The Hauge Movement in America

  





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A Few Outstanding witnesses 1864 -1917
A FEW OUTSTANDING WITNESSES
FROM 1864 TO 1917
 
God is wonderfully good. The human failings and sins had been many. God's people had been split up in factions in 1848, 1856, 1875, and at other times. The Hauge revival movement seemed to be going "to the Dogs." But then God in His great mercy sent over from Norway strong evangelists and soul-winners who brought life and revivals with them. We shall give brief sketches of them.
 
 
Lars 0. Rustad
 
Rustad was a heart-stirring lay-preacher and soul-winner who came among us in 1869. He was then 51. He was born in the parish of Lom, Gudbrandsdalen, April 2, 1818. He moved with his parents to Tromso, in Northern Norway, while young. Up in this northern country he experienced a very earnest awakening and change of heart. "He first saw the light of God in all its clearness while he was turning the grindstone." This was in 1840.
 
Then his soul-winning career began which was almost apostolic in its power, zeal and spirit among Norwegians, Finns and Laps. Later he came south again. No salary. His clothes were worn out. "When I look at my tarred pants (bekabuksa) , I feel they are very shabby, but when I begin to speak, I forget it all,'' he said. During his last years in Norway he lived in Nannestad parish, near Oslo and traveled with the Gospel over wide stretches in eastern Norway.
 
In 1869 this fiery soul-winner came over here. The Hauge-Elling people ordained him the next year. He labored among us only eight years-at Norway Lake, near Willmar, Minn. He served six congregations. His preaching was in spirit and power. He also sang the praises of God that touched the hearts. He had after-meetings with those who sought salvation. He won many souls. But his great powers soon wore out. January 1, 1878, the Lord called him home. He was married twice and had six children.
 
The Hauge movement was greatly strengthened through Lars 0. Rustad.
 
 
Lars 0. Rustad and Johannes Halvorson
(Testimony by Pastor I. Melom, Montevideo, Minn.)
We were glad to receive this contribution from brother Melom (the son of the old laymen's pastor, Johannes Halvorson) just as we were closing up our manuscript. We shall quote from it as much as we have space for: "In about 1840 the Haugean revival was still going good in Norway. Laymen filled with the Spirit of God, and with an earnest zeal and longing for the salvation of souls, were making house-to-house visits in the country and in the villages. These laymen were very often hated and slandered by the organized church. They were called unchurchly. They were classed as trouble-makers. The pastor of the Jevnaker parish, Hadeland, northwest of Oslo, for instance, did all he could to oppose this so-called new religion and have it stopped. However, a man named Oppegaard, a well-to-do land-owner, opened up his spacious house for meetings by the despised lay-preachers, in spite of the protests from the minister.
 
"A revival broke out. Young and old were saved. Among the new converts was a young man, Johannes H. Slaatland (Brother Melom's father). One year later young Johanues joined a group of young men who traveled from place to place giving their testimonies of salvation in their simple way. On one of these journeys Johannes visited the parish of Lom in Gudbrandsdalen where he met a man of wonderful courage and spiritual vision, named Lars 0. Rustad.
 
"In 1872 these young men met again. They were not so young then. Rustad was 54, Halverson 42. They met in Renville County, Minn., this time. Rustad was to install Halvorson. (The Haugeans had just ordained him.) It certainly was a most happy meeting--to find each other again in such a way.
 
"Rustad was telling his younger co-worker of his mission work in the new land. He had met hindrances similar to those in Norway, but at invitations of Christian friends he had held house-to-house meetings here and there at Franklin, Sacred Heart, Dawson, Willmar and as far north as the present city of Fergus Falls. Rustad lived at Norway Lake, near Willmar.
 
"Rustad told his friend that to organize a church according to the Bible was not an easy matter to be done in a hurry. (The "old constitution," which was then practiced, required that all church members ought to be truly converted, at least earnestly seeking souls.)
"Rustad rejoiced in the fact that souls had been saved and a church was in the making. The members were not many, but they were happy in the Lord. Among these new converts were Ole Slattum and wife, K. Hendrickson and wife, the Holter brothers and many others. The Holter brothers were converted through L. 0. Rustad and later became leading ministers in the former Hauge Synod. The young men who were trained for the ministry in those days had a living experience of salvation. When the presidents of the Hauge Seminary at Red Wing, H. H. Bergsland, M.G. Hanson and .J. N. Kildahl (Kildahl was president one year, 1885-86), when they examined the young men who wanted to be trained for the ministry, it was not about the high-school diploma they asked; but the main thing was that they really had gone through a genuine conversion from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God.
 
"Lars Rustad encountered much opposition in his house-to-house visit-work and stress on a living Christian experience, by the formalistic ministers who went around and organized churches of all kinds of unconverted people, just so they were baptized and confirmed. Under these circumstances brother Halvorson succeeded Rustad at Sacred Heart in 1878.
 
"Intemperance and dancing were the outstanding sins of the day. People would swing on the dance-floor and be dead drunk on Saturday night. Next morning they would go to the Lord's Supper. Pastor Halverson could not tolerate this and denied the openly ungodly the sacrament.
 
This worked two ways. Some saw their sins and came to a true repentance. Others got angry, left the church and were admitted to another Lutheran church, where they were not so particular.
 
"The trials and humiliations of these early lay-pastors were many. They had very small salaries, and often large families. (0. H. Oace writes that Halvorson had only $50 a year in salary.) But they had offerings at each of the three festivals, on which they had to depend to quite an extent. At one Easter people had organized a plan not to respond and go around the altar when the offering was announced. This they got to work so adroitly that even the Christians, and perhaps others who would have taken part in the offering, sat like they were dumb-founded, so no one arose. In his closing words Pastor Halverson said: "I want everyone who belongs to God's people to hear what Jesus says: 'Be not afraid' and 'Peace be unto you.' Then a young man who had recently been led to Christ through him got the courage to arise and go around the altar to deposit his offering. He was then followed by almost all the rest. 'Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness sake.'
 
"The old laymen's pastors were not so stylish. A woman from Chicago who had moved to Sacred Heart wrote back that the pastor wore a red handkerchief around his neck, but his words carried conviction. After all it was not the robe that made the man.
 
"Having the reputation that he was a real laymen's pastor, Halverson was invited over to the neighborhood of Dawson, Minn., where there was a small group of converted souls. Pastor Utheim, who at that time was vice-president of the former Hauge Synod, encouraged the young converts to gather in the school-houses on Sunday afternoons. The group also invited other speakers and soon a spiritual awakening was in progress.
 
"When Halverson retired from the ministry in 1892, he and his eight children moved over to near Dawson and bought a farm. He kept his home open for the old-fashioned meetings. Men like Olaus Engen of the Elling Synod, Gudbrand Normarken of Fergus Falls, Minn., and Soren Peterson from North Dakota and others were called in to have meetings for a month or more at the time.
 
