“My Easter Prayer” by Darius M. Ratcliff, 1943


Easter Blessings Be Thine”, ca. 1912


Jesus help me know thy love,

Love that brought thee  to our earth.

Leaving realms of brightest glory,

For a lowly manger birth.

Love that chose the hasty Peter,

Cleansed the striken Magdalen.

Patiently endured the traitor,

Made the vilest sinner clean.

Love that led thee to the cross,

Round thee there with fetters strong.

Though a word from thee had scattered,

Those who thought they did thee wrong.

Love that suffered for my sins,

Took their sorrow in my stead.

That I might rejoice in heaven,

Ransomed ever from the dead.

Love that’s mine in this today,

Guiding me while earth I roam.

Shaping me into thy image,

Bringing me to thy own home.

Jesus help me feel thy love,

At this joyous Easter season.

When I view again thy passion,

And thy sacrifice envision.

When I try to comprehend,

Its significance to thee.

Wonder what thou didst endure,

That I might from death be free.

When I seek to understand,

Its significance to us.

How for all who will believe,

This is made our righteousness.

When I would appreciate,

Thy unfathomed love divine.

That I might express my thanks,

That this love is truly mine.

Jesus may I have thy love,

Poured into this sluggish heart.

Filling me with love for others,

Making me of love a part.

That I may this love imbibe,

May I yield my will to thee.

Holding not a purpose back,

Living only thine to be.

That I may with love be filled,

May I linger long in prayer.

That thou mayest possess me wholly,

And have me thy image wear.

Jesus, may I show thy love,

First to thee my loving Lord.

Thou has always so loved me,

I deserved to be abhorred.

Then to those within thy church,

Those whom thou has rendered clean.

These are they beloved of thee,

In their lives thou now art seen.

Next to my own kind and kin,

These my first and dearest charge.

May they have of love my best,

May my heart to them enlarge.

And to others far and wide,

Neighbors, fellow workers, friends.

Enemies who injured me,

Those far off where my light ends.


Image above retrieved from:

digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=1065612&imageID=1587604&word= easter blessing&s=1¬word=&d=&c=&f=&k=1&lWord=&lField=&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&sort=&total=12&num=0&imgs=20&pNum=&pos=9

Image Details

Image Title:  Easter blessings be thine. Published Date: ca. 1912.Source: Holiday postcards / Easter — Religious. Source Description: 96 postcards : col. ; 9 x 14 cm. Location: Mid-Manhattan Library / Picture Collection. Catalog Call Number: PC POC Easter – ReligiousDigital. ID: 1587604. Record ID: 1065612.  Digital Item Published: 9-10-2007; updated 5-15-2012


“My Easter Message” by Darius M. Ratcliff


“Buona Pasqua”

(Italian – Happy Easter)


Do you seek eternal laughter,

And no tears to follow after;

You can find by Christ receiving,

Once for all on Him believing.

If the Christ you are refusing,

If His word you’re not perusing:

Am I right, or merely guessing,

You’ll be missing heaven’s blessing.

Why then wait till comes disaster?

Years are passing fast and faster:

Now’s the day for you to hearken,

Lest the night forever darken.

If the world your heart is filling,

And to change you’re all unwilling:

Do you know what you’ll be reaping?

Must your journey end in weeping?

Perhaps you dread a life of giving,

Ever for some others living:

Surely it is worth the trying;

On the Lord’s own word relying.

There is joy in Christian giving,

And for others always living:

You’ll be glad when you surrender,

And to Christ your service render.

Others are the world reminding,

What they want in Christ they’re finding:

In this life of thrill and action,

They are finding satisfaction.

When the shades of night are fallen,

And our lives are past recalling,

Are you sure that you’ll be voicing

Songs of heaven’s glad rejoicing?

You today may this be knowing

And like Jesus, too be growing

If you come to Jesus merely,

And accept Him now sincerely.

Image above retrieved from:


Image Details

Image Title:  Buona Pasqua. Item Physical Description: 1 postcard : col., embossed ; 14 x 9 cm.

 Notes: Gold metallic accents. Source: Holiday postcards / Easter — Foreign. Source Description: 16 postcards : col. ; 9 x 14 cm. Location: Mid-Manhattan Library / Picture Collection. Catalog Call Number: PC POC Easter – Foreign. Digital ID: 1587578. Record ID: 1065603. Digital Item Published: 9-10-2007; updated 5-15-2012.

