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the merit of a smooth and an easy rhythm, and contain just and devout sentiments, but none can properly claim to be entitled poetry. Though from youth rich in fancy and endowed with a keen susceptibility to beauty, yet he seems to have lacked the original power of interpreting the poetical element of nature. Wisely, therefore, it will be seen, he confined himself to prose.
He was born an orator, not a poet; and he was so sagacious as to recognize and cultivate his true gift, and not to waste his efforts upon an art in which he could never have excelled. Nothing was more characteristic of him than a sound and sober estimate of his own talents, and the good sense with which he applied himself in the direction of his natural genius must certainly be commended.
1829 – 1836.
THE years during which Mr. Janes taught in
the district schools were eventful years to him. While he was training youth in the rudiments of an English education, he was training himself, not only in the art of instruction, but also in the elements of law and theology. Like many another before and since, he found his university in the simple, rude district school. There, in the intervals of hard work, he snatched moments for the side studies which prepared him for speedy and solid advancement. In these later times he would likely have gone from rudimentary teaching to the seminary and college; but then colleges were few, and among the Methodists there were none. There was scarcely a seminary of a high grade. He could only do the next best thing. Having formed his purpose to become a lawyer, he procured books and advice from a neighboring attorney, and commenced the study of the law in connection with his employment as teacher. Just how long he read law, or when he finally abandoned the purpose of
adopting it as a profession, does not appear.
Undoubtedly he would have made an able lawyer, and might have risen to the highest attainments and honors in the profession : still the time spent in this study, and the discipline and knowledge acquired, failed not to stamp his mind with an eminently judicial character, and thus he was all the more thoroughly fitted for the responsible career which afterward opened to him.
In 1829 he was led to make a change of residence. The following letter indicates his direction. It is addressed to Israel Crane, Esq., Bloomfield, Essex County, N. J.:
"SALISBURY, April 20, 1829. DEAR SIR: The bearer, Mr. Edinund S. Janes, has expressed to me a wish to be employed as an instructor of an English school in some part of your State. I have taken the liberty to mention to him yourself, as a gentleman to whom I would advise him to apply for assistance should he happen to visit your neighborhood. Mr. Janes is a young gentleman with whom I have been much acquainted; he has for many seasons been employed in this town and vicinity as an instructor of youth with very great credit to himself and advantage to his employers. He sustains a moral and religious character which has endeared him to his friends here, and should he find employment in his profession in your vicinity, I am confident he would not disappoint the hopes of his friends.
To this is added a note from Mr. Crane :
MR. SAMUEL I. RIKER:
SIR: Samuel Church, Esq., is a respectable gentleman of my acquaintance in the State of Connecticut. I should con
PREACHER ON TRIAL.
fide in his recommendation of the bearer, Mr. Janes. If there be any vacancy in the school in your neighborhood, and you should introduce this gentleman as teacher I doubt not he would meet your expectations.
“ April 22, 1829.”
While Mr. Janes' was teaching in New Jersey he became convinced of his duty to preach the Gospel, and he was accordingly licensed as a local preacher by the Quarterly Conference of Belleville Circuit, of which the Rev. Isaac Winner was preacher in charge and the Rev. Joseph Lybrand presiding elder. By the same Quarterly Conference he was recommended to the Philadelphia Annual Conference for the regular ministry, and was received “on trial" by that body, April, 1830. His name in the General Minutes stands eleventh in a class of fifteen. Among his classmates was the brilliant James Nicols, of the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
yland. Revs. J. L. Gilder, J. Lewis, J. Ashbrook, and J. F. Canfield are the only classmates who survive. The Philadelphia Conference at that time included a large portion of eastern Pennsylvania; the peninsula lying between the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, comprising the State of Delaware, the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and the Eastern Shore of Virginia ; and also the whole of the State of New Jersey. In the same territory there are now the Philadelphia, Wilmington, New Jersey, and Newark Conferences. Among the young preachers of the Conference were Charles
Pitman, John Kennaday, John S. Porter, R. M. Greenbank, Levi Scott, George G. Cookman, Francis Hodgson, and Joseph Holdich.
I doubt if any Conference in the land possessed a nobler corps of young men, and yet even among these Mr. Janes almost immediately became distinguished.
The year in which Mr. Janes was admitted on trial in the "traveling connection," the Church with which he was henceforth to be so closely identified had but 18 Annual Conferences, 4 Bishops, 476,153 members, and 1,900 traveling preachers. He was to live to see it greatly extended and to have no small share in its extension.
The first appointment of Mr. Janes was Elizabethtown, N. J., with Rev. Thomas Morrell, supernumerary, in charge, Mr. Morrell was one of the wisest and most highly esteemed ministers of the Confer
It was fortunate for the young inexperienced preacher to have so devout and judicious a guide in his first beginning. The well-nigh universal arrangement of earlier Methodism, whereby a novitiate in the ministry was associated with an older and more experienced person, contributed not a little to its rapid success and thorough conservation. Zeal and sagacity were happily united, the dash and enterprise of youth being tempered by the moderation and caution of age.
Mr. Janes entered upon his ministerial duties with promptness, and prosecuted them with much car