Thursday, July 10, 2008

Season for Gathering Roots and Herbs

Yesterday we introduced our readers to the beginning of John Kline's work as a physician. Today we continue that story as told by Benjamin Funk in The Life and Labors of Elder John Kline.

[John Kline] procurred his remedies in their virgin purity from the mountains, meadows and woods.... No recreation could be more delightful to the true lover of nature than to get on a good horse and go with him to see the Brethren, as he called it. This may sound a little odd: but the reader must know that Brother Kline rarely went on an errand with a single aim. His object seemed to be to crowd into his life all the service for both God and man that it was possible for him to do. In his desire to do good he would sometimes humorously repeat the old say:
Kill as many birds with one stone as you can.

When the season approached for gathering "roots and herbs" he would sometimes write to the Brethren among the mountains of West Virginia, that they might expect him to be with them at a given time. ... One Sunday, toward the close of his life, he said to me: "Brother B, would it suit you to go with me over to Pendleton and Hardy? I have a line of meetings in view; and if it would suit you to go with me I will be very glad of your company. I want to gather some medicines by the way, and as you are fond of rambling among the mountains you may enjoy the trip and make yourself useful at the same time."

I agreed to go. So on Thursday morning about the latter part of July, very early, we mounted our horses.
"Old Nell" - as he called his favorite riding mare, that had up to that time, as his Diary will show, carried him on her back over thirty thousand miles - seemed to understand where we were starting for, and how fast she ought to go. ...

After a most refreshing supper and a little rest we were ready to engage in the sacred duties of worship. Brother Kline very kindly took the lead in the services, and in a very plain way delivered one of the best discourses I have ever heard on Col. 1:12. This is the Text: "Giving thanks to the Father, who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light." ...

The next day we repaired to the Shenandoah mountain to procure medical herbs. ... to this day I do feel that if ever I have been truly thankful for the good things of this life it was then.