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Dedicated April 23, 1856. 

Centennial Memorial 

— OF THE- 


— OF — 

Hartford, Connecticut, 

March 23d and 24th, 1890. 


The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers." 

I Kings via. 57. 



This memorial volume was prepared under the direc- 
tion of the Centennial Committee of the church. It is 
intended partly to be a souvenir of the very pleasant 
centennial celebration, and partly to present in perma- 
nent form, for the friends of the church, some of the more 
important and more interesting elements of the first 
hundred years of its history. 

The addresses of Messrs. Howard, Stone, Bronson, 
Wheeler, Dimock and Barbour, delivered at the celebra- 
tion without notes, were stenographically reported, and 
are given here substantially as they were spoken, with 
slight revision at the hands of the several speakers. 
The other addresses are reproduced from the manuscripts 
of the authors. The historical sermon of Dr. Sage was 
prepared without opportunity for any verification of facts 
by reference to records. The doctor's memory, however, 
seems to have served him accurately and well. It need 
carcely be added that each speaker is himself responsible 
for his own words, and shares that responsibility neither 
with the committee or the church. 

The Historical Sketch, down to the close of Mr. 
Eaton's pastorate, is largely an abridgment of Dr. Turn- 
bull's Memorial Discourse, delivered in the spring of 
1856. Important additions, however, have been made 
from other sources. The biographical sketch of Mr. 
Grew, the second pastor, was kindly furnished by his 
honored daughter, Miss Mary Grew, of Philadelphia; 
that of Mr. Grosvenor, the third pastor, by Mr. Cyrus P. 
Grosvenor of Worcester, Massachusetts. The sketches 


of Dr. Sears, Dr. Jackson and Mr. Eaton, have been 
considerably enlarged. Whatever relates to the last 
forty- five years was prepared especially for this volume. 
The ojEficial records of the church, supplemented by files 
of many sorts of documents and the testimony of many 
living witnesses, constitute the sources for this material. 
Important information has been given especially by Miss 
Maria L. Savage, Mrs. Maria F. Chapman and Miss 
Mary Page, all of whom were baptized by Dr. Jackson 
in 1838. The Roll of Membership as given is supposed 
to be substantially correct down to August ist, 1890, 
with all losses after January ist, 1890, noted at the close. 

The electrotypes of the first and second church edifices 
are used by permission of Elihu Geer's Sons of Hartford. 
The portraits presented include several living members 
of the church who have been in its fellowship more than 
forty years. All of them delivered addresses at the centen- 
nial celebration, and are prominently known outside the 
church. Their portraits are inserted by the direction of 
the majority of the committee, without consultation with 
the gentlemen themselves, and in almost every case 
without their knowledge. If in opening the book any 
of them should be surprised to see their own faces, a 
legion of friends, within and without the church, who 
have ever associated their names with the most import- 
ant period of its history, will be more than pleased to see 
these faces thus connected with the church they so much 
loved and handed down with this memorial long after 
they shall have passed away. 

Hartford, August 1st, 1890. 



Preface, 3 

Constituent Members, 8 

Introduction, 9 

Order of Exercises, - - - - - - 12 

Mr. Howard's Address, 21 

Mr. Davis' Address, 27 

Dr. Sage's Sermon, 35 

Dr. Stone's Address, 59 

Mr. Thompson's Address, 65 

Mr. Bronson's Address, 70 

Mr. Wheeler's Address, 78 

Mr. Dimock's Address, 91 

Mr. Barbour's Address, 94 

Dr. Robins' Address, - - - - - 105 

Reminiscences of Dr. Turnbull, - - - 118 

Mr. Batterson's Address, . . . . 127 

Mr. Twichell's Address, 139 

Dr. King's Hymn, .-*.-.- 146 

Mr. James' Address, 147 

Dr. Crane's Letter, 164 

Letters of Regret and Congratulation, - 169 

Pastors of the Church, 180 

Historical Sketch, 181 

Biographical Sketches, 227 

Deacons and Clerks of the Church, - - 241 

Present Officers, 242 

Roll of Membership, 243 

iJndepc of illlustrations. 

Present Church Edifice, Exterior, 
Centennial Invitation, - 
Portrait of James L. Howard, 
Portrait of Gustavus F. Davis, 
Portrait of Dr. Davis, - 
Portrait of Dr. Sage, 
Portrait of Willis S. Bronson, 
Portrait of Joseph W. Dimock, 
Portrait of Dr. Turnbull, - 
Portrait of James G. Batterson, - 
Portrait of the Pastor, 
The Present Church Edifice, In- 
terior, - - - - - 

Group of Early Pastors, 
The First Church Edifice, - 
The Second Church Edifice, 
Plan of the Present Church Edi- 
fice, ------ 

Portraits of Mrs. Fowler and 
Mrs. Eaton, . . . . 

Group of Early Officers, 

Opposite page 8 














i Samuel Beckwith, 

( Mrs. Beckwith, 
John Bolles, 
Mrs. I^YDiA Bolles, 
Luther Savage, 
Mrs. Jerusha Savage, 
Samuel Fowler, 
Mrs. Grace Fowler, 
Mrs. Sarah Fowler, 
Theodore Olcott, 
Mrs. Margaret Olcott, 
Ebenezer Moore, 
Reuben Judd, 
Prudence Loomis, 
Eunice Alford, 
Mrs. Mary Merrow. 





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^- ^ 




The church adopted a resolution, January 5, 1890, 
authorizing the celebration of its First Centennial and the 
appointment of proper committees of arrangement, as 
follows: — 

The Hon. James L. Howard, Chairman. 

History of the Church. — The Rev. J. S. James, 
pastor; C. G. Munyan, clerk; G. F. Davis, J. G. Batter- 
son, J. W. Dimock, M. M. Johnson, M. D. 

Invitations and Printing. — William A. Erving, Silas 
Chapman, Jr., George T. Utley. 

Entertainment. — W. S. Bronson, R. P. Chapman, 
A. J. Pruden, Mrs. Isaac- Glazier, Miss Harriet I. Eaton, 
Mrs. E. B. Bennett, Mrs. Silas Chapman, Jr., Mrs. C. 
M. Holbrook, Mrs. Edward Habenstein. 

Music. — C. O. Spencer, Ludlow Barker, Herman L. 
BoUes, H. H. Saunders. 

Decoration. — The Young People's Association. 

Finance.— William B. Clark, C. O. Spencer, W. O. 
Carpenter, William C. Bolles, Silas Chapman, Jr., 
D wight Chapman. 

Order of Exercises. — The Rev. J. S. James, the 
Rev. Albert Guy, M. M. Johnson, M. D. 


The several committees carefully perfected all details 
of arrangement. A program was prepared, and invita- 
tions to the celebration sent to all members of the church 
whose address the committee found it possible to secure, 
and also to the clergy of the city of all denominations, 
and to the Baptist ministers of the state. 

The large auditorium of the church was filled at each 
of the four public meetings. In addition to the seating 
accommodation afforded by the ordinary pews, some 
three hundred chairs were arranged in the aisles and on 
the platform to meet the extra demand. The speakers 
appointed were all present but Dr. Robins and Mr. 
Jerome, both of whom were detained away by ill health. 
The paper of the former was read, and the Rev. Dr. 
George M. Stone gave the reminiscences of Dr. Turnbull. 

The South, the Asylum Avenue and the Memorial 
Baptist Churches of Hartford suspended their Sunday 
meetings in whole or in part, and joined with the mother 
church in the happy celebration. At the Sunday School 
Mass Meeting the whole body of the auditorium was oc- 
cupied by the members of the several schools and their 
missions. Fully fifteen hundred persons were present. 

The Scripture reading was from a copy of an English 
Bible, published in 1599, and brought over to America 
in 1698 by an ancestor of some of the members of the 

Mr. Herman L. Bolles, the organist, was a great- 
grandson of the first deacon, Mr. John Bolles. 

The floral decoration of evergreen and potted plants 
and flowers were in the best of taste. Around the walls 
of the vestry and the spacious vestibule were hung paint- 


ings, daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, photographs or en- 
gravings of every pastor of the church and of almost 
every deacon and clerk. 

At the social reception, Monday afternoon, a former 
pastor, the Rev. Dr. Sage, and his good wife, stood by 
the side of the present pastor and his wife, in the vestry, 
to greet the hundreds of friends who gathered to renew 
the happy associations of the past. These friends came 
from near and far, some from the far West. From others 
letters and telegrams were received expressing regrets 
and offering congratulations. 

The two succeeding Thursday evening meetings were 
devoted to reading the letters of regret and congratula- 

Everything combined to make the celebration excep- 
tionally pleasant. The preparation was complete, the 
music delightful, the addresses full of interest, the at- 
tendance up to the full capacity of the house, the work 
of the ushers prompt and efficient, the work of the ladies 
even more than could have been anticipated, and the 
weather a surprise of sunshine. 


Sunday Morning, March 23d, at 10.45 o'clock. 

Organ Voluntary. — Doxology. 

The Rev. Albert Guy. 

Anthem. — "Oh Sing unto the Lord," Dudley Buck. 

Scripture Reading, 

The Rev. H. M. Thompson. 


The Rev. Thomas S. Barbour. 


The Congregation Joining. 

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, 
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word ; 
What more can he say than to you he hath said, 
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled ? 

Fear not, I am with thee ; O be not dismayed ! 

I, I am thy God and will still give thee aid ; 

I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, 

Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand. 


The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose 

I will not, I will not desert to his foes ; 

That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, 

I'll never, no never, no never forsake. 

George Keith, 17S7. 

Opening Address, 

The Hon. James L. Howard. 


Deacon Gustavus F. Davis. 



Historical Sermon, 

The Rev. A. J. Sage, D. D. 


The Congregation Joining. 

All hail the power of Jesus' name. 
Let angels prostrate fall ; 

Bring forth the royal diadem. 
And crown him Lord of all. 

Let every kindred, every tribe. 

On this terrestrial ball. 
To him all majesty ascribe, 

And crown him Lord of all. 

O, that with yonder sacred throng. 

We at his feet may fall ; 
We'll join the everlasting song. 

And crown him Lord of aU. 

Edward Perronet, 1780. 



Sunday Afternoon, at 3 o'clock— Sunday School Mass Meeting. 

Organ Voluntary. 


Onward Christian soldiers, 
Marching as to war, 
With the cross of Jesus, 
Going on before. 
Christ, the royal Master, 
Leads against the foe ; 
Forward into battle. 
See his banner go. 

Refrain — Onward Christian soldiers, 
Marching as to war. 
With the cross of Jesus, 
Going on before. 

Crowns and thrones may perish. 
Kingdoms rise and wane, 
But the church of Jesus 
Constant will remain ; 
Gates of hell can never 
'Gainst that church prevail ; 
We have Christ's own promise, 
And that cannot fail. 

Onward, then, ye faithful. 
Join our happy throng, 
Blend with our's your voices 
In the triumph-song ; 
Glory, laud and honor. 
Unto Christ the King ; 
This through countless ages, 
Men and angels sing. 

S. Baring-Gould, i8bs. 


By Superintendent George T. Utley. 

order of exercises. 15 


Choir and School. 

Address. — "Child Life," 

The Rev. George M. Stone, D. D., 
Pastor of the Asylum Avenue Baptist Church. 

Address. — "Those Little Ones that Believe on Me," 

The Rev. H. M. Thompson, 
Pastor of the Memorial Baptist Church. 

Tenor Solo and Chorus. — "Sanctus," Gounod. 


The Hon. Willis S. Bronson, 
Superintendent of our School for Twenty-Five years. 

Address. — " Planted in the Courts of the Lord," 

The Rev. J. Kittredge Wheeler, 
Pastor of the South Baptist Church. 


Choir and School. 


Sunday Evening, at 7.30 o'clock. 
Organ Voluntary. 
Chant, Wilson. 



The Rev. A. J. Sage, D. D. 


Mr. Joseph W. Dimock, 
Senior Member of the Church. 


The Rev. Thomas S. Barbour, Fall River, Mass. 



The Congregation Joining. 
I love thy kingdom, Lord, 

The house of thine abode, 
The church our blest Redeemer saved 

With his own precious blood. 

I love thy church, O God, 

Her walls before thee stand. 
Dear as the apple of thine eye, 

And graven on thy hand. 

For her my tears shall fall, 

For her my prayers ascend ; 

To her my cares and toils be given. 

Till toils and cares shall end. 

Timothy Dwight, 1800. 

Address and Reminiscences, 

The Rev. Henry E. Robins, D, D., 
Professor in the Rochester Theological Seminary. 

Reminiscences of the Rev. Robt. Turnbull, D. D. 

The Rev. Edward M. Jerome, New Haven. 


The Congregation Joining. 

Glorious things of thee are spoken, 

Zion, city of our God ; 
He whose word can ne'er be broken. 

Formed thee for his own abode. 

Lord, thy church is still thy dwelling. 

Still is precious in thy sight ; 
Judah's temple far excelling. 

Beaming with the Gospel's light. 

On the Rock of Ages founded, 

What can shake her sure repose ? 

With salvation's wall surrounded. 

She can smile at all her foes. 

John Newton, lyyq. 



Monday afternoon, March 24th, from 8 to 6 o'clock. 

Social Reception and Reunion of Members and Friends 

of the Church, past and present. 

Monday Evening, at 1.30 o'clock. 
Organ Voluntary. 

Anthem. — " Judge Me, Oh God," Mendelssohn. 



The Rev. J. V. Garton, Meriden. 


The Congregation Joining. 

Rock of Ages, cleft for me, 

Let me hide myself in thee ; 

Let the water and the blood, 

From thy side a healing flood, 

Be of sin the double cure, 

Save from wrath and make me pure. 

Nothing in my hand I bring. 
Simply to thy cross I cling ; 
Naked, come to thee for dress ; 
Helpless, look to thee for grace ; 
Foul, I to thy fountain fly. 
Wash me Savior, or I die. 

While I draw this fleeting breath. 
When my eyelids close in death. 
When I rise to worlds unknown, 
See thee on thy judgment throne : 
Rock of Ages, cleft for me. 
Let me hide myself in thee. 

A. M. Toplady, 177b. 



The Hon James G. Batterson. 

Tenor Solo.— " Abide With Me," Shelley, 

J\Ir. Hubert Marcklein. 


The Rev. Joseph H. Twichell, 
Pastor of the Asylum Avenue Congregational Church. 

Male Quartette. — "Lead Kindly Light," Dudley 

Address. — " The Future's Debt to the Past," 

The Rev. J. S. James, Pastor. 


Should auld acquaintance be forgot, 

And never brought to mind ? 
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, 

And days of auld lang syne ? 

We tvpo have run about the slopes 

And pulled the daisies fine ; 
But we've wandered many a weary foot 

Since auld lang syne. 

We two have paddled in the brook, 

From morning sun till noon ; 
But seas between us broad have roared 

Since auld lang syne. 

And here's a hand my trusty friend. 

And give a hand of thine ; 
And we'll take a right good hearty shake 

For auld lang syne. 


The Rev. Floyd W. Tomkins, Jr., 
Rector of Christ Church, Hartford. 

Sunday Morning. 





It is my privilege as chairman to open these services, 
and I find myself somewhat affected as I look around on 
this congregation, and recognize so many of the old 
members, children of the church, many of whom have 
come long distances to be with us to-day. 

I recognize here members of our sister churches in the 
city ; those who are children and grand-children of this 
old church. We welcome you all home. Never was 
a mother more glad to see her children than we are to 
receive and recognize you to-day. 

It is my privilege to declare closed the first, and to 
open the second, century of our history. How much 
has occurred within one hundred years ! How much 
have we seen in this country in these hundred years of 
marvellous growth! Hartford had 3,500 inhabitants 
when that little band of sixteen organized this church. 
Our country had four millions of inhabitants at that 
time ! Our Baptist churches in this country numbered 
sixty or seventy, all told, with perhaps 10,000 church 
members ! How different now, with a population in 
our city of 50,000, in our country of 60,000,000, with 


Baptist churches scattered all over this land, to the 
number of 33,000, with a membership of over three 
millions! How changed the conditions in which we 
live to-day! When, on March 23d, 1790, that little band 
of seven brothers and nine sisters met in Luther Sav- 
age's house (where now stands Mr. Silas Chapman's 
house), and consulted with reference to the formation 
of a Baptist church, how little did they realize that the 
day which we see • would come! — as little as we can 
realize that which is before us ! How little they foresaw 
that, starting from the day they sat there, with many 
prayers and many tears ; there should be united with 
this church, and the churches springing from it, five 
thousand members, nearly four thousand of whom were 
baptized on the profession of their personal faith ! — and 
that the united membership of these churches in the 
city of Hartford to-day would reach 1600! How little 
they could have looked forward to that ! 

I am not going to preach a sermon — that is not in my 
line — but I want to say that when the right ought to be 
done we should do that right, without reference to the 
amount of help we can have, but do our duty as we see 
it and the Lord will give us strength and prosperity in 
its performance. I think that is the lesson that is taugh't 
us by that little band who founded this church. Among 
those sixteen persons was the first deacon, John Bolles, and 
no speech will be perfect without reference to him, any 
more than any Baptist speech, on any public occasion, 
would be complete without reference to Roger Williams. 
John Bolles was the apostle of the church. He was a 
brother beloved like the apostle John of old. There 


were also other good men connected with the church, the 
Robins' and others, men of deep piety, earnest faith, 
strong principle ; all of whom by their noble example 
made an impress upon this church which has not been 
lost. This church has had too, a strong array of talent 
in its ministry, beginning with Brother Nelson, a very 
remarkable man, whose face I hope you will all look at 
as it hangs in the photograph frame in the vestry of the 
church. He was a strong man, greatly beloved and 
greatly blessed. And in connection with him. I want to 
mention a very pleasant fact ; that notwithsanding Bap- 
tists in those days were looked upon with distrust, there 
were men of broader minds than to distrust them, among 
them Rev. Dr. Strong, pastor of the First Church of 
this city, who was a firm friend of Mr. Nelson all his 
way through. 

In those days, and in the days since then, too, our 
women have had a marked influence upon the character 
of this church. We must know the mothers in order to 
know the children. In this church it has ever been the 
case that the women have had a strong and abiding 
influence, a state of things that has not gone by yet. 
Among those whom it was my pleasure to know was 
Mrs. Sarah Fowler. You have heard to-day a selection 
read from the Bible that was brought from England in 
1698 by her grandfather (or great-grandfather, I am not 
sure which) nearly two hundred years ago. Her father 
and mother were also constituent members of the church. 
Mrs. Fowler was a person of rare character ; small of 
stature, but strong in mind ; possessing and retaining 
her faculties to the very last day of her life. It was my 


pleasure to wait upon her at the time of the dedica- 
tion of this house ; sitting with her during the services. 
Being curious to know what impression the surroundings 
would make upon her mind of simple character, I asked 
her, after leaving the house, how she was pleased with 
what she had seen; "Oh," said she, "it was very- 
beautiful ; I am glad I have lived to see this day." She 
was very fond of the Bible — read it through and through 
— and I well remember her saying to me once, ' ' James, 
if you would understand the Bible you must not only 
read it from Genesis to Revelation, but you must read 
it from Revelation to Genesis, and then you will under- 
stand the spirit and the scope of it." She was not with- 
out a little humor, even in her old age. I recollect that 
upon one occasion I visited at her house with her son, 
who was as white-haired as myself now. We found her 
sewing, at ninety-five years of age ; her son was disposed 
to reprove her a little, and said, " Mother, I think it is 
about time you stopped sewing." Said she, "Charles, 
if we don't sow, we shan't reap!" I recollect upon 
another occasion, when she lay upon her bed during 
her last sickness, another son, a dignified gentleman, 
came to see his mother. In a room adjoining the 
bedroom, I said, "Uncle Jerry, I want you to come 
home and dine with me this noon," but a voice spoke 
up from the bedroom, " Jerry, you'll stay here !" Jerry 
turned to me and vSaid, ' ' I can't go ; I always have to mind 
my mother!" I had the pleasure of waiting upon her to 
this house on one other occasion ; it was the Sabbath of 
Dec. 5, 1858; in the same pew with her sat her daugh- 
ter, her grand-daughter and her great-grand- daughter ; 


four g-enerations represented in that one pew upon that 
occasion, and a very delightful season it was to her. 

I remember others, too, of the women of this church, 
whom we greatly honored. There was Mrs. Robins, 
Mrs. Canfield, Mrs. James G. BoUes, Mrs. Gilbert, and 
others, whose voices occasionally were heard in our 
meetings, and to whom we gave the greatest attention, 
for they always addressed the church in a very tender, 
loving, and devoted way. Then in our pastors' wives 
we were blessed. There was Mrs. Davis, whom I re- 
member when I first came to Hartford, mother of my 
brother G. F. Davis. Her influence in the house, and 
as co-worker with her husband was marked. Then there 
was Mrs. Eaton, whom many of us remember as coming 
here first as the bride of our then young pastor, and 
working with us for five years as his aid. She was one 
indeed with us, she seemed married to the church, and 
her influence and her spirit were felt by us all ; so much 
so that when the years had passed away, and Brother 
Eaton had been laid away in the grave, the church invi- 
ted her to return to us as assistant of the pastor. She 
came in 1871, and remained in the service of the church 
until 1879, ^ blessing to all who came in contact with 
her, a blessing especially to the poor. Her religious 
influence, with her strong character and her earnest 
faith, has been felt by us all. I thought I would men- 
tion these sisters, for the thoughts of others may run in 
other channels. 

I have in my hand a letter written in England in 1698, 
from some unspeakable place in Devonshire. It was 
given to a brother who had left home on account of 


some little personal unpleasantness, such as would oc- 
cur in England occasionally in those times of war. 
He brought it with him that he might find a home 
among the Baptist churches in America. This letter 
simply shows that there was a connection at that time 
between churches of the Baptist faith in England and 
in this country. I mention it to show you that in the 
veins of some of the fathers of this church was the blood 
of those who believed, and who stood by their faith. 

( I now have the pleasure of introducing to you my 
friend, Deacon Davis of this church.) 





The First Baptist Church in Hartford was constituted 
on the 23d day of March, 1790, under advice of council. 
John BoUes was the first deacon, and is regarded as the 
father of the Baptist cause in this place. 

It was not until about eight years later that the first 
meeting-house was built on the corner of Temple and 
Market Streets, where it still remains. 

It is also worthy of notice as the place in which the 
first sessions of Washington (now Trinity) College were 

The first pastor was the Rev. Stephen Smith Nelson, an 
alumnus of Rhode Island College (now Brown University). 
He was called to supply the pulpit in 1796, ordained in 
1798, and continued in charge until 1801. He married 
the daughter of Deacon Ephraim Robins, and was said 
to be the first educated Baptist minister in the state. 

After an interval of six years, during which the pulpit 
was supplied by Dea. Robins, the Rev. David Bolles and 
Eber Maffit, the church called as its second pastor the 
learned but eccentric. Rev. Henry Grew, who served 
from 1 807 to 1 8 1 1 . 

The next minister was the Rev. Elisha Cushman, 


from 1813 to 1825. He was very successful, and during 
his ministry the membership was increased from 90 to 

He was succeeded by the Rev. Cyrus P. Grosvenor 
from 1825 to 1827, and he by the Rev. Barnas Sears, 
1827 to 1829. The latter became, subsequently, a 
professor in Newton Theological Institution, and later 
President of Brown University. 

The above particulars are gleaned mainly from the 
able paper of Dr. A. J. Sage, in the " Memorial History 
of Hartford County." 

Dr. Sears was succeeded by the Rev. Gustavus Fel- 
lowes Davis, who was called to the pastorate in 1829, at 
the age of 32, and remained until his death. 

During this short period great changes were effected 
both in the church itself, and in its relation to the com- 
munity. Dr. Sage, in the article above referred to, 
makes this assertion, that the pastorship of Dr. Davis is 
regarded as marking the beginning of the substantial 
prosperity of the Baptist cause in Hartford. One import- 
ant change effected by the youthful pastor was the re- 
moval of the church from the house on the corner of 
Temple and Market streets to a new structure on Main 
Street, built on the ground where the Cheney Building 
now stands. The house was dedicated on the 23d day of 
March, 1831, just forty-one 5^ears after the formation of 
the church. The situation was central, the edifice con- 
venient, the choir celebrated, and the house was soon 
filled to overflowing. During the first year after the 
dedication over one hundred members were added to the 
church on profession of their faith, and in three years 


the South Baptist Church was formed, consisting of 5 5 
members taken from this church. The period of Dr. 
Davis' pastorate was marked by a number of powerful 
revivals of religion, extending through the city, in which 
this church labored strenuously, and received an ample 
share of the converts. The pastor co-operated heartily 
with Dr. Hawes of the Center Church, and with the 
Rev. Mr. Linsley of the South Congregational Church. 
Meanwhile heavy responsibilities and outside work were 
laid upon him, as will appear more clearly in a brief 
sketch of his life : — 

My father, Gustavus Fellowes Davis, was born in Bos- 
ton on the 17th day of March, 1797. He does not seem 
to have had any decisive religious impressions until his 
sixteenth year. Being in Worcester at that period, he 
was attracted to hear the Rev. William Bentley, a quaint 
and simple preacher settled over the First Baptist Church 
in that place. 

Under his preaching he was converted, and in April, 
18 13, was baptized and united with the church there. 

From the commencement of his Christian life he was 
profoundly impressed by the conviction that he was called 
to preach the gospel, but his youth, inexperience and 
lack of education, seemed to preclude so important a 
work, and the mental conflicts through which he passed 
during several months in relation to his duty in this re- 
spect were very severe. 

In giving an account of this period of his life, Mr. 
Davis writes : " I had been turned out of house and home 
for having become a Christian and a Baptist, and I knew 
not of a single relative who was a Baptist. I had no 


funds and no relatives who would assist me to obtain an 
education with a view to the ministry in the Baptist 
denomination, neither did I know that there were bene- 
volent societies in existence to assist indigent young men 
like me." 

Notwithstanding all these discouragements, at the age 
of seventeen he began to preach. Crowds in various 
places, attracted doubtless by his extreme youth, flocked 
to hear him, but it was a source of regret to him all his 
life that he had entered upon a profession so laborious 
and exhausting with so inadequate preparation. He did 
his utmost by severe and persistent study to repair the 
deficiency, but always sought to dissuade enthusiastic 
young men from following his example. 

Having received a license from the church in Worces- 
ter, Mass., he found his first field of labor in Hampton 
in this state. 

After a year he removed to Preston, and was ordained 
pastor of the church there on the 13th of June, 18 16. 
After three years of service, he accepted an urgent call 
from the Baptist Church in South Reading, Mass., and 
was publicly recognized as pastor on the 2 3 d of April, 1 8 1 8 . 

Here, in addition to his pastoral labors, he began a 
systematic course of study in Latin and Greek, often 
walking to Boston, a distance of ten miles, to receive in- 
struction from the Rev. Mr. Winchell, and from an entry 
in his diary, it appears that he finished reading the Greek 
Testament some three years later with the Rev. Francis 
Way land, Jr. 

In the spring of 1829 he came to Hartford to assist the 
Rev. William Bentley, at that time laboring here in a 



revival of religion, and this circumstance led to his 
settlement in this place. The call from Hartford was 
earnest and cordial. The people here, who had been 
divided on the subject of a minister, were united in him. 
He felt it his duty to accept the call, and on the 29th of 
July he was publicly installed in the pastoral office. In 
assuming the ministerial duties of this church, Dr. 
Davis found at least three of the constituent members 
still living here — Deacon BoUes, Deacon Beckwith and 
Mrs. Sarah Fowler, also Joseph W. Dimock, Edward 
Bolles, Albert Day, Deacons Gilbert, Brown and Roberts, 
Rev. Gordon Robins and others, earnest workers in the 
Lord's vineyard ; also those noble women — Mrs. Gilbert, 
Mrs. Canfield and Mrs. Robins, who, as the years passed 
by, came to be regarded as mothers in Israel. During 
the seven years of his pastorate the church prospered in 
every respect. He attended carefully to all details of 
organization and administration. He visited the people 
at their homes, labored incessantly in prayer-meetings 
and special revival services. He made much of sacred 
music, and did everything to encourage and improve the 
choir, but his principal strength was in the pulpit. It 
was as a preacher that he was best known both at home 
and abroad. 

For the pulpit he prepared himself carefully, but 
preached either without any manuscript or from brief 

He had a tenacious memory, and as one of his hearers 
remarked, " the whole Bible was at his fingers' ends." 

His sermons were always studded with Scriptural 
gems. He was pre-eminently a Bible preacher, and was 


singularly apt and sometimes amusing in his selection of 
texts. For example, on a stormy Sunday, when there 
were only eight persons present, he chose for his text, 
"Wherein few, that is eight souls, were saved by 
water." On another stormy Sunday, while he was yet a 
mere boy, he walked four miles to preach to a congrega- 
tion of ten persons, five men and five women. His text 
was, " Five of them were wise and five foolish." 

Immediately after his ordination, at the age of nine- 
teen, he preached from the text, " And a little child shall 
lead them." 

When the church was removed from the old place of 
worship in Temple Street to the new house on Main 
Street, he took for his text, ' ' If thy presence go not 
with us, carry us not up hence;" and at the dedication 
of the new house, " So David went and brought the Ark 
of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David 
with gladness." A Jew, under pretence of being a 
Christian convert, induced Dr. Davis to give him ten 
dollars — nearly all the money he had. Finding he had 
been duped, he consoled himself by preaching from the 
words, " He is not a Jew who is one outwardly." 

Dr. Davis had all through his life an exceptional in- 
terest in education. 

Having been denied the privilege of a university 
course, and knowing by experience how hard it w^as to 
do without it, he determined to use every effort to con- 
fer its benefits upon others. He strenuously endeavored 
to secure the Newton Theological Seminary for the town 
of South Reading, where he then lived, and failing in 
that, he secured the establishment of an academy there. 


He was the chief agent in collecting funds for the 
Connecticut Literary Institute at Suffield, and had the 
satisfaction of seeing it well established before his 

He was Trustee of Brown University, Examiner at 
Wesleyan University, and by appointment of Hon. 
Lewis Cass, Secretary of War in 1836, a member of the 
Board of Examiners of the United States Academy at 
Westpoint; also in 1831 he was elected one of the 
Trustees of Washington (now Trinity) College. Water- 
ville College in Maine (now Colby University), and Yale 
College afterwards conferred upon him the degree of 
Master of Arts. His degree of Doctor of Divinity was 
bestowed by Wesleyan University in 1835. 

These particulars are recalled principally to show how 
widely he was known and esteemed outside of the limits 
of his own denomination. While a staunch Baptist, he 
was so courteous and so genuinely interested in all good 
works that his assistance was welcomed and valued 

In August, 1836, while on a visit to friends in Boston, 
he was taken sick, and his useful life was brought sud- 
denly to a close. 

In his last sickness he was often heard saying in de- 
lightful submission, " Not my will but thine be done." 
At the last moment the words, ' ' Grace — Grace, " trembled 
on his lips, and as if parting from the body and borne 
aloft on invisible wings, he exclaimed " I mount." He 
died September 11, 1836, in the fortieth year of his age. 
His career was brief but extensively useful. During the 
twenty-two years of his ministry, he preached over 

■ 2,800 sermons, and baptized 388 persons on profession of 
their faith. 

In closing, I think I may be pardoned in saying that 
although he has been dead for more than fifty years, his 
memory is still fragrant in this and other churches in this 

A. J. SAGE, D. D. 




REV. A. J. SAGE, D. D. 

Isaiah Ixiii. 7, S — " I will mention the loving-kindnesses of the Lord, and 
the praises of the Lord, according unto all that the Lord hath be- 
stowed on us, and the great goodness towards the house of Israel, 
which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and ac- 
cording to the multitude of his lo\'ing-kindnesses. For he said. 
Surely they are my people, children that will not lie ; so he was their 

With the service of this morning begins the celebration 
of the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of the 
First Baptist Church in Hartford. This is an occasion 
of peculiar interest, not only to ourselves as members of 
this church, but to all the Baptists of Hartford; for they 
share with us a common origin. Indeed, the interest 
extends beyond our city to all the churches of the state, 
and beyond the state, in various parts of our country 
and in distant lands are representatives of our church, to 
whom this is an event of unusual importance. The old 
church has always had a special power of attaching her 
members to her, so that happy and affectionate remem- 
brances cling to many hearts through time and change 
and distance. 

We are one hundred years old, and we could think 
with complacency of our extreme venerableness, were it 
not for neighbors of ours, sister churches, that from the 


serene heights of a far superior antiquity look down and 
smile at our youthfulness putting on the airs of age. 
Their two hundred and fifty years calm the exuberance 
of our one hundred, and forbid our boasting. Yet in 
some respects it is an advantage to be so young, although 
so old. We can remember our origin. It is not lost 
amid the mists of remote years. There sits among us 
this morning one who was well acquainted with the 
founders of this church. One of them, always mentioned 
when our beginnings are referred to — Deacon John 
Bolles — can easily be imagined to be present with us. 
Somewhat severe of countenance, though kind in heart, 
strict in the moral code and the domestic economies, 
positive and unswerving in conviction, he, with the 
little group gathered about him, gave character to the 
Baptist movement in Hartford. It was he who rose early 
on many a Sabbath morning to walk to Suffield, that he 
might worship with those whose faith and practice he 
could approve, and returned in the same way at evening. 
He was the sturdy offspring of a stalwart age. The 
blood of the Puritans was in his veins, and the spirit of 
the Protestant in his heart and will. 

Observe him calling on one of the young men of the 
little congregation in his room. As soon as he is seated 
he observes two candles burning. Silently he rises and 
blows one of them out. Such extravagance must be dis- 
couraged. Turning around he sees two sticks of wood 
on the fire. Without a word he takes the tongs and re- 
moves one of them. Thus does he train the youth to 
frugality. Why is it that one cold morning he is dis- 
covered floundering in a snow-pit in East Hartford ? 

REV. A. J. SAGE, D. D. 37 

There has been a heavy storm all the preceding day and 
night. The country is heaped high with snow. He has 
remembered a poor widow and her family who are likely 
to suffer, and he has broken a way to her house, with a 
basket of supplies. On his way back he tumbles into this 
snow-pit, and with difficulty clambers out and avoids 

It is not a misfortune that the beginnings of our his- 
tory should be specially associated with a layman, that 
our first meetings should have been held in his house. 
It illustrates the democratic theory of our denomination. 
In one sense the ministry is before the church, for it 
is the preaching of the gospel that creates the church. 
In another sense the church is before the ministry, for 
the ministry is born of the church, comes forth from her 
heart, is subject to her discipline. There must be be- 
lievers before there can be a ministry; and believers, 
baptized or unbaptized, are the church. The church of 
God is a spiritual temple. 

But soon the ministry comes to the front. Preaching 
services are instituted. Various supplies are obtained 
for the pulpit, and in course of time a pastor is selected. 
It was well for the future of the little band that the first 
pastor was a scholar and a gentleman, educated at Brown 
University in Providence — the Rev. Stephen S. Nelson. 

The reception of the little church among the brethren 
of the established order was somewhat reserved, not to 
say cool. Pastors of the older churches attending the 
earlier services declined to enter the pulpit, and sat in 
grim silence at its foot. They were not altogether hos- 
tile in feeling, for when a super-zealous layman expressed 


himself with some warmth to the pastor of the Center 
Church — the First Church of Hartford — the answer was 
made that a movement which had John BoUes at the head 
of it need not be regarded with great suspicion. "It 
will be well," said the pastor, "if our hope of heaven 
shall be as good as his." 

Nor is it strange that the established churches were 
shy of us. The controlling spirit of the times was 
averse to such movements of dissent as ours. To have 
welcomed us and bid us God-speed would have been an 
unhistorical act for the pastors of the standing order. 
Hartford, too, had been unusually conservative. She 
had given the cold shoulder to Whitefield, and had kept 
the Separatists far away. I cannot think, either, that 
in this she is to be sharply condemned. The times had 
been full of extravagances. Eastern Connecticut had 
been overrun with fanaticism. To this day in New 
London the judicious grieve for the consequences. This 
fanaticism had associated itself to a considerable extent 
with the name of the Baptists. The Separatists, many 
of them, became Baptists. The Rogerines practised im- 
mersion. Other sects, with various names and isms, 
flung out a banner like our own. Regulars and irregu- 
lars were all confounded. Hartford needed a little time 
to learn that the new . interest was of the sober-minded, 
unfanatical earnest type of true religionists. I cannot 
help thinking that it was a piece of special good fortune — 
I might better say a token of God's favor — that out of all 
the extravagances which had marked that early period 
there came to this city a spirit representing the best 
results of the fervors of the eighteenth century, in an 

REV. A. J. SAGE, D. D. 39 

organization which has made its fruitfulness and spiritual 
power felt to this day. Hartford has at present all the 
conversatism that is consistent with health. For incre- 
ments of evangelical life she owes a debt to her Baptists 
and Methodists. 

It were not difficult to bring to our imaginations a 
picture of those early Baptists in Hartford. We may 
assume at once that they were a plain people. It has 
been the glory of the Baptist churches that their special 
attraction is for the substantial middle class and the 
poor. Now and then there comes a Nicodemus or a 
Joseph of Arimathea, a Lydia with her purple, a Pris- 
cilla or other elect lady. But, as in the New Testament 
days, the more nearly the church conforms to the sim- 
plicity of the gospel, the less does it attract the worldly 
and fashionable, and the more does it abound in sterling 
character, the grace of which is inward rather than out- 
ward. They were earnest and intense in prayer, posi- 
tive in doctrine, fervent in public services, closely united 
as a small and separated band of brethren and sisters. 
They lived to a large extent in and for the church. 
That their zeal was not easily cooled appears in an inci- 
dent narrated by one who, baptized a number of years 
later, is still a member with you. He was immersed in 
the open air on a day so cold that when in his chamber 
he removed his clothing it was able to stand alone. 
When reclothed, he hastened back to mingle in the as- 
sembly of the saints. As he entered he found them 
singing a favorite hymn — 

" Brethren, if your hearts are warm, 
Ice and cold will do no harm." 


As late as 1820, when Elisha Cushman, of the eloquent 
tongue, was their pastor, they were still a small body. 
So testified an honored Congregational layman who was 
accustomed to go to the frame church under the hill to 
hear the golden-mouthed orator. It was not till 1829, 
when Gustavus F. Davis became pastor, that they began 
to develop that aggressive vigor and popular power which 
have made the Baptists a prominent factor in the relig- 
ious and social life of Hartford. He was a man whose 
soul was open to impressions from many directions, at 
once receptive and diffusive, receiving largely and giv- 
ing forth copiously; a man to win men, to hold them 
and influence them, of full orbed mind and ready utter- 
ance, emotional, sympathetic, attractive to children and 
youth ; a man of substantial mental accomplishments, a 
vigorous friend and promoter of education, yet withal a 
man of practical sagacity and executive skill. He 
founded the institution at Suffield. He built the new 
brick church half a block south of the present edifice. 
He increased the church membership until it overflowed 
in a new organization — the Second or South Church. 
Of any other pastor it may be said, The church might 
have been what it is without him. But truth must be 
honored in the statement that, from a human point of 
view, the Baptist cause in Hartford could not have 
become what it is without the work of Dr. Gustavus 
F. Davis. 

It is not my purpose to give more than a suggestion of 
the history of the church. I can only mention such 
honored names as Cyrus Pitt Grosvenor, conspicuous for 
literary attainments and zeal in moral reform ; Barnas 

REV. A. J. SAGE, D. D. 41 

Sears, afterwards eminent as an educator; Dr. Henry 
Jackson, the Rev. J. S. Eaton. Fain would I linger at the 
name of Robert Turnbull, whom many of us hold in so 
tender and reverent remembrance. A man of child-like 
faith and fervid, mystical devotion ; a' man of marked 
pOAver of spiritual intuition, piercing- w^ith an eagle's 
vision to the heart of a subject, and with facile and 
glowing expression, bringing it home to the hearts of 
his congregation ; a man of special power in revival 
preaching, yet withal as gifted in the use of the pen as 
in the silver-tongued utterance ; one whose books still 
afford, on many a brilliant page, many a passage of 
perennial interest. Surely beginning with Turnbull and 
looking backward, this church has reason to be thankful 
for the illustrious line of her ministry, composed, as it 
has been, of names all noble, and not a few of them 
eminent in our denomination, and even beyond; names, 
too, of devoted men, servants of God, preachers of truth, 
winners of souls, moulders of character, builders of the 

Under their leadership has risen a line of laymen 
whose characters and lives it may well be our joy and 
pride to contemplate. John BoUes was the ecclesiastical 
ancestor of many sterling souls. Within the remem- 
brance of some of my auditors are such names as Phile- 
man Canfield, Deas. Brown, Gilbert, Braddock, Jas. G. 
Bolles and Wallace. Others still living are worthy of 
high and honorable places among those who have gone. 
The church owes a debt to her deacons, her Sunday- 
school superintendents, her many noble laymen without 
official place, which she cannot too gratefully recognize. 


One fact is deserving of especial mention as cause for 
peculiar praise and gratulation. In my personal know- 
ledge of this church during twenty-one years, and in my 
study of its history in records and in conference with 
its older members, some of them now gone, never have 
I heard the slightest suggestion of any dissension. No 
bickerings have left behind them unhappy remem- 
brances. No scars of conflict or controversy remain. It 
is remarkable that in listening to the historic record of a 
century we catch no echo of strife. What a testimony 
to the spirit of the fathers, thus transmitted and perpet- 
uated I What an occasion of thanksgiving to the God of 
all grace, who has enabled his people to keep the unity 
of the Spirit in the bonds of peace ! 

