Skip to content

Sunday, April 23d, 1899

Manila, Luzon Island – Entry made in parlor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena, Tondo

So Provost-Sergeant M. Ryan of Bilibid prison is dead! I was very much surprised today when the news was imparted to me. Last Sunday forenoon he was full of life characteristic of young men & led a procession of military prisoners out of their wards to my cell & on Tuesday passed into eternity to appear before the dread tribunal of God. While treating me well so far as I could see, he never manifested openly any interest in Christ or the salvation for which He, the Lord, gave His life to purchase for sinners. One may hope that in some way he may have found eternal life at last, still, such a hope is a miserably poor straw upon which to hang a hope. Our blessed Jesus says, “behold I came quickly.” May every one of us like the beloved John be able to answer “Amen, even so come Lord Jesus. My Savior is precious to me.

A new Provost-Sergeant, John Houser, brough some prisoners (4) out today & my meeting was held in the ward given over to white civil prisoners – usually a rough set of sailors. My audience of 17 was disturbed by some one coming to get seamen to fill up his crew. Two splendid specimen of muscular humanity attracted my attention, one of them remarked when I spoke sympathizingly of Ryan’s death, “I hope he is in the south-eastern corner of hell.” Appeared to be incensed against the dead man. I gave 2 new testaments to the prisoners – one copy to the hard case at his request. Left some hymn brooks also to the men.

My meetings are much too short to suit me. Lieut. Wolf makes a tour of inspection on Sunday forenoon. Sometimes he is late. I am then late too. Must close at 11.45 a.m.

A conspiracy was discovered in Bilibid this week. The Filipino convicts made knives & sharpened files with the intention of killing the guards and making their escape. The plot was discovered and the weapons confiscated.

After the close of my meeting in the civil prison, one of the military prisoners whose sentence will expire Tuesday greatly pleased me with the news that he is now saved. He sought salvation two days since & is now a different man. Said I spoke to him about salvation in Honolulu. Name: James Rusher, Co. B. 23d U.S. Infantry. To my God alone be the glory and praise, amen.

Walking to & from Bilibid was hot work, but I do not mind it, now since the dear Lord is using me there.

Commenced day with 2 chapters in Leviticus & a few verses in the 24th Chapter of Joshua. Prayed. My God was near me. Praised him in my sleep and dreams last night.

Cooked breakfast and supper and washed dishes, made dinner of lemonade and dry bread.

This evening a hard breeze – about sunset – resembling a Texas norther without the cold, slammed doors & windows & brought up rain clouds. Tonight we are having sheet lightning & a light rain.

Being alone this afternoon gave my attention to lifelong work & wrote 2 short parts of my article for “Harbor Lights”.

The “City of Pueblo” arrived & brought several companies of the 9th U.S. Infantry. The troops landed.

News of a “scrap” came in this afternoon. A reconnoitering party got engaged which drew in the battle lines & there followed much exchanging of shots. One third of a 4th Cavalry troop is reported killed or wounded & Col. Stotsenberg of the 1st Nebraska Vol. Inf. is killed. This fight is conclusive that the Filipinos do not want peace.

Rev. & Mrs. Owens saw Schumerhorn in the 1st Reserve hospital. Dysentery. A shot just fired.