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Rev. Cleon Keyes : an appreciation / by A.N. White. White, Alexander Newton, 1844- 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-64-27080984 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Rev. Cleon Keyes : an appreciation / by A.N. White. White, Alexander Newton, 1844- Published under the auspices of the Kentucky Baptist Historical Society, [Louisville, Ky.] :  97 p.,  leaf of plates : port. ; 20 cm. Coleman Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1992. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN02788.03 KUK) Printing Master B92-64. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. Keyes, Cleon, 1822-1911. REV. CLEON KEYES REV. CLEON KEYES o AN APPRECIATION 4 B. y A, N. White.'. Published Under the Auspices of the Kentucky Baptist Bistorical Society. This page in the original text is blank. Rev. Cleon Keyes AN APPRECIATION By A. N. WHITE DEDICATED TO THE OLD BAPTIST PREACHERS OF KENTUCKY. WHO HAVE COURAGEOUSLY FACED THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THEIR VOCATION, BORNE THE BURDEN AND HEAT OF THE DAY OF LIFE, KEPT THE FAITH, FINISHED THEIR COURSE. AND ARE NOW WAITING FOR THE CALL OF THE MASTER TO COME UP HIGHER. This page in the original text is blank. LNTRODUCTION. In the closing years of his life, Paul, the aggressive apostle and devoted missionary to the Gentiles, in a letter to 'his young friend, the pastor of the church at Ephesus, reviews his own career. And part of the letter reads tPus: " I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my courses I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge shall give me on that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also who love his appearing." What a magnificent record! What a glorious pros- pect! What an inspiring ideal to set before the young Timothy! And there have been men since Paul's day who have lived noble lives and wrought with steady, earnest purpose to honor God and help men to saner thinking and nobler living. Personal contact with a man of this mould of character, a man who maintained high ideals and fought the battles of life and ran its race according to the rules laid down by the master um- pire, would make it easier for a man to give himself to the right and cheerfully meet the obligatioms which the providenee of God had imposed on him. And there are not a few, laymen and pastors, some gone to their reward, some still living, who can testify to the uplifting influence of the pastor who for a third of a century preached the gospel in Lewisburg Baptist church and exemplified its truths in the commnunity by a godly walk nd upright conversation. This page in the original text is blank. I. ANCESTRY. The suibject of this sketch, Cleon Keyes, comes of a good old English family that emigrated to America in the year 1653 and settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Wherever the descendants of these early New England settlers have found themselves they have borne an honorable part in the civic, educational and redl igious institutions of the country. Gershom Keyes, his direct ancestor and from whom the South- ern branch of the Keyes family is descended, left New En-gland some time in the second quarter of the eighteenth century and settled at Harper's Ferry, in what is now known as Jefferson county, West Vir- ginia, on the Potomac river, which forms the bound- ary line of the State with M1aryland, and at the mouth of the Shenandoah, where the united streams force their way through the Blue Ridge 'Mountains. The scenery around harper's Ferry is celebrated for its beauty and grandeur. So close an observer as Thomas Jefferson pronounced the passage of the Potomac through the Blue Ridge one of the most stupendous scenes in nature and well worth a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to look upon it, In the midst of this grand and beautiful handiwvork of nature the South- 7 8 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. ern branch of thie Keyes FAmi'ly was cradled. There is still extant a letter written by George Washington, in the year 1762, to Gershom Keyes concerning the survey of the tract of land on which the town of Harper's Ferry is located, and though one hundred and seventy years have pased since then the Ferry is still in the possession of the Keyes family. II. TEIE PIONEER SCHOOL. In the early years of the last century Frank Keyes and his wife, Elizabethi Langfitte Keyes, settled on the east bank of the little Kanawha river, about five m'iles from the town of Elizabeth, in what is now Wirt county, West Virginia. To them were born eight children. Cleon, the subject of this sketch, was born October 23, 1822. His childhood and early surround- iings differed in no way from that of the children of other pioneer sett'iers. And it does not tax our credul- ity to believe that he was brought up in the school of hardship, self-denial and self-reliance. Althougn his father was never identified with any church and never made a public profession of faith in Christ, yet the home in which Oleon first saw the light was ruled by Ohristian influences. His mother was a God-fear- ing, exemplary Ohirstiian, and she diligently taught her ohilidren the love of all that is good and noble and the hatred of all that is wrong and degrading. The exemplary life and teachings of the mother were not lost orn the son and the memory of them was fresh in his muind till the last, and he fondly dwelt on them while many events that occurred later in life had faded from his memory. 9 10 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATON. The opportniities for acquiring an education in those early pioneer days were very limited, and in most homes books were few, and for the greater num- ber of children the schoolhouse was remotely located and offered meagre acoomamodations in the way of physical coinfort to the children that 'had the good fortune to be able to attend. And not infrequently the man who wielded the birch was not a pastmaster in the art of teaching the young idea how to shoot. With all these handieaips, however, the pioneer boy was bent or. going to school, and being possered of an eager desire to acquire an education, in company with an older brother and two sisters he walked the miles that stretched between his father's home and the schoolhouse, and in doing so he often 'had to wade the creek or th river. Being ourselves in the poses- sion and use of illurinaiting ois and gases that fur- nish every farmhouse and village with light almost equal to the light of day, we can appreciate the eager- nes of the boy to Require an education when'he tells us that after the long walk from school in the after- noon he would gather brush and pine-knots to make a light by which to study his lemons and read the few books to be found in the home and in the neighbor- hood. III. EARLY RELIGIOUS IMPRESSIONS. In early life, when nothing more than a lad, he united with the Methodist Episcopal churmh on pro- bation, as it was and is still the custom of that church to receive members. However, when he began to study the New Testament as to what constitutes Scriptural baptism and church membership he changed his views on these subjects and was not long in deciding that his convictions compelled him to adopt the teaclings held and proclaimed by the Bap- tists. Accordingly, he applied for membership in the Baptist church located in the neighborhood, and made profesion of' faith in Christ and was immersed the first Sunday in June, A. I). 1840. The ordinance of baptism was administered by Elder Enoch Rector, at Reedy Riffle, in Little Kanawha river, and he became a member of Bethesda Baptist church. And if ever he entertained any doubts as to the wisdom of the step that he took at that time and the correctness of his denominational affiliations no one ever heard him give voice to them. Soon after he was reecived into the fellowship of the church Godi laid his hand on the young man and marked him for his own, and so strong was the con- 11 12 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. viction that he was called of God to prod1aim the glad tidigs of great joy he could say with Paul, "Woe is unto me if 1 preach not the gospel." He was bound to give himself to this work and when the "I must" in response to the Divine leading was changed into the "I will" then followed, as in every case of duty recognized and accepted, a glorious freedom of action. We come upon this imperative word "must" again and again in the ministry of our Lord. It was the law of the spirit of his life. And does not this same law still operate in the he'art of every one born of the Holy Spirit and called of God to preach the gos- pel It has the same aill-dominating sense of obliga- tion which caused Paul to say that a necessity was laid upon him to preach the gospel. And in that sweetblbndage is found the soul's freedom. But in the ease of our young man there were many difficulties in the way, and to many persons they would have Deemed insurmountable. And they looked formidable enough to him. First of all there was the impediment in his speech which often made it diffi- cult for him to coin his words properly and quite as difficult for others to understand him4. And more serious stiA when a mere boy he had become ad- dicted to the habit of profane swearing and it was his wont to preface almost every word with a terrible oath. After Ohs coversion and reception into the churoh this deplorable habit was not easily thrown off, and its inexorable grip on him caused him great sorrow and hunmiliation, and there was ever present REV. CIEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. the apprehension that he would stultify the profes- sion he had made and bring reproach on the church of which he was a memiber. Added to these was an- other serious handicap, viz.: the want of any thing like a proper education, and there was no encouraging prospects by which the difficulties in the way could be overcome. He was, however, so firmly persuaded that God had called him to preach the gospel, he re- quested the church to grant him-in the quaint phrase current at that time- "the privilege of exercising his gifts." The sanction of the church was obtained and on the fourth Sunday in February, 1841, when he was little more tham eighteen years old, he preacheded his first sermon and he lived to witness the seventieth annivemary of his beginning to preach the gospel. His text on this eventful occasion was: "Behold I bring yoiu good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people." It was an embarrasing occasion for the tyro in the roll of a preacher. The house was full to overflowing. The whole comrmwnity turned out to hear their neigh- bor boy. There were present his own family, his neighbors and friends. The girls and boys with whom he had romped on the playground and who had been parties to his piccadillos, were looking up into his eyes. And not least there was present his mother be- loved, all atremble with joy and apprehension, joy that -her boy would become a herald of the cross and apprehension lest he should not acquit himself credit- ably. There is no record as to how well he succeeded 13 14 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. in his maiden effort to preach the gasped but it is in evideum that in lesa than a mouth from that day he was licensed of the church to preach. I'V. HIS FMST REVIVAL. During the spring and summer of 1841 he preached ocasionsiay in hi8 immediate neighborhood and the surrounding commuanities. In the autumn of the same year he went to Rector College in Pruntytown. Taylo7r coRuty, to prosecute his studies under the direction of Rev. Charles Wheeler, a graduate of Brown University and a classmate of Adoniram Jud- son, and at that time the principal educator in that part of the State. Pruntytown was something over a hundred miles from his home, and yet when the time came for him to bid the homefolks good-bye he started out afot and walked almost the entire dis- tance, carrying all his possessions in his hands. For some reason or other, unknown to the writer, he re- mained in college onary a few months, and henceforth his studies and reading were prosecuted alone in con- nection with the preaching of the gospel and caring for the chaurches to the charge of which the providence of God called him. While still in college, however, he was snmt by Rev. James Gawthorp to the West Fork cibureli in Marion county to supply for him one Sunday, Mr. (awthorp being sick and unable to go. The reult of this visit was perhaps a suiprise to the 15 16 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. young preacher, to the pastor who sent him, and -to the church to which he was sent. However that may be, the ehurch w58 so impressed by the preaching of this young man, who was still less than twenty years old, that they invited him to remain and preach for them a series of sermons. And thus enicoraged by the open door before him and stimulatd by the ap- proval of his bretbireni, without any expectation on his part and without any preparation when he went to the community. he found himself in the midst of his first revival. He caught the ear of the commun- ity and riveted their attention from the first, and God honored his word and many souls were converted and never did a young mother rejoice more over the com- ing of her first-born than did this young preacher re- joice over the first fruits of his ministry. During this series of sermons he preached from this text: "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall seb God," and the immedLiate, visible fruits of this ser- mon were the conversion of twenty-three souls who made public profcion of faith in Christ. There were twenty-nine conversions during the meeting and of this numiber twenty-eight joined the Baptist ohurclh, one going to another denomination. Soon after the close of this meeting our young licentiate was invited by the church to preach for them once a month, the regular pastor, Rev. James Gawthorp, preaching twice a month. T'his arrange- ment proved satisfactory, the old pastor and the young Timothy working together harmoniously for a REV. CLFON KEYES--AN APPRECIATION. 