Search America's historic newspapers pages from - or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities external link and the Library of Congress. Learn more
title: 'The Bloomfield times. (New Bloomfield, Pa.) 1867-187?, September 20, 1870, Image 1',
meta: 'News about Chronicling America - RSS Feed',
Image provided by: Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA
All ways to connect
Inspector General |
External Link Disclaimer |
f 1 h t
Editor and rroprieto
J 1'ubllnhed Weekly,
At New IJloomfleld, rcim'a.
F It A N K MORTIMEIt.
ONE DOLL Alt 1'Elt YEA 11 !
The Minister of Montclair.
IT was no use ; the letter's danced before
his eyes, the world seemed wavoring
and uncertain in those days. He laid his
book down, and began to think of the great
trouble which was shutting him in. "When
the black specks first began to dance be
tween him and his paper, months ngo, he
had not thought about the matter. It was
something, to bo suro, he must havo tax
ed his eyes too severely. Ho would work a
little less by lamplight spare them awhilo
and he should be all right. So he had
spared them more and more, and yet the
specks kept on their elfin dance ; and now
for weeks, the conviction had been grow
ing on him slowly, that ho was goinjr to be
blind. He had not told his wife yet how.
i-uuni iid war lu liijr un jiur siiuumers tue
burden of his awful calamity? Oh, it was
too hard !
And yet was it too hard? Dared ho say
so? he, God's minister who hadtokl other
sufferers so many times, that their chasten-
ings were dealt out to them by a kind fath
er's hand, and that they should count all
that brought them nearer to Ilini, as joy
ous, not grievous.
Yet speaking after the manner of this
world, his burden seemed greater than ho
could bear. What could ho do a blind.
helpless man? Ho must give up his work
in life let another tako his ministry sit
helpless in darkness, Heaven only knew
how lonff. Could ho bo thus rcsiirned ?
Then suddenly a flash of hopo kindled
his sky. There might be help for him.
This gathering darkness micht bo some
thing which science could remove. lie
would be sure of that before ho told Mary,
And then lie became feverishly impatient.
He must know at once, it seemed to him
he could not wait. Ho called his wifo and
told her, with a manner which ho tried
hard to make calm, that he was going to
town the next morning, on a littlo business.
She wondered that ho was so uncommuni
cative it was not like him but she would
not trouble him with any questions. Sho
should understand it all sometime, she
knew ; still she thought there was some
thing strange in his way of speaking.
' Tho minister strove hard for the mas
tery of his own spirit, as the cars whirled
him along tho next morning, towards the
tribunal at which ho was to receive his sen
tence. Ho tried to think of something
clso, but found tho effort vain. So ho said
over and over, as simply as a child, one
form of words :
" Father, whatover way it turns, 0 give
me strength to bear it."
Holding fast to a prayer as to an anchor,
ho got out of tho cars and went into tho
streets. What a curious mist seemed to
surround all things ! The houses looked
like spectres through it ; tho very peoplo
; he met, seemed like ghosts. Ho had not
realized his defective vision so much at
home, where it had come on him gradually,
and nil objects were so familiar. Sill, with
an effort ho could see the signs on the street
I corners, nnd find his way.
Ho reached at la.st tho residence of tho
distinguished occulist for whoso verdict ho
had como. Ho found tho parlor half filled
with people, waiting like himself. Ho was
AN INDEPENDENT FAMILY
TVoav I3loomfioli, DPo,;, ''September 20. 1870.
askod for his name, nnd sent in a card on
which was written, "Rev. William Spen
cer, Montclair." Then he waited his turn
He dared not think how long tho time was
or what suspense he was in. He just kept
his simple child's prayer in his heart, and
steadied himself with it.
The time came for him at last, and ho
followed the boy who summoned him into
a little room shaded with green furniture,
and on a table a vase of Howers. Tho
stillness of the cool-scented air refresh
ed him. He saw dimly, as he saw every
thing that morning, a tall, slight man,
with a kind face and quiet manners, who
addressed him by name, invited him to sit
down, and then inquired into his symptoms
with such tact and sympathy, that he felt
as if lie were talking with a friend. At
last the doctor asked him to take a scat by
tho window, and have his eyes examined.