“For the Jones Family of Bristol Springs” and “Only One Way” by Darius M. Ratcliff


Mr. and Mrs. Ward (Irene E.) Jones, Julia E. and Virginia A.

Yours is the home where the singers dwell,

Oft have I listened to their songs glad swell:

As they have followed the day’s occupations

Voices were raised in joyous pulsations.

Gone are the song birds now from their nest,

Stilled are the echoes that never knew rest,

Caught in the whirl of the maddening rush,

Stifling out music and bidding it hush.

Oh, may they sing through the world’s dark night

Songs of the gospel of light:

Hearts may they gladden by the songs that they sing,

Souls may they save by the message they bring.

Changed from one by Mrs. Ward Jones. Written for Virginia to sing.

There’s only one way to heaven,

From palace or from slum;

Only one way to the Pearly Gate,

Only one way to come.

This is the way called Jesus,

The Glorious Son of God;

Jesus the world’s one Savior,

Who once here on earth has trod.

There’s only one way to Jesus,

But the gate is open wide;

There’s only one way to enter,

And be at the Savior’s side.

The way by the cross of Jesus:

To there be crucified,

Just by the cross of Jesus,

The cross where our Savior died.

“Christmas – 1943” by Darius M. Ratcliff

“A Christmas Greeting”, Vintage Postcard


There is joy for all people at Christmas,

‘Tis the time of the Savior’s birth.

All the joys and glories of heaven

He is bringing for men of the earth.

We have a wonderful Savior,

Sent from our Father above:

We have a wonderful message,

A message of joy and of love.

But the Savior demands our repentance,

He demands that we call on His name;

And if all His demands go unheeded,

Then for us ‘twas in vain that He came.

We have a wonderful Savior,

Sent from our Father above:

We have a wonderful message,

A message of joy and of love.

All the ransomed of earth are now singing,

And the Christ is the theme of their song:

There are some who are missing the music,

And perhaps they are waiting too long.

We have a wonderful Savior,

Sent from our Father above:

We have a wonderful message,

A message of joy and of love.

The whole world for sweet peace is now praying,

But refusing first place to the Lord.

When they render allegiance to Jesus,

He will banish the spear and the sword.

We have a wonderful Savior,

Sent from our Father above:

We have a wonderful message,

A message of joy and of love.

We all welcome the coming of Christmas,

Let us welcome the way of the cross:

We are singing and praising the Savior,

Let us not crowd Him out of earth’s dross.

We have a wonderful Savior,

Sent from our Father above:

We have a wonderful message,

A message of joy and of love.

Image above retrieved from:

Image Title:  A Christmas greeting. Published Date: ca. 191- . Notes: Printed on verso: “Series 225, Christmas Madonnas, 12 Des.”  Source: Holiday postcards / Christmas — Religious. Source Description: 21 postcards : col. ; 9 x 14 cm. Location: Mid-Manhattan Library / Picture Collection.  Catalog Call Number: PC POC – Christmas – Religious. Digital ID: 1588588. Record ID: 1065498. Digital Item Published: 8-8-2007; updated 5-15-2012.

“When Christmas Comes” by Darius M. Ratcliff

“A holy happy Christmas”, Vintage Postcard, Artist: Malcolm McGregor Jamieson, Jr.


Christmas comes to every land,

Christmas comes o’er desert sand,

Christmas comes in artic cold,

Christmas comes to Eastern fold:

What is Christmas?

Christmas comes for girls and boys,

Christmas comes with games and toys,

Christmas comes with ringing bells,

Christmas comes and  music swells:

What is Christmas?

Christmas comes to cattle shed,

Christmas comes to shepherd led,

Christmas comes to wise men afar,

Christmas comes with guiding star:

What is Christmas?

Christmas comes with Jesus’ birth,

Thus it came at first to earth;

Thus it comes to everyone,

When he by faith accepts the Son:

This is Christmas.

Image above retrieved from:

Image Title:  A holy happy Christmas. Creator: Jamieson, Malcolm McGregor, Jr. — Artist. Additional Name(s): E.P. Dutton (Firm) — Publisher Nister, Ernest — Publisher. Published Date: ca. 191-. Notes: Printed on verso: “Open to me the gates of righteousness : I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord.”  Source: Holiday postcards / Christmas — Religious. Source Description: 21 postcards : col. ; 9 x 14 cm. Location: Mid-Manhattan Library / Picture Collection. Catalog Call Number: PC POC – Christmas – Religious. Digital ID: 1588608. Record ID: 1065508. Digital Item Published: 8-8-2007; updated 5-15-2012.


