HISTORY and TIMES of THE KINGDOM
Around The World (1890)
This is Mr. Sandford's first public effort at journalism. In seven tracts he described his first trip around the world, visiting missions for the Free Baptist Mission Board. The first article below was published in a Maine newspaper in 1935 by Alice Frost Lord, and was bound inside the copy of "Around the World" which we retrieved from the State of Maine Archives in Augusta, Maine. As of the moment, only the article below and the Forward to the books are available on the website. More will follow.
BY ALICE FROST LORD
WITH FRANK SANDFORDFew people in Maine will recall that Rev. Frank W. Sandford (of Shiloh fame) 45 years ago made a trip around the world, and wrote a series of seven booklets describing his journey; or that his companion was Rev. T. H. Stacey, a one time Auburn pastor, who then was secretary of the American Free Baptist Mission Board. It was Charles H. Thomas of Lewiston who picked up this set of brochures, all foxed in appearance. and apparently never perused --- a set carrying in pencil on each cover the original owner's name, L. A. Abbott. Sandford, it will be remembered, was graduated from Bates College in '86, in the class in which were Sherman G. Bonney, who became a distinguished physician in Denver; Charles Hadley, who was later a missionary in India; and W. H. Hartshorn, so long professor of English at Bates, to name only a few. Born in Bowdoinham, Sandford on graduating had become a pastor at Topsham, and then at Great Falls, N. H., from which place he started on this world tour. Curiously, the booklets are printed by E. B. White of that New Hampshire town, though he could not have been the E. B. White of recent Harper's and present literary fame. Stacey was an even earlier graduate of Bates, in the class of '76, whose Auburn pastorate was from 1886 to 1893. Sandford's first volume covers his trip across America. He and Mr. Stacey had "answered God's call" to visit the mission fields. It was his practice not to let a day pass without asking someone about the latter's soul's salvation. Much of his data might have come from some guidebook. But his personal experience, though sometimes trivial, often is told with an original phrase. He had not gotten out of Massachusetts before he met some mosquitoes that all night, long cultivated his friendship, claiming blood relationship. , "With gold watch in one hand and with vengeance in the other, I repel boarders" he writes. Standing in New York, looking at Vanderbilt's palatial residence, Sandford opined that had a celestial one of his own that was more enduring. In the West, he found Marshall Pass "sublimity touched with God" as compared with Niagara that was "grand," and the Royal Gorge that was "awe inspiring". On the voyage across the Pacific Stacey preached and Sandford sang. Yokohama was their first port. Then they went to Tokyo, finding the country most beautiful, and much Japanese life 'charming", Temples and flower festivals are described, as well as some the depressing scenes. In China Stacey visited his uncle at Shanghai. Opium and filth among the natives were deplored. Canton was cleaner. At Singapore, he ran across a dentist who asked him $1 to fill a painless tooth, saying if there had been pain the price would be $3. By Christmas they were in sight of India. There they spent their time with the missions. Always they were preaching to the "heathen". ( a word now obsolete, it is to be hoped.) The last two booklets, in the set of seven, takes the reader through Egypt and Palestine. Most exciting of their experiences was the wreck of the boat off Jaffa, when their escape was almost miraculous. However, Palestine was full of interest, and many Biblical scenes are described. In a few pages the trip home is covered; Great Falls looked good them.
And now, "Around The World"
For over a year, the Rev. Mr. Stacy
of Auburn, Me., and myself, have felt God calling us to take a tour among the mission
fields of the world. At last He has opened the way, and upon this, the first week of
October we start upon the journey. Crossing America, we shall leave San Francisco on the
steamer "Belgic," Oct. 21, and hope to arrive in Yokohama, Japan,
Nov. 8. We expect to visit China, India, Egypt, Palestine, Italy, and England, returning
home about the first week of April.