I spoke of these hundred years as a comparatively brief 
period. Yet if we trace the record of events that have 
occurred within that period, if we reckon it by the deeds, 
not years, it will seem to us a long, long time. Think 
of the inventions and discoveries that have taken place. 
It is almost impossible for us to conceive what the times 
were in which this church was founded, so unlike were 
they to the present. No steamboat ever landed at the 
wharves in Hartford ; the only navigation was by sloops 
and schooners. No locomotive ever waked the citizens 
with its whistle. Travel was a slow and tedious process. 
Roads were defective, and a trip from here to Boston or 
New York might well occupy at least two days. Styles 
in dress were very different from those of the present, 
for cotton goods were rare and costly, and woolen goods 
were largely the product of the private distaff and spin- 
ning-wheel. The country was poor. The long and 

REV. A. J. SAGE, D. D. 43 

wearisome war of the Revolution had kept productive 
industries in abeyance. There was no frequent change 
of fashion in dress. Books were rare and precious. 
Newspapers were few and small. The information 
which they contained was meagre and old. No tele- 
graph flashed intelligence of important and exciting 
events. The post-office was a small affair. Postage was 
so costly as to make the receiving of letters a rare lux- 
ury. Events moved slowly. The community lived 
much within itself. Men's thoughts turned inward. 
Abstract questions occupied their minds to a great ex- 
tent. Religion was introvertive and self-inspective. It 
could not be otherwise. There was not enough outside 
to hold the attention. Preaching was abstract, argu- 
mentative, theological. Religious lines, lines of sect 
and creed, were drawn very sharply, and religious prej- 
udices were strong. Doctrine and discipline were severe. 
The French revolution was just breaking out, and the 
American revolution had not yet made its meaning 
understood. A hundred years ago Washington was 
President and about as far advanced in his administra- 
tion as is Harrison to-day. Republicanism was just 
beginning its great experiment. Washington's court 
was aristocratic. About him were gathered such men 
as Vice-President Adams, Hamilton, Knox, Edmund 
Randolph. The democratic simplicity of Franklin and 
Jefferson had not yet produced their full impression. To 
be a Baptist in those days was to be an exponent of ideas 
a half century or more ahead of the times. It was an 
unaristocratic thing, and it required strong conviction 
and moral courage in men and women who cared for 


public opinion. The rallying of the Baptists to the 
standard of Thomas Jefferson a few years later, the wide 
currency of the expression, "a democrat and a Baptist," 
and, still later, the journey of an eccentric Baptist min- 
ister, John Leland, to Washington to convey on a sled 
to President Jackson as a present a huge cheese, as big 
around as a cart-wheel, are all indications of the anti- 
aristocratic and liberty-loving spirit of the early Baptists. 
How events have moved on since then ! Our second 
war with Great Britain, our Mexican war, our colossal 
struggle with the rebellion ! The invention of the 
steamboat, the railroad, the telegraph, the telephone, 
the cotton-gin, the sewing-machine, gas-light, electric 
light, coal-oil-light, steam printing-presses, photogra- 
phy, electro-plating, wonderful modes of bridge-build- 
ing, scientific agriculture, ploughs, stores, new processes 
in iron and steel, new and wonderful machinery in 
every department of work ! The list is as remarkable 
for what it omits as for what it suggests. Then too the 
opening of the Great West to the Pacific, the discovery 
of gold in California, the vast rush of immigration from 
foreign shores, till four millions of people have become 
over sixty millions, and thirteen states have become 
forty-two. Certainly if the founders of this church could 
mingle with us to-day, we should find it hard to under- 
stand their quaint, odd manner and strange old-fashioned 
ideas. And they would find it equally difficult to be- 
lieve that this was the city in which they once lived, 
that we were their modern representatives, and that but 
a hundred years had elapsed since they founded this 

REV. A. J. SAGE, D. D. 45 

If there is reason to regard the secular history thus 
limited as possessing a peculiar interest, to an appre- 
ciative mind the religious history of the same period is 
not less interesting. Our church was founded at the 
very beginning of a century of revivals, and out of those 
revivals have grown the great missionary and other 
evangelical movements of the nineteenth century. These 
movements have been attended with important changes 
in doctrinal teaching, in modes of religious experience 
and church life. 

The great religious event of the eighteenth century 
was what has been known as the Edwards revival. It 
began about 1740 and continued with varying degrees 
of intensity for a number of years, finally disappearing 
about 1750. Its most conspicuous promoters were Jon- 
athan Edwards, the Tennents, the Wesleys and White- 
field, Methodism took its rise about the same time in 
England, being formally established in 1739. 

This revival has a large place in the history of the 
times. It was made the subject of a special memoir by 
Jonathan Edwards, and was the occasion of much else 
that he wrote, such as his work on the Religious Affec- 
tions, It had also, in my estimation, an important 
relation to the political history of the century ; for as it 
extended over all the land and was the occasion of pro- 
foundest feeling and of interchange and communion of 
sentiment between different parts of the country. I 
cannot avoid the belief that it prepared the way for that 
unity of feeling and purpose which kept the colonies 
together during the Revolution. The Edwards revival 
laid the foundation for inter-colonial patriotism, and 


founded that sentiment which so recently fought to a 
successful issue the war for the Union. 

But when we come to make a numerical estimate of 
results, we are astonished to find that as the product of 
this much blazoned movement, there were added to 
the churches only about forty thousand persons. 

We see also another remarkable fact. This celebrated 
religious movement disappeared in an outburst of fanat- 
icism and was followed by a long period of indifference. 
In Connecticut, especially in the eastern portion, sprang 
up a certain frenzy of extravagance under the leader- 
ship of the Rev. Mr. Davenport, and the conclusion of 
the great movement was a pain to its warmest friends 
and promoters. Then for forty years there was a dearth 
of revival influence. Religious zeal seemed to have ex- 
hausted itself and suffered a reaction. 

The beginning of the great revival period which fol- 
lowed this reaction has generally been placed in 1792. 
But Dr. Fish in his work on Revivals dates it from the 
outbreak of revivals in 1 790 in two Baptists churches of 
Boston. Certainly it is a happy thing for us to asso- 
ciate the beginning of our church history with the com- 
mencement of a period which in some respects is the 
most remarkable in Christian history since the early cen- 
turies of our era. Taking these Boston revivals as our 
initial date, two years later, in 1792, we find a revival 
springing up in Haddam, Conn., under the ministry of 
him who was afterwards so widely known as Dr. Edward 
D. Griffin. The great work in Haddam, Conn., was 
followed by another equally remarkable under the 
preaching of Dr. Griffin as pastor in New Hartford, 

REV. A. J. SAGE, D. D. 47 

Conn. He aftervvards became pastor at the celebrated 
Park Street church in Boston, where the power of his 
work was continued. About the beginning of this cen- 
tury a powerful revival influence was felt in Kentucky 
and neighboring states, marked by extraordinary physical 
phenomena, called variously the "jerks," "the power," 
etc. During this period, continuing for years, tens of 
thousands were added to the churches. 

For decades afterward revivals were experienced in 
different parts of the land, as, for example, in Farming- 
ton, Conn., where there was a continuous state of revival 
for a year, during which about a hundred were added to 
the church through conversion. In his lectures on Re- 
vivals Dr. Finney, that most extraordinary man of God 
and evangelist, whose auto-biography every mature 
Christian should read, speaking from a date about 1836, 
remarks that in the continuous revival of the previous 
ten years a hundred thousand persons had been con- 
verted and brought into the Presbyterian churches. 
Compare these figures with the forty thousand of the 
Edwards revival. 

The next great awakening of revival interest is wit- 
nessed in 1857 aiid 1858. A period of disasters in busi- 
ness and great financial depression was attended with a 
general turning of the hearts of the people to the Lord. 
The outward form of this revival was determined by a 
movement among a few gentlemen in New York city, 
who met at noon each day for prayer. In a short time 
this noon-day prayer-meeting became known throughout 
the city, and afterward throughout the land. It is still 
continued, and has been known for a third of a century 


as the Fulton Street prayer-meeting. It set the pattern 
for religious services throughout the country. Noon-day 
prayer-meetings were organized in the cities and villages 
all over the land. The talents of laymen were called 
into requisition. Conversions occurred in great num- 
bers. They were not attended with the remarkable 
phases of personal experience which had been so con- 
spicuous in former revivals. Men and women accepted 
Christ as Master and Savior with less difficulty and 
painfulness. During a single year 500,000 souls were 
converted to God. 

This was the last great national awakening. But 
glancing over the period of which we have spoken we 
may well call it a century of revivals. It has been at- 
tended with almost a continuous sweep of evangelistic 
power. There has been no protracted period of religious 
apathy such as followed the Edwards revival. The Holy 
Spirit seems to have had fuller sway and to have made 
easier and more telling conquests. As contrasted with 
the eighteenth century the work of the past hundred 
years has been characterized by larger results in point of 
numbers, by a more constant and persistent influence, 
by a steady decline in the egotism of personal experi- 
ence, by a less violent and convulsive entrance into the 
kingdom of Christ. These changes have been due 
largely to a wider diffusion of intelligence in religious 
matters, to wiser and more rational methods in evan- 
gelistic work to a less scholastic and more practical style 
of preaching, to a gradual change of the center of atten- 
tion from the sovereignty of God to the person and work 
of Christ, from the inner experience of the individual 

REV. A. J. SAGE, D. D. 49 

to the crucified Christ as the completed sacrifice freely 
offered for the cleansing of sin. 

But thus far I have told but half the story. This re- 
vival period had continued but a few years when it be- 
gan to show its effects in the formation of every kind of 
society for the promotion of religion ; first of all, foreign 
missionary societies, then home missionary societies, 
tract societies, Bible societies, Sunday-school associa- 
tions. This century of revivals has been a century of 
missionary fervors, with grand enthusiasm, self-devo- 
tions, sacrifices, prayers, gifts, and with magnificent re- 
sults in two millions of converted heathen now living 
and a world dotted over with mission stations which are 
destined to produce mighty effects in the coming years. 

Now I wish to say that the Baptist cause is what it is 
to-day in Hartford, a power and an honor, because this 
church and the other churches of the city which have 
sprung from it have been in active sympathy with this 
revival spirit. During the first forty years, as I have 
been led to believe from the study of its history, it was a 
revival church. During the last sixty years we can 
trace its history more definitely. Dr. Davis was a 
preacher of superior evangelistic power. The Rev. J. 
S. Eaton was an earnest and vital preacher, and his 
pastorship was attended with frequent revivals. Dr. 
Turnbull was a prince among revival preachers. When 
I entered on the pastorship of the church it was enjoy- 
ing revival influences. This last winter a number of con- 
verts have been added to the membership. The interval 
between these two dates has been marked by a number 
of glad and valuable revival occasions. We are here 


to-day to give thanks to Almighty God for the manifes- 
tation of his power and grace toward his people during 
these hundred years in the frequent outpouring of his 
Spirit. Our souls thrill within us as we remember how 
God has moved the hearts of his people and melted sin- 
ners into penitence and submission, and filled his church 
with hosannas year b}^ year. May the same spirit abide 
and the same blessing be granted so long as the name 
Baptist shall continue in the city ! 

It will not be enough, however, on such an occasion 
as this, merely to have sketched an outline of the history 
of the century. We can not satisfy ourselves without 
asking, what has been the meaning of this history? 
What is its significance for us as a church ? For what 
have this and the other Baptist churches of this city ex- 
isted ? 

A very meagre, not to say petty, answer would be 
that which would come to the lips of multitudes Avho 
have given but little attention to our principles, that we 
have existed to give prominence and emphasis to a mode 
of baptism. This is merely an incident, and by no means 
the most important, of our faith and practice. It has 
been our part to emphasize principles w^hich are funda- 
mental and vital in the church of Christ. 

First among these let me suggest an open Bible. 
We believe that the world is to be saved by the word of 
the Lord. Therefore, to believe that word, to practice 
it and to teach it constitute our highest duty. To regu- 
late our lives by it, to control and inform our spirit by 
it, to organize our churches according to it, to observe 
ordinances as established by it, to teach doctrine as an- 

REV. A. J. SAGE, D. D. 51 

nounced in it, these are solemn obligations which we can- 
not disregard without guilt before God. 

Hence, to have this word in its purity, to read and 
study it without restraint, to accept it and teach it with- 
out restraint, to accept it and teach it without mixture 
of human philosophy or modification by practice or tra- 
dition of men, this we regard as our duty, privilege and 
delight. We do not appeal to usage or commentary or 
opinion of men except that we may be guided to a better 
understanding of the word of God. Not what men have 
said or done, though they be called the church, but what 
God has said is our sole criterion. Hence we desire that 
the word of God shall interpret itself. Let Scripture be 
compared with Scripture. Let the word throw light upon 
the word. Let the highest scholarship, the widest knowl- 
edge, the most acute insight be employed to aid in the 
interpretation. But let us expect that the great princi- 
ples, the fundamental teachings, the essential ideas of 
faith and practice shall be discoverable to the untutored 
mind, guided only by that instinct which the Spirit of 
God gives to the humblest believer who is endowed with 
native intelligence. 

Another principle which our history has illustrated is 
that of the supremacy of conscience in association with 
liberty. Dr. Shaw, of Rochester, N. Y., who for nearly 
fifty years was the honored pastor of one of the largest 
Presbyterian churches in America, once said to me, " I 
have a high respect for a consistent Baptist. It is all 
conscience with him from first to last. " That is to say, 
not that it is to be assumed that a Baptist is, by virtue of 
his denominational affinities, more conscientious than a 


member of another church, nor that Baptist principles 
are grounded upon taste or precedent or tradition or 
convenience or judgment of men, but on strict reference 
to conscience and duty. An incident which occurred 
between two of the most prominent men in our denomi- 
nation may illustrate this. Said one to the other, ' ' Aren't 
you glad that you are in the Baptist denomination?" 
"Why?" "Because you are with so many who are 
there because they have to be. " The answer is full of 
significance. Baptist churches have many members who 
are such by accident of birth or association, but it has 
also multitudes of noble, sturdy souls who stay where 
they are from sheer loyalty to the voice of God as it 
comes to them, when social affinities, intellectual tastes 
and natural inclinations would lead them elsewhere. Woe 
be to a church which is filled with people who have 
sought it for its social advantages, its intellectual privi- 
leges, its elegancies of taste ! Our Lord and his disciples 
were plain people, they moved among plain people, and 
their test of action was not what is agreeable but what is 

Another incident will illustrate what I have to say 
about liberty. A gentleman who occupies one of the 
most prominet pulpits in our denomination had expressed 
himself somewhat freely as to some of our denominational 
ideas and practices, in the presence of many members of 
other denominations. For this he had been sharply cen- 
sured by one of our papers. It was feared by many that 
he would leave the denomination. "But," he said to 
me, " I considered the subject carefully, and said to my- 
self, the Baptist church is ideally the most liberal church 

REV. A. J. SAGE, D. D. 53 

on earth, and I shall stay in it." "Ideally the most 
liberal." The expression seems to me peculiarly felici- 
tous and emphatically true. "Ideally." In practice 
we are not always true to our principles. I sometimes 
think that we do not yet understand our own principles; 
But a man cannot be a thorough Baptist, in spirit and not 
merely in the letter, without having a free and liberal 
soul. Nobler men, broader men, grander men than such 
as I have met and intimately known within our Baptist 
limits I am certain I shall never meet on earth. They 
are not to be found. If God has made them he has not 
shown them to me. They stand in sharpest contrast 
with the snarling, petulant, clamorous, uneasy adver- 
tisers of their own liberality with whom Providence has 
seen fit to afflict some churches beyond our limits. 
The noblest man on earth is he who is strictly loyal to. 
duty, while yet possessing a large and genial spirit 
toward all members of God's church universal. 

The Baptist denomination has made a noble fight in 
this country for liberty of conscience, and has seen at last 
its principles adopted into every political constitution in 
the land. For nearly thirty years after the founding of 
this church they waited and struggled in this state, until 
the new constitution gave them all that they sought. In 
the love of liberty this church has shared, and in the 
practice of a truly Christian liberality it has been behind 
no other in the denomination. 

Another principle for which we have stood, is the im- 
perative necessity of conscious regeneration to the Christ- 
ian life and to church membership. We do not urge 
that the soul must be conscious of regeneration in the 


act, while it is taking place, for undoubtedly many have 
met with a change of heart without knowing it. But we 
do insist that every one who wears the name of Christian 
ought to have credible evidence that he is in a regenerate 
condition. We reject the idea that any one is entitled 
to the name of Christian merely because he is a church 
member, however faithful, or that he can properly be a 
church member unless by vital experience he is a 
Christian. Against that pernicious error, more fatal to 
genuine Christianity than any other, that it is enough 
for a man to unite with a church of Christ, partake of its 
ordinances, accept its discipline, attend to its instructions, 
participate in its services, preserve the demeanor and 
reputation of a moral man, that thereby he satisfies the 
claims of his Creator, and is in the way to heaven, 
against this deadly error so widely accepted and incul- 
cated, we protest with all our might. The nature which 
is ours by birth is not fit for heaven. By power from on 
high it must be born again. By the heavenly gift it 
must become a child of God. And that new birth, that 
heavenly gift, is not inspired by man ; it cannot be be- 
stowed by any church. It is the product of a direct re- 
lation of the soul to its God. It is the fruit of God's 
work in Christ through the blood of redemption, person- 
ally apprehended and appropriated. To hold this doc- 
trine forth, to emblazon it on the banners of the church, 
and unfurl it before the world, has been the aim and 
effort of Baptist churches. This truth speaks in our 
mode of baptism, the cleansing of the soul from sin in 
the bath of regeneration, the rising of the soul to a new 
life by the power of Christ's resurrection, in the likeness 

REV. A. J. SAGE, D. D. 55 

of his rising- to the new life, the heavenly and glorified 
condition. This doctrine of the new birth is the vital 
point, the test of genuine Christianity, for it is the 
practical outcome of the great method of redemption 
through Christ, without which the cross is of none effect. 
To state all in one, we stand for the spirituality of the 
church of Christ. The essential idea of the church is 
that of a spiritual body. The church of Christ is that 
great multitude of true believers, the wide world over, 
of whatever name or of no name, the mighty host which 
no man can number, for no man knows who they are, 
they who shall come from the East and the West, the 
North and the South, of every kindred and tongue and 
people and nation under the sun, to sit down together in 
the kingdom of heaven. These are they of whom 
Charles Wesley wrote: — 

" One army of the living God, 
One church above, below ; 
Part of the host have crossed the flood, 
And part are crossing now." 

We believe in the church invisible. I heard Mr. 
Spurgeon say from his own pulpit last summer that there 
is no visible church. Every visible body calling itself 
the church is so intermixed of evil and good, church and 
world, that it is only by accommodation that it can be 
called the church. This is an extreme statement of a 
great and vital truth. The Baptist denomination has 
sought to make the visible body as nearly conformable 
to the spiritual ideal as possible. For this, with varying 
success, this church has contended. What it has accom- 
plished may be dimly seen on earth ; it will be seen in its 


fulness hereafter in heaven. For this universal, spirit- 
ual church, as well as for the local church, our hearts 

" For her my tears shall fall, 
For her my prayers ascend ; 
To her my cares and toils be given, 
Till toils and cares shall end." 

Looking back over the century, so much of it as we can 
bring within our vision, we feel that we have not existed 
in vain. We have striven for an open Bible, for con- 
science and liberty, for a gospel that regenerates the soul 
of man, and for a spiritual church. Much better it 
might have been done. That it has been done with so 
great a degree of success we have reason to be devoutly 
thankful to God. Let us profit by a sense of the imper- 
fections of our work, let us consecrate ourselves anew to 
God, who is a spirit, and let us pray that the second cen- 
tury of our existence may make the Baptist churches of 
Hartford, more than ever before, a power for good and a 
glory to God. 

Sunday Afternoon 




Pastor of the Asylum Avenue Baptist Church, Hartford. 

I suppose we are all, to-day especially, trying to meas- 
ure how long a time a hundred years is. I have no doubt 
that some of these children are wrestling with that sim- 
ple, though very difficult problem. Now, I want to tell 
you something about fifty years, which will help us to 
measure more adequately to our own minds the lapse of 
a century, or one hundred years. 

I went out of an old home in Ohio a few years ago, 
following an old man to his last resting-place, and what 
was very interesting about this man was that he had 
lived for fifty years in the same house from which he was 
carried forth. Now, on the farm where my father lived, 
there was not a horse or an animal of any kind in 
existence at the time of his death that was there when 
he came there. There was not a wagon, there was not 
a plow, nor scarcely a farming utensil, that was there at 
the time he began his career. Man outlives the ani- 
mals, and outwears iron and wood. All these things 
have gone, while his life swept on. And so to-day, how 


much has vanished, gone forever from the earth, that 
was here one hundred years ago. And then, by the 
mighty law of spiritual compensation, how much remains 
that was here one hundred years ago ! The material 
vanishes, the spiritual has the stamp of eternal perma- 
nency ! That is the first great lesson, it seems to 
me, the Sunday-school teacher and Sunday-school 
scholar would need to learn here this afternoon. Mat- 
ter is below spirit. Spirit is over matter. You cannot 
bury it. You cannot eliminate it. You cannot extinguish 
it. It abides. 

I want to say a few words ; they shall be few. For elo- 
quent and interesting gentlemen whom you desire to 
hear, are coming after me. And I am but to open the 
door to this banquet this afternoon. I want to tell very 
briefly about some changes in the idea of child-life which 
have occurred during the past century. 

In the first place, men have made the lives of child- 
hood a study, a loving, patient, persevering, penetrating 
study, as never before in the history of the world. If I 
had time I would like to tell you a great deal about 
Froebel the German, born about a century ago. Every 
child ought to know that name. Every child ought to 
embalm the name of that noble German, who has done 
more, perhaps, for child-life in the past century than 
any other single man. And by Frcebel's side, as I speak 
of children, there also comes to me, with a thrill in my 
heart, the name of Charles Dickens. All honor to 
that man, who never forgot the feelings of a boy. 
Four of his conspicuous works were written in the 
interest of boys. I refer to " Dombe}'- & Son, " " Nicho- 

REV. GEO. M. STONE, D. D. 61 

las Nickleby, " "Oliver Twist," and "David Copper- 
field." You know that wonderful book, "Nicholas 
Nickleby, " was written because Dickens once saw a 
boy who had come down from Yorkshire bearing the 
marks of the brutality of a Yorkshire schoolmaster. And 
that wonderful plea for boys, "Nicholas Nickleby," 
was written in consequence. I think no boy or girl 
could be sullied for a moment in reading it. But it 
was Frcebel, who went into the arcanum of child-life, 
with the penetrating insight of German scholarship. He 
opened the sealed doors of child-life. For he was the 
author of the "Kindergarten." The word you know, 
means "the garden of children." And he built on 
the slopes of many a hill in Germany, and in many a 
valley in America, a "garden for children. " The gen- 
erations of children to come will rise up and call this 
great man blessed ! Now, what did Froebel do for chil- 
dren ? What did he do for child-life ? He said, you 
must study the child, if you would teach it. He studied, 
day by day, and year by year, the play of a child in its 
mother's arms ; studied it, as I have said, with the pene- 
trating insight of German scholarship. Then he studied 
the tendencies of childhood, and developed another great 
principle, the rights of children. I wish all public schools 
could come to recognize these rights. 

One of Froebel's principles was that the child should 
be recognized according to his individuality. You put 
several boys or girls in a class. They have different apti- 
tudes, they have different mental capacities. The 
teacher comes along, if she is not a wise teacher, and re- 
proves Alice or Mary because she does not study or sue- 


ceed quite as well in her lessons as Kitty. A little boy 
in a school, who had been reproved by his teacher be- 
cause he seemed to lag behind, with a tear in his eye 
looked up at the teacher, and said, ' ' Teacher, I am doing 
the very best I can. " When God has hedged a child 
by natural limitations of thought or of life, the child 
should not be blamed for that. And we should remember 
that we are serving the dear Master, who looked at men 
in their individuality, who understood the characteris- 
tics of Mary and Martha, who placed the abyss be- 
tween these women which they never could cross. 
That same Master understands the aptitudes of child- 
ren, and, I believe, inspired Froebel to take this stand 
in behalf of child-life. By the way, that child, you 
know, that is slow when it is seven years old, may 
overtake the more precocious scholar by and by, 
and unfold into capacity and power which shall utterly 
overtop the other. I only plead that this distinction 
should be recognized. I only echo the grand, noble 
and manly words of Froebel, as they should be heard in 
our school-systems to-day. 

Froebel taught also that children must be taught by 
similitudes. This was Froebel's thought, but, long be- 
fore that, it was the thought of him who walked in 
Galilee and spake only in parables to the people. How 
I used to groan when I was a little boy, wondering 
whether the preacher would have anything for me. 
Then came pure, abstract thought, marching on from 
first to sixteenthly, without one thought for me, and 
without one similitude. 

I want to say a word here, teachers and children, on 

REV. GEO. M. STONE, D. D. 63 

this Striking fact. Froebel has illustrated, naturally, the 
idea of the new life, by means of the growth of children. 
All the stages of Christian growth are so like the growth 
of a child that, looking at the likeness, we may help the 
child to climb as by no other means. 

"As the days of a tree, so are the days of my people. " 
The environment in the life of the individual, in vege- 
table life, in the life of a plant, is the great factor in its 
growth, and I think one of the grandest similitudes in 
the Old Testament is drawn directly from tree-life: 
" Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir-tree, and 
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle-tree, and it 
shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign, 
that shall not be cut off. " 

To me to-day (and I thank one man for opening these 
wonderful things to me in my early manhood) all nature 
illustrates Christian truth. The swan floats double — 
swan and shadow — and I believe God has embodied this 
fact of regeneration deeply, sacredly, in nature. Just 
take the seed; it must die before it germinates. All 
Christian life in these children's hearts is life from death. 
My dear little girls, and boys you must die within, to all 
that is selfish, and then Christ is born within you. 

We are born in thought. Thought is the seed, and it 
is life from death, all the way through. 

Another thing I know these boys would like to hear 
about is this : just as soon as the seed begins to germi- 
nate it grows in two directions ; the root goes down into 
the dark, feeling its way, and the blade goes up and 
finds the light. Just so there are two sides to the Chris- 
tian life — a life of secret prayer, and a life that is lived 


before men. It is keeping the balance between these two 
lives that makes the Christian life. 

A plant has three stages of growth ; first, the roots 
start out; next, the stem, and then it leaps into 
flower. You will notice that after the plant comes into 
flower, first color comes, and then a sweet perfume. 
Just so in the Christian life there is a betterment, if it is 
only cultivated. The Christian life grows better and 
better. And with this thought I will close. I trust this 
may be the key-note to the future ; that this church, with 
its hundred years of noble history, and all the churches 
and Sunday-schools which have grown out of it, may 
keep growing better and better. 

You remember Dr. Holmes has a beautiful poem on 
"The Chambered Nautilus," who leaves its last year's 
dwelling for a new one annually. The poet applies its 
lesson to his own life in these words, — 

" Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul, 

As the swift seasons roll, 

Leave thy low vaulted past, 
Let each new temple, nobler than the last. 
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, 

Till thou at length art free. 
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea. " 




Pastor of the Memorial Baptist Church, Hartford. 

Due, doubtless more to the Sunday-school than to any 
other single agency, is the fact that there are in our con- 
gregations to-day not an insignificant number of ''little 
ones that believe in Jesus. " A quarter of a century 
ago, the theory was entertained, that children could be 
converted. But there was not that confidence in child 
conversion, which would have led to special efforts in 
their behalf. That form of skepticism is not yet extinct. 
When the conversion of adults, who have perhaps lived 
two score years in sin, is heralded, the report is credited. 
But when it is stated that a large number of children 
have come to Jesus, heads are shaken and the hope is 
expressed that the work is genuine. Careful workers 
are misled at times in regard to children. But quite as 
often in regard to adults. And I venture to say that as 
large a proportion of the latter class fall away as of the 
former, when received on profession of faith into Bap- 
tist churches. But the saddest phase of doubt is seen in 
the indifference of many parents. The Jews looked 


Upon the age of twelve as the age of responsibility. And 
many parents, themselves Christians, fail to see the need 
of conversion until fourteen or fifteen. 

While these conditions have rendered the work more 
difficult, there has crept into many hearts, especially of 
Sunday-school teachers, a great longing for the salva- 
tion of those under their charge. Prayers and efforts in 
that direction have been rewarded. The phenomenon 
has been with increasing frequency repeated, of child- 
life surrendered to Jesus. Rich rewards to Sunday- 
school work are gleaned in souls saved, as also in the 
moulding and influencing of Christian character. Does 
any one question the fertility of the work? The work 
of saving the fallen and reclaiming the wandering costs 
unceasing toil and thousands upon thousands of dollars 
yearly. The Sunday-schools are maintained by penny 
collections and Jionrs of labor, and far greater returns are 

The increase of interest in and labor for the saving of 
little ones constitutes a revival of religion. With the 
revival, arise new questions and suggestions as to our 
relations to " the little ones who believe." Jesus pro- 
nounces a terrible woe on any who may offend such. In 
spite of the warning, those are not wanting, who by ex- 
ample and precept are ready to poison the very foun- 
tains of young life. Eden's innocency was not a suffi- 
cient safeguard against the encroachments of the sug- 
gester of doubt and sin. Child purity of thought and 
life ought to protect it against any and all foes. But it 
does not. To the class designated as offenders we do 
not belong. But because there are such, we ought to 

REV. H. M. THOMPSON, D. D. 67 

be thoroughly awake to the spiritual interests of those 
who in a sense are under our guardianship. What shall 
we do for them? How may we defend them? How 
may we strengthen them? Responsibility must rest 
first upon the parents. None should come nearer the 
little believer than they. Next, upon the pastor. 
Whether he knows every child in the congregation or 
not, he should know each little one that believes in 
Jesus. Next, the teacher in Sunday-school must look 
with special interest upon the children of God. Finally 
it rests upon every Christian to offend not, in word or 
deed, but on the contrary to take the deepest interest in 
every such child. 

Again, we must heed Christ's injunction to Peter, 
" Feed my lambs. " This was distinct from the charge 
to feed his sheep. Recognizing that the ordinary means 
of grace may be too high in the rack for the lambs, 
special measures must be taken in their behalf. More 
personal work will be demanded. Children's meetings 
will be regularly required in coming years, just as the 
prayer and conference meeting is now. 

In all our work for children, we should keep definitely 
before us, what our purpose is. Am I wrong in assert- 
ing that our aim is chiefly, the development of Christian 
character? The terms church work, training in church 
work, are rather indefinite terms in our day. Formerly 
they were understood as meaning simply spiritual exer- 
ercises, work to win souls, efforts to help others to a 
higher standard of living. People are now perplexed. 
Not long since a sister, of poor health, hesitated about 
joining a church because her health would not allow of 


an active entering into church work. I asked what she 
meant by church work? If she referred to public wor- 
ship, prayer meeting, communion etc. By no means, 
was her reply. I refer to socials, suppers, fairs and the 
like. Judging from the columns of the daily papers, we 
may well Avonder what else Christians find to do, since 
they are constantly racking their brains to find some new 
inventions that will catch the pennies of our modern 
Athenians who are on the qui vive to see or hear some 
new thing. This is not the occasion for discussions of 
the pros and cons of this class of church work. It is 
sufficient to say that in the training of child-believers, I 
think something else should be in mind. And first of 
all, the heart-life begun should be nourished. The 
secret of God's loving presence must be taught the child. 
He must learn the preciousness and strength derived 
from daily visitations to the throne of grace. The child 
that keeps thus close to Jesus is safe amid temptations. 
Next to prayer in importance in maintaining soul-life 
and character developments, is God's word. First, as 
protection. " Thy word, " says the Psalmist, "have I 
hid in my heart, that I may not sin against thee. " 
Again, as indicator of duty's path ; " Thy word is a lamp 
unto my feet and a light unto my pathway. " Herein is 
sufficient motive for each to study prayerfully and care- 
fully the word of the Lord, that we may impart it to 
the child-believer. 

While the heart-life is most essential, we ought to 
care for these little ones in their relations to the future 
and God's plan of saving the world. Veterans are re- 
ceiving honorable discharge daily. To fill the vacancies 

REV. H. M. THOMPSON, D. D. 69 

thus caused, promotions are taking place. The entire 
rank and file are crowded steadily to the front. The 
nature of the work done in the next century depends in 
great degree upon the training of the little ones that 
believe in Jesus. The past century has been marked by 
grand progress in the kingdom of our Lord. With en- 
larged experience, greater wealth, increased facilities, 
ought not progress to be manifold greater in years to 
come? So I believe it will be. The children must be 
trained in the art of giving — giving themselves to the 
Master's use. They must be led to raise their voices in 
advocacy of truth. Their small voices should blend 
with the strong voices of the aged in petition at the 
throne of grace. Hearts must be moved and intellects 
trained concerning the great forward movement to save 
a lost world. This is no small undertaking, though it 
be work for small beings. We shall be fitting souls for 
heaven. In so doing we shall fit them, if they remain 
in earth, for the most efficient service. 




This audience here to-day reminds me very much of 
one that gathered here in 1870, when the Baptist Sunday- 
schools of this county met here in mass convention. 
There is just one thing that I particularly remember 
about that. Dr. Ives, pastor of the church at Suffield, a 
tall man, with iron-gray hair, stood upon this platform 
talking that day, trying to impress upon the superin- 
tendents and teachers the importance of making the chil- 
dren love them. "Why," said he, "there isn't a child 
in Suffield that doesn't love me!" That is precisely 
what we want to do, superintendents and teachers. We 
want to make all the children in our several classes, and 
every child in the neighborhood, if possible, and every 
child in the school, if we have a sufficient influence, love 
us ; not love us because we are great, not because we are 
handsome, but because they see in us that character which 
helps us to desire their very best good. But enough of 

The Committee kindly sent me an invitation to say a 
few words to this mass meeting. They didn't tell me 
what I should talk about, and so I have a right to talk 
about anything I please, but they knew that I take to the 



Sunday-school as naturally as a duck takes to water, so 
they probably knew just what I would talk about. 

I cannot be expected to give you very much of the 
history of our school in the short time that is allotted to 
me, but I want to give you a synopsis of it. I want to 
tell you about its origin. I want to show you that when 
the schools, the Sunday-schools, of Hartford were or- 
ganized that they were organized by all the denomina- 
tions together, in harmony. 

I had a pamphlet in my possession for a long time, 
giving some facts in regard to this matter, but when 
I went to look for it I could not find it. Finally I 
thought of a man who could give me these facts, and I 
wrote to him and asked him to do so. He has sent me 
a letter which gives a history of the origin of our Sunday- 
schools in Hartford. And, as I have so much to say, and 
so little voice with which to say it, I will ask our pastor 
to read that letter. 

The Sunday-school Times 

Editorial Rooms, 

1031 Walnut Street, 

Philadelphia, March 19, 1S90. 
Mr. W. S. Bronson, 

Hartford, Connecticut. 
My Dear Mr. Bronson: — 

About thirty years ago, Mr. Zephaniah Preston compiled from the 
records of the " Hartford Sunday-school Society," which was organized 
May 5th, 181 8, important facts connected with the beginning and early 
work of that Society. A copy of his pamphlet, g^ven to me by him, en- 
ables me to answer your questions concerning the beginning of your 

April 2nd, 1S18, "a meeting of a number of the inhabitants of the 
Town of Hartford was holden, to take into consideration the propriety 


of establishing a Sunday-school in said Town." The Rev. Abel Flint 
was chairman of that meeting, and Seth Te'iTv, Esq., clerk. At that 
time there were only four churches within the city limits; one Baptist, 
one Episcopal, and two Congregational. 

At that meeting a committee was appointed to prepare a plan for the 
organization and management of a Sunday-school. That committee 
reported, at an adjourned meeting held on May 5th, a constitution for 
the society; and a Board of Officers was chosen. May 12th, 1818, it 
was decided to open four Sunday-schools, all under the general over- 
sight of the Society : " No. i at the North Conference Room ; No. 2 at 
the Episcopal Church ; No. 3 at the Baptist Meeting-House ; and No. 4 
at the South Chapel." Joseph B. Gilbert was appointed Superintendent 
of School No. 3. May 26th six teachers for School No. 3 were ap- 
pointed : Miss Delia Bolles, Miss Minerva Famsworth, Miss Mary 
Smith, Mr. Sylvester Beach, Mr. Edward Bolles, and Mr. George 

On the second Tuesday of June, Benjamin Hastings and Jesse Savage 
were appointed wj//(?rj of School No. 3. August nth "a committee 
was appointed to visit such families as they may deem expedient, with a 
view to influence them to send children to the schools." This committee 
for School No. 3 was Jeremiah Brown, Jesse Savage, and John Bolles. 

October 13th, 1818, reports showed that about 500 scholars on an 
average were in attendance at the four schools, each Sunday. It was 
also voted that the schools take a vacation from the last Sunday in 
October to the first Sunday in April. You will see by this that the 
vacation idea was in the minds of the Hartford Sunday-school workers 
from the beginning. 

On the committee appointed at the first meeting to prepare a plan of 
organization, the Rev. Elisha Cushman, Mr. Joseph B. Gilbert, Mr. 
Jeremiah Brown, and perhaps others, from your church were members. 
Mr. Jeremiah Brown was the first treasurer of the Society, and the Rev. 
Elisha Cushman came first on its list of directors, while Mr. Joseph B. 
Gilbert was also a director. 

In the First Annual Report of the Connecticut Sunday-school Union, 
given at New Haven May 4, 1826, I find a mention of your Sunday- 
school as having one superintendent, fifteen teachers, and ' ' about 
sixty-eight scholars " — in average attendance, I suppose. 

In the Second Annual Report of the Hartford County Sunday-school 
Union, made April 8, 1829, I find your school reported as having "one 


superintendent, two assistant superintendents, thirty-four teachers, and 
one hundred and ninety-five scholars. The average attendance in sum- 
mer, is about one hundred and eight,— in winter, about ninety." By 
this it would seem that your school at that time had winter sessions, and 
that its increase had been great within three or four years. Its library 
then contained about two hundred volumes. The Rev. Barnas Sears 
was at that time your pastor. 

The concluding extract from your report at that time was, "At pres- 
ent a good degree of zeal and activity prevails in our school, and we 
hope it is increasing." 

Hoping that these facts will be of interest to you, I am 
Yours sincerely, 


(After the letter was read by the pastor, Mr. Bronson 
continued as follows:) 

I might with propriety sit down now, having furnished 
this matter of historical information with reference to 
the early days of our school. But you will notice Deacon 
Joseph B. Gilbert's name is mentioned there, as the first 
superintendent of the school. I suppose it would be ad- 
mitted that our school has been at least ordinarily suc- 
cessful; that its numbers and its character have been 
equal at least to ordinary schools. And I attribute that in 
a great degree to the character of the man who organized 
it. Deacon Gilbert had no superior for integrity, for 
uprightness, for a pure and noble Christian character. I 
speak whereof I know with reference to him, because I 
was associated with him in business from the time that I 
was 22 years of age until his death. 

I may say our school has always been a united one. 

Thirteen years I was the assistant superintendent of the 

school and twenty-five years superintendent. In all those 

years I do not know of any serious trouble that has 



occurred in our school, no serious difference of opinion. 
And, to give you an example of the unanimity and har- 
mony in which the school acted, I will say that they 
practically elected me those thirteen times assistant su- 
perintendent almost unanimously, practically unani- 
mously. So they did the twenty-five times I was super- 
intendent. And with about the same unanimity they let 
me go at the end of the time. So you see they are unani- 
mous in whatever they take hold of. They go together. 

In 1859 t^® school had a total enrollment of 300 with 
an average attendance of 245. In 1866, the enrollment 
was 614. In 1877, it was 556 and the average attend- 
ance 342, 

I feel that it is an honor to me to have been a member 
of our school for so many years. I feel that it is an 
honor to anyone to have been a member of the school. 
It has occupied a high position in this community, as 
high, perhaps, as any other school. It has had honora- 
ble men and women as its teachers and scholars. 

I can recall to mind Deacon J. G. Bolles, the John of 
the apostles, who was superintendent then, Deacon 
Joseph B. Gilbert, Deacon BroAvn, Deacons Clapp, Can- 
field, Knowlton, and various other persons, whose names 
I have not here. They came into the school in times 
that tried men's love for the truth. And how many 
there are who have gone out from among us to occupy 
honorable positions in the community. 

Let me speak of that noble band of men who were 
members of our Sunday-school and have devoted their 
lives to preaching the everlasting gospel. I may not 
have all of them. I have some of them. If any of 


you know of others, I should be very glad to have 
you give us the names. Dr. Hodge, George W. 
Pendleton, Rev. S. M. Whiting, Rev. Lester Lewis, 
Rev. M. C. Twing, the Bronson brothers (they are 
not in the order in which they went into the ministry) ; 
Rev. Stephen Page, Rev. Elisha Cushman, Jr., Rev. 
Henry E. Robins, and Rev Dr. George M. Stone, 
whom you have with you to-day. I have taken a 
little liberty in mentioning the name of Dr. Stone, but 
he was a member of our school for about three months ; 
during the vacation season he was here visiting friends 
and relations, and came into our school. He was a very 
fine young man, and has proved to be a very excellent 
middle-aged man. Rev. Cornelius Wells was another. 
How many of you will remember him? Rev. Daniel 
J. Glazier I spoke of the other night, so I will not stop 
to do it again here. I find it is said of Rev. Thomas S. 
Barbour, in our Sunday-school records that in 1866 he 
w^as present 52 Sundays, which was doing very nicely 
for him. I name also Rev. Jas. H. Arthur, Rev. Dr. Lu- 
cius E. Smith, Rev. H. H. Barbour, and Rev. Halsey W. 
Knapp, William Ward West and Rev. Benjamin Gower. 
All of these have gone out from our Sunday-school to 
preach the gospel. What an influence they must be ex- 
erting in all parts of the earth ! Some of them have 
come back to us to-day, and others would have been re- 
joiced to do so, but found it impossible. 

What shall we say of all this great band of noble men 
and women who have not become ministers of the gos- 
pel, but have gone out into all parts of our land, and I 
may say of the earth, doing their life-work, carrying 


with them the principles of eternal truth, as taught 
them while in our school? Undoubtedly their influence 
though quietly exercised is immense. It is not always 
the most demonstrative thing that does the most good, 
but it is the consistent life, daily, weekly, yearly, in 
whatever occupation we are engaged. 

Now I want to speak to you a moment of the children 
and the grand-children, the Sunday-schools, that have 
left our school. The South Baptist school was organized 
in 1834. The Grand Street Mission went from the 
South Baptist school. It is now the Washington Ave- 
nue school, a sort of grand-daughter to this school. 
Then the Bethel Mission, worked and supported by this 
school, finally culminated in the church on Windsor 
Avenue. The school is now held on Suffield street. 
Then comes the Asylum Avenue school. See how 
the influence has spread, and is constantly spread- 
ing. It shall never be lessened, but continually increase 
until the last day shall come and the sheaves shall be 
gathered home. 

Now a word to the teachers and scholars with refer- 
ence to the influence that you might exert, in addition to 
all that you do exert, with reference to bringing recruits 
to the Sunday-school. I suppose not one-half of the in- 
habitants of this city under 20, are in the Sunday-school 
anywhere. They are not studying the Bible anywhere. 
Now, I want to know if such a mighty band of men and 
women as there is here, if they should set their hearts 
to work at it, could not go out and gather in every 
child, every young man and woman and by their in- 
fluence lead them to become students of the Bible. 


The work is only just begun. It is only a hundred 
years since the church was organized, and only seventy- 
two years since the schools were organized in this city, 
and yet what strides they have made ! If they made 
this progress under such difficulties in the past, if they 
have made it with so little influence in the past, how 
much more might be accomplished in the future, if we 
would all work for that purpose ! 

How much we have heard, and do sometimes now 
hear, in the public press, with reference to Sunday- 
school superintendents, and teachers, Wanamaker for 
example, and the influence of schools. They are con- 
stantly going forward, constantly progressing, constantly 
making their divine impress upon the hearts of the com- 
munity. And they shall never cease until that blessed 
Bible shall be in every hand and impressed upon every 




Pastor of the South Baptist Church, Hartford. 

I am sure we are all proud of our mother, and I do 
not think she has any occasion to be ashamed this after- 
noon of her fair and beautiful children, who join with 
her in this centennial service. 

