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My position is not one of my own choosing. My allotments in life have been providential. My early circumstances accustomed me to labor and self-denial, and my study of the law made me acquainted with the forms of business. These things were known to the Board of Managers of the American Bible Society, and, in their judgment, gave me a degree of competency to manage the financial department of that institution. They accordingly elected me, and the constituted authorities of the Church appointed me. I admire the Methodist Episcopal Church economy, because it does not leave a man to choose his own work, but assigns to him that for which it judges him most competent. . . . My daily prayer is, that if there is one place in which I can be more useful than in another, or save one more soul, I may be there. The Church generally judges right.
This brief introduction strikes the key-note of Mr. Janes's life. The ground of his choice of one place over another was, that he might be more useful, that he might, if possible, save one more soul, and the only medium of choice which he knew was the voice of the Church. He chose not for himself. And so he was by conviction a member and minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He ever bowed without hesitation to its behests. His mind was in full sympathy with the aims and methods of the American Bible Society; but good as the object was, and broad as the scope which its operations would open to his energies, he would not select nor go until the Church, to whose form of government he had given his allegiance, should command him. He first learned obedience in the ranks, and, like all
WORK AS SECRETARY.
good soldiers, was thus qualified when attaining command, simply to expect of others what he himself had been glad to render, unquestioning loyalty.
Mr. Janes now entered upon that wider sphere of activity for which his talents were so eminently fitted. The General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1836 had agreed to disband their denominational Bible Society and to unite with the American Bible Society, and he had been chosen under this union to represent Methodism, with special reference to traveling at large through the country and advocating the claims of the society before the Methodist Annual Conferences.
Judging from a few memoranda on detached slips of paper, he must have confined his operations for the first year largely to the Middle States, within easy reaching distance of his pastoral charge.
Feb. 5, 1841. Left New York to attend a meeting of the Maryland State Bible Society, in Baltimore. Spent the Sabbath in Philadelphia. Attended the meeting on Monday evening. Not a large but a good meeting. On Tuesday evening attended the Missionary Anniversary of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which paid my expenses, so that my trip was without cost.
Feb. 17. Went to Newark to arrange an appointment to preach and take a collection. Expense, fifty cents.
Feb. 27. Left New York for Trenton. On Sabbath, the 28th, preached in Presbyterian and Methodist Churches. Found
the cause in a very low state. Took a collection of $35 in the Methodist Church.
March 7. Preached in the Second Wesleyan Chapel, New York, and took a collection for the Bible cause.
March 14. Preached in the Second Avenue Presbyterian Church, and took a collection for the Bible cause.
March 21. Preached in the Methodist Episcopal Church in Williamsburgh, and took a collection for the Bible cause. Expenses of filling my pulpit and going, etc., $1.
March 30. Went to Freehold, Monmouth County, N. J., to attend the annual meeting of County Society on 31st. Had a small but useful meeting. Expenses, $4.
April 28. Visited the New Jersey Conference on the Society's business, also on the 30th. Expenses, $1 12.
This meager record shows the industry and painstaking with which he worked in the cause while still the pastor of an influential Church.
AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY.
Secretary of the American Bible Society.
N the month of May, 1841, emancipated from a
pastoral charge, Mr. Janes was at liberty to give his whole time to the secretaryship. He threw himself with abandon into the work. The cause was entirely congenial with his feelings. The thought of giving to all people the sacred Scriptures, that every man might hear, in the same tongue in which he first heard the whispers of a mother's love, the glad evangel of a Saviour's love, aroused his whole nature, set him all aglow with holy zeal, and he rushed from point to point over the land, setting all hearts on fire with enthusiasm for the circulation of the Bible.
June 23, 1841. Left New York to visit the New Hampshire Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The Conference entertained the Bible question, manifested a strong interest in it, and resolved to preach on the subject and take a collection in all their churches. On Sunday, 26th, preached on the Bible cause in the Congregational Church.
June 27. Went from Dover, the seat of the New Hampshire Conference, to Worcester, Mass., the seat of the New England Conference. This Conference also cordially entertained the
subject of my mission, and passed resolutions not only approving the objects and operations of the American Bible Society, but also pledging themselves to preach on the subject and take up collections for our treasury.
July 12. Left New York to attend the annual meeting of the Delaware County Bible Society at Delhi. The meeting was held on the 14th, and was well attended by delegates from the different towns in the county. It was a spirited meeting. The Society resolved to ascertain the destitution, and to supply the people in their bounds; also to use all proper means to introduce the Bible into their common schools. The next day I went to Cooperstown, in Otsego County; saw the officers of that county, and urged them to enlist in an effort to supply the destitute in the county. They assured me it should be done so far as practicable.
The next day I went to Utica. On Sabbath, the 18th, preached in the morning in the Congregational Church, in the afternoon in the Dutch Reformed Church, and in the evening had a general meeting of all the congregations in the First Presbyterian Church. The County Society has an agent who will go through the city and make applications for donations. They preferred this way of doing business. If they do not do their duty now, the sin and guilt are their own. Tuesday went to Rome, where the Black River Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church was in session. This Conference also entertained the Bible question very cordially. They also passed a resolution pledging themselves to take up collections for the Society. On Sunday evening. I preached in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and obtained a collection of $170. I believe this to have been a useful tour.
While on this tour, or possibly one somewhat later, an incident occurred given by an eye witness which illustrates his marvelous power of appeal. It was a matter of record in the religious papers at the time: “When Secretary of the American