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j The following pages, have been prepared, al the request of the First 

hi New Haven, to commemorate their late Pastor. It 

has been do part of our design to speak of him in any other relation than 

this church. Some sermons which bear especially on this 

^relation have been included, and the last sermon preached by him will 

3 A few newspaper articles i in various 

relations, have been gathered, and are at the end of the volume 



£ LEONARD .). SANFORD, mittee. 


New II wi;\. March I - 











Leonard Bacon was bora February L9, L802, in 
Michigan, whither his father had gone, under appointment of 
the Connecticut Missionary Society, to labor among the Indian 
tribesin that ricinity. Not finding sufficient encouragement in 
hi.- work. Mr Bacon removed in a short Time, with his family, 
to Tallmadge, in the State of Ohio, at that time a wilderness. 
Here 'he died, and his eldest sou was at the age of ten years 
placed undoi- the care of an uncle at Hartford, in this State. 
where he pursued the usual Btudies preparatory to entering 
college. He joined the class which was graduated at Vale 
College in L820, in the Sophomore year, in which he sustained 
a good reputation as a scholar, and especially for literary and 
forensic ability. Aiter graduation his theological studies were 
pursued at A.ndover, Massachusetts, where his talents were 
conspicuous, lie was ordained, as an Evangelist, by the Hart 
ford North Consociation, September 28, L824, al their meeting 
held at Windsor, it being his intention do find a field of labor 
;it the West. Just at this moment he received an invitation to 
preach to the First Church in New Haven, which invitation 
he accepted, and the pulpit was supplied by him \'<v several 
successn e Sabbaths. 


On December L5, L824, the Society extended a call to Mr. 
Bacon to settle with them in the ministry of the gospel, and 
on the L9th of the same month the church united with the 
ety in their call. 

Thifl call was accepted by Mr. Bacon January IT. 1825. 
The proceedings of the church and society, with Mr. Bacon's 
Letters of acceptance, arc given at page 13. 

He was installed March 9th and the proceedings of the coun- 
cil called for this purpose may be found at page 20. 

He commenced his services as pastor March L3, L825. Bythe 
favor of the family we are permitted t<> publish the first ser- 
mon he preached after taking on himself the pastoral office. 
In this sermon he explained what he considered the require- 
ments of the tield of labor to which lie had been called; how- 
well he judged of them those who have been familiar with his 

career will be interested to observe. The sermo ay he 

found at page 53. 

The pastorate thus happily begun was successful to the end. 
Several revivals of religion marked its history. Dr. Bacon 
stated in his review of these forty years that the number of 
persons who united with the church on profession of faith in 
Christ dining this time was six hundred and six. while the 
number of those who were received by letters from other 
churches was more than as many more. 

Dr. Bacon was earnest throughout his ministry in works of 
moral reform, in his pulpit exercises and through the public 
press he early advocated the principle of .abstinence from in- 
toxicating Liquors and had great influence in bringing about 
the reformation in society in this particular. He was always 
an opponenl of slavery, and in the later part of his ministry 
especially, preached and wrote with great effect in opposition 

the Bystem. lie was an early and lifelong friend of the 
great missionary and other religions and benevolent societies, 
and was instrumental in recommending them not only to his 
own church but to the churches of the country. In local 
efforts for moral reform, and tor meeting the wants of those 

without church Connections, the need\ and the destitute, his 

advice was always sought and his time and influence freely 


The Pastor loved his people, the people loved and honored 
their Pastor. His salary was increased from time to time as 
the increased cost of living and his increasing family seemed 
to require. 

The two-hundredth anniversary of the settlement of tLe 
town of New Haven occurred in March, 1838, and the occasion 
was publicly celebrated. In the preliminary arrangements for 
thi> celebration and in the celebration itself Dr. Bacon was 
much interested. The organization of the church was coeval 
with the settlement at New Haven, and Dr. Bacon was led To 
investigate the early history of the church, which investigation 
resulted in the delivery of thirteen historical discourses, on 
Sunday evenings, which were afterwards expanded and pub- 
lished in a volume. They will always remain a valuable con- 
tribution to the history of the church and a Lasting testimony 
to the affection of the Pastor for it. 

Another work which Dr. Bacon performed for the church, 
after he resigned the pastorate, was the designing and prepar- 
ing, in hi> own felicitous manner, the inscriptions which grace 
the facade of the church, commemorating the organization of 
the church and the settlement of the town. They may be 
found at the commencement of thi> volume. 

In the year l s .'l'.» an effort was made to induce Dr. Bacon to 
leave the church to accept a Professorship in Vale College 
under an appointment from that institution. Dr. Bacon com- 
municated this fact to the society in a letter which, with the 
action of the society upon it. may l>e found at page 22. 

In 1850 Dr. Bacon communicated to the society Ids wish to 
be allowed a temporary absence from the labors and responsi- 
bilities of the pulpit. His letter, and the action of the so- 
ciety upon it. arc to he found at page 25. 

Receiving the asked lor leave of absence, he wenl to Pales- 
tine and Bome adjacent countries. In an attempted journey 
from Mosul to Ooroomiah, while in the country of the Koords, 
he was in great danger of hi.- life. This incident awakened a 
lively interr-i n<>t only in this church, bul wherever Dr. Bacon 
was known. His highly interesting account of it. so charac 

teristic of the man. may he found at page •_'!•. 

The time at length came when this pastorate was to termi- 

s ill >\ \ i;i> B \< ON. 

tiate. Of the five hundred and tift\ members of the church 
at the time of the settlement of the youthful pastor, only thir- 
ty-four remained. The children and grandchildren of those to 
whom he firsl ministered were mow his parishioners. He 
preached on the second Sunday in March, L865, just forty 
years after bis settlement, both morning and afternoon, review- 
ing bis ministry, and closing with the expression of a desire to 
be relieved from the responsibilities of the pastoral office. 
These sermons may be found at page 75. A sermon preached 
a month earlier, on his Bixty-third birthday, may be found at 
page *'»"•. 

Dr. Bacon continued to discharge the duties of pastor and 
no action was taken upon the suggestions made by him 
until the annual meeting of the society in the following 
December, when a committee was appointed to take these sug- 
gestions into consideration and to report at an adjourned meet 
ing. The proceedings which followed are given from the 
records of the society and the church at page ■'!!». The sermon 
which hi' preached on retiring from pastoral duties, September 
'.'. L866, may he found at page L05. 

No communication was made by Dr. Bacon to the church 
except what was contained in tin; sermon of March 1 2, L805, 
and the church was not asked by him to unite in calling a 
council to dissolve the relation existing between them, lie 
continued until his death their Pastor, but relieved by the 
society from all the duties pertaining to the office. 

Fifty years from the day of his installation, on Tuesday. 
March '.*. \^~->. in the afternoon, he preached to a large congre 
nation. Beside the venerable Pastor there sat the Rev. Dr. 
Walker, associated with him. and the Rev. Dr. Buckingham, 

of Springfield, Mas>. In the rear of the pulpit, upon the wall, 

was the following, beautifully worked in immortelles, upon a 
black background : 

L825 — "them that bonob me i will eonor" L875. 

The pulpit was beautifully decorated with Large bouquets of 
rare and fragrant flowers, and the table beneath was strewn 
with lilies. The housewas full of the friends of the Pastor, 


The services began at 3:15 P. m. with singing by the quar- 
tette, hnmediately afterward the Rev. Dr. Walker read 
appropriate selections of scripture. Prayer — in which the 
occasion was fittingly alluded to — was ottered by the Rev. Dr. 
Buckingham, after which the Rev. Dr. Bacon read the 678th 
hymn : 

■■ Bow firm a Foundation, ye saints of the Lord." 

The aged Pastor then arose to address his people. He pre- 
faced his discourse by reading a portion of the Tlst Psalm, 
beginning at the L4th verse. Aiter finishing the chapter, the 
speaker remarked that the first part of the 17th verse would 
afford suggestions for the discourse. The 17th and L8th 
verses- so appropriate a text — are as follows : 

God, thou hast taught me from my youth, and hitherto have I declared thy 
wondrous works. 

Mow also when I am old and gray-headed, God forsake me not; until I 
have showed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one thai 

This sermon may be found at page 1 L9. 

In the evening of the same day ;i reception was held in the 
chapel, which was very largely attended. The venerable Pas- 
tor and his lady occupied the sofa in the alcove before which a 
half circle was cleared. In this the addresses were made. 

lo\ . T. I >. Woolsej . I ).D.. delivered a congratulatory address 
which occupied about half an hour. 

Dr. Macon responded in his agreeable and forcible manner, 
after which Rev. Edward E. A.twater presented a set of resolu- 
tions of a congratulatory nature, which had been passed during 
the day by the New Haven Central Association of Congrega- 
tional churches. 

Rev. I>r. Ilarwood then made a few remarks, which were 

received with much favor. Dr. Macon responded, relating his 
e;ol\ acquaintance with Rev. Harry Croswell, l>r. Harwood's 

After the speeches the company partook of refreshments in 

the hack parlor. This entertain incut lasted until the reception 


10 I I SON \l;i> B \' <>\. 

\- Rev. Dr. Bacon and his wife were Btepping into their 
carriage, Deacon Walker presented them with a purse of 
nearly $2,000- -the generous gifl of the church. 

Attn- it was understood that Dr. Bacon was to retire from 
the pastoral care of this church, he received an invitation to 
become a Professor in the Theological Department of Yale 
College, which invitation he accepted and entered on his new 
duties in the autumn of 1866, in which duties he continued 
until liis death. Hut the church was without an acting Pastor 
for two years after this, ami again for a period of two years 
and a half, and for a third period of the same length of time, 
during all of which Dr. Bacon was called on to attend funerals 
and to perform other pastoral work. These voluntary labors 
he nor only ungrudgingly performed, hut encouraged the peo- 
ple to call on him in their needs. 

In the year L881, for the first time, he became aware of a 
disease of the heart which threatened to terminate his life at 
any moment. He did not hesitate nor falter in the discharge 
of Lis various duties. His lectures to the Theological students 
he delivered as usual, the last one only thirty-six hours before 
his death. He attended the church services twice each Lord's 
day. occasionally performing the services himself, and at 
other times ministered to the people of his congregation as 
they called on him. The last time that he preached was on 
the day of Public Thanksgiving, November 24, L881, only one 
month before his death. The sermon may ho found at page L3T. 
On the morning of Saturday. December 24, L881, with less 
pain than had marked other similar attacks, he departed this 

The funeral services were attended on Tuesday. December 
27th. In the forenoon of that day Rev. T. I). Woolsey, I >.!>., 
lately President of Vale College, through life an intimate 
friend, ami for many year- a wry near neighbor, offered 
prayer at the late residence of Dr. Bacon, in the presence of the 

family, their intimate friends, and the officers of the church. 

In the afternoon public Bervices were held in the church. 
The remains had been borne from the house to the church at 
noon. At half-pasl two o'clock the church was crowded with 
mourners. The audience-room was heavily draped with hlack 


cloth; iii front of the pulpit, on the communion table, stood a 
large full sheaf of ripe wheat. The family and relatives of 
Dr. Bacon, the officers of the church and society, the members 
of the church and congregation, large numbers of citizens, 
many ministers from various parts of the State, constituted the 
mourning company. Pleyel's Hymn was played on the organ, 
the choir of the church chanted the Lord's prayer. Rev. 
George P. Fisher, D. I)., Professor in Yale Theological Semi- 
nary, invoked the Divine blessing, and read selected passages 
of scripture. The choir of the church then sang the anthem, 
" Sleep thy last sleep.'' An address of remarkable tenderness 
and beauty was delivered by Rev. Timothy Dwight, D.D., 
Professor in Yale Theological Seminary, which may be found 
at page 14!». Rev. Edward Hawes, D.D., pastor of the North 
Church, offered the closing prayer. The congregation united 
in singing " Hail tranquil hourof closing day," a hymn written 
by Rev. Dr. Bacon, and then the Loved and honored remains 
of thf deceased Pastor were borne from the church by his six 
Bona. A brief prayer was offered at the grave by Rev. Win. 
M. Barbour, D.D., Pastor of the church in Yale College. 

On January L5, L882, Rev. George Leon Walker. I). I)., 
formerly Pastor of the church, and now Pastor of the First 
Church in Hart lord, by request, preached a memorial dis- 
course. The choir Bang the anthem, "Nazareth," and the 
hymn "Oh, holy night." The other hymns sung were. 
•• Hark ! a voice divides the sky." and w " It is not death to die." 
Dr. Walker's sermon ma\ be found at page i » '> 7 . 

The will of Kc\. Dr. Bacon was written 1>\ fiimself and in 
its main provisions is of no interesl to the public, but its com- 
mencement bear- iii it so striking aii affirmation of his faith 
that it i> here eriven. 

12 Leonard Bacon. 

Preamble and [ntroductori Article prow the Will 
of Rev. Leonard Bacon, I). I). 

I. Leonard Bacon, of the City and County of New Eaven, 
in the State of Connecticut, being, by the favor of God, not 
withstanding my age of more than seventy-six years, in full 
health and of sound, disposing mind and memory, do make 
and establish in these following articles my last will and testa- 
ment : 

First, Holding fast that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ 

which I have preached to others, and which, by God's blessing 
on the diligence <d' my godly parents, has been my strength 
and comfort from my youth up, I commit my soul to Him, the 
Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world. In this 
confidence I hope to die, assured that he is able to save to the 
uttermost all who come to God by Mini. Concerning the 
burial of my body, 1 ask of those on whom that care shall 
devolve, that the funeral may be managed with an exemplary 
care to avoid expense, by whomsoever the expense may be 
defrayed. Let the dust return to dust. I hope to rise with 
them who sleep in Jesus. 


Proceedings of the First Ecclesiastical Society 



Friday Evening, Dec in. L824. 6 o'clock. 

The society met at the Lecture-room according to the last 
adjournment. James Billhouse, Esq., moderator. Deacon 
Whiting opened the meeting with prayer. 

Voted, That this society do approve of the ministerial ser- 
vices of the Rev. Leonard Bacon among them, and are desirous 
that lit- should settle with them in the work of the gospel 
ministry, and that he be invited to take charge of the society 
and the church connected with ir accordingly, as their Pastor 
and gospel minister. Yeas, i~: Nays, 21. 

Adjourned to Wednesday evening, Dec. 1">. at 6 o'clock. 

Attest, T. I). WILLIAMS, Society's Clerk. 


Wednesday Evening, Dec 15, L824. 6 o'clock. 

The Bociety rael at the lecture-room pursuant to the las! 
adjournment. James Hillhouse, Esq., moderator. The meet- 
ing was opened with prayer by Presidenl Atwater. 

Voted, Thai the Bocietj reconsider the vote passed al the Ias1 
meeting respecting the invitation to the Rev. Mr. Bacon. 

\ oted, Thai this Bociety do approve of the ministerial servi- 
ces oi the Rev. Leonard Bacon among them, and are desirous 
thai he Bhould Bettle with them in the work of the gospel min 
istry and thai he be invited to take charge of the society and 
the church connected with it accordingly as their Pastor and 


gospel minister, on such terms and conditions as may hereafter 
be agreed upon by the Bocietj and Mr. Bacon. The votes 
were, affirmative, 68; negative, 20. 

Voted, Thai the church in the Bociety be requested to unite 
with them in the above invitation. 

Voted, Thai Messrs. DyerWhite, Dennis Kimberly, Nathan 
Whiting, Stephen Twining, < !harles At water, Jonathan Knight, 
Eenry Daeeett, Jr., and Elihu Sanford be a committee to 

, DO 

report at a future meeting the terms and conditions of the set- 
tlement iif the Rev. Leonard Bacon. 

Adjourned to Monday evening, Dee. 20, at <i o'clock. 

Attest, T. I). WILLIAMS, Society's Clerk. 


Monday Evening, Dec. 20, 1824. 6 o'clock. 

The society met at the lecture-room pursuant to the last 
adjournment. James Hillhouse, Esq., moderator. The meet- 
ing was opened with prayer by Deacon Whiting. The com- 
mittee appointed at the Last meeting reported. 

Voted, That in case the Rev. Leonard Bacon shall accept 
the invitation of this SOci< tv to take the charge of them and the 
church connected with them as their Pastor, the society will 
pay to him during the continuance of his ministry with them, 
a Balary of one thousand dollars a year, which salary shall be 
paid balf-yearly in advance. 4'.» affirmative, 21 negative. 

Voted, That Dyer White, Nathan Whiting, and Stephen 
Twining be a committee to transmit to Mr. Bacon the several 
votes passed by the society, and communicate with him on the 
subject of bis settlement, and report his answer thereto at 
some future meeting. 

And the society adjourned without day. 

Attest, T. I). WILLIAMS, Society's Clerk 



At a special meeting of the First Ecclesiastical Society 
legally warned and holden at the lectnre-room Monday after- 
noon, January 31, 1825. Dyer White chosen moderator. 

Voted, That William .1. Forbes, Henry Daggett, Jr., and 
[saac Mills lie and they hereby are appointed a committee, in 
conjunction with a committee to be appointed in the church 
rher with Mr. Bacon, to tix upon the time and adjust the 
arrangements accessary for his installation as a minister of tins 

The following letter from the Rev. Leonard Bacon was read 
at the opening of the meeting: 

Andover, Dec. 30, L824. 
Messrs. Dyer White, Stephen Twining, and Nathan Whiting: 

Gentlemen — 5Tours of the 21st, communicating the pro- 
ceedings of the First Ecclesiastical Society in New Haven, by 
which they have invited me to settle with them in the work of 
rh<- gospel ministry, and enclosing a communication from the 
church connected with that society was duly received. A 
temporary absence from town prevented my making an imme- 
diate acknowledgment. 

At present I have only to saj that the subject which has 
thus been laid before me shall receive the attention it deserves, 
and that my answer to the invitation shall he given at the ear- 
liest period consistent with the deliberation which is due to 
a question involving consequences bo momentous. God only 
Call teach ii~ what he would have US to do, and when I look to 
Him for the wisdom which I need, there i- encouragement in 
the thought that others are lifting ii|> their hands to the Father 
<>t lights and praying Elim to guide me by Hi- counsel. 

Wishing to you and to the people for whom you act, grace, 
mercy and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord 
Jesus Christ, I am. brethren, your Bervanl in the gospel, 




A ndover, Jan. I 7. L825. 
I i> tin First Ecclesiastical So oietiy in New Haven: 

Brethren lnd Friends The votes \>\ which you have 
Invited me to settle with you in the work o\ the gospel minis- 
try was duly transmitted and received, and have been deliber- 
ately considered. When I received yonr call, and became 
acquainted with the circumstances in which it was given, my 
impressions were, on the whole, favorable to yonr invitation. 
In the progress of a serious and careful deliberation these im- 
pressions have continually grown moredistincl and certain, and 
have resulted in a conviction of duty. Under the influence of 
tins conviction I do now accept the proposals with which you 
have >een tir to honor me. 

I may have erred in following what [ supposed to be the guid- 
ing hand of Providence ; and the probability of such an error — 
when we think of it in its connection with the prosperity of 
the church, and with your own eternal interests — is enough to 
make u- tremble. Whether I have been thus mistaken we 
know not now, hut we shall know hereafter in the day when 
all secret things shall he revealed. 

And now I commend you to God, and to the word of His 
grace; and praying that His love may he shed abroad in all 
your hearts, I am, your friend and servant in Christ, 


ANDOVER, Monday. .Ian. 17, L825. 

Messrs. Dyer White, Stephen Twining, Nathan Whiting, 

( 'on, m 1 11 > i : 

Gentlemen^] send you my answer to the invitation of 
your society. Enclosed is a corresponding communication to 
the church. Respecting the time which the church and 
Bociety may appoint for the solemnity of installation I have 
nothing to say excepl that the earliest notice of whatever 
arrangements they may choose to make will very much oblige 
your friend and brother, LEONARD BACON. 

And the society adjourned without day. 

Attest, T. I). WILLIAMS, Society's Clerk. 


Proceedings of the First Church in New Haven 



At a meeting of the First Church in New Eaven on Sab- 
bath morning, L9th December, 1824. 

The Rev. Jedediah Morse, D.D., was chosen moderator. 
The meeting was opened with prayer by the moderator. 

\ oted, That the church do unite with the society in their 
vote passed od the L5th of December instant, inviting the 
[lev. Leonard Bacon to settle with them in the work of the 
gospel ministry. 

Voted, Thai the Senior Deacon be requested to transmit 
the above vote to the Rev. Leonard Bacon. 

'I he meeting was closed with prayer by the moderator. 

Attest, SAMUEL DARLING, Deacon. 


1.1 i i i i; OF \< CEPT W'K ADDRESSED TO I'll E CHURCH. 
'/'<> lh< /-V/'.v/ ( '/nirr/i of ( 'hr'isl in \, ir //</i'< n : 

Brethren <>n the 24th of Last month I received a commu- 
nication from your committee informing n f the vote by 

which yon have invited me to become your Pastor. In ;i mat- 
ter of bo great importance to myself and to yon and to the 
cause of our common Redeemer, I was unwilling to be gov- 
erned by my iirst impressions of duty, and I have therefore 
delayed answering your call till now that I might have oppor- 
tunity for more careful and deliberate enquiry. Such enquiry 

I have attempted to make, looking up to God for the Lighl of 
Eis countenance and the guidance of His spirit, and the result 
is that I dow accept your invitation, praying God to forgive 
me the unworthinese of which I am conscious, and to glorify 

I I is Btrength in my weakness. 

The uncommon unanimity which has marked your proceed- 
ings, has seemed to me and to those in whose judgment I may 
confide, to indicate what the great Head of the Church would 
have me do. In this I may have mistaken the Leadings of 
Providence, for we are all blind to the future, and the hook of 
God's designs can be read only as it- Leaves are successively 
unfolded before us. God only knows, for he ordains, what 
is to be the result of our designs, and blind as we are, we may 
rejoice in this, that as he kiioweth our frame and renieni- 
bereth that we are diist. so by his own wisdom and his own 
power he will accomplish his purposes of grace and establish 
the glory of his church, notwithstanding all our mistake- and 
all our weakness. The partiality with which you have been 
Led to regard me, while it till- me with solicitude respecting the 
expectation- you may have formed, inspires also the hope 
that as you become more acquainted with the imperfections of 
my character you will look on them with the forbearance and 
kindness demanded by the endearing character of the relation 
which will then -uh-i-t between us. 


Brethren, pray for me; and now may our Lord Jesus Christ 
himself and God, even our Father, who hath loved us, and 

given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, 
comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and 
work. Yours in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, 


ADdover. Massachusetts. Jan. IT. 1825. 

At a meeting of the First Church in New Haven on the 31st 
of January, L825! Deacon Nathan Whiting, moderator. A 
letter from Rev. Leonard Bacon, accepting of the invitation of 
this church and the Bociety to settle with them in the gospel 
ministry, was read. 

Voted, That this church do approve and accept of the an- 
swer of IJ<-v. Leonard Bacou and do order it to be recorded. 

\ oted, That Samuel Darling, Stephen Twining, and Nathan 
Whiting be and they are hereby appointed a committee, in con- 
junction with a committee appointed by the society, together 
with Rev. -Mr. Bacon, to fix upon the time and adjust the 
arrangements necessary for hi- installation as a minister of this 


I k<>\ \|;|. UAOON. 

Proceedings of the Ecclesiastical Council 



At a meeting of an Ecclesiastical Council convened a1 the 
house of Aaron Morse, in New Haven, Tuesday, March 8, 
L 825, and held at the lecture-room in Orange street, for the 
purpose of installing Rev. Leonard Bacon as Pastor over the 
Firsl Church and society in New Haven. 

Present : Rev. Jeremiah Day, President of Yale College. 

Rev. Nathaniel W. Taylor, Professor of Theology in Yale 
( lollege. 

Rev. Stephen W. Stebbins, from the First Church in West 

Rev. Samuel Merwin,from the church in the United Society 
in New 1 1 a veil. 

Thomas F. Davies, their delegate. 
Rev. Eleazar T. Fitch, from the Church in Yale College. 

Elizur < roodrich, their delegate. 
Rev. Joel Hawes, from the First Church in Hartford. 

Henry L. Ellsworth, their delegate. 
Rev. Carlos Wilcox, from the North Church in Hartford. 

Eliphalet Terry, their delegate. 
Joseph Webster, delegate from the South Church in Hart- 

Rev. Messrs. Abner Smith, David Smith, Elijah Waterman, 
Daniel ('rani'. Erastue Scranton, Samuel Whittlesey, Nathaniel 
Hewit, Samuel IJ. Andrew, Edward \V. Hooker, and David 
L. Ogden, being present, were invited to sit with the council. 


The council then, after receiving from Kev. L. Bacon a cer- 
tificate of his ordination as an Evangelist, and examining with 
respect to his qualifications for the ministry of the gospel, 
voted that they would proceed to Ids installation to-morrow. 
a. si., at half-past ten o'clock. 

The parts of the service were then assigned as follows: 

The introductory prayer to Rev. Carlos Wilcox. 

The sermon to Rev. Joel Hawes. 

The installing prayer to Rev: Stephen W. Stebbins. 

The charge to Kev. X. W. Taylor. 

The right hand of fellowship to Rev. E. T. Fitch. 

The council then adjourned to meet again at the same place 
to-morrow, \. M., at half-past nine o'clock. 

Wednesday morning, March 9. — Met according to adjourn- 
ment. The minutes were then read and passed by the council 
as a true record of their proceedings, when the act of installa- 
tion was performed according to the preceding resolutions. 

Attest, ELEAZAB T. FITCH, Scribe. 


Proceedings in relation to a Call 

r<> a 

At a special meeting of the First Ecclesiastical Society in 
New Haven, held pursuanl to legal notice a1 the chapel in 
Orange street, on Monday the 2d of September, at '■'• o'clock in 
the afternoon, A. D. L839. Dr. Jonathan Knight was chosen 

A communication from the Pastor was read in relation to his 
recent appointment to the Professorship of Rhetoric and Ora- 
tory in Vale College, requesting the society to hear what 
the gentlemen from the college have to offer on this subject, 
and then to express their judgment whether the interests 
involved in this matter require the society to give tip their 
Pastor to this call ; which communication is on tile. 

William .1. Forbes, Esq., was appointed a committee to wait 
on the gentlemen from college and requesl their attendance 
at this time to make such remarks as they wish on the subjeel 
of the communication from the Pastor. 

President Day, in behalf of the Corporation of Vale College, 
and Professor Silliman, in behalf of the Faculty of the 
College, made a statement of the views of the Corporation in 
electing the Rev. Mr. Bacon to the Professorship of Rhetoric 
and Oratory in Vale College, and of the reasons why the 
appointment should he accepted. 

After some time spent in deliberation, the society unani- 
mously — 

Resolved, That in the opinion of tins society it is not expe- 
dient that our Pastor should leave this people for the Profes- 
sorship in ^ ale ( !ollege, to which he has been appointed ; that 
it i- not the duty of this society, a- at present advised, to con- 
sent to his removal. 

The society then adjourned without day. 

Attest, ' IIK.NUV WHITE, Clerk. 



To tht Members of tht First Ecclesiastical Society in New 
Ha/oen : 

Gentlemen — I have already informed you of the fact that 
I have been appointed to the Professorship of Rhetoric and 
Oratory in Yale College. In the communication which I read 
to the congregation I stated the reason.- by which I felt myself 
bound to consider the subject and to ask you to consider it 
also before giving any answer to the appointment. 

When the proposal was first made to me informally, and 
arguments were u^'(] showing the importance of the call, I 
replied to the gentlemen who conferred with me, % ' If the case 
is as clear as von think it is, von can probably make it clear to 
my people : \i they think that the greatest good requires them 
ive me up they will yield and then I will consent." 

What I ask of von then is that yon will first hear what the 
gentlemen from the college have to offer on this subject, and 
then after all necessary deliberation amonu yourselves express 
your judgment. I wish you to look not at the interests of the 
society only, nor of the college only, but at the interests of the 

town, of the State, of the country, and of the ('hure'h of 

Christ universally, and to say whether these interests in pour 
judgment require yon to give up your Pastor to this call. 
Some of you. I am informed, have received the impression 

that my preference is to aerept the in v it at ion. Others will 

ad which way my inclination leads. Let me say then dis- 
tinctly, I have no wish to leave you. 1 am not called to a 
higher salary, nor to a station which will be to me more hon- 
orable or less laborious. Consulting my own feelings alone, 
whether of affection or of interest, I should immediately deter- 
mine to remain as I am. 

The question will be asked, Wha1 is my opinion as to my 
duty in the case? I answer, if I saw it to be my duty to 



accepl the appointmenl I should sa^ so al once, and a>k you t<> 
conseni to 1113 dismission. Bu1 my own reflections on the sub- 
ject have no1 led me t<> form such an opinion. I can only say, 
.1- I have already Baid, thai I wish you t<> hear the whole case 
and then i" decide for yourselves whether those great and gen- 
eral interests, which as citizens and as Christians we ought all 
to regard, require von to give up your Pastor to this call. 
Respectfully and affectionately your friend and Pastor, 


New Haven, Monday. 2d September, L839. 


Proceedings in relation to giving Rev. Dr.Bacon 
a Temporary Absence. 


At a special meeting of the First Ecclesiastical Society in 
New Haven, held pursuant to legal notice at their lecture- 
room in Orange street, on the l">th day of July, L850, at half- 
past 7 o'clock P. m. Dr. Jonathan Knight was chosen moder- 
ator. Edward I. Sanford was appointed to act as clerk of the 
Bociety during the absence of Henry White. Kstj. 

The object of the meeting was to consider a proposition to 
give the Rev. Dr. Bacot a temporarj respite from his Labors as 
Pastor of the society. A communication was received from 
the Pastor relative to the matter, and sundry resolutions were 

Voted, That the members of the society present approve of 
the general object of the resolutions and that the same. 
together with the communication, be referred to a committee 
of three, who shall reporl at the next meeting. 

Henry Peck, Henry Trowbridge, and Jonathan Knight 
wen- appointed such committee. 

The Bociety then adjourned to meet at the chapel in < ►range 
Btreet, on Monday evening, July 22, 1850, at balf-pasl 7 


Socii ///'.v ( '/< /•/■. pro /< //'. 

LEON \ III' R \f(»N. 


The Bociety me1 pursuanl to adjournmenl on Monday 
evening, July 22, A. I). L850. Dr. Jonathan Knighl in the 

Tin' committee to whom was referred the resolutions and 
communication, referred to in the record of the last meeting, 
made verbal report that they bad had under consideration the 
manors referred to them, and would beg leave to offer the fol- 
lowing resolutions and reply to tin- Pastor's letter of the L5th. 

The following is the communication presented at the last 
meeting, and now re-read. 

To tht First Ecclesiastical Society in Nt f Hwoen : 

Gentlemen —I have been informed that you are summoned 
to meet this evening with reference to giving your Pastor 
leave of absence for a few months, and it has occurred to me 
that some expression of my views and wishes may he not 


You will allow me then to say that I have felt very sensibly 
the kindness with winch many of you have proposed to me a 
temporary suspension of my labors among you, and a voyage 
aero— the Atlantic ; I have a Btrong desire to visit the churches 
of the country from which our ancestors canne, to see what a 
Btranger can see of the state of religion there, and in some 
other countries of the old world. I have a yet stronger desire 
to visit, if possible, the various missipnary stations in the 
countries surrounding the Mediterranean, and most of all to 
visit Pah-tine and the adjoining regions — the lands of the 
Bible. I have thoughl that at my time of life, after a quarter 
of a century of labors, which, however unworthily performed, 
have rarely been interrupted, a vacation of perhaps a twelve- 
month, -pent amid new BCenes ami new excitement-, may he 
in,- means of postponing for a while that -decay of natural 
ir which must, ere long, begin to come upon me. I have 
thought thai in Buch a circle of travel as I have been led to 
contemplate, I mighl be continually increasing my resources oJ 
knowledge, and preparing myself to he more useful if <i<>d 


should give me a prosperous journey and a safe return. This 
is what I have thought of since the subject lias been proposed 
to me, and with great kindness urged upon me. 

Whether it will he in my power to leave my family the 
present season is very doubtful. The protracted illness of a 
dear and venerable member of my family forbids me just now 
to leave her. But, if by the first of September next her health 
should he restored, I think I shall be willing to go, provided 
the consentof the church and society be freely given. Should 
there he any reluctance on your part 1 shall readily give up the 
plan. If you give your consent to my going, I shall wish to 
make whatever arrangements will he most satisfactory to you 
for the supply of my place in my absence. With a most grate- 
ful remembrance of the kindness which you have shown 
toward me these many years, 1 am. gentlemen, affectionately 
your friend and Pastor, 


New Ihivcn. July L5, 1 850. 


I'll' First Ecclesiastical Society in New Haven to Rev. 
Leonard Bacon, 1>.I>. : 

Rev. and Deab Sir — This society has received your com- 
munication of the L5th of -Inly, ami given it that consideration 
which it> importance demands. While regretting that for any 
cause we may he deprived for a season of your useful and val- 
ued labors among us, we are fully aware of the force of the 
reasons which have led you t" contemplate a temporary suspen- 
sion of them for the purposes mentioned in your communica- 
tion to us. Believing a- we do that a suspension of vour 
arduous ministerial labors, which bave been continued almosl 
without interruption lor twenty-five years, ami a journey to 
countries so full of interesl to every literary man. and especially 
to e\ery Christian minister, as those which eon propose to 
vi-it will promote your happiness, your health and future use 
fulness, we cheerfulh consenl to a suspension of them for such 
a time a- ni;i\ he necessan for this purpose. 

28 i,i <>\ \ i;i> i; V( ON. 

We would also express the heartfell desire thai ;ill your an- 
ticipatioTi of presenl enjoyment, <>f increased vigor of body and 
mind, and of capacity for future asefulness, from the measure 
proposed, may be t'ulh realized. 

With Hindi respect and esteem, your parishioners and friends, 
in behalf of the society. 

J. KNIGHT, Chairman. 

Edward I. Sanford, < '/< rk. 

New Haven, July 22, L850. 

Resolved, That the Kc\ . Leonard Bacon have leave to sus- 
pend his ordinary ministerial labors with tins society for such a 
time as be may judge necessary to accomplish the objects men- 
tioned in Ins recent communication to this society, and that his 
usual salary shall be continued to him during such suspension. 

Resolved, That the society's committee be requested to pro 
vide for such expenses as may accrue in providing ministerial 
labor during the absence of the minister of the society. 

Resolved, Thai a c mittee of five be appointed who. after 

consulting with our respected minister, shall have in charge the 
duty of providing such ministerial labor as shall be necessary 
during his absence, and that the society's committee be reques- 
ted to appoint two of their number to be members of said com- 

Voted. That the report of the committee be accepted, and 
that the resolutions be passed. 

In accordance with the third resolution, Dr. Jonathan Knight, 
Charles Robinson, Esq., and Deacon Lewis Hotchkiss were 

appointed as part of the committee in behalf of the society. 


Extracts from a Letter from Dr. Bacon 



| Ilf left Mosul for Ooroomiah in company with his son and 
Rev. Mr. Marsh, an American Missionary.] 

Instead of pitching our tent and sleeping under the canvas, 
we Bpread our beds on the roof of a house; and after commit- 
ting ourselves and the dear and distant objects of our affections 
to the mercies of a covenant God, we lay down to sleep with 
the everlasting mountains around u>. and with the starry host 
watching in the tranquil, cloudless sky above us. The house 
which gave us it> little flat roof for a resting place was built 
against the hill side, SO that on the rear it was not more than 

loin- feet above the ground, and a projecting rock conveniently 
near served us instead of ladder or staircase. That our baggage 
might 1"- -ah- from nocturnal pillagers, and that we and our 
men might sleep without any anxiety on that score, we hired 
an old man of the tallage to keep watch <m the root' through 
the night. Iii the course of the night Mr. Marsh was awakened 
by a low sound of voices in a kind of suppressed conversation. 
Raising himself a little from the pillow, and propping himself 
on his elbow, he saw in the star-light several men he think- 
there were -i\ —stealthily approaching tin house toward one of 
the comers where the roof came nearesl to the ground. Ob- 
serving that he was awake i lny suddenly -topped and after ex- 
changing a few whispers one of them came upon the roof with 
hi- gun in his hand, and without giving an\ answer to Mi'. 
Marsh, who addressed him in Arabic, he entered into conversa 
tion in a low voice with our sentinel, who appears to have been 
asleep ami just then to have waked from hi- slumber. By this 

80 LEON \i;i> BACON. 

time I bad begun to be aware thai something was going on 
around me, and Mr. Marsh spoke to me and told me thai there 
was a man upon the roof. Our unwelcome visitor soon de- 
scended and went off with his companions. Khudr [their Ben 

ant!, who had been waked from a profound ami well-earned 
sleep, and who, like the resl <>t us, was nol withoul alarm at 
what we had seen, enquired "l our sentinel a- to the meaning of 
all this. 1 1 is reporl to us was thai these were men of the \ illage 

who, returning home at a late hour, and perceiving that there 

had been an arrival of strangers were curious to enquire about 
n>. Satisfied with this explanation we slepl on till morning. 

But in the morning, when we were ju>t ready to go «>n our 
way, our old watchman told us another story. The men, he 
now said, were from the next village on our road. They came 
with the intention of killing n>. and were hindered from exe- 
cuting their purpose Only because we were under his protection 
and in relations of hospitality with his village. He added that 
he had given lis a different account in the night because he was 
unwilling to alarm us. What were we to do in these circum- 
stances? The man. according to his own account, had no scru- 
ple about speaking falsehood, when falsehood was accessary to 
what he considered a good end. Whether the story of the 

[light, or that of the morning, or some other story yet to he 
told, was the true one. who can decide? At the next village 
was an Agha from whom, as we had been told at Akre, it 
would he important to obtain a letter. To him we were ex- 
pecting to present our letter from the Pooha of Mosul with a 
request for such an escorl as might he necessary for our safety. 
After consultation with the muleteers and the others in our 
caravan, finding that in their opinion our nocturnal \ isitora were 
men of Biyeh, we determined on proceeding and hired our old 
man to go with us and present 11.- t<> the A.gha. 

At the distance of about two hours from Biyeh, our road 
which for some time had been a narrow path between a steep 
ascenl on one side and the Bteeper hank of a rivulet on the 
other, brought n> to the base of a projecting ledge of rock, 

where an armed party of six men were waiting to meet ns. 

They first addressed our guide, ami seemed disposed to quarrel 
with him for having taken us under hi- protection. It was ex- 


plained to them that we were going to the Agha; but after a 
brief conversation between them on one side and the muleteers 
and Khudr on the other, they refused to let us pass without a 
present or bakhshish of fifty piastres, a little more than two 
dollars. This we consented to give them, glad to escape at-so 
cheap a rate, but we stipulated with them and they accepted 
our proposal, that in return for our bakhshish they should escort 
us to the Agha. But here arose a new difficulty. We had not 
so much money in our pockets and all that we and Khudr could 
make out was less than twenty piastres. The remainder of our 
traveling money was packed away among our luggage. Vt e 
feared to onload a nude in the presence of such persons, whose 
forbearance was not likely to be proof against much" temptation. 
Our proposal to pay a part of the money in advance and the 
remainder on our arrival at the Agha's house was fiercely re- 
jected, and while we were consulting for a moment among our- 
selves, they hastily primed and cocked their guns; three of 
them placed themselves in the narrowest part of the pass before 
ii- and the other three leaped behind the rock, which served 
them a- a parapet, and resting their lone.' guns on the rock with 
a grin of fiendish delight took aim at us. Negotiation was ob- 
viously at an end. We gave them to understand that we sur- 
rendered and immediately prepared to unload the mule in order 
to get at the writing case in which our money was deposited. 
In this emergency our chief muleteer, who had at first declined 
rendering as any Buch aid. offered to loan us as much as would 
make up the fifty piasters : and the matter being thus adjusted 
we Bel forward under the charge of our stipendiary cohort, com- 
forting onrselves with the thought that after all the robbers 
had not taken any more than the Slate of New Jersey would 
have exacted from us for the privilege of passing through her 
territory on a railway. 

We had gone onlj a few rods from the place of our encounter 
when the men in charge of u- were hailed by another party 
stationed near the road, and after some consultation of which 
we knew not the purport, a detachment from the second party 
was added to our escort. A- we proceeded with so many around 
ii-. watching us at ever} step, we could not hut feel that we 
were marching rather like prisoners than like persons guarded 

f( »r their i p\\ ii protect ion. 

• >■_' I, hit >NARD BACON. 

The village began to be in Bight. Its aspect was decidedly 
unpromising. In an Isolated position, chosen obviously with 
something of a military eye, stood whal mighl be called a castle 

a small, rectangular building of the rudesl masonry, with 
loop holes in-trad of windows, and at one end of it, a little cir- 
cular tower. A.S we drew near the castle, men, women and chil- 
dren began to -how themselves with evident indications of ex- 
citement. We came to the platform before the door and while 
we were in the act of dismounting, the rapacious Bcoundrels 
flew upon our two servants, tore from them the arms that were 
attached to their persons, slashing the strap- and belts with 

their daggers, seized every thing that was in their pockets or 
girdles, Stripped from their heads the caps which they wore, 
hound round with handkerchiefs like turbans— and all in a 
twinkling. A.t the same moment another snatched a handker- 
chief from the pocket of Mr. Marsh's linen coat, tearing out in 
his violence the button hole into which the corner of it was 
fastened, while still another tore the umbrella from the hand of 
my son. This was evidently a perilous place to come to, hut 

on the appearance of the lord of the castle the process of strip- 
ping us was suddenly arrested, and something like order was 
restored. He was taller and evidently stronger than any of his 
men. with some marks of superiority in his asped and bearing. 
This was the A.gha to whom we had come for protection on 
our journey and behold we were at the mercy of a band of sav- 
age r< ibbers. 

With a motion of his hand the chief directed us to a place 
one or two hundred yards distant, where ;i spreading mulberry 
tree ofEered us some shelter from the noonday heat. Some of 
the savages were constantly near us, keeping guard over us. 
The thought occurred to some of us that perhaps the objed of 
this movement vvas to have us in a more convenient place for 
the execution of their bloody purpose. Soon afterward.- Khudr, 
who wa- the Only one that understood the language of these 

savages, and who had been anxiously seeking information both 
by interrogating the muleteers and by listening to the conver- 
sation around the castle, came to us with the information that 

they intended to kill us. The muleteers they said, and the men 
with the donkeys, were Koords and would he allowed to go 


where they pleased; but we were Franks and if we were per- 
mitted to escape we should bring them into trouble with the 
government. This was a new kind of experience to me — to all 
of us. 

It was not without a nervous shrinking that I had seen the 
rifles of murderers pointed at us from behind the rocks; that, 
however, was only a sudden and momentary flash of peril. But 
here was the announcement of a deliberate purpose in regard to 
us. We were sentenced, as it were, to immediate and bloody 
death. And we were to die thus — so far away from home and 
country and friends. 

I cast one glance upon the vast amphitheatre of mountains. 
I felt that I was in the presence and in the hands of Him 'who 
setteth fast the mountain.- by His power,' and without whom 
not a hair of our head could fall to the ground. 

I will not undertake to account for it — perhaps my mind 
was stunned and made in some measure insensible by the an- 
nouncement that our death had heen determined upon. What- 
ever may have been the cause, I proved myself strangely tran- 
quil and self-possessed, as if I was sure of being delivered. So 
it seemed to he with my companions. Not one of us gave any 
Bign of agitation. 

A moment's consultation was enough to determine what we 
should do. We had come to the A.gha as a man having author- 
ity; we had come with a document in our hands which had 
given ii- the right to demand protection and an escort ; and we 

immediately sent our servant to say to him that we wanted 
to see him either where we were or in his castle. 

While Khudr was gone on this errand, as nohody wa- then 

ju-t near enough to disturb us, the moment seemed favorable 
for uniting in vocal prayer. Not wishing to attract the atten- 
tion of our Moslem captors, we made oui\ a slighl change of 

position and our supplications were made in a voice which none 

of them could hear. With one voice and mind we committed 
ourselves to the power, the care, the loving kindness of a re- 
deeming God, to live or to die as hi- wisdom should determine. 
We prayed thai it it were consistenl with his counsels, we 
mighl l«' delivered out of the hand- oi these unreasonable and 

wicked men; ami that lie in whose hand- are the hearts of 

:; 1 LEON \l-'l> B ICON. 

men, and who can turn them as the rivers of water are turned, 
would so influence their thoughts, dividing their minds and 
turning their counsels into foolishness as ti> baffle their pur- 
poses and procure our deliverance. It' we were then and t here to 
die, we would die trusting in Chrisl and saying, Lord Jesus 
receive our spirits ; and we prayed that whatever should befall 
n> might turn i>ni for the furtherance of the gospel. 

We prayed for the dear ones far away, hound to us by the 
tenderest ties of human affection, whose faces we were perhaps 
never again to see among the living. For all their welfare. 
temporal and eternal, we committed them to our covenant God. 

We prayed for the dear churches in our native land in which 

we were especially interested, and for the universal kingdom of 
Christ. We prayed for those dark mountains, full of the habi- 
tations of cruelty, that the dayspring from on high might visit 
them, and even the men that were thirsting for our blood 

might put on the nature of the Lamb and learn to sit at the 

feet of JeSUS. 

When we had closed this act of worship we found Khudr 
waiting with an answer to our message. The Agha said it was 
very hot ju-t then, we had better prepare our dinner and eat it 
in peace: in the cool of the da v he would come and examine 
our baggage and take from as whatever he should choose. We 
could not be permitted either to pursue our intended journey 
or to go back to Mosul, hut the next dav he would send us to 
Mime other A.gha in the mountains. There was nothing more 
for us to do. So we told Khudr to bring forth what provision 
there was for our dinner and prepared ourselves to eat with 
Buch appetite a- we might have when food should he set before 

Mr. Marsh had been for two or three days under the neces- 
sity of taking a few drop- of laudanum before each meal ; 
accordingly, the traveling-bag, in which I carried my Utile 
assortment of medicines, was brought ami opened. The conse- 
quence was that Melul A.gha, alarmed probably with the suspi- 
cion that we were attempting to conceal our money, found it 
convenient not to deter to the cool of the day his promised visit 
of inspection and appropriation. lie came striding from the 
castle, and having satisfied himself as to the medicine-box, pro- 


ceeded to search the bag from which it had been taken, and 
then required as to open all our baggage. In Mr. Marsh's 
writing-case was a bag containing L,000 piastres (about $45.50), 
all that remained of the money we had taken for our journey. 
[n my own case were sixty piastres belonging t<> Khudr. 
These sums of money, two razors, a very large pocket-knife, a 
few handkerchiefs, and similar articles, lie took into his posses- 
sion. He then directed us to pack up our g Is again, which 

we did with all practical expedition, for his light-fingered fol- 
lower- hung around u- in a cloud seizing whatever they 
could touch, when his eve was not on them. After this, he. 
and hi> principal men sat down on the rock just behind, above 
us. and under the same -hade which protected us. Our dinner 
was brought, and we proceeded with the eating of it. while 
they were evidently engaged in some grave debate of which 
we knew that we were the subject. We had concluded our 
repast before they had concluded their debate, though we were 
by no means in a hurry with our eating. After a while clouds 
suddenly gathered above us; there was a growl of thunder, and 
a brief yel heavy shower drove the council into the castle, 
while we found such shelter a- we could under a huge felt gar- 
ment belonging to one of our muleteers. 

While the Agha and the council were in the castle, one inci- 
dent OCCUlTed of which we had no knowledge until the next 

day. They summoned Khudr into their presence and putting 
a dagger to hi.- throat required him under pain of instant death 

to tell what we had done with the rest of our money. He 

assured them that he knew we had no other money than thai 

which they had already seized, and that we carried with u> 

only enough for the expenses of the road to Oor riah. At 

la-t we saw them approaching from the castle, the chief and 
the throng of hi- followers. <>m- hag-age underwent a new 
search, and in default of money large appropriations were made 

of our goods. Why the\ took BO much \va- not wonderful. 

it wa- only strange thai they took bo little. Our fear was that 
what they left ii- was onlj designed to paj Bomebody else for 
murdering as. After this the Agha examined our persons 
with some formality, in the presence of bis leading men. appar 
ently appealing to them to bear witne 

36 ii OH \i;i> i! \<'<>\. 

At last, not far from four o'clock, we received the instruction 
thai we were t" be senl away immediately, and the mules were 
broughl up i" receive their loads. This was a relief, though ae 
yet we knew in>t whither we were going. Had our removal 
been postponed until morning there were men enough there 
who would liave murdered ib in the night for the sake <»!' strip- 
ping our dead bodies and settling the dispute whal should be 
done with us. A guard of five armed inch, ami one old man 
unarmed, accompanied us. A.f ter we had traveled perhaps a 
mile, we passed a village and there a Christian, of one of the 
native sects, from Akre. came out to see us and to express his 
sympathy. From him our servant learned that they were tak- 
ing us to a certain Mullah, who was a good man and greatly 
venerated, and who would be able to protect us. When we 
had gone perhaps an hour further a party of Koords hailed our 
escort from a ueighboring mountain-side, and a parley took 
place which we did not understand. Immediately afterward, 
one of the donkey-men, who had been in our caravan ever since 
we left Akre. came up by the side of Mr. Marsh, and in a few 
words of broken Arabic tried to make him understand that he 
thought we could rely on the fidelity of our guard. Calling 
Khudr to interpret, we found that the party on the hill had 
wanted the privilege of killing us and that our escort had re- 
fused to indulge them. After these successive announcements 
we breathed more freely, though we were still on the look-out 
for some ambush or sudden assault. 

It was nearly sunset when we arrived at ^ eaubeh, a very 
small village in a deep, narrow valley, inclosed on all sides with 
an irregular harrier of mountains. Here we were presented to 
Mullah Mustapha, who came forth to meet our caravan as it 
approached his dwelling. Our first sight of this man prepos- 
sessed u- in his favor. He stood unarmed among his unarmed 
villagers, and received with graceful dignity the homage of 
those barbarians as they successively approached and kissed his 
band. Ik' accepted courteously our more occidental saluta- 
tion-, and immediately conducted us to his house and showed 
as the terrace which we might occupy. Having seen our 
biyuraldeh he remarked that Melul A.gha had committed a 
■ ,. r \ -nut error, that he would read over the document at his 


leisure and in the morning would consult with us as to what 
should be done for our Bafety. We felt that God had wrought 
for us a wonderful deliverance; and we could not resist the 
belief that he would complete the work which he had begun. 

We lav down ami slept that night without any apprehension 
of danger. At the earliest hour in the morning we were hon- 
ored with a visit from our host, who withdrew us to a corner. 
,ind in low, half -whispered tones informed as that two -of our 
mule- and one of the donkeys had been stolen in the night, hut 
that he was confident he should he able to get them hack in 
the course of the day. He then asked asabout our plans. We 
told him that we preferred going through to Ooroomiah, which 
was as near as Mosul : hut if we could not proceed in safety we 
wanted to return. He said that messages had been sent to the 
chiefs in every direction t<> kill us; that on the road to Ooroo- 
miali he could u'<> with us for one dav's journey, hut beyond 
that would be unable to secure our safety; that if we chose to 
return he would go with us a parr of the way. and would send 
hi- brother to accompany us until we should he out of danger. 
Our determination was soon made 

<)n Friday, May 30, our stolen animals having been restored, 
we started before sunrise. .Mullah Mustapha accompanied us 
on one <>f our mules, his brother, el Rahman, on foot. 
After tour or five hour-, we came to the village or summer en- 
campment of another A.gha, colleague as it were, and rival of 
Melul A-ha \t last the A.gha himself, Khan Abdul- 
lah, a rillainous-looking old man. with a gray beard dyed red. 
came and took ;i -eat beside our friend the Mullah. As he 
looked toward me I caught hi- eye and saluted him. With an 
ungracious look he returned the salute, and we all rose and paid 
oin- respects. Alter a protracted conversation between him 
and our friend. Khudr was called ami through him Khan Ab- 
dullah informed us that if we had < 'alone he would have 

killed ii-. hut that the presence and friendshipof Mullah Musta 
pha wa- our pr< >teci ion 

Now for the explanation <<\ all tin-. These people were on 

the lookout tor ii- and were expecting to kill 11-. When we 
were -em a 1 1| iroacll i 1 1 g, Khan Ahdullah senl one o| hi- -on-. 

with a sufficient number of men. to execute hi- purpose. The\ 



were hindered l>\ their Moslem reverence for the Mullah, and 
by lii> strenuously Insisting thai they should observe the laws 
of hospitality. Perceiving thai the thing was not •lone, he sent 
a younger son with another party of men to hurry the busi- 
ness; ami afterward, quite oul of patience, he came himself to 
see what was the reason they were so long about so trifling a 
job. The Mullah, in the debate which followed, showed him 
that this might be made an occasion for putting down Melul 
Agha; insisted very much on our consequence and on the ven- 
geance which the government would be compelled to take if 
any harm should come upon as, until at last the Khan showed 
to him and to Klnidra letter from an A.gha, residing near 
Aire, to Melul A.gha, giving information of our route and 
advising him to rob and kill us. This letter was indorsed with 
a note from Melul A.ghato Khan Ahdullah informing him that 
he had robbed us in part and advising him to take what was 
left and kill us. Messages of the same tenor had been sent in 
every direction. 



Action of the Society. 

At the annual meeting of the society held in December, 
L865, a committee was appointed to consider the Pastor's sug- 
gestions in liis Bermon of the previous March, who reported to 
an adjourned meeting. 

The society met pursuant to adjournment, at the meeting- 
house of the society, on Monday, February ">. L866, at T|- 

o'eloek i'. M. 

Charles Robinson was appointed moderator. 

The committee appointed, at the meeting of the society held 
January LO, L866, to take into consideration the suggestions 
made by the Pastor, in his anniversary sermon preached in 
March last, presented the following report: 

The committee appointed by the first Ecclesiastical Society, 
to take into consideration the communication made by the 
Pastor to the church and society, in the month of March last, 
with respect to hi- pastoral relations, respectfully report: 

That three topics, in particular, seemed to them to require to 
he considered, namely: first, the question of acquiescing, or 
not. in the wish expressed by the Pastor, in that communica- 
tion, to be relieved of the responsibilities of his pastoral rela- 
tion-: aecondly, in case thai question should he decided affirm 
atively, whether or not that particular mode of proceeding, 
with ;i view to the nlief of the Pastor, suggested iii that com- 
munication, -honM be adopted : ami thirdly, in the evenl of the 
retiremenl of the I 'a -tor from the duties of bis office, what pro 
vision should he made for him by the Bociety, as an expression 
of their respeel ami affection : and that, accordingly, after much 
conference and discussion, the committee have agreed, unani 
mously, to recommend to the society, for it,- adoption, the fol- 
lowing resolutions : 


First, That, appreciating the distinguished abilities <»l our 
Pastor, and seeing no symptoms of decline of power which 
should lead him to wish for relief, we nevertheless deem it 
proper and expedienl thai his desire to be relieved of all charge 
and responsibility in the pastoral relation as exercised by him, 
in his communication to the church and society of last March 
and repeated to our committee, be complied with, as soon as 
suitable provisions for that end shall have been made 

Second, As regards the method of proceeding in this matter, 
that, in our opinion, for the interests of the church and society, 
and for preserving that entire harmony of feeling which now 
e\i-ts between our respected Pastor and ourselves, a successor 
in the pastoral office, over this church and society, in case of a 
vacancy, is preferable to any sort of colleague; and yet that, 
while we would remove thus from the Pastor all weight of 
responsibility for our future welfare, we shall desire and hope 
to l>e aided, in our new relations, by liis kind counsel and judg- 

Third. That, in consideration of our Pastor's long-continued 
and faithful labors among us. and his eminently useful ministry, 
not only in immediate connection with ourselves, hut also in 
wider relations, as well to the community in which we li\e as to 
our State and country, and with a view to the expression of our 
affectionate respect, and of our solicitude that his later years 
should not he hurtheiied with the necessity of work for which 
he may feel his strength inadequate, a committee he appointed 
to devise some suitable provision for our Pastor's remaining 
years after the termination of his ministry among us. 