I was not privileged to be with you this morning, on 
account of illness in my family, but my heart was here. 
And by "my heart" I mean one of your daughters, to 
whom I am married, the South Baptist Church. 

When Brother James spoke to me of this Centennial, 
I said to him, "James, we will do whatever you may 
ask," and so we are here with you to-day, our fair, good 
mother, for the morning, and the afternoon, and the 
evening, and for all day to-morrow. 

I am glad to see the children here this afternoon. 
What would a centennial church service be without rec- 
ognizing the Sunday-school and the children? And yet, 
while I say I am glad to see you here, children, I have 
been feeling sorry for you all day, and especially during 
this session, because I know it is getting to be lengthy 
and wearisome to you. 


I have been thinking of a story which I read some 
years ago. The lesson in Sunday-school was in regard 
to Philip and the eunuch, and a very faithful teacher 
asked her class why it was that the eunuch went on his 
way rejoicing (you know it states that he "went on his 
way rejoicing" after meeting Philip), and one bright 
boy answered quickly, to the discouragement of the 
teacher, " Because Philip had got through a teachin' of 
him I" 

You want to go ; and perhaps it is time you should go. 
You would be glad to go now " on your way rejoicing," 
but we have not quite finished torturing you yet. We 
have a little more "centennial" for you. You may not 
have the privilege of being here at the next one ; so you 
must try to bear it. 

I was to say a word about tree planting, or the setting 
out of trees, by which I mean, figuratively, the "plant- 
ing or setting out" of a boy. Now, a boy has to be 
"planted," a boy has to be " set out," just as well as a 
tree, before he can grow. You will find in the 92 d 
Psalm, somewhere at the close of the psalm, these 
verses : ' ' The righteous shall flourish like the palm- 
tree; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those 
that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in 
the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit 
in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing." I see 
that the idea or thought which the Psalmist has here in 
mind is that planting a tree is like planting a man, or 
setting out a boy, because he said, "The righteous shall 
flourish." This is the greatest figure which he could 
possibly use : ' ' The righteous shall flourish like a palm- 


Every boy knows a great deal about a palm, so far as 
dates are concerned; we get one pound for ten cents, 
three pounds for a quarter. These palm-trees grow 
in the desert and have no leaves until you come to -the 
very top. And there they are ; a crown of great, green, 
waving leaves, which seem like the waving plumes of a 
king. They grow a hundred or more feet in height, 
and they bear, in this tuft of leaves, great clusters of 
fruit, sometimes three hundred, sometimes four hundred 
pounds, and, they tell me, sometimes as many as six 
hundred pounds on a single palm-tree. I think dates 
ought to be a little cheaper than they are. 

Well, this book says that -a boy who is planted in the 
house of the Lord shall be like a palm-tree. These 
palms are not much affected by drouth, and not much 
disturbed by rain, for they have their roots down deep 
through the sand in the moist soil. And so they lift up 
their heads and laugh at the fierce sun. 

And so in regard to the cedar of Lebanon. That is 
the greatest tree that we know anything about, or that 
the Psalmist knew anything about. They are there, cen- 
turies old. Some of them have been known, the iden- 
tical trees, three hundred years ago, living still. Here 
is a great figure ; that a boy, planted in a certain place, 
is to be like the palm-tree ; he is to be like the cedar of 

We do not all have the same opinion as to where a 
boy ought to be planted. But, boys, if you were to set 
out a tree to-morrow, and it is time now for tree-plant- 
ing, you would look out for the best kind of soil, and for 
the very best place. And you would expect the tree to do 


best if you put it in the best place. If you wanted a tree 
to grow fair and strong, and be fruitful, and cast forth 
its shade, and live down the centuries, you would seek 
out one of the best places you could possibly find for it. 
Because if the soil be good, the tree responds to it ; if the 
soil be poor and sandy and gravelly, the tree feels it. So 
we want the best place for the tree. They used to set 
out these palm-trees in the palace courts, in these shelter- 
ed, sunny, favored places, and there they grew strong 
and beautiful. Where do you think is the best place to 
plant a boy ? I know of one father who planted his son 
in the saloon. And I said to him, ' ' That is a poor place to 
plant a boy. " I know some mothers who are very anxious 
to plant their girls in society, and they think that if they 
can get them rooted there, shallow and superficial though 
it be, that it is the best place to plant them. There are 
some fathers who are only anxious to plant their sons in 
business, in money-getting. And if they can plant them 
where they can make money, they think that is the best 
place to plant a boy. Well, that is not the way this 
word of God reads. 

If you are to plant a tree right, you must know some- 
thing about the nature of the tree. You would not think 
of planting a willow on top of a rock, where the cedar 
and pine grow, but you would plant a willow down by 
the water-course. You would not think of planting an 
oak-tree or a hard-maple there, but you would plant it 
on the hill-side, or somewhere in deep, dry soil. You 
want to know the nature of the tree, and then you can tell 
something about the kind of soil it needs. Look at a boy, 
look at a girl, and see if society, see if money-getting, 


see if pleasure-seeking, see if the saloon, is a good place 
in which to plant them. Well, business is a good place, 
society is a good place, to a certain extent, but that does 
not cover all the ground. There is something divine, 
something godly, in a boy, and so he must be planted in 
such soil. A few weeks ago, when one of our Sunday- 
school scholars was dying, he said to his father, " Father, 
I wish there was a minister here ; I wish you would pray 
with me, father." Dear friends, there is something in 
the nature of every boy and girl which reaches out 
towards God. There is a divine element, there are 
divine characteristics, there is a godly nature, in every 
boy and girl, and they need to be planted in sacred, 
divine soil, that their spiritual nature may be nourished. 

Now, I was saying that the tree responds to the soil, to 
the external conditions or circumstances. I was buying 
some roses some years ago in the city of Chicago. I was 
selecting them because of their color, and also because 
of their fragrance. And so among the plants in the con- 
servatory I picked up a flower and said to the florist, 
"That is fragrant," and he said, "Yes." Then I picked 
up another and said, "This is fragrant." " No," said he, 
"that is not fragrant." I raised it up again, and said, 
"Yes, that is fragrant." "No," said he, "you are 
mistaken, but it was close to a rose that is fragrant, and 
so it borrows its perfume." 

I remember reading some years ago of a little fellow 
who came in from the street one day into the Sunday- 
school. He had never been there before. He had never 
seen the children in bright faces and bright clothing. 
When he came home they asked him where he had been. 


"■ Been among the angels," he said! He had been bor- 
rowing sweetness from the Sunday-school ; he had been 
inhaling perfume from the roses of the Sunday-school ! 
There is no place in which to plant a boy or girl so good 
as the Sunday-school. Sometimes when I go home 
after some club-meeting or something of that kind, I 
don't go very often, for they smoke me out, my chil- 
dren begin to sniff, and they say, "You have been 
smoking." They know I don't smoke, but perhaps they 
think I have fallen from grace ; so they ask me about it, 
and I tell them where I have been. Well, these exter- 
nal conditions always tell where we have been. If a boy 
is planted in a saloon, or on the street, or where those 
obscene pictures are, where those vulgar stories are told, 
you can tell it when he comes near you. I think you can 
see it in his face and eyes ! He responds to these ex- 
ternal conditions and circumstances, to his surround- 
ings. No boy or girl is ever a member of a Sunday- 
school for a month without borrowing perfume, without 
inhaling the sweet fragrance of the room. That is a 
good place to plant a child. 

I suppose my time is up, but there is one other ques- 
tion I want to speak of for a moment, the time to " set 
out " a boy. When would you set out a tree? I believe 
in setting out a tree very young. I may not be author- 
ized to do so, but I will make a confession for some of 
you gratuitously here this afternoon. Some of you do 
not believe in setting out trees very young. There 
was a member of one of our Sunday-schools represented 
here to-day, who, last week in family worship, after 
reading the Sunday-school lesson, was asked by his 


father to pray. This is a true story ; I have it on good 
authority. They all kneeled down, and after a- moment 
the little fello\y began to pray, he is nine years old, and, 
among other things, he said, "O God, help us to be good ; 
not so good that we can just slip through, but so good 
we can get in anywhere!" I think that boy is old 
enough to "set out," old enough to "plant" in the 
church of the Lord Jesus Christ. I would be glad to 
welcome him and to see him there to-day. But some of 
you don't believe in setting them out early. You want 
to wait until they have great tap roots, and big branches ! 
I have seen them setting out such trees in Chicago. They 
are impatient out there, and can't wait for a tree to grow 
after they set it out. And so they get a big tree, as big as 
a man's body, and it is a strange looking thing. It looks 
more like an electric-pole than like a tree, with all the 
roots cut off, and it has got top-heavy and heady, and 
you have to cut off the top, and cut off its branches, and 
then guy it up with ropes. And then you must wrap it 
around with a straw or hay rope, and keep watering it, and 
set a man to watch it. And then after it has stayed there 
for a few months, if the summer is a little dry, you must 
pull it over and carry it away, for it is dead. It could 
not live. It was set out too late ; the conditions were not 
right for its growth. Now, many believe in setting out 
' ' trees " when you have to cut off these tap-roots, and the 
arms, and the branches, and the head, and what a look- 
ing tree that is to come into the church ! Forty to Sixty 
years old ! I believe in setting out trees very young ! 
Many of us do not like to receive children into the church, 
to plant them in the courts of the Lord ! Suppose a man 


should go into an orchard, and the nurseryman would 
say, " Here is a young tree," and the man asks "■ Has it 
blossomed?" "No." "I don't want a tree that hasn't 
blossomed!" " Here is a very good tree." "Has this 
tree borne any fruit?" "No." "Well I don't want to 
set out a tree that hasn't borne fruit ! " There is an apple- 
tree, fifteen or twenty years old, laden full of blossoms, 
laden with a heavy harvest of apples, and he would like 
to take up that tree, with all its apples on, and carry it 
off, and set it out I But what will be the result? I am 
willing to take a very young apple-tree, just a sapling, 
one that has never borne a single apple, or a single 
blossom, one that is hardly in the leaf, and then set it 
out and wait for it to grow. Plant it in the house of the 
Lord. For by and by, in God's providence, under the 
shower and the sunshine, and its nurturing soil, it shall 
flourish in the courts of the Lord ! You will see that the 
men who are strong in the church to-day were planted 
when young. The presidents of the colleges and 
seminaries of to-day were planted in the Sunday- 
school in early boyhood. I have their records ; I have 
the figures. Many of the presidents of our colleges and 
theological seminaries to-day were members of the 
churches when they were nine, ten and twelve years old ! 
They were planted early. They were set out in youth ; 
just as Moses, Samuel and David were. It takes a long 
time to grow a man, and if you wish to grow him stal- 
wart and strong, you must give him time to grow, under 
the most favorable conditions possible. If you wish your 
boy or girl to become a man or woman of God, and a 
tower of righteousness in the community, you must 


plant them in childhood in the house of the Lord, and 
they will flourish in the courts of our God. • When Dr. 
Hartranft of this city stood over the silent form of the 
late beloved Dr. Thompson, he said, among other things, 
' The fairest flowers of piety are the growth of centuries, 
the culture of the ages." 

My dear friends, these are not my words, but God's. 
The best place to plant a man, woman, boy or girl, is in 
the house of the Lord, and by and by they shall become 
like palm-trees, and like the cedars of Lebanon. 

Down on Wethersfield Avenue, and now I am done 
when I tell you this little story, there is an old friend of 
mine. He is one hundred years old. He is just cele- 
brating with you this year his centennial. He is a grand 
old monarch, a stately and glorious giant; one of your 
proud and far-famed New England elms. Oh, what a 
majestic trunk, some four feet or more in diameter! 
What grand and graceful sweeping branches, 
covering a circle with a radius of fifty feet ! We 
often have a little conversation as I am passing. I 
vspeak to him, and thank him for his shade in summer 
and for his strength in winter. And for all his grand and 
stately proportions I honor him. Shall I tell you the 
history of that tree? I only learned it a few days ago. 
A little girl of the city of Hartford was out in these 
woods somewhere, or on these encircling hills, and, 
coming in, she pulled up a little twig, just a little slip, 
a little elm twig; one that she could wrest from the 
earth easily with her thumb and finger, and she brought 
it home and set it out in front of the old farmhouse. 
She was fifteen years old. Let me see, how old is the 


tree? She lived to be ninety years old. The tree was 
seventy-five years old when she died. She died twenty- 
years ago. It is the monarch of a century ! Planted in 
that fair and favorable place when just a little twig, it 
has now grown up into its stately proportions. And 
sometimes, when the midnight winds are gathering and 
the storms are brewing yonder on those hills, I have 
thought of that old tree and the battle that he was to 
have with the storms. But he welcomed them and 
laughed at them, for he had in his fibre the strength of 
a century ! 

Dear friends, if this psalm had been written in Con- 
necticut, if it had been written here in Hartford, in 
regard to your boys and your girls, it would have said 
that if they were planted in the house of the Lord they 
would flourish like one of the oaks of the mountains, that 
they would spread abroad their stately branches like one 
of the elms of your happy New England ! 

Sunday Evening. 





Senior Member of the First Baptist Church, Hartford. 

(When Mr. Dimock, who is in the ninetieth year of his age, was intro- 
duced, the entire audience rose to greet him.) 

I have been requested to state some of the facts con- 
cerning the early years of this church. 

The year of i8 14 was a memorable epoch in the his- 
tory of this church, which has been a missionary church 
from its organization. It was on Wednesday, the 
31st of August of that year, that the Baptist Society, 
auxiliary to the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, was 
founded. It was accomplished through the influence of 
the Rev. Luther Rice, who went out as a missionary in 
company with Dr. Judson, under the direction of the Con- 
gregationalists, to India. They were both converted to 
Baptist principles on their voyage to Calcutta, and, being 
left in that foreign country without organized support, 
Mr. Rice returned to this country and commenced 
organizing foreign mission societies. He visited this 
church at that date, and, with several of the brethren, 
met at the house of our pastor, the Rev. Elisha Cushman. 
This house is now standing on Village Street. I had the 
privilege of being one of those present on that occasion. 


I believe that this was the first direct movement in 
foreign missions in this state. 

At the same time the church enjoyed a special out- 
pouring of God's spirit, which resulted in the conversion 
of about fifty persons. And nearly all of them were young 
people. It was considered remarkable that nearly all of 
them were from families outside of the Baptist church. 

The evening meetings of that period were generally 
held in private houses in different sections of the city. 
And the labors of the young people were very efficient in 
building up the church. Before that time very few 
young persons had been encouraged to join the church. 

We had no Sunday-schools or Bible-schools at that 
time. But in 1818 the first Sunday-school was organized 
in the basement of the old wooden church which yet 
stands on the corner of Temple and Market Streets. 

My first Sunday-school class consisted of five colored 
men, the youngest of whom was fifty years of age. 

Within my time the membership of the church has 
sent out over thirty persons as preachers of the gospel, 
one missionary to Burma, who was the daughter of a 
former pastor, the Rev. Henry Grew, and another mis- 
sionary to Japan, the Rev. Mr. Arthur. 

It has been my privilege to know personally all the 
pastors and deacons of the church from its organization. 

When Dr. Turnbull was settled as pastor of this 
church, Dr. Hawes sent a special message to him saying 
it would afford him great pleasure to give him the right 
hand of fellowship, and the same kind feelings were 
cherished to the end. On several occasions he occupied 
his pulpit. 


Dr. Jackson's pastorate was very successful. Seventy- 
five persons received the hand of fellowship on one 

Deacon Bolles always took a deep interest in me, and 
used frequently to inquire as to how I was succeeding, 
etc. He would come into my room every few evenings, 
and if I had two candles burning, he would blow one of 
them out. If I had two sticks of wood on the fire, he 
would take one of them off, and lay it on the corner of 
the fire-place. As I said before, he showed himself very 
friendly to me through all my connection with the church. 

At that time we had no numbers on our houses, and 
no lights in our streets. We were obliged to locate a 
house by counting so many houses from a certain point. 
We had no steamboats or telegraph. 

I will add that I have been connected with this church 
for seventy-four years, and I am the only person living 
who was a member at the time I joined it. 




Pastor of the Baptist Church of Fall River, Mass. 

It would be idle for me to attempt to express the 
pleasure I have had in the privilege of joining in this 
centennial service. And yet my pleasure is in some 
degree mingled with pain, particularly at this moment. 
I believe I have a feeling of sympathy for, say, the plum- 
ber, who has come to your house, and in the confusion 
attending his effort to respond to your call has neglected 
to bring along the necessary tools. I succeeded at a late 
hour in arranging to so far gratify myself as to make the 
journey to this city, but as for the means of being of any 
service to the committee, and to those who have gathered 
for this evening's service, that is a different matter. 
And yet, if it be true that ' ' out of the heart the mouth 
speaketh," it seems to me that I ought not to lack for 
fullness of utterance to-night. 

To say that this church is to me what no other church 
is, or ever can be, is to say a very matter-of-course thing. 
I was almost surprised to learn that the church is only 
one hundred years old, and thus to have the definite in- 
formation that there actually was a time when it was not 
in existence. I suppose if anyone had asked me if I 
thought that it was in existence before the year 1492, I 
should have faltered a slow ''No," but, somehow, it 


always seemed to me to be a necessary part of the life of 
this city, and of the life of the world. 

I shall make no attempt to express the emotions which 
are awakened in my heart by this place and this hour. 
There are many before me who do not need any expres- 
sion of such emotions. The language of their own hearts 
is sufficient. 

Time turns backward in its flight, and again we are 
children. Again we follow up those letters upon the 
wall, and count them, and balance them, and think 
something of their significance : ' ' God is a spirit, and 
they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in 
truth." Again our eyes follow up the high arches that 
seem almost to reach to the heaven of which the preacher 
is speaking. Again familiar forms are about us ; they 
steal from out the shadows, and are with us again, and 
the long pew is filled. Again we see familiar forms 
before us. We were told this morning that every address 
of the day should contain some reference to Deacon 
John BoUes. I knew a Deacon Bolles. His name might 
have been John — "the face that limners give to the 
beloved disciple" — but he bore the name of the other son 
of Zebedee. I am glad that I am old enough to have 
known him. All these seats are filled ; Deacon Bolles, 
Deacon Smith, Deacon Braddock, Deacon Howard, of 
whom two, not the least beloved, remain to this pre- 
sent time. There are other associations connected with 
this house. To say to one's self, ' ' In yonder vestry I 
knelt and asked forgiveness of my sins, and consecrated 
my life to the Lord Jesus Christ." "Just here I was 
buried in the symbolical grave, and rose with a purpose 
of newness of life." " Just here I stood, a boy of ten, 


and looked down into the water, and out upon the people, 
and up toward God, my heart filled with a profound joy, 
and with the earnest desire to testify henceforth forever 
my gratitude to my Savior and Lord." "In yonder 
pew I received for the first time, for how many times, 
those sacred emblems which spoke of the Savior's love, 
and awakened ever anew the purpose to give better ser- 
vice to the Master." To say to one's self such things as 
these is to awaken thoughts that lie too deep for words. 
One train of thought I am unwilling to-night to at- 
tempt to repress. It has to do with the central form of 
this group that was before us, the one pastor under 
whose leadership I was a member of this church. We 
have heard testimony concerning him to-day from those 
who were fitted by the years and the experience to which 
they had attained to judge of him as I could not. And 
yet I desire to-night to bring a tribute to his memory, 
though it be but the tribute of childhood. It seems to 
me that Dr. Turnbull had a rare power of influencing 
childhood. I do not mean that he was peculiarly a 
preacher for children, I do not know that he was that, 
but he was something better than that. He had a higher 
power than that of entertaining children for*a half -hour. 
There were qualities revealing themselves in him which 
drew childhood to him and gave him a strong hold upon 
its affection and reverence. I thought of him as a model 
of all that was noble and kindly. I did not think of him 
as eloquent or learned. I thought of him as a man of 
God. The story is told of Whitfield that a little girl was 
wont to refer to him, in her childish way of expressing 
her thought, as "Jesus Christ's man." So seemed to me 
the pastor whom I knew in my relationship to this 


church; a man consecrated to Jesus Christ. He was 
more than a pastor to me. If I were permitted to choose 
whatever word I might please to characterize what he 
was to me, I should take from out the divine word that 
term which is used of the Holy Spirit of God, the term 
" comforter, " which you know means more than com- 
forter, the counseller, the teacher, the guide, the 
friend. All this he was to me, and if it be right for one 
to use a term which the Lord Jesus used of himself in 
his relations to his people, if it be right to speak of a 
pastor as an under-shepherd, may we not speak of a pas- 
tor as an under-comforter, counsellor, instructor, guide 
and friend? All this, I say, he was to me in my early 
life. It was by his side, on a stormy night in January, 
that I knelt, we were alone together, he was willing 
to give his time that he might lead even a child to- such 
a knowledge as a child could have of the saving grace of 
Jesus Christ, it was when kneeling by his side that I 
gave my heart to Christ. It was by his hand that I was 
buried in the baptismal waters. By his hand I was 
welcomed publicly into the membership of the church. 
And there is almost no one among the profounder 
experiences of my early life, whether of joy or of sorrow, 
of wandering or of Christian service, with which he 
was unconnected. I met him (I do not know that many 
of you are aware of this, but it seems to me a fact of 
interest, surely of deepest interest to me) in the closing 
days of his life. If I am not mistaken, the last public 
service which he performed was that which he rendered 
for me, when he laid his hands in consecration upon my 
head, as in public prayer I was set apart for the ministry 
of the word. He came, at my request, hundreds of miles, 


that he might join in this service. I remember still his 
voice, not quite so strong as of old, but yet full of fire 
and fervor, as he preached the word. I remember our 
quiet talk together of the things of the past and of the 
work of the future. So, as Elijah tarried with the young 
disciple, he tarried with me. I wish that it were possible 
for me to continue the story of Elijah, and to carry out 
the analogy of thought, to speak of the finding of a 
mantle, of the discovery that power like that of the 
teacher had descended upon the disciple. This I know 
at least, that if I had been asked at that time to express 
the deepest desire of my heart, it could not have been 
other than this : that a double portion, the chief -heir's 
portion of the spirit which was in him might be upon 
the disciple in his life's work. 

But such an hour as this is suggestive not alone of 
personal memories. It is suggestive of certain very 
serious lessons. The hour speaks to us of the brevity of 
our mortal lives. Perhaps that is the strongest impres- 
sion which is made upon one who returns after an ab- 
sence to the scenes of his earlier life. So many are 
gone, and those that were in manhood are growing old. 
So quickly men grow old. And, though those among 
whom they remain venerate them, their thoughts reach 
on and they seem as exiles, whose home is beyond. 

" The mossy marbles rest 
On the lips that they have pressed, 

In their bloom ; 
And the names they love to hear 
Have been carved for many a year 

On the tomb." 


And we, too, so soon must grow old, so soon must pass 
on, and the places that know us now shall know us no 

But it is not this somewhat melancholy thought that 
has been chiefly on my mind as I have joined in the ser- 
vices of this day and have listened to those who have 
spoken of the past. The apostle Paul, in referring to 
those who were witnesses of the life of Jesus Christ after 
his resurrection from the tomb, says that ' ' some of them 
remain unto this present, and some have fallen asleep." 
Whatever of impressiveness there may be in the thought 
that some whom once we knew have " fallen asleep," it 
seems to me that there is equal impressiveness, and that 
there is a mighty force of inspiration, in the other 
thought, that '' some remain unto this present." A ven- 
erated brother speaks to us of the founder of this church, 
speaks from personal knowledge of those who were the 
earliest members of the church, speaks of every pastor 
of the church. Our moderator said to us this afternoon 
that, though none of us might see the second centennial 
of this church, many of us would see those who should 
see it. So the generations overlap one another. " Some 
remain unto this present." Contemporaries of a former 
generation ; they are to-day contemporaries of a new 
generation that is to outlast them. "One generation 
passeth away, and another generation cometh." But 
the old does not pass until the new has come. This is 
God's plan for human life ; a plan with which is associ- 
ated all of progress for the world, a plan by which 
knowledge and experience are handed down from age 
to age. But there is a mighty inspiration, and withal a 


most serious suggestiveness, in the thought. What is 
the true duration of any human life ? It begins with the 
cradle ; it does not end until the life of the world ends. 
On in a continuous line reaches the development of the 
world's life from the first moment of time until the end 
of time, and thus the generations of men are welded 
together into one united race, and the life of men is 
fused together into the one progressive life of mankind. 
" There are two Theodore Parkers," said a man who 
was dying in Italy, "one of them is dying here in Italy, 
and another is planted in America." The life of these 
godly men of whom we have been hearing to-day is still 
continuing. Their influence is still making itself felt 
through the characters and the lives of those who knew 
them in the past. And so our influence shall remain. 
It is a terrible thought for one who is squandering the 
opportunities of life. It is told of a young man, dying 
after a life of sin, that, horrified at the thought of the 
influence which he had been exerting, he exclaimed with 
dying breath ''Bury my influence with me! " But of 
course such words were vain. The clods of the valley 
covered his body, but his influence went forth, a "Wan- 
dering Jew," shifting up and down, with poison in 
its breath, until the hour when the body shall rise to 
confront it. But how inspiring is such a thought for the 
true and generous mind ! It has been held by some, 
philosophical systems have maintained it, that in this 
power of influencing coming generations the desire for 
immortality, which is in-born and ever persistent in the 
soul of man is satisfied. History bears witness that this 
thought has had power to inspire the spirit of man to 


fidelity. Do you remember that scene, that strange, yet 
wonderfully pathetic and inspiring scene, of the execu- 
tion of the Gerondists of France? The moderate repub- 
licans, resisting the wild excesses of the extremists, seek 
with their own bodies to stem the tide. But the flood 
proves too strong, and the furious waters sweep them 
from off their feet. They are condemned to death, and 
are about to suffer by the guillotine. Believing that the 
cause of liberty will yet triumph, and triumph the sooner 
for their martyrdom, they joyfully submit themselves to 
their fate. You recall perhaps how the vast throng 
gathered about the courtyard, how the five rude carts 
appeared, four forms in each, how the multitudes rent 
the air with their fierce, malignant execrations? And 
do you remember how the shouts of the multitude sud- 
denly grew hushed and another sound arose upon the 
morning air. Clear, swelling, harmonious, it burst from 
the lips of the condemned, the voice of song, the song 
of patriotism, the national song of France? ''Come, 
children of your country, come ; the day of glory dawns 
on high!" And when the scaffold was reached, the 
song was still sounding ; and when one and another lay 
beneath the knife and yielded up his life in his country's 
cause, the song sounded on, growing fainter in volume, 
but not less clear and resolute. And when at last the 
intrepid leader alone remained, the song rose, still un- 
faltering, from his lips, " Come, children of your coun- 
try, come; the day of glory dawns on high." The knife 
falls, and the song is broken off, but to be revived again 
by the awakening heart and conscience of the nation. 
Friends, if men who have the motive of patriotism only 


to move them, are inspired to such fidelity by the 
thought of the service which they are able to render to 
future generations, by what spirit think you should those 
be animated, behind whom is the cross of the Son of 
God, above whom is a risen Lord, before whom is a 
world of suffering and sin. Shall there not be awak- 
ened within us the earnest purpose to do all that lies in 
our power to make this world a kindlier place, with 
more of helpful influence, with less that tends to the 
soul's ruin and more that develops the soul's life? How 
grand to live members of a company which, unlike that 
of the angels, to which time brings no increase, is a 
race, with unborn multitudes pressing on to receive from 
our hands their legacy ! 

If any thought is fitted to strengthen the influence of 
such an inspiration as this, it seems to me that it is the 
thought to which our minds are turned in connection 
with this service, the thought that we have been called 
to membership in a church of Christ. How shall we 
fail to recognize in such a relationship the inspiration to 
the highest service ? The origin of this church lies 
farther back than a hundred years ago. It lies in that 
scene in which the Lord Jesus Christ came from the 
sepulchre, and, showing to his disciples his hands and 
his side, said unto them, "As the Father hath sent me 
into the world, so do I send you into the world." The 
word "church" is nothing more nor less than a name 
for the mission of the Christian. The church is simply 
an agency by which the mission of the Christian may be 
accomplished. I do not think it is possible for us to- 
night to venerate too highly the church of Christ, but 


it is possible for us to misplace our veneration. It is 
possible for us to venerate only the body, and forget 
that the true church is a spirit rather than a body. The 
spirit is greater than the body. The service to which 
we are called is not chiefly the maintaining of a church 
organization. It is the loyal fulfilling of the purpose 
which should animate and energize every body which 
is entrusted with the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
Let us never forget that a definite purpose is represented 
by a church of Christ. We are not to think of church 
organization as constituting an end in its itself. To 
maintain church organization, to build fine edifices, to 
sustain pleasing services, these are things of little conse- 
quence in themselves. A church of Christ is but a means 
to an end. That end is to go out into this sinful, busy 
world, and win souls to the Lord Jesus Christ, and hav- 
ing won them to Christ, to reproduce in them the spirit 
that was in Christ. 

I believe, friends, that this has been the animating 
purpose of this church in the past. May it never cease 
to be its animating purpose ! The thought of the past 
is an inspiring thought. But more inspiring to me to- 
night seems the thought of the possibilities of the future. 
What may not this church accomplish, with such a past 
behind it, with such traditions lingering with it, with 
such resources upon which to draw, and with so length- 
ened a career before it ? To how great an age is it to be 
supposed that this church shall reach ? May we not, 
friends, with some assurance predict that this church 
whose hundred years of life we are now commemorating 
will endure until the one who has gone to a far country 
returns to reckon with his servants ? 


As in his sight, may the membership of this church, 
as in his sight, may all of us, do the work which is 
committed to our hands. And thus, at last, when he that 
soweth and he that reapeth shall rejoice together, may 
there be given to us all an abundant entrance into the 
joy of the Lord ! 




A distinguished writer on the Constitutional History 
of England, with keen discernment, points out that 
" the roots of the present lie deep in the past," and so 
maintains that ' ' nothing in the past is dead to the man 
who would learn how the present comes to be what it 
is." Now, this is as true of churches as of other insti- 
tutions. We do well, then, to recall some of the scenes 
of the past, and a few of the names of the men and wo- 
men who lived and wrought here in holy service. For we 
are sheltered in a spiritual structure of which they laid 
the foundations, and repose under the shade, and eat of 
the fruit of trees which they planted. 

There is, indeed, a reverence for the past which is 
neither just or wise. No man runs successfully in a 
race, looking backward. The victorious soldier has his 
face to the foe. We, being Christians, are heirs of the 
future. We forget the things which are behind in the 
urgency of present duty, and in the joy of present vic- 
tory. We are not unmindful, however, that the history 
of Christianity has its churches of Asia; that desolation, 
alas ! not rarely reigns where once was prosperity ; so to 
admonish us not to mistake flattering appearances for 
the vigor of an abounding life ; not to be highminded, 


but to fear in the midst of seeming progress. The 
wise general looks carefully to the threatening con- 
ditions of his environment. The experienced seaman 
scans the skies with alert vision to detect the port- 
ents of the storm. The skillful physician omits 
from his diagnosis neither the unfavorable nor the 
favorable symptoms of the patients' case, and so 
commands our confidence. And so, as Christians we 
should not imitate the folly of ostrich- wisdom, but, 
rather, look steadily on the dark side hopefully. We 
should not forget that the voice of prophecy declares in 
regard to the great captain of our warfare, "He shall 
not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in 
the earth." His course has been onward since the dawn 
of human history. The long line of a conquering army 
is often driven backward at points by the fierce onsets of 
the enemy, while yet the advancing columns of the army 
as a whole are sweeping the field. 

We turn, then, to the past to-day to quicken our grat- 
itude to God for his gift to us of those by whose labors 
and sacrifices the achievements of the present were made 
possible, and to draw inspiration from their example for 
greater conquests in the future. We will for awhile re- 
count the virtues of those whose day has gone down ; 
behold the serene beauty of sun-set skies and delight 
ourselves in the calm of the evening ; and then turn to 
the sunrise, and with the light of the morning upon our 
upturned faces, we will press forward in the work which 
the God of our fathers has given us to do. 

In the few moments allotted to me in this service, I 
am expected to speak of some personal reminiscences. 


Standing on this eminence of time, I look back upon a 
little more than half of the years of the century past. 
Fifty-two years ago this church opened its doors to me 
in baptism ; and during all the intervening changes of 
the intervening days, its hallowed, loving influence has 
been about me as an inspiration and a shield. Here, on 
this spot, it gave me ordination to the Christian ministry. 
The voices of most of those who participated in the ex- 
ercises are silent in death ; and yet how distinctly to me 
do those tones linger within these walls. Particularly 
do I recall the majestic bearing, the gray hairs resting 
as a crown of glory on his head, the fervid utterance, 
the firm grasp as he gave me the hand of fellowship, the 
tender glance of the eye, of Dr. DAvight Ives, a son of 
thunder in the pulpit, whose stern fidelity to righteous- 
ness repelled me when a student at SujflEield, but whose 
Johannean tenderness and purity and eagle vision of 
spiritual things completely won me in later years. Here, 
too, were held the peace-bringing funeral services of my 
honored father, whose dust reposes on yonder hill, which 
looks down on the city where he lived so long and which 
he loved so well. 

The form of the venerable Dr. Hawes, the Nestor of 
Connecticut Congregationalism of that time, appears 
vividly before me now as standing beside the dead, he 
uttered tender and appreciative words of his friend of 
many years. 

At the mention of the name of Dr. Hawes, who was 
a central figure of the Hartford of my childhood, the 
group of men and women who were then active members 
of this church rises before me. I seem to see their 


faces ; to be walking, a little boy, among them. Had I 
an artist's skill I might sketch the very form and features 
of many of them, so distinctly are they present to my 
imagination. General Sherman, in a recent address to 
his Ohio friends, is reported to have said, " It is chiefly 
the men and women with whom you associate in early 
life who have the greatest influence in the formation and 
making permanent of what your character shall after- 
ward be." Believing this to be true, I have reason for 
profound gratitude to God that my childhood was pass- 
ed among those of whom I have spoken. Simple in 
habits, pure in social life, of inflexible integrity, of high 
aims, of devout spirit, and speech seasoned with salt, 
religious without affectation, grave without austerity, no 
better men and women, I am persuaded, have ever lived. 
For here, let it be observed, we speak of no merely nat- 
ural excellencies of character, just as now we are not 
speaking of any merely natural organization. These 
men and women were grouped not in obedience to any 
merely natural impulse, not by merely social affinities, 
nor for any merely earthly ends. The profound signifi- 
cance of their fellowship is missed by any who may so 
think. First brought into fellowship with God, by the 
new, celestial birth of the Holy Spirit, they were inevi- 
tably drawn into fellowship with one another by the 
uniting power of their new life. Commuion with God 
preceded and made possible their communion with one 
another. And so the essential principles of true virtue, 
love to God as a righteous Father, and love to man as 
bearing the image of God, were the controlling princi- 
ples of their lives. 


There are, indeed, those who think that the religion 
of those days wore too sombre an aspect ; and that the 
more cheerful tone which it is made to assume, in some 
quarters, in our time renders it more attractive. Now 
it is true that life was not, then, regarded as a holiday 
affair ; nor were the cap and bells thought to be the 
proper equipment of a Christian. On the contrary, the 
tremendous issues which hang upon our earthly proba- 
tion were emphasized with tearful earnestness, and the 
sacred shadow of the Savior's cross and passion, endured 
for human redemption, subdued into reverent demeanor 
those who bore his name. A profound sense of sin and 
a correspondingly profound sense of the Savior's grace, 
for the two go hand in hand in an indissoluble wed- 
lock, gave to their experience that peculiar mingling 
of humility and peace, far removed from levity, on the 
one hand, and gloom, on the other, which distinguishes 
the Christian, more than anything else, from the man 
of the world. Now this aspect of religion, as presented 
to me in the communion of these saints, and in my 
Father's house, was never in any degree repellant. Far 
from it! If at any time my wayward spirit chafed 
against the restraints of such a spiritual atmosphere, I 
joyfull}^ acknowledge, what I very well knew then, that 
they were salutary. Deeper than any superficial and 
momentary antagonism awakened, was the irresistible 
and profound attraction which drew me. Those of you 
who have seen Murillo's Guardian Angel will remember 
that the angel is represented as grasping the hand of the 
child whom he is leading, meanwhile looking upon his 
charge with a countenance expressive of benignant solic- 


itude, and pointing upward with outstretched arm to 
the heavenly glory breaking through upon them. And 
so this church of my fathers, with which the sweet mem- 
ory of my childhood's home is inseparably united, ap- 
pears to me to have been the Guardian Angel of my 
infancy and youth. I sing with Addison, in view of 
this care of my heavenly Father: — 

" When in the slippery paths of youth, 
With heedless steps, I ran, 
Thine arm, unseen, conveyed me safe. 
And led me up to man." 

One influence must be mentioned which contributed 
largely to give a certain sternness of aspect to the reli- 
gion of the days of which we speak. A soldier who has 
faced death in the " imminent deadly breach" will bear 
a sterner visage than your carpet knight. These men 
and women were nurtured in the heroic days of Baptist 
history. If not themselves heroes, they had in their 
veins the blood of heroes. In their immediate ancestry, 
many of them had suffered spoliation of property, im- 
prisonment and social ostracism in the struggle for reli- 
gious liberty. How bitter that struggle was, what high 
qualities of manhood and womanhood were demanded 
for the triumph which crowned the struggle at last, we, 
of these days when we enjoy the peace which their 
sacrifices bought, can but faintly realize. The Baptist 
name was cast out as evil. That the Baptists should 
triumph seemed to many of the best Christians as the 
overthrow of Christianity itself. The sentiment of Dr. 
Increase Mather (1677), when he said, "I believe that 
antichrist hath not at this day a m^ore probable way to 


advance his kingdom of darkness than by a toleration of 
all religions and persuasions," was shared by the most of 
the best men of his generation. They believed that the 
union of church and state was according to the will of 
God : that the state should foster and support the church 
as essential to the purity and stability of the state. 
Baptists, on the other hand, demanded a total separation 
of church and state, not merely toleration of differing 
religious convictions. Toleration, they maintained, no 
earthly power may assume to grant, but absolute reli- 
gious liberty. This seemed to those who withstood them 
akin to atheism. , Hence they were opposed with all the 
decision and earnestness with which men who have 
sensitive consciences contend for that which is noblest 
and best. With equal earnestness they met that opposi- 
tion, and suffered, in many instances, the loss of prop- 
erty, reputation and liberty in their holy warfare. 
Amid the perils and hardships of such a warfare, men 
and women of the noblest mould were nurtured ; and we 
may well thank God on this centennial occasion that we 
can claim them as our ancestry in the faith. As illus- 
trating the suspicion with which Baptists were regarded 
by the majority, and as illustrating, also, the dawning 
of the better day in which we live, the following incident 
is worth recalling. Deacon John Bolles may, I suppose, 
be justly regarded as the father, under God, of this 
church. A Christian of remarkable devotion and without 
guile, he was withal a wise and persistent man. When 
he began his work of laying the foundations of the 
Baptist cause in this city, a zealous friend of the old 
order of things waited on the Rev. Dr. Strong, then 


pastor of the Center Congregational Church, and in- 
formed him, with great excitement, that John Bolles 
was attempting to ' ' set up a Baptist meeting in the 
city," as the informant phrased it. The good doctor 
did not seem as much alarmed as the self-appointed 
messenger thought he ought to be, and so exclaimed, in 
great heat, " What are you going to do about it?" The 
Wiseman answered, in quiet tones, " I know Deacon 
Bolles, and I am sure that if you and I get to heaven, we 
will surely find Deacon Bolles there ; and so I think we 
had better try to live on good terms with him here." 

The days when Baptists were under civil disabilities 
were long since passed in my childhood, nevertheless the 
old prejudices against them had still a vigorous life. It 
cost much, in many ways, to avow our distinctive prin- 
ciples. " I am glad that I am a Baptist," said Dr. Wes- 
ton, now president of Crozer Theological Seminary, to 
me on one occasion when we had been discussing our 
denominational history and work. Yes, I replied, but 
why? What thought is just now in your mind?" 
"This," he responded, "there is no body of men on 
earth in which there are so many who must say with 
Luther, in that supreme moment of his history, at 
Worms, ' Here I stand ; I cannot do otherwise. God 
help me! Amen.'" Among those whom I remember 
as having become Baptists in obedience to conscientious 
convictions in spite of the cost, was Mrs. James G. Bolles. 
She always bore the impress of that nobility of character 
which such a moral sacrifice as that which she made 
always gives. Of vigorous intellect, well trained and 
well informed, a heart sensitive to the highest motives, 


and a will capable of resistance or aggression, she was a 
woman of great influence in the church to which duty 
bound her. Her special service to the church, as I re- 
member her, was as teacher of the infant class in the 
Sunday-school. I shall never cease to thank God for 
her instruction and influence. I do not recollect that 
she devoted herself to the amusement of her pupils. But 
she did that which was far better, she won our respect 
and our undying affection in that she brought us to 
Christ and Christ to us, impressing our young minds 
with moral and spiritual truths which have ever since 
asserted their saving power. "Thou God seest me," 
was the legend on one of the cards hanging upon the 
walls of that sacred room, to which her presence lent its 
peculiar charm. Never shall I forget the awe with 
which, a very little boy, I pondered those words, and 
took into my soul one of the first and most important 
lessons in theology which I have ever learned. When 
inexorable time compelled me to graduate from her care, 
it brought a sorrow of which I have still a keen recollec- 
tion. Those of you who remember our former house of 
worship, afterward the Jewish synagogue, know that 
the infant class was held in a small room behind the pul- 
pit of the vestry. It was customary for the graduating 
class to pass out in procession in the presence of the 
older scholars assembled in the vestry. And so with 
reluctant steps I went out with tears, I will not say as 
one leaving Paradise, but one of the dearest spots I have 
known on earth. Looking back and weighing well the 
influences which came upon me there, and which, like 
ministering spirits, have continued with me more 


than half a century, I am constrained to say that my 
tears were justified. The feet of how many little pilgrims 
were put on the way to the celestial city by that saintly 
woman's ministry, eternity only will reveal. Happy 
they who follow in her steps ! 

While I speak of her, a group of Christian women 
seems to gather about me, as when the Mothers'-meeting, 
as it was called, assembled in the house of some one of 
their number. Some of the little children attended these 
meetings. Each boy sat on a stool or hassock beside his 
mother, while hymns were sung, the Scriptures read, 
prayers offered, and loving counsels given. My first 
deep impression that I was a sinner, needing renewing 
grace, came upon me when I heard my mother, in that 
circle of godly women, with gentle voice, pleading with 
God for my conversion. These mothers had a beautiful 
custom of presenting to each child upon its leaving the 
circle, a parting letter written by their secretary, then 
Mrs. James G. Bolles, full of wise and affectionate coun- 
sels. These letters were very highly prized by the 
children. The letter given to me was kept for many 
years, and often perused with abiding interest. Who 
can doubt that the Mothers'-meetings were a part of that 
wisdom of the past which the present may imitate with 
profit. The often-quoted remark of the late Archbishop 
Hughes, of the Roman Church, of New York, "Give me 
the first five years of a child's life, and I care not who 
has the remaining years," cannot be too carefully pon- 
dered. It will always be true, as Milton sings. 

