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PERSONAL Reminiscences 



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LYMAN BEECHEE. 



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REV. JAMES 0. "^niTE, M.A., 



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NEW YORK: 

PUNK & WAGNALLS, 

10 & 19 Dry Street. 
1882. 



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December 27, 1882. 



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PERSONAL REMINISCENCES 



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Lyman Beech ei 

By Rev. JAMES C. WHITE, Mj\. 

AUTHOR or ** RBLIGION At IT SHOULD Bl.** 






SJ^RiifTED WITHOUT ABRIDGMEifT.^ 



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NEW YORK 

FUNK & "WAGNALLS, Publishers 

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INDEX. 



Prefatory, 3. 

Hanover 8t Church, 8. 

First Glimpse of Lyman Beecher,4. 

Boston in 1825, 6. 

HeTiTal Fruits, 6. 

Church Eitonsion, 7. 

Young Men*s Associations, 8. 

Boston Common, 8. 

A Move Uptown, 0. 

A Call to the West, 10. 

Apostolic Eloquence, 11. 

Br. Bcecher*s Struggles, 11. 

Beecher's Oil Jug, 12. 

A Fight with Lotteries, It. 

A Fast-Day Discourse, 15. 

An Escape from the Pulpit, 15. 

Passion for Work, 17. 

Pulpit Explosions, 17. 

Street Scenes, 18. 

The Woodsawyer, 10. 

Absent-mindedness, 20. 

LoTe of Fun, 21. 

The Lost Bank-Kotes, 21. 

Dr. Lyman Beecher in the West, 24. 

A Kew Recruit, 24. 

A Sudden Change, 25. 



The Professors a^^QC^^JO^ 

A Theological Wilderness, 2a 

Seminary Life, 20. 

Dr. Bccclicr as a Pastor, 20. 

Tlie Class of *4.3, 81. 

Idiosyncmsics of Dr. Beecher, 81. 

The Lost Ilorsc, 82. 

The Missing Money, 88. 

The Rcpeatcil Lecture, 84. 

Caught in a Snare, 85. 

The Dutchman's Chase, 85. 

Vehement Declamation, 80. 

A Missionary Speech, 87. 

Care for Students, 88. 

The Violin, 80. 

Beecher's Handkerchiefs, 80. 

His Spectacles, 40. 

Qood-naturedness, 41. 

In S<iarch of a Wife, 41. 

Upset in the Dark, 48. 

An Alleged Heretic, 48. 

A Royal Preacher, 44. 

A ConsenratiTe Reformer, 44. 

Many-sided, 45. 

In Prirate Life, 46. 

His Closing Days, 48. 



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PERSONAL UEMINISCENCES 



OP 



LYMAN BEEOHEE. 



PART FIRST. 



PREFATORY. 

These personal reminiscences of Lyman Beecher,D.D., 
refer, first to his life in Boston, Mass., Irom 1825 to 
1832» and, secondly, to his i*esidence at Lane Seminary, 
Cincinnati, Ohio, from 1840 to 18(K). The author was a 
convert iinder Dr. Beecher^s preaching in Boston, and is 
an Alumnus of Lane Theological Seminary. So far as he 
knows, these incidents are not to be found in any publica- 
tion of the present day. They were presented in an ad- 
dress before the " Cincinnati Club" of the Alumni and 
Faculty of Lane, at the Seminary, March 1880. 

They are now written out for publication by the author, 
and completed on his seventy-sixth birthday, October 
12th, 1882. 

IIAKOVER STREET CHURCH. 

My first acquaintance with Lyman Beecher was in the 
year 1826, in Boston. A new and spacious church edifice 
of stone had been erected on Hanover Street In the base- 



4 PERSONAL REMINISCENCES OF 

ment story were the headquarters of the American Board 
and of the American Tract Society. I was then a clerk 
in a dry goods store near by, and also resided in that 
Tpart of the city. A church liad been organized in 1822, 
' with but thirty-seven members, and had not at this time 
a settled pastor. 

I was a member of the society when Br. Beecher was 
first invited to preach to this church for two Sabbaths, 
as a candidate for our pulpit. He was then settled in 
Litchfield, Conn., but looking for some opening where he 
could* l)etter provide for his family, for he was in strait- 
ened financial circumstances. Well known as he was as a 
preacher of pre-eminent ability, his salary of eight hun- 
dred dollars was insufldcient for the support of his family, 
nis only other pastoral clmnge at East Hampton, L. I., 
had been made for the same i*eason. Dr. Bcccher accept- 
ed the invitation of the Hanover Street Church and society 
for two Sabbatlis, and improved the occasion to make a 
visit to Portland, Me., with his second wife, who was a 
Miss Porter, formerly of that city. The arrangement 
was made for them to tome in their own conveyance by 
land, and for him to preach in Boston one Sabbath, both 
going and coming on their journey. 

FIRST GLIMPSE OF LYMAN BKECIIER. 

My first glimpse of the noted preacher^ whose fame 
had reached our ears, was had one autumnal Sabbath 
morning as he rode up to the door of our new and ele- 
gant church, with his wife, in a poor country chaise 
covered with white cotton cloth. The horse and the 
minister were both alike very unattractive as well as the 
chaise. 

We lads were watching for his coming in front of the 
church, where also stood the Committee of Reception 
prejmred to extend their welcome and to introduce him 
to the people and the pulpit I can now vividly remem- 
ber my own feelings at the time, and the looks of those 




mmmM 



LYMAN BEECnER. 5 

in waiting, which seemed to say : " Well, we are sold 
this timel" We took our places in church with 
an unmistakable air of grim disappointment. Dr. 
Beecher opened the exercises and went into his work 
with a will and with such an unceremonious freedom 
that our Boston sense of propriety stood abashed!' 
Soon, however, the fii*e began to burn, the truth began to . 
pinch, and the audience began to rally from their de- 
spondent wonderment, and to look around as if saying, 
** What's the matter ?" We all saw then and there 
that the new candidate for Boston honors was master 
of the situation. The old horse and chaise were forgot- 
ten, and the three sermons of that day were the topic 
of conversation for the week, and prepared the way for 
the second Sabbath on his return from Portland. The 
same cut-and- thrust style of preaching was repeated, 
which, while it shocked all our notions of x)ulpit etiquette, 
made it a foregone conclusion that this was the man for 
the new enterprise. It must be remembered that he had 
now reached the so-called dead line of fifty. 

BOSTON IN 182/i. 

The orthodox Congregational churches of Boston at 
this time were Just entering a new era of spiritual life, 
and in their devotion and enthusiasm, great anxiety was 
manifest in regard to the new minister for the new 
Hanover Street Church. 

Prom the very beginning of Lyman Beecher's labors in 
Boston a most remarkable revival of religion commenced 
in this church, which contmued almost without interrup- 
tion for four years, and until the church building was 
burned down in 1830. This house was the headquarters 
of a new phase of a living and aggressive orthodoxy and 
also of missionary and tract operations. When it caught 
fire, public sentiment showed itself by a marked indiffer- 
ence among the firemen to subdue the flames. The 
destruction was complete. 



6 PERSONAL llEMINISCENCES OF 

The characteristics of this revival under Mr. Beecher^s 
preaching are worthy of note. We had the ordinary 
preaching services of the Sabbath, morning, afternoon, 
and evening; the weekly lecture on Tuesday evening, 
.regular Friday evening prayer-meeting, regular inquiry 
meeting, and special meetings for prayer. There was no 
outside aid of an evangelist or layman, but an increased 
and more earnest effort on the part of the membership in 
closest sympathy with their pastor. He often said, 
" Brethren, it is my business to draw the bow, yours to 
see where the arrow strikes and to bring in the wounded. ^' 
In addition to the services I have mentioned, we had two 
regular sessions of Sunday-school each Sabbathi which 
the pastor seldom attended. 

The church was very small at flrst, but every member 
was a prayerful worker, and they carried their pastor as 
really as he carried them. Their co-operntion was i>erfect. 

ItKVIVAIi FUUITS. 

I united with the churcli by profession of faith Septem- 
l)er 1826, during the first year of Dr. Beecher's labors, 
together with a company of about sixty. At the previous 
communion there were ulK>nt seventy-five received. Tliese 
new recruits were mainly young men and maidens, the 
majority being young men. They were a superior class, 
and they all entered at once with enthusiasm upon the 
work of the church. So far as my knowledge goes, they 
never turned back or l>ecame idlers in the vineyard. 
There were fifteen present at the pastor's first inquiry 
meeting. He was unwilling to call such a meeting with- 
out assurance of there being at least fifteen who would 
attend. At the seccmd meeting the number was twenty, 
at the third thirty-five, and at the fourth three hundred ! 
Deacon Lambert thought that the people had mistaken 
the notice for a preaching service. But the pastor was 
enthusiastic and replied, ^' No they haven% it's the finger 
of Gk)d I' ' And so it was found to be. 



LYMAN BEECHEB. 7 

Soon after this, in the second year of his ministry, two 
new churches, colonies from Hanover Street, organized 
Salem Church at the North End, on Salem Street, and 
Pine Street Church at the South End of Boston. This 
movement marked a new era of great interest in tlie 
orthodox movement in Boston. Dr. Beecher was • 
aroused to an unusual degree of spiritual power. He 
appeared as one of the old Puritan fathers risen from the 
dead. His residence was on Copp's Hill, No. 18 Sheafe 
Street, and near by his house reposed the dust of ** The 
Mathers.*' Oftentimes as he came to the weekly prayer- 
meeting and lecture there was in him a mighty uplifting 
of passionate emotion, both in his prayers and sermons, a 
tender but grand upheaval and on-moving 'povrer which 
was like the rolling of a tidal wave on the beach of the 
sea. Sometimes in his prayers I have heard him say, 
'^ Come, Lord Jesus t hero are the bones of the fathers, 
here the crown was torn from thy brow, here behold thy 
scattered tlock ui)on the mountains ! Come, O good 
Shepherd, gather them to thy fold, for they stumble in 
the darkness of error !'' 



CHURCH EXTENSION. 

One of the fundamental ideas of Lyman Beecher for 
extending the kingdom of Christ, was that of church colo- 
nization. He would often compare an overgrown church 
to a large hive of bees, that consumed all the honey, 
leaving none for a new colony. '* So then, swarm early 
and qften^^^ he would say, •* and thus keep the old bees 
a-workingl" 

I well remember the original meeting which had refer- 
ence to the question of forming a new church from the 
new Hanover Sti'eet one. The i)a8tor was all ablaze. A 
vote was about to be taken on the question. Mounting 
a chair he cried out in clarion tones, '^ I move we organize 
TWO, one for the North End and one for the South End !'* 
Tlie motion was seconded and carried with enthusiasm, 



8 PERSONAL REMINISCENCES OF 

and $30y000 were subscribed on the 8X)ot with which to 
commence. 

TOUNO men's associations. 

It was this year, 1827, that the first** Young Men's 
Christian Association' ' was formed in tlie Hanover Street 
Church. The next year one was organized in Salem 
Church, one of the new colonies from Hanover Street. 
Being one of the ninety-six original members, drafted 
from the Hanover Street association, I joined that in Salem 
Church. Tliese associations in each church were a great 
power, and in their combined efforts were not equalled 
by any oi^nization of the kind from that day to the 
present. Our meetings were never ojien to any but the 
working members. Our councils and our efforts wei^e 
known only to ourselves ; but we worked for the public 
good, and through all public channels. Tliere was in 
Lyman Beecher the most enthusiastic 8ymx)athy with 
young men in all their efforts for personal or public im- 
provement. In our meetings he was always an insi)iring 
power. ** Young gentlemen," he would say, ** anytldng 
can be done that ought to be done." One incident only 
would I note as the result of our efforts. 

