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DAVID GREENE was born in Stone- The Rev. George E. Adams, D. D., ham, Massachusetts, on the 15th of his classmate in the academy, and in November, 1797. His father was a the college and seminary, and for a farmer and mechanic, much respected large part of the time his room-mate, for his industry and integrity, though says of him at the academy :“He was not a professor of religion. The there reckoned a Christian, - a haltmother was amiable and judicious, ing, doubting one, – taking his turn, with more than common energy of with some hesitation, in religious exercharacter. Her cast of mind is said to cises, but was not a church-member.” have been somewhat pensive, and her In September, 1817, the two friends religious experience remarkable. She entered Yale College. We have strong died in 1813.
concurring testimony, from a number David was among the younger of of his classmates, as to the thoroughnine children. He was affectionate as ness of Mr. Greene's scholarship, and a boy, and in school stood generally at the excellence of his character while in the head of his class. After reaching that institution. Dr. Adams gives a the age of twelve years, he was largely faithfully interesting account of his reentrusted with the care of the farm, ligious experience. He says : the father's engagements calling him Greene, after a while, declined enoften from home. Samuel, an older gaging in religious exercises at meetbrother, — still remembered in Boston ings, from conscientious scruples, and with much affection as pastor of the would do nothing to claim the characchurch in Essex Street, and a likeness ter of a Christian ; showing his proand sketch of whom will be found in pensity towards thorough and stern the previous number of this volume, – self-dealing. Still, he was moving on was graduated at Cambridge College, toward the ministry, and became, I am and it was owing to his influence that quite confident, a beneficiary of the David entered upon a course of liberal American Education Society. Through education. His studies were the greater part of his college course menced at Phillips Academy, Ando- he stood in this position, - not of the ver, in 1815, and were continued, with world, not claiming the place of a Chrissome interruptions, through the eleven tian, though more correct in conduct subsequent years.
than most Christians. In our last year
he was profoundly exercised in mind. strongly urged to accept the office of It was distressing to see him. Day af- tutor in Yale College, but declined. ter day, for weeks, the order of the day Mr. Greene returned to Andover in with him was : college exercises, punc- 1824, and his own statement is, that he tually, about one hour upon entering joined the church there in 1825. He the room for the lesson ; then sitting in was now once more a classmate and mute despair, Bible in one hand, the room-mate of his college chum. other hand closed, pressing upon his was studious, of course," writes his old cheek or mouth : George, George, friend, " always thinking, but looking what a terrible thing sin is !! That on the dark side in regard to himself, is the only expression I remember, and a prominent man in the class, highly I suspect that tells the whole story. respected by the professors, made
“The influence of this mental suffer- great account of by such men as Eli ing on his bodily frame and appear- Smith, Daniel Crosby, and others. ance was very great. He became pale On account of his sternness, and perand emaciated. No one could see him haps severity in judging others (as without reading in his countenance the well as himself), he may have had less agony of his soul. So far as I remem- of popularity than some.” ber, he never experienced any sudden Dr. George W. Blagden, who was deliverance. The anguish wore itself with him in college, and a classmate at out. Even when we graduated, he had Andover, has given the following valnot gained a clear confidence of his uable testimony: “Both at Andover, good estate, and talked somewhat de- and at Yale College, where he was two spairingly of the future.
years my senior, there was an influ“One noticeable thing in his college ence connected with his whole course life,” adds Dr. Adams, “should be of conduct and conversation, which mentioned. He was never absent from produced a conviction in all who knew any college exercise during his first him, or only noticed him, deeper than three years, nor tardy, though he some- is produced by most men, whether times went from his bed and returned young or old, that he was a person of immediately to it. Professor Fisher sincere and strong religious principles. once called him to his room to speak “His religious and moral character of this, as a very remarkable thing." greatly influenced his naturally quick
Mr. Greene completed his college and vigorous intellectual qualities. He course in 1821, and had one of the high- was a good scholar, and a clear and est appointments in his class. The comprehensive thinker; receiving the year following he spent in teaching a second honor in his class at college, private school of young ladies, in Bos- and maintaining, throughout his course ton, where he gave satisfaction both to in the Theological Seminary, a posiparents and scholars. In the fall of tion among the first students, both in 1822 he entered the Theological Semi- the Hebrew and Greek languages, and nary at Andover, but sometime in the in the science of theology. If his fafollowing year he was induced to take cility and gracefulness in speaking bad charge of the academy at Amherst, as equalled his intellectual power and atprincipal ; an institution which then tainments, and the sincerity and depth furnished a large proportion of the stu- of his piety, he would have been one dents for the college, struggling for the of the most eloquent, as he certainly prosperous existence it has since at- was one of the most honest and welltained. His services there were very informed, of men. The writer of this acceptable, and about this time he was distinctly recollects an oration at the close of his seminary course, which Congress, could stay the calamity. was very remarkable in respect both Mr. Evarts is well known to have anto thought and style."