"How many times," brother Melom continues, "did I not sit as a small boy on the floor-on a coat or on a mat for hours and listen to the thunderous voice of Normarken.
People wept over their sins. Then again I remember the mild yet firm voice of Olaus Engen. It was at such a meeting that Johan F. Melum (his brother who later became a minister) as a young man asked others to pray for him. After he found peace with God, I heard him give many testimonies to the saving power of the Lamb. He in turn led many souls to Christ. In this way we may begin to evaluate the blessings these humble old lay-preachers and lay-pastors have brought us.
 
"During his short stay on the farm, and here on earth after this, Halverson was busy for God. Sometimes going east, sometimes west, always encouraging the young Christians to use their talents. He died in the fall (November 11th) of 1892, aged. 62."
 
(Pastor Halvorson's wife, Marie, nee Iverson, survived. His many children, of whom four became pastors-an unusual record-had the same living experience of salvation as their father. As so many Norwegians have two or three different names, so also Halvorson-slaatland-Melum. Most of the children have adopted the name "Melom." - Ed.)
 
"Some of the local laymen who had a good testimony and who were the main-spring of lay-activity in those days,'' brother Melom continues, "were Ole P. Retrum, Lars Sigmondstad, Tobias Madson, Ole Bergeland, Ole Tjomsland, Ole Holtan, Hans Nelson. Some of these men have lived till recently. However, the sad part is that no one is taking their place. Churches and homes and school-houses are closed against just such meetings.
 
"The tent-meetings sponsored by the Central Minnesota Society have met with much opposition in the Dawson vicinity. In 1931 when J. J. Breidablik and C. Seim conducted meetings, the opposition from the churches was especially felt very strongly. One young man, then a student at one of our Norwegian Lutheran seminaries, even attacked Breidablik in person, and drew him from the platform, demanding of him what right he had to speak. Breidablik said: "Poor man, he has not himself entered in through the gate to the Kingdom and he seeks to hinder them that would enter."
 
"We hear often that we are living in a day in which we have no persecution of the Christians. But we find out in this age, as well as before, that all that live Godly in Christ shall suffer persecution.''
 
"Yes there is a cross for every one, and there is a cross for me."
 
*   *   *
 
We note that brother I. Melom has a clear grasp of the history and the many problems of the Hauge lay-movement both in Norway and here in America. The heading of his article is: "Shall We Revive the House-to-House Meetings?'' God grant that kind of a revival! May God's rich blessing be upon the dear brother, who carries on courageously for the Lord in the old tracks our fathers made, notwithstanding some lameness and ill health.
 
 
Gunnar Graven
Cry aloud, spare not. Show my people their sins. IS 58:1
 
Much has been said and written both here and in Norway about this fiery preacher of repentance. We can here give only a few brief touches. Thanks to A. 0. Mortvedt (articles), I. S. Olson, H. G. Heggtveit (book), etc., for information. I shall touch briefly on four outstanding experiences in his struggling, but fruitful life.
 
First experience - His conversion. Young Graven had heard the call to repentance. He had renounced outward sins, but his heart was cold and stony. There was no help for him. He had given up.
 
In this forlorn, lost and helpless condition, he came to his church in Norway one Sunday. A visiting pastor, who himself had been recently converted through a lay-preacher, spoke on the ''Great Supper'' in Luke 14. In applying the words about the poor, blind and needy who are invited, he cried out in power and unction: "Jesus has come to save those who have nothing and can do nothing!'' The Holy Spirit put these words into young Graven's heart. He was led to Calvary, born again, and set free in the very pew he sat. The burden of his heart rolled away and his soul was flooded with peace and joy.
 
Second experience - The great testing. His heavenly place and joy gradually left him, his lost nature returned with its temptations, and he was overtaken by an awful darkness. The tempter whispered that he had backslidden, yes even sinned against the Holy Spirit, for which there is no forgiveness. With Bunyan, he was now in "the Castle of despair." He lost all strength for work, sleep and appetite. He sank into the valley of the shadow of death. He could only sigh and groan-being in agony. He tasted the torments of hell. An awful condition!
 
But the blessed dawn came after the darkest hour. He experienced a new sun-rise in his soul and found healing for his despairing heart. The Gospel set him free again. He felt "The Solid Rock'' under his feet. The new song was again put into his mouth.
 
Third experience - The heavenly calling. Young Graven was going to be a shoemaker. He had just learned the trade. But now God laid another very heavy burden upon his heart-the burden for the lost. It pressed down on him night and day-big tears rolling down his face and down upon the leather he worked on. But how in the world could he, a poor ignorant boy, without recognition and without invitations go out preaching? "But an invisible power had laid hold of me," he writes, "and I had no peace till I said: "Here am I.," Out he went, blowing the trumpet of repentance for ten long years-without human call, salary or compensation.
 
He worked at his trade in between for a living. But God had called him. Great revivals broke out in many places from which blessed fruits resulted, which are felt to this day. But now his health gave out. He rented a small place near Trondheim, got married and was quiet for awhile.
 
Fourth experience - A pioneer pastor in South Dakota.
Brother Graven and wife, Marit, came to South Dakota in 1871 - north of Vermillion-and found their first home in "Norbeck's dugout.'' He soon began to bear witness among the new settlers. A revival broke out. Sinners were converted. The converted people organized congregations, called him for their pastor, had him ordained and joined the Eielsen Synod-later Hauge Synod.
 
The pioneer struggles had begun-against terrible snow and hailstorms, droughts, grasshoppers, pressing debts, little or no salary, living in dugouts and cold shanties- where the health was often impaired-traveling long distances on foot in snow, sleet, rain and mud, or at best on horseback with a bag of hay for a saddle. He ministered to some 10-12 congregations between Sioux City, Iowa, and Dell Rapids, South Dakota--around trip of some 150 miles.
 
At nights he worked on his homestead. His health was at the breaking point again and again-till he was completely worn out. He died at Santa Rosa, Calif., June 6, 1908, age 72. He was born at Oksendalen, Norway, January 20, 1831.
He was converted in 1852.
 
Graven was always a great soul-winner. He was a "Son of Thunder." A child expressed it in this way: "I don't like Graven ; I can't go to sleep when he preaches.'' Someone remarked: "Why does Graven preach so much on hell?" The old layman, Thos. Eidem, answered: "He is best acquainted there." But he certainly was also well at home on Calvary.
 
Graven's meetings and services were in the liberty of the Spirit. He had one to open with prayer and another to close-often he asked some Christian lady to close with prayer, and also to give a testimony in a free song, or in word. Thus he encouraged the gifts of grace and was always a great friend of lay-evangelism and all layman's activity. He was a layman's pastor in the truest sense of the word. He was deeply burdened for his confirmation children and the salvation of the young people.
 
