will 
be spared to send a suitable missionary to this field. 

'Superior City, Wis., Jan. 20, 1857. 
Rev. W. A. Passavant: 

Excuse the liberty which I take, though unacquainted, in 
writing to you. My object is to advance our common cause, 
the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have been laboring here for the 
last eighteen months as a Presbyterian minister and during this 
time the population has increased from 300 to about 1500. Our 



386 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

location is at the head of Lake Superior. Our harbor is ex- 
cellent, and in two years from next July a railroad is to be com- 
pleted from this point to the IMississippi River. A glance at 
the map will show you the importance of our position. Not 
a few of our population are Germans and a number are Luth- 
erans. I was talking with a German today who thinks that 
some twenty-five or thirty families are connected with the 
Lutheran Church, all directly from Germany. We as Ameri- 
cans cannot reach them, yet it is most important that they be 
brought under the influence of the Gospel, and no other Church 
can do this so successfully as yours, and naturally they belong 
to it. I therefore write to know whether you could send us a 
Lutheran minister in the spring, and if so, whether the Mission- 
ary Socitey of your church would contribute part of his sup- 
port and how much. It w^ould require about dollars for 

a man to live here, but I am unable to say how much the Ger- 
mans could raise for his support. Much would depend on the 
character of the person who was sent. If he were an honest 
and faithful minister, I have no doubt the Americans would 
contribute to his support. I would be glad to hear from you 
on this subject, and any information I can impart, I will be 

happy to give My address is Superior, Wisconsin. 

J. I\I. Barnett.' 

The Doctor had taken a deep interest in the Icelandic 
Lutherans of the Northwest from the beginning of their immi- 
gration. He had entered into correspondence with their 
scholarly leaders and had become personally acquainted with 
their students. He understood and appreciated their native 
talents, their piety, thrift and sterling character. He knew 
that they also would form an important factor in the future of 
the Lutheran Church. In the Workman of Nov. 9, 1893, we 
find this editorial: 

"The Icelanders in the Northwest. 

"It was our privilege to meet the Rev. Pastors Bergman 
and Peturson, of the Icelandic Synod, during their late visit 
in Chicago, and 'to be somewhat filled with their company.' 
They speak hopefully of the work among their countrymen 
and are much encouraged by the prospect of additional la- 
borers. Of the six now in preparation for the ministry at our 
colleges and seminaries, all will be able to officiate both in Ice- 
landic and English. One by one the present vacant fields can 



WORK AMONG TEE SCANDINAVIANS. 387 

thus be occupied and the incoming immigrants will be pro- 
vided with faithful pastors. 

"It is a source of general thanksgiving that the present 
Pastor, John Bjarnesson, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, is so far re- 
covered that he could return to his home in that city and once 
more be among his people, even though nearly all of the ser- 
vices must be conducted by his assistant. The large missionary 
field of Rev. J. T. Bergman in North Dakota, across the line, 
has been divided and the Rev. Mr. Sigurdson, of the Chicago 
Seminary, is working successfully in his new charge. The Rev. 
B. B. Johnson, the traveling missionary of the Synod, has been 
busily engaged in visiting the remote Icelandic settlements, and 
has been both a blessing and a consolation to many poor people. 
In one instance he found a settlement fifty miles from any 
railroad with a congregation which had never yet been visited 
by any minister during the six years of its organization ! During 
the coming months, he will supply the four congregations of 
Pastor Thorlackson in Minnesota, during his absence in Nor- 
way. 

"The Rationalist movement to which we have before re- 
ferred, is happily on the wane. Since it developed into Unitar- 
ianism, and was thus organized, it has lived by means of the 
Missionary appropriations of the Unitarian church. But it is 
without any moral significance. Both of its missionaries were 
of intemperate habits, and the one in Winnipeg recently died. 
In fact, the whole affair is another illustration of the de- 
ceptions which are played upon certain denominations by the 
unworthy subjects who abandon their church or are compelled 
to leave because of their unbelief, or for other causes which need 
not be named. Meanwhile, though the Church loses its mem- 
bers for a season, she eventually gains both in number and in 
spiritual power. All such movements lead to the establishing 
of her members in the truth as it is in Jesus. There can be only 
one ending to all controversies about the faith in Christ: 'The 
world passeth away and the lust thereof, but the Word of the 
Lord abideth forever'." 

In a letter to his son William on his o\\ti seventieth birth- 
day, he gives his estimate of notoriety-seekers who try to get 
themselves on every program and into the colunms of every 
possible paper. He also gives an estimate of his owti life : 

"They had a grand 'carousal' at the Deaconess House in 
P to which I was pressingly invited last week, but I 



388 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

could not go, neither could I leave for the laying of the comer 
stone of the new building at the Wartburg. I am so foot-sore, and 
so weary of these ever-lasting journeys and speechmakings, that 
I preferred to stay at home and attend to mother and the paper 
and many other things. Little M. from Washington, D. C, 
and the inevitable B were there, both making speeches ! ! My 
soul is sick of these notoriety-seekers! Oh, it makes me long 
for the spirit of Him who after his miracles 'went and hid him- 
self.' Today, dear son, was my birthday. I am now sixty-nine 
years old and am traveling towards seventy. The remembrance 
of much of my life is very unsatisfactory. It has been so largely 
a failure, on account of many causes, most of which, I grieve 
to say, have a common root, the lack of an unshaken faith in 
God. I can only ask God for forgiveness and hope that the 
remainder of my life may be crowTied with the divine mercy 
to such an extent that the incompleteness of it may be covered 
and that God may receive the praise for what has been done 
in His name and for his glory." 



TEE FOUNDING OF 3IILWAUKEE HOSPITAL. 389 



CHAPTER XVI. 

THE FOUNDING OF MILWAUKEE HOSPITAL. 

On his first trip to the then far West in 1850, Dr. Passa- 
vant met the Rev. J. Miiehlhaeuser. This saintly German who 
had been imprisoned for his faith in Austria and who was now 
pastor of Grace German Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, directed 
the attention of young Passavant to the need of a hospital in 
that city. The latter began to canvass the subject at once, but 
was hastily called to Pittsburg by the breaking out of the cholera. 
The project, however, never left his mind or that of pastor JMuehl- 
haeuser. For ten years the matter was prayed over, planned 
and hoped for by these two godly men. Of the providential 
opening, the feeble, laborious, and heroic beginning of this 
western porch of mercy, destined in the providence of God to 
grow into one of the most magnificent hospital properties in the 
West, with a well-equipped and prosperous deaconess Mother 
House attached, we shall let the founder tell the story, as 
published in the Lutheran and Missionary, Dec. 10, 1863: 

"The want of a hospital in this city, under Protestant 
influences, has been long and painfully felt alike by pastors 
and people. On several occasions, through the efforts of Rev. 
J. Muehlhaeuser, the attention of the public had been directed 
to this subject, and at one time the plans for a building were 
procured. Through unforeseen causes, however, the undertaking 
was suffered to die in the hearts of those who labored for it. 
In 1850 we visited Milwaukee and were engaged in selecting a 
site when the breaking out of the cholera in Pittsburg suddenly 
recalled us home and arrested further proceedings. Then again 
in 1855, in answer to an urgent appeal from Pastor Muehl- 
haueser to come to Milwaukee and make a commencement, in 
our inability to comply with his request, we sent him a dollar, 
urging him to begin with this, in the name of Christ, and telling 
him for his encouragement that the first donation to our 
hospital was only twenty-two cents. Four years later a German 
lady added another dollar to this small fund and here the work 
remained until last spring. A case of extreme suffering and 
exposure again called the attention of Pastor Muehlhaeuser to 