His heart beat chokingly, and he whisper
ed under his breath :
"Thy will, O God, bo done; only give
me strength." " '
Dr. Gordon was silent for a moment or
two it seemed ages, to Mr. Spencer. . Then
he said, with tho tendcrost and . saddest
voice, as if he felt to the utmost all tho pain
he was inflicting : i
; " I canuot give you any hopo. , The mal
ady is incurable. You will not lose your
sight not just yet, but it must come soon."
The minister tried, to ask how long it
would be before iq should be blind ; but
his tongue seemed to cleave to the roof of
his moutiwind hAjwukl enly-gaxp." v '
Dr. Gordon understood, nnd answered
very kinkly, that it might bo a month ;
possibly two. ' .
Ho stood up then, to go. Ho knew all
hope was over. Ho paid his fee, and went
out of tho room, and out of tho house. It
seemed to him things had grown darker
sinco he went in. Ho hardly knew how ho
found his way to tho cars. It was about
two hours past his dinner time, and he was
faint for lack of food, but ho did not know
it. Ho got to tho station somehow and
waited for the train to start for Montclair.
All tho way home he kept whispering to
himself, "One month, possibly two" as if
it were a lesson, on the getting by heart of
which his life depended. Ho heard tho
conductor call out 'Montclair' nt last, and
got out of the cars mechanically. His wifo
stood there waiting for him. She had been
anxious about him all day.
" O, William !" sho cried, and then sho
saw his face, and stopped. There was a
look on it, of one over whom soino awful
doom is pending, a white, fixed look that
chilled her. Sho took his ami, and they
walked on silently through tho summer af
ternoon. When they reached home, and
she had taken offher bonnet, ho spoke at
" Mary, come here and let mo look at
you. I want to learn your face by heart."
Sho came and knelt by him, while ho
took her cheeks between his hands and
studied every lineament.
"Are you going away?" she asked, after
a while ; for his fixed, silent mysterious
gazo began to torture her.
" Yes, dear, I am going ; going into the
" To die ?" she asked.
"Yes, todioto everything that makes
up a man's life in this world," ho answered
"Mary, 1 am going bbnd. Think what
that means. After a few nioro weeks I
shall never see you again, or our children,
or tho dear, beautiful world whore wo havo
lived and loved each other. Tho whole
creation is only an empty sound, forevcr
moro 1 O God ! how can I bear this?"
" Is there no hope?" she asked with cu
rious calmness, nt which sho herself was
"None. It was my errand to town to
day, to find out. I havo felt it coming on
for months, but I hoped against hopo, and
now I know. Oh, Mary, to sit in darkness,
until my death day, striving for a sight of
your dear lace 1 It is too bitter ; and yet,
boyish, romping Will, shy, yet merry littlo
"Hush, dears," the mother said, softly,
" papa is tired. You had better run out
"No, Mary, let them stay," he interpos
ed, and then he said, so low that his wife's
ears just caught the whisper, "I cannot see
them too much in this littlo while."
Oh, how the days went on after that !
Every day the world looked dimmer to the
minister's darkened eyes. He spent nearly
alibis time trying to fix tho things ho
loved, in his memory.
It was pitiful to see him going round
over each well-known, woll-lovcd scene,
noting anxiously just how those trec
botighs stood out against the sky, or that
hill climbed toward tho sunset. He stud
ied every littlo flower, overy fern tho chil
dren gathered ; for all creation seemed to
take for him a new beauty and worth.
Most of all ho studied the dear homo faces.
His wife grow used to the dim, wistful eyes
following her so constantly ; but the chil
dren wondered why papa liked so well to
keep them in sight ; why he did not read
or study more.
There came a time at last, ono Sunday
morning, when tho brilliant summer sun
shine dawned for him in vain.
"Is it a bright day, dear?" he asked,
hearing his wifo moving about tho room.
"Very bright, William."
"Open the blinds, please, aud lot the
sunshine in at tho east windows."
Mary Spencer's heart stood 'still within
her, but sho commanded her voice, and au
swered, steadily :
They are opon, AYilliam. Tho whole
room is full of light."
"Mary, I cannot see ; the time has come
I'm alone in the darkness."
"Not alone, my love!" she cried, in a
a passion of griof, and pity, aud tenderness.