Edward E. Salisbury, Henry Trowbridge, 

E. <'. Scranton, ■ El] Whitney, 

II. ('. Kjngsley, Willis Bristol, 

Alexandeb C. Twining. 

New Haven. January, L866. 

The report of the committee wa> accepted, the resolutions 
reported by them were taken up separately, and passed as 

reported by the committee, with the exception of the third, 
which was amended by inserting after the word "country" the 
words - and to the church at large," and as amended was passed. 


The committee contemplated by the third resolution was 
then appointed, consisting of Edward E. Salisbury, E. C. 
Scranton, II. C. Kingsley, Benry Trowbridge, Eli Whitney, 
Willi- Bristol and Alexander C. Twining, who were instructed 
to furnish to the Pa-tor a copy of the resolutions. 


Society's ( '/< /•/■. 


The society met pursuant to adjournment, at the meeting- 
house of the society, <>n Monday, March 5th. 1866, at 7£ p. m. 

Nathaniel A. Bacon, moderator. 

The committee appointed at the last meeting to devise some 
suitable provision for the Pastor, after the termination of his 
ministry, made report that having given the subject due con- 
sideration, they recommended the passage of the following reso- 
lutions : 

First, That in the event of Rev. Dr. Bacon's resignation of 
the pastoral office over the First Church and Society in New 
Haven, agreeably to the wish tor relief from all pastoral duties 
and responsibilities expressed by him in hi.- communication to 
the church and society of Last March, ami to the action of this 
Bociety thereupon, at an adjourned meeting held on the 5th day 
of February, 1866, this society will continue to pay to him, 
after said resignation shall have been tendered and accepted, 
the sum of one thousand dollars, annually, so long as he shall 
live, from it- accruing income. 

S< cond, That this society will proceed to raise by subscrip- 
tion a fund of ten thousand dollars al least, as a further pro- 
vision for Rev. hr. Bacon, in the event of hi- resignation of 
the pastoral office, and the acceptance thereof by the church 
and society, the income of -aid fund to he paid to him. annu- 
ally, during hi- life, after -neli resignation and acceptance, and 
the principal to be distributed, at his death, among members of 
hi- family sun iving him. in the manner and proportions which 
ma\ he specified in his Ias1 will and testament ; and that the said 
fund, so long a- it -hall remain undistributed as aforesaid, shall 
be under the care of the managers of the ministerial fund of 

!•_' NEON \i;D BACON. 

iliis society, for the time being, and that, in the opinion of this 
society, the pastoral office should no1 be resigned by Rev. Dr. 
Bacon until after said fund Bhall have been raised. 

Third, Thai a committee be appointed to receive subscrip- 
tions to the fund proposed in the next preceding resolution. 

The report of the committee was accepted and the resolutions 

The following persons were then appointed the committee 
contemplated by the third of said resolutions, nz: 


Benry Trowbridge, Chesteb S. Lyman. 

There being no further business, the meeting then adjourned 
without dav. 


Society's ( 'lerk. 


At a special meeting of the First Ecclesiastical Society in 
New Haven, held pursuant to Legal notice at their new chapel, 
on Monday. August 20th, L866, at 7! o'clock p. m. 

Nathaniel A. Bacon was appointed moderator. 

Charles I!. WTiittlesey was appointed clerk pro tern. 

The call for the meeting was then read as follows: 

A special meeting of the First Ecclesiastical Society in New 
Haven will be held at their new chapel, on Monday, August 
20th, at 7.', ./clock p. m.. to heai' the report of the committee 
appointed at the last regular meeting of the society; also to 
consider a communication from the Pastorto the society, and to 
take action thereon, and to do any other business proper to he 
done at -aid meeting. 

X<\\ Eaven, August Nth. L866. 

The committee appointed at the last meeting then made 
report as follows : 

The committee appointed by the First Ecclesiastical Society 
of New Eaven, at their adjourned meeting on the 5th day of 
March last, -to receive subscriptions to the fund proposed," as 
a further provision for Rev. Dr. Bacon, respectfully report: 


Thai the committee prepared and extensively circulated a 
printed circular for the members and congregation of the First 
Ecclesiastical Society of New Haven relating the action of the 
society at its several meetings, and especially the resolutions, in 
full, at the last named meeting; also a few remarkable points 
of the society's history under the pastorship of Ivev. Dr. Bacon ; 
a copy of this circular (dated April 17th, L866) is herewith 
reported. Between that date and the month of July subscrip- 
tion- were raised to the amount of ten thousand and eighty- 
three dollars, "due and payable to the society, in manner as 
subscribed, whenever the said Pastor (Rev. Dr. Bacon) shall 
have resigned the pastoral office, and his resignation has been 
accepted" by the society. The subscription b<>ol<s, with the 
subscriptions stamped with due cancellation in the name of 
the society, is herewith reported. Since July the amount 
subscribed has been raised to ten thousand one hundred and 
thirty-three dollars, and there is a prospect of further increase. 

The cash expense- of the committee in raising the subscrip- 
tion have been as follows : 

For printed circulars, as by bill presented. 

For subscription 1 ks, 

For envelopes and stamps by mail. 
For stamps for subscriptions, 

Amount. .... sIC. 75 

The present auinber of subscribers is fifty-one. Four have 
subscribed one thousand dollars each ; seven, five hundred 
dollars each; three, from two hundred to one hundred and 
fifty each; eleven, one hundred each; nine, t went \-fi\ e each; 
fifteen, fifty each; with ;i lew smaller sums from different 

indi\ [duals. 

Xcu Haven, A.ugusl 20th, I 66 

By order ,,f the committee, 

A lex. C Twining, Chairman. 

The following i- the copy of the printed circular referred to 
in the foregoing report of the committee : 






Cimihir. for tli< Members andtfo Congregation of tin J-'i/st 
Ecclesiastical Society of \< w Haven. 

The undersigned, a committee of the First Ecclesiastical 
Society of New Haven, appointed at an adjourned meeting of 
thai society, on the tifrh day of March. L866, to carry out one 
essentia] part of an arrangement concerning the prospective 
retirement of their Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Bacon, address this 
circular to yourself, with others, in performing the duty com- 
mitted to them. 

You are aware that this arrangement was originated by a 
proposal and request of the Pastor himself, made from the 
pulpit in March of the year 1st;.'). He, at that time, having 
fulfilled a ministry of forty years in this church, made known 
Ids desire to be relieved while his vigor for labor was yet 
unimpaired. No immediate action, however, was urged by 
him. and the society, on its part, not knowing any other reason 
tor a change than was created by their Pastor's own request, 
the subject was not acted on till the annual meeting near the 
beginning of the present year, at which time a decent regard to 
the Pastor's feelings required that his request should he con- 
sidered. The result, it is well known, was that the society 
acceded to the reasonableness of the request, met the same by a 
brief expression of their own views respecting the manner of 
the change when it should come, and appointed a committee of 
seven to consider and report upon the best arrangement for 
carrying out the purpose thus mutually agreed upon. 

Tins action of the society, when thereupon communicated to 
Dr. Bacon, was found to he satisfactory to his feelings and 
accordant with his views. On the fifth day of March last the 
committee made their report to the society at its adjourned 
meeting. The society accepted the report, and adopted in full 
the following resolutions : 

Unsolved First, That in the event of Dr. Bacon's resin-na- 
tion of the pastoral office over the First Church and Society in 
New Haven, agreeably to the wish for relief from all pastoral 
duties and responsibilities expressed by him in his communica- 
tion to the church and society of last March, and to the action 
of thi.- society thereupon at an adjourned meeting held on the 


fifth dav of February, L866, this Society will continue to pay 
to him, after said resignation shall have been tendered and 
accepted, the sum of one thousand dollars, annually, so long as 
he shall live, from i 1 "- accruing income. 

Scc.nd. That the society will proceed to raise by subscription 
a fund of ten thousand dollar.-, at least, as a further provision 
for Rev. Dr. Bacon, in the event of his resignation of the pas- 
toral office, and the acceptance thereof by the church and soci- 
ety, the income of said fund to be paid to him annually, during 
hie life, after such resignation and acceptance, and the principal 
to he distributed at his death among members of his family 
surviving him. in the manner and proportions which may he 
specified in his last will and testament; and that the said fund, 
so long as it .-hall remain undistributed a- aforesaid, shall he 
under the care of the managers of the ministerial fund of this 
society for the time being; and that, in the opinion of this 
society, the pastoral office should not be resigned by Rev. Dr. 
Bacon until after -aid fund shall have been raised. 

Third. That a committee he appointed to receive subscrip- 
tions to the fund proposed, in the next preceding resolution. 

Finally, The undersigned were appointed a committee to 
obtain the subscription contemplated in the above second reso- 
lution of the Bociety; which measure, it will he seen, i.- a neces- 
sary pre-requisite to the validity and effect of the arrangements. 
It i- ascertained that the arrangement itself i- satisfactory to 
the Pastor. 

Therefore, fellow members of the societv and conerreffation. 
we ask of you to contribute of your liberality and mean- to this 
expression of confidence and affection towards our long tried 
and faithful Pastor. Forty years and now full forty-one years 
of such work as he ha- performed for our society, is a greal and 
worthy rccrd. lie came to ns, like hi- two immediate prede- 

■ r-. a young man who had never home a like hurden. lie 
found the work, a- liny had found it. all that he could do. 

Bui he curried it through, or rather hi' was, by Divine help. 
carried through it. The mutual feelings of the committee, of 
the society, and of the church would hardly he satisfied should 
we fail to recur, although in the briefesl possible manner, to 
certain prominent particular* of our society's histon through 

|i'> I EON \i;i> l! \<'(>n. 

the intervening period up to the presenl time. The Center 
Church, in thai period, besides sustaining its own membership 
;iikI ministry, has contributed largely to the formation of five 
other churches in New Haven, and two in the suburbs. More 
than half the original members of the Third Church in L826, 
were from this church. The colored members of what is now 
the Temple Street Church were, with few exceptions, dismissed 
from this to form thai church in L829. The College Street 
Church in L831, was originated by a few young men, most of 
whom went out from the Firsl Church. The Chapel Street 
Church, al its beginning in L638, received a large portion of 
it- membership from the Mime. The Davenporl Church of 
L862, was a missionary enterprise sustained by this church prin- 
cipally. To these maybe added the Fair Haven Church, in 
L830, and the Westville Church in L832, a large fraction of 
whose membership, in h<>th instance.-, was received from this 
church : and in the latter, a majority of its members it is 
believed. More than thirty members of this church, since 
L825, have become ministers of the gospel. Within ourselves 
we find that of the original membership of about four hundred 
and fifty, only about forty remain in this church, and about 
half as many besides with other churches. During the whole 
forty-one years, twelve hundred and seventy-five persons have 
been received to communion, of whom six hundred and nine 
were admitted on profession of their faith, about sixty more 
than the whole number, forty-one years ago. 

The amount of work which has been done outside for the 
church at large, and for the country, is incalculable, and no 
small part of it has been by and through the Pastor. Of his 
sons whom death has -pared, we need not tell the number he 
has supplied to the .-acred mini-try. and to the defense of the 
country. Neither need we eay that, in what remain- of his 
work, for the church universal, whatever it shall be that em- 
ploys tln_- yet unabated vigor of his intellect ami heart, the 
First Church :uid society will have and will feel a property and 

possession. The committee desire to present it as the point of 
immediate interest and importance, that the Pastor — the Rev. 
Dr. Bacon — should have full opportunity for this work, and 
not be hindered by want or by anxieties respecting his pecun- 


iary means. It will be seen that the Least sum which, in the 
society'.- judgment will meet thi.- necessity, is ten thousand dol- 
lars, contributed and appropriated in the manner described 
above. We only add. that circumstances, in our opinion, 
justify and make advisable a yet larger subscription, and that. 
notwithstanding the obvious fact, that a principal part of the 
whole must be raised in large subscriptions, we think it appro- 
priate and important that all should participate in the act. in 
such >ums as their means allow. 

New Haven, Connecticut. April 17. 1866. 

A lkxa.\i»ki: ( '. Twining, 
Henry Trowbridge, 
Eli Whitney, 
( !. s. Lyman. 

< )n motion the report of the committee was accepted. 

Thi' following communication from the pastor was received 
and read : 

To the First Ecclesiastical Society in New ffa/o&n,: 

Brethren and Friends— The unexpected bu1 character- 
istic liberality with which you have met my requesl to he re- 
lieved, either partly or entirely from the labors of the pastoral 
office, before increasing infirmity shall make me unwilling to 
he bo relieved, require- the mos1 grateful acknowledgmenl on 
my part. Your kindness permits me to escape from the pain- 
ful dread of Beeing the prosperity of this ancient society 
declining, in the decline which musi boob come upon me. 

1 might find many reasons lor postponing my resignation of 
the responsibilities which I have sustained so long, bul I am 
convinced that your interests a- a religious Bociety will he pro- 
moted by the introduction of another Pastor in mv place with- 
out any further delay. I see no probability that any measures 

will he taken in that direction while I continue to act a- vmir 

I' tor. 


At the same time, I find myself Invited to a work which I 
neither expected or desired, Inn in which, being associated with 
colleagues in the prime and vigor of life, I may hope to serve 
for a while; Inn in which, my experience as a minister of the 
gospel may be made useful to Btudents for the ministry. 

Therefore, in conformity with your votes a1 your adjourned 
meeting held on the 5th of February, L866, I bereby resign the 
pastoral office in the Firsl Church and Society in New Haven, 
from ami after the second Sabbath iii September next, which 
will complete forty-one years and a half since my installation. 
1 accept with hearty gratitude the provision yon have made for 
me, according to your votes passed on the 5th day of March 

"Commending yon to God and t<> the word of His grace, 
which is able to build you up. and to give yon an inheritance 
among all them which are sanctified," I am, with grateful affec- 
tion, and with unceasing prayer for von all, your friend and 
servant in Christ. LEONAED BACON. 

New Haven. Connect ii-ut. August, 1S66. 

( )n motion, the resignation was unanimously accepted, and 
the foregoing communication ordered to he placed on file. 

Voted. Thai this Bociety ratify the proceedings of the com- 
mittee in obtaining the subscription for the benefil of Dr. 
Bacon, and accept said subscription, and will appropriate the 
same according to th.- terms of subscription. 

Voted, That the subscription-book be lodged with the 
archives of the society ; also, that the uames of the subscribers, 
with tin' circular accompanying the same, he entered upon the 

records Of the society. 

Voted, That a collector he appointed to receive the sub- 
scriptions obtained and to be obtained, to the fund for Rev. I >r. 
Bacon, and hand over the same when collected, to the mana- 
of the ministerial fund. 

Alexander C. Twining was appointed collector, pursuant to 
the foregoing vote. 

On motion, Alexander < '. Twining was appointed a com- 
mittee to communicate to Dr. Bacon the action of the society 
accepting hi- resignation. The meeting then adjourned. 


The foregoing record is made from the minutes of C. B. 
Whittlesey, clerk pro tern. 

Attest, EDWARD I. SANFOKD, Clerk. 

< >n Sunday, August 2<'>. L866,the church held a meeting, the 
record of which is as follows : 

At an assembly of the First Church in New Haven, 
appointed by the Senior Deacon, with the advice of a majority 
of the deacons, and held immediately after the morning service 
to-day, a communication having been made relating to and 
explaining the mutual action of the Ecclesiastical Society and 
their Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Bacon, concerning the pastorship, it 
was — 

Resolved, That Deacon Henry White and Henry Trow- 
bridge arc hereby appointed on the part of this church to com- 
municate to their Pastor, the Rev. Leonard Bacon, the deep 
feeling with which they have receive^ information of his resig- 
nation of the pastoral office; also the acquiescence of this 
church in the transactions between the Pastor and the Ecclesi- 
astical Society, and in the issue of the same, although not of 
our seeking or desiring; and our request that after the pastoral 
office -hall have become vacant, a- now appointed, the Pastor 
mutually with ourselves will continue in prayer thai the Head 
of the Church will in due time provide for this church an aide 
and faithful minister of hi- own cl sing. 

The above was approved and passed by vote without dissent. 
Attest, I.. -I. SAM'oiH). Clerk. 

At the annual meeting of the Bociety held December 28, 

1^71. the following Note \\;i- II lia II i 1 1 lolldv ]>a— ed ; 

Voted, That we tender the thanks of this Bociety to the 
Rev. Dr. Leonard Bacon tor his continued kindness and atten- 
tion to the members of the Firal Church and c< mgregal ion, and 
tender to him the sum of five hundred dollars, and beg him to 
accept the same ae a feeble testimonial oi our love and respect. 

The meeting then adjourned siru die. 

Attest, ROGEK S. WHITE, Society's Clerk. 

;,it LEON \t:t> B VCON. 

Tlic following Letter was received from the Rev. Dr. Leon- 
ard Bacon in response to the vote of the society passed a1 the 
annual meeting held December 28, 1*74: 

'/',< th /-"'is/ Ecclesiastical Society of .V> w Ha/u&n : 

>I ^ Beloved ETbiends — Your vote of December 28, L874, 
has been communicated to me. and with it your generous and 
mosl unexpected gift. For such a testimonial of love and 
reaped from those whom it lias been my happiness to serve in 
the gospel, 1 would render thanks not to them only but to God 
who has given me favor in their sighl far beyond my deserving. 

While I am permitted to remain among yon and have health 
and strength for any work, I trust that all members of the con- 
gregation — those to whom I am comparatively a stranger, as 
well as those with whom I was connected in the days of my 
more active ministry — will remember that I count it my priv- 
ilege to be regarded as their servant for Christ's sake, and to be 
called upon, especially in the absence of another Pastor, to per- 
form every pastoral service not inconsistent with my actual 
engagements in the Divinity College. 

The provision which you made for the relief and comfort of 
my old age, when yon consented to my retirement from the 
charge of the parish, hinds me to serve yon as I may have 
opportunity; and this fresh testimony of kindness to your old 
Pastor renews and increases the obligation. 

With prayer for God's blessing upon all your families and 
upon every soul among vou. I am gratefully yours, 


New Haven, January l<;. l s 7.">. 


The annual meeting of the First Ecclesiastical Society in 
New Haven was held pursuant to legal notice at their chapel 
od Wednesday, December 28, 1881, at 7i o'clock p. m. 

Mi. Charles Thompson was chosen moderator. 

In consequence of the death of Rev. Dr. Bacon, which 

occurred on Saturday morning, the 24th inst., ir was, on 

motion of Mr. Thomas R. Trowbridge, voted to adjourn for 

one week to Wednesday, January 4. 1882, at 7 A o'clock p. m. 

Attest, ROGEK S. WHITE, 

Society's Clerk. 

At the adjourned meeting the following votes were passed: 

Voted, Thai a mural tablet, either of brass or marble, he 
placed in the audience-room of < enter ( Jhurch which will be to 
ourselves, our children, and our children's children a constant 
reminder of the noble life, untiring zeal, and faithful ministra- 
tion of our late revered Pastor, Rev. Dr. Leonard Bacon. 

Voted, That a committee of three be appointed to arrange 
for the tablet, and also be authorized to confer with the family 
of the late Pastor in reference to the inscription which will he 
placed upon it. 

Mr. Thomas R. Trowbridge, Mr. Robert B. Bradley, and 
Mr. John C. Ritter were then chosen the committee in accord- 
ance with the above vote. 


Preached by Leonard Bacon, March L3, L825. 

II. Corinthians, ii. 16.— Who is sufficient for these things? 

To-day, my beloved friends, I am permitted, in the provi- 
dence of God, to commence my public services among you, as 
the minister of Jesus Christ, and your Pastor. I am entering 
into the labors of a long succession of able and faithful minis- 
ters who have adorned your Zi<>n from the days of the Pil- 
grims until now. I am called to preside over a church which 
God has ever delighted to bless with the outpourings of his 
spirit. I am called to labor for the salvation of a people who 
have long hern thoroughly instructed in the doctrines of the 
gospel, ami who have often testified that they vralue and revere 
the institutions of religion. I am called to labor for the cause 
of our Redeemer, in a city, where my efforts should he con- 
nected in a Bpecial degree with the progress of that cause 
throughout our wide and growing country, and throughout the 
world. I look around me on the duties which I must perform 
and the responsibilities which I musl sustain. I look within 
mu tin' anworthineHfi which I feel and the infirmities under 
which I musl Btruggle. \ look forward to the troubles that 
niii-t perplex m\ efforts and the trials that musl assail my 
spirit. W"ho is suflftcienl for these things 3 

< Mi am ordinary occasion, the words of my text inighl lead 
me to discuss, in abstracl and general terms, the responsibilities, 
and the trials and the insufficiency of the Christian ministry. 

5 I NEON \i;n BACON. 

But it I should pursue such a course on the present occasion, I 
should do injustice to my own feelings, and I doubt not to 
yours. I trust thai I shall receive your willing attention while 

I -peak in vmi freely, plainly, and without reserve, as the rela- 
tion into which we have entered demands; and tell you what 
it is which I am called to do among you, what I am who ;im 
called to do it. and what it is which may be expected to dis- 
courage me in doing it. In other words, I mean to be specific 
and personal in telling you of what will he the duties, the weak- 
nesses, and the trials of him whom you have chosen, and whom 
God in his providence has sent among you to he your minister. 

In looking at the duties which I am to perform among VOU 
the first topic which demands our attention is the public preach- 
ing of the gospel. God — said the Apostle to the Corinthians 

"hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit: that 
God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not im- 
puting their trespasses unto them. Now then we are ambassa- 
dors for Christ,as though God did beseech you by us: we pray 
you in Christ's stead be ye reconciled to God. For he hath 
made him to he sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might he 
made the righteousness of God in him." Let these words he 

understood in all that they say and in all that they imply, and 
you will understand what is the substance of the gospel which 
I am to preach among you — what is the importance and respon- 
sibility of my employment as a preacher -what must he the 
purpose of my preaching — ami what is the great motive which 
I must urge upon you for the attainment of this purpose. 

The substance of the gospel which is committed to me is the 
great doctrine of reconciliation; to wit: Cod in Christ recon 
cilingthe world unto himself . In the inculcation of this doc- 
trine, it will be my duty to untold before you the character of 
< rod wdio created all worlds by his power, who governs all intelli- 
gent beings by his law, who directs all events by his providence. 
I must tell you of his power, his presence, his wisdom, his love, 
hi- sovereignty and hi- justice. I must lead you to behold him 
in the infinite excellence and the incomprehensible glory of his 

being that you may know who it is that is reconciling the world 

unto himself. I must array before you the character of the 
world — showing yon bow fearfully it is at variance with Cod's 

iN.\n;ri;.YL SERMON. 55 

law and with God's character. I must tell you of your own 
guilt — your own entire depravity, that you may know who they 
are whom (rod is reconciling unto himself. I must tell yon of 
Christ in the infinite dignity of his person — God manifest in 
the flesh; — in. the endearing tenderness of his relation to us — 
the high priest who can he touched with the feeling of our in- 
firmities; — and in the mysterious and touching sublimity of his 
great work when lie offered up himself for the sins of the world 
— a lamb without spot or blemish — that you may know in 
whom God is reconciling: the world unto himself. I must tell 
vou of that Holy Spirit which God, in the exercise of his sov- 
ereignty, gives freely to the unworthy and rebellious, not impu- 
ting their trespasses unto them, hut dealing with them as 
though they were worthy, sanctifying their affections by his 
grace, and bringing them at last to heaven: — that you may 
know how it is that God in Christ is reconciling the world unto 

•• Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did 
beseech you by us." When 1 stand before you in this holy 
place. I Btand in the exercise of a high and holy office. I stand 
before yon a- the ambassador of Christ to plead with you in his 
name. My words should he the expression of his will; and if 
bo, they are as though God did beseech you by me. When I 
stand in this pulpit, I am to speak in the name of the Lord ; 
and when I come here to do my Master's business, I am not to 
seek your approbation, or to tremble at the thought of your 
displeasure, I am to bave before my thought no approbation hut 
his, no fear hut the fear of his tribunal, ih» interests hut the in- 
terests of his kingdom and of the souls for whom he died. I 

am to think of nothing bill m\ Lord and the errand on which 
he has gent me. 

And 1 1 1 \ errand i> this. '* I beseech vou in Christ's stead, be 
ye. reconciled onto God." The purpose of my preaching here 
must be nothing else than to make vou completely reconciled to 
the God with whom vou ire at variance. I must persuade yoti 
to forsake your -in-, to renounce your selfishness, to put oil all 
-en-ual and worldh affections, and to live not lor yourselves, 

hut for God, who demand- of all bis creatures the heart unpol 
luted the affections undivided. All this i- implied in a com 

.*.•; I EON \i;i> B \cc\. 

plete reconciliation to bim, and all \\\\> musl be included in my 
purpose. I musl nol onh plead with i!i«' impenitent to bring 
them i" repentance ; bu1 I musl also stimulate and lead on the 
followers of Jesus to a bigher and still bigher elevation of ( 'hris- 
tian character, to a purer holiness and a more entire de\ otedness. 
No, my brethren, I musl never give over beseeching you in 
Christ's stead be ye reconciled to God, fill von bave all become 
pure in heart, perfecl in example, unwearied in obedience, and 
zealous in enterprise like the saints in beaven, or like Hie spirits 
that minister before the throne. 

And this is tlif grand motive which I am to urge on your 
attention for the attainment of this purpose. God hath made 
him who knew no sin to be a sin offeringfor u>, that we might 
be righteous in the sight of God through him. [ am to beseech 
vnii by the mercies of God— by Ids love in Christ— by the ex- 
hibition which be lias made of his character and his authority 
in that greal sacrifice for sin. All my preaching must be de- 
signed to bring you to Christ. It musl begin and end with 
Christ. " Christ, none but Christ." 

But the public preaching of the word will nol be my only 
duty as your minister. It musl indeed be regarded as my great 
business, and the work of preparation for my public efforts 
must mainly occupy my studies and my cares. This you will 
above all things require of your minister : and tins my duty to 
my Master demands. I In t at the same time, your feelings and 
mine, and the business of my office demand that I should culti- 
vate a persona] friendship with you all- -that I should visit you 
from bouse to bouse that I should be known in all your fami- 
lies that I should become acquainted, so far as may he. with 
all your characters and circumstances and wants, and thus be 
able to adapt my instructions and entreaties, my warnings and 

reproofs, my counsels and my prayers, t" each individual ; >ng 

you. This dun of pastoral intercourse, though it may he less 
important than some other official duties, and though its de- 
mands on my attention may he less imperious, is not to me on 
that accounl the less oppressive in its responsibility, or the less 
difficult in its performance, I must converse with all, and excite 
the interesl and gain the attention of all- -the old, bowed down 
with infirmity and heavy with years— the middle-aged, engrossed 


with business and perplexed with cares — the youth, exulting 
in strength and buoyant with expectation — the child, artless in 
its ignorance and thoughtless in its exuberance of life. I must 
adapt myself to every variety of moral character. The objector 
must be met wisely, and in the spirit of meekness. The open 
transgressor must be reproved. The careless must be addressed. 
The trembling sinner must be led to him who is the sinner's 
friend, and as the Bhadow of a great rock in a weary land. 
The wandering Christian must he sought out and brought to 
the fold of Christ. The doubting Christian must he instructed 
patiently and diligently till all his scruples are removed. The 
Belfish Christian must he excited to deeds of benevolence. The 
indolent Christian must lie roused. The active Christian must 
In- urged on to a more entire devotedness. i must meet you 
to., in every variety of condition as well as in every diversity of 
character; — in prosperity and in di>riv>s — in health and in siek- 
ne>s — in the day of bereavement and in the hour of death. All 
this, you Bee, requires a versatility of talent, and a kindness and 
patience and firmness of disposition, which Cod hasgiven only 
to a few. And therefore I say that this duty i> to me appall- 
ing in prospect, as it must he oppressive in its performance. 

( )n this topic I must be permitted to add a few words of cau- 
tion. People who love their minister often embarrass him and 
not (infrequently bring him into circumstances of great tempt- 
ation by their kindness. They wish to see him always among 
them not only a- their pastor but a- one of themselves, — enter- 
ing into all their projects, sharing in all their pleasures, and 
even, it may he, taking a part in their amusements. Now the 
minister who does this neglects his duty, and, generallj if not 
always, loses some part of the official sanctity of his character. 
Hi- duties demand all his time and soul, and his public character 
demands that his hours of relaxation -if he ha.- an) mould he 
lii- own and should he Bpenl in -ueli retirement as Ins own dis- 
cretion shall choose. I ask you therefore to look on me as 
vonr pastor, and never to forget the duties of my pastoral 
relation. In that relation 1 must visil you. 1 nni-t be seen in 
the house of mourning in the chamber of sickness by the 
bed of death; hut. I praj you, do nol ask to aee me in tin' 
circle of gaity, or at the banquet of mirth. I am your minister, 

•'• v NEON \KI> B LCON. 

and it you knew your minister as well as I do, yoxi would qoI 
seek i" lead him into temptal ion. 

A.nother Importanl pari of my duty as your minister will be, 
to lead in the discipline ami all the proceedings of the church. 
Ever) minister is the pastor of his church, that is, he is placed 
over it as a Bhepherd, for supply, for guidance, for defence, lie 
is its bishop — that is he is commissioned as its overseer, for 
watchful superintendence and constant direction. lie is in 
some importanl sense responsible to G-od tor its purity and pros- 
perity. But at present there is neither time nor occasion for 
me to dwell particularly on this part of my official duty — for I 
have many other things to speak of, and I trust that the simple 
mention of it will he enough to bring before you distinctly, its 
perplexing labors, and it.- fearful responsibility. 

The duties of which I have now spoken are such as a minis- 
ter owes directly to the church and people committed to his 
ownespecial charge. Hut if I do what you expect of your pas- 
tor, and what God requires of his ministers, I must do more 
than this. You would not wish to have a minister who should 
he unknown and whose influence should he unfelt beyond the 
limits of this congregation. And God demands of me, if I am 
to stand here on the battlements of Zion, that I he ready — ever 
ready to lift up my voice in concert with my fellow-watchmen 
far and near. A.- each individual church is an integral part of 
that great community the kingdom of God on earth, so every 
pastor has duties to perform not only to the individual church 
over which he is placed, but also to the great kingdom of God 
with which hi- own church isconnected. The kingdom of God 
in all it> members, is one ; and it iscarryingon a war with the 
kingdom of darknesi — a war which calls for strength, for fore- 
cast, for contrivance, for unity of action — a war which must 
have no truce but in conquest, no conclusion hut in perfect vic- 
tory. In this war e\cry minister of Jesus is enlisted as a sol- 
dier; and to the general interests of the cause he owes all that 
he can do, according to the talent- which God has given him 
and the circumstances in which God has placed him. This 
warfare is continued from generation to generation, and in our 
day the battle waxes tierce, and the trumpet call is loud and 
shrill and of no uncertain sound. The armies of Immanuel an- 


gathering force; and their great captain is Leading them on, 
from conquering and to conquer. This warfare is carried on 
through the world, wherever the banner of the gospel has been 
spread out on the winds of heaven. And in our country all 
the circumstances of the conflict are such as hold forth at once 
the signal for effort and the promise of success. What these 
circumstances are I need not attempt to say. for without going 
into detail we can all easily see enough to warrant the conclu- 
sion, that in such an age and in such a country as this, every 
minister has much to do for the prosperity and the progress of 
the church universal — for the triumph of religion at home and 
the extension of the gospel through' the world. And what a 
weight of responsibility does this reflection bring down on me. 
It is a great thing to W- a minister. But to la- a minister in the 
nineteenth century — to he a minister in a country like ours — to 
l>e a minister here, where my efforts ought to have an immediate 
and a mighty bearing on the triumph of the gospel through our 
land and through the world — <) it i> a fearful thing. Who is 
sufficient ' 

You Bee something of the labor- which your minister must 
perform, and something of the responsibilities which he must 
Bustain. And vet these responsibilities which mighl crush the 
spirit of anangel,and these labors which might exhaust the 
powers of a seraph, are laid on man. weak, .-infill man — on me- 
And this leads me t" 9peak of myself in my iinworthiness and 
my infirmities, which 1 would do in all frankness of heart, and 
with entire confidence in your affection. 

It WOUld l»e QSeleSS tor me oil thifl OCCasion, to descant at 
Length on the frailty of human nature, or the deep depr;i\ it v of 

the human heart. Equally vain would it he to tell you that 
human frailty ever remains till the soul rises from it> prison- 
house of clay ; or that human depravity expire-, even in the 

Christian, only with the lasl pulsation of expiring 1 tality. 

This yon know this methinks yon '-an never forgel ; ami yon 
know too thai your minister is human, encompassed with all 
the infirmities incidenl to man, and stained with all the sinful- 
ness of our common nature. Bui sometimes men, in their par- 
tial judgment of an individual whom they love, while they 
acknowledge thai In- is a partaker in the common frailty and 

60 LEON \ Rl) I! M'cN. 

depravity of human nature, seem to forgel thai his share in 
human frailty is something real, consisting in the peculiar infir- 
mities of his individual character, and thai his share inhuman 
tlcprax it \ is equally a reality, and consists in the particular mod- 
ifications of his individual corruption. < M' iliis it is proper thai 
I should remind you on the presenl occasion. ^ < >u may be 
prone to forgel it ; l>ut it is nevertheless so true that my lan- 
guage is not too strong when I >a\ that the numberless diversi- 
tie- .it' individual character arc little else than the diversities 

of human weakness and guilt. And when Paul said, >w we 

have this treasure in earthen vessels," he meant to imply that 
the preaching of the gospel is committed to frail and sinful 
beings, and that everv individual minister has his own infirmi- 
ties and his own corruptions. < me minister has too little versa- 
tility of character for the variety of his functions. Another 
has too much to accomplish anything eitherfor his own im- 
provement or for the cause to which he is devoted. One is 
chained down by an unconquerable indolence; another feels 
the tires of an nnholy ambition ever kindling and burning 
within him. One would seem to be incurably tainted with 
avarice; another is equally distinguished by a native prodi- 
gality of temper. One is so entirely professional in his hahits 
that he ha- no sympathy with men ; another is perpetually 
beguiled and drawn aside by the fascination- of literature. One 
i- morose in his disposition, and uncommunicative in his man- 
ner-: another injures the cause of his Redeemer by the ungov- 
ernable gayety of his spirit, and the unrestrained levity of Ins 
conversation. One is phlegmatic, and another is passionate. 
One is too timid for action, and another too impetuous for de- 

y ( .n all know this, for it is a thing exposed to your daily 
observation. I know it too, as well as von do. Von know; too 
— and I would not have you forget for a moment -that your 
minister must be like other ministers, frail and sinful. And 
the longer you know me, the more distinct will be your con- 
ceptions, and tin- more thorough your conviction of this. I 
have long been convinced of my infirmity and my depravity ; 
hut never was my conviction so impressive as it is now, when 
I lo.,k at myself, and at the commission which I am called to 


execute. How true is ir that we have this treasure in earthen 
vessels. I speak aot of youthful immaturity and youthful 
inexperience; for it is good for a man to bear the yoke in his 
youth — it is good for a man to acquire experience, and to learn 
the full compass of his powers, by the greatest and the earliest 
efforts; — and he who would accomplish high purposes of good, 
in the brief period of human life, must begin betimes to do 
with his might whatsoever his hand findeth to do. I speak of 
what I feel within me, and of what others have observed in my 
conduct — of constitutional frailties and unsubdued corruptions. 
What they are 1 need not attempt to say — for if you know 
them not already, you will soon know them all, and better per- 
haps than I shall ever know them. Of such things as these 1 
-peak — of the thousand temptations that will beset me in all 
my paths, and against which [.must struggle — under all this 
weight of responsibilty — to the end. Who Is sufficient for 
these things '. 

Who that i- tlm> encompassed with infirmity, and burdened 
with guilt, can endure discouragemenl in such a work as this \ 
And yet. when I look forward to the years that I must spend 
among you. it requires no prophetic wisdom to descry the per- 
plexities and trials that will conspire to bedge up my path and to 
overwhelm my spirit. Blessed be God that I know but little of 
the things that must befall me here. Blessed be God whoever 
covers with clouds and shallow.- the coming trials of our pilgrim- 
age. But who. that looks backward with cool reflection, and 
then forward withserious thoughtfulness, nerds any monitor to 
tell him thai " we spend our year- a- a tale that is told," or thai 
each successive year will come over him with its ou □ oppressh e 
griefs and withering disappointments? So when I look for- 
ward with deliberate thought to the years thai I am to spend 
among you, I can see thai the} musl be "few and evil"; — I 

Can Bee that they may he very tew. and I can know t hat every one 

of them will bring with it it- own weighl of affliction. It 

would he inappropriate on this occasion t<> -peak of -ueh trials 

as are common to all oi personal afflictions, bereavement, and 
disappointment, and distress. Equally inappropriate, and alto 
gether ungenerous would ii !"• t<> anticipate the time, which 
I trust will never come, when the kindness of mx people -hall 

!>•_' LEON \KI> BACON. 

Iiave passed away, and the coldness of disregard, or the stem 
n ess of dislike shall be found instead of the affection which I 
now read in those looks of gladness, ;ni<l hear in those tones of 
love with which you l>i<l me welcome. I would describe to 
you, if I could, the sorrows, and discouragements, and trials 
peculiar to my office. I would tell von how the minister musl 
share in all the sorrows of liis flock, till every affliction mid 
everygrief of theirs becomes his own. I would tell how dis- 
couraging it musl be, in the midst of all his labors, to feel that 
imbecility and that unworthiness of which I have just been 
speaking. I would tell liow sore must be the trial of In* faith, 
and how deeply painful to all his tenderesl feelings, when he 
sees tin' souls for whose salvation he labors and prays, — going 
onward and downward to death. But I know not where to 
begin; and if 1 should attempt it now. the time would fail me 
before I could know whereto end. 

Let me conclude, then, for this morning, with one brief 
request; and I make this request in view of all that has been 
said. Brethren, pray for me. Who is sufficient for these 
things ' I am not. You know that I am not. You may do 
whatever your affection prompts, to cheer me on in the perform- 
ance of my duties. Over my infirmities and faults you may 
spread the mantle of your love. You may seek to give me 
consolation under the discouragements and sorrows that will 
conspire to overwhelm me. But all this will be of little avail. 
Tour affection, your forbearance, your sympathy cannot gird 
me with almighty power. Who is sufficient for these things? 
— " I can do all things through Christ strengthening me." To 
all among you, then. I say, brethren, pray for me. In the little 
circle tor social prayer, let your Pastor be remembered. In the 
morning and evening worship of every family, let supplication 
be made for him. In the retirement of every closet let hie 
image mingle with your thoughts; and when you get nearest 
to the throne, let his name ascend with your most fervent aspi- 
rations. Then my labor among you will not he in vain. When 
■• I publish the name of the Lord," " my doctrine shall drop as 
the rain and my speech shall distill a- the dew." I -hall appear 

he fore voii arrayed in the salvation of our God, and all his saints 
will shout aloud for joy. 


[The following Dote is on the fly-leaf of the sermon.] 

X. B. — I wish it to be understood that when I preach a ser- 
mon like this — occasional in its subject and design, I shall be 
entirely willing to lend the manuscript to nil Mich members of 
the society as feel a particular desire to read it. But the incon- 
veniences and Losses, which many ministers experience from the 
practice of Lending all their sermons, are so many and so great 
that I hope none will require it of inc. 

S E R M O N 

Preached on bis Sixty-third Birthday, by 
Rev. Leonard Bacon, D.D. 

Preached i-'kh. 19, 18(>5. 

Psalm x.vxix. i. 5. — Lord, make me to know mine end, \m> the measi re 
of my days. what it is: that i may know how frail i am. behold, mini 
ha8t hade my dats u3 \ hand-breadth vnd mink wik is as nothing be- 
fore l ii ik : verily every man \t ills bes1 state is altooetheb vanity. 

Iii another Psalm, " the measure of < »n r days" is more defi- 
nitely spoken of: — "The days of our years are threescore 
years and ten; and if by reason of -tren^-rli tiiev he fourscore 
years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow, for it is soon cut 
off, and we fly away." Some men, having an extraordinary 
tenacity of Life, Live on rill t i n - \ have completed eighty years, 
or even more, under an ever accumulating burthen of infirm- 
ities; but they arc only the exceptions thai prove the rule. 
Seventj years is the ordinary or normal duration of a com- 
pleted human life. M<»t persons, of course, die much younger, 
Imr of them we saj thai they die before their time. 

Long ago it was thoughl thai the seventy years length of 
human life is divided naturally into terms or sections of seven 
years each. Perhaps the thoughl is not altogether fanciful. 
If we allow the firsi aeven years of life to infancy, and the 
second to childhood, the third completes thai part of human 

66 LEON \in> BACON. 

life which may be called the time of preparation tin - the full 
responsibilities of manhood in society. At the age of twenty 
one, tlif youth is regarded a> having become :i man capable of 
performing all the duties of citizenship. Seven years later 
;it twenty-eight— he is do longer a young man. A.dd seven 
years more, and he lias already reached the noon of life half 
wav from the cradle t<> the grave. For the last seven year.- be 
has been in the full maturity and vigor of his powers, and 

through two more of these weeks of years if he escapes dis- 
ease and serious accident- his bodily strength, as well as the 
force of his mind, remains undiminished. Bu1 when he has 
completed the seventh of the septennial periods, and enters on 
his fiftieth year of life, he finds that his day has begun to de- 
cline, lie is not yet in his old age, but he begins to find that 
the large majority of men in active life are younger than him- 
self. He call do as much work as ever, and perhaps can do it 
quite as well as ever; hut gray hairs are on him here and 
there, and he knows it ; his face is marked with deeper fur- 
rows ; his complexion has lost all the tints of youth ; his sight 
grows dim, and needs some artificial aid. Gradually but 
>teadilv, through twice seven years, the change is going on. 
His mind may be as active as ever, the faculty of judgment 
and foresight, trained by long experience, may be wiser, and 
more to he relied on than ever; but he begins to find (and 
every year the discovery is more complete), that he can endure 
less of hardship, and that lie is more liable to infirmity. Thus 
he comes to the end of the ninth septennial period. He has 
completed sixty-three years of life; and there remain before 
him only seven short years — very short indeed — to complete 
the "threescore years and ten. 1 ' Henceforth he is an old man, 
growing older every day. What remains of life to him, is like 
the sunsel of our northern climate — twilight slowly fading 
into darkness. 
.lust at this point I am standing to-day ; for to-day I enter 

on the las1 seven years of the " threescore years and ten.' 1 I 

remember how singular the impression was when 1 first heard 
the expression from a father in the ministry, about thirty years 
.1-.,. that he "thought he had ahoiit ten years work left in 
him." \\i' was sixty years old. and his constitution was un- 


broken : and he thought he might live on, and work on, about 
ten years. Accustomed as I then was to think more of the 

uncertainty of mortal life than of its certain limit, I was 
startled by the defmiteness of the calculation. But now for 
some time past, I have been learning to calculate my own 
future with the same detiniteuess. The element of uncertainty 
remains, but the element of certainty is constantly becoming 
more predominant in all such calculations. I know not what 
a day may bring forth: but I know the measure of my days, 
that the days of our years are threescore year.- and ten. and 1 
know that, of that measure, only seven short years remain to 
me. I know that those seven years will he years of decadence 
and decay — that every one of them will tell upon my mortal 
frame, that everyone of them will pre- me forward to the 
front rank of old men who have out-lived their generation. 

Meeting you. my friends, in the house of God to-day, and 
standing before you to speak and to teach in Christ's name, I 
propose -imply to present to you some of the views which im- 
press nc- a- 1 look upon life from my present position. Post- 
poning the review of my ministry in the pastoral office to a 
more appropriate occasion, and preferring to say as little as 
possible about myself. I only intend to show you, if I can, how 
this life which we are now living, Beems to one who finds that 
he has bo nearly completed the measure of his days. 

I. First of all I am impressed with this: The measure of 

i \i. BEINGS. When we know most thoroughly how frail we 
are, and realize most clearly that God has made our days as a 
hand-breadth, and that our age i> as nothing before him ; then 

it is that we fed b1 deeply the disproportion between the 

narrow measure of our day- and the boundless development 
;,nd progress of which our nigher nature is capable. How 

much more might we do how much higher might we ascend 

in knowledge and wisdom, and in likeness to God if life were 
not bo Bhorl t For example. I bave been learning from the 
Scriptures, first a- a child, then as a man, and then as a minis 
ter of the word more than fifty years; and yel it Beems to me 
thai now I am onl\ beginning to appreciate the treasures ot 


wisdom and knowledge, and to apprehend the evidences of 
God's love, which are broughl to n> in thai holy book. So 
through all these years I have been learning a> my busy life 
has yielded opportunities something about God's works in 
nature, and liis providence unfolding into history, bu1 I am 
only beginning to know what I tnighl know. I know more 
new than I knew a year ago. I hope tp know more next year 
than I know now. I hope to go on learning, year after year, 
till sight shall fade from my cu^, ami the worn-out brain shall 
ccaM' to serve me. But, oh. how much more might I learn if 
I could have another term of threescore years and ten ! From 
my childhood I have been learning also, under God's gracious 
teaching (though, alas! inaptly and slowly ), the great lifedes- 
son of confidence in God, of satisfaction in his will, of fellow- 
ship with his abhorrence of wrong, and of l\^-v cooperation 
with his love. Is all my possibility of progress in tins respect 
shut up within the narrow measure of my mortal days? 

I have no hesitation, then, in saying that, in proportion as 
God makes us to know our end. and the measure of our days 
what it is. that we may know how frail we are, the conscious- 
ness of not being created for this life only grows deeper and 
stronger. The promise, "With long life will [ satisfy him," 
can never he perfectly fulfilled in such a life as this. Not 
" threescore years and ten," nor "fourscore years' 1 ' are enough 
for the capabilities of our intelligent, affectionate, and spiritual 
nature. The machinery of this mortal body may he clogged 
and broken, may wear out and he useless — it may become an 
incumbrance, a burthen, a prison — the soul, weary of what has 
become its burthen and its prison, may long to he released by 

death : hut it is only a life beyond the reach of these intirmi- 
tiee that can satisfy the soul. It is only such a life that can 
develop all the Capabilities of our higher nature. " And now. 
Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in Thee." The hope- that 
cling.- to <io<| i- ;i hope that cannot die. 

Such i> one view of life as seen from tin; position at which I 

Btand to-day. This life is not enough for us. We are made 
for mor< than this. 

II. Looking at our mortal life in the light, as it were, of life's 
Bunset, I am impressed with this view: N<» man lives to any 


ual life on earth — what is ir \ Its whole duration is only a few 
years at the longest; and. when it is ended, what will be the 
difference to me whether I have been rich or poor — whether I 
have lived in one house or another — whether I have been 
clothed in purple and fine linen and have fared sumptuously 
every day. or have shivered in rags and been pinched with 
hunger — whether the sculptured marble is piled above my 
grave, or only the rounded turf shows that there a dead body 
was buried \ My individual life, by the ordinance of the Crea- 
tor, is intimately blended with other lives in relation.- of duty. 
of dependence, and of love; and the ties that bind me to 
others and make their welfare deal 1 to me. forbid me to live for 
individual interests of my own. My life in this world is not 
individual but social, and, as I approach the end of life, it, 
i- natural for me to take less thought for my individual inter- 
ests here, and more for the welfare of those whom I am so soon 
to leave behind me. A- I find and feel that my work is almost 
done, the appeal seems more urgent than ever before : " What- 
soever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might, for there 
is do work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the 
grave;" but O, how preposterous does it seem, at this time of 
life, to be working for individual and Belfish interests of my 
own! When my end is just before me, and I understand bo 
clearly the measure of my day.-, what it is, my individual inter- 
ests in this world sink into insignificance; but the affections 
which hind me to those with whose life my life is blended, to 
those who in the course of nature shall survive me, and to 
those who shall come after me when the place- that know me 
dow shall know me no more, lose none of their strength. It 
i- natural for me to love the dear one- in my borne, and all 
thai are nearesl to my life, the more and not the less for thai I 
mii-t leave them so soon, for the same reason ii is natural 
for me to care nol less but more for the future of the (lock 
among whom I have labored so long in my high vocation, now 

thai m\ labor i- SO nearly ended. For the -ame reason, it i- 

natural for me, in these lew lasl years of life, to care nol 
less but more for those aggregated and enduring interests 
which involve the welfare of millions and of successive genera 

W I EON \ i:i> BACON. 

tions. Now thai there is, in this life, continually less and less 
thai can tempi m\ selfish hopes, is i1 no1 natural thai I Bhould 
do what I can, more freely and eaniestly, for the common- 
wealth, for the nation, for the church of God on earth, lor flu 1 
world of mankind \ 
Think, now, young as well as old, is this view of life an illu- 

sion '. < >r is it a sober sense of the reality I Think, is it wise 
to make your own individual and selfish interest the end for 
which you scheme, and work, and struggle in this world? 
Think, is not that greal law of religion — that law which is so 
gloriously illustrated in the life and death of Grod's Incarnate, 

Son — that law, " None of us liveth to himself "—revealed to 
you even in the measure of your days? In this dying yet en- 
during world, made up of human lives so intimately mingled 
with each other in all sorts of natural affections and sympathies 
— where every man is connected with those around him and 
with others far away, in ten thousand relations of inevitable 
dependence and of duty — where each individual life, so tran- 
sient in itself, is inseparably related to the enduring interests 
of society — how preposterous is a life of mere self-seeking ( 
How truly is that life described by the Psalmist: "-Surely 
every man walketh in a vain show: surely they are disquieted 
in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall 
gather them." Are you willing to live such a life \ 

III. Looking upon human life from the position in which 1 
stand to-day, I am impressed with this view : WORLDLY DIS- 
GOD. In proportion as we consciously approach the end of 
our probation, and know, distinctly, the measure of our days, 
what it is, all those distinctions which worldly minds most 
value, lose their importance in our view. Wealth, social posi- 
tion, learning, intellectual eminence, the admiration ami applause 
of men all Buch things, as I advance in life, seem less ami less 
to be respected in comparison with goodness, purity of heart, 
the simple and earnest love of truth and right, and the unself- 
ish readiness to labor and suffer a1 the call of duty or of love. 
These element- of personal character seem more and more 

beautiful— more and more desirable- to one w ho surveys life, 


calmly, in the mellow and sober light of life's latest years. 
What arc all worldly distinctions — wealth, station, honor, 
admiration, applause — when seen no longer in the bewildering 
glare of this deceitful world '. — what are they to one who knows 
and feels that his remaining days are as a hand-breadth and his 
life as a vapor? — what are they when seen in the thoughtful 
twilight between this hurried, transitory life and the hereafter? 

Is r 1 1 ir- view a mistaken one \ Or am I right in the impres- 
sion which I get in looking upon life as it is now presented to 
my view? Is goodness more worthy to be honored than any 
Bort of greatness — more to be desired as a personal endowment 
than all riches and honors in this world? Ts it, hotter to he 
like ( lirist than to be anything within the range of human pos- 
sibility ' Is it better to have that dignity and that felicity than 
to have all that the world can give you \ 

Von acknowledge, then, that this view of life is not a mere 
hallucination, and that to he like Christ is really the hes^possi- 
ble attainment. Well, do yon know how you can become like 
Christ? He calls you to believe on him, and to follow him, 
that you maybe like him. "Come to me," he says, "all ye 
that labor and are heavy laden "■ ye that are walking in a vain 
show ye that are disquieted in vain — ye that are laboriously 
and fruitlessly seeking greal things for yourselves — ye that are 
heaping up riches and know not who shall gather them — 
"come to me, and I will give von rest; take my yoke upon you 
and learn of me. for I am meek and lowly iii heart/' Learn 
of him, taking bis yoke upon you, ami giving yourself up, con- 
fidingly and gratefully, to bis guidance, and you shall be trans 
formed into his likeness by the renewing of your mind, and 

ghall find that if an\ man he in Christ he is a new creature. 

You can never form such a character without his intervention 
reconciling you to < i < >« 1 . and giving you his I [oly Spirit. 

IV. This brings me to say that, as I now survey the measure of 
my days, I am more than ever before impressed with the con 


asa life of godliness. The nearer I come to the end of 
my time on earth the narrower the space between me and m \ 
grave the deeper ami clearer is the feeling in my soul, thai 
godlineat (ae religion is called in the New Testament), the 

72 i EON \ i;p B \< o\. 

heaity acknowledgment "l (iod, the habitual worship of God, 
the free and thankful service of God in .ill bhe work he gives 
us here, the soul's joyful confidence in God's love and wisdom, 
fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ, is 

that without which life is wasted and lost. Godliness the 

habitual Bense of ( rod's loving presence and unfailing care, and 
the consciousness of walking with him in all duty and through 
all the vicissitudes of joy and sorrow — the habit of referring 
all things to God's will, and of trusting all things to his wis- 
dom and his love — is rhe strength, the vital growth, the high- 
esl beauty, and the sanctity, of all human goodness ; and 
without it life, as related to our highesl capabilities, is a failure. 
Life without godliness dishonors God by dishonoring the 
nature which he has giveu ns. Unless God be with us. all the 
bloom of life is ever vanishing away, like the withering grass, 
like the fading flower ; the grace of the fashion of it ever per- 
ishing^ But if (bid he with us, if we see the Lord always 
before us. if all our affections and all our thoughts pay homage 
to him. then, all along the way of our pilgrimage, the earth 
blooms with unfading beauty, and life, to its latest hour, is full 
of light. 

