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The following illustration is from the book “Forty-four Years of the Life of a Hunter,” and shows Meshach bear hunting:


Apparently Meshach was not much impressed with his Uncle John. He said, “At this time


I had an aunt living near... and I staid one summer with her and her husband, whose name was John Spurgin. He was a good-natured, kind man, but was neglectful, lazy, and unlearned: they made it their aim to seduce me from my mother’s love and from my home ... Here we continued to the next spring, being 1792; when uncle moved into Monongalia county, in Virginia, to a brother he had living there. His name was James Spurgin: he was a business man, yet without education, but managed his business well, and soon became a wealthy man. Those two married sisters, who were also sisters to my mother. Here we all lived on the same farm. Uncle James’s family consisted of five children, two sons and three daughters, of whom I became dotingly fond; and when our family left theirs, I was sorely afflicted.”235


Meshach relates a conversation


he had with his Uncle James after he had decided to leave the home of his Uncle John (7 miles away) at the age of 16 and go toward Wheeling (where his mother now resided) in 1797. Telling his Uncle James that he was leaving his brother John’s home, James gave him advice which he, even at a young age, must have been impressed with to remember the conversation in such detail. James told him:


Well, Meshach, I will give you my advice if you will promise me to take it, and attend to it ... be sure to avoid bad company; avoid all drunken crowds of rowdies and houses of ill-fame. Never suffer yourself to be drawn into them, for you will be tried often. And when these temptations appear before you, then remember what I now tell you, and avoid them. Furthermore, when you find a man who wishes to hire you, ascertain, if you can, whether he is honest; and if so, go to him, and do for him a just and fair day’s work. And if anything goes wrong, either wrong to your neglect or accidentally, never tell a lie to screen yourself; but speak candidly, and acknowledge the truth of the whole matter. This will give your employer confidence in you. But on the contrary, if you undertake to lie yourself out of it, you will be sure to be detected in so doing, and then you will be disgraced. Take it for granted, Meshach, that all good people despise a liar as much


235Ibid., pp. 18, 21. © 1993 Spurgeon Family History by Dr. Gary Alan Dickey, 1546 Devonshire Avenue, Westlake Village, CA 91361 • p. 58


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