:HAPIN FAMILY ASSOCIA' PUBLICATIONS. APPRECIATION OF IALVIN CHAPIN, D. D., OF ROCKY HILL, CONN. BY THE REV. EDWIN P. PARKER, D. D., Of (he South Congregational Church, Hartford, Conn. REV. DR. CALVIN CHAPIN. From a portrait in possession of Arthur Reed Kimball, of Waterbury, Conn. CHAPIN FAMILY ASSOCIATION PUBLICATIONS. APPRECIATION OF CALVIN CHAPIN, D. D., OF ROCKY HILL, CONN. BY THE REV. EDWIN P. PARKER, D. D., Of the South Congregational Church, Hartford, Conn. PROVIDENCE: SNOW & FARNHAM Co., PRINTERS, 1908. OFFICERS OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE YEAR BEGINNING MAY 1st, 1908, ARE AS FOLLOWS : MR. GILBERT W. CHAPIN, Hartford, Conn., . . President. MR. MERRICK W. CHAPIN, Hartford, Conn., . . Sec. -Treasurer. MR. TERRY J. CHAPIN, Suffield, Conn., . . . Recorder. HON. ARTHUR B. CHAPIN, Holyoke, Mass., DR. WALTER H. CHAPIN, Springfield, Mass., MR. WM. H. G. CHAPIN, Parkersburg, W. Va., . . j > Vice- Presidents. REV. CHARLES B. CHAPIN, Rochester, N. Y., MR. CHARLES S. BLAKE, Hartford, Conn., MR FRANK M. CHAPIN, Pine Meadow, Conn., \ Executive Committee. MR. FREDERICK W. CHAPIN, . . Springfield, Mass. MR. HENRY G. CHAPIN, . . . Springfield, Mass. MR. WILLIAM H. CHAPIN, . . . Springfield, Mass. A PREFATORY WORD. BEGINNING on Sunday, September twenty-one, nine- *-* teen hundred eight, and continuing through Tuesday, September twenty-three, the old town of Rocky Hill, Conn., celebrated the one hundredth anniversary of the Congrega- tional Meeting House with an Old Home week. Two special gifts marked the celebration. One was the completion of the Chapin Memorial Parsonage, which stands on the crest of the hill, west of the church, on what is known as Chapin Street, and on land originally owned by Calvin Chapin, D. D., for fifty-six years, from seventeen ninety-six to eighteen-fifty-two, pastor of the church. The other gift was that of an organ for the church, which has just completed its century. In connection with the celebration, the Rev. Edwin P. Parker, D. D., pastor of the South Congregational Church in Hart- ford, was invited to speak a word of appreciation of Dr. Calvin Chapin, a word so perfectly spoken as to deserve perpetuation beyond passing publication in the newspapers of the day. For that reason, the privilege of issuing this little brochure in the series of Chapin Family Association Publications, has been sought by and given to a great-grandson of Dr. Chapin, Arthur Reed Kimball of Waterbury, Conn. 2073945 LIST OF PLATES. OPPOSITE p. I. Rev. Dr. Calvin Chapin . . Frontispiece From a portrait in possession of Arthur Reed Kimball of Waterbury, Conn. II. Rocky Hill Congregational Meeting-House . 7 Dedicated September 22, 1808. III. The Old Home of Calvin Chapin, D. D., of Rocky Hill 9 Now the residence of H. H. Humphrey. IV. Chapin Memorial Parsonage . . . . 1 1 Built igo8. ROCKY HILL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING HOUSE. Dedicated, September 22, 1808. REV. DR. EDWIN P. PARKER, pastor of the South Congregational Church in Hartford, gave the following address on Rev. Dr. Calvin Chapin : " Shortly after I came to live in Hartford, in the year 1860, some kind of ecclesiastical meeting called me to Rocky Hill and its meeting house. Not quite nine years before that Dr. Chapin had ceased from his labors in that parish. I found the place thronged with memories of the former pastor. His personal atmosphere pervaded the town. His spirit seemed to linger on the premises. I became aware that a remarka- ble man had lived and labored there, about whom I desired to know more and more. The more I inquired concerning him, the more I felt as they did who would end anecdotes about him by saying, " Oh, you ought to have known Dr. Chapin ! " As if there had never been in all these parts another like him, as, indeed, is true. There was little difficulty in becom- ing acquainted with his characteristic traits and qualities. Dr. Hawes, then in vigorous health, had known him intimately for more than thirty years. Deacon Seth Terry had known him longer than that, and there were many clergymen and laymen who were familiar with his remarkable doings and sayings. Therefore, I feel competent to speak of him as almost from acquaintance or recollection. "He came of excellent stock. He, Calvin Chapin, descend- ant of the fifth generation of Deacon Samuel Chapin, who came from England or Wales, was the fourth of six sons of Deacon Edward Chapin, a farmer of Chicopee Parish, Spring- field, Massachusetts, and grandson of another Deacon Chapin of that same parish. His mother was Eunice Colton of Longmeadow. He was born July 22, 1763. At the age of fifteen years he served for six months as a fifer in a militia company of the Revolution. He prepared for college under the instruction of Dr. Backus of