Let me say farther, in this connection, that, as 1 grow older, 
the idea or conception of godliness becomes, to me. more sim- 
ple as well as more attractive. God is revealed to men in 
Christ — revealed to you — revealed as reconciling the world to 
himself. If you will learn of Christ, he will make you 
acquainted with God— acquainted with him not only in his 
majestic purity, in his adorable and awful abhorrence of evil, 
;ind in the grandeur of his law and government, but also in his 
loving kindness and the unspeakable tenderness of his regard 
for you in the ruin info which you have fallen by Binning 
against him. Let Christ teach you. and you shall see in him 
the glory of the Father —a glory not far away beyond the 
stars, hut near at hand to love you. to embrace you. and to 
hies- \ou. Learn of Christ, and you shall speak to God, as a 
child Bpeaking to a bnher. " The doctrine which is according 
to godliness," and in which godliness has its root and life, is 
not a Bystem ><\ metaphysics or of philosophy ; it is simply the 
story of ( hrist loving us. living lor us, Buffering and dying for 


as, and living forever as our Saviour. It i.- the simple but 
Bublime testimony, "God so loved the world that he gave his 
only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not 
perish, hut have everlasting life." [t is the " faithful saying, 
and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the 
world To save sinners." Accept that faithful saying — take to 
your heart that sublime and inspiring testimony — grasp it as 
life from the dead — cling to it as your hope forever. Thus 
you shall receive the kingdom of God as a little child, and in 
receiving it you are horn again. Thus old things in your 
theory and plan of living, and in your way of thinking pass 
away, and all things become new ; and the life which you live 
here on earth i> a pilgrimage to heaven. "Behold, wdiat man- 
ner of love is this which the Father hath bestowed on us!" 


Preached on the Fortieth Anniversary of his Settle- 
ment, by Rev. Leonard Bacon, D.D. 



Preached March L2, L86B. 

DEI i III. 2.— TbOO SHAW BEMEMBEE \l.l. Till-: WAY WHICH THE I.iihdtmY 

The words of Moses to the tribes of Israel, after their forty 
years of wandering in the wilderness, are equally applicable to 
you and to me this day. Forty years ago, <»n the second 
Lord's-day in March, 1825, I began my public ministry in this 
house as the Pastor of this Church and Society. Vein- kind 
congratulations offered to me <»n the anniversary of my Instal- 
lation, relieve me of the necessity of any apology for the use 
which I propose to make of the text, or for the seeming ego 
tism of ;• discourse in which I cannot avoid speaking of myself. 
The relation between yon and me is such so like ;i confi- 
dential friendship cemented by long acquaintance thai I maj 
Bpeafe wit li« .11 1 any fear of being unkindly interpreted, even 
though the occasion leads me to speak of "myself as your ser- 
\;int for Jesus' sake." A free use of personal reminiscences 

.»> LEON vi:n BACON. 

may be permitted on this occasion, and may help the serious 
and religious impression which such an occasion in the house 
ot God oughl to produce on von ami on me. 

forty years ago, this congregation had been more than two 
years without a pastor. Dr. Taylor having been dismissed from 
hischarge in December, L822. The pulpit had been supplied. 
some of the time, l>v the late Pastor; and. while his services 
could be had in that way, the people were comparatively indif- 
ferent about obtaining a more permanent ministry. Vet sev- 
eral persons had been employed who migbi be regarded as 
candidates. Of these, one. whose subsequent history was not 
creditable to himself or to religion, was very solicitous to obtain 
a call, and succeeded so far as to rally a considerable party in 
his favor. Another was the amiable and gifted < larlos Wilcox, 
afterwards the Hrst Pastor of the North Church in Hartford. 
The gentle simplicity and attractiveness of his character, and 
the elaborate exquisiteness and evangelical earnestness and in- 
StructiveneSS of his discourses, made such an impression, that 
probably he would have been invited to the pastorate, bul for 
the belief of judicious men that his health would not he ade- 
quate to so great a charge, and that his lite would he — as it 
proved — a short one. Another candidate was Albert Barnes, 
then recently from the Princeton Seminary, who supplied the 
pulpit for sis weeks, and who i> remembered to this day by 
some among as, who heard him at that time with a just appre- 
ciation of hi- capability. Perhaps the church and society 
never made a greater mistake than when they threw away the 
opportunity of placing in the pastoral office here a man who 
has since been so distinguished for his usefulness as a preacher 
and a Pa-tor. I have never known how to account for it but 
by supposing that his not being a graduate of Yale College 
was permitted to have too much weight with leading minds in 
the congregation. Yet no consideration of that kind could 
hinder the society from uniting quite harmoniously in a call to 
one whose voice they had not heard, but who was in the 
height of his popularity as Pastor of a Presbyterian church in 
.\<-w York, the Rev. Samuel II. Cox, now surviving in his 
venerable age. Perhaps it was well for hi- reputation and use- 
fulness that he declined the call, for marvelously as hi.- gifts 

forty fears in the parish. 77 

were adapted to the sphere in which he was then shining, there 
is room for donbt whether they were equally suited to so quiet 
;t city as New Haven then was, and to the staid disposition and 
sturdy Congregationalism of this church. 

At la>t the Society's Committee, partly (as I suppose), at the 
recommendation of Professor Stuart, sent for a youngmanwho 
had been studying theology at Ajidover. Seven years before 
he had come, a fatherless hoy, to Yale College : and. in consid- 
eration of his circumstances, he had been admitted to the 
sophomore class, though imperfectly prepared for that stand- 
ing, and though the college rule as to the age for admission 
must be somewhat relaxed in his favor. But though for three 
years he had walked these streets, and though the college offi- 
cers were Btrangely kind in their estimation of him, he was 
almost as much a stranger in the city of New Haven as if he 
had passed those three years of college-life at Cambridge or at 
Hanover. Perhaps half a dozen members of the congregation 
— hardly more— knew him by Bight, and of them not more 
than one had ever heard him preach. But the committee 
knew that lie had never Bought an opportunity of appearing 
here as a candidate, and that on one occasion, when incidentally 
in New Haven, lie had refused to preach lest it might he 
thought that he had put himself in the way of the invitation. 

My introduction here was unexpected to myself. Having 
passed a fourth year at Andover, a- a resident licentiate, ren- 
dering some little assistance to the Professor of Sacred Rhet- 
oric, and preaching occasionally in the churches of that region, 
I had determined to find tor myself a field of service in the 
west; and on the 28tb of September, 1824, 1 was ordained to 
the ministry by the Hartford North Consociation, convened in 
it- annual meeting a1 Windsor. The next day, on my return 
to Hartford, I received a letter from the committee of this 
society, inviting me to Bupply their vacant pulpit. In compli- 
ance with that invitation, I preached here for the first time 
on the first Sabbath in October, and, with the assistance of 
Presideni Day, administered the Lord's Supper. After 
another Sabbath I insisted on pureuing my journey westward, 
that, al least, I mighl confer with my mother before relin- 
quishing or even suspending the design to which I had com- 


mitted myself. The result was thai I returned : and after five 
more weeks "I probation, having preached, in all, fourteen Ber- 

nious, I wit hdrew . 

Bui I iniisi qoI proceed in this garrulous method. Yet, in 
order to buom you just how things were in relation to my in- 
troduction to this ministry, I may saj that at the annual meel 
ing of the society held at the old Orange street lecture-room, 
December 11th, a vote inviting me to settle in the ministry 
here was carried by forty-two against twenty-two., and there- 
upon the meeting was adjourned. At the nexl meeting 
(Wednesday, December L5th), the Bubject was reconsidered, 
and by Bixty-eight against twenty the society voted theirappro- 
bation of my services, and their desire that I should settle with 
them in the work of the ministry, and requested the church to 
unite with them in inviting me "to take charge of the society 
and the church connected with it as their Pastor and gospel 
minister." fn the evening of the next Lord's Day, December 
I'.'th. a responsive vote was passed by the church, uniting with 
the Boeiety in the call. At an adjourned meeting of the 
society, five days later, they agreed on the terms and condi- 
tion- of settlement which should he proposed to the Pastor 
elect, and appointed a committee to " communicate with him 
on the subject of his settlement.*' My answer, accepting the 
invitation, was dated at Andover. January 17, 1825; and upon 
receiving it the church and society united in the appointment 
of committees to make arrangements with the Pastor elect for 
his installation. 

I have mentioned these particulars partly for the sake of re- 
minding you how few of all the persons who had any part in 
the transactions which I have described, are now alive. Let 
me, therefore,- repeat the names that appear upon the record. 
The moderator of the society-meeting was the Hon. .lames 
llillhouse- at that time more widely known and honored than 
perhaps any other citizen of Connecticut, lie continued to 
worship here almosl eight years Ionizer, hut now nobody can 
remember him without remembering the third part of a cen- 
tury. He Was at that time an old man. whose active life began 
as long ago as the Declaration ot Independence, and whose 
unbroken force of body and mind was the wonder of hie 


friends; yet I am now only about seven years younger than la- 
was then. The moderator of the church-meeting was the Rev. 
Dr. Morse, a venerable man. retired from the ministry and 
fn»m ;ill public employments, but he was only eighteen months 
older than I am to-day. The society's clerk was Timothy 
Dwight Williams, a young merchant greatly beloved and es- 
teemed, the efficient and devoted superintendent of the Sab- 
bath-school. !!<• has been dead thirty-four years, but I did not 
think of him as a young man when he died. The committee 
entrusted by the society with the dim of communicating their 
call, were the Hon. Dyer White. Deacon Nathan Whiting, and 
Deacon Stephen Twining. The call from the church was com- 
municated by its senior officer, Deacon Samuel Darling. The 
committee of arrangements were, on the part of the church. 
Deacons Darling and Whiting : and, on the part of the society, 
Hon. Isaac Mill-. Captain Henry Daggett — a revolutionary 
officer —and one young man. William J. Forbes. The young- 
est of all these died beyond the noon of life, more than twenty- 
five years ago; and how few are there here to-day who can 
distinctly remember his face and figure, or even the public 
grief at his funeral ! 

I go hack to the council which was convened for the installa- 
tion. It consisted of twelve members, clerical and lay, of 
whom three are -till living, And. inasmuch as customs have 
changed Bince then. 1 may be allowed to speak of the proceed- 
ings more particularly than I should otherwise do. In those 
days it was thought thai the ordination or installation of a Pas- 
tor was a transaction too serious to be hurried over. A day of 
fasting and prayer had been kept by the church in preparation 
for the appointed Bervice. The council was assembled on 

Tuesday, March 8th, at the old w len lecture-room in Orange 

-freer, and was organized b\ the choice of Presidenl Day as 
moderator, and Professor Fitch a- scribe. There wasa respect- 
able attendance of clergymen and theological students, and 
also of those who. as members oi the church or oi the Bociety, 
had an immediate interesl in the proceedings so that the 
room was pretty well filled. The examination was protracted : 

and many questions were asked, of which | could nol then 366 

the bearing, ami which I answered without Buspecting their re- 

SO LEON \ i:i' BACON. 

lation i«' theological parties and controversies then soon to 
break forth. Thai examination having been completed, and 
the candidate having been approved, the public service <H<1 not 
follow in the evening still less was it postponed to the next 
Sunday evening, for the sake of getting a large audience, and 
avoiding the competition with places of public amusement; 
but, the next morning, at nine o'clock, the council re-assembled 
at the lecture-room with the committees and officers of the 
church and Bociety; and, when the record of the proceedings 
had been read and corrected, the council moved in procession 
to this house, the officers of the church and society taking the 
lead. Here a large congregation had already assembled, filling 
the seats, above and below, save such as had been reserved for 
the procession. The introductory prayer was offered by the 
Rev. Carlos Wilcox, of the North Church in Hartford. The 
sermon (afterwards published), was preached by the Rev. Joel 
1 1 awes, of the First Church in Hartford. The prayer of in- 
stallation was offered by the venerable Stephen W. Stebbinsj of 
West Haven, whose memory, even in Ins own parish, has now 
become a beautiful tradition, though he lived sixteen years 
after the time of which I am speaking. The charge was given 
by Dr. Taylor, as former Pastor of the church ; the fellowship 
of the churches was expressed by Mr. Merwin ; and the closing 
prayer was offered by Professor Fitch. 

You recognize the name- of the three survivors. President 
Day had then been at the head of the College less than eight 
years. To-day his successor has been in office more than 
eighteen years. Professor Fitch had just completed the 
seventh year of his ministry. He resigned his charge thirteen 
years ago, claiming, after a longer term of service than any of 
his predecessors and reasonably claiming — exemption <>n 
account of his advancing age. Dr. Hawes is only seven years 
my senior in the ministry. He, too, in his yet vigorous old 

. has laid down all the responsibilities and burthens of his 
pastoral office, and is now rejoicing in the ministry of his suc- 

There is no record by which I can conveniently and exactly 
ascertain how many members there were in this church forty 
years ago. In 1 S 'J (| . (May 1st,) the number was three linn- 


dred and sixty-five. The large additions of the two following 
years — far exceeding the removals by death and by dismis- 
Bion — must bave increased the Dumber to about five hundred 
and fifty, in L825. But of the entire body of communicants 
at that time, there are now connected with this church, and 
residing in the city of NTew Haven, only forty, — of whom six 
arc confined by the infirmities of age, and will probably never 
visit this house again. Thirty-four only of the five hundred 
and fifty (or thereabout) who were members in full commun- 
ion forty years ago, remain now among us to sit down at the 
table of the Lord. Surely, my friends, though I may say that 
\on are dearer to me than your fathers and predecessors could 
be with whom I entered into this pastoral relation, you cannot 
deny that it is time for me to count myself among the sur- 
vivors of a generation that will soon have passed away. 

As I call to mind the circumstances in which I entered on 
my ministry here, I cannot but wonder that I am here to-day. 
The church, at that time was much less homogeneous and 
muted than it is now. Less than twenty years had passed 
since the dismission of Dr. Dana, who had been conspicuous 
all bis days, both here and in his earlier pastorate at Walling- 
ford, as one of the "Old Light" or "Old Divinity" party— 
the "Old Arminians," a- they were often called by way of re- 
proach. Under his ministry there was little sympathy with 
reminiscences of "the Greal Awakening" in the time of 
Edwards, or with any measures or efforts tending to a religious 
excitement in the community. In the nineteen years and 
four months since the termination of his mini-try. there had 
Keen two pastorates: thai of Professor Stuart, which contin- 
ued three \ear- and ten months, and that of Dr. Taylor, 

which continued ten years and eighl months. Those two men 
though greatly unlike in some respects, were alike in this; — 
thev believed in the revival of religion they believed in the 
Edwardean or " New Lighl " views of what religion is ;i> a per 
-onal experience the\ believed in the distinctive New England 
theology 1 1 m ■ \ were powerful preachers, each in his own way, 
tlnir sermons being exceedingly unlike the cautiously correel 
and coldly eleganl discourses of \^y. Dana. The tir-t of those 
pastors had commenced, and the other had carried on, a revo 

82 LEON \i;i> B \rn\. 

lution in the prevalenl character and habits of the church. 
Yet, ai the end of twenty year.-, there were Borne well pre- 
served remains oi wliat the old church was before tin 1 minis- 
try of Mr. Stuart. There were elderly people who had been 
trained under the ministry <>t' Dr. Dana and of his predecessor 

Mi - . WhitteUey. and who had no ureal -hare in the intense re- 
ligious activity that had flamed up around them- men of 

greal worth and greal weight in the community, and of un- 
questionable character as Christians, hut who had not been 
accustomed in their youth to weekly prayer meetings, or to 
evening-meetings of any kind. On the other hand, there were 
those who could hardly conceive of religious character as mani- 
festing itself in any other way than in the activities of ;i gen- 
eral awakening. In a church thus constituted, it was hardly 
to be expected that a young Pastor, unskillful and inexperi- 
enced, would he acceptable to nil parties. 

Moreover, the place to which I had been introduced was ex- 
ceedingly difficult in other respects. Professor Stuart, by his 
earnest and rousing sermons, had taught the people not to he 
satisfied with any preaching hut such as would make tlieni 
think and feel, and had made the place a difficult one for his 
successor. Dr. Taylor, in his turn, had made it more difficult. 
The society was proud of having had two such Pastors in suc- 
cession, and proudly grieved at having lost them. I think I 
understand myself; and I know it is not an affectation of 
modesty to say that I uever had any such power in the pulpit 
as they had in their hest days. For many years after the com- 
mencement of my pastorate, I was habitually brought into 
1110-t disadvantageous comparison not only with those dis- 
tinguished preachers, but with others of like celebrity. How 
it was that I continued here long enough to become a fixture, 
cannot be easily explained. I only know that the congregation 
was not made up of critical hearers; that the few who were 
disposed to be critical and to find fault because my poor dis- 
courses did not equal those of my predecessors, were not the 
most capable of forming an intelligent and judicious opinion ; 
and that those whose unfavorable judgment, had it been freely 
uttered, would have been fatal to me. were very kind. 

Nor was this all that made my position here a trying one. 


The pastorate of Professor Stuart had been made memorable 
l>y a great religious revival, the first that had shaken this com- 
munity in more than fifty years. A new .era of awakening 
had opened in New England and elsewhere. Dr. Taylor's 
term of service was marked by two such times of spiritual 
refreshing — the last of which was just about coincident with 
the close of his ministry. This was in most respects ;i great 
advantage to me. for which I hope to be thankful forever. 
But it made the place \ cry difficult for a young ami inexpe- 
rienced Pa-tor. The revival, considered as a movement in the 
community, had Bpent itself; and there were those in the con- 
gregation who naturally expected the young minister to repro- 
duce immediately the excitement which they had enjoyed so 
much, which had gathered into the church more than a hun- 
dred in ;i single year, and in which Mr. Nettletou. the famous 
revivalist, had employed all his skill. 

1 have mentioned the fact that a minority in the society 
\oted against my settlement. Though I never desired to 
know or remember who they were, I had the satisfaction of 
knowing that most of them wi'w soon numbered anion-- my 
kindest friends. Others, who were at first among the most 
enthusiastic of my friends, and whom 1 regarded as the best 
and most active members of the Church, were disappointed (as 
they had good reason to he.) and began to think very Beriously 
that New Haven needed a more efficient ministry. Before 

One veal- had lieen completed. I began to lie depressed with 

the feeling that those who had hoped so much from me were 
disappointed in my endeavors to serve them, and with the 
desponding expectation that my ministry would he a failure. 
Dear to me are the names of some whose fatherly counsel and 
comfort, ami of others whose friendly intimations and token- 
Mi' sympathy, kept meat my posl when tempted to seek some 
other employment. At last, just a- the third year was closing, 
there came a time..!' revival; and. in the ensuing year, fortj 
.-i-lit persons, mosl of them younger than their youthful 
pastor, were received to communion on the profession oi their 
faith. l''rom that time onward, though I have had much to 
dishearten me in the consciousness of falling far belo\* m\ 
aims and hopes, ami though I have not been left without m\ 

8 t l.l' >N \i:i' B v "< IN. 

share of personal and domestic sorrows, my burthens have 
been lightened by the feeling thai I was not laboring in vain, 
as well as K\ ilic evergrowing evidence of regard on the part 
of a people who have nol only honored me for my work'6 
sake, 1 »nt have loved me far beyond my desert. From the 
time of that tirsl distinct and memorable success in my minis- 
try, I have known better than I knew before how t<> preach 
the gospel, and I trust I am still learning. 

I need no1 enumerate here the various periods of spiritual 
prosperity and progress in the congregation, which have 
cheered and lightened my work, and without which my min- 
istry w<»uld have keen a sorrowful failure. Oh that we might 
Bee Buch times of revival again before 1 shall rest from these 
labors! The last six years have lefi upon our records no traces 
of u;reat success; and the thought of continuing to labor thus 
— the accessions to our eoinniunion hardly keeping the number 
good— is the only painful thought in the prospect of my grow- 
ing old. 

An examination of our records — careful but not absolutely 
exact — shows me that in these forty years twelve hundred and 
sixty-four members have keen added to our communion. The 
number received by profession, six hundred and six, is con- 
siderably greater than the whole number of communicants 
either now or at the time of my installation. Meanwhile, we 
have given largely of our members toother churches that have 
grown up around us. I find the results of my ministry not 
only in the stability and growing usefulness of this Church, 
but also in many of tfye younger churches. Half the original 

members of the Third Church went fr us, with our \'vcr 

consent and with my hearty approbation. Our colored mem- 
bers a very respectable class in their religious character — 
were dismissed, with a few exceptions, to unite with others of 
their race in forming the African Church. What is now the 
College Street Church began in the zeal of a few young men. 
most of whom went from as. The Chapel Street Church, at 
it- beginning, might almosl have keen called a daughter oi the 
..hi First Church. More recently the Davenport Church is 
the result of a city-mission conducted in our name, and largely 
aided by our contributions. Most of our Cedar Hill parish 


ionere went to the Fair Haven Church. The Church at 
Westville was formed, mostly, out of this. 

I must postpone to the afternoon some things which I had 
intended to Bay, familiarly, about the changes which have been 
going on for the last forty years outside of our own congrega- 
tion or parish — in this city — in our country at large — and in 
relation to the general interest and progress of Christ's king- 
dom throughout the world. But before I interrupt these 
desultory recollections, let me say that the results which have 
come from this feeble ministry of mine, are not summed up in 
the statement that the old First Church, through all these 
years of change, has held its place in the community of sister- 
churches — is now as numerous and as strong as at any former 
period— is firm on the foundation of the ancient faith in Jesus 
Christ the Saviour of lost men— is training up its children, 
as diligently and as intelligently as at any former time, in the 
right ways of the Lord. No, the records of this ministry are 
written (for weal or woe) on individual minds that live forever, 
and whom it has been my privilege to guide and strengthen, 
to instruct and to comfort, in life and in death. Those records 
are written forever on minds that are now in heaven before 
the throne of God and the Lamb— on minds that have passed 
beyond the reach of hope and opportunity — on minds still in 
this world of trial and of conflict; some, around me here; 
others far away in the Wot. or on the Moody fields of the 
South, or where our golden State- look out on the Pacific, or 

in lands beyond the sea. Those records are written forever 

nn mind- that have believinglv received the word, and have 
learned to love Christ and to serve him — and, alas! on minds 

to whom the word of life i.- becoming a Bavor Of death unto 
death, and whose coiideiniiat ion will he that they loved dark- 
ness rather than light. 



Preached March L2, L865. 
Deut. viii. 2. — Thou shalt bemembeh \i.i. the way which the Lord thy 

lloii l.l. I' IHKK THESE PORT* FEARS. 

Iii the morning discourse, I intimated my purpose t<» speak, 
this afternoon, in a familiar way, concerning some of the 
changes which have been going on around us within tke lasl 
forty years, and which may be regarded as involving the pro- 
gress and welfare, and the duty and responsibility, of this 
ancienl church. 

I. M<»t naturally, our thoughts turn first to the changes 
which forty years have brought forth m the city of New 
Haven. In the changes which our city is continually under 
going, whether for good or for evil, whether in growth <»r in 
decay, this church of our fathers musl always have a paro- 
chial- and I might almost Bay, a parental, interest. Every 
church sustains an intimate relation to the local community 
in which ii dwells, ;m<l from which its interests and its firsl 
duties are inseparable; but the relation of this church to New 
Haven is in some respects peculiar. Historically, the town 
i t -« -I f. as an organized community, in a daughter of this church. 
It vras for the sake of planting here a church encumbered by 
in. human traditions, and dependent on no human authority, 

that the founders of the New Haven Colony lefl their h es 

in pleasant England, and their trade and affairs in bus 1 ) London, 


;ind ventured their all in the enterprise. of establishing here a 
civil commonwealth of Christian men, "the Lord's free peo 
pie;" and this is the church which the\ planted here before 
their settlement had even received an English name It was 
far the sake of gaining for their church a place and habitation, 
thai all this beautiful plain, with the surrounding hills and 
waters, was purchased of the savages whom they found here. 
It was for the sake of their church that they planned their 
city, and reserved this central square for public uses, firal ot 
all building here their humble temple, and then making their 
graves around it. It was not till after they had constituted 
their church by selecting from among themselves the seven 
men whom they deemed most "tit for the foundation-work," 
that their civil organization was solemnly inaugurated, the 
same seven men being entrusted with that work also by the 
{']■{■<■ consent of all the planters. Such was the relation of this 
church, in its beginning, to the civil community which was 
formed around it; and though political theories and arrange- 
ments, and law- and forms of government, have changed, it has 
never ceased to care for the welfare of the town. Its posi- 
tion as a center from which Christian influences are to radiate. 
becomes more important as the town grows in population and 
wealth, ami in all those industries and institutions that consti- 
tute its commercial importance and it.- power. If the future 
of New Haven i- to he worthy of its history, those moral and 
religious influences which the founders of this church brought 
with them, and which have given character to -<> many genera- 
tions, must operate iii time to come a- in time past. 

Forty years ago, the population of the city was, by the then 
Latest census, 7,147. We may reckon its actual population in 
L825, with Westville and Fair Haven, as not much more than 
8,000. Within the area of the township, there were two Con- 
gregational churches, one Protestant Episcopal, one Methodist 
Episcopal, and one Baptist; and all the church-edifices, except 
the Baptist, then recently built, and only half as large as it 
now i-. were on tin- Green. Within the .-nine area, now, there 
are probably 50,000 inhabitant — six times as many as there 
were then. The two Congregational churches are now ten. 
with nearly 3,500 communicants; and connected with these 


churches there are three city-mission chapels in which public 
worship is regularly maintained. Besides these there is an 
independent church which was originally Congregational in 
it> government. There arc also seven Protestant Episcopal 
churches with one mission chapel, — six Methodist Episcopal 
churches, including their German mission. — and three Baptist 
churches. In addition to all these, we have a German Mora- 
vian church: a small German Baptist church; a I niversalist 
church; three large Roman Catholic churches, tilled to over- 
flowing with congregations of emigrants and children of emi- 
grants from Roman Catholic countries; and finally, a syna- 
gogue of German-speaking Jews. If an intelligent person had 
fallen asleep in New Haven forty years ago, and had waked 

up this i ning, he would hardly have known the place. 

Such a man. waking after forty years of unconsciousness, 
would he confounded. In the jangle of the sabbath-bells, 
sounding from so many towers, he would he lost; nor would 
he tind himself till he should look upon this Public Square. 
Here, in the aspect of these three churches, side by side, he 
would see the "Id New Haven once so familial' to his view. 

We need only count up, by name, these places of worship, — 
comparing tin- present time, in that respect, with forty years 
ago, — and we realize how great a change has come to pass. It 
i- not merely that what was then little more than a pleasant 
village, though dignified with the name and charter of a city, 
ha- now grown to he larger than any city in New England 
then was; it is not merely that the streets which were then so 
quiel arc now crowded and noi.-v with business; it IS not 
merely that the place ha- become a greal bive of manufac- 
turing industry; it seems almost a- if New Haven had been 

detached from the old Puritan State of ( 'oimect iciit. and had 

been anchored by some foreign shore. The population here. 
forty year- ago, was of purely English descent, and I think 

I ma\ -a\ that, with the exception of a lew colored people. 

there were not twenty families here whose ancestors did not 
come over with the firsl settlers of New England. Bui where 
are we now? Strangers of other races, and of other languages 
and trad it i< his, the Celt, the German, and the .lew. attracted 
l>\ the liberty which our fathers achieved for us. have come in. 

90 IjKonari) bacon. 

K\ thousands, to -hare our inheritance, and to mingle their des- 
tiny with ours. 

Such changes in the city, and especially in the character of 
it- population, cannol have taken place without increasing 
greatly the responsibility <>! the New Haven churches as local 
institutions. What was the local or parochial work of our two 
( iongregational churches forty years ago, compared with what 
the Congregational churches in New Haven, (no1 to mention 
those of other Dames and forms, hut of like precious faith), 

OUffht to he doing now! The time will not permit me to 
dwell upon this thought. None who heai - me can fail to dis- 
cern something at Least of ir> significance. In this respect, the 
change which the la>t forty years have made is greater than 
all that came to |>as> in the foregoing century. Thus measured, 
the distance between this day and the beginning of my ministry 
here is greater than the distance between L825 and 1 7^.">. 

Other changes have taken place here, which have greal sig- 
nificance. Forty years ago. New Haven had really no system 
of public schools. The Lancasterian school, in the basement of 
the Methodist church on the Green, was the only common 
school worth naming; and that was a school for hoys alone, the 
Lancasterian school t'<>r girls not having been established. In 
all the city there was no such edifice as a schoohhotise for the 

eoi n schools. A few district-schools, taught by women, in 

hired apartments, were sustained partly by dividends from the 
school-fund, and partly by a petty charge for tuition. But 
now the common schools of New Haven, distributed through- 
out the city, and provided with commodious and stately houses 
built expressly for their use. are almost a university of them- 
selves, the people's university. Free (in theory) to all the 

children of the city, as the highways are free to all travelers, 
they exceed in the variety and extent of their teaching, and in 
the thoroughness of their discipline, all that I dared to hope 
for. when, on the tir-t Thanksgiving-day after my installation, 
I attempted to give some views of what common schools ought 
to he. At that time, my view.-, as I found reason to believe, 
were deemed chimerical by practical men. hut now they are 
more than realized iii almost every particular. \ay, so high 
are the aim- of the system now in operation, that there is 


danger of its leaving out of view the most important reason 
for it- own existence, namely, the duty of the State to take 
can- effectually that no portion of its population shall sink into 
barbarism, and, therefore, to take care that no child in the com- 
munity shall be permitted to grow up without the rudiments, 
at least, of a civilizing education. What we most need, jusl 
now. is not higher and better schools for the benefit of such 
families as are able and willing to make use of them, but some 
adequate provision for the benefit of children whom our admir- 
able system, as now administered, does not reach. — some 
arrangement that shall include the children who are now ex- 
cluded, because, in the extreme poverty of their homes, they 
cannot comply with existing regulations, — some arrangement 
that shall take hold of the neglected children in our streets, 
those young mendicants that are growing into thieves, those 
boys that are growing up to he ruffians and burglars, those 
wretched girls whose prospect in life is misery and infamy. 
Forty veai'- ago, that stratum in society which now lies below 
the reach of our common schools, hardly existed here. At 
most ir was ton inconsiderable to he dangerous. But now, in 
the confluence of nations and religions which swells our popu- 
lation, the danger is too great to he neglected. 

Think of another change. Forty years ago the vice of 
intemperance, engendered ami perpetuated by the common use 
of intoxicating liquors for refreshment and conviviality, had 
never received any serious check in this community. The 
moderate drinking of such liquors was a universal fashion. 
At that time the mischievousness of the fashion was hardly 
suspected. Certainly the obvious and unfailing tendency of 

moderate drinking to bee ■. in multitudes of instances, 

immoderate, had never Keen adequately impressed upon the 
public. The drinking-usage was everywhere, and everywhere 
the fashion was a- despotic in it- demand- a- it was perilous ill 
it- tendency. None could abstain from the personal use of 
those liquors, without incurring the reproach ol eccentricity 
and perhaps of moroseness. Nol t" oiler such refreshment in 
ordinary hospitality seemed inhospitable and niggardly. < >n 

the occasi >f m\ installation, a public dinner was oi course 

provided tor the council and attending clergymen, together 

9JJ ii' >N \ i:i» i'. m K >v 

with ilu- officers «'t' the church and society; and there was an 
ample supply not only of wine Inn also of more perilous stuff. 
I also remember that, two months later, when 1 attended for 
the firsl time a meeting of the Associated Pastors of the dis- 
trict, the sideboard of good father Swift, at whose house we 
met, was decorated with decanters containing distilled spirits, 
and of more than one kind. But thai very year the Christian 
duty of voluntary abstinence as an expedient againsl the ten- 
dency t<> intemperance, and of combining, l>y mutual pledges, 
to break the power of a tyrannical fashion, began to be recog- 
nized by Christian men. and thenceforward such means of 
refreshment disappeared from ordination-dinners and all cleri- 
cal meetings. In a little while the tyrannical fashion had lost 
it> power. Every man was at liberty to practice personal 
abstinence, either for hi> own safety or for the sake of saving 
others; and there was no law of hospitality requiring any man 
to tempt bis guests by inviting them to drink with him. I 
need not say how much good was gained in those early years of 
the temperance-reformation ; nor need I say that the liberty 
which was then achieved remains to this day. Vet it must be 
confessed that, within the last few years, much has been lost. 
We bad gained some measure of safety for our young men. 1 
may even say that the convivial use of wine and spirituous 
liquors had ln-come unfashionable, at least in the better classes 
of society. Much has been lost in these respects. Never were 
young men. in this city, more beset than now with temptations 
to intemperance, and to the vices which accompany intemper- 
ance; and. so far as my opportunities of observation have 
informed me, the old fashion of introducing intoxicating drinks 
for conviviality in social entertainments is reviving. Partly 
this may be a natural reaction against the attempt to propagate 
extreme opinions, and to enforce them by denunciation ; but in 
no small part it le the result of ill advised and impracticable 
legislation. One consequence of the latest law enacted in this 
State against the sale of intoxicating liquors, was the establish- 
ment of private club-rooms, where young men— and some who 
are not young — train themselves and each other into habits of 
intemperate drinking. I could tell yon of one such club — 
what it- chosen name is, I do not know, but I could tell yon 


where it> rooms are — a club, some of whose members have 
died already of the habits which they funned or indulged and 
strengthened in those secret apartments, while others, warned 
in vain by what they have seen, are going on to the same fate. 
The history of the temperance-reformation in its origin and 
progress, and in it- lasting success, is full of encouragement, 
and, on the other hand, the history of its reactions and declen- 
sions is full of admonition. 

II. Let as now look beyond our immediate neighborhood, 
and think of our relations to the cowil/ry at large.. The New 
CJew England Churches have always been characterized by a 
patriotic Bpirit. When the English exile- at Leyden passed 
over to America and commenced their settlement at Ply- 
mouth, there was planted, on "the wild New England shore." 
the seed not only of a Christian civilization, but of a nation- 
ality distinct from that of the English people. That seed, 
planted in weakness, might have been trodden down and des- 
troyed : but when the Pilgrims were followed across the 
Atlantic by the greal Puritan migration from old England : 
when the town- on Massachusetts Bay, and the town- on Con- 
necticut ri\er. and then the confederate towns of the New 
Haven jurisdiction, came into being as political communities 
Bharing in the life and molded by the power of that religious 
politv which English monarchy and English aristocracy would 
not tolerate; it became certain that then- was to lie here, in 

the fullness of time, a nation not simply English but Anglo- 
American, a nation with it- own distinctive character and life. 
Most naturally, therefore, the churches of the New England 
polity have been characterized, through all their history, l>\ a 
patriotic sympathy with the growth and welfare of this greal 
Anglo-American nation: and looking hack, a- we do, on this 
-ion. to a date jii-t five day- after the inauguration of 
John Quincy Adam-, it i- natural for us to a-l< what changes 
these forty years have wroughl in our country, and in the 
Christian work which the churches have been doing and are 
yd to do for the nation. 

Forty years ago tin- United State- were twenty four in num- 
ber; now they are thirty-six. Then onlj one State had been 
established beyond the \Ii--i--ippi ; now there are three 


94 LEON WD HA< "V 

beyond the Rocky Mountains. Then, in the fifth year after 
the census of L820, the population of the United States was 
estimated at eleven millions; now, in the fifth year after the 
census of L860, it cannot well be estimated at much less than 
thirty-five millions. Such are some of the most obvious 
changes which our country has undergone since I began my 
work— -changes which mark and measure the steady progress of 
the nation in material greatness. 

In thi> connection we cannot lmt remember that, forty years 
ago, there were in the United States about one million and 
seven hundred and fifty thousand slaves, and that the census of 
1 860 gave the number at a little less than four millions. When 
I began my work in this place, the country had recently been 
agitated by an unsuccessful attempt to secure the abolition of 
slavery in Missouri before the admission of that State into the 
Union. At that time, the religious feeling of the country was 
strongly, and, I may say, unanimously pronounced against the 
institution of slavery. Religious men, even in the slave-hold- 
ing States, professed to regard that institution as an evil which 
was to be endured till it could be peacefully and safely abol- 
ished. Certainly there was, in Connecticut, no party, religious 
or political, that dared to speak for slavery as if it were a just 
or beneficent arrangement, or as if the institution was capable 
of any defense, either on grounds of natural justice, or In the 
light of the Christian religion. Slavery and the internal com- 
merce in slaves were then regarded as "■ the peculiar institution " 
of those State- in which they were legalized; and the idea that 
the Constitution of the Union had made slavery national, and 
had given it a right to propagate itself without let <>r hindrance 
over all the national territory, had found no acceptance here. 

M\ own mind had been deeply interested in the discussion 
of slavery as related to the future of our country. The Mis- 
souri question had beensharply debated in Congress and every- 
where else, while I was a college-studenl ; and by religious 
writers and speakers it bad been discussed as a question involv- 
ing great religious interests. In the progress of my theological 
studies, I have been led to inquire more carefully concerning 
the duty of Christian patriots to the black population of this 
country, both bond and i'rci\ From the beginning of my offi- 


cial iniiii>rrv. I -poke without reserve, from the pulpit and 
elsewhere, against slavery as a wrong and a curse, threatening 
disaster and ruin to the nation. Many years I did this without 
being blamed, except as I was blamed for notgoingfar enough. 
\<>t a dog dared to wag his tongue at me for speaking against 
slavery. I have always held and always asserted the same prin- 
ciples on That subject which I held and asserted at the begin- 
ning. Yet yon know how I have been blamed and even 
execrated, in these later years, for declaring, here and else- 
where, the wickedness of buying and selling human beings, or 
of violating in any way those human rights which are insepar- 
able from human nature. I make no complaint in making this 
allusion : all reproaches, all insults endured in the conflict with 
so gigantic a wickedness against God and man, are to be 
received and remembered not as injuries but as honors. 

Where are we now' The institution of slavery, so powerful 
only a few year- ago. so arrogant and encroaching. SO deter- 
mined either to rule the Union or to destroy it. is perishing 
nnder the vials of God's wrath poured out upon our country. 
The end of the great rebellion which was begun for the pur- 
pose of making Blavery perpetual, is drawing near, and it is 
sure to be the end of slavery. What a change is this! I have 
expected and predicted that slavery would be abolished in our 
country, knowing assuredly that there is a divine justice in 
the providence that rules the world. There was a time when I 
hoped for a peaceful abolition in the progress of civilization 
and under the influence of Christianity ; but, years ago, tin' 
ferocious tyranny that permitted no word of discussion or of 
inquiry tending to overthrow the system, and that kept the 
slaves by law in brutish ignorance bo that their bondage might 
be perpetual, forbade that hope. For years, all really thought- 
ful men have felt the growing probability that Blaverj would 
end in blood. Yei. till this war began, we never thought thai 

the end would be in our time. That 1 have lived to see 

Blavery alreadj virtually abolished, and it> complete extinction 
drawing nearer .every day, till- me with wonder. 

Somewhat less than twenty years ago, I published a volume 
of Essays on Slavery, which I had contributed to various peri 

odicals. A copy of the volume tell into the hand- of ;i village 

96 I.KON \|;|> B M "V 

lawyer in one of our great western States. He was at thai 
time quite unknown to fame, bul hi> neighbors knew him well 
as an intelligent, sagacious, honest man. capable of great things 
and worthy of the highesl trusts; and lie had just then been 
elected, for the first time and the last, to be their representa 
tive in Congress. Less than four years ago, not knowing that 
he had ever heard of me, I had the privilege of an interview 
with him; and his tirst word, after our introduction to each 
other, was a reference to that volume, with a frank approval of 
ii- principles. Since then I have heard of his mentioning the 
same hook to a friend of mine in terms which showed that it 
had made an impression on Ins earnest and thoughtful soul. 

The man to whom I refer has just been inaugurated, the 
second time. President of the Tinted States ; and his illus- 
trious name is forever associated with the proclamation winch 
sealed the doom of slavery. I am not vain enough to think 
that his great mind, so earnest in the love of justice, so confi- 
dent in the conviction that right must finally prevail against 
wrong, so far-seeing in the discernment of principles and their 
bearings, needed any guidance or teaching from me; but it is 
something to think of in this review of forty years, that when 
ABRAHAM Lincoln, nineteen years ago, first found himself, 
as an elected representative in Congress, face to face with 
slavery in its relation to questions of practical statesmanship, 
the studies and debates through which I had been conducted 
were in any way serviceable to him. 

As we think of the new aspect which the abolition of 
Blavery, now almost complete, gives to the future of our coun- 
try, the home-missionary work of the American churches 
arrests our attention. It was in the year L825 that consulta- 
tions were held, and arrangements made, which resulted in the 
institution of the American Home Missionary Society. That 
organization was formed with the design of combining in one 
system of cooperative efforts the strength of the entire Presby- 
terian body, and of some other ecclesiastical connections, as 
well as of the New England churches. At first the design of 
cooperation was in some degree realized; but. gradually, the 
contributing churches of other denominations and connections 
have fallen off and entered into separate enterprises, till now 


the institution can hardly be said to have any supporters save 
the Congregational churches in New England, and those that 
have sprung up in New York and the West. How great the 
home-missionary work in the United States has become, and 
what hold it lias upon the Christian patriotism of the country, 
I need not undertake to show statistically. Aside from all 
that is done by the two great bodies of Presbyterians, and by 
the churches which trace their descent from Holland, and by 
other excellent and powerful confederations of churches more 
remotely related to us, the work of the American Home Mis- 
sionary Society, in the area which it covers, in the contribu- 
tions to it- treasury, in the number of its missionaries, and in 
the Buccess which it has achieved and is still achieving, far 
exceeds all that we thought of forty years ago. Its mission- 
aries, are. to-day, not onlv in all the States of what we then 
called "the West" — Dot only in all the regions of that "val- 
ley of the Mississippi" which so tilled our imagination thirty 
years ago — hut far beyond, in the Rocky Mountains, by the 
Great Salt Lake, and amid the strange confluences of popula- 
tion that are developing the resources of our Pacific State-. 

But home-missions in the strictest -ense are only a part of 
the evangelization-work in our home-field. In the larger 
Bense, all the organizations which are at work for the diffusion 
of religious knowledge, or for securing in the new State- and 
Territories the institutions of Christian Learning and educa- 
tion, are cooperating in the home-missionary work. Forty 
years ago. the American Bible Society had not entered on the 

tenth year of it- existence. Forty years ago. the American 
Tract Society at Boston had been working in a humble way 

about eleven year-; and jn-t at the time when I was beginning 

my official ministry here, a few good men of various ecclesias- 
tical connection- were instituting in the city of New York 
another American Tract Society much more aspiring in it- 
aim-. Forty years ago, the American Sunday School Union 
wa- making it- earliesl appeals to the public. Forty years 
ago, oobody had dreamed of any bucd thing as a systematized 

effort on the part of ( hri-tian patriots in these older States for 

promoting collegiate ami theological education at the West, h\ 

aiding in the foundation and early support of colleges and 

'. ,s I ,EON \ RD H \«'< >N. 

theological seminaries like those of our own New England, 
rhese suggestions tnaj help the young to understand, in part, 
what changes some of ue have Been since the time when we 
were young. You whose years are yel before you, think how 
great a system of voluntary enterprises, for giving to our 
country ;i thoroughly Christian civilization, we have seen grow- 
ing up in our day. We are Boon to leave in your hands the 
beneficent undertakings which we have helped to inaugurate, 
or iu which it has been our privilege to cooperate, and we hid 
you remember that, with all their efficiency, they are not yet 
commensurate with the work of making our country what it 
ought to be. 

Think of the new era which is to open upon us when this 
war shall he ended. With slavery overthrown, and the unity 
of the nation recovered and vindicated, the millions, black and 
white, whom slavery has kept in a barbarous or half barbarous 
ignorance, will have become in reality, and not in name only. 
our countrymen, to be enlightened and elevated by Christian 
influences. Thenceforth the necessity of guarding the institu- 
tion of slavery by laws against teaching men to read, and by 
the violent suppression of dangerous truth, will have no place 
in any State or Territory of the Union, hut our whole country, 
in it> imperial extent, will he open to that U-i-i- gospel which 
proclaims that God hath made of one blood all nations of men. 
and which demands for all men "the Bible without a clasp," 
ami therefore demands and establishes the free schools in 
which all children alike may learn to read the Bible for them- 
selves. A great work of evangelization must he done for our 
country within the next twenty year.-. All that has been done 
in these forty years is only, as it were, a preparation and a 
beginning. God, who has trained us tor tin- work, and has 
encouraged and strengthened us by giving success, is now open- 
ing the way and calling us forward to a glorious consummation. 
III. Our remembrance of the period which we are reviewing 
will not he complete unless we take a still wider view. 
Through all the course of these forty years, changes have heen 
steadily and rapidly going on. that have great importance in 
relatii »n to th< ,j, ,,> ral mtt r< *t and progn 88 of ( 'hrisfs Jcingdorn 
in the world. I do not refer to war- and political revolutions, 


so much as to changes of another sort. The period has been 
characterized more by the peaceful progress of civilized nations 
than by great wars among them : and, though there have been 
changes of dynasty and of empire — .some of them very signifi- 
cant — the political map of Europe at least remains, on the 
whole, very much a> it was in 1825. But, all this while, 
great forces have been working t<> change the character and 
condition of the world. 

We have often marveled at the increase of human knowl- 
edge, and especially of that knowledge by which man obtains 
dominion over material nature : but the general diffusion of 
knowledge i>. in some respects even more significant. The 
apparatus and arrangements by which knowledge — and, to a 
great extent, knowledge really useful — spreads itself abroad. 
the demand creating the supply, and the supply ever stimula- 
ting the demand, is among the wonders of modern civilization. 
Think what the art of printing has become in its relation to 
the millions. Think of journalism, in its range of subjects, 
scientific, literary, political, religions, — in the diversity of its 
periods, quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily. — and with its count- 
less pages falling everywhere, like autumn-leaves in a forest. 
Think what popular education has become, not satisfied with 
teaching children to read and write, but aiming to give sub- 
stantial knowledge, with something of intellectual and moral 
discipline. Doubtless such diffusion of knowledge is more 
general in our country than elsewhere; but in almost ever^ 
country <»f the civilized world, certainly in every Protestant 
country, there is the same sort of progress. 

Another significant fact is naturally connected with the in- 
crease and diffusion of knowledge. The mutual influence of 
all civilized communities is constantly increasing. Fortj years 
is and mountains l>\ which nation.- are separated 
from each other, and -till more the diversities of language 
and of political and religious institutions, were far more effect 
ual a- barriers against international influence and international 
sympathy than they now are, or r\<-v can be again. Even civ- 
ilized nation is now in contact, as it were, with c\\tx other. 
Not only do the scientific discoveries and inventions of one 
country pass oul a1 once into all countries, and become the com- 


mon property of civilized mankind; bu1 the hooks which in 
one language charm or agitate the popular mind, are translated 
into other languages, or without translation extend their influ- 
ence into other lands. Nol popular literature only, but phi- 

losoplry also, lea i-i is, more than hereto lore, to litter itself in vari- 
ous languages. The thinking of Germany passes over into 
Britain and America ; and the thinking of English-speaking 
nations reacts upon Germany. With the increase of facilities 
for travel in these years of peace and commerce, every nation 
comes more and more into contact with other nations hv means 
..f personal communication. Travelers and tourists of all sort.-, 
seekers of knowledge and seekers of pleasure, are going abroad 
into all lands, BOJOUrning here and there for a season, and then 
returning home. Great tides of emigration are setting from 
various nations of the old world to our shores; and then, by 
international postage and ocean-steamers, those Americanized 
myriads keep up a constant interchange of influence between 
the land of their new hopes and homes and thelandsfrom which 
they came. Among all the nations of the civilized world, and 
especially among those of Protestant Christendom, there is a 
growing consciousness of more intimate relations to each other 
and of interest in each other's welfare. Perhaps no man who 
does not personally remember the time when there were no 
railways and no sea-going steamships to facilitate and stimulate 
international communication, and when the magnetic telegraph 
had not yet been invented, can fairly understand how great a 
change has come to pass in the intercourse of nations, in their 
knowledge of each other's affairs, and in their mutual influence. 
One marked consequence of all this, is an increased acquaint- 
ance and a more intimate fellow-hip among the Protestant 
Christians of different aations and languages. There is begin- 
aing to he visible a reformed and evangelical catholicity, ex- 
tending through all nations, and everywhere conscious of a 
living unity. Evangelical Christian- every where are becoming 
assimilated in their religious views and teachings, and thus 
they are obtaining larger and more adequate conceptions of 
what the Christianity is which they hold in common, and which 
they uphold against superstition and spiritual despotism on the 
one hand, and against infidelity and destructive rationalism on 
the other. There i- indeed no "gift of tongues" like that 


which attested the first glorious coming of the Comforter; Imt 
Christian sympathies are awakened which utter themselves, 
praying and praisingGod, in all the languages of the civilized 
world, and which pass from land to land, and traverse oceans, 
with greetings of brotherly affection. "We see not indeed — 
nor Deed we desire to see— a corporate unity under one ecclesi- 
astical tjovernment ; hut we see what is better, a spiritual 
unitv of aspiration and of voluntary cooperation for the ad- 
vancement of that kingdom which i- " righteousness, and peace, 
and joy in the Holy Ghost." A few years ago, it was my priv- 
ilege to be present, for many days, in a u'reat assenihly at Lon- 
don, where representatives not only from Great Britain and 
Ireland and from the Omted States, hut from Germany, 
from France, from Holland, from Switzerland, from Scandina- 
vian countries, from the Protestantism of Italy, and from 1 
know not how many other countries, were reporting to each 
other concerning the Bigns of the times, and deliberating on 
plans of more extended cooperation, and praying together for 
the universal coming of the kingdom of God. The great 
assembly was itself a " sign of the time.-" — an effective manifes- 
tation not only of the progress which spiritual Christianity, as 
distinguished both from formalism and from unbelieving 
rationalism, is making in the world, hut also of the vital unitv 
and free cooperation which are bringing into conscious fellow- 
ship the growing multitude of believers in whose conception 
and experience the Gospel i- '"the power of God unto salva- 
tion."' Forty year- ago such an assembly could not have 
been; and yet, so greal is the change, that assembly, though 

the first of it- kind, was only tir.-t in a serie8. 

While these changes have been in progress, breaking down 

bo man\ "I' the barriers between nations, and bringing evan- 
gelical Christians of all names ami languages and nations 

nearer to each other in thought and sympathy, and in cooper 

ation, the principle of religions liberty ha- been gradually 
working itself into the public opinion of the civilized world, 
and into the law- and governraenl of various nations. Forty 
pears ago, in England itself, conscientious dissenters from the 
established state-religion, whether Protestants or Roman Cath 
olics, were subjected nol indeed to positive persecution on 
account of their religion, hut to man\ civil disabilities which 

102 LEON \ Kl> BACON. 

are now allium! forgotten. What progress freedom to worship 
(■rod — freedom t<> read the 1 1 i 1 >U* freedom to preach the Gob 
pel has made, within these forty years, in Prance and other 
European countries, nut excepting Italy, nay, in realms beyond 
tin' l>»>nn<ls nf ( Jhristendom, I need not now describe. The 
change, in this respect, demonstrates that the nations arc 
already at the threshold, as it were, of a new era, when 
truth shall everywhere be free in tin- conflict with error, ami 
throughout the world the emancipating and renewing word of 
( rod >hall run without hindrance. 

Let us, then, not forget what it is which gives the chief dis- 
tinction to this nineteenth century, — namely, the great move- 
ment for the propagation of the Gospel through the world. 
We who arc growing old have seen great things in our day. 
Looking hack over these forty years, with thoughtful view, 
and recollecting how much of all my mortal life has been 
measured out to me. I cannot hut thank God that I have lived 
in an age SO full of zeal and enterprise in the work of preach- 
ing the Gospel to every creature. The modern era of evan- 
gelical missions to heathen nations may he marked as begin- 
ning near the close of the last century, when the religious 
awakenings of that century — the standard which the Spirit of 
the Lord set up against the unbelief and atheism that were 
coming in like a flood- had prepared a people for the work. 
Forty vears ago, the chief evangelizing institutions through 
which the missionary zeal of Great Britain and America is 
now putting itself forth in all directions, — the great Bible ami 
Missionary Bocieties, — were already established ; hut the work 
was only begun. Much had been accomplished of preliminary 
labor; the field had been wideK explored, Languages had been 
mastered, missions had been commenced in many heathen 
lands, translations of the Bible had keen made with \arious 
degrees of accuracy, wisdom had keen acquired by experience; 
and there had been just enough of success to forbid discour- 
agement. Hut what progress have we seen within these forty 
pears! What do we see to-day \ The isles arc receiving God's 
law. Africa, on the eastern coast and on the western, is bright- 
ening with the light <>f the sun of righteousness. The hoary 
idolatries of India are losing their power; and converts to 
Christ in that land of immemorial darkness, are numbered by 


tens of thousands. In Turkey and Syria, God's blessing upon 
Protestant missions has achieved freedom for the Gospel : and, 
QOt only there but in Persia, the Gospel is demonstrating its 

power to make all things new. In China, the missionaries 
from both sides of the Atlantic are working together, and, in 
the churches they have gathered and the steady progress of the 
truth, they see that their long labor is not in vain the Lord. 
The darkness of the entire world of heathenism is dotted over 
with radiant points of Christian influence; and the free contri- 
butions of Christ's disciples in all lands, and of all names, are 
poured forth in a volume ever swelling with the progress of 
the years, and are accompanied with prayers and aspirations 
which give assurance of ever growing success. Let the work 
go forward at the same rate of progress and development 
through another period of forty years; and then — in the fifth 
year of the twentieth century — how changed will he the aspect 
of this long benighted world! In all probability, there will 
even then be vast tracts of heathenism: wickedness may still 
he hold and blasphemous in Christian lands; the saints of 
God may still be crying to him: " ( ). Lord, how long?" — hut 
the evangelization of the world, the work which the world's 
Redeemer has laid upon his church, will he far in advance of 
where it now is. Some of you (we know not who they are) 
will see that day: hut the great majority of ns, before the 
beginning of that twentieth century, will have ceased to have 
any share 

■■ In :ill that's done 
■■ Beneath the circuit of the bud :" 

and I might now count olf name after name of those who will 

surely lie in thai majority. 

I am >ure io l»e iii that majority, tor " I know that shortly," 
;it the latest, "I musl put oil' tin- mv tabernacle." Hm I 
charge you whom 1 -hall leave behind me. to be faithful and 
constant in this work of spreading through the world the 
knowledge ami kingdom of Christ. So Ion- as "Thy king 
dom come" is on your lip-, let it never he an empty phrase; 
let it never be anything less than the breathing of faith and 
earnest hope, and the consecration of your free offeringH and 
your personal Bervice a- "fellow-workers unto the kingdom of 
God' 1 fellow-workers with those who have rested from their 

104 LEON \ i:i> BACON. 

labors, and fellow-workers with those who skill conic after 
you. So shall you share in the triumphal foy, when heaven 
shall shout i" earth, ami earth respond to heaven: "The king- 


My dear friends, of this Church and Ecclesiastical Society, I 
have QOW ;i few words more to say, of deep interest to myself 
and to you. 

I am the oldest pastor in Connecticut, who has not, partly or 
wholly, withdrawn from his work. 

The last ten years in a pastorale of half a century are neces- 
sarily years of diminished vigor and of diminishing success in 
the work of the ministry. 

T am old enough, now, to ask for relief; and at the same 
time I am not too old to receive it without feeling that I am 
slighted by the offer of it. 

