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HISTORY OF HILLSDALE COLLEGE

BY HON. JOHN C. PATTERSON, 1883

His soul was a pent up volcano of religious feeling which could find vent only in sacred song. He lived and labored before church choirs were deemed an essential part of religious worship, and when congregational singing was both popular and profitable. His voice leading the congregation in Sabbath service, or in the prayer or covenant meeting never failed to fire the hearts of the listener with the spirit of the song, and arouse the deepest religious emotions. In Whitcomb and Cook, the Free-will Baptists in Michigan had a Moody and Sankey forty-nine years ago. These pioneer evangelists preached and held revival meetings in various localities, and planted churches in Calhoun, Jackson, and adjacent counties. Elder Henry S. Limbocker continued to reside at Ypsilanti, and to preach in the adjacent counties until 1836. He then moved to Leoni, Jackson comity. In personal appearance, talent, and style of speaking, he resembled Elder Whitcomb. He was more logical and argumentative in his sermons, and was an evangelist by nature. He preached to various churches in Jackson and adjoining counties, and was considered as one of the leading-ministers of the denomination in the State. Elders Whitcomb, Cook, and Limbocker labored on their farms during the week until Saturday, and then drove to their distant appointments, preached two or three times Sunday, returned home on Monday, and prepared their sermons at the plough during the week. As farmers, they supported themselves, and as missionaries, they laid the foundation in the wilderness for a great and useful denomination. Largely through the labors of these three men, the Michigan yearly meeting of the denomination was organized at Leoni, in 1839, with four hundred and sixty members.

EARLY MICHIGAN


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