' The childhood shows the 
As morning shows the day. 



The religious influences which encompassed my early 
years found their natural result in my baptism at the age 
of ten. As vivid as if the time were yesterday are the 
scenes of that, to me, memorable day. The Rev. Dr. 
Henry Jackson was then pastor of the church. He was 
a man of commanding presence the very personification 
of pastoral benignity. As I timidly put my feet into 
the water to descend into the baptistery he took me in 
his arms, and said, ''We believe in infant baptism," 
after a pause adding, "upon profession of faith." Then 
he asked, " Henry," dost thou believe in the Lord Jesus 
Christ with all thine heart?" Upon my responding, 
" I do," he baptized me into the name of the Father, 
Son and Holy Ghost. The church was then in the midst 
of one of the precious revivals in its history. It was 
such a work of grace as should be expected under the 
ministry of such a man as Dr. Jackson. The impres- 
sion which in my boyhood I had received of his singular 
piety, of his integrity clear as the sun, of his skill as a 
spiritual leader, was confirmed by the intimacy of those 
years when I was associated with him as colleague pas- 
tor of the Central church in Newport, R. I. As a faith- 
ful under-shepherd of Christ's flock, I do not see how he 
could be surpassed : certainly few have been his equals. 
Although always mindful of the dignity of his office, 
there was in the discharge of his sacred duties a remark- 
able absence of everything which savored of officialism, of 
insincerity in the pulpit or out of it. The reason of this 
may be found, perhaps, in the clearness of his experi- 
ence of the grace of God in his conversion. His faith 
stood not in the wisdom of men but in the power of 


God. He was to his heart's core a believer in Jesus 
Christ. He knew whom he believed. This inward per- 
suasion of the truth of Christianity which never wavered, 
distinguished him from many of his associates. During 
one period of his service, he had a neighbor in the min- 
istry who was a man of learning, a genial friend, a good 
preacher, and in the judgment of charity a Christian. 
Nevertheless he was somewhat self-indulgent, not pro- 
foundly moved by the truths he preached, a favorite of 
rich men of convivial habits, popular as a man of the 
world among men. Some one well-acquainted with both, 
having been, one day, asked which of them he liked the 
better, replied, '' At a dinner-party, Dr. C. ; if I were 
on my death-bed, Henry Jackson." The skill and de- 
votion of Dr. Jackson as pastor were admirably supple- 
mented by the skill and devotion of his wife, Mrs. Maria 
T. Jackson. And the gracious results which attended his 
pastorate here were the fruit of their joint labors. The 
beginning of the revival during which I came into the 
church was marked by the special power of the Holy 
Ghost. My honored father was in the pulpit of the 
vestry with Dr. Jackson at an evening prayer-meeting. 
Both were impressed during the progress of the meeting 
that there was something unusual in the spiritual atmos- 
phere. After a moment's interchange of thoughts, Dr. 
Jackson rose and expressed his conviction that the Spirit 
of God was moving in an unusual manner upon the 
hearts of those present, and called for expression of 
thought and feeling, suggesting that each one should 
speak to the one nearest him. In a few moments in all 
parts of the room were persons kneeling in prayer, sin- 


ners convicted of sin and Christians pleading- with God 
for mercy. It was at once a Bochim and a place of joy. 
Tears of repentance were exchanged for songs of deliv- 
erance. Although I was but a child, the impressions of 
that hour have never faded from my mind. The work 
so begun went forward with accelerated power, and the 
effect of it remains in the church to this day. It was a 
time of the right hand of the Most High. 

But I must cease to weary you with these thronging; 
memories. Time will not permit me to speak of those 
whom I knew here in subsequent years. Most of them 
now worship in the upper Temple. Many are still bear- 
ing the burdens and enjoying the benefits of your fellow- 
ship, the touch of whose hands and the sight of whose 
faces make me young again, and quickens the hope of 
that enduring reunion, where 

" Those who meet shall part no more, 
And those long parted meet again." 

May those who shall fill these places in the coming 
years never forget that there is but one Rock upon 
which a living church can be founded, even Jesus Christ : 
that a regenerated membership alone can constitute a 
Baptist church, and that baptism is worse than an empty 
ceremony unless it is a veritable symbol of the death to- 
sin and resurrection to newness of life of him who sub- 
mits to it. 



By the Rev. Geo. M. Stone, D. D. 

I wish first to do what I have never had occasion to do 
before under circumstances so favorable, to pay my 
tribute of thanksgiving to this church for its personal 
influence over myself. Mr. Bronson was kind enough 
this afternoon, in his article on the history of the Sun- 
day-school, to include myself among those who were 
once members of the Sunday-school. And it was an en- 
tirely legitimate and proper thing that he should do so. 
The hinge of my life I found in Hartford. By a strange, 
truly mysterious Providence, coming from the First Bap- 
tist church in Cleveland, as a member of the Sunday- 
school, but not yet a member of the church, and not yet 
decided fully as to my place in the church of Christ, I 
came to Hartford, as I learned afterward to decide that 
important point. I shall never forget one or two cir- 
cumstances. I came here to the house of a relative, in 
which I found boarding several members of this church. 
It is to the honor and credit of this church that those 
persons, in those days, made religion a subject of con- 
versation at the table. I am quite sure I shall bring a 
smile to your faces when I tell you of my own igno- 
rance of religious things at that time. The topic the 



first day of my visit to my friends was, the doctrine of 
election. I well remember the intensity of feeling- with 
which those young men discussed that topic. As the 
discussion began, so ignorant was I at that time of any 
subjects of this kind, that the thought came instinctively 
to my mind, I wonder when this election is going to 
take place ! And I was exceedingly interested in the 
coming political canvas. But just for a moment, and 
then I found that they were discussing- the profoundest 
of Christian doctrines. 

You will allow me to mention the names of a few per- 
sons then in the church, some of whom remain, and 
some have fallen asleep, who impressed me particularly 
at that time: James G. Bolles, Deacon Smith, Deacon 
Braddock, Edward Bolles, J. W. Dimock, Carlos Glazier, 
W. S. Bronson, H. H. Barbour, James L. Howard. 
There was an individuality among these men, and a 
peculiar type of Christian character, which led not to my 
decision on the subject of Christianity; I had decided 
that before, but it led to my decision to cast in my lot 
with the Baptist church, a decision which I have never 
since had occasion to regret. 

But I have another reason for gratitude to this mother 
church. I happen to be the guardian of her youngest 
daughter, eighteen years of age ; a sprightly maiden, in 
the bloom and beauty of her youth. And I want to say 
that, although not all the members of that church came 
from this church, that a word spoken by a gentleman 
who sits near me upon the platform was the decisive 
word in its organization. I want to thank both the South 
and the First church for this fact, that I have had so 
little trouble with this young lady, and that I have found 


her so attractive. Indeed, it makes me young again to 
think of her ! 

There are a few personal memories connecting myself 
with Dr. Robert Turnbull, to which, at this tender, and 
to me, holy hour, I should be personally gratified to give 

In the ministry of Christ, I am, in a sense, a grand- 
son of Dr. Turnbull. Dr. TurnbuU's first pastorate m 
this country, in 1833 was at Danbury, Connecticut, He 
had come fresh from Scotland ; fresh from the instruc- 
tion of Dr. Chalmers, of Edinburgh, having previously 
graduated from the University of Glasgow. He came to 
be pastor in the old church of which I afterwards became 
pastor, and where I remained for seven years, in Dan- 
bury. It may interest this audience to know that the 
Danbury church was organized in the same year as this 
church, and only about three weeks later. And I hope 
soon to share with the dear brethren in Danbury in the 
centennial of that old church, which I had the honor to 
serve in my maiden pastorate. 

Dr. Turnbull, as I said, was my grandfather, in the 
ministry. He went from Danbury to Detroit, Michigan, 
where was his second pastorate, in this country. 

On an evening ever-to-be remembered by some of us, 
a godless young man came into Dr. TurnbuU's church ; 
he came to scoff, but retired to pray. An arrow from 
the quiver of the Almighty God and the redeeming 
Savior found its way to the heart of J. Hyatt Smith, in 
that young city on the frontier. And that arrow was 
aimed, under God, by the master hand of Robert Turn- 
bull. J. Hyatt Smith bowed that evening in prayer. 


and very soon felt the call to the Christian ministry. 
Years afterward a young man in Cleveland, not unlike 
in the spirit in which he went, though not positively to 
scoff, found an arrow from the quiver in the hand of 
J. Hyatt Smith, and he bowed to Christ. And thus I am 
connected in a mysterious and ineffably sacred wa}'- with 
Dr. Robert Turnbull. On the occasion of my ordina- 
tion he preached my ordination sermon. 

Mr. Hozvard : " Will not Brother Stone tell the audi- 
ence the name of that young man who was converted in 
Cleveland? I think it Avould be interesting to them." 

Dr. Stone: "I prefer to be excused. You know in 
olden times they used to stone people to death, and I do 
not wish to inflict any such punishment upon this audi- 
ence as to Stone them to death." 

Dr. Turnbull was very fortunate in his antecedents. 
He belonged to a race of theologians. He had a strong, 
incisive and Scottish mind. Give me a Scotchman, if 
you want to go down to the depths of Christian experi- 
ence or doctrine. There are no men, not even the 
Germans, who go to the very roots of theology as these 
men do. And think of the time in which Turnbull was 
educated. Think of that wonderful period of theological 
history between 1830 and 1840, when more people were 
aroused, than in any other decade of the century, and I 
was about to say, any other century until we get back to 
the Christian era. Think of the men under the shadow 
of whose influence Dr. Turnbull came ! Think of the 
life of Thos. Chalmers ! Dr. Turnbull sat at the feet of 
Chalmers, with Robt. McCheyne, that flaming light, the 
symbol on whose escutcheon, if he had one, would have 


been a burning heart ! With such men was Dr. Turn- 
bull associated. No wonder that he came to this new 
land with the momentum of mighty truth beliind him. 
He was a man of great intellectual force. He united 
pure thinking with a life that was consistent. He had a 
mind that could crystallize truth. He could take a clear 
view of a subject. I remember a sermon I heard him 
preach away back in those days. I sometimes get a good 
deal discouraged about the sermons I preach myself, 
when I remember how many I have forgotten. The 
sermon was on this text: "When Israel was a child, 
then I loved him." It was on the simplicity, the child- 
like spirit, as characterized in a Christian life. I could 
not forget that sermon. And then I remember the flavor 
of humor in Dr. Turnbull ; it was very pleasant. I re- 
member, at my house, he was telling of a visit he had 
made to his old home in Scotland, His father was then 
living. He said he had forgotten the custom of giving 
thanks at the close of the meal, as well as asking a bless- 
ing at the beginning, an old Scottish custom which is 
still kept up in some parts of that country. Dr. Turn- 
bull sat down, as usual, by the side of his father, an old 
man, bending with the weight of years, the Doctor now 
a man well-known in this country and an author, whose 
books had gone back to his native land. Well, he said 
when they had finished, he saw that they lingered. But, 
being somewhat in a hurry, he drew back to leave the 
table. The old man immediately turned and caught 
hold of the back of the chair, as if Robert was still a boy 
at home, and pushed him up to the table, saying, " No, 
no, you're no' doon' yet ! An' will you please to give 


thanks to Almighty God ! " And then they were ' ' doon ! " 
The way in which he told this story gave it a flavor of 
humor, which manifestly was as serviceable in the afflic- 
tions and difficulties of the pastorate, as the same gift 
of humor was to Abraham Lincoln. 

His consecration ; what shall I say of that ? There is 
one thing that lingers in the memories of a great many 
families of this city connected with the personal ministry 
of Dr. Turnbull. It was his custom, as he came into 
houses where infants were, to consecrate them with 
his own hands. It is not appropriate for everybody to 
do that. We are sometimes, as pastors, charged with 
indifference to child-life. When Dr. Turnbull came 
where the babe was sleeping innocently, he went to the 
cradle, and putting his soft hands upon it, consecrated it 
to Almighty God. 

This place is not too sacred to draw the curtain upon 
his closing moments, and to go quietly, softly, as tread- 
ing on holy ground, to the death-bed of Dr. Turnbull. 
He turns to his daughter, and says in faint whispers, 
''There are two things that I have tried to arrange, in 
view of my going away. One was the preparation to die. 
But I find, to my surprise, that there is no preparation 
for me to make !" As another said concerning the river, 
"Why, there is no river here ! It is a dry bed, like that 
over which the children of Israel passed, as the waters 
went out of sight and were lost in the Red sea !" ' ' One 
thing more," he said;. " I have not sufficiently used the 
Word of God." " Why," said she, "Father, you were 
always reading it ! " "Oh," said he, "it is my regret 
that I have not used it more!" And so there passed a 
mighty spirit up to join the hosts of God's elect. 

Monday Evening, 






The American side of our planet seems to have struck 
a centennial belt, and all things which have survived the 
full period must needs have their day of celebration. But 
when we consider what has been accomplished for man- 
kind during the past hundred years, it is fitting that we 
do celebrate, and it is fitting that we revive and revere 
the memories of the fathers and the mothers who founded 
this church, and died in its service and its communion. 
But, as that filial duty has already been well noticed by 
others, I shall take a little broader survey of the field, to 
the end that we may revive and consider the fundamen- 
tal principles which not only led to the organization of 
this church, but of all other Christian churches of what- 
ever creed or denomination. 

We may look forward also to the close of another cen- 
tury, which will bring us very near to the end of the 
second millennium since the advent of Christ, and antic- 
ipate the signs of the times. 

This church is but one of the various sectaries, whose 
only reason for existence consists in receiving and giving 
the sublime truths which our Lord taught to his disciples. 


He came as a minister of peace, and the herald of good 
tidings to all men. But his coming sharpened the sword 
of Jewish and Pagan persecution for the destruction of 
all who then believed and worshipped in his name. 

To have been a Christian in the time of Christ, or in 
the most enlightened days of Greece and Rome, was to 
be crucified, to be torn by lions, or burned for the 
amusement of a Pagan mob. To have been anything else 
fifteen hundred years later, or even to have questioned the 
dogmas promulgated by the church for sectarian and 
secular ends, was exposure to the rack of the flames. 

Those prophetic words, " / came not to send peace but a 
sivord,'' have proven to be true in all ages. The disciples 
did not fully understand their meaning. The Gnostics or 
the hnoioing ones of the second and third centuries did not 
understand them. And the Agnostics or know-not Jiings of 
the nineteenth century cannot understand them. To 
one they have always been a stumbling-block, and to 
the other foolishness. 

But so it has been in all Christian lands for more than 
eighteen hundred years, that for Christ's sake, " a man's 
foes should be they of his own household," setting family 
against family, community against community, nation 
against nation, and all for the service of God. 

The bitterest of all persecutions have been led by 
one sect of misguided Christians against another sect 
better than themselves, and for no other reason than 
teaching and believing in Christ and him crucified, 
without adherence to the dominant creed. 

Thank God that the art of printing and common-sense 
have brought us into a larger liberty. The sword has 


been verily "beaten into a plow-share," and "the 
spear has become a pruning hook." We can now 
wrangle until we are tired over the doctrines of origi- 
nal or unpardonable sin without sinning. We can dis- 
agree as to the doctrines of election, reprobation, tran- 
substantiation, and consubstantiation, and be neither 
the worse nor the wiser therefor. The early fathers did 
so before us, and the children will do so after us, and 
nobody will be hurt any more. Those who will, may 
baptize their infant children, and satisfy their consciences 
for having performed a sacred duty ; while those who 
will not, need have no fear of persecution in this world, 
nor of the linibits infantum in the next. 

Numerous questions both of faith and doctrine which 
are deemed essential by some, and non-essential by 
others, cannot be settled. The arguments on both sides 
are based on the same evidence. Constantine the Great 
determined to have them settled in his day, that he 
might have a little peace among his Christian subjects. 
And he ordered the great council of Nicaea for that pur- 
pose. He succeeded in suppressing public discussion for 
a time, but he could not stop men's thinking. And the 
questions remained, as they were, unsettled. The fires 
of the stake, the Inquisition, the anathemas of Popes, 
and worse than all, the odium theologicum of latter days, 
have all been hurled at the poor heretics who dared to 
think, and dared to speak their own opinions. The most 
terrible of all cruelties, and the most painful of all tor- 
tures, were invented as the proper means of converting 
the world to the doctrines of Christianity. 

But we have lived to see all these things changed ; 


and those instruments of torture now hang in historical 
museums, bearing swift witness to the reign of bigotry, 
cruelty and ignorance. 

The printing press, the spelling book and the Yankee 
schoolmasters, have done more for civil and religious 
freedom than the thirty-nine articles have accomplished 
since the reign of Elizabeth. The printed book, which costs 
but a trifle in the nineteenth century, has done more for 
the spread of the gospel than all the mediaeval cathedrals 
which cost hundreds of millions. The chained Bibles in 
the middle ages could not be read by the people, and 
they could not be properly explained either by priest or 
bishop. Reading and thinking in those days were crimes 
punishable by brutal magistrates who could neither read 
for others nor think for themselves. 

The Pilgrims and the Puritans came to New England 
for freedom to worship God. But the freedom they sought 
for themselves they denied to others. They were Dis- 
senters who could not tolerate dissension. They were 
Christians who hewed so close to the line that the line 
was cut away with the chips. They believed in witch- 
craft, persecuted Quakers, and drove the Baptists into 
the wilderness because they preferred to be dipped in a 
river rather than sprinkled from a basin. 

When the doors of the Puritans were closed against 
Roger Williams, he received food and shelter in the 
wigwams of the North American savage. The hospital- 
ity and humanity of the savage were in striking contrast 
with the bigotry and cruelty of the Puritans. Williams 
negotiated a treaty of peace between the Indians and the 
colony of Massachusetts, and thereby saved the colony. 


But, notwithstanding that the Puritans would not re- 
voke the decree for his banishment. 

The Indians, whose chief was Massasoit, allowed him 
to settle by the banks of the Moshassuck river, where he 
bought land and erected an altar to God. He called the 
name of the place Providence, and Providence it has 
been called unto this day. 

Bancroft, the historian, bears willing witness to the 
fact that Roger Williams was the first person in modern 
Christendom to assert the doctrine of perfect freedom for 
every man's conscience, and the equality of his opinions 
before the law. We now celebrate the triumph of that 
doctrine, which is perhaps more firmly planted in the 
American heart than any other. And yet the continuing 
diversity of opinion in matters of conscience leads Christ- 
ian men into singular necessities, for even now Protest- 
ants are protesting against the Protestantism of Cramner, 
Knox and Ridley, and their creeds are being revised to 
suit the demand of the times. The Puritans have been 
purified out of their own name and place. The Refor- 
mation inaugurated by Martin Luther is still subject to 
the reforming hands of the Reformers. Dissenters are 
dissenting from Dissenters. The Separatists have separ- 
ated from each other until there is nothing left to separ- 
ate. Even the modern Baptists are not yet at one on 
the questions of open and close communion, the Lord's 
day, and other points more or less essential. And yet 
all these are looking, hoping, and praying for the con- 
version of all nations to the Christian religion, and the 
final destruction of anti-christ. Meantime, men of 
science challenge the unscientific treatment of all religions 
and of all doctrines. 


With lamps borrowed from foolish virgins, they are 
seeking for the infinite where all else is finite ; their 
lights having gone out, they deny what they cannot see. 
So also the believer who stands in the sun-light of faith 
asserts and believes what he cannot prove by any evi- 
dence which is acceptable to the scientific mind. 

The man of science, accustomed to the investigation 
of material forces and the phenomena of nature, recog- 
nizes and admits the laws by which these forces and 
phenomena are governed, but he denies the existence of 
the Law-giver, because he cannot penetrate the source of 
his power, nor comprehend the beginning of his works, 
akvays forgetting th.3l the God he seeks, if limited to the 
utmost comprehension of the human faculties, could by 
no possibility exceed in knowledge the ambitious worm 
who would fain know all that God knows, and thus be- 
come a god himself. Or, on the other hand, he would 
discover a god no greater than a worm. 

In the current literature of the day, Robert Ellsmere 
sits paralyzed and speechless before the Sphinx of Ger- 
man philosophy, which mocks at his devotion to human- 
ity, unsettles his faith, fascinates him with a depth of 
learning and logic which he can neither answer nor 
make use of, and drives him from his holy vocation. 

John Ward, preacher, whose iron-clad Puritanism for- 
bids all philosophic or scientific investigation which 
threatens his creed, shrivels his soul to the compass of 
a religious fanatic and a domestic fiend, reflecting 
nothing which bears resemblance to Christianity, but 
shows us a mistaken idea of Calvinism without Christ- 
ianity, and drives a faithful wife from his door for the 


discipline of her soul, because she cannot understand his 

Scientific sceptics place the theologies of modern times 
in the same class with the mythologies of ancient Greece 
and Rome, and deny everything which cannot be demon- 
strated by philosophy, nor analyzed by chemistry. 

Professor Tyndall even proposed to test the efficacy of 
prayer, by a contest between prayer and medicine, in 
the wards of a public hospital. 

From Voltaire to IngersoU, like the "crackling of 
thorns under a pot," v/e have seen repeated assaults 
made upon the bulwarks of Christianity without success. 

They have demonstrated the errors and the folly of 
the British Parliament in fixing by public statute the 
precise day of creation and the chronology of the world, 
which is no part of the Scriptures. They have demon- 
strated that all claims made to the verbal inspiration of 
the Scriptures are without foundation or authority. 
But who cares? Christianity is not dependent upon 
any of these things, nor yet upon any of the creeds or 
doctrines w^hich have been invented by men. 

Christ said to Matthew "follow me;" and he arose 
and followed him.. These two words were Matthew's 
creed. They were enough for Matthew, and they are 
enough for all who come after him. On these two words, 
obedience to the command, Christianity has stood, and 
will forever stand. 

We celebrate then not merely the survival of this 
particular church for the full period of an hundred years, 
but the survival of the Christian religion, which is the 
greatest boon to our common humanity, and the greatest 


of all powers for the present and future happiness of 

Let us hope, then, that when this church is called 
upon to celebrate its next centennial, it will be able to 
rejoice in the complete union of all Christian believers of 
whatever sect, creed or denomination, for the pure and 
simple work of extending the blessings of Christianity 
to all men. 

Let us hope that all sectarianism, and all differences 
of opinion, will disappear in the presence of the Lord's 
table, so that no ministering servants of God will then 
spread a table in the name of the Lord and presume to 
deny or fail to invite any of his children to the sacra- 
ment, lest by so judging they may themselves be judged. 
Even Judas was invited to be present at the last supper. 
He was unworthy, and known to be unworthy, but no 
one shut the door against him. He ate the passover, 
betrayed his Master, and then went to his own place. It 
is not pleasant to think that a modern Judas .like his 
ancient prototype may dip his hand in the dish and be- 
tray the innocent blood, but the church has not been 
made a tribunal for his judgment before the fact. 

If, then, I am thus found to be a dissenter from some 
of the tenets of our own church, I am not a seceder, and 
I propose to stand by the brethren, if they will let me, 
until they are converted, or until I am converted, of 
which event there seems to be very little hope of success 
on either side within the time left to us by the tables of 
mortality. For a genuine hard-shell Baptist, despite all 
arguments, will insist upon his point, even though it 
leads him into deep water. 


Why is it, may we ask, that the religions of Brahma, 
Mahomet and Buddha, • still stand in the presence of 
Christianity ? Is it because the simple truths of the New 
Testament have been weighed down with dogmas, doc- 
trines and creeds, which have grown out of the sectarian, 
party spirit of Christianity ? Is it because the inventions, 
the imaginations and the pride of men, have supple- 
mented the primitive methods, until man-made rituals 
and doctrines have supplanted the original methods of 
the New Testament? 

Christianity is not the religion for a sect, nor yet for a 
race, but for all mankind. And it only needs to be puri- 
fied in the original crucible, and separated from the 
additions of men, to become the religion of the world, 
even as the waters cover the sea. 

The extermination of slavery as a pseudo-christian 
institution has been accomplished within the century 
which we now celebrate, and in that we recognize the 
leaven of Christianity. It required the use of the sword 
which Christ prophesied to his disciples, but it has made 
an highway for those who bear the olive-branch and 
preach the gospel of peace. 

The physical discoveries and the accomplishments of 
science during the same period, have multiplied the 
means and increased the power of truth a thousandfold. 
The fetters have been stricken from the image of God, 
and placed upon the wild forces of nature, which are 
subdued and made to obey the voice of man. The mad 
lightnings have been harnessed to a wire, and made to 
carry swift messages over continents and under the waves 
of the ocean, annihilating both space and time. The 


steam-engine, and the iron-clad fleets of the sea, are 
made to gather and distribute from zone to zone the 
products of all lands. The great circle of the earth is 
traversed in a few days by an unattended maiden as a 
matter of pastime, and our daily newspapers make record 
of current events in all nations. The hemispheres, the 
islands of the sea and all the inhabitants of the earth, 
are being linked together for a common purpose. And 
now while we celebrate, let us indulge in the hope that 
the conflict between science and religion may be recon- 
ciled, and not driven still further apart by the false as- 
sumption that the truths of one are not the truths of the 
other. Dr. Shields has happily expressed the hope " that 
science will not offend the oracle it would consult by an 
irreverent spirit, and that religion will not repel the in- 
telligence it would claim by any irrational process." 

It will be for coming generations to continue the great 
struggle for the triumph of truth. It will be theirs to 
reap from the good seed which has been sown, and they 
will have an abundant harvest if they cultivate all fields 
which are watered by the fountains of science, and 
ripened in the sunlight of righteousness. 

I find my subject altogether too large for my time, but 
it is a first-class beginning for the coming century. I 
am not able even to touch the interesting theme which 
covers the social and political results of Christianity. It 
is enough to say that the subjection of the church to state 
government failed with the experiment of Constantine in 
the third century ; that the subjection of the state to 
church government failed with the experiment of Gre- 
gory the Vllth upon Henry the IVth in the tenth cen- 


tury ; that the union of church and state failed with the 
Puritan conflict and the experiment of the English Par- 
liament in the sixteenth century, in its effort to build up 
the kingdom of God by violence and bloodshed. 

The Revolution of 1688, which dethroned the Stuarts, 
gave to England constitutional liberty and the Protest- 
ant religion. The act of toleration, which followed in 
1689, gave protection to all non-conformists who could 
subscribe thirty-five and a half of the thirty-nine articles. 

Dr. Schaff shows us that although Puritanism ' ' failed 
as a national movement, it was not in vain, for it pro- 
duced statesmen like Hampden, soldiers like Cromwell, 
preachers like Howe and Owen, dreamers like Bunyan, 
hymnists like Watts, commentators like Henry, and 
saints like Baxter." 

It was reserved, however; for Roger Williams to 
emancipate the church and make it a pure democracy. 
And to him Gervinus, the celebrated German Professor, 
pays the deserved compliment of being the leader and 
founder of this great movement. Gervinus says : ' ' There 
was founded in Rhode Island a small new society upon 
principles of entire liberty of conscience and the uncon- 
trolled power of the majority in secular concerns. These 
institutions have not only maintained themselves, but 
have spread over the whole union. They have super- 
seded the aristocratic commencement of Carolina and 
New York, the high-church party in Virginia, the theo- 
cracy in Massachusetts, and the monarchy throughout 
America. They have given laws to one quarter of the 
globe. And, dreaded for their moral influence, they 


stand in the background of every democratic struggle in 

Nothing is more interesting in the eventful history of 
the church than the remarkable extent to which great 
and good men have suffered their minds to become 
warped by religious prejudice. 

Richard Baxter, the pious author of ' ' The Saints' 
Everlasting Rest," verily believed that converts admit- 
ted to the church by immersion would not live out half 
their days. He, therefore, declared it to be a "sin, 
which is akin to murder, for it would surely induce apo- 
plexy, lethargy, palsy, phthisis, debility, colic, convul- 
sions, spasms, fevers, and the whole catalogue of hepatic, 
splenetic, pulmonic and hypochondriac diseases, of 
which there is enough already. In short, he exclaimed, 
it is of no use except to dispatch men out of the world 
who are burdensome to society, and to fill up the church- 
yards." If Baxter was right, the applicant for life in- 
surance should be promptly rejected, if the medical 
examination discloses baptism by immersion. 

It is certainly to be hoped that Baxter's prognosis of 
" the everlasting rest" was based on better evidence and 
a wiser judgment than his fear of death by coming into 
bodily contact with cold water. 

Let it be ours then to celebrate the emancipation of 
the church from the tyranny of the state, and the eman- 
cipation of the state from the tyranny of the church. 

Let it be ours also to celebrate the emancipation of 
Christianity from the tyranny of the saints. 




Pastor of the Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Hartford. 

Great and blessed in the church is the office of memory. 
This we feel on all occasions like the present when 
what to us is a long past comes up in review in the light 
of the divine and spiritual elements that mingle with 
our human life, and when in consequence those affections 
that are most refined, most sacred, most precious, most 
enduring, are quickened to an unwonted degree and as- 
sert their incomparable sway over our spirits. We see 
that the ministry of Christian memory supplements the 
ministry of Christian hope, and is sweetly blended with it. 

Memory, anyway, is full of service to us. It is one of 
our wisest teachers. How does it winnow the contents 
of experience, separating the wheat from the chaff! 
When old Jacob, about to die in Egypt, turned his eyes 
back over the course of the years behind him, two things, 
you will recall, emerged upon the vision of his retro- 
spect^ " God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz, in the 
land of Canaan, and blessed me." That was one. " And 
(he continued) as for me, when I came from Padan, 
Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan, in the way, 
when yet there was but a little way to come unto Eph- 


rath, and I buried her there." . . That was the other. 
God's mercy and domestic love. They only remained. 
All the rest was unsubstantial, evanescent. Memory, 
too, is a chief defence of the religious heart against its 
fears. It is the handmaid of faith. It was so in the 
ancient days. " O, my God (cried David), my soul is 
cast down within me : therefore will I remember thee 
from the land of Jordan and of the Hermonites, from 
the hill Mizar." It is so in the gospel age. "Having 
eyes see ye not, and having ears hear ye not ; and do ye 
not remember?" said our Lord to the disciples while he 
was with them. And departing he made his dying bequest 
to them and to the church forever, the sacrament of 
memory. Nor, though St. Paul had it for his principle 
in one sense to forget the things behind, and to reach 
forth unto the things before, did he ever cease to keep 
in mind the man he knew of who was once caught up 
into the third heaven. 

But there is a gift in the hand of memory that I think 
a festival in Zion like this at which we are gathered 
brings into peculiar prominence, viz., the gift of what 
we may call the pozvcr of transfigiLration. What do I 
mean by that? This. That out of the past, as it is un- 
covered by the reminiscence that is characteristic of such 
a celebration, out of its history, its many histories, out 
of its reopened record of the men and women, and of 
the events of former generations, there arises a light that 
shines upon the present, and that shining upon the pres- 
ent puts another and a better construction upon it, clothes 
it with another and worthier, yes, and juster aspect than 
that in which we are wont to see it. 


It is easy for us to discern the evil face of our own 
time. There is no institution of society whatsoever that 
viewed from the standpoint of a contemporaneous ob- 
server, does not disclose features of blemish and infirm- 
ity whereby it is inevitably more or less discredited. Nor 
is the Christian church any exception to this rule. 
Rather it affords in the very nature of the case the most 
conspicuous illustration of it. All her points lie open to 
scrutiny, and are emphasized by the ideals she professes 
and proclaims. And none are so sensitive to their ex- 
posure, none perceive them so clearly or feel their re- 
proach so keenly, as her own children. She is our dear 
mother, and we love her and believe in her, but we 
cannot help often being ashamed of her. 

But, as I have said, she is not the only example of the 
same. One who judges the republic of these United 
States mainly on the evidence of to-day's politics, as we 
are always tempted to do, will find himself thinking, and 
not without some reason in appearances, that it is a poor 
affair. It is when on Memorial Day we return from 
decorating the graves of ten thousand heroes who gave 
their lives that the government ' ' of the people by the 
people for the people might not perish," or when we 
pause to survey the annals of the century that has elapsed 
since the inauguration of the nation's first president, or 
when we go with the multitude to dedicate the Pilgrim 
Monument in Plymouth ; it is, I repeat, when the 
horizon of our view is on that wise extended so as to 
cause what is to be contemplated in the light of what 
has been, that we say, " Great is this republic of ours, 
and glorious, the best government under which men 


live, the best the world has known!" And that is an 
instance of what I have termed the transfiguring power 
of memory. Who will deny that it gives a true sight? 

Very frequently it determines the eyes with which 
we regard individuals. For a good many years after I 
came to live in this city, and till a comparatively short 
time ago, I was accustomed, whenever I was in New 
York, to call on a man residing there, who was well 
advanced in age, an invalid and a paralytic. Many were 
the hours I talked with him. Our conversation usually 
ran in rather commonplace channels. What he said 
was nothing in particular. He uttered no very great 
thoughts, or very noble sentiments. In fact, he was 
considerably broken in body and mind. Yet again and 
again, as I sat and looked at him, I would feel myself 
thrilling from head to foot, as no eloquence could thrill 
me. For, you must know, he was my old general, Joseph 
Hooker, and I was recalling other days when I had seen 
him a central figure in grand historic scenes. I was re- 
membering mornings of battle and evenings of victory. 
I was seeing him again enveloped in the smoke of 
Williamsburg. I was hearing again the cheers of the 
twenty thousand soldiers of his division which rang to 
the skies when he rode by that awful day at Fredericks- 
burg. It would come back to me exactly how he looked ; 
what a picture of valor he was : how magnificent he ap- 
peared. These were the things that filled my thoughts, 
and they transfigured him to me. There is this law of 
transfiguration. It works by various means and to 
various effects. But its agent-in-chief is memory, and 
in its happiest working, religious mempry, that sort of 


memory with which this Christian church is in these pas- 
sing hours walking hand in hand and communing heart 
to heart, whereby the church is seen to have been, and 
to be, without controversy, identified with all that is 
most pure and noble in human experience, the repository 
and the representative of the most beneficent influences 
that are the leaven of good in the world's life. 

It is some years ago now since I was present at an oc- 
casion like this in the ancient church of my native town. 
But I retain a vivid impression of how sweetly and with 
what power the resurrection of the past with which it 
was attended caused this reality to appear. There, as 
here, by one and another speaker, scenes and events 
long gone by were brought to mind ; rich treasures of 
holy recollection. They spoke of the old pastors and 
officers of the church, of good men and women, shining 
saints in their time, but many and many a year sleeping 
in the dust, and almost forgotten on earth ; of glorious 
seasons of revival and wonderful works of grace in 
former generations. "I remember the day, though I 
was but a child," said one, his voice tremulous with age, 
' ' when my father and mother and near a hundred others 
stood up in this aisle and professed their faith in Christ ; 
and how such an one, who died early in this century, 
used to talk of the preciousness of the Christian's trust. 
I shall never forget it. And such an one who was mighty 
in the Scriptures." And so on. There was a great deal 
of such remembrance stirring them. As it went on you 
saw the old people wiping their eyes, and the rugged 
faces of the farmers relaxing into an unwonted softness. 
A sacred pathos fell upon the whole assembly. The 


plain, old meeting-liouse^was transformed into a beauty 
indescribable. It seemed to be apparelled with the 
splendors of Zion, to be pervaded with the fragrance of 
those vials full of odors sweet ' ' which are the prayers of 
saints." God's glory was there : heaven was near. You 
felt that the history there being rehearsed was great 
history, of a deep, eternal meaning ; that though it con- 
cerned a lowly and obscure community, there had been 
an element of the truest dignity, yea, of the truest sub- 
limity in it, which was, moreover, a present and an 
abiding element. And this transfiguration was wrought 
by the fact that the life of that community was then dis- 
cerned and interpreted in the light of spiritual relations ; 
in the light of its highest significance. So it is always. 
So it is here. To this honored and beloved church it is 
now given to take knowledge of herself, not of what she 
has been alone, but of what she is as well, in the light 
reflected upon to-day from the reviewed memories of an 
hundred years. Upon those memories we, her neighbors 
in the Lord, congratulate her, that they are of so high 
and inspiring an import, that she has such a record of 
the grace of God by which to call them up, and that in 
calling them up she is compassed about by so great a 
cloud of heavenly witnesses. 

In some of them many of other households of faith 
are fond partakers with you. For myself, I never shall 
forget the day when in this place I heard his sorrowing, 
yet rejoicing, friend and brother. Dr. Rollin H. Neale, 
pour out above the body of your dear Dr. Turnbull, 'ere it 
was borne to the burial, and he was dear to us all, such a 
passionate strain of love and grief and hope commingled 


as I had never listened to before. And the memory the 
sweetness of which was thus so exquisitely testified was, 
is, but one of the multitude which are your wealthy 
heritage and possession. Hither, from far and near like 
God's angels they are now flocking to you, to breathe 
benediction upon you and to flood your hearts with 
humblest, tenderest gratitude. 

The Lord grant that, as the fruit of their holy visita- 
tion, you may go on in your way and work as a church 
of Christ in a newness of refreshment and of strength 
for a long time to come. 


Of Albany, N. Y. 

O thou, with whom a thousand years 
Are but as yesterday when past, 

Our fathers' God 'mid hopes and fears, 
Their children's God while life shall last ; 

We lift to thee our heartfelt praise, 

Assembled in thy courts to-day. 
Recall the memories of thy grace, 

The wonders of thy perfect way. 

Beneath the shade of spreading boughs. 
Made strong and fruitful by thy love. 

We joyful meet, and pay our vows 
To thee, who hearest from above. 

We praise thee for thy fostering care. 
Which through a century of years 

Has given success to word and prayer. 
And owned and blessed thy servants' tears. 

Life, growth and fruitage are bestowed 
By thy divine and sovereign will ; 

The past owns thee its gracious God, 
And hope rests sweetly on thee still. 





Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Hartford. 
THE future's debt TO THE PAST. 

' < Fifty years of service in holy things, fifty years of 
labor for the kingdom of God are complete to-day. We 
need not wait for eternity to show that the promise to 
Abraham and Abraham's children, ' Thou shalt be a 
blessing,' has been fulfilled in you also. Fifty years 
long you have been a blessing to the church of God on 
earth ; and with you, many look back over this period 
with prayerful adoration." 

With words like these Dr. Herman Cremer dedicates 
his " Lexicon of New Testament Greek," to his beloved 
instructor. Dr. Tholuck, of Halle, on the celebration of 
his semi-centennial of academic life. 

They seem fit words with which to introduce the 
theme of my own thoughts to-day. We have been 
looking backward to a point of time almost exactly nine 
years previous to the birthday of Dr. Tholuck, as we 
have surveyed the twice fifty years of service in holy 
things and labor for the kingdom of God on earth, com- 
plete to-day amid so many happy congratulations. It 
has been a century not without its wanderings in the 


wilderness, its pillar of cloud and fire and angels' food, 
nor yet without its conquests of Canaan and visions of 
Pisgah. And the eye of our venerable church is yet 
undimmed and its natural force unabated. 

The words I have quoted are words of loyalty no less 
than love. Loyalty recognizes obligation. We who stand 
in this glad hour where two centuries touch, looking 
into the future big with opportunity, lovingly, loyally 
recognize our obligation to an honored past. 

Above Dr. Tumbull's grave in Spring Grove, a noble 
shaft of granite stands, erected to his memory by those 
who sat under his Hartford ministry. The mound is 
green with well trimmed sod. Through the thirteen 
years' repose of the form he used to wear, flowers have 
bloomed around this grave. They were planted and 
have been tended by one, who is now a mother in Israel, 
(Mrs. Silas Chapman, Sr.), baptized into the fellowship 
of this church seven years before Dr. Turnbull began 
his long and significant service with us. The stone and 
sod and flowers are tokens of abiding love and loyalty 
to him, firm as the granite shaft, sweet as the fragrance 
ascending from the opening flowers. They are symbols 
also of a still broader loyalty which is glad to acknowledge 
our debt to the whole century of Christ-like ministrations. 

First. Our fathers of this past have handed down to 
us of the opening future, in this church life of a hundred 
years, a well marked organic character, a significant 
church personality. The future owes to the past that 
we preserve intact each divine element of that character, 
ours by the mysterious law of church heredity. 

Few questions in the ordinary problems of life are 

REV. J. S. JAMES. 149 

weightier to the average man than the question. Into 
what family was he born ? His family starts him in the 
world with a helpful momentum or a millstone about his 
neck. He may relieve himself of the dead weight or 
despise the birth-right of his opportunity, just as he 
chooses. They are there to face him, the one or the 
other. The sins of his fathers will visit him or the 
shades of his ancestors inspire him. Hereditary char- 
acter is not peculiar to men. Institutions have it. 
States have it and transmit it. Churches are as marked 
as men. Next to coming into the kingdom of heaven,, 
the most important consideration is to be born into the 
best possible church family. The idiosyncracies of a 
church may fasten themselves on a young Christian, like 
the awkward gait of his father. Happy are they who 
are welcomed into fellowship with a church whose char- 
acteristics are not idiosyncracies but features of the face 
of our divine Lord. 

Looking through the hundred years, viewing the 
church of the century as one, my glance has had to be 
hasty. Only such outline features could catch my eye as 
you may see in the first interview with one you have 
been taught to revere before you met him. Any broad 
analysis would be impossible. Some elements have 
seemed to stand out. These I will indicate. 

I see an erect manly bearing, broad shoulders,, 
strong arms and sturdy strides in untried paths. Our 
fathers were pioneers. They must have been or they 
would not have proposed the organization of this church. 
Pioneers are sturdy men, brave men, men of enterprize. 
Travelers, they take their journey through roads not 


always well made, well worn, with sign boards tacked 
up here and there at cross paths. The pioneer carries a 
compass and a map and a pick and an axe. He makes 
his road. Like John he goes out into the wilderness to 
prepare a highway for his God. He levels the moun- 
tains, exalts the valleys, makes rough places smooth. 
And the glory of the Lord is revealed to him. He does 
not so much consult precedents as make them. His 
chart is the word, his compass the holy instincts bom of 
an indwelling divine Spirit. He has learned to take bear- 
ings from heavenly observations. The pioneer spirit is 
Christ-like. It is eternally Christ-like. It belongs to 
early times. It belongs to all times. It is the spirit of 
all truly individual life. Each new life must find some 
new path or it is not a new life. 

There were no precedents which bade dear old Grand- 
father Bolles walk eighteen miles before breakfast on 
Sunday morning to attend church. But he walked from 
Hartford to Suffield and made precedents. The old law 
of the land required him to go to church and his spiritual 
instinct told him where to go. 

The formation of a Baptist church in intolerant times 
was a brave act, braver than it seems now. It was an 
opposition meeting of course in the eyes of our fathers 
of the established church. The wonder is not that some 
one proposed to good Dr. Strong, to have the thing 
stopped but that the doctor did not try to stop it. 