390 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PA8SAVANT. 

this subject, and he once more wrote us stating that the time 
had certainly come when something must be done for the suffer- 
ing members of our Lord's body and the numerous cases of 
those who were yet without. His letter was laid before the 
Board of IManagement of the Deaconess Institution, and its 
Director was instructed to visit Milwaukee and report on the 
facts in the case. This was accordingly done in May last, and 
at a special meeting of the Board, on our return, it was un- 
animously resolved that the Deaconess Institution, in reliance 
upon the most high God, at once proceed to the establishment 
of a hospital in the city of Milwaukee. At the same time Rev. 
J. M. Schladermundt who was providentially disengaged at the 
time M^as elected as the provisional Director and, having ac- 
cepted this unsought position, in a few days afterwards pro- 
ceeded to his field of labor. A few weeks later, in June, 
we made a second journey to Milwaukee in order to rent a suit- 
able house and if possible open a small hospital. This on trial, 
however, proved impossible. Vacant houses were not only diffi- 
cult to find, but for such a purpose could not be obtained at 
all. At this stage of the undertaking it appeared as if we were 
beset with insuperable difficulties. There was no alternative 
but to purchase property or abandon the enterprise. After 
going thus far, the last could not be thought of, and yet, to buy 
without money was only the least of two troubles. What and 
where to buy was the subject of most anxious solicitude. In 
vain did we examine various properties and compare their re- 
spective advantages. One was without suitable buildings: 
another was without any building, a third was not centrally 
located, a fourth was held above its value. After a wearisome 
search of days, not a ray of light shone upon our path. Oh, 
how gladly we would have taken the first train and hastened 
home from the perplexities of this hour. It was then, however, 
that man's extremity again proved to be God's opportunity. 
"When we had done our utmost and utterly failed a carriage 
was driven to Pastor Muehlhaeuser's by one of his members 
who had accidentally heard of a property about to be offered 
for sale on account of the recent death of the owner. After a 
short drive we reached the outskirts of the city, entered a 
gateway, and soon alighted before a large brick edifice on an 
eminence which commanded a charming view of the whole city 
and the blue sky and lake beyond. A careful examination of 
the buildings and grounds fully convinced us that a most de- 



THE FOUNDING OF MILWAUKEE HOSPITAL. 391 

sirable location for the hospital had been found, and yet, in 
returning home, the heart was oppressed by the conscious- 
ness of our inability to purchase a property, the intrinsic 
value of which could not be less that twenty thousand dollars. 
The administrators were, however, visited, the terms of the 
sale received, and the whole subject committed to the direction 
of God during the hours of the Lord's Day, which followed 
this week of anxious toil. 

"The location so providentially discovered was all thai 
could be desired for a hospital. It was central, suitable, within 
the city limits, and yet in the country. The large brick 
mansion on the grounds was both convenient and attractive 
and cost upwards of eight thousand dollars, though its erection 
now would cost a much larger sum. The future wants of the 
Institution, demanding a free space on every side, it was re- 
solved, if possible, to purchase the mansion and ten acres. The 
whole was offered at the low price of fifteen thousand dollars 
on time or twelve thousand dollars in cash. Both these sums 
seemed beyond our reach, but the last less so than the former. 
After much reflection and in hopeful reliance upon that God 
who has said, 'All things are possible to him that believeth' we 
chose the latter, and on Monday morning purchased it for a 
hospital in the name of the Deaconess Institution. A friend 
kindly loaned us a thousand dollars ^^ to close the sale and the 
remainder was to be paid on the delivery of the deed after 
certain forms of law had been complied with. An important 
step had at last been taken, a site for the hospital secured. A 
capacious dwelling opened its friendly halls and a few days 
later brother Schladermundt and his family took possession. 

"The opening took place a month later, Aug. 3. The inter- 
vening time was a busy season. The clover had to be mowed 



'= A lifelong friend and supporter of the hospital who assisted 
Mr. Passavant with advice and money in procuring the site and in 
whose* office the purchase was effected, recently rehearsed to the writer 
this incident, not mentioned by Passavant: 

"While the administrators of the property and Mr. Passavant were 
sitting together in my office and the description and price were read 
Mr. P. sat silently by with his eyes closed. When they asked him 
whether he had any objection to the price or terms, which"^ required one 
thousand dollars in cash and the balance on time, he answered, 'none ' 
and still sat with his closed eyes turned upward. As the final words 
were being written in the deed, a servant announced that Mr. P. was 
wanted in the adjoining room. He went out and in a few minutes re- 
turned with beaming face and laid down a thousand dollars. During 
the negotiations he had not had a dollar in his pocket. Now a friend 
had unexpectedly appeared and put the money in his hands." 



392 THE LIFE OF W. A. PAS SAVANT. 

and harvested, the basement cleansed and whitewashed, the gar- 
den renewed, and in addition to all this the Director, assisted 
by ]\Iessers ]\Iuehlhaeuser and Streissguth must thread the 
streets and allies to obtain contributions among: the German 
community for the furnishing and support of the hospital. The 
benevolent ladies of their churches labored most zealously in 
making bedding and other articles for the sick, and when the 
time for receiving patients arrived, it was a goodly sight to 
look upon the works of their hands. With preparations thus 
made and additional collections of furniture after our arrival, 
a few days of preparatory labor sufficed for the first beginnings 
of hospital life. Nor must we forget in this connection, the 
timely and valuable arrival of a box of excellent bedding and 
clothing forwarded by the Ladies ' Missionary Society of Christ 's 
Church at Gettysburg, and kindly diverted to this infant enter- 
prise by the permission of the merciful donors. This seemed to 
complete the lack of service elsewhere, and the new-made beds 
were tastefully covered by the quilts which it contained." 

In a private letter to Mr. Bassler he writes. 

"God has blessed my journey thus far to Milwaukee. 
'Ueber Bitten und Hoffen.' Instead of renting, which we found 
impossible, as the people were unwilling to give their houses 
for such a purpose, we finally came to the 'clear conviction that 
we must purchase. The ten acres which the brethren had 
written about on closer examination were not suitable and at 
the price asked ($12,000.00) were not to be thought of. What 
now to do? was the question. I can think only with pain of 
the three days of vain searching, anxiety and indecision which 
followed. I felt that we were at our wits' end, that we were 
nothing, could do nothing, and were of no consequence what- 
ever. Then, when all was dark and we had cried to the Lord 
for light and direction, light and direction came. A beautiful 
property of ten acres in the city limits, admirably located and 
well known to all the people, was found to be for sale, though 
not yet advertised; the proprietor had only recently died, and 
the administrators were compelled to sell to save a part of the 
large estate. It had on it a large and elegant brick house, with 
every comfort and convenience which we could desire, and a 
space sufficient for from twenty-five to thirty patients, after 
providing for Brother Schladermundt's family in the rear. 
The land is certainly quite cheap at $1,000 per acre, and the 
liouse cost, eight years ago, not less than $10,000. The price 



THE FOUNDING OF MILWAUKEE HOSPITAL. 393 

asked was $15,000, but after a complete examination of it by 
the best judges in the city, who pronounced it very reasonable 
at that, I bought it for the Deaconess Institution for $12,000, 
the whole to be paid in six to eight weeks. Of course, it is not 
possible to say, for certain, how much can be secured for this 
purpose in Milwaukee, but we have the best hopes for the 
result. One kind German friend has already agreed to pay 
$500 as soon as the friends can get the work of collection under 
\vay. Owing to the meeting of the Augustana Synod in 
Chicago and the unsettled state of things in Pennsylvania, I 
had to leave as soon as I got all the papers drawn up and 
signed and the way prepared for the work of collection. 