BOSTON COMMON. 

Booths and tables for the sale of intoxicating drinks 
and small wares were allowed from time immemorial on 
Boston Common. On all public days old Boston Com- 
mon was as free as Faneuil Hall to the first comer. It 
was the public playground long before the ** Boston 
boys" of the Revolution used it for sliding down hill on 
their sleds. When the English troops interfered ^vith 
this boyish sport, young America remonstrated with 
emphasis against tliis invasion of immemorial rights. Tliis 
almost defiant protest prevailed, and led the commander 
to report to the English Government that it would be a 
difficult matter to subdue such a x)eople, for the very 



LYMAN BEECHEIl. 9 

boys breathed in the air of freedom and stood up ooldly 
for their rights I 

This preemptive right of the people to the old Com- 
mon for any purpose which they might choose had thus 
far been unquestioned till we of the Y. M. C. A., under 
Dr. Beecher as our captain, assaulted the stronghold of • 
intemperance in these liquor booths. It was a mighty 
struggle — first, with the municipal authorities ; second, 
with the judiciary ; and lastly, with public sentiment. 
But we won the victory almost in the dark, for no one 
knew from whence came the x>ower that triumphed. 
ThoiSe ancient x)rivileges of liquor-selling and of riotous 
revelry on Boston Common on public days, have never 
been restored in the least degree to this day. 

This was one of the grand results of the preaching of 
those everlastingly famous "six sekmons on intek- 
PKRANCE," by Lyman Beecher, which I heard him deliver 
in the Hanover Street Church. A greater, grander, more 
difficult, or more useful victory for the good of the Com- 
monwealth of America or the Commonwealth of Israel 
has, perhaps, never been effected than was seen in this 
utter overthrow of liquor-selling booths on Boston Com- 
mon a half century ago. 

A MOVE UPTOWK. 

After the burning of the stone church on Hanover 
Street in 1830, Dr. Beecher came with many of his people 
to worship temjwrarily in our new Salem Church, at that 
time without a i)astor. His first sermon was from the 
text, Isaiah 04 : 11 : ** Our holy and our beautiful house, 
where our fathers praised thee, is burned with fire ; and 
all our pleasant things are laid waste." It was the cul- 
minating hour of Dr. Beecher^s greatness in Boston. The 
sermon was * great and tender, sublimely heroic and 
sublimely submissive, to the highest point of human con- 
ception I 

A new house of worship was erected on Bowdoin Street 



10 PERSONAL REMINISCENCES OF 

for the Hanover Street Church. It was more '^ uptown,'* 
in a more aristocratic neighborhood, but, alas 1 the si>ell 
was broken ! The hero of a thousand battlefields never 
recovered his mighty x)ower or felt at home as before. 

A CALL TO TIIK WEST. 

• 

It was under these circumstances that the call from 
Lane Seminary reached liim, accomi>anied by the offer of 
Arthur Tappan, of New York City, of $20,000 to the insti- 
tution on condition of Dr. Beecher^s acceptance. The 
question for him to decide was one of deep and far-reach- 
ing interest botli to liimself and the cliurches of New 
England. Ilis heart liad always been warm for the West. 
His well-known *' Plea for tlie West " is sufficient evi- 
dence of this. Tlie great battle of Gog and Magog was to 
he fought in the Ohio and Mississippi valleys. He longed 
to have a x>ersoual port in it. But it was a fearful thing 
to pull up a New England oak by the roots at a rii)ened 
age and transplant it to the soil of the West. The i)oint 
tliat seemed at last to turn the scales was the munificent 
offer of Mr. Tappan. Dr. Beecher said*at last, *• I shall 
never bring so much again,'* and accepted. The Boston 
churches yielded with great reluctance. It was a sacri- 
fice of no ordinary character. And to myself as well as 
others, it appeared to l)e the great mistake of his life ; for 
he was not a systematic or careful theologian, nor was he 
a disciplinarian, but a preacher, pre-eminently ; and was 
never at his Iiest, even in the pulpit, after leaving Boston. 
StiU, I gladly i^cognize his great and good work for the 
Second Presbyterian Church of Cincinnati, while its pas- 
tor, in connection with the Seminary. It is claimed by 
many that he rescued that church and made it what it is 
to-day, a i)ower in this city. Beside tliis, the spirit of 
devoted enthusiasm with wliich he inspired the students 
of Lane, and which lingers with us to thb day, was of 
priceless value. 



»• 



LTMAN BEECHER. 11 

APOSTOLIC ELOQUENCE. 

For learned dulness he had no compassion. Tinsel • 
and glitter, moonshine and icicles he abhorred! He 
would say to us, ** Better animated noise than lukewarm • 
knowledge ! Tear passion to tatters, rather than carry a • 
dull piety and a graveyard solemnity I Theological stu- 
dents need a mustard plaster all over the body to wake 
them up, and to stimulate them to intense animation I 
We need true ax)ostolic eloquence, or we shall have the 
theatrical, artiiicial declamation, the flash and start and 
stare eloquence !" 

It was in the vast valleys of the West that Dr. Beecher . 
confidently expected the last great conflict would be 
fought. lie never presented a grander militant figure 
than when he stood sounding an alarm all along the line 
and calling for troops for the West. •* Young men fou 
TiiK West !'* was a more stirring battle-cry by Lyman 
Beecher when in Boston than was ever Horace Greeley's 
favorite exhortation from New York. 

I>U. BKK0IIKK*8 STRUGOLKS. 

The four years' work in Boston by Mr. Beecher from 
1830 to 1830, gave new and i)ermanent life to questions of 
reform, and also to new institutions, by the unparalleled 
quickening of the public pulse, and the rallying of young 
men to the conflict, whose love for the cause knew no 
danger, and who shmnk from no service or sacrifice. 

It was one intense, protmcted struggle. Sometimes the 
great preacher was down in the deepest, darkest valley 
of humiliation and despondency. Physical causes helped 
to depress. Dyspepsia was a constant attendant, and he 
found it a desperate foe. Sometimes he would turn down 
a chair upon the floor before a brisk fire, and lying with 
hid head upon it, toast his feet. Tlien rolling over upon 
the floor with constant groanings, he would say, '* Well, 
Vm done for. It's all over with me now I * I shall no 



12 PERSONAL REMINISCBNCES OF 

more see good ! It is hard to see such on open door and 
not be able to enter !^' 

At times it did seem to others as well as himself that 
he would really die. But as soon as the disease yielded, 
he was up and at work ogain with all his mind and 
might. 

Shovelling sand back and forth from one side of his 
cellar to the other, and sawing wood, formed his constant 
exercise. ) His violin and his children wera never-failing 
sources of amusement. His i^eculiarities were marked, 
and most noticeable in his preaching, his prayers, and in 
the inquiry-meeting. His prayers were original, compre* 
hensive, short and slmrply defined. In the inquiry 
meeting he was always at home, and on the alert. 

He always seemed filled with fresh unction from on 
high, and was eminently judicious and successful. The 
intense emotion with which he entered ux)on his minis- 
terial services, whether of prayer or preaching, seemed fit- 
ly pictured in the magnificent incoming of the ocean suige 
on the beach. 

BEEOIIER^S OIL J (JO. 

To show the wide-spread and abiding power of his in- 
fluence after he had left Boston, I give a single incident : 
Four or five years after he hod removed to Ohio and seven 
years after his great ** Stone Port," the church on 
Hanover Street, was burned, I occupied a store on the old 
site. I employed two Irishmen to dig a cellar at the rear 
end of my store. They cut a trap door through the floo.r, 
down which they worked in a dim twilight. I was 
standing one day on the floor of the store watching them 
work. 

One of the Irishmen was picking at one of the stones of 
the old church building, which had been left with other 
rubbish from the Are to fill up the rear of the former base- 
ment and cellar. After picking at it for some time, the 
other Irishman said, '* Mike, what have you got there }*' 



mmmmm^ 



LYMAN BEECHER. 



13 



The man replied, ** An' faith, I don't know, unless it be 
Beecher^s ile jug P^ The point to this reply lies here. 
Our x>astor'8 temi)erance practice was always ridiculed by 
the liquor men in order to bireak the force of his preaching. 
One of the current stories was that a groceiy porter, in 
taking to Dr. Beecher's house some oil in a jug, thought ' 
he *' smelt a rat," and taking out the stopper found that 
the jug was filled with Ncv) England mm I Now these 
Tiishmon knew that they wore on the site where stood 
tlie church seven years before, and about under the place 
where the high pulpit was from which stairs led down 
into the basement. So, while no word had been said to 
suggest the subject, when the Irishman found the round 
stone in the dimly-lighted hole, his reply to his comrade 
showed that Mr. Beecher and his temperance preaching 
were memories running in his mind, though the bold 
reformer had been in Ohio for years. *' Faith, an' I be- 
lieve it is Beecher' s Ue jug I" 

A FIGHT Wrril LOTTERIES. 

The circumstances of his ministry in Boston were in- 
tensely exciting. The great Unitarian controversy was 
in progress. The subjects of temi)erance, slavery, infi- 
delity, Romanism and lotteries were hotly discussed. It 
was Lyman Beecher who stamped indelibly the brand 
of infamy on lotteries as well as intemperance. I saw 
and heard him do it, and remember it as though but yes- 
terday. 

The Legislature of Massachusetts was in session. A 
bill was before it in behalf of Bunker Hill Monument, 
which then stood a monument of reproach to New Eng- 
land lenterprise ; for it was but half finished, and had re- 
mained thus for many years. It seemed that the only 
way to secure funds for its completion was by a State 
lottery. The final vote on the bill was to be taken on 
Monday. During the previous week Dr. Beecher pre- 
pared a special sermon in opposition, and had a personal 




14 PERSONAL REMINISCBNCES OF 

invitation given to the members of the general court to 
attend its delivery on Sunday evening. All the body 
pews of the church were reserved for them. There were 
gaUeries on three sides. 

The house was filled to its utmost capacity. The atten- 
tion given was most absorbing. The discourse was 
intensely dramatic and personal. The public and private 
effects of lottery gambling were portrayed with simplicity 
and honesty of description, but with startling and terrific 
coloring. Youth, nK)raIs, business interests, social order, 
widowed mothers and orphaned children, the wreck of 
homes and character, the blight, the ruin, the remorse of 
conscience and the woes of the lost in hell through the 
direct or indirect infiuence of lotteries, were worked up 
with marvellous vividness and power from the first stroke 
of the master^ s i)encil to the close. There was an intensity 
of momentum that was almost painful till the matchless 
climax came. Then the juissionate preacher stopped as 
suddenly as did the white horse and his rider in the 
ai)ocalyptic vision. Ills spectacles were taken off. His 
manner became subdued and solemn. Leaning over the 
pulpit, with his right hand and index finger thrown 
sharply forward, with a fiery i)enetration of eye, and a 
marvellous inflection of voice, with a most adroit 
assumption of the personal character and feelings of the 
petitioners themselves, as if they themselves stood before 
the court, willing to assume the undertaking, he exclaim- 
ed : ^^ Oentlemen and honorable meml)ers of the General 
Court of Massachusetts assembled, all these things will 
ioe do for you if you will tote for our hill to-niorrow ! 
and we will finish Bunker Hill Monument into the bar* 
gain I Will you doUf Will tou do it ?'* 

He stood waiting as if in anxious silence for an answer. 
And there seemed to go up a long-drawn, silent vote of 
relief. ** No more lotteries !'' It must have been 
registered in heaven. It was, at least, reiterated and con- 
firmed in the Legislative Hall at the State House the next 



LYMAN BEECHER. 16 

day, and entered nxK)n the public records, never more to 
be called in question. 