'The last three years of his life, at Santa Rosa, Graven gathered the people around God's Word-in his own home toward the end-always encouraging others to take part. His last testimony was on God's love to a poor and needy sinner. The peace and joy he had received 51 years bef ore was surging through his soul in a remarkable way just before his passing. His face beamed with heavenly joy, which rested over his face, even after the soul had left the body and gone home to God.
 
Mrs. Marit Graven, nee Olstad, survived her husband by nineteen years. She was very gifted and a typical Haugean, Christian woman. She was of great help to her husband in his soul-saving work. Where he was fiery, aggressive, sometimes irate and hasty, she would be patient, calm, loving, yet firm. She brought great blessings to many through her spirit-filled singing and her prayers in the meetings.
 
When a new minister wanted to turn the prayer meeting into a lecture meeting, she let him know that nothing could take the place of an old-fashioned prayer meeting. They had no children, but were specially active in founding the Beresford Orphans' Home in 1897.
The memory of Gunnar and Marit Graven will live long and have a lasting influence for salvation of souls and low-church, Haugean spiritual life here in South Dakota.
May God raise up others of the same zeal and the same spirit.
 
 
Thomas Olsen Eidem
 
Is not this brand plucked out of the fire? Zech. 3:2
 
This singular man of God and powerful lay-evangelist left us more than 50 years ago. Besides his spiritual gifts, he was a mind-reader and a dramatist. Incidents and anecdotes from his life and preaching are being told yet-after fifty years. Those who heard him once never forgot him.
 
A volume might be written on him. But I shall only select a few touches. These I have mostly from such old friends as A. J. Krogstad, I. S. Olson, 0. H. Oace, Hans Lybeck,
and a few others.
 
First incident which led to his conversion. He was skiing on a lake and went through the ice with his skis on and a big pack tied to his back. No human help was near. He cried to God for mercy and help. He was saved as by a great miracle. His conversion followed-in 1835. Soon he was out preaching the Gospel-from about 1836 till 1889 -or some 53 years. He made it a point to visit outlying places and settlements, where nobody else would come. He would go from house to house, from place to place-always witnessing, often persecuted, never giving up. Many were converted.
 
Thomas Eidem was born at Meraker, near Trondheim, September 24, 1813. He married Randi Hovstad in 1854. They lived awhile at Eidem in Selbu parish, hence his name. They came to America with a growing family in 1866-- settling near Elk Point, S. D. She died already January 16, 1878--leaving him with at least nine motherless children. Eidem continued his blessed ministry here among us visiting no doubt every congregation in the former Hauge Synod. He did not bother about invitations-if he had one, good and well, if not he went out with the life-line just the same. He was always welcome by God's earnest people and by the layman's pastors.
 
Second incident-from a revival meeting. Old Eidem was leery of superficial conversions. It had to go deep. In an awakening in Minnesota there was much urging and personal work to lead souls to Christ. Among others, a man seemed under conviction. He was pointed to Jesus by several, but all in vain. So they asked Eidem to speak to him. After a short conversation Eidem broke out in his blunt and outspoken way:
 
"There is too much dead flesh ("daukjott") in you to be saved. Moses got to come with his ten rods (10 commandments) and pound the life out of you."
 
In that way the man was wounded so deeply by the law, through Eidem, that he came into real distress. A little later he was gloriously converted. Eidem led the souls to Sinai first, then to Calvary. But he certainly also could speak to the Christians, explaining the work of the Spirit in his singular way till tears trickled down their faces, and their hearts were greatly blessed.
 
Third incident-plucking a brand out of the fire. Once there was a despairing sinner, whom the Christians had tried to help by talking to him about Jesus and the love of God, but he became more and more hardened in his despair, till he refused to see anyone-locking his door. Eidem came and knocked at his locked door and said who he was. The man cried out: "I don't want to see you and hear any more about the grace of God, that you men are peddling out!'' Eidem cried back: "I am not come to talk to you about the grace of God at all. That is not for you. You are a child of the devil and a brand for the fire of hell. And that is exactly what you have deserved."
 
But now the despairing man opened the door at once, saying: "Come in! You are the first man that ever told me the truth." They became great friends. Eidem led him to Calvary. The man died as a true Christian not so long after- ward. What a shining star in brother Eidem's crown!
 
Fourth incident-compelling them to come in. - Luke 14:23. Eidem knew how to do this-as no one else, through divine grace and through his almost miraculous insight into human nature.
 
Once he came to a very sick man, who did not care to hear about salvation, but turned his face to the wall. As soon as Eidem came into the sick-room he started to undress, crept into the bed under the bed-clothes with the sick man, saying nothing for quite a while. Then-putting himself in the man's place-he began to moan, groan and sigh very deeply. Then he began to lament and cry out to God in a broken voice: "I am a sick man and perhaps I must die. But I am not ready. If I die in this condition, I am sure to go to hell and be lost forever.'' Then he began to confess that he was a big sinner and cry to God for mercy - all in the sick man's stead - until he could stand it no longer and began to cry to God for salvation himself-and found peace with God.
 
We can just imagine that the economic condition of our dear brother was not an easy one. Large family. Small income. No salary. Just free gifts as the people felt like giving. But they got along. He prayed much and shed many tears for the salvation of his many children. For he was a man of prayer. Often he was heard to pray for hours in the stillness of the night.
 
Eidem had an exceptionally good memory. Toward the end of his blessed career, when his eyesight was failing, he could read by heart, not only a few verses, but whole chapters without mistakes. His very last speech was on the laborers in the vineyard. A fitting theme to wind up on.
 
He was sick for about two weeks. Some say he had a great spiritual struggle and "the fearful breakers roared'' as he neared the River. At any rate he had a blessed peace in his heart the last days of his life.
 
A close, personal friend of his wrote that "he took a very touching leave of his five children present at the death-bed. His oldest daughter, Mrs. Ringsrud asked : 'Do you believe you are going to Jesus, father?'  "Yes," he answered with a heavenly smile (saligt smil).   Toward the release of the soul a wonderful expression of holy calm, heavenly peace and transformation seemed to rest over his face. Finally the spirit took its flight-and went home to God, washed in the blood of the Lamb.''--Thus far his friend.
 
He died near Elk Point, S.D., May 8, 1889, age 76. His close friend and pastor, Gunnar Graven, had charge of the funeral. He spoke on old Simeon's prayer in Luke 2: "Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy Word, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation."
 
Paul's description of a true servant of God fits our beloved brother in a very striking way:
"In honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report, as unknown, yet well-known ; as poor, yet making many rich."          
 
Blessed be the memory of Thomas Olsen Eidem!
 