ticipated the righteous judgments of Mr. Greene became connected with heaven, at some future time, to follow the correspondence of the American those high-handed deeds of violence. Board near the close of 1826 ; and was And when the shock of arms was one of two Assistant Secretaries, heard in bloody conflict, not long since, • Jeremiah Evarts belng the Corre- at Chattanooga and along the Missionsponding Secretary, - until the death ary Ridge, what reflecting mind did of that eminent man, in 1831. During not think of an avenging Providence ? this period, his special department of Elsewhere, similar unfriendly causes labor was editing the “ Missionary were in operation ; and to these were Herald," and correspondence with the added the influence of unprincipled missions
among the Indians, which was traders in ardent spirits, and the not then conducted on an extended scale. less unscrupulous partisans of slavery. In the year 1828 he made a tour, ex- In November, 1829, Mr. Greene was tended through eight months, and over married to Mary, the eldest daughter nearly six thousand miles ; visiting the of Mr. Evarts, who was spared to him missions to the Indian tribes, both east almost twenty-one years ;: in which and west of the Mississippi River, in time God was pleased to give them north-west Ohio, and in New York. twelve children, all but two of whom On this tour he visited not less than are still living. Four of his sons served thirty mission stations, and reached in the Union army during the late war, Boston, on his return, in July.
three of them as captains ; and one of These personal inquiries into the these three fell in a battle preceding Indian missions were of great advan- the taking of Vicksburg. The domestage to the young Secretary, in his re- tic life of our brother was most happy. lations both to the Prudential Com- He bore his full share of the responsimittee and the several missions. And bilities and cares of the family, and was there was need, then, of all the practi- kind, though decided, in his parental cal wisdom that could be obtained. government. The household, with him, The difficulties in the way of bringing was a religious institution, with mornthe poor Indians under the civilizing ing and evening worship. His chiland saving influences of the gospel dren were all dedicated to God in bapwere fast accumulating. In the South- tism, and instructed in the principles west, the greed of the white man for and duties of religion, and he had the the lands of the Cherokees blinding pleasure of seeing nearly all of them and ruthless, like that of Ahab for Na. become members of the visible church. both's vineyard, rising above all con- At the solicitation of Mr. Lowell siderations of mercy and justice – was Mason, Mr. Greene consented, not long soon to chain and incarcerate the mis- after his marriage, to aid in compiling sionaries, Worcester and Butler, and the Hymn Book for the service of the to send their defenceless people far sanctuary, called “ Church Psalmody.” away from the graves of their fore- Of this book, more than a hundred and fathers, to die by thousands under the fifty thousand copies are believed to hardships of their migrations. Not have gone into use.
The service was the logic and eloquence of Evarts, in performed as an extra labor, and was his appeals to the nation, through the not altogether without injurious conseletters of “ William Penn," nor of some quences, for a time, to his health. of the ablest statesmen in the halls of The death of Mr. Evarts led to the appointment, in 1832, of three Corre- and after the removal of Dr. Armsponding Secretaries, instead of one ; strong to New York city, in the year and Mr. Greene was one of the three, 1838, he had charge of that part of the but with no material change in his de- domestic correspondence which had to partment of labor. In 1836 he removed be conducted at Boston. The editing with his family from Boston to Rox- of the“ Missionary Herald,” after 1843, bury, three miles from the Missionary devolved on Mr. Treat. House, a distance which he found equal In 1847 the Prudential Committee pleasure and profit in usually travers- proposed that Mr. Greene make a secing twice a day on foot.
ond tour among the Indian missions, Of Mr. Greene's official life, during westward of the Mississippi River. the ten years following his removal to This he was incapacitated for doing by that rural city, there is not much call- a collision on a railroad, and the sering for special notice. His daily duties vice was performed by Mr. Treat. demanded all his powers. There was The injury from the collision seemed no more of routine and sameness in at first slight, but it was aggravated them than there is in the most labori- by exposure, and resulted in a paralyous pastoral life. While his time and sis, which, though partial and tempothoughts were specially devoted to one rary, was attended with such weakness or two departments, — such as the In- of the nervous system as made it expedian missions, the home correspond- dient, in the opinion of medical advisence, etc., — he was in actual contact, ers, for him to exchange a sedentary life more or less, with the working of the for such an one as he could find only entire system. Problems of difficult on a farm. Accordingly, in 1848, he solution not unfrequently arise, de- declined a reëlection as Secretary, manding the united wisdom of all, greatly to the regret of his associates though often not of a nature to be ad- and the friends of missions. An exvantageously discussed and resolved tract from the letter be then addressed in the large annual meetings of the to the Board affords an insight into Board. There are, however, numer- the state of his mind in that trying peous subjects of great practical impor- riod of his life. tance, that have been brought forward “In retiring,” he says, “which I do with great advantage in those meet- most reluctantly, from the station with ings. In the year 1838, the practice which the Board has so long honored was commenced of presenting to the me, and in which I have found my laBoard some one or more of these sub- bor and happiness most pleasantly jects by the secretaries, in a written combined, and in performing the deform, under direction from the Pru- lightful, though arduous duties of dential Committee ; and more than sev- which I had, till recently, hoped to enty of these “Special Reports” (as spend whatever of life and strength they were called) have received atten- might remain to me, I feel constrained tion from the Board at its annual and to declare my ever rising estimate of special meetings. Twelve such “Re- the excellence and honorableness of ports” were written and presented by the foreign missionary work, and my Mr. Greene, and several of these have ever strengthening confidence that it is a permanent value.
a work which the Lord Jesus Christ During all this time, Mr. Greene regards with peculiar approbation, and shared the responsibility with his which he, by his truth and his Spirit, brethren in drawing up the Annual amidst and despite of all the delaye, Reports of the Prudential Committee ; embarrassments, and opposition which