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Roll Call

To the Roll Call of the Berwick Baptist Church,
Feb. 24th 1897.


I am pleased to be here and respond to my name,
Expressly to meet you my journey I came,
To muse on the present and talk of the past,
And break in my feasting the years of my fast;
Warm greetings I give you, and yours I invoke,
While praying this meeting great good may provoke.

I cannot express my thoughts of the past,
Surrounded by scenes where my childhood was cast;
The home near the hill and the ground where I played,
And orchards and garden in beauty arrayed;
No spot on the earth to my heart is so dear,
As this which in honor I love and revere.

I stand most along on the mountain of years;
I’ve climbed it in faith through the shadow of tears;
The view from the summit is varied and wide,
Where memories of childhood live and abide;
One prospect I see in this wonderful view,
Here present and past, I will picture for you.

I see in procession the priests of the Lord,
Who’ve preached in this temple his wonderful word,
I see them in passing as herald of truth,
In the wisdom of age and the ardor of youth;
Preserved of the Lord in His cherishing grace,
But one, in his journey has finished his race.


The first and the greatest in labor and age,
Was CHIPMAN the pastor, the preacher and sage;
With coals from the altar his spirit was fired,
Siloah he drank and his heart was inspired,
In wisdom he sounded the trumpet of God,
And people were wakened at home and abroad.

The schools of this Valley of which you are proud,
Are fruits of the planting his wisdom endowed;
He fixed to his preaching two wonderful links
Refinement in manners and temperance in drinks;
A warrior in battle, and steward of grace,
He finished his course and gave SAUNDERS his place.


In ardor of love and the vigor of youth,
He wielded with power the spirit of truth;
Profound in his teaching and prudent withal,
He suited his words to the great and the small;
And now in his age with much prudence he wears,
The weight of two D’s which in honor he bears.


Not bruised nor broken, a fruit-bearing READ
Comes next in the march of pastors decreed;
When absent for years, he returned here again,
Salvation proclaimed o’er the mountain and glen;
The voice of his preaching to many was sweet
As learners delighted they sat at his feet.


Then WALLACE the veteran, now aged and grand,
With gospel and love in the shake of his hand;
Alike in the village and districts remote,
He made for the Master grand records of note;
No matter how dark the gloom of the night,
The star of his hope is seen beaming and bright.


The next is the scribe of the M. and the V.
Quite worthy the honor of the great double D;
Refined in his manners and chaste in his style,
Was honest and true, a stranger to guile;
Respected by age and revered by the youth,
His method of preaching gave power to truth.


The next in procession is BLAKENEY the great
Who marshals his hosts like a warrior of state;
Is sound in the faith and armed like a knight,
To vanquish a foe is his pride and delight;
In fighting the battles wherever he goes,
Is loved by his friends and excused by his foes.


From college young DALEY comes next on the roll,
To preach of the Christ and the worth of the soul;
His tongue is a chariot laden with words,
And swift as an eagle, that fleetest of birds;
Not long was his mission, but pleasant and sweet;
He sifted the tares and safe garnered the wheat.


The last and the bravest now bearing the ark,
With voice of the thunder, and wing of the lark;
Abundant in labor, he sings as he soars,
And marshals for service the people by scores;
His record is noble, and long may he stay,
The hosts of the ransomed to lead on the way.