A FAST-DAY DISOOUKSE. 

The i)ersonal characteiistics of Dr. Beecher, both in his 
private relations and in his public work, were many and 
original. They were, of course, interesting and instruc- 
tive. He was a bundle of eccentricities, but of them he 
seemed entirely unconscious. The good pastor was once 
preaching on the subject of Atheism and Deism on a Fast 
day. He was sarcastic, humorous and witty in his de- 
scriptions of a supposed fortuitous concourse of atoms in 
their wanderings and assimilations until this beautiful 
earth was the result, and then the more wonderful and 
beautiful man was built up and finished off with heai*t and 
lungs, and eyes and ears, together with a marvellous 
thinking machine on top, and all covered with a most 
delicate and wonderful membraneous tissue. And all 
this by chance I The audience saw the absurdity of the 
assumptions of unbelief so ludicrously sketched in detail 
by the preacher and were wrought up to an uncontrol- 
lable spirit of laughter all over the house. Suddenly Dr. 
Beecher stopped, stood silent, took off his spectacles, 
twirled them with his fingers a moment, and then with 
most provoking seriousness said, '* Well, I^m glad Fast 
day comes once a year, and I mean to improve it I*' 

Some time after this it was suggested to him by some 
of his oflScial board that it was unwise to give so promi- 
nent attention to a mere handful of obscure and uninfiu- 
ential objectors to Christianity, when he replied with in- 
imitable natve^', "I tell you, my friend, that a small 
drove qf hogs fJoiU root up a great field qf corn P^ 

' AN ESCAPE FROM THE PULPIT. 

At another time, during a course of Sunday evening 
lectures on Mormonism, his morning and afternoon ser- 
mons having got complete i)ossession of his mind, he 



« t 



16 PERSONAL REMINISCENCES OF 

found it necessary to break the connection by some des- 
perate effort. So he gave out a long hymn for the choir to 
sing, took his hat and slipi)ed down the inside pulpit 
stairs into the vestry and out on to the street quite unob- 
served by the congregation, except those ' in the gallery. 
A friend of mine pnet liim headed for Boston Common, 
half a mile away and on the full run I It was then a time 
of great excitement among the llomon Catholics, who were 
violently against him, and my friend assumed that he was 
running away from a mob at the church. He therefore 
raised an alarm and ran down to Hanover Street. Thei*e 
he found the congregation all quiet, but waiting for the 
preacher. When the choir had sung the long hymn no 
preacher^ s head api)cared above the high pulpit. As Dr. 
Beecher sometimes was so lost in improving and altering 
his sermon while the choir vms singing, it was thought 
that he might now be thus employed. So one of the 
deacons went up the pulpit stairs, as often before, to re- 
mind him to go on with the services. But he found that 
the puli>it was vacant. 

Tlie deacon signillod to the organist, Lowell Mason, to 
play a voluntary until they could lind the preacher. I 
well remember the runaway's return. He came up the 
same private stairway to the pulpit. He now was him- 
self. He 7iad broken the connection with his previous 
discourses that day and at once took up an entu'ely new 
subject, and in a new train of thought, with all the fiery 
earnestness of old John Knox. 

There was the most remarkable vitality, energy, and 
passion in his si)eech both in the pulpit and on the plat- 
form, and yet it was wholly free from the least taint of 
sensational clap-trap from any mannerisms. The West 
never knew Lyman Beecher in the fulness of liis pulpit 
power. I am i)ersuaded that in his new relations here in 
Cincinnati he was not entirely at home. Like a mighty 
locomotive engine, he had leaped his track in coming 
West. 



LYMAK BEECUER. 17 

PASSION FOR WORK. 

• 

Ilis passion for work, especially for preaching, was 
l)oundless and tireless. He often remarked, **I wish- 
there were two Sundays in a week." The pulpit was his 
grand arena of conflict. ** Mr. Organist," he would say, 
" when you see me enter the church door, fire up ! fire 
UP t I donH want to march up the broad aisle to the 
slow and solemn measures of a funeral dirge." 

To us, tlie students in Lane Seminary, he would say, 
** rd ratlier you wAuld tear your subject all to tatters 
tlian to reel it off so mechanically." He had no X)atience 
with lukewarmness. It was as i^epugiutnt to him as to 
our Saviour. 

IMJLPIT KXPL08I0N8. 

t)r. Beecher used to pin together the leaves of his ser- 
mon. In his Boston pulpit he would sometimes knock 
his manuscript to pieces by some sudden, impassioned 
gesture. The leaves would fly down among the i)eople 
in every dii^ection, like snowflakes in a wintry tempest. 
Then the deacons would have to gather up the leaves and 
carry them to him in the pulpit. 

Once I saw him strike a prism-])endant which hung 
around the pulpit light, and send it whimng half way 
across the church. At another time with a side blow h^ 
struck the glol)e that shaded the gaslight. Fortunately 
it was not broken. At once he adjusted it as best he 
could Avithout the least pause in the rapid run of his 
thoughts and utterance. The gas was something new in 
those days. The peox)le were afraid of it, and anticii)ated 
danger at the slightest disaster. 

The coolness of the preacher on this occasion, and his 
undisturbed interest in his discourae, actually convinced 
one of his hearers that Dr. Beecher was a tnie and honest 
man of God. From that time he became a regular 
attendant, and at last a tnie and honest man of God him« 
self. 



18 PEnHONAL REMINISCENCES OF 



STREET SCENES. 

One Monday morning he took his market basket on his 
arm and went to Faneuil Hall Market to get provisions 
for dinner. He was followed and watched, as he often 
was, by a yonng man who was the chorister of the Uni- 
versalist Chnrch. The minister soon came to the fish 
market. Here Dr. Beecher picked up a iine4ooking fish 
and asked the fisherman if it was fresh and sweet. 
" Certainly/' replied the man, " for I caught U myself 
yesterday," which was the Sabbath. *Dr. Beecher at once 
dropi)ed the fish, saying, *^Then I don't want it," and 
went on without another word. Tlie young man who was 
watching liim was instantly convinced of tlie minister's 
honesty and sincerity in practising the principles which 
he preached, became a regular attendant and a true con- 
vert, and for more than a quarter of a century was known 
as Deacon Thomas HoUis, the druggist. He was a promi- 
nent official in the Orthodox Church, and a valued di- 
rector in the benevolent and charitable institutions of the 
city until his death. 

I have myself watched Dr. Beecher on the streets of 
Boston while he was following, watching, stopping, and 
listening to a sailor who was ** half seas over" with drink. 
Never did a cat watch a mouse with more eager interest. 
I have also watched him as he plunged along the street 
eating an orange as he would eat an apple, unpealed. He 
did not seem to know what he was eating. It only 
seemed good to eat it. He would bite from it full mouth- 
fuls, rind and all, making the juice of the orange fly in 
all directions over his coat, vest, and shirt-bosom. 

His gait was always quick and nervous, his left arm 
crooked at the elbow and swinging with a jerk. lie never 
seemed to know that any one saw him, or that anybody 
was about who could see him. He was oblivious to all 
appearances and to aU persons when on the street. 

The store in which I was employed was on his direct 



LYMAN BEECHER. 19 

way to the post-of&ce, the market, and his church. Thus 
it was I saw him daily> Once he passed the store carry- 
ing one end of a piece of timber on his shoulder, fearfully 
crushing one side of his hat At another time he might 
be seen carrying one side of a heavy basket, to the utmost 
dismay and jmin of the one who carried the opposite side» 
for he seemed never to know when he was tu^ or that 
any one with him could be. 

TUB WOOD-SAW YEU. 

Ilis wood-saw was a constant companion. When his 
own wood was sawed he would go out on the street for 
work.* One day he took his saw, shouldered his buck, 
and went out in search of a job. Soon he met with a man 
at work on a large pile. '^ Halloo !" said the Doctor, 
** you have a big job on hand. I guess I'll give you a 
lift, OS I have nothing else to do.'' And at it he went 
witli a will. His saw was always keen, and it was always 
worked as if by steam power. ** Why ! what a jolly saw 
you have," said the wood-sawyer. ** Yes," replied his 
unknown heli)er, •*! always keep my tools sharp for 
quick work." 

The conversation was soon turned to the one great topic 
of the day, namely, the new preacher. ** Have you ever 
heard old Dr. Beecher preach?" said the wood-sawyer. 
•* Oh, yes, frequently," replied the stranger, putting still 
more vigor into his work. ** Well, what do you think 
of him ?" ** Oh, Tdon't think so much of him as some 
do," was the reply. Tlie conversation at length came so 
close home. Dr. Beecher stopped work and said, ** I guess 
I must be going." *' But where did you get that saw 1'* 
inquired the old man; "I wish I had one like it." 
** Well, if yon wish, I'll swap with you." And so they 
swapped saws, and the Doctor shouldering his buck start- 



* Another vendon of ibis story, I learn, 2im been published, which is 
adorned with adjuncts somewhat apocryphal 



• JT 



l^^'Si^Jr'u.'. ^r ' '.' * ' ^ '* ' ' — """. 



liWlkini»«iaiaiiMi«MlM*Mil«Mri^^ 



20 PERSONAL UEMIXI8CBNCES OF 

ed back on a trot through the alley behind his own house. 
The old sawyer b^gan to cogitate. A new idea loomed 
up before him. He followed at a safe distance, noted the 
back gate at which he entered, went round to the front 
' and noted the number, and soon learned that it was no 
other than Dr. Beecher himself with whom he had been 
sawing and chatting. From that time that old wood- 
sawyer was one of the pastor's attendants and adherents. 
I knew him well, and have often seen him at church, sit- 
ting in the front row of the gallery, on the right-hand side 
near the pulpit. 

ABSENT-MINDEDNESS. 

On one occasion, after an evening's service at church, Dr. 
Beecher, in his usual brown study, went into the wrong 
house of the block in which was his own. Every house 
in the block was of one and the same pattern. The house 
which he mistook for his own was occupied by a well- 
known hatter by the name of Rhoades, a Unitarian. Tlie 
Doctor put his hat on the stand in the hall, went into the 
back jmrlor, where Afra. Rhoades and the family wei'e 
gathered, drew a chair up to* tlie lire, put his feet on the 
mantel over the grate to warm, turned back his chair, and 
leaned back his head simply thinking. 

In this attitude he noticed a French clock under glass 
upon the mantel. '* Wife," ho exclaimed, " where in the 
world did you get that clock?" No answer. No one 
could answer, they were so full of merriment over the 
good minister's absence of mind. ** I say, wife, where 
did you get tliat clock?" Mrs. Rhoades was a lady. 
She put her hand gently ui)on his shoulder, and in her 
sweetest tone said, *' Dr. Beecher, you have made a mis- 
take, and got into the MTong house." Tlie surprised in- 
truder cast a quick glance around ui)on the family circle, 
sprung from his chaii*, and with a bound was out of the 
house, without a word of explanation or excuse. 



» » 



LYMAN BEECUEli. 



21 



LOVE OF FUN. 