"Brother Schladermundt is already in the new house, i. e., 
the back part of the hind building away from the hospital part. 
He is busy gathering in some six acres of beautiful grass, clover 
and timothy. There is a nice fruit crop on the place, and 
beautiful roses, with a tolerable garden which he is increasing. 
There will be no sick taken in before August 1st, the collection 
of articles, money, furniture, etc., meanwhile going on. Some 
twenty beds are being made by two congregations in Milwau- 
kee. He will also spend some Sundays in the country, and 
hopes in one congregation to get eight good cows. An excellent 
stable, with horse, cow, and chicken house stands on the place. 
Two large cisterns are near the kitchen containing each eighty 
barrels of water. It is a beautiful sight to overlook the whole 
city of Milwaukee from the porches and windows and especially 
from the balcony on the top of the house. 0, how blessed that 
the Protestant Chuirch has so admirable a position for a hospital 
just in its time of need. Surely God has done it all and He 
shall have the glory. 

''On the morning of Aug. 3 the first patient 'was admitted 
to the hospital, a poor Norwegian, very ill with consumption 
and a stranger in the city. Hearing of his situation. Pastor 
Hatlestad, of the Norwegian Lutheran Church, at once ob- 
tained a permit and brought him to the Institution. About the 
same time two pictures were sent in, the one, 'Christ's Triumph- 
ant Entry into Jerusalem,' by an American lady; the other, 
'The Good Shepherd,' by a German gentleman. In the after- 
noon a few ministers and friends met at the hospital. The two 
pictures were hung upon the parlor wall. The familiar German 
hymn, 'Unsern Ausgang segne Gott,' was sung amid many 



394 THE LIFE OF TT. A. PASSAYAXT. 

thanksgi-vTiigs. "We then knelt down together and invoked the 
blessing of God upon this humble beginning. On rising from 
our knees, the picture of the 'Good Shepherd' seemed to look 
down upon us and its gracious lesson touched every heart. 
There was Jesus, the Good Shepherd, and at His feet a poor 
sheep, torn and bleeding and unable to extricate itself from 
the thicket of thorns, while the hand of the Merciful One was 
gently pressing back the tangled briars for its escape. The 
services of the opening were ended. We had met in joy; we 
separated in tears. The spirit of Him who came 'meek and 
lowly,' though a King, 'to seek and to save that which is lost,' 
filled every heart. God grant that such may ever be the spirit 
of the institution, that this may be the true consecration, its 
crowning grace. May its officers be clothed with humility and 
its helpers with the meekness and mercy of their Lord. 

"A week after the opening services and again during two 
weeks in October and November we were engaged in the trying 
and toilsome labor of making collections among the American 
community to meet the last pa\Tnent of six thousand dollars, 
a similar sum ha^•ing already been borrowed and paid on the 
property. The difficulties of such a service are known only to 
Him who knoweth all things. Heat and cold, sunshine and 
storm, weariness and waiting, hope awakened and hope disap- 
pointed, are as nothing compared to the struggles within which 
must be overcome, the heart-sickness over the materialism of 
men, and the strong insensibility of Christian men to the sorrow 
of their Lord who still dwells among us in the person of his 
sorrowing disciples, sick, an hungered, athirst, and a stranger, 
without a shelter and without a home. And yet, the vine which 
pierces by its thorns bears the rose of sweetest fragrance, and 
so this hard toil has its blessed compensations. In not a few 
there is a revelation of divine mercy which sheds its compassion 
on everj' desolate path of life ; while in others there is a native 
sympathy with suffering which warms the heart, unhoards the 
wealth, and stretches forth the hand of succor to all who are 
in need. Both these experiences are alike needful. The one 
to destroy self-dependence and lead to trust only in God; the 
other, to quicken to thanksgiving and to ascribe to Him, in 
whose hands are the hearts of men, all the glorj' and praise for 
the accomplished results. 

"By the blessings of the Most High upon the labors of these 



TEE FOrXDIXG OF MIUVAUKEE HOSPITAL. 395 

three weeks the sum of six thousand dollars was finally sub- 
scribed, collected and paid. For this auspicious result we are 
deeply grateful, and although a debt of six thousand dollars 
still remains we cannot doubt that He who hath begun this 
good work will in due time provide. 

"The hospital has now been in quiet and successful oper- 
ation since its beginning in Ausrust and between twenty and 
thirty patients have been admitted. Nearly all of these are 
charity cases. Some of them are of peculiar interest. They 
belong to no less than seven nationalities. Americans, Germans, 
Norwegians, Swedes, Irish, French and Africans, while four 
tj'pes of faith are represented among them. Protestant, Cath- 
clic. Jewish and infidel ! A wide field of usefulness has been 
opened to the Church, and the laborers in it have their hearts 
and hands full of care and toil. They need the sympathies and 
prayers of those who love God, for nothing but His sustaining 
grace can enable them to perform the difficult work given them 
to do. Instead of a number of Deaconesses the parent Institu- 
tion could furnish only one, who for the time being is compelled 
to unite in herself the offices of matron and nurse. It is 
cheering to find a growing interest and co-operation among the 
different pastors and churches of ^Milwaukee, which manifest 
themselves in many pleasant ways. But it is laborers that are 
most needed, trained laborers for the sick room, without which 
the increasing work increases only too rapidly on our hands. 
"Who on reading this extension of the cause will respond, 'here 
am I, send me?' Who will first give herself to the Lord and 
then devote life and all else to the work of the ministration ? ' ' 

This plaintive plea for helpers calls for at least a brief 
notice of several of the faithful helpers during the days of trial 
in the beginnings at ^lilwaukee. One of these, who for twent^'- 
two years was an invaluable helper and a priceless comfort to 
Dr. Passavant in her unselfish service was sister Barbara Kaag. 
We have met her before as one of the noble little band of 
sisters who did such valiant service in the army hospitals in 
and about the District of Columbia during the Civil War. A 
niece of Missionary Schwartz of India, she had been reared 
among the Lutheran Pietists of Wuertemberg, Germany. 
Coming to Pittsburg as a young woman, she had found a con- 
genial, Christian home in the family of George Weyman. 
Through him and his good wife she had become acquainted with 
the Rev. :Mr. Passavant, then pastor of the First Church. 



396 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

Through his influence she prepared herself for deaconess 
work. 

Of her service in the Army hospitals the Rev. W. A. 
Passavant Jr. \\Tites in the "Annals of the Institution of 
Protestant Deaconesses," June, 1900: 

"Sister Barbara has in her possession a large number of 
photographs given her as tokens of remembrance by soldiers 
who were restored to health or whose dying moments were 
soothed by her ministrations. Medals have also been presented 
to her by various organizations, and she receives a pension 
from the government in recognition of her services during the 
war. ' ' 

The following letter shows the high esteem and grateful 
love of Miss Dorothy Dix: 

"To Miss Barbara Kaag, 
My excellent and valued Friend: 

I cannot allow you to leave the place you have so long 
honorably filled, without the expression of my sincere respect 
for your character, and my grateful thanks for the faithful 
service you have rendered to the sick and wounded soldiers 
under your nursing care. All with whom you have associated 
have felt the influence of your good example, and in the transfer 
of your labors to another institution, I feel that while the one 
you leave will long miss your intelligent and faithful care, that 
to which you now proceed will be greatly benefitted. You have 
your reward in the consciousness of having performed a high 
and noble duty, and comforted many a distressed and suffering 
soldier . I shall always hold you in esteem and if at any time 
during life I can aid or benefit you I hope you will call on me 
without hesitancy 

Your sincere friend, 
Washington, Oct., 1863. D. L. Dix." 