"What a wonderful meeting when the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore!'' May his many children and their families which he prayed for and wept over "be there--in answer to his prayer."
 
 
Amund Amundson (Lonning)
 
Hans Nielsen Hauge had visited the five large Hardanger parishes on his way to Bergen in the spring and summer of 1799. He had come on skis across the wide Hardanger Mountains-from Opdahl in Nummedal to Norstebo, from there to Maurset and then to Eidfjord in Hardanger. How beautiful on the mountains were his feet. He came with glad tidings and on the mission of peace. There were souls, like Samson Traa, who had longed for peace with God for twenty years, who now found it--in the summer of 1799. Prayer meetings and lay-activity had been kept up more or less in the Hardanger parishes since Hauge's visit and are kept up still.
 
Amund A. Lonning, or Torekoven (a rent-place under Lonning) was born in the Ullensvang (now Odda) parish, Hardanger, in 1827. He no doubt came from an old stock of Christians - from the time of Hauge. Some of the Lonnings, left in Norway, in particular his brother, Tormod, who lived at Myklebust, hence his name, was a gifted and very free and evangelical leader of the large Hardanger laymen's society for some twenty years. Albert Myklebust in Idaho is a son.
 
Amund came here among us in 1851-to Cambridge, Dane County, Wis. If he had not been converted in Nowway, he no doubt was saved when he came among the early Haugeans in Southern Wisconsin. He was a shoemaker by trade and here he became a farmer. He came to Radcliffe, Iowa, in 1888. He both testified and sang the salvation message-in the local church, Nazareth--and also farther away. He was to some extent also lay-evangelist for the former Hauge Synod. He was also member of the Church Council for many years of the Hauge Synod. He was married and had a large family. Albert Amundson, who has followed in the footsteps of the old Christian stock, and a large number of others of thy old Lonning family are confessing Christians.
 
Old Amund entered into the joy of the Lord in 1896.
 
From an Article on Lay-activity, by Amund Amundson
(Written for Budbaereren in the winter of 1889)
 
"It is wonderful to see how souls are awakened and converted. Then again to see these same souls, filled with concern for the salvation of others, in their turn go out to win souls. This we have seen in Norway. However, the main witness, Hans Nielsen Hauge, was persecuted and put in prison for ten years."
 
God forbid that we should again have dumb dogs in our pulpits, who don't cry out: "Awake thou that sleepest, arise from the dead and Christ shall give you light."
 
(Now in the church-union discussion of 1889, there were two motions regarding lay-activity under consideration.
 
Dr. Boeckman's motion: "We shall encourage Christian lay-activity.''
 
The motion from the Hauge Synod: "To encourage the same kind of lay-activity as practised by the Haugeans in Norway."-Ed.)
 
Amundson, who in this article is arguing strongly for the Hauge Synod proposition, says further: "Suppose you call a minister and he comes. The leading Christians go to him and talk about the need of more spiritual life. They ask him: Do you agree to what the new constitution says : 'We shall encourage lay-activity'-supposing Dr. Boeckman's motion is accepted and put into the constitution. He says, 'Yes.' They say, 'Well then, it is your duty to announce laymen's meetings and encourage the people to attend.' Then he says: No. You have called me to preach the Word of God in this church and that is enough.' They answer: 'But it says in the constitution that we shall encourage lay-activity.' 'That's right,' he says. 'You do it in your own family and have devotion at the table, visit the sick, work for the mission, take interest in the Christian schools, give of your means and help along to gather funds--that's the lay-activity that shall be encourage.'"  
 
"But this is entirely different from the lay-activity of the Haugeans in Norway,'' Amundson argues. That is a testifying lay-activity. It's a lay-activity that stands on the right and the privilege for God's people to testify, exhort and pray in open and public meetings.
 
"It is my opinion that we should not be too much in a hurry about this proposed church union," brother Amundson concludes.
 
As we know, the large church--union was elected in 1890, Dr. Boeckman's plank of lay-activity being accepted. The Hauge Synod motion of encouraging a lay-activity like the Haugeans in Norway,'' was ruled out; therefore the Hauge Synod did not go along in the Union.
 
We see how the older laymen like Haavik and Amundson and many others fought hard to keep lay-activity of the old Haugean order as a main living issue in the former Hauge Synod.
 
At the church union of 1917, when the Hauge Synod gave up its separate existence, its delegation was able to get into the new constitution : "Lay-activity, prayer meetings and active work for awakening of spiritual life shall not be looked upon as fanaticism,'' and some similar words.
 
Good as this is, when we think how it was wrung unwillingly from other and more high-church elements, it falls far short of the Haugean stand in 1889, which old Amundson and others fought for--"like the Haugeans in Norway.'' That was an absolutely independent lay-activity. It was never controlled by the organized church, nor by the ministers. The old laymen and laymen's pastors among us fought for this that the Hauge Synod might be like a large and extended laymen's society--with congregations and ordained pastors in its bosom. In this way it worked   from 1846 up to 1889, and was kept out of the outward church union in 1890. After that, and especially after the persecution of H.H. Bergsland, broad-church elements with a high-church leaning slowly developed until 1917, when the Hauge Synod discontinued. But some of the good old spiritual leaven came into the 1890 union from the Augustana Synod, and what came in from the Hauge Synod in 1917 ought not to be without fruit.
 
 
Anders Haavik-The Old Witnesses in Sogn, Norway
(Information by P. C. Sonneyrn Silverton, Ore., and H. G. Heggtveit)
                                                       
Our dear brother Sonnesyn almost insists that we take along some of the old witnesses from Sogn, a large district northeast of Bergen with fourteen parishes. It is outside of the scope of this book to describe the great cloud of witnesses in Norway. But we shall briefly mention just a few who, by the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit, went from place to place, held meetings, did personal work and won souls for Jesus. But I cannot go outside the Sogn district, neither can I say more than a very few lines about each.
 
Daniel Arnesen and Lars Kyllingen were of the older witnesses almost f rom the time of Hauge, and they were the means of bringing revivals here and there in Norway.
D. Arnesen died in 1866, Lars Kyllingen in 1826. When somebody sympathized with Lars Kyllingen, because he had such an ungodly son, he answered: "He will one day prophesy on my grave." This was a true prophecy. Many years later the son was truly converted. After a service in one of the churches of Grytten parish, where Kyllingen had moved to, the one-time ungodly son stood on his father's grave and testified to the people about the wonderful change that had taken place in his life and exhorted others to seek the Lord.
 
Ole Brustuen in the Lyster parish had a personality that reminded one of Jesus and real personal holiness. When the minister in the Lyster parish (Fortun annex) catechised the children and stressed the point that only Jesus was absolutely sinless, a little girl said she knew one more who had no sin at all. The minister asked very surprised who that might be. "Ole Brustuen,'' the young girl answered.
 