17 few months, when, to enarge his Sphere of usefulness the churcih called for the ordination of the younger man. Accordingly he was ordained in the spring of 1842, and commissioned by the West Fork church and sent forth to preach the gospel and administer the ordinances in accordan-ee with the views as held and proclaimed by the Baptist, denomination'. Rev. Charles Wheeler, his preceptor, was Moderator of the council. Revs. James Gawthorp and Thomas Swigert were also menrnbers of the council. This page in the original text is blank. V. FIRST PASTORATE. Mr. Keyes at the time of his ordimtion had not coImpldeted his tewentieth year. Within a few months firom the day of his ordination he became pastor of Miracle Run Baptist church in Moonlia county. In after yeaxs, when speaking oLf his early mimstry, he was wont, humorously to say that, to moke sure there should rest no shadow of doubt on his qualifi- catons as a bishop, he proceeded to complete them by taking unto himself a wife, sand thus before he was a full-fledged citizen of the Comimonwealth, viz.: on February 23, 1843, he was married to Joanna Hol- land, daughter of Rezin and Joana Hollard. Mrs. Keyes, who was a true helpmeet and devoted mother, after several years of patient suffering, survived till the year 1873, when her sufferings were ended by the summons from the angel of death and she went bV dwell on high in the city which hath foumdatiom and whose builder and maiker is G'( Though smal of stature and having no look of the athlete about him, yet our young preacher was maiking rapid strides. Converted and baptized before he was eighteen years old, licensed to preach ad havinlg end- ed his collegiate course, he was ordained and mwried 19 20 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. before he had attained his majority. He was cer- tainly making some progre. But I am sure no one who knew him well would gather from these fact, however highly our hero honored the wedded life, and however great the demand for preacihers, that a youmg man would be justified in rushing into either matrimony or the ministry without thoughtful con- sideration of his course and the fullest preparation for both steps. We all know what an ardent advo- cate of education 'he was for both the sons and daugh- ters of our people, and our Baptist schools and col- leges had no warmer supporter than he. I have a vivid remembrance of one of his speeches on the sub- ject of theological education. It was delivered before the Bracken Association in the early seventies, while Dr. Boyce was in Kentucky canvassing the churches to raise the endowment to justify the removal of the Seminary from Greenville to Louisville. The advan- tages of 'having, the Semainary in Kentucky were set forth by himself and others, and after he had ap- pealed to the churches to come forward and endow our school of the prophets he closed with this hlamely and forcible illustration. If a man had to fell a for- est he would economize time and labor by looking well to the temper and edge of the axe he was to use, and so long as either could be greatly improved it would be wise to defer the beginning of the work. And if he could speak to the young men who are to- day contemplating the ministry, or any other voca- tion, he won-ld say reemnmber the childhood and the REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. 21 waiting time of tile Son of Mary in the Galileam hills. Don't think all the opportunities of preaching the gospel and winning success are rushing by so fast that you must throw yourself into the thick of the fight before you afre equipped for the fray. This page in the original text is blank. r tL BECOM.NES A MISSIONARY. In the same year of his marriage, he was appointed misaionary in Preston eounty by the General Associa- tion of Virginia. In 1844 he was called for half-time service to the care of the Middleville church, in Tay- lor county, and in the autumn of 1849 he located in Pruntytown, the county-seat. Early in the year 1850 he became pastor of the Baptist church in that town, and in July of the same year he became pastor of the chureh at Olarksburg, giving to each of them two Sundays in each month. Soimetime in the aiutmn of 1850, Mr. Keyes con- dueted a seris of meetings with the Baptist church in Parkersburg, West Virginia, whiich stirred the whole community and resulted in the conversion of eighty souls. One of those converted on that occa- sion was a young man, just past eighteen years old, who ever afterwards retained a vivid remembrance of the meeting and the preacher who conducted it. The late Charles Rhoads. of Ohio, is the man to whom I refer, and who for thirty-five years rendered faith- ful and eminently efficient service in the Sunday School cause in the Buckeye State. 23 24 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. From the " The Memorial of Mm. Rhoads, " by Prof. Ira M. Price, I quote the following: "Wohen the biography of Ohio Baptists is written and their Bible School history is completed lihe name of Charles Rhoads willi be deservedly honored. No one more fully appreciated the work he did than the writer, and at this moment it is a matter for regret that more exact notes of his work in Ohio are not at hand. . . . A leds energetic man would have failed, a more conservative man would have made little im- pression. The work demanded ww that of a reform- er and organizer. Coming into Ohio largely through the influence of Judge T. W. Ewart, who was one of the most efficient churoh and Sunday School workers Ohio has produced, Brother Rheoads conducted the Sunday School Institutes, as they were called, throughout the State, and at the same time acted as the most effective promoter of the work of the Publi- cation Society that we have so far had. To Brother Rlhoads the Sunday School was no mere Sunday kin- dergarten, but the Bible atudying serviee of the 6hurch.... His plea was that the w1hol must be made in the largest sense a school into wlhi the membership of the church and as many oteihs as pos- sible should be gathered and a systematic course of Bible study pursued. In his later years he came to regard a regular course of study, graded to the differ- ent ages and acquirements as needful in, sustaining anythfing liike a successful result." At the age cf eventy, Mr. Rhoads was still engaged REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. in Sunday School work. But in the spring of 1903 he began to note signs of failing strength, and he gave up his customary active life and returned to his home in Granville, Ohio. He died in a hospital in Colum- bus, October 20, 1906, where he submitted to a sur- gical operation, after which he survived only two slays. Concerning this crisis he wrote to hns son-in- law, Prof. Ira M. Priee, under date of September 25, 1906, to this effect: "I have been looking forward to this for over three years. I am not confident of a favorable result, but am hopeful. I shall live iTf I can. If my time has come to die, I know whom I have be- lieved, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have eontmitbed unto Him against that day. I shall grieve only for my wife's sorrow." Since writing the foregoing paragraph I have re- ceived a copy of a letter, written by Brother Keyes, concerning the meeting at Parkersburg. It is insert- ed without abridgement, because of its pertinence in this connection and beeause it was the last letter written by the aged pastor, and is dated three and a half years before his death occurred: "Kentucky, Oct., 1907. "Hon D. D. Johnson, Esq., Parkersburg, W. Va.: "Dear Bro.:-Your kind favor of the 20th ult., was reived several d(ays since, requesting me to give you such atcount as I can of the Parkersburg church. When I knew it, but especially the meeting held with. 25 26 . REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. them in Ocitober and November, 1850. I shall confine my communication to the meeting. "I very reluctantly engaged in that meeting. The reason of my reluctance was that in the fall of 1848. with Bro. Rector as pastor. at his request, I spetnt a week there, preaching twice a day, but utterly failed to arouse the church, or the unconverted. The meert- ing, it seemed, was a complete failure, and at its close I resolved never to attempt another protracted meet- ing in Parkersburg. "In 1850 the Parkexsburg Amiciation met in Sis- tersville. I attended, and the messengers from Par- kersburg, with Elder Hoff, who was supplying the churchw urged me to go to Parkersburg in the fall and hold a meeting with the churchl I frankly told them I could not do it. 1 was very busy with my own churches, could hardly spaare tihe time, but most of all because orf my promise not to hold a meeting there. They insisted and urged and finally it was agreed to leave the matter with Elder John D. Riley, who, after hearing my statement about the former effort and my solemn promise, decided against me; said the promise was a bad one, baeer to be broken than kept. So there was nothing left me but to yield. I then told them that the Lord willing, on Friday niight be- fore the third Sunday in October, I would begn a meeting, but could only promAse two weeks, no more. "But I did not reach them until Sunday, and preached the first sermon that night. The brethren had started a prayer meeting Wednesday night be- REV. CLEON KWIOS-AN APPRECIAT1ON. fore. I devoted the first week preachimg to the exhurl saying nothing to the unconverted. But there was ev1idently a deep interest among the unsaved, as was manifest by the numbers who presented them- selves at every invitation for prayer. "Wednesday, the 15th day from the starting of the prayer mecLing, was a day of fasting and prayer. It was well attended, and deep interest manifested. Early in the afternoon, I heard some one singing in the gallery. I looked up and saw 'Aunt Jinny,' an old oolored woman, member of the Church weaving backwarrd and forward, singing in a'high treble key, 'If you git dar before I do, look out for me, I 'se com- ing, too.' I sasid to myself, thank the Lord, it has come at last. Up to that time there had not been a single conversion. That day there were five, all young people who joyfully professed faith in Christ. Erm that time the mueting moved on gloriously. There- were conversioms at every service as well as at their homes. It was useless to think of leaving then, so the meetings were contined till the third Sunday night in Novemrber. It hal resulted in a precious harvest. There were forty added to the Baptist church, thirty-six by baptism and four by letter. How manry converts in all f do not remember. Some united with the Methodista, some with the Presbyte- rians, some with thc country churches. Take it all in all, it was perhaps the most remarkable, and in its influences, far reaching revival I was ever en-gged 27 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. in. It was a meeting of much prayer and face to face work with the unsaved and backsliders. "Elder Horl was the leader. He entered heart and soul into the -,Nork and worked wisely, Deacon Dud- ley and wife came into the church by letter and be- came a tower of strength and influence. D. T. C. Farrow and his brother, Joseph, were roused as never before and did eftisetive work. Add to these Deacons Hopkins and Simpson, Coffer and Tims, and others, all Godly, earnest men and women, fired with love to God and for souls. and it is easy to see how the meet- ing was a success. Deacon Farrow is, so far as I can recall, the only worker with me in that ifleeting now living. They are all gone, entered the mansions above singing the praises of God and the Lamb in that home 'where Congregations ne'efr break up and Sab- baths never eid..' " My daughter has just reminded me that I have failed to make mention of Brother Charles Rhoads, one of the converts, who made a very useful Chris- tian. "Yours in Chrit,, C. KEYES." "P. S.-Dear Bro. Johnson: Please excuse pencil. I can't handle a pen well and my Children have re- fused to wopy, saying it is plainly written and may ,be more appreciated if in my own handwriting. This may be so, so I yield. I shall be eighty-five the 23rd 28 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. 