Images de page
PDF
ePub

bear his burdens. He always met us with a friends, dutiful wife, and affectionate children, smile and extended hand. His faith made able, through the possession of consciousness, his life remarkably even. The fruits of this till near his last breath, to appreciate every faith were abundant during the war. He had kindness, and, better than all else, exercising an intelligent and intense interest therein. a sweet and supporting trust in Christ, his He willingly gave two sons to the loyal army; earnest and useful life came to its close with one being killed in the early part of the war, the beauty and serenity of a summer's sunset. the other serving four years as an officer in So dieth the righteous. A. B. D. the 6th Vermont Regiment, a brave and consistent Christian soldier. The government, he Rev. ANSON S. ATWOOD was born in said, must be sustained. The way of the Woodbury, Ct., Aug. 1, 1790; pursued his transgressor must be shown to be hard.

studies, preparatory to entering college, unThis faith bore him up at last most beauti- der Rev. Dr. Backus, of Bethlem, Ct.; was fully. Neighbor after neighbor came into graduated at Yale College in 1814, and studsee him and bid him farewell. All found ied divinity, chiefly under direction of Rev. him calmly facing the last great enemy of Dr. Porter, of Catskill, N. Y. After some man, without anxiety or fear, leaning on the time, spent partly in missionary labor in arm of Jesus. When asked what passage of southern central New York and northern Scripture seemed most precious, he replied, Vermont, and partly in teaching a select “That which gave me the first ray of hope: school in Ashford, Ct., he accepted a call to • This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all the South Parish of Mansfield, Ct., having acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the previously declined two calls, one from Cairo, world to save sinners, of whom I am chief." N. Y., the other from Richmond, Ms. He

Dea. Bushnell lived largely for the church. was ordained and installed pastor of the He regarded the church as God's great ap- church in South Mansfield, Sept. 1, 1819. pointed means of good to man. He regarded In November of the same year he was margovernments as divine agencies for holding ried to Sarah, only daughter of Dr. Joseph society together while the church might do Palmer, of Ashford, Ct. its higher work of molding society, of saving Thus inducted into what proved to be his and sanctifying man. He was always in the only pastorate, and happily settled in the sanctuary, his class in the Sabbath-school, in family relation, he discharged, for almost the meeting for prayer. He held bis business forty-three years, the duties of pastor to the subordinate to that of the church, though he Congregational Church and Society of South never seemed to neglect the former. The last Mansfield, in an eminently faithful and sucservice that he performed was to attend the cessful manner. With a single exception, all eighth meeting of the week of prayer, when the neighboring churches changed their pashe was rejoiced to see the Holy Spirit de- tors, during this period, several times. But scending in a shower upon his beloved Zion. he remained to gray hairs with the people He then said, “ The meetings must go on, who had called him in the prime of manhood though I shall not be able to attend them, as to be their minister, surviving most of his my health has been failing all the week. original congregation. And this long period, This is the right kind of a protracted meet- taken as a whole, was, to his people, one of ing.”

much spiritual prosperity. It was blessed His two youngest children consecrated with no less than seven of those merciful visthemselves to Christ just before his death. itations of divine grace commonly called reAll his children were enrolled among the vivals of religion. In his farewell sermon, friends of Jesus. Four of the five were at he thus sums up the results of his labors, so home. Two affectionate daughters aided far as they can be given in figures : “ The their mother in ministering to his wants. largest number in the church at any one time, Two sons, strong in youth and early man- since my ministry, is about 190; present hood, stood by, ready to take up his labors. number, 150; admitted to the church by proThe elder we have since inaugurated as dea- fession and letter, during my pastorate, 421 ;

Thus surrounded, in his own comfort- baptized, 346. Whole number of the church able home, with such a circle of nearest since its organization, Oct. 18, 1810, 1,352.

con.

ance.

On the twenty-second day of April, 1862, him, of the permanence and success of his Mr. Atwood was dismissed by a council, con. ministry. vened at his own request, on account of the As a preacher, he was solid, rather than failure of his health; and in May following showy. His sermons abounded in evangelihe took his final leave of his people, retiring cal truth, carefully selected with reference to with his family to East Hartford, Ct., where the wants of his people. Yet it is freely conhe greatly endeared himself to the friends of ceded that his peculiar strength lay not in his Christ who had the privilege of his acquaint- powers of pulpit oratory. He had some rare