Then she went and sat down besido him on
the bed and drew his head to her bosom,
and comfoi'tcd him just as sho was won't
to comfort her children. After a time, her
tender caresses, her soothing tones seemed
to have healed his bruised, tortured heart.
Ho lifted his hcad,kissing her, his first from
out tho darkness in which he must abide,
and then he sent her away. I think every
soul, standing face to face with an untried
calamity, longs to bo for a space, alone
with its God.
Three hours after that, the church bells
rang, and as usual, the minister and wifo
walked out of their dwolling, save that now
ho leaned on her arm. In that hour of se
clusion, ho had made up his mind what to
do. They walked up in a familiar way and
sho left him at tho foot of tho pulpit stairs,
and went back to her pew in front. Ho
groped up to tho stairs, and then rising in
his placo he spoke to tho wondering con
gregation. "Brethren, I stand before you as ono on
whon the Father's hand has fallen heavily.
I shall never see you again in this world
you, my children, for whoso souls I havo
striven so long. I havo looked my last ou
your kind, familiar faces on this earth
see to it that I miss none of you when my
eyes are unsealed In Heaven. Grant, O
Father, that of those whom Thou has given
me, I may lose none."
Thcro was not a tearful facu among thoso
which wero lifted toward him, as ho stood
thcro, with his sightloss eyes raised to
Heaven, his hands outstretched as if to
bring down on them tho blessing for which
ho prayed. Somo of tho women sobbed
audibly, but tho minister was calm. After
a moment, he said :
"My brethren, as far as possible, the
services will proceed as usual."
Then in a clear voico in which thcro
seemed to his listener's cars somo unearth
ly sweetness, ho recited tho ono hundred
and thirteenth psalm, commencing :
"Out of tho deep havo I cried unto Thee,
O Lord ; Lord, hear my voico !"
Afterwards ho gavo out tho first lino of a
hymn which tho congregation sang. Then
ho prayed, and somo said who heard bin?,
what am I saying? Shall my Father not
choose his own way to bring mo to the
light of Heaven ? I must say, His will bo
Just then tho children came running in ;
that the eyes closed on earth, wero surely
beholding the beautiful vision, for he spoke
as a son beloved, whoso very soul was full
of the glory of the Father's presence.
Tho sermon which followed was such a
one as they had never before heard from
his lips. There was power in it, a fervor a
tenderness which no words of mine can de
scribe. It was tho testimony of a living
witness who has found tho Lord a very
present help in time of trouble.
When all was over, and ho camo down
tho pulpit stairs, his wife stood again at
the foot, and ho took her arm and went
out silently. Ho seemed to tho waiting
congregation, as ono set apart and conse
crated by the auuointing of a special sor
row, and they dared not break tho holy
silenco around him, with common speech.
The next afternoon, a committco from
tho church, went to tho parsonage. Mrs.
Spencer saw them coining and told her
"It must bo," he said, to ask my advice
in tho choice of my successor.
"I think they might have waited one
day !" she cried, with a woman's passionate
impatience at any seeming forgetfulness of
the claims given him by his years of faith
Tho delegation had reached tho door by
that time, and the minister did not answer
her. She waited on tho men into tho study,
and left them thcro, going abont her tasks,
with a heart full of bitterness. It was
natural, perhaps, that they should not want
a blind minister, but to toll him so now, to
make tho very first pang of his sorrow
sharper by their unthauk fulness, it was too
An hour passed before they went away,
and then she heard her husband's voico
calling her, and went into tho study pre
pared to sympathize with sorrow. She
found him sitting where sho had left him,
with such a look of joy, aud peace, and
thankfulness upon his face, as sho never
expected to see it woar again.
"Mary," he said, "there are some kind
hearts in this world. My parish wants mo
to stay with them, and insist on raising my
salary a hundred dollars a year."
"Want you to stay with them ?" she
cried, hardly understanding his words.
"Yes, I told them that I could uot do
them justice but they would not listen;
they believe that my very affliction will
give mo new power over tho hearts of men ;
that I can do as much as ever. They
would not wait a day, you see, lest we
should be anxious about our future."
" And I thought they were coming in
indecent haste, to givo you notice to go,"
Mrs. Silencer cried penitently. How I
misjudged them I shall I never learn Chris
tian charity !"
So it was settled that tha minister of
Montclair should abido with his people.