“This Joy Of Which The Angel Spoke” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Christmas Greetings”, Vintage Postcard, International Art Company


This joy of which the angel spoke,

When heavenly light the shepherds woke;

Was it a dream from fancy wrought?

Or something real by heaven taught?

The baffled lives of millions now,

Who frantic to their idols bow;

Who live where earthly pleasures are,

Or follow gain’s deceiving star;

Bemock the angel’s glad acclaim,

Ignore the Christ who lowly came.

The angel’s words they scarce believe,

Because the joy they don’t receive.

A remnant though a chose few,

Whose hearts by Christ who lowly came.

Have found the joy the angel scanned,

The joy that God for all had planned.

The buried treasure they have found,

While treading near Immanuel’s ground:

The pearl of matchless price descried,

And bought it with all else beside.

Let’s make the message loud and clear,

That all may know, afar and near;

Nor let the fogs that settle down

This Christmas joy in darkness drown.

If this rich joy we’ve failed to taste,

And life becomes a weary waste;

Be still and hear the angel’s voice.

We yet may in the Christ rejoice.

We’ll have to from OUR way repent,

And follow Him whom God has sent.

God is not mocked, be not deceived,

As we have sowed we have received.

If with the world we’ve sown our seed,

Why should we frown at worldly weed?

But if to Christ our all we’ll sow,

We’ll reap both life and JOY below.

Image retrieved from:
Image Title:  Christmas greetings. Additional Name(s): International Art Publishing Co. — Publisher. Published Date: ca. 191-. Notes: Printed on recto: “The glory of the Lord shone round about them. Luke 2.9.” Source: Holiday postcards / Christmas — Religious. Source Description: 21 postcards : col. ; 9 x 14 cm. Location: Mid-Manhattan Library / Picture Collection. Catalog Call Number: PC POC – Christmas – Religious .Digital ID: 1588600. Record ID: 1065504. Digital Item Published: 8-8-2007; updated 5-15-2012.



“Christmas Meditations” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Christmas“, Vintage Postcard


1.  Christmas belongs to the world. Millions observe Christmas. Everyone likes a “good time”

2. Many miss the real Christmas. Christmas was meant to change the world. No one has the real Christmas unless he experiences the change that Christ came to bring and Christmas means a “good time.”

3. “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” On the first Christmas God gave us a Christmas present. To us this present remains forever “unspeakable.” Our gifts have their value, but they are trifles compared with God’s Christmas present for us. This gift is marked “From God to You, whoever  You may be.” I’ll accept the gift.

4. The Christmas angel said, “I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people, for unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior, which is Christ the Lord.” The joys of earth are not called “great” by the angel. The real Christmas joy is. Have I this joy? If not, I want it.

5. “To all people.” It is evident that not all people have it. “Wide is the gate, and broad is the way that  leadeth unto destruction, and many are they that enter in there at.” Yet the Christmas joy is offered to all people, Americans, Germans, Japanese, Negroes, South Sea Islanders, and — “All people”, and I am one.

6. “Unto you is born this day.” So Christ was born unto us, for me. He is yours and mine as much as He is anyone’s, as much as He is Paul’s.

 7. “A Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” A baby then but a Son of God, able to save to the uttermost those who draw near unto God through Him. I want to be saved to the “uttermost.”

Image above retrieved from:

Image Title:  Christmas. Item Physical Description: 1 postcard : col., embossed ; 9.2 x 14.1 cm. Source: Holiday postcards / Christmas — Religious. Source Description: 21 postcards : col. ; 9 x 14 cm. Location: Mid-Manhattan Library / Picture Collection. Catalog Call Number: PC POC – Christmas – Religious. Digital ID: 1588618. Record ID: 1065513. Digital Item Published: 8-8-2007; updated 5-15-2012



“Christmas Message – I” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Christmas Greetings”, Vintage Postcard, Whitney Valentine Company


A Christmas message true

I wish to send to you:

Not “Jingle Bells” nor toys,

Not Christmas feasts and joys,

Not Santa’s reindeer sled

When wee tots are abed:

But one of love alone: –

God wants us for His own.

Our Father God above

Created us for love.

No mortal tongue can name,

Nor can the angels frame,

The grandeur of the plan

That God has made for man.

The form of God to bear:

A child of God, and heir.

Our hearts to God to give,

As His on earth to live:

In righteousness sublime,

In hope transcending time,

In joy that overflows,

In faith that heaven knows:

Our God to love and praise,

To walk in heaven’s ways.