How pleasant to leave ones native land with such memories! First, I visited my dear old home, wandered through the orchard, down the pasture, along the familiar walks into the woods, and over the dear old fields. I looked at the schoolhouse and recalled the happy school days; at the church, and remembered the faithful men of God who used to tell the story of Jesus; at the dear old home with its precious memories, and within whose walls sat one, without whom, there can be no home. Last of all, upon the Lord's day, I preached in the old church, where Feb. 29, 1880, I had given my heart to God. What a flood of memories swept through my soul as I sat in the pulpit and looked into the familiar faces of neighbors and friends, who so kindly filled the church to welcome me. God bless them all! Next, I drove to Topsham, Me, and preached at 2.30 a.m. in that church, which will ever be so dear to me; the church in which I preached my first real sermon when I was solemnly set apart to the gospel ministry, and in which for three years, I honestly sought to be true to the eternal interests of men. Again my soul was flooded with pleasant memories. The house was filled. Here was one of the dear converts. There one of those faithful workers for God and the church. Yonder, one of those who had regularly attended the services, listened attentively, and been much interested but never publicly professed Christ. And how very pleasant to see dear friends from the other churches and many from Brunswick, as they came up the aisles of the church. And then in the evening to find the vestry packed, to hear once more the testimonies for Jesus to notice the spiritual growth, to grasp each friendly hand to hear nothing but kind words of welcome, how pleasant it all was to me
Then I return to my own dear church in Great Falls, and on the following Sabbath preached my farewell sermon.
What a busy day! Baptism in the morning, then reception of members, followed by sermon and that by S. School. At 2.30 p.m. communion service followed by a conference meeting and then in the evening the usual service. But what a precious day! One of the largest if not the largest, audience we have ever had and a congregation not called together by curiosity but by Christian love and true friendship. And in the p.m. such a blessed service, as members from nearly every church in the two places partook of the supper of Him who died for them, and then with happy hearts all streaming faces told "the old, old story of Jesus and his love." One hundred and thirty-five testimonies to the power of God, on changing and keeping the human soul.
On Wednesday evening, Oct. 1, about one hundred and twenty-five dear friends gathered at the beautiful residence of a family, whose name stands for character and Christian courtesy, and there filled their pastor's cup very full of joy and gladness. One of the most interesting young ladies of Great Falls, stood upon the piano stool and gave the following speech:
"Dear friends, one and all:
I would like your attention just a few minutes, as I have a sermon that I wish to give you. It won't be long, but rather short, like my text, which is found in Mark, in the last word of the thirteenth chapter, and is spelled w-a-t-c-h. It has been mentioned so many times during last two or three weeks, that it has come to be a watchword among us and it is hoped we shall all profit by it. If we were always on the watch, we should escape many dangers that come through our carelessness. We should always watch and be on time and all the time be on the watch. Dear friends, to you I give my sermon, to Mr. Sandford, in behalf of the church and society, I present my text which is golden; and while you are far away from us, let it be a constant reminder that you should always be on time and that we are anxiously watching for your return."
With these words, she slipped into her pastor's hand an elegant, open-faced, solid gold watch. Then the minister tried, -well, we will stop right here. It won't do to carry any description too far, you know. It was a perfect surprise and the minister will say no more about the ladies inability to keep a secret. And now dear friends, how pleasant has been the farewell scenes and how precious their memories will ever be. Surely the commencement of my journey is scattered with flowers, and its way is "paved with love."
In attempting to express my gratitude, "thank you" sounds weak and cold; my lips cannot express my thankfulness, my heart however can feel it, and with God's help my life in the future shall prove the gratitude I cannot now utter. The pleasure of my future six months will be more than doubled and I believe my whole life will be flooded with these memories so precious, - memories of home, of kind friends, of beautiful gifts and of God's own dear people. May our father's richest blessings fill your lives with the same joy and gladness, is the prayer of him who writes to you.
"THEY SAW NO MAN ANY MORE SAVE JESUS ONLY."
OCTOBER 2. Time by the watch, five minutes past ten, A.M. Place-in the depot at Great Falls. Scene-a group of friendly faces-handshakes-cheeks-hurried farewells-"all aboard"-bell rings-train moves-hankerchiefs wave-last view from the window-and the curtain falls to conceal from the traveler's view, for at six months time, this pleasant picture of home and friends.
Twenty-eight years ago to-day, I started upon life's journey. Thus far, I have but played around the dooryard. Today I start out to view the whole of God's great estate. It is a beautiful October morning, there is sunshine without and the peace of God within. There are with me precious memories and bright anticipations. In the language of the poet, "there's sunshine in my soul today."
A little boy in front of me is making his record on peaches. If he does not increase the practice of some man of medicine, I am greatly mistaken. "North Hampton" shouts the brakeman. This recalls very pleasant memories connected with the Q. M. held there; the praymeeting upon the little hill in the cemetery, the party to the sea-shore, the walk to the spot where the witch Goody was buried in the road, and a stake driven through her body, and the house in which lived the skipper who sold his soul to the devil, as Whittier has it in one of his poems. We go by Kittery with its navy yard, and Portsmouth
TO BE CONTINUED . . .