In the same month sister Barbara entered the Milwaukee 
hospital at the summons of Dr. Passavant and became its first 
matron. She found the building in anything but an attractive 
condition. From garret to cellar the building must be cleaned 
and scoured, and much of the hea\'y work was done by her own 
hands. The furnishings and equipments were meager. Not 
only the comforts, but the very necessaries were often missing. 
But she labored on in faith and cheerful hope, she bore the 
burdens of her position uncomplainingly until after twenty 
two years of service for Christ's suffering ones she felt con- 



THE FOUNDING OP MILWAUKEE HOSPITAL. 397 

strained by the oncoming of old age to retire to live with her 
nephew the Rev. Wm. Huth, in whose home in Hustisford, Wis., 
she died in Christ and in peace, Jan. 12, 1905. 

Another faithful helper who did much to lighten the 
burdens of Dr. Passavant and was held in grateful and affect- 
ionate esteem by him, was William Huth, sr., the brother-in- 
law of sister Barbara. When in 1853 the Doctor was in sore 
perplexity to find a reliable male nurse for his young Infirmary 
at Pittsburg, after looking in vain for the right man in Pitts- 
burg, he sent the Rev. W. Berkemeier to New York to seek one 
among the German immigrants. Mr. Berkemeier after a careful 
searching and sifting found the newly-arrived William Huth, 
then twenty-one years old and brought him to Pittsburg. There 
he was installed as male nurse of the Infirmary. The small- 
pox was raging in the city and a pest-house had been set apart 
at the institution. 

Here Mr. Huth was broken in and ministered to the victims 
of the loathsome disease. For thirteen years this faithful 
servant did the work of a New Testament Deacon, ministering 
to all classes of sufferers, watching by day and by night until 
his own health was broken and he was compelled to seek a 
change of climate. 

He had married Miss Mary Kaag who had been a faithful 
helper in the Infirmary from the beginning. Two children had 
been born to them, one of whom had died in infancy and the 
other became the Rev. Wm. Huth, to whom we are are indebted 
for some of these data. 

Father Huth had intended to buy a little farm in Wis- 
consin. But Dr. Passavant desired him to become housefather 
of the Milwaukee Hospital. He accepted the position and in 
1866 moved his family into a little house back of the main 
building. He began at once to set the grounds in order, had 
new farm buildings erected, secured cows, hogs and poultry, 
and made the little farm productive and profitable, at the same 
time he had the oversight and management of the internal 
affairs of the hospital. He manifested superior qualifications 
as manager in securing and training competent help and nurses, 
A pest house was built on the grounds and Mr. Huth again 
ministered to the poor sufferers during a severe scourge of the 
small-pox. 

He also won many valuable friends for the institution and 



398 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PAS8AVANT. 

aided materially in reducing the debt. The Rev. Dr. H. W. Roth 
writes of him: 

"Upon his settlement in Llilwaukee he united with Grace 
German Lutheran Church, whose pastor was the Rev. J. Muehl- 

haeuser In heart and life Mr. Huth was a Christian man, 

nor was he ashamed to confess his divine ^Master. Among the 
sick he made his influence felt. Kindly did he exhort the 
wayward. Gently he encouraged the weak. His simple speech 
was enriched with experiences, gained from closest contact in 
the hours of pain and disease, with men of all classes and con- 
ditions. He wonderfully secured and held the confidence of 
young men, and to this day gratitude for good counsels keeps 
his memory green in the hearts of many with whom he came 
into contact. . . .Dr. Passavant valued the friendship and fidelity 
of Mr. Huth and knew and prized his practical common-sense. 
In the old sitting room together they scanned the accounts and 
made plans that both ends of the hospital's meager finances 
might meet." 

When some years later a fire destroyed the new building 
Dr. Passavant said to the young Mr. Huth: 

"If only your father were yet with me, I should not be 
afraid of this debt!" After a service of fifteen years in Mil- 
waukee Mr. Huth on July 1, 1881 fell asleep in peace. For 
twenty-eight years he had served his dear Master in the person 
of His suffering ones. He rests from his labors and his works 
do follow him. 

The Rev. Wm. Huth, son of the deceased, was born in 
the Pittsburg Infirmary in 1860, and spent his life in the two 
hospitals. After his father's death he assisted his widowed 
mother and his Aunt, sister Barbara, very materially in the 
business affairs of the hospital. He writes us this interesting 
reminiscence of the long years of his association with Dr. 
Passavant : 

"You know what a delightful vein of pure, pithy humor 
ran through his conversation, especially through his unique table 
talk. I believe some of his intimate friends could write a volume 
of bright anecdote heard from him. I never met his equal 
in this respect. 

"He used to tell a story of the early Milwaukee days that 
occurs to me as often as I drink a cup of poor coffee. After 
the war coffee was quite an expensive article in Milwaukee 
and Rev. Muehlhaeuser 's salary was quite slim at that time. 



THE FOUNDING OF MILWAUKEE HOSPITAL. 399 

So his good wife substituted browned barley for the genuine 
article. Dr. Passavant was a frequent guest at the pastor's 
home in those days and on one occasion he asked: 'What is 
this I am drinking?' 'Barley coffee' was the answer. 'Bro. 
Muehlhaeuser, ' said the Doctor, 'drink Christian coffee, drink 
Christian coffee.' When the Dr. got back to Pittsburg he sent 
the pastor a good-sized sack of 'Christian coffee' which was 
highly appreciated and richly relished." 

"Dr. Passavant had a thorough knowledge of the Penn- 
sylvania German dialect and would often recite poems and tell 
stories in that exquisite brogue. ^^ 

The Rev. Mr. Gausewitz, at this writing President of the 
Minnesota Synod, once visited me at the hospital when Dr. 
Passavant was present. He afterwards told me that he had 
never been so much impressed in his life as when the Dr. con- 
ducted evening worship with the household and patients. Faith, 
strong, simple, childlike faith, rang out of every sentence of his 
fervent supplications, as he prayed for the sick, for all present, 
for his work and for the whole Christian Church. ^* 

"When I afterwards assisted the Dr. with his hospital 
accounts I learned that the one secret of his success, next to 
his wonderful faith, was his scrupulous care in small things 
and his systematic way of doing things. One of the most 
prominent business men in Milwaukee after refusing a small 
loan to a neighbor said : ' If Dr. Passavant would ask for the 
loan of thousands I should not hesitate, for he never forgets 
the date of an obligation.' " 

Overwhelmed with worries, vexations and forebodings, the 



" He had committed to memory a numlier of the choicest poems of 
Harbach 's Harf e. By repeating these in his own inimitable way he would 
often solace himself and entertain his friends. 