And because our fathers were pioneers they were 
missionaries. Themselves missionaries, they had the 
missionary spirit. They read brotherhood all about 
them, in the state, throughout the nation as rapidly as 

REV. J. S. JAMES. 151 

they could. They spelled out brotherhood in the utter- 
most parts of the earth by the light of the great com- 
mission, ' ' Of one blood," said Luther Rice, August 3 1 , 
1 8 14, when Daniel Wildman sat in the chair and Elisha 
Cushman and Gurdon Robins, then 28 years old, were 
secretaries of the meeting called from all over the state 
to organize the second foreign missionary society in our 
denomination in America. Asa Tallmadge was there, 
Jonathan Goodwin was there. Our thirteen year old 
brother Dimock was there. "Of one blood," said this 
man from the far east. "Amen," responded our fathers, 
" Of one blood they are." And Hartford seconded Bos- 
ton's motion that the great commission included India. 
Miss Grew, the daughter of our second pastor, went forth 
herself, as the wife of Dr. Jones to share with him the 
privilege of teaching salvation in Burma. Later on 
Samuel M. Whiting and wife went from us to Assam. 
And still later James Hope Arthur laid down his life in 
like service in Japan. They did not stop to discuss 
whether the heathen could or could not be saved. But 
they went out to help save them. It was meet that our 
own Dr. Lucius Bolles should be the first executive 
officer of the new Missionary Union. It is right that 
our own Dr. Murdoch should sit in his chair to-day. 
For he is ours too and married our oldest daughter. 

Nor did this missionary spirit impoverish us. We had 
love still left for home, love for Hartford and our chil- 
dren's children have been gathered around the mother's 
board to-day ; love for the state ; the convention was 
brought into being here. The missions of the state were 
under the immediate oversight first of Brother Howard, 


of Dr. Sage, of Brother Bronson. Dr. Turnbull spent 
the closing five years of his life in care of the missionary- 
churches of the state and died in that service. 

And in what part of America may you not find our 
boys and our girls? Yesterday and to-day hearts quivered 
with affectionate remembrance of the home church 
throughout the land. I cannot name them again for 
you know them all, those who have manned Christ's 
pulpits in America preaching the gospel they learned to 
love in the pews of this church. Said a prominent gentle- 
man in Philadelphia to me, ' * Some of the laymen in 
your church have helped to make our denomination what 
it is to-day. " We owe it to tread in the paths of our 
fathers and catch their mantles as they ascend and the 
son's portion of their spirit. 

Because they were pioneers, our fathers wanted their 
sons to be better educated than they were themselves. 
And where schools were wanting they said, "Let us 
arise and build." And where schools were at hand they 
said, " Let us use them and make them better." Our 
fathers did not despise the gift of God in the mind any 
more than the soul. And because he made it and gave 
it they said, " Out of this talent make one talent more." 
Mr. Nelson our first pastor was a graduate of Brown 
University, and became a member of its corporation. So 
did Dr. Davis after him. And Brother Howard is there 
now.* Dr. Davis was the Daniel O'Connell who waged 
the agitation which produced our institution at Suffield. 
Brother Dimock was the provisional treasurer who trans- 

* Since the above was spoken, the Hon. James G. Batterson, of this 
church, has been added to the Board of Trustees of Brown University. 

REV. J. S. JAMES. 153 

ferred the property to the Board of Trustees when the 
organization was perfected. Suffield was our mother. 
What were we doing but bringing back our children to 
have the grandmother train them at the old family 
hearth-stone ? We said, ' ' You take them and we will help 
make the chimney corner larger," Suffield is near to us 
now, not even eighteen miles away in our hearts. We 
have lost nothing by Suffield. She has given us back 
brighter boys and girls. She has sent out to us Dr. 
Johnson and Professor Smith. And many of those who 
were taught first steps in learning there, seem to be our 
boys as well as hers. It will be strange if Principal 
Scott shall not soon be thinking that the balance of credit 
has got over to his side and that it is time for him to be 
passing around the hat again for an additional ten thous- 
and or so on the endowment. And it will be stranger if 
Hartford allows him to go away empty, provided he ask 
in a proper manner. 

From our church has come an enrichment to the boards 
of instruction of the best colleges of the land. Our fifth 
pastor Dr. Sears taught at Madison and at Newton and 
at Brown. He edited the Christian Review and in 1834 
he baptized in the river Elbe that great Baptist apostle 
in Germany, the revered devoted J. G. Oncken, We 
gave Henry E. Robins, to Colby and to Rochester; 
James R. Boise to Michigan University and to Morgan 
Park Theological Seminary. We borrowed Dr. Sage for 
a precious thirteen years and then Morgan Park claimed 
him. Edwin H. Bronson, the lamented founder of the 
' ' King's Household of Bible Readers, " was one of our boys. 
That King's Household of his has brought open eyes to 


the open Bible. Through the eye, light came to the 
heart and the truth as it is in the word was made part of 
the heart. And this almost without limits of latitude or 
longitude in our broad land. Mr. Bronson gave to this 
work a singular power of organization and for it he laid 
down his fresh young life. Dr. Lucius E. Smith when 
on the staff of The Courant was a member of our church 
and school. At Bucknell he was my own professor of 
rhetoric. On The Examiner and now for years on The 
Watchman, he has been making the electric thrill of his 
facile pen felt without bluster, almost unseen but con- 
stantly, positively part of the heart-beat of the educational 
life of our churches. The Christian Secretary was really 
a child of our church. And it is an agent of education 
and evangelization wherever it goes, always reverent, 
always scholarly, and never speaking to you until you 
ask it to. Last but not least you heard yesterday how 
that Hartford's Patriarch and Baptist Archbishop Dr. 
George M. Stone learned how to study Greek verbs 
aright in Bro. Willis S. Bronson's Bible class in our 

I mention a characteristic feature of the church as 
it has been, of the church as it is, which we do not 
always associate with pioneer life. I think I have been 
able to observe traces of it away back at the beginning 
of the hundred years. I have found traces of nothing 
contrary to it in the four months of my personal contact 
with these dear people with whom I have already begun 
to fall in love. There seems to have been handed down 
and tenderly preserved to the present hour, a pervading 
sense of the sacredness of the church as the body of 

REV. J. S. JAMES. 155 

Christ along with a courteous self-forgetful self-control 
on the part of the individual which has spared the first 
century of our history any blotted, tattered pages of the 
story of schism. The church was a holy thing. And it 
has been in accord with the consensus of the four or five 
thousand whose membership has through this century 
made up its constituency, that no man should defile the 
ark of God with the unhallowed touch of his own petty 
or personal grievance. Not that our fathers have felt 
tramelled in personal independent thinking. Not that 
they have ever suffered a censorship over the fullest 
enjoyment of free speech. But they have thought 
reverently. They have thought with devotion to God's 
church and with self-control. And out of the fulness of 
the heart's thinking their mouths have spoken. It has 
been good form, good sense and essential by common 
consent, to stand by the church because it was Christ's. 
And in like manner it has been and is the sentiment 
which long custom has made obligatory upon each, as he 
answers to his own conscience, that he hold up the hands 
of whoever may happen to be the pastor of God's flock. 
If ever a stray sheep became fevered and discontented 
or unhappy and wandered outside these walls of the fold 
which were not walls of a prison house but walls of 
defence and protection, the poor sheep was allowed to 
wander unhindered unrebuked long enough to be tired 
of his own folly. Then some one of the flock would go 
out after him and lovingly bring him back. I have not 
been told that any shepherd was ever made arrogant by 
this attitude of the church toward him or that he ever 
appropriated the loyalty to the office he held as his per- 


sonal property. But that the tendency was to make him 
sensible of a profound trust thus laid upon him a trust 
he would gladly share with every other brother pastor of 
every other sister church. 

I gratefully mark another feature in this personal 
church life. It seems to be in its very blood. If there 
were a microscope that could examine this blood I fancy 
the corpuscles would reveal the mark in the outline and 
size of each disk. This church is a religious church. It 
lives a spiritual life in Christ. It touches the world not 
to be made worldly but to invite the world about us to a 
like precious faith. It touches the life that now is in 
order to use it as a handmaid of the life which is to 
come. Our fathers were strangers and pilgrims here, as 
their children are, citizens of another country and the 
church, the vestibule on earth to the glorious temple in 
heaven. It would be insufficient to say that our fathers 
emphasized religion. Religion was the living principle 
of their whole being. They have received forgiveness 
of sins through Christ along with a life in him that is 
real, a life laid hold of by the powers of the world to 
come. It would be untrue to say that they despised doc- 
trine. They believed in theology in so far as religion 
could use theology. They tested their theology by its 
relation to religion. Perhaps if they ever came to a dis- 
agreement, it was with a pastor whose theology forbade 
his praying in the presence of an unconverted person. 
This did not seem to be a religious theology in the eyes 
of our spiritual minded fathers. They would not suffer 
doctrine to supplant life. Doctrine was for life not life 
for doctrine. This church has seemed never to lose the 

REr. J. S. JAMES. 157 

ring- of those great words of the Rev. John Hastings of 
Suffield when our John Bolles was under examination 
for membership with the mother church. The account 
which Grandfather Bolles could give of the philosophy 
of the plan of salvation in general or its development 
according to time in his own case in particular was not 
over satisfactory to the good men who were attempting- 
to dissect his relation of experience. And Mr. Hastings 
cleared away the mist by saying, "It is evident that 
Brother Bolles is in the way and this is more important 
than the question when or by what means he got into 
it." " More important," these words are precious words. 
This church has always held that life was more impor- 
tant than a birth certificate. 

In these features of transmitted church personality 
have any been enumerated which are not clearly Christ- 
like? Has undue credit been given to the fathers past 
or present? It is our great debt to preserve intact each 
divine feature of this wondrous heritage, this living 
legacy. It would be false to the fathers as well as false 
to our children if we do not hand it down as glorious as 
we have received it. 

Second. Our fathers' conquests were hindered by the 
limitations of their times. We owe it to them that our 
own labors be even with the new possibilities of our times. 
Sometimes they could only begin the work which has 
been given to us to complete. They ploughed in some 
fields where we must sow. They planted some which 
we may reap. They began some towers for us to finish. 
They built not Babels; but laid the corner stone of 
temples founded on a rock and that look toward the 


heavens. The broods they tended were not always of 
the earth, earthy, with wings that cannot soar; but they 
were eagles of the air. It may be that some of them 
have been handed over to our care that we may teach 
them to lift their wings and train them how to rise. 

Our fathers occupied the south land of our city. They 
occupied the west. Children's children hold the field 
still farther south. They reached out toward the north. 
It took more than one expedition to find the north pole. 
It took more than one expedition to find the lost search- 
ers for the north pole. We have sent out explorers. 
They have gone as far as Suffield Street. They have 
established a little cache there for stores. They have 
a ship and a crew. They cry to us to occupy the land 
and possess it. It is not cold like the ice fields of the 
Arctic. It is not barren, but flows with milk and honey, 
a goodly land. And from the sermon preached by Dr. 
Turnbull when this house was dedicated there echoes 
down these thirty-four years the cry of old, " Go in and 
possess the land." 

Going away back, we find that our fathers met the 
limitations of a young untried civilization. It seems 
strange that our grandmothers ever wore short frocks and 
tended dolls, or that our grandfathers coasted down New 
England hills, and clambered up again with sleds unhelped 
by walking sticks. It seems strange that this glory of the 
nineteenth century, this free government with liberty 
enlightening the world, could ever have been a child. 
But when this church was constituted, the Declaration of 
Independence was not fourteen years old, and George 
Washington had been president less than eleven 

REV. J. S. JAMES. 159 

months. Josiah Strong had not written ' ' Our Country," 
for no Josiah Strong could have found our country, then 
in an undeveloped continent, with but a single human 
being to each square mile. Liberty was a full grown 
word, a house finished and ready for an occupant. But 
the idea of liberty was so small, so weak, so puny, that 
we wonder almost how our fathers fought for it. They 
lived amid the barbarisms of human slavery, the auction 
block and the whipping post. There were Wendell 
Phillipses and William Lloyd Garrisons and Harriet 
Beecher Stowes in those days. But they heard no cry 
of wrong. Uncle Tom's back smarted and bled then. 
It was only Lagree who heard his cry and death 
groan. The hearts that ached with slavery's bitter cruel- 
ties then were most of them black men's hearts. 

Our civilization has grown old enough to study pro- 
blems now. Our fathers had but dreamed of them. In- 
temperance, so far from being a problem of the times, 
hardly suggested an exclamation point. The drink habit 
was so universal and so respectable that nobody asked 
for Dr. Strong's resignation because he eked out his 
salary with dividends from a distillery. 

Immigration had no dangers then. There were no 
steamboats on the one side of us to tap the sewers of 
European crime, or railroads that touched the western 
prairies on the other side of us. Three days after this 
church was constituted the first naturalization law was 
passed by the Federal Congress. There were just two 
conditions in its provisions. The one sprang from the 
cruelty of the times, the other from the ignorance. The 
alien who would be adopted, must be first white, and 


second, he must have resided a bare two years in the 

Popery was a well fed, satisfied institution, with tem- 
poral power that did not reach this far. It was still fal- 
lible in things spiritual, and not yet a menace to things 
political hereabouts. 

The perils of cities were largely the perils of villages 
with ungraded streets, unlighted by night, and no drain- 
age. Burglary was so rare that the burglar was uni- 
formly hung. And up to that time the best thief-proof 
safe of which I have found a record was one that grew 
in our city, and stood where it grew until thirty-four 
years ago the wind uprooted it, on Charter Oak Place. 

Hartford's sweet singer, Mrs. Sigourney, was not born 
until a year after our organization. And the literary 
men had to get along without Webster's Unabridged. 
For the author was a young man of thirty- two, interest- 
ing himself at the time with the problems of political 
life as a member of the town council of Hartford. 

We are assuming nothing but the responsibilities that 
are about us, to glance at the fuller light in which some 
truths of the divine revelation, written or unwritten, 
stand forth to us. 

Take, for example, the relation of things spiritual to 
things material. 

It has been taught by them of old time that the body 
is ''the tomb of the soul." Building on a gross and 
literal interpretation of the scripture statement, "That 
which is born of the flesh is flesh," it was supposed that 
things material contained the essence of evil or of sin. 
As to wealth it was said, "The love of money is the 

REV. J. S. JAMES. 161 

root of all evil." It was dangerous to possess wealth. 
But if possessed, religion was still a thing of the heart. 
We could give God our hearts, but that need not mean 
our pocket-books. Things spiritual were apart from 
things material. Business was one thing, religion 
another. There was no need of business principles in 
religion, or of religious principles in business. The 
possibilities of wealth consecrated to God were small, 
for wealth was small. With the large accummulations 
of later times, we have been forced to discuss the prob- 
lems suggested by a religious point of view. We are 
discussing them now. Some new light has come to us, 
or some old light come back to us. We remember that 
our Lord while on earth was clothed with a material 
body, and like him we are tabernacled in the flesh. 
Christ healed men's bodies as well as their souls. On the 
resurrection morning he will say to those souls. Be 
clothed, and to these bodies, Arise. We have begun to 
learn that if the Spirit of God is to use us at all, he 
must use us body and soul ; and that we cannot be 
blessed by him unless our wealth is blessed of him. We 
do not so often misquote the scripture referred to above, 
but read it aright, * ' The love of money is a root of all 
kinds of evil." If it becomes an idolatry, it opens the 
evils of any other idolatry. 

Take, for another example, the relation of the 
young to the kingdom of heaven. When they brought 
young children to our Lord, and he, taking them in 
his arms, blessed them, we read that the disciples re- 
buked those who brought them. Have our good Bap- 
tist ancestors sometimes in recalling this incident, 


remembered only the rebukes of the twelve ? This were 
an error as grievous as to teach that the only way a 
child may come to Christ is by the faith of him who 
stands as its godfather. Does the child understand all 
he is doing in confessing Christ? Can he know the 
philosophy of the plan of salvation ? We have come to 
see that the child knows more and sees more if he has 
been properly taught than an untaught man. But we 
have been gradually recognizing in a new way that the 
little ones who have been brought to a living, loving, 
personal Savior, may sit down to eat of things spiritual 
at the Father's table before they had comprehended the 
laws of spiritual digestion. We have come to see some- 
thing of the sweet economy for the kingdom and for the 
child, in saving both the lost years of wandering without 
a heavenly guide, and in laying hold of the early training 
years not only for the schools where the rudiments of this 
world's knowledge may be taught, but where the child 
may be trained when it is easiest to train for the king- 
dom. And we have come to a sounder theology and a 
wiser philosophy as well. 

Take also, as an example, the relation of that sublime 
truth, the sovereignty of God to human responsibility. 

There is a Calvinism which lays on the Heavenly 
Father a responsibility he has not consented to as- 
sume, and is itself satisfied with speculating upon the 
contents of the unopened books of his eternal decrees. 

It is no strange thing that men have reflected their 
own hardened hearts into the guesses they have been so 
bold in making as to God's heart. This may be called 
the unrevealed doctrine of divine sovereignty. And 

REV. J. S. JAMES. 163 

there is a revealed side of this eternal truth. The dis- 
ciple, sitting- in its light, reads that he who called him to 
his vineyard and to service is his divine and sovereign 
Lord. Such a call from such a Lord he dare not ignore. 
There is a Calvinism which shifts all responsibility on 
God. This ignorantly brings God down from his throne, 
and leads those who hold to it to idleness. There is a 
Calvinism which accepts the responsibility this sovereign 
God lays upon us, and leads to a service that makes us 
heirs with Christ and fellow-workers with him. We live 
in times which seem to reveal to men a responsibility 
resting on God's eternal sovereign right to reign. 

Our centennial was ushered in yesterday morning by 
rain drops which fell from the clouds and the darkness. 
There was no occasion for complaint, for the showers 
that water the earth were from above, and fell in mercy. 
As the day drew on, the clouds floated away to the south- 
east. The sunlight shone out. The day closed, and 
with it the old century, just as this day and the new cen- 
tury opened in the glory of the bright sunshine. It is 
the mission of the sunshine to warm the earth the showers 
have moistened, to join its light and heat to the service 
of the rain, in making the new bud to swell into larger 
life. It is the business of the sunshine and light of the 
new century to co-operate with dews of heavenly blessing 
of the old century, and to bring larger life from both. 
The rain without the sunshine brings a death-dealing 
flood. The sun without the rain brings death-dealing 
drouth. • Rain and sunshine together are each other's 
debtors harmoniously and beautifully to clothe this earth 
with green, and hasten on the harvest day. 


[Read by Mr. Howard.] 

Hon. James L. Howard. 

Dear Brother : — I continually regret that the state of my health for- 
bade my acceptance of the honorable part in your approaching anniver- 
sary which your committee assigned to me, but I gladly furnish you with 
a few reminiscences. 

It has always seemed to me of the ordering of a gracious Providence 
that my first pastorate, extending from i860 to 1878, should have been in 
the city of Hartford. Dr. Horace Bushnell, the man of marvellous might 
and valor and piety, had cleared the theological atmosphere of all that 
region. He had made it safe for a minister to think honestly and inde- 
pendently, and to speak fearlessly. Having been myself trained by Dr. 
Martin B. Anderson, just translated to the skies, and Dr. Ezekiel G. 
Robinson to be honest with myself and with all men, I found it easy in 
Hartford to be practically loyal to those two great teachers. What an 
honest, and, therfore, what a powerful pulpit the Hartford pulpit was in 
those days, and is now. The ministers were consciously free men. I am 
sure that in that first ministry of mine I formed the habit of independent 
thought and speech, which has been of utmost service to me until this 

I wish that time would permit my loving and grateful mention of my 
ministerial associates. Four of them are still with you, Drs. Parker and 
Twichell and Hodge and Father Hughes, all of them men whose names 
are precious to me. Then there were Drs. Turnbull and Bushnell and 
Hawes and Stowe and Washbourne and Spaulding andDoaneand Aber- 
crombie and Calkins and Gould and Richardson and Jenkins and Gage 
and Sage and Emerson and the Andrews brothers. And then there was 
Dr. Burton, that loving hero, that genial giant, that anointed soul, so 
lately vanished into the heavens, who must have this sentence all to him- 
self. What a great thing it was that in my opening ministry I should 


have been thro^vn into the company and fellowship of such men as these. 

But I must cluster my memories a little more closely about your 
church. Of course. Dr. Tumbull comes to the front. I had seen and 
heard him once, and had read his singularly felicitious translation of 
Vinet's Sermons. I admired and venerated him. When I was in Hart- 
ford as a candidate for the pulpit of the South Baptist Church he met 
me most cordially. He presided at the council for my ordination, and in 
the public services that followed, gave me with loving words the hand of 
fellowship. He officiated with Dr. Murdock at my marriage. For ten 
years or more we were fellow pastors. Day by day he grew upon me. 
He was pure, true-hearted, poetical, generous, charitable, modest and 
humble, open, brave, godly. All these adjectives he deserves. Many 
times when I was over-worked he helped me by encouraging words and 
by pulpit exchange. He rejoiced in my successes as if they were his 
own. His service of the feebler churches in the closing period of his life 
had about it the charm of a singular Christian consecration. During his 
last sickness our infant son was at his request taken into his room. He 
laid his hands upon the little fellow's head, and blessed him in the name 
of the God of Israel. We all felt that the blessing would abide. When 
Dr. Tumbull died I knew that he had gone to heaven. 

Dr. Sage, my old college friend, was Dr. TurnbuU's worthy successor. 
He was a close student, a clear thinker, master of a most felicitous style, 
quick to get at the heart of his text, observant of proportion in the struc- 
ture of his sermons, thoroughly conscientious in all his work. For two 
days and two nights after hearing him preach, I felt that I could never 
preach again. On the third day I would comfort myself that I could do 
some things as well as he, and so would cheer up and trudge on. 

I wish I could say all that is in my heart of certain members of 
your church whom I knew, and who are now in the unseen holy. Rev. 
Gurdon Robins was a joy to me. He had large, thoughtful, loving eyes. 
He seemed a Christian Roman. He was as kind to me as if I had been 
his own pastor. Edward Bolles always interested and pleased me. He 
was quaint. He had his own ways of thinking and speaking. You 
always were curious to know what he would say next. He was a man 
who loved the Lord. James G. Bolles quite realized my ideal of a 
Christian gentleman. He was sympathetic, with all that is true and 
beautiful and good. He was another of your members that often en- 
couraged me in my work. 

Then there are members of your church still living whom I most 


pleasantly remember. My relations with yourself personally were 
specially intimate, for the reason that we were for many years upon the 
Boards and in the Executive Committees at the State Convention and of 
the Academy of Suffield. I can bear testimony that neither of us ever 
spoke a sharp word to the other. And you can bear testimony that I 
was most easily led by any one who was bright enough not to let me see 

You have a man among you whose mother and sister were members of 
my own church, and I am still touched by his uniform and most en- 
couraging kindness to me. Because I belonged to his mother and sister, 
he seemed to think that I also belonged to him. 

You have still with you another man, one who has so long dealt in 
granite that he has become himself granitic, occasionally hovering over 
this region which I now inhabit, a man who has taught us all that one 
can be engaged in large and exacting business and at the same time 
make one's self an authority in the realms of profound sholarship and 
liberal culture. 

But I must not go on. I rejoice over the good and true men and 
women of former days, over the good and true men and women of to- 
day, of whom your ancient church may well be proud. I rejoice that 
your church has always been forward in promoting the prosperity of all 
Christian enterprises. I rejoice that your church has illustrated loyalty 
to truth and a genuine catholicity. I rejoice in your noble past, and in 
what I am assured will be your noble future. 

Saint Paul named all Christians saints. As my theology is Pauline, I 
will do as Saint Paul did, and venture the prediction that your new pas- 
tor, your Saint James, will lead you in the greenest of all pastures and 
beside the stillest of all waters. 

Most sincerely yours, 

Concord, N. H., March, i8go. 








Among the letters received were the follo\ving : — 

From the Rev. Dr. Walker, Pastor of the First Con- 
gregational Church, Hartford, Conn. 

March 22, 1890. 

My Dear Sir: — It is an occasion of sincere regret to me that I am not 
able to be with the good people of the First Baptist Church in their cen- 
tennial anniversary. 

I should, personally, enjoy meeting with them, and I shall still more 
rejoice in the expression which might in some modest sense be given by 
my presence as pastor of the First Church of Hartford to the great and, 
as I think, blessed increase in these latter days of the spirit of fellow- 
ship and brotherhood among Christians of different names. 

When I look back on the difficulties experienced by our brethren of 
the Baptist churches in getting a footing in this colony of Connecticut, 
as in New England generally, and think of the sincerity of their faith, 
and the purity of their works, I bless God that we are fallen on times of 
more liberality and largeness in the interpretation of the will of God and 
the mind of Christ concerning the unity there is in our common Lord. 

Your church may well congratulate itself on its hundred years of his- 
tory in this place. They constitute a century of honorable memories. 
Every interest this place has, is better for the presence here of the faith- 
ful pastors and the godly brethren and sisters who have given name and 
power to your church in this community. It certainly must be the hope 
and prayer of all who love the cause of Christ and the souls of men that 
your second hundred years may be prosperous and useful in the natural 
development and fruitage of your past. 

With hope for the happy progress of all your anniversary exercises, 
I am, truly yours, 



From the Rev. James R. Boise, D. D., of The Baptist 
Union Theological Seminary. 

Morgan Park, III., March 17, 1890. 

My Dear Brother : — Accept my thanks for your kind remembrance. 
It will be impossible for me to be present at the coming anniversary ; but 
I am glad to send the assurance of my Christian love. Perhaps Bro. 
Dimock will remember the poor little timid country boy, baptized in 
May, 1 83 1, by the pastor, Gustavus F. Davis. 

" AH the way my Saviour leads me, 
What have I to ask beside ?" 

We shall all soon meet where there will be no more parting, no sin, no 
sorrow ! Death cannot enter there ! 
With most affectionate greeting to all. 
Your brother in Christ, 


From the Rev. Lucius E. Smith, D. D., editorial staff 
of The Watchman. 

Newton, Mass., March 17, 1890. 

Dear Sir : — Your committee's invitation to be present at the centen- 
nial service of the First Baptist Church of Hartford was gratefully re- 
ceived. It would give me very great pleasure to share personally in the 
enjoyment of that interesting occasion. My connection with the church 
did not exceed two years, but that relation and other incidents of my 
Hartford sojourn continue fresh in my memory, and are among my most 
pleasing recollections. Dr. TurnbuU, Rev. Gurdon Robins, Deacons 
BoUes and Gilbert, and other officers and members of the church will 
never be forgotten while life and memory last. I should greatly enjoy 
your commemoration, but circumstances make it necessary to forego the 

Yours, with grateful regard, 



From the Rev. Dr. Wayland, Editor of The National 

1420 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, 
March 19, 1890. 
My Dear Mr. James : — I am very much obliged to you and to the com- 
mittee for the courtesy of an invitation to the centennial, and regret that 
the pressure upon my time will not permit me to be present. The First 
Baptist Church of Hartford has had a most honorable history. I have 
had some acquaintance with its ministers and some of its members for, 
I shudder to say, forty years. Rev. S. M. Whiting, our honored mis- 
sionary in Assam, was one of my earliest friends. With many of the 
pastors, those now living and those who are departed, I have had a most 
pleasant acquaintance, as also with that excellent layman. Governor 
Howard, whose reputation is one of the treasures of the host of God's 
baptized children throughout America. 

I most heartily congratulate you on the past success, and unite with 
all who shall be present in the hope for another century of constantly 
deepening spirituality and constantly increasing usefulness. 
With very sincere regard, 

Very truly yours, 


From the Rev. A. E. Dickinson, D. D., Editor of The 
Religious Herald. 

1117 Main Street, Richmond, Va., 
March 18, 1890. 

My Dear Bro. James : — Please do me the kindness to express to the 
brethren and sisters of your noble old church my heartiest congratula- 
tions and best wishes, now that they are celebrating their centennial. 
For a church to have lived one hundred years is a great thing, but to 
have lived them so well, to have sent forth, over sea and land, such 
holy, uplifting influences as have gone out from your church, is a far 
greater thing. 

I have recently been looking into the history of your church, under the 
guidance of your own honored and venerable Joseph W. Dimock, and 


my heart went up to God in thanksgiving for the mighty work his grace 
and strength had enabled you to do. Speaking for Virginia and the 
South, I greet you in the name of our common Master ! We owe you 
thanks for what your church has done for this South land. The names 
of some of the grand men you have given the denomination are house- 
hold names among us. Your senior member, Mr. Dimock, in giving his 
reminiscences, may not tell of how he lived and toiled for Christ in 
Richmond and Petersburg and Raleigh, long years ago ; but what he 
did in these Southern cities, when he was a young man, is still bearing 
fruit. And when your James L. Howard shall arise to make his opening 
address, it will be natural enough for your people to say, with hearts 
swelling with thanksgiving, " He is ours !" And yet all over the South, 
wherever his name is mentioned, there is in the heart of every loyal 
Baptist the feeling " he is mine too." He belongs to us all, as do your 
James G. Batterson, your G. F. Davis, your W. S. Bronson, and many 
more among you, whose names are in the Book of God. 

God bless you, dear brethren, and may the next century bring your 
church far greater prosperity, and may its history grow brighter and 
better, until time shall be no more ! 

Affectionately and truly yours, 


From the Rev. J. N. Murdock, D. D., Cor. Secretary 
American Baptist Missionary Union. 

Boston, March 22, 1890. 
My Dear Brother : — I thank you for the invitation to be present at 
the commemoration of the centennial of the , First Baptist Church in 
Hartford. It is wise and every way becoming to review the long and 
honorable history of an organization which has been a potent factor in 
the social and religious progress of the community in which it is planted. 
The personal character and qualities of the men whose lives have consti- 
tuted an important part in its annals, would entitle your venerable body 
to the most honorable distinction. Men like John BoUes, Dea. Joseph B. 
Gilbert, Edward Bolles, James G. Bolles and other laymen, who have 
borne its burdens and contributed to its prosperity, and Cushman and 
Eaton and Sears and Davis and Turnbull, and others who taught and 


trained its members in Christian truth and Christian Hving, are commem- 
orated in its records and exalted in the praises of all the churches, 
while through its pecuniary gifts and the personal labors and sacrifices of 
its members, its lines have gone out into all the earth. In short, in all 
the respects in which there can be growth and progress in a Christian 
church there has been a steady advance from the first day until now ; 
while in the things which cannot be moved, that is, in doctrine, in ex- 
perience and in practice, you abide on the sure foundation of apostles 
and prophets, with Jesus Christ as the Chief Corner stone. Blessed is 
the people that is in such a state. 

Sincerely regretting my inability to share in the sacred festivities of 
your commemoration, and praying that the blessing of God may abide 
with you, and that all your work may prosper, 

I am, yours in the One Hope through the One Name, 


From the Rev. P. S. Moxom, Pastor of the First Baptist 
Church, Boston. 

March 20th, 1890. 

My Dear Sir : — I have to acknowledge your invitation to attend the 
celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of your church. This I do 
with most hearty thanks. It would give me very great pleasure to accept 
your invitation were not my duties on the 23d and 24th instants such as 
to prevent. But I do send you warmest congratulations. My regard for 
the First Baptist Church of Hartford is great ; partly because among its 
members are some dear and honored friends ; partly because all I have 
learned of the church's history has aroused my admiration and respect. 
It is a noble church that now completes its first century of earthly life 
and labor. How much of toil and trial and hope and achievement that 
century includes. You have a right to celebration ; a right to the glad 
and grateful, and to make the day memorable in the lives of all who are 
permitted to join in the festivities. 

Though I cannot be with you, I shall thank God for you and with you ; 
and I wish for church and pastor every blessing that Christian hearts can 
receive or even desire. 

Most sincerely yours, in the love and service of our Lord Jesus Christ, 



From the Rev. Dr. King. 

Albany, N. Y., March 19, 1890. 
Hon. J. L. Howard. 

My Dear Brother: — I thank you for the invitation to be present at the 
Centennial of your honored church. It would give me very great pleasure 
to accept it, and join with you in the delightful services, if it were pos- 
sible for me to do so. I can only send you my sincere congratulations 
over a history so rich in honored names, in noble sacrifices, and in blessed 
successes. Your memories will be most precious and inspiring. The 
faces of beloved pastors, and faithful deacons, and devoted brethren and 
sisters, a great cloud of witnesses who have ascended to the church on 
high, will seem to look down upon the occasion, and encourage the 
living to renewed fidelity to Christ and to the church of Christ, with 
which are connected many of the most hallowed associations of earth. 
How poor we should be, and how little we could accomplish for God or 
man, were it not for the fellowship which we have in our church-home, 
and the opportunities which it furnishes us for united and well-directed 
Christian activity ! 

I thank God for all that the history of your dear old church includes of 
labor, of prayer and of rejoicing, of toil expended and of truth defended, 
of characters matured and perfected, and of souls garnered home ; and I 
rejoice that the church, though venerable with years, is still vigorous 
with youth and the strength that is unwasting. The evening of the old 
century brings you to the morning of a new century, and the symbol of 
your church will be, not the setting sun of an accomplished work, how- 
ever well achieved, but the morning star of a brighter and richer future. 

I do not forget that the First Baptist Church of Hartford once highly 
honored me by calling me to its pulpit. You, perhaps, never knew what 
a narrow escape you had. I certainly have often thought how happy 
would have been my life, and how successful must have been my labors, 
seconded by your generous support, if the pillar of cloud had only gone 
that way. But I suppose I should have reached the promised land too 
soon. I need not say that that pleasantly remembered courtship, when 
you were younger than you are now, and not so wise (the church I mean), 
has left in my heart an abiding interest in your prosperity, — an interest 
which will follow you with many prayers and all best wishes as you em- 
bark upon the voyage of another century. 

Most sincerely yours, 



From the Rev. H. W. Knapp, D. D. 

Brooklyn, March 19, 1890. 

Dear Sir and Brother: — I have delayed my reply to your Commit- 
tee on Invitation to the Centennial of your church, trusting that I 
might be present on the two days of the feast. But I find at this late 
hour that I cannot do so. The memories of fifty years ago are very vivid, 
and most precious to me, as they recall Pastor Eaton, Rev. Gurdon 
Robins, Deacons Gilbert, Clapp, Dimock, How^ard, A. T. Hast- 
ings, Davis and others, and later, that saintly name. Dr. Turnbull, 
with a precious company of Masters in Israel, whose devotedness and 
fidelity honored the Master. Never can I praise God enough for the 
influence of your dear church over me. Had I only yielded to her advice, 
and obeyed her counsel, I would have been saved an interim of back- 
sliding, and gained at least years to my Lord. 

I know it will be a rare and glorious centennial to the church and all 
who meet with her, and I pray God it may be a day of his power, a 
day of deep spiritual blessing and salvation. My heart will be with you, 
as my prayers also, and may the God of peace make it " the beginning 
of months," a harvesting time of great abundance. 
I am, yours in Jesus, 


From the Rev. H. H. Barbour. 

Chicago, March 20th, 1890. 

My Dear Brother: — I am grateful to the Committee for the kind in- 
vitation given me to be present at the celebration of the one hundredth 
anniversary of the organization of the First Church, and deeply regret 
that I cannot participate in the enjoyable occasion. 

I often think of the church, and the happy days that came to me 
through its instrumentality in the years gone by. To my boyish imagin- 
ation, kindled by the zeal of a young convert, the whole world seemed 
to be Beulah land, and the newly-erected meeting-house a veritable 
temple in which the glory was ever discernible. 

Indeed even now, when I wish to be perfectly happy, I try to imagine 
myself a youngster again, in one of the church prayer-meetings, listen- 
ing to Dr. Turnbull, Deacon James G. Bolles, Deacon Howard or Super- 



intendent Bronson, seeing good old brother Arthur dozing in his accus- 
tomed place, and hearing, above all other voices in the singing of the 
favorite hymns, those of " Comey" Wells and Alfred Hanmer. Of these, 
most vividly remembered by me in the church life, only brethren Howard 
and Bronson are left. But how rich heaven is, and how much we shall 
feel at home there ! 

That the second century may bring to the First Church the divine 
blessing in fullest measure is the prayer of my heart. 
Sincerely yours, 


In addition to the above, letters or telegrams were received from the 
following, beside many others, members of this church : — 

The Rev. G. M. Stone, D. D., 
" J. Kittredge Wheeler, 

H. M. Thompson, 

CD. Hartranft, D. D., 

Geo. Williamson Smith, D. D 

Graham Taylor, D. D., 

E. C. Bissell, 

J. Aspinwall Hodge, D. D., 

Floyd W. Tomkins, Jr., 

H. H. Kelsey, 

Wm. DeLoss Love, 

Clark S. Beardslee, 

James E. Holmes, 
" George R. Warner, 

Frank R. Shipman, 

Rabbi Meyer Elkin, 

H. J. Gillette, 
Prof. W. R. Harper, 
The Rev. G. S. Goodspeed, 

E. M. Jerome, 

Eben C. Sage, 

Julius Bond, 

J. B. Council, 

James G. Ditmars, 

John R. Gow, 

B. B. Gibbs, 

A. M. Harrison, 
" Joseph McKean, 


New Haven. 





New London. 




The Rev. E. W. Potter, 
D. D. Read, 
Walter Scott, 
J. R. Stubbert, 
J. F. Temple, 
O. P. Gifford, 

President John H. Harris, 

The Rev. William H. Conard, 
R. M. Luther, D. D. 
William Ward West 

Joseph L. Barbour, Esq., 

L. E. Browne, 

George H. Burdick, 

Uriah Case, 

J. Crocker, 

Mrs. J. H. Davis, 
" Miles W. Graves, 

L. B. Haas, 

Mrs. E. C. Hansen, 

Homer Hastings, 

George M. Hersey, 

Miss Niles, 

Mary E. Rose, 

James R. Stevens, 

F. A. Thompson, 

Mrs. D. W. Tracy, 

H. M. Ventres, 

Mrs. DeHa B. Ward, 

William H. Wiley, 

S. H. Wilson, 

M. E. Arthur, 

Albert Barrows, 

A. P. Carroll, 

C. W. Cook, 

Wm. D. Emerson, 

Ralph L. Gilbert, 

R. F. Hodge, 

Mrs. P. S. Kelley, 
" J. T. Lee, 

Matilda S. Lord, 

Sarah C. Mather, 

M. R. Shumway, 

Sarah M. Sibley, 

Mrs. M. E. Smith, 
" Mary E. Whiting, 

Mary A. Belt, 

Lizzie M. Barnard, 






Brookline, Mass. 

Bucknell University. 











Deep River. 




New Haven. 

Boston, Mass. 




Charles C. Farnham, 
Mrs. Stedman Garfield, 
Henry G. Granger, 
Mrs. Mary B. Gladwin, 

" Anna W. Hakes, 

" G. F. Hickmott, 
Maria M. Woodbury, 
Mrs. Fannie A. Bradstreet, 
Elizabeth S. Ashwell, 
Mrs. Barker, 
Elijah Bliss, 
F. W. Brewster, 
Emma Caulkins, 
William H. Cotton, 
C. W. Dunlap, 
Mrs. A. F. Hastings, 

" Higgins, 
Danford Knowlton, 
L. B. Page, 
Mrs. Simmons, 
Margeret St. John, 
Estelle F. Taylor, 
L. P. Brockett, . 
William G. Fulton, 
Mrs. S. C. Law, 
Fannie A. Ormsbee, 
Mrs. Witter, 
John Northrup, 
Helen Frances Sage, 
Edward J. Brockett, 
Frank L. Moore, 
Mrs. M. J. Chase, 
A. M. Greene, 
Missj'Mai'y Grew, 
Hiram Hoffman, 
George Scatchard, 
Dr. C. S. James, 
William Roth, 
Lottie M. Barber, 
W. E. Thompson, 
E. S. Ballard, 
C. S. Goodman, 
Mrs. A. A. Goodman, 

" William G. Allen, 
John S. Hudson, 
Mrs. John M. Bates, 

Randolph, Mass. 




Royalston, Vt. 

Providence, R. I. 

New York. 


Ithaca, N. Y. 
Vassar College. 
East Orange, N. J. 
Chatham, " 


Allentown, Pa. 

Cleveland, Ohio. 

Milwaukee, Wis. 

Davenport, Iowa. 

San Francisco, Cal. 

San Jose, " 

Aiken, S. C. 

Orlando, Fla. 

Valentine, Neb. 

Historical Sketch. 


1. Stephen Smith Nelson, - 1796-1801. 

2. Henry Grew, - - - 1807-1811. 

3. ElISHA CUSHMAN, - - 1812-1825. 

4. Cyrus Pitt Grosvenor, - 182 5-1 826. 

5. Barnas Sears, - - - 1827-1829. 

6. GusTAVUs Fellowes Davis, - 1 829-1 836. 

7. Henry Jackson, - - - 1 836-1 838. 

8. Jeremiah Sewell Eaton, - 1 839-1 844. 

9. Robert TuRNBULL, - - 1 845-1 869. 

10. Adoniram Judson Sage, - 1872-1884. 

11. Lester Lewis Potter, - 1885-1887. 

12. John Sexton James, - - 1889. 









In the year 1611, under the reign of James I., in the 
old town of Litchfield, England, Edward Wightman, a 
Baptist minister, who was accused by the dominant hier- 
archy of almost every heresy, and, worst of all, the 
denial of the divine authority of infant baptism, was 
burned at the stake. A little less than a hundred years 
after, in 1705, a descendant of this noble martyr, Rev. 
Valentine Wightman, planted at Groton the first Baptist 
church in the "Province" of Connecticut, from which 
other various churches, in due time, have been formed. 
Among her first children was the First Baptist Church in 
the town of Suffield, occupying for its site of worship that 
well-known elevation, " Zion's Hill." Of this church 
Joseph Hastings was pastor. John Hastings, his son, 
succeeded him. He was a man of unusual mental 
vigor and fervid piety. Several churches originated 
from this Zion's Hill, whither the scattered tribes of our 
Israel, in former days, delighted to go up and worship 
God in the beauty of holiness. Among them was the 
First Baptist Church in this city. 

On a pleasant Sunday morning, something more than 
one hundred years ago, might be seen a little group 
wending their way from Hartford through the green 


woods and meadows of the Connecticut valley toward the 
little church on Zion's Hill. Among them was a man of 
small stature, something like Zaccheus of old, of erect 
gait, bright eye and agile movement. Though living 
eighteen miles from Suffield, he was wont, on pleasant 
days, to walk the whole distance, beguiling the way with 
devout meditation, or, if some younger brother chose to 
accompany him, with pleasant talk about the things of 
the kingdom. This was Deacon John Bolles, brother of 
the Rev. David Bolles, and uncle of the late excellent 
Rev. Matthew Bolles, and the Rev. Dr. Lucius Bolles, 
so well known in connection with the cause of foreign 


In the year 1789, this good brother, with a few others, 
came to the conclusion that the time had arrived to or- 
ganize a Baptist church in the city of Hartford. Meet- 
ings were held in the Court-house and in private houses, 
and on the 5 th of August of this year the first baptism 
was administered in Hartford At a meeting held Sep- 
tember 7th, at seven a. m., at the dwelling-house of 
Luther Savage, it was resolved to hold regular public 
services on Sundays, as a Baptist congregation. Accord- 
ingly, the first meeting was held October i8th, in the 
dwelling-house of John Bolles. These meetings were 
continued, and in the ensuing season a number of per- 
sons were baptized " on a profession of their faith in the 
Lord Jesus Christ." March 23d, 1790, sixteen brethren 
and sisters were recognized as a church of Christ, by a 
regularly called council, over which the Rev. John 
Hastings presided as Moderator. 


