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- Author: Joseph Thomas
- e-Sword Version: 10.x
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Thomas, Joseph - Life, Travels, Gospel Labors, and Poems of the White Pilgrim (autobiography) 1.0
History Modern (1800-Today)
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The Life, Travels, and Gospel Labors of Joseph Thomas
Better Known as
THE WHITE PILGRIM
To Which is Added His Poems:
Religious, Moral, and Satirical
Joseph Thomas was a man who wanted to preach the gospel in his native New England. Contained in this book are his conversion and his search for truth. He wrote for and edited the Christian Palladium, a religious journal, for many years.
He was known as the "White Pilgrim" because, unlike most preachers of his day who wore black suits, Joseph Thomas went everywhere riding a white horse, wearing a white suit, and even had white saddlebags. He was immortalized in a poem written by Rev. John Ellis (which was later turned into a song by Bob Dylan, except it was changed to "Lone Pilgrim").
I came to the spot where the White Pilgrim lay,
And pensively stood by his tomb,
When in a low whisper I heard something say,
How sweetly I sleep here alone.
The tempest may howl, and the loud thunders roll,
And gathering storms may arise,
Yet calm are my feelings, at rest is my soul,
The tears are all wiped from my eyes.
The cause of my Savior compelled me to roam
I bade my companion farewell,
I left my sweet children, who for me now mourn,
In far distant regions to dwell.
I wandered an exile and stranger below,
To publish salvation abroad,
The trump of the Gospel endeavored to blow,
Inviting poor sinners to God.
But when among strangers, and far from my home,
No kindred or relative nigh,
I met the contagion, and sank in the tomb,
My spirits ascended on high.
Go! tell my companion and children most dear,
To weep not for Joseph, tho' gone;
The same hand that led me thro' scenes dark and drear,
Has kindly conducted me home.
The Publisher's Preface
THERE are several reasons why we offer the public, in the present form, THE LIFE AND POEMS OF JOSEPH THOMAS; better known as "THE WHITE PILGRIM." First, we think it will be received with favor, and be useful to the candid reader. It breathes of the spirit of firm reliance upon God and exhibits the workings and prompt decisions of a faithful, honest conscience, acting up to its convictions of duty, and receiving as a reward, blessings appropriately bestowed upon a faithful, Christian man. It will unquestionably aid the honest, earnest seeker to know and do his duty to God and man, under the full conviction that he will in no wise lose his reward.
Secondly, It will tend to settle questions which seem to have bewildered many minds. Who was the White Pilgrim? Where did he hail from religiously? When was he born? When and where did he die?
The publisher has heard him claimed to be an old [black man], Methodist-Episcopal preacher. He has also in possession a book published not many years since, containing a piece of poetry, found in this work, composed by Rev. JOHN ELLIS, of Dayton, Ohio, on visiting his grave, which is claimed to have been handed down from an old Indian tragedy, commencing with the line:
"I came to the spot where the White Pilgrim lay."
The publisher does not claim for it great literary or poetical merit, and yet some of the scintillations of his poetical genius are seldom surpassed.
With the hope that this little volume may serve the cause of truth, it is dedicated to the candid public by the PUBLISHER.
About the e-Sword edition/Contents of the Book
- Though originally one continuous narrative, this edition has been broken into chapters, arranged by year.
- After the narrative, there are some letters from the Christian Palladium about Joseph Thomas.
- Joseph Thomas' obituary.
- 42 Poems by Joseph Thomas
- Other writer's thoughts on Joseph Thomas