Not for my own sake merely, but rather for your sake and 
your children's sake. I ask you now to relieve me while I am 

willing to be relieved. All that concerns the i le <>r extent 

of the relief, I would refer to your kindness and discretion. 
On that point 1 have only to say: Give me either a colleague, 
or (if such he your judgment) a successor. 1 do not ask for an 
associate, one who shall help me, and for whom I must he in 
some sort responsible. I ask rather for one who shall take 
charge of the flock, and he responsible for it, and whom I may 
help only as he may ask for assistance in the first few years of 
his work. 

I am able to work, and may he able, perhaps, for ten years 
more. While I am still at your service in the work which I 
have so long performed among you, I trust I can find other 
work to do which will contribute to my support. 1 do not ask 
to become a burthen on you. I am willing to work while it is 
day. I only remember, and for your sake I remind you, that 
to me the day is far -pent, and the night is coming when no 
man can work : and so I leave the matter in your hands. 

"The Lord bless you and keep you: the Lord make Ids face 
shine upon you. ami be gracious onto you: the Lord lift up Ids 
countenance upon you, and give you peace." 


Fkeached on Retiring from the Pastorate. 



Preached September 9, 1866. 
Acts xx. 32. — And now, Breturex, I commend vor to God, \m> to the 


Few things in the history of Paul the Apostle are more 
characteristic of the man, or of the gospel which he preached, 
than this discourse of his to the officers of the Ephesian church, 
when they had come down, at his invitation, to meet him at 
Miletn-, and there to pari with him. The discourse, in all that 
he Bays to them about their official work and responsibility, in 
all thai hesaysaboul himself , and in, all that he says aboul 
approaching conflict.- with evil, i- a Lesson to churches and min- 
isters through all time. 

Reading this discourse, we can hardly fail to observe how 
freely and aaturally he speaks of himself, in the firsl person, 
and of his ministry. Be was speaking to friends to old and 
trie. | friends in circumstances which required him to speak in 
that way. To speak otherwise, on that occasion, would have 
Keen affectation, and he would have failed to say the tit and 
timely word-, had he been embarrassed l>.\ the fear of exposing 

106 LE< >\ \i;i' B \< ■< »N. 

himself in the imputation of egotism. II I speak of myself 
this afternoon, le1 the occasion be my apology. 

An official ministry of forty-one years and a half, in this 
ancienl church, is now to be ended. On the firsl Lord's Day 
in tlu' nexl month, forty-two years will bave been completed 
since the firsl occasion on which I K *« I the worship of God in 
this bouse, and attempted to dispense the word of life. It 
would be injustice to your feelings and my own, if I should 
retire from my official work among yon without some serious 
and affectionate words appropriate to the occasion. For this 

purpose DO Wetter arrangement of topics occurs to me than that 

which the Apostle followed in his address to the Ephesian 

1. He appeals to their knowledge of himself. "Ye your- 
selves know, from the first day that I came into Asia, alter 
what manner I bave been with you at all seasons." So I may 
saw you know the course and character of my ministry among 
you from its beginning. But to how few of you can I say this 
literally and personally ! Where are the men and women that 
knew the beginning of my service here '. I look along this 
aisle — and that — and that ; and how few are there to whom, as 
individuals. I can say : You personally know, from the first 
day that I stood here to preach the gospel, after what manner I 
have been with you at all seasons! Some such there are who 
are older than myself, and others who have grown old with me ; 
and I thank God that everyone of them is my dear friend 
to-day, esteeming me \rr\ highly in love — not surely for my 
own sake, as if I deserved it. but rer my work's sake. The 
great majority of those who are now adults in the parish, were 
children, or were not yet horn, when I began the work which I 
resign to-day. Vet I may Bay to them, as well as to the few 
who are of my own age, or older — to the congregation as a 
whole I may say — to all the churches of Christ in this city I 
may say — to the entire community of those around us who 
take any interest in the ministry of the gospel, I may say: Ye 
know after what manner I have been among you at all times. 

It is a serious thought to a minister of the gospel, and espe- 
cially To the pa-tor of a church, that SO many people know him, 
and know after what manner he is doing his work, or ha> done 


it. Hi- work is essentially public — he is always under inspec- 
tion and criticism. Others may seek retirement, and love to 
dwell in the shade ; bnt he ha> no privilege of that sort, what- 
ever his inclination may be. Eis gifts, his merits, and nor 
these only, but Ins faults, his mistakes, Ins infirmities, his pro- 
fessional habits, his personal peculiarities, his infelicities of 
manner or deportment, belong in some degree to the public. 
Everybody in the parish knows all about him ; and what the 
whole parish knows, everybody else knows. Everybody has a 
right — more or less clearly recognized — to talk about him. and 
to give an opinion for or against him. whatever he does, or 
whatever he neglects or refuses to do. All this is an inevitable 
incident of his position. He must hear this yoke in his youth ; 
and if he live- long enough he must hear it till he i> old. lie 
cannot look upon his congregated hearers — he cannot meet his 
neighbors in any relation — without the thought: Tliev all 
know after what manner 1 am with them at all seasons: — -if I 
am faithful, the ineffaceable record of my fidelity is in their 
consciences : if I am unfaithful, they are witnesses against me. 
II. The Apostle, in thus appealing to their personal mem- 
ory, remind- them more distinctly of what he had done in that 
church, and of what he had experienced there. " Ye know 
after what manner 1 have been with you — Berving the Lord 
with all humility of mind, and with many tears and tempta- 
tion- which came upon me by the plotting- of the dews— how 
I kept hack nothing that was profitable unto you. but have 
showed you and taught you publicly, and from house to house. 
testifying, both to the Jews and also to the Greeks, repentance 

toward God, and faith toward our Lord ,le>u> Christ." 1 dare 

not Bay so much as rhi.-. Yet, appealing to yon who know 
after what manner I have been with you, I max -ax that, if I know 
myself, I have been endeavoring, through all the days of this 
ministry, to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Sure I am that, if 
I have served Christ at all, I have served him with a constant 
sense of imperfection and unfitness for so arduous a work. I 
have loved the work of preaching the gospel and showing to 

men the wax of -alxatioii ; 1 loxeit -till; I hope Iodic in it ; 

hut < >. how far have I come shorl of setting forth, as it always 
seemed to me I mighl do, and oughl to do, the reaHonableness, 

108 l I o\ \i;n it \C(>\. 

the attractiveness, the beauty, the glorj uf thai gospel ! As for 
the " humility of mind " which the Apostle speaks of , I think 
I know what il is. nol « > 1 1 1 n in thai consciousness of moral im- 
perfection in the sight of <>'>d which attends all the progress of 
the Christian life, bul also in the consciousness of personal 
incompetence to bo greal a work. I love to preach, l»ut if any- 
body lias at any time been dissatisfied with my preaching, and 
has fell that it did not approach the divine greatness of the 
theme, let him be assured that I have been more dissatisfied 
than he. At the same time I may say: You know how I have 
kept back nothing that was profitable to you — no point of 
Christian truth or dnt\ that has seemed to be needful, hut 
have announced to you, publicly, and from house to house — in 
the great congregation, and in the more private teaching and 
application of the word — testifying to all alike, year alter year, 
in times of revived religious feeling, and in times of compara- 
tive declension, tlie one comprehensive doctrine of repentance 
toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. This, as 
every hearei' knows, has been, in its diversified bearings and 
relations — in the arguments by which it is enforced, the views 
of God and man, of time and eternity, of sin and salvation, by 
which it is illustrated, and the applications in which it bears on 
all the details of human duty — this has been the hiii-then of 
my ministry : Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is here — 
repent, and turn to God — repent, and bring forth fruits meet 
for repentance — repent, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, 
putting full confidence in his readiness and power to save you, 
and following him whithersoever his word and spirit will lead 

One phrase in the A.postle's speech refers to what he had ex- 
perienced at Ephesus. lie speaks of his " tears," and of the 
opposition— the "temptations" or persecutions — which he had 
encountered from the machinations of the unbelieving dews. 
II i> allusion in the word " tears" may be to some personal sor- 
row which was of course well known to his hearers on that 
occasion, but of which no record has come to us. Perhaps the 
allusion is only to the anxiety and the depression of feeling 
with which he had pursued his work, watching for souls, and 
grieved to see men dying in their sins. But when he speaks 


of what befel him by the plotting of adversaries, we know 
what he means. We have, in the foregoing chapter, a definite 
account of the opposition which was made to him in Ephesus 
on the ground that his preaching interfered with commercial 
and public Interests : and he implies that when, as he expresses 
ir in one of his epistles, he "fought with wild beasts at Ephe- 
sus,' 1 unbelieving .lews, enemies of Christ crucified, were at the 
bottom of the mischief, as we know they were at [conium and 
Lystra, and at other places. Now I have no thought of com- 
paring myself with the Apostle in this respect. My life among 
you lias not been without its share in the sorrows incident to 
our condition in a dying world ; but why should I speak of 
such soi-rows to-day? Let me rather say that, through your 
kindness, and by the favoring providence of God, my life 
among you has been eminently a happy life. My home, 
though often darkened by sickness and death, has been, and is. 
a happy home. Vet when I think of this long ministry, and 
of how many there have been, and are, to whom, in the name 
of a redeeming God, I have offered a great and free salvation. 
hut of whom it would he presumptuous to say thai the gospel 
which they have beard here will not hear witness againsl them 
to their condemnation — when I remember what thoughts, what 
hopes, what disappointments, I have had concerning them — 
when I remember what prayers, in the church and in retire 
meiit. have accompanied the invitations, the persuasions, and 
the warnings which I have addressed to them from tin- place, 
and in which I have been Christ's messenger to their souls — I 

Can enter into the feeling which the Apostle uttered when he 
-poke of "serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and 
with many tears.' 1 

Something, too. I have known oi that opposition which the 
\'ic*' and earnesl application ol God's word to the sins of men 
rarely fail- to excite. Of course I have never had an) such 
experience as Paul had al Ephesus and elsewhere such things 
are not to he expected here. Nor have I ever encountered an\ 

hostility on the part of thi- church, or of the ecclesiasl ical 

society. It here and there <»ne has been unable to accept the 
news which have here been exhibited from the word of God. 
and applied to live questions oi duty, such persons have never 


formed a party in opposition to the Pastor. Sometimes such 
an one bas been generouslj willing to recognize the tact thai I 
musl be governed by my own convictions, and sometimes an- 
other has quietly withdrawn to seek elsewhere a ministry better 
suited to the habil of his mind. But, after all, I have never 
had occasion to take alarm from thai saying of Christ: "Woe 
onto yon when all men shall speak well of you." The open 
enemies of Christian truth and holiness, and those who have 
had aims or interests adverse to the moral welfare of society, 
have never been my friends. It is a small thing to have been 
the song of the drunkard, and the jest of the ribald scoffer. 
Mm who gel gain by making drunkards, and whose industry 
helps tn increase the aggregate of \dce and crime in the com- 
munity, filling the poor-house and the jail with the victims of 

their trade, have hated me and cursed me. Men who find their 

fellow-man "guilty of a skin not colored like their own," and 
who "for such a rightful cause" desire to tread him down — 
men whose interests in trade, or whose associations and aspira- 
tions in political parties, were so involved in the wicked insti- 
tution of slavery that they must needs pay homage to that 
hideous idol, and cry in its behalf, from time to time, as De- 
metrius and his mob cried : "Great is Diana of the Ephesians" 
— and men who were disloyal or half loyal to their country 
when rebellion was striking at its lift — have charged me with 
nut preaching the gospel, and have cast out my name as evil. 
But their opposition has never done me personally any harm, 
(such men's opinions, as to what the gospel is, are of little con- 
sequence), and. in this closing hour of my service as your Pas- 
tor, I am thankful to remember that those who want an 
antinomian gospel, with no denunciation of wickedness, with 
no lighl lor the conscience, and with no power to quicken the 
moral sense, have never spoken well of me. Opposition from 
such sources is a testimony that I have not shunned to declare 
all the counsel of < rod. 

The A.p08tle could -ay. in all humility of mind, and without 

professing that he had never, in any respect, come short of his 
duty to Christ: -i I take you to record this day that I am pure 
from the blood of all men, for I have not shunned to declare 
unto you all the counsel of God." While [ know my infirm- 


ity. and confess before God, and before you all, that I have 
fallen very far short of what I ought to have been as a minis- 
ter of Christ in such a place as tins, you are my witnesses this 
day that. s<> far as the scope and range of my preaching of 
God's word is concerned, I have kept back nothing that was 
profitable, and have not shunned to declare unto von all the 
counsel of God, and that, in that view, I am free from the 
blood of all m< ii. 

III. Another topic in Paul's discourse at Miletus is even 
more personal to himself. He speaks of his own future, and 
of the uncertainties which were before him. ' k I am going," 
he Bays, "to Jerusalem, carried along like a prisoner — bound in 
the spirit — hound in conscience — not knowing the things that 
shall befall me there." There were many things distinctly in 
prospect that might have discouraged him; hut his great desire 
was that he "might finish his course with joy, and the ministry 
which he had received, to testify the gospel of the "-race of 

In regard to my own future, 1 have little to say. I am not 
departing from you. Here, where I have lived so many year-. 
I expeel to pass the brief remainder of my life. How it is 
that my official ministry in this dear congregation has come to 
it- conclusion, I can hardly explain to myself otherwise than 
by savin-- that God has SO ordered it. When I proposed to 
you. a year and a half ago, to relieve me of my pastoral care 
and labor, entirely, or in part, at your discretion, I had no plan 
or prosped for the future, other than that perhaps I might 
find time in the evening of life to perform, for the churches of 
New England, a s< rvice to which I had been urged l>\ friends 

and by brethren in the mini-try. hut which I felt I should not 

perfonn with the undivided care of this congregation resting 
on i in- ; and that, while performing thai service, I might also 
he doing Borne u I by giving instruction to theological stu- 
dent- concerning the New England church-polity and church- 
history. M\ thought was that I might goon with m\ pastoral 
charge for another year or two, and then perhaps for \et an- 
other, till you should find a successor for me.- Hut pour singu 
lar kindnese and generosity in meeting, and more than meeting. 
my wishes, and in making provision for me and those depend- 


cut on me in mi declining years, became a significant ultima 
tion tome — an intimation, nol ofyourwish, 1 > 1 1 1 of your gener- 
ous willingness, thai I should lay down my office. And then 

just as the arrangemenl was complete which yon have made 
for me a most unexpected invitation to a different kind ot 
work was laid before me. [n other circumstances, I shouldnol 
have listened to such an invitation. There is no promotion in 
going from this pulpit to a theological chair— as pulpits and 
professorships are to-day. The transfer might have been pre 
ferment forty years ago; but times arc changed. For many 
years I have been devoutly thankful that I was not a professor 
of theology; and never have I desired a position so exposed 
to the censures of those good men who feel that their voca- 
tion is to be jealous for their traditional orthodoxy. But, not- 
withstanding niv reluctance, the circumstances in which I 
found myself, when the invitation came, seemed like a clear 
revelation of my duty. I go "hound in the spirit" — reluc- 
tantly — under a sort of necessity laid upon me in God's 
providence — not knowing how I may succeed in my new work. 
It is a wort in which my term of service, at the longest, must 
he very short, and for which I can now make no preparation 
other than that which my more than forty years of service and 
experience in preaching have given me. I may fail in it. I 
have not dared to commit myself to it hut for a single year. 
But if. by the blessing of (iod, I succeed-in it, I shall leave a 
great legacy of good behind nu; having finished my course 
with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord 
Jesus to testify the gospel of the grace of (iod. 

IV. The Apostle speaks anxiously, and in words of warning, 
a- to the future that was before the church at Ephesus. 
Charging the elders or bishops, who were his hearers, that they 
Bhould take heed to themselves and to all the flock over which 
the Holy Ghost had made them overseers, he says : "I know 

thi>, that after my departing grievous wolves will enter in 

among von. not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves 

will men arise, -peaking perverse things to draw away disciples 
after them." He foresaw dangers coming upon that church 
from without, and dangers arising within, hut he could say in 
confident hope ; " I commend you to God, and to the word of 


his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an in- 
heritance among all them which are sanctified." 

Shall 1 say anything to yon abont your future \ I remem- 
ber the past. The history of this church, for two hundred and 
thirty years, testifies of God's care and favor. He brought 
hither a vine as out of Egypt. He cast out the heathen, and 
planted it. He prepared room before it. and caused it to take 
deep rout. k - She hath sent out her boughs unto the sea, and 
her branches unto the river!"' Will lie not behold and visit 
this vine and the vineyard which his right hand hath planted I 
Will he who lias guarded this church, and upheld it through 
bo many ages, and so many changes, forsake it now? I call to 
mind the changes of these last forty years. What hath God 
wrought! Think, brethren, what has been going on in this 
world since you and I have been in this relation to each other. 
No age of history, save only that in which Christ came and 
his gospel began to run its course of conquest, has been so full 
of marvelous changes a> Lhe age in which we have been Living, 
and which ie covered by the personal recollections of the old 
men among u>. Think what revolutions of empire there have 
been — what changes in commerce and the intercourse of na- 
tions — what Btrides in the progress of civilization, of knowl- 

_■-. and of the arts that minister to human power or human 
comfort. Think how marvelous!} these changes have been 
made subservient, on the whole, to the advancement of civil 
and religious liberty, to the more general diffusion of knowl- 
edge in all civilized nation-, and to the spread of the gospel 
through the world. Such views are -familiar to all intelligent 
persons, but it requires a more thoughtful mind, observant of 
spiritual things, to realize what changes have been taking place 
within these forty years in the universal church of Chrisl 
especially how the religious thinking, and the religious activity, 
and the various manifestations of religious experience and 
Bpi ritual life, in the entire extent of Protestant and Evangel 
ical Christendom, have really advanced from the position of 
forty years ago. Other changes, of uo less significance than 
those which crowd our memory, will mark the remainder of 
the waning century. The kingdom oi Chrisl is advancing; 
and, a- dependent on it or subsidiary to it, governments will 


rise and fall, <>1<I empires will pass away like exhalations, 
science will make new discoveries in all the realms of nature, 
commerce and art will give new power to industry, and the 
wealth of nations especially of free and Christian nations 
like our own — will increase beyond all former calculation. 
Peril is always incident to progress, and, as I look to the imme- 
diate future, I foresee dangers to the churches dangers in 
which this church must share. I foresee danger from without. 
in the prevailing tendency of modern thought acting on the 
churches and their ministry through all the channels of litera- 
ture, and coming in on all the vehicles of intellectual influence. 
The tendency of modern thought is to the denial of a personal 
Grod, and therefore to a scheme or body of opinions which is 
really atheism cloaking itself in words that seem to be religious. 
That is the danger from without— the danger of a pantheistic 
Ante< hrist, for e\ en now there are many Anti-Christs — the 
danger of conceptions and principles, plausible hut heathenish, 
creeping into the churches in the guise of a religious philos- 
ophy, like wolves in sheep's clothing. At the same time I for- 
see danger from within— nay, I see it actually present, and 
growing every day. The danger from within is in the grow- 
ing wealth of the members of the churches, and in those habits 
of self-pleasing, and conformity to the world, which wealth 
engender-. <) my Christian brethren in this church, take heed 
to yourselves — take heed to the flock. Take heed in the choice 
of a Pastor. Take heed to place over you, in the ministry of 
the word, not one whose brilliant rhetoric shall attract the 
thoughtless without making them thoughtful, and who shall 
pull down other congregations to build np this, but a man 
earnest to save souls, a man full of the Holy Spirit, and of that 
power which comes from communion with the mind of Christ, 
a man who will teed the Hock of the Lord winch lie has pur- 
chased with his blood. Thus I commend you to Grod, and to 
the word of his grace. Let your trust for your future be in 
that gospel which is in the power of G-od to salvation, and in 
Gk>d who gave it. He is able to build you up. and to give you 
an inheritance among all them who are sanctified. 

Mmiv than this the Apostle said to his hearers at Miletus. 
In order to secure them against the dangers which he foresaw. 


he commended to their attention the beneficent and self-deny- 
ing character of the religion which he had taught them. Having 
referred to his own example, reminding them how far he stood 
above the suspicion of mercenary aims and views in the work 
which he had done among them, and with what self-denial he 
had served them in the gospel, by his personal industry con- 
tributing to the necessities of himself, and of those that were 
with him, he ended his discourse by saying: " I have showed 
you all thing-, how that so laboring ye ought to support the 
weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he 
said : ' it is more blessed To give than to receive.' "' The benefi- 
cent spirit of Christ living in his followers — self-denying ac- 
tivity and generosity in doing good — earnest and unwearying 
cooperation in the work of Christ — is the conservative power 
by which the church, under the guardianship of Christ himself, 
must be held up, and built up, in all the times of temptation 
that conic upon the earth. Those who are working for Christ, 
and with him, against the wretchedness, the ignorance, and the 
wickedness, of the world — consulting and praying together, and 
provoking one another in holy emulation to love and good 
work> — -are workers together with God, and, in the conscious- 
ness that be is with them, they know that their fellowship is 
with the Father and with his Son Jesus < Ihrist. Religion is to 
them not a -peculation nor a dream, but a life, and no plausi- 
bilities of pantheistic philosophy, in whatever form of literature 
or science, can turn them from their faith in a personal God, 
who discerns between good and evil, with infinite joy in the 
one, and infinite abhorrence of the other. The temptations 

which come with increase of riches shall not prevail over them, 

for the discipline of work and self -deniaj in the service of Chrisl 
i- ever training them to acknowledge that, as they are Christ's, 
BO all thai they can call their own is his. and cannot without 
sacrilege be used for their, own self-indulgence and vainglory. 
Brethren and friends, in this final hour of my official ministry 
among you, I charge you, ae yon would be sale from the temp- 
tation- thai in the future will besel yon from without and from 
within, take heed to yourselves and to the flock, and lei this 
church become progressively earnesl and Large-hearted in the 
work of the Lord. Remember thai pure religion and nude- 

116 I H >\ \ IM> I! \<o\. 

filed before G-od and the Father i> a religion of personal benefi- 
cence, and of protesl in s|)irii and life against all in this world 
thai pollutes the soul. Be,no1 in profession only, but in all 
your activit) and aspiration, followers of ('hrist as dear chil- 
dren -followers of him who, though he wasrich, for our sake 
became poor— followers of the world's Redeemer, and workers 
together with him- working and giving as well as praying — 
working for God working, through every good enterprise and 
institution for the church, for the suffering <»r the degraded, 
for neighbors and fellow citizens, for posterity, for the country, 
for the world. So shall God, by the word of Ids grace, build 
you up, and give you an inheritance among the saints. 

A few words will sufficiently explain the position in which I 
stand henceforth as related to those who have been the people 
of my pastoral charge. My relation to the Ecclesiastical So- 
ciety will he simply 'hat of ,i grateful pensioner. From this 
day the pulpit is no Longer mine. I have no responsibility for 
it. and no control over it. My resignation having been ac- 
cepted by the society and consented to by the church, I am 
simply a retired Pastor, not dismissed by a council, and com- 
mended to the churches for another settlement, hut one who 
has served his time out. and been released from service. In 
this church I am a brother —an elder In-other, and, in the sense 
of that Apostolic precept. "Is any sick among you 2 let him 
call for the elders of the church, 1 ' I am still an elder. Till the 
time conies — which I pray may not he distant when you will 
have another Pastor, call for me. as freely as heretofore, when 
any is sick among you, and where the windows are darkened 
by death. Let no member of this congregation think that the 
tic between you and me i-- broken in that respect, or that it is 
weakened. 80 lone.' as you are without another Pastor. 

I> all this a dream '. - or i> it a waking reality? Is it indeed 
a fact that I am now laying down what has been my life-work \ 
Of the less than sixty years this side of the dim and sliadowy 
period into which my memory cannot distinctly penetrate. 
almost forty-two are identified with my work in this church. 
All my plan.- in lite all my intellectual pursuits and enjoy- 
ments- my studies and my relaxation- my dearest affections 


— my domestic joys and sorrows — all my hopes this side of 
heaven ; yes, and my bopes that reach info that brighter world 
— myprayen — my daily consciousness of infirmity and depen- 
dence — my conflicts with temptation — my confidence in Christ's 
grace and strength — my experiences of religious comfort, and 
aspirations after likeness to the Saviour — have been insepara- 
bly connected with that burthen, heavy but happy, which I 
now lay down before you and before God. You cannot think 
it strange that the laying down of such a burthen, so long in- 
corporated with my life, seems to me almost like a dream. 

Twice, since the beginning of this year, I have been called 
to preach at a Pastor's funeral, and somehow it seems as if T 
were performing the same sort of service to-day. Among the 
Pastors of the Congregational churches in this city, the two 
that were uearest to myself in age, and with whom I had been 
associated from the beginning of their ministry in their early 
youth, have died; and the pulpits that were theirs are vacant. 
This pulpit which has been mine is vacant, though I am yet 
alive. It is a singular coincidence of events, under the provi- 
dence of ( rod, that these three churches, the oldest of our order 
in New Haven — the three that have had pastorates continuing, 
respectively, into the twenty-eighth, the thirty-third, and the 1 
forty-second year are now at once looking to the greal Shep- 
herd and Bishop of souls, and waiting for Pastors. One gener- 
ation goeth and another generation coineth. The age to which 
my life belongs is disappearing and passing into history, and 
another age, in which the tnostof you will survive me. i- be- 
ginning. Brethren and friends, for your own sake, and your 
children'- sake, and \'<>v the Bake of all those interests which are 
involved in the purity and spiritual prosperity of these churches, 
let prayer be made continually, that in the new age which i> 
opening, these churches, enriched with the ministry "I godly 

Pastors, able and faithful, ma\ Btand together, ami do all their 

part in the work of training souls for heaven, and of filling the 

world with the knowledge and the glon of the Lord. 


Preached Makch 9, L 875, by Rev. Leonard P.acon, D.D. 

Psalm lxxi. it. God, Thod hast taught mi. peow my rouTH. 

Never till this day, in the two hundred and thirty-six years 
since the gathering of this chnrch, has one of its ministers 
lived to see the fiftieth anniversary of his induction into office. 
John Davenport was more than forty years of age when he 
kept that first Sabbath in the wilderness; and. thirty years 
afterward, he resigned his charge and removed to end his days 
in the service of anothei ehnrch. lli> two associates here, firsl 
William Hooker, and then Nicholas Street, were men who had 
Berved elsewhere many years, not only in the national Church 
of England, Imt in New England, before they came to New 
Haven. The first, after a brief ministry as teacher of this 
church, returned to England. The other, succeeding him 
almosl immediately, and continuing six years after the re- 
moval of Davenport, died at an advanced age, bul had served 
this church less than sixteen years, dame- Pierpont, the firsl 
of our pastors horn and educated in this country, died at the 
age of fifty-five, after twenty-nine years of service. The pae 
torate of Joseph Noyes continued forty-five years, including 
three yeaxi after the ordination of his colleague and successor. 
(halluces Whittelsey, though he had never held office in any 
other church, wa- nearh forty years old at the date <,i his 


ordination, and the period of his ministry was only thirty years. 
James Dana was more than fifty years old when he came from 
the church in Wallingford to be Pastor of this church; and in 
less than twenty years he yielded his place to a young man. 
Moses Stuarl was Pastor nol quite four years. Ten years and 
a half were measured between the ordination and the dismis- 
sion of my immediate predecessor, Nathaniel William Taylor. 
Yet of the nine whom I have mentioned as having been 
pastors and teachers in this church, all Bave one died in old 
age, while only the first two and the last three were removed 
otherwise than by death. I have numbered, perhaps, as many 
years of lite as the most aged of my predecessors; but, though 
I was relieved from the burthen of the pastorate eighl years 
and a half ago, I have never been in form, dismissed from the 
office. Therefore I regard myself, and am kindly recognized 
1>\ the church, as 'pastor < rru ritus. Some reason, too, I have 
to believe thai "having obtained help from God," I have nol 
been thus far mischievous in that relation. Neither from my 
gifted and honored successor, nor from the deacon-, nor yet 
from members of the church or of the ecclesiastical society. 

has there come to me even the least or most indirect manifesta- 
tion of any jealous or unkind feeling toward the old minister. 
I have always been in my place here on the Sabbath, unless 
detained by illness or called to some occasional ministry else- 
where. I have not assumed to preside in church meetings, for. 
though still an elder, I am not presiding elder. I am some- 
times commissioned to appear for the church as its Pastor in 
ecclesiastical councils. I am often called to officiate here in 
the preaching of the word, in the celebration of the Lord's Sup- 
per, in the baptism of your children, in the admission of mem- 
bers, as well as from house to house in funeral services, and on 
other occasions of sorrow or of gladness. So, being still in 
some respects a Pastor of the First Church of Chrisl in New 
Haven, and acknowledging the continued respect and kindness 
ifar beyond my deserving) shown me in that relation, I have 
invited sou t.» meet me here to-day for a religious commemora- 
tion of what took place iii this house fifty years ago. 

The ninth of March. 1 S2.">. was one of those bright days 
which introduce the spring. An ecclesiastical council had 


been convened on the preceding day, and had performed all its 
duty preliminary to the public solemnities of the installation. 
Sleeting again that morning, the council, with the Pastor-elect 
and the committees of the church and the society, and with 
clergymen not members of the council, moved in a somewhat 
formal procession from the old lecture-room in Orange street to 
this house. 

Of the members of that council there i> now nor one survi- 
vor. The church in the United Society, the church in Vale 
College, the church in West Haven, and the First, South and 
North churches in Hartford, were present by delegation, all 
>ave two of them represented by both Pastor and messenger. 
The President of Yale College, and my immediate predecessor, 
then in the third year of his service as Professor in the Divinity 
School, were also members of the council by personal invita- 
tion. President Day was moderator, Professor Fitch was 
Bcribe. The public service was begun with prayer by the Rev. 
Carlos Wilcox, whose mini-try in the North Church at Hart- 
ford had just begun and was soon ended. Another Hartford 
Pastor, the Rev. Joel Hawes, preached one of his best sermon.-. 
The venerable Father Stebbins, of West Haven, offered the 
prayer of installation. I>r. Taylor gave the charge, The Rev. 
Samuel Mci-wiu. who had been nineteen years the pastor in the 
• Onited Society, gave the right hand of fellowship, and then 
the closing prayer was offered by the scribe. Professor Fitch. 
This i- nor exactly like the programme of a modern installation, 
with its invocation and scripture reading before what was once 
the introductory prayer, and with it- "charge to the people," 
borrowed from the Presbyterian theory of church government, 
and too often made the vehicle of unseemly quips and joke.-: 
hut fifty yea - ago it was enough. 

fifty veai- ago! What was I then i Where am I QOW \ 

Then, a- I entered this house in the procession, and from the 
high |nil|tit looked over the greal assembly, the thought of the 

responsibility c ing upon me, the thought that within these 

walls the great work of my life was to he wrought, tilled my 

- with tear-. Yet how ignorant was I of what things were 

coming upon me! How inadequate were my anticipations of 

what mv work would he: and. with all mv consciousness of 

122 ONARD BACOtf. 

Insufficiency, bow little did I understand the disproportion 
between myself and the place into which I was inducted! 

To-day, al the cud of fifty years, I come into this house, mid 
where am I' The Bame walls enclose us ; the Bame vaulted 
roof is over lis; the same spire catches the slanting beams of 
Bunrise and of sunset, the same old graves are beneath us, but 
what else remains? Those into whose faces I now look areas 
far removed in time from those into whose faces I looked that 
day, as the congregation thou assembled was from the congre- 
gation in the old "middle brick" meeting-house before the 
declaration of independence, before the battle of Bunker Hill, 
before the first gun of the revolution was tired at Lexington. 
Those now before me who remember that installation are not 
bo many ae there were in that congregation who remembered 
the sacking of Now Haven by the British— an event which 
seems t<» the living generation like a dim tradition from some 
distant age. 

We, too, who remember, are conscious of change in our- 
selves. We are changed in our position and relations, in our 
views and habits — changed by all the difference between child- 
hood or youth and the decline of life. Vet under the con- 
sciousness of change there is a profounder consciousness of 
identity. Our thoughts, in our old age, are not the same that 
they were fifty years ago; our feelings are not the same; we 
look on the world around us a.- through other eves than those 
of our youth: we look forward with xwy different expecta- 
tions and desires; but great as are these changes in the opera- 
tion of our minds, like the changes in our bodily powers and 
function-, the fact that we remember and are at this moment 
bringing into one thought the present and the past, implies — 
nay, is the direct consciousness— that we are, each one of us, 
the same. That which the word "I" stands for, that which 
thinks, and feels, and wills, is permanent through all these 
changes. The earth on which I stood when 1 was a child, is 
the Bame, the sun that shorn- upon me then is the same, the 
changeless north star is the same, bu1 the identity of earth or 
sun or star— the identity even of a material atom in all its com- 
binations and through all the ages, is not more absolute than 
mine or your-. Changes sweep around us changes are ever 


going on within us, but the memory of one's-self is the con- 
sciousness of an identical, permanent, indivisible personality. 
That persona] identity of which we are conscious, running on 
through all changes, thirty, fifty, seventy years, and more- 
must it not continue through the last change and beyond it '. 
Emotion may be transient as the tear or the smile; but the 
soul that remembers it is permanent. Thought may follow 
thought like waves upon the shore, but that which thinks is 
imperishable. Tie who holds that there is thought without a 
thinker, and memory with no mind that remembers, and heroic 
purposes and struggle, but no personal will — or, more briefly, 
he who denies his own personal existence — may deny that he is 
to exist hereafter. But we who remember know that we exist 
— we know that through all the changes around us or within 
us, our indivisible existence is identical; and how can we admit 
that our consciousness of thought and will and memory is not 
immortal? May I not say that He who has brought life and 
immortality to light has made ns conscious of our immortality \ 
Something of that consciousness gleams through the words 
which 1 have selected as a theme for this occasion : "O God, 
Thoii hast taught me from my youth." The Psalmist, " old 
and gray beaded," remembered the years of long ago — how 

when he was ;i child he thought as a child — how when he 
became a man he put away childish things; and, conscious of 
personal identity through the changes of so many years, he 
was conscious that <><>d had been teaching him. Taking the 
hint which these words give me, I make them my own: u O 
God, Thou hasl taught me from my youth." Instead of 
attempting to sum up the story of the changes which have 

taken place iii this church, in our city, in our country, and in 
the world, and which have made this last half century one of 

the most wonderful "in the book of time," I propose to teD 
only of some changes which have been going on in my own 

mind; and, in 30 doing, I hope to preach not myself, hut 
( 'liri-t JesilS the Lord. 

I. How does '""I teach? In what methods, and by what 
mean- and processes, has lie been teaching me? When I 
shall have answered this question, I will mention some of the 
Lessons which I think I have learned though imperfecth 
under 1 1 is teach 


I. There la a divine teaching l»\ means <>t' those physical 
changes which mark the progress from youth to maturity and 
to old age. God lias Keen teaching me in thai way. You 
max stand in the morning sunlighl on one of the hills thai 
overlook our city from the east, and then you may come again 
and survey the same Landscape, from the same point of view, 
in the light of the setting sun. How obvious the difference 
between what you saw at sunrise and what you sec at sunsel I 
There was no illusion in that morning light then' is none in 
the more golden radiance of the later hour. What von saw, 
when the light was behind you and all the shadows fell west- 
ward, was reality : and what von see now. with the shadows 
reversed, is equally real. But yon know the landscape better 
by seeing it first in the morning and then in the evening, than 
if you saw it always in the Bame light. Somewhat like this Is 
the difference between the outlook of the mind in the early 
vigor of its powers and its outlook in later years — a difference 
in the physical conditions of thought and knowledge. While 
til't\ years were passing, what changes have there been in the 
brain, in the nerves, in the entire fabric of the body which the 
sonl inhabits. By means of such changes God is teaching us. 
Fifty years ago, when my eyes were young, when the blood of 
young manhood was in my veins, when the fibre of the brain 
had not attained it- maturity, when all the moods and impulses 
of youth were in full play, it was not possible for me to see 
things a- I saw them at the noon of life, or as I see them now. 
Vet what God had then already taught me is incorporated and 
blended with all that lie has been teaching me even to this 
dav. If we think of the sold as horn not for this mortal life 
Only hut for a great hereafter, we realize in a moment that 

these successive changes in the physical conditions of mental 
activity may he a- truly essential to the soul's development as 
wen- those earlier changes by which the baby on its mother's 
bosom grew to the stature of a man. When I lay helpless on 
niv mother's bosom, God, by physical changes— by growth of 

braiu and nerve and muscle- made it possible for me to speak, 
to walk, to think, to work; and so he taught me. In like 
manlier, by all tin- subsequent changes which make up the 
life of this material organism of ours, He has been teaching 

HAi.r-cExrrKY sermon. 125 

me even to this day. And if there are before me years of 
senility and decrepitude, they too 'will have their place in the 
plan of God's dealing with my soul; and let me say, to the 
last, " < > God, Thou has taught me from my youth." 

'1. God teaches every one of ns by means of <>nr association 
with other minds ; in that method Fie has been teaching me. 
From our infancy onward, all our teachers are. or ought to be, 
(rod's servants, teaching ns. by the direct action of their minds 
on ours, what lie would have us learn. The direct action of 
one mind upon another, communicating knowledge, guiding 
and quickening thought, training the faculties of observation 
and reflection, touching the springs of sensibility, of con- 
science, and of love or hate, and in all these ways moulding 
the character, is what we ordinarily mean by teaching. So 
the mother and father tench their children, and the little 
children of a household teach one another, mind acting upon 
mind. So, all our lives long, we are in close association with 
tin- mind- around us, and. if we are not too untcachable, they 
are always teaching us. 

It i- t i r therefore, as I review (rod's dealings with me for 
these fifty years, that I make some thankful mention of how 
lb- has been teaching me by means of my association with 
other men. older than myself or my coevals, superior to me in 
the gifts of nature and of learning, or my equals. When I came 
to this |>a>toral charge in my inexperience, ami with all The 
rawness of my preparation for The work, my immediate prede- 
cessor, instead of being numbered with the dead or removed to 
some distant po>t of duty, was my neighbor and friend. I 
was never in any formal way his pupil: I did not frequent his 
lecture-room, but in those early years my intercourse with him 
was constant and intimate. Tic direct influence of his mind 
on my thinking supplemented m\ inadequate studies in theol 
ogy. He was then already far the foremost of the living theo- 
logians of New England, aS lie had been one of the fofeii n i.-t 

and most successful of New England Pastors, and my familiar 
intercourse with him taughl me to think and taught me \i< 
preach. It was hardlj a leas privilege to be associated in the 
Bame sorl of intimacy with Professors Fitch and Goodrich, and 
with President Day, who was to me a- venerable then a- he 

; •_'»'. I,K( i\ \ 1:1. i: \i ( >\. 

could ever have been to those who knew him only in the Later 
years of his presidency, or in thai calm, long evening of his 
life which was so beautiful. Nor will I refrain from mention- 
ing in this connection the modesl and worthy man who was 
then Pastor of the church in the United Society, Samuel Mer 
win. lie aever thought himself the peer, either in learning or 
in mental force, of the eminenl men whom I have just named; 
hut he ami I were the only Congregational Pastors in the 
town: there was no line of demarcation between our parishes, 
and pel neither of us had the f aintesl jealousy of the other. 
Our friendship was intimate, our intercourse constant, our 
mutual confidence without reserve. His personal acquaintance 
with the ways of my two surviving predecessors, and with 
their predecessor, and Ids nineteen rears of experience before 
me in the pastoral office, were an advantage to me; and 
through him I became acquainted with the place, with tradi- 
tions and memories then recent, and with the ideas and usages 
of times that were beginning to he old, and were vanishing 

Outside of New Haven then; were other ministers, by 
whom God taught me in those early days; one was Lyman 
Beecher; tor though he removed from Litchfield to Boston 
within a \ear after my installation here, I often saw him and 
was often present with him in those meetings for fraternal 
consultation which he loved; and I rarely saw him without 
catching from him some electric flash of thought, some pithy 
Baying easily remembered lor its wit, and worth remembering 
for it- wisdom, some story of hi- earlier or later experience in 
preaching, or some inspiring suggestion of work to he done for 
Christ and for humanity. Another was Nathaniel He wit, then 
of Fairfield, afterwards of Bridgeport, whose connection with 

the Hillhouse family often brought him to this place. His 
p,,\yer of fascination over a young minister was like that <d' the 
poet's "ancient mariner" over the "wedding guest;" and 
though I was not betrayed by that fascination into an accept- 
ance of his austere and (as I thought), unbiblical theology, nor 
int., the hahit of seeing the presenl and the near future under 
the sombre light which his mind threw oyer them, I learned 
from him many a lesson which I have not forgotten. And yet 


another, under whose influence I came in those early years, and 
whom I never ceased to Love and honor, was Thomas II. Skin- 
ner, then of Philadelphia, and afterwards of New York. 
Through a series of yea is there was hardly a summer when he 
did not visit us. His child-like simplicity of affection and of 
trust, his power as a preacher, his eagerness to discuss the 
most difficult themes in relation to the divine redemption and 

renovation of sinner, all were helpful to me; and, as I look 

back to my youth. 1 bless God for my friendship with that 
saintly man. 

It was my thought to speak of how God taught me by 
my friendly association with men who though I revered them, 
were not ministers of the word. But should I venture in that 
direction the time would fail me. I also intended to speak 
more at length of Borne younger than myself, with whom I 
have Keen a fellow-worker in this ministry, hut I must forbear. 
Yet there are two names nay. three which I must mention. 
If ever there was a man with mental constitution utterly unlike 
mine, that man was Henry <r. Ludlow; always overflowing 
with demonstrative affection and emotion, always ready to 
preach, and never preaching hut with a flame of enthusiasm, 
at one moment weeping in pity or sympathy and at the next 
moment laughing with Borne gush of religious joy. It seemed 
almost as if nothing in him was commensurate with anything 
in me. Yet he loved me. and I eoidd not. if I would, help 
loving him. There was help for both of ue in that friendship; 
for if men love one another, working side by side, they are 
teaching one another by the wry diversity of their gifts. The 
late Dr. Cleaveland became pastor of the Third Church when 

I was in the ninth year of my ministry here; and then, for the 

firsl time, I found myself associated in this half-colleague rela- 
tion with a brother younger than myself lor he was five or 
,-i\ years my junior. Even before his ordination we began to 

he on term- of intimacy, consulting with each other almost 
dail\ ;i- partner- in the same work. I think that in that inti- 

mae\ he learned something from me; and I am confidenl that 
I was taughl something l>\ m\ sympathy with him. and my 

endeavors t" encourage him under the trial-' of hi- early minis- 
try. When he became, at a BOmewhal later period, an alarmist 

1 - s LEON \ l>'l» B \tHN. 

iii theology, and, still Inter, aii extreme conservative in politics, 
our intimacy was sometimes interrupted; hut there was never, 
to hi\ knowledge, anv bitterness between us; and I (rust thai 
rlie mistakes which I thoughl I Baw on Ins part, taughl me 
something. I always knew thai he loved Chrisl and loved the 
truth. And when I think of Dr. Dntton, I know that my long 
Intimacy with him, never interrupted by a distrustful word or 
thonght, was a blessing to both of us. II', in our constant 
intercourse, I as an elder brother was helpful to him, he as a 
younger brother was surely helpful to me. It was good to 
pray with him; good to talk with him; good to work with 
hint. It was good to share his affectionate and ever faithful 
friendship -to see how lie watched for souls, and how kindh 
he visited the suffering or the sorrowing — to see his strenuous 
loyalty to justice and to liberty, hut generous indignation 
against wrong done to others, and his more generous forgetful- 
ness or uneonseioiisiiess of wrong or insult offered to himself. 
Dear Brother Dutton! It seems lonesome, even now, to be 
living on without him. 

Let me say why I have been so particular in these state- 
ments—as much so as I could well he without mentioning the 
name of any living friend. It is because I desired to give my 
testimony on this point for the benefit of younger ministers 
here present, and more especially lor the benefit of the still 
younger men who are hoping to serve in this ministry. God 
teaches the ministers of his word, and helps them to make the 
mosl of what i> in them, by means of their association with 
other ministers. No man who enters the ministry can afford 
to cut himself off from the benefit of constant intercourse. 
free and fraternal, with his neighboring brethren in the same 
ministry. When Pastors and other working ministers forsake 
the assembling of themselves together in brotherly association 
— when they lose the consciousness of partnership inacommon 
work, and cease to meet for consultation and mutual help — 
Then vou may know that the ministry is losing power; that, 
Instead "f the union of hearts and hands which conies from 

conferring together aboul their difficulties, their successes, their 

Studies and their plan- of doing good, there will soon he petty 

estrangements among them, and mean jealousies, and scram- 


Mini:- rivalries — and that, instead of mutual improvement, there 
will be, in too many instances, no improvement at all. The 
minister, however gifted or privileged, who confines his views 
to his own parish as if he had no concern in anybody who is 
not or may not become a pewholder in his congregation, and 
who shuts himself up to his own separate studies, as if none id' 
the brethren around him had any interest in him or any right 
to he benefitted by Ins attainments, will by and by grow stiff 
and narrow in his ways of thinking, and in' his isolation his 
mind will shrivel. When I see a young minister holding hack 
from fraternal intimacy with his brethren, recognizing no obli- 
gation on him to attend their meetings for consultation and 
mutual help, taking an attitude and position as of one who is 
above learning anything from the slow-going old-fashioned 
men who were so unfortunate as to come into the world a few 
years before hini. and assuming that he has nothing in the 
world to do but to work his own parish according to his own 
wisdom, I have notmuch hope of him. A sacred proverb for- 
bidfi n- to indulge any large expectations concerning one who i- 
too wise in his own conceit to learn anything from his seniors 
or from his compeer-. 

For my own part. 1 Bay again with devout acknowledgment, 
that God ha- taught me from my youth even to this day, not 
only in general by means of my association with other minds 
in the various walk- of learning and of business, but especially 
by means of my constant association with other minds in the 
-ame high and sacred employment with myself. When I was 
the youngesl among all the Pastors of the county or of the 
State. I was taught by kindly intercourse with elder brethren 
who had known my lather before me; and. while 1 have been 
growing old in pears, I have endeavored t,» keep myself young 
in mind and Bpiril by familiar intercourse with my younger 

::. I was going to -peak of hook- i- another mode of the 

action of mind upon mind : tor in thai method God has taught 

in,' from m\ \oiith. and i- -till teaching me. hut there is no 
time for what [ would like to say on that point. I have never 
been a greal reader, 1113 lite being too hn-\ for that. Little of 
• iiy iime has been -pent in libraries, nor have I aspired to eirii 

1 30 LEON \ K'l- BACON. 

nence in any departmenl of scholarship. Bui you know there 
is one volume which, above all others, lias been the study of 
my lit'i'tiiiH', and the principles of which, as revealing God t<> 
men and reconciling men to God, it has been my life-work to 
untold and apply. < >ther books have been useful to me chieflj 

as helps to the understanding and expositi f thai volume; 

and from the beginning I have sought- alas that I have not 
sought more earnestly— to make my acquisitions in whatever 
direction subservienl to the great end of announcing, explain- 
ing and promoting that kingdom <>f God among men which is 
the <>ne comprehensive theme of the Bible. Not commenta- 
ries only and honks of Learned exegesis — not theology only in 
Bystems and controversies — hut books in every department of 
knowledge have had for me their chief value in their relation 
to that one volume which has been my text hook, and which is 
above all others, and in distinction from all others, God's own 
book. Philosophy — history — the physical sciences exploring 
all the realms of nature — the sciences of man, of government, 
and of that great complexity of rights ami interests and duties 
by which men arc connected with each other, and which con- 
stitute society and the State- every science that has to do with 
concrete realities — must, sooner or later, pay tribute to Christ 
and become subservient to his kingdom. In that confidence, 1 
have studied my text-book, and have been ready to receive 
whatever light may fall upon its pages. I have never had 
any fear that, in the progress of knowledge, God may he 
eliminated from the universe or Christ from history. The rev- 
elation of God reconciling the world to himself, is what the 
Bible gives us, and what science can never take away. 

4. Omitting, then, all I would gladly say— and perhaps gar- 
rulously — about some hooks other than the Bible, which have 
been eminently helpful t<> me, I proceed to speak, briefly, of 

another method in which God has taught me from my youth. 

Fifty vcar> ago, when I was younger than most young men 
are when they enter a theological seminary. He who gives wis- 
dom t<. those who ask it of Him began to teach me by my 

experience as a Christian Pastor. for the first tWO Or three 

years, as might have been expected, by Bome depressing expe- 
riences there is no need of my describing them they were 


such as come quite naturally to one in the position in which I 
found myself. I had undertaken a work too great for the 
immaturity of my powers and the inadequateness of my 
preparation for it. But from the first, I was not without some 
experience of another sort — the experience of wise and gener- 
ous friendship among my people, and. better still, the expe- 
rience which a Pastor gains by personal contact with souls 
coming to him for guidance in the way of life, and led by his 
counsel to lay hold on the hope set before them. And when, 
ere the third year of my pastorate was completed, there came 
a religions awakening in the congregation, that larger experi- 
ence of the joy of "gathering fruit unto life eternal," taught 
me many a lesson which I could not have learned from years 
of converse with hooks and of earnest meditation. Then, and 
thenceforward, a new light was thrown over my work in the 
pulpit, in the study ami in the parish. There was courage in 
the thought that my labor, had not been in vain in the Lord ; 
and that there were among my people so many who loved me 
because, under my teaching and guidance, in part, they had 
been introduced to the new life in Christ. If I do not deceive 
myself in these reminiscences, the people saw. and my brethren 
in the ministry saw, that I had learned something. Still I fell 
short, far short, of my own ideal, and of the better and more 
experienced ministers with whom I compared myself and was 
compared by other-. I»ut every new reviving in the more than 

forty years of my active pastorate was a fresh experience of 
God'e teaching. Not only my public work in preaching and 
lecture-room talking, hut m\ work from house to house (such 
a- it was), my conference with individuals in various stages of 
religious thoughtfulness, my intercourse with the sick or other- 
wise afflicted, my funeral ministrations, my words of counsel 
and of prayer by the bedside of the dying, poor as al the besl 
they musl have been, were the better and the more valuable for 

all God'fl teaching of me l.\ BUCh experience. 

;.. I hasten to recognize one more ol the methods in which 
(4od has taught me from my youth, namely, by 1 1 is providence 
over me and mine. The events of everj man's individual life, 
the burthens laid upon him. hi- successes and his disappoinl 
ments, the relation- of love and duty in his home, the joys and 

LEON \ l!l> R ^.CON. 

griefs thai alternately brighten and darken bis dwelling these 
and the like are whal we call ('<"V> special providence over 
him; and tlic\ are, from beginning to end, a discipline by 
which God is teaching bim. I think to-day of what God's 
providence over me lias been for three and Beventy years. I 
recall the first dawning of memory and the days of my earlj 
childhood in the -rand old woods of New Connecticut, the 
sainth and self-sacrificing father, the gentle ye1 heroic mother. 
the loe cabin, from whose window we sometimes saw the wild 
deer bounding through the forest glades, the lour dear sisters 
whom I helped to tend, and whom it was my joy to lead in 
their tottering infancy yes, God's providence over me was even 
then teaching me. Our home life, the snowy winter, the blos- 
Boming spring, the earth never ploughed before and yielding 
its first crop to human labor, the giant trees, the wild flowers, 
the wild birds, the I. lithesome squirrels, the wolves which we 
heard bowling through the woods at night, the hears which we 

children heard of and feared, hut never saw, t he redskin savage 

sometimes coming to the d ■, by these things God was making 

impressions on my sold that must remain forever, and without 
which I should nor have been what I am. I remember my 
later boyhood in another home and amid other surroundings — 
the petty mortifications and occasional hardships incidental to 
my position the moral dangers which might bave been my 
ruin but out of which I was strangely delivered — the circum- 
stances that awakened, from time to time, something of reli- 
gious sensibility — the opportunities and means of learning 
which were given me, inadequate, vet inestimable. God's care 
was over me then, and by His providence He was teaching me. 
| remember how. when my father hail found rest in bis grave, 
a)1( | ,,iv mother was a belpless though not friendless widow, 
God answered their prayer for their first-born, and brought me 
to Yale College. And here God taught me not only by the 
ministry of tutors and professors, with their text-books ami 
their lectures, bul also by Hi- special providence over me. 
'i'he peiniiw and dependence, the privations ami, I may say, 
hardships, a- well a- the opportunities of those years, were 
comprehended in the discipline by which God was training 
1,,,.. Bu1 why do I speak of these things? It is more appro- 


priate for me to say, on this occasion, that through these last 
fifty years God's providence over me and mine lias been a con- 
stantly instructive discipline. He gave me a wife whose dear 
memory is tenderly cherished, even now, by all who knew her 
and continue to this day. We set up our home in humble 
fashion, and lie hallowed it and made it happy. He gave us 
children to love with that exquisite affection which parents 
know. He kept us poor, but we had food and raiment, and 
somehow they were paid for. We had no certain dwelling- 
place : but wherever our hired house was for the time, no 
house in the town was more gladsome with the voices of chil- 
dren. For more than fifteen years the shadow of death never 
fell upon our home. I had known sorrow, but there were 
some sorrows which I had never tasted. At last it came, and 
when my youngest horn — just old enough to wonder why his 
father could not help him — was dying in my arms, after a 
short, .-harp illness, ending with the agony of suffocation, ah ! 
that was a new experience, and God was teaching me by it. 
Then, after two more children had been born, and we had 
lived a little while in the house which we could call our own, the 
wife and mother died, and the pleasant house was desolate. 
Well did I know in that dark day, that God's providence was 
teaching me. The children He had left me were dearer than 

ever for her sake a> well ;i> for their own sake, and closely did 
they (dint;" to inc. By mv struggles lor them, and by the ear- 
nest endeavors of the older ones to lighten their father's bur- 
then, God was teaching me. By thai entire experience God 
taught me opening to my bou] the treasures of Mis word, giv- 
ing me some new qualifications tor the mini-try, by which 
those treasures are dispensed. Three vein- had been almost 

completed when a new mother, bringing with her all a true 

mother's love and patience, was given to m\ children; and 

what she ha- been to them and to me, through much ill fi rn lit \ 

and suffering what reason the} have and I have to bless God 
in her behalf ueed not he told to any who know whal im 
home has been for the last eighl and twenty years. 

Bui I inii-i refrain. I have Baid enough to -how whal a 
conviction I have thai all mv life long, and especially through 
the last fifty rears, God's providence over me has been a disci- 

3 I l.l'.oN \ K I » BACON. 

pline, teaching me, training me, making all changes subser- 
vient to the progress of my intellectual and spiritual being. 
Our life itself in this world is one continued course of educa- 
tion and teaching by the providence of llim who created us 
for immortality. 

II. I promised to mention some <>l the lessons which I 
think 1 have learned within these fifty years under God's 
teaching. Bu1 in attempting to redeem that promise I will not 
weary you. Suggestions merely must suffice instead of detail.-. 