" This reminds the writer how, when Dr. Passavant was visiting him 
in Fargo, N. D., and we had invited several Norwegian Lutheran ministers 
td dine with us, we afterwards sat in tlie study and talked over the interests 
of the Lutheran church in the Eed Kiver Valley and the need of a 
Lutheran hospital in Fargo. Before we separated the Doctor invited us 
all to unite with him in prayer on our bended knees. He then offered up 
one of those remarkable prayers that can never be forgotten. How 
wonderfully, how tenderly, how touchingly, how trustfully he gathered up 
the weaknesses, the wants and the woes of Zion and of her dear children, 
spread them all before his Lord and laid them on the loving heart of his 
heavenly Father. One of the ministers present that afternoon was the 
Eev. J. O. Hougen, one of our dear friends and one of the most gifted 
men in the United Norwegian Church. Years afterwards he told us that 
he could never forget that afternoon, and that one meeting with Dr. 
Passavant had been an inspiration to him ever after. 



400 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT. 

faith of some of the good brethren would sometimes grow 
■weak and their spirits would droop and become despondent. 
At such times, Dr. PassaA-ant had to be the comforter, the 
strengthener of faith and the hopeful helper. Even the good, 
consecrated and ever faithful Bassler sometimes grew so dis- 
couraged that his knee grew feeble, the hands hung doMTi and 
his faith failed him. At such times, Dr. Passavant was God's 
messenger to instil a new hope and courage. Here is one of 
his private sermons to Bassler on faith and hope: 

"Your favor was duly received, but I cannot tell you what 
its disheartening influence was upon my mind. Dear Br. B., 
if sad things happen do not let me know of them when I am 
away from home and can do nothing toward a better state of 
things. As to money discouragements, I do not care to go 
over this ground again. If the Lord will not provide, we can- 
not and had better quit our work among the suffering, for it is 
all up with us. But He will provide, and never assuredly by 
our doubt and fears, but by an implicit confidence in His 
infinite mercy. Oh, may He strengthen our faith greatly and 
fill us with the sweet sense of 'His eternal mercies in Jesus 
Christ.' Has He given us His own Son and will He not with 
Him freely give us all things?" 

Here is his estimate of the character and services of one 
of the saintly, self-denying German pioneers in Milwaukee: 

''A telegraphic dispatch from Br. S. brings the sad news 
that my dearly beloved brother and friend, Muehlhaeuser, has 
fallen asleep. "What an illustration his life was of the power 
of an earnest and holy ministry. No one man of our unobtrusive 
ministry- has wrought such results. Help Lord, for the godly 
man ceaseth, for the righteous fail from among the sons of 
men. ' ' 

Here is a letter brimful of interest about his western in- 
stitutions and the western mission field in general. It is one 
of the last letters to his beloved Bassler who was making his 
la.st brave fight against the relentless inroads of his final ill- 
ness: 

"My dear Br. Bassler. Grace and peace! Your favor 
reached me an hour after my arrival here in Chicago from Mil- 
waukee whither I had gone for various reasons. The fact that 

you are not worse but rather better cheers me very much 

My visit to Milwaukee Avas a truly agreeable one, the institution 
under good sister Barbara and W. Huth's faithful care is 



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THE FOUNDING OF MILWAUKEE HOSPITAL. 401 

doing a blessed work. The gardens and grounds are singularly- 
green and fresh as well as most fruitful, while the clear bracing 
air is something altogether new to me after living this summer 
in the sweltering atmosphere of Pittsburg. Oh, what a mercy 
that hospital is to the suffering in Wisconsin. "When I was 
there on Friday last the Rev. Pastor Braun, a minister of the 
Wisconsin Synod, on his way to Germany with his wife and 
six little children, was brought to the hospital, sick unto death. 
The poor man, I fear, cannot last long, but he is happy in the 
love of God and in the comforts of a Christian home. I forgot 
all my cares and toils when I looked upon this poor sufferer 
thus cared for in the hour of need. ^ 

"The Institution is working its way into the confidence 
of all good men and the Protestants of all denominations feel 
that it is a most blessed thing for the common cause to have 

such a retreat in the hour of suffering But most of all 

do I miss my dear old friend, Muehlhaeuser, whose presence 
greatly refreshed my spirit on each succeeding visit to Mil- 
waukee. So we pass away, one coming and another going, un- 
til at last we shall all stand before the Judge of quick and dead. 

"I am often sorry that I cannot live and labor out in 
this vast region exclusively. The field is so large and so white 
to the harvest while the laborers are so few. Last week in one 
day fifteen hundred Norwegians passed through Milwaukee. 
The next day one thousand and for days as many as five 
hundred and upwards, all for 'Minnesota.' The fact is our 
northwestern States will soon be very largely Lutheran and 
that, too, with the best Lutheran material from the Old World. 
Oh, for the spirit and power of the Highest to meet these vast 
obligations as servants of Christ and of His Church! 

''Young Muehlhaeuser goes to Philadelphia with the be- 
ginning of the session. He is a lovely youth, frank, devout, 
talented and humble. I had promsed his father on his death- 
bed that I would see that he got two hundred dollars annually 
while in Philadelphia. In Germany he was supported by the 
'Langeiiburg Verein' and wonderful to relate God so arranged 
it that a person whom I took up from Chicago with me to visit 
the hospital who accidentally made his acquaintance without 
a word from mo, asked whether he might not be permitted to 
educate the young man. Truly God's ways are wonderful and 
past finding out 

"The merciful Lord be with you and your dear wife. Do 



402 TEE LIFE OF W, A. PASSAVANT. 

not forget my earnest counsel in my last about walking and 
riding. The ease is a pressing one and you must hearken to 
the voice of stern necessity, cost what it will. I think the rush 
of the fashionables is over, and now you will have things much 
quieter than before. I enclose the fifty dollars spoken of. 
More will follow as you have need." 

Of the bitter opposition to the hospital at Milwaukee, be- 
cause it harbored and cared for the loathsome and otherwise 
abandoned small-pox sufferers, of the efforts to ruin its 
property an(i of the beginning of the new building in 1883, 
he writes : 

"For fifteen years it cared for the small-pox sick and for 
every form of contagion and infection, that religion might not 
be dishonored by the neglect of municipal provisions for these 
unfortunate ones. As a consequence of this, a persecution of 
the most unscrupulous character hunted and hounded the In- 
stitution long after a City pest-house was erected elsewhere. 
Nothing was left undone to defame and destroy it. A square 
of its beautiful grounds was cut off by forcing a street through 
them and the entire cost of its construction, amounting to six 
thousand dollars, was assessed to the hospital. The legislature 
even was invoked to cut another street through the remainder, 
and when this was defeated only by the greatest exertion an 
attempt was made to repeal the charter. But the hand of God 
was over it and all these efforts failed. The hospital grounds, 
consisting of two entire squares of the highest land in the city 
remained untouched and are dedicated forever to the merciful 
purposes of their original purchase. On this beautiful ele- 
vation a new capacious hospital is now in progress of erection. 
Its massive foundations were laid last autumn. For two weeks 
past a multitude of busy men have been at the brick work, and 
the first story above the basement will be finished in a few days. 
The workmanship is of the very best character, the material of 
beautiful cream-colored Milwaukee brick and all the other 
component parts of qualities to secure the greatest possible 
strength and comfort to the Institution, 

"We bespeak an interest in the prayers of God's people 
for this important undertaking. Looking at it from its human 
side, its magnitude appals us and its success seems impossible. 
We cannot see any earthly source from which the necessary 
means can come. But if we regard it in its true light, as a 
refuge for Christ's suffering ones in sickness and poverty and 



THE FOUNDING OF MILWAUKEE HOSPITAL. 403 

death, knowing its absolute need, we cannot doubt that God 
will provide all needed means. The cause is His, not ours. 
The sufferers are the purchase of His blood. He has all hearts 
in His hand, and can fill them with thoughts of sweetest charity. 
We know it is not for self, or pride, or vain glory, but for His 
glory that this work has been commenced and continued to this 
day. He shall have all the praise. He shall have all the honor. 
And to Him shall be ascribed all the glory. Therefore, let the 
Church help us by its faith and its prayers unto God. The 
Lord hath need of it. Even now His suffering children from 
distant states in the great Northwest are seeking healing within 
its walls. It will be a Bethesda for thousands in coming time. 
Let prayer, then be made unto God without ceasing and the 
Lord wdll hearken and send deliverance." 