29 of thuis month, totally deaf and nearly blind. This is thfe only letier I have tried to write in years. " Good-bye, K." The pastorates at Pruntytown and Clarksburg be- gan within a few months of each other and ended at the same time, 1857, when Mr. Keyes removed to Kentucky. The data for any thing like a satisfactory history of the work aft the former of these churches could not be obtained, but reliable general informa- tion shows that the work of Mr. Keyes was very suc- cessful. During one meeting in which the preaching was done by the pastor sixty souls were converted and received into the church on profession of faith itn Christ and by baptimn. This page in the original text is blank. VII. CLARKSB URG. The Baptist church at Clarkgburg was organized A. P., 1848. Sixteen constituent members went into the organization. T1heir first pastor was Rev. James Woods, who preached for the church once a month. During the first year following the organization there was very little change in the condition of the little church, and thle outlook for it was not very hopeful. In February, Mr. Keyes, then just a little past twen- ty-seven years old, was incvited to come to Clarksburg and hold a series of meetings in the Baptist church. The records do not show that hle was requested to dis- cuss the doctrines that distinguish Baptists from oth- er denominations. The meetings continued for sev- eral days and nights and the preaching at the Bap- tist church arrested the attention of the whole com- munity. The people came and heard the word and the Holy Spirit was present to make it effective, and as a result of these meetings nineteen souls were con- verted and received nto the church. During these meetings Mr. Keyes never shrank from preaching a full gospel, though the church for which he was preaching was few in numbers and had little soeial prestige, and less financial standing. The 31 32 REV. CLEON EYES-AN APPRECIATION. majority of tbose who attended the meetings were Pedo-baptists and had scant sympathy with the doc- trines that distinguished Whe Baptists from other de- nominations. But the preacher emphasized the doc- trines of salvation by grace, a converted membership in the constitution ot a church, believers' baptism, and he boldly proclaimed that the immersion of a believing penitent and that alone met the require- inents of the New Testament as to the ordinance of baptism. His forceful presentation of the New Testa- ment doctr.nes on these subjects aroused opposition in the comnunity and to neutralize the doctrines proclaimed at the Baptist church the Pedo-baptists called to their assistance a distinguished professor of theology from Peymsylvania. He came and the preacher and his subject were heralded abroad far and wide. Of course. he preached on the subject of baptism. Mr. Keyes was present and at the close of the sermon he arxose and modestly asked permission to say a word. His request was granted and to the surprise of everybody present and to the consterna- tion of some of his friends he announced that at a certain time and place he would reply to the argu- ments in the sermroi to which they had just listened. Many of his friends considered his intellectual fur- nishings and logical acumen insufficient to cope with so formidable a champion of long established eclesi- astical practice. But Mit. Keyes' able and enthusi- astic statement and defense of the teachings and prac- tices of the Baptists completely disarmed the Pedo- REV. CIEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. baptist champion, silenced his guns and the contro- versy for the time being was at an end. Henceforth, Baptist teachiigs and practices were better under- stood and more respected in Clarksburg, and the little church from this time held an honorable place in the community and exercised a commanding in- fluence among the forces that lead to righteousness and the uplift of men. And today after the lapse of sixty years, Mr. Keyes is remembered in Clarksburg as a successful preacher and an able champion of Baptist principles. Although the organization had been effected some- thing like a year and a half the little flock still had no home and vere worshipping in the court house. Judge Duncan, one of the leading citizens of the commuauity, had given the church a lot on which to erect a house of worship, but it was not centrally located and Mr. Keyes persuaded them not to build on it, but to exchange it for another lot more con- venient for their purpose. This lot also belonged to Judge Duncan, who on request agreed to exchange with the chlreoh. In June, l18O, Mr. Woods, having resigned as pastor, at the request of the church, the General Association of Virginia appointed Mr. Keyes as their missionary at Cla.rksburg, and for the next seven years he preached for them two Sundays in each month. When he accepted the care of the church and be- ga.n his work in Clarksburg the temporal possess ons of the whole churoch did not exceed five hundred dol- 33 34 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. lars. A good lot on which to build a house of wor- ship 'had ben secured but there was hamging over it a debt of one 'hundred and forty dollars, and a con- tract had been let for building the church. Between three hundcred and fifty -and four hundred dollars had been promised for building purposes. These subscriptions were in small sums, ranging from twenty-five cents up to a few that amounted some to ter. and a very few to twenty-five dollars. The per- sons who had givne these promises were scattered over a large part of North West Virginia and West- ern ennsylvania. It is not surprising that many of these promises were never redeemed. In fact only about one-hadlf of the money promised was collected and turned over to the treasurer of the church. The foundation of the building was laid in the fall of 1830. and there it rested till the spring of 1851, when Mr. Keyes soughrt an interview with the contractor about the work, and the latter frankly expressed doubts about the ability of the church to pay for the ;iouse when completed. To the surprise of the church a.nd the community the pastor agreed to take the contract off the hands of the contractor, obligating himself to meet the payment of expenses already in- curred and guaranteeing payment of contracts for brick work, lumber, and plastering. This cwas the situation nine months after Mr. Keyes located in Clarksburg. The solid assets were almost a negligible quantity. But he went to work with not a dollar on hand and only a few small stbsoriptions, REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECATION. scattered over a large extent of territory. He em- ployed a foreman, had the present foumdation torn out, laid a broader one and changed the whole plan of the building so that stronger wagl and a more at- tractive house could be erected. The members of the church, then not more than forty in number, would gladly have relieved the embairrasment, but as nearly all of them were dependent on their daily labor for a living they had little to give. There was only one thing to do; go among the churches and ask for help. He started out and in canvassing the churches for money to build, he performed a mar- vellous amount of work and traveled on horseback over a large extent of country. In the prosecution of this work Mr. Keyes made two trips to Pittsburg, one to Cincinnati, one to Wheeling, one to Richmond, Frederieksburg, Warrenton, Culpepper C. It, and Berryville. Va. This may not strike one as a formid- able undertaking. But we must bear in mind that the facilities for travelling sixty years ago were not what they are today. If we wished to visit now every place mentioned we could accomplish the work within a few days and the outlay of money would not be great, and the inconvenience and hardship would be negligible quantities. But to accomplish this work at the time of which I write neceitated an absence from home extending over weeks and even months and the covering of stretches of country through primeval forests that ealled for the finest courage and the greatest endurance. 3_ 36 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. But the main dependence for the sunces of the building enterprise was on the churches located in wvhat was then called North West Virginia. From large numbere of persons small sums were gathered from time to time that in the aggregate amounted to a considerable sum. In all these financial struggles there were friends in Clarksburg who admired the splendid courage and heroic efforts of Mir. Keyes and his little flock, and they often came to the rescue and lent them small amounts to tide the work over difficulties. The house called for by the plans would be considered today modest enough for any village or rural congregation, but in that day it was regarded as an imposing structure and considered much bee yond the attainment of the little band of Baptists in Clarksburg. The combined posemions of the whole church did not amount to more than five hundred dollars and to build such a h1use required the strong- est faith and called for the most heroic effort. But the pastor and his little congregation never lost heart and so they pushed on with the work till the building was completed and in the month of July, 1853, it was formally dedicated to the worship of God. Rev. John Winters, of Wheeling, preached the dedication sermon. Ever since the church was organized they had been worshipping in the court house, but now they had a home of their own. The 'house and fur- nishings cost the modest sum of 2,500, and even this was beyond the original estimate. No sooner was the church domiciled in their own REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. 2iouse of worship than they began another important movement, and on Sunday, August 7th, a Sunday School was organized, and so wisely and efficiently had the pastor managed his little congregation that mudh of the prejudice against Baptist prinoiples had been allayed and very soon almost every family in the town was represented in the Baptist Sunday School. In the autumn of 1853 Mr. Keyes had the assist- anee of Rev. Wm. Wood, of Pennsylvania, in a series of special meetings. Mr. Wood was a man of great spiritual power and had decided evangelistic gifts. It was a precious meeting anid its quickening influ- ence was felt throughout the whole community. The chnmrch was greatly edified and received into its mem- bersh.ip about fifty souls, on profession of faith in Christ and by baptism. The cause was greatly strengthened, influentially, numerically and finan- cially, several men of social prestige and polesed of means being among the new members. Their influ- ence and financiall assistance were greatly needed by the Little church and they were not a disappointment to their pastor and brethren. I close the history of 'Mr. Keyes' work in Clarks- burg with a statement from Mr. Homer D. Boughner, who has furnished all the data for the narrative of the work in that town. He says: "If a church house was ever erected as the result of faith and prayer that old churoh was. It still stands as a monument to the wise leadership of Rev. Cleon Keyes, although not now used by the congregation. Pastor Keyes re- 3 38 REV. CLEON KEYES--AN APPRECIATION. mained in Clarksburg till 1857, when he went to Kentucky. He laid deep, spiritl foundations whieh have enabled the church to withstand more than one very acute situation and come forth victor. The name of no man who ever lived in Clarksburg is more highly revered than that of Cleon Keyes. When the present handsome new house of worship was about to be built in 1895, Bro. Keyes was invited to visit Clarksburg and to help in soliiotinig funds. This he did successfully. And at his suggestion and through his advice the old site was abandoned and the most desirable corner lot in town was purchased. upon which the present beautiful and well-appointed house of worsdiip now stands. In a membership of over five hindnred there still remains one of the con- stituent mnembers of the church, Miss Martha A. Reager, one of the fast friends of Rev. Cleon Keyes during his pastorate. She frequently speaks of him and his work in those early days, and loves his memory. " VI[L. REMOVES TO KENTUCKY. AMI. Keyes continued to serve the churches in Prtintytown and Clarksburg till July, 1857, when lhe was called to the Lewis'burg church, in Mason county, Kentucky. And from that time on till the close of his active ministry his work and influence were given to churches in Bracken Association. During the thirty and more years of his active ministry among us he was more or less closely identified with every import- ant movement among Kentucky Baptists. Our mis- sionary enterprise and educational institutions ever had his ardent support. In the yc-i.r just mentioned his name first appears as pastor of and messenger from Lewisburg church, in connection with the names of Harlow Yancey, W. S. Calvert and Wim. L. Parker. Harlow Yancey and W. S. Calvert haave long since finished their labors. Winm. L. Parker abides with us still. He has passed the ninetieth milestone in the pilgrimage of life and is expecting soon to obey the summons of the Master to join the general assembly and chiureh of the first born whose names are written in heaven. John Holladay, John Brown., W. W. Gardner, James W. Bullock, George Hunt and John DeGarmo 39 40 REV. CLEON KEYES--AN APPRECIATION. were the pastors, in so far as the record shows that welcomed Mfr. Keyes to the Asociation, and not one of them lived to attend his funeral and speak a word of his life and work. When the writer of this sketch located at Carlisle in 1876, as pastor of the Baptist church there were eight or nine pastors, mostly young men, serving churches in the Association, some of whom have passed over the river, some have gone to other fields of labor, but not one of them is now residing in the Commonwealth. And only an occa- sional hand-grasp from his old friends and intimate o-loaborers in the ministry at that time cheered him when the shadows of the evening of life were gathering around his conch and when he could no longer hear their voices and could with difficulty recognize their faces. During the more than fifty yeas of his so- journing among us, Lewisburg cSun'h honored her- self by sending him as delegate to the annual meet- ing of the Association, and what is so rare as to be worthy of special note, is the fact that of the first fifty-two years in which he was commissioned to rep- resent the church in the deliberations of the Aasocia- tion, on only two occasions did he fail to answer to roll-call, and those were occasions when deafness and partial blindness had come upon him and he had otherwise become physically unable to be present. Ix. HARBINGERS OF WAR. Just one year before Mr. Keyes cast in his lot with the people of Kentucky the Republican party became a national political organization, and three years from the time of his coming a Republican President was elected, and on the 4th of Mawh, 1861, Abrahlam Lincoln was inaugurated President of the United States. Between the time of Mi, Lincoln's election and inauguration the country was greatly excited over the impending crisis. The political ferment was almost at the boiling point and only a little more agi- tation was necessary to bring about an explosion. That little agitation was forthcoming. On the 17th of Decernjber, 1860, a convention met in Charleston, and after three days of deliberation, passed a resolu- tion declaring that the ulnuion hitherto existing be- tween South Carolina and the other States was dis- solved. The sentiment of secession spread with great rapidity. By the 1st of February, 1861, all the States bordering on the gulif of Mexieo had passed ordin- ances of secession. On the 12th day of April, at half past four o'clock in the morning, the bombardment of Fort Sumter was