••( ) God, Thou hast taught me from my youth." What lias 
God taught me? What have I gained from His teaching? 
,1.; | have gained, from one stage of progress to another, 
clearer and more just conceptions of Christian truth. Mv 
progress in that sort of knowledge was not ended when I came 
from Andover; it is not ended yet. I know more to-day — 
more adequately and exactly — what God reveals to us hy the 
Bible, than I knew fifty years ago — more than I knew ten 
years ago; and I am still a learner, and hope to be a learner to 
the end. (2.) It is partly by those clearer and more just con- 
ceptions of Christian truth, that I have gained a broader liber- 
ality of judgment in regard to theological and ecclesiastical 
di tie re nee- among Christians, and a corresponding enlargement 
of sympathy with all who follow Christ. I trust I am as far 
a> ever from the liberality of indifferentism, hut God has 
taught me, as He is teaching lli> churches everywhere*, thai 
they who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and follow Him are 
agreed in the main thing and may agree to differ in other 
things. (3.) By the same teaching] have gained better views 
of what Christian experience is, and of how the Christian life 
begins and is sustained and manifested. Long ago I learned 
and began to teach- what I did not adequately know at the 
beginning of my ministry -that experience, however con- 
formed to any tradition of what conversion and regeneration 
ought to be must be tested by the character and not the char- 
acter by the experience, and that wherever the Christian char- 
acter appear- in the authentic " fruits of the Spirit" — there is 
ii, , need of inquiring for the story of the psychological process 
in which the character began ; and thus I am learning, more and 
more, to recognize as belonging to Christ all who profess and 


seem to love Him. (4.) I have also gained, and am gaining, 
by the same method, better apprehensions and a more firmly 
grounded faith concerning the future of Christ's work and 
kingdom in the world. 

That future. I am sure of it. and, though I know only in 
part, I know better than I once knew, what it will he. It is 
impossible for one who remembers the last fifty years — the 
most eventful half-century in the world's history, not to believe 
that Christ will reign over all nations — that the spirit of Christ 
will pervade all literature, that all philosophy will pay homage 
to His gospel, that the progress of science and of all the arts 
subservient to human welfare will facilitate the progress of the 
gospel till it shall have conquered the world, and that the 
wheels of time are revolving swiftly to bring the day when 
voices shall be heard on high "praising God and saying the 
kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our 
Lord and of Hi.- ( Ihrist." 

Yes, 1 have seen the coming of the glory of the Lord. I 
bless God that I have lived in such a world as this, and have 
had mv humble part, my work to do, in such an age as this. 
Why Bhould I not say, when the hour of my departure comes, 
•• Now lettesl Thou Thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes 
have seen Thy salvation '." 

1 cannot close Letter than by reading the following, which I 

would ask you to Bing if we had not lost our good old hymn 

books : 

My i rod, my everlasting hope, 

I live upon Thj truth ; 
Thy hands have held my childhood up 

Aii'l strengthened all my youth. 

hae my life new wonders seen 
Repeated everj 
Behold my daj - tha( j el remain, 
I trusl them to Thj care. 

i me ii"i off « hen si rength declines, 
When ho 
And round me lei Thy glory shine 
When* i vanl dies. 

Then in >' 

When men review mj 

II read Thy law in ei i 
In evei \ line Thj pi 



November 24, 1881. 

Psalm cxi/vii, 20. — He hath not dealt so with any nation: and is fob his 
judgments they have not known them. praise ye the lord. 

I attempt this service with hesitation because of my bodily 
infirmity, though tin- service is to me a privilege. Nothing is 
more probable than that tin's is my last opportunity of preach- 
ing a Thanksgiving sermon. Therefore, baying the opportunity, 
I make the attempt, trusting that yon will hear me with kind 
allowance for my failing strength. 

Formerly, the Thanksgiving festival was characteristic of the 
New England States -each State by itself appointing a day for 
the public acknowledgment of God's goodness in the circling 
year. Bui now. our kindred — the children of our New Eng- 
land fathers -have spread themselves over the breadth of the 
continent : and they have carried with them, into all the States 
an<l Territories, some remembrance or tradition of what the old 
Thanksgiving was in New England congregations and New 
England homes; and so, at last, the "venerable usage" is char- 
acteristic of the A.merican people. We meet to-daj nol onlj 
nt the call of our own Governor but also al the call of the Pres- 
ident of the United States. We meel qoI only as citizens of 
this old commonwealth, bu1 as citizens also in that greal union 
of commonwealths which we call the nation. 

This is therefore a national giving of thanks; and we meet 
in tli i> temple that we maj devoutly acknowledge God's wise 

188 le< »nard bacon. 

and gracious providence over our common counl ry. We might 
find matter for devoutly thankful meditation in God's goodness 
toward this eit> of New Haven, or toward our own Connect] 
cut; l»ut let us rather occupy the hourwith tlioughts aboul 
God's dealings with this greal fellowship of States especially 
during the year now drawing to its close. 

A> we turn our thoughts in thai direction, one terrible fact 
seems to darken the whole Held of vision. < >u the fourth of 
March, James &. Garfield was inaugurated President, and a 

new era of peace and splendor over our whole country seemed 

to have begun. The people had placed him in the chair of 
Wellington and of Lincoln because they trusted him ; and 
when they saw his modest dignity in that high station, the 
statesmanlike way in which lie entered on his work, and at the 
same time the republican simplicity of the man and the Chris- 
tian beauty of his domestic life, their admiring confidence in 
him grew stronger day by day. The East and the West, the 
North and the South, were all hoping great things from the 
four years of his administration. But on the second of duly- — 
two days less than four months from his inauguration — he was 
mortally wounded by an assassin's Indict; and as the intelli- 
gence was flashed from the capital, the whole nation was aghast 
with horror, and all good citi/ens of every party felt that they 
had never known before how much they trusted him and loved 
him. Seventy-nine days hi> constitutional strength of body, 
sustained by his heroic will, resisted death; and then he died. 
Every day of that protracted agony had endeared him to the 
people, for the whole nation was watching as it were at his bed- 
side. A.8 they saw the elforts of medical science and surgical 
skill, hope alternating with discouragement — as they saw that 
gentle yet strong-hearted wife nursing her hero, suppressing her 
tears and choking down her anguish that she might cheer him 
with her familiar tones and smiles— as they saw his patience 
like the patience of a martyr, his cheerful trust in God, his 
Christian readiness to die— they loved him as a In-other: manly 
voices broke at the mention of his name; thousands even of 
those wdio were not much given to prayer cried : Pray for him ; 
and when he died, there was never before a national i>rief so 
deep and 80 wide. Where, between the two oceans, was the 


man who did not feel the national bereavement as a persona] 
sorrow '. 

This national calamity — this unanimous national grief — is 
what confronts us first and most conspicuously as we look back 
upon the year. Assembling in the house of God to-day, we 
feel that it i> only a few days since we met hereto hear our 
part in the funeral solemnity so far away ami yet so near. How 
can we keep a national thanksgiving under so dark a cloud? 
— Hbtb? Have we never .learned that Christian song which 
tells as that 

and that 

God moves in a mysterious way 
I [is wonders to perform," 

Behind a frowning providence 
He hides ;\ smiling face "'.' 

Do we not know that what we see is the dark side of the cloud, 
and that, beyond it there is the splendor of the sky? Nay, do 
we not already catch some glimpses of the "silver lining"? 
Do we not see the cloud breaking and its edges tinged with 
gold and crimson '. 

A devout man. belies ing in God's father-care over him, learns 
to say, in view of remembered disappointments and bereave- 
ments, " It was good for me to be afflicted," and so he can be 
thankful even for the discipline of sorrow. May not God's 
••an- for the welfare of a favored nation — not less than his lov- 
ing providence over his individual children, manifest itself, 
sometimes, in visitations of calamity \ In the light of this con- 
sideration let us think of how God has been dealing with i^ as 
a nation while the cloud was hanging over us. 

First, then, we have this to be thankful for in connection with 
that great national Borrow — the call to prayer was n<»t unheeded 
l.\ the people. < >n the third da\ of July last, thai apostolic 
direction concerning public worship: " I exhort that, first ot all. 
supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving ot thanks, be 
made for all nun : for kings and for all that are in authority, 
that we max lead a quiet and peaceable lite in all godliness 
and honesty," was observed, and it has been observed ever 
since that day, as I think it iiad not been observed for a long 
time previous. I have had occasion, at intervals within i he last 


fifteen years, to take notice of the facl (as others nave taken 
notice of ii i thai when our worship in this honse <>n the Lord's 
dav lias been led 1>\ occasional preachers, instead of being led 
l>\ a Pastor in charge of the flock, the prayers have not always 
made mention of the men entrusted with authority in the State 
and in the Union, [ndeed, if I mistake not, prayer for the 
government and the men who administer it —prayer I'm- the 
sovereign people, and for governors and others commissioned 
by the people to administer our public affairs and to provide 
for the common welfare— has been the exception rather than 
the rule in our Lord's day assemblies; I cannot but think that 
it has been so elsewhere, and too generally throughout our 
country. In Protestant Episcopal congregations, prayer fur the 
President and for other- in authority is offered every Lord's 
• day through the year; prayer especially for Congress whenever 
Congress is in session. The same sort of prayer is offered in 
churches of other names, if it so happens that the minister who 
conducts the worship is one whose ideas and ways are in some 
degree old fashioned. But there seem to he some ministers, 
and I fear there are many, who are hardly aware that the assem- 
bly on the Lord's day in the Lord's house is, first of all, an 
assembly for prayer, and still less aware that, of all prayer-meet- 
ings, that meeting of the church and of all who join with it in 
public worship ought to be the most solemn and most effective. 
Too often the thought seems to he that prayer and hymns (and 
sometimes perhaps prayer and music) are appropriate and help- 
ful as accessories to the sermon, and that the people come to- 
gether as hearers only rather than as worshipers. 

But on that third day of .1 uly last, all over the breadth of the 
continent, the feeling in every congregation was that they had 
come together "firsl of all" for " supplications, prayers, inter- 
cessions;" and that they must pray for the President of the 
United States. The assassin's shot startled the nation as if the 
apostolic direction about public worship in Christian assemblies 
had been repeated in thunder. Thenceforward, week after 
week, while the lYeddent lingered between life ami death — 
Sabbath after Sabbath whether it was the Christian Sabbath or 
the Jewish — prayer went up in his behalf from all assemblies. 
Whether the meeting-place was a cathedral or a cabin, it was 


felt to be a place for prayer, and the burthen of prayer was 
everywhere that one burthen of anxiety and sorrow which was 
on the heart of the people. 

The shook, then, which went through the nation with the 
report of that murdering pistol, was a call to prayer, and the 
call was not unheeded. If it is a fact, as 1 trust it is. that, in 
our worshiping assemblies, both ministers and people have been 
[earning a lesson about what belongs to public worship, and 
that henceforward the Sabbath prayer for the President of the 
[Tnited States ami all others in authority shall he as inseparable 
from the common prayer of all the churches as it is from the 
common prayer of Protestant Episcopal congregations, shall we 
not he thankful for the lesson great as is the cost of it '. 

I know there are those who silently or openly are asking, 
What i- tht' use of such prayer? The thought is in some 
hearts. All that prayer brought hack no answer: we prayed, 
and the whole nation prayed that the wounded President mighl 
live, but he' is dead, and what was the use of all that prayer? 
WTiat the use of prayer ! That is an old question, — older than 
the hook of Job. Long before any prayer-guage or prayer-tesl 
was thoughl of, a certain sort of men could say, "What is the 
AJmighty that we Bhould Berve him, and what profit should we 
have if we pray to him '." 1 have known believing soul- who. 

though they could not leave off praying, were perplexed by 
what Beemed to them the inefficacy of their prayers. They had 
prayed, and our Father who is in heaven had not given them 
what tlie\ desired and hoped for. Some such, perhaps, are 

hereto-day, perplexed and beclouded with speculations about 
the efficacy of prayer. We prayed, they are saying in their 
heart.- - we prayed, and tens of thousand- joined with us in the 
prayer thai the illustrious sufferer mighl live; hut all thai 
prayer remains unanswered, he i- dead ; what profil had we? 
Bui think. <> doubting soul, think! What is prayer? I- it 
dictation? or supplication ? Does it command God whal to do 
and what to refrain from doing; or doe- it how down before 
him in the spirit of submission to his will? What is prayer 
I, nt the cry of dependent mid shorl sighted creatures appealing 
t«, the infinite love and the infinite wisdom of God \ I- it your 
theory that your prayer is unanswered and losl unless your 

1 !■_' LEONARD U \ru\. 

desire and your wisdom can be permitted t<» overrule the 
counsels of God I Have you ;i right to say thai your prayer is 

iu»t heard or no1 answered, it it does qo1 suspend the operation 
of those physical laws and forces which God established in his 
work of creation, and by which he rules the world in his provi- 
dence? I know there is ;i current theory which implies all 
this —a theory by which religious souls are often darkened and 
distressed, ami which unbelievers hold when they would en- 
courage themselves and others in an atheist life. It will he a 

great thing tor the health of the churches and for the growth 
of pure and true religion in our country, if this greal instance 
of what such believers and such unbelievers call unanswered 
prayer shall open the eves as well as hearts of all Christian 
worshipers to that other and true theory which makes absolute 
deference to God's wisdom, with childlike submission to his 
will, an essential element in prayer. Thus it was that Paul 
prayed so earnestly and persistently for relief from his thorn in 
his flesh, and was answered by the promise " My grace is suffi- 
cient, for thee." Thus our Lord Jesus prayed, " nay father, 
if it he possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as 
I will hut as thou wilt." Often the (did of our salvation 
answers prayer l 'by terrible things in righteousness." It is 
mere unbelief to say. or to think, that the prayer of this nation 
for its wounded and dying President was all in vain. 

Pet us then hold fast our faith not only that God is. hut that 
he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him. We pray, 
" Give us this day our. daily bread," and it is our privilege to 

Bee h\ faith the hand that feeds us. If we thus pray, our daily 
dread i- God's answer to our daily prayer. True, he feeds the 

ravens also that have not sense enough to pray, and he feeds 
myriads of men that never pray. Put those men, senseless of 
God as the ravens are, five on a lower level of existence than 
that on which men walk with God. Here is the true idea of 
prayer. If we pray in spirit and in truth, prayer brings us 
into communion with God and into a familiar friendship with 
him. It is a mi-take to think that an oiithurst of religious 
feeling or any glow and rapture of meditation is prayer. The 
man who prays has something to a-k for business, as it were, 
r,, be transacted at the throne of grace. He has need of God's 

His last SERMON. 143 

help in relation to this life and in relation to the life hereafter; 
he has work to do; he has duties, cares, affections, hopes and 
fears; and he brings them to his Father. That Father knows 
him, cares for him, listens to him, and answers him with bless- 
ings, (rod is his friend, is with him in his daily life, is taking 
care that all things shall work together for good to him. God's 
friendship is worth more to him than the utmost prosperity of 
those who are without God in the world can he to them. 

The friendship of God is as important to a nation as to an 
individual or a family; and as God befriended Israel of old. so 
he has befriended this nation hitherto. And may we not 
accept it as a token of his friendship, that he has so loudly and 
sharply roused us to the duty and the privilege of prayer for 
those to whom the great trusts of government arc committed. 
That sort of religion which is too spiritual to pray for anything 
so mundane and secular as civil government in the State and 
the nation, is too spiritual for this world of work and conflict. 
Let it retreat into cells and cloister^ let it hide itself in caves 
and deserts; hut let. us have a religion that can pray a- God 
would have as pray for all that are in authority — for the sover- 
eign people, for the President as the prime minister of that 
sovereign, for governor and legislators, for senators and judges. 
Wo to this land of ours, with all it> riches and all its historic 
glory, when the notion shall have prevailed that government in 
this nation, with all that concerns our political existence and 
activity, is too profane a thing, too much within the jurisdiction 
of the god of this world, to he prayed for or thought of in the 
churches. God has warned u- to pray and faint not. Let us 
he thankful tor the warning. 

Another and more obvious effect of our national Borrow may 
well he regarded a- a benefil tor which the nation should give 
thanks. The murder of the President, with that long suspense 
between the shooting and the death, has made the nation more 
conscious of its unitj than ever before. The shock of that 
great crime was fell with equal horror on the shore of either 
ocean, and through all the States from the northern frontier to 
the southern. It was fell may we not >a\ with confidence 
and therefore with thanksgiving ? it was felt not more in New 
York than at New < >rleail8, not more in Boston than in ( 'harle- 

I It LEON \ i:n BACON. 

ton, qoI more in Chicago than at Mobile, not more here in 
\ ( u Haven than in Richmond. Twenty years bad passed 
since the outburst of a civil war thai was to dissolve the Union, 
and sixteen years since the surrender of " the lost cause." The 
process of reconstruction with all its painful and exasperating 
incidents had been completed. The South and the North were 
slowh yet manifestly coming into relations of amity and mutual 

respect. But still there seemed to remain some hot emhers in 

the ashes of old enmity, and there was the possibility that those 
embers might by some malignant breath of faction be kindled 
into page. May we not say to-day that the last embers of enmity 
between the North and South have been extinguished in the 
common sorrow? Among the people who, only sixteen years 
ago, laid down their amis before the victorious forces of the 
Union, there was no other feeling than that a horrible crime 
had Keen committed against them. Thevr President had Keen 
shot and not merely a Northern President; the horror and the 
-rief were theirs and not ours only. The negroes of the South 
and those who had been their masters mourned together and 
lifted up their hands in prayer with one accord. In the first 
horror, in the Long anxiety, in the national grief and funeral, 
then- was an awakened consciousness — thrilling from the North 
to the South and from ocean to ocean — that we are one people. 
Thus when to the industrial exhibition in the chief city of 
( reorgia there came the products of the South and tin- machin- 
ery of the North, all saw. all felt, and all rejoiced to feel that 

in this great Union of States there are no antagonist interests ; 
that the prosperity of each contributes to the prosperity of all ; 

and that if one member sutler all the members suffer with it. 

There is yet another consideration pressing upon as. ('an we 
forget the expressions of international regard and sympathy 
that were called forth by our affliction? There is no need of 
my telling you what they were. Let me rather ask. What did 

they signify '. What do they signify to us as we remember 
them \ When the sovereign of the British empir< — Queen and 
Empresi — was sending her messages of tender and anxious 
inquiry, those messages told us indeed that "a true woman's 
heart was beating under the royal purple.'* but that was not the 

Whole significance to US. When all the potentates of Chris- 


tendon] and the rulers also of Mohammedan and pagan empires 
sent, through their embassador and minister, the homage of 
their sympathy, what was the reason, what the signification of 
the fact \ When, at the telegraphic announcement of the death 
of James A. Garfield, the bells of old cathedrals and parish 
churches in England and Scotland were tolled a- if responding 
to the bells that were tolling on this side of the Atlantic; 
when, on the day of our President's funeral, the symbols of 
mourning were hung out in London as if London itself were 
one of our cities ; when that widowed Queen (at the mention 
of whose name American hearts reply "God bless her" more 
fervently, perhaps, than if there had never been a Declaration 
of Independence) sent her loving words of condolence to the 
widow of our President and to his venerable mother, the back- 
woods farmer's widow; what was the meaning, to us, of all this 
international sympathy \ 

The circle of a hundred years has just been completed since 
that surrender which ensured and virtually certified to the 
world the independence of the United State-. Between that 
1 9th of October, LY81, which saw the surrender at Yorktown, 
and that L9th of October, t.881, which saw our national salute 
to the imperial flag of Great Britain oh the spot where it had 
been -truck in acknowledgment of defeat, there had been a 
century of progress. International animosities are losing their 
old bitterness. International sympathies are growing stronger. 
We Bee this- and it is much to be thankful for — in the expres- 
sions of regard and sympathy which have come to as in our 
national affliction. But we cannot fail to see that they signify 
to ii- more than this. The feeble Onion of thirteen State-, as 
the\ were in 1781, with their population of less than three mil- 
lions scattered along the Atlantic coast, lias become the firmij 
compacted Union of thirty-nine State- with a population of fift_\ 

millions. We have be< e let u- uol say //<• foremost, hut — 

one of the foremost power- of the world. All nations are 
looking towards as, not in fear (God forbid that they should 
have reason to fear as!) bul in wonder at our advancement in 
population, in wealth, in all the elements of civilization, and 
a- they look the\ are learning how greal a blessing from God a 
government like our- self-government may he to a people 
capable of gelf-go^ eminent. 

I l''> LEON \ RD B \< ION. 

Remember, then, our national responsibility. Thai is the 
thought which ends my sen ice here to-day. A national thanks- 
giving oughl t<> quicken the sense "I national responsibility. 
\\ li;ii the twentieth century, now drawing near, i> ti> be for the 
millions upon millions thai are t<> Inhabil iliis land of ours 
what ii i*- to be for tin' whole world — will he determined largely 
by what fhc people <>t" the United States arc and what they do 
in the nineteen years that arc yet to he numbered in the nine- 
teenth centurj . 

In that national responsibility each individual citizen has his 


Rev. Timothy Dwight, D.D. 

j i, .,,- Sir — The officers of the First Church and Ecclesiastical Society in New 
Haven have appointed us a committee to thank you for your very appreciative 
and tender address delivered at the funeral of our late Pastor, Rev. Leonard 
Bacon, D.D.. and to request a copy of it for publication. 

We are with great respect very sincerely yours, 

H. <'. Kixusxey, 
L. J. Sanford, 
T. R. Trow brum ;k. Jr. 
New Haven. January !■">. 

Messrs. Henry C. Kingsley, Leonard J. Sanford, Thos. R. Trowbridge, Jr. : 
Heme — In reply to yonr kind note of the L5th, allow me to say thai it is a 
matter of much gratification to me to know that the words which were spoken, 
from the depth of my own feeling, al the funeral of Dr. Bacon were such as to 
meet the approval of his friends in the church ami congregation whose pastorate 
he held for so many years. I:' it \\ ill be a p and to others to 

rve the a. idn-- a- a memorial of the friend whom we all bo sincerely love 

and honor I shall I"- happy to place it in your hands for publication. 
With much respect, I am yours very truly. 

Timothy Dwight. 
New Haven, January 19, 1882. 


By Prof. Timothy Dwight, at the Funeral of 
Rev. Leonard Bacon, D.D. 

December 27, 1881. 

We nicer together, this afternoon, as a company of friends 
— almost as the members of a single family, — -that we may 
render the last service of regard and kindly affection to a man 
who ha.- long been held in honor by as all. We meet in this 
House of Public Worship, rather than at his own home. 
because no private dwelling could receive within its walls the 
large aumbers who, by reason of his departure from among ns, 
arc tilled with ;i sense of personal bereavement, and because it 
seems fitting that one who has for so many years borne witness 
here tor the truth and for Grod should be carried to his burial 

fr this consecrated place. Bui we do not meet for the utter- 

ance and hearing of formal eulogy, <>r for the minute Betting 

forth of those events and works which have made his career so 
remarkable. A time lor this will he asked for, and will be 
found, by the community when, the firsl freshness of our grief 
having passed away, we may he able more calmly ami thought- 
fully t<> estimate what he was and what he did. A great man 
and a (rood man. such an one as does not often live in any 

city, large or -mall. the full narrative of hi.- life, whether told 

l,\ - i competenl and loving fellow-worker in the good cause 

here to aii assembly of hi- townsmen, or recorded in a volume 

which m;i\ bear to other regions ami another generation the 
knowledge of hi- character and hi- influence, cannol hut he a 

I .'hi LEON \i;i> B \< <>\. 

blessing to ever} one to whose serious reflection it may presenl 
itself, li would be a loss indeed, it' the story were not, a1 
some earh moment, to be thus given to the world. To-day, 
however, we only speak to one another as if a sorrowing house- 
hold, sorrowing mosl of all for the word which we have heard, 
thai we shall see his face no more. Our thoughts are voiced, 
as it were, in a half-suppressed whisper of affection ami grate- 
t'ul memory in the very presence of the "lead. They arc 
spoken by one of the company to the- rest, in the few moments 
before we >av our last farewell at his open grave. They can 
not review the past history. They musl be imperfeel even as 
related to the fullness of what we feel. The talk by the tire- 
side on many a Sunday evening in our several homes; the 
tender recollections in many an hour of converse with our own 
minds, these alone will complete the picture to each one 
among us of the friend who has just left the things that are 
seen for those that are unseen. Ami vet — as in the family 
circle— we cannot help recalling, even at this hour, some traits 
of his character, and asking the questions, What, of the past, 
and What of the future \ 

Our friend who has now finished bis earthly work was a man 
of varied power- and of admirable qualities, both of mind and 
heart. He was made by nature on a grand scale. We who 
knew him as a fellow-citizen and a friend came to understand 
this more ami more fully as the years passed on. Those, also, 
who merely -aw his face, and heard of him or from him in 
other place-, were impressed by the same thought. No man 
could read a page of his writings or listen to one of his more 
powerful discourses, without having some true appreciation of 
his extraordinary ability. We have often said this, as we have 
,-poken alioul him in the past. We -ay it again, and with a 
deeper sense of it> truth, if possible, at this hour. And why 
should we not allude to it even here, as his mortal part still lies 
before us. It i- not as praise to him that it come.- to our lips 

'which. ;it SUch a time, he might wish to he left II lie\ pre-.-cd i. 

hut a- a grateful remembrance for ourselves. These powers 
and qualities made up the life of the man. They rendered 

him what he was to our thought. They will c;iu.-e him to lie ;i 
living influence \<>f us in the future. 


A.- I bring him once more before my mind, he appears as a 

man of wonderful memory; of clear perception of truth; of 
that Logical power which belongs, not indeed to the authors of 
systems of philosophy, but to the ablest advocates in the con- 
flicts of thought; of wide and comprehensive mental grasp; of 
;i rhetorical .-kill and culture characteristic of the best writers 
of <>ur language; of an uncommon poetic sense and feeling; of 
such extraordinary suggestiveness and fertility in ideas, that his 
mind could never lie inactive or at rest; of so exquisite humor 
that it was a continual charm to listen to Ins conversation: of a 
native dignity of expression which everywhere compelled 
respect; of a beautiful combination of intellectual vigor and 
tender feeling. I low often have we found him, when questions 
of the past were before us, ready to bring forth from the store- 
house of his recollections those minute details and that fresh- 
ness of living fact which contain within them the reality of 
history. lie seems, from his earliest years, to have seized upon 
all that he heard from persons who were older than himself, 
and to have laid it aside in his mind for use at any moment. 
His remembrance was in this way prolonged, if we may so 
express it. over a period of half a century or more before, the 
time of his birth. It was thus enabled to realize for himself 
and for u> the earlier life of New England, and in a high 
degree that of the city where he and we have found our home. 
His reading, also, carried him back into the more distant past. 
Men-, again, the accuracy of memory brought everything into 
hie lasting possession. He was an authority with regard to his 
torical facts and date-. He had a most lively interest in all that 
was interesting in ever) period and in every land. He com- 
prehended and entered sympathetically into the struggles of 
other ages, and. while he lived with an enthusiasm tor the pres- 
ent beyond thai of mosl men who know little of what is he- 
hind it. he fired the energies of his spirit by the example of 
the heroes and martyrs of liberty and of faith. I am Bure thai 
the men who fought lor their rights againsl tyranny and op 
pression in England two centuries ago and more would have 
recognized him a- a kindred spirit, and would have seen in 
him. a- he carried on the conflict in this later day, the influence 
of their own live-. Truly, we have lo-t iii hi- dying much of 

I 52 LEON WM> !'■ ICON. 

the past; much which had been within Ins own experience 
much more which was so made ;i reality through his memory "l 
what he had heard and read, thai il seemed as if he must have 

experienced it. I feel that the world lias, in a certain sense, 
grown younger to us all than il was a few days ago, from the 
passing away of what was in his recollection. 

Mow quickly, also, his mind moved, lie had more new and 
fresh thoughts in a day, we may almost say, than most men. 
even men of culture, have in a week. I never knew a mind 
more rich in ideas, more constantly active, more awake in every 
direction, more ready to effervesce and scintillate with bright 
thoughts, when aroused by the exei'temenl of intelligent con- 
versation. As St. Paul's ideas seem to have pressed for 
utterance, oftentimes, more rapidly than the pen of his amanu- 
ensis could record them, so in the Case of our friend I have 
sometimes felt that the mind was unable to contain all that was 
in it, and that, as he poured forth his thought in its abundance, 
he was, as it were, only thinking aloud. lie was not. however, 
like some men, a constant talker. lie could he silent in the 
contentment of his own meditation as easily as he could speak. 
But he needed only to he stimulated by the presence and dis- 
cussion of cultivated friends, and his mind opened at once in 
every beautiful way. The rich resources of memory, the pre- 
cision of his thinking, the play of keen wit. the love of truth, 
the purity of sentiment, the facility of language, which were 
characteristic of him. all combined to make the expression of 
hi- thoughts delightful to the hearer. 

There are few persons within the circle of our knowledge] 
am confident, who exhibit in their style so much of rhetorical 
finish and of the purest English expression. Every sentence, 
whether written or spoken, appeared to fall, as by a natural 
law. into the proper order and to assume a rich musical charac- 
ter, kindred even to that which has given to the English version 
of th«- Scriptures such power over multitudes of minds. It was 
this, in a large measure, together with bis appreciative sense of 
what was fitting, which made u> all trust him in an\ emergency 

to say the right word- in the righl way. What a sweet and. 
-oleum -train, a- if coming down the ages from the times even 
,,f the old prophet,-, there wa> in his prayer-. What a 


measured eloquence in his best discourses from tihe pulpit, and 
in his orations on the memorial and festive days of the com- 
monwealth. What a charming picturesqueness when he told of 
the simple life of our grandfathers or of the trying times of our 
Revolutionary history. We turned to him, as by a unanimous 
impulse, whenever the spirit of patriotism was to he tired, or 
the gratitude of the people to God for our national blessings 
was to find its hot expression, because we knew that his words 
would be fitly spoken — would be, in the language of the Old 
Testament writer, like apples of gold in pictures of silver. 
The grand march of the ages appears also in some of his 
hymns, as in that which opens with the words, 

■■ 1 1 God, beneath thy guiding hand, 

Our exiled fathers crossed the sea: 
\nd when they trod the wintry strand. 

With prayer and psalm they worshipped thee," 

and the true poetic and tender emotion, which were SO marked 
in hie nature, manifests itself in others, such as that whose 
beginning i>, 

"Weep qoI for the saint that ascends 
To partake of the joys of the sky." 

or the hymn for the evening twilight, 

" Hail tranquil hour of closing day.' 

This last-mentioned characteristic of his mind was most beau- 
tifully exhibited- as bo many here present know better than 
any one can tell them — in those seasons of sorrow when he was 
called, in the households of his people, to do for the dead what 
we are now doing for him. I shall never forge! tin- pathos, and 

( Ihristian tenderness, and sweel utterance of hope and confidence 
with whieh he guided our thoughts along the uncertain future 
ol life, and to the Kingdom of God in heaven, as we were cele- 
brating the Lord'- Supper in the Divinity School at the close 
of the lasl college year. It was at about that time that the 
tir-t warnings were given to his mind that he mighl ere long 
he called away to another lib', and he may have been thinking 
then of wlut has now been realized. 

With what brilliancy of intelligence, what Btrength of clear 

reasoning, what effectiveness of wit. what manliness of \'\-{-{> 

debate, he r, >n t en< le< I for righteOUSneSS ami truth, when the hat 


tie was raging around him. There have heen few statesmen in 
the country who have sounded the clarion notes so often as he 
has done. There are man\ in this house who recall the old 
days of the contesl between the slave power and the free in our 
nation, especially in the later stages of i1 : and where in all the 
land is there a more conspicuous figure, rising before our inem- 
on of thai warfare, than tins honored man whom we bury 
to-day I lit- would have accomplished the end by peaceful 
measures, if he could. But when he saw that there was no 

peace thai there was to he and 1 1 1 list he a war of ideas, he 
threw himself with energy and with eloquence into the strife. 
And when the conflict of argument was followed by the war of 
arms, his voice and his heart were wholly ami constantly for 
the country until the hour when victory was secured for the 
right. lie was a true patriot. It has heen said that his writ- 
ings established Abraham Lincoln in his opposition to the 
slave-system ; and thus we may gain some estimate of what he 
accomplished for the good cause. We speak in his praise, at 
this hour, for what he did in those days now happily gone into 
the past. But, when we arc thinking of him' as a man. we 
rej«»iee that anion-- the grounds of our admiration and our 
friendship are the powers of heart and mind which made him, 
then and always, what Fie was in the warfare for the truth. 

In his stormiest conflict with the enemies of right and the 
common weal, however, I do not helieve that our venerated 
friend had any personal bitterness. He had a deep sense of 
righteousness, a strong conviction of the truth. But his oppo- 
sition was to what was false and wrong. If was not a private 
hostility. He was a genuine lover of freedom. He had the 
courage of a soldier when he had once committed himseli to 
the battle. He even gloried in being presenl in the thickest oi 
the fight, with all its excitement and its danger. Vet it was 

the cause thai he fought for, not his own reputation. He was 
as little. inspired by selfishness or ignoble feeling as any man 
whom I have ever met. 

In the conflicts on less vital subjects than the one just men- 
tioned, it ha- often been the play and force of his intellect 
alone which have heen engaged. He was always, no doubt, a 
formidable controversialist. He rejoiced in debate and discus- 


sion, and was ready for it at any moment. But he was by do 
mean- a passionate, or a jealons, or in any war a bad-hearted 
opponent. He never desired to do evil to another. He never 
cherished the remembrance of evil inflicted by another upon 
himself. He never waited and watched for an hour of requi- 
tal or revenge. For sixteen years my associate professors in 
the Divinity School and myself have had the most constant 
opportunities for the closest intercourse with him ; and it is our 
united and joyful testimony, as it is that of his two colleagues in 
the pastorate, that we have never had the acquaintance of a man 

of Qobler temper, of more kindly nature, of a -e beautiful 

spirit as related to fellow-workers, of more freedom from sus- 
piciousness "i- jealousy of other men, of larger-heartedness — a 
man, in a word, to whom we could give our affection and 
esteem more willingly than to him. And though lie doe> not 
need our testimony where he i> revered by every one. as he is 
in New Haven, it is a satisfaction tons to give it, as we rind 
ourselves bereft of his presence for all the future of our lives. 
The A postle John i> called a Sou of Thunder in the gospel by 
St. Mark. To some it has appeared strange that such a man 
could afterward- become the gentle, loving disciple who leaned 
upon the breast of Jesus, and who. in hi.- latesl days, made it 
the burden of hia exhortation to his Christian brethren, thai 

they should love one another. In the case of the friend whose 
loss we mourn to-day, it was the heat of the conflict and the 
zeal tor the truth (as il may have been in the apostle's early 

days), which made him to the view of many, a man of hitter 

hostility. But i: was only the armor and the smoke of the hat- 
tie, which were concealing the man-. How (dearly, in these >i\ 
teen years of which I have Bpoken, the reality of the nature 

has shone forth, and has proved that the combatant, who was 

full of the BOldiei^S -pil'it as he fought for the cause, was at the 

same momenl abounding in kindliness ami love towards all 
men. How plainly, also, those years of intercourse with him 
have manifested to n> who looked upon his daily life I he loving 
character of his personal relation to the Master, tie was like 
Peter and Paul in his labors, his energy, his earnestness, his 
ability and readiness to sound the notes of battle; hm in hia 
own soul's life he had much of the simplicity and beaut) of 
the Johannean h>\ e to ( Ihrist. 

1 5ti LEON UiD BACON. 

Our honored Friend was magnanimous; he was generous 5 lie 
was always disposed to aid in any work in which lie wan 
engaged with associates; lie had no desire to take away from 
the honor or reward of others in order to increase his own ; he 
was a hearts believer in the powers and capabilities of young 
men, and was hopeful for them ; he was ever a promoter and 
advocate of the highesl well-being of the community. He had 
the kindly instincts of a true gentleman, lie had the trustful, 
serious, self-sacrificing, devoted, manly, godly spirit of a sincere 
< Ihristian. 

How much he did for New Haven can be measured and esti- 
mated best by observing what a place he holds in the regard of 
hi> fellow citizens, and what weight has. for these many years. 
been given by them to his opinions and his words. He has 
been identified with the life of the city for half a century. Its 
interests have been near to his thoughts and to his heart. His 
energies and his wisdom have responded to its call whenever 
they were needed. It has been an interesting sight to see him, 
in his later life, as he walked about the streets. Others have 
spoken to me of it, and I have often thought of it myself, as a 
noble element in our life here, that a man like him who has 
contended for more than a generation against evil, and in the 
name of God has warned and rebuked evil-doers, — a man who 
has had no favors to ask or to give, but who has simply tried 
to do the Great Master's work and to speak for him, no matter 
who opposed or threatened, — should have been able to gather 
around himself at the end the veneration of men of every part) 
in Church and State, of the poor and the rich alike, of the for- 
eign citizen as well as the one horn upon the soil, and should pass 
the bright and lovely evening of his lifetime without an enemy. 
I am glad that our eye;- have been permitted to witness this 
sight, and that the city of our abode has this honor for itself . 

The n; • of Leonard Bacon will surely be always enrolled 

among the number of those to which the highest place is as- 
signed in the history of New Haven. 

Our friend's career had a remarkable completeness. He had 
lived beyond the ordinary limits of human life, and in two 
month- more would have seen hie eightieth birthday. And all 
the rears from childhood onward were full of work. From his 


early maturity, even from his college days, he won the esteem 
of all who knew him best, both for his mental power and his 
moral excellence. At the age of twenty-three, when most 
young men are still in the work of preparation, he was called to 
the pastorate of this Church of Christ. Though scarcely more 
than a boy in years, he proved himself t<> be no unworthy suc- 
cessor of the ablest men who had preceded him. He took a 
high rank as a preacher, and as a man he was among those 
whose power was felt throughout the community and the com- 
monwealth. For fortv years, a period as important as any in 
the country's history, he labored in this office, giving his daily 
service to his people, hut striving for the good cause, also, in 
the regions beyond. lie worked steadily onward until he had 
survived the older generation to whom he ministered at first, 
and then he handed on the message of the Gospel to their chil- 
dren, and even their grandchildren. But he lost none of his 

Btrength ami ardor a.- ti passed away. For a great many 

years before he laid aside his active work here, he was the most 
conspicuous leader in the Congregational ministry, while none 
in any branch of the Church held a more prominent place. 
He made this Church to he known and honored everywhere. 
At the end of thi> extended period he said to his people that 
he had served them long enough for their highest well-being, 
and asked them to give the work ami the responsibility of his 
office to another. Then he devoted himself with all the enthu- 
siasm ot youth to a new employment. He became a teacher of 
Doctrinal Theology, a successor in the Divinity School of our 
University of the distinguished divine whom he had also fol- 
lowed in the pastorate. In tin- new position he found delight- 
ful occupation. He gave to hi,- pupil- the fruits of his long 
years ot' thought and of learning, and he ever kept his mind 
open to the truth. W'hfii this position was subsequently filled, 
in accordance with hi- own view-, by the gentleman who now 
holds it. In' took, at t he urgent request of his colleagues, another 
chair of instruction. To ten successive classes of students he 
ha- lectured upon Church Polity and American Church His- 
tory, subjects respecting which lie was as well qualified to com- 
municate valuable knowledge as an} man in the country. Mis 
work in this lectureship continued t" the latesl moment. I 



found liini ..ii Thursday afternoon of lasl week giving the con- 
cluding lecture of the term, and before the sun liad risen on 
ih t . -re. .ml morning afterwards his life on earth was over. 

Success and honor attended him in both spheres of his activ- 
ity from the beginning to the ending. He had the conscious- 
ness that be \\a> doing good Bervice, which would be lasting in 
its influence, both in this ( Jhurch and in our Theological School. 
To whal be bas done for the former the Christian knowledge 
and Christian thoughl of many among the living and the dead 
have borne witness in the past. The Christian life itself in 
others has owed its beginning to his teaching and his prayers. 
Even in these declining years of Ins old age, he lias almost 
resumed the duties of its pastor and has thus centralized its 
Church life in himself in no small degree. His work in the 
School of Theology, <>n the other hand, is well known to Ids 
associates and to mai>v of its friends. For his efforts to estab- 
lish the school on the host foundations, and to give it its 
highest efficiency and an honorable fame, the churches 
throughout the land may well be grateful to G-od. For his 
instructions and his personal influence more than three hun- 
dred ministers now in the work of the Gospel in different 
parts of the country and the world remember him with un- 
feigned regard, while they all have a tender feeling towards 
him as a venerated father and friend. 

The greal causes for which he has labored have always been 
good one- als... and to a remarkable degree his efforts have 
Keen manifestly attended with good results. He has rejoiced 
for years in the victory of freedom and of the cause of the 
Union, for which he strove so long and so well. His mind 
which has had such extraordinary interest in the progress of 
the world, has been granted the vision of the wonderful things 
both for science and for Christianity accomplished in our 
generation. He has passed his lifetime in an intellectual 
circle and in a cultivated city. He has known the greatesl 
earthlj blessing a happy home, sacred in its joys, and equally 
aacred in it- sorrows. He has >n'\\ his children grow up 
around him and find for themselves spheres of usefulness and 
honor, while their children also have added to the comfort and 
satisfaction of his old age. He has been perinitted to behold 


the sunlight of heaven shining along his pathway, as the end 
of liis earthly pilgrimage began to draw nearer. He has had 
the privilege of working to the last, with all the freshness of 
his mental vigor and all the buoyancy of an ardent soul, lie 
has died almost in a moment, and almost without a struo-gle. 
Bappy life,— we say to one another. — who could have wished 
it to he otherwise in its progress or in its closing? 

The closing was at the hour of earliest dawn on Saturday 
last. It was a falling asleep, as we call it. But the sleep was 
only of the bodily powers. The active spirit passed at that 
moment beyond our earthly vision to its home. As the tidings 
came to as so suddenly, I could not but ask myself in the hours 
that immediately followed. What is the new experience through 
which he is now going? We often think of the great account 
and the solemn judgment when life i» ended ; and even serious 
mind must feel the influence of this coming scene as giving to 
all that we do here ;i deep significance. But, as I tried to pic- 
ture to myself the beginning of the new state of existence for 
our venerated friend, in those first hours, I could not help 
thinking that the judgment was found in his cast- to he all com- 
prehended in a Father's welcome to the heavenly house. May 
we not believe that dying was to him hut the closing of his 
eyes to the familiar surroundings of the home in which he had 
lived bo long and so happily, and the opening them a single 
moment afterward to the other home beyond our sight; and. 
thus, that there was do interval or waiting. 

Every sudden death brings the unseen world very ©lose to our 
thought, and Beems to show us that it is only a thin, though im- 
penetrable, veil that separates life here from life there. Bui 
when we find n man like him whose departure from as we now 
mourn dying so suddenly, we are almosl forced to think that 
any break or interruption in the menial ami spiritual work i> im- 
possible. Our friend. .,n the lasl evening, was engaged in the 
preparation of a paper upon one of the vital questions, of our 
national life, lie left it lying "ii hi- table unfinished, as he 
retired to real for the night. It was, like bo many that he had 
written before, a discussion of an evil which has long disgraced 
the nation, and was designed to inspire the public mind with 
right ideas, and t<> help, in some measure, towards a good result. 

NEON \ Kl' ft U'ON. 

Iii the morning, instead of returning to his study table and re- 
suming lii- work, as he had expected to do, he saw the veil part- 
ing asunder, and, in answer to a call from the Divine Master, he 
entered within it. And then il closed behind him. Thai was 
all. Surety we mus1 believe thai in thai other room, or other 
home, he found another work all ready for him to begin, and 
thai he at once turned to if ; employing now his unwearied and 
widely-ranging powers, nol indeed in the removing oi evil, for 
this no longer manifests its presence, bu1 in some line of 303 
and blessing, in some service of love and good-will. ^ esterday, 
;lt home in the body, and therefore absent from the Lord. To- 
day, absent from the body and at home with the Lord. What 
a wonderful — what a wonderfully blessed experience!. Who of 

US would ii"t wish for the saint' experience for himself, when 
the end conies I The dying of our friend seems little like death. 
It seems, rather, like what St. Paul speaks of when he says in 
such expressive language, " That which is mortal is swallowed 

up of life." 

I think of OUT honored friend, once more, as he comes into 
The society of kindred souls in that other life. What does the 

heavenly vision reveal to us % A mind like his, which has so 
realized the life of other times within itself, must, as it would 
seem now tind itself associated with the perfected spirits of the 
early Christian fathers of our own city and New England— 
with men like Hooker and Davenport and Pierpont and Brews- 
ter. It must he brought into union with the heroes of civil and 
religious liberty who struggled for the good cause in former 
ages and generations in this or other lands, some of whom died 
in the dark days of the conflict, and some with the first sight of 
tin' victory. It must ally itself with those who have from the 
beginning been honored by God with a summons to a peculiar 
and illustrious work for Ilim on earth and with the thankful 
remembrance of succeeding generations. It must draw very 
uear to the glorious company of the A-postles, and the goodly 

fellowship of the Prophets, and the noble army of the Martyrs. 

The assemblage of the great and good must gladly open their 

rank- to welcome such a man. as he enters on hi- new life, ran- 
somed like themselves from the power of sin. and received by 
their Lord and hi- with a divine benediction. 


I think of him, also, as joyfully meeting with the brethren 
in the ministry of the Gospel with whom he labored here before 
old age had come ii]>< «n him, and to whom he bade farewell long 
since as they went to heaven; with the brethren and fathers 
elsewhere, also, whom he knew and honored as they equally 
knew and honored him; with that little company of faithful 
men. whose presence among as the older portion of this 
audience well remember, the men who made up so large a part 
of the life of Yale College for half a century, Day and Silliman 
and Kingsley and Goodrich, and the rest. A> they recognized 
him in the days gone by as their associate and helper, it must 
l»c with an especial joy that they see him again, new that, after 
BO long a time, he i> admitted once more into their society, his 
work on earth so happily completed. 

We think of him even more tenderly, as we try to realize his 
reunion with the great number of believers who have listened 
to his teachings and his prayers in this ancient church, hut have 
finished their earthly course before, him. For more than fifty 
veal'- they have been entering, one by one. into the world to 
which he ha- now been called, and in their happy thanksgivings 
for their own blessed life in heaven we may not doubt that they 
have often borne hi- name upon their hearts. As he has fol- 
lowed them to the saTme glorious home and is beginning his new- 
life there, what must he their feeling and the holy greeting 
which they give, lie stands among them a loving and beloved 
friend, to find. f<»r all the future, the happiness of his soul 
manifolded by the happiness of theirs; the satisfaction in his 
life's work dei pencil and heightened continually as he is able to 
appreciate more fully the measure of it- g I results. 

Ami. if we may draw -till nearer to the imnosl circle of his 
pasl life, we think of him. -till again, a- Beeing mice more the 
members of hi- family whom God ha- taken to Himself in 
other year-; anion- them that one who cared for him with an 

eldesl daughter's affection for bo Ion-- a period, and at whose 

grave we >aw him standing, it seems as if Inn a few oths 

since; ami that gentle, loving -on. whose death in the prime of 
his age was so greal a loss to the church and the ministry, the 
beauty oi whose Christian living ami whose generous spirit, 
which had -hone -. . clearh all the wa\ through life, seemed to 

169 LEONARD I! \ri)N. 

beam forth with an almost unearthly brightness when, in the 
later hours of the day before his death lit- said, " It may be thai 
to-morrow 1 shall be allowed to touch the hem of the Saviour's 
garment." We may nol trust ourselves with the thought 
of such a meeting. But it must be one which passes in its joy 
the power of our presenl understanding, and one which shall 
be followed by a happy, hopeful waiting for those who are left 
on earth. 

Aim! then, above and beyond all else, there is revealed to US 

the vision with which the New Testament prophet was blessed. 
"They serve Eim day and night in His temple, lie that sit 

teth ou the throne shall spread his tahernacle over them. They 
shall. hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall 
the sun strike upon them, nor any heat ; for the Lamb which 
is in the midst of the throne shall he their shepherd, and shall 
guide them unto fountains of waters of life; and God shall 
wipe away every tear from their eves." 

Such was the past, and such, we may believe, will he the 
future for this noble Christian preacher and teacher, this pure- 
minded Lover of his country and of mankind, this friend of 
on r> who labored and prayed for the kingdom of God unceas- 
ingly until he had almost reached the age of eighty years, and 
then in a moment, and in answer to a sudden call, went to his 

A mortal arrow pierced his frame, 
II'' fell — but felt no fear. 

Tranquil amidst alarms. 

h found him mi the field, 
A veteran slumbering on his arms. 

Beneath Ids red-cross shield. 

His spirit, with a bound, 

Left its encumbering clay ; 
Hi- tent, .it -mirise. on the ground, 

A darkened ruin lav. 

The pains of death are past, 
Labor and sorrow cease : 
Ami. life's long warfare closed :ii last, 

Hi- -mil is found in peace. 

Soldier o >-ll done ! 

Praise be thy now employ ; 
And while eternal ages ruu, 
; n thy Saviour's joy." 


It i> now forty-four years since, on my first coming to New 
Haven as a boy just nine years old, the friend respecting whom 
I have spoken these words received me kindly to his house'. 
almost every day, as the playmate of one of his children. He 
had at that time only reached the middle point of the allotted 
three Bcore and ten of human life, and yet how old he seemed 
to my childhood's thought. I know of nothing more strange 
or beyond belief which the open vision of the future, had it 
been given to me then, could have revealed, than that for so 
many years I should be his associate and colleague in the work 
of his later life. But so it has been ordered in the progress 
and changes of time, and the one to whom I looked in the 
early days as my father's friend, I now most gratefully remem- 
ber as my own — of an older generation, indeed, but so full of 
confidence in those younger than himself, and sympathy for 
Them, that we almost forgot the difference of the years and felt 
that he was one with us in our labors and our thoughts. A.s 1 
recall to mind, to-day, the period in which we who have been 
working together in the Divinity School have known his 
presence with us, I rejoice that we may hear into the coming time 
the assurance which he gave, at one of our last meetings, of his 
deep satisfaction in the perfect and uninterrupted harmony of 
our association. With tender feeling he expressed the thought 
which we all were thinking — but we thought, also, how much 
of it was due to hi- own unselfish and friendly spirit. 

That I have been requested by his family to say the words of 
affection and regard which all heart- here wish to bespoken 
before we hear him to his burial, I feel to he a great kindness 
to myself. The word- might have been said by others in a 
more tit tiiiL: way, hut I am -u re that there is m> one beyond the 
limit- of hi- own household who could hear more willing wit- 
ness to what he ha- done and especially to what he ha- heen. 
Our la-t farewell to him i- spoken at this hour with Borrow that 
we are to meet him here no longer, hut. as we think upon his 

life, it i- spoken with the pleasantesl memories of the past and 

the nio-t jo\ tu I hope- for t he future. 

The sermon preached by Rev. (i. L. Walker. I). I)., is given 
to the Committee for publication in response to the following 

New II w en, January 15, L882. 

j) ear Sir — The Deacons oi the Firsl Churcb in New Baven, and the c mittee 

of the Rcclesiastical Society connected with it. have appointed us to convej to 
you their thanks for the discourse delivered by you this morning al their request, 
iu which you portrayed so faithfully, and in such loving and eloquent words, the 
character of our former Past r. Rev. Leonard Bacon, I».I>.. in his relations to this 

We are also instructed to ask for a copy of your discourse for publicati6n. 
We remain, with Bincere respecl and esteem, 

II. C. KlMiSI.KY. 

L. J. S wi-oimi. 
T. K. Tbowbbidge, Jr. 
. Geo. U Walker, D.D. 


The Pastob of the Fiesi Chuech of New Haven, 
by George Leon Walker. 

Preached .1 \\r \i;v 15, L882. 


The aature of the service I am to attempt to-day i>. a> I con- 
ceive of it. ;i very definite one. The termination of a pastoral 
connection, subsisting in more less completeness of meaning for 
nearly fifty-seven years, and the request of the officers of the 
bereaved church that some words should be spoken of the hon- 
ored man wli<> sustained thai relationship, by one whose only 
fitness for this undertaking is bis succession for a while to the 
title and duties of the office when the elder pastor laid them 
down, indicate very plainly the quality of the action proper to 
rhi- occasion. It is n<>1 a general and complete survey of the 
life and character of Leonard Bacon that tlii> hour calls for' 
luit ><>ine little retrospecl and consideration of him, in connec- 
tion with this church lie loved so well, and which so truly loved 
and honored him. < Ither voices and other occasions m;i\ nunc 
fittingly deal with the broader aspects of his large and many- 
sided personality and with the variety of Ins public work. 

Suggestions of these things have already found expression, 
not only in thai tender and discriminating address spoken in 
this house al the funeral service, bul in the pages of the secular 


and religious press, whose manifold utterances are bearing te.sti 
mom to the importance of the place be tilled in the general eye, 
and the value sel on the many greal obligations under which he 
has laid his fellow-men. Indeed it is within the scope only of 
the chapters of an ample volume adequately to tell the whole 
of whal I >octor Bacon \\ as and did. 

A writer of rare fertility and on many a theme, a historian of 
penetrative insight and patient research, a leader ot men's minds 
in matters of public welfare, a commander on every field of 
ecclesiastical struggle, a strong pillar of support to every philan- 
thropic enterprise, a conversationalist of unsurpassed Helmet of 
resource and raciness of utterance, a poet whose sweet strains 
find frequent voice in our worship, a complex and various 
minded man. combining elements any one of which were dis- 
tinction enough for most, it is only the Leisurely pages of biog- 
raphy which can set properly forth the portraiture of his char- 
acter and the record of his work. 

Fortunately our duty is a narrower one. We meet to-day in 
this church, which, though it by no means confined, was never- 
theless the center of his mosl distinctive labors, to speak of 
what he has been to this flock of his early and only pastoral 
charge. Such outlooks and glimpses into other and wider 
spheres ot' his activity as his characteristic work in his own peo- 
ple's behalf will hurriedly allow, we may not quite shut out ; 
hut Leonard Bacon, the Pastor of the First Church of New 
Haven. i> to-day our theme. 

This house of worship where we are gathered was about 
eleven years old when its echoes were wakened for the first 
time by the voice which was to he familiar here so many years. 

That was on the earliest October Sunday in 1S24. It was the 
first Sunday after Mr. Bacon's ordination to the ministry, which 
had been conferred on the Tuesday previous through the hands 
of the Hartford North Consociation, met at Windsor. Septem- 
ber twenty-eighth. Tradition tells that the youthful appearance 
of the preacher, who was in tact <>nK twenty-two and a half 
vears old, excited at once the interest and the criticism of the 
congregation accustomed to the commanding presence of his 

predecessor, Nathaniel W. Taylor, and many of whom recalled 

-fill the •• -till' and antique dignity '* of I )r. I >ana, who had dis- 


appeared from his place in the pulpit by the side of Moses 
Stuart only twelve years before. 

