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Beginning of the story


The house is soon filled. Bro. Waller knows he must catch them on the wing first, so he says: "I am glad to see so many young men and women here to-night. I suppose this is the first time you ever came here for such a purpose. You have come before to your balls, and I am sure you mean well, and that I must preach clear to-night or you will grow weary and restless. It is so hard for us all, sometimes, to get our minds from old associations and settle them upon religious things."

He soon had their undivided attention, and then announced his text, which was John xvi. 15, 16. He explained, and illustrated, and exhorted, and the people were delighted. The people now demanded that he hold a meeting for them right there. Mr. Brown bears all the expense, and keeps a lookout after the comfort of all.

He preaches several days with good results. Mr. Brown said one day: "Elder Waller, if I had heard such preaching as this of your people I had never been a skeptic."

He now promises to preach for them every time he goes over to Brush Prairie, if they will furnish a house. The Methodist by this time retract their former decision, and tell the people to have Elder Waller preach in their church. He preaches each time now for them as he goes back and forth to Brush Prairie.

On his return from one of these trips, he finds letters asking him to aid in the yearly meetings of the counties of Benton, Linn, Lane, Marion, Yamhill and Polk. He begins in Lane; then in order he aids Benton, Linn, Marion, Yamhill and Polk.

He is now worn out, and too weary to go further; but a delegation from Yamhill county comes, saying: "You must come and aid us, for we are at a standstill. We so badly need your assistance."

Bro. Bedwell, of Monmouth, then intercedes: "Bro. Waller, you will have to go, I guess. I will drive you over in my hack."

He is scarcely on the ground till the brethren come around, saying: "Elder, the Methodist are saying that they always know when they can get religion, and that we can never tell when we are converted and are Christians. They have been daring us to answer, and none of us here can do so. Now, you can take some time to think about it, and then answer it. For if anybody can answer it, you can."

He soon replies: "I don't need any time to tell that. I can answer any time." He is soon in the stand, and states the question, saying: "I can tell within a minute - yes, less than a minute - when I became a Christian, or when my sins were forgiven or blotted out."

After some preliminaries he refers to Paul's testimony in Rom. vi.17,18, where he says: "But ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered to you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." The exact time was when they "obeyed the form of doctrine." It was then, and never till then. No one can obey the doctrine, but can obey the form of it.

The doctrine itself is indicated by Paul in 1 Cor. xv. 1-4: 'Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for your sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures.'

Here it is said what the gospel or doctrine is, viz.: The death, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus. These themselves can not be obeyed, but a form of them can be obeyed, viz.: Death on our part to sin, a burial in baptism, and a resurrection from this burial to a new life. Paul says that when the Romans and himself had obeyed this form, they were then made free from sin, were Christians, had what some call 'got religion.'"

They have a good meeting here. On the 7th of June, 1878, he hies away to Ford's Prairie, in Washington Territory. As soon as he lands they inform him that they had no intention of murdering him, but that they intended to get everything out of him they could.

They had a glorious meeting, with a large number of additions. He next visits Olympia, in company with Bro. Shirley, now of Pullman, Washington. Here he receives a message stating that an announcement had been made for him in Centerville.

On the last Friday night in June he begins a meeting here, and by Sunday six or eight were baptized. On Monday morning the people turn out en masse to see him off at the depot. They begin asking him questions, and it is not long till he is preaching to the crowd, and continues to do so till the train is in and starts off again.


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