Of the crushing calamity that befell the Milwaukee Hos- 
pital in the incendiary fire in August, 1883, he writes to the 
readers of the Workman : 

"Milwaukee Hospital, 
August, 25, 1883. 
"Dear readers, two weeks have nearly lapsed since I reached 
this place. The scene which greeted me was a pitiful one. 
The roofless walls of our 'holy and beautiful house' were black- 
ened with fire and scorched with flame. The little group of 
sisters and helpers who waited my coming and poor patients 
even met me with tears and sorrowful greetings. When I saw 
that there was no loss of life, and that character was not de- 
stroyed and principle still lived, what could I do but give 
thanks to a merciful God who had mingled His compassion with 
His chastening. Then, too, afterwards, on a close inspection 
of the building, we found that the destruction was not so total 
as we had been led to believe. The entire foundation and two 
thirds of the brick walls were not seriously injured, and if the 
w'ork of rebuilding could be commenced immediately, the 
whole structure might again be enclosed before winter. 

"But the saddest of all was the wanton destruction of this 
noble edifice by the hands of an incendiary. About this there 
can be no manner of doubt. Not only was the building not yet 
occupied, but the fire had not been suffered to be brought into 
it. Even the fire of plumbers had been made on the outside of 
the building. At nine o'clock on Monday night the architect 
Mr. Chas. Birkner accompanied by his wife, visited every part, 
from the first story to the roof, and remained for a time to 



404 THE LIFE OF W. A. PAS SAVANT. 

enjoy the view of the city spread out below. At five o'clock on 
Tuesday morning, Aug. 14, the third story from end to end 
was discovered to be one sheet of fire and flame. In the judg- 
ment of the Fire Department, the building must have been set 
on fire simultaneously at many places, and in all probability 
by shavings of paper steeped in kerosene. What motive could 
have actuated a human being to wreak his vengeance on a house 
of mercy for the suffering, we cannot comprehend, nor do we 
know who this fiend can be. Suspicion, indeed, rests strongly 
on a certain person, but the evidences thus far are wanting 
to justify an arrest. But the work was done and done so 
thoroughly that the slate roof and entire woodwork, including 
the floor and joists were completely burnt. The whole was 
ready for the plasterers and the sides as well as ceiling were 
already lathed. Then it was that the torch of the incendiary 
was applied, and ruin and desolation were the speedy results. 

"Another sad discouragement is the absence of an insurance 
on the building. The contractors had already spoken to an 
agent and as the chapel roof would be completed in a few days, 
they proposed then to take out a builders' risk as is customary 
in such cases. The loss, with the exception of a few small con- 
tracts, falls upon the contractors. The case was, however, one 
of peculiar suffering. Though we were not liable, in law or 
equity, for the heavy loss, this was so serious that the con- 
tractors could not bear up under it. A special meeting of the 
Board of Visitors was therefore called and it was unanimously 
agreed that the institution should assume one third of the loss. 
The whole of this will probably be upwards of twenty thousand 
dollars, so that the one third of this with the original contract 
price must be raised by the hospital. This large sum is entirely 
beyond our weak ability to collect. As we have said before, 
'The Lord must provide the necessary means.' And in the con- 
fident conviction of this, we have signed the papers for its 
immediate rebuilding and calmly await the unfolding of the 
mysterious Providence which has made the impossible work 
still more impossible to us. But with God all things are possible. 
The resources of the universe are in His hands and at Hu 
disposal. 'Now unto Him who is able to do exceeding abun- 
dantly above all that we can ask or think, to Him be the glory 
by the Church throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.' 

"The great blessing in this trying time is the character of 
the contractors, Messers. Hommrighausen and Pilger. Even 



THE FOUNDING OF MILWAUKEE HOSPITAL. 405 

before our arrival, they had ordered brick for the third story. 
They were indeed east down but not destroyed, and since then 
they have worked with great energy to save the walls by new 
joists and the necessary girders and supports. The peril to life 
has been very great, but thus far notwithstanding the high 
winds, there have been no accidents. If the weather continues 
favorable, it is hoped to have the building as far advanced as 
before the fire, in about six weeks. The hope of finishing and 
occupying this winter must, however, be abandoned. This is 
another great trial and drawback, as another winter of difficulty 
and unsatisfactory work in the old building will be unavoidable. 
These and many other serious consequences are unavoidable, 
and each day will reveal new and unexpected difficulties in 
consequence of this sad calamity. 

"But God lives and reigns. Even the wrath of man shall 
praise Him, and He will restrain the remainder thereof. It is at 
a time like this that we are called to believe that 'all things 
work together for good to those who love God.' How this will 
he, is not for us to say, nor is it possible for us to understand 
how it can be. But God's Word abides, and He will do all 
His pleasure. He hath said, 'What I do, thou knowest not 
now, but thou shalt know hereafter.' Shall we not, therefore, 
say, 'Even so, Father, for so it seemeth good in Thy sight?' 
'It is the Lord! It is the Lord! Let Him do what seemeth 
Him good.' 

"We have before asked a remembrance of this important 
interest in the sj^mpathies and prayers of God's people. To-day 
we ask for more. We likewise ask for their charities. But we 
do this with a becoming modesty, unwilling to direct the stream 
of mercy from other needed objects. With this understanding 
we will gratefully receive the mite of the poor and the bounty 
of the rich toward the rebuilding of this hospital so greatly 
needed for the sick and suffering over the whole Northwest. 
Here, where a new world invites the poor from all lands, where 
the Church has the mightiest problem to solve for 'pure and 
undefiled religion,' and where sin and sickness abound on every 
side, a little company of Christians are toiling by night and by 
day in ministrations to the suffering. They neither ask nor 
receive an earthly reward. They only desire a proper shelter 
for the sick and the stranger within their gates that they may 
receive them, minister unto them and heal them in the name of 



406 THE LIFE OF ^y. A. PA8SAVANT, 

Christ or prepare them to die in Christ and in peace. For 
tliemselves they ask nothing, but for these, the poor, the shat- 
tered, the afflicted, they ask everything that love can give. They 
have but one motive, the love of God. They offer but one 
argument, the words of Christ, 'Inasmuch as ye have done it 
unto one of these, the least of my disciples, ye have done it 
unto me.' " 

Of the opening of the rebuilt Hospital two years after its 
destruction by fire, he writes editorially, Sept. 25, 1884 : 