begun. After thirty-four hours of terrific cannonading the fort was reduced to ruins, 41 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. set on fire and obliged to capitulate. Then the dogs of war were unleashed ard from city, town and coun- tryside there was a rush to aamns and the would was soon to witness the devastation of one of the fairest countries upon which the sun ever shown, and the people of the Southland, with all their pride of birth and noble traditions were to be reduced to poverty and humiliation. The pillars of government trembled to the very base and the plough-sbare of confusion ra.n through society from cent- to circumference. Families were disrupted, the ,and of brother was raised against brother, and, in Kentucky, those who for years had been neighbors and friends found them- selves on opposite sides of the line of cleavage. And not infrequently when the line of battle was formed brother would face brother in the sanguinary strug- gle; and it is a possibility that some soldier-boy that wore the blue was shot to the deaHih by his own broth- er who wore the gray. It is a very difficult thing for one to hold and maintain an absolutely neutral position on any ques- tion, however unimportant, but then the question at issue is of such gravity as to justify resort to the arbitrament of -war, then the neutral man will be found to be the negative man in all the essentials of manhood and therefore a negligible factor in adjust- ing the world's difficulties. The world has yet to see the cold neutrality of an absolutely impartial judge, nor has it often seen the much bepraised man who could hold fast, without wavering the golden 42 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. mean between two jarring opinions. When questions of moment agitate chfurch and State the man with good red blood in his heart cannot stand -aloof and be indifferent coneerning the issues involved And if he be a Chiristian andl a lover of his country he will feel that an imperative duty is laid on him to be in- formed so as to guide his actions. He will soon be found on one or the other side of the line of cleavage. He will simply scorn to play the roll of neutrality. Cleom Keyes did his own thinking on questions po- litical and ecclesiastical and he thought them out to a satisfactory end as a guide to his own conduct. And yet he had great respect for the ma.n of honest convictions, however much they differed from his own. It never once occurred to him that a man could not be every whit a man, honest and conscientious, and yet differ radically with himself. And what he cordially granted to others, he asked the same of them concerning himself. If he allowed others to follow Where their convictions led he, too, would follow his judgment in affairs political and ecclesiastical. The questions agitating the public mind at the time of whiih I am writing were questions about which pa- triots could honestly hold different views. And the reuldt was that when the line of cleavage was drawn, friends and neighbors whose children had married and intermarried for generations throughout the whole State found thernselves in opposing camps. And when the glove of battle was thrown down by one side it was promptly taken up by the other and 43 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. there was no hesitation in the North or in the South when the cdal to arms was made. The South gave her best as evidence of her good faith in the contention. Often in the same company were found a father and his beardle, boy side by side. And sometimes, too, an officer of high station would bestride his war- horse and under him in the ranks would be a son carrying a gun,. And for four years the internecine destruction of property and life went on till the re- sources of the South were exhausted, and the ranks of the Southern army were thinned out to a mere shadow of their former numbers. But the end came at last, as there comes an end to all things of human invention The Southern boys did not come back as they went away. They left amie to the music of braying horns and beating drumns and banners streaming in the wind. Their hearts were alated with hope and they never believed It possible for defeat to be written in their calendar. Fathers and mothers were proud of the sons they sent forth in defense of their country, many of whom would never come back again. Four years hence some of them werc to return home, some on crutches, some with armless sleeves, some with shot-riddled bodies and all with faces tanned with the suns of four sum- mers and the winds of four winters. They had left homes that were lhe abodes of plenty, peaee and hap- piness, and that were also the nurseries of faith, pa- trioitsm, education and refinement. They came back to find the land despoiled of its beauty and prosperity 44 REV. CLEON KEYES--AN APPRECIATION. and in many places the homes that had sheltered them had been reduced to ashes and here and there were seen isolated chimneys that were only sad re- minders of a vanished glory. I am aware that this picture does not exactly appertain to the conditions of things in Kentucky at the close of the war. The people in the Cotton States were a solidarity in suf- fering and poverty after the war just as they had been a solidarity in prosperity and happiness before the war. But while the doctrine of secession was not so prevalent in Kentucky as it was further South, yet the number and character of those who looked with approval on the action of the Cotton States were to be an important factor in determining the result in many a hard fought battle, and when their convictions led them to identify themselves with the Southern movement they took their stand accordingly, and in doing so they antagonized the convictions of their. neighbors and friends and thus it came about that families were disrupted and life-long friends were arrayed against eaich other and many of the members of our churches found them-selves in different politi- cal eamps. All were glad, however, whatever the complexion of their politics, when the fratercidal confliet had come to an end and the survivors of the battlefield could return to their homes. And yet there was a sadness, a gloom and despondency that settled down like a poll over the whole Southland. There was one thought that sustained them; they 45 46 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. had done their best and were not ashamed to look the world in the face. In the year A. D. 1525, one of the hotly contested battles of history was fought under the walls of the city of Pavia. The imperial legions of Spain were. direced by lMarshall Lanoy. The French army was commanded by their King, Francis I. The French arrms were beaten and their king and his arMy were forced to surrender. When the French king extend- ed his sword to Marshall Lanoy he looked him straight in the face and said: "Today we have lost all save honor." After one of the fiercest and most sanguinary con- flicts recorded in the annals of nations and extending over a space of four years, the wisest and bravest of the Southern leaders saw that the march of events -was against them, and that it was useless to prolong the hopeless contest. And when, on April 9th, 1865, Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House, and the half-starved and half-clad armies of the South disbanded and returned to their homes they could look the world in the face and say: "We have lost all save honor." And subsequent events have amply justified the proud boast, and today the children of the mein who followed Lee and Jackson in Virginia and of those who followed Johnston and Bragg in Tennessee and Georgia, have no more pre- cious heritage than the fact that their fathers wore the gray. X. DAYS OF RECONSTRUCTION'. When active hostilities closed and "grim visaged war smoothed his wrinkled front," a sigh of relief went up from every heart. But the country was far from being in the condition it was when the war cloud burst on the land in 1861. The courage and patriotism of men who are willing to stand up and be shot at to maintain their convictions have always challenged the admiration of the world. The literal ture of courage has always been popular and the his- tory of the brave ib written in letters of gold. But unfortunately, like the wheat in the parable of the sower, along with this splendid courage there grow up also the barest passions of the human heart and the crimes committed in the name of liberty and pa- triotism are legion, andl the noxious weeds of suspi- cion and distrust remain to curse thle community long after the smoke of battle has blown away. Such times denmand men worthy of trust in every com-mun- ity and charek Confidence and fraternal regard must be restored or there can be no society worth the having and no church or Commonwealth worthy of respect Happily for the churches in Breeken Association 47 48 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. they had among them a man whose character was a guarantee of all that was noble and uplifting, and who Fhad the confidenre, of hus brethren. They might differ wvith him on many important questions, both political ard ecelesiastical, yet could they trust him.' Though aided greatly by others in the stupendous work before him, Clon IKeyes was the leading spirit in restoring confidence and healing the breaches in the churches and counumity, that sprung up in the rwake of a four-years' sanguinary struggle. And well mighlt the braves-t. wiseet and most hopeful ask: "Who is sufricient for these things 'I" It wms like the task of reconstructing society anew and the work was not that of bui'ldinrg with stones fresh hewn from the quarry; but the work was the more difficult one of col- leeting and refitting together the fragments that had been so badly misshapen by the malign influences which prevailed during that turbulent period. For- tunately for Mr. Keyes and the churches in the Asso- ciation he was richly endowed with the saving grace of common sense, and posewsed of a heart made ten- der and sympathetic by divine love. "With malice toward none and charity for all," be stood ready to be used of God to strcngthen the things that re- mained. No man had a keener appreciation of what was lost by the upheavel of the four-years' war than Oleon Keyes, and no man had discerned more truly the value of what remained, and no one recognized more quiekly the importance of a speedy restoration of confidence and good will in the whole community. REV. CLEON KEYES--AN APPRECIATION. That the social, politica.l and ecclesiastical atmos- phere in Kentucky was surcharged with the spirit of alienation ainod distrust that prevailed in the whole country we eAn readily believe; and that the churches in Bracken Association were great.ly disturbed by the diverse politiola views among them admfits of no douibt; and the fact that so few of the malian influ- emnes of the war descended to curse the ehurches after the smoke of hIttle had blown away, was due largely to the personal influence of the Lewisburg pastor, aaided by a few wise brethren of the same mind and heart. The naemes of many brethren, whose influence and counsel aded thiis work of restoring confidence, might be inentioned. but the want of space forbids the insertien of only two, viz.: A. M. Peeed and lHar- low Yancey, the latter of whom was regarded by MNr. Keyes as one 4 tle safest advisers that a pastor ever had. After a careful reading of the mirnutes of the As- sociation, covering the whole period of the war, there is found not one reference to the fact there had been a civil war, nor any reference to the faet that the soil of Kentucky had felt the tread of armies and that further South the land had been laid waste, in- dustries paralyzed and that in almost every family the badge of rAournwing was wvorn for the ginfted sons of thle Sonthiand, who had(l gone forth a.t the call of their country and had not come home agahn During OLe greater part of that chaotic period Mr. Keyes was in ehdargc of the churches at Mays Lick 49 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. and Lewisbturg, giving to each half-time service, and the skillful managrement of these two organizations samed them from much trouble, and it also showed the manner of mtan who ministered to then. It is a well-known lapt that at the time when the war came on Mays Liek cLur-h had reached a critical period in her history, when an unwise step would have been fraught with untold evil. The church was then in charge of a inan who did not have the qualifications to meet the demands of the hour and who failed signally to hold the confidence of the brethren. The occasion demanded that a strong man should be in charge of the chiurch, one "who stood four-square to all the winds that blew," one whose character could be respected and whose judgment could be relied on. The need was great at the close of the year 1861, when James W. Bullock resigned and the church found thenvselves beneath an impending trouble. Of this period Dr. Cody, in his history of May Lick church, writes: "When Mr. Bullock resigned the church there was one man, and he a near neighbor, on whom all could tmnte and to secure his services two Sundays in the month were given up. Cleon Keyes' pastorate extended from February, 1862, to May, 1871. This was a great blessing to the churih. The danger that was immanent was averted and the church pased through the civil war without leaving on her record book a single word of evidence that there was such an event as the war of secession. "During the last years of Bro. Keys' pastorate the 50 REV. CLEON REYES-AN APPRECIATION. house in which the church now worsips was built, being the fourth. sinoc its organization. The church desired preaching every Sunday, and Bro. Keyes, feel- ing that he could not give up Lewisburg, which he had served during his pastorate at Mays Lick, offered his resignation, which was accepted. The official con- nection only was severed, and from that day to this the church has not ceased to admire and love him." The well balanced character of Mr. Keyes shines