• 

Dr. Beecher was fond of amusements and of real fan, as 
well OS of hard work and preaching. His violin was as 
often heard as his saw, and heard not only in his study, 
wluch was in the upi)er story of his house, but also in the 
family circle and at family prayers. 

At times, he was so absorbed in writing his sermon 
when called to family worship, that he would call for liis 
violin, and witli its lively notes break the connection and 
free his thoughts for the service in hand. 

Tliere was a x)ei*ennial ft>untain of boyish spirits in the 
heart of Lyman Beecher. I once called at his house with 
a young friend to see his children, soon after his arrival 
in Boston. One of the daugliters resi)onded to the call. 
After an introduction she said, *' We are having fun with 
father in the dining-room. Come out and see us.'' So 
we both went out to see the fun. And, sure enough, 
there was Dr. Beeclier on ** all fours," with two children • 
on his back playing *' riding horse." He would run 
horae fashion, trot, gallop, stop, run back, kick up, throw 
the riders, and then run away, with all the children after 
him screaming with delight^ 

THE LOST BANK-NOTES. 

When Dr. Beecher moved his family from Litchfield to 
Boston, he took a house with double parlors, dining-room 
and kitchen on the first floor.* The parlors remained 
unfurnished, and the ladies of his congregation waiting 
some time for opportunity to call, learned from Mrs. 
Beecher that they had neither suitable furniture nor 
money with which to purchase. The ladies soon made up 
a purse of one hundred dollars, and gave it to the i)a8tor, 
with the remark that it was expressly designed for fur- 
nishing the x)arlors. 

*Thi8 incident is Tery briefly alluded to in the •* Autobiography,** by 
Charles Beecher. 2 toIs., Harper Brothers, 1865, page 227. 



Ill' II I r^i ^i — T'"^ 



22 PERSONAL UBMINISCBNCBS OF 

After proper waiting they called again, but no parlor 
lamiture appeared. Yet again, but the parlors still re- 
mained unfurnished. Mrs. Beecher was kindly informed 
that a sum of money had been given to her husband to pur- 
chase furniture. She, however, had known nothing of the 
matter. He was therefore called to an account. The for- 
getful man was in a maze. He said that he rather 
thought they hod given him something, but could not 
remember what he did with it. It must be in his pockets 
somewhere, he thought. Having searched his vest 
pockets, Ids X)antaloons, and his coat, he found no money 
anywhere. Thus Mrs. Beecher rejwrted to the ladies, 
under great mortification. 

There was no way left but to collect another hundred 
dollars, which in those days was quite a sum, and then, 
as they had learned a new lesson, to purchase the furni- 
ture themselves. They did so and saw it put in its proi)er 
place Avith their own hands. This done, the next step was 
an ** investigation " for the missing money. Little by 
little, they found, not the money, but where it went to. 
Of course tlie minister had neither spent nor lost it, but 
he had tucked the roll of bills hard down in his vest 
jXKjket, and rememliered no more about them. Now all 
this hapx)ened at a time of great excitement about a six 
days' line of stage coaches from Albany, N. Y., to the 
West, in opposition to the old Sabbath-breaking line, in 
which a Mr. Bissell had a great interast. Public meet- 
ings were held, speeches made and collections taken in 
aid of the new enterprise. Dr. Beecher was prompt and 
prominent at these meetings. As the contribution-box 
came round on the platform he felt for a dollar, almost 
with the feeling of a man dead broke ! When lo 1 his 
fingers clutched the pressed roll of bank-bills in his vest 
pocket, and without a single look or thought, put them 
all in. 

The i)er8istent investigation of the ladies brought out' 
the fact that a wonderful contribution had been made by 



rilMHhi 



t j hw <gnj " e > B eMfc*? 



LYMAN BEECHER. 



23 



some rich unknown banker as was supposed. They little 
dreamed that the money came thoughtlessly from the 
pocket of a poor, improvident parson. His wife there- 
after was the keeper of the treasury. 

Such then, in his greatness and weakness, was Dr. 
Lyman Beecher, and such was his work in Boston, be- 
fore he came to Lane, a work and a man the like of 
which had never been seen in those days. 



PART SECOND. 



DR. LYMAN BEECHER IN TIIE WEST. 

It was in 1830 tliat I met Dr. Beecher for the firat time 
in the West. He was at a public hotel on Uie Oliio River, 
near its junction with the Mississippi River. I was on a 
collecting tour through the West connected with my own . 
mercantile business in Boston. 

Never was the country in a more disastrous and.demor* 
alized condition, financially, than at that i)eriod. Dr. 
Beecher was then on a visit to his son, Edward, at Gales- 
burg, Illinois. In those days we " Beecher boys" never 
travelled on the Sabbath, not even on a river steamboat, 
though we might be a thousand miles from home. Nor 
did our teacher. We were on different boats, but left 
them on Saturday evening at the same place. We Bj^ent 
our first Sabbath together most unexpectedly, after u 
He])aration of seven years. It was, indeed, a very unex- 
pected but happy meeting, and we made the most of it. 
After a rattling talk over Hanover Street and Boston 
affairs, my old jmstor plunged into the discussion of 
•* Lone Seminary'* with a will. The early pi-ofessors of 
that institution were full of enthusiasm for their work. 
They were always beating up recruits for Lane, or forag- 
ing the country for provisions for its students. 

A NEW BEcnniT. 

" JNow is the time for you to wheel into line,** said Dr. 
Beecher to me, with all his characteristic energy and Tpos' 
sion for winning young men. ** Now do what you ought 



hYMAX BEECHEll. 



25 



to have done long ogo, enter the ministry and help ns 
fight the battle here in the West." 

•* Why, sir, I may not have a dollar left when this fear- 
ful commei'cial panic is over !" " Don't care a copper,'* 
said he. ^*The Loixl will i)rovide." And he shouted, 
'^ JEl^ovAI^ JruKir ! don' t forgot Abraham. " 

*' But I have an invalid wife and a young child, and 
they are travelling with me for their Jiealth." "That's 
just the thing 1 You won't have to go back to Boston 
for them. I see God's hand in it already. It's all provi- 
dential, you now can go right into the work." " Yes, 
my good pastor, but you forget that I am thirty-three 
years old, the full life-time of the Saviour, I'm too old to 
begin now." •* Not a bit of it," he replied, '* you liave 
already learned human natur^^ (as he always pronounced 
the word) "and you know how to manage it, which the 
other students have to learn after they leave the Seminary. 
Why, you'll he ahead of them, you liave been practising 
ten or fifteen years. Now just come up to Lane for six 
months, attend lectures, read up theology^a little, and 
you'll be all right ! Take a short cut, and we will see to 
it that you have a place to work and enough to do. Make 
a place for yourself. Will you come /" " But, Doctor, 
don't push so. You don't see how I am situated. There 
is my business in Boston, all unsettled. I am exjiecting 
to return at once, and — then — if — ^" ** No ifs al)out it," 
he exclaimed, '* don' t you go back ! Tliere are Lambert & 
Blade" (old merchants connected with his church), " dear . 
old friends, they will settle up your business for you. 
Come, begin at once. Get Alexander's ' Evidences,' and 
— and— read as you go around collecting, then recite to 
Dr. Humphrey of Louisville when you arrive there to see 
your family at headquarters, and then come to Lane and 
top off." ' 

A SUODEX CIIANOK. 

It was done. Tliere was an end of argument. His 
well-known enthusiasm and magnetic influence over 



SG . PERSONAL REMINISCENCES OF 

young men prevailed. I know it will appear to others 
Quixotic and ill-considered, but outsiders know nothing 
of the importunity of that old professor of Lane. I felt 
then and there in that strange place whore we chanced to 
meet at the confluence of tlie Ohio and Mississippi rivers, 
as though God had sent his good evangel with a special 
message to me. He came just where I could not consult 
with flesh and blood. So I was not disobedient to the 
heavenly vision, but followed without questioning and 
niithout delay. 

Complying with the urgent advice of my spiritual father 
and my former pastor, I procured books, read^ studied, 
and recited to Dr. Humphrey of Louisville six months 
with no small degree of interest. In the following March, 
forty years ago, I found myself a student at Lane, on a 
" short cut !" 

THE PK0FE880RS AT LANK. 

* 

There was at that time only Bkkciikk and Stowe for 
instnictors at Lane. At the opening of the succeeding 
fall term Allen was added. More whole-hearted and 
devoutly consecrated men it would be difhcult to find. 
After a six months' course with Dr. Humphrey and six 
months' " topping off" at Lane, I became convinced of 
the necessity of a full course, and entered upon the regu- 
lar curriculum. I pursued uninterruptedly my studies 
for the next three years. Nor did I return to Boston for 
seven years from the time I left it in 1838. 

I have thus dwelt upon my own case in order to give a 
single, practical example of Dr. Beecher's influence over 
young men. It was not Lane Seminary that drew me on, 
but Dr. Beecher ; for all the radical tendencies and pref- 
erences of my mind at that time would have led me to 
Oberlin. 

Dr. Beecher and his most eflicient and practical wife at 
once secured for me the position of a city missionary at 
laige at Cincinnati, also the appointment of chaplain at 
the county jail and at the Commercial Hospital. These I 



LYMAN BEECHER. 



27 



believe were the first api)ointments of the kind in this 
city. The position of missionary was given me by the 
Ladies' City Missionary Society of the Second Prosbyte- 
rian Church, of wliom Mrs. Beeclier was the pi*es!dent. I 
received my lirst commission to preach the Gosi)el from 
that society, and also my lirst ministerial salary. It was 
through Dr. Mussey, senior, that I received my appoint- 
ment as chaplain to the jail and hospital. 

I entered at onco upon my work in Cincinnati and 
preached in each institution every Sabbath. For two 
years I continued my lal)ors tlms, without interruption ; 
also as IMble distributor, employed by the American 
Bible Society. At the end of that time I i*esigned these 
appointments to take charge of the Tabernacle Presby- 
terian Church, which I liad meantime gathered and or- 
ganized on Betts Street, Cincinnati ; Bev. Homce Bushnell 
was appointed in my place, which position he holds to 
this day. It is a position for life with good support, to 
the honor and praise of this same Ladies^ City Missionary 
of the Second Church. Nor should it here be overlooked 
that Horace Bushnell was one of the first students and 
one of the iiiYit tcnohers in the Literary Department of 
Lane from 1820 to 1832. 

To show the sympathetic and co-oi)eratlve spirit of 
Lane in those early days, not only did Beecher, Stowe, 
and Allen give me a helping hand in my pioneer labors 
in the city, but their wives were also hearty coadjutors. 
I shall never foi^et, too, the labor of seminary students 
at the Tal)emacle, for I greatly needed them and was 
greatly cheered by their brotherly assistance, coming as 
they did from Walnut Hills, more than two miles away, 
and afoot. Nor can I fail to record such names as Albert* 
Bushnell, missionary at Sierra Leone ; Campbell, who also 
died in Africa ; Chandler, Mussey, Walton, Pyle, Hicks, 
and others of sainted memories, true yoke-fellows, noble 
men as were ever gathered within the wulls of a theological 
scminory. 



M^^/arrjF:.?2 



28 PERSONAL REMINISCENCES OF 

I have already refeiTed to the cliange in. my plans, and 
those of the Doctor at the close of my '* short cut " tenn 
of study. This "short cut'* had brought me into a 
theological wilderness, and I could not see my, way out. 

• 

A THEOLOGICAL WILDERNESS. 