An earlier mention of Baptists in Hartford occurs in 
Stiles' " History of Windsor," p. 439, This is simply a 
record of imprisonment in Hartford of Deacon Nathaniel 
Drake, Jr., for non-payment of the minister's rates and 
the tax for building a meeting-house. The date goes 
away back to the more intolerant times of 1767. Deacon 
Drake pleaded his Baptist connection as a sufficient ex- 
cuse for paying the unjust tax. But he was imprisoned 
nevertheless. Neither appeal from one court to another, 
nor from ^he courts to the legislature, secured him release 
from his persecutions. 

A succession of obstacles prevented the early settle- 
ment of a pastor. But the church enjoyed among others 
the pulpit ministrations of the Rev. John Winchell and 
the Rev. Adam Hamilton. 


In the winter of 1796, the church, through the 
good providence of God, secured the labors of the 
Rev. Stephen S. Nelson. Under his faithful minis- 
trations they were greatly cheered and strengthened 
by the addition of a considerable number of con- 
verts. The congregation, at first small, was much 
increased, so that they were encouraged during Mr. 
Nelson's early pastorate to erect for the worship of God 
a moderate-sized frame building on the corner Temple 
and Market Streets. This building was subsequently 
improved and is now used as a place of business. Mr. 
Nelson was born in Middleboro, Plymouth County, 
Mass., October 5, 1772. He was converted at the age 
of fourteen, and was baptized in his sixteenth year by 


the Rev. William Nelson, and united with the Baptist 
Church at Middleboro, then under the pastoral care of 
Isaac Backus, the venerable Baptist historian, and the 
earnest advocate, in early times, of the rights of con- 
science and the true freedom of the soul. Mr. Nelson 
was graduated at Brown University, with distinguished 
honor, in the 22d year of his age, and was subsequently, 
for many years, a member of the Board of Trustees of 
that institution. On leaving college, he studied theology 
with the Rev. Dr. Stillman, the devout and eloquent 
pastor of the First Baptist Church in Boston, and often 
assisted him in his labors by visiting and otherwise. By 
this means he acquired a thorough practical training for 
the work of the ministry. In his twenty-fourth year he 
was licensed to preach the gospel. After laboring two 
years with the church in Hartford, as a stated supply, he 
was ordained June 15 th in 1798 as their pastor, preach- 
ing to them at first in an upper room in the Old Court- 
house. As already stated, however, the church soon 
secured a convenient place of worship, which, though 
humble in its appearance, and rough in its furniture, was 
found to be a true Bethel, " the house of God and the 
very gate of heaven." 

At this time there were but three or four liberally 
educated Baptist ministers in Massachusetts, and none 
but Mr. Nelson in Connecticut. Nor were there any 
other churches in Hartford but the Center and South 
Congregational, and Christ's Church, Episcopal. 

The accurate scholarship, courteous manners, and con- 
sistent piety of Mr. Nelson, served greatly to aid in the es- 
tablishment and increase of the Baptist church in the city. 

-^ * ^=fe 


The following is an enlarged fac-simile of an advertise- 
ment, recently clipped from a copy of The Courant of 
March 22, 1798. No satisfactory bidder could have ap- 
peared. For the cupola was not built until nearly twenty 
years later, during Mr. Cushman's pastorate : 


PROPOSALS will be received from any perfon 
willing to contraft for erefting a Tower and 
Spire, for the Baptift Meeting-House in this City 
— the dimentions of which muft be as follows, viz. 
The Tower to be 14 feet fquare, and in height and 
diameter in proportion to the Tower. The whole 
to be done in a plain, but workmanlike manner. 
The propofals must include all the materials, toge- 
ther with the ereding and finifhing the fame com- 
plete. The payment to be made in a valuable 
tract of New Land, on the banks of Connedicut 

Propofals will likewise be received for finilhing 
the infide of faid houfe. Payment as above. 
Apply to 

John Bolles, "] <v 

Samuel Beckwith, j ^ 
Ebenezer Moore, )- I 
Luther Savage, \ | 
Zecheriah Mills, J O 

Hartford, March 22. 


There was no man, perhaps, to whom the church, in 
the early period of its history, was more indebted than to 


He was a remarkable man, a Nathaniel indeed, in 
whom there was no guile. Shrewd beyond most men, he 
never failed to command the respect of his acquaintances, 
and everybody loved him. Decided in his principles, his 
soul overflowed with love and charity. Easy, nimble, 
cheerful, he was ready for every good word and work. 
He lived for others. The young, especially, loved him. 
The aged, and, above all, the poor, hailed him as their 
friend. He was perpetually devising something for the 
benefit of the church or the good of souls. 

How or when he was converted he could not tell. He 
was brought up under the care of pious parents, and in 
early life had given his heart to Christ, but all he could 
say about it was that God had been gracious to him and 
brought him into his fold. When he related his experi- 
ence before the church at Suffield, some of the brethren 
hesitated to receive him. John Hastings, the pastor, 
shrewdly remarked, however, that it was evident that 
Brother Bolles was in the way, and that this was more im- 
portant than the question when or by what means he got 
into it, upon which they unanimously received him. He 
was very happy in his connection with the church in 
Suffield. The members were all his friends. To illus- 
trate his kindness, the following story may be told from 
his subsequent life in Hartford. A certain widow Burn- 
ham lived all alone on the outer edge of East Hartford. 
One severe winter a fearful snow-storm had raised the 


roads to a level with the tops of the fences. The deacon 
was anxious about the widow ; he was afraid that she 
might be covered with the snow and suffering from 
want. He proposed to visit her, but his friends thought 
it perilous to cross the meadows. Being light of foot, 
however, he resolved to attempt it. The weather was 
cold and the snow slightly crusted on the top. By means 
of this he succeeded, with some effort, in reaching the 
widow's house. As anticipated, he found it covered 
with snow to the chimnies. He made his way into the 
house, and found the good sister without fire or water. 
He cut paths to the wood-pile and to the well, and as- 
sisted her to make a fire and put on the tea-kettle. He 
then cut a path to the pig-pen, and supplied the wants of 
the hungry beast, by which time breakfast was ready. 
After breakfast he read from the Scriptures and prayed, 
andwas ready to start for home. In the meanwhile, the 
sun had melted the crust of the snow, and as he was 
passing through the meadows he broke through. He 
tried to scramble out, but failed. He shouted, but there 
was no one to hear him. The wind blew keenly, and 
he knew not but that he must remain there all night 
and perish w4th cold. But he committed himself to 
God and sat down for shelter on the lee side of his 
temporary prison. He finally made a desperate effort, 
succeeded in reaching the edge, and found, to his joy, 
that the freezing wind had hardened the surface of the 
snow, which enabled him to make his way home. 

Deacon Bolles was born in New London in 1752, 
and died in this city in 1830, at a good old age. 

About the close of the last century, the cause of evan- 
gelical piety in Hartford, and, indeed, throughout New 


England, was in a most languishing condition. The 
churches of the " standing order," as they were called, 
suffered from the indiscriminate admission of members 
and laxity of discipline, consequent upon the "half- 
way covenant system." Intemperance was common, 
and by no means infrequent among church members. 
Infidelity, too, produced by the reaction from the Re- 
volutionary War, and the influx of French principles, 
had infected the community. No revival of religion 
had been experienced in Hartford from the days of 
Whitefield, and, indeed, the idea of a true awakening 
among Christians was scarcely cherished, except among 
the few who, both in Congregational or Baptist churches, 
" sighed and cried over the desolations of Zion." The 
Baptists, indeed, had experienced such revivals in other, 
places, and their earnest desire in Hartford was that God 
might appear for them with life-giving power. The 
desire was fulfilled in 1798. A work of divine grace 
commenced in the Baptist congregation, under the labors 
of Mr. Nelson, which soon extended to other congrega- 
tions throughout the city and vicinity. 

A conference meeting in Hartford was held in the 
fall. Nearly all the members of the Baptist church were 
present, with their families, and one or two Congrega- 
tional brethren, among whom was the excellent Deacon 
Colton, who, like Deacon Bolles, was a lover of good 
men, and a true disciple of Jesus Christ. The power of 
the spirit was manifest, and great grace was upon the 
assembly. Two brothers were brought into the liberty 
of the gospel, and others inquired the way to God. 
Meetings were appointed every night in different places. 


By Sunday the meeting-house was full. It was obvious 

to all that God had begun to revive his work. 

Next morning Dr. Strong called upon Mr. Nelson, 
and, taking him aside, he said, "Brother Nelson, the 
great God is at work in the city by the power of his 
Spirit. The work evidently has begun with you, and I 
honor the grace of God in you. Now, when I bow 
the knee before the throne of grace, I pray for you first, 
and I pray that the work may increase and spread 
through the whole community. But we must be careful 
not to grieve the Spirit by an}'^ collision. Now, I propose 
that those awakened in your congregation shall belong 
to you, and those in mine to me." Mr. Nelson replied 
that he honored the feelings of Dr. Strong, and hoped 
that nothing would occur to hinder the work. "And 
now," said he, "as we both believe the Bible to be 
supreme authority in matters of religion, I propose that 
we refer all to that for guidance. I will charge every 
one to be not brother Nelson's disciple, nor Dr. Strong's 
disciple, but Christ's disciple. Therefore, I will direct 
them to Christ and his Word, and I wish you to do the 
same." " Very well," said Dr. Strong, " that will do," 
and so the matter passed. 

At this juncture the Rev. Mr. Boddily, an English 
"Independent" or Congregationalist, of excellent char- 
acter and gifts, who had been known in Boston to Mr. 
Nelson, made him a visit and consented to preach for 
his brethren. The Baptist church was orer-crowded 
with hearers, and they adjourned to the Center Church. 
Mr. Boddily preached from the text, " If our gospel be 
hid, it is hid to them that are lost." Thirty persons 


were awakened under that sermon. The work went on 
with mighty power. Dr. Strong and Mr, Nelson pro- 
posed to hold union prayer-meetings, which was readily 
agreed to. And such was the origin of those conference 
and union prayer-meetings which have been observed in 
Hartford, more or less, since that time, in all the evan- 
gelical churches. 

All this, of course, could not advance without opposi- 
tion from the world, and even from some professors of 
religion. It was a new thing in Hartford. It appeared 
extravagance and even fanaticism to some. Others 
opposed, because the great work was something new, 
and others because they saw in it a condemnation of 
their own lives and a dark shadow thrown over their 
future. The Baptists were objects of special aversion. 
Their evening meetings and their frequent baptisms in 
the river, excited contemptuous remarks, and occasion- 
ally threats of violence. "Such a man," it would be 
said, referring to some active Christians among them, 
" holds to-night meetings. He ought to be tarred and 
feathered." Scurrilous poetry was circulated through 
the groceries and bar-rooms. And the piety of the 
Separatists and Baptists, as they were styled, became the 
song of the reveler at convivial feasts. But Dr. Strong 
and a number of the more spiritual Congregational 
brethren, among whom were Deacons Colton and Chapin * 
sympathized in the work of God, and did all in their 
power to promote it, not only among themselves, but 
among their Baptist brethren. Dr. Strong even went 
so far as to baptize two converts in the river. This de- 
lightful revival continued, with more or less power, till 
after the year 1800. 


At the first election of Mr, Jefferson to the Presidency 
of the United States, Mr. Nelson was appointed, with 
others, by the Danbury, now the Hartford Baptist Asso- 
ciation, in behalf of that body, to prepare and forward to 
him a congratulatory address, recognizing his acknow- 
ledged attachment to civil and religious liberty. Mr. 
Jefferson himself happened to be somewhat among 
Baptists in the earlier period of his life, and always 
admired, as he said, the freedom and simplicity of their 
democratic form of church organization and government. 
It is not, therefore, a matter of marvel if the Baptists 
of that day universally recognized the well-known love 
of liberty cherished by the illustrious framer of the 
Declaration of American Independence. 

One hundred and twenty-one members were added to 
the church during Mr. Nelson's ministry. 

In 1 80 1 Mr. Nelson resigned his charge in Hartford, 
and became, for a number of years, the principal of a 
large and flourishing academy at Mount Pleasant, now 
Sing Sing, N. Y. But he continued successfully to 
preach the gospel there and in the neighboring towns. 
In 1825 he removed to Amherst, Mass., and there -died 
December 8, 1853, in his eighty-second year, leaving an 
unblemished reputation. 

Brief, pointed, earnest, evangelical, Mr. Nelson's 
preaching was eminently sound and practical. His voice 
was clear and ringing ; his manner was impressive and 
dignified, as became " an ambassador for Christ." His 
life was simple, serene, and, especially in his later years, 
heavenly. " He seemed," said a dear friend and rela- 
tive, " to move among men in the quietness of his own 


reflections, above and aside from the cares and the con- 
flicts of outward life, at peace with God and at peace 
with men. ' Mark the perfect man, and behold the up- 
right, for the end of that man is peace.' " 

After the removal of Mr. Nelson from Hartford in 
1 80 1, the church was supplied temporarily by the Rev. 
David Bolles of Ashford. Mr. Bolles did not long retain 
his connection with the church, but at his own request 
was dismissed, and returned to his former residence in 
Ashford. For some years the church was supplied by 
Deacon Robins, a licensed preacher and himself a mem- 
ber of this church. He was the father of the Rev. 
Gurdon Robins, and grandfather of the Rev. Henry E. 
Robins, D. D., LL. D. . He died at Hartford, June 30, 
1829, in his seventy-seventh year. 


In 1807, the Rev. Henry Grew of Providence, R. I., 
became the pastor of the church. His ministry began 
acceptably. Soon a:fter his settlement an interesting 
revival of religion was enjoyed, and a considerable num- 
ber of converts were added to the church. Coming to 
adopt sentiments and usages different from those of the 
church, his connection was dissolved May, 181 1, after a 
pastorate of four years. 

Fifty-six members were added to the church during 
Mr. Grew's ministry. 

Mr. Grew was born in Birmingham, England, Decem- 
ber 25, 1 78 1. His father, John Grew, was a merchant, 
and, believing that his sons would find better opportuni- 
ties in the United States, he removed hither with his 


family in 1795. He died four year later, and his eldest 
son, Mr. John Grew, succeeding to his business, became 
one of Boston's influential citizens. Henry, the second 
son, was designed by his parents for a mercantile career, 
but he was drawn by conviction of duty to the ministry. 
His studious tastes and habits no doubt strengthened 
this tendency. 

His parents were members of a Congregational church, 
but in his youth their son Henry, through his study of 
the New Testament, came to a belief that immersion is 
requisite to Christian baptism. And he joined a Baptist 
church in Providence, whither he went to reside very 
early in the century. 

It is evident that a degree of freedom of thought, 
unusual in those days, was encouraged and exercised in 
his father's family, for the mother afterwards became a 
Baptist, and the eldest son a member of Dr. Channing's 

Mr. Grew began his ministry with this church. After 
the termination of his pastorate he resided many years in 
Hartford, subsequently in Boston, and later in Phila- 
delphia, where he died on the 8th of August, 1862, in 
his eighty-second year. He continued his work of 
preaching until near the close of his life. 

He was a man of strong character and decided convic- 
tions ; skilled in polemics, and of quiet and gentle 
manners. His most prominent characteristic was 
absolute loyalty to truth and right, as they were 
apprehended by him. From such loyalty no con- 
sideration of consequences could turn him aside. For 
his faith was that right is absolute always, and neces- 


sarily, expedient, and that the Ruler of the universe 
c6uld be trusted with the results of obedience to 
his own laws. He might have said, ' ' Let justice be 
done, though the heavens fall." But he never for a 
moment feared that they would fall. Accordingly, he 
was an earnest and active Abolitionist. And during 
the long conflict between liberty and slavery, he faith- 
fully served the cause of the American slave with his 
voice and purse. 

His life of active philanthropy was not limited to one 
field of labor. His quick sympathy and large generosity 
led him to respond promptly and liberally to the numer- 
ous claims made upon all benevolent persons. In the 
joy of giving he was abundantly recompensed for the 
self-denial in his personal expenditures which made it 
possible for him to impart freely to others. 

Twice he visited his native land ; the second time a 
delegate to the World's Anti-Slavery Convention, held in 
London in 1840. 

As he lived so he died, in serene trust, in vigorous 
faith, and undoubting hope of blessed immortality. 


Mr. Cushman became pastor of the church in 18 12. 
He was a lineal descendant of the celebrated Robert 
Cushman, who had much to do in establishing the Ply- 
mouth colony. After serving the church for a number 
of months as preacher, Mr. Cushman was ordained June 
i6th, 18 1 3, and continued in the pastorate tmtil April i, 
1825, when, after his repeated request, he was honorably 
dismissed for another charge. He was a man of superior 


natural gifts, which he had sedulously cultivated by 
reading and reflection. This, aided by his heart-felt 
piety, made him one of the most successful of the 
early pastors. His memory is dear to some of the older 
members still living. During his ministry the church 
enjoyed three revivals of religion, and was greatly in- 
creased and encouraged. The old meeting-house on 
Market Street was raised, a basement was provided, a 
tower or cupola added, and a church bell placed in the 
tower. The bell was the gift of Bro. Caleb Moore. And 
the house was otherwise improved. A church in East 
Windsor was formed from members belonging to this 
body, over which the Rev. Gurdon Robins, a licensed 
minister of the church, presided. The work of Foreign 
Missions was taken up in earnest. The church, with its 
pastor, incited by the presence of the Rev. Luther Rice, 
who had returned from India, took the initiative in 
this matter. A circular was issued to all the Baptist 
ministers and churches in the state inviting a council, and 
resulting in a state organization auxiliary to the Boston 

Two hundred and thirty-five members were added to 
the church during Mr. Cushman's pastorate. 

Mr. Cushman was popular as a preacher even with 
other Christian denominations, and was often called to 
preach or deliver addresses on public occasions. He had 
unusual gifts of utterance, with deep sensibility, and a 
fine play of genial wit and fancy. His discourses were 
well arranged, simple and scriptural, with apt illustra- 
tions and impressive figures. Above all, they were per- 
vaded with a fervid piety and appealed directly to the 


He was born at Kingston, Mass., in 1788, and was 
converted in his twentieth year. He soon began to 
preach, and supplied the church in Grafton for a year. 
After this he aided the Rev. Mr. Cornell, of Providence, 
R. I., in preaching and other pastoral duties. Then he 
came to Hartford, whence he removed to Philadelphia, 
and labored with success for years in the New- Market 
Street Baptist Church. From this place he returned to 
Connecticut, and preached with acceptance and useful- 
ness to the First Baptist Church in New Haven. The 
last scene of his pastoral activity was Plymouth, Mass. 
He gave up his pulpit labors on account of his health, 
and returned once more to Connecticut, becoming a 
resident of this city. Here he edited the Christian 
Secretary, which, when a pastor, he had helped to estab- 
lish, in connection with Mr. Robins, Mr. Canfield, Mr. 
Dimock and others. 

His health gradually gave way, and he died among his 
old friends and family connections October, 1838, at the 
age of fifty. 

In 1824 the basement of the house of worship on 
Market Street was used by the new Episcopal College, 
nov/ Trinity, then called Washington. 


Mr. Cushman was succeeded August 30th, 1825, by the 
Rev. C. P. Grosvenor, who, at the end of one year, at his 
own request, was dismissed to accept the pastorate of the 
First Baptist Church of Boston, Mass. He was born in 
Grafton, Mass., October 18, 1792, and was a son of the 
Rev. Daniel and Deborah (Hall) Grosvenor. He died in 


Albion, Michigan, Febiniary ii, 1879. His early years 
were spent in school, on the farm, and in part as a mer- 
cantile clerk. He entered Dartmouth College at the age 
of twenty-one, and was graduated in 18 18. In his first 
college year he united with the Congregational Church. 
The year following his graduation he was Principal of 
the Academy in Haverhill, N. H. He then commenced 
the study of theology with his father in Petersham, Mass. 
Soon after he spent a year as a student at the Theologi- 
cal Seminary at Princeton, N. J., where began his 
change of views in regard to baptism. In 1821 he was 
licensed by the Brookfield Association of Congregational 
Ministers. After continuing the study of the subject of 
baptism, he was baptized May i8th, 1823, by the Rev. 
Richard Fuller, D. D., in Charleston, S. C, and the next 
day was ordained as an evangelist. 

Mr. GrOsvenor was a man of culture and character. 
He was a pronounced Abolitionist in advance of the 
spirit of the times. He expressed his views fearlessly, 
and endured the opposition resulting manfully. 

Nine members were added to the church during his 

The church was now supplied for a year by the Rev. 
John E. Weston, of Reading, Mass., a devout and affec- 
tionate minister of Christ, to whom the members of the 
church became warmly attached. His health, however, 
was too feeble to admit of the multiplied duties of the 
pastorate. He was subsequently settled in East Cam- 
bridge, Mass., and was drowned at Wilmington, in that 
state, while on his way to preach in Nashua, N. H. Mr. 
Weston was the father of the honored President of 


Crozer Theological Seminary, the Rev. Henry G. Wes- 
ton, D. D. 


For two years the Rev. Barnas Sears discharged ac- 
ceptably the duties of the pastoral office. He commenced 
his labors May 19, 1827, was ordained July nth, and 
was dismissed, at his own request, in March, 1829. He 
was soon after elected a Professor in the Theological 
Seminary at Hamilton, N. Y. 

Dr. Sears was born at Sandisfield, Mass., November 
19, 1802. He was graduated from Brown University 
with the honors of his class in 1825. After a course of 
theology at Newton, his pastorate here began. In 1833 
Dr. Sears visited Germany for the further prosecution of 
his studies. He there baptized the Rev. Dr. J. G. 
Oncken, at Hamburg, in the river Elbe, with six others, 
on the night of April 22, 1834. 

Returning home. Dr. Sears became a Professor in 
Newton. In 1855 he succeeded Dr. Francis Way land to 
the Presidency of Brown University. In 1 867 he became 
the agent for the Peabody Educational Fund, retaining 
that position until his death, at the age of seventy-eight, 
in the year 1880. 

Twenty-nine members were added to the church dur- 
ing Dr. Sears' pastorate. In November, 1828, a lot was 
purchased on Main Street for the new house of worship 
subsequently erected during the pastorate of Dr. Davis. 


Dr. Davis was called to the pastorate May 19th, and 
began his labors as pastor July 29th, 1829. He continued 



to serve the church until his death, never ceasing to 
command in a high degree the respect and affection, not 
only of the church, but of the whole community. He 
was one of the ablest and most successful pastors in New 
England, and, by the blessing of God, greatly aided in 
strengthening and increasing the church. He combined 
in a high degree all the qualities which secure pastoral 
success. His connection with the church was a happy 
one, both for himself and the cause of Christ in Hartford. 
Although he died fifty-four years ago his memory is still 
fresh among us, and will be ever dear to the hearts of 
those who knew him. He was instant in season and out 
of season in his work of faith and labor of love for the 
glory of God and the salvation of souls. 

During his ministry two hundred and sixty-nine were 
added to the church. 

The church edifice on Main Street was begun soon 
after Dr. Davis came on the field. The corner stone 
was laid April 30, 1830, and the house dedicated March 
23d, 1 83 1. The dimensions were eighty-four feet by 

The South Baptist Church in this city was formed 
October 17, 1834, of members from the First Church, 
with Dr. Davis' cordial approval. Their first house of 
worship on Main and vSheldon Streets was erected 
through the joint contributions of the new and the 
mother church. The Connecticut Literary Institution at 
Sufi&eld was established largely through Dr. Davis' in- 
fluence. All our benevolent societies shared in his 
sympathies, and he was never happier than when pro- 
moting their interests and extending their influence. He 


labored to build up the feeble churches in the state, and 
did all in his power to promote the cause of ministerial 
education and the foreign missions. 

For a brief biographical sketch reference is made to 
the address of Deacon Davis, page 27. 

In August, 1836, during a visit to his native place, he 
was taken sick and died, September nth, in the full 
maturity of his powers and usefulness. His body was 
brought by loving friends to Hartford, to the spot dearest 
to him on earth, the church in which he had so successfully 
proclaimed the gospel of Christ. An immense concourse, 
containing representatives from all denominations of 
Christians, attended his funeral and followed his remains 
to the grave, amid the tears of thousands who thronged 
the streets and manifested their respect for his memory. 
The following hymn, written by Mrs. Sigourney, was 
sung on the occasion : — 

" Pastor, thou from us art taken, 
In the glory of thy years ; 
As the oak, by tempest shaken, 
Falls ere time its verdure sears. 

Here, where oft thy lips have taught us 

Of the Lamb who died to save ; 
Where thy guidmg hand hath brought us, 

To the deep baptismal wave, 

Pale and cold, we see thee lying, 

In God's temple, once so dear, 
And the moment's bitter sighing 

Falls unanswered on thine ear. 

All thy love and zeal to lead us 

Where immortal fountains shine, 
And on living bread to feed us. 

In our sorrowing hearts we shrine. 


May the conquering faith that cheered thee, 

When thy foot on Jordan pressed, 
Guide our spirits while we leave thee 

In the tomb that Jesus blest." 

Dr. Davis had special traits of character. He was by 
natural constitution buoyant and self-reliant, full of hope 
and cheer. This, added to his hearty, courteous manner, 
made him a universal favorite. Everybody knew him ; 
everybody loved him. The children in the streets 
brightened at his ready smile. He was good-natured to 
a proverb. He felt for the poor; he sympathised, 
indeed, with all, and would give his last dollar to a suf- 
fering friend. He was a great reader of the Bible, and 
his sermons were studded with gems from the Scripture. 

During his pastorate a legacy of $5,000 came to the 
church by the will of a respected member, Bro. Caleb 


Dr. Davis was followed, December ist, 1836, by his 
intimate friend, the Rev. Henry Jackson. Dr. Jackson 
had supplied the pulpit of the church during the 
winter of Mr. Cushman's illness some fifteen years 
before. His settlement as pastor was productive of great 
benefit to the church, but unhappily lasted only two 
years. A glorious outpouring of the Divine Spirit oc- 
curred in 1838, and was enjoyed by all the evangelical 
churches in the city. This work of grace was, in many 
respects, one of the most remarkable and delightful ever 
experienced in Hartford. Over a thousand were added 
to the different churches. Many wanderers were re- 


claimed, and all the churches were greatly cheered and 

Dr. Jackson was born in Providence, June i6, 1798. 
He was graduated from Brown University in 18 17. 
During his collegiate course he Avas converted, and 
united with the First Baptist Church at Providence. He 
pursued theological studies at Andover, and was ordained 
November 27, 1822. His first settlement was with the 
Charlestown Baptist Church, where he remained from his 
ordination until his settlement with this church. He 
was greatly blessed at Charlestown, and was instrumental 
in founding the Charlestown Female Seminary. He was 
also one of the founders of the Newton Theological 
Institution, and from its origin until his death he was a 
member of its Board of Trustees. 

At Hartford one hundred and ninety-six were added 
to the church during his pastorate. 

Dr. Jackson was greatly beloved, and is still remem- 
bered with profound affection. He was subsequently 
settled at New Bedford, where nearly four hundred were 
added to the church. After a seven years' settlement, he 
became the first pastor of the newly-organized Central 
Baptist Church of Newport. There he remained for 
sixteen years. Three hundred and seventy members 
were brought into the church during his pastorate. He 
died March 2, 1863. 

In his forty years' ministry he baptized nearly 
nine hundred persons, and welcomed five hundred more 
into the fellowship of the several churches he served. 
He was an earnest, affable, Christian gentleman, and a 
faithful preacher of the gospel. 


During the vacancy of nearly one year which followed 
the resignation of Dr. Jackson, the pulpit was supplied 
by the venerable Rev. William Bentley, who on this, 
and on several occasions, did good service to this church 
in the cause of Christ. 


The Hartford pastorate was Mr. Eaton's first. He 
came fresh from Newton with his young wife, and, as 
with Nelson, Grew, Cushman and Sears, he received 
ordination here. Mr. Eaton's labors began November 
12, 1839. He faithfully and diligently discharged his 
duties until his resignation. May 25, 1844. During his 
administration the church enjoyed a great measure of 
prosperity, and in 1841 especially, received a large 
accession of converts. On March 7th of that year one 
hundred and forty persons received the hand of 
church fellowship from Mr. Eaton, and among the 
number were fifty heads of families. In the meetings 
of this and the following season, Rev. Jacob I, Knapp and 
others preached as helpers to the pastor. There were 
many converts, and among them Deacon James G. Bolles 
and other most valuable members. 

Mr. Eaton was born in Ware, N. H., in June, 18 10. 
While pursuing studies at New Hampton, and after 
a protracted struggle with Universalist sentiments, with 
which he had been contaminated, he was converted, 
and August 15, 1830, he was baptized. He sub- 
sequently entered college at Georgetown, Kentucky, 
but in 1833 removed to Union College, where he was 
graduated July 22, 1835. He then became a Professor 


in Haddington College, near Philadelphia. From 
there he went to Newton Theological Institution, 
where he was graduated August 21st, 1839, After his 
five years' pastorate at Hartford, he became pastor 
of the Free Street Baptist Church, Portland, Me., 
where he remained for ten years. His resignation 
was brought about because of ill health. He died 
at Portland, September 27, 1856. His memory is fra- 
grant in Hartford to this day. Many of the most sub- 
stantial members of the church were brought into the 
church during his ministry. Mr. Eaton was a man 
of active sympathies. The meetings at his own house 
for the young are even now warmly recalled. He thus 
brought himself near to the needs and the sympathies of 
those of tender years. But side by side with his sym- 
pathies there was sterling character. Illustrating this is 
the following incident, furnished by Mr, Howard, who 
was present on the occasion. Even then as a very 
young man he was a friend to his pastor, just as 
he has always been in subsequent years. Mr. Eaton 
was called to go down on Charles Street, and invited 
Mr. Howard to go with him. They found a family 
all together in one room, and a man lying on the bed 
in very great agony of mind. He begged Mr, Eaton 
to pray with him, and for him. The man had been a 
notorious character, and of pronounced intemperate 
habits. Mr. Eaton asked him if he was ready to give up 
all his habits of drink. The man said he didn't want to 
do that. But Mr, Eaton told him there was no use to 
pray with him if he clung to the drink. Finally, the man 
broke down and promised he would never drink any 


more. Then Mr. Eaton prayed for him. It was a most 
earnest prayer. The man was converted, and with 
him his wife and children. They all became useful 
members of the church. He continued faithfully in the 
church until his death, and was one of the leading 
Washingtonians . 

Mrs. Eaton, the pastor's devoted wife, was so dearly 
beloved that, years after her husband's death, the church 
invited her to become the pastor's assistant. Her labors 
in this relation continued for years, and left a permanent 
impress for good upon the church. 

During Mr. Eaton's pastorate two hundred and ninety- 
two members were added to the church. 


In the interim of one year following the close of Mr. 
Eaton's labors, the church twice invited Dr. Turnbull to 
become its pastor. Assenting at last, he began July 4th, 
1 845 , the last and most important pastorate of his life. To 
the church this settlement became the longest, and in 
many respects, the most significant in its history. Dr. 
Turnbull was in the thirty-sixth year of his age. Added 
to a thorough training in the schools, he had fifteen 
years experience in the pastoral office. Settled first in 
his native Scotland, then, after 1833, in his adopted 
country, he served successively the churches at Danbury ; 
Detroit, Michigan ; the South Baptist, in Hartford; 
and the Harvard Street Church, in Boston. He never 
removed his membership from this church nor his resi- 
dence from Hartford. When he began his pastorate 
here, the church had acquired something of the strength 


to be anticipated from its history of fifty-three years. 
The congregation was large. The membership had 
grown to five hundred and thirty, and contained many 
men of substantial importance and a number of rising 
young men of no small reserve power and promise. The 
general community, distrustful and suspicious in the 
early years, had come to know more of these Baptists 
and their principles, and to perceive that they were foes 
neither to evangelical religion nor to New England cul- 
ture. Dr. Hawes, pastor of the venerable Center Con- 
gregational Church, came to Mr. Dimock, then a young 
man of forty-four, and courteously offered to extend the 
hand of fellowship to the new pastor on the occasion of 
his public recognition. Hartford had grown into a city 
of fifteen thousand inhabitants, and many of its pulpits 
were well manned. Dr. Bushnell was pastor of the old 
North Congregational Church, at the corner of Main 
and Morgan Streets, a stone's throw farther north than 
the site of our present house of worship. He was only 
seven years the senior of Dr. Turnbull, and became his 
friend as well as his neighbor. The two men were not 
unlike, and they were unlike. Both preached through 
the pen to a large extra-parish congregation. The 
speech of both shone with the sparkle of gem and 
poetry. Both were prophets who spoke forth what 
insight or intuition breathed into their souls. Neither 
loved immoderately, nor in its largest sense, the slow 
and accurate processes of pure logical investigation. 
Bushnell had a larger and more brilliant sweep ; Turn- 
bull had more rugged reverence. The former had more 
readers ; the latter had more hearers. The insight and 


the intensity of the one sometimes led him away from 
the moorings ; that of the other drew him to evangelical 
truth as steel to the loadstone and held him safely fast. 
Bushnell dared to sail out on broad and bold excursions 
into unfathomed seas. Turnbull was himself anchored 
to the everlasting gospel, and helped to anchor other 
men. The religious life of each was simple, profound 
and beautiful, and lent its charm to hide whatever foibles 
there were, and to throw a halo about the graces and the 
virtues of both. 

The gains in church membership throughout Dr. 
Turnbull' s pastorate continued large and steady ; and so 
by emigration to the new west did the losses. In each 
of three years the accessions ran beyond one hundred. 
In 1853 one hundred and thirty new members were re- 
ceived; in 1858, one hundred and twenty-three; and in 
1865, one hundred and eleven. This last year the mem- 
bership of the church footed up seven hundred and 

April 23d, 1853, the South Baptist Church dedicated 
their present elegant house of worship. The First 
Church felt that the time had come likewise for them 
to secure a church edifice fully up to the new require- 
ments. December 6th, 1853, a committee appointed 
previously, of which Edwin Merritt was chairman, re- 
ported recommending the purchase of the present site, 
consisting of two lots, on the corner of Main andTalcott 
Streets, for the sum of twelve thousand five hundred 
dollars. The church and society unanimously voted to 
authorize the deacons to buy the lots, provided ' ' twenty- 
five thousand dollars or some other satisfactory sum," 


should be first subscribed. With profound faith in suc- 
cess, a committee was appointed both to secure the 
desired subscriptions, and to procure plans for the new 
edifice. This committee was composed of the following" 
seven gentlemen : James G. Batterson, James L. Howard, 
George Sexton, Joseph S. Curtis, Edwin Merritt, Ed- 
ward BoUes, and Willis S. Bronson. No time was lost 
in getting matters under way. A little story told by 
the Rev. Gurdon Robins to Mr. Howard suggested the 
fitting motto which headed the subscription list. A dear 
and aged saint had written a subscription as follows : 
" For the love I bear the Lord Jesus, who redeemed my 
soul from death, I hereby promise to give," etc. The 
story brought tears to many an eye. Noble responses 
rapidly swelled the building fund. Three times the 
ground was mowed over before the work was completed. 
Some gave a full third of all they were worth in the 
world. Said one brother as, to the astonishment of the 
solicitor, he wrote down his first subscription of a thous- 
and dollars, and he followed it with two others just like 
it, "I am worth more money than you think I am." 
By February 6th, 1S54, the plans were ready for sub- 
mission, and were finally adopted, after modification, 
March 30th. The architect was Mr. W. Russell West, of 
Philadelphia, a relative, it is said, of the celebrated artist, 
Benjamin West. April 13th the following gentlemen 
were appointed a building committee : James G. Batter- 
son, chairman, Gustavus F. Davis, treasurer, with James 
L. Howard, Joseph B. Gilbert, Willis S. Bronson, Joseph 
S. French, Joseph S. Curtis, Joseph W. Dimock, Edward 
Bolles, Edwin Merritt, Carlos Glazier, Henry E. Robins, 


George Sexton, R. M.. Burdick, H. C. Spalding, George 
Hastings, T. W. Wolcott, William G. Allen, Isaac Hay- 
den, and Wareham Griswold. This committee was 
authorized to erect and complete the building according 
to the plans adopted. Two days later the deacons, who 
by the charter are the corporation, authorized the pur- 
chase of the lots for the price named, and in addition the 
use for her natural life, by Miss Talcott, the owner of 
the larger and corner lot, " of a slip in the house of 
worship to be erected," with the proviso that " the said 
slip was not to be sold or leased by her to others." The 
contract was let to Messrs. Spaulding and Coy for 
$43,130, and work proceeded. December i8th, 1854, 
the church authorized the sale of the former edifice 
for $18,000. In the spring of 1855 the contrac- 
tors having made an assignment, the completion of the 
house was carried on under the immediate direction of 
the building committee. Early in the spring of 1856 the 
house was completed, furnished and paid for and ready 
for dedication. That is to say, the house and furnishing 
were paid for ; but the lot was owned with a mortgage 
attached for some little time afterwards. It was com- 
pleted, except the spire, which was left to await the un- 
foldings of a later day. It is waiting still. So well was 
the work planned and so carefully executed that not a 
crack appeared in the walls from settling, and no work- 
man was injured in the course of construction. The 
upholstering was done by the ladies. The total cost of 
the building, including the lot, was $75,000. Thirty 
thousand dollars of this sum were paid by twelve men ; 
and of this thirty thousand, twenty-one thousand by six 


The new house was dedicated with thanksgiving April 
23d, 1856, three years to the day after the dedication of 
the South Baptist Church. Dr. George B. Ide, of 
Springfield, preached in the afternoon a memorable ser- 
mon from Psalm Ixv. 4 : " We shall be satisfied with the 
goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple." Dr. 
Hawes of the Center Church was present, and partici- 
pated in the exercises. Dr. Turnbull delivered a valu- 
able historical sermon in the evening of the same day. 
The auditorium was crowded of course on both occasions. 
The following Sunday Dr. Turnbull baptized twelve 
candidates in the new baptistery. iVt the dedication of 
the second house of worship, twenty-five years before, 
Dr. Davis had likewise baptized twelve. Dr. Murdock, 
then pastor of the South Baptist Church, preached in the 
new house the afternoon of the first Sunday. The 
first sale of seats realized a total of three thousand six 
hundred dollars. The church passed a vote of thanks to 
the building committee for the wonderfully successful 
prosecution of their work. A noteworthy fact was the 
uniform harmony in the church throughout the building 
period. The spiritual life too was maintained. Conver- 
sions occurred not infrequently, and one hundred and 
ten new members were added. 

The first meeting-house was erected about 1798. It 
was a wooden structure, sixty feet by forty, with tower and 
bell, and a seating capacity of some five hundred. The 
second house was of brick, eighty-four feet by sixty, and 
was erected in 1 830-1, having a seating capacity of about 
eight hundred. The present edifice is of dressed Port- 
land brovv^n stone, and has an extreme outside length, 





* r 














east and west, of one hundred and fifty-two feet. The 
lot on which it is erected is diagonal, and both taxed the 
ingenuity and brought out the genius of the architect. 
The building is really in two parts, the front containing 
the tower, the vestibule, the vestry adjoining, all on the 
first floor, and the chapel on the second floor over the 
vestibule and the vestry. The frontage of this part of 
the building is seventy-five feet, and the depth forty- 
three. The most unique feature of the whole structure 
perhaps is the vestibule, thirty-seven feet deep and 
thirty-two feet long. Including the space adjoining 
the stairway, the length is fifty feet. It is divided into a 
central passage and aisles by twin columns of Caen stone 
having richly carved capitals. A broad stairway leads 
from the south to the chapel above. This spacious vesti- 
bule is in itself a welcome to every stranger and a con- 
stant invitation to cordial social relations between the 
worshippers. The crooked lot suggested to Mr. Batter- 
son this broad entrance, and was by him suggested to 
the architect. The vestry adjoining the vestibule on the 
north has an inside measurement of thirty-seven feet by 
twenty. The chapel above, measures inside thirty-seven 
feet by fifty-six. The ceiling is twenty-seven feet high. 
Adjoining the chapel, and within the tower, is the 
library. The seating capacity of the chapel is three 
hundred and fifty. The second part of the building 
contains the auditorium. The north wall of the audi- 
torium, on account of the diagonal shape of the lot, is 
thirty-six feet south of the north wall of the front por- 
tion of the edifice. The south wall is likewise thirteen 
feet south of the front south wall. This gives an extreme 


outside width of the auditorium at its front of fifty-two 
feet. The room is slightly cruciform. The outside 
width of the arm of the cross is sixty-eight feet. The 
extreme inside measurements of the auditorium are one 
hundred and seven feet by sixty-three. The narrowest 
width is forty-six feet. The extreme inside height is 
forty-five feet. The actual seating capacity is eleven 
hundred. The room is divided into body and aisles by 
fourteen columns, with carved capitals from which spring 
semi-circular arches, supporting a clere-story lighted by 
twenty-four circular windows. Moulded ribs divide the 
arched ceiling into compartments. In the center of each 
severy, at the intersection of the ribs, is a foliage boss, 
perforated for ventilation. The front of the galleries, 
on either side, is panelled and kept back from the pillars, 
leaving the vertical line of the columns unbroken, so as 
not to mar their unity and effect. The organ gallery is 
at the west end of the auditorium. The pulpit platform 
at the east contains the baptistery, with oak screens 
to hide approach and exit. The desk and sofa are on an 
elevation above the platform, and, with the chairs, are 
of richly carved oak. A small lectern, for use during 
the delivery of the sermon, stands in front on the broad 
lower platform. The style of architecture is Roman- 
esque, and the mediaeval type is throughout rigidly main- 
tained. The church was entirely finished except the 
tower. When completed, the building will present an 
appearance surpassed by none in the city. As it is, it 
shows a massive and beautiful church edifice, having 
probably the largest actual seating capacity in Hartford, 
and the unfinished tower, resting on its literal foundation 


of rock, silently, patiently waiting for a summons to go 
up higher. 

One of the most efficient organizations connected with 
the church has always been the Sunday-school. It was 
organized in 1818, with Dea, Joseph B. Gilbert as its first 
superintendent. During Dr. Turnbull's pastorate the 
school took great strides forward under the superintend- 
ency of Bro. Willis S. Bronson. Mr. Bronson continued 
to be superintendent for twenty-seven years, resigning 
December, 1884. The great mass of recruits to the 
church came from the school. To the faithful instruc- 
tions there received, and the earnest personal labors of 
those who carried the souls of their pupils as burdens on 
their own hearts, is to be ascribed very largely the 
numerous conversions with which God has continued to 
bless us throughout the years of our history. 