the more conspicuously when it is borne in mind that he had decided convictions and active sympathies. Mhe foundation material on which character is built is furnished by convictions and the strength and per- sistence of all human endeavors are measured and de- termined by those same convictions. Real convictions are not as easily found as many would suppose. They are based on important realities and the possessor of them strives to incarnate them in his own life. It is sometimes troublesome to have convictions, and more troublesome to stand by them. But our hero took the trouble to have convictions on all the import- ant questions of the day. And what is of paramount importance he had tbe courage to avow his convic- tions and the ability to maintain them on all proper occasions. Some of Mr. Keyes' most intimate friends and ar- dent admirers were men and women of New England birth and education, and held political views diamet- rically opposite to the views held by himself, and yet there was no breach of Christian fellowship between 51 52 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. thonL So it was with many of his neighbors, between whom and hilusf there were views sharply divergent on questions, both political and religious, but they could differ with one another and yet have confidence in each others integrity. A man with a character well established on the basis of the confidence of oth- ers in his integrity and probity will sooner or later be able to serve his fellowmen effectively and will be trusted even by those who think they have just cause to differ with him. It was the privilege of the writer, some thirty years since, to have an intimate acquaintance with a fine specimen of the "Old Kentucky gentleman." In his neighborhood he was highly esteemed and greatly re- spected and his counsel was often sought. In some way or other he and one of his neighbors become es- tranged from one another. It so happened on one oc- casion that this neighbor and one of the old gentle- man 's sons were competitors in the exhibition of some fine stock. Esq. Wm. Lindsay, the name of the old gentleman 10 whom I refer, was one of the judges in awarding the premium. The competitor against his son was asked if he was willing for Esq. Iindsay to act in the capacity of referee. His immediately re- ply was, "Yes, if my stock in his judgment deserves the premium it will be awarded me." This was an expression of confidence that might be earnestly cov- eted and highly prized by any man. In many cases throughout a long life as pastor and neighbor, and especially just after the war was Mr. REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. Keyes called to adjust difficulties between his neigh- bors and the brethren in his own church and other churches in the Association. And sometimes his good offices were sought in difficulties between men in churches of other denominations. Though he may not always have been successful in bringing about a recon- cilliation between the estranged parties, yet was the failure never attributed to a want of confidence in the integrity of purpose on the part of the mediator. There has ever been in the past and always will be a place for the peacemaker in every crmmunity and church and he has more of God's work to do than any other mara His offiee as such is the very office of the Prince of Peace. "As many as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. " And the choicest fruit of the Spirit is peace and peace-making, and no greater praise can be bestowed on any man than this: that he had so lived as to be worthy of the benediction pronounced in the seventh beatitude of the semon on the mount: "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the chil- dren of God. " 53 This page in the original text is blank. xI. PREACHER AND PASTOR. In the full vigor of his physical and intellectual manhood, Mr. Keyes stood among the first of his craft in, the State, and those who have heard him preach and know of the character of his work can testify to his worth.. He was a great reader, and his knowledge of the current events, in the political and ecclesiastical organizations of the country, was extensive and cors rewt; and he utili7ed it a. as grist in his mill. His poers of analysis and synthesis were of a high order and when the thoughts of others pased through his mind they came out with a new setting and became effective in his work of preparation for the pulpit. His extensive and thoughlful reading and close obser- vation made it easy for him to whip into shape the material at hand when once he sat down to the imme- diate work of preparation for the pulpit. He very seldom wrote at great length in the preparation for the pulpit, though his sermon setches were ample for his logical mind. They were written in a small, neat, legible hand, and in the divisions of his sermon firstly was always germain to the subject and secondly naturally followed firstly and the progress of the thought was cumulative and convincing. 55 56 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. I quote Dr. Cody again: "God has endowed him with a fine mind, which is quick and clear and logical and by work and persistent purpose he has without much assistance from the schools become a fair Eng- lish scholar and in the domain of theology and reli- gion his knowledge is accurate and profound. "He is a preacher 'that needeth not to he ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.' Ilis convictions are strong, his judgment is good, his opinion is honestly formed; fearlessly expressed and his purpose of life has been so manifestly to glorify God that he has gained a wide and deep influence and he is often sought in counsel. Nature formed him for a doctrinal preacher, but his heart, full of love, overflows and theology is transmuted into religion. He is a moot en- tertaining speaker and his addresses lit up by a vivid imagination and warmed by a most genial spirit, not only have the force of logic, but put every one into an excellent frame of mind and even his foes smile while feeling his keen lash. There are much greater orators and scholars. I have known some more bril- liant and profound, many have surpassed him in piush- ing themselves to the front, but if the fruit of the spirit, 'love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meakuess, temperance is the standard of measurement ere long Cleon Keyes will enter the kingdom above covered by that which is rich and ripe.' Whenever you find a man that is really well in- formed about eurrents events and has convictions REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. about the issues of the day, you will find others no less well informed and with no want of convictions. It seems inevitable that there should be different views held by different men on all important subjects- political, social and ecclesiastieal-agitating the pub- lic mind. However firmly one may be convinced of the correctness of the views held by himself, and however able -he may be to maintain them, he will find others holding opposite views just as firmly and equally ready and able to do battle for them. And whenever conflicting opinions meet in the arena of debates whether in the social circle, on the hustings, in legislative halls or in religious assemblies, there also will be revealed the character of the combatants. And at no time did the real character of Mr. Keyes stand out more prominently and shine more splendidly than when, in our Associations and conventions, he was contending for some measure he thought ought to be adopted. Others might differ sharply with him and bring.forth many reasons to sustain their position but he would meet them fairly and treat their argu- ments with due respect. By nature he was courteous and this natural courtesy was elevated and refined by divine grace and the Holy Spirit working in his heart and directing his conduct wrought in him what might be felicitously called a nobility of character stamped with an unfeigned love of his brethren on the one side and a deep lhuumility on the other, only found in the hearts of those who are powed of the mind of Christ. Again and again has the writer heard him 87 58 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. advocate measures in the Avoiation which he be- lieved would be best for the cause of Christ and just as strenuously oppose those which he thought would fail to promote our denominational work. He would to the best of his -ability expose the weakne of the arguments against his measure, but he was more con- cerned about having his own views fully understood than he was about defeating the measures of others, and to make plain his position he would bring forward many homel yand apposite illustrations. When, how- ever his position was clearly understood, and then if the brethren did not sustain him, he would gracefully submit to the will of the majority and fall in line to carry out the behest of the Amociation. XII. FIRST YEARS AT LEWISBURG, It is a well known fact that Mr. Keyes was induced largely to come to Lewisburg on the suggestion and through the influence of his friend and immediate predecessor, Charles Parker, on whose advice the church extended him a call to become their pastor. When Mr. Keyes located at Lewisburg in 1857 the church was very much disorganized and discouraged They had recently sustained the los of a popular pas- tor, a man very much beloved for his Mharacter and his work. The malign influences of former dissensions also remained to distmrb their tranquility, weaken their be and dishearten their efforts in Ohristian work. Between the years beginning July 18, 1853, and ending June 30. 1857, there was not a conversion in the congregation and- not a soul received into the church on profession of faith in Christ and by bap- tism. There Bemed to be an absence of any strong bond between the meibers amid as a result there was very little co-operation in active Christian work. During the first year of Air. Keyes' pastorate at Lewisburg the demoralized condition of the church weighed heavily on the mdnd and heart of the pastor, and at one time he was in great doubt whether or not 59 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. he had mnade a mistake in leaving Virginia and com- ing to Kentucky. In fact he went so far as to confer with some of his brethren as to the propriety of ten- dering his resignation and returning to his former charge, which was still open to him. However, he held on to his work and before the close of the year 1858, patience and diligence in cultivating an unprom- ising vineyard began to give promise of a rich vint- agge. To ahange the figure, the long night of darknem began to disappear and the clouds that had so long hidden the face of the sun of righteousness began to break away and the true light to appear. The Lord was about to eome and have mercy on Zion; for the time to favor her, yea, the set time, was come. For the, Lord's servants took pleasure in her stones and favored the dust thereof. During this first year's pastorate there had been faithful, pointed preaching of the Word and the Holy Spirit had prepared the hearts of the people. The Lord was ready to say to pastor and people: "Lift up your eyes and look on the fields for they are white already unto harvest." At the time of which I write S. L. Helm was pas- tor of the Madison Street Baptist church, in Coving- ton. He was then in the prime of his life and in the full vigor of a magnificent physical and intellectual mianhood. He was six feet tall and weighed nearly two hundred pounds. His presence was commanding and his voice strong, vibrant and winsome. His ora- tory had nothing about it to indicate that he had studied in sehools of expression. In fact he never 60 R1EV. CLEON KEYES--AN APPRECIATION. studied models of oratory, either sacred or secular. But he could get the ears of the people and hold them when he began to preach. He knew Christ and him crucified. He knew the plain teachings of the Bible on the subject of salvation. He knew men and their needs. He knew the story of the cross. He knew what God had done for himself and what he had prom- ised to do for every one who believed in him. He colld effectively tell the story of the cross and make his thoughts impigue on the hearts of his hearers. God had greatly honored him in the churches of whyh he had been pastor, and now he was invited by the church and pastor at Lewisburg to preach for them in a meeting ot days. This was the beginning of a friendship between Mr. Helm andA Mr. Keyes that without interruption continued for more than twenty- five years till the former was called from labor to reward in the year 1884. The preaching of Mtr. Helm at once riveted the attention of the community and held it without abate- ment for many days and nights. The Holy Spirit was present to make effective the preaching of the Word. Sin was made to appear very heinous ansd offensive to God and a veritable curse to man. Sin was swt forth as the most deadly evil in the world; not only are great crimes exceedingly sinful but all man- ner of sin is hateful in the sight of God and ruinous to the souL Men and women were made to tremble in the sight of a holy God and in dread of the judg- ment to come. Men and women against whom no 61 62 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. great crimes woaid be charged were made to tremble under conviction and led to ask the way of life. The remedy for sin was set forth, but it was a cody remedy. Nothing le.d than the blood of the cruci- fied Son off God could atone for sin and repair the damage that sin had done in the soul of 'man. The cross, which was to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness, and which yet seems to the world the culnination of weaknes, was set forth as the power of (od unto salvation to every one who believes. Many did bclieve and confessed Christ be- fore the world and were baptized and received into the church. The visible results of the meeting were an increase in the membership of the church of forty. seven souls. A large percentage of those added to the church was of mature life and heads of families. Husbands and wives on seversl occasions camoe forward together and were received into the church and some- times their children came with them, and were re- ceived into the church with their parents. This meet- ing made a profound impression on the comnmunity and an impulse was given to the cause of religion that was felt many years afterwards. One feature of the meeting is worthy of special note, For some cause or other it was deemed advisable to disoontinue. the meetings for a few days. And it was with fear and trembling that the services were resumed. But the fear was soon dissipated; the interest in religion had not abated and several more souls were converted andl added to the church. REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. The marked seasons of revival in the church under the pastoral care of Mr. Keyes 'after the one just mentioned were in the following years, viz.: 1864, 1868, 1875, 1877, 1682, 1883, 1888. The last named year the association convened at Ewing and the Lewis- burg church reported an increase in the meimbership of 67, an profession of faith in Chrrist and by bap- tism. The entire membership of the church at this time was 181- perhaps tlhe largest in its history. After this year the name of Mr. Keyes does not again appear in the minutes of the association as the pastor of the historic Iewisburg church, which he had faithfully and efficienrtly served for a generation. During his pastorate he had been serving an intelli- gent congregation that seconded his efforts in every good word and work, and that were liberal contribu- tors to our educational institutions and missionary enteiWises. 