This division of opinion respecting the competence of the 
young man to occupy a position so conspicuous as this, and ren- 
dered doubly exacting by the ability of his two immediate pred- 
ecessors, expressed itself in the hesitation with which, after 
having listened to ••fourteen sermons" from him, the Society 
still debated the question of his "call.' 1 

At length at a "second meeting" on the subject, on Decem- 
ber twenty-eighth, by a vote of sixty-eight against twenty, the 
Society expressed their desire that he should settle with them, 
and the church joined in the invitation. The call thus half- 
cordially given was however listened to; and <>n the seven- 
teenth of January, L825, affirmatively answered. And on the 
ninth of March following the formal exercises of the Pastor's 
induction into his office here took place. The sermon on the 
occasion was preached by Mr. Eawes the Pastor of the hirst 
Church in Hartford — himself in the seventh year of his minis^ 
try — in the exercise of those fraternal courtesies which have 
marked the relationship of these two ancient churches of Con- 
necticut both before and afterwards. Of course it hardly needs 
to say that all the members of the council who took part in the 
Bervices of that occasion — President Day who was the Modera- 
tor, Carlos Wilcox who offered the introductory prayer, Joel 
rlawes who preached, Stephen \V. Stebbins who offered the 

prayer of installation. Nathaniel \V. Taylor who gave the charge, 
Samuel Merwin who expressed the fellowship of the churches. 

and Eleazar T. Fitch who led in the closing prayer, have gone 
—and ino-t of them have for many years been gone— from 

human sight. 

The young man thus put iii charge of this influential congre- 
gation was not utterly a Btranger to the town. Born February 

I'.'. 1802, al the far Western outposl of Detroit, and c irig to 

his first memories of life as he tells tie "in the grand old 
woods" oi Ohio, on ground " never ploughed before," and in 
a cabin to whose door the ••red-skin savage sometimes came." 
a in I a ron in I which the " wolves I low led at night," he was never- 
theless of ( dniiectieiit ancesl r\ . ami at i he age of ten years was 
-em to he educated under the care of an uncle ai Hartford. 


Krom theuce alter aboul live years lie had come, a now father- 
less boy, to New Haven, and entered the sophomore class in 
Vale College; the rules of the institution being as lie says 
u somewhal relaxed in his favor" on acconnl of liis yonth. 

Mere, from fifteen to eighteen, during the three years of his 
residence in the place he had walked these streets, and he had 

doubtless at least occasionally entered the doors of this sanctu- 
ary, and heard from some gallery corner. the impassioned utter- 
ances of Dr. Taylor, one of the princeliest preachers of New 
England's history. Little did the youth imagine, or the lathers 
of the congregation dream, how much wider a place in this 
church's history the unnoticed listener in the gallery was to till, 
than even thai eloquenl man. 

But though the young. Pastor a little knew New I laven. New 
Haven knew scarcely anything of him. He had his way to 
make without other advantages than the resources of his own 
powers. And the obstacles to be overcome were peculiarly dif- 
ficult. Not only had his formal call been a divided one, hut he 
had that kind of disadvantage to surmount which, whatever he 
the unanimity of imitation extended to a new pastor, always 
arises from the remembrance by a congregation of preceding 
pastorates of any very special attractiveness and power. And 
the two previous pastorates had been \i'v\ eminently such as 
make a successor's difficult. They had been marked by great 
religious awakenings, and they were those of men leaving a dis- 
tinct and abiding impress on the people of their charge. I have 
mvself. after the lapse of the whole duration of Dr. Bacon's 
active pastorate of forty-one and a half years in this place, 
heard old men ami women recall and sometimes rehearse the 
eloquenl utterances of Taylor and even of Stuart fourteen 
pears previous, which had stamped themselves on their memory 
with ineffaceable clearness. 

The new Pastor fell the difficulties of his situation keenly. 

He has told US aboul it himself in his retrospective discourses 

picached on the fortieth and fiftieth anniversaries of his set- 
tlement. In those addresses he describes the situation of 
matters, in various aspects, on his coming here — the yet un- 
welded fragments and remainders of old controversies in the 
congregation; the oppositions of "Old Light" and "New 

MEMOR] \l. SERMON. I . 1 

Light " principles and personalities still remaining after the 
tw<> revivalistic pastorates which had just passed, and other 
differences. But in especial, speaking of the difficulty of fol- 
lowing two such preachers as Stuart and Taylor, he says with 

characteristic simplicity — and I may add with the characteristic 
modesty also by which, with all bis gifts. Dr. Bacon was emi- 
nently marked — " I know it is not an affectation to say. that 
I never hail any such power in the pulpit as they had in their 
best days. For many years after the commencement of my 
pastorate I was habitually brought into most disadvantageous 
comparison, not only with those distinguished preachers, but 
with others of like celebrity. How it was that I continued 
here long enough to become a fixture cannot easily he ex- 

The explanation i- however not so difficult as the modesty 
of the speaker indicated it to he. The new Pastor wa> not 
then or afterward the peer perhaps in the power of eloquent 
and moving pulpit utterance of hjs two predecessors, certainly 
of the latter of them. But he had pulpit power- of a high 
order, and he combined with them such a variety of gifts 

beside, as more than supplied the comparative lack in the 
single point in which the contrast was likely to he at once so 
easy and bo misleading. Ee gave indications of being, if nol 
a -rear preacher, what was more a great man and minister. 
The congregation soon began to find it out. 

And yet his preaching suffered only l>y comparison with 
what was absolutely the hot possible. It was itself always 
eminently good. It was marked, as were all his writings or 

utterance-, hv an almosl matchless felicity of expression ami 

clearness of style. And it had that besl test of excellence, it 
was always besl and mosl moving in dealing with the weight- 
iest theme- and on the most important occasions. I have heard 
it -aid that a kind of turning point in the appreciation of the 

pa-tor was a -erinoii on the government of God, from the text, 
"Thy commandment i- exceeding broad." It mighl very well 
he the case. The subjecl wa- one especially tilted to the 

preacher'- hahit of thought. He needed a hroad subject to 

give scope and play to hi- large mind. And a theme which 
enabled him to lay hold on and to state great moral principles 

LKON \ i;n BACON. 

in their application to the duties and welfare of men, always 
was a theme b\ which lie easily rose to a grave and commanding 

No1 long after, too, in i !ii> earlv period of liis ministry liere, 
he bad the satisfaction — more precious than any other to a 
Pastor of seeingsaving results from his labor. In L828, forty- 
eight persons united with this church by confession of Christ. 
In L831, in connection with protracted services held here 
whose solemn power has not yet died out of the vivid memory 
of many in this congregation, one hundred and eight. In 1832, 
thirty-three, [n 1833, twenty-one. [n 1837, thirty-four. The. 
witness of the Spiril could not be mistaken. The suggestions 
which had occasionally been dropped during the first three 
years of the Pastor's labors, by some of the congregation who 
remembered with longing the revival times of Stuart and Tay- 
lor, "that New Haven needed a more efficient ministry," were 
heard no more. Henceforth his position was established as a 
minister honored of God and approved of man for his conspic- 
uous fidelity and power in the Gospel. 

But the mental activity and prodigious industry of the young 
Pastor could not limit his labor to the routine, arduous as mos1 
men find that routine to be, of the regular requirements of the 
pulpit and the parish. He flowed over in all directions, even 
in that earlv day, with frequent contributions to the press and 
addresses on topics of public interest at the time. 

More scholarly in its quality, and distinctly pastoral in its 
aim. was his republication, in these days <»f this earlier minis- 
try, of selected writings of Richard Baxter with editorial com- 
ments thereon. 

But the chief work, collateral to that which he was ordained 
to in this pastoral charge, belonging to what may he called the 
frr S t period of the Pastor's ministry, and a work which he; fid- 
till,., I as a pail of that ministry, was the preparation and preach- 
ing his thirteen Historical Discourses. He had been set as a 
lighl in an ancient candle-tick. The old church of winch he 
wa- Pastor had had a long and iioUe history. It was a line of 

eminenl men into whose succession he had been brought. And 
the history of the First Church of New Haven wa6 essentially 

tin- history of New Haven Colony. Nay, it widened out to 


still broader relations, connecting itself with the story of the 
planting New England's chnrches and governments, and of the 
Pnritan movements in the mother land from which the found- 
ers of New Haven had come. The two hundredth anniversary 
of the church was approaching, and as a loving tribute to her 
praise the Pastor prepared the Discourses which mark the arri- 
val of that anniversary, and which mark also the completion of 
thirteen years of his own service in her behalf. Never had a 
church a more graceful and valuable offering. A.mong many 
undertakings similar in aim I know of none which can for a 
moment challenge comparison with that which put this church 
in the possession of so accurate and so attractive a chronicle of 
her history. This volume gained for its author at once a secure 
place among the best writers of New England. Marked by the 
truest historic instinct, and written in a style of charming vi- 
vacity ami elegance, it constitutes one of the richest possessions 
of the church in whose service it was undertaken, as well as 
one of the most significant tokens of the industry and pastoral 
loyalty of it- author. The Pastor was proud of his church. 
Henceforth the church was proud of him. The Pastor with 
filial fidelity had Bought to do honor to his predecessors, and 
to the church whose representatives they were. The church 
now >aw that among that line of honored men there was none 

worthier of love and admiration than the man who ,»t I now 

at thirty-six years of age her representative, borrowing con- 
Bpicuity no more from the place he occupied, hut conferring 
conspicuity on the place. .Mr. Bacon of New Haven, or Doc- 
tor Bacon a- he just aboul this time began to he called 1>\ 
virtue of a degree IV Hamilton College, was as well vec,,^ 

nixed ;i reality a- New I laven town. 

At this point, then, we may -et the mark id' the second -real 

division of the Btorj of Dr. Bacon's relationship to this church. 
Accounting the thirteen years up to the publication of the 
Historical Discourses as the firsl epoch, and the sixteen years 
after he resigned the pastoral care ae the third, there lies be 
tween the two a period of a hoi it twenty-seven ^ears of immense 
and varied activity, lie was, at the beginning of this second 
period, according to hi- own judgment of the terms into which 
the life .,f man i- naturally divided a- expressed in hi- beau 


I i I LEON \i;i» &ACON\ 

tit ul sermon on the Mea&urt of out Days "in the lull vigof 
of lii> powers." Henceforth his life was thai of ;i public man 

as well as that of a parish minister ; a man (if national reputa- 

t i«>n ami influence. 

It i> impossible in a discourse like the present to touch even 
scantily on the diverse ami manifold aspects of the work Dr. 
Bacon did duringthis period. Nor for my design is it needful. 
I keep singly to my purpose of setting those things before von 

to-day wherein the Pastor of this church fulfilled his duty to 

this charge. 

But the main things which interested him were those fn 
which his people had also a concern. And the clash of the 
weapons he wielded on other fields found a frequent echo 
within these walls. 

'I'he cause of Temperance had in Dr. Bacon an earnest advo- 
cate. At his installation here, at the public dinner provided 
by the society, there was as he tells us "an ample supply not 
only of wine hut also of more perilous stuff." But among the 
zealous promoters of a reform in the practices of society in this 
matter, and of the legislation of the State concerning it. he was 
one of the earliest and most strenuous. I mention it however, 
mainly, at this time, as being one of the first instances in which 
in hi- people's behalf he threw himself distinctly across the 
prejudices of a very considerable number in his congregation, 
ami very many in the community about him, in the advocacy 
of what he believed to he right. A pamphlet published by 
him at about the beginning of what 1 have called by way of 
convenience the second period of Dr. Macon's ministry, shows 
at once the vigor of bis utterances on tliis matter of temperance 
legislation and practice, and indicates plainly that his utterances 
had subjected him. in certain quarters called highly respectable 
in this town, to not a little obloqu) and reproach. But there 
i- reason to believe that here, as on some other fields of effort 
where he likewise crossed the prejudices of some of his congre 
gation, lie partly won and partly compelled an ultimate coinci- 
dence of opinion upon the matter. 

A- an earnest laborer in the greal Benevolent enterprises of 
the day — among others of Missions, Foreign and Home — Dr. 
Bacon had few if any superior- among the pastors of New 


England. Of many of the societies, having these interests in 
charge, lie was among the founders or early directors, and he 
brought to their advocacy before this church, not only the 
comprehensiveness of view which made him an intelligent and 
effective promoter of the cause he espoused, but the courage 
which did not hesitate to press the obligation of beneficence 
upon his hearers. That this church lias had and still has an 
honorable record upon the pages of most of the great organ- 
ized Christian philanthropies of the time for the largeness of 
its pecuniary bestowals, is greatly owing to the fervor of his 
interest and the persistency of his appeals in their behalf. 
Himself the child of a missionary, the interests of missions 
were always deal- to him. Bimself a far-seeing watcher of the 
progress of God's kingdom among men, he discerned well how 
great a share in that kingdom's growth, missionary enterprises 
have had in the past and must have in years to come. 

More conspicuous in its adaptedness to draw public atten- 
tion, as well as doubtless more potent in stirring the various 
sensibilities of his congregation, was l>r. Bacon's attitude and 
endeavor in reference to Slavery. IIi> interest in this subject 
had begun early. And his pen, even as far hack as his Semi- 
nary days at Amlover. had heeii occupied respecting it. From 

L833 to L846 it was employed often in a series of discussions, 
which frequently found their echo in the pulpit here, upon the 
various aspects of this national wrong, and which at the Later 
of the dates mentioned were gathered into a volume. Ee 
himself -ay- in the second of his Four Commemorative Dis- 
courses: " From the beginning of my official ministry, I Bpoke 
without reserve, from the pulpit and elsewhere, against slavery 

:i- a wrong ami a dir.-e. threatening disaster ami ruin to the 

nation. Many years I did this wit] t being blamed except as 

I was blamed tor not going far enough. . . . Vet you know 
how I have been blamed ami even execrated, in these later 
years, for declaring here ami elsewhere the wickedness <>l buy- 
ing and Belling human beings, or of sriolating in anyway those 
human rights which aie inseparable from human nature." 

This contrast of treatment which the Pastor's utterance- met 
and which he so distinctly recognized, grew out, not of altera 
Hon in his sentiments but of alteration in the aspect of the 

I ,»'. LEON \i;i> BACON. 

problem of slavery itself. The question became progressive^ 
less and less a merely philanthropic one. and more and more a 
political one. A- long a> it was confined chiefly to the sphere 
of ethics and beneficenl sympathies the Pastor's utterances 
stirred little opposition. But when the question came to be 
one along the line of which parties divided in contest for gov- 
ernmental control, and the mercantile ranks splil apart accord- 
ing to their interest in the ascendency of one or another theory 
of the province of legislation respecting this sin, the case was 
altered. The Pastor found himself in opposition to a great 
proportion of the friend- and companions of his earlier minis- 
terial days in the general fellowship of the churches, and to 
not a few in the closer precincts of bis own congregation. Yet 
he himself rightly says, '"I have beld and always asserted the 
same principles on that subject which I held and asserted at 
the beginning." 

It was SO. It was the holding of those principles which led 

to the Pastor's early advocacy of the Colonization Society; it. 
was the holding of them, too, which in the altered condition 
of the problem led him tocease that advocacy. It was the hold- 
in- those principles which led to his espoiisil of the cause of the 
Ami-tad captives and in doing so to one of his first conflicts in 
the struggle which wasto la>r so many years. Those principles 
led him to the long and acrimonious debates over the conduct 
of the Tract Society affairs, in which he parted company with 
some of hi- oldest and most intimate associates. They led him 
To the assumption, in L848, of the onerous duties of a joint 
editorship, with I )v>. Thompson and Storrs, of the IndepencL ///. 
whose then unpopular and execrated banner-inscription was, 
■■ We take our stand for free -oil." They led him on Thanks- 
giving day, L851, to preach from this desk his sermon on The 

Higher Law,' the adoption of which political watchword, and 
the advocacy of which ethical principle, was by multitudes of 
the mosl influential and religious men of the land and some in 
hi.- own congregation, regarded as the ultimate and perfect test 
of hopeless and perilous fanaticism. They led him in 1855 to 
advocate, even at the threatened expense of blood, resistance 
to the incursion of slavery into Kansas. They led him later 

on. when at la-t the struggle of arms came, to make this pnl- 


pit a tower for the sounding out of the battle-cry of freedom : 
and to make these walls, dedicated to the gospel of peace, to 
reverberate with that utterance of it which proclaims " deliv- 
erance to the captives" and the Betting "at liberty them that 
are bruised." 

It was a straight-forward, consistent course. But it cost him 
many friends. In other cities and other fellowships dear to 
him, many ; some here. Darkened faces looked up at him 
from these pews. But he triumphed, because the right which 
he represented triumphed. And without a tinge of bitterness 
in the retrospect, he says of these alienations — let us be thank- 
ful for the most part only temporary alienations — " I make no 
complaint. . . . All reproaches, all insults endured in the con- 
flict with so gigantic a wickedness, are to be received and 
remembered, not as injuries but as honors." 

Less frequent in finding reverberating notes in this place. 
though occasionally finding them, were Dr. Bacons activities 
as a representative Congregationalist. The Pastor was a Con- 
gregationalist on principle. Into the history and theory of the 
polity he had studied deeply. Upon it he wrote largely. Of 
its superiority to other forms of Chureh government he had 
no doubt. The pathetic and heroic story of its struggles in 
England and its planting in America always inspired him. lie 
loved to Bpeak and preach upon it. and often levelled a lance 
in debate with defenders of other systems. The arrogance of 
Episcopal claims in especial always amused him and often 
kindled hi> sarcasm or his ridicule ; while anion- Episcopalians 
were many of hi- best-loved friends. Presbyterianism was a 
system he could and did heartily oppose, yel among Presby- 
terians he chose many dearest to him. 

At all great Congregational assemblies he was a foremost, 
generally the foremost figure. At the difficult council- his 
was a guiding voice. The last extended platform of polity 
expressive of the generally accepted principles of our churches, 
and presented at the Council of 1865, was drafted mainly \>\ 
}\\> hand. Beyond all comparison he was looked to a> the 
typical Congregationalist oi America. Leaning a little in his 
later day-, undoubtedly, more to that Bide of Congregational- 
ism which make- for independency than that which tnaken for 


mutual responsibility, and ;i little ou1 of sympathy with the 
more recenl movemenl of our churches i < »w :i i*» I combination 
and unity of anion, he was nevertheless Congregationalism's 
mosl \ enerated represental i\ e. 

Ami few can estimate the value, in the Ecclesiastical assem 
blies of tins Commonwealth and the land — whether on occa- 
sions of Btated and routine assembly or of exigenl and 
occasional gathering of tin' influence exerted by the Pastor 
of tins Church. No consideration of Dr. Bacon's pastoral 
character could be other than incomplete which did not lav 

emphatic stress upon the work he did in our denominational 
Councils and Conventions through so many years. Through 
him this Church has had a voice in the guidance of the 
religious concerns of our own State, and the wider domain of 
Congregational Christianity, superior perhaps to that of any 
other. Unmatched in debate, unequaled in wit. unparalleled in 
fertility of resources, without a peer in his capability of sway- 
ing the deliberations of an assembly, his powerwas with almost 
complete uniformity employed for the uses of benefit and not 
of strife. On many an agitated debate he poured the oil of a 
composing and reconciling wisdom. Into any quarrel of an 
ecclesiastical character among the brotherhood it was difficult 
to force him to go. 

While himself sturdily evangelical in his interpretation of 
Christian doctrine, and showing a certain leonine contempt for 
.-mail assertors of independence and " liberality." he had larjje 
allowance tor those who differed mainly in their philosophic 
statement of truth. In more than one theological controyersv 
among leading ministers of this State, his influence was that of 
a mediator of separations, if it could not fully be that of a 
reconciler of opposil ion,-. 

This observation prompts to the remark that Dr. Bacon, 
spite of all hi- capacities for conflict, was a peace-loving man. 

During the agitating periods of the Auti-slavery struggle 

previous to the war. he was often called the Fighting Parson. 
The title had a certain superficial pertinence, but it was super- 
ficial only. lb- himself -aid of it when -poken to on one 

occasion concerning it. and said with profound earnestness, "I 
never had a controversy on merely personal grounds in my 


life." The declaration was nearly or wholly true. And an- 
other thing he said was also true in its application to himself 
quite as much as in its application to him of whom he was 
speaking. Tn his sermon at the funeral of Dr. Taylor he re- 
marked : " Those who knew Dr. Taylor best, know how painful 
controversy as distinguished from discussion was to him. He 
loved discussion ; but controversy with its personal alienations, 
its exasperating imputations, and its too frequent appeals to 
prejudice and passion, was what his soul abhorred." True as 
those words may have been concerning Nathaniel Taylor they 
could not have better told the truth concerning Leonard 
Bacon. A sweet and tender heart was united with his formi- 
dable powers of debate and, if need be, of conflict. His 
arrow-tips were not poisoned. A gentle, almost deferential 
manner toward younger and more humbly gifted men, dis- 
armed i-nvy and conciliated fear. The foremost man for 
prowess tie was also well nigh the best-beloved. 

But how now. the question arises, how about the distinc- 
tively home work of this Pa-tor. whose time was so largely 
employed in matters which had a confessedly important but 
only partial reference to this vineyard of the First Church? 
Well, the question is a lair one And it deserves to be con- 
sidered, especially in a survey of Dr. Bacon's life nor so much 
a- a whole a- in rhc pastoral aspeel of it. 

And I suppose it may be fairly -aid it is a question admit- 
ting of a divided answer. These public services which so 
largely engrossed the time and thought of the Pastor of this 
Church, to a certain extent and in some directions diminished 
the effectiveness, at leasl the immediate local effectiveness, of 
his ministry. To some degree they gave excuse to an impres 
aion that the Pastor was re interested in things abroad than 

;it home. The\ curtailed the number of fresh discourses from 

hia pen, and necessitated the more f requenl repetition of old 

ones. They made impossible the personal familiarity of the 

Pastor with all the members of his congregation which is. or 

Was, one of the tradition- of the New England ministry. That 

they did these things no more, is itself a striking testimony to 
the tremendous capacity for work lodged in the Pastor's com 

parali\el\ -li-lit frame. Put lh;il to some extenl they did 

them, was unquestionably in the later days of Dr. Bacon's 
responsible pastorate, to ;i degree recognized. Bu1 over 
against whatever possible dednctions may properly be made 
from the local and immediate effectiveness of the Pastor's min- 
istry on the grounds spoken of, there were great offsets. The 
Pastor brought into this place the sense of power wielded on 
other arenas of effort, and the people recognized it. He 
broughl with him the light and inspiration of large endeavors 
and wide outlooks and contacts with great interests and men. 
Ili> lesser performings caught some subtle touch of vigor and 
intelligence from his greater ones. He borrowed strength in 
his own consciousness, and in his congregation's eyes also, from 
his acknowledged supremacy elsewhere. A certain wise and 
rational allowance, creditable to both, sprang up and main- 
tained itself between minister and people. They knew the 
pastor was doing a great work and in many ways. And he on 
his part knew that if he gave his people less than under 
some conceivable circumstances he might have done, lie 
gave them enough, lie gave them a full return. He loved 
his people and trusted them. They trusted and honored him. 
And they hail reason to. For after all which the alertest criti- 
cism may BUggest, what a pastorate his was! Forty-one and a 
half years of the fully responsible portion of it. And marked 
by what excellencies, in well nigh all that noes to make a pas- 
toral success ! 

Hi- Sermons. How simple in construction, how clear in 
expression, how direct in aim. how evangelic in sentiment, 
how solid in thought! They dealt always with important 
matter-. \o bursts of inexplicable passion, no rhetorical dis- 
plays, no mystical musings, no aspiration- for the rare, the un- 
expected, the sensational. They were grave, strong, manly 
sermons : not without exquisite passages of unsought beauty, 
and sometimes >>\ noble eloquence, taking hold on the main 
question •<( Christian truth and conduct. They had the great 

value of a power of setting familiar things in clear and fresh 
aspects and relation-. They were powerful with the strength 

of a firm hold on the great principles of the gospel, ami they 
were rich with the results of a deep experience. They handled 
a wide range of matter: sometimes the highesl of theology, 


but then with reverence and skill : sometimes the most delicate 
in moral behavior, but then with consummate propriety and 
taste. They swept the field of faith and practice as thoroughly 
as any pastor's anywhere. They were such sermons as are an 
education to a congregation. And they found the center of 
their inspiration and the end of their aim in loyalty to ( 'hrist 
the Saviour and the King. Christ the redeemer for sin; 
Christ the conqueror of death : ('hrist the ruler of the world: 
Christ the head of the kingdom which is to conic these were 
the mighty truths out of a profound conviction and Love of 
which those Bermons came. 

And his Prayers. The beauty and propriety and sober 
fervor of his prayers were something wonderful. In these un- 
premeditated but marvelously simple and appropriate outpour- 
ings of his mind and heart he came closer to his people than 
in his sermons, even at their best. He had the instinct to take 
1 1 1 > and upbear the common want <»r the special necessity of the 
hour, in an utterance of sweetness and majesty which it is given 
to few ever to attain. The listening and co-worshiping congre- 
gation \\i'Vi' never jarred by inharmonious suggestions, uever 
put in doubt as to the full propriety, of the utterance; they 
rested upon and went alone,- with his prayers in entire respon- 
siveness to their devout and gracious supplication and thanks- 
giving. \o liturgical utterances of prayer one can anywhere 
find, are more perfect t\ pes of what prayer should be, than the 
petition- which rose from his lips in this pulpit and in the 
family and by the Bide of the open grave, often were. 

And ln~ pastoral minintrations in his people*- homes. The 
sincerity of his sympathy, the tenderness of his instruction, the 
wisdom of his counsel, the fervency with which he implored 
restoration t" the sick, orasked comfort for the bereaved, these 
things are all known to you. And lie had been taught thus 
effectively to minister to other-, by the discipline of personal 
grief, heath had come into his circle many times, infant day* 
and manh and woman 1} years had alike been broken off in his 
household. The variety and the bitterness of bereavement wan 
fully known to him. And from the school of thai personal 
knowledge of tribulation he borrowed the experience which 
made his word- and hi- -ilent presence, so often a consolation in 

I s-_' I EON \ RD B \< ■« '\. 

\ ..iii- abodes, [nto too manj of the homes in this city has he 
borne the Pastor's offices of help in hours of joy and hours <>t 

sorrow, to make it needful to >a\ more. 

Alt yes, take it all in all. ii was aboul an ideal pastorate! 

p.ut the time at las.1 came when in the Pastor's judgment it 
seemed besl thai he should be relieved of the responsible duties of 
his office. He announced tins conviction in a sermon preached 
on the twelfth of March. L865, the fortieth anniversary of his 
settlement. He was then sixty-three years of age. His eye 
was not dimmed nor his force abated. But he was the oldesl 
pastor in Connecticut in active service, and he had done an 
amount of work no other pastor had done. With characteristic 

happiness of expression, and characteristic forecast of what 
would be wise in the ease of most men he said: "I am old 
enough now. to ask for relief; and at the same time I am not 
too old to receive it without feeling that I am slighted by the 
offer of it." 

In acceding to this suggestion on the Pastor's part, the 
Society recorded its inability to "see any symptoms of decline 
of power which should lead him to wish relief.'* but expressed 
a willingness to yield to his definitely declared desire, having 
first made"some suitable provision for our Pastor's remaining 
years, after the termination of his ministry among us.*' Such 
suitable and honorable provision having been made, the Pastor 
resigned his office, and on the ninth of September, L865 — to a 
day just forty-one and a half years from the March ninth, L825, 
of his installation— he preached a sermon entitled, T/u Pastor 
retirmg from his official work. But how little of a "retire- 
ment!" How little Pastor and people foresaw what was before 
them, or how long still a multitude of the practical services of 
the pastorate were to be fulfilled by the same beloved man. 
The evenl however serves definitely to mark a new period in 
Dr. Bacon's life and his relation-hip to this church, and one 
which presents him to us in an asped certainly as admirable 
and lovable as any beside. 

Coincidenl in point of time with the Pastor's resignation of 
his«office, an invitation which he calls a "most unexpected 
invitation ** to a Professorship in the Theological Seminary 
here was laid before him. He accepted it "reluctantly" and 


went as be affirmed, "bound in the spirit, under a sort of 
necessity" laid upon him. And he added correctly: "There 
is mi j inn not ion in going from this pulpit to a theological chair." 
Certainly there was not for such a Pastor. He carried more 
with lii 1 1 1 than in any such transfer he could receive. 

But having entered upon it. lie identified himself with the 
Institution with liis usual enthusiasm. lie contemplated, as 
lie said, a "term of service at the longest very short," but lie 
remained an active worker there for sixteen years. 

And in .many ways his connection with the seminary marks 
a new epoch in its history. His association with it was emi- 
nently influential in securing the needful funds for its welfare. 
He took pleasure in its stones. How well I remember the sat- 
isfaction which was in his face on one gray day in July, L869, 
when he came to my room to invite me to see the first ground 
broken for the erection of the beautiful edifice which stands on 
the cornei- of Elm and College streets ; whose unoccupied niche 
underneath the window of his room could not be more appro- 
priately filled than by bis sculptured figure. And at every step of 
the Institution's history and development sinc< — not a little oi 
which has been owing to the connection with it of the ex-Pastor 
of this Church — his interest in it has been like that of a man 
whose whole life, instead of what be called his years of "deca- 
dence and decay," had been given to it. And one eifect of 
that connection with the Seminary was. I think, personally 
favorable. It brought him into constant contact with young 

men and it helped to keep him young. It was a matter of 

frequent remark and possibly may have been true, that Dr. 

Bacon's preaching in this pulpit was younger and v alert in 

the years succeeding his resignation than it hail been for several 
years before. 

But anyway his youthfulness was surprising. However the 
body aged the spiril never grew old. The restless mind was 
hungry to the end. In hi- fortieth-year sermon he had said : 

•• I know more now than I knew a year ago. I hope to know 

more next year than I know now." [n his fiftieth-year sen 

he Baid : " I know more than I knew ten vear- ago, and i am 
-till a learner, and hope I" he a I earner to the end." And so 

he was, the freshesl and alertesl man there was in Connecti 
cut's ministry to the last. 

1 M I EON \i;i> B ICON. 

To this period belongs thai other witness to the industry of 
the only half-retired Pastor's hand and brain, the volume on 
the Genesis of tht .\< w England Churcfies; a volume, however, 
which being Qot distinctly pastoral in motive I leave with only 
this iiiriit ion. 

But another aspect of Dr. Bacon's Lasl period of life has a 
still closer connection with the history of this church, and 
exhibits in ;i yet more striking way this quality of the man. 
The old Pastor was to sustain the experience ii may be the 
trial >f a successor, nay of two of them. It is an experience 
proverbially difficult for a minister gracefully to bear. Two 
very eminent pastors in Connecticut had been put to the trial 
<>t' it only a little while before, and had rather conspicuously 
tailed. Bui this pastor did not fail. Did Dr. Bacon ever tail 
anywhere '. 

In a long and most kindly letter which he wrote to me in 
September, 1868, while my acceptance of the call of this 

church given me some months before was still pending, he says 
— and I quote it with personal reluctance, and only to set his 
position toward a successor in its true light — "I have no fear 
that my relations with you will he other than pleasant. With- 
out assuming to he anything more than a /><isf<>,- em&ritus, 
having no official charge or duty in the congregation, I trust 
I shall always he ready to lighten your burthen if in any way I 
-hall he able to do so. While it will he in some sort a trial for 
me to Bee the people thinking more of you and less of me ; ami 
loving you more than they have ever loved me, I hope to 
-re it with humble thankfulness, and not with jealousy." And 
every word of that utterance was more than fulfilled. lie was 
the most magnanimous man I ever knew. Had I been his son 
after the flesh he could not have \n-rw more cooperative or 
kind. Always ready to help when asked, he never volunteered 
even advice ; he never in any instance or the slightest particu- 
lar gave mi' reason to wish he had said or don- anything other- 
wise. Apparently Incapable of jealousy even had there been 
vastly more opportunity for it than there was he was to the 
pastqr who followed him a supporter and comfort always. So 
was he to his immediate successor; so was he I doubt not to 



The termination of these two brief pastorates and the inter- 
regnum between them devolved upon the elder Pastor, in these 

sixteen years after his official resignation, a great ileal of thai 
parochial work which he had ostensibly laid aside. In his ser- 
mon at tin- laying down of his office he had said : "Till the time 
comes when \<>n are without another Pastor, call for me as 
freely as heretofore, when any is sick among yon, and where the 
windows are darkened by death." And while that pastor was 
yet coming; and in the more than two years interregnum after 
his departure before the arrival of a second; and in the more 
than two and a half years again, which have elapsed since that 
second's removal, the old Pastor has been the shepherd of this 
flock. Speaking from time to rime from this pulpit with in- 
creasing pathos and earnestness; sitting nearly every sabbath 
on this platform where his presence was a perpetual benedic- 
tion, he has come at your call, as he did aforetime from the 
first, to comfort your suffering ones, to baptize your children. 
to bury your dead. He has fulfilled up to the end — far beyond 
any duration contemplated when the words were spoken — the 
promise implied in his tender exhortation when he laid his 
office down : "Let no member of this congregation think that 
the tie between yon and me is broken, or that it is weakened, 
SO long as you arc without another Pastor." And so he has 
left \ on a second time berea^ ed. So he has twice laid down his 
trust respecting you, this time forever. This place is lonesome 
without him. This flock is unshepherded. Many times more 
than when his successor or Ids successor's successor went are 
yon without a guide and comforter. 

But for him what a change! and for you what a retrospeel ! 

For him the entrance on that larger life of act ivity and bless- 
edness for which he yearned and of which he spoke in one of 
those Commemorativt Disc&wses to which I have had occa 
-ion so many time- to refer: " Not 'three score years and ten.' 
nor "four -con- years' are enough for the capabilities of our 
intelligent, affectionate and spiritual nature. The machinery 
ot this mortal l>o<l\ may be clogged and broken, may wear out 
and hi' useless, hut it is only a life beyond the reach of these 
infirmities that can satisfy the soul. -And now Lord what 

wait I for '. M\ hope i- in t hee." " 

1 n,; i |ii\ \i;i> i; \. ON. 

An. I for \"ii what ;i retrospect! The retrospecl of a minis- 
terial life in your service of nearly fifty-seven years duration. 
The retrospecl of as large powers as have in our generation 
been bestowed upon any man, devoted here to the salvation <>l 

souls and the welfare of the kingd of Christ. The retro 

spec! of a history which is buill into the fabric of this old first 
church of New Baven, and is henceforth an inseparable part of 
it- renown. For in the long catalogue of worthies in the pas- 
torate of this church, from the broad minded and saintly Da- 
venport whom your Pastor so reverenced and eulogized, t<> him 
whose loss we to-day deplore, no name shines with brighter 
luster, if indeed any beams with so various and effulgenl ray, 

as the name of LEONARD BACON. 



Reminiscences of a former Parishioner. 

By Prof. Lyman II. Atwatbr, D.D., LL.D. 

The recent death of Dr. Leonard Bacon revives some recol- 
lections of him and of the antecedents and surroundings of 
his early pastorate in the church of my nativity and nurture, 
which could n<>t readily occur to those eminent men. not 
members of his flock, who have drawn such admirable. sketches 
of him in The Independent. In that ancient church of my 
childhood and youth I trace back an nnbroken Lineage, natural 
and ecclesiastical, to one of its firsl founders, in L638. He was 
driven by the persecutions of Laud to these then inhospitable 
shores, and joined in the attempl to found a "church withoul 
a bishop and a state without a king." 

While yet a mere boy, I witnessed the installation of young 
Mr. Bacon, then barely twenty-three years old and of a some- 
what diminutive stature, which, aside of a certain marked 
intellectuality in his look, gave him the appearance of a stripling 
daring to follow the giants who had, within the fresh memory 
of the congregation, preceded him. The assembly crowded 
the seats and aisles, according to the custom of the time, when 
ordinations and installations were -rent occasions. The Rev, 
Joel Sawes, Pastor of the Firsl Church in Hartford, then 
coining to the zenith of what I once heard l>r. Bacon call his 
eat ministry," preached the sermon. It is indicative of the 

1 ss LEON \ RD BACONf. 

change thai has been effected, and was then just about to com- 
mence, thai a considerable item in the bill against the ecclesias 
rieal society for the expenses of entertaining the installing 
council was for the liquors furnished it. A shori time after, 
the Rev. Nathaniel Hewit, of Fairfield, to whom, in my judg- 
ment, more than any other, belongs the credil of doing the firsl 
effective pioneer work in breaking up the old drinking usages 
of society, exchanged on a Sabbath with the new Pastor. With 
overpowering eloquence he denounced the "use "I distilled 
Liquors as a beverage." He so astonished and startled the con- 
gregation that n<»r u few came away saying that a madman had 
been preaching. It was not long, however, before they conclu- 
ded that the madness, if anywhere was in themselves. The 
great body of the people soon adopted Dr. Hewit's view in 
their practice. I ad\crt to these things as signs of the opening 
of a new era of religious development and- field of ministerial 
work atthe threshold of his pastoral career. 

Meanwhile, let us look tor a little at the antecedents of his 
ministry, as found in the persons, characteristics, and influence 
of his two immediate predecessors, Nathaniel W. Taylor and 
Moses Stuart, whose pastorates, along with Dr. Bacon's, in the 
Central ehureh of New Haven, have filled out the past of this 
century, save half a dozen years at its beginning. Mr. Stuart 
followed a Pastor not wanting in intellect and learning, but 
who. being trained at Harvard, had much of the tone and spirit 
which dominated those pulpits of Eastern Massachusetts that 
afterwards >unl< into UTnitarianism. This, with other causes, 
had fostered an orderly quietude in the congregation, already 
tending to stagnation and deadness. Dr. Bacon observes in his 
•• Historical Discourses" (p. 279) that "hardly any two things, 

both worthy to !»<• called preaching, could he 'e unlike than 

that of the old Pastor and that of the young candidate" (Mr. 
Stuart i. That of the latter was bold, pointed, evangelical, 
fervid, electric. It was replete with The magnetic personality 
of the miii and overmastered his hearers with the powersof the 
wo.-ld To come. The Bame <|iialiTies in his professor's chair 
afterward made him a marvelous inspiration to his pupils and the 
;t pioneer in >/\\ ing Hebrew and Greek exegesis its due 
prominence in ministerial education. The tour years «>t his 


pastorate in the First Church were marked by a powerful revi- 
val, which greatly enlarged and quickened it and put vital reli- 
gion in new ascendency among the people. He left in 1810, 
to take the professorship which he so long adorned in the oldest 
theological seminary of the country. This was before my day ; 
but I well remember that my parents and others who felt the 
power of his ministry never wearied of repeating his praises 
as preacher and Pastor t<> the generation following. I once 
heard his successor, Dr. Taylor, say that the most powerful 
preachers to whom he had listened were Moses Smart and 
Asahel Nettleton. Not. he took pains to say, in the sense of 
being elaborate and magnificent pulpit orators, like Robert 
Hall, but in the sense of accomplishing the true end of preach- 
ing. He proceeded to illustrate his statement by sketching a 
Bermon of each, as he heard it. and showing what in them 
respectively overpowered the audience with a sense of Grod and 

Dr. Taylor followed Professor Stuart, after an interval ex- 
ceeding two years, as Pastor of the church, continuing such 
from April. 1812, to December, L822. Although myself horn 
Bometime after his ordination, my recollections of him as 
preacher and Pastor during the latter years of his pastorate arc 
vivid and distinct. It is not to hie subsequent career, the bril- 
liant teacher and defender of the theological system which bore 
hi- name. Borne peculiarities of which I was unable to accept. 
notwithstanding great admiration of him personally, that I 
now refer. I touch only recollections or traditions of his pas- 

In person he was a rare Bpeciinen of manly beauty. Mi- 
frame was at once robust and symmetrical. His countenance 
in all its parts and proportions was not only of rare strength 
and beauty, but, with lustrous black eye- and overhanging 
brows, surmounted by a massive forehead, once called by \)\\ 
Bacon the "dome of thought," had a singular majesty, com- 
bined with equal geniality of expression. A- compared with 
average men, there was something imperial in the man. within 
and without. This, of itself, especially as expressed in a cor 
respondent voice, in prayer- and sermons, which fully articu- 
lated tliem. made a profound impression upon the congrega 
1 1 

190 l,Ki>\ A.R1) r. \< «>\. 

tion even upon youth and children, who, like myself, could 
understand little of the deep reasonings which formed bo much 
of rlu' web and woof of many of hi> great sermons. The 
terms "moral agency," "moral and natural ability," "moral 
and natural evil," ringing oul from his closely-reasoned dis- 
courses, still linger in my memory, as do some of his solemn 
and stirring appeals to the impenitent, in such sermons as the 
"Harvesl Past," while I do not forgel bis scathing exposures 
and rebukes of immorality in preaching from "A false balance 
is abomination to the Lord." In Lis personal and pastoral rela- 
tion- Dr. Taylor was all that might be inferred from these 
special traits and endowments, at once so winning and com- 
manding. Hi' was both loved and revered; enthroned in the 
hearts of his people. Four revivals of greal power signalized 
his ministry of less than twelve years, still further continuing 
the advance in numbers and piety begun under the ministry of 
his predecessor. During his incumbency the church edifice, 
which has long held it> place as a model one, was built. 

To till the vacancy arising from his removal to the chair of 
didactic theology in Vale Divinity School was, of course, no 
easy task. Among the candidates either thought of or actually 
invited to it. I well remember the names of Edward Beecher, 
Carlos Wilcox, Samuel H. Cox and Albert Barnes; but young 
Mr. Bacon was finally called, after more than two years' trial 
of candidates, with much hesitation and a considerable minor- 
ity in opposition, not so much from any positive dislike as a 
not unnatural fear that one so young, whatever his gifts, 
might prove unequal to the demands of a congregation so 
large, influential, and with tastes and etandards formed by such 
predecessors. And well might any successor of them ask : 
•• Who i- sufficient for these things '." 

.\-ide from this training, the material of the congregation 
was such as might well appal not only Shallow Splurges and 
novices, but strong and mature preachers. In the middle aisle 

I well remember the Stately forms of Noah Webster, the greal 

lexicographer; .lame- Hillhouse, a mighty man in the Senate 

f ,),,. [Jnited State-, and in the legislature of his own State. 
whose public spirit made New Haven a city of elms ami 
opened it> thoroughfares of transportation ami travel to the 

Leonard bacon. L91 

interior; Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton-gin. In 
pews of one of the si< k- aisles I saw around me Seth P. 
Staples, Samuel -I. Hitchcock, and Dennis Komberly, among 
the foremost of the Connecticut bar; Jonathan Knight, the 
peer of the highest as a medical practitioner and lecturer; 
Ilenrv Trowbridge, the founder of the great mercantile bouse 
of II. Trowbridge's Suns; Stephen Twining, assistant treasurer 
of Vale College; with many others, not only in this but other 
parts of the house, scarcely less eminent in high walks of life. 
It is not surprising that the young minister's capacity was at 
once severely tested ; that, as with mi many others, his first 
three years proved the "teething-time of his ministry"; or 
that those were not wanting who were keener to detect points 
of inferiority to his predecessors than signs of promise in the 
rapid development of rarest </\\\> peculiar to himself. These, 
however, soon gradually made themselves conspicuous to all 
and unquestioned by any, while they were peculiarly fitted to 
the era of his consummate strength in the ministry. 

I have already intimated that the ■•new departure'" of the 
church, whose beginning was almost synchronous with that of 
his ministry, was in the way of moral reform and reformatory 
agencies and organizations, among which tlm-e for the promo- 
tion of temperance, in the form of entire abstinence from in- 
toxicating liquors as a beverage, was foremost. But in the 
wake of this came radical movements against slavery, which 
more and more leavened the churches, and thence politics, till 
it- overthrow by the Civil War. A.mong the eddies in this 
current were various fanaticisms on these and other subjects 
Buch as perfectionism, vegetarianism, manual labor schools, 
together with eccentric socialisms, some of which perished, 
while others developed into such wart.- and wens of the body 
politic a- the Oneida Community and other monstrosities. 
Ahoiit this time, too. Home and Foreign Missions, with all the 
agencies of gospel propagandism among the unevangelized in 
this and other lands, received an unexampled expansion. 
With due limitation-, it mighl safely he -aid that the revival 

era of the lir.-t third of the century w a- ciilminat ing and the 

reformatory and missionary era of the next third of it wa- 
developing. \"i that revivals ceased in the latter period or 

192 I I "\ \l:l' B \< "X. 

thai missions and moral reform enterprises were before mi 
known; 1 > 1 1 1 thai each received its mosl conspicuous develop- 
menl in the respective periods named. American revivals 
readied their zenith, especially in New Haven and Fale Col- 
lege, in the greal awakening of 1 831 . In its full noon-fide Dr. 
Sereno Dwight said, in an ecstasy of jubilation: "I do not 
see why we may not consider the Millennium ;is now com- 

We have had many good things since which then were not ; 
Imt religious awakenings, not entirely, indeed, hut so extended, 
pervasive and transforming as then prevailed, have for long, 
unless in exceptional eases, been things of the past. The con 
ditions leading to them have changed. The Sunday schools 
and Young Men's Christian Associations have hud a Large 
development. Quiet ingatherings into the church through 
and from these have largely taken the place of those mighty 
visitations of God which then seized great numbers grown up 
to manhood in Christian congregations, but without hope and 
without ( rod in the world. 

During this era, too, the power of the press, especially in 
the form of religious journalism, has had a vast development. 

The people have acquired a distaste for the old-style ser i, 

too often a skeleton of theological abstractions, dead, dry, and 
dull, except when alive and hot with polemic tire. They 
craved something of the freshness and beauty which came 
from literary culture, as well as the glow of impassioned evan- 
gelical fervor in the pulpit. 

To meet the demands of such a period, Dr. Bacon was 
remarkably furnished. During his educational career, he had 
not, indeed, sough.1 eminent scholarship. To original genius, 
including the poetic gift, evinced in hymns that live and will 
live, he added an acquaintance with English literature, then 
rare, especially among the clergy, ffe was thus master of the 
purest English style and gained a breadth of view and versa- 
tility of mind which not only gave greal chasteness, vivacity, 
and force to his pulpit exercises, lmt fitted him to shine with 
peculiar brilliancy in all miscellaneous sermons and addresses 
.,ii special subjects and occasions. For many years he was 
foremost among those sought to adorn and enliven great days 


with great discourses, as >>nv who in this line had no peer. He 
also rapidly gained a great reputation as a contributor to quar- 
terly, monthly, and weekly journals. For years his articles in 
the Christian Spectator were, if not the most ponderous, the 
nmst readable, the most quickly and widely read of any. They 
were Beldom distinctively theological. They struck out more 
into tlu- practical and reformatory, the evangelistic and mis- 
Bionary departments of Christian work. They were spiced 
with wit ami satire at the expense of those be deemed extreme 
in their radicalism or conservatism. He used these weapons 
with increasing caution and <i-entlenes> as advancing years mel- 
lowed his spirit, without enfeebling ln's pen. He wrote more 
upon theology, as the drift id' theological discussion, which set 
in after the Bushnell controversy, was more suited to his gifts 
and hit tastes, lie pronounced the previous New England 
theology "provincial." In this, if not in some other estimates 
of Dr. Bushnell's theology, as related to what preeeded it, I 
quite agree. He was more an ecclesiastic than a theologian. I 
could say much more; l>ut space forbids, and it is superfluous 
to repeal what ha- been so well >ai<l by others. 

Such a trio of pastors immediately succeeding each other in 
the -aim- church and together presiding over it so long, i> 
worth noting. The like is rarely, if ever, to he found in church 




[Only one of the original four members of the editorial staff 
of TJu Independent now Lives to speak of the sudden death 
of their gifted and beloved senior associate the Rev. Leonard 
Bacon, D.D. We know our readers will he glad to sec the 
following from the Rev. 1 1. S. Storrs, D.D., in relation to this 
sad event, and it is fitting that lie should appear in his old posi- 
tion in our editorial columns. | 

Brooklyn, December 26, L881. 

To tl" Editor of the Tndept ndi nt : 

It would be wholly impossible, in the fragments of time 
which are all that I can command to-day, to present any tit and 
sufficient description of the character and the powers of our 
beloved and honored friend. Dr. Bacon. 1 cannot even ivnr 
thily express my personal sense of affectionate and admiring 
honor for him. and my grief that I shall qo1 see again his face 
,,,, earth. Indeed, it can hardly Beem strange to any, that, find- 
ing myself tin' lasl survivor of those who had early editorial 

Control of the paper which you are now conducting, I woidd 

rather ai in silence for a time, recalling the past and expecting 
the future, instead of writing of either of those with whom my 
associations were once so close, who have passed before me into 


the land of the " King in Hi> beauty." Vet. you have a right 
to ask from me some immediate, if inadequate words about 
him, and my only regret is that I cannot lay a more fitting 
wreath on the coffin which so soon will contain all that was 
earthly and mortal in him. One cannot help but wish, for the 
moment, that he had a pen as rapid, vivid, as graceful in touch, 
as melodious in movement, as that which has dropped from the 
-tilled hand. 

My special personal acquaintance with Dr. Bacon began with 
in v installation in Brooklyn in l s 4n\ He kindly consented, at 
my invitation, to preach the sermon on that occasion, t<> me 
so eventful, though at some personal inconvenience; and his 
Christian interest in the church and in myself, drew me at once 
and strongly toward him. Tt was not, however, till two years 
afterward, that 1 became associated with him in the editor's 
room of The Independent; and in the interval 1 had seen him 
but briefly, and not often. I remember still the shad.- of 
timidity with which I entered on this more intimate connec- 
tion with him, in view of his impressive and versatile power-. 
his large reflection and observation of men. his keen and some- 
times can-tic wit. hi> peculiar decisiveness of conviction and 
character; but a brief experience of his thorough faithfulness 
and kindness of spirit, of the readiness with which he received 
suggestions! from those who hesitated t > accept his opinions, of 
his almost deferential courtesy toward his younger associates, 
sufficed to put me wholly at my ease in the new and closer rela 
tionstohim; and there was never afterward a moment, while 

those editorial relalioiis continued, in which I did not know- 
that he would judge the work of his colleagues more leniently 
than his own. and that hi- words of affectionate recognition 
of whatever they did. thai seemed to him effectively to aid 
the greal cause of goodness and truth, would be hearty and 

Hi- mind was not only fertile in suggestions; it was cer 
tainly the quickesl mind, in the grasp and measurement of 
any thoughl expressed by another, which I have met. Before, 
indeed, this was fully uttered, he had often seized and adjudged 
it. If he accepted it, a* he oftentimes did, he put it into a 
'onn of words more definite, nervous, and energetic than it 

196 LEON \ IM» BACON. 

firsl bad liad. It he rejected or dissented from it, hie answer 
w;i> as instant, yel often as complete and subtly exact, as if 
he had been considering chiefly thai special proposition for an 
hour beforehand. Vet whether il was assent or dissenl which 

he uttered, bis mind, when at leisure, simply took that as a 

starting-point, and swepl along various and diversified tracks, 
running backward, outward, forward, in the swifi and exhilaral 
ing processes of his thought, till both he and his hearer had to 
come hack at last with a hearty Laugh to the now- imperceptibly 
distant poinl from which together they had started. 

In this respect he presented a singular and picturesque con- 
trasl to Dr. Leavitt " Brother Leavitt," as he always affection- 
ately called him, with whom his relations were of absolute 
mutual cordiality and respect. Dr. Leavitt's mind moved 
steadily and strongly along well-defined and very important 
paths of thought, like a powerful piece of artillery, or, better, 
like a richly-loaded and stately treasure-wagon, heaped with 
assorted knowledges, matured judgments, the gathered products 
of studv, observation and careful reflection. Dr. Bacon's 
mind, in the swift interchanges of editorial conference, moved 
around the other like a brilliant and dashing troop of cavalry, 
taking from it, adding to it, always pursuing the same general 
course, hnt careering away in gallant and graceful curves out 
to the horizon, though aever too remote for prompt assistance, 
for needed direction, for animating impulse, or for splendid 
defense. 1 know that Dr. Thompson felt, as I did, that hardly 
any mental stir or moral stimulation could he keener or more 
delightful than that which came to us in those IVekman-Street 
rooms, when some large topic hail to he considered, and the 
course of the paper concerning it to he settled. I was the 
youngest in the group, and the least important; hut I went 
bome often feeling as if electric currents had secretly mingled 
with my blood. 

In the directions in which, for our purposes, we then espe- 
cially needed knowledge, Dr. Bacon's resources were of a value 

quite inexpressible. I do not think that he impressed me as 

one widelj and sympathetically familiar with the greater phil- 
osophical writers, though his mind was always keenly alert for 
metaphysical or for ethical discussion: nor did 1, perhaps, 


understand at that time, as well as afterward, how wide a 
reader he had been, as, indeed, he always continued to be, in 
the best English literature, or in the departments of classical 
and historical study ; but his knowledge of men. and of the 
movements of opinion, in hi> own region not only, but all over 
tin- country : hi> knowledge of the history of the New Ener- 


land churches and of the theological changes among them; 
Ins knowledge of missions, at home and abroad, and of the 
great evangelical societies for the promotion of Christian in- 
terests, many of which he had helped to found or early direct ; 
his knowledge of other denominations of Christians, their his- 
tory and spirit, and his general clear insight into their excel- 
lences and their defects: Ids remarkable knowledge of the life 
of historical families in New England, as well as of the polit- 
ical development of the country, of the men who had beeu 
leaders in it, of the measures with which they had been identi- 
fied, and especially of the relations which they or their several 
policies had sustained to the great anti-slavery movement in 
the Nation all these were a constant source of surprise, and a 
constant incentive to faithful work, as well as an unfailing 
magazine of fresh supplies of wealth and strength to the col- 
umns of the paper. When stirred by discussion, he poured 
them forth with prodigal liberality; and if a phonographer 
could have caught his talk, while he himself knew uothing of 
it. the record would have beeu often more opulent, not unfre 
quently more eloquent, than anything which he afterward 
wrote, or than any of his elaborate addresses. Ilis mind 
seemed -imply full of such knowledges; and they broke from 
it. on lit occasion, in shining and enriching abundance. 