Ingrid Fortun, a testifying young sister, was born in 1810. She went from place to place to bear witness both in private and public. The ordained ministers held her to be a "real nuisance." She disturbed them.
 
Once after she had spoken and the minister was present, he arose and rebuked her very sharply. She answered with a song :
"De som har plaget uskyldige fromme
Skal blive med evighets angest bespendt.''
 
This means: Those who pester the Christians here, shall themselves be pestered with anguish in a lost eternity. As she was singing the minister walked out.
 
David Flathammer was another traveling lay-evangelist. He was married twice. But his second marriage was not so happy. He said: "I received my first wife ; but I took my second wife."
 
Evik Alme, Lyster, was a giant, whose aim it was to lead souls to Jesus. "He fought the good fight of faith and overcame death."
 
Erik Venjum, Hafslo parish, is mostly known for his inspiring song written in the summer of 1842, when the so-called ''conventicle Act" -- forbidding lay-people to testify finally was abolished. Erik was so happy that he wrote the song with a pencil on a barn-door to begin with. Later it was sung by God's people all over Norway. It might be called the spiritual liberty song. The first lines are:
"Hav tak vor Herre kjaer! for Saadan frihet er
At vi i fred kan tales ved om det som hor til salighet."
 
Translated, this reads: Praise God for such spiritual liberty that we now can speak to one another in peace about the things that belong to our salvation.
 
Nils Optun was an unusually spirit-filled layman. He would often go around and speak privately after meetings to those who were touched and led them to Christ. He won many souls.
 
Peder N. Nagloren was one of the most well-known lay- preachers in Sogn He lived till in 1916. He had a sentiment, or foreboding, that the days of the great tribulation were close at hand.
 
Herman Hundere, Sogndal parish, dated his conversion from the time Nils Optun laid his hand on his head and said: "Will you be a child of God to the end of your life?'' He was a child then. Later he became a pastor of the Lutheran Free Church in Norway. Hans Hundere in Minneapolis is a son. Herman Hundere died November 10, 1902.
 
Nils T. Ylvisaker, Sogndal, was converted through a Christian boy who was lame. He came to America in 1868, was ordained by the Norwegian Synod and died in 1877.
Ingebrikt H. Mundahl was a teacher mostly in Fjerland parish. He was noted for his extensive lay-activity and for his admonitions to all the young people who went to America. He had a word for each one. His last words were: "Lord Jesus receive my spirit." He died in 1887.
 
Ole Nesse, Vik, who lived till after 1923, was a very touching witness for the truth. Many souls were won through him. Once when he came in to a home he asked the Christian lady of the house: "Do you know of any people in this neighborhood who are really hungry for spiritual food?"
 
There were also Hans Lingjerde whom God used to convert an ordained minister (C. Dick), Lars Myrland, who came to this country, Per Hilleren and a host of others who are now almost forgotten, but are at home with the Lord. They were despised on earth, but have been welcomed in heaven.
 
Anders Haavik, brother Sonnesyn writes, was a sharp revival preacher. He worked first in the Bergen Inner Mission to a great blessing. Then he moved to Hafslo parish, Sogn, northeast of Bergen. God used him here to bring about a great revival. He came to the U.S.A. in the eighteen-eighties, and continued as a lay-evangelist in the former Hauge Synod until his death."
 
We shall now hear a brief testimony from Anders Haavik taken from an article written by him to the "Budbaereren" the Hauge Synod's organ in the spring of 1889.
 
 
"Lay-Activity" by Anders Haavik
 
"Laymen and ministers are discussing lay-activity in these days (they are doing the same still). Some think that we cannot have laymen's work here as we had it in Norway. Why not? Just let us get personally acquainted with it. I have recently come from Norway, and I know very well how it is practised there.
 
"I have been along and taken part in Norway in my humble way for almost forty years. Our rule was to have no meeting Sunday forenoon, when the preacher of the State Church held meetings. In our meetings we began with singing and prayer. Then, when only the local talents were present, we read from a good book. Then we had a testimony on what we had heard, then prayer and a song. Then we had prayer meetings where men and women took part. Then we went to do personal work, visiting the sick and in the houses. By these means we kept the flame of brotherly love alive.
 
"Such Christian lay-activity the Hauge Synod must never let go of, not for any price," A. Haavik continues.
 
"I have traveled quite a bit in this country since I came here. And I find that the Hauge Synod is somewhat similar to the lay-activity in Norway. Only here we have the ordained ministers and congregations in addition.
 
"But now brethren, we must have our eyes open, first of all upon ourselves and then upon our ministers. The gifted young men who are coming from the school to become ministers are in no little danger. They are ordained now, and it lies near for them to think that the church services belong to them. This is a temptation in a high-church direction that will end in Rome. The people think this way: "Today we have our minister. He can do it all. Why should we have it mixed up with the testimonies of the lay-men? Perhaps the minister himself likes this tendency in his people. He likes to do it himself. If this tendency gets the upper hand, we are on the way back to the old State Church. The confidence between the minister and the lay-people will be weakened. And instead of being one, we soon will be two.
 
"Brethren, what shall we do ? Why, let the congregation take more part in the public service. Let a layman begin with scripture reading and prayer; then after the minister has preached, let another layman give a brief testimony on what has been heard, and then close with prayer. This is the good apostolic order and good church order. But don't let the minister, when he is asking one layman to begin and another to close, receive any 'No' so he will have to do those tasks himself at last.
 
"God grant us a baptism of the Holy Spirit !''
 
It is the forenoon services brother Haavik here, no doubt, refers to. At the afternoon and evening services it was the custom, where there were any Christians, to have a season of testimony, prayer and free singing. It is upon this old Haugean lay-activity both here and in Norway that our Inner Mission Societies are built.
 
But the Christian testimony, as Haavik intimates, will never slide along of itself. It has to be fought for and sacrificed for--it is an up-hill activity--else it will wither and die.
 
Remember 1889 was a year of church union discussion. The next year the large church union was formed--The United Lutheran Church. One of the reasons why the Hauge Synod did not go along was that they were afraid lay-activity would not come to its God-given rights.
 
Haavik, who now perhaps would be looked upon as a lay-man fanatic, continued to travel all the rest of his life for the Hauge Synod and was very highly esteemed by the people of God.
 
 
Pastor O1e J. Kasa, a Persecuted Brother
 
The number of persecuted brethren among us here in America is far greater than we realize. All who live Godly in Christ shall be persecuted more or less. But we have those among us who have suffered special persecution--in the home, by individuals and groups, by a church body or by a local church. We shall let 0. J. Kasa stand as a representative for all who have suffered persecution, most often in silence. We shall let him be the unknown soldier to represent the rest.
 