63 This page in the original text is blank. XI1I. THE SHEPHERD HEART. When the Southern Baptist Convention met in Louisville, in 1909, Dr. Len G. Broughton, of Atlanta, made a speech before that body, which attracted a good deal of attention at the time. Doubtless many of those who heard it can recall how, throughout the armory he thrilled 1i1s hearers. His subject was, "The Indispensable Needs in Evangelistic and Pastoral Work." Amoang these needs he laid great stress on what he called " the shepherd-heart. H His argument ran somewhat thus. No more deplorable misfortune can befall a child than to be born into a home where the mother love is wanting. It would not be difficult to forecast what the finished product of such a home would he. Therc may be house for shelter, richly furnished and well appointed, choice food to eat and fine raiment to wear without stint and yet there may be absent the essential conditions that makes a true home; the mother love may be wanting, a condition whieh no material possessions can compensate for; because without the mother s love the child will al- ways be hardicapped in the development of character by the abscnee of something it has never missed be- cause it has never known of it. 65 66 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. And likewise a church may be possel of all the visible qualiiicitious and appointments for worship and work; a pastor well informed on the fundamentals of Christian doztrine and able to discuss them intelli- gently and eloquently. The services may be main- tained regularly, the ordinances administered proper- ly and yet where the shepherd-heart is wanting there is no other consideration in the qualification of a pastor and the constitution of a church that will com- pensate for its absence. The pastor with the shepherd- heart does not depend alone on his pulpit ministra- tion. Ile has a quick eye and sympathetic heart to discover these in his flock to whom have come misfor- tune and on whose hearts are laid heavy burdens and who have become discouraged. He instimntively learns of those to whom have come fierce temptations and he comes to their protection. He rejoices with those who rejoice and weeps with those who weep. That which promotes the joy and prosperity of his people increases his own happiness. The shepherd-heart was large in Mr. Keyes. He had the prime qualifications of a successful pastor. He studied to shrew himself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. He had a firm grasp on. the fundamental doctrines of the Bible, which to him, first and last. was the Word of God. An exami- nation of his serinon sketches shows that he often proached on such subjects as the sovereignty of God, the divinity of Christ, the sufficiency of the atonement, REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. the glory of God, the work of the Holy Spirit, salva- tion by grace and the certainty that the work begun in the heart -by the Holy Spirit would be continued till the day of Jesus Christ. And it may be added that 'he 'had the faculty of making these trite subjects glow under his touch. Two essential elements in a preacher and teleher marked all his sermons and speeches; plainness of statement and force of expres- sion. His hearers never failed to grasp the subject- matter of his sermon and rarely did they fail to recog- nize the convincing quality of his speech. He did not juggle with words and put into them any farfetched or strained meaning with him they stood for ideas and were vehicles by which to send the truth to the hearts of his bearers, and he used them with all the skill and power at his command, for conviction, for persuasion and edification. D'uring the long pastorate at Lewisburg Mr. Keyes went in and out before his people with the dignity of a patriarch ad the innocency of a child. His ser- viees were given from no sordid motive, but were. prompted by a spirit of loyalty to the Master and an ardent love for tblse to whom he ministered. He re- joiced in the prosperity of his people and sympathized with them in their misfortunes. He mourned over those who departed from the ways of righteousness and tried to lead them back to the paths of virtue and uprightness. 67 68 REV. CLWON XEYES-AN APPRECIATION. "And as a bird each fond enderwment tries To tempt its new-pledged off-spring to tihe skies, He tried each art. reproved each dull delay, Allured to brigh1-er worlds and led the way." XIV. HIS FRIENDS. The classic example of friendship in the Bible is that which is Old of Jonathan and David. In this inspired story of friendship between man and malt we learn that it was the Holy Spirit waho paved the way and produ.ed in the heart of each of them the possibilities of so strong attachment. And who can doubt that the mnatehless character and fruit of this 1beautiful fricndbh ip halve been portrayed mainly to set the seal of God s approval upon human friend- ship, based on consecration to his will and service. The account of what passed between these two young men in that memorable interview in the field is the most pathetic on record. All the circunmstances show that though Joiarhlatn had not hitherto spoken of it he was fully eware of D)avid's destiny; more than that he had a presentiment of the fate of his own house. And yet in view of it all, he believingly suh- mitted to the will of God and still lovingly clave to his friend. Thore is a tone of unswerving faith in God and full confilence in David. There is in the record not a shadow of suspicion, not a trace of jeal- ousy, not a word of murmuring and complaint. More touching words, surely were never uttered, 69 70 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPBRECATION. than the charge wbich Jonathan laid on David in view of what was soon to come upon then both: 'And thou shalt Adt only, while yet I live, Nhow me the kindness of the Lord that I die not; but also thou shalt not cut off thy kindnes from my house forever: no not when the Lord hath cut off the enemies of David, every one of them from the face of the earth." For grace of expression and poetic beauty David's lament over Paul and Jomshfian stands without a rival in the annals of literature. And when b thoughts turn directly toward Jonathan his tones tremnie with most touching pathos. "How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle 0 Jonathan thon wast slain in the midst of thine high places. I am distressed foi- thee, my brother, Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was -wonderful, palsing the love of women." If there eveT was friendship in the world, pure, unalloyed by ainy inferior metal, disinterested, free from envy, wiithouL any element of selfishness, incapable of har- boring a suspicious thought and capable of rejoicing in another's gain even to his own loss it had glowed in the bosom of the young prince that was slain on Gilboa's mountain. "Battle spear never pierced a more generous heart, nor had war a more graceful victim offered on her blood-stained altar. Man never possewd a more loyal friend than David lost in the death of Jonathan: and no man with a head and heart can read his tragic history without feeling that he waa REV. CLEON KEYES--AN APPRECIATION. worthy of the extraordinary, thoughl not extravagant, laudation that David bestowed on 'him. " I have not thrown this picture of touching and no- ble friendlhip on the canvass to institute a parallel or even suggest a comparison, but to call attention for a moment to the surpassing beauty of a friendship founded on correct principles and to fix the mind on the fact that all the qualifications for a true and last. ing friendship blended into a harmonious whole in the character of the subject of this sketch. His bearing toward all men was that of one who thinketh no evil and who, never used the microscope to detect faults in the conduct of others and he wvas always reluctant to believe that any one ever thought or purposed evil concerning himself. His conduct was always trans- parent anl bore on its face the stamp of sincerity. Some of the ardent friendships that enriched his life, date from the very beginning of his ministry in Virginia, when he was quite a young mail. Among these early friends was Judge IHolden, of Clarksburg, grandfather of Dr. M. B. Adams, who was one of the mainstays in the church. Another was Elder Charles Parker, who eame to Kentucky in 1856, and became his predecessor at Lewisburg. This minister at his best, had commanding pulpit ability and in revival services he preached the gospel with great force and often with wonderful success. Between him and 'fr. Keyes there grew up an ardent attachment and their' comradeship was beautiful to look on. There is found among ,Mr. Keyer' papers the frag- 71 REV. CLEON KEYES- APPRECIATION. ments of a letter written to him by Mr. Parker before either one of them -had located in Ken- tu.ky, the date of which however has been unfor- tunately torn off. By prefixing the words "I will" to the last paragraph it reads thus: "I will lie in Clarksburg, Friday night, and on Sunday morning. I will leave Clarksburg for Buchannon where I have been invited to hold a series of meetings. My object in writing you prior to the time of my coming is that I wish to see you and I am fearful that if I do not inform you of my proposed visit to your village you will be away from home. We have been separated so long that I should feel much disappointed if I should not find you at home." In his history of Lewisburg' chureh, found in the minutes of Bracken Association for the year 1884, the Lewisburg pastor refers to 11;s friend Parker in very tender and appreciative terms, and though he was removed from the time of his death, a spaoe of nearly thirty years, the survivor showcd no abatement of affection for a fonner broth- er and co-laborer. M1r. Keyes had almost a genius for making friends, whether among the educated and refined portion of the community, or among the less fortunate as to education and social position,. Wherever he was once entertained in a home, ever afterward he was a wel- come and honored guest and his presence was as highly appreciated by the younger members of the family as by the older ones. And once to come under the hagrin of his personality and the magic of his 72 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. conversation was to acknowledge his power and in- fluence. And he had not only the rare faculty of win.