Somers, Connecticut, entered 8 CHAPIN FAMILY Yale College in 1784 and was graduated with honor in due season. After spending two years as a highly successful teacher in Hartford and there decided to become a gospel minister, studied theology with Dr. Perkins of West Hartford for six months, and was there licensed to preach by the Hart- ford North Association. Meanwhile, in September 1791, he had been elected tutor at Yale College, and entered on that office that autumn. Dr. Stiles was then president of the col- lege, and numerous entries in his diary mention Tutor Chapin, and show a high appreciation both of his tutorial work and of his ability and success as a preacher. In 1794 he resigned his office at Yale, accepted a call of the church in Stepney Parish of Wethersfield, now Rocky Hill, and was ordained as pastor of that church composed of twenty-seven members, April 30, 1794, with an annual salary of $333, which contin- ued the same to the end of his long pastorate. The ordaining council comprised twenty-four pastors and delegates of neigh- boring churches, not one of whom survived him. " He married, February 2, 1795, Jerusha, younger daughter of Dr. Jonathan Edwards, and sister of Jonathan W. Edwards, with whom he lived in closest, sweetest intimacy for fifty-two years, and of whom he said, " She made my home the pleas- antest spot to me on earth." His entire ministerial life was spent, as has been said, in Rocky Hill, and that means that he was an acceptable preacher and a faithful pastor. Much more than most ministers of his time, he was a scholarly man, fond of classical and mathematical studies. " Such a light must needs shine out far beyond the bounds of his parish. His influence in behalf of all good causes was widely exerted. He was not an orator, but much better than that. He employed his time and expended his energies with more beneficent results to society, than most of the theologians whose work did not seem of much interest to him. He wore without fret the theological and ecclesiastical harness then in vogue, but concerned and engaged himself with matters more closely pertaining to social progress and improvement. Few ASSOCIATION PUBLICATIONS. 9 of his works were printed or published except as they were printed on the minds and hearts of his contemporaries, and published as by translation into social life and public sentiment. He was one of Connecticut's great ministers few of them greater or more useful in the world, none of them sounder in judgment and practical wisdom, more kindly and lovable. From 1805 to 1831 he was a trustee of the Missionary Society of Connecticut, and intimately associated in the work of that society with my own predecessor, Dr. Abel Flint, who from 1798 to 1824 was secretary of the same society. They were also associated in organizing and managing the Connecticut Bible Society (1809). Dr. Chapin was one of the five men who in 1810 projected and organized the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, was chosen its Recording Secretary, which office he held for thirty-two years. He was active in forming and fostering a Connecticut Society for the promotion of Good Morals (1813), became one of the Board of Visitors of Andover Seminary (1816) and served as clerk of that Board until he was seventy years old. He received from Union College in 1816 the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. From 1820 to 1846 he was a member of the cor- poration of Yale College, and all that while, except one year, a member of its Prudential Committee. "About the year 1806 serious difficulties had arisen among the missionaries employed by the Missionary Society of Con- necticut, in northern Ohio. The trustees gravely considered who of their number would best serve to deal with the delicate complications of the case. Dr. Chapin, though the youngest member of the Board, was selected for the service, and per- formed it to the entire satisfaction of his brethren, and to the great enlargement of the Society's operations and usefulness. He was an anti-slavery man. He was one of the earliest, most persistent and efficient promoters of the cause of tem- perance. As early as 1812 he took his stand for total absti- nence, and maintained it to the end, and lived to see wonder- ful results of his unpopular labors. (He even succeeded for IO CHAPIN FAMILY a time in having his church disuse wine at the Holy Com- munion.) It is authentically related that he experienced some disadvantage from his zeal in this matter. In the early years of the iQth century Rocky Hill was somewhat celebra- ted for the quantity and quality of its cider. There was none better in the parish than that made by Dr. Chapin. His very best was produced by exposing barrels of cider to the extreme cold of winter. These would