On the 17th of May, 1866, Mrs. At- pastoral qualifications. He was a keen obwood, the light and joy of his house, was server, who had the faculty of knowing, and taken from him by death, and on the 22d of considered it his duty to know, what was July he followed her. He was 76 years old, going on in his parish. His acquaintance wanting ten days, and she 74. Of their two with the families belonging to it, and with their daughters (a son died in infancy), the elder individual members, extended to their past yet survives. The younger, who was mar- history, their business and business connecried to Mr. Alfred A. Young, died in 1860, tions, their habits and associations, and whatleaving one daughter.

ever else had a bearing on their spiritual The above brief record is very suggestive. welfare. He was also a discerning judge of The man who could, for the period of almost character, seizing with skill the clue which forty-three years, maintain himself in the af- connected each man's particular acts into one fections and confidence of his people, with a consistent whole. Though he sometimes ministry so fruitful, – fruitful, that is, when erred, through the influence of prejudice or we consider the comparatively small size of the partiality of friendship, it must be admithis church and congregation, — must have ted that his judgment of character was, in the possessed some ministerial qualifications of main, accurate and discriminating. He had, no ordinary character. He did, indeed, enjoy moreover, great tact in approaching men. some outward advantages. He was eminent. Having carefully studied their history and ly blessed in the companion of his life. She character, he pondered both in his mind, possessed, in a remarkable degree, the quali- anxiously inquiring how he could best apties needful for a pastor's wife, - a warm and proach them on the momentous subject of genial spirit, good sense that was never at their eternal welfare. When he thought the fault, great energy and activity, and sterling way prepared, he did this directly and frankpiety. She left a streak of sunshine wherever ly; otherwise indirectly, perhaps through the she went, and her memory is embalmed in agency of some mutual friend. the hearts of all who knew her. Then, again,

Mr. Atwood was firm in his opinions and he had in his church an unusual number of convictions of duty. He never withheld from staid men and women, true “children of his people any scriptural doctrine, or adopted Issachar, that had understanding of the times, any new line of measures, to suit the humor of to know what Israel ought to do,” without the times. Hence he was a man that would whose firm support he could not have weath- be called conservative in his views in respect ered all the storms of the times. But, as an to both doctrine and practice. But his firmoffset to these advantages, there were some ness and conservatism were not stiff and reserious drawbacks. The chief of these were : pulsive ; for it should be added that he was the fact that his parish was left one side of all eminently genial in his spirit. There was, in the thoroughfares established by the system the earlier part of his ministry, a circle of of railroads; and intimately connected with half a dozen or more young preachers, natives this, that it was, so to speak, repeatedly of South Mansfield, or whose wives were nadecimated by the removal of the young peo

tives of that parish. Of course they had, ple, whereby an immense amount of life and some of them at least, their crudities and enterprise was abstracted from it, and the errors. But he never assumed, after the fashcongregation greatly reduced in numbers, as ion of some, an air of awful severity, and well as in pecuniary strength. We must, slapped them in the face by way of preparing then, look to Mr. Atwood's personal quali- them to receive his instructions. Instead of ties for an explanation, God's grace helping this, he always received them with frankness

and cordiality, set them at work, commended descendant of Rev. Thomas Hooker, the first them where they could be commended, and, pastor at Hartford, Conn. when the right time had come, made to them Descended from a goodly New England anthis and that suggestion. The same geniality cestry, and consecrated to God in her infancy, appeared in his intercourse with his people, she was hopefully converted in her childhood, and as his wife's geniality equaled her hus- and became a member of the Congregational band's, a visit to the parsonage was most do- Church in her native village at the age of lightful and refreshing.

eleven years. Mr. Atwood was a faithful and laborious With a tender conscience, and a clear perpastor. His constitution, never robust, was ception of obligation, she was habitually selftaxed to its utmost during forty-three years of distrustful, and in her earlier religious course patient toil for the spiritual welfare of his she often doubted the genuineness of her people. His income, from his salary alone, Christian experience; but as she came to a was scanty; but being supplemented by that more full and clear apprehension of the docof a few thousand dollars on the side of trines of grace, she gained a steady confihis wife, he was always able to obey the di- dence, not in herself, but in her Saviour, faith vine direction that a bishop should be "given in him becoming the settled habit of her mato hospitality.” In manner, as well as matter, turity. he had much originality, which sometimes She was married August 22, 1856. With manifested itself as oddness and eccentricity. a vigorous, cultivated mind, a refined taste, He was an exceedingly interesting talker, and and a most sincerely Christian heart, she had a remarkable faculty of making quaint seemed rarely fitted to be the companion of a and pithy utterances, which those who heard minister of the gospel. She was intelligently could not fail to remember.