- ning friends, but the rarer one of holding them and gripping them to himself with bonls only to be broken by death. The strong ties of friendship between him and the Yanceys, the Calverts, the Prestons, the Miners, Me- Ilvains, Bullocks, Peeds, Mlarshalls, Duvalls, Dud- leys, Gaithers, Bruces, Powers, Parkers, Allens, Fritts, Chappells, Herndons, all of whom lived with- in the bounds of Bracken Association-and now near- ly all pawed over the river-challenged the admira- tion of every one. This admiration of him and affec- tion for him were not confined to his own churches or denomination or neighborhood, but extended wher- ever he was known, even to those who held views, politically and ecclesiastically the opposite to those held by himself. But naturally the strongest ties of friendship grew up between himi and his brethren in the ministry of his own denomination. The following are the namers of some of the pastors with whomn he was more or less closely associated in Christian work during the last twety-five years of his active minisi try, viz.: Helm, Varden, Brown, Ilalladay, Bent, NXunnelly, Riley, Frost, Barbee, Bow, Garrett, Zeal, Owen-his own son in the gospel-Vardeman and J. S. Felix. When the writer of this sketch located at Carlisle, in 1876, and became identified with Bracken Associa- tVon, a former class-mate, then pastor in the Associa, 73 74 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPREITION. tion, said to him that be would find a true yoke-follow in Bro. Keyes to whom he could go at any time an4 feel no restraint in conferring with him about any matter. This was a true estimate of the man and every time a pastor or layman had occasion to con. uilt him about the work in the association or any mat- ter persona] to himself he found in the Lewisburg pastor a sympaithetic friend and a wise counsellor. But perhaps the most striking example of ardent friendship between an old man and a young one was that which grew up between Mr. Keyes and the late Dr. J. S. Felix, of blessed memory. This highly cul- tured and eloquent young man became pastor of the Baptist ehureh at Augusta in the early Autumn of 1872, when he had little more than attained his ma- jority. He was a graduate of Georgetown College and an under gradrraate of Crozer Theological Semi- nary. Soon after he accepted the pastorate of the churelh at Augusta his ordination was cal -i for. Be- sides the pastors and laymen from churches in Brack- en Association there were present at this ordination, Dr. W. H. Felix, an older brother of the young pastor and Dr. James P. Boyce, then beginning his very ar- duous work of securing an endowment sufficient to justify the removal of the Southern Baptist Theologi- cal Seminary from Greenville, S. C., to Louisville, Ky. It fell to the lot of Mr. Keyes to conduct the examination of the candidate. The examination had not progressed far till it was evident to all present that two bright minds confronted each other. And it REV. CLEON KEYFS-AN APPRECUITION. was oberved by those present that the examination was no merely perfunctory performance to meet the requirements of long established cesiastical usge. The questions put to the candidate by Mr. Keyes showed an extensive and accurate knowledge of theo- logical literature and the answers were clear and clean cut, showing penetration and grasp of mind. At the close of the examination and after the church had been advised to proceed with the ordination Do Boyce got up and asked permission to say a wordi and in a few appropriate remarks he spoke in the highest terms of the satisfactory character of the ex- amnination; of the questions asked the candidate and his answers to the same. From that time on for more than fifteen years Keyes and Felix were closely as- sociated in associational work. This friendship for each other strengthened as the years passed on and after short separations their greetings were beautiful to behold. The last occasion when circumstances brought them together after a long separation, and not long before the death of the younger man, was at Two Lick Baptist ehnrch, when Bracken Association met there in the year 1902. To a stranger looking on, the meeting eeemed more like that of a venerable -father and a noble and gifted son, than the greeting between two men separated in years by a distance stretching over nearly a quarter of a century. But there was a buld between them stronger than that whieh binds father and son in the flesh, the bond of a common hope, a common faith in a common saviour 75 76 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. and male stronger by service together and commun- ion with each other and devotion to Christian ideals. Of Mr. Keyes it may be truly said- "He was a mw-i of soul sincere, In action faitlhful, and in honor clear; Who broke no promise, served no private end, Who gained no title, and lost no friend." xv. DAYS OF INACTIVITY. The time comes in the history of every man when activities cease. The plow of the husbaudman standa still in the furrow, the merdhantman no longer haunts the marts of trade, the physician gives up the practice of the art of healing, the voice of the politi- cian is heard no more on the 'hustings, the fingers of the musician never again weep over the keys of his beloved instrument from which erstwhile he was wont to evoke entrancing harmonies; and the voice of the beloved pastor is no longer heard calling sinners to repentance and his people to nobler living. For- tunately or unfortunately for the children of men this time does not always coincide with their sum- mon into the presence of the great judge. It is cer- tain however that the Lord of life and death knows when he can do without the services of this one or that one. In some rare cases the fruitful activities of men begin early and continue many years without abate- ment of quantity or quality of work, and they move on steadily till they have reached the end of four score and more years. In the realm of constructive statesnahip we know conspicuous examples in the lives and activites of William E . Glad- REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. stone in the parliament of England and John T. Morgan in the Congress of the United States, both of whom rendered efficient services to their respective countries, Whenu Farding to ordinary reckoning they were living on borrowed time. And in the ranks of our own Baptist ministers we have as examples of fruit-bearing in old age, Alexander M2cClaren, in England and Henry G. Weston, in our country, both of whom performeid signally efficient service for the Lord many years after they should have been chlor- oformed aecarding to a reputed deliverance of the specialist, Dr. Wm. Osler; and even after they had pased the eightieth milestone in the pilgrimage of life some of their richest fruits were borne. Again and again, however, the Lord takes his ser- vants in the zenith of their maturity and in the midst of efficient activities when as yet their eyes are not dim, nor their natural force abated. When the late beloved Dr. T. T. Eaton was called from activities to rest he seemed to our eyes to be the very embodiment of a magnificent physical and intellectual manhood, and certainly gave promise of many years of efficient service in the Master's vineyard-but in the midst of successful and promising activities, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye his labors were cut short; and panoplied in the whole armor of God 'he was called to give account of his stewardship. And who can doubt that sudden deadth to him was sAdden glory The active, workiug, period however at sometime, omes to an end. Perhaps heialth fadls, or circum- 78 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. stances change, or doors of opportunity are closed, or fields once white unto the harvest, are now reaped and no other fields are Whitening, Arrest in some way or othei is laid upon the activities of men, when the day of service declines and the shadows of the evruing of life are stretched out. If however, the cesation of activities and the end of the earthly pil- grimage but not coterminal and the servant be requir- ed to wait awhile for the coming of the Lord, then also comes the need of faith and patience. There may be stil some doubt while a man is underset with out- ward helps, such as health, riches, friends, whether he leans upon those or upon God. But when all those outward props are plucked away, then it becomes manifest whether something else upholds him or not; for it there be nothing else he falls, but if his heart and mind stand tirm as before, it is evident that he laid not his fVeight upon these things which he had then about him, but was built upon the sure founda4 tion, which though not seen, was yet able to sustain him. It was the privilege of Bro. Keyes to be called into the service of the Master while still in his minority, and while the dew of youth was yet on his brow. Soon after he was eighteen years old he preached his first sermon and before he had reached the age of twenty God had signaily set the seal of his approval on his ministry and many souls were converted urnder his preaching. And this work of preaching the gospel and oaring for the churches over which the Holy Spir- 79 80 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. it had called him to preside continued without inter- ruption for nc arly half a century. Then came total deafness and partial hlindness and the increasing ins firmities incident to old age; and then came also the sad conrciousnem of the inability to maintain a high standard of efficiency and the necessity of withdraw- ing from the pastorate of his beloved clunrchi and giv- ing place to a younger and more active man. But when he found limlsef retired and his belov- ed pulpit-from which he had preawhed the gospel for a generation-ocmpied by a successor he did not sit down and fold his hands in ignoble ease and idle- ness and rail against the providence that had seen fit to make him for the remainder of his days only an onlooker, while tlhe work in which he had so gladly engaged was done by sonmebody else. Such a course would have belied his, whole career and stultified the teaechings and practices of fifty years. Duty, "the stern daughter of the voice of God," still sounded in the eams that could no longer hear the voice of praise or blame from man. The sense of loyalty to the Master and the habits of fifty years woud not allow him to abandon entirely the work which had been so much a part of his life these many years. To his sucocasors at Lewisburg he gave a hearty welcome and on all occasions manifested a willing- ness to co-operate with them in every movement that gavepromise oi prosperity to the cause of religion in the church and community. And while his innate modesty would not. permit him to intrude his advice REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. upon any one, yet when sought by his pastor concern- ing any movement in the church, or by the pastors in the association he freely conferred with them and gave his influduee and limited activities to the mis- sionary enterprise within the bounds of Bracken As- sociation. After his retirement from the pastorate of Lewis- burg church he preac-hed only occasionally, but he per- formed highly eflicient service for our missionary work within the bounds of Bracken Assoiation, by visiting the churc.es and calling from house to house to solicit contributions for the work. And in other ways he addressed himself to the work of earning a livelihood for ihimself and those dependent on hin. But the compensatic-n for his work as the agent of Bracken Board was small and the supplement ma-de to it in other waye was almost a negligible quantity. It is more than probable that during his active minitry iu BrRcken Association Bro. Keyes preached in every chnrch reporting at her annual gatherings; and his work as agent for the association and the help bhe rendered Dr. Boyce, when soliciting for the En- dowment of the Seminary at Louisville, makes it probabie that he was in more homes in the boundaries of the assoc;ation than any mall who lias ever lived among us. He was always a welcome and honored guest in the homes of all who knew him and many persons, young and old, can testify that the memory of his presence remained as a sweet fragrance and a perpetual benedetion. 81 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. Some author says that one test of a genuine poet is that his cawn soul feeds on the song he sings. And it may be said with truth that the soul of our de- parted brother fed on the promises which he could so skilfully apply to the help of others when preach- ing from the pulpit or in the homes of his people, and whein. ,4 could no longer look on the beauties of the landwsoape, nor hehold the stary heavens, nor listen to the singing of the birds or hear the voice of prayer or praise, yet could he behold the promises of God afar off and wa, persuaded of them and embraced them. He fully believed that his life was in the hands of a gracioius God. And in the last years of his life his faith was no less strong than in the days when his voice was heard calling sinners to repentance and urging his people to endure as seeing him who is in- visible. This doctrine of God's care for his chosen ones he preaiched in season and out of season, he pro. claimed it from the pulpit and in the homes of his people. In his lot days he exemplified that life of faith which breatwes the atmosphere of eternity and which looks on thiigs unseen and eternal and beholds the glory of God. And thus by his patience, optimism and the ability to see the silver lining behind the darkest cloil'd he brought forth fruit in his old age and to him wc ean very well apply the beatitude of Jeremiah, "Blessed is the man who trusteth in the Lord and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters and that spreadeth out her roots by the river and shall not see when heat 82 REV. CLEON KEYES--AN APPRECIATION. cometh, but her leaf shall be green and shall nor be careful ]n the year of drought, neither shall he cease from- yielding fruit." In his old age the true preacher lives in a charmed world. An interesting story is told of Wm. Blake, who lived about a hundred and fifty years ago, and who was both., poet and painter. He saw visions and dreamed dreams in a sooty street in the great city of London. But his friends said they could not share his raptures. They looked where he looked, but somehow they could not see what he saw and hear what he heard. The trained eye and ear were lacking To many of his servants who are only waiting the summons to come up higher, God gives a foretaste of the glories that await them, and to them these future glories become present realities. A few years ago when Mr. Keyes was presen at the funeral services of one of his old friends and parishioners and being too feeble to go to the place of interment, he sat down on the steps of the old church and mused. And there paased before him the names and forms of the many friends and loved ones whose bodies were sleeping in the old chareh-yard at Lewisburg. And looking down the vista of couning days he saw the graves opening and the dead arising clothed upon with the habila- meDits of glory. In relating the experience of this vision to the writer, in tones most reverent, he said: "White, I felt like sbchuting." 83 REV. MLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. "There is a land mine eye hath seen, In visions of enraptured thought, So bright that all which spreads between Is with its radiant glories fraught." In his days of patient waiting, Bro. Keyes preach- ed his most effective sermons and brought forth his richest vintage. He never went out of service and never ceased to bring forth fruits. He only waited for proation and while he waited he served. "I am not tired of my work," said the hero niissionary, Adoniram Judson, in his last days, "neither am I tired of the world, yet when the Lord calls me, I shall go with the gladness of a school-boy bounding away from schol." If James RurOl Lowell be right when he says, "Not failure, but low aim is a crime," then the faith- ful pastor needs nxot to fear lest he should outlive his usfulness. John Wesley could only faintly utter a few syllables when they lifted him into the pulpit at the age of eighty-sven, but the eloquenKe of a whole life of devoted service spoke louder than any wealth of words. Again and again was the Nestior of our Baptist minister heard to say, "I don't knowr why the Lord is keeping me here. He knows and I am not worrying about the matter. When he wants me, I amn ready to go." And thus lived and died Cleon Keyes, the faithful witness, the beloved aetoar, the true yoke-fellow in the Master's service. 