A- a writer, for the effective impression of hi> thought, Dr. 
Bacon at liin besl seemed to me then$ has seemed to me ever 
Bince, of a nearly unsurpassed excellence. The easy, elegant, 
rapid, and powerful movement of his mind appeared to force 
words without an effort to do hie bidding, till they dropped 
into sentences terse, clear-cut, and epigrammatic, or flowing in 
melodious beauty, as if it had been spontaneously done, with 
out particular forethought or care. lie wrote best, I always 
thought, under -iron- pre -jure; hi« sermons being rareh as 

Btriking a- hi- article-, though with passages often of ureal 

I 98 I E( »\ \ i:i> i; ICON. 

power; his best articles being often produced at a beat. Wlial 
disturbed or manacled others only stimulated him. and his 
keenest and mosl pungent discussions ot subjects were some 
times produced while various voices were speaking in the room, 
and the printer's devil was waiting impatient for liis copy. 
His self-poise seemed never impaired by such outward inci 
dents, and the sheets would go to the boy's band, one after an- 
other, with hardly an erasure or change from first to Inst. Yet, 
when the sentences, so rapidly, easily, smoothly written, came 
to be read, in the next day's columns, they were often rich 
with allusion, brilliant with wit, ringing and rhythmic in their 
cadence, as if they had been laboriously prepared in the still 
air of delightful studies. Without effort for ornament, bis 
style seemed then simply instinct with beauty, and with a 
uative supple energy. The eagerness of his thought gave pre- 
cision and impulse to Ids utterance of it. His perfect master) 
of a racy and noble vocabulary made words trip to him as 
nimble servitors. Hi> intentness on the end which he mean! 
to accomplish molded bis paragraphs into a vigorous grace of 
proportion, almost like that of the athlete's limbs; while the 
description which Fisher Ames is -aid to have given of Hamil- 
ton'- wit to the friend who told him of the death of the states- 
man might, almost without exaggeration, have been often 
applied to the hest writing of Dr. Bacon : " His wit was as 
sharp as yonder thistle-blade, and [after a pause] as delicate as 
It- down." I recall many passages of his writing, editorial 
and Other, which seem to me as well deserving to he studied 
now. a- tine examples of an admirable style, as any of Addison 
«,!• of Macaulay. 

Of Dr, Bacon's personal qualities, moral and spiritual, others 

must write who can do it with an ampler leisure than mine, 
perhaps without that throb in the pulse which comes to me 

-till when I think of him as gone. It goes without saying, to 

all who knew him, that he had a- deal' and firm a faith as any 

man has ever had in what iscalled the " evangelical" rendering 
of New Testament doctrine, and in the Lord whom that pre- 
sents to the love and trust, the adoration and obedience, of 
human heart-. One figure was equally dominant to him in 
Gospels and in Epistles; one, in all the history of the church; 


one, in the present complicated and changeful movements of 
society, the collisions of ideas, the inrush of new instruments 
for the n>e of mankind, the contentions in Christendom, or the 
impacts of its force <>n barbarian tribes. It was the figure of 
Him whose lowly birth yesterday recalled, whose miracles 
the disciples delighted to record, whom John exalted amid the 
Eternities in his majestic and tender proem, whom Paul beheld 
in the sudden brightness, and from whom came the subsequent 
incessant ami sublime inspirations of his kingly life — the figure 
of Ilim whom Pilate crucified, but on whose head the exile of 
Patmos -aw afterward many crowns! In the apprehension of 
the personal Christ, Brother, Teacher. Redeemer, King, man- 
ifesting God, making atom incut, and at last to conquer the 
world, Dr. Bacon's inmost spiritual experience had root and 
life. His best discourses *were on this theme; his conversation 
took always a tenderer and a statelier tone when he approached 
it; and the sweet and solemn sublimity of his prayers caught 
its mighty and delicate harmony from his unfailing adoration 
of God revealed in his Son. The law of his Bpiritand the life 
of his thought was in this sovereign conception of the Lord, 
lie drew to men. everywhere, who showed in their minds the 
counterpart of it. The early life of the New England churches 
was precious to his memory, the present forms of administra- 
tion in the churches which have followed them were dear to 
his heart, because, apart from a living Christ, central and su- 
preme, there could ha\e been no glory in the past, there could 
be now do power, progress, or even coherence in such societies. 
With an emphasis than winch that of the apostle was hardly 
profounder, he could saj anywhere: "I am not ashamed of 
the <>o-pel of Christ : tor it is the power of God, unto salva- 
tion, to every one that believeth." 

Out of this came hi- life-long interest in the missionary 
work, in hi- own land and in others; and out of this hi- con 
Btant effort to get Christianity practically realized, bo far a- his 
influence might extend, in the habits and institutions of society 
around him. Mi- interest in temperance, in ami slavery, in the 
lie-t met hod- of either t he loweror the higher education, in social 
progresH, and in even political reform, had always its source in 

hi- \\i-h to make societ} itself a temple of the Lord, illumined 


b\ bis presence, as well as erected and molded for his praise. 
Ii «ras nol al all because he had taken philosophical ethics a1 a 
particular vivid angle, and had seen the necessary collision of 
thai with social customs or traditional politics, thai In- was a 
reformer when it cosl much to be such : bu1 it was because he 
eould no1 be satisfied- his conscience and hearl forbade him 
to be satisfied- -till the law of Christ was regnanl among men, 
and civilization had become " only a secular name for Chris- 
tianity." He was in this essentially akin with the English 
reformers; and with those who faced the winds and the wil- 
derness on our stormy shores, that here they mighl found a 
church with no lordship Bave that of God's Son, and a state 
interpenetrated in all its parts by his benign authority and rule. 
He was like them in their aim, though by no means wholly 
SO in their methods; and he had, like them, the courage of his 
convictions, and was never afraid of what man could do to him. 
The tranquillity of his courage was not merely tested among 
the Koords, in L851, when his life hung by a thread, and when 
bis tender and lofty prayer ascended for his captors, as well as 

for himself and his companions. It met, not nnfrequently, 
sharp tests at home. There were times in the early history of 
Tin Independent when the intensity of feeling againsl it, in 
important and prominent circles, was like the very blast of a 
furnace : when men who took it, who even casually read it, 
were regarded as hopeless and intractable radicals; and when 
to be its senior editor was to be a target, in the press and on the 
platform, for many missiles angrily hurled. I have no doubt 
that nature was very Largely helpful to grace in the quiet com- 
posure with which Dr. Bacon bore such as>aults. He knew his 
resources, and expected his opportunity ; and when the oppor- 
tunity came there was no doubt whatever in his mind that the 
"whip of small cords" was still a useful Christian instrument, 
and the scourging sarcasms with which lit; smote and stung his 
assailants had often a most salutary, if not an immediately 
soothing effect. But, aside altogether from his personal con- 
sciousness of his singular powers for self-defense, he had an 
assured tranquillity of spirit amid all commotions, because he 
was working, according to his conception of things, for what 
Was agreeable tO the doctrine, the law, and the spirit of the 

LEON \i:r> BACON. 201 

Master; and he had no fear that God would so down in an\ 
struggle, or that the fiercest passions <>f men could countervail 
IIi> mightv plan-, against whom the heathen have raged from 
the outset, and the people have imagined a thonsand vain 

lit- meant to be useful, and so far as he could, to serve his 
generation, before he. like the father.-, should -fall on sleep," 
and no doubt he desired and properly valued positions of emi- 
nence, which might serve to make his usefulness wider; but 1 
never -aw the least desire or sensibility in him to popular fame 
the least care whether his name would he repeated or not when 
lie himself should have gone hence. If the Master was hon- 
ored, that was enough. If his influence might live, he cared 
little for reputation. If his own conscience approved his course, 
I do not imagine that he was in the least solicitous whether or 
how long the breath of men should continue to syllable his 
name. He has hi- reward in an influence that may not con- 
tinue apparent, hut that can hardly cease to he felt while the 
Christian life of the continent is unfolded. 

By this sincerity and genuineness of spirit, by the constant 
impulse to he abreast with the time-, a- well a- by hi- reverent 
piety and hi- unfailing Christian faith, lie kept, to even a mar- 
velous degree, the undecaying youth of his spirit, and was as 
fresh in hi- enthusiasm, a- vital and eager in his interest in 
subjects, a- keenly observant of the tendencies of thought, a- 
tender and strong in personal affections, at eight) years of age, 
a- lie had been at fifty or at thirty ; yet he felt all the time the 
nearer approach of the great Immortality, and not unfrequently 
made reference to it. The lasl sermon which he preached in 
my pulpit, now some years Bince, was on the text, " For now- i- 
our salvation nearer than when we believed." Those who have 

been more familiar than I. in later year-, with hi- public servi 
Ces of instruction and prayer, have told me that more than ever 

before have hi- thoughts been full of the pathos of dependence, 
ami the sweetness of hope; that more tender than ever have 
heeii hi- m i ii i-t rati- in- to the sick, the dying, and t he bereaved; 
that more than ever, without hindrance or weight, ha- his spiril 

-oared upward in that office "1 prayer, in which the loft \ 

rhythm of hi- words, caughl largely from the Scriptures, ha- 

202 I . I < »\ \ i:l> BACON. 

always seemed the 011I3 appi*opriate and adequate vehicle for 
liis reverential ascriptions of praise, for his hearl searching con 
fessions of sin, liis aspirations for lioliness, and liis 'reverent 
thanksgiving. He grew Baintlier as lie grew older. Touching 
the past —rill, in experience and memory, he touched the future 
with more confidenl hope. A few weeks since, as I left the 
study in which I had found him busily al work, though even 
then the terrible pain had repeatedly -mitten him with it.- sure 
premonition of coming death, his lasl words were, as he pressed 
my hand with unusual strength, and looked downward with 

moistened eyes: "God bless you, my dear lu-other, always!" 
I could not feel then that I was parting from him, after the inti- 
maev of a whole generation, for the last time. I thought aarain 

to hear the talk which had SO often been a delight, and to 
touch the hand so often laid on the lexer- of influence, which 

had borne so easily multiplied burdens. Thank God for the 
knowledge that, when again I see hi- face, hi' will have walked 
with Paul in Paradise, and have seen, like the others who went 
before, the vision of the face of Christ! 

• Ever faithfully yours, 

P. S. Storrs. 



Leonard Bacon is (lend! What he was to us he was to a 
great multitude of his fellow-citizens, who have listened for 
liis voice and who have felt that order, good government, vir- 
tue, religion, and the best interests of society were safer and 
better while he lived. His death, last Saturday morniner, of a 

form '>!' heart disease, re ved from the world a life which 

had in it more than fifty commanding years, and ended, at last, 
within a few week- of the eightieth birthday, with as man} 
and various interests a- ever reposing in him. His vital forces 
appeared to be unsapped. He walked erect, with the clastic, 
firmly-planted step which distinguished him through life. 

■ Hi- youth 'gains! time and -vk- had ever spurned " 

with such prosperous art that eighty years seemed onlyto have 
gathered int.. him "some smack of age .... some relish of 
the saltness of time.'* Excepl tor intimation- which had gone 
abroad that there were grounds tor apprehending a disorder 
which respecta neither youth nor age, it would have occurred 
to none ..! his neighbors that they might n..t continue t.> 
reckon among the world's workers this wonderful octogenarian, 
who was now displaying in old age the qualities "I youth, as in 
youth he had displayed the mature qualities of age. 

Leonard Bacon was born February 19, 1802, at Detroit, and, 
entering 5Tale at the age of fourteen years, wae graduated in 

20 I u-:< >\ \ i;i> BACON. 

the class of 1820, whose valedictorian was Theodore l>. Wool- 
-«\. the revered ex-Presiden1 of Yule, with whom lie bas 
maintained a life-long friendship, lie studied for the Chris- 
tian ministry a1 Amdover, where he gave indications of those 
commanding powers which were destined to make liim ;i ruler 
among men. One of his fellow-students and friends has pre 
served a characteristic anecdote, which is too arood to We lost, 
that the young student, by Ids hold, aggressive methods in 
public discussion, raised as much of a storm as there is room 
for in a well-regulated theological seminary, and was visited by 
a committee, led by a youth in whose composition piety and 
dullness were evenly mixed. " Brother Bacon," lie ran on. 
>- for your own sake give ii|> tins fault. It is the one thing, 
Brother Bacon, between you and greatness. Give it up, 
Brother Bacon, and you are sure to he a much greater man." 
The young Bacon, who, with all his polemic force, had in him 
a good infusion of the meekness which helped Moses to rule, 
bore all patiently, and, finally, when silence ceased to he 
golden, dismissed the meeting with the reply: " But, Brother, 
1 am already a greater man than I know what to do with." 

In L825 he was ordained to the Christian ministry, and set 
over the ('enter Church, at New Haven, whose pulpit had 
been raised to a great height of influence by the eminent 
divines who had held it, the last among whom had been the 
late Nathaniel W. Taylor, the distinguished founder of the 
theology which is known sometimes by his name and some- 
times as that of New Haven. 

His congregations would hardly claim that at au\ period of 
his ministry he was a great preacher, though they can never 
forget that in occasional sermons he displayed many of the 
highest and besl gifts of the preacher. Ordinarily, his style 
was to<3 literary to he impassioned; hut, when the mood was 
on him and the occasion suited, it was easy for him to throw 
the orator's -pell over the congregation and by turns awe, 
delight, or convince them. His voice, which was not unerr- 
ingly trained to fall into sympathetic tones, was one of great 
native capacity and Bweetness, which, in the happy use of it, 
Berved to express the -hades and points of his pungent wit, or 
delicate humor. It flowed out then in rhythmic cadences. 


which carried through the audience a delightful impression of 
easy mastery or, like a well-drawn cord, threw his arrows far 
and to the mark. His manner in the pulpit was that kind of 
dignified propriety which is never dull and sometimes rises to 
the highest inspiration. 

Dr. BacoD was familiar with theology, but was not in the 
strict meaning of the word a theologian, though for several 
years previous to the appointment of Dr. Harris he taught the 
classes in the Vale Seminary the divine science. ILi> genera] 
position was that of the New Haven School, but he held it 
liberally. On this point we may remind our readers that Dr. 
Bacon did not sympathize with the prosecution of the late Dr. 
Bushnell, but was his fast friend to the end. and that whatever 
conservatism there was in him was of that kind that held the 
root in the ground to grow, and not of the kind which is fatal 
to progress, nor to the vitality and the fecundity of thought. 

The cliurdi over which he was settled was the historic 

church of John Davenport, whose two hundredth anniversary 
was approaching. This may have stimulated his historic tastes, 
which were always strong, and led him into the researches 
which culminated first in a Beries of discourses, and then in 
their publication under the title of '^Bacon's Historical Dis- 
courses." This volume fixed his reputation as a master of 
literary Btyle and as an historical scholar; a reputation which, 
as far as the annals of the Congregational churches and of the 
State of Connecticul go, he shared only with Dr. Dexter and 
.1 Hammond Trumbull. 

He was the author of Beveral other works, of which we only 

mention here "The Genesis of the New England Churches." 
lie wrote often and effectively for the Christia/n Spectator and 
afterward for the New fflngla/nder on a wide variety of topic-. 
More brillianl replies can hardlj be found in controversial 

literature than the defense he printed la-t -iiinmer in the New 

Englander of the righl of the Congregational clergy of Con 

necticut to the place they have in the corporation of Yale 
College, a production which U only to he matched by hi> own 
•■ Dryasdusl NTiew" of the mutter, published Borne years ago in 
the same quarterly (a- it was then), to vindicate the clerical 

management of the atlaii- of the college auain-t an attack 
made <>n it. 


•jut; l,Kn\ \i;|. BACON. 

Of Dr. Bacon's connection with Yale we musl speak brieny. 
At the appointinenl of Professor Woolsey to I >* • president, he 
resigned bis place in the corporation, t<> make a vacancy for 
ex-Presiden1 Day. Too long an interval was allowed to elapse 
before he was reappointed to his old position for the besl 
interests of all parties concerned. He was. however, reap- 
pointed and bas been recognized to the presenl time as one of 
the mosl capable and efficienl members of the board. We be 
lieve it was in L866 thai he was relieved of all responsibility 
for active dntj as Pastor of the Center Church, and called to 
the chair of theology in the 5Tale Theological Seminary, which 
lie filled until the appointment of Dr. Harris, in 1871. Since 
that time lie lias continued t<> deliver lectures to the classes on 
ecclesiastical polity and Anieriean church history. We ought 
not to omit in this connection that he is the author of several 
hymns, one of which, at least, ha- become classical for those 
who love the Puritans ; 

••o]i! Cod. beneath thy guiding hand." 

Dr. Bacon was early recognized as a Congregational leader. 
What he achieved in this view of his career is a part of the 
religious history of the country and requires only to he men- 
tioned here in this review of his full and varied life. It may 
have been the thoughl of his own cradle in Michigan that Led 

him to throw his heart, as he did. into the West, and strive to 

carry thither the churches of the " ancient faith and order of 
New England," as he delighted to call them. At all events. 
the Wot has had no better friend anywhere among all her 
sons, by adoption or by birth, than Leonard Bacon; none who, 
from first to last, has done more for her churches, her colleges, 
her schools. In the Home Missionary Society, in the American 
Board for Foreign Missions, in councils, associations, and pub- 
lic meetings of nil kinds, in the pulpit and on the platform, by 
pen, by debate, and in the committee-room, all over the land, 
In- has made himself felt, working in right manly fashion to 
build up the churches and to promote the faith. 

A> to Dr. Bacon's anti-slavery record, there was no time in 
hi- life niter Id- ordination to the ministry when he did not 
fed tor the slave and againsl slavery, lie took an instant and 


active interest in the Ajnistad captives, and the contention of 
wits between himself and Ralph [ngersoll on the occasion of 
the famous trial is Btill remembered at New Haven. The 
ethical question which lav at the bottom of the slavery agita 
tion was settled in hi> mind from the first; hut he was not 
clear as to the policy t<> be pursued. He went t<> hear Mr. 
Garrison, with how much hope of finding the required Leader 
in him we do not know; but, if he did not go with an open 
and candid mind, it was the first and lasl time in his life he 
approached a great question in that blinded way. At all events, 
he saw neither a leader nor a policy in Mr. Garrison. For 
years he gave himself to the colonization scheme, and we have 
within these few days seen it stated, in a Leading and responsi- 
ble print, that he did not abandon this movement until about 
I s - ."a>. and that why he abandoned it he never explained; a 
\i-ry curious assertion, in view of the fact that TJu Inde- 
pendent was founded in L848, with Leonard Bacon as the lead- 
ing editor, associated with Dr.-. Thompson, Storrs, and Leavitt, 
and that those editors said in their address to the public " We 
take our stand (or five soil," and kept the address with those 
words and more to the same effect in it standing printed 
through the eleven firsl numbers. Moreover. Dr. Bacon had 
taken this ground long before, had been attacked and maligned 
for doing so and charged with inconsistency. He avowed the 
change of opinion in an open, manly fashion, which, surely, 

cannot have passed OUl of the memory of men so soon, declar- 
ing that the only consistency which was worth the name was 

that in which a man reserved the right to change bis opinions 
when required by the evidence or the discovery of truth to 
do bo. 

A- Ion- ago a- L827 .-in article in the Christian Spectator. 

from the pen of the late .lo-hna Leavitt, had struck a spark in 

Dr. Bacon's mind which kindled to a Same, and became ulti- 
mately not only the principle he adopted, bill that on which 

emancipation was ultimately effected. 

Dr. Leavitt contended that the Constitution was not the 

covenant with evil the GarrisoniailS held it to he; but that it 

wa- for freedom, and that wherever the Constitution was the 
sole source of political institutions il planted freedom. It was 

•Jos LEON v i;i> B ICON. 

hi> belief thai the ring of free States drawn around the others 
would strangle slavery. Thai was the Free Soil doctrine. It 
was al-" the vde\* of the matter taken by the disunion leaders 
and was the fate which they opposed with secession. 

This view of the matter was carried into The I ml, />, ml, nl. 
and advocated there, with what ability and with what command- 
ing influence, the whole country knows. It is the glory of The 
Independent thai it opened fire in its first number on the line 
of battle which, sixteen years later, was crowned with success. 

In 1848 \h-. Leonard Bacon, Dr. Joseph P. Thompson and 
Dr. Richard S. Storrs became the responsible editors oi The 
Independent. The considerations which led to the founding of 
this journal are set forth by them in an address to the public, 
the like of which wa> never penned before, and certainly has 
ii, .t Keen since. The Congregational churches were on the 
move West. Important enterprises were in progress elsewhere. 
More than all, there were certain very perturbative, fecundating, 
organific, and. also, as the event proved, revolutionary thoughts 
in the minds of a pretty large group of large men, which had 
to be uttered. The three responsible editors of The Inde- 
pendent undertook to utter them. "We are Congregational- 
ists," they say, in their address ; "but we do not undertake to 
be the representatives of Congregationalism. We have our 
own opinions on questions in theology, hut we are not the 
champion- of any man's 'scheme' or metaphysical system, or 
of the view- set forth from any chair of theology. Th> Imh- 
j„ ml' nt, then, is not to he held responsible for any opinion but 
its own. The doctors . . . may agree or disagree, as they 
please. We are responsible for none of them, nor is anyone 
of them responsible for us." 

So. too, politically "we take our stand iovfree soil" but will 
not be responsible for any party in the land. We have our 
opinion-, they -aid. and we mean to utter them. 

Nowhere in all the wide field of his fruitful influence will he 
be more missed than in The Independent. A> we review his 
crowded life and think of hi- eightj years, we ask ourselves 
what manner of man wa- thi- that led n- -till to count him 
among the active soldiers in the world's great warfare and to 
expect -o much more from him in the great campaign. 


That he was sometimes bristling and pugnacious, or even 
wrong-headed, that ou some rare occasions he lost hi> poise 
may well enough be true; but hie la-art was gentle and his 
character was impersonal. The spirit of youth and the love of 
youth were in him. Ee was richer in humor than in satin'. 
A good story coming announced itself with a characteristic 
chuckle, and was told with inimitable manner and action. His 
mind was stored with anecdote, and it is doubtful if there has 
been, in his day or anywhere in the wide circle he lived in. 
such a master of the monologue in all hues and of every variety. 
His table-talk, could we have it. would live Long. 

A- a Christian, Dr. Bacon had much of the simplicity of the 
Puritan type. He was warm and spiritual, withoul being de- 
monstrative; l>ut he had qo antagonisms that unfitted him to 

combine with any worker who hail g 1 power of any kind in 

him. IIi> gift in prayer was of the highest order, and he knew 
well how to read the hymn. At funerals and on all public 
occasions no man could he relied on a- he could. In the 
churches he was the bishop, by right divine the IZOUftTfi hw». 
while among men his personal and commanding qualities 
marked him out as tit to wear the Homeric title r/w/c av&po)V. 

We know that Dr. Storrs's eloquent and nohle tribute to the 
memory of Dr. Bacou in these column- will he read with deep 




New 1 1 a a t*i i is not the same place without Dr. Bacon. lie 
has been the Pastor of the oldest church for almost threescore 
years. To all who in this period have lived in that city, to all 
who have resorted to its College and schools his person and 
voice are familiar, [n every public movemenl be has beep a 
recognized leader. Whenever a good cause needed the advo- 
cacy of a powerful pen or an eloquent voice, all eyes turned to 
him. He was the historiographer of the town. He had 
explored its beginnings ; be knew more of its past than any 
other living man. He is identified with New Haven, like the 
permanent features of the landscape, like the massive; twin 
rocks that stand on its border, the elms that shade its streets, 
and the water- of the adjacent Sound. 

Yet Dr. Bacon did not seem old. His intellectual powers 
were not reduced. His vivacity flamed to the last as bril- 
liantly as of yore. He had lost none of his interest in the 
important questions of the bour. He had never stopped on 
bis p'ath to turn bis face backward, and to turn his hack on 
the future. To all who approached him his enthusiastic, hope- 
ful, courageous spirit was an inspiration to the end. Months 
ago he read Robertson Smith's lectures on the Old Tola 
ineiiT. talked of them with animation, evidently feeling that 
the problems which they presented must !»<■ freely and fairly 


discussed. He left on his table an unfinished Essay on Utah 
and "the Riormon Question" in its political relations. ELe 
was emphatically a man of bis time and for his time. He 
would have found it impossible to seclude himself from the stir 
and conflict of the present to forget the struggles in which the 
country and the church are now engaged, or to stand as an idle 
spectator, musing on the course of human events. He felt at 
home <>n the public arena, where matters affecting the common 
weal wen- submitted to the arbitrament of debate. He has 
made innumerable speeches in public meetings. He has been 
a most prolific contributor to the journals. The articles which 
he has written for newspapers and reviews, in all these years, 
generally with reference to current topics, are numberless. 

Vet. it need not he >aid that Dr. Bacon was a man of the 
time in no narrow sense. He was never superficial. lie was 
not of those who are incapable of being interested in anything 
which is not of to-day. His horizon was not so limited. He 
loved t<> trace the presenl back to its root- in the past. He 

had not only the tact and accuracy of a historical student; he 

had, also, the historical imagination which could reproduce by- 
gone time- in a glowing picture. 1 1 iV volumeof Discourses on 
the History of \ew Haven is a contribution to knowledge 
which has stimulated the production of other works of a like 
character. II is last article in the New Ehglcmder is a beautiful 
sketch n\' society in Connecticut near the end of the la.-t cen- 
tury. There was in him such a never-failing spring of mental 
vitality that whatever he read inspired him with thoughts that 
carried him far beyond his author. His understanding was so 
Btrong and so keen that he quickly grasped what was of chief 
moment in a hook or periodical. His intellect was not at all 
enfeebled by hi- habil of discursive reading, a- may he the case 
with inferior men: and, with all his sympathy with his own 
generation, he was not in the leasl a radical in his temperament. 
Hi- tone of feeling was conservative. He revered the virtues 

.,1' men ami of States of society that have passed away. lie 

had nothing of an iconoclasi iii his natural temper. A< a 
reformer, he w a - quite as anxious to build up as to pull down. 
Iii the slavery controversy he was long the all) <>l the* greal 
body who hoped that African colonization would prove an 

•J 1 •_' LEON \KI> BACON. 

ffective means of emancipation. He cordially detested the 
disunion principles and the theological and "woman's rights" 
tenets of the Garrison School ; bn1 when he saw that the Slave 
Power was advancing, and thai slavery was defended by the 
Southern church as a Christian institution, he threw himself 
with fearless ardor into the propagation of anti-slavery doctrine 
and was influential in building up the republican party. Mr. 
Lincoln assured him (as l>r. Bacon himself informed mo that 
it was the reading of his hook of Essays on Slavery that made 
him an A.bolitionist. 

Dr. Bacon's rhetorical talent- were of a very high order; and 
vet the word " rhetorical " in this connection may be mislead 
ing. It was nature, more than art that gave him the remarka- 
ble power to which I refer. To besure, without wide reading 
and familiarity withgood literature he could not have become 
such a master of English expression; hut with him language 
was a spontaneous product ; it was vitalized by thought and 
feeling. He had no need to go in quesl of apt phrases. The 
tire- that were burning within shot forth Light and heat with 
out any artificial blowing of the bellows. I have never known 
his superior in the power of strictly extemporaneous thought. 
It was a delight to him. when he was at his ease with friends 
whom he knew well, to improvise^ if I may use the word, on 
the suhjeds that happened to come up. In an ecclesiastical 

assembly, when roused by atopic that interested him. he always 
manifested this extraordinary power of "thinking on his feet." 
Sometimes, especially in conversation, a suggestion from an- 
other that struck his mind he would take up and onf old and 
illustrate with his own peculiar felicity; not. perhaps because 
it embodied hi- own matured opinion, hut as if \)\ a kind ol 
rhetorical instinct, prompting him to present the case as it ought 
to be presented. There wen- occasions when Dr. Bacon was 

vcrv eloquent. When a monument was placed near the ('enter 
Church, over the -rave id' Col. of the judges of 

King Charles [., he delivered a discourse on "The Opening of 
an Ancient Grave"; and. years later, from a platform raised 
over the Bame monument, he delivered an address id' welcome 
to Governor Robinson, of Kansas. In the last instance, ootably, 
sympathy with the historic -lory of Puritanism, suggested \>\ 


the ashes of the exiled judge over which he stood, blended with 
a burning indignation at the iniquities perpetrated in Kansas, 

and caused him to -peak with an eloquence which I have never 
heard surpassed. These are only two instances among many 
which those who have long known Dr. Bacon will easily recall. 
In his own pulpit ir is hardly requisite To observe that his dis- 
courses were uniformly solid and instructive. NTot unfre- 
quently they were spirited as well ; and sometimes- — in partic- 
ular, on commemorative occasioni — they were full of tire. But 
he told me once that it was harder for him to speak without 
notes in his own pulpit than anywhere else, lie lacked there 
the stimulus of opposition. The topics, although they took a 
deep hold of his convictions, might be not more apposite 
for one time than for another, and a sense of the propriety 
and decorum that belong to the bouse of worship, mingled 
with that respect for his congregation which grew up in the 
early years of his niinisi r\ . when he stood in the place of Stuart 
and Taylor, threw over him in some degree an insensible con- 
straint. In truth, there were various characteristics of Dr. 
Bacon which it is probable that many id' his parishioners knew 
little of or. at any rate, never adequately appreciated. I refer 
to the many who >aw little of him, except in the pulpit. 1 1 is 
attractiveness as a speaker in places where lie was at liberty to 
pour out hi- thoughts at will, and illuminate them with Hashes 
of wit. they might not fully understand. The charm of hie 
conversation when he was with congenial minds, the stream 
of wisdom and wit. the store.-, of apposite anecdote always at 

his command, the humorous illustrations from favorite authors. 
as Scotl or Dickens, which came up unhidden, as the talk pur- 
sued its winding way to all this many wl nl\ knew him as 

a preacher wire Btrangers. Ne\ ert heless he was reinarkal il v 

open and frank, lie was never otherwise than serious and 
earnest. Had any one who knew him hut imperfectly, -ecu 
him in hi- mosl unguarded hour-, he would have observed 
nothing to detrad in the least from the profound respeel for 
hi- character which his pulpit addresses, his solemn and v^mt 
1'iit prayers, and Hie sympathetic and melodious tones in which 
he read the hymne of the church were adapted to inspire. 
Dr. Bacon ie distinguished as a polemical writer and speaker. 

■'II LEON \i:i» BACON. 

Mr inherited in a large measure tlieold Puritan zeal for making 
things straighl in this crooked world, for compelling magis 
trates to rule justly, and for beating down the upholders of 
demoralizing institutions and customs. He was naturally fond 
of controversy in the Bense thai hi> mental faculties were 
quickened by debate, and be experienced all the delighl the 
naudia certaminis— which belongs to a combatant who lias no 
occasion to distrusl liis powers; hut Dr. Bacon embarked in 
no warfare which he did not feel to be just. The severity of 
his sarcasm was owing to the keenness of his perception. The 
blade which nature fashioned for him had a sharp edge. But 
he was a magnanimous disputant. He was above petty tricks. 
lie disdained sophistry. He brought away from his battles no 
feeling of rancor toward his adversaries, lie cherished no 
grudges. After a tilt was oxer, it was no fault of his if he did 
not shake hands with his opponent. He had a large-minded, 
catholic spirit toward all bodies of Christian people. While 
clinging with an unfaltering faith to the essential facts and 
principle- of the gospel, he believed in five inquiry and dis- 
cussion, despised pettiness and narrowness in religon, and was 
able to recognize the same essential truth under diverse forms 
«>f statement. One who saw Dr. Bacon in an assembly where 
an excited debate was in progress, wearing the stern look of a 
warrior, with his sword-arm uplifted and launching his invec- 
tives against an obnoxious measure, might imagine that austerity 
and indignation were his prevailing traits. In reality, he was 
one of the kindest and most genial of men. His indignation 
was fervid, hut there was a deeper well of generous and benev- 
olent feeling beneath it. "How Dr. Bacon has mellowed in 
the last twenty year-!"" i- a remark occasionally heard. It 
would certainly lie a reproach to a good man if the change 

denoted by this phraseology did not occur with the advance of 
N'.. doubt there was an increasing carefulness to avoid 
expressions that might wound sensitive minds. A.fter all, how- 
ever, this apparent growth of tenderness and forbearance was. 
in the main, a manifestation of qualities of heart which had 
ever belonged to him. Old age does noi soften the naturally 
unfeeling. Ripeand mellowfruit springsonly from good seed. 
The most conspicuous moral trait of Dr. Bacon was manli- 


ness. Manliness constituted his ideal of character. It was 
Christian manliness, because Christianity in his view was essen- 
tial to the perfection of manhood. A devout man. he was 
utterly free from all the sentimentalities of piety. To enthu- 
siasts he might seem too reserved, perhaps frigid, in his 
religious manifestations. Not so did he seem to the thousands 
of invalids at whose bedside be had offered up prayer to Grod, 
or to the multitude of households which he entered to bury 
their dead. Bui he believed that Christianity is for daily use. 
Ir is to make men upright, faithful, fearless in the performance 
of duty. It is not only for the spiritual health and peace of 
the individual : it is for the remolding of Bociety. It i> the 
part of a Christian to take the aggressive and carry the Gospel 
over the earth. In the distant continents of Asia, in far-off 
islands of the sea, wherever an American missionary is at work 
in planting Christianity, the name of Dr. Bacon is familiar. 
In the only extended journey which he ever toot he visited 
our missions in the East. II<- had the New England feeling 
that religion and education arc inseparable. Whatever tend- 
to advance the intelligence of the community had his energetic 

lie was never idle. Work always seemed a pa-time for him. 
Some years ago I heard him say that the weeks of his summer 
vacation were harder for him to dispose of than any other pari 
of the year. He went on with his labors to the end. The 
expectation that his remaining time was short, and that death 
might OCCUr at any moment, did not lead him to lay down his 

wonted employments. He wrote and preached ami lectured as 
usual, doing everytliing cheerfully, making no complaint of 
physical weakness. He quietly gave up meetings which he 
was not able to attend, was taken in a carriage to the Divinity 
School when he could not walk, luit evinced in conference 
with bis colleagues and in hi- instructions in the class-room 
jn-t the same vigor of mind and the same liveliness of feeling 
:i~ of old. He communicated to us, Ias1 spring, in a ?en -im 

pie way the nature of hi- malad\ and the iincrrtaint \ of the 
Continuance of hi- life. Then hi- work with n- went on with 
no perceptible change in him. except a tinge, pathetic, though 
alight, of added tenderness in hi- manner. 

2 I fi LEON \ HP BACON. 

When Dr. Bacon became one of the corps of theological 

teachers in Vale Divinity Scl I, bis younger associates, much 

as they honored him and desired \\\> appointment, were nol 
without a degree of apprehension that there tnighl be some 
want of freedom in the presence of his positive character and 
emphatically outspoken opinions on all questions which he was 
called t<» consider. All apprehensions of this sort were soon 
dissipated. We found him uniformly gentle arid considerate, 
not in llic leasl disposed to press unduly his own ideas upon 
our acceptance, and helpful and obliging in the highest degree. 
Fertile in new plans, he was, fortunately, at the furthest re- 
move from obstinacy in insisting on measures which were not 
acceptable to Ins colleagues. No instructor could exhibit 
toward his fellow- a more unselfish spirit. At the same time 
he equaled, if he did not outstrip us all in enthusiasm with 
regard to our common work. In our conferences, he brought 
out of his full mind treasures new and old ; treasures both of 
tad and of suggestion. A> to the students, he was lenient in 
his judgments, kindly and yet searching, and eminently wise 
and stimulating, in his criticisms. He never manifested to 
cither professors or pupils any of the faults which have com- 
monly been thought to he characteristic of old men. At the 
beginning we felt toward him a high respect and esteem. 
More and more, without any effort on his part, merely by 
showing himself as he was, he won our cordial Love. 

The observation has often been made that Dr. Bacon might 
have been and. perhaps, ought to have been, a senator in Con- 
gress, or a great advocate at the har. It is true that his for- 
ensic talents were of a high order. It is true that he had a 
statesmanlike hain't of thought. Had he entered on the career 
of a lawyer or of a politician, he would have achieved eminent 
distinction. But I do not concur in the opinion that the path 
which he chose was the less desirable one. The moral element 
was supreme in his mental constitution. He has discussed the 
gravest public questions in a way to instruct and impress a 
vast aumber of educated minds, and he has done this <piite an 
effectively in his character as a citizen, holding no office and 

aspiring to none, as if he had been clad in the robes of office, 
lie has been, at the -ami' time, a heroic, untiring servant of the 

LEONAKD baton. -217 

church. He has represented the interests of religion and mo- 
rality before the American community with an ability which 
baa commanded the respect of the ablest men in every walk of 
life. Official station might not have increased his influence. 
It might have furnished occasion for attack- on the purity of 
his motives and the independence of his judgment, which he 

The place tilled by Dr. Bacon was in some respects unique. 
In his own province he had no superior. None are Left to 

"The mighty bow that once Dlysses bore." 

The great effect of his life remains. Those who knew him 
best will never cease to cherish toward him the deepest honor 
and affection. 
New Eaven, Conn. 



By President Noah Porter. D.D.. LL.D. 

I am asked to give a lew of my recollections of the late Dr. 
Bacon. It is not easy to select a few out of the throng which 
I cannot hut recall. Nevertheless, I will make the attempt. 

The first was in my childhood, when I heard of a student of 
divinity at Andover of remarkable gifts, especially in litera- 
ture, whose torn window-curtain had occasioned some sharp 
remarks from a pert young miss, winch, when reported to him, 
had called forth a lively poetic response, which was published 
in 11k Boston Recorder, Tin Boston tt<<-<>r<hr then was 
almost the onl\ religious newspaper in New England and the 
CTnited State-. -Xn Fiction" was almost the only religious 
novel, and this was not approved in all religious circles. 
Scott's novels and Lord Byron's poems were the chief attrac- 
tion- of cm-rent literature, and bow far either were either edi- 
fying or even worthy of toleration in Christian families was a 
matter of grave discussion. Bui the rising wave of missionary 
enterprise, which had appeared a few year.- before, had now 
gathered force and was moving powerfully through New Eng- 
land. The recent revivals of religion, in which Drs. Beecher 

and Taylor and Nettleton were so pi inent, had led many to 

raise their hope- of the speedy coming of the Millennium; the 
newly-inspired spirit of benevolence was prompting to what at 
rhat time seemed wonders of self-sacrifice and liberality; 


Sunday-schools were almost in their infancy; the modern 
movements for moral and social reform were hardly in their 
bud when Leonard Bacon began his public life, a stripling of 
twenty-three, a wide-minded and self-reliant student, who had 
found stuff to kindle hi> romantic fancy in the missionary cov- 
ings of his fervid father among the western frontiers and 
along the western lake-, and had \\'<\ his intellect by the' enthu- 
siastic study of the masters of English literature. His early 
writings exhibited more than usual power of debate, marked 
self-reliance in uttering his opinions, keen wit, daring invec- 
tive, and soaring eloquence, all of which he could not hut 
express in clear, strong, and felicitous language. 

When I entered college, lie had heen two years Pastor of the 
Center Church. A- he preached now and then from the tall 
pulpit of the old chapel, and the still taller pulpit in his own 
church, he was chiefly distinguished for the positiveness and 
self-reliance with which he spoke and the freedom from a pul- 
pit dialect ; hut. a> n<>w and then some occasional discourse 
was called for on some missionary <>r benevolent theme, or 
some demand of public morals, or when excited by some polit- 
ical or commercial crisis, he was inspired with special energy 
and seemed quite another man than in his ordinary ministra- 
tions. New Haven was then a city of some eight or nine 
thousand inhabitants. Two Congregational churches, one 
Episcopal, one Baptist, and one Methodist, and the College 
(diapel were all. One Roman Catholic family only was known 

in the town. ( )n a great religious occasion at the ('enter 

Church the city was moved by a common sympathy. During 
the great revival of ]s:;i the whole city kepi a Sabbath "I' 

four days of -oleum and excited -tilhie>.-. in which the pastor, 

then of five year-" standing was prominent. Before this event, 
however, he had passed a serious crisis in hi- mini-try and his 
life, which he ha- appropriately commemorated. 

Before thi- time the so-called New Haven tl log} had 

attracted public attention, and had begun to agitate the 
churches in ami out of N"\\ England. TIu Quarterly Chris- 
f 1,1 1, Spectator in l s- J'.' was established as the organ of the 

New Haven School. I>r. Bacon wan l< •« I -t naturally, from 

his earh associations and the practical and progressive character 

•_'•_'<> LEON \ltl> H in »\. 

of bis mind, to sympathize with many, if not all of its posi- 
tions and became a frequenl contributor to the pages of the 
new review. His contributions were chieity literary and ethi- 
cal and reformatory, rather than theological. Mis sympathy 
with the new theological direction was most significantly and 

characteristically shown in the edition of the select works of 

Richard Baxter, which he published in L831. With his studies 
for this labor of love began those researches which were the 
joy of his lite, which brought him into close communion with 

the heroes of freedom, of civil, religious, and ecclesiastical 

reform, and the champions of a national Christian theology. 
From this time Dr. Bacon's life-long mission began to be dis- 
tinctively defined to himself and to others. The cause of 
public morals in his own city was espoused with characteristic 
boldness and enforced by Ins lively wit and hold invective. 
The great benevolent enterprises were all eloquently cham- 
pioned and liberally responded to by his people. It was not 
long before his latent individuality asserted itself most posi- 
tively in certain lines of ecclesiastical leadership. In L835 he 
led tlie General Association of Connecticut to pass a set of crit- 
ical resolutions against the inroads and pretensions of itinerant 
evangelists, the aim of which was well enough understood. In 
L836 the Presbyterian church was violently disrupted, chiefly 
on theological grounds. This event was attended and followed 
by a series of agitations in Connecticut which, in the view ot 
many, threatened a division of the Congregational ministers 
and churches. In these discussions \)v. Bacon was conspicuous. 
A aewspaper was established in New Haven in which lie was 
greatly interested, and in an occasional periodical, called 
Views and Reviews, he published two or three series of vigor- 
ous letter-, protesting with all the energy at his command 
against the necessity and the Christianity of any movement 
toward a division. 

The meetings of the General Association of the State were 
for several years the arena on which bis varied resources were 
brilliantly and efficiently displayed. This controversy had 
scarcely begun to abate when hi- energies were aroused in a 
new direction. The year L838 was observed in commemora- 
tion of the end of the second Century since the settlement ot 


New Haven. Into the arrangement f< >r the suitable observ- 
ance of this event Dr. Baeon threw all the ardor and energy of 
his nature. The first result was the preparation of his histor- 
ical discourses of the First Church in New Haven, a work 
which was not only a model of its kind, but has a still greater 
interest from its relation to the subsequent history of Dr. 
Bacon's own studies. It confirmed and steadied the ardent 
enthusiasm which he inherited from his father for the heroes 
who settled New England. It determined his favorite re- 
searches in the direction of the history and polity of the New 
England churches. His subsequent elaborate tracing of the 
origination and operation of the Saybrook Platform ; the quainl 
and archaic codification of the usages of the New England 
churches, which he prepared for the Boston Council; his 
learned work on the '" Genesis of the New England Churches;" 
his growing tenacity of the old usages; his continued protests 
for the freedom and independence of the local church: his 
tenacious and what seemed to some his needless protests againsl 
Congregationalism as a sect will be readily recognized as the 
legitimate fruits of hi> memorable work in L838. This work 
had another good effect. It brought him nearer to the hearts 
of hi> fellow-citizens of all classes. In teaching them to be 
proud of their own history, he taught them to be proud of the 
man who had shown that their city had a history. The medal 
which commemorated this celebration in L838 and the marble 
tablets over the entrance of the church with the construction 
of the crypt beneath its floor the last two the loving work of 
his old age are fruits and evidences of this historic enthn 
siasm. This historical work was scarcely finished when a new 
labor was prepared for his hands. He had I. ecu originally, 
with very many, not to saj most philanthropists, an advocate of 
African colonization, as the onlj practical remedy For slavery. 
His antagonism to alaver) itself was greatly intensified l>\ a 
snbsequenl personal knowledge of plantation life. The radical 
and anti-Christian abolitionism of man} of the immediate 
emancipationists aroused an equally positive opposition, in 
which satire ami invective had free play. For several Near- 
he protested against both parties with a nearh equal hostility, 
which he found abundant occasion to expresn. Hut events 

2*2*2 Leonard bacon. 

moved rapidh toward ;i crisis. In the meantime the Wey) 
Engl-ander was started, in L843, chiefly under Dr. Bacon's 
inspiration, with the avowed design of discussing political, 
social, religious, and literary topics of present interest in a 
popular style. This periodical engrossed l>r. Bacon's atten- 
tion for several years and was for a season after the death of 
the first editor under his immediate control. In L848 Tin 
Independent was started, and in its weekly demands upon his 
pen and his counsels it furnished him with full occupation, 
while the clouds were gathering for the impending storm. 
Meanwhile, the controversy over the various phases of I >r. 
Bushnell's theology interested him intensely. The General 
Association of Connecticut became again the scene of earnest 
discussion, and ominous preparation for a division of ecclesias- 
tical fellowship were again threatening; and Dr. Bacon was 
again at his post, using all his powers of pen and speech to 
avert so serioii- a calamity. As a consequence, he became 
more and more distinctly catholic in his own views of theology 
and more and more comprehensive in his Christian sympathies. 
In L866 lie withdrew from the active duties and responsibilities 
of his pastorate, and for five years taught revealed or biblical 
theology in the Theological Department of Yale College, and 
from l' s ~l till his death he gave instruction in church polity 
and the ecclesiastical history of New England. 

In every one of these manifold spheres of activity there was 
special discipline for his quick and vigorous mind. To each 
he brought keen discernment, comprehensive judgment, a tena- 
cious memory, and a warm and even ardent personal sympathy. 
From each he emerged a stronger and a riper man, till in the 
lasl ten pears of useful and happy life, he seemed to have 
attained the ideal consummation of experiences so varied by 
toil and bo Btirring in combat, lie had not lost a Whit of his 
idiosyncrasy. He was as headlong in assertion and as acquies- 
cent under reply or explanation, as violent in invective, and as 
generous in personal feeling; but there gathered around him 
insensibly a pervading serenity of spirit, which made him seem 
rli,. more human in proportion as he became more heavenly. 
His prayers had always been remarkable for touching pathos 
and seraphic elevation. At the bedside of the sick and dying, 


in the hushed circle of the bereaved, in the worship of the 
great congregation, and before the family altar his devotional 

utterances had been models of their kind ; hut as he prayed in 
his old age his lips seemed to have been touched with a coal 
from the altar of God. In "the Club," of which he had been 
the charm and the pride for forty years or more, he was the 
same in defects and merits, but always jubilant with humor 
and intense with life: just as positive in assertion and equally 
patient of criticism; and more Baconian than ever, and yet 
more catholic, patient, and noble. 

The article in the New Englander of duly, L881, on the 
corporation of Y^ale College, seems tome perfect in its kind, 
brilliant with wit, cogent in argument, masterly in style, and, 
above all, as sweet and winning as though it were the first essaj 
• if a carpet-knight, and not the last charge of a hundred onset-. 

The catholicity of his theological and Christian sympathies 
had always been conspicuous in his character. His conceptions 
of the Kingdom of God were always enlarged to include ever) 
form of human welfare and progress.. His youthful fervor in 
both directions had become confirmed into quiet and immov- 
able convictions. His old experience had attained to more 
than one prophetic strain. It so happened that he and myself 
were at the last meeting of the General Association of ('mi 

necticut, at which I was somewhat reluctantly required to 
speak of the history of theological parties in ( 'oiniect icnt since 
L837, the year when the same church edifice was almost rocked 

to and fro by the waves of theological strife. 

lie followed with greater liberty of speech, as he referred 

to the tierce conflicts iii that house of some forty four years 
before, when he had been twelve years and I had been one in 
the ministry. In referring afterward to this freedom which he 
had used, he said, with greal fervor and feeling, thai he found 
it dillicnlt to restrain hi- feelings when he went hack to those 
time- of peril to the churches of the State from the forces 

which were then massed to divide them. Little did man\ who 
heard of him by report or who read his hrilliant satire know 

how deeph were imbedded in hi- heart an heroic consecration 
to the Kingdom of God and a fervenl faith in it- certain tri 
iimph and n knightly lo\alt\ to hi- Master and Redeemer. 

•_'•_' I LEON \ l;i» BACON. 

In his own household lie was a model o1 sweetness and 
patience and good humor. His children and his children's 
children were his joy and pride. Some of his mos1 effective 
articles for the press are known to have been written with one 
child in his lap and another at his feet, amid manifold inter- 
ruptions and more numerous cares and anxieties. A.s one and 

another of the de;ire>t and -v\eete-t were taken ullt of Ill's life, 

he suffered none the less that he retained his composure and 
calmh prosecuted his work. 

I may speak of his relations to inyself in the office which I 
have held during the last ten years ; of his uniform personal 
courtesy and delicate attentions, thai were very significant from 
ii man of Ids mold and tendencies; hut all of which were not 
unnoticed and can never be forgotten. It has often happened, 
during this period, that I have overtaken him in his walks, ol 
late somewhat slower than formerly, and I have never failed to 
elicit some sparkle of wit or wisdom from the three minutes 
of com ersation that followed. 

The Thursday afternoon before his death I met him for a 
moment near the door of my office. We had a brief conversa- 
tion about the provision for the wants of a Chinese student 
whom lie had given a home in his own house, when cast ofl 
from home and friends by the profession of his Christian faith. 
A- we parted, lie commended him to my cure, as his last word 
in this life. 

At his burial, on Tuesday, I observed this youth from China 
in the family group, together with a young lady from .Japan, 
wdio had for many year- been an inmate of thai household and 
who a few month- before had received Christian baptism from 
her honored and beloved friend. This scene suggested mani- 
fold thoughts concerning the progress of the Kingdom of Cod 
during the years that have marked the life of this uoble cham- 
pion for its principles and this fervent believer in its final 
triumph. < owld he have foreseen that among the multitude of 
devout men who followed 1dm to his burial these representa- 
tives would l>e presenl from China and Japan, as members of 
hi- own household and of the household of faith, he would 
have -aid. in anticipation: "] shall not have lived in vain. 1 ' 

Vale College New Haven, Conn. 



By Theodore D. Woolsey, D.D., LL.D. 

It seems to me that I can best serve the memory of my old 
friend and classmate, Dr. Bacon, by putting what I have to say 
in the form of reminiscences of bis early years and of estimates 
of his character and opinions. Biore ought to be said, and in 
a different strain, of a man who has served not his generation 
only, but nearly two generations, by constant activity in >ii]>- 
porting thai which, in his inmosl conviction, was good in the 
great practical movements of the age, relating to religion, to 
the reform of society in various respects, to politics, and to 
ecclesiastical polity. Some one musl undertake a more exten- 
sive review of his life; bu1 perhaps I may say several things 
which may not suggesl themselves to others. 

The first knowledge I had of Leonard Bacon was at the 
beginning of our sophomore year, in 1M7. when he entered 
the class of which I was a member and was assigned to the 
division to which I belonged. It was the usage then in Yale 
College for a tutor t ( , instrucl his division in all branches of 
study a usage undesirable for more reasons than one. bul 
good, as uniting the scholars to an able and winning tutor. 
Prof. Alexander M. Kisher, a man of incomparable ability and 
genius in mathematics and natural philosophy, chosen into his 
office in 1 81 7, was our division officer in 1818 19, withoul talc 
ing all the studies under hi- supervision, We were proud of 

•_'•_'• i I l 1 1\ \ i;i> BACON. 

hiii] and honored him. Of the class I knew I>u1 little, as I 
lived away from commons and the college buildings, in the 
house of a near relative. Bacon was a stranger to me ver> 
much until late in our junior year. He had a good standing, 
Inn nol among tin- tirst scholars, being engrossed with reading 
tn a considerable extent < >u t ^i« 1* • of the college studies. 

It was, if I remember aright, in the junior year that common 
interests in the affairs of the ''Brothers' Society," one of the 
two societies which divided college between them, broughl 
together three of us (Bacon, Twining, and myself), to write a 
series of papers, which were called the Talebearer^ and were 
read by an officer of the society called the reader. They were, 
of course, anonymous, but it was well understood who were 
the "editors." The papers were juvenile and hastily written, 
but lively and sometimes (as the society was split into parties) 
more or less polemical; but they did good, at least, to their 
authors, by a discipline in writing which was not without its 
use iii supplementing the rhetorical exercises in college. Quite 
a uumber of them were in verse, among which one of Bacon's 
for sparkling wit was quite beyond the average of similar col- 
lege performances. 

In our senior year, as things then were, we had ample leisure 
to read and study for ourselves. Bacon and his room-mate. 
('he>ter [sham, Stoddard and Brockway, Twining and myself 
formed a club called the Hexahedron, which met once a week 
in turn at one of our three rooms and devoted an evening 
chiefly to the reading <>f English poetry and especially, if I 
remember aright, to the older poetry of our language. Bacon 
was fond of reading poetry and in a few instances attempted it. 
But, when Word-worth came to be read and valued in this 
country, he was not one of those who listened with much pleas- 
ure to the new minstrel, at least in the earlier part of his life. 
A few year- after this he contributed to a short collection of 
hymns which he prepared some of his own, which have since 
appeared in other hymn books. Such are "Though now the 

nation.- -it beneath," a missionary hymn, and the excellent one 

OH a missionary's death. - Weep not lor the -aim that ascends ;" 

the hymn on Forefather's Day, "O God, beneath thy guiding 
hand," which is -till naturally chosen lor that occasion before 


most others; and the patriotic hymn, k 'Godof our fathers to 
rliv throne," the communion hymn, "Othou who hast died to 
redeem u> from bell," and the sweet evening hymn, "Hail, 
tranquil hour of closing day," which was evidently suggested 
by the well-known hymn, "I love to steal awhile away," and 
may well contend with that favorite in sentiment and expres- 

But 1 must return from this digression to the club, from 
which I digressed, and ask to be allowed to refer r<> its individ- 
nal members. Stoddard was the author, together with Prof. 

Andrew-, of the well-known Latin grammar which Long st 1 

at the head of its rivals in that branch of instruction in this 
country. He was professor at Middlebury, Vermont, and a 
man of fervent piety. He died in L847. His room-mate, 
Brockway, became a country lawyer in Connecticut and served 
one term in Congress. He was the most frolicksome and 
joyous of us all. tie died in L870. Chester Isham, one of our 
very best scholar-, was held to be somewhat plodding in col- 
lege; but a noticeable change took place in him when he gave 
himself to the study of theology. Apparently, it was the 
result of quickened religious feelings. He preached with such 
energy and power that he was invited, very early after leaving 
Andover, to till an important pulpit in Eastern Massachusetts. 
He married, and in less than two years after hi- settlemenl 
died, in 1825. He was Bacon's nearest friend, from the begin- 
ning of their college lite until his death. These are all --one. 
and «d' the living, besides myself, there i- hut one <>f the -i\ 
remaining, my dear friend, Prof. Twining. 