interested in theology, in literature, in, the All the above-named qualities were per- state of the country, and in the progress of vaded and sanctified by a spirit of sincere de- Christ's cause in the world. She was in vital votion to Christ. He was a man of faith sympathy with her husband's work in the and prayer, who fully believed the divine dec- parish, — in her prayers, in judicious counsels, laration, “Not by might, nor by power, but and in an elevating Christian temper, truly a by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” helpmeet for him. Those who became acThose who listened to his public prayers, so quainted with her in this relation, cherish the fresh and original, were deeply impressed memory of this Christian lady with most sinwith the conviction that he was a man who cere and respectful affection, remembering her held communion with God in the closet. He modesty and self-possession, the refinement lives in the memory of his former people. and vigor of her mind, her earnest piety and His influence will live in South Mansfield clear sense, her ready sympathy, and her cool after all the generation who knew him are judgment. gathered to their fathers, and it will live on The great hindrance to her usefulness, in forever in the world to come.

human view, was the state of her health. To

one so qualified, and conscious of ability as Died, at Sheboygan Falls, Wis., March 28, she must have been, it was a trial that she 1866, Mrs. MARY ELIZA FOWLER deeply felt, that feeble and slowly failing WADSWORTH, wife of Rev. T. A. Wads- health so long checked and hindered her in worth, pastor of the Congregational Church personal efforts for the good of others. in that place.

A few weeks before her death, as she gradMrs. Wadsworth was born at Fowlerville, ually let go the expectation of recovery, she N. Y., Oct. 27, 1829. She was a daughter had a review of the foundation of her hope, of Alonzo and Eliza Ann Fowler. Her was weaned from the love of life, and took father was a native of Pittsfield, Mass., who hold with a cheerful and childlike trust on the came, in his early youth, with his father, life to come. Wells Fowler, to the place since called Fowl- The news, at this time, of the death of a erville.

very dear friend, whom she contemplated as Her mother was a daughter of Rev. John baving entered the heavenly city, helped her Eastman, whose wife, Mary Hooker, was a anticipations of the future world, and made

E. P. B.

the things pertaining to the Christian's ever- he spent seven years with that people. Sublasting home seem more familiar to her mind. sequently, he spent four years in West From this time she gave no sign of faltering Yarmouth, and several years in Eastham. in her trust, and the closing scene is fitly de. Increasing infirmities compelled him to relinscribed in the last paragraph of Bryant's quish public services, and his death occurred Thanatopsis :

at West Tisbury, May 22d, 1866. “So live, that when thy summons comes to join .

Mr. Chase was more than fifty years in the Th' innumerable caravan, which moves

active duties in the ministry. He had an To that mysterious realın, where each shall take eminently spiritual mind, and was most His chamber in the silent halls of death,

heartily devoted to his Master's service. He Thou go not, like the quarry slave at night,

abounded in the work of the Lord, having Scourged to his dungeon, but sustained and soothed By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,

preached more than eleven thousand serLike one who wraps the drapery of his couch mons, and was blest in his labors with many About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams." precious revivals of religion.

His memory

is fondly cherished by those who enjoyed his Rev. EBENEZER CHASE died in West labors, and he has gone to enjoy the congratFisher, May 22d, 1866, aged 81 years. He ulations of many who have been saved by was born in Bedford, N. H. He early be his instrumentality, and to enjoy the evercame hopefully a Christian, having been led lasting favor of the Redeemer he so faithfully to anxiety for his own soul's salvation, by see

served.