84 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. 85 Of no distemper, of no blast lie died, But fell like autuinn fruit that mellowed long; Even wondered at because lie dropped no sooner. Fate seemed to wind him up for four score years; Yet freely ran he on nine winters more; Till like a clock worn out with eating time, The wheels of weary life at last stood still." OTHER APPRECIATIONS. I. As the worshippers enter the Baptist church in the city of Fairmont, West Virginia, directly in front of them and just at the right of the pulpit they see a vari-colored window on wnich is found this legend: "Rev. Cleon Keyes." This memorial window was placed there by three friends who knew Mr. Keyes when life was young and the dew of youth was yet on their brows. This man of God had so gripped them in the days of their young manhood and womanhood that in all the after years his influence was felt in their lives. Hene, this window. One of these three friends, Mrs. A. J. Stone, of Fairmont, furnishes the following remins- cences: "My recollections of Mr. Keyes date back to my early childhood, when he was pastor of the Baptist churches at Pruntytown and Clarksburg. His home life was strikingly unselfish and admirable. His eld- est daughter and I were boon companions and I was often in their hrome. I recall the delight of his invalid wife and children, called forth by his return from duties at Clarksburg. The sacrifices he made in this respect are known only to God. I am sure I never 86 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. saw a man who loved his home with more beautiful devotion then he. His sympathy with the younger members of the home circle was marked and while he joined in our laughter and merriment, he often did not know what prJml)ted them, because he was par- tially deaf; catching some of us he would say, "What are you laughing at!" and when we had explained he would be riigjt in the thick of the fun. "His hospitality was provertial. I remember on one occasion, when he was returning from a visit to his mother and.qisters, in Cincinnati, that he journey- ed by stage-coach with some friends, a gentleman, his wife and two little girls. They were ail worn and weary and lie proposed that they stop at Pruntytown and have a rest in his home. He found out before they reached Pruntytown from the stage agent, that his family who had been visiting the parents of his wife in an adjoining county, had been detained there by the illness of Airs. Keyes. There were no railroads or telegrapb lines in those days in this region; So to relieve the embarrassment he came to my father and asked that we receive his guests. The request was gladly complied with and they stayed with us a week while he went on to see about his family. It was al- ways a pleasure to serve him and my father who often called him 'Little Keyes' was ardently fond of him. "His devotion to the missionary enterprise and hIs ideas along this line of Ohristian work were far in advance of his times. I recall his ardor of fifty years ago and feel that his theory and praetice were equal 87 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. to that whieh we have reached in the world today. I have a vivid remembrance of an occasion in one of our ehurch meetings when he made an ardent and elo- quent appeal for Foreign Missions. Our senior dea- con responded in a spirit of criticism. Bro. Keyes ix his halting speedh, said, 'My brother mn'ut be laboring under some strange halluciqnation." The deacon mimicked him and advised him to use words that he knew the meaning of. I remember being so indignant that I put my head in my mother's lap and sobbed and cried uneomtrollably. I think that little episode had something to do with severing the relations be- tween pasttr and ch.urci. The deacon was a man a strong prejudice and never forgave his pastor. Se died outside of the pale of the Baptist chureh while Cleon Keyes moved onward and upward. "We never ceased to regret his going from among us; and all thee years we have kept in close touch wSth him and his work. It has been my privilege to visit twice in his Kentucky home and it was a great pleasure to know how he and his family were loved. Mr. Keyes' inlfuence bas been with me all my life; his letters in the first years after leaving West Vir- gin a inspired and strengthened every generous im- pulse of my heart. "[le abounded in humor and had a keen apprecia- tion of it in others. On one occasion he had as a helper in a seices of meetings a minister known as 'Little Billy Woodl.' Mr. Woods announced at the close of the 3ervices one evining that on the following 88 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. evening he would preach the funeral sermon of the first Christian who should die in the town; and that two evenings hence he would preach the funeral ser- mon of the first unsaved man who should die. The next morning the visiting minister came into the ser- vice before the pastor and a note was handed him at the door of the churchL A prayer-meeting was in progress. so he passed on into the pulpit and behind the high desk he read the note. Very soon the pastor came in quietly during a prayer and they read the note together. As a child I was always in saints corner, and could see behind the high desk. Thns, I was a witness of the convulsive laughter that followed the reading of the note. The preachers dined in our home that day and I heard the note read. The note was something like this: "'Dear Bro. William Wood:- "'Stay thy hand; I are yet alive and don't want my funeral preached now.' Signed by an eccentric man who was a member of oaar church. "My reminiscences of Mr. Keyes are of such a per- qonal character, that I give them reluctantly. He was very fond of sacred soFug. I remember a ser- mon he preached on the subject of church music. He criticised some familiar hymns, one of which I never sin, but that I think of him and omit the lines he did not like, or mng them as he suggested. They are: 89 90 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. 'Assured, if I mry bust betray. I "11 forever die.' He suggested, 'O, may I not my trust betmy, but faithful live aud die.' " II. AS I REMEMBER HIM. By J. M. Frost, D.D. "Dear Bro. White:- '' I congratulate all concerned that you are making a permanent record of the life and work of Cleon Keyes, wherein he wrought for God and God's cause. It is a labor of love on your part, a service altogether worthy of your subject, an occasion of gratitude for the many weho honored and loved him. "I remember him as a man of great character- gentle and kind of heart, strong and courageous for the truth, true and unswerving in his integrity and uprightness be fore God and men. This testimony given of my heart and candid judgment as I look back over the years, will not be discounted or dis- credited by any who knew him. Throughout all that section where he labored his name was a household word in Baptist homes, while other denominations paid tribute to his genuine worth of character and efficiency in service. 'I met him first in the spring of 1871, when as a young man fresh from schwoa. I began my first pas- torate at Mayeville, Ky., nine miles perhaps front 91 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. his lhomc at Lewisburg. He was present at my ordi- nation, taking an active part and lending a helping, guiding hand. At that time he was fairly well ad- vanced in years, but in the prime of his preaching power and masterful leadership of men, readily rec- ognized and honored by all. He had a large place in his life and love for young preachers, always in his ministry making way and opportunity for their ad- vancement. Several of us, during those early years in Bracken Association, lived and labored under his gracious shadow, and the heart of every one would bear glad testimony to his gracious touch as he led us on to the nobler things, and set before us high ideals as ministers of Jesus Christ, entrusted with his word in richness and fullness. "I wax wisih him in the hours of his bereavement and sorrow, and then with him too, when the sunshine came again breaking through the clouds. We were closely associated for many years until our paths, parted, when I left Kentucky. It surely is something great for a man, that you can walk with him through many years, see him in varying circuinatanmes, and never find cause for even modifying an exalted opin- ion which you had formed ooncerning him. 1Tis was Cleon Keyes from the first time I knew him until the end, except as he grew in all the things that make for manhood in the ministry of our Lord. "Many, many years have past since last I saw him. Still I have always kept in touch with him even during tIK years when he was for the most part 92 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. 93 shut in. I naever even to this moment, think of him without a fresh sense of appreciation and affection. It was worth so much to a young man to have such a man cmoe into his life, and I shall never cease to be grateful for his helpful touch. He walked with God and was not, for God took him. He wears the crown that is his, and his works do follow. "J. 'T. Frost, 'Nashrville, Tenn., April 29, 1912.' III. (The following tribute appeared in the "Western Recrder," soon after the death of Mr. Keyes. The writer is a grandson of Judge Holden, who was a warm friend of and a true yoke-fellow with Mr. Keyes during his pastorate in Clarksburg. Dr. Adams also had intimate and pleasant relations, as friend and pastor, with this aged man of God during the last eighteen years of his life;) CLEON KEYES. "On Thursday, April 27, 1911, Rev. Cleon Keyes, of Maysville, Ky., was buried in the burial ground of the Lewisbnrg Baptist church, Mason Co., Ky. ".The writer took part in the funeral service by request of the family. An able sermon in memory of Bro. Keyes was preached by Rev. A. N. White, of Pewee Valley, Ky., and the writer made a brief ad- dress offering an appreciation of his life and services. Rev. J. M. Haymore, of Maysville, offered the prayer, Rev. N. F. Jones, of North Fork, read the Scriptures and Rev. L. N. honompson, of Mayslick, pronounced the benediction. "Cleon Keym eame to Kentucky about 1858 and settled at Lewishurg, Mason Co., and becme pastor 94 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. of the Lewiqburg church, over which he successfully presided for thirty-two years. He was the pastor of the writer's grandfather, at Clark-sburg, W. Va., be- fore comning to Kentucky. Among the traditions of my boyhood were memories of the able pastorate of Bro. Keyes, at Qlarksburg. He helped my grand- father cut the timbers which were used in the con- struction of the first Glarksburg church. The church now one of the most prominent and fruitful in West Virginia; and those who have known its history read- ily ascribe to the solid and enduring work of Cleon Keyes much of the credit for the subsequent success and prosperity of the church. "In writing the Uistory of Bracken Association since 1858, much of the largest portion of the record would be devoted to the faithful labors of this man of God. He wan intensely loyal not only to the inter- ests of the various churches of which he was pastor, but to the interests of Bracken Asociation and the larger interests of the Baptist cause in Keniucky. "When the writer became pastor of Lewisburg chue, in 1893, hc found Brd. Keyes living near the church and active and useful as a member there. During the four and one-half years of that pastorate, the youthful and inexperienced preacher found in him a most tenler, helpful and loyal friend and broth- er. He was as oompanionable as a young man would have been and all preachers, young or old, found this true of him. He was at all times the preacher's friend. In social hours, his hearty laugh would ring 95 96 REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. out, revealing the springs of inward joy and happi- ness, for through all lhis afflictions and trials and he had many, he was a happy and trustful man. It could, with a large measure of truth, be said of him as it was saidi of his Saviour that he was made perfect through sufferings, for he had certainly attained a high degree of saintly character by the time God called him home. "Ile was an aible preacher of the Gospel of Christ. He possessed a mind of uncommon clearness, and strength. He had no vague ideas about anything, hut held all opinions and convictions with positiveness and clearness. He was an intense Baptist and could tell why and never lost a suitable opportunity to do it. His fidelity to New Testament religion and the Baptist faith he impressed upon the Baptists over a large area of Northern Kentucky. "Too much cannot be said in praise Of his lovely and pure Christian oharacter. Here was the citadel of his strength His strength was as the strength of ten because his heart was pure. No one could be long in his conpany without saying, 'Truly this man is a child of God.' He wrought well and Ias earned his reward, The writer asks the honor to bear this simple testimony to bs worth and helpfulness. "May God bless and care for the loved ones he leaves. His daughter, Mrs. Clara Allen andher hus- band and another daughter, Miss Sallie, faithfully REV. CLEON KEYES-AN APPRECIATION. 97 ministered to him in his years of weakness. They too will receive their reward, for they ministered to God's prophet and God never forgets. Frankfort, Ky. M. B. Adams."