Dr. Beecher and myself now held another consultation. 
** You're in for it," said he. •* Well, I think I am, and I 
can't see my way out," I replied. " All right. You have 
got all you can do, and you arc doing it well. You have 
U permanent situation and a fair support. / told you so ! 
Now just hold on contented. Let up a little in your hard 
study, join the grand new class that's coming in, and go 
for a three years' course. We're going to have a glorious 
time here the next three years. Come, join us. The 
Lord will provide." It was done. I joined tliat noble 
band of thirty-eight which composed the class of '40-' 43. 
And while 1 worked hard for my own support and my 
invalid family, without one dollar from any board or in- 
stitution, I studied hard in all de]>artments with my class, 
and with private teachers in Greek, German, and music. 
I did not lose more than three lessons in Hebrew in three 
years. With all this I kept up city work and country 
preaching, gave temperance and anti-slavery lectui'es, 
labors at that time most intensely exciting, and I have 
never regretted the three last yejirs, especially the last 
one, though they cost much travel of foot and no less 
travail of soul. 

For two and a half years I preached twice a week 
without a license from Presbytery, but with its entire ap- 
proval, footing it to the city nearly every day in the 
week. I was also busy planting, digging, and market- 
ing a hundred bushels of x>otatoes. Removing my 
iamily to the west end of Cincinnati, I rode on horseback 
three miles to my daily recitations. The new Tabernacle 
church enterprise also was all this time on my hands. 



LYMAN BEECHEB. 



29 



SEMINARY LIFE. 

At the oi)ening of the term of 1840 we had three pro- 
fessors, all from New England. All honor, most tender 
and reverent, to their memory. They were ix)or, tlie in- 
stitution was i)oor, and we were all poor, but we were true 
and Ipyal to the core. We were as Presbyterians, " true 
blue, but not too blue.'* 

Beecher, Stowe, and Allen were each as unlike the 
other as could well be imagined, yet they were a threefold 
<iord that was never broken. Their personal i)eculiarities 
were specially adapted to the work of each. AUen was 
the most lovable, Beecher the most inspiring, and Stowe 
was appreciated the more we knew him, esi)ecially the 
third year. • 

Dr. Beecher was never weaned from New En/;land and 
Boston, although hei*e he was on the great battle-field 
which his younger days had pictured with heroic delight 
lis the place of all others for a great captain. 

Sitting at my own fireside one day with a visitor from 
Boston, who was a member of the Hanover Street Church, 
Dr. Beecher came in. The conversation soon turned to 
scenes of other" days. ** Well, Doctor," said the visitor, 
** I suppose you often look back to the good tiines 
when you were with us in Boston." ** No, I don't," he 
quickly replied, with that sharp, incisive tone which was 
. i)ecnliar to Iiim when touched in a sore or tender spot*. 
*"Twouldn't do! It would entirely unfit me for my. ;• 
present duties. I have deferred all that until I get tO|/ 
heaven, where I shall meet my old comrades, and then ' . 
we will have a good time, sure." 

. DR. BKECflER AS A PASTOR. 

' His position as i)astor of the Second Presbyterian 
Church of this city was never of great inspiration to him, 
nor fully satisfactory. This probably arose, in i)art, from 
the contrasting and divided relations which he sustained 



30 PERSONAL REMINISCENCES OF 

to the church and the seminary. He could not work 
easily dn double liaiTiess. It was with him as with Paul. 
" This one tiling I do." And tlien the habits, manners, 
and esprit de canir of the cliurch were so different from his 
own temperament, and so different f rf)m his former pas- 
toral relations, that it was but natural that he would feel 
the contrast sharply. Beside, he sought radical changes 
which i*esulted in serious disapix)intment. Ilis first 
effort was to secui'e a change in tlie session by a flanking 
movement of military device. But he was no tactician, 
and he was a coward when he was called to a square, 
stand-up fight with his friends. Ho was no match for 
them in shsirp practice. He had six elders in his session 
who can hardly be said to have entered with spirit into 
his revival views and his impetuous plans of church work. 
Dr. BeecUer, therefore, secure<l the election of six addi- 
tional eldera, young men, full of youthful enterjuiso, but, 
as he told me with an nir of sadness and dcspiiir, '' It was 
no go ; I was worse off than l)efore, for, like Pharaoh*s 
kine, the six lean ones swallowed up the six fat ones." In 
Boston he did not have to carry the church, the church 
carried him. He did not have to plan or manage for its 
usefulness; it rather preceded him, and i)repared the 
way for the master-mover of the field to cut a clean swath 
of giant width, swiftness and i>ower. 

It h<as seemed to me, that it would have l)een l)etter both 
for Dr. Beecher and the Second Church liad he never 
assumed its ])astorate. He could not be the i^reacher 
here which he was in New England. In some way he was 
shorn of his jwwer. In some respects this failure was a 
benefit, for it threw him back with all the more intensity 
ui)0n his work in connection with the seminary. This 
personal opinion is freely expressed with the most kindly 
and brotherly regards for the church as well as for the 
I)a8tor. In it I do not overlook the fact that Dr. Beecher 
accomplished a great and good work for the Second 
Church. The times were troublous and exciting. He 



LYMAN BEECHER 



81 



carried his people tlirougli a perilous x)eriod of formality 
and theological strife. By those to whom I bow with def- 
erence, it is claimed that the Second Church owes its sal- 
vation to Dr. Beecher. I rejoice to know that the church 
holds his memory embalmed with most affectionate 
regard. 

TUB CLASS OP '43. 

The class of '40-M3 was the largest which ever gradu- 
ated at Lane ; and, if I may be pardoned, it was the best, 
and in some resi)ects the most remarkable. It was a unit, 
a comjMict whole, intensely practical, revival and mission- 
ary in its spirit. The Doctor used to say of one class 
which seceded before its graduation, that it aggregated 
more talent and brains than could 1x3 found congregated . 
in any class of theologiies in the land. 
But the class of M3 had more practical good sense, and 
* a larger heart for the kingdom of Christ. Its incoming 
with the advent of Professor Allen gave a wonderful im- 
pulse of inspiration, and of now hojies for the future of 
the institution. Dr. Beechor had then somewhat recov- 
ered from the influences unfortunately connected with 
Lane in its earlier days, growing out of the slavery ques- 
tion ; also from the divisions in the Presbyteria,n Church 
and General Assembly, and from the effects of his own 
trials for heresy in the church courts. 

IDIOSYNCRASIES OF DK. BKKCIIEIl. 

Personally, intellectually, and spiritually. Dr. Beecher 
was sui generis. lie scarcely weighed three ];)ounds 
when l)om, and was so feeble in vitality nfl to lead his 
deceased mother's sister, who took charge of the family, 
to say, ** he is hardly worth trying to raise." All 
through his life his health was far from being robust or 
resilient, for dysi)ep8ia was his constant enemy. Yet he 
battled manfully and i>ersistently with his ailments and 
endured hardships of self -discipline that he might have 
strength for work« He seldom wore an overcoat or gloves 




32^ PERSONAL REMINISCENCES OF 

or carried on umbrella, except in extreme cases. It was 
his love of work and play, intense and earnest, that saved 
him. His large and most peculiar family, especially the 
''>oy89 B^^^ 1^^ great aid and such as he needed. 

I have already spoken of his absent-mindedness. This 
showed itself in amusing ways. When on horseback his 
mind was so absorbed in some object ahead, that it caused 
an earnest, forward leaning of his body, as if intent on 
reaching the end of his ride in advance of his horse. 
When he reached the terminus, he would sometimes leave 
his horse to take care of itself as he leax)ed from the sad- 
dle and pushed for the pulpit. Indeed, I have known 
him to spring from the carriage when he had arrived at 
the church door, leaving his wife as well as his horse 
without a thought. He would rush into the church, and 
then, when near the pulpit, he would rush back again, 
seeming to rememl)er that he had foi^gotten something 
and hastened to lind out M'luit it was. 

TIIK LOST IIOItSK. 

He once rode on horseback to New Carlisle, near 
Springfield, Ohio, some seventy-five or eighty miles, to 
attend a camp-meeting. Those were days of Presby* 
terian camp-meetings. In riding into the grove he left 
his horse in an out-of-the-way hollow. He fastened him 
>vith the bridle to a low limb of a tree before dismount- 
ing. He then pushed for headquarters, and went to work 
without another thought of his horse until he was wanted 
for a return home, some two days after. 

No one knew how Dr. Beecher came, and no one had 
cared for the poor horse. Another horse had to be pro- 
vided. His own was finally found and kept till it recov- 
ered strength from its two '* fast days.'' It was not an 
act of intentional cruelty to animals, but simply the result 
of his habitual absent-mindedness. The good man was 
never entirely safe without an attendant who knew him 
welL 



t 



4 



LYMAN BEECHER. 8d 



THE MISSING MONET. 

A great convention of churches was once called to con- 
fer on evangelical work for the West at the Second Church 
of Cincinnati, of which he was then pastor. In this con- 
vention he expected to take a prominent part. His good 
wife felt that he must have a new suit of clothes, so she 
went with him to Luken's on Main Street, near the present 
Court Ilouse, and liad liim measured. The contract was to 
1x3 filled the day before the convention. The price was 
$25. On the day named Mrs. Beecher called for the new 
suit. It was not ready, but would be ready the next 
morning in season for the oi)ening of the convention. As 
the Doctor started for the city in the morning, his wife 
gave him the money, with strict injunctions to call for his 
clothes on his way down to meeting and pay for them 
and put them on. He must *' l)e sure not to forget,'' as 
tliose he had on were quite seedy, and he would not be 
presentable on the platform in such a rusty attire. 

It was an all-day meeting. Mrs, Beecher did not see 
liim again until night. When evening came, and he re- 
turned, behold, he was still wearing his old clothes, for be 
had forgotten all about the new ones. His wife gently 
cliided him for his remissness and asked for the $25, saying, 
'* I'll go down early in the morning and get them, and see 
that you have them on before you go to the convention. 
Just give me the money." Money ! He knew nothing 
about the money. Search was made all over and through 
him wherever money could Ix) hidden, but no money 
could be found. '* Now, husband," with no little tremor 
of anxiety, ^* what have you d^one with that money V^ 
It was a great sum in those days for a Lane Seminary 
professor's wife to have. The Doctor was innocent as a 
lamb. He had no recollection, he said, of liaving had any 
money. And there they stood; both were alike con- 
founded. 

No new clothes and no money, what could be done ? 



•• 



84 PERSONAL REMINISCENCES OF 

A great western convention of ministers and laymen in 
session at his own church, and he in seedy garments ! 
Lnken trusted them for the new suit, but the money was 
gona A long search and much inquiry brought to light 
the fact that a collection had been taken in the conven- 
tion, and Dr. Beecher finding something in his vest pocket 
as the box passed him put it in without a moment's 
thought of how much it was or how it came there I It 
had gone on its errand of love and mercy like the hundred 
dollars to Bissell and his stages. It never more returned. 

THE REPEATED LECTURE. 

On one occasion Dr. Beecher came into our class-room • 
with the same lecture which he had delivered the previ- 
ous day. It was some time after he commenced its deliv* 
ery before any of the class could muster courage to re- 
mind him of his mistake. WHien he was at last spoken 
to he stopx)ed suddenly, took off his glasses, twirled them 
in his i)eculiar way, silently, and then, with a queer twin- 
kle in his eye, said, *' Yes, yes, I know it, but as you 
X>aid such poor attention to it before, and as I thought it 
was so good a lecture, I am in hoi>es it will do you good 
to hear it over again. '* On he went with its delivery 
with more than usual enthusiasm. 