In the war between the states from 1861 to 1865, the 
church took a most loyal attitude. Many of her brave 
boys enlisted in the army, and of these no small number 
laid down their lives in the battle-field or in the hospital. 
Each annual letter from the church to the association 
during these troublous years expressed loyal and fervent 
hopes for the preservation of the union and the suprem- 
acy of the cause of liberty. The records recall more 
than one case of labor or discipline with some brother 
who took offence at the straightforward loyal course of 
Dr. Turnbull in his pulpit ministrations. The offending 
brother always recognized sooner or later the wrong he 
had committed, and was warmly and lovingly forgiven. 

Mrs. Sarah Fowler, the last survivor of the sixteen 
constituent members, died May 13th, 1862, at the good 


age of ninety-eight, after having been a member of the 
church without interruption for seventy-two years. Dr. 
TurnbuU resigned his pastorate in the spring of 1869, 
retiring April 4th. The church presented him with 
a substantial token of their affection in the shape of a 
purse containing several thousand dollars. Nine hun- 
dred and fifty-eight new members were brought into the 
church during his ministry of twenty-four years. When 
his pastorate closed, the church roll contained seven 
hundred names. 

After his resignation. Dr. Turnbull preached for a 
while in New Haven, laying the foundation of the Cal- 
vary Baptist Church there. In 1873 he became Superin- 
tendent of Missions for the State Convention, and con- 
tinued in office until his death. He used to quote the 
familiar passage of Paul : ' ' Beside these things that are 
without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of 
all the churches." He was so widely useful that his 
brethren, by common consent, called him the Bishop of 

Dr. Turnbull was born in Scotland, September loth, 
1809. He was graduated at Glasgow University, 
and attended the theological lectures of Chalmers in 
Edinburgh. He was of Presbyterian parentage, and 
became a Baptist while studying for the ministry, as a 
result of his own independent investigation and convic- 
tions. Among his published works are the following : 
"The Genius of Scotland," "The Genius of Italy," 
" Olympia Morata," "Claims of Jesus," " Theophany 
of God in Christ," a review of Dr. Bushnell's " God in 
Christ;" "The Pulpit Orators of France and Switzer- 


land," " The Student Preacher," " The World We Live 
In," "The Christ in History," and " Life Pictures from 
a Pastor's Note-Book." For two years he was one of the 
editors of The Christian Review. He died at Hartford 
November 2 oth, 1877, and was buried at Spring Grove 
Cemeter3^ His funeral occurred in the church. The 
people who came to pay their respects to his memory 
filled the great auditorium. As the crowds tenderly 
passed his body lying in the vestibule the spectacle was 
truly impressive. Said Dr. Lathrop to a member of the 
church who still lives, as both stood witnessing- the con- 
course, "What a tribute to character. It isn't his 
mone}^ He is not the pastor of the church now. But 
just see the tears they are dropping as they go by." And 
very impressively he added, " All that a man has is his 
character." A few years ago a massive granite monu- 
ment was erected over his grave by those who had sat 
under his Hartford ministry. Mr. Silas Chapman, Jr., 
superintended the collection of the funds and the erection 
of the monument. 


There was an interim of nearly three years after the 
resignation of Dr. Turnbull. March 29th, 1871, the 
church suffered a grave loss in the death of Dea. James 
G. Bolles. He was baptized by Mr. Eaton, January 24, 
1 84 1, and had served the church as deacon for twenty- 
six years. He was a man of really wide culture, a wise 
adviser, a devoted Christian and liberal supporter of the 
good cause. In his will he directed that the church 
should receive ten thousand dollars from his estate. 


April 7th of the same year the church very cordially 
invited Mrs. H. H. A. Eaton, the widow of a lamented 
former pastor, the Rev. J. S. Eaton, to become Pastoral 
Assistant. Mrs. Eaton accepted the appointment, and 
retained it until May 19th, 1879. During these eight 
years of invaluable labor she visited the sick, the poor 
and the young, bringing to them all the tenderest sym- 
pathies of a loving woman's heart, and the efficient 
ministrations of a hand skilled to help. She was brought 
into contact with the deserving poor, and through her, 
the church was enabled to dispense its bounty in a way 
to give needed aid without discouraging self-help. She 
could bring to the attention of the pastor such special 
cases as might afford him opportunity for special min- 
istration. And all, those helped and those who through 
her bestowed help, the people and the pastor, learned to 
love and highly prize her faithful assistance. Mrs. 
Eaton died June loth, 1885, sincerely mourned by a 
wide circle of friends, many of whom she first met when 
as a pastor's bride she came to Hartford forty-six years 
before, and with whom afterwards as Pastor's Assistant 
she renewed acquaintance in most sacred relations. 

July 19th, 187 1, the church extended a pastoral call 
to the Rev. A. J. Sage, then Professor of Latin in 
the University of Rochester, N. Y. Early in the interim 
negotiations were had with the pastorate in view, 
but at that time Dr. Sage felt drawn otherwise. These 
negotiations reopening, resulted in the call, which was 
accepted. This, the tenth pastorate of the church, began 
January ist, 1872. Dr. Sage entered upon his labors 
like Dr. TurnbuU before him, in the prime of his powers 


and in the same year of his age. The church was firmly 
established in the city, and had grown to importance in 
the denomination as well. Dr. Sage was a man among 
the best of men. Everything about him was sterling 
and finished. Dr. Crane, his friend and neighbor as 
pastor of the South Church, says of him : ' ' His preaching 
was uniformly of a high order. He had the genius of 
taking pains. He was a student, and his sermons were 
always studied. With labor he joined native good 
taste, a subtle humor, and a good degree of originality. 
On the whole, I never heard him preach a sermon which 
I would not call one of marked excellence. There was 
no slap-dash about him. He never extemporized. His 
thought and language smelled of the lamp. As he loved 
choice books, so he loved choice men. On this account, 
he had no message for shallow or noisy or bumptious 
people. In an atmosphere of coarseness he folded his 
petals." Says an intelligent and thoughtful leader in 
the church : "In all his pastorate I never heard him 
preach a single hasty or ill-prepared sermon. He always 
gave us something." And so the people speak not only 
of his preaching but of individual sermons which left on 
their hearts an impression that seemed to be graven or 
rather woven into the fibre of their being. When Dr. Sage 
came to Hartford, the theological thinking was in some 
measure broad and free, if nothing more. But he stood 
forth in the city as an advocate for evangelical truth, 
who commanded attention from the representatives of 
all shades of speculation. He had communed with the 
truth, and was grounded in it. And this church, while 
maintaining sympathy with whatever was really the 


larger thinking- of the times, was safely protected from 
the shadowy fancies of any new theology. Dr. Sage was 
a man, the key-note of whose power was far apart from 
Dr. Turnbull's. Dr. Turnbull rose sometimes on eagle 
wings. He was first a poet, reverent and evangelical 
indeed; and afterwards a theologian. Dr. Sage was 
first a student. His methods were the student's methods. 
When he spoke he limited his speech by the necessities 
of truth carefully examined and compared with the 
things that are written. He had the logical instinct. 
His building was on rock that stands against storm and 
tide. Dr. Turnbull spoke truth as it inspired him. Dr. 
Sage spoke truth as one who had first turned it all over 
and tested it and therefore could give orderly reason for 
the things he believed. 

Early in Dr. Sage's pastorate commodious rooms for 
social gatherings, parlor, committee rooms and kitchen, 
were constructed in the basement of the house of wor- 
ship, at a cost of about three thousand dollars. In this 
new feature the new pastor saw substantial opportunity 
for developing the social relations of the members. A 
new importance, moreover, was given to the younger 
members in the work of the church. And long before 
the great " Christian Endeavor" movement began there 
was here a full grown and thoroughly efficient Young 
People's Association, embodying almost every idea in 
the larger movement which has more recently become 
national. The new impetus given, and the new place 
found for the young people, resulted of course in largely 
increased attendance both in prayer-meetings and the 
preaching services of the church. 


In 1872 preaching was begun in East Hartford. 
Neighborhood meetings also were held here, as they had 
been previously held in other portions of the city on the 
west side of the river. Quite a colony of valuable 
recruits grew up in East Hartford, the result of this 
and other movements under the care of the church. 

September 2 8th , 1 8 7 1 , fifty-two persons were dismissed 
to organize the Windsor Avenue Church. Among these 
was Mr. H. H. Barbour, the leader of the movement, 
whose enthusiam and magnetism had secured a prosper- 
ous beginning of what was really an important depart- 
ure. A chapel had been built on Suffield Street, 
the lot fronting on Windsor Avenue, now North Main 
Street. The new interest prospered for a time. But 
losses by death of valuable members, among them Mr. 
Barbour himself, and other considerations, led to the 
abandonment of the organization after a seven years' 
experiment. November 13th, 1879, ^^e First Church 
voted to purchase the property for five thousand five 
hundred dollars. December 4th, fifty-seven members, 
followed later by others, came back with their letters to 
the mother church. Since that time the field has been a 
mission of the First Church. A prosperous Sunday- 
school has been maintained, with prayer-meeting on 
Friday evenings. 

November ist, 1872, letters were given to fifty-six 
members of the church to unite with others in organizing 
the Asylum Avenue Church, a new movement on the 
" Hill," in the populous and growing west side of the 
city, a paradise of residences. This colony was more 
fortunate than the Windsor Avenue interest, and has 


since grown to a prosperous church of importance, with 
large and flattering promise. For nearly twelve years it 
has enjoyed the pastoral care of the Rev. George M. 
Stone, D. D., a man rare in spirit, of careful scholarship, 
wise leadership, and noble pulpit ministrations. 

The chapel of the church was renovated in 1873, iinder 
the care, almost at the hands of the ladies of the church. 

In 1874 the church adopted "The Service Song" for 
public worship, and has continued to use it through the 
sixteen years which have since elapsed. 

Although the church suffered heavy losses by emigra- 
tion to the new interests at home, and removals from, the 
city, the accessions continued in a very gratifying and 
regular way. Twice there was outside assistance in con- 
ducting special meetings. In 1878 Messrs. Moody and 
Sankey, followed by Messrs. Pentecost and Stebbins, 
held a three months' evangelistic campaign, in which 
the several churches of Hartford united. Seventy-three 
were baptized into the fellowship of our church chiefly 
as a result of this work. In the winter of 1883-4 the 
Rev. H. P. Smith assisted the pastor in a series of 
special meetings, resulting in the baptism of some thirty- 
two. While the number of additions was less than in 
1878, the losses likewise w^ere less from wayside hearers 
and others in whom the good seed seemed not to take 
deep root. 

The parsonage, a neat, commodious and convenient 
residence, centrally located at No. 102 Ann Street, was 
purchased by the church April 30th, 1873, at a cost of 
sixteen thousand dollars. Ten thousand dollars of this 
amount were the contribution of two honored members 


of the church, Messrs. James L. Howard and James G. 

For three successive years during his pastorate here, 
Dr. Sag-e was elected chaplain of the lower house of 
the State Legislature. In 1874 he delivered the 
annual sermon before the Christian Association of the 
University of Rochester. The sermon was well 
received and published. The topic was "The Mis- 
guiding Influence of Pure Intellectualism apart from 
the Moral Sense, as Seen in the Spirit of the Age." 
He was invited to deliver, at the next commencement, 
the annual address before the Alumni Association on 
"Arnold of Brescia and Liberty." This address was 
also published. So, too, was Dr. Sage's address at 
Saratoga before the American Baptist Publication Society 
on the theme, "The Training Needed by the Baptist 
Denomination." He was invited to address the Social 
Union at Boston, and also the Manhattan Social Union 
of New York. Before the former he spoke on "The 
Causes of the Decline in the Supply of Candidates for 
the Ministry;" before the latter on "The Future of 
Religion in the West." He was President of the 
Connecticut State Convention, and for thirteen years, as 
" Silex," the regular correspondent of " The Examiner" 
of New York. Once or twice Dr. Sage listened to the 
pleadings of the muse. " The Violin," a poem of forty- 
five stanzas, appeared in "The Continent," was widely 
copied, and finally received a place in Stedman's 
"Library of American Literature." At the death of 
President Garfield he wrote a hymn, which was sung at 
several memorial services, and was very well received. 


In 1884 he also wrote the following " Easter Hymn" : — 

Jesus, each drop of precious blood 

Reveals thy wondrous grace ; 
We weep to see thy drooping head, 

Thy sorrow-stricken face. 
O Calvary ! O Lamb of God ! 

What mystery of grief ! 
Blest fountain of atoning blood, 

The guilty soul's relief ! 

In death thou'rt mightier than the tomb, 

Thou'rt conqueror o'er the grave ; 
From out the heart of deepest gloom 

Thou comest with power to save ; 
And saints and angels clothed in white, 

Above all cloud and storm, 
The new creation's holy light 

Shines in thy glorious form. 

O Jesus, risen and glorified. 

Made captive by thy love, 
Our hearts with thee are crucified, 

With thee to reign above ; 
O, may thy life within us live, 

Thy light within us shine, 
The Spirit to our spirits give 

The life of love divine. 

Accepting a call to a Professorship in the Union Baptist 
Theological Seminary at Morgan Park, Dr. Sage retired 
from the pastorate of the church September ist, 1884. 

He was born in Massillon, Ohio, March 29th, 1836, and 
converted at fourteen years of age, under the preaching of 
President E. G. Robinson, then pastor of the Ninth Street 
Baptist Church, Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Robinson bap- 
tized him in the spring of 185 1. He was graduated 
from the University of Rochester in i860, and from the 


Rochester Theological Seminary three years later. He 
ministered to the churches at Shelburne Falls, Massa- 
chusetts, where he was ordained September, 1863; Strong 
Place, Brooklyn; the Fourth Church, Philadelphia; and 
Pierpont Street, Brooklyn. He received the degree of 
Doctor of Divinity from Rochester in 1872. Five 
hundred and thirty-three members were brought into the 
church here during his pastorate. He retired with the 
respect and the affection and regret of all the church and 


With little delay, the pulpit committee united in 
recommending to the church the young pastor of the 
First Baptist Church of Springfield, Massachusetts, the 
Rev. L. L. Potter. February 12th, 1885, the church 
extended to Mr. Potter a very hearty and unanimous 
call to the pastorate. The call was accepted, and Mr. 
Potter began his labors May ist. He was born at Cole- 
brook, Connecticut, March 30th, 1858, and received his 
education at the Connecticut Literary Institution in Suf- 
field, and at the University of Rochester, New York. 
He was baptized at the early age of ten, and licensed to 
preach by the Baptist Church at Willington when he was 
sixteen years old. His honored father, the Rev. C. W. 
Potter, has been an active and useful pastor in our de- 
nomination for years. 

Mr. Potter found the church ready to welcome him 
with no little enthusiasm. There was pronounced ad- 
vance of interest both in the Sunday congregations and 
at the social meetings. The young pastor had remark- 


able social qualities and a graceful and happy way of 
presenting his pulpit ministrations, clothed in pictures of 
words, that both engaged attention and gave delight. 

In less than six weeks after Mr. Potter's settlement 
the church was called to lose by death the beloved Mrs. 
Eaton. In the associational letter special mention is 
made of her death, which occurred June loth, 1885. 

Early in his pastorate, the entrance- way through the 
tower to the vestibule, which seemed to be especially 
adapted to the new purpose, was, at Mr. Potter's sugges- 
tion, re-arranged for a pastor's study and very neatly 
furnished accordingly. 

April, 29th, 1886, was the seventieth anniversary of the 
baptism of a venerable and respected brother, Joseph W. 
Dimock. In the evening of the day a reception was 
tendered Brother Dimock at the church. Many friends 
paid their respects to him, and informal addresses and 
reminiscences were offered by Brethren Davis, Howard, 
Smith, Dr. Stone, Mr. Potter, and by Brother Dimock 
himself. A pretty feature of the pleasant occasion was 
the presentation by Brother Dimock, through the pastor, 
of a purse containing seventy dollars in gold, a dollar 
for each year of his connection with the church, to be 
used for the poor of the church. 

Mr. Potter resigned December 19th, 1887, and closed 
his labors December 31st. The same harmony through- 
out the church which marked his coming continued to 
the end of his pastorate. Eighty-three persons had been 
welcomed into the fellowship of the church in his two 
years and eight months of service. 

The interim of one year and eleven months following 


the close of Mr. Potter's pastorate seemed to develop the 
hearty loyalty to the church which has been a feature of 
its history from the first. The Sunday evening meetings 
of the young people were particularly well maintained. 
The pulpit was supplied by some of the very best 
preachers in the denomination ; for a long time without 
any special desire to efTect a pastoral settlement. Several 
were baptized at the hands of a respected fellow-member, 
the Rev. Albert Guy, who in the evening of his life has 
retired from a long and useful service in the pulpit, and 
found a welcome home in the venerable First Church. 


began November 29th, 1889. Accepting a call extended 
October 24th, the twelfth pastor found the same loving 
reception the church has always given to those whom it 
has called to leadership. Up to July 3d, 1890, fifty-two 
new members have been welcomed into the church. 

Mr. James was born in Philadelphia, July 20th, 1848. 
He is the son of Professor Charles S. James, Ph. D., 
who for more than a quarter of a century filled the chair 
of Mathematics in the University at Lewisburg. He 
was baptized in his sixteenth year, graduated from the 
University at Lewisburg, Penna., now Bucknell Univer- 
sity, in 1868, and from Crozer Theological Seminary in 
1 87 1. After a year of post-graduate study in Germany, 
he was pastor for ten years at Allentown, Pennsylvania, 
and for seven years of the First Baptist Church, German- 
town, Philadelphia. 

Deacon Luther C. Glazier was the efficient superin- 
tendent of the Bible-school from 1884 to 1890, when he 


was succeeded by Mr. George T. Utley. Mr. Charles E. 
Bayliss at the same time was chosen secretary in place 
of Mr. Utley. The school has August ist, 1890, a total 
enrollment of 412. Mr. H. M. Twiss is the active and 
successful superintendent of the Suffield Street Mission, 
with a total enrollment of 150. In the library of our 
school there are 1,157 volumes. Mr. Silas Chapman, 
Jr., is the librarian. He is assisted by a faithful corps 
of young men. Mr. E. B. Boynton is at present the 
presiding officer of the Young People's Association. 
The prayer-meeting of the association is held at half- 
past six each Sunday evening, and is conducted with 
both zeal and wisdom. 

It may be properly recorded here that some of the 
young people of the church secured ten dollars in sub- 
scriptions of one dime each, and deposited the amount in 
the "■ Society for Savings," to bear compound interest at 
4 per cent. The deposit is made in the name of the 
Deacons of the First Baptist Church, in trust, the pro- 
ceeds to be available only for the expenses attending the 
celebration of the second centennial of the church. Mr. 
Fred A. West and Miss Harriet I. Eaton, a daughter of 
the eighth pastor, were the committee who secured the 
ten dollars. 





Lucius Bolles was born in Ashford, Conn., Sept. 25, 
1 779. He was graduated from Brown University in 1 80 1 . 
He pursued a three years' course of theological study 
under Dr. Stillman. For twenty-two years from 1805 he 
was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Salem, Mass. 
Five hundred and twelve new members were added to 
the church during his ministry. He was instrumental 
in securing the organization of the first Foreign Mis- 
sionary Society, now the Missionary Union. In 1826 he 
became its first secretary. This position he held for 
sixteen years. He died January 5, 1844. 


He was born January 14, 1743. In October, 1793, in 
his fiftieth year, he was ordained. In the early history 
of the church he frequently supplied its pulpit, and he 
labored in destitute churches throughout the state. He 
was the father of three Baptist preachers. 


He was born February 6, 1786. His father, Ephraim 
Robins, was a local preacher. Mr. Robins was converted 
in 1798, and baptized by Mr. Nelson. In 18 14 he became 


a deacon in the church, and early began to preach. 
Mr. Robins resided for seven years from 1816, in North 
Carolina, and was actively identified with the Baptists 
there. He assisted in reviving the North Carolina 
Baptist Mission Convention, and was at one time judge 
of the county court. He was ordained at East Windsor, 
June 17, 1829, and was pastor at South Windsor for a 
time, and often supplied churches in different parts of 
the state after retiring from this pastorate. For five 
years he was editor of the Christian Secretary. He was 
active in connection with the State Mission and educa- 
tion work, had a wide acquaintance with the churches, 
was a judicious counselor and a devout Christian. He 
died January 2, 1864, in his seventy-eighth year. 


was born May 14, 1807, in Enfield, and still lives in 
New Hartford. He was baptized June loth, 1826, by 
the Rev. C. P. Grosvenor, licensed to preach during the 
pastorate of Dr. Sears, and ordained at Seekunk, R. I., 
January 23, 1833. He was pastor there two years, also 
at North Stonington five years, Westfield, Mass., three 
years, Middlefield, Mass., five years, Cheshire six years. 
North Egremont five years, and at Canton, Conn. His 
health failing, he came back to the mother church during 
the pastorate of Dr. Sage. He enjoyed gracious revivals 
in several of his pastorates, and was permitted to baptize 
all of his children. 


He was born in Blanford, Mass., January 27, 181 5, 
and was of French Huguenot extraction. He was bap- 


tized at the age of sixteen, and graduated from Brown 
University, in the celebrated class of 1840, He became 
tutor, and afterwards Professor of Ancient Languages 
at Brown. In 1850 he went to Europe, spending a year 
in study in Germany and six months in Greece and Italy. 
In 1852 he became Professor of Greek in the Univer- 
sity of Michigan. In 1868 he accepted an invitation to 
fill a similar chair in the Chicago University. In 1877 he 
became Professor of New Testament Interpretation in 
the Baptist Union Theological Seminary at Morgan Park. 
This chair he still occupies. Dr. Boise is the author of 
several important classical text-books, and of valuable 
commentaries on Paul's Epistles. He is a man whose 
scholarship and influence have given a national reputa- 


was born in Fayette, Maine, 1808. He united with 
this church at eighteen years of age, the first person 
baptized by Dr. Sears. He was graduated from Water- 
ville University (now Colby) in 1835, and pursued theo- 
logical studies at Newton until 1839, when he became 
pastor, for six years, at Massillon, Ohio, where Dr. Sage 
was born, the future pastor of this church, then being 
three years old. He also settled four years at Norwalk, 
Ohio; seven years at the Third Church in Cleveland; 
also at the Euclid Avenue Church. He was District 
Secretary for the American Baptist Home Mission 
Society for Ohio and West Virginia twelve years. He 
collected over a hundred thousand dollars for Home Mis- 
sion work, another hundred thousand dollars toward the 


endowment of Denison University. He died at Cleve- 
land, Ohio, March 14, 1888. 


He was born in Scotland in 1789. He was persecuted 
for his religious sentiments, and moved to America in 
1824, where he united with our church. He frequently 
exercised his gifts while in this connection, and died in 

J. L. HODGE, D. D., 

son of William Hodge, was born in Scotland Septem- 
ber5, 1812. In 183 1 he became a member of this church. 
In 1835 he was ordained at the First Church in Suffield. 
From Suffield he moved to Brooklyn, becoming pastor of 
the First Baptist Church in that city. After a long pastor- 
ate, he founded the Washington Avenue Baptist Church, 
becoming pastor of the new interest. He had also a 
pastorate in Newark, N. J. In 1864 he became pastor 
of the Mariners' Church of New York, a position which 
he held until age constrained him to retire. 


He was born in Suffield October 15, 1817. He was 
baptized by Dr. Jackson in 1838, and studied at Suffield. 
He was ordained in Agawam, Mass., in 1840, and was 
subsequently pastor of the church in Bristol. In 1853 
he accepted a call to the church at Middletown, where he 
died in the maturity of manhood, in the midst of a 
glorious revival, February 7, 1858. He was greatly be- 


loved, and was often called to aid pastors in the time of 


He was born at Hartford July 4, 18 13. In early life 
lie was a printer, associated with Mr. Canfield, then 
publisher of the Christian Secretary, and also with Mr. 
Isaac E. Bolles, of the Northern Courier. In 1839, ^'^ 
the age of twenty-six, Mr. Cushman was converted, and 
united with our church. In 1840 he was licensed to 
preach. He became pastor of the church in Willing-ton, 
where he remained for five years, seventy-one members 
being added to the church. In April, 1847, he accepted 
a call to the church in Deep River, where he remained 
for twelve years. His pastorate there was singularly 
successful. In 1859 ^^ became pastor at West Hartford, 
where he remained until 1862. He then assumed charge 
of the Christian Secretary, and retained it until his 
death, January 4, 1876. He was a preacher of real 
power, a man of deep piety, self-possessed under all 
circumstances, and pervaded with genuine affection. 
His widow, Mrs. Frances Cushman, survives him, and 
is now an active and useful member of this church. 


He was born in Warwick, R. I., December 24th, 1818, 
converted at fourteen years of age, and baptized at 
Westerly in 1837. He subsequently moved to Hartford 
and became a member of this church. In 1841 he 
entered upon a four years' course of study for the 
ministry ; was ordained and became pastor of the Groton 


Church 1845. After a successftil pastorate here of four 
years and another of six and a half years at Willington, 
he became pastor of the Church at Putnam. Here he 
remained until 1864 and had a wonderful success. He 
then entered the army as chaplain, and was afterwards 
for more than six years pastor at New Britain. The 
settlement here was one of continuous revival. The 
present house of worship was erected during his pastorate 
there. In 1871 he became the Sunday-school Missionary 
of the State. In this position he remained for many 
years doing valiant work, which endeared him all over 
the state. He was a brave soldier, an ardent abolitionist, 
friend of the mission cause and of temperance reform. 
He died October, 1886. 


He was born April 11, 1828, at Willington. He was 
graduated from Brown University in 185 i, and entered 
upon the study of law in Hartford. Soon thereafter he 
was converted, and united with our church. He began 
to prepare for the ministry, entering upon a course of 
study at Newton. He died March 19, 1855, in the last 
year of his course, after having been called to a pastorate 
in Fall River, Mass. In his death a life of surpassing 
promise was brought to a mysterious close. 


He was born in Sutton, Mass., June 25, 1825, and 
removed to Hartford in 1839. He was converted at 
fifteen, and baptized by Mr. Eaton soon after. He was 


graduated from Trinity College, Hartford, in 1846, 
and from Newton Theological Institution in 1850; 
ordained May 8, 1850, at Hartford; and married to 
Miss Mary Flint of this city. In June following, they 
sailed as missionaries for Assam, India. His missionary 
service in India covered a decade remarkable for the 
enlargement of missionary operations. He translated 
large portions of the Old Testament from Hebrew into 
Assamese. For four years he took charge of the printing 
establishment, and for two years he had the whole 
charge of the mission at Sibsagor. He did a great 
work for Assam. Returning to this country on 
account of Mrs. Whiting's health in 1861; for seven 
years he was pastor of the church in Colchester, Vt. ; for 
four years in Windsor, Vt. ; and finally at Fair Haven, 
Conn. The church there owes to him, under God, 
almost its very existence. He built their present church 
edifice, a monument of his fidelity. His failing health 
compelled his retirement. He removed to New Haven, 
and there died February 21, 1878. 


He was born in Branford October 13, 18 12. His 
parents were natives of Africa. He became pastor of a 
church in Providence, and afterwards of the Shiloh 
Baptist Church in Philadelphia. During the war he was 
chaplin of a colored regiment in the Northern army. 


He was born November 21, 1828, in Canterbury. He 
was graduated from Brown University in 1856. He 



was never ordained, but statedly supplied the cliurcli in 
Southington several months, then a church in Illinois, 
and has supplied other churches occasionally. He now 
lives in Plantsville, where he has been an active and useful 
member of the church in that place since it was estab- 
lished. Mr. Bond is a brother of the excellent literary 
editor of the Christian Secretary, the Rev. E. P. Bond. 


He was born in Bristol June 15, 1826; was graduated 
from Yale in 1850; baptized by Dr. Turnbull in 1856; 
and became pastor at Northampton, Mass., West 
Meriden, Conn., and Westfield, Mass. He served 
as Sunday-school Missionary of the State Convention, 
and has been engaged in editorial work. He is at present 
editor and proprietor of the Shore Lines Times, of New 


was born in Hartford, and is a son of the Rev. Gurdon 
Robins. He was ordained December 6, 1861 ; was pastor 
of the Central Baptist Church in Newport, R. I., for five 
years, and at Rochester, N. Y., for six years. While at 
Newport he was associated with Dr. Jackson until the 
death of the latter. He was President of Colby Univer- 
sity from 1873, for several years, where he did an im- 
portant work. He is now Professor in the Rochester 
Theological Seminary. Feeble health has restrained him 
from appearing often in public of late years. He has 
been one of the gifted and eloquent preachers in the 
denomination. His excellent sister, Mrs. Caroline Tur- 
ney, the widow of the late Rev. Dr. Edmund Turney, at 


one time pastor of the South Church, is now a faithful 
member of this church. Dr. Robins was invited to 
deliver an address at the centennial celebration. His 
health prevented his coming in person, but did not pre- 
vent his sending the excellent address, which was read 
by Dr. Stone. The address will be found on page 105. 


He was born in Hartford May 27, 1842 ; was graduated 
from Brown University in 1870, and from Newton in 
1873. He was ordained in Hartford in June, 1873. Iii 
the fall of the same year he sailed for Japan, locating as 
a missionary at Yokohama, and later at Tokio. Ill 
health compelled him to return home in 1877. He 
reached San Francisco in June, and died in December. 
He was an earnest Christian, a laborious missionary, 
and gave promise of great usefulness. He gathered a 
church of twenty members at Tokio. 


was born at Deep River, October 26th, 1822 ; converted 
at nine years of age and welcomed into the church. 
His testimony, given soon after his conversion, resulted 
in the conversion of a thoughtless and hardened young 
man, who afterwards entered the ministry. Mr. Mather 
studied at Suffield, Brown University and Newton. Ill 
health prevented his graduation at college, shortened his 
ministerial life, and obliged him to go into business. 
He died in 1853, but thirty-one years of age. His 
widow, Mrs. Rachel C. Mather, established the Mather 
Industrial School for colored people at Beaufort, S. C, 
and still conducts it with success. Mr. Mather was a 


man of excellent Christian character and highly re- 
spected. He was connected with this church for some 


son of the Rev. Henry R. Knapp, was born in New 
York, October 31st, 1824; entered Suffield in 1837; in 
1 840 engaged in business with the Rev. Gurdon Robins 
at Hartford ; was converted during the great revival 
under Elder Knapp, largely through the personal labor 
of Mrs. Caroline Turney. He was baptized by Mr. 
Eaton. He was early drawn toward the ministry. Al- 
though silent about his convictions, was advised by 
Deacon Gilbert to return to school and prepare to preach. 
Shrinking from dependence on others for an education, 
he declined. Coldness and backsliding followed. In 
1857 he yielded to the call, and began work at Hudson 
City, N. J., with a church of sixteen members. He 
founded a Baptist Church at West Farms, N. Y., 
returning to his first church, built the meeting-house, 
and remained seven years ; then settled with the South 
Baptist Church, then with the Pilgrim Baptist Church, 
both in New York City. In 1871 he took the old field 
of the Laight Street Church. Here great revivals were 
given and very many souls saved. This church he merged 
into the old Macdougal Street Church. After fourteen 
years he resigned, and is now pastor of the Central 
Baptist Church, Brooklyn, N. Y. Dr. Knapp has always 
been in business and is now. 


was born June 2 2d, 1850, and united with this church in 


March, 1859. He studied law with his father, Judge 
Barbour, and aftewards practiced his profession at New 
Britain. The conversion of his young son was the occa- 
sion of the quickening of his religious life and his 
entrance into the ministry. He was ordained in the 
fall of 1880 and settled with the North Baptist Church 
of Newark, N. J. He remained there six years, and 
then became pastor of the North Baptist Church of 
Camden, N. J., for a year and a half. Since the spring 
of 1888 he has been the pastor of the Belden Avenue 
Baptist Church, Chicago. 


was born July 28th, 1853, and united with this church 
May ist, 1864. He was graduated from Brown Univer- 
sity in 1874 and the Rochester Theological Seminary in 
1877. He was pastor at Brockport, N. Y., for four 
years. North Orange, N. J., two years, and since 
October, 1883, of the First Baptist Church, Fall River, 
Mass., where he still labors with great acceptance. 
"While at Brockport he had the pleasure of baptizing his 
three brothers, William H., Clarence A. and John B. 
The second is now a member of the senior class of the 
Rochester Theological Seminary, and the former is 
about to enter the seminary with the ministry in view. 
Mr. Barbour was invited to deliver an address at the 
centennial anniversary of the church. Accepting the 
invitation, he was present, and spoke with great interest 
to all. His address may be found on page 94 of this 
volume. Mr. Barbour, as this sketch goes to press, is 


on his way to visit Palestine, in company with the Rev. 
Byron A. Woods of Philadelphia, the Rev. J. K. Wilson 
of Taunton, Mass., and the Rev. G. C. Baldwin, Jr., of 


is the youngest child of the church in the ministry. He 
was born in this city, July nth, 1858. He was converted 
at sixteen years of age, and baptized by Dr. Sage February 
27th, 1876. He at once became an active Christian, and 
in 1879 began a course of study preparatory to entering 
the ministry. He took the honors of his class at Suf- 
field, studied at the University of Rochester, at the 
Hartford Theological Seminary, and graduated in 1889 
from the Rochester Theological Seminary. His ten 
years' course of study was partially interrupted by his 
own labors to secure the funds needed for his education. 
During his course he supplied the church at Tariffville 
for two years. In the fall of 1889 he became Assistant 
Pastor of the Fourth Avenue Church at Pittsburg. In 
eight months the Oakland mission in his care was organ- 
ized as a church with forty members. This young church 
he still serves with great success. He was married Octo- 
ber 9th, 1889, to Miss Jennie E. Sanford of New Hart- 
ford. By an inadvertence Mr. West's letter to the 
church at the centennial celebration was omitted. 


It has been impossible to secure biographical sketches 
of all who have gone from the church into the ministry. 


The following list contains the names of some, if not all, 
of the others. 

Joseph Jeffery, 

Peter Easton, 

S. B. Randall, 

S. L. Bronson, 

R. H. Bowles, 

G. W. Pendleton, 

Benjamin Gower, 

Ralph H. Maine, 

John Clapp, 

d. r. lumsdin, 

John Jennings, 

William Bronson, 

E. H. Bronson, 


M. C. Thwing, 
Otis Saxton. 


John BoUes, chosen 1790 ; died March, 1830. 

Samuel Beckwith, chosen 1790 ; died September, 1833. 

Gurdon Robins, chosen January 20th, 1814 ; resigned October 5th, 1817. 

Joseph B. Gilbert, chosen October 5th, 1817 ; died June 2d, 1857. 

Jeremiah Brown, chosen March, 1822 ; died August 15th, 1851. 

Waterman Roberts, chosen April 23d, 1830 ; resigned October 17th, 1834, 

Philemon Canfield, chosen May 27th, 1836 ; resigned July, 1842. 

Aaron Clapp, chosen May 27th, 1836 ; removed March 3d, 1844. 

Chauncy G. Smith, chosen July 22, 1842. 

James G. BoUes, chosen February 3d, 1S45 ; died March 29th, 1871. 

John Braddock, chosen January 26th, 1852 ; died April nth, 1871. 

James L. Howard, chosen January 26th, 1857. 

William Wallace, chosen March 4th, 1S70 ; died July loth, iSSi. 

Charles B. Canfield, chosen March 4th, 1870. 

Gustavus F. Davis, chosen September 29th, 1881. 

Luther C. Glazier, chosen November 6th, 1881. 

Rush P. Chapman, chosen November 6th, 1881. 

Carnot O. Spencer, chosen October 3d, 1S89. 


Luther Savage, from April 4th, 1790, to February 17th, 1809. 
Gurdon Robins, from February 17th, 1809, to October 5th, 1817. 
Edward BoUes, from October 5th, 1817, to September, 1822. 
Jeremiah Brown, from September, 1822, to August 25th, 1S25. 
Gurdon Robins, from August 25th, 1825, to February 3d, 1S27. 
Albert Day, from February 3d, 1827, to May 30th, 1834. 
Joseph W. Dimock, from May 30th, 1834, to January 12th, 1852. 
Henry E. Robins, from January 12th, 1S52, to December 2d, 1853. 
Heman H. Babour, from December 2d, 1853, to October 30th, 1857. 
Daniel D. Erving, from October 30th, 1857, to September loth, 1866. 
F. B. Eustis, from September loth, 1866, to April ist, 1880. 
Chester G. Munyan, from April ist. 1880. 




-I ii 







Roll of Membership. 


The Rev. J. S. James. — Residence, 102 Ann Street. 

Chauncy G. Smith, 
James L. Howard, 
GusTAvus F. Davis, 
Luther C. Glazier, 
Rush P. Chapman, 
Carnot O. Spencer. 

Chester G. Munyan. 

Chauncy G. Smith. 

In addition to the Pastor, Deacons, and Clerk, the following : — 
J. W. DiMocK, F. A. Chapin, A. J. Pruden, 

W. S. Bronson, W. O. Carpenter, W. C. Bolles, 

John Sloan, Albert Guy, A. S. Bailey, 

W. B. Clark, G. T. Utley, J. G. Burnet. 


Carnot O. Spencer, Chairman; Silas Chapman, Jr., Clerk; 

W. O. Carpenter, C. H. Emmons, W. C. Bolles, W. B. Clark. 


Adams, Jane J., widow of F. D. 
Adams, William J. | 
Adams, Emily A. \ 
Allardyce, Charles B. } 
Allardyce, Catharine f 
Allen, Ada, widow of Edward 
Allen, Mary A., widow of Wm. G. 
Allis, Miss Frances M. 
Alpress, H. W., widow of G. L. 
Andrews, Wales L. 
Andrews, Elizab'h, widow of Lyman 
Annis, Caroline H., wife of B. H. 
Arnold, Frances M., wife of G. W. 
Arthur, Louisa, widow of James G. 
Ashwell, Miss Elizabeth S. 
Aston, Delia F. (Taylor), wife of 

Atwood, Mary R. , wife of T. W. 

Babcock, Caroline, wife of A. W. 
Bailey, Asher S. 

Bailey, Hannah E., wife of Charles 
Barker, Charles S. W. 
Barker, Ludlow 
Barker, William E. } 
Barker, Lizzie B. )" 

Barnes, George C. 
Barnum, Miss Belle M. 
Barrows, Miss Nellie M. 
Bartlett, James B. 
Batterson, James G. 
Batterson, James G., Jr. 
Bayliss, Charles E. } 

Bayliss, Eunice W. (Brown) ) 
Bayliss, James E. } 
Bayliss, Isadore E. \ 
Beardsley, Anna G., wfe of B. F. 
Beardsley, Miss Mary A. 
Beardsley, Guy E. 
Beeman, William M. ) 
Beeman, Mary A. f 

Behner, F. Edward i 

Behner, Ella M. (Shumway) \ 

140 Maple Ave. 
So Church 

2S Center 

559 Main 
Chicago, 111. 
90 Edwards 
39 Chestnut 
98 Edwards 
Springfield, Mass. 
54 Chestnut 
W. Rocky Hill 


Richm'd City, Wis. 

East Hartford 
East Hartford 
1043 Main 
26 Belden 
Farmington Ave. 
56 Asylum 

29 Spring 
25 1-2 Florence 
190 Sisson Ave. 
24 Belden 
I Vine 
New York City 

30 Vernon 

129 Trumbull 

90 Edwards 
90 Edwards 
90 Edwards 
10 Avon 

22 Walnut 

B. May 
B. Jan. 
B. May 
L. June 
L. June 
L. Nov. 
L. Jan. 
L. Sep. 
B. Mar. 
L. July 
B. Mar. 
B. July 
B. .Mar. 
B. May 
L. Sep. 

5, 1S4S 
5, 1868 

2, 1858 
I, 18S2 
I, 18S2 

29, 1S7S 
4- 1850 
5, 1SS6 
7, 1841 
7, 1868 
7, 1S41 
4, 1858 

3. 1S7S 
20, 1855 
28, 18S2 

L. June 3, 18S0 
L. Aug. 7, 1864 

B. Aj^r. 4 
B. Apr. 7 
L. May 10 
B. Jan. 22, 
L. Apr. 2, 
L. Dec. 4, 
L. Dec. 4, 
B. Mar. 28, 
L. June 30, 
L. Feb. 3, 
L. Nov. 29, 
L. Sep. 7, 
B. Apr. 7, 
B. Apr. 21, 
B. Oct. 24, 
B. May 5, 
B. May 5, 
L. Sep. 5, 
L. Sep. 5, 
B. Jan. I, 
L. Jan. 31, 
B. Apr. 6, 
B. Apr. 2, 
B. Mar. 19, 

, 1S73 
, 187S 
, 1852 
, 1865 
, 1879 



Belcher, Eliza A., widow of John 

Belcher, Mary E., wife of R. S. 

Belknap, Miss Rosella 

Bennett, Alice (Howard), wife of E.B. 

Berry, Anna F., widow of Benj. 

Bestor, Foronda 

Bestor, L. (Merritt), wife of S. J. 

Bidwell, Frank L. 

Bissell, Miss Emma L. 

Bliss, Emeline, wife of Edward 

BoUes, Enoch 

BoUes, George J. 

Bolles, Herman L. 

Bolles, Jane, widow of E. J. 

Bolles, Miss Jennie J. 

Bolles, Wm. C. \ 

Bolles, Harriet E. (Payne) f 

Bonner, John D. ^ 

Bonner, Violet (Marsh) S 

Bowers, Miss Ellen M. 

Boynton, Miss Ada 

Boynton, Edward B. ) 

Boynton, Jennie P. (Sloane) ) 

Boynton, Miss Ella L. 

Boynton, Geo. H. 

Boynton, Henry M. 

Braddock, Miss Annie 

Bradstreet, F. A., wife of G. W. 

Brewer, Alice M., wife of Janeway 

Brewer, Miss Carrie E. 

Brewer, C. A., widow of F. A. 

Brewster, Alfred L. 

BreM-ster, Mary E., widow of N. D. 

Brewster, Sarah E., wife of H. T. 

Broadus, S. S. 

Bronson, Miss Emma L. 

Bronson, Willis S. [ 

Bronson, Sarah A. (Winslow) S 

Brown, Miss Abbie C. 

Brown, Elmer E. 

Brown, Miss Mary E. 

Brown, Robert 

Brown, William A. ) 

Brown, Margaret G. ) 

Buckley, Wm. O., Jr. ) 

Buckley, Nellie A. S 

Bulkeley, Miss Bertha 

Bullock, Mary O., wife of Jos. B. 

New London 


179 Albany Ave. 

67 Collins 

107 Hungerford 

New Hartford 

So Buckingham 



54 Sumner 


Brooklyn, N. Y. 