But Satan entered in,

Our hearts were lured to sin:

Our Father we forgot,

And chose a godless lot,

Our eyes were blinded quite

To God, and truth, and right:

Our feet have gone astray;

Each one, his chosen way.

In lowly manger birth

‘twas God who came to earth.

The Christmas story true,

The Gospel ever new,

Is love’s sublimest story,

Creation’s crowning glory:

Our God in bridegroom’s part

To win the sinner’s heart.

Image above retrieved from:

Image Title:  Christmas greeting. Additional Name(s): Whitney Valentine Co. — Publisher
Source: Holiday postcards / Christmas. Source Description: 704 postcards : col. ; 9 x 14 cm
Location: Mid-Manhattan Library / Picture Collection
Catalog Call Number: PC POC – Christmas. Digital ID: 1585554. Record ID: 1065446.
Digital Item Published: 7-24-2007; updated 5-15-2012



“Our Thanksgiving Hymn” by Darius M. Ratcliff


For thy wondrous gift of life,

Crowned with blessings rare;

For the sunshine and the rain,

Tokens of thy care;

Father of love, we thank Thee.

For our homes where those we love

Teach us from thy word,

For the privilege to go

To thy temples, Lord;

Father above, we thank Thee;

Father of love, we thank Thee.

For our land where freedom reigns,

Sacred to our trust;

For our youth who give their all,

But not for greed or lust;

Father above, we thank Thee;

Father of love, we thank Thee.

For the Christ of Calvary,

Through whose cross we gain

Fellowship with Thee, our God,

Thus with Thee to reign;

Father above, we thank Thee;

Father of love, we thank Thee.

Image above retrieved from:

Image source:
Image TitleThanksgiving greetings. Additional Name(s): Sander, P. — Copyright Holder. Item Physical Description: 1 postcard : col., embossed; 8.7 x 13.7 cm. Location: Mid-Manhattan Library / Picture Collection Catalog. Call Number: PC POC – Thanksgiving.  Digital ID: 1588294 Record ID: 1065820.  Digital Item Published: 9-13-2007; updated 5-15-2012

“Miss Vermilye” by Darius M. Ratcliff, January 29, 1943

Interior, First Baptist Church, Naples, New York, 1912, Rev. S.T. Harding in Pulpit.

Photo above: A special thank you to Donald Gelder of Naples, New York for sharing this photo of the interior of  First Baptist Church, Naples, New York.

Excerpt from the Article: “The Observer Observes”

The Baptist folk here are a good people. Their numbers are small but they are a brave little band. Without a pastor for nearly a year, they hung together, keeping their pulpit supplied nearly every Sunday, gave a concert at Memorial Hall, had church teas etc. They kept their lamps always trimmed and burning. I thought of all these things when at Union service last week Sunday night. They have a pretty little church, neatly furnished, lighted and decorated. The pulpit furniture given by Miss Katherine M. Vermilye and her sister, in sacred memory, will be a lasting monument.

Source: Newspaper: Naples, New York,  THE NAPLES NEWS, Wednesday Afternoon, May 20, 1914, Volumes XVI,  No. 23


Your years now number eighty eight,

With us you’ve tarried very late.

The added years have been our treasure,

To us they’ve brought both help and pleasure.

We hope they’re not o’er burdened you,

That you have found them pleasant too.

I shall not wish you many more,

But only those God has in store.

We ask you not to haste away,

We’d like to have you longer stay.

But when you’re tired and want to go,

May God see fit to grant is so.

But while your stay is with us still,

May God your stay with blessings fill.

And may you add a few more treasures,

To thus increase your future pleasures.

And may the Christ walk by your side,

Till you with Him above abide.


Sunday, September 8th was the fourth anniversary of Rev. S. T. Harding‘s pastoral work in the Baptist church of Naples and the services were suitable to the occasion. The subject of the morning being looking backward and the evening a forward look, mention was made of all the improvements realized and those that are still hoped for. It was also the occasion of using the first time of the new pulpit furnishing presented to the church by Mrs. S. C. Semans and Miss Katherine Vermilye in memory of their mother, Mrs. Belinda Vermilye, who was for many years a beloved member of the church. The gift consists of a pulpit desk and five handsome chairs which are in harmony with the new decorations of the church and a great addition.

Source: Newspaper, Naples, New York, THE NAPLES NEWS, Wednesday Afternoon, September 11, 1912, Volume XIV, Number 40


Monday night, May 8th at the home on Elizabeth St., and after a day of considerable activity on her part, Mrs. Vermilye entered into her rest.