Among his best thoughts were those which came on the 
s^ur of the moment, in the heat of a free debate after 
the lecture was finished. I think one of the highest 
qualifications of Lyman Beecher as a preacher was his 
matchless power in answering the objections of a supposed 
opponent. The freedom he gave to the class to ask ques- 
tions or to state objections, drew from him a marvellous 
amount of information treasured in his heart and mind 
from experience, observation, and study. The richest 
niines of wisdom and of love were thus opened to us his ' 
students and made applicable to many practical purposes. 
As I have already said, Dr. Beecher had no dovetailed, 
invulnerable system of theology, and the class would at 



LTMAN BBECHER 85 

times drive him into a corner^ and the end would some- 
times be a harmless and ludicrous comedy. 

CAUGHT IN A SNAKE. 

At the close of his usual lecture one day we '* went into 
him" with a will. Of course we were entirely respectful 
and loving, if a little audacious. Leading questions and 
well-put difiiculties brought our teacher with unguarded 
concessions into a snare. He soon became inextricably en- 
tangled in a web of metaphysical subtleties. He was 
adroitly and completely cornered. Standing at bay for a 
moment or two in silence, as if cogitating an answer, every 
one 01 the class on tip-toe with excitement to see which 
way our good professor would jump, he suddenly ex* 
claimed with an air of ludicrous assurance, *' Young gen- 
tlemen, I too would ask you one question. What would 
have become of Elijah if the Lord had happened to drop 
him just before he'd got him sofely into heaven 1" 

Tlic question had not the slightest connection with th^ 
subject under discussion. But it was put so suddenly 
and put so sharply, that we in turn were for the moment 
taken by suq>rise and utterly confounded. The peculiar 
intonation of his voice and the appearance of reality in 
his manner of putting the question to us actually set us 
a wondering what wordd become of Elijah if there had 
been a slip I We seemed to be in a kind of stupid horror 
watching the final catastrophe when the aged prophet 
should reach the ground. Before a word could be said| 
the Doctor had snatched his hat and disapx)eared« 

TUB Dutchman's chase. 

While at work in his garden with a hoe one day, in 
company with a stolid Dutchman— who was a big boy of 
all work in the family— the Doctor suddenly gave his hoe 
a tremendous Hing, and exclaimed, '' Now Tve got ik 
I've got it now,. sure I" He started upon the run for the 
house, with the alarmed Dutchman at his heels* The 



36 PERSONAL RBMIN16GENCES OF 

Doctor plunged for the end door next to the garden, which 
oi)ened into his study, but it was fastened inside. He 
then sprang for the front door. That also was fastened. 
He turned and went through the back x)orch and through 
the front hall, with the " Hying Dutchman" puffing close 
behind him. The delighted philosopher shouting his 
" Eureka," entered his study by the study door from the 
hall, dropped down into that old, green chair wliich to 
this day stands in an adjoining room, snatched up a qiiill 
and b^an to scribble. The inquisitive Teuton stood 
peering over his shoulder to see what curious or precious 
thing it was which the Doctor was so overjoyed to^find I 
He had fovnd an idea^ and had hantened thus to put it 
on paper before it should escape his treacherous memory*. 
While digging the earth with his hoe, a rift had opened 
in the metaphysical cloud which had enveloped liim. 
Suddenly a truth was revealed, which made him shout, 
" Fve got it, Fve got it I" and gave 8i)eed to his steps as 
he ran to make it fast on pai)er. 

VKIIKMKNT DKCLAMATION. 

The Doctor was ah\'ayR impatient of indifference or 
tameness in our speaking on exhibition or recitation 
days. " Have something to say, and say it as though 
you meant it ; I would rather have you tear your subject 
all to pieces with passion* than to treat it so gingerly. 
Fire up ! lire up 1 until you got all ablaze !" He prac- 
tised wlmt he taught. 

Once on a time when the subject of temi)eranco was 
*Vall ablaze" in this community, an anti-temperance 
meeting was called at the old Court House, and the stu- 
dents went down to see and hear. Dr. Beecher was there 
to see also. He sat back in the audience watching the 
proceedings with the eagerness of a hound waiting for its 

One of the speakers cited Massachusetts as having re« 
treated from its former x>osition on the subject of temper- 



LYMAN BEECHER. 



37 



once, and as liaviug *^ let go " from some of its funda- 
mental i)rinciples. 

The old hero of the temperance battlefield could hold 
in his war-Iiorse no longer. Starting for the platform 
almost upon the run, he turned not right or left to go up 
the side steps, but putting his hands on the edge of the 
platform he leaped upon it with the agility of an athlete, 
and landed in the midst of a crowd of distillers, saloon- 
keepera, and topers. Without a word of ai)ology he 
shouted, '* Old Massachusetts * let go I ' old Massachusetts 
* let go ! ' / tell you she has only let go to spit on lier 
hands P^ And then he poured forth a tremendous tem- 
X)est of thunder and Jightning, roaring, blazing, scorching, 
crackling and burning, hurling hot thunderbolts crash- 
ing through and through all the mighty breastworks 
which the liquor army Imd thrown up for the defence of 
their business. 

We, the students, were greatly excited. We stamped 
and clapped and cheered our valiant captain all the 
while, as he was carrying the fort of the enemy in glori- 
ous triumph. At the close of his speech the meeting 
closed, and closed without a word in reply. Reply I 
They might as well have replied to a tornado. And as we 
. returned we went shouting home with triumphant song; 
*' Glorious old Lane on the Ilill." 

A MISSIONAKY SPEEOn. 

Dr. Beecher was one of the earliest, most faithful, en- 
thusiastic, and unceasing friends of the A. B. 0. F. Mis- 
sions. I attended the annual meeting of the Board in the 
old Broadway Tabernacle, New York City, about the 
year 1845. Dr. Beecher was present ; he always expected 
to speak, I think, at its annual meetings, and the people 
ex][)ected him no less. 

He had come from the *' Par West," as it was then 
called. He was a little seedy outside, perhai)s, but bright 
as a new dollar within. For some reason, known only to 



m 



mmmm 



rT^ 



W^P 



38 PERSONAL REMINISCENCES OF 

the managers of the meeting, he was pushed aside, and 
another speaker substituted without consultation or 
apology. The substitute in his oi)ening began with an 
expression of regret tliat, owing to the infirmities of age 
or fatigue of travel, the celebrated Dr. Beecher was ex- 
cused, and he, the speaker, was called ^^ most unexi)ect* 
cdly and regretfully" to take his place. Dr. Beecher 
was on the platform, wholly ignorant of this change of 
programme. He looked on with amazement, and then 
sprang to his feet and cried out, ** Mr. Moderator, Mr. 
Moderator I there is some mistake here. Infirmity ! 
Why, sir, I was never better in my life. I don't under- 
stand it, sirT' 

There stood the substitute in silence, as though he had 
been struck and x>aralyzed. The audience, too, were full 
of anxious surpiise. Before any one could recover from 
the sudden interruption or have courage to speak in ex- 
planation, Dr. Beecher was off at full speed. He electri- 
fied the audience with a missionary speech such as had 
seldom been heard even on Such an occasion. It was 
spontaneous, and simply grand and magnificent. It was 
full of fire, impulse, and Bcecherism. The unfortunate 
substitute, meantime, had retired to a back seat, feeling 
•* regrets" for his own unfortunate venture quite as poig- 
nant, evidently, as those which he had expressed for Dr. 
Beecher' s supjwsed '* infirmities" of age. 

OARK FOR STUDENTS. 

Our president and professor always manifested a royal 
pride in the students of the seminary, and this without 
partiality ; for his interest in our behalf was of the most 
fatherly character. These traits were also characteristic 
of the faculty and their wives. Poor students we were,, 
most of us, and the hard work which kept the board bill 
of the ** commons'' table at eighty-seven and a Ao^ cents 
X)er week, and good at that, was cheerfully shared by the 
faculty. They went with the students into the surround- 



LYMAN BEECnER. 



80 



ihg country in a truck wagon, soliciting donations from 
the fanners for the students' table. And even this small 
sum for board was more than some of them could afford, 
and therefore they boarded themselves at the cost of 
forty-live or fifty cents 'per week, and earned the money 
by sawing wood, keeping stable, and other chores for the 
neighbors, rather than call on the Education Society. 
. This, to my personal knowledge, was true of the late Dr. 
Albert Bushnell, the honored missionary of African metti* 
ory, my classmate and kinsman. 

THE VIOLIN. 

Dr. Beecher was as fond of innocent diversions as of 
hai^ work and preaching. His violin was a source of 
relief and recuperation to the very close of his life. 

A gentleman, an entire stranger, called upon D^ 
Beecher in his last days, while residing in Brooklyn, N. Y. , 
to make his acquaintance. Before leaving he ventured 
to suggest to him that he had often heard of. his slull in 
the use of the violin, and usked liim if he would be pleased 
to give him a specimen of playing. The violin was sent 
for, and the stranger was entertained by a stirring and 
skilful jyerformance, which showed the ability of the aged 
musician in the use of his favorite instrument. At family 
worship in the evening, when his mind was tired, Jaded, 
and uncontrollable from the mighty current of the day's 
thought49 and labors, he would, after fruitless efforts at 
proper concentration for worship, call for his violin. 
And David, the sweet singer of Israel, never scattered the 
evil spirits, or the blues that come from over-study, mo^ 
stirely than did Dr. Beecher. 

dekouer's handkerchiefs. 

Lyman Beecher was not spoiled in the making, either at 
school or college. He was always himself, pure and sim« 
pie, without feeling the restraint of company or etiquette 
anywhere. 



mmim 



^vmmmmm^^immm^mmf 



40 PERSONAL REMINISCENCES OF 

Mrs, Beecher woald sometimes provide her husband 
with two handkerchiefs for his i)Ocket One was a red 
bandana of large dimensions for the protection of his 
neck and for ordinary service. The other was a wliite 
cambric handkerchief intended for public duty. But he 
never could remember to keep them in diflfei^ent pocketn 
or for diflerant uses. So, in the heat and momentum of 
his discourse, one would come out, and then the other ; 
now the delicate white linen one, now the big red ban-* 
dana ! Then l)oth would be lying on the pulpit cushion, 
one on each side of his notes, or under the lid of the Bible. 
Re brought out for use first the one and then the other. 
He took the white, the red and hlewj much to the discom- 
fort of Mrs. Beecher and the amusement of his hearers. 
This went on until, in the fervor of his emotions and the 
pungency of his thoughts, both si)eaker and hearers were 
carried above all surroundings, quite beyond the i)ossi- 
bility of any injurious distraction on account of any of 
his oddities. These idiosyncrasies were harmless, his 
whole bearing being so characteristic, natural, and earnest 

ms SPECTACLES. 

Dr. Beecher was so forgetful, it was necessary to have 
him supplied with two or three imirs of spectacles, or hd 
would iind himself without any. On one occasion the 
discussions of Presbytery were absorbingly animated. In- 
stead of twitching his steel-bowed glasses fi*om his nose 
BJid twirling them l>etween his thumb and foi*efinger, as 
was his wont, he threw them back uix)n his head and 
quite too far over. Soon he wanted them and reached up 
his hand to bring them down to their proper position. 
Failing to reach them he supposed that he had put them 
in his pocket. So, he jerked out another pair and put 
them in proper place. And there he stood, doubly pre- 
pared for duty, with two pairs of spectacles on his head, 
eyes ip front, and eyes in the back of his head. One of 
the members of Presbytery shouted, *^ Now, look out. 



f • 



LTMAN BEECHER. 41 

brethren, for now Dr. Beecher is Hharp bath icaps for an 
argument" 

G00D-NATUUEI>NE88. 

