From Hell to Breakfast Page: 7
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What kind o' man is He? All things they obey His will.
What kind o' man is He? He spoke to de sea and de sea was still.
De Lord said baptism it must be, de li'l' Babe in de manger;
What kind o' manner o' man is He? He walk on de land an' He walk
on de sea
An' all things here obey His will; He speaks to de sea an' de sea is still,
An' 'ligion is so sweet.
Each candidate as he came up out of the water was seized
with a queer sort of physical convulsion, which my yardman,
Sam, afterwards explained to me as "the working of the
Holy Spirit." The final outbreak of the candidate when he
was on terra firma was to stretch out his arms and wave
them in a vain effort to fly. A large, fleshy woman was
"seized with the Spirit" just before her baptism and had to
be taken out of the water until she became calm. She was
then baptized and again underwent a weird seizure. The last
man baptized was a muscular ditch-digger who required four
strong men to get him out of the pool. I heard the minister,
who was being pushed out towards the deep water, mutter
to his helpers: "Get him out-a here before he drowns us all."
As each candidate was led out of the water the congregation
sang with splendid effect:
New bawn, new b-a-w-n,
New-bawn child, new-bawn child;
Like a li'1' Babe in a manger.
De ole River Jurdan was mighty deep.
But 'ligion was so sweet.
By the time the service was over the sun's rays no longer
reached the bottom of the gorge. The quiet of evening fell,
a breeze came up and stirred the branches of the fragrant
cedars. The crowd seemed awed by the influence of a most
sacred and solemn ceremony, the effect of which had been
intensified, now and then, by the shrill voices of the women
in shouts of religious ecstasy. The baptized persons stood
around with the crowd grouped about them, as the old min-
ister with hands outstretched to heaven invoked a benedic-
tion. And then again they sang, in a minor key, wonderfully
sweet and touching:
Here’s what’s next.
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. From Hell to Breakfast, book, 1944; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67649/m1/15/: accessed March 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.