We came out from them, and are still of them. The hew American stock takes pride in its old Engilsh home and kin, and hopes never to dishonor the family name and birthright. We welcome to our board a lineal descendant of our English fathers. Jehovah Jirah has been our motto and Mizpeh our prayer.
RESPONSE BY MR. DAVID BICKNELL, NEW JERSEY.
MR. PRESIDENT AND FRIENDS:
It is very gratifying to me after sojourning in this country for over thirty years, to come so suddenly amongst so many of my own name and kin.
I now realize the promise of a Bicknell welcome if I attended this first social gathering of the Bicknell family.
I thank you, sir, most sincerely for so kindly proposing my health and the friends for so warmly responding.
Independent of being introduced as an English Bicknell, my tongue must now have told the same tale, not only that I am an Englishman, but also a Cockney.
Each county in England has its own peculiar dialect. London has hers. The Rev. R. Hill objected to dropping the "h" as it would make him ill (or sick) all his life. I never had that fear and have never been under medical treatment since I was an infant, then the doctor did his best to kill me, but finally gave up, left the house, but not hearing of my death he returned after waiting two or three days, and seeing I still lived, called me a "little humbug." I have managed to dodge the doctor ever since, and propose to do the same for some years to come, that I may enjoy the pleasure of meeting with you in this social family way.
The account you have listened to respecting my branch of the Bicknell family is very imperfect but I hope, within a short time, to furnish the link that will again unite us.
There is one thing about this gathering of the Bicknell family that is particularly pleasing to my mind. Although a Congregationalist in principle, a Presbyterian in practice, I am glad that you are meeting in this M. E. Church, as it brings to mind so many of my family who were intimately connected with Methodism from its very foundation. And where is a fitter place than the house of God to remember all the way which the Lord our God has led us these many forty years in the wilderness.
May we continue to acknowledge the God of our fathers. It will then always be morning with us. The night will never come.