His life was blameless. His doctrine was pure. But he was ousted from a church body because he felt in his conscience he could not read certain old sentences from the altar-book at communion, which would lull the unconverted to sleep. He wanted absolution and communion separated. He stood up for spiritual liberty. So he was persecuted.
 
We shall now listen to a few testimonies concerning Ole Kasa, the first one by 0. H. Oace:
 
He was one of the old witnesses whom God used to lead many sinners to repentance. He was himself awakened and converted through the activity of the old lay-preacher and teacher, 0.A. Bergh. Ole Kasa was born in Aremark parish, southeast of Oslo, November 4, 1821. There were seven brothers and sisters who gave their hearts to God. Yes, more than that, they began to testify to others how good it was to be a child of God. Ole (often together with his two brothers, Hans and Brynild) went from place to place and called to sinners: "Be ye reconciled to God." He even went to Sweden to bear witness. Once an ungodly man struck him with a heavy stick, from which he bore marks a long time, if not all his life. Some ungodly men even plotted to kill him, but the Lord delivered his faithful witness out of their hands.
 
In the fall of 1853 two of the "Kasa boys," Hans and Brynild, stopped at our home in Rodenes parish. They were on their way to meet Ole up at Kongsvinger. They held a meeting in our home. Hans prayed and Brynild spoke on hell and made it so real that the hair stood straight on my head.
 
Ole Kasa was married October 15, 1854 to Karen H. Rustad. He now got his own home and they lived near Kongsvinger till 1868.
 
Among others Kasa won for God was Hans E. Sether, who later came among us and became a humble and faithful witness for the Lord.
 
The Kasa family came to Red Wing, Minn., in 1868 and stayed about a year with his brother-in-law, 0. A. Bergh, just west of Kenyon. He began to travel as a lay-evangelist and went to where Fergus Falls now is, took homestead and built his home while he spread the good tidings. These converted, or at least awakened people, wanted him for their minister. Elling Eielsen ordained him in 1870 (or 1869). He continued serving as many as eight congregations. He continued till his name was removed from the ministers' calendar, but he did not stop with his testimony.
 
I now come to something which is very hard for me to write down. Some of the leading men in the Hauge Synod began to investigate the lives and doctrines of some of these older, faithful witnesses to find fault with their work. These old laymen's pastors had no seminary diploma. We can safely say about those who kept on with the investigation of Ole Kasa, that they were what Paul calls "false brethren." It was an outcrying unrighteousness. And we who saw the evil, just complained about it, but let the matter go on, without trying to correct it. I was one of them. Once I told some of the leaders about the wonderful work for God Kasa was doing. One of them answered, "Don't you know that he is no longer a pastor?'' The whole thing was a big scandal. He who was ousted was much better than those who sat in their offices as pastors. We who live now ought to agree to ask God and man to forgive us.
 
Kasa continued to labor for the Lord. (The churches, however, were closed against him for some time.) He laid down the staff of his pilgrimage with these words, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
 
He died September 17, 1904. His wife died April 10, 1905. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.
 
About these investigations and trial meetings, brother Oace refers to, the investigators themselves seemed to be in a mix-up. There are four main views on the doctrine of communion:
1. The symbolic presence (Zwinglie) .
2. The spiritual presence which only God's people can receive (Calvin) .
3. The so-called "real presence'' and the ubiquity (allestedsnaervaerelse) of the body of Christ, received by the ungodly to their condemnation and by the Christians for strength and blessing (Luther)
4. The physical presence of Christ (Roman Catholics).
 
Kasa stood on number 3. The investigators, it seems, stood mostly on number 4. But how many of us have these views exactly straight. The main point is that we stand on God's Word, and that was what brother Kasa did.
 
 
Memories of OIe J. Kasa, by A. E. Hollom, Snohomish, Wash.
 
I knew Ole Kasa well when I lived at Fergus Falls, Minn. We were much together in meetings. I belonged to the United Church. Kasa came to our circuit meetings and so did President Hoyme.
 
The theme at one of these meetings was about the Prodigal Son. After a while President Hoyme said, "Now we would like to hear also a little about the 'Elder Brother,' and I want Kasa to begin." After Kasa and Hoyme had spoken, Hoyme said: "Now I want the other ministers to continue." One of the ministers arose and said: "I believe we are strangers here. I always thought the 'Elder Brother' was a Christian." Now Kasa had to get up again and speak. He spoke so searchingly about the Pharisees that I believe President Hoyme got a little scared. Then we heard with all clearness who is a Pharisee and who is a true Christian. It was very self-searching. I know there were those present who saw their lost condition.
 
Some time later I was at a meeting that Kasa held in the Hauge church at Fergus Falls. His text was Isa. 53. There was not a single dry eye in the audience. It was so touching and spirit-filled. After the meeting was over, I went up and thanked him for the testimony. "Now brother," he said, "I know that you testify about Jesus. If you should have no other chance, just take Isa. 53, verses 4 and 5, and read to a sinner. Will you promise me to do it?" I said "Yes."         
 
Once I had an opportunity to try Kasa's advice to a dying man. I read to him Isa. 53:4, 5. "He was wounded for our transgression's etc. Then I left. It was 10 o'clock. At 2 o'clock his wife called me over the telephone to come back. I went. She met me at the door and said with tears in her eyes that her husband had become a lost sinner. (We hope he found real peace with God.)
 
Thus God used Isa. 53:4-5, which Pastor Ole J. Kasa had requested me to read.
 
H. G. Heggtveit, author of three large books on lay-activity in Norway, says about the so-called "Kasa Boys", after he has related the story of their conversion at a funeral in 1845:
 
"Then began in all seriousness, both temporally and spiritually, the busy and strenuous life of labor for these three brothers (Ole, Hans and Brynild). Their day of labor lasted 50 years for each of them. From now and on they were called 'the Kasa boys.' They were known and beloved by this name and what it stood for in a large part of Norway and even Sweden. The oldest of the 'boys' (namely Ole), who later went to America, worked to a rich blessing among our countrymen over there for 35 years."
 
Next we shall come to the sad part of our story. From 1875 and on there seemed to have developed a persecuting element in the former Hauge Synod. Not so long after they were through with the persecution of Kasa, they started with Professor Bergsland and others. I believe the element itself was comparatively small, but the members were able by adroit church politics to poison the minds of many and get them along in the persecution.
 
Let Us Clear the Memory of Ole J. Kasa
 
I am thankful to our dear old brother, 0.H. Oace (also brother Hollom) , for good articles on brother Kasa, who was ousted from the Hauge Synod at its annual meeting in Chicago in 1889. Brother Oace asks for forgiveness because he did not stand up for the beloved brother Kasa, as he should, and he does his part to vindicate his memory, and so does Hollom.
 