The senior vear passed liappily away, and we were soon dis 

persed, nol i sel again except a- individual friend-. The 

day after our graduation, two of those who had been among his 
besl friend- walked with Bacon a- far a- \V hit uev \ il le. on tin- 
road he was intending to take to Hartford, on foot. Tlu\ told 

him plainly thai he had not- made the si o1 himseli in col 

lege; thai he had nol studied enough and was in danger of 
hurting himself b\ superficial halm- of reading. The friends 
bade farewell, and ere long he was established at A.ndover, 
with l-hain for hi- room-mate. Now. a- it afterward 
appeared, the responsibilities of life pressed upon him. and he 

228 l EON V.RD BACON. 

did faithful work in his theological education. At the end of 
the course Bacon was chosen to make the principal address on 
the da^ when the class lefl the Seminary. I wenl to Andover 
to hear my friend's address, and rejoiced in the proofs thai he 
gave of his progress. During the next year and the first pari 
of L825 lie preached in several places, and, al length, received 
a call to the Firsl Church in New Haven, which Dr. Taylor 
had left, al the close of 1822, in order to assume the professor- 
ship of theology in the new theological department of Yale 

College. He was ordained a year and a half after lie left 
Andover, in March. L825, just after completing liis twenty- 
third year. Things were not then as they are now. A min- 
ister, according to the old prevailing usage, was married lor 
life to his people or parish in the early times. Separations 
were a- rare from the first ministry as divorces from the wife 
of one's youth. The people well knew that a minister could 
not know everything or do everything, and vet everything was 
laid upon him. The lawyer and the physician at the start hail 
little practice, and were not worn down by responsibility; 
lint the minister at twenty-four had everything to do that he 
would have to do at fifty. Unless, therefore, a people were 
reasonably indulgent, they would add to the burden which 
must he home by him and perhaps shorten his life. 

Mi-. Bacon was, if anything, in a worse position than most 
young men of his age. There had been in the same pulpit a 
while before a great master of theology, who tired off heavy 
-mi- everv Sunday and was the pride of the ( 'enter ( 'hurch in 
New Haven. The people were n<>t requiring, they were kind: 
hut who is sufficient for these things \ lint he was natively a 
hopeful man and a brave man. and moreover was kindly sup- 
ported by Drs. Taylor and Goodrich. That these first years of 
his pastorate and their struggles were blest to him mentally and 
spiritually cannot be doubted. He made his reading service- 
able to the good of others a- early as 1831, by publishing 
••Select Practical Writings of Richard Baxter," which was pre- 
faced by tin- editor's account of Baxter's life. In the year 
L835 there was a commemoration of the founding of New 
Haven, two centuries before, and Mr. Bacon was naturally 
expected to make appropriate mention of it, as being the era 


when the church and the State were founded together, by 
Davenport and Eaton. The discourses, which were delivered 
"ii Sunday evenings, and afterward collected into a volume 
entitled, "Thirteen Discourses on the Two Eundredth Anni- 
versary of the Church in New Eaven " (1839), did him very 
great credit. Ee explored the records and brought out mate- 
rials hitherto unknown. Be illustrated with the hand of a 
master in history and of a loving Pastor the mcztnabula of the 
colony and the progress of the church. His friends and the 
public received his work with praise and gratitude. We may 
: id this as an era of his life from which he gained a firm 
hold of public confidence ami felt hi- own strength. 

It was about the same year that a club was started, as much 
by his influence a- by that of any other person, which included 
a number of college professors and Congregational ministers, 
together with some of the lawyers and others. This club, 
which has continued until the present time and from which a 
number of the earlier members have passed away — Dutton, 
Lamed, <»il»l>-. Ludlow, Henry White, among others — was a 
place where Dr. liacoii shone, [ts general agreement on great 
public questions, the confidence and nearness of feeling of it> 
members to one another, together with their minor differences 
of ..pinion, made it ;i ino-t plea-ant circle; and here the \eiy 
uncommon power- in conversation and argument of our friend 
shone preeminently. There was no superior in age or in 
acknowledged public standing among the members. They bat- 
tled in a friendly way forthe truth. Temperance, anti-slavery, 
the schools, the sects <<\' Christendom, the special political and 
religious questions of the day. whatever at the time excited 
interest, was chosen for discussion, and every one was aided in 
forming hi- opinions by every other. Dr. Bacon's wit. his rep- 
artee, keenness of perception, and, when he had carefully con 
sidered a subject, his soundness of judgment, together with the 
brightness and originality of his way of stating hie points 
made him the life of the company . 

In 1839 he was chosen into the corporation of Yale College, 
and continued to hold hie seal until l s lt',. when, on the r< 

nation of Presidenl l>a\ ami in order to make a place for that 

venerable man, lie resigned hisown -eat. lie was reelected in 

230 i i:<>\ \ i;i i BACON. 

1864 and continued in that body until bis death. In the course 
of his twenty four years oi service, be contributed his full 
share to the solution <>t those Important questions which arc 
ever arising in a living and grown seat of learning. 

\<>i long after this be projected /'/" New E/nglander, or, if 
the idea did uot come firsl from him, be entered into the pro- 
ject with that zeal and energy without which it could not have 
been successful. The plan was that there should he a com- 
mittee of superintendence, with a responsible editor; and I 
suppose that the committee, of which the writer was one, were 
all selected by Dr. Bacon. In the prospectus, which he wrote 
or. at least, inspired, it is said that "there is no intention of 
reviving in this periodical the theological discussions in which 
Borne of tin' ablest New England divines have been so deeply 
engaged within the last fifteen years." In other words, the 
periodica] is not to he a mere sequel to the Christian Specta- 
tor. A new generation regards the controversy on " Taylor- 
ism" as having finished its course in victory and as needing 
no more advocacy; and again, in the "prolegomena" which he 
wrote, he says: " It is not to he expected that among so many 
individuals then' will he a perfect identity of opinion. 
( hie of Us may say to another. ' I am not so sanguine a demo- 
crat as you are,' or, ' Von are more zealous for Congregational- 
ism than I can he." or. 'I have less faith in the doctrines of 
political economy than you." 3 These words show the freedom 
,,f opinion which, as Dr. Bacon expected ami wished, was to 
reign among the editors and the contributors, a freedom, of 
course, limited within certain hounds, to he fixed by charity 
and sound sense. According to these views, the New Eng- 
lander had. if I may so say. a wider range of subjects and a 
larger constituency, who in the main approved and defended 
its opinions, than the plan of the Christian Spectator could 
secure. It is needless to say that Dr. Bacon's share in contri- 
butions, his variety of discussion, his brightness, sometimes 
approaching to flashes of lightning, was acknowledged on all 
bands, and nowhere was his influence more conspicuous than 
here. The articles which he furnished to the New Ekglander 
between 1843 and 1861 were sixty-two in number, and would 
make, if printed together, several good-sized volumes. By 


degrees the original plan of tin- work was given up, the com- 
mittee ceased to meet, and the editors were responsible for the 
management of the numbers, but until the present time the 
supplies from the pen of the old man who founded ir did not 
fail. Two considerable articles written by him have appeared 
within a few months. 

Two main points occupied Dr. Bacon's attention during the 
most vigorous years of his lift — ecclesiastical affairs and the 
great discussion of the slave question. We could not appre- 
ciate the man without looking for a moment at these spheres 
of his activity. 

Hi:- early study of New England history deepened and con- 
firmed his native Puritan tendencies, and he was led, in his 
progress of thought, to look on the early history of the Pilgrim 
Fathers with more and more fondness. Be became a proficient 
in this branch of study, and probably no man. except Dr. II. 
M. Dexter, has searched more at its foundations. lie wrote, 
however, no important work until he took the chair of lecturer 
on ecclesiastical polity and American church history in the 
theological faculty of Y^ale College. In 1 S T+ he gave to the 
world his "Genesis of the New England Churches." Those 
who read the story will understand,' 1 says lie. " I trust, what 
many are ignorant of and some historians have not sufficiently 
explained the difference between "our Pilgrim Fathers" and 
"our Puritan Fathers." "The Puritan was a nationalist. 
believing that a Christian nation i» n Christian church"; 
••while the Pilgrim was a separatist— from all national 
churches." Thus Dr. Bacon may becalleda " Pilgrim," rather 
than a •• Puritan," and a- such he could not have joined, if he 
had lived at the time, in those attempts to establish a state 
church in Connecticut which originated the Saybrook Platform 
and the -\-tein of consociation, in I7" v : and yet, in his able 
and interesting -ketch of those event-, in 1858, a century and 

a half after their occurrence, delivered before the ministers 
assembled al Norwich, he almosl take- the part of ;i mediator 
between pure and modified Congregationalism in these words 
of truth and of conciliation: "If the churches of Massachu- 
setts, l>\ their chronic jealousy of consociation, have guarded 
;inil kept intact for u- and our successors the independence of 


the parochial or local church, the churches of Connecticut, on 
the other hand, by their strict confederation, bave guarded and 
maintained and have effectually commended to Congregation- 
alists everywhere thai equally importaril and equally distinctive 
principle, the communion ot our churches. 

In accordance with these views, he accepted the triennial 
conventions of the late years, but, as I understand if. did ao1 
desire them to become a usage and a law; nor did he join in 
new platforms and .confessions of faith and the growing ten- 
dency to turn the " churches " into a •• ( Jhurch," or something 
very near it. But these movements began somewhat late in his 
ministerial life, and his own church, where he was settled so 
main years, had not for generations had any part in the Con- 
necticul system, lie did not take as active a part in them as 
lie mighl have taken twenty years before. The amity which 
reigned in the State made him rather a counselor everywhere 
sought for and respected than the representative of an ecclesi- 
asticaj party. He was looked on in associations and conferences 
as an authority who knew best what old usages were, and did 
n.»r wish to overturn them. We may say, thus, that he was in 
a sense a bishop of Connecticut. I recollect hearing him say 
.nice that in every body of churches there would he a man who 
had the episcopal capacity, a bishop endowed for the office by 
God. It was something so in bis case. 

A.6 for the opposition to slavery in the time of it, he entered 
most heartily into it. if any one else did in this region, hut 
could not coalesce with the abolitionists. His views may he 
found in Beveral articles in Th New Englander, and in course 
of time he scarcely- differed in any material respect from men 
more hostile to slavery around him — for instance, from his 
warm friend. Dr. Samuel W. S. Dutton. 

In connection with thi.- subject I might say a word on The 
Independent, of which he was one of the original editors ; but, 
a- you, Mr. Editor, know your own history best, I shall leave it 
in your hands. 

And now we bave come to a point in the course oi a busy 
life when the Pastor of forty years' standing and the man of 
almost sixty-five was feeling the weariness which calls for per- 
manent rest. He resigned the active duties of his charge, and 


was invited t<» take for the time the instruction of theology in 
tin- theological department of Yale College. For five years lie 
performed this duty, until the election of Rev. Dr. Harris as 
a permanent professor, in 1 S TI. Then he received the appoint- 
ment of ;i lectureship on church polity and American church 
history, which he filled until his death, last week. Saturday, 
December 24th. 1881. A number of attacks during the six or 
eight preceding months had given him warning that he might 
l.c called away at anytime. Be was writing on Friday even- 
ing, "ii the question how t<> deal with the Mormons, and at 
five the next morning a new attack, lasting half an hour, hut 
not bo 3evere as sonic earlier ones were, called him home. 
Thus ended this last and most happy era of hi- life, in which. 
associated with men who loved and honored him. employed in 
the studies which he preferred, perhaps, before all other-. 
Bervine God and the church, he nearly reached the age of four 
-core without much " labor and sorrow." 

I have not completed what I wished to say when I began, 
hut must close with the remark that the crowning honor of 
Dr. Bacon's life was his growth in Christian purity of charac- 
ter. No man can he so well assured of this as those who have 
known him long, have been familiar with him in several stages 
of life, and can -co by comparison the development of his 
character in the best direction. I will instance one trait, or 
group of trait- of character. In hi.- youth and early manhood 

he wa- sometimes indignant toward those who had injured 

him. and wa- occasionally -harp ami severe toward hi- literaiw 

opponent-, when, perhaps, there was not sufncienl occasion. 

Hut. a- often happen- with men of warm temperament when 

the Christian life becomes mature, he grew softer and kinder; 
his charity toward those who differed from him increased ; his 

wit did not BO much take hold of ridiculoUB point- in a man 

who laid himself open in controversy. There wa- more than 

a want of bigotry in him (which he really never had i ; there 

wa- kindliness toward all opinions, unless thej were associated 
with evil, lie thu- gave the impression to those who came 

into contact with him casually that he was a kind man. jir-t the 

same that he gave to hi- parishioners in their afflictions that he 

t..ok a part in their Borrow. His friend- loved and valued him 


l.l<>\ \ |;|t l;\in\. 

increasingly, and, now thai he is gone, they feel thai it will nol 
be easj to find one possessed of so rare a combination of esti- 
mable qualities. I, for one, am free to confess that, when I 
place his youth, with all its germs "I power and its sparkle 

and brilliancy, l>\ tin' side of liis acme ami his old age, lie 

srrew to lie a better, a wiser, a more useful man than I had ex 
pected. Hopeful and admiring as his friends of early days 
were, and much as they then saw in him of genius and ability, 
so Large an influence, so much softness and mellowness of feel- 
ing, such growth in goodness and godliness they hardly looked 
for. •• Like the sun, he grew larger at the setting." 

New I l.'ivrii. Conn. 



A prince an<l a greal man is suddenly fallen in Israel. A 
New-Englander by blood and sympathy and life, though not in 
the accidenl <>f birth, an always aide and sometimes eloquent 
preacher, an influential Pastor, an energetically self-consistent 
theologian, a Learned and lucid teacher, a skilled editor, a pro- 
found and philosophic historian, a gifted poet, a pungenl rea- 
Boner, a fearless sympathizer with every struggle against 
wrong, a ready and effective debater, a much-sought counsellor, 
a clear-headed Christian publicist, a thinker singularly prompt, 
in fact, to fuse and forge and tit the abstract of all greal prin 
ciples to the exigencies of whatever concrete duty, an iudefati 
gable worker, holding his pen to the last, a divine the ermine 
of whose pict\ has been kept unspotted from the world to 
well-nigh four score, a many-sided scholar who might have 
been great anywhere and who would have been good ever) 

where, a man the totality ol whose Christian manhood always 

overtopped each separate feature oi hi> excellence, has been 
called to hi- eternal reward. Leaving do peer behind him. 
W. liave summarized elsewhere the main facts of liis career : 

it remain- here, in that poor and ha-ty wa\ possible to the cir 

enmstances, to attempt two or three L)rief hints of some aspects 
of what. b\ original endowment and superintending provi 
deuce, God made him to become. 

•j:;i; Leonard bacon. 

As a Pastor be largely shaped one of the must important as 
well as oldesl churches of New England. Entering its pulpil 
when a stripling of scarcely three and twenty, for more than 
Forty years lie l>ore the gveal burden of its ever-growing 
responsibilities alone, not only successfully, bul in a manner 
whicli made bis subsequent e7ne9 v itu8 relation, to the last liour, 
fruitful of influence. And this in spite of the fact that, while 
be never preached weak or foolish sermons, be did sometimes 
preach dull ones. Hi- was a great soul taking most kindly to 
ureal subjects, and thus it sometimes came about that on ordi- 
nary occasions the fire which required a vigorous draught t<> 
bring it up to it- tidiest glow, smoldered a little. But we 
never heard that be proved unequal to an emergency, however 
portentous or unanticipated. And we know that men 
and many of them were men of marked ability — who sat habit- 
ually under his ministry, were conscious of, and responsive to, 
the same, as a wise and perpetual stimulus to every good word 
and work. Had he died having lived to till only the place 
which he would have had in Connecticut, and in the land, as 
the 1'astor of the First Church in New Haven, his place must 
have been assigned high upon the list of our ministerial 

But some sixty of his almost eighty years were lived in the 
face and eves of Vale College, and in closer connection with it 
as student, friend, fellow, professor; and it would be a ven- 
turesome imagination which should take upon itself to conjec- 
ture the contribution of various benign influences rendered by 
him to it- general welfare. Thousands and thousands of its 
students have listened to his calm, clear logic, responded to bis 
fervid appeals, laughed at his fun, respected his solid sense. 
and gone all over the world with a kind mei w in Bome cor- 
ner of the heart for his honored and unforgetable personality. 
While those who, since L866, have been in one way and 
another under his direct instruction there, must bave felt that 
if the years were in anything dimming the lustre of his talents. 
rhe\ were al-o bo ripening and enriching him. as on the whole 
to make increase of hi- power. 

Dr. Bacon began to write for the old Christian Spectator 
while he wa- yet in his minority, a student at Andover. lie 


has contributed more than one hundred essays t<» the iWv 1 
Englander — large part of which quarterly, in fact, in the 
beginning, he was. As one of the three original editors of the 
New York Independent he hugely helped to make its earliest 
ten or fifteen years its l>est — so far. He has been one of our 
own most frequent and valued contributors. He lias also 
written, and written with conclusive force, volumes on a 
variety of subjects. His Slavery Discussed, etc. (1846), was 
declared to have had large influence in bringing the mind of 
Abraham Lincoln into that state which enabled him to do his 
great work. His Lif of Richa/rd Baxter .(1831), his Mammal 
for Young Church Members (1833), his Thirteen Historical 
Discourses (1839), and notably the so-called Boston Platform, 
largely from his pen (1872), and his Genesis of //>> New Eng- 
land Churches (1874), have greatly assisted to clarify the con- 
ceptions of Oongregationalists with regard to the true nature 
of the honorable facts of their past history, the exact principles 
of their politv. and the precise quality of the duties imposed 
by that polity upon them. A.8 a Congregational student and 
author, if Dr. Bacon did not go so far in original research as 
some other.- may have done, he was unsurpassed in that subtle 
skill which evolve- philosophy safely from fact, and conversely 
settles securely what ought to be in consideration of what has 

And this suggests one of the usefulest aspects of his char 
acter as brought out in his wholesome, instructive, persuasive 
and delightful relation to most of the great occasions of Con- 
gregationalism during the lasl generation. There are many 
who must still remember the thrill, which, almost thirty years 

. went through the Albany ('oliventioii when he presented 

the munificent offer of Messrs. Bowen *.V McNamee to give 
|10,000 to aid in erecting Congregational meeting-houses at 
the West, provided all other Congregationalists in the land 
(we had scarcely 2,000 churches then, all told), would subscribe 
(40,000 more. Who present in the great Boston Council of 

1865 doefi not recall hi- pithy and pertinent relation to its 

deliberations, ami to those of the Oberlin and New Haven 
Triennial meetings as well. Weall remember Iiom he presided 
over each of the two greal Brooklyn advisory conncils as 


I i.«>\ \ i;i> BACON. 

indeed over others whose name is legion. And whal will the 
annual meeting of the American Board be withoul bis spicy, 
sagacious and benignanl presence! When called upon sud- 
denly al Plymouth Rock, in 1 865, to fill a narrow gap of time, 
he witiilx said, "Whal is the use of a man who is essentially 
long-winded^ undertaking to make a speech in three minutes." 
lie knew bimself essentially as to that. lie did nut always 

turn aboul and around upon his feel so readily as if he had 
been a smaller and a swifter person. Bui his speeches were bo 
full .if pirh and sense, so shrewd and original often, and 
always so grand in their intent, that if now and then a shallow 
hearer got full before the speaker had emptied himself , there 
were yet always listeners who wanted more. 

We have room hut to snidest another thought. It was one 
of the lovely traits of this great and good man that age soft- 
ened and sweetened and enlarged his nature, lie seemed to 
grow young in charitable feeling year by year. His thoughts 
ever fresher, his sympathies ever broader and more benignant. 
Nobody could suspeci a tinge of octogenarism in his vivacious 
and sparkling essays, or in the shrewd sense which fell from his 
lips. He was afraid of nothing simply because it was new, and 
he clung to few things simply because they were old. 

From the days of John Cotton and John Davenport, and 
Increase and Cotton Mather, and John Wise and Jonathan 
Edwards and Ezra Stiles, and Timothy Dwight and Lyman 
Beecher, and their illustrious compeers, until now, there have 
been many mighty names written in the annals of the Congre- 
gational churches of New England. [& our judgment it admits 
of doubt whether the future, far enough to discriminate "fairly, 

will read therein any in all aspects, and for all which it sug- 
-. more honored and more beloved, than that id' him whom 
now we mourn. 



The (leatli of Dr. Bacon, in the eightieth year of his 
age, occurred a1 New Haven, his borne for fifty-seven years, on 
Saturday, December 24th. It was apparently not altogether a 
surprise to his friends; but it was wholly unexpected by the 

Dr. Bacon was a born soldier. He loved a battle : not as a 
Duke of Alva but as a Chevalier Bayard; not f or its carnage 
bul for it- courage. Controversy brings oul truth clearly ; it 
brushes away the cobwebs which spiders spin over the fine 
glass in an undisturbed room. Dr. Bacon loved truth, and con- 
troversy because it clarifies truth. He was born into a stormy 
time ami was fitted for it. He was a natural captain, not be- 
cause of his executive ability, to organize ami wield men in 
solid battalions, but because of thai contagious courage which 
always inspires followers though thej know not whither the> 
are being led. WTierever, during the lasl half century, a bat- 
tle hae raged for human right and welfare, there the white 
plume of this Henrj of Navarre of theologj has been seen, 
and there followers have streamed after him. Bui they have 
always Keen volunteers; with them he never held council of 
war beforehand, to them he never issued congratulatory bulle- 
tins afterward. Never was man more courageous ; he counted 
neither the li"-t thai opposed nor the recruits thai followed. 

lie was e,|ii;il|\ ready to - : 1 1 1 \ Bgainsl the . ■ 1 1 . • 1 1 1 \ with three 


hundred unarmed volunteers, or to go up againsl them witli 
"iil\ aii armor bearer, or to tr\ their champion alone, with hut 
a shepherd's sling. And he knew how to take the champion's 
b\* i >rd to >lav him with. 

Never was man more absolutely truthful ; more supremely 
indifferent whether the truth hurt or helped his cause or his 
party. Indeed, his cause was always the cause of truth, and 
party he had none. lie was always prompt to turn his trench 
ant satire upon the friend and follower of yesterday, it' to-day 

the friend and follower seemed to him to he falsi' to the truth 
of God. He was (piite as fearless an anti-slavery man as 
William Lloyd Garrison; hut was as quick to criticise the 
spiril and methods of the anti-slavery reformers as to assaull 
the conservatism that praised or palliated or pardoned slavery. 
He was the relentless foe of the liquor traffic, and equally of 
the false philosophy that hopes to eradicate it by a statute. 
He was a leader among Congregationalists ; hut Congrega- 
tionalists were always afraid of him lest he should out with 
some unpalatable truth of history Or Biblical interpretation, or 
philosophical principle that the enemy could quote against 
their ism. Xo truth could he ever he counted on to conceal 
for party ends or personal triumph. Neither personal friend- 
ship nor party interest ever muddled the clearness of his vision 
or deflected the simplicity of his purpose. In the hour of Mr. 
Beecher's adversity he was at once hi- warmesl friend and Ins 
sharpest critic. He never deserted and he never flattered a 
friend; he never surrendered to and he never maltreated an 
enemy. To him no end was sacred that foul means need Berve. 
If he took a pleasurable pride in his stalwart independence, 
this was a pardonable weakness, if it were a weakness; would 
that more ministers had it ! 

lie belonged to the besl type of Puritan stock. The Puri- 
tan, like the Hebrew, regarded practical righteousness as the 
consummation of religion, for a piety that produced nothing 

but prayer- and penances the Hebrew prophet and the New 
England preacher had a common and a healthy contempt. 
Dr. Bacon was essentially a Puritan preacher; a Hebrew 

prophet. In the pulpit, on the theme- too commonly dis- 

cussed in the desk, he was not more interesting than a thousand 


nameless and unknown teachers of theology. He had no arts 
of rhetoric or elocution with which to dress up a scholastic 
lecture; he was no skillful shopman, to make a wire skeleton 
look like a woman, by the aid of cloak and bonnet; hut when 
humanity was concerned, when truth was desecrated in it> 
sacred temple, when the slave power attempted to jj,-au- the 
American pulpit, and did for a time gag the great representa- 
tive religious bodies, every fibre of his heroic soul was aroused, 
and he thundered out his denunciation of the double wrong 
that enslaved a Northern ministry that it might enslave a 
Southern black, with an eloquence that needed no rhetoric or 
elocution to compel a hearing. It was a significant fact that 
his last act was the composition of an unfinished paper on the 
I'tah problem. He worked to the last for man. With God, 
for man : in these four words are to Ik- found the secret of his 
courage and his power. 

We make no attempt To tell the story of his life. To do 
this it would he necessary to write the history of hi- country. 
Hi- ti iv— t parish was his last one; he was ordained, lived, and 
died in New Haven. l!nt America was hi- pulpit, and her 
people hi- congregation : and there was not a theme which 
concerned her prosperity which his incessantly active mind did 
not study, and upon which his ever vigorous voice and pen did 

not do gome effective teaching. lie made some mistakes; 

mo-t men d". Bui there \\a- no theme on which he did not 
court \'vri- thought, and none on which he ever proved recreant 
to hi- own convictions of t he truth. 



i;v Rev. X. n. Egieston. 

More and more as time passes, we shall fee] that in the death 
of Dr. Bacon a great man has gone from among us. If greal 
natural and acquired powers devoted to great and worthy ends 
constitute greatness; he was a great man. Ami now as we look 
back upon his life as a whole, we can hardly help coupling him 
in our thoughts with another great man, his contemporary, who 
has preceded him only a little while to the other world. Bom 
in the same year as Dr. Bushnell, and for some time also a resi- 
dent of Hartford, to which city he was also hound by the tie of 
his father's grave which is there, and by a happy marriage, there 
are many points of resemblance between the two, while yet 
they were so differently constituted that they were led into 
fields of labor and usefulness quite unlike. They were so akin 
in -pirit and character that they cherished a profound respect 
and a warm attachment to each other through life. In the 
days of his persecution, Dr. Bushnell could count upon Dr. 
Bacon as one of his ateadfasl friends, and whenever he pub- 
lished a new hook. Dr. l'>acoii was one of the few whose opin- 
ion in regard to it he cared to know. And what a tribute, 
coming from such a man, was that which Dr. Bacon paid to 
Dr. Bushnell at New Haven, soon after the death of the latter, 
when he declared that his extraordinary achievements made 
him and others like him ashamed because in comparison they 
had done -o litt le. 


Both wen- great preachers, yel very unlike as preachers. 
In Dr. Bushnell the imaginative faculty was much more largely 
developed than in Dr. Bacon, though in the latter it was by 
no means lacking, bu1 in Dr. Bushnell it was the leading, dom- 
inaiiT faculty, while in Dr. Bacon it held a subordinate place. 
A- a preacher, Dr. Bacon while never weak or common-place 
ami always instructive, seldom rose to heights of great impres- 
siveness except as great occasions came to him. Dr. Bushnell 
made his own occasions, ami they came with almost every Sab- 
bath that he met his eager ami expectant congregation. 

\)y. Bushnell's mind was original and creative, Dr. Bacon's 
fed and grew in the fields of tact. The mind of Dr. Bushnell 
was speculative, intuitional, abstract. That of Dr. Bacon was 
analytical and nicely discriminative, and dealt largely with the 
concrete. Dr. Bacon was a student of men. Dr. Bushnell 
was a student of man. The former was a large reader in many 
fields of knowledge. Dr. Bushnell was more a thinker than a 
reader. Rather, perhaps it should be said that the one read, and 
on the basis of hi- reading thought wisely and well, while the 
other thought out his conclusions first, and then read to some 
extenl to see how far he agreed or disagreed with those who 
had gone before him. Both were independent in their think- 
ing. They called no man master. They broughl every opinion 
fearlessly to the bar of their own individual judgment. But 
the mind of Dr. Bacon was historic. It was a rich storehouse 
of fact- out of which, as all know, he continually brought 
treasures new and old to illustrate any subject that might he 
under discussion. While both were equally of large mold and 
kept themselves acquainted with the work of the world around 
them in all its departments of activity, Dr. Bacon lived much 
in the past, lie was at home with the worthies of other times, 
and ever readv to compare the pas! with the presenl and to 
draw lessons from the one for the guidance of the other. Dr. 
Bushnell, while living in the presenl and intensely engaged in 

its work, had an e\e ever looking toward- llie future and was 

al way- linking the t wo togel her. 

Dr. Bushnell was a leader of thought, Dr. Bacon of action. 
The one affected men in their inward <-<>n\ ictions ami feelings, 
the other in their practical determinations. The one was the 


man of ideas, the other the man of affairs. The former was 
little Been beyond the limits of his own parish. His face was 
not i';iiiiili;ir to the world, lie was seldom Been on platforms 
ot in conventions. He touched the world from his pulpit and 
with his pen. I >r. Bacon, it may almosl be said, was known as 
well outside of his parish as within it. If the pulpit was the 
throne of Dr. Bushnell, the platform was Dr. Bacon's. There 
he reigned supreme. It' as a preacher Dr. Bushnell had few 
equals, <>n the rostrum Dr. Bacon had no superior. Asa leader 
of assemblies he was unsurpassed. As a debater on occasions 
of interesl he never mel the antagonist by whom he was van- 
quished. A.t ordinary times and in other places one of the 
most quiel and inconspicuous of men. in conventions and coun- 
cils, and when important questions were pressing for decision, 
rl it'ii the grand qualities and characteristics of the man ap- 
peared. He came into the field of debate like the line-of-battle 
ship of some great admiral, ports all open and heavy guns 
pouring forth their thundering broadsides, now- on the right 
and now on the Left, while from the main-top and cross-trees 
muskets and grenades were aiding by their lighter but coopera- 
tive work. Then all the treasures of his historic reading 
came forth at his bidding to make his arguments massive and 
weighty with illustrative fact or warning example, while an 
exhaustless memory and a kindled fancy illumined and enli- 
vened the whole with apt quotation and pithiest anecdote. 

Dr. Bacon was eminently a leader of men. And this he was 
not simply or mainly because of his peculiar native or acquired 
powers, but because he was devoted to truth and led by it. In 
this again the two of whom we have been speaking were alike. 
They both sought truth for themselves as their chief treasure, 
and as the chief treasure for man. And so while both were 
greal leadere of men, though in differenl ways and by differenl 
methods, they were not partisans. They were too broad 
minded and too loyal to the truth to he mere leaders of a sect 
or a party. Acting with parties and lending their aid to 
parties so long as they advocate truth, whenever they failed to 
do bo they were ready to denounce and forsake them. In this 
they never tools counsel of flesh and blood. What would 
harm or benefil them personally, they never seem to have eon- 


sidered. Neither of them looked around to see who were 
ready to follow or support them, nor after a conflict did they 
]>ut on airs of triumph. Their victory was God's, not their 
own, am 1 triumph rather humbled than elated them. They 
walked in God's great presence as little children. 

They were alike, again, in that greatness of character which 
is above the manifestation of condescension to others. In 
their intercourse with them they never left the impression 
opon others that they regarded themselves as their superiors. 
They never tied their white cravats with self-complacent 
admiration, nor were careful of their "semi-lunar fardels." 
The young preacher, timid and self-distrustful, could take 
them freely by the hand. Rather would they anticipate his 
advances, and put him at once at case and on terms of equality 
with them. Gentle and forbearing, yet faithful in their criti- 
cisms of their younger brethren, they were too many in their 
novitiate fellow-helpers Indeed. The writer, for one. can never 
cease to feel his obligations to both for their companionship 
and counsel in the days of youth and inexperience. Be 
learned too, in assuming the charge of the Center < Jhurch dur- 
ing Dr. Bacon's absence in Europe and the farther East, what 
he could not have dour otherwise, how he had hound that 
church to himself by cords of esteem and affection which 
only death could sever, nay. by such a- reach within the veil. 

Great men ! Great blessings to the world ! We miss them, 
ami shall miss them. We shall feel the need of them at times, 
and perhaps forget that God never creates a vacancy thai he 
does not also fill. Bu1 their work remains, both in their pub 
lished words on our Bhelves and in what they have wrought 
into our personal life and institution-. Our theology, our 
Christology, are the better, the more consonant with both 
reason and Scripture, tor the thought that Dr. Bushnell has 
given them. Our ecclesiastical lite is less bigoted, broader, less 
sectarian and more trulj Christian tor what Dr. Bacon has 
written and spoken. The great foreign and home missionary 
operations of our denomination, if not more, have been quiet 
■ I in their activity and augmented in their power l>\ his 
zealous activity in their behalf. Our social lite, our morals 
and our politic* throughout the land have felt the beneficial 


touch of his wakeful interest in everj tiling good. Only two 
days before his death, as the anniversary of the landing of the 
Pilgrims came round again, for liow m;in\ patriotic and Chris- 
tion hearts <li<l his Pilgrim hymn beginning, " < > God, beneath 
thy guiding hand," voice their feelings anew and help to 
quicken their appreciation of thai greal event. 

And his last work, on the following day, was an endeavor to 
aid in removing thai greal blot upon our national character, 
that cancer in our social life, the Mormon iniquity. So he 
died with his harness on. 

Soldier of » Ihrist, w ell done ! 
Praise be thy new emploj ; 

And while eternal agea run. 
I.vsi in fchj Saviour's joy. 
Williamstown, Mass 



b> I'kui . Jambs T. Htde. 

Hi- sudden death moves the whole community at New Ha- 
ven profoundly. The patriarch of the Connecticut ministry, 
the living embodiment of the history of Y"ale College and of 
the New England churches, the keen critic and brilliant debater 
of public affairs for more than tit'ry years, the ardent agitator 
and vigorous reformer, the voluminous author, the witty and 
versatile editor, the skilful theological teacher, the catholic, 
progressive thinker, the exuberant, irrepressible, and entertain- 
ing talker, who has contributed bo much r<» the social, literary, 
ecclesiastical, national life "!'* our day, just as he was rounding 
out hie eightieth year, fell asleep. The night before be died 
he was writing in hope of solving the much vexed Mormon 
problem, and entered in In- diary il am told) "Nearly finished 
the article. v The day before he was writing; two day- before 
In- lectured ; three days before he attended a facility meeting ; 
on the Sunday previous he attended church and gave oul the 
notices; within a month he preached at Thanksgiving and 
administered the Lord's Supper in the one church of winch he 
ua- the life-long and devoted Pastor. So intense was his vital 
itv and so preeminent In- Berviceableness to the very end. 

( )n ( lii-i-tina- morning I attended the < 'enter < lnircli. which 

wa- onlj too heavilv draped with mourning. The holy day 

•_' i 8 ii' 1 »N \i;p R vet >v 

seemed to be shrouded with solemnity, grief and gloom. Bu1 
with an excellenl sermon from Prof. Barbour on the sympathy 
of Ohrisl in his incarnation, with exquisite singing of "I would 
not live away," and of an " In Memoriam " requiem, with many 
precious and tearful memories of the serene and joyous faith 
and lively companionship of the venerable man who had gone 
up into hie heavenly rest and eternal ministry at God's righl 
hand, we were able to preserve some little -park even of spirit- 
ual hilarity on the bright and festive day. in spite of its oppres- 
sive Badness. How thankful we oughl to he that such good 
men. after outliving all their asperities and ripening in all their 
Christian graces, — the heroes of so many bitter, earnest, hard- 
fought and victorious conflicts— COW die, escape from sin, 
infirmity, error, and he in perfect peace, and rise into the 
communion of elect saints, sa<<-es and scholars, who are forever 
with the Lord ! 

On Tuesday afternoon he was buried. The day was sadly 
dark and wet. The church was lighted almost at noonday. 
By special request there were no floral tributes. A heavy 
sheaf of wheat stood on the large communion table. The 
severely simple tastes of this honored champion of Puritan 
principles were strictly observed. His face looked somewhat 
fuller than in former years, but wore a striking and rigid nat- 
uralness. He smiled with a stern eloquence that seemed ready 
to break from mute lips. The wonder was that his brain 
rested, hi- heart was quiet, his hands kept still. But he had 
only been stopped by that angina pectoris which caught him at 
daybreak on Saturday with its secret and sudden grip. 

The revered and beloved ex-Presidenl VToolsey, now an octo- 
genarian, Dr. Bacon's college class-mate and \i'v\ long neighbor 
as well a- friend, felt unable to officiate iii the public burial 
service, hut prayed with the bereaved family at the house. 
The father of fourteen children, four of whom became Chris- 
tian ministers, was home by the hands of six sons to the sanct- 
uarv when- lie had preached since 1825, and his pastoral rela- 
tion could be dissolved only by death. 

Ah bis Congregationalism was simply Christianity, his \cry 
silence called a multitude of every Christian name to pay him 
their last offices of respect, admiration and affection. They 


gathered from every quarter for hours, by rail and wheel, and 
foot, under the drooping Bkies. We went in loving memory of 
hie departed sons, and of his manifold association with our own 
departed days. We represented, too, with others, his native 
West. Pleyel's Hymn ami other familiar airs were played on 
the organ in sweet, low, nuittled strains. "Our Father, who 
art in Heaven" was chanted. Prof. Fisher invoked the bless- 
ing of God, and read admirably selected Scriptures. The 

anthem followed, "Sleep thy last Sleep.*' Prof. Dwight, who 
when only nine years old, was almost a member of Dr. Bacon's 
family, and had known him well for forty-four years, was the 
fitting one to make the address. He described his varied and 
extraordinary powers, not in a formal eulogy, but with line and 
tender discrimination. His words often quivered with emo- 
tion, especially when he spoke of this "son of thunder" in his 
zeal for truth, liberty, righteousness, his fondness tor contro- 
versy yet freedom from personal bitterness, his patriotism, his 
prayers and hymns, his faith in young men, his unruffled har- 
mony with his two colleagues in the ministry, and his colleagues 
in the I )i\ inity School ; how much he did for New I la\ en ; how 
after all his conflicts he died without an enemy ; how his buoy- 
ant and unwearied spirit, still full of work, must have exulted 
in his new experience of the sunlight of heaven : how death and 
judgment must have been comprehended in the father's wel- 
come to the many mansions, and the holy greetings there with 
kindred bouIs, with Hooker, Davenport, Pierpont, Brewster, 
with brethren in the church and the ministry, with the saints, 
heroes and martyrs of all ages, and with members of his own 
family within the thin bul Impenetrable veil we were lost in 
the heavenly vision. Prof. Dwighl never discharged a difficult 
and delicate duty with such a delightful blending of propriety 

and pathos. 

After prayer with lew. Dr. Hawes, of the North Church, 
the service closed with singing Dr. Bacon's beautiful hymn, 
"Hail, tranquil hour of closing day." His dx sons deposited 

hi- body in the well known cemetery where sleep BO man\ dis 
tinguished men who have taken New Haven on their wa\ to 
he;i\ en. 



In the death of thai typical New Englander, Leonard 
Bacon, a notable figure passes from the stage of public affairs. 
Entering the sophomore class of Fale ( iollegeal the age of L5, in 
the year 1M7, returning to New Eaven after his theological 
course al A.ndover to become Pastor of the< tenter Church at the 
age of 23, continuing as active Pastor for 41 years, and as Pastor 
emeritus and Vale professor for nearly 16 years more, New 
Haven could not so much miss any other of her citizens, unless 
it be his surviving classmate, Theodore D. Woolsey. Far be- 
yond his New Eaveu life, so closely interwoven with every 
valuable interesl of that city and its university, he was dis- 
tinguished as one of the foremost citizens of C tecticut and 

of the nation. Moreover, in his prirhe hie influence went 
abroad to many lands, striking so hard at the Vatican that 
Pope Gregory X V I fell moved to issue a bull against one of 
his forcible productions, at the same time consigning it to the 
Index Expurgatorius. Ee was a many-sided man in the besl 
sense, vigorous and versatile, of a restless energy, affluent in 
speech, especially when roused by any exigency or opposition, 
ready in debate, keen and witty at repartee, a hard striker in 
polemics, a lover of history and specially well versed in Con- 
necticut and Congregational lore. lie was more fond of 
Bpeech-making than of sermonizing, and better skilled in the 

former than ill the latter. lie wa- a good talker, bul Hot so 


good a listener. Bis writing was ready, keen and influential, 
and hi> literary productivity was great. < >n no point of re- 
ligions or political interesl did he tail to express himself, in 
pamphlet, or generally in contributions to magazines and news- 
papers, for he had a predilection for journalism, and indeed 
was the founder of the New Englcmder, a very characteristic 
periodical still in thrifty condition. Dr. Bacon had the qual- 
ities of a statesman, and was only hindered from being active 
and distinguished in that line by his professional limitations. 
IK' was a molding power over many beneficent institutions. 
The American Board <>(' Foreign Missions and kindred societies 
soughl hi- counsel. YaleCollege in ad its departments felt his 
plastic force for half a century, from the pulpit and the pro- 
fessor's chair, in the corporation, through his ready and produc- 
tive pen, and n«>r the least in hi- personal and commanding 
presence. He was an acknowledged power in Congregational 
councils, having presided over the two most famous in recent 
time- at Brooklyn, with Henry Ward Beecher and Plymouth 
Church for their casus belli, — each a neutralizing force. 
Whether or not Dr. Bacon was quite willing to have it so. 
whether he was anxious to have the truth appear or content 
with the Issue of disagreement, remain open questions as much 
a- his inward convictions concerning the main point of Mi'. 
Beecher'a guilt or innocence which lav at the bottom of the 
ecclesiastical proceedings. 

Diplomatic in hifi nature, he was never hindered by ;m\ 
pride <»f consistency from changing his opinion. He was al 
first conservative on the slavery question, but afterward, and 
not to., late, progressive, and powerfully so. [inpulsive and 

e essive though his temperament was, he had a singular 
mental mastery that poised the coldest reasoning with the 
wannest feeling, ami often made hi- attitude perplexing and 
hi- opinion proA okingly doubleredged. 

Leonard Bacon ha- largely transmitted of his best qualities 
to his children, diffusing them much a- Lyman Beecher's were 
among hi- notable family. Si\ sons and two grandsons are 
recorded in the triennial catalogues ot Vale, and several of 
these have taken leading positions in the ministry and other 
professions; perhape Leonard Woolse> Bacon, minister of Nor- 

NEON \ i:i> BACON. 

wich, is the most prominenl and temperamentally the mosl like 
him. His daughter, Rebecca, was an ardent philanthropist, 
and devoted sonic of her besl years to the education of the 

Dr. Bacon's personal mien and port were strikingly expres- 
sive of Iris inner man. Slighl bul agile, a little stooping, his 
massive head well se1 upon shoulders proportionately broad; a 
noble, projecting brow, keen, searching eyes oi bluish gray, 

but kindling in his best m Is into a fiery luster, his lips 

oftener compressed with firmness than mobile with gentleness, 
the bushy masses of gray hair giving a leonine setting to his 
thoughtful and eager face; always the dress-coal and white 
ueck-cloth, inseparable from his clerically neat but never stiff 
apparel : there was in his tout ensemble the bearing of agentle- 
man, the self-possession of a native leader, the alertness of one 
always ready for his opportunity, and the cultured presence 

that marks the man both of letters and affairs. 

II,. had the "Abraham Davenport" loyalty to present duty 
and his daily task, which would not have faltered though the 
last trump had begun to sound. Full well he knew that his 
days were [lumbered, and that the end was nigh. Many a 
time had he heard the footfall of the messenger at the door, 
when his heart heat with the keen distress of angina pectoris, 

and sometimes as he sat in his professorial chair. But he 

.-till went to and fro about his work, calmly and steadily to the 
last, in the sweet and full assurance of his Christian faith and 
his strong and manly nature. He had lectured twice during 
the week he died, and left upon his study table an unfinished 
work of the previous day,— a paper relating to the Mormon 

He wa- the normal growth of the verv best New England 
training, sturdily Puritan, and vet not narrowed by his marked 
proclivities into a provincial thinker, nor embittered by his 
many controversies toward any of hie opponents. As a Con- 
gregationalist, in all matter- of form, polity, and executive 
development, he was broad and flexible, always keeping the 
future open. None knew better than he " the former days," 
:il|( | Qone more strenuously denied their claim to he hotter 
than these, old measures that had outlived their usefulness 


lie tossed aside. Precedents, like councils, in his view had n<. 
mere authority than proceeds from the reason that is in them. 
Like the war horse described by Job, he smelt the battle afar 
off, and whenever in any worthy cause there was a good 
• •hance for a tree fight, waited not for an invitation to be 
•• counted in.** Always a man to listen to, he was never a 
man to "tie to" without reconsideration. Vet never a tire 
that he helped to kindle, hut enough light proceeded from it 
t<» warrant the conflagration. There are hut few such men for 
human welfare in any century as Leonard Bacon, and there- 
fore it becomes our privilege to give due honor to his venera- 
ble name. 




One of the few surviving classmates of Rev. Dr. Bacon says 
he was an excellent scholar while in college, but that he did not 
give the promise of the high position he afterward attained. 
Such a man as ex-President Woolsey rose way above him in 
intellect. The appointment secured by Dr. Bacon, was a dis- 
pute. He made no special effort in the way of English com- 
position, nor did he indulge much in field sport, although he 
always managed to maintain a healthy physical organization. 
He was always a Christian. His object in going t<> college 
was to fit himself for the ministry. Constantly in his mind 
was the image of his mother, then still living, but revered as 
though a saint in heaven. One of the earliest recollections 
concerning him is the wonderful manner in which he extem- 
porized in prayer. Tins was as marked a characteristic as in 
after life. I ne goodness and tenderness <>f his petitions sank 

deeply into the heart- of his hearers. The employment of wit 

and sarcasm was first noticeable in his speech when a collegian, 

but there was QO evil in them. lie used these elements of 

power afterward very effectually in his colonization and anti- 
Blavery speeches. Immediately alter his graduation here lie 
went to Ajadover to pursue a theological training. There lie 
stood the highest among the students and first brought himself 


into notice. When in his second or third year he startled the 
seminary by reading a paper upon the scheme of colonization. 
Then was manifested for the first time his great power over 
men. An eye-witness saysit swept over the audience like the 
wind over the ocean. The result Mas that lie and another 
young man were sent as delegates to the American Colonization 

The colonization scheme was not to till the border State.- with 
immigrants, but to Bend the free colored people to Africa and 
there found a republic. In this way philanthropists thought to 
remove them from the prejudices of the southern whites and 
tend toward the extinction of slavery. A large number of 
colored men were sent away, and the republic of Liberia, which 
i- -rill in existence, was founded. To this end Dr. Bacon's 
agitation, begun at Ajidover, ami continued through many 
pears, contributed not a little. It was in this way that he began 
his anti-slavery proceedings. He did not agree with Garrison'B 
methods. Anti-slavery was that reformer's war cry. no matter 

what the consequences. If anything could be said against 
slavery, truthful or not, the Garrisonites accepted it. To this 
Dr. Bacon objected. It was -aid by Garrison that the southern 
whites favored colonization because they wished to weed out 
the i'vi-t- colored people from contact with their slave institu- 
tion-. Because of this southern favor he opposed it bitterly, 
and urged that it was not by any means a philanthropic idea 
on the part of it> northern BUpporters, l»ut rather an insidious 

movement againsl slavery. Despite Garrison, however, it 
flourished. In hi- anti-slavery discussions Dr. Bacon used his 
wit and sarcasm quite effectively. ''We all have prejudices," 
he Baid, " some are prejudiced againsl a black -kin. some againsl 

a black coat." There i- Q0 doubl that hi> essays had ureal 

influence on President Lincoln. "They could not help having 

that," -aid a .-la-mate la-t night. "Thai nm-t he the case with 
any one who read- them." 

It was a cardinal principle with the ( 'enter church to selecl 

tor their Pastor a young man who had never heeii settled an\ 

where. They chose from among the men >>\ promise. Moses 
Stuart was obtained in this way, and the wise judgment of the 
church people was proved ly hi- rapid growth a- an eloquent 

•_'.",i ; u:o\ \i;i> BACON. 

man of God and pillar of the church. Amlover, with bereye 
0D6B i«> ill*' main chance, ami with a sufficiency of t'un<Js, called 
him away. Dr. Taylor was then Belected, ami again the wis- 
dom of the selection was shown. He went to Yale. Then, as 
hi- successor — whal bold young man could consider the situa- 
tion without trembling? — the church fixed upon Leonard Ba- 
con, aged 23, hardly a year from the seminary. He preached 
some weeks as a candidate. < >neof his sermons attracted greal 
attention. It had for its subject, " The Government of God," 
and was' based on the text,"Thy commandment is exceeding 
broad." This was the beginning of his great hold upon the 
( Vnter church. 

During the decade ending with L840 there was a Ion-:' and 
acrimonious controversy between Dr. Taylor of the New 
Haven school of theologians and Dr. Tyler of the old school. 
It had been in progress some time when Dr. Bacon entered 
the lists. " lie was not a controversialist," said a classmate last 
evening, "but rather a queller of controversies. His action in 
the Taylor-Tyler controversy will explain what I mean. He 
was a sturdy defender of his principles, having greal moral 
courage. No other kind of courage was called into play hut 
he had it." The doctor had been in the habit of publishing 
pamphlets upon live questions. He called them " Views and 
Reviews." In one he poured oil on the troubled waters of the 
Taylor dispute by pointing out that the schools agreed on twen- 
ty-six points. As these more than covered the essential facts of 
the Christian religion he thought fighting oughl tocease. This 
article was so successful thai oothing more was heard from 
either side, [n assemblies and consociations he would always 
endeavor to reconcile differences. Even as a presiding officer 
of ecclesiastical council.- his tact as a peace-maker was used to 
great advantage. Once it was proposed to call a Methodist 
clergyman to a Congregational pulpit, and a council was held, 
at which some brother raised a question aboui a Methodist 
being objectionable. "Oh, no," said the doctor, who was the 
moderator, " it will make no difference, but I think there will 
be considerable trouble before he is settled.'" 

He was one of the signers Of a memorial to President I'.n- 

chanan in reference to the Kansas troubles. This evoked a 


replv at the President's own hand— the second instance of 
where the executive condescended to reply to a memorial of 
private citizens. The first was Jefferson's reply. This was 
also to a memorial from citizens of New Haven. Both these 
letters are carefully treasured here. While paying much atten- 
tion to live topics and church history and writings he was also 
a lover and a student of general literature. Among his earliest 
and favorite novels were those of Walter Scott. lie. Presi- 
dent Woolseyand Prof essor Twining, were members of a lite- 
rary club at college to which original contributions were made. 
These contributions, in a hand writing now famous, are still 
zealously guarded. They comprise verse as well as prose and 
-how that \)v. Bacon possessed the rhyming faculty, as well as 
the art of writing didactic prose. 



Oul of the many leaders on both sides of the Atlantic who 
have passed away during the last six months there are two who 
had much in common,- -Leonard Bacon and Arthur Stanley. 
In many things they were wide apart and manifestly unlike. 
The one was ;i representative Puritan: the other the broadest 
of churchmen. The one had the gifts of an ecclesiastical leader, 
and was never more himself than when antagonizing an un- 
righteous cause; the leadership of the other grew chiefly out of 
his literary studies and ecclesiastical principles. The one had 
been bred in the tradition.- of New England Puritanism, and 
was to the manner born; the other had grown up in the best 
id' English homes, ami had been under the direction of one of 
the mosl Btimulating minds in England. Each had lived into 
what was most characteristic of the nationality under which he 
-icw ii]). The one wa> a son of thunder, and like Webster, 
never knew an occasion which was too greal tor him. The 
other had no les> the courage of his convictions, and dared to 
go again si the whole bench id' bishops when he had a cause to 
maintain. Each had developed under the shadow of a greal 
literary institution and imbibed it- spirit, the one a1 Yale and 
the other at Oxford; and each had that mastery of vigorous 
English l>\ which he could impress his glowing conceptions 


upon the mind- of his fellow-men. Their spheres of tabor were 
decidedly unlike. The one led the hosts of the < longregational 
churches in New England a> Joshua led the hosts of [srael to 
the promised land; the other simply developed a school of 
thought in the most inclusive national church of modern times. 
The American had the more native rigor, and could take hold 
of things with a stronger grasp ; the other had the larger vision, 
the wider sympathy. These were essentially their points of 

In other respects they were closely allied. They had the 
same historical instincts, the same relish for ultimate facts. 
They had the same conviction that religion and politics are united in a nation's growth. They had the same 
idea of the breadth of the modern pulpit. Dr. Bacon in the 
Last ten years of his life grew generous and sympathetic even 
toward those against whom he had waged battle in other days, 
reaching up to that breadth and range of sympathy which 
Minister Lowell -poke of the other day in England, as the most 
pronounced feature in the life of the late Westminster dean. 
The two men had no patience with a ( 'hri-tianitv which is shut 
up from the freest contact with present lite. They both be- 
lieved in the largest freedom of discussion, and in the use of 
the press a- the besl vehicle for formulating opinion. What 
Dr. Bacon did through the New Englcmder, which he was 
mainly instrumental in founding in 1843, and late on through 
the editorial columns of 77>< Independent, Arthur Stanley did 
from L860 and onward to the end of hi- life, in the Edinburgh 
J,'. ,-',, ,/• ;ind through the columns of the L<>, ,</<>/, Times. Each 
in hi- appropriate place was the mouthpiece of the thought 
which at the momenl most needed to bespoken. Dr. Bacon 
has represented the Puritan mind of New England in the 
general religious spirit of the century, as Prof. Park has shaped 
it- changing dogmatic convictions. Both men had the wonder- 
ful capacity of growing in their mental force, iii their percep- 
tion of the needs of the time, in a quick insight into larger and 
\'\-ffv condition- of living, and carried the inspiring sunshine "I 
their ripening beliefs inn. the numerous circle- in which thej 
moved. Both men. it' liberal each in hi- own way, had thai 

free -pirit of liberty which live- on the strength of the pa-t iii 

■■>■<< i.i -,i >\ \ i:i» r. l i ■< »N. 

the larger life of to-day. No man in Ajnerica ever broughl 
• 1 11 i 1 1- the same distincl personality int<> the pulpit which Leon- 
ard Bacon brought. To hear him speak on a greal occasion 
was like listening to the roar of the Atlantic when driven upon 
the coasl h\ a northeaster; he swept everything before him. 
A rthur Stanley, defending Bishop Colenso against the censure 
of the Canterbury convocation, or standing by Mr. Voysey, 
with whom he never agreed, simply because he believed in the 
great principle of freedom of opinion where men honestly dif- 
fered, is a figure thai will live forever in English religious 

These men differed \er\ widely; perhaps they never met; 
but at heart they had the same spirit, and their university train- 
ing turned their minds Into the same distinctive channels. Dr. 
Bacon will stand forth in the religious history of this century 
as the most pronounced ecclesiastical leader in New England, 
holder than Channing, as positive as Parker. Dean Stanley 
will be remembered as the comprehensive churchman who saw 
in different men chiefly those things in which they were agreed, 
and who taught his generation to draw nearer together in the 
spirit of Christian unity. The life-work of the two men, in its 
general direction, was the same; the means used to accomplish 
it, with points of greal nnlikeness, had also many points of 
agreement. The one should be as distinctly remembered as 
the other. The Stanley memorial in Westminster A.bbey will 
be the expression of the feelings of those whose hearts Arthur 
Stanley touched on both sides of the Atlantic. It is to he 
hoped thai Leonard Bacon's greal services in maintaining a 
national position for the foremost principles of Christianity, a 
service which at critical period- went far beyond the limitations 
of sect, may he recognized in some emphatic, historical form in 
the university of which he was a part, and in the large com- 
munity to which he was a burning and a shining light for sixtj 


This book is DUE on the last date stamped below 

££B 19 1947 

W Z 7 1962 

Form L-9— 15m-7,'35 


7260 New Haven 
BUT? — FTrsT'cT^ 

Leonard Bacon_ 



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