The Life and Experiences of a Layman by Charles Boller

Pages 63 - 67


and that they would allow their children to go to the Sunday school.

The word of God did not evince itself in the hearts of the master and mistress of the house in vain. They became believers in the Lord Jesus and the children also learned to know the Savior.

This was the fruit of the influence of a praying, pious nanny and her resoluteness.

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22. The Proof of Kinship

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We can speak of a threefold proof of our kinship:
I. The Holy Spirit gives direct proof that we are children of God.
II. Our spirit bears witness to the same.
III. The word of God suffices to provide this proof.

The most significant of these proofs is of course the Holy Spirit. The most important assurance coming from him comes from God himself. "The same spirit bears witness that we are children of God." Romans 8, 16. This is clear. And just as clear is the following word of the Apostle Paul: "It is God who brings us firmly


together in Christ, who annoints us and affixes his seal and who gave us the pledge of the spirit in our hearts." 2 Corinthians 1, 21, 22. And no less clear are the following words of scripture: "Through which you too, who believe, shall be marked with the promise of the Holy Spirit, who is the issuer of our birthright and our salvation." Ephesisans 1: 13, 14. And in many other passages, which provide proof of the certainty of our state of grace. Thus we believed and embraced our sanctity, and we have received the Holy Spirit, who lives in us and testifies to the sancifying proof our our acceptance with God.

For this reason it must be mentioned that I do not mean the Holy Spirit provides this witnessing with an external voice. No, and sometimes not with an internal one although he may do the latter. Even less am I inferring that he bestows either one or the other scriptural passage within the heart, even though this may happen more often. He works through his unmediated influence and in a powerful, though unclear way, upon the soul, thus the storm and the turbulent waves must part and sweet inner calm enters. Likewise the soul rests peacefully in the arms of Jesus and is sufficiently convinced that God is reconciled with him


and that all injustices are forgiven and all sins are covered; and an inner clarity and deep consciousness of our standing in grace fills and penetrates the heart.

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23. "Not the Right Boller"

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In the years 1870 to 1880 I served the New York Conference as General Sunday School Superintendent and traveled as such throughout the entire district. One time I was away from my family for three weeks. My appointments were made known through messenger. I had an appointment in the "Konrad Settlement," which was about 5 miles past the city of Rome. The appointment was made by the district minister. The minister have never met me since he did not attend the conference assembly. Through exchange of correspondence and an invitation it was understood that he would meet me at the train station in Rome. When I arrived no one was at the station. I had the good fortune and pleasure of getting a ride in a farmer's wagon. The farmer let me off at a farmstead near the church and said: "Here's where the minister


usually stops." The sun was beginning to set and it would soon be time for supper. I went with a happy heart to the door of the house and knocked. I knocked a second time and received no answer. Finally I heard a voice coming from the barn: "I only have one cow left to milk, then I can come." When the sister came in she looked at me rather suspiciously. I gave her my name and told her that I had come to hold a Sunday school assembly in the church that evening, to which she replied, "Are you sure you're not mistaken? This evening is the minister's church service. Minister Boller will preach this evening. We've known him for thirteen years. He was our guest when we held a camp assembly in the forest. He is a small man and has a big head."

Then I asked the sister: "Don't you think that I could have grown a little bigger in the past thirteen years? And isn't my head just big enough?" Then she looked at me again and said: "Yes, sure. He will be here soon." Then I asked if she would give me something to eat since I was very hungry. She replied: "Sure, if you can wait a little while,


we can eat together." As we sat down to table she looked out the window and saw her minister coming and stated: "He's right on time. He just came from Rome and made a run to the butcher's; in an hour he'll begin the church service." After his arrival she said;" Brother Gelzleichter," so the minister was named, " here is a man from Buffalo, who wrote to you to pick him up at the train station and you disappointed him." To this the minister responded that he had brought back Brother ..... with him and he added: "I also didn't take you along since I know Brother Boller quite well." I asked him, "Have you not written me twice so that I should visit the Sunday school here and have you not received two letters from me?" "No. No," he said, "and I have not written you nor have I received any letters from you." With this pronouncement I put my sword in my scabbard and waited for what would come next."

After the minister and the woman discussed the singular occurrence in the next room, the clock began to chime and they made their way to church. I asked the minister for permission to come along to which he answered, "Oh, Yes!" The pair went ahead; I followed


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Text provided by Lockwood Library, State University of New York at Buffalo, BX8080.B65

Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks