152 History of Wake Forest College
But although he had profited by his sojourn in the mountains, and
returned to the work with great pleasure he was already contemplating
the end of his worldly labors, as the following paragraph from his
letter in the Biblical Recorder of August 29, 1877, shows:
"It is not long now till the opening of our session―first of
September―when we hope to greet the students, new and old; and
braced up for a good year's work, we shall enter with more than
ordinary pleasure upon our thrice blessed tasks-teaching the young
and preaching Christ. Some think that we get our happiness, most of
it, in our youth. Surely this is not so. Labors for Christ, and the
companionship of saints, grow better and richer as we advance.
Heaven too brightens as we come nearer heaven; and when we are
drawn betwixt two, the service
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town is already thronged." From letter of August 29: "I did not stay long at the
Springs but returned to Asheville, the city of the hills, for they call it a city. There
are innumerable lots for sale at fabulous prices. The railroad is coming, and of
course Asheville is to be the mountain city. North and South, East and West, are to
meet here for health. Those who wish to be cosmopolites, and see without traveling
the people from all the world, must buy a lot and move to Asheville. I have been
surprised to meet so many familiar faces. They are already here from New York,
New England, Missouri, Colorado, California, Arkansas, Texas―consumptives,
dyspeptics, neuralgic and rheumatic patients, nervous and feeble folk-and the
railroad has not yet crossed the mountains. What will the citizens here, the old and
the new, do when it shall? Will the good land hold them when the gates of the city
of health shall be thrown wide open, and the iron horse comes snorting up to the
very doors of the Sanitarium?" From the letter of August 1: "Brother Connelly lives
near Asheville on that notable hill known as McDowell's. What a charming view
opens from the porch! Some think the finest in America; others one of the finest in
the world. It is near the junction of two rivers, so famed for their beauty, the
Swannanoa and the French Broad; and these can be traced for miles in three
directions. And then great mountain ranges rise up and recede back and back in the
dim distances on all sides. There is nothing to do as you stand on the porch in the
evening and view the river, over which the sun is setting, lit up with gold and
sparkling with diamonds, but to look and be thrilled." From the letter of August 29:
"It was nightfall when we reached the Springs. The full moon rose over the
mountains as we crossed the river. And then on the other side, in the grove with the
large hotel building blazing with lights, I was suddenly in the midst of fairy land.
The charming place never appeared so beautiful as it did that first night when weary
and jaded I beheld it in the soft moonlight. The dancers are passing to the ballroom;
couples are sitting on the rustics or walking on the porches; music floats in the air;
the journey is ended. I shall never forget it."
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