' ' Ten day?, of incessant work completed the closing up of 
multitudinous details, and Saturday night, Sept. 20, witnessed 
groups of laboring men in their holiday attire, making their 
way to the new building. The whole edifice was. beautifully 
illuminated, the gas for the first time having been turned on 
from the Cedar Street main, and every room, ward and passage 
was brilliant with the cheerful light. As the noble structure 
stood out against the dark sky, the stained glass in the transoms 
over the windows and the three tall memorial windows in the 
chapel reflecting their many colored views, the spectacle was an 
inspiring one. The basement story likewise was a scene of busy 
and cheerful activity. Great tables had been built, side by side, 
around which two hundred persons could find room, and these 
were covered with a profusion of substantial and elegant dishes 
with fruits and choice greenhouse flowers. We had expressed 
the desire to give the contractors and all the men who had 
labored on the new building some slight expression of thanks 
for the manner in which they performed their various tasks in 
the erection of the hospital, and suggested this measure of 
bringing them together. The ladies of the newly formed 'Aid 
Association' at once kindly offered their services, and how they 
carried out their part of this formidable undertaking we have 
scarcely words to describe. Everj^thing was done with an 
elegance and grace which was beautiful to contemplate. The 
leading ladies of the city gave themselves up to this work, and 
personally performed the service. 'The rich and the poor' 
literally 'met together,' and labor felt itself respected by the 
courteous attentions of the 'chief women not a few.' Many 
brought their wives along, and the occasion was one of universal 
pleasure. 

"After the 'collation' was over, eaCli one with flowers in 



THE FOUNDING OF MILWAUKEE HOSPITAL, 407 

hand repaired to the chapel to listen to a brief address by J. 
II. Van Dyke, Esq., of the Milwaukee bar, in which the grateful 
appreciation of the Board of Visitors, the friends and the 
Director of the hospital was expressed to all who had labored 
on the building, from the humblest individual to the contractor 
and the architect whose designs had been so faithfully carried 
out in the workmanlike manner in which the entire structure 
was completed. A few remarks followed by the Editor of the 
Workman, directing attention to the advantages of such in- 
stitutions, not only in caring for the indigent sick, but also in 
relieving persons of small means during seasons of extended 
suffering, and at a cost so moderate that embarrassment and 
debt need not follow such times of trial. It was nearly ten 
o'clock when the company parted wuth many expressions of 
good will. The joy of all seemed to be general that out of a 
pile of blackened ruins so cheerful and beautiful a structure 
had risen, to glorify God and to relieve suffering men. ' ' 

Another of the many faithful workers and sisters who were 
a great comfort to Dr. Passavant was Sister Martha Gensike, 
who for upwards of twenty years has borne the burdens and 
endured the trials and disappointments as directing sister in 
the Milwaukee Hospital, and is still at her post. Dr. Passavant 
appreciated her faithful services, and she appreciated his con- 
fidence, his counsel and his comfort. Here is one of his charac- 
teristic letters of encouragement : 

"I am very grateful to God that He has enabled you to go 
through the trying duties of your position so cheerfully and 
comfortably. It is of God's great mercy that He has been with 
us and acknowledges our feeble work for Him. We are, indeed, 
not worthy of this great privilege. Tens of thousands of young 
women are spending the flower of their youth in so-called 
'society' with its 'balls,' its 'germans,' its 'progressive eucher 
parties,' its 'receptions,' its 'masquerades' and other nonsense. 
But tens of thousands more who love God are longing for 
something better, which will satisfy the heart and bless others. 
Would to God that they were turned ' as the rivers of water are 
turned,' to something better than lives of indulgence and self- 
pleasing and indolence. But what can we say or do except what 
we are doing? We can only be faithful in our humble spheres 
and minister to those who come to us suffering and miserable. 



408 TEE LIFE OF W. A, P ASSAY ANT. 

"This is our 'testimony' for Him who died for us, and, 
verily, it will not be in vain. The devout people of other 
churches and even the unbelieving must see that this is a work 
of God, and they will in due time come to our aid in a very 
different manner from now." 

And here he gently chides and cheers her when she is 
discouraged : 

"Dr. Roth's letter of this week has given me no small 
anxiety. I read between the lines that you are like Martha of 
old, 'careful about many things.' It is not, this time, about 
helpers in our common work so much as about the means to 
carry on the work. You miss the constant inflow of the patient 
and the payment of the private room, which for so long a time 
enabled you to feel quite comfortable when bills and expenses 
rolled in upon you. How could it be otherwise than that you 
sliould feel the difference between the past fulness and the 
present scarcity! I know all about this feeling and can truly 
and deeply sympathize with you. I have been much in such 
situations for forty years and am constantly in it now, and the 
only way in which I can keep up courage is to always repeat to 
myself the comforting words, 'The Lord will provide.' He 
has always provided, if not in one way yet in another, if not 
in my way, yet in His way, if not in my time, yet in His own 
time. 

' ' When we know this it is sinful for us to doubt and to be 
worried about this or that. Let us faithfully do our 
duty to the suffering under our care, to the poorest as well as 
to those of ample means. 'The poor,' Jesus says, 'ye have 
always with you.' This to me is a great consolation. The 
Blessed One will be the paymaster. 'He will not leave us 
comfortless.' ' He will come unto us. ' ' Hdben wir Bin, so lidben 
wir alles.' Knowing this, 'let not your heart be troubled.' Pray 
on, work on, sing on, and cheerfully look up to God and say in 
confident faith: 'Give us this day our daily bread.' 

"I have often found that when our need is the greatest our 
help is the nearest. God often permits us to get down very low 
so that He may aid us ; and remember. He cannot aid us unless 
we are in such state of humble expectation that we momentarily 
look for His gracious interference for our relief. This is the 
state in which I pray that I may always be. I am drawing near 



TEE FOUNDING OF MILWAUKEE HOSPITAL. 409 

unto it now, I feel as never before that 'we have no strength, 
we are without counsel, but our eyes are unto Thee, God.' 
On every side, at the different institutions, the needs are pressing 
me sorely. But just because this is the case, I feel a cheerful 
confidence that the Lord will provide and shall be glorified in 
the deliverance He brings." 

And again: 

"I reached here safely, but so weary that I could not write 
last night. I therefore write this morning so as not unduly to 
delay certain things. And 'first,' as the preachers say, you 
must look after your health. I do not wonder that you were 
sick and that you feel miserable at times. But now that the 
cause of most of the troubles is removed, I hope you will 
faithfully use some remedies, and, working with a more hopeful 
spirit, your mind and body will revive as the corn and the trees 
in summer showers. Do your utmost to be regular, going to 
rest at ten o'clock, not later, and taking some exercise daily, 
even though only going to town in the street cars to pay 
bills. ... 

"It would be well to go carefully over your books and see 
if any backstanding bills or balances are yet unpaid. Then make 
out a list and in polite notes try to get it collected. The 
Germans say, 'The mild power is mighty,' and this is especially 
true in sending bills and writing letters for the money. Yon 
can say with truth that the hospital is maintained only by 
occasional donations of charitable people and the small charges 
made for pay patients. But this is insufficient to support the 
numerous charity patients we receive, and the consequence is 
that we are heavily in debt and are frequently embarrassed for 
a few dollars to pay the most necessary bills. Under these 
circumstances, without wishing to distress those who are still in 
debt to the hospital, we would esteem it a special favor if the 
amount could be sent us. The money can be sent to the address 
of Sister Martha Gensicke, Milwaukee Hospital, Milwaukee, in 
checks to above or any Wisconsin bank, or in postal orders. 