freeze considerably, and the precious part of the fluid was then obtained by boring through the frozen shell. It required three barrels of the original cider to make one barrel of this superior liquor, which, of course, was rather potent stuff. It was stored away in casks. " Well ! Dr. Chapin's parishioners had been accustomed to assemble each spring to give him a lift in cutting his firewood, and the Doctor, on such occasions, would produce pails of this precious cider for their refreshment, which made the gatherings very popular and pleasant. But when he ceased from cider-making and the cider itself was no longer forth- coming, the people began to lose all interest in the parson's wood-pile, and soon left it to his own exertions. " Dr. Chapin continued to discharge his pastoral duties with fidelity until November 1847, when, at the age of eighty -four years, he retired from active duty. Shortly thereafter his wife died, and on March i6th, 1851, in the 88th year of his life and the 57th of his single pastorate, he died peacefully, while sitting in his accustomed chair. Some years before his death he had written to Dr. Hawes requesting him to preach his funeral sermon, suggesting his favorite scriptural verse as a text, "For We Shall See Him as He Is." Dr. Hawes was unable to attend his venerable friend's funeral, and Rev. Mr. Tucker of Wethersfield preached on that occasion. I have read his sermon with some care. It is rather tame but one short sentence is worth all the rest, and more. In an inspired moment the good Mr. Tucker said of Dr. Chapin, " He was no driveler ! " " But Dr. Hawes, the next month after the funeral, and on ASSOCIATION PUBLICATIONS. II the 5 7th anniversary of Dr. Chapin's settlement, did preach a sermon in loving commemoration of the grand old minister ; preached it in the church where Dr. Chapin had preached so many years ; a notable sermon, in Dr. Hawes' very best style ; which also I have recently read, and which gives a lifelike portraiture of the man : A sermon with a letter written some four years later by the same hand, is the mine from which al- most all the treasure of later obituaries of Dr. Chapin have been derived. Dr. Hawes shows us the tall, erect, well-pro- portional, vigorous frame of the man ; his ever cheerful and buoyant spirit ; his quick, clear, practical, penetrative mind ; his terse style of writing ; his most fascinating conversation ; his rugged simplicity, honesty, energy ; his unfailing stead- fastness in duty ; and then adds as perhaps, his most striking peculiarity, " His exuberant and boundless wit, which gave a complexion to his conversation and to his whole character." Dr. Chapin, when tutor in Yale College, had for a pupil him who afterwards was famous as President Day of the same college. He also wrote reminiscently of Dr. Chapin, mentioning especially "his instructive and engaging conver- sation, his playful humor and never failing cheerfulness and vivacity," and added, "He was the most uniformly happy man I have ever known." What a beautiful eulogy that ! Happy in his heritage, happy in his friends, happy in his work, happy in his home, happy in his church, happy in his undogmatic and simple and almost natural piety, happy in his views and hopes, happy in the serenity of his mind and in the summer sunshine that ever seems to have shed its blessings upon his heart and mind ! " Yes, I wish I might have known him who seems to me, on the whole, about the best -worth-knowing of all the minis- ters of that generation, in these parts ; if for nothing else, because being an intelligent and wide-awake minister, he had that almost priceless gift of exuberant wit and humor, as natural to him as his breath, says Dr. Hawes, who also says that in the very letter wherein Dr. Chapin solicited the favor 12 CHAPIN FAMILY of a funeral sermon for himself, that same wit crept in to upset even Dr. Hawes's great gravity. " Incurable " humor, says Dr. Hawes ! Thank God, incurable ! Wrought into his very soul and spirit, natural, exuberant, incurable ! We wonder if death impairs it and hope it does not ! That wit and humor, so thoroughly domesticated and familiar in his parish took wings and flew abroad everywhither, and have ever been intimately and inseparably associated with Dr. Chapin's name, without in the least derogating from his real and wholesome sanctity. " Somehow, thanks to Dr. Hawes and Dr. Robbins and many others, it verily does seem as if I had known Dr. Chapin, and were all the better for having known him, and if these words of mine shall serve to bring him up before your imagi- nation at all presentably, and make you feel a little as if you too had known him if not after the flesh, yet after the spirit I shall be abundantly recompensed for my slight labor of love therein."