The slander about Kasa has traveled down these 50 years to many of us, myself included, till I came to partly believe that he might be guilty of some wrong doctrine, especially in regard to Communion. But now as C. Lillethun's sad report lies before me, as printed in the "Budbaereren" in 1889, I see clearly that brother Kasa was absolutely clear in his Lutheran doctrine, both as to Communion and other doctrines. It was nothing but a question of a sentence in the communion ritual, which Kasa omitted, because so many unconverted communicants found a false comfort in it, and because it did not fully correspond to the words of Jesus in Matt. 26:28. According to Osten Hanson's synod- report (he was president that year), the words Kasa objected to were these: ''Worthily eat Christ's body and drink His blood for the remission of your sins." These words Kasa did not want to read up in the exhortation to communicants. The Synod had at least one trial on him and he was asked to include these words. But he refused. So they proceeded with wicked hands to expel him from the church body, because he, like Stephen, did not keep the old customs, though many no doubt did it in ignorance.
 
The time subsequent to 1889 has vindicated Kasa. The words that he objected to have been entirely omitted from the ritual and altar-book of Norway since 1918. In the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America we have two communion exhortations. From one of them those same words have been entirely omitted. So if our brother had lived now, he would not have had the least trouble on that point.
 
And what is more, the Hauge Synod that expelled him made confession and absolution optional some time after Kasa's expulsion. You may use it or omit the entire absolution ritual, as you see fit. The suffering of Kasa led to more spiritual liberty.
 
 
The Church Council Brought in a Recommendation to Delay the Matter One Year
 
It should be stated that some of Kasa's best friends were not present at the Chicago meeting in 1889. For certain, G. Norbeck, G. Graven, 0.0. Bergh and several others of our best soul-winners and laymen's pastors were absent.
 
The following wanted their names added to the report as not voting: G. Evenson (pastor) , J.J. Breidablik (young pastor) , K.C. Holter (pastor) , Theo. Hanson (pastor) , 0.A. Bergh (pastor and brother-in-law of Kasa), C. Lillethun (lay member and secretary of the Synod).
 
The following wanted their names added to the report as voting against the expulsion: 
 
John Nelson (delegate from Emmanuel Church, St. Paul), G.S. Greseth (young delegate from Stordahl congregation, Kenyon, Minn.), 0.E. Torgerson (pastor), C. 0. Brohaugh (pastor and vice-president of the church body), Osten Hanson (pastor and president of Hauge Synod), I.G. Aschim (pastor).
 
These men seem to have been weak-kneed in their defense of Kasa, but at least they did not defile their hands with blood. It affords another proof that no false doctrine could have been involved, else neither the president nor the vice-president would have voted against the ouster. They were too strong on the "pure doctrine'' for that.
 
Finally the majority of the Synod forced the following resolution through:
 
"Since Pastor 0. J. Kasa still clings to his earlier stand concerning the altar-book and its communion doctrine (Note: It is the alter-book -- not God's word.) (nadverlaere) , the Hauge Synod feels constrained to sever its connection with him." Perhaps it is from this hateful resolution the slander has come down these 50 years that Kasa was off on the doctrine of communion. It is evident that it was from the "practice" he differed, not the "doctrine." However, it is easy to mix up the words "practice" and "doctrine," or even to say words, when you are surrounded by enemies, on which they will put the worst construction, impute false doctrines and pass slanderous reports.
 
Jesus said : "This is my blood . . . which is shed for many for the remission of sins." 'The altar-book says: Eat His body and drink His blood for the remission of your sins."
Note the difference. Kasa stood on the Word, not on the altar-book.
 
Perhaps Kasa's main fault was that he overstressed his point and discussed it too much, being almost too conscientious, for he was tender-hearted.
 
So the 68-year-old servant of the Lord was ousted. By the time of his ousting he had labored as an outstanding soul-winner for some 44 years. In Norway he belonged to the circle of the beloved "Kasa-boys" as they were fondly called by the Christian friends-Hans, Ole and Brynild, of whom O1e seemed to be most prominent. He had suffered for the sake of Christ both in Norway and Sweden. He had also been a soldier in the Schlesvig-Holstein war in 1848. Since 1868, when he came to America--he was ordained in 1869--he had labored in Northern Minnesota amidst untold trials, afflictions and hardships. He won many souls. His life was blameless, and he was a man of prayer, always standing on the Truth and on God's Word.
 
The old, tried, tender-hearted and conscientious brother took this expulsion exceedingly hard. In fact he never got over it. It came to be a deep, tender, incurable wound. In 1904 I read an article by him in "Skandinaven," not long before his death. I could read between the lines how the wounds that were inflicted so cruelly 15 years before were bleeding anew. Even the very churches had been closed to him for some time after the ousting to add weight to the crushing blow. We know he got the victory and was able to forgive his enemies, but it could not have been easy. We are thankful to the Lutheran Brethren who accepted him and gave him a home among them during his remaining years. God set his homecoming for September 7, 1904. He was then 83 years old. His last words were: "For me to live is Christ, and death is gain."*
 
Kasa left three children, Hill. K of Osakis, Minn., Mrs.(Rev. J. Rodvik) of River Grove, Ill., and J.0. Kasa of Wallingford, Iowa. The last named was in the ministry for awhile, but when his father was so mistreated, he left it for good not long after. Kasa's wife and children also received cruel blows they perhaps never will get over.
 
As a group of lay people standing independently and in the liberty of the spirit and not tied down by old church rituals, for us it is a duty, though 50 years have elapsed, to refute the slander and to stand up in this way for one of our most precious brothers and transplanters of living Christianity from Norway to America. He was along and laid the foundation we are standing on today. Since he stood on the living Truth, disregarded old ritual customs and endured soul-suffering worse perhaps than most martyrs, we should honor and revere his memory and brush aside all slanderous reports.
 
Blessed be the memory of Ole J. Kasa! Rest in peace, old pilgrim, till we meet you again in the morning of the resurrection!
 
 
Gudbrand Tuve, a Typical Haugean
 
Brother Tuve was born in Vestre Slidre parish, Valders, Norway, August 1, 1828. There was much spiritual life in the Valders parishes at that time. We mention Knut Kirkeberg, Svend Espelien, Svend Ulsaker, who was called "Stor-laeseren" (the great reader), Ole Grothe and Haavel Auland. The last named once said: "I am studying theology every day in the blood of Jesus and I am preparing for the last examination."
 
After having spent some years as shepherd boy in Hardanger, Gudbrand came to America in 1854, first to Stoughton, Wis., then Carver and Fillmore counties, Minn., and about 1867 to near Decorah, Iowa where he lived the longest part of his life. He was married to Torbjorg Salvhus, a quiet and faithful soul, who later found life in God.
 