12 Village 

10 Goodman Place 

12 Village 

12 Village 

88 Fairmount 

I So High 
38 Williams 
38 WilHams 

38 Williams 
38 WiUiams 

13 Capitol Ave. 
Roylston, Vt. 
East Hartford 
29 Pratt 

29 Pratt 
26 Goodwin 
26 Good-wdn 
41 Windsor 
Louisville, Ky. 
106 Ann 
106 Ann 

36 Bond 
Rocky Hill 
472 Main 
Rocky Hill 

312 Asylum 

8 Belden 
154 Main 

R. L 

B. Oct. 22, 1S37 
B. Apr. 2, 1S76 
B. Apr. 4, 185S 
B. Dec. 5, 1S58 
B. Dec. 6, 1857 
L. Nov. 4, 1872 
B. Mar. 14, 1852 
L. June 28, 1877 
B. Apr. 23, 1876 
B. Feb. 4, 1872 
B. Mar. 5, 1865 
B. Mar. 30, 1884 
B. Nov. 6, 1S87 
B. Apr. 2, 1852 
B. Apr. 6, 1884 
B. Apr. 2, 1852 
L. May 29, 1873 
L. June 4, 1881 
B. May 4, 1881 
B. Jan. 5, 1S68 
B. June 5, 1887 
B. Mar. 30, 1884 
B. Feb. 27, 1881 
L. May i, 1879 
B. Mar. 30, 1884 
L. May i, 
B. Jan. 17, 
B. Jan. I, 
E. Oct. 5, 
B. Dec. 22, 1S89 
B. Mar. 2, 1862 
B. June 4, 1881 
L. Apr. 6, 1873 
B. May 2, 1852 
L. Oct. 31, 1889 
B. June 5, 1864 
B. Mar. 4, 1842 
B. Dec. I, 1842 
L. Dec. 4, 1879 
B. Apr. 2, 1876 
B. May 20, 1838 
E. Dec. 25, 1878 
L. Aug. 31, 1866 
L. Aug, 31, 1866 
B. Oct. 25, 1885 
L. Oct. 29, 1885 
B. Feb. 23, 1890 
B. Jan. 5, 1868 




Burdick, Rollin D. \ 

12 Canton 

B. June 6, 


Burdick, Sarah J. (Glazier) S 

B.Apr. 5. 


Burnet, James G. \ 

no Hopkins 

L. Jan. 30, 


Burnet, Carrie M. i" 

B. Feb. 2, 


Butman, Ransom T. 

57 Farmington 

L. Feb. 27, 


Cadwell, Amelia H., wife of J. M. 

James Street 

B. Nov. 4, 


Cairnes, Elizabeth, wife of Joseph 

17 Canton 

L. Aug. 30, 


Callender, Mary G., widow of Lew 

is 129 Trumbull 

B. Apr. I, 


Campbell, H. M., wife of A. C. 

206 Asylum 

B. Mar. 14, 


Canfield, Miss Ellen A. 

116 Main 

B. Jan. 4, 


Carpenter, Miss Cora 


B. June 5, 


Carpenter, Fred H. ( 

2 East 

B. Apr. 27, 


Carpenter, Julia A. (Case) S 


L.July I, 


Carpenter, Frederick H. ) 


L. May i. 


Carpenter, Anna \ 


L. May i. 


Carpenter, Ira \ 


L. Nov. 29, 


Carpenter, Lucy A. S 


L. Nov. 29, 


Carpenter, William 0. \ 
Carpenter, Helen L. f 

12 Belden 

B. June I, 


E. July 3, 


Carman, George G. \ 

3S Church 

R. Jan. 28, 


Carman, Nancy E. S 


L.Apr. 5. 


Carrier, David H. \ 


B. Nov. 2, 


Carrier, Mary J. ) 

L. June 3, 


Case, Horace J. 

49 Bellevue 

L. Dec. 4, 


Case, Laura A., wife of H. O. 

591 Main 

B. July 4, 


Case. Miss Mabel D. 

591 Main 

B. Feb. 23, 


Chadwick, Hattie W. (Waghorn), 

wife of Elliot 

S. Hampton, L. L 

L.July 3, 


Chamberlain, C. W. 

147S Broad 

L. May 29, 


Chapin, Francis A. ) 
Chapin, Jane P. S 

85 Jefferson 

L. Jan. 5, 



L. Jan. 5, 


Chapin, Miss Florence E. 

85 Jefferson 

L.Jan. 5, 


Chapin, Miss Laura 

85 Jefferson 

B. Feb. 27, 


Chapin, Miss Mary L. 

85 Jefferson 

L. Jan. 5, 


Chapman, D wight 

34 Morgan 

B. Mar. 6, 


Chapman, Adeline, widow of S. E. 

30 Washington 

B. Feb. 25, 


Chapman, Frederick S. 

113 Edwards 

B. Jan. I, 


Chapman, James 0. \ 

22 Belden 

B.Apr. 7, 


Chapman, Nancy T. S 


E.May 4, 


Chapman, Maria F., widow of Silas 

911 Main 

B. Mar. 4, 


Chapman, Rush P. \ 

113 Edwards 

L. Oct. 29, 


Chapman, Addie E. S 


L, Oct. 29, 


Chapman, Silas, Jr. \_ 

911 Main 

B. May 17, 


Chapman, Julia A. S 

B. May 17, 


Chapman, Sophia, wife of Adelbert 

559 Main 

L. Dec. 4, 


Charter, Miss Lena E. 

88 Wooster 

B. Apr. 6, 

1 884 

Charter, Ohver E. 

88 Wooster 

B. Jan. 26, 




Church, J. M.(Chalker),wifeof H. B. 

Clapp, Nellie L. , wife of C>tus C. 

Clark, Alice B., wife of Oliver 

Clark, Emily J., widow of A. N. 

Clark, Emma(Haub),^^'ifeof H. D. 

Clark, George N. 

Clark, Nellie R.(Crosby)wifeof E.D. 

Clark, William B. 

Clay, George \ 

Clay, Anna S 

Clay, William ) 

Clay, Hannah ) 

Clough, Miss Emma J. 

Coleman, Fannie E., wifeof A. H. 

Cook, Edward W., Jr. 

Cook, Miss Lucinda A. 

Cook, Lucy A. , widow of John 

Cooley, Sarah, widow of Almon 

Cooper, H. (Wright), wifeof W. F. 

Cornwall, Jessie L., wife of Geo. I. 

Crosby, Albert H. 

Crosby, George E. ^ 

Crosby, Clara J. S 

Crosby, Miss Mary E. 

Crosby, Albert W. 

Crosby, Miss Carrie May 

Crowell, John W. i 

Crowell, Amelia A. S 

Cummings, Miss Ida L. 

Curtis, E. C. B., wife of G. W. 

Cushman, F. V., widow of Elisha 

Daniels, Charles B. ^ 

Daniels, Jane H. S 

Daniels, Lillian M., wife of Wm. N. 

Darlin, Parker L. 

Dart, Mary P., wife of Charles 

Davis, Gustavus F. [ 

Davis, Lucy T. \ 

Davis, Joseph S. \ 

Davis, Frances L. S 

Davis, Josephine, wife of I. B. 

Delahanty, H. A., wife of John J. 

Dickinson, Carrie E., wife of E. M. 

Dickinson, Franklin P. 

Dimock, Joseph W. 

Dow, Annie, wife of D. H. 

Drake, Nathan F. 


B. Mar. 3- 


26 Church 

L. Mar. 2, 



B. June 22, 


13 Capitol Avenue 

B. Jan. 17, 


19 Morgan 

B. Mar. 28, 


13 Capitol Avenue 

B. Apr. 4, 


181 Babcock 

B. Mar. 27, 


268 Farmington 

B. Jan. 3. 



L. Dec. 4, 



L. Dec. 4, 


68 Clark 

L. Nov. 2, 



L. Nov. 2, 


405 Main 

L. June 4, 


77S Main 

B.Nov. 3, 


905 Main 

B.July 7. 


916 Main 

B. Mar. 2, 


85 Clark 

B. Dec. 4, 


6S4 Main 

E. Mar. 31, 


103 Jefferson 

L. Dec. 4, 


Buffalo, N. Y. 

B. Apr. 7, 


112 Hungerford 

B. Apr. 13, 


112 Hungerford 

B. Mar. 27, 



L. Nov. 29, 


106 Trumbull 

B. Mar. 24, 


19 Seyms 

B. Feb. 6, 


112 Hungerford 

B. Jan. 26, 


455 Garden 

L. Dec. 4, 


L. Dec. 4, 


2 Bellevue 

B. Dec. 22, 


230 Main 

L. Jan. 16, 


43 Chestnut 

L. June 3, 


926 Main 

L. Apr. 28, 



L.Jan. 7, 



B. Mar. 24, 


East Hartford 

B. May 5, 


325 Asylum 

L.July 3, 


129 Washington 

B. Mar. 24, 



B. Mar. 30, 


46 Wooster 

L. Mar. 29, 



L. Mar. 29, 


183 High 

L. Sep. 6, 


75 Pleasant 

L. Mar. 4, 


21 8 Main 

B. Apr. 7. 



B. Dec. 4, 


204 High 

B. Apr. 28, 


943 Main 

B. Apr. 7, 


805 Main 

B. Feb. 28, 




Dubes, Miss Mary 

Duley, Julia E., wife of J. E. 

Dunham, Mrs. Amelia F. 

Dustin, Loraine (King), ^^^fe of C. E. 

Eaton, Miss Harriet Isabel 

Edwards, Miss Florence G. 

Edwards, Herbert C. 

Edwards, Irad 

Edwards, Nellie G. , wife of C. W. B. 

Emmons, Miss Alice M. 

Emmons, Charles H. ) 

Emmons, Eunice H. \ 

Erving, Henry W. i 

Erving, Mary E. \ 

Erving, William A. 

Estlow, Elizabeth, widow of Alfred 

Eustis, Amelia S., widow of O. 

Eustis, Francis B. 

Evans, L. V. (Marsh), wife'of A. F. 

Fairfield, Miss Clara E. 

Fairfield, Edmund J. 

Fairfield, Isabella E., wife of J. M. 

Farwell, Asa J. 

Faxon, Edward R. 

Ferguson, Janette, wife of R. W. 

Fields, Miss Esther 

Fiske, Narcissa A., wife of F. B. 

Fisher, Charles A. 

Fisher, Charles F. 

Fitch, Miss Cornelia A. 

Fitch, Frederick L. ) 

Fitch, Fannie L. ) 

Fitch, Irving D. 

Flint, Benjamin F. ) 

Flint, Jennie F. \ 

Foote, C. F., widow of Lewis 

Ford, Miss Mary E. 

Ford, Miss Sarah 

Ford, William ) 

Ford, Ellen \ 

Foster, Mrs. Estelle M. (Pebbles) 

French, Joseph 

Frost, Henry D. ) 

Frost, Abbie B. \ 

Frost, Miss Hattie L. 

Fuller, Miss AHce S. 

Francis, F. I. (Miller), wife of J. W. 

352 Main 

L. Nov. 4, 1SS6 

80 Church 

E. June 4, 1S58 

1 86 Collins 

L. Nov. 5, 1SS2 

. 519 Farmington 

B. Feb. 19, 1S65 

58 Church 

L. Feb. 29, 1872 

70 Edwards 

B. May 4, 18S4 

70 Edwards 

B. Feb. 23, 1S90 

15 East 

B. July 5, 1S44 

70 Edwards 

E. Feb. I, 1872 

207 Collins 

B. Mar. 16, 1S90 

207 Collins 

B. Aug. 6, 1872 


L. July 2, 1S85 

Prospect Avenue 

B. May i, 1864 


B. May 7, 1876 

Prospect Avenue 

B. May i, 1864 

154 Main 

B. Feb. 5, 1865 

472 Main 

L. Feb. 29, 1872 

Mobile, Ala. 

B. July 3, 1S64 

31 Trumbull 

B.April I, 1S83 

432 Main 

L. Mar. 13, 1890 

207 Sigourney 

L. Feb. 4, 18S6 

207 Sigourney 

L. Feb. 4, 1886 

Boston, Mass. 

B. April 2, 1876 

237 LawTence 

B. April 2, 1865 

30 Center 

L. July 3, 1S84 

31 Wooster 

E. Feb. 2, 1888 

New Haven 

L. Dec. 2, 1886 

838 Main 

L. Dec. 4, 1879 

3 Center 

L. April 5, 1868 

21 Albany 

B. Feb. 5, 1865 

17 Chestnut 

L. June I, 1S79 


L. June I, 1879 

134 Albany 

E. May 3, 1883 

135 Capen 

E. May 3, 18S3 


E. May 3, 1883 

850 Main 

L. Oct. 5, 1862 

78 Clark 

L. Dec. 4, 1879 

78 Clark 

L. Dec. 4, 1879 

78 Clark 

L. Aug. 30, 1878 


L. Aug. 30, 1878 

East Hartford 

B. May 17, 1S74 

20 Hudson 

B. Sep. 5, 1852 

90 Wooster 

L. Jan. 4, 18S9 


L. Jan. 4, 1889 

90 Wooster 

L. Jan. 4, 1889 

19 Vernon 

B. May i, 1S84 


B. July 3. 1S87 



Gabriel, John \ 

202 Barbour 

E. Dec. 30, 


Gabriel, Louisa \ 


B. Mar. 2, 


Gardner, M. C, widow of W. H. 

24 Trumbull 

B. Apr. 2, 


Gardner, G. A. (Clark), wife of J. E. 

502 Main 

B. June I, 


Glazier, Miss Alice B. 

212 Collins 

B. Apr. 21, 


Glazier, Charies M. 

67 Edwards 

B. Apr. 21, 


Glazier, Clara M., widow of Issac 

67 Edwards 

L. Apr. 4, 


Glazier, Daniel J. 


B. Apr. 21, 


Glazier, Luther C. ) 
Glazier, Ella B. (Brewer) \ 

212 Collins 

B. Apr. 5, 



B. Apr. 2, 


Gleason, Ann L., widow of Nelson 

868 Main 

L. Dec. 4, 


Godsoe, John E. i 


L. Apr. 4, 


Godsoe, Rebecca \ 

L. Oct. 4, 


Goodman, A. A., wife of D. A. 

San Jose, Cal. 

B. July 10, 


Goodman, Charles S. \ 
Goodman, Ella S 

Oakland, Cal. 

L. Mar. 2, 


L. Feb. 28, 


Gordon, M. S. (Ailing), wife of A. M. 


B. Feb. 6, 


Gregg, Alice L. , wife of G. W. 

165 Capen 

B. Apr. 23, 


Green, Sarah C, wife of George C. 

21 Grand 

E. Jan. 30, 


Griswold, Cjmthia, widow of Ogden 

6 Belden 

B. Apr. 29, 


Griswold, Eliza A., widow of Caleb 

916 Main 

B. Nov. 4, 


Griswold, Miss Elizabeth C. 

6 Belden 

B. Apr. 2, 


Griswold, Miss Isabella L. 

6 Belden 

B. May 2, 


Guy, Albert \ 
Guy, Amelia B. S 

90 Edwards 

L. Sep. 5, 


L.Sep. 5, 


Habenstein, Edward \ 

119 Wethersfield 

B. Mar. 5, 


Habenstein, Adelia A. S 

L. Aug. 30, 


Hale, Lizzie B., wife of E. J. 

2 Linden Place 

B. Jan. I, 


Hale, Lucretia M., widow of Junius 

2 Linden Place 

B. Feb. 28, 


Hale, Effie L. 

2 Linden Place 

B. Mar. 30, 


Hamilton, D. E.(Cairns)wifeof R.W 

. Memphis, Tenn. 

L. Dec. 4, 


Hanson, E. J. (Whitney) wife of W. D 

'. 44 Wooster 

B. June 2, 


Harding, George B. 

225 High 

B. Mar. 30, 


Harmon, PhiHp S. 

New York City 

B. June 4, 


Harrington, G. B. (Case) wife of E. F 

. 56 Capitol Avenue 

; B. Mar. 30, 


Harrington, "William H. 

72 Hopkins 

L. Dec. 4, 


Harrison, A. M. ) 
Harrison, Mary L. ) 

New London 

L. Feb. 13, 



L. Apr. 3, 


Harwood, Kate W., wife of F. A. 

22 WiUiams 

L. Nov. 4, 

1 885 

Hatch, Mabel L., wife of C. B. 

693 Main 

L. Nov. 29, 


Haynes, Blanche F., wife of A. S. 

83 Buckingham 

L. Feb. 4, 


Haynes, Miss Jennie E. 

83 Buckingham 

B. Dec. 22, 


Hazen, Miss Eliza C. 

58 Church 

B. Oct. 24, 


Heddrick, WiUiam 

40 Fairmount 

B. Mar. 30, 


Heintz, Anna, wife of PhiHp 

57 Wooster 

L. June 4, 


Heintz, Miss Lena E. 

57 Wooster 

B. Feb. 9, 




Hempstead, Jennie M. , wife of L. 

Hickmott, Lillie F. , (Palmer) wife 
of Geo. F. 

Higley, Sarah A., ^\^dow of Ly- 
man O. 

Hill, Helen L., widow of J. T. 

Hill, Howard 

Hill, I\Iiss Mary 

Hill, Mary E., wife of W. D. 

Holbrook, Anna E. (Nelson), wife 
of C. M. 

Holbrook, David W. ) 

Holbrook, Jenisha A. f 

HoUis, Miss Clara W. 

Holt, Moses P. \ 

Holt, Mary S 

Hosmer, William H. \ 

Hosmer, Fannie E. S 

House, Miss Eugenia 

Houston, Mary D. 

Howard, Miss Edith M. 

Howard, Harry 

Howard, James L. \ 

Howard, Anna G. (Gilbert) S 

Howard, Miss Mary Leland 

Hunn, George A. i 

Hunn, Louise. S 

Huntington, Eliza P., wife of A. J. 

Hutchinson, Edward G. 

Ingle, Mrs. Huldah S. (Wilson) 
Ives, Sarah E., widow of S. B. 

Jackson, Miss Mary C. 
James, Henry H. 
James, J. S. ) 

James, Anna H. ) 
Jenks, Carrie G., wife of Charles 
Johnson, Miss Alice A. 
Johnson, Miss Lydia M. 
Johnson, M. M. i 

Johnson, Helen L. (Jackson) f 
Jones, Albert F. \ 
Jones, Hattie L. ji 
Joyner, Frances. A. (Carman), wife 
of E. P. 

Keene, Emma J., wife of G. M. 

309 Main B.Jan. 1,1865 

Newton, Mass. B. Jan. 9, 18S1 

432 Main L. Sep. i, 1887 

54 Barbour L. Apr. 6, 1879 

Windsor Road L. Jan. 29, 1S80 

54 Barbour B. Jan. 31, 1886 

905 Main B. Jan. 16, 1SS9 

340 Farmington 

B. Jan. II, 


20 Alden 

B. Apr. I, 



B. Apr. 23, 


Mt. Vernon, N. Y. 

L. Mar. 29, 



L. Nov. 5> 



L. Nov. 5, 


17 Alden 

L. Mar. 4, 



B. Jan. I, 


289 Asylum 

L. Dec. 30, 


1 8 S. Ann 

L. Dec. I, 


67 ColHns 

B. Jan. 4, 


10 John St. 

B. Mar. 4, 


67 Collins 

B. Jan. 17, 

1 841 


B. May 13, 


67 Collins 

B. June 2, 


II 1-2 Clinton 

L. Apr. 3, 


B. Dec. 22, 


195 Albany Av. 

B. Jan. 29, 


234 High 

L. Feb. 27, 


152 Allyn 

L. July 2, 


98 Edwards 

B.July I, 


Hinsdale, Mass. 

B. Mar. 28, 


102 Ann 

L. Nov. 29, 


102 Ann 

L, Nov. 29, 



L. Nov. 29, 


East Hartford 

B. Apr. 2, 


East Hartford 

B. Jan. 26, 


55 Grove 

L. Feb. 6, 


72 Pearl 

L. June 3, 



B. Jan. II, 


6 Russell 

L. Feb. 28, 


L. Feb. 28, 


Buffalo, N. Y. 

B. May i. 


Alma, Kansas 

B. May i, 




Kellogg, Lydia M., wife of E. N. 
Kellogg, Miss Mary Bertha 
King, Adeline C, widow of James 
King, Angeline E., widow of D. W. 
King, Miss Effie 

King, Minnie L., wife of Chas. H. 
Krug, Maggie A., wife of F. C. 

Lachlan, Miss Lilias 

Lamphere, George O. 

Lane, Clara W. (Williams), wife of 

John S. 
Lane, Jennie E., wife of W. A. 
Lathrop, Miss Jennie T. 
Lathrop, Mary A., wife of T. S. 
Leake, Miss Lulu 
Lester, Miss Annie E. 
Lester, Ellen A. , wife of Julius M. 
Lester, Emma P., wife of H. H. 
Lester, G. A., wife of C. E. W. 
Lester, Miss Julia M. 
Litchfield, A. W., widow of Elias 
Litchfield, John G. 
Litchfield, Thomas J. 
Lodge, Eula L, wife of W. B. 
Loomis, Miss Came H. 
Loomis, Hezekiah 
Lord, Nettie E., wife of Joseph 
Loveland, Lydia J. 
Loveland, Mary E., \\nfe of H. E. 
Lynch, Charles B. 
Lynch, Charles H. \ 
Lynch, Elizabeth ) 
Lynch, Miss Fannie L. 
Lyons, Ella M., widow of Geo. W. 
Lyons, William O. \ 

Lyons, Josephine P. (Atwood) S 

McClintock, T. J., widow of O. V. 

Mc Clure, Miss Carrie L. 

Mc Clure, Charles E. 

Mc Clure, Leslie U. ) 

Mc Clure, Anna (Marsh) S 

Mc Clure, Lucy, wife of David L. 

Mc Dermott, B. G. , wife of James 

Mc Ronald, Mary, wife of Thomas 

Marsh, Edward W. ) 

Marsh, Addie ) 

20 Prospect 
49 Chestnut 
519 Farmington 
5 CHnton 
Brooklyn, N. Y. 
East Hartford 
693 Main 

Philadelphia, Pa. 

3S2 Main 
195 Babcock 
236 High 
236 High 
East Hartford 
East Hartford 
East Hartford 
East Hartford 
40 Buckingham 
31 Gillett 
964 Asylum 
31 Wooster 
Selma, Ala. 
644 Main 

East Hartford 
71 Pearl 
71 Pearl 

71 Pearl 

2 Linden Place 


New Haven 
13 East 

234 High Street 
699 Asylum Ave. 

13 East 

West Stockbridge 

692 Main 

105 Clark 

L. Dec. 5, 1S47 
B. Mar. 4, 1852 
B. Feb. 19, 1865 
L. Feb. 5, 1858 
B. Mar. 24, 1878 
B. May i, 1864 
B. Feb. 27, 1879 

L. Dec. 30, 1875 
B. June 3, 1883 

B. Mar. 19, 
L. Dec. 4, 
B. Mar. 24, 
L. Feb. 4, 
B. June 16, 
B. Feb. 23, 
B. Jan. 6, 
B. Apr. 2, 
B. June 9, 
B. Feb. 28, 
B. Jan. 29, 
B. Apr. 29, 
B. May 13, 
B. Mar. 24, 

B. Feb. 
B. May 
L. Nov. 
B. May 
B. Mar. 
B. Apr. 
L. Apr. 
L. Apr. 3, 
B. Jan. 31, 
B. Dec. 4, 
B.July 7, 
B. June 5, 


L. Dec. 2, 1886 
B. Mar. i, 1874 
B. Feb. 27, 1881 
B. Feb. 27, 1881 
B. Feb. 6, 1887 
E. Mar. 3, 1865 
B. Apr. 21, 1878 
L. Dec. 4, 1879 
L. Apr. 29, 1886 
L. Apr. 29, 1886 



Marsh, Frank T. 

105 Clark 

B. May 25, i 

Marsh, Mary I. 

105 Clark 

E. May 25, 1 

Marsh, Edena L. 

105 Clark 

B. May 25, i 

Marsh, Miss Mamie M. 


L. July I, I 

Marshall, Edwin D. 

loS Hopkins 

L. Jan. 2, I 

Martin, Edward G. ^ 

39 Capen 

B. June 29, I 

Martin, Alice J. J 

L. June 26, 1 

Martin, Hattie (Clay), wife of W. D. 

70 Clark 

L. Nov. 2, I 

Martin, Miss Louisa T. 

195 Capen 

L. Dec. 4, I 

Martin, Julia S. R., widow of C. J. 

Los Angles, Cal. 

R. Jan. 3, I 

Merrill, Effie E. (Hubbard), wife 

of L. D. 

S Central Row 

B. Apr. I, I 

Merrill, Miss Elizabeth L. 

46 ColHns 

B. Mar. 16, i 

Merrill, Miss Ella S. 

46 Collins 

B. Mar. 27, i 

Merrill, Thurlow B. ] 

46 Collins 

L. Dec. 2, I 

Merrill, Ellen S. S 


L. Dec. 2, 1 

Merriman, C. J., widow of J. E. 

Ithaca, N. Y. 

B. Apr. 2, I 

Merritt, Edwin 

7 Webster 

B. Mar. 6, i 

Miller, Elizabeth, widow of A. C. 

^tna Life Ins. B. 

B. Apr. 7, I 

Miller, Fannie G. 


B. July 3, I 

Miller, Florence I., wife of C. B. 

149 Clark 

L. Feb. 3, I 

Miller, Joseph A. \ 

325 New Brit'n Av 

B. Apr. 7, I 

Miller, Anna L. S 

B. Apr. 24, 1 

Miller, Marietta, widow of E. B. 

New York City 

B. Jan. 22, I 

Miner, A. M., wife of Orlando H. 

432 Main 

L. Sep. I, I 

Miner, Miss Maida L. 

432 Main 

B. Feb. 23, I 

Moore, James R. R. y 

17 Florence 

L. Nov. 3, I 

Moore, Annie M. \ 


L. Fov. 3, I 

Morrow, William J. 

65 Huyshope Av. 

B. Mar. 3, i 

Morse, Emma (Clay), wife of W. I. 

114 Lawrence 

L. Nov. 2, I 

Morse, Miss Emma M. 

22 Chestnut 

B. Mar. i, i 

Morse, Miss Hattie G. 

22 Chestnut 

B. Sep. 2, I 

Morse, Harriet L., widow of J. H. 

22 Chestnut 

B. Apr. 4, 1 

Munyan, Chester G. ] 

37 Gillett 

B. Jan. 3, I 

Munyan, Angle K. f 


B. June 7, I 

Munyan, Sarah, widow of George 

37 Gillett 

L. Feb. 3, I 

Myers, Henry ) 

9 Kingsley 

B. Oct. 4, I 

Myers, S. J. C. S 

L. Oct. 4, I 

Myers, Laura, wnfe of Wm. W. 

3 Center 

B. Apr. 17, I 

Myers, Miss Lulu 

9 Kingsley 

B. Nov. 6, I 

Newton, Nancy, wife of Charles 

60 Walnut 

L. Oct. 5. I 

Olcutt, Miss Elizabeth S. 

New Park Av. 

L. Nov. 5. I 

Otis, John D. ) 

5 Avon 

L. Feb. I, I 

Otis, Harriet N. S 


L. Feb. I, I 

Osborn, L. M. (Hale), Avife of G. 0. 

Kansas City, Mo. 

B. Apr. 6, I 

Osbom, Mrs. John W. 

405 Main Street 

L. Mar. 27, i 


Page, Miss Mary 

6 Wyllys 

L. Mar. 23, 


Page, Mary E. (Davis), widow of J.B. 

91 Main 

B. Feb. 19, 


Palmer, Clarence L. | 

113 Pearl 

B. Jan. 6, 


Palmer, Mary B. S 


B. Apr. 23, 


Parent, Abel D. \ 

Northampton, Ms. 

L. Sep. I, 


Parent, Susan W. S 


L. Sep. I, 


Parent, Arthur M. 

Detroit, Mich. 

B. Apr. 2, 


Parker, Lizzie H., wife of F. D. 

40 Hudson 

B. Feb. 27, 


Parkhurst, Miss M. Adella 

25 Bellevue 

B. May 4, 


Parkhurst, Guilford F. \ 

25 Bellevue 

L. Dec. 4. 


Parkhurst, Miranda S 

L. Dec. 4, 


Pausch, Albert 

20 Belden 

B. Mar. 24, 


Payne, Frank B. 

12 Village 

B.Jan. 4, 


Pease, Anna T., wife of Albert A. 

649 Main 

B. Mar. 3, 


Peck, Charles H. \ 

194 Capen 

L. Apr. 28, 


Peck, Alice \ 


L. Apr. 28, 


Pendleton, S. F., widow of Rodney 

31 Wooster 

L. Feb. 2, 


Perry, Miss Maria M. 

95 Trumbull 

L. May 5, 


Phelps, Clarinda, widow of Hum- 


61 Church 

L. Jan. 3, 


Phelps, Miss Gertrude J. 


B. June I, 


Phillips, Maria B., wife of H. G. 

256 Capen 

L. Dec. 4. 


Pierson, Miss Emma E. 

24 Canton 

B. Feb. 27, 


Pierson, Miss Julia A. 

24 Canton 

B. June 5, 


Poindexter, Lena L. (Steinhoff), 

wife of Charles E. 

W. Hartford 

B. Feb. 6, 


Pollock, Benjaim R., Jr. \ 
Pollock, Hattie E. (Briggs) S 

24 Belden 

B. Dec. 5. 


B. June 26, 


Prentice, Mary M., wife of F. L 

490 Farmington 

L. Dec. 2, 


Preston, Carrie B. (Brewer), wife 

of L. S. 

104 Albany Av. 

B. Mar. i. 


Preston, Everett B. 

Chicago, 111. 

B. June 6, 


Pruden, Albert J. ^ 

54 Sumner 

B. Mar. 5, 


Pruden, Addie M. (Sears) f 


B. Mar. i. 


Rand, Fred. K. \ 
Rand, Emma M. i" 

20 John 

B. Mar. 3, 



B. Feb. 27, 


Rice, Martha A., wife of David 

45 Morgan 

B. Apr. 23, 


Risley, Ohve, wife of Lucius 

East Hartford 

B. July 6, 


Rivers, Fannie M., widow of J. H. 

84S Main 

B. Jan. 2, 


Roberts, Laura A., wfe of T. H. 

596 Main 

L. Mar. 2, 


Roberts, Martha A., wife of Ozim 

78 Martin 

L. Dec. 4, 


Robins, Miss Ann Elizabeth 

Short Hills, N. J. 

L. Oct. 2, 


Rosenbluth, Addie (Webb), wife of 

Edward S. 

New York 

L. Mar. 29, 


Russell, Mrs. Sarah J. 

4 Pavilion 

B. Jan. I, 


Russell, Westell \ 
Russell, Juha A. S 

4 Pavilion 

B. Apr. I, 



B. Mar. 6, 




Sanders, Joseph C. \ 

136 Retreat A v. 

B. May 19, 


Sanders, Laura A. f 


B. Apr. 21, 


Saunders, Miss Elizabeth 

167 High 

B. Dec. 6, 


Saunders, H. Herbert 

172 Fannington 

B.Jan. 4, 


Savage, Anna C, widow of Wm. 

35 Windsor 

B. Feb. 28, 

1 841 

Savage, Miss Maria L. 

76 Church 

B. Feb. 25, 


Scailes, F. H., wfe of George W. 

25 1-2 Florence 

L. June 30, 


Scott, Andrew D. 

27 Bellevue 

L. Mar. 13, 


Scott, Everett R. 

27 Bellevue 

B. Feb. 23, 


Scott, Edith 

27 Bellevue 

B. Mar. 30, 

, 1890 

Seeley, William H. \ 

9S Hopkins 

L. Apr. 4, 


Seeley, Phoebe S 

L. Apr. 4, 


Sexton, Miss Nancy R. 

58 Church 

L. June 3, 


Sheldon, Fidelia A. 


L. Dec. 4, 


Sheldon, Miss Sarah M. 

28 7 Collins 

L. Oct. 29, 


Shepard, Mrs. Jennie E. (Merritt) 

80 Buckingham 

B.Feb. 5, 


Shumway, Clarence S. 

22 Walnut 

B. Dec. 5, 


Shumway, M. F., widow of C. N. 

22 Walnut 

L. Feb. 5, 


Sloane, Miss Fannie J. 

22 Williams 

B. Mar. 4, 


Sloane, John ^ 

22 Williams 

L. May 3, 


Sloane, Margery C. \ 


L. May 3, 


Sloane, John, Jr. 

22 WiUiams 

B. Feb. 23, 


Sloane, Laura P., wife of Henry A. 

, 26 Williams 

B. Mar. 2, 


Sloane, Miss Susie M. 

22 Williams 

B. Apr. 21, 


Sloane, William H. 

26 Williams 

B. Feb. 23, 


Smith, Miss Ameha A. 

35 Pratt 

L. Dec. 3, 


Smith, Mrs. AUce M. (Loomis) 

Denver, Col. 

B. Feb. 5, 


Smith, Chauncey G. 

105 Ann 

B. May 13, 


Smith, Daniel E. 

Dover, N. H. 

L. Dec. 3, 


Smith, Helen M., widow of D. G. 

54 Capen 

L. Dec. 4, 


Smith, Miss Henrietta C. 

30 Washington 

B. June 5, 


Smith, H. G. \ 

962 Main 

L. Feb. 19, 


Smith, Ariadne K. S 


L. Feb. 19, 


Smith, Miss Inez J. 

962 Main 

L. Feb. 19, 


Smith, Miss Jennie J. 

42 Russell 

B. Dec. 22, 


Smith, Maggie (Ferguson), wife of 

F. A. 

76 WiUiams 

L.July 3, 


Smith, Miss Millie L. 

42 Russell 

B. Jan. 26, 


Smith, Millie E., wife of Lyman 

42 Russell 

L. Oct. I, 


Spafford, Eugene H. 

East Hartford 

B. May 5, 


Speirs, Charlotte Mc L. 

5 Center 

B. Apr. 17, 


Speirs, George C. 

5 Center 

B. Apr. 6, 


Speirs, Marion A., widow of Robt. 

5 Center 

B. Feb. 6, 


Speirs, Miss Marion B. 

73 Grove 

B. Aug. 7, 


Spencer, Camot 0. ] 

19 Vernon 

L. Mar. 30, 


Spencer, Marie J. f 


L. Mar. 30, 


Spencer, J. A., ^\afe of Brainard 

37 Morgan 

L. May 5, 




Spencer, Lurinda E., wife of H. C. 
Spencer, M. B., widow of Edward 
vStarkey, Miss Julia 
Steinhoff, Miss Henrietta 
Stevens, Laura, widow of Charles 
Stevens, L. S., wife of Daniel 
Stevens, Mary I., widow of O. B. 
Stone, Mercy, wife of F. P. 
Strong, Adelaide, wndow of L. E. 
Sweeney, William E. 
Sweet, Charles F. ji 
Sweet, Lissa S 

Sweet, Miss Jennie E. 
Sweet, Sallie, wife of Henry T. 

Terry, Lewis 

Thayer, Benjamin E. 

Thayer, Jane R., wife of A. L. 

Thompson, A. C, widow of Gilbert 

Tilden, Samuel D. 

Tracy, Maria A. , wife of Trumbull 

Treat, Ann E., widow of Charles 

Treat, Miss Kate C. 

TurnbuU, Frederick M. 

Turner, Emeline, wife of M. C. 

Turner, Jennie A. (Graham), wife 

of N. B 
Turner, J. Henry ) 

Turner, Catharine H. S 
Turney, C. S., widow of Edmund 
Tuttle, Miss Clara E. 
Tuttle, Lizzie, wife of Charles L. 
Tuttle, Miss Mary Ann 
Twiss, Miss Clara L. 
Twiss, Herbert M. \ 
Twiss, Lucy A. ) 

Twiss, jNIarshall C. 

Upton, Mary E. (Daniels), wife of 

C. H. 
Utley, George T. \ 

Utley, S. Adella (Jackson) S 

Vider, Lottie E. (Bradley), wife of 

Waghorn, Elijah S. \ 
Waghorn, Sarah E. S 
Waghorn, Miss Lillian M. 

gS Trumbull 

L. Jan. 17, 


30 Chestnut 

L. Dec. 5, 


Rock Falls 

L. May 2, 


12 Belden 

B. Feb. 6, 


140 Maple Av. 

L. May 5, 


81 Benton 

E. May 2, 


Warehouse Point 

B. May 30, 

1 841 


L. Dec. 5- 



B. May 6, 


54 Barbour 

L. June 3, 


115 Sigourney 

L. May 25, 


L. May 25, 


22 Blue Hills Av. 

B. June 16, 


22 Blue Hills Av. 

E. Sep. 9, 


48 Capen 

L. Dec. 4, 


East Hartford 

L. Nov. 8, 


East Hartford 

B. June I, 


68 Clark 

L. Nov. 2, 


Brooklyn, N. Y. 

L. July 4, 


20 Jefferson 

B. Apr. 4, 


79 Park 

L. Aug. 15, 

, 1851 

79 Park 

B. June 6, 


Somerville, Mass. 

B. June 2, 


12 Chapel 

B. Apr. I, 


579 Main 

B. June 30, 


20 Belden 

L. Jan. 29, 



L. Jan. 29, 


29 Pratt 

L. Dec. 30, 


47 Blue Hills Av. 

B. Sep. 2, 


47 Blue Hills Av. 

L. June 6, 


30 Washington 

B. Apr. I, 


no Wooster 

B. Apr. 21, 


no Wooster 

L. Dec. 4, 



L. Dec. 4, 


no Wooster 

B. Apr. 21, 



L. Jan. 7, 


16 Vernon 

L. Mar. 31, 



B. Mar. 6, 


30 West 

B. Apr. 23, 


289 Asylum St. 

L. May i. 



L. May i. 


289 Asylum 

L. July 3, 




Waghorn, Thomas E. 

Walker, Robert 

Walker, Miss Violet 

Ware, Maria H., widow of C. C. 

Waterhouse, Mrs. Lucy A. (Har- 

Waterman, James H. 

Watrous, Amos D., Jr. | 

Watrous, Mary A. S 

Watson, Minnie E., widow of G. L. 

Welles, Harriet L., wife of Martin 

West, Abbie A., widow of Philo 

West, Frederick A. 

West, Susan W., wife of W. B. 

White, Grace H. (Holbrook), wife 
of H. C. 

White, Maria E. (Faxon), wife of 

Whitaker, Joseph F. 

Whitmore, Emma F. (Pebbles), 
wife of E. W. 

Whittlesley, Alice G., wife of E. G. 

Wilcox, Benjamin F. \ 

Wilcox, Charlotte J. \ 

Wilcox, Fannie (French) 

Wilcox, George K. ) 

Wilcox, Lizzie J. \ 

Wilcox, Catharine S. , widow of L. S. 

Wilcox, Clara Isabelle (Carpenter), 
widow of Herbert 

Wilcox, Sarah F., wife of Hezekiah 

Wiley, Lyman A. ^ 

Wiley, Lydia D. S 

Wiley, M. C. (Bolles), widow of E. E. 

Wilson, Frederick N. 

Williams, Henry G. J 

Williams, Jane L. ( 

Williams, Julia A. (Charter), wife 
of G. S. 

Williams, S. Lizzie, wfe of C. W. 

Willis, Sarah B. , widow of Hudson 

Willson, LesUe H. \ 

Willson, Grace E. M. S 

Wolsenden, Ellen, widow of L. B. 

Wolsenden, Miss Florence M. 

Wolsenden, Miss Ida M. 

AVolsenden, Miss Mary E. 

2S9 Asylum 

L. Oct. 29, 


70 Williams 

L. June 3, 


70 Williams 

B. Apr. I, 



L. Sep. 29, 


So Church 

B. Feb. 28, 


661 Main 

B. Feb. 17, 



L.Sep. 5. 


L.Sep. 5, 


51 Pratt 

L. Dec. 4, 



B. June 10, 


23S Sigourney 

L. Aug. 3, 


23S Sigourney 

B. Mar. 19, 


22 Canton 

L. May 4- 


69 Gillett 

B. June 4, 



B. Feb. 4, 


92 Asylum 

B. July 4, 


Brandon, Vt. 

B. May 17, 


105 Ann 

B. Jan. 22, 


East Hartford 

B. Apr. 18, 


B. Feb. 17, 


East Hartford 

B. Mar. 13, 


East Hartford 

B. Mar. 6, 



B. July 7, 


122 High 

L. Oct. I, 



L. Nov. 29, 



B. Mar. 6, 


60 Wooster 

L. June 4, 



L. June 4, 



B. Mar. 27, 


152 Allym 

B. June 30, 


56 Albany Av. 

B. Apr. 5, 



E. Apr. 2, 


New York 

L. Dec. 4, 


5 Warren 

E. Oct. 21, 


Farmington Av. 

L. June I, 


88 Wooster 

L. Apr. 28, 



B. Mar. 13, 


119 Ann 

L. Dec. 4, 


119 Ann 

B. May 11, 


119 Ann 

B. May 11, 


119 Ann 

B. Feb. 28, 




Woodbridge, Deodate J 

Woodbridge, Augusta S 

Woodford, Miss Addie J. 

Woodford, Lucia J. , widow of V. L 

Woodmancy, Charles S. 

Woodward, E. L. (West) wife of B. S. 17 Florence 

Wright, Martha, widow of Robert 

Zerniko, Marie 

East Hartford 

R. Mar. 




B. May 



116 Main 

L. Sep. 



116 Main 

L. Sep. 



59 Sigourney 

B. Apr. 



17 Florence 

B. Apr. 



13 Congress 

L. Dec. 



Brooklyn, N. Y. 

L. Apr. 



By Death. 
Harry P. Chapin, February 23d. 
Eliza F. Gilbert, March 24th. 

3. Mrs. Lovina A. Parmelee, June 12th. 

4. Mrs. Mary J. Pember, May. 

5. Mrs. Jane Hayden, August 1st. 

By Letter. 

1. Mrs. Sarah L. Case, January 30th. 

2. Edward B. Taylor, February 19th. 

3. Mrs. Grace B. Eldridge, March 6th. 

4. Charles R. Griswold, March 27th. 

5. Hattie L. Swift, April 3d. 

6. Mrs. Lavinia Swift, April 3d. 

7. \ Charles E. Willard, April 24th. 

8. ] Mrs. Sarah P. Willard, April 24th. 

9. ( WiUiam A. Chase, May ist. 

10. (Mrs. Lizzie F. Chase, May ist. 

11. Frederick W. Marsh, June 8th. 

12. Mrs. Norton, June 8th. 

By Erasure. 
Mrs. Hattie E. Filley, January 20th. 

Mrs. Georgiana Kellogg, January 20th. 
Frank. E. Clark, January 20th. 
Mrs. O. Adella Clark, January 20th. 
Mrs. Mary B. Beach, March 3d. 



Present membership, - - - - 584 

Resident members, - - . - 482 

Non-resident members, - . - 102 

Male members, - - - - - iSo 

Female members, . . . . 404 

Percentage of male members, - - 31 

Percentage of female members, - - 69