н. в. н. ing the anxiety of his mother concerning her eternal welfare, whom he had supposed had Rev. GARRY C. FOX was born in Vienlong been a Christian. He united with a na, Oneida Co., N. Y., Oct. 10, 1828, and Free-Will Baptist Church. In August, 1807, died May 30, 1866, in Victor, Mich., at the he began to preach under the care of that age of 37. He was of Old School Presbytedenomination, and was ordained as an Evan- rian stock. When quite young, his parents gelist in August, 1810. "The minister who removed from his birthplace, and settled in gave him the charge,” says the autobiogra- Palmyra, Mich. Here, at the early age of phy, said, among other things, “I charge seven, he became the subject of a work of you before God, when about to preach, never grace, and obtained a hope in Christ. in any case put pen to paper, with a view to For a portion of the nine years following, assist you in preaching, nor premeditate be- his youthful piety was at times somewhat forehand what you shall say; but trust en- clouded; but, at the age of sixteen, - his patirely to God, who will teach you in the rents and himself having meanwhile returned same hour what you shall speak." In 1809, to the State of New York, — he experienced he procured a printing-press, hired a journey- a fresh baptism of the Holy Ghost, made a man, and commenced editing and publishing new and full consecration of himself to a monthly religious newspaper, called the Christ, became active in his Master's cause, · Religious Informer,” which was largely and united with the Methodist Episcopal circulated in the Free-Will Baptist con- Church. nexion. The Christian courtesy of Rev. 0. From this age, he was deeply and seriously C. Whiton, of Troy, N. Y., led to the remov- impressed with the idea that it was his duty al of prejudices against Congregationalism; to become a minister of the gospel; and aland, after careful examination of the system, though his early educational advantages he united with the Windsor (Vt.) Associa- were limited, and he did not meet with the tion of Congregational Ministers, Nov. 12th, encouragement desired toward obtaining a 1828. The 22d of September, 1830, he was liberal education, yet, at the age of eighteen, installed over the Congregational church in he was made a licensed exhorter of the Gilsum, N. H. ; and, after a ministry of Methodist Episcopal Church. three years, removed to Westmoreland, Vt., Making good use of such mental and where his faithful labors were greatly blest. spiritual advantages as were within his reach, Failure of health led him to seek the benefit from this period he grew rapidly both in of sea-air, and, being invited to the service of grace and in usefulness. the Congregational church in West Tisbury, Having again removed to Michigan, he became a member of the United Brethren his previous labors, he shared largely in the Church at the age of twenty-one ; and, at blessing of God, and in the “wisdom that the age of twenty-six, he was in that church winneth souls.” In his preaching and his ordained a minister of Christ. In this com- pastoral labor, in his social influence, and in munion he labored faithfully for twelve years his every-day walk, he was a man of God, in southern and central Michigan, mostly a "workman who needed not to be ashamed.” as an itinerant, and a part of this time serv- Independent in thought, fruitful in expedient, ing as a presiding elder.

earnest and zealons, yet modest and retiring, In this work he became acquainted with conscientious and uncompromising in the many Congregational brethren, and with the right, yet deferent to the opinion of others, faith and polity of their church; and, finding sympathetic, affectionate, and kind, and thorthese especially scriptural, he decided to oughly devoted to the cause of the Master, cast in his Christian labor with them. both the members of his flock, and his im

To help meet deficiencies of early educa- mediate ministerial brethren, feel that a tion, he now spent two years of study at strong and a good man has fallen among us. Olivet College, Mich., meanwhile being con- Mr. Fox was married at the age of twentynected with the Marshall Congregational three to Cynthia B. Parmelee, who, with a Association of this State.

son of six months, is left in deep loneliness In January, 1864, Mr. Fox was commis- and bereavement. sioned by the American Home Missionary The disease which terminated in his death Society to labor with the church in Victor, was a variety of apoplexy, occasioned in Mich., and also at Lansinburgh, a railroad part by excessive labor and anxiety in the station a few miles distant. At both these cause of the Master. points, for the space of two years and three He died in the midst of life and usefulness, months, his labors met with great acceptance, with the harness on, and those who knew and were attended with abundant success. him best will long cherish and honor his

In this his last ministry, as uniformly in memory.

R. A.

Books of Interest to Congregationalists. We most gladly welcome the able defense topics : “1st, the doctrine of annihilation statof the great doctrine of “Life and Death ed; 2d, the fundamental view of the scripEternal,” 1

,” I by Prof. Bartlett, against the per- ture argument for annihilation ; 3d, the nicious theory of the annihilation of the scripture argument for annihilation examined wicked. He has made thorough and plain –Death and Life ; 4th, . . . destruction and work of it. Both scholars and common other terms; 5th, the resurrection and readers will be interested and profited by the other terms; 6th, the rational argument exfaithful perusal of this book. The reasoning amined.” is simple and conclusive. The statement of Part second is, “Positive disproof of the the views confronted is fair and full. The doctrine of annihilation.” This is subdivided exegesis of the Scriptures involved is critical, into eight chapters, as follows : “1st, belief supported by the highest authorities, and can of future existence among the earlier Jews; not be controverted. The plan of this book 2d, belief of future existence among the we think very felicitous and logical. It is Jews at Christ's coming; 3d, New Testadivided into two parts: the first, “refutation ment teachings — immortality — immediate of the arguments advanced in support of destiny; 4th, a resurrection and a judgment the annihilation of the wicked.” This is sub- for the wicked ; 5th, New Testament teachdivided into six chapters, under the following ings — sharing the doom of Satan ; 6th, ...

direct declarations — future punishment con1 Life and Death Eternal : A Refutation of the Theory sists in suffering ; 7th, ... sufferings proof Annihilation. By Samuel C. Bartlett, D. D., Pro

tracted and endless; 8th, tendencies and fessor in Chicago Theological Seminary. Published by the American Tract Society, 28 Cornhill, Boston.

affinities of the system of annihilation.” To which are added an appendix of twenty-four

pp. 390.

« PrécédentContinuer »