Dr. Beecher never took notice of a joke, much less did 
lie ever show resentment. lie used to say to the stu- 
dents, " Never wash yourselves in a mud-puddle." 

As for personal controversy, he had no taste for it what- 
ever, although he had the reputation of a great x)olemic. 
He said that he was cured of all love for contention and 
strife many years before on this wise. Returning from a 
walk in the suburbs of the town with text-books under 
his arm, he saw an animal creeping slowly across the road 
just ahead of him. He thoughtlessly went for the ani- 
mal, and let drive at him a whole body of divinity. In 
reply to this volume, the skunk— for such it proved to be — 
let fly at him a shower of that aroma which is his own 
peculiar weaix)n of defence. It could hardly be regarded 
*' the odor of sanctity." Dr. Beecher remarked that he 
got the worst of it in that controversy. It was an en- 
counter which taught liim a lesson for life. 

Dr. Beecher had no i)ersonal animosities to sour liim. 
He nursed no ill-will toward any one, and carried no 
burden of weapons for secret attack or for defence. He 
always was in light marching order, and msirched on the 
double-quick I He always cut comers and crossed lots, 
sometimes very unwisely, in order to reach his antago- 
nist, or his TpoBt of duty, most expeditiously. He never 
wasted time, strength, or ammunition in beating around 
the bush. 

IN SEAnCII OP A WIFE. 

After the death of his second >vife at Lane Seminary, 
he went to New England in search of another. Never 
was Providence more manifest than in this important 
matter. His attention was directed to a Mrs. Jacloson, who 
was keeping a kind of ministerial boarding-house in Bos- 
ton, . not a full square from where I was then boarding. 



42 PERSONAL REMINISCENCES OF 

She was fonnerly a member of Bowdoin Street Church 
when Dr. Beecher was its pastor, and therefore not an 
entire stranger to him. 

To her house he soon made liis way, and, as the story 
goes in Boston, and I never heai*d it called in question, 
asked of her a private conference, in which he proposed 
marriage with almost desperate earnestness, and with not 
a little bluntness. 

Mrs. Jackson was pre-eminently a practical business 
woman, and no less a Christian lady. But now she was 
taken by surprise, and could only reply, " Doctor, this 
is wholly unexpected. I can give you no answer at pres- 
ent. It is a very serious question. I will think of it, 
and make it a subject of prayer, and—" ** Yes, yes, 
all right," said Doctor Boochor. '* It ought to be made a 
subject of prayer. Let us pray over it now !" So down 
went the Doctor on his knees before the good Father in 
Heaven, and pleaded his own cause as few could plead 
in prayer ; and he pleaded not in vain I 

A more efBcient or more suitable wife for a helpmeet 
than was Mrs. Jacluon, no man ever needed or received. 
She was to be the mother of a large family of most 
peculiar and independent boys and girls, or rather young 
m&a and maidens. 

But she was equal to the occasion. And not only 
those children and their father, but .Lane Seminary and 
the Church of Christ, ought to give God thanks for his 
special guidance in the time of Dr. Beecher' s gi^eat need. 
She was a rare woman, an elect lady of God's choosing. 

Dr. Beecher was no Pharisee, no pietist, no ascetic, 
yet he was pre-eminently pious, prayerful, and submissive 
to the providence of God. He walked with God in a 
peculiar spirit of tenderness, independence and power. 
He rendered God service with a loyalty of devotion and 
a royalty of munificent consecration almost without a 
parallel I It was with a single eye and a whole heart ! 

His public prayers were unapproachable in their direct* 



LYMAN BRECHEB. 



43 



nesSi terseness, comprehensiveness, importunity and as- 
surance. There was never the slightest savor of cant or 
faisincerity in any of his devotions, public or private. 
The following incident illustrates tliat fact. 

UPSET IN TlIK DAllK. 

In coming up from the city one dark night, after even- 
ing service, with Mi*s. Beecher and Mrs. Stowo with liim in 
the carriage, he allowed his horse to go too near the edge 
of a high embankment, just at the foot of the hill, as we 
then came out of Butcher^s Valley at the right. The carr 
riage was upset and rolled over and over with its precious 
trio some fifteen feet to the foot of the bank. 

On finding themselvas but little hurt, the pious ladies 
nnited at once in thanks to tlie Lord for their provident 
tial delivemnce. 

It was too dark to see each other readily, or to deter* 
mine where they were exactly, but the bewildered Doc* 
tor found himself in a pitiful plight. Having shaken 
himself from the dust and dirt in which he had rolled, 
and taking cognizance of sundry bruises .received, he 
called out to his companions, whom he just then heard 
giving thanks, saying tiirtly, " Ladies, speak for your* 
selves 1 for I find myself pretty badly damaged !'' 

Now, there was not the least irreverence or ingratitude 
in this remark, but a naturat outburst of sincerity, and 
an exhibition of practical caution and independence in 
ascertaining the full extent of personal injuries before 
reporting the case to headquarters. 

AN ALLEGED HERETIC. 

Dr. Beecher had little love or respect for metaphysi* 
cal subtleties, ecclesiastical formulas, or l^gal precedents. 
His mind was intensely practical, catholic, and progres- 
sive ; yet he could fight for the defence of the ** faith 
once delivered to the saints," with all the boldness and 
persistency of the Apostle Paul. 



44 PERSONAL REMINISCENCES OF 

f 

In liis trials for hei'esy and disloyalty to the Presby- 
terian standards befora the ecclesiastical courts^ Dr. 
Joshua L. Wilson prosecutor, Dr. Beecher rested his ca^ 
mainly on this curt declaration : " I accept the Presby- 
terian standards as containing the system of doctrines 
revealed in the sacred Scriptures, as I understand those 
Btandanis of the Pi'esbyterian Church ;" adding, *' Don*t 
you, Dr. Wilson, and you bi-ethron of the court f* 
The Presbytery, Synod, and General Assembly sustained 
him throughout. How could they do otherwise and be 
true to themselves and the right of private judgment t 

A ROYAL PREACHER. 

Dr. Beecher was no pessimist, but an optimist, good 
and true. As a preacher we may say of him — ^as many 
others have said— that he was a IIoyal Preacher. But 
we prefer to say that he was pre-eminently honest, earnest 
and direct. Ilis practical preaching was doctrinal and 
his doctrinal preaching was eminently practical. He was 
not embarralssed and encumbered by any metaphysical, 
theological, or philosophical niceties. He had a rare 
faculty of stating his i)oints, putting his questions, and 
answering objections. I have seen him as he stood on a 
meat-block in the old Fifth-street market, precisely 
where now stands the Tyler-Davidson Fountain, do this 
work of a debater with the most admirable tact and pun- 
gency. His lectures on atheism in the dim light and 
sooty atmosphere of a Cincinnati iron foundry and 
boiler manufactory were a remarlcable exhibition of this 
ix>wer of argumentative eloquence. Not even Moody at 
his best could have better held, interested, or more i)er- 
manently impressed such an audience as was then 
gathered around him in that cave of the Vulcans. 

A CONSERVATIVE REFORMER. 

In his preaching. Dr. Beecher was a reformer only to 
a limited extent ; but in his heart he was abreast with the 



LYMAN BEBCUER. 45 

foremost. Tliis fact sometimes gave him the appearance 
of great inconsistency. lie was for '^ colonization" on 
the one hand, and for immediate abolition of slavery on 
the other. He was liberal and progressive in practical 
doctrine and duty, yet conservative in his standing fast 
by the old paths and sound words. 

lie ^^as naturally fearful of radical measures, and yet 
he was at tlie head of liis column, a plumed knight with 
a Damnscus blade, and who knew no fear amid the roar 
and carnage of battle I At the same time I have heard 
men tell of his feelings of utter despondency when 
voters in the parish were permitted by law to pay their 
church tax to any other than the regular, orthodox town 
meeting Parish Church. And when next he saw them 
I)ermitted by the Legislature to pay it to an out-of-town 
church, and bring a receipt from the proper officer, or 
when finally jiermitted by law to go anywhere, or not go 
to meeting at all or i)ay church tax, except by x)ersonal 
choice, his heart utterly failed within him as he thought 
the bottom of the religious tub had entirely fallen out I 
All the while the Doctor was a leader in the Gospel team, 
while he w<as tiying to he a steady shaft-hoi'se in the 
hills. He never broke a hold-back strap, but was ever 
ready to break a hame-string at a hard puU at any time. 

MANY-SIDED. 

. Dr. Beechcr was a masterpiece of divers colors. He 
was looked upon not only as eccentric but inconsistent by 
tliose who did not luiow him. The red, white and blue 
mingled in wonderful combination, but the true blue al* 
ways predominated. In fishing, he never missed a bite« 
nor waited for a second one. In hunting, he never rested 
his gun on a i>ost or ience, but took his game always on 
the wing. This was characteristic of him both in the 
material and intellectual world. In his day he was as 
popular as his son Henry Ward has since been, and he 
drew as large audiences, even greater, comparing the 



i!!iiS!mflm^222S3&BS53 



46 PERSONAL BEMINISCENCES OF 

times in which they each have lived. Tlie father was 
not as learned as is his son Edward, nor as poetical and 
imaginative as his daughter Harriet, but I venture the 
opinion that the father will be remembered when oU his 
children are forgotten. 

IN PRIVATE LIFE. 

Lyman Beecher had no ambitions, no jealousies, no 
rivalries, no resentments. Nor had he any Haws, stains, 
taints, nor serious inconsistencies of private or public 
character to mend, defend, or conceal, during a long life 
of the most intense and radical service in the Church of 
Christ. He retu*ed from the battle-field of life, on which 
he had been a captain of renown for more than half a 
century, witli clean hands and a pui*e heart, lie retired 
manfully, and with cheerful acquiescence. He was con- 
scious that his work was done— and well done. He 
passed away to the better land, where, I doubt not, he 
was welcomed with the joyous greeting, ** Well done, good 
and faithful servant, enter into the joy of thy Loixl I'* 

Projjerty he never had, never sought, and never could 
keep, if ho had it. Nor did he ever seek name, fame, or 
leisure. I once heaitl him affirm that, after forty years 
of intense and incessant labors in the ipinistry, he had 
never, at any one time, laid up money enough to have 
met his funeral expenses, had he died. 

Less than one thousand dollars a year for his ha]f-cen« 
tnry services in some of the most conspicuous stations, 
would be a fair average of his yearly income, notwith> 
standing the support and education of an unusually 
large family of sons and daughters. 

HIS CLOSING DAYS. 

Dr. Beecher left Lone in 1801. He and Professor Stowe 
had given eighteen years of hardest work in laying 
foundation-stones. Tliey had also imbued the people 
with a new inspiration with which to build a glorious 



LYMAN BEECHER. 



47 



Buperstructurc of education and religion in tlie great 
West! 