For three years more his pcrsuasivo voico
called them to pursue tho better way; and
then his own summons camo to go up
higher. In thoso throo years ho had sown
moro seed and reaped more harvest than
somo men in a long lifetime. Ho did his
work faithfully, and was ready when tho
hour came for him to go home. Just nt
the last, when thoso who loved him best,
stood weeping at his bedside, they caught
upon his faco the radiance of a light not of
this world. Ho put out his hands with a
" I see, I seo 1 Out of the dark into tho
Aud before they could look with awe
and wonder into each other's eyes, tho
glory had begun to fade, tho outstretched
hands fell heavily, nnd they know that the
blind minister was gone "past night past
day," whciv before him thero would bo no
moro darkness. Loum Chandler Moulton.
Crcrw IN ADVANCE
Owe Dollar per Year.
The Criminal Class in rero.
No such thing as a single pickpocket or
burglar exists is Peru, tho stealing being
all done by largo gangs of horsemen nnd
in broad daylight, on the outskirts of tho
town andinlonoly and solitary grocery and
provision stores, etc., in the suburbs. Du
ring the frequent revolutionary disturbances
tho police and watchmen who always carry
guns and not pistols, have orders to shoot
down, without hesitation, any person seen
alone on tho house top ; and as many an
inoffensive and thoughtless foreigner or
American has been shot down or killed for
simply going up on tho flat of a house in
tho night time, it has so intimidated tho
negro or Cholo thief, that they dare not bo
seen prowling around alone after nightfall,
and if seen in company with several of
their kind after dark, they know they are
watched by tho police. So that a city of
such wealth, with so many diamonds, sil
ver and gold, and such costly dressings by
tho fair sex, Lima is less infested by rob
bers than any other city in tho world, and
even any city of twice the watchmen.
Many families, whose silvorwaro is not
plated, and whoso display would tempt a
burglar one night in New York, go to their
beds night after night without even lock
ing theii area door or back entrances ; and
although the petty pilfering of household
servants in small articles is almost of daily
occurrence ; yet such a thing as a wholesale
burglary is never known here. Letter
from Lima. 1 '
A French Thief.
The ether day, says a French paper a
lady went into a haberdasher's shop, Ruo
Richelieu, and bought a pearl-gray silk
dress. Tho shopman had noticed a tolera
bly well dressod man standing at the door
after the arrival of the lady and seeming to
watch all her movements. Stepping up to
the cashiers desk the lady drew a 200
fra no note from her purse. At that mo
ment tho man outsido rushed into tho
shop gave tho lady a boq on the ear, and
tore tho note out of her hands. "I
had forbidden you to buy that dress ;'
cried he, " but I watched you, aud you
shall not have it." With these words ho
hastened away, the lady fainted ; and tho
persons employed in the shop, snpposing
tho intruder to bo an offended husband,
made no remark and let him go. When
the lady recovered tho proprietor of the es
tablishment expressed his regret at this
violent sceuo, aud pitied her for being de
pendent on so brutal a husband. "My
husband 1", cried tho lady, eagerly. " Sir,
that man is not my husband ; I do not
know him, I have nover seen him." Tho
protended husband was a daring thief.
The Strongest Man.
Thero is a man living in Calhoun county
Mississippi, who is supposed to bo tho
strongest man in tho State, if not in the
entire south. Ho is thirty five years of
ago, and weighs two hundred and twenty
five pounds. He has been known to carry
threo bars of railroad iron, when it takes
from three to five ordinary men to carry
one. lie can tako a cask containing forty
gallons of whisky or water, (tho former is
preferred, we presume,) and raiso it from
the ground and drink out of the bungholo :
with as much caso as another could out of
a pitcher ; and ho has frequently taken a
barrel of flour under each arm, and balance
iug a sack of salt on his head, carried then
for soveral hundred yards with apparently
but littlo effort. He offers to bet that ho
can lift thirteen hundred pounds.
C3"An amusing incident occurred re
cently at n rural school. The subject was
tho history of Samson nnd the question,
"What foolish thing did Samson ever do?"
Expectation was on tip-too to ascertain his
peculiar weakness, when from a front seat
camo the reply, given with a solemn pre
ciseness and irresistibly ludicrous accent,
"lie went down among tho Philistines and
I got a wifo 1" ,