"One thing more. Suppose you consider whether it would 
not be possible to have all the sisters and probationers meet 
evenings, say at eight o'clock, in the sisters' parlor and do their 
work together, either for the Institutions or for themselves. If 
cue would occasionally read from some mission or deaconess 



410 THE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVAXT. 

reports, it would greatly enlarge their sphere of knowledge and 
thought. You will find in my room among the papei-s on the 
chair some German mission journals which greatly interested 
Die and would greatly interest all and carry them a special 
blessing. Even if there was nothing but friendly conversation 
and a plate with apples, etc., to close at nine o'clock, such a 
'Zusammeiikommen' would be of service to scatter thought and 
prepare the mind for rest. 

" T/Jflf nun,' may our lo%Tng Father stand by you, dear 
sister, and make you an increasing benediction to many. ^ly 
anxious prayers go up for you continually, both for your soul 
and your body. If any one ever repeats an unkind thing to you 
v.hich another has said, say to them kindly. ' Please never repeat 
anv unworthv thing to me again. I cannot for a moment be 
occupied with any unkind thoughts about others.' " 

And here we must not forget Sister ]Mary— for ^lartha has 
her Mary— the faithful, modest, patient ]\Iary, who has become 
"of age" in the culinary- department. She is too modest to 
respond to repeated requests for some experiences with Dr. 
Passavant. Yet no one has done more for the health, the 
comfort and the enjoyment of the thousands of patients who 
have passed through the hospital. She knows what each patient 
needs and what he must forego. She knows how to prepare and 
serve the most nourishing, palatable, tempting and yet harmless 
delicacies. Dr. Passavant knew the value of her service and 
appreciated her highly. Naturally she would sometimes grow 
tired of her humble service and would go to the Doctor for 
release or change of position. And then the Doctor would turn 
those wonderful, persuasive eyes upon her and quietly say: 
"Sister Marj', if you knew how I have prayed that God may 
enable you to remain steadfast and be patient in your good 
v.ork!" And Sister MarA* would dry her tears and go back to 
her kitchen, pray for patience and cook for patients. And there 
she is to-day, the masterful manager of her department. Arid 
when the final accounts are cast up and the divine appreciation 
is pronounced, Sister Mary will not stand last. Yes, the Blessed 
Master, to whom she ministered in the thousands of sick, whose 
lonely hours she cheered and gladdened, will not forget Sister 
Mary. 

Of Dr. Passavant 's solicitude for the comfort of the sisters 



THE FOUXDIXG OF MILWAUKEE HOSPITAL. 411 

when traveling, this note to Sister ]\Iartha is a beautiful illus- 
tration : * 

"The enclosed will enable you and Mary to get tickets for 
Pittsburg from the Union Depot in Chicago. You will ask ^Ir. 
Geo. Bean, the comer of the restaurant on the same floor as the 
ticket office, to go with you for the tickets (mentioning my 
name to him.) Be sure to take the Milwaukee and St. Paul 
Road, the depot is the one nearest to you. See if a train does 
not leave at eleven o'clock on ]\Ionday morning. Your object is 
to make the Pittsburg train which leaves Chicago (Union Depot) 
at 3:15 in the afternoon. That will bring you to Pittsburg at 
seven to eight on the morning of Tuesday. I will (D. v.) meet 
you at the depot in Pittsburg. Be sure to get a lunch with 
coffee before starting, so as to fortify. Also purchase (when 
you get your tickets) a lower berth for two dollars and fifty 
cents. One is broad enough for two. In order to let the air in, 
pin up the lower part of the curtain near your feet. Have the 
pillow made so that your feet will be towards the engine. Be 
sure to get the sleeper ticket for the lower berth and thus secure 
a resting place. I will arrange the matter of the expenses when 
we meet. If you have more money than it is safe to leave, 
deposit it in the name of the hospital at lUsley's." 

It was one of his many beautiful customs to remember all 
of his helpers with some suitable token of appreciation and 
esteem at Christmas time. When we consider that Jacksonville 
made his seventh institution, and that every helper in all of the 
seven as well as many a poor home missionary was remembered 
every Christmas, we can appreciate in part the thought and care 
aiid labor and expense bestowed on giving happiness to others 
at this happy season which he had learned in his childhood 
home to appreciate so highly. 

Of his interest in and ministration to the patients Sister 
Martha writes: 

"Dr. Passavant always was very kind to all the patients 
in the hospital. One time he had come from Pittsburg on the 
day before a young woman was to be operated upon. The mother 
asked him kindly to see her daughter and have prayer with her 
before going into the operating room. He saw the patient, and 
after that was just as much concerned as if she had been one 
of his own family. Again and again he said, 'Sister, have you 



412 TEE LIFE OF W. A. PASSAVANT, 

heard how the poor sufferer is? This has oppressed me so 
sorely that I am unable to do any work this morning. Please 
let me hear as soon as you can how the patient is if they bring 
her back to her room. ' He was in the hospital for several weeks 
after this but never did a day pass when with all his many 
duties he did not find time for the short visit in the patient's 
room. ' ' 

Here are a few of the many miraculous deliverances he 
experienced in his long career. Sister Martha writes : 

"On one visit at the hospital he had a payment of one 
thousand dollars coming due ; he had been seeing all the people 
who used to help him, walking the streets for two weeks without 
response. The day came, but he had not been able to collect 
a single dollar, and his many pressing duties made it necessary 
to take the noon train for Pittsburg. How could he leave and 
not pay what he owed? He saw no way, but resolved to tell 
all to his Lord in prayer, and quietly wait for deliverance. He 
called on all the patients in the hospital, firmly trusting in the 
Lord, saying the Lord can and will help in this kind of 
perplexity. The morning passed, and he was getting very 
anxious, not knowing what he should do. He had to leave, but 
how could he do so honorably if he could not pay ? It was eleven 
o'clock when he was told a lady asked to see Dr. Passavant. He 
went to the parlor. After asking if he was Dr. Passavant, she 
said: 'I have one thousand dollars which I would like you to 
keep for me six weeks, as I don't know just what to do with it 
' imtil then. I will then call for it here. ' When he spoke of 
giving her security she thought it unnecessary, as she thought 
he was a true Christian gentleman. Not even her name she 
thought of giving him until he insisted that it was only right, 
as something might happen to him and she might not have 
anything showing that he had received money from her. I can 
yet hear him say how much he felt ashamed for not having more 
faith and trusting his heavenly Father more implicitly. 

* ' At another time, after walking • for six weeks, trying to 
collect funds when we did not know how to pay the bills, the 
only thing he got was a halter for the cow. It was at such times 
when he was tried so severely that his firm, steadfast faith would 
stand out so bright and clear, and willing to abide by what his 
Lord thouerht best. 



THE FOUNDING OF MILWAUKEE HOSPITAL. 413 

"After the hospital was destroyed by fire all were lamenting 
about the heavy loss, worrying about Dr. Passavant, thinking 
this would almost crush him. But he came, and his gentle, 
quiet manner, his trust in what the Lord could and would do, 
was so wonderful that it had a quieting effect on all of us. He 
said his great anxiety was relieved when he knew that no life 
was lost. 'Brick and wood we can get again,' he said. 'This the 
Lord will provide all in his own way, so we have nothing to fear. ' 

"At one time the supply had gotten so low that he was 
informed that unless he could get something they would be 
unable to give the patients their dinner. After telling his 
trouble to the One ever ready to help, he started out, not 
knowing where to get help. When he got about a square away 
from the hospital an old drunken man whom he had help