Dr. Beecher's work was done. He retired to dear old 
Boston on a small annuity from his former paiishioners 
and friends, and then in 1860 to Brooklyn, where, Janu- 
ary 10th, 1863, he closed his long career of eighty-eight 
years in i)eace. 

lie was very dear to me. I loved him as my spiritual 
father. lie led me to the Saviour. He received me into 
the Church and bi*ought me into the ministry. He was 
my theological instructor, encouraged and aided me in 
my pastorate at Cincinnati, where we toiled side by side 
for ten eventful years. I anticipate a meeting with him 
ere many days, where our fellowship will be eternal. 
The sunset soon will give the signal that releases ttie 
from the harvest Held. 

As Horatius Bonar says, 

" From this right Land Its cannlnpr Is depftrtlnir» 
Tliis wrinkled piilm procUlms Its work is done, 
Death in these puliies daily groweth stronger, ^ 

Life's rob/ drops aro oozing one bjr one." 

We shall not long bo separated. I wait to greet him 
in the Heavenly Home ! I wait in the imtience of hoi)e I 
I wait in the love of that ministry which he inspired me 
to undertake, in that love which knows no burden, and 
in that hope wliich has no fear I 



W W 'I 'm 



ryr-^t'-^.fr 






HENRY WARD BEECHEF 

HIS LIFE AND CHARACTERISTICS, 

His remarkable Pulpit and other abilities, with Incider 
Reminiscences, etc. etc. 




OIvIdk, •• ncBTljr •■ poaalble, 

A PEN-PORTRAIT OF MR. BEECHE 



I.,YMAX AinSOTT, D. n. 



so 

rriio ehni>t<^rw giving ftnalywow of Mr. TBoeohor*w ^^'onflorfiil povror 
in <ho pnlpit nncl oti ihn 7>laiforni, nn«I Iiih lialiilw unci nharnotoriittio**, 
have been Avritton wi>ooially for thin -^vorlc ^yy tlio fV»llovriinic repr«« 
sentative men : 



THOMAS ARMITAGE, D. D. 

or New. York. 

CHARLES £. RQBINSON, D.D. 

Of Kochesicr, N. Y. 

£. P. INGERSOLL, D. D. 

or Rmoklyn, N. Y. 

LEONARD BACON, D.D.,LL.D. 

Written nhoitly bcrore hU decease. 

JOSEPH PARKER* D. D. 

or Ix>nd«Ni, Kngland. 

EUGENE BERSIER, 

or Pari*, France. 

PETER MACLEOD, 

or Gla»gow, ScotbiM. 

T. J. CONANT, D. D. 

The eminent Hebraist. 

Hon. FREDERICK DOUGLASS, 
Gen. CLINTON B. FISK, 



NOAH PORTER, D. D., LL. D. 

or Yale College. ' 

C. B. SIMS, D. D. 

Chancellor or SyracuM Univemity. 

WM. BURNET WRIGHT, 

or Doflton. 

JOHN G. WHITTIER, 

The P.H.I. 

J. O. PECK, D. D. 

or Drooklyn. 

RABBI LILIENTHAL, 

or Cincinnati, O. . 

Dr. ZABRISKEE, 

Kditor or the N. Y. Ckristiam imUmgtneer. 

Rev. Father KEEGAN, Vicar-Gen 
Hon. AMOS C. BARSTOW, 

W IVovidence, R. I. 

EDWARD BEECHER, D. D. 



AND OTIIKItS KQUAU.V WRI.L KNOWN. 

'£*Uo aitti <»£ tho 1><M>k im I<> proton t Air. J3oec3>liov am lie im, yieitUer 
praiHing nor 1>lainiTig 1>«»y«>n<l roai«oii. 

It \n \\ Avork ilit^i Avill j%^*'^'^^ eciitally intereMtiiiic anrl valuable to 
Iriencl an<l foe of* Mr. I3eeci]i<«r. J-fiM rc*nifirka1>lo oaroer an<l fceninfn 
are kiio^vn of all men, wo tliiit pen*t>intnroM of* \\\n life and anolyneai 
o£ liin pooiiliar po'^vei* -will 1>«^ of* valnc9 1o all, luiil ynofnt laricely renci 
e very ^v li e r e . 

Xlte 1>«»(»k Avill 1><« i*iolily illnntraied %viilt aite«fl aii«l other enfcmv* 



inopi. 



A PARTIAL LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



1. Frontispikck. a Sti-^kl Knoravkd Portrait of Mr. Brrchbr. .. 

2. Dr. Lyman Bkkchkr's Homk at Litciifikiji, in which Hrnry Ward 

WAS Born. 

3. The Church at Lawrenckrurg, Ind., in which Mr. Beecher first 

Preached. 

4. His House at Indianapolis, Painted ry himself. 

5. His Church at Indianapolis. 

6. A Family of Clergymen — Lyman Beecher and his Six Clergymen 

Sons. (A Group.) 

7. The Peekskill Home. 

8. Mr. Beecher's Workshop. 

9. Seven Portraits Representing Mr. Beecher in Different Moods. 
ID. Mr. Beecher and his Family. 

11. Portraits of Mr. Beecher at Different Ages. 

12. Plymouth Church. 

15. A Sunday Audience at Plymouth Church. 
14. Across the Rocky Mountains. 
15* *'£yes and Ears." 



SUBJECTS OF CHAPTERS. s* 

Mr. Beecher's Childhood and Mr. Beecher as a Journalist 

Youth. As a Lecturer and Orator. 

His Early Ministry. Mr. Beecher in England during 
Mr. Beecher as a Preacher. our Civil War. 

His Methods of Study. Incidents Illustrative of Traits 
His Theology. of Character. 

ETC.. KTC. KTC 

MK. BEECHER IN ENGLAND. 

The most remarkable triumph ever secured by an orator over an 
audience was witnessed when Mr. Beecher stood before the vast and 
hostile audiences at Liverpool and Manchester during our Civil War. By 
the marvelous power of his genius he not only compelled the mob to 
hear him, but he changed the current of sympathy of the British nation, 
and modified the policy of the Government. This was an achievement 
that will go down to history. Mr. Bcecher*s side of this story has never 
been told to the public. It will be told in this book. 

REASONS FOR PURCHASING THE BOOK ! 

liecfiunef iml nnylbing no in%\nre% the young or old m the biography of a great man. 



^*]«lvf*M (il* icf«*i%t. moil till r«*iitliifl iiM 
Wo oiiii >itnlc«« «>tir )1v«*m M-iil>Uiitn«** 



Jicm»i9rf no one can question, however hitter a foe he nmy l)c, that Mr. Bkrchrr has left 
nn indelible impresii ii|Mm his age. Recall the past: licforc the war, when Mr. Bercher*s' 
word!*, like thiinder1)olts, stii rctrthc sleeping conscience of the nation ; during the war, when ' 
in Kngland, he faced with sublime courage the angered Hritish populace, and by his speeches, 
which will stand forever as the marvelous creations of genius, changed the sentiment and. 
the )>olicv of the nation I Who can remcml>er the past and not seek eagerly to reaii 
the life oi this man? 

JUfCaunr^ in this book we have the man's wonderful powers analyzed by many of the ablest 
brains in and out of the pulpit, representing every shade of ecclesiastical and philosophic 
l>clicf. This will prove most deeply instructive. 

JReeaiinef the scores of pages of .anecdotes and personal reminiscences will be found more' 
interesting than fiction. • 

SecflUMef it is written and eilited bv one of the foremost literary men of the country, Dr. ' 
I«vman Abbott, editor of the N. V. Christian Union, and author of '* Jesus of Nazareth," \ 
"Notes and Comments on the Bible,*' *' Old Testament Shadows of New Testament 
Truths," etc., etc. 

JfecaunCf it contains many likenesses of Mr. Bkrcher, produced in the highest art,«repre*. j 
sen ting him at dilTcrent ages and in many different moods, thus giving a more varied 
portrait than ever before given, perhaps, of any man in a single hook. It is, in itself a 
splendid album. This feature alone is worth more than the entire price of the book. 

Secauttef the book is so richly bound, that it will be a fit ornament to center-table or library. 

JBeefiiMCf finally, the book is a memorial to Mr. Brrchrr as he enters upon his seventieth 
birthday, his friends remembering him with loving affection, his enemies thinking of him ■ 
at greater than his faults— a great-hearted and great*brained American. j 



■Vli"<*i?*^?i!(*"^^ 



53 REMARKABLE WORDS ABOUT MR. BEECHER. 



Jolin Q. "Wliittiery the poet, says, in his ])&|)er written for this Ixmk : *< I sCdfcJely know 
how to class Mr. Bercher as a theologian ; but it seems to me that his influence has been felt 
throughout Protestantism in softening intolerance and promoting brotherly love and charity.*' 

C^n* Clinton B* Fiskf says, in his paper written Tor this book: "His words 
inspired me vrith ambition to be a good man. I was, by his ministrations, brought nearer to my 
Ix>rd and Saviour Jesus Christ.", 

AbraKani liincoln said t ** I regard Mr. Dkkciikr's mind as the most fertile I have 
ever come in contact with." 



C« B* SiinSf D« D«f Chancellor of the Syracuse University, in his analysis of Mr. 
Beechrr*s powers, written for this liook, says i "He has the wonderful |jower of educating his 
hearersto the highest conception of,and efficiency in, |ier forming the practical duties of Christianity." 

JTamcs ]?!• Iloppin^ Prof, of Homiletics in Yale College, in on article in the A'rttf 
Enghuder^ says : " We see in him, as in the old preachers and prophets, the high moral use 
of the imagination. He has (he poet*s quick eye to sec the spiritual sense in the homeliest things, 
in the most common facts and events. * * Like Shakespeare, he first makes the ])eoplc 
laugh, then weep. * * Mr. Hrkciikr is a |)oct, and it takes something of a poet to 
preach Christ*8 gOKi)cl." 

William ]?!• Tnylory D* D«f of the Broadway Talicrnaclc, New-York, in the 
Scottish /Vt^fWf', 1K59, says: ** He Is a true imet. Many of these sparlding fragments have as 
much of the creative element in them as wnuld make the fortune of a score of |x)et laureates. 
* * lie appears to Ik; ecpially at home in (he beautiful, the Kublimc, and the tcrrilde ; but he 
it most in love with lieauty. When he chooses he can array himself in the rough garment of an 
ancient prophet, and bring before his hearers a vision of awful grandeur and ap|)alling power." 

Bfoall Porter, D* D^ President of Yale C^illcge, in his analysis of Mr. Bbeciier*s 
power, written for this liook, says: " His i>ower of drawing ideal pictures of the mind*s e)re, 
and of gilding them with the sunlight of his own warm heart, is marvelous, if it be judged from 
the images of a single discourse, liut, when estimated by the streams of sermons, speeches, 
and lectures, which seem to flow unceasingly from his fertile fancy in inexhaustible variety, it 
astonishes us by its productive power, as well as by the copious anil felicitous diction which 
this creative }x>wer has ever at command." 

Br* IT* R* IIni¥Ci9« in (he Contemporary A*e7'itii\ England, says 1 "lliere is some- 
thing almost Pauline in the way Mr. Bkkciikr seems at times to lift the burden of each one 
individually, to hold on to the souls of his |)cople." 

R* 9* Storrsy B* B*f in his silver wcdfiing a<ldrcss in 1X73, naid : *' T shoukl pur next 
his [Mr. Bkeciikr*s] quick and deep sympathy with men, his wonderful intuitive iierception 
of moods of mind which make these stand out before him like a procession passing In the 
street. You say, • This is genius.' Of course it is ; but it is the genius, not of the dramatist or 
poet, it is the genius of the great preacher.'* 



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