Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

PRAYER AT CONSECRATION

59 within his territorial Parish. All Israel however were not backsliders. Many clung to him as strongly as he clung to them. The simple annals of bis ministry can afford of course but little variety. Towards the latter part of his life, on the Seventeenth of June, 1825, he was present at the laying of the corner-stone of the Bunker-Hill Monument and offered a simple and solemn prayer of consecrationI have it in his pery words, and send it to you, as in seems to me worthy of preservation. He was at this time over eighty hears of age :

PRAYER 0, thou who rulest in the armies of Heaven and doest whatsoever seemest to thee good among the children of men below, we desire at this time to remember thy loving kindness to our pious ancestors in rescuing them from a land of intolerance and persecution. We thank thee that thou didst conduct them in safety through the mighty deep to this then howling wilderness, that thou didst protect and defend them when few and helpless. We thank thee that, by thy blessing on their endeavors and labors, the wilderness was soon made to blossom like the rose. We thank thee that thou didst animate them with an invinciblo attachment to religion and liberty - that they adopted such wise institutions. We thank thee that they so early established our University, from which have flowed such streams as have made glad the cities of onr God ; that thou hast raised up of our own sons, wise, learned, and brave to guide in the great and important affairs both of church and state. May thy blessing rest on that Seminary and continue it for a name and praise as long as sun and moon shall endure. We thank thee that by the wisdom and fortitude of our fathers every attempt to infringe our rights and privileges were defeated, and that we were never in bondage to any. We thank thee that when our country was invaded by the armies of the mother country, thou didst raise 60 OF BUNKER-HILL MONUMENT. up wise connsellors and unshaken patriots, who at the risk of life and fortune not only defended our country, but raised it to the rank of a nation among the nations of the earth. We thank thee that thou hast blessed us with a constitution of government which, if duly administered, secures to all, high and low, rich and poor, their invaluable rights and privileges. We ask thy blessing on our President and Congress - on vur Governors and Legislators, on our Judges and all our civil officers. Make them, we beseech thee, ministers of God for good to thy people. Bless the ministers of the Gospel and make them happy instruments in thine hands of destroying Satan's kingdom and of building up the Redeemer’s. We thank thee that in thy good providence we are assembled to lay the foundation of a monument, not for the purpose of idolatry, but a standing monument to the rising and future generations, that they may be excited to search the history of our country and learn to know the greatness of thy loving-kindness to our nation. May the service of this day be performed under the most profound awe of thy glorious Majesty and be an acceptable sacrifice. We thank thee for the unparalelled progress and improvement in arts and sciences, in agriculture and manufactures, in navigation and commerce, whereby our land has become the glory of all lands. We thank thee that the light which came from the East, and has enlightened this Western world is now reflected back and that the nations of Europe are now learning lessons of wisdom from our infant nation. We pray thee that these rays may be spread and shine with greater power until the rod of oppression shall be broken through the whole world and all mankind become wise and free and happy. We humbly ask and offer all in the name of Jesus Christ, our great and glorious Mediator, through whom be glory unto God the Father now and forever — Amen.

Not long after this event, in 1827, well stricken in years -- the snow-white hairs of above four-score winters playing around his venerable head — he was taken hence like a shock of corn gathered in its sea

LIBERAL CHRISTIANITY.

61

son. The highest praise can be awarded to Mr. Thaxter, that of being a good and holy man to the close of his lengthened life. He stood the test of our Saviour's ordeal, enduring unto the end. As he lived -- so he died. His last words were memorable and inspiring. My faith is unshaken, my hope is unclouded.' On the marble monument erected to his memory by his children it is beautifully said, • Full of the hope of a blessed immortality, he sweetly fell asleep in Jesus.' He has left an impression of himself that will not soon be obliterated. His virtues yet speak with eloquent effect :

“Ev’n in his ashes live their wonted fires.”

A few words more before I close this letter.

It is a natural subject of inquiry what the prospect is for the formation of a liberal Society in Edgartown. It has been observed that there are but fifteen hundred inhabitants in E. and already three Societies. Two of these may be said to be Aourishing. Of course the prospect for another cannot be very encouraging. There are however a great many Unitarians in the place. Originally they were the parishioners of Mr. Thaxter, but since his death they have becoine joined unto idols. There are a few who have ever been faithful found among the faithless,' and they are some of the most respectable and influential people in the place. These together with a sprinkling from every denomination, Baptists, Methodists, Orthodox, and Universalists

62

LIBERAL CHRISTIANITY.

constituted my audience, in number an hundred and fifty. This was the consequence of holding the afternoon service at 3 o'clock and sometimes as late as 6, after the hour of tea — for every meal is served earlier in Edgartown than on the main ; in summer, breakfast at 6, dinner at 12, and supper at half past 4 or 5.

In Spring an effort will be made to rekindle the embers of what we consider the true faith and, whether very successful or not, a clergyman may be sure of a fair support as long as he perseveres in the good cause. We hope they will not have reason to be discouraged and that Zion will arise, her light shine, and unto her many people be gathered.

Here, Mr. Editor, I take occasion to thank you for your indulgence, and bring my communications, - unexpectedly become a series, - to a close.

Yours.

DOWN EAST.

CHAPTER I. Gardiner Hallowell Augusta Bangor, Its

Climate Character of the Inhabitants. A Sermon long enough in all conscience. Religious Meetings. Eastward in a Packet. Gloucester

- its beauty seen from the Bay. Great Disapment. Adventure on an Island in Portland Harbor. A Stone Church at Sea. Hard Luck.

In the fall of 1833, I made my first excursion down East. My first point of destination was Gardiner on the Kennebec. I had been informed that a preacher was much wanted in this place and had been urged to go and see what could be done for the formation of a liberal Society. Accordingly I took letters of introduction and went down. Every assurance had been given that there would be no lack of heart, or means. By the advice of those who best know what advice to give, I took up my abode at the public house of the Town. Here I remained for several weeks — preaching one Sabbath evening in the Episcopal church — the next in the Methodist_afterwards during the day in the Lyceum Hall, and always to respectable audiences. I made many acquaintances, visited much, and was very hospitably treated. Much interest, I was led to believe, had been excited in the cause of liberal Christianity, but in consequence of the strong influence exerted by a single Episcopalian family of much

« AnteriorContinuar »