Gudbrand was awakened to spiritual life about 1861 through a long and hard struggle. His younger brother, O1e Olsen Tuve, who was already a Christian and became a minister in the Conference (Konferencen) , helped him by pointing him to the Lamb of God, and he found peace for his soul.
 
About twelve miles from Gudbrand's home was the Stavanger-settlement with rich Christian life in those early days. Jacob Forre, Pastor Carlson and wife, Nils Ramsfjeld, Lars and Liva Aasland, Lars and Anna Osterhus, and Ole and Anna Bergeland and many others met in the homes for prayer and fellowship in the Lord, which was their daily bread. Gudbrand came walking the twelve miles and lived in sweet spiritual communion and fellowship with these earnest Christians. As he once broke out saying in his striking manner as he sat at the table and enjoyed the hospitality of Liva Aasland: 
 
"O, Stavanger-settlement! O, Stavanger-settlement! In you I have spent many a good hour."
 
Old Gudbrand walked with God and talked with God as a man to his friend. Once after a greedy neighbor had tried to cheat him, and they happened later to eat at the same table, Gudbrand began to praise God aloud because the man sitting next to him had not been permitted to cheat him.
 
Gudbrand was not so very good in keeping his fences in order. Once while eating, his Christian neighbor, Halvor Garden, came with a law-book under his arm to reprove Gudbrand and read the law to him. But Gudbrand anticipated him and said as soon as he was through eating, "Take the Bible and read, Halvor.'' Halvor read. "Now you must pray, Halvor,'' Gudbrand continued. Halvor fell on his knees and prayed, as was his custom. Gudbrand also prayed. "Sing a verse, Halvor.'' Halvor sang and Gudbrand joined him. Then Halvor got up, walked quietly out with the law-book under his arm, without saying a word to Gudbrand about the poor fences. But Gudbrand also got up, walked out and began to repair his fences. So they both were kept in brotherly love.
 
There was always a deep spiritual meaning in all Gudbraud said: "You must sell out, Ola, you must sell out, Ola,'' he once said with much stress to a man who was getting very worldly.
 
"Where do you come from?" someone asked. "I come from 'Vanity Fair'," 'Gudbrand answered. He had visited a place where he felt there was too much vanity and luxury.
The old Haugeans hated luxury and lived in the most simple manner.
 
"It's so terribly cold in this church, you need a good stove," he once remarked. He meant in a spiritual sense, of course.
 
Old Gudbrand was a very noted man in the old Hauge Synod. Once coming into the church at Ossea, Wis., while Pastor N.J. Sandven was preaching the opening sermon at a circuit meeting, Gudbrand shouted out aloud : "If I don't get spiritual food now, I shall die'' (Faar jeg ikke mat nu, saa dor jeg) . It spurred brother Sandven on. As soon as the sermon was over and without being asked, Gudbrand got up and began in a loud voice to praise God for the spiritual food he had received.
 
"What are you looking after?" Gudbrand asked a rich worldly neighbor, who with pleasure was looking over his fine farm. "My farm, of course," the neighbor said. "Your farm?" Gudbrand added. "You have no farm! Don't you know that the earth belongs to the children of God?''
 
Old Gudbrand was not too proud to ask forgiveness, if he had needlessly offended anyone, as once when he had left a place in haste, because something had been said he did not like. The next time he met the man (brother 0. Jacobson, near Ostrander, Minn.) , he came with outstretched hand and asked his forgiveness for being too hasty.
 
As Gudbrand Tuve loved really converted ministers, he looked upon unconverted pastors as a great curse. It has been said that he asked one such a preacher, whom he once had a ride with, to stop the horses, that he might get out, fall on his knees and pray for him.
 
"I do not understand what you mean, Gudbrand," a minister remarked, when he wanted to talk to the pastor about spiritual life. "Neither did Nicodemus understand it, when Jesus spoke to him about the new birth," Gudbrand answered. "This house is filled with the devil's children." he said to the lady as he left a certain home.
 
Gudbrand Tuve had his citizenship in heaven. The older he became, the more he longed for heaven and home. It hardly could be expected, but that he would be mocked, laughed at and even persecuted for his peculiar ways and his earnest Christianity. He indeed belonged to "God's peculiar people."
 
One day in December 1906 God called his servant home. When Dr. Hoegh remarked: "You will have to die, Gudbrand, before another sun goes down," the dear ones around the bed got the impression he had received a message of great joy. He began to praise God that he now was permitted to lay down the staff of his pilgrimage. He spent the last day on earth in prayer and praise. A neighbor came in to thank Gudbrand for his many prayers for her. His daughter and sons, Anton and Ole knew they were carried on the arms of prayer. "Happy journey to heaven, father," Anton said, as his soul was released and went home to God. Anton was president a long time of Augustana Academy, Canton, S.D. The other son, Ole Tuve, lives at Toronto, S. D.
 
Gudbrand Tuve is buried near Toronto, S.D. On the tombstone is engraved: "The Word of God, prayer and praise were his life and delight."
 
"Oh think of the friends over there,
Who before me the journey have trod,
Of the songs that they breathe on the air,
In their home in the palace of God."
 
 
Pastor Fredrick Herman Carlson
 
He was one of the blessed Swedish brothers who worked for spiritual life among our people. Brother Carlson was born in Stockholm, May 24, 1834, and was no doubt converted through the Rosenius pietistic revival in Sweden. He also had labored some as lay-preacher for "Fosterlandsstiftelsen"--the Swedish revival movement.
 
We did not have many among us who could tie the ties of love among the brethren, as brother Carlson could. The love of God flowed like a stream through his own heart.
The Haugeans ordained him in 1869 and he continued all his days a fine lay-preacher, first at Ossian, Iowa, then at Minneapolis and finally around Volin and Irene, S.D. He both gathered God's people and held them together. He was also a preacher of repentance, as one brother expressed it: "I shall never forget when I as a young man sat in Trondhjem Church and heard Pastor Carlson's earnest admonition to wake up from the sleep of sin."
 
At Carlson's afternoon and evening services there were free testimonies and prayers and singing after a short opening sermon. God's people were encouraged to use their talents.
 
One of the strongest gifts Carlson possessed was to instruct the confirmands and reach their hearts. Many of his confirmation children will carry his instruction and admonitions with them through life. Many, no doubt, have been led to Christ later, whom Carlson instructed.
 
God's people loved Carlson so well that when he visited his former churches not so long before his passing, they had a reunion that was simply wonderful. Carlson was afraid of all misunderstandings and church fights. He was a man of peace. God called him home July 3, 1892. He rests among the people he loved so well-at Zion Church near Volin. Our beloved friend, Pastor C. Olberg, is a son- in-law.
 
  Flash: ON   December 16, 2018 

 

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