Though having been for several months seriously ill, with the end not unexpected at any time, yet she had recovered somewhat and was again getting about, so that her death came suddenly and while she was in possession of considerable physical and much mental strength. She had reached the age of 86 years, 8 months and 22 days and had until her sickness remarkable vigor. These years were all crowned with usefulness and honor.

Mrs. Vermilye was born in Prattsburg August 16, 1818, the daughter of John and Hannah Phelps. A brother, Rev. James Phelps, now dead often visited her here. The sister, Mrs. Emily Van Vleet Ward, once a resident of Naples lives at Coopers Plains. Her marriage to John Vermilye was in 1844 and in 1867 the family moved to Naples.

Mr. Vermilye was not strong and died 36 years ago. In December 1898 James the only son died. The additional burdens of life thus imposed on the widow were assumed with fortitude and ability, marked elements in her character. They were shared also by her two daughters Mrs. Stephen C. Semans and Miss Katharine, who survive her, also a beloved daughter-in-law, Mrs. James Vermilye and her four sons, Louis, John, George and James all of Naples.

Mrs. Vermilye was a woman of very decided character and marked personality. She possessed strong insight, decided views, together with a bright and cheerful temperament. She was fond of the society of the young, sympathized  with them in their plans and made herself so congenial to them that they sought her presence and delighted in her company. Her church was very dear to her and had been from her youth, the object of her solicitude and care, and when in health her place was never vacant. She was indeed a loved and honored mother in Israel. Her interest in the Sabbath services during her recent illness never faltered, always desiring to know the subject of discourse, and the text was always found for her. She was often found by the bedside of the sick or dying as a most loving and sympathizing friend.

During the years of her widowhood she had been most lovingly cared for by her children and grandchildren and the mutual devotion was very apparent. Her exemplary life as a Christian, as a mother, neighbor and friend could not be surpassed. Let us not mourn as those without hope, that the active hands are folded now, or that the loving eyes are closed and the fond heart stilled,but let us rather look beyond, where eternal youth is hers, where her eyes are opened to scenes of ineffable glory, faith to sight and prayer to praise.

The funeral will be held at the Baptist church tomorrow afternoon at 2 o’clock, her pastor Rev. H. L. Howard to officiate. Interment will be in Rose Ridge beside her husband and son.

Source: Newspaper, Naples, New York, THE NAPLES NEWS, Wednesday, May 10, 1905, Volume VII, Number 22


Miss Katherine M. Vermilye, 91, of Naples, died on Monday, March 12, 1945, at the Clark Manor House, in Canandaigua, where she made her home since December 4, 1928.

Miss Vermilye was a teacher in Naples schools for thirty-eight years, and her many former pupils still praise her as an instructor of exceptional ability. Her good influence will continue to be an active force as long as any of her pupils survive.

Miss Vermilye was born in Prattsburgh, on January 29, 1854, a daughter of John and Maria Belinda Phelps Vermilye. She did not attend school until she was thirteen years old, at which age she came to Naples with her parents, having received instruction at home up to that time. She first attended school in the old schoolhouse on the “Commons” in North Main Street, Naples. In 1873, she was graduated from the old Naples Academy. After teaching in district schools in this vicinity for a few terms, at $3.00 a week, she was engaged to teach seventh and eighth grades in the Naples Union Free School, in 1880, under the principalship of Percy I. Bugbee. From that time until her retirement in June, 1914, her principal work was with the eighth grade.

Miss Vermilye was a member of the Naples Baptist Church and of its auxiliaries, and was active in church work until she went to reside in Canandaigua.

She is survived by three nephews, John S. Vermilye, of Naples, George Vermilye of Pennsylvania, and James H. Vermilye of Naples; three grand-nephews, Charles Vermilye of Penn Yan, Edward Vermilye of Baltimore, Md., and Rodney W. Vermilye, of Petersburg, Va.; two grand-nieces, Mrs. Earl H. Norton, of Greenwich, N.Y., and Miss Pauline Vermilye, of Rochester.

Services will be held from the Kennedy undertaking rooms in Canandaigua at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, conducted by Charles Wallis, pastor of the Canandaigua Baptist Church. Interment will be made in the Rose Ridge cemetery, in Naples, at a later date.

Source: Newspaper, Naples, New York, THE NAPLES RECORD, Wednesday, March 14, 1945,Volume 77, Number 11